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

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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 3:44 PM on Friday, April 30th, 2021

It is hard to get through my head that we are not on the same team, there is no team, I have been tricked by him for a long time and it is a lot to process.

Oh wow, that is a quote. That sums it up. All the pain and clarity right there.

Yes, it takes time to process that. It's huge. It took me a while to wrap my head around that reality too.

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 8655446
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PurpleReign ( member #75083) posted at 4:15 PM on Friday, April 30th, 2021

DevastatedDee you’re absolutely correct. This battle isn’t ours it’s theirs. I wish I could go full no contact but I have business to take care of. It took me forever to finally make a solid decision to sell this house. His horrible behavior is actually pushing me forward. He’s too ill to help me do anything. This house is too big and overwhelming to keep up for one person. I have no desire to live with him at all. I couldn’t imagine if he was here 24/7. I would catch a case.

I’m so glad to hear from you that this is all normal addict behavior. I thought for a second I was alone or going insane. I fight the manipulation constantly because I’m fully aware of what he’s doing. I hang up the phone as soon as the crazy rolls in. No one is built to put up with this shit. It’s all abnormal in a loving relationship.

What cracks me the fck up and infuriates me is that this fool has the nerve to try to complain about me and demand his needs are met. Omg the audacity! His group leader had to cancel last minute last night so he and another member just had a one on one meeting. Both of these idiots are doing the same thing to their spouses. Asking for shit, demanding shit, and complaining. I told him so y’all are two idiots in a pod. I said so you addicts blow up your own marriage and lives but have the nerve to think you get the right to blame, demand, and criticize. The fcking nerve.

He said I’m not intimate and I don’t connect with him. Hold on I’m cracking up. First of all he literally doesn’t understand what those words mean. Second he literally has intimacy anorexia, he’s an addict, and has a host of mental issues that prevents connection. Y’all he said I’m basically a sorry lay I told him yup that’s the problem. It’s all me. I’m not turned on by a sex addicted emotionally 12 year old boy who cheated on me with an ugly skank and prostitutes. Yup you got me! Just writing this cracks me up. I started dating back in December. He knows everything. I have no issue with sex or interactions with men. Nope I just don’t like the weirdo I married. I told him why would I listen to a sex addict about connection, sex, or intimacy. He’s batting one thousand in stupidity.

I’ve found so far that if I go back to just focusing on me I’m back calm again. I feel safe and happy. I have a loving family, friends, and a great social life. I don’t have any problems getting dates. He’s my only negative and he can drag me down. I just have to decide to cut the string completely but that’s the hardest and dumbest part. I don’t plan on going into some long form of therapy for this. I’ve already done years of work. Went to therapy for his abuse and crazy behavior 2 years ago. So far I haven’t heard from any of the spouses of sex addicts groups yet. Maybe it’s a sign lol.

I think I just need help in letting him go more than anything. He’s a 21 year habit. I do hope he beats this shit. I just don’t think I’ll be there to go through it with him. Right now I just need a lot of distance. Especially through this withdrawal phase.

posts: 63   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2020
id 8655490
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 4:46 PM on Friday, April 30th, 2021

I couldn’t imagine if he was here 24/7. I would catch a case.

Ha ha ha, PurpleReign, I so get that. I had kicked mine out but he came back after a couple of months and refused to leave because it was his house too. I sent the kids to stay with their dad, cashed out my 401k and bought another house and was moving out within 30 days "So that I can leave here without killing you first". I have never packed so quickly, angrily and passive-aggressively in my life, lol.

No one is built to put up with this shit. It’s all abnormal in a loving relationship.

That is so important to grasp. A lot of people get stuck because they think it's the "for worse" part of the wedding vows. No, this is not what falls under "for worse". For worse can be loss of job, health problems, a year of COVID lockdowns, loss of loved ones, drama with kids, etc. "For worse" isn't working through things with a partner who became your enemy. Beyond that, you CAN'T actually handle this because like you say, no one is built for it. It is so outrageous and appalling that no one is able to handle it. Boundaries don't make it livable. Self-esteem doesn't make it livable. Nothing does. There is no living in it. You can survive, but you can survive starvation, house fires and being shot too. People do survive in these marriages for years, but no one should ever be expected to. It's too much to ask of anyone. The cost is so high and it's so unfair.

