Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:12 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:09 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Hi - I've just joined RN. My husband is coming to grips with the idea that he is an addict, and he knows that is what I think. I have told him clearly that I do not want to die while living with an active addict, but am willing to live with a recovered addict. I have also told him (thank you RN!), that it is his responsibility to not only become sexually sober, but to recover. I will not find him therapists, or books, or web sites (last one I gave him was RN). I have told him my primary goal is my recovery. I have told him unless he does something really awful (I need to define this), that I am staying for now.

Here's my question: What do I do with this guy? I mean literally. Should I spend time with him? Try to find safe things to do? Try to pretend we are a normal couple? Do I let him touch me?

I know this sounds ridiculous, and I know I should not do anything that violates me, but I also know I have to tolerate some discomfort. What do you all think?
dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:15 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:02 pm
Posts: 420
Welcome to RN. I am sorry that you need it, but glad you found this safe place to heal and recover from SA. It sounds like you have a good grip on the reality of your situation, so the workshop will offer you a tremendous resource of insight and guidance to rebuild your life after the trauma of discovering your husband's addiction. The workshop is really designed to give you a good foundation of understanding before it starts burdening you with "do this" "don't do that" type assertions of "how to live with your husband while he recovers." I found the 7th lesson very validating and helpful - a relief in how it answered some of my questions that were similar to yours. However, I do not know if it would have been as useful if I had skipped to it, as it was when I arrived at it in sequence.

From my experience, the first season of recovery is a muddled mixture of sorrow, anger, fighting, hope, love, and confusion. Don't take this as a pat answer, but as honest encouragement, when I suggest that you should muddle through the best you can until you get to a place where you see a better way to muddle through. Trust your gut and your instincts and do not hesitate to stand up for yourself whenever you feel doubt or discomfort (if you need to physically leave the room or the house to get the space you need to feel OK, do so). The season of recovery is extremely trying, and there is no "right" or "best" way - you are in a very difficult place where insight and truth have a frustrating way of slowly unfolding. It is a time where you must selfishly, if necessary, attend to your own care first and worry about him later.

The biggest gifts you can give yourself are patience that it will be a process, grace that you don't have to do it perfectly, and trust in your own gut and intuition. I admire your courage that you are confronting this difficult journey and wish you well as you find hope for a brighter future for yourself. Keep moving through the workshop, it can help you find your way!
thebagholder


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:02 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Hi dnell,
Welcome to Recovery Nation. I just skimmed through your first few lessons to get a sense of your situation and the vision you have determined for yourself - good work on your vision. I suggest that you put your focus there and think about making those elements a part of your daily life. It's the doing that counts. You are here to heal and reclaim yourself, and build a life for yourself based on your vision and values.

How you spend time with your H and whether or not you let him touch you are valid questions but there is no pat answer here. It all depends on what you value, and figuring that out may take time. It also depends on what makes you feel safe. The lessons do help you with that, and the pieces to the puzzle will fall into place as you build on what you are learning about SA, yourself, and in determining your priorities. It's a process unique to you with light bulb moments along the way.
Quote:
Should I spend time with him? Try to find safe things to do? Try to pretend we are a normal couple? Do I let him touch me?
:pe: Do you want to spend time with him? How do you define "safe things" and do you feel that's your job/responsibility? You can certainly let him know if something is not appropriate. :pe: Hmmm. Pretending to be a normal couple....give that some thought. How would that make you feel? Pretending - who does that benefit? Do you want him to touch you? I am asking a lot of questions, I know, but my point is that I can't answer them for you. Only you can do that. There are no right or wrong answers. This is a journey of self discovery and self empowerment. It's very hard work. We grow, change, and change some more.
Quote:
I know this sounds ridiculous, and I know I should not do anything that violates me, but I also know I have to tolerate some discomfort.
Anything that doesn't feel right, take note. For me, that helped determine and define my values and set my boundaries. Believe what he does, not what he says and trust your gut. Tolerate discomfort? Not sure what you are referring to here, but keep in mind that you are dealing with ingrained behavior patterns which can be very frustrating and uncomfortable if you let it get to you and most of us do let it get to us until recognize that our own emotional health is at risk. Then we figure out ways to change our own reactive patterns. Doing the lessons in the order presented really does help us navigate through the initial confusion and emotional upheaval we experience. I think it takes about a year to achieve a place of balance, but our healing doesn't stop there. At least it didn't for me.

His job is to heal himself because he wants to be healthy. It may take him a while to get there, but it's his job as you know. What your relationship looks like....well, take that one day at a time. Do what feels right to you based on your values and boundaries.

hope this helps.
Nellie James


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:00 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Thank you, thebagholder and Nellie James, for your comforting and thought provoking replies. I deeply appreciate them. Sheesh, I am so fragile! I don't think of myself as fragile, but I am.

