This entry is a bit of a continuation of my last post. I think what I really want to get across is that recovering from addiction is a process. A process for the addict and for the people around the addict. There isn’t some magical point in time when the addict is recovered and everyone else has healed. Or even a specific point when the addict seems to get it… when he becomes naturally empathetic in most situations, or is able to automatically ground himself. There is not a specific day when he stops feeling the need to medicate. At least not in my little corner of the world.Blue Eyes had left early on a Monday morning. The day after his epiphany about having cheated on me. He returned Tuesday evening. We took the dogs for a walk and Blue Eyes started talking about his therapy appointment earlier that day. From what he has told me, he is supposed to be working on childhood wounds, FOO issues, getting in touch with his inner child, forgiving himself and having empathy for that child and some of the things he feels shameful about from childhood, etc… All good things because hopefully this level of self reflection and understanding will allow him to better deal with some of his shame triggers. Unfortunately, Blue Eyes tends to bend the rules a lot in many facets of his life and therapy is one of those places, in my opinion. In couple’s therapy with Chatty Kathy all those months ago, whenever I talked about something Blue Eyes had done, or even how it impacted me, she required me to always use the disclaimer: in my opinion. I still use it. I am pretty comfortable with my opinion. I think I see things pretty clearly these days. Instead of staying focused on childhood issues with the Shrink, Blue Eyes went off script and started talking about how he had been triggered lately and about how he still thinks about his drug. In this case his drug is the last other woman. For a sick, obsessed addict, he had a pretty good thing going. He knew there would be shame and fear and pain and regret wrapped up in his drug, there always had been, but this particular woman provided a pretty persuasive narcotic. She would do what he wanted, mostly when he wanted it, and she was always available. As I have mentioned numerous times, that drug is still there, sitting in her run-down hoarder’s house drinking her whiskey and petting her rescue animals. He could call her today and she would drop everything and have the same monotonous, dirty, ritualistic addict-y sex with Blue Eyes that they had for eight years. He knows this. I know this. She knows this. I know it’s not about me, and it’s not about her. I married an addict.
I would have been okay if the conversation had stopped there. I know it is difficult on many stressful days for an addict to keep those thoughts out of his head. Unfortunately, the conversation didn’t stop there. The Shrink proceeded to tell Blue Eyes he understood the “temptation.” That he had once been in a very destructive relationship with a beautiful woman, and that even though the relationship was toxic, he still thought about the sex with this woman because it was that great. Honestly, I couldn’t hear anything else after that. My mind did that flip flop thing where it goes from being practical and understanding and present, to being angry and frustrated and well, PISSED OFF!!! Sometimes that anger brings on a flash of tears because I just fucking want people to think about me, to understand me and for me not to have to explain why something hurts so bad. Whether I am in the room or not, the universe hears (as Blue Eyes likes to say). I want him to be open and honest. I want him to be in full-on recovery without continuing to hurt me. Some days just suck.This angry tearful behavior hasn’t always been about Blue Eyes, but for the past 3+ years it has been pretty exclusively about him. We were having this conversation right in the middle of the street with people all around, people walking their dogs, couples sitting on their porches waiting for sunset, others unloading groceries from their car, etc… I couldn’t hold back the tears or my words. I asked Blue Eyes how he cannot understand how this conversation with The Shrink hurts me. He is insinuating that Blue Eyes had some romantic relationship with this woman that included hot sex and that is why Blue Eyes “still thinks about it.” *SIGH* I am a broken record. Addiction is not about hot sex, it is about medicating wounds with a drug. Yeah it feels good for the moment (just like sex with ME feels good, no GREAT, in the moment). This woman is not prettier, sexier, hotter, or better in bed than me. I know this, but apparently, The Shrink does not, and that makes me angry. That conversation between Blue Eyes and The Shrink should never have happened, in my opinion. Conversations about how an addict feels when craving his drug are meant to be shared with other guys who have been in his shoes, maybe even in his shoes that very day. That conversation is meant for Blue Eyes’ 12 step guys. That is why he has a circle of friends, safe friends. People who know it is not about how hot the sex was, or wasn’t. People who know how difficult it is to just fucking live life without their DRUG. Blue Eyes knows that divulging his weak moments to his 12 step guys is more difficult than sharing with The Shrink. He knows what he is supposed to do.
