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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:45 pm 
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Since I've only known for a short time now about my partners porn/sex addiction, I'm only now starting to feel disillusioned with the prospect of this turning around. I seem to swing back and forth between being hopeful for our future and his recovery and being angry and disgusted with myself for having any hope in a hopeless situation. Sad as it is to admit, one of the first things I thought when I found out about all of this was that I would finally get to be intimate with him again instead of living the celibate life. I was so freaking excited at the prospect of not feeling unloved and unattractive. Knowing now that this is a problem he has had since before I came into his life, I'm wondering if I should even wait to stick around for recovery or just go now. If he's had this sex addiction since before me, does that mean he was never attracted to me? Was I just essentially a new "drug" or "fix" for him to use until I lost my effectiveness and he moved on to the next "drug"? It's already hurt me beyond belief all of these years that I have been invisible to him that I don't think I can handle it if I find out in the end that I never was anything to him. Or, on the other hand, can I just end up being a substitute for his addiction and just become the maintenance object for him to use so that he never fully has to recover and do the work? I'm not okay with that scenario either. Granted, most of my thoughts are based off of my own past addiction with pain meds but are sex addicts even attracted to the people/things they 'use' or could it really just be anybody or anything?? I certainly can't ask him these questions because I don't trust a word he says especially if he feels the answer may hurt me or cause me to leave him.

*I'm not entirely sure if I'm posting this correctly or in the right spot but I hope I am*


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:36 am 
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Hi, this is how I feel, in fact I have gone so far as to see traits of narcissism in my husband..which has brought these feelings to a head, as such people seemingly dont truly love, and can discard when they aren't getting what they want.
My first d day was a week after our wedding..a returned letter from contact mag, where he talks about meeting and having same interests...confronted,he coldly said it was before we married..never mind we had been living together. The coldness,aloofness is something I have seen on each d day, part of him not being able to connect or show emotion I suppose.
Now I am stuck wondering if he has ever truly loved me,as he was obviously doing this before we met...eager to move with me, was that to be able to act out, seeing he has admitted to bring infatuated with five or six women..on top of all the acting out etc during our marriage..i ponder if I was just another infatuation, he wrote me poems when I was in living with someone I was engaged to..an alcoholic,ironic I should have been so happy to have escaped him and found my "soulmate"..which I left to be with him..perhaps he thought that wouldn't happen..perhaps I was meant to be unattainable..that saddens me, looking back I was the one who wanted to marry when we were living together, now I feel perhaps he wasn't fussed..or worse, found himself saddled.
I naively thought being open and accepting would result in a sex life...each time, finding he dressed in women's clothes etc..submission..i thought each time how now it was in the open,with no shame or rejection from me,we could be closer than we ever had been..nope...
It is no different now tbh, he cannot connect intimately, and although I know it isn't me who isnt sexy or attractive,self esteem does suffer
I just wonder if I can trust anything he says...he has lied so much, told me not to take notice of anything he wrote, or said in chat rooms..hence how can I trust anything.
I am in limbo, as in my mind he could be biding his time...he even told me he couldn't promise becoming infatuated again...next time perhaps, the woman would reciprocate, offer him more, be younger..fatter, which he has always gone for, he could drop me, and I have nothing giving confidence that I am more than just a comfortable support..sometimes I even tell him I am not his mum, as I have stopped being codependant and trying to control,look after him,protect him.
I have new boundaries,that whilst don't help at present..hopefully will make decisions if acting out occurs again easier...i know I have gone through enough,have laid my cards on the table enough times to know he will be showing me there is no hope.


Last edited by jenny56 on Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:50 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
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I know exactly what you mean. Our partners lived their lives in such a compartmentalized way. I think my husband truly believed that his secret life had no effect on me. He truly believed that what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me. My husband was an active addict when he married me. Did he love me? I think in the compartment of his life where he wanted to be a husband he did. In his addict compartment, no, no way did he love me. He was actively pursuing the "perfect one" while he was dating me and asking me to marry him. He was already ambivalent about me and not really committed. Did he know this? I don't think he was aware of it.

