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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:14 am 
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Posts: 71
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Exercise 24

To regain balance, you must regain a perception of control over your life. A difficult task indeed while mired in the addiction of another. One of the most powerful ways of regaining control is to have a clear, realistic notion of what options are available to you.

A. List three or more relationship options that remain available to you.

B. For each option, consider all of the benefits that that option would produce. List them.

C. What obstacles do you see as being the most problematic for each option listed above? Are these obstacles that can be overcome? How?

D. Select the one option from exercise A that you feel yourself leaning towards (or have already selected). Why do you think this is/might be the best option for you? What would be your second option?

E. What options do you believe are realistically available to your partner? Which do you think he/she would choose?

3 Options:

- Stay and work through it
- Have an emotional separation (live together, but get some space)
- Divorce

Benefits

Stay and work through it
* We get to reap the benefits of long term crisis overcoming
* Deepening of the relationship
* Intimate partnership to go through life with
* Personal growth
* Financial gain for both
* Less life chaos (moving, etc)
* Pride in investing in our marriage

Emotional Separation
* Time to sort through and dig deeper personally on the lessons
* More structured/controlled time together
* Absence makes the heart….

Divorce
* I don’t have porn in my life anymore and can control that in the future by not having relationships (I think I’d be done with them)

Obstacles

Stay and work through it
* Porn use/addiction
* If he fails to recover or loses interest in recovery
* Process fatigue
* Lack of normalcy, relationship is altered forever at this point

Emotional Separation
* Annoying to be living together but not “together” it won’t be as useful as it might seem.
* Our problems aren’t specifically sexual so this separation could keep us from using a good tool.
* Bonding together against a foe/problem etc has typically been good for us.

Divorce
* We want to stay together. If we did decide to divorce, the obstacle would mainly be separating finances and household. No children.


Best option at this point from my POV:

Stay and work through it. Ultimately we both want to be together. We’ve had other relationships and while this is bad, its not as bad and when its good it is really good. Most days its pretty darned fine and we live a good life. We both are perfectionists and work toward a happy and productive life together and we do this very well. Other than the porn use, our quality of life is very high, material and emotionally. I feel that if we can work hard at it, we will do fine eventually. I’m quite happy that we ran into RN, because I think it will really help.

I believe my partner would choose to stay, I know he’s been worried that I would leave at times and has said so. Both of us are happier together, we just need to beat this.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:28 am 
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1. Did engage fully and responsibly in my life today?
--Yes, had a good day. G and I had some good conversations and he seems to be doing well with his recovery.

2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision and values?
-- No, things were pretty smooth.

3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them?
-- Not that I know of.

4. Did I take time today just for myself? If not, how many days has it been since I have?
-- No, no time, but I had a great day either way.

5. Did I stay on top of my game at work, in the home and in my volunteer work?
--Yes, got all of my lists taken care of!

6. Did I do something physically healthy for my body?
--Ate well.

7. Did I do something nice for someone else today?
--Made a nice dinner for Mother in law.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:22 am 
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Quote:
Exercise 28

A) Make a list of objective signs that you would recognize in yourself that would indicate that you are not living a healthy, balanced life.

B) Taking your partner's current mindset, what areas (listed above) do you feel that he might be faking/holding back on? What areas do you think he is really putting forth a sincere, adequate effort?

C) Looking six months down the road and assuming that your partner transitions to a healthy life, what objective signs would you look for that might indicate that he is starting to struggle with sustaining a healthy, balanced life?

List of Objective Signs that I am not living a healthy, balanced life:

* Easily frustrated/annoyed
* Too picky/perfectionist and short tempered with others about things they do.
* Fatigued and tired all of the time
* Making poor food choices
* Lack a desire to be intimate with my husband (emotionally or sexually)
* Compulsive behaviors: Hair pulling, obsessing over his actions.

