Living in denial

Blue Eyes is now three years sober. He will receive his three year sobriety chip at his next Sexaholics Anonymous meeting. His official self proclaimed sobriety date is December 11, 2013. His last date of acting out with the other woman was July 30, 2013. His sobriety date corresponds with the day he decided for himself that his obsessive masturbation and acting out sexually and secretly had to end, or it would end him. Ironically, on the night of December 10, 2013, Blue Eyes was by himself in a hotel room in Tokyo. He was scheduled to get up at 4:00am the following morning to accompany one of our employees to the Tsukiji Fish Market, the famous early morning wholesale fish auction here in Tokyo.

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Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo Japan.

Prior to being diagnosed as a sex addict, Blue Eyes spent many hours a week feeding his rampant need for secret sexual thoughts and acts in order to cope with his life. These behaviors were so ingrained in him, as was his need to keep them secret, that he never really questioned the why, but indeed just kept right on escalating his behavior through denial and rationalization.

He sat up that night in the very hotel where I am typing this now, and he never did sleep. He watched porn on his computer and masturbated up to seven times, per his own recall of the night. Being alone in a hotel room prompted many similar nights for Blue Eyes. He was so exhausted by the time 4:00am rolled around, that the only emotion left in him was anger. Anger at our employee for wanting to go to the fish market, and anger at himself for falling to this sick destructive need to medicate himself. The past three trips to Japan, Blue Eyes had brought the other woman. Although procuring her to go on the trip, keeping it a secret, and all the other shenanigans he pulled while traveling with her were stressful, the process was well established, and to him, the risk and stress were worth the “reward.” He treated her like an object, which became very comfortable for him, and therefore he felt very little remorse at using her this way. He never, however, for obvious reasons, invited her on trips with him when our employees were along. Therefore those trips were fraught with obsessive porn and masturbation when he was alone in his hotel room.

So, on December 11, Blue Eyes decided he could not continue the way he had been for so many years. He was working with his therapist on some of the potential roots of his issues (although as we all know, he was not completely honest with his therapist) and planning to attend a co-dependent workshop at The Meadows in Arizona. As it turns out, Blue Eyes did not masturbate or view porn after December 10, 2013 and on that day in January, nearly six months after breaking things off with her, he did not answer the other woman’s obsessive phone calls. Blue Eyes feels very connected to his sobriety date and staying “sober” is very important to him. I get that, and I believe it.

Unfortunately, that is not the end of the story. As I have mentioned so many times, living with a recovering addict while tackling my own betrayal trauma, is a bit like walking through a desert strewn with land mines. I never know what is going to elicit an addict driven response from him, or a totally devastating trauma response from me. The past nearly three years have included explosion after explosion. Now here we are in Tokyo, the site of much sexual acting out behavior and many past landmines. Yesterday afternoon we left our hotel in the Shinagawa area of Tokyo, and headed to Tokyo Station and the Marunouchi area to do some shopping for the beach house. Even though their last trip to Tokyo together was in 2012, the three times she was here with him still hold a lot of destructive power for both of us. As a matter of fact, the treadmills in the lovely exercise room here at our hotel on the 26th floor (a hotel he did not stay at with her) face a hotel he stayed at with her in 2010, the Valentine’s Day trip. Strangely enough, when looking up some correspondence with my brother (who lives here in Tokyo), I ran across an email from the trip where my brother states… “he wouldn’t confirm his schedule, nor would he tell us where he was staying. Your husband is so strange. If we had known he was going to be here in Tokyo on Valentine’s Day without you, we would have invited him to the in-laws for crab and lobster!!!” Yeah, GQ, Blue Eyes is incredibly strange, and creepy, and dishonest, and manipulative. Sorry for that! We all trusted him.

