Harvey Weinstein blames sex addiction

The Atlantic:  “Sex addiction” is not included in psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, as the American psychiatric establishment chose to regard sex differently from other addictive behaviors—largely in that there are no serious physical symptoms of withdrawal. This is a consequential distinction. People can have problematic sex-related compulsions that interfere with daily life, but that’s different. For example, in a very real sense, a person approaching the lethal stages of alcohol withdrawal may rob a liquor store to save his life. This would not be the moral equivalent of raping a person to stem an onset of “sex withdrawal.”

Read more here.

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Bid

I had a terrible week at work. Three days in a row. On the first day, I made someone cry. The second day, someone made me cry. The third day, a business partner tried to go over my head and throw our team under the bus. 

I came home last night. Sam and the kids were home. I said, “I had the worst week at work.” Nothing. Everyone kept talking. I said it again, “I think this has been the worst work week of my life.”  Nothing. 

Reminds me of all the years that everyone had a cup of water at the dinner table except me. Even when I asked for it, I was always a second thought. 

I was disappointed last night and I’m still disappointed this morning. The kids are learning that it’s okay to ignore people when it’s not convenient. 

Partners, take note. 

Full stop ✋ 

There have been many instances in the recent past, including a long weekend trip to Disneyland, that gives me hope that we can salvage this family. During the times when I think about reconciling, there is always a point when the story can’t proceed. I can visualize us living together in a home, raising our kids, cooking, cleaning, planning, taking road trips and going to therapy, BUT…

1. I can’t imagine ever having sex with Sam again. The thought of it utterly repulses me. I actually grimace just thinking about it. His body is a physical manifestation of the immorality, selfishness and betrayal that continues to hurt this family. To me, his body feels filthy and contaminated. Sleeping with him makes me feel like just one of the many hookers and porn actors he has fucked.

2. We still cannot have a conversation about his addiction or recovery. In every conversation, it is still all about him. What he needs, what he thinks, what he feels. I cannot bring up what his actions have done to me without excuses (thinly guided as “explanations”). Its hard for me to read strangers’ blog posts about relapsing without getting upset. I crave a man who can tend to my needs and protect me/us. 

4. There is no God in our relationship. I’ve heard so many reasons why bringing God into the conversation turns off many addicts. You know what? Who cares? As the partner of a sex addict who endured chaos, anxiety and trauma for over a decade, I can tell you that if I were the addict, I would have tried ANYTHING to help our family heal. There’s a good reason why millions of people over millennia have sought and found solace in God during times of need. Who is he or anyone to say that this option is somehow less? Where is the humility? In this day and age, it’s popular to dismiss religion as the illogical lifeline of the uneducated or brainwashed; but that argument is ignorant. In Sam’s case, it would give him direction, morality, hope, strength and community. He needs more and what he clings to within the confines of what he can control and what is comfortable is not enough. Sam needs God. 

5. Sam cannot be trusted. Ever. It is true today and I firmly believe that it will always be true because of his innate character. Nice, fun, charismatic, laid back guy that he is — he has no integrity. I’s not just about the sex addiction. His insecurity and dishonesty are a result of whatever childhood dysfunction and life experiences that define him. The kind of change necessary for him to become an honest, reliable person does not come often or easily. It does not come at all without God. 

6. He has never fully acknowledged all the pain and trauma he has inflicted on me; therefore, he has never wholeheartedly apologized for all his abuses. I have learned to heal without him. If we were to ever reconcile, he would have to take out each of those grievances and address them. He is not man enough to own up and carry those burdens for the both of us. If anything, he still looks to me or his family as reasons for his weak character. Sam’s favorite claim is that I want to control him, as evidenced by my monitoring of his actions post discovery. The hypervigilance was a textbook symptom of PTSD – not who I am. I was never like that in any of my other relationships, I wasn’t like that with Sam before discovery and I don’t like to be that way ever. It is a story Sam tells (and I believed) to explain away his addictions and blame the victim. Between convincing me that my unlikable, tyrannical behavior caused him to cheat and the constant emotional abuse he subjected me to, there are too many things for which he has not authentically apologized. Those things don’t just go away because of a few nice moments. 

