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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Update:

Whoa. Crazy time. Deluge of rain and cold with condensation dripping inside our temporary home has made our housing situation unlivable.

Decided to move out early into the home I rented, even though it wasn’t quite ready. My plan was to have it all furnished and the kids’ rooms decorated to surprise them and make the transition to separation easier. Also wanted to wait until after Christmas, so the kids wouldn’t have to associate Christmas for the rest of their lives with their parents’ separation.

But our physical living situation had gotten just too difficult. One day, I came home to my daughter’s comforter having a big wet spot in the middle of it from dripping condensation. Because I’m in the middle of daily monitoring, I found myself complaining about the situation, silently blaming my husband and not taking responsibility for managing my own life. I was in a holding pattern, waiting it out until after Christmas to move, but I felt totally in limbo while dealing with a very difficult living situation. So I decided to make the move early (thank you, daily monitoring clarity). I made the decison to allow my husband to move with us until after Christmas, so I don’t have to spoil the kids’ Christmas with news of their parents’ split, telling them we were all moving to a safer, warmer place for the winter. It’s the truth for now.

For the last month, I’ve been grabbing furnishings from Craigslist and have been able to furnish the entire three bedroom home for $630. Several times, I dropped my kids off with friends while I moved mattresses in on my back by myself. I introduced myself to my new neighbor and then promptly asked him to help me carry in a heavy bookcase. Holy smokes, am I resourceful. How empowering.

I’m feeling huge sense of independence and relief for making the move, even though it means living with my husband for a while longer in what feels like my space. I am so ready to be separated. When he’s around, I feel a heaviness.

I told him that I value initiative and that I felt abandoned trying to figure out how to deal with the kids living in all the rain and cold, but he said he didn’t think it was that bad and that we would just put coats on. But when he saw how ecstatic the kids were about living in a “real” house, I think he realized how much they needed it. They literally were jumping around excitedly about our new house, while he sat dejectedly watching in the corner. It made me appreciate how incredibly resilient those kids are to have been living in such a tough situation in all the rain and cold without complaining.

So I told him that we would separate after the holidays. He talked about being “stuck” living out on our land. Because my parents helped me out with the rental deposit and first and last months’ rent, he made a resentful comment about how all I had to do was ask my parents for money and I could have the down payment on a rental place, but that he didn’t have that option. He doesn’t acknowledge that it’s a tiny 900 square foot home, that I’m sleeping on a sleeper sofa in the living room so I can give each of the kids their own rooms, or that I furnished it practically for free and moved us in by myself the weekend before Christmas.

I told him that where he lived was his choice and that I could think of at least three other options for him—living with his parents, living with his friend or renting a room in a house. Of course, he had lots of reasons why all of those wouldn’t work, but at least admitted to seeing that it was a choice to stay living there, not that he was stuck. I refrained from reminding him that our moving out was the consequence of his actions because I know he deeply feels that, but I instead focused on the fact that I’m doing what I need to be safe and happy and that it’s what I need to do to give the kids a livable home.

In the mean time, he has not even so much as asked what we’re getting the kids for Christmas, one day away. He did figure out dinner the last two nights and has been going to therapy. In my gut, I do not feel like he is acting out, although if ever there were an emotional situation that would precipitate it, his family moving out would be it. He does seem to be trying in his own way and wanting to do what’s right. He went with me to pick up a few things for our home, which I know was hard. He’s trying to be affectionate. He desperately hopes that this move is temporary and that we will get back together. I’m just not seeing that “know it when you see it” transformation that comes with real recovery. I see sadness and helplessness. I feel so very bad for him and still love him, in spite of it all. I’m really worried about him being alone out there in the cold after the holidays.

The day after moving in, I got an incapacitating migraine that took me out for a day. It’s also an incredibly busy work time as clients try to wrap up projects before the holidays and I’m trying to make sure I have a decent income flow to pay for this house. Not to mention all the stuff to get ready for the holidays.

Last month, I had to euthanize my beloved 18 year-old cat. On top of that, my 19 year old car with 312,000 miles on it finally went out, literally as I was moving the last carload of stuff, so now I have to budget for a used car, figure out how to donate the old one before it gets towed, and drive around in a crappy pickup whose time is also limited.

So much upheaval. So much coming to an end. Good thing this is all happening before the new year. I’m determined that 2015 is my year, so might as well get it all in now.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Exercise Thirty

A. Identify the consequences that you are experiencing that may be reflective of a possible situational depression.

- I feel a loss of joy in my life.
- I still feel like having a glass or two of wine in the evening, even though I’ve consciously kept it out of the house.
- I’m dealing with the kids very well, but there are days that I’m overwhelmed by their needs from the separation and I just want to get away from them or tell them to shut up!
- I’m feeling asexual.
- I have a hard time getting work done; serious procrastination.
- Physical pain in my neck.


B. Identify how each depressive symptom may be affecting you in your ability to work through this major event in your life.

- I feel a loss of joy in my life—keeps me from pursuing new goals and growth.
- I still feel like having a glass or two of wine in the evening, even though I’ve consciously kept it out of the house—still have feelings that need to be managed in a healthy way; I think I’m doing that, but the desire to check out with a glass of wine makes me realize there’s more in there I’m not dealing with.
- I’m dealing with the kids very well, but there are days that I’m overwhelmed by their needs from the separation and I just want to get away or tell them to shut up!—feel drained and not bringing my best self to my kids 100% of the time; feel guilt.
- I’m feeling asexual—loss of important part of myself; not sure of who I am sexually; don’t know how to feel sexual without feeling threatened.
- I have a hard time getting work done; serious procrastination—stress; potential problems with income; loss of time to devote to positive things and recovery.
- Physical pain in my neck—need to get it checked, but feel like I don’t have the time/money to pursue it; not taking care of myself.