So, as mentioned in previous posts, he stayed with her in the Marunouchi area of Japan twice. Although I love the area, it holds a fuck ton of triggers. But I am SO MUCH BETTER NOW. Surely, after all this time, I would not be triggered, right, Right, RIGHT??? Left to my own devices I would not have been triggered, at all. Unfortunately, I was traveling with my bumbling idiot, emotionally stunted sex addict husband. We exit the Yamanote train line and I want to make sure we take the correct exit out of the station because I don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the HUGE station walking a mile to our destination. The underground shopping Arcade of the Palace Hotel was to be our starting point. As I am perusing the signs (thankfully in Tokyo most of the signs also include Romaji, English characters) I know we are going to walk outside right next to a hotel they stayed at together. But it is me, three year’s healed Kat. I’m good, people. Unfortunately, Blue Eyes is three years sober on a journey that is going to take a lifetime. There is no end to his sobriety journey. In my mind, he will always be recovering, never recovered. In other words, he is still fucked up, people. At this point, Blue Eyes is REALLY hungry. He’s a bit ungrounded and all he is thinking about is food. He looks up at one of the exit signs and says… “Oh, Kitchen Street, we could go to Kitchen Street, we both LOVE Kitchen Street.” And he has this giddy look on his face. Like he is thinking about the best of memories. Like a kid reminded of the first time he dug into an ice cream cone. What the fucking fuck??? My response is, “what the fuck is Kitchen Street???” “I have never been to KITCHEN STREET.” The name alone sounds lame to me. And that, my friends, wipes that giddy look right off his fucking cheating face. Does anyone else see where this is going? I looked him square in the eye and said, “oh, that must be a special place you and your girlfriend visited.” “Did you take her there for Valentine’s Day?”

There is no good way for this to end now. The answer to my questions is obviously, yes. At this point, any healthy, normal human being would cop to his BIG FUCKING MISTAKE. Just say OMG, I am so sorry. I lost it there for a minute. I’m so messed up. Please forgive me. Yes, I went with her to Kitchen Street. Please, let’s go as far from kitchen street as possible. Here, let me buy you a diamond necklace… can I purchase you a palace in Italy? Or how about a nice hot cocoa and some of your favorite comfort food. But no, he DENIES IT ALL. He says he went there with my brother for Italian Food. I ask him to just tell the truth and he says, well, maybe he went there with her. He doesn’t remember. Then he says, “well, if I did go there with her, it was one of the worst days of my life.” “It was horrible, I was miserable without you.” NO NO NO NO NO. OMG. If we hadn’t been in the middle of Tokyo walking the streets with thousands of people, I think I would have lost it right there and then. I wanted to scream. I saw the look of sheer joy on his face remembering being there. Now, the thing is, I am far enough along in this healing of myself “thing” that I know it was not about her. He wasn’t alone and he was getting a big morphine hit to quell his addiction. I GET IT. I KNOW HE IS AN ADDICT. What I cannot tolerate is the denial, and the lying. Blue Eyes can be as “sober” as he likes, but if he is still living in denial and refuses to come to grips with his own reality, this ain’t gonna work long term. I mean it hurts that people seem to be interchangeable to Blue Eyes… I have written about that too, but when it comes time to STOP, and live in reality and take responsibility and quickly make amends, three long hard fought years of recovery and sobriety have not brought him to that place. Time to work a little harder, Blue Eyes.

He is just so fucking lucky that I understand crazy. And that I am incredibly patient and compassionate. He is really fucking lucky. As we walked back to our hotel from the train station last night, I threw out a dagger (because I may be understanding and patient, but I am not perfect)… and this was it, “since I know you went for cheap Beef Curry for Valentine’s dinner with her, I am sure that was one more way to solidify her loyalty to you… she was there with you on Valentine’s Day in Tokyo eating Beef Curry, one of your favorites, and I was not there, and I HATE Japanese Beef Curry. I bet she just loved that, and I bet you did too!”

33 thoughts on “Living in denial

  1. At some point, please, for the love, tell me that stop doing and saying these stupid things! Will has done similar things and it’s like a knife through the heart. Like you, I handle them better than I used to, but they are still devastating triggers. You are amazing Kat! Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, slowly but surely, maybe. I mean I don’t want him to shut down for fear of making a mistake, but seriously he has a problem with thinking before he speaks! And I can read his mind now, LOL. It’s like there was a piece of the puzzle missing before, not any more!!!!

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        • Um, yes. I agree. So the next time you open your mouth, stop, and think… is what I am going to say, and how I am going to say it, going to hurt Kat in any way. It’s okay, even if it takes a couple minutes. I can be patient. I would rather have a thought out response based in truth and compassion, than a knee jerk reaction coming from inside that place where an addict once lived, and potentially still does. The way to show me that you are the luckiest man in the world, is to treat me like I deserve to be treated, with love and kindness and respect… those things you disregarded for so many years.

