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I Can Relate :
Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 21

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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 2:46 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

I think I get wrapped up in the sanon thoughts of it’s a disease.

Fuck that trap all day long. My XWH had two of the most bestest diseases. First he was a sex addict, though I didn't know at the time. Then he became a crack addict. Do you know what it's like to live with a crackhead? Oh it's great. You learn how to go to sleep with your keys and wallet hidden in your pillowcase. You learn how quickly thousands of dollars can just disappear. You learn how to say "How in the hell are we going to pay the mortgage?". You learn how they like to cover windows with towels and blankets and peer out in paranoia, thereby freaking you out. You learn about erratic irrational behavior and thoughts. You learn that your kids need to spend extra time with their grandparents because you don't feel safe having them in their own home. You learn how to change ALL your passwords on every account. You learn to hide your valuables. You learn how to kick him out and change the locks. You learn how to go to bed not knowing if he'll still be alive in the morning. You learn to accept the liklihood of your spouse's death. I thought that was hell, I really did. That is a disease that every single person anywhere supports you leaving a spouse over, no questions asked.

When he went to rehab and came back clean, I found out about the prostitutes from reading his rehab journal. Cute story, he got crack from one of the prostitutes because he was bargain hunting for whores and wound up with the drug addicted ones in sleazy run down trailers. I had thought that having a crack addicted husband who I expected to overdose and would act like a sociopath and steal from me hurt more than anything. I thought that was pain. It was nothing. That horror was absolutely nothing compared to infidelity.

You're still living with someone who is actively pursuing an addiction that hurts people worse than an active crack addiction.

I do not care whether or not it's a disease. If someone grabs me off the street and saws off my leg, does it matter whether he did it because he just felt like it or because he had an amputee-creating disease? When your disease starts to cause me harm, you are the one I blame because you have a responsibility to control and treat that disease. His "disease" could give you AIDS. Cancer from HPV. A fun doctor visit for treatment of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis. It most definitely gives you PTSD and makes you the victim of abuse. Anyone who has a disease that causes that much harm to others has a responsibility to put all of their effort into treating it or they're a flaming unempathetic asshole. You can be an asshole and have an addiction.

Seriously, the disease problem is a him problem. Your quality of life is a you problem. I don't give the first flying fuck about my XWH's diseases. I gave all the fucks about what his refusal for treatment did to me.

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

posts: 4479   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8619044
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ForMe ( new member #75200) posted at 5:20 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

I thought I might finally make my way here.

Long story short: SAWH was blackmailed by one of his acting out partners, "confessed" to 13 women over a 6 year period. I insisted on a polygraph and out comes more confession that he has been cheating on me with hundreds of sex workers as well throughout the entirety of our 9 year relationship.

DevastatedDee spoke in my original JFO thread and told me that dealing with sex addiction is crazy making, and it indeed is as you don't know whether you are getting the truth, and you will probably need to polygraph him every 6 months. You were right on that there was probably more, and there was more.

I guess I am just coming here for some support at a point of weakness.

SAWH seems to be doing the work. He is currently in rehab, seems to be working the 12 step program. 5 months in I can finally believe that I see some remorse. He acknowledges the abuse, acknowledges the manipulation/gaslighting and is working hard at his FOO issues. He has significant childhood trauma combined with toxic shame. I believe he is currently ssober while in rehab but I am not sure if he will remain sober once he leaves.

Are there any partners here with SAs that are making concrete steps and making changes that you would like to see? When did you decide that you would stay? Was it at a point in time after D-Day or was it due to some combination of behaviours that you witnessed?

I am at the stage that I am happily separated and will be happy to remain separated in the near future. SAWH is hoping that if he works the steps, changes and makes amends that he will be accepted back into the home at some point.

My experience of 12 steps and rehab is that they absolutely baby the addict. Help them see themselves as a victims and give themselves pats in the back for every small adult action that they perform. It completely minimises the effect on the betrayed partner and the families and I feel actually shames the partner for expressing their pain so as to not threaten the fragile sobriety of the addict.