Areas my partner may be faking:

* Words - Right now I think he may be doing ok, but I think that he tends to use words to fake it, telling me something “sort of close” to the truth so I buy it rather than the whole truth. “I saw something sexy and it triggered me” vs. “I saw something sexy and I relapsed”. Update: He’s improving on this with working hard to be honest, but I suspect once he succeeds for a while he’ll relapse on this, and it will likely cause an actual relapse. His honesty is key to his recovery. When he hides things, he always ends up using.
* Behavior: In the past: Looking/acting busy with work. “I’m SO behind” etc., but really using any time alone to catch up to watch porn. Update: He’s spending more time prioritizing lessons now, working recovery. This is better, at least in actions.
* With abstinence: His last relapse was a full 21 days or so prior to his admission/getting caught, but he was still proudly taking credit for being around 170 days without. He didn’t fess up until I badgered him into admitting it. Update: I think he’s working out of this now, seeing how useless it is and has learned his lesson that being proud of saying X days isn’t as cool as he thought and lying about it for 20 some odd days both to me and his accountability partner now showed him how this isn’t helpful
* Disclosure: He definitely has held back on all disclosures. Recently he’s been working on his honesty and telling me minor things, thoughts etc., but I still feel we haven’t had FULL disclosure of actions over the years and likely never will, as he’s either forgotten them or just won’t say. This is REALLY hard for me, to know that I won't ever really know.

Signs in Six months:

* I will use my list from previous exercises, but also look for signs of continued use in his lessons.
* Last relapse, he clearly had stopped his daily check in with me, citing that he’d “forgot” and his enthusiasm for his recover was much less apparent, this may be a really good indicator.
* Just re-reading this. The most obvious thing was completely lost on me. If he’s in active, healthy recovery, he will just tell me he’s relapsed, without lying, omission etc. That would be the best sign he’s having a hard time.


Last edited by aletheia on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:19 pm 
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Exercise 29

A. List three behaviors that you have engaged in since discovering your partner's addiction that you would now describe as destructive:
B. Pick one of the behaviors listed above and answer the following:
a) What decision-making process did you engage in before taking this action?
b) How did you feel just prior to taking this action?
c) How did you feel as you were actively engaged in this action?
d) How did you feel after you completed this action?


3 Behaviors that are destructive

1. Obsessively checking for signs of relapse
2. Manipulative conversations to get him to admit use
3. Hair pulling

Obsessively checking for signs of relapse:

What was the decision making process?
Typically I would see indicators of relapse, and my anxiety and worry over what is actually happening would ramp up. Feelings of helplessness, worry, concern. What’s he looking at? Am I ugly? Is that why he wouldn’t have sex with me? If I knew he was using, I would feel safer, more in control. If I can prove I am not crazy I will feel more in control. Once I would find something, a feeling of dread would come over my body, my heart would fall, I start shaking, hard to breathe. Both a sense of having control now (knowing) but also a sense that it won’t change anything, he may deny, or admit, but none of those things matter. Finding evidence is just another way for him to lie to me. I feel bad, guilty for looking, like I am being unfair.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:43 pm 
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1. Did engage fully and responsibly in my life today?
-- Yes, for the most part. I tuned out a bit because we went out to the coast and to a restaurant, which is a trigger for G. Things turned out ok, but I was worried for a while there.

2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision and values?
-- No. In fact, I did well. When I perceived that a value may be threatened, I stepped up and made it clear that he couldn’t do that.

3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them?
-- Not that I know of.

4. Did I take time today just for myself? If not, how many days has it been since I have?
--No, but didn’t feel the need to.

5. Did I stay on top of my game at work, in the home and in my volunteer work?
-- Yes.

6. Did I do something physically healthy for my body?
-- Yes, took a walk on the beach

7. Did I do something nice for someone else today?
-- Not really.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:01 am 
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Quote:
Exercise 30

A. Identify the consequences that you are experiencing that may be reflective of a possible situational depression
B. Identify how each depressive symptom may be affecting you in your ability to work through this major event in your life.
C. Identify the additional events/stressors in your life (unrelated to the addiction).
D. Write yourself a compassionate letter that emphasizes the reality of the situation that you face.


Consequences that I may be experiencing/depression

I don’t believe I am having any symptoms of depression. I typically am not a depressive person. I have symptoms within 1-2 day of experiencing a traumatic event, but they resolve well and easily. I believe I have a lot of past trauma, but it doesn’t for whatever reason manifest as depression for me.

B: not applicable, I’m not having any of these symptoms.

C: Events/Stressors in my life

* Work
* Work relationships
* Volunteer stressors (drama, politics etc)
* Worrying about my father (he’s elderly and lives with us)
* My relationship/his addiction

Letter:

Kim,

Its time to take care of yourself. Stop focusing on those things that you know you aren’t able to change or affect, the answers aren’t there. Allow control to melt away, you don’t need to be in control of his behavior, you can’t be in control of his behavior.

