Okay, that poor cow has danced long enough. Let’s give her a break.
Hi Jo-Ann, what a wonderful and helpful site. I found this site via searching and have read many of the stories and comments. Thank you for all your time and effort on this site. I have no issue with you posting my story…it can only help 😉
My Story, Laura
I am 50 years old and Michael is 44. We met on line over six years ago. I was separating from my husband of 14 year (2nd marriage) and just wanted to meet with someone for a fling, was not looking for a relationship. Michael was in the same boat. We had a great time together for months and against the intent things started getting emotionally serious. Michael decided he didn’t want us to continue due to problems with his ex and then 6 year old son. During that time we did keep in some contact which is when he told me in an email that he was a sex addict, which I now know was the reason he had stepped back from our fling. I knew of his sexual history with strippers and hookers but didn’t put 2 and 2 together till that time. He did explain his struggles to me, but in hind sight I think I was more interested in just nodding my head vs listening. After 2 months we ended up seeing each other again and he was somewhat honest with me about his addiction.
I never believed in soul mates and was always jealous of friends that worked well and had fun with their spouses since I didn’t have that experience. Meeting Michael changed that way of thinking, I truly love him, enjoy every moment with him and cannot see myself without him. 4 years ago he moved in with me and this past June, on my 50th birthday we got married.
I am not a flighty or stupid woman, I have a excellent career and normal life. We enjoy all the normal stuff in our day to day lives. I have a 26 and 19 year old son, Michael’s son is 11. My 19 year old son has Asperger’s disorder. When he was diagnosed I did all the research, worked with him and did all I could to assist and prepare him for adulthood with his disorder. When my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s I again did research, learned how to help him, handled taking his car (not an easy task) arranged all the specialists, moved him, found care for him ect. I guess when Michael told me about SA I was too busy enjoying my life with him and didn’t take it seriously enough to do the research and learn about this addiction.
3 years ago I had a gut feeling and easily I found a number in his bb, did a reverse look up, it was a escort service. I was very upset and hurt and he admitted that he was struggling with his addiction. I finally got on line, did research, supported him in counseling and was open and honest about this…in hind sight, to a point. We got engaged 18 months later and decided to get married in June 2010. The December before I started to have a gut feeling something was amiss…something was going on. I confronted him about my suspicions and he snapped at me (which he never does) making me feel bad for not trusting him. My gut is usually correct and a week later I noticed an odd posting on his hotmail “Christmas came early” He had been given a small inheritance and the cheque had arrived. I knew right then that he was paying for something to do with sex. I was crushed and he admitted to being on line, paying for chats and that he had been doing it for a few months…I discovered by past postings it started in Aug…a month after he discontinued counseling due to the benefits running out.
After many nights of talking, tears, stating I don’t want to get married etc we agreed to work on having a nice Christmas for our family and friends and decide what to do after the holidays. Gradually life returned to normal, we continued to talk and he swore he was off line and I believe he was at that point. At that point I also realized I did not want to be without him and I knew the chances of him slipping would always be there. Needless to say here we are, 4 months married and my gut feeling returned. Once again I was right.
This is where you and your site entered our lives a few days ago. I had read one of your posts a woman (I think Pam) with the list of rules to monitor her husband…very cleaver and it really made me chuckle. and think. I phoned Michael and asked him to print off all bank statements for the past 3 months which he eagerly agreed. Driving home last night I knew that I was right and would be coming home to bank statements with the truth. This time I had no hurt or anger, I would say I was numb this time except I had a knot in my stomach to tell me I was feeling something. Michael left me a letter on the kitchen counter along with the bank statements. I have attached a copy of this letter.
After reading his letter we talked and I was very “matter of fact” and seem to have been dealing with this in that format since. I showed him your site, ordered your e-book, talked more, had some wine and went to sleep. I think subconsciously I’m avoiding the pain and continuing with this business approach. I realized on my drive home tonight (80 minutes) that I don’t think I took this addiction to the serious level it needed. I also didn’t really grasp the struggles Michael has and still does have. I need to take this as serious as I took the Asperger’s and Alzheimer’s diagnoses. This is effecting me as much and in some ways more and I think I need to stop putting it on a secondary level.
I do not want to leave, or him to leave. I do want to work with him on his SA. I am now the administrator on the lap top, have the visa and discussed taking the bank card. I did not want to do this but I read your comment about the difference of control vs monitoring to help keep your life sane. Trust but verify…Ronald Reagan quote. Michael seems very sincere about wanting help and controlling this addiction. The oxymoron is we can’t afford private counseling but seemed to have the money for the on line sex shows/chats/sex 😉
So…this is just the true beginning for me on this site. I am searching for support groups in our area but no luck. Since I am looking in Toronto I’m sure I am not searching properly because this is a major city…with I’m sure many people/persons/couples having equal struggles. Any suggestions, advice or information is welcome. Thank you for this opportunity to share.
Below is Michael’s letter. I toiled over whether or not to include it as a lot of us are emotionally raw and really don’t want to hear that ‘same old, same old’ pity party that we already live with day in and day out. But, I think it may be important for some of my newer readers who may be thinking that their partner’s cries for help and seeming remorse is unique. Unfortunately, it is a very predictable pattern.
If you find hearing that same old Sex Addict talk offensive, please don’t read this letter.
I’m writing this so that my thoughts are clear and my intention is truthful. I am by all accounts a “Sex Addict” defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behaviour which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment. This truly sums up mine / our experience together and I have been rightfully called out by you and your feelings. I have been in great fear of this moment even though we have loosely talked about my problem and can only hope that you after all that I have already put you thought, ask once again to forgive me and find in yourself just a little more love / strength to help me. I am ashamed of my actions, the lying, the stealing of time, the secret life, the waste of money and mostly the way that I have hurt you on more than 1 occasion. I have printed off the information that you asked for and placed it in a sealed envelope hoping that you will not open it, but for you to know that your suspicions are correct. I’ve spent the afternoon searching for help and going through all the terrible feelings that have been bottled up inside me. The many late nights of lying awake with the stress of what lay ahead. The embarrassment that my actions may have on you and everyone else in our life. I have now reached the lowest point that I can in my life with this addiction and want to believe there is a way out but am not sure how? I’ve made a mess of so many things and don’t know where to begin. I wish you could feel how much I LOVE you, even with this terrible thing that I’ve have brought into your life, my love is real. As I said this morning for me quitting the excessive drinking is a small step in the right direction. I should have talked with you about my thoughts…..I hoped that working on a healthier body would make fixing the mind easier……that being sober would allow me some control……that walking with you would give us time together and maybe open the door to conversations……..baby steps. BUT I forgot to include you the only person that counts. I go through phases of wanting, seeking, finding, guilt, denial, shame, time out and repeat. This has being going on since I was 15. Because I felt socially awkward around not only girl’s put people in general I started to use Penthouse as a sexual release and this is where I believe it started. The many hours alone in my room with the door closed reading the stories and then jerking off to the pictures. I started to find ways to get more magazines (befriend the local shop keep whom sold them to me underage) older brothers and other strange connections that at the time provided me with hard core mag’s. Even though I had strong longings to be with real girls my many attempts always seemed to fail even with what my friends called the easy one’s that would fuck for hit off a joint.
So I would retreat into my room and have all the sex that I wanted on my own. At that time it seemed harmless, but I didn’t know what a horribly dysfunctional person I was becoming. As I started to make more money and my luck with the girls was not going anywhere my buddies thought that getting me a hooker was the answer…..and it was at that drunken time, but this too lead to another pattern of meaningless sex, much like the magazines at my convenience and with no emotional input from me other than I got what I wanted, when, how and could leave without ever investing anything of me as a person into it. I’m truly not sure how I managed to have any type of relationship as this pattern of magazines, which turned to vhs porn, prostitutes mixed with phone sex, telephone dating, internet porn (the internet porn is why I know so much about computers because it helped feed my addition), massage parlours and then webcam girls. These things have always been happening over the last 25 years and feel so compelling that I don’t know who I am and or how to stop. I’ve tried many approaches to beating this, some sincere and others not so, cold turkey / will power, I’ve been forced into treatment some only to make things appear like I was trying and others I truly wanted to work. I have terrible sadness over this problem which I hope will not cost me your love. The one good thing that has come from my addiction is that I meet you. Until you came into my life I didn’t know what grown up love was other than a parent to a child. You have given me so many things for which I can never thank you enough.
HELP ME please,
I don’t know whether Michael’s letter makes me want to laugh or puke.
I agree with Fatchance. Oh Laura, I am so sorry. When I got the bank statements my husband told me the same crap. Than a few days after discovery of the real financial mess he put ME in as he took credit cards out in MY name WITHOUT my permission I found $200 cash in his glove compartment. They are master manipulators. There is no hope for a full recovery. The only hope is really for Michael if you will stay and tolerate his SA. I know you love him. It sucks…it is the worst pain that only the women on here truly know. Hugs to you =]
I am really sorry too. I hope you get away from him for a few weeks and get a new perspective on the situation. Why, why, would we ever want to take on what they don’t want to take on?
The way I read Michael’s letter is this:
“I am making a shameless admission of my shameful behavior. You are hooked now, so I am pretty sure you will hang around, regardless of my abuse (which this behavior is-lying, cheating, stealing, etc.). By the time I have worn you out physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially, I will toss you aside, as women willing to deal with my sh*t apparently have been a dime per dozen.”
I never met my grandmother, but I was told she liked to say, “Honey, men are like city buses; if one ain’t headed where you want to go, wait ten minutes and another bus will be coming by.”
The destination written in my husband’s head reads: “Hellsville”. Damn, I’m pulling the wire and gettin’ off this bus!
Laura, please take some time away from him, no communication, just get space. I don’t even know you, but I wouldn’t wish this emotional, spiritual, financial and physical hell-ride on my worst enemy.
Peace be with you, whatever bus you ride.
Im sorry for your painful situation. I can tell you are a thoughtful, loving, and caring person. I know you must be strong too for the care you have given your son and father. It takes a special person to care for those with special needs and its love driven.
In my opinion, Micheals letter reveals how aware he is of the severity of his addiction. It also demonstrates that he admits he hasnt been responsible with the help that has been offered him in the past. He also was not very forthcoming with the full details of his addiction with you. Boy Howdy, he needs to be in treatment. He has been addicted for quite some time and it obviously has progressed. He admits he has no control over it-he needs to be in treatment-he cant do it without professional help.
If you can, get a therapist to help you with everything you are going through. Its overwhelming and you will need the support. Its up to Micheal what he chooses to do. He decides if he gets help and if he will work the program this time-if not, he stays the same way he is now which is misery for both of you. I know from your story that you are a caregiving person however Micheals needs to take ownership of his addiction and what he does with it. He has to help himself.
Laura, dont beat yourself up about not knowing or understanding sooner. None of us could even have imagined what this was like until we were in it. Im not and expert. Im a loving wife married to a sex addict.
Your friend, Nap
Oh my gosh. The COW! I can’t get past the dang cow. How pathetic is that? I can’t decide if I feel seriously triggered or just need to burst out laughing. O.k. robin. Get a grip; look away from the cow. Focus on the task at hand.
See Laura, dealing with these “men” really is CRAZY making.
I’m so sorry you find yourself caught up in the SA web. Whatever the future holds and how ever your story unfolds, please promise yourself right now that you will put your emotional health at the top of your priority list and keep it there. Protect yourself.
As for his letter…..well, the very first sentence set the hairs rising on my neck. I’ve learned the hard way that when an addict uses the word *intention* or any form of it such as *intent* or *intended*… be on High Alert. Those words are almost always, if not always, followed with a whole lot of grade A manipulation.
I see alot of pity in the letter, mixed with the I love yous, and him conveying that he is going to try to recover; but that so far there has been no success. As noted before here is the crazy making in written form, no doubt about it.
Watch out for the pity’s… it pulls on your heart strings…poor Michael. If he could just get it together, everything would be great. The world and the addiction is against him. Please don’t fall for that. But I have to admit at the start i did, because i did not know. I thought i was dealing with a kind loving caring person who loves me, would not lie to me and would never cheat or do something like this to me. But I was wrong. Even after pleading and letters like this, I was wrong.
Side note…did you open the bank statement letter which was sealed???
I hope your story works out to be whatever is best for you and makes you happy. Good luck to you in this long journey. Hugs.
I see in Michaels letter a very knowlegable man whose known the extent of his addiction for a very long time but has minimized most if not all of it to you. It’s part of those 1/2 truths they spew out of their mouths that they then convince themselves that they are being “honest”…”totally honest” in their sicko minds. They think if they tell you part and not all, they think by leaving out “boring” details but running a fast “overview” that they are honest individuals with loads of integrity.
I learned long ago with addicts that the “I’m sorry” part is at times very genuine…but only for a short, very short amount of time. They rationalize and minimize at every turn and the truck loads of self pity quickly overtake any of those thoughts replacing them with the “I’m the victim” thinking and they then justify all the acting out and bad behaviors. Often times holding us responsible along the way.
I too got the same crap, I STILL am getting the same crap but I’ve dug my heals in and I’m not budging. I set my terms to stay involved in ANY way with my sa and he’s not liking it. He’s trying to “re-write” the rules of recovery, shit, he’s trying to re-write what recovery even means. There was a time where I would have been swayed by the tears, the tugging, the “I’m sorrys” but now as I tell him, he’s done nothing but master his approach. He throws around the “I’m sorry’s” like candy at a parade.
I’ve just gone through 2 days of non stop crap from my SA all as a result of his getting caught in a HUGE lie after Christmas and relapse on New Years. He hasn’t changed…not the way he should for expecting me to “return” to the relationship. What the last couple of weeks has served to me was the painful reminder that this is what life with an addict is and will be like.
I am glad to hear you are now taking his addiction serious….if you’re going to stay with him, one of you better and it’s obvious he’s not. He’s no “newby” to this Laura…he sounds quite experienced, right down to having been forced into some form of “recovery” program(s) already?? Were you aware of that prior? I’m sorry but being “forced” into a treatment programs says to me that somewhere down the line things got really really bad.
Sadly the recovery rate with this mess is very low. Finding sponsors in any of the 12 step meetings is extrememly difficult due to the relapse rate and those guys who have managed and do manage a good recovery program are overloaded with guys needing sponsors.
If you do stick around be prepared for a lifetime of roller coaster riding. Laura, we’ve all been given the same words in one form or another. I just opened a long one this morning. Parts of your SA’s letter I’ve heard from my own. Often you will read other’s posts on here and wonder if it wasn’t you who wrote it.
I hear you that you want to stay and support your SA…I’m not trying to be mean or disway you…but please go into it with your eyes open. Honey, your SA is no different than the rest of ours…..be careful, be safe….and know you’ve a place here where you won’t be judged and will get loving support at.
Peace be with you……..
the letter seems better than nothing which is what i get mine even denies previously admitted acting outs.
This cow has alot of moooooooooooooves!
Thank you for your responses…not happy with the first one…seemed a little on the mean side for me. I wrote this in late November. Since I wrote this we had a wonderful Christmas, I now have a therapist who does believe in recovery, Michael has a new therapist who has worked in this area and is giving him good support ideas and help. Michael has found a SA group, which he is attending twice a week…that was not an easy task…and has now found a couples support group that meets weekly.
I have a pending business trip to Vegas coming up and wanted Michael to come along. For a couple of days he was very quiet and distracted, acting stessed. Finally, Michael told me that in his mind he has always seen Vegas as a big sex party, stripper, hookers, etc. I myself see Vegas as sightseeing, shows, dinners, etc…obviously we don’t see Vegas the same. He told me he can’t go but was worried about how I’d feel with him being home alone. Since I will be working and would be leaving him alone in Vegas we now both feel him being home alone is safer. For the negative readers, this is not a ploy to stay home alone since arrangements have been made and devices in place for me to feel secure that nothing will happen…and if it does, I will deal with it after I return. I am so looking forward to this trip and I’m going to have a great time!
The being forced into therapy in the past was with his ex, who was a stripper. She to this day does not know he was a SA, does not know about his past and does not know he was not honest in their therapy. I think there was a mixture of not being happy in the home that played into the “do I really want help”. He did go to some SA meetings but they were a very seedy part of the city (no where I’d go) and he found the people very uncomfortable to be around, not regular people. Afer this poor experience his therapist was very insistant he try again and told him he needs this as much as 1 on 1 therapy. The group he found is close to our home…not a seedy area…the group he finds mainly his age group, mostly normal people, business men, honest and open. He feels comfortable and very positive about the program now. He respects these people and their struggles and the one leading the group received his 20 year chip this past Sunday.
I do not need to uproot myself, Michael or his son for time to myself, it would serve no purpose for us. My therapist suggested we take 20 min each day to discuss his addiction, how he feels, how I feel, what we need, learned that day, etc. Great idea and if I don’t bring it up he will so we talk. This past Monday Michael had a bad day, mood swings, and he reached out for help and was honest about it.
Mary, I am being judged on this site by some because I choose to stay and work with Michael…just read the posts. I think the new site needs a section for people that choose to stay and need support, advice, ideas and positive feed back on that choice.
Flora, yes I did open the envelope and saw what I needed to see vs wondering. It gave me a full break down of what he spent and on what. It was a kick in the teeth, but I needed to see this.
Again, thank you for your responses, Laura
The only person who can help Michael is……..Michael.
You can’t fight his demons for him. You can’t fix his childhood. You can’t fix him. He has to fix him. This letter was written by a master manipulator.
Nice try, swing and a miss. Been there, done that, lived through it, burned the t-shirt, can see it from a few miles away. Please do not fall for it.
Unless and until he SHOWS YOU he is serious about his recovery…….leave……never look back.
Please take care of YOU…..((((Hugs))))
Thank you for the update. Sounds like you are both working hard and getting the help you need. I wish you all the best with everything!
Please realize that no one here is judging you for staying with your husband. I know sometimes it sounds that way, but you have to understand that most of us (myself included) have had our partially healed wounds ripped open by lies and deception from our ‘recovering’ partners. I think, rather than judging, these words come as an expression of extreme love and caring for you as we do not want you to go through what we did.