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  2. Oh gosh, I’m sorry your special time together gets tainted with these thoughts. I know if it were me I would feel the same. While I don’t live with a recovering sex addict, I know how much it hurts to constantly be disappointed by the person you love … and sadly I have no answer because I suffer with this too. All I will say is that you are loved, and u are not alone in these feelings *hugs* ❤️

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  3. Seeing as we understand the permanence of their addictions, or even just selfish actions, the key here is your attitude. You get it. You understand who he is, and therefore when he fucks up (as we all have and continue to do) you can process and communicate what is required. Triggers in certain places are inevitable. If you can cope with that reality and still maintain your sanity and joy, you are doing the right thing. Hope BE now understands that trying to cover with another lie is not the way to operate in these uncomfortable situations …

    Enjoy the rest of your trip xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I do totally get it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to punch him in the face sometimes. I don’t like to be angry, it is not a good looking emotion on me. I want to be carefree, unencumbered etc… but I was never really like that. I have always liked order and control and honesty in my life. I feel like he knocked me on my ass and every time I feel like I am fully to my feet again, he kind of just pushes me off balance again. But yeah, work in progress, we all make mistakes, (even me, ha ha) and I want to be a forgiving and generous person. I also want to be happy and we both love Tokyo. So yeah, wish he wasn’t such a lying asshole, but as he likes to say, he is ‘MY” lying asshole. Is that really such a good thing? He seems to think so. *sigh* If I was a drinker, I would have totally had a half dozen glasses of champagne from the Moet Chandon cart that night. The princess threw up in the taxi cab last night on the way to meet us, so they turned around and went home. 😦 I guess I will have to wait to see her next week in Portland. Kind of funny? Despite everything, I am enjoying myself! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I was trying to find the positives here. That the work you’ve done must help. What I really wanted to blurt out here is that I got to a point where I couldn’t bear that the man I loved did this. No matter how much he did to try to apologise and fix what he did. I wasn’t able to keep going. With him or without him I am so very changed. I was carefree, quite windswept and interesting! Lol. But I was and am all about honesty. I am terrible about order and control! But weirdly also a bit of a control freak. I think the control freak side of me still rages at not having any control over any of this. I got so tired of these moments and living like that. But haven’t found a better alternative or way to find joy or peace yet. Just keeping on working at life. Hopefully something will get better eventually.

        I’ve never been to Tokyo but daughter, Dee has. Loved it. And my ex BFF’S youngest brother lives up north. Can’t remember the name of the city. On the bucket list ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, there are actually a lot of positives in our “story.” I just still get so irritated by his carelessness and self absorption. There is also the dichotomy of the fact that it is often so difficult to get words out of him, and then there are those moments where the words that come out of his mouth are just so blasted hurtful. No wonder he is guarded, he apparently never really learned how to be truthful and “do relationships.” I totally relate to the wanting control over what happens to us. That is one of the greatest issues I have had to overcome… I want all the choices that affect me to be made by me. Obviously I have learned, life doesn’t work that way and I have to adapt. IT SUCKS!

          Japan is definitely worth being on that bucket list. It is a strange and strangely wonderful place. xoxo

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  4. Oh Kat- it is so hard when there are these kind of setbacks. You hope that after so much time they would get it and automatically veer to the side of honesty and transparency, instead of deceit and self preservation. But I think, like with all addictions, this will be a lifelong process for BE.

    You’ve made so much progress Kat and I admire you so much for it. BE is extremely fortunate that you are his wife! I’m sorry that you have to be on this journey and that’s it’s riddled with so many land mines-the view of the other hotel, the email. I know there’s so much that you need to get past and that is no small thing! You’re amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kaye. The view of the other hotel, and then walking by the OTHER hotel is much less difficult for me now. I prepare myself for it and the trauma is so much less, well…. traumatic these days. I can put all that in its proper place. It does make me angry when he seems to forget that he cannot just extrapolate all his hidden secret disgusting memories onto our current life. I shouldn’t even have to remind him that “it wasn’t me at the curry restaurant, asshole… ” but I know no one is perfect and this is a long hard-fought journey. I really don’t want him to clam up and not say anything. We’ve moved past that stage, thankfully. I do wish he could get to a place where the shame didn’t envelop him and prompt him to say what he thinks I want to hear versus just own it and make amends, straight away, in honesty. Work in progress. Thanks for the kind compliments, as always! xoxo

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  5. I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you. I’m sad that after 3 years in recovery his default was to lie to you. Probably if he told the truth right away it would have been easier for you to handle. Why can’t they get that the lies hurt more than anything? I hope he makes amends to you quickly and that you are able to move forward. You have both done a lot of work – setbacks are so discouraging and painful. Praying for you and your healing. Sending strength and hope your way.

