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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:03 pm 
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This is my first post here but my second official attempt at healing as a Partner of a SA.
Man, that hurts even writing it now. My fiancé, and boyfriend of 15 years, and I went through DDay and all the mess that comes with it over 6 years ago. We even had time apart to work on ourselves during this time as well. He had reached a point in his recovery where he wanted to start working through our baggage together and we did pretty successfully, I thought. We got engaged about 2years ago and decided to take this slow since stressful life events and commitment are two huge triggers for him.

About three months ago he started seeing a therapist but would not talk to me about it. I asked if it had something to do with SA and he, quite defensively, said no. During the past three months I have had the gut feelings we all get when we know something is wrong and it has something to do with him acting out. I turned back to my journals, books and other guidance I had worked so hard on so many years ago and that helped me stay balanced and detached for a little while.

Then I had a relapse of my own and started trying to check up on him. After the LONG hours he'd spend in his office with the door closed, I'd go in and check his calendar, email, anything I could to try and find some evidence. I found something every time, but it wasn't until I found out that he racked up a total of $1500 on webcam sites in a 3 day period that I accepted the fact that we were back at square one.

I tried to talk to him but that did nothing but make him mad and more disconnected from me.
I wrote him a letter reminding him of my support for him and that we can work through anything if we stay in communication. It was after that letter that he sat down to talk, he said his job was stressful and he was having doubts about marrying me. I asked if he had been struggling with SA stuff and he said, No- it's all under control. I knew that this was more serious than just a small backslide but had no idea what to do.

He continued with his therapist and continued with keeping me at a distance and his computer really close. He put passwords on all of his devices. (I'm actually kind of glad)

He came to me this past Saturday and said after all if his therapy, he thinks he can't see himself setting a date for our wedding. I asked if this was a final decision or if we could talk about things since I feel like there is much more going on and I feel very left out of such a huge decision.

He said he'd have to think about it but maybe we can talk to someone together. He doesn't see himself changing his mind but he'll think about it. I said that I thought we should address SA stuff as well and he said no, b/c that's under control and has nothing to do with us.

I'm very hurt, frustrated, sad and kind of angry. I know we are in a very vulnerable and shaky place and I cannot see the path out. I'm not very hopeful that he can make it back to a place of recovery, especially since he is not acknowledging anything right now. I feel like I'm not ready to give up on us but ultimately if he quits, I have to step aside. It scares me to think of how far we've come and how much damage has been done in the course of a few months.

I'm thankful to have found this place so I do not have to feel alone.
Thanks for reading. I'm going to start Lesson 1.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:25 pm
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I'm trying to read through lessons and other member responses for encouragement, support and insight.

I keep going from VERY angry, annoyed that I'm the one analyzing and reading and checking in on this! He is in his office in the other room looking through family photos and listening to music like everything is just fine.

We're supposed to see a therapist on Thursday, which he has now said he doesn't really want to go but he will since it's what I need. That means I have tonight, ALL day tomorrow and tomorrow night to find ways to stay detached... I know I have longer than that but I can only think in day increments right now, sometimes even only by the hour.

Anyone been here? Any tips or resources that might help me stay focused on me?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:16 am 
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Hi movingthrough,

I am very sorry for your circumstance. It is quite possible that his being unable to set a date is because of guilt induced by not wanting to start a life with you with lies, and that he feels that he can’t disclose. But, this is just speculation, and only he knows the real reason. Regardless, it sounds like he is so mired in his addiction.

Re: It scares me to think of how far we've come and how much damage has been done in the course of a few months.

The thing is “how far we’ve come” assumes that you really knew what was going on in his mind all this time. Remember, the person with addiction often lives a compartmentalized life, and you only get to see what he wants you to see and what serves him for you to see. In hindsight, I can see that the first 9 years or so of my relationship to my h was this way. Whenever there was a “crisis” he’d share a little more of himself. But, I would guarantee (now) that he only shared those things that he believed would get him something in return—namely, maintaining status quo, i.e. controlling his environment. I am convinced that this was calculated. It was definitely a manipulation. This is not to say that this is how it is for your partner, but it could be.

re: "Anyone been here? Any tips or resources that might help me stay focused on me?"

