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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 9:38 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

My experience of 12 steps and rehab is that they absolutely baby the addict. Help them see themselves as a victims and give themselves pats in the back for every small adult action that they perform. It completely minimises the effect on the betrayed partner and the families and I feel actually shames the partner for expressing their pain so as to not threaten the fragile sobriety of the addict.

Just want to go on the record as saying that isn't my experience at all - not with those who are actually working the program. Making a moral inventory, confessing one's wrongs to another person, making amends, doing service work - I see that as personal responsibility, not playing the victim.

In fact, the SAA green book, step 9, holds them financially responsible for their behavior as well. It says, "If our behavior caused psychological harm, to our children or others, we can offer to pay for their therapy."

There is certainly a lot of rah, rah - you can do it. And you just need to make progress, not be perfect, but we all need that affirmation when we are working for something. And the fact that a person has to turn in their tokens and start counting all over again if they relapse, reminds them that there is no pass.

I'm sure that there are differences in groups and in sponsors, but my sponsor kicks my ass when she thinks I'm not owning up to something.

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HeHadADoubleLife ( member #68944) posted at 4:33 AM on Friday, December 25th, 2020

I have to agree BlackRaven. 12 step programs are all about accountability. But it really requires the addict to hold themselves accountable. A sponsor is supposed to be a voice of reason, someone to go to for advice, but they can't actually control their sponsee in any real way. In fact it would be seriously overreaching and crossing boundaries if they started trying to control their sponsee. It would actually be bad for them and their sobriety to overstep like that. All they can really do is call bad behavior out when they see it, but it's up to the addict to do the work. Also, it requires complete honesty, and no matter the type of addiction, unrecovered addicts are terrible at being honest.

There is certainly a lot of rah, rah - you can do it. And you just need to make progress, not be perfect, but we all need that affirmation when we are working for something. And the fact that a person has to turn in their tokens and start counting all over again if they relapse, reminds them that there is no pass.

^^I think this is where people get frustrated. The support and cheering on aspect, even the forgiveness and the welcoming them back even when they've slipped. Of course it logically makes sense that anyone is going to need encouragement when they're working towards sobriety. It's one of those hard-to-swallow pills about being with an addict. Knowing that they need support, but also being angry because there are so many things that they actively chose to do to you that you now need support for. It feels unfair. And it is. That you have to heal and recover from pain that was inflicted on you, while they're recovering from actions they chose to take.

It can feel like it's not holding them accountable. But really it's all about the addict's mindset.

When my brother was first 12 stepping through AA, he was the asshole who relapsed over and over again and everything that came out of his mouth during that time was a lie. He was still playing the victim, and at that point working the steps/going to meetings felt like just another way he tried to falsely boost his ego. It was performative, as well as a way to get people off his back. But that wasn't authentic. He wasn't actually changing, or even trying to. Hence all of the relapses.

I do truly believe that people can change. And I think that 12 step is one of the best ways to do that, especially considering that it's free. The problem is that it requires that the addict really wants to change. My brother could not possibly have gotten sober until he finally decided to stop making excuses and kick his ass into gear. No amount of begging/pleading from his parents, siblings, grandparents, friends etc. made any difference.

And yes, someone who is not doing the work can and will spin their attendance at meetings around to be some huge sacrifice they're doing for you. Or as more proof that "nothing I do is ever good enough for you!" But those are not the words of a sober person. That's just an addict who happens to go to meetings.

If they're not in the headspace to actually make real changes, I personally think that meetings can become another way that they puff up their egos. It's just so difficult, the addict has to come to meetings and be humble, recognizing that they are not in control, their addiction is. And I think early on many of them use meetings/doing the work as a way to assert control again. See, I made a moral inventory, look at how great I am for accomplishing that! Which can then lead to resentment when they think, "Gosh, look at everything I've done to recover and they're still not letting it go!" Versus making a moral inventory and being truly humbled by reading all of the things you've done/fucked up on.

And the hardest part for those who love an addict is that you can't actually know which version you have, because many of them keep those resentments bottled up. So you might think you've got someone who is "doing the work," but really they're just doing whatever they can to placate you and they're still in an addict mindset.

