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 Post subject: Re: What is fair?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
:g: Good work. It is clear that you have a commitment to the process that will benefit you in the long run. it may not be apparent right now...but it will be.

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: What is fair?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:02 am
Posts: 63
Sorry, this was a double-post. I am still learning the quirks of the message boards.

:/


Last edited by River on Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What is fair?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:02 am
Posts: 63
nellie james:

Everything you wrote in your post is so very helpful to my situation that I don’t even now how to respond individually. I am absolutely ‘sacrificing myself to his addiction.’ I have begun to get sick. I rarely have a full, good night of sleep. I still cry frequently, and there are times at least once a day when suddenly I will think of him and what he has done and what he is NOT doing in terms of recovery or what he may be doing in terms of acting out, and I feel as though my entire body has seized up and I can’t breathe. There are times when my most overwhelming emotion is anger and envy that his behavior and betrayal have not seemed to affect him in the same way- or at all. He sleeps fine. He acts as though everything is normal. And when I see this I concentrate on it so much that it makes me feel worse.

He is not working on this. I believe he started to, and I could see changes in his behavior and personality at first- positive changes involving taking responsibility and being able to accept criticism and discuss his behavior honestly. But now all of that is gone and he is back to behaving in the same way that he always had. Half-truths, or outright lies. Turning things on back on me when I talk about his behavior. Denying his behavior outright- even denying that he is not doing his work. I want him to heal. I want him to work hard. I want it for him, and for his health and his future, but I also really really want it for me. I know that I need to keep working through the workshops to learn my own skills- I know that I need to stop needing him to get better for my sake. My health can’t depend on his getting better. But I also don’t know how to let that go. I had, I thought, let it go. But then he started working and changing and things started to be good and after one particularly honest and real conversation we made love and it was so emotional and so real- the conversation and the intimacy and the entire night- that I tried to hold onto that for the next two weeks. I just held onto it and didn’t let myself think about any of this. And then, two weeks later, I woke up from that self-induced fantasy to find that he had stopped doing any of the things that had allowed us to get to that night in the first place. And now I feel so sad and desperate and betrayed again and very very guilty. I feel like I gave up on getting better for the both of us because I wanted to selfishly ignore it for a while and just feel good, just feel loved and normal, and because I did that he stopped working and has gone back to before as though I had never made the discovery in the first place. This might as well be any other point in our relationship. It is as though he is in denial that I ever found out, or he ever did anything. And I feel that it is my fault. And I want to fix it. But I don’t know how.


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 Post subject: Re: What is fair?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:02 am
Posts: 63
I wanted to add something to my last post:

I was just re-reading through everything I have posted on this thread. I sound like a crazy person. Which makes sense, I suppose, because I feel like a crazy person. All of my thoughts are jumbled and go back and forth between clarity and confusion and the minute I make up my mind on one matter I seem to forget it or change it again.

I feel like I sabotaged myself, and him and our relationship, by willfully ignoring everything for those two weeks. I feel guilty and awful and a certain desperate need to 'fix it'. At the same time, I know rationally that I am not responsible for his actions. I think that if he wanted to work on things, if he really wanted to get better, that he would work on it no matter what I did. I also know that I need to somehow change my focus from him to myself. From the relationship to my own health. I am struggling, obviously. I am stumbling. And sometimes I am very very confused.

How much of what I chose to do/say, etc affects him? I do not want to derail him in this process. I do not want to harm his recovery. Sometimes I believe that it is possible for me to say or do the wrong thing and so cause his journey harm, and sometimes I think what I wrote above- that the reality is that he would get healthy if he wanted to, no matter what I do, and that nothing I say or do can really harm that if it is sincere. And, sometimes, I feel that it shouldn't matter to me anyway. That no matter what the answer to those questions, I should not be thinking about it because his recovery should not be on my mind or in my focus.



As always, thank you for being here.


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 Post subject: Re: What is fair?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:39 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Quote:
I think that if he wanted to work on things, if he really wanted to get better, that he would work on it no matter what I did.
Exactly.

Quote:
I also know that I need to somehow change my focus from him to myself. From the relationship to my own health. I am struggling, obviously. I am stumbling. And sometimes I am very very confused.
Yes, and it is understandable. Be patient with yourself. You are still in early discovery/disorientation and confusion, struggle, stumbling are not uncommon. At this stage it helps to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, even if you don't know where it is you are going. This will all be worked out in the process if you stick with it.

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: What is fair?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:16 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Ah, River, I can so relate to your anger. I had it in control for quite a while and here it is again rearing its ugly head. I had a dream about stabbing my husband in the stomach with a butcher knife, and it felt....great. Okay. I take that as a warning sign to get some help. Am I going to stab my husband? No, of course not. Am I going to indulge in a fantasy of violence? No, of course not. But it made me realize how enraged I am. And, you know, I respect that rage. It's better than feeling demeaned and depressed. I don't want to get stuck here, but honestly, I think I have a right to this anger.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: What is fair?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:42 am 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
River wrote:
But then he started working and changing and things started to be good and after one particularly honest and real conversation we made love and it was so emotional and so real- the conversation and the intimacy and the entire night- that I tried to hold onto that for the next two weeks. I just held onto it and didn’t let myself think about any of this. And then, two weeks later, I woke up from that self-induced fantasy to find that he had stopped doing any of the things that had allowed us to get to that night in the first place. And now I feel so sad and desperate and betrayed again and very very guilty. I feel like I gave up on getting better for the both of us because I wanted to selfishly ignore it for a while and just feel good, just feel loved and normal, and because I did that he stopped working and has gone back to before as though I had never made the discovery in the first place. This might as well be any other point in our relationship. It is as though he is in denial that I ever found out, or he ever did anything. And I feel that it is my fault. And I want to fix it. But I don’t know how.