Yes, we’ve all been here. The best thing to do, at this point, is begin working on the workshop lessons, and if you have, continue to work on the lessons. In the early days, I would log on and complete a lesson or just journal my thoughts, and often the lesson that I completed turned out to be exactly what I needed. Put your focus and energy into completing the lessons. There is nothing you can do about him. The way he copes (avoidance) feels invalidating and it hurts. But it is only truly invalidating if you allow it to diminish you, i.e. if you allow whatever he does to mean anything about you. It does mean something about him (that he is the kind of guy to treat others like they are not valid--which say amore about him then it does about your validity, unless you agree with him and allow that to define you). It still hurts, but it helps to put it in perspective.

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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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:34 pm
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CoachMel wrote:
It does mean something about him (that he is the kind of guy to treat others like they are not valid--which say amore about him then it does about your validity, unless you agree with him and allow that to define you). It still hurts, but it helps to put it in perspective.

Be well.



it truly is all about perspective. I have learned things as a result of this experience that I wish I'd realized 25yrs ago. How someone treats me is a reflection on them, not me! I internalized so much BS my whole life. it reminds of my first marriage. When my first husband turned down an advance from me and chose to look at a p mag instead and later after rarely touching me, I walked in on him mb to a mag, I didn't know almost 25 yrs ago ther was any such thing as a p addiction, I thought it meant something was wrong with me, when it actually meant there was something wrong with him! it is all in the perspective, I now see things completely differently.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:16 pm
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Hi movingthrough,

I'm sorry you're in such a difficult spot. I feel for you wanting to detach from your fiance's addiction (which you seem to know really does have nothing to do with you), but of course it's more difficult to detach emotionally from the plans you were making. Hopefully he will come to a place where he wants to heal, so he won't lose the opportunity for a life with you. He's probably ashamed, guilty, feeling weak, and all the other emotions that seem to trump good sense in an addict. All you can do is be supportive, and that can be challenging enough! Remember, you deserve to be respected.

Take care of yourself,

Sophia


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
movingthrough wrote:
Anyone been here? Any tips or resources that might help me stay focused on me?


I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I thought I would take a minute to add some thoughts on this.
The first thing that helped me was to step back and think about the specific emotions I was feeling, name them, and give myself permission to feel them. In those first days of upheaval, it's easy to get caught up in trying to get rid of the negative emotions by any way possible. For me, this meant allowing myself some protected time to sit with my grief. Instead of pushing through whatever I was doing through tears, I let myself sit and cry - thinking about what I had lost, and acknowledging that what I had hoped for had worth.
The second thing is to not allow yourself to get sucked into spending all of your time reading, writing, and refreshing blog pages hoping to find more information about sexual addiction. You are more than this, and you NEED to feed other parts of yourself so they don't suffocate! If nothing you can think of to do sounds interesting, choose something you know you would have enjoyed in the past, and then focus on just finding parts of that to enjoy. This sounds like it's contradictory to the first thing I wrote, but I think finding a balance between intentionally coping with the hurt you have, and allowing yourself time to NOT think about it is really important.
The last thing is to be very intentional with taking care of your physical body. As someone who deals with depression, I never know if others have similar struggles as me, but when I'm struggling emotionally, I have a hard time feeling motivated to take care of my body physically. Don't skip showers or meals. Even if you can't sleep, allow yourself to rest for a healthy amount of time every night. Find a way to move your body a few times a week (if not daily).

If these things don't help you, well, take what you can use and leave the rest! These are just the things that worked for me. When it comes to detaching, maybe there are others who figured it out immediately and didn't have a problem from that point forward, but for me, detaching had a learning curve. It took me, probably a solid year to really get a grasp on what it meant to detach from my husband and allow him to do the work he was going to do. So, as Nellie says, Give yourself the gift of patience! It's okay if you don't have everything figured out by the time you see the counselor. Be Well!
Mrs. Jones


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:25 pm
Posts: 9
Thank you so much for your responses, insight and caring hearts.

