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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:14 pm 
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We did Stage 1 of the Couple's Workshop through September/October 2020 and saved our responses. Posting them here:

Caring Exercise -

Kelly01:

Doing this exercise brought me closer to feeling like a partner in a relationship. I didn't realize that I like taking care of someone. I felt like I wanted to do extra things without anything in return. That was refreshing for me to feel because I thought that aspect of myself was lost or helplessly dormant. When taking care of my partner's body, like brushing her hair, it made me see how delicate she is, and it made me understand just how much she needs a lot of care. It softened me to be willing to do things for her in the future. I'm now relating the physical to the emotional and I see how this exercise brings out the understanding in the partakers. I feel like I better understand how "small" actions can have a large effect on a person, good or bad. I feel like I tapped into the part of me that wants to fix things and was allowed to take more control. It made her trust me and I had to be mindful to live up to that trust. It felt good to accomplish these things for her. I just felt like a caretaker in a good way and enjoyed being there for her, and I did not expect that.

Emerald29:

The days leading up to this exercise made me feel a bit overwhelmed because I did not know what to expect, or how to feel. I was glad that we picked Saturday for this so that I did not have much responsibility to think about, or have many tasks to do. I woke up knowing that I would have to let my guard down even more today, and allow my partner to take care of me, and possibly see me in a different light. While I was working in the morning, he took the car to the shop, and I noticed that he was texting me more than usual which made me feel loved and thought of. When he came home, I noticed that he started doing the dishes on his own which helped me realize that my partner was doing this to alleviate stress off of my plate. It also made me feel love towards him knowing that he knows how to make me feel less stressed. A little later, I went to the kitchen to make a quick snack and saw my partner follow me so he can do it for me. This was both nice and amusing for me because I realized that he did not know how I like my coffee. It made me realize that I want my partner to be more curious about me and take more interest even in the small things like knowing how I like my coffee. A bit later he was leaving to run some errands, and before he was headed out the door, he came back to give me a kiss on the cheek. My love language is physical touch, so this gesture made me feel loved once again. When he got back, we decided to go to the store and get some groceries together. At the store, I noticed that my partner was being patient with me, and not making me feel rushed. When we were finished, he told me to not worry about loading the car with our items and to just get into the car and wait for him. When we got home, he told me that he would put everything away and that I can go relax. We then had lunch and watched a show together. My partner picked up after me so I wouldn't have to get up. In the evening, he did some personal things for me which made me feel even more taken care of. He started off with brushing my hair and made a comment about not realizing how careful he had to be with my hair. He gently brushed through my hair and it helped me feel relaxed. The last time anyone brushed my hair was when I was a little girl at my parents house(innocent without a worry in the world). I also had another thought at this time, that if me and my partner had a daughter in the future, that he would carefully brush her hair like this too and give her the love that I know he has. Later in the evening, he gave me a hand and foot massage. He would pamper me like this when we had first gotten together 8 years ago, so it brought back nice memories. When he was massaging my hands with lotion, he made a comment about my hands feeling soft, which made me feel good, but also realize how rough they can get when I clean our home and cook for us. I am glad that he was able to take care of me like that too. At night, he cuddled me until I fell asleep. Being in his arms always makes me feel safe and secure. Overall, this exercise helped me put my walls down and let love to come into my heart, mind, and soul. I hope that my partner continues to do these types of things to get closer to me.


Last edited by Emerald29 on Thu Nov 12, 2020 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:33 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise 3: Healing Contracts

Kelly01:

Timeliness- I need to have time taken into account, especially when we need to have a talk.
- If this is not abided by, I'll take the night or next daytime to myself.

Justice- As I progress in this, I should have more rights to my own devices and what I can do with them.
- If this doesn't happen, I'll have to end this relationship.

Loyalty- I expect that you're focusing on me and us, no one else.
- Any infidelity would end the relationship.

Support- I don't need negative feedback to my actions, rather support and assistance to not mess up again.
- If I get negative feedback in your demeanor, then I will need an apology and how it won't happen again.

