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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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Somber posted 4/3/2019 19:34 PM

Thanks Marji , you are right - his journey to healing shouldnít disrupt mine! I am going to continue to keep that in mind.

I think he is actually focusing more on his PTSD from childhood trauma as he sees that as the source of all his addictions. It is a starting point. I think he is also focusing on the alcohol. I find it hidden in our laundry room, freezer...I think it is worse than I know. I am not sure where SA will come into all of this yet.

I have been so focused, and still am, on him that I keep losing sight of myself! I am gonna try to stay on my own path of healing as well and see where that leads me. I thought that was leading me to a separation, it very well still may.

ashestophoenix posted 4/4/2019 07:34 AM

Somber, I think it's good news that your husband is focusing on his FOO issues, BUT, and a big but, he has to be sober before he can do the work. He may be able to do the work concurrently, but he has to face his addiction. That has been my experience with my husband. My husband still wants to compartmentalize his addiction. This is after years of recovery and PTSD work. It's a red flag for me.

It took me some years, but when I finally felt deep in my heart that I was more important than my marriage, that is when my healing started.


ashestophoenix posted 4/4/2019 07:42 AM

whoami, I remember when everything was falling down all around me after my first D-day. There was all the destruction I knew about, and then this sudden shock of what I didn't know and what I needed to fear. The risks my husband was exposing me to....I'll never forget the growing awareness of all that he put me at risk for. This took some time, and as I became aware, it would overwhelm me. Financial risk...health risk...reputation risk...legal risk... We could go on and on.

The reality was that I needed to become emotionally able to start assessing and responding to these risks. That took time. The first thing I did was got completely in control of our finances. I stopped all but one of his credit cards. I'm tempted to this day to stop that one after getting a new one with a low maximum on it. Since you are in business together, if this was a business partner doing the same thing, you would need to respond in the same way.

The next thing I did was consult several lawyers about how to protect my interests. This was extremely helpful, even more helpful than therapy. It was worth the expense. I shopped around for the right lawyers, and I found them. I don't need them now, but they are there if I do need them. I can't tell you how much I appreciated their advice.

Our jobs are to protect ourselves and our children. Not our husbands! They are the problem. Until they demonstrate some sobriety and maturity, they are a risk.

I couldn't contemplate divorce and understand the true financial impact on me until I had more time to take care of myself emotionally. But I have put in as much financial protection as I can right now without a divorce. Gently, given your business situation, I believe you need good advice that is focused on YOU, not on your husband.


ashestophoenix posted 4/4/2019 08:06 AM

And as I sit here thinking about all this pain in this forum, none of which was deserved, I have to remember we are dealing with addicts. If you take away the sex and romance (yeah, I know, as f'ed up as they make it), it's all about them getting high, staying high, finding the next fix, binging then crashing and feeling bad about themselves; repeat. I truly believe this is an addiction.

They can't think straight; they can't assess risk (remember, they think they will never be caught); they are out of control; they are consumed by their addiction. They can not be counted on to make a decent decision about anything. And, as we know, they can dive down deeper and deeper into addiction and become unrecognizable even to themselves.

When I remember that and realize how little I meant to my husband given the grip of the addiction, I can't believe that I spend any time worrying about him instead of me. But I did do that. I can still do that, but a lot less than I used to. We must put ourselves and our children first. We have partners who do not treat marriage, parenthood and adulthood the way we do. We must protect ourselves and our children. It's painful and it's hard.


Somber posted 4/4/2019 10:59 AM

Thanks Ashes,

It is good news and I wish that he follows through with it as he will be a better father to our children if he does. I am unsure if he will though.
Can you explain how your husband wants to compartmentalize his addiction? I am trying to make sense of my WH, I imagine he does that too.
Speaking of red flags...I wish I payed attention to the multitude of red flags over the years. I feel like we are buried in this hurtful mess that is larger than either of us. We both need to heal to be better parents but I am not sure it is best for us (for me) to stay married that's for sure.

