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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:42 pm
Posts: 344
My husband did a disclosure in his therapist's office a few months ago. My husband minimized (as usual) by telling me there was nothing in the disclosure that would come as a surprise to me therefore when the therapist informed me I had a choice to hear all of the disclosure or some of it, I opted for the whole enchilada. The disclosure was an hour and half of torture. Listening to my husband tell me all the ways he had deceived me and what he had done. It was not well facilitated by the therapist, nor was there a polygraph to verify the disclosure was truthful in its entirety which is a must and would have prevented a false disclosure and subsequent fallout. I was a trainwreck for weeks in intense emotional and physical pain. All in all, it was a wretched and further damaging experience for us both.

I subsequently discovered, the disclosure was very far from complete. My husband had knowingly omitted critical aspects of his behavior. He has now with the aid of his sponsor and asked for help from me completed a second disclosure which has been verified as truthful as well as complete by a licensed polygraph examiner. I now have my own therapist. Here's my question for the peeps. Knowing that new disclosure is COMPLETE and therefore very painful to hear, am I better off not knowing? Is it better to know, comprehend this is the past and work on being in the present? Wait until I am further along in my own healing to be able to process what I know currently has the power to deeply wound me? Know so I can make an informed decision about if I want to even stay married to this man?

Thank you for listening and I am very interested in your thoughts.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:48 pm
Posts: 45
Hello Violet,

Your post has been in the back of my mind, and I have been vacillating as to whether I have anything of value to share. Am so mindful of not wanting to do harm...However, I have to trust the process, and this is also part of the process, and I trust my intentions. So here goes...

My gut reaction, coloured by my own history, was: 'hell no! have been struggling for years to unsee the images that are seared in my brain, real images that I have seen, and no amount of therapy has lessened their impact. I do not want to add to the load'.
First disclosures, in my experience, are just an iota of what is the full disclosure... because there is the drip drip process, hence the plural... The lies colour those first disclosures...The trauma of those has been part and parcel of my journey... The lying was the worst hurt.
Today, could I face a full disclosure substantiated by polygraph? Well, on a cerebral level, I could. However, the bigger question now in my present, is: what will it change? Confirming that H has been lying and witholding is not new information... However, do I want to burden my head with more of 'his' story line, add more images? Hell no! And this is where my gut and my brain agree... Knowing the whole sordid details today would only surrender, give up my power... my center...

This is part of my letting go...dear Violet... you are at a fork in your journey... my path worked for me... am not whole, that is for sure, and I wish the strength for you to do what is right for you...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:29 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 496
violet, this is a challenging question.

First, I believe we have the right to know all the details of our partner's deceptive behaviors, and that recognizing -- and standing up for -- this right is a critical component to both our healing and restoring a sense of empowerment for us.

At the very same time, I gently encourage you to consider your own motivations here. For example, are you seeking the one 'damning' thing that will put you over the edge and help propel you to decide to leave? And, if so, I can tell you from personal experience that once I thought I had that, I kept moving my own goal posts/boundary lines. The problem with seeking a specific action as my trigger to leave is that, if I was being truly honest with myself, I was continuing to put off making a difficult decision and bargaining with myself as a means to avoid that decision.

This may NOT be you. I write that for the sake of anyone who may be able to relate to that. We are all so unique in terms of what we need, what motivates us, and where we still experiences areas of personal growth.

Consider your values. Where does full disclosure fit in alignment with them? For example, if you have reason to believe your husband's activities include other people, and you have a value of health, and learning about this gives you essential information that you need to possibly make medical choices (around STDs, etc) then hearing it all may make sense in light of your values and what you suspect is at play.

But if knowing more may violates your own values--for example, your emotional health and sense of peace, then consider the cost to those values and what you are possibly getting in return for that cost.

