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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:36 am 
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LESSON 68

a) Map out your own anger rituals in the same way you did your sexual rituals long ago. Look for patterns in relating to your partner, coworkers, friends, yourself...where anger is triggered and you find it difficult to disengage from that anger.

I found this to be an interesting exercise. Having spent a lot of time considering my emotional response to urges and how to stand back and detach myself from the situation in order to make a values based decision, it hadn't occurred to me that I could apply the same approach for when I get angry about something. For most of my adult life I have been frustrated (mainly in business) that other people do not have the same clarity of thought as me and take longer to grasp concepts than I do. That is not being critical of others, it is just how it is but it is often a struggle for me to cope with others not being on my wavelength. My Dad was the same and when I was 17 and had just started work we chatted about it and he told me that he had had to learn how to deal with it and that for the whole of my career that lay ahead of me I would need to do the same. They were very wise words and whilst I am conscious of it a lot of the time I still struggle with it at times when there is a deadline and others can't seem to step up a gear to get over the line as easily as I can. As a result I end up doing things myself that others should be doing so that it can get done quickly so I really don't help myself. Then I feel like I am getting taken for granted which winds me up. I can sense it happening and then typically other things will occur that will wind me up to and the layers build until I start to get angry. In a similar way getting taken for granted at home will wind me up and often by chance there will be a series of comments made over a short space of time on unrelated matters where the layers build until I start to get angry. So for the purpose of this exercise I can see patterns and I know when it is starting to build so I can recognise the point of no return and could practice detaching myself from the situation and making a values based decision - one of my values interestingly is to avoid conflict!

b) Can you identify the elements of these rituals where you actively intensify the stimulation that is experienced?

As already stated I can see that it is layers of different things that wind me up that intensifies the stimulation. I could probably easily deal with any one of those but when they coincide it builds up to something more intense.

c) Do you think that 'creating a break' upon the awareness of these anger rituals will allow you to slow the situation enough to allow your values to take over? Why or why not?

I think I could and have been practising this over the last few days with some success. I am having this as a daily action point at the moment because it will take some conscious effort to do this in the first instance. I have enjoyed thinking through this concept though.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:16 am 
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LESSON 73

The last few lessons have not required posting to my thread. I have now completed Lesson 73 which is the last lesson (other than some supplementary lessons which are available). I must say that it all feels a bit surreal. This lesson highlights that it is quite normal to be feeling apprehensive which is how I feel about it all at the moment. I know that I have the tools to handle myself and lead a healthy life but the next stage will be very much to put things into practice and to keep going with all of the plans.

I have come to enjoy navigating to the RN site most days and to post my thoughts to my thread for each lesson. At the moment I think I will want to keep posting thoughts to my thread which will continue that routine to some extent as it will give me a forum to record my thoughts rather than just mentally processing things as there is always a danger of drifting and heading down the complacency route.

Many others that have trodden this path before me have recorded their appreciation to John and the other coaches and mentors for the creation and maintenance of this incredible site but I would like my thanks to be added to that long list. When I think back to how I felt so desperate and in need of help on my first day coming across this site to how I feel now, I feel like I am a different person. I still feel like I have a lot of work and growing to do in order to fully engrain everything which will take years but I feel like I have got my life back and with each day that passes I feel more confident of a healthy and happy life ahead. For anyone stopping by to read my thread please take this as encouragement to keep going with your own RN journeys. The number of lessons to get through may feel daunting to some but my view is that the moment you start the workshop you have embarked on a new course and direction for a healthy life for the rest of your life and the lessons are someone sharing wise words and advice to you to ensure that you head in the right direction. The further you go through the lessons I feel like they become less of a test of knowledge (which I can see may at times seem like homework) and more of a guide and valuable advice to reinforce what you have learned. I spent 40 years as a sex addict and if I can have got out of that hole then anyone can.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:51 am 
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I find myself in a rather strange situation. I have completed all of the lessons and now have all of the tools but need to fully engrain putting them into practice. I feel a bit like Grasshopper in the 1970s TV programme Kung Fu when he is sent away from the monastery to experience life and put into practice the theory that he had learned. As I experience life now with new eyes I plan to record my thoughts on my thread.