Blue Eyes tried to back track and he told me The Shrink did bring the conversation back around to how destructive those thoughts can be for Blue Eyes and to remember how horrible he felt, and how painful it was for his family, and how afraid he was. That’s all good and fine, but Blue Eyes knows all this and it will never be enough to stop him from just giving up and giving in to his drug. Some moments, on some days, it’s all too difficult and addicts throw away their sobriety because they just fucking don’t feel like working that hard anymore, it’s their instinct to act out. He MUST use what he now knows to be healthy alternative behaviors for getting himself out of a stressful moment and into a place of stability. Phone a safe friend, pick up his 12 step materials or a mindfulness book (he always has these with him now), meditate. I’m not completely sure why he brought it up with The Shrink, but most likely he wanted someone to tell him, it’s okay… we’re all fallible human beings. His 12 step guys don’t go that route… they say “we know how difficult this path is, the righteous path, but we have new outlets now for those difficult moments, we know how to get out of it before we’re in it… now.”My frustrated mood stayed with me for a while and Blue Eyes knew exactly what he had done. He got it. He agreed with me about his 12 step guys and how it is the more difficult path, but the correct one. He agreed that The Shrink can help him in certain ways, but not in the way he was using him and he was sorry he had triggered me and made me feel bad, made me feel less than. I know he doesn’t mean to, but it still hurts and angers me anyway. Again, I want Blue Eyes to share and be open with me. It is important to cultivating a stronger relationship between us and it helps with my trust issues because I know he is willing to put himself in a vulnerable place for me. Day and night, the beach is so magical, it is difficult to stay in a bad mood for long. ❤
44 thoughts on “More about year four”
Oh, god. You wrote, “Sometimes that anger brings on a flash of tears because I just fucking want people to think about me, to understand me and for me not to have to explain why something hurts so bad.” I have just started reading your posts and so much of it makes me wonder, “Are you in my head?” I have just started my own blog and am in the middle of dealing with a similar situation. I cringe at the term “sex addiction”. I need to wrap my head around it. I feel like it is an excuse to be a selfish, cheating, jackass. Plus, i feel overwhelmed that you are how many years into this…four? And what you are describing still is what I am feeling now. I feel panicked thinking that I will still feel like this in 4 years? I can’t do 4 more years!
Hi loveishard2. Some do make sex addiction their excuse. I, however, don’t look at it that way at all. I look at the label sex addiction as a path to recovery. They are still selfish, cheating, lying jackasses, but now they can finally come to the realization that they are not alone, there are others who understand them, and they should not continue to isolate, make excuses, or rationalize bad behavior.
I believe you won’t “feel like this” in 4 years, but you will still feel it. It’s not all the time, not even every day, but every once in a while you will feel it and it will most likely be driven by him (if you are with him). I continue to write because it is still there. It is not devastating me, it is not ruling my life. I can sleep, I can eat (oh how I can eat) and I can still be creative, and I can laugh again (from the belly). But I am not the same as I was before and I have been unable to block everything out so that I can pretend at life. I must feel. It is who I am. This will never go away, but I am learning to deal with it in what I hope is healthy ways. Don’t panic, just live. Stop and really feel your emotions, good and bad. Try not to think or pretend that it will all go away some day. I think if we pretend at life, or have false expectations, we are steering ourselves to a much bigger crash. Try and ease in and out of the emotions and realize, no matter what, your life is your own and you have choices. Good, solid, life affirming choices. xo
Kat, this post brings up so many feelings for me I don’t know what to say except that I’ve been there, and it feels awful. Yes, I get it that it’s a drug, it’s not really about that woman, etc. but still. You do a remarkable job of handling it.
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Maggie, this is my sanity… knowing how the addiction works. Knowing that he wasn’t thinking about the woman, but the secret sexual high he would get by texting her, phoning her, scheduling a time to have sex with her, etc… It is so very difficult to remove ourselves from the pain of this kind of betrayal. For a long time I was so caught up in the sadness and the agony and I felt terribly sorry for myself. Finally I realized that there was no way he could do this TO ME. He was just doing what he knew, what he had always known, what he believed he needed to survive. That woman made it easy, she was the morphine drip, he had the control. He also used porn and masturbation, so much easier for me to deal with. However, there are porn addicts (and wives) who struggle and suffer just as much as we are. AND on the flip side, there are addicts who treated their mistresses like princesses, bought them lavish gifts and vacations, spent quality time with them, because that is what that woman demanded in order to keep the morphine drip going. It really is not about that other woman. And as far as his feelings for me, Blue Eyes never learned how to be truly intimate, or trustworthy, or honest, because he was not treated with kindness, nurturing or honesty as a child. I get this. Is it still painful, YES, but since I am choosing to stay, I must be able to understand how this all happened. The really rough road now, is changing the way he behaves. It takes time. I am understanding, to a point. I just wish now that when conversations come up, like the one with the Shrink, that he would say… “oh, well that is completely different, you were in a REAL relationship with that woman, destructive or not. I am an addict and therefore the sex with the other woman was merely me getting a fix. I still think about that fix, but that woman means nothing to me, obviously. I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my sobriety, or hurt Kat, but I wanted to get off my chest the fact that I still feel like I need my drug.” That is what I wished he had said, BUT, he is not me, and I am not him, and this is a long and rocky road. I am not, however, going to pretend that him not setting The Shrink straight did not hurt my feelings. I was over it pretty quickly and deep inside me I realize he will never be like me. Keep believing in yourself, Maggie and the pain will lessen. xx
In the program we would say you spoke your truth and that is always a good thing, to say what’s true for you and how it makes you feel. You make a good point in that you’ve chosen to stay in your marriage. I’ve chosen to stay for now, but the reality is I’m not all in. This last 16 mos of recovery have been very rocky. While I realize changing behavior that has been there for over 30 years is not easy, the reality is I didn’t know about it. The last 16 mos I do know, and it’s painful, so now I must find a way to cope at least as long as I stay. Our culture doesn’t view this addiction kindly nor does it understand it. For a shrink to make that comment to your H, is appalling to me. Sex addiction isn’t about toxic relationships, although I guess it could be bc a sex addict wouldn’t notice or care that a rel was toxic if he or she was getting a fix.
