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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:28 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:31 pm
Posts: 19
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Exercise 14

In Stage One; Lesson Two of the Partner's Workshop, you were asked to develop a general vision for your life. This vision focused on developing an anchor to health and stability by allowing you to identify and reattach yourself to those areas of your life that you truly value. Now, you are asked to create a second vision. This one is more of a 'mini-vision', isolated to how you will manage your life over these next few months through your healing (and your partner's recovery — if applicable).

To assist you in developing this limited, practical vision, here are a few questions to ask/answer. Think about the questions in normal type; answer the questions that are italicized in your healing thread.


1. Over the next month, how much time do you intend to spend focused on managing, tracking and/or assessing your partner's addiction/recovery? List the role(s) you intend to play in his recovery. If none, say so. If some (and there are potential healthy roles for you to play), list them.
1. I would like to pull back from my involvement, its been too much. Spending time working on my own recovery will be priority number 1. The only role I’d like to play will be some support when he moves forward and during key times when he opens up, is working toward better communication, and when he’s honest with himself. I want to be strong in my own right and work to be a good spouse to him who has solid boundaries and expectations as to our future.

2. How much time do you intend to spend secretly investigating his actions? If none, how will you manage those times of mistrust and/or doubt?
1. I want to spend zero time secretly investigating. One of my boundaries (I believe this is in a future lesson) will be to have him allow me to check his devices etc when I want. I need to remove any sort of secret looking for things and obsessive behavior from my own actions, they aren’t good for me.
2. I plan to manage this by focusing on my own emotions when I have those urges to look or seek. Sit with my feelings and identify just what is actually bothering me. Did he do something that is making me worry? If so, can I ask him about it? Am I just feeling insecure because of his addiction? Can I request some support from him or someone else? Does looking/knowing actually make any difference?

3. What personal values are you willing to allow your partner to continue damaging over the next month? If none, how will you protect these values?
1. I’d like to say none, but the honest truth is that I think I will allow him to continue making me feel less secure in myself. His anger and frustrations when he’s not managing his own emotions scare me and trigger me, I’m not likely to mention that, even though I should. I did note though today that he started getting angry and I told him to just be quiet and ended the entire interaction. That worked, so I think I might continue to refuse to engage in communication that triggers me and freaks me out. More to do on this one.

4. Over the next two months, what mistakes are you prepared to tolerate from your partner and why? What mistakes (if any) are intolerable and will serve as the catalyst to end the relationship? Note: think with your head here, not your heart. You are no longer ignorant as to what to expect in recovery and so, define those true 'bottom lines' for you and your relationship.
1. Relapses of all of the things I know he does I would tolerate. I expect that he will relapse at any point and I look forward to having a plan for handling that. I originally stated that cheating, child porn, prostitutes, chatting online with other women etc were grounds for divorce and I do still hold on those.

5. How much responsibility do you intend to invest in changing your partner? Versus placing the responsibility for change on them? How do you envision communicating your observations about their motivation/responsibility — both positive and/or negative? For those positive observations, how wiʃ you make them seem genuine? For those negative observations, how wiʃ you make them seem non-punitive? *Do you intend to motivate change in your partner by threats and/or rewards? Or by simply sharing your needs and allowing your partner to find the motivation to meet those needs?
1. His recovery is his responsibility. I will invest in him as a partner, I will invest in our relationship by doing my own work, despite it being very difficult.
2. I am not sure how to communicate when I think his motivation is lacking. He’s good at avoiding hard things, and I can see him do it all of the time, so I should get some way to handle those emotions and when appropriate, communicate that with him. He needs to find his own motivations for change. That is the only lasting change he can make as far as I can tell. He doesn’t take “tough” love well from anyone, choosing instead to assume that I’m not understanding his resistance. I noticed yesterday he was lacking motivation because his technology wasn’t meeting his needs for working through the lesson. Classic example.

6. How do you envision moving beyond two individuals in recovery/healing to becoming a team in overcoming those areas of your relationship that have been damaged? What changes will YOU need to make in your own perspective to regain a sense of teamwork? What changes do you need to see from your partner for this to happen?
1. I’m putting a lot of trust in this recovery on both of our ends. I believe that walking through the lessons will give both of us a clear indication of where things have been damaged and where they need assistance. I’m hoping that once we get through the personal recovery, we may be able to do with partner’s recovery together as well.
2. I feel that as long as he’s actively engaged in a healthy recovery, I will feel like we are moving forward. Its been 18 years of non-recovery, I have some time to devote to real, solid and healthy recovery.

7. Apart from your partner's addiction, identify the current major obstacles that your relationship faces. For each obstacle, seek out any patterns that will eventually need to be worked through as a team. For instance, communication. We have fallen into a pattern of dysfunctional communication that must change. Here is what I can envision doing to bring about change to these dysfunctional communication rituals:
1. Overall, at this point I can more or less blame this addiction for all of our issues, but I know intuitively that isn’t true. I, for example am likely causing some of our communication and stress issues, but its hard to work on my own behaviors when he’s not able to tell me about them because of guilt and shame on his part for using. I think one I can identify is that we both are instant gratification types and we enable each other in eating, drinking and being lazy. That could change a lot of our relationship if we could over-come that.

