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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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ashestophoenix posted 5/19/2019 07:32 AM

Lionne, happy birthday! I loved your post and think your plan sounds just fine. I'm not sure I would describe your experience as complacency as much as acceptance and detachment. Knowing we can't control our partner's addiction or recovery is letting go and that is very healing. Scary and sad, but healing.

Superesse, your husband sounds just like mine. Mine desperately needs to control so much of everything. It's kind of stupid, actually. But, that has changed dramatically due to his recovery/therapy work. At core, my husband is tremendously insecure and overly dependent on me and tries to feel better about himself by being a control freak. Of course this sucks. Doesn't help him at all and sure as heck hurts me. But he is finally aware of this and is actively working to change it. It's slow, but it's happening. And he has dramatically improved on this issue.

What I can see is that my husband is capable of making major changes, it's just very, very slow. And given that he hates "hard work" of any kind (another symptom of his immaturity), he makes it harder on himself.

And, like you, we share a bond over our two dogs. Good thing since I love the dogs more than I love him.


marji posted 5/19/2019 11:49 AM

🎂 🌺 🌷 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lionne!!! 💐 🌻 🎁

Lifeexploded posted 5/19/2019 14:42 PM

Happy birthday lionne.

So sawh signed us up with Regain counseling. We had our first phone session last night. I am not sure this guy can handle our issues. But we will see. The biggest goal i have this time is to NOT lead the discussion and not to sorak for him, because he frequently is silent until i speak for him and fill the void. So when the counselor asked us to tell him what brings us to counseling, i bit my tongue. He looked at me, i shrugged and said "go ahead". He hemmed. He hawed. He chuckled. Took a drink of his soda. Made a few random remarks like "there was infidelity" "it didnt go to full sex" "there was inappropriate stuff going on" etc. Never used the words i, me, or my. The counselor wouldnt have known WHO committed the infidelity if i hadnt said something. Unbelievable.

The counselor wanted to talk about dates. And do we get time together without kids. Like, I think thats the least of our problems. I tried to explain that all love and respect is gone. And i dont know how to get that back. I didnt say this, but i can barely stand him at all. He is immature and jealous. He is rude but cannot stand to be told that he is doing amything wrong or acting in a way he shouldnt. He gets defensive and says stuff like "well sorry for not being perfect."

Anyway, the counselor wants to have individual sessions with each of us so i will give him credit for that.

ashestophoenix posted 5/19/2019 18:54 PM

OMG, Lifeexploded, talking about date night. Ugh. Like we're ready to go to dinner, hold hands and end with sex. A lot of healing has to happen before I would even consider something like that. (Just a note, that my SAH loved to fantasize about waitresses. He was intoxicated with waitresses. When they turned around and walked away he would stare and practically drool. He'd store their image and masturbate later. Why would I want to go out to dinner with him?)

The best thing I read about MC for partners is that traditional MC tries to restore the marriage to an earlier good state. The problem with SA, is there is NO earlier good state. It's always been a lie. A traditional MC will look at communication without realizing the gaslighting that took place. That has to be addressed before turning to us about our issues.

I as well sit back and let my husband lead the way in talking. After four years, he does it. But my current MC is not a CSAT but he understands this addiction and is quite open and honest about it.


Lionne posted 5/19/2019 21:37 PM

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It was a blessing to have my kid here, my sister and brother and my absent son's gf, who brought me a gift from him and a truly loving and lovely note...oh, and my H, lol, who cooked and cleaned.

Quite a few of us have mentioned Asperger's traits in our husbands. Not full blown autism, but characteristics that fit the description. I guess that fits the "intimacy disorder" part of SA. And there isn't any other insight or assistance coming from that observation.

Shattered Sorrow, I know you said that life doesn't end at 60, new beginnings are possible. True. But the reality is that the chances of any of us 60+, meeting and loving a new partner are slim to none. Not impossible, just not likely. I could go on and lament the stigma of an older woman and younger man, and acceptance of the reverse, I won't. But it's there and is part of our current society.

Anyway, the thought of being with another person after 40 years is NOT appealing.

Yes, Super...I do have a backup plan.

Superesse posted 5/19/2019 22:08 PM

Happy Birthday, Lionne! I wasn't sure of the date, thought it was still coming, but am so happy your day was great! And glad you do have a back up plan.