The addiction mindset is all consuming and destructive. He is consumed by his addiction and so am I in a way, I am consumed with recovering from the aftermath...it is like I have become a casualty in his war against himself.

Lionne posted 4/4/2019 11:45 AM

Somber, not sure if you know my story but the part that may be pertinant to you is that my husband justified and excused his return to porn partly because that's what addicts do and because Sexaholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous define sobriety differently. SA says NO sexual activity, including masturbation, with anyone except a committed partner. SAA allows the addict to define their own sobriety. Just FYI.

demolishedinside posted 4/4/2019 12:07 PM

The thing I find most frustrating is that it seems...easier? More likely? Possible? That someone would recover from another addiction and become a good partner. I just am wondering and questioning the recovery of this particular addiction. Based on us in here and those Iíve met in real life, Iím not feeling confident. Heck, mine was doing well for over 3 years. So I guess Iím tired. I donít want to live questioning and wondering. Iím grieving all of the safety and security I thought I had. Certainly my staying means being hypervigilant at this point, and I just canít do it.

If someone is a drug addict, you eventually see signs of drug abuse if there is a relapse. This addiction is SO personal for us and hard to know if they are telling the truth (as they rarely are, in my experience). I donít know anyone who has truly reconciled. Do any of you?

DevastatedDee posted 4/4/2019 12:29 PM

My life feels like a giant pile of shit

And sometimes the only solution is to leave the asshole that the shit keeps falling out of.

DevastatedDee posted 4/4/2019 12:35 PM

If someone is a drug addict, you eventually see signs of drug abuse if there is a relapse. This addiction is SO personal for us and hard to know if they are telling the truth (as they rarely are, in my experience). I donít know anyone who has truly reconciled. Do any of you?

I honestly don't know how you can, unless you're able to accept the risk of relapse which, honestly, can be life-threatening given the caliber of sex partners SAs cheat with. I'm happy to have escaped with my life knowing that my WH was sleeping with drug-addicted prostitutes. Heroin addicts and crack addicts. Can you imagine a better place to try and find HIV? OMG.

Personally, I cannot be with someone whose "illness" risks my life and mental health. There is not a man on this earth who is worth that. Love? Yes, love matters, but we do get over love. It fades. If it really is an addiction, then relapse is likely. I can't handle that kind of relapse. My heart can't, my mind can't, and my body can't risk it.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 12:36 PM, April 4th (Thursday)]

Lionne posted 4/4/2019 13:26 PM

I do know couples who are reconciled. Most were long time SAs, some with concurrent addictions. They are both active in SA and/or SANON. They have issues. Some related to "addict" type behavior, some "normal" issues that you expect to see in marriages.
My observation is that people who have worked a 12 step program "tend" to be more authentic than some others. They have faced their demons, become introspective, speak honestly, sometimes TOO honestly. 12 step work doesn't guarantee this, but I believe it gives people healthy tools to cope where otherwise had decisions ruled.
I won't be hypervigilent again, I refuse to take on that stress. I know I'll find out if he's using porn again. As to other cheating, it's up To him to be totally transparent about money, his whereabouts, etc.
It's suggested that recovering from sex addiction is harder because sex is a normal act. Overeating is likewise a challenge.
If you choose to leave no one will question that. Just make sure you deal with the trauma inherent here. If you choose to stay, practice extreme self care, build an exit plan and don't allow the addiction to define you.

demolishedinside posted 4/4/2019 14:05 PM

You know, I thought I would know if he was heading back into all of this, and so the Facebook message came as such a blow after everything. One day, since moving back, heís left his phone on the floor. I picked it up and looked at his I termed history. Pornhub. Sigh. First time Iíd been near his phone or cared to check in a long time. I told him I didnít care anymore but since he clearly didnít care, Iíd appreciate it if heíd delete his history so our kids donít accidentally see what heís viewing. I wonít police him either. I am simply trying to find a way to the other side of this with as little pain as possible. Iíd laugh at that last sentence, if I didnít feel like crying.

marji posted 4/4/2019 14:17 PM

Demolished Whether others have reconciled might depend on the definition. I do know women who have been attending SANON meetings for 10 or 15 years and believe they made the right decision by staying in the marriage. But they don't use the word reconciled.

