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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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skeetermooch posted 10/8/2020 11:59 AM

CB, I really appreciate you sharing your experience. It helps to hear from someone who's been there.

skeetermooch posted 10/8/2020 21:17 PM

And because my week needs to get worse...he showed up in my backyard tonight. I heard a knock on my bedroom window and there he was.

I'm sure I didn't handle it right but I was taken my surprise. I just told him he should be here and that knocking on my window after dark is scary. His answer, but I don't know how else to reach you. Ugh.

He didn't stay long. Wanted to show me his new puppy. He's such a moron. The poor thing just got fixed yesterday and he's carting it all over the place. He looked gross to me. I don't see the super handsome guy anymore. That's something.

MyHeart101 posted 10/9/2020 01:28 AM

This is my 1st post. Iíve been reading and learning from you all for a bit now. Thank you for letting me ventÖ

I know some pple will disagree, but IMHO viewing porn is akin to cheating. Actually, I feel that anything a spouse feels the need to hide from the other is cheating. Texts, messages, phone calls, online activity, along with PA.

About my husband...a SA and PA. He becomes immature and exceedingly angry and mean when things don't go his way. Any and all disagreements involve his sexual needs. During our 6 1/2 yrs together, I have discovered great lengths of time on 4 different occasions that heís viewed online porn. He's messaged women online, talked privately online to female friends, and secretly went to a female friend's house and asked her to keep it quiet. This is the 1st time we will be getting counseling for his porn addiction. I previously (somewhat) trusted him and we just swept things under the rug when things got better. He has a history of cheating in previous relationships. Shamefully, Iím a HW. He deceived me when we met and pretended to be single. However, I take responsibility for staying with him after I learned the truth.

The 1st time he apologized he said ďIím sorry Iím not the husband you want me to beĒ. Never a sincere apology. At my suggestion, he downloaded an online activity monitoring app, Covenant Eyes, on his cell phone. However, this last time I found the porn on his WORK cell phone when I figured out the password. Heís since had to change his password and hasnít given the new one to me.

I told him he needs IC with a CSAT before we go to MC and that I will seek counseling for Betrayal Trauma. Instead, heís gone to 1 IC session with a LFMT and came back drunk and we had a heated argument about all of the things that i've done to cause him to view porn. He hasnít made another appointment. He scheduled our 1st MC session for Sat 10/10 even though I told him he needs to work on himself before we can work on us.

Iím apprehensive about the counseling in general because I fear heís being honest with the therapist and I donít know if we are ready for MC. I really think he needs to see a CSAT and maybe our MC should also have experience in SAT.

What do you all think about the counselor situation? Is it common to use the same therapist for MC as used for WS? What kind of therapist do I need for betrayal trauma?

I appreciate any input given.

BS - (Me) 51
WH -55
Married -4 Ĺ yrs, together 6 Ĺ yrs
Dday1 - Winter 2014/2015 (before engagement)
Dday 2 Ė Winter 2017
Dday 3 Ė Summer 2019
Dday 4 - 8-/26/20

MyHeart101 posted 10/9/2020 01:31 AM

Posting again because i think i didn't do it right the 1st time.

This is my 1st post. Iíve been reading and learning from you all for a bit now. Thank you for letting me ventÖ

I know some pple will disagree, but IMHO viewing porn is akin to cheating. Actually, I feel that anything a spouse feels the need to hide from the other is cheating. Texts, messages, phone calls, online activity, along with PA.

About my husband...a SA and PA. He becomes immature and exceedingly angry and mean when things don't go his way. Any and all disagreements involve his sexual needs. During our 6 1/2 yrs together, I have discovered great lengths of time on 4 different occasions that heís viewed online porn. He's messaged women online, talked privately online to female friends, and secretly went to a female friend's house and asked her to keep it quiet. This is the 1st time we will be getting counseling for his porn addiction. I previously (somewhat) trusted him and we just swept things under the rug when things got better. He has a history of cheating in previous relationships. Shamefully, Iím a HW. He deceived me when we met and pretended to be single. However, I take responsibility for staying with him after I learned the truth.

