More From JoAnn: Why Do I Stay With A Sex Addict?

First, allow me to express my deeply felt gratitude for all the comments to the story of my struggles. I was moved to tears of joy as I surrounded myself with your love. We are a rare community that I am honored to be a part of.

I appreciate the voices who have asked the question, and I also hear those of you who did not ask, but still wondered–Why Do I Stay?

First, let me say that I am quite capable, physically, emotionally and financially, of living alone and being contented and happy. I never allow myself to forget how fortunate I am in that matter. There are so many women who do not have the choices that I have and my heart goes out to all of you, because your choices are so much more difficult than mine.

My choice to stay is exactly that. A conscious, informed choice. Over the years I have weighed all the factors, looked at my choices and feel that this choice, to stay in this relationship with Larry, makes me the happiest. This choice allows me to enjoy more of the things that are important to me in my life and enables me to pursue my goals. Staying makes me happier than leaving–both short and long term.

I do believe that Larry’s heart is really in his recovery. He truly wants to find peace from his demons and live a contented life with me. We have many, many interests in common, he is kind, gentle and has no temper. We are both retired and have the time and means to do all those things that most people only dream of.

Here is how I see my life right now:

85% of the time I am happier than I have ever been in my life. This happiness not only includes Larry, but encompasses all of my life events; my dreams, my family, my goals, my social and political concerns, my travel, my sense of fun, my enjoyment of the arts and other forms of entertainment, my sense of awe for nature and the outdoors and my time and my ability to reflect and be ever so thankful to the universe for my many, many blessings that would literally take pages and pages to enumerate. I never take any of these for granted and I feel overjoyed that my life is so blessed.

13% of my time is spent fussing over or being irritated with annoyances, large and small, that are common to life and relationships. Crazy politicians, social injustice, intolerance, snow, dog hair, cat puke and Larry’s irritating habit of leaving kitchen cupboard doors open to name just a few.

2% is consumed by the Sexual Addiction and recovery in a negative way. Old memories and hurts, doubts, confusion and frustration with Larry’s mental immaturity, lack of sensitivity and deeper insight and, of course, his bad behaviors.

Now, in the beginning, right after I found out about Larry’s addiction, the percentages looked much different:

85% of my life was consumed by the addiction. Sometimes it seemed like 100%. All that pain, mistrust, anger, resentment, fear, confusion, stress, trauma…well, you all know that story.

13% of my time was spent on my career and family. I am so sorry that during the crisis I was not present, physically or mentally with my family as much as I should have been. I still struggle to forgive myself for that loss of those precious moments.

2% were rare moments of contentment and peace in my life and occasionally there were some pure fun times with Larry.

My point is that I feel that I am in a very stable place in my life right now, even when dealing with the addiction. It has not been easy, it’s been a long and difficult road to get to this place. It took a lot of help from counselors, family and friends and a lot of soul searching.

I know that this current storm will pass and that we will both find our way back to the path toward a life of peace and contentment. Rather than burying the issues or the pain, I have chosen to experience it, face it head on and fight savagely for the life that I want. I do not turn my head the other way, I do not accept his bad behavior or allow him to sidestep his accountability or relieve him of his responsibility to make amends. It is unrealistic to expect a Sex Addict to be perfect, but I can expect Larry to seriously and sincerely want to overcome the addiction and to continue making efforts and showing progress toward that goal

I do not control him, but, in order for there to be peace here, I expect (this is a boundary) him to continue the very difficult work of his recovery even when he balks, evades, makes excuses, stumbles or ignores what he should be doing. If he wants to be with me he has to continue walking that path. A few short wrong turns can be weathered, but if he ever sets out on another road I will quickly wish him well and continue without him on my own path toward happiness.

So, why not just leave? Why do I stay when I know that there very well may be times when Larry will betray me again?

Why?

Because his addiction does not consume my life. Even though we are married my life is not defined by Larry or by his addiction. I do not think about everything that Larry does. I do not worry when he is out and about. I am confident that if he were anywhere close to acting out I would know it. Other than that, I refuse to let his addiction overshadow my life. There may be other storms, but I feel that the foundation we are building will help us get through them. If something comes up that I cannot accept, I am confident that I will be strong enough to make the right choice for my own safety and happiness and be able to leave the relationship behind.

No one on this earth is guaranteed a happy tomorrow. There are so many unknowns that could shatter my life. The addiction is only one, and at least I have a ‘heads up’ on that one.

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Responses

  1. Wow! JoAnn, you amaze me. I understand everything you are saying and I believe it, whether I want to or not, because it is indeed the reality. I too, choose to stay and I realize that’s my choice. But I’m having difficulty swallowing it all when it’s still all very new to me. I know there are going to be SO many ups and downs and sometimes I wonder if I can handle it. It gives me hope to read your words and know that you truly understand. This is a terrible deal that we’re all faced to handle and I thank God that I’m not alone. I just wish we were all close enough to get together once in a while and meet each other.
    Big hugs for you JoAnn and thank you for sharing and giving us all some hope for a decent future with our SA’s.
    Claire

  2. Thanks for sharing Jo Ann. What you’ve written puts everything in a most rational, intelligent light. You’re choosing to stay because it works best for you and I think that might make things somewhat easier to deal with when a smallish storm comes up.

  3. Hi sisters,
    What JoAnn is sharing with us is not the justification for others to stay who know in their bones they need to leave. She is sharing how at a particular time in her life she has carefully evaluated all the factors impacted by this addiction, and how she can weather the storms when they come.

    We should not overlook that she is not emotionally or financially dependent upon Larry. So she has that power to leave anytime. There are no children in the home that need to protected from the SA lapses. She has life experience that informs her about the dynamics that could be in play, and she watches for them. In other words she does not have to be worrying over others affected by this and she has no anxiety about being trapped. She has educated herself about addiction, therapies and recovery. She has accepted a relationship that is not without challenges.

    Like every story we post here, there are things we share and things we don’t with the one who posts. It’s up to us to be honest about those things. Some want to believe that living with an SA is possible, but don’t have any of the foundations for that that JoAnn has put in place. Some want to believe that getting out is the only option. I think JoAnn is helping us to see a grey area that also exists, but is not for everyone.

    love to all,
    D.

  4. JoAnn-Thank you for taking the time to respond to us all. I respect your courage and openess in sharing. I am so happy the positives outweigh the negatives for you and you are able to be happy and content with yourself,as well as the relationship. I am sure if I had as much time invested in the marriage, I would certainly be able to see it from your perspective, and would be able to live with a small relapse now and then.
    But, we are all at different places in our relationships. For me, I am still at the zero tolerance phase.
    When Steve returned from L.A., he immediately (the 1st week) reverted back to all the old behaviors. He dissociated and had a very large trigger. He also spoke of feeling sexual and fantasizing about what he would like to have the woman on the BBW porn site do to him. (stomping/crushing). I thought he was beginnng to be truthful with me, but when we were in his therapy session I caught him in three lies.
    His therapist requested I attend the first session with him, upon his return,
    so I could see how he was progressing. Well, he wasn’t! She appeared quite surprised to see such a regression in such a short time.
    After, the session, Steve became quite angry about my confronting him with lieing – lots of the usual deflections, and making me feel like I was the crazy one.If I hadn’t written down all the facts, I almost would have believed him – They are so good at twisting the facts.
    Bottom line was he hung up on me and told me maybe we better step aside from
    the relationship. I called him back and told him never to hang up on me again, and I thought separation was a great idea. I was getting ready to do just that,myself, because of my zero tolrance boundary. Anyway, we are now totally separated, and I have no intention of reconciling! He is still very sick!
    Right now I am so angry that he would turn everything around, hang up on me, andthen he be the one to say we should step away from the relationship. I am still just “seething”. How dare him!!
    Since I was getting ready to take that step myself, it is definitely the right decision. I should have done it a long time ago. I have put up with way to much from this man! Thanks for listening everybody. Sorry about the typos-had to write this very quickly.

  5. Thank you. My life has turned upside down this week due to my husbands sex addiction that I just found out about. Reading things like this gives me hope that this horrible time and feeling is not forever. Also, gives me hope that we can stay together. It is so embarassing and it is not like a traditional “marriage problem” so talking to friends and family has been limited…almost not existant. I am lost but this shows there may be light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

  6. Thank you JoAnn for putting it in such a clear perspective. Those percentages are just what I’m trying to figure out now. What will truly make me happy? That’s a tough question. Just yesterday I thought I new the answer. Now I need to reassess, but now I feel more comforted that I don’t feel so angry or so broken down that I’m on the floor in pieces. That to me means that I can be happy with or without my SA, I just need to keep reminding myself of that. I just need to figure out what will make me that happiest in the long run. Unfortunately having young children is making that a much harder question to answer.

  7. Hi Carrie, Thanks for the thoughts.

    I have a request. I see that we have two ‘Carrie’s’ registered here, which may be confusing to everyone.

    Could you possibly re-register under Carrie 2 to avoid any confusion? That would be great if you could.

    Thanks.

    JoAnn

  8. First, this may be silly but where is the link to officially register? Is it where it says “subscribe for free”? I am not sure I am registered.

    Secondly, Joann, I like the way you write about the shift in percentages. Since my husband is taking me on trip number two I can see how that is true. I was consumed when it first happened and then as time went on and I started to trust I moved to worrying about 2% of the time. Now that he has acted out again after a long healthy period I am back to 85%. The biggest mistake for me last time was I started to trust. I know now that I can never totally trust. I wish I understood that before. I know I am in no way responsible for his actions but I thought I SHOULD be able to trust him at some point in our life. Now I am reassessing with this new knowledge that I must always have some sort of guard up.

    It is exhausting. It has been two months and he is doing everything he should. But I am still greiving the idea of the loss of a normal marriage where I feel safe and protected. I do think he can get back to a good place (perhaps that is naivity speaking).

    I stupidly had dinner with an old boyfriend from 20 years ago. It was wonderful to catch up but I can’t stop crying now. I am not sure why. I don’t think it was him persay but maybe the idea that I could have had something else. I know this guy still loves me and it makes me sad. I really just want to stop crying.
    Sorry for rambling. Thanks

  9. Great topic. I too have chosen to stay with my husband. We are only seven months post D-Day and we have been through the lies, and crying and swearing that he was telling the truth. We have been through the phases of his declaring he felt so much better now that his horrible secret was out and everything was on the table, only to find out there was more to be disclosed. Since his addiction required cash and a great deal of it, results from monitoring our bank account and credit ratings suggest he is in a period of sobriety. He is working with a therapist, attending a men’s group and we are working on our spiritual lives.

    I’ve never subscribed to the idea of “saving a marriage.” Never really cared whether I was married or single, confident that I would live a great life in either marital state. I remain married for these reasons: (1) I’ve not decided that I want a divorce (2) He does seem like he is becoming a better person (3) If he does actually becomes the man I thought I married, we will live a GREAT life together (4) I believe that whatever happened in his childhood screwed him up so badly that he had no choice but to become a very dysfunctional man (5)I realized I don’t have to live his addiction

    It is #5 that I want to discuss. His addiction is his addiction. It’s not mine. I don’t have to live in that world. I don’t have to think about what he has to think about. I don’t have to contribute a lot of mental space, time or energy on his depravity. His past choices were his choices. That’s the way he chose to live his life. I was dragged into the fringes of his sordid secret life, kicking and screaming, but I’m not going back in there. He can think about how he chose to live his life. I will think about the choices I made.

    I live a good life, with great people. I can watch any movie I want to watch. I can listen to any song I want to listen to. I don’t have to turn my head when women walk by. I can go sit in a strip club for three or four hours, if I want to. I can drive down any street in any town without feeling any shame at all, because I have lived my life honorably and openly. His problem has to be his problem. He is not dumping his problem on me and I am not voluntarily picking up his problem.

    My husband’s problem cost him his wealth, his mental/emotional health, the respect of his children and the love of a good wife. It has come very close to costing him his soul. His therapist has instructed him that he is on the downside of sexual addiction( this is the area where addicts begin to act with complete disregard,) which means that continuation will result in either his commiting suicide or his becoming a victim of homocide. I am not discussing with him how deeply embedded in his mind and soul he allowed his disease to progress. I do not begrudge him his right to make his own choices. I pulled him out and literally saved his life, but I will not do it again. If he goes back to strippers and prostitutes, I wish him well. You will not see me outside Atlanta’s Pink Pony and Oasis strip clubs setting up roadblocks to keep him out. I am working hard everyday to control my own thoughts. To determine what will occupy my mental space. And I’ve decided, it for [email protected] sure won’t be his sordid life. I have better things to think about.

    What I want to say to my sisters is this, his choices are his choices. His addiction is his addiction. Let him live with it. Let him think about it. Let him put his life in jeopardy because of it. But let’s not join them in it. We don’t have to live it. We don’t have to think about it and we don’t have to put ourselves in jeopardy because of it.

  10. Thanks Joann, Once again, you have offered a useful perspective. I like the use of percentages. It helped me understand my own decision making in regards to staying or going.

    An honest wife, I can relate to your post a great deal. With detachment, it’s all easier – it is their life, their pain, their path.

  11. Hi Honest Wife,

    Thanks for your wonderful post. Gave me a new persepective to see it from. Not a new idea for me, but was put in a way I can get my head around.

  12. Dear Honest Wife,

    Your words should be printed and framed…printed, framed, handed out at group or sold!

    In any case, I’m grabbing my own copy~

    Mary

  13. Dear “an honest wife”,

    I, too, celebrate your manifesto, and the strength you have found in yourself for your own wellbeing.

    I am now wondering how this plays out when he relapses, slips, acts out (whatever phrase works for you). Since you have decided to stay with him, do you have a plan for that moment when you get “slimed” again with the truth, the ugly, the remorse, the fall-out etc.? Do you mean that you now live separate lives in the same house and so will never know or find out?

    I’m not getting how you hold to this detachment through the inevitable falls off the wagon, and the cycle of emotional behaviours that signal the start, middle and end of a slide down into addiction. It sounds like you have matched his emotional unavailability with your own. Is that what you mean? I’m not sure I want to be a person like that, and I can’t be one, anyway in a marriage.

    Help me understand how this actually works out.

    love and light,
    D.

  14. Thank you Joanne and Honest Wife,
    I appreciate the percentages too. I am letting my husband move back in this week after a 4 month seperation and total sobriety. I have so many fears still to work through. We have spent $10,000 in 4 months on counseling together. He goes to two groups a week and two private counseling sessions as well as a joint seesion with me. I am also attending private counseling for wives of sex addicts. I have learned so much about mutual forgiveness and what attracts us to a sex addict. I believe we do have to look inward and deal with our self worth and view of ourselves, because knowingly or unknowingly, we accepted the intolerable in our homes.The acting out is just one part of the addiction. The attitudes, defensiveness,disrespect, immaturity, disconnection are all visible things we allowed in our homes/lives. It would be short-sighted not to look at why we allowed it and tackle those things to improve our state of healthy mind, body, and spirit. I empathize with your sentiments about being empowered and not allowing his addiction to control you. I hope together you will both truly heal and righteous anger can be shared by both of you together against the addiction and the pain it has caused your family. Best wishes as we all heal from our deep wounds…

  15. Honest wife,
    I have the same question as Diane as well. I have thought about this. And yes you can live your own life, you cannot spend time thinking about the addiction, you can turn your head and not let if affect you; all while being married. But the goal as husband and wife is to feel secure and build a life together as family & husband and wife. You build household, wealth, kids, jobs etc.; all with the goal you are together and support each other. The husband is your rock, confidant, BF in same cases, and your love.

    With an SA or any addict you never really have this.
    Living with an addict is different. Acting out (whenever that happens) will hold a consequence. And the ultimate consequence is seperation or divorce. So hence to live with an addict you must always have a back-up plan, and keep one foot out the door and be totally prepared for when the worst happens. For self preservation I would think that you would always have to be somewhat guarded, not in 100%. How can you spend time planning for the future with someone who has a 90% +/- chance that they will not be around in a year. What happens if he slip ups happen or the addiction esclatates behind you back and then the worst happens brings home and STD or molests the child?

    Everyone hear deserves to be loved, something an SA is truely not 100% capable of doing as they fear intimacy and are not capable of giving it.

    Maybe for some this is acceptable. There are some marriages where husband and wife have seperate bedrooms, have social schedules and a Boyfriend or girlfriend on the side. They choose this as they can have the best of both worlds, the money, the house, the social stature, etc. and have the love interest on the side. Is this fulfilling for their life and are they truely happy? I don;t know, but its not what I picture my marriage to be. I don’t see how you can have a fullfilling relationship with and really get everything you truely deserve. Its a compromise, and something is being lost. Some know what that is, and it is a fair trade, and works for them. For me I am losing too much, and I cannot do it.

  16. Hi JoAnn, and everybody,

    JoAnn, if I remember correctly, you and Larry lived apart for awhile during his initial recovery right? I’d like to ask, if I may how you got through that….(or anyone else who has experienced this living apart)

    My SA and I are currently living apart and I am trying to grasp how it is that I am supposed to react to what I think are huge freedoms surrounding his daily life’s activities.

    He is going to many meetings during the week….A group meeting one night hosted by his Therapist/my Therapist, 2 SA meetings on different nights and a group meeting non sa related, but through his church. When not going to one of these meetings, he’s working…that work a holic behavior which is both good and bad. As far as monitoring his activity, I’ve one program on his lap top. Period. He’s two cell phones un monitored, our family one and one from his work. He’s access to a computer at work as well which is for all to use in his office. None of those things are monitored at all. He recently told his boss the whole story, a couple of weeks ago as he claimed he was not ruling out inpatient treatment (although procrastination is at it’s highest where that is concerned) So supposedly his Boss knows he’s a SA.

    What bothers me is after this last stint threatening suicide,(there’s been many verbal threats) 48 hours after the intervention meeting he meets with his MD Sex Addiction Therapist and matter of factly tells me SEVERAL days later when I had to ask what happened, that his Dr. merely told him to see him once a month now and attend these group meetings every week at their office. I was blown away at the about face of his treatment approach…we all the sudden are going from suicide/need for urgent inpatient treatment one day to “seeing the Dr. once a month”…How can this be I asked? When I spoke with my therapist from the same office, she claims better results are seen through group therapy and that’s their approach. She went on to state that she and his Dr both still feel that inpatient is what he needs but I/we saw his resistance/refusal to that… Well, if that’s so, then why the extreme opposite now? why was he told to see his Dr. only once a month!!! Heck, I’m seeing my therapist weekly, and I’m not even the sicko here. He has no written treatment plan with them, he’s no yellow light behaviors established, nothing….He has established his “circles” with his SA group and just recently found a temporary sponsor through one of his SA meetings…I have given him several links over the last couple of months to figure out how to develop a plan, but he’s not produced anything to this date to me. He’s clearly still struggling with depression and this Dr had put him on Welbrutrin 8 days before his last “I’m going to kill myself episode” For obvious reasons he took him off the drug the day of the intervention, but has not replaced it with anything. My SA and I are also suspicious that he has ADD, but any evaluation of that has also been pushed aside…..I sent a letter to both my therapist and his expressing my concerns….I was basically blown off. My SA is banking on us getting back together at the end of the lease for this house he’s rented for me and I’m like “no way” if treatment continues in this manner…That would mean he’s had 8 individual meetings with a therapist by next June 1…Just EIGHT! I’m lacking any understanding of how at that rate, much of anything would be accomplished as it relates to his personal self, things which would not be discussed necessarily in “group”…like the ADD, and the Depression (which he doesn’t stop talking about)To me, if I am to even consider a future with him, he needs lots, LOTS of individual therapy BEFORE any attempts at JOINT therapy which will also be badly needed!

    So, Here I sit with my SA having MORE freedoms than when we were living together! No accountablility in place other than the one computer. I had the program on his personal cell phone but he whined non stop at it interfering with the ease at which he could access his work calendar, so frustrated and fed up, I took it off! Now he’s claiming I should put it back on the damn phone. I feel why bother? he’s unlimited access to his work cell and his work computer…so WHY bother!? Also it appears to be no specific goals (individually anyway) with him much less us with these therapists and I’m left with having to “take his word” for his supposed PERFECT sobriety over the last three months…etc….and we all know how good “their word” is! Overloaded with his Narcissistic borderline personality these days I keep my distance as much as I can. He can’t seem to respect my boundaries right now anyway, or at least without sulking over them, so I just don’t see him or talk to him unless it’s via text or email. I rarely check the reports for his lap top, I don’t remember when I last checked our cell phone bill…my attitude there is he will not be so stupid to act out with something I am monitoring should he choose to do so again. He’s not that stupid either.

    My therapist told me it was up to me and my SA to establish many of these things…I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was to be my SA’s therapist too….

    I read here from many of you as you speak to your SA’s treatment/recovery plans….I am lost as to why I feel like there is NO structure here with us. I told his Dr. and my therapist that we all know what the ultimate goal is, but how the heck are we supposed to get there?

    I’d sure appreciate any comments or suggestions as I am frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. I am having a very hard time accepting that this is the way things are supposed to be! and I know for darn sure that simply having to take HIS WORD for all this is not only NOT acceptable, but a joke….a huge JOKE.

    Thanks for all your support,

    Mary

  17. Hi Mary,

    I feel, and share, your frustration. This last incident with Larry has brought up a lot of new questions about possible personality disorders and traits. The more I learn the more complicated it all seems. I will have a new eBook out as soon as I can sort it all out. These disorders and traits seem so common among Sex Addicts and are lost in the treatment of the Sexual Addiction that I’m sure the therapists have less insight than we do here.

    The separation period between Larry and me was mostly for me, so that I could wrap my head around what had happened without him messing with my brain. The proposed year turned into three and a half years. During that time he went through some really bad times, did act out, did lie about it, but finally came to the conclusion, for himself, that the life he was leading would eventually kill him. During that time I obtained a Legal Separation and started a new life of my own.

    He showed me absolute proof and transparency of his sobriety and spent a year and a half proving to me that he had changed before we moved back in together. He followed my boundaries, communicated and followed his recovery plan, counseling and meetings.

    As you all know, there still are issues and always will be. We have been living together for a year and a half now and I cannot emphasize this enough–stopping the acting out is only the beginning. Their personality deficits, immaturity and lack of empathy permeate the entire relationship.

    It is all so complex, and our changing society with its objectifying of women and ease of access of pornography adds to the mix.

    I feel so frustrated over all of this at times I think that all relationships are doomed.

    I’ll get over it, and you will too. It just takes time. And that time should be spent working on US, not them. They have to do their own work, we have enough to do with ours.

    Hugs.

  18. JoAnn,

    Thank you for summarizing what I feel exactly…but my question more specifically is how did he prove his sobriety other than through his words? All I have before me right now is my SA’s saying “I’m sober”,”Ive done nothing”, “I stand by My word” ……This guy lied to me successfully for a decade! by his supposed “word”….and he is FAR from any full recovery in my humble opinion…he still minimizes, thinks only of himself and wallows in self pity. All I hear over and over was how he was “tempted” but didn’t, how he struggled but “didn’t…act out that is…I am amazed at how some guy who claims to have an addiction but has repeatedly numerous times a day and numerous days a week seem to simply overcome the many times he has been tempted to act out by simply saying a prayer to God and not going through with it….I’m sorry, All I ever hear when he does write me was how he thought about acting out but didn’t! Is hard if not impossible to believe when he seems faced with these times so frequently during the day or week….that he some how masters EVERY ONE through prayer NOT doing it….if it is so flippin easy now, why is it he couldn’t control it then? If he can control himself now as he says, then I become hard pressed to think he was addicted to anything! I don’t believe for one minute he hasn’t masturbated in our home. One of my SA’s problems was chronic and ritual masturbation….and he knows all too well this time that NO ONE would EVER know if he did….He is “catch” proof now…wud be a piece of cake to bring another prostitute over as well….I feel he is not being held accountable in any way shape or form right now for ANYTHING, which is and will be the ultimate deal breaker for me in the end.

    You hit the nail on the head how the root of the SA problem is much to do with the underlying disorders….personality deficits, immaturity and lack of empathy etc….You are further right that his and my Therapist’s seem only concerned with the “SA” part of things. Far be it for me to think far enough ahead that if my SA is depressed and IS ADD, how in [email protected]%@&* creation do they think this guy will be successful in ANY treatment program with these two HUGE things looming over his head? I mean really…HELLOOOOO!

    I realized long ago how complicated this whole mess is…My therapist keeps telling me his narcissim will subside when the addiction is under control….Something I find hard to swallow whole as well. I’m beginning to wonder who is the one really minimizing here.

    But if you had to accept your SA’s “Word” for everything he was doing during the time you were not together, how JoAnne? How did you master this daunting task?

    xx

    Mary

  19. Hi Mary,
    I agree with your questions, and questionning the therapist. They are all valid.

    My SA does not have a treatment plan either, and has been attending his therapist for 6 months. He says they are working on it. Second I do not see how the cutting back to once a month is helpful. I think there is not enough proof of anything as to what works yet for treatment with SA and what does not. I think they should do everything that is suggested, as who knows for certain what works right now. If he wanted to he could continue to go once a week, but he does not (you could make it a boundary). I think the ones who really don;t want help are eager to take the easy way out, no therapy, no plan, meetings only. That way they can appear to be “recovering” and may be sober, but will never dig deeper. I think Diane wrote about the shallow end of recovery. Great post, and still is very true of my SA. They could be in the shallow end of recovery forever!

    I see in your post, and I am in a similar situation with my SA, where you do not feel comfort in his actions and his treatment thus far. You do not see the changes in him, that the therapist supposedly sees. I am in the same situation. I feel the same in that I do not trust them. So I have made the decision until I see progress and I feel comfort I will not budge or allow the SA back home. We are living seperately as well. My thoughts are for living seperate are WHO CARES WHAT HE DOES!! At first the thought was a little cumbersome (for like a couple days) and I just reminded myself his recovery is his. If he does it he does, if not he does not. I look at it this way. Once he moved out, he is out of my life as my spouse. He now has to earn his way back in, and thus I am currently seperating everything out. And when that time comes to decide is he back in or not, it is based on how I feel and my comfort level in the situation and in the relationship. Not if I need help with the bills, kids, house etc.

    I don’t care what his therapist said, or how many days he has been sober, this is my choice. (also 3 months to 6 months is baby steps – a year sober is a real lanmark, 2 and 3 years are much better- 3 to 6 months is easy). The therapist does not have to live with him and is not with the guy. Not only that many therapists just want to use you as a tool for his recovery, to prop up the addict, not help you.

    An in regards to once a month – maybe they feel they have helped him all that they are capable of. If he comes in and resists…then whats the point. If he is not going to actively talk about his past and cooperate in getting to the pain behind it all, then it is hopeless for them, and not worth their effort. It is only beneficial if they participate. It is also completly possible that the sessions are sabatoged and their is alot of lying going on.

    So Mary I feel for you, and feel the same frustration you do. You are not the only one. My SA is resistent as well, and I have not seen a shift, remorse, empathy on and on. Some have that and I think if you do and can feel safe with them, they are more fortunate than I in this terrible situation. If I had that, I can 100% say, things would be different. But yet my SA still cannot see the pain and suffering he has caused, and has never really hit rock bottom. No amends, no plan, no nothing. I say if you cannot see the pain and suffering you have caused, What would stop you from doing it again?

    I feel for you Mary and understand how you feel. Hugs.

  20. A narcissistic personality disorder does not go away just because the addiction is gone. A narcissistic personality will still be there, but it will not be flaunted in your face. If it is Narcissistic tendencies, they would wither, but will still be there. All SA’s have narcissitic tendencies. I don’t think here is currently a cure or treatement for narcissism. Maybe if they are willing to do the work and realize they have it?

  21. Also in regards to control. Maybe he more has trouble with the impulse control and he is now manageing it? But what happens when he can’t? And I agree he did not before, why now? The answer is because if he does not, he loses you. I really doubt he is doing this for him. That is what I feel about my SA.

  22. First, let me reassure you that your instincts are absolutely correct. We can NEVER trust what a Sex Addict says. Actions are everything, words mean nothing. They have learned to lie in response to that uncomfortable feeling that they get when they are confronted or asked difficult questions. I’m not sure that can ever change in a SA.

    Some of a SA’s personality traits also puts them at odds with therapists and causes the same frustrations for the therapist that you and I feel (documented research), so that may be what’s going on there–the therapist is putting distance between them because the SA is just not cooperating.

    You cannot force, coerce, convince or logically explain a SA into recovery. They either want to do the hard work or not. Almost all of them want to salvage the relationship, as they are terrified of abandonment, and, the relationship gives them the aura of respectability. But, when they find out all of the difficult tasks it takes to stay sober, most fall back into their old behaviors.

    When a SA is truly committed to his recovery they will voluntarily give you access to everything you need to prove that they are sober. Phone records, credit card records, computer monitoring, explanations of how they overcome their urges. There will be no more defensiveness or rages. They will have a recovery plan and follow it and cooperate with counselors and go to their meetings.

    When Larry finally had that ‘paradigm shift’ and committed himself to recovery, he asked that I put monitoring software on his computer, which acted as a reminder to him that I would see everything that he did. For over two years he kept detailed receipts of every penny he spent. He gave me online access to all of his accounts; checking, savings, credit cards and phone bills. His paycheck was direct deposited, so he had no other cash. This worked to make me feel a little more secure that he was staying sober

  23. P.S. What does the therapist say in regards to his constant thoughts of these things he is resisting?

    So it would seem that the impulse is the symptom and the acting out is the symptom. Similar to a stuffy nose when you have a cold. But the underlying problem is that you have a cold. Just because you take the decongestant does not make the cold go away, you are still sick, but your nose is just no longer stuffy. So just like with the SA, just because he is not acting out does not make him cured or healthy, he has just taken a decongestant 😉 or no longer acts out.

  24. Hi Flora,

    Thanks so much for your words of support…You make a lot of valid points….as far as my SA’s resistance – well it is only for the 30 Day inpatient plan. Nothing else. He’s screaming how everyone is so financially dependent on him and he can’t possibly forgo the income. Can’t afford the treatment either. He works on straight commission. But, he keeps ignoring that his insurance will pay for a straight psych hospital, not a sex addiction treatment facility. I feel something is better than nothing.

    As far as his Dr’s go…this intervention was only the 2nd time he was seen! I was involved because his Dr. wanted initially to hear my side of the story…instead, my SA was talking suicide so the meeting turned into an intervention. My SA knows he has to get to the root which is something in his childhood. He is and does remain committed to working through that. This is why I am so flabbergasted at this once a month crap! My SA had his initial meeting, then we had this second meeting, all hell broke out with his suicide issues and as fast as i could blink…he was told to come monthly to the Dr and weekly to their group! I told my therapist that it appeared to me that his once a month meeting agenda looked more like the agenda for a person whose been in therapy for a LONG TIME….not right out of the GATE….and certainly not by the 3rd appointment!!!!

    My SA does see the pain he imposed…he talks of it all the time…but I also know how slick he was/is…he does share a thing or two about his meetings which does make me think he’s getting something out of them. He’s currently reading the book “why is it always about you”…which is a book on Narcissim that I recommended and he talks of how much he identifies with this book. He’s been reading the links regarding Borderline Personality Disorder I sent as well…so he appears to be very open and genuine about his needing lots of work and lots of recovery.

    But my SA is frugal…and these meetings cost him like 150.00….if I had to guess, he didn’t push for more frequent appointments because he’s paying 65.00 a week for mine, plus they make him pay for Group there, I think is also like 125.00 150.00 a week as well. I also know all too well the my SA will short cut anything, ANYTHING he can….and still expect the same result/outcomes that someone who does the entire job would get. So where he wants it – wants to dig deeper, he also will not step forward because if he can short cut and convince himself he will still succeed….he will.

    I like your suggestions of making his therapy a boundary, but get confused and concerned that they will think I’m trying to control his recovery….I don’t know…honestly, I think this whole thing sucks, is full of crap and he’s a loose cannon on the run!!!!!

    I can not simply accept his “word” as accountability for anything right now. As a result, I am finding myself pulling further away. And when I see my therapist today, will tell her the same. They are all crazy if they think I am going to sit back and accept his saying he’s this and that, or not done this or that…to accept his verbal ANYTHING as proof, the only proof of sobriety and change….

    Bless you Flora for your challenges as well. I respect your boundary for return of your SA…but I ask you the same question…how will you know of his sobriety? I agree with gaging your comfort level..but I had no clue my SA was an SA for a decade…He bullshitted me for 10 years and as a result can not rely solely on my comfort level to go back to him anymore. If I gaged my return solely on my comfort level, I’d never return because I will never be 100% comfortable and I will never be 100% trusting…I will always, always be on guard. He’s a master liar and a master manipulator, not to mention a master bullshitter. I have begun to notice a pattern of similar words, responses and sentences when he writes me. I don’t care what he does while not living with me as far as it being his life or mine…the only reason I care now, is if he is acting out, if he is lying, he’s got everyone buying into his sobriety and he’s polishing up for moving back in with me. These people aren’t holding him accountable for shit…he’s loving it in my opinion. I don’t and won’t be an enabler and I seem to be the only one who is wanting more than just “his word” As proof of anything…and I keep asking myself..what’s wrong with that?

    God bless,

    Mary

  25. I firmly believe that if it happens, the paradigm shift, I will see it.
    Right now your SA is fighting it, fighting you, fighting therapy. He has excuses up the wazoo, and if he does not have one he will make one, and if that does not work he will threaten suicide. So yes maybe it is expensive…but is there something he can cut out to make up for it? I don;t know the answer to that. Do you have access to any of the monthly budget and income records?

    Maybe buying health insurance is cheaper than paying full price for the therapy sessions?

    I guess just the major element here is he just does not want to do it, and has made excuses as to why. I know it, because I live it.

    Correct boundaries are not meant to control anyone. But you are not making him go. You have set a boundary that if he is to entertain a relationship with you he must go to therapy and x meetings a week. So the boundary would be I will not accept you attending less than one therapy session and x meeting a weel. It is up to him if he goes or not. I guess it depends how important this is to you, is it a deal breaker?

    Just like if you say-my boundary is I will not accept you having sexual relations with anyone else. Did I tell him what to do? No, but if he wants to be with me, that is a critera.

  26. I don’t know, maybe its just me, maybe I just want/ expect too much…He has offered up passwords to all…but I know he’s not stupid enough to utilize those resources if he decides to act out.

    He’s always denying any suspicious activity of late and says to me over and over of such but not without claiming his struggle that magically disappears with a simple prayer..like emails being composed and sent via his accountability software reports which have no trace in his sent folder in his email account and weren’t sent to me. I’ve been inquiring to what I think is his composing email, sending it and then deleting the evidence. He’s adamately denying it…saying its full of crap. Just like his professed sobriety….. I’ve discovered a potential problem with the “times” of stated activity in some of the reports, not all…. but I have reports that have accurate information as well as his claimed “inaccurate” information together. I find it hard to believe that the report can be 1/2 right and 1/2 wrong…..

    I met with my senior pastor at Church yesterday and she without directly saying so, basically said this guy will never change because of their lust for the body and not the spirit……

    Bottom line, I guess there is no real way to ever believe 100% that they are telling the truth……..and his telling me the last couple of days to meet him so I can look into his eyes and see how he’s being so honest, is…well, puke invoking!

    xx oo
    Mary

  27. Hi everyone – My opinion is Diane and Flora hit the nail on the head! Should any of us decide to stay with our SA, there will always be doubt and the high probablity they will relapse, and why would any of us want to settle for less! That is what we are doing, and giving up a part of ourselves to do it – not for me! Yes, we need to work on ourselves as far as working through the anger, depression, and most of all, gaining insight as to why we put up with all this trauma and drama as long as we did. But why should we work on ourselves and then stay in a dysfunctional situation where we will most likely have to do it all over again.
    Mary – I am going through the same thing right now – in a 3 month separation until my SA can gain sobriety for three months and quit the lieing. I will not extend it past 3 months – Then divorce time. The last time we saw eachother, before the separation, he walked out the door, was very distant, and appeared as though the separation was not bothering him at all-almost seemed like it was a relief for him Well, why not! He gets to do whatever he wants, and now has a sense of freedom. He is attending SA mettings 2X a week, seeing his therapist, and participating in “Recovery Nation.” It does appear he is motivated to overcome the addiction, but right now he is on a “high” trying to work on his issues and usually after that high wears off, he, according to statistics, will most likely relapse. I, for one, do not want to live with someone who is constantly “tempted,” but says they are able to control it. For how long? The addiction will eventually rear it’s ugly head.
    Mary, I don’t believe for a minute your’e SA is all of a sudden able to control it – not with his history! He is conning you. It doesn’t sound like He really wants to get better, (No plan).And, also his therapists do not seem invested in setting short and long term goals for him. Maybe, they realize it is pointless, at this time, because he is not ready to commit. I did not feel my Steve’s therapist was making any progress with him, but came to realize there was only so much she could do if he was not invested in getting better.
    I am probably one of the few who is not an advocate of SA meetings.It seems to me it is more of a social club where they all get together and talk about “Did I relapse?” “Did I I do well this week?”. They all have their own little world where they can be with others just “like them”. I think it would be much more productive if they had a professional leading the sessions, and not just someone who just attests to the fact, “I’ve been there”. The only positive I see for it is it could possibly assist them in “connecting,” as these guys are unable to form close relationships.
    JoAnn-You are so right about about underlying personality disorders. My SA is borderline/schizoid. These are all developed at a very young age as a coping mechanism. The addiction is only a symptom. JoAnn – I will be looking forward to more information on the subject. It will be very insightful for all of us to realize, even more, this is a life-long process and involves years of personal therapy for the SA to sort out their “demons,” and have a clear understanding for recovery. Hopefully, this will help us gain insight as to why getting “stuck” with someone who will take a lifetime to overcome the addiction, for most of is,not a healthy or productive life-style for us to engage in.

  28. Flora,

    I agree with you in regard to the narcissism totally. I’ve been doing some extensive reading about narcissists in general and honestly the outlook for them is gloomy….I don’t understand at all why my therapist keeps saying his narcissism will go away…..yeah right…I truly don’t know which is worst, his cheating, his lying or his narcissistic self as a whole. It’s the narcissism that comes between empathy, emotional intimacy and general communication with us. I can not ever talk about myself or my life with my SA, as soon as I try, the next words out of his mouth turn the entire subject back on him…over and over and over again. I question my SA’s reasoning for sobriety as you do yours, yet he says he has to do this for him regardless of whether or not I come back, however he’s always trying to manipulate me some way, some how.

    It is funny how you have picked up on the excuses…seems like you and I and all that are on this sight are the only ones….he’s excuses for everything, procrastinates on everything, always has…even admits it and did so to our respective Drs…they just seem to let it go….they may, but I don’t. He’s a business in the other state we used to live in and has been self employed through that for 18 years. Hence he has his own insurance policy that I call “crisis” insurance because its and MSA and the deductible is like 3,000.00. He was eligible for insurance through his job down here back in the spring, but has been too lazy to look into switching to that one should it be any better….again, for him another excuse….and I am supposed to keep wasting my life while he decides the urgency of getting his shit together….NOT….I think sometimes hes doing this because it will ultimately force me to have to come back to him…he’s always controlled me by his money and this time is no different…sadly.

    My comment regarding controlling his therapy by setting the counseling boundary you suggested, stemmed from my last visit last week to my therapist. When addressing these same issues and my letter I sent to them, she quickly told me I was not in control of his recovery,and I needed to stop trying to be then turned the focus on to me and my surviving this…..I do believe he’s snowballed this new Dr in just the two visits he’s had but I also believe if they told him to come in every week he would….That being said, if they don’t suggest it, then why should he? In his twisted mind, I’m sure he thinks that means he’s not as sick as he’s been told….again..YEAH RIGHT.

    Sharron, You are absolutely dead on with the continued doubt of our SA’s…I remember Diane’s story about wading in the shallow end. And like you, I don’t want to live with someone who is always tempted…I’ve already grown tired of his continual pointing out that he was “tempted that night, but didn’t act out”….That statement got old long ago…..as if he is “tooting” his horn that he so likes to do. He’s even gone so far as to tell me he’d thought about acting out just to have something negative to tell me!!!!! And NO…I don’t believe he is as sober as he claims…..not with his history…but again, these therapists don’t seem to care either way…

    My therapist last week told me not to be worrying about next June when my lease is up and he is no longer commited to put a roof over my head….EASY for her to say! Oh, yeah, right, I have 150 days until I’ve no roof over my head or my two kids…I should just sit back and wait calmly while you people see my SA once a month! 5 times come May…I should have NO goal, or plan and I should simply not worry about where all this is going in 5 months…Goverment housing, section 8 will be available at my very whim even if I wait until April….YEAH RIGHT……

    I see this two ways…A) therapy for both of us will be long, painful and drawn out….is what it is and I expect no less. I have plenty of work to do on myself and have been doing so off and on for years…I’m more than ready to jump in with both feet to ensure I am a survivor of this too!

    But..B) I have two kids to take care of now, a roof to put over our heads and food in our stomachs….I don’t have the luxury of simply hanging around while this guy sees his shrink once a month indefinately!…I am on Social Security Disability, I’ve not a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of….and I am so poor I can’t even pay attention…but I should throw all caution to the wind while these people and my SA take their sweet time scratching the surface at their leisure to see if they can get this guy to a somewhat normal state. Where I live, even if I apply now for section 8 housing, they are saying 6 – 12 months before I can find somewhere to go, and I do small breed animal rescue and I’ve 5 beautiful dogs that are my companions, not my pets..and they have to go with me…not an option..simply isn’t……..

    Each day this crap continues, is one day closer to living on the street for me and my kids and I find it a huge insult to have my feelings and concerns regarding that manner disgarded as not important right now by my therapist, and obviously his…….

  29. Mary,
    I know you are searching for answers; we all are. I completely understand your situation. I chose to stay with my SA for several reasons but one being money. I have no where to go, no family nearby to lean on or talk to (not that I would anyway), I have no job, I have two dogs, one horse, two mini donkeys, and four barn kitties. I live on 5 acres of property, my dream home, and if we can’t work this out I won’t be going anywhere . . . he will. Even if it means that I have to go back to work (at age 52); I will do whatever I have to in order to keep what I’ve got.
    My SA goes to 3 SA meetings a week, see’s his SA therapist once a week. When his problem was discovered I sent him away to a 3 week program; it cost us more than $10,000; we used some money we had tucked away in savings. He tried to use the excuse that we couldn’t afford for him to go but I told him that savings are for emergencies and that there’s no better investment in the world than to invest in our health. Everything else is worthless until he gets fixed. He went; he had to tell his boss he was an SA in order to get the time off work and I’m glad for that. While he was gone and under the care of a psychological specialist it was found out that his behaviors were learned at a very young age and that he has lived his entire life totally disconnected from the real world to protect himself. Why am I telling you this? Because it might help to understand that they did not get sick overnight and they won’t get better overnight.
    I too, sometimes get angry at the professionals.. By that I mean the therapists and doctors. I beleive that because they don’t see this person in the same light as weel do we think they are missing out on some important issues. While that may be, we must be patient as they work with tried and proven techniques to help our SA’s see themselves the way they are. The therapists know how to manipulate the conversation with an SA in a way that the SA can slowly see and understand their thought processes. Remember too, that medical professionals sell their time and even though a one hour session doesn’t seem to be enough time to accomplish much and cost us a fortune; the sad truth is that there’s nothing we can do about it.
    The only advice I have for you is to start researching ways in which you can help yourself and your kids and pets. If the programs you need to sign up for take 6 months or more to get into; start filling out the paperwork now. If things get better before your programs start then you can cancel them. But you need to do whatever you have to do to take care of yourself in the event this SA isn’t going to be there for you. It’s always in our best interest to have a backup plan no matter what. No one knows what the future will bring for us SA spouses so we must take care of ourselves. Put all your energy into finding ways to help yourself. Your playing right into your SA’s hand by showing any signs of needing him whether it’s financial or emotional.
    I only wish I could type as fast as my thoughts come! But I best stop here before I make someone mad!
    Hugs to you all because we are all in this together.

  30. CB,

    Thanks, I appreciate your words and consider each and every one of them strongly. My situation differs from many in that A) we are not married, but lived as man and wife for 10 years so he doesn’t have to pay me a dime now or in the future. I’ve consulted countless attorneys for Palimony options – they don’t exist, and only 2 states in the US still recognize Common Law marriage, mine is not one of them..and B) Any financial support from him is counted as income to me thereby disqualifying me from any aide be it the state or the government. His current supporting of me and my kids have already disqualified me from even getting food stamps. Even though we do not live together any more. Until such time I receive no money from him, I can not apply for any assistance in my current state. And if I stop taking money from him, I have no other resource for money at all. Period. It is a vicious circle. What many do not understand is how difficult it is sometimes to get off the “bottom” once you get there. That being said, I have not stopped nor do not stop looking for other solutions. I met with the senior pastors of my church yesterday to discuss my situation in case there are other alternatives for me and the kids that I have not discovered. It is frustrating and I can’t tell you the sleepless nights I spend over this whole nightmare. At one point I was out looking for a job…it’s hard to get hired anywhere at 50, much less being 50 and have the use of a cane to walk or stand and have not worked for 10 years. If I make too much money, I loose my Social Security most importantly, my health insurance. I have chron’s disease and suffer from MS types symptoms on top of that. Health insurance is critical for me. I need to do something from home so I can work when I am up to it and not work when I’m not. I was willing to risk loosing my SS, before the children arrived…now I can’t. I’ve been trying to start an internet business but will not have sufficient income from that for at best another year, maybe two. I had begun that last fall out of desparation to get away from my SA…but I didn’t know then what was really going on, and didn’t have my first “D” day until last May. My goal last winter was to get that web up, running and making money…it was my ticket out. When I left last May, it was only me….God saw the need to bring my children home this past month….I try hard every day now to see it as the blessing that it is and not the burden it has caused. I have been overwhelmed this past month with the arrival of my children and have felt terrible as a person, a mother for resenting them being here…the only reason, is my lack of ability to support them….I have cried myself to sleep many nights lately because of that. My children mean everything to me and I hurt because of my current feelings over the whole damn situation. I hate my SA all the more for what he has done as well.

