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I Can Relate :
Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

Topic is Sleeping.

Somber ( member #66544) posted at 4:07 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

My sawh is an alcoholic in addition to sa.

Mine too! It is such a lonely place to be...they are always the victim!

I relate with so many of these recent posts!! Sending you all strength!

We had a difficult time family camping, first time without booze. This enhanced my WH SA as he constantly tried to grab me, rub me, initiate sex. I turned him down then he became moody and irritable to myself and our kids. He would eventually come around by try again the next night. Obviously not respecting my boundaries or inability to feel safe and secure to want to have sex with him.

We discussed this since being back, he is now love bombing me. It feels good. He is likely manipulating me too with the kids saying he wants us to work it out for them. That hope is what I have clung to for years! Who wants to disrupt their kids lives!!! No one! With a 6 and 7 year old who love their parents, home and family it breaks my heart if/when we would separate. This perhaps is a cycle in our lovely emotional

Abusive marriage...I’m trying to see it like that and stay grounded! Otherwise I may just rugsweep and let him sweep me off my feet again only to be here again later!!

One of you mentioned feeling awful about sleeping with your SA. Don’t be so hard on yourself, they are damn good manipulators. I have done that many times before or have stood there while he molested my ass and gave himself a HJ.

It’s degrading yes, you feel objectified yes! It’s not fair, yes! It all sucks!!!!

Sometimes I saw it as mutual pleasure for the moment, other times it felt like consensual rape. It has been a very long time since I enjoyed having sex with him. So much more has happened in her past year that I am really trying to stick to my boundaries but it’s not always easy,

My WH finished rehab for drugs and alcohol...and is awaiting a SA outpatient idea what I am doing yet...

Me: BS, 41 / Him: SAWH, 43
2 children ages 7 and 9
“The truth is still blurry but the lies are getting clearer”

posts: 632   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8423991

ashestophoenix ( member #48624) posted at 4:33 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Marji, I totally get being triggered by the Epstein news. I get that they objectify, our sA partners, but it is so ugly and inhuman. And so dangerous. I get that in their self centeredness they don't understand any of this. But, these beliefs and attitudes my husband held, ugh. I'm not sure I'll ever get over my fear and disgust. And all these famous men using these young women. Ugh. And not a care in the world for them as children, or human beings.

Somber, I see my husband as (trigger warning here) using me as a masturbation sleeve. I don't feel like it was a rape, but I was definitely being used and there certainly wan't any love anywhere in our sex life. I don't think he ever made love to me, to be honest. Even early in our relationship, addiction was present and he was not. Why would I want to have sex with a man who treated me that way and with these attitudes? I wouldn't.

I truly see my husband's trauma from his early life in the difficulties he has both being an adult and relating to any person in a healthy way. I don't fully get why he eroticized all of his issues, but I think mother enmeshment had something to do with this. I don't think my husband has the courage to really look at his life and to bring all of this out in a safe therapeutic setting.

Leaves me to continuing to heal and live my life.


Me: BS, 58
Him: WH, 72, sex/love/porn addict; intimacy anorexic; EA's and who knows what else
Married: 30+ years
D-days: multiple since 2013

posts: 454   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2015   ·   location: New England
id 8424003

Somber ( member #66544) posted at 6:57 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019


No I don’t see it as rape either but as I once explained it to my therapist she said it sounds like consensual rape. I see it as I have consented many times to sexual acts and behaviour with my WH that I didn’t want and afterwards I felt very ashamed and used. Sometimes I did it to try and feel satisfied (which often turned into sex while pushing away intrusive thoughts of his infidelities), sometimes to get him off my back, sometimes to keep the peace or lesson the tension between us...not for a long time has it been out of love (if it ever was).

Me: BS, 41 / Him: SAWH, 43
2 children ages 7 and 9
“The truth is still blurry but the lies are getting clearer”

posts: 632   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8424080

whoami62 ( member #65972) posted at 7:54 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Do you find going to the councilor helps?

It helps and it also hurts ...helps because it brings out into the open some dark and painful memories for mostly my H , but those memories can also open wounds for me as well

Nothing about this is easy. It is overwhelming at times . We have been to other IC as well as a MC who was worthless and really DID cause harm.

It can be very draining too, particularly for H since he made a lifetime of lies that he doesn't really want exposed.

One thing that my H did while actively participating in his addictive and destructive behaviors was to also show nude photos of his own ...they are still on the internet and the internet is forever...he is very angry / ashamed about this because it didn't fit his narrative of anonymity that he felt secure in...I found it by googling one of his screen names .

He was confronted my our MC and didn't like that one bit, but neither did I when I found them.

