New Beginnings

It’s been a really great week. My husband passed an exam that marks the beginning of a new career for him and, maybe, a new life for us.

I know that sacrifices will have to be made. He already works so many hours and this could mean even more. I support those extra hours. This change could mean the start of a business that we run together. OUR business. And that is something that makes me so happy. We’ve discussed this for years. As it stands right now, I help him run HIS business. I’m his support “staff”.

I don’t mind it, but I want my own business. I want a 50/50 stake in whether we succeed or whether we fail. I don’t have that right now.

But….here’s where it gets kind of scary for me. What if he meets someone? What if he feels that the way to suceed faster is to flirt with women? What if he meets THE PERFECT WOMAN?

I’m terrified.

This is something that we have planned on and worked for for years. Even before D-day. It’s been one of our goals. And now I’m scared that success will be our undoing.

This is what this “disease” does. It makes you question every decision. Every change. Every step of your life.

And I don’t know, at this moment, if I’m strong enough.

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Continuing to Follow up

It’s funny….I’ve been thinking that I should post more often because I’m sure people might come across this blog and wonder what’s going on.  And then I sign in and see a comment from “J” saying the same thing. So, I will do my best to post more often.

To be honest, I feel bad for posting that things are going great, when I know that so many other women that are going through this same thing can not say the same thing. But, I also believe that more people need to know that there is hope.

Because there is.

The main indicator of success, I’ve come to realize, is the dedication of the sex addict to change. My husband is still in contact with a few of the men from his group (he no longer goes to group and I will discuss that in a minute) and they still act out, and they still make excuses for acting out.  They still complain about their wives and they still say how they “can’t stop” acting out. My husband has never blamed me (although I did accept my share of the blame), and he never once said that he “couldn’t” stop.

He admitted, at the beginning, that he wasn’t sure if he could stop…but he never said he couldn’t stop. He always said that he WOULD stop. That our relationship and marriage meant so much to him that he would do anything to save it. And he has followed through with that.

His biggest factor with acting out was a learned response to believing that a relationship was over. When we would fight before, and trust me, they were doozies, he would believe that our marriage was over. Because he witnesessed his father leave wife after wife in his youth, he equated fighting with leaving. So, when we fought a lot, he though our relationship was over and so he started viewing porn and contacting women online again.  When our fighting got resolved at the time and our marriage continued, he was already entrenched in acting out and since he hadn’t gotten caught (and still mostly believed our marriage was over) he continued acting out.

Through therapy, he has learned that rough patches don’t mean that a marriage is over. He’s learned tools to handle those times without acting out….and thankfully, those rough patches have continued to fade away.

We still bicker sometimes, but we’ve only had a couple really BAD fights, and we were able to work through them in therapy.

When our couples therapist moved in August of 2013, I was devastated. She was such a huge part of our recovery and I was worried that we wouldn’t make it without her.  It was transference on my part, but it was a very real emotion at the time. For almost a year, I couldn’t even speak her name without crying, that’s how attached I had become to her.

It took me a long time to work up the desire to see a new therapist. I didn’t want to. In my mind, no one would EVER be as competent or kind. I had been to personal therapists before and I had never bonded with anyone like I bonded with her and I was unwilling to try again.

Then, this past February, I knew it was time. I was having issues with my family again and I was starting to lose trust in my husband, for literally no reason. I knew I needed to begin my own therapy and so I did.

I’m not gonna lie, my first few visits sucked…and I’m still not sure that I like or completely trust her, but at this point, I’m not sure any of that matters. What does matter is that I’ve been more calm, more stable, and happier since I’ve been seeing her. The proof is in the pudding, they say. The “homework” that she’s been giving me has been eye opening, to say the least.

In the meantime, my husband has only been continuing with his SA therapist once a month….sort of. She cancels quite often and their professional relationship is a bit too loosey goosey for my tastes but, he seems to be doing well. I’ve stopped the software that records his every move on his computer….I stopped that after the first year. He’s just never given me a reason to start again. I will occasionally snoop on his phone or computer but I’ve never seen anything that concerned me.

