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 Post subject: Four years on
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:43 am
Posts: 110
I've worked with RN now four four years. I've started, restarted and updated several times. I've updated lies and tried to tell it how it has been. I don't want now to go back over old ground nor write some sort of essay. I think it may be worth putting down some statements of how I see the world now and ask for feedback from others. Here goes....

My original problem was with porn in every shape and form magazines and then internet. I mastrubated to porn for forty years even when married and having sex on a regular basis. An alcoholic when they give up the booze must find it easy to prove they haven't gone back. I can only say to my wife that this is how it is. She has no reason to believe me and it is sometimes very frustrating that I can't prove I am clean.

I've never visited prostitutes, a sauna or been to a lap dancing club but I can't prove this. I've always been a looker not a toucher. I try and tell my wife the very idea of touching someone else fills me with horror but this is something that always comes between us. Again how can we move on from this?

I've always objectified people. I have looked at women especially dressed up in heels etc. I am aware of what I have been doing and now us CBT and other methods to reduce my objectification. I suppose that this will always be something to keep an eye on but I feel I am making progress. This is another one that I struggle to prove. If only my addiction were like drinking and I could prove I haven't drunk anything out of the bottle of don't have a smell on my breadth.

My wife wants me to speak on a daily basis about who/what I've seen during the day. We call it signing in. Many days I have nothing to sign in about and this causes more trouble than than if I had spent the day looking at porn. I find it very difficult broaching the subject. Any ideas on how this can be accomplished more easily would be welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:57 pm
Posts: 317
Hi Forwardcontrol,
This seems like a way for your wife to figure out who you are. I have a similar dynamic with my wife, although we don't talk about this subject daily, we "sign in" semi regularly. You can look at this as a way for your wife to get a fuzzy feeling about how you're doing, since she lost all trust in her perception with respect to who you are and what you're capable of (your boundaries)
I find this is a good time to not just share about what you've seen, but also your feelings about and throughout the day. It helps to open up about frustration, anxiety, or anything else that affects your thought process. And this could help you as well as help her to understand who she's with.


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 8:41 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3642
Location: UK
Hi FC
IMO this is a difficult balance
she wants indeed knows that she needs to know what risk she is exposed to, and rightly so
however, she is also tending to "police" you
whereas that is your responsibility

so a dilemma

my advice would be that you put her needs first, after the length of your recovery journey you should be able to do this without having a negative effect on your own journey whilst perhaps it might help to promote her journey of healing


Quote:
She has no reason to believe me and it is sometimes very frustrating that I can't prove I am clean.

and why should / would she believe you, she is hurt and confused , the onus and hopefully not burden of proof is down to you

Quote:
I find it very difficult broaching the subject.


perhaps therein lies the problem :pe:

good luck to the both of you and remember that you are not simply building a new relationship you are also dismantling an old toxic one , but it can be done if the both of you want it

stay healthy

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 9:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:02 am
Posts: 116
Hi FC

Your journey and situation doesn't sound too different from my own.

Quote:
My wife wants me to speak on a daily basis about who/what I've seen during the day. We call it signing in. Many days I have nothing to sign in about and this causes more trouble than than if I had spent the day looking at porn. I find it very difficult broaching the subject. Any ideas on how this can be accomplished more easily would be welcome.


I can also relate to this. One thing that I think helps is going beyond just looking for negative moments. My wife and I bought a marriage book 10+ years ago and it suggested that couples share a couple of their feelings from the day and find a couple ways to affirm each other. We've committed to doing this daily and have been doing so for a decent period of time. A few months ago we agreed to add that I would share about things I found stressful in the day and how I managed my emotions and urges. Most days I don't have much to share, but I do try to connect with her and share from the heart how I am dealing with stress. She wants to know what's going on inside me. She finds openness helpful in her healing and trusting process.

Quote:
She has no reason to believe me and it is sometimes very frustrating that I can't prove I am clean.


