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 Post subject: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Lesson 1 - Excercise one

I have been married for 15 years, with a man who first was a friend then deep love, soul mate I would say. We have 3 wonderfull kids. For outside people I think we always had the image of a happy/strong couple, and beautifull family.

4 years ago we moved to Asia for my husband's work (which has been an influential factor in the evolution of his addiction). Even if there were no drastic changes in how we live/manage our couple, family, projects etc...; since we arrived there the atmosphere at home was not the same: my husband was often moody, aggressive, not 'present' with us, always impatient . And as for our relastionship aspect, I think I was not feeling comfortable with him but I kept in my mind and in my heart the image of the man I always loved and so I did not raise too much questions . For me it was all linked to his work, too much stress, pressure, difficulties to handle the cultural shock etc... So I constantly tried to please him, wait for him to be in a better mood, take over all the kids's care and excuse his moody behaviors.

But then 8 months ago I discovered he was having an affair (by discovering text messages unexpectedly). I was devastated, shocked, and for me this was the end for our relationship because it has always been clear for me that if one day we would fall in love with someone ( that can always happen), he would assume it and start a new life. The man I knew had very strong values, especially towards respect the other people, and respecting me.
But while all my world was falling appart, like facing the death of a person I deeply loved , still I could not believe his explanation of a romantic/love affaire because his words and his behavior sounded so wrong, unreal, and in total contradiction with the man I knew.
So I kept questioning and investigating ...and found out more lies, more acting out like extensive use of porn on internet and masturbation.
This took 2 months to arrive at the conclusion that he might suffer from sex addiction (we were both completely ignorant of this type of addiction). But even if he admitted he might be a sex addict, he continued minimizing and hiding facts. Trying to believe and make others believe he was not so bad, and that in particular his affair was a real love affair (this was, and still is the more painfull aspect of this long disclosure process)
So questioning and investigation continued for 2 more months until he finally also admitted that he had other affairs and went also to see prostitute , all within the same timeframe (he disclosed it because I discovered another lie and that was it for me: I summoned him to tell me if any other acting out) . So then his "love affair" excuse was difficult to maintain (how can you pretend to be in love with someone when in the same week you arrange to meet, and end up having sexe with: you secret lover, another woman you seduced one month before, and also a prostitute, and your wife).
And so he started to understand the reality and the scope of his addiction. then start (slowly, so slowly!) to develop emotions like emapthy towards me; and sincere guilt feelings (towards me but also towards himself I believe).

On my side I invested so much energy to understand and I had so many trauma during the disclosure process that I "hurt" myself, which I just understand now: I lost lot of weight (like if I wanted to disapear); I could not feel any joy anymore (which was terrible as I am a very joyfull person, who loves to play and have fun, especially with my kids ); and I was often getting into spiral of emotions like grief or anger without knowing how to escape it. I scared myself I was starting a real depression.

Today, with the help of some books/internet sites, I managed to implement tools to avoid getting trapped in this spiral of emotions. I am able to enjoy more and more events of the daily life, and start looking at plans for the close future (which was impossible 2 months ago).
But this is not enough, I need to heal to be able to really enjoy life and go forward. This is my responsibility, for me and my kids.

My husband is committed to get on with recovery. We both understand now that it is his sole responsibility. He knows I am supportive, but also that I can not help him on this recovery path.

I can not get any professional help where I live. So your site and the lessons/exercises is extremely valuable for me. Thank you

PS: I am not english native speaker, so sometimes I may use unappropriate word or sound strange, I hope I can still be understood.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 2: my vision

I see myself...

...Smiling: I have always been a smiling and joyful person, since childhood. For me it is natural to smile, to see the bright side, to welcome people or events. The discovery of my husband's addiction nearly killed this nature. I will get it back.
Every day I try to be fully present to what I am doing especially if it is with people, enjoy the moment shared , allow the smile and even the laugh to come back. Especially with my kids, in daily routines or games.

...Loving and Caring for: With my kids, my husband, my father, mother, brother, sisters, close friends, and friendly relations I show them Love by being friendly, attentive and by caring for them in simple, daily actions ( a smile, a phone call, a compliment, an encouragement, by listening to them, proposing help etc..)

...Learning: through a job, or studies, or any other activity, I see myself constantly learning new skills, explore new area.

...Discovering: Since my childhood I had this dream to live in many places abroad. I have managed to do it , living so far in 4 different countries, and I've always appreciated the experience. I will continue to discover and travel, whatever happen in my relationship.

....Being a mother. I am a mother that sees her mother’s role as the most important job in her life. I see myself helping my kids to grow up, encourage them to discover their true self and their values, help them to learn how to face difficulties they may encounter, initiate them to spirituality.

