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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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crazyblindsided posted 2/9/2021 12:15 PM

I suppose Iíve been obsessed with his behaviour forever that it has become a habit. I need to let it go and hopefully then real healing will start.

Yes I was also obsessed with the behavior all day every day. It took time to detach and start putting the focus on myself. Take the time you need I know it took me a long time to get to this point. Look at my join date. Having an IC has really helped provide clarity through the confusion. There are also therapists that specialize in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) this has helped me gain some control of the intrusive thoughts. I'm also on medication which helps with intrusive thoughts and anxiety/depression.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 12:15 PM, February 9th (Tuesday)]

skeetermooch posted 2/9/2021 14:22 PM

I am having a day, ladies.

So, firstly I've been ill with a cold and went for a covid test (negative btw), on the way of course I passed a gazillion massage parlors - they are every-fucking-where in my town. Probably 5 within a mile or two of my damned house. I l truly can't go anywhere with out passing at least two. Not possible. Sitting at a red light, I look at this shit box store front massage parlor, in this shit box, run down strip mall and it hit me - he left me for that.

We weren't even married for two years on dday. We had the most amazing few years - so many experiences, adventures and successes for us both, not to mention romance and passion. He walked away from what he said was the happiest time in his life and the best relationship he'd ever had, our dreams and plans for the future, etc. for webcams, phone sex lines, hookers and whatever skank he could get in bed.

He didn't even try to stop. I can't even wrap my mind around that piece. You'd think even the worst addict would try - likely fail - but try. Not that douche.

I know I'm framing this with normal person logic and values - not cluster b logic - so I get that it isn't this way in his head. His head is the brain equivalent of a hoarder's kitchen, rotting garbage and all. There's no rhyme, reason or organizing principle to his thought process. He sifting through garbage searching for some crumb of instant gratification constantly. I suppose I was gratifying when I was new and he got kibbles from sweeping me off of my feet and making me swoon but that wore off almost immediately. That he never sat down and weighed what he was choosing to lose for this low life crap is astounding, or maybe he did and decided that strip mall massage parlors were more rewarding than marriage.

I don't know why I'm re-processing this all today but it's been a cry-fest, which is probably good. I haven't really cried about this a whole lot in awhile. Most of the time it feels too overwhelming, like once I let those floodgates open, I'll drown in it, but today I could handle it. I hope this is progress.

[This message edited by skeetermooch at 2:23 PM, February 9th (Tuesday)]

skeetermooch posted 2/9/2021 14:51 PM

I keep saying "he left me" even though I ended the marriage when he was begging me not to, but by choosing to cheat and continuing to cheating after dday - he made a choice. He discarded me while skillfully getting me to do all of the dirty work, so he could then play the victim, I suppose.

crazyblindsided posted 2/9/2021 15:13 PM

(((skeetermooch))) It hurts my STBX wouldn't stop his behavior either. Last one I found was a web cam girl. He was constantly talking to women all throughout our M. Like you I can't understand it. I think they loved the stability with us but led their dark lives on the side hoping to not get caught. They are addicts always needing the next hit even willing to put their family at risk for it.

I too am having a down day just ruminating. Some days when I wake up alone in the morning (especially when my kids are with him) and it feels so surreal. I wonder why I got dealt the shitty hand with relationships in life, but then I remember that it is me who attracts and then stays too long with these types. I wonder why some people get to experience a real true deep love with no infidelity. I am envious of them. I know I will never have that.

I also feel broken sexually too. I have no desire to have sex or date in fact I am petrified of it, so I keep to myself and carry on. So much was taken from me by STBX.

He discarded me while skillfully getting me to do all of the dirty work, so he could then play the victim

Yes this is what happened to me as well. He had been giving me the silent treatment and just overall not being nice to me right before I decided to pull the plug so I was in the discard stages. I felt it and recognized it. I didn't want to have to keep repeating the same toxic patterns over and over again so I called it quits. Now I am the bad guy, the one who gave up on him and the M. He did not help with one single thing towards separation, he doesn't even provide financial support. It all seems so unfair. I hate the baggage that I carry.

skeetermooch posted 2/9/2021 15:41 PM

Thanks, CBS, I feel like you and I have shared some of the same shitty, messy getting out dynamics with these nut jobs. Mine also says I gave up on the M. Hilarious. His constant cheating was going all in on the M, I suppose. I too felt the big discard coming and I wanted to get out before he fully dumped me. That would've been too much to endure.

