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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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crazyblindsided posted 1/29/2020 12:05 PM

Now he keeps saying your always say No to me, I donít drink, I go to work every day, ect. This is all I ask for.
(Heís asking for sexting, pictures, sex talks during sex, ect.. when we do have sex, sex is never enough he needs more to get off)

This is how sex went down in my M too. He really made sex ugly for me. I didn't think it was possible to feel repulsed by your H in this way. Sex was never loving or normal he always had to ramp it up with some fetish or as you said request for dirty talk to get off. I would become instantly turned off as soon as the words left his lips. For a sexual abuse survivor being with a sex addict has been like crawling over broken glass.

Countrygirl10 posted 1/29/2020 18:28 PM

Thank you all for the advice,perspective.
I continue to stick to my boundries. Itís hard . Reading itís ok and can be a relief if I break at times. I really needed to read that.

The last few days have been hard Mainly because he isnít a bad person, but this one part of him tears me down.
Monogamy isnít hard !!

idabel posted 1/29/2020 20:19 PM

why do I feel that the hurt needs to continue to leave as opposed to recognizing that the hurt caused is reason enough to leave...

Somber, I felt this. My counselor just today asked me what else he would have to do to cause me to just leave.

In our last MC session, my stbx stated that his messaging other women started on Instagram in April. Tonight I got on his phone & looked at the app history to see that he started this nonsense two years ago, in 1/2018. There was Kik, WhatsApp, plus several VPN apps, video chatting apps, etc. And that's just on his iPhone, prior to 1/2018 he had an Android for 6 years and that history has all been deleted.

Our divorce will be final in less than two weeks, on 2/11. I have told him to go to his 12-step program, Celebrate Recovery, and get better. That we'll see where he is when I'm ready to date again in 3-6 months.

I'm feeling more and more like I'm going to be just done. I didn't sign up to marry an addict, if I really thought there was a high chance of his recovery being permanent I would feel better about another chance.

Has anyone tried EMDR therapy for dealing with the PTSD/anxiety symptoms of constantly dealing with their lies, gaslighting & manipulations? I'm thinking of trying, our MC does it.

Superesse posted 1/29/2020 21:23 PM

idabel, I am glad to know you have some supportive counselor on tap. So far, his stories are unfolding "as per normal" and sorry but you will continue to discover lies, lies, and more lies.

You are a LESS THAN A BLESSED 2 WEEKS from being legally FREE of this insanity, right?

Keep Calm and Carry On, Baby!

But as to EMDR, supposedly it had helped many spouses of this kind of sexual betrayal, yet I don't know what would be the best time for you to try it. That is something I would run by your counselor strictly in a one-to-one meeting or call - you hear me? NOT more MC! - about the wisdom of your starting trama therapy JUST NOW, versus waiting a couple weeks until after all the legal papers are signed. I'd just hate for your therapy to somehow stall what sounds like a clean-cut opportunity you have to get legally FREE of this man!

The FIRST priority in trauma recovery is to GET SAFE!

If he's anything like serious about his own mental health issues, he won't drop off the face of the earth, and you will have plenty time to delve into healing from the trauma he had no problem inflicting upon you, but please just do that healing at a safe distance.

I say this because I would hate it if, in his guilt, he played those well-known "sympathy games" with your woundedness. Hate to say this, but there are many threads right here on SI about what these guys tend to act like, once they perceive us really in pain and struggling from their sex addiction! Hell, they love to see us suffer...we are the Virtuous, Long-Suffering Good Girl (Madonna) versus the Animalistic, Good-Time Slut (Whore). They need BOTH type women in their life, so don't BE either "type" and just GET FREE! A super hard lesson I had to learn!

Somber posted 1/30/2020 08:30 AM

The only true answer is to take his feelings out of the equation completely and focus on yourself and what you want your life to be

DevastatedDee, darn this is hard to do somehow.
If I did remove his feelings, I would like to think my first reaction would be to leave. My second reaction would be to think how that would look and how it would affect the kids, my third reaction would be feeling empathy towards his victim playing while noting his minor efforts and wonder if there is hope for change and a chance to keep our family together. So at a quick glance for an answer if there was no family and my decision affected only him and I, I would leave.

