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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:00 pm
Posts: 6
Well where do I start?

I'm no angel in all of this, and I know my struggles with depression throughout our nearly 30 year relationship haven't made it easy.
He says his problems are because he was so focused on surviving that he didn't recognize how angry he was at me, so when things got better he realized how unhappy he was and turned his back on me.

At one point we had two small children, and had up until then eaten a lot of shit sandwiches in our lives both financially and emotionally. But we stuck together through it, and finally things started looking up for us, or so I thought.

A year later it seemed as though I finally got a handle on my depression and started feeling good about me, and us, and financially things were starting to go our way too. For the first time in my life I thought I was happy. Then out of the blue one day he blows me out of the water and tells me he's not in love with me, not attracted to me, and doesn't want to be with me.

My response at first was to try anything I could think of to get him to love me again, but of course that didn't work. So as I had always done, my response was to run. I moved out. We seemed to work it out a few months later and I thought everything was ok.

Ten years later I finally learn that what really happened was that he had fallen in love with one of his coworkers. But according to him it didn't count because she didn't reciprocate and nothing physical happened. I don't see it that way.

And now he's done it again. He's fallen in love with someone at work. But of course it doesn't count because "nothing has happened".

My position is that he has given his heart to someone else and it certainly does count.

Only this time I wasn't blindsided. He's been 'off' for about a year now, and every few months he comes up with a new self diagnosis based on something he's read on the internet. At first it was that he was in a toxic co-dependent relationship and I was a bad influence on him, then it was mid life crisis, then depression, and now dopamine addict.

I decided a few months ago that I was going to take care of me this time. Emotionally I'm much stronger now, and I've got my depression well under control. It was about a month ago that I went to an event at my husbands work, and it was then I confirmed my suspicions. He was in love with someone at work again and I knew who. I recognized the behavior and told him flat out what I thought and he denied it over and over.

But he finally admitted it this past week and also said he's addicted to porn and masturbation.

I found this site and decided to pursue it on my own. It was a bit of a fight, but I think he's also getting on board.

As for whether our relationship will continue, I'm not sure. But this time I'm not going anywhere. He can leave. I make a lot more than him, so I don't know if he's staying because he doesn't want to be without our shared income, or because he wants to stay. I don't hold my higher income over his head, but I have decided to make him more accountable for what he spends. He spends a lot more money than me on things he wants, and I try hard to save but get defeated by having to pay the bills. I told him to get his own account and credit card so he can monitor his own spending and I won't feel as though I have to control his spending. His money will be his own and likewise mine will be my own. We can share common expenses.

But the one thing I'm learning real quick is that I'm doing this for me. If he ends up part of the picture on the other end of this, then so be it. But I'm taking care of me first now.


Last edited by takingcareofme on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:10 pm
Posts: 422
Dear takingcareofme,

Welcome to RN. I love your name, but so sorry you've had to join us. Here you will find a tremendous wealth of information, deeply enhanced with the support of so many partners who have experienced our own personal version of what you are going through.

From your introduction, I see that you have read the first lesson in the Partners Workshop. Your next step is to create a new thread (logically entitled: takingcareofme's healing thread) in the Partners Lesson Responses forum, and copy your first exercise there. Then as you do each lesson (in order!), go to your healing thread and click "post reply". This will keep all of your exercises in one place. Only a coach or mentor will post on your healing thread.

If you have questions and want more feedback from the general population of partners here, then start a new thread here in the Partners Support forum.

Minerva


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 1:35 pm
Posts: 204
:g: First of all, I need to say RIGHT ON!!! :g:

It sounds like you already have a great grasp on one of the issues that I think many of us here struggle with the most: taking care of you!

But, before I go any further, let me point out that I'm kinda a newbie. Yes, I did join RN almost three years ago, but don't let that fool you. I was absent for 2 1/2 of those (had one d-day, followed by a false recovery/abandoned healing, followed by a second d-day a little less than 4 months ago). But now I'm back, and doing this for real. Anyway, the point is just that there are a lot of very wise partners here, but I am not quite at that stage of expertise yet.

I just had to chime in and say that so much of what you say is deeply familiar to me.

takingcareofme wrote:
I'm no angel in all of this, and I know my struggles with depression throughout our nearly 30 year relationship haven't made it easy.
He says his problems are because he was so focused on surviving that he didn't recognize how angry he was at me, so when things got better he realized how unhappy he was and turned his back on me.
takingcareofme wrote:
...every few months he comes up with a new self diagnosis based on something he's read on the internet. At first it was that he was in a toxic co-dependent relationship and I was a bad influence on him...

