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 Post subject: Devastated
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:06 pm
Posts: 6
It was just over 4 weeks ago when I discovered my partner was a sex addict, by accident. The discovery unveiled in the staggered disclosure pattern a few days and what I know so far is that my husband who is 35, has been having erotic massages since 21 and also has been involved in prostitution. He has done this through all of his relationships including ours. We have been together for 4yrs and married for 1 of those, for the most part I truly believed he loved me and he treated me well. My friends would always tell me that he was 'so in love with me'. I am currently 4.5 months pregnant. Leading up to the discovery I knew something wasn't right, for some reason I couldn't trust him and it resulted in fights over the past year. One fight in Nov I asked him to leave the house over his lack of support of me being newly pregnant. He returned after a few days, telling me wanted out of our relationship. I was shocked, he could want to leave so easily. I later discovered that he had been on a binge of acting out after that fight. I believe he may have otherwise been abstinent the whole year. It took him 3 weeks to appear less depressed settle down and re-commit to investing in our relationship. Following that over Xmas and NY things were going well. He was excited about our 1st child on the way and came to my ultrasound appointments and was telling his friends about the pregnancy. This all came to a hault at discovery time. Initially he was remorseful. He said he still loved me and he didn't want me to give up the baby. He admitted to being a sex addict and even turned up to a sex addict anonymous appointment. A few days later we were supposed to go and tell his parents about his addiction so they could help us through while I was pregnant and we were trying to go through professional help and he did a complete 180 and flipped and walked out on me. On that night, it was like he was taken over by another human I had never met before. Two days later he phoned me to say he wanted a divorce, that our marriage is irreconcilable, that he didn't love me anymore and that he didn't care what I did with our baby, whether I kept it or not but he wanted nothing to do with it. He was so angry at me and blames all of our problems on me, he also denied on that phonecall being a sex addict.

It is 3.5 weeks and I haven't heard from him since, I assume he went out on another bender. I reached out to him to apologise for my reaction to his discovery and still nothing. It is like he has just run out of my life with no remorse. One of his friends who has been in touch with me told me initially he was still very angry at me and still blaming everything on me. I know he really did want children and he is a very proud person who cares immensely what others think of him. I know he hasn't faced yet the judgement of what people will think of him walking out on his pregnant wife. Last I am told he is not angry at me anymore, is hurting and possibly missing me and is not enjoying where he is living. He hasn't received any help but wants to.

I keep receiving advice to take care of myself for now and even to think myself lucky that he has walked out on me, but that does not help. I wanted the chance to try to work through this. I still love him immensely and believe people deserve second chances, the stakes feel so high given we have a baby on the way, it is devastating he has made a choice for his daughter that will impact her whole life without him even giving her a chance or seeing how he felt about her. Has anyone else seen sex addicts react like this immediately post discovery and do things from there ever change? Every story I read seems to be about how sex addicts want to stay and save their relationship. It feels like he values my relationship with him far below everyone who is on here, basically as though I have meant nothing to him ever. Does this mean he is very far into his addiction now and that it has completely taken hold?


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:22 am
Posts: 146
The only advice I can give from my stand point is..he has shown you who he is,believe him. If you try again,how long before he flips again.
I know from my marriage,that my husband cannot bond, I do not think he feels love as I do, he us fine when its going his way, but as soon as confronted,or expected to act as you would expect a normal person to behave,the aggression,resentment and blame,manipulation comes to the surface.
In my case,I feel I have trauma bonding..that is,the worse I was treated,the more I yearned to get his love, it's taken a long time to understand that the all consuming love I felt at the times if bad treatment..was not love,but a delusion of who I had built him up to be in my dreams of true love.
I wouldn't have married him had I known how it would pan out..i had mo idea he was a sex addict for a long time.
Believe me, my kids have been impacted and damaged by his behaviour over the years,as underlying his addiction is an intimacy disorder, at 27,one of my daughters asked me why Ger dad didnt talk to her like other dads, he is incapable of relationship and that has haunted me..that my kids never had the father they deserved...


