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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:23 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18 - I am Light by Indie.Arie - my guiding theme song through all of this.

My D-Day (this time) was February 12. I am numb yet calm, feeling a power I have not had for years. I Have options I have not felt I had in the past. This is my sixth D-Day and I need to let that sink in that nothing has changed since I first uncovered profound dishonesty 13 years ago. I will not make any rash decisions. We saw a counselor on Valentines Day, and he went for STD testing that morning. Not my vision of how the day would be.

Last edited by Iamlight on Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:50 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise One:
A. Because the discovery of your partner's addiction will no doubt reflect many commonalities with others, it is at the same time uniquely devastating to you. Take some time to share your background in relation to the discovery of your partner's sexual and/or romantic compulsions/addiction. Share an unadulterated version of your partner's addiction with someone you trust; or, anonymously in this forum.
If you choose someone you trust, then at least share a summary of the general patterns that are in play with your partner's addiction. And as a reminder, please do not use any personally-identifying information in your post.

On February 12, I was in my sewing room and my husband brought in a pair of pants with two torn pockets he asked me to repair. I set aside my project and immediately began the repair and he left. I got one pocket fixed and was hunting for the second torn pocket when I found two fifty dollar bills and a condom. My heart froze. I turned off my sewing machine and put these items on his chair in the front room and went upstairs to get dressed. When I came back downstairs, he was sitting in the kitchen sobbing.

He said he had been going to a massage parlor and getting massages with an “oil release” (I don’t know how many times or years this went on but they were busted in a police sting and closed down in March 2018.) Once the massage parlor closed, he began hooking up on the Internet for blow jobs. He was crying and remorseful.

I said he needed to prove to me he was clear of STDs. I felt strangely calm because I felt this time, I have choices. He has repeatedly been caught in lies and deception since 2006, mostly over repeatedly betraying me with an emotional affair with his female former AA sponsor. I asked if he was in touch with her still and he said no. I asked if their relationship was ever sexual and he said no.

He called his therapist and we met with her on Valentines Day. They apparently had discussed this behavior previously but it had not come up in their session last month. She told him that he should start being honest with his therapist as a first step. She was reluctant to do couples counseling with us as she is his therapist, but agreed to meet with us a few times before we are able to find a therapist for the two of us. I have my own therapist whom I will see next week.

We have been together since 1996 and married since 2000. I feel so violated, hurt, exhausted, sad and angry. This is the sixth time I have caught him. I told him in front of the therapist that I can’t do this any more and he is killing us. He says he will get help. I am helping myself through these exercises and I have power and strength and I deserve a better life than this. I am going to learn all I can here and observe but not manage his recovery.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Two
I. Take at least twenty minutes to be alone. If you have a family, ask them to respect this time that you are taking. Make sure that you leave your cell phone off. That the dog is fed. That there will be no distractions. Take a walk by yourself. Sit alone on the beach. Find somewhere secluded and then, think. Think about who you are, the life that you have led, and the life that you want to lead from this point forward. Think about your legacy as a wife, mom, sister, friend. Create a vision that represents the real you. The one that you will be reconnecting to on your path towards healing.
II. Write out your vision. Use any format you would like. As a general rule, the more personal, the better. Post this vision in your Healing Thread. There is no right or wrong to this vision...though it should be comprehensive enough for a stranger (in this case, me) to read it and have a pretty good idea as to what you value and the life that you want to live.

The Real Me:

My vision of myself as I journey on my path towards healing:
-I am taking chances, and not worrying about what might go wrong.
-I am waking up each morning early and greeting the day with gratitude for my health and physical and mental gifts. I stretch or meditate, play my grounding song “I am Light” and enjoy my morning coffee.
-I am choosing nourishing foods in appropriate serving sizes to fuel my body. I am avoiding fast foods, processed foods, and high-fat foods, but rather eating fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and legumes.
-I am maintaining a healthy weight.
-I am exercising regularly and feeling strong and powerful.
-I am taking time each day to tend to my appearance so that I feel attractive.
-I am taking time each day with my healing exercises, reading the materials carefully and thoughtfully and really working to do the work required.
-I am pursuing my creative passions of quilting and knitting with a strong sense of competence that I don’t let be belittled by my partner.
-I am strong inside and have opinions that count. I let my voice be heard in a calm yet assertive way.
-I am doing all the things each day that protect my health in the future - care of my teeth, eyes, heart, bones, etc. I do this lovingly with each item of daily maintenance I must do to care for my body.
-I am kind to my spouse and supportive of his recovery but not managing it.
-I am strong and beautiful and happy to be above ground another day.

