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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 9
Lesson One

I met my Significant Other (SO) in Jan 2016 (at present date, almost 3 years ago). We met on an online dating site and were both looking for serious dating- it wasn’t a hook up site. We had both recently (but not too recently - a couple years each) separated from our former spouses, and we each had two kids. We felt an instant connection, something neither of us had experienced with any previous partners, and became exclusive right away. We have been inseparable since. We have now lived together for a year and a half. Our children have blended almost seamlessly and we are a truly very happy family unit.

Approximately one year into our relationship (Feb 2017) I found out about an affair he had. This was the first of several D-Days, but by far the most violently traumatic for me. It was such a surprise - a complete shock to my system. An ex-girlfriend of his reached out via social media message. We did not know each other but she knew I existed. My SO had dated her for about 9 months before meeting me, and he had no affectionate feelings towards her, so when she expressed a deeper connection, he broke up with her. Shortly after we started dating, she began pursuing him again and he had sex with her a few times in the first 6 months or so of dating me. Several months after it ended, he contacted her again via text and she threatened to expose him. She did so by contacting me directly - and I was so in shock I felt suicidal. How could I have been so wrong about the reality of our life together? No two people had ever been happier than he and I were. We never fought. We were madly in love with each other. We loved each other’s kids. We shared an unbreakable friendship and a very close connection, not to mention a very active and enthusiastic sex life that we both thoroughly enjoyed. In short: I couldn’t think of a better possible partner or life to be living. The affair with his ex-girlfriend (C) shook me to the core but I quickly forgave him. He was so remorseful, he took complete ownership, he vowed it would never happen again, and he did everything he could to be gentle, reassuring, kind, loving, affectionate... we chalked it up to an emotional immaturity and deep insecurity. He revealed to me for the first time how desperately scared he was to lose me, and how insecure he was that I would cheat on him. His ex wife had several extramarital affairs and it had deeply affected him. When C pursued him, he felt wanted and powerful. He said that he felt sick about doing it, every time, and that he kept telling himself he would never do it again and then would find himself with her yet again. The exposure was so traumatic for him as well, and he was so sick about hurting me that badly, that he was convinced it was the end of that behaviour. He couldn’t explain how or why, all he could do was swear up and down that he knew beyond a shadow of doubt that if I forgave him this would never happen again. He didn’t pressure me to forgive and take him back – just reassured me. I felt like we were being incredibly communicative, and I felt confident that we would make it again. I felt very bruised and traumatized, but very hopeful we would get through this stronger than ever.

A few months after that exposure, we were good again, and I truly believed this was going to have been a one-time thing that we would get over. We moved in together, and it was at about this time that we also began an extremely difficult court case with his ex wife over custody of his kids. To make a very, very painful and long story short: he had primary care of his kids until moving in with me, they went to court over the move and she was granted primary residence after making several false statements during litigation. We suffered everything from extremely high legal fees, aggressive litigation, physical withholding of his kids, parental alienation... it was horrific. It is actually just wrapping up now, it has gone on so long. We lost everything to the case including his house, and eventually lost the case as well. The case has taken a huge toll on us each physically and mentally. It is a lingering trauma that we both need to address in personal counselling – we both harbour regret and resentment due to what we had to endure. It is a very toxic baggage that we still carry.

