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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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DevastatedDee posted 11/2/2020 12:35 PM

MyHeart, it doesn't matter whether or not others think porn is a betrayal in your marriage. You do. That's what matters. If it hurts you like that and he views it as nothing, that is a major problem. That could well be a dealbreaker if you're so far apart on this.

I had no issues with porn, but I did have issues with the level to which my XWH had a problem with porn once I discovered it, which was well after DDay. I found his searches and boy did they go well down the rabbit hole. His porn use had been affecting our sex life and I'd had no idea. I didn't know that he was masturbating in his work truck while watching porn on his phone. I didn't know that he was choosing porn over me at other times. I don't downplay the affect it can have on a marriage. Had he never physically cheated but I discovered the extent to which he had a problem with porn, that would have been a big deal to me too and I watched porn myself.

The basic reality is that you have a right to what you will and will not accept in a marriage. Secrets and lies break a marriage. If he wants to watch porn even knowing that you view it as cheating, then you two are not compatible and you'll continue to be hurt and that's not fair.

Oh goodness, I read your profile. Yeah, messaging women and that about trying to kiss his daughter...yes, you have a problem that is far beyond "dude wants to watch porn and wife doesn't like it".

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 12:37 PM, November 2nd (Monday)]

MyHeart101 posted 11/7/2020 14:39 PM

@ DevastadedDee,

Of course he won't admit to trying to kiss his daughter when she was a teenager. She's now 36 yrs old and maintains her story along with his older sister though.

I had him sign a "contract" last night that states we agree to go to MC but only AFTER making much progress in IC. He told me he will go to MC. He still says he doesnt need IC and his analogy was "Did you need counseling to stop smoking?". He says he quit smoking cold Turkey 25 years ago and he won't go to the kind of counselor I want him to see (CSAT) because they require a program that is too expensive. I think I got him to see that we both have things to work on to improve ourselves and it's not just the porn. He is adamant for a woman because he's never told his problems to a man and doesn't feel comfortable....won't do any type of 12 step or group meeting because he says he will not talk in front of a group of others, even though I explained he doesn't have to talk, that he can learn from others through listening and the meetings are also for accountability.

Meanwhile, I had my first IC session this week with a Christian counselor. I have another appointment next week but I haven't decided if I want to try someone else. She has nearly 30 years of experience and I dont have anything in particular against her. I just feel like due to her questioning, i spent more time talking about My family history from even before my marriage. Idk...is that normal for Betrayal Trauma counseling? I told her I want a therapist that can help me with other issues to but I wanted to address this issue first.
Again, due to time spent on ithervissues, I wasnt able to explain the different and multiple forms of betrayal, even though there are other CURRENT ones that comes with the porn...the how to videos on talking to and approaching other women including married women and the issue of him going to a female friends house in secret and asking her to keep it quiet. Thoughts? Suggestions?

[This message edited by MyHeart101 at 3:09 PM, November 7th (Saturday)]

DevastatedDee posted 11/8/2020 22:12 PM

He doesn't want to change. If he wanted to change, you wouldn't have to push him to do anything. He'd be horrified of what he had become and how it hurts you and work to correct it. What he wants is likely for you to be quiet because you're messing with his fun. That's probably where he's at on the addiction scale right now, especially if he's searching the internet on how to pick up women. That is his goal and in his deepest heart, he's probably resenting you for killing his buzz with all this talk about your feelings and insistance that he work on himself. I know that sounds terrible, but that seems to be pretty common with addicts no matter the substance. Their thinking is way off.

I didn't go to a trauma therapist, so I don't know how they usually do it. I will say that if you don't find her helpful, definitely seek out someone else. Not every therapist is a fit for every person.

BlackRaven posted 11/8/2020 23:16 PM


I am seeing a Betrayal Trauma therapist, and her model of treatment is:

1) Safety and stabilization: Increase safety, reduce symptoms, learn to manage triggers. This included a lot of boundary work. The book Moving Beyond Betrayal by Vicky Tidwell Palmer was the guide she recommended.

2) Processing: grief work, understanding what has happened and integrating it into your own personal narrative (this is where the family history would come in), Trauma treatment like EMDR or Brainspotting

3) Reconnection: rebuilding trust (couple work), clarifying future, moving forward (in R or D.)

During all this she very much encourages 12 step work through S-Anon or SA Lifeline. And it has been a huge help to me.

We don't talk much about my SAWH's acting out. It's all pretty textbook from what I understand, and she wants the focus to be on me and my healing. She advocates for a full theraputic disclosure with a lie detector test when both he and I are ready. Then I would know what he did, how he hid it and how he rationalized it, as well as other significant life events that may have led him to this point. I don't know how it works with a partner who isn't willing to do it. I guess it says that they aren't interested in their recovery or yours, and so you process what you know. Perhaps you could encourage him to read Out of the Shadows, by Patrick Carnes.

No matter how you look at it, this sucks.

skeetermooch posted 11/11/2020 20:53 PM

My Heart,

Sadly getting caught rarely makes a WS ready to quit their addiction or acting out. He's clearly not ready or he'd be taking advantage of everything and anything out there that might support his recovery.