Last edited by Iamlight on Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Three
Because of all of the deception inherent in addiction, it is common to challenge your own 'gut feelings' relating to your ability to read your partner. You may have even concluded that these instincts failed you. Yet what is most likely is that your instincts picked up on the curious patterns — it was your heart and head that altered your conclusions. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is a good person who leads their life with values such as trust and love and partnership.
But, now that you know that you are dealing with an addiction...risk, vulnerability...these are things that you can no longer take for granted in your life. You must offer them only when accompanied by logic and reason. And so, at least until trust can be rebuilt, you will need to develop a more mechanical, objective and safe ability to monitor your partner's health. Much of this will be done throughout the workshop, but we will start by doing the following:
In your healing thread...

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).

I must say that my partner is the master of deception and I am reeling that I literally had no idea of his current and probably always sexual addiction. I knew he was a liar in the past about an inappropriate friendship with a female AA sponsor that he compartmentalizes and minimizes. I knew he reacted strongly each time he was caught on the phone texting or talking with her, leaving his email open on our shared computer, etc. I originally discovered his inappropriate relationship with her when I found online phone records of 50 or more calls per month, sometimes four or five in a day, to a number I did not recognize. He says it was never sexual but I now consider it spousal abuse that he continued the relationship six more years despite my asking them both to stop and threatening leaving.

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.

I recall the especially hurtful discovery of an e-mail list on the screen with the heading on one of “Re: Good Morning again, Honey” and the time he signed a text to me by mistake with “LUSMH” - love you so much honey. I am so angry right now that I didn’t get that he was using loving terms with her yet he minimalized it to me saying it was just in fun and he called her honey because she hated her name. He said it was all AA related and I didn’t have anything to worry about.

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.

I look at him now and he seems the same as the lying, compartmentalized man I have been with for 23 years. I do not trust him to tell me the truth if/when he relapses. I will have to catch him - this will make it the fatal seventh time - and put me in the role of mother/priest.

If he abuses his sleeping pills during the day, locks the guest bedroom door and takes a two-hour nap, I will know he is back there masturbating to porn on the Internet.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Four
1) Make a list of those values in your partner's life that — in your gut — you believe is a part of him. Set aside the addiction and the behaviors that were a part of that addiction. Focus on what values you believe will survive the recovery process. Post these in your Healing Thread. If there is a time when you are feeling close to your partner, share these thoughts with him — so that he knows that you are beginning to separate the addiction from his core identity.

Good companion
Non smoker
Non drinker
Financially independent
Open to adventure and new ideas
Works out and cares about his health
Thoughtful, considerate

2) Make a list of those qualities in your partner that you believe will continue to pose as obstacles throughout your relationship.

Compartmentalizes his life
Addicted to sleeping pills

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Five
Addiction is a rational way to manage life using irrational behavior. Meaning, there is a very logical purpose for the existence of addiction in a person's life. Though to all, the actions/choices associated with that addiction are often completely irrational.

A. How do you manage your stress? 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? Can you think of a time in your life that you have turned to such a measure?

I cry. I sleep a lot when I am stressed. Sometimes I turn to comfort food.
I don’t think crying is irrational, but it does release the feeling of pain to the point of exhaustion.
When my parents each died and when my sisters died, I cried and cried.

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.

While my partner was having surgery on his spine, I waited alone in the hospital. I was anxious and scared and tense and had nobody to talk to. I went to the hospital gift shop and bought a large bag of Jordan Almonds and proceeded to eat the entire bag. If I had not eaten the candy, I would have had higher blood pressure and would have felt uncomforted. The anxiety would have made my heart beat quickly and put me in a heightened state of vigilance. It would have made the four hour wait even scarier.

