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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:59 pm 
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Lesson One

Stage One, Lesson One

I’ve had a hard time starting this. There’s been so many versions I’ve been told that I don’t know which is true anymore, and sometimes question whether it’s all in my head. I’m nervous about going on and on and whether it’ll seem valid to anybody who reads it. Whether it seems valid to me, or if I’m overreacting, if I need to put it all away again for the sake of the peace of my marriage. If the d-days and patterns are coherent. Early on I started to have the sense that there was more, he’d always say that was everything, and there’d always end up being more. Over time the desire to know with certainty that there wasn’t anything else being hidden or lied about gave way to him and me convincing myself that it was true. A healing built on sand, indeed. I run over bits and pieces in my head frequently, but have never gotten it all out, so it’s long...

We met nearly 11 years ago, on the day I turned 18, he was 27. I was back home visiting friends, which is how we met. I was attracted and intrigued right away, especially by his faith. We began talking, then dating, and within weeks I was sure that this was it. We were married 10 months after we met. Looking back there were warning signs early on, but at the time I was young, more naive than I thought, very trusting, and hungry to be loved. We all eat lies when our hearts our hungry.. A few weeks before our wedding, he got some phone calls from a woman he’d never mentioned to me. When I asked who it was he didn’t say, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt and felt bad for thinking anything was off.

A few weeks later we were married, and had sex for the first time. While I was surprised by some of the things we eventually did sexually, I see now that I already been viewing myself as an object for mens sexual gratification, and I felt that because it was my husband, it must have been okay. That I already had the view that what was attractive was being eager and experimental and satisfiable. But I couldn’t orgasm, and that left both him and me feeling like failures, with me reassuring him and saying it must’ve been something up with me.

During our honeymoon that week, at our new apartment, the same woman called, repeatedly. He’d told me at that point that she was an ex from a few years ago who heard he was getting married and decided she wanted to be with him. As I’m typing this I’m amazed and saddened at the ease with which I believed him. I spoke with her on the phone, told her he’s married now, and she needs to stop calling. We changed his number the next day. I wish I’d have asked questions.

About a month later, I was working on our budget and bills. While looking for subscription details, I came across some emails from after we’d started dating, that were between him and another girl whose name he’d never mentioned to me. They were sexual and lewd and romantic. In that moment the realization set in that the man I thought I married was not the man I married. When he got home from work I angrily asked him about the emails, he gave some answers, many of which I now know are lies, some of which I may never know. Mostly, his responses to the torrent of questions was that he didn’t remember. There was nothing else. He didn’t remember. Nothing happened. He didn’t remember. He was cold and silent and angry and I felt stupid and powerless and stuck. I couldn’t force him to tell me the truth.

Something in me started to die that day. The gravity of the mistake I’d made, rushing into a marriage with a man I’d thought of as having high morals and faith and love for God, who maybe wasn’t any of those things. But I viewed marriage as a permanent bond, knowing that I’d tied my life to his, whatever there was to come. I still hoped we could have a beautiful future together. So I tried to let it go, to hear from him with certainty there was nothing else. Looking back I think I compartmentalized to survive, and I tried not to think about it too much and craved reassurance from him that he did love me. The reassurance and approval I craved seemed to only be available in bed with him. So we were newly married, having sex nearly every day like it was a given, me feeling rejected when that started slowing down after awhile, when he wasn’t seeking me out, wasn’t initiating things.

A few months later, a vehicle pulled out in front of me while I was driving a friends car, causing a serious accident. My husband had intended to but never added me to his insurance, and I decided not to go to the hospital because I didn’t know what would happen. I went to work the next day, in tears from the pain. Our car died on the way home, moving slower and slower even though I was flooring it. I had forgotten my phone at home that day, and was a mile or so from his job so I walked there and told him what happened. I borrowed his phone while he wrapped up a job and asked his coworker to drive us home. Google began suggesting auto completions for my search with graphic pornography searches and names of women. Some of the names and images stick in my head even today. I looked in his history and found that it was over the last few days, and when he came into the break room I asked him “What is this?” He blamed it on his coworker saying he’d borrowed his phone. I questioned that, noting how much was there and that it was over multiple days. Only then he admitted to seeking it out. We got home and I locked myself in the bathroom, wanting the relief promised from succumbing to my own addictions I was working at recovering from (I’d stopped self harming about 18 months before we met). In the end I didn’t harm myself because it would hurt him too much - it would cause him too much pain to have a permanent visual reminder on my body, to connect any of my scars with his actions. It would ruin things.