...Having faith: I don't belong to any church, but I used to in my childhood and teens age. The dramatic experience I am going through revealed to me the importance of faith and the force that it can bring. I am opening the door to God in my life.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
exercise 3

This is very difficult as I have never ever suspected that my husband could cheat me or lie to me; and each time I had a 'gut feeling' that something was wrong I ignored it by raisoning, covering him with excuses. I have been heavily manipulated and I feel guilty and angry at myself of not having suspected anything, of not having trusted my instincts.

a) Brainstorm the times when your 'gut feelings' have been right about your partner's sexual and/or romantic behavior. Include times when you feel strongly that you were right (though it may never have been proven either way).

This time he told me " I want you to seduce me" I felt something was very wrong, this did not sound right to me and it was the first time I really suspected a problem.

there were times when we were having sex: he wanted to do things but I felt it was not ok so I said no; like when he was doing a "marathon performance "sex, seems never to end, I had to ask him to stop.

His behavior with our kids: he was getting more and more aggressive, quick to lose his patience and temper with them. His reactions were often disproportionate. Instinctively I knew this was not normal, wrong, and that he was not able to take care of them in an healthy way; and so progressively I took over all the daily routines with the kids on my own, so he had less and less interaction with them (just for some games, recreation activities; when I felt there was no risk for him to lose his temper).

b)Identify as many major situations as you can where you allowed your head/heart to override your 'gut feelings' in relation to your partner's behavior.

when he was spending lot of time on his phone, evening or week-end, I felt something was wrong (because he did not have so many friends, and he did not have so much emergency at work) but then I was telling myself it must be his work, he is stressed, concerned, ...or that he met friends and that it was good for him.

the fact that he was less and less at home, because of business travel, friend party, business diner or going out to run for 3 hours the sunday; I was complaining he was not at home but each time I managed to reason myself (it is his work, he need to see friends to relax, he need to do sport to evacuate stress..)

when he seemed bored at week end, not eager to do anything; I was thinking it was my fault not to plan nice activities/plans...

C)Relying on the experience you have gained, make a list of likely behaviors, situations and/or feelings that may trigger a conflict between your gut instinct, your value system and/or reality.

If he is elusive, unclear about plans (business trip, timing for doing sport etc...);

If he is saying 'I will try to ..." or " I may...".

If he is not doing what he said he would do

When I am under the impression he is considering me as a "mother"

if he is drinking too much (he has a big problem with alcohol, not in terms of drinking on regular basis, but he deeply associated drinking with socializing)

if he is quick to get angry, especially with the kids
if he is showing signs of impatience or boredom.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:33 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 4

1) Make a list of those values in your partner's life that — in your gut — you believe is a part of him.
Not materialist
Open minded
Loving and Caring father

2) Make a list of those qualities in your partner that you believe will continue to pose as obstacles throughout your relationship.
Rationalize (override what his heart may say)
Unable to express his emotions (frustrations, fears...)
Keep seeing me as the ‘parent’ role
Lack of attention (not seeing by himself, always saying ‘you should have told me’, ‘you should have asked me’...)
Easily influenced by his environment (people, conditions of life); scared by what people may think of him (so adapt his behavior to please the people in front of him) which comes from a strong social anxiety
Develop/maintain an exclusive relationship

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 5

A. How do you manage your stress?

If possible I take action, like having face to face discussion with the person who generates the stress about the issue etc... this may help to let the situation getting more stressful than reality is.

If no action can be taken, I may:

Talk to friends, relatives (either to exchange with them on the issue that brings stress, and express my emotions; or not mention at all my stress but just connecting with them, socialize).

Go for a run: until recently when I was going for a run when stressed, this was to transform “stress/tension into sweating” and/or let my thoughts and emotions go wild , so after I was able to think more clearly. But since the discovery of my husband’s addiction, the stress generated by emotions like anger, grief was so overwhelming that going for a run ended up in worst situation, even more anxious/angry/mad at myself/ without hope etc...
Then I have discovered another type of running that helps me in these kind of stress situation: running rather slowly and with my eyes wide open look at the nature surrounding myself , touch the trees, listen to the birds etc... often I end with stretching yoga session, then 10 minutes relaxation. This helps me to soothe the high emotional stress.

Do something for the others, like prepare an activity for my kids

Recreational activities: like watch a funny movie

Let go my emotions if emotional stress, like listening to music according to my emotion (may be sad song to let me go at a good cry), or have a good go at complaining/criticizing/shout etc...on my own with a coffee.

What would it take for you to become so emotionally overwhelmed that you would turn to irrational behavior to produce enough intensity to escape from that stress?

Any issue with the people I love

Can you think of a time in your life that you have turned to such a measure?

When I discovered my husband addiction: I didn’t allow myself to sleep (I slept 10 hours in total over the first 8 days) or to eat.
In my late 20s I developed eating disorder problems, linked to a stressful new job position.