SAWH is currently on step 1, and he's doing an okay job. I am itching for him to get to step 9 when he is making amends to me. I feel like I have been abused/ignored/cheated on for so long that I don't even want to be in a relationship anymore and the only thing that will stop me from completely giving up on the relationship is if he owns his shit and starts making amends to me. Has anyone else had this problem?

posts: 18   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2020
id 8619098
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ForMe ( new member #75200) posted at 5:20 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

[This message edited by ForMe at 11:21 AM, December 23rd (Wednesday)]

posts: 18   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2020
id 8619099
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ForMe ( new member #75200) posted at 5:38 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Somber, your stories about what your SAWH used to tell you to doubt your reality sounds like manipulation/gaslighting/crazy making. It sounds so exhausting him twisting himself into a pretzel so it was always you that was at fault.

I think it comes down to the pathology of even being a SA in the first place. You have to have no morals/values, you have to put your addiction first before everything and you will lie/cheat/manipulate to keep this double life at all costs.

My way to counteract these statements now is just to go into attack. You know that feeling where you hear a statement that doesn't sit right in your belly. Or that feeling when you know he's telling a lie. Now when I get that feeling, I get out the shovel and I start digging.

For example, recently, when I was digging up a past detail of him asking me for plastic surgery for my breasts, I asked him at that time whether he compared me to his prostitues. He went on attack and accused me of trying to derail his recovery and wanting him to fail. The old me would be shamed into shutting up because boo hoo poor addict is so fragile that they cannot even talk about things that they have done. But the new me, this statement didn't sit right with me, so I kept pushing and pushing, kept telling him that the truth is what I needed for recovery and that he is fooling himself about recovery if he is still minimising and denying. I finally got the truth after that.

The thing with these guys is that they are really good liars and manipulators. They will pull everything out of the book to stop accountability and keep you fooled. I have learnt his ways slowly, and I am getting better at pushing and pushing and pushing. Every time I get that feeling I push. Sooner or later a crack forms.

posts: 18   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2020
id 8619109
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 5:41 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Whether he is acting out or not, I’m consumed by him. It leaves no room for me, much less room for my kids and becoming the mother I want to be.

That's life with an SA in a nutshell. From your posts it's clear he uses every trick in the book to trigger your guilt and defensiveness and to keep your brain in the blender. That he would point out you not wearing your ring after he did everything but take a crap on his is beyond - my STBX did the same. Constantly asked about the ring and where it was, did I get rid of it, why wasn't I wearing it. Meanwhile his ringed finger was all over a jillion sex workers. He drove my car to see them!

They aren't just addicts, they're abusers. While I know addiction can cause some messed up behavior, many of these SAs are also personality disordered, so they're incredibly emotionally abusive. You husband seems to be pulling out every trick in the abuser's handbook. When you've been swimming in that toxic soup for years, it's very hard to keep a firm hold on reality, but it sounds like you're doing the right stuff - focus on you, your health, your boundaries and your kids. Don't justify, argue, defend or explain and don't waste time analyzing him too much. He's sick and disordered. He's not safe and not even trying to get there.

Me: BS 50sDDay 1 - 7/2019Separated - 11/2019False Reconciliation - Spring 2020DDay 2 - 8/23/2020DIVORCED - January 2021

posts: 1165   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8619112
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 5:49 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

For me,

Mine didn't do as much recovery work as others on here. He went to therapy with a CSAT and began taking medication of some kind that was supposed to help with impulse control. He too expected pats on the back for the most minor acts of adulting. I tried R when he was talking a good game and seemed to be genuinely in a period of abstinence. This was very short-lived. Very soon I caught him acting out again - in the middle of a pandemic no less. He never gave me passwords and continued to blame shift and gas light throughout. He was also manipulative and would accuse me of wanting him to fail etc to avoid answering questions. He's done the bare minimum and at this point I think only tries to get me back for image control.