At 16 months, Maggie, I was still trying to decide if I could stay. There were many conversations about BE getting his own apartment so we could each focus on ourselves without the couple drama. He never ever wanted that physical separation to happen, so he fought desperately to stay. I still believe his going to an in-patient early on would have been very helpful, and in hindsight I think living apart for a while would have been good for both of us. But those things didn’t happen and here we are 3.5 years in and I no longer question my decision to stay. I do still have pain, but not enough that I would rather be without him. And yeah, the shrink, totally human. He’s not my therapist so I write about it here, but it’s not my conundrum. What my husband had with the other woman was totally toxic, but not a real “relationship.” Pretty much everything my husband did to feed his addiction was toxic to himself and to others. What the shrink said was ridiculous, but what I cared about was that BE saw the difference between the shrink’s toxic relationship and his own addiction driven behavior and selfishly, I wanted him to set the shrink straight and make him feel bad for his faux pas. I have to let all that go. BE was not talking about literally going to the other woman’s house and having sex with her, or even thinking about that. The practical me knows he meant he still has the desire to push away his stress and anxiety with a hit… a text, an email, whatever, but he knows that would be disastrous. It all still hurts me sometimes anyway because what he chose as a drug was disgusting and hurtful. It sounds like you are finding solace working the program. 12 step has been BE’s lifeline to his own sanity. I’m so glad he found a great group. Peace and love to you Maggie! xx
I am the wife of the addict in the Ester Perel series “Where should we begin”. Please if you can listen to it and give me your thoughts.
My question to you, do you think a time will come where you think about the pain and it doesn’t hurt? My husband hopes I can come to that. I don’t believe it’s possible and it frustrates me that he can even ask. The he goes on to further say, it’s not about the pain, it’s how I let it affect me. I have come a long way in 4 years, I do handle it differently. I don’t lay in bed all day feeling sorry for myself. None the less it is still painful.
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Hi, R. I will write more after I have listened to the EP series. For now, I will address your question as best I can. I do believe you will get to a point where it doesn’t affect you in such a personal way, HOWEVER, I do not believe your husband should be the one pushing this on you. He wants that because selfishly he doesn’t want to keep facing your pain, and facing what he did. We are all unique and our healing is individual. In my opinion, your husband needs to work his own recovery and be by your side for whenever you need him in whatever way and not try to hurry your healing. Your healing needs to come from inside you. I know getting to a place where we don’t blame ourselves or feel sorry for ourselves (this truly is not fair, we didn’t deserve this, but we got it anyway) takes a while, but it doesn’t help when the perpetrators are expecting something from us that we are unable to give and yeah, I think it is unable NOT unwilling. Healing from betrayal trauma takes time. We do all have choices, but the trauma, depending on our individual circumstances, affects us all differently. Keep believing in yourself. His wrongdoings really had nothing to do with the wonderful person you are. Always remember that. Even though I still have sad moments, the thoughts and obsessions that used to knock me flat, just make me feel numb now. They are moments, not days or hours anymore, but yeah, every once in a while it hurts. You have made great progress. For me, at a certain point I realized I was ready to take control of my choice to be happy again. I find much more pleasure in life now, I laugh again, I can socialize without it draining me as much. I have never fallen out of love with my husband, but some days when I look at him, I do feel this little empty hole in my heart, but I also feel that hole when I think of the people and pets I have lost, and when I think of those around me who suffer. Life is like that, ups and downs, pleasure and pain. Let yourself heal, there is no timeline. xx
OMG Kat this is truly unbelievable.You are a real brave woman and must love BE very much.
It reminds me of the time I was still with my X after D Day.He suddenly started talking about his cousin, who shared he name with the OW.He would keep taking the cousin ‘s name over and over reminiscing about their childhood vacations.Every single time he took that name it was like a stab to my heart.
