I’m okay, but…

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My blog entries from this summer bear out the fact that I have struggled. I’ve tried to work through the why. To be honest, I feel like Blue Eyes has been doing some gas lighting… I know he doesn’t realize this is what he is doing, but I do. His seeing my unease and confusion, and reminding me that he has broken me, that I am depressed and not the proverbial ‘same person I was before’ is not helpful. It’s a distraction to reality, his reality. Of course I realize I am not the same, and I don’t need to be reminded. No one can ever be the same after such devastating and traumatizing revelations as those divulged by Blue Eyes and his other woman. Truth is, these days, I am generally far less stressed when I am not with him.

That being said, I want to get to that place where I can be with him and regularly feel confident and secure in my choice to continue my life with this man. Right now I am by myself at the beach house, and I wish Blue Eyes was here with me. As I watch the path of Hurricane Irma, and read about the devastation in Texas, and mourn the destructive consequences of human error as fires burn through one of Oregon’s most treasured natural habitats, the Columbia Gorge, I want Blue Eyes by my side. I want to hug and hold him and let him help me feel less sad. I could go back to the city, but Blue Eyes is in meetings all day and into the evening and then off out of town tomorrow. I am better off staying at the coast as the air quality is a bit better here, but I do miss him.

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I have trained myself over the past three years to not focus so much on what Blue Eyes does, nor how he chooses to recover. As long as I feel like he is on the right path (and this is mostly instinctive) I focus on myself. I know he could be attending meetings every day, and mindfulness retreats and sanghas, ringing bells, kneeling and meditating, and still be acting out. He spent many many years rationalizing, it’s a hard habit to break. I know he has been increasingly on edge this summer as our business is booming. Blue Eyes has done a great job of bringing sales up to where they were before he was diagnosed. As mentioned previously, numerous times, this takes a HUGE toll on Blue Eyes because his workaholism and his sexaholism were inextricably intertwined. He has tried desperately to disentangle them, but I know he has not been completely successful and this is what he fights for.

He has mentioned a few times this summer of how unbalanced he feels. I know on some days he longs for his drug. I’m going to say it because I know it is true. He longs for his secret sexual outlet. Saying this doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to. I have healed from any feelings of blame, and any self defeating thoughts and behaviors. I am not lying when I say sex is sex to me. It is not love. I am married to a lying cheating sex addict, how could sex still hold the same level of intimacy for me as it did prior to d-day? I realize not everyone feels the same way I do. I am merely saying this is how I feel. The problem is, I still feel the same way about lying and betrayal. My marriage has been teetering on the brink of disaster because my husband obsessively and repeatedly lied to me. Mostly about who he really was, but he also lied about ME to other women in order to get what he wanted. With more of the truth laid out in front of me, I don’t think my current unease lies in my brokenness caused by the trauma. I believe my instincts are just plain better now. I am not rationalizing anything away. When I feel uneasy, I know there is a reason, and there is a reason this time.

The past Sunday night as Blue Eyes and I crawled into our comfy bed with the lovely white linen sheets, at our amazing beach house, I could feel his tension. I knew he had something to share, and I asked for the truth. I asked Blue Eyes to come clean about what was really going on inside him. I’ve known it’s not JUST work. That the level of work responsibilities currently piled on him will always cause him to seek that familiar place inside, the one he believes only he understands. To Blue Eyes, only he knows his own truth. But that is a cop out. I get it. It’s where he feeds his addiction. I’ve always, to a certain degree, gotten him. My confusion was always in the fact that he creates this kind of stress for himself, so why should it be stressful? It’s a weird dynamic. Now we know it all stems from feelings of worthlessness and low self esteem. No matter what, he will never be good enough, so bring on the addiction, the secret sexual thoughts (and previously, actions). I have for many many months sensed that Blue Eyes was sharing with his 12 step buddies more than he shares with me. I know he rationalizes that they “get him,” and some of what he shares with them might hurt me, or bring back the trauma. I have told him many times that he will need to be able to share all this with me too. I need to know what is going on inside. For an addict, it really only takes a simple thought or action to start the whole wicked ball rolling again. By keeping things from me, he is feeding the addiction. I have never ever ever wavered from this belief. I certainly don’t want to know that my husband is thinking about other women, but I NEED to know. I cannot live with someone who cannot be open and honest. No matter what, we can work on this together or I’m out.