Never did get an explanation either about what the hell that was about

posts: 568   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8424121

crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 9:59 PM on Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

My therapist thinks my WS is both NPD and a SA. WS has been diagnosed with strong NPD tendencies. So far I can relate to everything in this thread.

It made me feel better to read that there are other women here also turned off by their WS's groping. I am beginning to realize that it was my WS's objectifying me that damped my desire for sex with him early on. He often says I am the one with sexual dysfunction because I am a sexual abuse survivor, but it wasn't until sex felt creepy with him that it declined and he was off having A's that I probably subconsciously felt. It always felt like something was brewing under the surface until I discovered there actually was

Our sex life hasn't been normal for years. In fact at one point we were practicing an open M until I felt like we didn't need that anymore. Not for my WS he pitched a fit like a little kid getting cut off from his supply. It has been hell since.

Now he is trying to abstain from sex with me (I'm assuming it's some sort of NPD punishment) but I have to keep grey rocking it. I don't want to play into his manipulations anymore and I won't have sex unless I feel comfortable or it is off the table.

Glad I read this thread today. Made me feel a little better about my situation as most I feel think I'm crazy for staying. It's ok because I think that too

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(19) DS(16)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014

posts: 8358   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8424187

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 3:37 AM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Now he is trying to sustain from sex with me

Might be punishment. But I think it's important to know that sexual anorexia with a spouse is common and sometimes exacerbated when an addict enters early recovery.

It's never ending, the complications of sex addicts.

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8516   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8424329

Somber ( member #66544) posted at 3:37 AM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Just read through again some of these posts. I also find MARNIE’s podcasts super helpful. They make me feel validated and normal for how I feel post trauma from SA.

Ashes...your other post is amazing. So wise and helpful!! Not sure what I would do without reading such great guidance from you all!!! Perhaps some of you are further along in healing than I am...

What do we owe them? Nothing. We owe them nothing. They violated all of our vows and relationship agreements. We owe them nothing.

But we do owe ourselves. I really only began to heal when I finally detached from my husband and found my own trauma counselor. I had read enough to know I needed help with my trauma and PTSD. Finding the right counselor for me took several tries, but it was worth it.

The blaming. The anger. The lies. The whining. The entitlement. The heartless lack of caring and concern. The narcissistic self absorption. This is all abuse. All of it. It was crucial for me to realize that my husband was abusing me. When I finally used that as the lens to look at his behavior, I saw the abuse clearly. That made it so much easier to call it out and start learning about boundaries. I am much better than in the past.

I feel like I owe my WH another chance (he has had enough I know!) but because he is finally seeking help...but I don’t! I have to remember that or I start to feel very stuck.

We do owe ourselves!! That is so true. Is a trauma specialist better than IC...I wonder if that is what we should all be aiming for. I feel very traumatized and feel like I have PISD (post infidelity stress disorder). I am haunted with intrusive thoughts and my moods are all over the place.

And the abuse...yes!! Once my IC helped me see certain behaviours as abuse it helped a lot. I never acknowledged that I was being abused. The emotional abuse was invisible to me. When I view through this lens as well it helps me enforce my boundaries. I don’t know how to differentiate his actions as effort and caring or manipulation...maybe I will never trust his intentions ever again!?!

[This message edited by Somber at 9:40 PM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

Me: BS, 41 / Him: SAWH, 43
2 children ages 7 and 9
“The truth is still blurry but the lies are getting clearer”

posts: 632   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8424330

musiclovingmom ( member #38207) posted at 5:38 AM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

I’ve been reading in here for a few days and the conversation about ‘consensual rape’ really resonated with me. The guilt, shame and general ick I feel after I let him have sex with me is awful right now. But then, I also fear that if I don’t let him have me, he’ll just get off somewhere else (I know, I’ve gotta work through this internalizing - like I’ve really got that kind of power over his choices 🤦🏼‍♀️. Anyway.

I went to the bloom website mentioned and started their free ‘Healing Trauma from Sexual Betrayal’ session and have found it helpful so far. Then, tonight, my WH and I had an hour long discussion about ‘safe’ physical touch and how I feel about groping or any touch that turns a sweet moment into a means for getting sex. We have agreed on some specific ways he touches me that are ok and that he will work to be more aware of his intentions with his touch and that I’ll speak up when he crosses the line from ‘caring and intimate’ into ‘objectifying and sex-seeking’ (if he doesn’t recognize that line himself). It was a hard conversation, but necessary and, I think, good.

posts: 1764   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2013
id 8424360

DashboardMadonna ( member #71074) posted at 8:49 AM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Another warning- This is literally "my cycle" in how I have come to terms with whom this person is. It is in no way meant to sway others in a any direction, fore this is my attempt at digesting my dark reality.

