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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:18 pm
Posts: 27
Please help me understand....

I just don’t understand. I have been doing the work. I'm at lesson 15... I understand the all of the ideas/concepts and accept them them . I feel stronger, more confident, empowered...I'm doing good *burst of tears...then as soon as I sit down to talk to him again I'm back at square one. Its like talking in circles. Feeling misunderstood, unheard, undesirable...I feel bitter, hurt and angry. I feel mad at myself for not being able to be supportive and loving. I feel hopeless and scared.

He is not doing RN. He did lesson 1 and has read ahead a fair ways, but has decided that his action plan is to take an online course through a local college. He has decided that the root of his problems is failure of success. That he will will continue to do destructive things when he is alone because he is so defeated and hates himself so much. That he needs to do something that he feels proud of, and feels accomplished in. That he has always been addicted to something, drugs in his teens, alcohol, video games etc and porn is just another one of those things. ...its not just another one of those things to me. It is hurtful, demeaning is this a good recovery plan? ..the last time I caught him it was a reply to a craiglist ad titled “lick my pussy and leave” ...he replied with days and times he was available, his age, and said if you’re a self respecting woman, no strings attached I'm attractive and would like to lick some good @#!%” ....and I took screen shots to confront him and so help me I cant delete them yet because I cant let myself forget who I am with. What he is capable of.

Why cant he see that taking a course wont fix us!?! why am I so selfish to need to feel like he is working on us and repairing the hurt he caused me?. To hear him say that porn is just a distraction and not his real problem made me feel like ....its not important what he has done and caused me. The 150% focus of this course will I'm sure distract him enough to abstain for awhile, but it has only been a week since his last relapse and I feel like he is grasping at straws and once the novelty of this course wears off he will be the same person, with the same secrets.

I am doing well with my new path, I do feel empowered and confident that I can make my renewed values= my new life. But there is no consequence I can give him for ignorance. I hate that I feel guilty for not being excited about his course and his recovery plan because it doesn’t match mine and doesn’t address “us”. Being loving and supportive is all I know how to do and when it conflicts with what I now believe is right and important I don’t know how to be other then detached and cold. ...i have become angry, bitter, unloving and incapable of being supportive.

Is he choosing the right path? Am I too self consumed to acknowledge it? Should I be supportive and just wait to see results or wait to be hurt again and feel like a bigger idiot....

I went to a BBQ last night with close friends that I have been avoiding. They know when I'm not okay...but I had to put on a shiny veil of deceit and spent the evening trying to be okay...and deflect their knowing stares. I feel angry that he gets to tell his family and friends about his exciting new course ...i am doing a course too but cant shout it from the roof tops because it is shameful, embarrassing, degrading and I don’t want anyone to lose respect for him or feel sorry for me. Its not fair. I know that acknowledging that is like step one....but its not.

Again I probably know the answer before I posed the question. I cant understand his actions and behaviours. I can only control where I am at now and not let myself get discouraged. But staying together in the same house is destroying all that I have left for him. I want to be proud of him. See him again with love, hope and optimism....but I just cant right now and think he should move out. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. But I see it as I will work on my path. He is choosing to work on his, but there is no path that connects us right now..... that breaks my heart!


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Dear Sweetb!
You have been working so hard and you're seeing some of the results. But I want to encourage you to be patient with yourself! I went to look at when you joined because I felt like it was recent. You have been on RN for less than a month! You have worked so hard and you have made progress, but it takes time to find, process, and put boundaries up to protect all the ways that you have been hurt.

sweetb wrote:
.I'm doing good *burst of tears...then as soon as I sit down to talk to him again I'm back at square one. Its like talking in circles. Feeling misunderstood, unheard, undesirable...I feel bitter, hurt and angry. I feel mad at myself for not being able to be supportive and loving. I feel hopeless and scared.