I really do understand addiction and this is why I have wondered about Blue Eyes. As mentioned in a comment on a previous blog entry, I feel like he is holding onto his sobriety with dear life. The way he covets his sobriety date, and his 12 step tokens, I can feel him getting dangerously close to the edge of a very destructive cliff and on this past Sunday night, we talked until 3:30am and Blue Eyes shared a little more about his reality.

Blue Eyes is very attached to his wooden meditation beads. He has many beaded bracelets that he wears daily. The first bracelet he received was a Father’s Day gift from me just five months post dday. He has now received others from his mindfulness mentor and he purchased a beautiful bracelet in Tokyo when last we were there. He is constantly fidgeting with them, spinning them, touching them, counting them. He has broken two of his bracelets and needed to take them in for repair. There is a bead shop a couple miles from our house in a little old neighborhood with shops and restaurants. The last time he was into the bead shop to pick up or drop off a repair, he was chatting with one of the ladies who works there. They were on the topic of Buddhism (the bracelets they were repairing are Buddhist Mindfulness beads) and Blue Eyes mentioned he was seeking a higher quality incense to burn for his meditating rituals since the cheap stuff bothers my sinuses. The clerk mentioned a store across the street that carries high quality incense, amongst many many other items. Blue Eyes popped into this little store and lo and behold, the woman working there, all by herself, fit his template. He was in a vulnerable place, being so stressed out by work, middle of summer (which I have talked about before is a trigger for Blue Eyes) and not managing well, and here is this lovely young woman. A perfect target for grooming. Blue Eyes flirted and even convinced himself that he could probably get her to have sex with him right there in the shop, if he wanted it badly enough. He did purchase incense. He did not have sex with this woman. He walked out swearing never to return. He then shared the experience with both his 12 step group and his closest 12 step buddy. He and his buddy talked about how much work it is to groom women (basically not worth it). No doubt his 12 step buddy gave him proper kudos for not pursuing it further. The discussion of how much work it is to groom women for sex got Blue Eyes thinking about how easy it was to keep going back to the same broken woman for eight years. She was a sure thing. She always responded to his calls/emails/texts. She always put out. He could carry on the texting for as long as he wanted before going to her for sex, or going to her at all, because that was what she was expecting. He got many many more hits from texting than anything else, and although he admittedly liked the sex too, she ALWAYS wanted more.

A few days ago when I was still trying to figure out why I was so ungrounded, and even though I knew nothing of what had been going on in Blue Eyes’ mind (because again, not telling is so much easier than being honest) I brought up the fact that if I kicked him out of the house right then and there, I knew he would go back to the other woman for that false sense of comfort he had sought out so many times. It wouldn’t be the answer to a happy life, but it would medicate him for the moment. She is pathetically easy and he is ritualistic and lazy. So even though he was so distraught with his bad behavior to have broken it off with her four years ago, and then not answering her obsessive calls on dday, and after years of recovery and soul searching, he is still that vulnerable. Reality sucks sometimes.

As our conversation Sunday night carried on into the wee hours, I asked Blue Eyes what he would do if I told him he could go ahead and have sex with the other woman as long as he told me about it (I’m not insane, I was testing him), you know, theoretically to medicate himself. There is no doubt that the Blue Eyes that existed before discovery was a whole lot better at managing his life, he had been medicating for so long. I asked him if it would carry the same fix if it wasn’t secret. He thought about it, and admitted it would still bring him a thrill and it would help him cope. That the high he gets when in his addiction and getting his drug is different from anything in his recovery life. He said she would have to agree to a number of rules (YEAH, HE REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT IT, and she would NEVER agree to rules), and one of them would be that she couldn’t pursue me, stalk me, whatever. I know Blues Eyes is fucked up. I’ve known for three years eight months now. This conversation did not bother me. After a few minutes of this, Blue Eyes admitted she would not agree to the rules and indeed he knew it would hurt us as a couple, regardless. Addiction hurts everyone (as does extramarital sex). He then said that he would never ever be okay with me having an intimate (read sexual) relationship of any kind with another man, that it would drive him insane and so he didn’t want to open the door to that double standard. He reiterated our relationship is the most important thing to him and he is doing everything in his power to not fuck it up (except telling me about the incense woman, of course).