Viewing pornography is not compatible with our faith, and I told him that night he needed to ‘get it taken care of’, to get help from the spiritual resources available to us. So we went and had a conversation, they tried to discern the nature and extent. He played it down, letting them assume and believe it was a stress reaction to my car accident. I sat silently, wondering why he was lying but not correcting him, in a misguided attempt at loyalty. Crying and ashamed that his actions had shown them them and me I was so obviously inadequate as a wife, as a woman. One of them said that night that being married saved him, me finding it, saved him. I’m still not sure what he meant, but I took on the view of myself as being a sacrifice, in a way.

We never talked about that day, for years, but the impacts still found a way through the cracks. I initiated sex often, and every so often, when I’d try and he’d decline, I’d feel that shame again, a deep pain in my chest that shot down my arms and made me want to hide, to disappear. I’d be reminded that what he had sought out, searched for, were things I didn’t have, reminded of my inadequacy. I’d play it off, and cry myself to sleep. Sometimes he’d notice and respond with sorrow, with tenderness, but more often with obligation, or irritation that I was upset.

I became determined to be a capable wife in every sense, to earn his love, to reassure myself that what had happened wouldn’t ever happen again.

At some point in the first year of our marriage, I went in for a physical and found out I had an STD, he had it too. I’d been tested before we met and had no sexual activity of any kind since, but convinced myself that he was telling the truth about always having used protection in the past, knowing that I had not been so careful. Rationalizing that it was possible I was mistaken in what I’d been tested for earlier.

Months and years went by, and I don’t know how to describe them other than difficult and lonely, with some bright spots. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia shortly after the accident/dday, and I’ve often wondered what it’d be like to have loving support with that. Looking like the ideal of a young couple in love to our friends and family. Working hard to maintain that facade both to everyone else and to myself. Thinking back I’ve noticed H was very affectionate and considerate in public, and in private too as long as I was playing along.

A few years later, and some time after our son was born, his mom mentioned in passing that when her and H had gone to Hawaii together he had gone to “hang out” with woman #1, the one he said he never met up with. She also mentioned that he’d been engaged before. Both were unintentional bombshells, as she thought I already knew. I tested him that night, instead of confronting him, and he stuck to the lie. I shared what his mom told me, and he admitted partially to both things. The other details came years later.

Recent history
A few more years went by, in a similar pattern, asking for connection, for communication, to no avail. I distracted myself by staying impossibly busy, never slowing down enough to feel, to think. Then we went overseas, staying with friends for a few months last year, which was the beginning of what’s been the roughest season of my life so far.

A few weeks after we arrived, I was looking for something on dropbox on his iPad, and as I started to search for an app, pornography began showing up. The familiar feeling of my stomach dropping out and anxiety in my throat came up. I asked him about it and he flat out denied anything, said he wasn’t looking at anything bad, cried to me and told me he couldn’t believe I didn’t trust him still, after all these years. I felt terrible, like I’d jumped to conclusions. I told him I was sorry, that perhaps his account had been hacked, that does happen.. he was upset and things were really off for a few days. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, knowing how app caches etc work and that we’d had unique passwords on all social media accounts. I brought it up again few days later, that I wanted to believe him but here’s what made it difficult. He said he’d been searching for something about pleasing me doing something I’d voiced I didn’t always enjoy and came across it accidentally and closed it right away. I was upset he lied, that he didn’t just talk to me about how to please me, instead of looking for how to do that on the internet. A few days later I was on his phone for something else and more images came up. I confronted him again, saying that now that it’s on two devices his story didn’t hold water. He admitted to viewing it, seeking it out. All the unanswered questions from the past 9 years came flooding back. He answered them with what I now know are mostly lies, but did say he has an addiction, I didn’t understand what he meant because I still thought it has been 9 years in between. I tried to be as non-judgmental as possible after the initial shock and anger. To believe in him.

A week or so after that he began having repressed memories flood back of years of abuse by his grandfather. We talked through so much of that, and how his addiction began. I don’t know if he remembers those conversations but they stirred a lot of compassion in me for the little boy he was.

