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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:01 am 
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Last night husband stuffing a carrier bag. Looking guilty, saying he didn't need to take his backpack to work today, ..this morning,he put said bag inside backpack,saying he forgot his keys were in backpack,so was taking it after all.
I had that sick feeling,and those memories,feelings .. I just picked up his bag of washing he left for me to do..and squashed between that and his drawers I find a scrunched up pair of xl black tights..not there yesterday when I vacced.
His folder with his documents is under the hifi unit..it was in drawer..and looking in it..cds are missing..well, I think so..i cant recall if I took all of them..or if I left the two with cv written on..i am thinking not cvd..but video of the femdom like the others..
So I am sitting here imagining him dressed up,using the works pc for viewing the cds..hr is alone on that site today.
My dilemma, do I say I found tights and try to open discussion again on how I am feeling and if he has no addiction or problems,why he has started this again etc..or do I keep quiet,as I akways did..svared to anger him..i just feel I cannot.continue with this secrecy,him thinking I am fooled..a fool..and me secretly knowing and then falling into checking..,seeing our sex life is not improving,he is completely emtionally and intimately unavailable,no deep talk of anything..totally ignores our youngests problems..dismisses me, has sex with no talking,no passion, I am just a body,he is the same as always still,eyes shut..and sex makes me even lonelier.
With the counselling I find it hard to go back to how it always was..i already told him after last d day,that I couldn't live another twenty years the way we were..
How do I put this in proportion..its mot the fact he is dressing etc..and I have let go the shame of him doing it at work etc..just the whole,lies,secrecy..i dont think I can keep it inside ..i did that for so many years,


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:19 am 
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Oh, Jenny. I am so sorry. It is so painful. I send you my virtual embrace.

First, I believe your instincts and you do to. As painful as that is, it's so good for me to realize that I trust myself again.

I don't think you should stay silent. And you're not. You've posted here.

You and I have the freedom to decide what or what not to say to our partners. I have learned to try to be as clear as possible with myself about what I am trying to achieve in saying something to my partner. If I was in your shoes, what I would want to say is something like:

"I believe you are still acting out. I do not feel connected to you emotionally, especially during sex. This is soul killing for me. It's scary and painful and I feel alone and unloved."

There. That's what I would say. And the big thing to think about is that we have no control over their response. In my husband's case, in the past, I wouldn't have been permitted to say even half of that. He would interrupt, rage away, blame, and then physically and emotionally leave. Now, he doesn't rage away, but he still emotionally leaves. He can't tolerate it. So I've learned not to expect an answer. I've learned that I won't get re-assurance. Maybe I'll get some honesty about what he is doing but I don't expect that. Understanding what I want to say, saying it, and just leaving it at that has been very healing.

But, and here's the big but, it's awful living this way. I wanted my husband to be my partner, my friend, to care about me, to be honest. Not expecting honesty, not expecting him to listen, not believing he cares about me....those are painful realities. And that brings me right back to what are my boundaries and limits. What do I want in life. How do I get it.

Whatever you decide to do....it's okay. You don't have to do anything. You can do what you want. Whatever you decide is okay.

dnell


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:19 am 
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Oh, Jenny. I am so sorry. It is so painful. I send you my virtual embrace.

First, I believe your instincts and you do to. As painful as that is, it's so good for me to realize that I trust myself again.

I don't think you should stay silent. And you're not. You've posted here.

You and I have the freedom to decide what or what not to say to our partners. I have learned to try to be as clear as possible with myself about what I am trying to achieve in saying something to my partner. If I was in your shoes, what I would want to say is something like:

"I believe you are still acting out. I do not feel connected to you emotionally, especially during sex. This is soul killing for me. It's scary and painful and I feel alone and unloved."

There. That's what I would say. And the big thing to think about is that we have no control over their response. In my husband's case, in the past, I wouldn't have been permitted to say even half of that. He would interrupt, rage away, blame, and then physically and emotionally leave. Now, he doesn't rage away, but he still emotionally leaves. He can't tolerate it. So I've learned not to expect an answer. I've learned that I won't get re-assurance. Maybe I'll get some honesty about what he is doing but I don't expect that. Understanding what I want to say, saying it, and just leaving it at that has been very healing.

But, and here's the big but, it's awful living this way. I wanted my husband to be my partner, my friend, to care about me, to be honest. Not expecting honesty, not expecting him to listen, not believing he cares about me....those are painful realities. And that brings me right back to what are my boundaries and limits. What do I want in life. How do I get it.