The main reason I was really truly okay with this conversation is I know Blue Eyes was really thinking about all of this. In his strange mind, he went through it all, realizing he would like to have that sexual relationship back, not because our sexual relationship isn’t great, but that it isn’t a drug, at least not the drug he got from other women. Sex addiction is real and I know it. Having a conversation with a sex addict is like no other conversation, BUT, it can only be like this if he is being honest. If he is pretending, for example, pretending to me that he didn’t think about the incense girl, he never could have opened up and been honest about the other things we talked about.

Blue Eyes will not be having sexual relationships outside our marriage. If he does, just for the record, we will have no marriage. Even if I don’t actually know about it at the time, our marriage will be effectively over. All secrets are eventually revealed. My instincts are too keen now. Only complete honesty about how and when he struggles and how he deals with it will allow our marriage to work.

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ALL that being said, I fucking knew he was holding back. Fuck. His therapist is out of town for three weeks. Double fuck.

26 thoughts on “I’m okay, but…

  1. Kat, I am sorry you are going through this. I don’t have words of wisdom or advice, but please know that I care. I am 18 months post D-Day, have been through trauma therapy and have attended two support groups for 18 mos. Although, everyone’s story is unique, I have noticed some commonalities. Here are my observations:
    1. The long-standing members in my two support groups are all women who are currently married to an SA who is in recovery. Some marriages are 35 years or more and most have been through counseling. The longest sobriety is 16 years, but there are several who have SAs with 13 years sobriety. My groups each meet once a week and typically have 7-8 women present.
    2. In all cases, the acting-out behavior preceded the relationship, or began very early in the relationship. In most cases, it preceded the relationship. In most cases the behavior went on for years, even decades before the wife found out. All considered that they had good relationships and happy marriages prior to D-day.
    3. The long-standing members in my groups are mostly fifty or older. We have young women attend once, maybe twice, then tell us they are divorcing. Their thinking seems to be that they were unlucky and they’ll do better next time. Possibly the length of the marriage contributes to whether a wife stays, i.e. more of an investment at stake.
    4. All of the women in my groups have asked their partners if they would like to have an “open relationship” where both parties are free to date, have sex with others, etc. All the women say their SA partner was adamantly opposed.
    5. This leads to what I’ve learned next- The acting out behavior seems to be fueled by secrecy, and covered up by lies. The SAs are accomplished liars who lie by omission, twisting facts, spinning info, etc. Their lies are generally believable. They tend not to tell “whoppers.”
    5. The wives’ biggest complaint is the lack of intimacy in their relationships. I would say there is more sadness about that than the acting out.
    6. SAs tend to be very delusional. One common delusion is that they tend to believe they look much younger than they are or are still sexy no matter how old. Thus SAs in their 60s or 70s believe because a young woman in her 20s or 30s is polite to them, she’s interested in them sexually. No joke.This comes up often.
    7. Those who have stayed with partners for the long haul have learned to detach. They focus on what is good in the relationship and focus even more heavily on themselves. Most have separated their finances.
    8. All the wives have learned to trust their instincts and intuition. If something doesn’t make sense, it probably isn’t true. All have learned to “speak their truth” and let it go. For example, saying to the SA husband, “You seem preoccupied and distant,” as opposed to observing this behavior and saying nothing, or starting a fight about “what are they thinking about.”
    9. No one in either group had a voluntary disclosure of the acting out behavior. All “discovered” it in some traumatic D-day fashion such as a phone call, a text, etc.

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    • Thank you, Maggie. This is wonderful gathered information and insight on your part. Do you mind if I incorporate this comment into a post? I think getting it to a wider audience would be helpful, i.e., some people don’t read comments, especially once they have visited the post. Thank you! ❤️

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      • I am really sorry both you and Maggie (and many other readers) are going this this. It’s gut-wrenching at times (at least for me), yet I am learning how to “turn off” my clenching guts which is really good for me.