I have a lot to think about!!

My counselor just today asked me what else he would have to do to cause me to just leave
Isabel, my therapist will likely ask me the same thing...
And yes if there was a way to know that permanent change is possible then it would be easier to try once again....but more and more we hear that there will be slips, itís a lifetime problem, there is no 100%chance of recovery and recovery takes daily work! Itís not like substance abuse (something I am also dealing with), we canít visually note that these behaviours arenít happening...instead we rely on their word which has been proven to be untrustworthy time and time again.

Itís tough....

Lifeexploded posted 1/30/2020 09:12 AM

Congratulations on your upcoming divorce idabel!

A little off topic but I was thinking about something our marriage counselor/his CSAT and sawh used to say to me. We don't see her anymore for various reasons, but I digress. When I would question about how could he do these things while he claimed to love me, she and sawh would both say that he kept them a secret from me because he loved me and didn't want to hurt me. Am I nuts or is that complete bullshit? I'm starting to think I was being gaslighted by her too which is ludicrous because she is an SA partner also. The more and more I think about it, this whole thing is just completely stupid. Why did I ever think this would work out?

Superesse posted 1/30/2020 11:03 AM

Uh....Lifexploded, hope you didn't have to spend too much money on that kind of counselor. Of course it's bullshit, what she was feeding you.

Love is a verb. And vows to be "faithful to the one you love" mean something. Having a wife AND side sexual outlets you don't want wife to find out about - because if she found out, you'd have to toe the line or be single again - isn't our definition of love, in this culture! Goodness, what do they teach these people in school?

As Dashboard Madonna (love that name!) and I posted to idabel, they are doing the Madonna-Whore splitting. So, I think saying they love you too much to be honest, is "their idea of the truth." But no, such "love" illustrates the cracked foundations of their personality!

For a sex addict to love us as they claim they do, we (a) must never truly see them for who they are and (b) they must have that side sex, in order to put us on some Pedestal of Purity we never asked them to be put on! Is that F'd up? You bet it is. Right out of Sigmund Freud's primitive defense handbook of mechanisms and it's known as "Splitting." It's a Borderline PD symptom, too.

People who split others into components or "objects" are thought to have gotten stuck emotionally during their first year of life. They were the baby who somehow never learned the basics: Good Mommy versus Bad Mommy = still the Same Mommy! Researchers have theorized that when the mother leaves her baby, she becomes "bad Mommy" until she comes back and reconnects with the infant. So for a time, they think a baby concludes there are 2 Mommies! The Mommy who loves them and holds them just cannot be the same Mommy who leaves them stuck in their crib for hours, unattended, can she? Well, most infants supposedly learn that no, Good Mommy is still the same Mommy, even when she is in the other part of the house!

How does all this psychoanalytic B.S. translate to us? What does it mean for us? Well, it means a sex addict carried an infant concept of "intimate love" right forward from then on, unchanged! Complete with their infant desires for total need satisfaction. Which is why we, as adult females, can only have one of two functions in their world view, and since they married us to be SEXUAL with us - the definition of a consummated marriage is sexual union - they quickly turn "married sex" into the same category as their primitive, flawed Good Mommy concept of a woman (us, now!) maybe because we feed them, who knows, and they view "side sex" as them fulfulling their own need for instant ego gratification (or revenge, like mine did, acting out to "show Mommy!) They do this even when we've had sex with them earlier the same day! So it isn't a physical problem they have...it's between their ears.

Do you see why this sex addiction therapy and IC work takes them years and years? They have to go back to the crib and start over, emotionally.

[This message edited by Superesse at 11:06 AM, January 30th (Thursday)]

Lionne posted 1/30/2020 12:57 PM

Do you see why this sex addiction therapy and IC work takes them years and years? They have to go back to the crib and start over, emotionally.

