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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 19

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HeHadADoubleLife posted 7/11/2019 23:36 PM

Iím an empath! I once considered those positive attributes, now I view them as a target for people like my WH.
Yup. We were all targeted for this very reason. It sucks to have the thing that I used to think was the best thing about myself now twisted into a negative. I suggest looking up "empath" on Pinterest. There are multitudes of affirming infographics on the positive qualities of empaths, but also some interesting ones regarding burn out, how to take care of yourself, etc.

Itís funny, they seem supportive in regards to the alcoholism but SA is just such a personal injury making it more difficult to accept.
I found this difficult as well. The notion that you should stay with an alcoholic as long as they are getting help, but an SA getting help doesn't qualify for that same grace. Until the 50s, alcoholism wasn't recognized for what it was either. The psychiatric and medical communities will have to catch up. Problem is with technology, NSA hook ups and porn access are only getting more prevalent, so it's going to take a lot of effort to play catch up.

Truth is, any compulsive behavior can be bad for us. When my anxiety is really bad, I bite my cuticles, and sometimes they rip off and bleed. When I was a young kid, I used to twist my hair into knots that were so bad my mom had to cut them out. I still bite the inside of my cheeks and rip off the dead skin, but when I was younger and didn't know how to control it, I would bite too hard and bruise my inner mouth.

Now none of those things would be classified as an "addiction" necessarily, because there might not be a chemical withdrawal, but there's no arguing that they are harmful, and not productive behavior. But for whatever reason, they were coping mechanisms I learned as a kid. Luckily, those coping mechanisms were/are not harmful to others, only myself.

Unfortunately, our spouses just happened to "learn" sexual release as a coping mechanism, and when they attempted to be in monogamous relationships, that was bound to hurt other people. It's messed up what people will do for a dopamine hit. That's really the most powerful drug there is.

All of my friends that know think I'm absolutely crazy. It's very hard to stomach that.
The isolation is difficult. It can be even harder when you are conflicted yourself on whether to stay or go. I remember crying my eyes out at him after one of his relapses, telling him "I don't know anyone else who would be as understanding as I am about this! I don't have a single friend whose boyfriend does anything remotely close to this!" I really wish I had this forum back then, it would have been so helpful.

Just a reminder to all of you ladies. No matter the age/looks of your SAH's APs, they don't hold a fucking candle to you. You are the prize here! Looks are temporary. From the second we arrive here, we're only getting older. Your character and integrity are what matters. And nobody can take those away from you.

demolishedinside posted 7/12/2019 02:08 AM

Itís the same here. My lawyer knows and said the court absolutely sees 50% custody as best for the child unless itís drug use or physical abuse. So I will lose time with my precious kids. That is another blow to all of this and the only reason I stayed after dday1. After hearing ďSAĒ and knowing what Iíd read on SI, I knew the high chance for relapse. But my kids were so young! I couldnít. They still are but itís maybe a smidge easier since they arenít babies. Lord knows I will never forget the loss of time with them. The injury of all of this is too great.

In a quick side note...I have a job interview on Monday. Could you please say prayers this is finally the one?

DevastatedDee posted 7/12/2019 07:55 AM

- This is me 100%. I used to have so much self confidence and now all I do is see my flaws. I hate it. I don't even want to look in the mirror. My SAWH is 59 and I'm 49 and all I can think about is that he was with 20 year olds for 13 years. I can't compete with their looks as I'm 49, not 20. Sure, I looked really good at 20 too. I'm trying so hard to get through this but I seriously don't know many people that would.

I totally get that. I can tell you what helped me, though it's a weird analogy. I have a 1982 Corvette. She's a gorgeous car. Well-kept, absolutely beautiful. I love this car. Sure, she's got signs of age on her. The interior is a bit faded and some of the glue on the steering wheel is coming out. The brakes need some work, sure, but good lord just look at those curves and lines! Back in her day, she was top of the line hotness. Just looking at this gorgeous older car makes my whole day better. Today she is classic hotness. I see the new Corvettes and they are beautiful and so so fast. My car isn't nearly so fast. Everything on them is new and shiny. Now, would I put my beautiful 82 Vette up against a 2019 Vette in a race? OMG no. I'd blow the engine, maybe wreck her trying to keep up with one of those new cars. I love her too much to do that. She's too valuable to me. They don't make any more of these, you know? I couldn't bear the loss of her due to my stupidity. It would be a tragedy.

