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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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Lionne posted 9/4/2019 21:21 PM

Dash, it isn't bullshit and you are very lucid, not rambling at all. You make excellent and valid points.
I know a bunch of members of my husband's fellowship. I know their back stories because I know their wives' stories. I don't believe they are evil. I know they are sick. But I could absolutely be wrong.
Since beginning his recovery work, two SA members committed suicide, one in a particularly horrendous way.
Maybe it's complicated, there are too many pathologies to make blanket statements about why they become addicts, maybe some part of their brains can set limits. Or maybe it's simple, they are all perverts who need incarceration.
OMG, I so agree with you about porn, trafficking, etc. My husband told himself so many lies about that and truly believed the strippers he favored were his friends who enjoyed his musings on his newest political obsession.
12 step programs teach us (partners) to detach, to understand that we can't control any one other than ourselves. It also says to not give advice but relate to others how we would or have dealt with particular circumstances. Many people tell wives that they should run for the hills, there are good reasons to do so. ESPECIALLY if there are young kids involved.
There are also reasons not to run, practical ones like health insurance or other financial considerations.
My life is far, far from ideal, I have so many regrets, so many resentments. I'm too old to start over, but I have a clear, specific plan if I decide to leave.
One day at a time...

[This message edited by Lionne at 9:35 PM, September 4th (Wednesday)]

DevastatedDee posted 9/4/2019 23:07 PM

I don't know if evil/sick is much different. Lots of people who commit acts that we would call evil are sick. I think that my XWH risking my actual life by sleeping with crack whores was an evil act. Is he an evil person? I don't know what that means. He's sick, no doubt. He committed evil because he was sick. The evil/sick debate for me would have been kinda irrelevant if he had brought anything worse than HPV home, and even that has caused worrisome cell growth that I have to keep following up on. I committed no crime to deserve what he did to me. It was evil.

DevastatedDee posted 9/4/2019 23:10 PM

The SAs who do molest children are no doubt sick with FOO issues and so on, but I can't find compassion for them. Not all do go that far, obviously. What the majority do is bad enough.

marji posted 9/5/2019 06:06 AM

I don't believe they are evil. I know they are sick.

Lionne I hear a similar distinction made at every SANON meeting in official reading which includes the words , "they are not bad people, they are sick people." I never appreciate the difference.

While not all sick people are bad people, aren't all bad people sick?

Not just those who commit adultery, those who exploit the young, but those who go out and use an AR-15 to slaughter as many people as they can? Surely people with so much hate and anger, those so lacking in care and regard for others--for the young, for the old, for those of whatever ethnicity, religion, gender, culture or creed--aren't people who are capable of causing such harm very sick people?

And aren't those who selfishly and mindlessly use others for their psyhco sexual satisfaction acting immorally? Acting badly?

Perhaps "evil" is too strong a word. . . I can't describe my H as "evil." But I can't consider him as just sick unless "sick" is a metaphor for someone seriously lacking in integrity, someone lacking in honesty and moral strength. If not evil, still not a really good and decent person whom everyone if they knew him would respect but instead a person who's secret must surely be kept.

I would definitely prefer to think of my H as "not a bad person but a sick person." Staying with a sick husband, someone with cancer, or M.S., someone going blind, or having dementia, would mean a loyalty I could be proud of.

But I don't see my H that way, as simply "someone with a disease but not a bad person." Just don't see "sick" and "bad" as mutually exclusive.

So while I can think of him as "sick" the sickness that I see is one of dishonesty and exploitation; it's a sickness that's a lack of conscience, a lack of morality. It's a sickness that involves (or involved) the moral sense of an infant and an adult with the moral sense of an infant is not a good adult. So then I have to rationalize my continuing ability to share my life with such a person. I then have to find ways to forgive myself, accept myself, and accept my own lack of integrity.