I get how seeing people go to rehab and partaking in all sorts of fun activities might feel like it's rewarding the bad behavior. And if you have the kind of addict who is going into recovery with that kind of mindset, then yes, it could be. But I also understand why places might want to incorporate these things - it sounds a lot like inner child work to me. Which makes sense considering the pasts that usually lead to addictive behavior. I can see how someone who truly wants to recover would take in those experiences completely differently than someone who was just there to appease someone else, or to assuage his/her guilt by latching onto their past as excuses rather than explanations.

I don't know, I'm probably not explaining it very well, but watching my brother go through multiple rounds of recovery, there is a drastic difference between the ego-driven, half-assed attempts in the beginning vs. the humility of where he is now.

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 12:20 AM, December 25th (Friday)]

BW
DDay Nov 2018
Many previous DDays due to his sex addiction

Hurt me with the truth, but don't comfort me with a lie.

Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.

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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 8:09 AM on Friday, December 25th, 2020

I get how seeing people go to rehab and partaking in all sorts of fun activities might feel like it's rewarding the bad behavior.

You're right, HHDL. My SAWH spent hours and hours beading in rehab. Is it a summer camp activity - sure. On the other hand, he's consumed with anxiety that he's tried to self medicate through drugs and sex. So if he finds beading calming, I'm thrilled they introduced him to it. He's also started drawing. As someone who seems largely unable to express emotion, the pictures he draws allow him to process those feelings.

Frankly, I think it's a lot healthier than my checking out on Netflix and a bottle of wine, which I seem to be doing fairly often these days.

The meditation and the yoga, - that's all scientifically proven to help trauma, and most addicts have trauma. Do I have trauma? Of course. He caused it. Am I jealous that he's had the time and lack of responsibilities to do these things? Sure. But I'm dealing with my trauma from within my busy day to day life. So my meditation and yoga is still a 'when I find time I'd like to ..." thing. And if he didn't do those things, it wouldn't mean that I would be able to. It would just mean that he wouldn't have a hope in hell of recovery, and I would still have my trauma and be too busy to do yoga.

Maybe when Covid is over I'll get a chance to spend a week at a program for healing, but for now, I'm doing the best I can working my program and he's working his. And if his includes summer camp activities, so be it.

(And for what it's worth, it's not all fun and games. he told me they have weekly sessions where the others in the program give feedback - and they aren't allowed to say anything positive. So they get told they're aloof or snarky or whatever. I'm glad I don't have to go through that. )

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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 12:21 AM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

I am taking a break from the Holidays and have decided to do my reflective thinking on this page.

When he was with me, he was thinking of other women. He physically was with me but not emotionally.

I wasn't good enough for him to be loyal to me.

He would bring things up throughout our marriage like:

If my work jacket smells like perfume, she borrowed it because she was cold.

Do you think about your old boyfriend and miss him when you hear this song?

If you quit asking and talking about her, I will make her go away.

If you get into a car accident and die, I would like to date a tall blond, his words and was referring to one of his OW that he did have a longterm affair with and the one he was breaking up with me for.

His words-I love loose women.

His words-if she's going to show me, I'm going to look.

His words-there are women out there who are way more beautiful than you are.

Before he died, he told me that he wished that he never had sex with any other women besides me. I thought that it meant before we married (and the two times he confessed to), until I realized after his death that he was never faithful to me.

He told me before his death that he wanted to spend eternity with me.

He told me that if he died, that he was going to will all his money to me. And he did.

He told me that he loved me more than anything in the world. But not once had he ever told me the truth about who he was. I had all the right feelings about who he was but he kept me in the dark by gaslighting me, lying to me, manipulating me, controlling me, treating me like an object for the whole 34 years we were together. And to tell you the truth, I am very devastated. In a sense, he ruined my life... he did ruin us and he did ruin me. But he wasn't able to ruin my relationship with my son and daughter. We all are stronger than ever.

But there are those who are worried about me and my wellbeing. Family knows the truth. I told them.

As far as I was concerned, he would never get to ever reach into the depths of my soul ever again. I just couldn't and won't have it. My walls were and are forever up. And he knew this. And I'm sure this devastated him too. I was too emotionally and psychologically damaged to ever allow him the opportunity to have my love, trust or my heart again. He chose the other women over me and the love I had to offer. He chose them over me. And now I am grieving his death and the truth.

IMO, he wants me to forgive him, you know forgive and forget. I will eventually forgive him but won't forget how terribly he hurt me and yet I was faithful to him the whole 34 years. He dug deep to hurt me emotionally... seemed to enjoy it and get a high out of it. In his mind I was doing the same thing to him, or at least that is what he accused me of.