B. Consider a compulsive behavior that you have engaged in. Break it down thoroughly. Get a sense for the anxiety that you experienced prior to engaging in the act. Imagine the continued anxiety that you would have experienced had you not engaged in the act. Describe that anxiety in your own words.
Eating disorder problem: I knew this was bad, and at was arming myself, but I could not stop. I had to fill the void in me with food; I was craving to full up myself; I was planning it sometimes. Then I could not stand this , so I had to make myself vomit . I was highly stressed if conditions did not allow me to do it, like being sick, cold sweating, high heartbeat rate. After vomiting I was feeling relieved, secured. And after some time using this behavior, I started to hear a voice, or more precisely screams in my head. That’s when I took action to cure myself.

C. In contemplating the role that addiction has played in your partner's life, imagine what his/her life would be like without this life management skill in place. To be clear, the task here is not to imagine his life without the consequences of the addiction, but to imagine how he would manage his emotions without having the compulsive act to engage in. How would he stimulate himself emotionally? What would he use to regulate his stress? Not how should he, mind you, but how would he?

He would express his emotion (to other or even just to himself), he would admit being frustrated or scared by some situations; then be ready to affront them honestly.
He would have developed a more balanced life, with friends, healthy recreational activities.
He would be a caring, attentive father, present not only for the games, but also for the problems, difficult times or even what may appear as “boring” moments with kids. He would have created a strong bond with his kids.
He would truly, emotionally invest himself in his marriage.
To some extend he would be involved in some community activity (he has a social anxiety issue, but at small scale he enjoys sharing with the others)

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 6

B. Describe the patterns that you suspect can be attributed to a sexualized mind.

- the sexual jokes, drawings with nude women he was doing under the cover of being funny, a little subversive
- His way of “watching” when making love, he had to watch the penetration
- the fact that when addiction was at its highest I could not have any affectionate, gentle gesture without him interpreting it as an invitation to have sex (so progressively I stopped all affectionate gesture)
- his difficulty to socialize with ‘real’ woman , feeling very uncomfortable talking normally with woman
- impatient all the time (need to get something quick )
- I have the perception that if a person can not be “useful” to him , he just ignore/forget this person
- obsessed with his body: going to run not just a jog, but always had to be in mountain for 3 hours (to make a performance, always claiming: I have run xxkm in this time etc..., take selfie picture of himself at the summit, that I guess he was especially sending to his different affairs or border line contact). Also doing daily exercise in morning to keep nice abdo, to fit with porno actor image?

C. Of the four areas discussed in this lesson, which have you observed in your partner?
- sexualized mind
- objectified mind
- immediate gratification

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
exercise 7

A. Consider the role that you have played in your partner's recovery to date. In the field below, describe these roles as they relate to:

I. Effective communication
When I discovered that he had an affair, and then nearly immediately suspected that this was much more complex than that: I hold back the “betrayed wife” I was, and called in my heart the “ friend”. When we met we were first friends. So I told him: remember this friend, I am your 20 years friend and your friend is looking at you and see you in big despair, you are not yourself, the person I know and that I respect can not forget or ignore all his values in life for an affair; you have a problem and I am ready to help you. This helped him to talk, even if he was minimizing and in denial, he started to talk. But this was difficult for me to handle, as the betrayed wife could not express herself. And that he was too much relying on ‘his friend’. So gradually I let the “wife” coming back, but the communication was established so we could continue. That’s how I see it, not sure how much it is true, or how he perceived it.

I have developed listening skills, in particular give him the time and space to speak, and if what he was saying brought me anger, doubts, ..or if I felt he was telling bullshit; I still forced myself to let him finish and try to express myself later (could be after few days) in a not ‘reactive’ way.

We implemented (and this was a joined action) a daily ‘evening tea session’ (Very important: a sober session, as he has this tendency to drink to be able to express himself): every evening, after the kids are in bed we would take a cup of tea together, on the terrace (to isolate ourselves but still reachable if kids needed) . At first this session was entirely dedicated to our issues (addiction, affair, healing, recovery....). And then we introduced daily topics, even start to talk short future plans, in a normal, positive, pleasant way. So this evening tea became a strong communication tool and also intimacy building tool.

II. Managing your partner's recovery

In helping implementing effective communication.
Being supportive overall. Showing concern for him (the who he “is”, not only what he does/did).
In looking for information, for myself first (start to understand what is sex addiction when we never heard about it), then sharing information with him. Give him books to read. He was always eager to take any material I could find. But still until recently he would not take the action to look for material....
Encourage him to look for support, help outside (he agreed but never engaged in doing so, until very recently and I have my doubts on how much he will pursue this. But I told him clearly this is his responsibility, his decision)
Start to take distance with his recovery, being vigilant and available if he wants to talk, but show him that now I focus on my healing, and that I will not push/drag him on his recovery path anymore. I will not try to control, supervise him in anyway.