C. Identify the additional events/stressors in your life (unrelated to the addiction):

These are all related to consequences of addiction, but I feel the need to outline them here:

- Kids having a hard time with separation, blaming me for making Papi go away.
- Worry about money and having enough to support myself; new bank account keeps putting holds on my deposits, so funds not immediately available.
- Work deadlines difficult to manage while homeschooling kids.


D. Write yourself a compassionate letter that emphasizes the reality of the situation that you face.


Dear You,

Well, here you are, a year and a half after your world was rocked to the core and. . . you are fine. You are doing better than most in your situation. You’ve managed to define your values and defend your boundaries, which has resulted in you leaving your husband, in spite of your struggle with keeping your marriage vows. I am so proud of you.

Of course you suffered. Of course you wanted to numb it all away with wine. Of course you’ve been at the end of your rope dealing with everyday stresses of kids and work. Of course you’ve experienced moments of being paralyzed by depression. You are allowed to feel pain and to not be 100% all the time. You are human.

Throughout this year and a half, in spite of experiencing PTSD, you have mostly held true to your values. Even though he tells you that you are not willing to move forward and that you are the one who needs therapy, remember that he is still in it to some degree and that he is projecting and blameshifting. You can look back and hold your head high knowing that you stayed committed to your husband and saw him through arrest, court dates, two months of electronic monitoring, therapy and depression while staying true to your marriage vows. And you knew when enough was enough. You gave him many chances. Even if he is now serious about recovery, do not regret that you do not have the time to waste to find out if it’s for real this time.

You held up the entire family and put your kids first. And in the midst of the storm, you have gone through parent training and have become the mom that you’ve always known you are. You’ve made incredibly hard choices to protect your kids, and while they can’t see it or may never see it, just maybe they will one day know what you went through to keep them safe. Even if they never know it, you do.

That he was slow to pursue recovery (yes, even hindered by you doing everything you could to fix it for him) is just the way it is. You cannot fix this for him. I repeat, you cannot fix this for him. He has made progress and you can see change, but you also see the signs that he is not completely recovered. Do not regret that you did not stick around to see it through. You have done and are doing what you can to turn this experience into learning that makes you a better person. What he does with this experience is up to him. You deserve full partnership and you need not regret walking away from someone who was not and never was up to it.

One year ago, maybe even two months ago, you would have wished this all away for yourself and your kids. Now, with some perspective, and seeing your own personal growth, you wouldn’t trade it in at all. You have suffered. You have explored your past. You have looked inward and seen what you may not have ever seen. You have grown in ways you may have never grown. You are a better person today than you were the day before you found out about your husband.

So while you still have days or moments of sadness and regret, remember that you are supposed to. You cannot move forward and ignore what you’ve been through. Every time you take a moment to acknowledge what you’ve lost and allow yourself to grieve, you bring yourself back to real awareness. You will continue to do this for the rest of your life.

You still have work to do. You need to have your neck pain checked out. You need to do more introspection about who you are as a sexual being. You cannot go through the rest of your life never trusting another man or never being intimate, even though that’s what you see for yourself now. To embrace yourself as a sexual being, as to embrace suffering, is to embrace yourself as a human in entirety. You will come to this reality in time. Know that there is work still to do there.

In the mean time, keep moving forward as you have. You’ve just begun to get to the good part.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:31 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Exercise Twenty-Six: Daily Monitoring

12 2 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. I didn’t follow up with my listening partner.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Morning meditation.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, Music, Personal development
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.

12 3 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Long talk with friend.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Only 2. Work, Friends
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.


12 4 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Long talk with friend.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Only 2. Work, Friends
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously.
12 6 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 2 days
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Relationship, Kids, Interaction (talked with Meta Karuna)
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No. Missed class and meditation because talking with husband.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. No.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


12 7 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? No violations.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 3 days
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Charity, Kids, Arts (saw Christmas Carol)
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No. Got Stella late to church, walked in late.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


12 8 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Work with PB client. Made boundaries clear and declined further work.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 4 days
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Family, Kids, Personal development (flying trapeze class!)
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. No.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes, budget. No, spent too much on Stella’s birthday. Need set better expectations for kids for next birthday.


12 9 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. I argued with husband in front of kids.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Discussion with client was rude. Ended relationship and stayed firm. Husband lectured kids in condescending way; I intervened to stop.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 5 days
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, Friends (took phone call from Leigh, even though I didn’t have time), Work—turned down job because it was in conflict with vision.
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 10 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. I missed a deadline for work. I swore in front of my daughter.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Discussion with client was rude. Ended relationship and stayed firm. Husband lectured kids in condescending way; I intervened to stop.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Arts, Gratitude, Kids
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 11 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. FIL teased daughter in negative way. Didn’t intervene. Should have stopped it.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Listened to news.
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Interaction (family in Laundromat), Friends, Kids
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


12 12 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Drank wine.
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 (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Read Christmas story
4a. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Friends, Arts, Work
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


12 13 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? No.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Kids were unsafe without a carseat. I did not act to protect.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Got furniture for apartment.
If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Holidays, Independence, Family
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 14 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Late for Christmas party. Disagreement with husband in front of the kids. Again. Really need to work on this one. Plan: Pause, go to the bathroom when conversation starts to sound stressed.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Discussion about transparency—husband not admitting to not being transparent. Made it clear what my expectations were. Asked husband to go with me for a ride to share.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Friend’s Christmas party. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Holidays, Relationship, Religion
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 15 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? No. Blaming living situation on husband. Need to take control of situation.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Relying on inlaws—not taking initiative.
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 (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No. If not, how many days has it been since I have? One
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids—played board game with them.
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No. Late for tutoring.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. No.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. No. Bought more at Target than planned.