Amen. I've been on this journey too long, since 2009, before Tiger Woods and "sex addict" became household terms. I've been here through some sobriety and through discovery that the sobriety was only in my perception. I am of the mind that they NEVER stop obsessing about sex.

I found a small piece of paper with doodling on it. I don't exactly know why, but it was erotic, roundness and shadows, etc. I place it on the counter and it disappeared. This is a guy who leave stuff all over the house, junk mail gets opened and the detritus remains on the counter. So I know he saw it and he KNOWS I saw it. I have to emphasize that there was nothing graphic. But I believe it was a manifestation of his fantasizing brain. I don't really care.
But the ridiculous thing is that I also think of sex. I look at couples and wonder if they have an active sex life. I mean, I don't fantasize about it, and am certainly not turned on by the thought, I just wonder. I guess that's the result of being cheated out of a normal sex life.
If you are staying, I think it's important to understand that addiction is a lifelong condition. People can learn to be sober, and simply by keeping away from the drug of choice isn't sobriety, but they will always have a degree of NOT normal functioning. My husband hasn't cheated physically since 2002ish, unless you count strip clubs, I do, that's since 2009. But he's relapsed back to porn, is apparently sober for a little time, I no longer keep track of it.
If I had been younger I'd not still be here.
Hugs to everyone. You are all heroes.

Lifeexploded posted 1/31/2020 08:27 AM

Superesse, we saw her for about a year maybe. She helped me to see that I don't want to be like her. In so many of the treatment models I see abuse of the partner. Don't get me started on the codependent model. She definitely knew much more than any other counselor we have been to but there was a limit and of course if the sa isn't willing to do the work there's only so much the csat can do. Her ability to help me was limited.

Lionne, I do that too. I look at couples that we know and I wonder if they are happy. I wonder if their marriages have been scarred by infidelity and I wonder if they are able to have healthy and romantic sex. I hope they do. I don't fantasize about them or imagine them having sex at all. It's just a result of my eyes being opened to the filthy secrets and pain that many people are hiding.

idabel posted 1/31/2020 16:50 PM

So, I had somewhat of an epiphany today. I was (& still am) having a good day. Itís Friday so I only had to work 8am to noon, & was very productive at work.

Picked up my 20 year old daughter to have lunch and afterwards we went and got some Baby Yoda donuts! Too cute!

Anyway, stbx calls on his way home from work and is all maudlin and depressed. Saying how everything bad in his life started two and a half years ago or so and he just doesnít understand why. Panic and anxiety attacks, worsening health, etc., plus what heís done to us.

I just realized that his mental health is not my responsibility, that I am only responsible for mine. I canít do anything to help him except listen and make suggestions, which I did.

I am not going to let him drag me down either.

NoMoreRugSweepin posted 1/31/2020 18:20 PM

Idabel I used to suck up so much stuff hoping it would help my SA but nope. I can't control him. Lead a horse to water.

I had a break down when I got home this evening. He always put everyone before me and our child. I'm struggling now tonight.

DashboardMadonna posted 2/2/2020 00:15 AM


I had about 2 or 3 sessions of EMDR, so it's too soon to tell 8f it's working. I'm literally in the beginning stages. The first meetings are like a lot of other psych therapy sessions. She asks questions like "can you picture someone nurturing and who would that be?" Honesly, I cant....I dont know who that would be...never received and don't know what it looks like. I tried to be what I perceived it was, in terms of raising my son. I know it to be unconditional and I do try to Express that. In saying this, i feel like she would be someone like Betty White...she seems so sweet and kind...but cusses, a lot...like me 😂
Anyway, questions, like that are precursors to digging deeper basically you're creating a safe place to go to, when the therapist has you regress to horrible and hurtful times. It is also a coping skill to help disassociate horrible feelings, when they arise outside of therapy. Those are to be replaced with these positive images/feelings.
The therapist also gave me a choice of the traditional slapping of the knees or small vibrating hand paddles. I chose the latter, I have a very large comfort zone...the knee slap was too close and would be distracting, for me.
At this point, I'm open to anything...im tired of drug therapy...I feel as though I'm taking meds to tolerate others abuse...I wonder how many other people have come to that conclusion. Some of us are dealt a shitty hand.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 12:26 AM, February 2nd (Sunday)]

Somber posted 2/5/2020 07:51 AM

No one can ever relate to me but the ones on here struggling through similar stories.