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:31 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 630
Amber - I am relieved you have found Recovery Nation and I am so sorry you need to be here.

Quote:
Has anyone else seen sex addicts react like this immediately post discovery and do things from there ever change?


I know this feels like the most important question before you right now. I really know how this feels. Yes, some of the partners here have had similar stories. Sometimes addicts choose their addiction over their partners and their families. It is devastating and shocking. I know of partners whose spouse did not return. Those partners tend to not stay on RN since they need to rebuild their lives and are free from that point forward of sex addiction. I know of partners whose addicted spouses return. I can't tell you what the outcome will be, but I can tell you that recovery and healing is possible, but it is a long, hard road.

But, I am most concerned about you and your baby. What you need right now, and deserve, is safety, comfort and support. The most important thing you can do is to find as many supportive people as you can. Do you have trusted family you can turn to? Are they close? Friends? Are you in therapy? I will also say that focusing on you and your baby is your top priority, and I know how hard that is to do given the shock and trauma of what you are going through.

And, you don't need to apologize to your husband for your reactions. If I could magically give you something right now it would be this: this is not your fault. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not to blame. You did nothing wrong.

I know that now, but it took me some years of work to really, truly get this. My husband as well is a blamer. He blamed me for everything wrong in his life and for his addiction. And, it takes a while for addicts to accept they are addicted. One of the hallmarks of addiction is an inability to take responsibility for behavior.

I encourage you to start the partners lessons just to get a sense of first steps in creating more safety and control in your life. This is truly traumatic for you. Discovery is traumatic for partners. But even if you don't start the lessons, what I do want you to do is to focus on taking care of you and your baby.

What I can tell you is that you will feel better. It takes a while. I can't tell you if your husband will awaken and get sincere about recovery. But I can tell you that you will heal. It takes time, it is hard work, but I want you to know there is hope. I've been post multiple D-days a bit over 3 1/2 years. My husband was an active addict when I married him and was a progressing addict for over the 30 years of our marriage. I don't want you or your daughter to have to deal with an active addict. A recovering addict is a different story. But only your husband can decide to recover.

Post discovery I thought the most important question was would my marriage survive. Now I know the most important question was what did I need to do to heal...to take care of myself....to find peace and joy in my life. I want that for you and your daughter.

With deep compassion,
dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:12 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 513
hi amber,
I, too, am sorry you have to be here, and am grateful once again we have Recovery Nation as a free resource and support system for you.

I want to echo dnell's words because it can be useful to hear similar advice from more than one person.

None of this is your fault. And, there is no specific "way" you should have reacted to the traumatic experience of finding out your husband has been repeatedly betraying you.

He betrayed your trust. There are no rule books for how we need to respond to someone--the one person we thought will have our back through thick and thin--who deceives us to this extent. Amber, this is abuse. It's an abuse of trust and a level of deception that makes us feel crazy, and like we are the ones who have done something wrong.

Again, you have done nothing wrong.

You have a baby, and this puts you and your baby in a particularly vulnerable position emotionally and pragmatically. Of course you want to know answers that may help you feel like you have stability again. You're seeking solid ground, and it seems like that ground can be found if only someone will tell you that your partner will change and everything will feel normal again.

I am deeply sorry to report that solid ground for you will be found not in what your husband does or doesn't do, but rather in how you choose to take care of yourself.

As dnell wrote, you need support and safety. Security, and kindness. And it seems natural to seek that out from your husband--after all, that's part of why you married him, I'm sure. But right now, in the state he is in, your husband is not a safe and secure person for you.

Here is my practical and compassionate advice to you:
1. seek out free counseling if you need to. You can google "Free helpline" for some resources. You can also find support at your local women's shelter, if you have one. This does not mean you need to live IN the shelter, but you do not need to be physically abused to get their support and care. My local one runs a weekly group of support, and during that group we'd do activities to help calm and stabilize us. The counselors are unlikely to give you any specifics about what your husband will or will not do. Instead, they will be an emotional support for you.

2. Begin the workshop here. Try to do 1-2 lessons a week if you can. It will give you time to focus on you, and help you regain some footing.