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 overeat.
He would take sleeping pills or Valium.
(But he actually does those in addition to the compulsive sexual acts.)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:11 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Six
Understanding the sexualized mind will go a long way in allowing you to better relate to what you are currently experiencing. The more objective insights and awareness that you develop, the stronger will be your ability to maintain confidence and control in your life. And, the faster it will be achieved.
A. If you have not already done so, consider reading the first half of He Danced Alone.
B. Quite often, many sexual behaviors occur with such subtlety, such consistency and/or are so well disguised (through humor, anger, guilt, etc.) that it is not until you filter these behaviors through a net of sexual addiction when you realize that they are indeed woven from the same cloth. But the reality is, the majority of sexual addicts have positioned themselves within a cocoon of sexuality that is not related to their personality, but rather, their addiction. With this in mind, think of your partner's behavior over the course of your relationship. Describe the patterns that you suspect can be attributed to a sexualized mind.
C. Of the four areas discussed in this lesson, which have you observed in your partner?
A. Thank you for free access to the book. It was helpful.
B. Fascination with Hooters, repeatedly giving me sex how-to books, giving me net lingerie that may have been recreating what the prostitutes wore
C. their right mind would sacrifice a collective lifetime of intimacy, sharing, health, fulfillment, etc. for perhaps an hour of emotional excitement. Nobody. Yet this risk is taken all the time. Why? Immediate gratification.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Seven
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
II. Managing your partner's recovery
III. Empowering/disempowering a pursuit of health
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?
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?
A. I. Effective communication: I have been open to disclosing my past and upbringing as they relate to the system of which I am a part in this relationship. We have sat at the lunch table and discussed in calm, supportive ways. I have been being careful to only use I statements.
II. Managing your partner’s recovery: I have been careful to not do this. I have been focusing on my own. I am going to go to COSA meetings and get a sponsor.
III. Empowering/disempowering a pursuit of health: I have scheduled my exercise and am doing the health maintenance for myself that is so important. I don’t think I have disempowered the pursuit of health.
B. I am seeing my own counselor. I will be attending COSA meetings for at least six meetings to make sure to give it a chance. I am reading books recommended by our couples counselor. I am reading COSA literature and Recovery Nation literature. I am listening to podcasts relating to sex addiction.
C. Changes to make to our relationship:
1. I will speak my feelings more, realizing that I have a voice and something to say.
2. I will pursue my own recovery without asking permission.
3. I will not dwell on the pain and hurt of the past but see those feelings as a need to build my self esteem.
4. I will stand up tall and walk and talk with confidence.
5. I will go ahead and arrange for repainting, yard maintenance, sprucing up and cleaning up the depressive clutter in our lives and create for myself a bright and creative environment instead of waiting for him to go along with my ideas. It is my house, too, and I have a right to a cheery upbeat environment.

Last edited by Iamlight on Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Eight
While this workshop is about rebuilding your life, you are nonetheless impacted by the ongoing behavior of your partner (unless you have completely broken away from the relationship). For those who continue to be impacted by their partner's behavior:
If you were to identify three issues relating to your partner's recovery that you would like to see changed, what would they be?
Example: 1) He communicates only positive aspects of his recovery; that type of selective disclosure worries me. 2) His emotional immaturity when I bring up my pain. He gets angry or completely shuts down emotionally. 3) His apparent lack of motivation in working on himself and his recovery. It's like I have to push him every step of the way.
My partner shocked and hurt me this morning in our discussion of the bust of Robert Kraft, the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, who was videotaped soliciting prostitutes and engaging in sex acts in a massage parlor in Florida, yet denies he did it. So my partner had this whole rationalization of how prostitution is legal in Las Vegas and should be available for people who are disabled or otherwise unable to attract partners as a release and this is only a misdemeanor. WTF. He disrespected my feelings — this could have been he who was arrested. He did not see the deep hurt I was feeling and pontificated with his pointy finger about his knowledge and superior insight about prostitution.
1) I would like to see my partner think before speaking.
2) I would like to see my partner to not be the expert on everything.
3) I would like to see my partner be humble.
4) I would like my partner to get a sponsor in SA and work the steps with sincerity and/or go to a residential treatment facility.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:28 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Nine
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?

Willingness to attend couples counseling
Willingness to attend SA meetings
Reading books recommended by counselor

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?

Pointy finger lecturing (needs to be right)

C. How have you communicated your observations to your partner?

I tell him when I feel he is minimizing the situation.

Have you communicated the healthy observations as well as the unhealthy?

Yes, I have told him I am grateful for the work he is doing as well as cried when he seemed to be clueless about my feelings.

How has your partner responded?

He likes the validation.
He apologized when I was hurt by his insensitivity and he cried.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Ten
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.
For example:
1. My role as a healthy mom to my children
2. Deepening my spirituality
3. Having a supportive mom
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.

-I am waking up each morning early and greeting the day with gratitude for my health and physical and mental gifts. I stretch or meditate, play my grounding song “I am Light” and enjoy my morning coffee.

As I integrate this into a daily practice, I will feel grounded spiritually.
I will practice this tomorrow morning.

