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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:26 pm
Posts: 17
Lesson one, share some background.

Hello. I'm 6 months post D day, with my husband 30 years, married 27. He has 25 years D/A recovery. I am 23 years post childhood sexual abuse. We've both worked hard to leave our wounds behind. Little did I know. We had an idyllic life on our small hobby farm. No kids, and I can't describe the relationship I thought we had. So compatible, rarely argued, have joint interests and individual interests. Both gainfully employed, with our retirement years finally within reach. My phone died and he handed me his to use. When I finished and was closing my text box the word Babe jumped out at me. I smiled, imagining a sweet message between us. But I was not babe. I read a few texts and immediately resumed my once second nature disassiation. There was a hurricane coming and I knew I'd have to get thru it with him. It wasn't a safe time to confront.

I got thru the next few days with no evidence of anything wrong...I'm an expert at disocciation. then went to see an attorney, PI, and my therapist, in that order. I needed to understand my rights if, when I confronted him, he chose to leave. By that time I had already learned who the woman was.... 15 years ago a friend of mine. We two couples had been close friends, until she returned to her addiction and left her family. I never heard of her again. But from what I saw this was an affair of at least 2 years.

I learned what I needed and arranged a 2 hour appt for us both with my therapist. There I told him through tears, I know you're having an affair and have been for some time. (He had not touched me in 2 years, which I attributed to age related ED.) His face went as gray as mine must have when I discovered texts. Do you want out? No, never, it's not what you think. She's a prostitute.

Over the course of 2 weeks he tricled out the extent of his behaviors. His lifelong history with them. Then in the Internet age, with porn. So many things started to click into place. A very great disappointment, a man strong in recovery who had tools to stop this and choose not to. The very worst....he had been seeing her regularly for TEN years, many times a week. He brought her into our home. He says there was no emotional connection, which he's incapable of. Hard to believe. He texted her right in front of me. Christmas Day. Her birthday, 4 days before mine. We don't celebrate birthdays. He says, to keep her on the hook. I have trouble buying it. I have more trouble understanding I may never know. One third of our lives together, with her. Tho he had many other prostitutes before her, and after, if she happened to be in jail.

I've survived many things in life and have many tools. They have helped, yet the devastation is exactly as you've described it.

By the next week after D day he had a therapist for the first time in his life, and began SAA meetings. We've done online boot camps and all the workbooks, together and apart, we could find. We also have a couples counselor. I believe he is committed to recovery and we even started reading this couples course. 6 weeks after D Day my mother died. It's been the hardest most heartbreaking time in my life. So few resources for partners and barely any for couples.

I lost interest in everything. All my joy was gone. My music, my rescue dogs, my horses, my job. Certainly the love of my life was gone. Is my love gone too? He's sincere and working hard. It may be too little, too late. I stay because I need the time to heal and recover. I'm committed to not making decisions, yet. Three weeks ago I started to crawl out from under the rock. I planted a garden on my deck. I went to a few fundraisers and sponsored a T ball team. I saddled up and rode my horse yesterday. These things give moments of pleasure, but honestly more burden. I know I'm trying to fake it till I make it. I want to refuse to allow this to change my life, but it has. The life I knew ended on Oct. 6, 2016. It remains to be seen if my future will be with him. But...mostly...I'm past the days of wanting to die, which held me in its grip for too many months.

Lesson 2, vision based on values.

I will honor the values I hold dear: self-worth, integrity, passion, caring, justice, humor. I will:

Practice healthy eating and strengthening daily, allowing myself a night off for pizza now and then :)
Regain my lost joys by reconnecting with the things I treasure, rescue dogs and senior horses.
I will spend at least two hours every weekend in the quiet company of my horses.
I will nourish myself through contact with at least one of my two healthy friends each week.
I will sit in my quiet space among my flowers for 15 minutes at least 5 times a week.
I will rest as much as needed and not guilt about it.
I will say no.
I will say yes.
I will honor myself by trusting my great instincts.
I will maintain my boundaries.
I will rede vote myself to my passion for giving back, for showing others that life can offer peace, kindness and even joy.
I will cherish my self awareness and know the great comfort of knowing and accepting myself.
I will remain compassionate to the struggle of others.
I will travel.
I will truly forgive from my heart, and let go of living in pain and fear.
I will expect respect from all, and disengage when it is absent. I reject disrespect and will not tolerate it.
I will grieve for as long as I need to. Then I will stop and say goodbye to our past life.
I will trust my husband, and know an emotional and physical intimacy with him that we've never imagined.
I will be treasured by a healthy, committed husband.
I will be a committed healthy wife who treasures her husband.
I will feel joy again.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:26 pm
Posts: 17
All those years of 3 nights a week coming home at 2,3,4 am after meeting ended at 9pm. My gut told me other men were not out having coffee with him that late. I didn't confront bc I was afraid it was true. I didn't want it to be. Somewhere my heart knew it was. All those years, turned out to be 28. And I hushed my internal alarm and betrayed myself.