These women are now in their 60s and 70s; their children are grown; they are now grandparents and they are more or less at peace though they still come to meetings regularly. As far as I know their H's are not active though they too come weekly to meetings and work the program daily.

I've been attending the support group for three years and 7 months now; my H attends the SA group. Don't think of reconciliation as much as a kind of resignation--right now I think my life is easier than it would be if I were on my own but that could still change.

secondtime posted 4/4/2019 14:17 PM


Secondtime, I think I would help by being supportive, Iím not sure how to do that if we separate and start that stressful process. I think that the stress would be counterproductive to his rehab. I suppose this is my codependent traits surfacing.

That's what I was sort of getting at.

So. I am supportive because I watch the kids while DH meets with his sponsor. If I couldn't, then I may help coordinate with family for help, only because I more time to talk to them than DH.

Otherwise, that's it.

Somber posted 4/4/2019 14:26 PM

Thanks Lionne, I know a bit of your story. I am drowning in my own so don't always remember others. It is all so consuming and painful.

I wonder why they define it differently, it seems self serving to define SA in your own terms.

Secondtime, sorry I think my brain is in a fog but are you suggesting that I can be supportive even if we separate? As in watch the kids while he goes to meetings...etc.

At the moment, he is love bombing me while I am at work and it is so frustrating. I don't know how to respond. Any suggestions?

secondtime posted 4/4/2019 14:31 PM

If someone is a drug addict, you eventually see signs of drug abuse if there is a relapse. This addiction is SO personal for us and hard to know if they are telling the truth (as they rarely are, in my experience). I donít know anyone who has truly reconciled. Do any of you?

Demolished-I've always taken the position that I'd find out when my husband slipped or relapsed.

And I did. And I even found when he lied to me, eventually.

My husband can't emotionally connect to me. I mean, he. just. can't.

We can run our family extremely well, and that's the only reason why I stay now.

I know if he doesn't work on his recovery on a higher level (beyond the 12 step), that eventually he'll slip and relapse.

If my husband DOES do the work, we'd have a kick ass marriage.

I don't have time generally, to be hypervigilant about his addiction. Too much on my plate..I also know that when I go there, it's bad. So, I have to remain vigilant with myself not to go there.

Cally1975 posted 4/4/2019 20:50 PM

I myself am not sure of the success rate with SA's and being able to successfully reconcile a marriage.
My husband and I are trying to work towards reconciliation. I may say in a month or 6 months or 2 years that he couldn't remain sober. I am aware of that unfortunately. But for right now he is trying. He is taking the right steps. He is attending 12 step meetings and is willingly going. He even decided to attend 2 this week. He is attending therapy with a sex addiction therapist weekly. I scheduled the appointment with the therapist for the first visit as a couple's visit. Boy oh boy did I lay it on the line in that visit of everything I have found. So there is no lying with him or downplaying to as therapist going forward. The therapist wants to see him alone now.
My husband is also attending church. He made that decision on his own. He is reading a daily devotional. The therapist also gave him homework to order and read a book called Out Of The Dog House. It is a book for him to understand what I am going through and the devastation he has caused me. This therapist was very validating of the pain he knows I am in.

The husband is also opening up more then he ever has about this addiction. Like what he was feeling, when it started, etc. But he is no longer in hiding about it. He is taking this sobriety at least for right now very serious.
As for me I am working through a lot of crap and hurt. This pain is hard stuff. If I see him stopping to work on himself I will evaluate what I need to do. For right now I will continue to work on me.

whoami62 posted 4/5/2019 09:36 AM

Thank you to all who have addressed my comments in my my recent crisis.
It is so far , the closest thing to support that I have...
The last few days have been pure hell, between being physically ill and trying to take care of myself, to next to no sleep , I have been pretty weak and confused.