Whatever you decide to do....it's okay. You don't have to do anything. You can do what you want. Whatever you decide is okay.

dnell


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:26 am 
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Thanks,dnell.
I am past the wanting re assurance,like you any mention of his behaviour, has him raging,blaming.
In fact, if he even feels its going that way,he shuts me down with a here we go again..
I do not expect an answer..what do I expect,him to suddenly gave an epiphany and change, nope..it will be lies, denials, and blame for not trusting him.
I haven't the appetite for the checking which became an addiction for me, but i know it builds such resentment in me when i feel i cant speak up honestly about my feelings, your words sum it up,


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:05 pm 
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Oh no, Jenny. I’m so sorry to read this. dnell has given you her best advice based on her own experience, and I can’t add much more. In reality, there isn’t much more you can do other that state your feelings and let it be.

I’m sure that every woman partner can recognise the age-old familiar traits of denial, rage and non communication displayed when an addict is asked to account for his acting out behaviours.

When I think of the reasons that prompt me to check for any clues, it’s usually because there’s been a shift in his behaviour, it’s usually a progressive shift where certain behaviours that were sort of addressed in the honeymoon period (I say honeymoon because it’s not true recovery) become more established. Some examples I have experienced: lack of physical contact at all times except at times specifically for sexual activity; little or no eye contact during sex; loss of erection/delayed ejaculation; loss of interest in sex. There are those other deja vu-ish moments for example, like going out to a coffee shop together and he’s looking everywhere else except in my direction; not giving any compliments when I’ve clearly made an effort with my appearance; feeling invisible again. Communication issues: never initiating conversations about relationship issues that need to be addressed; not telling me things, even relatively trivial things for no good reasons.

None of this are signs of a healthy recovery process, which I’m beginning to believe is pretty rare. There’s always some degree of reverting to the tried true. Sometimes it’s full-on acting out all over again, other times it’s addiction-lite. I recently witnessed an online journal where the woman wrote off evidence of her husband’s acting out by some bizarre coincidence whereby he innocently acquired another woman’s underwear. His previous behaviour involved masturbation with stolen panties. Funny, but just how easy is it to accidentally acquire someone’s underwear? Of course he meant to tell her before she found them but he forgot. As for my husband, I know he’s not quite in a healthy recovery but there are also some good signs too. It’s a mixed picture. I’m hoping that our couples therapy is going to help address some of our issues but already he’s wanting to hold back on telling her about his addiction whereas I’m ready to say in no uncertain tearms that I’m seriously messed up through maybe 20+ years of his acting out. How can I say nothing? But you can see what I mean by saying he’s not properly addressing his recovery at all? I mean, going to a couples therapist and saying that he didn’t think it would be relevant to raise the issue of his addiction.

Jenny, you just need to say what you must. You do have a ‘do nothing’ option. It’s not a good option in the long term, as I know from experience. You will suffer more in the long run. Chances are he will deny and rage, and if he is like my husband, as long as he believes there’s no irrefutable proof he can pretend nothing ever happened. You can’t force him to be honest. I also know that from experience. My husband is quite at home with lying whereas being honest seems to cause him unbearable stress. So I don’t expect honesty any more. Sad but true. Every question you could ask could be answered with a lie, and in my experience once an addict has lied it’s rare that he’ll retract his lies and substitute with the truth. Not impossible, but in my particular situation, highly unlikely.

So if he rages and lies I guess it’s back to self care and seeking support, here or in real life, take whatever support you can find! Then review the situation later. As dnell says, you don’t need to do anything. You can sit tight until you decide what the next step is. As always, you need to take care of YOU. We’re here for you. X


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:21 am 
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Thanks, blue,
Yup..i decided to watch a self healing video or two and say nothing, I went through what was to gain from it..nothing was my answer...just the round and round drama.so I let it go. I know by now all I get is the lie,deny, routine.
I relate to all you say, my sadness is that my husband wont even address the issue,counselling a non starter from him.in his own words,he has no problem,addiction,there is nothing he sees needs improving or changing in himself.
So i will keep healing and detaching. I actually found posting here about it, helped,probably more so than talking to him..as when I do that,I am left feeling worse due to his lack of mature or honest response,
If I do end up saying something, I will remember dnells advice on the wording.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:59 am 
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Knowing that you don’t need to act immediately is very empowering advice. Just because you have decided not to confront your husband right now doesn’t mean that you can’t act on doing things for yourself. It’s a very valuable skill and one that was nonexistent for me during the years before d day when I was well aware of his porn use but I just thought I had to put up and shut up. Not any more.

