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 Post subject: Is it beyond repair?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
I've had a rough week and I feel tired of thinking about these things over and over therefore I would really like another perspective.
About a month ago I've decided to let go of H and our relationship and focus eclusively on me. At first he was very resentful...for about 2 days ...then we watched together a very inspiring video that one of the coaches posted on the recovery side. I felt he got emotional somehow and afterwards he confessed to having manipulated me ever since Dday. Roughly he says he had been in shock after Dday and dropped the flirting and scanning ... but there I was demanding he opens up and he tells me uncomfortable incidents which in my mind no doubt there were still happening. So, he started inventing incidents of scanning and encounters. Of course, the one time he went on youtube to watch nudity and other disturbing things he didn't mention which led to me going to hospital in april. After that he admitted for the first time he would go around flirting and scanning and he even showed he is struggling for a while but then it miraculously stopped and of course, when I pressed he started giving me incidents which now he says they were almost all invented. Of course now I remember how he would seem very reluctant to my interpretations of these incidents as it's not true, can't be, it wasn't like that. Of course, by telling me lies he was very confortable to brush off anything I might have pointed out because he knew it was fake, he was protected ... Even to this day he claims nothing was going on, he just had to make them up ...of course at that time he wouldn't talk to me anything deeper than ordinary external events ... this is why I was pressing ... Anyways ... I've been on the forums for sometime and I'm yet to hear about another addict that would make up uncomfortable truths just to give his wife what she expects ... I know that usually it is to cover up something bigger. As twisted as it is, it sounds true ... but I still do not believe he would taint his image with something untrue if he really was innocent... Anyways, after that confession that he manipulated me all along (I've had glimpses of real mean satisfaction when he laughs about that like... isn't it genius? plus at some level I think he believes it was wrong but I pushed it / deserved it) he started opening up more and more, from a genuine place of non-defence, real remorse ... Of course he gets angry at times, especially when I push him with some kind of interpretation and he points out this is how he got to lie to me in the first place ... But he doesn't always come up with all the story ...he says it takes time even for him to understand ... I could buy that...
Long story short, I felt close to him, he felt close to me ... on Friday he came home, dropped his bags and just lay on his back on my tummy and started talking, asking me why I am tensed, what is going on, then on saturday again, he initiated ... He also changed his attitude about sex...after I've gotten out of the hospital he tricked me again with another made up confession just to give in and of course it worked ... he confessed this a month ago along with the others ... I don't even remember when I've decided not to be sexual anymore...after CoachMel pointed out it might not be healthy ... so it's been a while but I'm not counting...he never pushed or pressed...a week ago it happened that he grabbed me in his sleep ...conscious but not really...he understands now he was trying to use me again for his sexula gratification...he says the urge was too great...we talked a lot about why sex should not be on the table at this moment, he says he respects my wish and understands but if it were up to him he would do it and he wants me to appreciate his honesty about that. However, the other day we went very close to doing it and he didn't push it ... he said it was a battle also in his mind ... I don't know if between respecting my wish or seeing value in my reasons. Anyways ... also a lot of other things have changed...he does the washing, ironing, sometimes cleans around the house, he helps the little one with his homework ...
I do see all these ... however, I find myself trapped in this other reality which I believe existed before Dday. I'm being triggered by things like me walking in the room and him on the internet (real trauma as he would act out like that with me in the house and close the browser when I walked in), being even a little late home (I imagine he is staying late to flirt with women...he tried to get in bed with one before Dday), strange phone calls from his office on saturday. Going out is very traumatic for me. I do believe he enjoys my company and he wants me there but I imagine that whenever a sexy female appears he forgets about me ... I realise it might be trauma as when he tried to sleep with that colleague he said he felt uncomfortable when she pointed out that he is married... but even before he told me this by the mere fact that he wanted to find anonymous hookups I felt that for him any other woman is more exciting than me ... he says nowadays he just acknowledges that some are attractive, some are pretty and he thinks that is normal. Is it? When I think about me and how I deal with men... I don't really have that...he must be breathtakingly handsome or well build or anything else that would make me have that conscious judgement about anyone. Otherwise I do not even see them ... I guess I live more in my head ... Is he still scanning but he convinced himself it is normal? Is it normal to categorise women like that ... pretty or not so pretty? He also seemed to wonder if being judgemental like that is normal but he brushes it off saying he makes judgements like that all the time about fat people, old people ... I don't think it's how I do it but I guess I'm not so aware about people around me ... I do not watch the exterior spectacle of shapes and forms...it's like part of the landscape...a background noise ...
I keep jumping from one to the other...the thing is we were close two days ago like we haven't been in a long time but then I snapped being triggered by him on the internet and in a spilt of a second there I was talking to the addict, with the man that doesn't give a shit about me ... he grinned at me like I was crazy and I know I am...but then I realised I was also very anxious because we were supposed to go somewhere and I didn't want to go...In the end I used my snapping for not going ... I feel like I'm an obstacle in his path and I hate to feel like I want to disappear whenever there is a sexy woman in the street or around us... I just feel I want to die and leave him enjoy himself... I just feel he would drop me in an instant for anyone new and I just can't take all that pain and trauma ... This has been my reality...he says it's not so and more or less I'm damaged and he even suggested I should go for counselling.... I know he might be right but how on earth can anyone else make me trust him again? He is still defending himself ...for example, months ago I asked him whenever we go out to point out if he acts out in the sense of becoming aware of some woman standing out from the crowd...just to keep some kind of connection between us instead of preteding everything is normal and he is beyond suspicion ... this is because I imagine he is craving for each and every one so if he would point out which ones I could adjust my damaged reality to his reality, plus an exercise in honesty ... but he says no, he sees everyone the same, and it's just even a split of a second that he acknowledges that but it hardly ever happens...so he goes on being defensive and I'm wondering what is he protecting? His independance or his addiction? On the other hand, seeing how reluctant he is ... even if he does share something probably he makes it up again ... how could I ever trust him sharing anything again?
I feel that with his feeding me lies for nothing he really burnt all bridges ... that was probably the only measure of his recovery that I could have trusted ... what now? On the other hand I also think that he is still dangerous seeing how he still protects himself ... even if he is not hiding acting out incidents he is still a long way from empathising with me or wishing to do whatever it takes to make it right again. He feels genuinly sorry for everything but then he shrugs his shoulders saying what can he do now except being honest (but not pointing out women he notices when we are together ...) ? and if I dare point out some things he could try he is back defending himself ... When I look at it like this I realise that my craziness might be there to protect me... even if I see monsters in every closet which is not true ... but one monster might still be there and that is why I feel all this irrational fear overwhelming me ...
I wonder what will happen from now on ... maybe he will keep his path and hopefull he can find a way of proving himself to me ... or he will come to terms with the fact that we are broken and as he says, there is nothing much he can do now.... either way ... it's very painful for me to admit this is beyond my control yet again... I always thought that when he decides to open up and be honest I will welcome him with open arms, but I can't ... Am I screwed up or is it normal and I'm protecting myself?
If I keep my distance from him I am ok as I learnt to come to terms with the possibility /uncertainty of his acting out ... I would just tell myself it is his business, it is his life, and I need to respect that but I came to believe in it also. From this perspective I can see to myself and my life but I cannot be with him ...
Any ideas on how things stand now? Is there anything I should do? Is there anything he could do to prove himself to me? I believe he will read this thread himself and he will pick things up if he wants to ... I am in no position to demand ... he must volunteer ... and I still give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he wants to but he doesn't know how ...
I think that for the first time I'm really disappointed and scared and I do not see the end of it. I wonder if I'm not damaged beyond repair ... that makes me sad ... but if it is so ... I would want to find out sooner than later ... Is it possibile that things are still moving and I'm just being impatient with myself? It's all such a mess ... it seems mission impossibile at times ... if I feel discouraged how in the world would he see it? I would give anything to be able to be in his head for only one second and really understand everything ... maybe I do but I do not really want to accept or maybe I'm being too pesimistic? Anyways, any thoughts are much appreciated ...