In May 2018, we had been “good” for quite some time but I became increasingly paranoid and anxious. I cannot pinpoint why – he wasn’t doing anything suspicious, we were still enjoying that close bond and we were still having an intense and active sex life. He didn’t give me any reasons to suspect, yet I sensed that something was ‘off’ with him. It was almost as if there was a spiritual disconnect – it was behind his eyes when he looked at me, I could feel it. And I began to sense what I now understand to be his guilt. He felt guilty but wasn’t opening up to me about it. I didn’t tell him as often as I should have that I needed reassurance, but the few times that I did reach out for reassurance, what I got from him felt quite superficial. One night, when he went upstairs to tuck my youngest into bed, I snooped through his phone. Now – to give a little context, after the initial exposure about his affair with C, one of the things he did as a measure of good faith was give me his password to his phone and permission to look whenever I wanted to. He said, “I know you don’t want to have to, and that isn’t the person that you are… but if you ever need to be reassured, you can snoop through it whenever you want. You don’t have to ask and you don’t have to tell me you did, you can look whenever you want and I will never delete anything.” I looked a few times but overall hated the feeling it gave me. Even though I never found anything, it made me feel worse, not better. But on this night – I had such a suspicion that something was going on. I almost talked myself out of it, but when he went upstairs, I had to look. I found a text to an unnamed contact. “Hi, I am looking for a BNG. Wondering if you are available when I get off work?” The unknown contact replied, “I can be ready for 6:30 if that works.” SO replied: “No sorry that is too late I have to be home for 6:30. I will message earlier on Thursday.” And that was it. I had no idea what BNG meant. I wondered if he was looking for drugs? It was confusing and while I was accustomed to him texting to unnamed contacts fairly frequently for his work, my stomach sank because I just knew this was something really bad. I left his phone, and took mine into the bathroom to look up BNG. I kept telling myself not to – that it was nothing and I was just going to upset myself. But I had to. While there were many different web explanations of the term BNG, the one that immediately caught my eye was a page that explained BNG was a term for a blow job used by sex workers…. I know this was what he was asking. I became sick, so it was a good thing I was in the bathroom. My mind was spinning and I completely detached from reality. I walked calmly downstairs and busied myself for a few minutes. He walked towards me to give me a big hug, which I fell into. I then pulled back and calmly said, “What is a BNG and why were you looking for one after work?” His face fell when he could see that he was caught. He told me it was a blowjob, then sank to his knees crying. It turns out, he had messaged a prostitute via an escort website. He later revealed that he was very concerned over his own behaviour, felt out of control, had developed these rituals of finding prostitutes online, messaging, and then cancelling the services booked. He swore up and down that he never actually saw a prostitute and other than C had never been with another woman at all. I think I believe him, I think I can tell when he is being honest (as strange as that sounds). This time I kicked him out for a few days while I considered the future. I ended up letting him come back because we do truly love each other. We have a very happy household with our family. Save for his infidelities, he is otherwise an almost perfect partner and the compulsive behaviour is so out of character for him. He is such a family man, such a great and nurturing Dad and partner. He isn’t abusive or manipulative in any other way. He is sensitive and affectionate. It is so bizarre. To be clear though: I have come to categorize his sexually compulsive behaviour as, in fact, abusive and manipulative. It involves constant deceit, it involves him doing things that injure me repeatedly even though he knows the consequences to me. He knows how much this hurts me and continues to do it – is this not a classic example of what constitutes abusive behaviour?

We started trying to get help. I should rephrase: I started getting us help. I had us go through several different counsellors before we found a couple’s therapist that we have now been seeing about once or twice a month for the last five months. I got us coverage for her services. I started seeing a counsellor individually as well. I reached out to SA groups but didn’t make contact with them for several months. While the therapy helped superficially at first, it quickly became evident that SO wasn’t truly invested in getting himself proper help. He came to things I booked, but didn’t source anything himself. I was immersed in online info, therapy, Ted Talks, bought self help books – you name it. My efforts have not been matched, not even close.

A few months after that second exposure, I was hit with an even more humiliating one. This time, a prostitute reached out to me, via social media. She had somehow found his online profile and when he cancelled services with her (as he had again become accustomed to doing) she grew angry, found his profile, started harassing him from a different telephone # after he blocked her, and then she found me through his Facebook page. She sent me screenshots of his message asking her for a “BBBJ” and other act (extremely foul term for oral). She even started posting the photo of their conversation onto some of my public Facebook posts – though I got them down within minutes of being posted I was so paranoid that a friend or family member would have seen. I was humiliated. I raced home, confronted him in our driveway, was screaming like a lunatic (and I am about the most peaceful, quiet, calm and non-confrontational person you could meet!) I threw him out again. This time, my teenage son was home and so he has now been exposed to all that has happened which I am very sorry for. My SO is the only father figure he has ever had – they love each other very much.

