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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:00 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
I've been on my healing journey for about two years now. There's the first thing I have learned: It's hard to know when I started to heal. The shock of discovering my husband's porn wasn't just once: more and more came out as I snooped at the start. And then there is the drip, drip, drip of ongoing disclosure. And, I know for DECADES how I felt something was off and that feeling became something really sickening and oppressive and filled with dread.

So.....

Detaching is critical. Crucial. It took a while, like a year, to detach and I started slowly. The more I detached, the better I felt. If there is one thing I wish I could have done earlier and faster, it was to detach.

Being gentle with myself is critical. I had to learn to do this, and still do this, every day.

Focusing on myself and my well being is important. This is a work in progress. It gets easier. This is something that can never change: for the rest of my life, all my decisions need to be about what is in my best interest. My husband sees this as threatening, which shows how self centered he is. He can't comprehend that what could be in my best interest could be in a couple's best interest.

The shocks keep coming both from staggered disclosure and from my own realization. It wasn't just the porn. It was the emotional affairs. The flirting. The objectifying. The progression. The betrayal after betrayal. The really ugly way my husband views women and girls, and sex, and me. The lies upon lies upon lies. The realization of the depth and extent of not only his addictions, but his abusiveness. What was important for me to learn was that I could say NO to more disclosures, or what was disclosed. And, even more important, I can change my mind.

Therapy with a trauma therapist has been immensely helpful to me. I will not accept that I am a co-addict. I did have issues, major issues, with setting boundaries; with fearing abandonment; with not trusting myself. The last thing we need is to be retraumatized by therapists who tell us to "clean up our act" or to blame us for getting into a relationship with a sex addict. I was traumatized by my old marriage counselor and her terribly misguided advice. I no longer fear abandonment.

My anger, rage, outrage and sadness have changed and I grieve more now that anything else. The depth and extent of my losses has become more clear to me over time. Grieving is what I need to do. It won't last forever, but will always be a part of me.

I needed to end my isolation. I became very isolated after discovery. This is not a good thing. I had to be careful about who I "told". Well meaning people want me to leave, like right now, and shame me for not doing so. They do this out of concern, but also their own revulsion and lack of understanding.

Revulsion and disgust. It comes and goes. These are REASONABLE responses to our partners.

Boundary setting. It's great when I can do it! Really great. Wish I had known how to do this years ago.

Self forgiveness. This is a tough one for me. I can't tell you how much shame I have taken on that does not belong to me. I'm ashamed of my husband, my marriage, of me for choosing and staying with a sex addict. I hate myself for marrying him, for not knowing for so long, for being so self deprived. It's tragic to blame myself after all the unfair blame I took from my husband, but that is my harsh reality. I am gentle with myself about this. It will take time.

Forgiving your partner. They MUST be in active recovery. They MUST start to develop the skills of compassion and empathy. But, and this was an important thing for me to learn, I can't forgive him until I forgive myself. And, he won't be able to accept forgiveness, until he forgives himself.

Being scarred. Yes, I will heal and continue to heal. But, I will be scarred forever.

New fears. When I am with men I know or who have just met, at some point, I'll get a flash of fear and wonder "Are they looking at me as unattractive and unlovable because I am not a porn image?" If they are on a computer, phone or laptop I get a moment of fear about what they are looking at. This sucks. It's reasonable and it's not going to disappear completely. I hate it.

Optimism about me. Getting back to me, to the real me and all the things that were devalued about me....that has been great. I want to feel that more and more. I am at a point where I can feel excited and optimistic about me and my future. Haven't figured it out yet, but I'm excited about doing so.

dnell


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:55 pm
Posts: 1
livedauthentic wrote:
Dnell, thank you so much for this post. I love your insight and it reelects so many of my feelings.

One thing that was critical to my healing so far is rejecting the co-dependency model. It's interesting that (in therapy and/or 12 step circles) no other participant in the addicts life is labeled as a co-dependent except for the romantic partner. For example, my husband's mother, mutual friends, co-workers, a sibling, etc. were all in total SHOCK about his behavior and yet not one of those people had to be under the "Are you a co-depedent" microscope. I do feel that I gave a lot in our relationship and I am proud of myself for trying the bathmate recently. For had his intentions and motivations been honest I would never regret investing in my marriage the way I did. I did live by my values.

Co-dependency also implies that their sex acts served some purpose in our lives (or in some way completes a part of our personality or makes us whole). This is complete nonsense. We give trauma victims a whole new set of baggage with this ridiculous model of codependency in relation to sex addiction.


I also want to say that I am feeling much better now. I'm very passionate about my life at the moment. I read and study (like in the good old days). I'm very invested in the new age-stage of development for my children. It's wonderful! yay!!!!!


I feel for you dnell as I have many of the same feelings you have. Lately I've been exercising a lot and also doing some yoga and have found myself feeling a lot calmer and better about myself. Just trying to be the best person I can be. Good luck.


Last edited by Flitter on Sun May 29, 2016 9:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:45 pm
Posts: 45
Dnell, thank you so much for this post. I love your insight and it reelects so many of my feelings.

