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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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Countingsheep65 ( member #56000) posted at 6:58 AM on Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

I too have a sick and distorted view on sex and also towards women.

I don’t feel worthy.

It will be almost a year since I had sex, and that was when my husband was wearing my bra, I kicked him off me, he was trying to tell me I told him I wanted him to do it. I did not tell him this. His got some serious problems.

All the mind games have taken their toll on my me, my thinking and perception of things. I don’t know if I ever see myself in a sexual relationship again.

Why have you stayed Lionne?

posts: 452   ·   registered: Nov. 11th, 2016
id 8652529

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 1:04 PM on Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

Why have you stayed Lionne?

40 years of a shared life, not wanting to travel, birdwatch, garden alone...

And that if I left I'd lose half of my assets. I worked and saved and scrimped and sacrifice to get to a financially comfortable place. I've sacrificed enough with this shit.

I'm not interested in finding another relationship. How could I do that in good conscience knowing I'm irreparably damaged?

You didn't mention if you or you and your SAWH are in counseling for the sex issues - which, from what I've read, are 110% normal

Been there done that. The last time I thought about it, and sought counseling to try to overcome my trauma, I discovered that he had relapsed quite a while before. He doesn't look at "normal" porn (I detest porn. It's almost all the time an abuse vehicle for the participants and too, too often part of a human trafficking operation) his porn is ugly, violent rape, murder dismember porn. Now, it's all animated, but I have a sneaking suspicion there were live people involved somewhere.

I'm just completely creeped out.

There's plenty of evidence that people become immune to arousal once porn becomes compulsive. The addict needs more and more extreme images to get off. Not uncommon among SAS. Do I think my saggy baggy body would turn him on? Nope. He'd be imagining some image, some other woman while in bed with me. Which wouldn't be the first time.

Once when he was caught at a strip club he told me that he had had such a good time on our recent vacation that he wanted to make love with me so went there to get in the mood. You can imagine my reaction to that

[This message edited by Lionne at 7:06 AM, April 21st (Wednesday)]

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8528   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8652563

BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 6:43 AM on Thursday, April 22nd, 2021


I'm so, so sorry. Have you considered a lover? I'm not suggesting two wrongs make a right, but you're living with someone in the depths of addiction. It's an 'open marriage' on his side already. What about opening both sides of it?

posts: 381   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8652817

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 1:16 PM on Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

Lol, Raven. No. Never have, never will. I wouldn't do that to another human being. And I'm sure my view of sex wouldn't change with a new person. Rather I'd assume porn was part of their life, too. It's just so easy to have a sexual relationship with porn, all the messy human interaction is eliminated.

To be clear, I'm not leaving this marriage unless he interacts with other women. That ended in 2008-9, I'm unsure which. I believe he's been sober since that last relapse but I know he could revert at the drop of a hat. He's working with an IC who is constantly reiterating methods for avoiding a skip. But my husband seems to be cognitively unable to see that the train is coming.

Ex. "I don't need sunscreen, I'll be in the shade" (he's a scientist, he understands radiation, and has had multiple skin cancers removed.)

"I'll just stick my phone in my pocket while I'm on this unsteady sailboat it will be fine. (He has Deval several waterproof bags for this. Did I mention he's been without a phone for 3 days)

He lives in a Scarlett O'Hara world "I'll think about that tomorrow " Doesn't see the train coming despite all the people who are yelling and screaming to warn him, until it hits him, but usually hits me first.

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8528   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8652841

PurpleReign ( member #75083) posted at 1:39 PM on Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

BlackRaven I will continue to look for a good fit with these meetings. I’m always open to learning from others and getting support. But like I said before, if they start saying I’m codependent or I’m part of his addiction I’m out. I think I just need short term help or counseling for this.

