Not sure about reconciliation yet but have questions
I am 8 weeks out. My WS and I were just about to start couples counseling and were new empty nesters when he disclosed he went repeatedly to massage parlors for happy endings, etc. 9 times between 2016-2021. I am not at all sure I can forgive my WS. I would like some healing to occur between my WS and I whether we reconcile or not. We have two wonderful children together who we both love very much. In my heart of hearts, I don't think my WS is a horrible person. I think he has sexual compulsion that stems from his childhood issues and poor coping. He was in a sexless marriage in his twenties and went to massage parlors right before the marriage ended as well. It doesn't mean that I know that I want to be with him. He has lied and gaslighted me which is the worst part of this whole thing. I would like to understand his issues and my issues for healing either way. Addiction runs on both sides of our family so I would like to have as much awareness for our children as possible. I also don't want to repeat patterns if we do break up.
I know I tend toward codependency and don't want to overhelp my WS find resources or be too empathetic. I am struggling with what is too much..
1.Are betrayal trauma/cheating/sexual compulsion specialists, intensives worth the money?
2. My spouse has not been completely honest. I have asked for a full therapeutic disclosure. He is open.
3.I asked for a therapeutic separation. I need some space as my nervous system is a wreck and until he is completely honest with me I need physical space. We will likely spend half the week at the house and half the week at friend's house.(His mom died 3 weeks ago so he is also grieving!)
My WS has been working with a a small men's group run by a therapist (not focus on sexual addiction), an individual therapist (not trained in infideilty) and going to a one Alanon per week with a sponsor in a 12 step program for the past 2.5 years. Although I did not understand why he was doing so much work, after DDay, he told me it is because he realized he had a problem and needed support to stop. He is just now opening to the idea that he might have a sexual addiction because I said I related to partners of sex addict forums. Supposedly, his therapist did not think this is addiction.
3.He sees an individual therapist that he likes and trusts. Is it better to do a full disclosure with a trusted therapist using a book on the topic or a therapist trained in sexual betrayal? (I have found a good book on the topic of course.)
3. Lie detector test-who gives lie detector tests?
4. I am trying to focus on myself-individual therapy, finding a betrayal trauma specialist, yoga, meditation, friends. space, art...
3 comments posted: Tuesday, October 24th, 2023
Temporary separation??? Does that mean divorce?
It has been about one month. Husband went to massage parlors for happy endings repeatedly from 2016-2021. He has been doing therapy and attending a men's group on his own since 2019 to deal with the problem.He recently told me about the happy endings after I asked if he had been faithful. He said that he was waiting for the kids to leave for college to deal with all of this. He previously engaged in massage parlors with his ex wife and has a history of being cheated on and cheating. I have been away for a week which was wonderful to feel more peace and perspective and betrayer husband was away for five days fishing. When he is home I feel totally stressed and unsafe. I think I am feeling unsafe as I feel like I am living with a stranger. This person I trusted is a lier. We have started seeing a counselor (probably too soon) for discernment therapy. Therapist suggested we act like roommates at this time. I keep thinking that a temporary separation where we each live at the house for certain days during the week and maybe see each other for one date per week would be the best thing for my mental health. I feel like there is nothing I can do to stop him from going to massage parlors. I am too exhausted to be hyper vigilant. I worry though that if we separate now that there will be little chance for reconciliation.
3 comments posted: Tuesday, October 10th, 2023
Confused, distracted and sad
Four weeks ago I found out that within a four year time frame between 2017-2021, my husband received 9 happy endings at sensual massage parlors at home and while on business trips. I have felt so sick, disoriented and like my marriage is a lie.
In 2019, he began going to a men’s group because he realized that this was a problem for him. He had a slip in 2021 and got another happy ending. He told his men’s group right away to keep himself honest. He has also been going to an individual counselor and has a sponsor in an Alanon group. He does not feel this is an addiction but it sure sounds like a compulsion to me. He told me it happened when he was feeling lonely, sad, angry, etc. I also know that he enjoyed the variety and maybe the danger element.
I found out because I asked him have you been faithful? That is when he told me about the visits. Both of my children have just left for college and we are empty nesters for the first time. We were just about to start couples counseling and my husband told me that he was hoping to wait until we started counseling to tell me about the massages.
What I know:These visits happened during a time of great stress with family and work. Our sex life has been generally lacking for seven years. I have struggled with our sex life because it lacks emotional intimacy although we have been very drawn physically to each other.
There is a history of lying around sex before we got married. When we were long distance dating he slept with someone and lied about it. He also slept with six women and got "happy endings, etc" from two sex workers before we were married and were broken up. He lied about these sexual encounters until we had moved in together and then came clean.
In his twenties he was in a sexless marriage (his first wife had been raped), rarely had sex and rarely masturbated. He says these hang ups came from his Catholic upbringing. He has been the "golden child",nice guy, highly perfectionistic and struggles to express negative emotions.
His first experience with sex happened for 2 years starting at 13 with a girl he feels was likely sexually abused. Most nights for two years they slept together and did not have intercourse but had oral and hand stimulation. These experiences came before he had even had a wet dream on his own.
I just don’t know what to do. He is doing his work. I am also doing work/counseling. I have not been getting my own sexual needs met in this relationship which is very frustrating. I wish we had gone to a sex therapist early in our marriage but kids, sick parents, and financial issues got in the way and here we are…
5 comments posted: Monday, October 2nd, 2023