In my heyday (mid to late twenties) I was young, good looking and in good shape. I had moved my job to work in London and it was so exciting. I went through a stage where I could have any woman that I wanted and I did my best to achieve that. I slept with every really attractive girl in the office, they were all around 23 years old and were in relationships, they were the sorts of girls that you would never think would cheat on their other halves. As the years rolled by and I got older I can see now that I have always tried to hold on to those times. It is like I was trying to prove to myself that I still had it.

So, yesterday morning I was invited by our auditor to do a presentation to their new batch of recruits, newly qualified accountants that are all a bit green behind the ears, about my job and the sorts of things that they would be auditing. There were 30 people in the audience sat around a table and probably 2/3 of them were attractive girls about 23 years old fresh out of university. It didn't occur to me until this morning that most of that room contained girls that would very much have ticked my boxes before but I hadn't given it a second thought at the time. Also, the girl that introduced me was heavily pregnant which is another of my boxes and I hadn't given that a second thought either. I am not saying that I have this cracked, it is still early days, but I am encouraged by the fact that I have been exposed to a potentially dangerous environment for me which could easily lead to a load of delusional fantasy thoughts but it didn't. This is progress for me, a lot of work still required but progress nonetheless.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:34 am 
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Some thoughts on Urges

As I continually try to be aware of how I am feeling and what I am doing it has become interesting to see the guidance provided by the lessons coming to life. A point made by an early lesson is that emotions drive urges. In one sense this is fairly obvious that you think of things to get a rush of excitement out of something which changes your emotional state. But also, the need to try and change your emotional state in the first place because you are feeling down, angry, bored, etc was also made. This latter point has been of particular interest to me. Whenever something irritates me (e.g. a work colleague lets me down, disagreement with my wife, etc) then I can sense that my autopilot tries to present urge opportunities to me in order to change my emotional state in the direction of excitement. I am now in a position where I get angry or irritable and I am immediately consciously aware that I can expect an urge encouraging me to act out and sure enough before too long those thoughts try to pop into my head. I can recognise that as a cycle in the past which would usually lead me to acting out and once started I felt that I had no control over stopping it. Having the tools in place to be aware and expect this when I am down/angry/bored is helpful and being able to stop any urges before the point of no return knowing that it can easily be stopped is invaluable. When browsing through other peoples' thread that have recently joined RN and who are still struggling with avoiding acting out reminds me of being in that position early on and having mixed feelings of being on RN and feeling like I was making progress but also feeling very fragile about it all. I want to tell them to keep going and it will get easier, the benefits of persevering with this programme which does take an investment of your time and effort in our busy lives and worlds will reap rewards and will be worth every minute invested.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:37 am 
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More Thoughts on Urges

I feel like I am at a place now where I have the necessary tools to resist any urges. I need to continue to put work into my learning and putting it into practice but I feel like I have got the correct kit to lead a healthy life. When situations arise now I feel confident of being able to head off urges quickly and certainly before reaching the point of no return. But this got me thinking, why should I be getting urges in the first place? I used to be addicted to smoking and drinking and I successfully stopped both of those a number of years ago by seeing them as things that I didn't want - whilst I used to get excited at the thought of having a cigarette or a drink I changed my mindset to see the process of excitement leading to drinking/smoking leading to having too much leading to feeling rubbish about it afterwards and regretting it. I was able to see the end game and it took a lot of the perceived excitement away which now makes it far easier for me to avoid both as I don't see them as something I want and am not depriving myself of either. So why can't I apply the same thinking to SA? I tried applying this thinking in the past and it didn't work but I feel that this is because SA is more complicated, the principles are the same but there is just more to it. Where the lessons have helped me is to gain a better understanding of what drives SA. Having gone through all of that and having a better understanding of the mechanics, I am now back to thinking that it is possible to avoid, or certainly significantly dilute, the perceived excitement from an urge.