It’s been a helluva ride now knowing that sex addiction and probably a personality disorder or whatever the fck is wrong with him, is at the root of my marriage problems. It’s the shadow that’s been there the entire time. I see everything clearly and although I didn’t know it was SA I always called out his trash behavior. I think I’m on the tail end of trying to revive a dead marriage. I’m way past the CPR stage. Right now I’m moving all the way back so he can fix himself. I know there’s nothing else I can do.

"Don’t get even get everything" Ivana

posts: 125   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2020   ·   location: Texas
id 8652846

stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 3:08 PM on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

I am a little over 3 months from Dday. My stupid story is here:

And here:

But a summary is – we have been together for 9 years. I am 40 he is 50. No kids together. I love him but I am beat up by all of this. We had intimacy issues for the past 2 years (at least) and it turns out he was going to massage parlors for happy endings. I had ZERO clue. He asked me to help him report a credit card stolen and it popped up on the screen “please confirm these last 5 transactions are valid” and one was a massage parlor and the rest is trickle truthing my very sanity away until it seems that he went about 2 years, hand jobs usually but 2x he had full sex. There are gory details that I don’t want to trigger you all with but it is causing me to lose my mind. Not sure what I am looking for here but this is just the most awful experience of my life.

He is in IC with a CSAT and I moved from a regular therapist to a betrayal trauma therapist as the regular therapist didn't really know how to help me with the betrayal and wanted to focus on boundaries only (I do need boundary work but also need help with the PTSD).

We have done 1 couples session. I don't know what to do with this stupid life I am in at the moment.

Me: BS 40 Him: WS 51 He cheated with massage parlor sex workersDday 01/19/2021
Kicked him out in 2021 - life is better on the other side. Moved on with the help of a wonderful therapist.

posts: 852   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8654709

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 4:52 PM on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

stubbornft I'm so sorry. Your reaction most likely mirrors the rest of ours. The idea that this man we respected, loved and supported, would stoop to these sordid levels. And BTW, those "intimacy issues" were likely the result of his chronic masturbation and fantasy life. SAs, like all addicts, must continually up the level of arousal, trying more and more extreme behaviors to get high/climax.

Self care is the rule here. Do something nice for yourself everyday. Some of the things that helped me were bubbles baths, spending time at the beach or in the garden, treating myself to a small luxury like a soap or candle, or a piece of expensive chocolate.

The thing I most regret is that I gave up my daily gym visits while I sat paralyzed. I wish I hadn't and my body wishes I hadn't.

Allow yourself time to heal and allow yourself the anger. You can't skip these parts, you can only wait until your body and mind process it all.

SANON is a tricky subject but it helped me enormously, mostly because I was able to talk about this with others who had been there. The literature that talks about detaching from the addict and focuses on you is very useful.

THIS THREAD saved my sanity. And feel free to PM me or others for extra support. Reach out, you aren't alone.

One of the things I learned is that these men are really and sick. But they still must take all the responsibility for their choices. And IME it take a long time, years, for them to truly understand themselves and their choices. The vast majority of SAs relapse or slip. While this is to be expected in any addiction, the toll it takes on you is enormous. You must do whatever it takes to protect your heart.

I'm holding you in the LIGHT.

[This message edited by Lionne at 10:54 AM, April 28th (Wednesday)]

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8528   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8654746

stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 5:15 PM on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Lionne, thank you so much for your kind message. I can't tell you how much it means. I did stop going to the gym! About a year ago. With COVID plus him being so distant and me working from home, I just stopped, I was so down and had no energy. I had frozen my membership but will unfreeze this month. I was in excellent shape and felt much better about myself then. I know I can get that back. I am sad for myself that I have let that go. I struggle with finding any energy. My IC told me to focus on sleep right now, she said if melatonin isn’t helping me (so far it isn’t) that I should talk to my doctor about getting on a sleeping pill temporarily.

And BTW, those "intimacy issues" were likely the result of his chronic masturbation and fantasy life. SAs, like all addicts, must continually up the level of arousal, trying more and more extreme behaviors to get high/climax.