I face the same thing... and she sometimes breaks down crying as she opens up telling me that she knows there is no way for her to really know, that I have fooled her before. We have several things in place that help her feel that the risk is managed, but we both know that there is no fool proof safety net and it is hard to trust when you've been hurt many times. The thing I have accepted is that there is no way for her to know and if I was in her shoes I would hate that. So, I don't set out to find a way to prove myself, but I work hard to make sure I am not putting up any barriers to her either and work on letting her in.

I regret the time I spent trying to be 'logical' with her, trying to convince her to believe me or do things the way I think they should be done to help me be the healthiest person I can be. She has asked me to do somethings I don't think are logical, but looking back I realize I didn't behave logically and she is afraid of being hurt, so some of her emotional responses are not exactly logical, she actually know this too. She wants to work it out with me, but she knows it's at a huge risk to herself. When i see the risk she is taking then when we talk and I don't 'feel' like there is anything new to share, I share whatever that day held for me, I must have felt something and i must have reacted to that some how, so I share it. I let her in on my processing, sometimes I share how I would have responded in the past to something that happened, a celebration and it gives her new (and painful) insight into what the addiction really was. And she feels I am being open with her and that is what she is really looking for, openness, and the real me.

I'm learning about the real me in the process too and that is liberating.

That's been my experience so far anyway, not sure if it's helpful. 4 years sounds like a long time, but then again it doesn't does it? I'm wondering if I will ever have my wife's full trust, I don't deserve it, but the tiny little bit I have gained in the last year has given me cause for hope.


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:10 pm
Posts: 511
Hi there

I too have been 4+ years through this process and I can identify with a lot of what you have been though as well! Ultimately it comes down to trust I suppose. If your wife is with you still in this process, she wants to trust you, to be with you and to love you, but counterbalancing that is this large black cloud hanging over her, with her constantly thinking and worrying about what you are doing and if she is going to get another emotional punch again. We are always self-centred as addicts and tend to minimise the effect we have on others, be it family members, significant others, sex workers, the people we objectify or anyone else in our genral orbit. She will be finding it really difficult to balance the two sides of things, wanting to trust you and have the emotional connection, while wanting to step back and protect herself. She will be having a lot of inner turmoil I'm sure, so I feel the best you can do is share things, positive and negative, with her about how you are feeling and behaving and encourage her to do the same. It's scary and uncomfortable and I wish I hadn't had to go through with it myself, but I took the attitude that it's a very small price to pay to be able to have a future together with someone in a real relationship, not just a 2 dimensional one with a screen or a magazine or whatever.

I don't know if you have a gratitude list or similar, but I find that's a useful tool for me and to be able to just even share simple things like how beautiful a sunset looks or something like that is a great way of improving an emotional link. Compliment her on dinner or how she looks and that will help as well.

Another thing that I know I don't do enough of is to tell her something that I love about my wife. E.g. I love that she is a good and inventive cook - and to reinforce it I give her 3 reasons why - such as 1) we have tasty, healthy meals to eat 2) Our meals are never boring and 3) she is always open to new tastes and experiences and that has helped me develop a more open attitude as well.

All or none of this may work for you, I just know that they have helped me get through the last 4 years and helped me move forward in life. If you work at it, be accepting of her emotional ups and downs and NEVER resent them, but try and understand, apologise where suitable and be prepared to step back at times and give her space and time to think through where she is at, then hopefully your life will reach a better place. It will take work and time, but I'm sure it will be worth it. To be able to share a laugh and a joke and a hug and a cuddle with my wife is so much better than the fake reality of addiction.

Good luck with your life and your relationship. Well done for getting as far as you have so far and keep moving forward. I'm sure it will be worth all the rollercoaster rides. I've certainly tried most of them in the last 4 years I think! :s:


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 6:35 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3642
Location: UK
this thread reminds me that:

we are not unique in our situations, others have / are plagued by those same fears and demons

we are not alone, this community and this programme serves and supports those who deserve and really strive for positive change

the process of recovery is so much more than ridding ourselves of addiction and it certainly is for the long road

We start from a s*** place and improve whilst our partners start from a safe trusting place , have their dream shattered and then regress to that s*** place before starting their journey, hence we need to be supportive and patient, traits that SA's find foreign

FC thanks for posting and provoking these reminders

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:43 am
Posts: 110
Hi All. Those respomnses were just great and give me much to think about. I"M going to post a few things as they happen and get some feedback as I sincerely think that your inputs are worth listening to.

