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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:43 pm 
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Things are going pretty well in the living together, making it look like our marriage is working department, but the flashes of reality that hit my wife on occasion are set backs that seem to knock things back about three steps after taking one step forward . . .One of the issues is the fact that at my worst, I still appeared to be a "good guy" doing things for others, loving my family and successful at work while at the same time taking hoards of money from family accounts, lying about where I was and seeing whore after whore . . .The 10 years of stealing, lying and carrying on invalidates virtually everything that was any way shape or form good in my life from my wife's perspective. . .

Now that I am 17 months into recovery and making progress, focused on positive and good things, actually loving my wife and family, being effective in my work, not stealing money and telling the truth . . . I still appear to my wife to not be changed because of the fact that I hid all of the crap so well until I was found out . . . I am no longer living a double life, I am focused on positive values am focused on right things and continuing to recover but because I lived such a double life and put on such a show prior to being found out, I don't look much different . . .

I know that pat answers that this will take time, the PTSD type of effects on her, don't make excuses, own what I did, but . . .

Any perspective on this out there?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:57 pm 
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I'm certainly no expert, but as someone who was able to keep my activities hidden, it's the fact that YOU know you aren't doing it any more that counts. The guilt I've felt and the panic attacks as result are not worth the thrill seeking. It's been like a dark grey cloud has been raining on me and I'm ready to stand in the sun again. Best of luck to you.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:12 pm 
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Thanks . . .working on all of that. Yes the cloud is lifted and has not engulfed me as it had before but I still live under the cloud a bit.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:26 am 
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I will not say this is going to be the way it will be, but you may have to accept that your wife will not ever trust you completely. You might get 90% or higher, but to expect her to completely trust you might be an expectation which is just not realistic. I have no idea what your wife has gone through, but I do know some of what I put my wife through and what she has told me. You may have to learn to accept 75-80% trust for years and years and never reach 100%. It feels unfair at times, especially because you know the progress you have made. Unfortunately for you, the trust issue is a matter of what progress your wife has made in getting past her trauma, not what you say you have done during your recovery.

Celebrate the victories. Be grateful and look back at where you have come from to help motivate you to go further and farther. But also know complete trust may ever return. Knowing that and accepting that was a big roadblock for me to get past, and accepting that truth helped me a lot.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:02 am
Posts: 116
Hi DBack,

I understand what you are talking about. The severity may be different but broken trust is broken trust. My wife doesn't fully trust me, she has told me that on several occasions. It's so hard to hear. I'm not always sure I've really been able to internalize the full implications of that reality. I'm still working on putting the tools I've learned here into practice and know that I have work ahead of me.

In the trust department, I think Coach Sandalwood made a good point about expectations. If he didn't say it I may not have been able to put it into words, but I believe that I have, to the level that I can right now, accepted that my wife doesn't fully trust me in the areas that I have betrayed her and may never totally and completely trust me. And that has taken some pressure off myself, even though it is very crushing at the same time. I have made her believe that everything was fine when that wasn't true and that may have been my greatest undoing. She just doesn't know 100% that when I say things are great that they really are. I know she loves me, that seems to be different than trust to some degree. For a long time I thought I was pretty unlovable, and assumed that she would stop loving me too.


So, knowing that she loves me I'm taking the long view on the trust aspect and am trying to build it one brick at a time. One thing that seems to be helping is being open with her about my life, thoughts and feelings, whatever it is, even if it's not related to my struggles. Having an opportunity to have some idea of whats going on in my mind and life seems to help her feel connected. Connectedness seems to open the door a crack to building trust. We have a set time each day and share for a few minutes. This past week though we missed doing that every day and sure enough this morning we had an emotional conversation about where I'm at and how vulnerable she is feeling... I don't blame her. I will be sure to make time to connect and share thoughts and feelings with her everyday this coming week.

Keep going!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:56 am
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Location: Sweden
Hi DBAck!

DBAck wrote:
Things are going pretty well in the living together, making it look like our marriage is working department, but the flashes of reality that hit my wife on occasion are set backs that seem to knock things back about three steps after taking one step forward . . .One of the issues is the fact that at my worst, I still appeared to be a "good guy" doing things for others, loving my family and successful at work while at the same time taking hoards of money from family accounts, lying about where I was and seeing whore after whore . . .The 10 years of stealing, lying and carrying on invalidates virtually everything that was any way shape or form good in my life from my wife's perspective. . .

Now that I am 17 months into recovery and making progress, focused on positive and good things, actually loving my wife and family, being effective in my work, not stealing money and telling the truth . . . I still appear to my wife to not be changed because of the fact that I hid all of the crap so well until I was found out . . . I am no longer living a double life, I am focused on positive values am focused on right things and continuing to recover but because I lived such a double life and put on such a show prior to being found out, I don't look much different . . .

I know that pat answers that this will take time, the PTSD type of effects on her, don't make excuses, own what I did, but . . .

Any perspective on this out there?


Without knowing your situation of course, I reacted when reading your portrayal of your wife remembering things as set backs. To use a parallell, my mother's dog died last year. I can honestly say that she was one of my best friends. My grief from that was intense for the first few weeks, then got better, then dipped down again, then had a longer period of not being so sad, and so on. I had a pang of grief a couple of weeks ago when I saw a photo of her. For me, this is grief. It's not acted out all at once to never recurr again. It goes in waves, back and forth, and does not move in a straight process.

