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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:17 pm
Posts: 53
So, this is the first time I have posted in the support forum. A little bit about where I am at...
End of Sept. was the big discovery of my SAH's infidelities. I knew he had a problem with porn and and masterbation but had blinders on to how far he would go. Anyway, he says he hit his rock bottom and admitted he had a problem. He is going to therapy, which I sometimes go with him too.
He is working on this site and goes to SA meetings(for the support of others,not the 12 step part, though he is going because the therapist suggested it, he doesn't really want to go). I had to step back and pull myself out of managing his recovery. We used to work on the site together in the evenings a few days a week, each of us working on individual exercises. I realized I was mostly the one asking if we were going to work on the site, or I would ask questions about how it was going. He may have intitated the work a couple of times but not much. So, I stopped doing that. He had off for a week and we started working on a project around he house. Not once did he bring up working on the website. Also, there is no spontaneous open communication on his part. He noticed something was bothering me and I told him that I will not manage his revocery, that I can't be the one to always ask about working on here or start conversations. He said he was so wrapped up in the project at home that he just wasn't thinking about it. That makes it feel like recovery work is not a priority.
He listened to how I felt and what I was saying, I will say this is a huge improvement, but he says he feels like he is never doing enough.
I think I realized that is how I feel, like I am busting my butt on healing, recovery and self improvement and I don't see that much from him.
It occurrs to me that maybe this is because I am holding onto resentment. Intellectually I know that his recovery can only happen on his own accord and at his own pace.
In the early stages of discovery I was sad, fearful, anxious and depressed. Our therapist has asked me numerous times if I was angry, that I have every right to be. I told her that no, but felt all the other emotions above. She said that is good because anger is really a secondary emotion. However, the last couple of weeks I am feeling a bit of anger and resentment. No matter how much time I spend refelecting or meditating I can't get to the root. I can't seem to reframe my mindset. I sometimes wakeup angry, it is aweful.
I thought posting on here might help me clear my head a little.
This is a very lonely path sometimes, being a partner of an SA. I am thankful for this site.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:29 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:30 am
Posts: 95
Hi Gardener Girl,

Welcome to the support forum. It has been a huge help to me in the past, so hopefully it will be for you too. Your story sounds very like mine in lots of ways. I've worked so hard in the last year and a half trying to build a connection with my husband, make this work, etc and I feel like I have been dragging him along with me all the way. It's like he has had his hands over his head waiting for the storm to pass, so that everything can be ok again. I am really now wondering if he is capable of that emotional connection and intimacy at all.

Gardener_Girl wrote:
He listened to how I felt and what I was saying, I will say this is a huge improvement, but he says he feels like he is never doing enough.

I can really relate to this. My husband also gives me that sense that he can never do enough to make me happy, but all that it shows me is that he just doesn't get it. If I try to point out that something could be better between us, in an effort to bring us closer, he will try to do that thing, but nothing under the surface is substantially changing. It is still always up to me to initiate that connection / closeness, so it feels like a one-sided relationship.

In terms of the resentment, I have struggled with this too. I keep a journal and pour everything into that, which helps. I am also doing individual therapy and feel that it is really helping me to stabilise my emotions. In my own case, I realised that some of my resentment and anger didn't belong with my husband, it belonged in my relationship with my late father, and everything he taught me about lack of connection, interest, availability and support. When I had that 'aha' moment, some of the resentment towards my husband melted away and I felt lighter. I still feel I have a right to be angry / resentful towards him, but it's not as all-consuming now. Maybe some individual therapy might help you, if you're not doing it?

You're right, it is very lonely being in this situation.. only others in the same boat can understand. Keep posting here if you need support as everyone here will understand how you feel.
Bx


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 568
Hi Gardener Girl - I resonated with everything Beachcomber said in her post.

I'm three years into my healing and here's what has helped me. Doing the lessons here on RN was the start of my healing and an excellent foundation for feeling better. Posting in the forum helped. I also started individual therapy with someone who specialized in treating trauma. This was critical for me. I have been to countless marriage counselors who did not see through my husband's lies and they damaged me. Marriage counseling is very tricky with an SA.

I think you are spot on with being concerned about your husband's current state of recovery. He needs to be committed to recovery and he needs to find the resources and actively work on recovery. He needs to also clue you in on what he is doing. My husband took a year to realize he was an addict, and a bit longer to get that he was in charge of his recovery. But, I gave my husband an ultimatum: he had to do RN and find an individual therapist or I would divorce him. I had to mean it. And he still doesn't really clue me in on his recovery work.

If they are not truly sincere about their recovery, they won't recover. They have to ACTIVELY work their recovery and own up to their personal responsibility. And personal responsibility is something they have lacked for a long, long time.

