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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:51 am 
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Stage Three Lesson Four -- Strengthening your value system

Exercise Seventeen

A) In Stage Two; Lesson One, you created proactive action plans for three values to help you begin the process of stabilizing your life.
Quote:
1. I value balance, and having a combination of work I enjoy, fun with friends, quiet alone time to think and read and have fun enjoying nature and animals, working on artistic projects, improving my spacial organization

2. I want to have more of sense of wonder, more humor and silliness, to be able to communicate in a more effective, non-demanding way, a way that inspires and makes my H want to draw nearer.

3. I want to be able to feel joy in life. I want to be able to embrace life, to make this life exciting, fun, to feel enthusiastic and energized, and to surround myself with people who love life, who love others, who want to be close to me, including friends, family and, if possible, a partner.
You now need to expand this to the remaining values listed in Exercise Sixteen.
Quote:
Exercise Sixteen

A. Create a list of at least ten core values that represent the person you want to be. You should be able to rely on this list with confidence in guiding decisions, actions, prioritization, etc.

Ethical
Honest
Fair
Moral
Long-range-focused
Spontaneous
Realistic
Open
Thoughtful
Joyful
Compassionate


B) For each, think about the meaning and fulfillment you are getting compared to the potential meaning and fulfillment available.

Ethical -- I am basically ethical, but do not always live up to it. Eg, I want others to cut me slack, and forgive my shortcomings, but I often do not provide that same standard to my H.

Honest -- I am not always completely honest. Eg, I did not send in an invoice in a timely way because I wanted to find a receipt first but I told the person I was "busy" which was true, but not the REAL reason I was tardy in submitting the invoice. But my lack of timely submission of the invoice was probably a factor in the person firing me (because she said I didn't submit my work in a timely fashion. If I had just submitted the invoice sooner, then maybe that would have been better, as the late invoice probably strengthened the person's resolve to replace me. Maybe it was not a factor, but it still probably would have been better to be on time with the submission, and more humble to admit the real reason).

Fair -- I really am fair most of the time. But with my H, it is not fair to accuse him of "liking the OW better" when he might very well be telling me the truth that he didn't really like her at all. So I am trying to be more trusting, and give him the benefit of the doubt. In which case, more fairness on my part might be more beneficial to ME.

Moral -- yes I am basically moral. Sometimes I spend time wondering if I should have stayed with the previous Perfect Guy (who also turned out to be a SA). But is it moral of me to fantasize about what might have been, when that cuts into my time to make the present good? Not really. It would be better to focus on what is in my life NOW, and make it better.

Long-range-focused -- I am mostly like that. But I need to refine my vision of my finances, cleaning and organizing and paring down non-necessities. Not doing so now will hamper my long-range vision to have my space work better for me, and I will not be able to do the hobbies I want to do with all the clutter still around. Even the short-term needs better attention (ie fixing up the space in preparation for my upcoming bladder surgery).

Spontaneous -- I am fairly spontaneous. but not always prepared for the unexpected (ie an invitation to fool around, where I do not always have the things handy that I will need). Or money to allow for an unexpected invitation out (and needing to borrow some for a cup of tea) etc. So being prepared will allow greater chance to be flexible and spontaneous.

Realistic -- this is a hard one, since I have just been start to get a grasp on my intuition lately, after years of having the wool pulled over my eyes, and thus having my sense of reality deliberately undermined by lies and deception. I also need to get a better sense of my energy level and so on, given my health and inclination to like to do fun things instead of working (like cleaning) -- so I need to develop a more realistic idea of what I can accomplish in so many hours, and not feel so depressed about not getting things done that I had hoped. I will try to get a better grasp on what I can realistically expect to accomplish. And to budget properly too, so that I don't spend more than I have or can expect to have, when my energy level makes it hard to earn much.

Open -- yes I am open. I also tend not to listen effectively enough, which makes me seem not so open. And sometimes I am TOO open and share too much too soon and then feel too vulnerable. So I need to pace myself with others. Also, this ties in with better ability to be spontaneous.

Thoughtful -- I am mostly thoughtful. But I still have debts to pay from much earlier. I could be more thoughtful and that would contribute to my feelings of fulfillment, and remove guilt for things that are undone.

Joyful -- that is getting pretty good. I need to be more in the moment, instead of dwelling on the past or talking in a way that I know upsets my H. I messages are good. And proactively finding fun things to do. which I need to do more.

Compassionate -- I am already pretty good like this. I need to make this a priority instead of asking my H to comfort me in the ways that are always counterproductive, and which also have the resulting effect of making me not seem very compassionate.

C) Develop a specific plan that will allow you to maximize the potential in each of those remaining values.

To be more mindful of these values, and revisit them more often.

