He’s just not that type of guy

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The following TED talk was sent to me by a follower. It is one of the best descriptions of sex addiction I have seen thus far.

We Need To Talk About Sex Addiction

“The biggest barrier to getting help for sex addiction is the secrecy and shame that surrounds it”

“He doesn’t believe anyone could like him, let alone love him”

“He doesn’t believe anyone could ever really understand”

“He’s just not that type of guy”

“How could I not have known”

“I don’t care what we call it, what I care about is…” those suffering in silence

“Sex addiction thrives in secret, and in shame”

“Stop making moral judgments”

“It’s not a myth, or a joke, and it is certainly not fun”

It’s time to stop joking about sex addiction… belittling it, judging it, or denying it.

The power of compassion allows us to face the fact that we are all fallible, vulnerable human beings, we all make mistakes, we all have regrets, we all struggle with difficult emotions…

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “He’s just not that type of guy

  1. Hi Wow
    I am 11 mos post d-day and I can relate to your post. Reading the archives of Kat’s blog was extemely helpful to me. I discovered this blog about 6 mos post dday and only wish I had discovered it from the beginning. I was fortunate to find an SA therapist around the same time. I also have a wonderful S-Anon Group of 8-10 women and one man that meets weekly. And I have one close friend who knows the story. The only way I have made it has been with this support system and I include Kat. Take her up on her offer to email. She was enormously helpful to me. I discovered recently that others in my SAnon group have online friends. One woman even has an online telephone group that conference calls regularly. My point is that it’s important to get support. If you are in an area without support use online sources. But be careful. My therapist warned me to “get off the internet”. Other than this blog and a few helpful articles I found, I would agree with that. For me, just understanding that SA is an addiction and no, it really is not about sex, was huge. This was the primary focus of the first few mos of therapy. I can’t say exactly when I finally “got it” but when I did, that was an enormous step in my healing. My healing has been messy and my H’s recovery bumpy. My H was picking up street prodtitutes 2X a wk. and had been for 30+ yrs. predating our relationship. Just comprehending that took some time. At first I felt rage, then I doubted my own attractiveness. Now when I think of that I feel sadness and compassion bc now I understand the pain behind it. I still have a long way to go, but as long as my H stays in recovery, I’m in.

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  2. I am trying to find some answers and stumbled across your Old blog on being “strong”

    I had a couple bad days…. I feel like I have been “strong and good” and yesterday I fell apart. I am not completely sure why. I think just reflecting and a lot of anger and overwhelming sadness dragged me into a dark dark place. I hate feeling this way. There was very little of this in me b4 DDay 5 months ago. I was a strong woman who helped others figure things out. I concentrated on walking on the sunny light side of life. I so relate to you saying you were strong and he was able to be weak. I feel the same. My addict knew I could handle most anything….
    until now….
    and now I don’t resemble my old self sometime
    and now it is difficult to feel all of this
    and now my addict doesn’t know what the hell to do when I go off the rails for 36 hours

    I spew hatred at his behaviors and disbelief in his actions because I truly am honestly befuddled how any human being can live so unconsciously.

    And then I hate myself. I hate that I got so out of control. I feel embarrassed. I apologize to the man who handed me this dead, sordid, incredibly sad life that Is now living in me. I know deep down somewhere that I will heal. I trust me, always have. This is a blow to my resilience, however, bc my inner strength isn’t always there for me. Why is this so different from other obstacles in life?? I don’t want to continually hurt him by bringing up the past. There are no new answers, no perfectly rational explanation for twice a week blow jobs after work in the basement of the office.

    I live in Pittsburgh and don’t have a lot of sexual addiction specialists in the area. I am seeing a counselor now and she is helpful but she isn’t schooled in SA. If anyone has advice how to manage the flare ups and whether to leave the addict out of it I would appreciate it. Often I feel like I am tearing off a barely there scab and exposing it to crude infection once again. I want to quit sabotaging my happiness and move forward. Is it even possible really???

