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 Post subject: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:04 am 
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H has been doing recovery on this site but insists he is not a Sex addict. He has spent a long time doing his values but I feel he just does not understand the damage his behaviour caused. About once a week or more he draws me into lengthy chats where I have to explain again how his behaviour has hurt me and why I do not trust him. We seem to get in well and I feel he is a good husband but then we have these awful times where I end up telling him to leave or sleep in the separate room if he is going to carry on in this vein. He said to "why don't you trust me?" I just could not believe he was actually asking me this after every thing he has done. I told him I can't keep doing this - I do not think it is helpful for me to revisit what he has done in order to remind him of why we are at ground zero in our relationship. I want and need to forget it and move on. U said he needs to remind himself in those moments when he feels he is restricted by the contract - he needs to remind himself why we have it and what he has done.

I am concerned he does not see himself as a addict. I agree I hate the SA term - but it stands for a set of behaviours that he had done and the way to deal with it is to do recovery.
As I type this I am thinking is he actually in recovery or not? Certainly his attitude has changed in the relationship and he is behaving more like an adult than a child, taking responsibility for things, being a better husband, but is his heart genuinely in it? Not all of the time! And that is my concern- If I think his heart is not in it 100% but only 70% what should I do?

Shore up my values, carry on with my recovery. Let him get on with it and see where we are in 6 months - dont get drawn into the long chats where I have to justify the contract and the reason he can't be trusted. I do want to trust him but he has to earn it- brcause too many times I gave him my trust and he lied to me, blatantly lied.

Any thing else?
How can I nip those conversations in the bud in a positive way? It is making me feel physically ill from the stress of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 2:44 pm 
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Thank you for this. I will say "we already talked about this" In future.
Last night I also was mindful of the time and finished our check in conversation so that it did not take up lots of time. I guess I was kind of feeling glad that at least now he wants to talk - I didn't want to discourage him as he has been being very open with me (at least this is how it appears to me) but I see that it is counter - productive to get involved in conversations about issues to do with recovery that have already been addressed ie the contract.

I do have a problem deciding on what should happen as a consequence of not following the contract. I feel that I am being too weak in this, if he does not do it then I have not been giving a consequence. I have just told him it is unacceptable and that he better do it. The conversation has dragged on and then he finally agrees...until the next time he fails to do what he has agreed then it repeats. What kind of consequences should there be? The things he has not done yet which he agree to do as part of huge contract about 6 weeks or so ago are:
He agreed to open a joint bank account (still not done despite him agreeing to this before we got married, which was before d day)
He agreed to get rid of his old phones (he still has not got round to ebaying it- but I have all but one of the phones - one is missing and he says he doesn't know where it is)
He agreed not to view scenes of a sexual nature on TV/video/ photos/ etc (he recorded game of thrones and then said I was censoring him because I deleted it- after a long conversation he agreed he had said he would not view sexual content and this was that kind of content)

This week has really made me feel differently - almost like we are back to square one. I know we are not because h does recognise that he has got to work out what his values are (so mrs jones , I can see this is a big positive). He acknowledges that he has had skewed values and he wants to change them. But I just don't see whole sale commitment to it. It is something that is on his list of things to do every week but he is not making it a priority. I really feel that the counselling we have been attending has now become a bit pointless. It is like we have brushed the issue of sex addiction under the carpet, it is the elephant in the room.

Our therapist is a trained sex addiction counsellor and trains other counsellors in sex addiction. She recommended that he attend sa which he did for five sessions but he felt that some of the people there were pretty extreme in their acting out I think and that it somehow did not apply to him. Even though there was another guy there who was similar to him in what he had done and where he was with his marriage. Neither of us believe in people being labelled as 'addicts' for life so I could see why this did not feel like a helpful place for him to be but at the same time there was the opportunity to talk to others and be honest about what he had done, which of course, he never actually did do (.the share'.)
Our therapist believes in sex addiction but I think because h has declared he is not a sex addict (he thinks he needs to 'change his personality' ,his words not mine,but believes he is not a sex addict anymore) that she has kind of given up on trying to work on he his with us. I guess she sees it as you can only work on as much as the couple in front of you want to work and if one of them is in denial about out what the issue is then what have you got to work with? So we have been looking at doing sensate and talking about diffusing arguments but in reslity I now realise that the few arguments we do have seem to mostly stem from him not following the contract. He has agreed to things but then doesn't do them and then I pick up on it and then he says 'why don't you trust me?'.

