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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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20yrsagoBS posted 10/1/2019 20:47 PM

Do you mind if I ask you a question?

Before SA diagnosis, would your spouse master bate during their workday (or stop working to watch porn)?

My priest suspects WH is a sex addict, but his IC says he isnít because he doesnít masturbate or watch porn while working.

WH has this drive (?) to have women desire him sexually, to laugh at his jokes, to respond to him.

He gets kind of a dry when they donít.

Any input would be helpful and appreciated.


Marie1793 posted 10/2/2019 11:12 AM


My sah says he didn't masturbate or look at porn at work.
He says he didn't want to jeopardize his job.
After he started SAA, he says he did a couple times. He seems to be inspired to do things hearing about what other people speak about. But he hasn't mentioned that it has happened again. It seems to really bother him. He works at a place that is high security so he knows he is being monitored too.
Now this is all what he tells me. I have learned to never take too much to heart.

Marie1793 posted 10/2/2019 11:17 AM

I found a new therapist and got my first appt next week. I am so excited I found someone close to home, covered by insurance, is an art therapist and looks like she is trauma focused. I shouldnt get my hopes too high as it will surely not meet my expectations.

I have been listening to codependent podcasts and i see now that i do have some codependent tendencies.
Also listening to Suze Casey podcasts about brain repatterning and finding them very helpful.

Got tested for hpv and i do have it. they say symptoms may not be present next year when i get tested again. trying to take care of myself so it doesn't get worse. i can't say i got it from SAH because i had a few partners before we married but have not been with anyone else since, over 30 years ago.

Keep going back and forth between resentment and forgiveness, never happy with either.

Please reply because I love feedback and to know I am heard. I need to get better about replying but it is so overwhelming and takes me so long to write. I get a response in my head and before I get it written down, it is gone. I decided this morning I am going to sit down, focus, and write to you guys. Thanks for listening.


crazyblindsided posted 10/2/2019 12:07 PM

That is a good question and I'm not sure if my STBX masturbated at work. I'm pretty sure he did. I believe he masturbated multiple times a day.

One time I can remember a REALLY weird incident with my WS when we were on vacation with my family. He was sitting all the way in the back of the van and he told me to look... he had his penis out and hard. I will never forget it. Like WTF is wrong with you dude

Another thing he did was ramp up his fetish porn. It wasn't enough to watch regular porn. It also got that way in the bedroom too and began to feel dirty to me (probably another reason I pulled back sexually from him).

Being a survivor of sexual abuse this shit sends you in the opposite direction, so while he would ramp himself up with fetish porn I would be ramping down my sex drive.

crazyblindsided posted 10/2/2019 12:11 PM

Hi Marie1793 welcome!

It's great you found a therapist. I don't know how I would survive any of this without one.

I'm so sorry you tested positive for HPV, just another gift from infidelity My STBX gave me 2 STDs in a 2 month period and tried to blame it on me

Keep going back and forth between resentment and forgiveness, never happy with either.

Are you trying to R with your WS? That dynamic will probably become less and less if he is doing the work.

Marie1793 posted 10/2/2019 14:00 PM

Hi Crazy! Thanks so much for replying. That means a lot to me.
So sorry you got stds from your STBX!

(Are you trying to R with your WS? That dynamic will probably become less and less if he is doing the work.)

Yes we are reconciling. I dont know at what level. We were doing much better at the beginning but i think i was delusional.

I think of Gweneth Paltrow. She did a movie about a sex addict. I wonder if her ex was a SA. She says she thinks of her ex as a brother. I sometimes try to think of my sah as a brother. We are family but we are not really husband and wife, not really friends.

20yrsagoBS posted 10/2/2019 15:41 PM


(((Hugs))) Iím in the STD from hubbyís cheating boat too

Sorry sweetheart, itís such a load of absolute shit

[This message edited by 20yrsagoBS at 3:42 PM, October 2nd (Wednesday)]

NoMoreRugSweepin posted 10/2/2019 15:55 PM


My SAWS looked at inappropriate material while at work but didn't touch himself. At the height he would do that before work, while I was doing bedtime with our kiddo, and then we often had sex at night.

You bounce back and forth. If you see them doing work, see them being honest and up front, it makes the idea of forgiveness less crazy and the need to hate fades. Its still a roller coaster as a trigger cranks up resentment. Its also the hardest addiction to over come. Finding boundaries for yourself is a necessary to stay with a SA. I'm still too new at this though to give any long term inspiration of things can get better.

marji posted 10/2/2019 17:24 PM

20yearsago There is no one particular behavior that is determinative of SA. The IC who told you that your H isn't an SA because he doesn't jerk off or watch porn at lunch does not know very much about SA. There are many SA who do not do that.