3. Choose to start (or expand on) an activity in your life that is just about you. This may be as simple as taking a walk outside. Or, perhaps scrapbooking. Something like that. Something that is yours and yours alone.

None of these steps will answer your questions, but they will help get you on a path of healing yourself from what is a devastating event in your life. If you and your husband work it out, and he recovers, all these steps will only serve you in your marriage. And if it doesn't work out, you'll have begun rebuilding your life. Either way, focusing on you is a win for you.

in solidarity,
meepmeep


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:25 am
Posts: 29
Amber,

I am so sorry to be welcoming you here, but I also remember what a relief it was for me to hear from other people who have been in similar positions when I joined not too long ago. I want you to know that this is a community of support and encouragement for you to feel safe sharing your struggles in. You say that you have gotten lots of advice saying you're better off without your husband and yet you still love him and want to work through it. Almost every person here has experienced the tension between loving their SA and knowing that they deserve so much more. Some have stayed with their SA and some have separated before reconciling, and come have left entirely. But for everybody it was a journey with a lot of conflicting emotions!

There are just a few things that I think haven't been said yet and should be.

You are pregnant, and under different circumstances than you thought. You thought you had an engaged, supportive, loving, and faithful partner. You do not. You may in the future (this guy or somebody else) but not in the near future. You may choose to terminate the pregnancy if these circumstances aren't ones that you feel comfortable having a baby in. Don't forget that this is an option for you if you need it.

You may still be excited about the baby and choose to proceed with the pregnancy. You may not want to terminate the pregnancy, but still feel frightened and unhappy about bringing a child into the world under these circumstances. If you want to proceed with the pregnancy, there are some things that you should do:

1. get tested for STDs (do this anyway, no matter what!). HIV can be passed to the baby unless proper medical care is taken.

2. make sure you have a support system. You said that you and your SA were going to talk to your in-laws for support-- that doesn't need to be put on hold just because he isn't on board with it right now. This is their grandchild and they may be more interested in preserving their relationship with you and their grandchild than their son when they hear what has happened. The earlier and more open you are, the easier it will be to have their support for the future.

3. talk to a divorce lawyer/family law lawyer even if you aren't interested in getting a divorce now. They will be able to explain how custody and parenting time would be affected by being divorced before the baby is born, which may look radically different than waiting to get a divorce until after the baby is born. It is better to make a decision about staying or going with all the facts, and a divorce lawyer can help you know what that looks like.

Sending all the support and encouragement I can at you!
-Puffin


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:08 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 630
Such wise advice, Puffin.

Amber, let us know how you are doing.

Meepmeep, oh dear, I am so sorry. I send you my virtual embrace.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:06 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you for all your replies. I really appreciate the advice, yet it is so hard accepting this is completely out of my hands. With him out the door there is nothing I can say or do. I have no idea what he is doing or what he is thinking. Does anyone know much about using a professional intervention to get people into seeking help? I believe my husband is at the point where he has pretty much thrown in everything that was important to him in his life with exception of his job for this addiction, that really he is at the point of needing inpatient treatment. I feel as though if this isn’t close to rock bottom for him then I don’t know what is?


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 513
dear amber,
I know this is hard to hear, and I know from personal experience how hard it is to let go. It's that feeling that there must be some way that you can fix this--that if you do or say the right thing, it will inspire him, or motivate him, or open his eyes. It is that belief that if you can just get him to see things how you see it--how absolutely irrationally he's behaving, and how much he stands to lose, and how ridiculous (and fixable) his behavior is, then he will have an Ah-HA moment, get himself into recovery, and things will be fix.

I spent years--YEARS in that place, Amber. Truth be told, it is only in the past year (and I've been at this in circles for a good 8 years or so) that I've begun to understand addiction, addictive thinking and my complete powerlessness over what my partner does or does not do.

There is nothing you can do to make him want to change. And I am so sorry. I wish there were. If all of this on this partner's forum had the capacity to make our addicted partner's change through our own interventions, there would be no sex addiction left in the world.

But alas, we do not. We don't have that power.