And the entitlement. Oh yeah. Mine started smoking crack with the prostitutes he visited, so he brought a fine drug problem into the marriage as well. I left him one of the dogs who genuinely loved him the most. He couldn't care for his dog (being a drug addict and all), so a couple months after I left him I came back and got the baby. This was late 2018. He went to rehab a couple of times, lived out of state for a year, came back and threatened to take me to court for said dog because no contact means you don't get to visit your dog either (hint...the one time he visited the dog he paid attention to him for 10% of the time and the rest was telling me how sad he was that I wouldn't be his friend). Here we are in 2021 at least a year and a half after I last had any contact with him for anything and he messaged me about visiting my dog (ignored and blocked). I expect he cannot pinpoint why I'm an asshole for him being a crack addict who slept with a ton of prostitutes, so I get to forever be the asshole who took "his" dog. The one I paid every vet bill for since he was a puppy and had to spoon at night for 3 months straight after we left because that life traumatized his precious little self too.

Regardless, you will always be the bad guy and he will always be the victim. Facts don't matter. The addict mind is truly insane.

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 8655515
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 9:36 PM on Saturday, May 1st, 2021

PurpleReign

I’ve found so far that if I go back to just focusing on me I’m back calm again. I feel safe and happy.

That is our path to serenity in a nutshell. I may print it out and hang it up. Our focus has to be on us.

So far I haven’t heard from any of the spouses of sex addicts groups yet. Maybe it’s a sign lol.

I'm guessing you are referring to SA-Anon. I seem to recall it took them a while to get back to me as well. And then it was just by phone, which really didn't work for me. If you want to try the SA Lifeline meetings, (which use the same book) let me know and I will message you the password. All the zoom links are on their websites so you don't need anything directly from them to join.

I completely understand what you mean about the decades of marriage. We were married for 26 years, and I also relate to what you say about investing additional time. I don't really worry about the future. I just try to keep the focus on me and what I need today, tomorrow, next week etc. for my health and well being.

I had also done years of therapy, when I was single and when I was married. I'm grateful that when the shit hit the fan, my therapist, who did have trauma experience but with medical trauma (9-11) told me this was out of her league and referred me to a betrayal trauma expert instead of letting her ego get in the way. Learning the grounding skills has really helped me keep my sanity, and I have to laugh because I'm trying my new boundary skills with my FOO. I feel like a little kid that learned to tie her shoes and now she's tying bows in all the strings and ribbons she's finding. We're just starting to work on Post Induction Therapy , and I'm kind of excited about it. I'm tried of living my life like I'm in the movie Groundhog Day.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8655941
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PurpleReign ( member #75083) posted at 6:06 PM on Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

Hello BlackRaven. Please do send the link. I’m interested in what I can learn and gain from the meetings

Oh boy do I understand the Groundhog Day reference. I call it wanting to get off the merry go round. I’m trying to tie those lose ends with setting my boundaries. I’ve been saying no to everyone lol. Nope no Nuh uh is my new language. My friends and family know I’m dependable but they take it for granted. So if I don’t want to do something I say no and it doesn’t matter why. My time is precious.

I still haven’t figured out what exactly I want to go to therapy for this go around. Maybe it’s to deal with the PTSD of living with a mean, abusive, addict that lied and kept secrets from me for 21 years. I hate I have triggers at all but I do. I guess I’m a work in progress for now.

posts: 63   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2020
id 8656089
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HeHadADoubleLife ( member #68944) posted at 10:14 PM on Monday, May 3rd, 2021

I feel like a little kid that learned to tie her shoes and now she's tying bows in all the strings and ribbons she's finding.

This is such a great way of putting it BlackRaven! I am not with my ex anymore, so any of those boundary drawing skills couldn't be used on him anyway, but I use them constantly with other people now. Not that I was really bad at that before, I feel like I've been pretty good about drawing boundaries with other people, just not as good at it in romantic relationships. But it's that I am much more aware of it now when I'm doing it, because we've discussed it so much.

I haven't been on in a while... this used to be my regular hang out. Even if I wasn't posting, I was reading, daily, if not multiple times a day.

I'm actually deep in a mental health rabbit hole of a different kind, but I think it may relate to some people here in that a lot of it has to do with FOO issues and why I felt drawn to my ex in the first place...

Basically, without writing a novel, I'm deep into researching whether or not I may be autistic, as well as have comorbid ADHD. Through my research, I'm pretty confident that I am/have both of those things. I've never related to any other type of content more than I do content surrounding ASD and ADHD. I would say the only other time when I've related this hard was actually finding this thread and all of the content surrounding sex addiction (and maybe also when I discovered threads on being in relationships with a person with BPD, re: my ex). I've trusted my gut thus far, and it hasn't steered me wrong, so I'm allowing myself to go with it and really dive deep into research to see if this is just a passing idea, or something that has deeper meaning/application.

