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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:56 am 
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Stage Three -- Lesson Six
Identifying your boundaries

Exercise Nineteen
A. Make a list of rules that you can use to help define the boundaries of your most important values. Like goals, each rule should be specific and measurable.
Example Value: Trust

* Rule #1 I will be honest with my partner at all times.
* Rule #2 An omission of the truth is the same as a lie.
* Rule #3 When I lie about the smaller details of an event, my partner has that right to assume that I am lying about the main details as well.
* Rule #4 When I have been untruthful, I will accept responsibility and be held accountable exactly as outlined in our contract
* Rule #5 On occasion, my partner has the right to take into account all of the circumstantial evidence to come to their own conclusions towards an event. They do not need absolute proof.
* Rule #6 In a conflict, the most logical explanation will be the one that is accepted, with bizarre or unlikely excuses accepted only when they can be proven.

Example Value: Sexual Intimacy

* Rule #1 I always have the right to say no or stop my involvement in sexual behavior if I feel uncomfortable.
* Rule #2...

My own list of values and rules:

Integrity

Rule # 1: doing what you say you are going to do, even if you could get away with not doing it (and of course, not doing what you say you are going to refrain from doing).

Rule #2: behaving ethically even if you could do otherwise and not get caught -- ie don't have getting caught as the motivator, but because you want to live with integrity

Rule #3: behaving properly on the big issues in particular, such as sexual, honesty about major things

Sexual standards

Rule #1: when in a relationship, remaining faithful if those are the parameters, and letting your partner know if you want to change parameters, and negotiating changes through open communication

Rule #2: always having the right to say yes or no, and the right to change your mind

Rule #3: doing your best to be open and proactively involved to keep things interesting and exciting

Commitment

Rule #1: doing your best to act committed, not just saying it

Rule #2: communicating needs so that your partner is able to fulfill them, rather than complaining that things are not fulfilled


B. Describe a scenario from your past where not having a well-defined set of boundaries has prolonged and/or intensified the personal consequences that you have experienced.

Example: Engaged in an affair that I initially tried to avoid.

This is actually a good example from my own past. I resisted getting involved with someone else, while I was waiting for Perfect Guy to move to my town. I didn't feel it was right to get involved with another person in the interim and I didn't want to get involved with anyone else anyway, even if it had been all right, or even if others viewed it as healthy. Perfect Guy, however, even encouraged me to fool around and even though I didn't want to, I was lonely and horny (still in my mid-twenties) and then I did get involved with another guy briefly.

It was a waste of time, the person wasn't nice to me -- I was only HIS rebound girl -- and the experience set me back. I didn't feel good about myself, I didn't get anything I wanted out of the experience, it only made me pine for the first guy that much more, and there was even a pregnancy scare that came back to haunt me concerning the local authorities, when they used some of that information in a subsequent custody and access issue I faced a couple of years later.

Also, I think that in the back of my mind I was hoping that seeing this other person might make Perfect Guy want me more and step up, seeing me being wanted by another. But if anything, I think it might have helped Perfect Guy feel a sense of relief in not relating to me fully, perhaps absolving him of some guilt he might have had over abandoning me, which is essentially what he had done. So if anything it helped Perfect Guy feel less connected and committed to me, and I still felt as lonely as ever, and didn't feel good about myself or the direction I was allowing my sexuality to take.

If I had only adhered to my own standards of not getting involved with someone I wasn't genuinely interested in being involved with, that relationship would never have happened, regardless of the pressure I was placed under by others.


C. Describe a potentially realistic event in your life where having mastered the use of boundaries will assist you in managing the event in such a way as to protect your value system.

Example: My spouse expects me to have sex on demand.

An example I can think of that is realistically possible and maybe even probable is when I am in a situation with friends and some of them do not know I am involved with my present H. So sometimes other men express interest in me, but now, because I have intact integrity, sexual standards when in a relationship, and commitment to my partner, I am easily able to resist any come-ons. And I also avoid them very easily by not doing anything in my own mind to harbour any interests. This is easy these days since my H is being really wonderful to me in many ways -- so I look forward to being with him whenever I'm away.


Last edited by Healthlove on Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 2:10 am 
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Stage 3, Lesson 7
Developing healthy boundaries

exercise 20

Review the list of rules that you created for yourself in the previous exercise and compare them to your current list of values. Are they sufficient in allowing you to protect those values? Most likely, they are not. Ten rules is but a drop in the bucket in terms of what is required for efficient life management. Over the next several months, keep a log of the moderate to major events that occur in your life, and assess your ability to deal with these events in terms of your existing boundaries. Family arguments, decisions, chore assignments, etc. All are related to your values, and all should have boundaries that protect those values.

With each event, identify the specific event, the values that were infringed upon, the existing boundaries that were in place to protect those values and any additional rules/boundaries that may help you the next time you face a similar situation. You will not be turning this information in to anyone or posting it anywhere. It is strictly for you to formalize the process of developing your personal boundaries and reinforcing how those boundaries can be altered 'on the fly' to protect your values.

Events:

relating to my son
trying to develop a healthy sexual relationship with my H
balancing work and play, socializing and solitary, relationship with my H


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:23 am 
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Before going on with the lessons, I wanted to document some "aha" moments I have been having lately. One is the fact that my H was really dismissing MY feelings when he responds to my remarks that his P and AO affected how he related to and maybe felt about me. He tends to say things like I always loved you despite what I did. Which might be true, but he wasn't enthusiastic -- like he was about the P and the AO. So he minimizes my pain by not wanting to acknowlege it. Of course, acknowledging it means he would have to feel remorse, and that is something he still is loathe to do, it seems. So not quite the healthy reaction I would like to see -- I got this insight after reading Snowdrop's Moment of Clarity posting and her and Nellie's discussion of us being us -- and that this is our healthy right.

And now, another insight. My H has always said that he was ONLY interested in the OW he AO with because they were playing a certain role. Maybe that is true. But if so, why has he continued to scan random W on the street who more or less look like the OW he was most involved with? And he does say he was never attracted to her. But if he was only interested in OW besides me because of the role they played, this seems very inconsistent with the scanning ordinary strangers in the shopping mall who happen to look like the "type" he tended to view in P. These strangers are not playing any role -- certainly not one of "whore" -- which is what my H says he felt he needed in order to be able to be interested in sex (once I told him I wouldn't have sex with him if he were drinking -- so that is when he started AO with various OW, all of whom were prostitutes).

And he has almost eliminated scanning lately -- but not completely, as he seems to glance briefly from time to time. But the fact that he says he "made a point of not looking at the women in the restaurant tonight" makes me realize that he has to work at it, as if he would like to, if only I would go along with it. And that makes me feel bummed out, makes me doubt his devotion despite all the many efforts he is making.

But now we're in a big crisis since I will almost certainly be having to move in the next few months. He says he loves me more than ever now. Does he mean it?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:36 am 
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Things continue to be pretty hard for me. I am feeling overwhelmed by many things, including the insecurity of not knowing when I will have to leave the house I have loved and which has felt like home for many years. The landlord might sell it soon or maybe not for a while, but I have no control over that, and need to do way too much cleaning and sorting before I will be ready to move. So I have started that process, and it is very painful, because this brings up a lot of triggers for me -- lots of painful memories, so I wind up crying a lot, and then avoiding the work. I am in touch with my in-person support network about that, which is good though.

I had my surgery almost two weeks ago, and am healing well. That's good. But it has brought up some issues: I can't lift anything over 10 lbs -- not without feeling a noticeable increase in pain, so that's not good. This limits my ability to do even basic things, such as taking out the trash.

But a more significant thing is that because I am healing so well, I should be able to resume most of my normal activities in about a month from now. Such as swimming. And sex. Which, the doctor assures me, should be better now that the bladder is out of the way.

But I am realizing that my H is not really making the headway I had hoped in developing an exercise program or routine for himself that would probably make a big difference in his pain level. The specialists he has seen have all said that the best hope for improved health and a real reduction in pain -- and in his desire for painkillers -- is to exercise every day or almost every day. And this is where the problem is. He won't. He finds the painkiller he is taking makes him drowsy. And the pain itself is tiring for him, and he will not force himself to go for a brisk walk on a regular basis. And he has basically given up swimming except for maybe once a month for a half an hour. That's good, but it isn't making the difference it seemed to last time, when he had this painful nerve condition, and when he made a concerted effort to exercise regularly back then. But this time, he just doesn't seem motivated.

He says he is overwhelmed by everything that has happened in his life in terms of the P and AO, which wasn't nearly as bad previously, but got worse as time went on. Last time, once he managed to get rid of the nerve pain, that is when he completely ignored his health in terms of his blood sugar stability and what he was consuming. Back then he drank and smoked heavily, and let his addictions take over. But interestingly, he also worked out fairly regularly, and went swimming quite a bit, and generally remained active. Plus, the P and AO in itself involved sexually activity which must have got his circulation going on a regular basis, considering how much of his time he devoted to all of that in addition to working out.