And the irony of it all ... today it is one year since Dday ... for the last 2 weeks now I've been preparing my speech of hope, healing, freedom ... now I see I'm stuck ... was it just an illusion? Or freedom is possibile only if I drop the relationship? Anyways, I really thought I will be celebrating today ... It felt like a celebration for sometime now and I've made plans how I will spend the day and how I will recommit to myself ... but here I am ... wondering about H and our future together ... only pain and sufferng there ... any short moment of closeness comes with such a high price .... I might have lost hope forever ... and I do not really know how it can be fixed or who should fix it ... or even if it is possibile ... maybe we are just stubborn or we like living in suffering ... he even pointed out he never acts out when things are tough ... maybe all this drama is keeping him on the right side ... it's just so sick and twisted ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Whoever or whatever you are, you are one year old!

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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 Post subject: Re: Is it beyond repair?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:41 am 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
Hi Ursula,
I can hear how overwhelmed and uncertain you are. A lot of that is normal. And I know you've also been through a lot of serious health issues recently as well. So it makes sense that you're still feeling unstable and vulnerable. You referred to yourself as "crazy" a few times, either from your own perspective or your husband's. I, personally, would like to discard that word. You are not crazy. You have very recently dealt with severe trauma and are suffering from some mental health struggles as a result of that trauma. Those mental health struggles should not be used against you. There should be no situation where he finds your fears funny or something worth mocking. It would be like him breaking your arm and then finding pleasuring in you struggling to dress yourself. To me, that specifically sounds abusive. If you really are concerned that your mental health struggles are influencing your perspective of day to day event, then it would be a good idea to reach out to a counselor. Since no one here is qualified to assess you in that way, and we do not have the information that would help you determine if your perception is being influenced by your mental health struggles.

ursula wrote:
I always thought that when he decides to open up and be honest I will welcome him with open arms, but I can't ... Am I screwed up or is it normal and I'm protecting myself?


