Why did I do that?

I just talked with a therapist that Blue Eyes and I had seen early on. I’ll call her Ms. Honey because she is so sweet. Strangely enough, Ms. Honey actually answered her phone. I have never had that happen before at any kind of doctor or therapist office. I always get voice mail. I was a bit taken aback. Ms. Honey is actually the one who referred me to the then new ‘wives of sex addict support group’ I attended, twice, nearly two years ago. Blue Eyes and I saw Ms. Honey a couple times in February 2014, about a month after discovery and diagnosis, and then proceeded to seek out individual counseling, with the goal of coming back to couple’s counseling with Ms. Honey later. When we did seek out couple’s counseling the following year, we ended up going to Ms. Second Chance, the therapist Ms. Honey had referred us to, and the therapist who also coordinated the wives support group, and also the therapist we have since “fired” three separate times. Once from my individual counseling, once from the wives group, and then a third time as our couple’s counselor. We didn’t outgrow her, we didn’t feel healed, she just didn’t work. Pretty sure three strikes and she is out for good.

It has been suggested that maybe, these days, I need a therapist to talk things through with every once in a while. I mean, it’s nice to have friends and family, but after two years, it becomes tiring to even the most patient of people when we are still talking about “the sex addict” and “the betrayal.” Ms. Honey is quite gentle in her ways, very likable, trained in numerous healing methods, is a CSAT, and is married to a sex addict. And, I can walk to her office… bonus! The reason we did not return to her for couple’s counseling is because The Shrink had recommended Ms. Second Chance. Well, this time I decided I would make my own decision and I would choose someone who I know understands my situation, and someone who is also incredibly kind and gentle. I need kind, gentle and understanding, these days.

Ms. Honey explained to me that the CSATs in our area are overwhelmed, having received over the past few months, a barrage of newly diagnosed sex addicts and wives in desperate need of support. She has two support groups, both of which are overflowing, with wait lists. Her next individual counseling appointment is six weeks out, but she was happy to put me on a waiting list for cancellations for individual counseling as well. I feel like seeking out therapy shouldn’t be this difficult. Thankfully I am not desperate, this time. I scheduled an appointment with her for a little less than six weeks out from now. She then told me that she had talked earlier this week with a colleague who has a couple wives of sex addicts support groups and she is about to start up a third one. After hanging up with Ms. Honey, I called the other therapist and she ALSO answered her phone. So strange. She informed me that she had just filled her new group. It took her less than two working days to fill it. She asked if I wanted to be put on a wait list. I told her “sure.” How strange that both women answered their phones to give me what would turn out to be, bad news.

There is a part of me that doesn’t want to attend therapy or a support group. Then there is the other part of me that thinks maybe I can get something out of both and I shouldn’t be so stubborn and negative. I can always stop if I am not “feeling it.” Then there is the question of what will I talk about in individual counseling? Honestly, talking about how my SA husband behaves isn’t really going to get me anywhere. I can talk about how I behave in light of how my husband behaves, but really, I don’t think that will get me anywhere either. I certainly don’t need to talk about MY childhood AGAIN. I understand me. Am I going to pay money just so someone can listen to me and I don’t have to feel like I am putting them out, because I am paying them? Maybe I should talk about how much I would like my son to move out and get his own apartment. Maybe she can guide me on ways of encouraging The Peacemaker to want to move out… but that really feels like family or marriage counseling, and I am going as an individual. Hmmm. I can understand how a wives of sex addict support group could help me if the women are like me, wanting to stay with their husbands and really just needing a place to vent and be heard and be understood. Last time none of the wives were still living with their husbands, for numerous reasons, except me. What if it is like that, again? It was traumatizing, but I was only a couple months post d-day. Perhaps a space will not even open up in the support group anyway, and I am blabbering on for no reason.

Well, maybe I am lucky that I have to wait six weeks for individual counseling. That will give me plenty of time to come up with things to talk about… I mean not just things to talk about, I could never run out of things to talk about. I could talk all day and night and never stop. I am talking about things that would require the help of a licensed counselor. Why did I call the therapist again?

So, for anyone still reading this, any words of advice?

