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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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Superesse posted 10/12/2020 23:16 PM

I agree that as we go through our adult lives and parents die, or spouses betray us or friends/family disappear, we will seek to fill that void with others, it's just natural. So I am sure your bond with STBXSAWH had a lot to do with that prior loss, just like I'm convinced my 2nd marriage to this man was somewhat an attempt to "make things right" from my first, rebellious early marriage (actually my scandalous shacking up with the guy at age 19, followed by a hastily-arranged "marriage" to make my mother happy!)

Heck, after my sister, then my father died, brother showed his ass big time regarding the way he handled my father's death, etc., even BEFORE D-Day 2, I was reduced to feeling pretty much like an orphan...One day, I found a wooden plaque for my kitchen wall, that said "Friends Welcome, Relatives by Appointment." (After YEARS of me trying to throw Holiday meals here for these difficult family members!). Then there was the magnet the Humane Society sold at the hardware store, that reflected my new-found appreciation for my dear old dog I talk so much about... have you seen this one?

"A Dog is the Only Relative You Can Choose"

Lots of truth in these silly slogans....

Black Raven, you are profound, I must research this about the Loner thing. Because I know my SAWH actively DESTROYED the warm connections my father had started to build with us, once he discovered the truth from my telling him about D-Day 1. I think my father had wanted so much to believe that somehow, my life would turn out happy with this guy, and make all the other crap that had happened in our family life, not look like 'the final chapter.' But all my father could hear from me was how yet again, some guy's DICK screwed up what could have been a happy life for one of his kids. ALL 4 of us siblings divorced due to spousal infidelity. Makes the case, doesn't it, that something was OFF...

Edit: I should change this

Because I know my SAWH actively DESTROYED the warm connections my father had started to build with us, once he discovered the truth from my telling him about D-Day 1.

to better reflect what really happened:

Because I know my - TURNING TO MY FATHER FOR SUPPORT - actively DESTROYED the warm connections my father had started to build with us, once he discovered the truth from my telling him about D-Day 1.

Even my sister thought this was the issue with my father pulling away from wanting to be around us. Why did I not just Divorce the guy, she told me he wondered, just like she finally divorced her SA (after having taken him back for years...)

[This message edited by Superesse at 12:15 AM, October 13th (Tuesday)]

BlackRaven posted 10/13/2020 00:28 AM


I think my father had wanted so much to believe that somehow, my life would turn out happy with this guy

Before my life fell apart, I used to joke that if H and I divorced, my father would take my H. Fast forward to DD1. I tell my Father that H has had an affair, and he replies that being alone (heís widowed) is the worst thing, worse than betrayal. DD2 comes and goes. My father now knows there have been 4 affairs, and he still emails and texts my WH. The other day he tried to compare his losing track of time to my Hs addictions.
I know he loves me, and I know he loved my H, and I understand heís an old man in his own pain at losing his illusion of his ďperfectĒ son in law, but his inability to support me now is another form of betrayal.

Superesse posted 10/13/2020 00:53 AM

Yes, Black Raven, it is another betrayal. You don't think your own father would not "get it" when you are reeling in pain. But I think some men don't have the ability to put themselves into a daughter's shoes. They always seem to default to self-referential thinking...like my kid cannot have the same degree of feelings as I do...know what I mean?

But unlike your father's response, mine was more of the opinion that being single in late life wasn't that bad of a thing, and why didn't I just dump this marriage, if I was that destroyed by it, which sort of made sense, too. My father had seen me go through a number of bad years with rotten boyfriends, and as he told me once, "I've never seen you this indecisive, before..." Another time, he summarized my situation with the observation that if I still had my old job, he knew I'd have already filed. I couldn't really deny that. So I think it was more about my disappointing him OR it was about him saying "I think you should just still be single, like I am, and deal with it...

But what eventually happened is my father didn't see a happy resolution, especially after the first couple years post D-Day 1, and he got plain old tired of hearing me whine....this is what he told my sister and brother. I take ownership of that part. I was just saying I'm in pain, don't know what to DO, and he was frustrated hearing it...

