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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:49 am 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 8:00 am
Posts: 2
I'm hoping for some suggestions about how to protect my boundaries, when many instances they seem to go against my own values.

I've been married nearly 17 years and learned about my husbands SA about 6 months ago, although I've been ignorantly living with the consequences for the entire marriage. I know some of the issues....porn, masturbation, constant fantasy of everyone, everywhere along with, flirting, trashing me to benefit affairs, etc and obsession with certain ''special'' women and LIES (can't really know if any of these things are completely true or what other things may end up being added). He is working through the workshop and is on lesson 29 so far. The lies pervade the lessons as well here and there. I've completed the partners workshop, but was nearly finished before joining ( and waiting or acceptance), so I haven't gone back and copied everything to the thread at this point.

One of my boundaries is that I will disengage from conversations (text, verbal, all) at the moment I realize (or strongly suspect) he's lying in any manner. When I manage to do this (still fighting to stop engaging..it's extremely hard), it makes me feel as if I'm shutting him out/off. I feel like it's a ''punishment'' or something. I'm told in the workshop to expect lies...but do not tolerate them. I'm also told not to try and force truth. I can't figure out how to be intolerant of something that I'm supposed to ''expect'' and ''understand''. If I call him on it, then it's like ''forcing''.....if I say nothing and just listen and respond, then I feel like a liar for ''pretending'' I don't know he's lying....if I remove myself from the conversation, then it's like shutting him down. I don't know how to reconcile these boundaries vs. my own values (understanding, patience, truth, support etc.). As of this moment, he text me from work...said a couple of things (one most likely a straight lie and another misdirection/blame/jab (passive aggressive). I told him ''this is where I exit'' the conversation. He's written a few more times since and I feel like the biggest pos for not responding at all. I second guess myself...start thinking ''what if it's true this time? how awful he must feel if it's actually the truth for once?'' etc. etc. I start thinking that I could be standing my ground wrongfully.

Any advice is welcome and I'll be glad to answer any questions or give details needed to help anyone offer better advice.
Thanks ahead


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 112
Facing the reality of lies and deception is probably the most difficult part of dealing with sex and porn addiction. Just as the lessons state, the lies will continue after d day in spite of our repeated requests for honesty until the addicted partner learns the necessary life skills and lets go of the old patterns because lying has served him well until now.

My partner still lies and it’s something I have to live with. I don’t like it but I have to be realistic, which is a lot better than being naive. I don’t believe I know “everything” but I’ve had to learn how to tolerate the ambiguity between knowing and not knowing, and perhaps never knowing the whole story. It has been really difficult to accept this, but I’ve learned how to, like developing a skill.

When we know or strongly suspect that our partner is lying, we can choose not to accept whatever they’re saying, or not. Or we can suspend judgement until we feel convinced one way or the other. Always remember that it takes two to make a lie — the liar and the ‘lied to’. In the past we were unwittingly playing our role but we know we cannot play the role of the naive fool anymore. If I have any questions and I’m not convinced by the response I keep an open mind. I don’t have to accept his answer, nor do I have to say so. Sometimes I don’t even have a question at all, sometimes things feel a bit “off”. I trust my gut, but that’s not evidence in itself, so I might have to keep my feelings to myself until I know some details that start to make sense.

My husband could lie very convincingly. After d day I discovered how impossible it was to tell the difference between the truth an a lie. In the end I didn’t know what to believe, and that’s how I’ve arrived at this never believing anything 100%. I always accept the possibility that whatever I’m told isn’t completely true. I may decide it’s *probably* true, or maybe/maybe not true, or I might not be convinced it’s true at all but even then I can accept the unlikely possibility I’m not being lied to. It can be any point along the truth/lie spectrum.

Of course there may well be times when our partner is being honest and we don’t believe them, and times when they lie and we do believe them. It really can be impossible to tell the difference, and that created a lot of instability in my own recovery especially in the first year.

If this is confusing you it’s because it IS confusing!

I would say, stick to your boundary if you can. Make your own judgement and act accordingly. You can rely on your instincts but accept you won’t always get it right. This is the instability which arises from lying and being lied to. You are probably going to have to just play it by ear for now. We can’t force our partners to be honest and tell the truth. That’s a skill they have to learn for themselves.

My husband uses the “lie of omission” tactic. It’s very annoying to find out that he didn’t tell me something, sometimes weeks later, and it’s often something that isn’t even worth lying about. How do you create boundaries about lies of omission? It’s not easy especially when someone doesn’t consider omissions as lie. I still haven’t figured that one.

If your husband commits to honesty, that will be a great thing. Most of us however only get part way there. I know that’s probably not what anyone wants to hear. Most of us end up in a space where the acting out has stopped but where there is still a certain degree of low level behaviours that our partners don’t see as part of their addiction — white lies, scanning their environment, etc — are so ingrained they think it’s “normal”. Stick to your boundaries as best you can. You can fine tune them as you go along and see how your relationship progresses. It’s not easy! Keep us updated :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 8:00 am
Posts: 2
Hi Blue, Thanks for the response.

Just curious as to how long you've been dealing with this kind of mess?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:39 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 617
Hi Lam - I had to learn to make boundaries for myself. Like you, I did not want to be lied to any more. Boundaries are meant to protect ourselves; they are not meant to punish others. When others respect our boundaries ("I won't lie to her") that is how it is supposed to work. Unhealthy people don't respect boundaries. The compassion you feel for your husband, I understand that. I want you to feel that compassion for yourself. I had to learn to do this. I had to learn to put myself first. It hurts to be lied to by our partners. It's destructive. It's not safe. Why in the world should we put up with that? We shouldn't. I as well point out when I think my husband is lying. He has an opportunity to think about it and try to be more transparent. If he does, I continue the conversation. If he responds with more lies or anger or defensiveness, I stop and leave. There is nothing wrong with this. It is in our best interest to treat ourselves well. And, frankly, it is in our husband's best interests to stop the dishonesty which has been destructive to themselves and others for so long.

What really has helped me was to find a very good individual therapist who specialized in treating trauma.

dnell


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