A few months later he admitted to having sex with someone he hadn’t told me about before, with reassurances again that “everything was out.” A month or so later I came across more pornography, same cycle of denying until he couldn’t. I asked him if the relapses I knew about were the only ones, and that’s when he said he’d had more than he could count, and when I pressed more, that for at least the last 14 years he’d only go days or maybe a week without it. This began 30 years ago though...the majority of his life, the whole time we’ve been married. Since then there’s so many lies he’s catching himself in I don’t think I have any idea of the extent or types of pornography he’s viewed, but it seems unlikely that it hasn’t been harder stuff... Learning he hadn’t ever stopped longer than a few months despite multiple attempts was like the initial shock and pain all over again. I felt so much guilt over being angry when he was struggling with an addiction.

Since that came out in January, he’s seemed to be really trying, asking for help, but then I went out of town for 6 weeks to support a struggling friend, and things started feeling off since getting here. It was too good, like all of a sudden there was nothing coming up for him that he had to push away. And he insisted time and again.

He still says he hasn’t relapsed since January but all signs seem to indicate a relapse of some sort. He is starting to disclose more, he’d always maintained that it was for the numbing and not sexually appealing. But now he just shared he’s also been masturbating regularly since we got married, often a few times a week with the pornography. It explains a lot. But I hate this. People, him included, say it has nothing to do with me but it completely affects his view. When he says what’s appealing about it is that the women are different from me how can I think any differently? When he talks about past sex partners as being thinner than me, having larger breast’s than me, and seems surprised when that comparison hurts. Or maybe he’s not surprised, and it’s intentional, I don’t know. When he turns me down in the bedroom, almost annoyed with me trying. Sometimes I’d try to get in lingerie for him while he was putting our son to bed and now it really turns my stomach to think he was viewing pornography in there and hence so disinterested when he came to our room.

Then while admitting to something coming up he let it slip that previously when he’d been viewing it, at time it was in my sons room after putting him to sleep. (Whereas before he’d said he kept it to the bathroom, or when I wasn’t home). This raises major red flags to me as to our sons safety but the one friend I brought it up with seemed to think I was overreacting - in any case they wouldn’t let our son stay with them until I got back. He says he would have brought urges like that up long ago because he knows the damage it has caused him and he doesn’t want to do it to another person and so if he thought it was a danger he would have mentioned it already. But he’s never brought up anything so why would he bring that up?

So much of the stuff in our marriage didn’t seem abnormal until I started talking with a friend about it or thinking about sharing it. How for a long time the only time he’d initiate sex would be after I feel asleep. He’d mess with me until I woke up enough and was aroused enough for it because I was too stressed out when we were going to bed because work had gotten much more high pressure and he’d lost his job. Some mornings I wouldn’t even remember if we’d had sex or not.

I want to think my husbands a good man but I can’t think about this stuff very much in order to do that. He still says he’s never had any sexual contact with anyone else since we’ve been married, but I think he’d never tell me, since he knows that would be the end of our marriage. I’ve been trying so hard to fix what’s wrong so long that now that I know this has been going on the whole time I’m livid, and hurt, and sad, and feeling a big draw to it going back to how it was instead of the iciness that’s there now. I’m sad for the girl I was, and for what could have been, and I’m sad at what I was willing to do with him in trying to be a ‘good wife.’ I wouldn’t have brought a child into this world with him knowing what I know now. Feeling so stuck and so lost.

Im sick of this pattern in the past year where I’m devastated by a new discovery, get upset, and he avoids me or goes openly hostile privately and really sweet publicly until I feel guilty, like I’m being mean, and come around and apologize for being angry. Then he seems to make an effort for a few weeks based on whatever we determined that looked like, and then go back to AO.

I’ve been his person to work through this stuff with and it’s led to a very codependent dynamic, which I’m only recently learning about.
I am constantly second guessing myself that I’m being too exacting or harsh. I violated my values to please him, to keep him. I’ve been so hungry for his love and approval and I feel completely broken as a woman, as a wife, and devastated that in what I thought was doing the right thing I’ve likely actually enabled his addiction and provided a space for him to act out and feed it.

