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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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DevastatedDee posted 1/10/2020 16:54 PM

I never got honesty about anything I didn't discover, so I just assume he was doing it the whole time with a whole lot of people. It's a safe-enough assumption.

marji posted 1/10/2020 17:13 PM

whoami-- Just wondering if you have been working with therapists who specialize in SA related issues and have a lot of experience with the process of disclosure. It's a very formal procedure that's best done with at least two therapists; one for each of the partners and sometimes a third person who works as a neutral intervener.

I know many of us go through several therapists in the effort to find the right one; and we should. This is a very difficult thing to deal with and many therapists, including those who have a certificate from the Carne's institute, are not necessarily specialists or have the right personality for the client. But eights tries is a lot. If your H is simply refusing to participate in the disclosure process, I guess there is little you can do short of making his participation your boundary; but if he is willing then working with someone who specializes in this should lead to an outcome. Are you and your H in SA related groups? Perhaps people there who have been through the process could recommend a good therapist.

Olwen1 posted 1/10/2020 17:39 PM

Whoami: oh man, that's awful! Regardless of what he is doing, I hope you've found someone to talk to. I'm worried about the therapy. There are very few CSAT or list any kind of specialty on SA near me.

Such a long time to wait for something that send so important for recovery and reconciliation.

WS told me his therapist is not familiar with SA and didn't really know what a disclosure process was... But still wants him to continue seeing her. I'm trying to just let him make his choices and watch so I can make my own decision. It's hard to not just tell him what to do.

Right now he says he is rewriting his disclosure because it's too long!? I asked him to keep it away from me until we have our plan on place to work through it... Instead I come home and he's taken over my bedroom. I'm getting so angry and it's not even registering. I guess I should be grateful he's writing anything though.

crazyblindsided posted 1/11/2020 10:24 AM

I never got honesty about anything I didn't discover, so I just assume he was doing it the whole time with a whole lot of people. It's a safe-enough assumption.

Yep same here. You have to fill in the blanks with the most likely scenario and looking back there were red flags of other acts of betrayal to our M I just didn't have enough proof. STBX lies when his lips move.

Ifeelalone posted 1/12/2020 12:18 PM

My husband came back home after his most recent affair. He fell in love with his nurse and he was her knight in shining armor. A totally different M.O. than before, but he agrees carries the same secrets and addictive behavior and sexting. Iím in the process of trying to read all of their text messages over their three week ordeal- he says he will get a copy of them from the phone carrier- we will see. I feel bad for her, even though I believe him that she initiated it and he had shit boundaries. Right after everything happened, my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that is going to end her life most likely. So I am back to surviving day by day and moment by moment. I need his help as I care for my mom- and I do really love him- even in all his dysfunctional thinking.

This played out more like an emotional affair that I read about on the boards. Should I contact the other betrayed spouse, knowing my husband is a sex addict and was her boss? I donít really want him to hurt us, and my husbands job is in a precarious situation because of this and financial things in his group that are out of his control. My therapist doesnít think I should say anything until after we divorce (if it heads down that path). Also, it does appear that the affair is over. And contrary to most addicts- he is being very helpful with my mom and kids. Iím so lost and lonely. Any advise? I feel sick.

whoami62 posted 1/12/2020 14:19 PM

whoami-- Just wondering if you have been working with therapists who specialize in SA related issues and have a lot of experience with the process of disclosure. It's a very formal procedure that's best done with at least two therapists; one for each of the partners and sometimes a third person who works as a neutral intervener.

Yes, we have been working with a team and H has been working towards it , but it isn't complete..for a reason that is out of his / their hands .

I know a lot of what happened and also have some insight , but I just wish this part of the healing was complete and we could move on.
We lost a lot of time when dealing with therapists who had no idea or not experienced and certified in SA therapy.

I do have faith in them , and my IC assures me that I am doing better. I spent a lot of time in a fog, and after the first Dday , just didn't deal with the reality as much as I do know.
It's like I am reacting NOW the way I feel that I * should have * in the very early days after learning about his affair

Delayed reaction if you will

thewalruswaspaul posted 1/12/2020 14:37 PM

My WS came to me and confessed he had a problem with porn, and he is the one who's largely been driving the conversations surrounding SA.

He was nervous to go to a 12 Step meeting, but he did go and it sounds like he was pleasantly surprised at how much he got out of it. He's had a couple sessions with a CSAT who recommended some books for him and is actively encouraging him to stick with SAA.