Me: BS 50sDDay 1 - 7/2019Separated - 11/2019False Reconciliation - Spring 2020DDay 2 - 8/23/2020DIVORCED - January 2021

posts: 1165   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8619116
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 7:11 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

My experience of 12 steps and rehab is that they absolutely baby the addict. Help them see themselves as a victims and give themselves pats in the back for every small adult action that they perform. It completely minimises the effect on the betrayed partner and the families and I feel actually shames the partner for expressing their pain so as to not threaten the fragile sobriety of the addict.

he old me would be shamed into shutting up because boo hoo poor addict is so fragile that they cannot even talk about things that they have done. But the new me, this statement didn't sit right with me, so I kept pushing and pushing, kept telling him that the truth is what I needed for recovery and that he is fooling himself about recovery if he is still minimising and denying. I finally got the truth after that.

OMFG, I so know what you're talking about. My XWH went to rehab where he did things like yoga, ziplining, horseback riding, sports, talked about his feelings, etc. and so on. He got baptized and found Jesus. The therapists there told him to not tell me about the sex addict part, just get better. I remember some weeks after he got home finding him sitting in the dining room listening to a really beautiful song that I have blocked from my existence and can't even remember the name of. It was a song of recovery but had a line in it about infidelity or sleeping with whores or something. He sat there, tears in his eyes, face shining with transcendent joy that he had escaped all that and found Jesus. I stood there, 20 lbs lighter in a month because I couldn't eat, bags under my eyes because I couldn't sleep, shaky with weakness and trauma, and watched him bask in his beautiful story of redemption. There were so many nails in the coffin of my marriage, and that was one.

When I went through phone records and discovered that he cheated well before crack entered the picture and found phone calls and texts to numerous prostitutes, I went home and confronted him, only for him to start shaking and weeping and saying he was just going to have to leave if it was going to be like this because his recovery was too important and stated that not talking about this was a boundary that he had, I LOST MY SHIT altogether. I'd have shot him if I'd have had a gun in my hand. The time we spent together after rehab and DDay was full of him going victim and me spontaneously combusting. To this day, the only trigger I have left is when someone is a massive asshole and then plays victim when you point it out. I have to walk away and take a few breaths to keep from yelling.

I don't know how many of them actually recover. I think it's great that you're living separately. Thing is, if he is to recover, he needs to do that FAR away from you so that you don't have to see that self-absorbed bullshit and experience further trauma from it. They are already champions at being self-absorbed, and they have to be self-absorbed to recover too. It takes a LONG while for them to figure this empathy and being a decent human thing out, if they ever do. They have to battle that for life. So what you're dealing with is someone who has to constantly work on themselves in order to not cause you harm, and that's just never going to be safe enough for me.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 1:11 PM, December 23rd (Wednesday)]

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

posts: 4479   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8619154
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 7:42 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

OMFG Dee, no jury of your peers would convict you had you shot the zen crackhead. Hell, I'd have helped you bury the body. Detest when my STBX gets all up in his self-righteousness about his recovery and his boundaries, which somehow involve not helping me heal. Fuck all of that noise. It speaks to how utterly arrogant and entitled they are. The foolishness. And call me an asshole, but I have no interest in spending my life second fiddle to someone's recovery and relapses. I didn't sign up for that. I was purposely misled as to who he was.

So speaking of manipulation - my idiot STBX sent a message saying that he's buying my son some expensive camera from his amazon wishlist. He'd previously went on and on about how he couldn't get him much for xmas because money is tight - extra whores and eggnog I suppose. I told him not to get him anything a while ago and I'm not even speaking with him now. I told him in no uncertain terms during breakup #403 that there was no hope and that I was filing the final paperwork to finish the D. So, do I respond or ignore? I really don't need him showing up here with gifts, nor him working himself into a rage because he resents spending the money. However, don't want to break NC either.

Me: BS 50sDDay 1 - 7/2019Separated - 11/2019False Reconciliation - Spring 2020DDay 2 - 8/23/2020DIVORCED - January 2021

posts: 1165   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8619169
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 8:24 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Don't respond at all. This is a ploy to get you to respond. Who knows if he even actually will buy it?

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

posts: 4479   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8619189
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secondtime ( member #58162) posted at 8:51 PM on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

For Me:

In Recovery v1, it took me 18 months to decide to trust my husband. But, it was 18 months of him putting forth effort, being present, and actually communicating with me.

I thought that was enough. It wasn't.

I should have asked for full disclosure. I did not.