It's hard when you have kids with them. I remember with my son how hard I found those days he went to his narc dad's house.

I wonder why I got dealt the shitty hand with relationships in life, but then I remember that it is me who attracts and then stays too long with these types. I wonder why some people get to experience a real true deep love with no infidelity. I am envious of them. I know I will never have that.

Yeah, I wonder that too but I don't blame myself. I feel like very few of us get a line of suitors, who we then choose from. If this were the case, I'd say, yep, I picked the psycho, but I was always single for years before I got involved and most of those single years were fully alone years. It was hard to find someone compatible or find anyone at all. There's a huge element of luck to who we cross paths with when we are ready for a commitment. I think I got very unlucky. Add to that, I'm no match for a psychopath bent on playing a part/conning me/hiding his true nature. I just didn't have the knowledge to recognize those flags.

I'm envious too of those who got lucky/picked well. And it does feel very unfair. I feel like the kid who doesn't get a seat during a game of musical chairs. Now, what? Sit and watch everyone else's happiness? But inevitably other people lose a seat and we wander off and start a new game.

And sex - forget - no interest whatsoever. Maybe it'll come back. I don't know. His "hotness" and my attraction for him may have clouded my judgement, so maybe it's for the best that sex doesn't hold a lot of sway for me anymore. I suspect if we ever meet someone worthwhile in the future, it will come back.

[This message edited by skeetermooch at 3:42 PM, February 9th (Tuesday)]

Somber posted 2/10/2021 07:13 AM

It took time to detach and start putting the focus on myself.

I am realizing this in myself. It takes time and strength to detach. It takes time and effort to focus on ourselves.

I see that this continues after separation as well. I can see the ongoing struggles in many of you. We are all at different stages and I see itís not a quick fix. I believe you all when you say it gets better, becomes clearer and more peaceful once separated though. That is for those of us with a SA who havenít chosen recovery! I know some of you are on an even different path and I wish you all the success possible in your situations.

Skeeter and CBS, I just read an article on the PTS from our situations. Those symptoms typically begin or heighten once the threat is removed. You both are removed from the threat of harm with your SAís. You arenít in survival mode of fight and flight anymore. You are healing and PTS symptoms are warning signs of healing required. I may not have reframed that right. The meaning behind what I read was that true healing happens once the threat is removed, once we recognize the PTS symptoms and overcome the triggers by various therapeutic strategies. Keep on your healing path. It will get better. I want that for you all. I also need to believe it for myself. Hang in there.

Xoxo

skeetermooch posted 2/10/2021 08:49 AM

The PTSD has been pretty bad for awhile. I don't even know if it got worse when he was removed, maybe in part because I didn't fully remove him until recently. Up until maybe 3 weeks ago he was taking my son out to dinner and popping his head in during pick up and drop off.

I've spent about a year stuck in bed - I get out to shower, when I have to take my son somewhere, see my trainer or work, which some weeks is not at all and other weeks is maybe 8 hours - I know I'm lucky but also not, because the ruminating goes wild with so much downtime. I have good days/stretches, where I go for dog walks, garden, do house projects or meet up with my covid pod, but I have more bad stretches where I watch tv and don't get a lot accomplished.

I no longer wake up hyperventilating or having intense anxiety - that's huge. I think the new meds fixed that. In fact, now that I think of it I don't have nearly the number of panic attacks I was having. The big hurdles are to stop ruminating and to conquer the depression - getting back to really living. Rather than dragging myself to everything, actually having enthusiasm and energy would be grand. I do see a faint light at the end of the tunnel but it's a ways off.

crazyblindsided posted 2/10/2021 11:11 AM

The big hurdles are to stop ruminating and to conquer the depression - getting back to really living. Rather than dragging myself to everything, actually having enthusiasm and energy would be grand. I do see a faint light at the end of the tunnel but it's a ways off.