12 17 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? 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 (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Time alone! If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, independence, Home
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes! Early for vision therapy.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


Whoa. Crazy time. Deluge of rain and cold with condensation dripping inside our temporary home has made our housing situation unlivable.

Decided to move out early into the home I rented, even though it wasn’t quite ready. My plan was to have it all furnished and the kids’ rooms decorated to surprise them and make the transition to separation easier. Also wanted to wait until after Christmas, so the kids wouldn’t have to associate Christmas with their parents’ separation for the rest of their lives.

But our physical living situation had gotten just too difficult. One day, I came home to my daughter’s comforter having a big wet spot in the middle of it from dripping condensation. Because I’m in the middle of daily monitoring, I found myself complaining about the situation, silently blaming my husband and not taking responsibility for managing my own life. I was in a holding pattern, waiting it out until after Christmas to move, but I felt totally in limbo while dealing with a very difficult living situation. So I decided to make the move early (thank you, daily monitoring clarity). I made the decison to allow my husband to move with us until after Christmas, so I don’t have to spoil the kids’ Christmas with news of their parents’ split, telling them we were all moving to a safer, warmer place for the winter. It’s the truth for now.

For the last month, I’ve been grabbing furnishings from Craigslist and have been able to furnish the entire three bedroom home for $630. Several times, I dropped my kids off with friends while I moved mattresses in on my back by myself. I introduced myself to my new neighbor and then promptly asked him to help me carry in a heavy bookcase. Holy smokes, am I resourceful. How empowering.

I’m feeling huge sense of independence and relief for making the move, even though it means living with my husband for a while longer in what feels like my space. I am so ready to be separated. When he’s around, I feel a heaviness.

I told him that I value initiative and that I felt abandoned trying to figure out how to deal with the kids living in all the rain and cold, but he said he didn’t think it was that bad and that we would just put coats on. But when he saw how ecstatic the kids were about living in a “real” house, I think he realized how much they needed it. They literally were jumping around excitedly about our new house, while he sat dejectedly watching in the corner. It made me appreciate how incredibly resilient those kids are to have been living in such a tough situation in all the rain and cold without complaining.

So I told him that we would separate after the holidays. He talked about being “stuck” living out on our land. Because my parents helped me out with the rental deposit and first and last months’ rent, he made a resentful comment about how all I had to do was ask my parents for money and I could have the down payment on a rental place, but that he didn’t have that option. He doesn’t acknowledge that it’s a tiny 900 square foot home, that I’m sleeping on a sleeper sofa in the living room so I can give each of the kids their own rooms, or that I furnished it practically for free and moved us in by myself the weekend before Christmas.

I told him that where he lived was his choice and that I could think of at least three other options for him—living with his parents, living with his friend or renting a room in a house. Of course, he had lots of reasons why all of those wouldn’t work, but at least admitted to seeing that it was a choice to stay living there, not that he was stuck. I refrained from reminding him that our moving out was the consequence of his actions because I know he deeply feels that, but I instead focused on the fact that I’m doing what I need to be safe and happy and that it’s what I need to do to give the kids a livable home.

In the mean time, he has not even so much as asked what we’re getting the kids for Christmas, two days away. He did figure out dinner last night and has been going to therapy. In my gut, I do not feel like he is acting out, although if ever there were an emotional situation that would precipitate it, his family moving out would be it. He does seem to be trying in his own way and wanting to do what’s right. He went with me to pick up a few things for our home, which I know was hard. He’s trying to be affectionate. He desperately hopes that this move is temporary and that we will get back together. I’m just not seeing that “know it when you see it” transformation that comes with real recovery. I see sadness and helplessness. I feel so very bad for him and still love him, in spite of it all. I’m really worried about him being alone out there in the cold after the holidays.

The day after moving in, I got an incapacitating migraine that took me out for a day. It’s also an incredibly busy work time as clients try to wrap up projects before the holidays and I’m trying to make sure I have a decent income flow to pay for this house. Not to mention all the stuff to get ready for the holidays.

Last month, I had to euthanize my beloved 18 year-old cat. On top of that, my 19 year old car with 314,000 miles on it finally went out, literally as I was moving the last carload of stuff, so now I have to budget for a used car, figure out how to donate the old one before it gets towed, and drive around in a crappy pickup whose time is also limited.

So much upheaval. So much coming to an end. Good thing this is all happening before the new year. I’m determined that 2015 is my year, so might as well get it all in now.



12 22 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Wasn’t able to get work in on time and didn’t communicate with client. I’m choosing to take on debt to pay for kids’ testing while needing a car.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. One of kids made fun of others’ teeth. Enforced boundary about no negative comments about another’s body. Also, husband leaving stuff around new house and I’m picking up after him.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 5
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, independence, Home
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No. Work assignment.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes! Yes! Working diligently on keeping new space organized. Unpacked several boxes.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. No on budget. Yes on spending.