Testing centers that test adults are hard to come by, not to mention the testing is very expensive. Self diagnosis is accepted amongst both communities, due to how difficult it can be to get a professional diagnosis. And ultimately, who am I hurting if I identify with a group of people and the things that help them cope? I would still like to have a professional diagnosis at some point, just because I like to "know" things, and I feel my parents might be more accepting of it if it was coming from a professional (still working out for myself why the fuck I feel I need parental approval of anything at age 34, but there you go, FOO issues run deep, haha). But ultimately I'm comfortable with self diagnosis for now, and even just finding the community among ADHD and Autistic forums, especially those geared towards women, has been immensely healing.

I bring this up because in figuring this out over the past couple of months, I've realized that a lot of my FOO issues stem from these diagnoses being overlooked. From always feeling "weird" or "not normal." I wouldn't say any behavior towards me was intentionally abusive, it was more that the people around me just didn't "get" me, and I kind of forced myself to fit into the mold of what was "acceptable" behavior to get by (what I know now as "masking"). I would say that my brothers and I are all neurodivergent in some way or another, so I actually felt better and less stressed in the home because we were all "weird." The only time home was more stressful was when it came to sensory stuff that wasn't accommodated, or when bound by strict rules that I didn't "get". I felt the most awkward, and unable to fit in, in social situations with my peers. Or in any situation where I wasn't allowed to ask a bunch of questions to make sense of a situation from every angle. I learned quickly that a lot of my behavior - like the question-asking - was annoying, so I basically withdrew and only interacted with peers when necessary, and when I did, I did my best to mimic the "normal" social cues so I could avoid ridicule. So basically, I find myself wondering how this ability to "mask," as well as the trauma of never truly feeling "accepted" by my peers may have made me predisposed to being in a relationship with someone where I had to be overly accommodating.

To paraphrase a quote I read about neurodivergence, It's impossible to separate the symptoms of complex trauma from the symptoms of neurodivergent people, because growing up neurodivergent and misunderstood is traumatic. My therapist has often pointed out to me that, while some of my hyper vigilance obviously stems from life with my ex - like the very specific triggers surrounding his various paraphilias - there is a good amount of hyper vigilance in my stories of my childhood. And when she has tried to dig deeper and find out what may have triggered me to be hyper vigilant, I have a hard time answering that, because I can't seem to point to any specific traumatic events that may have caused it. In short, I pretty much just always remember being this way, with family, friends, peers, just normal day to day tasks even. So in a way, I was predisposed to being in a relationship with a lot of hyper vigilance, because that feels "normal" to me.

I've described it to her in the past (again, before I had even begun to think about ASD) as: my brain is like a computer, and there is an operating system that constantly runs in the background collecting data. All data, every teeny tiny detail of an event or situation. The color of someone's dress, how someone all the way over on the other side of the parking lot dropped a pencil, also the sounds of things going on around me even if I can't see them. My brain collects all of those things, and then eventually over time if enough of those things connect to one another, my brains makes those connections on its own and then can write a narrative that is more often than not, correct.

It's not something I can shut off. It's just a program constantly running in the background. Kind of like how our phones listen to us and then show us ads for things we've talked about. And it allows me to "know" things that I shouldn't, simply because my advanced pattern recognition put all of the very tiny details together. Basically, my brain operates as if I'm a detective always solving a case. Only it's not just for negative things, it's for anything and everything. I've been accused many times over my life of "spying" on people because I knew things I shouldn't, because I had put together a bunch of clues they were unaware they had dropped.

I can assure you, I wasn't spying. It's just that when you're around someone who picks up on every little detail, you're never as discreet as you think you are. The slightest change in semantics or tone of voice can tip me off. For example, I tended to know when people had crushes on other people based on tone, inflection etc. And then I would point it out, not in a teasing way, more just like an observable fact, but apparently it wasn't socially acceptable to point that out, haha.

There is also literature that discusses how neurodivergent women are more likely to go undiagnosed because of the societal expectations of women, and the fact that we're better at masking than men (typically). Also, there are studies that show that the percentage of women who enter into abusive relationships - especially emotionally abusive ones - is higher in the neurodivergent population than in the neurotypical one.