I am weary, so weary. And, I do see I need to continue to detach. And, I do see that does not mean I'm a jerk. Everytime I detach I feel better (should listen to that one....). I'm having trouble shaking my inertia to move forward but I need to do that. I think that continued detaching frees me to use my energy in a more healthy way. I get that in my head, and actually in my heart. Just need to do it, but I'm giving myself compassion at my pace. Thank you for reminding me to be patient.

That's a really good question about pretending. I didn't think about my shame, and really, I should not have any but I do. I think I feel malignant (look at these words I'm using!) when I am out with my husband. It's not just his objectifying other women when I am out (though I deeply hate that), it's the feeling like I'm "dirty" and a loser and people can see it. Now I know that's nuts.

Do I want to be with him? I'm conflicted. I need to work on my fear of being alone. (I didn't have this when I was young woman and when I think of my vision exercise). Would I rather be alone than feel malignant and dirty? Of course. Would I like to be with the parts of my husband which were/are healthy? Yes. But I am not (and he is not) at the point where I can see that. I do not yet know what is "real" and what isn't and what is his addiction versus his current identity. And, of course, I do not know if he is committed to creating a healthy identity. Do I want him to touch me? Well, not the addicted part of him. Not the part that objectifies women and has devalued me. Do I feel a part of him that wants to touch me in a loving way? Actually I do, but gosh, it's hard to trust. My gut says it is there, but I also know he's playing his fantasy tapes and seeing me as "less than" his ideals. (I'm 57; I don't look bad but I feel bad around him). Because, really, he does not know what intimacy is at this point and I can't see how his touch can be anything but what he filters though his addiction. So, guess this all adds up to I'm confused and conflicted and that's okay.

And when I read what I just wrote I see that I'm still too wrapped up in his ickiness and I do need to keep on detaching.

dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:02 pm
Posts: 420
I realize it is absurd to say to someone who just said they are conflicted and confused, "You are right on!" But it is the truth. You are exceptionally aware of yourself, your feelings, your situation, and the uncertainty of where this all will lead. You are poised to move forward, to learn, and to grow.

Your relationship may be a source of almost nothing but confusion right now, because your partner is completely unreliable. Not just for you, but even for himself. His life has developed based on a system that included "addiction." Because your life is intimately connected to his, yours did, too. As that system is dismantled, he (if he pursues recovery) will go through a void until he rebuilds his life on a healthy foundation. During that time, your life feels pushed out of balance, too (traumatically so at the time of discovery). Because he won't be a reliable partner until further into recovery (if that happens): a) everything feels confused and conflicted, because basic values you once lived by, like putting your marriage ahead of your other commitments, don't work; and b) you are going to feel most secure and confident when you base your life on your own system as much as possible, because his is chaos (the detachment aspect is definitely part of that, but only part). The workshop is largely about helping you rebuild your own system - helping you accept and adapt to the new reality (that you got no say in choosing, because he built the addicted system in secret from you) and make thoughtful, conscious choices about what you want for yourself (where in the past, the values his addiction corrupted, like putting your marriage first, probably led you to make compromised choices that you can now reevaluate).

I feel tempted to share more than is probably helpful to you right now, because I feel such compassion for your situation. You are blessed that you see so clearly; it will help you get through this in ways you can hardly imagine right now. But I recall from my own experience how difficult it was, when all I could clearly see was that I had no idea what the "right" thing to do was. I never needed so much grace - from myself.

You are of so much greater worth than your situation. Nellie often says to make sure you do at least one thing each day that brings you joy and I think her advice is worth applying for you right now - it is unfair how another person's choices can make us feel like total dirt and it is worth repeating that you should take it upon yourself to take a break from the grief and weariness, and give yourself a healthy pick me up to look forward to.

Hoping the sunshine reaches through the clouds to you today,
thebagholder


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:16 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Ah, thebagholder (and now I get the name!), thank you, thank you for your post. As you all have coached, I now realize I am in the muddle through phase of clarity on some days followed by confusion on others. Some positive energy on some days and inertia on others. I am focusing on doing something nice for myself every day. And I find it absolutely ridiculous that it is a challenge for me to do that. Talk about compromising my values...talk about compromising me...talk about the damage. Whew.

I feel like my husband's addiction makes him a barrel of toxic waste surrounded by TNT. So, I need to stay clear of the waste or any explosion. I get that about detachment.

But, I honestly do give myself a break for all these painful feelings. I have to feel them, but not wallow or get lost in them, but I sure as heck respect them.

dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group