I just feel totally gutted as I thought we were making headway but now it seems as if it is all hot air that is coming from him with no genuine desire to change. Not really really deep down - he does not want it badly enough. Meanwhile I am being pulled about emotionally. I am fed up.

When we had our weekly talk yesterday about how recovery is going for both of us I suggested we do part one of the couples workshop. When we started the individual workshops we were separated, I am now on lesson 18 and he is on 4. I think it would be beneficial for him to dad about how I am feeling in recovery, I tell him but he has not realised the magnitude of huge damage his behaviour has caused. He does not understand how sometimes, out of the blue, I can feel cold towards him, because of some flashback I have. He does not realise how hard it can be for me to begin a relationship (for this is the best way to see it in my opinion- that we are beginning a new relationship) with someone who has hurt me by cheating on me and lying to me again and again. How he cannot fathom this I do not know! But he just appears to have little understanding of how I feel, he cannot empathise with me. I was speechless for the first time I'm my life the other day, literally speechless-I could not say a thing because he said "why don't you trust me?" When we were talking about him going out drinking with his sports club on their annual outing. Yes why on earth would I not trust a man who last time he got drunk ended up spending half an hour flirting with the young girl from his office right in front of me whilst I sat at the dinner table with the rest of his colleagues pitying me because his behaviour was embarrassing? Why wouldn't I trust the man who then proceeded to grab his boss's balls as a ' joke' and then who went missing from the same Christmas party and was found in the toilet with his pants round his ankles, his phone out covered in his own vomit unconscious on the toilet? All while I was with him!

Is it a good idea for us to do the first part of the couples' workshop given where we are at in our own recovery?

When I suggested it he said he felt he had just got going in his own recovery and didn't want to take time from that but would have a look at it and get back to me. I am not sure if this is positive or not. What do you all think?


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:21 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
I am short on time, and only got about half way through the last post, but wanted to answer some of the questions therein.

Quote:
What kind of consequences should there be?
It depends on your vision, and what consequences you are prepared to follow through on. What values does each of these violate, besides the obvious of not doing what he said he’d do? What values does this threaten? When you identify the values violated/threatened, then it is relatively easy to come up with an appropriate consequence when you think in terms of what you naturally feel like doing when these values are violated.

Quote:
But I just don't see whole sale commitment to it. It is something that is on his list of things to do every week but he is not making it a priority.
This is telling. Again, what values does this violate? What natural consequences does this violation elicit?

To give you some examples (note these are not “right”, but right for me given my vision and values). My vision for partnership includes (at the broad level) mutual trust, respect, honesty, transparency, integrity, shared values, commitment, etc. (not all, but the important ones). So, when my husband continued to act out and not disclose but I found out anyway, these are violations of all of those (acting out violates respect and shared values; that he didn’t disclose violates trust, respect, honesty, transparency, integrity. The natural consequences for these values are that I was upset and didn’t want to talk to him or be around him, or spend time with him, and certainly don’t want to have sex with him. That he did this despite the “recovery” work, and despite my giving him ample space to work through this in his own way, indicates to me that he is not committed and isn’t interested or vested in the relationship/that he took it for granted. The natural consequence of this is that I reduced my investment in the relationship by moving to the spare room, and stopped doing couple activities with him (going out with friends as a couple, for example) and then I eventually withdrew doing family activities with him and we were basically roommates. We get along well, and I was committed to letting him work it out, so it was easy for this to become “the new normal”, and it did. Then, again I found out about more acting out but this time it violated a bottom line boundary (my daughter was home at the time) and so that was that. This transpired over the course of several years (I think I have been sleeping in the spare room for 3 or 4). This was probably too long to “wait and see” and I knew that he wasn’t really doing the work (by his tells) but there were other values in my system/vision that I prioritized over partnership, on the premise that partnership would be rebuilt eventually. The truth of the matter is, if I kept myself busy with other values based activities that I prioritized, this could have drawn on indefinitely. (I would not have let it, but it is important to acknowledge that this is how it could have gone).