My husband went to a CSAT for about 3 years, and then was told that he was solid enough in his recovery that he could manage.

I even got a new wedding ring. I asked for it, and he obliged. It's quite beautiful, even if it is meaningless.

I mistakenly assumed that my husband had a plan for when he had the urge. Turns out, he did not.

And slipped/marched towards a full blown relapse over a span of 7ish years, complete with lying to me about it when I called him out on it.

In Recovery v2..My husband religiously goes to his 12 step meetings, but not surprisingly, has faltered with *me* with regards to his stepwork. My husband has been on the amends step for I think 2.5 years. My husband has managed to write an open letter to make amends to the women that he's objectified. On the one hand, I'm glad he did it..because it does point to the fact that maybe he gets it.

On the otherhand...his amends letter was likely directed towards people that didn't give a shit about him.

I probably asked him 6 or so weeks ago if he's ever going to make amends to me. He told me yes. I asked when. He said.."I don't know."

So. It's a very good data point for me, that I don't think my husband is very capable of the work.

My husband says lots of things: That he won't lie to me again; that I'm the most important thing in his life; that he's been sober for 3.75 years now, if we legally separate he will tell the children it's because of his choices.

I don't believe him. I have given my husband a list of things that I need from him before I will agree to maybe try this time..we likely need to see a marriage therapist.

My list of what I want/want to see before I consider working on the marriage are

1-A real apology every single time he apologizes. None of this "I'm sorry you feel that way." shit

2- An amends letter

3- Names of his coworkers that he fantasized about; names of the moms at the kids school that he's fantasized about

4- Demonstrated actual effort, to include initiating discussions about how he's doing with his recovery..reflections on attending meetings, etc.

So. Within the last year, he did do the better apology for 3 weeks. And, he has put forth some inconsistent effort.

It's not enough for me, I detach.

I don't think my husband started taking me very seriously until I started bringing up separation more. Legal separation is a thing in our state. First, I shared things like: Well, you know, if we really want to have a healthy marriage, we probably need to work with a counselor. I'm unwilling to do that right now, because I don't think you are safe. Then the discussion has moved to: I want to make sure I have finished my degree and I have a new car before we separated. Again, about 6 weeks or so ago, I did suggest that maybe we take some of the next round of stimulus money and do a couple weeks of a trial separation.

The last one seemed to have made the most impression on him.

I don't hate my husband. I'm not sure I love him. I'm not ready to leave just from the logistical nightmare of where we are in our lives. Four kids, me still in school and working. We are better operating as a partnership than not. His parents are also my support. I'm not ready to give that up.

I don't really know if he's happy staying in a relationship with me. He says he is, and when I offer that maybe he moves out and gets his needs met elsewhere on his own time, he insists that's not what he wants. But, again, he doesn't really behave in a way that demonstrates that he really wants to be with me..

posts: 1035   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2017
id 8619203
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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 2:46 AM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

LMAO Dee....amputee-creating disease! You made me laugh. Yes some diseases are too harmful to live with. What you had to live with is double the level toxic. Living with both addictions is debilitating. Crack seems to take on a whole other level that I don’t want to ever know!! Living with an alcoholic sex addict is more than I can comprehend. Hugs to you and all you have been through and the support you give here ❤️

When your disease starts to cause me harm, you are the one I blame because you have a responsibility to control and treat that disease...Anyone who has a disease that causes that much harm to others has a responsibility to put all of their effort into treating it or they're a flaming unempathetic asshole. You can be an asshole and have an addiction.

Yes to this. You are so right. There is great harm and that can’t be blanketed with ‘I have a disease.’ There is no responsibility for harm in that, just excuses.

I don't give the first flying fuck about my XWH's diseases. I gave all the fucks about what his refusal for treatment did to me.

. I need to get here and stay here!!

My experience of 12 steps and rehab is that they absolutely baby the addict. Help them see themselves as a victims and give themselves pats in the back for every small adult action that they perform. It completely minimises the effect on the betrayed partner and the families and I feel actually shames the partner for expressing their pain so as to not threaten the fragile sobriety of the addict.