These are just some of the thoughts that run through my head and shut down any notions of reconciliation. 

Kathmandu

I am in Nepal! So surreal. I’m here by myself to celebrate my fortieth birthday, which will be here in a short two months. I got a new job that starts later this month, so I decided on a last minute trip before then. So grateful! 

The girls are finishing up school and Sam agreed to watch them. In fact, I was kind of waffling and he told me that I should do it because I’d regret it later if I didn’t. 

It took two connections and over a day to travel here. That’s a lot of thinking time… my mind wanders frequently to my broken marriage, but I say a short relinquishing prayer and push the thoughts away. 

I feel a bit more at peace these days, but I still feel anxious often. I fear that the rug will be pulled out from under me at any second, as it was last fall with Sam’s relapse. 

To recap, he relapsed during the end of last summer and I confronted him with the hookers and drinking in early October. It triggered much of my old trauma and anxiety. From then on, I was commuting over an hour away to work and had the kids five days a week (usually M-F). My chronic nerve pain began in November. I was laid off in January. Then we let the nanny go and I was watching the three kids more or less full time. 

And yet… God began to call me back to Him slowly. It began with a sermon series at my church called “Growth Through Adversity.” My daily prayers became, “Father, I leave my marriage up to you. I leave my job up to you. I leave my children up to you.” Prayers of gratitude filled my mind and my worries became a little less cumbersome. They were still there all the time, but I wasn’t as burdened. Sounds hokey, no? 

Anyway, I take it day by day. At God’s pace. I don’t have a choice. 

I feel the the unknown is less scary because that’s all I’ve known now for many years. I still hate it though. I hope for a day soon when I will feel security and safety and stability. I don’t think Sam can ever provide that and it makes me sad. 

I’ve come at this a hundred ways. If that kind of profound change is even remotely possible, it is through God’s will. I think that’s Step 2 of the Twelve Steps for good reason. 

Sam does not hear God. He remains so self-centered still. He has no moral compass – no inner resolve. He is too eager to give reasons and address his own wants and needs, instead of truly fixing what he has broken by prioritizing our family’s needs. He has no integrity so he remains untrustworthy. Even in his earnest recovery efforts, he thinks he can do it without God. 

I wish Sam were a better/wiser man, but he will never change. He does not cling to the one thing that can help him. He cannot help himself and I cannot help him.

I’m not sure what the next two weeks have in store for me. It makes me nervous and excited and mostly thankful. 

Addicts rewrite history

It’s common for addicts to lie and gaslight to cover their tracks, contributing to the trauma and emotional abuse that a partner experiences. In those instances, most addicts know that what they’re saying is dishonest. There are many times, though, that Sam completely rewrites history and seems to believe his own BS. He is so earnest and seems genuinely surprised when I point out inconsistencies.

For example, we were talking about masturbation in sex addiction recovery. I told him that it made me feel rejected and unwanted that he would rather masturbate than have sex with me. Then, he says that he didn’t masturbate when he was at home in recovery with me. I was like, “WHAAAAA?” He didn’t remember the almost weekly/bi-weekly instances in which he’d tell me (with a sheepish, somewhat apologetic look), “Sorry, I can’t. I just took care of myself in the shower” or “I had a wet dream last night” or “It’s been awhile and my balls hurt so I had to clear the pipes.” Then, I’d be all embarrassed and apologizing, “It’s okay, no worries.” This happened so many times and he doesn’t seem to remember???

Another example… During our conversation with our mediator, we were debating the language in our Parenting Agreement that prohibits Seihun from contacting/arranging/exploring paid sex services when the kids are around him. He flat out denied that he had contacted sex providers while the girls were around. I had to remind him that I had the mobile phone that he purchased just for the purpose of calling hookers and it had a phone log of when he made the calls. Cross-referenced with our calendar, it was definitive that he was calling prostitutes with the kids around. Again, he seemed taken aback. Could he have really forgotten that he did that or did he just forget that I could prove it?