My next line of thought yesterday was to reflect on how acting out breaches my values. Naturally this involves dishonesty and disrespect to my wife and myself. It is a very easy thing to write that but perhaps more difficult to truly digest what that means. Whilst we are all on RN essentially for the same reason there are different paths that have brought us here and we all have our own sorry stories to tell. Many are here because they got caught and have made a commitment to their partner that they will change. I was caught a few years back and my wife learned of everything I had done in a series of emails that I had hidden from her exchanged with other people that told of the affair, the escorts and women I had persuaded to send me inappropriate images. It must have been devastating for her to catch that all in the one go, one element of that would have been bad enough. We went to therapy together and I am pleased to say that we came through the other side. But I know that throughout therapy it was primarily fear that was driving me. Yes, I wanted to change and be a good person but I was preoccupied by the thought of losing everything. I am sure that many joining RN due to having been caught are in the same mental state, they do wish to change but there is a lot of fear involved too. The thing is, in order to change you need to want to do it for yourself, not because someone else is telling you to do it or because you risk losing everything if you don't. I found that the problem was that it became difficult to be truly objective when trying to empathise with what my wife had gone through at the time. I knew I had caused devastation but it was very difficult to put myself into her situation because my own was so precarious.

So, yesterday an interesting thing happened. I decided to read through some of the threads on the Partner's Self-Help Threads. These are partners (primarily women at the present time it seems) who have recently discovered that their husbands have cheated on them. Everyone has their own story but there is a theme of having led an apparently happy married life for the last 10/20/30 years and then out of the blue they discover that their married life has been a lie. They talk of how worthless and used that it makes them feel. My heart went out to them whilst reading their stories and my initial thought was how their husbands could have risked their happy lives with their wives and children to get some cheap sex fix outside of their marriage, it was complete madness. Then I remembered that this is exactly what I had done. It felt very different from when I went through therapy because for the first time (probably because there was no fear involved and I was able to find a way of being more objective) I was able to see it properly from my wife's perspective and what horror I had put her through, with my guard down I was able to be far more objective. It was suddenly much easier to see from someone else's view how values had been breached. I often feel the same way when I learn that a male celebrity has cheated on his model wife so she has left him and taken the kids with her. I instinctively think what a total idiot this guy has been to risk so much for so little and then remember that that is what I had done too.

I then went back to my view of urges. Prior to RN my cycle would probably be Urge -> Excitement -> Acting Out -> Did I do it without my wife finding out as that would have breached her values? It is easier to see the cycle differently now that the last part of the cycle would be that it was breaching her and my values regardless of whether she found out about it or not which is why I would feel so rubbish afterwards. Suddenly that cycle seems very much like the mental approach I have towards drink and cigarettes. So, I am spending some time now focussing on this as I am sure that when I have fully digested these thoughts it will help minimise the perceived excitement from an urge which will inevitably make them easier to manage.

There is a lot to learn. When I embarked on RN I saw it as being 73 exercises away from being fixed but it is not that at all. The lessons are valuable but it is giving you the tools and foundations for change. You need to take those foundations and build on them with putting the theory into practice and really trying to get your head around it all. It takes time and effort but I can feel the change happening in me and that gives me a positive feeling for the future.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:43 am 
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When I joined RN there were certain things that I wanted to achieve from it. The actual acting out of some of the worst things I had done in the past (e.g. escorts, affair, talking women in relationships to go to bed with me, etc) was something that I thought was unlikely to happen again but it was more the constant mental battle to resist those urges which was exhausting that I wanted to be freed from. So writing out a list of what "acting out" meant to me during the early lessons was rather difficult. Of course it was easy to list out those things I had done in the past like those shown above but I remember hesitating to put other things which by comparison felt less "bad" (e.g. masturbation, fantasising about people, etc - no-one will know so what's the harm done, right?!) but to be fair was more likely due to the fact that I thought those things would be far harder to let go of. So whilst the lessons have been invaluable to me to help me feel like I can easily bat away any potential urges for the "bad" stuff, most of my attention has been focussed on trying to overcome the urges for the "less bad" stuff. Obviously I realise that there is no distinction between "bad" and "less bad" but that's how I know I instinctively view it. If someone had told me 4 months ago that I would easily be able to stop masturbating after 40 years of that being a virtually daily occurrence then I would have told them that they were a complete idiot. But I just stopped on joining RN and whilst it felt odd initially I now don't give it a second thought nearly 3 months in. So that leaves fantasising and objectifying women.