8. Should you find yourself struggling to manage your own life (intense emotions, undefended boundaries, deteriorating values, neglected values, etc.) how do you envision getting yourself refocused and back in balance? List this general plan.
1. Generally I think I will:
1. Plan some time to think. Ideas: Go away for a night alone or with one of my support friends.
2. Clear my head and heart and determine what needs to happen on my own part to make sure my boundaries are solid and clear, remind myself of my values and recover my physical state so that I’m not panic driven.
3. Return, hopefully refocused and have a long talk about how to move forward.

9. What signs will you look for in your partner to generate confidence in the sincerity and stability of his/her recovery?
1. Active participation in his lessons
2. Sharing some of his thoughts about his lessons
3. Seeking time with me that is intimate but not necessarily sexual.
4. Seeking to hang out with me, spend time with me, having fun
5. Support of me in situations where he knows I am triggered. Ex: Holding my hand and squeezing it, looking into my eyes and/or putting his arm around me when we see someone in a restaurant who fits his “scan” description.

10. What unique signs will you look for in your partner over the next few months to generate warning of imbalance and/or insincerity?
* Intense introversion
* Inability to be/frustration at being touched
* Staying up late
* Requests for his fetish
* Being rude, interruption, being argumentative for no reason.
* Tuning out and not listening.
* Entirely forgetting that we’d discussed things or had an important conversation
* Suggesting a fix for a problem that is the exact fix I had JUST suggested as if it were his own.
* Passive agressive sexism/mansplaining
* Lack of ability to be a partner, doesn’t do his chores or his share.
* Inability to meet my needs. When asked, is passive aggressive about giving them to me.
* He shuts down conversations that are in any way uncomfortable. Engages frequently in stonewalling.


Last edited by aletheia on Tue May 15, 2018 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:31 pm
Posts: 19
Quote:
Exercise 15

A. Make a list all of support resources (people only) that you currently have available to you in helping you to deal with this current crisis? How many of these people have you already turned to for support? What have you found beneficial in their responses? What have you found to be disruptive?

B. List all resources (not people) that you have available to you in developing a balanced, healthy support system. This list should contain at least eight items. Put an asterisk in front of each resource that you are currently using to help you through this crisis.

C. Discuss a time when you were a part of someone else's support system. Was it a positive or negative experience for you? What made it so? Is there anything that you would have done differently? How can you use these insights to further define your own support system?


Support people:

* M - I have turned to M a few times when things are pretty dark, just for support and a virtual “hug” during my day. She’s very supportive and reciprocates with requests for support regarding her own marriage which she’s concerned includes some sexual addiction as well. She’s good at just listening which is helpful, and giving me emotional support. I worry that she’s judging me because her husband uses porn frequently and they are also polyamorous.
* H - I have mainly chatted with H about issues of my own behavior. She doesn’t quite understand the addiction aspect, is a staunch supporter of some communities of BDSM etc, and I think its a bit intimidating for her. However, she’s also very justice minded and I have discussions with her about my desire to snoop and to help me keep my value system strong. She’s helpful in giving me concrete things to do to feel better right away, very logical.
* E - She’s my BFF, but doesn’t quite understand whats going on. She’s there in a pinch, but I typically keep conversations to simple topics around it. She’s not a very emotive person (like myself) and so while we are BFFs, our intimacy and close friendship isn’t as much about emotional support regarding relationships, though at pure crisis times it can/has been for both of us. Her husband has anger issues and while he wouldn’t hit her, he does scare her occasionally and we discuss etc. One way she isn’t helpful is her advice is almost always centered around NOT feeling things, or not addressing them directly, but rather controlling my own feelings to ignore things because “that’s marriage”.

Resources

* RN - This has been a main resource lately and SO helpful!
* Gardening - Maybe not “support” so much as coping mechanism
* My spirituality. I am not using my church as support press, we are too small and it would have a very real effect on my and my husbands reputations and we are both very involved, but I do use my spiritual practice as a resource to assist me in defining my values, bringing relief from emotional turmoil etc.
* I need more here, I can’t think of anything else.

When I was support for someone else

My friend’s husband was being angry and throwing things, etc and she has a history of violence in her family and it was triggering her into pure panic states. She set up a support system by which she could leave at any time, with a bug out bag at my house etc. It was a growing and connecting experience for our friendship and we spent a lot of time talking about abuse, about why we stay in abusive relationships etc. She was able to get some therapy and he was able to re-direct his anger and they worked through it eventually.

For my part, I just was there for her, not trying to fix anything, but providing support when she had a plan. I think I would appreciate that as well in my own situation.


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