        Getting this info to a wider audience is wise, Kat, and at least, speaking just for myself, I’m blown away (again) by the commonalities and patterns in this addiction. It also is validating, though, b/c we know it isn’t US. It’s their problem. Their problem hurt us tremendously. For me, the continued behavior (avoidance, lying, twisting the truth, lack of transparency, etc.) — really a lack of integrity — has warped my reality. I thought he was such a “stand-up” accomplished professional decent man.

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        • The thing I have learned, beleeme, is that my husband is a “stand-up” guy, and then he isn’t. I know some people would think the two are mutually exclusive, but BE created a separate persona, an addict, full of coping mechanisms. He knew he had to hide this guy from his “real” life because even he hated himself for what he was doing, so how could anyone else accept or love him. It was about survival for him and it started when he was very young. I don’t like for one second having been a “victim” of his addictive behavior, but I do understand. I do liken it to an alcoholic. Although the sexual drug seems to be more hurtful, I am sure there are partners of alcoholics that would say they feel just as betrayed by the behavior of their addict, potentially even sexual behaviors as addicts tend to have multiple addictions. At least that is what I have observed. BE attended his 12 step meeting yesterday and there was a “newbie” there, which means they each talk about the “nature of their addiction.” BE did not talk about his sexual proclivities. He merely said he has an integrity disorder. The drug is the drug. The problem is what prompts them to use the drug in the first place. He’s definitely a work in progress, but does accept who and what he is, now. I’m thankful for that.

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  2. Dear Kat:
    I ran into your blog a couple of weeks ago and have been reading a few of your posts. This has brought back memories of the day I found out that my husband had been cheating on me since day one of our relationship of 26 years, with strippers, hookers, co-workers, using porn, masturbating instead of having sex with me, etc. I reacted by reading everything I could find on the subject, because I felt this profound need to understand his behavior. For five years I bought books, signed him up for sex addiction seminars (we don’t live in the US), translated the books for him, went to individual and marriage counseling, what have you. I was convinced that my loving care, my patience my respect and his “inner qualities” would bear fruit eventually. Instead, he became a better liar. There’s so much of my story in what you say, that I couldn’t help posting here to tell you that I finally left him seven years ago, and although the first couple of years were hell, I slowly went back to being myself. You have no idea what my life is now without the constant doubts, the whys and the what ifs. My two adult sons see me with different eyes but, most importantly, I can see for myself his entitlement, his lies, his control, his lack of respect for me, his subtle emotional abuse, his taking me for granted. I realized that I had been in love with a man that did not exist, a man that I had created in my mind, a man I thought I could save from his “disease” somehow. I miss the good things, but I’ve learned that the worst of realities is better than the best of lies. My life is peaceful and although I had to say goodbye to the dream of growing old together, I’d never felt better.
    I hope you will find peace for yourself, too, in whichever way is right for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Teresa, for your honest comment. I understand. Life is full of difficult choices. We have to know in our hearts that they want to be better people, not just for us, but for themselves. Many don’t think it is possible for a person to change, especially a sex addict. I like to think he is striving to be the person he always presented himself as, the guy that is in there fighting to get out. But I realize it is a fight and they don’t always win. I hate the fact that I am constantly evaluating his worthiness as my partner, but it is my obligation to myself, not to fall into complacency and accept less than I deserve. I also married a man who did not exist and my husband will never ever be the man I thought he was. The day I learned of the lies he told about me in order to garner a sick secret relationship, well, the man I loved would never ever do that. Right now I am happy staying with him, and I do believe in him. Things might change in the future. I appreciate your honesty and your support. I am happy that you have never felt better. That is a feeling we all strive for. xx

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  3. Can I ask you (or anyone here) if you monitor his electronics/emails/texts etc? I’m curious because wh travels most of the week and I’m wondering if doing this would ease my anxiety a bit. I have access to all of his things when he’s home, but obviously not when he’s away. And google is just a huge ad. My therapist told me I should do it – she believes he’s not lying and says I should do it for my sanity.

