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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:49 pm 
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Struggling all day today with Ivan disclosing more porn "slips" to me that he promised many times over - including at the beginning of this Recovery- never happened. I've read more threads and at least I can confirm that none of this was my fault no matter what either of us thought. I'm actually feeling unsure if we should continue in couples healing. He's finding Lesson two hard to initiate so isn't that kind of clear? i think he wants all his efforts towards me to be rewarded with sex. I think he feels it's a bit much and everyday it makes me feel less worth it unless i offer sex. The only reason I was really doing couples RN with him is because I don't trust he'd ever get help on his own. I don't need to be a mother reminding him to do lessons either though or feel worse at his not doing them. I'm desperate for this to go away because it consumes my thoughts, disrupts my joy with our kids and hurts my focus on work. I know there's no easy fix but I feel like this is a lot of work for a 'maybe' in rebuilding trust. I guess I'm wondering if this works but have no other option really.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:48 am 
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We did exercise 2 and although it was a bit weird at times it was helpful.
A nice dinner after the kids were down, a bath for her and I brushed her teeth.
I felt reluctant to feed her food but she wanted that so I did.
I appreciate that the exercise is to gain trust and to be loving and I felt that.
We watched a movie she wanted to see the night before and it brought us close and we had a nice hug and kiss at the end of it. I hope it was some kind of breakthrough.
On to the contract.


Last edited by Ivan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:53 am 
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stillwater wrote:
Struggling all day today with Ivan disclosing more porn "slips" to me that he promised many times over - including at the beginning of this Recovery- never happened. I've read more threads and at least I can confirm that none of this was my fault no matter what either of us thought.

This was very difficult. This is our second go around with this issue and I am committed to recovery so it is necessary to admit everything.

stillwater wrote:
I'm actually feeling unsure if we should continue in couples healing. He's finding Lesson two hard to initiate so isn't that kind of clear? i think he wants all his efforts towards me to be rewarded with sex. I think he feels it's a bit much and everyday it makes me feel less worth it unless i offer sex.

Not true. This process is very difficult because it reminds me of my failure.

stillwater wrote:
The only reason I was really doing couples RN with him is because I don't trust he'd ever get help on his own. I don't need to be a mother reminding him to do lessons either though or feel worse at his not doing them. I'm desperate for this to go away because it consumes my thoughts, disrupts my joy with our kids and hurts my focus on work. I know there's no easy fix but I feel like this is a lot of work for a 'maybe' in rebuilding trust. I guess I'm wondering if this works but have no other option really.

I am committed to making this work.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:59 am 
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I have been doing a lot of reading and some comments at the end of an excellent series of articles have been helpful; both a male and female perspective:

From a female perspective for the ladies:
Quote:
My advice, if I am in the least bit qualified to give it, is to keep your eyes focused on God. Read the bible EVERY time you feel low. The “not good enough” feeling is straight from Satan. Ignore it! Your hatred towards porn stems from the fact that God hates it too. It is a healthy feeling.


From a male perspective for the ladies:
Quote:
Ladies, I tell you a truth, similar to any other addictions this also will not leave someone overnight, it is a process, you have to deal with it lovingly not by judging and complaining always. Your love should come as a soft touch of encouragement and closeness.
A husband should feel the real unconditional love of his wife while struggling with this addiction. Wives remember your marriage vows and likewise husbands remember your marriage vows. God has give us a family life to give us HIS loving touch in human form in this earth. The husband or wife can get over this addiction where there is love (unconditional) to fill that place. Your spouse is your first neighbor to show your love and care, the second and last commandment by Jesus.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:13 am 
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Thanks for all that. Feeling very encouraged. I want to love unconditionally, gently and softly and feel that I still do. (more apparent on my good days of course, not on disclosure days....) I know what my vows to you were and those will forever remain unchanged. I will try to keep the thoughts of this separated from you. I will believe that you are committed to succeeding at recovery. Thank you for pursuing this and my heart again.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:30 am 
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I love you so much and I am so sorry for hurting you. What a disaster to hurt the most important person in my life for such a selfish thing. It is evil and I want it out of my life permanently.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:09 am 
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My values are:
Honesty - I deserve to be told the truth at all times, even though it may hurt me and bring consequences
Faithfulness/Fidelity - I promised to be faithful in our marriage and I deserve my spouse's fidelity too. I see porn as one kind of infidelity so I need to regain trust in his vow to me.
Respect - I have felt highly undervalued and disrespected by my husband but I deserve respect as his wife. I think porn automatically diminishes his respect for any woman so I'll blame that! But I feel through offering loving grace and because it is how we are called to treat one another that we are going to achieve mutual respect that will meet both our needs.
Trust - If someone has made a promise to me I deserve to trust in that promise and expect that it will never be broken.
Humility - If pride comes before the fall then Humility keeps us from entering that danger zone.
Empathy - I deserve to have my spouse seek to understand and really hear how I am feeling rather than act dismissively or chalk it up to PMS.
Love - of course. For Corinthians 13 to be alive and pursued in us both.
Spirituality - I made a promise to love God with all my strength, heart, soul and mind. I value this trait to be exercised in my spouse too since he committed his life to Christ. i then naturally hope to see the same commitment to Christ as he made to me when we gave our vows to each other.

Healing Contract response:
#1What behaviors would you find completely unacceptable in your partner?
Lying. Secret behaviour. Looking at porn again, sites that are sexually explicit, stories, videos, explicit product sales sites, images or online chat with female strangers. Infidelity of course, leering at other attractive women and flirting. Any compulsive sexual behaviour like masturbating daily. Asking for me to be objectified somehow that I am not comfortable with. Desiring more and more explicit behaviour during sex with me. Refusing blocking software for computer if it is something I believe is necessary. Refusing to contact an accountability partner to monitor software/internet use.