Where I'm having some trouble is that he is still incredibly reluctant about diving into some aspects of his past and his family history that may be contributing to the problem. He seems to think that his porn/sex addiction exists in a bubble. He acts like he can address it in isolation without examining the rest of his life.

I get it, therapy is tough, and men in particular aren't necessarily used to opening up in that way. But I need this from him. I need him to understand fully what went wrong and what he needs to do to overcome it.

He's making steps. For that I am grateful. But there just has to be more from him.

Also, there's still a part of me that doesn't believe it's over. But I don't think that will ever go away. No matter how much proof I get, no matter how often I check.

secondtime posted 1/12/2020 23:00 PM


How long has your WS been working his recovery? A month?

Gently, that's not enough, for your WS to have time to adequately address his addiction AND have his FOO figured out.

SA takes a long, long time to work through.

I'm 13 years out from DDay1 (As of feb, 20) and almost years out from DDay2 (March of 17).

It took my husband a decade to really, really accept the fact that he is an addict. Despite faithfully "doing the work" the first time.

I think he's at a point now, where he's figured out how he needs to manage his addiction for long-term sobriety. My husband is seeing a therapist, again, to work out the emotional stuff.

I found after DDay1, it took me 18 months to decide that I'd give it another go with my husband, and I trusted him as much as I could about the 3 year mark, which is when he started slipping.

I'm not sure, this time, what the outcome will be. I only check once in a blue moon. But, realistically, it doesn't matter because I'll never get direct access to my husband's brain. There's no way, ever for me to know what he's really thinking.

The best thing you can do, rather than focus on your WS is focus on yourself. This new information is quite a lot to take in and process. You might take some time to think about what sorts of boundaries you might have, and whether or not it's possible to be able to adhere to them. Have you found any support as a partner? What can you do to invest in yourself, if nothing else, so that you can have a mental break from all of this.

DashboardMadonna posted 1/13/2020 03:48 AM

Hi everyone catching up....

Not going to lie, I'm a bit triggered by the thread geared toward BHs and sex... here we go again;" gender role bullshit"...such a trainwreck.

Essentially, the same ol' martyrdom that betrayed men are more hurt, in terms of sex...yadda yadda yadda.... meanwhile here SA wives are just watching the shit show unfold...I had to back away, the ignorance is no bueno.

As we all agree, any and every type of cheating is awful, but to assume the opposite sex is one way is just neanderthal, at this point. Meanwhile, statistics (facts) have turned it all on its head...both sides equally cheat, for the same reasons...circling back to a lack of self esteem. Ironically their WW place it to the same level of importance. Some insist on making more complicated than it already is...

One even went further to say how the need to essentially get over being ignored sexually...essentially dont take it personally, while throwing a side of God in there...lordy lordy looooord.

Narcissists can be betrayed too, just going to throw that out there. Makes you wonder if some of them are just pissed that their spouses did it first. They are literally ranting about how they are entitled to their spouses bodies (some mentioned ownership. WTF?) and sex. Hello, power...meet control.

While I cant speak for everyone, demanding sex tends to turn one off, literally. Infact, I would have to morph myself into something completely different (and younger), to have him "rise" to the occasion... I'm done feeling humiliated in the bedroom....I guess some are turned on by that?! Kind of sadomasochistic, if you ask me.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 4:05 AM, January 13th (Monday)]

DashboardMadonna posted 1/13/2020 04:15 AM

Olwen1 and thewalrus....EVERYONE WELCOME!
sorry you're here and I wanted to say be leery of the disclosure he deems as "too long"...
Red flag...what he means to say is that he probably wont disclose much at all...to do so means you would probably kick him to the curb.

I doubt many of us (myself included) know the entire "truth"... it's an edited version, where they claim amnesia, as you find out more. The truth tends to change and turn along the way...its hell. I persoanlly cant take it anymore.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 4:18 AM, January 13th (Monday)]

thewalruswaspaul posted 1/13/2020 07:10 AM

-secondtime: My WS has only just started. I completely agree that it's going to take him a good, long time for him to get real answers as to what's driving this and how he can manage it. I guess I'm just frustrated that he seems SO reluctant to even get started. All this talk about how he'll do whatever it takes to heal our relationship, but it's apparently a "waste of time" for him to explore his family and his past with a therapist.

