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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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Hurtmyheart posted 12/27/2020 15:00 PM

I'm sorry DevastatedDee, I just saw your post to me. Thank you for validating the pain he caused to me. And yes, the least he could do was to leave me without financial worries and I am grateful to him for this. He could had really screwed me over with his finances because I relied on him.

And you are correct, none of this can be changed or fixed now, it is too late. But I don't think he would have changed his behaviors anyway, it was going to be what it was going to be.

I also don't hate him, I hate what he did to me, destroyed me and our marriage. And I know that he is suffering the consequences of his actions. He has to endure the pain that he caused to me.

[This message edited by Hurtmyheart at 3:06 PM, December 27th (Sunday)]

skeetermooch posted 12/27/2020 18:39 PM

HMH, I'm so sorry for the pain that you're dealing with right now. The unfairness of the loss is massive. This goes into the category of life events with no silver lining.

Your former WH sounds a lot like mine - entitled, blaming, and relentlessly addicted. While they may be generous or pleasant in certain way but their unique ability to commit harm without remorse sets them apart from other humans.

I hope you find peace and healing sooner than later.

Somber, good for you leaving the sliding location. That's you taking care of you. Shows you're getting tired of sucking it up and pretending everything's fine for everyone. Things need to actually be fine for you. And screw that AP - she's ugly on the inside for sure. She should've packed up her spawn and left with her head hung in shame.

gmc94 posted 12/29/2020 01:55 AM

I am curious about formal / therapeutic disclosures. Just about everything I've read says that the info provided in these disclosures is limited to pretty much when/where/what, with the ďwhoĒ only disclosed if the BS knows a particular AP. And the details are to be limited

I've never understood this or why and I'm curious how others dealing with CSATs or formal disclosures had the same detail limits and how they felt about it.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 9:21 AM, December 29th, 2020 (Tuesday)]

Somber posted 12/29/2020 14:38 PM

I have no experience with full disclosure. Never made it even close to that stage of reconciliation.

Skeeter, I trying to take care of myself. It now involves avoiding people, places and things that force me to pretend. F that, Iím done pretending happy family. Iím struggling to hold it all together. He went to the dump today and was gone hours, met with someone as per his phone. Tomorrow morning when I leave to go to work and drop the kids off at my moms (to give him a break cause he canít handle parenting a whole damn day) he is planning to meet a 2nd women...
I feel like Iím letting it happen by not freaking out!! But freaking out and kicking him out is going to bring me more problems with his unpredictable crazy entitled manipulative behaviour. The kids are with us every second of the day too...trying to protect them best I can. Iím ready to explode and donít even have the strength to get any damn ducks in a row.

MakeMineReal posted 12/29/2020 15:26 PM

Gmc94, my ex and I did a formal disclosure, where he was supposed to recount his entire sexual history, which started with porn and sexually abusing little girls when he was a child himself. I say 'supposed' to recount it because, I later found out, he intentionally left things out. Some details were left out because "it had been too recent" and I'm convinced he left out details that were so damning he couldn't write it down. It took him over four months to write it out - I was told that was so he could remember as much as possible. We were each seeing different CSAT's, who communicated with each other, and they were both in the room for the disclosure. My therapist worked with both SA's and partners of SA's. The disclosure itself took about an hour and a half for him to go through, reading it out loud. It was excruciating to hear all the details, but I knew I needed to know who I was married to.

Part of the disclosure was a polygraph, about a week later. I have no doubt he googled how to pass a lie detector test. The administrator had to tell him three times to stop moving his arms, and stop breathing so hard, or he was going to fail him. The questions were, in my opinion, framed in a way that anyone could have passed. I wanted to know if he'd ever looked at child porn. The question asked was "Have you ever masturbated to fantasies of children?" Maybe it was this particular polygraph administrator, who worked with the sex addiction recovery agency the ex was attending individual and group therapy through, I don't know. A question I wish had been asked is "Have you left out anything in your sexual history that happened during our relationship?"

In hindsight, for me it was not beneficial to see a therapist who was a CSAT - she had more sympathy for the SA than I think she should have, and made excuses for his behaviors, some of which crossed the line from sex addiction to sex offending. He literally belongs in jail, and if he'd done the things to someone else that he did to me, his wife, he most likely would be.