He abandoned me and the kid's for his chosen lifestyle. Not sure I can forgive that one.

He lied and lied and lied to me for his own selfish reasons... so that he could live free from his daily responsibilities to me and my kids. He financially took care of us though. I will give him that one.

He robbed me of many, many years of agency because I believed and had faith and trust in him. I ignored the red flags. Everyone was shocked when I told them about who he really was. He hid who he was so well.

Not going to lie, the pain of who he really was is overwhelming, too much for me really. But I will hold on for the right reasons. And nothing to do with him.

He made me a rich widow. I guess that is a good payoff! I guess. I will never have to worry about money again but my heart is so broken. I am so sad.

You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real. Who I thought and believed he was didn't add up. It wasn't real.

I thought he was loving, faithful, kind, generous (got all sorts of kiss ass gifts), a great husband. Trustworthy, my friend. LOYAL! When I had the first inkling of who he really was, I was repulsed by him. My sexual desires for him waned. I didn't want to be intimate with him anymore. From that day forward my intimacy was always forced, it used to flow so freely before my first realizations. At one point in our marriage, I was so in love with him. Thought the world of him. Thought that he was the best ever. I was so wrong.

At the time, I was blaming my past and having kid's that caused my sexual desires to drop off to almost non existent. But I finally put together that in that time, he contracted a STD from one of his loose women and I had no real clue what it was. OMG, my head was so fucking far stuck in the sand. I was in so much freakin denial but this incident was the beginning of change in my body. My body knew he was lying but my love for him and my heart didn't want to see the truth of who he was. But my heart also knew that he was lying. My heart would be forever closed off from him.

I just can't see going into eternity with him anymore now that I know the truth and I'm sure there is more that I don't know about. The more I come to the realization of the truth of who he was the more I can't go into eternity with him. He didn't love me enough to stay LOYAL to me. The hurt he has caused me makes me feel frozen, I can hardly move, I lie around a lot now. But it's okay because maybe this is healing.

While I was waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for him at home, being a good wife and mother, he was carrying on with his chosen lifestyle. Remember, he moved us far away from his work so he wouldn't have to come home on a nightly basis. Caused me to feel so lost.

This shit went on for years. And he kept his shitty behaviors up throughout our whole marriage until his death this year. He even found a way to flirt with the nurses despite the pain and agony he was in and dispite the pain and agony he created in me. He hurt my soul. He didn't care about me and that is why he did it... because he didn't care.

And all I could do was to put walls up because of the deep emotional pain that he was causing me, by seeing other women behind my back, flirting with and now I can add, visually undressing them. I couldn't feel whole and complete with him anymore and ever again, everything about me became so forced. My trust for him was zero. All I ever wanted was for him to love me and be faithful and loyal to me... I was and am so deserving of that.

It was him who caused these feelings in me but I blamed myself most times because I did think it was me that was causing the marital problems. But it was him.

I loved him but I pushed him away. Couldn't stand the drinking and who he really was. Couldn't stand that he didn't want us, his family to be near him because he loved it out where we lived. It was a vacation home to him because he came home every three to five day's. He told me that he needed to stay at his job do to needing overtime.

I got turned off, repulsed by him because today I find out I lost trust and faith in him way before I even admitted to it. I didn't believe in him/us anymore once my gut figured out what he was doing.

I didn't like him anymore. He wasn't who I wanted him to be. The truth is that he cheated on me, lied to me, manipulated me into believing his lies, bought me, abandoned me and the kid's when he moved us far out and far away from his work.

He stole my love, emotions, belief in him & us. I lost my faith.... again when he was with me his thoughts were on other women. When we would go out, his thoughts were on other women and he would also flirt with them and now I can see it seems like he was visually undressing these women. His behaviors when we were out were so inappropriate. It fucked my brain up to the point I developed severe PTSD and I had to get on meds to help myself.

He was extremely jealous and accused me of being with other men. When I was younger and super fit and too nice as in just being potlitcally correct nice, he saw it differently.

My politeness was not a come on, flirty type of nice, it was just being polite and no thank you but I'm not interested. I'm married and I love my husband type of nice. My husband would get so angry when these men tried to talk to me... and extremely jealous. But I too was protective jealous over him only because he was my husband,, he was mine. He was supposed to be mine. And I trusted him.... but his jealousy stemmed from his infidelities... I can so go on.