With the current physical distance I feel like I can see things clearly for the first time in years, beginning to comprehend things like codependency, emotional abuse, all these new terms. I’m on the plane back home and I’m terrified. I’m scared of what happens if I don’t play along anymore, who around us that might put at risk. I’m scared of what happens if I get sucked back into how it was again, and that I can’t trust my own brain like maybe I’ve got it wrong. Writing this down reminds me of how it’s really been. I sometimes think if he was physically hurting me maybe people would understand more. Maybe I could talk about it.
- - - - - -
After getting back, in these last few days, it’s been rough. One decent conversation, but a lot of isolation and silence other than that. He just disclosed today that the girl from 2006 was a minor, so I’m reeling from that and wondering what to do. He also shared that he fantasizes about other women while we’re having sex. In a way I’m glad he’s shared that because it’s shutting down any desire I have to be sexual with him, which has been unbalanced for me in the days following past d-days. But it’s like he shared it and hasn’t expected that to have any impact on me. So I’m struggling again. Trying not to relapse in my own self harm addiction (11 years and counting...).

He’s also asked for complete abstinence while he focuses on recovery, which I’m fine with, but find myself questioning whether that’s really why he asked for it - it seems much easier to continue masturbating and who knows what else if he doesn’t have to do anything sexually with me. I know it’s early days yet but I’m not hopeful. Heard a lot of the same promises before.


Last edited by Ledarr on Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:40 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
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Ledarr - Welcome to Recovery Nation. I am so sorry you need to be here, but this is a healing place to be.

Quote:
I’m nervous about going on and on and whether it’ll seem valid to anybody who reads it.


I believe you. Your thoughts and feelings are more than valid. They are true. A tragic result of our partner's addiction is the loss of trust we have in ourselves. Part of our healing is regaining our self-trust. Or, believing in our "gut".

I encourage you to do the lessons. They were profoundly helpful to me. I also sought out an individual counselor who specialized in treating trauma. That has been very healing for me. Feel free to read and post in the partner's forum. The partners here are very compassionate and supportive. You are not alone.

Quote:
I am constantly second guessing myself that I’m being too exacting or harsh. I violated my values to please him, to keep him. I’ve been so hungry for his love and approval and I feel completely broken as a woman, as a wife, and devastated that in what I thought was doing the right thing I’ve likely actually enabled his addiction and provided a space for him to act out and feed it.


I understand all of what you are saying. One of the most important things for us to learn and really believe deep in our heart, is that we have NOTHING to do with our partner's addiction. NOTHING. It doesn't matter what we say, do, look like, believe in, dream...whatever. NOTHING. They will blame us for their addiction, but that is how they protect the addiction. The lessons help with understanding this.

Also, they will continue to lie until they are deep into sincere recovery. Knowing this, while painful and enraging, also allowed me to get some space between my husband's addiction and my life. After D-day it was critical for me to find some sense of emotional safety.

I had to learn to put my focus on me. In your case, it is on you and your child. It is your well being that is most important. Your husband needs to take full responsibility for his behavior and for sincerely recovering from his addiction. That is all on him.

What I can say is that over time you will feel better. It takes a long time and it is a painful journey. But we can heal and find our joy again.

With deep compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:48 pm 
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Hi Dnell,

Thank you. I’m working through the lessons but a bit stuck on lesson 4. It’s taken a little bit to get my account activated, so in the last few weeks I’ve been lurking on the forums and doing my lessons offline. I’ve experienced feeling known and understood in reading through the forums like I never have before. I thought so much of what I’ve been experiencing was unique, or my fault, or only my perception. It’s incredible reading other partners words that express what’s been my experience and my feelings.

Quote:
Also, they will continue to lie until they are deep into sincere recovery.


There’s been moments of seeming sincerity and openness in the last few weeks that really make me want to believe my husband is the exception to this. Realistically, I don’t actually think that’s likely, but it’s hard to contemplate what else could be there. Those moments of sincerity and vulnerability are few and far between, and I’ve learned the danger in evaluating our situation based on how I want things to be, and I don’t think he’s in sincere recovery, or perhaps he is - in any case, it’s early yet, and he’s vacillating a lot. My goal is to be okay and emotionally stable regardless of what’s happened or will happen with him, to have the space within myself to be compassionate towards his experience and my own, instead of one or the other.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond, it means more than you know.

