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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:46 pm 
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Quote:
Exercise 41

I. For this exercise, put your intellect away. Mourning is an emotional experience, not an intellectual exercise. How you achieve the goals outlined in the lesson should be unique to you. The only critical directive is that, when you have properly mourned for your losses, take at least fifteen minutes (several hours, preferably) to celebrate yourself. Celebrate your life. Your experiences. To recognize the ebb and flow of your life span and your current place within it. To reconnect to your individuality, your esteem and to the control that you have over your future.
II. Optional, share your experiences with this process. Again, don't worry about the intellectual aspects of communicating. Just share. Let it make no sense to anyone but yourself, if needs be. Just share your thoughts as an individual who is breaking free/has broken free from the grasp of another's addiction.


Losses

The main thing I mourn is the loss of the potential of the relationship. From the beginning I have felt that the two of us have something really stable, something good and true and we do. So much of our relationship is good and rational, mature. The porn use and subsequent lying and deception, hiding things from me has caused years of pain, to both of us. I mourn that we are SO close to just having a happy life. We have a home we love, a beautiful place/area to live, we are self supporting, work at home, have good friends etc. We are both healthy. There’s SO much to be grateful for and yet, daily we focus on this. Daily he has self hatred and we focus on his feelings about that. Daily, I have to put my needs aside. The things that have hurt the most is the loss of relationship and the feelings of being thrown away for his addiction. In that moment when he chooses to indulge, I get thrown aside. He knows that it will be weeks of recovering from the “slip”, which to me feels endless. I hate that its called a slip. Like something minor, when you “slip” and do something harmless and stupid. What he does is not harmless. It hurts. Its not stopped hurting. He knows that it will cause me to feel thrown away, and yet, when the moment comes, he describes it as a ‘gentle pushing aside of that voice’. Not too hard to do, this throwing me away, that hurts immensely. He describes it as gentle but it feels very harsh to me.

I mourn that women in general have so much loss. Every woman I know has been assaulted, raped, harassed. That means that many of the men I know have assaulted, raped, harassed. My husband is one of those men. I mourn that about him, that he has sexually harassed women by spying/scanning on them, making them a target of his sexual release. That so many of us in addition to this abuse from men, also have to overcome this type of addiction in our relationships, a place that should be safe for us… isn’t. This is hard to swallow as well. I know that many of my friends in relationships and women I know are likely dealing with this given our culture, but have no idea how to handle it. Due to my own shame about it, and having to protect the reputation of both myself and my partner, I don’t speak of it, but I am willing to bet many of the women I know are. Its very sad to me.

It hurts that he really only knows me for the roles I play in his life. For what I can provide and do for him. For how I can help and support him. I someday hope that he can take the time to really engage with me and _know_ me.

My heart just hurts wanting him to understand and see the pain that I feel. Not so much so he can feel bad about it, but to realize that I DO love him and am devoted to him. I could leave at any time, but that would only hurt more, because I do want to save this relationship and will do what I need to do to make that happen. I’ll do the work. I only hope he will too and that he won’t continue to toss me aside, preferring his addiction instead.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:55 pm 
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Quote:
Exercise 42

#1: Consider the following situations and share what your response would be in each of the following scenarios:


These scenarios don’t really match up with our relationship and his using habits, so I’m having a hard time identifying with them. However, I do feel that its useful to work this lesson.

The various types of ineffectual communication I have perpetuated are:

Interrogation: I have used this with disclosure and other issues. It makes me feel like I have some control over the situation, but doesn’t assist him in any way to feel comfortable with being honest, disclosing fully or communicating and only has served to shut him down and make him scared to interact.

Setting them up to fail: I have definitely used this. Swear to me on this book that you aren’t using. Just be honest, tell me. Look me in the eyes and tell me…. Every one of these I have used and in every situation, he was able to look at me and lie. Several times in fact. Clearly it doesn’t work, and clearly its not useful.

Valueless question: In my previous relationship I used this, but I haven’t done it much in this one. These questions sting, hurt and make things worse and I’ve seen that before and haven’t engaged in them much, if at all. I do think sometimes he thinks I am asking just to hear him talk about it but most of the time those questions are aimed at figuring out the chain of events etc.

