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Jo Joy

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Jo Joy last won the day on January 18

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  1. Hi Bumblebee, I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with your husband with regards to his recovery. My husband and I were told restricting access on electronics would help and make this addict pause long enough to reconsider looking online for material. It depends what devices he’s using as I’m only up to date with iPhones, MacBook and iPads. We have restrictions to not allow anything adult material, no installing or deleting apps and no ability to clear history. However it’s worked for a long time for us and my husband tells me if he’s been able to access anything he’s so desperate to stay sober., but I know certain apps have a back door so they can work around the restrictions. The only one that’s truly reliable is the Accountabletoyou app. You have to have permission from your husband to do this kind of monitoring, I guess if they refused then you 100% know they are not in recovery and not wanting to be. we also use find my iPhone and find my friends apps to reassure me of the whereabouts of my husband I find that very reassuring. In the early days of attempting self recovery before we introduced therapists my husband was quite angry, short tempered and inconsiderate in bed. It only started once his secret was out. It was as though the addict was really pissed at me for trying to reign him in. He never hurt me either but I felt like a piece of meat to do with whatever he fancied and I wanted to keep him happy and recover. Silly really because it wasn’t true recovery it was just guess work and so messed up as we knew very little about sex addiction. It wasn’t until we’ll into therapy and 12 steps and after 90 day abstinence did all that change. I know it’s so hard and scary but speaking out and boundaries are the only way to go to gain some respect from him. We have a weekly catch up chat over a glass of wine to see how we’re doing and if we need to get anything off our chests. I didn’t actually realise that mens emotional brains are so inferior to womens lol everything is black or white and things are taken literally, unlike women they don’t read into the deeper meanings. I wish I could give you the perfect answers but every addict and relationship is different. Don’t put up with stuff if you’re not happy you deserve respect. Big hugs xx
  2. Hi and thanks for the replies. Beatrice he’s in contact with his sponsor who is a psychosexual therapist and is very good. He’s helping him with his addiction and what he done to me but I don’t get involved in it as it’s his recovery. He’s also doing online meetings again with SLAA. Thank you for the hug I appreciate it x Chrissy thanks for your reply it’s very helpful to me to be reminded of who I am and keeping things real. When you ask about ‘stepping in before he slips', what I’m referring to is noticing his behaviour changes that can cause slips. For example if he becomes highly stressed with work it does trigger him so when I see the signs I encourage him to do stress relieving things like walking our dogs, cooking or spending fun time with our son. If I see him spending to much time online and he does the telltale rubbing of his head, I can see this is emotionally triggering him. He could just be reading what his colleagues/friends have been up to or even looking at cars, all of which can trigger him into feelings of worthlessness and envy. If he has to go to his estranged parents I know he can come back devastated by his parents emotional abuse. All these things I’m aware of and my encouragement and support helps support his sobriety. I wouldn’t say I’m managing his behaviour because usually when he’s feeling this way he will notice himself and do something positive about it. It’s rare that I need to guide him in self care unless it’s something he’s not experienced as a trigger before for example his boss left last year and my husband had looked at him like a father figure and him leaving was like a death. When you ask ‘Is his openness about being triggered actually helpful for you?’ I think yes it is helpful to me because he’s telling me as he’s asking for my help, support or guidance. The help that I provide can be blocking random websites for him, installing safety features he thinks will prevent triggers, or changing plans so he doesn’t have to attend certain situations he has difficulty with like my son used to attend clubs where the mothers would give him lots of attention and he didn’t feel comfortable so he asked if I could do the troublesome ones. I appreciate his trust, openness and his genuine ‘want’ to stay sober. He does similar things for me and doesn’t question me. I see it as a mutual respect. Do you think I’m wrong? The reason why I think helping my sister may have triggered his response was because he was being forced to look at his passed acting out behaviour and remember how he felt as an addict at the time when he didn’t have any emotional capacity at all, what he learned and how he could use those experiences to support my brother in law with his addictions and infidelity. My husbands acting out was quite bad weekly one night stands, prostitutes, long term affairs with vulnerable women, swinging, dogging, threesomes with his friend and random women, online cam sex, hookup sites, heavy cocaine use, alcohol abuse, gambling and spending money I didn’t know about £47k debt was the most devastating part of disclosure. So asking him to remember those times, the lies and deceit, the highs and lows etc so he could empathise with our brother in law was a stupid thing to do. I should have realised it was too much for him with already being upset about the situation to start with. I haven’t told my husband that I think this has been the trigger I always allow him to work it out himself with his recovery team if a trigger has gone on to acting out. I just needed to find some reasoning why for