We got into see a therapist yesterday and it was a tough session to say the least. We both said how we felt and she pushed a little harder with him asking him if he could talk more about SA. He talked around the issues and didn't answer her questions directly. It was painful for me to sit there and know that if he couldn't acknowledge anything - I would have to walk away...even though I do NOT want to.

She asked me what my bottom line is and thankfully, I was able to answer. I said that I understand he does not feel like he is going to be able to set a date for our wedding but I believe he is actively pursuing his SA and that doesn't make me feel like this is a stable or healthy place to be making such a huge decision. If he is unable to acknowledge or work on SA before we make a decision about our future - that would not be a healthy place for me to be and I'd have to walk away, for good.

While were were there, he said he knew it was an issue but that he didn't think working on it would change his decision to call off the wedding. When we got home, he said he needed to meet with his therapist but he really feels like he's done a whole lot of work on it and he doesn't think there is anything else he can do. He said he sees it as the same as my codependency, just an issue that shows up and sometimes hurts our relationship. I knew that talking anymore would not be productive, so I said I would need to know how he felt about my request after he talks with his therapist.

We have another therapy appointment today with someone different. He said he still wants to go even if we talk through the same things. Right now I'm not sure if I can sit there realizing that we are on such different pages and not being able to see a way to get there... but I will try. I does help to have someone else in the room who's qualified to mediate difficult conversations. I noticed yesterday that it helps me stay emotionally regulated and more focused when we're talking instead of getting distracted by the pain throughout my chest.

I'm trying to get to a place where I can walk away feeling like I've done all I can for this relationship. I'm on summer break, so I have nothing but time on my hands right now. Each morning I make a 'To Do' list and here's what is on it: shower, eat, pray, RN work, weigh out decisions about job and living arrangements, cry, journal, sleep. I will keep trying to put one foot in front of the other and focus on what's in my control - ME.

Thanks again for being here and for caring.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Dear movingthrough,
I've no wisdom to offer, but I wish to recognize the extraordinarily difficult decisions that lie ahead for you. You are very much on my mind...and not alone in your journey.

Meep


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:25 pm
Posts: 9
Thank you for your responses to my post as well as others that have helped me get through each day. Your insight, wisdom and kindness have helped me to keep putting things into perspective. It has helped me stop my thoughts from spinning in directions that are rooted in fear and redirected them to a place of reality.

Tomorrow will be a week since he said he couldn't set a date for our wedding and didn't think he ever will be able to.
We've been to two therapists and tried to talk a few times on our own. We've gotten to the same spot every time.
I'm asking that we do some work on our SA/codependent cycle before we make such a huge decision about our relationship. He's saying it has nothing to do with his decision and our only option is to call everything off and break up.

I've been trying to walk away from the conversation each time we get here without arguing, or trying to explain why I think it's important. It's REALLY hard to do this. I wish it were easier.

This morning I said I wanted us to do this work before we make the final decision to end our relationship because I feel like it will be a healthier place. I said I'm not trying to change your mind, I'm trying to give us a chance to move through this and hopefully if he still feels like he cannot set a date we can move forward without the extra doubts. I said if he chooses not to dive deeper into what's going on and how it affects our communication, intimacy, trust and friendship I will accept his choice and have to walk away because I value all of those things in a relationship. He stared back at me blankly and said, I don't think we're going to see eye to eye on this. He said he thinks we should go talk to someone who can help us through the decisions we have to make while we're breaking up.

I started to cry and felt myself getting angry and frustrated. I wanted to make him see what I was seeing. I wanted him to apologize for acting out & breaking my boundary & hurting me, especially over the past three months. I wanted him to understand how that has destroyed any trust between us and it makes it SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT for me to trust he is making this decision about our future from a healthy place. I wanted him to care about what I needed and how extremely hard this is going to be for me. I wanted him to realize that this is a mistake. BUT I KNOW I CANNOT make anyone see, do, hear, feel, decide ANYTHING. NO MATTER WHAT!