The other week we had a difficult conversation that escalated. I left the room. I sat alone a while and wondered what to do next. After several minutes I asked myself “if it was just me, what would I be doing now?” and then I wrote out a todo list for the next hour or so. It was all self care stuff. Give myself an extra special skincare routine, file my nails, pick out what to wear the next day, something that makes me feel good about being me, and then just busy myself getting on with it, ignoring my husband. If he wanted to speak to me, he’d have to make the effort. No more simpering apologies for asking the wrong question or raising the wrong subject at the wrong time. (I do those simpering apologies way too often.)

In the past I’d have just buried my head in the sand, pretending to not to see what was happening. I spent years of saying nothing while he spent years pursuing his addiction and feeling entitled to do so. His entitlement was my abuse, though. He might cling on to the explanation that his addiction made him feel awful but that feeling always came after the anticipation, the pursuit and the high of his orgasm, and when he was in the exciting part of his acting out, I was the enemy of his ‘fun’ and in that mindset he saw me as someone who had to be disempowered. It was that abuse of the power dynamic that was so damaging to me. He ‘protected’ his addiction so well and so thoroughly that I had no evidence to point at and say “I know what’s going on and I don’t like it”.

If anything, post d day, he has probably learned how to be an even better liar and how to cover his tracks even more thoroughly. So the abusive power dynamic can be invoked by him at any time. And I know he will do it. So what can I do to restore my power? Like you do, self care, self healing self love. I met him yesterday for coffee after he finished work and I had done some shopping. He did his usual
‘scanning’, eyes everywhere except in my direction. But I was having one of those days when the person looking back at you in the mirror is one impressive lady, someone you want to know, someone you wish you could be.... and then you realise, Hey! That IS me! Lol. And I say across the table and thought “Well, it’s his loss. Because if he isn’t interested in my company, someone else will be.” And I don’t mean another man, I mean my friends or even friendly strangers making small talk. There are other places I can go besides meeting him, especially if he’s more interested in looking at everyone else than making eye contact with me. Before d day and for a long time afterwards I just wouldn’t have thought that way. I wouldn’t have thought myself as someone interesting and worth knowing; I would have felt very insecure in his company and hurt by his attentions drifting all over the place. I would have doubted my sexuality and I would have felt despair at my situation. I feel different now. It was necessary to detach from him and the consequences of his addiction. I’m at this place now. I’m sure it will continue to evolve.

Re the counselling. He has agreed to go, but he thinks we can do it without talking about his addiction. He actually said he didn’t think it was relevant. This attitude sums him up, really. He still has this split mind. He believes in recovery without doing the recovery work. He believes in improving our communication but still lies. He believes in rebuilding our sexual relationship whilst engaging in secretive masturbation which affects his libido and performance. It’s massively frustrating after agreeing that we NEED to do this and NEED to do that, but when it comes around to the ‘doing’ part of it, he won’t do much about it.

I’m in a stronger position now. Im gradually letting go of my expectations. Recovery isn’t going to be what I hoped. There’s no ‘better than before’, how can there be? His ‘before’ was easy, lazy and self indulgent. At least he was getting a high from it. For me, life is a lot like ‘before’ but with this massive burden of singlehandedly being the caretaker for our emotional relationship and the safekeeper of our sexual relationship. The only highs I’m getting are from compulsive spending and the only emotional support I can find is online. One could ask. Is recovery worth it? Assuming it’s realistic in the first place.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:14 pm 
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Blue, I can feel EXACTLY what it was like for you in the coffee shop. And, now, when I see or feel that happening, I say "You seem distracted. It doesn't feel like you're with me. This isn't any fun. I'm leaving to do...." And then I get up and go. It's great. It's so liberating. It's sad, of course, and lonely. But I don't feel complicit in my own devaluation. My husband has devaluing me down to an art even though it's all about his addiction. It isn't about me, but I get the impact of his behavior. Which is abusive. And exploitive. So, detaching, taking care of myself, creating and implementing boundaries... That has been healing. And to do that, and continue to do that, I had to detach from my husband and focus on me. And I had to get to the point of really not caring about his reactions. If I leave the coffee shop and he has a meltdown, I need to get further away. If he comes home and says "I'm leaving you", well that's fine with me. I really have gotten to the point that I can't tolerate the scanning, ogling, leering and the distraction. And we already know what happens if we ask about it. Can't tolerate the BS anymore. And it feels like a million pounds is off my shoulders. I don't have to sit there and take it. What this means, though, is that I always have to have the ability to leave a situation. That might mean I drive separately, or I have the number of a cab company in my phone, or that I have enough cash. It's sad to have to think this way...to have to plan for escaping abuse. But it is quite empowering.