I completely relate to your guys' sentiments, regarding Epstein. This had been coming to a head, for a surprises that it got rugswept. Funny enough, hes just an average guy, turned party planner. Nuk nuk Whilst supplying the party favors, he got caught spiking the punch bowl...sort of speak.

It just further proved, what I already knew...its trickle-down mentality. The Politians, police etc. are behind the traffickng and I do see my husband as this person. In regards to my husband- He knew about trafficking. I keep thinking "God, what if we had a young daughter?!" I wouldn't want him around her.

As we know narcissism is a sliding SAH is literally nearing Sam Vaknin... Most ICs arent trained in dealing with narcissism (they have limited specialities, I have noticed) let alone the alleged SA-that in itself is symptomatic (some have other issues, as well) of a much larger picture. They are master manipulators and they use therapy as a tool to further manipulate us. Most ICs read about monsters from books, while we sleep next to them.

I have known who HE is for a very long time, but I dont think anyone is ever prepared for this shit. There is a claim "narcs get worse with age". I honestly dont see it as getting worse (WORSE FOR US!) per se, I think it boils down to pushing boundaries (ie. Us Taking them back) and everytime we take them back, it just assures them that we arent going anywhere, so they push further. We get angry, they resent, they act out, as one of many ways to punish us.

It's the cycle of narc the reality of the SA cycle. This is their process of justifying their actions to themselves. They arent as stupid as they would like us to believe- what they do is very methodical.

I put my foot down at seeing my husband as a victim, to his own devices. That's just enabling his abuse. I would have been a lot more sympathetic to his sexual abuse (sibling incest), had he told me when we were kids, while treating like a human being. I had a similar past. Now, I see him for the vomitous monster that he is. I cannot unsee what I saw.

Some would say that the SA's escalating actions ("acting out"), are an act in finality, but I dont feel most narcs ever whittingly do a final discard, without ample back-up/replacement in primary supply. It is a known fact that they can never be alone, they would self distruct. They are, infact the co-dependent ones.

Now that their masks have completely fallen (D-Day), all bets are off and feel they have nothing to lose at this point, as they (statisticaly speaking) continue to pursue other supply. They believe we arent going anywhere and they have been discovered. Our lack of action further validates the SA's delusional God complex. The 180 is our bluff and they will call us on it.

To give you an idea (as I am sure you all relate) of how really sick my SAH is; about a year ago, I came up behind my husband (while talking) in the kitchen, thinking he was my son. As I approached I quickly realized and sarcastically said "oh its you", as pivoted back to my bedroom. He and my son look a lot alike. At that point, He recently moved back after I kicked him out (more TT bullshit)..

SAH later admitted that incident hurt him so badly, that he went right to his bedroom, turned on porn, while Jacking off... (can I peel my skin off?)

This is how he rationalized it...what he really meant to say, is that he punished me, by way of his dick. Just As he punishes his druggy mother, incestuous sister, and I, by way of screwing prostitues. He sees them as disposable, vile and beneath him...this is what turn him on.

He punishes, what he sees as "mother" (me), by withholding sex. He isnt sexually attracted to Madonna, only his whores. Poetically Freud, in all his mysogynist hatred of women.

Side note: A while back I was watching a special about serial killers (my way of coping with abuse. Ha!) and it honestly scares the crap out of me, in that Narc-sex addicts follow a very similar pattern as serial killers. I was going to do a comparison, but I don't want to scare anyone new... Google, the seven phases, if interested.

In saying all this, I have one weapon of defense (as we all do) and that is mass/public exposure and he knows this. He has been exposed minimally, and I also know he has a morbid fear of blowing him up, but he also realizes I may shoot myself in the foot. It's one thing for us to know whom they truly are, but narcs worry A LOT about what others think of their facade. They worry more about strangers judging them, than their wives.

There is one fact that the MC did say to me and that was a man that fucks prostitutes is about power, money and control. That sums up a narc SA, in a nutshell. Not words to take lightly...a narcs goal is to win.

Sorry this is so long, I will wrap this up with saying that I do lock my door at night. I do believe that once the mask falls, there is no telling what they will do, especially in terms of damage control.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 4:46 AM, August 21st (Wednesday)]

posts: 298   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2019
id 8424392

marji ( member #49356) posted at 1:01 PM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Is a trauma specialist better than IC?

Somber It's not a one or the other. A trauma specialist is a counselor. IC just means a counselor that works with individuals on a one to one basis rather than an MC who typically works with couples.

Different ICs have different levels of education, training and experience and have different methods of dealing with different problems and issues.