D) List the 'next two or three steps' you will take to begin strengthening each value. Note: you will not be expected to begin taking all of these steps. The goal here is to gain clarity in what steps to take and to have a plan of action ready for times when you have either lost focus or have some extra energy.

Ethical -- to really being mindful

Honest -- to stop first before blurting something out just because it makes me look good to others

Fair -- to think first before saying something that doesn't seem fair to others

Moral -- already pretty moral. Need to decide on why I hang on to that one piece of P that I took from my H (he knows). Even though I don't view it, it symbolizes "liberation" for me. I need to figure out how to feel liberated w/o still having it -- in fact HE wants to discard it.

Long-range-focused -- to take care of financial and spacial tasks. To keep lists, write in my daytimer so that I keep track of things. To ask others (like my son) for specific help in decision-making.

Spontaneous -- to allow enough time in my schedule to do fun things.

Realistic -- to organize my time better, and allow for sick days when I can do at least some tasks that are not physically demanding.

Open -- to spend more time with friends and those who I would like to get to know better.

Thoughtful -- to really listen. to start to explore a way to pay M---- for the photos she took.

Joyful -- to take care of mundane tasks (they always make me feel happier). to go swimming and so on, even when others like my H aren't up to it. To go to activites and the social clubs I belong to, at least once every week or two.

Compassionate -- to better let others know I care about them.

Got this from a relationship website, and wanted to ponder it: The inability to be radically honest with yourself and making excuses is symptomatic of one thing: that you’re not in touch with who you really are at the core, and what it is you really need in order to feel happy and fulfilled. It also says: And here’s the worst effect of all: By losing yourself in the relationship, you’re out of touch with your own NATURAL ABILITY to bring your man closer to you.


Last edited by Healthlove on Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:57 am 
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I'm still thinking about the way my H went and got some herbal ed stuff on his own. Yes, it was nice that he was thinking of pleasing me and trying to feel normal. And yes it was good that we talked about it and I told him I really need him to be honest with me so that I can begin to trust him.

So maybe I'm overreacting, but it does make me wonder, "If he is doing that without my awareness (getting the ed herbs) then might he be doing something that i would be upset over?" After all, he would have a good reason to not want to tell me -- just like he kept important details about how he was living for years. And now he KNOWS how freaked out I was when he did tell me on dday, so he might have even MORE reason to keep things secret. Yes, I did talk about all this with him, and reassured him that if something untoward or less than healthy happened, that I would do my very best not to get hysterical, but to deal with it in a calm and compassionate manner. But he insisted that he just wanted to try to relate to me, and to try to tap into his normal sexual inclinations, and that buying the herbs was part of it.

And it was true that he really was starting to get uninhibited with me, and clearly had not been drinking, so it certainly seemed that he was being real with me. And he was even reminiscing about an early time in our relationship when he was excited to be with me, and doing things that were fun and healthy together. So it all looks positive. Yet why do I find myself so skeptical? Either he really is hiding something. OR: Maybe I'm just not used to him really relating to me, and it seems too good to be true. We'll see.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:03 am 
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Stage Three -- Lesson Five -- When Values Collide

Exercise Eighteen

A. Provide an example of a value collision in your own life. How did you handle it? What resulted from this collision (e.g. compromise, resentment, suspension of the issue, etc.)?
I was with Perfect Guy in theory. He lived in another town, breezed in occasionally to spend and evening, not even a full night, then leave again. Wanting to determine the pace of the relationship, saying that he was working to "pay off debts" and then "we'll be together". This became so unfulfilling for me, I was tempted to be with someone else, who didn't want to get involved with me unless I was genuinely free to be together. So my PG wanted the relationship to be distant and I wanted intimacy.

PG was a SA, which I discovered when I tried phoning him and discovered when his voicemail was playing his msgs that he was involved with several OW. When I finally reached him, I asked him to go to counselling with me, and he said it was useless, that he knew he had a problem and would never be able to change, so why bother? So I broke up with PG long distance over the phone that day, and then that same day, I immediately started up with the new person.

The next day I ran into PG on my street -- right after he had apparently gone to my place -- which I realized recently he probably made a special trip into my town for -- or at least he made a point of calling on me since there would not likely have been any other reason he would have been on my street. When we ran into each other there, I was with the new person, with whom I was walking hand in hand. PG and I had a distant chit-chat like you would with a casual acquaintance. He never even said anything indicating he would like to talk, never phoned to say if things didn't pan out with my new friend, he would like me to reconsider him. Nothing. And I never saw him again after that day.

