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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:57 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Hi Kitten,

This must be stressful and confusing. I cannot imagine the challenges that come with an in-house separation. You are trying your best, and I know sometimes it must be a big energy drain to figure this out, and decide what the boundaries and goal of the separation is. I admire your strength.

You wrote you don't think this is a good idea. You also are wondering about your husband's motivations.

First, we can't read minds, and in dealing with a partner who has SA and isn't at a healthy point in recovery, it's very difficult to discern motivations or reasons for our partner's queries/requests/statements.

So, one thing I'd gently advise is to consider your own values and needs here versus what his motivations are. Indeed, you can appreciate his honesty (and tell him so, if you want) but whatever are his motivations are up to him to explain to you if he chooses, not for you to mind read.

How would having sex with your husband honor your reasons for an in-house separation? How does the separation protect and uphold your values and needs, and what would introducing sex into that mix do?

When you say you don't think it's a good idea, what's behind that? If it makes you uncomfortable, causes you stress, or perhaps has you engaging in an act that you only feel comfortable engaging in with a person who is on a road to recovery, examine those reasons, for yourself.

If you don't think sex is a good idea, figure out the boundary around this, and why. This is for YOU. To help you feel more secure, and more stable in the choices you make. Of course, we all question ourselves a lot on this journey--that's normal. But finding our reasons for living as we choose, and a life that upholds our values, helps us get healthier and more clear on who we are, what we'll stand for, and what matters.

I wish you peace tonight, Kitten,
meep


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:56 pm
Posts: 32
I am in an in-house separation since July 2013. We agreed to no contact, and it has been ESSENTIAL to me to regain my center and start to heal. Do I miss it? YES. Would I be a mess if I was still having sex with him? Definitely.

One night a couple months ago I think he thought about trying to make a move on me. I just...I don't know, felt it. He was fidgety and restless and getting closer to me where we were sitting. I waited a few minutes so it didn't seem totally obvious, then got up and did something in another room.

I just can't go there. We are planning on divorcing though, so that makes my situation maybe a little different. If he was actively pursuing recovery I might be more willing to set up some parameters where I might be ok, but it would probably be several months before I would be.

All that to say that if having sex with your us and will pull you back emotionally and set you back in your healing, you need to honor that more than any weird feeling or question he's having. He's broken a lot, and IMO has no right to be questioning your process of healing.

Good luck, and I'm sorry you're having to deal with this on top if everything else.


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:40 am
Posts: 663
Thanks for the thoughts.

I do not personally think I am ready for this yet at this point. We are not even talking that much; having sex is pushing it. He did say he didn't think it would have to "mean anything;" essentially, he wants casual sex I think between us, to help him with his urges, etc. I have a hard time with this for several reasons. First, it seems odd. This is the same person who volunteered for a deployment without even asking me, being willing to be gone for up to a year, without even thinking about the effect it would have on me, not to mention no sex for a year which apparently, wasn't a concern. Yet, he can't go a few months of separation? Strange. Second, I don't like the casual sex aspect. This is the same person who tried to justify his sexy chats with other women, saying that he was "bored" with our sex life. So, sex with me is boring, had dwindled to maybe two or three times a month before DDay 2, yet now he wants it? Again...strange. I am trying not to believe that it is manipulative, but I wonder if this isn't a manipulative technique to make me stay.

I will tell him I appreciate his honesty. I really do. That's more open than he normally is. He did ask that if I say no to the sex, that I don't wear things like flimsy PJs around the house (not lingerie, but you know, normal PJs), or shirts without a bra. I can appreciate that and understand that and will do a better job of being not so casual. But I don't think I can provide him with a way to satisfy that right now. I do not believe withholding sex forever is okay, but I also am not doing it as punishment. I need SPACE. It is like he just doesn't understand that.

I'm not sure yet what the purpose of the separation is. I THINK we are going to divorce. But something is holding me back, and I'm trying to figure out what that is. I don't know why I can't just go ahead with it, and until I figure that out, I am feeling "stuck." I know that he has also researched it and gone so far as to request papers from a lawyer.

The other thing is, he has been in contact with two of the women he told me he wasn't going to be in contact with. He's re-activated a facebook account that he told me he deactivated, and he emailed one of them on google chat telling her he had been busy and that's why they hadn't chatted. The fact that this has been done, again, behind my back, makes me fairly certain that I am making the right choice but I just can't seem to do it. I don't know what it is that is holding me back.