Also, interestingly, there is a higher percentage of neurodivergent men who end up as sex addicts than in the general population (the abstract I read specifically cited men with ASD, but I believe I've read elsewhere that this includes other ND individuals like those with ADHD for example). It didn't use the term "sex addiction," rather it referenced paraphilic behaviors, but I think we all know that those things tend to go hand in hand.

This is a point which I find very enlightening, because on the occasions when my therapist asked me what I liked most about my relationship with my ex (this is before I had even considered that either of us might be on the spectrum) I had always told her that it was hard to explain, but that I was attracted to his "weirdness," and how it allowed me to feel like I too, could let my "weirdness" out. Looking back, he has much more "obvious" ASD traits, like rocking back and forth, going non verbal in times of stress, etc. But I've always told my therapist that I felt like we just "got" each other in a way that others couldn't. And when asked to expand on that I had a hard time pin pointing what I meant - that is, until my discovery of ASD and how it often presents differently in women vs. men. Basically, discovering the non-stereotypical ASD traits, as well as just anecdotes from autistic people about their own experiences, produced multiple light bulb moments.

Anyway, this post isn't meant to demonize neurodivergent people. In fact, most of the feelings I have surrounding a potential ASD/ADHD diagnosis are positive ones - relieved to finally feel understood, like there are other people out there like me, happy that my "weirdness" isn't just particular to me and doesn't make me bad. The only negative feelings I have are that these things weren't addressed earlier, especially as a child when I had such a hard time processing things on my own, and was essentially told in so many words that I needed to figure out how to "get over it" because my quirks were not acceptable in adult life/society.

It's funny, most of the things I like most about myself - how direct/blunt I am, how detail-oriented I am, how I can talk your ear off about my various special interests - are all things I've found out are potential ASD symptoms. So in actuality, many of you may have already guessed that I may be on the spectrum, before I even knew myself, haha (in opening up to a few people about this, they've mentioned they've thought about it before). Also, I feel that many of the things that had steered me away from even thinking about an ASD diagnosis were some of the stereotypical media portrayals - lacks empathy, doesn't understand sarcasm etc.. And then I found out that a TON of ASDers are actually HIGHLY empathetic, and also very funny/sarcastic. Just goes to show how hurtful stereotypes can be!

I'm bringing it up in case anyone else can relate. Maybe it might make you feel less "weird." It may help you understand your spouse a bit, if he/she fits somewhere on the spectrum. Also, FWIW, for those of us who strongly identify with our spouses being among the personality disordered, I've read abstracts that suggest that there can also be a comorbidity between ASD and BPD, which makes sense to me, since undiagnosed/unacknowledged ASD can/does lead to trauma, and BPD is believed to have its roots in trauma.

I'm also not saying that ALL people on the spectrum are/will be sex addicts, nor am I saying that all sex addicts are on the spectrum. Not at ALL! It's just that reading about all of this, it felt like there was another puzzle piece that fell into place. And throughout my healing process, whenever a new puzzle piece find its rightful place, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief. And if some of the connections I've drawn might help someone else find a piece to their own unique and specific puzzle, I would feel like I had given back in some way.

And there you go, I still ended up writing a dissertation. Oh well, that's just me I guess.

If anyone here is on the spectrum or suspects they might be, I would love to discuss it. Especially how they think it pertains to why/how they ended up in a relationship with a sex addict. However this might not be a topic that everyone is open to discussing publicly on the forums, and I totally get that. Feel free to PM me if you would like to talk but would rather not discuss on an open forum.

Anyway, I'm not here to diagnose anyone. I just wondered if anyone else might relate. And if bringing up my own potential diagnosis might help someone else feel less alone.

I took great care to avoid offending anyone with this post, but if I did, I apologize, and would love to hear how I can discuss this topic more appropriately/inclusively. I'm still learning about all of this stuff, and am open to hearing about everyone's experiences!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 4:28 PM, May 3rd (Monday)]

BW
DDay Nov 2018
Many previous DDays due to his sex addiction

Hurt me with the truth, but don't comfort me with a lie.

Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.

posts: 830   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2018   ·   location: CA
id 8656371
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 12:42 AM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

HeHadADoubleLife

Thank you for being so vulnerable here.

Have you discovered Temple Grandin's autism website? (There's also an interesting movie about her life, but her website is so full of information.)

I've heard her speak in person and she is so amazing. She wield's her autistic traits like a sword, cutting through the BS and making room for truth. It's abrupt but so refreshing....

posts: 284   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8656407
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HeHadADoubleLife ( member #68944) posted at 2:26 AM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Hi BR!