my own peace of mind. It’s taught me that if I want to help others I need to consider my own self care first and be careful what I expose my family to. It won’t stop me helping others I’ll just be more cautious. When you ask about my phrase ‘I’m just devastated that both him and I didn’t recognise it happening at the time we really let our guards down’. I have come to accept that any addiction affects the full family dynamics as a whole just like any mental health illness. I believe if you love or even just care about someone you will always want to keep them safe and healthy and avoid putting them in unsafe situations. Keep checking in that they are coping and help support them with their lives. I do the same for many people with mental illnesses it doesn’t mean I’m controlling them or taking ultimate responsibility for them. Sometimes I can’t offer the support and just hope they can stay well themselves. I think my care for others has always been a positive side of my personality. I can’t fix my husband he and I know he will ALWAYS be an addict he has the right professionals in place to help him with his addiction. All I can do is support his recovery whilst staying safe and true to myself. I have so many boundaries he’s never questioned and he knows exactly where he stands with regards to relapses. I just didn’t have a specific boundary that covered what he done to me exactly, but why on earth would I ever consider giving him a ‘no raping your wife boundary’. It’s disgusting and we both need to deal with it in the right way. I find it difficult finding none judgmental therapists for myself who understand sex addiction. In the Uk it’s not even an officially diagnosable illness in our healthcare system and we pay £90 per hour privately so therapy sessions have to be limited. Even 7 years out we are still learning and I’m still contemplating leaving him. How far can I be pushed may have been answered this time. Me and my children always come first. Thanks for reading love to you all xx
  3. Thanks Chrissy for replying you’re the first person that’s responded to my plea for support on any site since it happened and I just want to say how much I appreciate it. I think it’s a topic that makes people so uncomfortable they can’t say anything but not for the sake of not wanting to. it’s been 2 weeks now since it happened and I’ve barely slept this past week as the flashbacks have been coming thick and fast and the reality of the situation I’m in is hitting home. Trying to comprehend what happened just will not sit right in my head. I really analyse behaviours and look for all reasons why something happens especially if my husband has had a slip or I can see he’s being triggered. So my natural reflex is analyse the hell out of it. We are so well connected I can tell if he’s being triggered but Im the kind of person to stand back watch from a distance and step in before he slips and usually he always tells me if he’s triggering just before a slip would happen. Yes it’s hard him being so open and looking to me for help and support but I prefer it that way as he knows I’m there to support keeping him sober. So I’ve been trying to figure out what had triggered him so much before New Year. I actually think I’ve worked it out! On the 26th Dec my sister confided in us that her husband had been cheating on her with her best friend and he also confessed to being addicted to cocaine and prescription meds. I’d been helping her and her husband work through the whole addiction process and surviving the infidelity as that’s what she wanted to do. I’d been talking to my husband about the situation quite a lot and running everything by him, asking for suggestions to help with certain scenarios they were going through, so I could be the best support to them that I could be. My husband was asked to speak to my brother in law about coping strategies, support groups etc. but he didn’t. I didn’t even consider at the time that all of the situations we were discussing could trigger him towards a slip never mind a full blown relapse! I was talking to my sister constantly for 5 days and bringing my husband into the situation everyday with lots of details. I was so focused on trying to help her I forgot about the impact it would have on my husband. I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses for him believe me I’m definitely not, I’m just trying to work out why he would behave in such an appalling addiction fuelled manner and for me to become the victim. There’s always a trigger and this was a monumental list! In a way I’m relieved I’ve worked out what triggered his addiction so massively. I’m just devastated that both him and I didn’t recognise it happening at the time we really let our guards down. However the relief of knowing what caused it doesn’t make the situation any better for me. He still did it to me and hasn’t really shown any kind of sympathy or concern to me for what he did. All of the therapy and support he’s had throughout recovery hasn’t really taught him empathy and to be honest it seems narcissistic! When I say he looked to me for tlc Its because he feels overwhelming shame and disgust whenever he has slipped that it makes him physically ill and clinically depressed and unworthy of life itself. Tlc for him has been spending time talking, cooking, watching tv, walking etc anything to connect us emotionally. I’m just absolutely shocked that he doesn’t seem to recognise what he done to me and the emotional impact it’s had on me. That’s the seriously worrying part for me, maybe he thinks I don’t have emotions or mine don’t matter, that leaves me wondering might he do it again if he doesn’t feel the real impact his actions have had. I am going to have to speak to him directly about it and see if he can give me anything to help me get through this because I can’t see myself getting over this without seeing something, anything from him. I just feel so physically disgusting, used, abused, disrespected and dismissed by him right now. It’s making me feel like I’m gradually falling out of love with him with each day that goes by that he doesn’t show me any empathy and that’s so sad after everything we’ve built and gone through together over the last 27 years. Im sorry I’m going on and on you must be sick of reading by now lol sorry! Thanks again for writing to me. Thanks for the hug. I send one back xx
