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 Post subject: Exercise 16
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:01 am 
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Posts: 69
Location: UK
A. Create a list of at least ten core values that represent the person you want to be. You should be able to rely on this list with confidence in guiding decisions, actions, prioritization, etc.

Loving
Honest
Caring
Empathetic
Creative
Trustworthy
Principled
Loyal
Educated
Sharing
Tolerant
Eco aware
Spiritual

B. In your own words, how can you use these values to guide you through this current crisis (or a future crisis)?

I want my H to know I am completely open to his thoughts, views and pain. Whilst I do not (yet) forgive him for the way he and his addiction has treated me, this is not a good reason not to feel empathetic and/or sympathetic towards him. Finding it in myself to be this way gives me a sense of purpose towards his recovery and makes me feel positive about our relationship. But I will not, at any time, be sacrificing any of my values in order to make him feel better - if that makes sense!

C. Compare this list to the vision that you created in Stage One; Lesson Two. Are they similar? They should be. In fact, they should be practically identical — with your vision serving as a narrative for the list you have here. If they are not, change whichever is inconsistent with the life that you want to lead. Your vision must be forged from your core values or you will continue to struggle with imbalance and chaos.

The list is different words but pretty much the same.


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 Post subject: Exercise 17
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:03 am 
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A) In Stage Two; Lesson One, you created proactive action plans for three values to help you begin the process of stabilizing your life.

1. Role modelling for my daughters and grandaughters
2. Learning to say no to people
3. Realising my worth as a human being, not just as a wife

You now need to expand this to the remaining values listed in Exercise Sixteen

Loving
Honest
Caring
Empathetic
Creative
Trustworthy
Principled
Loyal
Educated
Sharing
Tolerant
Eco aware
Spiritual

B) For each, think about the meaning and fulfillment you are getting compared to the potential meaning and fulfillment available.
C) Develop a specific plan that will allow you to maximize the potential in each of those remaining values.
D) List the 'next two or three steps' you will take to begin strengthening each value



Loving - I do not think I could be more loving than I already am as I tend to give more than I take.

Honest - I am generally honest in all aspects of my life, although perhaps my white lies to avoid hurting people could be avoided, but certainly not in all cases. I will practice what I preach!

Caring - I care about my immediate and extended family, I care about social injustice, I care about Mother Earth. I do my very best for all and will continue to do so.

Empathetic - Sometimes it is hard being empathetic as it can be difficult enough dealing with my own emotions, never mind someone elses. However, I cannot rein this in and ultimately would not wish to do so.

Creative - I think of late my creative juices have been slowed to a trickle and I have not achieved as much as I would like to. I need to allow myself some headspace to re-expand this part of me.

Trustworthy - I do not think this can be expanded - my H knows, my family knows, my friends know, they can put their trust in me and I will hold is safe and not damage it.

Principled - Perhaps I should take time to accept that my principles may not be acceptable to all and show some understanding to those who sit further along on the fence.

Loyal - I am loyal to those who deserve it. Those that have given me reason to doubt them lose my loyalty. The exception to this rule however has been my H. He has proved himself to be exceptionally disloyal and has abused the loyalty I have towards him. This did put me in a quandry, but I bypassed my internal rule in order to give him a second chance. I will not permit him to abuse it again.

Educated - I expand my knowledge about many topics every day of my life. Even in the traumatic times over the last few weeks I have continued to do so. I will not ever lose my thirst for learning. I will very soon sign up for a couple of online courses to begin after the festive season.

Sharing - I share myself with others, share my experience and to a certain degree share my money. I do not feel I lack returns.

Tolerant - I am mostly tolerant, but if something or someone warps my views with their own bad behaviours, it is difficult to try and get it all back into line. Anger and hurt can taint my tolerance levels and perhaps I need to deal with these issues in order to rebalance tolerance.

Eco aware - I try as best I can - recycle, use ethical products, use only electricity gained from natural resources etc etc. I will continue to do this and to try to point others in this direction. I will try and stifle my frustration with those family members who do not share or are too lazy to follow eco practises.

Spiritual - For some time now I think I have felt that I have been giving out more than I am receiving in terms of spirituality. I need to spend some time working on myself, try to restore my spiritual energy reserves so as that I can, once again, give to others. This whole SA issue has been like a psychic vampire.