Just take it as words of caution. There are many of us who have chosen to stay. I did, and I am still with Larry six and a half years after D-day. But, it has been extremely difficult, fraught with relapses, separations, slips and lies and has caused me much pain and stress. But, as long as there is true progress and a genuine commitment to the relationship and recovery on the part of the SA I feel that it can work out.
The advice and support given here is meant to warn and protect you.
We all want that success story. I truly hope with all my heart that you and your husband are one of those.
Love and hugs,
Smart Girl, glad you opened it.
I find it interesting that his prior wife was a stripper. Can these guys ever get enough…and he was still not happy. Some women on here used to be models….still not happy. Juat proves it, there is never enough. I am sure in his mind he was marrying a stripper!!! yes she will be everything I ever wanted, no surprise when she was not. When do they ever seem to really get it??
Anyway Do you know first hand that she was not aware, as in you talked to her, or is that what he portrayed. I think I have read other stories where the addict said she did not know, come to find out it was what destroyed the relationship and why she had left or why they split. The tend to minimze or find another fault as to why the marriage ended….versus the elephant in the room.
NAP – love your statement yet again!
Laura – The gals on here have pretty much said it all. We have all heard pretty much the same song and dance. “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” I didn’t meam to hurt you,” “I never knew what love was until I met you,” and it goes on and on. The true fact of the matter is your’e husband has a long history of maladaptive behavior starting in his teens, and for him to get over this it will take years of therapy and 12-step programs.
As far as the monitoring, It is my opinion you have to do whatever it takes to put your mind at ease. It is almost impossible to gain trust back unless you have assurance he is doing what he says he is doing. (Look at the behavior, not what comes out of his mouth). He also has a lifetime of lieing and deception, and most likely will continue the manipulation until he is way down the line in recovery. You say you can’t afford private therapy, but I can guarantee he will not recover without it. 12-step programs are a good support system for the SA, but unless they are involved in private therapy and work on childhood issues the chance for success is nil. My husband is working the lessons on “Recovery Nation”, which is an excellent site for assisting the SA along the road to reovery. There are lessons for them to work on, and also a partner workshop for you to work on as well. I would highly recommend it.
My story is a long one. We have only been married since last April, and the addiction became worse after we got married. I am now separated from him for the second time, and he sppears to be making some progress. I have been accused of being too controlling, and by that I mean taking away the TV, monitoring his bills and banking account, have spyware on the computer, and doing most things with him. The criticism is how can he be allowed to fail if I continue doing these things. But, he has lied to me twice, that I know of, in the past 2 months, (maybe more-just caught him in two big ones) and unless
I am with him and see what he does I have no way of knowing when he is lieing or telling the truth. Controlling? Maybe, but since we are separated, that is the only way for me to know. I am pretty good at spotting a trigger and/or a lie.
I am sorry you have this to deal with. But, you present with the same type of guy we all have been attracted to – that being “Mr. nice guy, great personality, charisma, intelligent, etc., and the type who would do anything for you. Just be careful of the fascade, because under that there is a very immature “child” who really does not have the capacity for love, empathy, or integrity – I think that is what makes it so hard for all of us to deal with. If you can continue to live with him and not lose your’e mind, all the power to you, but I can tell you from experience, it will be a roller-coaster ride with many ups and downs. Your’e emotional and physical health will suffer. I had to remove myself from living with him to keep my sanity, and it is still difficult at times. If you can build a life apart from his craziness and build a life for yourself, it will be much healthier for you. If he is serious about getting the help he needs and really does love you, he will still be there when he gets better and can truly be prepared, at that time, to work on the relationship and be a good husband. The addiction has to be fixed before you both can even began to work on the marriage and relationship issues. In the meantime, please get some help for yourself.
Much Love to you.
Laura- As JoAnn says, We are not trying to tell you what to do or criticizing you for staying with your’e husband. I am still married to mine, but dealing with it through separation. We all have to do what is best for “us,” but we just all want you to realistically be aware of what is ahead for you. Facts are facts, and literature and statistics bear out what we are saying.
We just care about YOU, and don’t want you to have to go through the trauma many of us have experienced.
We ARE HERE FOR YOU. Please don’t take it negatively. WE CARE.
Oh yes, I stand with all the ladies here. My heart hurts for you, Laura, and for all of us. All of us here relate with you, see our stories reflected in yours and in each others. We feel deep compassion for you as only those who have walked in the same shoes can. We ARE you.
WE ARE a 53 year old woman here, married for thirty years, who values marriage and commitment and who was blindsided about two and a half years ago. Who stills shares a home with her husband, but is now sleeping in a separate bedroom. Yet, I still cling to a thread of hope.
Our words ARE difficult to hear, but please hear a little of what I’ve painfully learned. Addiction, any addiction, much less one that has been deeply ingrained for decades, is a formidable, cunning, and unrelenting foe. You are in the early days. Arm yourself with knowledge. Be open to the posts here. If you seek Michael’s truth, look past his words to his actions, his consistent actions over a sustained period of time. Have hope for your husband and marriage, yes, but please, please protect and take care of yourself as well as you do your loved ones.
Peace and blessed days to us all
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Sorry you felt judged. Please know that everyone here supports you in your decision to work things out with your husband. I think as JoAnn stated, some of the less positive remarks come from our SA’s telling us sorry’s, “committing to recovery” and then going way way off track or demonstrating they were not serious at all about their committments. The negative was comfirmed to be the truth, and the disappointment of where they are really at- active addicts, was most hurtful to many of us, it reopens gaping wounds. I think as time goes on perhaps we mature into living with someone with an addiction like this, and boundaries will be respected or they won’t. We will tolerate or we won’t. There’s not a lot of room for in betweens. I wish I had happier news. It is what it is.
Your comment on keeping things business like btw you two. I think it works really well. It has helped me make business decisions on money, and what I will live with and wont- without too much emotion. Very cut and dry. I am like a banker. this has felt healthy and respectful for me, and seems to be effective for keeping unwanted behavior at bay. continue to fight the good fight, and set healthy boundaries for YOU. So your quality of live improves.
48 year old woman here…married 24 years….blindsided 18 months ago….still shares a home with her “husband” although I feel the entire marriage has been a lie and a sham. He does nothing toward his “recovery” unless I force the issue. That’s not recovery. That’s playing at recovery. He’s still lying to himself and he tries to lie to me and he successfully lies to the therapist. I don’t have hope.
I have anger, pain, disappointment, unrelenting sorrow, depression, PTSD…..
We understand like no one else can……and I’m sorry if you thought my post was in any way judgmental.
My best, Betty
Your sis Haley here. Hugs =} I am 33 and married 12 years. The truth is hard to face and I certainly pass no judgement. I am no one. You werent judgemental. However, the facts are the facts. Once an addict always an addict. Addiction and lies go hand in hand. Wives will NEVER know if their husbands stopped off at a massage parlour on the way home from work. I was once in La La Land but I have to face reality.
I am close to being homeless. I have no family to help me. I have no heat my truck. I have a 16 year old son. I was a housewife for ten years almost. Thank God I went to college but I cant find a job. To THINK I would WANT to LEAVE. I am crying right now even thinking about the security I THOUGHT I had.
I do KNOW that I am STRONG. I face the reality of SA. I am acting as a soldier for my son. Facing reality and conquering the evil that wants to destroy my very soul has been my number one priority.
We did the counseling thing…we did the 12 step thing. He wants me back. Over my dead body will I allow my very soul to be consumed by SA. No Way! So let me face my reality. I am not afraid anymore. There is something worse than being homeless or hungry. That would be to become dead, spiritually dead. No thanks. I am glad I got out alive without AIDS. Maybe I am financially dead but that is my fault for closing my eyes so long. I am ready to face my reality.
Hugs to you Betty. I know sharing vacations, children, family, pictures, furniture shopping, car shopping, movies, favorite tv shows, dinners, parties, school functions, paying bills, reading a book together, wow is that soooooo hard to know it was all a false illusion. It is so so so so painful I truly know. Some of the best years of our lives wasted on garbage. So our husbands could fund hookers Versaci bags. To give your life blood to a man only to have him send a limousine to pick up some hoe and screw her at some posh hotel. I know the pain. I truly know. The worst is nothing to do but feel it. The feeling the pain almost killed me literally. I lost 14 pounds in two weeks and only weighed a little above 100 pounds. My hair fell out. Oh I know the pain. The videos that linger under my tv stand. The phony pictures. The button from Disneyworld that reads “ten year anniversary”. What a waste. What a disgrace. What a shame.
The show must go on. One way or the other. God Bless everybody, hugs.
You are not alone……..I walk in your very shoes….with the very same issues…exact issues………if you ever want to talk, I am here. Maybe JoAnn can provide us with each others emails if you’d like. I still am in the “fear” stage, I wake in the middle of the night in panic. I’ve two kids at home, 21 & 16 both in school…..on SS, and my little house guaranteed for another 5 months only. No credit, Bad credit, No job,….Un like you, I am close to accepting my fate, not there yet. I work at it every day….to let go and let God…In prayer and faith I try to remain stedfast. It’s scary…very scary.
I am so sorry that you are suffering so. Please don’t let his addiction take your years of fond memories too—they are still yours to cherish. You trusted and loved someone who was very sick and deceitful. Being a dedicated wife and mother is a wonderful thing. Don’t let his bogus disgusting habit rob you of your joy and memories. they are still yours to cherish because they came from a place of beauty inside YOU — his addiction should never be allowed to taint this — it gives it too much power. Cherished memories are your property. Not his.
For instance, my SA, real winner. I mean from wedding night on this guy acted out. It took me 9 yrs to find out real problem. God did I feel duped! At first, like everything was a lie. My whole life. Then as I calmed down, I realized, no, he was the lie. Not me. I genuinely loved him. My life was not a lie. I was being lied to, by him, there is a big difference. Therefore, I don’t hate my wedding photo anymore, because, I loved truly, not deceitfully and held nothing back. If he threw it away on porn and whores, well, there’s no fool like an old fool.
I hope this helps. I am about 9 mos in from d day – been quite a journey. It does get better. don’t let yourself go homeless because of his crap. At worst, please look into a women’s shelter. Or, can he go stay somewhere while you have some time alone? No woman on here sb homeless because of someone else’s nasty habit. BTW– there are court advocates that can help with legal seperation and divorces. If your husband has been sole provider, he must continue to provide some kind of help. It is worth talking with them, I did. Women’s shelter can also assist in low cost legal advocates. When you are this distressed, you need safety and shelter at a minimum. Please post and let us know how you are doing, where you are going to stay.
You just go on and be free! I understand there are way worse things than being poor and you listed a few big ones.
I relate to you. My denial, shock, obsession and resentment were KILLING me physically, spiritually, emotionally-and of course the STD fear!
“Step out the back Jack, make a new, key Lee, and set yourself free!” (Or kick his sorry abusive ass out if possible.
I am with you lady!
It’s so awful to hear the distress you are under Haley and Mary too. (((hugs)))
Financial dependence on a SA is a nightmare.
I was a SAHM and have a 30 year outdated college degree. Nice. It didn’t seem like a risk at the time. We were a team, don’t cha know?!
I don’t know your exact circumstances but can you emotionally detach enough to endure an in house separation with your Hs, just long enough to buy some time to plan an exit strategy and maybe squirrel some money away? That’s basically what I’m trying to do, but it is hard.
Is there a Church you can turn to for help? neighbors or friends?
Sending prayers your way
I would appreciate any suggestions you may have. As you know I am planning my exit plan from my SA because its really bad. I have to live with him until I leave. How do I detach without getting roped in by his behavior. Sometimes hes nice then he does something to hurt me. I was doing really well with it until yesterday and would appreciate any survival tips you may have.
help me please, NAP
Well… maybe just keep remembering that eventually, he’s gonna pass some nasty disease your way, (if he hasn’t already). Mine gave me HPV which is passed skin to skin and condoms do nothing to prevent getting infected.
If that doesn’t work— imagining him covered in vomit should help.:)
Good Morning Girls,
Hey thanks so much everyone for your genuine concern. I truly appreciate it. My D-Day was May 21 however my real D-Day was nine months after we were married when I found the phone bill with strange numbers which (TA-DA)was naked cleaning services and massage parlours. Back than I was only 21 and had no idea what sex addiction was. I just thought I worked to much and didn’t give him enough attention. My point for saying this was that I have been here for a long time reading all the stories and your comments. I feel like I know some of you very well even though each of us is on a unique road.
I just wanted to say that I wrote about my financial situation because of Laura’s comment that Joann should open up a place for women who WANT to STAY. Of course I WANT TO STAY! OF COURSE! I WANT TO STAY! I DON”T WANT TO LEAVE! I LOVE my husband. I LOVE his family. We had a LIFE together. We all had lives with these men. We don’t WANT to leave Laura. I think if the women wanted to leave they wouldn’t be here because there would be no pain driving them for help. Joann could open up a la la land blog but thats not helpful and I don’t need anymore people blowing smoke where the sun don’t shine. I am all about reality now.
Some people want to live in La La Land. The phony lives. All appearances and show. Oh but when that front door closes and your cold lifeless husband sits on the couch thinking about his next rendevous. The emotional unavailability. Living life by yourself. I thought these symptoms was his juvenile diabetes affecting his mood. HA! He had me fooled alright. Of course they can be so cute and loving sometimes. Wow didn’t it feel good when the SAH would give you some nice attention instead of you scurrying for the crumbs off the floor. They are masters at what they do.
Mary my sister. I am so sorry. I mean I am so so so so sorry. I know the panics. Waking up in the middle of the night sweating and feeling like you can’t catch your breath. First time in my life I was prescribed anything other than antibiotics was this summer. Xanax. Can you believe that? Me, a girl who never had a puff on a cigarette is on xanax for thirty days. Well they did NOTHING. Might as well been a placebo. The only thing that I could have done was be put away and sedated but you still have to wake up and feel the pain. There is no other option but to feel the pain and let it do its destruction. Mary I would love to talk to you anytime. I am loyal and truly care about all the women here because you are the ONLY ones who understand me. The address I gave Joann is not safe for me as my SAH knows of it. But I would make a new one for sure. I also have a youtube account (haley741977. I have read all your comments for some time now Mary. You will know what to do one day. No one can put a time on this trauma for us. God might put a person in your life to help you become strong or a job where you can find some security generated from yourself. I am here to listen Mary. I know your pain. Funny how the word pain doesn’t properly express the trauma.
Pam and Robin thanks so much for caring. I saved some money over the summer to move out. My SAH is a dangerous man. After D-Day he got violent when I would cry or mourn. He would become Mr. Hyde. He can’t deal with my pain from this. His exact words were “so I saw prostitutes, get over it.” HA! I think he is a sociopath but thats just my thoughts. He told me he would kill me if I sought alimony. I believe him. It would take away funds from his addiction. I don’t want a mess with a man who masturbated 3x to 5x a day at work. It is even more complicated than that. He picked me because I had nobody. He chose me because I was 21 with a four year old son with no family in a little apartment. This way he could rape me financially (use my name for credit) and use me to the fullest emotionally without worry of any legal complications. See if I was a girl with a father who loved me how could he do what he did. It all makes sense now. The usery and abuse that was done to me by the one who was supposed to protect and love me.
My husbands family is loaded. We eloped only two months after being together. I thought I was doing the right thing for my son. I thought I could give my son a better future with this man…lol. I was so stupid. Anyway, his parents found out and had a detective follow me and tried to use his older brother who is a lawyer to get us divorced without me knowing. The whole family is narcissistic. Our plan of course was to save and get married in a church but it never happened. I can’t fight his family. It is my mistake and I have to deal with it. If I can live by myself at 17 I will do it at 33. One way or another I will be alright. I can’t let the fear of money determine the happiness of my soul. But this is my lot and my walk and I know everyone has to travel their own road differently.
The one thing though that is not different is SA. That is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I am determined to show my son the best example. I wake up everyday and make it my job to find a job. He sees that. He sees I let money define my actions once and he sees the outcome of that. He also sees that I value something so much more important for us and that is something that money can not buy. If I have to go to a shelter I will but I am not homeless yet! Pray for me that I find something soon. Hugs and hugs. =}
Good morning! And I truly hope it is a good morning and that today brings some kind of peace for each one of you. I wanted to share with you a song that is now just hitting the charts. For me it really hits home more than any other song has. It is “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri. You can find it on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v_4O44sfjM
No I can’t take one more step towards you, cuz all that’s waiting is regret
And don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore, you lost the love I loved the most
I’ve learned to live half alive, and now you want me one more time
And who do you think you are, running round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts, and tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me, who do you think you are?
I hear you’re asking all around if I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong to ever fall back in your arms
I’ve learned to live half alive, and now you want me one more time
And who do you think you are, running round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts, and tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me, who do you think you are?
It took so long just to feel all right, remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed, cuz you broke all your promises
And now you’re back, you’re looking to get me back
And who do you think you are, running round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts, and tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me, don’t come back at all
And who do you think you are, running round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts, tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul
Don’t come back for me, don’t come back at all
Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?
Great song Kari, Thanks.
It made me recall a curious observation I had with Larry, and I wonder if it is simply one of his many quirks, or if it could be a ‘warning sign’ of an addictive personality or a Personality Disorder.
Larry does not relate emotions to songs. I know that songs can stir up emotions in me, fond memories, nice feelings, just as Trisha Yearwood said in ‘The Song Remembers When’. Most couples have ‘their song’, we do not. Larry just doesn’t seem to have that emotional connection to anything, even songs.
Has anyone else observed this in their SA?
OMGoodness…I thought it was just me..but this is one of the things that was a red flag to me. What I have observed is, even though he says he pats no attention to lyrics, is that he listens to a lot of music that depicts women in a “certain” manner and revolves a lot around sex and deviant behaviour. Music I would deem very immature in content.
Very GOOD observation because now that you mention it, my SA and I don’t either. In fact, he’s little to no emotional connection. I can’t tell you how many countless Valentine’s days I went with not so much a card…Hell, what was it, 4 Mother’s Days’ ago, my own Mother said to my SA “why haven’t you wished my daughter Happy Mother’s day?”…his reply “She ain’t my mother”………….