12 28 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Late for meeting with Erin. Spent money on movies that wasn’t budgeted.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Husband not helping with dinner or kids. I didn’t speak up. Biding time until separation.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) No. If not, how many days has it been since I have? 1
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Kids, Religious practice, Gratitude
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? Yes.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes. Home is staying clean.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes on budget. No on spending.

12 30 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Spoke negatively about husband to a friend—got caught in the spiral.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Husband expected me to take computer in for repair. Violation of full partnership and personal responsibility. I apologized instead of saying it was his responsibility, so he wouldn’t feel bad.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Met with friend for coffee. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
5. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Friends, Independence, Accomplishment
6. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No.
7. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes. Home is staying clean.
8. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.

12 31 14

1. Did I take full responsibility for managing my own life today? Yes.
2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision? Yes. Late.
3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them? Yes. Found dozens of photos and videos on external drive. Husband had said that he erased all videos. Will confront today.
4. Did I take time today just for myself (to nurture relaxation, creativity, independence, etc.) Yes. Read. If not, how many days has it been since I have?
9. Did I derive meaning from at least three areas of my life today? Music, Accomplishment, Kids
10. Did I make it on time to my commitments? No.
11. Did I work to keep my space organized. Yes. Home is staying clean.
12. Did I balance daily budget and spend consciously. Yes.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Weekly Monitoring, Week 1

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Travel: got back from awesome cross-country trip with kids and rediscovered how much positive energy I get from travel.

Writing: wrote poem for blog and got a great response to it.

Kids: was a “client” in my daughter’s salon and got my hair done and a massage.

Friends: delightful seeing old neighbors who had me and kids over for coffee and offered help any time I need it.

Goals: realize I have what it takes to apply for city’s poet laureate position and plan to apply

Money: Saw a huge boost in my savings contributions.

Family: Got surprise flowers delivered from my sisters for Valentine’s Day and was reminded of their love.

Professional: Was interviewed for a podcast by an inspiring, uplifting interviewer who gave me really positive feedback about my work.



Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Visit by husband was nice and amicable, but we avoid the topic of our relationship, so I wonder what is up with him.

Stressed by organizing homeschooling classes that I’ve left for the last minute and now dealing with increased cost of space rental. Don’t know what to do.



Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?

Drank wine and realized that my temper was short with my kids when I did.

Felt let down after uplifting trip. Finally having to face reality of separation from husband.

Overall net positive and feeling optimistic about writing goals.


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Getting ready for homeschooling classes will be stressful. I need to stop procrastinating and resolve it tomorrow.

Write down goals for the day.

Go to Ash Wed. mass and make Lenten plans to meditate each morning of Lent. Give up wine and coffee.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:13 am 
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Exercise Thirty-One

A. Consider the consequences that your partner's behavior has had on your partner.


1. Arrest
2. Humiliation of strip search
3. Fear for safety in jail
4. Shame
5. Court proceedings
6. Electronic monitoring for two months
7. Shame in depending on my through that whole time
8. Emotional distress of me knowing
9. Guilt
10. Loss of intimacy and trust with me
11. Loss of sexual partner
12. Loss of me and kids from separation
13. Loss of respect and deep disappointment by parents
14. Shame facing family and friends
15. Loneliness

B. List below any additional consequences that you believe your partner needs to experience in accepting responsibility for their behavior.

1. Facing me with full disclosure
2. Full apology to me
3. Age-appropriate disclosure and addiction education for kids
4. Exploration of emotions through therapy instead of avoiding emotional aspect of recovery.
5. Exploration of past that has created the emotional state leading to addiction.
6. Accepting that behaviors were caused by addiction instead of denying addiction label.

C. In your own words, describe the roles that blame, punishment and/or responsibility have played in response to your partner's behavior.

This is difficult for me to objectively assess. My husband tells me that I am not willing to move on. For example, I went to a friend’s birthday party and didn’t bring him along because in the past, he has been dead weight that keeps me from enjoying the party. He was hurt that I was using past experience to judge what he would do, and that he wants a chance to show he is changing. I am basing choices on past behavior, and don’t feel like giving him any more chances.

However, while I see signs of recovery—he has disclosed to his parents and brothers, he is going to weekly therapy, he is reaching out to build friendship, his mood is markedly upbeat—in other ways, I don’t see much recovery. He watches hours of TV every day, which seems like avoidance, he had a strong reaction to me using the word addiction, and he does not want to talk about “the past,” because he says it just brings him down.

Even though I have a renewed sense of hope and energy having separated and moved out with the kids, I feel a major lack of closure in my relationship with him. For starters, I have not filed for divorce, and don’t know when that final move will feel like the right one. I feel like I can’t move on in my relationship with him, which at this point would just mean a mature, healthy and deep friendship, until there is a full disclosure and formal apology. I really need this from him and don’t think I’ll ever get it.

When I bring it up, he says he’s told me everything, even though whenever there has been a disclosure, it’s been because I’ve asked direct questions. He has never disclosed anything openly just because he wanted to.

Also, when I say that I need an apology, I get a kind of insincere, “I’ve told you sorry so many times, I don’t know what else you want me to say.” It feels very shallow.

So it leaves me wondering, am I holding on to blame and not moving forward? I know I can’t hold out for disclosure and true apology, since that may never happen. I feel like I’ve done a really good job of letting go of his recovery and have focused on my own health. I feel great about that, even.

So how do I have a healthy friendship with him, which is what I want for my kids’ sake?

How do I let go and actually feel okay, instead of just acting like things are okay between us, which is how he wants to proceed?