-Ledarr


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:14 am 
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Stage One, Lesson Two
This took days, but the extra resources on values was so helpful. (Catching up posting on lessons completed offline)

SPIRITUALITY
  • I see myself deepening and strengthening my relationship with my God by reading his word every day, and thinking deeply on what I learn about him from that.
  • I see myself centering my life around my dedication to God - including him in all my decisions.
  • I see myself speaking with conviction and courage and zeal about his promises for the future.
  • I see myself following his example and becoming more like him, cultivating love, joy, peace, patience, loyalty, kindness, mildness, and honesty.
  • I see myself refusing to be embittered by my current situation, but relying on him to endure joyfully.
  • I see myself looking to the future with hope, whether H is in it or not.

SELF
  • I honor and respect myself and I honor and respect other people. I show this honor and respect to myself by not allowing myself to be taken advantage of, manipulated or made to feel worthless.
  • I indulge in activities that give me a sense of worthiness, esteem, and joy.
  • I see myself following morning and night time routines to add stability to my days, and to my life.
  • I see myself giving the time and space to create peace and tranquility within me.
  • I see myself trusting my intuition.
  • I see myself showing kindness to my self and my body, instead of being hungry and hustling for kindness from H.
  • I see myself exercising self control in my dealings with H.
  • I see myself being trustworthy by following through on what I say I will do.
  • I don't focus on the negative or on the past, but I don’t refuse to acknowledge it either.
  • I see myself accepting the pain and growing from it.
  • I will focus on the positive things in my life and I will let the past be and put my energy into a better future. I am grateful for family and my friends. I do not take them for granted.
  • The life I see myself leading is at once more self-forgiving and more self-demanding than the life I am currently leading. I will ask more of myself than I have in the past, but I will also be kinder to myself.
  • I see myself growing into a stronger woman because I will respect the woman that I am. I will be independent, compassionate, loyal, forgiving, assertive, healthy, and committed to myself and my healthy relationships.

FAMILY
  • I see myself focusing more on my family, specifically - but not exclusively - my son. I see myself being a more present mother, and practicing more patience.
  • I will do this by spending more time with him, having fun with him, not being distracted in our time together, and encouraging dialogue.
  • I see myself setting clear boundaries and follow through for him, training and molding him to be a capable adult. I also see myself encouraging and allowing him to set boundaries for himself and to express and enforce those.
  • I see myself expressing my love for him more constantly.
  • I see myself focusing on what is important, and not allowing outside stressors to affect how I interact with my son.
  • I see myself being warmed and comforted by my love for him, while not beginning to rely on him to fill my emotional needs.
  • I see myself expressing my love through words and actions.
  • I also see myself being more active in expressing love to my other family members, especially my parents and siblings.
  • I see myself reaching out to them more consistently, and accepting their contribution to me.
  • I see myself creating more opportunities for spontaneous fun with my siblings, and being more open about my pain with them.

FRIEND
  • I see myself strengthening my relationships with kindred spirit friends through more constant and meaningful communication.
  • I see myself determining which relationships are healthy and which are not, and making more time for the healthy ones.
  • I see myself surrounded by people that build me up, that I build up too.
  • I see myself having stimulating intelligent conversations, and meaningless silly ones - laughing until my eyes water.
  • I see myself standing for my friends, and letting them stand for me.

WIFE
  • I see myself being strong enough to create and enforce boundaries in my relationship.
  • I see myself willing to make hard choices about what is healthy for me in my relationship. I will do this by not being ruled by fear of change, but embracing changes that will bring me peace and happiness and that are in line with my values.
  • I see myself refraining from activities and conversations that leave me drained, feeling manipulated, or without dignity and self respect.
  • I see myself being open to love, and being honest with myself about whether or not that love is good for me.
  • I see myself being forgiving and loving, but also prioritizing my love for myself and my God.
  • I see myself continuing to show a willingness to forgive, but to trust again less readily, less naively.
  • I see myself supporting but not managing my partners recovery.
  • I will not hold onto resentment and anger.
  • I will model healthy, loving relationships for my son.
  • I will be self sufficient, and not obsess about my partner, I see myself feeling complete with or without him.
  • I see myself not letting my worth be determined by my partners actions or attention.

