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 Post subject: Blame Game
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:21 pm
Posts: 41
I have recently started my RN workshop (currently working on lesson 4) after an extremely violent and heartbreaking collapse of my marriage: my wife found out I had cheated on her with a complete stranger just metres away from where she was sleeping. I remember little. I have recently been drinking too much and experiencing blackouts...during which I act out.
As a result, I now have 6 stitches in the middle of my face and my wife has made me leave the house. I hope it is not forever. I am already devastated. My wife and I have had an amazingly close, loving, fulfilling relationship, and my greatest dream is that we will grow old together.

In any case, my issue is this: I have tried many times to open up to my wife about the extent of my evil urges, and she has basically refused to listen (it angered her too much, she couldn't take it, ...) My problem is that now, even though I want to take full responsibility for my actions....I have this small voice telling me that she should have listened, that if she had listened, things may not have got this bad...

It is completely unacceptable for me to lay even the tiniest shred of blame on her, so how do I get rid of that little voice?


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 Post subject: Re: Blame Game
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:35 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:55 pm
Posts: 1209
The first thing you need to do is remove your actions from the category of good and evil. Use 'right or wrong,' or 'healthy or unhealthy.' When you label yourself good or evil, you will either begin to rationalize your actions according to religious standards (which absolves you of the responsibility) or it locks you away because it places undue burden upon you in the form of never being able to move past these issues. The next thing for you to do is to be careful to not blame your actions on heavy drinking. It is likely that the drinking is a symptom of your issues and highly unlikely that it is the cause of your infidelity

That voice you are speaking of is the addict brain--at least that is what I like to call it. You have to ignore that voice. It is irrational and you know it. The thing to do is to look at your situation and place the things to see and experience into two categories---the rational and the irrational. What your wife will and will not accept, even if it comes from place of anger, is rational. Even though she is deeply involved in this, she is the objective observer in this situation, and whatever rules or boundaries she has put in place must be respected. She has her safety and well being to consider. Anything she demands of you which falls into that category (safety and well being) needs to be considered rational. Only if her demands move herself or you into unsafe territory can they be considered questionable.

That being said, what she wants from you is going to cause the addict brain to try and revolt. Your job is to calmly explain to yourself (50 times a day if necessary) that it is not reasonable that you getting your way in this situation would have made things better. Easier? Most certainly. Better? Not at all. You have to keep reminding yourself you gave up control of this situation and those decisions ('who says what' or 'who listens to who') are no longer yours to make.


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 Post subject: Re: Blame Game
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:21 pm
Posts: 41
I understand her needs. And I understand how important it is for me to accept those needs.
However, we both live as expats in a foreign country. I have no friends I can talk to, spend time with, do activities with here. I have literally been lying in a windowless hotel room for the past 3 days with hardly any contact with anyone. In this time I have found a therapist, gone to a first therapy session, and started my RN workshop quite diligently.
BUT......I don't think I can be alone like this for long. I mean my sadness is turning to anger/despair and I am having more and more suicidal thoughts.
I feel completely amputated without her. She won't even answer any of my messages.
I don't know how much I can accomplish alone in this room. It is exactly the sort of situation i would have been compulsively searching for porn in before....so at least I am resisting that successfully. But RN is pretty much all I'm doing now, since I am stuck here.
I think she may also be using something like RN btw.


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 Post subject: Re: Blame Game
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:31 am 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:55 pm
Posts: 1209
Re-read the last sentence of your first post.

Re-read the first two sentences of your response.

In those three sentences is the answer you need. Everything beginning with "However . . ." in your second post is you wanting someone to give you permission for your pettiness (which is a very common reaction with addicts), and not helping you move forward.

Take the first two sentences of your reply to my post and turn them into a mantra.


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 Post subject: Re: Blame Game
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:21 pm
Posts: 41
Thank you.
Yes, I figured as much myself. I find I keep swinging back and forth emotionally between clarity and self-pity.
I guess it's just the conflict with the part of me I'm trying to get rid of.
Early days...


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 Post subject: Re: Blame Game
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:46 am 
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Recovery Mentor

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

I often think this is one of the hardest parts of recovery, obviously for partners but for addicts too. Coach S as ever has given great advice.

What I found important was separating what happened and why it happened - from what is happening now. Separate the reasons from the consequences.

Whatever shock we are going through is nothing compared to partners dealing with betrayal and lies. This is obviously an important and urgent matter to deal with, but it is in a different category from us as addicts coming to terms with what we have done. By that I mean we tend to get wrapped up in self-pity, with feeling got at, with being defensive. When our partners are hurt and angry, it is easy for all of that to come out.

I was exactly like this, unable to hear my wife's hurt, or understand really what I had done. All my defence mechanisms went into over drive.

Working the workshop helped - it offered some perspective and slowly enabled me to accept the severe consequences of my actions.

By consequences, I mean that my wife had every reason in the universe to leave me and never look back. The question I faced was - do I still recover, even if she did this?

This is the challenge we all face here. I think this too is why Jon stresses Values - we recover to live according to internal set of ethics and ideas, not the idea of repairing the damage we have done. This is hard to realise - especially for sex addicts who crave constant external validation.

But learning internal validation is what RN is all about.

Shaw


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 Post subject: Re: Blame Game
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:11 am 
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General Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
Shaw72 wrote:
This is hard to realise - especially for sex addicts who crave constant external validation.

But learning internal validation is what RN is all about.


So very true and essential in the process of recovery - i.e. learning how to lead a healthily balanced life.
I have found that internal validation (the real deal, not the one tained by selfishness, self-explanatory excuses or feeling of superiority) is being built simultanously with a sense of identity which intentionally rests on the chosen values. In other words, we have to build/rebuild our core identity intentionally by chopping off, adding, changing, adjusting, refining, and constantly assessing the alignment of actions and thoughts to values and vision, thus constructing a system of internal validation. Once we act in line with our chosen values and we consciously make that assessment, no external validation or invalidation can influence our actions or thoughts in significant ways. We become accountable to ourselves and we hold ourselves responsible. Not wanting to fail ourselves becomes the norm and we choose to act in our best interest. We learn how to love and care for ourselves. Whether others decide to bestow their love upon us really becomes a priceless addition which compliments the core of self-love, self-respect and self-validation that is already in place. Whatever you do, do for yourself, but not because you stand to lose others but because you stand to gain yourself.

Peace

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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