Yes I think you are right. I begged him to tell me if he wasn’t attracted to me anymore. I told him I was lonely and that I missed having a sex life and that I needed intimacy and that he was the only person that could give me that. Stupid me, I had no idea he was getting his needs met elsewhere. He was telling me he was attracted to me and loved me and didn’t know what was wrong with him. He was actually in counseling for a lot of last year, but the dumbass never told the therapist about the massage parlor sex workers!

He doesn’t blame me at all, says that our life together was great and he has this problem and he is done and wants help. But he is manipulative in many other ways. Some days I don’t even recognize myself. The stress and trauma and exhaustion are too much and I am in a constant state of panic and stress. If you asked my friends or family to describe me they all would use the word "strong". I am betraying myself and that is just so..... gross.

He is in IC and I really do believe he wants to get better – HOWEVER – I don’t think he is strong enough to do what it takes to help himself and to help me.

I do know relapse is common. I just can’t handle a single relapse and I have told him that. I am sure we won’t end up working things out but I would like to get my mental health a little more stable before taking that on. I am really excited to be with the new therapist – they work with partners of sex addicts and they are not of the belief that everyone should reconcile. I will look in to SANON here. I live in a large city and the therapist I am going to has a ladies group every other week and some of them are reconciling, some are separated, and some are divorced but still needing to heal from all they experienced. I think that group will give me some strength as well as this site.

Me: BS 40 Him: WS 51 He cheated with massage parlor sex workersDday 01/19/2021
Kicked him out in 2021 - life is better on the other side. Moved on with the help of a wonderful therapist.

posts: 852   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8654759

Shockt ( member #74399) posted at 10:53 PM on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

I am so sorry, Stubborn. We all empathize with the terrible pain and confusion you are feeling now. You'll get lots of support here for sure. It sounds like you are doing a good job of taking care of yourself and that's so important. My own awful story is similar to yours. It was just a year ago a few days ago that I discovered my husband of 20 years had been cybersexting for two years prior. It was a huge shock for me. H and I then separated for 6 months, during which time he sat alone with the consequences of blowing up what we both thought was a pretty good marriage. He has been remorseful from the get go and is trying hard to rebuild trust. We have been back together the last six months and are doing well - maybe even "very well" BUT for me there will always be the uncertainty of "will he do it again?" and "will I ever have respect for him again?" Can I live with that, that is the question. Reconciliation, as all here would say, may be possible if you want it, but it is a hard road.

posts: 86   ·   registered: May. 6th, 2020
id 8654869

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 12:08 AM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021

I don’t think he is strong enough to do what it takes to help himself and to help me.

I was shocked that my husband was able to stick with his changes over the years. He is truly a different person. I never in a million years thought he was capable of admitting he was wrong. He has. BUT had a major relapse that went on for years without me knowing it. All the outwardly negative and abusive behaviors changed but the lure of medicating his own pain through porn was too great. My boundary for staying in this long term, financially and practically intertwined life is that if he acts out with RL women I am gone. We have a post nup of sorts should it come to that. I have slept in a different room, practiced the famous SI 180, etc.

It occurred to me after the last slip, that this is truly an illness/compulsion that is unrelenting. I'll never say that "it's not his fault" It is. He's responsible for his actions, has resources to prevent relapse, it's up to him to use them. But the key, imo, is the willingness to admit he's powerless, thus sending him to ask for and accept help. Until they exercise that last bit of sex addict bigshottedness, they will never truly be able to institute recovery practices.

Lastly, my husband is also bipolar, mis diagnosed as chronic depression until the shit hit the fan. I believe addiction often serves as self medication. Once an addict has a modicum of sobriety, that is sober for 6-12 months, allowing the brain to reset, he should see a good psychiatrist for an evaluation on brain based illness. I know my husband would have had no chance to recover until that chemical imbalance was addressed.