I've been in therapy for completely unrelated reasons for almost a decade. Sometimes it feels like he believes that functional people shouldn't need therapy. But he did this to us! He did this to me and he claims he has no idea why. How is that functional?

I have laid out my boundaries, and in a lot of ways they aren't as strict as what his CSAT is prescribing. Ex: I actually don't have a problem with porn in general, but the secret collection of women from Instagram and Reddit (and Tinder :/) was not okay for me. Watching cam girls also crossed a line. My WS and his CSAT both think total abstinence from all porn or NSFW social media is necessary, so I'm going to support him in that.

I got to spend a lot of time with my family and friends back in my home town over the holidays, which was a fantastic brain reset. Definitely drank more wine over the course of five days than I have in the preceding month but most of it was in celebration. Only one tipsy cry-a-thon.

Olwen1 posted 1/13/2020 08:01 AM

thewalruswaspaul: Seems like we have some similarities in DDays and stories.. though mine was the other way around, found the EA first then the porn, chatrooms, etc. I'm sorry you are here. I really hope that your WS will start taking the lead on recovering. Until then, all you can do is work on yourself. It's great you already have a therapist you work with, I could see that being helpful since they already know your background. Others with experience I'm sure will chime in soon with more advice, but I thought I'd reach out and hope we can stay in touch as you heal.

DashboardMadonna: I think it might actually have been me that deemed it too long.. but more too long as in I don't need a novel, I asked for the facts. He is writing a novel. Same time, I told him to keep writing it and we should both talk to counselors and come up with an actual plan around this disclosure. So far he is open to is and is open to a Poly. I think he is owning what he did and his SA for the most part, but it's also new and I think I am really concerned that he will not give me a full disclosure.. it sounds like from others this is likely. It's horrible to know that more information could always be lurking.

My biggest trouble is trying to focus on me.. I didn't realize.. or maybe I didn't care before that my life and his was so intertwined.. but obviously now that is a big issue. Living somewhere without a support system is making this a lot harder.

I have an appointment with a counselor and APSATS coach this week and hoping I can find someone that can help guide me on rebuilding my life.

thewalruswaspaul posted 1/13/2020 09:05 AM

Olwen: I'm sorry I'm here too. Better now than after a marriage, kids, etc. I promised him and myself that I'd give reconciliation one really good shot. I know I'd regret it if I didn't. I've been reading, going to therapy, watching lectures, journaling, etc almost non-stop since Dday. Gathering information and outside perspective soothes me, somehow.

We've had a few couples counseling sessions but I haven't found them to be all that helpful. I'm wondering if it's something better left for later on, after most of the dust has settled.

Olwen1 posted 1/13/2020 09:36 AM

I promised him and myself that I'd give reconciliation one really good shot. I know I'd regret it if I didn't.

I feel exactly the same way. I don't know if I will be able to reconcile or not, but I do feel like I would always wonder if I just walked away. I think especially because there is addiction involved. That said, SA is for my WS to deal with. I can't do anything there and really he also needs to lead the way in healing for our relationship. It's hard to sit back, but I know it's best.

I had read a lot about MC needing to come a ways down after you heal individually. I'd be curious how others dealt with these steps at the beginning? What did you do first and would you have done it differently looking back?

Something I read/heard that I made note of and I believe - WS needs to get sober and the BS needs to recover. Then you can start to look at potential reconciliation. So I say I am trying reconciliation, but really I guess I am figuring out recovery and looking for WS to take the lead on the rest.

One thing for me that I struggle with is that I don't feel as "shattered" as so many people talk about. Maybe I went numb instead of floods of emotion. But I feel like my reactions so far are not normal.

thewalruswaspaul posted 1/13/2020 10:11 AM

Olwen: I honestly think my WS should have been in therapy a long time ago due to his family circumstances and other issues that aren't directly related to his SA behavior (but they obviously contributed in some fashion). It sucks that his infidelity and the threat of losing our relationship has to be the catalyst that pushes him to think about it, but that's the way life goes.

One thing for me that I struggle with is that I don't feel as "shattered" as so many people talk about. Maybe I went numb instead of floods of emotion. But I feel like my reactions so far are not normal.

On DDay 1 I was an unhinged mess. Like, full on banshee-screaming and sobbing in our apartment while I was going through his Tinder profile and his secret porn collection. I had to get a hotel room, I didn't want to be in the same zip code as him. After a day or two I calmed down, and honestly since then I haven't had a reaction that comes close. Bad days, of course, but they're calmer, quieter. Even on DDay 2 when I confronted him about his EA, I didn't feel that same kind of deep spiral and loss of control. I don't even think I cried. Maybe it is numbness. Or relief that it's actually there and I'm not going crazy or paranoid.

secondtime posted 1/13/2020 12:28 PM

My husband and I have never gone to couples counseling.