The endless interview: I do this to some extent. I try and live and communicate with him where he’s at today. It is hard because I can’t yet trust that he’s present and engaging in a meaningful and honest way, and if Im concerned I often fall back into older habits.

Overall, Im beginning to see a glimpse of a possibility of trust again. The last week he’s been honest and forthcoming. I’m afraid that it won’t last, that he’ll hold just one thing back and it will spiral, but so far, so good.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:58 pm 
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Quote:
Exercise Forty-Three

A. Make a list of values/goals relating to your existing relationship (or future relationship) that you can use to help guide you. Ensure that you limit this list to what is absolutely necessary in establishing/maintaining the relationship.

B. For each value listed, what boundaries do you have in place that will ensure that this value remains protected?


Value: We value being in “right relation” with each other.
Boundaries:
- We will approach each other in our marriage with the goal to be in clear and clean relation with each other. This means that if any boundaries have been violated or values disrespected, any interactions will not be in clear and clean relation with each other.
- Each interaction should be to respect each others feelings. This means being respectful and kind in our communications with each other.
Examples:
- Relapse without disclosure negates any right action in the marriage until full disclosure, honesty and amends are made.
- Emotional states causing rudeness, poor behavior etc should be called out (by both partners) and amends made.

Value: We value having a firm foundation for our marriage.
Boundaries:
- We will support each other in our lives, in our actions and in our relations with others. When out and about in the world, we will first think of how our actions will affect the other before we act to cause lack of support.
- As we travel through life, we strive to support each other’s will/purpose. Actions that undermine these values cause us to have have to process, recover, fix and doing so causes us to move back to basics and painfully detracts us from our life’s purpose.
Examples:
- Relapses will cause us to have to focus for days and weeks on rebuilding the lost trust and foundation of our marriage.
- Scanning, targeting and objectification/acting out in public places destroys any foundation of our marriage for that outing, causing insecurity, stress, trauma.

Value: We value self reliance and individual independence.
Boundaries:
- We will each strive to be independent and self reliant. We will take responsibility for our feelings as well as our actions.
- While we will assist each other in times of trouble, we will not allow this assistance to destroy mutual self respect. When one of us fails to honor the others values or the values of another, we will provide support, but not take on the responsibility of fixing the problem. We allow each other their own successes.
- We acknowledge the divine in each other. We approach each interaction as that with the divine in ourselves and cherish those aspects of each other that are at the root of our will.
Examples:
- Requiring the other to “fix” emotional states.
- Indulging in victimization rather than values cased actions.
- Over-helping, controlling the others recovery or health.
- Being ungrateful

Value: We value sexual chastity and respect and honor each others bodies.
Boundaries:
- We both acknowledge that this marriage is an agreement of monogamy and sexual chastity.
- Sexual energy gets returned to the relationship for our use to build the relationship and for our own creativity.
Examples:
- Using Porn, looking up people on the internet for sexual interest, videos etc violate monogamy.
- Having sex with, sexual interactions with others without previous agreement violates monogamy

Value: We value that together and heart to heart, we are stronger as a couple than we are as individuals.
Boundaries:
- Together, we can achieve more than the sum of our parts.
- As life partners being challenged by the world, we will hold each other as a sanctuary from the world, sharing our heart’s desires, the secrets we hold from the rest of the world. Heart to heart, open and trusting.
Examples:
- Keeping secrets (omission of acts)
- Hiding things from each other (Violation of values, failures etc).

Value: We value speaking the truth, speaking honestly and not denying truths.
Boundaries:
- We will speak the truth, one to another at all times.
- We acknowledge that truth is a necessary element in our marriage and will strive to trust each other in ways to facilitate this truth.
- An omission is considered a lie.
Examples:
- Lying
- Hiding actions, relapses etc
- Lying by omission
- Gaslighting/manipulation

Value: We value caring for each other’s happiness and feelings of safety both in our home and when out in the world together.

Boundaries:
- Our home is a safe sanctuary from the world and we will strive to keep it that way.
- We acknowledge that there are times when we are out in the world that we need to have each other’s backs to facilitate feelings of safety and sanctuary.
Examples:
- Having/using porn in the home.
- Openly violating values when among others, violating trust.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:05 pm 
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Weekly Check in

1. Over the past 7 days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?
-- Working in the house and in the garden.

2. Over the past 7 days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?
-- Having to focus on recovery almost the entire time.

