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 Post subject: Disturbing discovery
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:35 am 
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I read He Danced Alone and realised that many of the aspects involved (fantasising over total strangers) I'd also thought myself.

Although I think perhaps it was a Love Addiction rather than a Sex Addiction for me. Rather the fantasy of someone a total stranger being entranced by me. Although when men tried to make a move I was terrified. :e:

I've not thought like that for the last 10 years, now I feel that no-one would even look at me twice.

I don't know whether I should be continuing with the partner's wrksheet or move across to the RA.

I found the book so troubling and sad.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:16 am 
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A. Consider the role that you have played in your partner's recovery to date. In the field below, describe these roles as they relate to:

I. Effective communication
Response
I said at the start of his recovery that if he wanted to talk about I was willing. I engaged him to begin. But he would come home from his meetings and I could see how drained he was by the process, he’d be grey with fatigue and stress. I’d ask how things went and he’d say rough, but didn’t want to talk about it. So I left it to him to talk if he needed. From time to time I’ve checked that he is OK. He is not very good at communicating even on normal safe topics, so getting him to open up on this subject was a non-starter really.

II. Managing your partner's recovery
Response
When I reached the end of my tether on the final DD I laid down some rules. There is no opting in or out – if I find he has indulged in porn one of us leaves. So I don’t know if that is managing his recovery. He didn’t like it to begin, but I told him they were the terms of me staying with him. I left it to him to find a group - which he did. I’ve also not interfered with his time for this group, he decided to leave it after about 6 months and since then has been clean. As I said above, from time to time I check he is OK. But his behaviour tells me he is OK. He has changed so much. I realised I can’t do it for him and he has to be willing to want to change.

III. Empowering/disempowering a pursuit of health
Not sure about this one

B. Consider the focus and attention that has been offered to your partner in recovery; are you gaining equal resource to heal your own wounds? If not, what can you do to ensure that your healing is considered every bit as important as your partner's recovery?

Response
The only recovery I have is this board and another board. I have a journal, which I post to. I’ve gained from finding other women who’ve been affected and how they have handled the problems. It ended the shame, which I felt, because I had no one to talk to about it. Their sharing has validated my feelings.

I tried to find a counsellor who would work on a sliding scale basis last year, but it was a disaster. I looked last week for another one, but haven’t booked it up yet. It seemed an indulgence to me.

C. (optional) For those who have made the decision to either stay in the relationship or "wait and see", considering the roles discussed in this lesson (or additional roles that you have thought of), what changes might you consider making to your relationship that would increase its chances for success?

Response
I’ve thought sometimes that we could take part in a weekend course to build on the foundation. I haven’t talked about that.

I also think that we need to set time aside to BE together, otherwise we drift into every day stuff and do the same thing day in and day out. But I haven’t worked that out yet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:38 am 
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Quote:
Although I think perhaps it was a Love Addiction rather than a Sex Addiction for me. Rather the fantasy of someone a total stranger being entranced by me. Although when men tried to make a move I was terrified.

I've not thought like that for the last 10 years, now I feel that no-one would even look at me twice.

I don't know whether I should be continuing with the partner's wrksheet or move across to the RA.

I found the book so troubling and sad.


Hi April,

I agree, the book is troubling and sad, but it is also postive in that someone so deep rooted in these behaviours can recover and move forward.

I think IMHO that it might be better for you to continue on with this workshop for now, and afterwards, if you wish to, complete the Recovery Workshop, I only say this because you say you have not had those thoughts for 10 years now, and you are dealing with the issues of the here and now at the moment.

Of course you are free to make your own decision as to which you continue with - we will support you either way.

I wish you well


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 10:04 am 
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CoachChristine wrote:


Hi April,

I agree, the book is troubling and sad, but it is also postive in that someone so deep rooted in these behaviours can recover and move forward.

I think IMHO that it might be better for you to continue on with this workshop for now, and afterwards, if you wish to, complete the Recovery Workshop, I only say this because you say you have not had those thoughts for 10 years now, and you are dealing with the issues of the here and now at the moment.

Of course you are free to make your own decision as to which you continue with - we will support you either way.