This is a more difficult area for me as that is so engrained in me that it is a real challenge to head thoughts off. I went to one of my regular spinning classes this morning before work and the usual Friday guy was off sick and a girl had taken his place for the day. She was mid twenties, long dark hair, olive skin, blue eyes, she could have modelled and had an incredibly fit body. My bike sits directly in front of the instructor which was really difficult. I could sense that instinctively that I wanted to look at her and let my thoughts run away but kept stopping myself. I then stopped looking at her altogether which was hard as she was sat 6 foot directly in front of me. I then thought that avoiding looking at her was not solving the problem. As the class continued I looked at her face and asked myself why I find that sort of situation so difficult and I could still feel a slight sense of excitement somehow because she was so pretty. I then pictured myself talking to my wife and telling her that I had sat in front of this really fit pretty girl when spinning and I had pictured her naked and having sex with me. Suddenly the excitement left me. Then I took it a stage further and pictured my wife telling me that she had been to a spinning class and sat directly in front of a really good looking young lad with a perfect physique an she pictured him naked and having sex with her. That made me feel really rubbish. This is what I need to fully process and digest in my mind. Finding someone attractive is not something you can switch off but you can find a way to switch off what you do with that information and how you process it. Avoiding looking at pretty women is not the answer, it is a case of making sure I get quickly to the association of what my mind wants to think and comparing that to my values. It is not acceptable to for my wife to objectify and fantasise about other men and so it is not acceptable for me to do that about other women either.

As I say, it is breaking very well engrained habits which is very difficult for the "less bad" stuff but with some work I am sure I can rewire my brain accordingly. The reason I added fantasising and objectifying to my acting out list is because I ultimately want to have a completely clear conscience, I know that this last bit will be the hardest but I must work towards that otherwise I know that I will be just lying to myself.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:22 am 
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Quote:
There is a lot to learn. When I embarked on RN I saw it as being 73 exercises away from being fixed but it is not that at all. The lessons are valuable but it is giving you the tools and foundations for change. You need to take those foundations and build on them with putting the theory into practice and really trying to get your head around it all. It takes time and effort but I can feel the change happening in me and that gives me a positive feeling for the future.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:42 am 
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There are lot of changes that have arisen out of joining this site and progressing through the various lessons. I have mentioned a number of times that I stopped masturbating nearly 3 months ago and that has brought about some surprising changes. The key reason for stopping was to avoid things such as fantasising about other women and having to depend on that as some kind of compulsive act. As part of my action plans I listed down that I wanted to feel emotionally and physically closer to my wife. I now make a point of giving my wife a hug when I get home from work. She is usually stressed making the evening meal at that stage but hugs me and then instantly relaxes and squeezes me tightly back. It is but a moment but I can see that she enjoys it as much as me. Then in bed every night before we go to sleep I touch her leg for a few minutes and then move my hand away and we go to sleep. In the past, any form of touching like that would have been perceived as a move to have sex but over the last few weeks she has come to realise that this is not the case and we both seem to find some of connection out of it. I leave for work before she is awake during the week but I always kiss her on the head as I leave. On Saturdays we normally have hectic mornings so there is no time for sex but I now ask her to cuddle me and, again knowing it won’t/can’t lead to anything, she moves over and I hold her against me and hug her moving my hand up and down her back. I have spent so many years fantasising about other people that I had come to forget what I had in front of me. My wife is beautiful and is in incredible shape for her age. Holding her against me is one of the nicest feelings I have now and I really enjoy those few moments. Sunday mornings usually have no fixed agenda so there is time to lie in bed. If we are going to have sex then that would be the time. Some times it happens and sometimes it doesn’t but I am sensing there is a pressure being placed on that day and time. As I now don’t masturbate, if we are not going to have sex then I know it will be another week at the earliest before an orgasm may emerge which I can find frustrating. The one positive about this though is that I have returned to finding my wife really attractive and beautiful and to want her sexually. I now need to find ways of dealing with the change in circumstances.