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 Post subject: Exercise 18
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:24 am 
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Location: UK
A. Provide an example of a value collision in your own life. How did you handle it? What resulted from this collision (e.g. compromise, resentment, suspension of the issue, etc.)?

I am sure there has been many value collisions throughout my life, but ultimately my H's behaviours and SA have had the greatest effect. So many values not only collided but were completely obliterated in the process. Honesty, trust, fidelity, respect, all gone. I handled it with a wide gamut of emotions, no two hours being the same. What resulted from this collision was a complete breakdown of my worth, both menta and physical. What resulted was a questioning of myself and my values and could I temporarily suspend some of my values in order to get a clear view of the issues and problems that my H and our relationship was facing.

B. What current values do you hold where conflicts can be likely anticipated? (Use your history in relationships as a reference)

Fidelity, monogamy, trust, honesty, communication

C. What values, if any, are you unwilling to compromise under any circumstances? Give a thoughtful response, not a prideful one.

Never again will I comprise monogamy or honesty under any circumstances. This has been damaging and I will not tolerate any further damage.


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 Post subject: Exercise 19
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:19 am 
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A. Make a list of rules that you can use to help define the boundaries of your most important values. Like goals, each rule should be specific and measurable.

1. Fidelity/Monogamy -
* Rule 1 - I take my marriage vows seriously, I will not have any form of sexual encounter with a third party either real time or online and expect the same from my H.
* Rule 2 - I define infidelity as real life encounters that involve a third party touching or being touched in any way shape or form; webcam sexual encounters, messenger, email or phone text sexual encounters, masturbation with thoughts involving a third party.
* Rule 3 - I do not accept certain genres of pornography to be appropriate and viewing/usage of these violates the relationship.

2. Honesty -
* Rule 1 - I will be honest and truthful at all times about everything and expect the same of any person with whom I have any kind of relationship.
* Rule 2 - Partial truth and omissions are the same as lies and are dishonest. I will not tolerate them.
* Rule 3 - I expect any questions I ask to be answered fully and honestly, and I will do the same with questions asked of me.

3. Trust -

* Rule 1 - I will be open and transparent in all aspects of my life and fully expect my H to be the same.
* Rule 2 - My expectations are that if my H has any urges or thoughts in respect of his SA behaviours, he will inform me immediately, before it goes too far, not after the event(s).
* Rule 3 - I reserve the right to investigate my H's life if I feel there has been any sort of backslide towards his SA behaviours.

4. Self-preservation -

* Rule 1 - I will not encourage my H to sexually objectify me.
* Rule 2 - I will not allow my H's immaturity undermine my values
* Rule 3 - I will not turn a blind eye to my H viewing certain genres of pornography as stress relief.

B. Describe a scenario from your past where not having a well-defined set of boundaries has prolonged and/or intensified the personal consequences that you have experienced.

My H's use of a certain genre of pornography was something I tried to meet head on in the past. Whilst I thought I had made my feelings very clear, perhaps I did not. Perhaps I did not fully explain how boundary busting this was to me. I cannot help but think my "people pleasing" factored into this not fully laying out my boundaries.

C. Describe a potentially realistic event in your life where having mastered the use of boundaries will assist you in managing the event in such a way as to protect your value system

If my H fails to disclose any slips or urges he may have and I discover them, I will use my boundaries to make appropriate reactions and decisions rather than take a hysterical/emotional reaction.


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 Post subject: Exercise 20
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:24 am 
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Noted.


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 Post subject: Exercise 21
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:06 am 
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1. List five of the most likely major boundary violations that you will face over the next year. How will you recognize them as they are occurring? How will you respond to them if they happened tomorrow?

1. Honesty - will simply have the gut feeling that H is concealing something. My response if this happened tommorrow would be one of initially anger and hurt, but ultimately a probing as to why he has already breached this boundary and deal with it from there.

2. Sexual infidelity - I will recognise it as missing time, missing money and an air of secrecy about him. My response would be simple - no turning back from this, the relationship would be over.

3. Pornography use - I would see his lack of interests in other areas of his life and know he has returned to this. My response would be to find out (a)why he has felt the need and (b)why he has failed to communicate with me that he had been feeling the need prior to actually doing it. The answers to these questions would lead me to which direction I would take over the violations.