Today, we were working through our Marital Settlement Agreement AGAIN. It’s been over a year of this and it’s mainly because Sam keeps going back on things that we already agreed on. We have to constantly rehash the same stuff and have the same discussions over and over again. Sometimes, it’s “I think the mediator misunderstood” or “That’s not what I meant” or “I never agreed to that.” I told him that from now on, we should just record every conversation we have so that he can’t keep doing this. It’s so frustrating and makes him even more unbearable.

I am having a super tough day.

 

Removing myself 

Sam brings out the absolute worst in me. I hate who I become when he and I fall into our comfortable dynamic. We can’t seem to break out of this pattern. This is yet another reason why reconciliation doesn’t seem remotely possible. 

It happened again this past week. I engaged and we went down that rabbit hole. He started acting all standoffish and disrespectful. I was on the phone with him, so I just hung up. It didn’t take long for me to break loose, but it put me in a funk for a few days. During that time, I had to continually redirect my thoughts, which kept returning to the conversation. 

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of work to listen with patience, speak without anger, empathize, etc. Our conversation quickly devolved around Sam telling me that he was considering quitting therapy. I tried to change my approach, but Sam kept at it until he pushed too many buttons for me to withstand. 

In retrospect, the way I acted made me feel like a failure. I undid months of work and self introspection. Then, I remembered to have self compassion (something else I’ve been working on). I am proud that I recognized the pattern and disengaged quickly. I cut myself some slack for falling down the same hole. I turned my self talk to, “It’s okay, I’ll get better at this. Let’s move on.” Sounds all self-helpy and kooky, am I right?

I can sit here and talk about all the irritating things Sam does and says and the way he does and says them, but it’s moot. I just have to disengage and remove myself because I hate who I become with him around. It’s about me and what I can do. 

This kind of approach works in other areas too. I had a moment today when I was ashamed of the way I parented. There is a clear pattern for when this situation arises. Removing the possibility of this outcome, which I believe is damaging to the long-term relationship with my kid, means that I won’t get to partake in some cool aspects of her life. However, its more important that I preserve and nurture a more positive interaction pattern for us. Under these circumstances, I am prone to impatience and shaming and discouragement, so I need to give myself the chance to step away. I must strengthen my parenting abilities before putting them to the test again. 

Removing negativity isn’t always about taking certain people out of my life; I’m learning that it’s just as often about removing myself from situations in which I become my worst. Talk about setting up for success… 

Double job loss 

Last month, I got laid off. 

This month, Sam was let go. 

Now, he wants to finalize our Marital Settlememt Agreement, when he’s making 20% of what he’s been making. 

I took a total of six years off to raise my kids. The last time, I took four consecutive years off. After we split, I found a job that paid me decently. I commuted two hours a day for the last two years to keep this stressful job and make as much money as I could. For the last few months, I was doing this and raising three kids full time. That and the onslaught of re-triggered PTSD symptoms resulting  from Sam’s latest relapse (last fall) led to my chronic nerve pain. 

Some friends even suggested that I just get a part-time gig and collect spousal but I refused. The more money we both make, the more we can do for our kids. On the flip side, Sam asked the mediator what would happen if he took a job that paid him less than I made (as in, would I have to pay him alimony/child support?). I don’t want to play this stupid divorce game, but based on Sam’s actions, I am clearly the naive one. 

Sam is almost seven years older than me and never taken more than a few months off. That means he is now forty six years old with a total of thirteen years more work experience than me as a senior finance professional. He is at the peak of his income potential and this is the game that he wants to play. Seriously, this person has no pride or integrity. I knew this, but I’m still dismayed. 

This time though, I won’t be ashamed to tell everyone what he’s doing. If he doesn’t want people to know, then he shouldn’t pull these antics. I’m not going to cover his ass under the guise of protecting my kids the embarrassment. Sam shouldn’t be able to walk around with his head held high, pretending like he doesn’t continuously dick over his family. 

