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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 3:24 pm
Posts: 5
Without going into too much detail, this is what happened a few days ago:

My SA boyfriend who's in deep sorrow because his dad passed away recently, had a relapse. It didn't involve other people which makes it a bit easier for me, but unfortunately it DID result in him having to go to the hospital afterwards and have rectal surgery. It was a very humiliating experience for him.

Now he's back home and blaming me for not showing compassion in what he calls "his darkest hour". He says that he inflicted pain on himself, not on me, and that I'm making it all about me and my feelings of hopelessnes. He doesn't feel I have any reason to be angry or sad, since he didn't cheat on me or watch porn. I am however very hurt and frustrated because I did my utmost to be caring and supportive when his father died, and yet he still decided to selfmedicate the way he knows best.

I'm having a hard time dealing with this, and also in a way I feel that the surgery and all the humiliation are consequences of his relapse, which he needs to feel to the full extent for his own good. If I were to set my feelings aside and comfort him wouldn't I be enabling the addiction?

Please help ...


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 3:24 pm
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One more thing: Am I a bad person for thinking that this seems a lot like instant karma ...?


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 8:49 pm 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Hey Wendy,
The short answer is no. You are not required to comfort him.
Wendy wrote:
I'm having a hard time dealing with this, and also in a way I feel that the surgery and all the humiliation are consequences of his relapse, which he needs to feel to the full extent for his own good. If I were to set my feelings aside and comfort him wouldn't I be enabling the addiction?

I'm focusing mostly on this here. I think you can set aside what is "for his own good" right now. There are some healthy forms of compassion and unhealthy forms. When you see someone struggling and offer them empathy and support from your own stable place, that's healthy compassion. When two struggling, hurting people support each other through a mutually difficult time, that's healthy compassion. When one person demands empathy from a struggling person they hurt, that is NOT healthy compassion. It's important to put on your own oxygen mask first. The fact that he doesn't want you to (and the fact that he's denying the fact that you even need to) is evidence of just how selfish and unhealthy he is right now. Until you are stable and in a place where your values are protected, look at what is for your own good. Once you are in that healthy place, then you can look at offering empathy and compassion for the consequences he is experiencing.
If you can, detach from his accusations. Recognize that they are coming from an unhealthy person who is disconnected from reality and has NO healthy perspective to offer you. Set and enforce boundaries to protect your stability and values.
I see that you joined several years ago. Have you worked through the workshop? Be Well!
Mrs. Jones


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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 3:24 pm
Posts: 5
Thank you so much for replying, Mrs. Jones. I really appreciate it.

I told him last night that I need some space to process this and asked him to sleep in another room until I feel comfortable having him lying next to me. He refused to do that, so in the end I had to put my foot down and tell him that if he wouldn't do it, I saw no other alternative but to kick him out of the apartment. In the end he reluctantly decided to respect my boundary (with the most disrespectful attitude you could possibly imagine). I just hate having to strong-arm him in order to protect myself ...!

It's not easy to detach from his accusations, but I am doing my very best to keep calm and remind myself that his perception is flawed. The worst part is him telling me that I'm using his addiction as a scapegoat that I can blame all of our relationship problems on, and that I should take responsibility for my part.

There's no denying that I DO make mistakes and often let my emotions get the better of me. But for this man to tell me that I have inherent anger and insecurity issues, and not acknowledge that both my anger and my insecurity were caused by him cheating on me with 30 (!) different people is so blatantly unfair that it makes me feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone.

How do I reply to accusations like that? They hurt so much.

The only good thing to come of all this is that he has signed up for RN's private coaching. I guess that's something ...

***

To answer your question: When I first joined RN I started out doing the lessons in English, which - as you may have noticed - is not my native tongue. It was difficult for me to write from the heart, because my brain was working overtime with having to translate and find the right expressions in English. So I decided to do the rest of the lessons on my own in Danish. Doing them has helped me a great deal but I'm beginning to think that I might have gotten some things wrong and would have benefited a lot from feedback. Therefore I've decided to do them again, in English this time.