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    • Hi WOW. I responded to your other comment, but wanted to remind you that you can reach me by email. I hope your trauma episode has passed and you are feeling better today. I also wanted to mention that even if there isn’t an SA specialist in your area, you might want to seek a therapist that specializes in trauma, someone who is trained in dealing with the post traumatic stress through healing therapies like EMDR, Touch Work, Mindfulness, Meditation, etc… to help incorporate ways to calm your mind and body when you are feeling triggered or out of control. It is our responsibility to deal with our emotions in the kindest way possible, to ourselves, and others.

      Regarding your husband’s behavior… you know that addiction brings with it it’s own set of rules. It may not be rational to us for a married man to need extramarital blow jobs (especially OUR partners), but to them, it kept them living and not in an exciting, fun kind of way. In a depraved, sad and broken kind of way. The world is a cruel and/or stressful place and people do what they think they need to do to survive. We cannot begin to know what goes on in another’s brain, and I am not rationalizing bad behavior in the name of addiction, but it is a reality. I know you get this. To me the shocker is when they are enlightened, when they stop rationalizing, and they begin to live in light and truth, that they realize they can control their behaviors and trade in bad behaviors for good ones.

      It is important for us to do the same…. give ourselves time to live in our new reality. Realize we don’t want to hurt people in the pursuit of our own healing. It just takes time to accomplish that healing and in the meantime, we make mistakes. We all do. Much love. xoxo

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    • I am copying Maggie’s comment as a reply to yours. Hopefully this way you are alerted you have another response (her original comment is still here on this page). It is so true, we all need a support system. Even though when I started this blog there weren’t many (if any) wives of sex addict bloggers currently blogging (lots and lots of betrayal blogs though), this venue gave me the opportunity to share my feelings and to also talk through what was happening. It is all so overwhelming and most of us do not have anyone in our lives who truly understands.

      Hi Wow
      I am 11 mos post d-day and I can relate to your post. Reading the archives of Kat’s blog was extemely helpful to me. I discovered this blog about 6 mos post dday and only wish I had discovered it from the beginning. I was fortunate to find an SA therapist around the same time. I also have a wonderful S-Anon Group of 8-10 women and one man that meets weekly. And I have one close friend who knows the story. The only way I have made it has been with this support system and I include Kat. Take her up on her offer to email. She was enormously helpful to me. I discovered recently that others in my SAnon group have online friends. One woman even has an online telephone group that conference calls regularly. My point is that it’s important to get support. If you are in an area without support use online sources. But be careful. My therapist warned me to “get off the internet”. Other than this blog and a few helpful articles I found, I would agree with that. For me, just understanding that SA is an addiction and no, it really is not about sex, was huge. This was the primary focus of the first few mos of therapy. I can’t say exactly when I finally “got it” but when I did, that was an enormous step in my healing. My healing has been messy and my H’s recovery bumpy. My H was picking up street prodtitutes 2X a wk. and had been for 30+ yrs. predating our relationship. Just comprehending that took some time. At first I felt rage, then I doubted my own attractiveness. Now when I think of that I feel sadness and compassion bc now I understand the pain behind it. I still have a long way to go, but as long as my H stays in recovery, I’m in.

      Like

  3. I went to see my therapist last night. She said I need to learn to me more compassionate towards my H. She said it will help him to forgive himself and until that happens we go around in circles. I don’t understand how to be compassionate. Bottom line is they knew it was wrong and they did it anyway. There’s where I struggle with being compassionate.
    Any suggestions??

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds like it might help to notice the distinction between compassion and forgiveness. You can be compassionate and understand that people make mistakes and do things they regret when they are struggling with their own issues, but you don’t have to excuse the behavior or offer blanket forgiveness before you are ready (or ever).
      I treat my exhusband with compassion even though he hurt me and betrayed me because I happen to know that he had a childhood almost as difficult as my own. I forgive him even, but I can’t believe married to him anymore. If I had fewer issues of my own, maybe I could.

      All I’m saying is that compassion is separate from forgiveness which may even be separate from the decision of whether you can live with someone…

      Liked by 2 people

      • SALJ, I wrote about this a while back, but for me, forgiveness is for the forgiver. It is not about excusing behavior or even about the person who wronged me. It is about me letting go of the hurt, the pain, the anger… and healing myself. And… for me compassion is about the other person. It is about me showing the other person that I understand they are hurting, and I care, and hopefully they don’t feel so alone. xx

        Liked by 2 people

    • Happily, I had compassion for my husband from discovery, but that is because I am familiar with addiction and addicts. The practical, independent side of me knew right away what was going on.