Finally, if you DO opt to hear full disclosure, I'd recommend you have a strong support plan in place for during and after. For example, if you have a counselor, insist that person be allowed to listen in during disclosure. You may also opt to plan for a hotel night to yourself after the disclosure. Plan self-care and support ahead of time to reduce the potential trauma surrounding disclosure.

with kindness,
meepmeep


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:42 pm
Posts: 344
Meepmeep and End-of- my- rope, thank you for your thoughts. Yesterday, after soul searching including exploring my rationale for wanting to hear the disclosure, I did it. I decided truth for me, was a higher value than temporary feeling better. At some point I would want to know "everything" and after all I've been through-I could work my way through this as well. My way. I took the 28 printed out pages my husband gave me, went to my therapist's office and she said how would you like to do this? We decided she would read what was highlighted in red (the new information not disclosed the first time). In her matter of fact yet caring voice I heard "the new stuff". Nothing was a surprise. We took breaks. She checked in with me repeatedly. The only time I cried was when I felt myself feeling "extremely stupid" for marrying a sex addict, 10 years ago, when I should have known better. She asked me why I felt stupid? How could I have known? He hid it from you....

We tracked the stupid feeling to work I need to from left- over "stories" I have about myself courtesy of my parenting. I had "learned" my ability to make decisions wasn't very good. The over- whelming feeling of stupid (and I am not) led to the next feeling of anger. He had taken away my choice in my own life by deceiving me. True. 10 years ago and with every lie he told he took away my choice. Then, a light bulb moment. By giving me 28 pages of shame filled actions, taking a polygraph (more severely uncomfortable shame) and being willing to accept whatever the outcome was he gave me my choice. Finally.

I was not stupid to marry him. I married him because I loved and continue to love him. He is a good man with a difficult problem. I know the full scope and reality of his addiction and why it came to be. I know what it will take for him to stay on a healthy path. I can support his work but I can't do it for him. His addiction is no reflection on me. I have written boundaries for myself. My work he can support but he can not do. I am looking forward to building an intimacy we have nevertruly had. One that is based on two healthy people who have issues but love each other and will be there for each other with no unknown landmines from the past.

For Christmas, while I had kicked him out and he was staying at a cheap motel, I bought him a meditation and vision board workshop to do together. It's tonight. Interesting timing, don't you think?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:16 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3355
Location: UK
Hello Violet
thanks for opening this to both sides
we on the dark side think that we know the pain caused by our actions but we do not feel it the same way as you who are trying to come to terms with the unknown
Truth is fundamentally important, I learned this by denying that fact and both I and more importantly my ex paid the price for it
IMO as addicts we should be open to full and complete disclosure from day 1 but most, myself included believe that if we minimise we are protecting you those whom we have hurt the most
BS
we are protecting ourselves and our addiction
Hence IMO recovery is not possible without honesty
However I said that we should be open to it, that does not mean that you on the white side should hear it
that decision is yours and will be on a case by case decision,some will want every detail some will not, we addicts cannot and should not try to influence that but we should comply with your needs and appreciate your values
Indeed telling the truth helped me
Once out in the open I saw myself as I was thus my resolve to change became stronger hopefully your H will now see that same benefit

Quote:
after all I've been through-I could work my way through this as well.

:g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g: :g:

Well done to you
I hope that your healing continues as you know you are not at fault
God bless

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:42 pm
Posts: 344
Thank you, Coach Kenzo. Your words have great value to me. The Four Agreements have been very helpful for both my husband and myself in many ways.

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
― Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

My husband introduced me to them and yes, it is difficult for both of us to honor them daily although we both try to have awareness and correct ourselves if we falter. Hard work but worth it. Although I know his addiction is his and his alone, my ways of being in the world (up to recently) have made it infinitely harder to be in this dynamic. Example: Me sitting with heavy wonder if he's acting out and guilting myself into staying quiet since I know he's trying. To be impeccable with my word (and what is in my head) I need to be truthful. I say my feelings and don't sit with them alone. Which also means I am not making assumptions. He is able to hear them and be supportive because he is NOT taking what I say personally and not making assumptions in his head about why I feel the way I do. Then when I listen to what he has to say it reminds me to not take the fact that I need to ask my husband if he's been watching porn personally. That is HIS deal. This is very hard mindful work...but it enables me to Do My Best and honor the agreements. Does this make sense?

Being truthful in all things is the obvious end goal but as I choose to trust him only day by day, his being able to hear me makes a huge difference in not gaslighting myself. It keeps me present with what is. What he says about porn use is NOT as important (at the moment) is knowing that my partner is there for me. Hard concept, I know and it's not an overnight realization. I've been at this 10 years and counting.