My goodness yes, my experience is the same. Same things as Dee described, all the fun activities. I don’t know what deep down therapy they actually did, if any. My husband wanted a F’n cake and welcome home party after rehab. There was no insight into the pain he caused me, the damage done...it was all about him still. He was the victim and expected me to do nothing but be supportive. I was then afraid to be blamed for him drinking again. And I was actually. If I didn’t sleep with him or wanted this marriage to work then he may as well go get a bottle of vodka. It gave him a new manipulation tool.

((For me)). That’s a lot to go through. I’m not very helpful right now, as you can see and have identified the amount of emotional abuse I am enduring. You will find some amazing advice and support here though. If my spouse followed through with therapy, SA groups even, who knows maybe we would be in a better place, one deserving of hope and worth R. I think it’s too early for you to tell. You don’t need to decide what to do now. I would though keep up with therapy for just you. Keep the focus on you as it really is all we can control.

The thing with these guys is that they are really good liars and manipulators. They will pull everything out of the book to stop accountability and keep you fooled.

yes you are right! I have seen first hand all the mind tricks that have been used on me to keep me fooled. It was therapy and this place that has helped me to name how he treats me. I never thought I would be in an emotionally abusive marriage, married to a SA or alcoholic. I thought I was wiser but I’m no match for this level of manipulation. In fact, I think I have been projecting myself onto him, expecting him to feel, care, understand and empathize just as I do.

Skeeter, we have many similarities with our spouses. It is sad that there are so many men out there like this. What was your best strategy to deal with the manipulations? I try to ignore them at best, name them to him (staying he is projecting) which he hates but it shuts him up. Tonight he acted like all was good and nothing was wrong. It was short lived silent treatment. No more comments about wedding ring, my nonexistent affairs. This really messes me up though. Last night I feel the need to defend myself, feel bad about myself, angry at him, annoyed. This morning I feel like I did something wrong, annoyed at him again for his silent treatment. Then tonight I feel relieved that there is no drama but confused as F to what is happening and what is real. The pretend normalcy makes me question my sanity, my reality, what has or hasn’t happened. In 24 hours, my head has been all over the place. I’m so confused and so exhausted.

From your posts it's clear he uses every trick in the book to trigger your guilt and defensiveness and to keep your brain in the blender.

Yes I can see this now, I see the tricks as they are. I’m sometimes in the right frame of mind to call him on it like I did the other night when he was suggesting I was having affairs with doctors, security guards...ridiculous. You are right, he isn’t safe or even trying to be!

Skeeter, Dee is right. I wouldn’t reply either. If he ends up dropping of a gift then great. Either way, you don’t need to reply. Is it his son too?

Second time, that is a long road you have been on. I sincerely wish with all his said effort that you two would have had more success. Hang in there. That inconsistent effort is hard to live with.

[This message edited by Somber at 8:54 PM, December 23rd (Wednesday)]

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

posts: 627   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8619273
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MakeMineReal ( new member #62275) posted at 4:40 AM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Needing some input.

Some background: divorced the SA about a year and a half ago. Four adult children, 2 from previous marriage, 2 with SA. They were all completely blindsided and traumatized when they learned that their father was a sex addict and had cheated our entire 31-plus year relationship. I had suspected an affair but finding out the extent of the cheating, lying, manipulation and gaslighting for our entire relationship left me with PTSD. They know a lot but not the worst of it - that he'd crossed the line from sex addiction to offender behaviors but was never charged legally or held accountable. Of course he's still lying and plays the victim - according to him he's not at fault because it's a 'disease' and he had a horrible childhood.... Not to mention that I am so 'unforgiving'....

Fast forward almost 5 years from d-day, I'm doing ok, but will never be the same, never trust any man again.... He got into a 'serious' relationship before the divorce was final, it lasted over two years, but never introduced her to the kids. I found out recently that the first girlfriend has been gone about 6 months and there's someone new, who is younger than my first two kids (his stepchildren) and barely older than his own daughter (our daughter together).

