POSA™ Blog

PoSARC or The Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center educates, nurtures and helps partners work with the challenges of being coupled with a sexually deceptive, chronic cheater.

Finding Gratitude this Thanksgiving

Finding Gratitude this Thanksgiving

The learning curve for partners finding out about their mate's deceptive sexual behaviors is steep indeed.
When we stop and consider all that a partner has to learn just to survive the betrayal trauma, it's rather staggering. Then, generating all of what's necessary to move from barely surviving to finally entering more ease and well-being, however long that takes, it should be enough to invoke awe in anyone privy to that partner's experience.

As I contemplated all this today after a client's session finished here,
I thought about how far this client had come and how much grace she had acquired after learning how to survive in the hostile territory that her husband's repeated betrayals and manipulations had landed her in.

I got to thinking how fortunate I was to witness her soul-deepening process.
It hasn't been even a tiny bit easy for her; partners stories never are.

The more partners I'm privileged to know and work with, the more respect I have for the immense power of this terrible journey that plunges us unwillingly, down into our own private hell-realm and then eventually (and fortunately), back up to the surface, our now-wiser selves emerging as from the ashes.

This Thanksgiving I want to broaden my awe to every single partner who is out there reading this. And don't forget to thank yourself for being resourceful and engaged in your own seeking for answers and help- you deserve your own praise for your self-preservation instincts.

I am grateful every day for women's innate strength, that even when they are falling apart, they instinctively seem to know that hunkering down helps while they wait for next steps to become visible. Even if the only clear next step is to call a friend, read a book, make some tea, pray, or go for a walk in an area of natural beauty.

And if next steps seem impossible to find, I would like to offer this reminder in calming down our jangled nerves and allowing some peace of mind to find us:
Remember Fred Rogers from the children's TV show, "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" which aired from1968 until 2001?

He was originally trained as a Presbyterian minister but chose instead to educate children in his very patient, compassionate style. Here's what he would tell them to calm their fears:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping'. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and am comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."

I invite you to remember Fred Roger's words of comfort for the frightened child that can live in each of us. Seeking out "helpers" will not only help us to weather the difficulties but will restore our faith in humanity.

I give thanks to all our helpers here at PoSARC, without whom we wouldn't have a website.
Thank you so much JM, GJ, CK and TS!

In the spirit of our national holiday tomorrow, I give thanks for all of you, our loyal PoSARC readers and helpers out in the world, who continue to inspire us with your eagerness to keep learning and asking questions...and for your ongoing courage to persevere.

Now it's your turn- what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? What "helpers" have you been able to spot and what have they helped you to realize?
Please share with our readers in the Comments section below:

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Note that you must enter a name and email below in order to submit a comment. The name you enter will show up along with your comment (your email will not), so if you'd like to comment anonymously, please enter a name such as "guest" or use your initials.

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Comments 10

Guest - cva on Friday, 23 December 2016 14:35

Hi Everyone,

I'm new here. And I am so glad to have found this site. I have found some comfort here and hope to continue to do so.

I was told by my husband, he didn't love me in a romantic way anymore. He said he loves me deeply as his best and only friend. This, one month before our 25th anniversary, the one I thought was to start a whole new chapter now that the kids are gone and we had some freedom.

This man treats me like a queen in all ways. Except, no sex. We are so close, you would think we had a perfect union. Except, not for him. What I found out is that he is video taping himself pleasuring himself and I believe posting on the internet. I also think he has "followers" for these videos. Video's of him In our room, our house, his office, the garage, everywhere....

I ask myself why everyday. I blame myself everyday. I am humiliated every damn day of my life since I put this all together. I cry everyday. I now think at least 10 years of my marriage has been an illusion. I am ashamed. I can't seem to get over all the lies, the betrayal, omg all of it. I am overwhelmed by it all. He doesn't know I know all this either.

I can't ask him to leave as we are rebuilding our financial life and I can't afford to live on my own. We built a business together and without him, it won't continue. He is also a pot head, which I believe will cause him to stop working if I ask him to go. I found myself a part time job after not working outside the home for 25 years, but again, I can't stay here without him and I refuse to sell the house because of him.

I don't understand any of this, I don't understand how he can find more pleasure with what he is doing than a family that loves him, a wife that has stood by him and shown him nothing but love and support through more than I can explain here.