I eventually realised that he was missing the OW and it was his way of feeling connected to her.He did not even think how it hurt me.
And here BE is talking about her and the sex he had with her.I cannot even imagine what it must be doing to you.
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Addiction is no joke. It’s difficult for them to re-wire those brain signals that crave the drug… and sometimes just thinking about something or someone can give them a high. They need to be aware enough to re-direct. It does take time.
Yeah, they were in a way talking about her. And I get that she represents a drug to him, but she is disgusting in reality. I don’t normally talk about people like that, EVER, but it still blows my mind. I think for BE his drug was purposely disgusting and dirty and nothing he would turn to in his “real life,” and that is one of the ways he rationalized doing it… it was separate and he was bad, etc… he kept going back to someone no one would believe he would be with. Plausible deniability, but a drug is a drug. She provided hit after hit. Disgusting as it is, I do understand how it happened. Unfortunately, his addictive life and his real life were inextricably intertwined and untangling all that is hard. I know he gets himself all wired up and it is oh so easy to fall back into old habits. I am not as concerned about that as I am about how he goes about dealing with those behaviors and thoughts. Obviously talking about this with the therapist is triggering to me because I don’t see it as healthy. I know his 12 step buddies will set him straight in a kind way. It’s just tough telling your buddies you’ve been thinking about that old whore (drug) again. But they do understand.
Addicts don’t miss the women, they miss the drug. I know it is very difficult to separate the two, but it must be done. xx
Eeeewww … he is still thinking about her? After all this time? It must be like the opening of old wounds to hear these things, especially when you are so ready to move on and start afresh. I’m sorry, that just sucks 😖 it sucks the way we hold on to pains we inherited because we love (or loved) someone. The pain is so much less, but it never goes. It’s always lurking, waiting. We do not deserve this shit. (I have been thinking about my ex husband a lot lately due to the funeral. Birdy’s brother has a lot of bad secrets and this just made me think of my ex and his secrets too)
Now, C, you know he is not thinking about HER!!! I showed you a picture of her, right??? LOL. Sorry, I know that is mean, but she brought this on herself. For addicts it is just so ingrained that when they are struggling, they go to their drug… his drug for eight years was icky, but he is definitely not, say, picturing having sex with her. If I had to guess, it’s more something like… I could pick up my phone right now and text her and she would text back something sexual and that would be exciting and I would get a hit, etc… etc… For someone who is so intelligent, his addict side is pretty dumb. When I am sad sometimes I think… I would really like a big piece of chocolate cake right now and I know I would feel better. I liken it to that. 😉
Remember BE’s brother committed suicide as well. Last month was the seven year anniversary. I honestly cannot believe he has been gone that long. We were watching Silicon Valley on Sunday and I said, “you know, your brother would have loved this show.” And BE just said, “I know.” His brother had a ton of demons as well and he was bipolar, but he hid it very well. When we have loved someone (no matter how cruel they have been to us) I think we instinctively want them to be well. We’re just those kind of people, and sometimes it hurts very badly. Best to focus on the people that are in your life now. Give them your sweet love and let go of the ones we couldn’t help. Pretty sure I am speaking to both of us here.
I hope Birdy is okay. I’m thinking of you! ❤
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I did indeed see her picture… that’s why I ask 🤢
Birdy is very resilient (don’t know if it’s real or an act). I’ll be seeing him tomorrow. We have slumber parties where we watch tv and eat popcorn. I so look forward to it.
I think for u and me, we need to remember who we are sometime. We get very caught up by the ones we love, and while it’s a lovely trait, sometimes we need to put ourselves first.
I think both of us are very much in need of our Paris holiday ❤❤❤
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yes, Yes, YES!!!! PARIS! xx
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We have so much catching up to do. I miss you.
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Me too! xx
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Thank you for your insight on what the addict should be bringing to a therapist and what belongs with an accountability partner or group. I found that differentiation helpful and something I will be paying more attention to now.