      But, I was split in two.

      Now, the broken part of me, the betrayed wife, she struggled mightily to understand how he could make those decisions that he knew would hurt me. How could I not have seen he was an addict, I knew what addicts looked like, right? Nope. I was traumatized and broken and until I picked myself up and reminded myself that his bad behavior had nothing to do with me, and I couldn’t change his past behavior, that I needed to make a decision about my life and stick with it, I floundered. Once I started healing, miraculously, my husband started recovering.

      He had always had his addiction. He wanted to heal, but he didn’t know how. I know they did incredibly bad and hurtful things, but if we stick around, and continue to condemn them, continue to make them feel bad about themselves, continue to shame them, how can they heal? Which husband do we want? The struggling addict? Or the recovering addict? Because what we know for sure, is we have an addict. Eventually we have to let the trauma go… the trauma holds in it all the pain, bitterness, sadness, anger, etc… I had to work every day at letting it go.

      It has been hell, reaching this point and perhaps it is just me, but the one thing I was able to do was separate out my feelings about what he did. I do not equate sex with love. I equate intimacy with love and I have a pretty tight definition of intimacy. What my husband had, sexually, through acting out behaviors, was in no way intimacy. My husband was feeding an addiction that started way before he knew me. It escalated over the years because that is how addiction works. It was never about me, it was not about replacing me, or “loving” another woman. It was about sex, down and dirty, that was his drug. I had to re-define sex. I still despise the long term other woman and what she represented to my husband. I know she made it easier for him to have his drug and to not stop and get help sooner. I am not proud of my lingering bitterness for her, but I am human.

      I do think your therapist is correct… he needs to learn to forgive himself, and if you are still struggling with understanding why he did those things, and still struggling to forgive (not forget, not excuse, not condone, just forgive) he will struggle with understanding why he did those things. At least that was my discovery. He needs someone to believe in him. We have to get off the fence and take a side. Either we support them unconditionally, or we leave. Much love to you, I know how hard this is. xoxo

      Liked by 3 people

      • This is a beautiful description of what healing looks like for couples like us. It is still early for me to even think about forgiveness, but compassion is easy. I am sad for him when I think about his childhood and all the things that happened to him. As a parent I can’t imagine treating my children the way my husbands parents treated him. He was lucky to have some coping mechanism in order to survive.

        But for me at this early stage I have to be careful not to let those feelings overshadow my own feelings of anger and pain before I have a chance to process them. It’s going to be a long time I think but we are working towards healing every day. I know that my compassion helps him as well as the fact that I am still here and supporting his recovery and mine.

        Thank you as always for your insight and perspective.

        Merry Christmas!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Boomer, I hope you had a lovely Christmas. I totally agree that we have to live in the moment of what we are going through… but separating ourselves and our healing from what they did, is part of that process, in my opinion. If we pretend like it didn’t hurt us, that it didn’t take us to the depths of our deepest pain, if we don’t stop and think and make those difficult decisions with our own best interests in mind, then yes, we are letting our compassion overshadow our own self awareness and needs. The first two years it was difficult for me to separate his needs from my needs. I didn’t want him to feel more shameful, but I had absolutely no control over how he felt in the throes of the pain he had caused me. I let my pain out in whatever ways I felt I needed to at the time. And it was NOT PRETTY. In the most recent of months, I have realized that harboring bitterness and self doubt only stalls my own healing, but again, it has been nearly three years. It is tradition in our family that my mother handles Christmas Eve dinner and I handle Christmas day. The past couple of Christmases have been non-traditional in that two years ago my parents were in Japan celebrating the birth of their first (and what will be) their only granddaughter and I was in the deepest throes of betrayal trauma and did pretty much nothing for the holidays. Last year Blue Eyes had hip surgery and we stayed in, again, doing nothing. This year I found my spirit again. I got out our china, crystal, and sterling silver. My boys and I made an amazing Christmas/Hanukah dinner. I had absolutely no moments of sadness, only joy and happiness, and we had the cutest little two year running around our house for a few hours. It was wonderful. I am thankful nothing got in my way of having a great time… not even the dream I had the night before about going shopping with the other woman to buy a new mattress for her house because supposedly her boyfriend (my husband) thought her mattress was too old and soft. She pretended like he was her boyfriend and she also pretended she had no idea who I was. My dreams are so strange. I just laughed at that dream. My life has taken a strange twist, for sure, but I am not afraid of it anymore. I have learned a lot about living in the past three years. Cheers to 2017! May it be a hell of a lot better than 2016. ❤