    I sit each day and watch my opportunity for freedom, or at the very least “Choice” of freedom slip further away…I am trying to accept that fact and convince myself that like it or not, a return to my SA is what my future holds…..

    In the meantime, I fill my life with God, Scripture, hope and prayer….and try to keep seeing all the little miracles that the Lord has brought before me even during this challenging time. As I told my pastor yesterday, I’ve had 25 years of abusiveness…I’m tired…I need the Lord to help me continue to see clearly as this situation continues to play out and not forget that He does do good things and will not let me walk this journey alone.

  31. Diane and Flora, let me try to address your comments. First let me say, I am only 8 months into this sexual addiction world. So far I have not had the experience of a relapse b/c we are just coming out of the white hot anger and hurt phase. His therapist has told him to begin to prepare for the upcoming “calmed” period b/c that is when he is most likely to relapse.

    With that let me say, I am emotionally connected to my husband. We are having some really good discussions, spending time together and I see him trying very hard to work towards wellness. At this point, I feel that how he chooses to handle his addiction is HIS problem. I step back and let him handle HIS addiction however he chooses. I don’t try to make that decision for him. So far, I am very happy with his choices. He is doing a good,if imperfect, job without my directing his activities.

    So what happens if he stops making good choices? Well, he still gets to make his choices, but I don’t have to live with them. My view is that he has to want to be with me. He has to be willing to do the work required to be with me and my children. If he chooses not to do the work, God bless him. Let heaven smile upon him. I am not going to browbeat or attempt to control any man in hopes that he will want to be with me. I believe it is an honor and priviledge to have me as a wife.

  32. Thank you, An honest wife,
    for sharing more of your story with us all, and for trying to help us understand your approach.
    It is such a hard journey for all of us from discovery to learning to decisions to whatever…

    I too had some good discussions with my SA husband in the early days of his recovery program. Unfortunately he was unable to sustain an emotionally adult relationship with me for any length of time. His recovery seems to be going well for him, but we were not able to make it go well in my direction. But I certainly stayed open to reconciliation until the absolute last straw. It is just how I am wired.

    We need to be who we are in order to be true to ourselves. I hope you are able to rebuild your relationship, and that you receive the love you were meant to.

    xo
    D.

  33. JoAnn, just wanted to wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

    I keep coming back to read this thread over & over again. Your words help me to “re-ground” myself — especially after a troubling session with our couples therapist this week. (Therapist rather severly reprimanded MY sarcastic tone when I stated that husband’s self-employed liability insurance has expired, that “could” risk my/our personal finances … .)
    You wrote “Their personality deficits, immaturity and lack of empathy permeate the entire relationship.” My husband’s lack of empathy keeps smacking me upside the head these days. And I’m beginning to feel, his lack of empathy for my pain just might become the killer of our marriage. I hesitate to ask: can SAs learn empathy?

  34. Boundaries is a very confusing subject. That’s why I wrote the eBook about it. Boundaries How To Set Them, How To Keep Them. This Survival Series eBook is packed with information that simplifies the confusing concept of setting boundaries when you are in a relationship with a Sex Addict. It also contains worksheets and forms to help you figure out what your boundaries are and how to set them.

    You can order this eBook by clicking the link on this page (in the upper right side) or by going to the eBooks tab where you can read complete descriptions of my eBooks.

    Hope this helps.

  35. This thread was a great read.. What I am begging someone to tell me, is how to set boundries without being demanding, what is a boundry.. what do you do when it isnt respected. I can do the live my life despite his addiction.. but I have no idea how to do the boundry thing? The only option I can see is leaving or staying.. argh!

  36. Thank you, Im afraid I cant buy ebooks,we had to go bankrupt from his activities so no credit cards..will continue to look.

  37. denial2surrender,
    Boundaries are used to help you feel safe in your relationship. They do work if the SA agrees to abide by them. The way my therapist had me write them was to list each boundary with a corresponding consequence. For instance here are the first two boundaries on my list:
    1. Absolutely no more “acting out” behavior will be tolerated. You may not EVER contact anyone from the past with whom you participated in “acting out” activities. All contacts will cease to exist.
    Consequence: Marital separation; you will be asked to leave and reside elsewhere.

    2. Continuous SA program work is expected of you, as are weekly meetings; at least one per week if not more, depending on time and availability of the meetings. Quitting the program is unacceptable.
    Consequence: Marital separation; you will be asked to leave and reside elsewhere.

    My boundary list is up to 12 and as problem arise you may find you have to add to them or re-write them because SA’s are crafty and if you’ve left any little loopholes they will find them.

    These boundaries are working well for us, but they were imposed upon him while he was still in a treatment center and they are like law to him.

    I hope this helps.

    Claire

  38. Hi everyone,
    Is is possible for a sex addict to get under control and and stop acting out (masterbating and using porn) on his own. My husband swears that he hasn’t bought any porn in 8 months and is not masterbating. I told him I want a seperation after the holidays and he is now being Mr. Wonderful and interacting with the kids. But this has happened before and he has never been able to sustain it. Like everyone else on here, I want so badly to believe in him but here’s the truth- He is an asshole who knows how he should treat us and does when he needs to but eventually his true nature always comes out. I have been dealing with this for 16 years. Anyway, can a SA get clean on his own? Thank you so much for this website, it is my anchor and strength. xxoo

  39. Well, I guess there is always that rare exception that makes the rule, but I would say, ‘No’. Ask him just how he has gone about this monumental task of recovery without support and I bet you will get vague answers. So, IF he really has stopped acting out then he is just ‘white knuckling’ it.

    Ask him to describe the root causes of his addiction. Ask him to describe the childhood traumas that led to his acting out. Ask him what his triggers are and how he deals with them. Ask him what he does when he gets the urge to act out. Does he have a written plan to cover certain behaviors that will lead to acting out?

    If he can’t give you detailed, specific answers then he is just posturing and giving you want you want so that you will shut up. Any defensiveness, answers like, ‘I just do it, it’s my business and it’s working, I don’t have to tell you, etc, etc.’ are simply the ‘Addict’ talking.

    Are you monitoring his computer to be sure he is not accessing porn? Is the computer(s) in a public area of the house? Does he spend time alone behind closed doors? Are your children at risk for viewing porn? Have you set boundaries for his behavior with firm, doable consequences?

    I hope the stories and comments here will help you make a decision that is right for you. But, please, remember to protect your children. A home with an active Sex Addict is a very dangerous place for children. These are the very roots that produce Sex Addicts. Don’t condemn your children to that sort of life in their adulthood because of what they experienced in their childhood. Children know much more about what is happening in the home than you can ever imagine.

  40. Hi Finallywakingup- Listen to JoAnn. She knows what she is talking about. I agree, It would be nearly impossible for a true SA to do it on his own. One of the fallacies they believe is, “I can do it myself.” My SA did that for years. (porn, masturbation, lusting) If he is a true SA, and it certainly sounds like your SA is, they cannot sustain it for any length of time. He needs professional help, and if he is not willing to commit to a 12-step program, counseling, etc., then I don’t see you have anything to work with. As you say, he is is being the “good guy” right now – he doesn’t want to lose you, but sounds like he is in total denial, or simply does not want to commit to doing the hard work for recovery. Don’t be taken in by his manipulation. Sounds like he has been at it for 16 yrs. Good luck!

  41. Thank you JoAnn and Sharron. he says he had no childhood trauma and he does not use the computer at all. He doesn’t need it with his job. His porn was dvds and magazines and he is either much better with the lusting or much better at hiding it. I will ask him about his triggers and how he is dealing with them. We really do not have good communication, he is always emotionally distant and gets even more so when I try to talk to him. But he has absolutley no problem crying and putting on the poor pitiful guy act. I know he is a true SA has been one since he was a teenager and he is almost 50 now.

  42. Thanks for the reply – Finally Waking up.
    What you describe is so typical of an SA. They either get passive-aggressive, angry, or avoid the subject altogether when confronted with questions regarding their addiction. The two of you probably do not have good communication because he can’t and won’t talk about it. So typical!
    My guess is he is probably still at it and just getting better at hiding it. My SA finally admitted I only caught him 50% of the time, and I thought I was really on to him. You will learn that you cannot believe a word they say. Until they are willing to get into working on recovery and are able to come out of the denial phase, don’t plan on hearing anything truthful coming out of his mouth.
    And yes, the “poor pitiful” me act sounds familiar. I don’t know how many times I was told, even after he committed to therapy, how sorry he was he hurt me and he wouldn’t do it again. 2 and a half years later, he is still at it!
    If your’e SA started the addiction cycle as a teenager, as mine did, the life-long process is probably not going to change. The percentages are pretty low.
    Keep in touch.

  43. I would suggest always going with your gut! I know our hearts tend to argue with our guts on a regular basis.. but that is the nature of our own part of this illness.. My SA lied his way through a three month residential treatment program.. insisting that he only recieved oral in any of his acting out.. I found out in another disclosure a year and a half later that obviously was not the case.. far from it! I always knew it.. but wouldn’t trust my own gut or be willing to follow through with the actions I believed to be necessary if my gut was right.. like leaving. I still struggle with the follow through .. but trust myself more today.

    Good luck to you.

  44. This response is probably going to sound pretty messed up but that’s how I am feeling just now. I really need to feel grounded. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I see SA behaving one way (disabled son is learning to use power wheelchair but loses control and veers off path. He is unable to stop himself as he’s panicky. I run over and take his hand off the controls, re-injuring my shoulder. SA…does nothing. Apologizes. Happens a second time. I react. SA blames me for not taking the dog’s leash. Like I’m going to take the leash and let my son crash. As soon as SA blames me for his inability to respond to crisis. I point out the idiocy of his argument. He immediately withdraws into himself) yet, at a later point in the same day, he apologizes profusely. He seems genuine but I have seen the pattern. ATST, the lag between what I am seeing and what he’s saying is happening (ie his intentions) are vast.

    Thus the feeling of losing my mind. Have you ever heard of the term gas-lighting from the movie by the same name? This is what I think he’s doing. We attend couples therapy. I tell the therapist who’s never heard the term, either from the movie or in psychotherapy training??!!! I give examples but somehow I feel that I’m being blamed for his behaviour. Crazy-making! Am I mad or living with madness?

    Let me just share one more thing before I go back to bed(am writing this in the middle of the night). I told him in therapy that there is no more spark to this marriage. That I feel that I’m not getting my needs met and being in the marriage is killing me. I say that he doesn’t respond to my emotional needs (ie. he literally walked away when I hit rock bottom) but I am expected to help him.

    His response to my statement when we are discussing it later is to say that he feels ‘incomplete without a woman loving him’. When I point out the selfishness of said statement, he immediately says that’s not what he meant and that he’s a poor communicator and that he’s suicidal! I tell him: if you are suicidal, I’ll take you to the hospital. He considers this but asks if they have any books to read there???!!! I see this suicidal thing as not the real deal but more manipulation. Why do I feel so freaking guilty? Is it trauma bonding? I think I really need to be out of this situation especially with son who has life-threatening condition but I’ve no-where to go. Current apartment is accessible but unaffordable on my own. Feeling mighty trapped and wondering if I am the one who is crazy…Help.

  45. Hi Marian,

    Take a deep breath dear. Center yourself and relax. Let’s look at what is really happening. You are under tremendous stress with the Sex Addiction and the care you must give to your son. It’s difficult enough to deal with a Sex Addict husband, and, on top of all that you have your son to consider.

    Yes, I have made reference to the term ‘gas-lighting’ often and I do have a copy of the movie. Maybe I’ll put it up as reference in the new website. Unfortunately some very young counselors are not familiar with the term, although they should be, it’s a common phenomenon.

    You need to shield yourself from your husband’s craziness. Who cares what he thinks or feels? It’s all a selfish act. You need help for YOU.

    Find a good counselor for yourself, then find a good attorney! Many offer free consultations. Your husband will be obligated to support both of you. You do not have to go anywhere, he will need to support you in the family residence even it it is an apartment. You cannot work if you have to take care of your son, and the law does not require you to stay in an abusive marriage simply because you cannot support yourself and your son. Find out your rights.

    A temporary separation may be a good solution right now. Talk with an attorney about that possibility. Again, during the separation your husband will be obligated to support you even if he has to live in a one room shack, he is obligated to support you and your son. Some may think this is unfair, but it’s the law in most states.

    I think right now you need some down time away from your husband so you can start thinking clearly again. Can you spend a few weeks with family or friends? Can you have him leave for a while?

    Sit down and brainstorm. Clear your head of all of his bullshit and make some plans for yourself. Don’t worry about what he will say or do, the law will protect you. Yes, he will panic and promise you the moon. Resist his pleadings and find at least a few weeks for yourself to clear yourself of his poison.

    Stay with us, stay strong and let us know what else we can do for you.

    You are in my thoughts. A big loving hug for you.

    JoAnn

  46. Dearest Marian,

    You are not crazy, but you are living with crazy-making circumstances. I cannot even imagine the stress of living with and supporting a child with special needs. But having to do it with a partner who may or may not be fully present to reality is simply torture!

    It sounds like you are the only one in this picture who is emotionally an adult, and you need some more support. I would suggest you trade the marriage counseling for some personal counseling. You need to be a priority somewhere in here. YOu are the only one “showing up” every day! I mean who gives a shit whether he feels “complete”? You are hanging on by your fingernails here. You are the one who in danger. Create a survival plan—what do you need for the few days–and make sure it includes some personal attention with a counsellor.

    I think you need to be a priority because your son is dependent upon you. Can your husband stay somewhere else temporarily, still paying into your accommodation? Can you leave with your son? Who can help you? An agency? A church? A family member or friend? It’s not time to be too proud to ask.

    You are reaching a break point. Please take yourself more seriously than you are taking the SA. Nothing you do or don’t do will change his addiction. YOu can only look after yourself and your son.

    May you find the courage and creativity you need,
    D.

  47. Marian,
    When you live with someone who has made crazy and unsafe choices for your family, it does make you go a little crazy too. That doesn’t mean you are crazy, it means your life is out of control because of the circumstances. I too have a severly disabled child, which was always the excuse for the lack of intimacy and my inability to have energy for dealing with the relationship. My daughter went to a group home this year and just when I thought things were settling down, I found out about the addiction! I have a long way to go to deal with all of the issues we have in our marraige, but the “spark” is only a side effect of much deeper issues that have to be dealt with. I feel your pain because I know how much having a child with disabilities takes out of you and I remember for years knowing there may be something going on but not having the emotional energy to deal with both my husband and child’s issues. Hang in there and let me know if you want to talk more…

  48. CB and Joanne,
    I want to thank both of you for your insights on the boundary issues through this thread. I am in a tender state right now, trying to make some major decisions about my husband moving back in after an almost 5 month seperation. We have spent over $10,000 in therapy between individual and couples counseling and support groups for him. I still need better connection, this site is my first real connection with other women, I thank you for that Joanne. As far as where I’m at, my husband of 19 years has finally admitted to being a sex addict after I discovered a cell phone with phone #’s in it…Prostitutes from Craigs list, I soon found out. You can imagine the heartbreak. I have two daughters. He has been caught by me with porn over the years, but I never thought he would do this. Eventually I will post the whole story. Anyway, we went last week to a really nice hotel and had sex for the first time in 5 months. He has made great strides, but I now see the sex addict characteristics more clearly because of all the therapy and am so scared to be hurt again. He is a hard worker, financially responsible(overall), a loving father(overall), and is dealing with his sex addiction and trying to change. I find myself hyper-critical of every mis-step and question every attitude/behavior now. Am I being too hard on him or is this necessary to keep him on track? Thank you for the list of boundaries/ideas in your writing. I will buy your e-book too. I have a lot of books that I am reading; safe people, codependent no more, pain and pretending, how to forgive/not forgive, S.A.R.A.H. All of the books are great recources, but each situation is so unique, it is hard to know when to begin to trust again and open your heart enough to take a chance. I don’t want him to move back in and ever experience a slip/relapse, but how do you ever know if he hid the prostitution for over two years…Is 5 months long enough?

  49. HI CD,
    I know you weren’t specifically asking me…but I wanted to share my experience in case it helped you to understand what you need most.

    First of all, although SA’s have so many common patterns and scripts, they do work at recovery at different paces. Your SA may have travelled a fair way along in self-awareness after 5 months. But I know in my case, my SA was working recovery like a second job, and he still didn’t have any grasp of his emotional unavailability, his self-centredness, and his arrogance. He was sober, though. Sober isn’t necessarily all we need in a partner though, is it?

    I found that as I educated myself about the addiction, worked with my own therapist and understood the Post-traumatic Stress Symptoms I was experiencing, my partner only became MORE irritating at 5 months sober. We often forget that we are changing as we get out from under their emotional abuse. What might have been “passable” before may not be so for you any longer.

    So there are two pieces to this puzzle, CD. One is the progress he is making. And the other piece, just as important, is the healing journey you are taking. You may find you can recognize changes in him, but there are also changes in you that mean you can’t tolerate what you once tolerated.

    Even now, my “recovered”? SA husband who has made many strides in his journey, still thinks that his story is the only story to know. My experience, my story of living with his addiction is not really on his radar screen, or his therapist’s radar screen. I only matter in so far as they can call me co-dependent. But my personal work has created a no tolerance policy for this, which means I can’t be around him or anyone that takes this posture towards me.

    I hope this adds another way to consider the “how long” question. But I totally get the longing to somehow begin again—I still wish that could happen to us, but if it could, it would be after years and years of therapy.

    How did the big “reunion” at the nice hotel go? Did you fall back into sexual patterns, or was it different? I think this is really important and may be very revealing for you. You dont’ have to tell us—I mean ask yourself. (of course if you want to tell us, we’ll listen, because honey we’ve heard it all, thought it all, done it all, and seen it all!)

    sending you lots of light for this hard journey
    D.

  50. CD – I am so sorry you are going through all of this pain. You say he was into porn, but did you just find out about the prostitutes? I am sure he probably escalated from porn to prostitutes. Maybe he was doing both all along and you just didn’t know it. If you have spent $10,000 on therapy, and you say he has made great strides I think you need to identify, for yourself, just what strides he has made. I am not seeing progress to any great degree after so much money spent on therapy.
    If you just now found out about the prostitution, I have to ask why, after already spending so much money on therapy, you would even consider going back to him at this point in time. If it were me, I would have elected to remain separated with some very strict boundaries, such as No encounters with prostitutes or porn for whatever time frame you feel comfortable with enforcing.
    I would certainly not base moving back in on having sex for the first time in 5 months. First of all, since he is not able to experience intimacy, having sex with you is a high for him right now – just like the high he gets from porn and prostitues- Probably only very superficial. So, please don’t mistake this “high the both of you were experiencing as evidence of any change whatsoever. (It had been 5 months!) You may have have been feeling the intimacy, because you are capable of it, but I can almost guarantee 100% it was not for him-not that he does not love you-I am sure he does in the best way he knows how, and as much as any active sex addict can without recovery. And also, he wants you back.
    So, my dear, don’t rush it! Step back and take your time before making that decision to move back in and go through more hurt and trauma. Take it from one who knows. I am on my 2nd time moving out- had to learn by trial and error, and suffered a lot of trauma in the process. You will know when there is a change. I haven’t seen it yet.
    JoAnn said some while back she does not like the book “Co-dependency No More”. I am not sure what her rationale is, but just because you are “stuck” and stuggling right now does not mean you are co-dependent – you just love your’e husband, and hope like all the rest of us have at some point in time, that he will change and things can be the way they were.” I don’t know how it was for everyone else, but as I look back, he wined me, dined me, was highy emotional and loving, and was at my beckon call to meet all of my needs. In reality, it was all a fascade, as that is what an SA does to get you, (They need some sort of normalcy in their lives) and then when they have you, they can’t sustain any sort of closeness and intimcy with us. Maybe, you need to look back and reflect on what it was like in the beginning Ring any bells?? NO, I don’t think 5 mos. is long enough !!-he has many yrs. of therapy ahead. Take your’e time, and if you decide to stay with him, you will know when the time is right. Me – I have decided I deserve a better life than to go through years of the same old shit while waiting for the slim possiblity of recovery. But,I am 69 y/o and don’t have the time to invest.
    Again, TAKE YOUR TIME!!
    Love to you.

  51. Dear Marian,

    How familiar this blame game is…and this distorted reality, crazy making, infuriating lack of awareness that comes from these guys. My SA is also a borderline personality, (he’s sooo charming), and anything that points it’s way to him taking responsibility for anything, is irrefutably my fault. And he spins and says I take no responsibility for my actions. Then comes the apology. Who cares. The spinning is so crazy making. But everytime I come to work or leave the situation, my clarity of mind clicks in and says– what am I nutz for even considering his blame ? Short answer yes. If I can make an analogy, Expecting these guys to be reasonable and “normal” is like expecting someone in a mental hospital to act rational. Ridiculous, right? These guys are so disabled when it comes to communication, sex, intimacy, responsibility, they cannot do it without special help. My heart goes out to you as you lovingly care for your son. I agree wtih Joanne on legal help. I followed her advice and was glad I did. You need legal protection and some seperation wb really helpful in order to make some decisions about your life. Do you really want to care for two disabled people? In reality that’s what we are doing by taking an SA partner on. My heart goes out to you. Think things through, but please please get some legal advice. consultations are free. At a minimum we should know what are options are here. Otherwise we groping in the dark. No need for that. You have tremendous strength to be doing what you are doing right now.

  52. Dear All

    Sorry for change of subject but need to ask a question to the community. Recently found (by accident) that soon to be ex recently filled a prescription for Cialis, an erectile dysfunction med. Now, as many of you know, this was not filled to please me, as we are transitioning to separate lives but I am stuck under the same roof w/him for a few months until I can move out. That being said, I have stopped all checking etc. and literally found this by accident. It has raised my curiosity. Anyone know why SA’s use this stuff? It was never a problem for him, in fact the opposite. Is it too enhance his experience with prostitutes or masterbatn? dunno. He’s not dating, he’s home every night. But he did say something odd last week, that his “habit” wasn’t doing it for him any more, he said it had become boring. A dead end. Do Sa’s hit a dead zone- a wall sometimes? Perhaps he got this med to liven it up? Anyone know why SA’s like this stuff so much, if they have an oversized libido already? thank you. So sad I have to ask these questions but I am seeking to understand .. thanks again.

  53. HI Pam – Cialis only has one function, and that is to give them an erection. It will do nothing to enhance the experience. He must be having a problem “getting it up” during masturbation and/or experiences with prostitutes.
    There could be a lot of factors playing into this. If he is having any guilt about what he is doing, that would certainly cause an erection problem. Did he have any problems with you? If he is “bored” and escalating, maybe he has gotten into a different addiction. How old is he? That could be a factor. Also, sometimes it is possible to have so much sex they just burn out.
    I am not sure I am buying the fact his habit isn’t doing it for him anymore and has become “boring”, He is obviously using Cialis for some form of his addiction-probably just thought it was a good thing to say to you at the time.
    My SA associated porn and masturbation with the guilt he was feeling, so couldn’t even take care of it himself if the porn was not involved.
    Anyone else have any other ideas?

  54. Hi Pam,
    I believe that he is having trouble getting it up also. My SA can hardly ever get an erection anymore unless he is masturbating. I believe he has burnt himself out and I wander is this is common with SA’s who have had this problem for years.

  55. Hi folks,
    This was also true of my SA husband. He used Cialis, and said it was because he ADD meds were “vasal constrictors”—maybe some truth there, but really he just required stimulus that was extreme. He needed his porn women with their fake noises, fake boobs, shaved pussies, fake love of anal sex, fake praise of his penis, fake hair colour, fake lips, and all positioned just so and cued to act like he was a sex god. FAKE FAKE FAKE.

    All I wanted was to make love to my husband. YOu can see how this was doomed.

    D.

  56. Diane,
    I can relate with you so much. I feel like when you write that you are writing my story also. I draw strength from you and all the other strong, brave and beautiful women here.

  57. Hi finallywakingup-If he can get it up during masturbation, but not during sex, it is not an erection problem or He wouldn’t be able to get it up at all-that is if it is a full erection with masturbation. Of course with masturbation, it is totally physical and he doesn’t have to get close or share intimacy, so that could also be the reason he doesn’t have a problem with masturbation.

  58. Hi guys,
    I am in medicine and the actual use of cialis is indeed what you have all described. A lot of men, however, are interested in cialis even if they are able to get and maintain an erection because there is an urban myth going around that use of cialis, viagra, etc. enhances their sexual experience …..makes their erection harder, lasts longer, more satisfying orgasm, etc. None of this is true, but there are men who think it’s worth trying and have gotten hold of some and tried it and swear it helps to enhance sex. I have always assumed that this is the psychological expectation at work. I never give anyone a prescription for that reason, but all a man has to do is say he is having trouble with erections and ask for it and he will get it from most physicians, unless he has a medical contraindication, such as heart disease with nitrate use. I just wanted to throw that in to the discussion.

  59. Marie – Thanks for the info. I had never heard that myth, but am sure men who are street smart
    try to figure every angle, and those that aren’t probably get on the band wagon to.

  60. Hi Ladies,
    The more I scroll down and read these messages, the more I feel like I don’t have the patience or the willingness to raise my 46 year-old child husband. It sounds like staying would be akin to pushing a square boulder up a hill daily, only to have it slide back down on my head again. I have four children and am returning to private practice while recovering from ptsd. I just don’t feel like doing all that work because I think he should be doing the lion’s share. Living with my SA husband has just worn me out and trashed my self-esteem.
    A few days ago, I was pining in my mind for his love. I read this website and realize he cannot love me or anyone else. It’s like adopting a poor attachment disordered preadolescent from Romania. Oh, the turmoil and strife that awaits!
    I will keep reading this site because my emotions still vascillate.
    Thanks everone for sharing your experience, strength, and hope!

  61. Hello Ladies,

    Boy fatchance do I relate.. my biggest challenge daily is trying to figure out weather it would be worse for on my daughter for us to stay or for us to leave. SA is an excellent father and we live in a very high economic climate, that I could never provide her with the same lifestyle we have here.. What I would do for a chrystal ball.

  62. I love your post, fatchance! I spend hours pining away for the love of this asshole SA that I dated for 4 years. I read everything posted on this site and I think I’m actually getting better! We didn’t live together – no kids, no legal ties – I was just left with this humongous, irrational emotional and physical longing for him that I am working to get over. But sitting at my computer reading this stuff night after night, I am getting a clearer mental picture of what my life would be like living with 60-year-old teenager. Thinking about the life I would have if I had to worry every minute about what he’s doing actually gives me the “willies” right now. This is progress!

  63. Thank you ever so much for the support! Very much appreciated. Just reading all your words has helped me to feel more grounded but I think that some respite from the crazy-making is a brilliant idea. Now to figure out who to approach. Family is out; they’re as nutty as him. (Gee, do you think this is where I learnt to tolerate this from?) Let me think about where I can go for a bit.

    I like the idea of seeing a lawyer. I have a personal therapist already whom I see once a week and have been for more than a year. I will ask him if he can refer me to a lawyer. His office is connected to a program called Families in Transition that deals with separation/divorce etc. How convenient is that?!

    Yes, tremendous stress is served up daily on a platter. FFS! CD, I know you can relate and I appreciate the offer to listen. I may take you up on that. While this sex addiction nonsense is going on, I’m trying to get equipment for my son’s school and get him in an appropriate classroom. This whole process is just as crazy-making!

    Thanks very listening, everyone. It’s nice to know I am not alone. I’m still shaky but definitely more grounded. I will keep you in the loop. Not used to asking for help so not sure how to proceed but thanks again.

  64. denialtosurrender, I am also trying to figure out what is best for my children. I think if I can wait another 5 years they will be grown and ready to go to college. I hate to destroy their sense of security but on the other hand I feel like fatchance and wonder if I have the energy to stay for that long. It is extremely draining and this is the first time I have felt that I am not crazy and other women are going through this too. I also wonder if we all have some of the same personality traits or something in common. Why did we stay as long as we have? Oh and get this my husband now says that he hasn’t masturbated in a week and a half, after I have been trying to get him to stop for years!! I asked him how he could quit now and not 10 years ago? And all those years of barely any sex and intimacy. He actually told me he didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I have been telling him for years how frustrated sexually I am and could not understand why he would want to do himself instead of having sex with me. Now I understand after finding this website.

  65. Hi Ladies,
    My living situation changed about six weeks ago when I called the police during one of my SA’s rages he likes to throw as an excuse to disappear for a few days. SA is aware that I will ask him to leave, so I am sure he wants it to look like I am some meannie who kicks him out. Whatever. He did this to his ex-wife, I recently learned. After, SA was arrested, I filed for divorce about 2 weeks later. I was not working and had no money since he decided that his family could exist on air after he left. Fortunately, a collegue took pity on me to help me file for divorce with a small retainer. Oh, and SA blames me for his arrest, for his need to go get a sex fix and the verbal abuse and threats too (the ones he admits to anyhow).
    For a while, I actually bought that garbage because our marriage had been so nice until about 2 years ago. I figured I’d done something wrong. Now, going to a therapist and realizing the cause for my ptsd relapse from childhood abuse is because of all of SA’s drama and nonsense and how he treats me like an object that he can fawn over, abandon, or abuse as he feels AND writing about it on here makes me see how utterly ridiculous it is for anyone to place the responsibility for their own actions onto someone else. Of course, how silly.
    There is a restraining order and we communicate via text about the children. I can clearly see the manipulation in SA’s texts and I alternately wish to vomit and crack-up laughing.
    So, I have embarked upon a new way of dealing with his fantasy view of things (for my own sanity and benefit)that is, I directly state to SA that what he said was patently false (because he is not in my head and cannot tell me what my motives are or what I am). I tell him that I am aware that he is existing in another realm and I cannot understand him unless he chooses to step over to reality, where I am now located since he is gone.
    I love this man. I see that he is very clearly sick, however, I am not going to play “let’s pretend” that SA is telling the truth and that he acts respectfully to his spouse the way he likes everyone at work to see him.
    I do not want a divorce, however, I can no longer reside on Planet Disturbia with him and remain alive and functional as well as shield our children from the needless drama and emotional abuse.
    Yes, I know God can do miraculous things, even for my husband, but not if he and I don’t get the hell out of the way. So, tonight, I once again turn over my husband and his problems to the care of God. Who knows whether SA will do the same? Only he and God, I suppose.
    Thank you ladies for your messages and interactions. You all give me an essential place to vent and feel validated.

  66. Pam,
    In response to your Cialis post.
    Unless you and the SA are having sex i would think there is no need for Cialis. If he is maintaining that he has maintained a period of sobriety and is sober I would not beleive him for one second.

    Your post shows some mixed messages. You point out that you are preparing for divorce, but also at the same time you note you are not having sex and he is not dating and is home every evening. (These last two have a feeling of hope in them, hope he is or may change, otherwise why would you care).

    So – If he has had a prescription filled, and as you said you know it is not to please you, then he must still be acting out (otherwise why would he need it). So no need to even question why, but the basic answer to me seems to be why bother. He is still up to no good even as you are packing your bags and preparing for divorce. You commented that he said is “bored”, seems to have hit a wall and is home every evening…but if that is the case what is the Cialis for? My guess is he is not telling you the whole truth and there is minimizing and lying going on here. And again livin what up? Again he is supposedly home and you guys are not having sex. My guess is the “bored” comment and comment that this addiction or acting out is not doing it anymore are slight ploys (or pushes) and headgames directed to you, hopeing you will “see the light” and that “he is a changed man”. Don’t beleive any of it for one second, especially with the Cialis prescirption in your hand. My bet is he is having sex with someone, or something (his hand). Don;t beleive the BS he is feeding you.

  67. OMG Fatchance! The rages and out of the blue accusations and fights being picked all to disappear for a few days while I stood there stunned, are too familiar!
    Sometimes, I would look out the window and see his car driving off and would not hear anything for days (and he would not pick up the phone, or hang up on me if I called)and this was while discovering affairs and making boundaries, you know, when he was “going to spend his life making it all up to me” and all that malarky!.
    I told him I was no longer protecting him and was looking out for me and my son. So the next time he left after I made that decision (my final boundary, he ignored and laughed and jeered about all my boundaries)I filed for divorce, and then changed the locks.
    That pissed him off more than anything, that I locked him out even though he went and got an apartment and my son and I came home to find he was gone. I was not allowed to lock him out, I was not allowed to have opinions, I was not allowed to spend money, I was not allowed to do anything except look pretty and and make him the center of our universe..
    I never knew when, why, where, or how he would blow up. And I also was told by him what I thought and felt…..I of course was ALWAYS wrong.
    I would either laugh or cry and sometimes both at the same time because it is just insane!
    Mine all started when I started catching on to his secret life, is that when yours started too? I was not allowed to question, and I bet you treat him like gold too.
    Sick is an understatement. Just hurting yourself is one thing, but to purposely try to destroy another is criminal. Especially the person you are supposed to protect.
    I laughed then and told him he was nuts, but as we all know, somehow he would twist everything and I was the crazy one.
    Mine even tried to set up situations in which he could have me arrested if I fell for it. He even forced physical confrontations and once forced a knife in my hand and tried to stab himself……that is past sick, that is diabolical!

  68. Dear Flora,

    Yes. thank you for all your points and insight. And no worries, I am not believing any more bologne, past that. Which is why I don’t even want to bother to ask him about his Cialis, I will only get lies. And yes, he is still playing games until I can get out. However, I am human Flora, and I still care- I can’t help that but I think that is a positive not a negative as long as I don’t cave in to BS. So when I find evidence to the addiction, which I know is not in any stage of recovery, it still hurts. I know that sounds convuluted, but according to my therapist it’s ok to say Love you (the man), hate the behavior (SA sick crap), now bub bye. I hope that makes sense. I like to think I care because I am a loving compassionate human being, who married someone with a horrible problem that has made it impossible for the relationship to continue. Sad. Perhaps some peopel can get to the point where they really don’t care anymore at all. I think I will always care. But time will tell. And thank YOU for caring about me. 🙂

  69. Hi Pam,

    I think most of us here still love our partners. But, as I stated in my post Love ‘Em And Leave ‘Em, just because we love them does not mean that we need to stay with them. We can love them but realize that we just cannot stay with them any more.

  70. Hi Ladies,
    Wow Lynn- I almost wonder if we are married to the same dude! Had anyone asked me three years ago if I would have foreseen this, I would have said “No Way”. Lynn, your comments are very validating for me. Thank you for sharing because I haven’t been able to find much material that related the bizarre rages to sex addiction.

    However, my mother was an alcoholic who died from it and she was very sweet when sober, but a true psychopath when intoxicated. I am aware that addictions can cause a number of people to behave in very strange ways. I guess SA is no different. Even before the rages and the abandonments, I could see that my husband would be either all wound up or in a trance-like state. I knew it was coming after I saw the pattern a few times.

    The more I read abou sex addiction, the more I see that it’s all about perception. I thought I had married a different man, perhaps so, but he is no longer the same. I changed in some very negative ways since I became aware of his acting out; major depression, ptsd, no self-esteem, you know the rest. But I feel I am on the way up from the bottom. Recently, I returned to work part time and it is a blessing to have the distraction of other people’s BFD’s and take the focus off mine.

    I think about my husband many times per day. Sometimes the feelings are compassionate and concerned, other times I recall what danger he has put me in by his acting out and the abuse he exposed the entire family to and then I have this black cloud of very intense anger come over me. I feel utterly disgusted with him and incredulous that I ever believed or tolerated his lies, manipulations, and abandonment at all.

    Every morning I have to make myself get up and pray for him to have all the things I want for myself also. I have to because he’s the first thing that pops in my head and I don’t want him renting free space in there all day and trashing up the place.

    This situation is so like it was with my mother. Two people for whom I cared deeply, but are far too dangerous to be around due to their predictable unpredictability and untrustworthyness.

    May I allow God to handle this and not intervene in any distructive manner and let Him help me with discernemnt in protecting myself and my children.

    Thank you all for this opportunity to vent and work these emotions and facts out like an infected splinter.

  71. Hi sisters,
    I think about my husband many times a day as well. And I love him and grieve most days for the dream that is gone forever. It was over a year before I could say a pray for him. When I did, it was to release him from my life, our marriage covenant, and give him back to God. It was an act of love.

    But I also make myself remember how he jeopardized our family’s financial security, how he blamed the computer porn “pop-ups” on our eldest son, how he acted toward me with utter disdain, how I thought about killing myself sometimes, how he lied again and again and again and again and again and again etc., how he belittled my attempts to figure out why he was so mean and so unable to give me any emotional support, how he put me in a position where I have to keep his secret or lose his contribution to our sons’ education costs and have them quit, how he blamed me for being negative, how he withdrew from me sexually, how he treated me like a “hole” for his penis, how he allowed–no enjoyed his mother’s ill treatment of me, how he left me undefended, how he spent my loyalty masturbating his brains out so that he couldn’t respond to me sexually at all, how he speaks of his 12 step buddies as the ones who saved his life and is more committed to them than he was to us–his family who loved him for 30 years, how he obeys his therapist and will not allow her perspective to be questioned, and so on…

    and then I’m glad I don’t live with him anymore. I’m just sad because it means no one really loved me after all. I was just a prop in the big con.

    Listen, if you can get out now, before you’ve lost any more years, do it. These guys are deeply damaged.

    love,
    D.

  72. Dear Lynn and Fatchance

    I feel really validated—thank you for sharing on angry outbursts ragings etc that have happened in your relationship with an SA. There has been so much of that behavior right from the get go of my marriage. It’s hard to believe I made it this far. And now that I know what is going on, it make a whole lot of sense. Lynn I too get soooooo angry some days, I mean divorce does not make me any happier, it is scary and painful too. Other days I feel like I am getting a new start and sb thankful for all I have. Can’t wait to get my own place and have that nutjob stop torturing me. I want my daughter to know me for who I am. Not how he’s treating me or what dispicable behavior I tolerate from a man. and you know, at the end of the day, he is just a man. Like Beyonce says “I could have another you in a minute.” well at least not an sa man I would hope. I am glad we all sharing, growing and progressing to a better place.

  73. They don’t stop. They keep trying to get in your life and destroy any happiness.
    I got another letter from his atty yesterday blaming me for something I never did or even knew about and trying to charge me money for.
    The blaming, once they are latched on to you and you stand up for yourself does not stop.
    He does not even pay for our child and every week he is drumming up something to keep harassing me.
    I have blocked email, I have blocked phones, he never sees me, I have remarried, and it still does not stop.
    Letters every week, always something, always trying to hurt, always lying…….all because I found out about the truth?

  74. I have to say reading some of these posts have triggered panic attacks, and then a deep sadness.. and whe I take the time to step back.. really?? Is this all there will ever be? The same cycle of lies and deceit for the rest of our lives? Is there no hope for my SA to ever find peace. I hate his actions and what he has put me through.. but I also know it is coming from a deep shame and brokeness of spirit.. regardless of weather I stay or go.. I hate to think that he will be condemned to live in the torture of his own mind..

    Doesn’t anyone have any positive comments or recovery stories pertaining to their sa’s?

  75. JoAnn – I hadn’t read your post “Love em and Leave em.” It is really great! Also, loved all of the responses – certainly re-inforced my decision to leave!
    My SA does not harass me, in fact quite the contrary. After the final decision to separate, he left and didn’t act like it bothered him in the least. I really think he enjoys his freedom, and although
    he goes to SA meetings and therapy 1X a week he still shows signs of not doing what he is supposed to do. He started lessons on Nation Recovery, finished three, and hasn’t done another. He is also
    watching movies, videos on-line, and although they are not porn related they are very risque’. He has two separate computers – one with Windows XP and the other with Java, and he can switch between the two. Although he told me he just wanted Java to set up a web site (just to be able to do it) and is not capable of going out to web sites, seems like the perfect opportunity to do it. He has a switch where he can go to both computers. Sounds quite suspcious to me!!
    Anyway, I find you can never trust an SA. There will always be doubt ins the back of our minds, and life is not worth the hassle.
    I see his therapist tomorrow, and will be talking about when to file for divorce.

    having to worry about it.

  76. Hi Denialtosurrender-
    It is sad they are tortured with they’re addictions, but quit worrying about him – An SA has a
    a choice. They can commit to a life-time of working on recovery, and that is just about what it takes, and then I wouldn’t hold my breath! Most of them relapse at some point in time.
    JoAnn is a prime example. Her husband had been in sobriety for three years, (JoAnn – correct me if I am wrong, as I can’t remember for sure.) and just recently had a relapse – not as profound as in the past, but nevertheless he did have one. You are hooked into feeling sorry for him – you need to feel sorry for everything he has done to you and take care of #1. Your’e life is what is important, and it is so easy to get hooked into the “feelig sorry” thing. I know, I was there!
    I do believe one thing, and that is the lieing is a conscious choice. (His therapist agreed with me).
    so, my anger comes from all the lies and deceit. I told him all he had to do was tell the truth and I would stand by him through his therapy. Two and a half years later, and he could never tell the truth.
    Even if he is left to have the “torture in his mind,” you cannot possiblly worry about that. Again,
    take care of yourself. SAve yourself! The success stories are few and far between.

  77. Thanks Sharon.. Im truly in awe at their inability to tell the truth. And disgusted. But sooo tired of my insides rotting from running it all through my mind over and over… looking for the loop holes.. wondering what if I dont believe him this time and he is actually telling the truth.. then he will never try to be honest again. I just returned to the family home after leaving SA of ten years.. we separated for two years.. I fell for his BS hook line and sinker.. and to be honest my own bs too.. I wanted to believe it. Within one week I found evidence of him searching craigslist and escort sites.. ONE WEEK!! We have a six year old daughter.. we redid her room etc. My teen age son is in the hospital with a long term illness.. and my seventeen year old will not come home for Christmas because she hates SA.

    He says he is clean and going to meetings everyday.. a retreat last week end.. blah blah.. this from the man that lied his way through a three month residential program three years ago!

    WHAT HAVE I DONE! Now I would have to move my little girl again.. sooo mad I could chase each and every one of these bastards down and shoot them in the head.. I wasnt feeling sorry for him.. just wondering if this is it.. it doesnt get any better.. poor pathetic “you know whats”

    Strength and peace

  78. Hi Again – Denialtosurrender.
    We have all been there – giving them too many chances, and then realizing “why did I spend so much time on this man who gives me nothing.” We all get caught into running it through our minds over and over and looking for loop holes until we finally wake up and realize we have spent too much time giving up too much of ourselves. (Guilty as Charged).
    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this, especially with children involved. It is really the children that suffers because they grow up and can model what they experience growing up. Not fair to them, as well as you.
    SA went through a 2 week Intensive Out-Patient treatment center in September, came back, and continued with the old behavior, only worse. Cut your losses and run!!! I am sorry you have to move your’e daughter again, but it will be better for the both of you to get out. It s taking a toll on the kids, as well, I guarantee!
    The Recovery rate for SA’s is probably 5-10%=Not worth the risk!

  79. Hi Again – Denialtosurrender.
    We have all been there – giving them too many chances, and then realizing “why did I spend so much time on this man who gives me nothing.” We all get caught into running it through our minds over and over and looking for loop holes until we finally wake up and realize we have spent too much time giving up too much of ourselves. (Guilty as Charged).
    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this, especially with children involved. It is really the children that suffers because they grow up and can model what they experience growing up. Not fair to them, as well as you.
    SA went through a 2 week Intensive Out-Patient treatment center in September, came back, and continued with the old behavior, only worse. Cut your losses and run!!! I am sorry you have to move your’e daughter again, but it will be better for the both of you to get out. Itis taking a toll on the kids, as well, I guarantee!
    The Recovery rate for SA’s is probably 5-10%=Not worth the risk!
    Prayer and Strength

  80. Denial,
    You can always take baby steps. Seperating if it can be done allows you to see clearly. Living with them is a constant reminder everytime you see them. I am staying in our home while I sort things out and we have three kids (one together). And I have to say that this has been the best thing. I see more clearly than ever what my choices are and will be. I worroed about all the extra work and chores, but the SA really did not help out. He only did what I told him and i had to contantly poke and prod. Then I figured maybe there was some little things that he did, that i would miss, that i did not tecognize. Well there are none. Sad to say that he had made himself so unneeded and so not there. Basically I have never been able to rely on him to take care of things, him moving out made me see this crealy. Before I was worried as to how will i be able to do this? I am doing just fine, actually much better. There are no thoughts about what he does for the day, potential exporuisre with the kids, the lack of emotion in our relationship, the one sided relationship (being me only participating). Don’t miss any of that.

  81. Diane,

    I am with you sister. We can love our husbands. Everytime I see him he is still attractive and my heart physically feels sad and feel the loss for the love that has withered (for me anyway). But love is not enough for me to live a life of misery. This is not treating MYSELF in a loving way. Staying in a relationship which is damaging for me is anything but love for myself. Who cares how much we love or don’t love our SA’s. For a long while I was so angry at the SA i hated him. But I have come to learn that this is not a safe place for me, and that I have rarely ever been considered in our relationship except as a prop and a sex toy.

    This is not a life for me. I can make a list like yours, but it would be very similar. I agree with you 100%.

    As i have read in many books and a recent line from eat prey love (good movie by the way) “the only thing harder than staying is leaving”. I beleive that to be 100% true. Thats why we wait unitil all factors have been cosidered and exhausted before we take the next step. But really we are just afraid, because the flip side is really not as bad as I was afraid of. It’s actually great!

