Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:19 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Therapist session today
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:15 pm
Posts: 96
I was told today by my therapist, that my husband will NEVER change. That once a cheater always a cheater. That people are just wired to cheat or not.

You may or may not have read my earlier notes of the weekend with finding out new information that my husband had been holding onto. And that he had also continued to hold onto a file of his 2 night stand. This is showing I guess EARLY recovery.

I don't know what to do. My doctor said that I needed to be thinking about our daughter and I needed to pull it together and move on with my life because I either had to accept that my husband will always be a cheater, or I needed to move out now since it is impacting my daughter with how sad I am.

So my question to those in recovery - do you agree? My question to those that are "sticking in" with husband that have been WITH people (my husband actually was with people) is it true for ALL or is it a case by case basis. I was really starting to believe we had a chance, even after finding those things he was holding onto - but now, I just don't know. I just don't know.

_________________
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through,how you managed to survive.You won’t even be sure that the storm is really over. But one thing is certain when you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:27 pm 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:58 am
Posts: 665
Hi MarriedtoSAinTO,

Quote:
I was told today by my therapist, that my husband will NEVER change. That once a cheater always a cheater. That people are just wired to cheat or not.


An important point to understand: I'm not a professional. However, in my own personal opinion, this is absurd and I think there is substantial evidence to the contrary. Case in point: CoachJon. If you have read He Danced Alone (which I might recommend doing at this point), he describes being engaged in dozens of affairs during his addiction, before making the transition to health and remaining committed to his wife for over a decade until he passed away. As well, he believed the core of his addiction began when he was very young (2-3), which also shows that change is possible for everyone, if the will is there, no matter how ingrained the addiction was. There are also many people who he worked with on this site who engaged in affairs, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, etc. who went on to live a healthy life and be committed to a partner. It seems to me like this therapist himself is engaging in all-or-nothing thinking, when in reality, it's not so cut and dry.

Could people be genetically predisposed to cheat more than others? I'm sure it's possible. But that doesn't mean they also can't consciously choose to be faithful, if that isn't how they want to live their life. Genetics doesn't just automatically override free will. To say that someone is destined to cheat and can't help themselves because they're "wired" to do so only further absolves the person of personal responsibility of their actions.

As I said, I'm not a professional. However, it's important to recognize that there are a lot of therapists out there who are ignorant about this addiction. As we always say on the forums here...if you feel like your therapist isn't meeting your needs or is giving you advice that is actively detrimental to your own wellbeing or your ability to make rational decisions (or is trying to force a decision upon you), seek another therapist until you find one that you can relate to. Obviously, that's a choice you have to make, and one bit of what is, in my opinion, bad advice that doesn't speak to the complexity of the situation doesn't necessarily mean he has no idea what he's talking about or is completely unhelpful. That's for you to decide.

But the fact that he's making it an "either-or" situation seems unhelpful to me. What about the choice of staying, with the strict personal boundary that if any other unknown affair information from the past comes out, or if anyone other affairs occur from then on, you'll immediately leave? Not to say that this necessarily needs to be an option for you...just showing that there are more than two options here.

FT

_________________
"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell." - Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:34 am
Posts: 276
What your doctor says is pretty damning, and while it is probably sometimes true, maybe often true, there are great success stories here.

The big factor is if he is willing to recognize and face his issues. Serial cheating is a habit, compulsion, addiction, whatever you want to call it, but it is how some people manage loneliness, stress, boredom, self hate, whatever. It's really a hard habit to break, and, even if he does manage that, there is a lot of healing which has to happen on your end, as well. In some ways, in my experience, dealing with his denial has been harder for me than dealing with the actual behaviors. I imagine it like I am dealing with his unhealthy mind, while dealing with the damage in my own mind. It's been 3 long years since disclosure, he's "getting" it now. Given what we have been through, I would be shocked if I found out he was acting out now, but I still would not say that he is really in recovery.

I remember early on scanning these pages for hope. This is a really difficult addiction to break. Jon mentions somewhere here that generally somebody ends their addiction when the pain of the addiction out weighs it's numbing effect. To my mind, initially I bore most of the pain of the addiction, where he painted an image of the behavior as "sexy and fun". Now, I am seeing that turn as the genuine man starts to reemerge. It has been a long process, lots of hours of therapy, no recovery group for him, RN for me. Between us, we have seen 5 therapists, with one therapist who has led us both down a mostly successful path.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:10 pm 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:58 am
Posts: 665
Yes, it can take a very long time to click for some. I'd say for me, I enjoyed relative success for about 2 years...but still didn't know how to efficiently manage my life, and paid for it earlier this year with a job burnout. However, at that point, I was still clueless to my love addiction up until the beginning of this summer.

Quote:
Jon mentions somewhere here that generally somebody ends their addiction when the pain of the addiction outweighs it's numbing effect.


This is true, but just to clarify...this is usually how someone begins a sincere recovery effort. If this remains their motivation (ie. the pain of the consequences), they'll get stuck in that common recovery/relapse pattern. It's only those who go past this into a sincere desire to change the way they live who make it into health.