The obvious thing which I know needs to happen is for me to talk to her about it. I do find those sorts of conversations very difficult and I always have. In terms of the conversation itself though, we both lead busy lives and by the time we have put our son to bed and have had an hour to sit down and chat and catch a little TV it is time for bed and we are both knackered. We really need to find some time during the week at night to go to bed earlier but I sense that my wife will find this to be too pre-planned and stressful so it then places it back on the weekends and with the Saturday routines we are back to Sunday mornings which is back to where we started. I need to give this some thought to find a possible solution. I haven’t mentioned to my wife that I no longer masturbate which would be an obvious opener to explain why I am suddenly showing more interest in her but I am probably nervous about opening up a can of worms. We don’t make a habit of talking about that but she will assume that I do that fairly regularly. I probably just need to find the right words to broach it properly and in context. If said the right way it could make her feel good but equally I could create an unintended issue if I don’t put it across the right way.

I suppose all of this is a good problem to have. 3 months ago I had far more stressful and difficult things on my mind trying to resist urges almost constantly so it still shows progress if this is all I have to worry about now!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:21 am 
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I have been giving more thought the the likely threats to me acting out moving forwards and on looking back at my previous lists there seems to be quite a diverse spread of potential activities. When I have looked at each one in turn though I see that there is a common thread in most of them which is the element of danger. I then looked back at the things that I have done in the past and noticed that whilst there has also been a spread of activities there has generally been the element of danger present there too. Acting out will usually comprise a chain of elements and I can see that danger is very much an “enhancer” for me. It is to the point that I can see looking back over the years that there are things that I have done with people that I actually haven’t found to be that attractive or certainly that we’re not “my type” but I still found them to be very exciting and appealing. But in those situations there was a very real risk of being caught which brought with it extreme danger of losing everything and I can see now that it is that element that probably gave me the excitement to act out.

When I now look through the various things on my threats list and consciously consider (and almost extract) the danger element then I would say that most of the threats actually don’t seem that appealing all of a sudden. So for me it would seem that the driver for me acting out is perhaps less the individual situations but that danger element that comes with them. I found that quite surprising. Naturally I can not become complacent and ignore certain situations as my mind will have recognised the whole events as having been exciting in the past but I need to keep the danger factor in the forefront of my mind too when trying to anticipate likely threats.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:31 am 
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It has been a tough few days for me. On Boxing Day there is a local tradition to run into the sea for charity on one of the beaches and around 1,000 people do this. We decided to do it this year for the first time too. Most people run straight in and back out again get changed and then go home. One of the things on my list of urges to avoid is watching women getting changed on the beach in the hope of glimpsing an accidental slip. After coming out of the sea I was surrounded by around 500 women all getting changed with towels around them. Some women put on their dry knickers underneath their towel and then dropped the towel to put on their trousers to reveal they had put on a g string and their bare bottoms were virtually in my face. It was a struggle not to look but under the circumstances I didn’t do too badly as I didn’t watch anyone. In our way off the beach we had to queue at some steps behind a load of other people. As we waited there were two couples who had clearly stayed in the sea for longer and were getting changed beside us. I noticed that one of the women was someone who used to be our spinning instructor. She was quite pretty and was very fit and in the past I had tried to picture her naked. She was now stood a few feet away from me with a towel around her removing a one piece costume. As she slid it down and off her I just kept looking in the hope of catching a glimpse of something I shouldn’t. I knew I shouldn’t be looking but I chose not to stop. In the end I didn’t see anything but as I walked off the beach I got really angry with myself and I have been beating myself up about it ever since.

I kept trying to remind myself that it is violating her privacy and her, my and my wife’s values but when I picture being there again I can’t picture not looking again. I reread to lesson on managing slips and I appreciate that I need to not keep beating myself up about it but to try and learn from it so it won’t happen again. After 3 days I think I have made some progress with this. The problem is picturing her or other people that I know that I find attractive on the beach in the same situation and not looking. Where I have been getting stuck is that I think I have got into my head that I need to be in a position where that happens and I feel no excitement about having the opportunity to see them naked at last. It may be that I feel like that in time but for now I shouldn’t expect no feeling and if I do then it is failure. I reminded myself of how I started RN and felt so strange having to stop myself from developing a thought and that I had a conscious thought to recognise that avoiding doing something will feel uncomfortable but that feeling will soon subside. That made a big difference for me this morning. I now see that I should expect to sense excitement when such an opportunity presents itself but when I see my values and then choose to look away I will feel uncomfortable but will not be in physical pain and will be OK. Now when I picture that scene with someone I find attractive on the beach it doesn’t scare me so much.