The IC and the support group encourage me to think of sicknesses that pass. And yes, some sicknesses, actually many, do pass. We all go through periods of wellness and ill health; people can be sick and people can get better. Just that some sicknesses are much more serious than others; some take a much greater toll.

ashestophoenix posted 9/5/2019 07:52 AM

I believe all of you. I believe you are saying your truth.

My truth is a bit different as all of ours is a bit different. My truth has changed over time. What I do not want to do is question any of you and your truth, nor do I want you to question mine. I don't have the right or full understanding to tell any of you what to think or feel. I can let you know that I care about you, that I am concerned, that I hear you.

I do want to hear your experiences, how you are coping, what works and what doesn't. I want to hear of your challenges and successes. I want to share mine. I want us to be supportive of each other in a safe environment.

Words count. Words can heal or hurt. I think of the hurtful things my husband has said that could have been said so much more kindly if he had chosen better words.

I first thought my husband was sick but now I say traumatized. I do think my husband was bad but now I say abusive and shameful. But my husband is more sober. I don't know if all the acting out is gone, but after years of recovery work, he is a dramatically different man. He isn't relationally skilled, but he is sober. Is he still bad? Is he still sick? I can't say that. I can say he did shameful things. He was abusive. He's not doing those types of behaviors now that I know of.

None of this means I justify his behaviors, or absolve him, or owe him. But I do give him credit for working on sobriety. I do see his shame, which points to me that he has some morality. Some of our partners do not. They feel no shame. My husband does. Does he have to pay for the rest of his life? What I do know is there is no way he can make enough amends to me for these past decades. I do know I do not love him and don't want to love him. In my case, my husband's shameful behavior wasn't at the level he needs to be in jail. But I'm certainly justified in divorcing him and/or not loving him.

But that's me. All of you have your own life experience and own truth.

Recently I have felt like SI has not been healing or helpful to me. It feels less safe and much more harsh. I sometimes feel unaccepted. That makes me sad.


[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 8:01 AM, September 5th (Thursday)]

DevastatedDee posted 9/5/2019 08:43 AM

Recently I have felt like SI has not been healing or helpful to me. It feels less safe and much more harsh. I sometimes feel unaccepted. That makes me sad.

A lot of that is probably my fault. I apologize if things I say have you feeling that way. I know that my viewpoint is a lot less compassionate towards the SA and I don't know if I'm actually helpful in this thread. I resisted posting in it for a long time because I remember I'd read it and just be so upset for all of you because I know the pain and none of you deserved an ounce of it. I am also the last person that an addict would want in R with him because I just don't have it in me to do it. I don't mean to come across as judgmental to those of you who are in R with these men, but I am 100% sure that I do come across that way. It probably isn't helpful.

If I'm being completely honest about who I am and how I feel, I think there's a whole world out there that doesn't involve men with this issue and yes, I do wish that everyone here had never encountered any of this and could live lives that didn't involve SA stuff in any way because it's sick and dark and causes nothing but pain. I don't think that men who have this issue are exactly chock full of the empathy required to have a full and happy relationship with anyone. Some develop more empathy than they had, and then yet there's always the chance of relapse and you could go through this all over again and again and again. There is no part of me that is suited for staying with an addict. I am one person, though. I am not everyone. I know that we are all different and all have different reasons for whether we're in R or D. I probably couldn't have had R with a man who didn't have SA issues and had a drunken ONS at a party. It isn't in me. That isn't a judgment on anyone else, it's just how I'm built. When I express my thoughts, it probably doesn't come across well to anyone who is still in R.

ashestophoenix posted 9/5/2019 09:28 AM

Dee, I appreciate your truth.

I think there's a whole world out there that doesn't involve men with this issue

And isn't this an important issue. I don't believe there are a lot of men who don't struggle with porn and objectification. I think it is a matter of degree. And the women partners here have men who have extreme issues with objectification.