Anyhow, back to your question. I believe that a therapeutic/formal disclosure was necessary - for me - so I knew what I was dealing with, and could make an informed decision about whether to stay or go. The fact that he left things out, along with some of the horrific details and behaviors I did find out about (that he'd been engaging in our entire relationship), is what made me decide to file for divorce. I've met a lot of women through SANON meetings that also had a formal disclosure as a requirement for them to consider reconciliation - almost all of them are still married. Some stayed because they had young children, some because they feared being alone - 'the devil you know or the devil you don't' mindset, and some because they couldn't make it alone financially.

I think disclosures can be beneficial, if you're the type that needs to know what you are dealing with. Some women don't - they feel they know as much as they want/need to know, and want to move on from there, whether they stay or go. No matter what you decide, a disclosure, reconciliation, whatever, this is a life-long undertaking, not a condition that can be recovered from and put behind you once and for all.

DevastatedDee posted 12/29/2020 15:54 PM

Somber, the fact that you're still able to get up in the morning and that asshat is still breathing is a triumph on your part right now. This is torture.

gmc94 posted 12/29/2020 17:45 PM

Thank you MakeMine. I doubt I'll ever get the formal disclosure.
The thing that's - for some reason- sticking in my mind is all the literature I've read that basically says that it does not/should not include:
(a) sexual history prior to our meeting (which you got, so I guess this is not set in stone)
(b) names of APs - UNLESS the BS knows them
(c) any other info about the APs
(d) sexual details (other than we had sex - whether that is PIV or oral or whatever)

There's probably more on that list. I have wanted all the deets since dday. We are about to hit the 3rd antiversary of dday and he's been working with a CSAT for a year.... Yet I'd bet I'll likely D before he gets around to the timeline/disclosure I've sought.

We had a bit of a fight about it a few weeks ago in which he said that he showed his "timeline" to his CSAT who thought it was OK. In the moment, I just let it go (things were already heated enough), but it's been bugging me, as
(a) months ago he said he's not been working on the timeline/disclosure w/his CSAT bc they have been "focusing on other things" (of course, he would NEVER tell me what those "other things" are, cuz everything in his head just MUST be a secret) and
(b) if his CSAT is the arbiter of what's "good enough" then he should marry his fucking CSAT... OK, on a calmer note, the concept that the BS has zero say in what's sufficient is kind of bullshite to me.

Hence my curiosity....

Somber posted 12/29/2020 19:12 PM

Thanks Dee.

It is taking everything in me to not blow up at him. I donít really know what I am waiting for. I know full on what Iím avoiding though. The mental gymnastics, promises, victim playing and manipulations to make me stay then of course the rage if I pursue on separation and the suicidal claims as well. I know too well what Iím avoiding. I know nothing of what to expect when I get past that aside from the claims of feeling more sane and healthier once Iím away (as per some of you).

I guess in the end a blow up doesnít change him either. It doesnít mean he will stop...I would like to message these women in a group text to alert them of his multiple affairs and then ruin his current affair relationships. That would feel good I think...even for a minute. The bigger picture is what??
I just plan a separation while he carries on cheating until I have enough to say itís over?!

BlackRaven posted 12/29/2020 19:49 PM


We haven't had disclosure yet, but I am told that it will include his whole sexual history as well as his other acting out, (drinking drug use, etc.)

MakeMineReal posted 12/29/2020 20:22 PM


I've read those disclosure guidelines also. There are differing opinions amongst therapists about how much info should be divulged. Some therapists/books say that the bs should get as much detail as they think they want, but they should really think about it - once that's in their head, they can't forget it. I wanted the details so I knew (as much as possible with these twisted freaks) who he was, but some of those details were beyond traumatizing. Some books and therapists are also advocates of the bs going to therapy appt's with the SA occassionally, to get updated on the treatment plan.

As far as the ap's, I knew most of them - he worked with them and I'd talk to them when I went into the office. He was getting forced out, so he probably thought someone was going to tell me anyways, which I really think is why he decided to finally tell me himself.

The secrecy is part of the addiction - it was for my ex. He was secretive in almost every area of his life: the affairs, business dealings that I should have been told about, lying on the taxes (I found out later)... He got off on knowing he was screwing around, and on all the other secrets, and pulling one over on me. I'm sure me talking to the women at the office was a real thrill for him, in an adolescent way. You know, like a pubescent kid lying to his parents and getting away with it. Which made perfect sense with my ex - his therapist said his emotional development stopped at around age 12....

