Susannah's Going to Stop Trying to Control Things .....Tomorrow

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by Susannah, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. In Patrick Carne’s book,
    “Out of the Shadows, understanding Sexual Addiction.”

    That book Is something that your spouse should read.
    You’d find it interesting, too.
    It’s a ground moving look at SA.
    ‘Easy’ read; hard topic.

    Carnes describes addiction,
    One aspect that stuck:

    Preoccupation leads to
    ritualization leads to
    Sexual compulsivity leads to
    Despair leads to
    Preoccupation again.

    I think ogling falls under preoccupation.

    Ritualization is further into his addiction and each step is harder
    to stop progression.

    If I stop the preoccupation,
    I can halt the progression.

    That is what I find help with
    in a 12 program,
    which is what Cranes suggests
    in the ending chapters.

    If he wants help he can reach for it.

    Ghostwriter often suggests boundaries, those along with a good path forward in a program decided by him is the hope. As far as I know.
    fuzzywaz, TooMuchTooSoon and kropo82 like this.
  2. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Thanks - will check out the book. It seems my husband's ogling is preoccupation, ritualization, AND compulsivity.
    Trappist likes this.
  3. DesperateHousewife7

    DesperateHousewife7 Fapstronaut

    I’m so so terribly sorry that you feel you don’t have any value as a woman in her 50s, outside of sexuality, because of your husband. That is so awful, and hurt my soul to read. If it makes you feel any better, I feel that I am worthless as a wife because I can’t do the simplest task of a woman and give my husband an erection or make him sexually interested in me. I married him at 19. I am 26. I spent every single day since that wedding day obsessively finding ways to make myself more sexy to him, so that he would want me. I even went under the knife and had heavy bags put in my chest, desparately trying to get his attention. I have done everything I can possibly think of outside of wearing a flashing neon sign on my naked body with arrows pointing at my crotch saying please fuck me! Porn is not a fair competitor, and I don’t even begin to measure up.

    The story about him kissing you on the cheek just to ogle someone is horrible. Awful. I’m so sorry, I can imagine your pain and anger and betrayal. I’ve had many situations through the years that now make sense, since the recent discovery of his PA. I’ve been dealing with it for 7 years. Always rejecting me, but ogling others. I felt crazy because people are always complimenting my looks, and telling my husband he’s lucky to have a “milf” for a wife. It kills me inside to hear those compliments, I hate them.

    The moments that stood out to me most were:
    1) NYE 2017- I put on a crazy sexy dress. He flirted with my best friend and touched/tickled her side, but immediately fell asleep when we got to our hotel room.
    2) Went on a “romantic” weekend trip, caught him ogling young waitresses ass in yoga pants until I snapped him out of it. He also did this another time while on a dinner date.
    3) This month, ogled a definitely underage girl in a swimsuit at the indoor water park, as if he were in a trance-like state, until I snapped him out of it.

    I can’t decide if those moments hurt worse, or the times he’s told me that he can’t stay hard for me because he’s “getting used to getting turned on by me”... or when I forced him to tell me his porn searches and found out he searched for specific women. Women with names. His favorite women. And of course they all had impossible, flawless bodies without stretch marks or anything... ah. I need a drink.

    Nice to have someone who gets it, though. Nobody can understand this type of pain like us.
  4. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Holidays went pretty well in spite of the cloud that seems to hang over everything these days - middle-of-the-night wakings full of doubts and suspicions, alternating with sweet moments. As the recovery efforts progress I've been finding out that things are actually way worse than I'd even imagined. Don't get me wrong, I still want to know EVERYTHING - I NEED to know in order to decide what to do.....but it has been difficult to find out how sick this dear, sweet, intelligent man really is. And I wonder if recovery is a real possibility for him. His view of women, sex, intimacy and the world is so skewed and he is so conflicted inside that I can't imagine him ever being able to undo it. He has been this way for so many decades....

    On the upside, he has been sharing more and more with me about triggers he encounters in his day. The downside? He is triggered by almost everything. There is almost no photo of a woman (no matter how seemingly innocuous), no encounter with a real woman, no female co-worker, etc that he does not sexualize. I have always known things were bad, but I never knew how bad. The other day, we spent some time sitting in a parked car in a parking lot waiting for our daughter to run in to a store to pick something up. We couldn't go in with her because he is unable to control his ogling and didn't want to do anything to disrupt our holiday time with a houseful of visitors. Just sitting in a parking lot, he was unable to stop his eyes from darting to every woman that came into view. Never the men... that's how I know it isn't just his eyes catching movement. They only dart to any person with a vaguely "female form" or dress, etc. Scanning constantly, hoping for something. I don't know what...a hit of dopamine? Some kind of thrill? Some kind of satisfaction? He gets so discouraged at the compulsivity of it, and so do I. I don't know if I can continue with this life.
  5. May I ask:
    What does he do for recovery.