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:36 pm 
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Posts: 38
Thank you everyone for your responses. I found them v helpful in dealing with the situation. I felt too stressed to write at the time. I have been working on enforcing my boundaries and am now starting to see how my strong feelings about things are because of values I have- it's just I never knew about the terms 'value' or 'setting boundaries'.

In the last month h has spent nights in spare room because of his crossing my boundaries. I noticed he seems to get nastier and then after a day or two gets quite nasty. He has made me feel scared and said some very hurtful things about my appearance or my past that I can't see how I will ever forget. I feel he is emotionally retarded. He has found his voice and opinions but expresses himself in a very nasty way (occasionally). I fear I have found my second abusive relationship.... This is what it is becoming because of his resentment of me. He seems to be the good guy for a Whalen, doing his share of chores, giving me hugs unsolicited but it doesn't last and he turns into this nasty guy- I actually licked him out of the house on Saturday night because I felt scared by the way he was acting. He was not violent, just very spiteful making nasty comments about basically all the areas in my life that I actually thought he was supportive about. He was mocking me for going to counselling.

I'm not sure which is the real him. Is this normal to have like two personalities in him? One Fighting to be the dominant one - this is how it sometimes seems to me. I had a dream last night in which I found slips of paper hidden in a tin in his car and they were notes he had made on people he had stalked...should I listen to this dream? It's obvious my gut is telling me that he is acting out in some way...but I don't know what it is. We have looked at the couples workshop and agreed to do it he did the letter. I had no inclination to look for it . I don't see him choosing to progress in this. He thinks he is not an addict because he is not acting out. He minimises and justifies. He wants tot trap me in a row for ages. Now, I just say no I'm not talking about the past now. We have been through this. And walk away. I enforce my boundaries. Which for me is always 'sleep in the spare room' because I can't bear to be can the same bed as him when he treats me this way.

I hope he can pull himself together and help himself but I am planning a life without him too because this is just not the kind of relationship I deserve to be in... I would rather be on my own with my sons hen he behaves in this childish spiteful way.....obviously he is not like this all the time or the choice would be easy to make but it is hard to make a life with someone who can be so short sighted. He just thinks we should be like a normal couple. He thinks it is six months since d day so I should be over it.... He has v little understanding of what recovery for each I of us looks like. And I could argue that he doesn't really care.maybe he is too damaged to make his life better. He will never know true intimacy....

Anyway I will begin the couples workshop and see where we are in six months.


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Hey Connie,
I'm sorry he hasn't made very much progress in the last several month and that you continue to deal with emotionally abusive behavior. Is it normal? If you are asking if it is common, yes. It is definitely common and many partners describe their recovering partners as having a "Jekyll and Hyde" sort of personality where at times their partner can be very charming and caring, and at other times very cruel and manipulative. While it might be common, it is certainly not acceptable. As to which person is "him", in my opinion they are BOTH him. The nasty things he is saying are bids for control. When he experiences the feeling of being out of control, he needs something to help him feel stable again. Attacking you is one way of accomplishing that.
Connie33 wrote:
He thinks it is six months since d day so I should be over it....

This suggests to me that he does not understand what recovery is and is not committed to achieving a healthy partnership with you. This would be very concerning to me.