I talked about it all with him tonight. I said that it's ironic that once he confessed (dday) and said that he wants to be a brand new man, that is when he started drinking even MORE than previously, from what I can tell, as well as continued heavy smoking and many slips -- and that is also when he almost completely stopped exercising. Also, until last year, he pretty much gave up eating and alcohol and junk food became the mainstay of his diet. Then last year, when I walked in on him while he was M to P, that is when he stopped using it, as far as I can tell, except for one or two other occasions in the late summer and on both occasions, I have reason to believe he caught himself and stopped himself (and after that last time, that's about when he stopped drinking intemperately too).

Shortly after that incident where I walked in on him, his diabetes was so bad (sugar levels were sky-high and probably for an extended period) that he needed to start taking insulin. And the nerve pain returned with a vengeance. Yet, he mainly writhed around in bed all last summer and into the fall and winter. Then in the late winter he started taking Lyrica, which helps dull the pain, but also dulls his motivation to do much other than sleep, read or watch tv. Sure he has now quit smoking and hardly drinks at all, which are really good steps in the right direction. But he has become sedentary most of the time. He still hardly swims. He rarely goes for a real walk, other than a short jaunt up the street to the coffee shop. But not brisk exercise like he did last time -- which seemed to be his real ticket out of the pain. I think the exercise made a significant difference. And would if he were to do it again.

But this time, it seems like he would rather spend his money taking the expensive painkillers and isn't very interested in doing what would probably actually fix the problem.

He tried Viagara and Cialis a couple of times before my surgery, but the pain on both occasions was simply too extreme for him to feel aroused. He just can't stand to be touched in any sexual manner.

So not only am I losing hope that things will get better this time, I am wondering if he really doesn't want an intimate relationship with me anymore. He has been very generous in many ways: he has been steadfastly by my side with my big concerns about moving, and about how things will go for ME sexually after the surgery. He has driven me to appointments, helped with supporting me now that I have had to take time off work, and so on. He has treated me to nice dinners out, surprised me with little treats, gone to the library to get movies that he thinks I will enjoy. And he does cuddle and hold my hand, and give me the occasional hug or kiss.

But that is it. In no way does he ever get excited. And he knows that it will only leave us frustrated if he can't get "into it" sexually so I think he feels "why bother" at this point.

Which is all understandable -- except that it's within his power to do something to change it and yet he won't. Now, he is probably depressed and discouraged -- but he is choosing not to do what he needs to, in order to not be depressed, in order to cope and DO something about the circulation and FIX the problem, or at least improve it so that he doesn't need the painkillers that seem to only bring on lassitude and sexual indifference. If he really wants to do something about the lassitude-inducing factor, then perhaps he will talk to a doctor about taking a different painkiller, something that is not sedating.

But he has yet to take this step. He IS seeing his endocrinologist next week so possibly he will address this then. But the thing that is making me feel really doubtful at this point is that he expressed real resentment tonight that I still wish we could have sex, and that I wish he would want it too, and feel motivated to resume an exercise routine that would really get that blood moving and cut down the pain enough that he would not want sedating medication and so that being touched could feel good.

It really hurt to hear him express resentment that I make sex such a high priority. But the fact is that I do, and not being able to have that element in our relationship is quite devastating.

I also realize that I tend to nag him to exercise like he did last time, and nag him to want to resume that sexual experience with me. So I told him that I don't like nagging him, but that this is the frustration I feel and that maybe it's better if we don't see each other as much. HE AGREED! That hurt terribly. Now I see that he does feel some affection for me and likes me in his life as a close friend. But at this point, it does seem that he really doesn't care if we have a sexual relationship or not, and it looks like he is no longer motivated to try to deal with the source of the pain. He seems to have replaced that with just a desire to reduce the pain and to live with it by distracting himself with reading and movies.

I thought -- or maybe just wishfully thought -- that he really was motivated to fix the problem. But things seem to have reached a plateau, and now, even though the pain is much less than it was a year ago, he hasn't increased his walking all that much. And the pain in his genital region is almost as bad as a year ago. In any case, it's bad enough that any touching in that area is out of the question. Or he just doesn't like ME touching him I wonder.

And now that he has agreed that maybe it's better if we don't see each other as much if sex has to be such a priority for me, all adds up to me feeling like he really only wants to be friends. I suppose it's possible that he really wishes we could have a sexual relationship and that he is simply too depressed to even want to think about it or hope that it could happen, but I think that if he was serious about wanting a sexual relationship with me, he would do everything in his power to improve his health. He says he is, but I KNOW he is not working out anywhere near what he was doing when he had this nerve pain condition and beat it ten years ago.

I told him I am ten years older too, and yet that doesn't stop me even though I have had foot injuries, leukemia, and now bladder prolapse surgery. I said I keep being as active as possible. And that I wish he would too.

We ended on a very sad note, and I am now starting to realize that as much as he might wish he were doing better, and as much as he might like to have an intimate relationship with me, unless he actually does something that will allow it to happen, then it is unlikely to happen. And his lack of empathy for the sadness I feel is also very upsetting.

Therefore, I am starting to think that maybe it will not be possible to stay together after all. If he isn't worried enough about losing the sexual relationship with me to feel inclined to do the things he COULD be doing:
-- exercising daily or almost every day
-- asking his endocrinologist about switching medications
-- seeing a neurologist again
-- getting to know his new family doctor better (he even has trouble remembering the guy's name)
-- etc?

then I need to start being realistic and maybe thinking that he would prefer to be friends than lovers. Sure he kisses me a little and that's wonderful in itself, as well as all the other affectionate things he does, but I want the closeness and the fun that I only feel I can have with sex with him. So if he doesn't share that as a goal anymore, then I am now sadly starting to look at the possibility that we can just be friends and that's all. Not even "friends with benefits". Just friends.

It's not like we ever declared in front of witnesses to be with each other "in sickness and in health". He never asked me to marry him. And ironically AFTER his confession and stated intention to stop the P and the AO (which I do think he did stop) the fact was that he didn't value healthy living even after dday when he SAID he was now a brand new man, and actually his other avoidance worsened. So he wasn't worried about the consequences of his actions or being devoted in a truly full, healthy way -- and he knew or should have known from previous experience that if he ignored his diabetes he was at great risk of inviting a return of his nerve pain. So I don't feel an obligation at this point, even on principle that I love him, to stay "until death do us part" and live out my days when now I have no current indication that things will improve and that sex will be possible.

I feel ripped off and angry at his indifference and unwillingness to deal with things that are certainly within his control, such as going swimming and dealing somehow with his depression, either by way of taking anti-depressants, herbs, talking to a friend or a counselor, or whatever he could be doing to find a way to feel motivated to work out again. His blood sugar is now really stable. His weight is good. He's only 65 and the truth is that there is no reason he couldn't exercise, except for his unwillingness to do so.

And since I am not enjoying the dynamic between us, with me becoming a nag, I am now finding the only way I am able to not bug him about it or to feel so frustrated is to not be with him. This breaks my heart, but now even the fun things we do together constantly remind me of what we DON'T have anymore. They feel like distractions that he is setting up to avoid being too close -- a way to avoid an emotional connection that might lead to me wanting intimacy. But the fact is, that I don't even really like kissing or hugging him very often, because such intimacies always remind me of the intimate times that we can't have anymore. Sort of like when you run into an ex who left you -- you feel happier keeping your distance, and uncomfortable if you are in close proximity.

For us, it is starting to feel like just a perfunctory gesture, and I am learning not to feel excited when he kisses me, although I have to admit that I love kissing him. But it is always frustrating for me that now it's always just a fast kiss, that it will not lead to anything further. He nevers tries anymore to allow anything more to happen.

He even tends to turn away from me in the hall when we walk by each other, rather than towards me, although when I complained recently he started turning to face me, but I think only just to keep the peace. And sometimes give me a fast kiss. So now I don't take very much initiative to be close. Kissing can't be a fun and spontaneous experience like I wish it would be. He always stops well before any arousal on his part would be likely to happen.

Yet he still calls me his special pet name. He still obviously likes me wanting him and being attracted to him. Like he always did, even during the worst days of his P and AO. Sometimes I think that he really didn't think I should have been so upset by the P or the AO, because I think he figures that since he was drunk at the time, he wasn't really responsible for the behavior, and since none of it really "counted" anyway. He was certainly very angry at me during the first couple of years post dday for me being as upset as I was. Now, he says he understands how I felt, and realizes how counterproductive all that behavior was and how it took away from our relationship. But I still suspect he doesn't think I should have been as upset as I was. And I think that this has put a damper on his desire for me. But I am only guessing.