My husband is trying to do good but it always raises my suspicions. I have seen him be kind to me at the same time as acting out. So I checked his Instagram, something I thought I was done with. I found nothing new.
For curiosity I clicked on my cousins name and messages and a long thread of messages from last spring were still there that I thought had been deleted. They both deny a PA but these messages would strongly suggest otherwise. There was even a time to meet and a response of Iíll be there in 5 minutes....
I am sick to my stomach, this is a double betrayal that I wished to not be true. It feels like it hurts all over again for the first time. I have suffered trickle truth long enough, no full disclosure! So I fear, even if I ever chose to stay (for children and finances) then I would always have that bandaid ripped off with new bits of information over the years...

I am venting but to those that can relate as the rest of my support system donít really get it...itís a special kind of infidelity when faced with addictions.

Lifeexploded posted 2/5/2020 08:35 AM

I am so sorry. I know how painful double betrayal is.

Does she know that you know about this?

Whatever you decide to do, we are here for you.

whoami62 posted 2/5/2020 09:08 AM

I too had more than one Dday and still don't have a full disclosure ( but he has been working on it in great detail with his IC and has a legit reason for the delay )

I think it's typical to only confess to as little as possible and they do not understand that it is much more painful and detrimental for healing when the information comes in drips

There is a lot of denial when sex addiction gets thrown into the mix , IMO.

My SAWH didn't think his EA and financial infidelity was cheating , but now he understands it, is remorseful and paying the price because he has lost my trust.

Does your H work with a CSAT ? This was the only thing that has helped mine to be treated and begin to heal himself.

I hope this will give you some hope that yours can get help and then begin to heal your marriage too

Somber posted 2/5/2020 09:18 AM

Thank you for your responses.

Yes she knows I know and is oh so sorry. I would confide in her and share my marriage struggles, she pretended to show care and concern while carrying on with my husband. Her and I were very close! Our families shared every holiday together as well since we were children. It changes so much of our family dynamics. Itís sickening. Itís the lies, gaslighting, manipulation that hurt so deeply.

My husband is potentially starting a 12 week program for SA through a mental health organization. He has seen a few therapists. Others he calls and say they wonít accept him 🤷🏻‍♀️ Of two he was recommended, one would only accept spouses of SA at that time, another was a couples therapist. He blamed me for that one not accepting him because I wasnít ready to do couples therapy. He has been to rehab and an outpatient Center for addictions...he must have been given more resources. He does really need it but I canít force that on him. I think he would go to couples therapy first. Every time I suggest a separation he throws it in my face that we havenít even tried couples therapy...
We have though, the first time he started an affair while we were in therapy, the second one he felt attacked and afterwards got drunk and we never went back.

[This message edited by Somber at 9:21 AM, February 5th (Wednesday)]

Somber posted 2/5/2020 09:19 AM

they do not understand that it is much more painful and detrimental for healing when the information comes in drips

So true!!

DevastatedDee posted 2/5/2020 09:43 AM

Every time I suggest a separation he throws it in my face that we havenít even tried couples therapy...

WTF do you need couples therapy for? In all seriousness?

Somber, I desperately hope that one day you know life without this layer of toxic bullshit weighing you down. This is taking years from your life.

Really, what is couples counseling supposed to fix? Is it his hope that there's a way for you to feel better about him being a serial cheater who slept with your cousin? Because you know, there isn't a way to make that okay with any therapist in the room. What kind of lobotomy is he hoping you'll get so that you'll not care when you find out over and over and over about yet another infidelity?