-I am taking time each day with my healing exercises, reading the materials carefully and thoughtfully and really working to do the work required.

This will give me the tools to move forward.
In the next 24 hours, I will take time for study and reflecting.

-I am pursuing my creative passions of quilting and knitting with a strong sense of competence that I don’t let be belittled by my partner.

The potential value of this is freeing up my creative side.
I will knit or quilt today and enjoy my creativity.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Eleven
As a partner of someone with an addiction, you are forced to deal with consequences from actions that are beyond your control. Behaviors that are beyond your comprehension — incompatible with the values that you have come to base your life on. The behaviors associated with this addiction have certainly caused a significant disruption in the way that you live your life. And whether you stay in the relationship or not, issues have developed that must be addressed by you in order to regain control of your life.
A. Write a letter to your partner, expressing all of the emotions that you have experienced as a result of their addiction. This is not intended to be a letter that he/she will read, but rather, a letter representing your most intense feelings.
There are several guidelines to follow in writing this letter:
1) If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with anger, to the point where you experience a strong urge to act upon your emotions, then STOP. This is a letter that can be written at a later time. The benefit for doing it now is to purge yourself — in a safe and 'controlled' manner — of some of the extreme, intense emotions that you may be feeling. Or, to become aware of feelings that you may not have realized were there.
2) Do not write this letter in an environment where it can be read by your partner. This is for you to share your feelings openly and honestly — without thought to your partner's reaction.
3) If you would like to post this letter in your Personal Healing Thread, please do so, but it is not essential that you do.
B. Upon completion of your personal letter, it will be your task to write one more. This one, a letter from your partner to you. In this letter, take some time to think about what it is you would say, "if you were them". How would you apologize? How would you offer reassurance? How would you explain the behavior?
The key to this exercise will be in your ability to write a letter that, if you were to read this from their own hand, would fill you with confidence that they understand the pain and confusion they have caused you.
Dear Partner,
The emotions I have experienced as a result of your addiction are:
hurt, anger, rage, yelling “I hate men!” when I was alone, sadness, fear for my safety, being stunned, embarrassment, distaste, exhaustion, disgust, helplessness, feeling stupid for not knowing what was going on, tears, despair, numbness, disbelief, frustration, desire to flee, disdain, revulsion, disbelief, deep feeling of loss of self, feeling of abandonment, fear of being alone, feelings of invisibility, confusion.
Your Partner

My dear partner,
I am so sorry I hurt you, not just this time but the other five times that my lies have been uncovered, and all the times you were not aware I was lying and cheating on you.
I am opening my heart and soul and being vulnerable to you. I am stripping away my past ways of dealing with pain by minimizing and deflecting. I am facing my deep core issues and I am working on healing my childhood traumas. I am committed to you and our marriage and I realize I must change my core beliefs about myself in order to heal. I am willing to attend a residential treatment program at whatever cost to give myself the best opportunity to heal. I am willing to listen to your pain and fears and accept responsibility for the pain I have caused you. I support you fully in your recovery and encourage you to attend any meetings or programs or retreats that will bring you your much deserved healing. I am proud of you for the strength you have found in this past year through your gym training program and admire and fully support your ongoing pursuit of health. Your mental health is of equal if not greater importance and I admire your strength in finding healing. I am so sorry for the lies and deception I have committed for the past 13 [at least] years and I want you to know that I am sincerely sorry for the 7 years of hell I put you through in letting go of my relationship with Katheeee. I lied to you every day for months and convinced myself that it didn’t matter, but I now realize how deeply painful that was and how deep the damage to your self esteem was. I fully acknowledge my 13-year addiction to Ativan and the importance of cleaning this out of my system immediately and forever. I am so sorry and I need for you to know that I am doing all I can to work through my own pain and traumas of my past. I look forward to a future with you with true intimacy, if we both do the work that is involved. I love you and I am so, so sorry.
Love, Your partner

Last edited by Iamlight on Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Twelve
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?
Example: "I continue to struggle with obsessive thoughts about where he and what he is doing when I'm not around. I have no sexual desire whatsoever. My moods range from apathy to despair. When we talk, I feel intense rage at what he has done to my life."
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.
A. I have just entered the separation phase. This is where the partner, after actively participating in the awareness stage of their healing, comes to the realization that their happiness and fulfillment is no longer attached to their partner's recovery. That they are separate from their partner's addiction. I am actively working on my own recovery. I am observing him using his former tools of minimizing, deflecting, humor, avoidance and self deception on occasion but I see them for what they are and don’t fall for them and call him on it. I have been through such a cesspool in this relationship that I am tired. I am exhausted. I was not clued in to the depths of his pathology and he made no effort to heal. He was selfish and self-absorbed as well as walling himself off from his inner core issues. He must do his own work. I am not responsible for his recovery. I am a strong, beautiful woman and I have money of my own and many options for a better life alone if he is not willing to do his work. I know that if I don’t do my own work, I am doomed to future relationships with other addicts and that has no appeal to me.