There are at least two reputable tests that your H can take that can help diagnose SA but he must be totally honest to get an accurate result. Therapists who are well trained and have considerable experience with sex addiction recommend that someone coming to them for diagnosis and help take these tests. But even then, a diagnosis of SA can take many, many sessions. They also advise a possible SA to attend at least SA 12 step meetings to get a deeper sense of whether they are actually SA which, after all is said and done, is ultimately a matter of self diagnosis since it's a matter of thoughts and feelings as well as behavior.

20yrsagoBS posted 10/3/2019 07:18 AM

WH doesnít want to be diagnosed a Sex Addict. He tells me it offends him that I am seeking some diagnosis to explain his behavior.

My reasoning is that figuring out what made him make the choices he did, letís us zero in, so we can treat it

marji posted 10/3/2019 09:09 AM

He's offended???? That's rich. He's been cheating, lying, disrespecting you and the marriage, you, himself and everyone else he might be close to and he's offended??

But yes; that is how many of them can react.

I've been attending SANON meetings for 4 years now. My H has been attending SA meetings for that same time. We also do a couples SANON meeting. So I've heard a lot of stories; stories from the betrayed; stories of the betrayers. The couples meetings are very enlightening.

Many of the men have said how they resisted finding out if they were SA; they resisted going to meetings. In many cases they only came after their spouses had drawn the line; set the boundary; set the consequence--doesn't really matter how it's phrased-bottom line is they came when their spouse said it was either that, that they find out and then do what they can to deal with it, do whatever they can to change into a decent human being and a trustworthy, wholesome partner or else no more marriage.

So each of us must figure out if we have any such condition, how much we will tolerate, what we feel they must do if we want to continue in the marriage.

Some people say that the betrayer, the possible SA must enter programs willingly, if they will recover; I've learned that that is not true. Many of the men I know have changed and they didn't start the work willingly as such; what they did want was the relationship.

Do hope you can come to peace with whatever you decide to do and Im sure whatever you decide is just the right decision for you. It's all very hard and very complicated. Thank goodness for SI :)

Marie1793 posted 10/3/2019 09:09 AM

I know it hurts and all the best to you and your husband.

My sah didn't really believe it till he went to a couple saa meetings. He saw that these people were just like him and thought yes i am a sex addict too.

You can help him and guide him but if he is not intetested, he is not going to change.
It is their recovery no matter how much we want to help.

We can only be responsible for our own recovery from the trauma from being betrayed and abused.

We can give them encouragement, information and our opinion but what they do with it is up to them.

We spent 5 years in In House Separation after DD and he acted out for those 5 years. Then I decided i wanted to end our marriage and that was when he admitted he wasnt happy and couldnt stop his behavior and wanted to change. That was about 2 years ago. Now he goes to saa meetings 3 times a week and is on step 4.

Married 30+

[This message edited by Marie1793 at 9:11 AM, October 3rd (Thursday)]

marji posted 10/3/2019 12:54 PM

MarieThank you so much for sharing this. Your story is very much like the ones I was describing in my post to 20 yrs. And yes, of course we can't make our partners do things--only they can do the doing-but sometimes they come to feel they need and want to do something when they realize and they fear that what's most important to them in life, when the realize the person that is most important to them, will no longer be there if they don't take steps toward recovery.

Helpful too that you said it was by going to the meetings that your H came to realize that he was an SA. Therapists who are well experienced working with SA advise someone who is unsure to attend several meetings as part of the discovery process. It's not "you're an SA so starting going to support meetings" or "you're not an SA so no need to go." Very typical advice is "attend six or more meetings and see if some of what you're hearing there sounds familiar."

Sounds like some of your H's walls are coming down and he's willing to do the hard work of recovery. Thank you for sharing your story here. The more we share, the more we can help others.

Arfaj posted 10/3/2019 17:39 PM

Hi guys,

Iím really struggling today. WH is in inpatient in a different state. They have a very long blackout period there. It officially ended today and he called to say that he wonít be coming home after. They are sending him directly to an intensive outpatient program after he finishes inpatient. He wonít be out for another two months after inpatient ends.

A lot has happened. Play therapist confirmed kids were not exposed to him acting out, only to the change in dynamic the aftermath brought at home. His therapists from inpatient check in with me weekly about his progress (no details, just a very general picture) and heís working hard and taking it seriously.

At this point all the anger is gone. Iím just horribly depressed and want him to come home to us. The kids are really struggling. But he wonít be home until sometime in January, and I have to go through the rest of this pregnancy and likely birth and recovery alone.