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8528   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8654887

BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 4:56 AM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021


I'm so sorry you're here, but know that you will get through it. You're doing everything right - focusing on you, working with a betrayal trauma therapist.

The first things my therapist had me do was practice grounding skills (a godsend) and join a 12-step meeting for spouses of sex addicts. Both of those things were spot on. She also had me read TINSA: A Neurological Approach to the Treatment of Sex Addiction, which is the only thing she's had me do that focused on him instead of me, but I thought it was a great book.

I'm less than a year out and I can't believe that I laugh and smile and the good days at seem to outnumber the bad.

I immediately separated from my SAWH and we are still separated. It's been good for both of us. I meet with my therapist about three times a month, and I'm just wrapping up a weekly women's group that met for 3 months. I went on an antidepressant and was prescribed a sleep aid that I never use. I'm just starting brainspotting. I do at least 2 SA Lifeline 12-step meetings a week, and I have a sponsor, though I haven't started any step work. I do a lot of work on boundaries, and am working toward the full therapeutic disclosure. I've learned a lot about myself and my view of the world.

As for my SAWH, I think my kicking him out shocked him enough to go into a rehab program for sex addicts - and this is where I'll disagree with Lionne about the timing, since the psychiatrist at there put him on naltrexone right away, so sooner than her recommendation.

He spent 8 weeks in that inpatient program for SAs, then transferred to an intensive outpatient program for professionals for six weeks. He then transferred to another outpatient program but that one wasn't a good fit, so he left it and instead took an intensive program on DBT therapy. Now, each week he sees a CSAT, a psychiatrist, a therapist for DBT work, attends a men's group, a DBT group, at least 3-4 SA or NA meetings, and a half hour of brainspotting.

I'm telling you all this so that you know that it doesn't all happen at once. It's like an onion with layers being peeled back. If he truly understands that the way he's been living his life hasn't been making him happy (and I guarantee it hasn't) and that he needs to learn new tools, and he's willing to address his FOO shit, he might make it. Or he might not. From your story I see that he's been an addict for a long time. None of us have a crystal ball. But keep the focus on you and your kids and it will get easier, week by week.

posts: 381   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8654959

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 5:19 PM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Lionne about the timing, since the psychiatrist at there put him on naltrexone right away, so sooner than her recommendation.

Excellent post BR. That's a medical decision, sounds like that psychiatrist has more experience than I. The belief is that some diseases can't be diagnosed until the brain chemistry resets. I suppose that's more of an issue with chemical addictions.

I have dozens of stories about the path of (successful) recovery. Every one different

My son is an alcoholic in strong recovery. His bipolar wasn't diagnosed for a year after sobriety and even then, it took ac year to find the right medication.

BTW I never actually worked the steps with a sponsor. I did use them as a basis for some intense Journaling and that was useful. There are no sponsors in my chapter.

Onward and truly upward. Surviving this has been a long journey.

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8528   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8655071

stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 8:14 PM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Ladies, thank you all. Having the person that is supposed to love and cherish you lie to you for years is so damaging and shakes your faith in all ways. Having you strong and kind ladies respond to me in the way you did is so touching to me and healing. Thank you so very much. I will stick around here for sure.

Me: BS 40 Him: WS 51 He cheated with massage parlor sex workersDday 01/19/2021
Kicked him out in 2021 - life is better on the other side. Moved on with the help of a wonderful therapist.

posts: 852   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8655126

PurpleReign ( member #75083) posted at 11:14 PM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Hello Stubbornft, I’m new here but just wanted to say how sorry I am you’re in the club none of us ever wanted to be in. The ladies here have given me support that I haven’t begin to receive anywhere else. Self care is definitely the number one priority.

Ok so just an update on the fuckery I’ve been going through. I’ve been dealing with a SA monster on steroids. His moods are off the charts ever since I made him go to the 12 steps for SA meetings. He’s nasty, rude, mean, blames me for every choice he’s made, complains, he’s just an overall asshole. Plus he has narcolepsy and it’s infuriating. He can fall asleep during serious conversations, in the car, standing up. It’s because he’s let himself go physically. He’s a mess and he did this to himself. I can’t take the sleeping or the abuse.