4. Masturbation when there is no need for it (ie I am sexually available). I will likely recognise this by his lack of interest in me. My response would be to put to him how hurtful this is to me and to ask him the reasons he feels it is ok to do it. His answers would show me the path I need to take. If it is the case that his masturbation involves his use of pornography or thoughts of a third party then my path would be more extreme.

5. The uncovering of omissions or lies from his previous behaviour - I have been very clear that everything thst needs to be disclosed should have been disclosed over the last month of so. I am beginning to heal and do not want to slide back into a place of despair. My response will be based on what the omission has been as obviously some things are worse than others. I would hope to approach it with logic and sense rather than emotional reactions.

2. List five minor boundary violations that you will likely face over the next month. Write out how you will likely respond to each.

Tbh, I am not convinced there is such a thing as a minor boundary violation in terms of my relationship and me! A violation is a violation. Maybe in the future I can decide certain things are minor, but right now, 5 weeks after D day, I cannot.

3. Over the past six months, you have no doubt violated the boundaries of others (innocently or otherwise). List a few of these and share whether or not you were aware that you were violating their boundaries at the time.

1. I suppose ultimately it was a boundary violation checking my H's computer for evidence of his behaviours as at that time I had no permission from him to do so. At the time, my view was that the end justified the means.

2. I physically struck my husband at one point during the first week after D day. My emotions were well and truly screwed but that is no excuse - domestic violence is domestic violence and EVERYBODY deserves to be safe from it, no matter what they have done to provoke it. My action violated both his boundaries and my own.


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 Post subject: Exercise 22
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:40 am 
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1) Describe the most extreme emotion that you have ever experienced.

Up until 5 weeks ago I assumed that the most extreme emotion that I had ever experienced was the anguish and grief when my father was killed in a road accident over 25 years ago. However, D Day was worse then this. When I discovered that my H had been seeing prostitutes for 8 months my entire world fell apart. The grief I felt because of his betrayal and rejection of me, my values and our relationship was extreme and exceptionally painful. I did not know how to cope with it at all and felt I would go insane with the pain I felt.

2) Describe the most irrational behavior you have ever engaged in as a result of your emotions.

The most irrational behaviour I have ever engaged in as a result of my emotions was attempting suicide. I simply wanted my pain to stop and this was the only way I could think of that would do it. This incident was many years ago.

3) If you could go back in time and offer yourself "perfect advice" that would have influenced this irrational behavior...what advice would you offer?

I would tell myself that life would get better, that my children needed me then and would need me even more in the future when they became parents themselves.


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 Post subject: Exercise 24
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:14 am 
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A. List three or more relationship options that remain available to you.

1. Stay with my H, remain committed to the relationship, be supportive in his path to recovery.
2. Ask my H to leave the family home, have a trial separation, give each other space to recover and heal.
3. Split up and file for divorce, fully accept the relationship is too badly damaged by his actions.
4. Suck it and see - allow H to remain in family home but to disengage with him as my partner, see how his recovery fares before making any further commitment to him or our relationship.

B. For each option, consider all of the benefits that that option would produce. List them.

1. Emotional support for each other with recovery and healing processes ; financial security for both ; no need to add mourning for the loss of the relationship to the quagmire of negative emotions already present.

2. I would not need to concern myself with anyone except myself on a day to day basis. More healing time for me.

3. No fear of him relapsing and therefore screwing me over emotionally again.

4. Can't actually see any benefits in this option to be honest. It is neither one thing or another.

C. What obstacles do you see as being the most problematic for each option listed above? Are these obstacles that can be overcome? How?

1. Leaving myself in danger of him relapsing/slipping. Time is probably the only way this can be overcome, him proving that he is serious is seeking recovering and succeeding in that recovery.

2. Financial consequences for both of us; issues relating to children and grandchildren - what do we tell them? I don't think that these obstacles can be overcome at all in a way that would not be damaging to all concerned.

3. Financial consequences; emotonal consequences (ie I love him and I cannot simply have that disappear); family consequences, people would want to know why our marriage had come to an end. Again, obstacles not easily overcome without far reaching damage.