No emotional connection to anything…..yup. That sums up my SA. I’ve often thought of him as “Mr. Spock” from Star Trek. He prides himself on being emotion-less and “logical” all the time. It is so pronounced in my SA that I’ve questioned him about it. He said this was a conscious decision he made in his teens. He found that emotions hurt and/or led him to make bad decisions, so he shut them off. At least he was self-aware enough to recognize this, but I had to ask direct, pointed questions to get it out of him. He still can’t admit there were problems in his family of origin. I have tried to create cognitive dissonance by appealing to his logical side. “Do sex addicts hail from healthy families?” He can’t/won’t answer that. The logic he employs is a selective logic at best.
I will pray for you. I do really hope you do find a job soon!
There are some similarities that I also notice for oursleves. How many of us were in a poor relationship prior where we were not valued or loved… How many of us had a poor upbringing….how many of us do not have family around. I am yes to all three.
My father was also non-existant. Always has been, I think he may be an alchoholic. My family lives 10 hours away, My first husband up and one day decided he did not love me. Needless to say I divorced him. Wanted better for myself. He was not affectionate, did not want to celebrate b-days, christmas, valentines day. Etc. He would criticize the way I look, and started criticizing our daughters and had a temper and unrealistic expectations for a baby or two year old should do. So he was not good for me or them. Now the SA came in three years after the divorce, charming, fun, attractive, kind, caring, wonderful family nearby (which also has money), never thought he would lie to me. i thought he was the one as well. I felt I was so lucky to have found him.
How many of us have this story to tell???? But its all a facade. Reality is he is a liar, is affectionate for his own gains, and only did what he needed to do which was celebrate the holidays and appear to treasure me. But its all show, because this is not the way you treat someone you love. You don;t lie to them and you don;t just do what is needed to get by in life and wait for someones else to do everything for you. (As my SA does).
I read a section in a book about how some of these men will prey on women who have had it tough. Who had a poor relationship prior, lack of sex for instance, and shower her with whatever she was lacking before as we make it known because we are an open book. We are being played and it is on purpose. I will have to re-look up that chapter and post the descriptor of what the author was talking about. I beleive it was in the book emotional unavailability. I am beginning to think this is not as much by chance as it is a deliberate move on the part of the SA as to what they are looking for in a spouse and a relationship. We just happen to be the right fit for them, but he is not the right fit for me anymore now that the sham is over.
My Sa appears to have emotions. He cries at sad movies, therefore thought he had feelings. But I am seriuosly beginning to wonder. It appears he only has feeling when it comes to him, not for others. So “we” don;t have a song either. If we did have one, I would have had to pick it out.
Mine has emotional connection lots of movies and songs. The songs are all about him, of course. And the movies seem to be all about him too. Not me. But he also seems to need happy romantic endings–after many struggles and things that will keep two people apart, the man finally gets to be with the woman he loves. If they don’t, he’s heartbroken. Sigh.
I think he just needs to believe that everything can go wrong (like lying, deceiving, betraying, abusing, etc the one you love) and they will still love you in the end. Sad—but no. I don’t love you in the end. I just feel numb, except for the bouts of sobbing.
Apparently for my SA, music enhanced the lust, the bad boy, the fantasy that he was still 18. When he began to work at recovery, I noticed the Rolling Stones cds went into the garage and in went the classical music. So anyways, If you were ever at a red light, and some middle aged guy pulled up next to you with “ You’ll Never Make a Saint of Me” blaring in his car and trying to make eye contact with you….that was probably my SA.
I don’t think it’s connected, but he always gets the words to the songs wrong too.
JoAnn-Just wanted to adress your question regarding SA’s relating emotions to songs. Steve does, in fact we often make love to romantic songs, and he was very instrumental in picking out romantic songs for our wedding – had to listen to everyone of them to help pick them out. But, that is only one facet of his personality. He is very detached when it comes to communicating feelings, and gets very passive-aggressive if an uncomfortable topic comes up regarding his addiction. He has so much unresolved anger, and any kind of confrontation sets him up for comments that will push my buttons. Unfortunately, I have still not done well with this type of behavior. He gets me every time, and I really go ballistic.
I know you feel I have been too involved in his therapy, (Regression therapy) and I agree, but I still feel the need to exercise a certain amount of control with him in order to build trust. I don’t know any other way to do it, since we are living apart. I have the TV receivers, spyware on the computer, etc. He told me two “biggies” in regards to his lieing in the past two months. One was minimimizing, and the other was a partial truth. Two very damanging instances dealing with triggers, and that put my trust back to ground 0. I am interested in knowing if other SA’s respond negatively and with anger when these boundaries are put into place.
Steve feels very controlled. I feel the SA has used they’re addiction to maintain control over their lives, and they have a difficult time giving up that control. I say too bad. When he can tell the truth and I begin to establish trust again, I will let up. Who knows when that will happen! And, it is just the little things that also get me. He subscribes to a very benign magazine in which he states there are never any risque’ pictures, but we purchased one at the magazine rack, and lo and behold this particular issue had two types of pictures he has triggered on in the past. He said none of the others (past 6 issues) have had anything in them. I asked to see them, and he volunteered to have the subscription sent to my house. Haven’t seen past issues, as yet, however. Last week, we were watching a movie and some of the scenes were very grapic. I asked him why he would not take the initiative to turn the movie off. His passive-aggressive behavior kicked in, and he said, “That would be awful if I would see some boobs.” Part of his addiction involves an obsession with boobs.
We do almost everything together, except for his SA meetings and therapy sessions. I am very adept and having that “sixth sense” to know when he triggers and lies about it, so feel, because we are apart, there is no other way to know if he is being truthful.
Although he has made progress with intimacy and fewer triggers, he still cannot tell the truth. Sometimes, my gut tells me he is getting better at covering up with the looking around/lusting. Time will tell!!
My question to you is how long should these boundaries be maintained – at what point do we let up?
I know this is quite lengthy, but it is venting time.
I was really touched by your post, first of all, for your keen insights and also horrified by what your husband is doing to you. It is a felony to threaten to kill someone, but of course, there either has to be a witness or you have to have it on tape.
Have you sought out legal counsel? Do you have any recourse, at all? This is just not right. My heart goes out to you, but I can see that you are a strong resourceful woman and will come out alright. And honey, it may not feel like it, but you are still very, very young.
Milk every penny you can out of this motherfucker. (hmmmm…) You deserve it!
hugs and love,
Very interesting question, JoAnne,
I have often wondered about the differences that my husband and I have to music. I have a definite emotional association with many songs and hearing them brings memories and feelings back. My husband listens to music a lot more than I do, he would say music is very important to him( he would probably say it’s much more important to him than me, most things seem to be a competition for him)……and yet talking to him reveals that he doesn’t have an emotional connection to songs, he likes them, but they don’t remind him of people or places or times or events or feelings. I asked him once if there was any song that he felt a personal connection with, not just a song that he liked. His answer at that moment in time was a Springsteen song( he played it for me…don’t know the name, don’t want to know) in which he is singing about how it hurts him so much to see the woman he used to be with now with another man and he said that is how he would feel about me. I think he thought that was touching, just sent a chill down my spine. You’re right Diane, it’s about him.
Flora, I am also struck by another group of us and how similar we are: We met our SA’s when we were young, they have been our only significant adult relationship. I had parents who loved me and siblings I was close to. I went to bed happy as a kid. My extended family is 8 hours away, but I talk to them frequently and see them as often as possible.
What each of the subgroups of spouses seem to have in common is that we loved, trusted, believed, tried……and those are honorable things that reflect who all of us are:)
NAP – in reference to your question about how to remain detached, I have had a lot of experience in the last year with this. I would go about my day being friendly, content, and treating him like a family member and friend and that was good for me, an emotionally better , more stable place. And it would be fine with him, until he noticed that I seemed to be doing just fine. Then he would do what SAs do…..be extra nice or helpful or kind or loving or funny, etc. and I would feel the urge to get sucked back in. What I did was recognize it, and tell myself that it was manipulation and nothing would change. I had to take responsibility for not giving in to the manipulation, I couldn’t trust him to stop the manipulation. I used humor, which has always been a more effective way of getting through to my SA. When he started with the “seduction” behavior, if you will ( and I don’t mean sex, I mean behavior to get me back on board in his life, not to change the status quo), I told him I was going to give the guy with these seductive behaviors his own name, because he was so very different from my actual husband. I told him I had thought about more exciting names like Casanova, Fabian,etc. for the name that I would choose, but decided to call that alter personality “Bob.” It reflected how ordinary and ho hum that behavior and personality were for me, and calling him Bob when he was like that clearly let him know that I saw that as false and manipulative behavior without having to have the conversation YET AGAIN. I hadn’t thought about it until I saw your question, but Bob hasn’t been to my house for months now:) And I am detached, and happy with my own life, and not tempted to ride the roller coaster that Bob offered.
Thinking about you NAP:)
Thanks sis I appreciate prayers. Sorry about the unworthy men in your life. Sorry sounds so lame but I really am. It is so sad that today is some other woman’s D-Day.
They definitely pick out weaker women. I am not sure if this is the SA or the result of some personality disorder. I chose two narcissists. I took their hard hearts to mean strength.
I wanted to share a video after Kari. The video is powerful for me. My son showed it to me. I cried and cried and cried and watched the video at least one thousand times. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n475l3RsGZ8
My SAH did show emotions at a few movies like Steel Magnolias because he has type 1 diabetes like Julia Robert’s character. However, he didn’t cry at his three grandparents funerals. We had a song. Slide by Goo Goo Dolls. It came on all the time when he courted me. Would he cry if he heard it? No.
I don’t think we are weak, actually I think a majority of addicts pick a strong women. (I think I have heard that somewhere) I think we are all strong. It is just that we have buttons they can push in areas where we may be lacking, making the get all the more easier for them. Like having a big family nearby, where mine is eight hours away.
When i set out after my divorce…i wanted a husband who wanted me, thought i was pretty, cherished me, loved me etc…all the things the ex did not do. Of course the ex worked, the SA does not like to. Anyway….All the SA had to do was fill these areas or viods where my prior relationship was lacking and he was the winner……so to speak. I did not keep my eyes open to the big picture, and was easily swept away.
Interesting question about the music..
My H is musician,( not professional though) and I’ve often wondered if the music or lyrics he played/sang hit him at all.
I can’t say they did to be honest. He is interested in the technical aspect of what he plays, even if it is a particularily touching song. As for listening to to music, he generally went for heavy metal so hard to even make a guess there 🙂
Oddly enough, now that he is in recovery, I notice a few different songs in his practising he does, and it almost makes me thnk that they have been choosen for the lyrics of it. I wonder…
I’m with Flora 🙂
I do not consider myself weak, nor was I weak when I met my H.
I was divorcing from my (then) husband, and not really looking for a relationship. I had lost weight, was looking dang fine, was travelling the world on my own, meeting new people… I was not lacking anything or looking for anyone to save me.
My previous marriage was ending because we married terribly young and I just grew out of him so to speak. He wasn’t a bad guy, just wasn’t what I wanted once I grew up.
I thought it would be years before I even thought about mariage again, but he swept me off my feet I guess. He says he likes that I’m a strong woman and don’t take crap from anyone.
Oddly enough, he is the only person I have ever taken crap from. That makes me curious, why only him?
You asked, ‘My question to you is how long should these boundaries be maintained – at what point do we let up?’
I think you are confusing control with boundaries.
Boundaries are for you, your fences, what you will or will not accept in your life. These are forever, although they may change slightly at times.
Control is when you try to force people do things that they do not want to do (even if they say they really want to–we have all heard that story) Listen to their actions, not their words.
I really am not criticizing you, I hope you know that, I’m just trying to help you find the answers you so desperately seek, just like all of us here. I see you struggling with all of this and feel your pain.
So, if you were to determine that you will not accept lying from your husband, you state that boundary to him, or better yet, write it down and have firm, probably escalating consequences that you can enforce. Remember, setting boundaries where you cannot or will not enforce the stated consequences is actually enabling and encouraging the addict to ignore your boundaries.
Then, the choice is all his. He can either honor your boundaries or violate them. You are not controlling him in any way by enforcing consequences when your stated boundaries have been violated.
Monitoring TV’s and computers is fine if that is what you need to feel that you are not being deceived, but I am concerned that Steve considers this ‘controlling’. If he were totally committed to regaining your trust he should not feel angry or defensive over ANYTHING that he has to do to accomplish that goal. He should be willing to be transparent. To be honest, that doesn’t sound like someone who is committed to saving the relationship, healing your trauma and regaining your trust.
Lots of red flags here.
What else can I do to help you sort all this out?
Laura, I’m not here to judge your decision to become involved with someone that has this problem, nor am I here to judge your desire to stay with him and help him. Although I found his letter to be very cliche’, he at least is attempting to tell you he loves you, which is more than what I can say for my “husband” who has the emotions of a brick. I think a lot of the ladies on here are just warning you about the things you may be in store for; pathological lying, mental abuse, betrayal, “slip ups”, etc etc. Of course, it may go the other way and he could truly dedicate himself to recovery, but most of us on here have believed it could happen, only to get smacked in the face over and over and over and OVER again.
I wish you luck no matter what you decide.
I like what you say about them not feeling defensive or angry.
Thats the one thing I am using to determine my H’s “recovery” progress. He does not get angry or defensive over anything I say, or request of him. He acknowledges that if that thats what I need, then thats what has to be. I must say this has been a huge thing for me.
In fact I have not found my myself in a position to have to control or monitor internet usgae ect, because he has placed his own boundries on those activities.
The day my H pulls the ” i deserve unfettered internet access” I know he is not in recovery.
– on emotional connection or lack of it- I do think my SA is aware now that he is not emotionally connected, that he is missing something, and it distresses him. He’s trying to get there, but so far, he just can’t. It’s just too easy, and familiar, and less scary to slip back into old patterns. You can’t have emotional intimacy without the willingness to be vulnerable, to let go of some control….and he fears that. It is sad actually. What protected him as a child and allowed him to cope and get on with life……has become his personal prison.
So Laura, even if he is sincere, it’s not just about being sober. He has life long ingrained patterns and a core identity he has to change. That is a mountain to climb. This is not said to discourage you but to prepare you for what may be ahead.
There is lots of difference in thinking of terms of weakness. I absolutely meant to be weak financially or in a secular sense. Uneducated, no family, young mother, etc.
Joanne it would be awesome to have a survey on the characteristics of SAH’s. I have read over and over some stories on here shaking my head at eerie similarities. There is a couple of things about my husband that I find super strange. One is that he hoards new clothes and wears the tattered ones. He loves to shop for clothes and pile them away. He also was a compulsive signed sports collector. He has three Mickey Mantle balls. I asked him why one was not enough but he really never answered me. There is something really not right with him but I really don’t know what it is. I wonder if anyone elses SAH has similar problems.
How I relate to your living dilemma! It is like walking a tightrope, a very delicate balance when under the same roof, while at the same time seperating your life from him. I have found that the best bible for me has been setting boundaries–as Joanne said, a boundary stays forever, and its for me. i.e, – I will not sleep in the same bed with you. I need designated time alone xx per day per week, and time out of the house with friends, without you, once a week, every Wed. whatever — I find these help me remain “detached”. And see clearly. Are you seperate from him in the house? If he’s active, my suggestion is park it on the sofa as soon as you can– or if he is willing to sleep there that works too.
example last night, he wanted me to watch a movie with him. I do this from time to time still, we are keeping peace and playing nice. The alternative is I can divide the house and business he built piece by piece so he’s suddenly “nice”. 🙂 I told him I did not want to watch a movie, I would have quality time after work with my daughter, homework, bath, dinner, etc. I would put her to bed and then read.–As I sat down to read book, he insisted on having conversation and got testy. I let him talk until he got bored and left the room and then read. I reminded him it was my “reading time”. (Great read btw “Trauma and Recovery”–talks about theraputic models for those who have suffered PTSD and how victims can “reconnect” and recover their lives.) It is really helping me! Funny how he even tried to get in the way of that. But not more than 5 min until my boundary is respected and he must go to his domain of the house. Not sooo bad. But, boy they are manipulative. I try to reduce my exposure as much as possible. That’s all I can do. I hope this helps
There is one huge, huge, huge question for me. This is something I think about A LOT. Does PAYING for sex bother them. I mean, doesn’t that make them feel like crap? Than I tried to think like a man and I thought maybe they think that it is powerful to be ABLE to pay for sex? I googled this question a lot but I never really read a satisfactory explanation.
Thank you JoAnn for responding so quickly. My boundary for the past 21/2 years has been no lieing. There were no consequences up until the time I moved out in August.Three months prior to that time, I told him the consequence would be if the lieing continued we would have to end the relationship until such time he was able to control the lieing and move further toward actively seeking recovery. I exercised that consequence.
Now that he is actively pursuing recovery and has made progress with showing some insight etc., I am at a loss as to what consequences I should have. He admits he has problems with passive-aggressive behavior, and also appears to have the insight that he is holding onto that control as manifested by a life-long process of addiction. He states that after he calms down and logically thinks it through he is beginning to understand why I need my boundaries in place. Nevertheless, he also says his emotions get in the way, and thus the passive-aggressive behavior. He is going to explore these issues with his therapist.
In the meantime, your input regarding consequences would be greatly appreciated. What would be a realistic consequence at this point in time? Since I am now committed to walking by his side as long as he is committed and showing progress, the consequences are more difficult for me to determine.
I am still not happy with his therapist. She finally came up with a written action plan for him, after a year of focusing on the marriage rather than the addiction. I am of the mindset the addiction therapy should be foremost in her approach, and the marriage issues will take care of themselves when he moves along the continuum of recovery. Interestingly enough, she has now decided to incorporate psychoanalysis, as well as behavior modification
into her plan of treatment. Am wondering if she finally figured out Steve has been focusing on relationship issues to deflect from addiction issues. That is what I think.
By the way, I never feel you are criticizing me. I value your expertise and have total trust in your professional opinion. Sometimes, as I said before, being a Psych Nurse is a hinderance for me. I sometimes have trouble, on an emotional level, see the forest between the trees.
Thank you for your help! I haven’t had the money to make a donation to the site, but think I will do so and take it out of our joint account. Ha. Let Steve pay for it!
Ok, yes, I see what you mean.
