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 Post subject: Confused???
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 6:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Hi, I posted earlier in the week as my SA had disclosed information about affairs (he still says they were not emotional but purely physical, even though one went on for a year) during our marriage, this 1 year on from full disclosure. I had found some blocked calls and an e-mail address on his iPad, which he had denied and said they had backed up from his ICloud) this is possible as I thought I recognised the e-mail address from last year. This was the cause of the last Disclosure. They could be the same? My son spoke with him and said that he had to tell me the truth, the whole truth. I have a feeling my Son knew something that I didn't. So I had the new disclosure. Devastating. My SA insists that as his recovery has progressed he has been feeling guilty and trying to find a way to tell me. Today I found our contracts from starting the Couples programme. There is a para which reads 'That I have shared everything about my addiction to the best of my recollection/willingness. And that anything I continue to hold on to, I am doing so because I am not ready to share it openly'. I am totally confused should I be happy that this disclosure is part of the recovery process? Or am I being gaslighted and he is only telling me because my son has backed him into a corner?I don't want to ask my Son as I don't want him invloved any more than he has been. We have had a food year, but this latest discovery is following the same pattern. SA gets found out, discloses new info, tells me I now know everything, agrees to doing anything I suggest to move forward. My therapist is telling me to back-off and that the relationship will never work. Sorry I am rambling (my specialism!!)
I don't know if this is acceptable but answers from both sides would be useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Confused???
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 11:43 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 617
EnglishPatience, of course this is confusing. It's natural to feel hopeful that finally he is being honest, but devastated that he had lied again after saying he had fully disclosed. What I can say with certainty is that he is currently NOT trustworthy or reliable, but he may be working toward that.

What are you really asking? I know what I was really asking was: Would my husband ever be honest? Would I ever trust him again? What would happen to my marriage? And the answers were: I don't now if he could ever be honest; I know I will never trust him fully, but I trust him more than I used to but not enough to have a healthy partnership; and I don't know what will happen to my marriage. But it took me quite a while to get to these answers. And they may change.

What I can say that I learned, painfully and slowly, that my more important questions were: how can I heal? what do I want? what is good for me?

I know that the certainty we so need must be found in ourselves.

With deep compassion,
dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Confused???
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:18 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 206
Hi English Patience,

You have invited comments from both sides, I have not posted on this side before and so will, try and choose my words carefully. What I thought you might find helpful is for me to try and explain how an SA can think which may help understand better what may be happening although I would stress that anything I say does not excuse or justify what has happened to you.

The starting point is perhaps that addicts develop selfishness where they put themselves ahead of everything in pursuit of their fix. It may be easier to see with drugs or alcohol but I think it applies to sex too. For an SA it may be viewed that they have no values but I would argue against that, an SA does have values but they make a point of blocking them out when faced with an opportunity to get their fix. Then when the fix has been obtained the values reappear which leads to the feelings of guilt and shame. When time passes (I would suggest this is to the point where they think that they are safe and have got away with it) then the cycle can start again. The difference this time is that some confidence in having got away with it before has added some cockiness too. Most SA’s will have acted out over many years and it becomes a way of life.

Then at some point the SA will get caught and D Day arrives. The SA will go into panic mode and they go into survival mode. They will say whatever is needed to save the relationship. They realise that they have been caught and realise that they must confess to what they have obviously been caught doing but the knee jerk reaction is to reveal the bare minimum required. They have been caught, they feel foolish and humiliated in having to reveal the detail of their stupidity. As you read this you will no doubt be shocked and be shouting back that you are the one that has been humiliated and you would be absolutely right. But I have told you that the SA is selfish and will put their own feelings and sense of protection first in a panic situation. This is completely wrong and is not defendable but I said I would try and explain how an SA thinks. In the early days the SA may then get caught out by inconsistencies in what they have said which will bring more reveals out and this may even occur a lot further down the line too. I can certainly see from the partner’s perspective that a full confession would be easier (and by that I am in no way suggesting that it is in any way easy) to deal with than things being drip fed further down the line where it opens up the wounds again. Kenzo will be the first to tell you that this was his biggest regret and cost him his marriage. But to give you the other side, when an SA is asked for a full confession and if there is anything to say then to say it now, I am not really sure that an SA would truly know where to start. As I mentioned before it is a way of life for many and there would potentially be too much to remember. I think it is probably fair to say that an SA should be able to reveal the main stuff but the lesser areas such as inappropriate thoughts, etc, would be impossible to fully recount. I therefore wonder if this is why an SA quickly decides that it is so impossible that they will therefore stick to confessing that they are likely to have been caught for. To that end I would suggest that a partner may never know everything however difficult that may be for a partner to accept.