Buckle up because he will certainly act out again. He's not showing an indication he's done with this behavior.

I would recommend reading about the 180 and seeing a lawyer.

MyHeart101 posted 11/12/2020 13:29 PM


I plan to see a lawyer as soon as I can after quarantine. He and I both have C0VID right now. I have about another week if I can get over this crud.

I'm getting plenty of time to reflect. I journal and talk to a couple close people. I've already started detaching myself emotionally. The more I write and talk about things, the less difficult it is to detach.

The first friend I told anything to has been trying her darndest at reconciliation. Mainly because she's been through something similar and she regrets not fighting harder for her marriage. But even she is starting to see how useless it is because of his attitude.

I thank everyone for your responses. It's made me realize I'm not crazy and has helped me think things through. You'll be hearing more from me.

[This message edited by MyHeart101 at 2:54 PM, November 12th (Thursday)]

skeetermooch posted 11/13/2020 10:17 AM

Feel better soon, My Heart! Good luck. Sounds like you have a plan.

BlackRaven posted 11/15/2020 20:24 PM

Curious, did anyone find out their SAWH was acting out with men as well as women?

DevastatedDee posted 11/15/2020 20:42 PM

No, but it would not have shocked me. By the time I uncovered the sheer volume of it that probably isn't half of what happened, I would have believed absolutely anything.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 11/15/2020 22:26 PM

Not to my knowledge, but now that I know his tells, I'm fairly certain it's something he has at least considered.

Basically, if he vehemently denies something, it means there's a 99.999999% chance that he has done it. If he insists he has done something, or that he holds a certain value or moral standard, there's a 99.999999% chance that he never did it, or that he has violated those values/standards in numerous ways.

So, knowing that, when I reflect on conversations where he - completely unprovoked and irrelevant to the conversation at hand - insisted he wasn't gay, I can safely assume that he may have at least had thoughts about it.

Let's just put it this way - I can no longer even count how many times my ex would make comments about people hiring escorts/sex workers - how desperate they must be, how much he looked down on them etc. It is pretty rampant in areas of the world where he has had to travel quite a bit for work, and he would make a point of bringing this up often. How his opinion of customers would go down significantly when he would find out about their involvement in this.

After DDay, I did a deep dive into our phone bills and found no less than 10 phone numbers that I could either link directly to escort services just by a quick Google search, or were Google voice numbers, that while didn't have direct links to any escort advertisements, are a well known way for women in that profession to communicate. So all of that virtue signaling was part of his ruse, a way to maintain his carefully constructed facade.

I'm with Dee, absolutely nothing would shock me at this point. It's also my understanding that it's fairly common among sex addicts to escalate to same sex encounters, even if they would not identify as gay. Something about having to up the risk/taboo factor in order to get the same high? It's not like same sex partners are a bad thing, it's just this is not like a person who might be bisexual or homosexual embracing their sexuality, it's an addict looking for a stronger high - super unhealthy shit.

I can grasp it on an intellectual level as a student of human nature and psychology, but I cannot personally fathom living with that level of dysfunction running rampant in my brain.

This actually triggered some memories - my XH was always trying to be sexual in super inappropriate situations, but had a hard time being even remotely physically affectionate in totally normal and appropriate situations.

For example, he would get super weird if I kissed him in front of our daughters (my step, his bio), even just a peck to say have a good day type of thing. Or holding hands, or hugging, like normal husband/wife affection. He said it made him uncomfortable to be affectionate like that in front of them.

BUT we would all be in the car on a road trip to see my family, and he would try to be "sneaky" and put his hand on my crotch while I was driving. Or we would be staying in a hotel in the same room, and he would try to have sex with me while they were sleeping. When I think about it, he clearly gets off on the idea that someone might be able to walk in or "catch" us in some way. The fact that I can directly tie it back to so many instances when his daughters were within earshot, and I was the one having to say no, that's inappropriate, just really shows how fucked up it all is. It's truly like he has some wires crossed.

Though he also had a bad habit of waiting until 3am when I was dead asleep and coming in to rub all over me. So maybe it has less to do with the "thrill" of potentially being caught, and more just his contrarianism and constantly needing to rebel against whatever is appropriate at that time.

BlackRaven posted 11/16/2020 00:28 AM


You're probably onto something. I think one of the more advanced escalations with SA is voyerism or exhibitionism, both of which have the element of being caught.

DevastatedDee posted 11/16/2020 08:33 AM

I'm with Dee, absolutely nothing would shock me at this point. It's also my understanding that it's fairly common among sex addicts to escalate to same sex encounters, even if they would not identify as gay. Something about having to up the risk/taboo factor in order to get the same high? It's not like same sex partners are a bad thing, it's just this is not like a person who might be bisexual or homosexual embracing their sexuality, it's an addict looking for a stronger high - super unhealthy shit.

Yes, exactly. It wouldn't have bothered me more for it to be men too. It just wouldn't have surprised me for all those reasons and none of them have to do with exploring homosexuality.

MyHeart101 posted 11/16/2020 11:06 AM

Has anyone gone to Biblical Counseling? For IC & MC?