3. Given the meaning that was added (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I manage?
-- Well. I felt more balance and doing well all week for the most part.

4. Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next 7 days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?
-- My son is coming to visit, that usually is hard for me . While I love him, he’s having some issues and its hard because Im not able to really “fix” him, but I need to apply these principles to him as well. I can’t fix him, but I can support him.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:09 pm 
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1. Did engage fully and responsibly in my life today?
-- Yes. It was a great day. Worked and did some gardening. Flirted with hubby a bit, he was forthcoming on feelings.

2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision and values?
-- No.

3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them?
-- No, Had an old friend with issues communicate with me, I used my values to determine my response, Over all, it went really well.

4. Did I take time today just for myself? If not, how many days has it been since I have?
-Yes, to garden.

5. Did I stay on top of my game at work, in the home and in my volunteer work?
-- Yes, got some extra work done for work, did my home and volunteer work.

6. Did I do something physically healthy for my body?
-- Ate well.

7. Did I do something nice for someone else today?
-- In various ways but not directly.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Today is hard. Sad. Having a lot of feelings. Nothing particularly bad has happened, but my partner was engaging in one of the lessons where he was to do a meditation on a ritual that involved relapse (but not do it) and while it was productive for him, caused him to exhibit the same behaviors that he typically does with relapse.

In particular he gets angry, annoyed, short tempered and rude. This triggers me pretty hard, and rather than standing my ground, calling him on it, or offering help, I just melt and get sad, jumpy, and go straight to that place were I feel that disaster is immanent. Im really glad he's showing a lot of progress with his lessons, but this makes today hard. I'm tired of things being hard all of the time.

Onward....


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:45 pm 
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1. Did engage fully and responsibly in my life today?
Yes. Had a good day. Worked in the garden and had a good time.

2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision and values?
-- No.

3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them?
--No

4. Did I take time today just for myself? If not, how many days has it been since I have?
-- Yes, working outside. Also took a short nap

5. Did I stay on top of my game at work, in the home and in my volunteer work?
-- Yes, got caught up on some projects

6. Did I do something physically healthy for my body?
--Yes, ate well, worked outside

7. Did I do something nice for someone else today?
-- Got strawberries from the garden and gave them to dad and G.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:59 pm 
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Weekly check in

1. Over the past 7 days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?
-- My relationship, gardening, studying

2. Over the past 7 days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?
-- Recovery. Listening, supporting when it hurts.

3. Given the meaning that was added (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I manage?
-- Pretty well. I’m feeling pretty drained right now, my compulsive desires are up, wanting to eat bad foods, pull hair, pick at things, keep too busy, but not having any energy. Common trends for me.

4. Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next 7 days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?
-- More of the same. More processing. Keep on guard for relapse.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:08 pm 
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1. Did engage fully and responsibly in my life today?
-- Yes.

2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision and values?
-- No, less feelings of compulsion

3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them?
-- No

4. Did I take time today just for myself? If not, how many days has it been since I have?
-- Yes. Did some gardening.

5. Did I stay on top of my game at work, in the home and in my volunteer work?
-- Mostly. Feeling some body pain and fatigue today so I took it easy.

6. Did I do something physically healthy for my body?
-- Ate well. Challenged G to set dieting goals.

7. Did I do something nice for someone else today?
-- Listening to G some.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:47 pm 
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1. Over the past 7 days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?
-- Working on the house, spending time with G and talking about recovery. Hiking.

2. Over the past 7 days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?
-- The house, volunteer work drama.

3. Given the meaning that was added (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I manage?
-- Well, I felt like I was pretty balanced.

4. Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next 7 days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?
-- Things should be pretty mellow this coming week, though I’m aware of my partner and his recovery, still worried about relapses.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:31 pm
Posts: 71
1. Over the past 7 days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?
-- Working on the house, spending time with G and talking about recovery. Hiking.

2. Over the past 7 days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?
-- The house, volunteer work drama.

3. Given the meaning that was added (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I manage?
-- Well, I felt like I was pretty balanced.

4. Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next 7 days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?
-- Things should be pretty mellow this coming week, though I’m aware of my partner and his recovery, still worried about relapses.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:49 pm 
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That wraps up my check ins as well. I'm all done with the current lessons.