The 1st time he apologized he said ďIím sorry Iím not the husband you want me to beĒ. Never a sincere apology. At my suggestion, he downloaded an online activity monitoring app, Covenant Eyes, on his cell phone. However, this last time I found the porn on his WORK cell phone when I figured out the password. Heís since had to change his password and hasnít given the new one to me.
I told him he needs IC with a CSAT before we go to MC and that I will seek counseling for Betrayal Trauma. Instead, heís gone to 1 IC session with a LFMT and came back drunk and we had a heated argument about all of the things that i've done to cause him to view porn. He hasnít made another appointment. He scheduled our 1st MC session for Sat 10/10 even though I told him he needs to work on himself before we can work on us.

Iím apprehensive about the counseling in general because I fear heís being honest with the therapist and I donít know if we are ready for MC. I really think he needs to see a CSAT and maybe our MC should also have experience in SAT.

What do you all think about the counselor situation? Is it common to use the same therapist for MC as used for WS? What kind of therapist do I need for betrayal trauma?

I appreciate any input given.

BS - (Me) 51
WH -55
Married -4 Ĺ yrs, together 6 Ĺ yrs
Dday1 - Winter 2014/2015 (before engagement)
Dday 2 Ė Winter 2017
Dday 3 Ė Summer 2019
Dday 4 - 8-/26/20

DevastatedDee posted 10/9/2020 08:31 AM

Welcome, MyHeart. When you say an SA and a PA, what is PA standing for?

For me personally, I wasn't bothered by porn in general. However, when porn replaces me as a sex partner, that's hugely damaging and does feel like cheating. It sounds like he's doing more than just porn, though. There's probably quite a bit that you don't know about, sadly. Regardless, this nonsense he's doing isn't working for you.

I see all this about CSATs and IC and so on, and all this sounds like his problem, not yours. I don't have much faith in an SA going to counselors and becoming a different person. What I'm concerned about is you. If PA means physical abuser, this is not a situation you need to spend 5 more minutes dealing with. Truth be told, I feel the same way about sex addiction. There's a lot of fucked up going in in an SA's mind and it isn't limited to just the porn watching, EAs or PAs. There's a lot of disordered thinking there and a profound lack of respect for you. This is no doubt the most stressful thing going on in your life right now. Our spouses are supposed to be our safe place, not the cause of our traumas.

How are YOU doing? As far as IC for you, I'd say try to find someone who has experience with this kind of trauma. I went to IC for a while, but my greatest therapy wound up being work with rescue dogs and cats. I jumped into self-care and doing things that I was passionate about, reclaiming my individuality and getting into something pure and beautiful instead of all the ugliness of addition and infidelity. That healed a lot of me.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 8:33 AM, October 9th (Friday)]

Superesse posted 10/9/2020 08:37 AM

Greetings, MyHeart,

Your gut is warning you exactly right: MC with a LFMT is inappropriate for this man. No wonder he came out of one session with such a counselor and blamed you....it's the wrong approach, and unfortunately very common for SAs to get no benefit from that kind of "dialog" therapy. MC is based on an assumption that both parties will participate in good faith, but to a SA, it's all about keeping their secret "Ace in the Hole." My SAWH admits the secret aspect is the big thrill, more than the sexual aspect! He's told me this several times over the years. (Note how my SAWHs need to hold secrets has never gone away...it's deeply embedded in his character.)

From all I learned in counseling classes and from reading here for years, Marriage Counselors either don't learn this fact in their education, or they falsely assume that 'what they see is what is real.' Not so, with these types of persons.

I hold the same opinion about keeping secrets as you do, and I also agree with you that porn is cheating, at least in terms of it's neurological impact on the viewer and on their morals.