The first round, him just fixing himself was actually quite enough. And me fixing myself.

The problem with the second round, is that I have no idea how to start trusting him. My husband still lied to me all while being present, involved, etc.

I also believe transparency isn't a way to rebuild trust. In order to verify, I would have to quit my job and following DH around 24/7, including into bathrooms. That's simply not possible. Or desirable.

I think at some point, we'll need therapy if I'm going to give the marriage another go.

Right now, I'm only committing to limbo for the next few years.
I haven't decided yet, which is worse, trying MC or separating.

Also, Walrus, you can't make someone deal with their FOO issues until they were ready. In my case, I had to be ready to lose the relationship with my parents. Grieving the death of a relationship while everyone is still alive...it's a weird thing. I don't know how much experience you have with that...but if you don't, it's actually pretty hard. Had my husband pushed me to deal with my parents before I was ready too..well, I would have thought long and hard about our relationship.

Also, please realize, your SO is still likely thinking and talking like an addict. Let him deal with his recovery. Your job is to sit back, watch and listen...and then assess your risks and make a decision on how to proceed.

[This message edited by secondtime at 12:30 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

Olwen1 posted 1/13/2020 12:40 PM

secondtime: Appreciate you sharing this. I agree about the transparency. Even though I am definitely being hyper vigilant right now. I am already having to come to terms that I can't be 100% sure. Even if I could quit my job and follow him around, if someone wants to do something, they will find a way. Funny how you mention the bathroom. I was shocked to learn how much of his acting out is happening in the bathroom. I used to always comment that he took too long, seemed to have to go way too often... Ugh... now looking back... UGH

I don't know how I will handle anything happening after this. Secondtime, have you established boundaries with WS? I'm really hoping my upcoming counseling and coaching sessions can help me with this one. I feel like holding someone accountable to boundaries is going to be such a struggle for me. Especially when I don't even understand the magnitude of SA yet.

Question for anyone - Are there any groups out there you've found helpful? I haven't found much. A COSA one, but I really worry about how they approach this. I don't buy into co-addict and 12 step personally.

thewalruswaspaul posted 1/13/2020 13:44 PM

secondtime: For my WS, his parents weren't outright abusive towards him, but his father was emotionally absent for most of his childhood and could be verbally cruel towards his mother - his dad of course having his own issues he never dealt with. The overall dynamic in his household was tense and dysfunctional. Not necessarily anything to cut off a relationship over. But something he should address before he uses that pain to act out again.

I did go through my own process of dealing with FOO issues - my mother was volatile, perfectionistic and authoritarian with me and needed me to live up to her particular rigid standards or there would be a meltdown. I was terrified of her as a kid. Now that I'm an adult, we actually have a wonderful relationship. My therapy was focused on recognizing that my mother loved me, wanted to do the best she could for me, and still did things that hurt me. That it was okay for me to empathize with her and love her while also holding her accountable for her behavior so that I'd stop blaming myself. She went to therapy too, though I didn't know that until after I graduated high school. I'm grateful that my younger siblings had a different experience of her.

I know I need to focus on myself and my own healing. But it is so frustrating to see my WS be reluctant and slow at every step of his own therapeutic process. Reluctant to see a CSAT, reluctant to go to a SLAA meeting, reluctant to read the book his therapist recommended, reluctant to start journaling, there's this defensiveness of "well I'm not as bad as those guys, all this therapy is overkill." He got us into this mess!

DashboardMadonna posted 1/13/2020 14:11 PM


I dont blame you about the polly (I thought about it, at first too)... It is my understanding that there are only few questions they ask... the thing with that, is that a lot of these SA "men" have spent a lifetime compartmentalizing, minimizing, gaslighting and manipulating...very cool, calm and collected in terms of emotions (no empathy)...to the point of being psychopathic in nature. I haven't any doubt that a lot of them (my husband included) could pass a polly. Not trying to scare anyone, just something to keep in mind. As time goes on, you begin to realize the lengths/hoops they had to jump through just to keep the amount of porn, a secret. Mine still swear his porn was only twice a week...ohhh sure... theres a lot of shame in the fact that they cant keep their hands off their dicks... do I laugh or do I cry?!