I just canít stop crying since the call. I canít get it together for the kidsó Iím trying. Playing with them, cooking, stories, itís all happening through tears right now. Iím kind of afraid to post in the main forums right now because Iím not sure how many two by fours I can take and everyone will just say to leave him, which had been my plan at one point. I donít have a real life support system outside of therapists. Heís always been my person.

I donít know what to do anymore.

Lionne posted 10/3/2019 20:49 PM

Arfaj, I'm so sorry this is happening to you. It sounds as though his therapist is recommending things that can bolster recovery. That doesn't help you, though. I hope you have a long list of support people.

SAs often don't believe they are addicts. And that clergyperson is woefully uneducated.

And even if they begin to accept the diagnosis they can still justify acting out behaviors that don't cross their self imposed line. My husband faithfully attended meeting, talked the talk and then proceeded to tell himself that (ugly deviant) porn was ok because I would never find out and it was a victimless offense.

Denial is a huge part of the addict's repertoire.

secondtime posted 10/4/2019 20:57 PM

My husband has never physically cheated. Porn and compulsive masturbation is his MO.

And, yes, he's watched porn once at work, and compulsively masturbated where ever there's a bathroom...work, restaurants...

My husband was also very slow to accept in his heart that he's an addict. Unfortunately, I had to learn that the hard way after his relapse..And, by slow, I mean...it took him a decade from his first appointment with a CSAT to embrace the fact that he's an addict.

We're 2.5 years out from DDay2, almost 13 years out from DDay1. There's a few things my husband still doesn't "get" despite "doing the work." One of the things, his toxic shame) will probably lead to another relapse.

Lionne posted 10/5/2019 08:57 AM

I apologize. I misread your post. Your priest may very well be right while his IC is incompetent/uneducated. Or, very likely, your H hasn't been honest with him. Or he's telling YOU what he wants you to hear.
The label, sex addict, is only useful to direct one to the treatment protocol that works (in some cases) If he's not willing to accept the label and work a program, he's never going to change.

Ifeelalone posted 10/6/2019 08:31 AM

My husband is almost four years into "recovery". It has been quite a struggle, but ultimately we are doing ok. But you guys, the stuff that comes out of their mouths is ridiculous. Yesterday, my daughter was reading a book out loud and one of the words was "vows". My husband asked her is she knew what it meant- to which she replied "a promise". He then goes on to tell her it's a "promise like when you get married, that you never break"... He said it all noble- like he was awesome... This man never kept his promise, cheated on me with anyone when we were dating and within 6 months of marriage. He also said "gay is the new straight" with some friends the other day....which when I asked him why he said that he just sort of said "gay people are everywhere now".... he was trolling Craigslist for blowjobs with men and thought threesomes were his jam...

Sometimes I just can't. It's like I am constantly analyzing everything he says and does- in a perpetual waiting to see when the other shoe will drop. I can't tell if my brain is in high alert or if there are real dangers.

Does this ever get better?

DestroyedWife80 posted 10/6/2019 20:34 PM


OMG! Mine does the same thing!!!! I want SOOOO badly to say something (I know it's not funny at ALL...but I guess it's fun to imagine SOME form of 'payback' by way of an amazing zinger)

Mine acts like he's the most saint-like husband ever with all the comments. AND he acts SO homophobic...UMMMMmmmmm Yeah mine was ALL over Craigslist looking for M4M hook ups also

Lionne posted 10/8/2019 20:36 PM

On stupid stuff they say...and think. It's no secret my H is less than an ideal recoveree. He relapsed several years ago with porn while I was feeling proud of him for his sobriety. I found out December 2018.

He's working with an IC that isn't a CSAT. I like the guy, he's familiar enough with SA and addiction to be useful. I go in with him from time to time if there is an issue.

I am requiring my H to give me feedback on his therapy and SA meetings. I stayed out of it completely for all those years and he was still using, unbeknownst to me. I know it won't prevent relapse, but I'm holding him accountable for participating in meetings rather than just occupying a chair. He takes notes, strives to leave the meeting with at least one specific takeaway. I actually think it is helping him.

BUT. He's saying the same things over and over and that is that addicts like him have no right being angry, that he expresses anger in inappropriate ways (he does, he reverts to lizard brain and says stupid things to me) But really!? He thinks he can somehow remove anger from his personality?! It's nuts. And not sustainable. I've asked him to discuss this with his IC.

My takeaway is that despite YEARS of recovery work, several ICs, lots and lots of conversation with me, he still has this warped way of thinking.

Is it me?

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