    And for ladies who think I am bailing. If the SA turns around I will be willing to work together. But like Diane’s husband there has been very little to no change even though he is attending meetings and therapy once a week. There has not been a paradigm shift. We have been at this for almost a year come February. Someone had a post and used the iceburg analogy. That some are okay with recovery at the surface and the iceburg is clipped, but some want the iceburg blown out of the water and to pieces. That is me. Just curbing the behavior is not enough for me, my kids and my life.

  82. You know . . . everyday I read these posts and it scares me. It’s been 4 months since I found out about my SA and things have been going good. But I’m constantly on my toes always wondering if he’s gone off track and hasn’t told me yet. He knows that if he doesn’t live by my boundaries; he’s gone and I won’t second guess that decision for a second. He’s going to three SA meetings every week and they are an hour and a half away (closest meetings in this area) and he’s seeing his therapist once a week and that’s two hours away one way. He calls me when the meeting is over and he’s headed home so that I know when to expect him which gives me confidence that he’s not making any stops along the way to slip up. When he gets home from his meeting we talk about how the meeting went, who was there (these are typically small meetings) and I have contact numbers for the other SA’s in case I don’t belive him. In addition, his therapist has him doing a workbook that helps him go way back to where his problems started and work through what happened; and he’s doing it even though he says it’s really hard because it brings up so many emotions from the past, but he’s doing the work. But I have to say that when he’s home and out working on the property and I can’t see him I can’t help but wonder if he’s out there doing something he shouldn’t be doing. So even though he seems to be doing alot better I can’t seem to let go of distrust even with all the boundaries, the anti-porn software, the phone calls, he’s treating me well, there’s been no anger issues and after an inital resentment of me for holding his feet to the fire, he realizes that this is the way life is going to have to be if he wants to stay in my life. All positive things that happen I seem to damper by waiting for the other shoe to fall.
    I should be happy and I am sometimes but I’m just afraid to because I’ve been made a fool of before. Thanks for listening.

  83. CB,
    I think in time you will be able to feel it and beleive it. Four months is progress, but 6 to 12 months is better of course 2 to 3 years is even better.

    So don’t beat yourself up over not beleiving in him. If it is true, you will beleive when enough time has passed and you have reached a comfort level with him. I truely beleive that your gut will let you know when it is okay. I would never expect that this soon. It would appear that he is doing the work and there is something to be said for that at this stage of the game. But it takes time for a faker to reveal his true colors. So i think the answer is time.

  84. Hi all,

    For those of you who have decided to end their relationship with their SA husband, at what point did you decide to and how long after discovery was it?

    Also, are you happier now?

    Thanks for your comments

  85. I left my husband after two and a half years of lieing, manipulation, and acting out. He returned from an Intensive out-patient program, (2weeks) and continued to act out and lie. I made the decision to separate Augusat 1st with my boundary of having a 3 mo. period of sobriety and stop the lieing before I can ever consider a reconciliation. That time will be up February 14th. I doubt very seriously he will be able to maintain sobriety for any length of time, as he is very sick and has a lifetime of trauma behind him. I will have to make a decision, at that time, on whether to file for divorce. I should say when. I don’t want to go through the rest of my life worrying about relapses and wondering when he will ever recover. The stats are against it. I feel like we all deserve more in a marriage – having a man who can be totally into us (intimate and sexual with me), and these guys are not capable of it unless they go through years and years of therapy.
    Hope that answers some of your questions

  86. Hi NAP
    My SA and I were living apart while he pursued intensive therapy and 12 step. But we were also getting together regularly. It appeared that he had achieved sobriety and was improving in being emotionally available to me. We decided to begin to move toward reconciliation, which we hoped might happen (living together) in January 2011. We still had lots of work to do. So we planned for a full disclosure event in August so that we would begin with honesty. As we made arrangement for this event, he began to disregard my concerns, and brought his therapist who we had agreed would not attend because she has no interest in me except to label me co-dependent without ever meeting me at all. I had insisted that this event had to be safe for me or I could not participate. Her judgement of me rendered that impossible and set me up for being re-traumatized. He would not defend me and our mutual decision to bring his 12 step sponsor into the meeting instead of her. My therapist would be there as well.

    Anyway, when this happened I realized he had just turned his therapist into his new mother and this behaviour was more of what I had already been dealt. I called it off. After that point I pursued my life as a single person, and have gradually cultivated more indepedence and am moving towards legal action.

    It was a very sad decision and it’s been hard to let it settle, but I am a happier person and I am more creative and productive. I look better. I feel better. I enjoy the things that I had lost about myself–like being a woman. I am never never never going back. It’s not about sobriety, it’s about the underlying patterns of behaviour towards me that remain untouched by achieving sobriety. His therapy is all about him and sobriety—and not about growing up emotionally so that he can have an adult relationship with a woman. Maybe he will with years and years invested in the therapy, but the fact is that healing our relationship is not a priority for his therapeutic track. Trying to get me to devote my life to his addiction and recovery and relapse and recovery and relapse and recovery, while setting aside the trauma and its effects on me, is the best 12 step has to offer. I said no thanks.

    good luck to everyone in these hard decisions.
    love,
    D.

  87. Hi all – just an update on my situation. I met with Steve’s therapist today, and told her I felt divorce was the only answer and I felt comfortable with the decision. We discussed many things about the addiction, and basically she reinforced my SA’s pattern of behavior and how it has not changed. Without coming out and saying so, every time I would talk to her about topics having to do with not changing, she would shake her head yes. I felt comfortable upon leaving that she also felt it is the right thing to do.
    I told her my boundary of 3 mo. of sobriety before I could see him again probably wouldn’t happen, and she agreed. She
    asked me why I was waiting until February to file for divorce, and I told her I promised him I would so at least I
    would feel good, in that I did everything on my part to live up to my end of the bargain. She was fine with that decision. She asked if Steve would be willing to help support me after the divorce, because of my financial situation, and I said “fat chance.”
    Anyway, will probably be filing in February. So, that’s my story and I’m stickin to it!!

  88. NAP, I found out 15 years ago but did not realize how serious it was and am still waiting to seperate after the holidays (for the kids). I have been through it all- the arrests, rages, acting out, no emotional support, no empathy, ignoring us, the pity stories. And let me tell you I have given it 100000%. I wish I would have left 15 years ago and never looked back. I can say that I am a real sucker and have second guessed myself many times thinking that this time would be different but it never was.

  89. I have seperated from my SA. It was about 9 months after the intial d-day, and 6 months after the second time I caught him. The lenght of time between is long, but I felt i needed to give him and myself the time to make the decision (as family and kids are involved and well at this point asking for seperation is like asking for divorce). The decision for divorce is quick to follow soon, as I now have a taste for what freedom is. I will probably wait until February as that will be a year from the intial d-day.

    My decision was based on the fact that the SA in addition to the addiction has never really been here. He has not fully contributed financially or with household chores and children. He is a little boy who needs to be told constantly what to do, or he does nothing excpet look at porn all day. That he does remember to do. He is so passive that he never seems to have a thought for himself, and never argues in the whole 7 years I have known him. He has never been there for me emotionally and there is no empanthy. He was able to fake emotion to some point as he has feelings, but not when directed towards me. Forinstance it is okay to lie to your wife on a daily basis. So in essence I have been married, but alone. Now the SA is at his parents house, where mommy is taking over, and there is virtually no hope at this point. He now sounds like his mother when he talks, and they are back to taking care of eveything for him. Which is back pedaling from when he was here where i was trying to teach repsonsibility through the boundaries. But it just gets to the point where it is too much. In February 2010 I was already at my limit, and the addiction adds a whole new layer. In reality the addiction bought him a few more months as I had hoped possibley this could be the source for the other issues, but little has changed.

    Every story is complex, and there are many different reasons. I feel I have time left to be happy, and will most likely be on my own for a while until I acheive happiness. Atleast I am not in misery living with an SA who has dependency issues and is a mommies boy. The kicker is these things are not discovered until you are in a relationship with these guys for several years, then I was stuck wondering that it must be me, he is such a nice guy?!?! Well it was not me, it was him.

  90. Hi NAP,
    My story probably sounds more like a “success” story to date, but I’m not willing to put it into that category. My husband and I have been married 26 years, together 30, 4 kids, ages 16 to 24. He is one year into his recovery, sees a therapist and goes to at least one SA meeting a week (the maximum possible in this area is two). He has changed a lot over the course of this year and I really like him, and I now respect him again for the man that he is without these addiction. We didn’t separate, but no sex over the last year. He shows up, he is engaged, he is not isolating or withdrawing anymore, he talks, he listens. We do a lot of things together, and both of us have a really good time. So, where’s the lack of success, right? When we are doing anything that has to do with family or friends and neighbors, he is great….but when we try to do anything that has to do with being a couple, ie: dressing up and going out to eat at a nice restaurant, planned, just the two of us or if he and I are the only two in the hot tub ( ie: kids are busy), he withdraws and that funny engaged family man is nowhere to be found. He says he gets
    anxious when it is just the two of us in a potential couple situation, and this has been a problem the entire time we have been together. The bottom line is that we are/can be really good friends or could be lovers, but he doesn’t do or know how to do or want to do or whatever….that middle ground that couples need, or at least that I need. I see it as an intimacy issue, a lack of committment. He says he “gets anxious”, has no idea why, and is working with his therapist on this . I am not going to try anymore until/unless he figures it out and this may be what breaks us up.

  91. Hi all,

    Thank you all for taking the time to answers my question and share with me. It is all so helpful to me. I cant help but think what really neat women you are-everyone is so kind and helpful.

    I found out 2 months ago my husband of 25 years is a SA (prostitutes). He immediately started treatment, an addiction therapist once a week, mens SA group once a week, and a sponcer he calls once a day (if he doesnt forget?!)

    During this last 2 months he has not stopped acting out. I now recognize his cycle, I hear his stupid lies that he thinks I believe, I see the missing money and his inability to account for lost time.

    He seems to live in La La land because he is really happy, acts like nothings wrong, and acts like his illness is about as serious as a cold. Meanwhile, Im devestated, trouble sleeping (never have had trouble sleeping in my life), having difficulty getting things done, depressed, mourning the loss of my sex life, meeting with a therapist twice a week to cope, and fearful about my future.

    For me, Im realizing how far gone he is and that is really painful because I love him. Staying with him is destroying me on so many levels that I know I will need to end our relationship. If I could live in La La land with him I could stay but La La land isnt real.

    Thanks for listening and would appreciate any comments. Hy heart is really heavy right now.

  92. Flora- Sounds like both of our d-days are in February to file for divorce. steve’s therapist told me yesterday that I look like a different person – happy, relaxed, no stress. I told her I still have anger issues – angry because I let this go on way too long, and angry because he managed to suck me in with the continual lies and manipulation. I
    am thankful for one thing, though, and that she doesn’t pussyfoot around the block – tells it straight and is very upfront regarding his recovery and what I should do. I have been in psych nursing for many years, and most counselors I have known will not give an opinion on whether to stay or leave. They tend to not go out on a limb and say “You need to leave.” I asked her why she told me to get out a year ago, and then changed her mind about staying in the relationship to work on things. I can see now, she wanted me to work through some issues in understanding why I was having such a difficult time getting away from Steve, yet did not have any problems getting out of other destructive relationships. It all had to do with the trauma bonding. Steve looks somewhat like my Dad, and lied and manipulated
    in the same way he did. I think she felt I was hoping for a “fix” with Steve because My dad never changed. Once I saw that very clearly, I was able to make the shift and make my decision to go through with the divorce. Isn’t it amazing how our childhood will rear it’s ugly little head 60 some years later.
    Marie – your’e story sounds so familiar. My SA would do the same thing. We would have great times together – everything seemed “normal, but when we would be working up to an intimate situation and sex – he just couldn’t
    follow through. These guys are so damaged. It is sad, but even though they may be able to control the addiction for periods of time, the intimacy issue is the big thing. I doubt they can ever engage in true closeness and intimacy for us. Sad, but true. And you say you haven’t had sex for a year? A lot of women could tolerate the no sex or intimacy {I can’t separate them) and feel okay with just a good friend. I could not, and I am 68 years old. I guess we all have different levels of tolerance. I sounds like he has made progress with not isolating, communicating more, and you have a great time together. That is all great, but he may never be able to have anything but superficial sex and show intimacy with you, or it may take many years to get there. Can you wait that long?

  93. Hi – I need Answers. I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is so devestating when we find out our SA has betrayed our trust. I can certaily relate, as I know most of us on this site can. It sounds like he is not real serious in realizing he really has a problem. And, is he seeking therapy because he was caught or do you think he might really want to change. Ususally, when first caught, they will do anything to save they’re marriage and are in complete denial they really have a problem. Perhaps going to therapy for a few months will help him out of the denial phase and really make a committment toward change.
    I would not make any big decisions while you are in the “shock” phase. Take time to step back and take a look at everything objectively – it is hard to do when you are hurting so much. You do have a lot of time invested with this man and a lot of things factor in. Has he been into prostitution throughout the entire marriage, or is this something new. If so, did he have another addiction such as porn? How old is he? The younger they are, the better the chance for recovery. Are you in therapy to work on yourself? You need the support of a good therapist to work on what you are going through and assist you in making that decision on whether to stay or go. Would your’e SA be willing to also attend with you?
    If you do decide to stay, you will certainly know in a few months whether your’e SA is really committed to wanting to get better. I know the trauma was so bad for me, after discovery, and I did separate, went back, separated again, after the lieing an manipulation continued. Had to leave to save myself. Now I am preparing to file for divorce because he has had a pattern of working on the addicion for a while – then always falls back into the cycle and cannot maintain sobriety. He is not going to change.
    Good luck, and feel free to post at any time – we are all here for you.

  94. Sharron thanks for your comment to me it was very helpful. Hes 51 years old and he had a porn addiction which progressed to prostitutes. At what point in time it turned to prostitutes I dont know (I did not know any of this until 2 mo ago) I am in therapy for myself.

    An Honest Wife-since discovery 2 months age I have witnessed 2 rages. One was mild the other was pretty scary.

  95. Need answers please-you mentioned you have experienced 2 rages, but did not go into detail. Are you afraid for your’e safety? If you are, you do need to get away immediately. Are there still children in the house? If so, you don’t want to subject them to the turmoil.
    Sounds like his addiction is a life-long process. They often escalate and move on to different addictions to maintain they’e high.

  96. Sharron,
    I can’t/won’t separate the couple emotional intimacy from sex either since I have recovered so much of myself since d-day. The decision not to have had sex over the last year is mine, based on that, not feeling like we are emotionally connected as a couple. I think he feels that the emotional connection that we have during our family times is intimacy, and it is, but not couple intimacy.
    I am not prepared to wait for years without sex or the intimacy that I need, I am just giving myself the time that I need now:)

  97. Dear NAP

    I found out 7 mos ago – thru SA’s confession that he is indeed an addict and acts out with prositutes regularly. The rough part is, he has done it from almost the get go of the marriage (off and on) and I was in the “dark” for 9 yrs. It blew the lid off my life. PTSD, for months. Finding this website has saved me in many ways. I did not know where to start.

    I gave opportunity for recovery and to try to to do the recovery walk with him. I set some firm boundaries. He crossed them took a trip to brazil, damaged our finances and acted out on prostitues galore down there. That’s what those trips were about. So now, my move out date is set to be for February. We are in a complex legal financial situation, there is a family business, a home and my now 5 yr old daughter. My seperation won’t happen easily or overnight, but it is happening. I have not had sex with him since he left for his trip and crossed that boundary. We sleep in seperate rooms.

    We need to allow ourselves time in these situtaions. I find it exceptionally difficult to be clear and healthy being under the same roof with his mess. My family is 3000 miles away, my mother in law’s home is open to me and I stay there sometimes when it gets too much. But the commute is too far from job to actually move in there as I originally anticipated.

    But I have come to realize lately, since his return, that he is a disabled child. Remove the SA, say that’s gone, he is still so needy and requires such “special attention” in communication, daily living expectations, etc I feel like the only adult. My finances have been damaged, if I were on my own, it would never have happened. I feel he has no sense of responsiblity and while his business makes a decent living, it is always overspent on some kind of BS. I could go on and on…you have to do what is right for you. But I would agree making decisions in “shock” mode, is not good. Find a therapist, someone just for you, so you can make good decisions going fwd.

    BTW — my sa, (you can read my post “commit or quit” on his trip to Brazil. Has now returned and singing the “i am going to change go to 12 step, I have seen bottom tune.” I wb lying if I told you it did not tug on my heart strings. I believe he truly means it. I also believe, he is truly incapable of it. but that’s my story. Not all are the same. Mine has done this since the age of 23. he is now 42. the outlook, not so good. oh well. life goes on. 🙂 I wish you well on your journey and we are all here for you. This place sets me straight many a time.

  98. Okaaaaay. The rage was designed to intimidate you. It was a threat to you. You were fearful for your safety and perhaps the safety of others. I have shared with my SA the rules under which I can have him involuntarily committed to a mental facility for observation, not because of rage but because he used to say more discussion was going to cause him to “crack up.” My boundary then became, if you act like you are cracking up, I will have you committed. I cannot tell you what a calming effect that had on him. It was like mother’s breast milk to his soul. But when I said it, he knew I meant if.

  99. need answers please, Diane, and Sharon,
    Wow…I love this site. It is amazing to read your life or at least pieces of it in each comment. Earlier I was asking about when the right time would be to trust/get back together and some of you commented. My SA and I went to the hotel and some of you asked how that went…Well, after 5 months of sobriety for him from porn/prostitutes, I was trying to convince myself to give him another chance, I ws planning to have him move back in on a trial basis, but both my and his counselor recommended sex be the first thing to try before having him move back in(still not totally sure why)One reason my counselor stated was that she didn’t think I would get him back out again if I let him in, but also opening the door to sex would be revealing after his 5 months of restraint. We have been together for 19 years, his porn escalated to prostitutes like yours and I only found out a few months ago. He moved out, has been attending counseling, groups, and church regularly, but still has old attitudes. After our getaway(which was hard me to do after all of this) I started realizing lots of things; 1.As hard as he tries, he didn’t learn intimacy as a child and it is no easy task to learn it now, even if I know how to give it, it’s one sided
    2. He still thinks of me as a sex object(women in general)even when he tries to be different. Intimacy is so foreign that it scares him
    3. I am idealistic and in la-la land myself if I think 5 months can change over 30 years of addiction to porn, masturbation, and eventually sex with prostitutes.
    4. They act out because they feel inadequate and have a inferiority complex, they actually are intimidated by our emotional connectedness aaand scared because they feel out of control in emotional situations, this is also why they rage
    5. He had a rage episode after our getaway because I wouldn’t let him move right back in(long story), but that scared me a lot knowing that I just made myself so vulnerable by having sex again and he raged with total disregard three days later. This showed the truth, which I have been praying for and that is he isn’t ready and at this point I’m questioning all over again.
    During our getaway,we were trying to have sex and he was having difficulty with an erection after the 2nd time in two days having sex, I had walked to the other room and when I turned around, I noticed he began to masturbate while looking at me at one point and I was just sickened seeing him do that, it was really hard for me and I fear even with that his addiction is still there. That wouldn’t bothered me so much before everything, but knowing that he has been addicted and it started with masturbation and lead to prostitutes in Mexico…Ugghh!

  100. Hi CD – I am so proud of you, as you have really gained insight! God will always give us answers if we are open to them. Sometimes they come in strange ways, but in my case he has always given me the answers I need.
    It doesn’t surprise me at all he wasn’t able to perform sexually with you on your getaway. Yes, the addiction is still there! He just can’t be intimate with you.
    So, where do you go from here?

  101. CD,

    I don’t have any answers or particularly wise words but I just want to express sorrow that this happened to you. It must have been such a let-down after 5 months of hoping – I know that’s how I would feel, anyway. Please know that the women on this site are surrounding you with care.

  102. Dearest CD,
    I don’t know how you even had the courage to give it a go. I don’t think I could have risked the sense of rejection and inadequacy again.

    But it’s all there, isn’t it? Everything you needed to know. Your husband is not going to be able to walk away from this addiction. He will carry it with him forever. And in the most private part of your life together, there it will be, limp in the face of intimacy, or hard with you objectivized.

    I think our expectations for recovery are completely unrealistic. What is reasonable to expect will take longer to achieve, and will be much less than we want. So we either have to lower those expectations or let it all go. I also think your list of observations/insight is really helpful for all of us.

    Let’s remember we are mostly making it up here as we go along—listening to each other, sharing the best we’ve got, and working every angle. But this is because we’ve been on our own until the Barb Steffens material showed up. If we didn’t want to lie down and let the 12 step co-addict, co-dependent shit fuck us all over again, we just had to try things out. So don’t feel bad because you tried, CD—you tried really hard for all the right reasons. And no one is sorrier than me, that you’ve landed where you’ve landed. I know you loved your husband, and I suspect he loved you too. But this is just no good for you. It’s always going to be something that hurts you—you don’t when or how, but it always will eventually.

    So what does it mean to love yourself? And if he really loves you, he won’t want you hurt all the time because of him. My SA finally admitted that my decision to live my own life from now on, was the right decision, because he had reached a point in his therapy where he caught, however, briefly, a flash of how deep and dark his problems were. Telling me I did the right thing, was one of the last gifts of love he could give me. And that’s how I received it, as a act of love.

    I will always love him too. But I have to remember what that love can never be.

    I never saw my life getting this moment. It’s still a shock sometimes as I watch my fingers tap out the words that I put in my postings to this site. But it is my life. And I have taken the meaning of my life into my own hands now. And even through I’m 54, I still have a life to mean something. And that’s the message I hope you hear CD, and every other woman.

    You have a life that means something. What do you want it to mean?

    love always,
    D.

  103. Diane – I love your way with words – “limp in the face of intimacy-hard with you objectified.” Those are priceless-wish I was that resourceful!
    What a wonderful post to CD. You said it all. Nothing left to be said.

  104. Thank you all so much for your comments. I wish we could all meet and get together, I know we probably live all over the country, but just knowing you are all there is a uge comfort. I am beginning to feel like God is showing me a deeper reality through all of your stories and insights. Up to this point I have been wanting so badly to believe he is still good for his word in some way and not really wanting to face that I have been living and raising kids with someone who has the capacity to be a totally different person than I ever could have imagined. I never thought he could do the things he’s done, sleep with prostitutes in Mexico,Las Vegas(worst of worst)As is sleeping with any wasn’t bad enough. I really can’t believe he didn’t bring a disease home. I thought he was too shy, clean, reserved to ever do something so risky. I feel like I’ve been living with a stranger while busily raising a special needs child and sacrificing everything to give, give, give. To know all the while he did this on the way to and from work and on business trips while happily playing the hardworking tired father, ughh. How could I have lived so blindly all those years? How do we recover. I don’t feel I could ever trust any man as hard as I’m trying to give him another chance, everywhere I look I see sex addicts, it’s like every man has suddenly become a sex addict in my mind. This last week has been awful, I had a dram last night that was so graphic and he was selling me to men who were masturbating all over the room, I think I am just disgusted right now with men. I do not want to be jaded, but I am so discouraged! I am so glad I have you all…

  105. Dear CD

    “God is showing me a deeper reality”

    I think so too. That’s what i think about my own life. But the challenge of living in that reality is taking our own life as seriously as God does. We are the stewards of our life. And we only get one.

    The deeper reality is the one in which we give up our fantasies that didn’t work out, we stop looking for someone else to love us so we can avoid loving ourselves, we believe in ourselves as much as God does, and we take the first step–whatever that step is toward health and wholeness.

    I can’t pretend to know the challenges of raising a special needs child. Mine both had serious ADD and that was hard enough. But I truly believe that when we take the first step in a new direction there are people waiting for us there, who will help us take the next step. That’s how I’ve experienced it. And I’m not someone who takes risks easily at all. But everytime I have taken the risk of turning in new direction, or doing something i’ve never done before, it’s worked for me.

    One thing my therapist will not allow me to do is write off men completely. I understand when you say you see sex addicts everywhere you see men. But one of the big steps for me was seeing that some men were not assholes, after all. It’s important not to let this one experience with this one man have ultimate value in interpreting life and others. They are not all SA’s.

    But yours is. So, as I asked before. What do you want your life to mean?

    Pursue your answer with all your heart, soul and mind. And you will find yourself faithful to the first and greatest commandment.

    love,
    D.

  106. CD-I feel so sorry for everything you are going through. It is really hard to reconcile in our minds how we have been living with someone we don’t even know. They are such “foolers” and hide they’re addiction well, so don’t beat yourself up – you loved him trusted him, and yes, even wanted to believe him when you found out the truth. We
    have all been there – we just want the hurt to go away, but it doesn’t and we have to take care of ourselves and
    re-build our lives away from them. For me, devestation was the first thing I felt, then hurt, and now anger for
    all the lies and manipulation for the past couple of years. But, this too will pass! Then, you will find yourself
    mourning for what could have been, but you will pick yourself up and be all the stronger for it. I believe you can do it.
    It will be difficult to trust again, but look at it this way, after everything you have been through, you will be able to spot a red flag a mile away.

    My opinion is your should not give him a second chance. You already know the answer, but it may take you a while to get there – we have all been there too. Just try to picture in your’e mind all the hurt you are going through right now, and then move on to down the road. Do you want to go through this over and over again, because that is what it
    will be. You are middle aged, and the chances for a recovery for him are almost nil. Give it up and move on.
    I know that is easier said than done, but I would rather be by myself than re-live the scenario over and over.
    That is the best you can hope for, because he probably won’t change in this lifetime. It will take years and years and years of therapy.
    It must be very difficult for you having a special needs child and now have to deal with this. Your’e child
    deserves better and so do you.

  107. Hi Ladies,
    Whew, what an emotionally taxing day! Yesterday I could have defaulted my SA in the divorce but I chose not to and instead tried to find a way to arrange an intervention for a couple of reasons: first, my little girl came home from a visit with daddy and had a new little “strip tease” dance that she says she learned from daddy’s t.v. Oh, that has to stop! My children need a dad whose not all screwed up and screwing them up. Second, I have a slight glimmer of hope in a miracle that somehow SA will be jerked from his sex-induced trance on Planet Disturbia and have a moment of clarity sufficient to motivate him to do something.

    Anyway, after discussion with appropriate persons, it was decided that an intervention was not the best way at this time and that first I should allow him to suffer the natural consequences of his behavior. That’s where the legal system came in.

    After SA found out about the Order suspending overnight visits with the kids I got some really interesting texts from him. The first one was saccharine saying he loves me and would I go to treatment and let him have the kids? OMG, seriously? I just responded that he was charming, but I must decline. Then the next couple of texts were threatening to get full custody of the children, etc. So, I just let him know how well I was doing without him. SA responded by threating to cut off support. Well, he’s already late. So, I guess I will just file a Motion for a Show Cause Order basically saying he’s in contempt and will you please put this man in jail?

    I really do not feel angry right now. I just feel like some thick curtain has been removed so I can observe his behavior with a modicum of objectivity. I feel like just holding my boundaries firm since I have done nothing wrong and my family needs protection. Heck, I think this man needs protection from himself! But probably, the best thing I could do to both help myself and kids as well as SA, is to just let SA suffer the natural consequences of his behavior.

    So I didn’t default him on the divorce, but I have tried to get all my other ducks in a row for support, child safety and personal safety. This weekend, I am going to focus on caring for myself, enjoying the kids and if I start obsessing, I will just pray for him to have all the things I want for myself as well. Next week, I am going to focus on work and family and my conscious contact with God, my friends, etc.

    I am hoping things work for all the best and that I can accept whatever happens. Thank you ladies for being here and posting all your messages. I had fallen into the deepest despair and trauma and now I feel better. No, I’m not pleased per say, but I feel better and more in control of me and less vulnerable to his manipulations. This site is helpful and I look forward to reading your messages each evening and posting my experiences.

  108. Not sure where else to post this.. Since SA and I moved back in together in Oct.it has been one awakening after another for me. Discovery after discovery.. I am dragged back to that dark desperate place I left behind two years ago.. when I left him. Do I have evidence that he has had actual sex with anyone.. no.. and since I found txts and evidence of him surfing escort sites and craigslist again.. he has apparently doubled his efforts. The thing is the efforts have all been made on the other side of the country and all I have to go by is what he says and the frequency of his txt messages. I beg for honesty and slowly as I ask strategic questions I get more answers.. something as simple as admitting to being on the internet he lied for three days about before he finally admitted.. and then of course there was a song and dance story to go with. I think it would be easier for me to watch him act out with prostitutes than to be lied to day after day after day.. over the smallest things.. and then he swears he is going to all these meetings and has not acted out nor having contact with anyone on or offline. I cant sleep, I eat everything I can get my hands on.. my head swims.

    I have told him I wont leave, you see we live in accomadations supplied by his work.. so it would have to be me that left again! if we split. Why must the onace of the family division be on me.. my poor daughter. So I see it one of two ways.. I go on about my life and pretend that its all ok.. and let him choose what to do with his life.. living in Llala land with him .. as one lady put it so well. Or I live in the bitter reality of it.. and take on full responsiblity for relocation etc.

    I feel like Im choking on my own grief.. why? WHY!!! cant he just be honest?? Truth be told.. I explained to him tonight that the reason I asked for access to his bank account.. wasnt because I neccessarily wanted to check up on him.. but simply the act of him aggreeing to it would be an olive branch of trust for me. Then I said (tongue in cheek) But your not there yet.. ready to give me passwords etc. And he actually agreed outloud.. no Im not. My head knows that means he is not committed to his recovery yet.. and is still walking a line. And my heart is broken. I want to raise my daughter together.. she deserves both parents.. Im having such a hard time accepting that he just cant get it! Cant see the damage he is doing and how it will affect his daughter for the rest of her life! She is in grade one.. and today.. they did a santa list that they read out to the class.. she said the only thing she wanted for Christmas was a boyfriend.. God help me… Anybody help me. I dont know what to do anymore. And dont know if I have the strength to go through this anymore. My son is in the hospital.. he was admitted to the psychiatric ward three weeks ago .. Really .. who ever said God doesnt give us more than we can handle.. wasnt married to a sex addict.. or they were in some serious denial!

    Sorry for my blather.. but i just need to feel there is someone out there somewhere who knows this pain and confusion.

  109. Hi again everyone,
    When I read your post ‘fat chance’, it really makes me think of another issue I have to consider in this whole scenario, my youngest (pre-adolescent) daughter and his affects on her either way(divorce or not)She loves and admires him, but hates when he rages of course…I recently talked to my counselor about things he says to her, like if I’m wearing something he thinks looks good and he’s in the kissing up mode he’ll say “wow mommy looks good, did you help her pick that out?” She said that is inadvertantly sexualizing her by pulling her into his sexualizing me and projecting it on her(making her part of it)complicated psychological stuff we’re getting into, but bottom line is their addiction has and will affect our kids negatively and we have to be pro-active to protect them. I’m not sure exactly what that looks like or how to do it yet, but I am determined not to let him screw her up any worse than he already has and I have by enabling him to continue treating me like an object instead of a person and only interacting on his terms when it’s convenient for him and what he wants to communicate. She has already seen a bad example of me allowing him to get away with minipulating, twisting truths for his benefit, disrespecting me, and raging in our home long enough. And, that doesn’t include the sexual stuff. The more I write and read your stories and advice, the more I think I would be an idiot to stay in this…

  110. Dear Denial to Surrender,
    We must have been writing our posts at the same time. My heart is breaking as I read it. One reason is because he is doing this AGAIN after the seperation!! I hurt for your anguish about the lies. I think that part is worse too because you have to live in a game of trying to weed through lies and half-truths, which none of us deserve. It causes so much unrest and anxiety to live that way. I keep thinking about my daughter needing both of us, but lets think about all three scenarios above in regards to our daughters; Fat Chance is seperated her daughter came home from visit doing a strip tease she learned from daddy’s tv, my husband has moved out, but when he is here visiting and kissing up to me, he sexualizes my 12 year old by projecting stuff on her, and then there’s your daughter wanting a boyfriend for Christmas right after you got back together and are dealing with the addiction stuff again. This is heartbreaking, our daughters are pure and innocent! Our purity, marital vows, and values have been betrayed and distorted by their addiction. It is absolutely disgusting to think about this taking that from our daughters too. Each of has a totally different scenario, yet it is affecting all of our girls. Can I ask a question? How open have you both been to others about his addiction? What is your support network? I have only told one sister and one friend, everyone else just thinks he cheated once and has no idea how big this is.

  111. Thank you for your response.. I was devestated by the laughter that was shared by the other moms when the teacher brought her Santa list to me after school today.. unfortunately my husbands activities are widely known within his\our community.. in fact it took alot to move back to the family home.. as all of the neighbors are his coworkers and wives.. who are all very aware.. the whispers of .. I cant believe she came back.. or look how big she has gotten .. no wonder he cheated.. blah blah.. truth is when i was tiny he was cheating with big women .. so whatever.. we know better. I have no support network.. I live on an airforce base in a small town on an Island.. lol.. there are no meetings etc here.. so Im left to seek out what i can online.. I have seen a few counsellors .. but after a few sessions of pity while I map out my life with SA and then my family of origin.. I get given lessons in co dependency etc. Truth be told.. few counsellors etc are qualified to truly adress this issue.. one therapist compared SA’s recovery difficulties to his recovery from nicotine!! I just wanna jab a fork in my eye and been done with it.. can you believe I went to china town once on the mainland to see if I could get some kind of hypno therapy that would give me a sort of amnesia of all this.. thinking ignorance would be bliss.. sigh.. sooo sad.

    Sad thing is there is no chrystal ball.. I only know that it’s our decision to decide whats best for our children and ultimately.. we will be the one’s who will be made responsible for it forever… how does one escape being a martyr without disclosing to their child one day that the reason mom left was because Dad was a SA?

  112. Fatchance & CB,
    Fatchance -The SA is crossing lines here with your daughter, being that she already knows a striptease. CB – SA treating you as a sex object and pulling the daughter in.

    So here is the big picture. The SA is exposing your daughters to poor treatment and objectification of women, and learning that women are only for one thing. There is a story in one of the sex addiction books about a daughter of a sex addict who always had the playboy bunny on his keychain. This was a symbol of what women are for and as the father was a sex addict I am sure she was exposed to many of the things that you SA’s are doing. This girl ran away from home at 16 ( i think) and slept with every man she could find because that is what she percieved as love and what she is for. Sex adiction typically starts at a young age (9-10) and is due to exposure by a parent, friend, neighbor etc.

    We can prevent this. When kids are involved we have to look at the bigger picture, it does not matter what we want. The fact that you want to have a family, including dad at home, does not matter. Good fathers do not view porn in front of their daughters, Good fathers do not bring the daughter into sexualizing mommy. Dad is not a good role model and will provide more damage than good.

    The only way to protect these kids from the majority of the damage is to kick them out until they get their act together. This is the only way I see to proetect them. You are not home all the time and quite frankly we never see everything.

    I caught my SA viewing porn in front of our then 2.5 year old. I was not at home, was at work, and he was the caregiver. Needless to say after that she has now been put into daycare. And i have now moved onto the next step as we are seperated and fear for my older daughter who are in their teens as to what I am portraying in a relationship is okay. And also worry that he may be potraying just these things to them. There lives are fragile, they are precious, and we are the only ones that can save them. Please make the right choices.

  113. Suport networkds seem to be very limited for the spouse. JoAnn is putting together some new stuff that I think will be really great. Can’t wait for the big reveal in the next couple weeks+/-.

  114. My heart aches for these children who are being affected by the SA’s. You guys have to put your’e children first
    and get out – remove them from this situation! I know you are going through a lot of pain and suffering yourselves and have your own demons to deal with and itis probably the worst trauma you will ever face in your life. But, your’e children have to come first. You didn’t ask for this and neither did they.
    Kids learn at a very early age to model what they see. They are seeing chaos in the family – how
    you are being treated as a woman, and how the SA’s are treating them. Don’t be fooled – kids
    are very perceptive and know more about what is going on than you think they do. (My SA’s
    children, now adults, revealed that as young children they had a feeling they’re dad had
    been molested. So, you see, these kids don’t miss trick!
    So, my advice to you is get your’e kids into counseling immediately and leave the home. Wanting to preserve the home so the kids have a father should not be an option. They’re fathers are
    not good parents,husbands,or role models.
    I wouldn’t think you would want to continue in this dysfunctional marriage where basically he is
    in control. You deserve better.! I know it hurts, and having time invested with someone you
    love makes it very difficult to wean away. trust me,Ihave been there, you will come out
    a much happier woman in the long run, and there will come a time when you will wonder why
    did I even stay with someone like this.
    Your’e SA cannot share intimacy, love, sex with you – he is incapable, and it is not going
    to change, so what is he giving to you and the children to make you want to stay?

  115. I have to agree with Flora and Sharron, the children come first and a toddler seeing and knowing how to do a strip tease is child abuse. A father or any grown man referring to anything sexual including clothing is criminal. My husbands biggest fear is his son seeing anything by accident because he knows it was his fathers indiscretions that played a part of his addiction. The computers are stripped and all have moderating software on them, he is does not want his son to suffer as he does. Children come first, they did not ask to be born and it is the parents responsibility to protect them and raise them with or without a “father” and as a mother you know what is wrong and have no choice but to react, protect and put the child first.

  116. I just want to clarify my husband is out of the house, but we are trying to work through it for reconciliation. Like you Laura, my husband feels terrible for the affects that his addiction has already had on our two daughters as I point things out the more we go to therapy. He obviously was unaware of his indirect actions and their affect until counseling started opening both of our eyes. I do think he is putting forward his best effort as far as going through counseling, two groups a week,staying out of the house(except when agreed that he can visit), doing an intensive 12 step program with a book and daily homework for both groups. He still works in a high tech job at least 10 hours a day to support us at the same time, while living out of the house. This is hard for them too. I am not defending him, he made his choices that were detrimental to our family. I do feel bad for him when I realize he became addicted at age 11 and here we’ve been married 19 years and are just dealing with this. I should have taken in it head on at age 20 when I was pregnant 6 months after marraige and caught him on phone sex, what an idiot I was to believe it was the only time and he would stop. Since that time, I have caught him with porn on the computer over the years and just didn’t have the energy to deal with it while raising a disabled child. So I have responsibility in this too…

  117. I am glad that he is out of the house. Just out of curiosity how do you work visitation? I stress over this somewhat with my 3 yo. He is staying at his parents and I have insited that my daughter visit only when they are home. But still i wonder?

    I also wanted to point out that yes you have a responsibility in this for you. You stayed longer than you wanted, let it go longer than you wanted, and the pain you suffered in staying longer was your choice and resposibility. But it is NOT your resposibility to have called him on his behavior and for him to start addressing the addiction and getting help. So yes…. you may have not said anything, but in NO way is it your respnsibility that he is still an addict. He is the source of the addiction, not you. 10 years ago, 20 year ago, now, does not matter when you caught him. Things may not even change now that it is out in the open. Time will tell and many years.

    We are all busy, but that does not mean we deserve this life. I raise three kids, so no i can’t be the mother to the SA as well. What has happened is beyond my comprehension and wildest (bad) dreams. I personally never knew anything like this existed and secondly all guys look at porn right?! We all fell for that one, just as society wanted us to. But I really doubt your husbands story is really any different than the others. Mine started at this at about 8+/-. But becareful with the pity and the sorry as they will tromp all over you if they can.

    Just sharing my thoughts and hopefully something helps you in this difficult time.

  118. Thanks for the reply. He has been visiting while I am home too. Since we thought(until his rage last week) we were on the path of reconciliation soon, we have been working pretty hard at changing old patterns in the house(most of all his addiction to the computer/tv, disrespectful attitudes, and him being more connected) Of course, since his rage last week when I tried to make firm boundaries about my expectations before he move back in, we haven’t been doing so well. As I read and think about all the children, I have a whole new perspective to concentrate on. I have always prioritized the kids in general(over him most time or so I thought) and have protected them from his anger(as much as I could) and now I sit here questioning all of it. Here I am with a background in child-development, wondering how I screwed this up so bad. As far as visits with your husband, do the parents know? Also, I keep trying to sort through what it means to be to be married to a sex addict and have him be the father of my kids. My counselors have said it is progressive, but it doesn’t mean that it would turn into child-molestation. Usually that is a specific boundary that many of them wouldn’t cross, but no guarantees I guess with it being progressive. I don’t think mine would go there, but I never thought he would sleep with prostitutes either. It seems that we are realizing here to whatever degree that their addiction affects our kids, it does affect them and is detrimental. How then do we try to work through this? I think the visitation depends on how severe your husband’s addiction and where he is in his therapy. Our therapist actually reported my husband to CPS because of something that came out in our disclosure, which was that he had locked my handicapped daughter in another room while he looked at porn when he was watching her. This came out because I point blank asked why she was anxious when I left her and if he had ever done anything to her. Locking a kid in a room is never ok, especially a handicapped child. Because he is out of the house now, it never went further with CPS. So, I am just around when he is here with my daughter, although he takes her to school whenI am going to work. I am working on talking to her more so we have a real open communication in case she ever feels uncomfortable at all. She is close to her dad, so this is really tough at adolescence. I think those of you who have little ones should get out now if your SA has progressed past porn/fantasy, if not, there still may be hope for them to change. Once they harden themselves and degrade their bodies by sleeping with prostitutes and show that much disregard for us that they would risk bring diseases into our home, it shows how hard their hearts are and I wonder what else could happen?

  119. Hi Ladies,
    Thanks for your input. The SA has been out of the house for two months since he got arrested for domestic assault. I also got a restraining order so he can only text about the children. Well, he’s tromped all over that. I had asked the DA to dismiss the domestic assault charge because I didn’t want him to lose his professional license and leave us in the poor house. But, overnight visits are suspended with the children for now due to the “strip tease” incident.

    Last night, SA sent several bizarre texts about how I (supposedly) attacked him with a knife a couple of times (which made me chuckle because someone else on here said their SA did something similar with a knife story). Anyhow, SA said he was going to contact the media and all these places-just crazy stuff.

    SA never did ask about a daytime visit with the kids which he can still have. Also, he said he wasn’t going to pay for daycare anymore or give me spousal support which he’s ordered to do. I warned him he was violating the order and he ought to talk to his attorney about that. I texted SA that I didn’t know how to respond to his nonsense. He’s so impulsive, because after I warned him about all the violations he texted me four more times about weird stuff having nothing to do with the kids. So, it looks like if he’s found in contempt he could be in jail for around 140 days. (He’s a professional and freaked out about spending two days in jail-but yeah, jail sucks, I’m sure.)

    So, I think I will follow the rehab interventionist’s advice and let SA experience the natural consequences of his behavior. Looks like we’re going to the poor house either way since his recovery supervisor and the interventionist said it was a matter of time before SA crashes and burns. I just don’t want any of his rage fallout for the children and me.

    Ironically, I found an interesting book in SA’s abandoned things that some of you might find helpful as I did. It’s called “Silently Seduced, When Parents Make Their Children Their Partners-Understanding Covert Incest” by Kenneth M. Adams, Ph.D copyright 1991. It speaks to the topic of children being sexualized which CD and some of you others talked about. It also discusses the some reasons people get to be sex addicts. (So, yes, we have to protect our children!)

    I sure am grateful you all are on here. I hate you’re going through this too, but, I have to say, there is strength in numbers!

    Also, I am trying to remember that my husband is very sick and that I wouldn’t be be ugly to him if he had some other illness like diabetes or something. Yes, I get angry, but it helps to remember he’s beside himself AND whilst this is true, he is still a SNAKE right now; we don’t play with snakes!

    I look forward every evening to reading all your messages. Thank you and peace be with you.

  120. That was me with the knife story. He chased me as I ran away crying when I found another affair. Think it was 10 or 11 affairs at that point after a few months of looking after exposure.
    He chased me down stairs and while I could not breathe and I did nothing but cry, actually dry heave crying…we all know that kind of crying, he pulled a knife from a drawer, grabbed my hand, forced a knife into it, closed my hand in his and tried to stab himself. I pulled back crying and begging him not to hurt himself…..
    He was just trying to make it look like I stabbed him. Just another con, at my great expense had he been successful
    Ladies, please don’t be fooled. They will, at least the ones like mine, do anything possible to bait or frame you so they can point a finger at you and take no responsibility.
    Please be careful. The manipulative ones will cream you if they can use it to save themselves. Be careful, know.
    He did so many bad things, even put me in the hospital twice, but the orchestrated attempts to frame me leave me the most frightened.

  121. Hi all – I would like to know the stats on divorce rates with SA’s also. Anyone know? I intend
    to be one of them in the next couple of months. JoAnn – do you know the stats?
    You all seem to have stories much more grueling than myself. My SA has never shown any signs of
    violence or rage, no prostitution multiple affairs, etc. Mine was only involved in domination/submission porn with 600lb. women on the internet, and lusting after very young blond women. Nevertheless, the end result is the same – no intimacy and superficial sex for his release only! Most of the time he couldn’t even pull that off.
    I admire you all for everything you have had to endure, and how strong you have been in dealing with the situations. I really think if my SA had engaged in prostitution, subjecting my kids to unhealthy sexuality,and whatever else they did – I would probably have to knock his head off his shoulders.
    I have frustration right now, and would like your input. I promised. even though we are separated,to give him three months to gain sobriety – fully well knowing it isn’t going to happen. I met with his therapist last Thursday, and she totally validated he is still triggering. Surprise! Surprise! She supports my decision to divorce,given the circumstances, and gives little
    hope for recovery. She asked why I am waiting until February, and I told her I would feel
    like I have given him every chance, and would feel better about myself for doing it.
    My frustration lies in the fact I feel like I am in limbo. Once I make a decision, if I tend
    to prolong it I feel unresolved. My question to you all is would you do it now or wait
    until February? Would just be interested in how you all would handle it.