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          • Thank you for your reply. It is hard to imagine my life feeling anything like normal again. We have been doing a good job of looking normal around family during the holidays. But it is exhausting for me. I know that I will have a flood of feelings soon as our disclosure is scheduled for January 18. I am terrified of hearing the whole truth and of feeling so much pain. But I know that I can’t heal unless I let those feelings out. It is easy to fall into the trap of feeling sad for him and all that has happened to him. But I am reminding myself that he has caused me quite a lot of trauma and that is just as unacceptable as his childhood experiences. I am working on feeling my own feelings, but it is difficult and scary. Thanks for your encouragement.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Good luck with the disclosure, Boomer. I am assuming you will have plenty of support there for you. In most cases I have heard that it wasn’t as devastating as most wives thought it would be since they had metabolized so much before disclosure. We never had a formal disclosure. Most everything came out in preparation for his first step. It still took me months and months to get over asking little questions all throughout the day. The actual content of the answers seemed to become less and less meaningful to me. It was more about the fact that he could live in the moment and answer my questions immediately and as honestly as possible. It seemed to take forever, but all that is in the rearview mirror. With sobriety and recovery I have become more trusting of him. The most important thing for me is that he is being honest with himself. Why he does, acts, thinks, behaves the way he does and if it fits with who he wants to be, which matches up with who I thought he was. The trauma they caused is not okay, not justified in any way, but it did happen and so, we march on… xoxo

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      • Kat, this post is so beautiful it’s poetic. Coming up on one year from d-day, I agree with all of it. Recently my therapist asked me to choose five descriptors for myself to aspire to. One of the words I chose was savvy. I have felt like I was played by my H. The trusting wife who was cluelessly dropped off at work by H and then he left to meet a street whore. Not just what I call her. A real whore. Prostititute. A whore who had been texting him as we rode into town merrily chatting and laughing about whatever. Reading Kat’s post made me realize the savvy I aspire to is the savvy that gets that this is his addiction and has nothing to do with me. This process has been a day at a time for both of us. I do know how hard this is. It has turned everything I thought I knew upside down. But I do have compassion for my H and I’ve decided that as long as he stays in recovery, I’m in. But I hate whores. I know, I know. Human trafficking, victims, blah, blah. I see them as predatory, street smart criminals who can spot an addict a mile away and will bleed him dry. The last whore threatened my H when he got in recovery, and cut her off. She was demanding $ or would expose him. (Not sure how). I was never so proud of him when he went to the police and gave them her info and told them the story. Maybe some day I’ll have compassion for the hoes but not today. I’m human too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It is so difficult to get past the hurt enough to try to understand what drove our husbands to such depths of despair. No excuses, it was never okay or alright. My husband’s last OW was not an actual whore, but she also threatened and blackmailed. Problem is, if not her, then someone else. Access to their drug is simply so easy. I don’t think we need to have compassion for women who actively pursued married men (for whatever reason, to fill their own void, or to fill their pocketbook) and then when faced with not having what they want, they turn into mean “girls.” It wasn’t right when we were 8 years old on the playground, and it isn’t right as adults. xx

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  4. Yes, Kat. This was good. She articulated well many of the barriers to both the addict and those who love him/her getting help and support. It is definitely an addiction that lives in secrecy, and shame… Big hugs to you…thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t often get great responses from posting videos/TEDtalks… as a matter of fact, I have fairly well been blasted for a couple of them. 🙂 I think this one is well worth a watch for everyone, especially those who seem to think sex addiction is a joke. Somehow the British accent seems to legitimize it even more… or maybe that is just me. Ha. For those of us who are living with sex addiction, or living with a sex addict, this is all too real, and hearing a specialist saying it out loud in front of an audience… speaking those words we have spoken, it is validating. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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