Some counselors have had more training and experience using different techniques to help those who have been traumatized. So it can be helpful when we are looking for an IC to ask questions about their experience, training and techniques for helping to heal from trauma. It can be difficult to find just the right IC that can help us because it's very personal. A good dentist is a good dentist. We may like some more than others but their personality really doesn't matter if they do good dental work. But "good counseling" is a different matter. Hope you find an IC that you find helpful.

posts: 2230   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2015   ·   location: NYC
id 8424444

Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

DashboardMadonna, you have a way with words!

One of the best quotes I have ever seen on this sordid subject:

"Most ICs read about monsters from books, while we sleep next to them."

And you absolutely nailed my SA's modus operandi with this one: "he punished me, by way of his dick."

Like your SAWH, mine was sexually abused as a child, and by more than one family member. Primarily he has admitted to his mother having been incestuous with him, but also, he eventually recalled that when he was only 3 years old, his paternal grandfather tricked him into giving the old goat a BJ out in the barn. I believe there were other perpetrators, as well. He was truly used and abused.

Sadly, the message a male child gets from being sexually abused like that can make it very easy for him to see his anatomy as a means to control or dominate others, once he gets big and strong enough to protect himself.

But that sexual abuse also helps explain why my SAWH started seeing me as "mother." She crossed sexual boundaries she never should have, and he lived his whole life running away from that. Our marriage, when he was turning 40, was the first time in his adult life that he lived with any woman besides Mom. So for him, it was quickly apparent that marital sex felt uncomfortably reminiscent of "when he was back home." I had to be cast in the role of "mother," and the more sexual I wanted to be, the more confusing it was for him. Which is why he had to "punish me with his dick." Precisely.

I am not sure this mindset can be erased.

Ironic that I'd felt so lucky finding a bachelor at my age then, as most guys I'd met after my first marriage ended were double divorcees themselves, and compared to them, my SAWH seemed so naive, kind, and "innocent."

posts: 1552   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8424506

DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 3:14 PM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

They arent as stupid as they would like us to believe- what they do is very methodical.

That is a hard thing to come to terms with, but it is absolutely the truth.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 5052   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8424512

DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 3:15 PM on Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Ironic that I'd felt so lucky finding a bachelor at my age then, as most guys I'd met after my first marriage ended were double divorcees themselves, and compared to them, my SAWH seemed so naive, kind, and "innocent."

OMG, tell it. Naive, kind and innocent. I don't think aliens landing in my front yard would have shocked me more than finding out who my WH really was.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 5052   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8424513

secondtime ( member #58162) posted at 2:10 AM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

I'm going to use this space here to process. It's safe, and I need to get this out of my head.

So. DH was supposed to fill me in on some how his progress through the 12 steps was going. He doesn't always remember to. Sometimes I ask. Sometimes, I forget to.

I understand that he owns his recovery, and his pacing. It's been close to a year since he's been working on the amends step, and he's been on a few breaks with his sponsor because of life. I think though, after 6 months of possible time to work, that I'm owed a better explanation than "We caught up. We worked on the step. I should be through it in another 2 or three meetings with my sponsor."

Especially since I found the letter he wrote the the objectified women.

So, I asked him. What have you been working through all this time. It seems like a long time to be focusing on making amends to me, and then still needing more time. Did you add anyone else to the short list? Were you focusing on the kids (I knew the kids were on his list since he told me a while back.)

No. No. He says. Just me. That's all.

So after an hour of asking the same question in as many different ways as I could...and him, no...just focused on you. Not anything else, not the other indirectly harmed people... he finally admitted that he had written his letter to the women he objectified first.

My husband is a very, very good liar. Both sober and high.

What's even more distressing is how he handled it. "I messed up. I'm sorry."

There wasn't ANY discussion of "I know I shouldn't have lied. I did it anyway, knowing it was going to harm our relationship. I don't know why I did it. But, I'm committed to bringing this up with my therapist when we start back, my sponsor, my 12 step group, someone else in my 12 step group, my priest, crazy uncle Sam, so I can fix this and be safe for you."

And, the plain truth of it is even sober, my husband would prefer to lose me than do the hard work of recovery.

He had his 12 step meeting yesterday...and remembered to share something without prompting with me. He seemed almost excited to do so. I thought this was it. He's got some insight..he's really going to dig deep now.

We don't have room in our house to do an in-house separation. I've been staying away as much as I can from the bedroom.

I need to start making good progress through my "stuff that needs to happen before we separate" list.

I need to finish my degree, get a newer car, have DH get a vasectomy, and strongly encourage him to find full time employment. I suppose I should also see a lawyer, too.

posts: 1083   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2017
id 8424913

DashboardMadonna ( member #71074) posted at 5:05 AM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019


OMG! So similar! Crazy!