I took SO back a couple days later, again. My son is on board with it. This all just happened less than two months ago. My son couldn’t get over his anger for a few days but since has become very forgiving and understanding. My SO admits that he is completely out of his league with how to get better. He wants to, but is deeply ashamed, and is still at that point where he thinks he can/should be able to control this himself. Other revelations have come out; I knew he watched a considerable amount of porn and I was always perfectly fine with it. It didn’t affect me in any way. But now it has been revealed how much he watches, how dependent he is on porn, how aggressive the porn is and how much withdrawal he goes through when he tries to abstain. The porn consumption now really bothers me. I think it has caused a deep seeded disrespect for women in him; on top of that, our sexual boundaries have been pushed and pushed over the years and while we are both into some light kink and BDSM, I think porn is taking it to a place for him that I do not want to go (and won’t go). In my monitoring of his phone over the last few months I found so much more compulsive behaviour: he had a social media account (it didn't have his real name or photos or anything identifying) that he used to follow and shared porn videos from online sources; he watches all kinds of porn sites including ones where you can interact with others; his Instagram searches and online searches are always sexually aggressive/abusive and always involve kink and oral fetishes; he at one point made a FetLife profile (a BDSM and fetish community for sharing, connecting and hooking up); I saw search histories of him searching for women we know including his ex, my sister, etc. I found history of him adding and liking local girls who do nude modelling, awkwardly one of them turned out to be a friend of mine from college and I had to explain to him how it makes me look and feel to see him liking her nude posts, to know that SHE can see him liking her nude posts. All boundary lines are blurred and as a result of all of these gradual exposures I know a couple of things to be true, for sure:
1. I am deeply traumatized still by the discovery of his affair with ‘C’. No matter his compulsive behaviours, it always comes back to that initial discovery and how he carried out an actual affair, he was capable of physically being with another woman and hiding it from me. No matter how unethical I think his porn searches are, when her name comes up in his search history, nothing ever hurts me more. I need to seek some professional help with this.
2. I know for sure that I know very little about the extent of his dual-life. Every time I think I know all of it, more comes up, and every time it is painful. I am a damn fool to believe even for one second that I know all of it. Every thing I have written above and up until now where I state to know facts (i.e how many times it has happened, what he has and has not done, what his patterns and rituals are, etc.) are all subject to what he has revealed and I have finally accepted the fact that it could all be bullshit. I might not actually know anything. He might be capable of lying about all of this. Maybe he isn’t even a sex addict, maybe he just has bad behaviour and is a terrible person. I do not believe that, and this is why I stay: I believe that I do know him. But I admit I could be wrong.
3. His porn addiction is the worst underlying problem of all of this: his actions are all symptoms of much deeper emotional unwellness, but the porn habit and rituals are by far the most eroding to our relationship. While at this time we still enjoy a very active and mutually gratifying sex life, I have no faith at all that we will even still have a sex life in a few years if he doesn’t control this. I can feel it eroding my self-esteem and trust for him – without those two things I won’t be capable of being interested in sex with him. I can feel it eroding his connection with me as an individual and eroding his respect for me, and I can feel it accelerating his need for depravity to get off. With those conditions present it won’t be long before he is incapable of performing with me, as well. Over all, his constant consumption of porn is quickly going to ruin our intimacy in more ways than one.