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:56 pm
Posts: 32
Kitten35 wrote:
I will tell him I appreciate his honesty. I really do. That's more open than he normally is. He did ask that if I say no to the sex, that I don't wear things like flimsy PJs around the house (not lingerie, but you know, normal PJs), or shirts without a bra. I can appreciate that and understand that and will do a better job of being not so casual. But I don't think I can provide him with a way to satisfy that right now. I do not believe withholding sex forever is okay, but I also am not doing it as punishment. I need SPACE. It is like he just doesn't understand that.

I'm not sure yet what the purpose of the separation is. I THINK we are going to divorce. But something is holding me back, and I'm trying to figure out what that is. I don't know why I can't just go ahead with it, and until I figure that out, I am feeling "stuck." I know that he has also researched it and gone so far as to request papers from a lawyer.

The other thing is, he has been in contact with two of the women he told me he wasn't going to be in contact with. He's re-activated a facebook account that he told me he deactivated, and he emailed one of them on google chat telling her he had been busy and that's why they hadn't chatted. The fact that this has been done, again, behind my back, makes me fairly certain that I am making the right choice but I just can't seem to do it. I don't know what it is that is holding me back.


I was the same way for a couple years. I just wasn't ready. I had to personally be absolutely sure that 1. I was ready to be without him and 2. He was just not ready/willing/able to change or get over this, before I was able to start to let go. If you want to read a novel, check out my healing thread to see how many times I was so close before I knew it was the right decision.

Your instincts are great; listen to them. Living with this for any amount of time tends to gaslight us and make us doubt ourselves...but all your observations and thoughts here read as very insightful and well thought out, not punitive or immature. Listen to that gut of yours, it's known you your whole life.

Good luck~


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:02 pm
Posts: 420
You've already gotten great advice, so I won't repeat what has already been shared. Just wanted to validate you with a word of caution: you are entitled to be comfortable in your own home. His assertion that you need to cover up your body, because you are saying "no" to sex rings bells for me.

If you value consideration and modesty, then, by all means, wear what honors those values (as, I would guess, you already are). I just think its bologna to say that you have some role in his sexual frustration because you hang around your own house in PJs or go without a bra. That is objectifying; his desire for sex is his desire for sex - unless you are intentionally being provocative, you should not accept responsibility for his issue. That said, you are living in a reality you need to find ways to adapt to, so if accommodating his request works for you, I understand. I will just never EVER buy the argument that my attire or appearance make me responsible for someone else's sexuality. His request illustrates the objectified thinking and blame-shifting that goes on in the sexualized mind.

May you have the clarity and joy of knowing exactly what you want for your future - you deserve all the best.
thebagholder


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:40 am
Posts: 663
Thank you, BagHolder. I do agree with you, I had the same thought. Small bells went off in my mind. But I do also understand it. He said he felt as if I was doing it on purpose (he was projecting, I imagine, because I was not). However, I do feel that he was at least honest about his feelings and I felt that it was an easy request to honor.

However, something happened that set off BIG bells for me yesterday. He got physically aggressive with me. He DID NOT hit me, but he was very aggressive and I was scared. We were having an argument over the semantics of him "not committing adultery" (I feel that his behaviors are pretty much the same as, he doesn't) and I said something like, "not technically, sure" and things got really heated. We were both yelling at each other. He kind of came into the kitchen where I was and sort of cornered me in the corner of the kitchen, and got up in my face very close, kind of jumped towards me, and was yelling at me. I think the look on my face must have told him everything, I was scared, and then I just started crying; he apologized for scaring me without my even telling him I was scared. However it is a MAJOR red flag. It is the first time he has done something like that. I'm still a little in shock and denial about it. He has crossed many lines, in terms of sexuality and etc., but I never thought he would cross a physical type line. Again, he didn't hit me, but it was more aggressive than I have ever seen him be and for me it was definitely a line crossed. I'm not excusing my behavior, either, because mine was bad. But that to me, is not a good sign of things.


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Dear Kitten,
Wow, sounds like it's been a stressful week! I'm so sorry! First, I wanted to agree with TBH. You should wear what you are comfortable wearing in your own home. A woman has a right to remove her bra or to walk around in her pajamas when she is home. If his recovery is going to happen, he will have to learn to not objectify you, regardless of what you are wearing (or not wearing.)
Second, and more importantly, what you describe was an abusive moment. While a couple screaming at each other might not be a healthy way to interact, it is very different from breaking into someone's personal space and yelling in their face so that they fear for their safety. That level of aggression is abusive. Please proceed very cautiously at this point and begin making arrangements to leave if you need to for your own protection. He has a choice at this point that only he can make. If he makes the wrong choice, the level of abuse that he is willing to engage in will escalate. For your own protection, it might be a good idea to determine some specific boundaries that you will abide by when you have a conflict. How will you handle things when the emotions begin to run high? What things will prompt you to take a break? I can imagine that he is sorry, that he actually regrets what happened. But there's a difference between regretting something and taking responsibility for it. When someone takes responsibility for something, they take steps to ensure it won't happen again. Watch to see if he takes responsibility.
Be safe,
Mrs Jones