This feels exactly where I'm at. The depression is kicking my butt right now. The meds I am on keep the anxiety away but I feel so down lately. Like you there are some days I'm motivated and others I just plop in front of the TV and wallow. I'm not drowning my sorrows with drinking anymore, been completely sober for about 2 months now so I am proud of myself for that. Just trying to feel the feels and get through it.

skeetermooch posted 2/10/2021 12:49 PM

CBS,
Congrats on your sobriety! That's huge. Yeah, feeling the feels over here too. I really just started crying for the loss of the dream like yesterday, just fully feeling the sadness. I think our brains and bodies can only let it out a little at a time because it's so big. But that I could handle feeling and expressing grief gives me hope that maybe I'm getting better. I hate all the time I'm losing to this mental breakdown/trauma - I could be accomplishing so much if I wasn't so stuck. Once in awhile I can use that anger to force myself into some activity - I built a composting bin a week or two ago, which I'm very proud of. Hopefully, more of that to come.

Somber posted 2/10/2021 13:58 PM

I relate to you both. I have had the last 3 days off and was hoping to be so productive now that my 2 kids are back in school this week. Iíve done nothing but binge watch t.v., take baths and naps. I feel like a zombie. I also feel emotionally suffocation. The kids have been home every day with us since I told him I wanted to separate. I am seeing now that the kids and their homeschooling has been a tremendous distraction. Now Iím not distracted and the pain is harder to avoid. Iím still very guarded and the pain is looming but not being felt as it should. I still canít cry. I even tried a sappy playlist to help me wallow but it didnít work. I felt deep sadness but expressed nothing. Iím having more headaches and neck pain though so Iím certain that is the tension from it all.
Back to work tmrw for a few days but all I want to do is stay in bed, sleep, bath, t.v. And repeat for life.

skeetermooch posted 2/10/2021 15:00 PM

Back to work tmrw for a few days but all I want to do is stay in bed, sleep, bath, t.v. And repeat for life.

I can so relate but honestly it's good to be in the land of the living, horrible though it is to drag ourselves there. Ruminating and vegging out aren't doing anything great for us. But, having said that, I think we have a need to numb out a bit because of the trauma. Not crying is okay. You will eventually, trust me.

I started getting really weepy the last month - just easily brought to tear, eyes welling up out of nowhere, but it wasn't until the other day when I was staring at that stupid massage parlor that an enormous wave of grief hit me - it felt like such a release. I cried more like that yesterday. When I first found out I certainly cried a lot but like an animal in mortal pain. I wailed in agony.

I only ended the fake R and filed the D about 5.5 months ago - so it's all kind of newish. I don't know if the year I spent with one foot in and one foot out, going back and forth accomplished anything positive - I'm sure I needed that time to get some clarity and education and enough stability to move through actually ending it. I don't see how immediately post dday 1 I could've possibly had the wherewithal to do squat.

Onwards and upwards. We are going to be badass bitches very very soon!!

Holeinthewall posted 2/10/2021 18:52 PM

Prioritizing yourself, doing what you can to take good care of yourself and advance your goals are things you can do now. Detaching from his dysfunction is something you can also work towards. You know he's constantly seeking out sex partners, so you don't really need to verify this. If he has a shift, it will be apparent without snooping, so maybe you can back off on focusing on that and use that energy for yourself?

He's at it again,disappearing for hours at a time, lying. I snooped, I found new things. I am done with the bullshit.

I am really going to do my best to keep the focus on me. Meditation and yoga are helping me reconnect with my body. IC is helping me get to the root of why I've bounced from 1 addict, to a worse addict, to yet another who has wreaked havoc on my life.

A call to an attorney or two for a consult is in order. Neither of us are willing to leave the house. We are financially tangled up and I want the best advantage.

Has anyone dealt with an in house separation? I want to get myself prepared since it probably will come to that. Also, I don't know how to deal with him still acting out.

skeetermooch posted 2/10/2021 19:08 PM

HITW,
So sorry he's acting out again and not making a separation easy for you. Usually, you shouldn't leave your house. Depending on your location you should be able to get temporary orders that assign one person sole use of the marital home until he can be sold or otherwise sorted out. I recommend seeing an attorney and getting the ball rolling.