He stopped going to group around the end of the first year. The group was using a room that was donated by the landlord and the landlord said that since there were so few people, they wanted to take the room back. The group tried to meet at our house a couple of times but only a couple of guys were comfortable with that (I really think that the landlord taking back the room gave the rest of them a great excuse to stop going) and that ended quickly. The closest group to us at that point, was a co-ed group and it was HUGE. Not only was my husband uncomfortable listening to stories by men and women, but since the group was so large, he never got a chance to share or really get to know any of the other people. It took away from the experience for him, he no longer felt any sense of accountability, and I understand that completely.

So, that’s where we are now, as far as therapy. We’re coming up on 11 years of marriage and I’ve never felt better about our relationship. I will never be back to 100% trust, but I’d say I’m around 95%…which is leaps and bounds beyond where I ever thought we’d be. I hope it stays that way…..but that’s mostly out of my control. I can only control me. And he can only control him.

Right now, that’s working for us.

Two Years….wow

In 5 days…it’ll be 2 years since D-Day.  It feels like two months.  It’s gone by so fast.

Things are going well.  He’s maintained his sobriety this entire time and I’m very proud of him.  We’ve had our moments, though.  More than enough of them.  My trust isn’t 100% and I’ve told him that I honestly don’t think it will ever be 100% again.  He doesn’t like that, but he understands it.  But, in those moments of my distrusting him, he’s usual very patient and kind about it.  I’ve never found anything.  I’ve never caught him doing anything he shouldn’t be.  But, I do still look sometimes.

I have stopped monitoring his email and texts (for the most part). I might check his email or texts once every two or three months, now.  I had the key stroke recorder on his computer for a year but I let it expire after the first year.

He no longer goes to meetings but he does still go to his own therapist about once a month.  They’re now, finally, working on retraining his brain to view sex with me as ok.  He’s so used to sex only being dirty and with people that he doesn’t care about.  It has affected our sex life a lot.  I don’t know if she can help with that….and part of me is ok if she can’t.  I know that sounds terrible but, I’m kind of shutting down in the sex department.  It’s too hard to work on something that I feel should be so natural.  I really wish we still had our  couple’s therapist.  Things were better when we were seeing her.

Talking to someone about your issues and letting that person show you a deeper part of your spouse makes it hard to shut down. We sometimes talk about finding a new one but we (mostly me) really don’t think we’ll ever find one that we clicked with as much as the first.

I now need to decide what to do with this blog.  I want to keep writing in it but, there really isn’t much to talk about in the “sex addiction” category, on a day to day basis.  I wonder if it would be ok to just write about our lives here.  I’ll need to give it some thought.

From Bad….To Good….To Bad….To Good….etc. etc. etc.

Wow….it’s been a really long time since my last entry.  I felt like maybe I didn’t have anything more to say.  Like I had felt all the feelings.

Of course, that’s not true.  It’s not true now and it wasn’t true then.  An ostrich can’t change his feathers.

Things are still “status quo” here, I think.  He stills swears up and down, back and forth, that he will NEVER do ANYTHING (emphasis his) to hurt me again. But, I’m not sure I buy it.  

As I stated several months ago, our couples therapist moved away last August.  We haven’t been to a therapist since.  He is still going to his own therapist, but only once a month.  And, he no longer goes to SAA.  His SA therapist approves of this. She doesn’t think he really needs it.  He’s not the “typical” SA patient, I guess.

I see us slipping back into our same ol’ same ol’ marriage.  Sex once every 4-6 weeks.  Both of us on our laptops/tablets in front of the tv every night.  Bickering a little more each day.

Two big red flags that have happened recently:  First, we have started a new diet together.  It’s something that my doctor says is really important for me and, despite his kicking and screaming, he has gone along with it.  It’s 30 days…pretty strict.  I told him he wouldn’t be allowed to take any of his chemical supplements that he takes before his workouts.  He pitched a fit…but eventually said ok.

Last week, I went into the kitchen and there was a white powder on the counter.  It looked a lot like sugar and I thought maybe he had snuck some sugar in something. So, I asked him about it. He said he had no idea what it was.  That he’d seen it, too (thanks for wiping it up, buddy).  So, I let it go….who knows what it was. 