I wish you well


Coach Christine,
Thank you for this advice. I agree about the positive outcome from the book. It gave me insights which I'd never even thought about. Very thought provoking. I'll continue on the Partners Workshop.
April


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 10:06 am 
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A. Considering only objective signs of a healthy recovery/unhealthy recovery, what path do you think your partner is on?

We have monitoring software and also site blocking software on the PC and I know he hasn’t visited any sites. I'm the only one who has the passwords. To begin I frantically checked the history and cookies etc, but gradually gave up on that.

He went to a group meeting for about 6 months and also saw a counsellor, this was started a week after the last DD. So I would say at that time he was in active recovery. He is changed and more open and affectionate to me.

If on an unhealthy path, do you think this is due more to lack of insight about how to change, a lack of energy/motivation to change or a lack of desire to want to change?

I wouldn’t say it was unhealthy, but how he copes with it. It took a great deal of his courage to join the group and even begin to go for counselling. I think he thinks it’s sorted now.

B. If you were to identify three issues relating to your partner's recovery that you would like to see changed, what would they be?


1) I’d like to have an open discussion about his recovery and for him to talk easily about it. But I can’t see that happening. I know he stopped the group because he felt it was stuck and not moving forward.

2) He takes my pain has being a relfection on him as if he has failed if I am unhappy. I‘ve tried to explain that there are many other reasons for my unhappiness apart from him.


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 Post subject: Exercise 9
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 10:27 am 
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A.What are the key signs that you have observed in your partner that lead you to believe that he/she is engaged in a healthy recovery?

Spending less time on the PC. Not clearing the cookies or the history. Being open with me. Wanting to make love more often. Not switching screens as I walk upstairs (he used to flick to another page - I can see through the open door as I walk up the stairs).

B. What are the key signs that you have observed in your partner that lead you to believe that he/she is NOT engaged in a healthy recovery?

I think it could be better, but feel as it is he is trying hard to make changes and that the openess will build over time.

C. How have you communicated your observations to your partner? Have you communicated the healthy observations as well as the unhealthy? How has your partner responded?

I’ve told him how good it is that when we make love that it is fun, not the wary fearful process it used to be. He agreed with me. I tell him how much he has changed over the last year or so. We still have hiccups, but even with an argument I can feel his pain and he doesn't close off like he used to. I've just realised that :g: :g: :g: That used to be a big problem for me. I felt as if nothing I could do or so would affect him. He was this cold stone wall, yet I knew it was because he felt so bad about himself and could never find out why, (I didn't know the reason at that time).


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:48 am 
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The three most important values that I need right now to help me stabilize my life.

1) Spiritual
2) Intelligence and Intuition
3) Womanhood


B) For each, think about the meaning and fulfillment you are getting compared to the potential meaning and fulfillment available.

Spiritual
I value my relationship with God. I hope to deepen this by increasing the time I spend attending Mass and in private prayer. I feel enriched and calmed by these actions. One of the most positive relationships I have.

I do get great meaning from my spiritual life and at times it makes me feel very fulfilled. How would I deepen this? I mentioned that I would spend more time in prayer, but haven’t done that apart from going to Mass or the Prayer Group. It stands to reason I would gain enormous benefit from this.


Intelligence and Intuition
I value my intelligence and intuition and need to trust them more. My intuition and feelings about people have been proved right many times, yet I always downplay it. I always felt better when I practised meditation, this also helped me tune in to what was right. Why did I stop? What is to stop me from starting again? Nothing.

I rarely stretch myself intellectually nowadays. I am not sure what would interest me.

Woman
This role ties in with my sense of value as a woman. I’m finding it hard to write about this, because I’ve lost the value of who I am as a woman, yet I know it is important for me to get this back. It is part of who I am. I am a loving and compassionate woman. I have a great deal of love and passion to give, but somewhere along the road it got blocked. People used to tell my how feminine I was. Now I spend time wearing ugly shapeless clothes and never wear make-up or spend time on myself.

Meaning and fulfilment.
I don’t get much fulfilment with regards to this. I spend times knocking myself and just seeing the ugly bits. I spend so much time talking nasty to me. I’ve lost the meaning of what it is to be a woman. I’m not in touch with that part of me.

The weight gain and lack of self-worth are making me feel even worse about myself. I feel much less attractive than I did even a year ago. I did 1 thing to make me feel better and ended up hurting myself and making things even worse. Almost as if I had a self-destructive mechanism involved.