24 thoughts on “Why did I do that?

  1. I think it sounds good. Maybe it will be good to just listen. Surely you aren’t forced to say anything. I’m in therapy now and sometimes I wonder WTF??? He isn’t I am. I did nothing wrong and I’m in therapy. What’s wrong with this picture?

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    • Yeah, something does seem wrong with that picture, but my husband is in therapy and sometimes I wonder if it does anything at all other than give him a venue to feel sorry for himself. I am exaggerating, but it can be very frustrating. If the one therapist can make space for me, I will definitely give the support group a go. I always learn something from other betrayed spouses, and I do feel less alone. As I have said, I am more sane now than two months out and so hopefully it won’t be traumatizing. xxx

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  2. Yikes. I couldn’t wait 6 weeks for an appointment. I actually feel like doing the certification to be a CSAT since I see this as an absolutely exploding area of therapy. But I’d probably put the face of my own SA on their SA’s and pummel them! Would be more for paying it forward than for financial gain. My CSAT also dealt with her own SA husband so completely understands it – she upped her qualifications after her own experience. I am very grateful that she will answer my emails and expect nothing in return. If I need to see her and her appointments are full she offers time at her own home (which I haven’t yet taken her up on but soothing and comforting to know that is available). I attended an intensive group for spouses of SA’s but was too raw to be interactive. May or may not attend another one now when I might participate more. I am a very private person so that wasn’t really as productive for me as the vocal ones in the group. I also attended a Sanon meeting once in my area. Two other attendees, both husband haters and terminally so. Not productive for me. Should still try similar meeting further afield but haven’t. Really in a funk right now so cannot give you a positive answer even though I am positively working with my SA husband on R. And he wouldn’t/doesn’t see I’m in a funk right now. For sure their emotional maturity was arrested at a young age and apparently piles of therapy and group needed to grow from that time.

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    • Before d-day, I had thought about going to graduate school to get a masters in psychology. More because I deal with human resources at our company and I would to be able to make a clearer connection between people, personality types etc. and communication, team building, corporate culture… Post d-day my desire has actually abated some. Probably because two years out I am still exhausted from the whole ordeal. Unfortunately there is a growing need for CSATs. I align with the trauma model although I do see how S-Anon helps a lot of people. There is some good training available out there. I have also been in a bit of a funk due to numerous circumstances and probably some driven by hormones from menopause. Most days are fairly normal, but some just don’t feel right anymore. Something is off and I think maybe having someone to talk to will be good. It’s not an emergency though. Your CSAT sounds pretty amazing! xxx

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  3. Me, in your business again. Several years ago I got a copy of a book called GAM S PEOPLE PLAY by Eric Berne. It may appear a little dated but it really does speak to how relationships get stuck. The premise is that people who have difficulty with emotional intimacy will set something up (a “game”) with another person and it is completely under the surface. The other person only figures out later that the scenario has played over and over and over again with the same frustrating outcome. ( this has nothing to do with your issues but it will give you an idea why I think this book might help you understand where you are in your recovery. My husband and I used to see a group of people. On the surface we thought we enjoyed them. One woman in particular appeared to enjoy my company but every single time I was around her she either broke something of mine or spilled some sort of liquid that could not be cleaned. In order not to appear petty I HAD to say “It’s ok”. I read the book and realized that this was a subconscious, but deliberate, act on her part. My husband and I decided this group was not good for us and we chose not to see them anymore) One of you, or both of you, might be setting up a scenario that has played out over the years without any resolution. I am going to assume it is your husband because he does appear to have intimacy issues with everyone. I think horrible revelations and feeling bombarded with pain nearly destroyed you. Many therapies and the hope(promise) of getting past things kept you going. Now this is where the real stuff has to be dealt with. You cannot change your husband, only your reactions to him. If you feel stuck it is because you are. In the past reactions were the same because you only knew how to react that way. Now you are not letting him play games with you anymore and he has no idea how to proceed because his games worked for so many years. Just like the alcoholic who gives up drinking but starts smoking two packs a day it appears BE has one therapy after another but BUT how is he doing with emtional intimacy? Keep going CK. You are building emtional muscles. BE loves you. You are having to be The Little Engine that could. At some point he is going to have to pull with you. That is when emotional maturity happens. Just keep in mind that scenarios that keep looping are being set up and played that way. It has been his “go to” and protection. You keep putting you foot out and tripping him. His loop keeps getting off track. At some point he will give his games up because they don’t work anymore. My go to with my husband is always, “you are trying to start an argument with me and I ain’t playing”. It deflates him like a balloon. Hugs