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this, none of us deserve being disregarded and not treated like a human being. I can tell you, not having to deal with the gaslighting, manipulation, and lying, even about things I witnessed with my own eyes, is such a relief. I'm almost 5 years out from the first d-day and it's still hard, I still get triggered and still can't believe this is my life, but I now know it wasn't me, I wasn't crazy like he told me and other women, and he doesn't get to humiliate me behind my back anymore.

My advice would be to insist on as much detail as you want, and on attending a therapy session with him if you choose to. Don't let him intimidate or threaten or deter you - this is your life and marriage, too, and you have a right to know what's going on.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 12/31/2020 15:44 PM

GMC, I've only ever read those disclosure guidelines in my post DDay research, because XH never admitted to or sought treatment for his sex addiction while we were together. I know I personally would need ALL of it. And I wouldn't give a flying fuck who told me I didn't need it, I needed it. There's a reason I did so much research in the aftermath. My instincts kicked in, and I knew what I needed to calm down.

We had a bit of a fight about it a few weeks ago in which he said that he showed his "timeline" to his CSAT who thought it was OK. In the moment, I just let it go (things were already heated enough), but it's been bugging me, as
(a) months ago he said he's not been working on the timeline/disclosure w/his CSAT bc they have been "focusing on other things" (of course, he would NEVER tell me what those "other things" are, cuz everything in his head just MUST be a secret)
Ok, let's give him the benefit of the doubt and pretend like they really have been "working on other things" during this time and not focusing on a timeline. That means that if he has created a timeline all of a sudden, it must be pretty half-assed.

The women I know in S-Anon who finally did get full disclosures waited months for their spouses to create the timelines and go over them with their CSATs. To ensure as much accuracy as possible.

The flip side of this is that he could have been telling you that he hasn't been doing the timeline as a way of not having to talk about it while he's doing it (again, that secrecy/shame bullshit). And now all of a sudden he's "ready to give you a timeline." I have a feeling this is more likely the case, as any trained CSAT should not be taking a disclosure/timeline lightly. I would imagine it would take many sessions to get a full timeline sussed out. Hell, I've been in weekly therapy for nearly 2 years and we just barely touched on my cheating ex BF from college about a month ago, it took that long to go through FOO stuff.

If I were you I would be interested to speak to the CSAT myself and ask them when they began creating the timeline. Either they started it a while ago, and he's been lying to you about them working on it in order to avoid the feel-bads about how you would feel about it. Or they've just started working on it recently and she has supposedly said it's "enough," at which point you might say, F that CSAT, she's clearly not qualified.

and (b) if his CSAT is the arbiter of what's "good enough" then he should marry his fucking CSAT... OK, on a calmer note, the concept that the BS has zero say in what's sufficient is kind of bullshite to me.
Yeah, here is where I landed with this stuff. We are all autonomous human beings, and we all get to decide what we talk about, how we talk about it etc. Just because they're a WS doesn't mean they lose that right. BUT, you also have the right to determine what you tolerate in a partner. If he believes that what's "good enough" for the CSAT should be "good enough" for you, and you don't agree? Then HE not good enough for YOU!

To me this seems like using the CSAT to triangulate... like jeez, GMC, CSAT says it's fine, why are you so difficult? And guess what, people only triangulate when they know there isn't enough to support their claim and they need that other person thrown in there as "back up." It is something that people mired in shame do.

My X used to do this with our daughters. Whenever everything was good and happy, we were a family, a unit, everything was "we" meaning all 4 of us. Whenever I called him on something, SA related or not, it became "we" (meaning the 3 of them) vs. me. The girls weren't even actually part of it, I've learned since that they hated being pulled into the middle of stupid crap like this, but it does a number on you when someone tries to pull this shit. In my weaker moments I would worry that I was in the wrong, because obviously if 3 people feel one way and I'm the only one feeling the opposite, then I must be the odd man out, my feelings must not be valid.

I can imagine that it's even worse when there is a CSAT involved because they're supposed to be a "professional." And if my gut is right, I would bet that he wields the fact that she's the "professional" as a weapon to make you feel like you're the one in the wrong.

The truth of the matter is, only you can define your boundaries. If you need to know, you need to know. And if he won't give you the info you need to know, then he's choosing protecting that info over a relationship with you. And that says everything about him, and nothing about you.