What now?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Exercise Thirty-Three


A. What patterns are you NOW ENGAGING IN that may be impeding the healing/recovery process? What unhealthy roles/thought patterns might you be holding onto?

Oh, how familiar this sounds. It’s clear that I engaged in many of these patterns throughout our marriage and after discovery. I clearly acted as the mom—handling the majority of household, financial, marriage duties. In fact, it’s kind of a joke how much I took on. Now that I’ve separated, my life is actually easier, even having the kids 100% of the time. People worry about me being a single mom, working, and homeschooling, but without having to parent an immature adult, life is actually easier.

In the past, all of these thoughts applied to me:

“I am essential to my partner’s recovery.”

“My partner is not my equal.”

“A perfect partner stands by her man when he is in trouble.”

Now that I am separated, I am completely unengaged in my partner’s recovery. I ask generally how he’s doing when I see him, but he answers with equal vagueness. I avoid talking about it because he does not want to, and I have no more invested in his recovery or dealing with his annoyance with questions. Perhaps avoiding the topic is impeding his recovery, but I just don’t want to be a part of it any more.

That said, I still feel like I’m waiting for a formal disclosure and apology for my own healing. I know it probably will never come, but just feeling like I want that shows me that even though I have come a long way, I’m still not fully in a healthy place. I know my health can’t come from him. I’m working on examining that more.


B. Of these patterns/roles, what have you done/think you should do to change them?
If you did not relate to anything in this lesson, there is no need to respond to this exercise.

I don’t need to do any more, since I have separated and distanced myself from my husband and his recovery. I think the only thing I need to do is be aware of taking on this role in other relationships in my life.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:10 pm 
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Weekly Monitoring, Week 2

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Writing: Collected poems and got application for poet laureate position.

Kids: found classes to meet each kids’ interest.

Friends: went out with group of friends.

Organization: prepared taxes and met with advisor; had everything ready

Money: Managed cash flow with extra savings.

Meditation: Meditated every morning since beginning of Lent

Goal setting: Stopped drinking wine and coffee; wrote down goals for day and mostly accomplished them.

Reading: finding a lot of insight in Man’s Search for Meaning.




Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Stressful meeting with space rental for homeschooling classes. Felt like abusive relationship and I had to pay increased costs.

Not enough kids in classes and having to eat costs.

Worried about large amount owed for taxes.

Haven’t called parents and felt a little reprimanded by mom when she called.



Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?

Really good with meditation.

Somewhat short with kids and need to feel more connected.

Overall net positive and feeling optimistic about creative goals and writing. Feeling surge of creativity and productivity.


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Continue meditating and writing down goals.

Need to talk with husband about taxes due and money.

Write down goals for the day.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:35 am 
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Weekly Monitoring, Week 3

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Goals: Checked off many of big things on to-do list

Kids: had great talk about puberty and sex with son

Education: daughter completed mythology exam and blew me away with what she knew

Friends: impromptu dinner at friend’s house, felt great not to have to worry about husband sitting at home waiting

Organization: house is staying clean and organized

Meditation: Meditated every morning since beginning of Lent; feeling powerful positive affect on rest of day

Reading: Power of Habit, interesting insights

Interactions: landlord offered to pay for clogged disposal that I thought I should pay for; booked gallery space for kids’ art exhibit with really cool, excited woman

Simple Pleasures: my morning meditation, tea and purring cat give me huge satisfaction




Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Less than last week, but worried about large amount owed for taxes.

Oldest daughter giving a lot of attitude and pushback; butting heads


Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?

Surge of creativity and productivity continues to grow. Feel like I have a solid grip on my life and future for the first time in years. It’s so crazy to look back over the last few years and realize how out of control our family life was, and I didn’t even really notice.

Area to work on is patience and understanding with my oldest daughter. Need to spend more connecting time with her.


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Continue writing down daily goals and checking off.

Continue with morning meditation.

Continue keeping spending under control. This month is going to be tight.

Two big work deadlines on Friday and beginning to stress a bit about meeting them, as well as procrastinate, true to old habit. Need to get over the hump and deliver.

On the horizon is talking to my husband about divorce. Need to figure out when to have the conversation.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:55 pm 
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Weekly Monitoring, Week 4

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Goals: Submitted applications and checked more off to-do list

Kids: Went to workshop with my daughter and had a great conversation on the way home

Friends: long hike with three friends—totally rejuvenating

Organization: house is staying clean and organized

Meditation: Meditated every morning since beginning of Lent; feeling powerful positive affect on rest of day

Reading: New Global Student and making plans for travel with kids

Interactions: Meeting with church to rent space for homeschool group was upbeat and welcoming

Simple Pleasures: enjoying my morning meditation, farmer’s market, great weather




Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Missed a work deadline and got an extension—stress with it hanging over my head


Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?

Spent more time with oldest daughter per last week’s observations and saw the results.

Fell behind on work because I made choices to go on hike and do more self-care. Should be able to balance both. Looking back at last week, I predicted this would happen, so I need to address it differently.


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Continue writing down daily goals and checking off.

Continue with morning meditation.

Continue keeping spending under control. This month is going to be tight.

Commit to meeting work deadlines.

Need to work out visitation. Create a mini vision for boundaries for husband regarding kids.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:11 pm 
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Exercise Thirty-Four

A. Consider the consequences of your partner's behavior over the course of your lifetime. How might they affect future decisions that you make? What positive roles might these consequences play in your life?

Consequences/Future Decisions

I will be extremely wary of any new relationship and will be looking for signs of someone crossing my boundaries.