    Anyway, let me all know what you think – should I file now, or wait until February? You guys are
    always so objective and helpful.

  122. Hi Sharron,

    I can totally relate to what you are saying and the questions you have. Although Im only 2 months into this, what Im personally experiencing in really painful. The prognosis of sex addiction does not seem to be good, in fact, it seems to get worse, therefore our lives become worse as a result.

    My logical thought is: if this is bad now and is going to get even worse, then I should get out of the situation. However, the getting out thought and process is really painful too. And for various reasons can be complicated. To me,, where I am right now in my emotional place-its a no win situation-thats a big pill for me to swallow.

    Me, personally, if I need the extra time emotionally to deal with the situation I would take it. That way the time period is to help me and if by chance a miracle happens for him, then thats great.

    However, its important for me to always stay truthful to the situation and myself. I cant live in La La land. I would rather start my life over and Im 52.

    Wishing you all the best

  123. Thanks for the reply Need Answers Please.
    We are in a different place. I have made the decision to divorce, just can’t decide
    whether to file now or in February. I am not holding out for a miracle becuase his
    life-long process of addiction pretty much says it all. He is 66 y/o, and it is my
    opinion a leopard does not change it’s spots.
    You are still in the infancy of discovery. I truly feel for you. It is devastating and
    painful. It takes a while to process everything, and you are right the prognosis for
    recovery is not very good. Even if it does not progress any further, it definitely is
    severe enough for you to make some decisions on what to do with your’e life. Sounds
    like you are on the right track in that you would rather start your’e life over than
    put yourself through more pain and trauma. You are still young, and have lots of time
    to re-build your’e life.
    God bless you in your’e own journey of recovery – that is what’s important, and thats you.!
    The pain will subside and you will emerge a better person.

  124. Hi Sharon,
    I do know how you feel too. I am waiting until January (after the holidays for the children) and it really makes me second guess my decision because he is not acting out now and is totally involved with me and the children. If you know without a doubt that it is over, I wouldn’t waste anymore time. I wish I would have done it before Thanksgiving, before he had time to “work on my head” anymore. My second guessing is coming from the fact that his worst seem to be behind him and he is able to control it more that ever but I am finally just sick of him. Is this wrong- when he really is trying?

  125. Finally waking up,
    I am in the same situation with the holidays coming up, my daughter actually got angry and said why isn’t he home yet, I thought he was only going to be gone a month and it’s been almost 5, I want Christmas to be normal and she began sobbing. It is so hard…
    sharron,
    If you have both made the decision, why are you waiting? Is he still trying for reconciliation and you are feeling guilty to give him another chance? Are you just stringing him along because of guilt, or do you really intend to reconsider if he changes? I would realy look inward at my motives in this one becase ultimately it will be even more devastating for him to recover if he makes the changes and you still reject him afterward, which will also give you a lot of guilt I would think too. If you know you don’t have a chance, I would get out now. If you think there’s any hope, you may as well try to see if he’ll change. It sounds like his acting out stayed in the fantasy realm and didn’t escalate yet to the personal touching realm. I went to a conference for women married to sex addicts and this wife/psychologist compared their porn to us being addicted to romance novels/desperate housewives/fantasy about actors. It was good for me to think of it that way and not only as a victim, but also in reality. Even as women, many of us fantasize ourselves. We may not masturbate looking at it, but that’s the difference between most men and women. I’m not defending his porn habit by any means, it is a destructive addiction and keeps him from connecting. I know these men fel a lot of guilt and shame with it and I know mine feels really hopeless right now and afraid of being alone. I with struggle with the codependency thing and have always rescued him from his pain, so I may not be the best person to give advice. My biggest struggle is what I read in the scriptures about forgiveness and loving like God loves others and being strong, firm, and having boundaries in this situation when it is such a roller coaster day by day emotionally…

  126. Hi finally waking uo – I have forgotten your’e history, but unfortunately SA’s are able to
    maintain sobriety for short periods of time, and the the relapse is back. Also, he may be
    playing with your’e head. Is he working on his recovery diligently by attending SA meetings, weekly therapy, etc. Have you seen evidence of recovery? Is he able to show intimacy with you?
    How long have you been married?How long has it been since he acted out?
    Mu gut feeling is he knows you are filing for divorce and is trying to keep you. Remember what
    master manipulators they are!
    I can’t tell you what to do, but for me, it was my zero tolerance boundaries were violated, and
    I had to make up my mind if I am willing to always have to look over my shoulder and have the
    constant frustration of wondering when he will act out again. I decided I can’t live like
    that. Also, I have the validation from his therapist he is not going to change.
    Go with your’e gut – it never fails you. It sounds like you have made up your mind already, and
    are having second thoughts. I can only tell you what Steve’s therapist told me this past week.
    She said after I have given him the three months to gain sobriety, he will probably lie and manipulate in an effort to keep me.
    God speed. Thanks for your’e advice – that was my mindset. Just like to hear what others would do in the same situation.

  127. Hi CD – my decision to wait until February was more for him than me. I promised I would see him when he is able to maintain a 3 mo. period of sobriety. He as not even gone a month without triggering, and my decision to file for divorce hinges around 1.He has put me through a tremendous amount of trauma over the past 2 1/2 yrs. 2.His recovery process has never been consistent, and the lieing and manipulation continued up until the time of separation. 3. After talking to his therapist this past week, she pretty much re-inforced he is not going to change and supported my decision to divorce. My only reason for prolonging the filing was I made that commitment to him I would wait. If I do, then I guess it will make me feel better because he has had that time frame to shape up, so will have done it to himself.
    I know you don’t feel porn is as bad as the escalation some of the SA’s have done, but the end result is the same. I struggled with that for awhile, but it is the type of porn that he does – masturbation to 650# women involving “stomping and crushing.” He even got it off from pulling up a site with an elephant stomping and crushing people. I think I might have even felt better if it had been reagular main stream porn.
    Also, the lusting after younger women, always blonds, is manifested by molestation by a young (30’s) blond neighbor when he was between 11 and 13. It also involved some domination on her part with him.
    Apart from the fact he has never been able to look at my nude body, relate to me intimately, or even perform sexually in an intimate relationship, he is really very sick. I probably could of hung in there had he been able to show some affection and appreciate me for what I am. After getting married last April, he distanced himself even further, his addiction escalated in intensity and he was cycling on an every other week basis. His addiction has not changed- even after his return from a 2 week intensive out-pt. treatment center, in fact it worsened.
    Thanks for the advice – I am really contemplating filing now and put this behind me.

  128. Hi Sharon, We have been married 14 years, together 16. No he does not show intimacy with me. I was thinking tonight that I have forgotten what true intimacy even feels like! He is not actively seeking treatment or meetings. He feels like he does not have a problem anymore. He says he only masturbates now and has not done that in a week and a half. No porn since this summer. In the past he has been arrested twice for harrassing phone calls (stalking) women, lusting, porn, anger issues, months with out sex or even noticing me and the children, workaholic, had a long term phone affair (has never admitted more). He is a master manipulater and I do not, can not trust him. I just hate the way I doubt myself!!Any encouragement and advice is needed. This forum is my lifeline. I also struggle deeply with what the Bible says about forgiveness. Sharon, my husband won’t look at my nude either.

  129. Hi again finallywakingup- sorry to see you struggling so much. It is so hard finally come to terms with what we have to do, and what is right for us.
    Did your’e husband ever get help? Sounds like your’e SA has some big time issues, and they do
    not go away by themselves. If you do decide to invest more time in this relationship, I would set some firm boundaries. My expectations would be he get into a 12-step program and get into some intense counseling. Don’t let him tell you he doesn’t have a problem anymore) If he refuses, you don’t have anything to work with and you will have your answer. Like I said, a sexual addiction does not go away by itself!!
    I would not struggle with what the Bible says about forgiveness – of course we have to forgive,
    or we would harbor unresolved anger and that is not good for us. I don’t believe for one minute that God would wants us to stay in a relationship such as ours and play the martyr role the
    rest of our lives. I believe he puts us here for a reason, and life is a learning process- It
    is what learn and how we grow in the process of spirituality. Do you really want to go through
    life and not feel loved and appreciated by someone? You deserve more!!!
    I am glad you see the manipulation in him – they all do it. I do not believe for one moment he
    has changed-he is not able to without years of therapy.
    So do what you feel in your’e heart – it sounds like you are on the right track.
    Good luck with your’e journey – we are all here for you when you need us. This site has
    also been a life line for me. I don’t think I would have come to my decision as quickly if
    I had not had input from those who have gone through what I have.

  130. CD -I wanted to respond to your post earlier when you told about your’e child sobbing because
    she misses her Dad. That is so sad! Since you have a background in child development, I am
    sure you know all the right things to do. Even though your’e daughter is close to her father,
    I am sure, at her age, she is able to see through his fascade. I was 13 when my Dad left, and
    my mother and grandmother constantly put him down and threatened me with dis-inheritance (Is that a word??) If I continued seeing him. That does so much damage to a kid. Left alone, I would have seen it for myself-I eventually did, but I think we have to be so careful not to “dog them” to
    the kids. She is probably feeling really torn right now – loving her father, but at the same
    time realizing the toll it is taking on you. Do you have her in counseling also? I’m sure you
    know that, but just wanted to share my experience.
    So sorry you have to deal with your’e daughters issues and your’e crazy husband. Sounds like you
    have always put her first, so hang in there she will be fine.

  131. Sex addiction no matter the shape or form has the same damaging effects to the relationship similar to that of an affair. There are different view points. Some say they would rather it be a real women, as atleast she is competing with someone real, rather than an image on a screen. These are not my thoughts, but I can understand this viewpoint.

    Actually I feel sometimes it is even more tormenting because it is just regular porn and society accepts this. But I still can’t compete. I am not capable of that crap and no one can qeunch that thrist they have. The addiction always comes first and is number one. But also keep in mind that just because that is all i or anyone else is aware of or told, does not mean that is it. I have read several stories where the women were told that is all it is, come to find out years later the guy has had multiple affairs and patroned prostitutes.

    So I really don’t think anyone really has it better or worse than anyone else. No matter the form it takes it is equally taxing to the relationship and equally hard decisions.

  132. finally waking up,
    Sharon is right. Unless he commits to some real help (i.e. meetings, twelve step, therapy etc.) he is a lost cause. I went through three months of SA saying he would just stop. This was before I found this site. So I beleived him a little until i started doing reserach myself. All books said meetings and therapy, and removing your self from tough stituations. get rid of buisness trips which you acted out on, computer, tv whatever necessary, change you life style etc.

    So i learned the hard way that they lie, lie, lie, even when they promise to get better. He said he would stop, we had conversations about how he had stopped, talked about how hard it was. Guess what? he never stopped. I installed monitoring software on the computer and caught him. If I had not, I never would have caught him. The promise means nothing. So No he is not recovering. And it is also important to note that he can be attending meetings and thearapy and still not be recovering.

    I have no idea where we stand right now nor do i care. We are seperated and I am loving the freedom of not living a life with an addict, user and emotionally unavailable man.

  133. Hi Lynn et. al,

    I am glad your shared the crazy knife story because I have gotten even more bizzaro texts today. When I don’t respond then SA gets really nice. And when I still don’t respond, he’s nasty again and even texted a weird story about some supposed sex-capade I went on. SA has me confused with all the porno movies he looks at for hours on end. It’s apparent that he cannot consitently separate reality from fantasy. REALLY.

    I used to be his little monkey and he could pull my tail and make me cry, or pull my tail and make me happy. Now, when I don’t respond emotionally, SA swings wildly from one end of the pendulum to the other. I have to admit it is amusing. It was not my intention to make him a monkey, just to firmly guard my boundaries. The amusement is lagniappe.

    This is a grieving process. Though, I feel okay right now, the pain will cycle back around. Everything I ever let go of has claw marks all over it. LOL

    I have been praying for SA to have all the things I’d like for myself as well and to divorce my thoughts from self-pity. May God give each of us the gift of discernment, may we recognize it and use it.

    Peace be with you sisters.

  134. Hi all,

    I wrote this poem yesterday and wanted to share:

    Addiction

    Addiction showed up
    at my door one day
    I told him
    “to go away”

    I thought he left
    never to return,
    I heard a knock
    with a grin, “I’m here again!”

    “Go away
    you ugly beast
    you can’t take
    my life from me”

    He barged right in
    and sat right down
    said “I’m not leaving”
    then looked around

  135. HI NAP,
    I like it and is so true.
    He does just sit there and look around, what to do next? Literally and figuratively in my story anyway.

    Thanks for sharing.

  136. NAP,
    You should get it published, very good poem. I wish addiction would disappear from my life too! I have barely been able to get on here this weekend because SA had been here all weekend. I’m so frustrated with our whole situation, let’s see if any of you have some advice for today’s marraige counseling session? First, I will tell you how this weekend went and how he wound up here the whole weekend…As some of you may remember from my earlier posts, a week and a half ago SA and I in an effort to try reconciliation process went to a hotel for a getaway and had sex for the first time in 5 months. There were several things that got to me during that 2 day getaway(he wanted me to dress skimpy, which made me feel cheap and guilty when other guys looked at me at breakfast, he struggled to get it up the 2nd time and when I turned around he was masturbating, which made me feel very worried that I had just opened the door to his addiction after 5 months of sobriety…he never was able to perform that 2nd time and used the excuse he’s getting old, and just thinking about the lack of effort on his part for the getaway, I found hotel, made all the efforts, etc. he was just along for the ride)LOl Anyway, that was the first thing, then came his rage a few days later because he wanted to move back in right away and I wanted a contract, boundaries, and commitements first, he assured me he would do it, but didn’t and wanted to move in anyway and do it later, this was not acceptable to me and he blew up. I distanced myself, we went to counseling last week and he stayed at his grandmothers(where he has been staying)He realized he blew it by the rage episode so agreed not to push the moving in thing. Now after a week, we had another episode Saturday night, this time I lost my temper with him, yelled at him and threw my cell phone after he insisted I hate him, nothing he does is enough and he is moving back in to get stability in his life whether I agree or not. I said I would move out and he said he wouldn’t support me financially if I did, which made me very frustrated and I began yelling back at him that he was forcing me to live with him and was very angry that he could say I hated him after everything I did last week at the hotel to make an effort. I feel once again I do all the giving/accomodating and that he only can focus on what he wants/needs. He is getting sick of being displaced and wants to be home, but I feel I am taking a big risk given his recent selfish behavior with forcing the issue, all the triggers I have with the SA trauma(him wanting me to dye my hair, dress skimpy, seeing women that look like what he was attracted to and feeling inadequate, etc…) I don’t just think he has a long way to go, I do too. I don’t know if it’s helpful to work on these things living together or not. It seems like when you’re living together it is easier to get minipulated, but you communicate more regularly so things don’t fester. With him out, it is easier to gain objective perspective, but you get more distanced in communicating regularly(at least that’s what he keeps pointing out) He acts like a spoiled brat sometimes and always wants his way, if he doesn’t get it, he throws a temper-tantrum like a little kid. I a so afraid of getting hurt again, I have wanted to wait until he was really showing solid and consistent signs of growth to consider the moving back in part, it was hard(or not hard lol) enough to go to the hotel and open myself up sexually. I am still struggling with my new awareness and all the things I notice that I didn’t before I knew he was a SA. So, he stayed here all weekend, kissing up and acting like we were the perfect family, even hung Christmas lights. He is trying to act like everything is ok, will sleep in the other room, but just needs his stability. What should I focus on in counseling to make the most of my $150 for the week and protect myself from more pain/heartache in the upcoming week? It is so hard with the holidays approaching, I just don’t know which way to go. I have not been responsive to his sexual overtures or comments at all, I shut that down after his rage.

  137. CD- Sounds like your’e SA still has the same issues you so vehemently work to avoid.
    First of all, the fact he wanted you to dress “skimpy” in front of other men tells me
    he is still in the addiction cycle. You are right, by accomodating him, you are feeding
    into his addiction – that is one thing we should not do. I know we want to be “sexy”
    for our husbands, and that is okay if we do not feed into the addiction. Sounds like
    he is equating you to a prostitute. The fact he wanted to “flaunt” you, to me, is not
    a good sign. If he wants to have you dress “sexy” for him behind closed doors – I can
    understand that, although like I said, we have to be careful not to do sexual things
    that will feed they’re addiction or provides triggers for them.
    Also sounds like he wants what he wants, and when he wants it – he is still controlling
    you. Very immature with his ranting and raving. Me, I wouldn’t let him back until
    firm boundaries are set regarding the addiction and his behavior, and you are able to
    see progress in both areas. The fact he wasn’t able to perform sexually and show intimacy
    with you tells me is is still in the active phase of addiction.
    Sounds to me like he needs intense therapy, not only regarding the addiction, but anger
    management as well.
    In most states, as long as you are still married, the husband is required to support
    you even if you have moved out. I am sorry you are having all this chaos in your life,
    but I think you need to remove yourself from the situation one way or the other –
    whether you do not allow him back in, or you move out – that is just my opinion.
    Good luck at the therapy session. Set strong boundaries and do not waver!

  138. CB,
    I personally would not be able to stay with him together in one house with all the manipulation & the rages like you said. It is maddening and a contant roller coaster ride for you. The manipulation is easy for it to get through, especially when they know exactly how to. Especially around the holidays when you may be vulnurable. You may let him in, to never get him out, and regret it. One weekend away means nothing, but for him it is all he needs, being the sex part. It is in no part what you need, where is the rest of your relationship? Nowhere because he does not require much of anything else, but you do, and any sane person who wants a real relationship does.

    I would focus on what you want for now, versus what he wants. Do something nice for yourself. Spend the session on what you should do for you in this situation rather than what you should do for the SA. Sessions tend to be so much about getting back together with them, vs. getting you in a place that is healthy for you.

    I don’t see anything in this story of how he has put all this work in, planned the weekend away, helping out around the house, going that extra mile. My SA has been like yours, just plain lazy, and makes no real effort. If he was making an effort you would feel it and if he has changed you would feel it. But he is not. You put the weekend together. And once he is back in the house, most likely everything will go right back to the way it was, including the addiction. Addicts don;t like anything to change. They want it to stay the way it was, and are eager to do and say anything they can to get back to that place. And also by the rages and temper tantrums he is throwing he is still trying to push you around to get what he wants. This does not sound like a man who is in recovery or at a good place in recovery. Let him throw his threats about money the house etc. If he pushes to far, call an attorney and you will learn your rights. He is trying to push your buttons and upset you. Imagine what a few weeks, months or years would be like without this constant crazy?

    Also is his therapist your therapist or do you have your own? Has this person made postive suggestions for you? Not sure the weekend away was a good one, but you found some things out. Actually seems almost pushing you in a co-dependent mentality, having sex even though you may have not wanted to. I would have found that weekend scarring and very traumatizing even though I am just reading the post.

    As far as living apart putting a divide in the communication. Yes that can happen. Plan one or two times a week to meet for coffee, lunch or dinner to get an update and catch up. Simple solution. Away from the kids, focus on the topic and you can leave if it turns ugly. This is in a contolled speration agreement, you may want to consider one. It spells things like this out.

    Hope this helps.

  139. Hi CD

    I think you should do what is best for you and what you want. He says he wants back for his stability, but what about your stability. Sounds like he’s placing all the responsility on you and not taking much for himself. Hes “uncomfortable” at grandmas house. Well, good behavior and following the agreed ground rules= home. Poor behavior and not agreeing to any ground rules= grandmas.

    This is just my opinion and I know its a complicted decision.

  140. Thanks everyone,
    I’m off to therapy. I do have my own therapist in addition to the marraige counselor and he has his own, but she’s(mine) having surgery and will be out for a while. I was deciding about letting him back in the house and it was the therapist’s who thought sex would be best first to see where he really was. Now I regret listening to that advice. So confusing! But, things have come out since then which are revealing too, so what’s one more time feeling bad after sex after all these years…I had just hoped there would be more change. I relate on the lazy thing, it’s more selfish than anything, he’s not lazy at work or doing what he wants to do(pursuing prostitutes) Love that song, thanks! Wish me luck, I think I will try to bring up the contract/boundary list I made and ask for input.Thanks again, I’ll let you know how it goes, I’m sure he’ll try to direct it to the fact I threw my phone and yelled at him…

  141. CD – I am surprised the therapist advised you to have sex with him- full well knowing where he is in his recovery. I don’t think that is sound advice to put you through one more disappointment. If she
    is any good at all, she would have known how risky that was for you at this point in time. Did she
    recomment the reconciliation, or was that strictly your decision?

  142. i need advice. my sa is recovering but has been back sliding regardin cash. our agreement was no cash sa had debit card but not to use it to buy other ppl stuff and take cash or he wouldnt have debit card. He got caught being chared 2.00 over n kept cash, buying drinks he never drinks, of course sa is angry. i also found out when im at work he goes through my things and found a way to by pass the parental code and call forwarding on his phone. sa drives and when he gets home i have go phone which records all transactions and he is leaving his phone and taking the go phone. (he doesnt know it yet. im contemplating several nanny cameras in room closet and in the house, has ne one had luck with them> maybe just me telling him i ve got them. think that would work? it doesnt seem he wants to change, anybody else have sa stuck in denial. maybe he needs inpatient?? plEASE HELP

  143. Stephanie has posted this comment in two places. I’m not sure it that will help or just scatter the comments, but I will leave it as posted unless it gets too confusing. Again, here is what I wrote to her in her first comment:

    SA’s who hide cash, exhibit anger when caught, undermine your controls by finding ways to hack parental codes and call forwarding ARE NOT IN RECOVERY!

    Don’t bother with cameras. You already know that he is still acting out.

    I’m so sorry that you are going through all of this, but if he doesn’t want to change there is nothing you can do to make him change, not even inpatient therapy. The only thing you can do is think about your future and decide what YOU are going to do.

    It’s extremely difficult to stay with a SA who is truly committed to his recovery, but it is impossible to stay with an active Sex Addict. Please find yourself a good counselor, stay connected here and read all the stories, articles and comments and start planning for your future.

    No one deserves the humiliation and pain that you are going through. Be strong. We are here for you.

  144. Hi Stephanie-I just want to give you some feedback from my experience with an SA. My husband
    stated time after time how he was committed to recovery, but he continued to lie and just got
    better at hiding his addiction. He even beat a lie detector test.
    I was like you – got hooked into checking and controlling the environemt, but all it did was
    make me feel better and he continued the lieing and his addiction.
    He attended a 2 week intensive out-patient treatment center only to return and continue in a
    full blown addiction. If they don’t want to change, and it is evident your’e SA is not ready
    to get better, nothing you do, or want him to do, will be effective. He has to do it himself-
    – even in-patient will not help him. If he did go, at this point in time,it would only be for you.

    I, too, had caught him numerous times. I had spyware on the computer, etc. The more you spy,
    the more it drives you crazy and keeps you in constant frustration. You already have your answer – you know he is still acting out, so what more do you need? If they do not want to be serious
    about recovery, they will always find a way to beat whatever you have in place to catch him.
    Find yourself a good therapist and work on your’e recovery. I’m sorry you are having to go
    through this. This is a great site for you to be on- we are all here for you, and all of us
    are committed to supporting you through this difficult time.

  145. Hi JoAnn – I find I am spending an inordinate about of time on this site. Hope you don’t
    mind. I guess since I have finally come to resolution and decided to divorce, I feel the
    need to be supportive of everyone else who is struggling. It must the nurse care-taker
    role in me. At least I am putting it to productive use and not stuck in that role
    with my SA. I certainly did that too long!
    I have learned so much on this site – all the feedback was a big factor in my making my
    decision so quickly.
    Thanks for everything you do for us. It has been a God send for me. If you feel I am on a bit
    too much, please feel free to say so.

  146. Thanks Flora,Sharron, and NAP,
    I will write more later about the therapy…daughter is around now. You’re advice and insights are helpful and I am thankful for them and you!

  147. Hey everybody,
    I told my husband this evening that he has a wall up and we have no emotional intimacy, he has no empathy and he looked at me like I was crazy. I really believe that he is not capable of this and absolutely does not understand what I mean. I feel like it is hopeless to try to get him to see this. He actually said, he doesn’t have a clue what I mean and I believe him…

  148. Hi Ladies,

    I can relate with CD and Stephanie for sure. When my husband was still home and on his roller coaster, things would go well for a bit and he’d be helpful around the house etc. Then we would get a sitter, go on a date and make love. But the next day, my husband would have this personality shift-overnight. Thinking back, those were also the times he would ask me to do kinky stuff. Really, I am ok with that, but not if it’s gonna turn him into a raging lunatic the next day!

    And Stephanie, I am struggling with the divorce thing too. He’s out and I already filed. I could have defaulted on him the other day, but didn’t. Meanwhile, he’s using the text communication to verbally and emotionally abuse me. However, I don’t feel as victimized because he’s not here to physically frighten me and because with the words written down, I can review just how wildly his moods swing, I guess in an attempt to manipulate me, however vain.

    My big dilema is whether to add up all the abusive texts and file a Motion To Show Cause for violating the restraining order. The judge here is very strict and he could be looking at 170+ days in jail now. He would of course lose his job, perhaps his professional license, and the kids and I need the support right now. Yet, I could use it as a “hammer” to get him into in-patient treatment. We would still be without support, but I think SA is going of the rails on his crazy train pretty soon. (It happened before we met a few times). He’s on his last chance with the licensing board, perhaps.

    I can make a good living, but it will take some time to get my practice going. I just started back and had to borrow a hunk of cash to get going.

    I am also very weary of his infantile behavior. He’s so dramatic and I am not as interested in that kind of garbage as I was at say, 14!

    What input can you all give me? SA had a period of perhaps four years without relapse (I think) because I never knew and he was always home on time and did’t act like the weirdo he does now-total personality change like aliens abducted his soul and replaced it with someone childish, adversarial, lazy, selfish, and vindictive.

    Should I just try to “twist” his arm into rehab with the court ordered violations, just divorce him, or sit tight for now? Of course no one can tell me what I should do, but I really want to hear your experience, strenght, and HOPE.

    Thanks, and I’m gonna keep praying for him because it helps me!

  149. If it were me, I would just cut my losses and go through with the divorce. Locking him up is not
    going to accomplish anything, and you need the financial support. And, what is forcing him in to
    rehab going to accomplish? Not going to change him – only prolong the agony for you! The only way
    I would file a motion for violation of restraining order is if you truly believe he will hurt
    you. Otherwise stick with your’e plan – you obviously felt resolved in following through with
    the divorce.

  150. Fatchance,
    I agree with Sharron. If you were to foce him into rehab, it wouldn’t work because he would be there for you and not for him. With addiction (of any kind) you have to hit bottom and WANT the help. Being forced only creates resentments that get in the way of healing. Give him his choices, the way you see it, and if he doesn’t feel like he needs to go then the consequence of that action is divorce or at least seperation. I’m a recovering alcoholic (13 years sober) and I know the addictive mind. He has to admit he has a problem and want to get help.
    Take care and God bless.

  151. Dear Sharron & CB and all the ladies:

    just a thought on them reaching a bottom. What is bottom for these guys? losing the wife, the house, their position? I don’t know. I mean do they ever really see it with conviction – at least enough to really committ and do the work. ugh. so frustrating.

    Wanted to vent a bit if I may. Mother in law is up to NOOOOOO good. I told her about his addiction. My Reason for divorce. Well wouldn’t you know, she is spinning this thing around on me, on how “he had no choice but to go out” “he is a man” “she does not believe in sexual addiction” they are men. women of her day just chose to deal w/it differently. it is a way for shrinks to make money. I was having a nervous breakdown (yes, because my husband sleeps with trannies and had STD/s that I found out about) so what could the poor boy do? go to brazil and get laid proper, I guess.

    I shouldn’t care. but it cuts to the core to not even be believed a little bit – like, maybe my son needs help? Nope, not for a second. I told because I think sa needs someone in his life who cares (his mother). Since I am distancing myself from the nightmare. I cannot stand to see this minimized! And the horrid pain reduced to – He’s a man. I mean am I some kind of sick liar. I could never make such horrible things up. I wish I were lying! And she does not even know a quarter of it. So lousy. I can’t stand being minimized. By Sa and his mother! somebody pour me a tall one.

  152. Sometimes hitting bottom doesn’t do it for these guys. My SA did twice, and is still at it.
    Either your’e mother-in-law is in total denial and can’t accept his Addiction/and or she feels
    responsible for what he has turned out to be. Maybe the problem stemmed from “MaMA”-who knows.
    Maybe she has known about it all along, and is a typical enabler – ignores the issue.
    Anyway, don’t let it get you down – she is not worth the energy.

  153. First to Pam,
    My mother-in-law would probably do the same, interesting…Most times a lack of capacity for intimacy and narcisstic behaviors stem from a lack of compassion and love from their parents or some type of abuse, emotional neglect, sexual abuse, or physical abuse. She is obviously in denial and doesn’t either have the capacity to deal with it or the desire. I take things personally too, when we told my mother-in-law he cheated(that’s all she knows so far) and he was moving out, her response was “well, I don’t know what to say “he’s my son afterall” and she went and put her arm around him, while I was sitting right there sobbing. It’s hard with mother-in-laws. I asked his cousin however to call him and told her he seemed desperate for support and i couldn’t help him and she was great to call him and offer unconditional love and support of both of us as we faced this hard situation. The reality is, the SA is suffering too, which is why they have the addiction to cover over their pain, we are just one of the casualties of their addiction(usually unintended)

  154. joAnn thank you so much for the affirmation. As you know too well sa’s mission in life is to make me doubt my once crystal clear boundaries and paths we choose. We went to high school together and started dating then married 30 yrs later. I remember how sweet n shy he was and wonder what happened. I feel so sorry for him but even his counselor told me to take care of me. Once I stated read stories on this site i calmed down. Dont want to wish this joke of a marriage on anyone but im thankful im not crazy and not alone. Yesterday I went to dr for an infection and my blood pressure was 187/123. I the doctor that husband I are had been arguing all day. i turned my phone off and lights of in treatment room and just breathed. Within 15 min blood pressure was 120/80. Dr told me to tell husband to be nice to me. Sa responded saying it was the salt thatI eat. That was a real eye opener on how my relationship with sa is adversely effecting my life.
    He drives truck for living and comes home 4 days out of the month. I just told him he would be sleeping in his truck. Thank you again and I will make an appointment with my own counselor tomorrow.

  155. Pam,

    I have a similar situation and agree that this stems from the parents somehow.

    My SA is living with his parents while we are seperated (his choice as he says we do not have enough money, “we” means i do not have enough money to pay for a place for him as well). So this is not the ideal situation to begin with, I really wish he would have manned up and went out on his own… as I feared what would happen once he moved back home. So we have a 3 yo together. We met with his parents and talked about the addiction just so I would know for sure that they know, and that the 3 yo is protected while visitng and hopeully they can look out for her there.

    So I was there for about an hour and a half. What ends up happending is several excuses from the mother about how it is society, ADD, that he is uber focused. Never mind the fact that he has hurt his family and viewed porn in front of his daughter. Then the conversation seemed to turn to me and how will i regain my trust? What??? your son has lied to me the whole time I have known him, and the relationship is based on lies. And he barely works, helps out, and we are in a financial mess because of his lack on contribution to the household and marriage, and communication. The only thing he made sure of was his internet porn, dvd’s, possibley sex with prostitutes, sex in general, and hugging as these are all things that he wanted.

    Now the SA refers to him and as parents as We, being his new family unit after about 1.5 months away. Does nothing for himself, and would appear to me to be worse than ever. So he may not be acting out, but who cares. He is not making amends, helping out anymore, still shows no remorse, and makes no effort to really come back home and do what is expected of him to return. I had requested copies of bank statements, credit cards, keeping track of unnaccounted for time to regain trust. He did not turn anything over while he was here, and has not after he has moved out either. Simple requests that takes about a minute of his time a day, and he is not capable of doing this for me.

    Yes his parents are enabling!!! In my case they are awful and so clueless, or are clued in and just don’t give a crap. They appear to be the most loving and kind people, but they created this addiction. The SA started smoking pot heavily in junior high at 7th grade. They never caught it or said anything about it. His mother works in education and I cannot beleive that they did not know about any of this!!!

  156. Hitting bottom would seem to be a point that they reach in where they are truely willing to do whatever it takes to get better. That they don;t like themselves or what they have become. They make the conscious effort to get better, rather than external push to get better. They take this power to launch forward into the future and make better decisions for themselves and their family.

    In this respect I fear for any of us who have had to push our SA’s to recover. Doing this they have not discovered for themselves that they need to recover and it is a constant cat and mouse chase. The way my SA has approached this and is acting it in no way seems to be serious and is going through the motions of recovery by attending meetings and groups, but there are no other signs. I have yet to see a paradigm shift. I think that this comes from the fact that he truely is not ready to recover or may not even feel he has a problem (just as his mother feels). Although if you ask the SA recovery is going great, he sees he has a problem etc. etc., but as you can see from my stories, very little has changed. But I am just trying to put forth the effort, make the best of the situation and make sure I have done all I can do (as we did take vows and are married). Sometimes it would appear the best thing you can do for them and yourself is to just walk away. Leave them to wrestle with their demons and feel sorry for the next women they take down with them (as they will get a new GF in two weeks).

    I think there is a big difference between the addict who tells you, comes clean and then charts his course for recovery vs. the other one is caught, lies and says he will just stop, to find out again he is at it, and have to be the one that maintains he goes to meetings, groups etc., otherwise he would not go. The odds for candidate number 1 to recover appear to be 100 times more liekly than candidate 2. So in the statistics of the addiction i would put my money on candidtate number 1, it would appear number 2 is very unlikely to recover in our marriage or our lifetime. Maybe by the second or third marriage.

    Some do not get into recovery until they are divorced and have literally actually lost everything. The threat does not appear to be enough, it has to happen. In the books I have read some of them do get dumped…. after they are dumped they actually see where they went wrong and that the wife at that time was a godsend by her discovery of the addiction. But she is long gone by the time he sees the light.

    Pam – in regards to parents. In my opinion the parents can have him and they can pay for him. The weird thing is that they have no problem doing this. He has had no accountability or resposbility with them. It is worse than being here at home. But I am happy to say that he is no longer my problem!!!! whoohooh!!!

  157. Sisters,
    If your SA is not even close to embracing recovery, the goal is to get him out of the house, make financial plans for yourself and any children (including legal agreements), sell house if you need to, and MOVE ON.

    It’s an intense time and when other family get involved it can be newly annoying, but the shift OFF the SA has to happen. I know it’s scary, but we have to shift to our own lives and how we can heal ourselves, and get the support we need. We need to leave the crazy behind. And sometimes we keep going back to it, because we know how it works.

    Leaving the crazy behind takes a real shift in your priorities and the way you approach each day. It’s about you and your children and the life you want for yourselves. Do some things you didn’t use to do. Go to the library. Find a spiritual centre, temple, mosque or church and check it out. Go bowling. Take your kids out for a walk. Just change up the routine of the week. That’s what I did, and it really helped me understand that my life REALLY WAS DIFFERENT.

    Do something different today. Become aware of how the SA creeps back into your mind, your planning. One step at at time, you will rebuild your lives into something great.

    love,
    D.

  158. Hi All,

    I have a question for any who have gone this journey before me and who’s SA is working a program and has a sponsor/accountability partner through SAA. It took my SA 2 months to get one because finding one who has been faithful to sobriety wasn’t easy. What few guys were here that were on a sponsor list were overloaded already with SA’s needing sponsors. Anyway, he’s finally got one. My question is What has your involvment been if any with your SA’s sponsor? Meaning, do you ever talk to your SA’s sponsor? Does you SA’s sponsor know what your boundary lists are? Does your SA’s sponsor know what the goal/program is between you and your SA?

    I am not sure if I should be wanting to meet/talk to my SA’s sponsor…My concern is my SA may minimize the issues, my issues…and heck, for all I know he’s not even told his sponsor I exist!!! my concern is my SA won’t tell his sponsor what my boundary list is, what I am willing to accept and/or not accept as part of his recovery etc….My SA told me just last week that his sponsor told him that he was not to make any decisions about anything without his talking to him…I thought that to be a little controlling, especially from someone who doesn’t know me/him that well. But my SA is very good at not listening, not hearing and not interpreting things the right way. In fact, he’s a master at it! My other concern is my SA is very needy and insecure and I’ve stood back and watched as he allows himself to be led by a nose ring by others and what they say. I for one do not want nor need some person out there making decisions for my life through my SA…..

    My accountability software company as well as other SAA notes indicate that contact between spouses of SA’s and SA’s is expected…..Is It?

    Thanks,

    Mary

  159. Hmm,
    I would like to know about the accountability partnership role as well, my SA says he has a partner in his group, but the guy never goes to group. What good is that? In the other 12 step program, he doesn’t even have one. It concerns me and I also would like to know my role with making sure he is accountable or someone is holding him to some boundaries and our aggreements. We are still working on the boundaries list(I am) do you have any suggestions for what should be on there?

  160. Yes the parents do not and most likely will not. Maybe relatives or siblings? I have not had any luck. Appears to me the spouse carries the soul burden if you are married. Sponsors seem okay, but what is their track record? My SA’s sposnor has been somewhat succesful meaning he has had a period of sobriety from sex addiction but found he now has a problem with Achohal and started attending AA. And this guy is his sponsor!?!?

    So I really think someone needs to be pulled the the realm of reality. Many of these guys still act our because they are so called powerless….

  161. Flora
    Ugh, I just want to puke when I hear about the powerlessness.
    Fair enough, BEFORE its identified that there is a problem, ok, yes they are powerless to stop because they don’t have the tools and they are even unaware that they have a problem.
    However, once they have attended a meeting, or a counsellor, they are aware, and are no longer powerlessness! They have a choice!

    WHile i do think the 12 steps groups are important for fellowship and having a safe place to share with people who will not condem them, it is not the be all and end all. Lets face it, its like the blind leading the blind. The messages get distorted as they are passed form addict to addict.
    When my husband went to a meeting the day after his last disclosure and shared what had happened, two of them took him aside after the meeting and told him he was wrong to tell me anything! They said that all he has to do is acknowledge he has an addiction to me, but that he cannot tell me anything else, as it will “hurt” me. Thankfully, he has other, brighter contacts there and when speaking with them that evening they said to him that the advice he was given was not right in any way. But still, these two are out there giving that advice, unasked for, to new recruits maybe? So they go home and lie to thier wives because two senior members told them they can’t be honest?? Sadly, the likes of those two won’t be told to hit the road, despite the fact that they could do untold damage in giving advice to others.

    My husband is having difficulty in getting a sponsor. The long termers don’t attend often, and the guys who are attending either have several sponsorees, or are still “slipping” every week.

  162. I bet my SA is getting that type of advice, whey tell her? She will just be angry and divorce you. So he is tight lipped. Who knows, like you, my gut tells me there is more, alhtough I don’t think I will ever hear the real story.

    I am reading a book called emotional unavialability. And it is interesting. There is a section about powerlessness and this applies to people who have been abused and there power has been taken away. It talks about how these people suffer and may never have learned that they have the power to control their lives. To take this term powerlessness and apply it to addiction does not make sense, and it is, i would think, offensivesive to people who truely have lost their power through abuse.

    The addiction is anything but abuse, as they have a choice. Pornography did not force them use it, the prostitute did not force them sleep with her, craiglist did not force them to post adds looking for sex, the cell phone did not force them to send pics of the genitals to all fo their female sex friends.

    I think they need a new word or series of words. Like I have chosen over and over my (insert substance) over life and I am going to change my thoughts and my prioritites. I will no longer be a victim to this addiction. I have the power to change my life, and have the power to control me and my thoughts. I from now on want to use this power for a greater good for myself and my family, and community. I am anything but powerless and from this day forward I will make better choices. I know that they will be tough choices but every decision I make must be for the greater good of me, my family and my marriage.

    And if I may say if they are powerless, then who does have the power? I understand thay they turn this over to the higher power.

    So lets say I don’t have a job. So I sit at home hoping that my higher power will get me one? Or i cant afford to obtain a college degree, so i will sit and wait for the higher power to send me money??

    So as you can see, actions are required to get many of the things we want in life. So how is it that with addiction you are then powerless and turn it over to the higher power.

    the term powerlessness to me seems more for people who have been abused and their power as a person has been taken from them by someone else.

    These are just my thoughts, and have been thinking about this powerlessness since i read this section in the book last night.

  163. Dear Starry,

    I think you made a really good point. The 12 step being this be all end all, or, any “recovery program” they are in being some kind of fix. While I think they are a necessary part of any addicts recovery, perhaps we go back to that “bottom” experience. That they need to hit the ground, skidded and crashed so bad that they are petrified to go back to the addiction and its many destructive forces.

    I have a cousin, who was a terrible alocholic for many years. It took a near death experience to snap him into sobriety. My cousin has been sober 10 years and is a different man. He and his wife divorced several years back. They are now “dating.” Maybe for some us, us leaving the nest and starting new lives for ourselves will remove the “safety net” from our SA — they freefall and perhaps find a real bottom not a fake one. It takes whatever it takes. Hopefully they find a bottom, hit it hard enough to snap into doing whatever takes to get well.

  164. Cancer and heart attacks seem to do the same thing. It really puts the fear of death in people. Some of the healthiest most active people I see around are cancer or heart disease survivors.

  165. Dear Ladies

    Re: hitting bottom. Anyone have an experience of SA saying “they have seen bottom” only to find it was just a pit stop ? My SA lately is saying “i have seen bottom, I want to live a healthy life, get better.” Now truly I hope he does, now truly, he does not want me to leave the home neither. So I know where this is going. Tempting, but ummm, no sorry. don’t believe it. I guess I am seeking validation, that these “i have bottomed promises” are often a ploy. Can anyone share their experience with this? thanks all. love and hugs

  166. Pam – I think hitting bottom means different things to different addicts. Most times it takes losing everything they own and love for them to realize that maybe they can’t handle life the way they are living it and it’s time to make a change. For my SA; he skated along for years (20+ years) starting with adult book stores, then the age of the internet made anonimity easier, then getting risky and meeting up with others while out of town. He managed to keep it from his immediate family, his first wife and two kids, and then I came along. I discovered his internet activity and called him on it immediately. He and I are married 4 years together 8 years. At 2 years married I told him he had to go to the doctor because I believed his mood swings and inability to finish what he started and flying off the handle at the smallest incidents where signs of ADD. This was before I discoverd his SA, he was terrified to go to the doctor fearing the truth would come out. The doctor DID say he was ADD and prescribed meds for him. I thought all was going to be fine yet wondered in all his years why no one else close to him hadn’t ever tried to help him. But when I discovered he was an SA I told him he had to leave immediately. He cried, he screamed, he was like a frightened little boy. Someone had finally unlocked the secrets he had been keeping all his life. He asked where he should go (because I handle the finances) and I said we can’t afford an apartment so I suggested he go to inpatient care (which lasts 2 weeks only he was asked to stay for 3 weeks). Of course he asked the question, what about work (our only source of income) and I said he would just have to take vacation or medical leave, but I insisted he has to go and it has to be ASAP. I could not even think of living with him any longer. This was his bottom, he hit it and hit it hard. His whole life and all that we had accomplished together was on the line and I wasn’t budging.

  167. Hi Pam, Starry,Flora and CB – I just want to share with you my experience with my husband hitting bottom. I am on my second separation (3 mo.each time) from him and he apparently has not hit bottom yet – still acting out with his addiction. His counselor told me that “hitting bottom” isn’t necessarily a factor in them turning it around. I told her after the turn from denial, they are attending SA groups and weekly therapy, it should then become a conscious choice for them-She shook her head yes. I wonder how many SA’s are able to make that transition -not mine. I wonder if mine will hit bottom once those divorce papers are signed.

    I think I wrote a while back that I am not particulary a fan of SA groups. My opinion is it is asically a “social club” where they all go to fellowship with those who are just like them.I feel SA groups should have a professional leading the meetings rather than an SA who may trigger again the next day. I agree that it is the blind leading the blind with no consistency or guidance in the right direction. A professional would have the expertise to lead and direct these guys toward gaining more insight, as well as assisting in finding the right tools for each of them to work on
    during the week. They should then bring back and share they’e experiences in a a group session the following week.

    I saw absolutely no changes after my SA attended a 2-wk very intensive program in LA. Upon returning, he dissociated, admitted he had numerous triggers in L.A., and they continued after
    he returned home. Steve’s therapist told me before he left not to have any great expectations. I think it all boils down to motivation, and most SA’s do not have the motivation or discipline to follow through.
    Pam – I commend you for sticking to your guns. I hope your’e SA gained or will gain more from his IP treatment than mine did the intensive out-patient program.

  168. Does anyone on the site feel like they are married to a sex addict who is actually living in recovery?

    Please share, thank you.