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My husband has talked about this a lot and yet when it comes time to practice it, he often takes the easier route. Because I am not ensnared in this horrible addiction, I can see more clearly what he is doing to try and offload his feelings, shame, guilt, whatever. The 12 step guys (or other accountability partners as you say) know what it feels like to be him. They know what it feels like to start falling into the trap and they have great understanding and legitimate advice. They know because they can hear their own thoughts or words coming out of someone else. xx
First of all the beach pics are ahhhhhmazing!!! Happy you have the gentle reminder of beautiful nature surrounding you. We are all fallible human beings but addiction is it’s own category. It never ceases to amaze me that “they” have such difficulty with empathy
And compassion. The other night I was sad
About my sister who has been to rehab but continues to use prescription drugs and a healthy amount of marijuana. I told my SA that I miss her and it hurts. He was
Quick to say “don’t feel sad- she isn’t purposefully thinking I don’t care about my sister – she isn’t thinking of you at all probably.” I wanted to scream and flail my arms about bc I sensed he was speaking from experience….. I said thanks instead. I didn’t question his wisdom bc there is
No way I can comprehend that. They were and, most likely, are, still self serving at times. I
Think all people do selfish things but their behaviors were a way of life. I guess it was coping. My SA doesn’t see a therapist. We tried that early on but then it seemed repetitive and sometimes when we felt good
And strong we
Felt like we had to drudge up the ugly in order to have a meaningful session. I am
Scared that we aren’t doing everything we should or could… but I remember you saying it’s an individual journey. I have found that my badgering (and I mean I can badger til the bitter end!😜) doesn’t help us much. He knows his behaviors and thoughts are abnormal and self serving. I hope
He continues to remind himself how damaged his thought process was. However, I know with addicts they have to do
All the work. Sadly, we have to carry a tremendous amount of hope and faith. I realize now I’m stronger mentally than him. I hate that. I wanted someone who helped me navigate life. Ultimately, I accept that I’m alone in this world and my life. I have expressed this to SA. I hope
He has the motivation to supplement my life and create one for himself that he can honestly respect. My
Year anniversary is in a month…. I’m scared often still. But I feel like I have to blindly trust and give him a chance to change instead of berating him.
I imagine BE knows how
Terrible his desires are. I think they continue to have them at times. Im sure the sex wasn’t mind blowing- instead it was sneaky and dark and made him feel powerful for few minutes. I can’t replicate that ever for my SA. I imagine it felt like a child stealing cookies and eating all of them- or sneaking out as a teenager when your parents are asleep…. get over it I say to them and grow up. Some of real, honest life isn’t all firecrackers and orgasms.
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Wow, he can still help you navigate life… even if he has trouble navigating his own. I do like the thought that we are not two halves coming together to make a whole, but in fact two whole people coming together. Without two whole people, relationships are really difficult. I think we go into intimate relationships looking for someone to lean on, someone stronger than we think we are and men traditionally have been that. But I think that is unfair, to both of us. I have learned in this process that I must be strong for myself and BE is still strong in many ways, but in battling his addiction, he still stumbles. I struggle with managing my physical health. We work on both separately and together.
BE does know how terrible his desires are. The sex was mind blowing in the fact that he had honed his drug to exactly what he liked and wanted and thought he needed… and well, you know the rest. I like your child analogy… it is much the same. When they have been doing it for so long though, it is harder to just get over it. Their brains have been altered, but they can be aware and use self control and they can change that brain function with new habits. For BE I don’t think he would characterize it as firecrackers and orgasms, but more like water when he is dying of thirst. He knows now he doesn’t need it to survive. His life is more than survivable now. That is why I like him to continue with the therapist if he can stay on track because they are tackling the childhood demons and bringing him emotionally into the present.
This is absolutely an individual journey, but there are certain milestones and that is why, in my opinion, if a person is a diagnosed sex addict (or any kind of addict) that they set up a plan that isn’t just about white knuckling it or acknowledging they did something wrong and attempting not to do it again because it makes people feel bad. There are lots of ways to go about recovering. Each person must pick their own.
Regarding your sister, he may be right, that she is not thinking about you, but it is not because she doesn’t want to or doesn’t care… most likely it is too painful. I know for a fact that my sister closes herself off because it is just too difficult to deal with her own demons plus the guilt and shame she feels about not being who she thinks we want her to be. It’s part of the illness.
Lots of hugs! xxxx
Kat your photos are beautiful!!! What a lovely place you have created for yourself. I’m sorry that B.E’s addiction continues to intrude on the peace you have found for yourself…….his therapist sounds like a fool, what a stupid thing to say to someone recovering in the way your husband is – would he have applied the same theory to a recovering drug addict, I’ve yet to hear someone say what a great ride heroin is…..
I hope you can maintain your equilibrium, your haven will help I’m sure 😍😘😍😘
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I had to laugh, Owlie, because I said the very same thing to BE on our walk… if he was a drug addict, and the therapist had done drugs, would he be talking about “good memories” of it. Yeah, BE, there was this one time I was hooked on meth and man was it great, but you know, it was destructive, so just don’t do it. LOL. Ludicrous. I guess my point with continuing to write about our story (most of which is pretty fucking awesome) is that addiction doesn’t just magically disappear, but is it survivable. All of last week in Yosemite was magical. No drama and we even had Sasquatch along for the ride. 😉 We were a little leery of having our moody mountain man along with us, but it was fantastic. We all had a blast! Thanks for visiting here. I noticed you posted. So exciting to see Owlie on my Reader!!! ❤
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The photos from Yosemite blew my mind!!! They were incredible – it’s on my ‘book it’ list, as is oregon by the way!