I know that to a certain extent I have to let him figure out his own path, while I forge ahead with mine. I found Recovery Nation via a book by Paula Hall, “Sexual Addiction: The Partner’s Perspective”. She highly recommends this community. I have joined a SANON partners group but can confidently say that 12 step groups are NOT for me/us. We are not religious and struggle with the cult-y feeling we perceive to get from 12 step groups (while respecting those who do find success there) and also find their definitions of abstinence a bit too rigid. I don’t think 12 steps seek to heal the person, only have them abstain from the addictive behaviour. We want something more holistic, something more sustainable, and a more positive message than that we are simply out of control and diseased. We think the addictive behaviour is a symptom of a bigger problem. For myself personally, the 12-step group also asks me to take a lot more responsibility for his problems than I feel I ought to: I know I am responsible for making myself a better and happier person, but I don’t want to waste a lot of time wondering what it is about me that made him this way/keeps him this way/asks for this in my life. Before I met him, I was at my healthiest and happiest; I have spent a lot of my life overcoming adversity, and building myself up to be a very emotionally well and generous person. While we both believe all of the above noted things, I am the one who is ready and committed to moving forward to healing. I think he will get there eventually. But that isn’t my primary concern anymore – or at least, I am trying not to let him be my primary concern anymore. I am not even 100% committed to staying in this relationship forever, anymore – I am taking it one day at a time. But I have been so damaged by this, so traumatized, that I need to heal myself and then move forward - either with him or without, that remains to be seen.

Thank you for listening to my story.

 Post subject: Lesson Two
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 9
My vision about who I am and the life I have led, and the life I want to lead.

Who I am today and the life I have led: I am a mid-thirties woman characterized by extreme resiliency, a tenacious life-long learner, a nurturing and motherly soul, an indomitable spirit. My nickname is usually Little Miss Sunshine or simply, “sunshine” - my coworkers and friends often call me this. I have by nature a very sunny and positive disposition, I am incredibly forgiving and try to offer grace as much as possible wherever people need it. I have a calming and peaceful aura. Friends and family turn to me to coach them through life. I am a successful business woman and fiercely independent. I have a passion for sharing my story to help others grow - I came from poverty and abuse, was a single teen mother, and successfully put myself through school and tons of emotional healing and growing to be the mother that I am and the forgiving and sunny person that I am. I take pride in the adversity I have overcome to have the life I have.

The vision I have for my life, I have struggled to put into words, especially because I know that my vision must be independent of whether my husband and I “make it” or not, and that it must be centred around me. I know that this is an exercise to help me connect with my true self and that doing so can help me decide later down the line if the relationship can survive or not. I have a hard time with this.

My vision is to be happy and confident. I will know I am happy and confident because I’m no longer crying every time I am alone. I am no longer crying on the bathroom floor while the children play. I am feeling positively about my abilities and my appearance again, and am taking on new projects that make me feel energized. Above all else, I am engaging in self-care again, and for me self-care will look like: having my hair and nails done every 6 months or so, taking long baths alone once per week or so, meditating a couple or several times per week, developing a morning routine to start my day with positive intentions and have my coffee before the kids are up, and I will incorporate movement into my day each day (focus on moving instead of exercising, which I dread - so walks, hikes, playing with the kids, lifting weights, riding a bike, etc.). I will be drinking less alcohol (one glass of wine daily and a little extra on weekends, instead of several drinks daily). I will be eating more nutritious foods. I will know I am healthier because i am sleeping better at night and my digestive system is happier during the day. I will inevitably lose some of the weight I have put on over the last two years because I am happier, more active and more relaxed.

My career and finances will be happier as well. I will finally start my life-coaching career as a passion project for when I am not at my regular job. I will take on a couple of clients at a time and feel very fulfilled by the work I am doing in helping them bring peace to their family lives. I will be financially more secure and I will know that I am because I have the income to take a vacation annually and all obligations are met on time without strain or borrowing. I feel productive and am not bored. I am not taking on too much that I feel overwhelmed.

I am spending more time with people who inspire me and energize me, and am experienceing fulfillment in those strengthened relationships. Because I am happier and healthier in terms of my body, spirit and finances, I am able to feel kindness and generosity of spirit and apply that to my relationships with my immediate family and close circle of friends. I feel genuine intimacy and connections to those around me, and feel free to be playful. I laugh a lot again! The close relationships around me fuel my spirit and help me to feel fulfilled, content and peaceful.