I never did IHS. I did live with my ex for 4 months post dday in limbo and it was absolute hell. I don't know how folks do it.

skeetermooch posted 2/10/2021 19:30 PM

So, I was looking for some papers and I pulled a box down from a high closet shelf and it was my ex's, full of journals and correspondences, etc. I snooped. What I found was a person I didn't know. In a draft of a letter to a buddy he bragged that he was talking to "5 or 6 bitches" on tinder, when we met and all of the "fire ass bitches" at his gym. I guess I was one of the bitches. I've never heard him use language like to refer to women. He was, apparently, in relationships with a few, all while I believed him to have been totally single for quite some time. One in a city about 2 hours from here, right when we were dating. It was all "I love yous" and very intimate. He'd told me about this woman but as someone he'd dated a decade before. He also said this woman had died - no idea if that's even true now.

In one of the journals, he was trying to do a fearless inventory or something - listing all of his misdeeds - there were many. He is a total sociopath. He talks about lying just for fun, using the puppy dog routine to manipulate people, cheating on every woman he'd ever been with, crying at will, how sex was all that mattered to him, who was an easy mark, stealing from people...

I'm stunned. I don't know what to do with this information, let alone this box of ugliness. There are photos of his child and his family in it. I would feel badly throwing it away but I don't want it here. I also don't want to break NC, even to instruct him to pick it up from my driveway.

Of course, I know I shouldn't have broken NC but I've wanted to peek into his brain so many times to figure out who he really is, and I had the opportunity. So now I know. None of these women mattered to him even a little bit. At best they were sparkly objects he picked up for a few moments, but he had so many. And each one seemed to believe they were the only one. No one seemed to matter particularly except maybe the child he abandoned. He wrote about her a lot.

I'm just stunned. Not sure I really needed this, but maybe remembering this will help when I have a weak moment imagining he's morphed into Prince Charming for the next bitch.

Somber posted 2/11/2021 07:36 AM

HITW,
I know the pain of what you are experiencing. It sucks. In house separation is difficult but sometimes a necessary first step. Do you have kids? I canít remember because Iíve been too stuck in my own hell to remember all details. Iíve done in house separation for over a month now, itís a lot of egg shell walking. Iím better on the days he is working and avoid him on the days we are both home aside from shared meal time with the kids. Itís tough but what it does do is set some immediate boundaries! As soon as I enforced it, I had a room to myself and finally some space. Every situation is different. I wouldnít plan on it long term.

Skeeter.
OMG! What a find. That must have been so painful to read. Iím sorry you found it but it served itís purpose to remind you of who he really is. You are better off without him as you know. I wouldnít break NC over it. In fact; there may be some pleasure in throwing it all away!!!

None of these women mattered to him even a little bit. At best they were sparkly objects he picked up for a few moments, but he had so many. And each one seemed to believe they were the only one. No one seemed to matter particularly except maybe the child he abandoned. He wrote about her a lot.

Such a painful reality, isnít it! Iím seeing that too. My husband as you know is still actively seeking out partners. Uses the same lines; they all think they are the only one and special...pathetic but also very skilled! Decent human beings couldnít pull this off, it takes mastery in manipulative behaviours. The child he wrote about, I wonder how much of that is projection of his own abandonment as a child. But donít let that empathy come in and ruin your healing. He isnít there to play victim and manipulate you, donít let the ghost of him get to you either. I would keep NC.

DevastatedDee posted 2/11/2021 08:47 AM

OMG Skeeter. Do you have a fire pit? There's a part of me that would not be surprised to have found the same sort of stuff from my XWH. I am pretty healed at this point, but if there is one thing that I'm pretty sure I'll never be blasť about it's discovering what was under the mask. It's discovering that I was married to and invested in a surface person when a whole other creature was actually in charge. I remember sitting there with him when he told someone helping with his recovery that he used a nice guy charm to manipulate people. He went on about it for a few minutes, sounding almost proud. I just went cold all over because I was sitting right there and he was talking about me. We were at a restaurant and I stopped eating and had to go vomit in the restroom. I don't grieve anymore, I don't direct any emotional energy towards my XWH anymore, but there's something life-changing about being involved with someone like that. The lingering damage that I deal with is the awareness that people like this exist and that they are so good at faking humanity that I'd not know immediately. The odds of me running into someone else as screwed up as he is and not seeing it in time aren't that high. Probably I'd know within a couple of months now that I know what I'd be looking for. But it creeps me out to think of it. He creeped me out so much after that day and I didn't find half of what you did. You just found incontrovertible evidence of exactly what he is and I can imagine it just chills you. You've seen evil and that is damaging all by itself.