I was just thinking about late life - I'm 68 and feel it - and was comparing this to my old dog, who was neutered at age 2, yet his long life has been full of all the other non-breeding doggie joys....now he is getting arthritis, but so long as he can get around, his smile is still wide. He was hurting this winter, so we did Xrays that showed 2 vertebral bone spurs, but the veterinary neurologist we took him to made all kinds of scary guesses including possible nerve cancer, and wanted to do thousands of dollars of diagnostic tests we cannot afford. So we took him back for more acupuncture, which really helped, and we give him beta carotene, CoQ10, glucosamine like we had been doing, and vitamin E with his kibbles in the morning. He is feeling much better, and HIS quality of life is what counts to me.

We may not be young and into sexual partnerships any more, so if we had to get out for our own peace of mind and soul, we probably wouldn't want to start the search mission back up, but there is way too much beautiful and meaningful stuff in life to focus on, besides these miserable SA aberrations!

I guess what I am saying is, that we don't want to play denial games with ourselves, so at some stage, if a partner has such toxic issues it is driving us into a miserable quality of life so long as they are under the same roof, then we owe it to ourselves to move on and find our purpose some other way, even if changes need to be made to the living arrangements. Sort of like my sweet dog was forced to do, when his running days were over as of last fall. It hurts me to see his losses, but he still can focus on the joys! I need to learn from him.

Because I recently realized I have spent waaaay too long in "wait and see" mode. If my SAWH has ASD tendencies, there may be little he can actually do about his way of seeing the world, as I have been told over and over by "experts." Which is damned discouraging. So then, what? It means my facing the truth that the worst dynamics of this relationship are only being experienced by ME! He's just FINE the way it is!

Thanks to Ashes for sharing that her SAWH has been able to make some changes, slow as they have been. Wish I could say the same. When their defenses are so entrenched that they cannot even allow themselves to admit they may have a biological-neurological basis for their behaviors, then there's really not much anyone else can do to show them they need to work on their issues. I need to get this through my head!)

As a "silver" lining, Lionne, welcome to Medicare! 😀 😆

It is a bit different, but less expensive than my private insurance was getting to be, and they recently paid in full for a big procedure I had to have. The only thing so far I've learned they don't pay for, that I will always insist upon, is my annual PAP test. I guess they think when we are this age, if we haven't had a bad Pap yet, we are safe. I hear differently about that from my gynacologist, who said they don't really know the actual latency period for HPV, so I will always ask for it, due to HIS history, if nothing else, as it is also a good chance to get female things evaluated a little bit by a medical professional. Medicare also no longer pays for the annual "Well Woman" exam, so I had to ask for the other parts of that. They do pay for annual mammos and an exam, however.

(Edited for typos!)

[This message edited by Superesse at 10:40 PM, May 19th (Sunday)]

ShatteredSorrow posted 5/21/2019 21:31 PM

I guess what I am saying is, that we don't want to play denial games with ourselves, so at some stage, if a partner has such toxic issues it is driving us into a miserable quality of life so long as they are under the same roof, then we owe it to ourselves to move on and find our purpose some other way, even if changes need to be made to the living arrangements.

THIS, Superesse. This is exactly what I was really wanting to get across. <3

TripletMom posted 5/22/2019 03:01 AM

Hello Superesse and Lifeexploded. Thank you both for replying to me. Apologies for this taking so long.

Superesse, I agree about having compassion for the mentally ill from a distance. I have to remain mindful so I donít forget 1) there is in fact a mental illness and 2) I donít have to becomes enmeshed or entangled in it. Itís difficult not to get sucked in to all of the craziness and lose myself in the process.

Lifeexploded, Iím sorry to hear about the incident with your husband at the dollar store. This is not what we signed on for when we met, fell in love and married these men. I am in agreement with you about knowing the details. I know it will hurt like hell but the details are part of the missing puzzle pieces I need to make sense of my life.

I havenít been able to read or post here the past few days because I am reeling from getting my std testing results. It seems I tested positive for something that while not life threatening will always be with me. How could he have been so careless with my health? Rhetorical question but I will never understand it. Then again I never cheated on him and I was in the same shitty situation he was in. It just didnít occur to me to be that selfish.

You women here are special. None of us deserve this.

Superesse posted 5/22/2019 08:31 AM

((((TripletMom)))) I am so sorry to hear that news. Keep your check-up on whatever schedule your doctor recommends, or more often if you feel it would be prudent, but never less often, promise me? I have found that it is up to US to be the squeaky wheel in maintaining our optimal health.

TripletMom posted 5/22/2019 11:08 AM

I do promise Superesse. I realize now that thereís no one looking out for me but me. Thank you!