One thing that was critical to my healing so far is rejecting the co-dependency model. It's interesting that (in therapy and/or 12 step circles) no other participant in the addicts life is labeled as a co-dependent except for the romantic partner. For example, my husband's mother, mutual friends, co-workers, a sibling, etc. were all in total SHOCK about his behavior and yet not one of those people had to be under the "Are you a co-depedent" microscope. I do feel that I gave a lot in our relationship and I am proud of myself. For had his intentions and motivations been honest I would never regret investing in my marriage the way I did. I did live by my values.

Co-dependency also implies that their sex acts served some purpose in our lives (or in some way completes a part of our personality or makes us whole). This is complete nonsense. We give trauma victims a whole new set of baggage with this ridiculous model of codependency in relation to sex addiction.


I also want to say that I am feeling much better now. I'm very passionate about my life at the moment. I read and study (like in the good old days). I'm very invested in the new age-stage of development for my children. It's wonderful! yay!!!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:38 pm
Posts: 67
Totally agree about the codepe dency model. I am in COSA which is based on that model. And I reject it. I don't have the 'disease of codependency'. I have a set of learned behaviours that don't work when in a relationship with an addict. So I need to unlearn them. End of story. I recommend COSA as a place to talk openly about things without judgement. It saved my sanity. But I reserve the right to define myself. We all have that right.

_________________
'The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows'. Buddha.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:58 am
Posts: 1
dnell wrote:
I've been on my healing journey for about two years now. There's the first thing I have learned: It's hard to know when I started to heal. The shock of discovering my husband's porn wasn't just once: more and more came out as I snooped at the start. And then there is the drip, drip, drip of ongoing disclosure. And, I know for DECADES how I felt something was off and that feeling became something really sickening and oppressive and filled with dread.

So.....

Detaching is critical. Crucial. It took a while, like a year, to detach and I started slowly. The more I detached, the better I felt. If there is one thing I wish I could have done earlier and faster, it was to detach.

Being gentle with myself is critical. I had to learn to do this, and still do this, every day.

Focusing on myself and my well being is important. This is a work in progress. It gets easier. This is something that can never change: for the rest of my life, all my decisions need to be about what is in my best interest. My husband sees this as threatening, which shows how self centered he is. He can't comprehend that what could be in my best interest could be in a couple's best interest.

The shocks keep coming both from staggered disclosure and from my own realization. It wasn't just the porn. It was the emotional affairs. The flirting. The objectifying. The progression. The betrayal after betrayal. The really ugly way my husband views women and girls, and sex, and me. The lies upon lies upon lies. The realization of the depth and extent of not only his addictions, but his abusiveness. What was important for me to learn was that I could say NO to more disclosures, or what was disclosed. And, even more important, I can change my mind.

Therapy with a trauma therapist has been immensely helpful to me. I will not accept that I am a co-addict. I did have issues, major issues, with setting boundaries; with fearing abandonment; with not trusting myself. The last thing we need is to be retraumatized by therapists who tell us to "clean up our act" or trying the v tight gel to blame us for getting into a relationship with a sex addict. I was traumatized by my old marriage counselor and her terribly misguided advice. I no longer fear abandonment.

My anger, rage, outrage and sadness have changed and I grieve more now that anything else. The depth and extent of my losses has become more clear to me over time. Grieving is what I need to do. It won't last forever, but will always be a part of me.

I needed to end my isolation. I became very isolated after discovery. This is not a good thing. I had to be careful about who I "told". Well meaning people want me to leave, like right now, and shame me for not doing so. They do this out of concern, but also their own revulsion and lack of understanding.

Revulsion and disgust. It comes and goes. These are REASONABLE responses to our partners.

Boundary setting. It's great when I can do it! Really great. Wish I had known how to do this years ago.

Self forgiveness. This is a tough one for me. I can't tell you how much shame I have taken on that does not belong to me. I'm ashamed of my husband, my marriage, of me for choosing and staying with a sex addict. I hate myself for marrying him, for not knowing for so long, for being so self deprived. It's tragic to blame myself after all the unfair blame I took from my husband, but that is my harsh reality. I am gentle with myself about this. It will take time.

Forgiving your partner. They MUST be in active recovery. They MUST start to develop the skills of compassion and empathy. But, and this was an important thing for me to learn, I can't forgive him until I forgive myself. And, he won't be able to accept forgiveness, until he forgives himself.

Being scarred. Yes, I will heal and continue to heal. But, I will be scarred forever.

New fears. When I am with men I know or who have just met, at some point, I'll get a flash of fear and wonder "Are they looking at me as unattractive and unlovable because I am not a porn image?" If they are on a computer, phone or laptop I get a moment of fear about what they are looking at. This sucks. It's reasonable and it's not going to disappear completely. I hate it.

Optimism about me. Getting back to me, to the real me and all the things that were devalued about me....that has been great. I want to feel that more and more. I am at a point where I can feel excited and optimistic about me and my future. Haven't figured it out yet, but I'm excited about doing so.

dnell


I feel for you dnell as I have many of the same feelings you have. Lately I've been exercising a lot and also doing some yoga and have found myself feeling a lot calmer and better about myself. Just trying to be the best person I can be. Good luck.


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