I pray for all of you here and ask for your prayers and strength to help me through too.

With love



Hi Everyone, I'm new here. And I am so glad to have found this site. I have found some comfort here and hope to continue to do so. I was told by my husband, he didn't love me in a romantic way anymore. He said he loves me deeply as his best and only friend. This, one month before our 25th anniversary, the one I thought was to start a whole new chapter now that the kids are gone and we had some freedom. This man treats me like a queen in all ways. Except, no sex. We are so close, you would think we had a perfect union. Except, not for him. What I found out is that he is video taping himself pleasuring himself and I believe posting on the internet. I also think he has "followers" for these videos. Video's of him In our room, our house, his office, the garage, everywhere.... I ask myself why everyday. I blame myself everyday. I am humiliated every damn day of my life since I put this all together. I cry everyday. I now think at least 10 years of my marriage has been an illusion. I am ashamed. I can't seem to get over all the lies, the betrayal, omg all of it. I am overwhelmed by it all. He doesn't know I know all this either. I can't ask him to leave as we are rebuilding our financial life and I can't afford to live on my own. We built a business together and without him, it won't continue. He is also a pot head, which I believe will cause him to stop working if I ask him to go. I found myself a part time job after not working outside the home for 25 years, but again, I can't stay here without him and I refuse to sell the house because of him. I don't understand any of this, I don't understand how he can find more pleasure with what he is doing than a family that loves him, a wife that has stood by him and shown him nothing but love and support through more than I can explain here. I pray for all of you here and ask for your prayers and strength to help me through too. With love
Patt Bothel on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 22:50

You know, I thought I set this up to only show my first name. But there it is. I don't need to hide. This is not my shame.

Dearest CVA,
My heart aches for you. I can so clearly remember when I first found out. Over the course of the next 20 years I have tried to love addiction out of my husband. I have tried to shout it out. I have tried to shame it out, and at one time I even tried to punch it out. It culminated with a very serious attempt to end my own life. Yes it hurts. More than anything.
Like you, my life looks perfect. We travel extensively. Our kids are all through college and working and establishing their lives. We have one amazing grandson and another grandchild on the way in April. We have worked together in business and appear to be amazingly successful. But there is no success in lies. There is no joy in traveling to amazing places when you can not feel connected to the person that you are sharing them with. Like you, my husband's addiction took our physical relationship as well. It has been over 4 years since he has been able to have "real" sex. Only porn sex.
I've asked myself over an over why I don't just leave. It is never that simple, is it? No, we are interconnected financially, socially, and through out family. I will be 59 in another month. I can not stomach the notion of starting all over again. I have done it before. This is how I am paying for that.
My heart goes out to you. PLEASE find a therapist that understands being a partner of an addict. We are NOT just codependents as so many will tell us. If you start hearing that, look for another therapist. What one thing that I have learned in this journey is that I, and people like me, tend to take on the pain and problems of others. For years I thought my husband's addiction was my problem to solve. So I will share with you my mantra. I say it at least daily. "NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MY MONKEYS". Each of us is a ring leader within their own circus. Your monkeys are the only ones you can do anything about.
Luck and Love to you.

You know, I thought I set this up to only show my first name. But there it is. I don't need to hide. This is not my shame. Dearest CVA, My heart aches for you. I can so clearly remember when I first found out. Over the course of the next 20 years I have tried to love addiction out of my husband. I have tried to shout it out. I have tried to shame it out, and at one time I even tried to punch it out. It culminated with a very serious attempt to end my own life. Yes it hurts. More than anything. Like you, my life looks perfect. We travel extensively. Our kids are all through college and working and establishing their lives. We have one amazing grandson and another grandchild on the way in April. We have worked together in business and appear to be amazingly successful. But there is no success in lies. There is no joy in traveling to amazing places when you can not feel connected to the person that you are sharing them with. Like you, my husband's addiction took our physical relationship as well. It has been over 4 years since he has been able to have "real" sex. Only porn sex. I've asked myself over an over why I don't just leave. It is never that simple, is it? No, we are interconnected financially, socially, and through out family. I will be 59 in another month. I can not stomach the notion of starting all over again. I have done it before. This is how I am paying for that. My heart goes out to you. PLEASE find a therapist that understands being a partner of an addict. We are NOT just codependents as so many will tell us. If you start hearing that, look for another therapist. What one thing that I have learned in this journey is that I, and people like me, tend to take on the pain and problems of others. For years I thought my husband's addiction was my problem to solve. So I will share with you my mantra. I say it at least daily. "NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MY MONKEYS". Each of us is a ring leader within their own circus. Your monkeys are the only ones you can do anything about. Luck and Love to you.
Guest - cva on Friday, 30 December 2016 13:44

Dearest Patt,

Thank you so much for your most comforting words.