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    • Lemondrop, I never monitored my husband’s electronics. I really needed him to be open and honest whenever I asked, if I did ask. Sometimes I would check his phone to see if he had been texting his 12 step guys because he was actually at the beginning supposed to let me know who he was texting in regards to his recovery and inform me of the general nature of the conversation. That was A LONG TIME AGO. The 12 step program is not so much into being open and honest with the partners. That is something the partner needs to require because it certainly doesn’t come naturally to these guys. But that is all about addiction recovery and my boundaries for my husband in the first year.

      I know a lot of women have keystroke software on their cheating husband’s electronics so that they know what he is typing and when. I’m not sure how it works, but it sounds like an especially comforting thought if you are suffering from anxiety around his travel. My husband was extremely good at hiding all his communications with the other woman, his porn, whatever. I knew I would never find anything if I looked because he had always immediately deleted everything. I never saw anything except all those years ago (12 years ago) the one email he convincingly lied about.

      I would think the keystroke software might provide some much needed peace for you? Maybe if someone reads this they have more experience than I? Anything to get your sanity back, I say, YES! xo

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      • I agree with anything to help us feel less anxious / retain & restore sanity, etc.

        This is just a thought, though — my husband had two “secret cell phones” — and these guys are masters of deception. Heck — he could have had a secret laptop or tablet. He had secret cash hoards. I’m not at all trying to imply that your husband is doing that — just sharing what mine did. Those cheap disposable phones.

        The one thing I have done for my sanity, Lemondrop, is to take charge of our finances. I see what is coming in, and going out. Many of us partners/spouses have done things to seek some type of safety, and for me, it was about his car and the location of his body. (GPS) I did that to monitor honesty regarding where he goes and what he does — does it match to what he says? Words + actions matching was important to me.

        So – Lemondrop – maybe that’s what you need? Confirmation from his electronics that he’s not lying? If you think that would help reassure you, it seems reasonable. We all need to determine what we need.

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  4. As I read this (and bear in mind my wh is not SA), I keep having the image in my head of water flowing down a hill. It always takes the easiest path. The mow was easy and a fix, there was nothing challenging to her, so the reward was never satisfying. It’s easier to take one shirt out of the dryer than fold the load. It’s easier to wipe your nose with your sleeve than get off the couch and grab a tissue. But, you’ve just made more laundry. And so on.

    Wh tends to take the path of least resistance a lot of times. It’s easier to lie and get the conversation over quickly than get into a deeper discussion. It was easier to blame me and find a wet hole than to do the work involved in our marital problems. It’s easier to rug sweep than face shit. It’s easier to gaslight than accept blame.

    I often think we found each other because I was the partner who ran behind him with a broom cleaning up the messes and covering for him. I need to find out why I’m that person, the codependent who makes the water in his life flow with no resistance. While I drown.

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    • Very well said, Lemondrop. If you are still cleaning up his messes and drowning in the process, I agree, you need to figure out the why. It obviously does not bring you happiness. I was much the same, cleaning up after my husband… mostly with our business. Before he would leave on a trip he was a real bastard sometimes, especially to our employees. No one understood it, least of all me, but I did smooth things over and keep the ship afloat while he was gone, and he was gone a lot. He rarely communicated with me or his children while traveling. I accepted that as okay? What was wrong with me? I have completely stopped doing that. I actually fell apart after dday. I stopped doing everything even down to cooking and laundry. I collapsed in the middle of a grocery store aisle a few weeks into my healing process. He actually had to come get me. That is CRAZY. I am the most independent self reliant person I know. At least I was.

      The thing is, my husband is an addict and he did get the proper high from his eight year acting out partner (OW). He has changed a lot and mostly for the better. Things are very different now, BUT, he is still an addict, so he does have challenging days when he has trouble coping and he does think about his drug. Even flirting is outside his boundaries now and he must be open and honest about it. Frankly, those are the rules. He has broken them. He must come clean because the more rules he breaks, the more likely he is to go deeper down that rabbit hole. I do like your flowing water analogy. For BE, I would look at it in this way. He had floated all the way down to the bottom of a river when he really needed to be at the top. He is making his way up that river, but every once in a while, he loses a little ground and he needs to right himself and keep going up. If the current takes him too far down the river, all bets are off.

      xx

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  5. Kat it sounds like you both have a lot of anxiety because you seem to have reached a point where you know you would be ok, or perhaps better, if you left him.