The other thing that occurs to me too is that there is a difference between having plans and thinking through theoretical scenarios and something happening for real. There is no better preparation than the plans obviously but I need to be prepared for noticing the feelings being different if a real situation occurs and to be ready for that.

In some ways I think this has been a good thing for me. I feel like I have sailed through the lessons and have understood them all and not had much of a problem. At times I have felt it almost too easy which has concerned me. There is a real risk that there is complacency and that to be knocked back may have helped put some perspective back into me. I will make mistakes as I am not perfect and as long as I have done everything possible to avoid it and that I learn from whatever happens (and do not use it as a pre-prepared excuse to act out) then I think that may be a positive thing.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:30 am 
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I went with my son to watch the new Star Wars movie yesterday afternoon. The usual key theme of the movie was the lure of the dark side whose appeal is that it gives you everything you have selfishly craved for and is (as Yoda will tell you) the “easy”option. The heroine of the film fights to stay on the “harder” right path of using the force wisely. It was not lost on me that there are very real similarities to that and the personal battles that we all are having to move ourselves away from the easy choice of SA and the harder choice (in its early days at least) of a healthy life. But we can take confidence that we are on the right path here on RN, we should continue to choose the green (goodies) rather than the red (baddies) lightsaber and continue to pursue a life of healthiness. May the force be with all of us as we continue to be healthy in 2018!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:39 am 
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More film analogies again today. Last night I watched a film called Little Women. The lead girl at one stage in the film was talking to a professor that she admired and told him that he knew so much more than her. He replied by saying “That makes me more learned not wiser.” I immediately thought how relevant that comment was to me at the moment where I try and adjust to putting the theory of the lessons into practice. Part of me feels like I have done the lessons now so should know what I am doing. One one level I do but I feel vulnerable too as I take on that responsibility. Using the quote in the film, I feel more learned through the lessons but to become wise I need to completely digest all that I have learned and completely get my head around it all and how it applies to me in practice moving forwards. I am getting there but it was a helpful reminder that I shouldn’t spect to be an expert that has mastered everything just because I have completed all of the lessons.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:07 am 
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For the last 3 months since joining RN I have been developing and implementing new ways of managing my life. There are things at home which I have made a point of doing more such as helping out more around the house, being more tactile with my wife (in a non-sexual way) and trying to be more patient and less short with my wife when we don’t see things the same way. This has all been working out well from my side and I feel better about myself but I thought there would be some sort of reciprocation from my wife as the weeks have passed which has not been the case and has been a little disappointing.

My reasons for joining RN are similar to many others but as I have mentioned previously the timing of it was not driven by being caught acting out which brings many here - I have been caught in the past but that didn’t bring me here now. As such I have chosen not to tell her that I have joined and the reason for this is that I do not want to open up that can of worms again unnecessarily as there is a real danger that she might get the wrong end of the stick and assume I have had another affair or something which is not the case. Anyway, the point for saying all of this is that I found the opportunity today to bring to my wife’s attention that I had been doing all of these things and to encourage her to think about some things too. I asked her what her New Years Resolution’s were. Neither of us like those which was her immediate response and she then asked me what mine were. I then told her that I had taken a review of my life 3 months ago and decided to make some changes in myself. I said that I had tried to view myself as I would wish others to view me and to then work out where the gaps were between that and how I felt inside. I said that I had come up with a number of areas of change which I had worked hard to put into place at work and at home and then I described them to her (e.g. more patient, more tactile, helping more around home, etc). I have recently turned 50 so I used that as the reason for the life review. I told her that I feel better about myself by making these positive changes. I also told her I had stopped masturbating which she said was daft as it was a normal thing to do. I told her that it was my choice and that although we both thought the other one did that, I said was something I did that I wouldn’t want to talk to her about - as I decided that I did not want to keep things from her I had decided to stop and I actually felt much better about it.