Express my emotions when triggered by a place/a word/a person: this was difficult for him to hear, but he encouraged me to do so (to help me); and I feel that this helped him to develop empathy .

I honestly told him that even if it was difficult for me to admit/say it (because of all my anger), I appreciated or was impressed by some of his (new) behaviors or ways to manage situations. I especially encouraged him when related to the kids , his work or his efforts to socialize in healthy normal way (I have to be honest, it is still difficult to openly tell him I appreciate his behavior in terms of relationship because it reminds me too much of his past behavior, betrayal, manipulation ...)

III. Empowering/disempowering a pursuit of health

This is difficult because for me he is still not in a healthy recovery process, too much minimization still, too much focus on what he is doing good (he always says when he ‘find a solution’ to cope with a situation or emotion; but not questioning his emotions, not accepting them really, not learning to manage them).
So I am not sure if what I did is right (because he did lots of progress, especially in communication, openness, empathy...) or wrong (because yet not in healthy recovery).

B. Consider the focus and attention that has been offered to your partner in recovery; are you gaining equal resource to heal your own wounds? If not, what can you do to ensure that your healing is considered every bit as important as your partner's recovery?

I don’t feel I got same resources to heal as my husband: I did not get external help or support; 90% of our discussions are about “him”; and at first all information/books etc....material I looked for was about him and his recovery.
Now I have engaged on this healing workshop, and my husband understand and support this. I have also read a book on the partner’s healing (and my husband read it also, and realized the importance for me to heal).

I am not sure what to do more. Sometimes I think I need external help, but not sure what and how (I am geographically isolated, in terms of close friends and in terms of professional support)

C. (optional) For those who have made the decision to either stay in the relationship or "wait and see", considering the roles discussed in this lesson (or additional roles that you have thought of), what changes might you consider making to your relationship that would increase its chances for success?

He should (by himself) get support/help from external people . I can not cope anymore with this multiple role. It is too much for me and it does not help me to focus on my healing
For me and him: Understand more the recovery process (be realistic about it)
For him: understand more my healing process
For me: take a clear decision about our relationship (I can not one day think ‘I stay’ then the next ‘This might be only wait and see’)

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 8

If you were to identify three issues relating to your partner's recovery that you would like to see changed, what would they be?

1 He should get help , by himself. Start to take full responsibility for his recovery.

2 Only talk on what he is doing right (it seems to me he focus on what he is doing, not who he is)

3 stop to rationalize, to find quick fix/solution to control emotions and in fact minimize them, quickly ignore them

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:56 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 9

A. What are the key signs that you have observed in your partner that lead you to believe that he/she is engaged in a healthy recovery?

He is considering that the problem today is not only the addiction, and so the abstinence the solution. But he is looking at many different aspects of his life : how he is acting or subject to which emotion in other aspects like with friends, at work, within the family etc...And for this he is looking at today, what he is doing today, and also questioning what he did before , not only during the acting out of the addiction, but even in the more dormant phase of it.
He is recognizing, by often mentioning it, that he always had a problem of love addiction, always wanting people to love him and so take action according to this (not according to his own choice, value). This is difficult for me to discover that whenever (in 20 years lifetime) he said “I love you” in fact he meant “I want you to love me”.
He says that now he just can see how he never takes clear decision, taking the full responsibility of doing it; that in fact he is using the environment to justify actions or use opportunities. And so he never feels fully responsible of his choices.
He is transformed in terms of communication: before he would talk as less as possible, only when sure or only when he has a solution. Now he can talk about uneasy topics for him like emotions, saying that he is ‘not sure of...’, he does ‘not understand but want to...’; all this in a still uncomfortable way, but he says he really feels relieved he talked.

B. What are the key signs that you have observed in your partner that lead you to believe that he/she is NOT engaged in a healthy recovery?

I don’t believe he is fully transparent in communication, because he is not transparent with himself. He still minimize, lie to himself. And as he is still driven by his love addiction, being afraid to be alone; he may manipulate his answers to me to appear the best as he can.

He is still Reactive and not Proactive on his recovery. He is not taking the lead by taking action by himself. He has not taken the full responsibility for his recovery

C. How have you communicated your observations to your partner? Have you communicated the healthy observations as well as the unhealthy? How has your partner responded?