The good news is, I got some sleep last night so I have a little more clarity.
I set some boundaries with WH..he is living in our detached garage apartment at our house.

I gathered up his dirty laundry and dumped it on the passenger seat of his car with a note telling him that the next time he decides to send a care package to his EA woman in Venezuela, send her his dirty laundry to do too because I quit that job

I have given him a list of everything I won't do such as errands, difficult phone calls from people that he owes money to and is avoiding, etc

I handed him all the bank account numbers ( that he refuses to memorize or record ) and told him I won't write or sign any checks or make any deposits either.

I told him to not come into the house without notice or permission.
He did come into the house to check on me when I was trying to sleep and had my phone silenced...I refused to open my eyes and look at him once he confirmed that I was alive.

I also set as a condition that he fully confess to his brother in detail everything that he has done in terms of the length of his LTA, the gifts and money he gave her , the trips he took with her, how he " met " her....also that he confess to the EA with the other woman that he has continued to send money to in secret , the lies that he has told me and all the time and money he has wasted on porn addiction. His brother was aware that there was an affair, but never knew the extent of it

I want him to have to answer to someone else and he held accountable by someone other than me or his IC.

He has been able to continue with his illicit activities in all this time since Dday 1 , while working half ass on his therapy, all while being protected by me.
Not anymore !

So while I don't know how this is going to play out, we are seperated and will be until further notice.

I had an appointment with a new IC yesterday , but I don't think it will be a good fit for me...a couple of reasons..one, there didn't seem to be enough privacy. I am fairly certain the next client sitting outside of the door heard everything I said. And also, she answered her phone while I was in session and also looked at texts...that is a pet peeve of mine because my WH has that habit when I am talking.

WH's therapist has been in touch and gave me a couple of referals that I am going to look into. One of them is a practice with several practitioners that are specialists with SA , and I feel that would be a great place for me to start

I got a very lengthy text with a detailed apology from WH where he actually took responsibility for a lot of things that have gone wrong. There is a part of me that wants to think that he had an epiphany , but the larger conclusion is for me to not fall for it and be vigilant.

I am standing my ground

whoami62 posted 4/5/2019 09:55 AM

Another thing I did, and this was from pure anger...
I have been monitoring his known email account in a futile attempt to eliminate and block the endless barrage of porn / dating / sexually charged emails.

He has enjoyed having his junk mail emptied daily..but now I am not only not clearing all the junk out, but moving the sexual emails to his inbox. Let him face all of it and make the choice about whether or not he will delete or act on it.

In all of the time I have spent sleuthing in the last 17 months, I have found his screen name and there is an endless supply of photos on the internet of his masturbatory habits , some with his face.
He knows that I found them, and I didn't show him until now....I copy and pasted and emailed it to him and told him there's a lot more of it all over the www

Maybe that was wrong , but again, I am done protecting him from the reality of the damage he has done

DevastatedDee posted 4/5/2019 10:45 AM

I think you're kicking ass and taking care of yourself.

Lionne posted 4/5/2019 15:25 PM

Great job, Who! You can use this to start to detach further and take back your power...


I do believe we eventually find out. A common thing that happens is that these guys feel guilty, see us as the "fixers" and accidentally on purpose leave a trail of breadcrumbs. It's about as dysfunctional as it comes.

Marji makes a good point...reconciliation means more to me than the current state I'm in. It means "back to normal" whatever normal means.

A few pages back, someone summed up my position, "am I happier with him or without him." The jury is still out, but I'm leaning on "with." NOT because what we have is a happy, fulfilling marriage. I'm afraid that isn't going to be my life's experience. But he is making it clear he loves me, is working hard to get well, and isn't currently acting out. We have a lot of activities we enjoy together and I prefer to travel with someone. But I reiterated that any acting out with RL women I'd be gone tomorrow. Porn is a big indication of his illness, imo.

If I were younger, no kids to complicate things, finances separate, I might feel differently.

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