In that regards, at the time I met him, I was uneducated so to speak (he encouraged me to get educated and paid for it), I am 10 years younger than him, I was 24 and divorcing from my first husband (having been married at 15), and my family is in North America – while we live in Europe.
So I guess I fit the criteria for someone who is maybe not as “fully supported” as others may be 🙂
Ahhhh, the cow.. I get it now.
Think I need new glasses !!
Doesn’t JoAnn do an incredible job matching the illustrations to the threads. I’m always amazed.
But that dang cow! I try not to look…it gives me the “willies”
Haley – I do not know that much about prostitution, but I would think paying for it obviously keeps the SA on a very superficial level (no intimacy) and allows him to maintain control because he is the one setting the rules and attempting to have some semblence of maintaining control out of an out of control maladaptive life. He may feel he is using them, not the other way around. .
Anyone else have any ideas on the subject?
Lorraine, Marie, and Pam- thank you for your suggestions. Im putting them into immediate use. Right now im recovering from my husbands latest assult (not physical) but hurts just as much. I fell for this one hook, line and sinker…feel stupid that I did, know Im not, hes sadistic. I want to write more but cant right now. Im angry, hurt, humiliated, embarrased, frustrated, and sad. Will write later when Im more centered.
PS. I think my husband would like the cows phone number…He likes big nipples.
Hahahaha! That’s rich! I really need lots of laughs-thanks for that doozy:)
I do not live with my SA….and short of having a camera on him 24/7 you have no way of knowing at all what he is up to. That is the bad part about not living together…I though right now, wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m having a hard enough time with this and if I had to live with him right now, they would have taken me away to the funny farm long ago.
There comes a point where you simply have to let go. I can tell straight away if my Sa is up to no good…it comes through his emails, texts…attitudes, his face when I look him in the eye and ask. And lets face it, if he really wants to get away with something, he’s gonna do it whether you are there to see or not.
You need the boundaries for you…trying to control is only going to get you that passive aggressive behavior. Let your consequences of your boundaries be the thing to control…then it makes him responsible for his choices, not you. If I would have been in that situation with the TV, I would have excericized what ever my consequence would have been had my SA sat there watching something he wasn’t supposed to watch. He would have had to deal with the consequence of violating my boundary, not me. I honestly don’t think I can ever live with my SA again and that’s what’s making me so crazy emotional these days because I am 50 yrs old with serious health and financial issues..I seem to be the one having the tantrums these days because I see little change and time slipping away…I don’t want to go back because of need and that makes me angry…very angry. It also makes me feel controlled and I don’t like that. But whatever my outcome with this mess is, I can say for sure that I will always ALWAYS have boundaries if he’s in my life…it’s his choice to cross them or not…and if he does…well then there will be a price to pay for doing it. This keeps his addiction HIS addiction and not mine.
Laura, I do wish you the best in your walk with your SA..I do hope that he is in the top 3% that make it. All of us at one point or another held out hope for the same reasons you are doing right now. For many of us, your post and his letter was like looking in the mirror. a mirror that has cracked or shattered for most of us. I didn’t expect to get the responses to my post I did last September either and also thought some were mean…but I know they weren’t meant to be personal, and I’ve also come to learn that the dissappointment these non recovering jerks dish out to us hurts…it’s raw…I had been away from my non recovering alchy husband for close to 20 years and forgot life with addiction..alot of it too. My SA doesn’t stop screaming he’s gonna be in the top 3% that make it…all I can say now after almost a year gone by is “PROVE IT to me…..tired of your empty words and meeting hopping as I call it” Honestly, the only way I see ANY of us not getting hurt again is to leave them..period. An addict is not called an addict for NO reason and any addiction that is real will not go without RElapse…especially early on. Anyone believing otherwise is in for a big let down. This is a progressive disease and it does not pick it’s victims.
My SA is a hoarder..period…He’s filthy and disorganized. He’s umteen motorcycles, a 20,000 sq ft wharehouse full of snowmobiles..he throws NOTHING away…He thinks everything he owns is worth more than anyone else’s had they the same thing…Heck, the decade we were together he bought lottery tickets EVERY day and never checked ONE to see if he had a winner…he also never THREW ONE away…NEVER….There were lottery tickets EVERYWHERE! He stayed in separate parts of our home because of his filth and you could clearly tell who stayed where. If it broke in my house it never got fixed..didn’t matter what it was…All he was interested in doing was sitting in his lazy boy when he wasn’t at work…and thats all he’s doing now…(after a meeting! what’s changed is the agenda…used to be work then lazy boy…now it’s work, SA meeting THEN lazy boy) What blows my mind is just how many 2 or 3.00 lottery ticket winners got tossed aside for the decade I was with him…may have even been a 50 or 100.00 one in the mix….many times, I’ve been sorry I didn’t box em’ and check em’, I could have had a bunch of money!…
NAP – that is hilarius! My husband is obsessed with boobs, so the nipples probably apply as well. I haven’t decided if the sa’s are pigs or dogs. The cow is priceless!
It must be difficult with your professional experience to detach from the therapist thing. And it sounds like you are right about much of what is going on. However, While I do think as partners we should not be kept in the dark in their recovery process, we have to be careful to not manage their recovery for them neither. Steve chose a poor therapist, perhaps. That is Steve choice. Steve is an adult. It is Steve’s recovery. He should be allowed that choice. I think we need to refrain from passing judgment on it. That way they own it – good or bad results. It’s theirs.
However, if they lie to the therapist, or focus on marriage instead of addiction, then they slow their own recovery. Right? How will we know? It will be evidenct in their behavior. And then we can rightfully pass judgment on them for their behavior . Their behavior will cross our boundaries in some fashion and they must address. You are acting like xxx. you are doing “this”. I am not happy with your progress so far because of xx, and xx. I think a therapist who specializes is sex addiction would benefit you more. Will you see one? What are you going to do about those things, SA? Then the ball is in their court.
I asked mine what he would do about his recovery. He said “when he’s ready.” So, he is doing nothing. I don’t even harp about it. I cannot long term live with an SA not in recovery. Sa knows this. He eludes that will be going to recovery program for daughter, for himself. Yet to happen. I sleep on couch and save money until otherwise noted. I do not discuss or act when he will go. I just abide by my boundary. It’s effective, I must say. His behavior has modified a great deal, just on his own. But not enough. I need the kit and kaboodle too. While I don’t beleive there
s been any acting out in last 2 mos, I want No porn, No prostitutes, total sobriety, addressing of underlying personality disorder- borderline I believe and SA. Plus church on sunday and some botox and new boobs for all f’ing wrinkles and time he took from me. btw– i am getting those wheter I stay or go anyhow – his expense. :). love you Sharron. Besides, I think you are the only one on this site that is having great sex!! You are doing something right.
My SA had his way with prostitutes…he said it was because of ease and anonominity.I would think control as well even though he never admitted that. My SA is deep into fantasizing. He wanted the prostitutes to fulfill his fantasies which run rampid in his sick mind…which in most cases..normal cases, an intimate relationship would not readily provide.
Mary – thanks for the reply. I am with you – not living with my husband right now is the best decision I ever made. Living with him was like living on a psych ward – constantly being exposed to his craziness. Now the exposure is on my terms.
Executing new boundaries and consequences, as I told JoAnn has been difficult for me,because of the progress Steve is making with intimacy and decline in frequency of triggers. The big problem is the lieing and passive-aggressiveness when confronted. Since I have decided to continue the relationship with him because of his progress and dedication toward diligently committing himself to change, I am going to have to come up with a new set of consequences (the boundaries remain the same) and I will really have to reflect on present behaviors to come up with them.
As far as your’e SA being a hoarder, I am sure you know that is also part or one of his addictions.
I am so sorry about your’e health and financial issues. I can relate to the anger in the respect I had to really really come down from a great comfortable life-style, but guess what? I have my sanity. It makes us furious to come to the realization we thought we had so much more – love, intimacy, dedicated husband, security, etc., and then they burst our bubble and WE have to pay the price for it. I try to look at it that settling for a lessor lifestyle, if I have to, will be a blessing in the long run. I would much rather be by myself(I was for 10 yrs. prior to meeting Steve), and have peace of mind. That roller-coaster will be gone. A lower standard of living is better than being unhappy and living the insane life I was exposed to.
My husband has had problems with that hoarding behavior, too. He had a shopping addiction ( old-fashioned shopping, online, ebay, etc) and was particularly interested in technology ( new) and in collecting old computer parts and space memorabilia. He makes a ridiculous amount of money and it used to infuriate me that therapists would tell him he didn’t have a problem because we weren’t having problems with debt. Another personal boundary for me is that if he chooses to pursue these activities, he needs to move out, we separate finances, and he can do whatever he wants…..but he cannot do those activities here while he is living with us. They were toxic to my family in terms of the amount of time spent at these activities and away from us and responsibilities and in terms of his priorities….the kids and I all would have said that his technology and collections were more important than we were based on where he spent his time, money, and energy. And he was not able to control those things either. While they were significant, they were not as personal and hurtful as SA activities. I told him that I know if he starts back with those activities, we will suffer as a family again and that even without sex addiction being part of it, I am no longer willing to accept that in my life and the lives of my children. It doesn’t mean he can’t do them…he just knows that he can’t do them here or with me. In my opinion, the SA activities would soon follow anyway.
My husband’s life has changed immensely in the last year, and I have told him that if we stay together, none of those things are going to change and that it’s not control, it’s me living my life the way I want to.
Pam – I really am not involved with Steve’s therapy anymore, just making a comment on my opinion as to why some of his recovery has been stunted because of the therapist. Steve is now making the comment that if she doesn’t get into childhood trauma and continues with only marital issues, he may have to find another therapist. So, if he is guiding the therapy by focusing on the marital problems, he may well be manipulating his therapist. duh! But, I would think she would be smart enough to figure that out-she is a certified sex addiction therapist. It may not be manipulation on his part, but a fear to face, head on, the trauma of his childhood and relationship to his addictgion. Who knows!
Yes, you do have to let go, at some point in time, but, since I am supporting him in his road to recovery, the only way I can know for sure he is making progress( since we are living apart) with the lieing is to enforce my boundaries-now just have to come up with some effective consequences other than cutting his balls off. I don’t look at this as control. If you have a better way of handling it, I am sure open to suggestions.
I am having great sex and intimacy, and that’s progress. Hope it lasts!
Ya, it doesn’t sound like your’e husband is in any big hurry to rush to a therapist. I would continue to save my money. I am 68 and am going to get some laser on my face for all these fine wrinkles and aging incurred while living with Steve. – at his expense!
Love you too.
I think it is common that addicts go from one addiction to the next, and may have multiple addictions. My SA was addicted to pot, spent hours and hours gaming, playing video games, surfing the net. Thank goodness he did not buy much, but he hoarded what he had and did not throw trash away. I feel silly for saying this but he hardly ever cleaned his side of the room. Like a little boy. Drove me nuts, Passive Aggressive maybe??
Good for you Marie – Tell him how it is going to be! You have every right, after what he has put you through to set boundaries on what you will or will not accept. You are right – if the hoarding comes back, most likely the other addictions would follow.
I can’t believe a therapist would tell you something like that. It reminds me of a very poor therapist my 1st husband went to years ago. My husband had a schizotypal/schizoidal personality disorder with psychotic features. He was having hallucinations about feeling he was “Jesus Christ on the cross.” His therapist told me if my husband wanted to have a 60 ft. statue of Jesus in our front yard, I should just ignore it – afterall, it was just a personality disorder. There are a lot of poor therapists out there. Of course there were a lot of other hallucinations/delusions and he would not take medication or continue therapy, so I divorced him.
I am glad your’e husband has made progress, and I hope you are happy and content.
This thread is just hopping today and I feel so fortunate to have been a part of it. Thank you, JoAnn.
I”ve got one more thing to post and then I’m out of here. Gotta get something accomplished before the day is over. Thank you all!
Marie describes so well the “dance” that goes on…and she’s spot on about choosing a bland name…I would never have thought of that, but how perfect. How unrewarding that must be for the SA not to have some dramatic name….stops the fantasy, pretend bulls**t in its tracks. SAs thrive on intensity, both positive and negative, so whatever works to keep you calm and steady and not giving what he seeks.
I’m also with Pam on separate bedrooms, or at the very least claiming some personal space. In the early days, I kicked SA out of our bedroom in a rage. There sure wasn’t any thought to it; I was raging. But it ended up giving me something I really needed….a space that was only mine where I could feel emotionally safe. It’s also a space where you can retreat, lick your wounds, and work on your healing. Try to create a “protective bubble”.
Here are some more ideas for when you’re in the heat of the moment. None of them are earth shattering, but they help me.
I have a little stash of money for the future, but I constantly use it now, mentally:
– When my emotions start to well up, I pull back from the situation by picturing my stash. I see the space where I’ve hidden it away and I narrow my focus on to the stash itself. I picture the dollar bills that are paper clipped together. I remember how it makes feel to count the money, to add to it…..I focus on those feelings of safety and comfort.
– If that’s not working, I’ll start actively planning my next trip to the grocery store or whatever to add to my stash. I remember how I feel knowing I’m adding to my stash. I focus on that feeling of control.
– If I’ve triggered during the day, or am off center from an altercation like you mentioned NAP, I sometimes get my money out and count it. It helps me get that feeling of control back before the SA walks in the front door. It helps me focus on what I can control.
Gosh, beginning to feel like I’m Gollum with my precious! Nahhh. All this SA chaos is an unseen, emotional hurricane that no one sees but us. Being financially dependent or strapped is an added burden. This money gives me a very real, tangible sense of security and control. It’s something physical I can see and touch and focus on. That is very calming to me.
– If all else fails and I’m losing it and can’t focus on mental gymnastics, I may bite the inside of my mouth or stick a fingernail into my arm, not to cause me harm but just enough to redirect my focus.
Reading back over this, I worry if I sound crazy. Oh well. The reality is, it is hard work to detach. And like Haley said, it is not what we ever pictured or wanted.
When you mess up, go easy on yourself and just get back in the saddle the next day. Be gentle with yourself, NAP. You’re a feeling, loving human being and what you’re dealing with is anything but normal. This to shall pass. I’m thinking of you, sweetie.
My “husband” claims he went to prostitutes for 2 reasons. A} They would never become attached to him and therefore, he would never run the risk of me finding out (guess he was dead wrong on that one) and B} He needs to have as many different women as he can, because he claims he needs it and always has. My theory? This information in combination with his over-all personality would lead me to believe I am married to a Narcissist who has a sexual dysfunction, the mental capacity of a 5 year old, and the emotion of a dead man.
Unfortunately for me I may have to let him back into the house due to the financial state he left my toddler and I in, on top of a knee injury I have that needs surgery. The sheer thought of seeing him back in this house makes me want to vomit until I pass out. Being that I live in a small 900 square foot co-op, there would be no escaping his ugly, fake, blank, annoying, prostitute stamped, porn-riddled face.
Hurtheart – I am sorry for the situation you are in. Sounds like you really want out, and rightfully so – I wouldn’t be able to live with that kind of addiction, as it sounds like he is quite comfortable with his lifestyle. Think of it as a short term goal. Have your surgery, and then tell him to get the hell out of Dodge.
I am just curious, if you care to share, why do you have to let him move back in. Can he not support the both of you while living elsewhere? In the state of Kansas, as long as you are married-even separated, the law requires the husband support the wife and child. You sound so unhappy – surely there must be another answer rather than letting him back in the house.
OMG,..Robin…Love it! I sat here laughing my butt off as I pictured you countin your stash and double checked (mentally) my huge 5 gallon water jug by my bed and sighed that I’d only put like 9 bucks in this past week….hummmmmm crazy? naw…focused and in control….I love it…it’s great……..I did that for over a year myself too when I was still living with my SA…I stashed and stashed and stashed…I didn’t know about the SA problem then just knew I wanted to leave so I was workin like a busy beaver…what happened to me was I did find out about the addiction and I left not being ready….so here I sit with my life at times feeling crazy…so crazy that I applied for the local college last night…applied for federal pell grants (and it appears that I will qualify for full grants) and will go back to school here in a couple months. If I can’t find work, I may as well return to school..what the hell, if it’s free! I’ll still keep looking for supplemental work. I’ve still got my web site that has been on hold for almost 9 months, my mind is just too much a mess to delve back into research and writing but I’m getting closer. My college focus will be a decree in applied art and science and it all applies to my web I’m building and glass and pottery I’m collecting…..I’m telling myself I’m crazy to be going back to college full time at 50…especially with two kids at home…and one attending the same college. Maybe I have lost my mind…but I get up each day, put each foot infront of the other and pray for something. I sent out over 70 resumes last fall and I’ve started again now. I’m only looking for part time simply tending bar. My goal has and always was a series of income producing web sights so I can be sick when I’m sick and an income around the clock….At this point I’m looking for ANY activity…LOL something auto to happen as a result! 🙂
Oh Dear hurtheart, I feel so for you. I know exactly how you feel too. I wish we all lived in the same town, then maybe we could all go in a colaboratively purchase a big ole house we could move in together and make it safe for us and our children and pets. I am praying for a miricle for me by May 31st or it will be another “d” day for me in that he’ll most likely move into my happy little house and rent out our former condo…I’ve already told him I’d die first before I’d ever step foot back in that whore ridden place. He advertised it as his sex palace and used it as such after I moved out. I will pray for a miracle for you to Hurt.
My God Sharron, you have seen it all haven’t you! A statue of Jesus Christ in your front yard? I would have left him too…and yeah, my standard of living went WAY down, but it’s my own little house…old and maybe not in the newest of shape, it not on the ocean/bay anymore…but it’s clean, it’s mine and it’s proper (No porn, no bitches, no sleezy behaviors)
And Marie I agree with you…your actions are not controlling it’s the way you choose to live. I told my SA non stop this past week that I won’t support what I don’t agree with…and in part it’s his course toward recovery. I told him I made it clear my boundaries and what it would take to keep me in the picture…I did so last October..he’s only done part of it but wants me to believe change…I told him I believe Bullshit. He’s got his right to recover how he wants and I have my right to accept or not accept how he chooses to recover…like you, I don’t feel it’s being controlling or difficult, it’s being how I want to be and living with what I want to live with.