B. I have been wounded deeply and so it will be difficult to trust. He looks the same, talks the same as he has for the 23 years we have been together. Lots of that has been lies and I am not able to distinguish when he is telling the truth and when he is conveniently omitting. He has many ingrained habits established of deception because he doesn’t believe in his core innate value.
I need to consistently put myself first - my exercise, my health maintenance, my recovery. He will try to persuade me that I am not worthy of being first priority through his subtle controlling ways.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:02 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Thirteen
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..
Given the complex nature of addiction, especially as it relates to family and relationships, this process should take several hours, rather than several minutes. It will be important for you to consider the affects to your physical, emotional, social, spiritual, economic, interpersonal, potential selves — as well as any other area that you feel is relevant. There are no right or wrong answers, only ways that you believe this behavior may have impacted your life.
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. Do not worry about which consequence might be a "6" and which might be a "7"; or which is "1" and which is "2" — what is important is to gain a general idea of the impact (or potential impact) they have had on your life.
A and B. How my partner’s compulsive behavior has affected me:

1. Physical - (1) fast beating heart, (1) higher blood pressure, (1) hyper-vigilant

2. Emotional - (1) crying jags, (4) disrupted sleep with jaw clenching

3. Social - (1) deeply humiliating experience that I can only share with my best friend and my therapist

4. Spiritual - (1) I have not been spiritual before but I have adopted a deeply spiritual song as my healing mantra and I am excited about exploring my spirituality in CoDA, so my spirituality has increased.

5. Economic - (10) no real impact as I have resources of my own.

6. Interpersonal - (1) I am more appreciative of my friends

7. Potential selves - (1) suddenly I see a future without a big gloomy depressive cloud over it. Either he removes his cloud and I remove my cloud and we stay together, or I remove my cloud and live a separate undepressed future alone. Either way I am cloudless.

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 pm
Posts: 18
Exercise Fourteen
In Stage One; Lesson Two of the Partner's Workshop, you were asked to develop a general vision for your life. This vision focused on developing an anchor to health and stability by allowing you to identify and re-attach yourself to those areas of your life that you truly value. Now, you are asked to create a second vision. This one is more of a 'mini-vision', isolated to how you will manage your life over these next few months — through your healing (and your partner's recovery — if applicable).
To assist you in developing this limited, practical vision, here are a few questions to ask/answer. Think about the questions in normal type; answer the questions that are italicized in your healing thread.

*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.. None.

*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?. None. I will ask him direct questions.

*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?. None. I will work with my therapist and COSA.

*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.. Right now bottom line is no acting out. That feels intolerable to me given that it will be the 7th D-Day and I have drawn the line in the sand to him about this.

*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?. The responsibility is his. I will make I statements about how I feel.

*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 or rewards will be offered. That seems too much like mothering him. I believe my clarity will increase as my healing increases.

*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 need to somehow trust him again. I need for him to acknowledge my pain and make amends.

*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:.
1. We need to be more sensitive to the other person. For example: don’t discuss the issue at night before going to bed as it disrupts our sleep.
2. We need to embrace the enormity of this issue. For example: read books, residential treatment facility for him, couples therapy.

*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.
1. Self care
2. Rest and sleep
3. Journaling

*What signs will you look for in your partner to generate confidence in the sincerity and stability of his/her recovery?. Tears, concern about my feelings, actually going to the recovery center and doing the work needed

*What unique signs will you look for in your partner over the next few months to generate warning of imbalance and/or insincerity?. Minimizing, not going to meetings, not getting a sponsor in SA, not getting a sponsor in AA.

These are just some of the questions that you will want to consider and prepare yourself for. There are potentially many others. List anything additional that you feel is important in preparing yourself to face this transition in your life/relationship over the next few months.

1. If he does go away to residential treatment, I will have time alone to heal. We will both be busy working at healing ourselves for 45 days and when we come back together we may not be able to reconnect unless we carefully plan for some disconnects and setbacks.

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