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 Post subject: MyTurn's healing thread
PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 7:11 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Lesson 1

I met my fiance during our childhood. He was enamored with me, however, I was much younger at the time (me 12, him 16) and nothing came of it. He did pursue me until I was 19. He also had a serious girlfriend during this time which should have been clue #1 for me.
Almost 30 years later, on the verge of separation he contacted me again via facebook. We messaged back and forth for a year before meeting. He was married at the time but never mentioned her which I believe is a lie of omission. I overlooked this and kept our discussions friendly. We met just before their separation. It was a love affair for sure - I felt I had met the love of my life - I felt loved , secure and so happy.
Five or six months after meeting in 2010, while on a trip I used his laptop to check my yahoo email. When I opened yahoo he had forgot to close his email and I saw the long list of contacts for threesomes, voyeurism, sex with women. At the time he told me he would stop and I believed him. I knew nothing of sex addiction at the time. Fast forward 2 years to 2012 something told me to log into one of his yahoo accounts that appeared on his cell phone. Again I found the long list of messages for the same activities and I was able to verify actual acting out on many occasions. Before and after this I found the odd thing - such as a message such as 'hi' to some strange phone number. Everything was explained away - in the early days he said his craigslist postings were created by his exwife, he claims that there is no contact ... which I'm able to verify later that there has been. From 2012 to now I have not found evidence of any acting out but once I started checking I have found numerous calls and texting to hookers. He claims that it is only texting even though the hookers are always in the area he is in. It has been lie after lie and deceit after deceit. This past March I found that he was using an old cell phone. At this point we are living in separate rooms in the same house. I have told him about this site but no interest. He thinks he is going to recover with time and by going to his weekly SA meetings. AS well as the actual sex addiction, lieing and immature behaviour are serious problems.

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 6:21 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Stage 1 - lesson 2 - Life Vision

I will look after my physical health by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising on a daily basis. I will pursue my love of nature by spending time outdoors in the countryside. I will indulge my creative side by gardening and continuing to learn the Italian language. Honesty and authenticity is extremely important to me and I will associate with others that value these same attributes. I will practice compassion and empathy towards others while at the same time not allowing it to affect my life in a negative way. I will live a non-judgemental life. Home life is very important to me and I will enjoy and appreciate my home daily. I will nurture those relationships in my life by making sure to contact and visit regularly as well as nurture new friendships by becoming involved in local activities. I value communication skills and will be open to using them with my partner to solve problems. I will pursue a romantic relationship based on the values of fidelity, open communication, trust, respect and love.

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 3:54 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Stage 1 – Lesson 3

a. Times my gut feeling was right or I felt strongly I was right
- A woman he met overseas was emailing and texting him. I suspected something and was told that she was his Russian language teacher. I later found skype messages between the 2 of them in which it was clear he may have impregnated her
- I was using his cell phone and a happy birthday message came for an email account I was not aware of. I later accessed the account to learn he was acting out a lot
- 2 months ago I strongly suspected he was using a 2nd cell phone. I later found it and the content revealed he was at least accessing craigslists ads and texting escorts
- I strongly suspect he is spending huge amounts on hookers, even though he tells me he only texts them as well as ‘only’ reads craigslists ads
- I suspect his second cell phone would reveal more physical encounters if forensics were done on it
b. Times I overrode my gut with my head/heart
- After the last definitive proof of actual sex with others in 2012, my gut told me it didn’t just ‘stop’. Since I had no proof, I ignored the gut feeling
- Daily my heart/head overrides my gut feeling that he doesn’t have the ability to recover
c. likely behaviors, situations and/or feelings that may trigger a conflict between your gut instinct, your value system and/or reality.
- finding a text to a hooker with no response or a ‘hello’ to a hooker on facebook with no response – my head tells me to ignore, my gut tells me there is much more
- My comfort with him and my fear of being alone and lonely triggers a conflict between my gut and head/heart

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 8:18 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Stage 1 - lesson 4

Make a list of those values in your partner's life that — in your gut — you believe is a part of him. Set aside the addiction and the behaviors that were a part of that addiction. Focus on what values you believe will survive the recovery process

