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 Post subject: When is enough, enough?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
A year and a half ago, I started the RN program and created this vision.

I am living a life of integrity that reflects my own values by treating others as I want to be treated and by communicating honestly, fully, and with transparency regardless of the consequences. I am keeping myself emotionally healthy by asking for what I need and speaking up when I do not get it and by setting boundaries for other's behaviors and actions to protect myself. I am keeping myself physically healthy by committing to a regular schedule of exercise/sports. I am keeping myself mentally healthy by seeking out new friends and new sources of support and by pursuing a career that I love.

A few hours after I wrote this, my father passed away. But that was not all.

2013 was not kind to me. In brief, I found out at the end of 2012 about my partner's SA -- dating profiles, escorts, you name it. My earlier thread tells the whole horrible tale: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=21088

A few months later, I was in a very serious accident that required immediate surgery. It took me four months to heal from the surgery and to be able to return to work. I did not ask my partner to choose recovery – because I felt that he needed to want it for himself. Each time he told me that he was dealing with it, I found out he was lying and the behaviors were continuing.

At the beginning of 2014, I told my partner that I would not go through another year like the past year. I think he saw that I was serious and went to SLAA, but it didn't last – a few weeks later I found more proof that the behaviors were continuing. I sent him a list of nonnegotiable boundaries.

He complied with my terms – see a CSAT regularly, go to SLAA regularly, create a recovery plan, share the plan with me, and meet periodically together with the CSAT to discuss progress. I told him that I needed to see a real commitment to change within 3 months to even consider staying in a relationship with him.

I decided consciously not to make stopping the behavior a nonnegotiable term – not because it’s not a problem for me – but rather because I see it as a symptom of an overall behavior pattern that needs to change.

He did all the right things – he even joined a men’s group – but then it seemed like he was slacking off – e.g., he hasn’t seen his CSAT in nearly a month. I confronted him yesterday about that. He had many excuses – traveling for work, other commitments, etc. – these are all true but they seem like excuses nonetheless. I also asked him if he had acted out and he admitted that he had. I was actually surprised that he told me the truth.

I’ve read Lesson Eight. I have no idea whether this latest relapse is “healthy” or if he wasn’t ever really serious about recovery in the first place. I am very confused by his actions.

I know I could work on setting additional boundaries and consequences, but at this point, I am tired. I need to focus on my own life. We have been together for 7 years – and while I still love him – and I think he still loves me -- don’t ask me how – when is enough, enough?

I would really love to hear from others who have reached this place, especially how they reached a decision about the future of their relationship – and practically speaking, how they handled it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:58 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:20 pm
Posts: 1422
my dear sp2007,

Quote:
at this point, I am tired. I need to focus on my own life. We have been together for 7 years – and while I still love him – and I think he still loves me -- don’t ask me how – when is enough, enough?


i would venture to guess that most of us have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into that question. i know i did. i think there probably isn't a one size fits all answer. hopefully partner's answers will help you figure out your answer to that question.

sigh. in the beginning of my journey i made myself crazy trying to figure out when is enough, enough. what do i do now? do i stay? do i go? will i be giving up too soon? can this relationship be repaired? how do i help me? how do i help him? us? what am i supposed to do? somebody please tell me what to do. this is so foreign to me. he is so foreign to me. i don't know him. what do i do? how do i get through the next hour/day/week and so on? for me, the only way to hold on to what sanity i had left was to set goals to be met within a certain time frame and then push the questions to the back of my head. when the time limit for c to reach x, y, or z modest goal arrived i would drag out the questions and make new goals. for me, there came a time when i simply knew enough was enough. he broke my heart one time too many and i knew. i have never regretted my choice.

have you read sammy's post? it seems as if you might both be struggling with the same question. well, it's a question we have all struggled with here.

i am holding you in the light today.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
Thanks for your reply. I just read sammy's thread.

I guess I'm afraid that if I'm asking the question, I'm already done -- that I put up with more than I should've for longer than I should've have -- and I just have nothing left.

His last relapse was two months ago. I hate how it makes me feel and act. Each time it happens, it takes me a few weeks to get my footing back under me -- and then he relapses again.