I agree, this way of thinking is hardwired. Everytime I threw him out, I allowed him to cross a boundary, by allowing him back.

His childhood is about as sick as your SA. His grandfather was a known molester and no one turned him in. He molested neighbor kids, his children and grandchildren. My mother in law was sexually abused by her father and her older brothers.

My husband's sister was also abused by this POS. My husband's mother and step father had porn and sex toys stashed away, that he and his sister got into, at a young age. This created a sexual relationship between them. I honestly believe it went on a lot longer than he claims.

His mother was just as sick, she still kept in contact with her father and invited him over, around my then infant son. I didnt know about this until later and I was infuriated. My husband always claimed he and his mother were "close", but that couldn't be farther from the truth. She (and his natural father) weren't very interested. I honestly wonder if she molested him too and that's what is meant by "close".

My husband lived with his father and had to sleep on his couch. When we were 16, I would call his house and he would tell me about hearing his step mother squealing like a pig, while she and his father had sex.

My husband was never interested in me much. He was about conquest. He already had been with a few girls, by the time I came around. After 3 months of not giving in to sex, he got bored.

Not long afterward, on the rare instance we had sex, he had a hard time getting it up even from a very young age....he wasn't attracted to me. He prefers other races that fit certain stereotypes...relating back to his porn, I am sure.

Stranger still, the bachelor background describes my younger brother to T... my parent are abusive narcs (dad has been dead 16 or 17 years) and my brother was the golden child. Following my father's passing, my mother passed the torche to him, amidst her co-dependence. He is a sociopath, that admitted to killing a cat, out of vengeance. He is now my mother's son-husband... he is a ticking time-bomb....abusive also and I refer to him as Norman Bates.

My mother is a prudish woman with "stand by your man" (even if hes physically abusive) ideologies. When my brother speaks of finding someone to marry (he will be 41), he wants a woman that is naive and from the other words, a younger version of my mother, to manipulate. He wants a virgin, at his age...hes just as sick as the rest of them.

I've had so much time just studying these characters... apologies, every reply winds up being a thesis on analogies... I haven't worked in a while, its unhealthy.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 11:14 PM, August 21st (Wednesday)]

posts: 298   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2019
id 8424975

DashboardMadonna ( member #71074) posted at 6:06 AM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019


You are far braver than I. My husband supposedly goes to his SA meetings, but doesnt discuss anything with me, in terms of us or his healing and why I am done, besides the obvious. To be honest, I don't think I could stomach much detail on the subject, without completely chastising and ridiculing him about it. He did give me a letter about a year ago, apologising for wronging me. After reading here, I believe it was because of his SA steps...

These men are nonconfrontational, stemming from fear of intimacy, I dont find a letter in any way personal. He communicates to me through texts, if any at all, because hes a coward. Letters are enabling the behavior. They should be encouraged to be open about communication and it's the opposite.

Most SA groups thwart communication between spouses. They address the spouse as codependent and basically tell them they enable their behavior. They tell the SA and their spouses that it is irrational for us to question their behavior, while shaming the spouse for being suspicious and snooping. They also encourage the wife to have sex with the unsafe partner.

I can't help, but wonder if this lack accountability circles back into their God complex, as it is being encouraged. I have noticed differences in my husband in the way he reacts, as well and I have wondered if it stems from the meetings or intermittent counseling sessions.

From a personal stand-point, I can't see any good coming from essentially a club ran by a bunch narcs, for narcs. I don't see any accountability toward the wives...I see the same from counseling, not that he ever goes. Lots of excuses as to why he hardly does. From what I have seen, they both coddle the SAs.

From things I have read, SA meetings aren't very helpful in the long run...statistics, in regards of reinstating their "hobby", seem to reflect that.

From what I have gathered, it almost reminds me of a weight watchers meeting... everyone cheers because they were adulting for a month, while the loyal and devastated wife sits in the shadows. A very minimal sense of accountability because we dont want to trigger them into a relapse (punish us).

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 12:28 AM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

posts: 298   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2019
id 8424994

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 7:28 AM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Most SA groups thwart communication between spouses. They address the spouse as codependent and basically tell them they enable their behavior. They tell the SA and their spouses that it is irrational for us to question their behavior, while shaming the spouse for being suspicious and snooping. They also encourage the wife to have sex with the unsafe partner.

I disagree. Oh, believe me, SANON has problems. But one of the unwritten "rules" is NEVER to give direct advice. That's important. The method is to listen and then tell a spouse how you handled a similar situation. Of course, each SANON group is different and they reflect that. No active member will ever preach that one should engage in sex with the SA.