I don't know if your wife is experiencing sorrow but I'm imagining that the fact that you let her trust down is a cause of grief, sadness, betrayal and so much more. It will come back over and over again, until your wife is done with it. At some point, to be sure, you can decide that this is not in line with your values and that you've had enough. That is of course your prerogative. But it seems to be from reading your post that you seem to consider the mere fact that she brings these things up again and again as something negative. Don't get me wrong, bringing something up repeatedly can be destructive, but it's not negative to bring old things up again if they need to be vented. It seems to me as you find this episiodes as negative per se. If so, you're probably still stuck in the addictive positive-negative feelings polar view on the world. Her bringing up something that makes you feel something that you perceive as negative is not negative in itself. It might actually be the case that for each time that she brings your transgressions up and sees that you can handle her blame and own what you did, will increase her trust in you. I don't know though, only you do, but I'm just throwing it out there. Take it or leave it.

Quote:
I'm certainly no expert, but as someone who was able to keep my activities hidden, it's the fact that YOU know you aren't doing it any more that counts. The guilt I've felt and the panic attacks as result are not worth the thrill seeking. It's been like a dark grey cloud has been raining on me and I'm ready to stand in the sun again. Best of luck to you.


Hi Queenbuzz. Yes and no. An addict that wants to recover needs to take lesson 10 (I think) on honesty to heart and engage in an honest relationship with oneself. That's one of the necessary building blocks so to speak. And from this perspective, what you yourself knows is what's important. If you know that you aren't honest with yourself, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, just as it doesn't matter if you're being honest with yourself but everyone around you doubts you.

But, when repairing a relationship with someone you've betrayed and you want that person to trust you, it usually does not suffice with you just telling that person that you yourself knows you're being honest and that's it.

Furthermore, the object of recovery is not to forget and never talk about your addiction and the life you led with that mindset. Both RN and the twelve step movement emphasize responsibility of one's past and fessing up to the hurt you've caused. Of course, it is not a good idea to do it to achieve emotional thrills, as you seem to have done (if I'm reading your post correctly). The object according to RN is to let your values guide you regardles of how it makes you feel. Building trust might require standing in the rain for quite a bit, if I understand your metaphor correctly.

Quote:
I will not say this is going to be the way it will be, but you may have to accept that your wife will not ever trust you completely. You might get 90% or higher, but to expect her to completely trust you might be an expectation which is just not realistic. I have no idea what your wife has gone through, but I do know some of what I put my wife through and what she has told me. You may have to learn to accept 75-80% trust for years and years and never reach 100%. It feels unfair at times, especially because you know the progress you have made. Unfortunately for you, the trust issue is a matter of what progress your wife has made in getting past her trauma, not what you say you have done during your recovery.


I think this is in essence the dilemma of a recoverer whose partner has decided to stay. And it is a test of one's maturity IMO. But I would not agree with the trauma part. It is not only the partner's job to get over his or her trauma. To an extent that can be achieved together. To be sure, there is the recovery process of the recoverer and that of the partner, and these are separate. But then there's the part of the process where both need to work together. IMO.

Quote:
So, knowing that she loves me I'm taking the long view on the trust aspect and am trying to build it one brick at a time. One thing that seems to be helping is being open with her about my life, thoughts and feelings, whatever it is, even if it's not related to my struggles. Having an opportunity to have some idea of whats going on in my mind and life seems to help her feel connected. Connectedness seems to open the door a crack to building trust. We have a set time each day and share for a few minutes. This past week though we missed doing that every day and sure enough this morning we had an emotional conversation about where I'm at and how vulnerable she is feeling... I don't blame her. I will be sure to make time to connect and share thoughts and feelings with her everyday this coming week.


I think this a constructive way of trying to bridge distrust. I'm saying this because my wife and I did something similar, althojgh not as mechanic (but perhaps we should've). And this brings me back to the OP. It's easy to think that distrust in a relationship that was caused by adultery (or the like) and the manipulations used to cover up that adultery, needs to be rebuilt by faithfullness in sexual relations and not lying. In other words, a like for like trade. Lies can be repaired by not lying. Adultery by not engaging in adultery. IMO, the betrayal that we caused and cause our partners go so much further. In many cases, at least in mine, my wife realized that much of who she thought I was was a lie. Part of the healing process for us was for her to get to know me better, by sharing emotions and intimacy about everything, not just in sex. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't recommend anyone to share EVERYTHING. But I do think that true intimacy and trust can be acheived faster and better if the recoverer is able to share about anything.

That's why I like your method Dwilliam. It's not focused on a certain area but on the concept of sharing about anything. It seems to have benefitted you, I know it benefitted me and I think it would benefit most recoverers, although that is up to each and everyone to decide for themselves.

:g:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 7:14 pm
Posts: 215
Thanks for the perspectives . . .lots of good stuff to ponder and to remember . . .I often wonder why it takes so long for the freeway construction guys when they are working on a freeway interchange or project . . .I guess I pretty much caused earthquake damage to our relationship and repairing the road even to be drivable again will take time.

Thank you for your inputs.


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