I’m glad no matter how idiotic the therapists comments, you are able to contextualise and realise how daft they are……
I hope you enjoy my post – it’s been a while! 😳 X x x
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I’m going over to your post after this! Yes, yes, yes… Kat’s Oregon Beach House should be on your list!!! We have an awesome wine country as well, microbrew and coffee galore up here in Portland. You can party with my kid, he drinks!!! 😉 And yeah, I just don’t have the words for Yosemite. Gorg!!!!
Therapists, blech. I am so over them!!! ❤ xx
Let’s synchronise our diaries, owlie! I am keen for about July-August next year if I can manage funding it! That deck needs dancing and drinking on!!!
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If you two can pull that off, I will be the happiest girl in the world!!! 😍
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Buttinsky here again. I write about this so much that i probably have done so on your blog. I am just too lazy to look so………Human beings are warm bloodied animals. We generate our own energy which must be dissipated. Sitting at a desk all day does nothing to help. Males bodies are designed to hunt. Ours to gather. Or we became nomads and walked miles every day. These can be treacherous lives but they keep us alert and “wired”. Now we sit at desks and get in a world of trouble. In order to get the high we get when we are afraid(flight or fight) we chase the wrong things. Gambling addicts get the same high winning or losing. Some drugs mellow us out and override the urge to move. Other get us high as kites. Sex addiction fits right in because it keeps those cortisol/adrenaline drugs in our systems all day. We might as well get a spear and chase anything that moves. Here is what happens when you put a young male with a sweet nature, a toxic home in front of pornography. HE FINDS AN ESCAPE! And boy what an escape! All those hormones swirling and family pressure disappears.
Sort of thought maybe at some point the two of you would have to just come back to your lives. You’ve done a lot of traveling and seen some remarkable sights and met some new friends. You’ve built a beautiful home. But, in every life come some of those days that are just mundane. Those days when the little wiggly wiggly idea comes back “what did I do when I was bored? What did I do when I was nervous? What did I do when I was sad?” I think it is time for BE to find himself a hobby that keeps his adrenaline flowing. I told my husband that if I was 20 years old I would spend every weekend finding the highest, fastest roller coaster I could. BE go find something that gets your adrenaline going that you can share with CrazyKat and your boys. Take up fencing, go surfing. Put on some shoes and run on the beach. I have a relative that runs marathons. She tried running at 13 and never looked back. Her daily run is 8 miles. I went one of her races and she was laughing crossing the finish line after 26+ miles. That is pure joy and you need to find it in a hobby.
Hugs to two people who have taken us on your journeys.
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You have not written here about this particular topic. As always, thank you. Our life for a very long time has been about travel. Travel for business, travel for pleasure, travel for family, etc… It is what we do. There is always space in between where we just are. A couple of the therapists have said they think I travel because I am trying to run away from my life. That is patently not true. I love to travel and do so knowing I will be coming back to my beautiful homes and my much appreciated mundane life. I guess I am very comfortable with the mundane, but YES, BE creates drama daily… mostly in his head. He has always lived with anxiety and fear and shame and he has always had his drug. It is true, this is why it is very difficult to live without it. I think hiking will be something BE will be able to attach to. Last week we did a nine mile hike at Yosemite which included about 120 flights worth of stairs (all up, about a 2000 foot gain) and as we neared the end, back down in the valley, it started getting dark. BE was exhausted and fearful. He really pushed himself out of his comfort zone and although he complained along the way, he was incredibly proud of himself in the end. BE grew up sick. He didn’t play sports, or run, and is still unable to do a lot of core body activities that many of us take for granted. He has his mindfulness that he shares with our sons, but yeah, something physical that will exhaust him is a good idea. He did have that hip replaced and unfortunately they scared him into limited activity saying it won’t last long if he overuses it. UGH. We used to play tennis. We need to start that again.
Thanks for the hugs and a big thank you hug back for sticking with us. xx
Just appalled. Jaw still agape. WTF? Any therapist speaking like that. Ugh. But yeah, BE should certainly know better by now. Even Roger – not-an-addict – never reminisces (at least not that I know of!) of Leanne fondly. He is revolted now and never likes to think of it. It feels dirty and sleazy to him now.
I am sorry. This is why I think you are an utter legend for dealing with this. I knew I couldn’t anymore.