Codependency and powerless are misconstrued. It's recognized widely that codependency appears in dysfunctional families where addiction is present. It disappears when the addiction ends. Powerlessness in this context is an addict admitting that they cannot control this alone, it's far from denial of accountability. 12 steps is all about personal responsibility and understanding that the only person you control is you.

I've been to a bunch of 12 groups, NA, AA, SANON. I've seen members hustle out others when it's suspected they are using. And they spot the users far better than I. It's true that celebration happens. But the format is the same, it's written in stone, readings, more readings and then members speak. No one calls them on their bullshit right then and there, cross talk is not part of the process. You literally ARE NOT allowed to respond to another's share. I HAVE seen and heard about parking lot confrontations, where members let it all fly. I've seen the opposite at SANON meetings, I've seen loving support, affirmation of one another's ordeals.

That said, I won't be one to say it's the best option out there, but it is the best that I've seen.

Dash, Second, you two have particularly awful situations, it seems that your spouses have underlying mental illnesses that are resistant to medical intervention. That makes it even harder.

So in keeping with the spirit of 12 steps, I'll tell you how I handled recovery and information retrieval.

First time around, I stayed completely out of it. I did other things I thought/hoped would help our relationship. Well, it turned out that even though my H went religiously to one meeting a week, he relapsed with porn (gross nasty porn) about 3 years in. Along the way I tried to get him to do the FASST check in weekly, as suggested by Magness. He rarely initiated. He mouthed some reassurances about what he'd do if triggered, turns out he still hadn't accepted the powerlessness stuff, so thought he could do it all on his own.

That's largely the grandiosity of an addict and the underlying shame. Or the omnipotence of the NPD.

This time around, he's really working the program, 2 ICs, one working in a general way, because he's still a seriously fucked up guy, his addiction causing even more fuckedupitness. He's attending 3-4 meetings a week and working step work in a supervised way. I still don't trust that he's completely sober, I'll never know. He shares a little bit. About weekly, I'll ask. He'll tell me some considerable detail. If he's working on a particularly difficult feeling, he'll tell me he's not ready to share that yet.

Which brings me to the best lesson that SANON teaches. Don't Even Think About Changing Him. DETACH. Gray rock. It's painful because we have 1) gotten used to caring about him 2) want to behave in a more normal way, maybe have a real marriage with communication and laughter and maybe even sex.

I believe it's essential to learn this. The trouble is RE attaching once sobriety is part of your lives. That took me a LOOOONG time and I was back to square one when another dday came in December. The good news is that, while I was horribly hurt, I recovered much faster, that detachment saved the day. It is very clear that this is all on him, none on me.

From things I have read, SA meetings aren't very helpful in the long run...statistics, in regards of reinstating their "hobby", seem to reflect that.

Maybe not. But one of my conditions for staying is that he attend regularly. It's difficult to gauge the success and failure of anonymous groups. I have an alcoholic son who would probably be dead if not for his commitment to AA, a brother who would have OD'd if not for NA, and me, who walking into that SANON room thought I was all alone in this miasma. I didn't agree with it all but took what I could use and reveled in the affirmation.

I feel such anger for these men who continue to hurt us. I just want to punch them in painful body parts.

Self care, my friends. And contingency plans.

Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8516   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8425009

DashboardMadonna ( member #71074) posted at 9:45 AM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Lionne thank you for your insight,

I understand and respect what you're saying and I dont doubt your experiences, it does shed some light on it. I am aware that they cant speak about the groups or reprimand their members (for lack of a better word). It seems very minimal in terms of accountability... are they ever asked about how their wives perceive their actions, or lack there of...I wonder.

Based on the little I have seen, it seems he has more accountability to his prostitutes, than his wife...I had to scoff at this presumably non-profit (trafficking) he has bookmarked, that I am about certain SA directed him to donate to. Is this a display of his sudden empathy, for me to see?...insert sarcasm.

I have spoke to women (Facebook groups) that had experiences where they have been treated as codependent. They were essentially told that they were enablers and stifled. The "sisterhood" YT channel has touched on their experiences and some of them have mentioned that they were encouraged to have sex, while not questioning their recovery. This was due to supporting the codependent model. Hopefully a lot of it has changed. I am literally on the edge, I could not handle someone telling me that I am contributing, when we are sleeping in seperate rooms.

I come from a lot of child abuse, my father was an alcoholic....I struggle with PTSD and I know that was the result of trauma....and that's the crap of it all, you wouldn't call a child an enabler of their abuser...that, in turn, is saying this, my mother is very co-dependent, I do not relate to her.

I have seen counselors (googling for IC) that specialize in sex addiction and right under that "co-dependence"... I can't help, but wonder if they are exploiting the victims, while motivated by greed. I'm sure there may be some codependents, in this situation, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around it.