DevastatedDee posted 9/5/2019 09:37 AM

I have not yet before my XWH met a man who struggled to the point where he'd jerk off instead of having sex with me (not a boring lay, btw) and then graduate to paying for sex with prostitutes, though. We all objectify people to an extent based on physical attraction. There's healthy attraction to the opposite sex and then there's obsessive behavior that ruins people's lives.

All hetero men find women attractive and the majority watch porn. Hell, I watched porn. I have never had this problem with any other man, and I have been with a fair number of men. I myself have a high sex drive and have enjoyed casual sex to a level that is a bit above the average. But this stuff? It's well and beyond what is normal.

NoMoreRugSweepin posted 9/5/2019 15:13 PM

No one is trying to make pedophilia a sexual orientation. No one of sound mind is trying to make child brides a thing again.

Active addicts are often considered to be unsafe parents in general regardless of the vice but mostly due to their mental state being altered. They might not engaged in their addiction directly in front of a child but often run risk of exposing their children to the addiction.

Hi my WS is a compulsive masturbator and is currently starting more frequent IC and beginning a support group after he broke NC with the AP. I still have no idea what I am doing in regards to our M.

Lionne posted 9/5/2019 19:50 PM

While not all sick people are bad people, aren't all bad people sick?

My POV is heartily based on my FOO. I couldn't understand why my mother didn't love me. It helped to rationalize that she was "sick" and the product of her FOO. I remember as a very little girl being told that my Jewish dad was going to "burn in hell unless he accepts Jesus as his personal savior." That traumatized me, until my over thinking personality brought me to the understanding that people who behave in evil ways must indeed be sick. Otherwise, they wouldn't have done what they did. It's similar to the way we teach kids: They may have behaved in a "bad" way but they aren't inherently bad. I'm a Quaker, I do believe that there is "god" in everyone, although my interpretation of god wouldn't fit most religious groups.

Maybe it's partly a semantic thing.

I sure hope I am not coming across as judging or anything but accepting of all of the POV of the wonderful women here. I'm going to go back and edit anything that might be construed that way.

Oddly the subject of whether or not SAs are "bad" came up in IC today.

My "compassion" is real. But I'm not in the mind to excuse any of the horrible behaviors out there. It's a rationalization of the horrors, a word, and probably just my way of coping. And, as far as my H goes, I have compassion for the life he wasted, I have enormous compassion for that abused little boy, but I have far more compassion for myself.

My truth is a bit different as all of ours is a bit different. My truth has changed over time. What I do not want to do is question any of you and your truth, nor do I want you to question mine. I don't have the right or full understanding to tell any of you what to think or feel. I can let you know that I care about you, that I am concerned, that I hear you.

Said far more eloquently than I could/have. I will evaluate my words with the filter of this paragraph. It's brilliant.

Dee, I welcome and value your posts. I hope you'll continue to post. I was an elementary teacher for 37 years and have two sons. I believe the internet, social media and cellphones and internet porn is creating/has created a whole generation of boys and girls who prefer to not interact face to face. Kids who have some social clumsiness (who doesn't at 14) have the perfect environment to forego real connections. While SA is better recognized and treated, while the ME2 movement has the seeds of change, the fight against real connections that aren't fueled by technology is losing ground. I am very pessimistic.

I don't know if staying with my H was the right thing. My escape plan is very concrete and very practical. It's my personal life jacket. YRMV.

((((((((((spouses)))))))))) You are all amazing women(men), in case there are male lurkers.

[This message edited by Lionne at 8:11 PM, September 5th (Thursday)]

DevastatedDee posted 9/6/2019 10:30 AM

I guess I just view it this way and yes, this is part of why R never came close to working for me though I stayed for a few months.

I fell in love with and married a man based on a number of reasons. Love is the first ingredient, but marriage is about more than love.