Do not break NC. He left it there, so that's on him. Destroy it when you're ready. Purge it out of your life.

DevastatedDee posted 2/11/2021 08:56 AM

Such a painful reality, isnít it! Iím seeing that too. My husband as you know is still actively seeking out partners. Uses the same lines; they all think they are the only one and special...pathetic but also very skilled! Decent human beings couldnít pull this off, it takes mastery in manipulative behaviours. The child he wrote about, I wonder how much of that is projection of his own abandonment as a child. But donít let that empathy come in and ruin your healing. He isnít there to play victim and manipulate you, donít let the ghost of him get to you either. I would keep NC.

It takes an inability to feel and that is a dangerous person. There is no place for empathy towards sociopaths. Empathy is how they destroy you. They don't care about your empathy aside from how it can be used to manipulate you. It feels unnatural (it is unnatural), but the way to treat a sociopath (or active addict, same thing) is to act as if you are one yourself in their direction. They don't tend to leave you alone until you show them that you cannot be moved by tears or empathy. It's like showing them your underbelly to do so. I couldn't get my XWH to go away until I could look at him weeping with nothing but coldness in my eyes. They stop when they can get nothing further from you.

skeetermooch posted 2/11/2021 09:59 AM

I do have a fire pit - actually three. Ha.

He collects women sort of like I collect designer clothes. There's a trunk sale in my town every quarter. You can buy used high end garments - Gucci, Missoni, Dior, Chloe etc - things I could never afford retail. I go once or twice a year and drop a few hundred dollars on things I invariable wear once or twice. They make me feel like someone else for a moment, a wealthy woman, with a fancy life. I can afford it. No one's harmed. My closet's got some things I rarely use taking up space, but that's the worst of it.

He collects women in the same way (although more voraciously). They allow him to pretend he's someone else. He feels special, decent and worthy if a special, decent and worthy woman returns his affection. He feels desirable and wealthy when he can pick the "low-hanging fruit" (his actual words) for transactional encounters and prides himself on getting strippers and sex workers to provide free sex on the promise of a relationship. Every woman exists to make him feel better about himself for a brief moment. Their humanity doesn't matter. It doesn't even exist. He never fully discards any of them - they get shoved in his closet (until they flee) for future use and he's constantly adding to his collection.

The woman who died - he told me they dated briefly a decade prior. When he conveyed that she'd passed away, he said, it was a shame or something appropriate, but he seemed to feel no sadness. This wasn't odd to me as I believed she'd died some years ago, long after they'd fallen out of touch, and it was a brief fling. But in reality, either she didn't die and he made it up - super creepy, or she had literally just died when he was telling me the story. And since at that time they were "in love" and missing each other desperately, it is beyond disturbing that he felt nothing and wanted to share any of this with me.

Women are objects to him, nothing more. It's pretty chilling.

Thanks for the feedback, I won't break NC. I'm going to shove this thing in the shed in the backyard for now.

skeetermooch posted 2/11/2021 10:03 AM

It takes an inability to feel and that is a dangerous person. There is no place for empathy towards sociopaths. Empathy is how they destroy you. They don't care about your empathy aside from how it can be used to manipulate you. It feels unnatural (it is unnatural), but the way to treat a sociopath (or active addict, same thing) is to act as if you are one yourself in their direction.

Yes.
The child he wrote about, I wonder how much of that is projection of his own abandonment as a child.

Yes, undoubtedly. He had the world's shittiest childhood and so he thinks his daughter must feel abandoned too, even though she was adopted by her mother's husband as a baby and grew up with two parents, grandparents, etc. He as a sperm donor loser, that she'd last seen at three months old. The best thing he could've done is to have left her alone.

crazyblindsided posted 2/11/2021 17:04 PM

Perfect reading for me today especially when I get doubts about who he is.

Empathy is how they destroy you.

This is exactly it ^^^ and my STBX banks on it with me. His last manipulation was all about how sad he is and how it is making his feelings of abandonment worse. It took me 3 days of being depressed and feeling guilty to get past that text but I gave him crickets.

I cannot afford to be manipulated again.

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