Yes, I as well get the "you're impossible to please." Now I can tell you with 100% confidence that this is a big stinking lie. It is about me, about you, and about Beachcomber. I guarantee you that all of us have settled for way too little. This is classic blameshifting and deflecting responsibility. Let's pause for one second: have you been lying? have you been unfaithful? have you been gaslighting? have you led a secret life?

So, ignore this. I have learned this is a tactic my husband uses to shut me up and back me off so he doesn't have to be an adult partner in an intimate relationship. If our husbands get their addiction under control, they have to deal with their underlying intimacy issues and develop a whole set of adult skills. It takes a while.

My husband doesn't initiate conversation and that is his responsibility. I have stopped doing it. Took me three years (really, 34 years). Ideally, in a mature relationship, this wouldn't be so hard and we would both do it naturally and easily. The difficulty my husband has with basic conversation and communication stuns me. And, to be blunt, he's been working actively on recovery for three years. He's just very, very immature and very terrified of human connection.

Resentments. I think it is too early to worry about this. We have justifiable anger and outrage. Maybe later on down the line it could be an issue, but I certainly wouldn't see it as one now this early in your healing.

So, where does this painful reality leave us? We must focus on ourselves and our well being. We must find all the healing resources we can.

With compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:51 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 496
Gardener_girl,
Dnell and beachcomber post such wisdom for us all.

Your post could have been mine, too.

I found a couple of dnell's points especially salient (her whole post could be quoted, really), in particular:
-we ALL get the "you're impossible to please." So, what's the common demoninator here? SA warped mind, resorting to manipulation. As dnell notes, not only are we NOT impossible to please, but we have settled for far too little. Remind yourself of that. Continually.

-on letting go of resentment: to expand on this, consider your reality: you aren't experiencing a situation where your partner has wholly stepped up to the plate,taken responsibility for his life, and fully committed to recovery as his #1 priority. He STILL gaslights you, he still uses communication as manipulation. How on earth can you let go of anger when the other party is still engaging in addicitive and unhealthy behaviors? Whether he's acting out is irrelevant here: all other hallmarks of addiction show, and he's not demonstrating to you sincere, deep change.

It may help you to write, for yourself, where your desire to let go of resentment comes from. Dig here. Is it beliefs given to you by others? (Culture, religion, parents, peers). What motivates that desire?

From that motivation you may find deeper meaning for you. Let's say you dig and dig (keep excavating) and you remember a memory from childhood, where you were told that good girls fall in line. Maybe you remember hearing "boys will be boys" and we should not judge them accordingly. Or, whatever.

Find that meaning. Find that inner belief. Explore it.

Ask yourself if it still has meaning for you today. Is it in alignment with your adult, mature values?

Note, I'm not encouraging bitterness and resentment. Rather, I wish for you to find the freedom to feel however you feel, without the pressure on yourself to be something different in the face of ongoing deflection and immaturity.

Your chosen life partner lacks fundamental adult skills, intimacy capacity, and maturity.

For any and all of us here, that is a truth to be grieved. And that grief is long, disparate and deep. I encourage you to honor the grief, to honor your truth, and to focus on giving yourself as much extreme self care as possible.

Put your own beautiful,garden first, gardener girl. Nurture it (you). Feed it (you). Fertilize it (you) with holy water (self kindness, self care, empathy, supportive friends).

With much care,
Meepmeep


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:42 pm
Posts: 344
Everything you just read, GG is true and so is a big pirate AARRRGGGGHHHH! There is so much thrown at us, so fast, and it's relentless. So you duck those balls, because you don't need to take all of them on and take care of you. Truth is, that is all you can do. I've been at this for ten years. A decade and what have I learned? His thing isn't about me. Am I effected by it? Yes. Can I do anything about that? Yes. Do I always want to? No. Sometimes I want to scream like a pirate and make him clean the cat boxes but sometimes, as I do MY work I see the value in who I am because of my journey I have some gratitude. I still make him clean the cat boxes though. Muhahaha.

Stay here. Journal. Be good to you. Be truthful to you. Know your pain is understood in ways you can only imagine at this point. We are always here for you.

XOXO


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:17 pm
Posts: 53
Thank you, all of you who have replied. It means so much to me, your thoughts, your experiences. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have much to think about and reflect on.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 318
I used to feel very resentful. And worked very hard to manage my SA's recovery. Then I join RN and it took a long time, but I kept reading the forum questions (I am still working on the lessons but haven't finished yet). Anyway, I learned a lot in the responses, particularly the ones from coaches and seasoned members who emphasized over and over how important it is to take care of ourselves. To start having a healthy approach to relating to ourselves first, and having a healthy relationship like healthy adults do. In healthy relationships people don't manage each other. They relate happily and openly and honestly. And they focus on their personal well-being.