The friend I spoke of above goes to a church that gives free counseling. I am antsy bc idk how qualified they are but I'm considering it bc the cost of therapy has been the main complaint from him and the (vocalized) reason why he is against going to IC first and then to MC. The same counselor will see us each individually and then as a couple. When I asked him, SAWH says he knows they will be more judgemental but it cant hurt to get a conversation started. His answer to the app's question of what would you like to accomplish with this counseling is "to save our marriage ." Wanting to give him examples of more detailed goals, I told him some of mine is to have more commitment to the marriage as opposed to looking outside of the marriage, mutual respect and trust, better communication, and no more porn.

I don't prefer this method of counseling but I want to show my willingness to compromise to overcome his arguments ($). I told him I would continue seeing my IC.

Anyone used biblical counseling? Advice?

I still plan to consult with an attorney too.

[This message edited by MyHeart101 at 11:08 AM, November 16th (Monday)]

BlackRaven posted 11/16/2020 11:37 AM

There are religious-based SA programs that I know some people on SI have participated in. (You might also want to post the question in 'general'), but those would be different than going to an individual minister, for instance.

Not trying to stir the pot, but since I really want you to take care of you, I have a few questions:

What sort of therapy training, if any, does the person who will be doing your counseling have? Has he ever counseled sex addicts before?

I ask because some non-CSAT 'counselors' will blame the wife for her husband's behavior, or claim they were co-dependent and enabled it, when most of us didn't have a clue it was going on. I think some people on this forum had that unfortunate experience. The last thing you need right now is more trauma.

-Do you agree that you can't afford traditional counseling, or do you think this is another stall tactic by your WH? Do you know what your insurance benefits or Employee Assistant Plan cover?

-For what it's worth, SA 12-step meetings, and S-Anon meetings, are free. SA Lifeline, also free, is non-religious, but based out of Utah and has a number of LDS participants who would be happy to share their experiences in going to their bishops for counseling.

Good luck and keep reaching out. You don't need to go through this alone.

MyHeart101 posted 11/16/2020 12:10 PM


We each have insurance and we both have an EAP. The EAP is how SAWH went to his one and only IC session....the one where he came back drunk and blamed me for everything. I just started seeing a counselor thru my EAP. Neither of us have met our deductibles. However, many therapists dont take insurance. The 1 and only CSAT out here doesn't take SAWH's ins and he says they are too expensive. Otherwise with sacrifices, we can afford outpatient counseling.

SAWH has told me many times he won't go to a 12 step type meeting or any other group meeting, even if it is free. This offer was an option to counter his objection due to cost. He can't argue with the cost when it is free.

DevastatedDee posted 11/16/2020 13:14 PM

SAWH has told me many times he won't go to a 12 step type meeting or any other group meeting, even if it is free. This offer was an option to counter his objection due to cost. He can't argue with the cost when it is free.

This is when you need to step back and go hands off. He is just as capable of googling as you are. If he wanted help, he would find a way. He doesn't want help. It isn't within your power to change that.

This is the time to look out for you, you and only you. He's showing you who he is. Believe him. Make decisions based upon who he is right now, not some magical potential one day if he changes his mind. All you have is now to work with.

BlackRaven posted 11/16/2020 13:31 PM

This offer was an option to counter his objection due to cost.

If he thinks paying for a counselor is expensive, has he run the numbers to see what it will cost if you separate and have to pay rent and expenses for two households?

But the reality is that you can't drag him screaming and kicking because if he doesn't want to do the work it will go in one ear and out the other.

Focus on you. Work with your IC. Get educated about SA. (TINSA: A Neurological Approach to the Treatment of Sex Addiction by Michael Barta is a short book that provides a lot of insight.) Do some S-Anon meetings (even an hour a week.) Make sure you feel safe (emotionally and physically.) Establish your boundaries. Learn to detach with compassion. It will become clearer on its own.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 1:34 PM, November 16th (Monday)]

MyHeart101 posted 11/16/2020 13:32 PM

I agree with everything. My friend is just relentless and I'm guessing his willingness to go is a positive. Although I find it peculiar that he asked about their qualifications yet he will not see a CSAT because of the cost, regardless of the qualifications. And he keeps referring to not going to see "the kind of therapist I want him to see."

[This message edited by MyHeart101 at 1:34 PM, November 16th (Monday)]

BlackRaven posted 11/16/2020 13:39 PM

I'm guessing his willingness to go is a positive.

Speaking only from my experience, my SAWH saw at least four IC and a psychiatrist, and we saw 3 MC and he lied to them all over the 15 years he was an active SA. It was just an expensive way of gas lighting. He never divulged a thing (and I didn't know it was happening.) It was just a way to placate me when I complained he was moody, and he probably told himself he was 'working' on his issues and therefore didn't really have problem.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 1:39 PM, November 16th (Monday)]

MyHeart101 posted 11/16/2020 14:09 PM

We have a mortgage but I can't afford to pay it. Although I work and pay most everything else so it's proportional since he make more $. I'm assuming he would stay there during a separation and I would stay elsewhere with us each paying our own expenses and the house would have to be sold or he would have to buy me out it if it become permanent.

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