Mandy7 posted 10/13/2020 08:34 AM

Please can someone tell me if Iím not thinking logically here before I turn my life upside down. Slawh in recovery 6 years and doing well but stopped doing 12 step work at step 6 so I know exactly where he stands with his commitment to recovery Iím no fool and wonít be taken for a mug. We have been doing well with R and sorted out a way forward with debts he accumulated. 26 years together 19 years married. Daughter 17, son 13 both finally coping with PTS and in great school/college achieving and have now got friends after years of being alone and bullied etc. Son has anxiety issues but heís come on leaps and bounds and is finally settling.
SO my dilemma, my slawh isnít very happy at work even though his job is literally fantastic he feels under valued and another thing is his best friend earns double the wage doing a job the same an hour drive away with a different company. Heís been told he can go work there and earn more but the work is harder and hours longer. He has to be within 30 minutes of work when on shift. He would have to get a flat to stay in during shifts 12 days on call and come home on off days 12 days off. As we all know this is a perfect recipe for slippage when you think of the stress, tiredness, loneliness and no family support there. Sorry but no I donít trust him well enough to believe he wonít slip and I know I would go psycho with worrying about him. So I donít want him living there without me.
So the other option I take my son with us putting him in a new school away from his newly achieved life and buy a house there which would take months to do and in the mean time slawh is there alone anyway, slipping and destroying our marriage. I do say destroying because I could NOT go through R again from scratch! Our daughter couldnít move with us due to college, boyfriend etc so sheíd have to find somewhere to live here which breaks my heart abandoning her. The next option I tell him I canít uproot the children, I canít risk living separately because of his SLA so divorce is the only way forward. I say divorce because he clearly said to me that he canít go through life never reaching his full potential and wondering what if and that the more he thinks about that the more unhappy he is becoming at work. The final option is straight up telling him no, we canít move we stay here and he stays in his job end of. I know that latter option will upset him and weíd go through the rest of our lives with him living in envy, frustrated, holding a grudge and secretly pissed at me behaving like all addicts do.
Iím so stressed out and canít see where to go from here. Iím thinking after everything heís said heís put the Ďfinal nail in the coffiní with regards to our marriage and family and at the same time damaging our kids because all my options mean me and the kids suffer regardless!
Iíd love to hear your opinions and any advice/guidance would be sincerely appreciated! Love to you all xxxx

DevastatedDee posted 10/13/2020 09:29 AM

Hi Mandy! I'm going to be completely honest, I don't know how anyone handles the stress of being married to an SA. I honestly don't. I know my limitations on patience and drama and what you just expressed is one of the reasons that I don't see how it works long-term. If you always always always have to think of things like this and they inform every family decision you have, it is an extremely stressful and damaging situation. It's like you have to arrange your life to keep your spouse from cheating on you. As if that is your responsibility, to keep your spouse from cheating. It's outrageous that anyone should have to live that way. The most traumatic thing that most of us have been through is infidelity, and to have that hanging over your head all the time with the addict having his ready made excuse of being an addict sounds like a living nightmare.

To shorten that up, you deserve better than this.

Superesse posted 10/13/2020 09:36 AM

Mandy, what a difficult set of choices you have. You summed it up really well, too. None of those options sound happy, but I'd say your SAWH needs to recognize his part in why the last option seems the best. More about that in a minute...

My late sister, whose XH was a SA, agreed with her husband that he "couldn't" leave his successful law practice, even though they had found a great place to live and raise the children 80 miles away. He owned an office with an upstairs apartment, where he stayed during the week and commuted "home" on the weekends. Of course, he was using his flat to screw clients in exchange for legal services, and from all that "side work" he engaged in, he would come home and have sex with her the same evening, acting like the perfect, loving husband. She contracted HPV. I think it may have been the cause of the cancer she died of, because after she found out what was going on - like us, she knew he was a cheater but took him back, since he "got religion" and was never going to act out again - she sued him for divorce, but for 3 years after the D, never went for her annual gyn checkups, knowing she had a bad Pap. I feel like that shortened her life.

So my SAWH supposedly was out of the zone of temptation for 12 years. All it took for him to repeat the behavior was a buddy at his job 90 miles away from home (he came home every night) showing him a website for finding prostitutes, and he couldn't wait for the opportunity to check it out, himself. He was the first man arrested when he tried it in our little town.

For years, I had thought the distance to a job and the time away from home were problematic. But what I learned the hard way was if they want to do this, they will do it right under your nose! Like mine did. The morning of his arrest was my birthday (he chose that day, hmmmm) and he'd gotten me sweet birthday cards, gifts, kisses and hugs; I truly felt loved. Later he admitted he'd been scheming to act out for a long while. I guess my going on a drive alone that day was what he saw as his "chance"...but it felt to me like he deliberately chose the worst way to say "Happy Birthday." My point is you cannot set up any safety rules if they truly feel the need to cheat.