This is the hardest thing for me to accept and understand. I just don't understand any of it.
Also, like you, I will be 58 in January. I thought we were going to start a new adventure, a life with more freedom and less work. I thought it was "our time" now after raising our children. I thought life was great! And it crashed down so hard, I'm still trying to stand up.

I am scared and afraid of starting over, which in itself is so unlike me. I was always a strong and capable women and now I feel like a fool and so damn stupid. If I had the finances to go it alone, it would be easier I suppose. Then, I get so mad at myself because like you said, this is not my problem, not my fault. I guess somehow, as women, we take the blame for everything.

I am also like you thinking I can fix everything. I have learned this cannot be fixed. OMG. I just keep asking why? I guess I don't understand addiction at all.

I love your mantra and will start using it today. Please know I will keep you in my thoughts as well and send love to you.

Dearest Patt, Thank you so much for your most comforting words. This is the hardest thing for me to accept and understand. I just don't understand any of it. Also, like you, I will be 58 in January. I thought we were going to start a new adventure, a life with more freedom and less work. I thought it was "our time" now after raising our children. I thought life was great! And it crashed down so hard, I'm still trying to stand up. I am scared and afraid of starting over, which in itself is so unlike me. I was always a strong and capable women and now I feel like a fool and so damn stupid. If I had the finances to go it alone, it would be easier I suppose. Then, I get so mad at myself because like you said, this is not my problem, not my fault. I guess somehow, as women, we take the blame for everything. I am also like you thinking I can fix everything. I have learned this cannot be fixed. OMG. I just keep asking why? I guess I don't understand addiction at all. I love your mantra and will start using it today. Please know I will keep you in my thoughts as well and send love to you.
Laura on Friday, 25 November 2016 04:57

Reading this today did make me realize how grateful I am for the incredible progress I have made, with many helpers such as this site. It's been 31/2 years since the discovery and I am so thankful for the distance from that date as well as the mental and physical distance from my ex-spouse. Support, education, understanding and boundry setting have all been invaluable tools. Thank you Lili for this site and the reminder to acknowledge this is hard and unfair work but we are SO worth it.

Reading this today did make me realize how grateful I am for the incredible progress I have made, with many helpers such as this site. It's been 31/2 years since the discovery and I am so thankful for the distance from that date as well as the mental and physical distance from my ex-spouse. Support, education, understanding and boundry setting have all been invaluable tools. Thank you Lili for this site and the reminder to acknowledge this is hard and unfair work but we are SO worth it.
Guest - Lili Bee on Friday, 25 November 2016 05:12

Well done, Laura....In three and a half years you've managed to reclaim your life back. How excellent. It definitely gets easier the farther away we get...
I hope you celebrated YOU today, when you counted your blessings...
It's reading/ hearing stories like yours that continue to impress and inspire me every day.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

:-) Lili

Well done, Laura....In three and a half years you've managed to reclaim your life back. How excellent. It definitely gets easier the farther away we get... I hope you celebrated YOU today, when you counted your blessings... It's reading/ hearing stories like yours that continue to impress and inspire me every day. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us! :-) Lili
Guest - Beth on Thursday, 24 November 2016 04:29

Lili,
Thanks to POSARC for getting information out there to help the lives of partners and their children. Three years post Dday1 I learned what "gaslighting' was thanks to this website. I had never heard the term before....despite three years spent in therapy with a "sex addict." Something clicked and I started to pay attention. I kicked him out 10/14 and received a divorce 9/16. It was not something I ever wanted, but I learned he had lied every day since I met him. The divorce wasn't fair and I am rebuilding, but this is the first Thanksgiving in 6 years I have felt calm. I am thankful for the support and knowledge you and S.O.S. disseminate that enables partners to make realistic choices. Enjoy Thanksgiving.