I went through this cycle so many times. I believe that cycle is the place where I experienced the most damage to myself, my emotions and my values. But, at least in my experience, it was HARD to stay out of that cycle. I would begin to see my H making progress and I would really want to reconnect because I love him. But that reconnection was too much for my H, as much as he wanted it in the moment as well. First, I want to go back to remind you that you do not OWE him anything. It is HIS responsibility to remain in recovery, regardless of your behavior, not your responsibility to make recovery appealing or easier for him. The biggest concern about this cycle is how it impacts your stability. The peak and emotional high of reconnecting and then the devastation of the crash afterward is damaging to you and your ability to heal. And THAT is a big problem.

The things that helped me pull out of that cycle involved him, and knowledge about how his recovery was working, but the knowledge was not about stabilizing his recovery, but my healing. Him pulling out of recovery is NOT your fault. It is not your responsibility to fix. Of course you care if he gets better! There is nothing wrong with the fact that you want this for him. But those changes are not yours to make.

When I would jump back into a relationship, it was because I didn't really understand what he needed to do to become a healthy partner for me. My husband did not understand intimacy, and when he experienced it, it was overwhelming for him. He also tended to use me as his "mirror". So when I behaved as though everything were okay, he allowed himself to slip back into denial; pretending like everything was okay. These were problems for HIM to solve. And HE allowed these things to happen. They were not my responsibility. But they were crucial for me to know because knowing allowed me to protect myself. My H had to learn to be a healthy partner to me. And those things come in steps, like any form of learning. Sexual intimacy and deep emotional intimacy, situations where one partner is trusted with the must vulnerable parts of the other, are the advanced level of this skill. And so what I was doing would be like taking a beginning level piano student, they've just learned to play a very nice simple version of twinkle twinkle and it sounds great. Then I stick an arrangement of Canon in D that you would hear on the radio in front of them and ask them to figure it out. I would be expecting something that they aren't able to do. This isn't a perfect analogy because it's not your job to choose their "music" for them. It's their job to figure out what they can and can't handle and to communicate that.

Basically, our partners need to master each progressive level of intimacy - the ability to hear and balance another person's thoughts and feelings with their own. The ability to communicate their needs in a healthy way, without demanding that they be met, but offering the opportunity to. The ability to be vulnerable with you. The ability to handle another person's negative feelings without becoming defensive. Again, these are skills for HIM to learn. They are HIS responsibility. But knowing that these are things he needs can allow you to more accurately assess where he's at, and how much of yourself it's safe to share with him - how deeply invested it's safe for you to be in any given moment.

The last thing that I wanted to say is that, if your inability to sleep continues, or if you are experiencing other things that severely inhibit your ability to live your life - like you're having a hard time eating, or you can't stop eating, if you find that you can't focus enough to do things like drive safely, that you might want to see a doctor. It's normal to have an intense reaction to this type of betrayal, but there's also the possibility that a situational depression could be making everything much more difficult for you.

Mrs. Jones


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 Post subject: Re: What is fair?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:02 am
Posts: 63
CoachMel, Thank you.
“Quote:
I think that if he wanted to work on things, if he really wanted to get better, that he would work on it no matter what I did.
Exactly.”
Just thank you.

dnell, “ I don't want to get stuck here, but honestly, I think I have a right to this anger.”
I like your perspective here. I have found that I am so afraid of getting stuck in the anger that I am also afraid of allowing myself to think of it in this way.

Mrsjones007, Thank you.
“I would begin to see my H making progress and I would really want to reconnect because I love him. But that reconnection was too much for my H, as much as he wanted it in the moment as well. First, I want to go back to remind you that you do not OWE him anything. It is HIS responsibility to remain in recovery, regardless of your behavior, not your responsibility to make recovery appealing or easier for him. The biggest concern about this cycle is how it impacts your stability. The peak and emotional high of reconnecting and then the devastation of the crash afterward is damaging to you and your ability to heal. And THAT is a big problem. “
I have had issues with depression since I was a child, and it is something I am keeping a very close eye on right now. And the utter and complete emotional devastation that comes with waking up and realizing that he has given up on recovery while I have been busy concentrating on how much I love him and how good it could be, and thinking ‘this could work. Maybe it really can really work and we can spend our lives together’- it is just too much. It is too consuming, and too derailing to my mental and emotional health. I have spent the last week bringing it up to him obsessively-- pointing out that he is back to old habits every time he picks up his phone, or constantly asking who is texting all the time or why he is getting so many emails. Wanting to look through his phone or his computer. Wondering if he is really going to work or the store when he says he is. And I think that I have finally shifted from not wanting to badger him because I think it will be unhealthy for his recovery, and not wanting to because it is unhealthy for my recovery. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I have stopped- just that I want to. And, most of the time when I am thinking of how I want to stop badgering him and stop concentrating on what he is and isn’t doing and stop trying to force him to see what is going on and what he needs to do, that I am now thinking about it because I feel that it is too derailing for my health. And too exhausting for me.


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