    One way to look at it from your own point of view is if you don’t leave, whether 1 year, 5 years, 10 years from now you’ll regret staying, regret what your life could have been had you left.

    I hope BE’s therapist is competent enough to assess the risk of serious self-harm.

    xo

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    • Hey B, thanks for the comment. I have known for a long time that I would be fine if I left. Seriously, I truly have known that. It was the most valuable lesson I learned in the first 18 months or so. Frankly, I have anxiety (sometimes) because I know Blue Eyes has not yet decided to give up all his secret and destructive thoughts. I know this is addiction. I know how it works. For our partnership I am asking for more. I believe he is working on it. If at this point I thought for one minute that I would regret staying, if I thought I was wasting time with BE, I would leave. No question. I do think consciously about it, about my choices. I am giving him the chance to earn me as a partner again. The first time I took for granted a lot. I assumed WAY too much. Now I assume nothing. When I feel anxious or like there is something wrong, I require him to engage. It’s a requirement for me to stay. He makes a lot of excuses of why he should keep things from me. He needs to throw all the excuses out the window. I don’t think about the betrayal and trauma when he is not with me, HOWEVER, I have more fun when I am with him, if that makes sense. It is worth it to me, right now.

      I write about these daily happenings in our life because living with an addict is tricky and it is definitely a choice to stay. Sex addiction is like any other addiction. I wouldn’t expect an alcoholic to stop thinking about alcohol on his worst of days. I would expect him to long for it because recovery is damn difficult. I know sex addiction is the same. I am not making excuses, just accepting reality. I receive numerous comments on here from women who have left their husbands, and they are happier having left. For the most part, they are very respectful of my decision to stay, right now. I appreciate everyone’s input. I do take it seriously and think about it all. Obviously my marriage is a big part of my life.

      BE is a self preservationist. He does not self harm. His body has been ravaged enough by illness, which he always thought was a punishment to him for being bad. Despite all he has gone through, he has a very low threshold for pain. I have talked with two of his therapists about potential self harm and suicide (since his brother committed suicide) and yes, his current therapist is very aware of BE’s entire history and his personality traits. There are more people watching out for BE than for me, as it should be at this point. He is the addict.

      xx

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    • I have to keep repeating it because it is true, Moi… addiction is addiction. Sex, drugs, alcohol, it does not matter. Addiction destroys lives. I keep writing because I don’t want to pretend. Recovering from addiction is hard, every.single.day, hard. And it takes years of diligence. I write because I can. Because I am no longer devastated by the sexual behavior, but I still need the truth. People turn to me for hope. I am here to provide my reality. Sometimes it sucks. It is so easy for people to live inside their heads and do destructive things, but they are not viable partner material. Love does not conquer all. I’m actually really glad to have this space. At this point I feel good that my husband’s truth doesn’t cause me to crumble to the floor anymore. Those days were rough. These are difficult, but exponentially better than three years ago. Progress is important. BE made progress by eventually telling his truth. It’s okay. I know he is a sex addict. No excuses, just reality. Thanks for being there. Has your Florida family had to evacuate?

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      • They are in th Orlando area. So far they have not been told to evacuate.

        I can’t remember if I sent this to you but will today. This is Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur talking about her childhood sex abuse by her father. Her mother knew and did nothing. Note how successful publicly she has been because she was able to split her psyce into, much like BE. A child depends on his/her parents to make sense of the world. If their world is crazy so is the child’s who has to be the opposite of what he/she is designed to be, honest. Children don ‘t usually have filters so to be burdened by this awful secret and not be able to tell a soul is the beginning of an illness.
        I am sending it by email