I am not sure I communicated these observations as “observations of his engagement in a healthy recovery” (this is a rather new approach for both of us; and very useful thanks to Recovery Nation).
But I think I show him support on the healthy recovery patterns.
I clearly told him about the fact that he is not transparent, not reliable. But he still struggles with what means “reliable” in true life , in actions (not nice words, good he is “lovable”). And in fact he just recently realized that he still lies (or minimize) to himself.
I more and more urge him to seek help outside. He says he understand , but still not action. I think I will have to be more strict, and say that if he wants to express himself about all his past, or about his values etc... today I am not the right person to listen to him (for many reasons, and the main one being my healing); that I can support him, but not take the responsibility to help him in his recovery.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:25 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 10

Return to your vision created in Stage One; Lesson Two. Select the three most important values that you need right now to help you stabilize your life.
B) For each, think about the meaning and fulfillment you are getting compared to the potential meaning and fulfillment available.
C) Develop a specific plan that will allow you to maximize the potential in each of those three values.
D) List the steps you will take in the next 24 hours to begin strengthening each value....

Be a smiling , joyful, careful, helpful person. Generate happiness and serenity around me, by helping, listening, encouraging, sharing, organizing , participating etc...
Action in 24h: call a friend I did not see for a long time and propose her to go together to a special event organised in a restaurant we enjoyed in the past.

....Being a mother.
Create a true, specific bond with each of my kid. Improve communication and interaction with each of them, as individuals, that may remain through their teen age and when adults.
Action in 24h: Contact my son's friend mother in our home country to fix a day when we would meet this summer , so our sons can see each other ( I know this is important for my son, and I don't want not to do it because of my problems)

...Having faith:
Deepening my spirituality and not be afraid to communicate about it. Open my kids to it and educate them about the bible and its messages.
Action in 24h: today I took my kids and my husband to a church.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:15 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 11

I wrote the 2 letters. I prefer to not publish them here.
This has been a difficult exercise: painful because it brought so many emotions...and still unanswered questions.
But it brings also some kind of relief to freely express myself (as I am always careful with my husband to control what I am saying).

It also give me some confirmation on what is my decision today. I was still unclear (depending on the moment, or the good or bad perception on my husband recovery) if I had 'decided to stay' or 'wait and see'. Today I understand I am definitely in 'wait and see'; but not only wait and see how my husband recovery succeed or not; but even more 'wait and see' how my healing may succeed. My main problem is today I still have too much anger, desire of revenge, deep in me. And I just can not envisage to Love someone that I sometimes hate for what he did...I guess I am not yet at the Let it Go stage (not even to mention Forvigeness).
Still work to do on my healing.
Thank you to Recovery Nation to help me understand and focus on my healing.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
exercise 12

A. Describe where you are now in terms of your response to the discovery of your partner's addiction. Not where you were last month, or where you hope to be next month. Where are you right now?

I still have ruminations about his past behavior or his lies, 1/2 lies, minimization during the long disclosure process. However the emotions triggered by it are not as overwhelming as before. Often with this pattern I am trying to figure out the Why and How, looking again at the events each time I reach a new level of understanding of things like his emotional immaturity , his problem of Love addiction, his lack of self esteem and inability to take his decision just by himself (always put responsibility on environment or others).Not to excuse him; but to get answers to my Why? and How? .
Also sometimes ruminations are to complain , to stay in the victim role , to cry on what has been lost .

Difficulty to make projects, plans (even for today or the week-end). Feeling sometimes “numb” about what to do.

Hypersensitivity to sexually related stimuli. Bring rage or anxiety.

Regular mood swing: from hope, to anxiety/doubts.

Sometimes Emotions like anger and desire of vengeance invade me, even if I don’t express it much.

I am extra cautious with his words, how he expresses himself (especially with plans , or wishes); how he interacts with others. I “observe” him a lot.

Checking on him: this pattern is nearly over. I have full access to his phone ( which I always had in fact) and his computer ; but I don’t want to check them anymore. Last time I checked it was to know if he was contacting friends ( to know if he was able to socialize in healthy way). I hate me for doing this, I feel it is completely against my values and that by doing so I don't help building trust.

I can’t fully trust him. I keep having doubts (not acting out, but healthy recovery).

I feel guilty of having never suspected anything, guilty of having accepted and even found excuses to his bad behavior/mood during his worst period; guilty of having trusted him so unconditionally.

B. Because you have experienced a traumatic event in your life — and the discovery that the foundation of your life has been jeopardized is severely traumatic — there are common patterns that you should expect and even prepare for in the months and years to come. Discuss what these patterns might be and how you will deal with them. There are no right or wrong answers here. The goal is to begin looking ahead with a realistic and constructive eye. To realize that with even the best healing process in place, the trauma that you have experienced will have a lasting — albeit not permanently destructive — effect on your life.

Anger and urge for vengeance:
I think I will deal with them in appropriate time with a Let It Go process, and if possible a Forgive process. I am not ready to consider it today, and I have accepted this (it took me some time, as in my mind I had to either forgive or not, and decide now. This is not how I see this today). I know I will have to face this process at some point, and have the courage for it. I believe reconnecting with spirituality should help me a lot on this. Sometimes I tell myself I should express more these emotions, but I don't know how to do in a controlled, constructive way.