You don't need his permission to separate from him. You don't need to meet his goals to separate from him. You can just separate from him because you WANT to separate from him. Everything has always been about his needs and wants. It is your turn, Somber. It is your turn to do what you need and want. To take care of you.

Now, if you want to stay in this marriage, then maybe you do need a magic therapist to make it okay with you that he's going to be a selfish addict and cheat on you. Is it worth that? You can't have the healthy marriage you wanted and that's not your fault. You can't have it with him. It's not an option on the table. Your options are this bullshit that you keep suffering through or literally anything else in the world that you want to experience.

Superesse posted 2/5/2020 10:03 AM

Somber, I just logged on to say something to you about this MC idea, but Dee just gave us concrete examples of why MC wouldn't even work!

Maybe ashestophoenix will reply here, because she had the experience of trying MC before her SAWH was ready to do the work on himself, and said often that it was a disaster. Same here.

The victimized faithful spouse ends up being used by the therapy process as if they are a secondary concern to the primary problem the therapist sees, which is working on the Addict, and you will be expected to allow for the Addict's weaknesses, one way or the other, throughout the therapy. It's even worse when a MC treats you as both being at an equal level of responsibility for whatever is broken in your marriage.

Obviously, either approach in MC is a recipe for further abuse of the BS, and demands by him for you to "try it" is also the Addict trying to blameshift responsibility for his screwing up your marriage onto you. Sort of the same as saying YOU must share the work HE needs to do! Like Mom, you know; if he is like mine, his mother probably hovered over him "helping" him with his difficult homework when he was a kid.

But I hope you can find some good IC for yourself, because regardless of the outcome of your marriage, this betrayal by a family member is something you will need support with! It would seem to me to be easier for your relationship with her in the future, if you and the Addict had gone your separate ways. The problem started with him, but still, it doesn't excuse her betraying you, either. So sorry.

[This message edited by Superesse at 10:08 AM, February 5th (Wednesday)]

Somber posted 2/5/2020 11:10 AM

I have taken advice on here about MC and avoiding it until both partners have done their own IC. My brief time spent in MC, both times I felt like it was about sharing the blame, accepting that it wasnít about me and to not take it personal. It pushed for communication, trying to connect with each other, etc. In no way were we ready for that kind of a leap. In no way were the real issues discussed. It was about salvaging the marriage despite the active addictions. It was about looking at my part in it. It supported the rug sweeping and acceptance of what has happened and move forward...

I donít plan to go back, especially with an active addict. He is still drinking in moderation as I am sure he is still teasing his SA as well.

You don't need his permission to separate from him. You don't need to meet his goals to separate from him

Thanks for this, I needed to read this. Iím not sure why I let him convince me otherwise.

Thanks Dee, your perspective is always raw and honest. Itís so true, MC canít fix this. Only he can and he hasnít and Iím
not sure it will make any difference now if he did. The extensive damage is done. All family gatherings forever changed. Itís too much to get over, process or accept has happened.

Thanks Superesse,

The victimized faithful spouse ends up being used by the therapy process as if they are a secondary concern...

Yes that is how it felt when I did attend MC.

demands by him for you to "try it" is also the Addict trying to blameshift responsibility for his screwing up your marriage onto you.

I never see it this way, I always end up wondering if I have done enough to save our marriage, tried enough, supported him to change enough, etc. Not sure why I feel like I m responsible for the brunt of the work?!?

I do have a newer IC who specializes in betrayal trauma and whose spouse was a SA. Not sure if this allows the opportunity for her to project but I do feel more validated and heard by her. She seems to understand deeper what I am going through as she experienced it herself. She also suggested a program for my spouse and I passed that info along to him.

I donít think I can ever forgive and trust after this, either of them! Itís permanent damage for sure. I am always feeling like a casualty in his war against himself...

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