I absolutely love Temple Grandin!

I'm a very visual learner (like Temple describes herself) so I almost exclusively research topics through Pinterest now. With the development of hashtags and search algorithms, there is a TON of information out there on just about any topic in the form of info-graphics.

And there are a lot of great Temple quotes out there in the world, many have been made into text-posts/images that I can find on Pinterest. So no, I haven't really been on her site much, but I think that's because I can't get myself to concentrate on long pages of text anymore like I used to be able to when I was younger (I realize the irony in that I pretty much write a novel every time I post haha). But I do like her more visual stuff.

I like how you describe Temple as wielding her traits like a sword and cutting through the BS! I would say my blunt-ness is one of the things I had the most trouble with as a kid, and while I've gotten much better at softening the blow for people to make them more comfortable, in times of stress or extreme annoyance/frustration I can still revert back to my incredibly blunt side. And it's also been a difficult thing for me to "correct" simply because I don't get why it's a bad thing.

I've been told various versions of "you have no filter" all my life. Sometimes as a negative, with someone throwing that at me as an insult, other times as a positive. I remember in college we had to go around the room and write down positive traits about each person in one of our study groups, and "opinionated" and "always speaks her mind" were ones that stuck out for me. Those might have been passive aggressive ways to call me a bitch, I'm not sure, haha, but taken at face value I like them.

Also, more recently (like over a year ago, but time means nothing anymore, so it still feels recent) I had spent time with a new group of people via another friend, and that friend was telling me afterwards that one of the new girls was worried/couldn't tell if I liked them or not. And my friend apparently told them, "Oh, don't worry, HHADL does not suffer fools. If she didn't want to be there, she would be gone." And honestly, I take that as the highest praise - I absolutely do NOT suffer fools, haha, and I think a lot of that has to do with my struggle to not be blunt/literal/to the point.

Like, if I don't want to talk to you or be around you, I just... won't. And I won't spend time agonizing over it either, it just is what it is. It's not that I can't understand that there are times when other factors come into play - like work, or a complex social structure etc. - that might force us together, and I'll do what I have to to make the interaction pleasant, or at the bare minimum tolerable, because I'm not rude or an asshole. But if push comes to shove, I would not CHOOSE to interact with that person if not by necessity, and I'm pretty sure that other person wouldn't choose to interact with me either, because we have nothing in common or just aren't compatible in whatever way, and I'm perfectly okay with that.

And for that matter, people who are passive aggressive or drop hints or don't mean what they say bug the living shit out of me. Life is far too short for me to spend that much time wrapping my thoughts and feelings up in codes for you to decipher. Life would be so much easier if everyone would just say what they mean and mean what they say.

I agree, it is very refreshing when things are just clear and straightforward without a lot of subtext.

BW
DDay Nov 2018
Many previous DDays due to his sex addiction

Hurt me with the truth, but don't comfort me with a lie.

Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.

posts: 830   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2018   ·   location: CA
id 8656423
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 5:50 AM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

HHADL, thank you for sharing this and so true it is, how little is published about ASD spectrum in adults, especially in womenz...

Your life-long tendencies to observe/collect data about your environment and the people in it does sound like a fairly hypervigilant person, but the puzzle is, could that tendency have been be "hardwired" from your birth, or acquired very early on? Interesting self-knowlege, in any case, right?

(Just a shout out to a lady whom I respect, and hope you are doing better than last year!)

posts: 1380   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8656435
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HeHadADoubleLife ( member #68944) posted at 7:27 AM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Hi Superesse! Long time no see! Hope you're doing well

Yeah, it's hard to describe. The term hyper-vigilant applies to both pre and post infidelity behaviors, by the technical definition. But I would say that pre-infidelity/discovery of the SA, it was more of a neutral trait. Because the "program" was picking up all types of data, from the positive, to the negative, to the benign. And then it just kind of lined things up and correlated them, and ultimately that's how my brain made sense of the world.

Pre-infidelity, I would have said that's just how I was wired/how my brain worked. And in all honesty, I thought it was pretty cool (when I wasn't dealing with negative feelings from being bullied by my peers). Not to sound cocky, but I felt like it made me pretty intelligent, and very perceptive, and yes, that set me apart from my peers, but I personally viewed it as a positive. The negative feelings only came in when others viewed my way of thinking/operating as "wrong" and tried to change me.