Observe him:
yes I will continue to observe him, openly ( not checking on him), to discover him , to know who is this man in front of me, that I never really fully knew and who is in a transformation process. I see it as a positive, growing process for our relation ( as long as not done from a critical, suspicious angle)

Build projects:
I believe it will be difficult to build projects with him . But if we decide to stay in relationship, we have to re-learn to make projects together, so to rely on each other . I don't rely on him today. To become a reliable person is one point very important for him today (what he told me). So I guess I will be careful with this and see how much he can turn into a reliable person.

They still poison my daily life. I am really not sure how to handle this. So far what helped me the most is to avoid as much as possible all the triggers for ruminations, and when can not avoid them express to my partner by what I am triggered and what emotions it brings ( I shared with him a list of my triggers and he is showing concern and empathy about this). I find also help with meditation, prayer, and deepening my spirituality. Another way to avoid trapping myself in a victim role should be to rebuild my self-esteem.

Lack of trust in him:
I see the rebuilding of trust like a long process, depending on his behavior and his recovery. And also depending on my healing process ( be able to let go ). Will I ever fully trust him? Not like I used to, that's for sure. And then I may have to learn how to build a relationship without unconditional trust (which is not in line with my vision of a relationship, but then I have to ask me why? And seriously consider if I can change this vision)

Scared of being manipulated:
This will remain forever I believe. And not only with him. I need to educate myself on this. I got a book on this topic, but did not find the courage to read it as it is too painful for the moment. I will work on this when emotionally more stable.

I think I will continue to feel guilty for a long period, guilty of not having suspected anything, guilty of having accepted things. I need to forgive myself at some point ... Another process to face. Should I face it today? Am I ready? I am not sure.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:15 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
exercise 13

A. One of the first steps on the road to healing is to take inventory of all the ways that your partner's compulsive behavior has affected you. Begin listing these consequences and post them in your Healing Thread..
B. Rate the affect of each consequence from a 1-10. "1" will represent the most significant consequence that your partner's addiction has had on your life.

Here is the list, with no order at all.

7 Unsure of my physical image: more careful with my body and how I dress, not allowing me to dress too casually (whereas before I didn’t really care); or too sexy (this has never been in my nature, but even more now. For example with underwear I have eradicated any item a little sexy or avoid push up bra ).

1 Physical intimacy and Make love: I am very careful and demanding in the way I/ he/ we make love. We managed to create (I can not say re-create, as I consider all this new) a physical intimacy which is really fulfilling, creating a strong bond. We discovered a new way of making love, based on real exchange, sharing. Where I feel totally free to express myself, including saying no, stop, etc... And we are both satisfied, enthusiastic about it. But I am always anxious of one of us disconnecting (it may happen to me when images of his addiction pop up in my mind). I can’t and I don’t accept it , as this would mean mutual masturbation. So there is always some apprehension.

7 I am sensitive to his physical image: I am exigent on how he dresses (for example Tshirt with not holes, or not deformed. He used to like this ‘cool, young, I don’t care’ style. I see it as a need to respect people around him and respect himself)

2 Unable to go to certain places in the town where I live, disturbing me a lot in my daily life.

5 Unable to enjoy certain types of night out with friends and/or with my partner: big party , night clubs, animated bars.

5 Anger coming up when I see sexy women, dressed in a way that make me think of porno image. Especially when these local sexy women are admiring my kids , taking them in picture, touching them (which is regular when I am in town with my kids)

5 Avoid some people, that I link to his worst addiction period. Some people are friends; but I don’t want to see them. Some people are relatives, like his work colleagues, and I have to do whatever to avoid them ( like refuse to go to some events because this person would be there).

7 When socializing, avoid some topics in conversation that make me feel uncomfortable (prostitution, adultery, sex)

7 Difficulty with alcohol, afraid of it in some ways

5 Apprehension about how to talk about sex and love with my children. I put pressure on me about the fact that I must educate, warn them. Especially with my son, as I don’t rely on his father for this.

2 Relations with the kids: he doesn’t have a full father role. He is a playing, recreational dad. And he is also good at helping them learn new things. But in terms of authority, setting up boundaries, reassuring, encourage them to open up in difficult moment, etc... all this is under my sole responsibility.

5 Uncomfortable with my family (they don’t know anything of the situation): uncomfortable to play the “all is for the best” in our relationship in front of them; play a role; and in fact lie to them. It is tough sometimes for me not to be able to get support from my parents in this difficult period.

2 Anxiety about what should/could be my future relationship (with him or someone else): not able to fully trust.

1 Lost of my ideal vision of a relationship. Unsure about what is my vision now.

5 Lost of innocence: see the people with a suspicious mind

2 Having polluted my mind with sickening images.

1 Having to live with negative emotions like deep sorrow, anger, desire of revenge. This taking lot of energy from me. This being in contradiction with my vision of being a smiling person.