He compliments me a lot these days. But I often wonder if he is just trying hard to feel a sense of desire, as if he is hoping that the AO with a particular OW didn't impact how he felt about me or impact his desire for me, as it seemed to create a greater and greater sense of distance between us as I look back on it. The special feeling of "us" and excitement on his part for being with me faded more and more, it seems, as he created a life separate from me. He seemed to not need me anymore, and for years I couldn't figure out why. [Innocence, that's all you ever pleaded just came on the radio.]

He has said many times that he is in love with me. But now I am realizing that for him, feeling "in love" is unrelated to sexual desire. And I am not really sure he finds me attractive. He seemed to be really excited about me in the beginning, but I think that might have only been because he saw me as a summer fling, a NSA chick. Once he discovered I was serious about having a relationship, I think he became fearful and it was only a matter of time before the P and AO escalated and he was able to adopt a lifestyle of avoidance of emotional intimacy. For him it was much easier to get into escapism. He explained all this to me himself, including in counselling for a number of months. Now I really see that this is true.

Now when he calls me "dear" or "darling" I don't believe him. It sounds silly to me, like a put-on or something. I don't really feel like I am his darling. He never called me things like that all those years when he was doing his own thing separate from me. And now that we had so much anger and pain, somehow darling seems so contrived or insincere. I always tell him that it seems phony. But he continually calls me affectionate things. I suppose it's better than all those nasty things he said about me in his journals when he wrote about how wonderful and sexy the OW was (who I still think was a man or a transgendered woman). Yet, I am now certain he is over what HE calls craziness and that he is no longer interested in being involved with "that person" as my H now calls the OW.

And yes, he is being nice to me in many ways -- non-sexual ways.

But the question remains what to do now? I am really starting to feel that what I am doing is pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking and hoping for a relationship with a guy who still can't be there for me in what I envision as what a marriage is. If he just doesn't care anymore about being able to have an intimacy that could include sex, then I have to be realistic. And force myself to move on and free myself up for someone who would want a full relationship. Or I guess I could just stay and see what happens, like I've been trying to do, but without the nagging and perhaps also with the understanding that if someone nice were to ask me on a date, I might accept it – not a sex date. A date. But maybe that would be a messy beginning and perhaps it would be better just to make a clean break if he doesn't make a significant change by the time I am allowed to have sex again, ie mid-July.

It's not like I'm asking him to do anything extraordinary. Just normal things that anyone should do who is physically capable of it. [The Eagles' Song “Lyin' Eyes” just came on the radio – heard the words, “It's hard to love a man who's cold as ice.”] -- well in our case, it's not like he is being cold. Quite the contrary. But he just doesn't seem to want what I want. And has made it quite apparent he doesn't appreciate me even wishing it were different. Like I'm supposed to feel okay about no sex ever.

And the fact that he actually said that maybe it's better if we cool it makes me also feel like he doesn't really need me. Because I realize I want desperately to be NEEDED. But I think he feels like he could live quite nicely without me. Ironically, he brought Titanic home to watch yesterday with me. The thing that was so powerful in that movie is that the main characters NEEDED each other, and Rose would rather be with him than be in a rescue boat without him. And they stayed together through thick and thin, and clearly he did everything he could to help her be happy.

Now, who knows, maybe things will all turn around next week, and the fact is that my H's nerve pain HAS been improving gradually, probably thanks to months of very stable sugar and real serious attention to his diet, vitamin supplements, and the fact that he quit smoking a couple of months ago.

But for now, I often feel better without him, and feel lucky that I still have this personal space in my little house for whatever little bit of time I will be lucky enough to continue to live here. But the fact is that there are so many aspects of our lives that are intertwined after all these years, and the thought of having to move my stuff out of his place in addition to having to move out of my own place is truly overwhelming. Although that is probably not that much of a pressing issue compared to me possibly having to move to a new place fast and in the not-too-distant future. My stuff has been a contentious issue too, and other unfinished business that we have simply not had the time or energy to deal with, such as his journals that I confiscated three years ago (for the good writing, including original song lyrics, which he claimed did not exist).

So there are still some issues that cause him to feel angry at me, that's for sure, and that anger is probably another real factor in his inertia. So perhaps in addition to the lassitude caused by the drugs he's taking, there could be underlying emotional reasons he doesn't want to relate to me sexually, primarily anger about the non-sexual issues. But the health crises and now the new issue of me having to pack up over 30 years worth of stuff and find somewhere else to go, with my own emotional issues with the stuff and very little means of getting help with it, have trumped the things he's angry at me about. He knows I need to make my stuff at my house a priority.

And his computer has crashed too, this week, which only adds to the stress. His system is much better than mine, so consequently I have tended to use his computer the last couple of years. At this point, I am stuck with using my lousy computer until he gets his fixed, and hopefully I haven't lost lots of data in the process. What a mess. And so stressful. I am very depressed.

So yes, I am angry that he doesn't seem to care about recapturing a sexual relationship with me. But mostly sad. But maybe he never really cared that much anyway, other than having a little summer fling with me eighteen years ago. Maybe he never really took me seriously, and feels a sense of affection and comfort with me as a familiar presence in his life. And maybe that's as far as it goes. Not that he NEEDS ME to be happy in order to feel happy. Tonight I felt that he really doesn't care about what I WANT. And to me, if a couple is really a team, then they will care. But for us, it seems like what we want is really in conflict. And perhaps at this point irreconcilable. My heart feels very heavy. At least we're still communicating though, and I do sense he is being honest with me. So that's good.

[Creedence, Heard it through the Grapevine on the radio now. “Losing you would end my life, you see, because you mean that much to me . . .”]

I wish he would want me like that. :t:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:17 am 
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The roller coaster is back on and I want off. I am ready to only accept things that are working. And these days, it's not working. It's not like it's been all disaster, not at all. My H has been treating me really well a lot of the time. But there are still some "below the belt" activities I can't stand for and I realize it's time to up the ante or quit the relationship, it's now become that serious.

Things seemed to be going along onto a good tack in the last year, despite my H's terrible pain from diabetes, which has been a huge frustration for me, since it precludes the possibility of sex. He was developing a good friendship over the last year, and in many ways life has been a lot more fun for me, now that he has been actually fun to be with much of the time, and it seems that he has gotten over the P and AO. But without being sexually functional he has at times expressed anger at me for caring about sex, for wanting a sexual relationship with him, which he realizes is true even if I don't express any desire. He knows I'm not happy with the status quo and a complete absence of sex in our lives.

But tonight, after many months of pretty healthy living, he got very drunk and not only said he wished I didn't want him sexually, but expressed hostility at the whole female gender for wanting sex. He said that he is probably angry with himself for messing his health up, and maybe that's where it's coming from. But of course, drinking a whole mickey of liquor is not going to fix it, but only contribute even further to the problem. And even if he says tomorrow that he regrets having gotten hostile towards me, the fact is that I am not happy. I can't live this way, putting up with someone who undoes all the progress he made towards getting better and truly recovering by being so self-destructive. The fact is, I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who fails to really deal with their anger issues and displaces it onto me unfairly. Because I don't think there's anything at all wrong with me wanting a full relationship, and for expressing my feelings that I The roller coaster is back on and I want off. I am ready to only accept things that are working. And these days, it's not working. It's not like it's been all disaster, not at all. My H has been treating me really well a lot of the time. But there are still some "below the belt" activities I can't stand for and I realize it's time to up the ante or quit the relationship, it's now become that serious.

Things seemed to be going along onto a good tack in the last year, despite my H's terrible pain from diabetes, which has been a huge frustration for me, since it precludes the possibility of sex. He was developing a good friendship over the last year, and in many ways life has been a lot more fun for me, now that he has been actually fun to be with much of the time, and it seems that he has gotten over the P and AO. But without being sexually functional he has at times expressed anger at me for caring about sex, for wanting a sexual relationship with him, which he realizes is true even if I don't express any desire. He knows I'm not happy with the status quo and a complete absence of sex in our lives.

But tonight, after many months of pretty healthy living, he got very drunk and not only said he wished I didn't want him sexually, but expressed hostility at the whole female gender for wanting sex. He said that he is probably angry with himself for messing his health up, and maybe that's where it's coming from. But of course, drinking a whole mickey of liquor is not going to fix it, but only contribute even further to the problem. And even if he says tomorrow that he regrets having gotten hostile towards me, the fact is that I am not happy. I can't live this way, putting up with someone who undoes all the progress he made towards getting better and truly recovering by being so self-destructive. The fact is, I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who fails to really deal with their anger issues and displaces it onto me unfairly. Because I don't think there's anything at all wrong with me wanting a full relationship, and for expressing my feelings that I am discouraged that he doesn't do many of the things that would probably really turn things around. I see the undercurrent of hostility, which he has expressed lately even when he wasn't drunk -- he's just more open about it when he is drunk. I think that a person who is really dealing with their issues wouldn't want to get drunk -- especially if they are diabetic and their survival depends on avoiding excess carbohydrates. Alcohol is basically all carb. And a mickey of liquor is a lot of alcohol, especially for someone unaccustomed to drinking at all.