I then suggested that she might want to think of a couple of New Year resolutions which could be firstly to try and also be a bit more patient with me in return and also to be more tactile back which does not meant that sex is expected on the back of it. She said that she doesn’t touch me as she knows I will want to have sex. I pointed out that this is not the case, I have made a point of hugging and touching her around the home and when naked in bed virtually every day for the last 3 months and we have had sex maybe twice over that time , so tactile no longer means sex. I think she has a lot to take in and I have left her to digest it but I felt that NYE was the perfect opportunity to raise it. If there are others reading this today in the same boat it might present you with a similar opportunity.

I have been a bit concerned to date that I have honesty as a value and have knowingly kept RN from my wife but I need to do that so I can be completely open with myself when I post. I don’t want to feel restricted in what I say if I know my wife will be reading every word even if I now have nothing to hide. So I have now discussed the essence of the positive healthy changes I have been making in my life which means I have been honest with her in some key areas.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:17 am 
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Something has been bothering me that my wife mentioned to me on New Year's Eve. During our discussion about being tactile she said that she wasn’t tactile back because I would want to have sex with her if she did that. It bothers me on two completely different levels. On the first level it is that she would rather hold off a very important element of our relationship (i.e. being physically - but not necessarily sexually - close) just to avoid me taking it as a come on to have sex with her. That is removing a massive thing from our lives, she is prepared never to touch me for fear of me trying to have sex with her. She must have been doing that for years, we have been together for nearly 20 years and I genuinely can't remember the last time that she was tactile with me in any way. That makes me feel like some kind of predatory monster that can't be trusted. There is a lot to be learned on RN and one key thing is to develop effective communication with your partner. Don't get me wrong, if I look at who has done wrong things in our relationship then I am streets ahead on that front, I am in no way trying to pass blame here but that is actually a sad thing that she firstly felt the need to not touch me and also that she felt that she couldn't talk to me about this sort of thing.

The second thing that bothers me is that there is an underlying message that she does not want to have sex with me. I don't think it is actually that but rather that she would only want to have sex with me when she wants to have sex with me from time to time. The problem with that is that she is nearly always emotionally or physically tired and sex will be the last thing that she wants. We are in a fortunate position that I earn enough for her to not need to have employment so she is a housewife and does a brilliant job in looking after our son and our house. Our home is large so it brings with it a lot of workload. We talked over the weekend about the year ahead and I suggested that she needs to find ways of being less tired so that she can enjoy our life, home and family more. We are both perfectionists and a bit OCD which means that she refused to have someone come in to help with cleaning so she does it all herself and knackers herself in the process. I suggested that there was a half-way house where there isn't an objective for the house to be perfect at all times if the trade-off is her being less tired. Otherwise a cleaner may be the solution. She will give some thought to this but I don't see things changing. The wider issue though is whether or not sex is on the agenda. I have tried to genuinely look at this impartially from both sides. From her side, as outlined above, she is tired a lot of the time and in that sense I can understand that the last thing she will want is for any expectation of sexual interaction with me. If sex is to happen then it needs to be between two people willingly to make it an enjoyable experience. On that basis I give her space despite her impression of me and I rarely make a move on her. From my side I am comfortable giving her space but there is a potential issue if I wait for her to initiate sex. We went through this after my son was born and it went on for 4 years without her making a move. That led to escorts and the start of the really bad stuff and I certainly do not want to get back there. But there must be some middle ground somewhere. When we saw a therapist at the time of her finding out about my affair a few years ago there was clearly a lot of stuff relating to her nearly dying when our son was born that had not been dealt with and she talked to him a lot about that. Maybe that has still not really been dealt with, I have no doubt that the damage I caused through the affair and other things play a significant part in all of this but we committed to trying to put it behind us and to move on. We feel close in many ways but the sex area still feels like it is a no go area.