Fast forward a few days later….he leaves much earlier in the morning than I wake up.  So, when I woke up, I went into the kitchen and his dirty glass was there (do you see a pattern here?) with the residue I’ve come to know as being his morning “workout drink”…with the powder that he wasn’t supposed to be using for 30 days.  I go check the powder and sure as shit….it’s the same powder that I had seen on the counter days before.

I texted him and called him out on it.  At first, I wasn’t really that mad….just a little peeved.  Until he tried to deny keeping anything from me.  He said that he had checked the ingredients and it was all natural so he didn’t think it was a problem and he didn’t feel like me “lecturing him” about it and he was planning to tell me the next weekend.  We got into a HUGE fight…with me accusing him of lying by omission…and him calling our old therapist, who, of course, told him that she couldn’t help us since she’s no longer our therapist and isn’t even practicing in our state! (I’m so embarrassed)

I had told him to call HIS therapist…which he eventually did….and I guess she talked him down and he apologized…even though I don’t completely feel that he meant it.  I told him he could NOT lie to me…EVER.  It just makes me wonder that if he’s willing to lie about something so incredibly stupid and pointless….then what ELSE is he lying about?

Anyway…we got past that.

Then today.  We’re texting this morning.  Just our usual “Good morning”, “How are you doing” “How’s work going”…stuff.  I tell him about my sister. He responds.  He asks about my back (which has been hurting).  I respond. He asks about my weigh in this morning.  I respond. I ask about his. He responds with “Will check tonight”.  I say “K”. 

A few minutes later he sends “I miss you too….”

Uh….what?

So, I ask “Who was that for?” and he says “Just cuz I miss you”

I say “But you said too…And I hadn’t said it”

he says “Right…along with everything I miss you also”

I say “Hmm…ok”

He says “Stop trying to over analyze silly”

At this point…I start getting angry and told him to stop telling me how to feel.  And then I stopped texting.

Now, I know that some of you are reading this and saying “why didn’t you just call him instead of texting?”  And, I suppose that’s a valid comment but…it wouldn’t have done any good.  He would have just told me I was being silly and that he just meant that, in addition to everything else we were talking about, that he missed me.  And, I would still feel that it was super weird and my red flag antennae is WAY up in the air right now.

So, here we are.  Over a year and a half after D day…and I’m still really suspicious.  And I’m wondering if this is something that I can live with for the rest of my fucking life.  Going months, feeling secure and normal.  Then BAM….I’m back to being an emotional, raw mess.  Wondering who this person is that shares not only my bed, but my life.

It makes me so angry.  All over again.  So angry that he did this to me. To us.  If I knew then what I know now…I wouldn’t have married him.  I would have kept looking. Despite all the good times.  Despite knowing that he would die for me. Despite knowing how hard he works for our family.  

None of it is worth it. Not if there isn’t trust.

I may change my mind tomorrow…but today, that’s how I’m feeling.

Feeling Lost

Our couple’s therapist moved a few states away back in August.  I wasn’t prepared for that and wasn’t ready to stop seeing her, which set off an avalanche of sadness and depression.  The abandonment I felt, and still feel, is almost overwhelming.

I believe that everyone has at least one lesson to learn in life and we will be faced with tests on this lesson over and over until we pass.  My lesson, apparently, is learning to deal with abandonment.  Or rather, learning to let go.  I’m not doing very well with that lesson.

Anyway, the depression that started with our therapist moving ebbed and flowed. It hasn’t gotten to a full blown, I-need-medication depression.  It’s just been a low simmer.

Our vacation was supposed to refresh me. I was so looking forward to quality alone time with my husband. Bonding time.  It wasn’t to be. He got sick a couple of weeks before the cruise and we intentionally kept our distance from each other, hoping I wouldn’t catch it.  By the time the cruise rolled around, we were both firmly back into our own bubbles.  There’s only room for one in those bubbles, and our vacation started with bickering, and plenty of it.

Despite our best efforts, by day 2 of the cruise, I was getting sick. I tried not to let it stop our fun but, it did.  It also stopped our romantic fun. We only had sex once that week and it was the day I started to get sick. I felt obligated to hurry up and “service” him so he wouldn’t feel neglected. I didn’t really enjoy it at all….which made me angry….at myself.