  4. Beatrice123, wow you’re a very caring woman to put up with him for so long and give him chance after chance. He sounds very like my husband manipulating, trying to get you to engage in and gaslighting the situation to make you tow the line and make you feel bad so he can carry on. It also sounds like he’s totally in denial of his problem and is more than happy to carry on as he’s not really experiencing any negative consequences. Until the pain of addiction is greater than the highs it gives they never feel a need to change. I went through this for 8 months with my husband as I think I was too soft and scared of being alone so I didn’t set or reinforce real boundaries and ultimatums. Until I realised I was worth so much more and he couldn’t give it, how long I was prepared to be treated that way. I realised his addiction and behaviour was damaging me and our children. I realised that in actual fact the addict wasnt the man I loved and couldn’t get my husband into recovery so I could get the real man back, then I was stuck in misery. It forced me to look at myself and realise I could make it alone and I started to gain inner strength. I checked my finances, his finances and looked at what I’d be left with and how I could make it work. I then give him the boundaries and consequences straight. He failed after a couple of weeks and was gone. Sounds scary and heartbreaking but it worked because as the weeks went by the pain of losing me and the children and realising his addiction couldn’t give him happiness he started looking at recovery and then asked for me to help him. I was totally prepared for divorce if it hadn’t worked as I didn’t have the strength to live or be married to an active addict. You’re worth more than this and there is a better life away from an addict. Maybe look into co-dependency if you haven’t already. I hope you’re ok, be kind to and love yourself x
  5. Hi Bumblebee! Firstly you’re definitely not alone it’s about finding the right safe place for you to talk openly about everything and here is a good place to do it. I also use a thread on a website called SurvivingInfidelity. There’s a thread called Parteners of sex addicts and it’s very active with long term survivors of this terrible illness. Secondly none of this is your fault no matter how you or he tries to convince you that it is. It’s not about being pretty enough, fun enough, sexy enough, how much you have sex not how good a wife you are! So get that out of your mind. You sticking this out and supporting your husband shows exactly what a brave and kind loving lady you are and when he’s in a better place with regards to recovery he will see that and appreciate it. My husband found great recovery through a psychosexual therapist trained by Paula Hall that’s why I’ve joined this group. He did twice weekly sessions to start then gradually reduced over 2 years. He also joined SLAA group. At first he was apprehensive and only done online meetings until he felt the courage to attend face to face. The meetings encourage them to be open and honest and reassure them they aren’t bad people which shame and guilt are crippling them to be honest with others. After a few weeks he began the 12 step program and got a sponsor. This helped him to break down addiction into manageable sections that he learned to cope with and explore at an acceptable pace. I know you crave his love, honesty and reassurance but he has to put his recovery above everything else because the addiction rules every part of your lives. We found it helpful to be held accountable for his actions and you can do this by paying for an app called accountable to you or by implementing your own restrictions which was our preferred option. iPhones and laptops were our biggest issues so we restricted adult content with passwords only I knew, we down graded his phone for 3 months to a pay as you go calls and texts only whilst he went through withdrawal. We put restrictions on our home WiFi and tv channels etc there’s so much that can be done once the addict has acknowledged the problem and actually wants recovery. I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you! As far as your recovery from this awful situation I can also recommend joining an SANON group. You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to but being part of a group of people in the same position as you gives you strength and builds up your self esteem. Sadly because this kind of addiction carries so much shame and embarrassment for both sides it does make you feel alone but you’re definitely not. The best thing I did when I realised he wasn’t being honest or recovering was to be honest with him about how I felt and give him ultimatums. One thing sexaddicts fear is being rejected and alone. I battled hard for 8 months with it and became very ill losing 5 stone and developed all kinds of conditions. I told him straight he has the opportunity for full safe none judgmental disclosure and once he’s done it if I find out anything else then I was done with him. So he said I knew everything then a few weeks later going through our iCloud account I found so much more, texts, photos, downloads, website cookies with dates etc. so I told him to leave I give up trying to help. He went to his parents and his life went downhill fast without my support. I was watching from a distance and told him I was there when he actually wanted to start recovery for real. Eventually he hit rock bottom and reached out. I know it sounds scary kicking them out but it gave me space to focus on me and the kids without listening at doors and checking on him constantly. My anxiety reduced to a manageable level and I felt alive again once I’d realised my life can’t just be about him and his addiction there’s so much more and my happiness needed to come first to be a good mother. One thing that’s always stuck with me is “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. I have to end this now but I’m here if you need a friend xx