Focus on your values, your plans, your work.

Love,

Me


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:04 am 
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Quote:
Exercise 31

A. Previously, you listed the consequences your partner's behavior has had on your life. Today, consider the consequences that your partner's behavior has had on your partner. What consequences of his/her actions has he/she had to face? List both the imposed consequences (i.e. from you, legal, etc.) and the natural consequences (lost respect, shame, etc.)

B. Review the list above, ensuring that you have made a complete and unbiased inventory of your partner's consequences. After this review, list below any additional consequences that you believe your partner needs to experience in accepting responsibility for their behavior.
C. In your own words, describe the roles that blame, punishment and/or responsibility have played in response to your partner's behavior.


Consequences his behavior has had on his life

* Lost ability to be intimate with others
* Over developed sense of introversion, affecting friendships/relationships
* Lifelong deep shame and guilt
* Loss of respect from me and others
* Knowing he’s hurt me and others
* Loss of success in work and volunteering due to lack of focus/lost time
* High levels of anxiety and fear for much of his life
* Pain at knowing he’s been a destructive force in our marriage
* Loss of life productivity because of his use and/or the aftermath of processing the damage done.

Consequences he needs to experience to accept responsibility

* Understanding the depth of damage, see the affect it has had on our marriage. Understand how I am more closed off/not available emotionally due to this.
* Truly understand and see how his actions have affected other women. His friends he’s objectified, damaging friendships, his voyeurism in the world affecting those women, making them feel unsafe and adding to the hardship of the daily lives of women in our society by being “that guy”.

Describe the roles that blame, punishment etc have played

This is a hard one to say. I know I have outright blamed him, I’ve gone on and on about my levels of pain so he can feel that in the past etc., I think the most this has done is to cause him to be more afraid to be honest with me. I see him still having a hard time accepting responsibility. In his admissions, there’s still a fair amount of “I’m not sure why this has happened to me” or “I don’t know why I did it”, which to me suggests he’s not able to see his actions clearly and the effects of them.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:10 am 
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Quote:
Exercise 34

A. Consider the consequences of your partner's behavior over the course of your lifetime. How might they affect future decisions that you make? What positive roles might these consequences play in your life?
B. Referring specifically to your partner, take some time to consider the addictive patterns over the course of his/her lifetime. Imagine your partner as a child. Imagine them as a teen. Imagine them as an adult. Imagine them in other relationships. Gain a firm grasp as to how similar patterns have helped them to manage their life. What thoughts come to mind?
C. What does it mean to 'humanize' your partner? Why is this important in forgiveness and in seeking closure to the current crisis?


Consequences of partner’s behavior and how they affect future decisions:

* I’m less likely to trust.
* In General and with all people, I’m more likely to use people’s behavior as a tool to determine their level of engagement and not their words.
* Positive: I’m more likely to engage in honest, deeper discussions with people earlier on to set the stage for the relationship
* Positive: This has caused me to be a stronger person, with more life skills and I’m able to focus on my own healing, much of which would have had to be done either way, his addiction gives it context.

Thoughts regarding my partner as a child or teen etc:

* I feel for the pain he’s caused himself and others.
* This addiction has removed his deep internal sense of integrity.
* His desire for elegant solutions to things has been seriously derailed.

Humanizing my partner

This is an important one. Previously I was on a forum of women supporting each other from this addiction. I had to leave because they consistently referred to their addict husbands as “maggots” and “animals” etc. They were stuck in contempt, unable to stop focusing on their partner and heal themselves. When I attempted to discuss my own process, I would be told that I was stupid and too ignorant and deserved to be hurt again by my own “maggot” husband.

The lack of humanizing/allowing these men to be humans was what broke that forum in my opinion and it was an incredibly unhealthy environment for everyone. Yes, I’m angry and hurt beyond recognition, but the fact remains, if I want to stay and heal, or even leave and heal, I have to have the right perspective. When you see your partner as less than human, you aren’t able to extend any real forgiveness or even see yourself as a powerful and capable person, not to mention that you de-humanize yourself when you are entirely unable to see them as people.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:40 pm 
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1. Did engage fully and responsibly in my life today?
-- Yes. Had a great time doing some canning and smoking some ribs. Enjoyed hanging out with family.