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    • Hey, let go, I actually asked for help and invited you into my business, totally. Thank you so much for what you have said. It makes sense. Perhaps the book would be a productive read. I don’t read a lot anymore about sex addiction, or betrayal, or relationships. When I read I usually want it to be a distraction from my ever present “real life” but I can see this might help me without traumatizing me, and also help with other relationships in my life and possibly with my own behavior. Thanks also for the reassurances. This is a tough journey and I do think we are making progress and he is learning. He is after all having to build all new habits and his old bad instincts are so strong in him. BE doesn’t actually start arguments, ever, but he does play games, lots of them. Thanks for the advice! xxx

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  4. In my experience, the best thing I have done is see my therapist consistently. He allows me to text him and returns my texts pretty quickly if he isn’t in session. He also speaks to me when I don’t have a session if something comes up for me. I don’t want to overburden my friends with this mess, although they are great listeners. They also don’t have the skills to be able to really guide me. There are some CSATs who will do phone sessions/skype so maybe you want to look into that until you can get in to see yours? I too wish I had the number of therapists and group resources of LA. It is exasperating. I live in a large city and there are still only 2 or 3 CSATS here. At my therapist’s encouragement I started to go to S-Anon. Our group here is a relatively young group so there aren’t people with 5 or more years in it but some have a few years. Some are still with their husbands and some have left them or have some form of separation in place. They are definitely a source of support for me. I was also strongly encouraged to go to Al-anon since they typically have more members and I could get a better sense of what health looks like. I fought that for a while but finally decided to try it. That is a place where there is a lot of health and I would definitely recommend trying it. I am currently working the steps and just find it a learning experience about myself. I always thought I knew myself so well but there are so many things that keep popping up. For me, I have to try it all because I need to try to move forward and out of this hell hole. Today, my husband and I have some therapy. A few days ago I told him that when he doesn’t do this one small thing, it hurts me. Yesterday it happened again. I want you to know that I believe he loves me but this is just not a loving thing to do. Why would he do that just a couple of days after we spoke about it? It seems like he just thinks about himself. We can’t move forward without me being able to believe that my feelings matter as much as his. This is sure to be a conversation today.

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    • I am so happy you are receiving the support you need. I cannot remember if you have said how far out from discovery you are? Sometimes finding what works best for us as individuals is very trial and error. What matters is that we get the help we need and that we feel safe. Thank you for sharing what is working for you. This is a very difficult journey and it definitely shouldn’t be undertaken alone. Living with an addict can be quite stressful and traumatizing, I know. I hope you had a productive couples session. We will most likely go back to couple’s counseling once BE has done a little more work on himself. He needs to be less needy, dependent and self absorbed in the sessions for me to feel like I am getting anything there. Big hugs to you. xxx

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  5. I don’t think peacemaker moving out has to be a group goal. You want him to find his wings, have space, grow up, and have the house to heal. Blue eyes… Wants him around to be exactly what he is… A nice block, a nice crutch, a son, that he loves, no question, but he has his own shit and may not see it the way you do and that doesn’t mean it isn’t or shouldn’t be a goal of yours. Someday you want your kid to be capable. Ok. That’s cool. Do that! That’s not a bad goal. How do you help prepare both your men to handle it. How do you prepare you. Totally legit.