I do believe some of our partners have character disorders or are so traumatized that they may not be capable of love or intimacy. Others may have it in them to be loving, but need to learn how to love and relate. I do believe that in full addiction to sex/love/porn, it is impossible to feel empathy and love for others. I don't think they feel it for themselves, and others are objects for stimulation.

I do believe that I was caught up in my husband's love/romance addiction. I didn't know this, of course. I don't believe my husband really knew me or really saw me. So, did he love me? I don't think he knew me so for me this question has lost meaning. It's painful, no doubt about that.

Where does this leave us? I need to grieve my losses. I need to repair the damage to my self esteem. I need to decide if there is enough in me and enough in my husband to stay with him. I must accept the risk that he will not recover, or will relapse, or be sober but not emotionally available. Or, given enough time and hard work, he may become an emotionally available man. There's no certainty and lots of risk.

I needed to be gentle with myself early on post discovery. I needed to give myself the gift of time to figure out what to do. I needed to focus on self care. I needed to detach. I needed to learn boundaries. I've worked really hard these last three years on doing that and it's been healing.

What is so tragic and sad to me about all of this, and it is incredibly tragic and sad...overwhelmingly tragic and sad...is that I see how clearly this addiction is an intimacy disorder. The cure is connection. And it is so difficult and terrifying for my husband to connect.

dnell


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:56 pm 
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If the only hope I have for emotional intimacy or even physical intimacy with him is for him to be open to and begin to connect with others than I really feel that there is no hope. His entire adult life has been spent running away from any situation that could potentially involve feelings, emotional discord or pain that I don't even believe he will ever risk opening up to me. I do understand his fear since every person he opened up to as a child either grievously abused that trust, abandoned him or committed suicide shortly thereafter. The ironic thing is that every relationship before me, he was cheated on and apparently had the same issues of being emotionally unavailable to them and yet he essentially cheats on me while also being emotionally unavailable and doesn't seem to see that it isn't so much that these women abandoned him or were the "bad guys" for cheating (although they did chose the wrong way to alleviate their emotional pain in my opinion) but they were doing the same thing to him that he is and has been doing to me. I don't want to break up with him and basically prove his theory right but I also can't stick around forever just for the sake of his feelings when mine have never been a consideration of his. The only time he ever opens up to me is when he can tell I'm unhappy and have one foot out the door. Like if he just throws me a bone then I'll chew on that for a few days or weeks and keep my mouth shut until he needs to throw another little tidbit my way. I feel completely invisible to him no matter what I do and honestly have begun wondering if he would only notice me if I got a life size cut out of a porn star and stapled it to myself or wrote "FREE PORN" across my forehead. I could never go through the rest of my life without him being a part of it, but I could live it as just friends without much problem I think considering 6 of the last 8 years were spent as roommates that weren't even friends. I have seen so many threads here of people dealing with this recovery/relapse situation over and over again for so many years and I just don't know that I have the strength for that. I commend those that are able to stick by their partners and try to help them but I have literally no support system in my life. He has always been my only support and since even his unavailability has brought me to the depths of wanting to slit my wrists in the past, I just don't even know how wise it is to keep myself in a position where I can be damaged emotionally even more by his failure to follow through with recovery or even want to do it for himself. At this point, I'm doing the exercises for myself, to help me grow and heal and not worrying whether he is or not. I don't know his username and even if I did, I told him I would never look for his stuff and I won't because I think he needs to feel like he can share without worrying what I would think if I saw it not to mention I'm too scared to see how little he really thinks of me. But also, I figure if he really is doing the work then I will see the changes in him without needing to look for proof. Ugh, why does this addiction have to suck so bad?!?!!!??!! It's sad when you would rather have your partner be a drug addict or alcoholic. At least then they could avoid certain situations and triggers. Short of being a blind, castrated, hermit, there isn't much he can do to avoid his own body and all the triggers in society until he's at a place where he can manage his urges better. Do all partners feel the way I do at some point?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:12 am 
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I think there must come a time when you feel your emotions have all been used up, well..thats how I feel. So many years trying, wondering, discovering..thinking it was my fault, the stress,
lately I find I feel little, it is as if now I am discovering all about all this, and about my self, my mind and body have said that's enough, I am emotionally detaching like it or not, my body and mind seem to have sighed a sigh of relief as I go on learning and healing.
I feel that if I have another d day..that will be it, as I think a lot of my issues involve attachment..like you I have spent most of my life as a room mate..and often not a close friend..as my husband seems to put others above me, my kids are grown, youngest leaves school next year..and I feel burned out, all these years trying to please others, my family etc. I feel empty at times thinking that this is all there is. He tries, I know..is taking me out more, but at home he sits reading and I realise we haven't really ever connected, I have just spent our whole relationship trying..failing, making excuses for it, and dreaming that if this o that happened he would change.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:40 am 
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DayAnew, some of the insights you have took me years to realize. Have you done the partner's lessons? I think they would be very healing. They were for me. I do believe addicts can recover. And I do believe given a very skilled therapist and lots of time, the attachment disorder can be addressed. But I'm also aware of how hard it is to confront those original wounds that created such a severe fear of intimacy. I have always felt this in my husband even before the awareness of his addictions: his desperate desire for connection, and his fear when he started to feel close to me. I'd offer emotional connection and he would get scared, then angry, then attack me, then literally walk out and, what I didn't know at the time, go on his search for the "perfect one" both with real women and porn. He got not only his "high" from the addiction, but his form of emotional connection. He bonded with fantasy.