C) Develop a specific plan that will allow you to maximize the potential in each of those three values.



Spirituality
I could set time aside during the day to say a prayer – what time? 9.15 a.m.
I will make a practice of saying a prayer as I walk along.
I used to pop into the church at quiet times to pray sometimes. I don’t do that now and it was so peaceful when I did it. I will start doing this again.
I will start going to church on a Tuesday and Thursday morning.
H bought the book on How to Pray Well. I will start reading that tonight.

Intelligence and intuition
I gain so much more by restarting the meditation again. Quietning my mind.
I will make the meditation time part of the prayer time to begin and see how it goes.
I need to stretch my intelligence again. Look at the OU and see what is available.

Woman
It is part of who I am. I am a loving and compassionate woman. I have a great deal of love and passion to give, but somewhere along the road it got blocked. People used to tell me how feminine I was. I wore silks and soft material – now I wear baggy trousers and big jumpers.

I could change it by spending tiem each day on myself. I will give myself a facial and enjoy the touch of my skin. I will massage my feet and give them some pampering rather than insults. I will buy some new underwear that feels lovely rather than functional.

I will get my hair restyled and decide what I want to do about the colour. These small steps will help me regain some sense of who I am and increase my sense of being a woman.


D) List the steps you will take in the next 24 hours to begin strengthening each value.

Spirituality
1) I will start reading the prayer book tonight.
2) I will go to church tomorrow (Tuesday).

Meditation
1) I will begin my meditation tomorrow – not sure of what time.
2) I’ll look on the OU website today to see what courses are available. I will also look at the Adult Ed courses.
3) The course on releasing memories I saw last night interested me. I could find out when that is on this afternoon.

Woman
1) Book the hairdressers appointment tomorrow.
2) Go and buy some new bras.


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 Post subject: Section 2 - Exercise 2
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:46 am 
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Letter from P to me.

My dearest D,

You have been through so much in the last 10 years and indeed throughout our marriage.

I can never expect to make it all right – but all I can say is that I am so sorry for what has happened in this time. I am sorry for all the times you were made to feel small and undesirable. I am sorry for all the times I shut you out of my life. I am sorry for not letting you into my heart and telling you what happened when I was a lad. I should have had more faith in you. Our marriage would have been so different.

The p was never a replacement for you. How could I replace a beautiful desirable woman with the depravity in these videos? I have been so stupid, so wrapped up in wanting to feel self-disgust that I never really understood just how much it was impacting on you.

I’ve watched you change in this time and feel ashamed that I was the one who took the sparkle of light out of your eyes. I can say many times how beautiful and desirable I find you, but my previous actions belie these words.

I’m sorry for making you feel inadequate and making you feel not even 2nd best but 3rd best behind my job and the p. I was a diffferent person then. I was a person who didn’t believe he was worthy of love and so I went out of my way to make this be true. I’m sorry for all the time I pushed you away and withheld my heart, my love, my company.

If I could wipe out all that has happened I would do so, but I can’t. What I can do is promise to never make you regret staying with me. I promise to make you know just how much I love you. I promise to improve the communication between us; I know I’m poor at this.

You are my wife, my love, my life. You are the most important person in my life and I love you and always will


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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:47 am 
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Writing this letter made me realise that my h had said/written most of what I was typing.

This made me feel very peaceful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 10:45 am 
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Quote:
Writing this letter made me realise that my h had said/written most of what I was typing.


That is good, it will help your moving ahead to know and realise that you have heard what you needed to hear, and the steps that you describe him making are good ones.

Your response to Lesson 10 was very well thought out and so positive - you will find it extremely empowering to write those goals and do them.

Quote:
Go and buy some new bras.


Don't get me started on this one - I think this is one of the most difficult things in the world, why is it that bras pretend to be the same size in different shops, or in different makes. They just aren't, and unless you have an army of people with you, or go to a really good store, you're forever getting undressed and dressed to go in and out of the changing rooms for other 'wrong' sizes to try.

Buying new bras has been on my list for 6 weeks now, and I still can't quite gather the mental energy for it - so I thoroughly applaud you for making this a priority - how did it go?

Quote:
We still have hiccups, but even with an argument I can feel his pain and he doesn't close off like he used to. I've just realised that


Brilliant, all part of those small steps that add up to more meaning within your relationship.