Lionne posted 5/22/2019 20:33 PM

I'm so sorry so many of us are having a tough time right now. Triplet, Life, newcomers always make me sad.
Super, you said something a few posts back that I can relate to. I, also, refrain from laughing if my husband makes a joke! I KNOW I do it to keep him at arm's length, I started to fix this when the new revelations came to light. It's not surprising that an SA, a person afraid of intimacy, do this, but I should be better, especially since I know better. It's another indication of how badly I am damaged by his "illness."

Do any of you subscribe to POSARC? It's a web site. Partners Of Sex Addicts and I don't know the origin of the other two letters. They sponsor retreats for us a few times a year, they look very interesting...I may indulge myself next year, although, to be frank, I'm tired of hearing myself "explore" the issue.

I guess what I am saying is, that we don't want to play denial games with ourselves, so at some stage, if a partner has such toxic issues it is driving us into a miserable quality of life so long as they are under the same roof, then we owe it to ourselves to move on and find our purpose some other way

I'm keeping this in the forefront of my mind. It's well stated, Super, thanks.

love to all of you awesome women.

marji posted 5/23/2019 08:12 AM

Lionne I don't think there is any "they" at that POSARC site. It seems to be one woman's business. Under the "bio" she does not give the name of any institutions or credentials. She mentions working with NYC Fire Department but it's not clear where she is located. There are many excellent seminaries and training institutions in NYC but there are also many internet businesses about which we might want to be very careful.

I do not think credentials from reputable institutions necessarily make for a good therapist but I'm wary of someone who does not give specific information about training, experience, etd. She does not seem to be credentialed in any way--again-not necessarily a requirement for ability-but I would be careful about engaging with someone who is lacking in transparency.

Lionne posted 5/23/2019 08:55 AM

Thanks, Marji. I appreciate your pov. I think it's a useful site only for the links it posts. Her last emails referenced Dr. Minwalla, coaxing me to read up on him.
No "authority" is trusted by me. I've become a total cynic.
The retreat is near a friend's home. I'd go if only to get away, refresh, yoga, healthy eating.
I'm not up for a weekend dominated by therapy!

marji posted 5/23/2019 09:33 AM

All sounds good and a win win situation. And yes, all of Minwallaís articles are worth reading. Hope youíll let us know how you liked the retreat.

Lionne posted 5/23/2019 19:32 PM

Oh, not going, at least this year. My Atlanta friend expressed interest, and one is close by her. IDK. As I said, a retreat may be useful for me, but not one that includes therapy about SA.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 5/23/2019 23:49 PM

Have any of you ladies taken the Meyers Briggs Personality Test, and if so, have your spouses also taken it?

I'm interested to see if there are any patterns to personality types when it comes to SAs and SA spouses.

My exH was obsessed with taking those tests, and would send them to me to take them all the time. I've always tested as INFJ-T (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging - Turbulent).

I can't for the life of me find exactly what my XH tested as, but I'm pretty sure it was ENTP or ENFP... I'm pretty certain it's ENTP but I can't seem to find any of the emails he sent me about it.

These two personality types (INFJ and ENTP) are supposed to be highly compatible with one another, and honestly I do feel like we were highly complementary. But of course as we all know it seems whenever sex addiction is added in (and in my X's case, some narcissism/BPD for good measure) everything gets thrown for a loop, so would love to see if you ladies have any input.

Superesse posted 5/24/2019 01:34 AM

While I found the Myers-Briggs inventory fun and interesting, and potentially useful for things like choosing a date or a job, I would have a difficult time buying some correlation between a serious psychological disorder like sex addiction and any particular pattern within the types.

Most "players" I ever knew were major Extroverts, as one would expect. Yet, my SAWH is a total Introvert! So he blew that idea away, when I found out what his modus operandi really was!

The broad personality tendencies the MBTI attempts to measure seem too generalized for the particular kind of unhappy situation we find ourselves in, and so I suspect if a study were to be done, the relationship between personality type and being either SA or becoming the spouse of an SA would prove "not significant."

Interesting thought, though! I will be curious what others say....

ashestophoenix posted 5/24/2019 18:22 PM

I get the POSARC posts. This last post had a good link to Minwhalla's "Iceberg" theory of SA. I do think it is a one woman site and I know she is a divorced partner of an SA and she believes we should divorce our partners. She presents herself as a counselor to partners but I don't know if she has any formal training. The therapist she is interviewing is also an divorced partner of an SA and is the one hosting the retreats. She as well believes we should divorce the SA.