Haley, interesting link to U-tube…powerful video…You are strong! a very strong woman…I am 20 years ur senior and my health coupled with my age make things a bit more challenging…but I am with you in that I’m not giving up…hence with going back to school, while still trying to refocus and build another business as well as looking for a part time job…well hell…something has to pop! It just does!!
Blessings to all………….
(oh and there’s another Mary on here so I was thinking about changing my name…how bout Phyllis? we’ve any of those in attendance here? I had been thinking about it anyway..using my real name isn’t real anonymous is it? – JoAnn, will a name change change all my former posts? or just those going forward? would be good to do it today since so many of us are following this thread today…..
Mary, congrats on going to college. It is never too late, and you have plenty more years, unf. to work as well. ?I think everyone is working later into 70’s. We have one at my job, turned 70 a couple months ago, no end in sight to stop.
Thanks hon….I guess not…I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and this past week when I went with my oldest to see the automotive design building on the campus of the local community college he’s going to (He took a year off)..I saw a guy in his 60’s…that was the final motivational straw. My Problem is I want to combine 3 associate decrees into one…oh well…I’ll wait for my grants and admission application to get settled a few days and then truck down to see a counselor….I went to college in 1978!! ROFL but never finished…maybe I’ll find some sexy handsome ashton kutcher stud on campus whose looking for a 50yr old hot momma, ex of a sex addict!! ROFLMAO………..yeahhhh baby!!! (I’ll leave my cane at home that day! 🙂
I love school. I love to learn. I wish we had more colleges close by so I had more choices for higher education. But may go for my MBA starting in March/May.
Glad you looked into financial aid. I have always been eligible for grants, and if the grant did not cover it then there were federal loans offered at lower rates. That is how i finished by bachelors degree. Worked full time, two kids, then three; lots of work but well worth it.
So ladies who want to go to school, take some notes from Mary!! Go get it girl. You will be amazed on what is out there and that you can virtually have your school 100% covered until you graduate (givewn it has reasonable tuition, lets sale yale is not covered, unless you get some major scholarhips). That is exactly what i did. Those seeking higher education aid is also avaialable for masters degree.
Mary side note – sometimes the colleges offer jobs. If you need a PT job, sometimes they have some to offer to students. May note be high a wage, but its a start, and better than nothing.
LoL! LoLoL! Hugs! Go BACK! You CAN do it! I am so done with men. Screw them all. I would tell all young girls today to not get married. My son watches that Jersey shore show and man…this world is in a bad place. If you ever want to skype Mary let me know. I have an account but I forget it off hand.
What you said about having to leave or you would be in a funny farm is so so so so me. I think moving out was the best thing I ever did. I have some peace now. It was so hard to cry and he would not even look at me, just watch TV. It was harder to stay with him and feel so alone than to actually be alone.
Thanks for the kind words and support…and you are right…I told my kids last night, we may end up in a shelter, we may be broke, we may be poor…but hell, we’ll be smart doin it! I do seriously appreciate the tip on the side job…and right now, I don’t care what it is as long as I can try to keep much cash…I have to be careful with my SS and can make some money but I do have a cap…and the more I can make on my own, the less I have to take from the SA…..I will follow up and through…It very well (going back to school) help with connections in the bar scene. I live in a resort town and summer things really crank up. I can make several hundred dollars a night in tips bartending…that is my goal…meeting more college kids may help get me in the door…one never knows.
Haley, I don’t have a sub to skype…I do have a web cam. I also have aim, but no skype.
Sharron, bfore I forget again…I love pigs but I love dogs more…I do small breed animal rescue as many of you know…so in that sense…lets leave em’ pigs~
Changing to Phyllis as my nick now….
Oh and Pam…I thought you moved out? did I miss something here? I thought you left and moved out with his family etc..and thought I read today your sleeping on the couch? what happened?
And for all who want a good laugh, I spent all afternoon yesterday reading and re-reading Laura’s story looking for the part about the damn cow!~ Good Lord, I didn’t figure out til this morning that the cow was the flippin picture that could have bitten me in the nose, and not part of Laura’s story…..
Geeeeeezz…….mind…? What mind?
Is that a real cow?
What do your think her stripper name is…Milk Maiden?
What does she take off…her fur?
Sorry. Im not coping well right now so got a little carried away…hope to be better tomorrow (or next year). I grew up on a farm, actually love the cow.
That was sooo funny nap……milk maiden lol.
I keep reading your post from January 12th regarding memories. I have been struggling for the longest time about my 23 year pretend marriage. I’ve been looking at it as a 23 year lie. It’s as if I lost 23 years of my life. But after reading your post, I realize it wasnt’ a lie. I did everything as I was supposed to as a loving wife and mother. I did good!!! It wasn’t a waste, I gave of myself, I nurtured when I needed to, there were even times I had fun. These are real memories.
I still feel deceived by my SA, but I acted in good faith. It was real. He was the one with the double life. I have nothing to be ashamed of or to be sad about when I think of those years. Now when I look at my wedding photo, I look at “me” not “us”. “Look at that beautiful woman with all that love in her heart. She’s a pretty special person.”
I’m always amazed that a few words can make such a difference. Your words have truly impacted me. Thank you so much!
Thanks for your story. I married my husband knowing that he was an addict – and a sex offender, Unlike you I spent 3 years studying everything I could get my hands on about addiction and my husband and I have had long talks about it before I agreed to marry him. That said… I still had NO IDEA what I was in for. Don’t think for a minute you were naive! People with healthy sexual habits and views just can’t grasp whats going through these men’s heads! I know your husbands letter was sincere… he does hate his actions, and I’m positive he wants to change… but that doesn’t mean he is or will change. The ladies here call the letter cliche… because we’ve heard that same story over and over again. I’ve chosen to continue with my addict under two conditions… he’s honest, and he’s humble. Even then, I don’t trust him for a minute. He hasn’t earned it. You need to get on a family phone plan and get a joint bank account where you can see EVERYTHING he’s spending and arranging. You can check the records online at any time. You need to get a filter on every computer in the house. Ask one of your son’s to help you if you’re no good with computers… but get it on there.
I try to be strong like you. Dealing with the addiction in a business manner. We have good times – a lot of them. But it’s not a life I’d pick for someone else. There are plenty of bad things too. I don’t let my SA get away with anything… and this year I’m working on letting him see my sadness and pain over his actions. I’m a strong confident woman… but if he never gets to see how much damage he’s really doing… he won’t find a reason to take it seriously.
Good luck to you. It is possible to live with a sex addict. Thank god your own sons are “out of the picture” so to speak. Help protect the younger one as much as you can from following in his dad’s footsteps.
Ok, I must reply.
All of you are so awesome.
I have been supported by you for a long time now, and I just want to say thank you so much. I think there are probably others like myself who have been soaking up all of your words because they have given me the strength and courage to continue breathing.
BUT IT IS THE DAMN COW!!!!! That thing made me laugh out loud. And reading your comments about it made me laugh again. And what is just as crazy but truthful, is when I first saw the cow, I just did not know if I was offended, or triggered, or just plain freaked out. So I am happy that I maintained my sense of humor and laughed in the end.
SO THE DAMN COW ACTUALLY GOT ME TO RESPOND.
THANK YOU, YOU OLD HEIFER!!!!
Joann, your question on SA’s connecting emotionally to the words of music was a great thought. I have been married for 26 years and often thought it was so odd that my spouse did not seem to be affected my the words. It seems I would be just singing my heart out and he would not join me. I would ask him why he would not sing along. He would say that he never pays attention to the words. I never did understand that. So is it possible that the words would trigger emotions that they would not allow to surface so they would not listen? I just find it so interesting that so many of us on this site can relate on so many different levels with what we have experienced in our spouse and with in ourselves.
There are so many things that I want to say and so many wonderful people here that I would love to connect with. I love the idea of having a huge home where we all could go and give and receive support. Currently my spouse and I are separated. He moved into a small rental home. It just reached a point that I could not handle being in the same house that he was in. It was so hard to be around someone that would just give me that blank stare when I was in so much grief over the state of our relationship. I mean I feel like I could probably get more reaction from someone in the grocery store if I was crying than I would get out of him. I was not crying to GET a reaction, I was just really in a lot of pain. The kind of pain that just hurts from deep within and hits so hard with nausea and fear. To be in the throws of this kind of internal agony and not get a compassionate reaction from the person who brought this on is crazy making. I just could not stand it anymore.
NO, this is not OK with me!
Hugs to you all!!!!
on the song thing… my husband is always humming tunes. Happy ones, sad ones, hymns, christmas carols. He’s particularly fond of White Christmas. One of his therapy sessions taught him to sing a tune to get bad things and triggers out of his head. He’s used the tool so much that he does it automatically now. He just starts in… it takes him a minute to realize that he’s doing it and then often times will try to think back to what triggered it. Of course he’s more verbal-love oriented. Always writting letters, poems and in his journals. His favorite porn is written rather than images too… anyway… he loves songs and seems to connect with the messages in them.
No need to apologize, sooooooo funny!! I love it.
Cindy 111, Welcome. Always happy to see a new face (or words).
Pam and Cindy,
Yes her post was great, but it did not really sink in until I read the idea that second time. She is 100% right we did not live a lie, they did. I was in 100%, he in maybe half a percent. I was 100% truthfull; he was a liar. But that does not make the whole marriage crap. Anything that circled around him was crap; but the rest fun time with the family, kids, vacations, etc. were great. I will miss those times. Trying to start saving a vacation fund for our future so me and the kids can continue to have a vacation each year. But I am also trying to live more in the present, something I avoided in the past, because present life with the SA was so difficult and hard.
So glad you finally joined us…welcome!
and…at least you saw and registered in your brain the damn cow! Like an idiot I spent 1/2 a day trying to find the part in Laura’s story that talked about the flippin cow everyone was talking about….talk about blonde senior moments….SENILE! I was so busy reading Laura’s story…it resonated so deep with me that I really hadn’t looked at the darn picture.
LOL..We all need a good laugh to brighten our days…JoAnn, I don’t know your story behind that cow…but whatever it is..IT WORKED!
Hope all of you have a peaceful day ahead……….
Dear Christine and Pam,
I am still struggling with memories. All I think about is who he was thinking about or what he was doing. My husband saw prostitutes about 4x a week. He saw one our ten year anniversary and kept me waiting for dinner. December 27 2009…I mean two days after christmas. The only weeks we were married for the twelve years he didnt see prostitutes was when we went on vacation. In all the years we were married I never looked at the bank statements and omg the first time I ever went back and saw it was every week at least 2x our whole 12 year marriage. I just can’t see the memories like that. I am jealous you can. I am in a tremendous amount of pain over memories. I was so TRUE. I wish I could afford a therapist because I think I need one. I am happy for you both that you can see the good in the memories. I think it is a huge hurdle in healing.
I wanted to say about the bank account thing. After I found the bank statements I watched everything like a hawk. I mean every day at least five times a day checking the direct deposit and looking at everything. I still found money in his car. I dont see how monitoring can work. They will hide a lil here and there. Sure it can be cut down a lot…I mean the visits to the whores but all and all where there is a will there is a way.
Was it like this for anyone else. I just wanted to write this down from april 2009. It is just one week. 4/21 atm 436 hollywood ave fairfield nj $200, 4/21 $60 (i am assuming the prostitute needed more money for her phone something), 4/23 1445 valley road wayne nj atm $142.50, 4/26 281 valley road wayne nj atm $120.00, 4/26 560 rt 22 bridgewater nj atm $100.00,<–(sometimes he saw two prostitutes in the same day). 4/30 685 rt202 bridgewater nj $162, 5/3 288 hwy 202 flemington nj $240.00 atm, 5/3 300 kakeout rd atm $122.00, 5/4 281 valley road wayne $180.00 atm. How can I ever possibly recover from this. I dont think I ever could look back and think anything positive. I just wonder if this is extreme or if this what all you lovely ladies have had to endure. It got worse as he made more money. For the last 6 years it has been four times a week with a prostitute. Meanwhile I drove an old truck with no heat now going on my third winter because he told me we had no money because I had to move to this particular house we bought.
I am so sorry…soooo sorry for what you are having to endure…..you as well as others have given me further things to think about…My SA had a prostitute at our home just weeks after I moved out…he didn’t admit that until several months later…but he also admitted that he’d had a prostitute just ONE other time which was in between me and his ex wife…You guys are making me wonder if that’s even true. I need to ask…stupidly but just the same…if you’ve had one prostitute once, does that make you want to go back again and again and again? My SA was caught with some craigs list bitch in May, she wasn’t a prostitute, but rather, what I would classify as his idea of the replacement to me and he had numerous other women on the side as backup and/or support as well…he went and slept with “my replacement” in early June and then supposedly slept with or got a blow job with this prostitute later in June or even at the same time…that never made sense to me…NEVER…This of course is his HIS story….I couldn’t and can’t understand that if he was still seeing this woman AFTER I caught him, AFTER I moved out..and admits so why would he need or want a prostitute around the same time period too? I mean really, why wasn’t he just going back to his new GF instead? He also was contacting ANY thing on Craigslist looking to get laid during that time..he contacted like 8 women withing 1/2 hour one day….looking for anyone who would take his bait! Sadly, he was over here at my new little house helping me move all the while professing his undying love, devotion and new found self while carrying on with all these bitches even posting himself a NEW ad on craigslist to boot! ugggh
It would be impossible for me to verify any prostitutes because my SA’s business always rendered a ton of cash transactions and he always..always had a ton of cash in his pocket and enough that he could easily pay his whores in cash…But I’ve never asked to see his personal bank statements or credit card statements…he didn’t use a tyme/ATm card and in fact don’t think to this day he even has one. I did find a sight he frequented that was a schedule for buying yourself a prostitute…as always the answer was “I was just looking”…
They are always “just looking”……….
Haley, my husband is an avid prostitute user. The exact number of times a week I dont know-but its significant. I think last month he spent about $2000.00. Nice guy huh? This is why Im starting the exit process to get myself out of this madness. The harsh reality for me is that hes not going stop, I know that, now I just have to start acting on it. Its tough, Im scared, Im sad, lots of things….hes not who I thought he was. If I knew who he really was I would have never married him. Like Pam said I do have some good memories, 2 beautiful daughters, a few assets, and some other stuff I cant think if right now. When I look at him now and watch him I find him interesting-like a science project-I dont see or feel a husband anymore. How could I?
Im 52,I could easily live another 30 years…and its not going to be with Captain Underpants. Im a good person, I dont deserve his lies, abuse, and sociopathic behavior. Hes very charming…thats how he fooled me and just the other day he did his charming act on another women right in front of me. That wansnt my husband that was as Marie says “Bob”. He turns it on and off for one purpose only: to get what he wants…this is all so sickening to me.
When I walk out the door and never look back, I dont think hell bat an eye. He probably will celebrate and have a threesome. Isnt that sad. The mother of his children, worked to help him finish college, took care of our severly ill child for 3 years, nursed him through a nervous breakdown, was totally faithful and devoted.
My plan is when I leave, Im moving to another state and just starting totally fresh. That excites me, sounds like an adventure. To stay in the same city/state with him would be torture for me-ill only be able to do it if I go far away.
Sisters, thanks for your friendship and support. You all help me, every day in every way.
NAP, you have a sound plan. At 52 you still have a lot of life ahead of you. I wish you the very best. You will find happiness and fulfillment. Bless you.
Hi JoAnn – I have a full day ahead of me, but just want to relate a conversation I had with my SA last night regarding his sponsor in SAA. I have not been overly excited about the SAA group because they really negate everything we, as spouse’s of an SA, are tryng to accomplish.
Steve has to check in with him by phone once a day. (Like a 5y/o) Apparently, he told his sponsor he is having a lot of anger regarding the “controls” I have put on him – those being MY boundaries to help me re-build trust, such as spyware on the computer, TV’s out of the house, etc. He told Steve I need to stay out of his recovery, and report to him all of the “I saids, “He said’s” during out conversations when Steve is having a frustrating day. In otherwords, talk to him about every aspect of our private life. (Be his counselor). Kind of overstepping his boundaries as a sponsor! Steve made the comment he felt that was the job of his therapist, and the sponsor replied he felt therapists are just good at playing head games.
I feel the role of the sponsor should strictly be giving support, and give assistance in working through the 12-steps. ie: If the SA is thinking about acting out, he would give him a call and the sponsor would talk him down, as well as asking questions such as: What prompted the feeling to act out? What tools will you put in place next time to avoid a trigger in the future, etc.
This moron obviously is clueless about the wife of an SA and is wanting to be intrusive into our innermost private conversations. Thank God Steve has the insight to realize this is inappropriate and not the role of a sponsor, so is going to check with others in the group to find out if this is also they’re mindset. If so, he is going to find another group to attend. (His idea). I am so glad Steve felt comfortable in discussing this with me, even though he knew it would send me into orbit.
Steve went to his therapist yesterday. He also shared with her the frustrations he was feeling about feeling controlled with my boundaries, and she is on board with the theory all SA’s have issues with control, and wants him to make a time-line as far back as he can remember and describe when he first, as a child, felt the need to lie and use passive aggressive behavior as coping mechanisms. She made the statement that boundaries can be modified as trust is built. That gave me more faith in her – that she is finally going to work on childhood issues.
Anyway, this SA group certainly re-inforces my opinion they sometimes overstep they’re boundaries and foster keeping things secretive to the wife. I told Steve this is not only inappropriate, but is a breach of confidentiality between the two of us. This sponsor is a former pastor of a very fundamental church. He had a sexual and alcohol addiction, and tells Steve he got out of the ministry because he felt his calling was helping people in other areas of the community. I would bet my life he got caught, and was kicked out of his church. Probably a negative opinion on my part. But it wouldn’t surprise me.
JoAnn. I know you verbalized some concerns regarding the philosophy of the COSA program. What is your take on this one?