He was emotionally and psychologically abusive, controlling, manipulative, objectified me, just didn't feel like things were right.

I loved him all alone along. Why?? I know that he is my kid's father but he hurt them also. He hurt all of us deeply.

And yes, he was nice to me too. His abuse I know stemmed from his deep jealous, insecurities, his unfaithfulness and I wouldn't doubt some type of personality disorder that was hidden by booze.

He could be very nice to me. When he was nice, he was nice but if he became jealous he would punish me by paying attention to other women.

He was an alcoholic. And as his alcoholism progressed he became emotionally abusive and mean to me.

I Need To Stop Saying That I Love Him.

I mean, we had some really great awesome times together. But did I need the abuse that went along with it? Why did he think it was okay to treat me so poorly? I don't get it.

Why couldn't he leave me if he didn't love me? Why did he need to stay?

I stayed because I felt needy and dependent and afraid and that is why I stayed. I also didn't want to break the family dynamics up. And I do believe staying paid off. I felt like I had no choice anyway, he would never let me go.

At one point I was planning to leave and I was getting stronger everyday. He was divorcing me probably to go after one of the OW but I guess that he couldn't follow through. We were already living apart and I was getting stronger everyday and happy! But we both fell back into our marital patterns again and no change from him. And he got to do what he wanted to do just because he felt like he deserved it and felt that he had the right to do what he wanted to do, he just forgot to tell me.

I don't understand why he just didn't divorce me like he had wanted to and then move on. Maybe she wasn't so great afterall, or she wanted more from him? Maybe she didn't like that he was still paying his families way. Lol

The deep emotional pain he caused to me!!

He took me places and bought me things to make "it" up to me. And he was nice to me. Famous last words for me too. He took care of me, he took me places, he bought me things... he made me coffee, we took walks and went to the gym together, we showered together, we watched TV shows together but honestly my feelings of love were gone a long time ago so showering with him became dull and boring because I believe that the connection between he and I was long gone between the two of us. He killed it.

We made long term plans together. Always talked about our future together. Bought me new cars. dog's, horses, he gave me a lifestyle. But for a long period of time he lived and kept a distance from me and the kid's. He stayed closer to his work in a room or in our travel trailer. And the kid's and I continued to live in practically non existence while he had access to everyday living at his fingertips for up to five days a week.

He would go to the gym and one of his OW would be there working out too while I was at home waiting and waiting for him to come home. And of course he always had good reasoning or an excuse as to why she was always there the same time as he was. And that he couldn't control what she did.

I was going into menopause and had begun to develop menopausal changes. He accused me of having an affair, in detail. He had me lying over the couch while the other man was f'ing me. This is what he told me that I was doing. Now I understand why my sexual desires were so suppressed. It is because I stopped trusting and loving him and I didn't appreciate the lies he was making up about me.

He told me before his death that he had hurt a lot of people. I guess since he knew that he was going to die, better make amends. I had no idea what he meant by this. This statement was just another one of his half truths he always managed to tell, no full disclosure. Never got the full truth out of him. But I was able to piece a good amount of truth together after his death and everything finally made sense.

Oh and he told me that he was being accused by his coworkers that he was having an affair. Well yes, he was having an affair. She was the one who followed him when he transferred job locations. She was the one who ended up working in the same office with. She was the one who kept wearing his jacket while at work and leaving the smell of perfume on it. I was just the last to know because I believed him and in him. I never thought that he was so capable of doing this to me.

Hard to wrap my head around all of this. I don't have any clue how I'm suppose to recover and heal from what he did to me.

[This message edited by Hurtmyheart at 10:48 PM, December 25th (Friday)]

posts: 720   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 1:57 AM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

HMH,

I'm so sorry you're in pain. Your thoughts reminded me of some of my own. Remind me, what are you doing to take care of yourself. You mentioned PTSD and meds and I think you might be doing 12 step work, but what are the specifics?

Are you seeing a betrayal trauma specialist? Attending a SA-Anon group of some sort? Still on meds?

(hugs)

posts: 288   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8619646
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MakeMineReal ( new member #62275) posted at 3:28 AM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Black Raven, Somber, Skeeter - thank you for the input. Yes, my kids need therapy. I've tried to get them to talk to someone, but so far they have not been willing to do that. I'll ask again, since the issue of the new girlfriend with a 4 year old has caused lots of hurt to come up for all of them.