Understanding- I need for your demeanor to come from a sympathetic place that shows you understand this is a battle in me that you can't truly grasp. That it is not against you.
- If I feel like this is being violated, we will have to stop the conversation and you can let me know when you're ready to approach me this way. If it comes to this, then the first consequence will also take place since time was wasted.


Emerald29:


Honesty- Be honest about everything. Don't hold anything back from me for the sake of no arguing, or to save your character for your own selfish reasons.
- If I have to ask or dig to get the answers I need, you will need to accept your mistake, apologize, and make amends.

Selflessness -take every wrong thought captive and make sure that it is not selfish. If it is, drop the thought for the sake of your health, and our relationship.
- If you entertain a selfish thought, then come clean within an hour and apologize.

No Defensiveness- Don't have an attitude, tone, or cold behavior when we talk. Be open, kind, and honest so that we can remain productive in reaching a resolution together.
- If you become defensive, and are unable to keep a check on your emotions, then we will take a 30 min break. After the break, you will need to come to me, apologize for your actions, and work with me to continue moving forward.

Family- Take time out to spend time with me and my son together. Once a month, we all should go out together to do an activity like bowling, movie, etc.
- No consequence outside of knowing that if you do not put effort into this with me, then I will be disappointed and won't feel great about our relationship.

Trust w/communication- It is important for us to communicate now more than ever. We need to voice what is bothering us and not lie about anything. Keeping things to ourselves, or lying about them is absolutely unacceptable since we are 8 years into our relationship and need to figure things out for the future without wasting time.
- If you hold things in, lie about them, or bring it up after the 24 hour mark that we discussed about, then you will be help responsible to blame for our communication issues.

Accountability- Be accountable for unacceptable behavior and actions. Keep accountability software on your devices to have blocking of content, and transparency in our relationship. Having the software there not mean that you should not be honest with me upfront. You should be honest with me whether I would see something or not.
- I will not take your efforts in giving your all to this recovery program if you refuse to keep the accountability software.

Transparency/No shadiness- No taking opportunities, or finding ways around the contract when I am around, or not. Examples include: when I am out running errands, hanging out with my son, or even in the shower.
- If you take an opportunity, then you need to tell me within an hour and we will talk through it to prevent it from happening again. If you don't, and I find out, then you will need to apologize and find a way to make amends with me.

Fidelity- Be faithful and loyal to me and our relationship. No physical or emotional cheating. No porn. No looking at images or videos that would be used, outside of the videos and pictures I have sent to you over the years. No searching for exes/past flings on social media. No fantasizing about anyone, but me. No checking out girls in person, or online.
- If you tell me within an hour, either in person or text, then we will talk through it in a cordial manner and seek a resolution. If I have to ask, and if you have done anything, then you need to be 100% honest with me. We will have absolutely no contact for 24 hours, and during that time, you will make plans to apologize for violating the trust and make amends with me to move forward. This will help us have healing.

Space- Allow healthy space between us where we go out individually to see family for a couple hours at least once a month. We can check our schedules and pick out a day together that works best for both of us.

Commitment to the recovery- No masturbating during the recovery and healing workshop. No self-satisfaction in the moment. We should be patient, fight the urge, and wait for us to be available to each other. This will help us be there for each other physically, and help build a strong, meaningful connection.
- If you do masturbate, then you need to tell me within an hour so we can talk through what happened and find ways to prevent triggers. This will also help us to not act on impulsive habits.

Commitment to the Relationship- be willing and committed to handling any issues together. Be open to changes that need to be done to achieve goals for recovery and healing. No fight or flight responses to our issues. No walking out when it gets hard, or walking away from the relationship without exhausting all options to save it.
- If you show any lack of commitment, I will voice how that has affected me and you will have 24 hours to make things right with me. If you choose not to, then I will take it as you not giving everything you had, and walked away from me when things got tough, rather than working with me because I believe we have a lot of potential to be a great couple.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:33 pm
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On Sept 25th, we printed out the partnership contract, read it together, and signed both parts.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:33 pm
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Exercise 5: Developing Meaningful Communication

Emerald29:

"Your partner is contacted by an old romantic partner that they haven't seen in many years. Not wanting to keep any secrets from you, they tell you exactly when the person will be in town and would like your permission to visit with them alone over dinner."