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:40 am
Posts: 663
Mrs. Jones, thank you for the response! I am fairly sure I will be leaving anyway--but
I am going to be VERY aware of what is happening in that arena. I know that level of behavior is abusive and could escalate. I am in denial right now. I just can't believe he crossed that line. I did actually already take my jewelry home to my parents house when I went about two weeks ago to the states just in case things got nasty and I will also be packing an emergency bag with clothes and my most personal or valuable items in case I need to get out faster than anticipated. I am probably going to mail some things home this week because he will be on night shift so i can work on that at night. My dad has frequent flier miles for an international ticket and has already said he could get me to the states ASAP if needed without any money needed. I did not tell them yet about this incident--I'm a little afraid to--but I know this is a prelude to a potentially dangerous thing and I am going to prepare for that. Thank you all for the encouragement on here! I don't know how to get out. Doing this while living under the same roof is very, very hard. I know I need out, but I don't know how to tell him. I don't want to hurt him. ( :t: )


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:22 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:40 am
Posts: 663
Alright, so last night we had another talk. I need to know if I am being manipulated here, or if he is just being honest. We talked about physical intimacy. I told him I was not ready for that yet. I am not doing this to punish him, BTW. I have NEVER withheld sex in our marriage before. However, I also don't want to have sex right now. We are separated. I don't even know if the contact with the other girls has completely stopped--I do know he said he would tell them why he won't be in contact with them, but I'm not really sure he will. He hasn't yet. To be honest, I think he may be keeping a door open in the event that we split which is fairly likely. I am not willing to risk pregnancy, either. So after I told him last night that I wasn't ready, it was the end of our conversation. It was pretty late and I wanted to go to bed. As I was walking out of the room, he had this look on his face like he was thinking. I said, "What is it?" And he says, 'Nothing, I'm just trying to figure out how we can get you there." (to the point of readiness.) How about, by not pressuring me?!? Earlier in the conversation he had mentioned how we weren't supposed to give up the habit of coming together (from our religion) and that he was finding it very hard not to be tempted (He skipped the second half of the verse, which says, for a time by agreement is ok). It felt very manipulative. He also said that he can't stay in a separated state forever 'in limbo' and may have to file because he can't 'live like this without knowing what's going on' and I'm thinking, it's not even been two months. He is really pushing, I feel. Am I wrong about that?


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:00 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Hi kitten,
I am sorry this continues to bring you much pain and uncertainty. What I do see in the midst of a lot of turmoil is a woman who is strong and brave.

For me I struggle with whether I'm being purposefully manipulated by my husband or not. The wise Coach Sue asked me, the question is is this what I want for my life? Is the behavior acceptable for me, regardless of intent?

I sense part of what you may be seeking is validation for your experience, observations, and instincts.

If you feel he's pushing, he may well be. If you feel something is not right for YOU, it isn't right.

We can spend six ways 'til Sunday trying to understand the mind of a person with an addiction and skewed values and drive ourselves right into the bin doing so. Your time and energy and life is precious.

Also you mentioned in your earlier message he debated you on adultery. YOU get to define what adultery is for you. Just because his definition of it differs does not invalidate your defined value of adultery.

Be kind to yourself today. I am thinking of you.
Meep


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:56 pm
Posts: 32
It seems to me that not only is he still trying to dictate the terms of your relationship, but he is also cafeteria style picking and choosing which parts of your religious beliefs most suit his purposes, and is emotionally blackmailing you with them.

I read your writing as strong, faithful, wise, and loving. He seems to be trying to take advantage of that.

Keep trusting and honoring yourself!