I wish you well - especially with the bras. :s:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:15 pm 
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CoachChristine wrote:
That is good, it will help your moving ahead to know and realise that you have heard what you needed to hear, and the steps that you describe him making are good ones.

Your response to Lesson 10 was very well thought out and so positive - you will find it extremely empowering to write those goals and do them.

Thank you for the lovely positive feedback I do appreciate the time you take to do this. I'm getting so much from doing the workshop.

Quote:

Buying new bras has been on my list for 6 weeks now, and I still can't quite gather the mental energy for it - so I thoroughly applaud you for making this a priority - how did it go?


I went to a chain store to be fitted and found their sizing totally different to what I thought I was. So I am going to be brave and go to a special store. You made me laugh about bras, because they are really awful to buy. I still didn't buy one. !D
April


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:22 am 
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My values in 2017 (old values in blue)
I value my relationship with God. I hope to deepen this by increasing the time I spend attending Mass and in private prayer. I feel enriched and calmed by these actions. One of the most positive relationships I have.

Yes I continue to value this relationship. Like many people I have all these great ideas of how I'll improve things. Truth is that it goes in fits and spurts. Sometimes I feel especially close, other times I feel distant and don't make time for prayer.

There is a new course beginning this week I am hoping it will kickstart some improvements.

I value my role as a mother. I love and support my children and want to encourage them to approach me if ever they need help and support in life. I've written letters to them telling them how much I love and value them.

This makes me sad. My children live the opposite side of the world to me now and contact is so hard despite what everyone says. My h attitude is to break contact saying that it hurts too much to try to be part of their life from such a distance. For awhile I thought the same, but it tore me apart and preyed on my mind all the time. I've restored contact with both of them and felt so ashamed for dropping it. The sad thing is that talking to them is so bittersweet. It's lovely to speak, but not the same as being able to hug them or cuddle them. I've regained the relationship with my son. But my daughter continues to be distant, she lives a good life now and material things appear to be most important. There is no sharing between us, although that was the case when she lived here so nothing much has changed then. When she married - she changed personality. Money mattered more than family. This makes me sad and I have a lump in my throat. :t:

I value friendship.
I realise that I don't reach out to people. I need to improve on that aspect of my life, by reaching out to my friends more. By ringing or emailing first rather than waiting for them to contact me.

I value my intelligence and intuition and need to trust them more. My intuition and feelings about people have been proved right many times, yet I always downplay it. I've let this part of me fade away. Too much time wasted on the PC.

I value my skills in the workplace and in my voluntary role.

I now work purely voluntarily and spend hours doing jobs on the PC. But it has led to me being taken advantage of. The Full time workers are relying on me to help them. It means I have little spare time for other things. I need to step back and decide what I should be doing with my time. Not just plough all my energy in to that. It narrows my life.

I value my skills as a homemaker.
I've let myself down in this respect, see above. I spend more time on the voluntary things. This leaves me with little time for housework etc and I AM getting lazy.

I value my role as a wife. I love and support my husband as much as I am able to do so and as much as he will allow me to. I am very supportive of him. He will be retiring soon and part of me is anxious about how that will affect us and change things between us. He has been clean for many years but I still ACCEPT I CAN'T CHANGE HIM. I struggle to cope with his feelings about our children and it is the main thing we quarrel about. I hate it when they call and he doesn't want to talk to them. I've told him this so many times and it makes no difference.

This role ties in with my sense of value as a woman. I'm finding it hard to write about this, because I've lost the value of who I am as a woman. Even more so now in 2017.

I am a loving and compassionate woman. I have a great deal of love and passion to give, but somewhere along the road it got blocked. I will work at recognising my strengths in this area. I will look for ways of reinforcing my self-image.

I will choose an affirmation and say it for 1 week. This helped me before.

I will look back on this list in 1 month's time to check if I've been faithful to myself and make sure I'm not straying off track.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:28 am 
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My vision.

I will be living somewhere I feel at home, not anxious all the time. I hope this will be by the sea.

I will have a harmonious relationship with my husband and be able to talk to him about anything and everything without fear of it getting ignored or blowing up out of all perspective.

My relationships with my children will be clearer. At present I feel I daren't look too closely to the future with them because it hurts too much. My relationship with my siblings - what will be will be.