And, the next step is to realize that we can trust ourselves. If it feels like he's scanning and not present, we don't have to hear from him his view of our feelings. We can feel our feelings, TRUST THEM, and choose what to do next. We don't need anyone's permission, input or approval. And notice what I'm saying here: I'm not saying I'll make a scene, or lash out, or divorce, or do something stupid. I'm getting up and leaving a situation in which I'm not being well treated.

Jenny, we all know that MC is not going to do you any good if the issue of addiction is off the table. It's a huge, stinking mess in both of your lives. If he can't face up to that, he can't be a mature partner. Why bother going if that is the case? IC will be much more healing.

I do believe that our partners, when they are deep in the fog of their addiction, are delusional and dishonest not only with us, but with everyone and even with themselves. They lie to themselves. Jon said somewhere "healthy people don't lie to themselves." I experience as well how anxiety provoking it is for my husband NOT to lie. They can lie about the most stupid, meaningless stuff. And they argue themselves into believing some of their BS. For example, I'm sure you'll be familiar with the experience of...."Honey, did you call the plumber?" And, I hear "yes, but he's a martian and he has to fix his spaceship and well plumbing is really old fashioned and...." You know, a long story of BS. When really, he hadn't called the plumber. But in his head, he is planning to call the plumber so that means, in his head, he did call the plumber it just hasn't happened yet but since he will he can say he did and it's not really lying and....

This is nuts. It's delusional. It's a big, all of BS. Think about how much time and energy goes into thinking this crazy way. Wouldn't it be easier to say "No, I didn't call. I forgot about it completely." Not for my husband since he thinks that makes him "look bad" even though, well, he didn't frigging call the plumber. Better to lie and "look good" than be honest. Me, I think lying makes one "look bad" but there you go.

So. Annoying. Abusive. Nutty. I really had to get off the crazy train. As soon as I recognize the circular, nonsensical, endless argument and BS I just stop.

dnell


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:57 am 
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This is all so true..in the past I knew...but was too scared to say anything,even when I had evidence in front of me,he made me the enemy,the controlling one..he couldnt do anything,think anything or look at anything ..never mind he was doing everything he wanted, I was acutely aware I never wanted to be a nagging wife,this set me up to be abused,as he used the very accusations i dreaded..so I didn't speak up, just blamed myself, thought he needed freedom, tbought it would work it out of his system..believed whrn he told me early on that he wasnt that sexual,didnt like slutty wonen,or women in makeup or short skirts,he wasnt like that, was quiet.. how innocent i was,like you say, no more.
My husband uses disempowerment on me all the time..treats me like a child,comments and the way he speaks to me..he always did, it was a slow invidious form of abuse,
The scanning is awful, he looks over my shoulder past me..will flirt and act like a teenager in my presence with the young girls at his work, now when he scans I turn and follow his gaze,and look too,so he knows I know what he is looking at,makes him uncomfortable at times
But still the shaming, he doesn't listen to me,ie in the car back from my mums,I was saying about my concern about her unsteadiness,he interrupted me with a completely random sentence about something on the radio,so I stopped what I was saying and looked at him..git the response,I was listening..arent I allowed to speak while you are talking.along those lines..implying I was the one expecting too much,
I no longer do the simpering apologies..i know I spent all our marriage doing them, the sheer fear if the backlash,the moods,sulks, looking back those apologies were nit because I was I the wrong,rather they were my submissive pleas not to be verbally hurt ..at worst they were me desperate to go anything do ge wouldn't leave me..i genuinely thought I was that awful,that he was doing me a favour staying..he played on that fear for sure.
Now like you,I leave the room or move away from his vicinity
And as this has been two..years since last d day, nothing has changed..he may not be online,but the urges are there,and the unconscious actions and words he uses shows me that.
I thank god for IC, it saved me tbh.
But it doesn't solve the fact that I dont think my husband will change,I dont see how this can be fixed.
My husband cant see that the trust I lost wasn't to do with what he nay or may not do..its the whole basus of our relationship, once I trusted him with my life..now..i realise in my mind,he may throw me to the wolves at any point..that he never loved me ,because I feel he can only feel infactuation, which doesn't last. I cannot feel safe any more,and am realising I may never get that back.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:30 am 
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Jenny I am so sorry you are experiencing this. Ladies you all offer such sage advice and comfort. I wish I could offer the same, but I find that I cannot articulate the multitude of stuff that goes through my mind. What I can say is, we must be really strong women to stay in our relationships. It must be far easier to walk away, get over the hurt and carry on with life, but we don't. Jenny you say you do not feel safe. I can relate to this, I use the word untethered. I guess we have to make our own safe and not depend on it coming from our partners. I have said it before but I am amazed at the strength of all the women on here. The RN forum feels a safe place and we can come here whenever we want and know that we are understood and not judged. My heart goes out to you, I have no words, just love and respect for you.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:38 am 
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Thankyou, what you say is true, being able to post thought,worries here,and to read other partners posts is so helpful.
I am glad in a even though I have no advice for others, I relate to and "get" every post,some move me to tears as they so well express what I have felt,am feeling,but cannot convey.
that I am no longer deluded, I am saving and thinking about a future of being by myself, with my kids, I am doing things for myself and letting go..albeit with relapses..of trying to control what he does,I have boundaries that I know I will bot be ley crossed, but still that feeling of security has gone,as you say,untethered. In a way a relief,as I dont feel responsible for carrying the marriage..i know that is futile. On the other hand I still feel I am alone,no one by