#2What behaviors would cause you to worry about your partner's overall balance?
Distance from me communicatively, anger at me asking if he's faltered on any above behaviours, taking his laptop while away on trips without any blocking software installed. Asking me for more explicit behaviour. Overtly selfish lovemaking. Overuse of internet at home and away so that he does that more than think of ways to be involved with his family and personal recovery. Erased internet history from entire days. When away on trips - frequently out late into night.

#3What behaviors would symbolize a return to their addiction and/or a detriment to their own healing?

See above response. Quitting any spiritual/faith building pursuit. Anger - because I believe he feels angry at himself for slipping and this in turn affects the rest of us with impatience with kids and myself. I feel deceitfulness/guilt controls his happiness so a decrease in genuine joy makes me think this. Overly depressed behaviour during stressful times in life, job uncertainty, financial instability etc.

#4What healthy behaviors would you like to see from your partner in response to what has been identified above?

I would like to see him become way more involved in actively putting down mobile devices (without being nagged) when kids need his presence, both actively, creatively, lovingly. They see him as unavailable when he has mobile device or computer going. I want his presence and involvement to change. I think this will bring him more joy and self-satisfaction that he is being the parent he always dreamed of having.
As far as sexually, I desire to be the only body he admires, looks at, respects and loves. I would like him to ask (and follow through with) what my intimate needs are in all levels of our relationship. I would like to see that he doesn't need explicitness in our lovemaking to achieve climax. All these things would signify unselfish behaviour, empathy, respect and love - things I highly value in a healthy partner.
Demonstrating biblical pursuits is a huge assurance to me that healthy behaviour and recovery are on the way. Along with this recovery I think that's what I have most trust in still that healthier behaviours are developing.

Consequences of unacceptable behaviour mentioned in #1
Lying in any form: sincere apology to me, seeking a mentor to help - either with a pastor, elder, men's group or accountability partner
Caught lying about viewing any porn or other sites/things mentioned above: informing my family so I can get separation from him for a few days, his seeking counselling program at church or professionally with SA experienced counsellor like here on RN. Ending private Internet use entirely, change of smart phone, notifying employer that he can only be reached by phone etc. No ipad or laptop privately or on trips.
Infidelity: end of relationship until thorough counselling and possible but not promised reconciliation can be achieved.
Leering, flirting etc - counselling and apology
Compulsive sexual behaviour - same as above - SA counselling, men's SA recovery group
Refusal of software installing, insisting on taking laptop on trips, blatant erasing history etc. - explanation why would have to be pretty good here but that may invite more lying so I'm not sure. Same as above, separation? Counselling! ending internet capability?
Wanting to objectify me in ways I don't feel comfortable with - Don't really see this as a problem because if I say no then he respects that. The problem is that he would show unhealthy behaviour if he wanted to treat me this way. I guess it's the asking for it that make me uncomfortable because it signifies a growing need for explicitness, and to me that signifies porn use and a growing addiction. However, my problem is that I don't ever want him to be disappointed in our sex life so we have to work on this one.
Not contacting an accountability partner - assumption that he has been lying, does not care about severity and/or is being naive. All above consequences listed above needed. Being humble and acknowledging the magnitude of SA by contacting a person who can help him (not me!) signifies steps to healthy behaviour and recovery.


Last edited by stillwater on Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:01 am 
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Things have been going well the last while. Surprising to say given the venom in wife's last response. Things were bad admittedly. Winter gives me the blues and a combination of being frustrated with lack of funds to complete renos, midlife "what am I doing with my life" crap and lack of job has taken a toll. We have committed to a marriage course at church and we are both excited by that. I think having multiple couples to be involved with/accountable to etc. will be very constructive. Just going once has made all the difference actually and we are getting along well.

Exercise 10 - this is a hard one to answer. It seems a cop out to say I don't know how I would feel but it is really difficult to imagine being on the other side.
When I really think about it I have to say that an obvious commitment to not doing it again would be the first step.
Recognizing what triggers lead to that behaviour is also important. I feel we have done so on my end and an important realization is that while the sexual addition in me is strong I think that the escape addiction is the root of all of this. It goes back to a frankly miserable childhood with abuse and neglect and I developed an escape mechanism of detachment from my surroundings as a way to deal with whatever crap was in my life at that time.
I realize now that when I am depressed I tune out and starts a cycle of negativity - wife feels neglected/unloved and starts to make snide comments that only increase my detachment. Funny how things can cycle up or down. Anyway, getting back to the question being cognizant of the triggers that lead to the addictive behaviour is paramount.
Honesty is obviously important. I would want communication if there were any slips or temptations. I have felt tempted a couple of times but have not given in.
I think a very real aspect of this is the difficulty in committing to a program such as this one. Of course I am truly, overwhelmingly sorry through to my core for hurting her and would never want her to feel that way ever again but it is the detachment which is fundamental to me. It's as if I observed myself doing it as it happened and a part of me was not even there. I understand rape victims have that detachment. Not that I am playing the victim card myself but I always felt that what I did was 100% selfish and wholly my own. Now I can truly see the devastation so is it dangerous to say that it is easy to not reoffend? This happened before and about 7 years later I relapsed so I do need to be aware of the circumstances, as we have said. I don't know if I have answered question 10 with all this rambling but that is where I am at right now.


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