So the issue: my older daughter (his stepdaughter) had told me that she rarely talked to him, and that he didn't have much to do with her or her family. Then I find out that she's been having him over for dinner once or twice a month. He brought his girlfriend's daughter with him once because the girlfriend was working - he's been babysittting this four year old little girl. Scares the freakin' hell out of me - he's not in recovery and no one knows what he's capable of, and his behaviors over the years had gotten progressively more heinous. So, I just found out that my daughter had him, the girlfriend, and the child over for dinner, because she thought it was the "Christian thing to do", because "he has no one in his life showing him the love of God".

Am I wrong to be incredibly hurt, first by her telling me that she rarely talked to him, then finding out she'd been having him over for dinner with her family (my grandchildren!). Am I wrong to feel that she's condoning his behavior, after he destroyed our family, our marriage, our entire life, and she knows he has no remorse, has not tried to make amends to any of us, and in fact plays the victim in all of this?

I don't expect my kids to disown their father, but it really bothers me that my daughter can invite him and the girlfriend over, knowing he isn't being truthful to the girlfriend about his past and why he is divorced. It just seems that my daughter is willingly participating in the con game being played on the girlfriend.

To be clear, I have absolutely no problem with the fact that he has a girlfriend. Unbeknownst to me, he had 'girlfriends' our entire relationship - I'm over that. I personally cannot imagine inviting any couple over for dinner, sitting across the table from them, knowing that one of them is a sociopathic, serial-cheating, pathological liar, and not warn the new 'victim'.

Am I off base here?

"She packed up her potential and all she had learned and headed out to change a few things."

posts: 38   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2018
id 8619283
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 8:40 AM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

MMReal,

I'm sorry for your pain. I don't have much to offer other than to point out that her reasoning that

it was the "Christian thing to do"

demonstrates complete hypocrisy. I'm pretty sure that lying to one's mother doesn't meet the standard for Honor Thy Mother and Father.

Depending on what deviant behavior her father demonstrated, if you think any of the children are at risk, (your grandkids or the gf's) you should call social services and report it.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 8:51 AM, December 24th (Thursday)]

posts: 284   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8619291
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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 11:58 AM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

^^^agree, he isn’t in recovery and if there is a risk to that child it should be anonymously brought to light.

MMReal,

You aren’t off base.

Of course he's still lying and plays the victim - according to him he's not at fault because it's a 'disease' and he had a horrible childhood

This is the real problem here. He is a master at manipulation, as they mostly are, and is heavily playing the victim card for your daughter to invite him over because she feels bad for him. I feel bad for your daughter here. She may very well be doing the things we (or at least I ) have done. It’s a painful reality, we minimize to avoid the pain, live in denial, feel great empathy for their F’d up childhoods that caused their addictions and try to love them back to health.

You can’t control the situation but I would be encouraging her and all your kids to go to therapy. That is a lot to process for us as partners, let alone as his children /step children. It may benefit them and they may learn to navigate his unhealthy behaviours.

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

posts: 627   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8619295
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 3:08 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

MMR,

Jumping on the bandwagon to say this is upsetting. Your daughter is rug sweeping, sad to say. Even our kids sometimes don't want to give up their parent/grandparent and the ability to play one big happy family. That she lied to you shows she knows on some level what she's doing is problematic.

That he's babysitting a child is very very concerning. Since your daughter is an adult clearly making her own decisions, perhaps it's time to tell her the entire truth about her step-dad? She deserves to know if she's going have a relationship with him.

Me: BS 50sDDay 1 - 7/2019Separated - 11/2019False Reconciliation - Spring 2020DDay 2 - 8/23/2020DIVORCED - January 2021

posts: 1165   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8619314
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 3:44 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Somber,

I deal with the manipulations mostly by ending the conversation these days. Post dday when I was on the floor in a pool of tears and he was still in the house, I would hyperventilate when he started raging, blaming, projecting etc. I had to make him leave because breathing is important ;/ Since then I walk away, hang up the phone, stop texting the minute he starts.

Now, I try to view him as a cranky toddler - he's reactive, volatile, prone to tantrums, etc. At most I'll validate his feelings without justifying, arguing, defending or explaining (JADE - a term I learned for dealing with a family member with borderline personality disorder). JADE-ing just escalates them. I often say, "we will have to agree to disagree" or "I don't agree but I'm not going to defend myself." At the end of the day it's a lot of work and doesn't make living with them pleasant or doable. It just limits the arguments and frustration for you but they're still a disordered addict and unpleasant to have around. His accusations are still infuriating and it takes effort to not respond. I'm not always successful but I catch myself and stop pretty quickly.