It's like he is stealing my life from me.

My therapist thinks we should have a therapeutic separation. I guess it's an option, but part of me thinks that the only hope that he has for recovery is for me to leave for good.

If it's meant to be, he can find his way back to me. But I think it's best not to hold onto that thought -- it will keep me from moving forward with my own life, something I've needed for a very long time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:21 am
Posts: 112
Hello there.... I just read your post and I wanted to say I think I understand how you feel. This is so hard, and decisions are difficult to make, especially when we are trying to make them based on values and not emotion. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone in how you feel. Thank goodness for all the wonderful support we have here on RN. The best thing for us is to keep striving for our own health. You aren't alone! :-)
Sammy


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
I know I could work on setting additional boundaries and consequences, but at this point, I am tired.
Enforcing consequences is the hard part - takes time and energy but it is not to control him but to strengthen you. From my perspective, it is part of our own healing and self-empowerment. What they do with it is on them. And by they, I mean anyone in our lives that violates a personal boundary.
Quote:
I need to focus on my own life.
What does focusing on your own life look like to you? I think it helps to make a plan that includes all the elements of your vision. I suggest that you rewrite yours to include your specific interests, activities, passions, education, family, spirituality, etc. and calendar in activities to make these elements of your vision happen regularly. Don't wait for him to change to take charge of you. This may mean a separation. And that's OK. Put all your energy toward you and turn him over to himself.
Quote:
We have been together for 7 years – and while I still love him – and I think he still loves me -- don’t ask me how – when is enough, enough?
Love may still be there for each of you BUT we each reach a point of determining what we can live with and what we can't based on our vision and our values. I'm not sure where you are in your lessons, but clearly defining our values for ourselves is key, from my perspective, and that process is different for each of us. RN generally asks us to make a values based decision about whether to stay or go which depends on where we are in determining those values. You have had a rough year. Perhaps, it would be wise to give yourself the gift of patience at this point. Just for you. Recently I read a wonderful paper about patience. I'll quote the last paragraph: "Patience may seem like a superficial virtue, but actually it embodies a deep insight into the nature of things: they're intertwining, messy, imperfectible, and usually not about you. Patience also contains a wonderful teaching about desire: wish for something, sure, be at peace when you can't have it. Patience knows that you can't make the river flow any faster." Learning to be at peace when you can't have IT is the hard part. And what is IT? Maybe it's learning to be open to the big picture - what you want you want your life to be based on your vision and values.

Hope this helps.
Nellie James


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
Patience. Maybe. I think I've been more than patient. I guess I'm just angry today. I'm fed up being with a lying, cheating, piece of sh*t. Sorry. I know I probably shouldn't say that, but it's how I feel. His actions disgust me. I walk down the street, see someone I can imagine he'd act out with, and then imagine them together. And it makes me want to vomit. I guess my question is...do I owe him an explanation? After 7 years, I wouldn't want someone to just disappear from my life. That's MY value system. But does he deserve my value system when I've been subjected to his complete lack of one?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:22 pm 
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Hmmm. :pe: Your value system is for you, not him. Patience is for you, too. Your present circumstances put you on an emotional rollercoaster. Patience protects you/me like a shock absorber. You will get through this but it won't happen as quickly as you or I or anyone here would like to. It's a process unique to each one of us. Toxic stress, pressure, lack of control..... seem to rule because we want what we can't have, at least for now. We long for a feeling of safety, normalcy, peace. It will come and the lessons help but will take hard work. Give yourself the gift of patience.

Hope this helps. :w:
Nellie James


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
Just wanted to say thank you, nellie james. I am going back to the lessons. I don't expect them to give me the answer, but I think they will give me the tools to find it. To be honest, I think the entire relationship needs a transformation -- it's not just about him stopping his behavior. I can only do my part by not accepting behavior that runs contrary to what I think I deserve. Managing my emotions continues to be a challenge. I have been sick. Last night he brought me ice pops for my sore throat and watched a movie with me -- this is positive behavior -- but as I sat there with him on the couch -- thinking about his relapse two months ago -- I was simply disgusted. The thought of him acting out was vile and revolting. It is a feeling that I have never felt for another human being.


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