  169. Hi NAP,
    I do feel like my husband is really in recovery ( married 26 1/2 years now), but it has been a rocky path to this point. Discovery day was 2 1/2 years ago, and I was the only one who knew his secrets ( lots of porn, romantic obsessions, affairs that supposedly hadn’t progressed to sex). I insisted on marriage counseling and that counselor suggested he get his own counselor. I didn’t stumble on the diagnosis of sex addict until a couple of months later, and told him that is what I thought was happening and he took the quiz and did some reading, but didn’t embrace it. He said that he understood that his choices were wrong and he would make different choices and that he was responsible for his choices. His therapist agreed with him, told him that he was “intellectual enough” to work through this, and did not embrace an addiction diagnosis either. Marriage counseling was a disaster, in retrospect would never have worked without all of us saying yes, there is an addiction and let’s proceed that way. I felt like he charmed and manipulated her into treating me as the problem, in a “don’t ask too much of him”, “you are extra needy because of this history”, etc. She told us that we both shared exactly 50 % of all of the responsibility for these affairs. I went through all of the classic PTSD that we talk about and read about here, but my husband and I were able to make progress because I was adamant that we were going to talk and listen or we would stop trying. I didn’t know anything about boundaries in a formal way, but had some verbal boundaries at that time. Things really did get better for several months and then more than a year after d-day, I started noticing little things…..little lies popping up again, more computer use ( he had self restricted his surfing), more obsessing about shopping and technology….all the things that went along with that addict I didn’t want to live with anymore. he got really flirty with his wife’s cousin, who came to stay with us on a family vacation and her husband wasn’t here yet. He assured me he was “just being a good host”. I said bullshit, you have been adding everything back. He denied it. I waited until she left and he went to work and the kids were back in school and spent the day checking his computer, and old drives and back ups ( second time I had ever checked anything in 26 years of marriage, first time was d-day) and found porn, no communication with women. That was more than a year ago now, and he came back with all the usual lines….they were pop ups, it was just occasional, I didn’t masturbate to any of that, I was just testing myself, it wasn’t nearly as much or bad as what I used to do so it didn’t count. I told him to move out, and at that point he said he would go to SA and change therapists. I came up with a list of boundaries:
    1) Zero tolerance for porn
    2) Zero Tolerance for flirtatious behavior
    3) No computer surfing for entertainment
    4) computer stays at the kitchen table in plain sight, and is used only when necessary
    5)continuing involvement in SA
    6) continuing work with a therapist
    The consequences for all boundary violations were marital separation and he moves out. I told him I viewed his behaviors as comparable to him carrying around uranium in his pocket. That would be his choice, but I would not tolerate that toxicity in my life or the lives of my children and he could take his uranium elsewhere and play with it as much as he liked.

    I also insisted that he and I needed to sit down with our kids, then 14 and 16, and tell them in general terms what the issues were, and we talked to the older two( then, 20 and 22) on the phone. I told them that if he didn’t want to be involved in it, I would do it myself and had talked to a therapist about it ahead of time who agreed that they were old enough and it was the right thing to do. I have never regretted the kids knowing, and neither do they. They all say they wish they had known earlier.

    I also told him that if he acts out again, I won’t keep his secrets anymore, but otherwise, the past is the past.

    His therapist also asked him to put blocking software on his computer and he did that.

    Over the last year, he has also on his own, gone to two week long workshops, one in Missouri and one in Michigan which were very valuable for him.

    He has changed so much over the last year and it has happened gradually. We have not had sex by my choice in that time. He worked hard to be a better roommate and is doing very well. He worked hard to become my friend again, and we really have become friends again. He has worked really hard at redeveloping relationships with all four kids, and has made so much progress, he has more to do with the 16 year old girl at home, but definitely going in the right direction. We are trying to work now on being a couple, and this has been much harder because of his intimacy issues apart from the addiction or addictive behavior. He does talk about his therapy sessions and he talks about his SA time in a general sense, on his own, I don’t ask questions about it. To his credit, he shows up, he is himself, he doesn’t manipulate ( Ha! he says now that he can’t believe that manipulation stuff ever worked), he listens, he talks, he IS working at it.

    I don’t know how it will end, but it won’t be because he didn’t care or because he didn’t try. And just as importantly, I will know that I gave it what I could, too. And just as importantly, I will know that I didn’t give up before I was ready to, on the father of my children and the man I have spent the last 30 years with.

    Sorry this is so long, but I think it is important to talk about this as a woman who has stayed…..so far:)

  170. Marie,

    Thank you for sharing your story with me and all. Its very encouraging to me. It sounds like you always set very clear boundries and never wavered from your personal truth.

    Thanks so much

  171. Marie,
    I was asking about boundaries thanks for that list, it was very helpful and I took a couple ideas from it that I hadn’t thought of. NAP, I am trying to reconcile and see the progress. We are only 5 months into this and if you remember it has been rocky. Lots of ups and downs. I think it is so hard because my eyes are opened now and I am looking at everything much more critically now, I definitely hear that on this site from most of us. We are suffereing from the trauma and at the same time our eyes are being opened to what addiction is. My counselor said yesterday that the divorce rate is so high because this is “damn hard work” and it will take 2-3 years to fully work through the trauma, betrayel, and triggers. Most people aren’t up for that kind of long term commitement to the hard work and staying the course and retreat back to old attitudes and ways of interacting/reacting to eachother. I have really had to come to terms with why I didn’t kick him out after 6 months of marriage when I caught him on phone sex and I was pregnant. I think I was scared. Obviously, I have had to work a lot on boundaries and learning how to stand up to him in a decisive way and value myself enough to do that hard work too. I think he has so many years of addiction now, it will take a long time for him to change the attitudes, etc. He does however have 5 months sobriety from porn, etc. and goes to 2 groups a week and 1personal and 1marriage counseling each week. We have spent lots of $ on this as our insurance doesn’t cover the SA counselors, they are the best in the area an he stayed committed anyway, even with the large expense. I guess I could say he is recovery, but we’ve talked before about the other issues that keep arising, it is a hard road for us to face.

  172. Hi CB,
    I agree that hitting bottom means different things to different people. I have been a sober alcoholic for 10+ My bttom was emotional. I still had my job, two cars and money in savings and I never blacked out. I just knew that my depression was getting worse and my life sucked because all I wanted to do was drink.

    Well, this sex addiction thing is hard for me to understand in some ways because it’s like a process rather than pure substance. Anyhow, I talked to the head of the professional licensure recovery board (my husband is in recovery for alcoholism & sex addiction -supposedly). I learned this past year about the sex adddiction.

    Anyhow, the head of the recovery board and an interventionist from the treatment center he attended three times both suggested that I “hold the hammer” over his head and make him either choose jail or treatment since they both believe it is a matter of time before he loses his license. (and SA’s license is ALL he really cares about)If he volunteers tx-probably keep his license IF he continues in recovery after treatment. If he screws up and gets caught drinking or arrested otherwise, then he won’t have that last shot at keeping his license.

    Either way, we could be without support, whether temporarily or permanently. So, that’s really the dilemma with the licensure. Today, I feel so fed up with it, I wish I’d NEVER met him, except of course, I am so glad I have our children.

    Even if he gets his arm “twisted” to go to treatment, we may still get divorced anyhow, because I don’t know that I can deal with this nonsense anymore up close. I really do love him and do not want him to die or be unavailable for our children. So, I want to tread carefully in my actions and not be impulsive so that I inadvertantly do something to make it all worse. And then again, maybe it doesn’t matter all that much what I do except to take care of me and these children.

    I had to be in court all morning and our son was sick so I asked SA to keep him in the day (he still has daytime visits) but the response I got was a blast of verbally abusive vomit via text. He texted me 8 abusive messages yesterday and has not texted one time today to even ask how our son is. So, today, the anger is back for me. I am so glad he’s not here because I would just let him have it and that would be bad because he would probably hit me. SA is a supreme KING BABY.

    And yes ladies, I really think it has to do with his mother who treated him more like a surrogate spouse to protect her from SA’s drunken sex-addicted and abusive father. Now, SA is heaping all the rage and .impotence he feels about his mother onto me. I just AIN’T havin’ it anymore.

    Now, I need to go pray for the SOB even though I really don’t feel like it!

    Thanks for the feedback,Sharron and CD.

  173. fatchance, Congratulations on your 10+ years of sobriety! You certainly have your hands full with your SA and the children. I don’t know about you but this sex addiction situation has truly tested my sobriety. The day I found out I was so in shock, angry, sad, feeling like a fool, you name the emotion, I had it and it was then that for the first time in 13 years I would have loved to go up the street to the little convenience store and get some beer. So glad I didn’t, but it sure is difficult sometimes to not go on and just give up. I never thought that I would be involved in the 12 steps and the AA book and having these discussions again since I first started recovery. I’ve often thought that this (my SA) is payback for my past bad behavior. I know, that’s crazy talk but the damndest things run through my mind. Today my SA came home from work complaining about how he didn’t sleep last night, how stinking tired he was, forcing constant yawns on himself, and sighing alot, these are clear signs of him wanting my attention (like a little kid). Plus tonight is a meeting night for him and I’m sure he was just waiting for me to say something like; if your that tired maybe you shouldn’t go to the meeting! Bullshit! Drag your ass to the meeting, there’s plenty of time for sleeping later.
    I agree with you on handling sex addiction and the difference between alcohol addiction. I told his therapist that recovery for an alcoholic requires never taking a drink again, but an SA in recovery will eventually be able to have sex again. It’s very confusing. To my knowledge there is no other way of treating SA because it’s not as well known aproblem as alcohol or drug addiction. But because of the internet it has become such a large problem that now it’s getting some recongnition. Still it’s very difficult (in our area) to find a therapist that specializes in sex addiction. I wish you all the best.

  174. Thanks for your responses. I can’t help but think we all wonder what their bottom is but do we know what our bottom is?

    What are your thoughts on this?

  175. Need Answers,

    Yes,I know what my bottom is because I reached it the other day. The final catalyst was the SA’s stated intention that he wanted to commit suicide because he’d wrecked the marriage. I got the distinct impression that I was being manipulated…I can’t understand why (sorry, had to be sarcastic there). Told him I’d take him to the hospital. He responded by asking if they have any books to read there. When told no, you just work on recovery, he said he didn’t want to go then. Yes, my eyes are rolling just about now. Of course, I knew damn well right that he wasn’t in any danger and the hospital would never have admitted him but it was worth the risk that he wouldn’t know that. Call the bluff.

    Still, I found myself feeling a bit taken in. Must be my compassionate nature. Well, enough of that! I found this funny web-site called Heartless Bit**s and put up one of their quotes on my Facebook page. It goes like this: better wear a condom, if you’re going to act like a dick, you’d better dress like one. SA asked if this was directed at him. I said, ‘Yes’. The look on his face was priceless.

    He’s now resorted to the wounded puppy look whenever he’s home. He denies it when confronted and looks at me like I’ve said the worst possible thing. I just shrugged my shoulders and left to go to a get-together with my son. We had a lot of fun. I was so happy to leave the pity party behind.

    Yesterday, I had a long talk with a woman from an agency for my son. She really listened and reflected back what I’d said. Not as a therapist but just to help me to get clarity. She asked what I saw my life like in one year. Then she wanted to know the steps to take to get there. All this gave me the chance to see that it’s time for me to look out for ME. So, I sent in my completed package to apply for grad school yesterday. No idea how I’ll pay for it or attend but it’s my dream so I’m doing it.

    The biggest issue is that if I ask SA to leave, I have no caregiver. I’ll be back at square one as a single parent with disabled son. Nope, I like what litle freedom I have. So, I’m going to go to the next marriage counselling session with a plan. I’m banking on his desperation to stay. I’m going to plan out what I want(going out several times during the week, getting my emotional/physical needs met, going on dates, if I wish) That way, I can lessen the resentment and still have the help. It won’t be easy but neither is what I’ve been doing. Heartless Bit**, yep! Pleased to meet you. 🙂

  176. The SA I was involved with sees me as a Heartless Bitch and that’s fine by me. I admit I put the last piece of mail he sent me into the cat litter tray without reading it, on the advice of my therapist, and to me that’s just self-care at last (he says the most cruel things without considering their effect) but he’d see it as abuse. How he can use the word abuse and keep a straight face I will never know, but we can’t understand the way they think, I realise that. There is so much pity party and wounded puppy when we call them on their behaviour, and when there’s a Cluster B personality disorder as well as SA it’s impossible to break through that.

    Now I’m pretty much healed I try not to say anything if I can’t say something nice, but it’s hard. That level of deception and betrayal certainly does bring out the worst in a person.I wasn’t without my own issues, revealed to me through being involved with him. The good news is that it all leads to the deepest kind of healing, although it certainly took longer than I imagined it would when I started. Unfortunately it fed into the damage already done by my father, but the self-loathing of a lifetime has all gone now.

    Some very harsh words were spoken, because I was used in the most offhand way, but so much good has come of it that I can accept that it happened at last. Both the SA and myself were unmarried and I am grateful for that too.

  177. Hi Marian and T,

    Thanks for sharing. Its good to know that if we cant physically separate from our SA that it is our choice how we respond or dont respond.

    My therapist advised me to not check up on, ask any questions regarding his treatment, when he acts immmature or gets mad-“dont pick up the rope” because it just all becomes a tug of war.

    Now that Im taking her advice, its been very freeing for me. I give him full ownership of it and Im able to live my life again. I dont get “sucked in” as I was all the time before. I also have to say that he is better too since I started doing this.

    Any thoughts on this?

  178. Hi Need Answers Please- My bottom came when I got so freaked out and anxious that I ran away to a motel room (told him where I was but leave me alone) and just cried all night. Then I took too many pills the psychiatrist gave me and spent the following night at the nervous home after having a flashback of severe child abuse in the ER! I never spent the night at a psych ward or anything like that until then. I was diagnosed with prolonged PTSD. And yep, my SA husband was the trigger with all his raging, threats, weird logic and Planet Disturbia drama. I tell you, all the long term egrigious crap I endured as a kid and I never felt like I did when I hit my bottom dealing with SA.

    Following that, we had a period of about two months of relative calm and I thought SA might return from Planet Disturbia after all. However, he started his weird logic, raging, disappearing and returning angry. After SA told me he was goona kill me and f&*k someone else because I was too ugly, I basically changed the locks on him when he went to work the next day and told his recovery advocate I didn’t want him home. SA came home anyway, raging, trying to kick all the dorrs in, threating me, etc., so I called the police and he was arrested.

    I knew this was not the man I had been married to for the first three years; I still love him, but I don’t know where the hell he went and I just physically and emotionally cannot tolerate that or let my kids witness that crazyness any more.

    I am feeling much better now. There are still lots of things going on regarding divorce, custody, and support. But I have started back at work and I have more confidence in myself and am so grateful for the absence of the controlling, manipulating stress that used to be so thick around the house.

    I am so glad you ladies are here. I don’t know what to do about the situation today,so I am going to just give it to God.

  179. Need answers,

    I too have noticed a change in SA with my change in demeanor but I see it more as manipulation because suddenly he’s discovered how to share what’s happening in his day, he’s not leaving me to sit in silence for hours at a time, he’s paying attention to what I’ve got scheduled and yet he’s had lots of time to do that before. These were all issues that had come up during therapy in the past but it’s not until he’s terrified I’m leaving that he picks up the ball.

    I’m not interested in playing the game anymore. Just too tired and it’s not worth it. Having said that, I have another plan regarding the domestic situation. I can’t throw him out unless I want to be isolated with my son and his disability and now I like my freedom too much for that. SA might not want to socialize but I do. My plan is that at the next therapy session, after the holidays, I’ll be setting up a ‘separation contract’ that will spell out responsibilities to my son (his step-son) and nights out for both of us(separately). Don’t know how that will play out but it makes me feel better and right now, that’s all that counts as far as I’m concerned.

    T,
    I totally understand what you’re saying about betrayal and deception. That’s the part that was the breaking point for me. I deserve way, WAY, better. We all do. All of us, everyone of us, regardless of our own issues.
    I can’t stand the pity party especially when in the next room is a teenager dealing with Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. Makes me want to smack SA! How dare he be so f***king selfish. Ooh, why I oughta…..
    Every time I read something on this site, it makes me see how incredibly similar SA’s behaviour is with the others. Kinda creepy.

  180. Hey everybody, Since my last post I have realized my SA is NOT in recovery. I would like to know how your SA finally made their decision to quit denying everything?

  181. fat chance thank you for your post. the following statement rings true with my sa also. “SA STARTS WEIRD LOGIC, RAGING, DISAPPEARING AND RETURNING ANGRY”. What is the anger about. He used to send flowers or card, one time I even got diamond earrings. Lately nothin. thanks for all the postings.

  182. Hi Marian,

    I had a similar situation although my SA was the caregiver of our 2.5 yo while I was at work. It is so sick and twisted. And from my perspective its another stab in the heart because I would have loved to stay home with her, alhtough I was the one with a job, so i had to go to work. I would have stayed home in a heart beat if I had the choice. So first you have the act in itself of them not taking care of your daughter the way they should be, and then hurts more as you trusted them and then they went and do this, when i would have given antyhing to stay home myself.

    My SA has had a total lack of contribution to finances and household chores. We spoke of this many times over the past several years ever since we were married. He has done the same thing as your SA. Now he makes an effort, enrolled in nursing school, completed chores as assigned (they are assinged to all memebers of the household). But no more than asked, not a real go getter. Doing the bare minimum just as with treatment and therapy to get by.

    I had to put my daughter in daycare. And i do have to say she LOVES it there. And I am 100% confident that this is a better place for her.

    I am in the same place as you. Why are they acting like they want to help out now??? because ythere ass is on the way out the door thats why. He is a user just as mine is. Used me for years, with out much in return. But it was never blatent. Always disguised as this kind caring guy who loves me, offering shreds of help strategically placed here and there.

    I agree they are very selfish. My SA is the same way. Glad to have met you.

  183. Hi Stephanie,
    I think recovery is up and down, like the SA’s it is not steady and has ups and down. From what I am learning, they are in constant emotional chaos that stems from their childhood and either abuse or lack of love and empathy from their mothers/parents. Most of them are takers because for one reason or another their needs weren’t met, so it is hard for them to think of other peoples feelings or have intimacy in a close relationship. The funny thing is most of them seem great to other people and can look really good on the outside if you don’t live with them…Marian, I also have a disabled child and always thought most of our issues were because she required so much care and he didn’t get as much husband attention. My child just went to a group home, 2 months later I found out about the SA and prostitutes. What a blow to me after all the care taking to think I was going to have time to travel, (she couldn’t), spend more time with him,and my other child, and finally start caring for myself a little more. I couldn’t physically care for her anymore to the degree she needed and it was like a death to put her in a group home, because she was my life. I still see her several x a week, but my life has turned upside down with losing her and now my facade of a marraige. He seems to be in recovery and 5 months sobriety, but the attitudes, selfishness, and narcissim don’t disappear overnight…it took years to get here and will take years of hard work and therapy to get out of it and recover…Blessings and prayer to all of us!!!

  184. The part I didn’t express in above post is how pissed off I get when I think/hear about the effects from childhood and think that I was blind to how he was affecting our own kids with his attitudes and SA when I wasn’t around. Again, it seems like our first priority has to be the kids welfare now that we know what we are living with…

  185. Flora,

    What comes to mind is the saying: street angel, house devil. Everyone, or just about everyone, thinks that I am the biggest bit** this side of the 49th parallel. Yet, it’s easy to fool people when you only see them occasionally. And SA (I am not going to dignify that with the word ‘my’ as if I own it) is the picture of perfect charm to all in the world. Someone said that their spouse was the perfect spouse when his parents came to visit. The exact same thing happened to me. I called him on it. I think I was met with silence. His mother says that I should be having sex with him even if I don’t want it!!! I don’t f**king think so! Oh and she also says that I have to respect him!! Respect him?!?!?! LOLOLOLOL. He can’t keep his hands off his dick because he can’t cope with the world and I have to respect that? NOT. Respect is earned. Geez, it’s so nice to not feel alone with all this. Nice to meet you too.

    CD,
    Tough decision to have to put her in a group home. I feel for you. For me, and this is completely my personal choice, I can’t think of a reason to continue without my son being here. Scary to think what will happen when he’s gone but I guess that’s why I applied for grad school. But I know that you had to make the decision for you and that’s important too. My question is: if SA had actually put in some effort, would that have made a difference?
    It’s the attitude, selfishness and narcissism that I have come to find intolerable. As far as I’m concerned, there is no recovery without those elements being addressed and in double time! Sure, he might be keeping his hands out of his pants but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I know, you’re right about it not being something that happens overnight but life is too damn short so I’m moving on emotionally and we’ll see what happens.

  186. ty cd. i cant go one more day with the lies, denies, twists and attacks. Every day lately he is outside the boundaries!!!! WOW I’m so angry and hurt its a good thing he works out of town. when caught he says lets compare apples to apples and wont acknowledge that Im not the one calling and hookin up with hookers. (one pimp actually called sa’s phone while calls forwarded to me and ased if i wanted the booty…) I am naive and had no idea there was this kind of addiction. didnt know what 12step is and really still dont. his therapist suggested me cheating to even score. I said you are joking. right? I let him know i would never give sa satisfaction that we are even and I honor my vows ONLY BECAUSE THEY WERE MADE WITH GOD. And I am 49 years old and have never cheated and dont lie and look who i picked as my soul mate. SATAN HIMSELF!!!!

  187. Who the hell is his therapist, this guy (gal) should not be able to practice. This is the last thing they say you should do!!!! Never cheat to get even, you will just feel worse. Because that goes against your conscoius, your values and you will have to live with it the rest of your life. I would suggest never going to this therapist ever again.

  188. Marian,
    Yes, if SA had been more involved, less angry, more helpful/supportive, the decision would have been different. I did not want to have her go, it was heart wrenching and still is. I feel like I’ve betrayed her by having others raise her. At the time the decision was made though, I was decieved by him and believed it was my busyness with her and lack of availability for sex and relationship, when in reality he was the one disconnected. I did eventually give up on trying to have the relationship with him because he was so distant and I was too busy with her, but now I see he never had the capacity anyway. I blamed myself and him for not helping. I even thought it was her needs that were taking the toll on the marraige, I am working through that stuff in my therapy now and working through the guilt of his crappy relationship with her too!

  189. Dear CD

    CD–wow, you have had a very tough time and you are showing tremendous strength. I always try to remember, if I feel conned by SA’s manipulation into a decision I now regret -whatever that may be, I can always claim back what I gave away in the con, change the decision. Or not, if the end result is ok with me- no matter how I got there. But sometimes even what we feel guilty about may be best for our children-. Like guilt of leaving a marriage, even if we are leaving an unhealthy addict and / or the risk of incest us getting STD’s etc- most of us feel some kind of guilt in that, I know I do. However, I think its best for my child even though I feel kind of sorry and guilty. know what I mean? It is never an easy callWe are powerful creatures. If your daughter is doing well in a group home, and even if that decision was made by his “conning”you, perhaps it still a good decision for your daughter despite how you came to that–or, perhaps you take her back under your roof. All things are reversable, (expect time) in most cases. I trust you will make the best decision for you and your child. Look how far you have come already. keep marching.

  190. CD,
    Please don’t beat yourself up. Please know that you are doing the best you can with the information you had. See, it’s a little bit different for me because I spent a long time just with my son and I. I have no other children. SA made a comment the other day about how it would be easier without Jr (they both have same first name but are not biologically related)around. I looked at him and I said, “If anybody leaves, it will be YOU!” He shut the hell up right then and there. It was at that moment that I realized that I’m done with this. I need the money he brings in (which is less than mine and I’m on disability myself.) so I’ll find a way to get what I want and my needs met, however that looks.

    You are totally correct when you say that he didn’t/doesn’t have the capacity to love. Exactly! Blaming you or your daughter is a disgusting con job. Maybe it’s not an intentional one, but the truth remains. It really irks me that excuse-making, denial and smoke-screens are what many men think is love. What have our forebearers done for men to think and act like this? Over-indulgence? Too much being catered to? I don’t know but it sure makes me mad.

  191. Hi all,

    It is creepy how are their behaviors are so similar. They just have different names. Its so sad that we have to go through all this before it can get better one way or the other.

    My question is, What is Cluster B?

  192. Hi – Just an update on my situation. E-mailed Steve his walking papers, (Filing for divorce) and I
    took the chicken Sh– way out so I wouldn’t have to talk to him. Of course he called, and said
    “Please don’t do that.” He maintains I am not giving him a fair chance and that he has not violated
    any of my boundaries since he left. Ya, right!! Anyway, he cried twice, and I could almost hear
    him shaking over the phone. He claims he has only triggered 2-3x’s since we separated Aug. 1st.By triggering, I mean lusting after women and getting a “high”.
    I E-mailed his therapist and asked her if that was a a true statement. It really pi—d me off because she is supposed to disclose everything that goes on in session, and all she told me was he is acknowledging his triggers. I asked her for specifics, and she would not E-mail me back. Said she will E-mail me her thoughts after talking to him today. the therapist is confusing me somewhat, because when I ask her questions and she agrees. she just shakes her head yes, and if she doesn’t agree will be quick to jump in and tell me. She validated everything I said regarding statements I made to her, and gave me positive re-inforcement regarding getting out of the marriage.
    Anyway, I have to admit he did play on my emotions, because I felt, after talking to him, that maybe
    if he is really trying I should give him a chance. 50 steps back for me!!!!
    He is seeing his therapist today and wants to come over and discuss the session with me. He still maintains he has only triggered 2x’s since we separated. Of I’ll fix that – told him to bring all of his journaling over for me to read. His therapist says he has been doing his journaling. He was
    just going to go through and write any of them down he had done since we separated. I told him -I
    don’t think so!!! He knows I haven’t had access to the journal since I moved out, so assuming he
    is journaling the truth( He gives it to his therapist every week) it should tell the whole story.
    Doesn’t this frustration every end?? I know I bring it on myself for having a weak moment, but I
    thought he would “go quietly” and not try to reconcile. Steve said how will I ever know if he is telling the truth if we are separated and don’t know what he is doing.
    I need some positive re-inforcement, and a little “bashing” wouldn’t hurt. I feel like I am losing
    my fu—-g mind. Still want to go through with the divorce, but have to admit I am having a weak
    moment.

  193. Think of it as someone trying to pull your strings, a sick little puppet wanting your attention. He’s trying to capture you into feeling sorry for him. So what if he lusted “x” amount of times? How does that help you?? I think you’ve done the best thing by separating and filing for divorce. That is what you wanted so it’s important. Now is time for you and you deserve it. Stay strong. You can do this.

  194. stay strong Sharron.

    he’s totally jerking your chain.

    loser.

    crying, shaking baby, and over what???

    Did somebody die?

    That’s not a man, my friend.

    please proceed with your plan.

    I can promise you, that you will never look back…

    with anything but “why didn’t I do that sooner?”

    love and hugs,

    L

  195. Marion and Lorriane: Thanks for the support. Lorraine, where have you been- haven’t seen you on here for awaile. These guys really do know how to yank our chains!! It just really makes me angry that I have a weak moment. My mind has been made up to file for divorce for quite some time now, and then one phone call and I start feeling sorry for him. I really hate myself today! That is why it is so nice to have you all for support, and just hearing you say what I already know, logically, really helps me to stay grounded.
    Love you all.

  196. I read the posts that come to my email, but there are now, so many people on here, that I can’t keep up! Its so wonderful. And, I’ve been very busy with my own blog. 😉 and I have to say, that its been very helpful. I’ve told my story, now– in great detail… and have a small but very faithful and phenomenally supportive and wise following.

    Please don’t hate yourself, Sharron. Love is the most beautiful thing there is…

    And absolutely!!! FEEL EXTREMELY SORRY FOR HIM. He’s a pathetic loser. That doesn’t mean you have to LIVE WITH HIM OR FEED INTO HIS CRAP.

    All my best,

    L

  197. Sure, but be warned— If you think I’m saucy on here… hehe… but not all posts are and some made me laugh so hard, (which is very therpeutic!) but might be offensive or triggering to women who are in the midst of all of this… but I also write about other matters too (especially my son with autism and the mine field of the public education system nightmare) Also, be warned, some of the posts are verrrrrrrrrrrrry long. So, get a big bowl of popcorn— LOL !

    http://preachingtotheperv.blogspot.com/

    Blog title is: “domestic blissters”

    Now… I did try sending this once on here and it didn’t go through… if it doesn’t this time, I’ll send it again with spaces.

    I have linked this site to mine a few times.

    xo,

    L

  198. Thanks Lorraine – It did come through, so will go to your’e blog later this evening when my 16/yo
    grandson is gone. Probably not the best reading for him, ha! Don’t worry, nothing on your’e blog will
    offend me – I have seen and heard it all. Will look forward to reading it.

  199. Hi Sharron,
    You seemed so set on your path and finally ready to start moving forward to a happier life. I have often wished I could be more decisive and stick to my guns. You are human and subject to emotions, whether it be him or anyone else. It is not wrong to care that he is suffering, we all struggle with that when we’re not in the midst of the anger part of our grief cycle. At least you are human and have empathy. That is something we have to remember they don’t give us in return many times and why we suffer in the relationship so much. It is so much easier for us to get sucked in to their pain, but we have to look at each interaction like this and what the motive is, have they really changed? You helped me with this after my weekend getaway with mine and I haven’t let him move back in since really getting stronger and more focused about what he was truly doing then. So, first I want to thank you for the strength you and Diane gave me and offer the idea that your guy is most likely crying once again for himself and the consequences he has to pay for his choices and not the pain he has caused you. As a matter of fact, do any of them cry for the pain they’ve caused us? I’ve truly only seen one time from mine where it wasn’t about his pain, but true repentant grief.

  200. Dear Sharron

    Sorry your chain is being yanked. It is really hard work to stick to our guns, even when we second guess. You are leaving the behavior of someone you still love and wer married to, it is painful, you would not be human if you didn’t feel empathy or sorrow. That makes you a loving healthy person. It’s ok that we still love them as people. We are just refusing to live w/their addictive behavior. I guess, no matter how remorseful they act, we need to say am I willing to live with x, y, and z behaviors on a regular basis? Can I be healthy with those behaviors in my home/relationship? And if not, then we continue our seperation plans. My heart strings are being played too Sharron, it is HARD.

    A little humor– let’s look on the bright side. If we want them back I am sure they will have us! Who the hell else is going to put up w/that crap. If we change our minds once we are out, I am sure a reconciliation can be had. But like Lorraine said, we will probably be like — why didn’t I go sooner? We’ll see. 🙂

  201. Hi Ladies,
    Sharron, I relate to the vacillation of emotions. In the morning I might hate him and by night I love him etc. I cannot help but feeling like when I read everyone’s posts that living with the SA is like raing a two-year old. Seriously. They need, need, need and if they don’t get what they want it’s an adult-sized tantrum. At least the two year old grows up and out of it.

    And CD, I cannot imagine what you must be going through. These SA’s really know how to prime our guilt machines. But, let me just say, that you have nothing to feel bad about. We make the best decisions with the information we have AT THAT TIME. As Pam said, you can always reverse your decision to have your child in the group home. My thought is that you have been taking some heavy responsibility and stress for a long time, and if nothing else, having your child at the group home will allow you some time to do things to nuture yourself.(Since we know we ain’t gonna get no nuture from the needy SA).

    When we allow ourselves some time and space to heal and nuture ourselves, we can be even better parents. I hope you will allow yourself some “CD” time without any guilt whatsoever. Your child is in safe environment, I’ m sure.

    I still haven’t defaulted on the divorce. Maybe he will respond any day. I just need the support for us still and I keep hoping he’ll wake up. But tonight, I’m feeling I’d be long gone had I the resources just now. Raising a 45 year old toddler just doesn’t sound sexy to me today!

    Everyday, I pray for my husband to have all the things I want for myself too like: true compassion, empathy, good health, connection with God and friends and family, serenity and freedom from obsession. It helps me when I am really boiling angry to calm down, It is an exercise in compassion toward him that he doesn’t know about and therefore cannot manipulate. Most importantly, it helps me focus on what I really want in my life and that is for ME to change-I’ll never change SA or anyone else.

    I am taking steps to protect my children, but as far as ending the marriage legally, I still don’t know what to do, so I am going to sit with it awhile.

    I am so grateful to read all the messages and know I am not alone or crazy.

  202. CD- and Pam-Fatchance – Thank you so much for your support. It is wonderful to have friends like you to bounce things off of, and truly know you will give great input. It is so easy to know what to see in someone else, and know without a doubt what they should do. But when it comes to our own situations. sometimes we really lose objectivity.
    I was really quite frustrated after Steve’s therapy session yesterday. His therapist told me she
    recommended divorce based on what I told her. The only thing I discussed with her was my observing
    internet sites he had been to, and although they weren’t porn – still had some pretty risque’ stuff
    on them. He was only supposed to be going out to financial, banking, andyes” to everything I said to her.
    ie: 1. If I wait till February to file, he will probably lie and manipulate to get me back – shook her
    head yes.2. Based on his history, it will be many years before, if ever, he could recover – shook
    her head yes. 3. Said I don’t want to have to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life
    wondering if he is going to trigger – shook her head yes. 4. I think he is probably watching TV-
    shook her head yes. And it went on and on. She gave me the distinct impression that my decision
    to divorce was the right thing to do, so, as you can see, I feel I was really getting mixed
    messages. Steve told me had has only triggered 2X since August, so I insisted I read his journal.
    That was clearly not the case-he is constantly struggling, and as he describes it in his journaling,
    is “objectifying women.” If that isn’t a trigger, I don’t know what is.
    I E-mailed his therapist yesterday, asking if he had triggered more than the two times he had admitted to – she would not give me an answer – only said, “He is admitted his triggering.” That
    really p—ed me off, as she is supposed to disclose everything to me that goes on in the sessions,
    and she reads his journaling every week.
    Had admitted he went to the porn site for 2h and masturbated,(In Oct.) but neglected to tell me he went to he to the message board (I am not sure what that means) on the porn site, and also went to Facebook. Do that have his type of porn on there? Crushing-stomping with very obese women? He also
    minimized his struggle with going to the sites 3 weeks later-said he didn’t do it, but minimized
    how long he was having sexual feelings, ect., and masturbated to the thoughts.
    Also, he says in his journaling that he and I have different ideas as to what a trigger is. Don’t
    know how that can be!! We have discussed it many times. One of the men in his SA group asked him
    if when he “triggered” in a session that he got turned on, thought about her afterwords and carried
    it with him and masturbated. Steve told him no, so the guy said, “You were just appreciating an
    attractive woman. Steve’s pattern is to look around more than he should, and then “Booooom” he
    triggers. This is why I have a problen with SA groups.
    Guess I have rambled on long enough, but anyway his therapist has me totally frustrated – certainly
    did not get the message from her to stay in the marriage. I know Steve is telling the truth, because he knows I can check with her on what she said.
    CD – thanks for the perks. Glad to be able to help someone esle. Now if I can just help myself!! I am glad you haven’t let him back in.
    Pam-Sorry your’e strings are being yanked also. Remain strong – you can do it. I will do it too, just having a slight relapse.
    Fat Chance – great advice for Pam. Sounds like you are in a good place and sticking to your’e guns.
    I get so angy with myself – I am a very strong personality in every other area of my life, but
    when comes to Steve I have such a problem getting totally away from him. But, I will get there!!
    My oldest son thinks I should give him a chance since he is really trying. I do think he putting
    forth the effort, but as I told him, he does not have the tools in place this early in his recovery
    to subject himself to any stimulation that would promote a trigger. He doesn’t seem to comprehend
    that!
    Thanks again, everybody. Talk to you all soon.

  203. Hi all,

    I feel very frustrated right now. My husband seems like a different person every day. One day hes nice, the next hes angry, and he can be both in a short period of time. I dont know how much more of this I can take. I dont know whats true, whats not true. Right now, this is a horrible way to live. Is this typical behavior of when they are trying to not act out?

    Help!

  204. Hi NAP – I don’t remember your history with your’e SA and exactly what the issues are with his addiction. Does he have an underlying personality disorder in conjunction with his addiction? (most of them do) But, yes mood swings can also indicate he is having a problem with acting out. Unresolved Anger, guilt and shame is a very common trait with an SA.
    How far is he in his recovery? Is he motivated to change? Has he made a committed effort to attend
    SA groups, private counseling, etc. Has he had a period of sobriety? Sometimes, when they have not acted out for awhile it can be a sign of “withdrawal” – just like an alcoholic, and display an entire array of symptoms similar to an alcoholic.
    I am sorry you are having to endure the rath of his addiction. Have you committed to walk the path of recovery with him, or are you thinking maybe it is not worth the hassle. It is quite a challenge
    to make that committment, as only a small percentage of them recover.
    Let me know where the both of you are at in the relationship, and maybe I can give you more input.

  205. Dear NAP,

    I’m so sorry for your pain and difficulty.

    Please just know that you are not alone.

    The answer to your question is a resounding:

    YES!!!!!!!

    And you may never know what’s true and what’s not true.

    There’s so much info on here… that I hope will be helpful to you.

    All my best,

    Lorraine

  206. To Sharron,

    I really hear your struggles here and its heart breaking.

    Look, your Steve is a sex addict in the throws of active addiction. And I’m afraid given his age and the vast number of years and the immense amount of HARD WIRING that’s gone on inside his brain that no matter how much he (claims) to want this (recovery)… he’s not going to change much, if at all.

    The bottom line for you, is:

    Can you live with him, just the way he is??? with his porn and his obese women and oggling everything that moves, chat-sites and whatever else the hell he is doing? The minutiae of his journal, what he looked at or didn’t look at, etc. is going to be a source of agony for you, and him, as well. He really cannot change.

    The only one who can change is you. Not that you need to change, but just your knowing that he is unrecoverable and to stop trying to push the river in a different direction. Its impossible.

    I think this is what his therapist was trying to convey to you. Is the head nodding because she’s not allowed to speak? And you do not know that he’s telling the truth, because he is most likely lying to her and in his journal as well.

    He’s a sex addict and he will do or say ANYTHING to protect his addiction.

    That’s what they do.

    If you can find a way to have some peace and happiness for yourself, living with this situation, JUST THE WAY IT IS… then great! You know, a lot of women do. Everyone’s threshold for what is acceptable is different. Its just that I hear that this is NOT acceptable to you.

    I’m so sorry. You deserve better. A whole helluva lot better.

    Much strength and love to you as you make these difficult decisions,

    Lorraine

  207. Sharron,

    I agree with your son…Maybe he is really trying. It’s called addiction for a reason as you already know. What is more important? Perfection or conscious attempts at being honest, open, and transparent. Progress does not come without struggle and pain. Life with an addict of any sort will never be perfect. It isn’t even when addiction is not present.

    But I measure success, by his consciousness to the disorder…awareness of the issues and whether or not things continue to be hidden, minimized or shoved under the rug. And If he’s working his program (which he finally is now).

    Where the odds are not in favor of success,……..some DO recover. It DOES happen, and the path to recovery is not without slip ups, triggers, set backs or pain. And yes, mine has cried not just rivers, but oceans for what he did to me and to us……….and even though I fear a future with an addict of any sort….and even though he is the schmuck he is and I hate him for what he did, and even though I still feel he’s a complete and total fuck up, and even though I am unsure if I can EVER trust him again or if I even want him back,………I still see he’s still trying. He’s still trying to become a different person, a better man, and after so many years of leading the disgusting life he led, I do not expect in ANY way for him to change quickly. My SA has had triggers occur, several…but he notifies me immediately when this has happened and he gets on the phone and contacts his sponsor and heads straight for the bible as well. He carries excerts from scripture on his phone that he can referrence immediately when fantasies enter his mind. My SA is full of screw ups right now, but I measure progress not by the fact he “triggered” but what he did about it when he did………….Some things they can control….many things presented before them come with choice…..but I do not believe they can control the trigger itself…but they can control what they do about that trigger. Best of luck in whatever you decide. It is such a hard and emotionally draining place to be. Know that you are not alone.

    X
    Mary

  208. Sharron and Lorraine,

    Thank you for your comments. We are just 2 months into this(since discovery), he does outpt treatment with a group 1X week, sees an addiction therapist 1X week-she also runs the mens group he goes to, I have my own therapist I talk to 1-2X per week.
    He had a long hisotory of porn addiction which progressed to prostitutes and massage parlors at what point it progressed i dont know.

    I just dont know if I have it in me to go the long haul. Im already drained and Im just in the infancy of this monster. I do love him but I dont trust him and at this point I dont know what to believe anymore. Im just really. really tired.

  209. Hi NAP. I’m sorry you’re going through this. In my case, when I agreed with everything he said and did, and while he was getting exactly what he wanted (i.e. acting out with others) he was quiet and calm and fairly personable … if entirely self-obsessed. If anyone called him on his behaviour the narcissistic rage would come out. They have to get their fix, or their own way and ZERO criticism if they’re personality disordered, or there’s trouble.

  210. Hi NAP,
    Mine is up and down too, the other day in counseling he started yelling, cussing, being defensive. After therapy, he was sweet as pie trying to kiss up for the next three days. I think they call it the “craziness cycle”. Once they realize they are responsible and caught(or that you see through it) they often go into panic mode and begin doing everything they can to take it back. In our situation, the counselor was able to get him to a place where he could see what he was doing, but usually we don’t have an objective person in the room…We have to learn to live in reality and truth and see things for what they are each time this happens.
    Fatchance,
    Thank you for the encouragement. Your words really helped me to sort through some of the confusion in my emotions about my daughter and the pain of this whole reality. It really means a lot!
    Sharron,
    I understand what your oldest son is saying(how old is he and how much does he know?)It is hard to watch them try so hard, only to be shut down by us, and reality is…it is hard for them as difficult as that reality is to deal with for us. This is where we have to be very mature and have a lot of inn er strength, because the addiction has been there and we’ve lived with it, now our eyes are just opened and we have to live in reality without pretending it is better than it really is. They are still what we lived with before, the difference is we are now living in truth and truth hurts to look at. If they are truly trying to change, in some ways, it does seem we should give them an opportunity. The other side to that is valuing ourselves enough to take a stand and say “I’m worthy of better.” Better treatment, deeper love, and a real relationship. I don’t myself if mine is capable of that to the degree I want it, I also don’t want to start over with some other person who may not reveal the whole truth for years down the road, so do we deal with the reality of who w have now and the painful truth of the relationship? Or do we cut our losses, live alone or take a risk eventually on some other possible loser down the road? I really don’t know, all I know is I am finally getting strong enough to take a stand and value myself enough to stand firm on my values and stop compromising what I know to be true and right. At least that’s where I am today…I count on you all and God to keep me there!!! It’s still one day at a time.

  211. Fatchance and all other sisters on the site,
    Your quote was so good and worth repeating for everyone to consider…What would happen if we all started praying this everyday? Could God change them and open our eyes and give us the patience to see the change? I don’t know, but I just thought it was worth repeating.
    “Every day I pray for my husband to have all the things I want for myself too like: true compassion, empathy, good health, connection with God and friends and family, serenity and freedom from obsession.”
    I have a strong faith and can look back and pinpoint specific times I had prayers answered, he will reveal truth, if we ask. He can heal, but it will have to be a commitement by both us and our spouses and take a lot of patience. Our marraige counselor is a recovered SA and has counseled couples for 25 years…His wife counsels the women.

  212. A while ago someone asked for statistics for recovery for SA…I never saw anything posted, haven’t found anything, but I keep hearing many quoting that it is a small percentage. Where is there studies to back up that statistic, does anyone know? I think it would help us all deal with reality…

  213. Lorraine – as always, you set me straight. No, I cannot accept this life-long process at his age. I really can’t see how any woman can!! Settling for less should not be an option for us. Just a temporary relapse – the SA’s certainly have plenty of them. I still don’t know what a message board is-can you clarify? Is it just blogs they are reading, or do they actually communicate with these sicko’s on-line. A little niavity on my part. He is coming over tonight, and I intend to tell him he
    is still minimizing and omitting to me, and I cannot go forth with him.
    Mary – I certainly see where you are coming from, but as Lorraine says, his age (66) is definitely not in his favor. Although he is attending SA groups and private therapy, he is still not being entirely truthful with me when he does trigger, or goes to the porn sites. I am not willing to wait the rest of my life living with the trauma of his addiction – I have been put through too much to make it worth my while. I am 68 y/o. Situations are different for everyone, and I think the age and length of time the SA has been into the addiction is a big factor in determining success with recovery. With my SA – probably not going to happen. I appreciate your’e input, and you are entirely right regarding they’re triggers and the way they handle it – that should definitely be a factor, but afraid my husband is too far down on the totem pole to recover.
    CD-My son is 48 y/o – he only made that determination because of the info I had given him regarding
    the fact that Steve is actively working on his recovery. THat was before I read Steve’s entire journal
    dating back to the time we separated in August. He did not know that Steve is still minimizing, omitting and only telling partial truths to me regarding his addiction. He is still the person I was living with before with a few cosmetic changes, but definitely not there yet with the honesty. For me, the deal breaker is you have to have total trust before you can commit to walking by their side
    during recovery. Thank you for your input also – very insightful!

    NAP – CD related all the things my SA went through for a long time – they do not like confrontation
    regarding the addiction, and mine responded with anger and pushing away from me most of the time.
    It got to the point where he could or would not show any intimacy, and after we tied the knot last
    April, he was not able to perform sexually-a real sign they are in a full blown addiction. If you feel the situation is intolerable for you at this point, maybe you need to step away and give yourself some breathing room. The trauma from all this drama can certainly foster a PTSD in us, and you certainly don’t need the physical and emotion pain if you are not able to deal with all of this.
    You are right – trust is a big factor in all of this. For me, I haven’t been able to gain that from
    my SA. Good luck in whatever you decide, and we are all here for you in giving you the support you
    need in whatever direction you decide to go.
    Don’t know why when I type this on my sight paragraphs are all lined up, but when you get it is
    all choppedd up. Oh Well!

  214. Sharron, You are so right!

    You said “The deal breaker is you have to have total trust before you can commit to walking by their side
    during recovery.” And if you don’t have total trust, I guess you have to be prepared to be let down over and over again, constantly preparing for the next crises… no way to live. That is what I do not have as well, no trust. Nor has he made an effort to re-gain trust. I do not feel that he has my or our families best interest at heart, nor do i get empathy from him. Without empathy and an idea of the pain and hurt you have caused, I don;t think it is a safe situation to be in a relationship with them.