Girl, dont feel bad...on DD, I kicked his ass. There was soooo much spousal abuse leading up to DD... the sexual neglect...the mind games...I felt like I was the one being attacked and essentially I was, on every level... I hated him and wished him dead....now I just want out. Hes blowing himself up nicely, he doesnt need my help.

Something I want to tell all that are fresh from DD- do not accept reconciliation unless/until he is remorseful.... Sadly, I dont believe any of them ever truly are. It requires empathy and realistically, if they processed an ounce of that (on an emotional level) we wouldn't be here.

I also want to stress not going to an MC (made that mistake)...SAs are very good at manipulating councelors into rugsweeping and the majority of MCs are not formally trained in dealing with infedelity, let alone SA... most BS across the board learned that the hard way. There may be a rare story, but based on my own experience and what I've seen in message boards, it's a unicorn.

My SA and I went to two MCs...the manipulation and rugsweeping was surreal. It gave me such a bad taste in my mouth that I refused to go back to counceling (been in counceling for depression for years) until I had a moment of clarity and decided to file.

I do agree, that any and BSs need to work on themselves and heal....that doesnt always mean counceling and healing isnt linear. My thoughts are that upon the discovery of an SA, they should be addressed as abuse victims and councelors should inform them of such... for some of us, the programming to serve goes very deep...rooting in childhood and it needs to be addressed. If in deciding to stay in the marriage, the SA victim needs to have enough introspection to decide why it is they're staying.

These men are very much about power, money and control (where the prostitutes come in) and so a lot of us are financially crippled (myself included) and it's that much harder to see an escape....along with the subtle programming that keeps the victim feeling like less or stupid.

In terms of the SA getting "better", there is no such thing...better at hiding it, typically. If they are caught falling off the wagon, odds are that they were never on it to begin with. They might go to SA 12 step meeting/counceling, but I believe a lot of it is for show...my STBX is no exception.

These are all things to consider. Not trying to sway anyone and I dont blame anyone for staying, but I do hope everyone manages to find a way out, at some point.Everyone here deserves so much better and a lot of us have been isolated from having any personal support system or example of what healthy relationships look like.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 2:39 PM, January 13th (Monday)]

ashestophoenix posted 1/13/2020 18:29 PM

I've been in MC for the past five years. Longest couple in my MC's practice. That tells you something. I don't recommend it UNTIL your partner is very sober. We started long before my partner was sober, but he was in IC and 12 step. The good news is that my MC has lots of experience with SA and knew how to deal with my SAH. He has also been very supportive to me.

What I can say is how ambivalent I am at being there. My MC has been very helpful to me and if I decide to file, he would be helpful in a divorce process. But I think my MC is unique. My prior MC's did a lot of damage to me. My SAH completely fooled them. Not my current MC. My SAH can't get anything by him.

So it's risky to start MC.

I also agree they MUST deal with their FOO issues. If they aren't character disordered, and are acting out of their childhood trauma, then they MUST get therapy or they will relapse. I have no doubt about that at all.

My husband took a year at weekly IC, weekly 12 step, weekly MC, and weekly group therapy to accept he was an addict. He really didn't get serious about his FOO issues until about year five. And he had to switch therapists to get one who could help him. He sees a trauma therapist and in the last year he has done more personal growth than in all the decades I've known him.

It's a long haul. They need skilled therapy. They also MUST keep up with 12 step and other recovery programs. Meditation group has been a big source of help to my SAH. I can tell the days he meditates and the days he doesn't.

That said, they are truly a mess. It will take years of therapy for my SAH to grow up and to learn adult relational skills. He's 76. I don't see it happening.

That said, he's much easier to live with. He's kinder and he's devoted to me in his own immature, half assed way. I just don't love him and love doesn't seem to be returning.

I found it hard to focus on me at first. IC with a trauma therapist really helped me. My IC has had some experience with SA, but not much. She has lots of trauma experience, though, and that has really helped me. IC has helped me to focus on me. I also took baby steps at first. It helped to travel by myself. It helped to do things on my own I hadn't done in years. What really helped was to act like I wasn't married. Not that I went out and dated, but that I just did what I wanted when I wanted. That was liberating.

It was slow. It was hard. But I am so much happier than I used to be. I still don't trust my SAH and I have trouble trusting men in general. But I keep at IC and continuing to focus on me.


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