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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 21
My partner, a sex addict possibly beginning the journey to health, is claiming that craigslist is just like porn and I think he thinks it should be ok to look at it , while recovering. Craigslist was one of his main tools. I said I think looking at craigslist would be a slippery slope. Then he asked if that meant he couldn't have any sexuality. I guess being with me doesn't count. I'd be interested in any thoughts from those along the recovery process, either as an addict or partner.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 1:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:22 am
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I do feel this is addiction talking, my husband used the guilt card on me, and this sounds familiar..i felt guilty for repressing my husband, wrongly...he was ..is...into contact mags, dating sites, I couldn't understand why,as my idea of porn was just the looking at video,pictures etc, the excitement for my husband was the fantasising about meeting,the danger,secrecy,a longing,yearning to connect with his perfect fantasy scenarios, and it led to chat, then asking to meet..then actual meeting,albeit with escorts he paid.
So Imo it is a slippery slope, from my looking at those sites I found it made it more tangible, more real than just looking at porn involving actors
The guilt my husband put on me,had me questioning if I was being harsh, I now see he was using that to justify him carrying on, in my situation,my husband knew how distressed I was, and that he had met an escort...this didnt stop him doing it again while making me feel I was controlling him.
As you say, how can he say he cant be sexual if he is in a relationship with you...its amazing how insensitive they can be, my husband made me feel I was denying him something perfectly normal, something he had every right to do,as if looking at dating sites was something all men do.. at the same time totally denying my sexuality, and making me feel worthless because he put doing those things over our relationship..he still doesn't get it,
I write everything down now, and how it made me feel etc. I can read it back...and see how unreasonable or manipulative etc what was said or done actually was and how it related to other events,


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 3:16 pm 
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I don't think you are at all unreasonable MyTurn, it would set off loud slippery slope alarm bells for me too!

That line of questioning, "does that mean I cannot.." and "are you saying I cannot..." I recognise that very well. When in fact what I really said was probably more like "if you are choosing to do xyz then I cannot feel confident in your commitment to recovery/it will make me feel...../it might have.....consequence". I feel I am just being open and honest by communicating my feelings, concerns and needs which is something I value.

My experience is that that sort of question from him does seem to be used to twist something I have said that threatens his addiction, to make it sound unreasonable or controlling, so it's a pretty good sign that I am spot on, it has threatened his addiction, hit a sensitive spot so to speak. At which point the conversation seems to enter the crazy zone and I need to step away and write it all down for another day. (I don't always act this clearly but I'm getting there.) Through stepping back from these alarm-bells-ringing, uneasy feelings (and not just where my partner is concerned, I am recognising them at work and elsewhere too) I am learning to clarify why I felt uneasy. Usually because a boundary has been crossed, maybe one I was not that clear I had or one I needed to consider a bit more, becoming gradually firmer in my own needs, expectations.

I think it shows my partner does not feel responsible for assessing the risk/benefit of these actions and choices (things that seem glaringly obvious to us) He is minimising parts of his addiction and rituals so he convinves himself it's normal or harmless. Which feels much more palatable for him but is no use to anyone really.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:03 am 
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In my opinion, Craigslist feeds fantasy feelings, gives the addict a buzz or sense of relief from the addictive trigger, distracts him from the legitimate object of his affection (you), allows him a secret "sex life" even if it's "just" the internet, and widens the rift between you, making true intimacy even harder to achieve. Just like porn. Personally, my boundaries include abstinence from both of these online sexual/fantasy sources.

I think it is important that your boundaries are authentic to what your values are, and not inadvertantly incorporating his needs/wants/manipulations. If he wants to go on Craigslist, and in your gut you think that feels bad to you, then your boundary will be more authentic if you just draw that line in the sand. Meaning, your boundaries are not meant to accommodate him. They are a part of you, and they will help keep you strong if they are based on your gut knowledge of what works for you and what doesn't.

I agree with muggle as well re. threats to his addiction. In my experience, signs of defensiveness are directly related to resistance to full recovery.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 9:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
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His responses and values indicate he is not committed to recovery.

He is 'bargaining.' Bargaining is indicative of him not being in a place where he's ready to let go of all addictive behaviors and begin the journey of becoming healthy and mature.

One of the dynamics in play between the addicted person and his partner is deteriation of the partner's values and her own boundary lines and sense of what is right and wrong.

That he associates his "sexuality" with craigslist and porn reflects that his values around sex are not in alignment with your values around sex. Your values around sex are sex that is between you and your partner (it sounds like). And that this is part of a healthy intimacy that a couple shares. In my opinion (and yours may differ) there is no room for healthy intimacy when porn and craigslist come into play.

This is specific to being in relationship with a sex addict, but at this point, I wouldn't tolerate that in any new relationship, either. I've seen that far more often than not, they are barriers to intimacy, not bridges for intimacy. They do not build relationships; they tend to tear them down.

I write this to help you feel better about your boundaries and values. Questioning ourselves is pretty common among partners. It can take a while to believe your values have worth and that your boundary lines are worth upholding.

warmly,
meepmeep


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:52 am 
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
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Thank you for all the replies. I understand what you are all saying and it resonates with me very much. As far as not committed to recovery, he told me 'yes, he was going to do recovery nation'. I got onto his computer yesterday. No recovery nation work yet, but some porn. So he's off to a good start.

If any recovery addicts are following this thread, I'd love to hear your thoughts on looking at craigslist ads when trying to recover from the addiction.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:06 pm
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Hi MyTurn,

I found courage to answer to you, only to respect to my wife who suffer such situation from me, for so long time: minimization, selfish attitude, and lie. I feel pain for you, and it reminds how I hurt the one who loved me.

Recovery is a long (very long) and difficult (very difficult) path. Protect yourself about this journey. He is the only one to decide if he wants this journey. He must do for himself. Protect yourself. He must decide to start. Protect yourself, and do not feel any guilt for what you think, what you did. What you have discovered is very clear. Your partner did not start recovery.

Yes, this is a problem if he does not recognize yet his addiction. The recovery starts with a decision and with a determination. But only him can take this decision. It may take time. I wish for him to take this decision. But keep care about yourself, and I wish you can express your boundaries from now. It may help him, but it will protect you.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:01 pm 
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Thank you so much for your perspective Bovary. I read some of your posts and you are very proactive. I compare this to what my partner is doing and the difference is stark. I know where this is going. :(


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