I don't think addicts are hopeless or helpless in recovery and healing. But, I do believe, as you point out, their whole life has been spent running away from "hard" situations and emotions. I think Jon says somewhere in the lessons that addicts are the worst people to turn to for their recovery, but they are the only ones who can do it. But, they CAN do it. They CAN get sober and they can get the help to deal with their attachment wounds. It's not a sure thing though, and it's hard and takes time. I think in terms of years, not months.

And, Jenny, I experienced the same emotional detachment that was something that felt primal. I remember post discovery when I was so depleted and in such pain I 'asked' my husband for a separation and he said 'no'. Based on where I am today, I wouldn't ask and I wouldn't accept a "no" but that's not where I was then. To survive, somehow, I just shut down and withdrew emotionally. And that distance gave me such relief and a chance to focus on me.

The future is uncertain IF we only focus on our partners. The key for me is to focus on me and my future. The best days are when I know I'll be okay no matter what happens to my husband. And now I want to move beyond being "okay" into thriving. Not there yet.

Hope is a wonderful and precious gift. I relied on it way too much during my marriage and given all the lies, it was a mistake. But my hope wasn't the problem; the gaslighting, abuse and lies were the problem. Restoring trust in myself and letting my hope be focused on me is my work.

dnell


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:38 am 
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I think the Rn lessons,and counselling, self eductation about your own issues is so important.
I have spent over thirty years in denial,romantic fantasy..and living led by my emotions,which have been on a high for years..the turning point was the last d day, and finding this site..thank god.
I am not there yet,but I feel I understand my emotions and so let them go, I was so weary constantly in drama, or denial.
And I feel the more you realise the intense emotions are not unique..they are not a sign that you are sooo in love etc. The easier it is to stop being led by them. I feel a huge sense of relief now I am not constantly obsessing about my husband and his addiction. I spent all those years looking purely to my husband for emotional support and validation, I lost myself.
At last I see I need to validate myself,he will never be able to ..and I actually realise that even if he was the most perfect husband..he wouldn't be able to validate me. My whole view has change,like a light bulb going on.
Like you dnell I am still working on it. But emotional detachment is vital..healing and finding yourself is most important. My husband could betray me any time, I know that. So I am protecting myself and building my strength so I wont be a co dependant any more, my counsellor didnt like that term..but I think that is exactly what I was.


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