As far as the couple's workshop, it is currently incomplete and I want to caution you against pouring much of your energy into your relationship with him until he IS committed to achieving a healthy partnership with you. That commitment is mandatory before even the first stage of the partner's workshop will be of benefit to you. If he is not, then the best that can happen is for you to be frustrated by his lack of effort in the couple's workshop. The worst that can happen is for him to use it as a way to manipulate you. Until you are convinced that he is committed to a true recovery, and building a true partnership with you, I would advise continuing to work on your own individual recoveries so that you do not provide him with another lever with which to manipulate you.
I'm glad you're back. :g: Be well!
Mrs. Jones


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:01 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
How can I nip those conversations in the bud in a positive way?
Perhaps, point him toward his own community forum instead when he attempts to draw you into another lengthy chat. Suggest that he pose his question about trust and ask for input from the recovery community even though he doesn't see himself as an SA. I recall that it took my H a while before he felt comfortable with his own forum, but eventually he saw the merit in asking for help as well as giving help.
Quote:
It is making me feel physically ill from the stress of them.
Don't engage other than to use a straight forward feeling statement: I feel ________when you ____________. Just be heard. No emotion. Don't expect a healthy dialogue at this point. If he reacts emotionally, don't engage.

Hope this helps.
Nellie James


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:15 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Quote:
As far as the couple's workshop, it is currently incomplete and I want to caution you against pouring much of your energy into your relationship with him until he IS committed to achieving a healthy partnership with you. That commitment is mandatory before even the first stage of the partner's workshop will be of benefit to you.


I agree with this, as my own experience and observations have evidenced. However, I do think the first stage of the couple's workshop can be of benefit IF one goes in with the knowing that anything you get out of the couple's workshop is to enhance your relationships skills in general, and does not guarantee or even mean that anything will necessarily evolve in your particular relationship, or (perhaps least of all) in his recovery.

The exercises are good for developing emotional intimacy, and other relationship promotive skills. As Mrs. Jones indicated, these exercises will most benefit those who are truly committed to the relationship but threaten to cause a set back for partners of those who are not already committed. Sadly, many go in thinking that the couple's workshop is a new beginning, or a sign of commitment, and are often met with disappointment, frustration, or even anger (because of the apparent lack of commitment). That said, theoretically, these exercises could show a person who does not connect to the value of relationship/partnership that the couple's workshop fosters, what they are missing out on, so to speak, if not teach them how to develop these skills. However, the work of recovery is still ahead of them and if they are not fully committed, they will usually lose interest after stage 1. The impact is that some partner's feel like they wasted their time, that they were being taken along for a ride, that it was another attempt at controlling the environment or pulling the wool over their eyes, etc.

All this is to say that if you do decide to go ahead in the couple's workshop, do with with the mindset that whatever you get out of it is bonus and life enhancing for you, and does not mean anything about his recovery, then you will be ok. In other words, don't go into this with any attachments to an outcome. And, yes, it is still under construction and I honestly do not know when this will change.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
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I totally agree with Coach Mel on this. If I remember correctly, the couples workshop does include your doing the individual recovery and healing workshops, too, at some point. When we first joined, my H and I felt we needed all the help we could get and opted to do the individual workshops first and then proceeded to the couples workshop which built upon the work we had already completed.

I see that you are doing the healing workshop. That's important, I feel, for you to develop personal insights, a clearer understanding of the nature of this kind of addiction, and, most importantly, determine the vision and values that will guide you now and through out your life. This in itself is a far-reaching gift for each of us.

I still suggest that your H turn to the Recovery Community forum for direction and support. His being in denial and his general fear of facing himself will get in his way. Stay strong and true to yourself - keep your focus on you regardless of what he chooses to do.