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    • Yeah, boomer, it is difficult for them to change those very ingrained bad habits. I hate that he associates good memories with times when I was not with him and someone very destructive was. She meant nothing and was just part of a sick secret life he used to cope. It hurts, but I get it. I do want him to keep working on living in his own reality and not going to that place of fantasy, and still be happy with himself and his life. He’s working on it. In the meantime, I vent when I need to. ❤

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  6. Hi Kat,

    I am so sorry that you had to experience this. I truly don’t think he thinks people are interchangeable but I think they forget their own lies and can’t keep them straight. Nevertheless, he definitely didn’t handle it as you would have wished once it came to light. I hope the rest of the trip goes better. A big hug….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, workinghard. I have worked so hard to get to the place I am, nothing like this gets me down for long. I’m about to write another post. I don’t like to leave negative words hanging out there on the blog anymore. There is too much good and too much hope for me to do that. But, I do like to be real. The journey continues. Thank you for the big hug, I ❤ big hugs!!! I am hoping for one in person very soon!

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  7. You should see Manchester by the Sea AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I just saw it twice in the last 3 days. The aspects of the story around addiction (alcohol in this case) and its unbreakable hold on people despite the most devastating of consequences are not being covered by the critics, but you will relate.

    Really an incredible movie, I will probably go again this weekend. And not because of the addiction stuff.

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  8. Hugs to all of you out there suffering and attempting to find your peace again. There is a Buddhist monk, Pema Chodron, who writes many inspiring things for times of trouble. There is a breathing technique called tonglen and the idea is that you breathe in the pain you feel and the pain of others suffering as well. You are to breathe out compassion and strength or whatever you wish those suffering to gain. This morning as I try to meditate I have all of you in my thoughts and am sending positivity to all my “sisters” who are trying to navigate this dark journey that was not part of the life we mapped out for ourselves.
    I am so grateful to have found this post. I was unable to think for several months but I feel I have found a thread of hope here- so thank you, Kat, for creating and continuing your commitment to this blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are very familiar with Pema Chodron in our house since my husband took up Mindfulness and Buddhism as part of his recovery path. She is very inspirational. Thank you for the breathing reminder, and also for your kind and comforting words as we all circumvent this really difficult journey that we did not sign up for. xoxo

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  9. I relate so well to what you describe that just reading it is very triggering for me. But I am so grateful to you for writing it. More spouses need to bring this awful addiction out into the light where it can be understood and shared to help other. Thank you for being brave enough to share!

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    • So so sorry, cupcake warrior, that what I wrote is triggering. I know that feeling well, but yes, I write because I don’t think most people understand this addiction at all… I know I certainly had no idea and I have felt less alone here on this blog. My husband was very good at lying and keeping his secret. He has made SO much progress, but there is no end to this. We all have to work every day to be good people, for some it is harder than for others, apparently. My husband and I have never separated and I have written honestly and openly about our journey here. I have found so few blogs written by spouses of sex addicts and even when I do, they don’t seem to keep going and I know from experience, addicts don’t just heal. I have read and heard a lot of stories. Denial is a relationship killer, from both sides. I firmly believe that the only way an addict can heal is to get in there inside themselves and be honest… no more excuses, nor more lies, no more rationalizing. I feel a teeny bit of my sanity is linked to this blog because when I write it all out here, I am reminding myself of the promises I have made to myself. I won’t be sideswiped again. Hugs to you! xoxo

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  10. I hate all the triggers everywhere in my life… I have to repeat mantras and childhood prayers when I drive through certain towns… I am constantly fighting my own self, the self that doesn’t feel like being strong today. It’s terribly hard and can be exhausting. I’m so sorry to hear that you too have reminders of the past trying to derail your security.