Lili, Thanks to POSARC for getting information out there to help the lives of partners and their children. Three years post Dday1 I learned what "gaslighting' was thanks to this website. I had never heard the term before....despite three years spent in therapy with a "sex addict." Something clicked and I started to pay attention. I kicked him out 10/14 and received a divorce 9/16. It was not something I ever wanted, but I learned he had lied every day since I met him. The divorce wasn't fair and I am rebuilding, but this is the first Thanksgiving in 6 years I have felt calm. I am thankful for the support and knowledge you and S.O.S. disseminate that enables partners to make realistic choices. Enjoy Thanksgiving.
Guest - Lili Bee on Thursday, 24 November 2016 07:07

Fantastic testament to your strength, Beth....I know how brutal it is to still love someone but need to free ourself because they've consistently lied (and/or manipulated, cheated, etc..) Not for the faint of heart. I'm sorry you had such a painful experience.
Understanding the manipulation tactics is one of the keys to staying in reality so I'm glad you learned about gas lighting here ....
Congratulations on your first Thanksgiving, calmly living in your new life, hopefully a lot more stress-free. That's a huge blessing right there! Thanks for writing in with your story, Beth...

Fantastic testament to your strength, Beth....I know how brutal it is to still love someone but need to free ourself because they've consistently lied (and/or manipulated, cheated, etc..) Not for the faint of heart. I'm sorry you had such a painful experience. Understanding the manipulation tactics is one of the keys to staying in reality so I'm glad you learned about gas lighting here .... Congratulations on your first Thanksgiving, calmly living in your new life, hopefully a lot more stress-free. That's a huge blessing right there! Thanks for writing in with your story, Beth...
Guest - Guest on Thursday, 24 November 2016 03:30

I'm not there yet, no grace here. 12 years after D-Day and separation, my family still deeply stressed, me with c-PTSD, and he's back for half of my half. Apparently he is vulnerable (he's a sex addict) and didn't have legal counsel (what about the cheques I paid his lawyers?). The courts allow it. lt's been 2 years of limbo. It's time we stood up.

I'm not there yet, no grace here. 12 years after D-Day and separation, my family still deeply stressed, me with c-PTSD, and he's back for half of my half. Apparently he is vulnerable (he's a sex addict) and didn't have legal counsel (what about the cheques I paid his lawyers?). The courts allow it. lt's been 2 years of limbo. It's time we stood up.
Guest - SP on Thursday, 24 November 2016 02:32

Thanks for the post. I'm brand new to this site (and it sounds like one of few men here) , but it's nice finding a place where people are encouraging each other in similar situations. I asked my wife to move out about a week ago. This is round three of the betrayal for me and a new low. Very confusing situation.

Thanks for the post. I'm brand new to this site (and it sounds like one of few men here) , but it's nice finding a place where people are encouraging each other in similar situations. I asked my wife to move out about a week ago. This is round three of the betrayal for me and a new low. Very confusing situation.
Guest - Kat on Wednesday, 30 November 2016 15:19

Congratulations on having the strength to leave. I left after 40 years of betrayal. After all that pain, I still loved him and grieved deeply for over three years. I kept holding out hope that he could be "cured". Finally, I talked to the expert, Dr. Omar Minwalla. It was amazing to speak to someone who really understood the pain and anguish. I asked him, point-blank, "What is the prognosis for the recovery of the addict?". His response was, "It's not very good." This is what I suspected, but it was so good to have a definitive opinion from an expert. This statement of his allowed me to close that abenue and move on with my life. I have so many wonderful healthy relationships, now, and am happier than I have ever been in my life.
Be patient, and kind to yourself, you will get there, too!!

Congratulations on having the strength to leave. I left after 40 years of betrayal. After all that pain, I still loved him and grieved deeply for over three years. I kept holding out hope that he could be "cured". Finally, I talked to the expert, Dr. Omar Minwalla. It was amazing to speak to someone who really understood the pain and anguish. I asked him, point-blank, "What is the prognosis for the recovery of the addict?". His response was, "It's not very good." This is what I suspected, but it was so good to have a definitive opinion from an expert. This statement of his allowed me to close that abenue and move on with my life. I have so many wonderful healthy relationships, now, and am happier than I have ever been in my life. Be patient, and kind to yourself, you will get there, too!!
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