Right now, I can’t even fathom being in another relationship for the rest of my life. My trust has been so damaged and I doubt my ability to read cues with my gut. I was so totally duped.

Positive Roles

I am more conscious of people violating my boundaries in other aspects of my life. I am stronger in standing up in those situations. Before, I’d be more likely to suck it up.

I am aware of unhealthy relationships in other areas of my life and seek to end them. I fired a client who was being verbally abusive. I was acutely aware of it when I was in it and knew what I had to do, even though it was hard.

I have done so much self-reflection and work on my values that I would never have done without this happening to me. I’ve made huge growth as a human being and as a mother.



B. Referring specifically to your partner, take some time to consider the addictive patterns over the course of his/her lifetime. Imagine your partner as a child. Imagine them as a teen. Imagine them as an adult. Imagine them in other relationships. Gain a firm grasp as to how similar patterns have helped them to manage their life. What thoughts come to mind?

After talking with my husband’s brother’s wife, we both agreed that there are signs in the family that there was some sexual abuse that occurred to my husband and possibly his brothers.

I picture my husband very easily, since my son is just like him—extremely sensitive, kind, gentle. My husband grew up in a chauvinistic culture in the middle of a war and was told that boys don’t cry. His father left his family when he was a young boy. He must have had to stuff his very deep sensitive feelings.

He was rejected by his first puppy love girlfriend when he wouldn’t make a move on her. She broke up with him and spread a rumor that he was gay. That broke his heart and he had to act tough.

As a teen, he came to the US and slept on a mattress in his aunt’s garage with his dad. While his cousins had girlfriends, he was so shy and didn’t have anywhere to bring a girlfriend, so he turned to his cousin’s porn videos to stuff his feelings.

He had one girlfriend/sexual partner before me. He got her pregnant. She had an abortion and he pretty much left her to her own resources. He ended up dating another woman without clearly breaking up with the first. When the two found out and confronted him, he moved away. Major lack of responsibility. I attributed it to his immaturity at age 20. Now I see it as revelatory of his pattern of evasion of responsibility.

C. What does it mean to 'humanize' your partner? Why is this important in forgiveness and in seeking closure to the current crisis?

To humanize my partner means to understand that he did not do this TO me. He did this as a way to medicate the traumas he experienced as a kid in a culture that didn’t give him any space to feel his feelings. To humanize him means to recognize his deep shame and regret and give him the space to recover from it, while recognizing it is a long process, and one which he may not be ready to take on. To humanize him means to not baby him or lower expectations of what he is capable of achieving, including recovering in his own time. To humanize him means to not diminish the good times we had or his many great qualities.

It is important because he did not set out to hurt me or intend to hurt me.

There are times when he’s shown me glimpses of his pain and suffering by being incredibly vulnerable. At those times, I feel empathy and want to forgive him. I feel like I do forgive him.

But now that we’ve separated and all I see is his happy façade and claim of doing great, without putting any real work into his recovery, it’s really hard for me to humanize him.

I want to be a person who forgives. I want to be free of him. I want to rise above this suffering and come out a better human being, which I know includes forgiveness. I know I cannot be fully healed until I forgive. As I work through the lessons, I feel like I’ve come such a long way toward health and am nearing the end of my lessons.

The thing is, I understand why I need to forgive. I just don’t know how to really feel it.

The answer is in this sentence: “In order for that closure to take place, you must openly come to terms with all of the consequences.” I think I’m still coming to terms with the consequences.

Some consequences I don’t think I’ve explored enough, because I continue to grapple with them:

- I’ve gone back on my marriage vows of “for better or worse.” This still troubles me and gives me guilt. I feel the need to explain to people who know me that I had reason to separate or they’ll judge me as a failure, as I have judged others who have gone through divorce. I’ve thought that they gave up and didn’t try hard enough. I’m still slightly embarrassed to tell people, even friends, that I’ve separated.

- My sexuality and not ever wanting to open myself up sexually to another. Still feeling so betrayed. So many questions. What is sexuality that doesn’t involve objectification? Can I wear makeup? Should I still shave my legs? Want to look pretty? For whom? Aren’t those societal expectations? Where’s the line between doing it for myself and doing it because it makes me feel good in public, for someone else? Can I ever wear sexy clothes again and not feel objectified or like I’m participating in objectification?

- My kids. I want to disclose something about addiction so I can teach them about what to look out for and give them some kind of context for what’s going on in our family. I feel silenced until my husband is ready to disclose together with a therapist, which may be never. I feel like my relationship with my children has been compromised, like I’m being dishonest with them by not letting them know the real reason I separated, at least in an age-appropriate way.

Further, this sentence also resonates: “It only means that you have come to see your partner's behavior in the context of being a human being, and that the current consequences of those past actions are sufficient to allow you both to move on.”

I wonder if I feel the current consequences are enough—that I left and have full custody of the kids because of the nature of his arrest. Wow, that should be enough for anyone. I need to examine if I’m feeling like I want to punish him more. Is that what’s at the root of needing him to do a formal disclosure and apology?