So now I realize that I can't keep on in this relationship unless he takes some active step to change in a fundamental way, ie his anger and his attitude of resentment towards me. That is not something I need in my life. Besides, it's probably the driving force behind why he acts so indifferent and impersonal to me so much of the time. Basically, it seems like he feels that if he can't be functional sexually he would rather drive me away than have to deal with it. Which he could be doing. When he got drunk, he could have spent the evening at the swimming pool instead. Or going for a nice long walk. Or calling a friend to go out for coffee with. Or anything constructive.

I don't want to continue to be his recovery manager. He knows what he could or should be doing to get onto a healthier path. And he knows he could do something to heal his attitude, to deal with the bitterness. But as long as it's there, I see no real hope at this point. Sure, I would love to believe him and really think that down the road things will be different. And that is possible -- they might be better some day. But not now. Not the way he is feeling now. So the only hope now, if I were to stay with him, would be under the condition that he do something proactive to remedy his lousy attitude, and do what it takes to not be dumping on me unfairly.

Because I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who treats me that way. Yes, I am sure this is very painful for him (both physically and emotionally) to know that he is sexually non-functional. It is also very destructive to do the very thing at that point that would likely make the problem worse. But for me, I do not feel loved and cherished when I am dumped on unfairly. And when he gets drunk, all he has tended to do almost all the time ever since his P and AO escalated in 1998, is that he rejects me. And I had too many years of that scenario to put up with it anymore.

So at this point, it seems like I need to do something to up the ante if I am to feel inclined to stay in this relationship. At least now I don't feel guilty that I am doing something like rejecting someone who is being wonderful to me. Yes, he has bought me many dinners and helped me out a lot. But I want the man I am with to be in my corner, not to reject me unfairly because of his own demons that he hasn't managed (or even really bothered) to try to slay. Clearly his true feelings emerged when he was drunk. And that hostility and rejection undoes all the wonderful things he has done. Not that those things aren't wonderful in themselves. They are. But I just don't want to be in a relationship with someone who would put himself in a state of mind where they feel animosity towards me for wanting normal things. Yes, of course this is difficult. It's probably just as difficult for me as it is for him. But rejection is more than I can take.

So I would like to up the ante. But from what I can gather after reading many posts over the years I've been with RN now, I am not optimistic. It is often the case, it seems, that when someone sets a boundary that they expect will be honored, and the H does it but only reluctantly, the plan doesn't stick, and before you know it, the W has reason to believe her H is back to his old unhealthy living practices, and often lying about it, or shading the truth, or doing something to indicate he's not really making changes at a substantial level that promise to offer a real change in the relationship that points to long-term satisfaction and harmony. I've read too many broken promises, shortcomings, misgivings and major disappointments to believe that just because someone apologizes and says they will change their ways, and "It'll never happen again" that this is actually what happens.

In fact, I've read various postings about how things seem to be going along so smoothly for months, when the W discovers some suspicious emails or facebook "friends" and so on, to indicate a return to unhealthy or sexually dishonest living. Not good. So I am now very skeptical.

I am still open to considering trying to relate. It's been really hard for me at the best of times lately, since he has become almost completely non-functional, and has only been able to be ever so slightly functional when under the influence of painkillers. Too bad alcohol is so good for numbing his pain for a couple of hours. Too bad, as well, that it probably sets him back for well over a couple of hours, once the effects of the overindulgence wears off. It feels really hopeless at this point and maybe that's true.

Cautious optimism is what RN recommended, well, some of the mentors. But now I am not optimistic. I am extremely skeptical. I realize the ball is in his court now, and that for me to rekindle any sense of optimism he has to come up with a new game plan to get at that attitude or I know it is just a matter of time before it surfaces again. Too bad he says he's in love with me, because I am realizing, he's got a pretty bad way of showing it.

Will he come up with some new efforts to deal with his problems? Because if he doesn't, I no longer believe our relationship will flourish. I love him, but I need to protect myself from being the target of his anger. It's really sad. And I feel really sad about probably having to lose someone I love a lot. I really hoped we could make it. Now I am starting to think it's unlikely.am discouraged that he doesn't do many of the things that would probably really turn things around. I see the undercurrent of hostility, which he has expressed lately even when he wasn't drunk -- he's just more open about it when he is drunk. I think that a person who is really dealing with their issues wouldn't want to get drunk -- especially if they are diabetic and their survival depends on avoiding excess carbohydrates. Alcohol is basically all carb. And a mickey of liquor is a lot of alcohol, especially for someone unaccustomed to drinking at all.

So now I realize that I can't keep on in this relationship unless he takes some active step to change in a fundamental way, ie his anger and his attitude of resentment towards me. That is not something I need in my life. Besides, it's probably the driving force behind why he acts so indifferent and impersonal to me so much of the time. Basically, it seems like he feels that if he can't be functional sexually he would rather drive me away than have to deal with it. Which he could be doing. When he got drunk, he could have spent the evening at the swimming pool instead. Or going for a nice long walk. Or calling a friend to go out for coffee with. Or anything constructive.

I don't want to continue to be his recovery manager. He knows what he could or should be doing to get onto a healthier path. And he knows he could do something to heal his attitude, to deal with the bitterness. But as long as it's there, I see no real hope at this point. Sure, I would love to believe him and really think that down the road things will be different. And that is possible -- they might be better some day. But not now. Not the way he is feeling now. So the only hope now, if I were to stay with him, would be under the condition that he do something proactive to remedy his lousy attitude, and do what it takes to not be dumping on me unfairly.

Because I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who treats me that way. Yes, I am sure this is very painful for him (both physically and emotionally) to know that he is sexually non-functional. It is also very destructive to do the very thing at that point that would likely make the problem worse. But for me, I do not feel loved and cherished when I am dumped on unfairly. And when he gets drunk, all he has tended to do almost all the time ever since his P and AO escalated in 1998, is that he rejects me. And I had too many years of that scenario to put up with it anymore.

So at this point, it seems like I need to do something to up the ante if I am to feel inclined to stay in this relationship. At least now I don't feel guilty that I am doing something like rejecting someone who is being wonderful to me. Yes, he has bought me many dinners and helped me out a lot. But I want the man I am with to be in my corner, not to reject me unfairly because of his own demons that he hasn't managed (or even really bothered) to try to slay. Clearly his true feelings emerged when he was drunk. And that hostility and rejection undoes all the wonderful things he has done. Not that those things aren't wonderful in themselves. They are. But I just don't want to be in a relationship with someone who would put himself in a state of mind where they feel animosity towards me for wanting normal things. Yes, of course this is difficult. It's probably just as difficult for me as it is for him. But rejection is more than I can take.

So I would like to up the ante. But from what I can gather after reading many posts over the years I've been with RN now, I am not optimistic. It is often the case, it seems, that when someone sets a boundary that they expect will be honored, and the H does it but only reluctantly, the plan doesn't stick, and before you know it, the W has reason to believe her H is back to his old unhealthy living practices, and often lying about it, or shading the truth, or doing something to indicate he's not really making changes at a substantial level that promise to offer a real change in the relationship that points to long-term satisfaction and harmony. I've read too many broken promises, shortcomings, misgivings and major disappointments to believe that just because someone apologizes and says they will change their ways, and "It'll never happen again" that this is actually what happens.

In fact, I've read various postings about how things seem to be going along so smoothly for months, when the W discovers some suspicious emails or facebook "friends" and so on, to indicate a return to unhealthy or sexually dishonest living. Not good. So I am now very skeptical.

I am still open to considering trying to relate. It's been really hard for me at the best of times lately, since he has become almost completely non-functional, and has only been able to be ever so slightly functional when under the influence of painkillers. Too bad alcohol is so good for numbing his pain for a couple of hours. Too bad, as well, that it probably sets him back for well over a couple of hours, once the effects of the overindulgence wears off. It feels really hopeless at this point and maybe that's true.

Cautious optimism is what RN recommended, well, some of the mentors. But now I am not optimistic. I am extremely skeptical. I realize the ball is in his court now, and that for me to rekindle any sense of optimism he has to come up with a new game plan to get at that attitude or I know it is just a matter of time before it surfaces again. Too bad he says he's in love with me, because I am realizing, he's got a pretty bad way of showing it.