 Post subject: Lesson Three
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:32 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 9
Lesson Three

A) “brainstorm times when your ‘gut feelings’ have been right about your partner’s equal/romantic behaviour. Include times where you feel strongly that you were right (though it may never have been proven either way).”
- Early in our relationship (which was immediately monogamous at his insistence, he fell in love with me very early on and wanted to be exclusive) I experienced a sudden and intense ‘space’ from him. We were used to talking all day every day and seeing each other very frequently. There was suddenly a lack of communication from him - i would text and he wouldn’t respond for hours which was very unlike him. He was reluctant to express love which was also very uncharacteristic, as he is typically extremely loving and affectionate and expressive with me. This continued on all week long. We were to see each other that weekend and I was sure he didn’t want to be with me anymore, something must have happened and he changed his mind. When i saw him, he wasn’t his usual happy, energetic self. He was avoiding eye contact, but was still being physically affectionate. He said he didn’t want to go out, that he had a headache. He apologized for being distant and said he had a frustrating week with conflict with his ex-wife that had drained him. He confirmed after the affair was exposed that this was, in fact, after the first time he slept with C. He felt guilty and struggled with whether to leave me, tell me, or forget about it and never do it again. He opted for the latter but of course slept with her several more times before it ended and she exposed the affair to me via a social media message. I did note several other similar situations where he would abruptly pull away from me emotionally. In short - each time he slept with C, I felt it afterwards, via his withdrawal. His guilty behaviours seem to have gotten shorter each time afterwards though, and i feel that was due to him successfully ‘getting away with it’ and spending less time worried about exposure each time he did it. While I believe wholeheartedly that he experienced remorse each time, I also believe he was far more scared of being caught than he was guilty over what he was actually doing. So, i guess I don’t really know if that is true remorse or not. Maybe a little bit of remorse and a lot of fear of consequence without actually caring enough about what it would do to me, to stop.
- Later on, after his affair with C was exposed, he did successfully abstain from physical affairs with other people. He tells me this and I do believe it to be true. However he began other sexually compulsive behaviours; his porn consumption went up, he had secret profiles I didn’t know about, he messaged prostitutes from escort sites. Without being able to reference particular times, I know of times I had gut feelings that were right. He has a hard time maintaining eye contact when he is guilty. He can’t lie to me directly (well - he can, but is very bad at it and i can usually get the truth out of him if my heart allows me to push. There have been many times where I let a lie go because I am not strong enough in the moment to withstand the exposures.) He avoids answering questions, he will talk in circles to try and make me forget what we are talking about, he has this far off ‘look’ in his face that i cannot describe but i know how it feels when I see it. When he is acting out, he is not as invested in reassuring me about his behaviours. If i ask questions for comfort and reassurance and he is NOT guilty, he will give me elaborate reassurances. He is patient, loving, will offer up his phone, will offer up information to make me feel better, will be extremely affectionate, he will even come to tears or cry and express remorse for his actions in the past. When he is acting out, or guilty, he is the opposite. He is never rude or mean, but his answers will be short. He will want to end the conversation sooner than later. He won’t want to get into details but will make empty promises about the future and how he intends to get help soon to make me feel better. Once or twice he has been extremely abrupt and ALMOST frustrated with my questions; though I didn’t discover anything around those times I KNOW in my heart and gut that he was guilty of something.
-There are other situations that I cannot describe as objectively, they are all ‘feelings based’. Meaning, there are times where I was VERY correct that something was currently happening, but I cannot explain why I knew. My husband and I share a deep ‘spiritual connection’ - I can’t explain it any other way. I will sometimes get a very strong feeling, for no objective describable reason, that something is VERY wrong. And I have been correct every time except for a few times recently, where due to PTSD, I just get this overwhelming feeling that ends up being wrong.