Several years ago I found an email he sent to a CL ad to take a woman for a ride on his "sexy Harley," and that you were in her area several nights a week and would love to give her a ride. I confronted and he brushed it off...that she never replied. And I let it go! That was infidelity!! It wasn't even my gut it was proof, and stupidly I let it go.

Saw him masturbating many times. Saw the bottles of lotion by the computer and bed. No biggie, thought I, we all do it.

2 years ago found a 4 pack of cialis in yard by where truck was always parked. Knew he wasn't using it with me. Kept it until well after d day. For what...I don't know.

Found another aid under bathroom sink. Right in front of my eyes. And didn't ask.

Before cell phones, found unnamed numbers laying around.

Heard him low talking into phone many times. Right in front of me, and my gut wrenched with knowing.

Even ten years ago I could feel he was lost to me, and tried so hard to get him back, my heart just sunk bc I knew. I just knew. I measured leaving and choose to stay, the good outweighed the bad. Ignored myself, for fear of what he had done to us.

In 91 he was arrested out of town dui, had prostitute with him. I was more angry about the dui, as he lost his job. In 92 I had the first of several procedures for severe cervical dysphasia, which is caused by HPV!!! Doctor told me that and me...idiot...I blamed it on my own risky behavior from before we were together in 86.

Argued with other men who talked me up that my husband was faithful. Defended him, my husband was different.

Few times I dared look at internet history was page after page of porn videos, before and after no sex with me. I took pictures of it.

Times that didn't make sense, when you didn't answer in a reasonable way or time frame.

Two years of not wanting sex with me. I knew someone with your sex drive wasn't going without.

All these times my heart would race and pound, and I told myself I was being foolish. And so I was but in a different way, for believing and trusting him.

Some tell made me check history 3 months after d day, night of the first time we were remotely intimate in years. Found many FB profiles viewed, provocative. I did trust my gut that time. And found it and asked and he claimed no p or m. Asked to take to therapist then agreed was a huge red flag.

A month later another tell, found him texting a girl who was dying friends caregiver. Seemingly about patient but it got too friendly. Again he saw nothing wrong, I asked to take to therapist, then he downplayed his response that yes it wasn't appropriate. Later said T actually was quite upset and said "and there you were texting some woman." I trusted my gut that time too.

Today behaviors that would signal trouble....exactly those kinds of things. Acknowledge the tell, and follow up!! Responses or actions that don't match up. Unaccounted time. Constant errands without need. Not replying timely esp when running errands. The unspoken tension.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:26 pm
Posts: 17
Lesson 4 life after addiction and recovery

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.

Self respect

2) Make a list of those qualities in your partner that you believe will continue to pose as obstacles throughout your relationship.
For example: "He doesn't have a sensitive bone in his body and I don't expect this to change. The way he acts when he is around his friends. His laziness around the house." There is no reason to share these with your partner. They are only your best guess, as it is impossible to directly identify just how significant a transformation

Poor self esteem
Emotional immaturity
Inadequate self care

I have hope he can overcome these in time but also don't have blinders on.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:26 pm
Posts: 17
Lesson 5 understanding partners addiction. how we manage emotions

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?

As a person with lifelong clinical depression and anxiety disorder, stress can unhinge me. I'm medically managed and In my own abuse recovery 25 years ago I learned methods like journaling and meditation and self care to help me cope. I'm highly functioning. What would it take to emotionally overwhelm me? THIS!! And I immediately reverted to the first coping skill I ever learned...dissociation. Followed by obsession. Everything I learned to manage my own emotions flew right out the window and I struggle to regain them, tho I'm making a little progress almost 8 months in.

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.

I'll look at obsession because it can be compulsive. But, it did not alleviate the anxiety, so it doesn't seem to fit, really. I can't really think of a truly compulsive behavior that eased emotional pain. But the blind panic anxiety I've felt since discovery his affair has made my heart physically feel compressed and I have feared a heart attack. I've vomited, sobbed hysterically for hours...I'm not a person who does this. I was never the suspicious checking up on kind of wife. And now I am, it makes me literally sick as I fight against it.

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?

If he were not a recovering person he would drink and drug. Today he might overeat, or gamble. If he did none of those things he would go insane. I'm sure he would be in prison or dead by now.

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