Will he come up with some new efforts to deal with his problems? Because if he doesn't, I no longer believe our relationship will flourish. I love him, but I need to protect myself from being the target of his anger. It's really sad. And I feel really sad about probably having to lose someone I love a lot. I really hoped we could make it. Now I am starting to think it's unlikely.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:02 am 
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Wow! that last post of mine really shocked me, re-reading it because for the most part things have been going quite well this last year. I realize now that it's been really difficult for my H to be sexually non-functional, and it has been a big stress in our relationship -- especially since his inability has made it hard for him to convince me he really loves me and desires me. So I have learned to back right off and not pressure him (mostly) -- the important thing is that whenever he feels a little bit in a romantic mood we have been able to be a little bit physical and I always do give him backrubs, so we have learned to remain emotionally connected, even when physical involvement is not possible due to the continued intense pain he feels due to the diabetes. And probably from the drinking that he did to give himself permission to AO and engage in his SA.

So meanwhile I am still healing from my surgery that I had in June, which was a great thing, and I am glad I had it done.

My house has now been sold, but I haven't met the new owners yet, so I don't know what will be happening, ie whether I will have to move soon or not. It will be hard to leave the house I've loved for years. But I am doing my best to deal with the situation and fortunately my H has been really supportive and very un-demanding lately. He knows I am going through a hard time over having to move in all likelihood.

He hasn't been doing all that badly lately. Reading a lot. We went swimming this weekend. Healthy eating and he is gradually coming back to life. He even went to a party with me last week. And we had a fun celebration of his birthday this week. Life is okay, really. And I have been having quite a bit of fun too, hanging around with friends, singing, going to the beach, enjoying my home and yard while I still have it.

Feeling grounded overall, and realizing my own personal power much more than I ever have. Feeling much less afraid of dealing with the ghosts in the closet -- all those years of accumulation of things that I am now finally starting to deal with -- things I need to deal with anyway whether I move or not. And finding things I had misplaced!! So forcing myself to deal with papers and stuff is a positive thing, and doing a lot for my state of mind. Creating more space feels good! Sunshine, fresh air, friends have all been a huge support for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:23 am 
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I came to a realization this summer: the fact that a long while back, shortly post dday, my H said that if only I dressed seductively, I could be "gorgeous" like the OW. But he had insisted up and down, when he confessed about his SA on dday, that he didn't find her attractive. So of course, I would be confused. But the realization I had this summer is that during all those years of his AO, anytime I did try to dress in a sexually-provocative manner (which does fit with my values as well as his) he used to admonish me that "good girls shouldn't dress like that". So of course, by saying that, he discouraged me from wearing suggestive attire of any sort. In other words, he sabotaged any of my efforts to do or act or wear anything he would have considered gorgeous.

And if he really did want me to dress or look "gorgeous" he could have easily asked me to wear a certain item of clothing or he could have bought something for me that we both would have liked, or to have worn my hair a certain way, and so on. But the fact was that whenever I did take the initiative to do any of those things, he was very unresponsive during his AO years.

Or is this just wishful thinking, and in fact, he really did respond to the OW hooker, or something about her, that he just isn't telling me? It's really too bad that he is not sexually functional (well, very minimally) so he does not have the opportunity at this point to associate ME with pleasure and excitement. Yes, he has said repeatedly that he was only able to be sexually functional with her because of the drinking, smoking, P and the fact that she was a hooker, and that if it hadn't been a SA, he wouldn't have been interested in her at all. Maybe this is true, and now that he seems to have completely stopped his SA, he doesn't do any of the things that went along with seeing her, such as finding reasons to send me away or avoid relating to me, or anything else that seemed to go hand in hand with his AO. So maybe he is telling me the truth. But I do still wonder if he was more attracted to her than me independent of the SA, and that he just stopped seeing her on principle. But he does say resoundingly, "no" when I occasionally question him and always says that he hopes I will stop dwelling on the past and realize that he is with ME because he loves and wants ME. I hope he is telling me the truth. I was inspired by the discussion about truth in the forum, and some notes that were discussed from Jon, which was helpful. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=21813


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:49 am 
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Since my last post over two months ago, things have settled down a lot in my life. Amazingly, I don't need to move, not at this point. The new owners are allowing me to stay and on the same terms, which takes a lot of pressure off to rush and find a new living situation. This has allowed me to focus on other things, including a new fundraising project I undertook in the last couple of months, that has been going well.

I've had plenty of time to contemplate my personal life too, and with the possibility of a move, and the re-organizing of my stuff, I have realized that it seems like a big reason my H has been so distant is that he has been very frustrated with the mess I've created at his place, which has colored how he feels about me. But since I have been dealing with it in a systematic fashion (boxing things up, getting rid of things) and helping him a lot with laundry and other essentials at his place, he has warmed up to me a lot.

Still not feeling very frisky though. I realize the diabetes he has, has really played a big part in his lack of sexual interest. But on the other hand, he is feeling better now compared to a year ago, and finally able to get some quality sleep. Plus, we've been going swimming very regularly and that it definitely having a big, positive impact on how he feels overall. About life, about me, about everything. So I am realizing that I was most likely wrong in thinking maybe he did like the OW better than me. In fact, he really doesn't like talking about her at all, and says he would rather not be reminded of that whole era in his life. So that helps me feel better.

I am feeling ready to start back in on the lessons, and I think that taking the time off to deal with the immediate issues I've had to do in my life will enable me to approach the lessons from a new, revitalized, fresher perspective. So hopefully I'll get even more out of them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:53 am 
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Thank you Coach Mel for the input. I have noticed that my H is now not scanning at all as far as i can tell. So that is definitely a big improvement. So much so that I haven't even thought about it lately when we go out.

As for other issues, they do still exist, as I have added to the list of some recent boundary violations that have occurred (see exercise 21). But i'm dealing with them and will of course, ask for help if the approach i've taken so far doesn't continue to work effectively. thanks again for the care and concern to me and everyone else here who needs the input from the wonderful coaches and mentors here at RN! :g: :g: :g:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:22 am 
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Well! Much has happened since my last post. I've been focusing on myself most of the time, although it's been difficult to decide what to do in my relationship since my h has been not well with complications of diabetes for quite some time. My h has been living healthily for the most part though, and healing slowly. Now his nerve pain isn't so bad. But he's been depressed -- and has had quite a lot of depression in recent months.

I've also been sick with a bad viral infection that lasted a few weeks in January and then had another infection in February. I have had some depression myself because of the complete lack of sexuality in my life. But since I've been so sick in recent weeks, it's been academic mostly. Until this week.

I went away to take care of some things in town for a couple of days, as well as going to a play I was fortunate enough to be given some free tickets for and I brought a friend with me. He knew I had a couple of important meetings to attend and would be arriving back after the play and thus he knew he had a clear block of two days when he knew for sure I wouldn't be around.

A couple days after I got back, I was trying to find a certain movie on you tube we had been watching in the last couple of weeks (although I admit I have some of my own less-than-healthy motive to view it, since the lead actress looks a LOT like the OW he saw for 11 years, but that's another issue). So to find this particular film I went through the search history to look it up. And lo and behold I stumbled upon some P searches that obviously my H had done during my absence.

I was able to keep some perspective and didn't lapse into a total freak out like I had done on previous occasions, particularly before I had learned about the nature of this affliction and the pretty common occurance of relapse or slips, especially when someone doesn't have a program of recovery going on or when they become complacent.

So I took a deep breath, thought mindfully what I was going to say, and then I confronted him with the evidence and he said that he really didn't remember the searches. But upon further discussion we realized he had done them while inebriated during that period when I was away for two days.

We talked. I told him again about the great resource RN could be for him although I've never insisted on him undertaking it as I know if he only does it to avoid losing me and/or because I insist, he will not get what he would out of it anyway. But during this discussion he was actually interested in listening to the audio intro on the Recovery workshop page, (which also talks about personal motivation being the only way any therapy will work) and I read a little bit to him from Lesson #60 on dealing with slips, which he was interested in hearing too. He hates reading things on a screen and he's not that computer literate (except for being pretty expert at internet P searches) so I even offered to print out the material for him if he ever wants me to do that.

Now, in keeping with the awareness that I shouldn't demand he undertake the RN program, I didn't pressure him but I did communicate that I need him to be opening up to me even if he isn't very sexually functional yet, and we talked about how P is not compatible with the boundaries I have already established and communicated to him. In his case, P use has had a really negative effect on our relationship, as it gets him to think of sex as a fantasy and not in connection with real relating, and all the other things it has done, including prompting him to go have sex elsewhere besides with me, at its furthest extent, and I reiterated that now I fear that ANY P use on his part could just lead him down that road again and pull him away from relating with me. I made him understand how it really depresses me.

Anyway we had a really constructive talk about what made sex with strangers and sex in a fantasy context so appealing. He said that he feels that with P and the sex with strangers, the stakes aren't so high as with me. I told him he need not feel that way, since I am really easy to please and that I like pretty much everything he does with me sexually (which is absolutely true: I'm so attracted to him and so much in love with him that it is very easy for me to relax and enjoy just about everything he comes up with). He told me he realizes he thinks too much about these things.