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 3:45 PM, December 31st (Thursday)]

secondtime posted 1/3/2021 00:59 AM

I never got a formal disclosure. I should have asked for one. Recovery v.1 I just thought I'd give DH the space he needs to work his recovery. It's not something I needed to know.

In hindsight, knowing the full extent of his behaviors, it would have been enough for me to divorce him when we just had our two kids and we were still fairly young.

As it turns out, I do need to know names in Recover V2. My husband hasn't physically cheated on me, but he has fantasized about the moms at my kids school. Because of that, I can barely set foot in the school and feel good. I get panic attacks at worst or at best, I'm just feeling sad, upset, etc.

I have told my husband that because he's choosing to not tell me who he fantasized about, I absolutely feel like his protecting himself and his addiction. Therefore, I think I deserve to know who is more important that I am.

I would give ANYTHING to know whether or not I can feel safe walking into the kids' school. My husband would prefer to keep his secret and watch me having a panic attack. Or, my personal favorite his empathy filled statement "well, if she's bothering you, just move to a different seat."

The other reason I want names, is because I want to judge for myself whether or not my husband is being honest when he says his behaviors never got to the point where he would step out of the marriage. I mean...if he's fantasized about Susie routinely, and chats her up every day on the playground while waiting for the kids to be let out...I'm not buying that he hasn't considered stepping out of the marriage and that he's not putting himself in a risky situation. I've been here on SI for 14 years, on and off. I've read enough to know when red flags should be going off.

It would even be nice to feel safe when my husband talks about female co-workers. Apparently he's fantasized about them as well.

Recovery v2 has taught me my husband likely will not be a safe partner for me. I don't know why he's making those choices. I don't think he wants to separate. But, he's not doing anything to repair the marriage and demonstrate that he wants to be trustworthy.

I figure there's a recover v3 coming down the road. I wouldn't be shocked if my husband was acting out again.

skeetermooch posted 1/3/2021 08:17 AM

I don't know why he's making those choices. I don't think he wants to separate. But, he's not doing anything to repair the marriage and demonstrate that he wants to be trustworthy.

This is the cognitive dissonance of being married to an SA - they don't want to separate but refuse to do the work, which includes transparency. He's still attached to his addiction enough so that he's okay with you suffering panic attacks so he can protect it.

I'm so sorry after 14 years you've come to this place.

gmc94 posted 1/3/2021 13:06 PM

Thanks for the replies. Coincidentally, after I made my post on this thread, my WH told me he was ready to do a polygraph... and I kind of blew up. I suspect the pressure cooker inside of me was already at a release point, but it didn't help that he brought this up after I'd had two glasses of wine (which he knew). And it was a day or two after we learned an old friend (more of WH's - they worked together years ago- than mine) died. I knew he always had a crush on her, so her death was both tragic (cuz she really was a wonderful person) and a huge trigger (cuz even back in the day - WAY before my own dday - I knew he had the hots for her, tho I do not believe that anything ever happened beyond his own, presumably relatively low level pining / lust for her). A big part of my blow up stemmed from his denial of EVER having any kind of a crush on her way back when. Which is complete bullsh*t, as it's something we joked about way back in the day (like 15+ yrs ago).

In any event, your experiences have helped validate what I've felt since the beginning of this - that whatever level of info I want, it's MY choice and no one else's. It's been my position since dday, and nothing in my own work has changed it. I still just don't "get" the stuff I've read about the limiting of info.

I don't have an opinion one way or another about his (male) CSAT. I DO know that at the beginning, my WH did not communicate some important stuff to the CSAT... e.g., that I was seeing his CSAT's colleague - which didn't come up for over a month due to scheduling of our appts and our CSATs bi-monthly meetings to go over the collaborating case files. So, while I was waiting for a joint session and disclosure, etc., he was just not telling his guy about my work with the colleague. After about 3 months (and Covid), I just stopped seeing my CSAT - we never had that joint session.
It's just typical WS/ SA bullshite.... the "I forgot" or "I don't remember you telling me to tell him you were seeing x" or "I told him and I guess HE forgot". It's what waywards/addicts do to avoid responsibility.

Our DS is here for the holidays, and once he's gone WH and I can talk again. I still have no job, so feel VERY trapped in all of this.