HEALTH
  • I see myself taking care of my body through nourishment and movement.
  • I will do this by eating regularly, eating clean, and taking up running. I enjoy running and listening to music early in the morning - it relieves my stress, it increases my energy and it helps me feel positive.
  • I will experience and enjoy many physical activities, like hiking, dancing, and stretching.
  • I see myself practicing being present in the moment, and listening to what my body needs instead of subjecting it to the whims of my feelings.
  • I see myself being proud of my body and grateful for it - nourishing it and honoring it instead of punishing it.
  • I see myself having enough dignity to set and stick to sexual boundaries with H.
  • I see myself engaging in sexual contact only when genuine connection and intimacy is present, instead of attempting to use it as a replacement for those things.
  • I see myself being open about what works and what doesn’t sexually between us, and what my sexual needs are.
  • I will acknowledge the chronic illness I have, but not be a prisoner to it. I will seek medical treatment instead of living in denial.
  • I see myself taking time to indulge in my hobbies, my friends, and my own quiet time. I will do this by initiating visits and phone calls with friends that I miss, by being creative and writing often, by creating art and by reading books that I enjoy.
  • I see myself hiking on my own and with friends, finding adventure and awe and quietude in exploring nature.

PROFESSIONAL
  • I see myself learning more in the field I’m in, to challenge myself and learn more technologically.
  • I see myself continuing to be diligent and industrious, a valuable asset to any company I am a part of. I am not afraid of failure.
  • I see myself pursuing work that will give me financial autonomy and self-sufficiency.
  • I see myself with the energy and desire to keep my home tidy and presentable, and enjoying having company at a moments notice.
  • I see myself pursuing my creative talents to produce passive income.
  • I see myself being responsible with our family finances.

RISKS
  • I see myself taking risks that will bring rewards, not taking risks with my emotional well-being.
  • I see myself being more open to the idea of a "why not?" approach to life.
  • If I am unable to come up with a logical reason why I shouldn't try something, I will approach the idea with enthusiasm and less fear.
  • I see myself taking classes in cooking, having adventures, learning new things and traveling.
  • I will have confidence, not only in myself and my abilities, but in the life that I am living.
  • I will feel confident that it is the best, most fulfilling life that I could choose for myself.

-Ledarr


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Ledarr, welcome to RN. This is probably the only online forum where there is a structured course of lessons specifically for partners. I found the experience of working through the program invaluable. Healing from this experience is a long journey. I recognise where you are now because I’ve been there too and it’s a very difficult place to find yourself, but I promise you will feel better in time.

Dnell has given you some great advice. I know that you are probably feeling overwhelmed right now. The first year after the ‘real’ d day is the worst, especially if you are going through this kind of slow-drip trickle truth. Unfortunately it’s the most common scenario and also the most damaging. Every time a new piece of information comes to light, and especially when it confirms that you had previously been lied to, it’s like rubbing salt into the wound all over again. Yet somehow, it does get better.

It’s difficult to find yourself on the receiving end of lies. It’s very destabilising. It’s a shock to discover someone you trusted with your life can lie with such ease, such lack of concern for your feelings. Your addict partner probably had already built an elaborate deception to conceal his addiction and to protect and maintain it. After d day there is often a lot of shame at their reality being discovered. At this point they are protecting their own feelings of vulnerability and exposure. So they lie to avoid those feelings, not realising how destabilising it can be for the partner and the relationship.

To this day, I don’t really know the true extent of my husband’s behaviours. Like you, there were a few issues right at the beginning but I was prepared to accept a far-fetched explanation that was probably more of a fiction than I wanted to believe. My husband managed to conceal a lot from me because I trusted him absolutely. After d day it was lie after lie, which I’d believe, then I’d find out that I’d been lied to. My husband was very angry when I’d ask a question or confront him with evidence that he’d lied to me. It was a pattern that repeated until I ran out of evidence. There were a few more pieces of evidence that I’ve kept to myself because I couldn’t face going around that particular circuit for something he would refuse to admit to. Eventually I reached a point at about 12-18 months after d day when I realised that I had discovered all the evidence that I realistically could and that my husband would probably never admit to what he hadn’t disclosed voluntarily, which wasn’t much anyway. So I came to a stage of acceptance about what I know and what my gut instincts tell me, even if my husband won’t admit to what I believe is likely. I wanted full disclosure and for a year or so I expected it would happen eventually. But no. It didn’t. And it’s unlikely either. So I had to draw a line under the discovery/disclosure stage but I left ‘space’ so I could come to terms with the ‘what if’ scenarios that my gut tells me could have happened. When you value honesty, it’s hard to come to terms with someone who is prepared to lie, even when they know it hurts.