I just read your post and i totally agree that saa promotes secrets from the wife. not good. I have a question and no one to ask. we were in counseling but my sa changed jobs and we are on the tail end of the 90 day period. my sa admitted to alot of the hookers and acting out that i had suspected and have proof ie phone calls picture mail text messages that relate to each acting out but now he denies it all once again. When we were in counseling it happened and i told the counselor and he look the sa in the face and said now really….. you gotta give her this one, you cant do her this way. and sa admitted once again said yes it was all true… why do they regress??? do you know? thanks anyway
Here’s another “BOB” trick that might help with detachment in the meantime:) My husband did that with other women in front of me, too, probably all of our SA’s do? And then they do and say what SAs do and say ” I wasn’t doing anything” You’re imagining things” “It was harmless” “It doesn’t mean anything” or my personal favorite “I was just having fun” (Yea…..having some fun now…..right) Anyway, I told my husband in a normal conversation at home when it was just us that if/when it happened again, I would just…..leave. I had talked to him on many occasions about this, how I felt pain and anxiety and nothing had changed. I decided that I needed to take responsibility for taking care of myself and that involved removing myself from any situation in which his behavior caused pain or anxiety for me. I told him that under no circumstances should he change what he was doing or try to follow me or talk to me, he was making choices about how he wanted to live his life and he should continue doing what he was doing and that I would just be making choices about how I wanted to live mine. I also told him that when I saw him again later, presumably at home, that I would not discuss or dissect it. It was over and was what it was, and we would both be happy with our choices. He rolled his eyes, as I recall, made a couple of sarcastic comments . A couple of weeks later, an occasion came up and I said “goodbye Bob” and I politely left. ( Once it occurred to me that I could leave, I always made sure I had the keys or cab money). It was so liberating! I did it for me, but I realized after that it made him crazy that 1) I actually did it 2) I wouldn’t discuss it and 3) I seemed (was) content. It’s been a year and it hasn’t happened again so far, but I always have an exit plan.
I am 52, too, been with this guy since I was 21 and feeling your pain:)
Continue to take care of yourself, and it will get better, one way or another….it will get better.
Lou and Marie, thanks for your kind words. I wish you all the best too. Thanks Marie for the additional “BOB” method. I will start using that. Sounds like you got it all together and are in a good place for yourself. If you think of anything else let me know. 🙂
Cindy Flora Haley — I was really touched about the memory thing too, glad it helped. I must thank my therapist for that one, it really really helped me make peace and feel good about my life again. There are some great counslers out there! love mine. 23 yrs, 9 yrs, 4 yrs- whatever–The whole damn marriage thing is not a waste or a lie, because we are not a lie, we are truthful and loving, we were fed horrible lies as they covered their filthy dangerous behavior. That’s them, not us.
Haley – I think in the beginning it is so hard to feel anything but anger and trauma.No, I don’t think what you are feeling is out of bounds. You have been dealt an extreme blow, shock and trauma. Your emotions are warranted. Especially when you are still discovering facts- and it seems that you are. I did a lot of investigating in the initial months. Obsessively. I think at some point enough skeletons come out of the closet where I had enough. You probably will too. Then I stopped looking backward. He had already confessed. I did not want to dig up any more dead bodies that I already knew were there. It felt pointless to me. and only hurt more. The facts were what they were. I saved my evidence from his computer for possible future need. Locked it up tight. I suggest any evidence you have so far you save. Then I decided that I wanted to get well and emerge from the rubble and make a plan for my life. It does get better. Therapy, talking about it, and realizing it is not your fault that he lied and did what he did. Take you back. This addiction sucks US up. It did me. Like a vacuum into hell. detachment and time are our friends. In a few more months, the wounds will be less fresh. Less prior facts discovered – hopefully. then I think you start deciding about future in a rational way, less emotional way. Business like way. It helps. SAVE ALL EVIDENCE AND DON’T LET HIM KNOW YOU ARE SAVING IT. my suggestion. otherwise they try and manipulate you to destroy it or give it to them. It will get better.
Pam, I wanted to thank you for that advice about the memories and the marriage not being a sham, too. I am “simmering” it in my head,and I know that I want to get to that stage of thinking about things, but I’m not there yet. I gave my wedding dress and ring to Goodwill, figured it wouldn’t be bad karma for a stranger who didn’t know the story:) and my wedding pics are are on a high back shelf where I never have to think about them. I wanted to throw them away, but couldn’t make myself do it because we have children and I could almost picture the disappointment of some great granddaughter genealogist someday when she realized the pictures had been destroyed. Thank you, seeing it in writing helps:)
The idea behind the cow? I couldn’t find a dancing pig!
My discovery was walking downstairs and I he was typing on his blackberry and than he stuck the blackberry under his butt as I got down the stairwell. He lied to me and said he was having an affair with a woman at work. I believed him. His grandfather died the same week. So, I for his grandmothers sake who is very loving I went to the funeral and all that and my husband said he wanted to work it out. So now I thought he was working with this woman who he spent one thousand dollars a week on from January 2009 to May 2009. So it drove me crazy and I called his job and asked for her just so I could hear her voice. BAM! No Wendy that worked there. Than I became a detective and broke into his blackberry and found all erased messages that are stored. I called her…she answered…I was SUPER nice…she told me everything. She was a prostitute on Craigslist and my SAH replied to her ad. She just moved from Arizona which explained the Arizona phone number and she needed money…blah blah blah. But she moved in APRIL…so than who was the three hundred dollar a night rooms for since January? Than it all hit the fan. My discovery came slowly but within three months I knew everything. That was in late May early June 2009. I moved out November 2009. He really screwed me. He western unioned money to wendy the prostitute on a credit card in my name. A credit card I didnt even know I had. I have so much proof with me in a binder. I have the phone numbers. And girls one phone number when I traced the number back it was a man. Jeff…dont want to say last names but so I found this Jeff on facebook. My God Jeff is gay… So…SA is definetely a progressive whacko piss me off disease, or whatever. Sometimes I am really mad and than other times I am really really really sad. I am so sad for all of you too. It is just so sad and needless. Thanks for talking to me Pam and Mary too. I forgot to address what Mary said. Oh I found a job as a waitress Thank God. It is nowhere near enough or anything but I just need to regain some confidence in myself. Love you girls…Haley <3
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I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him,I hate him. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I hate him,
Feel much Better.
I been here and reading posts for 6 months since my d-day July 13,2010. I found half naked pictures of my 21 year old daughter in my SAs lunchbox.He stole her mem.card without her knowing it and printed them out. I have as yet to send in my story as I have been trying to figure out why I accepted and allowed him to do the things hes done over the last 5 years,I’ll write more latter. I was married to another monster before this SA and allowed him,accepted,adjusted I don’t know how to put it ,with him too. I met my SA 5 years before we moved in together he was wonderful,unbelievable kind,compassionate,perfect in every way in every situation. I read allot and like a good movie and watch TV once in a while,and he was like taking every perfect man and putting him into one. MY SA can watch hours and hours of the above and I now see that he uses these to act his way in life, the way he makes love the way he responds in every situation, the way he is…. Hes a shell of a man,its all a act hes learned and memorized, a script. I know this because when it comes to a situation he hasn’t seen or its something to personal he can not respond or I see or hear the real man. This must really sound crazy. If not I’ll try to explain it better.
It doesn’t sound crazy Katt. I am so sorry. That is really hard to read so I can’t imagine your deep pain.
Phyllis, I have never done this before, but I showed my SAH your post…and told him isn’t this sad? He agreed…I said “this is what we partners have come to…the pain is so intense.” He said, “I’m sorry…” Hey, maybe he meant it. I do hate him sometimes….and I used to love him so much.
Thanks for your thoughts…I am in my ‘ “terrified” of my future’ place tonight. Panicked that I’ll have to go back…having one of those moments…sorry…He makes me crazy and I don’t want that life…I DON’T WANT THAT LIFE………..ugghhhhhhhhh
I want so to say that to him “I hate you” – I mean I do, but really say it like I really mean it…I have to be careful now or I’ll get cut off if I push it too far……..It felt good just to hollar those words a bunch of times…..
I’ll be better tomorrow……..
Thank you all for welcoming me and helping me to feel included.
I sometimes hesitate to admit some things for fear that I sound like I am really lacking in the intelligence arena. What does Forest Gump say “Stupid is as stupid does”? So with that in mind, let me just reveal my ignorance.
D-day for me was 20 months ago. I have picked myself up, but I am still suffering with dizzying spells of trauma and shock. I hate to admit it for the sake of those of you with D-days that have been sooner. I guess it really is individual and circumstances can be so different for each of us. I feel like some of my problem stems from the fact that I do not feel like I have been told the truth as to the extent of his acting out. Why do I want to know more? Do I need more justification to leave him? What he has told me just does not add up in my mind. He claims that he has told me everything and gets very angry at me that I don’t believe him. My gut tells me that their is more, and everything that I have read tells you to trust your gut. But than again, why should it make a difference if there is more?
I think the reason I need to know is because I do question what reality is and what it isn’t anymore. If my reality of the last 26 years was so wrong, how do I trust myself now? How could I have not known? There are many things that bother me, but to find out that he “might” have had sex with the stripper at his bachelor party was just the beginning of our marriage. It makes me so sad. I had specifically requested that he not have “that” kind of a bachelor party. I remember kind of feeling embarrassed that I would even request such a thing. I was made to feel like I was expecting way to much and it was only naked girls. “Everybody does that”! When I found out that he actually DID have strippers at his party, I called the wedding off. At the time he wrote me letters and told me how sorry he was. How he could not help what kind of party his friends would throw. He said something that haunts me to this day now that I know the truth. He told me that he did not know what I had heard but that he said that it might have looked like he walked off with one of the strippers, but that he didn’t and that nothing happened. The crazy thing is that I was so mad about the idea that strippers were even there that the thought of him actually doing something sexually with one of them did not even enter my mind. I was calling the wedding off just because they were at the party, not because I had knowledge that something happened. So now to find out 26 years later that “well, maybe something happened”, is mind blowing. How could he stand up and marry me knowing what he did. How could his best man stand beside us knowing what he had done? Was that day just a farce for them? My parents gave us a beautiful wedding and reception, was that all just for what?
Than he wants to tell me that he had sexual massages while on his many trips to Asia and that is how his visiting to parlors started. He said that he did have an emotional affair with one woman in China and he thinks she might have touched him. He has called woman on Craigslist for topless massages but it was actually just a regular massage and than at the end of the massage she would take her top off and touch him. I am trying to be careful and not be to graphic. I am writing this to hear what you all think. I mean really? All of these things have been happening for all of these years and he is indicating that they only touched him with their hands. Really? And than he wants to go and tell me how lucky I am because didn’t I know how many men have had many girlfriends? Really? I am sooooo lucky!!!!
Well, here is what I think about that. I know that many of you have great pain involved with finding out that your husband had or has a girlfriend. I am not making lite of anyone’s pain and suffering. It is just that I almost can relate more to the idea that someone emotionally fell for someone else. At least that is something that I could somewhat understand. Not that I would like that any better, and it sure doesn’t make it OK. The idea, however, that he felt so above woman that he could actually pay them to provide a service that is so belittling is added disgust for me. What kind of person would ask someone to do this? And what does this mean in terms of what our sexual relationship was? Is this how he viewed what he and I did together?
I know that this is getting long, and I am sorry about that. I just feel I have so much to ask and so many questions. Sometimes when I read what some of you have written I feel so shaky inside It is just so freaky to read your words and feel as if you are reading my mind. The connection is so deep and the intensity so validating that it just bubbles up in me.
So how do you know that he has told you everything? How do you know when you look back into the account records that the money was going to prostitutes? Part of the reason that I do not believe him is that he continues to be so defensive about everything that it makes me think that he has so much more to hide. He does not seem to be in what I have read to be a sincere recovery.
I want to recommend a book that I have read that is not necessarily about SA, but it was just a great book that is about trusting in yourself. It is a small quick read that is fiction but really hit home to me on so many levels. It is called “The Princess who believed in Fairy Tales”. Have any of you read it?
Thanks for all of you!!!!!!!
When you asked how you know if you know everything, I just have to believe that when someone is really sincere about total disclosure that they might display resignation, not defensiveness and irritability when asked about their behaviors.
I too am somewhat obsessed with filling in the blanks and half truths. My husband is taking his recovery very seriously and I see no signs of acting out (and I am vigilant). He has shown so much love and empathy since the first disclosures started trickling out, but I know he is holding back and I don’t want to start sewing up my wounds when they are still infected. Aside from the massage parlor whores, all of his conquests were people I knew, some very well (12 – mostly employees). He desperately wants to start over, but won’t talk to me any more about what happened for 26 years. He gets irritable and just blankets the whole thing with “I was out of control, I’m just a sleaze that’s all there is to it!” I have practically given him a blueprint for moving us forward which would include taking my hands and lovingly, not reluctantly or defensively, answering my questions even the ones I have already asked. So I sleep in a different room and am having to consider the possibilities of life without him. I can’t live with secrets. They’ve already devastated my life.
Hi Again Cindy. Yes I feel I was in a similar and am in a similar predicament. As what I know i have rationalized to not be that bad, but feel that there may be more I do not know. And I have realized that I will never know. It is so easy for them to lie about this as…how will we know? We will not. There is no way to know if he had sex as the door was closed. The only way is if he tells. Some have the philosophy (inclduing 12 step) that what she doesn’t know will not hurt her. But when you are making a choice of stay or go, i have every right to know the truth. I have every right to know the truth if I am aksing and want to know. I think it would be very hard to enter back into a relationship with someone given they only told you half the truth, with the feeling you do not know the whole story. This is not for me.
So i took the decision out of my head of rationalization into what i accept and will not accept.
So is it acceptable to you for what he has done already?? Massage parlors, topless massages, etc.? With them only touching him? My answer is no. That is not acceptable in a committed relationship. And given that he is a sex addict…I find it hard to beleive that he did not go all the way. What is the difference if they just touched him…he should not have any other women touching him anyway. Mine is similar and in that he has only admitted to porn; its like they have a feeling of where your threshhold is so to speak. So yours must be if he slept with them? Mine would be if he did frequent a massage parlor or prostitiute. There is only so much we can take. In reality looking back I can’t take any of this. This is not what I signed up for and he has lied to me a along the way. So yes my SA may have done more, but in reality after much time of thought, he has already done enough.
I think it is almost like they know where our threshhold lies, won;t tell anymore, just to keep it going. They love us, they love the kids etc. But what they love more is the addiction and will sacrifice eveything to keep it going. He will try to maintain his relationship and he does not want to lose you. (in non-recovery anyway)
To me he has already pushed the limit, but that is your choice. How is the rest of your relationship? (if you don;t mind me asking?)
I think I may know what you are talking about.
I have had several conversations with my SA about what he wants to do, who he is, and what he wants to be. He really has no answers, goals etc. In our relationship he flat out stated that this has been the best relationship for him, because he feels he is close to being who I want him to be. In other words he pretends or acts in a way that I would like. The real him?….I have no idea who that is. I think through his childhood he has presented to people what they would like him to be, incuding his parents, and that is who he pretends he is. But in reality that is not who he is, but who he pretends he is. I don’t really even know who he really is..he just morphs into what everyone wants him to be, for each and every person. All the while putting on a show, but behind my back lies another person.
To my face he acts like the most kind and caring husband. Just remembered the other day before all of this came out, he was big into online gaming. A few post were left on the computer, I read them of course. In these posts some said i want to hug you or kiss you something like that. And his respose was, please don’t comment like that my wife is the jealous type. In hindsite what an ass firstly. Secondly I would never expect him to say things like that about me, he is a jerk. So small situation, but telling of who he really is. Come to find out I had every reason to be jealous or worried. He was viewing excessive amounts of porn, while gaming, and I am sure other things while online late at night. And he puts it off on me with the problem. So is the story of our marriage. I am so done.
Hi JoAnn- Am wondering if my post from yesterday got lost in the midst of the busy day with everyone else writing in. Just wanted you to read it and comment on your opinion of the 12-step program and sponsors.
If you get a chance, would appreciate the input.
i have requested the book from the library. Looks interesting, got great scores on amazon. Need a little something different to read for a change. Thanks.
My dear Sharron,
Unless you want to mother this man for the rest of his life you will have to find a place in your head where you can allow him to start finding his own way in his own time. You may not agree with his sponsor’s methods or the SAA model, but that is up to Steve to decide and up to Steve to fix.
I feel so bad when I see you wasting all of your energy on him. It has been long enough since D-day for you to have recovered a bit of your own self and to recognize that it’s not all about him. It’s about YOU. You cannot and should not be worrying about everything that Steve says to his sponsor or counselor. You are hovering worse than a mother hen (and I know how mother hens hover, I used to live on a farm–but, there always comes a day when she lets those chicks go to find their own way). Hovering over a sixty something year old man is just downright foolish.
I have voiced my opinions of all 12 step groups quite loudly here. That’s how I feel, so–I don’t go to any. It’s as simple as that. But Larry does attend meetings every week and that is his choice.
I asked before, but you have never answered, do you have a counselor? If so, what do they have to say about all this? If not, why not?
Please Sharron, let Steve find his own way. As long as you keep holding his hand and leading him he will never get the opportunity to make his own mistakes and find his own way to recovery. It will never stick if it’s all your doing and none of his. It sounds to me as though you are making yourself ‘indispensable’ to him so that he will never leave you, and you know that that never works. If they want to leave, they will. If they want to act out, they will. If they want to lie, they will. If they want to deceive you and keep secrets, they will find a way.
You cannot dictate or control what he does, yet you are wasting so much precious time and energy trying. You can only find ways to heal yourself. The rest is up to him.
Hugs to you,
Just want to say “hello” to fatchance and Diane…thinking of you both. Hope you are doing okay.
Thanks JoAnn for your kind, but firm words. I think it is difficult for you to be on that end and not see the direction in doing things for himself, and as I said before I have seen a “huge” paradigm shift” towards me – the way he treats me – the intimacy he is showing – the ability to show an interest in sex, and is now even respecting my boundaries without the anger he once showed. His triggers have lessened significantly, and the only problem he is dealing with now is working on always telling the truth. I know that is a BIG one, but he is also doing better with that.
As far as his sponsor goes. It was Steve who brought the subject up to me regarding not feeling comfortable in the role his sponsor has assumed. He does not feel comfortable in talkiing about our personal issues with him, as well as talking with him on issues that Steve and I do not explore together. In otherwords, the keeping of secrets within the group. He also told me he doesn’t feel it is ethical for a group to have those expectations. He feels that is up to his therapist. It was also HIS idea to find another SAA group if his sponsor was not okay with his ground rules.
