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

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MakeMineReal ( new member #62275) posted at 5:46 AM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

Stubbornft, I went through the formal disclosure process, same timeline as you - dday in January, disclosure in June, poly a week or so later. Also had to drag every bit of info out of him between Jan and June, and every single time he swore he'd told me everything.

Devastated Dee is right - they rarely tell it all, even in disclosure. My ex withheld things that I later found out, a couple months after the disclosure. He said he withheld it because "it had happened too recently".

Anyhow, I felt the same as you after the disclosure: not sad, not angry, not hopeful, just numb. I had zero respect for him, felt zero love. And we'd been together for over three decades. I just knew that I could not be with someone who had deceived and betrayed and abused me to the level that he had. I asked him to move out 'for a while' to give me some time and space. He thought it would be a few months, I knew in my heart that it was permanent.

So, about the polygraph - a question I was told (after he had taken it) that should be asked is "Is there anything about your sexual history while we've been together that you have not disclosed?" Hopefully that will bring out any remaining details. My ex kept fidgeting and breathing hard during the poly - the guy administering it told him three times to stop, finally told him if he did anything again he would fail him. Absolutely no doubt in my mind that ex had researched how to throw off the results ...

My heart goes out to you. It's excruciating and can suck your soul out if you let it. None of us deserve the hell they've put us through.

"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 8668103
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stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 2:58 PM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

Thank you Dee & MakeMineReal.

I don't have a lot of faith we can reconcile. I have to get myself used to the idea of starting over and being alone. I like the companionship. If I didn't need intimacy and affection in my life I could suck it up and make it work. But I do need those things and I deserve a healthy and happy life. My oldest son graduated in 2020 and my baby graduates next year. I thought I was entering a new phase of life with more stability than I actually did have. I will be ok I just need to shift my focus to starting over I think.

Me: BS 40
Him: WS 51
He cheated with massage parlor sex workers
Dday 01/19/2021

posts: 810   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8668161
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 3:13 PM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

Starting over isn't easy, but it's a heck of a lot easier than living in that SA hell. It has to be. There's an entire new life out there that doesn't involve that sickness.

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 8668163
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Blackthorne ( new member #78797) posted at 5:25 PM on Friday, June 18th, 2021

BlackRaven,

Thanks for the information on BPD. I watched the documentary you recommend and I've ordered the book about BPD in men. Watched a video on the differences of BPD in women and men. That made a lot more sense in regards to my husband. I guess I had more of a hollywood version of BPD in my head.

So much of what my husband has said since DDay(2) sounds like a man with BPD(some addict traits thrown in too of course!)

Hope you were able to make the best day possible of your anniversary. I can't imagine how painful it must be to have d-day coinside with your anniversary!

posts: 7   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8668249
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 4:52 AM on Saturday, June 19th, 2021

Blackthorne,

Watched a video on the differences of BPD in women and men.

Do you mind sharing the name of this?

Thanks for your support. It's tomorrow and I only hope it isn't as hard as my birthday, which was yesterday. It sucks to be nearly 60 with so much uncertainty.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8668326
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 5:16 AM on Saturday, June 19th, 2021

Disclosure was late this afternoon and it went well. He also read his amends letter and recovery plan. Polygraph is scheduled for 6/30. Not feeling much of anything today. I had already drug all the nasty details from him over the past few months, so no bombshells in the disclosure

I haven't done my Full Therapeutic Disclosure yet. Maybe next month, but I wanted to share somethings for BS who are still in the planning stages.

1) It's really hard, and I'm far from perfect at it, but we traumatize ourselves by getting TT, so as much as possible my therapist has me striving to not try to get any details or additional info in advance of the FTD. (Yes, I'm terrified about bombshells, but I think I would be either way.)

2) The SA is required to be sober for 90 days prior to FTD (including no masturbation). I think that's because the belief is that it takes 90 days of sobriety for them to be able to remember all their acting out.

3) My therapist has the WS do the polygraph the week BEFORE the disclosure, and she has a particular person she recommends who does a lot related to infidelity. I don't know if her experience with it makes her more adept at reading the results? I think the BS reads his disclosure to the examiner, and then there are up to 8 specific questions I can ask. And then the examiner asks the BS about whether he's been truthful and if it's the complete sexual history. (Similar to what Make Mine Real said.) Anyhow, by doing it before disclosure, if the WS fails, then the BS doesn't have to go through the trauma of more TT at a bogus disclosure.

4) If memory serves, she has explained to me that there are multiple possible outcomes: Clean pass, conditional pass, inconclusive, fail. She won't allow FTD with inconclusive either.