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 12:56 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Hi Wendy,
Quote:
There's no denying that I DO make mistakes and often let my emotions get the better of me.
Honest self-awareness is good and something you can build on as you focus on your own healing. We've all had our emotional outbursts, and sometimes we have to set boundaries for ourselves to change that pattern. I did. He seems to be practicing a bit of blame-shifting or projecting his anger/disappointment with himself onto you. Because his perceptions are skewed, he is able to validate blaming you in his own mind. That's just where he is. Once you can accept this as part of SA behavior, rather than personalize it, you can slow this emotional roller coaster down. You can't expect security, honesty, or rational thinking from him at this point. Instead he will fall into old ingrained patterns until he develops the self awareness and tools he needs to change those patterns. In time, if he works hard, he may be able to face his unhealthy choices and accept responsibility for the hurt he has caused you . Frankly, he probably doesn't know how to show you empathy or compassion, but he can learn when he is healthier. That's a ways down the road.
Quote:
How do I reply to accusations like that? They hurt so much.
Don't engage. Walk away. You don't have to explain yourself. Although you might try a feeling statement: I feel _____________when you___________. Don't expect any healthy dialogue. The point is to be heard - that's all. If he reacts negatively, walk away.

Your job is to heal yourself. The lessons will help you do that. Keep in mind that the partner's healing workshop is a continuum of learning, self-discovery, and self empowerment, not isolated topics. This is a process that will be unique to you. Turn him over to himself knowing that he will either do the work or he won't.
Your focus needs to be on you.

Give yourself the gift of patience.
Nellie James


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 9:38 am 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Wendy wrote:

It's not easy to detach from his accusations, but I am doing my very best to keep calm and remind myself that his perception is flawed. The worst part is him telling me that I'm using his addiction as a scapegoat that I can blame all of our relationship problems on, and that I should take responsibility for my part.

There's no denying that I DO make mistakes and often let my emotions get the better of me. But for this man to tell me that I have inherent anger and insecurity issues, and not acknowledge that both my anger and my insecurity were caused by him cheating on me with 30 (!) different people is so blatantly unfair that it makes me feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone.



Something that helped me at first was to separate the discussions. So if I mentioned something about his behavior to him and he tried to turn it back around on my behavior, I would say something like, "I'm willing to talk about that, but not right now. Right now I brought up something you have done that has hurt me." It quickly became clear that he ONLY minded my "mistakes" because they gave him an opportunity to justify his own behavior. When he was forced to separate the discussion of my behavior from the discussion of his behavior it sounded so petty and ungracious that he admitted that the things he kept bringing up in discussions didn't really bother him at all. Eventually I wound up just saying, "I'm not willing to talk about that." Because I wasn't. The ways that I was (and am) imperfect, had absolutely nothing to do with his addictive behavior and the destruction of our relationship. Period.
Finally, I want to point out that anger and insecurity are not character failings. If you have reason to be angry, being angry is not wrong. If you have reason to feel insecure in a relationship, pretending that you are secure would be delusional. (Something an unhealthy partner really wants!) Something that might help you is to define for yourself what behavior is healthy in acting on those feelings, and what behavior is disrespectful to the needs of others. (Saying you're angry, crying, setting boundaries vs. screaming, calling names, etc...) What he is defining as them "getting the better of you" may simply be healthy boundary setting and grieving. Remember that he doesn't have a healthy perspective and so if you're accepting his definition then you are probably severely limiting yourself.


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 10:05 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
I agree that being angry is not wrong unless it becomes a reactive pattern that gets in the way of your healing. I found that my bursts of anger made me feel worse about myself because I wasn't being true to my own values - I was reacting emotionally rather than honoring myself, my feelings, and my values in healthy ways. And, yes, it did give my H validity in his blaming me. He was passive aggressive and would basically set me up, and when I bought into it, he would point the finger at me. It took me a while to figure this out and not play his game. A big part of our healing is self awareness and making changes if you see the need. It's all about what makes you healthy and happy. We all have our light bulb moments along the way. :w:

Hope this helps.

Nellie James


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