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:23 pm 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Yes he is pushing. And he's probably being "honest" that he feels tempted, and is upset about not having access to you physically. But it's not honesty in the way that he's openly taking responsibility for his own needs, but sharing himself with you. He's taking things that are his responsibility and putting them on you. I struggled for a long time with the verse that you mentioned, because following what is in the Bible is a strong value for me. So I had a major values conflict between what I thought scripture said, and protecting myself physically. If you would like to have a longer discussion about that scripture and the conclusions that I came to I would be more than happy to do that.
If you feel he is pushing, then he is. Your boundaries are reasonable. If you do not feel confident that you are physically and emotionally safe when being physically intimate with him, then it is disrespectful of him to demand more (and to threaten to divorce if you don't surrender). Is staying legally joined with your husband worth risking your physical and emotional safety for? Is what he is offering you as a relationship (it sounds like including staying in intimate contact with other women) a marriage as you have defined it? And is it worth sacrificing the values that hes asking you to in order to preserve? In other words, lets say he does choose to file for divorce. Is what you have NOW worth preserving by devaluing your physical and emotional safety?
Yes, how he behaved was manipulative. What you described was not healthy boundary setting. It was a threat if you didn't get rid of your boundaries.


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:40 am
Posts: 663
Thank you for the helpful replies! To clarify, he wasn't saying he would divorce me if I didn't give him sex; he was saying I think that he is losing patience with the separation (which has NOT been that long, six weeks so far) and that he would divorce me if I couldn't let him know what I was thinking/feeling/etc. soon. Essentially, I think he doesn't like the lack of control he has right now and he can't deal with that and wants to take it back.`Which is a red flag in itself. I am becoming more convinced that I need to go and am trying to build up the strength to do so. My counselor has suggested journaling which has been helping me. But DH also knows I am keeping the journal, because he pressed me to find out what we talked about in my therapy session, so I am trying to keep it in a very conspicuous place.

Mrs. Jones, I would love to talk more about that verse. Is is possible for us to PM since we aren't supposed to talk much about religion on the public forum, right?

Thank you all for the different perspectives. I did feel that he was picking and choosing religious beliefs. He has recently been doing that; another time, he said that it was "not good for us to separate" and that he never should have agreed to it. It seems insincere and manipulative since he is threatening divorce and yet he doesn't have an "acceptable" reason according to said religion. What a double standard! Another time he made some backhanded comment about how if I couldn't decide if I wanted him in my life, there were "people who did want to be in his life." (a woman, I presume, and I think I know who it is) :t: Really? He has also tried to justify his lying. Our counselor told him it was perfectly normal that his first instinct was to lie about these things when confronted by his wife. While the counselor isn't excusing that--he didn't say it was okay, but he said it was the first instinct, now my H is using that as an excuse I believe. I do think it is natural--at first. But we've been doing this for five years and he still hasn't mustered up the courage to be honest? BS.

Also, thank you for the comment about how to define adultery. I agree about that. Even if "sexting, sexy chat and online liasions" isn't *technically* adultery, I do feel it is infidelity/cheating. I feel those two terms might be different. He said it again the other night, he said, "I didn't commit adultery, I know you don't agree but two religious leaders have told me that and I'm going to stick to it." I was pretty irritated and said, "Well, then, three people have told me you have, and if I had been doing those things, what the heck would you call it?" He didn't have an answer and said he'd have to think about it. :s: Haha!


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:29 am 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Sure Kitten, I'll send a PM.


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 Post subject: Re: Separation question
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:02 pm
Posts: 420
[NOTE: This is from a scripture-honoring Christian perspective]

Matthew 5:27-28 (CEV) You know the commandment which says, “Be faithful in marriage.” But I tell you if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts.

I think my husband still despises it when I talk about his actions as infidelity. He wants some kind of exoneration for not having cheated in the 3D, that I just won't give him. Not that it wouldn't be worse; it absolutely would. It just doesn't lessen how betrayed I feel, to know he could have betrayed me even more. At one point when we were having this disagreement, my husband mentioned the whole of this scripture, without remembering the central point of it - that you betray your spouse the moment you consider another person lustfully. He said my expectations were unrealistic, and asked if I expected him to poke his eyes out, so he wouldn't ever see another attractive women (or something to that effect). No, I don't expect him to poke his eyes out - I expect him to see women as people and not bodies. My biggest hangup between us, still, is that I don't think he really "gets" it what objectification is. He wants to be faithful, but he still doesn't fully comprehend that you can see a naked person without indulging sexual thoughts about them. He thinks I'm lying when I say I don't get aroused by thoughts, pictures, etc., of other men. Jesus wouldn't ask it of us, if it weren't possible and worth pursuing. If he pursued this and struggled honestly, it would not have devastated our relationship, self-indulgently breaking it, did. He didn't even try.

I don't think you need to move your scripture conversation to private, I think there are many of us who share your concerns and faith. Just make sure the topic clarifies that it is from a Christian perspective, so others know that it is the context.

May the Word bring you peace, comfort, and guidance, not doubt and distress,
thebagholder


Last edited by thebagholder on Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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