2 Lost of confidence in myself, in the future

2 Strong need to develop my spirituality

1 deep Loneliness, I don't belong to a "team" anymore

1 Removed my wedding ring, the symbol of what has been definitely destroyed

2 Struggling with my professional reconversion
Lost a lot of self esteem in my professional capability , competences
Difficulty to focus today on my professional future, take decision on where I want to go.

7 Prevented me from a more extended Social life, because of his instability, unreliability, and his changed in character ( he was not a “nice” company )

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:11 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
exercise 14

*Over the next month, how much time do you intend to spend focused on managing, tracking and/or assessing your partner's addiction/recovery? List the role(s) you intend to play in his recovery. If none, say so. If some (and there are potential healthy roles for you to play), list them.
Try to always be available to listen to him. And to exchange on his questions, thoughts. But still be careful no to step on family time, or my own activities time. And refuse to play the psychotherapist, coach, mate role. Defend my position of "partner" who also need to protect herself and don't accept any responsibility on his recovery .
Observe his recovery through his acts, more than his words.

*How much time do you intend to spend secretly investigating his actions? If none, how will you manage those times of mistrust and/or doubt?
If any doubts I will ask him , express them to him. I commit to be fully honest with him.
I don't want to pollute my mind with endless suspicions

*What personal values are you willing to allow your partner to continue damaging over the next month? If none, how will you protect these values?
Trust: I am prepared to discover or face facts that may again have negative impact on my trust in him; or on the image I have of him.
Lack of future plans
Not be able to Focus on my professional reconversion

I will not allow him to stop me from being a smiling, careful, generous, helpful, concerned mum/friend/daughter/sister . I will dedicate time and energy to this , every day.

*Over the next two months, what mistakes are you prepared to tolerate from your partner and why? What mistakes (if any) are intolerable and will serve as the catalyst to end the relationship? Note: think with your head here, not your heart. You are no longer ignorant as to what to expect in recovery and so, define those true 'bottom lines' for you and your relationship.
Mistakes acceptable: excess of alcohol on some occasion if not done with the intention to act out. Inappropriate behavior driven by the desire to be loved (as long as not driven by behavior like romantic affair, desire to seduce woman). Masturbation. Pornography. Use/see me as a "mother"
Bottom lines: enter in relationship with a woman ( either romantic or sexual) Manipulating me , lying to me to act out ( romantic or sexual relation). "Use" me sexually, like sex toy or disconnected by porn images.

*How much responsibility do you intend to invest in changing your partner? Versus placing the responsibility for change on them? How do you envision communicating your observations about their motivation/responsibility — both positive and/or negative? For those positive observations, how will you make them seem genuine? For those negative observations, how will you make them seem non-punitive?
I intend to communicate on his positive, encouraging actions ( more than encouraging his thoughts, good wishes etc.,,)
For the negative observations I will try to use questions more than judgements; so he may question himself . And I may also say that " I am worried of what you say/do...." , not saying " you shouldn't say/do..,"
I will insist on my role of partner ; not psychotherapist or friend. And if his need to talk is then unanswered , I will encourage him to open dialogue with appropriate person ( but let him act).

*Do you intend to motivate change in your partner by threats and/or rewards? Or by simply sharing your needs and allowing your partner to find the motivation to meet those needs? If the latter, how much clarity do you have in determining and communicating your personal needs?
No threats, no rewards
I will be supportive of the good changes
Sharing my needs... Somehow I am afraid that if I share my needs just like that, he will say / do things just to please me (love addiction problem), and that may not be in line with his values... So I have to express my needs but not as a requirement . Or express positively when I see a change that is answering my needs.

*How do you envision moving beyond two individuals in recovery/healing to becoming a team in overcoming those areas of your relationship that have been damaged? What changes will YOU need to make in your own perspective to regain a sense of teamwork? What changes do you need to see from your partner for this to happen?
I will exchange on my healing process, so we feel like we are both working on the same direction.
I will ask him about his recovery process , not what , but how he feels about it, If he feels he is progressing or struggling.
I will propose to assess together the damages done to our relationship and how we could address , repair them together.
I will push myself to participate more to family game/activity driven by my partner . Usually we drive these kind of activities on our own ( and we both enjoy doing it with our kids). But on some occasion doing it jointly, be able to be a team, "mum and dad", in recreational activities and enjoy them together with the kids as teams (team of 2 and team of 5);

*Apart from your partner's addiction, identify the current major obstacles that your relationship faces. For each obstacle, seek out any patterns that will eventually need to be worked through as a team. For instance, communication. We have fallen into a pattern of dysfunctional communication that must change. Here is what I can envision doing to bring about change to these dysfunctional communication rituals:

Lack of trust
Communication: when I try to talk about me, I don't feel listened; I feel he always brings back the conversation to himself. I started to explain this perception to my husband. We agreed to work on this.