2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision and values?
-- I had a bit too much sugar tasting the preserves, but otherwise good.

3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them?
-- No.

4. Did I take time today just for myself? If not, how many days has it been since I have?
-- Yes, I worked on my lessons. Last one!

5. Did I stay on top of my game at work, in the home and in my volunteer work?
--Home, yes. The others I put off to rest today.

6. Did I do something physically healthy for my body?
-- Stretched, did some cupping on my neck.

7. Did I do something nice for someone else today?
-- Cooked for folks all day.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:18 am 
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Exercise 35

A. Brainstorm the areas of your relationship that you suspect MIGHT have been influenced by your partner's addiction. You have already documented the consequences of their addiction earlier in the workshop, so there is no need to duplicate your effort here. List only those subtle behaviors associated with sexual addiction that you suspect may have played a role in the following situations:
b. Your partner's sexual desire for you over the course of the relationship
c. The ten biggest decisions that were made in your relationship (e.g. marriage, childbirth, housing, career)
d. The seven biggest arguments/conflicts/difficulties that you have had
B. If you were granted five specific questions to ask your partner regarding his/her behavior that were guaranteed to be answered honestly, what five questions would you ask? And what do you think the answers are?


Areas of my relationship that I suspect might have been influenced by his addiction. Mixed with the sexual desire he’s had for me:


* I think a lot of it has, mainly his self hatred and shame likely influenced a lot of our early courtship and give and take with being in love.
* He has objectified and sexualized me in ways that aren’t natural to me.
* When we met he was a sex addict and I was co dependent in my wanting him to really find me sexy/attractive that I acted out sexually in ways that was likely to get their attention. He encouraged this, but also would retreat and be rude etc after, as if he had shame. I didn’t realize this at the time, it took me years to make the connection between sexual encounters and his rude behavior.
* His total control over when we have sex. If I want sex and he’s been using, stressed etc., my needs don’t matter, if he wants it he is willing. My desires and needs rarely change his mind. If I want sex and he’s not into it, he’s not into it. Theres no ability to request, seduce or otherwise get sex.
* HIs lack of interest in intimate, loving sex at times and only being interested in sex that allows him the euphoria of addiction and or has his fetish involved. This was more in the past.
* In the past, if I indulged his fetish, it would cause him to feel ashamed, sending us in the usual spiral of him then acting out at me. Now I assume that it likely spiraled him into another relapse which caused those negative behaviors toward me.
* The one I’m dealing with these days: Once he relapses and I find out and we have a discussion/disclosure, he gets VERY attentive, wanting to take care of me, this results in his courting me and seducing me into sex. I’m sure this is an underlying action designed to fit the addiction model. If someone reading this does have that mechanism, and advice on how to handle that, please let me know.

Arguments:
* Porn addiction (scanning other women, taking pictures of other women, using porn, lack of attention due to porn use, rude behaviors etc)
* Lack of mutual work/devotion to our relationship
* Chores/household support
* Spending time together, me wanting more. His lack of desire due to being “introverted” which is code for “wants more porn”.
* His lack of paying attention to plans and things I say.

Five questions

1. With the women at work you were watching, did you ever initiate conversations/flirtations that you hoped would result in anything?
2. Are there voyeur actions you’ve taken that I don’t know about?
3. Is it possible for you to enjoy sex with me without objectifying me?

I only have three. These questions are ones I could ask, but don’t feel that I would get an honest answer about. I don’t necessarily feel they are productive either and encourage me to ruminate a bit on the past and get my “wonders” up. Wonder what happened there, Wonder what he thinks, Wonder how he will react, rather than focusing on my own thoughts and actions.


Last edited by aletheia on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:31 am 
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Exercise 36

In this lesson, it was touched upon how your values have most likely been altered as a result of your partner's behavior. Here, we will explore the resulting changes that took place to your value system.

A. Describe three events in your relationship where you had doubts/suspicions about your partner's behavior but made the decision not to confront them.
1) What did you do? (e.g. tell a friend, eat a double-cheeseburger)
2) Would your approach change should the situation occur tomorrow? Why or why not?

B. Discuss your partner's addiction. Given the information that you currently possess, what do you know of your partner's upbringing? Where/when do you think your partner first developed these destructive patterns?