I get so stressed and angry. Then, I try to remember to be grateful that I can still make money. My kids nor I are in dire need of anything. We are healthy and lucky. Sam is who he is. He will not change. 

Let go and let God. 

Lord, I trust that you will take care of our jobs and our family (both the kids and Sam). Thank you in advance for your blessings. I leave them all at your feet. 🙏 

Introspection

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

James 1:19-20 (NIV)

My choice too

I ended up having a terrible dinner with my friend. Terrible because there was great food that I couldn’t eat because I was heaving with tears through half the meal. Terrible because my heart was broken. 

She had grievances that fueled her passive aggressive antics for the past three years. She said she treated me that way because she had not considered me a friend for as long. (Funny thing is, all her complaints about me were the same ones I have about her; we are very similar in some ways.)

It was obvious that she has no idea the tolls depression and divorce can take on a person’s capacity to deal with much else. She would preface things with, “I know that you’re going through a lot but…” and then say something to confirm that she really didn’t. One sentence started with, “your panic attack on the airplane (when I had to take xanax and oxygen)… but I would never…” 😮🤔 She doesn’t understand and that’s not her fault — but it still hurts a helluva lot. 

I didn’t want it to devolve into a tit-for-tat. My intention was to hear her out and then talk about how we can best move forward. What I didn’t expect were the general attacks on my character and her feelings on how I view all relationships. She’s known me for a long time, so those words carry weight. 

I can apologize and ask for forgiveness about things I did or said, but how do I apologize for who I am? It utterly crushed me because it’s another person I care about telling me that who I am isn’t good enough. 

I know I am not the easiest person. I am hard-driving and critical. I can be an unrelenting perfectionist. I don’t give a shit about what everyone thinks because I’m not one of those laid back, charismatic fellows that everyone loves (that’s Sam), but I considered myself lucky to have a few friends who love me, flaws and all. It hurts that I was so wrong about this one. 

I’m unbearable. Not worth the effort. Impossible to love. I don’t even like myself. 

That said, I just want positivity in my life. I don’t want to be a negative influence and I don’t want any negativity from others either. 

After all was said, I came to a realization. I have a choice in this matter. I hadn’t even considered ending this friendship before because I took it for granted that I wouldn’t give up. For years, I got burned and kept going back. But maybe it’s like my marriage — I just need to cut my losses and let go. We can forgive each other but that doesn’t mean we have to continue on. 

How my husband’s sex addiction affected my relationships with other people

For the last ten years, as I’ve suffered more directly knowing all that Sam has done, it has profoundly affected my relationships with friends, coworkers, family and God. 

It’s not hard to see how sex addiction ruins marriages and families. It has irreparably changed my children and not for the better. Sam’s sex addiction has also affected my relationship with my parents and God, which I’ve talked about before; but I haven’t shared how it has changed my friendships. 

Especially for the first seven years, when I felt that I had to hide everything from everyone and carry this deep shame alone, it isolated me completely and made my constant trauma much worse. 

I became more withdrawn and distrustful. I pulled away from pretty much everyone, mostly because I was depressed and didn’t want to see anyone. Each of Sam’s passive aggressive stings, new acting out incidents and normal relationship hiccups fed my growing anger. 

I felt like a lie. Since I feel uncomfortable lying, I just didn’t want to be with other people because I felt like I was lying just by being there. Who was I to hold my head up high? My marriage was a sham and I was a failure. 

Once the anger took root, it ripped everything apart from the inside out. The quick temper, withdrawn nature and general bitterness made it hard for my friends who didn’t know from where it was coming. Even the very few who knew what was going on didn’t understand all the ways it was impacting me. 

I lashed out once at one of my closest friends when she was doing what she could to help me. It was when I was in the deepest hell the Christmas three months after Sam abandoned me. We were on a trip, and I was on some meds and had gotten a cold so had taken stuff for that too. Excuses aside, we got into an argument and I wasn’t kind or quiet. I also got tipsy one night and told her that I didn’t think her boyfriend was good enough for her (are you cringing with me yet?) 