Difficulty to talk about the future, to make plans ( and we have to, as we only have one year to go in this country, so should prepare the next step). I have to take my responsibility ( plan the future of the family/kids in a reassuring way, somehow controlled way. Can not just wait until we are unable to make choices ). So I have to bring this topic in my discussions with my husband.

*Should you find yourself struggling to manage your own life (intense emotions, undefended boundaries, deteriorating values, neglected values, etc.) how do you envision getting yourself refocused and back in balance? List this general plan.
Nowadays I don't struggle so much about managing my own life. I have setup some boundaries and pattern to manage intense emotions. It is far from being perfect; so I plan to review them and improve them on coming months. I hope the healing workshop will help me on establishing improvement plan.

*What signs will you look for in your partner to generate confidence in the sincerity and stability of his/her recovery?
If his words match his actions.
If he becomes really transparent .
If he is showing constancy on empathy, concern, care,.,,

*What unique signs will you look for in your partner over the next few months to generate warning of imbalance and/or insincerity?
Stay at "I wish..." " I want..." Level.
Sexual behavior change back to his individual pleasure
Being elusive about what he is doing, when, where, with who

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 15

A. Make a list all of support resources (people only) that you currently have available to you in helping you to deal with this current crisis? How many of these people have you already turned to for support? What have you found beneficial in their responses? What have you found to be disruptive?
Available people

I have turned to Ch, and An2 telling them I had issues, but not giving any insight. Just for them to know I was through a difficult time. For many reasons I could not explain them the situation. One just said that she was sorry...and never showed concern later on. This was tough for me, as we are very close friends. And the other one was very thoughtful: she understood I could not talk (because we are not close friends), and though she noticed that I was in a terrible state (but never made any comment to me on this); she brought me lot of support by being a supportive recreational friend, and available to discuss more serious topics. Her listening skill impressed me.

I have turned to Ce and Su to talk about my current crisis and sharing some insight. The geographical issue (10 000km away , with 6 hours time difference) doesn’t help the communication. In their response I appreciated their non-judgmental attitude (towards me AND my partner, that they both know and appreciate); their unconditional support to me; their encouragement; their pertinent questions about me/how I feel/cope etc...; their help to see positive things and to boost my self esteem (I still remember when I first told Ce about the discovery of the addiction how she told me I should be proud of myself about the amazingly good job I did with my kids given the conditions); their concern for my partner also .
The main disruptive thing is the difficulty to contact them..

I would also mention my partner.... he provides me some support by showing empathy, concern for me; and listening to what I say. But I don’t always “accept” his support.

B. List all resources (not people) that you have available to you in developing a balanced, healthy support system. This list should contain at least eight items. Put an asterisk in front of each resource that you are currently using to help you through this crisis.



*Seek for beauty (go in a Art museum, walk in the nature, buy flowers, ...)

*Give help (like last Monday I volunteered at the school to help registering the books for their new library)

Work/Learning ( today very limited, as no established routine/obligation; depends on my energy and motivation; I am lacking being pulled by a routine/obligation on this aspect; but this should change in September)

*Plan vacation (like plan where to go , new country/place to discover, where to go, what to do, find accommodation etc...Or plan friends to visit, family event...)

Cook special dishes/treat for my family, friends

*Buy clothes that makes me feel well (I don’t enjoy shopping usually, always done by necessity)

*Empty the house of old/unused stuff

Read books ( novels , not books about addiction or self development)

*creative or artistic activities with my kids

Creative or artistic activities on my own

C. Discuss a time when you were a part of someone else's support system. Was it a positive or negative experience for you? What made it so? Is there anything that you would have done differently? How can you use these insights to further define your own support system?

When my older sister discovered her husband was cheating her. I was part of her support system during the discovery process (I was visiting her when it happened). And also during her trial of reconciliation with her husband (which finally failed)
I was difficult to see her in such pain, it made me very sad (I was much younger than her, just recently married. She had 3 young kids). I offered her all the support I could at that time, listened to her the best I could. I provided her help (manage her kids to give her time and also financially). But I think I did not feel capable of really helping her, being the right listening person. She turned a lot to our brother, she seemed to appreciate the encouragement and the view of a man she could trust. And so progressively I did not insist much on providing help , listening to her, showing concern directly to her. I regret this attitude, I should have showed more concern to her and her situation over the time.
What I see from looking back at this story, is that I should be careful with my support people: on what exactly they can support me? And not expecting support on everything from one single person (one person might be appropriate for listening at all my emotional thoughts, be encouraging whatever I say and have some pertinent questions about how to handle my daily life. Then another person might be better to take distance with the situation, or discuss spirituality)
So first I need to review the different support I need now and for the coming months. Assess if a person or a resource can provide me the appropriate support. And if none, try to build one.

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