Since then, he has been really trying to be "in the moment" and relate to me spontaneously. That has been a refreshing change and now that he really has been living much healthier overall than in the past, he is feeling better physically. Nowhere near so much nerve pain, and getting plenty of rest and frequent walking. So he is now able to enjoy some affection and getting physical with me again and learning to feel more confident about his ability to please me and he has been relating to me in a much more relaxed way since this new revelation and dialogue and his efforts to open up to me again.

So rather than being disaster this discovery on my part (and it really was a surprise -- although I should have noticed a couple of clues last week when he cancelled a dinner plan like he often used to when he was having his P events years ago AND when he was very vague when I asked him what he did while I was gone). it gave us the chance to readdress the outstanding issues between us, with everything on the table again. I just hope there isn't something going on that I'm not aware of -- hoping he isn't pulling the wool over my eyes and hiding something else (like a P stash somewhere that is NOT online, or something) but generally his behavior hasn't indicated anything like that, and from what I can tell, that single episode of P searches -- seems like all he has done in many months.

And he hasn't been doing other stuff that went along with P, such as scanning, except for maybe an occasional fleeting glance at some scantily-clad woman, which I do think is hard for any man to avoid, and seems pretty normal to me, when I see how other guys tend to glance around occasionally at women, say at a dance or party. And by occasional, I mean maybe for a second or two, once a month or so. That seems quite normal to me, although considering what we've been through I have a hard time knowing what normal really is. But honestly, I notice the majority of guys glance occasionally when a pretty, nicely dressed woman walks into a room.

However, getting back to my h and me. We're not out of the woods yet. Not entirely. It disturbs me that he was apparently so inebriated last week that he really doesn't recall having done those P searches. From all I could tell, he seemed to genuinely not remember having done that at all and really looked puzzled when I showed him the seaches and the exact key words he used to do the searches -- including the terrible spelling that always happened in the past when he kept his several bizarre binders of writing when he was in his serious active P and sex addiction.

I realize that is not healthy to get into a state of mind where you are not able to control yourself, and not able to remember what you did. And the fact that he is tempted to drink by himself when I am gone for a couple of days shows that he still has emotional issues he is not yet addressing completely enough. I know he has struggled badly with feelings of sexual inadequacy and that therefore for him fantasy feels easier -- and that is what he did say to me during our discussion we had after my discovery. But this shows that while he has been most likely abstinent from P and the rest, it is not the same as recovery or he wouldn't still feel that fantasy is more enjoyable than real life relating/sex.

Also, my absence is a pretty predictable trigger and he really hasn't adequately dealt effectively with handling triggers in a healthy manner. Partly I think because I haven't been away much and also since up till now, for the last year and a half, he was simply in too much pain to even think about sex at all. But if he isn't handling predictable triggers with a health-based strategy, then how is he going to manage spontaneous or unexpected triggers? Especially if continues to drink as an unhealthy coping mechanism.

The question I'm struggling with is how to deal with this lapse/slip. Is there something I can do to encourage him to take more concrete steps to ensure protection against slips? I don't want to impose an ultimatum and yet I also don't want to carry on blindly into this relationship if, as his physical health returns and his interest in sex returns, that he also lapses back into some secret P or otherwise, and he continues to have intimacy issues that cripple our ability to have a full relationship that is enjoyable and sexually-rewarding for me. I am optimistic, but cautiously optimistic.

I told him I would be willing to go to counselling with him if he wanted, although I did say that I think this is mostly HIS problem and that unless a counsellor is highly acquainted with P and sex afflictions, then I can't imagine counselling being any more effective than personal therapy for himself or anything that RN has to offer, if the recovery section is anything as useful and thorough as the partner's workshop and lessons.

Fortunately he agrees with me on the many downsides of P and how it impacts his ability to relate properly with me: it gets him fantasizing about other women and not me, it reinforces emotional association (eg sex without affection, sex and promiscuity and strangers) that he does not want to have, and it makes him feel inadequate compared to all the young "studs" even though he knows the images are usually edited. Also, as we discussed, P is so visually stimulating that it can make normal sex feel dull and unexciting in comparison. So as we said, P is like "sexual extortion" -- it creates a situation for the purveyors that only their products will create desired stimulation -- at least that was true for him when he was caught in the most extreme phase of his P addiction. He agrees with all this and says he is no longer interested in P. Which is true. His SOBER self is no longer interested.

But his DRINKING persona seems to easily gravitate back to it. And that's what troubles me. And he only drinks intemperately these days when I'm not around. Of course, I'm not going to stick around and babysit him just so he won't drink and go back to P habits.

And yet I don't know what to do at this point. I am quite distressed even though he has made a LOT of progress since dday. I am afraid to fully commit myself if it turns out he is not going to be wholeheartedly devoted to me. And yet I love him and see so much progress since we first met and particularly since dday four and a half years ago.

If coaches or mentors would like to offer feedback I would be interested in hearing it. Or else I might post in the forum or pm CoachMel as she invited me to do. Meanwhile, I am feeling well enough to start tackling the lessons again. I know I need them!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:04 am 
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Quote:
The question I'm struggling with is how to deal with this lapse/slip. Is there something I can do to encourage him to take more concrete steps to ensure protection against slips?

You are correct that imposing an ultimatum will not help matters (for you, or for him). The only time to give an ultimatum is when you plan on following through, and you can pretty much expect that you will have to follow through.

Anyhow, your question is how to deal with the lapse/slip. In what ways does this lapse slip violate your values and undermine your vision? Think specifically about what values are/were violated and what you can do to strengthen, re-stabilize, or return integrity to those values. There is nothing for him to do in this. This is not to say he has no responsibility in the matter (of his own addiction, and the consequences of that addiction, of his recovery, etc.) because he absolutely does. But, in terms of what you can do to encourage him... You can encourage him by sharing resources (which you have done), by engaging in open communication (which it sounds like you already do) and even by printing off the work for him if he asks (which I think is doing too much, because it blurs his responsibility). And, with any of these things that you could do, none of it means that he will be protected against slips. There is really nothing you can do to protect him. He is the one who has to want to do it--for himself, by himself. If he can turn on a computer, search for porn, and spend hours staring at the screen to watch it, he can turn on the computer, create an account here (for example) and look at the screen for the amount of time it takes to read a lesson, or he can print off the work for himself). Also, it could be that he will do whatever you encourage him to do, but that doesn’t mean that he will get recovery. Your sole responsibility is in what you do or don’t do. So, what you’re left with his your vision and your values and what you can do to support, honour, protect, and essentially to live into them. You are free to do these things, but understand that some of these things only enable him and cushion him from the work that he really must do for himself. As long as you accept his excuses, he will continue to come up with them. Does this make sense? And certainly, do put this out to the community forum for others to offer support and insight as well.

Be well.

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Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:21 am 
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woops double post. see above!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:22 pm 
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Quote:
Do any of the coaches or mentors know if there is a way to determine if something like this did happen for real or is only a false memory?


To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to know this definitively. There is evidence to indicate that we have very clear “episodic” memories, but there is also evidence that shows how easily suggestible we are, such that our memories for events can become skewed by information that presented after the fact. It does seem to “fit” though, given his association between cigarettes, alcohol and sex. In the recovery workshop, Jon mentions something about an individual’s “recipe” for their addiction being a result of whatever happened to be introduced at a critical period (paraphrasing, loosely, based on what I “recall” of what I read quite a while ago :w: ).

Quote:
And if he won't and he doesn't find a way to be sexual with me, then I am now seriously looking at ending the relationship, which I hate to do, as we do love each other.

Is it the addiction that is a problem for you, or is it the symptom of the addiction (ED)? That is, is sex a bottom line boundary for you (in that, no sex, no relationship)? Or is this simply an indicator for you to determine his overall health? (your vision, your values, your life, your call, smile). Just something that I wondered about.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:01 pm 
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It's been quite a while since I've been online. I've taken time to really think through what's going on in my life and have undergone quite a few changes since my last post. It's been a rough time, actually. My life is going through some big bumps in the road. I will be having to move soon. My work situation is very unstable right now.

But most of all I am reassessing my love life/sex life. For a while my H, who has had severe erectile dysfuntion for a few years now, was starting to take some daily cialis that he got as samples from his doctor. His circulation was markedly improving and he was even starting to get spontaneous erections and starting to become a bit more interested in being sexual with me. The gawking had dropped off almost completely. And so had the p use, as far as it seemed.

Then he ran out of the cialis and didn't feel like spending money to get more -- even though he could well afford it. And $100 a month for the cialis to help save our relationship was much less than what he spent every month on p, liquor and hookers back in the day. But he chose to stop taking the cialis and all the headway was undone, with him becoming once again almost completely unresponsive sexually to me. And depressed about it. But stubbornly refusing to buy the medicine until he completed his paperwork to get more money that he is qualified to receive. Paperwork he has procrastinated on for months now. And it's not necessary anyway since he has plenty of money in savings.