I didn’t have the emotional wherewithal to make amends right away. To this day, she has still not forgiven me. I’ve tried to reach out several times, but it’s become very clear that she doesn’t want it. Maybe she’s trying to hurt me back, maybe the friendship has run its course… I’m super sad, but I know that relationships go two ways and I can’t keep putting myself out there to get hurt. I’m ready to let it go and after twenty years, it really really hurts. 

“Long Term Consequences of Pornography Use”

Facts are powerful.

2014 CESE Summit Video: Mary Anne Layden, PhD, “Long Term Consequences of Pornography Use: Overview of Research” from Center On Sexual Exploitation on Vimeo.

Dr. Layden is a psychotherapist and Director of Education at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program. She specializes in the treatment of victims and perpetrators of sexual violence and sexual addiction.

The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CESE) endexploitationmovement.com

Sexual exploitation encompasses:
• Sex trafficking of adults and children
• Prostitution
• Pornography: the users & performers
• Sexually oriented businesses
• Sexual assault
• Rape
• Violence against women
• Sexualization of children
• Child sexual abuse
• Child porn
• Sexual coercion
• Sexual addiction/compulsivity

Passive aggressive people suck

They are a bunch of underdeveloped cowards who don’t have the courage to say or do what they mean. 

When confronted, they get defensive or play dumb and pretend to be the victim. “Oh, I forgot…” or better yet – silence. 

Who can respect such losers? They are not brave nor honest nor strong in ways that matter. 

It is entirely life-draining to have to deal with this kind of BS on a regular basis.

I wish I could erase Sam’s example from my kids’ heads. He is counter to all that I teach them about integrity and courage and compassion. 

What I really hate though is who he turns me into. I’ve done so much work to be a better, stronger person without him. I’m proud of that, but the years of trauma and emotional abuse have left me fragile and easily triggered. Sam’s passive aggressive behaviors rip every wound open again. 

There’s nothing to be said or done. I continue with my work in the face of someone who tethers me to anger and resentment. In this way, it’d be so much better if we didn’t have kids so that I could run far away from this life. 

We cannot change other people,we can only change ourselves. Yeah yeah yeah…

Eleventh Hour

I had my marital settlement agreement (MSA) notarized. I’m leaving for Korea tomorrow morning with the kids. While I’m gone, before the end of the calendar year, our mediator is supposed to file the papers. 

The codependent part of me wants to pull the plug on this divorce. “Let’s go to a therapist (a good one this time) and give this another shot!” “Let’s sell everything and move to Colorado.” “Let’s find a way to stay together.” 
I know that divorce is what’s good for me. My body has completely broken down the last few months, since Sam’s last relapse. I’ve been in chronic pain, had two MRIs and a CT scan and seen numerous specialists. Ultimately, they think this is stress induced. I’m also breaking out into itchy hives… from the stress. My mind is barely holding on. I can’t go on like this. 

It’s a lie

I don’t want Sam to die from a horrible cancer. 

In fact, if he were sick today, I’d still be the one driving him to his appointments, trying to make him eat and lying next to him on his hospital bed. I would try to soothe his soul. 

We are not getting divorced because I don’t have enough love for him. We are getting divorced because he wouldn’t do those things for me. He does not have enough love for me. 

Instead of taking care of me, he continually hurts me (and our kids) and then tells me that it’s my fault. Somehow, the unbearable nature of my being deserves his betrayals and abuse. 

It hurts so damn much. 

14th Wedding Anniversary

I just realized that September 28th would have been our 14th wedding anniversary. It didn’t even occur to me until just now. I wondered when that day would come and it was sooner than I thought. 

I’m taking proactive steps to becoming more apathetic towards Sam. I’ll leave it at that for now. 😉

It will be good for me and my kids. I need stability and security. Crave it. Like air. 