I honestly just want out at this point. I’ve done so much to try to understand what he’s going through. His withdrawal is off the charts which tells me that he acted out daily and used sex for every emotion or feeling he didn’t like. Like an addict does he lied about how often he watched porn, masturbated, and obsessed over fantasy. He’s whiteknuckling it big time. From what I read by CSAT’s he’s in big trouble and can relapse any day now. Anger is his new addiction for now. I’m his target. Except as usual I never go down easy and I always get back up. He’s angry he confided some horrible dark thoughts and behavior. He wants to take it all back. Welp I told him it’s too late now and I had the right to know.

So just wondering if any of your spouses turned into a raging monster? Oh he’s an intimacy anorexic too. Yay me! This idiot had the nerve to say I’m the one that has IA! He’s projecting all his issues on me. It’s been a horrible month. All because I put a boundary in place. I understand withdrawal as much as I’m able to but that line stops at abuse. Oh and I love dealing with his arrested development. He’s about 2 yrs old to 12 and on a good day he’s 16. It’s been a nightmare and I don’t believe anything he has to say. He’s only nice when I’m infuriated or wanting a divorce. It’s all a game to him. It’s pure manipulation.

We have a session scheduled for a CSAT on May 12th. All I wanted to know is how to make him stop abusing me and blaming me. I feel like I don’t know him at all. Also an offer came in on the house on Monday. I truly feel like bouncing, divorcing, and just moving forward. I’m so tired.

"Don’t get even get everything" Ivana

posts: 125   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2020   ·   location: Texas
id 8655182

stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 11:39 PM on Thursday, April 29th, 2021

PurpleReign I am so sorry you are dealing with so much! My partner for sure has intimacy anorexia!!! It was AWFUL while he was acting out regularly. It was the loneliest time in my life and I had no idea why things were the way they were. I talked to him about it so much, it was torture. I am big on physical intimacy so I felt so unloved and it was just awful. I have seen some glimpses of anger but my partner is extremely conflict avoidant. I think he has a lot of anger under the surface. The narcolepsy sounds so infuriating! I am so sorry!

My partner isn’t mean but he is still not “getting it” but finding the CSAT and getting a diagnosis seems to have helped him. His CSAT gave him a booklet about withdrawals. He said he hasn’t had withdrawals yet and feels physically sick when he passes a massage place and feels no pull to go back and visit one. I keep telling him that he needs to prepare for those feelings to come back again and have a plan. He can’t seem to identify his triggers, which is scary to me. He was going to a massage parlor that was literally steps away from where he parks his work vehicle. He would leave his cell phone in his car, walk over and get his nasty sex stuff, and then walk back to his car. We have always had Life360 on our phones (HIS freaking idea years ago). I never knew it was happening. I think honestly that his trigger was just opportunity. But who the hell even knows how all of this works? We didn’t sign up for this shit!

I hope your CSAT visit goes well. I pray for peace for us all. Such selfish actions by those who are meant to love and respect us.

Are you in IC? I had a session today, I have just recently moved to a betrayal trauma therapist and I really like her a lot. Today we worked on grounding exercises and she wants me to have a plan to enforce boundaries when he gets manipulative with me and when he breaks the boundaries I have set.

That is great you have an offer on your home, I hope the new options give you some clarity.

Me: BS 40 Him: WS 51 He cheated with massage parlor sex workersDday 01/19/2021
Kicked him out in 2021 - life is better on the other side. Moved on with the help of a wonderful therapist.

posts: 852   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8655191

PurpleReign ( member #75083) posted at 2:24 AM on Friday, April 30th, 2021

Stubbornft thanks so much for responding. I wasn’t prepared for the withdrawal and obviously neither was he. Which means he has been acting out until 4 weeks ago. He minimizes his SA all of the time. He thinks he can stop at anytime. Addict speak. He’s been an SA for 35 years now. It’s insane.