Now if my WH had loved and valued me as much as I value my car, none of this would ever have happened.

Lionne posted 7/12/2019 07:56 AM

Prayers sent!

There were a few women I've met through our mutual challenge. The stories were just awful, porn use while holding a baby, S&M clubs and parties with anonymous hookups, provable strip club attendance. Unless the husband was taking his children to the clubs, judges just don't care. A friend knew her h was using porn in the room where his kids were watching tv. She found the evidence. But because he was in another part of a large room, the parenting consultant didn't care. He would have had to show the screen to the girls. Even the real possibility that the girls night happen upon the porn on this computer was inconsequential.
This mother had homeschooled her three kids, they were about 10-12. She still had to get a paying job in a short period of time. He got himself fired, worked of the books, so her spousal support was little and since they had kids 50/50, no child support from either.

ashestophoenix posted 7/12/2019 08:01 AM

One of the first things I had to learn to accept after discovery is that life isn't fair. I get this in my head, but not in my heart. What happened to us isn't fair. And the difficult choices we have to make...that's not fair either. I've come to accept I won't get fairness or justice for my wounds and losses of the past that were inflicted on me by my husband. And by his gaslighting allies. I can only work on my life now and what is left of it. Easier said than done.

Somber, I so understand what you are saying. I could have written the same words. I did move in order to escape the triggers and pain of my old neighborhood. And I moved before I was even 20% aware of what my husband had been doing. The upside of moving was to escape those painful triggers. The downside was the loss of all of my friends, home and things I loved about my community. Going back is utterly painful both for the triggers and the grief of my losses.

I wish now I had moved but without my husband. I didn't know that at the time and I was in no way prepared to handle a divorce. Also, I didn't want to lose half my money or my health insurance. I can't remember who on here quoted their therapist as saying "your choices all suck." Now I am glad I moved, but the serious downside was it increased my isolation.

My friends have not been supportive when I tell them about the SA. They think they are supportive, but their shock, disgust and then firm conviction that I should divorce right now, find a new man, get on with it, get over it, and WTF....that isn't helpful to me. What is helpful is to find other partners of SA who get it. It was also helpful to me to get a therapist who was a trauma specialist, not an SA specialist.

And, Somber, you are doing things to get help. You are here and posting often. That's healing. What helped me when I was feeling like you are was to find little things each day that made me feel better. Even if it was just for a minute. I remember how many warm showers I took. I know that sounds kind of lame, but honestly, they made me feel better. I remember drinking hot chocolate and watching the birds at my feeders (without my husband around!) and how much better I felt. I remember reading on my bed cuddling up with my dogs and how much better I felt. Find those things and hold on to them for dear life. Make them sacred and DO NOT let your husband interfere, comment, take them for himself, or whatever.

The more I did these kinds of things, the better I felt. At first, I could only find a minute or two a day that made me feel better. But it builds up and more and more of my day got better.

I got involved with a local non-profit and meet with a group of women once a month. I went last night and realized how wonderful it was to be with a group of women and not worry about how I looked; how they looked; about whether or not my husband would fantasize about them. SA didn't come up. It was fabulous. I didn't objectify me or them; I could just be me. It was liberating.

I've also started a psychotherapy group and there are no partners there but of the four other women, only one has a husband who hasn't traumatized her. The others...whew. Those whose husbands betrayed them go through similar issues as we do. I'm really beginning to see that some of these infidelities are a form of SA. (Not all, but many of them).

So being with women has been healing for me.

Right now I'm working in my therapy about what to do about my volcanic anger. Sheesh. I'm also working on my grief which I realize at the end of the day will always be with me.


Smjsome1 posted 7/12/2019 10:23 AM

Good luck and positive thoughts on the interview!

DevastatedDee posted 7/12/2019 11:43 AM

My friends have not been supportive when I tell them about the SA. They think they are supportive, but their shock, disgust and then firm conviction that I should divorce right now, find a new man, get on with it, get over it, and WTF....that isn't helpful to me.

The hard part about it is that it IS shocking and disgusting and they DO deserve us to leave them on the spot. So it's impossible to argue the point with friends.

Lionne posted 7/12/2019 12:32 PM

It's been years since I found out the majority of the shit he was into. I spent 5 years angry. I woke up one day and the anger just drifted away. I have had relapse, but mostly I accept the shitshow of which I was an unknowing participant.