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          • You have sent this before, Moi and I have watched in full a couple of the interviews. What always surprises me is the people who call her a liar and the whole, ‘why now’ question. Now (which I realize for her was years ago) is because now is when the reality of the devastation catches up. When we know we are not right, we know we do things based on what has been done to us. Now is the time we finally own the trauma, the abuse, the grief. I asked BE so many times, why now? Why not three decades ago when you knew what you were doing was wrong? Why not 18 years ago when you had extramarital sex for the first time? Surely THAT was enough to let you know something was drastically wrong. Nope. There is no answer to the question. They are broken and their brokenness and the shaping of their personality doesn’t understand it like we think it should. Life becomes unbearable the way it is and it all catches up. As BE just wrote on his own blog, the very first step is acknowledging you are powerless. People have said, “what a cop out.” But indeed it is the first step in the addict acknowledging the way they have behaved in the past has proved that they were, indeed, powerless to the abuse–addiction–shame–addiction cycle. Most say they hated themselves, but they “needed” the high, to cope. They trained themselves and their brains to need it. It is possible to re-shape habits and the brain, but the brain is a powerful organ, it wants what it wants and what we have always given it. Thanks for sending the links. I especially want to find the Dr. Drew episode in its entirety. I don’t watch daytime TV (unless it is a grand slam tennis event) so I don’t see these shows, but they bring about valuable talking points. I researched addiction and specifically sex addiction quite ferociously that first year, but I tried to stick with medical studies and pathways to recovery. Thank you for everything you send to me! It is all helpful. xx

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      • Re: truth and reality:
        I tell myself it will help me heal by getting the truth (and I honestly can’t handle anything graphic — seeing my husband almost die was graphic enough).

        I don’t know how I will be able to process all of this trauma w/o the ‘basic’ truth.

        I’ve read a good deal of your journal, but I can’t recall how you eased your trauma. It’s been 18+ months for me and the trauma seems to be getting worse (at least right now).

        I found a therapist who knows SE, trauma and sex issues (incl sex addiction). I hope she can help me help myself, but I am trying to be realistic. I told her I need a trauma exorcist. The power of truth compels you!

        I agree 100% about how “only complete honesty … will allow our marriage to work.” YES. The lying is horrid. My husband seems to be getting worse (more tight-lipped) after starting to work with a CSAT. I agree – progress is important – so why can’t I be informed about progress?

        My body, my mind and my soul bear this burden.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi beleeme. I am liking the fact that you are strong and bold enough to put your pain into words. It feels strange liking a comment that is so painful to read. This is such a long process and that is why I keep writing. There will be no final destination on this journey. This is for life. That being said, I spent so many months in devastating trauma. I tried a wives of sex addicts group. Didn’t work for me. I worked with a CSAT therapist, but she was so wrapped up in my husband’s needs and the fact that my self harm and trauma was burdening my husband and his recovery (OMG). At four months I was lucky enough to spend about 25 hours with a trauma therapist in Los Angeles and she was wonderful, BUT, I was no where near ready to accept everything she said as my new truth. I didn’t want to lose my husband, my partnership. I was so afraid of my life changing THAT MUCH. On top of that, my husband didn’t want me to leave and he didn’t want to leave and his extramarital affairs and porn had everything to do with his own trauma, low self esteem, addiction, etc… and nothing to do with me or our marriage. I didn’t want to abandon him, BUT, I could no longer tolerate the lying. He lied and lied and lied for months and months and months. No matter what I said or did, he continued to lie. He had lied convincingly for as long as he could talk and certainly for our entire marriage. He had outright cheated for 15 years of it, and that doesn’t include all the cheating in his head, BUT, it wasn’t because I wasn’t good enough. It was because he wasn’t strong enough. So what to do? It hurt so bad. I can say, three years eight months later, it’s not devastating anymore, but it does still cause me pain. I want him to be successful. I want him to be in my life. I have been very very patient. It is still extremely frustrating, however, to hear that he has shared something with his 12 step group that he hasn’t shared with me, after THREE YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS OF THIS. I cannot speak to your fear and pain around your husband’s suicide attempt, of course, but I can say that the conversation that prompted this blog entry was a good one. I knew he was struggling and I knew he had skirted, if not broken, a boundary he set for himself. I do not feel responsible, but I do feel entitled to the truth. Perhaps this will be something he will need to work on for another five years. I don’t know, I sure hope not because he is really hurting himself most. He may think he is saving me trauma or saving himself some grief or judgment, but he isn’t. Those rationalizations are where the addiction lies.