Did you always feel this way about what constitutes cheating, or wasn't some of it on your radar, back when you guys first got involved? I've often been teased by my BFF about how I could be such a good judge of character and totally miss this perversion in the man I married after a 4 year dating relationship, and I have no answer! I worked with the public and had to have good instincts about which people would most likely be lying or cheating...ironic, no?

Anyway I think you are right about the CSAT for him, IC for you. And no, they usually don't like the same person to serve both roles. Conflict of interest.

[This message edited by Superesse at 8:42 AM, October 9th (Friday)]

DevastatedDee posted 10/9/2020 08:37 AM

And because my week needs to get worse...he showed up in my backyard tonight. I heard a knock on my bedroom window and there he was.
I'm sure I didn't handle it right but I was taken my surprise. I just told him he should be here and that knocking on my window after dark is scary. His answer, but I don't know how else to reach you. Ugh.

He didn't stay long. Wanted to show me his new puppy. He's such a moron. The poor thing just got fixed yesterday and he's carting it all over the place. He looked gross to me. I don't see the super handsome guy anymore. That's something.


Oh ew, and with all you're dealing with regarding your daughter, you so needed this crap, right?

It helps that you don't see him as attractive anymore, but I'm weirded out about him showing up at your house too. He needed attention like he needed a drug. He'll go away, but it's gonna take time and a lot more ignoring. And keep your windows locked. Ugh.

skeetermooch posted 10/9/2020 10:56 AM

My Heart,

I just started seeing a CSAT for my IC and I felt really validated because she gets the level of trauma I've endured. She wasn't at all encouraging me to stay with him or take responsibility for any of his behavior. I'm not a huge therapy person but I think to intellectually process some of this it's hugely validating to have a CSAT. Like Dee, I agree that getting back to our passions is perhaps the most healing.

skeetermooch posted 10/9/2020 10:58 AM

He needed attention like he needed a drug. He'll go away, but it's gonna take time and a lot more ignoring.

I was very grey rock when I saw him. There were no follow up emails from him so I hope he got it. He's not getting any juice from me. If he forces contact I'll continue to be flat and say very little until he tires of trying.

BlackRaven posted 10/9/2020 16:01 PM

MyHeart.

Welcome to the page no one should have to visit.
There is no doubt that porn can be addicting, and it is frequently one of the things that Sex Addicts use to get their dopamine hit. (just google it) and sometimes it is a gateway to other forms of acting out. My trauma therapist did a ton of her research on porn, and she told me that it takes only a split second for the porn images to affect the brain. I'm sure it's like alcohol, where some people can handle it and some people can't, but that's not really the issue here.

As I see it, the issue here is that you are asking your husband for things that you need and he is ignoring your requests:

-You don't want him watching porn
-You want him to be accountable for what he does on his electronics
-He has gaslighted you (downloading Covenant eyes on one phone and then using another.)
-He isn't being transparent (refusing to give you his password)
-You don't want him keeping secrets from you about women that he meets or speaks with, and presumably you want those interactions to be non-sexual.
-You want him to be evaluated by a CSAT. (Presumably if the CSAT said s/he thought your husband was ready for MC, you would respect that)
-He can be mean and disrespectful towards you.
-He has a history of lying to you.

I urge you to remember the 3-Cs of recovery.
You didnít CAUSE it.
You canít CONTROL it.
You can't CURE it.

So getting your husband to a CSAT isn't likely to be any more successful than downloading Convenant Eyes was, unless he's doing it for himself, it won't be a stepping stone to recovery. I urge you to focus on YOU.

The book Moving Beyond Betrayal by Vicky Tidell Palmer is a book my trauma therapist recommended for boundary work, and it might be a good resource for you.

Also, you might consider something like the
SAL Lifeline 12-step meetings for yourself. It's like an al-anon meeting for women whose husbands are sex addicts and offers a wonderful community of supportive women.

And finding yourself a therapist who specializes in betrayal trauma would be a logical thing to do as well.