Please do not blame this on you! Yes, I understand it takes two, but I also know that my SO has pinned the majority of our relationship problems on me over the years, and I think he did a lot of that to protect himself. You'll hear this a lot on here (because it is true), but, trust me, do the lessons. I know that at first I was really impatient with so many of the early lessons focusing on the addict and the addiction (I kept thinking, "but you said I'm supposed to focus on ME! Why do the lessons focus on him?"), but those lessons gave me the knowledge I needed to see just how warped my SO had become... and how badly that has warped my perceptions of myself.

Through an ingenious combination of gas-lighting, manipulation, invalidation, lying, and other tactics he convinced me at times that I am too unstable to function, that I am paranoid/delusional/hallucinating, that my depression is his cross to bear, that I have severe libido issues and body dysmorphic disorder, not to mention that I have profound borderline personality disorder. Now, thanks to the support, validation, wisdom, and guidance I have found here (and in books and other websites), I see that while I am not perfect, I am far from the low-functioning weakling he'd have had me believe I was. I believe my SO convinced me of these things because it kept his addiction safer from me, and, most of all, because he was convincing himself. As long as he could see me as a hysterical nut-job, he didn't have to look at his own role in things. As long as he could believe that I was paranoid he didn't have to face the reality that he was lying to me constantly. As long as it was my libido in question, he never had to examine how his behavior might be harming our level of intimacy. He cast me in a very specialized role to buffer himself from his own emotional immaturity.

Besides, even if you are depressed, even if you are a "bad influence", does that give him the right to cheat? No Way! Think of it this way: did you "fall in love" with anyone else when he went out and spent too much of your money? Did you react to all of the inevitable fights and drama by developing a love/sexual addiction and hiding it from him?

And, besides, if it was all your fault for being depressed, why did his behavior worsen when you started to feel better?

Nope. You are not perfect, but THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Most likely he had these patterns in place before he even met you. Like I said, do the lessons. You'll see what I mean.

takingcareofme wrote:
I make a lot more than him, so I don't know if he's staying because he doesn't want to be without our shared income, or because he wants to stay. I don't hold my higher income over his head, but I have decided to make him more accountable for what he spends. He spends a lot more money than me on things he wants, and I try hard to save but get defeated by having to pay the bills.

I can relate to this, too. While there is certainly not an overabundance of money in my life, I have consistently been the one to make ends meet. And, every month I pay the mortgage all by myself, and the bills all by myself. Yet, somehow he manages to get miffed when I need his help buying groceries. My credit rating is stellar (because I have worked very hard to keep it that way), his is abysmal. Yet, somehow it is my fault that he can't afford to get a new tattoo or a new computer.

I currently find this reassuring (and it seems like you're on the same page). While it sucks not knowing if he is sticking around because of this one thing I can give him, it is also very comforting to know that I will be fine, pragmatically. If we split up, I will not lose my house. I will not need to venture out and find a new job. I will be just fine right where I am. It is just one less thing to worry about.

And, finally, yes. It absolutely does count!

My SO had himself convinced that he did not have a problem despite spending 16 or so hours a week looking at porn... at work (and, yes, he definitely would have been fired had that been found out)... and lying to me about it (and believe me, after the first d-day, I asked him about it regularly). He didn't think he had a problem when he found it impossible to get through a whole shift without P, or to feel okay in his life without masturbating very often. He used the whole "all men look at porn" argument to convince himself it was okay. He told himself that MB is only healthy (which I agree with to an extent), and so it wasn't at all strange that he needed to do it just to keep his depression and rage at bay (not that it worked, mind you). And, of course, there was the whole, "but it's not like I actually had physical sex with anyone else" argument to convince himself that he wasn't cheating. But, if what he was doing was really okay, then why would he have to lie to his life partner about it?

Anyway, welcome here. I'm sorry you had to find this little online community, but now that you have, you have an immensely valuable resource at your disposal. RN is honestly one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It is helping me to fix things I didn't even know were broken.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:24 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:40 pm
Posts: 543
Quote:
RN is honestly one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It is helping me to fix things I didn't even know were broken.


What a wonderful statement Gorgon! I agree! :g: :g: :g:

Becoming the person we were always meant to be - that's what it's all about!

_________________
"The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. And what is a grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion." - Eckhart Tolle A New Earth


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