1. He and I had so much in common and had similar enough views that we could live a peaceful life together and give one another happiness. In retrospect, google "mirroring".
2. We laughed a lot together. That was important. This one stands.
3. He was affectionate and loving and that was important to me. Just not only with me.
4. He was loyal and only had eyes for me. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
5. He and my daughter had a great relationship. I also am one of the lucky wives who found stepfather/stepdaughter incest porn on his tablet.
6. He was responsible and employed with the same company for years and had great credit. Until he decided that he didn't have to work anymore because he was "depressed". I apparently met him during some good years of recovery from drugs and he was still full of the 12 steps.
7. I adored his daughter. This one also still stands.

I was defrauded, as were we all. I didn't agree to marry the man I married. If this were a business contract, I'd have been within my rights to sue. So what, exactly, was there to save? Love? Ha. No. Love died with the introduction of reality. Love was also no excuse whatsoever to stay in that marriage.

So do I feel compassion for my XWH? That's a hard one. Our relationship was so intense and so beautiful, from what I knew. I know so much about him, his fears, his joys, his childhood stories, his family, his smell, his silliness and his philosophical thoughts. He is a human being who deserves the chance to become a better one. I am not suited to be the one to help him because he chose to abuse me with infidelity and drugs. I'm glad there are those who are out there to help him not hurt more people. I chose myself and my children over helping him and I will never regret that. I always saw him as an individual worthy of respect. He apparently never saw me this way.

When he brought this sickness into my life, I knew I'd never be free of it while I was with him. There would be recovery, there would be relapse. He would never be the kind of person who couldn't do that. I'd never not know that he was the kind of person who could do that. And I'd always remember the pain. I'd be afraid of where it could escalate if it came back, because it seems with drugs at least that relapse takes you further down than when you were last using. Why not the same for SA? I would forever be the only adult in the marriage because I would always be the only one who could be depended on not to lose my shit and let everything fall. If I'm going to be that, why not just be on my own in the first place and actually BE the only adult in the house? Maybe find someone one day who isn't "sick" like that. Maybe not. Either way, I will no longer be with that sickness.

The kind of person I would consent to share my life with is not the kind who could sleep with prostitutes, married to me or not. But especially not married to me. My XWH disqualified himself for the job of being my spouse.

That's my truth. It isn't everyone's. I am not judging anyone whose truth isn't the same as mine. I do understand the pain, though, and I am full of empathy for all of you. I also understand that some of you are more capable of compassion for your spouses than I am. Some of you have the strength to stay and work with them while they find empathy. Not everyone finds being on their own to be a palatable choice.

delilah2016 posted 9/9/2019 05:54 AM


This one is the scariest thing I've seen in a while.

He and my daughter had a great relationship. I also am one of the lucky wives who found stepfather/stepdaughter incest porn on his tablet.

Mine did a lot, but I never feared for my children. You have to look out for her!

DevastatedDee posted 9/9/2019 09:10 AM

Oh no worries, he's been gone for over a year.

NoMoreRugSweepin posted 9/9/2019 10:22 AM

My WS and I have actually had some deeper discussions on how incest porn seems to be the porn trend right now and it creeps both of us out. There are plenty of other ways to do young and old without it being something so traumatizing. WS even mentioned how a lot of it is excusing molestation. I am starting to think its turned into such a trendy thing as more become addicted to porn and need more taboo things to become excited by. Too many have become desensitized to just basic sex as its just too easily accessible.

DevastatedDee posted 9/9/2019 10:33 AM

Yeah, it was right there on the tablet with grandma porn, where a bunch of young guys run a train on an elderly woman. WTF.

DestroyedWife80 posted 9/9/2019 17:31 PM

So- I have been sort of at an impasse of sorts...he refuses to admit to anything (even with my tons of proof) or do any meaningful work to mend what has been done (he's been 'good' for about 8 months now, as far as I can tell *eyeroll*).

I am NOT 'ok' with it, but I am not actively taking steps to end my marriage either.

Today, I am gathering tax documents our accountant wanted (we filed for an extension since we have a refund coming) and I start (again) becoming obsessive with his ATM withdraws.