FT

_________________
"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell." - Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:03 pm 
Offline
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:58 am
Posts: 665
Just posted this in secretsurvivor's thread, but I think it would help you as well. This is a post from CoachJon regarding this very subject (of being uncertain when to leave). I removed the half regarding those who have already decided to leave...since you're not in that boat yet. But you can still view it if you like in her thread.

Quote:
I share this with much trepidation. The last thing I want is for even a single couple to ‘give up’ on a relationship before that becomes the only healthy option left. And so, I will share some thoughts here (based on some questions from a different thread) and trust that each of you will put it into its proper perspective. But I’m telling you, if there is all of a sudden a mass exodus of people leaving their marriages/relationships…I’m never pushing the limits again!

First, and I say this openly: if I would have discovered my own addiction a few years before I did…and knew then what I know now about the recovery process I had to work through…I would have asked my first wife to leave me. No doubt. It is almost inhuman what she would have had to endure as I struggled to rebuild my life. Granted, if we had years and years of love and memories to keep us grounded through that process—who knows. It may have been worth the pain. But since our marriage was based on my addiction, and being that I had not the first clue of what partnership, intimacy, love, etc. was really all about…I would have told her to run. And not look back. At least, not until I had regained my identity some 2 ½ years later.

Ironically, it would have been best for me as well, as I have little doubt that had I tried to work through my recovery while married to her…it would have only taken one slip here or there to completely derail my progress. The crises that would have undoubtedly occurred as I struggled to learn about true honesty and communication would have done to us what it is doing to many of you: creating ‘necessary’ crises…but crises nonetheless.

I didn’t have to deal with this because my wife never knew of my addiction. And so, those 2 ½ years I spent were years where I was accountable only to myself. And slips were met with frustration and intensity—but a rapid and direct recommitment to change.

I say all of this because some people in recovery perceive me as being different because I now know what I know. But I didn’t know it then. Back then, I was just as awkward and fumbling through my recovery as most are now. I also share this because some take on the belief that I am ‘destroying their marriage and/or encouraging divorce’ and nothing can be further from the truth. I believe that ANY couple—where both are aware of the addiction and both are sincere in working through it—can not only overcome their past, but flourish as a result. Because of that addiction, the opportunity to grow closer and experience more depth as a couple is possible. Just as some who experience near-death experiences come to appreciate life with a depth that is rarely achieved otherwise. But, I also know that it takes BOTH. One person committed just isn’t enough.

So, when is it time to ‘move on’? There is no easy answer. And no definitive answer for all. Even in situations where those with addiction have no true desire to end that addiction…other considerations must be involved in making the decision to end the relationship. Other values. Other goals. It is entirely possible that as a partner, you will derive more meaning from life through maintaining an intact family, home, appearance, etc., or from taking care of your kids or your career than you will from your marriage. Nobody but you can say whether or not this is the case for your life. Other people may see you as settling; but that is irrelevant. It is YOUR values that you must work with. Your values that must set your priority for action and decision.

Is it enough for you to end a marriage based on your partner’s refusal or inability to overcome his addiction? There is no answer to this—save for the answer that you come up with for your own life.

Let’s look at this from the opposite angle. Let’s say you have a partner who HAS gone through recovery. Who IS sincere about ending their addiction but, who even beyond this addiction lacks the inter-personal skills (communication, vulnerability, transparency, connection) that you seek in your life’s partner. Your top goals revolve around more intrinsic needs like intimacy and partnership. And so, is it enough to end the relationship because of those shortcomings when he has worked so hard to end his addiction? Only you can answer this.

Should you be impacted that others will look at your decision and judge that you were the one who gave up? That you were unreasonable? Of course not. You are the only one who knows what is truly important in your life.

And so, we return to the fundamental question, “When is it time to ‘move on’?

The answer? I don’t know. But here are some major considerations to process:

# Is continuing on in this relationship having an ongoing, detrimental effect on your value system? Is it further breaking you down?

# Are you continuing on in the relationship because you are sincerely wanting to overcome this crisis and move forward with this man (or woman)? Or are you continuing on so that you can say to yourself (and others), ‘I did all that I could do?’ with the anticipation of an inevitable break-up?

# What do you sincerely believe inside: that he will change or he won’t?

# When you think of ‘life after this relationship’; is there a sense of fear or a sense of freedom? Or both? And if it is fear…is it fear for what will happen to him? To you? Or both?

_________________
"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell." - Buddha


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:18 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:40 pm
Posts: 543
I feel that putting limitations on anyone is wrong. Do people have a propensity for some traits – yes, i'm sure they do. But, for your therapist to say to you that your H will always be a cheater, is to say that your H does not have a choice as to who he is or who he can become. As we all know, he does have a choice.

The key word there is choice. It is “his” choice, not yours. The only choice you have is what “you” will do if your H choices to remain a cheater.

As was already stated here by FT:


Quote:
As we always say on the forums here...if you feel like your therapist isn't meeting your needs or is giving you advice that is actively detrimental to your own wellbeing or your ability to make rational decisions (or is trying to force a decision upon you), seek another therapist until you find one that you can relate to.


I would look elsewhere. This process is confusing enough without relying on the advice of a professional that is ignorant of sexual addiction.