    Do you have several areas of support?

    Everyone is dirty in a shit storm.
    With time it can be cleaned up a bit?
    Maybe I’m feeling better after a year of sobriety.

    Don’t leave before the miracle occurs.
    Unless you need to do so.

    Best wishes.
    Kenzi and Tannhauser like this.
  6. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    So far his recovery has consisted of two addicts meetings; some reading (mostly on Buddhist topics - some general, some about addiction); talking with me; trying to be mindful; almost nightly writing for about three weeks. He has emailed a counselor, didn't hear back and didn't follow up (I refuse to ask him about it - I will not nag).

    As for support, I have a therapist I speak to twice a week, and this forum (been participating for about three weeks now). No one else knows.

    I think I can stay here for now. Cake recommended I formulate an exit strategy and I am doing that. I think he may be sincere about wanting to recover and he refers to himself as an addict. He says a lot of the "right things" and is loving and attentive toward me. But he has also lied more than once and continues sneakiness, so I may just be seeing what I want to see. Perhaps the biggest casualty in this whole mess is that I have lost confidence in my ability to see what's going on under my nose and trust my intuition. At this point I have almost daily bouts of absolute conviction that he has lied or is still lying about having used porn. I also have to admit I am afraid to leave because I have no idea what he is capable of. I thought I knew him, but obviously I didn't. I am terrified he would turn on me in a divorce situation and I would be financially ruined, or worse.
    fuzzywaz likes this.
  7. Good you are taking care of yourself.

    I have gotten a lot of info and support here and at SAA from my sponsor. Needed the guidance.

    I hope he gets that and more.

    And you.

    This addiction
    is such a pain.
    Susannah likes this.
  8. Sam-wise

    Sam-wise Fapstronaut

    Has your husband read Breaking the Cycle by George Collins? The reason I ask is because aside from being very helpful (imo) overall it also has a section on ogling. It would be better to read it from the source, but the basic idea is to break the automatic ogling habit by creating a new one. To create the habit you need to make physical contact with yourself and also internally recite a mantra. One example that the author gives is to put your hand on your heart and mentally say, "her body is none of my business". Your husband would need to do this every time he is tempted to ogle.
    fuzzywaz and Trappist like this.
  9. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    No - I'm sure he hasn't read it. Thank you for the recommendation. He has used something like the "physical contact" idea you reference, but I'm not really sure how it has worked for him. I sincerely appreciate the time you took to write and your interest, so you'll forgive me if I had to laugh a little when I read your last sentence about my husband needing to do this every time he is tempted to ogle. I pictured him walking through his entire day with his hand over his heart, saying "her body is none of my business" on a continuous loop in his head.
  10. That is what recovery looks like.
    kropo82 likes this.
  11. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Had a revealing altercation with my husband tonight. I wanted to open up a simple (I thought) discussion about P-Subs and online news sources. These have traditionally been a source of titillation for him and I wanted to understand it better. I was very tentative about bringing it up, so did it with my typical "explosives expert defusing a bomb" approach. Nothing threatening or serious - just a suggestion framed in a way to make it clear that this was a way to understand him better and deal with some of my fears. He did not respond well. He burst out with a comment that he wanted to manage the experience because he feared I would find something terrible and "rub his nose in it" like he was a bad puppy. I was shocked by the hostility. I have NEVER done anything like this and in fact, have mightily resisted saying anything judgemental or shaming to him. I sometimes write critical things in my private journals, but never to his face. So now I am just mad. I am so sick of him acting as if anything I ask for or express fear about is an affront to his dignity, maturity and integrity. He wants to be treated as an adult, while behaving like a child. It has been all I can do to try to maintain some shred of respect for him as I have discovered more and more about his depravity and sickness. I have never insulted or tried to humiliate him to his face and would never do so, but I am getting sick of his constant umbrage. He is shocked - SHOCKED - that I might question his character, while never considering that maybe I could muster some respect for him if he hadn't spent half his adult life hunched over a computer screen jerking off then lying about it.
    fuzzywaz likes this.
  12. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    This makes me want to crawl into a corner and cry.
  13. But think of it as something that stops the addictive cycle from getting charged up.

    With conscious action each day to be mindful and present, it becomes a part of your day.

    It’s the thing that makes my addiction meaningful,
    Because Accepting my PA,
    I become more of a purposeful person
    for a hopefully greater purpose around me.

    Just now my SO thanked me
    for all my little projects.
    They are my living amends.
  14. @Susannah this book had some interesting critiques of relationships.
    Was pretty eye opening.

    Your soft start up to the discussion was good. You may have run across or amplified earlier criticisms or what he heard as such.