My mom is coming from around the world to be with me. I am hopeful that her love will allow my defenses and anxiety to calm. I will feel at peace being surrounded by selfless love and nothing but good intentions. I also want my girls to see how the mother-child bond is unbreakable and nurturing and healing. I am a bit nervous at what drama may unfold but fingers crossed. 

Racing towards divorce

Admittedly, I had been dragging my feet. Even as I moved a step forward here and there, I was hoping that something would spur Sam to be more than what he’s always been and fight for this marriage. Funny how pathetic hope can be. 

But Sam did nothing to save our family. Instead, he bought a brand new hooker phone to call prostitutes day and night, with or without kids in the house. On my daughter’s birthday. Sometimes every day and multiple times throughout the day. He indulged in porn and dirty whore shopping and masturbation; then he relished in the anticipation. This last hooker he was obsessed with looks like my oldest daughter. 

In addition, he is also drinking excessively in front of the kids. They told me that in one evening, after Sam had two beers at dinner, he opened up and polished off an entire bottle of tequila. They go to bed around 9:30, so that means he took it all down in about 3-4 hours. There are other disturbing patterns. 

When I tried to talk to him about his relapse, he said stuff like, “Do you know how miserable I’ve been because of the guilt?? I haven’t slept in days!” Yes, that’s right. I am struggling with depression, retriggered PTSD symptoms and chronic pain resulting from his actions, but I am the insensitive, thoughtless one. 

After about 40 minutes, he was done with the conversation. When I wanted to continue, he accused me of “wanting to go at it all night.” He didn’t know the point since “he couldn’t do or say anything right and I just get angry about everything (presumably because I’m a naturally hateful person).” I was reminded vividly of what a blaming, self-obsessed narcissist he is and how little consideration he has for anyone else. The entire conversation lasted less than an hour. 

I prayed for a sign and I got it. Sam will always be a weak, selfish coward. A whore fucker. He is a lost cause and best left to drown alone lest he pulls the rest of us down under too. 

Even my mom is urging me to forget Sam and move on. She went on to say that if I don’t want to give him the power to keep affecting me like this, I need to supplant him with another man. She said I need to find a”friend” and fill the hole that Sam left. It surprised me that those words came from her. 

There might have been a slim chance before, but this last discovery has left no doubt in my mind that divorce is imminent. 

Thank you, fucking shit, for reminding me of your true colors. It was only a matter of time. 

Now that I know with certainty, I want to move forward as fast as I can and leave behind this hell. 

How friends can help

The last few days have been unbearably difficult. Confrontation with Sam regarding his relapse, trauma triggers, anxiety, a nose and throat cold (yay), work…  I could spend the next week in bed. However, there was an event every day and I had to soldier on. My kids were with me and that helped even though I was blowing up at them over nothing and feeling guilty. It was my friends, though, that really kept me from falling into a dark hole.

In the past, I’ve always retreated inward when faced with depression. Some of that is because the nature of what I’ve been going through was so private that I didn’t think I had a choice. Most of it is because I get so overwhelmed by physical exhaustion that I don’t have the energy to reach out to anyone. During the last few days, my friends buoyed me through the storm.

When a good friend called me to check in, I didn’t try to sound better than I was. I let her see me hurting and started to cry without a word. She just breathed out deeply and let me know that she was there. She was sad for me and cried too. She didn’t say too much and the call wasn’t long but her presence and compassion gave me solace; more so than a “rah, rah, don’t take shit cuz you hot girl!” kind of support from friends who don’t know what this is like.

I’m grateful. For me, this is how friends can best help. Just be available and listen.

How to give an apology that counts

  1. Say what you did. No omission. No lies.
  2. Acknowledge out loud the impact it had on everyone else.
  3. Say you’re sorry. Don’t make excuses or try to explain. Be sincere.
  4. Maintain humility and watch your tone. Leave your ego at the door.
  5. Don’t try to isolate which things you take credit for and which things aren’t really your fault. Own it all.
  6. Make amends. Ask what you can do to make things better.
  7. Stop acting entitled. Nobody owes you anything — least of all, forgiveness. That’s a gift.
  8. Don’t fucking do it again.