So that's what I started doing. At first it was hard because I was so used to looking after him, demanding that he do this or read that or whatever. Then I realized I could be putting all that energy into myself. When I caught myself feeling resentful over his past, his deception, his lying and his failure to change post D day to the person I wanted, capable of having the relationship I wanted, I makde myself think of something constructive for ME. Which friend will I call, what project will I do today? I realized there were so many possibilities for me to make my day go positively. Then I went out and did them. What a great feeling of freedom and self-discovery I started making.

I learned how to have independent fun -- with friends, with projects, with doing things I needed to do to get ready to move (we don't actually live together). And the more I was able to do my own thing the resentment and big focus on HIM and his hangups started to shift. I was a lot happier, even if he continued to do stupid things.

But as he saw how independent I was becoming he started liking that. It took pressure off him to be the person I wanted him to be. He started more actively getting into self-discovery voluntarily. It's been a hard uphill struggle but he's made changes that I never expected he would.

I think that when people agree to do things because we want them to, they are not really "in" it the way they are when they discover things for themselves and how they want to approach recovery. Maybe your husband's project WAS part of his recovery.

I'm not saying it was or wasn't but the point is that it makes life so much easier not to oversee someone else's things any more than you absolutely have to. That frees you up to focus on yourself -- and this is the magic button that paves the way to healing, letting go, and forgetting about resentment because you have a lot more fun things to spend your time doing.

I know this response is well after the orginal post, but hopefully you have been discovering for yourself what our knowledgeable coaches have tried very hard to tell us -- and I have learned they are right!!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:17 pm
Posts: 53
Healthlove wrote:
I used to feel very resentful. And worked very hard to manage my SA's recovery. Then I join RN and it took a long time, but I kept reading the forum questions (I am still working on the lessons but haven't finished yet). Anyway, I learned a lot in the responses, particularly the ones from coaches and seasoned members who emphasized over and over how important it is to take care of ourselves. To start having a healthy approach to relating to ourselves first, and having a healthy relationship like healthy adults do. In healthy relationships people don't manage each other. They relate happily and openly and honestly. And they focus on their personal well-being.

So that's what I started doing. At first it was hard because I was so used to looking after him, demanding that he do this or read that or whatever. Then I realized I could be putting all that energy into myself. When I caught myself feeling resentful over his past, his deception, his lying and his failure to change post D day to the person I wanted, capable of having the relationship I wanted, I makde myself think of something constructive for ME. Which friend will I call, what project will I do today? I realized there were so many possibilities for me to make my day go positively. Then I went out and did them. What a great feeling of freedom and self-discovery I started making.

I learned how to have independent fun -- with friends, with projects, with doing things I needed to do to get ready to move (we don't actually live together). And the more I was able to do my own thing the resentment and big focus on HIM and his hangups started to shift. I was a lot happier, even if he continued to do stupid things.

But as he saw how independent I was becoming he started liking that. It took pressure off him to be the person I wanted him to be. He started more actively getting into self-discovery voluntarily. It's been a hard uphill struggle but he's made changes that I never expected he would.

I think that when people agree to do things because we want them to, they are not really "in" it the way they are when they discover things for themselves and how they want to approach recovery. Maybe your husband's project WAS part of his recovery.

I'm not saying it was or wasn't but the point is that it makes life so much easier not to oversee someone else's things any more than you absolutely have to. That frees you up to focus on yourself -- and this is the magic button that paves the way to healing, letting go, and forgetting about resentment because you have a lot more fun things to spend your time doing.

I know this response is well after the orginal post, but hopefully you have been discovering for yourself what our knowledgeable coaches have tried very hard to tell us -- and I have learned they are right!!



Thank you for your response.
It has been a super crazy these last few months... but I have been trying to focus on my self care as much as I can. We have recently moved. We bought a new house one some acreage and the house really is my dream home. I can't wait to set up a new garden next year and all the possibilities of all the outdoor space. I even have a studio to work on my art. I have some places lined up to sell consignment too!
My husband has had a bit of a difficult time giving me space when I need it ( i need more then the average person, I am an introvert) and also had has a hard time giving me time to go out and do things with out him. He always wants to do things together. However, when I tell him I need space he is more understanding. I have been going out with friends more, reading self improvement books that I can relate to, etc. So, yeah I am tending to my own garden!
He has been going to SAA meetings a few times month, works on the website, albeit at a slower pace then I like but maybe that is how long it takes him to process stuff. I don't ask him to do these things or try to control his recovery anymore. We have Sunday night talks and he usually updates me.
We are looking at the move to a new home as a new start. Though I am still apprehensive and don't like the idea of letting my guard down.
I still have bad days sometimes but they aren't as frequent as before. I started taking Saint Johns Wort and it has helped tremendously. When I start to go down a path of negative thinking I can usually stop much faster then before.

I am so thankful for the RN site.
Thanks!


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