But on his job decision, there are so many things he can't know right now. Is he willing to uproot the entire family to chase his ambition? I empathize with the feeling he has of being paid less than another who he thinks does the same work. Yet outside of the job role, he isn't actually a solo operator. He is the father of a family and a husband! (These SAs seem to forget they are not in the world by themselves.) Whatever decision he makes, he needs to put others ahead of himself as he thinks about it.

Good luck!

skeetermooch posted 10/13/2020 09:48 AM

Mandy, are you really willing to put this SA above your kids? I don't mean to be harsh but messing with your son's happiness and moving away from your daughter so you can better babysit a man you can't trust seems like something you will sorely regret one day.

That he values his career over your family and his recovery is also telling. But if you choose a life with an addict I suppose this is part of the bargain - they are central, above you and above your kids. And even in making him central he may relapse anyway.

He's put you in a terrible position. You're still quite young. You can have another 40+ years SA free should you leave him.

skeetermooch posted 10/13/2020 10:04 AM

I was just saying I'm in pain, don't know what to DO, and he was frustrated hearing it...

I give a lot of people compassion burnout, Superesse. I get stuck way longer than the average bear and I seem to have ended up with one abuser or cheater after another. People tire of my ambivalence and are disappointed when I don't leave earlier on. I've gotten so I don't reach out much irl because it does feel like another betrayal when loved ones pull away. I lost a very, very close girlfriend when I was extricating myself from husband number 2. I went back and forth for a year and she just couldn't watch the shit show anymore, I guess. It's got to hurt exponentially more when it's a parent doing the pulling away. Your sister's story is so sad. I'm so sorry for your loss.

I'm thankful that all of you get that ending a trauma-bonded relationship with an addict is extraordinarily hard.

Black Raven, your dad's response is very disappointing. Some folks see cheating as a foregone conclusion in a long marriage and don't grasp SA and the trauma it causes. Men don't do well alone so I don't doubt from his vantage point it seems like something one should avoid, but studies show women's health and happiness is better when single than coupled, unlike men's.

DevastatedDee posted 10/13/2020 10:13 AM

but studies show women's health and happiness is better when single than coupled, unlike men's.

I've been thinking of those studies a lot in the past year or so and I can relate to that. I'm very happy on my own. I've never been bothered by living as a single woman. I've been wondering if it's a gender thing or a personality thing in my case.

Superesse, you asked about whether we were all loners on the previous page. I guess I qualify as a loner, but I think of it more as I'm content with my own company and don't require a lot of outside attention. I don't need much external validation. I have friends and family who I love, but I don't need to be with someone to be happy. In a way, this is what made my XWH extra stupid to try me like that. I don't think he understood that I would absolutely leave him and live a life without him. He didn't understand that I didn't need him, that I can and will stand on my own two feet and live a life that I want. That he couldn't trap me with love because I wouldn't put myself through his nonsense. So I guess I'm technically a loner, but that is not a thing that I would change about myself. It's a gift if you wind up with an addict. I don't think it's why I wound up with an addict, but it certainly did enable me to leave one.

BlackRaven posted 10/13/2020 10:19 AM


Slawh in recovery 6 years and doing well but stopped doing 12 step work at step 6 so I know exactly where he stands with his commitment to recovery

This is what jumped out at me. Your WH may or may not currently be sober, but he is certainly not in recovery. Is he going to meetings? Does he have a sponsor and an IC? Do you have monitoring software on his electronics & a tracker on his car? If not, why not? Itís pretty standard.

My SAWH had his As under my nose, in the same town, and was home every night. Before you start making life changing decisions uprooting your family, I think you need to know if your WH has been faithful since his ďrecovery.Ē Is he willing to meet with a CSAT marriage counselor to discuss the important issues you are considering. Is he willing to take a polygraph?
His unhappiness is his to deal with from the perspective of a loving, caring father and husband. And if heís not willing to do it from that perspective with a MC then I think that tells you a lot about your relationship and your future .