Since then we just haven’t been the “new” us. We’ve been the old, bickering us.  So, we sent an email to our old therapist and asked for a FaceTime chat. She was happy to and we spent an hour talking with her last night. It was so good to see her face and hear her voice encouraging us.  She set us back on a good path in just 60 minutes. How does she do that?

I know that I need to find a new therapist…..should have done it weeks ago…but I’m resistant to starting over with someone new. But, I know I need to deal with my abandonment issues before I ruin this marriage that we have worked so hard to rebuild.  And he needs to continue working on his addiction issues. He only sees his therapist once every 4-5 weeks, and has only been to 1 meeting in the past two months.  Not being accountable on a regular basis has made it so easy for him to slip back into his old ways of getting completely lost in his work and forgetting to actively work on our marriage.

Yes, it’s been a year but…….it’s ONLY been a year so, back to work for us.

525,600 Minutes

My husband is on the precipice of one year sober. Just 1 more day. We’re celebrating with a week long cruise next week. I’m so excited!

I keep saying that D-Day was the best, worst day of my life. I got an even better version of my husband. I didn’t even realize what I was missing. We are SO much better today than we were a year ago. Much more intimate. Much closer. We resolve conflicts in minutes instead of days. He’s always been my best friend….even before all of this. That was the hardest part about d-day for me….losing my best friend. But now? We’re each other’s best friend.

It’s really a bitter sweet time for me. I’m going through a period of change where I don’t have many people in my corner these days. I think everyone goes through those times. You’ll have years of more friends and family than you know what to do with, and then years where you wonder where the hell everyone went. Feast or famine. I’m going through famine now.

But, that’s ok.

Before, this would send me into panic attacks. Now…I know that as long as my husband is by my side, I’m fine. We can weather ANY storm. He’s my rock and now, I’m his.

Happy Anniversary to us!

I Wish I Was More Like Him

I think people are attracted to others that are a lot like they are. Whether they realize it or not.

My husband and I have a LOT of commonalities…..almost too many to count. Over the years, we have realized that we’ve been in so many of the same places at the same time, yet never met.

We both have parents that have abandoned us, and other parents that were way too overbearing. My father abandoned me and my mother was too overbearing. His mother abandoned him and his father was too overbearing. We both have half siblings that we just haven’t been able to work a full relationship with. We both had 3 children. He had 2 boys and a girl. I had 2 boys and a girl. (Although, I kept all of mine while he gave all 3 of his up for adoption).

Those are just a handful of our commonalities.

It is no wonder that we both have intimacy issues. The difference is…..he. doesn’t. give. a. shit.

I fret and worry….every single day….about why my father wants nothing to do with me. About why my half-brother is content with never speaking to me. About why I haven’t spoken to my mother in over a year. About why my sister and I don’t speak. I lose sleep. I wring my hands. I wonder if my parents will die before we have a chance at a healthy relationship. I worry that my brother’s children will never know me. I wonder what was/is so wrong with me that I am the common denominator in all of these relationships…..is it them? Or is it me? it doesn’t feel like it’s me…..but how can it be them??

I stew over what “he” said to me. What she meant when she said “that”.

I mentally chew and chew over ancient conversations. Never coming to a conclusion. Never coming to a resolve.

While my husband, falls asleep in ten seconds. While he laughs at tv shows. While he easily goes about life….never worried…never fretting…never freaking out.

The ONLY thing I have EVER seen him fret about is our marriage. I do believe he would cease to exist if our marriage ended. I don’t think he would survive that. He has survived his own mother telling him that he ruined her life. He has survived his father exposing him to porn at the age of 5. He has survived his “best friends” turning on him. But…I do not believe he would survive our marriage failing.

While that gives me hope about our relationship, it also makes me envious of him. I want to live my life free of worry about what others (even family) think of me. I want to live my life knowing that I am doing exactly what I want, with no worries as to disappointing others. I’m so tired of constantly feeling like I’m disappointing everyone in my life. It’s exhausting.

I wish I was more like him.

And then I realize how much we have in common and I think…..maybe I’m a lot more like him than I thought.