Meanwhile I met a new man a few weeks ago who seems really interested in me and I have to admit I find him very attractive. I have not communicated this to the new guy yet, although I am seriously considering it. I have also told my H that I am interested in this new person. My H is not happy about it, but I didn't want to keep anything hidden or dishonest. But I don't think the new guy realizes how attracted to him I have become. And amazingly, this new person acts like he really has a particular interest in me. He did confide to me that he appreciates the compliments I have paid to him and he said that sometimes he realizes he has been standoffish, but it's only because he is shy. I understand shyness to mean fearful of rejection. I am also shy like this and reluctant to put myself on the line, and I have only given this new man subtle hints that I am attracted to him but have not come out and stated it directly.

Anyway I found that admission of shyness on his part to be quite appealing, the fact that he revealed himself so openly to me -- and that he basically warned me about an apparent difficulty he has with emotions. I told him I like him being shy and that I find that he is a good listener.

On a later occasion, just the other day, when he was on a short break, I said that I'm shy too, and asked him if he might like to go for coffee with me. He said he doesn't need more friends and then immediately returned to his work and was surrounded by other people. I walked away, as this took me by surprise and it felt like rejection but I didn't want to say anything when others were there and when I hadn't spent any time thinking about what to say next. So I walked away and noticed he was still looking at me, and, I think, talking to his coworker about me.

I realized on reflection that this rejection of going for coffee might mean one of two things: he is not interested in me other than flirting (although I overheard him on several occasions tell his coworker friends that he can't stop thinking about me and that he is totally fascinated with me and wishes he could get to know me).

Or him saying he doesn't want any more friends might be his way of indicating that he is interested in me sexually and that he needs me to let him know I'm attracted too before he is willing to try to get to know me more. Ie, that he needs me to say that I am interested in checking out being more than friends -- before he is willing to try to get to know me better -- and maybe he interpreted "coffee" as "just friends". So maybe he was really laying his cards on the table and opening the door to exploring having a sexual relationship, if indeed he is willing to continue to try to get to know me. If so, what a refreshing change from my H who usually acts so indifferent towards me.

In any case, the new guy left the other day for a week-long vacation so I have time to contemplate what to do.

Meanwhile before I talked to the new guy about going for coffee, my H did take some viagra and decided to try to make love with me. It was kind of okay although I didn't feel like his heart was really into it. And I couldn't stop my thoughts gravitating to the new man. I felt bad that I wasn't able to focus my attention on my H and really feel enthusiastic, but after all this time of almost no sex (maybe two minutes of trying, about once every month or two) I now feel kind of rejected on an ongoing basis, and I make virtually no effor to turn him on. And especially since the new guy acts like he is VERY attracted to me (although he never actually said it -- but maybe that is mostly because I haven't given him enough signs for him to feel safe letting me know directly) I can't help think about what it might be like to get to know this new person.

To top it off, right after trying to get sexual with my H last week, I went on the computer and discovered by accident -- really -- that he had viewed some p again while I had been away for a few days. This made me think that he really isn't interested in me but that he feels the need for artificial stimulation in order to try to desire me. Not a good sign. I told him at that point that I no longer consider us exclusive and that I really want someone who wants me back and that we are both free now to explore our options without obligation to each other or the relationship. But who knows, maybe he just looked at the p because he knows I am attracted to the other man and so he gravitated to his favorite p model as a way of "seeing another woman" in retaliation.

But back to the new person. Another awkward factor in trying to think about what I want and to try to get to know him in any way more than casually is that I've only ever seen the new person when he's been at work or at a regular monthly committee meeting we both attend. So that is not conducive to being able to have a real conversation without interruptions. I also heard through the grapevine that he has gone through a messy divorce recently, which makes me wonder how ready he might be to get involved with me or anyone.

Yet, I get the impression that he is very attracted to me physically, much more so than maybe anyone I've ever met, including my H who never ever really pursued me, but only got involved initially when I revealed that I was interested in him. He told me many times over the years that he resented this. So we got off to a bad start in the first place. And after all the fighting after he confessed about his p and hooker addiction, that seemed to change his feelings for me. His heart just doesn't seem in it anymore. Which is sad. I used to be crazy about him and I do feel very sorry for losing the sexual and emotional, ie, romantic, connection at this point.

Now, for the new man, I can't help but get the feeling that he really likes me as "more than a friend" and the fact that he revealed to me his shyness says that he is willing to be honest -- including confiding about something that is difficult for him. When he said he didn't need any more friends he immediately went back to work and so I didn't get the chance to let him know that I'm not thinking "friends" either. I suspect that he went back to the emotional safety of work so that we couldn't continue the dialogue at that point. If he has concluded that I only want to be friends, then maybe that is just too hard for him to take if he desires me badly and wouldn't want to be "just friends". I can understand that. Maybe I have been too subtle and not let him know how attracted I am back.

He seems quite taken with me. I notice him looking at me from a distance, including right after saying he doesn't want more friends. Sitting and talking with one of his co-workers and not taking his eyes off me. I have never seen him pay attention to any other women at all. To have someone pay attention to me like this and NOT gawk at anyone else is a very powerful draw for me. If I wasn't attracted back, then maybe I wouldn't like him paying so much attention to me. But I DO like his attention. The kind of attention that my H never pays me at all anymore. Not really.

So I am more in a state of confusion than ever. I feel a big sense of sadness at what seems to be a dying relationship with my H. At this point I am feeling doubtful about the relationship working out with him even if I decide to turn my back on the new guy. And if I did get involved with the new person, since my H and I are not legally married and we don't even technically live together (although I am welcome at his house whenever I want) we wouldn't even have to go through any divorce process. But now that so much has transpired and my H has made me feel so undesired and undesirable in HIS eyes, I just don't feel the same desire for him I once did. I do feel a fondness and a sense of comfort with the familiar. But a feeling of lust for me? I don't sense that from him. He mostly acts like he doesn't really care if we ever have sex or not.

And now this new person? Well, I really don't know how he feels for sure other than physical attraction, although I am wondering why he has talked to his friends about his attraction to me if he's not interested in following through. Maybe he just needs time. Or maybe this is just me letting my imagination run away with me and reading more into it than what is really there -- perhaps the new guy just likes looking at me from a distance and talking about me to his friends. The problem is that the new guy is hard to avoid since he works where I like to hang out with my friends (at a place where we've been meeting for the last 15 years). And besides, I love the attention and flirting. Yet I don't want to be a rebound fling either. I think that would break my heart too if we just had a brief affair and then he left me.

But if he's interested enough to dialogue about his interest with his friends, then maybe his attraction is sincere.

I am feeling inclined to let the new guy know that I'm not looking for a friend either, and tell him that I find him very attractive and that I want to explore the possibilities. But maybe it's too soon to let him know. Maybe I should give him more time and space and let him be the one to continue the conversation.

On the other hand, if I don't let him know my interest, then maybe nothing will ever happen if he's as shy as he says -- and so if I don't show my hand to him, he'll lose interest in me. I can't help but admire him and feel desire for him. He's healthy, smart, personable, kind, and willing to share his vulnerability with me. Plus I find him very handsome. So maybe I should let him know that I have something I want to communicate to him (my interest beyond friendship) even if we're not yet ready to do anything about it. Just so we know what's on the table.

But I also know that if I go that route, and let him know I'm interested, that this might kill my current relationship somehow. But since my heart's not really into it now, maybe I've really got nothing to lose. That p discovery was another bad blow for me and made me realize that my H is still not into recovery, but has simply managed to avoid the p and minimize its use. And he still is drinking, often when I go out to see friends. He usually stays home while I go to parties and tends to still drink alone a few times a week. He has cut back a lot, but that unhealthy tendency is stil there. He never tells me he loves me, unless I say it first.

I feel bad that I don't really feel like making him happy. And the recent sex felt forced in a way. I sensed he did it to try to keep the peace with me, rather than feeling a deep desire. Which made me sad. And which makes me all that more intrigued by a new guy who seems like he can't help looking at me and thinking about me. But maybe he's just flirting to reassure himself how desirable he is and he doesn't really care about me at all other than just a frivolous sex object. Maybe his interest in me is just in his own imagination. But since he is at work, it would be very unprofessional of him to reveal all that much to me when he's on the job. Coffee would have given us a chance to have an honest conversation about it all, but if he thinks I am only interested in him as a pal, then saying he doesn't want more friends indicates that he thinks that's all I want -- maybe he interpreted "coffee" as "just friends". However, there is time for me to clarify all that if I want to at some future time. Particularly if he continues to show me interest of a non-platonic nature. I will likely see him at the committee meeting next week.