3 events. What did I do, what would I do?

When I first discovered that he was taking pictures of a mutual friend at our church and knew it was sexual.
— I was looking for pictures of our honeymoon in his photo library and found many pictures that seemed innocent but clearly were not, knowing his fetish of tights/nylons. They were of a woman who is also one of my employees wears them often and he had many pictures of her. The pictures were taken in such a way as to highlight the tights and try and get a peek up her skirt.
— I didn’t say anything at the time. It was incredibly hard for me, since the woman was having some issues at work and I was trying very hard to not let it color our experiences. The whole situation originally was very traumatic to me and to this day has colored my relationship with the woman. We were very close at the time. She also has a history of sexual abuse by men she trusts. I felt very much affronted for her and it was very hard knowing it was my own husband who had done this to her.
— If the situation happened tomorrow I would absolutely confront him. The fact that it was a friend and employee makes it unconscionable now. Threatening in a very real way our business that keeps us financially stable and making me very uncomfortable as a boss, manager and friend. Later I did confront him with this information, but I’m not entirely sure he realizes the damage it did at the time and continues to do. I very much am traumatized by it and have a lot of anxiety about having any of my female friends around him both because I am afraid he will objectify them, and because I feel very protective of them.

When I first discovered he was taking pictures of women on public transport and pictures and videos of women at work.
— Same time frame, pictures of women, taken on public transport of women who were wearing tights or women he found attractive at work. Some videos of these women. The women on public transport look uncomfortable and I imagine they knew he was doing it. Having rode the train myself, I know how creeper men can get and it was really horrifying for me to find this information. The women at his work were clearly taken in ways that if someone was looking they could tell what he was doing. This made me really uncomfortable that he was so into them that he would risk his job. That both scared me and really hurt my feelings.
— I didn’t say anything at the time. This was a really scary experience for me and I had no idea what to do. It unlocked concerns about other forms of voyeurism and if he would be caught, charged etc. It really dueled with my values of feminism and how he can talk the good talk about being a feminist, yet actually sexually harass women in public and at work.
— Today I would absolutely say something and address it. I understand much better the mechanisms that caused him to do this, and would be more patient, but this action here is one that is very close to being on my “unforgivable” list. It causes me to lose respect for him. Later I did confront him with this information, but again, his shame I think kept him from really seeing the damage that was done. All I’ve ever gotten from him on this is a “I’m a piece of shit, Im sorry”. More focusing on him, his feelings about it, etc and never mine. He’s never made any amends for this nor has he made any attempt to let me know he understands why this is such a big issue for me. I don’t think he has really any idea how bad taking these pictures really were, in either of these two cases.

When I discovered that his staying up late to get volunteer work done was actually porn sessions.
— He would say he was coming to bed soon because he had a lot of work to do, but then would be hours.
— I knew from my previous marriage what the signs were and they were all there, but I was too scared to say anything. I was too scared it would unlock this reality that we live in now, that we have to deal with porn in our home on a daily basis. Something I swore I would never have again.
— Today I would get up and confront him directly on this. The fear keeping me from doing it (not wanting to really face the reality that I was in this type of relationship again) is gone. I do live in this again.

Where do I think my partner developed his addiction?

— Current thought is that he was desperately looking for attention from both is mother and father, they divorced and father showed him attention through giving him magazines. I don’t know where the fetish for tights/nylons came from, he’s never told me and when I’ve asked he’s hedged, so I suspect he’s lying by omission on this one. Its been reinforced over and over through out the years though. I do know that he says he’s an extreme introvert, but his addiction has reinforced this to a very unhealthy level. Our society’s current level of introversion (likely caused by addiction, definitely more in men than women if you take the time to look at it), normalizes his belief that he was born this way and that it is ok and even normal to have a deep aversion to talking to anyone, having any social activity. My experience of him when he’s not using porn is that he engages actively in conversations with friends, seeks out growth experiences, seeks out and enjoys intense and intimate time with me. With addiction, none of these are desired or possible and he actively is angered by any intrusion of people into our lives at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:34 am 
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Exercise 37

In this lesson, you were guided through a rather mechanical means for measuring compulsive behavior. What should it mean to you? Very little. Except to reinforce the notion that such compulsion is best understood objectively and mechanically. By gaining a functional awareness of your partner's actions, you will better be able to isolate yourself from the emotions that are attached. This helps you now by distancing yourself even further from any association/responsibility you may be holding onto in relation to your partner's actions; it helps you down the road by allowing you to observe further actions in an objective and rational manner.