As far as my ex and issues with children, I have no proof of him crossing that line. After d-day, I went over everything in memory, searching for signs and things I had missed. There were so many things that now made sense, and also lots of questions about things that seemed 'off' at the time. Of course I never got straight answers. When I asked if he'd been looking at child porn, he suddenly changed the description of his porn habit to "I looked at 'mature' porn". Or, "it said they were over 18 - that's what I went on". I will never have the whole truth. Never in my life would I have thought he was capable of the things he's done. So if he was capable of all this, what more is he capable of that I can't imagine? And I now know that his addiction escalated, and will continue to escalate as long as he doesn't get help.

It makes me so angry and so sad that this has changed me and my life forever. It's also changed my kids lives forever, and I don't think I can ever get over or forgive him for that.

"She packed up her potential and all she had learned and headed out to change a few things."

posts: 38   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2018
id 8619660
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 4:01 AM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Hey BlackRaven, I'm in good hands. I am envolved with a grief fb group and also on their private page, along with a grief/trauma writing workshop. Best way to put it, the writing workshop kicks my butt because I am digging deep. I also have a therapist who sticks close to me, writing back and forth five days a week. Yes, I need an army to help me to get through these difficult times. I will also be looking into other outlets in the future too, BloomForWomen and SA Lifeline seem worth learning more about. And I don't blame myself for his choices. Just don't want to overload myself with too much work either.

And I have my family and SI. And the meds, I am slowly weaning myself off of them. I have more positive outlets now that is helping to get me through these difficult times but I do still have dark moments. Today was difficult and dark for me. Just a hard day for me but I am trying.

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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 4:25 AM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Unfortunately, the hurt doesn't go away during the Hollidays and usually intensifies the emotional pain.

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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 6:03 AM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

I hear you HMH. I nearly lost it in the supermarket right before Thanksgiving. I always hated that holiday cause it usually involved going to my SAWH's dysfunctional FOO, but the whole pitch of family gathering and cooking nearly tore me apart in the middle of aisle 4.

I've been listening to Walking on Eggshells. It's about living with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, but so much of it just makes sense in the general world, especially with SAs.

I'm not even finished it yet but as soon as I'm done I want to listen to it again and take notes.

Here's to the New Year ahead and healthier, happier times for all!

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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 5:15 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

HMH, your pain is so well expressed and I'm so sorry that he didn't treat you with the love and respect that you deserved. None of that can be changed now, but sometimes it does help to write it all out and see the reality. It's a part of healing. You couldn't have changed a thing about him. I'm glad he left you without financial concerns and that's the least of what he owed you.

BlackRaven and HHADL, I have also known people who truly did use the 12 steps to recover. They do work if you work them. That is why I gave my XWH a chance when we first met. I knew he had a past with drug addiction, but he came across as someone who had truly used them to recover. He could talk that talk very well. Maybe for a time he was that person and maybe that's when I met him. That version of him could not have been more different than the version I wound up leaving. There are two possibilities. I met him when he was truly in recovery and he later relapsed, or he just knew how to appear to be in recovery and was acting out the whole time. I'll never know what was real and what was a mask, and it really doesn't matter anymore. I'm very grateful to be out of it and I wouldn't risk being with someone who had a past addiction again. That may mean that I miss out on someone amazing, but I don't have it in me to live with the risk of relapse. I've done my time with that.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 5:39 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Sounds like a good read (or listen to). I will check it out. I just purchased the book, Cheating in a Nutshell... just starting to read it.

I feel if we keep digging for answers, the truth eventually comes out.

One of my biggest take aways so far is that I wanted to see my deceased SAWH for who I wanted him to be (my knight in shining armor) and not who he was, kind of like when someone tries to sell you the fantasy instead of the reality/truth?

I blame myself for this because he did show me early on who he was, over and over again. And I chose to ignore the flying high red flags. Believe me, those flags were there but I chose to ignore them. Some early examples were:

-Catching him at the bar dancing and checking another women up and down and smiling at her. His excuse, he was just buying clothes for me and she was one of the models.

-Catching him and his friend at the bar again with another women. She was just a friend.

-Being flirtatious with our friends wives.

-Bringing my friend out to chose my engagement ring and take her out to lunch afterwards. His excuse was that is how they do it back east. He was originally from PA.

-Talking about how hot and sexy a women neighbor was and leaving me when I was very sick with a 104 temperature to go and play ping pong with her. We were in our early 20's at the time.