I have to find a way of reclaiming my life - I need to have a structure rather than the fumbling through I am doing at present.

My relationship with God - I need to listen and walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

I am sleepwalking through life at present. Everything is going to be 'next week', 'next month'. 'next year...........'.

I am an intelligent woman yet I'm wasting that intelligence on rubbish. Reading comments on awful web pages.
I deserve better than that.

I will value me. I've written before about what I deserve. But I do better than I give myself. It is only me stopping me from having anything. My h is open and generous.

Soon it will be another 7 years and what will I feel then?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:07 am 
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1) Make a list of those values in your partner's life that--in your gut--you believe is a part of him. Set aside the addiction and the behaviours that were a part of that addiction. Focus on what values you believe will survive the recovery process. Post these in your Healing Thread. If there is a time when you are feeling close to your partner, share these thoughts with him--so that he knows that you are beginning to separate the addiction from his core identity.

Values
He is a charitable man, loves animals and birds and very loving to those he cares for. He is very generous and ungrudging. He is a hard worker. He can be extremely thoughtful and kind. He is imaginative in his thinking rather than regurgitating other people’s opinions. He is kind to old people and children. He is clever and can argue intelligently, he is able to fix anything. He can solve problems. He would do anything for anyone. He think I am wonderful just the way I am. :g:

Over the last 6 months he has come to acknowledge his skills and achievements. Something he would never have done before.

2) Make a list of those qualities in your partner that you believe will continue to pose as obstacles throughout your relationship.

He has poor communications skills. He finds it hard to disclose what he is thinking about. He is dogmatic sometimes. He can be very judgemental. He has a short temper. He punishes himself (and by default me) for his shortcomings.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:22 am 
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A. How do you manage your stress? What would it take for you to become so emotionally overwhelmed that you would turn to irrational behaviour to produce enough intensity to escape from that stress? Can you think of a time in your life that you have turned to such a measure?

I don’t manage my stress very well. I tend to bottle it up then feel great surges of panic and can’t express my fear or worries to those close to me.

I’ve been emotionally overwhelmed several times in the last few years, The times which have triggered it the worst are the time when I felt I couldn’t make a difference to an outcome. I felt totally powerless to affect the outcome. One of the escape from the stress was with very bad depression. I just closed down and couldn’t do much at all. At one point I had thoughts of suicide because I couldn’t see a way out of the situation. Other times when the stress has been great I’ve dug my nails into my body to feel the pain. That was when I was faced with the last time I found my husband had used pornography.

B. Consider a compulsive behaviour that you have engaged in. Break it down thoroughly. Get a sense for the anxiety that you experienced prior to engaging in the act. Imagine the continued anxiety that you would have experienced had you not engaged in the act. Describe that anxiety in your own words.
A. How do you manage your stress? What would it take for you to become so emotionally overwhelmed that you would turn to irrational behavior to produce enough intensity to escape from that stress? Can you think of a time in your life that you have turned to such a measure?

I've thought about this and the only compulsive behaviour I've done is when I clean the house. I do it in the same way each time. I start off at the same point in the various rooms. I also have to sort everything out when I do this job, not just clean the surface things, but the cupboards as well.

B. I'm not sure that there is a sense of anxiety involved in this, just seems to be the best way to do it to me. If I can't do it I feel anxious because I'm not doing what I should be, feels like I am only doing part of the task, so I suppose it makes me feel as if I've failed. Yes I still do this. Yet I'll ignore dirty floors but need the tidy cupboards :? :?

C. In contemplating the role that addiction has played in your partner's life, imagine what his/her life would be like without this life management skill in place. To be clear, the task here is not to imagine his life without the consequences of the addiction, but to imagine how he would manage his emotions without having the compulsive act to engage in. How would he stimulate himself emotionally? What would he use to regulate his stress? Not how should he, mind you, but how would he?

I'd imagine he'd take on more hobbies to compensate for the time he spent doing the addiction. Yes this is exactly what he's done. He'd take them on and only do half of them, then move on to another hobby. Not sure this would stimulate him emotionally, I can't think what he'd resort to, I think it would be more likely that he'd button down his emotions. He has also joined committees and is keen to help with things it's made him more outgoing, probably more outgoing than me now.


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