For those that succeed in recovery they are presented with lessons that encourage looking back and seeing if there are things that we feel should be revealed in order to be transparent and encourage trust. I see the logic in this but also see it can be very difficult for the SA to confess to and also for the partner to receive if it involves reopening of wounds. Your own post points to this as you are unsure whether it amounts to a positive or negative thing and I completely get that.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how relationships can survive D Day. Clearly the partner wants to have someone that they can trust moving forward and knowing that anything done in the past is never repeated and they put the relationship rather than themselves first. For what I have seen on our side of the forum there are those who I would view as either having recovered or are certainly headed in that direction and could achieve that trust again over time. Let’s assume for a moment that a line is drawn in the sand at D Day and you could have certainty that nothing has or will happen again from that point in time then would that be enough? If so then there could be an argument that looking back and trying to find things that occurred prior to D Day that were not declared at the time may not be helpful and won’t change anything. I am certainly not qualified to make a bold statement like that but it is a possible view and I wonder if this might be what your therapist could have been alluding to? Perhaps something to think about.

The other thing that I would like to say if I may please is that I feel that on our side we are privileged at having sight of the partners’ forum and are able to read the partners’ threads. I spend as much time reading the partners’ threads as I do the ones on our side and I encourage those on our side to do the same. As mentioned earlier an SA will block out the impact of their actions when acting out but by being able to read all of your accounts brings some realism to the consequences of these actions which hits home with a lot of people. As part of my mentoring I encourage the folk on our side to do this, it may be easier for them to be more objective about someone else’s partner’s pain than their own where they are too emotionally involved and it can help provide some well needed perspective.

I will leave it there, apologies for such a long post but I hope there may be some elements where it it’s helpful to see a perspective from the other side. As always, please take anything useful from what I have offered and ignore the rest. As mentioned before I am not qualified but I have have experience from our side and anything I have said is intended to offer some help and thought to you. Your own recovery is more important than anything else and I do hope that you find a way forward and wish you luck with it.

_________________
L2R

"If you ever doubt the lie of excitement that anticipates an urge and wonder if it will be worth it, remember that there is a very good reason that you joined Recovery Nation"


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 Post subject: Re: Confused???
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Thank you Dnell and L2R for your posts. They have provided me with with some stability in these difficult days. You are so right dnell, I am asking the questions you suggest. But I do need to ask myself what I need. I don't know what I need, I have never really asked myself those questions. I have only ever thought I needed my partner and then everything would be okay. This time round I question my own part in this relationship.
Certainty, there isn't any, and I struggle with that. But you have given me food for thought that I can make my own certainty. Thank you for your wisdom. I wish you peace.

L2R Please don't apologise for the long post, I appreciate you taking the time to post such a detailed response. You raise many points which I have spent many hours pondering. My logical brain can understand the motions the SA goes through in respect of selfishness, panic, self loathing etc. I know it's an addiction and addictive behaviour. However, my emotional brain takes it all so personally. So your post brought me back to reality somewhat. I know I have to separate the addict from the person. My SA is very vulnerable and has contemplated suicide in the past few months. I am still focusing all my attention on helping him and I know I can't keep doing this. Both you and dnell repeat that I should be healing myself. I don't know how to. Yet I have a professional life, my own independence, own my own home and am financially secure. Apart from one friend,nobody knows what is/has been going on in my personal life. I have somehow managed to live my own secret life!

Drawing a line - if only I could manage this I am sure it would make life easier for both us us. It scares me. Having spent 30 years with someone who has led a secret life, who continues to disclose and lie about his acting out, how do I know what I will be drawing a line under. Will there be something in the future 'the deal breaker'. My SA always insists that he has never done anything illegal (I have never asked him this) but he often protests it. My biggest weakness is that I continue to believe him. I can't trust my gut feeling, and yet thinking about that it has rarely been wrong.

I do hope that the partners responses provide a perspective for other SAs. Likewise I often read the recovery forum and it helps. We are all flawed human beings and need to continue to provide love, compassion and support for each other. I am thankful that I can find that here in my darkest times.

With best wishes and thanks to you both
EP


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 Post subject: Re: Confused???
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:01 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 617
EnglishPatience - The lessons helped me understand what to expect from my husband in the various stages of his recovery. They were very helpful. I understood from Jon that initially my husband would continue to lie and act out. And that's what he did. The difference for me was to accept this painful reality. What I needed to learn to do was to say to him "I don't believe what you are saying." I had to learn to do this and eventually I could do it without anger. Not always.