I think one of the mistakes both addicts and partners make is believing addiction is something that can be fixed and silver bullets really exist. Addiction can be managed effectively with diligence and a daily awareness of what acting outs actually costs. The price is losing a truly intimate honest and loving relationship with a real human being that has your back.

I will post my boundaries here and hope they provide some help or a template for anyone going through this process. (My therapist thought they were sound, his sponsor thought I should tighten them up as he believes addicts do bad things with wiggle room.)

1. If any porn is viewed and I am told within 12 hours:
a. I will possibly need to see what was viewed.
b. I will need you to review why you think this happened and take action to get back on track.
c. I will decide with my therapist what I would like to do next.
d. It is possible I will need you to leave the house to give me space to reflect without your input.

2. If any porn is viewed and I discover the use:
a. I will decide with my therapist what I would like to do next.
b. I will possibly require you to move out immediately.
c. I will possibly file for divorce.

3. If you masturbate with fantasy and I am told within 12 hours:

a. I will possibly need you to explain in detail what you fantasized about and where you acted out.
b. I will need you to review why you think this happened and take action to get back on track.
c. I will decide with my therapist what I would like to do next.

4. If you masturbate with fantasy and I discover the acting out:

a. I will decide with my therapist what I would like to do next.
b. I will possibly require you to move out immediately

5. If you masturbate without fantasy and I am told within 12 hours:
a. I will need you to review why you think this happened and take action to get back on track.

6. If you masturbate and I discover:
a. I will decide with my therapist what i would like to do next.

7. If you scan and I am told or texted within 3 hours:
a. I will need to know details.
b. I will need you to review why you think this happened and take action to help you get back on track.

8. If you scan and I discover myself:
a. I will decide with my therapist what I would like to do next.
b. I will possibly file for divorce immediately.
c. I will possibly require you to move out immediately.

9. If you lie to me about anything and I am told within 24 hours:
a. We will discuss and move on from there.

10. If you like to me about anything and I discover the lie after the fact:
a. We will discuss why and depending on the lie, I will discuss with my therapist.

11. If you lie to me during a conversation and I continue seeking at the time until you tell me the truth”

a. We will discuss why and depending on the lie, I will discuss with my therapist.

12. If there is escalation of SA behavior i.e. chat rooms, strip clubs etc…. regardless of you telling me or me finding out:

a. I will file for divorce immediately.
b. I will require you to move out immediately.

12. During intimacy with me if you fantasize about others and I am told within 2 hours:
a. I will take a sex break an unspecified amount of time until I feel safe again.
b. I will need you to review why you think this happened and take action to get back on track.

13. During intimacy with me if you fantasize about others and I discover myself:

a. I will possibly file for divorce immediately.
b. I will possibly require you to move out immediately.

14. I require my own bedroom.

15. I need your laptop case and backpack stored in your room unless in use.

16. Please respect that that I spend my time making our home nice however I am not your mother to pick up after you.

17. I consider 12-Steps, 2 SA meetings per week and a really good therapist a minimum of your commitment to recovery. When on vacation I encourage you to seek out a meeting.

18. Semi-Annual polygraphs based on the above criteria.

19. A polygraph at any time if I have reason to believe you are lying or acting out and you deny it.

20. All your devices are available to me for an audit at any time.



The reason for the word possibly is that as I do my work the scope of the boundaries may change. Using this word allows for me to change my mind as I am positively affected by my work. If you would prefer a more concise repercussion, please advise. If you agree to my boundaries, please sign and give me a copy. All boundaries are subject to change and you will be notified in writing if this occurs. Please feel comfortable sharing this request with your sponsor and anyone else you feel you wish to provide input.

In reading this over again, just now I may have to tweak them again. I can see the difference between his addiction and how it really isn't about me. That is a tough one to let sink it...but it's true. So, for now I will leave it and perhaps, change my boundries as I move forward.

XOXO


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:53 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3355
Location: UK
Hi Violet
I also try to live by and honour the four Agreements
not easy all of the time but very worthwhile
Quote:
I can see the difference between his addiction and how it really isn't about me. That is a tough one to let sink it...but it's true.


it absolutely true and yes it must be difficult to come to terms with, because you are being hurt by his addiction
I think that we on the dark side find that so easy to deny whilst acting out
I did, my addiction was hurting nobody
What a crock of s***
Hoping that your H accepts and honours your boundaries and in doing so moves further along in his own journey

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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