As for the MC appointment tomorrow, if you go, I'd take along a list of obvious boundary violations (like the ones outlined above) and present it to the counselor, and ask him/her how you are supposed to get what you need from the marriage when these basic boundaries aren't being respected.

Good luck,

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 4:16 PM, October 9th (Friday)]

BlackRaven posted 10/9/2020 17:49 PM

Oh. MyHeart, To find a trauma therapist, go to the website for the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. I think they have a search function. Also, CSAT therapists should be able to give you recommendations.

Good luck

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 5:50 PM, October 9th (Friday)]

MyHeart101 posted 10/10/2020 12:51 PM

@ DevastatedDee- I mean PA as porn addiction. No physical abuse however the FW that he cheated with me on told me and sent pictures to me on FB that he abused her when she confronted him about me. THAT scares me. As I think I stated in my previous post, I had left him once for 1 wk when we lived in VA before our engagement due to some red flags that i didn't know if i could live with. Because of my fear, I had a friend help me pack and I left in secret during the early morning hours while he was still at work. I went back to him because I felt I loved him when I discovered that week that I didn't want to live without him. Now I feel I was and am just codependent.

The major thing that i didn't know if i could live was staying with a cheater that deceived me by letting me assume he was single when we met and he contacted me online to go motorcycle riding when he came to town for business...and the guilt and shame I had for breaking up his marriage, even though he always told me he was extremely depressed in his bad marriage and had wanted a divorce, that meeting me was the catalyst for him to finally leave her...and how bad of a wife she was...blah, blah, blah.

I also get anxious and fearful when his attitude and behavior flip like a light switch --only when he doesn't get his way. Of course this is also when he blames me for his behavior including watching porn.

I knew better but to calm him down the night of our heated argument that happened to be the same night he went to his one and only therapy session with a LMFT, I took full blame for everything that was wrong in our relationship. As another example of his immaturity, he had also posted on FB at midnight that I (insert name) had decided to end our relationship. He made an issue for some reason of doing it at midnight and having it documented. I also took the blame for everything to finally get him to take down the post because I had begged and pleaded with him to not do this and that I did not want a divorce. I KNOW I shouldn't have done it.

[This message edited by MyHeart101 at 8:16 PM, October 13th (Tuesday)]

BlackRaven posted 10/11/2020 18:57 PM

Feeling fragile today - just need to hear from my peeps.

My SAWH is finishing his inpatient, and will switch to an intensive outpatient program (not near me.) We haven't spoken in a while but have a call tonight. The calls get to me. I have questions I can't ask because the answers need to wait for disclosure, and really, it wouldn't matter since I can't believe a thing he says to me anyhow.

On one hand I wish disclosure were here, on the other hand it terrifies me. But at least it will get me out of the limbo. Knowledge is power, right?

It's odd how I can go along for a few days and feel like my life is improving, and then wham, I get that anxiety of omg, I'm married to a SA. WTF.

DevastatedDee posted 10/11/2020 20:00 PM

It's odd how I can go along for a few days and feel like my life is improving, and then wham, I get that anxiety of omg, I'm married to a SA. WTF.

I so remember all of those feelings, so you get a huge virtual hug from me. It's just surreal for quite a while. I'm still appalled that I was married to an SA. It's just...how in the hell did that happen? I get it.

I noticed that the less I heard from my XWH while he was in rehab for drugs even before I knew about the SA stuff, the more at peace I was. I felt him going from such a great joy in my life to such a source of pain and stress and that was also upsetting as heck.

This is a hard hard hard hard hard time. I wish no one ever had to go through it and I'm really sorry that you do. You will be okay. You will survive this, but I know it really sucks going through it.

skeetermooch posted 10/11/2020 22:31 PM

Black Raven, I totally get it. It's nightmarish.
It's like when someone close dies and you wake up every day forgetting they're gone and have to remind yourself again. Our husbands as we knew them died and were replaced with SAs. Dday was over a year ago and I still have these moments. All the time. It's taking me forever. Often, I simply can't believe this is all real and that who I thought I was married to was mostly a facade.