I have also made great progress towards my own recovery in the past couple of months. So, don’t be so hard on me. I am not seeing a personal therapist, however have been doing couples workshop on Recovery Nation, and am finding it very beneficial.
Have some faith in me – I am doing much better than you think I am!
Thank you for your loving concern and advice.
Hugs to you also.
I just wrote a long reply to you and somehow deleted it. AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!
Just wanted to agree with what you wrote. So happy that your husband is doing well in his recovery. I understand how your feelings must get torn with him having empathy and a loving attitude while not wanting to discuss what actually happened for 26 years. So frustrating. It seems that you have to decide if you can carry on in the relationship without really knowing. How is the in house separation day to day surviving going? My husband and I tried this. It just did not feel good to me. I could not handle him moping around feeling sorry for himself (because he got caught, poor little fella) while indicating that my tears were not sorrow but rather a manipulation for some kind of punishment to him. First of all, “wow, thanks for thinking I am smart enough to even think that far ahead” hhhhmmmmmm lets see, I think I am going to shed some fake tears and pretend that I am in the worst pain and agony I have ever experienced in my life because that will be some great punishment for you. What I have learned is that he is so self centered that even my pain is not about my own sorrow. My pain is about “him” too. Well, he is almost right, my pain was caused by him, but my pain is for me. For once, IT IS ABOUT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So glad that you can relate to me. It is so hard when you just feel like there are pieces of the puzzle missing. So we are left with trying to solve the equation with only a fraction of the formula. They insist however that they have given you all of the formula and you are left trying to figure it out. Something just seems to be missing, but you want to believe them because you have never known them to not tell you everything before. So now you second guess yourself. It can make a person crazy.
My Mom told me this “If I believe that my marriage is over if I found out that he has cheated on me once again, than my marriage is already over.” She asked me why I needed ONE more thing to make a decision to end the marriage? He has already done enough if that is the only thing I am looking at as to whether or not to stay in the marriage. This makes sense to me. Kind of like what you are saying Flora, he has already pushed the limit.
Why is it so hard? I just want him to be able to be there for me in light of what has happened. It just does not seem like to much to ask for. So it is with that thought that I keep a little piece of me holding on to hope that he will wake up and figure it out. I continue to be strong for myself because the old me would have decided to make peace and move on with him. The old me would have just smoothed things over and made everything alright because I did not want to live in conflict. But the old me never came across this level of deception. So should I feel guilty that I can’t forgive this? In all of the years that I have navigated around barriers so that conflict would be at a minimum, did I ever really experience true forgiveness? I felt at the time that I was being forgiving when I was doing what I could do to bring a smile to his face when he was in one of his many ugly moods. Was that really forgiving of me or was that simply selfish of me because I did not want to be around someone who was grumpy. It was in my best interest if I could move that dark cloud from above his head. Now that I really have something to forgive, can I not just find it in my heart? So I am accusing him of being selfish, but is it really me? These are the kinds of things that I struggle with.
I would read JoAnne’s post that she put up yesterday about nurturing a sex addict. This I think will be very beneficial to the questions you are seeking answers to.
IT appears that a wishy washy mid-point is not good for a sex addict. You must be strict with your boundaries with very little to no nurturing (is what I got from the post). The nurturing lessens the effects of the discipline, and they feel they can carry on anyway as everything is now back to “normal”.
Any relationship where circumstances happen and you continually think it is you, it probably is not you. You are made to feel it is you. For instance i felt bad about my SA having to get a real job. A real job okay. This is not a rediculous request. But he moped said he had hoped the other thing would pan out, that it failed because he did not put in the effort….you see how the pity card was played here?? So you see, it is not my fault that he needs to get a job and help out with household expenses. That is his duty as part of the marriage. I also felt for years that i must not love my husband enough, it must be me and this is my fault. Low and behold he had the secret life behind my back, talked bad about me behind my back, did not help out around the house, with kids, household chores etc, and then to boot did not really work. In other words intimacy. He did not share anything with me or offer to share anything in the household. This wears on a person to the point of exhaustion. And up until about two years ago, i thought it was all me. I thought I fell out of love with him. So I waited to see what would happen and hoped it would come back. Truth is he wore me out, and after a few years with him there was nothing left to me but a shell. My thoughts were he is kind caring and loving…what is my preblem? But none of his actions were any of these things. That was his act to get what he wanted without much effort on his part. I am glad that the smoke and mirrors has cleared, and I am able to get myself back. The smoke and mirrors was the SA. By removing the SA from the equation, i can finally see again.
p.s. its too soon to forgive. Just thinking about forgiveness at this point is fine. Alot has happened to you and actually i would think forgiving him too soon is not healthy. take all the time you need; this is not a sprint; its a distance race around the world that never ends. life with a sex addict will never be easy. So you have plenty of time.
Thanks for your reply. Your husband needs therapy which will help him learn empathy for you if he has that capacity. Until he can assume responsibility for your pain, he won’t allow himself to FEEL for you…REALLY FEEL YOUR PAIN. Having it thrown back in your face??Talk about twisting the knife… He has a long way to go. There is an intensive 2 week program in LA that would be a really goid way to jump start real recovery for some of these guys who are in denial about the fallout and devastation. I go to the couples group on Saturdays when I can and there are guys from all over the country there.
Our in-house separation is not by choice but economics dictated this path. It works OK but it bugs when it feels to close to normal for him. I would prefer to be away while I’m figuring this out and it would also force the issue of his holding back info, because he wants me here and is terrified that ill start dating but it just can’t be that way because we can’t afford it.
One more thing… I’ve been really impressed at the group meetings that I mentioned when the founder teaches these guys about their narcissism and manipulation and self centeredness. (“do u do nice things for people and all you’re really thinking about us how it’ll make you look”. All the guys nodded their heads). Lylo
Cindy – Lylo referred to a 2-wk. intensive out-pt. treatment center in L.A. I had been with my husband 21/2 yrs. prior to his attending this workshop. He had been in total denial up until that time, was triggering frequently, and lieing constantly. I have seen a real change in him since his return last of October – the first ray of hope has finally emerged. I would highly recommend it for any recovering addict. I will tell you, however, that the chances for recovery are extremely low, and quite honestly I keep waiting for the ball to drop. But, then again, he could be one of the few to recover. We are separated, and have been since August. Living with an SA is a lifetime committment to possible ups and downs. I will not reconcile with him until I am sure he is actually recovering, and not continuing to manipulate and lie in order to save the marriage. Building that trust will not happen overnight. I told him my boundary, should the time come, will be to keep my Condo with all furniture in it. I will only move my clothes back to our house and give it a try. I am on the 2nd separation, and each time I moved back in my SA’s addiction worsened – probably denial and the fear of intimacy kicking in. All I can say, at this time, is I am definitely not putting my life on hold and waiting daily to see if he will change. I made the mistake of doing that in the past, and it nearly destroyed me mentally and physically.
I have not read your’e post yet, so do not know your’e situation. I do know the SA has to be at the point of having the insight to travel the road of recovery for himself, and not for his wife or anyone else. That step takes awhile-. From just quickly scanning your’e post, it doesn’t sound like your’e husband is there yet.
hugs to you.
This was a comment from a Sex Addict. This site is exclusively for women who are partners or spouses of Sex Addicts. His comment has been deleted just as any others from Sex Addicts will be.
Not all sex addicts are the same. I find some of these comments quite offensive. “I don’t know whether Michael’s letter makes me want to laugh or puke”? That is awful! My husband said things like this and has been sober for years. Why dismiss such heartfelt emotion? I know many sex addicts are jerks and when words like this are not met with action, then I could see how it could get old fast. But there are guys out there who are serious about recovery and don’t have tons of slips and relapses. Don’t put all sex addicts in the same category. Women who come to this site to learn may be turned off and not willing to try to make their marriage work, before finding out if their husband is one of those who really will stay in recovery. Although I wouldn’t stay with my husband if he kept slipping, I have a great deal of empathy for the pain he has been through and that other sex addicts have gone through. If you are angry, get out!
Thank you for writing and expressing your views and I’m sorry that you feel offended. That isn’t the goal here, but like with most things in life, it is impossible to please everyone, all of the time.
I agree completely that not all sex addicts are the same, but unfortunately, statistically, 95% of them are not recoverable. This is fact and I’m afraid that on a site such as this, we are apt to find the women who are desperately trying to understand what the hell is going on and are clutching at air when once there was a person? I was, when I found this site about 20 months ago. I thought I was losing my mind and then I found other women who were experiencing similar things and it was enormously helpful. The very nature of this illness is intrinsically mind bending pathology. It is often so difficult to ascertain fact from fiction and it can change on a dime. Even the SA himself, will often not even be aware that he is lying, even to himself! Many have far reaching psychosis, the depths of which are unfathomable. Again, this is not a blanket statement, but more the rule than the exception. And if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck…
While no one is ever saying that there is no hope, it also does not serve a woman to give her false hope. In some of these cases, the sickness is so acute– so far gone, that the prognosis is indeed very grim and furthermore, a woman cannot HELP her partner as Michael was BEGGING of his Laura. He is the one who has to do all of the work.
The reason that so many of us dismiss such “heartfelt emotion” is that we do not deem it to be truly “heartfelt.” Call us cynical, jaded, angry, whatever… but it is not because we didn’t try to be compassionate and loving and to pull out all the stops to help our partners/husbands/friends–at first. While I agree, that on the surface, Michael says all of the “right things”, there is just too much in that verbose word salad that just doesn’t ring quite true. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion, too.
I for one, am very heartened to hear that there are some men, including your husband who do seem to be in active recovery. According to the experts, however, its only about 5% that are and the rest are either totally refusing (there’s nothing wrong with themselves, they believe), or they are trying to recover, but the compulsions are just too great or the very worst… (IMO)– faking every step of their recovery so convincingly, that their partners truly do think that they are all cured. The latter is the case with my sex addict ex-friend and his partner. He has managed to pull the wool over her entire head as she thinks that he’s all better now. He’s still out there… yes, indeed. I can see his ads on Craig’s List looking for couples.
If a SA wants to act out, he will find a way and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it.
I agree also, that if a woman is absolutely miserable and crying non-stop and going through endless PTSD, then yes— she should probably get out. That is no way to live. Of course, there are sometimes other considerations. That could make this inadvisable. I think the best solution for any woman is to be as autonomous as possible and not make the relationship her everything. A relationship should enhance one’s life, not make it endlessly miserable.
All my best,
There is a lot I’d like to say, but I am limited on time so I will just say that I totally agree that it is not the spouse’s job to help her addicted husband (that was just naivete on his part, and maybe some manipulation). I also want to take back, or at least clarify, my comment about leaving if you are angry. First of all I meant to say “If you are THAT angry, then just leave”. Of course any wife who has been betrayed will be angry for a certain length of time. I meant if you are still stuck in your anger a year or more later and/or he is still acting out, then leaving might be the best option. It’s time to stop thinking you can change him or you can live with him and just turn a blind eye. I understand some women stay for financial reasons or “for the kids”, even though I can’t imagine how being raised by a sex addict and a mom who is always mad at Daddy would be best for any kids. But can you enlighten me on how some of you can come on here and go on and on about what a horrible jackass your husband is, but still stay, even when you aren’t stuck financially? I get that it would still probably be the hardest thing you ever have to do, but aren’t you hurting yourself more by staying? I admit I haven’t been on this site for long, but so far I am not seeing much but sex addict bashing. Not the support I was looking for. My guess is that some of you are terribly unhappy people and miserable to be around. We have been through hell and deserve to be miserable for a while, but at some point, if he is still acting out, don’t you need to get out so you can start to heal?
Lexie, I’ve been trying to sort our the difference between my SA husband and the husbands written about on this site and SOS and my support group. He is in credible recovery. I believe now that the difference is that he made a decision to recover long before he disclosed the truth about the years of heinous infidelity. The searing pain, shock, grief, anger, weight loss, etc that resulted from the disclosure intensified his desire to live with integrity. If I had been thrown into the middle of it I would have left until this committment was clear if i hadn’t moved on by then. Sadly, I still have to determine whether I can truly put it behind me. I know that I could never have manipulated him to begun recovery. He wanted it before I knew a single thing. Lylo
Yes! This is such a heartening post, because it clearly shows the difference between a man going through the motions of “recovery” to please his partner/wife and a man who has truly reached rock bottom and DOESN’T WANT TO BE THAT MAN ANYMORE OF HIS OWN ACCORD.
And THAT is the difference.
I will pray that he continues to fight for his right to a healthy, happy and whole life and that whatever the outcome, that you will find a place of peace too.
Thanks, Lexie. We have all learned so much in (nearly) two years. Peace would be the ultimate. I hope you find it too. Love, Lysa.
I’m a little confused, because I am hearing some disparate points, but hopefully, as I write, I can clear some of this up for both of us, as you sound like a very thoughtful terrific woman. I’ve been on this site for the better part of two years and I have rarely seen anyone going on and on about their own husband, but maybe so many of the stories sound so similar that it begins to feel that way? I don’t see most of the information as “sex addict bashing”, although, I can certainly understand how it might appear to be that way, at first glance. Also, there are some husbands who make your husband look like a cub scout learning to put up a tent. I mean… really, really sick men. When I see a woman who has suddenly discovered the truth and is subsequently trying desperately to understand how and why her husband could do this to her, the basic premise that I usually see is her assumption that his brain and her brain work the same way.
They don’t. They don’t work the same at all and in the case of the sex addict, parts of his brain are effectively missing or not functioning properly. In adapting to live in this world, they do not see the same things, or process the same, or have the same understanding of some very basic ideas and this is a very difficult concept for many of us to get. The most difficult aspect, however, and where I see so many women getting tossed into the mine field, is that a sex addict CAN at times (or even all of the time) appear to be operating, completely normally and sometimes, frighteningly so. However, it is usually an act, a con, a ruse, so that he can go about his agenda to suit himself. Yes, of course, these are blanket statements, and I don’t like to say 100% of the time, but from what I’ve seen its pretty damned close. For the vast majority of sex addicts and especially the ones who’ve been at it a very long time, the pathologies can run very deeply and are very difficult to change. If a person cannot see or refuses to see that there’s a problem to begin with, then how are they supposed to go about fixing it? It is my belief that ALL SAs have some degree of personality maladaptation from mild to very severe. There is no other explanation as to how they could behave in such a manner to hurt the one that they claim to love and cherish more than any other person in the world… The worst though,and really unthinkable situation is the man who goes along with the “therapy”, 12 step groups, etc. and really seems to be sincere about “recovery” but isn’t. This is the case of the man that I was involved with for a year. I don’t know how common this is, but it does happen as many a woman on here can attest.
Now… for the second point that I’m more confused on which is, how can we help you? What type of support do you need? JoAnn herself, is married to a recovering sex addict and she and her husband have come a very, very long way, from separating for 3 plus years to eventually reuniting in a much healthier union. But they have been at this for some seven years, I believe. Larry is sincerely working his program and not just cause JoAnn wants him to do it. He wants to do it for himself. He wants to be that man that she thought she had married. However, JoAnn is under no illusions of riding off into the sunset of endless domestic bliss now that this is “all fixed.” It will never be all fixed, for Larry will forever be a recovering sex addict and both are aware of the possibility of relapse, but it doesn’t rule their lives and it sounds like they have a beautiful, fulfilling marriage, most of the time which is all anyone can ask for. This is the reality of life with anyone who’s living with a truly recovering sex addict and that’s only the top 5% who are actually in this class.
And for the last part. I could not agree with you more. I don’t think there’s anything more annoying than listening to a woman yammering over and over, on and on… about what an asshole she’s married to and then does nothing about it. Shit or get off the pot!
And the other reality is that just because a woman leaves a toxic relationship does not mean that she’s going to automatically find happiness and joy in her life. So, yes– this site exists for the recovery of the partners of sex addicts, body, mind and soul and its not a quick fix either.
This site exists to help women take back their lives whether they choose to stay with their partners OR leave the relationship. We cheer their victories and cry at their hurts and believe me, there have been many and not just those of life with a sex addict. We truly are a caring sisterhood.
I’d also like to recommend (no, I’m not getting a commission—LOL!) that you might look into the sister site SOS which there’s a nominal fee, just because its so expensive to run it. It is a really terrific place, just for women and completely private and secure and I think that you will find the support that you are looking for. Several of the women on there do have husbands who are in active RECOVERY and do not whine and complain all the time— at all! Some are still in process. Many have or are undergoing a divorce. Some have gone back to school, bought their first home on their own or started a new business.
Its a wonderful, positive, caring place to be! I truly hope that you stay with us!
I hope that answers some of your questions better and again, I’m sorry that we are coming across as a bunch of angry, bitter shrews. Sometimes we are, haha, but I think on the whole, the women on here are so accepting and truly loving and I am so grateful to JoAnn for starting these sites.