I know I am not the cause of this and I have always known I can't change him. I feel like it's common knowledge that people have to want to change. Even then, the core is always there. Seems like a lot of work, trying to do so.

I dont fit any of the co-dependent traits, that my husband displays, on the daily. I have no desire to control him and I have no problem communicating boundaries, that he crosses anyway. In literature (SA codependent model) it describes the mere act of say checking the bank account (from fear of squandering money and sexual health is at stake), is seen as a control tactic. I honestly see this model as gaslighting. This just centers around a lack of accountability and blame-shifting.

In terms of my husband- he has enough control to make the decision to turn on the computer and enough sense to not pick up a hooker. His dick won't fall off (I wish it would), if he obstains, the way he has forced me to.

My father was an abusive alcoholic (undoubtedly physically addicted) and I can honestly say, my husband's abuse is worse. That is really saying something, considering my father attempted to strangle writing this, I sound so pathetic, but I honestly have a lot of clarity in my situation.

I have my own issues with alcohol, it's more of an emotional crutch, than anything else. For some, there is physical addiction, if you drink like my father did. I have backed off of it a lot. I decided he wasn't worth my liver.

In saying that, I see SA as more of an excuse and a crutch, for my husband to advantage of other people with. Obviously, there arent physical withdrawals...unless I count his meltdown about the bag of Durritos impinging on his escapades...I can honestly laugh, at this now. Either I am better at hiding the sadness or I am truly going crazy. Lol

He also has issues with alcohol, I can better wrap my head around that, than the former.

I do hope things work out in your marriage, at least there is some effort on his part. I don't judge anyone's experiences or decisions in staying. When you have been married for so long, it's hard to come to the decision of starting over and I dont know your husband, from what you have said, he seems to have some redeemable qualities.

My situation literally centers around finances and health insurance.

These days, my words in describing him, haven't any emotions attached to them...I am honestly at a place of indifference and have been for some time. I have become so complacent, that I feel as though I am watching a bad movie... his reactions have beco e so absurd, in relation to what is being said. He is a horrible actor. When I cry, stares at me, in some pathetic attempt to challenge me, I assume. Hes an idiot if he thinks I haven't seen this before. I almost wonder if he has crossed a line of sociopathy... this look is reminiscent of my sociopath brother and it gives me chills thinking about it...why I lock my door.

I think the worst of it (aside from the obvious) is feeling so invisible. We, as wives, are so invisible... no one, that hasnt been through this understands it and it is so isolating.

Ohhh gads, this is long, as always..sorry....I freaking need an editor.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 4:19 AM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

posts: 298   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2019
id 8425033

ashestophoenix ( member #48624) posted at 2:08 PM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

If our partners have NPD, there truly is no hope. It's hard to diagnose, though. And, addicts are all very, very selfish. I continually assess where I think my husband falls on the continuum of narcissism. I don't think he has NPD, though I do think he is pretty far along the continuum on self-centeredness.

I do think 12 step helps. I know alcoholics who completely recovered with 12 step. For my husband though, 12 step alone would not be enough for recovery. He also needed individual therapy, group therapy, a men's group, meditation/mindfulness work, and an active self care program (exercise, grooming, life skill development).

Dashboard, can you safely divorce or separate? Locking one's door at night is a clear signal it is time to seek safety. I don't think any of us should be afraid to call the national domestic abuse hotline or our local women's shelter.

I also think all of us benefit from speaking with an attorney. Finding a good attorney, for me, was like finding a good trauma therapist. It took a while, but it was so valuable and empowering for me. I needed to know about divorce, how it would work, what would happen. I also needed to know about how to protect my assets. Since I have a financial background, I had already done that. But, I strongly suggest getting as much control of the family finances as you can. Preferably, complete control.

The Marnie Breecker videos remind me that in the early stages of post discovery, I was in crisis. True crisis. After the shock wears off, the crisis actually got worse. Tickle truth continues and there is re-traumatization. What I know now is that I needed to work as much as possible at finding a sense of safety and control in my life in the early days.

Looking back, the best things I did were to start to emotionally detach from my husband. I also focused on what made me feel more peaceful and happy each day. I needed to find peace, beauty, and innocence. I played with my dogs. I watched children's movies (Wallace and Grommit, Mary Poppins...things like that). I went to art galleries and flower shows. I did not do any of this with my husband.

At some point, I moved to a separate bathroom. I'm glad I have that luxury. Very early after discovery, my husband said something so hurtful that I just upped and moved out of our shared bathroom. I'm never going back.