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Well, again BE is not actually thinking about the person, but in fact is under stress and wanting the high, unfortunately his high is with secret sex. Acknowledging he still has those feelings is good. Getting it out in the open releases some of the power. His therapist is not a cheater, never been married, so in this respect he didn’t really acknowledge they were talking apples to oranges, just that the consequences were negative. He didn’t describe the sex, just said it was good. I would imagine a single guy might think back on great sex even if he knows the relationship was destructive. And even a drug addict might feel sleazy thinking about getting his drug, but the brain chemistry that wants it is still there. I’m no legend, just someone who understands how addiction works and that therapists are just people. I wish BE had called out his therapist and also realized he was talking to the wrong guy. I know how to deal with all this, but sometimes he still catches me by surprise. Also, I’ve never really heard of anyone reminiscing about bad sex. Rog seems quite practical in this respect! 😁❤️
Lol. My ‘legend’ call is regarding that very fact. That you have the patience, and the kind of heart and brain that can take all of this over and over. Mine can’t. I eventually suffered from empathy and recovery exhaustion. The love just wasn’t enough for me in the end. To protect myself from the hurt being relived forever. The stupid thing is, I knew separation doesn’t cure the hurt. It just creates physical distance from the perpetrator of the pain. Not the actual pain itself. That will never really be gone. I realised that fairly early in this journey.
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I totally understand where you are coming from Paula. I do get it even though we are different. Our stories are very different in some crucial ways, I think. Same with our husbands. Maybe separation can cure the heart if the love wasn’t strong to begin with. We know yours was strong, love and trust and vulnerability and all that cannot be wiped away, well, maybe for those who are simply better at total compartmentalization. Perhaps falling out of love is a real thing. I just cannot imagine it for myself, but then again, I am pretty understanding and BE is working hard. My sister has done a lot of damage as well, but I love her desperately. Unfortunately the pain does not completely leave any of us, in my opinion. We learn how to deal with it in our own ways. The truth is though, BE has a much more difficult road than I do. He did the damage, he has to live with that and continue with his life without being destroyed by the things he has done, the shame he feels, and the addictive piece of his brain that is holding on tight. We are both happier together than separate, for today. xoxo
I’m sorry for this hurt you had to feel. While I was reading this I was reminded of something I listened to this morning. Esther Perel has a new series on Audible, where the listener can “sit in” on a session with a couple she is counseling. This morning, on my drive, I listened to one called The Addict and Esther makes this point about how the person in recovery is finally in touch with all the pain, traumas, family issues, etc that he has been trying to medicate for years and while he knows that he has traumatized his spouse with his infidelity- it’s still all about him. His focus is on all his hurts. He is still self absorbed, but now it’s with his past and his recovery and all the reasons why he traumatized his spouse meanwhile his spouse’s trauma becomes almost secondary to that! Addicts have to relearn so much and it is so incredibly hard to walk alongside them because it is hurtful- not only because of the trauma and pain of betrayal but because of exactly what you describe here- the hurt that gets piled on by their and other people’s cluelessness!
You enjoy your beach house. Sit on that deck, watch those waves and heal yourself Kat! It’s time for you to take care of just you for a little while!
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Thanks, Kaye. This process is incredibly tiring. At first, BE was completely focused on me and my trauma (in an I’m here for you in your pain kind of way, but not at all getting it) and avoiding looking at himself. Then, he was focused pretty exclusively on himself. It was a difficult transition. He is still very much focused on himself (which I want him to be), but he still needs to think and also understand how certain topics affect me. When I turn it around on him, change the story up… for example I’m at my therapist talking about thinking about another man (for whatever reason) how would that make him feel. He doesn’t necessarily connect his drug with that woman, which is ridiculous. She IS a woman. The facts are the facts regardless of how easily he can disregard the reality that he used another human being as a drug. Some days I just feel so tired. Off to the beach house soon! xx
I know- I feel very much the same way. I’m just emotionally tired. For me it’s when all of it comes unexpectedly- like I’m hit in the stomach without a chance to arm myself. It’s triggers, comments by my husband, comments by others- in just tired too! Hoping today is a better day for all of us!
For me, in order to really move forward, I needed to be able to communicate. At the beginning I was online so much because I couldn’t get a lot out of my husband as even he didn’t really understand what he had done and why (I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is the truth), so I turned to Google. Unfortunately, there are so many different stories and none seemed to match what I felt in my heart and where my instincts were taking me. I still somehow deep in there believed in my husband and our relationship. I was so sad, but felt that staying was my path. After a few months I turned away from the internet and books to try and live squarely in my life. Some of the therapy helped, some did not. I found that communicating with my husband helped me feel like we were both doing our best to repair what was broken. It also helped that he was actively seeking recovery through therapy and 12 step. He stumbled a lot, but in hindsight, of course that was to be expected. A person cannot change 40 years of ingrained thinking overnight. My days are good now. I do have my moments, but they are few and far between. I have made the choice to stay, but that hinges on my husband being open and honest and being actively in recovery. If someone is truly diagnosed as an addict, I think it is incredibly difficult to heal without a well thought out path. I keep writing because it still helps me to feel better after talking it out, and I also believe it is important to be honest in the fact that healing from sex addiction induced trauma and addiction in general is a long journey. Kaye, I truly do hope you are feeling better today and are able to enjoy the summer with your family. I always loved summer with the kids. I was on the phone this morning with my older son and he said, “Mom, someone called me and addressed me as Mr. xxxxxx. I think they had the wrong number and were looking for Dad.” Haha. He doesn’t even realize at 25 that he is a Mr. himself now. He always brings a smile to my face. I hope you do something today that brings you deep joy! ❤
Ugh. Sorry Kay, very triggered as I LOATHE Esther Perel and her ‘so evolved’ thoughts regarding cheating in general. I am not against polyamory at all. But I am against sleeping with other people by lying to, or coercing, someone. I know that consent must be sought to broadcast a session, but I am very uncomfortable about that, too.