Applying things by ourselves is much easier than applying them with an unhealthy partner. This especially true when the partner is not in recovery because frequently their goal is to throw you off balance again! Keeping balance during an emotional discussion with our partners can be extremely difficult. One thing that might help is to remember what you can control during those conversations. You can control your words and how you behave, but you cannot control his reaction. You cannot force him to empathize or understand. Speak your truth and if he is not accepting of it, find a different place to get the support that you need.

As far as his "recovery plan", I would say that it could be a very healthy ASPECT of a recovery plan. But you are correct that throwing himself into a college class is not going to fix the problem. There's some truth to what he's saying. When he's on his own and experiencing the crushing pressure of self-doubt and criticism, it probably does trigger some acting out. The problem is that EVERYONE experiences self-doubt. Taking a college class that he can succeed in is not going to change that. Until he learns how to handle negative emotions in a healthy way in general, he will continue to find areas where he feels uncomfortable, vulnerable, and insufficient. When he's had a terrible day at work, he failed at a major project and his boss yelled at him, and everything seemed to go wrong... with most of it being his fault, he's not going to think, "Well, I took that college class so it doesn't matter that I came across as incompetent to my boss and potentially put my job on the line!" He's going to think, "I need something to make me feel better" and that something will likely be the thing that he has found to be most successful and handling his emotions in the past. Failure is a part of life. Everyone fails. So succeeding at something, trying to pile up your successes to outweigh your failures is not going to help you when you fail next. And that's before we even start talking about coping with the knowledge of the spectacularly hurtful ways he's failed in the past. He has to figure out how to cope with shame and failure in general.

sweetb wrote:
Why cant he see that taking a course wont fix us!?! why am I so selfish to need to feel like he is working on us and repairing the hurt he caused me?.


In my eyes, this is selfish, but not the bad form of selfish. You are a part of the couple, and if one part of the couple is hurting, it hurts the relationship. You want to address something that is hurting you and that is completely reasonable. At the same time, it's important to remember that he can't fix you right now. He can't fix the relationship right now. He must fix himself first. The desire to fix the relationship is reasonable. Intimate relationships are a huge part of our support system and it's very normal to want to fix such a critical part of our support! But any fixing of the relationship you do right now will have cracks in it and will need to be redone... often painfully.

sweetb wrote:
I went to a BBQ last night with close friends that I have been avoiding. They know when I'm not okay...but I had to put on a shiny veil of deceit and spent the evening trying to be okay...and deflect their knowing stares. I feel angry that he gets to tell his family and friends about his exciting new course ...i am doing a course too but cant shout it from the roof tops because it is shameful, embarrassing, degrading and I don’t want anyone to lose respect for him or feel sorry for me. Its not fair.


I want to ask why. These are people who know you intimately enough that they can tell when you're faking it. That intimacy very well could be a support for you! There is nothing shameful about your need for healing. You have done nothing wrong, nothing you need to feel embarrassed about. I understand that you don't want someone to lose respect for your spouse, but the respect he currently has is unearned. Protecting him by not sharing with people who could love and support you through this only takes his consequences onto you. I'm not saying that you need to shout it from the roof tops, there's no need for you to purposefully shame your husband to try to force him to experience the full consequences of his actions - but denying yourself support is not necessary either. There is a need for balance here clearly. You don't necessarily want to ruin your friend's bbq. But I don't think you need to "put on a shiny" veil of deceit" either. If you value honesty and transparency, then honor those values in a healthy, respectful way!

sweetb wrote:
I don’t want to make the wrong decision.

For me, I have discovered that I do make wrong decisions. I make them all the time. Usually I make them while I'm doing the best that I can. On occasion I make them willfully because it feels better to make the wrong decision than the right one. But I have discovered that sitting paralyzed out of fear of making the wrong decision is generally the wrong decision. Take the time that you need to gather the information that will clarify the issue, sort it out to the best of your ability, if there is wise counsel (who has experience with the issues that you are dealing with!!!) available make use of it; but there comes a time when you make the best decision you can and move forward. Part of life is going back and fixing the things that we messed up the first, second, or third time around. Give yourself grace. You are human and you will make mistakes. You are doing the best that you can, and that IS enough.

Mrs. Jones


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