I briefly lived with my STBX during the pandemic and I get how hard it is to keep things stable and calm when you're under the same roof. I would recommend you avoid the same circular, go nowhere conversations, try to channel your anger into something productive for you. Ultimately, living with someone disordered, who's not getting help and is emotional abusive and unfaithful is impossible long term. There's no trick that allows us to step around the toxic sludge - you're knee deep in it. All you can do is try to keep your head above water until you can get out.

There's a good book called the Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans that details various emotional abuse tactics and how to respond to them. There's no magic cure though - you can stop going down the rabbit hole so far but the asshole is still an asshole.

Me: BS 50sDDay 1 - 7/2019Separated - 11/2019False Reconciliation - Spring 2020DDay 2 - 8/23/2020DIVORCED - January 2021

posts: 1165   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8619320
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 5:00 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

There's a good book called the Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans that details various emotional abuse tactics and how to respond to them. There's no magic cure though - you can stop going down the rabbit hole so far but the asshole is still an asshole.

Yeah, there's a reason no one has written the book "How to Successfully be Happy with an Asshole" or "Guide to a Joyful Life with a Douchebag".

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

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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 5:59 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Thanks Skeeter. That is helpful guidance. I will remember the term JADE. It’s so true, these things don’t help. He isn’t capable of taking responsibility for his actions, he isn’t healthy enough, emotionally mature enough and ready to have honest conversations about any of it. So it’s a waste of my time to try to jade so to say. It just becomes a circular conversation as you explained that goes no where but brings about more pain and emotions. I’ll look into that book when I have some time.

I’m just trying to limit the arguments and frustrations over the holidays. He is at work until 5. He texted me asking why I still hate him so much. I didn’t know how to respond so mostly ignored that and focused on Xmas plans later. I did mention that it’s Christmas and we don’t need to get into our marital problems right now. With that comment alone, he is back to ignoring me. Silent treatment for Xmas perhaps is a gift.

Wishing you all the best holiday possible despite the toxicity of these men in our lives and the pandemic of course.

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

posts: 627   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8619343
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 8:40 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Yeah, there's a reason no one has written the book "How to Successfully be Happy with an Asshole" or "Guide to a Joyful Life with a Douchebag".

OMG Dee - silver lining of infidelity - I get to enjoy your amazing wit.

Me: BS 50sDDay 1 - 7/2019Separated - 11/2019False Reconciliation - Spring 2020DDay 2 - 8/23/2020DIVORCED - January 2021

posts: 1165   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8619365
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skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 8:47 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Somber,

Honestly that book is not a must have - it's helpful to a point but like Dee said, there's no happy life with an asshole.

One thing I read was that BSs who are angrier suffer less emotional abuse from the WS. So, there's that. I am a more passive/freeze kind of girl unfortunately. My ex took that as his cue to pummel me emotionally and verbally whenever I made a peep he didn't like. When I would try to initiate a conversation or point out something in the gentlest of ways - he'd go ballistic. So maybe that's also some valuable info - shut him down quickly.

When I did achieve detachment, I realized arguing with him was like punching a baby - too easy to put him in his place, lay bare the truth and leave him with a bunch of feelings he can't handle like guilt and shame. And even then, it gets you no where. This is not cured by an "aha" moment. This is deep mental illness, missed developmental lessons like empathy and likely a lost cause. No amount of truth, reason, kindness or hand holding will bring him to health. He's either going to set out on that journey on his own or he's going stay the way he is and take anyone in proximity down with him.

Tune him out, bake cookies, roast a turkey, blast the Christmas tunes and ignore his sulky ass. Take the kids on a drive to see the lights if he's a black cloud.

Me: BS 50sDDay 1 - 7/2019Separated - 11/2019False Reconciliation - Spring 2020DDay 2 - 8/23/2020DIVORCED - January 2021

posts: 1165   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8619367
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