I guess in order to work recovery, every addict has to channel the self absorption in more positive ways, but, as you so clearly say, Kay, married ones need to remain very aware of their spouse’s position and feelings.
No- I agree I’m not her biggest fan by any stretch but I’m in a bit of a low point that I seem to be stuck in. When I get like this I tend to read and listen to as many things as possible dealing with infidelity- hoping it will contain something that can be the push to get me out of this hole. I’ve listened to 2 of her sessions and sometimes it’s helpful to hear the husbands talk about what they were thinking or feeling through the course of the affair and after discovery.
I’m still very much stuck though because the indifference and heartache that the wives expressed is where I find myself bouncing back and forth again. I’m just weary from it all!
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And I’m sorry that you were triggered by Perel. I know we all have many triggers to contend with daily I feel badly that I contributed one that you especially despise. I know she’s considered as an expert by many but I think she minimizes the impact of betrayal in a marriage. It’s 28 months for me. I haven’t talked to my husband in almost 2 weeks. If you look at me I appear fine. When I’m alone I cry a lot. I google search ” my husband broke me”. When a wife feel like that it doesn’t seem very evolved. It’s just tragic, really!
Oh Kay! I am sorry. My comment was a knee jerk one. I am much further along and doing okay, you didn’t deserve me saying that.
Just always remember that whatever happens, you will be okay. Just keep taking care of you and your future. The rest is just detritus on a very bumpy path. Although I am not singing from the rooftops with joy, I do promise that keeping the focus on yourself and what you can do does help. It doesn’t feel like it now, but life gradually improves when you live mindfully and with self-care and kindness xxx
What!!!! Why in the hell would a therapist share something sexual with a sex addict!!??! I do not mean to be in your business but that makes zero sense to me.
You know, I have a friend who is the best parent. She never told her children to stop doing something. She just said, “Stop yourself.” Ok, BE, stop yourself. You are a married man, the father of two children and a successful businessman. You have enough good sense to tell your therapist not to over share and you damn well have enough sense not to bring crazy back into your life. Just stop yourself!
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I agree, Moi! Blue Eyes knows better. The therapist has worked with addicts his entire career and has worked with something like 25-30 sex addicts, but he is not a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). The CSAT training and credentials are real for a reason. Good ones are hard to find. I have known for quite some time that his therapist is not a CSAT. There were some dicey appointments where I attended and one in which The Shrink said the dreaded words… “well, those are all signs of sex addiction…” as if I should have known. I didn’t know anything. I was a good, understanding wife and partner and I understood BE’s penchant for self aggrandizing and his need for ego stroking, especially from women. We were both okay with the fact that The Shrink wasn’t a CSAT as long as both he and BE colored within the lines. This conversation a couple weeks ago was definitely not okay. I’m glad BE shared with me, just not thrilled he didn’t see the problem without me getting upset, and that he didn’t call The Shrink on it. I hate having to go to that place where I cry because I am so frustrated he doesn’t understand how some of this causes me pain. I do appreciate that he got it eventually, but but but…
Truly, these kinds of conversations should be had between sex addicts. Sex addicts do NOT talk about how great the sex was… if they are really working the program and trying to heal, they want nothing to do with their dirty drug and do their best to find new ways to cope with life. I like your advice. Blue Eyes will read this and he will remember it… “STOP YOURSELF.” BE has trouble with “authority” figures. He has never been able to stand up for himself. Most therapists consider me combative because I am not easily manipulated and I am very self aware. Generally they like to think they are in control. I also have never wanted to be “friends” with any therapist. Needless to say, BE and I are opposites. He wants everyone to “like him.”
I don’t know where to begin….
You are an amazing, understanding, beautiful woman. That’s all.
The photos along w/ the difficult content
was a realistic escapism…even for me.
Love from MN.
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Thanks, Chick! Life does dump some shit in our laps sometimes and we do the best we can. That beach is a magical place for me. ❤