B) “Identify as many major situations where you allowed your head/heart to override your ‘gut feelings’
- Initially, after first D-Day (exposure of his affair with C) I kept trying to pry him open - I wanted and needed to understand WHY it happened, and he couldn’t give me a satisfactory explanation. I kept saying, “if we don’t know why this happened how can I know that it wont happen again?” His answer was: “I know you don’t believe me now, but I can’t explain it. I just KNOW I will never do this again. I will prove it to you and eventually you will trust me again, we can be stronger than ever.” He really did mean that, at the time. And because I knew he meant it, I let it go. He wasn’t ready to admit anything near sex addiction at that point, so I don’t think it was wrong to stop prying. It wouldn’t necessarily have done any good. We chalked it up to his emotionally immaturity and insecurity that he had been hiding from me - he was scared I would cheat and leave (like his ex-wife) and so set out on a self destructive, selfish path. But in my heart of hearts, I knew that the explanation wasn’t good enough.
- One night we were laying in bed, at our old condo, and just before drifting off, I had to ask for reassurance. I had been dying inside with that ‘gut feeling’ that something was off; I had been plagued with it all day, maybe all week, I cannot remember. But I had snooped in his phone and found nothing, and felt no relief. I knew. It is important for me to recall that it was at our old condo; the timing is important because he later revealed, after being exposed, that around that time was when he started the behaviour with texting prostitutes and then cancelling and feeling guilty - wash, rinse, repeat. I asked if he could still give me the reassurance that he wasn’t cheating; I needed to know - is there anyone else? Is anything going on? Are you talking to someone, or seeing someone? He gave me a rushed reassurance. His heart was NOT in it at all. I let it go and told myself he was tired; I didn’t bring it up again because I was afraid to know the truth. I wanted to believe he would stop whatever he was doing.

C) Relying on the experience you have gained, make a list of likely behaviours, situations, and or feelings that may trigger a conflict between your gut instinct, your value system, and/or reality.
- He keeps saying he will start a recovery - get counselling, join a meeting, something. He has been saying this since May 2018 and it is presently Jan 2019. He hasn’t taken one step at all towards any kind of recovery. The only therapy we have gotten I sourced, and he shows up and doesn’t participate whole heartedly, he just goes through the motions. And he also has lied in those sessions, when he said there were no behaviours going on and then got caught messaging prostitutes again.
- He says he isn’t using porn as much, but I do not feel that is true. Our intimacy has become less mutually satisfying, I don’t know if that is because we have been together for a few years and some of the rush has worn off, or if it is because the porn use is starting to erode our attraction.
- He says I can openly look into his phone any time i need reassurance, and I do, but I no longer believe that he isn’t deleting things that will get him ‘in trouble’. I am wondering if he is being abstinent with the social media stuff and escort sites, or if he has just become more diligent in hiding it/erasing history/etc.
- When he is late due to work/away for a work event, I will want to believe that he is doing what he says he is doing, but I will have mistrust and suspicion in my gut that I will need to either be confrontational to him about or decide to believe him and override my suspicions.
- When he swears he isn’t doing anything wrong or sneaky, but I wonder if he just isn’t doing anything ‘wrong’ as we have defined it so far. For example: he says he isn’t cheating, but he is referencing his rigid definition of cheating as having a physical affair with another woman. Then we add cyber cheating to our definition, and now he means he isn’t having a physical affair or seeking online sex from prostitutes. But is he still doing things that are betraying and he is just constantly redefining that behaviour to make himself feel better about what he is doing? To be able to live with himself and sleep at night?

 Post subject: Lesson Four
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 9
1) Make a list of those values in your partners life that you believe is a part of him and will survive recovery.
- above all else, he is a wonderful father. He is almost the perfect parent. He is kind, patient, nurturing, a wonderfully affectionate and articulate teacher to our children. Every moment that passes is a teachable moment for him and our kids - he is always gently teaching them about the world around them. He is the best imaginable stepfather to my children, and he even has a great and admirable friendship with my ex-husband. A “family man”, this is an element of his core that is true at all times, and was unaffected by discovery/exposure. I know without a shred of doubt, he is a wonderful father and always will be. It is the core of who he is.
- he is sensitive and intuitive with me as a partner. He can feel my pain before I reveal it to him and responds always with love and support.
- he is unwaveringly supportive of my aspirations, as a driven career woman or as a mother or as a citizen in general. If I have a project idea, or even the most frivolous of plans or seemingly unattainable business idea, he supports me.
- he is very funny, and has an infectious laugh and contagious sense of humour.
- he is very playful at heart, he lightens my mood and seeks to lessen my burdens. I know how ironic that sounds given the situation that brought us here.
- he is a teacher, that is part of his core. He likes to soak up random knowledge and share whenever he can.
- he has lots of patience for me and our children.
- he admits when he is wrong and takes ownership of his wrongs. Again, I know how ironic that sounds. He hasn’t mastered making amends yet, but he does not deny when he has been wrong.
- he is very affectionate and romantic.
- he is chivalrous.
- he has a strong work ethic and works very hard at his job.
- he is very stubborn but at the same time is open to change when someone poses different world views. We have learned a lot from each other as we have very different backgrounds.
- he is very outgoing and charismatic, while I am more shy and sober in personality, he can talk to anyone from anywhere and makes people feel at ease in most situations.
- he is usually a take-charge person and approaches most scenarios with a “do what I have to do to solve this” kind of attitude. Again, that seems ironic in current situation, but i do believe is a core part of his personality that will remain.

