After a night of flashbacks, panic attacks and finally drugged sleep, I'm not very coherent. But I wanted to take a moment to update and to thank everyone for their comments.
After work yesterday, I ran by the Christian bookstore and bought two books for women whose men struggle with sexual addictions. So far they are pretty good. I'm struck by two things. First, how many abusers start out with pornography, and how from a woman's perspective viewing pornography is just as bad as having an affair.
I went home and Husband was wrapped in a blanket on the couch. He didn't move. Didn't talk. I went into the bedroom. I had called T and thankfully she was able to squeeze me in. I told Husband I was going to meet with her. He looked a little odd about that.
She and I talked about what to do - block computer, cancel internet - is that controlling or helping? Since so much is from his need to be "mothered" I have to be careful not to take control and do it all. Decided to password protect the computer (done) and let him figure out how to do the Employment stuff on the phone or in person. Cancelled cable except channels 1-19 which are just local (no more TLC, HGTV, or A&E for me). Not so much for the X/R rated stuff but because he doesn't need to sit around and watch TV and not work. If he starts watching soap operas all TV will be gone.
She also suggested pulling Bugaboo out of daycare out for a week or at least a few days - pay for daycare to keep the spot - but don't use it. That way Husband has to take some responsibility. And she suggested I do some 1-1 things with the kids during evenings and weekends, so that Husband has at least 1 kid almost all the time for awhile. And if he is still unemployed over the holidays, keep Bugaboo out and let him have both kids for the two-week Christmas break. Even if I'm paying for the spot (to keep it and not lose it) doesn't mean I have to use it. I never thought of that. It's a good plan because he is not capable (at present) of juggling errands, housework, and the kids. He's enjoying staying home too much.
She said to give it a few days but then tell Husband two things (1) he's too good of a man to be acting like this and (2) I am too committed to our family to give up without a fight and that I was going to some man at the church to seek their help in reaching him. I'm going to have to use the shame to make him reach out.
Got home and there was a note on my dresser. It said, "Sorry about the computer thing. I have an appt with [his therapist] on Tues."
I'm grateful for that. Although I do note his apology is specific which is a deliberate thing for him - he usually just says "sorry."
Last night I cancelled the extended cable. I also looked at the computer history closely (blech). I kept his note. T suggested I check our credit cards and bank cards. I did that. I looked in his wallet and will check the safe. The book cautions against becoming a constant hall monitor and I do not want to do that. But I need to know how big this problem is before I can tackle it. And the attorney side of me is compelled to document all this (just in case).
Everything appears to be "size issue" related - some female sites but nothing that appeared hard core.. So I definitely think it is an esteem thing, more so than simply a sex thing. But T also made me see that as he's gotten sucked into this more and more, his attitude has changed. Hindsight being 20-20 I can see that. And that could be causing a lot of our issues too.
T also suggested making the finances hurt awhile - so I'm cutting out going out to eat - that's his huge favorite. Just refuse to go because "we need to save $$" No ordering out either. I need to make his being out of work uncomfy. I need to make his sit around and do nothing for awhile and get bored. One so he feels his income does make a difference but also to make him want to find work. I've been trying to keep things status quo so he doesn't feel bad about being out of work. But instead he sees things going on normal so why does his working matter? Again no motivation and a blow to his esteem.
Pornography and sexual addictions are a war. There are images everywhere. Men are so visual. Women in bikinis on baywatch become a problem. So things need to be super restrictive for awhile and then lessen up. It's like an alcoholic would never go to a party where alcohol was being served until they were far along in recovery. So I'll have to be cognizant of what I watch on TV, the magazines in the house (no more People magazine) and flyers we get (off the Victoria secret mailing list).
In the meantime, he's sleeping in the basement awhile. And I'm changing/showering/etc behind closed doors. I don't even want to nurse in front of him.
As for me, reading these books has reminded me that most abusers start out with pornography. And reminded me just how pornography played a role in my abuse. The flashbacks and nightmares have been intense. I want Husband to see what this is doing to me -- but I'm not in a place where I can do it without being confrontational or accusatory. And I sure do not want him trying to comfort me. I'm also still PISSED I'm going to have to talk about sex in front of other people.