So my SAWH supposedly was out of the zone of temptation for 12 years

Wondering what ongoing recovery work your SAWH was doing in the 12 years? Thx

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 10:22 AM, October 13th (Tuesday)]

skeetermooch posted 10/13/2020 10:33 AM

I don't need to be with someone to be happy. In a way, this is what made my XWH extra stupid to try me like that.

Same. I've spent a lot of years single as an adult and they've been happy years. I'm more of a loner now than I was when I was younger. It's probably more related to trauma from my abusive relationships and maybe raising kids for 30 years. My nervous system can't take go-go-go anymore. But, my STBX knew my history. He knew I left my narc husband with no job and two kids - one disabled and I figured it out. He knew I was fully independent in all ways and could thrive alone. He wrongly thought he was such a prize I'd stay for his empty- promises and love-bombing bs - wrong, wrong, wrong.

They have some combination of a low opinion of what women will accept and an inflated view of what they bring to the table - STIs, heartbreak and financial disaster. Their "love" is supernatural in their estimation so of course we'll put up with infidelity and abuse because all women are desperate for a man who simply does the bare minimum.

skeetermooch posted 10/13/2020 10:35 AM

I think you need to know if your WH has been faithful since his ďrecovery.Ē

Mandy, Black Raven makes a very good point here. My ex would seize upon out of town work, stay overnight when he didn't have to etc because it allowed him to increase his cheating opportunities. Your ex may be hoping you will stay put while he gets a flat near the new job. I would absolutely do as much investigating as possible before you uproot for this guy.

skeetermooch posted 10/13/2020 23:23 PM

Ugh I feel so sad tonight. This is the hardest thing.

I had to break up with him again - as Dee so aptly put it. After he showed up here with his puppy he emailed asking if we could start over and date and if I could just love him when we were together and not worry about what he was doing the rest of the time because he was still going to be acting out.

I told him I would talk to my therapist and get back to him. I sent a brief businesslike email yesterday saying my therapist thought it was a bad idea and that she recommended no further contact. He shot back another email asking if we could be friends on social media, which I ignored. Hopefully, this keeps him from popping by again uninvited.

Its as if I'm freshly mourning. My life feels empty and directionless. I don't know what I'm doing or why I'm doing it. I know for sure I will never go back to him but I'm not sure what I'm going towards if anything. All of my work projects and other plans have been profoundly impacted by the pandemic. There's not a lot of places to focus my energy. I'm doing house projects, which is getting overwhelming - I'm in that everything's pulled out phase, and it's all a mess and wondering why I started.

For the first time in a long time I'm really sad to be alone. I'm not normally that way when I'm single, but in this covid world it kind of sucks.

Superesse posted 10/14/2020 09:21 AM

Awww Skeeter, I wish I'd seen this last night when you posted. Know the feelings! Hope the sun rising in the morning renewed your sense of purpose a little bit, anyway. Believe me I get it about the effects of having your life all in flux...and the world isn't helping...not even mentioning Chief Chicken Pecker...But a couple random thoughts for you to chew on with your coffee:

1. Part of every remodelling job is the inevitable "everything pulled out" stage - universally dreaded. Always worse when you are trying to live in the space as the work gets done; ask me how I know....

2. Distant goals have sure been clouded by the current climate, but if people in world wars came through those times, I realize we will someday look back on this pandemic as one of those horrible times we tell the grandkids about...once I asked the very old lady I used to visit in a skilled nursing facility how people got through those war years. Her reply was so telling: She said: we were scared every day. I never realized that, because by the time I was born in the early 1950's, you never heard anything about that.

So this too shall pass...

3. Notice how any contact by your STBX has a toxic after-effect on you, even though your reponses were very good, and you had a clever idea about "asking my therapist." (Or it could be "my lawyer" if this keeps up....just sayin'). Reminds me of the scripture: It was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I ate it, my stomach became bitter. Maybe stop taking that poison bait? Because that kind of "what could have been or even still could be" crap he generates, right NOW just screws with your peace of mind. Maybe next year, when he gets out of inpatient treatment he will never commit to. But right now? Just....pass. Remember he is still trying the "extinction burst" as he frantically realizes what his sickness is going to cost HIM. So really, his pleas are NOT about YOU at all!