These are new documents, but obviously I have like 1000 others that have the same pattern.

WHY am I becoming so frantic and unstable over THESE...and why now?

I don't want to hurt him- but I want to break things or throw stuff...maybe even use knives to hang these new pages on the wall (but nothing at all to hurt myself or anyone else).

It's like I am literally...insane.

[This message edited by DestroyedWife80 at 5:32 PM, September 9th (Monday)]

Lifeexploded posted 9/10/2019 09:59 AM

Destroyed - it's a trigger. Even if there is currently no evidence of wrongdoing just looking over those papers bring up those feelings from your trauma.

Today, I went to our safe to put back $200 that we had taken out a few weeks ago for a purchase that we thought that we were going to make but didn't. I don't know what made me do it, but I counted the money, and $120 is missing. There are two separate envelopes (one has very old money that could be sold for more than face value). $100 is missing from the "regular" money and $20 from the old money. I made new envelopes and wrapped my ebay tape around them and wrote on them how much money is in each and on what date. I don't know if he thinks he can play stupid, but he probably will so I'm not even going to bring it up. I think I'm just going to put it all in the bank. I was wondering why he hasn't been using his debit card lately. Makes perfect sense now.

I'm debating on whether I confront him about it or just leave it. For me this is the end. I can't start divorce proceedings as I am not making enough money and as long as our oldest son continues going to the private school he attends (necessary at this time) I probably won't. I simply cannot see a future with a husband who steals from the family's emergency fund.

On the other hand, should I start putting money aside in a secret place for my future? This seems rather hypocritical on one hand but on the other if he would get his head out of his ass I guess I wouldn't feel the need to do so.

ashestophoenix posted 9/10/2019 10:25 AM

Lifeexploded, YES! Do start your own savings account. No, it's not hypocritical. It's doing the right thing for you and your son. I created a separate checking and savings account where I have enough money to go through divorce proceedings. I am slowly building it up so I have three months of income if I had to leave immediately. Even with low income, it feels empowering to add a little bit each month.

I set up the account so all communication is via email. My husband doesn't know about it at all. It's sad, but he put us in this position with his lies and dishonesty. He violated trust and putting family first. Just as your husband did.

If I end up filing for divorce, I will also get a PO box for mail. My email and cell phone are password protected (my husband is too stupid and lazy to figure out how to get into them).

My husband is sober and working on improving his relationship skills. So I'm not currently filing for divorce. But I will keep that account as long as I am alive.


[This message edited by ashestophoenix at 10:27 AM, September 10th (Tuesday)]

veryhurt2018 posted 9/10/2019 10:29 AM

DestroyedWife80 & Lifeexploded, I completely understand about the cash disappearing and the ATM withdrawals. I didn't pay attention to any of the cash for the last 13 years because I thought it was for business expenses. It turns out there was about $15K per year that was spent on his prostitute activity. The funny thing is that I'm a CPA and I'm extremely anal about all other things EXCEPT the cash. Now he's not allowed to have anymore than $40 cash at a time and in order to get more, he has to show receipts. We don't have cash laying around so I don't have to worry about that. Maybe you guys should take the ATM card away (I did) as well as remove the cash in the house. Lifeexploded, if I were you, I would start my own bank account for my protection. Ugh, the things that I've(we've) had to do is crazy and probably not that healthy, but SAWH agrees that we should have done it until I feel better.

ashestophoenix posted 9/10/2019 10:41 AM

VeryHurt, all good points. My husband is on a monthly allowance. I don't make him provide me with receipts, at this point. Taking away the ATM card is a good idea and all his credit cards have to be such that you have online access to his spending.

They lose equality after discovery. They have to earn it back. If they are sincere about keeping us, they will do these things even if they don't like it. They need to do some soul searching about how they ended up in this situation, take personal responsibility, develop empathy and maturity, and start acting like a caring adult. Until then, they have shown they can't be trusted so we have a right, really a duty, to do things differently.


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