All my best,
I admit I am basing my opinions of this site on a few threads I have read, and even then I didn’t read every single post. As I scanned a few topics I just had quite a few angry and negative posts jump out at me. These posts also seemed to often be coming from women who were not planning on leaving or are going to leave “one day”. I have gotten to know a few other couples through men my husband has met at support groups and I have seen some truly good men who struggle with this issue. My husband also tells me about men from meetings who truly get it. He also tells me about the ones that don’t and how hard it can be to find men with more than a year of sobriety, so I get that the “good guys” are few and far between. Now, my husband is not one of those men who was just addicted to porn or had a few affairs. He was involved in EVERYTHING except men and kids. I found out all in one day, after living 10 years thinking I had the perfect marriage. He was one sick man! There were other things secrets and lies, outside the addiction, but still related in my opinion, that also made it clear how messed up he was. So, while he was no cub scout by anyone’s standards when it comes to his acting out, I guess you could call him that when it comes to his recovery. I have been blessed in that way. I get that many, many women do not have husband’s who embrace recovery and are not at all resistant to admitting they have a problem and will do whatever it takes to get help. So, I am probably being insensitive to those women, because I do not know what that is like and I shouldn’t judge. My husband has had a couple slips (although neither of us is real clear whether they qualify as slips officially, which I may post about later to get some feedback). He has passed a couple lie detector tests so I feel that i can know he is being honest about his recovery. In the four years of his recovery I gained 50 pounds and developed a xanax addiction (actually all that happened withing the first year). The xanax is gone, the weight isn’t. So this has not been a cake walk. I did some counseling, we did some counseling, and I did a therapist led support group (no more COSA for me after the first meeting!). I read every book I could get my hands on. So I have done my work and come a long way. But every now and then, I will be triggered and the pain will all come back….the shock that I am married to a sex addict and devestation that my husband could have done all those things. Isn’t that funny, how all this time later it can come back like that, so fast? This happened to me last week, which is when I found this site. It doesn’t help that one of his acting out partners was a family member of mine who I still have to see occasionally. Thankfully my husband never once has gotten frustrated or become inpatient with me when I am sad or angry. That has been one of the keys to my recovery. Oh, and let me clarify, I did not at all mean to imply that a woman will be happy once she leaves her husband. i imagine she would experience all kinds of emotions, most of them negative in the beginning. I just meant that the healing can begin for a woman in a relationship where she is unable to heal as long as she stays. As is my nature, I tend to point out the negative, even when I see a lot of good as well. That is what I did with this site. I have seen a ton of really good information on here. I appreciate you telling me a little about Joanne’s story. I didn’t know any of that. Very inspiring. Thank you for being patient with me and making me feel welcome. I apologize for this post being so disorganized. I am so tired but can’t sleep bc I am nervous about the surgery I am having tomorrow morning, or actually today at this point (nothing serious, but general anestesia makes me a little uneasy). Okay, good night. 🙂
I could not agree w/this part of what you said more!!
“When I see a woman who has suddenly discovered the truth and is subsequently trying desperately to understand how and why her husband could do this to her, the basic premise that I usually see is her assumption that his brain and her brain work the same way.
They don’t. They don’t work the same at all and in the case of the sex addict, parts of his brain are effectively missing or not functioning properly. In adapting to live in this world, they do not see the same things, or process the same, or have the same understanding of some very basic ideas and this is a very difficult concept for many of us to get. The most difficult aspect, however, and where I see so many women getting tossed into the mine field, is that a sex addict CAN at times (or even all of the time) appear to be operating, completely normally and sometimes, frighteningly so.”
What has frustrated me beyond belief throughout this nightmare is…when we seek couples therapy, why is this point never even mentioned?? To me, that is a VITAL part of the puzzle that was left out, and NEVER even discussed!!
I had to figure this info out from reading I did on my own. Once I knew this, it didn’t stop me from questioing how and why he did certain things, but it helped me to remind myself that he ISN’T going to view things the way most people do. So, not only was I dealing with the male vs female difference we have anyway, you throw in a a brain chemistry that isn’t whole to start with, but then don’t share this info, and expect us to work things out the same way any other couple is supposed to?? Does anyone else say, “How in the world is THAT logical?? So much of the time we spent in therapy, we where constantly discussing problems we both had within the marriage that any couple has to work out, like dealing w/in laws, money issues, budgeting free time, etc, etc.
WHY???? If I’m dealing w/someone who doesn’t know how to function properly, why in the world am I then sitting there hashing out my wants and needs vs his wants and needs, when his wants and needs are coming from a very dysfunctional viewpoint?? Wouldn’t it be more logical to get the viewpoints functional and healthy first??!! His wants and needs are almost always going to be skewed, but yet we spend 0 time ever talking about this fact, like it’s bashing them if we mention the sad fact that that’s one of the biggest parts of the problem!!
LOL! It’s like hearing, “You’re married to an SA, but SHHHH, let’s not talk about SA. We can’t talk about how this pattern got started, we can’t be upfront about what he should be doing, we can’t mention what is a normal reaction from you as the spouse, what helps and what hinders when you are in a NOT NORMAL situation, etc, but next week we’ll talk about what you SHOULDN’T have done, when the addict, unfortunately doesn’t know what noraml is, and we’re functioning in trauma mode.
Now that I’ve been through it, I think I could walk into a therapist’s office with my husband and say “Can we please discuss the elephant in the room before we start talking about the whole zoo??” Maybe I’m the only wife that had this experience, and that’s why I tend to get a little soapboxy on the therapy issue.
Yes, it’s very possible not a darn thing about my marriage would have ended up any differently than it has, no matter what master therapist we saw, but there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if we had actually had the fortune to find a therapist who did approach things like the therapists mentioned so often on this website back when my husband was at a point of wanting to address his addiction, if things might have ended up differently.
I wonder sometimes if maybe SA’s aren’t so resistant to change, and getting into recovery, bc they are never really told how skewed their mindset is?? If I went to the dr., and he/she was handing me all these scripts for meds, and my spouse was talking about how I was hurting them by not getting treatment, but the dr. never said what was wrong w/me, or how I got the illness, would I just blindly start treatment?? But if the dr. spends a large amount of time explaining to me how I got the illness, how it’s affected me, and how the treatment is going to make the illness managable, wouldn’t I be more inclinded to do it once I see how and why things currently aren’t normal, instead of just assuming I already know all this, when I don’t have a clue what’s going on??
I really do NOT want to bash therapy, I’m just curious if anyone else has felt the frustration of having to figure out on our own that we are married to someone who doesn’t function with a normal mindset, and then we’re not given any info on dealing w/this, but then we’re expected to approach a relationship w/this person like you would someone who doesn’t have any illness. It just doesn’t make a bit of sense to me!
I hope that your surgery went well and that you will heal quickly! (((hugs))) Lexie
Thank you for your kind words. I get completely where you’re coming from when you make this statement:
Wouldn’t it be more logical to get the viewpoints functional and healthy first??!!
Absolutely!!! But, ahhhh… here is the rub; while it certainly is more logical, the question is: Is it even possible? And sadly, people with deeply ingrained personality disorders, RARELY change— even with copious amounts of therapy. My mom is a shrink and she’s had this one borderline-personality client for over 30 years! (yes, that is another story and also not very healthy). But, my point is that in a lot of cases, a man like this, can have therapy until the cows come home and it ain’t gonna make one iota of difference. He may even acquire a kind of retrospection on his illness, but he doesn’t know how to assimilate this into his life. So therapy, even with the most skilled therapist is dicey. At best, she might get him well enough to be aware, but far from healthy. Couples therapy, will most likely never work out, because of these deeply rooted belief systems that he’s used as coping mechanisms long before he met his wife.
Here are some excerpts from a blog written the other night by a so-called “recovering sex addict.” Please go grab a barf bag first, though. He has been married for 25 years and is a “devout” (gag) Catholic. He loves to post porno pics on his blog cause he doesn’t want to have to sensor “what’s going on in my [fucked up] noggin.” The night before, he kindly told everyone that he had sex with his wife (and often gives explicit details of their “intimacy.”) yuck, is right! So, he related to ALL (and it is mostly women reading which he is keenly aware of) that during sex the other night, he couldn’t get it up until “she put in some afterburners” [WTF?] and though he felt like it was “all fake and phony” and then he slapped her ass hard and called her a whore as he was climaxing.
He didn’t remember slapping her until his wife called him on it afterward and this is what he said:
“I teased her and said there was no handprint so it couldn’t of been that hard. Besides, I said with a smile, good girls need spanking too sometimes. “No. They don’t,” was her retort. Received loud and clear.”
nice man, huh?
But then, women reading his blog thinking at first that they are going to get an inside track into the mind of a “recovering SA” are horrified by what he is writing and HE KNOWS THIS. So, they write in and comment and quite frankly, they are articulate and well-thought out and very honest which throws him into a tail spin… What fun! Now, here’s where it gets really crazy! He deems them to be abusive (they aren’t) and then HE gets super abusive to them!. I wrote him saying that these comments are made from a place of genuine caring for another human being and concern and not with the idea to hurt him. Sometimes, he almost gets it but then there’s a cycle… He almost getting it, which then goes into a period of self-aggrandizement and encouraging comments, and then… nope… round the merry go round we go, into a pattern of abuse and acting out on his blog! followed by more abuse… and then a period of quietude and then its a period of self-aggrandizement… The women aren’t judging him OR trying to control him. HE is the one who is judging himself and accuses THEM of this. (mindfuck) He will then accuse them of being purposely hurtful and judgmental and then call them rude, vulgar names and make assumptions about their lives… (I know… why are you reading this shit, Lexie?) Well, its just fascinating to me, to see the personality disorder in action.
Here was his final answer which had softened, quite a bit, but I think this post will truly help give an inside track into how the mind of a SA often works and where the problem lies. (and I’ll continue after he’s finished his word vomit):
“It appears I have a problem with preceived female control. I can’t explain it. I have worked under female superiors for years with no problem.
But something about your comments…..something about commenting on and judging the content of who I am or what I believe or behave….I am just not programmed to accept that well.
It makes my blood boil initially, then I feel overwhelmed and eventually accept my controlled fate. I don’t mean to harm you or revile you with scornful words. I want to believe you when you say you’re trying to help me, but I just can’t see it. My gut tells me you’re all trying to control me……and I won’t be controlled ever again.
Not without my consent.
My sordid paramour past was all about the opposite of female control. I turned the tables and became controlling of them – even though it went against my programming. I made them all feel like I felt; used, humiliated, worthless but with a loving smile and sentiment – so much so they volunteered for their own subjugation. It is the ultimate in passive-aggressive behavior.
I have no inbetween it seems. I am either used by other or using others. Anything else feels not real, fake and not natural. Very surreal.
I think I turned off the comment feature here. Not sure if I succeeded. I am sorry. I just can’t handle even the perception of being told what I am or need to do by you women – even if you have good intentions. I am not proud of that – its just a trigger.
Trust me, that is subject number one at the next session with the therapist. ”
Okay, this is virulent narcissism in action. At first glance, one can see that he knows what the problem is… because its been drummed into him, but he cannot assimilate it into his belief, feeling systems. He does not even feel “normal” unless he’s either using or being used. Anything else feels not real, fake and not natural.”
That is of course, is totally fucked up thinking and I’m afraid all of the king’s horses and all the king’s shrinks can’t put this personality disordered humpty dumpty back together again.
So, the point of all of this is that couple’s therapy is a waste of time and money and will only cause endless amounts of frustration for the partner, if they are married to someone like this. In fact, it often makes things worse, for if the therapist can’t call the SA on his shit,(for whatever the reason) or make the SA understand his shit, he will assume that she is taking his side (his fekked up side) and use it against his partner, causing her further hurt and trauma.
So, I would definitely have my own therapist and then take the money for “couple’s therapy” and go to a day-spa and get
That is a very good point, that there may be so many underlying issues, everything is doomed from the get go, and I also thought it was interesting the SA you mentioned talked about having issues w/feeling women where “controlling” him. It is all such a messed up web, it does take a LONG time to even attempt to untangle it all.
That’s where I feel so let down. You have this info just from your mom being a professional. and your personal experience. Why can’t the professionals point this out to the couple that doesn’t know all of these things?? Why is it some secret that is never shared?
For instance, one therapist told my husband he needed therapy on his own to work through so many of the issues he blamed me for, that had nothing to do w/me, but was part of his past issues. He agreed. But then he never did it, but came back the next week for couples therapy, talking again about his issues w/me. Why didn’t the therapist tell him, “I told you you needed to be in individual therapy and you agreed. You didn’t do it, so I’m not going to sit here and let you blame your wife for things, when you aren’t working on your own issues, so you can leave until you did what you said you would do, or stop sitting here and blaming her.” Instead I was told I wasn’t listening to his points. I needed to validate his feelings, even if they where skewed. Wasn’t that just reinforcing his pattern of not having to do a thing, and in the process gain sympathy??
Now that I have found this site, and read how treatment models are changing, I’d like to think I would have been strong enough to say, “Wait a minute…last week we established he wrongly blames me for things that have nothing to do w/me, and he agreed to do something he didn’t follow through with, and yet we’re sitting here pointing out I’m not validating his skewed point of view??” How am I supposed to learn what boundries are w/an SA when it seems like I’m getting mixed messages from therapists??
That’s when all my confidence started to disappear, and I started to resign myself to the fact that this must be so much my fault after all, bc that’s the message I kept getting when I saw my husband not be held accountable for much of anything. For years, I feel I have heard so many mixed messages, and that’s why I’m curious if anyone else has run into this issue.
Yes, for all the reasons you stated, your couple’s therapist SUCKS, so fire her ASAP–please because she is just making things worse all the way around. Your husband is not ready for couple’s therapy and I don’t know if he ever will be and I’m not sure of the point, in any case. Didn’t he ask you for a divorce? I just went back and read more of your posts to refresh my memory and then realized that this is dude who hits his wife. yuck.
Honey… he’s not ready to recover. He’s made it perfectly clear. He just wants his little, sweet, clueless (not that you really are) wife to stay as she was… and leave him be to do whatever the hell he wants to do. He wants a wife and to have this other life too. If you can live with this fact, then you could stay in the marriage, but I don’t think that you can (and who could blame you!?) and besides, he’s already said that he wants out (he very likely has another woman tucked away somewhere) and furthermore, he is extremely dangerous, so good riddance!
Please find your own therapist to support YOU and also don’t worry about milking him for every penny he has and then some. Stop being so damned nice! LOL He’s an addict/wife beater and you deserve a whole helluva lot better! Yes, I know about his abusive childhood and yes,of course, its very sad. But, again, you can’t fix it or make it better or change to make him happier. In fact, the more you change, the worse it gets as you’ve already found out. Again, please don’t try to make sense out of the senseless. Its a futile exercise, if ever there was one.
His ONLY possible chance and even then… its highly unlikely, in his case, is if he truly WANTS to recover and to get the help without any blame whatsoever. He should be moving heaven and earth to make it all up to you, but he isn’t. He’s done and honey, its a blessing in disguise. it is.
There is so much out there, waiting for you… and this stiff is holding you back. Stay strong. Get your own therapist who you feel comfortable with to support you. It will be alright. I promise that it will.
Thanks for your words of kindness!!
Where I feel so let down, is here I was looking to professionals for help, and it always ended up, like you said, worse. He had started this whole process wanting to get better (Well, saying that anyway) and now that has all disappeared, bc he has never had to be held accountable for anything, except by me, so of course he thinks I’m the only one who has a problem w/his actions. His life is perfect now that I’m gone, so why would he want to change when I’m the only one who ever had a problem?? See why I atart to believe him when he blames me for so much??
Plus I’m not a perfect wife, no one will be, so how do you know what you need to honestly make better about yourself when you keep seeing he is never held accountable? It is just so sad to me he can’t see how much he’s hurt me by who he has become vs who I thought I married, but that I would forgive all that, and be there, but like you said, he’s refusing to do the work. So very sad!! That’s what I’m having to grieve the loss of right now.
As a newly concluded sex addict, I have to say I am astonished at the amount of damage everyone here is putting on display. My wife an family do not know about my addiction (at least yet) but I have seen through your stories the level of destruction I have put them through if they know it or not. If I’m able to end this now with therapy and SAA perhaps I can spare them this pain. Would you ladies have rather not known? I ask with complete honesty and respect.
I have read all of your stories as of date and I thank you. I’m at the end of my three month cycle of forgiving myself, bein fine and on track, not being fine, acting out, hitting bottom and trying to forgive myself again. I decided this time to check out SA meetings and search this website out. I hope your stories will remain with me through these difficult early months
This is why I usually delete all comments from Sex Addicts Wess. Your delusional, totally skewed way of thinking just makes me, and every other woman on this site crazy. I’ll leave this comment up just as an example, but don’t bother writing anything else or I will delete it.
How dare you think that you have the right to deceive your wife and then not come clean in the name of ‘protecting her’. You are not protecting her–you are avoiding any consequences for your actions. This is the same old bullshit that Sex Addicts spew repeatedly when they are still in their denial phase. We have heard it all. A relationship can never survive on a base of lies and deception.
Love equals trust. Trust equals honesty. Your wife will never be safe while you hold your secrets and YOU will never even begin on a path of recovery until you are honest with yourself and with your wife.
She deserves so much better than you.
We have all heard this same rhetoric from our husbands over and over. Eventually it all comes out and we realize how little respect men like you have for us and for the relationship. ~ JoAnn
I’m with JoAnn on this one. Oh and Sharron too.
I recognize the early sign of the newbie outed who actually thinks he could be doing to do his wife a big favour by “sparing her this pain”. How can anyone with any integrity not think their wife deserves to know the extent of your risks to her health, her financial security, her home, her soul, her sanity and your whole family? How else can she make a genuine decision to stay or to leave? Why that would be the cowardly manipulator, who still chooses a hidden life. You are denying her the information she needs to make the best decision for her and her children.
Little hint here, don’t try to do your wife any favours, just stop diminishing your behaviour—like calling it “acting out”. Why don’t you say what you did so that you will not diminish the reality of it? We prefer to “call a spade a spade”, so that no one gets to pretend it was “acting out” like a toddler having a tantrum.
We have little interest in your assertions of regret. We don’t listen to what you say, we listen to what you do.
Wess – If you are attending SAA meetings and therapy, you should be aware that recovery is when you are able to be honest with yourself and your family. You are not even close to getting better as long as you are not willing to disclose everything to your wife. I do believe that is one of the 12-steps, is it not? Has your Therapist not told you this? I question your motives for being here.
You owe it to your wife to give her a full disclosure so she is able to make an informed decision on whether or not she will support you on your journey or leave the marriage. I guarantee you if she ever finds out from someone other than yourself, you can probably kiss your marriage good-bye. Once trust is broken, she will never get it back.
I am sure you have also learned in your SA’s meetings that part of being a sex addict is lieing, deception, and manipulation – the secret life that you keep comparmentalized so you can justify your behavior.
I don’t know if you are for real, or have another motive to write on this site, but if you are sincere you have a long way to go, and that starts with honesty.
Great post JoAnn – Maybe I am too diplomatic sometimes. You said it so much better than I – You spared him no mercy, and he deserves none. Good one too, Diane.
I see in Wess’ letter the beginnings of someone coming out of the fog. Let’s not chop his head off just as he is beginning his way out. He’s not there yet