          So back to how I eased my trauma… time, therapy, letting myself off the hook for being in trauma, not trying too hard to just be okay already, and my husband working the 12 steps. It was torturous, the 1st step, the 4th-5th steps, the 8th-9th steps. TORTURE, and I’ve written about it all, but as he went through this process and started telling more of the truth, and sharing more, and being more vulnerable, and I started putting into perspective my role (which was merely to work on myself). I don’t know how else to explain it. I do think couples need to heal separately, and then together. Your husband needs some time to get to a point where he can tell the truth without harming himself emotionally, and possibly physically. Shame is a monster. I my case, my husband put me in a box with everyone who he perceives as expecting something from him (I realized I put this in present tense, because I do believe he still does this). His parents were always expecting so much and never giving any encouragement. I, on the other hand, was his partner in every sense of the word and I was constantly loving him, and sharing with him, and I was always so impressed with him both as a father (when he was home) and as a business person. He is one of the most intelligent and gifted people I have ever met. He knows I have always felt this… and yet, his brokenness preceded me. There wasn’t and really isn’t anything I can do for him. He must do this himself and there were many months when he didn’t want to share about his therapy or about his 12 step or anything There appeared to resentment towards me and yet, I had done nothing. I was a reflection of how he felt about himself. It blew my mind. Now I can see, he wasn’t ready. He needed to change how he felt about himself before he could accept how I felt about him, and that I wasn’t the enemy. These guys live in isolation in their heads, regardless of what they look like on the outside. My husband has hundreds of friends and business associates. He is an extrovert. No one would believe he has done the things he has done. And yet, he is both people.

          Giving yourself a break from the vigilance and being kind to yourself will help your soul. Please be kind to yourself and let your husband know that when he is ready to open up to you, you are there. Much love, xoxo

          Liked by 2 people

          • Thanks so much for this thoughtful, detailed, and empathic reply. It really helps me to write as well. I’ve written a little in my blog, but that doesn’t seem to be as healing as other forms of writing. I really appreciate you and everything you share.

            Want to hear an interesting tidbit?

            A psychologist in another city who my husband & I saw together directed me to your blog. I thanked her and appreciated the synchronicity from the Universe, b/c I had already stumbled upon your blog. It’s really good for me to see reality, even if it’s someone else’s reality, b/c there is so much in common with so many spouses of sex addicts. Right now — I try to soften my reality b/c it’s just too much to deal with it ALL. So, being kind to myself means not feeling it ALL, ALL of the time. One step. She gave me a helpful saying — INCREMENTAL IS MONUMENTAL. I like that.

            The psychologist we saw in the other city had rec’d treatment and training in L.A. from Dr. Minwalla and Trish Haight. I have considered seeing Trish, but at this time, I don’t think the cost would be worth the benefit for me, and neither of us are working, so I want to be careful with our money. Hub was the bigger earner and his career completely crashed when he hit bottom and wanted to end his life. Hopefully, he’ll be able to use his education again some day. He’s a very smart professional as well.

            I was happily surprised that the local psychologist I talked to the other day (on the phone) is trained in Somatic Experiencing. There’s no one listed on the SE website. I have numerous somatic manifestations of the trauma. It’s like it’s stuck in my body and I need help with that. I get massage regularly, too, and I go to a chiropractor. I may very well have Fibromyalgia, but I want to see see what I can do to help myself 1st before I accept that diagnosis.

            Yes – about resentment and blame/enemy. My hub resents me (really himself) and i can’t tell you how many times I have said, “I’m not the enemy, here.” Yes, he has to wake up on his own time-line. And yes, I want the process to go faster. I need to remind myself that he’s driving a tank, weighed down with all kinds of equipment (his “stuff”); it’s not a nimble Porsche. 😉

            Thanks again. I’m going to ask our Golden if he’ll share some of his body heat with me.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Wow, I know this is old. For some reason it went into my spam folder, which I rarely check. I hope the SE therapy works. My husband also fell apart that first year after discovery. Thank goodness we had employees that could step in, but no one sells like BE, so we have been playing catch up since 2014. Now that business is back up, he struggles, of course because he is a workaholic/sexaholic. They go hand in hand. I hope you are enjoying the weekend with your golden love machine! ❤

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