And I suppose that if I really don't have any hope for him to ever be R material (or even if he were, that I would at this juncture be interested in trying to move forward with him), I don't know why the timeline/disclosure/poly is still such a BFD for me. I've always felt that it was a simple matter of wanting to know my reality, and my suspicion has been that what goes on in my mind is probably much worse than what he's actually done (tho one never knows...). I've just ALWAYS felt that whether we D or R or whatever, I am entitled to - that I DESERVE - to know the reality of the entirety of my M. It feels like something I simply cannot let go of, and I struggle to figure out why.

Why can't I accept that what I DO know about today is enough to D? And just walk away from the partially finished puzzle that is the last 30 years of my life?

skeetermooch posted 1/4/2021 19:26 PM

Why can't I accept that what I DO know about today is enough to D? And just walk away from the partially finished puzzle that is the last 30 years of my life?

I wish I knew. I'm a few months away from my D being finalized and there are still a few details I'm insanely curious about. Nothing I can do to resolve it other than asking my STBX or the women in question but I doubt anyone will be honest with me.

That was your life - you thought it was one thing and now you find out it wasn't that at all. It makes perfect sense to want the whole truth. It's an ugly puzzle that we need to finish, but we can't without all of the pieces. The details can be re-traumatizing, which is why people encourage limiting disclosure but it helps me fully accept how sick and deceitful by STBX is and that assures me I'm making the right decision in Ding him.

BlackRaven posted 1/4/2021 19:53 PM

Change of topic here, but since my SAWH had his affairs at work, I'm still learning of the number of people in his office who knew - and not one of them had the courage to let me know what was going on.

I can't believe our DD went in there to sell her Girl Scout cookies, or I would stop in to see him sometimes, feeling self important cause I could just waltz into the doctor's office, and they knew he'd been unfaithful. Hell, in some cases the AP still worked there.

I'm so incredibly angry at them for keeping his secrets and utterly humiliated.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 10:39 PM, January 4th (Monday)]

DevastatedDee posted 1/4/2021 22:16 PM

I get that, BlackRaven. We had really close married couple friends and I found out that the husband knew my XWH had at least tried to cheat with the daughter of another friend. A couple of months after I left, the wife found out and called me up to tell me about it. She had been a BS in her first marriage and she just knew that I needed all the information even after it was over. Her husband didn't get it. He thought he was doing the right thing by not telling because I "looked so happy" with my XWH. I love her for being pissed off with him over not telling. I want to reconnect with her because I adore her, but I don't want to be around him. I don't dislike him. I just know that I looked like a fool around him so many times and my pride is damaged. You weren't the fool and neither was I. Our spouses were the fools. It's hard to get past that, though.

gmc94 posted 1/5/2021 11:00 AM

You weren't the fool and neither was I. Our spouses were the fools. It's hard to get past that, though.
Amen to that....

And then there is the PRIDE (which should be a 4-letter word! )
All of it wounds our pride so significantly. I was so damn fucking PROUD of my long M... that I still loved him like I did the day we M.... that we were "partners" in every respect,... even that despite being >50, my mobile's ring tones for him were cheesy love songs (eg I'll melt with you... best of my love... etc - I changed them regularly). Proud of all we'd worked for, all we'd accomplished, and all we had before us... and our entire community knew about this pride (including his LTA girlfriend and the other APs, thanks to FB).

All of that was lost on dday. I'm not proud about anything to do with him or my M.
Now, I work to just be proud of MYSELF.

skeetermooch posted 1/5/2021 14:09 PM

One thing that gets me is all of the mutuals who now know he cheated on me, who've never checked to see if I'm okay and still sing his praises.

I wonder who knew at the time it was happening. It's all mortifying and so upsetting. No one wants to get involved. Cheating is seen as a private matter between the couple or something.

DevastatedDee posted 1/5/2021 14:18 PM

Ooh, gmc, the pride thing. Yes indeed. My pride is one of the things that would never have allowed me to reconcile. I couldn't get past being made a fool of. My pride could not handle that. There is nothing he could have done to get me past that. There's nothing I could have done to get me past that. Further, I didn't want to get past that. I pride myself on my pride? lol. I couldn't get even a teeny step beyond "No one gets to do that to me". Though I wasn't in my right mind on DDay (as if anyone is), I suspect my pride was involved in my immediate cheating back. The wound to my pride was so deep.

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