    The SA has made an effort to come with us to get the christmas tree and pay. I would rather take the kids, enjoy myself and go alone. I have come to realize that I think I just don;t want this relationship anymore. I am a month and a half short of a year, and by the time a year hits I feel I will be 100% confident in my decision. Maybe that is why they suggest a year to come to terms and make up your mind? Alhtough if he had moved out sooner, i think I would have made up my mind sooner. Just tough to make up your mind about seprating. It is not an easy decision. Harder than divorcing for me.

  215. Hi all,

    Thanks so much for your helpful comments. I think I have some deep soul searching to do-and because I deserve it Im going to take the time to do it.

    On a lighter note, I had a funny thought:

    “We’re the sisterhood of the traveling underpants” (LOL)

  216. Dear All,

    I am so glad we can all share and support. CD – I really appreciate you summarizing the ultimate question, if he’s trying to change, do I stay and work with it? Or, cut my losses and get whatever I get. There is some comfort that we now know the basic demon of addiction that has entered our lives via our spouse/partner. Which is better, the devil we do know, or the devil we don’t? We can only choose what we can live with, and what we think best for our children. Don’t know, different for everyone here, but that question is certainly the same.

    Honestly though, I have to say, on this “trying” thing. It’s A COP OUT!!! Oh, I am trying not to cheat, but I am weak. bullsh!t! If I were a serial killer, oh, I was trying not to kill people, but I am a psychopath so I killed my victims. Trying just doesn’t cut it. Just like killers need to be locked up with the key thrown away so they don’t hurt people anymore- SA behavior needs the same–complete abandonment of the behavior – btw paying for sex is criminal they can do time. Sexual addiction destroys our marriage and family! It threatens our lives w STD’s and even HIV = death. trying is not good enough. The need to walk it. And come damn near close to staying the path. Otherwise they are a threat to themselves and us and others — whose to say they won’t escalate into complete perv’s , underage stuff and become sex offenders of some kind? they have the potential in place.

    Ok, perhaps they are not acting out w/ prostitutes. Porn and masturbation still hurt the relationship a great deal. If as a spouse we can’t tolerate ANY of it, than we can’t tolerate ANY of it. If we can live with it, then ok, we can live with it. But I am tired of the WEEPY, WIMPY, NO RESPONSIBILITY TAKING “TRYING” CARD USED TO MANIPULATE US TO ACCEPT UNACCEPTABLE AND OFTEN DANGEROUS BEHAVIOUR. SA’S GET IT THE FU%CK TOGETHER, AND STOP HURTING US—PERIOD!! (May God help us all :))

  217. NAP, how funny you should call us the ‘sisterhood of the traveling underpants’–Brilliant–I LOVE IT!

    Oddly, the new and improved website will have a secure section for community interaction and connections, and I have named it the ‘Sisterhood of Support'(S.O.S.).

    As always, great minds think alike.

  218. Sharron,
    I forgot you had only been married since April and your ages. That really plays a factor, I would think. I have 19 years invested and kids still who want daddy around, I think in your situation my struggle would be much different. You really shouldn’t put yourself through any more trauma, especialy if he is still slipping back as recently as October. Mine has been “sober”(hate that word) since June, but still has the attitude issues. Do you think your son is empathetic towards your husband just for the mere fact he’s going to counseling? Or does he like many men think it’s not a big deal to look at porn? I am realizing how rampant it really is in our society and even churches. My husband once confessed struggling with it at a caregroup/bible study group, only to have every man in the group including the leader confess they were struggling too. This only made him feel more justified and angry that I had made such a big deal. At that time my kids were 5 and 1, now they are 17 and 12. Only if I knew then what I now know, it would have never gone this far because I would have stood firm and not accepted it. I started questioning myself as a young mom thinking maybe I was too judgemental, ughh! If only …Pam, agreed it does need to be more than the wimpy,teary “I’m trying” it is truly maddening when I start thinking of all that we have to do and endure and it was not our choice to go here. And yes, with two daughters and one bringing friends home that fear of where escalation could go is horrible and gives me nightmares. One comfort is two therapists have said in general pedophiles have a different mentality, it’s what they seek. It seems kind of like your usband Sharron and the big stomping women fettish,pedophiles are wired with weird thinking different than someone who is looking for big boobs and butts like mine has. I don’t have big boobs by the way~bummer for him, huh?

  219. Pam,

    I hear what you’re saying loud and clear. I feel the exact same way. Enough of the 2 year old temper tantrums and tearful manipulations. I’ve got a story of sorts. The other night he bought himself over $300 in motorcycle gear. I’m going to my first party in years tonight(without him) so I bought a party dress and shawl for the occasion, plus some lovely perfume I haven’t had in ages. Well, didn’t he just have a tantrum. I told him point blank that he wasn’t going to ruin my evening. A fight ensued in which he expressed disbelief that I could be so angry!!?? I explained it again to him but this time with venom in the voice. Told him that any issues he has pales in comparison to my son’s condition and he can go stuff it. Told him that I’m looking out for me now. It’s my turn.

    And I’ve proceeded to do just that. Spent two hours texting a friend and he was interrupting all through it. Just ignored the BS. Had fun with my friend. Even virtual hugs make a difference. I’m excited about the party tonight and don’t know if the dress is too much for the occasion. Isn’t it nice to just focus on that minor little issue.

  220. Sharon,

    Your absolutely right in your thinking….If he is NOT honest and does NOT come forward openly then he is not even near any sort of recovery. 68 is sure a lot of years of practice…but again, it’s their actions that matter, not their words and if my SA was still minimizing, hiding and lying and I found out, it would be a deal breaker with me too. For me right now, my SA is texting me or emailing me as soon as he triggers……….I’m not happy at some of the content, but he’s being honest. I’m not happy over getting texts at midnight telling me what’s on his mind…but it’s what I asked for…be careful of the loli-pop we choose, may not always like the flavor once inside….but that’s part of it isn’t it. It is a rollercoaster, we choose to live life on….what I fear is he may be doing right for today, but know that can change tomorrow…….That’s the part my SA doesn’t get…he thinks if he’s all good today it’s gonna stay that way…I know all too well, that’s not how addiction works….but like you, I don’t want to spend a life time waiting…….

    CD, you pose an interesting thought for myself…I don’t really know what mine prefers…All he ever screems about is fear of lonliness and abandonment…fear of Rejection is his walking state of mind.claims the anonymity of the internet prohibits/reduces the chances of being rejected….His biggest problem was online dating sights which escalated beyond the computer just before I caught him, followed up by a prostitute (which he admitted he’s had even before me) and he went after women of all ages and races, but I noticed last summer it was hovering more around 21, 22, 23 year olds…The ages of his daughter who is currently 21..That part made me sickest, if it was even possible to be any sicker. My SA gets stuck into these big fantasies and then is a ritual/chronic you no whater………He’s never expressed a preference, seems to like it all……..ugggggggh

    Marion, SA or not, I have always found that if it’s something they want for themselves, its no big deal to spend money..If it’s something we want for ourselves, then we’ve overspent because it’s for us, not for them…Always is a two edge sword in that arena…but I’m sure you’re gonna sparkle for your party and poor it on girl…Look so dazzling that he craps his shorts when you walk out…hold your head high and have a great time tonight! Take care of yourself.

    Diane, you GO GIRL….you said it like it is!

  221. Hello All:

    My children went to day for a day visit with their dad. I spent most of the day sleeping. I have been exhausted. Anyhow, I am a bit irritated with myself to one of my responses to his stupid texts. Basically, I stated factually that he is behind in support payment and that this is an especially bad time of year to short our children. Well he responded that I should get ask for return of support I gave my daughter while she was in college. What an a**. I bit the bait and responded, “Or why don’t you ask for the return of money your spent on motel rooms, lap dances, prostitutes, gifts for prostitutes, and drugs you bought them?”

    Eeesh! I hate for SA to see me get so worked up. Oh, well.

    I got on Recoverynation.com which is linked on this website and found the Partner section really interesting and useful. It underscores MY need to establish a sense of safety and emotinal stability, regardless of what SA does. And he doesn’t appear to even want to look at himself.

    So there it is. I just need to continue nurturing myself so I can be happier and a better mom. That’s my job. My husband is a grown man, regardless of what he acts like, he’s not my responsibility. Moreover, I really need to stop playing God and let him alon. (Just need to make sure I protect myself and the kids.) God is looking out for my husband as much as He is for anyone else.

    These things I write for my own reminder! Now, I will shower and pray that God will divorce my thinking from self-pity, self-seeking motives, and dishonesty and that my husband shall have all that I want for myself as well: real love, connection with God, compassion, empathy, good health, security, and a good relationship with my family and a mindset of living in the solution.

    Thank you ladies for your posts! Peace be with you.

  222. Mary,
    I wish I didn’t know it was all about the butts and boobs, I am constantly comparing myself now and feeling inadequate myself. I am working on this issue and continue trying to re-affirm it is not about me, it’s always about them and their fear of loneliness,rejection, intimacy, inadequacy, etc…At least that is what mine is learning in his program/therapy. He has learned this week that he triggers/relapses with anger also when he starts feeling inadequate. I learned that I get critical of him when I feel discouraged with his progress or in general with this process and I begin to attack/2nd guess his intentions/slow progress and basically everything he does. Sometimes it is because of my own insecurities that have become apparant through this process. I want you all to know, even though I talk about my own insecurities, most people around me see me as a leader in our community and a go-getter, socially comfortable person. I am in most situations and thought I was until this happened, I think that’s part of what is really so hard about this whole situation for me too. I have to take such a hard look inward to see how I got into it in the first place, knowingly or not.

  223. Hi Mary et. al:

    Folks, the way these SA’s objectify and like boobs and butts and whatever IS NOT ABOUT US. They have a mental problem. Think of it this way: We could all probably honestly say that our husbands do not look like GQ Magazine Cover material, right? Seriously, we didn’t love them because of their looks.

    Sure, looks initially attract us, but they aren’t what is real about a person. That’s the whole problem with the SA, they are emotionally immature and cannot get past immediate gratification and look deeper into the worth of someone. How could they? They don’t even know themselves! That’s why they flutter from here to there, looking for meaning and self-identity. That’s why the SA projects all of his worst traits onto us, the partners. They cannot hold it.

    This is really true, I believe and not just cliche. We are more than just bodies. We have hearts and souls. That’s why it hurts SO BAD to be objectified-treated like a mere thing. They have no empathy when they do this and WE DID NOT MAKE THEM THAT WAY. We just got hurt.

    Sure, everyone looks different and we want to take care of our appearance and health, but that’s not who we are. It nearly killed me to allow my husband to DEFINE me.

    Incidentally, since my earlier post, my husband has been so charming. I wish it were sincere. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. (Probably not.) But I am going to keep trudging forward. I cannot afford to get back on his roller coaster track. I cannot do it because I don’t want to crash and burn again.

    I used to know who I was. And I am learning again and building on my own identity. I was ok before I met him and all this crazy stuff happened and I am coming through it and I will be wiser I think.

    Certainly, I have had to depend on God much more; parodoxically, it seems to be the way to true independence.

    I hope each of us will continue to detach and realize that it we can still love from a distance. Real love would never require you to give up your happiness for someone else’s would it? That would not even sound ‘loving’ in the logical sense.

    I still don’t know whether to default him on the divorce or not. But we need support and so I am just continuing to sit with it for now and try to focus on me and the children. My husband has hogged-up too much attention with his dramas in the last year.

    I am sure I will be back to say how angry or depressed I am. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we aren’t on the right track.

    Peace be with us, sisters in support! I like it.

  224. Dear All,

    Marian–I am so glad you did something for yourself. Dress too much? I doubt it. I hope you had a great time. Its time for him to sweat a bit. pretty typical of a temper tantrum. amazing how it turns around when money is well spent on US. they can’t even fathom it. sad. let me call it, good chance once you return home from having a good time– he will be an angel for atleast 24 -48 hrs. or he will sulk to make you feel guilty. then his nasty self will return. enjoy it while it lasts. He will fear another man may have interest in you and for the short while (it is always short with these guys) he will either try to win you back or make you feel bad. do me a favor – just GLOW. his junk will take over eventually. get ready.

    as for butts and boobs, every wife here has a decent set I am sure. they go out looking for everything they married. dumber than donkey’s ass they are. also, their fear of abandoment, rejection? they weren’t too afraid of us abandoning them to NOT act out. were they? furthermore, they abondoned the marriage and us everytime they acted out, cheat etc. talk about unfair and ridic. I want justice!! I know I have suffered such detrimental hurt and wrongs by his behavior, and every woman on here has had unbearable pain. I’d take child birth without an epideral or pain meds any day compared to this crap–its a never ending cycle of abuse and pain. Until there is a real change of heart, paradigm shift, we will be hurt over and over. All i want for Christmas is: trust with an honest man that I can have a romance with and sex too. Santa, bring em on. I am ready.

    I think we all need to send a special list to Santa this year. He’s making special deliveries. 🙂

  225. I hope you had a great time at the party Marian.

    Fatchance, thanks for this:
    “That’s the whole problem with the SA, they are emotionally immature and cannot get past immediate gratification and look deeper into the worth of someone. How could they? They don’t even know themselves! That’s why they flutter from here to there, looking for meaning and self-identity. That’s why the SA projects all of his worst traits onto us, the partners. They cannot hold it.”

    I stupidly accepted his projection as being about me but I know after lots of healing and therapy that it was ALL about him. His shame has to be deflected constantly. If he stops for a minute to look at who he is and what he does it just brings up self-loathing, which then turns into the need for a fix of some kind in order to push it away again.

    Regarding the objectification, when he watched a female cyclist win a gold medal for our country he was saying, before she took her helmet off, “Please don’t be ugly, please don’t be ugly.” It is unfathomable. Her being worth a masturbation session was the most important thing.

  226. Hi Pam,

    Totally agree with your comment. Here is my list for Santa:

    honesty
    respect
    maturity
    empathy
    sex without risk of diseases and or death
    anger management
    only eyes for me
    and a partridge in a pear tree

  227. Hello T, NAP, et. al:

    There is a Moody Blues song (I’m a huge fan) that says, “All the love you’ve been given has all been meant for you.” The refrain: “I’m looking for someone to change my life . . .”

    Well, for Christmas, I’m going to try to remember that all the love I’ve been giving has all been meant for me! And, furthermore, the ones who are going to change my life is me and God.

    I don’t know how this whole thing is going to turn out for my husband, but I know where I am headed, with or without him- a place of serenity, self-love, compassion, empathy, friendship, purpose and trust and faith in God and humanity. Everything is as it should be now.

    I’m going to keep praying for my husband that he shall have all that I want for myself too. It helps me not take HIS PROBLEM so personally.

    We are all worthy of love and acceptance, even the SAs, but they just don’t realize it and so that’s where all the drama and acting out comes in, I believe.

    Fear will make a person do incredibly crazy things. T, you write about SAs fear of rejection. During the Vietnam War, some potential enlistees feared being drafted so much that they cut off toes and other crazy things to avoid the draft. All that just makes me ask myself: What crazy thoughts and actions have I had because of all the fear I have regarding the crazymaking by my SA?

    I really want to stop reacting crazy to the fear and stay in the solution.

    Thank you ladies for your posts, you all help me so much! Peace be with us.

  228. Hi all,

    As you may know, Ive been doing some soul searching on my marriage. I have pondered on many thoughts. I would like to share a couple and would appreciate your thoughts and input.

    As we all know, our SAs have alot of traits/characteristics in common. Do you think as the wives/partners of SAs, we also have alot of core traits/characteristics in common?

    Also, has anyone read the book: Woman Who Love Too Much, if so, what did you think of it and would you recommend it and why.

  229. NAP – I think in some cases, we can be classified as “co-addicts,” not co-dependency, in that we may be working through unfinished business from our childhoods. In my case, a father who was emotionally unavailable to me. I may have been attracted to my husband because he shares similar characteristics to my father- shows a physical resemblence, the lieing/deception, etc. It is called “Trauma Bonding.” On a psychological level, I may have attached myself to Steve, because my father never changed, and I continued the script by picking a man who resembled my father in many ways and hoped he would change when my father couldn’t. Or, also from my perspective, if we had a
    father who was emotionally unavailable to us, we may play out the script by doing the same thing in relationships. I call a lot of this “Love Addiction” – We just don’t see it coming, because we were programmed for this drama as a child. And, of course, there can be many other reasons – this is just what I relate to myself. Then, there are just those of us who simply do not see it coming, because an SA is so charming, (appears to be the perfect man) “Mr. Personality”, and
    will appear to have it altogether, and at the same time highly manipulative. He Gives 100% to us in the beginning just to get us. I think they want to appear “Normal,” and have a wife and family to validate that. But oh boy, it is not very long until they push us away because they are not able to sustain any kind of intimcy.
    I read the book “Women Who Love Too Much” years ago, but cannot remember the theme. If it is
    anything like “Co-Dependency No More,” I would not recommend it because I don’t feel loving our husbands, putting trust in them, and then getting the rug pulled out from under us is Co-dependent. Once the addiction is revealed to us, we are devastated and want so much for that life
    we saw in the begnniing to be the same, and have hopes the man we gave our heart to will change.
    Some of us getted hooked into that a little longer than we should, but that is not co-dependent.
    Good luck on gaining insight into your’e own behavior – that is the 1st step to recovery for us.

  230. I could not agree with you more Sharron. I was completely conned. The wishing it could be what we had truly believed it was will kill you if you are attached to one of those types, because everything is a con.
    My therapist told me outright to get out of Disneyland because everything I had been led to believe was a lie to use me…..and they would not stop, EVER. She told me cut off contact completely and we even have a child together.
    When he was exposed I saw just how much he loved his lies, lifestyle and his games, never ever me or anyone else. No one was going to take his big act away, and I saw the real him, an angry vicious little boy who uses everyone to gratify himself and will stop at nothing to glorify himself, including hurting anyone in every way possible who threaten his real self being exposed.
    I am in no way responsible for his actions and his choices and I never accepted a one. I don’t think there is anyone of us here who gave permission or accepted their lies and addictions.

  231. Hi All –
    I have decided I am certifiable!100 steps back and 5 steps forward.
    After hearing feedback from Steve’s therapist, who in the session, backed me 100% in filing for divorce, I find out she told him she was only shaking her head to acknowledge my feelings, and not validating my decision to file for divorce. I am mortified! This therapist validated every thing I said, and never once, as she usually does, re-direct me by telling me maybe I should re-consider because Steve is making progress.
    Anyway, I am so good at giving advice on this this site, but apparently not strong enough to take the advice I am given!!!
    I went to bed with my SA this week-end. He was totally into me, intimately, sexually, and emotionally. Of course, I am aware they are able to do that in order to get what they want, and I know he will probably not be able to sustain that intimacy. We spent all day talking about his addiction. I do see him making progress with insight -he is totally different in that now he is able to identify some of the reasons why he has become the addicted person he is. No anger anymore, no passive-aggressive behavior, and no deflection when confronted with his triggers. And, by the way, he is still triggering. The last, being his daughter-in-law who was wearing a loose top, bent over and showed her cleavage. It took him 3 takes before he was able to check it
    and look away. No 3 second rule invoked.
    Anyway, the 5 steps forward for me are I am no longer invested in worrying about the addiction, and am taking positive steps toward taking care of myself. I am keeping my distance, emotionally, and whatever he does, he does. None of this, worrying about what he is doing and if he is active in his addiction. None of the going with him when he is out and about to “make me feel better.” I told him this week-end if he chooses his addiction over a chance to be happy in a loving, intimate relationship – then so be it. That will be his choice, and he is the loser. Still telling him he is the master of his own destiny and it is a conscious choice for him. I equated it to the fact I am making a conscious choice to quit smoking, and I am doing it – If I can do it, so can he. I am no longer “pining” over him. (Emotionally detached).
    That is what I have to do for my own survival. Whatever happens, happens! So, is this progress? I really don’t know – You all are probably so sick of giving me advice and having me totally disregard what I should do.
    Hope you all had a good week-end.

  232. Lynn – This is where I am hung up. He appears totally sincere, and I am not easily conned! But, I also realize how good they are at manipulation. The only thing that is bothering me now, is his
    inability to disclose triggers voluntarily, and is still minimizing and omitting facts when he does so. This is a really big red flag for me at this point in time, and tells me he is not
    committed to recovery, or the lies would be the first to stop.
    The frustrating thing for me, is Steve does not appear, in any way, to be manipulating me, but yet he must be, or there would be total honesty on his part.
    At least I am not invested in him emotionally anymore – have distanced myself to the point where I just don’t give a shit anymore. What bothers me, is I am putting my life on hold. I guess I must be getting some sort of secondary gain staying in the relationship?
    Any input, JoAnn?

  233. Sharron,
    didn’t you say before that you had been married since April and he had never been able to perform sexually? That’s a big change if he did the way you described above. Be careful, even if he’s not minipulating, you may be panicking because you are at such a critical point and acting on impulse. Good for you that you are focusing on yourself too though and remebering to make that a priority…Maybe you felt like you wanted the sex this time too, I’m glad he performed and was intimate…I had a similar experience this weekend, tell you about it in the morning…

  234. Hi NAP,
    I was just like Sharron. I thought for a while I was a love addict, co-dependent … you name it. I used to see myself as a strong woman, but I lost myself entirely in the face of the emotional abuse of a SA. I know now that I was trauma bonded and trying to make the SA into a better man than my father, who he was reminding me of, but he was no more capable of it than dad was.

    The one I was involved with even made up a new identity and posted on another healing board I was on, admitting that he plays mind games with women and that the only way he knows he is DONE with a woman is when she loves him and then he can move on. The mind games were just like you read about on lovefraud and I believed him to be a sociopath. Goodness knows what happened to him but he is making every woman he can pay for it. Mummy issues, I’m sure. His mummy issues and my daddy issues made something truly horrible.

    Lynn, yes to this:
    “No one was going to take his big act away, and I saw the real him, an angry vicious little boy who uses everyone to gratify himself and will stop at nothing to glorify himself, including hurting anyone in every way possible who threaten his real self being exposed.”

  235. Hi Sharron,
    Okay so before this weekend you were filing for divorce. The therapist stabbed you in the back, made it sound like steve is making progress, even though you were under the impression that he was not. You thought that she was supporting your decision and even further thought that this was the right thing to do for you.

    So flash forward you and Steve had a magical weekend like in the movies. I would say that the emotions were like the first time you slept together. Like a honeymoon period. Just beware that nothing has changed than before the weekend and nothing has changed over the weekend. This may lead to a brief period or so of happiness as a couple, I don’t see how it could not. But the underlying problems are still there. They are not gone.

    Yes you are getting a secondary benefit from the relationship. Everyone does, but is it enough or what you want? I do not know what the benefits are, a couple guesses are compansionship, a husband, sex partner, a relationship? to name a few. It feels comfortable and is the relationship as it was (with a few changes I am sure). This is a cycle in relationships with addicts they call it the merry go round of emotions, he takes you along for the ride as well.

    I also find that with my husbands therapist. I serve one purpose and it is for the SA. Not for me, but to get him back into the relationship with me. I feel that the therapist has a short term goal of curbing the behavior, then get back in relationship with me, so then the SA has source of a healthy dose of sex (as hence he would not survive without it). Of course we know that many men do, but an SA who is not truely recovered will not, and when pushed he will find other sources. The therpist has done nothing about unceoverin childhood trauma and the SA still does not have a written plan after almost a year.

    I think someone said it easy on here about dating months ago. And the way to weed out the SA’s from the normal are to withhold sex in the dating relationship for months don’t give it up. An SA would not stick around for this they are in it for the sex as we all know. And in a new relationship they are going to want it and early. But the thought comes to mind in repairing or re-building a relationship with a sex addict. If we are having sex (and they will use it as a distraction and we as well) during this recovery period I would think that is would be a major distraction to the overall picture. These feelings of what we forsee as closeness and intimacy, just as earlier on in the relationship, will be felt again by us. These things are not real as the SA is truely incapable of giving it at this point. These emotions may be in us, projecting to them. I feel that a good way to approach a relationship with an SA in recovery is absence of sex, but building the rest of the relationship. Date again , go to dinner, repair other areas of the relationship.

    So i would say Really Really Really be carefull. If it were me, I would re-build the relationship absent the sex until I truely felt comfortable and safe. And new for sure this was it, without all of these other emotions being brought in by the sex act.

    I understand that you are able to detach, but i don’t see how you could not have a glimmer of hope that it is possible he is getting better. I worry for the let down in the future. You are putting yourself out there, way out there, but is the SA truely doing the same? I understand detaching, but I do feel that you are in fact putting your life on hold, waiting to see if Steve is better or not. And unfortunatley it will take years to know. Just really listen to yourself and what you want. It may take years, but he is still a sex addict and there will always be that worry. The addict is never recovered, and you have to hope that he has the strength to maintain sobriety, because that is really all it is about.

    So if it works out great, but be very catious. I don’t know what you should do, I don’t even know what I should do. But I am taking my time to make decisions. Life with an SA is not a sprint, but a long drawn out painfull marathon with no water in 100 degree heat. There are no quick or easy decisions and none of this will be quick or easy. But the long haul.

  236. Flora – I wouldn’t call the week-end magical for me. The intimacy was a great feeling, but as you said, I think we are feeling it on our end and the SA is probably not experiencing the same feelings as we are. The interesting thing was I felt the intimacy, but when it got down to the sex act I held back and did not reach a climax – usually not a problem for me. We had not had sex for 6 months – during the 4 months of separation and 2 months prior to moving out.
    I really don’t think I am holding out any hope for recovery, but where I am hung up is the difference I see in the way he is approaching our relationship. No anger, and the willingness to
    answer questions to re-assure me he is working on his recovery. This is a total turn about for him, as he used to get defensive, passive-aggressive and angry when any kind of confrontation occurred on my part regarding his triggering. Of course, I have to really be on guard that it is
    manipulation on his part to get me back. I am ever vigilent, and am not even considering a reconciliation. Steve said over the week-end – “You can come home, anytime.” I said, “I don’t
    think so.” He must be out of his frickin mind to think that would even be an option for me!!
    Another thing that makes it difficult is I have never seen the verbal/physical abuse I have seen
    with so many the of SA’s to they’re wives. (Just a different approach I would guess.} He is
    very bright, knows me as well as I know him, and is aware of what it would take for me to resolve
    all my feelings that he will never change. He wants to do things together so I will know he is not triggering and can re-build the trust. I just don’t think the trust will ever be there for me again. Once I am crossed, That is usually the final blow for me and I don’t ever trust again.
    The one thing that forever goes through my mind is look at the behavior, not what they are telling you. Although I see some cosmetic changes, I do not see changes in the triggering or the ability
    for him to be totally honest when he does.
    So, where do I go from here? I really don’t know. My sister is having a fit, because she feels
    I am puttihg my life on hold. But, I look at it this way – this man cured me of ever looking for
    another relationship, so really, what difference does it really make if I continue to see him.
    Besides, at my age, I seriously doubt there would be anything out there but losers. I dated a lot before meeting Steve, (for 10 years) and they were all damaged to some degree. I think, at this age, they are all out there for a reason – most well adjusted men (If there is such a thing) are all married and living happily ever after. Probably not a good way to look at it, but I am really not putting my life on hold – just have no desire to ever try again. My son thinks I should continue seeing him, because “How would I ever know if he is being honest with me unless I witness it first hand.” The other two sons say “Get Out”! Always differences of opinion. Guess
    I will sit on it for a while. I know, for sure, I do not have the same feelings for him as I
    did, so maybe am just going to have to do some more weaning away.
    His therapist said she is going to draw up a treatment plan for the two of us. Well, isn’t that just nice. I do not need a treatment plan, but he certainly does!!
    I agree with everything you told me, but I just seem to weaken when I am around him. Would have been great if I hadn’t of talked to him after informing him of the divorce – I probably would have gone through with it.
    Thanks – keep in touch.

  237. CD – Ya, he basically has a problem with sexual anorexia, and was unable to perform sexually the last two months of our marriage prior to my separating from him. A lot of factors entered into that – we were fighting constantly, and I could also tell he was in a full blown addiction because he always backed off on the sex during those times. He basically did not have a sex drive – Gee, I wonder why! He has never been unfaithful me in the true sense – affairs, prostitution, etc., only
    (only???) domination/submission porn and lusting after everything that walked – not that all of that wasn’t enough!! Keep me posted on your situation.

  238. Hi Sharron,
    I think they all have that sad little puppy dog look that makes your heart melt. They do weaken us, not sure why. But usually than man you love does make us weak in the knees. Good Luck, we are here when you need us. Keep us posted. Be open to your feelings this week and pay close attention.

  239. Hi all,

    Thanks for your responses. Reading your comments are so helpful to me. My feelings toward my SA change day to day. I now recognize they are in response to how hes treating me at the time. Now they are not changing as much because I recognize and acknowlege hes still the same liar and cheater hes probably always been. He just changes the look of the package.

    Flora, I agree totally with your post. Im not having sex with him anymore. I dont see any changes in his behavior. In fact, its worse or maybe I just woke up…

    Im staying awake!

  240. Flora,

    Wow, you hit a hot area for me in parts of what you just said…

    “……..I also find that with my husbands therapist. I serve one purpose and it is for the SA. Not for me, but to get him back into the relationship with me. I feel that the therapist has a short term goal of curbing the behavior, then get back in relationship with me, so then the SA has source of a healthy dose of sex (as hence he would not survive without it). Of course we know that many men do, but an SA who is not truely recovered will not, and when pushed he will find other sources. The therpist has done nothing about unceoverin childhood trauma and the SA still does not have a written plan after almost a year………”

    I couldn’t agree more! It is the therapists goal….This has been my battle with my SA and his/our therapist(s) since mid October. My SA’s Dr will only see my SA 1 time a month! One time…and we are not talking about a guy who has been in a program for months and months…this is all the INITIAL treatment. I’ve been most upset that his Dr. says this is the best approach. His Dr. holds a weekly “group” session for all his patients to attend, which I might add is run by another therapist, not himself! One of the reason’s I stopped going because it was the therapist I was seeing and I felt it to be a conflict of interest…. so the SA’s go to that and then see him ( the shrink) only once a month. I think that’s bs personally because of the same reasons you stated…no work on childhood history, trauma, other underlying causes like ADD, depression etc…only focus on sex addiction. I have 150 days of a guaranteed roof over my head. My SA wants us back together, and bad. Talked about living together again this weekend and how it would be the best way for me to see his “change”…. I don’t feel it fair to either of us that I have to base my decision on moving back in with him the end of May after what will be just 5 individual visits with a professional. Weekly visits should they have happened, would render over 25 times of individual meetings with the shrink. I feel I would be able to better see progress, if it were going to occur after 25 visits, vs just 5. My SA has expressed frustration over this as well, because he wants to delve into his childhood and attempt to get to the root of these issues. He asked his Dr. last week for more frequent appointments and His stupid shrink told him that he (meaning my sa) wasn’t ready for multiple monthly meetings with his Dr yet.. I think it’s total bullshit…and bullshit regardless of my/we/our situation. Some sex addict presents suicidal for his initial visit(s) to his new shrink and the new shrink can’t convince him to go inpatient, so then sets up his treatment plan to only see the professional 1 time a month instead…what’s wrong with that picture I ask!!! My sa also just got his plan written out this past couple weeks…it took 4 months to get that done and it wasn’t from any help or pushing from his shrink either!!!

    I made it one of my boundaries that my SA seek more counseling be it from another therapist in addition to the therapist at the SA clinic. His current therapist is overbooked admittingly and also admits he’s no time to see all his patients more than once a month, but turns around and uses/supports his once a month seeing of patients as part of the program and says it works with great GREAT success!!….again, BULLshit I say. This guy has too many patients and delivering a crock of shit in the process… I very much agreed with JoAnn and Larry’s approach to two therapists, one family and one SA….I pointed that out repeatedly to my SA…this is the direction we are going to proceed toward. I told my SA that in the end, it is I who has to live with him, not his SA shrink, not my shrink, and not his sponsor….I have felt like you Flora that I’m only in the picture for the benefit of my SA…what my needs are, what I am willing to accept or not accept in all this has been completely ignored…..As a result, I have temporarily walked away from that whole twisted picture. I am seeking my help/support through my church currently instead.

    I also too, chose the path of abstinence until such time if ever, we get back together. I did so for all the reasons you stated and more. My SA currently is respecting that completely, but he was over this past weekend for the first time in over a month 1/2 and the initial first night he kept me up until 4:30 in the morning continuously “groping” me as I would put it…I gave him permission to “cuddle” and simply be together without sex and where he respected it, he took it to the extreme….I pointed out the next day that this is a classic example of my giving him an inch and he takes a mile…. I will say in his defense though that he has always enjoyed laying in bed cuddling and kissing, but the abstinence of sex was clearly showing last Thursday night because I became extremely frustrated at his not “leaving me alone” after 3 or 4 hours of heavy cuddling….The rest of the weekend, he simply went to bed and with a good attitude I might add………

    Yesterday he was in the shower and I heard his phone sound for an incoming text..I hadn’t checked his phone for some time and decided to walk over the take a look. I happened upon a text to his new sponsor and read at one place where he’d texted him that he “wished he were single again,” but that he’d been good, not relapsed, held steady”…This bothered me greatly and made me realize all over again just how different they are and how they think so differently than we think they should be or are thinking. After reading that text, I flashed back to all the info I’d been reading recently about the “good ole’ boys” philosophy that links many of these sa’s at these 12 step meetings… I addressed this text as soon as he came out of the shower and told him why should he think being single or not would/should excuse this kind of behavior ever! I said does being single justify you’re whoring around? acting out? chasing 21 yr olds and getting blow jobs from Prostitutes? DOES THIS? He said it didn’t and tried to justify that statement to his sponsor as more of “being in a bad place”…that he didn’t mean it like it read…My SA had already told me right away last week that he was triggering more than usual, that he’d contacted his sponsor right away when that started happening (this apparently was the initial text)….but he sure didn’t put it that way to me when he told me about it!!!! he elaborated more by the weekend that he’d actually at one point had a fantasy of ultimately sleeping with my former neighbor, who by the way is someone we both have only said an “occasional hi” to….she’s all but a stranger for the most part…..

    What I realized again, is how quickly we forget… how twisted and sick their minds are. I am over here in my little house thinking he’s thinking more like me since he admits how terrible his actions of the past were, and how he wants to be a good man etc….It’s hard for me to put into words here, but seeing that text was a reality check reminding me how sick he really is ….When He tried at one point to tell me that he didn’t mean exactly what that text said…I responded BULLSHIT…”wishing you were single again” means just that and it further means that in your mind, being single allows you to do those implorable behaviors!! It was like God reached out and slapped me in the face to make sure I don’t EVER forget that this addiction will never totally go away…..EVER. He stood before me with his mouth wide open when I pointed out this action supports our feelings as women that we are nothing more than “objects” when it comes to their sick minds…he tried denying that as being the case as well………

    I had a perfectly wonderful childhood, yet somehow have ended up in relationships with totally needy/addicted in some fashion men…Something I am working on trying to figure out why…I had no clue my SA was an SA for the entire 10 years we were together and I moved out as soon as I found out as well….I do not consider myself a co-addict in any form, nor a co-dependent….If anything I am struggling with trying to ease up on my own boundaries as it pertains to my SA…I won’t play the game period…as a result I lack any flexability with any of these therapists or him…I’m not so sure that is a good choice for me to be making.

    CD, If I didn’t know any better, I would think you and I shared the same life….My SA triggers for the same reasons…I take it as his blaming me for his triggers because he says whenever we fight he feels like acting out. When he’s insecure or feeling inadequate he wants to act out….I’ve told him repeatedly I resent his placing me/us as the cause for his choices…He further tries to clarify that his feeling like that is his problem not mine but still, I feel he’s trying to hang his sobriety on me. I also find that I behave much like you do when I am frustrated…It’s all such a complicated viscious circle isn’t it.
    Sharron, Don’t be so hard on yourself, you are human….You’ve been hurt, and like the rest of us, are starved for genuineness. The fact that you are aware says much.

    Marion, I hope you had a great time at your party.

    Blessings,

    Mary

  241. Me

    Ive been lost
    for quite sometime
    buried deep
    in a slumbered sleep

    I was dreaming
    saving mortal souls
    One big nightmare
    tales untold

    They’ll survive
    without my soul
    I gave it freely
    just let it go

    Now awaken
    from my sleep
    My soul is mine
    to always keep

  242. Sharron,

    Maybe Your struggle is you subconsciously know that there is that one off chance he is changing…….and maybe he is, and maybe he’s not….but there is always that one chance……….I know for me, my feelings toward my SA change daily if not hourly some times…and like Flora, I tend to react a lot to what he’s doing and/or saying at the time…If things aren’t going my way, I find myself being overtly critical to anything my SA is doing and find little to be positive about.

    My SA is/was never verbally abusive either……and if you aren’t interested in finding another relationship to replace this one,if you don’t feel you are putting your life on hold, then, why not ride it out and see where this goes… I am in the same boat with regard to seeing change…My SA claims how can I see change in him if I don’t see him or spend time with him. I’m torn between taking what I know I have and trying to live with that vs starting all over again and having absolutely no flippin clue what I’ve got to work with..I’m too old to start all over again thinking about that type of risk. There are more creeps out there than decent men, and I for one have been used by too many of them already….

    Good luck in whatever you do..

  243. The text appears to be a real reminder and a wake up call. sorry it happened to you, but it saved you. I like that you did not rationalize or minimize what the text meant. It is what it is, a text from a sick man, and very hurtful, and it means what it means. I am glad you did not fall for his story, because it is just that. A Story and words. As part of our recovery we need to stop beleiving the stories and see it for what it is. It does not matter if it was now or a week ago, it is hurtfull just the same.

    The other thing that struck me is that he wants to move in to show you his progress?? Great for sticking to your guns. Movong back in allows him to get back to his comfort zone and start playing the subtle manipluation, power he has lost while away or out of the house. He can show you his progress from Italy if he chooses (unelss you are in italy, then i will say united states). You do not need to be in the same household to prove progress.

    I don’t think people realize the power that is had having them in the home. I did not realize and could not fathom the changes that have happened at home. Now that he is out, our home has become an oasis of sorts. It is comfortable, plush, clean and safe zone for all of us. Its our happy place now.

    I see great progress for you here and am very happy for you.

  244. Mary (and of course everyone else),
    Another thought. My SA was always gropping and grabbing me as well. Talk about boundary violation. While so many books are talking about how we are co-dependents, what about the abuse that we suffered? And we did. I feel it is abusive to have someone always grabbing an gropping, only interested in your lady parts, and no emotion. Pushing the sexual envelope for their needs, leaving you thinking that was odd?? If anyone is fine with it then thats great. But being treated like an object with no regards for your feelings is damaging. Where is that in the books by the experts?? I feel it is abusive, calling me a co-dependent or addicted to an addict does not help me get over that abuse, it enables it, by telling me I brought it upon my self and I played a part in it. Yes i did but only in the point in that i was in a relationship with someone who was this way and did not stop it sooner.

    And there is all the other kinds of abuse. Saying the love you while on the way to patron the hooker, texting girlfiends, lying behind your back. Don’t get me started. This is lacking the basic human need of do unto others as you would have done unto you, that you can be with some one (being your husband the one who is supposed to have your back the most) and they got your back.

    With an SA they just don’t and you will always have to keep one eye open, one foot out the door, and just settle, as you may beleive that there is no one better out there. Yes I could travel down that road of thought, but it does not make sense. A man will not make me happy, I will. There is no one to complete me. So yes is some regards there may not be anyone better out there for us, except us. And when I say us, what makes me happy is my life, my thoughts, my family, my kids, my dogs, my life etc. Life living in hapiness, and not worry and anxiety. Life is work and about troubles, but living with an SA and in a relationship with one is a voluntary struggle. The fight is similar to a battle with cancer, but cancer is not voluntary and the course of treatement is known. Not only that they give you a % chance of survival. Wouldn’t that be great when you go to your first therapy session with your SA??? 🙂

  245. Flora – Good advice for NAP! Part of the SA’s power is having you in the house with them, and it totally stifles they’re chance of recovery. Why should they? They have what they want and still do what they want! The manipulation will continue, they will continue to yank your chains- Thus the roller-coaster ride once again. No fun, and I am not going there again. I do feel a tremendous amount of comfort living in my own place – no chance for any bullshit!
    Mary – I do the same thing as you. My moods towards him change with the wind. One minute I feel the comfort of being with him, and then the next day I think. “What the hell was I thinking?” I tend to pop back to reality very quickly. I guess that is progress to a certain degree – should have just gone through with the divorce and gotten this thing over with. But, will just sit on it and watch what happens from a distance.

  246. Hi sisters,
    I read your discussion with great interest—cheering your insights, laughing at your jokes, appreciating your poems (nice work, NAP!), grinding my teeth at your SA shenanigans, empathizing with your pain and anger, and re-learning the road out of this nightmare.

    On this site we are careful to say that each of us has to find our own way, and we try not to judge each other’s decisions. That way, if we make a mistake, we can still find a group who will help us back on our feet with no “I told you so”. This path is laden with landmines—bad therapists, 12 step horseshit, idiot religious leaders, family cruelty, guilt, outdated theories of sex addiction, rose-coloured glasses, cultural permission for sexualizing women, misogyny, our dreams for our life with this man, our poor self-esteem, our willingness to think of ourselves last if we think of ourselves at all, PTSD, bad theology, financial hardship etc.

    Yet, here we are. Traumatized, but not forever. We still have the equipment to get us through the minefield. We have each other, a sense of humour, courage, honesty, intelligence, spiritual power, a mother’s resolve (if we have children), a character of greatness, the capacity to love, bullshit detector, and the ability to start again.

    Now, then. a few specifics:
    re: SA in home–I’m a proponent of getting them out, so I appreciate that you got yourselves to this epiphany. I know not everyone believes they can do it, but it is absolutely crucial for us to get their crazy away from us and our children. Ignore the self-serving 12 step piece that says don’t do anything for a year. That is just a set up for maintaining the environment of emotional abuse that comes with the addict alongside his sexual garbage, and DOES NOT DISAPPEAR WITH NEW SOBRIETY. It may ease up a little, but that is the best you get. When you get them out of the house you can think straight because their bad energy goes with them. I’m very sensitive to energy, and work intentionally with it. But it doesn’t matter if you are–you will be affected by it. I believe the only way for you to allow your story of destruction and pain to emerge, is to get away from them any program that doesn’t believe you actually have one that matters. I don’t believe we will get better unless we do this.

    Strong words, I know. And you can disagree. I’m 18months in from D-day, after a 30 year marriage. I’m a person of deep faith, the mother of young adults away at school and I have a non-profit job. I lost my house and my lifestyle which was not luxurious but was comfortable. I have worked with a therapist for nearly 18 months now and I have been re-disovering and recovering myself—the woman I was before 30 years of imperceptable but steady abuse. Finding me has been worth every damn thing I’ve lost.

    Light blessings for all of us
    D.

  247. Flora,

    I hear you there….my sa kept asking me Wednesday night to “make love to him”….I, of course didn’t……..Although he kept saying he also didn’t want me to do anything I’d regret later on….he sticks to his claim that he has always “made love to me”, never had sex….but this groping crap is for the birds. I have asked him until I am blue in the face to stop groping me! He wonders why he feels rejected! I am so programmed now when I see him walking toward me to turn the other direction because if he gets to me, he’ll grab me, force a kiss and stand there hanging on to me with both hands and ignors my subtle attempts at trying to brake free. I went out with him for the first time in awhile last week to do some christmas shopping and even walking down the damn sidewalk toward the mall he side steps in front of me so he can stop and grab me for what he calls “a kiss”….I’ve worn myself out telling him if he wants a kiss that is fine, but to keep his fucking hands off me and keep them on the sides of HIS body..NOT MINE…..It goes in one ear and right out the other. This has been a problem for over a year now…. I even made it a FIRM boundary 3 months ago in that if he did walk up to me in the kitchen while I was cooking and wanted a kiss, he could give a “peck”…but his hands had to stay at his side…It lasted about two weeks. It’s a terrible feeling to want to run when you see your partner heading toward you….terrible….I’ve gone so far as to point out in public other couples who are showing affection and he (the man) leans over and gives a quick peck on the lips or the cheek to his partner, smiles and moves on.,..my SA grabs me, hangs on, and won’t let go!! I barely made it through Thursday, I was so tired from his keeping me up all damn night….I saw very much that this groping the other night was more about being horny…period….and once again, only thinking of his flippin needs…I’ve noticed now the few times we’ve been together intimately since my discovery that he becomes someone else during sex…one time he actually scared the crap out of me, he lost control and got very aggressive. I freaked out and stopped EVERYTHING at that point. Talk about feeling like an object! I didn’t know who this man was then!!! The sick part there was later when I brought it up, he said he thought I liked it aggressive! I was floored! I’ve been with that man 10 years and I am no where NEAR any kind of woman who likes aggressive sex and HE knows that too!…If anything I’m the frigid conservative “Ms” Proper…I was like, “are you serious?” Talk about sick!!!!Sex was always so bad with us from the get go, he was impotent the first time we ever tried a decade ago…I pointed out to him later,that he was confusing me with his internet whores and prostitutes…We had not had sex for a long time when that incident occurred, it really drove home how “checked out” he was from the real world………But with him, I always get “I’m sorry”, but sadly, that’s all I ever get, plus he claims “but I can’t help myself, I love you soooo much!” (this is referring to the excessive malling me all night in bed) ….I see it more that he is only thinking of himself……and I further told him that I was tired of all his “I’m sorry’s”.. he uses that as a response to everything…I told him he should only be saying I’m sorry for something he IS really sorry for, not a damn response. All I keep hearing is how much he loves me, and how he just can’t help himself, and how he loves my lips…and on and on………….oh pleaaaaaaaaaase!!!!!!!!! PUKE

  248. Diane,

    I couldn’t agree more…especially your statement about the “bad energy” that follows. I see that so clearly now…My SA being here for 4 nights…2 of which were uninvited uncovered all of that…I put up with watching him chew with his mouth open, falling asleep in the car, the couch, anywhere, SNORING…and MORE snoring…Being farted on while in bed at 3:00 a.m…..listening to non stop coughing all day and all night because he’s a smoker that won’t quit and was diagnosed with early COPD 4 years ago….Even my son told me he heard him coughing all night long….This is all over and ABOVE the “poor me” attitude that is forever present….