Quote:
People, him included, say it has nothing to do with me but it completely affects his view. When he says what’s appealing about it is that the women are different from me how can I think any differently? When he talks about past sex partners as being thinner than me, having larger breast’s than me, and seems surprised when that comparison hurts.


I know how this feels. No matter how theories of addiction can explain that it’s not because of us being inadequate or undesirable, it still hurts. It IS rejection when our husbands turn us down, or show no sexual interest in us whatsoever, especially when we know or suspect they are choosing pornography over us, or some other body or somebody else’s body parts to arouse and stimulate them. These behaviours are all about objectification and looking at other women’s bodies for their sexual gratification. Meanwhile we are ignored and rejected. Of course it hurts. How could it not? I’ve been there. I endured it for years because I believed I had no choice, but as you said yourself, I was compromising my own values to please (and unwittingly enable) him and living without boundaries to protect myself from the pain. I blamed my body, and that was a very damaging mindset that has taken a lot of work to get past. During my husband’s addiction, before I was aware that this addiction existed, I developed an eating disorder and I ended up hating my body. I blamed my body for my husband’s rejection because in that negative state of mind it made perfect sense. It’s probably one of the most difficult aspects of my own personal recovery journey. Women’s bodies are so much like public property that we let others decide whether we can be seen or unseen, or whether we feel desirable or judged not worthy of a man’s desire. It’s not a healthy mindset. If you don’t understand addiction theory, or you’re not aware of it, then we are at risk of blaming ourselves, thinking negatively about ourselves and even messing up our metabolism or our health if we think we can control our feelings by controlling our eating.

Please feel free to post on the partners support forum too. We’ve all been through it.


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 12:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:29 pm
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Blue In Paradise thank you for your kind words. It is hard. Some days more than others.

Quote:
Your addict partner probably had already built an elaborate deception to conceal his addiction and to protect and maintain it. After d day there is often a lot of shame at their reality being discovered. At this point they are protecting their own feelings of vulnerability and exposure. So they lie to avoid those feelings, not realising how destabilising it can be for the partner and the relationship.
this makes sense.

Sorry, don’t have a lot of words tonight.


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 1:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:29 pm
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Stage One, Lesson Three

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).
  • Years of not initiating things sexually and not making an effort romantically yet telling me he loved me and loved being married to me. Meanwhile feeling disconnected/off in our relationship - looking back it was always down to pornography/masturbation cycle.
  • When I asked what he was thinking and he’d always say ‘that I love you’ when in fact he was fantasizing about other women.

B) Identify as many major situations as you can where you allowed your head/heart to override your 'gut feelings' in relation to your partner's behavior.
  • When we’d have a good reconnection/day after a major discovery and I’d be unsure whether to trust it was all out/everything or would be different this time and wanted things to be good, to be happy, and let it go and wanted to be intimate with him.
  • Letting questions go unanswered. Not believing something but letting it drop. Believing him about “accidentally” stumbling across it and that he wasn’t looking at it or seeking it out. Being the one to try to ease the tension after that.

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.
  • When he gets cold and silent and withdrawn when I bring something up - feeling like it’s my fault and trying to make things better or right by apologizing.
  • Feeling vulnerable, emotional, and aroused while he’s being “kind” in the wake of some new discovery or a period of iciness.
  • Feeling something is off and he gets defensive when I bring it up.
  • When our spiritual routine goes by the wayside, making excuses for him or not wanting to seem exacting or nagging.
  • Giving him the benefit of the doubt because I want to avoid the conflict that comes with calling him on scanning and/or disconnecting from the relationship.
  • When he cries about “telling the truth” when we’re talking and/or I’m confronting him about something.
  • When we’re trying to be intimate and stuff comes up for me or I try to stop/pause because we’re not feeling connected.


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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 1:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:29 pm
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Stage One, Lesson Four

1] this one is hard at the moment. He’s been addicted to pornography since he was a young child, and I truly think the addiction and behaviors associated with protecting it have played a big part in shaping who he’s become.

- Finding animals antics funny
- Working on cars/mechanical stuff
- Enjoying being outside / hiking

2]
- self centered - not being conscious that others have needs.
- Procrastination
- Difficulty communicating - Avoiding discussing touchy subjects. Most things being touchy subjects.
- Difficulty empathizing


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