I feel much better than I did when I first started, life is more balanced and I can say this has really helped.

I'd love to have any suggestions from others or mentors/coaches on what's next or suggestions on how to continue my work.

I've volunteered (weeks ago) to mentor but not heard back, if anyone has any info on that I'd appreciate it!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:42 am 
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My partner was getting a lot out of this exercise so I did it too. Very revealing to me!

SA recovery: sexual boundaries.

List out my own sexual values (good or otherwise)

* My partner needs to have an orgasm for sex to be good.
* I am insecure about my body (size, tightness, saggy boobs etc)
* Masturbation is a healthy behavior if it isn’t compulsive or interfere with the relationship
* If my partner isn’t satisfying me sexually we should communicate about that
* All sexual activity should be fully consensual
* A Healthy relationship has enough sex to satisfy both partners
* I sometimes have sex when I don’t feel like it
* I have a hard time telling my partner that something they are doing is uncomfortable
* Any sexual activity is ok as long as both partners are into it and it isn’t permanently damaging.
* Receiving oral sex is good but I often have a hard time orgasming due to being self conscious
* Giving oral sex is good. I can swallow, but don’t prefer it, I don’t mind orgasm though, can be fun.
* 69 is distracting
* BDSM can be fun and cathartic if done properly
* Using sex toys during sex is ok
* Sex outside of a committed relationship is wrong. (This goes for sexual energy)
* Both partners should prioritize a healthy sexual relationship
* Both partners should initiate sex.
* Porn isn’t interesting to me.
* Porn turns me on sometimes despite liking it or finding it interesting.
* Porn is usually damaging to a relationship
* Porn use by my partner can cause sex to be unfulfilling to me
* Porn use by my partner causes fear, dishonesty and emotional issues in my relationship
* Sex is spiritual
* Sex can be healing
* Having intimate conversations with the opposite sex can be a problem (can lead to flirting etc)
* It is ok to have sex while drunk
* It is dangerous to have sex while drunk with someone you don’t trust
* Drinking makes sex more comfortable for me.
* Having sex when my partner has been drinking but I haven’t stresses me out
* Voyeurism is sexual harassment
* Voyeurism is dangerous
* Voyeurism is cheating
* Sex is fun
* Sex is loving
* Sex is intimate
* Sex is hot
* Sex is intense
* Sex is spiritual
* Sex is healing
* Men won’t like me during sex because I’m large
* Having a tight vagina is a prerequisite for good sex
* I am not satisfying because I’ve had a child
* If a man loses his erection it means I’m not satisfying

Define an ideal ending:

I will only engage in sex with my husband
I will be honest about my sexuality and sexual needs
I will see my partner as divine and our sex as spiritual and healing

Remove irrelevant or contrasting values:

* I am insecure about my body (size, tightness, saggy boobs etc)
* Masturbation is a healthy behavior if it isn’t compulsive or interfere with the relationship
* If my partner isn’t satisfying me sexually we should communicate about that
* All sexual activity should be fully consensual
* A Healthy relationship has enough sex to satisfy both partners
* Any sexual activity is ok as long as both partners are into it and it isn’t permanently damaging.
* Giving oral sex is good. I can swallow, but don’t prefer it, I don’t mind orgasm though, can be fun.
* BDSM can be fun and cathartic if done properly
* Using sex toys during sex is ok
* Sex outside of a committed relationship is wrong. (This goes for sexual energy)
* Both partners should prioritize a healthy sexual relationship
* Both partners should initiate sex.
* Porn is usually damaging to a relationship
* Porn use by my partner can cause sex to be unfulfilling to me
* Porn use by my partner causes fear, dishonesty and emotional issues in my relationship
* It is ok to have sex while drunk
* Drinking makes sex more comfortable for me.
* Having sex when my partner has been drinking but I haven’t stresses me out
* Voyeurism is sexual harassment
* Voyeurism is dangerous
* Voyeurism is cheating
* Sex is fun
* Sex is loving
* Sex is intimate
* Sex is hot
* Sex is intense
* Sex is spiritual
* Sex is healing

Potential obstacles

* Porn addiction/recovery
* PTSD/Trauma in myself making it hard to communicate my needs
* Co-dependency


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