If anything, I didn't "get" why my peers liked the things they liked, and why certain things were popular. Like Lisa Frank was super popular when I was a kid, and I could never wrap my head around wanting to have everything be those bright neon colors, and leopard print, and sparkly. If I'm being 100% honest, I had a pretty condescending attitude towards those types of things, and I generally thought they were "stupid." Not the most open-minded viewpoint, I admit, but that was the truth at the time. Or, for example, most things made for girls at the time were color coded, even things like bedspreads or curtains or whatever. So I had the choice between pink and purple, and I HATED pink (still do), but I could tolerate purple, so I went with that. But the minute I could start making choices that didn't revolve around those colors, I did, and everything in my room was orange from then on. I've always had a very visual brain, and it was torture having to be surrounded by a bunch of stuff I didn't like simply because that's what was "acceptable" for girls at the time.

I didn't want to change how my brain worked, I wasn't longing to be more like my peers, I just wanted them (and teachers, and coaches, and my parents) to be more accepting of me as I was, if that makes sense. Because overall, I liked myself and the way my brain operated. In other words - in keeping with the operating system metaphor - it was a feature, not a bug.

Now, do I think this highly attuned pattern recognition and data collection made me pre-disposed to hyper vigilance when it came to the trauma of the sex addiction? You bet your ass I do. It's just very different.

I could go on for pages about my sensory issues too - certain textures touching my skin and me going into full body cringe/shivers, my aversion to tags (seriously, fuck tags! the inventor of tags is a sadist.), socks! (fuck socks and their seams!), all different types of scratchy fabrics, food texture/taste issues etc. But again, I don't view those reactions as "wrong," just something that needs to be accommodated, and now that I'm an adult I can very easily avoid that stuff, so it's a non issue. The only times I had negative feelings about those things were when I was told that I had to eat something that made me gag, or I was forced to wear something which made me itch all day and be unable to concentrate on anything else, stuff like that. But I wasn't sitting there thinking to myself "Why can't I eat ____ like the other kids? What's wrong with me?" Or "Why can't I wear all the stuff the other kids wear?" I was moreso just incredibly frustrated that people didn't believe me, or said I was overreacting or being "too sensitive." And it's easy to internalize that line of thinking, that you're just too sensitive, when every authority figure in your life (parents, teachers, coaches, child psychologists) is repeating it back to you. And that definitely contributed to my developmental trauma, being told I needed to deny who I am.

So I think that's a big part of why I found myself questioning my thoughts surrounding his behaviors, especially how I kept finding things covered in vegetable oil/baby oil or whatever else he got his hands on, and how utterly repulsive that texture became to me. Was I overreacting? Was I just being "too sensitive?" What started out as just a normal sensory trigger of "ew, that greasy feeling is gross," developed into a much deeper trigger over time as I kept finding things, and that texture was now associated with his deceit and betrayals. But because I was so used to being "overly sensitive" to texture, a hyper sensitivity that was/is always more pronounced when I'm stressed or overwhelmed anyway, it was hard to differentiate between the normal "this sucks to feel on my skin" trigger and the "traumatic" trigger. I think it was like the frog in boiling water, I didn't notice until it was too late.

Anyway, I'm babbling at this point, and I could write for hours on the topic because I find it so fascinating. But how is everybody else doing? Has anyone heard from Somber? I feel like its been a while, and I know she had a lot going on last time she checked in.

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 1:32 AM, May 4th (Tuesday)]

BW
DDay Nov 2018
Many previous DDays due to his sex addiction

Hurt me with the truth, but don't comfort me with a lie.

Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity.

posts: 830   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2018   ·   location: CA
id 8656444
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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 12:38 PM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

I’m just popping in to vent a bit to the only people who ever relate...

I can’t even read the thread and the updates. I don’t have the mind space to take in more of this hurt. I certainly relate and empathize but It hurts me to see the pain in you too. It hurts perhaps as I read I am triggered to face my own pain. At the same time, I feel so alone and you are the only people who can relate.

I’ve been off SI for a tiny bit, trying not to trigger myself and focus on healing. With Covid, redeployment at work because of Covid, trying to juggle this single Mom thing while still (amicably mostly) sharing time in the marital home with him for the kids, lockdown, school closures, homeschooling, my son who is not coping with any of this and having emotional outbursts that break my heart, my sweet daughter who follows me everywhere I go so there isn’t a minute alone, cancelling therapy appt cause I just can’t find the time alone to do it and the sessions I’ve kept I’m just not into it right now...

How do you heal? Is it even possible?