These interviews talk about whether or not it is an addiction or something else. In particular, they talk about the lies and dishonesty. Is that addiction or another pathology? I get posts from another site, a woman named Anne Blythe (I think that is the spelling) and she is divorced from her SA but it less certain that divorce is the only option.

Minwalla says that just achieving sobriety is not enough. The other abusive behaviors must be addressed.

Over the years I've come to realize that while our SA's are very similar, especially in their secrecy, duplicity, dishonesty,lack of empathy, and lack of being "present" with us; they are different in other ways. Some of us suffered from sexual anorexia; others still were having sex with their partners. Some of us say that he was sweet and fun, even when he was acting out. Others of us say he was a real bear, verbally abusive, critical and controlling.

I do believe sobriety is not enough. And the dishonesty, well that really is a big deal. It is "just" immaturity -- "I want what I want and don't want Mom to take it from me" or are they narcissists who just don't care. I do believe the secret life and the lack of empathy and inability to connect emotionally are evidence of some pathology.

I think these retreats are great ideas if we are thinking of divorce and want help to make it happen.

I still find the focus needs to be on me and my happiness. My SAH is actually making big strides in his individual therapy. He's not as toxic, but he is kind of "meh" to me.

I'm really appreciating my IC and finding more joy in my life and rediscovering me. My husband is irrelevant for that progress. It's such freedom to let go of his addiction and recovery. It is so rewarding to focus on me.


[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 6:23 PM, May 24th (Friday)]

Lionne posted 5/24/2019 19:49 PM

Minwalla says that just achieving sobriety is not enough. The other abusive behaviors must be addressed.

*LIKE this^^^

The therapist she is interviewing is also an divorced partner of an SA and is the one hosting the retreats

OH! Good to know! I didn't watch the whole interview I was put off by the demeanor. Plus, I lack the patience to listen to talking heads most of the time, prefer to read the info.

Your useful information is encouraging me to look for a true yoga retreat, not these. See? Self care, looking out for me, doing what I know is right for me.

Yep. Mommy issues. He SWEARS up and down this isn't why he drifts back to porn. I have no real right to question that, he has brought it up with his IC and has talked about it at meetings.


Perseverantia posted 5/25/2019 18:05 PM

Hello all. Just found my way over to this thread. Hoping to get some perspective and advice from you all. My WS has a long history of EAís, 1 attempted 3 some with his best friend and friendís gf years ago (couldnít maintain erection), and most recently a year long EA/PA. He also has excessive porn use the predates our 12.5 year relationship. Iíve known the porn was an issue, but didnít know how damaging it was. Once I found out about the LTA, he keeps going back to citing porn use as the bigger issue. He took a self test and scored high for SA. Heís reached out to a SA support group and plans to attend a meeting next Monday. Heís left a voicemail to obtain a sponsor. Heís scheduled MC for us and has IC scheduled as well. He owns it. Is remorseful. He is watching affair recovery videos, reading articles, doing marriage boot camp and is working on R list of requirements that I put in place after false R and ultimate discovery of PA and continued sexual contact with AP. He claims he is now NC with AP and also claims no porn use in about 3 weeks. Iíve set restrictions on his phone and all computers in the home. He may be finding ways around it but he claims he is so grateful restrictions are in place and feels so much better. I can see a drastic change in his personality. He is much more friendly and happy. Itís disheartening because heís happier than I think Iíve ever seen him. Heís acting like heís so in love with me and the sexual and emotional intimacy is through the roof (there has been HB Happening). I was reading about the brain changes that occur with porn use and this increase in happiness is apparently linked to increase in dopamine production that occurs around 2-3 weeks after stopping porn. My issue is that Iím so very hurt and going through so much, and itís so hard that heís laying it on so thick. The complete devotion to me and our marriage feels legit, but he still seems to lack the empathy that I need. He is still focused on his own experience and his own needs. He can recognize my needs and makes efforts to meet my needs by being comforting and transparent but I canít shake the feeling that heís pulling the wool over my eyes again. He was so very good at hiding this affair. I was always suspicious and always checking so he got very very sneaky. We are only about a week from Dday 2 and Iím really struggling with seeing this new version of him and making sense of the previous 12 years. Heís so open and wants to be close, calling me contstanly whenever we arenít together which is so different from how he used to be. He was always so distant and now all he wants is closeness. I literally feel like Iím In the twilight zone. Anyone else care to weigh in on things? Does this sound like what happens when a SA stops acting out and starts to get sober?

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