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:37 am 
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Jenny, I know what you mean. Being a partner of this kind of addict...it's so isolating. Here we are in these important on-line communities of partners and we're anonymous. There's safety in this, I know. I feel so strongly my compassion and love for all of us. Isn't that a good thing?

And the reality is, with this addiction, who we can talk to...there's not many people. The few people, outside of the community of women who are partners, I have spoken to about my situation...they haven't been able to handle it. It's very upsetting and they all want me to leave right now! How can I stay! Why didn't I know! Whew. Blaming. Shaming. That's not what my friends wanted to do. They really think they are helping me. But, they're not. They don't get it. And how could they? I would never have understood our situation until I experienced it.

For me, the healing is slow and painful. But it works. And feeling depleted is a huge issue. We were so depleted before D-day: no love, often no sex, all the gaslighting, all the knowing something was wrong and not being able to get the information to understand it. And after D-day(s), the shock, the shame, and then the slow and deepening awareness of what happened to us. And healing then takes energy. It's hard to have enough energy to do everything I need to do.

This silencing of me that happened over the years. Oh my goodness. That was so damaging. I bet we all got that "you're a nagging wife". I also got "you're a jealous wife". And "you're a controlling wife." I wasn't. I wasn't any of these things. In fact, I should have asked for more. I wasn't even getting the basic civility, respect and kindness one should expect from a stranger, let alone a spouse. It especially galls me that my husband, who honestly FELT I controlled his every more, did anything he wanted whenever he wanted. Still does for that matter. I finally said this out loud in MC: "Honey, I know you feel pushed around and controlled by me, but my reality is you did whatever you wanted whenever you wanted it the entire time I've known you." And, he's recovered enough that it got in...I could see the recognition in his eyes. It was so empowering to get that truth out in the open. It helped that he could finally acknowledge reality, even if for just a moment. It felt so good to finally shed that role he put me in as the controlling, no fun hag.

As I look back on the time with my husband, I do now see this addiction as a form of abuse. It's self abuse for the addict, but this addiction, it's clearly abuse of the partner. I see the insidious progression of my husband's anger and control of me. The devaluation of me. The blaming and shaming of me. I see it now so clearly. And, honestly, I don't think it was completely conscious on his part. I think it's more conscious than he is willing to admit. When I realize how deeply addicted my husband was, and how important that addiction was to him--it was his life's meaning and he simply thought he would literally die without--I can see how he had to protect it. It worked, all this abuse. It kept me at bay; he feared intimacy in any way; he wanted me to do the labors of adult life WHICH I CONTINUED TO DO. Now that really galls me. He suffered from his addiction; but he abused me and others in the process.

And here I am at 60. My finances and health insurance and home are tied up with my husband. I can untangle them, but it's going to take energy and I will be left with less. That's a painful reality. My husband is working on recovery and he is a different man. He needs to change more for me to want to think of him as a partner. I'll never fully trust him. Ever. I trust him more than I used to. But not enough to consider him an emotionally safe partner.

But I only have today and the rest of my life. I want to life it as fully as possible. And I want that for all of us.

dnell


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