- generous with money/gifts
- fun
- spontaneous
- funny
- intelligent
- prepares meals/does cleanup
- able to do major household projects

Make a list of those qualities in your partner that you believe will continue to pose as obstacles throughout your relationship

- lack of empathy for me or others
- disaster with finances
- immature
- no sense of boundaries including physical property
- controlling
- ADHD (diagnosed)
- projects attributes to me that are false
- highly suspect he is gaslighting me (meaningless circular conversations)

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:27 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Stage 1 - Lesson 5

A. How do you manage your stress? What would it take for you to become so emotionally overwhelmed that you would turn to irrational behavior to produce enough intensity to escape from that stress? Can you think of a time in your life that you have turned to such a measure?

It depends on the stress. If it is financial stress I make a plan. If it is stress of something like loss of a loved one, I turn to others for support. If it is a stress I cannot control, like my partners sex addiction i turn to anger. I have even thought of turning to alcohol. His exwife became an alcoholic during their marriage, which is what stops me. It would take prolonged exposure to my partners SA and his ADHD to create enough intensity to turn to irrational behaviour. I have turned to extreme anger in dealing with my partners sex addiction and ADHD (screaming and throwing things) due to feeling 'not being heard'.

B. Consider a compulsive behavior that you have engaged in. Break it down thoroughly. Get a sense for the anxiety that you experienced prior to engaging in the act. Imagine the continued anxiety that you would have experienced had you not engaged in the act. Describe that anxiety in your own words.

Only compulsive act I can think of is occasional binge eating. I don't feel anxiety prior to engaging in the act. I feel excitement and then afterwards I feel bad about myself for losing control. Had I not binged I would have continued to crave those foods.

C. In contemplating the role that addiction has played in your partner's life, imagine what his/her life would be like without this life management skill in place. To be clear, the task here is not to imagine his life without the consequences of the addiction, but to imagine how he would manage his emotions without having the compulsive act to engage in. How would he stimulate himself emotionally? What would he use to regulate his stress? Not how should he, mind you, but how would he?

Without this addiction, I think he would turn to anger and addiction to the internet, facebook for example.

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 11:29 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Exercise 6
Patterns that can be attributed to sexualized mind:
- Looking at others in public as potential sex partners
- need for immediate gratification - I see this in several aspects of his life - eg. wanting me to move forward with him w/o him doing the hard work; wanting money without working hard to get a good job
- ritually looking at craigslist ads
- considers porn normal and considers looking at craigslist ads to be 'just' porn
- tells or told stories about others sexual experiences (may have been lies)

Areas I have observed
Sexualized mind
- thinking about sex most of the time
Objectified mind
- thinking of strangers as potential sex partners
Immediate gratification
- to soothe his boredom

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 7:56 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Lesson 7

A. Consider the role that you have played in your partner's recovery to date. In the field below, describe these roles as they relate to:
I. Effective communication
- I am trying to be a good 'sounding board' for his ideas/thoughts on why this happened and what he needs to do to recover. I am, however, frequently lapsing into anger and blaming and rehashing the past. I am working on looking at this objectively, although it is very difficult due to the pain. I have apologized for an incorrect accusation I made. We need to set up ground rules for healthy communication as we have not had healthy communcation our entire relationship - I have never felt 'heard' and he admits to some issues that contribute to this. I have discussed values and needs with him , sharing mine and asking him what his are.

II. Managing your partner's recovery
- I have been somewhat pushy about him joining RN by periodically asking if he has joined (he has not). I found his support group that he has been attending since last September. I have decided to leave it up to him now.

III. Empowering/disempowering a pursuit of health
- I oscillate between being stuck on being hurt and my own growth. To that end, I belong to an excellent FB group and am doing the lessons here on RN. When/if I can afford it I will go to a counsellor. I have disempowered my pursuit of health by ruminating but also by thinking he will never get better. I also am disempowering my health by being in a state of limbo - that is , remaining in our home even though we are currently not acting as a couple.

B. Consider the focus and attention that has been offered to your partner in recovery; are you gaining equal resource to heal your own wounds? If not, what can you do to ensure that your healing is considered every bit as important as your partner's recovery?
- until very recently, most of the focus and attention has been on him - discussions, therapists, 12 step meetings and my issues have been largely ignored by both of us. I am now focusing on myself and detaching to allow myself to work on my values and needs.