DevastatedDee posted 10/14/2020 10:15 AM

Yep, this is the extinction burst. Over and over and over and over until you just don't respond at all anymore. It took that for my XWH, the complete inability to get to me at all. He even showed up at my house one day and sat on the steps when I wasn't home with my daughter inside. Pissed me off. I unblocked and called him to get him away from my house and broke up with him AGAIN that day, and that was months after I'd bought my house and moved out. Shortly after that he went to rehab for drugs and was out of state for almost a year and that was quite awesome. STILL thought when he came back that there was a chance. Showed up at the house again. WTAF. And yes, I'd go along feeling pretty good about life until he interjected himself into it for yet another breakup. That last one ended with him crying and me being firm and I hated that nonsense. I believe that was the final time I had to remind him that we had broken up and that I didn't want him in my life in any way ever again.

UGH that crap was ridiculous.

skeetermooch posted 10/14/2020 11:33 AM

Remember he is still trying the "extinction burst" as he frantically realizes what his sickness is going to cost HIM.

I hope it sucks for him.

I think if the rest of my life wasn't stalled by this pandemic I'd be in a much better place. I had really positive and exciting projects and possibilities going on at work, that helped me pull out the initial rut. I've got to be creative and figure out some other avenue for hope for the future because work isn't cutting it right now.

STILL thought when he came back that there was a chance.

Yes, I can absolutely see my idiot STBX showing up a year from now to report he's had 12 seconds of sobriety and thinks he deserves another chance. They are oddly in it for the long haul once dumped while they couldn't commit at all when married.

skeetermooch posted 10/14/2020 12:10 PM

OMG you guys/gals, Today is my wedding ANNIVERSARY. Maybe that's why last night was so sad!? I totally forgot until the cheater emailed me just now.

Superesse posted 10/14/2020 13:32 PM

Yes, if you could just get this chapter over with, right? Life does seem to clustF*** us from time to time. Stuff never seem to go wrong in isolation, always grouped up....

So I think you are right about the lack of other things to focus on...then having nobody to run interference with his crazy stuff...Have you discussed this with your attorney, by the way? At some point, you may want to.

I don't know if anniversary grief is part of it, may be. But he was never "husband" in the way he pledged, so I don't know. I know I never dwell on the anniversary of my first marriage, and for this one, I just try not to think about what that date was supposed to mean, but it can bug me - mostly because I'm still dealing with him; for example, he still wears his ring with that date inscribed on the inside! Whereas, if he were an XH, I really doubt I'd feel like that.

Keep on keeping on!

secondtime posted 10/14/2020 14:02 PM


Reading your post, I can identify, somewhat.. My husband is working on his second recovery stint. He's been stuck on the amends step for almost 18 months now.

I read your post and this stuck out to me:

Sorry but no I donít trust him well enough to believe he wonít slip and I know I would go psycho with worrying about him. So I donít want him living there without me.

I don't trust my husband out of my eyesight..meaning...I don't trust him at all. His sobriety or lack there of, his issue, not mine.

I don't drive myself psycho thinking about it. Easier said than done to be mindful and all that. But, I have a life to live, and I need to do that the best that I can. I need to be a good employee, a good mother, a good student (I'm in grad school).. Fixating on what my husband may or may not being doing doesn't support those needs. Actually, when I do fixate, I end up behind, upset, unproductive, etc. And I don't like feeling like that, and I don't like dealing with the consequences when I've focused on my husband instead of myself.

I think, no matter what the outcome of your marriage, you still need to take the time to work on yourself a little.

Superesse posted 10/14/2020 14:30 PM

Skeeter, your last sentence about the SAs who hang on to a dead relationship against all sanity, whereas while they were IN it, they could never fully commit, is very, very descriptive.

Sure describes my STBXSAWH's ways. But it also reminded me of a psycho XBF I had to break up with, because he thought it was his prerogative to consider me "one of the fillies in his stable," and was open about it. (He'd just gotten dumped by his 2nd wife, so I should have steered clear!) Wouldya believe after I said "nada mas" he caused my phone to ring and did deliberate hang ups for two years or more? Never left messages, usually there'd be a call shortly after I'd leave for church or work. He was the only guy who knew my schedule. Such calls never happened before the day I told him we were done, started right afterwards, yet with the phone tracing technology available to my provider back then (1989), it could never be traced back to the originator, just to the substation. Annoying, just stupid but who does that? (I never had a phone up until we started dating, so it couldn't have been my previous XBF who had been long gone.)

One day a doctor told me that kind of behavior was typical for a guy with a serious mental illness. I knew that guy had been put on psych meds for "something" by his 2nd XW...whoooo.

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