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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 2:27 am
Posts: 25
Hi

This is my first post. I found out two weeks ago that my partner, who I've been with for five years, and I met in S recovery, had been in relapse for 18 months. I had absolutely no idea. He disclosed to me several days after I accepted his marriage proposal. He proposed at Christmas and I said I didn't know at that point. We had just begun working with an intimacy coach on our sexual relationship, and I wanted to see how that unfolded. Mid May I felt yes, I want to marry him. Our work in healing sexual intimacy had been going well. Other than sexual intimacy issues the rest of our relationship was great - loving, supportive, playful, emotionally close, shared interests...

Throughout the relationship there had been issues around his sexual anorexia, not all the time but a lot. I know that this can exist without acting out. I never suspected that he was in relapse till he told me; two revelations over two days.

He lied to me, he lied to our coach, he lied to his sponsees...lying by omission. He said he had been honest with his therapist throughout, but who knows?

Shortly after I found out I asked him to leave the house. Not as a punishment. It was simply too traumatising being around him. We are having a three month separation, which I asked for, with currently no contact other than practicalities.

I have been in deep shock and trauma reactions. I'm grateful I have people in my life in recovery who I can share this with. I've booked and appointment with a trauma therapist in July (earliest appointment). I feel for me the healing will come from that work rather than just talking therapy.

Today I had an appointment with someone local who is a sex addiction trained therapist as I wanted some support before the trauma work starts. It was very confronting. She said at the end that she questions how effective treatment for sex addiction is. She reflected back to me that the betrayal is emotional abuse. I have acknowledged that myself but it was hard having it reflected back like that. I got the impression that she thinks I should cut my losses and get out - not married, no children. I've asked myself this, plus the question I read here somewhere I think: If I had a daughter would I want this for her? No, I don't think so, however much potential for personal growth there might be.

I don't want to make any decisions for 6 months, and haven't been obsessing about it. Just focusing on self care as much as possible. The therapist visit got me thinking though. Do I want this?

I know it's not the focus right now, but that's where my head is right at this moment. I look forward to connecting more and hearing your thoughts.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:31 pm
Posts: 71
Hi There LunaRay,

I'm just another member here, but wanted to chime in an say you have our support. I'm so sorry to hear that you have been suffering this, but your heart is in the right place... with yourself right now. Focus on your health and happiness.

I'm free to PM anytime if you want to chat.

Take care,

Aletheia


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:48 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Hi LunaRay,
I didn't see your post earlier and apologize for not responding to you sooner.

Here is something amazing I see, that wasn't the case for me and some other partners I know: you have a strong enough sense of your self and survival instinct to separate from your husband to protect your own health.

So first, I want to acknowledge that because it's a tough decision to do that--to put yourself first--but you did.

Despite the immense trauma you've experienced of late, you sound wise and fairly grounded.

Along my own journey, I would often face two extreme ends of a spectrum of advice: on one end, the sex addiction apologetics. These are the "all men do this" parade of voices who exist to uphold a system of continued objectification of women. No, thanks.

But on the other end? The "leave him nows."

I couldn't find a home in either. That's not me.

I did, at one point, file for divorce to protect myself. This woke my husband up. Him waking up is not why I did it. I did it because the harm to my health was too great.

In the weeks and months to follow, I frequently questioned the sanity of my choice to give him yet another chance. What, then, was different? Why stay if things would just recycle themselves again?

I used the time to decide that what would be different is me, and while my husband worked his own recovery with actual sincerity, I worked on creating stability and autonomy for myself.

It enabled me to be in a position to remain in the relationship, but also leave if need be. It enabled me to be strong enough to know that either choice would be okay, and I would be okay.

I understand two things: why RN advises we wait a while before making major decision, and I also understand the push back against that advice, especially if someone is partnered with a person who isn't an addict, but pathologically disordered.

Your counselor's observations are right: what happened to you is a form of emotional abuse. And, the question of why/whether you'd remain in the face of knowing your husband did that to you--there are no easy answers for that.

Ask yourself: if you focus on you for 6 months, without making a more significant decision to, say, divorce, will you lose? And if so, what will be the losses? The workshop will help you weigh this all out.

For me, waiting represented two things: my own state of such low self esteem that I didn't have the strength to leave, but it also represented my values. I rarely make hasty decisions. I needed to get stable enough to make better decisions and to have the emotional strength to view things objectively.

In my story, my husband is in recovery, he is sincere, and he has made fairly dramatic changes. Not only to his compulsions and his relationship to them, but in his capacity to continually understand the impact on me, to talk with me more openly, to (over a LOT of time) become more empathetic.

Not every story is like my own. Many have partners who continue to manipulate them and protect their actions at all costs.

I'm thinking of you, and whatever you decide, you have the support of this community here.

meepmeep


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:57 am 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 2:27 am
Posts: 25
Thank you both so much for your feedback. It really helps to feel connected and supported. I resonate with taking a while to make decisions - I'm like that around everything so it would make sense that I haven't come to a snap decision here.

A 6 month process for me before any decision is what I had been thinking too. Having to trust an unknown journey is not easy but I know is important.

What I hear from those that have gone before me is that whether I stay or go if I focus on myself I will grow, and heal, and that is what matters.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
LunaRay wrote:
A 6 month process for me before any decision is what I had been thinking too. Having to trust an unknown journey is not easy but I know is important.


Hi again,
If you find, at 6 months that you need mroe time, that's okay, too. One of the ways I would beat myself up is I'd berate myself for not sticking to self-imposed timelines. In retrospect I can see the usefulness of those timelines to help me focus on measurable changes, but at the same time, there is a bit of an art to boundaries and flexibility. I gave myself permission to evolve things, as long as I was the one making that choice, and that it wasn't in response to any forms of manipulation by my husband.

Yes, I, too, felt really unstable with the unknowns of the journey. It got easier. It can get easier.

Today I recognize it's quite possible my husband could return to his compulsions, full on. It's always a possibility. My friends who have recovering alcoholic partners are in the same boat. I've had to accept that, and more critically, ask myself if I can accept that. Now I can. Not everyone can. If you find that conclusion is unacceptable for you, you have the right to make decisions that uphold what's most important to you.

At the beginning, I wanted a straight path, a clear cut set of answers and guidance. There is none. And, to the extent recovery is linear, it tends to be a bit more so for the sincere addict than it is for his partner. Jon tells us this in the workshops.

You will grow and heal if you focus on you. To do so in the beginning is really challenging for some of us, but over time, it can become more organic, and you'll find moments of liberation and joy in putting yourself first. It's empowering. If your partner is sincere in healing, he will reach a point where he wants that for you, too. And if he doesn't, you'll still have YOU and your newfound growth, and that's an internal stability that will carry you through life.

meepmeep


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 2:27 am
Posts: 25
Thank you. I so much appreciate your wise words and understanding.

I'm going to start working through the lessons but will still post on here too.

LunaRay


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2018 2:27 am
Posts: 25
Thank you. I so much appreciate your wise words and understanding.

I'm going to start working through the lessons but will still post on here too.

LunaRay


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:31 pm
Posts: 71
Luna Ray,

Each step you take toward yourself and your own healing will make things better, but at the same time I will echo what others have said and say that you will always have this in your relationship if you stay. While I say that, I also say there may be many reasons you do stay but definitely take your time and decide. Its your life and future, care for it gently.

The lessons will help put things into perspective. You are doing the work, you'll reap results.

Take care,

Aletheia


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