C. (optional) For those who have made the decision to either stay in the relationship or "wait and see", considering the roles discussed in this lesson (or additional roles that you have thought of), what changes might you consider making to your relationship that would increase its chances for success?
- I would consider really working on our communcation skills. I am also working on my own issues.

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:50 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Stage 1 Lesson 8

If you were to identify three issues relating to your partner's recovery that you would like to see changed, what would they be?

a. I'd like to see committment to a recovery program like RN or The Mindful Habit. So far, he only talks about it. Even 20 mins a day, as long it was consistent and sincere.

b. I'd like to see him initiate conversation about his SA instead of ignoring it

c. I'd like to see him address his ADHD, possibly with meds as I feel this is contributing to his SA

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 9:00 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Section 1 - lesson 9

A. What are the key signs that you have observed in your partner that lead you to believe that he/she is engaged in a healthy recovery?

- he is open to doing the RN program and is looking at it objectively
- he is attending SA anon meetings weekly
- on his initiative he did testing for personality disorders and scored very high in psychopathy and narcisism
- he is being honest about his doubts on recovery given that he has psychopathic traits like lack of empathy
- he is being honest about having lack of empathy and lying

B. What are the key signs that you have observed in your partner that lead you to believe that he/she is NOT engaged in a healthy recovery?

- I have caught him texting with contacts met through craigslist and he responds irrationally and defensively and has used blameshifting ("you told me it was over so I said F it" yet later tells me he can quit)
- I see him acting irrationally and immaturely in other important areas of his life (finances and job search)
- he is being complacent and not making RN a priority
- his relationship with his daughters has been severed due to his SA and he shows no desire to reunite with them
- he is going through a bad time right now due to a job loss and not being prepared for it and believes he is 'cursed'

C. How have you communicated your observations to your partner? Have you communicated the healthy observations as well as the unhealthy? How has your partner responded?

- I have tried to but any type of serious discussion quickly leads to comments such as "you don't have to tell me ..." which leads to anger in me and it escalates out of control; in general, I have never felt 'heard' so I oscillate between anger due to frustration and withdrawal
- my desire would be to have a calm and rational conversation where we discuss all observations and problems on both sides and solutions but this does not seem possible

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:51 pm 

Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 8:53 am
Posts: 18
Stage 2 - Lesson 1

Return to your vision created in Stage One; Lesson Two. Select the three most important values that you need right now to help you stabilize your life.

1. Taking care of my physical health with diet, exercise and sleep
2. Living a nonjudgemental and empathatic life
3. Honesty and trust in my main relationships

B) For each, think about the meaning and fulfillment you are getting compared to the potential meaning and fulfillment available.
1. I am sleeping well but I am walking sporadically. I am not eating enough nutritious food as I am feeling very stressed. I am drinking too much diet soda. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
2. I am really trying and have been moving towards this way of living for years. I was raised in a household that was very judgemental towards others. When in the company of others that do this I momentarily get caught up in it. I want to be able to not get caught up in it at all and remove myself from judging and also be empathetic to others situations.
3. I do not have this with the person I was in a relationship with for 7 years at all. I do not see potential in the current relationship for this. I do not see he values this as I do and is capable of it.

C) Develop a specific plan that will allow you to maximize the potential in each of those three values.
1. I will go back to the diet I was on last summer that made me feel so well. I will make an effort to walk my dog everyday. I have taken a little part time cleaning job, in part for the exercise. I will cut out the diet soda completely.
2. I will stop myself when I find myself being judgemental and adjust my thinking. I believe I am almost there on this.
3. I can only 'wait and see' if there will be change on this from my partner. There is nothing I can do about this. I will give a deadline to see change.

D) List the steps you will take in the next 24 hours to begin strengthening each value.
1. I will cut out the diet soda immediately and spend more time outdoors walking/playing with my dog.
2. Same as in step C
3. I will pay more attention to how I feel when I am lied to or deceived. I will journal how it makes me feel and honor those feelings instead of burying them as I have in the past.

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