I have PTSD. Actually, I have C-PTSD. Wish I didn't. It took a while to accept this. I didn't like it. But I'm not weak or flawed to have this. This was done to me. My traumatic responses are normal and human. I'm not ashamed of this, though our culture shames trauma victims. I had a nightmare/night terror every night for over three years. I'm stunned by this. Every night I would wake up, heart pounding, sweating, terror. I don't have them anymore. But it took years of therapy to get past it.

My original trauma, which I wasn't completely conscious of, occurred in my childhood. Crummy parenting. My decades with my SA/verbally abusive husband added to this trauma. My chronic immune illness was probably a result of trauma and added to it.

What I'm saying is none of us should underestimate the impact on us of the trauma of betrayal. Marnie defines all the different types of trauma. It takes time to heal from this. I needed help.

I'm so much better than I was five years ago. I still have to work on ending my isolation, improving my self esteem, working on trusting myself and others. I can still shut down emotionally which is another trauma symptom. There were times I felt like I didn't recognize myself. Another trauma symptom.

Well, it all sucks. No doubt about that. But the good news is that we can heal and rediscover our selves, our joy, and our peace.


Me: BS, 58
Him: WH, 72, sex/love/porn addict; intimacy anorexic; EA's and who knows what else
Married: 30+ years
D-days: multiple since 2013

posts: 454   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2015   ·   location: New England
id 8425134

Lionne ( member #25560) posted at 3:08 PM on Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Dash, I hear you. In all my considerable time in SANON I never heard anyone suggest having sex if it wasn't wanted. Enabling is NOT the same as codependent. My dad was both, hiding my mother's drinking and buying the booze. I didn't enable either, consciously, I just blithely picked up the slack in the house, with the kids because he was "working long hours." I didn't know.

I did know he was being verbally and emotionally abusive. That behavior grew, he didn't start out that way. Frog in the pot. I would tell myself he was just venting, he was stressed blah, blah, blah. If I confronted or fought back he'd rage or leave the house. I didn't want that, so shut up. THATS codependent, linking his feelings to my actions. Once I knew the truth, understood the meaning I stopped. Cold. SANON educated me that way.

Addicts ARE regularly called to the carpet by others. They are direct and pull no punches. It just doesn't happen in the hour of the actual meeting, that format is proscribed and set in stone. I've also attended couples meetings. I heard public statements about the remorse felt by addicts towards spouses. I've heard that many many times. And yes it comes up in meetings, frequently.

Addicts are completely 100% selfish and loyal to there object of addiction. If your husband is getting suggestions from an obviously NOT sober SA member, he's still in denial. It's clearly not sober thinking to contribute to prostitute charities. SA preaches complete avoidance of ANY triggery shit.

12 steps, when worked properly, is just a wise way to live. I was asked, after a meeting, if I felt that monitoring his devices was helpful. In the SANON lexicon, that action may hurt YOU in two ways, 1) you may be re traumatized by it 2) it discourages you from fully adopting a basic tenet, that you cannot control what he does. I decided, for me, that my need to know what was actually happening in my life superceded those ideas. Take what you need and leave the rest.

The fact that his letters to prostitutes or OW we completed while you are still waiting is disgusting. But not surprising. He has no emotional connection to them. They are just a fix. He can write a letter almost mindlessly, as one would respond to an essay question. You, that's different. To write yours he has to dig deep into that messy world of emotion and acceptance and knows he'll find SHAME. No SA I've ever known is ever completely comfortable with facing their feelings even though they work in it. It takes YEARS of true recovery work to even emulate empathy.

Ashes, as usual, has great advice. And you and she and me are in similar spots. As are others I know. Insurance and comfort in retirement are important things to consider. I took over most of the investing so I know where every penny is. We have a post nup, I consulted a lawyer-very helpful. I have my ducks in a row, if he relapses with rl people, I'm gone. I may be gone anyway if I decide that. As ashes said we owe them NOTHING.

ONE therapist tried to include me in the blame, made assumptions about me. I told her in no uncertain terms that I had been abused by my mother now my husband and I was NOT going to take it from my therapist.

I've gone to his therapist. He's never been coddled. "What were you THINKING!?" was a common statement along with "why were you such a DICK!?"

Our MC was likewise direct. He listened. Hated it, but learned.

It's all ashitshow. Empower yourself somehow, baby steps. Treat yourself to small indulgent things. See a lawyer. Post here PM.etc. If if you think it's helpful, tell a trusted friend, you need as big a village as you can muster.


Me-BS-65 in May<BR />HIM-SAFWH-68<BR />I just wanted a normal life.<BR />Normal trauma would have been appreciated.

posts: 8516   ·   registered: Sep. 18th, 2009   ·   location: In my head
id 8425162
Topic is Sleeping.
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