Nellie


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:07 pm 
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Right, that's helpful, thank you all. I will use couples' workshop with caution. I will point him in direction of fourum. I won't get bogged down in lengthy discussions- like you say, I will just say "I feel x about x".
It really does feel like emotional abuse ... I worry I have gotten into another abusive relationship when prior to d day h was someone who was so easy going. Of come, I now know this was because he was not really bothered about my life and how it linked with his because of the secret life he was trying to hide. A colleague was talking about her h who she said never got annoyed and that he had only done it a couple of times in the five years of marriage and I thought .... Hmm I wonder if he's an sa because now I see it as unhealthy if people don't express annoyance. Not in anger but it's not good to bottle up frustrations.


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:55 am 
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So the emotional abuse guy keeps rearing his ugly head. We are now on separation number seven.this one in house. H has been behaving like a teenager:

According to him: He is not a sex addict. Why can't I just get over it? Although he played a part in it, actually it is partly my fault too. If we were to ask anyone else they would say I have a problem. I am actually the abusive one.nothing is ever going to change because I enjoy keeping him like a prisoner. He can't even go out for a drink with his friend. He didn't cheat. It was just wanking. It didn't mean anything. His therapist (who he has seen once) says his problem is that he is suffering from anxiety. He is not a sex addict. He seems to not understand that the therapist will have a way of working to pull their client in to let them trust them- they aren't going to be saying to their client on day one- you are a sex addict if their client doesn't think they are... The therapist has written a book about sex addiction/ internet porn... So I think he is aware of the traits!

He has made me feel scared by his behaviour. He has rested his hand on the door frame at the top of the stairs and when I asked him to move it he refused. I felt scaled because my escape route was blocked. When we talked about this the next day he said he thought was just saying it to have power over Him. He seems to judge me by his own standards. I tell him I don't lie. If I tell you I feel scared by your behaviour then that is what I feel.

He has a chip on his shoulder. H has agreed to the contract and now feels resentful of it. He agreed to these things to help me to begin to trust him. He said last night lets rip it up I will still do them, well not all of them, but let's rip it up.he wants to not do the ones that don't let him go out without me drinking.

This is the kind of stuff he has been saying - it is like a cycle. Since I last wrote we have had the cycle happen twice. He gets annoyed and resentful of me because of the contract we had to have in place to try to have a relationship because he had eroded all trust I gave him because of his repeated lying. He resents having to sell his sports car (we owe lots of money, he would spend spend spend and kidded himself he could afford it) now he has people interested in buying I notice he gets like this when he has to deal with their emails.
Secondly he is resentful of me because when we got back together having a contract in place, in hey here was a point about not going on he he work outing- they have the afternoon off to go out for a meal, champagne reception and then a band.... However, because of what happened at his work Christmas party (where despite me being there he spent 20-30 minutes flirting with the office girl when he said he was going to the toilet - this was in between main and dessert it was so embarrassing and people started to pity me) it had been agreed that he would not go but we would review it a month before the date to see how I felt about it and if things were better then he might go for a bit, or not drink and go. However, because things are not good because he is in denial and blames, justifies and minimises, I obviously would not feel I could trust him to go. So all his resentful, nasty behaviour is about this- he is now saying he might go. W have a couple therapy follow up appointment on the day (it was booked at the last one about six weeks ago- the reason it was the last one was because we were not getting anywhere as he was I denial about having a problem. Occasionally doing recovery work but vassilating between admitting his problem and denying it and therefore our therapist thought there's was no merit for us continuing. So this appointment happens to Ben on the same day as the work outing. So I have instigated the In house separation, told him we are separate now, do your own washing, cook your own meals. And we can discuss things at our couples therapy. However, it looks like he might not go. That's his choice. We move closer to divorce.


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 Post subject: Re: Denial of addiction
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Hi Connie33,

I am sorry to hear, but you have very solid boundaries in place and good for you for enforcing them! It really sounds like your husband is not making headway. The problem is obviously that he doesn't think that there is a problem. However, regardless of whether or not it is an addiction, or whether it is just complete selfishness, what he cannot deny is the problems that his ongoing behaviour is causing in his marriage. So, at the very least he has his priorities backward.

Be well

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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