Except today. In a nutshell, he has a sailboat that he keeps in a marina about 30 miles away. Until four years ago, it was in another marina, further away and so convenient because he could just walk over to the nearby strip club. Many, many times he'd tell me he was going sailing, or to work on the boat when he was really slumming. Important dates, dates when I really needed his support, breast cancer scare, a horrible incident which required me to go to court, etc. But he'd go to the "boat." I didn't fuss, he had already trained me to not ask questions used guilt and blackmail to keep me from questioning his time away.
He hasn't been there at all this summer. He said in the beginning of the summer, that because he knew it was a trigger to me, he'd sell it. I told him sell it if he wants but don't put that blame on me.
He's visited it very little, hasn't had it out at all. His reason is, he doesn't have a good motor and doesn't want to go out on the river without one. He has had at least 10 motors. They are in various states of disrepair in our garage. He buys one and tells me that as soon as he replaces some gizmo he'll be able to sell it for twice what he paid. Yeah. That hasn't happened. Last year he bought an electric motor, THIS was the answer. Until he figured out that he cannot generate the correct amperage to charge it.
This week he tells me he's driving down to a southern state to buy yet another motor, this one considerably more money.
I don't care about the money. But all I can think of is all the years of lies he told me that included this fucking boat.
I get that addicts have to cultivate healthy hobbies. I get that he's easily bored and novelty motivates him.
This is really pissing me off and awakening all the things I dealt with and put away. I wanted him to make the right decision, sell the fucking boat and buy a canoe or a sunfish to appease his need for boating. He didn't. He spend money on yet another fucking motor and I'm just pissed.
I know I'm wrong here on so many levels. I need all of you to set me straight.

marji posted 7/12/2019 13:12 PM

Dee This just gave me my first laugh of the day. The truth can be funny. Thank you.

DevastatedDee posted 7/12/2019 13:39 PM

I know I'm wrong here on so many levels. I need all of you to set me straight.

I would, but I can't see what's wrong with how you're feeling about it, lol. It makes total sense to me.

If an addict still needs constant novelty, isn't that still a form of acting out? My WH shifted from drugs and whores to buying collectible toys. Racked up thousands in credit card debt building a collection in a few months that most people take a decade or more to do.

marji posted 7/12/2019 14:34 PM

O Lionne So not happy to see what you're dealing with and feeling like. But don't know what you mean by saying you know you are wrong on so many levels.

Your feelings about the motors are totally understandable even if there were no SA connection.

I can't imagine too many partner/spouses not being angry with someone repeatedly buying things that are useless. And the plan to fix and resell at profit--that whole thought process reminds me of my BIL who did the very same with used office equipment. He never resold any of it; it just sat in the basement. No sexual betrayal of any kind in their situation but after 40+ years of living with his various issues and behaviors his wife divorced him.

So seems to me, that since there is an SA issue as well, your feelings are even more normal; more appropriate. Not wrong, but rather right on so many levels. Nonetheless the angry feelings are not feelings you enjoy; not feelings you want to have. So what's to be done?

I'm trying to think of what a very good SANON friend of mine would advise if I had this problem. She's very pragmatic so I'm thinking she would say that if you want him to sell the sailboat you should tell him. If you think going off to buy yet another motor is not a good idea you should say that and let him know. What do you think of that way to go?

[This message edited by marji at 2:35 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

Lionne posted 7/12/2019 16:22 PM

Devil's advocate. Shouldn't I encourage healthy outlets? Do I have the right to tell him not to indulge in what was a long held activity? He's sailed since childhood, taught both our kids who sail.
I did tell him he was stupid to spend that much money on a 20 year old motor. As he left today he said he wasn't going to buy it and was " probably going to sell the boat" He bought it. I consider that another lie.
Yeah. Novelty. Addicted to it. Can't be happy with status quo. Is bored all the time (which, btw, is what took him back to porn, I believe) constantly needs an endorphin rush.
I don't want to be the one who tells him he has to sell the boat (which I PAID FOR, mostly, out of money I earned at a second job) He'll blame me forever like he's done before. I don't want that negativity.

Lionne posted 7/12/2019 16:27 PM

The useless motors? Yeah, well they provided a harmless enough hobby, he enjoys tinkering. And it's not an excessive amount of money, certainly more than I spend on hobbies but far less than golfing, for instance. We're very lucky that or financial picture is good, no thanks to the massive money he spent on strippers.