I think I preferred denial as I could pretend I was okay at least. Now I feel like the reality is seeping in, the pain of it. I feel forever scarred and tainted by my life with a sex addict. The more I emotionally detach from him, which was only possible once he left, the more I now feel the pain of it all. It’s destroying me. Sure I’m more relaxed and comfortable with him gone but I’m also more depressed.

Currently I have what I wanted, my kids are with me every day and night. He comes every day I’m working and then leaves once I’m home. He comes for chunks of the days when I’m here too. It works for now, he is helpful, he shares workload of the kids, gets groceries, etc. I’m sure he still believes we will reconcile...who knows! I’ve stopped caring what he wants because his wants are self centred and lack insight into the damage he has done. We do not have a formal separation and with all the added stress, I don’t think we can manage it right now...neither one of us is pushing for it. We are just temporarily separated on our own terms and trying to both be amicable and make as little change for the kids as possible at a time.

I just wish the things that should be enjoyable didn’t feel like such unbearable tasks right now....I want to be happy. I thought I would be happier without him but it’s just more sadness seeping in

My sweet daughter has found me...time to go.

Wish you all happiness and healing!! If you achieve it, please direct me that way!

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 8656459
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 3:15 PM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

I'm so sorry that you feel like this, Somber. I think it comes down to that old thing about happiness coming from within. You've lived under such a black cloud for so long that it will take time to adjust. The pain you've been avoiding won't leave until you allow yourself to feel it and process it. Pretending everything is okay wasn't ever going to get rid of that agony. You're in a pandemic year with all of everything else going on and having to parent and work. That's a LOT. But yes, I think it does come down to having to feel and work through the pain and allow yourself to break down a bit and do the grieving you need to. There's real stuff to grieve. The pain is legitimate. Legitimate pain insists on being felt whether we want to or not. Feeling good comes after feeling the bad and letting it leave your body.

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 8656499
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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 11:09 PM on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Thanks Dee.

The pain you've been avoiding won't leave until you allow yourself to feel it and process it. Pretending everything is okay wasn't ever going to get rid of that agony.

Yes, true true! I know that because I am still trying to heal from infidelities 9 years ago, 7, 5, 4,2,1, etc. It’s a different kind of infidelity to overcome.

I did live under a black cloud. I was the ray of sunshine bringing hope and dreams to our marriage. My denial was the fog just lingering there silently. Its thick looming presence whispering that clarity will reveal itself even if I wasn’t strong enough to weather the storm. The storm is reality and it came, it needed to be heard, it wouldn’t allow the fog to protect me any longer. That’s where I am today, weathering the storm best I can. I sure as hell hope this storm will clear the path, the path to sunshine which I would call my peace and happiness.

I thought I could overcome this addiction, be the one to stick by and support him all the way! I suppose if he chose sobriety then maybe things would be different. The drinking escalated, the affairs became more numerous and close to home and I became the casualty in his self destruction. The one tossed aside with a growing sadness, loss of self esteem and an overwhelming feeling of confusion to my own reality. The gaslighting, the manipulations...to think back, it is just so hard to accept. January 1st was the last straw for me and I am so

proud that I have stuck to my boundaries and decision to say ‘I won’t tolerate any f’n more infidelities!’ In fact, my mental health wouldn’t survive any more. I felt suicidal, mentally and emotionally incapable of functioning. I feel a bit better, a bit at peace but I have a long way to go. I also feel weighted down with endless sadness.

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 8656688
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 7:11 PM on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

How do you heal? Is it even possible?

Nice to see you posting Somber. I think it is possible it just takes a looooong time. I've been physically separated for 7 months and NC except for kids and finances and I'm still healing. I just have to keep walking this walk. I think it's like Dee says we have to fully process it.

I still get bouts of sadness or depression about everything. It's easier not being in the same house. There's a peace that comes with not having to deal with them anymore.

fBS/fWS (me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:50 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 24 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

posts: 8041   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8656906
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 5:02 PM on Monday, May 10th, 2021

I haven't posted on this forum in awhile now but was thinking that if I could go back in time, would I want to be with and live with my now deceased WH again, obviously refering to if he were still alive and knowing what I know now?

The answer to my question is no I wouldn't. We would definitely have to have separate living arrangements because I no longer would be able to trust him.

Today, I couldn't imagine wanting to subject myself to his emotional abuse, his lack of consideration for my needs, his lack of empathy, his usery, his subjecting me to STD's/STI's, his meanness all in the name of wanting to fuck other women because he felt entitled to it. Makes me feel angry with myself that I saw the red flags when we first started dating but I ignored them.