I believe in my heart that I will get to a place of forgiveness. I’m just not there yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:02 pm 
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Weekly Monitoring, Week 5

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Meditation: Keeping up with daily morning meditation and finding that it is transforming my outlook and productivity

Kids: Difficult time with my son blaming me for making Papi go away; I’m proud of how I kept my cool when he was lashing out and it resulted in more closeness

Personal Growth: Listening to podcasts and guided meditations and getting great perspective

Music!: Got back to playing in band and it was a blast; proud that it came back to me in spite of being gone seven months

Exercise: Was able to fit in two long walks and feel like I’m ready to take on getting back to exercising

Friends: old friend came over and spent great time with her

Goals: got pickup fixed and listed on Craigslist, finished taxes and feel like I’m checking off a lot of big things that have been hanging over my head



Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Two big episodes with son and daughter took a lot of my patience and self-control

Work is not busy, but it continues to be a challenge for me to not wait to last minute. Mostly working on uninspiring projects and can’t find the motivation.


Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Continue writing down daily goals and checking off.

Keep my calm when daughter gets out of control. This is a huge challenge lately.

Continue keeping spending under control. This is going well.

Commit to meeting work deadlines. This is turning out to be my biggest challenge.

Arrange meeting time with husband to discuss kids.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:38 pm 
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Weekly Monitoring, Week 5

Over the past seven days, where did the majority of my meaning and fulfillment come from?

Goals: Completed poetry application, long on my to-do list

Kids: Had a momentous experience with my son, letting him get his anger out and then reaching a new level of connection; I was a great parent in that moment.

Creativity: worked on polishing poems and getting ready for publication

Meditation: Deepening and expanding my practice; haven’t missed a day.

Positivity: Made conscious choices in conversations to live by values and not talk bad about people

Music: Finally got back to playing in band, and it feels great.

Forgiveness: consciously working on forgiving husband and starting to feel it

Vision work: reading a lot and working on laws of attraction.



Over the past seven days, were there any major drains on my time, energy or emotion?

Late for work deadline in beginning of week, but held to my commitment on assignment due Friday. Feel a palpable change in writer’s block.

Conversation with husband about boundaries with kids made me doubt my choices/gut; felt really uncomfortable talking with him, because he says I’m not moving forward while he is.


Given the meaning that was added to my life this week (Q1) and the events that drained my life (Q2): how well did I do with managing it all?

I’m feeling really strong and like I’m in a great place with managing life. Even in awkward discussion with husband, I feel like I’m clear on my choices and boundaries, even though he tells me I’m not being healthy. I held my ground and even though it got to me, I feel like it didn’t “tip me over.”


Is there anything that I need to anticipate and/or prepare for over the next seven days that will facilitate the effectiveness of my life management skills?

Continue writing down daily goals and checking off.

Continue with morning meditation.

Commit to meeting work deadlines.

Work on clarifying vision of future.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:54 am 
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Exercise Forty-One

A. 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.

A friend of mine recently told me that this is not my story. I’m an amazing person with so much else to offer the world. She wanted me to know that sexual addiction is something that happened to me, but that it is not me.

This resonated with me, even as I live out the later stages of my healing. I’ve been avoiding the mourning lesson, because I wasn’t ready to mourn. I am now.

This past weekend, my friends took my three kids for the whole day and gave me the gift of a 90-minute massage.

For the first time in a long time, I took an entire day just to practice what someone else called “radical self care.” I started the day with meditation, tea and a great healthy breakfast. I sat down to write and spent the morning writing a poem about my daughter and parts of my book.

In the afternoon, I went for a hike, which became my Mourning Hike. It was a trail I had hiked many times during my marriage, including while I was in labor the day my son was born. Throughout the hike, I went through the events of my relationship from the moment I met my husband. Because all of my memories have now been changed and tainted by thoughts of what may have really been going on when I was unaware of addiction, I decided to just remember good things with a pure heart—to mourn the good times before they were clouded by thoughts of addiction. Because it’s exactly those good things that I mourn the loss of.

I cried the entire hike. I think it’s easier to blame my husband and see him as a damaged and incompetent guy. It makes it easier to separate from him if I can see him as unworthy. But on this hike, I decided to simply remember our relationship through all the high points, to appreciate the time we had together. This was so much harder to do, because remembering him as the kind, fun and funny guy I believed I had married makes it so much harder to be separated, even though I know it’s the right thing for me and my kids.

Having a good cry and time for reflection felt purifying. I then went to my massage and read a book for a long time, which is always impossible with kids. I felt back to myself. I felt content with my decisions. And I felt ready to keep moving forward in my healing.

I’m sure I will have more mourning to do. This was a good start.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:51 pm 
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Exercise Forty-Two

Consider the following situations and share what your response would be in each:

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

Because I’ve already ended the relationship with my partner, I’m answering in hypothetical terms, as if we were still together, or if it were another relationship in the future.

If it were my husband, I would tell him I appreciate his courage to be honest. But according to my values, meeting with a former lover goes against my value of respect and commitment to lifelong partnership. Given his past issues with addiction, I would not feel comfortable with him being in in-person touch with any past lovers.

What’s funny is that in the hypothetical, it seems so clear that it goes against my values. But now that I think about it, my husband got back in touch with a former childhood girlfriend and they had a long talk on the phone. Because we had separated by that point, I didn’t respond when he told me, so innocently, that it was nice to talk with her, but I had that gut instinct that it was more for him emotionally. So I see how hard it is in reality to say, Hey, that violates my values of respect for each other. Have to keep that one in mind in future relationships. Because for me, it’s not okay to get together with a former lover.



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

I would have no problem saying that I saw and that his lie is a huge violation of my boundary, even moreso than looking at porn. I have zero tolerance for lies at this point in my recovery, and as I have done in real life, I moved out after catching my husband in a similar lie.


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

I would tell him that my gut tells me otherwise, and that I have a new trust in my gut, which has been right in the past. I would probably reiterate my value of honesty and transparency. I would take it as a sign to be on high alert for other signs of not being in recovery and take action if there were more gut reactions, even without proof.