    Petty, I agree, to some maybe even worse than that…but after a decade of these behaviors it’s like nails on a chalk board for me….Sunday I had scheduled a photo op for me and my boys and my pups…a new family portrait…My SA was still around Sunday morning and went to church with us and this photo shoot was right after it…I’m rushing around loading everyone in the cars to get to the photo place and as the last one to walk out the door, I see my SA sitting in the front seat of my car…PLANNING ON GOING ALONG…..It was then, I got in my car, exersizing great self control, commented subtly that I didn’t know he was planning on going along (he claimed he decided to come along because I might need help with my 5 dogs, but last I checked, I have two boys, 21 and 16 living with me!!!) but told him after this photo session was over, I was going home ALONE for the rest of the day and NIGHT………He was in my house 5 minutes when we returned……..!!!

    I LOVE having my own little house….and it’s going to stay that way as long as I can possible hold on to it.

    XX
    Mary

  249. OMG Mary!!!!
    Mine is the same way!!!! When i used to get ready for work he would come running when I was changing, stands in may way in the hallway to get a kiss and hug. Cops a feel whenever he can. Come on! Look dude can I have a moment of peace when I change, Can i just get out of this house, i have to go to work and I am late already. This is four years into marriage, dated three prior to that. None of this is new.

    Its the same thing. You would not beleive the freak out he had when we were living together and I put the stop on hugs, kissing, groping etc. Major freakout, stressed me out soooo bad.

    I also agree totally with the cringe when he is coming in your direction. I always thought it was me. Took year to figure out, prior to the SA discovery, that he was stomping all over my boundaries. Had to make a request years ago to give me space, i just want to change and take a shower!! Is that too much to ask??

    My SA is the same. I LOVE you. Always. You are so pretty, i just can’t help myself, you have a nice butt, etc etc.

    Nails on the chalkboard for me as well. One of the last things was his chewing. I could hear him eat from across the room. Ughhh.

  250. Oh and for a while it felt kind a loving, fun to be wanted and adored. But at the end it was just creepy and clingy. And I was exhausted.

    The hugging, kissing etc. it is for them, not me or you. Based on his needs.

  251. Dear Everyone,

    The time has come for me to say good-bye. I am so grateful to JoAnn for starting this site and for everyone embracing me with such kindness and love for well over a year now. When I happened on it, I was so desperately searching for “something” that we all were when we happened upon this incredible “life raft” of support. It was the one thing which helped me more than anything else, and for that, I will always be so grateful to you, JoAnn. I found not only love and acceptance but much healing and a common bond with dozens of other women who have found themselves sucked into the vortex of this disease. It has also been immensely cathartic to be there for women totally hoodwinked by these men, to aid in the deciphering the true meaning of the nonsense that erupts freely out of their SA’s mouths; they all speak the same “mindfuck” language. I had the “privilege” to see the underbelly of this hideous disease— The parts most of you aren’t privy to and used that information as my “rosetta stone”.

    As most of you know, my husband is not a sex addict, but I was involved with one who has managed to convince his partner that he is “cured.” (he is not as I’ve seen dozens of his pornographic ads looking for sex on the internet– He IS and will always be, a predatory sex addict) In so many ways, to me, each and everyone of you lovely women is a piece of her— The woman I could not help, unfortunately. She could not accept the reality that is her life; sometimes, its just too overwhelming; I do get that. She does not know and she does not WANT to know, but she doesn’t want to leave either. She’s a masochist and a co-dependent. Some women are, not all, but some are. I am. I realize this now and it is something I am fighting each and every day of my life. I think this is why I wanted to “help” her so. I just began to see herself in me, but of course, we are not really alike at all, in many important ways. One day, i pray, she will “get it” all on her own and if not, so be it. her life. her choice.

    BTW, Predator, COULD be a GQ cover model and she is a very beautiful woman too. Sex addicts come in all different shapes and sizes and some ARE exceedingly handsome and sexy.

    My sex addict (yes, SEX ADDICT, not a man WITH a sexual addiction) made me sick. He gave me a potentially life-threatening STD that is passed on whether he wears a condom or not. He does not care. He does not care about ANY woman. He does not care if he himself, gets sick either. (he thinks he’s immune!!! ha!!!) He is a sociopath– a real sicko and I’m a sicko for even thinking about him… but I am trying each and every day, the best I can to not do so. Life is tough, my friends. It just is.

    Please take good care of yourselves. Put YOUR needs first. YOU cannot help them, only YOURSELVES. You also cannot trust that your partners will protect you from harm, emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually, no matter what they say. In most cases, it is all part of the con, that is who they are. Quite frankly, my thought is to just assume that they are STILL acting out, (if you wish to remain with them) and figure out a way to make it work so that you are content. Take the parts that you enjoy and forget about the rest and don’t complain much either. If you cannot do this, please do yourself a favor and leave. Otherwise, you are only going to succeed in making yourself sick and no man is worth that.

    Of course, the above is just my opinion.

    Please get regular STD testing and pap smears if you are engaging in any kind of intimacy with your partner. Ask your gynecologist to screen for HPV. You should be doing this every six months via pap smear. There are dozens of strains, and some of them can cause cervical cancer. There are no other symptoms in either the man or woman unless you have the kind of HPV that causes warts. Ironically, that kind does NOT cause cancer.

    In closing, I know that the holidays can be a particularly stressful, lonely time and only exasperated by all of this. I wish everyone much peace, healing, strength and the wisdom to do right for yourselves as you move forward with your lives, now and forever. You are never alone.

    All my best and Love,

    Lorraine

  252. Lorraine, we have never spoken but I read your posts avidly for a long time, recognising my own situation in yours. Thank you for the support, understanding and huge LAUGHS you have given me. I love a person who can tell it like it is and you certainly did that. I have TWO stds, I now know, and of course neither of them is anything to do with him *rollseyes*. Therapy has changed me from a masochist to a woman who wants no more of that. I wish you all the very best and thank you for such a lovely last post.

  253. By Lorraine,
    I will miss you and your wise words. You always added a bit a laughter and were never afraid to call it as it is.

  254. Hi Ladies,

    Mary and all, I sure can relate. I am sick of the roller coaster. I knew I was due for the downside pretty soon. This weekend my husband visited the children. We only talk through text and have a third party to exchange the children for visits.

    It’s really gotten bad. the big hook for me is that the first three years we were married, he wasn’t at all like he is now. It seems hard to believe he could “act” right for three years if he were truly the “a**” he seems to be now. My husband even texts me with accusations of violence that I have supposed perpertrated upon him-it’s the most bizzare thing. I wonder if he really believe this stuff, or whether these bizarre accusations and victimization scenerios are merely desperate attaempte sto project and hide from his hidden alter identity. It’s so weird!

    Whenever he was still here, the kind of weird stuff he would rage at me about would just freak me out so much. (I had PTSD and spent the night at the nervous hospital-first time event!)

    I am not doing anything about the divorce now because we still needd the support and plus, I am really hoping he hits a bottom and looks for help. My husband is not at all the man I was married to for the first three years. I am concerned about him, but he’s dangerous to me right now, so I need him away.

    Need Answers Please wondered whether there were common traits among us partners of SAs. I am going to guess that the vast majority of us partners are very compassion, warm, an exceptionally available to those whom we love. And I bet that when we have not been as “available” emotionally to our husband’s that they ‘act-out” because they are exceptionally emotionally immature and lack any real individual identity or abitlity to regulate negative feelings.

    Incidentally, when my husband and I exchanged the children, he lefft me a fancy Starbucks coffee and the childsupport check out in the open for the third parties to see (who exchange the kids). Then my husband was nasty to me via text later that day. It’s obvious that he’s got two identities: he wants everyone to see him as this “nice guy” and saves his ‘evil’ side for me. It’s so disturbing.

  255. Regarding our SAs, does any else feel like “we’re beating a dead horse”. Thats how Im feeling about the whole thing.

    Any thoughts?

  256. Flora,

    It is so good to hear someone else experiencing the same…I thought I was mad because of the stupid things he does that drives me to the brink of insanity…..Seems like these guys have to have their hands on something of flesh some way, some how all of the time.

    Lorraine, best to you dear, and hopes for a happy future. You gave me some great advice, and made this miserable topic enjoyable actually at times. Please keep in touch with us once in a while.

    Beating a dead horse? NAP, my SA never listens, never hears a word I say…I’ve been beating a dead horse for a decade….silly me…It’s me with the problem, isn’t it,

    Fatchance, I think that’s the hardest for me to grasp, how good they are at hiding…how good they were at keeping their secret and convince all how good, stable and secure they were. The hardest for me to absorb was my SA’s complete control for all these years…it was the progression of the disease, greed, and increased lust that got him busted last spring. He got way to cocky and self assured…That good ole’ Narcissism trait kicked in full boogie and he got careless…and I found out!

  257. Dear Sharron,

    First of all, I am really glad that you shared your wknd with Steve with us all. I know what a rollercoaster we are on, and with whatever you decide, as long as it is something you are ok with and it is healthy, that is what is important. But I have to question if this is truly the case for you given earlier posts. Don’t let some therapist thwart your decision. My mother in law made me question my decision to leave. guess what? he’s still an ahole and not in recovery. sorry, she loses.

    If I sound like a bummer, please forgive. but I think the joy you experienced this past wknd may be short lived. I know you already know that. One thing that helps me, go back and read your earlier posts about the situation from 2 weeks, even 2 mos ago. If you can do it today, not to burst your romance bubble, but you need to hear your own voice in this. I did this the otherday for myself, I was so sure at some points. In the past month there has been some softening of my position – maybe I want a legal sep, maybe he is trying. No, he is the same selfish ahole he has always been. still divorcing. it makes me sad, I cry. I feel remorse. but unlike your situtaion mine acts out with trannies and I am at risk for disease. I just won’t do it. Plus he’s an abusive pig (got that slogan from Lorraine- thanks) fairly often so it makes my decision easier. hell no, got to go. If you think there are salvagable parts of your relationship and want to give it another whirl, perhaps that is the case. Please tread cautiously ahead. Think about what is right for you. not what other people think. you’ve come a long way. it’s ok to have last minute second thoughts about it. you love and care for him. please, just love and care for yourself too, enough to not let a magical wknd keep your head in clouds. we need a grounded kind of love to walk this with them. love you. hugs

    But, if like Joanne, you feel he is dedicated to recovery and a small percentage of your life ant time is taken up by it, I can see a motivation for wanting to stay. I am just concerned because when you are right at the door, ready to make a move for yourself that is when they pull out big guns – sweeter than honey. Please don’t let the thought of, what if I never meet a man there’s no one out there at this age make a decision for you. There are plenty of non – addicts. Damaged, perhaps, but arn’t we damaged too? life does that to us. specially with these jackasses. it doesn’t mean love and a good relationship can’t be found. please don’t let fear make your decisions. I need to believe that too. We are desireable and loveable.

  258. NAP – you probably are beating a dead horse, and so m I. I have an array of feelings ranging from anger towards Steve, sad for what it could have been, and resignation that it can’t work out. This
    week-end when I was with him, everything seemed so right because I was experiencing the man I married – not the man I now know has a sexual addiction, and he is not able to show intimacy, empathy, or be actually present during sex. When you look at it that way – take a step back and realize I wasn’t with the “real him,” it puts a whole different perspective on what I want for my
    life. I want someone who will love me totally, not someone who puts me way down the list of priorities, and sometimes I am not even on the list!
    These are all the feelings I experience, and knowing all of this I just can’t figure out why I am still with him. I was totally ready for divorce – had notified him of such, and then caved. I think part of it has to do with his therapist, and how she denied to Steve she was validating my
    need to get away from him. Think that put me in a tail spin, so will have to work through that.
    Love to you and working through your demons.

  259. Pam – I intellectually know everything you are telling me is right on, and I appreciate you, giving me a gentle kick in the ass. I must not be in touch with my own feelings when I know in my heart living with him would just cause more trauma and heartache. I think, for one thing, I just am not able to see the manipulation in him right now – he seems so dedicated toward recovery and appears to have gained so much insight. However, the half truths and ommissions are still there and that should wake me up to the fact he really isn’t in recovery if he is still exhibiting those behaviors. I have a sister and two sons who think I should get out, a best friend who thinks I should drag it out for financial reasons, and another son who thinks I should give him a chance. It is driving me crazy!
    One thing did occur to me, however, and that is he told his therapist we are both wanting to work on the marriage, and then asked me if that was possibly a little premature. Manipulation – most likely!! I was ready to file a few days ago and was firm in my decision – not even a doubt in my mind, and then I take a total turn around. I am definitely going to have to gain some insight into
    that one!! I will go back and read my old posts – that is a great idea. Thank you for all you do for me – you obviously have your’e head on more straight than I do. I meant it when I said I am certifiable, although said it in joking at the time. I’ll get back on track again – just have to do a lot of introspection and determine why this guy has such a profound effect on me, and no-one else in my life has ever had the ability to keep me hooked in a dysfunctional relationship!

  260. Lorraine – I am really sorry to see you leave us. You did a lot of good for all of us, and gave me a swift kick in the ass when I needed it. I think Pam is following in your footsteps. Good for her!!! Please keep in touch with us and update us on how your’e life is going.
    You will be sadly missed.

  261. Sharron,

    I totally get what you are saying. I think divorce is a big decision and a big step to take-I would be feeling the same way.

    For me, what makes this whole thing so hard is I love my husband and I even like him. Hes hard working, creative, funny, smart, can fix anything, great father, loves pets, a great lover, wonderful kisser, handsome, kind hearted…oh, theres one I forgot to mention, HE’S A SEX ADDICT!!!!!!!!!!…..SH*T!

    Its like saying, My husband is wonderful, except hes an ax murderer…Its so sad to me that we just couldnt cut it off their back or have it removed.

    Im just seeing it for what it is and I just dont think I have it in me for the long haul. It makes me very sad because I do love and like him.

    Just my thoughts…best to all!

  262. Fatchance – Your’e husband is a real asshole – I wish my husband was, as it would make it a lot easier to discard him!
    Do you have a restraining order against him? He does sound dangerous, and maybe you want to do that. That is weird he was able to maintain a sense of normality for the first three years of your’e marriage. Perhaps he was really good at hiding his addiction from you, and then as it escalated, so did he. Who knows with these guys! My husband got worse after we got married – that is when he really began shutting me out, but up to that time only got better at going undercover. Once I started the confrontations, he really came out in the open.

  263. Sharron anything is possible. If you see a change then you see a change– just trust the intuition. But don’t let outside opinions make the decision for you. If you want to stay and work on it, then you want to stay and work it. I think everyone here has been there.

    btw – I don’t really have my head on right- I have been all over the place. Hwver, his decision to go to brazil and have an acting out free for all pretty much did it for me. Sharron it hurt me so bad it almost killed me. Plus, My situtation is more of a risk, health wise, abuse wise etc, so it makes my situation clearer- I have a daughter to raise. For you perhaps there is a gentler path to be able to walk beside him. If you think so, then you think so. but don’t let other’s opinions make the decisions for you. you need to make the call, and only you. 🙂 love hugs and support, and hope.

  264. NAP – you just described every SA in the world – they all seem to have the same MO, and I have said many times how great he is in every way, if he just didn’t have that addiction. Mine is handsome, charismatic, great sense of humor, great lover, intelligent, everyone thinks he is the greatest guy in the world, etc., etc., etc. And yes, I do love him. I think we must have some deficiency in our character to even love these guys when we know
    what they are. Ha.

  265. That’s just it Pam – I really don’t want to stay and work on it for the rest of my life. I just wish he would do something incomprehesible to make the decision easier. I can see where you are coming from. I probably would have had to “Hurt him” if my husband put me through what yours did.
    But, I understand the hurt you have gone through – there is nothing worse than betrayal in the world, and the trauma it carries with it. That is why I really don’t want to put myself through any more of this. Just have to figure out how to get there.
    I really am not listening to anyone else in regards to formulating a decision – it is just frustrating to listen to it all. My fault for airing my dirty laundry.

  266. I really identify with the feeling of “beating a dead horse”. I haven’t been with my ex SA boyfriend for 4 months and I am still beating that horse and it pisses me off why I am doing that. My therapist’s take on it is that when our mind is given a “problem” – such as “my lover/spouse is handsome…..etc….but he’s a SA” – we turn it over and over, trying to figure it out. I feel like I have one of those rubxicube puzzles in my pocket and spend my life trying to work that puzzle. I work on it while driving, doing laundry, teaching school – without even realizing I am doing it. What a freakin waste of time.

    Speaking of beating that dead horse, let’s beat it some more. I have a question for anyone’s 2 cents. Since my SA has had this 4 year this pattern with me of abandon/return, I have wondered if I am just one of several women that he keeps on the string. When I took care of him for 9 mos after his car accident, I actually wondered if another woman/women would come forward but that did not happen. During that time, there was total transparency – I took care of every piece of mail, knew of every visitor, snooped in every nook and cranny of his apt (!), etc. The only thing that I found was that he had emailed a former lover and told her about his accident and told her that we were together. At the end of the 9 mos, he acted out by putting his profile on a dating site – removed it, and we went to talk to his therapist about couples counseling but the therapist said that the SA wasn’t in sober enough recovery to be part of a couple so I left. (Sorry if I am being repetitive – I don’t post a lot and always feel the need to recap.)

    I read that in most of these scenarios, women have trouble getting the SA to leave. Mine leaves, is gone a few months, then comes back. (I know I know – believe me I am working as hard as I can on this.) He has been attending a dysfunctional therapist for 11 years, has many environmental controls, and leaves me because he “doesn’t want to hurt me”. Am I naive to think that there is a shred of integrity there or is this a pattern that others have seen?

  267. There is no shred of integrity.

    There is no pattern—it’s more like a dog always on the lookout for somewhere to pee.

    You can not solve this puzzle because it is not a puzzle. You have no control over the pieces. You don’t even have all the pieces.

    Carrie,
    let it go.

  268. Lorraine, I am sad to see you go. Best of luck and lots of hugs on your journey. Don’t forget about us 🙂

    I wanted to let everyone know that I had the time of my life at that party!!!! I was showered with compliments about my outfit. I danced up a storm to song after song. Food was great. Enjoyed JD and coke-responsibly. I opened up to some of the women that I’d met earlier in the summer. Wonderful to find out that I am not as alone as I thought I was. I didn’t get home until 3am. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Teenager all over again. I’m going out next Saturday as well. Two parties. Looking forward to it!

    You should see SA stumble all over himself to get the household chores completed, wash the dog, make meals, get my son up and ready for the day. He is putting on the biggest show yet. And I’m just soaking it all in. But tonight, I told him (in no uncertain terms and peppered with swear words (omg that felt good) that I thought everything he was doing was simply manipulation. I said, ‘Why the f**k didn’t you do this 6 years ago?’ He says, “You’re not so innocent yourself of causing difficulty in the marriage”. I say, “I never said I was easy to live with…but I was honest.” That shut him up.

    As I’m typing this, he’s told me that he’s going to bed. Ok, goodnight. Then he proceeds to come back out to the living room no less than 4x. Sits on the chair in front of me and says nothing. Finally, he says, “I’m going to shave my beard off. You won’t call the police cause you don’t recognize me, will you?” His beard was the one thing that made him most attractive and he knows that I liked it. I guess that’s my punishment for being independent. Oh well, the more he looks like a geek, the less I’m inclined to look at him. Oh but the emotional games continue.

    To finish off on a positive note, I am learning a new song on my electric guitar. Up Around the Bend by CCR. Nice.

  269. Hi sisters,

    I have a good joke:

    A man was at the psychiatrist’s office. The Dr. showed the man a series of ink blot pictures. The Dr. said, “Ive shown you 20 different ink blot pictures and you related each one of them to sex; I think you may have a sex problem”. The man said to the Dr., “Oh really, well you’re the one showing me the dirty pictures!”

  270. LOL-Sharron, you cracked me up when you said my husband is a real a**hole! HHAHA, I’m still chuckling! He thinks everyone believes he’s “Mr. Nice Guy” and he’s really walking around with a big bung-hole face-hahaahaa!

    Marian, I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself-dang-we only live once! And that silly infant threatens to shave his stupid beard: Like are you supposed to care? I mean really, what an utterly transparent, immature, pathetic attempt to get your attention. A real man would say: “Wow, you look fabulous and it makes me smile to see you enjoying yourself so much!” But not an SA, it’s always about them, their stupid beards, etc.

    Okay, I have not prayed as much for my SA today. Therefore, my day has been rougher between the ears than maybe it had to be. Anyhow, A**hole, as Sharron has so appropriately nicknamed my beloved spouse, did some more manipulative & bizarre texting. I just replied calmly and succinctly and then that really ticked him off because he gets evn weirder. Obstensively, he wanted to know when he could visit the kids again, but he never gets around to telling me.

    Oh, yeah, Sharron, I am a legal professional and I wanted to let you know that many states have statutes that allow you to file for legal separation, or to file for divorce and then if the parties decide later to reconcile, you may be able to do that but keep your original cause of action. And if you are successful in reconciliation, then some states even allow you to have the divorce pleadings expunged. You just have to check it out with your attorney. I realize that doing that can cost alot of money if you reconcile, but it might make it easier to know whether such options are available in your state in order to move forward with a divorce.

    Peace be with us as well as TWISTED HUMOR!

    I know the visits are for the kid’s benefit, but I wonder if he’s going to be such a bung-hole if I should just start ignoring him, at least for a week or two until I calm down. See, he doesn’t KNOW that I feel disturbed by my responses, but I am somewhat. And yes, their is a restraining order and his crappy texts are a clear violation for whci he is now may face over 8mos in jail for all of the violations if I pursue it. (But still need support.) SA is going to have a problem when I get on my feet financially.

  271. fatchance -I’m like Lorraine, I call a spade a spade. Glad you found it so humerous. Steve thinks I am a little too blunt. Oh, well!!
    Thanks for the info on legal separation/divorce. A Legal separation might be the way to go, but then
    I’m putting my life on hold – as if I have a reason not to.
    Ya, I think you should totally ignore your’e husband. I think it is all about control with them, and
    they get off by keeping us in a constant state of confusion and frustration. He enjoys it! Do you actually have to read the texts? I think I would get another phone and not allow him access to the number, or do you have to because of the kids? Actually, I would let him do jail time and sit his happy little ass in jail. I know finances are a consideration, but don’t think I would be able to help myself! A pound of flesh!
    We have a little bit in common. I have also worked as a Legal Nurse Consultant, and have gone to court on medical, psych, and geriatric mal practice suits. Very fascinating, and I love the challenge. I don’t do it any more, because I am retired and you have to work full time in the area in which you are going to defend. I kind of miss it.
    Marian – I am so glad you had a great time – am sure you really needed to kick your heels up and let
    the hair down. You mentioned your’e SA didn’t give you a compliment. That’s because they don’t find us attractive or sexy, but they sure do show jealous when someone else pays attention to us!

  272. Dear NAP,

    They need to feel Control, Power, feeding their huge egos….

    on another note – about an hour ago, I stood up out of my chair, and hurled a bowl of hamburger, chick peas and cabbage, along with my tv tray and fork and napkin straight across the room….after winding back like I was hitting for third base, and unsure if I was wanting a home run or just a tag to first, I punted and launched directly to the pitcher down center field. I’ve never done anything like that before….I must say, I’m feeling so much better now…..:-)

    and what do ya know, my SA headed home! with his suitcase in hand!!! (The couch wasn’t suiting him tonight)

    What a waste of a great dish though!

    Night all!

    Sleep well!!

    xxx,oooo

    Mary

  273. Mary – you crack me up – A little display of temper,huh. I love it. Boy, sometimes, we just have to let it all out. Good for you. Probably put the poor boy into shock! I did that just one time when we were out dancing. He was having a good old time with his triggers – lusting after every blond in the place, and I just reached my limit. I started punching him, and did some pretty good jabs. I had a little too much too drink that night, and Steve just sat there and took it – he didn’t know what to do with me. Of course everyone was looking, and he was totally humiliated – it didn’t bother me a bit! I hadn’t had so much to drink that I didn’t know how hard I was punching him – just enough to give a nice sting. I had to laugh the next week when we talked about it in therapy, and his therapist was really concerned (very serious look on her face) about it, and said she was quite concerned it had gotten to physical contact. That just made it all the funnier for me, and had to contain myself in the session. I told Steve he was lucky he had no visible signs of abuse – I really wanted to cause some serious damage, but, of course, held myself back. I think I made a believer out of him not to push me too far, which was exactly the message I wanted to get through to him. I honestly have never displayed a temper like that in my life, but boy did he push my buttons that night.

  274. Yes the emotional games, temper tantrums, awful texts, pity parties, sobbing, feeling sorry for themselves, threatening suicide, physical abuse , etc. are all manipulation. Attempts to control us and the situation. And it can be very subtle, such as the pity party.

    Sharron,
    I would not call the legal seperation or seperation putting your life on hold. You can organize the terms of the seperation before you seperate. Such as dating other people, finances etc. Healing seperation agreements or controlled seperation agreement are two non-legal ways to do it. I have heard that a legal seperation costs as much as getting divorced, but i would think is more solid, protecting you financially etc, in case he would charge up cc etc. (but not sure). The only catch with the legal seperation is my attorney told me the agreement is void if you sleep togehter and you will have to start all over. I think of a seperation as more of a middle ground. You can be cared for financially (if that is the case) while out purseuing other options for work, living arrangements etc. starting to put your life together. In a seperation you will be allowed to date other people if you so choose, live life on your own, and still keep the door open for the SA if you so choose. I think it is a nice midde ground if you are unsure of what to do. That way you can decide…is this for me …or am i happier with my SA husband??? I think it may help to give you the space you need to make an informed clear headed decision. That you don’t need to make the decision to divorce or not right at this second and you don’t have to live this life of agonizing limbo.

  275. Flora – I appreciate all the information on legal separation. Just prior to the time I separated from Steve, my attorney drew up a post-numptial. It covers me pretty well in case of a divorce.
    He has to pay off my car, dental/vision, and long term care insurance for life, and $10,000. immediately, and $10,000. each year married and increasing in amount $2,000. each year of marriage. He also has to pay 1/2 amounts increased in investments while married. That is not a bad post-nump for only being married since last April. He is very fair about taking care of me.
    We do not have any joint debts, and he is very responsible with finances. The law in the state of Kansas mandates he has to take care of me financially as long as we are married, and he is doing
    that. Actually, I try to make it without his help, but he ends up supplementing me a couple of hundred a month. So, don’t know if a Legal Separation would really provide any other purks unless just the peace of mind I am not in limbo anymore. Besides, I might decide to sleep with him on occasion. Ha.
    Again, thanks for the info – I will talk to my attorney and see how it works in Kansas.

  276. Sharron,
    So you are all set for now…..don’t panic. As my therapist would say, “so the decision for today is no decision”. You need not to hurry your decision. You have it till February ( or longer if you want), there is no reason you need to do this sooner, espeically if you are so conflicted. February is still 1 month+ away. you can extend that if needed. Nothing is set in stone and an educated decision you are sure of is much better than a quick decision that you might regret.

    Time will tell how he does and you do.

  277. Thanks Flora – You are always so sweet in giving positives with the negatives. We both know he isn’t going to change – I just have to work on “insight”. I just can’t understand why I have such
    a hard times getting out of dodge! I just feel that any “normal” woman would not even consider living with an SA, so have to realize I must have unresolved issues somewhere down the line.

    Sorry, JoAnn – am not meaning those who have good success rates with they’re SA. Haven’t heard you jump in here lately. Have to wonder what your thoughts are regarding my turn around on the divorce. I know you stated you were glad I was filing. My thoughts are I am a complete “flake.”

  278. Sharron,
    Be kind to yourself:) No one here is judging you or your choices. We have all been there, are there now, or will be there again.
    Take as much time as you need, change your mind as often as you want. Decide to stay with him for the rest of your life or decide to leave him permanently 5 minutes from now, or change your mind an hour from now about either of those decisions, and then change it back the next day. And it’s okay. ( It woudn’t be okay if you were in a dangerous position) You are the only person well informed and prepared enough to make choices about your own life. You can take our comments and advice and think about them, see if they work for you, throw some out, keep some, put some some on a back burner for later….. and know that they were given because we care about you and what you are going through. And speaking for those of us reading or posting here, we are grateful that you are sharing your life and your ups and downs and confusion, etc…..it helps us, too. And we know right along with you, how horribly complicated and messy this is. We get it, Sharron. A forum of women married to non-addicts might not, but we get it. We really are a sisterhood and I am proud to be your sister.

  279. Marie- Your’e post brought tears to my eyes. The outpouring of love and compassion from you and everyone else is wonderful. I hope I have been able to help and give support to some of you on the site, as well. Here, I am the psych nurse – always have worked to give support and bring closure with my patients, and I find myself in the same situation. Amazing how, when the shoe is on the other foot, objectivity flies out the window. Even though you know the answers and what you should do – much easier said than done.I don’t know if you all go through this, but I continually beat myself up for the indecisiveness, and think of it as a weakness on my part. Guess I am such a perfectionist, it is difficult to deal with failure!
    Yes, we really are a sisterhood, and I am also so proud to be your’e sister.I thank God for guiding me toward you all. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
    I love and appreciate you all.

  280. Question for those of you with young children in the house (15 yrs and younger) How did your children handle the seperation (not knowing the true reason for the seperation) in other words, most of these SA’s have such other good qualities that it is hard for other people to see the real and very sick person underneath. I do worry about my children and raising them as a single parent. Sharon, I do understand your indecisiveness and I think most of us have done the same many times and your honesty helps us all. Thank you.

  281. Hi Sharron,
    I don’t look at indecisiveness about complicated issues with someone that we love as failure….I think of it more as a normal and very human reaction from a compassionate woman:)
    We banned the words “perfect/perfection” at our house years ago when the kids were little ( we called it the “P” word). We tried to teach our kids that it was about the journey and what they learned and whether or not they enjoyed it and did the best that they could do for that particular time or thing or moment.
    Ban the “P” words, Sharron:). It’s part of being kind to yourself, and we know that you are doing the best that you can do at this moment and for this issue. And it will be just fine, as long as you take care of yourself.

  282. Hi Sharron,

    Please try not to be hard on yourself. I think we all go back and forth about how we feel, day to day. Its because we are loving and caring woman. There are no right and wrongs, no deadlines when it comes to our feelings. I think we have a tendency to “bash” our partners, and maybe rightfully so, however, they are not always bad people. They are people with a bad addiction. I just want you to know that I think you’re a super lady and Im happy to know you through this site. Your comments are always very helpful and appreciated.

  283. Hi All – Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom. Maybe you should hang out your’e shingle.
    It is amazing how knowledgeable you are on the subjfcts of “Life,” and especially sexual addiction.
    I commend you all!! We learn a lot on the journey to recovery, don’t we!
    Just a quick word to finally waking up-
    You are so right, in that everyone thinks the SA is the most wonderful guy in the world – they present as the “perfect man.” Not to worry about the kids. I would just tell them that they’re father has some issues you are not able to live with, and leave it at that. You want to be very
    careful not to put him down, as it will come back to bite you in the end. Kids are very perceptive, and they pick up on a lot more than you realize. If they don’t get it now, they
    will see it for themselves as the years go on. What goes around comes around! They may have some problems with adjusting right now, but trust me – they will see it!! If they push you for answers now, I would just tell them, you will discuss it with them when they are older and mature enough to process the information, and to trust you right now, as they’re mother, that you are making the right decisions.
    I am a victim of my mother and grandmother trying to turn me against my father, and telling me explicit details. If they would have left me alone, I would have seen it on my own, and I did.
    It is very damaging to a child psychologically. When I was older. and able to see him for what
    he was, I was able to accept him as the sociopath he was, but at the same time learned, for myself, that hating him was not healthy for me.
    Hope this helps.

  284. Hi Ladies,

    Yeah, I just let my oldest figure her dad out for herself. She’s 22 and the other day she said, “Dad is a real jerk most of the time.” I just laughed and said, “Well, you’ve said it, not me.”

    My husband hasn’t got back about visitation. He just wants to harrass me personally and now that I have set my boundary, he’s not interested in the kids. Yes, what an a**hole. You’re so right Sharron!

  285. But what do we do with our sociopaths that outright lie about us and try to turn our children from us? This is my issue now and it is exceptionally damaging to the child….and me ….mostly it makesmy child hate him, along with everything else…..but then when confronted with another lie my child comes to me to ask me about, all one can say is the other person has problems and be careful what you believe….and oh boy, do they (the SA) go ballistic on that and then somehow you are turning the child against them. The manipulation never ever stops, ever.
    It has not worked for him, trying to turn my child against me, but it has been very abusive to me and my child…….does anyone else read the headlines hoping for a natural disaster directly over their houses?

  286. Hi Lynn,

    Are you in the middle of a divorce with the narcissist? I am a legal professional and I work in the area of child advocacy. The type situation you describe is indeed very destructive to the child’s emotional well-being, self-esteem, and sense of safety.

    One of the most difficult things to do is NOT to engage in a tug-o-war with the children. However, if you feel your child is suffering from this situation (and she probably is) then couseling may help. There are alot of crummy counselors out there. But ask around and see who is most suggested. After some time, the counselor may not only help your child process his/her feelings and the facts as he/she sees them, but also the counselor will be in a position to make recommendations about your child’s best interests. Many counselors won’t testify, but may prepare a report.

    Additionally, many states provide by statute a Guardian ad litem which may be requested by the court sua sponte (on it’s own) or by one of the parties where the child’s interests may be different than that of one or both of the parents. The Guardian ad litem advocates for the child’s best interest and is therefore the CHILD’S advocate.

    I wish you and your children the best. One of the things that makes me the angriest is when an adult acts like a child is some “object” to be owned and give little or no regard to the effects of a situation on the child. Our children are not ours, the merely come THROUGH us and we are gifted with the responsibility of caring for them. And boy would I like to BRAND that idea into my husband’s thick head:)!!

  287. Hi Everyone,
    Sharron~what a roller coaster week you’ve had…
    But I guess it’s a roller coaster for all of us isn’t it? It’s so easy for one of us to be objective when we’re isolating the one trait/behavior we are talking about here on the site..the sex addiction, it is quite another when we are talking about all of the other things that attracted us or that are positive traits. Mine is also a very hard work in his career, handy around the house,funny, smart(about history, cultures, his work, orgaization), not so smart socially. Mine is not what I would consider charismatic at all, rather pretty shy natured. One of the reasons I was shocked with finding out about his acting out was that he has always been a clean freak(wouldn’t even share a towel with me! It is still unbelievable to me that he slept with prostitutes in Mexico and Vegas! Really, it is amazing what these men do to fullfill the addiction. My therapist said “he even went against his own values and that is really sad isn’t it?” It is sad, but how do I know what his real values are anyway? We met feeding the homeless at a church…This is definitely NOT what I thought I was getting into 19 years ago. This week has been another roller coaster week, fighting last week and feeling like I was sick of his minipulation, then therapy and kissing up all this week trying to do everything he can to prove he is in recovery. He now has a plan for anger relapse/acting out. Back to the whole temper tantrum that some of us have described. So, I guess that’s the anger management he use to always joke about from movies. I’m glad the therapists are calling it like it is and he seems to be listening to them. Last night the marraige/SA expert told him it would take 3 years of therapy to be discharged with a discharge plan and be healthy again. That’s with total commitement. Am I up for 3 years of therapy with him to try to get him healthy. That will take a lot of love and dedication…I need to think about the impact of losing 3 more years of my life to this addiction…

  288. I really don’t know what all activities my husband was involved in before we separated. I am going to get tested Friday for STDs. I am wondering how many of you have contracted and STD from your spouse?

    I am really trying not to freak-out here. Will you all share on this?

  289. Hi fatchance,

    If you don’t have any symptoms you are probably not infected. The one exception is genital warts, which may only show up as an abnormal pap smear (which may show normal some years and abnormal other years). I re-posted a poll that I had up a few months ago that asked if partners had contracted STD’s from their Sex Addict. You can see the poll and the results in the lower right hand column of this website.

    It is so important that women get tested when they discover their partner’s Sexual Addiction. Even those who claim they have not had physical sex with anyone else are most likely lying, so take care of yourself.

    You can read more about STD’s and Sex Addicts in my post Is Your Sexually Addicted Spouse Maintaining His Sobriety? Don’t Bet Your Life On It.

    We’ll be thinking of you. Be sure to let us know how your tests come out.

    Hugs.

  290. CD,
    Three years is about ho long i woul guess it would take. And you are right that is a long haul. It may be possible for him to pull thru and that the sacrifice will be worth it on your part. It is also possible to stand by their side thinking the conquered the addiction only to find 8 years later it is back, or he has been having affiars etc. It is a tough decision, no doubt about it.

    Fatchance,
    I was tested and exhibited no symptoms. Aids on the other hand has no symptoms. I was worried too before I went. Googled what the symptoms were. Interestingly enough for many of the heavy hitters of STD there are no symptoms. But i think this is short term, if you had an Gonorhea for a year, I would imagine that and some point in time some symptoms may arise. My tests came back clean. I did have hpv a couple years ago, no doubt a gift from the SA early on in our relationship. But mine supposedly just did porn, don’t think i beleive that story at this point anymore.

  291. Joanne,
    I still worry about the genital warts, I have a small blister thing, it has been there for a long time. Previous to my knowledge of the SA My Dr. said it was probably an ingrown hair. Now the clinic I went to said it may need a biopsy, but I didn’t want to go to my gen. Dr. because I’m still trying to protect my husband’s reputation. Any advice?

    Fatchance,
    I was tested for STD’s and to me it was so humiliating, I paid to go to a clinic instead of using my insurance and going to my doctor. Clinic said I was clear, I was also tested for HPV and came out clear. My SA slept with prostitutes for two years, he says about 2 per month, but claims he always wore protection and that the prostitutes require it. I never knew and was sleeping with him the whole time too. It is so hard to think they would take that risk for themselves or for us, but it shows how strong the addiction is and how twisted their minds become in the midst of it. I always thought men who did that were dirty drunkard types, mine is a business man who just took his pants down for 5 minute quickies on his lunch breaks…never ever went out at night, etc…How am I supposed to hold him accountable/trust? Our therapist says it’s impossible, he could always find a way around it if he really wanted to.

  292. I will add my two cents for what its worth.. My experience with my SA is that no matter what he discloses it is always about a tenth of what is going on. And this theory has been proven many times over the last ten years. That being said, My SA told me years ago that it was just hookers.. I have learned now.. that they can get it free any time any place on a site called craigslist.. quick and easy and more than likely with people just like them. To me this meant that the likely=hood of him using a condom every time was unlikely.. these guys are the worst kind of junkies.. and in that perspective God only knows what they will do in the face of lust.

    I am still tested regularly for everything.. at the onset of my “awakening” my doctor finally told me no more tests because I was obsessed and in every few weeks to be tested again. Those days have passed.. but I dont know about others on this site.. however I will confess that at times of weakness.. when he is sweet and .. well you know the story.. I have slept with him without a condom.. he even used it as a manipulation technique about how different it is with someone you love and it’s special because you dont have to use a condom.

    I the movie wasnt so bad.. I would say that My life with SA comes down to one things.. My eyes are wide shut!

    It’s a process I suppose and I dont beat myself up for it.. we all know that we stay because they are two people.. there is the man we love and the addict..

    I would get tested and then continue with the HIV for one year..

    Warm hugs and support

    D2S

  293. Hi fatchance. He wasn’t my spouse, but I got genital warts and genital herpes. And to anybody who thinks it’s just porn … it probably isn’t. I know about so much more than that already with the one I was involved with, and I still probably don’t know the extent of it. There were hints of some very heavy stuff.

  294. Hi T.,
    Yes I have heard that regularly that it typically is not most likely just porn. There in lies the maddening part of this for me. Going on almost a year since d-day, and he has never and i think refuses to admit to anything else but porn (which is all that I have found hard evidence to). But see my SA was a massage therapist for many years, until he was not making any money, now a CNA, many times I was unable to reach him by phone. In addition I remembered finding a prostitues call card in his wallet. So no longer makes sense that it was “just porn”. I am treating this like he has done porn and more, possibly the occiasional hooker or massage client, co-worker at CNA, when he had time. Until he admits to his wrong doing, I am traveling down the path of divorce at one year from d-day.

    It is possible that he did not. But given the info I know he was very good at hiding everything!! So until i see some remorse, empathy, sincerity, apology, a real move in the right direction, uncovering the reason of abuse, paradigm shift….I will follow through with my plan at one year. He was a case of discovered rahter than disclosed.

    Its sad. His family is slipping away (we have three kids). He is out of the house and has nothing to say for himself. He is very passive. And even away he has made no effort to show for unaccounted for time, banks statements, pay stubs, credit card statements etc. He did not do it here and has not done it after he moved out. While these are not boundaries, they were simple requests by me which he did not honor. And if he can’t do that, then thats it. But the boundary he did violate was that I wanted an equal partner. And not honoring my requests is not honoring me and not treating my requests as valid or me requiring equality.

    Just like Mary and I were talking about. He has been very passive. All about gropping, sex, kissing etc. But when it comes to helping out around the house, chores, money, kids… no where to be seen. Makes no effort. Of course after he felt his ass was on the way out the door, he made an effort, but no more than was assigned to him and it was half assed. He is like a little boy. I beleive the books call him the little boy who does not want to grow up.

    For many who seem to have a great relationship, minus the addiction, I think that maybe you have a prayer. But for others like me there is more and like the lack of contribution to the marriage, mine is one sided and he makes minimal effort towards his recovery as well.

  295. P.S. after my SA moved out he had only one household chore whidh was to mow the lawn and do fall clean-up. Guess what there are still leaves in our yard and the snow if beginning to fall.

    Advice for others. If you can assign some boundaries which you can actually see the progress is helpful. Like a boundary of not accepting use of porn….hard to see. Boundary of equal contribution to household chores and money….you can see. But I hear many do not have that issue. Make the request of pay stubs, unaacounted for time, teleophone records, etc… as you will know when you got it and if he has done it. This is recommended for re-building trust.

    Also i did not see the manipulation of my husband until I tried communicating in letters. I was then able to see the manipulation on the paper in his words. He would always be about I love you and kids, I am trying, I have a job now, I am doing the best I can in our conversations. But you can see through this manipulation on paper, when all he writes is how tired he is, how much he loves you and never once commented on the topic he was supposed to write about. He always has an escuse. Well after 7 years of the best I can, and escuse after excuse, the best I can is not good enough. Using someone is not loving them. Taking advantage of them is not loving them. Hwe was always about the words of love and being affectionate, but did not come through in all other areas.

    In the past I would start a conversation with goals in mind (for me) and I would wonder what the heck happened, only to get one thing of what i wanted or nothing. This is their life their MO. The lies and manipualtion are a way of life for them, they are much better at it than we are, after a lifetime of practice!!

    Sorry for my rambeling. And of course the TYPOS. There are always typos.

  296. Hi Flora, thanks so much for sharing your story as I don’t know everybody’s yet. Hugs for what you’re going through. It is so sad, especially when there are children involved. I left my husband almost three years ago (not the SA who brought me here) and we have a daughter, and it gets better. Some ups and downs, and my discovery that he is pretty narcissistic and an addict too, but we’re getting through it okay. Goodness, I do pick them well! That’s because I also have issues, caused by childhood abuse. Now I hope to be able to be more discerning. I haven’t been healthy or without fault either, I see that now.

    I think it’s nearly always discovery rather than disclosure. They are so passive aren’t they, until it comes to defending their secret lives it seems, when you can see a great deal of aggression even if it’s only verbal. Their defendedness is … I was going to say ‘legendary’! It’s shocking though. Like catching a terrified little boy with his hand in the cookie jar …. the lies start falling from their mouths even while you’re looking at them doing it. I heard so much, “I’m not. I wasn’t. I didn’t.” I wondered if I was ever going to hear something which he WAS! It does seem that there are husbands on here who would be great husbands IF they could get into recovery, as well as those that are simply not emotionally mature at all and for whom it’s probably too late to change. Selfish and narcissistic little boys forever. Flora, you’re not rambling. You deserve better, as do I, and I wish you well.

  297. Mary,
    I wanted to let you know that mine too puts on a good show. His parents think he is the greatest father takes charge when around them. He does this show for anyone who visits or when we visti anyone else. Oh do you need help carrying that?? etc etc. No i need help paying the bills!!! He gives tokens of affection instead of helping out an makeing money. Women are constantly saying how cute he is and checking him out. (btw he was viewing porn in front of her while he was supposed to be taking care of her..what a good father!!). Everyone, like in your case, thinks I am so lucky to have such a kind and loving husband. Gag me with a pitchfork!!