5) I'm required to write out a full safety plan before the FTD, that covers everything from where I want to sit in the room (she says some women like to be closer to the door so they can leave if they need a break), to meals for the few days following, child care if needed, people I can call on for support, etc. And she recommends that if the couple still lives together they not arrive and leave in the same car.

Not sure if there's anything here that is of use to anyone ... I guess I'll know better in a month or so.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 11:22 PM, June 18th (Friday)]

posts: 284   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8668331
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stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 3:06 PM on Sunday, June 20th, 2021

BlackRaven I actually totally agree with you that trickle truth causes BS way more trauma. I was incapable of waiting for the disclosure but I think if a BS can stand it, it is better to have one devastating day of disclosure than multiple days of a little more truth coming out and then our traumatized brain putting a new story together - lather, rinse, repeat.

I do still feel my WS was a coward for doing it this way anyway.

Me: BS 40
Him: WS 51
He cheated with massage parlor sex workers
Dday 01/19/2021

posts: 810   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8668518
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stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 7:56 PM on Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

Poly is tomorrow. I am ready for it to be over with. I had a therapy session Thursday and told her that I would leave him if he fails the poly. She told me to think through what might make it hard to hold that boundary beforehand so I can be ready, in case it is tough.

He claims I know everything and that he is ready to do this so that I will know that he has finally come clean about everything.

He might fail. He might not. Would my life be easier if he does??

I am still stuck in "meh" indifference.

I have a horribly high stress job. My boss has gotten worse over the past couple of years. I have worked here for a decade. I knew it was time to go. The plan was for WS to start his own business (which he has now about 2 months ago) and once he got going I would quit my job and do his bookkeeping for him. It would be part time which we both were excited about.

Well obviously that is no longer the plan. He wants it to be

I am not about to tie myself to him financially. Thank GOD I found out about his nasty secret life before I quit my job.

So I was feeling let down about that. But then I decided I will get a new job anyway. I would prefer to work from home. So I reached out to some contacts to help me find a new job. I have a friend in HR that is going to send my resume to a headhunter she likes working with.

I feel excited about that change. I am trying to focus on that. I am also running more and that is helping me sleep.

I hope you ladies are doing well. There is a new post in JFO about a woman that found her husband has been using escorts and she has a 2 month old, if anyone has some advice or virtual hugs for her.

Me: BS 40
Him: WS 51
He cheated with massage parlor sex workers
Dday 01/19/2021

posts: 810   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8670974
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 9:10 PM on Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

I hope you ladies are doing well. There is a new post in JFO about a woman that found her husband has been using escorts and she has a 2 month old, if anyone has some advice or virtual hugs for her.

Oh bless her, I read that. I have lots of both but my madhatter status keeps me from posting in that forum. It hurt to read that.

My advice is what it always is, lol. Life is about ten billion times better not dealing with anything involving sex addiction. Getting out from under that black cloud is a huge relief. It just smears shit on everything good in your life.

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 8670985
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Blackthorne ( new member #78797) posted at 6:27 AM on Sunday, July 4th, 2021

BlackRaven,

It was just a short YouTube video called Male Differences in BPD by Dr. Daniel Fox

posts: 7   ·   registered: May. 14th, 2021
id 8672280
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stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 8:53 PM on Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

I kicked him out today. Please pray for strength for me. Logically this shouldn't be hard but it just is, so painfully difficult, even though I know I have to do it.

He did pass the poly. When we left the lady that did the poly said "you guys can come back every few months". I felt numb when I was there, numb when she read me the results, numb at the thought of going back up there to make sure I haven't been cheated on again, and numb in general lately.

The poly had nothing to do with kicking him out, just updating on that.

I triggered today, he screamed in my face that I am fucked up. Done. Done. All the way done.

[This message edited by stubbornft at 4:03 PM, July 6th (Tuesday)]

Me: BS 40
Him: WS 51
He cheated with massage parlor sex workers
Dday 01/19/2021

posts: 810   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8672873
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 10:55 PM on Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

I know it's hard. I know it sucks. This was the healthiest thing you could do for yourself. This is the path towards not dealing with all that shit anymore. No marriage policing. No repeat polygraphs. No special monitoring apps on his phone. No worrying when he's late or worrying when he has to leave town without you. No thinking of relapses or whether or not he's doing the work to become a better person. This is where you get to create a safer and more peaceful life. But yeah, it hurts and it's hard. You'll grieve what you thought you had and what you thought your life would be.

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 8672914
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stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 11:51 PM on Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Yes, grieving what I thought I had for sure. I am going to stay in therapy so I don't end up missing signs of this sort of dysfunction again.