All we have is our ability to turn the lens on to ourselves.

For years I brushed aside the people who told me this, and if I could turn back time, I would have listened to them a lot sooner. But, this was my journey and this is your journey, and if and when you are ready, you will turn the lens to yourself.

Sometimes interventions work, and sometimes they do not. There is no rhyme or reason, no magical solution that applies to everyone. I can see why you think that's worth a try because many times, I thought that, too.

So, if you decide to try a professional intervention (and I have no specific advice on his this works) please also make a commitment to spend an equal, if not greater amount of time on you--on the workshop here, on deciding whether you will keep your pregnancy, and getting tested for STDs, as puffin wisely advised. You can do all those things and even if he does change, there will be no loss to you in focusing on you.


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 133
Amber, you have my sympathies. There is very little for me to add to what the others have said. It’s an unfortunate fact of addiction that not even a recent marriage or new baby is enough to stop the behaviour. We all like to think they’ll quit for us, or they’ll quit for the family, but too often those reasons not enough to quit. There’s also the shocking reality that pregnancy or after the birth of a new baby can sometimes be the very time that a woman discovers her partner is a sex addict. It must be truly awful to find yourself in this situation.

If he’s going to quit, only he can decide. It took my husband 15 years to quit what was predominantly an internet pornography habit, but there were topless bars and strip joints, and in truth I don’t know what else but I suspect there was more going on than I’m ever going to find out — and that’s another part of the reality of being in a relationship with an addict, that you might never know the full story, and that lies, deceptions and omissions are part of how an addict communicates. Addicts don’t see lies as lying, they see lies as the truth. Crazy as that sounds, I bet every partner here knows EXACTLY what I mean.

My advice to you is to take very, very good care of yourself. You need to put your own needs ahead of everyone else and give your baby the best possible start in life, in a calm loving home. I can’t imagine how wretched you must be feeling right now, so please take care of yourself first and foremost.


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:22 am
Posts: 146
I can only echo Blues post.


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 Post subject: Re: Devastated
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:25 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 630
Amber, I am so, so sorry for your situation. I feel it in the posts from our sisters here. With love and compassion, we have a message for you of both hope and painful reality. Here's the painful reality: there is NOTHING you can do to get your partner to face his addiction nor get into a sincere recovery. I wish there was. I desperately wish there was. But, there isn't. Think of how self centered your husband has been. He is being cruel and abandoning his wife and child to pursue...what? It's nuts. It's destructive. No one in their right mind would make these choices. But he's not in his right mind. Either he has a character disorder or he's an addict. He may not know that, but you need to know that. And, the lessons here can give you the information for you to make an informed opinion about what is going on with your husband.

My husband was an active addict for over 40 years. He was clueless that he was addicted. I believe that. As Jon says, in the lessons, they know something is "off", but they so desperately rely on their acting out to soothe themselves that there is no way they will give it up. They need to reach some sort of bottom or some sort of awakening to even consider that they are addicts that need help. The lessons help explain this. They were immensely helpful to me. It took the threat of divorce for my husband to half ass start RN. Even then, he didn't believe I would leave him. Why would he? I believed his lies all these decades and he thought he was in control of everything. As it slowly started to sink in to my husband that I would and could leave him, and as I got more clear that I actually would and could, that fear and the recovery workshop opened a small window in him. He finished the workshop, started IC, and went to 12 step and it STILL took about a year for him to accept he was an addict.

My husband is in active recovery, now, and while he is much more sober, he has a LONG way to go to become a mature man and to develop adult relational and communication skills. Please know that I don't want you to be me, in your early 60's, realizing that my entire marriage was a lie. I don't want that for you or for your daughter. And if your husband doesn't commit to his personal recovery, I see suffering ahead for you. I wish that wasn't true and I say it out of deep compassion.

But here is the hope. You will be okay. No matter what your husband does or does not do, you will be okay. But we are all traumatized by this experience and I do not underestimate the trauma. I am being treated for PTSD and it is a big deal. But, I'm healing. My life is returning to me. I had to focus on myself and my well being. I want this for you.

dnell


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