However, this measuring technique is just that, a technique. A skill. It is a wrapper for mechanically understanding the very abstract concept of compulsions. That's all. So as a partner, don't spend too much time trying to master this aspect of compulsions — it is more of a recovery technique. Why it is important to you is to provide you with an introduction — a paradoxical shift — in the way in which compulsive behavior can be seen.

A. Consider a behavior that you have engaged in recently that produced some type of positive emotional stimulation. Break this behavior down into its emotional elements. Into the times when emotions were experienced as a result of your actions, thoughts, etc. Ideally, this situation would have between 7-10 emotional elements that you could track throughout the experience. Identify the emotional elements.

B. Do your best to break down one of your partner's sexually-compulsive behaviors in a similar way. Put yourself in his/her mind, what emotional experiences do you feel he/she experienced throughout the act? Important: break-down only a single behavior — a snapshot in time — not an ongoing pattern of behaviors.


Break down of a behavior I’ve had:

Example: Shopping Online

1. Was bored, thought about surfing on Amazon: experienced first boredom, then excitement, anticipation
2. Got online and surfed a bit: seeking behavior
3. Realized that I shouldn’t be shopping, I don’t need anything really: Frustration, disappointment
4. Decided I would just “look” at things, maybe add to wishlist: Anticipation
5. Surfed around, looked at some items to buy, did comparison shopping: Excitement, anticipation
6. Put a few things on my wishlist: elation, fun, excitement
7. Added 1 item to the cart that I determined we kind of need: guilt and anticipation to buy it.

Breakdown of one of my partners behaviors:

Since my partner relapsed lately and told me basically how he felt, I’ll break that down:

1. Was bored, tired, lonely. Clicked on TV app: anticipation, excitement
2. Decided to look up actress from tv he saw last night: arousal, excitement
3. Move to reddit to look up women in tights: arousal, excitement, guilt.
4. Move to old sites that he knew had women in tights on it: arousal, excitement
5. Look up videos of women in tights: arousal, excitement, guilt, remorse (he stopped there on the brink of masturbation - so he says)


Last edited by aletheia on Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:38 am 
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Exercise 38

A. Make a list of the ten biggest stressors in your life that you believe are currently affecting your emotional well-being. For each item, document whether each stressor is mild, moderate, severe or extreme:
Refer back to the values you listed in this workshop previously and consider the role that they are currently playing in helping you manage these stressors.

B. Assign each value to one of the following columns: Plays no role in my emotions; Plays a small role in my emotions; Plays a large role in my emotions; Plays an enormous role in my emotions.

Example:

No Role: extended family Small Role: physical health Large Role: spirituality, sexual intimacy Enormous Role: family, self-respect

C. How would you manage this stress if all but one or two of your most important values were suddenly removed?
D. In your own words, and considering what you have learned so far...what do you think the role of addiction has played in your partner's life?


List of Stressors:

1. Relationship/porn/recovery - extreme
2. Household improvements - Moderate at times, often mild
3. Household management - Mild
4. Taking care of my father - Mild
5. Work - mild to moderate
6. Volunteer work - Moderate
7. Finances - Mild
8. My own compulsive behaviors - Moderate
9. Travel - Mild
10. My body/physical pain - Moderate to extreme

Plays no role in my emotions:
- None

Plays a small role in my emotions:
- Skill mastery
- Productive

Plays a large role in my emotions:
- Live simply and healthy
- Spirituality
- Help those around me/give back to my community
- Self supporting
- I do the right thing

Plays an enormous role in my emotions:
- Honesty/Truthful
- Loving, caring partner
- Pursue greatness
- Sexual Chastity/Monogamy

How would I manage if values were removed?

— It would be difficult to intolerable. It would be similar to how I dealt with it when I was younger in my previous relationship. I was constantly on the search for some grounding force, often got comfort from other men (violating sexual chastity, honesty) and I over ate (Live simply and healthy) and I was very unstable and highly volatile emotionally. In recent years, due to my spirituality and practice with that, along with my volunteer work I have developed a values system that has helped. Doing these lessons and applying them to these stressors has given me focus when relapse happens and a focus for my emotions when they come up. It’s helpful to have a plan so to speak on how I should comport myself when faced with extreme stress.