I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this.

Hugs -

itfm


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 3:47 pm
Posts: 174
Oh the pain that uninformed people can cause! Some of my most painful experiences on this journey have come at the hands of uneducated professionals. When I went to be tested, the gynecologist told me I was an idiot for staying. Not a nice thing to hear on one of the loneliest days of my life. I left his office feeling lost and very distraught. Well-meaning therapists have misinformed our adult children to the point that it nearly annihilated our relationships. I believe a person needs to interview a therapist before meeting with them to see what they believe. It is just too dangerous to do otherwise. Someone on this forum had posted a very comphrehensive list of interview questions. (I used them awhile back very successfully.) It quite possibly was Coach Mel. Check it out.

There are good therapists out there who are coming out of the dark ages of the disease-based model of recovery, but unfortunately it seems that most therapists are still trained this old way. Thank God for Jon's insight and vision regarding health-based recovery. I can recall feeling very sick to my stomach being told the same thing you were. One feels like a leper with no hope. And then, of course, on the heels of being informed there was no hope for my husband, I was told that I was a sick codependent. Talk about knocking people down when they need the opposite! Very dark days, but I just kept seeking something different until finally I stumbled upon RN. It was like finding a fresh drink of water in the desert.

I am one of those people that is sticking it out with a man who has been unfaithful, unbeknownst to me, with other women, for 25 years. Endless prostitutes, one-night stands, and numerous affairs. Today, however, after 22 months of working on recovery, he is becoming a very healthy man for the first time in his life. After being married to someone for this long and experiencing the incredible change, it is amazing. But, if he were not rebuilding his life from the ground up in the way that Jon Marsh outlines, I do not believe his recovery would last. If he were seeking abstinence alone, and believing that he would always be an addict, I think eventually he would have fallen off the wagon again.

Your daughter is of course of utmost concern, but I guess the question that begs asking is, would you not still be in pain if you left? Of course, I do not know your situation, or where your husband is at in his recovery, but I just want to tell you that, yes, I believe there is hope. I am experiencing healing in my own life and in my husband's life every day. Has it been difficult with lots of ups and downs? Absolutely. Excruciating. But when I measure where we were two years ago it is amazing how far we have come even with the roller coaster ride. At this stage of the game, we have a far better marriage than we ever had in our 34 years. No, it is not perfect, but seriously, it is a thousand times better. I am now living with the man, not the addict. It is possible.

I think it all comes down to a willingness and a choice whether or not to do what is necessary to reach a healthy place, for both of you. The lessons can be very hard work, but the answers are there, and fortunately, so is the support from some very caring and wise people. Please take care.

Wishing you peace and contentment amidst the storm,
Hollyhock


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:29 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:51 pm
Posts: 83
After being in the depths of this addiction for basically my whole life, i have enjoyed 5 years of complete sobriety. Not always a easy road with some bumps along the way , but i have maintained fidelity and abstinence from self sex. The key to my recovery has been my wife's commitment to her boundaries and a attitude of never having to settle. If I could not live up to her standards and expectations and do the things that matter: live a life of integrity, honesty and humility, she wanted no part. I thank her constantly for her patience in allowing me to become a man. Now , i believe she is the lucky one to have such a bright future with a new man.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:27 pm
Posts: 290
I am so sorry you are dealing with this.

Although my H is not currently acting out, I don't believe things are 'over' and I believe he is still capable of compulsive lying and falling into rituals that make him unhealthy and violate me. I haven't told anyone about the SA or the surrounding issues yet and I am so exhausted of carrying the burdon and not sharing it. If I stepped out of my situation, I know what advice I would give me and that would be 'get out'. Since moving and having kids I don't feel i have any really close friends i could confide in, but I am certain that no-one I know would support me in staying in this situation. If I saw a counsellor of my own, I suspect they would tell me that I have no reason to trust my husband.

I have made an effort to learn about SA but i don't really want to have to deal with the ins and outs of it and why my husband still can't give back emotionally even though I pointed him in the direction of RN and he feels so much better without SA active in his life.

I keep asking myself 'you know whats happened to you, do the reasons why he did it matter?' 'Doesn't the fact that he didn't deliberately hurt you, but hurt you because he wasn't capable of valuing you just make it worse?'

I do believe people can recover from SA but I also believe that not all will and a therapist can only make a guess based on what they are seeing. It could well be the case that further down the line, this same therapist will have a different opinion if she sees some progress.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:15 pm
Posts: 96
Goodness gracious. 5 years of a tough recovery, and my husband had a major slip last week. I am not sure if he was with a man or a women. It turns out the doctor's were right. The problem is that I could not understand why I couldn't break free from this toxic relationship. I am now reading a book called the Betrayal Bond. I hadn't had to think about Patrick Carnes in many years. It is so sad to be back here after years of sobriety on my husbands part. He never fully recovered, but we both came to the realization that it was as good as it was going to get.

I don't feel those were wasted years, we have had some wonderful times. but i am now doing a lot of pushing on the topic of why I didn't leave then, and ensuring that I leave now.

_________________
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through,how you managed to survive.You won’t even be sure that the storm is really over. But one thing is certain when you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group