I do feel a peace that I haven't felt in a long time, the peace of not fighting against my own self. I knew I needed to do this. Now I guess I know for sure. I need to stop learning things the hard way :)

Me: BS 40
Him: WS 51
He cheated with massage parlor sex workers
Dday 01/19/2021

posts: 810   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8672926
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 5:46 AM on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

Hey stubbornft, Good for you!

Don't you just cringe when some "pro" says "...you guys can..." in the same breath with this LIE detecting forensic analysis?? Almost like they understand that "this is going to be your life..."? UGH! No, thanks.

As usual, Dee said it all, better than I can. (Thanks Dee for hanging here!! I do follow people, but rarely post these days...)

posts: 1380   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8673011
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stubbornft ( member #49614) posted at 2:38 PM on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

Thank you Superesse! Yes for sure not the life I want for myself. I know the next days and weeks will be tough. And yes I am also thankful for Dee’s advice here!!

Me: BS 40
Him: WS 51
He cheated with massage parlor sex workers
Dday 01/19/2021

posts: 810   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2015   ·   location: TX
id 8673077
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 3:12 PM on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

Thank you both. I'm glad if I help any. Anyone in this thread has walked a very hard road.

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 8673091
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 7:17 PM on Friday, July 9th, 2021

This weekend, beginning the afternoon of July 9 and running thru Sunday July 11, is the International Convention of SA/S-Anon/S-Ateen.

It is all virtual and only costs $20 for the entire convention.

Every hour there are about 4-5 different sessions just for spouses of sex addicts to choose from.

Just Google keystoneofrecovery and it should take you to the site.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8674033
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Notmine ( member #57221) posted at 8:40 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Hello All - I have posted a lot in other forums on this site, but never here until today. I want to talk about some issues which I feel would be better understood in this forum.

My husband is a diagnosed sex addict. My DDay was October 1, 2015. Since that time, he has been working hard to prove that he is worthy of a marriage to me. He attends weekly12-step meetings (AA) has IC with a CSAT bi-monthly, reads literature, has a sponsor, etc. As many of you know, in SA, addicts need to identify their triggers and develop tools to avoid them. My husband's triggers include masturbation, which he ritualizes and subsequently causes him to become compulsive/obsessive/sick. FYI, my dealbreakers included absolute honesty at all times, no porn and no inappropriate contact with women, period (have more, but not relevant here).

Two weeks ago, my husband admitted to masturbating 5 times during the last two years. This progressed into a masturbation session using visuals from Tik Tok. Refraining from masturbation was never one of my dealbreakers, but dishonesty is. He did not engage in pornography, which IS a dealbreaker for me, but did use an image of women to masturbate. My husband reports being completely sober for the first 3 years post DDay. He is not sure why (of course) he began to masturbate, obviously a fucked up coping mechanism. I also think he began to get away from working on his particular addiction and to read more about self-love and acceptance. This allowed him to rationalize his behavior. Patrick Carnes says that any 12-step program is acceptable for sex addicts (my husband is both an alcoholic and sex addict (HOORAY)), but he has been attending SA meetings lately on a weekly basis in addition to the AA meeting. This seems to meet his needs as an SA much more proficiently than AA meetings. He has gotten an SA sponsor in addition to his AA sponsor. He is reading literature about SA. Seems to be back in the saddle.

I am struggling. One the one hand, this man has been dishonest. I would feel much better if he had come clean about the masturbation. I noticed that he was squirrely, so I began to question him and got it out of him. In my journey as the wife of an SA, I learned that it is much more likely that there will be “slips" for SAs than for alcoholics or addicts. This is because you can abstain from alcohol and drugs completely. Can't do that with sex in a healthy relationship. This makes it very difficult for SAs to navigate using sex in healthy ways vs. engaging in destructive sexual behavior. To me, the issue of trust in this situation is huge. My own sponsor has advised me to trust the intent. This makes some sense to me. I can see consistent actions over time to show me that his intent is to be worthy of our marriage, and I continue to see them. However, the secrecy is a big red flag. I am an alcoholic. We say that you are as sick as your secrets. SAs have a lot of issues with shame, which I know can cause secretive behavior and relapses. If he had not been busted, would we be at another DDay eventually? ARRRGH!!! Living with an SA totally sucks. Any thoughts?

When you're going through hell, for God's sake, DON'T STOP!

posts: 684   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: DC
id 8677071
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 3:38 AM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Notmine,

You cover a lot of ground here. I'm sorry for your pain.

my dealbreakers included absolute honesty at all times, no porn and no inappropriate contact with women,

I want to say this gently, and in support of you.

He violated a dealbreaker that you had regarding honesty. That's pretty traumatic. Allow yourself to experience the pain and disappointment. Process it. If it was a boundary for you, what was your stated consequence? Have you followed through on it?