I got up from the table and went to take a shower. I cried harder than I've ever cried before. I tried to keep reminding myself that this is NOT happening TO me. I am deciding not to allow someone I love to treat me like this. I think I am trying to say what is valuable and important to me by saying I cannot go forward, or wait patiently anymore.

I felt like I had pulled it together for now, but then sat down at this computer and came straight to this page because I don't know what to trust. Is walking away from him and this relationship my only option. Am I supposed to wait patiently until he reaches a place where he can address our relationship with honesty? Am I supposed to trust our past experiences when he would check out, or break up only to come running back when he became aware of what he was doing and felt like it was a mistake. Am I supposed to give up on this and chalk it up to the fact that he was not ready to heal what is broken? I keep going back and forth between knowing what I will accept and what I will not and feeling like I can't trust anything right now.

We live together, which I am deeply regretting today, so I'd love to hear from anybody who has been in my shoes. How did you handle it? I am trying very hard to live in each moment and feel everything that comes up without running away or ignoring what is going on because I want to feel it, heal from it and move forward with peace. Is that even possible? I want to hold my head up, with dignity and know that I have done everything I can do and offered everything I can offer. But, right now I don't.

This is the only place I can 'say' how I really feel and what I really think. Like many of you, I'm sure, I cannot share the truth about our struggles and heartache. I appreciate the insight, reminders, warm thoughts and kind support you all offer.

Your posts give me hope that I am not in this alone and that there are many, many people who want to live healthy, loving, peaceful lives.
Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Each time I read something that you write I am impressed with your dignity and thoughtfulness. And I have to say that I just hurt for you! You are in the deepest part of the muck right now and that is such a hard place to be! You deserve that apology! You deserve for him to sit next to you and cry over the loss of your relationship. For him to show you that he deeply regrets the things he's taken away from you. There may be no way to make him give those things to you, but it doesn't mean that you deserve them any less.
What are you "supposed" to do. I wish there were a very clear answer to give you, but there isn't. There are some general statements that are true. You should give yourself the time, energy, and attention that you need to heal. You should protect the things that are important to you during this transition. You should do what is right for you. But what all of that looks like is so specific to each individual that a stranger sitting at a computer across the country/world has no way of telling you what those things are. I can highly recommend the workshop. It will help you clarify who it is that you want to become and what things are important to you. And then you can use those things to determine how quickly you should move on and in what ways.
I will say that if it is clear that he intends to separate sooner rather than later, then it would be wise to take steps to protect yourself financially as much as possible. Do everything you can to ensure that he can't leave you in a vulnerable situation. Be Well!
Mrs. Jones


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
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Dearest movingthrough,

My goodness, I can see myself, 7 or so years ago, in your words.

Your love for your bf/fiance is apparent. And the pain you describe....oh, I remember such similar feelings.

Mrsjones is right. You are in the super painful deep end right now.

There was this show long ago called Party of Five. And a character is cheated on by her bf. She says she wants to hate him right now, but she can't, because he's the one who's supposed to hold her. But he's the one whose actions hurt her.

We here all have gone through that--the person who we wish could help heal or comfort us being the one who:
A) did the hurting and
B) doesn't see how/why the choices were so hurtful.

In my own marriage, I am significantly detached. It's hard. It takes time. It's lonely. But over time, it's also empowering. I give myself the love and comfort I want.

Can you move to another room to sleep, for starters? It will still be painful, but can give you space to start thinking objectively and with values on your situation.

You sound mature, strong, kind, and brave. I admire all the inner knowing of your self and values that you communicated to your bf. I wish you peace tonight.