4. I personally would find it very difficult to have this emotional separation.

D. Select the one option from exercise A that you feel yourself leaning towards (or have already selected). Why do you think this is/might be the best option for you? What would be your second option?

My first option is option 1 - Stay with my H, remain committed to the relationship, be supportive in his path to recovery. I believe this to be the best option as I feel that we as a couple have been through too much together to simply walk away. Whilst love remains between us, there is hope. Some may say this is rather naive, I would argue that it is not. I have had previous relationships whereby I was cheated on - I walked away from those.

My second option would be 3 - Split up and file for divorce, fully accept the relationship is too badly damaged by his actions. I don't really do half measures. If he or I cannot fully commit to heal ourselves and our relationship, then there is little point in trying anything else. I realise that this sounds harsh but I would not want to waste time dodging what I feel would be the inevitable.

E. What options do you believe are realistically available to your partner? Which do you think he/she would choose?

1. He will continue to be committed to his recovery and prove to me he can be the man I thought he was.
2. He will continue to be committed to his recovery and realise that he does not need me or want me in his life and leave.
3. He will commit to recovery for as long as possible, but relapse and ruin the relationship.


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 Post subject: Exercise 25
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:30 pm 
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1. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the Health Monitoring area of the Partner's Manager.

Done.

2. Prior to the discovery of your partner's addiction, how did you two monitor each other's relative health relating to fulfillment, stability, balance, etc.

Mostly by general day to day mood. Quietness, irritability, over/under sleeping or eating would perhaps have meant there was an issue. However, given that I am the one who has been diagnosed with mental health issues (depression, anxiety) many years ago, there was probably more monitoring of me than of him. Also, part of the problem seems to have been that he did not open up about how he was feeling and was very good at covering up his truths.

3. What objective signs would you look for in identifying when your life is not being managed well?

My sleeping patterns would be skewed, I would refrain from eating, I would be quiet and perhaps tearful, I would be constantly stressed by even the small things.

4. What objective signs would you look for in identifying when your partner's life is not being managed well?

The answer to this is two fold - what I would have looked for in the past and what I would look for now. In the past I would have looked for quietness, lack of interest in anything, irritability. Now, I would not only look for these things but also avoidance of me, lack of meaningful communication.


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 Post subject: Exercise 26
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:39 pm 
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A. Review the following daily assessment, changing the content (as necessary), but not the number of questions:

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today?


Yes I did. Decisions made by me today were for my benefit.

2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision?

Not that I am aware of.

3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them?

None violated.

4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.)

I had a long hot bath which was very relaxing.

4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?

Not applicable.

5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today?

Really not sure what is meant by "meaning"!

6. Add one additional area of your life to monitor here. - Did I have any flashbacks today and how did I deal with them if I did?

No flashbacks today.

7. Add one additional area of your life to monitor here. - Did you feel good about yourself today?

Neutral. I did not feel particularly good about myself, but neither did I feel bad about myself.

B. For the next thirty days, complete the assessment right before going to bed. Spend no more than five minutes in this review. There is no need to track this monitoring, just make it a priority.

Noted

C. At the end of thirty consecutive days, you should recognize that what it is you are monitoring has become ingrained. This will allow you to move on to the next phase of Daily Monitoring — which is more of an 'as needed' phase that is discussed further in the later lessons on managing instability.

Noted


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:50 am 
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BrighidsPain, I just want to post a message of support. So much of your story is familiar. Healing from this takes time. So much is damaged — our self esteem, our sexuality, our identity, our mental/emotional health. We also have to re evaluate the beliefs we once held. What was not threatening to us in the past can suddenly become extremely triggering. Our concept of trust changes completely. Also, we need support but we have to have trust and faith in who we reach out to.