  298. NAP,
    Are you in counseling that will support you in this? It is really tricky…We have been up and down with it, if he thinks he can gain me by moving out, he’ll do it at the advice of counselors,but as soon as he feels me distancing, he starts pushing back in because he is afraid of losing me. I think it is also a loss of control to them, if they are in your face/space they can minipulate more. You can make an in home seperation agreement, or of course at last resort if you feel it is detrimental to the kids, go legal with it and show proof of his acting out negatively impacting the kids, but you have to be careful there with how that can affect kids and what door that opens if they are young and not ready to be exposed to all this crap. Mine has been out for 5 months, but I arranged a place for him to stay to make sure it happened(shouldn’t have had to do that, just shows his lack again of taking responsibility) He did however move out, but has always pushed to be here as much as possible. You can try explaining to him how moving out and giving you space would show respect for you and the time you need to heal and also that he is taking responsibility and consequences for his behavior, which is part of growing up and being an adult and the kids shouldn’t have to be subject to hearing you talk about the SA issues, or seeing the stress it has caused. It really depends on how much he really wants to change and how humble he is about what he’s done and the pain he’s caused his family. I see it in my husband sometimes, then he’ll go right back to the defensiveness and turning things around, it’s a looooong road we’re in for! HUGS!!

  299. Hmmmm. Mine left. I think some are eager to have the freedom and new lack of any responsibility. But with ones trying to continue to make your life miserable I could see them being a pain in the ass. I am sure you have tried explaining the reasons and he just does not care. With so many of them it does not matter what you think or feel, they are the only one that counts.

    Fatchance seems to be in the legal field. Some usefull information may be…who owns the property? if it is a rental who is on the lease? Has he been absusive to you or the kids? The next step would be legally i would think?? Most courts or family agencies would beleive that it is better to keep the kids in the home…and not with a sex addict spouse but with the healhty one. So I would think it would mean he has to go, not you.

    If not succesful in getting him to leave…is there a way to devide the house? work split shifts? Make sure you let him know that at this time it is better for you and the relationship if he respects your wishes. That you need space to clear your head. Maybe contact legal representation. Get some idea of what they say. It has also been recommended on here to contact the womens shelter and they may be able to offer free advice? Where I live the better attorneys are charging about $300 for a consult. But in your area maybe it is free?

    Let me know how it goes. I will be curious what everyone posts.

  300. Thanks CD and Flora,

    I am in therapy and the house is in joint ownership. Do you all think its alot harder to live together during all this-is it better to be apart? I just dont think I should have to leave-I think he should since hes the SA.

    Any thoughts?

  301. Hi All – After reading all of your’e posts, I can actually see, believe it or not, that my husband is actually making some progress. Don’t know if he will be able to sustain it, but we will see. I do have a question to all of you-were your’e husbands ever able to show any intimacy with you, or has it always just been physical and a release for them? My SA was able to show intimacy with me on a few occasions, but lately is very consistent in being able to show his emotions, and “getting “into me” while kissing and making out for 2 hrs. at a time. When it does turn to sex, it is not about just sex – looks me in the eyes the entire time and maintains that intimacy throughout the entire act.
    You are all definitely right in only knowing a portion of what they’re addiction entails – Steve admitted I only knew about 50% of the time when he was acting out, and has since admitted to his
    fantasy world in dealing with the domination/submission porn – a big step for him! Also, has admitted to things done way back in college. He disclosed those things voluntarily as part of his recovery. I have just been one of the lucky ones, in that he never pushed the boundaries of his addiction beyond porn and lusting at women. I am definitely seeing a paradigm shift! I, too, would start a conversation about the addiction, only to have him change the subject, or not talk about it at all. Now he is volunteering to talk about it, and no longer gets passive-aggressive or angry about it. Seems to genuinely want to do whatever it takes to re-build the trust – hopefully it it not just a ploy to keep me, but time will definitely reveal his sincerity. Steve used to look me right in the eye and lie to me constantly, and even when I knew he was lieing he would deny everything. Now he is admitting his triggers. Of course I have no way of knowing if he is always telling the truth, but his behavior towards me has changed. Last night, I was having an emotional meltdown – started crying and couldn’t stop! All about “can I believe you”, “how will I know when you are better”, etc. It was after midnight, and he drove all the way from our house to my condo, came in, and showed a concerted effort to calm me down. We went to bed, and he held me in his arms all night. (No sex). Also, I have never had a problem with him showing responsibility. He always shared in housework, cooking, etc., and he will do anything for me at my condo if I need something done. After listening to your stories last night and today, I am beginning to realize there actually has been a shift for him and there might be more hope than I realized. I am not foolish enough to move back in, however, and I am going to give it a lot of time before I make that decision. Now, I will just sit back, wait, watch, and evaluate the marriage a day at a time.
    NAP – I think you have to weigh how much of a toll living with your’e SA is taking on your emotional and physical well-being. For me, I had to get out as I was suffering tremendously. My emotional and physical well-being was in the toilet, and I was showing signs of ptsd. If you do decide to separate, I think he is the one who needs to go! The only reason I moved out was because the house, as well as all material things were his, and his contribution financially was all his – I was not contributing a thing other than social security.
    Sorry you are all having so many problems- these too will pass, whether being with or without your’e SA. You know how close I was to filing for divorce, and that may still be the end result, but at least now I have something to work with.
    Hugs to you all.

  302. Hi Sharron,

    Thanks for the comments you gave me. Im happy to hear that your husband is making progress and you’re feeling good about it.

    NAP

  303. When I Go

    When I go
    what will I say,
    or will it be
    just another day

    Another day
    like all the others,
    with love distorted
    dark and smothered

    A day awaits me
    bright and new,
    I’ll find the love
    that I once knew

    Only forward
    and straight ahead,
    my future waits me
    nothing said

  304. Sharron,
    I wish you and your husband the best! I know that miracles sometimes do happen! I really am happy to hear there is hope. Hope is the best of things.

    Sincerely-fatchance

  305. I’m throwing the bastard out. I have never been so happy! He has 2 weeks to find himself a place to live. Personally, I’m wishing he take up the offer by his mommy to fly back to the States. It would be hard on my son but easier for me.
    I’ve had enough of the manipulation, his playing the victim with his brother, parents and anyone else who’ll listen, the lying, the distorting of reality and not getting my needs met. I deserve the best in life and I intend to make that happen. I’ll stop by here and there as I can.
    I’ve never been so happy to see moving boxes all over the house. I’m gonna throw me a big freaking party!

  306. Marian,
    Good for you. I am also happy that i threw mine out. It has been three months and i have never regretted it one bit. Actually it was even better than I ever imagined.

  307. Marian…

    YOU GO GIRL……….I’ll bring the champagne….come on girls..we’ve a party to get to…

    Seriously, wish you the best. I know how good it felt when I left and got into my “happy house” without him! I love it and I am so trying to hang on to this freedom. There is NOTHING like it…NOTHING..

    Be Blessed

    XXX

    Phyllis (formerly Mary)

  308. Hi ladies. I hope you don’t mind one more:)

    I found this site and have been reading for a few days, desperately looking for some resources to help me. I have read the book :Your sexually addicted spouse” and did a 12 week phone group with Marsha. I am also going to be talking with Dr. Steffens tomorrow , with the possibility of going to Ohio for an intensive with her.

    My husband is a SA( why else would I be here- right?) Disclosure has come slowly over a three year period. We have been married for 9 years, together for almost 13, and have two boys together. Two and Seven. I found out about the first round of affairs when I was three months pregnant with my second son. I left him very briefly. The first night I was laying in a bed at my friends house snuggling with my oldest son and felt the baby move for the first time. I had my oh shit moment. I was a high risk pregnancy and not allowed to work. How in the world was I going to care for us? I was in an emotional hurricane. I loved and adored my husband and never in a million years thought he would cheat. He told me it was because I pushed so hard to have another baby that he did not want. That I pushed him into the arms of other women. i believed him and I went back within a few days and we entered into counseling with a sexual compulsion therapist. We spent a year in counseling and I was hypervigilent the entire time. I put a gps until on his car and was constantly checking his email and text. The counselor was on board with it. Around a year in, he lied about where he was. I saw that on the GPS and he smelled of another woman when he got home. I looked harder and saw some questionable texts and left again. This time with a young baby that was nursing and my son. He went crazy. Raging uncontrollably about how I was mistaken. Calling me every name in the book, telling me I destroyed all of our lives because I went crazy. That he was a good boy that year and did everything possible to save us. I became a mess. I cried constantly. I couldn’t look at my boys without crying. I thought I did indeed go crazy and ruined their lives. I chased him while he flaunted women in my face. While he was mean and hateful. I did a marriage fitness course and begged my OB for medication for depression. We were separated for almost 9 months. When we got back together I was ecstatic. I thought I had my life back, but something was nagging at me. I quieted my fears. I told myself I was going to be the best wife and mother possible. I was going to take care of every sexual need and stroke his ego constantly. That at least if the marriage failed, I would know it was not my fault. We were back together just over six months when I saw a suspicious text in the middle of the night. I chatted with the girl as if I were him. I then put spyware on his phone and gathered my evidence. What I saw was shocking. He was sleeping with three or more women a week. Some without condoms. The entire time checking in with me, proving he was working late for legitimate reasons. Telling me how much he loved and adored me and couldn’t live without me. How he would never again risk us for a pieces of a$$. During that time frame, a woman came forward that he had sex with during our separation, but after the point we were supposed to have been monogamous. She had a six week old baby she was claiming was his. He went into begging and pleading with me to not leave him over the baby. He again swore his undying love and faithfulness. Yet, the day he went to meet the baby, he had sex again with the mother. I saw that on the spyware. He also was so cruel to me in many regards. Having a woman meet us when we went out one night, claiming he wanted her and I to be friends and there was nothing sexual there. I looked over to see his hand up her skirt and when I read the texts they were joking about my naivety and how fun it was to be fooling around in front of me. I made my plans to leave in the two-three weeks following. I found a place to rent. Pretended all was good at home, but a back injury was painful adn I could not have sex with him. One morning after he left for work the moving van showed and I left. My kids didn’t even know. They just came home to a new house and he again flew into a rage followed by a binge of too many women to count( including two of our employees) and a suicide attempt that landed him in mental hospital. He called every day begging me to take him back and I was firm. When he got out he begged relentlessly. Pleaded. Sent flowers, candy, cards, coffee. He then sat me down and asked to give him 2 weeks. He was seeing a sex addiction therapist and to give him two weeks. If i liked what I saw to give him two more weeks. After two weeks I told him he needed to give me the password to his spyware and he said he would, but he needed to tie up lose ends from the months prior first. He tried to go on and delete everything and then gave me the password. He did not know I could get the information re loaded and I did and saw he had actually even picked someone up in the mental hospital. He had sexual contact with her and several other girls that month. We again broke up for awhile, and the pleading continued. I would give him a chance here and there and he would always do something or fly into a rage and I would break it off again. I started seeing my own therapist and joined Marsha’s group. WE have been playing this pleading on and off again game for months. Finally just over a month ago I told him I was finally filing for divorce after a really nasty fight and his whereabouts screaming acting out. My therapist encouraged me to see a lawyer and even suggested I might want to meet a man for coffee that I had met a while prior. An attraction I had been foregoing in loyalty to my marriage. My husband found out and again started with the pleading and begging. This time things are a little different. A lot different. He has started in with a 12 step program. He attended a retreat in Mississippi last weekend and is leaving for an intensive tomorrow. He is being very humble, apologetic, spending many hours working the steps and doing his homework and pre work for his intensive. He has several accountability partners and a sponsor. He has stopped going out and partying ( to my knowledge , we are still apart so I will never know for sure). He is limiting his contact to dangerous friends to safe activities and has a plan for maintaining sobriety. He says he will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes. He is claiming shame over all of the evil things he has done to me.

    I have been on here searching for an intensive to deal with my PTSD. I can’t sleep without nightmares. I have graphic images from his graphic texts about sexual exploits in my mind constantly. I cannot even begin to process everything because I am so frozen. Up until three years ago, I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world and had married my soul mate and had the perfect life. We had a disclosure in October ( far before we were ready, in hindsight. I was just so tired of my every day having partial disclosures. I just wanted it done and over with). Anyhow, he has been an addict our whole time together. He hid it from me for essentially ten years. He cheated on me before marriage when we were living together and I never knew. He cheated on me throughout the beginning years when I thought we were blissful. I am so torn right now. I do not need him. I make a good income. I can support myself. I am not even sure I still want to be married to him. He is a great daddy. We used to have a ton of fun together. We still have the same parenting outlook. Same retirement goals, same financial beliefs and mostly religious beliefs. There are plenty of good aspects to our relationship, but I just do not know. I don’t know if I want to live my life in constant fear of relapse. I do not know if I can put my children through this again. My son’s best friend was tragically killed last year and I wasn’t sure he could handle this separation. I spoke with his counselor in detail before I did it this time. It seems so insurmountable. Not only do we have the addiction, and the rage that goes along with it, but He has acted out with employees of ours. One of which is still with us because she makes us alot of money. He has had sex with his next door neighbor. With many women at the offices we service. He has contact with someone on a daily basis he has had sex with and many days, I have to too. He has a baby whom my kids know about, but none of us but him have met. There is such a path of destruction. He is being perfect right now, but still, the thought of every having sex with him again turns my stomach. I can cuddle with on the couch, but that’s the extent of it.

    I am in my own place and happy here. I am supporting my kids, but still with our business we own together. I like it this way because my son can still go to private school because I have the flexibility to take him to and from school. I get one day off a week to spend taking my baby to gymboree classes. I can exercise throughout the day. I have freedom and overall am happy. I am not sure I want him back in my life, but I also like the friendship. The companionship, the raising the kids as a family in a family atmosphere. The family trips and dinners. I am looking for statistics on SA’s and their wives repairing the marriage and everyone being happy, including the kids. Is it possible to move past the betrayal and pain? To be happy being in their arms again? Or is it better to move on and either spend one’s life alone or find another life partner not afflicted by addiction?

    Thanks so much,

    Lori

  309. Hi LoriLM – I am so sorry for everything you have been through. My opinion is due to the depth and severity of your’e husband’s addiction, it will take years to ever reach the point where you can trust him again. Even if he is dedicated to following the path of recovery, this is a life-long process and the statistics that he can recover are very low.
    I think you have been through enough, but that is something you will have to decide. It is possible to move past the betrayal and pain, but, again, I am wondering why you would want to spend the mental energy to try in hopes of a reconciliation.
    You are in your own place and say you are happy. The children are better off out of the environment. My advice would be to work with a therapist on your own recovery. I think you should not move on until you have resolved the trauma you have suffered. That may also take awhile. Then, I would look for a healthy man who is not plagued with a lifetime of addictive behavior.

  310. Hi Lori,

    Let me get this straight. He had a baby with another woman and your kids know about this child? How did you explain that to a 7 and a 2 year old?

    Honey, I am absolutely shaking over here. I really can’t say anything. Its just all too gruesome for words. Snuggle? Sure, if you enjoy snuggling up with an Anaconda. Sorry, I am trying to be kind, but only a masochist would put up with this, and I don’t think that’s you.

    I agree with Sharron 1,000%. Your husband is as sick as they come. You’re in your own place and self-supporting. excellent. Its not just the addiction that has me freaked out. Its that ragin’ temper of his. He’s dangerous and sick enough to go off the deep end. Please keep yourself and your children safe.

    best,

    L

  311. Hi LorilM,

    In my opinion, I agree with Sharron and Lexie. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Even though it sounds like hes working hard at recovery, for any addiction, relapse is right around the corner then all this starts over again. Look at all youve been though already…do you want another 20-30 years of this. You sound young, bright, financially stable, loving, great mom. I think hes had enough chances, you deserve a break and also deserve the love of someone who wont drain you day in and day out. Its a really hard decision and this is just my opinion. I wish you all the best in whatever you decide.

  312. LoriLM,
    I haven’t chimed in in a while on any posts as I have been dealing with my own SA roller coaster ride lately. As far as statistics…I have heard this asked about and mentioned many times here, but not sure there has been a lot of feedback. This seems really important to those of us who feel as though we are risking our lives/futures. My husband just moved back in after 5 1/2 months of seperation. I realize how poor my boundaries have been in the past and it is a daily struggle to truly keep the healthy boundaries I am reading about and learning about in my therapy. Women with healthy boundaries are at much less risk of being emotionally torn down by their(SA’s) addiction because we learn how to stop tolerating the intolerable and consider ourselves worthy of being treated with respect and honor. I hear a lot of women talking about la-la land too, in a way…we mask reality too just to survive the pain. A great book is “Pain and Pretending” I am so sorry about what you have gone through for the last 3 years and the trauma you are enduring learning it has gone on the whole relationship. I have recently learned my husband was addicted to porn/internet stuff our whole marraige and started strippers/prostitutes the last couple years. It has been devastating and turned my world upside down. He has now been “sober” from all porn, masturbation, etc. for almost 6 months and I have opened up sexually a couple of times over the last month again with him. I am generally pretty guarded now and am not sure of the long-term outcome but felt he was trying and came clean, so I should try to give him a chance. It is not easy for either of us to change our patterns(my enabling, his narcissism) It will be a long road for sure and sometimes I don’t know if I have enough in me. My therapist says the statistics are 1 in 10 truly recover. Of course we would all hope ours would be the one, but reality is…the odds aren’t in our favor. There are a lot of indicators of change and those are the things to watch for. Lack of defensiveness, humility, genuine concern for you, (not just himself), commitement to readings, groups, therapy, church(if you are religious), accountability, etc…It is traumatic for me still, I am going through mood swings and major ups and downs with him here more and I haven’t been through 1/2 of what you are dealing with. You must be a really amazing woman to have endured what you have been through. I hope we can be a source of connection and encouragement whatever road you take. It is so hard to see our dreams smashed and lives destroyed because of this addiction, many of the women on here are past that phase and offer that perspective, but I know how hard it is with young children and a life to break the relationship when they claim to still want it. And, deep down they do want it, they just don’t know how to love. Either we have to endure the hard process of watching a grown man try to be re-taught how to love and care about someone, or let them go. I don’t think any of us can say what that answer is for anyone else, but guard your heart because your soul is at risk of being damaged with the poison the addiction brings into your life and the visions. I hate that part of this the most. Lots of love and hugs!

  313. I’m sorry CD, but I need to respectfully disagree with you about some of those indicators of recovery. I know a very sick sex addict who goes to mass DAILY. (he blogs and its all beyond gross) and others who go to church weekly. It is not an indicator of recovery. It is an indicator of nothing except that a man physically walks into a church.

    I am really concerned about this man’s rages. I am the adult survivor of a man who went into capricious and violent rages, with no provocation whatsoever, (that I could see) and would then beat the living crap outta me. (starting at age 3) That is… when Mom wasn’t around. One time, when I was eleven, she was around (but on the phone– at first and finally she intervened. My brother and sister and me, spent the rest of the day in the ER with her.

    This man is a ticking time bomb and very sick. And sex addicts can be very good at pretending to be attentive, loving, nurturing (I’m gonna throw up) — until. I’m not saying that there is no chance, but in the case of a violent/suicidal man, who’s SWORN repeatedly that he is clean when he was not, it is very remote.

    We all want the hope. Of course we do. That’s why this whole thing is just so horribly disgusting and depressing.

    My best,

    L

  314. OMG Lorraine/Lexie I couldn’t agree more! In fact that’s exactly what I’m going through right now. My SA’s actions haven’t changed! He got caught in a major lie on the 30th of December which he would have NEVER told had he not got caught! So what’s so changed about that? and he relasped on New Years (but it was okay because he was fantasizing about me which he called “acting out with his hand due to euphoric recall of me”)…PUKE what a nice way to say he masturbated! and then justified it by saying his fellow SA buddies, many keep that in their middle circle, but he was going to keep masturbation in his inner circle still!! oh and then tooted his horn a couple weeks ago over the fact that he told me when he didn’t have to…my response to that was “You are telling me just enough here and there to make me think you are in recovery…I’m no fool” — Back to Church issues : Yet he goes to Church now, LIVES for his Bible read…what is really happening is he piggy backs off of me and the kids who are GENUINE about our church and remain very active in other things outside of just service. He talks big of how he wants to help others, volunteer etc..but never gets out of his stinking lazy boy….I make him go to his own Church, but he tries to get into mine. I live 25 miles away and have told him he can find another Church much much closer to where he lives…oh but he likes mine! he likes MY pastor…He’s full of shit…..

    So, Mr. SA goes to some church on Sat night near where he lives, then sits and watches my church (It streamlines it’s services over the internet on Sundays) sometimes if not most services – all 3 times on Sundays! He sits and watches all that church…he counts it as an “activity toward getting a life, and it means he’s CHANGED as well, how can I not see that he says!! but then lies and hides and does all the same crap he did while I was with him…I feel like I’m being spied on in Church is what I feel like because I know his face is at his house on his computer watching the service me and my children are attending…but then he claims he reads the bible EVERY day and a daily devotion on top! OH BOY…the real kicker is he doesn’t stop telling me how HE’S gonna PRAY for ME!!!

    What a FAKE!! All I see going on is he’s mastering trying to use religion as a mask/front for his disease…it’s very sad and very sick…. People can tell when someone is sincere especially when it comes to religion. While together, he wanted nothing to do with church, but now, he’s all changed because of it…he’s all changed because he’d gotten away from God…God has opened his eyes…God has forgiven him for all his sleazing around – oh, and I almost forgot, because GOD has forgiven him, me and my children must too…..even if he’s still run around lying and hiding………He’s trying don’t you understand???????

  315. Hi Phyllis/Mary,

    It sounds like “attending” church; reading the bible; and attending multiple times a week….is similar to how the SA says they love us, care for us, show affection. On the outside they appear to be participating and a kind loving husband; but the flip side is they are not. Church…he seems to be going all out…but does not mean a darn thing. Similar pattern here. Hmmmmmm.

    Also about dragging his feet. I bet he knows/thinks that he will be back in in May. My SA is the same with very little effort. But I am paying attention to actions. And since he has been removed from the house there have been no actions; or anything that would suggest we are headed for the better.

    Instead I get questions like this….Where is this all going? …Are we headed for a slow and steady divorce? My response was “i have seen no changes and it is up to you to convey those changes”. Guess what still have not heard anything. And supposedly my therpist told me that his therapist has told him to talk with me about what monogamy is and our relationship. That was in November. So I have not heard a word. I like my plan of putting in no more effort than he has into the relationship; it works really well. No stress.

    After finding out my personality type; i feel it is really bad for me to be in a relationship with someone who likes to take advantage and take take take. This is a bad situation and explains why i feel the way i do.

    1. Yeah, we have to have really CLEAR boundaries with these folks, and consequences! ie, an action plan. PS- I like that you stated that you are “paying attention to ‘actions.'” Amen to that, as long as you are having integrity yourself! =)

  316. Hi All – I think some of these 12-step programs really push the religion thing for recovery, and many of these SA’s get addicted to religion as well. Not that I am knocking religion, (I am very spiritual) but sounds like a lot of them latch on to “God” as a way to make everyone think they are in recovery, and maybe even fool themselves.
    My SA reads thee bible daily and attends church with me every Sunday. He also made the statement that many of his buddies in SA have gone overboard on the religious thing, but they still continue they’re addictive behavior. He has also said he feels some of them are substituting or adding one adiction for another. It appears to me his sponsor is one of them. He is a former preacher, who from what it sounds like, was kicked out of his church when he got caught. Now he is active in SAA and seems to be the “authority” to everyone on sexual addiction. Maybe he is, and maybe he’s not -but, his methods seem like he is on a power trip.
    Because Steve has made quite a bit of progress, it is still always in the back of my mind he could just be taking a different approach of manipulation. He has made quite a few references over the week-end about my moving back to our house. IT IS JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! I have been duped so many times that it will take a long time before I would even consider it. He appears sincere, but is he really? Only giving it lots of time will reveal the truth. He told one of his SAA buddies that he learned to be the best lier there ever was. Now whether that was in the context of having insight, or this is just a game for him will remain to be seen. My gut still tells me BEWARE! I think we have all learned to have a mind like a steel trap, and I remember a comment Steve made during therapy 1 year ago, “The games I play with Sharron.” His therapist didn’t pick up on it, but I did. That has always stuck in my head. So, as you all can see, it really takes a long time to build trust! Will it come? It is up to Steve to make that happen.
    In the meantime, I am happy by myself, and will just sit back and be very aware of red flags. I have always said this man could sell the moon to anyone. But, at the same time, I am really trying to be fair to him. One in ten recover?? 5% recovery rate?? Does not look good for any of us – even for the SA’s who are putting forth the effort.

  317. I agree. The 12 step programs and even many therapists stress God and religion. The problem is that so many people have so many different approaches to spirituality. Unfortunatly, many people feel that by “giving it up to God” that means they sit back and wait for a “miracle”! Prayer is not to solve your problems. Prayer is to give you comfort and to remind you that so much is out of your control. Prayer won’t make God come down from heaven and bless your SA with the gift of sobriety. We are human and have to do the work. Our blessing is that the tools to support us are here. It’s up to us whether we use them or not.

    Sorry if I offend anyone with my views!

    Christine

  318. Oh man, I keep coming here and reading about my life, my relationship with an SA! After being isolated isolated for so long, it is eye opening to read what everyone is sharing.

    I see the same pattern here. My SA now goes to church too….in fact, the very first thing he did to *prove* to me he was changing was to sign up for classes to convert to my religion. I’m pretty sure the main reason he first went to a therapist was to *prove* to me he was changing. After all, he was someone who had said he would never go to a “shrink”.

    But it’s never about what they willingly show the world, is it? The real story lies in what they are hiding. I’ve been learning this the hard way. All that time he was going to religious classes, he was trickle truthing me to death. All the time he was seeing the therapist this last year, he was hiding and lying about his alcohol abuse.

    I wish they’d put half the effort into actually changing that they do into trying to *prove* that they are!

    I swear we’re all married to the same man.
    I agree that only time, and LOTS of it, will reveal the truth. The problem for us is staying sane.

    Can we borrow your plan, Flora? I think it needs to be our new mantra!
    Put no more effort into the relationship than he has.

    Everybody now!! Repeat after me!!

    Put no more effort into the relationship than he has.
    Put no more effort into the relationship than he has.
    Put no more effort into the relationship than he has.
    ……………………………….

  319. Christine – I agree with you 100%. God is not going to send down a bolt of lightening and cure all! God helps those who help themselves. God will give us strength to weather our trials and tribulations, but it is up to the addict to to use the tools provided him to pursue recovery, and show the motivation to want to do so. If not, I say everyone in that situation should kick they’re ass to the curb!

  320. Hi robin,
    Sure make post cards, t-shirts, sticky notes…whatever you like. Ohh I forgot to finish my quick story about my response to his question of are we heading for a slow and steady divorce and I said that it is up to him to convey his progress in recovery…. His response….. silence and you could hear a pin drop. He had nothin to say. You could tell he was waiting for me to make suggestions….not anymore. I have wasted my breath on this enough. He can figure it out.

    Sharron, i agree with you guys as well. God is not gonna come and take this way, they have to do the work.

  321. Its basically the same old song and dance, over and over, and over, and over, and over again. If we dont watch it, we will dance right along with them. Simply, we just need to step off the dance floor and never get back on.

  322. No sure if this is the right place to post this, but I just got back from my first therapy session. This therapist specializes in PTSD and said she’d like to try EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) with me, if I’m open to it. Anyone have any experience with this? Opinions?

  323. YA ROBIN- I agree with you 100% – put no more effort into the relationship than he has. I will even go a step further and verbalize the frustration I have when I read so many of these posts where the situation with the SA is obvious to me they are too far “gone” to change. I feel so sad that so many of you continue to hang in there and hope for change.
    Even though my husband has made significant progress, I am not under the ilusion his change will be a permanent one. Most of them cannot sustain it. It is a crap shoot even though he has made some significant progress. I guess I am with JoAnn, at this point in time, that the goods outweigh the bads.
    So, I say – not only should we not put any more effort into the relationship than he has – we need to gain the strength to leave a dieing marriage/relationship. I know it is very difficult to come to that final decision after we have given our entire souls to them, and then find out we were the only ones to honor our marriage vows.
    I can tell you, however, after the decision to divorce my 1st husband, I was devestated. I lived with a mentally ill man for 28 years, and did so because I didn’t think I could raise 3 teen-age boys on my own. I met him when I was 15 y/o and married at 17. Although I don’t like the term co-dependent, I have to say it definitely fit my MO of coming from a very dysfunctional family and looking for security in marriage. I think part of my frustration was simply breaking up the family structure. I determined it was better to keep the family together, for the boys sake, and as it turned out it was. I would NOT do it again.
    I gave so much of myself in that marriage. But, within 1 year after divorcing I wondered why I was so foolish to stay in a loveless marriage. I moved on and was at peace with myself – happier than I had ever been in my life.
    So, life does go on, and it is so foolish to stay with someone who cannot, or is not willing to change. Don’t waste your’e life on these guys. Make a new life for yourself, and in no time at all you will all wonder why you married him in the first place.
    Steve’s addiction does not equal a lot of the ones I am reading about on this site. I could not live with infidelity, prostitution, massage parlors, chat rooms, etc. Although the addiction has affected his ability to be intimate, He IS willing to work on change, and I have seen that paradigm shift at this time. Will it last? Who knows, but right now the good times outweigh the bad. I am now feeling intimacy from him and we are sharing a closeness I didn’t think was possible to feel 1 year ago. I think it is worth the risk – maybe I won’t feel that way down the road, but at least I have something to work with.
    I am very proud that many of you have had the strength to move on. You will come to the realization you made the right decision, and hopefully will someday find a special someone who is healthy and can make you happy. Life is too short, and we all deserve to be happpy.
    Love to you all.

  324. Hi Laura2. EMDR is a relatively new mode of treatment. A colleague friend of mine uses it quite often with her patients, and views it as very positive experience in obtaining results. She suggested it for my husband, but I do not have the expertise to know the plus and minuses, and he has not pursued it. I am sure JoAnn, with her expertise, can offer some input on what it involves and how successful she feels it is.
    JoAnn – help us out here.

  325. Thank you Sharron for the thoughtful words and gentle 2X4s.
    It takes a while to process and absorb all of this sh*t for lack of a better word. It takes a while to untangle our hearts and souls from our spouses, and I’m learning, it’s an ugly, painful process.

    There are so many truths to be learned, usually the hard way, by painful experience.

    One truth you speak of toward the end, is one I’m working on right now. It seems so simple, but it is one that has bit me on the butt more times then I care to admit. It’s about time I learned it at 53.
    * It’s ok for one to have compassion for their husband. (which I do) But it’s not ok for that compassion to come at one’s own expense. *

    One simple truth, but just one of many that need to be learned.

  326. Hi everyone,
    Very interesting discussions about having the strength to leave. Here’s my question to those of you who have been in other marriages with non-addicts that ended in divorce. Are the thoughts that run through your head about whether to stay or leave this marriage different or the same? Is it harder or easier to think about leaving the SA than it was the other marriages? Is it about whether or not children are involved with the man in question, whether the non addict or the SA that makes it more difficult? What about if the children are grown?
    I would love to hear from those of you who have had other marriages.
    I have one relationship/marriage, no experience with divorce. My husband and I both grew up in families where no one as far back as anyone can remember has ever been or is divorced. We don’t have any close friends who have been in the past or currently are divorced. We don’t have any friends in our neighborhood who are divorced, one neighbor who was divorced 25 years ago, long before I met her and her current husband of 20 years.
    Part of my own recovery and reclamation of myself has been to add this word DIVORCE to my vocabulary. I have long viewed it as an essential, necessary, protective backup plan and very legitimate…..for other people. I didn’t include myself in that until d-day and it has been a process since then, and I feel as though I have embraced it as absolutely the right thing to do if he relapses or even if he stays in recovery and we don’t make progress. BUT those childhoods stay with us, and I think more than anything else, that is why I have stayed in this marriage. I used to think ( prior to discovery of the SA) that if he hit me or called me names or was mean to the kids or had an affair ( more than just “harmless flirtation” with “Just friends”, etc.)….that then I could “justify” a divorce to myself and our families.

    What has been your experiences?

    Maire

  327. Not to worry Robin – we all need to be hit by 2×4’s, including myself. It took me until I was 50 to figure it out. I was single for 10 yrs., and then met my current SA husband. What a card life delt me, as there is no way in the world I could have seen it coming. He, like all, was a master mannipulator/deceiver. We have been through many ups and downs, but now there are more ups than downs.
    JoAnn has been wonderful in her loving ability to hit me with 2×4’s. I am still learning, but feel my insight has grown tremendously. Hopefully, mine will be a success story. Life is certainly a learning process, isn’t it. Sounds like you are getting it, in that you are not okay with compassions at the level of one’s own expense.
    Good luck and hugs. This is such a wonderful network for support. Keep utilizing it. It has helped me tremendously.

  328. I was married before at the age of 21, had one child at the age of 24, seperated and later divorced at the age of 30. This marriage did not end due to any addictive personalities or abuse of any kind. This marriage ended because I was not happy. We could not have a family life without constant intrusion of the inlaws. His family was very overbearing and he would always side with them. I left; we had joint physical custody of my son who resided with his Dad. Though that was a tough decision (my immediate family is catholic and no one ever divorced, I would be the first) I could not let their approval/dissapproval affect my decision. Only I knew what was best for me. Later I found out that my family was 100% supportive of me. I remained single for 18 years after that divorce. Dated off and on but had no desire to marry again until I met my SA. I know now that he was an SA when we met and dated but I had no idea. There was a time when we discussed our past, kind of a let’s get everything out in the open kind of conversation, where I told him that I was a recovering alcoholic and that half of my immediate family were alcoholics. It was at this time I asked himm to share anything that he might want to tell me about his past and he emphatically said he had nothing like that to share. That’s what really pissed me off when I found out that he was a sex addict and that he had been all this time. I gave him every opportunity to confide in me before we let our relationship get serious and he didn’t. To this day, that haunts me that I could be so naive as to not know what he was up to. The decision now to get divorced or not is very different than the last time. This time I’m dealing with someone who is mentally ill. He’s got ADD, PTSD, in addition to being an SA. No one was there for me when I went through recovery for alcoholism and it was a very lonely difficult time. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. If I can stand by him while he actively seeks out help and does the necessary work then I would feel as though I hadn’t done my part to try. So now, even with all the ups and downs, and all the chaos I’m giving this a chance, but he knows my boundaries are there and if he violates those boundaries, I will have no choice but to impose the associated consequences. It has to be a controlled environment or it just won’t work. Who knows where we’ll be at in a year from now, but at least I will know I didn’t make any hasty decisions. You have to do what is right for you and not let your decision be based on family and friends justifying it for you. Just my two cents.

  329. Dear Marie,
    I also have a lot of barriers to the idea of “divorce”, and me actually being “divorced”. For me it’s not about convention or religion etc, it’s about personal failure. I never imagined a situation that I didn’t know I could overcome. But this is it. Sex addiction. Because it doesn’t matter what I do. Nothing I do changes the addiction. It just is what it is. So I feel defeated and I don’t like it.

    But I also know that I need the symbolic disconnect to happen. I need to be divorced. Otherwise I’m still hooked in, and the pain will never stop. And the anger will always be just below the surface.

    So how do you “justify” a divorce? You have to know the value of your own life. YOu have to know the limits of your power as well as the potential of it still unrealized. YOu have to remember the great women in history who took the meaning of their life in their own hands. YOu have to see the young women today who take responsibility for their own happiness, including their own sexual happiness. You have to call a spade a spade and let what needs to die, die. You have to believe in the possibility of new life. YOu have to speak up for your life and want to live it in freedom. And you have to have so much love that you can forgive yourself—not for being co-dependent, not for failing at marriage, but for not being perfect after all. Then you are free to love your own humanity.

    That’s as far as I’ve got with it.
    peace to all,
    D.

  330. Diane,

    Thanks for sharing your last post. I have missed you here. I ask myself how did I get into this situation, why should anything be this painful especially when all we had was loving good intentions. You are so right, its self love thats going to get us through this and back to living a full life again. It sounds simple, but for me its very hard and for others also. Why is that?

  331. Hi ladies 🙂

    Wow, I wish I had found this site years before!

    Sharon, Thank you for your response. I ask myself those same questions a gazillion times a day. I hope one day to have the answers:)

    Lexie, I have to giggle about snuggling with an anaconda. In many aspects that is so true, but I do have to say there is that side of my ex that is much like many of the SA’s I am reading about. So very sweet. Manipulative. romantic. cunning. charismatic. Anyone that doesn’t know him like I do adores him. I so agree many days with you though. Snuggling I can do, kissing or anything futher is just not ok.

    CD, Wow, what a thoughtful and insightful post. I commend you for being able to open yourself sexually to your husband again. I can only imagine how hard that must be as I am light years away from that. I wish I were an amazing woman. Mostly I think I am just a wreck. For 9 years I thought I was married to my best friend, soul mate and love of my life. It’s a bitter pill to swallow that I was so very wrong. The sex was always amazing, too. Which still baffles me and we never seemed to have any lack in intimacy. I always thought we were so close. I do have to say it’s the young kids that has me so confused sometimes. I go back and forth daily about what is best for them. They will always have him as a role model. I can’t change that. He is one of the most involved fathers I have ever met. He would fight me for half time and he would win. I have already been told that since he has never missed a single visitation with his oldest, a girl. He even drove 5 hours when he lived away every other weekend to get her. My son’s worship him, which is a blessing and a curse. Something I love and hate and fills me with fear. It was hard explaining a baby sister to my kids and I wish he never told them this soon. My son was so confused and really doesn’t understand. He is so excited to have a baby sister that he has always wanted that he doesn’t get it. He thinks this was God’s way of providing him with a baby sister since I can’t give him any more siblings. My stepdaughter is another facet. She is 13 and I have been in her life for 12 years. We are so very close and it is hard to think about that changing. And she is old enough to know how the baby was created and it disgusts her and makes her very angry at her dad. If it were just me I think I would be long gone, but I also know I have to deal with this man in some capacity for the rest of my life. I will never truly be free of him.

    Marie, In regards to divorce. I am 37. This is my second marriage. It was so easy to walk away from my first husband. I didn’t love him like I loved this one. We had no children together and didn’t build a life together. We had nothing shared. This time I have a business, property, assets, debts, and children. My first husband was navy and he cheated on me once while on deployment. I walked away and never looked back. It was never a consideration to stay. The divorce was easy. There was nothing to fight over and no real emotional ties. My parents are still married so divorce wasn’t something I expected, but staying with a man who cheated on me was not an option. We weren’t married in a church either so I never really felt like it was a true marriage. Then I met my SA. I fell madly deeply in love with him and knew when I married him, before God and to myself that I would be with him until death do us part. I just had no idea our road would lead here. That gives me much anger because he knew he would never be faithful back then, yet that isn’t what he said at all. He was already cheating on me and I never knew. I believed him. That is one of the areas I have a hard time with. I meant in sickness and in health and if he is sick, I struggle with leaving. I also paid 16k to get pregnant with these boys. each. I wish I knew then what I know now. Having children for me was very planned. I never wanted to bring children into my past marriage because I never felt it was forever. I chose to bring these boys into this one, and now they will suffer in some aspect because of who I chose to be their father.

    Oye, I just wish I had a crystal ball most days and look a few years into the future and know if he truly stays in recovery. To know if me children would be better off divorcing or with him. My life is good right now, but a full divorce would change that. I doubt we could stay business partners. Right now my son is in a private school and I can drive him to and from school each day. I can take time off if needed for special school functions or if my baby is sick. I get to take Fridays off to spend with my baby and take him to gymboree. I would likely have to sell the business and split it with SA. It wouldn’t support us so I would return to work full time. Although I could still support us, I would lose the freedom I have now. I liked the life we had built together. WE went from having nothing to a successful business, living in a posh condo on the intracostal with a boat in the marina to my moving into a nice neighborhood, but smaller. Losing the boat. Losing being a stay at home mom ( I was before the first round) Losing the life we had created together to my own little mostly comfortable life. I would lose much of it with a divorce. There are times I would like to wait it out until my kids are older, but there are other times I think I am only 37 and my kids are still young and endearing. They would adjust to a new man and step dad better sooner rather than later and i hope I am healthy enough to pick a good enough role model to over shadow the one their dad is. Maybe not much damage has been done by their experiences and they could see what a true and happy marriage is like. And then I think…. I thought I had that for 9 years. How would I ever know?

    I just wish none of us were in these shoes to have to face these tough decisions.

    Lori

  332. Lori,
    I feel your pain…I also wish none of us were in this boat. So many here are now jaded from this pain. I am trying to learn as much as I can from this process, as painful as it has been and trying to focus on learning why I got involved with a SA in the first place without letting my heart harden. My therapist says regardless of whether or not any of us knew about the addiction, the behaviors were there and we accepted it into our lives when the relationship started. Why? That is the big question we should all be spending energy on. Why didn’t I recognize those things I can now look back and see as red flags? Many times I spend most of my time consumed with his recovery, addiction, behaviors, but now I am finally starting to see what Joanne was talking about at the beginning of this blog…Changing what consumes me and not allowing his addiction to define me or consume my every thought. I am focusing more on why I got into the relationship and where my issues stem from. It is not my or any of our fault we got into a relationship with a SA, we didn’t recognize the signs, but for any of us if we are considering divorce and re-marraige or another reationship, it is Key to figure out those things about ourselves or we will wind up in another unhealthy relationship for sure. It is a fantasy to believe you can jump from this relationship with all of it’s issues and think some other perfect guy is going to rescue us into a blissful new and healthy life. I’m sure those who are on 2nd and third marraiges can attest to that. I see healthy marraiges around me and know it is possible. It will be much harder with a SA and raising kids. Mine still wants more kids, can you believe it after everything we’ve been through? Every day is a struggle and a re-evaluation of the truth and reality of our situation. We need to be watchful,and guard ourselves. I see a lot of anger here with a lot of the women, it is part of grief and healthy to express, I don’t know why I’m not there yet to the same degree. My therapist says I’ve only hit the tip of anger and that it’s a really important part of this process. I know I still love him despite the pain he has caused me and every day I continue to try to see the good in him even through the bad. That doesn’t mean I’m denying reality and the SA. He goes to 2 groups a week and 2 counselors a week and provides financially working in a great career. I still see issues, but I see a man who desperately wants to save his family and is trying and I’ve decided to give him a shot one more time. I hope I don’t regret it.
    To All the women who responded to my recovery indicator regarding God:
    I agree that walking into a church weekly(as my husband did the whole 19 years) does not make you a Christian or show you are in recovery, however if there is spiritual growth and a true and contrite heart of repentance and desire to change, that is evident and does mean something. He is still a human being worthy of love and forgiveness as we all are. I don’t claim to be sin-free, but God does release us for marital unfaithfullness from the vow of marraige because he knew how destructive it is. I don’t believe that means our only option is divorce and moving on. We can be single, but after almost 6 months seperated and working on myself, I realized I don’t want to be a single mom, not because of the material things, but I want a partner to raise my daughters and live life with. The options are work on the relationship that I am in (with the knowledge of all the struggles and character flaws) or…develop a new relationship with someone else an spend years discovering what they are all about. I am still weary after letting him move back in and realize I am taking a huge risk, but the unknown of a new guy isn’t any less of a risk and at 39, frankly I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone. I will not settle for his behaviors though and we have to stand firm and be strong with the expectations of true recovery. I do feel your pain and share your struggles, everyone of you…

    1. CD,

      “I don’t believe that means our only option is divorce and moving on. We can be single, but after almost 6 months seperated and working on myself, I realized I don’t want to be a single mom, not because of the material things, but I want a partner to raise my daughters and live life with. The options are work on the relationship that I am in (with the knowledge of all the struggles and character flaws) or…develop a new relationship with someone else an spend years discovering what they are all about. I am still weary after letting him move back in and realize I am taking a huge risk, but the unknown of a new guy isn’t any less of a risk and at 39, frankly I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone. I will not settle for his behaviors though and we have to stand firm and be strong with the expectations of true recovery.”

      I wish I could write it as eloquently as you. Those are the big factors I go round and round in my head about. I don’t want to be a single mom. I am 37. I want to be in a life partnership. I do not need it, I want it and the thought of taking on a new man with unknown issues scares me. And then there is the whole step parent dynamic. I see it with my sister. She is on her third husband. Left number two because there were too many issues with her kids and his son and she was always defending her children and he was always making his out to be the angel. It destroyed their relationship. Now in her third marriage, he is mean and hateful to her children. They share a baby together and he isn’t great with the baby, but as she put it ” He is going to destroy my son and I cannot allow that to happen” . She tried to take him back and work on the issues and Christmas morning he was so ugly to her daughter she kicked him out yet again. My SA has a daughter from a previous marriage and luckily her and I are very close, but I have been around since she was a baby and there has been struggles with it. Clear cut boundaries and my willingness to abide by them made it work. BUT, I also hear it is much harder for a man to accept another man’s children with compassion and love. I never thought in a million years I would be considering attempting to put this back together, but here I am. As you said, this struggle and character flaws are known and in the open. I worry about the next ones. I do think without my children my answer would be a no brainer, but then again, I always though my leaving in light of infidelity was black and white and a no brainer, too.

      Thank you for your insightful post……..

      1. I wish I was your age again and the problem would have stuck its ugly head out then. I believe I would have ended the marriage. I am now 50, 4 children (my youngest 7 with a disability) and who wants a 50 year old woman with young kids? At least you have the chance to dream of meeting someone else to build a life with, I can’t dream and hope the same things you do. I’m all for giving chances, Lord knows I spent most of my life giving 3rd, 4th, 5th chances. But when you know in your heart that it won’t change, don’t wait until you’re my age…the options are much fewer. I truly wish there weren’t so many of us out there. The problem there is no accountability anymore. Everything is legal. Everything is permissable. God help us!

  333. Divorce topic:
    I was married prior. that marraige ended when I realized the lack of love and intimacy between the two of us. We were high school sweathearts, and it got me out of a bad situation at home. But one day he decided he did not love me, the kids, his mother…no one. So we w