It sounds like your SAWH has masturbation as a yellow circle behavior, and so anything that leads to that is inappropriate. It doesn't matter if it's porn or watching women play beach volleyball. It's all objectification of women, and that's what the Tik Tok video was. He viewed the women as sexual objects. In my book, that's inappropriate contact with women, just as much as if he'd flirted with a waitress. He needs to redo his circles, and share them with his CSAT and you, to ensure that these other triggers are included so he can be on guard for them next time. (does he have monitoring software on his electronics that he is held accountable to by his sponsor, something like Covenant Eyes?)

Next, I would want my husband and his CSAT to figure out what he was trying to escape from through the masturbation, and ask him to identify healthier coping mechanisms he could have used in each case. In general, how many green circle behaviors is he engaging in? Is it enough?

It's interesting that I have a different takeaway of Carnes' philosophy. In his book Facing the Shadows, he writes that SAs must join a 12 step program that caters to SAs. But in any event, it sounds like you reached that conclusion on your own.

My SAWH also has multiple addictions and we are in agreement that he must attend at least several SA meetings a week. (He also does a men's group hosted by his CSAT, but I think that's different.)

I'm glad your H has an SA sponsor. My husband has struggled to find someone, and that concerns me. I don't see how a SA could be completely open and vulnerable with an AA or NA sponsor. I think sexual addiction is just so different, and there is so much shame, that they have to be able to talk to someone who has walked in those shoes.

You are wise to look at the secrecy as a big red flag.

Are you seeing a betrayal trauma therapist? What does she suggest? Did you have full therapeutic disclosure with polygraph previously? If it were me, I would ask my spouse for another polygraph to ensure I knew all of the acting out to date, and to sort of reset things. He has told you about five incidents, but given his dishonesty, I wouldn't be able to accept his admission without proof.

I'm not sure what your sponsor means by trust the intent. We can't know someone else's thoughts so can't know their intent. (I've heard it said, 'Assume good intent.)

But I don't think that SAs set out to traumatize their spouses. I don't think they wake up one morning and say, 'This is a good day to act out.' or "Gee, I think I'll lie to my wife." So by that standard, we can always trust the intent.

The question is whether you want to be in a relationship with someone who continues to objectify other women and not be honest with you. Only you can decide if you can detach with love and not let his acting out derail you. I hope you're attending meetings for spouses of Sex Addicts. You'll find a lot of support and wisdom there.

I hope this makes some sense. It's progress not perfection, but only you can decide if it's enough progress for you to feel safe, and/or what you need to do to feel safe for now while he sorts it out.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 4:32 PM, July 21st (Wednesday)]

posts: 284   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8677172
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veryhurt2018 ( member #65877) posted at 12:36 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Hi Notmine, I’m so sorry you’re SAWH had a slip.

I think the most important thing that you need to know is if this is all he did. From what you have written that he’s admitted to, I would think it was not all, and that he hasn’t admitted everything. If you didn’t have masturbation as a deal breaker, then why did he hide it at all? It just doesn’t make sense, which would be a huge red flag for me. Can you do a full disclosure since his last D-day and then have him take a Poly?

I also agree with BlackRaven that your SAWH should have an SA or SAA sponsor and should work the 12-steps of SA or SAA. I think your SAWH would have a hard time admitting things he did sexually to an AA sponsor who probably doesn’t relate to sex addiction. I’m glad to see that he has done this. He needs to start doing the steps so that he can find what his triggers are and then he can watch for them. There are two workbooks that my SAWH uses with his CSAT that I think would be great for your SAWH. They are both by Patrick Carnes, so he may have them already. One is called “Facing the Shadow” and the other is “The Recovery Zone”. Maybe in addition to the 12-steps, these will help him figure out why he started masturbating in the first place. They definitely helped my SAWH.

My SAWH has to call his sponsor every day, and if he can’t call, then he has to text him. He just leaves a voicemail with his “daily report”, which is: What is he doing that day, and did he stay in his outer circle in the last 24 hours. Then they have a weekly call where they talk about the week and how it’s going. If there are any bad thoughts or concerns, they come out here. I think if your SAWH had this in place, he could’ve been honest with his sponsor first and then his sponsor could have helped him share it with you.

Slips are very common in sex addiction which totally sucks. And the worst part is that if they have a slip and they aren’t honest about it, then it just continues to get worse and could lead to a full relapse.

Me-BW(51)Him-SAWH(60)D-Day: 5/9/18 followed by trickle truth for 12 months

posts: 143   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2018   ·   location: California
id 8677210
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