Role that addiction has played in my partner’s life
:

— I believe that he’s been unable to really develop into a emotionally mature person. Porn use has become the go to when stress happens, he’s always got the same cycle. Stress, then a strong desire for “down time” which means TV and food, then that leads to porn. Once the porn happens, he feels guilty and ashamed, which leads to a detachment from myself and those he loves, more isolation and self hatred. He’s unable to connect with me in any meaningful manner. If I have needs, they go unaddressed or poorly addressed. All interactions are seen through the filter of porn, either as sexual needs that are always on his schedule/needs: (I want you now, despite not wanting you at all for weeks. If we have sex now, good, if not, then I will ignore you again for weeks) or through the filter of self hatred. Example: I am stressed or upset and talk about this with him. Rather than listening and giving advice, comfort etc., I get how he’s not good at advice, comfort, how he’s a loser, lame, not a good husband and we end up talking about him and how he lacks what he needs to help me, rather than any attempt at all to help me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:31 pm
Posts: 71
1. Did engage fully and responsibly in my life today?
-- Yes. Had a good day. Dad and G’s mom went out of the house so we got to spend some time alone, it was nice!

2. Did I engage in any behavior that was in direct conflict with my vision and values?
-- No.

3. Were any of my boundaries violated today? If so, did I act to protect them?
-- No. G didn’t post some things in his journal but I asked about it and he admitted to not wanting to do that because he was feeling ashamed of the content. Good conversation.

4. Did I take time today just for myself? If not, how many days has it been since I have?
-- Yes, enjoyed my morning watering. Did some deep breathing and enjoyed the view.

5. Did I stay on top of my game at work, in the home and in my volunteer work?
-- Yes. Did good at work, volunteer work, house work.

6. Did I do something physically healthy for my body?
-- Stretched.

7. Did I do something nice for someone else today?
-- Yes, listened to a person who had done me some wrong, was compassionate.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:31 pm
Posts: 71
Quote:
Exercise 40

A. Now that you have considered the role that sexual addiction might have played in your life, in your opinion, and knowing what you should now know about addiction...what are some of the reasons that it didn't develop?

B. Reviewing your exercise results from the lesson itself, at what point do you think you would have recognized that you were addicted? What do you think you could have done about it? How do you think you would have hidden your sexual addiction from others?


My own addiction:

Sexual addiction

One thing I have realized in going through this both with my husband and doing these lessons on my own is that I have some commonalities with the cycle of addiction with Sex.

* I have the history for it: Rape, sexual assault, trauma, abuse
* During my 20s with my previous husband I would compulsively use porn as well as masturbation and sex for comfort
* This died away once we moved, the stressors lessened and I gained a spiritual practice but would come up occasionally.
* Organically, I grew out of this, likely due to developing a values system, but I didn’t have to work at it much, I don’t think it was all that intense and addictive for me, but the ritual chains and compulsive behavior were there.

If this had have gone differently, I likely would have stayed that way through my 20s. I could easily see myself engaging in irrational and irresponsible sexual behavior. I did have more partners during the time when my relationship was diving down and not all of them responsible ones. I did always practice safe sex, but would frequently have spontaneous sexual encounters. This all died down when I started dating my current husband, but I can see it sliding down hill quite a bit had that not happened. I had a huge desire when I starting dating my current husband to “do it right this time” and engaged, ironically in being really honest with him, which I haven’t done in past relationships, choosing to hide a lot from them.

I did see myself as having unhealthy relationship with sex, porn, masturbation due to the guilt and bad feelings it caused, as early as my mid 20s. Given that the cycle of it would come and go, I would have long periods where it wasn’t an issue and then it would come back I didn’t worry so much. I wasn’t having issues with escalation (though I wouldn’t have really noticed it if I did I think), so it was a habit that generally wore itself out.

The thing that I find interesting now, is that when my partner relapses, I have a strong compulsion to have sex, lots of sex with him and I think that the roots of it are founded in this. I desire for him to see me as a person who is sexy and desirable, so I’m trying to make up for him looking at porn by wanting to be liked as much as that, but it goes deeper too, in that I feel a need as well to orgasm for stress relief. There’s co-dependency wrapped up in there as well.


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