I’m sorry that you had a negative experience with the other forum. Unfortunately there is also this notion held by some people that if your partner betrays you then you should end the relationship. When there is sex addiction or porn addiction or other sexually compulsive behaviours, most partners don’t leave their addict spouse. It’s also true that most marriages don’t end after an affair or an infidelity is discovered. This is especially true when other parts of the relationship are good and there’s a relationship worth working on. Staying in your relationship isn’t a sign of weakness. It doesn’t mean you’re a doormat. In the early weeks and months you have no idea how it’s going to work out. Most relationships that survive, from anecdotal evidence, are changed by the experience and no recovery is ever textbook. There isn’t a foolproof formula for partners to get themselves back on track, there’s no ABCs of healing the relationship from addiction either. There are various programs for addicts including self help that revolve around avoiding triggers and not having any kind of sexual activity for a period of time, but partners don’t have an equivalent that says do this, do that and you’re ‘recovered’. Besides, the most successful addiction recoveries are more about the whole person, their history and learning better communication and relationship skills and not just abstaining from the activity. As partners we need a more holistic approach to our own healing. Of all the various online resources, Recovery Nation has an excellent free program for partners, and working through the lessons has helped me enormously. Although this forum isn’t busy, those who take part are enormously insightful.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Blue In Paradise, thank you so much for your message of support. Your words meant so much to me. To know I am not alone in this whirlpool of negative emotion helps me greatly. RN has been pretty much a lifesaver for me over the last few weeks and I am so glad I found it. My H is doing the recovery workshop and gaining a great deal from doing so.

Love and light to you and yours.


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 Post subject: Exercise 27
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:33 pm 
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A. Write out the four questions listed above in your own words.

1. Over the past 7 days where did the pleasure and joy in my life come from?
2. Over the past 7 days was there any major negativity in terms of emotional drains or time consumption?
3. Looking at the pleasurable parts of my life, along with the negative parts, was my management adequate?
4. Is there anything on the immediate horizon that I need to take into account for effective management of life management skills?

B. Add to these four questions any additional areas of your life that you are striving to develop and want to monitor. For instance, your physical health. Or your spirituality. Or your career.

1. Over the past 7 days have I managed to eat healthily?
2. Over the past 7 days have I managed to boost my own self esteem?

C. Pick a day/time each week to monitor yourself. Take no more than fifteen minutes (maybe a little longer at first) to monitor yourself.

Thursday, a minute past midnight.

D. Over the next four weeks, document your monitoring in your personal healing thread. Continue to document in your healing manager over the next six months.

Noted.


Last edited by BrighidsPain on Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Exercise 28
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Location: UK
A) Make a list of objective signs that you would recognize in yourself that would indicate that you are not living a healthy, balanced life.

1. Sleep pattern all over the place
2. Eating habits not right
3. Feeling the urge to cut myself
4. Not wanting to communicate with anyone
5. Not looking after my personal appearance

B) Taking your partner's current mindset, what areas (listed above) do you feel that he might be faking/holding back on? What areas do you think he is really putting forth a sincere, adequate effort?

I suspect that my H may still be holding back on some details about what occured with the prostitutes.

I believe he is putting forth a sincere, adequate effort by communicating to me his thoughts and feelings on a day to day basis. He is putting in concerted effort with the RN workshop and expressing how it is helping him. He is very positive about his SAA meetings. He is very much enjoying his online educational course and talking about doing further ones when this is finished.

C) Looking six months down the road and assuming that your partner transitions to a healthy life, what objective signs would you look for that might indicate that he is starting to struggle with sustaining a healthy, balanced life?

1. Becoming less communicative and distant
2. Becoming irritable
3. Losing interest in pastimes, hobbies and his job
4. Going back to watching porn
5. Objectifying me


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:14 pm 
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1. Over the past 7 days where did the pleasure and joy in my life come from?

1. Spending time with grandchildren
2. Sharing intimacy with my H
3. Reading

2. Over the past 7 days was there any major negativity in terms of emotional drains or time consumption?

1. One of my grandchildren being in hospital, one staying at my house for that duration.
2. Flashbacks causing me real doubt about my self.

3. Looking at the pleasurable parts of my life, along with the negative parts, was my management adequate?

I think it was as I have not any a "mini breakdown" or felt any great need to self harm. I have been pretty calm inside for the last 7 days.

4. Is there anything on the immediate horizon that I need to take into account for effective management of life management skills?

The stress of the festive season. It stresses me at the best of times, but this year I need to be super-aware due to my current mental state.

1. Over the past 7 days have I managed to eat healthily?

Mostly!

2. Over the past 7 days have I managed to boost my own self esteem?
A little. I tried on my outfit I intend to wear on xmas day and was happy with the way I looked.


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