At the weekend my wife and I did many things including having dinner out, helping my son lay some deckingband spending time at home. On the Sunday we went out for a walk. So it seems did the rest of the world so it was very busy out with walkers, cyclists and others. I thought we had had a great day out but later my wife asked me about looking at a female cyclist. I genuinely don't know what she was talking about. I spent my day making sure I wasn't objectifying anyone, I really was on the ball. My wife though is angry saying that I just don't want to admit looking at someone but all I can say is that I don't know what she is talking about and I really don't. Sure there were people everywhere and if I wanted to I'm sure I could have found someone to look at but it just wasent the case.

I feel hard done by and we are again at loggerheads. Any suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 4:30 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3642
Location: UK
Hello FC
I relate directly to your situation
I am heading towards 7 years post D day, stopped scanning maybe 5 years ago (that was the most difficult of my SA traits to rid myself of)
but still my ex "catches " me
last week we were out for a drive when at the traffic lights a biker pulled up along side, I was admiring the machine, immaculately kept, but was asked,
why are you looking at her?
"she" was a man, with long hair protruding from under a full face helmet, dressed in full leathers
but I was guilty

however where does the fault lie?
unfortunately with me , She did not want or deserve to become a suspicious UN-trusting woman
She does not have an "objectification meter" only eyes and perception
She has fears and doubts as does your wife, they need and have the right to self protection

Quote:
I feel hard done by


of course you do
I do
but what can we do?

IMO if we want to build a life together with the woman we love but did not appreciate, then we need to:

Recover,
be honest
Demonstrate transparency and openness
and take the criticisms on the chin, but I think you knew all of this already

not sure this helps, but feeling sorry for ourselves doesn't either

as a by the way it helps if she will vocalise her concerns as they occur rather than later, then they can be nipped in the bud or admitted to immediately and so you move on

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:43 am
Posts: 110
Thanks all for your reply they are indeed thoughtful and inspiring. I am at a but of a low point at the present but having your support really makes a difference.i will post again soon when I feel I am in a better place.


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:56 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
Hi Forward

I was looking through some recent posts and this caught my eye. Like the others, this is a familiar problem to anyone in recovery and also a relationship.

The hard truth is the problem is not ours, not really, but our Partners. I know my own wife would say - your wife should consider working the partner's workshop. My wife got enormous practical help from it and from the amazing community.

Only other partners going through the shock of discovery, the pain of reflection and the horror of realisation can really understand. It is a lonely place. But RN offers help and support.

For us? Kenzo has put it well, as always. In a way, the choice is again not ours to make. My wife asked me to read a book about forgiveness that clarified a lot of issues for her, and to be honest did the same for me.

A central part of it was that forgiveness is something we earn, not something that is given by those who we have hurt. Sure, they have the final say on it, but winning that trust requires long, diligent work.

And here is the rub for us all - the true consequence of our actions. We may recover. We may neve rlook at porn again. We may sort out all our problems.

And still it may not be enough to win back the trust of those we have hurt.

Those are jus the facts of the case. The question we are left with, is what do we do now?

For me, this realisation - llike a bucked of cold water - made me ask: why am I recovering? To repair my smashed marriage? Sure - of course. But it cannot just be for that. Or to put this another way - even if my wife leaves me, then do I want to recover? To be a better, happier and healthier person.

This is the question we all face and need to answer. Do let me know what you think?!

Great post.
Shaw


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 Post subject: Re: Four years on
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:11 am 
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Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:54 am
Posts: 1377
PS

Here are details about the forgiveness book: How can I forgive you?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Can-I-Forg ... ORGIVE+YOU
Shaw


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