Hugs,
Meep


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:25 pm
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thank you mrsjones and meepmeep and everyone else for reading and supporting me.

i did blow up the air mattress and moved some of my clothes into my office (another room in our apartment). I did all of this while he was at the store today and after we had a painful conversation about how he thinks our relationship needs to end.

it was EXTREMELY painful just to set this stuff up. i'm pretty sure i soaked every inch of the room in tears as I was rearranging.

he came back and i was in here reading. i didn't come out b/c i knew i was mad and frustrated and that cannot lead to anything good.
i was keeping to myself, coming into the kitchen to get a drink or switching the laundry. everytime i came out of my room, he would stop what he was doing and just stare at me. i didn't respond.

i just went out to get a blanket and he followed me back to my room. he stood at my door and said, ' i wish there was something i could do to help you.' SERIOUSLY?! I just stood there and said, i don't need anything. he said this is hard for both of us, blah..blah..blah. i could feel myself getting more and more angry. i told him i was mad and frustrated and now might not be the best time to talk.

he said he was just trying to let me know that he's willing to do whatever he can to help me. i didn't respond and he stood at the door.
again, i said i was upset and angry so was there anything else he needed bc i wanted to go to sleep.

he said we should probably set a date for when i should find another place. he thinks 2-4 weeks should be enough time.

i am so furious and hurt right now. i thought i was doing what was healthy by blowing up the air mattress and keeping my distance.
i thought that would at least help me feel like i had some space to think and try to figure out what is best for me.

i said, i need to go to sleep - can we talk about this later. he said, i know - i can tell i'm bothering you. i'm sorry. and i shut the door.

so cold and so, so hurtful.

i'm not sure what i should learn from this, but my eyes and ears and heart are wide open ready to catch the lesson.

thank you for reading.
hoping you all are having a more peaceful weekend.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:29 pm 
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Lots of emotions tonight.

Not sure why it's taken me so long but I think I'm raising my white flag.
It hurts too much to keep the tiny bit of hope I have for him to want to do the work that we would need to do in order to recover our relationship.

I know everyday brings something new but this is the way I feel in this moment and it is pretty painful.
I'm committed to healing my codependency and anything else I need to recognize and heal. I don't want to hurt like this anymore.

Not sure if I should start a new thread but wondering if anyone has had any experience with SA and Love Avoidance/addiction? If so, as I work through the lessons on RN,will I be able to address and heal from love addiction as well or is that separate?

With hope,
Movingthrough


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
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Quote:
Not sure if I should start a new thread but wondering if anyone has had any experience with SA and Love Avoidance/addiction? If so, as I work through the lessons on RN,will I be able to address and heal from love addiction as well or is that separate?


Not surprisingly, many partners who have come through here have had codependent type behaviours, love addiction, or both. Speaking for myself/from my own experience, I would say that my own LA tendencies were more fantasy/fairy-tale based unconscious beliefs. I was already somewhat aware of them prior to coming here, but there were completely uncovered and dug up through my work here. So, to answer your question--yes. Working through the lessons can help you address the love addiction tendencies you may have. That said, this will depend on how entrenched these tendencies are in your identity. You may want to work through the recovery workshop after you complete the partners workshop (or begin the recovery workshop first).

The concerns:
The LA-partner combination might mean that you will go to the recovery side looking for something related to the LA, something that you might find, but it will be superficial and may even feed into the LA. In other words, being on the recovery side could be an unhealthy choice for a person with LA. (It can be unhealthy for many otherwise "healthy" partner's, too, so just be cautious, aware, and intentional if this is what you choose to do).

The recovery workshop can be triggering for a partner new to the process. Just as parts of the healing workshop are initially triggering, for some. The recovery workshop, much more in depth about sexual addiction, can be overwhelming. If you find any parts of the healing workshop triggering, I would recommend you finish your work here before taking on the recovery workshop.

The recovery workshop is written more to address porn and sex addictions explicitly. The partner's workshop is somewhat more conceptual, being based on the recovery workshop, and thus easier to "translate" or make the analogous leap that is needed to adapt the workshop for LA, or other addictions. (Although, as indicated previously, the recovery workshop is much more in depth, so depending on how ingrained the behaviour patterns, you may need the more rigorous workout offered by the recovery workshop).

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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