He used the boat as an excuse to disappear, as a hook in conversation with his girlfriends and a prop when he sent pictures of him posing against the mast. A picture I took. BTW.

[This message edited by Lionne at 4:27 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

DevastatedDee posted 7/12/2019 16:38 PM

First, let me disabuse you of the notion that anything you say to him about this is going to be "right" or "fair". The fact that you didn't list the boat as a massive trigger that had to leave your life after DDay was already a big favor to him, because it IS a massive trigger that negatively impacts you emotionally.

It doesn't matter whether you encourage healthy outlets or not, honestly. He is going to do what he's going to do, and you get to observe. What you're seeing is that the mindset that allowed him to cheat is still in force, since he has to have an outside obsession that he's irrational with. A hobby is a hobby. This seems like an obsession. Maybe he's just always going to need an obsession. The real question is whether or not this is something you feel okay living with. That's a personal decision.

marji posted 7/12/2019 16:43 PM

Hear you well. But even more convinced that you are not wrong on any level. You have great understanding and patience. You are kind and thoughtful. You are caring and you are smart. You are respectful and you are self protecting. If that adds up to wrong--then yes, way, way wrong but don't think any of us here could set you straight :)

Totally get that you don't want to be the one to tell him to sell the boat because of the negative consequences you can anticipate based on how he's acted before. In my view that's being wisely self-protective. It's unfortunate that any of us still have to watch out for egg shells; maybe in time, maybe with more time, that too will change. In the meantime, Mr. Lionne is a very fortunate man.

[This message edited by marji at 4:31 AM, July 13th (Saturday)]

DevastatedDee posted 7/12/2019 16:45 PM

Part of why R was doomed to failure on my part was that a condition of it was "I need you to be the kind of person who is incapable of this", and perhaps that wasn't realistic. I asked my WH to change his nature. His nature is to need shiny new obsessions and eventually self-destruct. I thought in recovery he was becoming that guy who was incapable, but I wasn't seeing it clearly at first. Recovery and religion became his shiny new objects to obsess about. Then those got boring and he needed other things. I don't honestly know if he in particular can change that about himself.

Maybe your WH can fixate on obsessions that don't hurt you for the remainder of his life. I honestly don't know if that needing something to obsess about part of a person is changeable. Seemed like a lot of the many years recovering addicts I've met in the past couple of years are darned near obsessive about recovery, which is definitely a positive obsession.

Somber posted 7/12/2019 18:15 PM

Oh the triggers! The unexpected ways simple situations throw us into chaos because something triggered us. There is a desperation for us to overcome the fear and pain. The emotions and feelings flood back (or never really left yet for me) and everything else fades into the background! Itís awful.

Lionne, what your feeling is normal..at least to the rest of us it seems to be. With or without the boat, there will be triggers. Can we really stop them all? I think we need to name our triggers, keep track of them and become strategic in overcoming them. A strategy for the boat would be to remind your spouse that itís a trigger. If he knew how you were feeling, would he make a different decision?? I hope so!
I also believe in self preservation and avoiding identifying feelings and triggers to prevent their blame or well opinions at all!! But you and your WH seem to be in a better place and maybe he would be receptive to you letting him know. Maybe at the very least some boundaries can be set with boat use. Do you enjoy the boat? Could it be something you do together? There is always burning the boat...just a thought!!

[This message edited by Somber at 6:36 PM, July 12th (Friday)]

Somber posted 7/12/2019 18:28 PM

I've come to accept I won't get fairness or justice for my wounds and losses of the past that were inflicted on me by my husband
I guess with acceptance comes healing. Iím not ready to accept this, it makes me so angry and resentful.

What helped me when I was feeling like you are was to find little things each day that made me feel better. Even if it was just for a minute

I thought about your advice today Ashes, and I was able to be more present in the moment when sharing a beautiful morning at the beach with my daughter. I need to be more mindful of how much my mind is poisoned with a constant play by play of all this trauma. I am missing so much time spent enjoying the moment due to this. This consequence of my SA behaviour further breaks my heart.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 7/12/2019 18:48 PM

Does anyone know where these threads are archived to once we hit the max? Thereís been a lot of good stuff in here that Iíve bookmarked for reference, just want to make sure weíll still have access to it.

demolishedinside posted 7/12/2019 20:04 PM

Not sure. Maybe tag a mod. They will ask MH.

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