Ineffective: I would shut the idea down completely because there is no need to have dinner alone with an old romantic partner. I would also be upset for this even being a thought or consideration.
Effective: I would say that we need to sit down and talk about why you even want to consider this - having dinner alone with an ex. I would feel that my partner is crossing a line by having dinner with any other woman alone besides me. However, I would give my partner the opportunity to tell me why, and if I felt that the reasoning was not good enough, I would tell him this and let him make a choice. If he still chose to have dinner with this old romantic partner, then I would consider leaving the relationship because I have respect for myself.

"You come home early from work and find your partner masturbating to porn on the Internet. Upon seeing you, they quickly close down the computer and lie about what they were doing."

Ineffective: I would accuse my partner of being unfaithful, secretive, and selfish. I would ask many questions to know all of the details.
Effective: I would tell my partner that we need to talk, then ask him what triggered this behavior. I would let them know that this is not okay with me and ask them what they plan on doing it to change this behavior.

"You suspect that your partner is lying to you about where they were, but you have no proof."

Ineffective: I would get really upset and accuse him of lying to me.
Effective: I would let him know that I feel that he is lying to me about his whereabouts and give him a chance to be honest with me without getting upset and defensive.

"You find yourself feeling frisky and so you make a few sexual overtures towards your partner that are quickly brushed off. You are feeling hurt and rejected."

Ineffective: I would take it personal and lash out in other ways without addressing the problem.
Effective: I would do my best to not take it personally knowing how he feels about me sexually and physically, and ask him directly if he is okay or if he needs to talk.

"After discovering that your partner had been involved in many affairs over the course of your marriage, you experience the urge to ask your partner if he had an affair while you were pregnant some eight years ago. You want to know if he ever used your bed to have an affair."

Ineffective: I would get really upset and insecure, and start asking tons of questions that would never remove the hurt and pain I feel anyway from the affair.
Effective: I would do my best to stay calm and only ask questions that would help me move forward so I don't bring up the past again. If it is too much to deal with, then I would seek out couples therapy.

Kelly01:

"There exists something about your addiction that you were afraid to tell your partner about. The further you get into recovery, the more you realize the importance of absolute honestly not simply as a policy for recovery but as a value for your life. You now want to share with her these additional disclosures but don't know how. You fear her response will be targeted towards the behaviors themselves, not the maturity and growth that was at the center of wanting to disclose."

Ineffective: To continue harboring the information and not be open about it.
Effective: To muster the courage and find a way to bring it up, whether it be through text, note or verbal.

"After achieving two months of complete abstinence, you are feeling sexually frustrated and allow yourself to view porn for twenty minutes while you masturbated. She was in the next room sleeping. She is completely unaware of what you did. What's more, you have covered your tracks effectively, recognize that you wouldn't have engaged in this behavior if she wouldn't have sexually rejected you earlier in the night and feel certain it was just an anomaly. You are thinking to yourself that communicating this event to her will cause more problems than they will solve."

Ineffective: To continue harboring the information and not be upfront about what I did.
Effective: To muster the courage and find a way to bring it up, whether it be through text, note or verbal. To do it the next day when she wakes up.

"You have maintained abstinence from all overt sexual rituals. Still, a haunting feeling of insecurity and doubt has begun to develop inside your head. You don't want to act out, but are feeling uncertain as to your ability to maintain your abstinence."

Ineffective: To find quick release and give into the urge.
Effective: To find someone to talk to about the struggle.

"Your partner comes to you with concerns about you having lied about the details of an affair. You have been through this with her many times and nothing ever changes. Your answers remain the same (because they are truthful); her accusations remain (because she believes them to be truthful). You are at an impasse. (Note: this might be more difficult to process than the others so, work together to generate an effective response. Don't allow frustration to enter into the picture. See this as a puzzle to solve together."

Ineffective: To respond out of anger and lash out on her. To use it as fuel to slip up.
Effective: To try meeting with a coach or unbiased 3rd party to help mitigate the situation. Be reassuring and caring.


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