I believe as partners we have a right to know the truth about our addicted partners. We have a right to know who they are. They don't have to tell us. They have a choice. But that doesn't negate our right. My husband thought two things: she'll never know AND what she doesn't know won't hurt her. This is an example of the self-serving distorted thinking that addicts do. True narcissists don't give a fig about another human being's feelings, but addicts are very, very selfish and lose empathy. But they make up these stories to protect their self identity. But that harms us. I can say with no doubt whatsoever that my husband has proven he is a poor judge in evaluating what is "good" for me. I do believe that as they recover, our partners understanding of what was destructive behavior or thinking evolves. I think their awareness of just how much objectification and acting out they were doing deepens. I think if they are in true recovery, they also start to recognize just how much they use dishonesty as a way to manage their lives and how pervasive it is in their lives. This does not absolve them of responsibility. Ask what you want to ask. It may be destructive and that is something which is our work. What do we want to know and what don't we want to know. We can make mistakes. We can change our mind. My expectation is that my husband, if he is truly recovering, and more importantly, if he wants to demonstrate respect and caring for me, will answer any of my questions.

You will start to trust yourself again. It takes time. Focus on you and your healing. When you feel ANY thoughts that your husband is lying, feel them. Look at them. Express them. A recovered, healthy partner would respond to our doubts in a loving and honest way. You'll know it when you see it.

With deep solidarity,
dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Confused???
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 3:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Hello dnell
Thank you for your post. I have re-read it over the past days and it makes sense and gives me a great deal of comfort. It's a very lonely world we find ourselves in, its good to know (although I don't wish this on anyone) that others understand.

Over the past year I have been on this site, many women have talked about their own healing, their own path. I thought I understood this, I though I was doing this. What this latest D day has done is opened my eyes to the fact that I am still not doing this. My own denial! I have also had to face that I have attachment/abandonment issues of my own, which allows me to just trust again straight away to maintain the status quo, which I need to feel secure. PHew, more doubts on our whole 30 years together and these are mine. Did it suit me to turn a 'blind eye'. I met my husband following an 8 week break up from a 5 year marriage. He was the one, my soul mate, etc. etc. I am trying to look at this self discovery as a good thing, but it's just another thing to pick through.

I take what the ladies on here say, one day at a time and concentrate on my own personal growth and healing.

Best
EP


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 Post subject: Re: Confused???
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:25 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 617
English Patience, I hear you. I think you have been doing the painful work of healing and where you are now is actually just another step in the process. Please be gentle with yourself. This takes time.

For me a big challenge was to separate out "what was me" and "what was my husband." It's not surprising given the total breakdown of boundaries in my marriage (which were poor to non-existent to begin with for both me and my husband) due to the relentless deceit and blaming of me. My husband says that in the past if he went for a bike ride and it started to rain, he would blame me. That's nuts. That's extreme. That's what I lived with. And over time, the blaming intensified and became the norm. It was a form of controlling me that my husband used to protect his addiction and keep me distant. It worked. I'm sad to say that. And the hard thing is for me not to blame myself for this. Therapy has to help me understand what happened and why I was susceptible, but also to realize that it's not my fault that I was victimized by my husband's behavior. I'm still working on this. Finding self compassion is key. I needed to talk with other partners and I needed a very compassionate trauma therapist. The lessons gave me enough information, for which I am so grateful, to begin to realize what was really happening. The gaslighting I faced and you have faced is so damaging. And I was gaslighted by the unwitting allies my husband cultivated with his "poor me" act.

I see and feel my husband's trauma now that he is a bit more honest with himself and with me. I feel compassion. I am struck by how my husband eroticized ALL of his needs: to feel worthy, powerful, influential, desirable...ALL of that was based on some young woman/girl with the perfect body and face who would give it to him. And his orgasm was what he needed to survive physically and emotionally. Breathing, eating...who needs that.

I don't want to think that way. I don't want to live that way. My husband believed there was something wrong with me for both not getting this and not delivering on it. I wish I had understood that he thought and felt this, but he didn't tell me. I had to figure it out from his behavior and how could I with all the deceit and gaslighting.

This is why it was crucial for me to focus on myself and my well being. I needed to get away from my husband's thinking, blaming, controlling behaviors and unreasonable expectations and disappointments.

Give yourself credit for how far you have come, how much more you already do trust yourself.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Confused???
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Hi Dnell

Thank you for your supportive response, it really resonated with me.

I know many of us experience the same highs and lows and its comforting to know there are others that know how we feel.

It has been a difficult few weeks. Thank you for being there.

EP


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