One friend I confided in said that she thinks I won't ever make headway with this new man or anyone in the future unless I let my old relationship go and free myself up to be able to wholeheartedly get involved with someone else. I am afraid to do this though. I guess I want to have my H to fall back on if the new thing doesn't work out and I told her that. She said that if that's how I'm feeling I don't really want my H for real anyway. Maybe she's right. But I hate hurting him. I don't want to hurt anyone and at this point it feels like I am hurting two people by making them both feel rejected. And hurting myself for getting trapped into a situation that will leave at least one person feeling rejected ih the long run.

I feel sad at thinking that my relationship with my H might have to end. I like the security and the friendship. But on the other hand, I am very sad and angry that he doesn't seem to really value the sexuality between us and doesn't try to create any sort of sexual ambiance between us. The other day I was wearing a dress that I really liked, which fit well and flattered my figure. When I modeled it for my H, he said it looks nice and then immediately asked me how much I paid for it. That spoiled the mood for me completely and took away any sexual nuance that we might otherwise have created.

I realize that I have been shy (ie afraid) about communicating and revealing very much to the new man because I don't want him to reject me and I'm afraid of him rejecting me AND because I know that putting myself out there with the new guy would bring the situation with my H into sharp focus and force the issue and maybe cause a breakup with my H which will be heartwrenching for me.

I don't want to have to lose the comfort and security of a friendship we've had for almost twenty years. But if he really doesn't care if we lose the sexual connection then maybe it's over already anyway. His lack of concern about losing the sexuality between us (or having it become very dull and almost non-existent) has already been terribly depressing and heartbreaking. So ending it might not be much worse at this point anyway. And I am really sexually frustrated much of the time, which makes me feel very unfulfilled. The new guy on the other hand seems to act like he's crazy about me and would love to have a sexual relationship. How can I turn away from that since I find him attractive and I'm very curious about where this could lead?

I really don't want to lose the new man if the sexual potential is there. I am not used to being desired like he seems to feel about me and I would hate to miss out on what might be a really exciting adventure with someone who appreciates me sexually -- assuming I have been reading the signs properly and overhearing conversations correctly. But the other day, I think I heard two of his co-workers say "there's healthlove, the woman that New Guy is in love with". This is just too fascinating and important for me to ignore. Maybe he's the love of my life and terrified of rejection so he is being "shy" (afraid) for the same reasons as me. If he loves me more than my H it would be a shame to miss out exploring it.

I am so mixed up and distraught. I don't know what to do at this point. I don't want to hurt anyone. And since I am going through major trauma at losing the home I've been renting for years and in between jobs, I am afraid of making even more changes in terms of my relationships.

I have given myself permission not to be committed to anyone and am now just exploring my options -- with both of these guys. Or maybe there is someone else out there that I would be compatible with that I haven't even met yet.

I have communicated this need for freedom to my H and said that this is a positive thing for both of us to individually think about what our goals are in life and what will fit with those goals. I don't want to lose my current relationship. And yet I don't want to lose out on a chance to explore things with a new guy who might really be in love with me and who wouldn't be happy to be "just friends". I love being wanted in that way if that is what is happening and it turns out I desire him in return. That just doesn't happen too often in my life and I would hate to lose "the love of my life" if that is what he turns out to be. I wish I could be involved with both of them but that is so inconsistent with my normal values and would probably be very unfulfilling in the long run. I imagine I would eventually need to make a choice. This whole thing is now so inconvenient. And I really don't want to hurt anyone including myself and I think that one way or another someone will get hurt. This makes me feel very sad.

And yet I need to do something if there is going to be any headway. Otherwise I could continue a life of lukewarm affection from my H while enduring the apparent desire from a person who leaves me feeling frustrated if there is no follow through and actual sexual involvement. Which could be so thrilling and rewarding for us possibly. The thought of him leaves me weak in the knee, and I think about him and his attention to me a lot. Yet I am terrified that he is too afraid to try to be with me. But if I let him know I am interested in a romantic relationship maybe he won't be so shy anymore. And if he rejects me, well I haven't lost anything really, since I never had him in the first place. So perhaps nothing ventured, nothing gained with him.

I didn't put all this out there on a forum because I am not ready for general input on this. But if any mentors or coaches might feel inclined to give me some input on this, I would appreciate it. I am hurting pretty badly.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:50 am 
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Still feeling very emotional these days. And more and more discouraged about things ever really going right with my h. Granted he is going through an extreme crisis with a serious possible eviction that will likely be settled later on this month. But I am still disturbed that he returned to p when I was gone on vacation with friends for a few days in early September. And the fact he still occasionally scans, although he has learned to be extremely discreet with it. But although he is more affectionate these days most of the time, than he ever has been, and he likes to hold my hand, and really needs me emotionally and still likes to give me a little kiss now and then, the fact is that he has no interest in being sexual with me anymore at all. When the crisis is over, who knows? But I'm not holding my breath that things will change, especially since he is drinking so heavily these days, including overnight at times.

Meanwhile, the New Guy is still around. I have not made intentional contact with him after we exchanged a couple of business emails and he was rather impersonal (but all I have at this point is his work email and it is monitored by his superiors, so it might not reflect a real lack of interest). However we did see each other at an important meeting last month and I noticed he couldn't take his eyes off me. A co-worker I have confided in for years commented on it after the meeting too that she noticed how he appeared to be strongly attracted to me.

And now I realize I did overhear him tell his friend, right after he turned me down for coffee, that he was afraid of things getting sexual between us if we did go for coffee, that is, that he wanted me so badly that he was worried he wouldn't be able to control himself if he was alone with me, and so he needed to prevent that, but he explained that I caught him off guard and that he couldn't think of what to say so he just blurted out not needing more friends because he couldn't think of what else to say. He also said that he wasn't sure he was ready for a relationship. Or one with me, since he said "I don't really know if she's my type".

But then he added that he was worried I wouldn't like him anymore now that he turned me down for coffee. I heard his friend say something like "Hey, don't get so worked up over this. If she really likes you, she will like you later. So just relax and just tell her how you feel in a casual conversation some day when you're ready". Which sounded like good, sensible advice. And it was good to hear that he confided in a friend when he was feeling troubled, so obviously he is at least somewhat in touch with his feelings and ambiguities and willing to express them to someone he trusts.

So now I know he is at least physically attracted to me, but probably not yet feeling safe to get emotionally involved, perhaps since I didn't open up to him much when we were starting to talk, over the summer. Which is okay if that is how he feels. I wasn't ready to open up emotionally or to let him know I was interested in him at that point. Fortunately, his friend said that if I really did like him, I would still feel that way later on, even if he did turn me down for coffee at this point. Which might be keeping the door open to a possible relationship down the road. There is no need to rush, especially if neither of us is ready to get seriously involved. And I am glad that New Guy was honest enough with me to turn me down if he really isn't sure he wants to really know me or isn't ready to find out.

It is really great to know that someone is attracted to me (whom I feel attracted to as well) without me having to do anything to try to get his interest. He seems to go for me as I am. This means a lot to me. And I want to start to pick up where we left off if I still continue to have these feelings for him later on, so at least I can get it out on the table and thank him for his interest.

But I have a long-standing security with my h, that I would hate to throw away for what might just amount to a casual fling with New Guy. At this point, it seems I have three choices:

1. to do nothing yet and see what happens with my H after the crisis is over later on this month.

2. make a clean break with my h, but allow myself to date him and New Guy or anyone else who might come along.

3. continue with my h, but with the understanding that I might get involved with New Guy -- or possibly someone else.

The thing is that in truth, this New Guy is the only person I have seriously considered getting involved with in nineteen years besides my h. I would hate to miss out on what could maybe be a much more fulfilling relationship with him because I took too long to reveal my feelings to him. Of course, there will be more opportunities in the near future, and he does intend to come to a Christmas party where I will be performing with my h, so that could be an opportunity to talk to the New Guy.

Just because I might let him know how I feel does not mean either of us has to act on anything at this point or ever. And I have let my h know that I am interested in this New Guy, so nothing is hidden. Unlike my h, who lied to me yesterday about his drinking. I told my h that when he lies to me I wonder what else he is lying about. And that I don't like being in a relationship with someone who feels he has to lie. So things are really not going well. However, I like the affection, the hand-holding, and the occasional kisses. And I would hate to leave him during this crisis.

It's so ironic though: I can have a man who has lost interest in me sexually. And I have another guy who can't help being attracted to me but won't take the next step and try getting to know me more. Not at this point. But this is very hard to take and I am feeling very distraught and not sure what to do. Still feeling more or less like I did in my September posting, but starting to realize that things with my h might be reaching the end of the road -- and meeting the New Guy, with his enthusiasm for me, was the catalyst for this realization. The sharp contrast between a guy who supposedly "loves" me who is indifferent sexually -- and a new guy who is clearly attracted but hesitant to get involved. And maybe that is healthy and things with New Guy might be going along at a good pace. If nothing else, it has made me realize I am desirable as I am without having to do anything to try to entice or persuade him to be attracted. And that in itself is very refreshing indeed.


Last edited by Healthlove on Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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