    I liked the repair attempts he discusses.
  15. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Hi Ghostwriter. Thanks for your important reminder about the nature of this and other addictions. Of course, I know this. That is why I put this comment in my journal instead of in a more general post. Sometimes I just want to come here and vent and say what I am really thinking, even if it is not informed by my "higher mind" and rational understanding.

    Your reply got me thinking about why I would never (consciously) disrespect the other addicts you describe, yet I admit to moments of thinking that my feelings of disappointment in my husband are justified. What is going on in me? Why does sex addiction feel "different" to me? I think it might be because this particular addiction is predicated on, encourages, and creates a profound disrespect for and dehumanization of all women and girls. It reduces one half of the world's population to the status of "object". It is responsible for 14 year old girls asking for breast enhancement and labiaplasty. I guess that's just a way of me saying sex addiction really hits me right where I live in a way that alcohol or food addiction (as tragic as they are) do not. Not saying my logic is bullet-proof or anything like it, but this is what I came up with in the moment.
  16. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Addicts have self control. While they have allowed themselves to get out of control, that control can be regained. It's called seeking help and utilizing tools to stop their addiction. Some have better success than others.

    I also will never buy the "brain disease" theory, and here is why:

    And before anyone starts saying that the brain disease theory is widely accepted and taught in addiction programs, therefore it must be truth, let me remind those same people that for decades, SOs of SAs/PAs have been labeled as co-dependent or co-addicts by those same "experts" for simply loving their sex addicted partner, causing great harm for the SOs. It has only been within the last few years that that notion has been challenged and replaced with the betrayal trauma model, albeit there are still a great many therapists that still hold to the co-dependency/co-addict model.
    hope4healing likes this.
  17. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    @Susannah ,

    I'm not sure if you have heard of this book, but I highly recommend reading Your Sexually Addicted Spouse by Dr. Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means. It details betrayal trauma and how to get started in the healing process. Here is the link on Amazon if you are interested.

    Also here is a good thread with more help for betrayal trauma.
    hope4healing and Susannah like this.
  18. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Trying to learn to look at things through his eyes. It is tough to have that kind of empathy right now, though. He is sitting on the other end of the couch as I write this. He is supposed to be doing recovery work - writing in his journal. He has this particular bs move he does where he announces very seriously, "I'm going to meditate and think a while, then write." He then closes his eyes and proceeds to go right to sleep. Eventually I'll wake him up, then he will make up some lie about all the "thinking" he's been doing...even though I have been sitting here watching him snore. Infuriating. Ah well...

    So, trying to look through his eyes. He says he needs to believe that it is possible for him to root out the disease. In order to do this he needs to think of it as "not him". So he has asked that I phrase things a certain way. Here is a real life example. Lately he has been having difficulty resisting ogling blonde women and girls. So I might say, "Why are you ogling blonde women lately?" He objects to that because it implies there is some volition in the ogling act, when he maintains there is not. He would like me to say instead, "What is it in you that is making you want to ogle blonde women lately?" That helps him keep the behavior separate from himself so that he can root it out.

    Okay..whatever. Sounds like complete crap to me and just another way to not take responsibility for his actions, but for this to work, it has to be something he can live with. So who am I to object?

    I am getting bitter and judgmental and so sick of this.

    Meanwhile, tomorrow night we have to go to another recovery meditation meeting - wonder how many young girls in yoga pants will be there? Bet he won't fall asleep during that meditation. I hate him.
    EyesWideOpen likes this.
  19. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    So he woke up and I guess he could tell I was irritated. I told him I was, in fact, irritated. He made a big thing of it and got sulky. I tried to reach out by asking how we could get back on the same side and he brushed me off. I said I was going to bed and left the room. Then I did the thing I always do, every time, because I'm weak and pathetic. I went back in and asked if we could try again. He was scribbling in his notebook - terrible things about me, I'm sure - and just held up his hands to reject me. So I left and came upstairs to bed. Now I want to go BACK downstairs and try to reach out again. I am so afraid to confront or argue with him because I am convinced he will use porn in order to punish me or because he feels picked on. I know I should not go down there but the urge is overwhelming. Why can't I muster any self-respect? Why should I go groveling to him? Before I retired I used to run my own company with 20 employees and didn't take any shit from anyone. Now I am a scared, pathetic, groveling nothing, desperate for the love and attention of a sex addict.
  20. HonestyMatters

    HonestyMatters Fapstronaut

    I read this and think we sound like we're going through a similar pattern, the back and forth to him part, the only difference is I'm so afraid I can't help but confront and argue with him. I don't know, I wish I had answers for both of us. I know this is probably not helpful but just know your not alone, know that, I'm sitting here feeling totally lost at the moment too x

    Edit: Not that i'm suggesting you confront or argue - i'm sure that's no good either...we all probably behave differently in our fear states....
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019

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