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Advice/support for my sister who is considering divorce but very afraid - support groups?

(13 Posts)
mysecretvalentine25 Sun 24-Apr-16 13:10:52

My sister has discovered that her husband has been seeing prostitutes. He denies it but she has seen text messages - before he deleted them but he doesn't know that. This has happened before he agreed to go to SLA meetings and they had a counselling session. He stopped but has recently restarted his activities. They are living in her house and they have been married for 13 years but have no children. Their social life is largely made of his contacts so she feels very scared of life on her own even though, deep down she probably knows that he doesn't care for her and probably can't change. Are there any support groups - online or face to face - anyone can recommend? Her self esteem is so low that she is undecided as to what she should do. Thanks.

springydaffs Sun 24-Apr-16 14:02:49

I don't agree he doesn't necessarily care for her. Sex addiction is, well, an addiction and has all the hallmarks of other addictions. Namely that it is a compulsion which comes FIRST but that's not to say he doesn't care for her. Maybe he does, in his truncated way. A relationship with an addict is torture. Especially a sex/love addict because sex is often the sealing of intimacy and it is desperately painful that he is going elsewhere. And compromising her health into the bargain.

I don't know of any support groups for partners of sex addicts - does Google not come up with anything? The equivalent of Al-anon for those close to alcoholics (or perhaps Al-anon is for those close to all addicts?)

Reading back my first para please don't think I'm excusing him. I am not. He has relapsed and that is his responsibility entirely. If, that is, he was ever serious about addressing his addiction in the first place.

mysecretvalentine25 Sun 24-Apr-16 18:28:52

Thanks springy. Last time it happened - when she first discovered the behaviour - there was a display of remorse and attempts to address the situation. This time - denial, no visit to SLA, talk of counselling. He even went out to see friends one evening and to a birthday party a couple of days later. I will Google and see about support groups.

springydaffs Sun 24-Apr-16 22:51:28

Urgh. He's not remotely serious about addressing his addiction. Well, he's made his choice. What a fool. Perhaps he'll learn the hard way but that is not your sister's concern. She won't be the first or the last to lose a partner to an addiction.

While he is in active addiction (and has no real intention of recovery) your sister's choice is unequivocal: to end the marriage. Once this is clear in her head it will be 'easier' for her to move forward.

mysecretvalentine25 Sun 24-Apr-16 23:03:20

Sadly true. Unfortunately she is so daunted by living on her own that even now a tiny part of her is hoping against hope that she can somehow make him see reason and start to show that he cares. However she has acknowledged that he will probably never change and she will never be able to trust him again. She knows what she needs to do but dreads the prospect - especially as she may have to sell her house if they are to split the joint marital assets 50:50. Awful prospect. Thanks for your input springy

springydaffs Sun 24-Apr-16 23:40:24

a tiny part of her is hoping against hope that she can somehow make him see reason and start to show that he cares.

That is never going to happen. He's an addict.

Once she's on her way she'll be OK - she has a lot going for her (and doesn't have kids to worry about).

Yes it's shit but staying is shittier by far.

mysecretvalentine25 Mon 25-Apr-16 10:02:06

Thanks springy. But I think that having children gives you a reason to go on. She has the bond with our children, which helps a bit but she feels terribly alone and that she has nothing to look forward to.

mummytime Mon 25-Apr-16 10:23:34

Has she been to a GUM clinic yet? Maybe that is the shake up that she needs.

She needs to start developing her own interests. What is she interested in? What does she like doing?

Long term even with the most loving partner most women will need to have their own interests and friends, as they are likely to outlive their partner.

Your sister needs friends and a boost to her self-esteem.

mysecretvalentine25 Mon 25-Apr-16 10:50:03

Thanks mummy. He has been to a clinic and is clear - she's seen the results.

You're right, she needs to develop her own interests and I have been suggesting this to her but she's just a bit overwhelmed.

mummytime Mon 25-Apr-16 17:40:43

I'd still suggest she gets tested herself.
So what does she enjoy? Exercise, crafts, or whatever?
For example local to me there are various knit and natter sessions, they are on a drop in basis, you could even both try it out - and if it doesn't work you might at least have a good story for the next thing she tries.

mummytime Mon 25-Apr-16 17:40:48

I'd still suggest she gets tested herself.
So what does she enjoy? Exercise, crafts, or whatever?
For example local to me there are various knit and natter sessions, they are on a drop in basis, you could even both try it out - and if it doesn't work you might at least have a good story for the next thing she tries.

mummytime Mon 25-Apr-16 17:41:03

I'd still suggest she gets tested herself.
So what does she enjoy? Exercise, crafts, or whatever?
For example local to me there are various knit and natter sessions, they are on a drop in basis, you could even both try it out - and if it doesn't work you might at least have a good story for the next thing she tries.

mysecretvalentine25 Mon 25-Apr-16 18:36:22

Thanks very much mummytime. She's still trying to come to terms with what is happening - we've been looking at possible solicitors - but I will tell her as part of the process of trying to convince her that she will manage on her own.

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