  6. Hi I’m new to this too! This is my first reply in this group. I totally feel your pain, we’ve been in reconciliation for 7 years now so I’ve seen most addiction pitfalls with a sex, love and porn addict. Sadly some people who love you can’t accept others hurting you, it hurts them to see you hurting. They will think they just need to get rid of the cause of your pain then you can be happy again. Unfortunately life doesn’t work like this especially when it is a mental illness that is causing your loved one to behave in such a manner, if he’d become addicted to drink or drugs would they be so quick to react in the same way, probably not because sex is such a personal thing. It’s very hard to describe how addiction works and why sex, love and porn addiction are real genuine things to those who aren’t open to psychology. Have you learned about the effects of orgasm on serotonin levels etc in sex & porn addiction it’s very interesting and shows although the fix can be free it still involves a chemical response on the brain that gives rewards of Dopamine rush. When I first disclosed to my family about my husband I wrote a very careful and informative letter and I visited each person and sat while they read it. I asked if they had questions I wrote my intentions in the letter and said “We’d” appreciate their support. I left it a couple of days to sink in. For those that said they couldn’t I took that as they would if they cared enough about me and my kids. Strangely all my family we’re open minded, accepting and supportive except my only brother and his wife, who had been abused by her ex-husband. Although she did totally understand my decision as mental health issues were prevalent in her family. I rarely speak to them now but they remain civil when in our company. My husband lost all of his family but that’s a totally different set of circumstances and another terrible story. It does take time and patience and a lot of information to get others to understand. It’s all quite new to you at present but your strength and courage will grow, you will achieve things you never thought you could when forced into new positions. I’m always here if you need a friend x Jo x
  7. Hi everyone I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas & Newyear. A quick back story I discovered my husband’s cheating 14th February 2014, later diagnosed Sex & Love Addict, he had loads of psychosexual therapy with a Paula Hall therapist for a couple of years and started 12 steps with SLAA and got to step 7 then seems stuck with all manner of excuses but has an amazing sponsor who is also a therapist. He was doing weekly face to face group meetings until lockdown and online meetings too but it all stopped as he didn’t seem to need it. It’s been 7 long years and we’ve come so far with complete disclosure and honesty blah blah blah. Life has been almost normal for us and very happy. Then New Years Eve came and we traveled to out friends beach house without our kids to see the new year in with our friends. He had quite a lot to drink but I only had 3 small glasses of wine over 4 hours as I’m on anticoagulants. Around 10pm I ended up in the raised area of the garden alone looking at stars when I took a terrible fall after slipping on moss. I remember falling in slow motion trying to move my body somehow to protect myself but my head must have hit the edge of a step. The next thing I knew I was in intense pain on a bed being sexually assaulted by my husband. I can recall small bits of the assault but not everything I must have been semi-conscious. Then it was 5.30am and I woke up on the bed with a terrible headache, dried blood on the head wound and painful downstairs. I was still confused and unsure what had actually happened it was all a blur dream like state. He said they found me in bed at 11pm and thought I was drunk not realising I had a head injury and was unconscious. I must have managed to get myself there somehow. As the week has gone by I’ve started getting little glimpses of memories, sounds and physical trauma flashbacks of that night. I’m numb emotionally now struggling to comprehend questions with how, why, what, when’s and if’s. My husband was acting very guilty and upset on our way home, he called his sponsor as he was in a state. Then came to me and said he was sorry he took advantage of me, it was wrong. He’s since said it was like an out of body experience and he felt like he was locked inside himself and it was someone else doing it to me but he couldn’t stop it. I had a flashback of his face and voice on Saturday and I recall looking at him and he was wearing the addiction ‘mask’ if you know what that is, and his voice was deeper, angry and hoarse during the assault. I do truly believe him and I am worried about his state of mind right now as he teetered on suicide 7 years ago. He keeps hugging me saying he feels so bad and unwell and needs some TLC. I’ve always been his crutch in recovery and we’ve always been so open and supportive to each other but I’m really struggling with this because of the physical, emotional and personal abuse and pain the addict has inflicted on me. Every interaction makes me feel sick. I’m totally in fight or flight mode my head is saying why would I even consider fighting through this and run away fast as you can and my heart is saying the addict done this not my husband! I don’t know if I can get past this it’s worse than anything we’ve been through and we’ve been through everything sex addiction can throw at you. I’d really love someone to help me with anything that might get my head around this. I’m scared to talk to him about this and how it’s affected me incase it totally pushes him back over the edge. Thanks for reading you can call me Jo x
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