So in this values collision I sort of took control of my life, but the next person was really only a rebound relationship and that turned out to be extremely unfulfilling too. I felt resentful that I had had four years of my life robbed from me by someone unwilling to commit and unwilling to change until I had already given up. I felt angry at myself that I had rushed into the new relationship when maybe PG was finally willing to deal with his fears or whatever was driving his reluctance to really be involved with me.

I was confused over what I wanted, and not in touch with my real feelings about the new person -- I thought I could learn to feel attracted to him -- which never happened other than a mild appreciation of his healthiness. But I never felt the hots for him. And I made the mistake of staying with him for twelve years. So it all was a blur of bad emotions with PG initially, fear of expressing what I really wanted, for fear of losing him, ie scaring him off, and me living in a fantasy world of totally unrealistic hope waiting for someone who gave me no real indication of being ready for a real relationship. It left me feeling very bitter and depressed. And I felt very lonely inside when the new person didn't really act very loving to me. We were together but I felt like we were a million miles apart and I didn't feel good about myself and the sex made me feel bad too, because somehow it didn't feel right.

B. What current values do you hold where conflicts can be likely anticipated? (Use your history in relationships as a reference)

I believe in real openness, and sometimes I think my H is not being entirely open or forthright with me. I also feel that money is a sticky subject. He talks about not wanting to be financially involved now, because we've had years of problems. meanwhile, he keeps wanting me to leave the past behind, and says that people don't realize what's transpired between us when they express a wish that he would help me more. So if he wants ME to leave the past behind, it seems like he is not doing that himself -- or even his own personal past as a youth when he had a very small allowance and he counted every penny.

Even yesterday, he wanted to divide a $14.00 dinner bill with me proportionately because my items cost slightly more than his. I was furious! He spent thousands on hookers, but is worried about a dollar with me. He says that was crazy before and now he's come to his senses. So great! He gave them lots of money but now I am the lucky one who gets the result of his new found sensibility of stinginess.(I told him how upset I was, and he did insist on paying my way into the pool after that. But it also raised an issue within myself, because I feel damned if i do and damned if I don't: if I don't bring it up, I feel resentful about his miserliness. And if I do bring it up, I feel like I come across as a gold-digger, so I can't win either way. I told him all this).

Another value is scanning. To me, any looking, given how much he has hurt me, is too much. And feels like scanning. To him, it's only scanning if it goes longer than a second or two. At the pool, he clearly had trouble looking away from my friend (whose figure is almost identical to his very favorite P model that he looked at for about 40 years). I could see he had a lot of trouble trying not to glance at her, and I was grateful that he avoided it, but I also felt that he was resentful that I wasn't okay with it. This has become a real hot issue between us, and still is not resolved.

C. What values, if any, are you unwilling to compromise under any circumstances? Give a thoughtful response, not a prideful one.

I really don't feel it is right for me to have sex outside of a loving relationship. I don't feel right about being in a relationship with someone who is having sex with someone other than me if I love him. (If I was having sex with someone I didn't love, I would be okay with that person not being devoted to me, but the way I conduct my life now, I am not even interested in being sexually involved with someone unless I was in love with him.)

I am also not willing to be talked into swinging, threesomes, sex for money, and probably not watching P -- except to analyze it perhaps -- or MAYBE watching real erotica (ie a real couple having a spontaneous exchange) or an artistic film that simulates sexual activity, but any of this would have to have some redeeming value and I wouldn't feel right if it fed into my H's SA. Same with magazines or internet sites that were clearly P based. Not sure about artwork or comics, but I would want to look at them together -- and some of the content makes me uncomfortable, but I am not totally clear how I feel -- especially since my H has not been looking at that either lately (except a couple of cartoon drawings we came across together that he had asked me previously to delete and I forgot to.)

I also value honesty, and although I realize that my H has continued to fudge sometimes about some things (ie I know he has had an occasional cigarette after supposedly quitting in January and that's the kind of thing he might be inclined to lie about) I am NOT okay with lying about AO with OW. Even lying about P is not okay, but if he had an occasional slip (which I don't think he has had since last summer -- and he had already discarded it in the recycling bin behind the building the same day I happened to find it) I could live with it. Not a total deal-breaker.

But seeing an OW again would be likely cause for termination or at least markedly increased consequences if he wanted to continue the relationship with me. And a reason I might not want to continue with him -- even if he still wanted to be with me.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:29 am 
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Going better actually. He's been willing to talk, even about previously uncomfortable topics and I've expressed my appreciation to him as it helps me emotionally.

He's been taking Lyrica twice a day and therefore keeping his pain at bay. Getting into a better mood with the lessened pain. And the nicer sunnier weather helps too.

Lots of remunerative work for me these days. I cleaned the couch up, found my checkbook, etc. Feeling much more balanced.


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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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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 322
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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Posts: 322
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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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
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.

_________________
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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