I spend time reading through the partners' threads on RN as I find that very helpful putting some context in to how I think. Whilst each person has their own story to tell the theme of betrayal and how they have been made to feel through no fault of their own is helpful for me to put context into my own relationship and remember the pain and damage I caused. I know that I hold few cards but if we are to be successful moving forwards we both need to be pulling in the right direction. I am probably a bit frustrated that I have put so much effort into dealing with my own issues through RN (which is only right as the problem primarily rests with me) but I would like to feel that some effort could be put in by my wife too in order to help the process. I had suggested to her on NYE that she be more patient with me (to be fair I think that has been the case) and to be more tactile but the latter has not changed in any way yet I am left feeling that I have done all of this good work to remove any form of appeal from anyone or anything outside of our relationship (which is a position I never thought I would reach) so that I can focus solely on my wife and then find that my wife has no interest in being with me sexually at all. It is very deflating. When I read that back it sounds very selfish but I am trying to do the right thing and position ourselves so that we are in a position where we can lead a normal, healthy and happy life together and that takes two to achieve that. I know that effective communication is required and I will keep on with that. It is helpful for me to record these thoughts though as it helps clear the clutter going through my mind.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:58 am 
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I've been in a really bad mood today. It started yesterday afternoon after I got back home from work which was my first day back in after the Xmas break. Over dinner I was chatting about what some members of staff had mentioned they had done over Xmas. I was then met with a number of probing questions from my wife which she clearly realised I hadn't asked so I think that it was making a point of me not asking the questions she would have asked and therefore I am a poor conversationalist and do not show enough interest in my staff. In fact, the Xmas discussion at work was about half an hour long and we all enjoyed it, we just didn't cover the subjects that my wife would have raised. I felt that what had started as a "oh, you might be interested in this that was mentioned today" more or less turned into a personal attack on what I had not done properly. As usual when my wife is tetchy I get told that I am not talking loud enough for her to hear so I got a few "Sorry you'll need to talk up as I can't hear you" which also gets my back up. Later on as we went up to bed she received a text message from someone trying to organise to meet up with her and she huffed as she didn't want to meet up with them so soon after the last time but said she would reply to agree a date with them tomorrow. I suggested to her that this was one of those times where she commits to something that she doesn't want to do and then feels that she has too much on. I suggested that she could find a nice way of suggesting they meet at a later date. My wife told me that she can't do that as that is what I would do as a cold nosed businessman and she cares too much about how she comes across to her friends. It felt like another attack. I said that her comment made me feel like I had no feelings or sensitivities to other people which couldn't be further from the truth. She said that we should just agree to disagree. Underlying all of this is the comment made over Xmas about not wanting to be tactile with me as there is an expectation of sex on my part. Having encouraged her to be more tactile too without the threat of sex being on the agenda there is still now no signs whatsoever of any interest in considering what I had asked. The one thing I felt she was maybe doing was being more patient and less aggressive with me and the whole of that evening showed me that that had disappeared too. I then went upstairs to bed thinking that if she had a vulnerable conversation with me saying how she felt about something and asking me to do something to help her (e.g. be more tactile and non-aggressive) it would be at the forefront of my mind but when it is her she just doesn't seem to give a toss and it is up to me to just get on with it. At times like that I get a real sense of having no say in anything because I lost the right to that when I screwed up a few years ago. I am probably being paranoid but the situation can't be allowed to be like that.

So from the point of waking up and coming into work this morning I have been in a bad mood and angry about it all. Lots of emotions flowing through me. And surprise, surprise, as a result of being emotional I have been getting urges coming at me from all directions. I haven't done anything obviously as I have action plans being put into play but in addition to having to deal with the goings on at home I now have overload of urge controls to deal with which is exhausting. All in all not a great day.

So why am I posting all of that on here, is it really relevant to my development on RN? Well, I see that it is if it helps me. It probably helps me getting it off my chest which will help clear my mind and perhaps put some things into perspective. It also tells me that life isn't perfect and things won't work how I expect them to all the time. I would rather vent my frustrations here and then regroup and perhaps I can find a more positive way of approaching things at home this evening. When I am on the receiving end of negative comments from my wife it gets my back up very quickly and I am likely to snap back which immediately loses control of the situation. I am consciously trying to remain calm when she gets short with me as it will be a more powerful way of getting my message across that talking to me like that is unnecessary and unwanted.

I am sensing that any passing traffic may soon dwindle if I just moan on a regular basis like this though so I will try and be more positive tomorrow!!

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