-Playing in the pool with another friends wife and then her commenting about she would love to grab his D but I would get jealous.

-Playing and wrestling with that same wife. His response was that was how they do it back home.

-Being jealous of my male friend who was always only a friend, nothing more.

-Being verbally and emotionally abusive to me from early on.

I mean, the signs were always there from day one. But I chose to ignore them because I had an image in my mind who and what I thought and wanted him to be... so in essence this is my fault because I chose and married him against my better judgment, even when all the warning signs were there.

Time to remove those rose colored glasses I had on for all those years. And it sucks but I surely wouldn't want to fall into that kind of trap again.

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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 5:45 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

We victims aren't as innocent as we want to believe we are. We play a huge role being with these addicts.

I also believe another good takeaway from my experiences with my deceased SAWH is don't only focus on the good in that person, see them for who they really are, good and bad. And don't try and change the story like I did.

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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 6:15 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

(((Hurtmyheart))) your post resonates with me and I am also sorry you are in pain. The most difficult thing for me to do is actually reconcile that this was my life for 24 years. The red flags had been there in mine from the beginning too that I chose to overlook. I was young and I was in love. I feel like looking back on my life with him is like a tragedy. It is the stuff made for TV and Lifetime movies. I will never forget I just hope we can heal from this. Sorry we are all here struggling.

fBS/fWS(me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 25 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 8:38 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Thanks Skeeter, yes the arguments go nowhere but leaving him with a bunch of feelings he can’t handle as you said. That avoidance for him comes out in the cruelest ways though.

Christmas was okay. He went on again about me not wearing my ring...actually ruining Xmas Eve about it. I had to tell him that it’s Christmas and it’s not about him; his feelings, me or my feelings and certainly not about a ring I haven’t worn in months...it’s about the kids. I told him he needs to redirect his focus onto the kids or it will be on him if Xmas is ruined. Somehow we managed to get through it okay. He left me to do everything on my own Xmas Eve but whatever...just further illustrates his self centredness...’she ain’t gonna wear her ring, I’ll show her...’

As for the 12 step programs, I felt a comfort and peace going to alanon at first. It was great to be a part of a group that truly understands, relates and empathizes with your experience. Much like this thread! I never stuck with it, perhaps I should have. I became resentful having to fit in alanon on my days off because of his behaviours that I struggled with. Alanon gave me strength though. It was very supportive and helpful. I’m glad I went.

I agree with a lot that has been said, I just don’t have that recovery story to support it as some of you have had. My spouse went to rehab to avoid being kicked out of our home. I was at a breaking point and told him he needs rehab or to move out. He didn’t initiate rehab for himself and from my understanding is likely why it wasn’t successful. He was and still is in the addict mindset so used his rehabs as a bargaining piece for me to stay, a manipulation tool for me to stay or be intimate (cause he would drink otherwise) and still uses it as “I went to rehab and that wasn’t good enough for you...”.

At the time, I wasn’t upset about the camp like activities he was doing along with the therapy. I found it interesting and kind of neat to incorporate other mind distracting activities. I think overall I was just jealous that I, at my most broken moment, didn’t have a rehab for myself. I needed something too but was left to struggle to keep everything going at home. At the very least I had SI, alanon and therapy to help me along. Each being very helpful at the time.

[This message edited by Somber at 3:15 PM, December 26th (Saturday)]

Me: BS, 41 / Him: SAWH, 43
2 children ages 7 and 9
“The truth is still blurry but the lies are getting clearer”

posts: 632   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8619763
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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 8:48 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Hurt my heart,

I see myself many times over in your story and examples.

I mean, the signs were always there from day one. But I chose to ignore them because I had an image in my mind who and what I thought and wanted him to be.

. They were for me too. I ignored them too, I didn’t want to see them. But the huge thing is that I addressed it, as I’m sure you did at times, and it was what I was met with that really kept me fooled. The manipulations, gaslighting, denial, minimizing, blame shifting...all of this is very damaging to our view of reality. I think in the thick of it, our hopes and dreams of who we wanted them to be were met in the version of themselves that they advertised to us at all costs. The version we didn’t want to believe was so well disguised with manipulations and gaslighting that we can’t blame ourselves for missing it.

I think what I would blame myself for at this point, at the point of knowing and recognizing the emotional abuse and SA and that he isn’t in recovery...is staying and hoping for a different outcome. At this point, it would be on me my future pain with him because now (after many years and therapy) I now know who I am married too.