Whether your WS is dead or alive, doesn't make getting past this trauma any easier, we still have to go through the hurt, pain and realizations that who we were married to was not who we thought they were or wanted them to be. My grief is complicated because of his death and infidelities. But although I am still in deep pain, I am determined to rise above what he has done to me.

I have been set free from the struggles of his infidelity. There was no ending to his acting out. And it was horrible having to deal with this man who I thought was my soul mate for almost 35 years now. Why couldn't I put this together earlier?

My DWSAH had no regard for my feelings and had no desire to change his ways. He enjoyed his lying to me. He enjoyed his immoral, disgusting sex with these immoral, loose women who also didn't have self respect for themselves. He also didn't have respect for me and my kid's.

Yet he thrived on ego kibbles from these other women.

I am sorry for my rambling on, this is so hard for me and I am still in disbelief of who he was. Dealing with all of this can be such a struggle.

I used to believe that he had my best interests at heart. Who he was was lie after lie and apparently that was the best he could do.

When I look back at my marriage I tend to focus on the bad memories, eventhough we had good times together. Does anyone else go through this too? I just want to work through this pain and come out on top with the hopes of a better future.

DevastedDee, reading your posts has helped me immensely. Thank you. And there are also a few others on this site that I am grateful for.

IMO, these cheaters will have their day in the afterlife. They may think that they will get away with how they treated us but I believe that their judgment day will come.

[This message edited by Hurtmyheart at 9:16 PM, May 10th (Monday)]

posts: 716   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8658220
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 8:51 PM on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Hi I am curious if any of you have an aversion to sex now? Does it ever come back? I just have no desire for sex anymore almost like I've lost a limb I don't need and it doesn't bother me one way or another. It's one of the main reasons I will not date. I don't want to feel pressured to have sex. Relationships actually deter me as I don't want to feel like I need to have sex with someone day in and day out.

fBS/fWS (me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:50 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 24 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

posts: 8041   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8658585
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 10:42 PM on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

DevastedDee, reading your posts has helped me immensely. Thank you. And there are also a few others on this site that I am grateful for.

Huge hugs to you, woman. I'm glad anything I've ever said has helped you at all. You've dealt with so much trauma and I know it will take a while to work through all of this. It's more than any person should have to handle.

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 8658629
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 10:46 PM on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Hi I am curious if any of you have an aversion to sex now? Does it ever come back? I just have no desire for sex anymore almost like I've lost a limb I don't need and it doesn't bother me one way or another. It's one of the main reasons I will not date. I don't want to feel pressured to have sex. Relationships actually deter me as I don't want to feel like I need to have sex with someone day in and day out.

I don't, but I understand the aversion to dating. The aversion for me is the worry that I'll have feelings for someone and it will complicate the life I've put together for myself. I do miss sex quite a bit.

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 8658630
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Somber ( member #66544) posted at 12:43 AM on Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Thanks CBS.

Hurt my heart, I also reflect mostly on the bad things. It’s hard not too, I rewrite the good times as I feel they weren’t authentic either. It is all so traumatizing for sure.

CBS. I also have no interest in sex, none, zip, nope. I wouldn’t know how to be intimate without the insecurities and/or thoughts of infidelity that had become a normal part of sex for me in my marriage. The pretend fake-ness and digging my nails in my arm to try to avoid the mind movies of infidelity while having sex. Sex became a chore and one with a lot of negativity, insecurities and triggers for me. I sure hope one day this will change but I’m doubtful.

The amount of damage/trauma from a marriage to a sex addict seems endless.

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 8658665
default

DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 4:23 AM on Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

CBS and Somber, my reaction to sexual trauma is unhealthy too. I said I miss sex and I do, but I feel like maybe I said that like it's not an issue after being with a sex addict. I was raped at 16 and reacted with sexual defiance, this "you won't take sex from me" attitude and became quite promiscuous. On DDay, I went out and found a stranger to have sex with. A few years after being raped and responding that way, I managed to get healthy with sex. I was still perfectly fine with casual sex, but in a healthier way, because I enjoyed it and not as an act of angry defiance. That I responed the way I did after DDay showed me that I had not healed that wound as completely as I'd thought. I had a ONS two months after I moved out and I don't regret that and don't really think that was an unhealthy act, but I did put myself on sexual lockdown after that because I had no interest in repeating what happened after I was raped. All of us are sexually traumatized by having been with a sex addict. I don't want my post to sound like I minimized that reality. My trauma just runs in the other direction.

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 8658709
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