2) Make a list of the qualities in your partner that will continue to pose as obstacles throughout your relationship.
- he is often unwilling to change when it confronts his comfort zone
- while he takes ownership for his faults/wrong doings, he doesn’t do what it takes to make amends, he stops at feeling and saying that he is wrong and sorry.
- he seeks to numb reality when he is bored/alone/sober. This means he needs constant stimulation, whether it be alcohol, video games, social media, etc.
- doesn’t like talking about his problems
- hides things from me if he thinks they might burden me in any manner, even when the issue isn’t really consequential
- nasty habit of lying by omission
- needs instant gratification
- poor judge of consequences or impact to others (in this way he is very selfish)
- poor planning skills, unorganized
- has abandonment complexes
- hypersexualizes women (can cross easily into being derogatory or disrespectful)
- poor attention span for things like reading (probably has ADD but was never diagnosed or dealt with) This makes self-led development very hard for him, as he finds it difficult to concentrate long enough to finish a chapter let alone a book or a workshop.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:44 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 190
Kay, thank you for sharing what must be a very traumatic experience for you.

It appears that you have gone through the all too common scenario of trickle truth where every new discovery feels like another betrayal. As Paula Hall says in her book, it’s the most painful way of finding out the truth and the most difficult to recover from. It destroys what trust you have managed to create since the last revelation and leaves you wondering what’s coming next.

Most SAs are experts in compartmentalising their addiction and keeping it separate from their personal and family lives. You will learn more about how this happens in future lessons. Many partners of SAs say the same thing, that they found the perfect guy and that he was the last person they would have suspected. The early affair you described was similar to my own experience. I didn’t find out until we were living together and I put it down to a one-off, a mistake, and everyone makes mistakes etc, so let’s put it behind us and move on. Just as you described. This was my first experience of his lying to me. It was probably a red flag but I would have been too young and naive to see it then.

Through reading many partners’ accounts, I know that many of us have experienced sexual assault and/or rape in early life and it is our need for safety that seems to attract those who are experts in concealing their infidelities, betrayals and sexual compulsions. We just don’t see it, but to be fair, no one else can either. These guys are always so “perfect” because they are experts in compartmentalising the parts of themselves they can’t risk anyone seeing. My husband would never go to a strip bar with other men, in fact he would have gone to some lengths to express his disapproval. Yet he went to such places alone, over and over again, and I had no clue he would ever be interested in going to such a place.

Ultimately we can only act in our own best interests based on the information we have available to us at the time. Three years out from d day I don’t believe my husband has told me ‘everything’. Early on, he chose to lie to me which is why I believe that I don’t know about his sexual history.

Keep working through the lessons. You’re doing really well.

 Post subject: Re: Blue In Paradise
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 9
Thank you so much for your kind words and wisdom. I very much enjoy reading everything you offer to all the partners here.
I can't express, but I am sure you understand, how much it means to hear that I am "doing well" with these lessons so far. To be honest, I feel that in life I am really not "doing well" lately, but am trusting this process. These lessons are draining... but I can feel them already shifting my outlook and I am starting to be excited for my own life again. Thanks for all you do,

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