    What you said about people being interchangeable really hit me. I am only 5 months into this- my d day was July 12. However, one of the things that burns in me is that I don’t know if people’s character really matters to my addict. That is so distressing to me. I feel like I’m in a daze when I am in crowds of people now. I wonder how he managed to simply objectify women without consciousness. How is it that we are all the same and the value of one’s personality goes unnoticed?? And now how all of a sudden can he see his inconsistencies? It is all so confusing. Does freeing himself from this sickening life of lies instantly make him human again???

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    • I’m so sorry you are going through this. I know this is probably always frustrating to hear, I know it was for me, but you are in the early stages. For me, it hurt so much more early on. I internalized all he did and somehow associated it with me and that somehow I should have known. Or somehow I should have seen some of his behavior as destructive, like the flirting. In hindsight, of course there are signs. No one is perfect. Eventually I took myself out of the equation in terms of what he did and how he would need to heal. Truly, none of his behavior, not the reasons why he did it nor what he did, was about me. Even still, sometimes the broken me looks in the mirror and asks “why me?” I didn’t do anything wrong. I was taught that if I was good, good things would come to me. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case and we learned that the hard way. But their behavior wasn’t and isn’t about us. In order to stay married to my husband, he had to agree to work towards changing some of his basic behaviors… like not lying anymore. Not hiding inside his head. Not rationalizing his anger. Not medicating with ANYTHING, but in fact facing his own emotions like an adult. I set my boundaries in terms of his present and ongoing behavior and I reminded him constantly of what hurt, and what wasn’t okay. At first he didn’t even realize he was doing anything wrong. He was still rationalizing a lot and denying a lot. He does that less now, but he still does it. They do convince themselves that they have to stay inside their own heads, to protect themselves. That is not conducive to an intimate relationship. Anyway, we have dealt with all the triggers at home because we have faced them over and over and they hold no more destruction for me. Unfortunately, some of these cities that he nearly ruined for me, like Tokyo… where my brother lives, still hold triggers. Also, my husband had a really messed up childhood and created a fantasy world for himself. There are places, and foods, and experiences from his childhood and adolescence that he holds in a special place. Apparently he has also done this with foreign cities and experiences he had with the other woman. Just visiting a place can make him giddy, like a child. It’s like he is not living in the present. It’s not that I don’t like seeing him happy, but it bothers me that he is sensationalizing past experiences and giving them so much more power in the present. In other words, he often doesn’t live in the present. I think he thinks sometimes the present is too difficult, thus all the medicating and the addiction, but that must change. Freeing themselves from the lies does not make them human again. Many years of hard work and constantly doing the right thing might though. xoxo

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  11. That’s fucked up, but I totally understand. He’s been lying his whole life, running away from the awful things he’s done. Lying when cornered is as natural to him as breathing. I’m not excusing it, but I understand. He is lucky to have a wife who hasn’t given up on him, because he’s very deeply broken.
    I’m curious, has therapy revealed what the root causes are for his behavior?

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    • Oh yes, his story is pretty well established at this point. He has been in regular therapy since 2010 (since his brother committed suicide) and even with the little bit of information he shared with that therapist, the guy suggested he read a book about sex addiction. Of course my husband denied anything like that could be driving him (and having no experience in his life with anyone who recognized they were addicts), he just kept on attempting to control his behavior. His SA specialist in LA believes he was neglected from birth having been born to a wholly narcissistic mother and a career driven, emotionless, never around father. He was verbally and physically abused and exposed to all kinds of destructive sexual behavior. He was diagnosed with two serious and life altering immune related diseases before he was 10. Medications catapulted him into early puberty where he found masturbation as a temporary fix for whatever ailed him. He learned to lie and hide from a very early age. He was never good enough for his parents and even to this day they consider him a failure as a son and as a person. They are insane. As an adult, he just continued his destructive behavior believing no one would understand or love him if they knew the truth about him. He thought he couldn’t survive if he didn’t have his secret life… and then, I believe, he started taking it for granted. The more successful he became, the easier it was for him to rationalize he “needed” something on the side and his addiction escalated. His something on the side for eight years was just plain scary and I personally cannot believe he exposed me or our children to any of it. To say I was shocked by my husband’s secret life is a pretty large understatement. He is very deeply broken. I know he doesn’t want to continue hurting me or anyone else, but as you point out, old habits die hard. I guess my point with this post is it is not just about sobriety (with any addiction). It really is about getting to the core of the issues. Whether an addict from there forward remains in that self reflective place, is up to them.

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