He doesn’t know what his triggers are either. Mainly because he isn’t in touch with his own feelings at all. Hence the AI. I just can’t believe he has both but stupid me of course he does. He’s a workaholic. Does anything to avoid spending time with me. When he does he starts an argument. Doesn’t initiate sex. I remember begging for it at one point. The only emotion he’s ever in tune with or can show is anger. It doesn’t fit well with my trigger points because I’m a bitch. Then when he can’t out bitch me he gets really ugly and passive aggressive. He plays the tit for tat game. It gets ridiculous. Then I’m dealing with the manchild again. There are just so many layers to his dysfunction.

He put off finding a counselor for 15 months and trying to be clean is kicking his ass. It’s all cold turkey. He’s being extremely passive in his SA meetings. Doesn’t ask questions when needed and just goes along to get along. He’s passive in the world but aggressive with me. I’m just exhausted. The only reason we’ve had any contact is because of selling this house. It’s too much for me to do but I’m finally seeing the finish line.

I’ve already decided we are nowhere near us ever cohabitating. He blames me so much for all his choices that I feel I need to move out of the way. I’m thinking he needs to hit a different kind of bottom and that’s divorce. So far I’m doing self care like a champ. Going out with friends again. Grooming myself and shopping. He’s the only negative in my life. Not only am I afraid he’ll fail with SA but I’m just as afraid of the IA and his complete lack of maturity. I don’t want to live with a manchild the rest of my life. SA is just so unfair to the spouse.

Right now I’m fighting that urge to feel sorry for him. It’s not healthy for me to do and it’s a trap. He’s like a wounded animal that will bite me if I come close. I read recently that if the withdrawal is this bad then so is the addiction. He has no fcking clue just how bad his addiction is. This was obviously a daily thing. Plus he moved from porn to strip clubs, cheating, and prostitutes. So yeah it’s bad. My number one goal is staying safe and self protection. Addiction or not abuse or the attempt to abuse is not ok. I just want this nightmare to end.

"Don’t get even get everything" Ivana

posts: 125   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2020   ·   location: Texas
id 8655232

BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 7:28 AM on Friday, April 30th, 2021

PurpleReign- it sounds to me like your SAWH may be borderline. It's so common in SAs and is so under diagnosed in men. Anyhow, I'm glad you can see the finish line and are doing what you need to do to protect yourself.

SA is an intimacy disorder, so what you ladies say makes perfect sense.

In 85 to 90 percent of cases, the addict has suffered some kind of abuse. Recovery isn't possible until they are prepared to deal with that trauma. My SAWH saw therapists for decades but never told them about his abuse, and he also never told them about his acting out. What a waste of time, energy and money!

It wasn't until he was inpatient and spent weeks listening to other men talk about their traumas - when he was in a place where he truly felt safe and supported and that he wouldn't be judged - that he remembered it, and also finally recognized that his FOO is screwed up. I truly believe that that was the start of his recovery (though I think he still has a lot of work to do in learning how to deal with his FOO and I don't know if he'll ever succeed with that.) I don't believe there's such a thing as white knuckling recovery. An alcoholic who does that is just a dry drunk and a SA who does it is still a sick person. I also don't believe they will get anything meaningful out of any work they do for us. They need to do it for themselves because they are tired of living a pathetic life of misery and shame.

I think that they can get that acceptance through 12 step programs, but it's not a model set up to encourage them to get in touch with their traumas. Maybe that happens with the CSATs?