Disclosure looming over you must be adding to your anxiety immensely. I can't imagine what that feels like. I found out what I found out by snooping. At least I had some control. I could start and stop snooping based on what I could handle. You have no control over what's getting dumped on you and when. It's the last thing a BS needs - less control over their pain.

This is all so cruel and fucked up. I truly wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

You'll get through it somehow. I hope it's not too hard. I hope you know you can say, "Stop" at anytime during his disclosure if it's too much. You don't owe him taking on more trauma.


Superesse posted 10/12/2020 13:57 PM

Hi ladies, I just had one of those Cinderella moments that my life has been full of these last 20 years - you know, that moment when her coach turns back into a pumpkin....

Does staying in a bad marriage do this to people, I can't help but wonder, as I look back over one of the precious few times in my life with SAWH when he and I truly had a good Thanksgiving with my now-deceased father (in-laws overseas, my mother long-deceased, siblings all divorced/across the country). My father was usually extremely moody and negative around holidays, but very occasionally, he would be willing to join my "family events." For example, the year we bought the farm - in the same county he'd moved to! - he begged off joining us to go out to dinner for Thanksgiving!? The following year, I had to try again; we invited him to Thanksgiving dinner at a local Inn, and he got dressed up nicely and joined us.

So that day in 2003 was a perfect time and place, with excellent food, and everyone truly on their best behavior...Sadly, the following year or so, that fancy Inn closed due to fire, and nobody has heard about it for over 14 years...until today, when I discovered it has just gone on the market! It was beyond any other local "buffet" option around here, so its closing represented the end of our chance to start a new annual tradition with my father.

Looking at the real estate website, I thought I recognized something about it. Started looking through the photos, and my gosh, all of a sudden, I see the lobby where my father, SAWH and I had come in, hung up our coats, and admired the buffet table on our way to our Thanksgiving feast! Then I clicked on the now-empty room where our table had been, saw the window we'd looked out of on that happy day....now without any furniture, yet otherwise, the grand place still identical to how I remembered it back in 2003. I was there, again, almost!

In 2011 I lost my only sister to cancer; she was halfway across the country and we never had holidays together. In 2013, my father died, 4 years after a stroke that caused cererovascular dementia. Lots of grief. By the time of his stroke in '09, my father had distanced himself further from me/SAWH, due to my endless tales of marital pain (so he told my brother, who never brought him the 5 miles out of his way to see us); then SAWH got laid off and months later in early 2014, D-Day 2 came with his arrest for soliciting...ugh, ugh, ugh.

Well - so here I sit today, 69 years old, and I'm only able to count a very few "happy" times that ever took place around here with any of my loved ones in setting I can revisit so vividly as I did today. Ouch. It's no wonder I started sobbing, right?

But you know what? I just can't shake the thought that somehow, my staying stuck here is why this all hurts so much! Although it's all mingled in with the loss of family, too. I suspect that if I'd left this marriage and this place, I'd have made other memories, good or otherwise, but at least things I'd see every day wouldn't always trigger "what could have been." A lesson in this is....?

(To tell the truth, if my father hadn't been so difficult throughout his life, I would have had many more happy holiday memories, too, but this one represented my/our joint efforts to make good family memories just once in my adult life.)

Guess I should just print the photos off and accept my grief.

Thanks for listening, y'all. Hope everybody else is doing okay.

PS it is gloomy and rainy here again...can't deal with dark days any more, as I guess y'all can tell!

skeetermooch posted 10/12/2020 21:42 PM

(((Superesse)))

I believe staying with our SAs prevents fully healing. I can look back at memories with my kids' fathers, even my ex cheating boyfriend of eight years and appreciate the good times. There's no melancholy. It evaporated with the rest of my feelings for them.

My STBX was my family, my person and if I'm honest even the happy times were tainted by hinky feelings I couldn't put my finger on. I was forcing myself to pretend everything was good and as it seemed. I don't even know if I could pinpoint a day when I was free of doubt and truly happy. Everything was weird and pretend and half-happy.