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

I would probably let him know about my feelings and ask to be cuddled. I would ask him to talk about why he was feeling out of it, too. I would ask him to acknowledge how hurtful it can be in the future by turning me down in a more loving way.



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

It’s hard for me to answer this question, because I don’t think I would be with someone who had many affairs. That’s too huge of a values breach for me. If I understand the question right, though, it's that this is a valueless line of questioning, and I shouldn't be engaging in it. At this point in my recovery, I would assume that if he had affairs, he certainly did when I was hypothetically pregnant, and not even bother to ask. Just having many affairs would be enough for me to end the relationship.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:53 pm 
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Exercise Forty-Three

Well, here I am on my last lesson in the workshop, almost two years after DDay. How fitting that my workshop ends with my filing for divorce.

Wow, it’s been quite a journey—one that I feel I am still on. I feel like I’ve just been through this long, dark, dirty tunnel, and I have emerged stronger, clearer, safer, healthier and a better person than I was going in. I may have even reached the point where I am grateful for the suffering, because of the insight I’ve gained.

I took a look at my very first post, and I can see that even then, I suspected that this is how it would end up.

Among the feelings, I listed were:

“Vacillating between “for better or worse” and wondering if our marriage can survive this. Or even if I want it to.”

“Wanting to just walk away from this current situation because it does not fit with my vision of myself and how my relationship should be.”

“Confusion around the fact if our friends knew, they wouldn’t let their kids around my husband, and feeling that if I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t either.”

“Viewing sticking with my husband through this as an opportunity for transformation as a human being and as a partner in a relationship.”

And I remember at one point in my recovery workshop, I said that if I were my sister or my friend, I would advise myself to walk away.

I am really proud of how I’ve behaved and mostly held to my values throughout this process. I have given my all to our relationship in order to live up to my promise of “for better or worse.” That my partner did not deliver his end of the deal is beyond my control.

Therefore, I have reached the point of ending the relationship.

I am now beginning perhaps an even bigger journey, which is for the custody of my kids, to be detailed at some other time. I’ve posted in the forum about my current challenges in that regard.

For this lesson, because I have ended my 20-year relationship with my soon-to-be ex-husband, I am laying out the conditions of any future relationship. My standards were so low in the past, that now I feel that they’re so high, the man who is able to live up to them does not exist! Which is okay with me. I am getting so much fulfillment now from my own personal growth, creative projects, and family and friends, that I feel that I can be fulfilled even if I never have another romantic relationship.


Value:
I value myself as powerful being here on this earth to actualize my potential.

Boundary:
Each partner will pursue interests and life goals without guilt. Partners will support each other’s creative pursuits and will be supportive, proud and encouraging.

Action:
If either is impeded from fulfilling life goals, either through guilt-tripping, put-downs or not showing up in support, we will express the expectation and make it a condition of continuing our relationship.

Value:
I value peace, non-violence, and standing up for what is right. The safety of my kids comes before all else.

Boundary:
My children may not be yelled at, humiliated, verbally or physically threatened.

Action:
One occurrence will result in separation until partner admits to crossing the boundary, acknowledging the wrong to me and my kids, and agreeing to attend Hand-in-Hand Parenting workshop. A second occurrence will result in immediately ending the relationship.

Value:
I value respect and commitment to lifelong partnership.

Boundary:
Ogling, commenting, or making inappropriate jokes either with or without the partner will be considered a breech of respect. Viewing of pornography has no place in a healthy, bonding relationship.

Action:
There will be a period of complete emotional detachment until the partner seeks therapy and recommits to a respectful relationship. Pornography will be grounds for ending the relationship.

Value:
I value full partnership in relationships.

Boundary:
If at any time, one partner is not pulling weight in financial, household, organizational, family obligations, it will warrant a discussion of how to equalize the partnership and redistribute tasks.

Action:
If equilibrium is not reached through discussion, we will seek therapy to help establish fairness. It will require committed participation in resolving the issues, and if one partner is not committed to fairness in doing their share of the work it takes to have a strong relationship, it will lead to ending the relationship.

Value:
I value open, honest communication.

Boundary:
We will offer each other open communication, questions will be answered in specifics, and offering relevant information before it is asked is expected. Each partner is responsible for bringing their truest, most honest communication to the relationship. An omission of truth is treated the same as a lie.

Action:
If there is any communication that is not honest and transparent, then all communication will cease until the offending partner accepts the responsibility and tells the truth. Repeated breaches of honesty will result in ending the relationship.

Value:
I value initiative, resourcefulness and personal responsibility.

Boundary:
Each partner will take personal responsibility for their own lives and the relationship. Ongoing communication, recommitment to the relationship, valuing each other, living productive lives and finding time to strengthen the relationship is the responsibility of both partners. We will be there for each other and for our family through crises.

Action:
If one partner fails to take personal responsibility for their own life and their role in the relationship, then the other will share the violated boundary. The offending party will take the personal responsibility to make amends with redoubled efforts to take responsibility and prove the importance of the relationship. If such effort does not occur, the other partner will detach emotionally to consider the options.


When it becomes clear that a relationship is imminent, it will be the responsibility of each partner to know and communicate their own values and boundaries with each other. If a boundary is violated, it is the responsibility of the offended to communicate the violation in a respectful, open and non-violent manner. If the other partner does not honor the crossed boundary, then it is the responsibility of the offended partner to take the outlined action.


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