Anyhow, that's their side of the street. I believe that the three most important things I can do for myself are having solid boundaries (and I really recommend Vicki Tidwell Palmer's book "Moving Beyond Betrayal: the 5 step boundary solution for partners of sex addicts," surrenders, and keeping the Karpman drama triangle in mind when I make my own choices and when I deal with my H. The boundaries are HARD. I had one set while he was in rehab, but am still refining them for his being back in the same state. But I'm so glad I'm learning those tools because they help me with other difficult relationships, too.

posts: 381   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8655277

PurpleReign ( member #75083) posted at 2:48 PM on Friday, April 30th, 2021

Hello BlackRaven yes BPD was mentioned about 4 years ago. The thing about BPD is that it’s slowly being seen as a form of PTSD caused by trauma. It’s true that a majority of SA’s were abused. My spouse is no exception. He’s still minimizing the impact of being sexually abused by a pastor. I think there is a lot more. Most addictions were triggered by a traumatic event.

The thing about early recovery is they’re all still very sick. They’re all hanging on by a thread. All addicts are desperately trying not to use or relapse. So perhaps what we call white knuckling is normal. They just can’t stay there. I understand why Carnes advocates 12 step programs and a CSAT. It’s just too serious of a condition not to.

I just wasn’t prepared for the withdrawal. Sadly my brother who is an alcoholic had to go through withdrawal behind bars so I didn’t get to witness that part. My mom got the brunt of his anger unfortunately because he lived with her. I’ve seen other family members go through it but only for a very short amount of time. Seeing it up close and personal is insufferable. So obviously there should have been a plan in place but he didn’t want to find a CSAT yet. Well now that this withdrawal is kicking his ass he does.

The first step in getting help for addiction is still admitting you have the addiction. He’s done that. I keep reminding him it takes 5 years just to get in a place of full recovery but he will always be an addict. There is no cure. I just think I’m second guessing my commitment to the process. I’ve been with him for 21 years. Do I really want to give him 5 more. Plus I’m just as afraid that he will stay a child emotionally. It scares me just as much as the addiction itself. I can’t live with his mindset anymore.

"Don’t get even get everything" Ivana

posts: 125   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2020   ·   location: Texas
id 8655380

DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 3:05 PM on Friday, April 30th, 2021

I can relate to so much of what you two write, stubbornft and PurpleReign. The intimacy anorexia, the anger, the blaming...all that. I also had the sad little boy, the victim, the crying, the begging all mixed up in it.

Some battles aren't ours. They're fighting themselves and using us as scapegoats, teddy bears and punching bags. There's nothing we can do to actually help them, but they can certainly chip away at us.

I'm always going to advocate for leaving sex addicts and saving yourselves. Staying doesn't fix them, but it breaks us. There isn't much marriage to save once it reaches a point of serial cheating. What does marriage even mean when that is going on? It makes a mockery of marriage.

There's a lot here for you two to heal from. So much trauma. Books, support groups, therapy...these are all helpful. They're most helpful when you actually have the mental and emotional bandwith to use them for your own healing. When you're still living with them, you're living on high alert, stress, and fear. You obsess about the addict because it doesn't feel safe not to. I don't think you truly heal until you get away from the source of the trauma and can focus completely on yourself.

All of this is hard. No question about it. Staying, leaving, limbo...all of it sucks. There's no simple solution. Leaving and going no contact with my XWH saved my sanity and has led me to a life of peace and happiness. I don't know what his current issues are and I don't want to know. They were never my issues anyway. I'm grateful every day that they aren't my problem anymore.

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

posts: 5083   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8655414

stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 3:13 PM on Friday, April 30th, 2021

DevastatedDee thank you, I get a lot from your posts. I need to keep reminding myself that this isn't my battle. I want to help him (I know that isn't healthy or realistic). It is hard to get through my head that we are not on the same team, there is no team, I have been tricked by him for a long time and it is a lot to process.

Me: BS 40 Him: WS 51 He cheated with massage parlor sex workersDday 01/19/2021
Kicked him out in 2021 - life is better on the other side. Moved on with the help of a wonderful therapist.

posts: 852   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8655425
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