Me: BS, 41 / Him: SAWH, 43
2 children ages 7 and 9
“The truth is still blurry but the lies are getting clearer”

posts: 632   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8619766
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 9:12 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

... and you never heal from the emotional and psychological pain done to you, you just learn to live with it.

posts: 720   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8619771
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 9:36 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

My WH was very kind and generous to me in so many ways, mainly except for his actions and behaviors towards other women. Well, the drinking caused issues too, the more and longer he drank, the bigger asshole he became, until I had my breaking point and started giving him stipulations and boundries which he was able to white knuckle for several years. And yes, I too attended Alanon meetings for several years, did 12 step work, therapists because I thought it was me, Lol and popped in at tAA meetings to learn about what I was dealing with do to his excessive drinking and acting out.

It seems according to him, I was the one with the issues. I was the one who needed to learn to deal and live with it. I was the one who needed to change and to accept who he was (at the time these last 8ish years, I thought it was just flirting) because in his mind, he felt he had every right to act that way.

It was his right to have more than one women in his life. He felt he was entitled to it. I was the one in the wrong for not going along with it. My bad or so it seems.

And if this is how he felt then so be it. The least he could have done was to fill me in on what he was doing and be honest with me and give me the opportunity to choose how I wanted to live my life.

I am a very strong believer in monogamy. And it was wrong of him to force me against my beliefs by NOT telling me the truth of what he was doing the last 32 years of our marriage. I knew there were red flags in the beginning but the least he could have done was to allowme to chose my own destiny too. He took that away from me by keeping his dirty little secrets until the time he developed a STD. And even back then I didn't make the connection, until after he died. And then I began to pull everything togetherand tie all the loose ends up.

The truth is that no matter how hard you try, most aren't going to change... they are addicts,, pure and simple..

I feel that there are two options to this outcome, you either live with it which I ended up doing, or you walk away.

posts: 720   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8619780
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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 11:05 PM on Saturday, December 26th, 2020

Hurt my heart,

Your pain is palpable.

I may have missed the part of your story that your spouse was an alcoholic as well. It sounds like you made it much further in alanon than i did. Please be kind to yourself on this journey of discovery and processing this betrayal trauma. It has been the greatest pain I have ever had to endure. To be the casualty of someone else’s war onto themselves brings upon an emotional pain most people can’t relate too. We can on here though. You are not alone. I hope you continue to focus on you, processing this pain and find a healthy path to move forward on.

Sometimes I find this pain crippling. Most times I manage to compartmentalize it and carry on (but this route isn’t dealing with the pain but helps me survive). Other days, more recently, I feel the weight of it and it’s debilitating. I walked to take my kids sliding today and an affair partner was there with her kids. I told my kids we had to leave...they were so upset and didn’t understand why. I blamed it on covid and the crowd at the hill. Truthfully, it was her. I can no longer place myself in that situation where I have to pretend, ignore her, make the best of it...all I have done is compare myself to her all day in my head. She is prettier, etc; and she looked happy...like how can she just go on being happy when she has played a part of ruining my life...the worst part of it all is that she isn’t the only one. I can walk 3 blocks and pass 3-4 houses of affair partners right in our neighborhood...

Me: BS, 41 / Him: SAWH, 43
2 children ages 7 and 9
“The truth is still blurry but the lies are getting clearer”

posts: 632   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8619793
default

BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 1:39 AM on Sunday, December 27th, 2020

Somber

I can no longer place myself in that situation where I have to pretend, ignore her, make the best of it...all I have done is compare myself to her all day in my head. She is prettier, etc; and she looked happy...like how can she just go on being happy when she has played a part of ruining my life...the worst part of it all is that she isn’t the only one. I can walk 3 blocks and pass 3-4 houses of affair partners right in our neighborhood...

First of all BIG HUG!. You stayed composed and held it together for your kids, and for that you deserve an award.

I just caution you from assuming that she is happy. This is a woman who had an affair with a married man. A person who respects themselves and their self worth just doesn't do that. She has issues. Karma is a bitch.

posts: 288   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8619812
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 2:34 AM on Sunday, December 27th, 2020

Agreed. If you sit and try to imagine that you slept with a married man and then his wife showed up at the park, could you even look happy? I would hate myself so much. I'd want to die on the spot. No one who is capable of happiness can be so devoid of basic decency.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4541   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8619816
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