In those moments when everyone's behaving and you look and feel something like a happy family - it's as close as we came to having the dream. We live with the disappointment, quite literally when we still share our lives with our SAs. It hurts because we were meant for happiness - real happiness, not just best behavior once a year - not cheating and arrests and ddays. For whatever reason, we drew shitty-ass cards. We didn't get that. And it's sad as hell and unfair.

I'm 57 and This is not how I would've imagined my senior years - not at all. Single, maybe, but not dealing with betrayal and PTSD and an addict, who blew up my world and won't leave me the hell alone.

At 69 you could easily have another 20+ years - plenty of time to make a new life should you decide to. But it's all so hard with age, and deceased family - it's a really scary place to be.

BlackRaven posted 10/12/2020 21:49 PM

Superesse,
I'm so sorry you're hurting. I think for fully half the people out there, holidays are Hallmark creations designed to remind us how isolated we from our spouses, and how distant and dysfunctional our biological families are.

I truly envy people who enjoy the holidays, especially those who are authentic and have created their own tribe from the friends they have made, not the people with genetic connections.

I wonder if those of us who married SA are by definition loners? I'm think we can assume that we mostly came from screwed up families of origin, or we wouldn't have ended up with SA. And I think through our relationship with our SA we became further isolated from people. There's actually something about that in the S-Anon book.

We're here for you.

Superesse posted 10/12/2020 22:38 PM

((((Skeeter)))) ((((Black Raven))))

You both reached right out and touched me with great thoughts, care and compassion...words fail to express my gratitude...

(I do think my pain at this little "flashback" was possibly (?) a bit more about a father who was never able to really reach out and heal the wounds he had helped create...)

But somehow, somewhere along the line, I got it in my silly head that, after marrying at 19 and essentially running away from my F'd up FOO, this 2nd marriage at 46 years old - long after my mother's death - could help to bring together my remaining fractured family.

During the years I dated this SAWH, my father had socialized with us, which he never had with any of my other BFs. Once BF proposed (or face me breaking up with him!) I sensed he really wanted the kind of big, traditional wedding his family expected, so I was happy to involve my remaining family, too. His parents, one of his sisters and her baby plus 2 old aunties flew to the US for the big day.

I had asked my sister to be Matron of Honor, and for whatever reason it worked out in her life, she who never had visited me in decades brought her whole family down from Michigan in an RV and they camped in front of my house. My father rose to the occasion, as well...came out of his hermit apartment to wear a tux I located for him (ahem) but at age 73, he paid for a limo to take us to the wedding and the reception rental...honestly, if you knew my life before then, that wedding came together like a freaking fairy tale, for my ultra-distant family to be there like that...almost like a Hollywood script! Was this my life, really? Or were we ALL trying to achieve some kind of a fantasy fulfillment...

Anyway, my sister is now gone, my father is now gone, and all along, this man never could show up to really be that husband....and his issues became my issues, which further drove a wedge between my father in his old-old age and me....nothing I can do about it, now.

Again thanks for reading, y'all and I hope somebody sometime sees a message in this madness...


skeetermooch posted 10/12/2020 22:59 PM

It's interesting Superesse - my sadness around my STBX at times brings up my sadness at losing my sister, and she died a few years before I met him. I think he replaced the family I lost (my sister, her husband, my mom). He was my new family and he fit into my world in a way no one else I'd been with had. It felt like a fairytale as well. It just serves to make it all an even heavier loss.

And I agree with Black Raven - our fetish around family has caused many a great deal of pain. Very few people have Hallmark holidays or tv sitcom families. Most are tainted with dysfunction to some degree. I know that sounds cynical but that's my lived and observed experience. The nuclear family is the site of a lot of harm unfortunately. I don't know why that is. I think we'd all do well to form extended families of choice, co-parenting arrangements - more support, less fantasy and less hermetically sealed lives.

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