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    • Actually, we all three want The Peacemaker to move out. Blue Eyes was the first to voice it (to me). The healing has been a bit more traumatic having The Peacemaker around, but now that he is participating in his own healing (therapy, replacing bad habits with good ones, etc… ) things are in some ways much much better, and in some more difficult. Whereas before he hid most of his feelings and wasn’t around us much (our house is plenty big) he was harboring anger and smoking pot and playing video games much of the day. He didn’t attend his classes and didn’t work. Now, he is productive, has given up the bad habits, and is communicating with us and asking questions. He wants to move out for himself. He admits we have made it all too easy for him. I, personally, want my house back. I want to be able to come home and have it look the way it did when I left it. I want to know who is coming to my house and when. I think in therapy it might be good to talk about how I can encourage The Peacemaker to move out without him feeling like I am rejecting him. I think perhaps going to some therapy at this point might indeed be totally legit. xxx

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  6. First off I’m always here for a real hug, but you already know that. I know I’ve never gone through anything all of you have, however, group therapy was very helpful in my situation. Remember I said I walked out thinking “Thank God she’s only a heroine addict”. I did feel somewhat better. That was 4 years into the process though. Keep in mind I never feel as if you are putting me out, but again you already, or should, know this. You were always there for me, now it’s my turn to help with your burden. Isn’t that what friends are for? Always loving you. me xoxo

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  7. I get you. Completely. I went to a therapist. Then to a different one. Then I stopped. I went to a group..a 12-step kind of group. I worked the program. Then I stopped…it wasn’t helping. Then I tried another 12-step….nnnnnoooope! So I didn’t do anything except read a lot, be depressed and rage. Then I found another therapist…she is the only one in my state that is an APSATS qualified therapist and it made all the difference. She has moved mountains. I also have a separate EMDR/DBT therapist and group that I go to every week and I attend an online Partners group every week too…that support has been invaluable. I tell you all this because, for me, it was trial and error. It took a lot of horrible experiences before I found a good fit. My therapist now works with Will’s therapist and when ( or if) they believe we are both ready, then they also have a couples therapist that works with their same treatment model. If you feel that you need a good path towards healing and need a therapist to get you on that course, then keep trying. For me, it was worth it. Good luck with whichever road you take. *hugs*

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    • Yeah, it is an incredibly painful process, even the therapy part. We will forever be grateful for the trauma therapy I received and the intensive program BE attended in LA. I know we wouldn’t be where we are today without that, as I have said. All tolled, I have seen five individual therapists, BE has seen five individual therapists, and we have seen four as a couple. I also went twice to a wives of sex addict support group (where everyone but me was in S-Anon, btw). The LA trauma therapist had originally suggested DBT locally due to the one serious cutting incident, but she backed off that after I spent the equivalent of about 25 hours with her. She was trained in EMDR and touch therapy. The therapist BE sees now is not technically a CSAT, but he has worked with a couple dozen sex addicts. I think the guy is average. I wish we had the resources of LA. I think more than anything I would like to be on a rotation with someone so I can feel heard without bothering friends and family. We are two years from d-day, so my healing has been quite substantial. So has BE’s, but he has a lot more to deal with than me, frankly, especially since he never learned proper coping skills. I am so glad you have found something that works and that there is safety for you in your boundaries and your plan. I don’t think they realize the damage they are still doing with their behavior… they think they are better now, so why can’t we just accept them. They just don’t get the level of damage they caused and that they continue to cause sometimes. xxx ❤

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  8. Well I once joined an online support group for divorced women. I met a very good friend there, and it’s nice to talk to people who you feel really get you. I don’t feel like it helped me other than that I didn’t feel so alone sometimes. Later that person became a bit of a hinderacne because I felt she was so negative towards men and I could feel her bitterness getting to me. everyone will have a different experience I guess, but it’s important that you feel heard. This isn’t the BE show, after all.

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  9. It doesn’t really matter if all the other women have left their husbands and you haven’t. They can still offer support and vice versa. True, the situations are different but the reason you are there is the same. Support is support and should offer comfort. You can always give it another shot. Hugs.

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    • You are correct. Early on in the trauma of dealing with sex addiction, it didn’t make sense to me to be in a room full of women who had no interest in reconciling, some didn’t believe in sex addiction, and honestly some of the stories were so heartbreaking, I wasn’t strong enough. Now, I believe I would be strong enough to stay and learn something from everyone in the room. xxx

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