I had a similar expectation. Ultimately it was unreasonable. My expectation was that a switch would flip and he would open up and be honest and that was how life would be from that point forward. But those were skills that my husband needed to learn, not items that he could obtain and then possess permanently. You, as a couple, are dealing with the fact that your husband participated in some of the more extreme forms of gas lighting. Some of the things you listed here combined with some of the things you have written in the past, his telling you false stories of acting out, his using your mental health struggles against you, along with some of the abusive behavior that you have written about previously, leaves me very concerned for your safety. IF he is sincerely trying to recover now, a month is not nearly enough time for him to learn those skills, and for you to see evidence of long term change. Welcoming him with open arms at this point, while it sounds nice, would be foolish. Your primary responsibility is to protect yourself and keep yourself stable until you KNOW for sure that he is a safe person to be around and that he values your perspective and your safety. If he is sincere in wanting to change, and if he values your safety, then he will need to respect your need to keep your distance until his recovery is firmly established.

Please take care of yourself. This road is hard for all of us, but you are dealing with a very difficult situation. Be patient with yourself as you heal and determine how sincere your partner is. Be Well!
Mrs Jones


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 Post subject: Re: Is it beyond repair?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
Thank you, Mrs. Jones, it does make a lot of sense. I guess I am too impatient or try to be "fair" to him in the present moment but I'm in no position to do that. Even trying means ignoring all our two year history together and I cannot do such a massacre without feeling an uprise in my guts. It does feel like forcing myself and it is indeed a problem of expectations. I know he would not ask for anything much. It's me who pushes it. I've set myself too high expectations as at times I had to grant him imunity for certain confessions and I was able to block out my emotional responses for a certain period, only to deal with them later, in waves. That ability which I perfected gradually made me think I am indestructible, tough enough to take it. But I am so damaged ... It feels like I can switch it on and off ... I am perfectly capable to look at it in a very detached and compassionate way and then look at it from a personal perspective and I can't stop crying. I feel split into his best friend and his partner but the boundaries are not so clear cut and I switch position all the time ...
mrsjones007 wrote:
Those mental health struggles should not be used against you. There should be no situation where he finds your fears funny or something worth mocking. It would be like him breaking your arm and then finding pleasuring in you struggling to dress yourself. To me, that specifically sounds abusive.

This perspective surprised me a bit at first. Of course I would also feel a bit outraged by his underlying subtle mocking which he fiercefully denies but I found myself fascinated in that moment thinking OMG, this is one of his real faces, afraid to react negatively for fear it would go away when I need to understand the most who he really is. I also think we are better at detecting abuse in other people's live situations and not our own as it is familiar and we consider it "normal". Thank you for reminding me it is not. As much as it makes me angry, I would want him to show his real face instead of hiding behind social conventions and pretending to feel empathy. But I think he really does feel it at some level, and mostly after I remind him that my mental issues are his doing as I never struggled like this before Dday ... he changes face and he seems overwhelmed and then immediately I feel sorry for causing him pain. I know he caused it himself but still, I feel guilty and it's quite hard for me to see him in pain. I just can't see it like ... ok, you deserve it ... and I try very hard to look at it at least like ... ok, you need the pain for your own benefit ... but it just hurts me also... I feel for me there is no way of wining this game ... I'm in for the pain any way I go about it. This is why I'm not very good at being angry at him. I think that apart from all the broken promises made by a delusional man, in this very moment I do not want him to please me if that would make him miserable. I want him to be true to himself most and foremost. If there is a genuine coincidence of wants and needs, then yes, we can try and be together. If not, I would want him to pursue whatever makes him happy and I see myself still as his best friend.
Coach Cheryl's post yesterday left me in tears, I grabbed my phone and smsed him saying I do care for him as he is and I know he cares for me also how he can ... And that connection I want to believe is more real and valuable than any other. I found asking myself why do I stay ... and I do not know why ... except that we are connected in ways that are beyond my comprehension, beyond sex, trust, fidelity, malice ... there is genuine caring and compassion on both sides.
mrsjones007 wrote:
Welcoming him with open arms at this point, while it sounds nice, would be foolish. Your primary responsibility is to protect yourself and keep yourself stable until you KNOW for sure that he is a safe person to be around and that he values your perspective and your safety.

Thank you for reminding me of my own resolution. I need to KNOW and respect my own needs. And you are so very right. One month is nothing in the greater scheme of things ... not enough even to raise genuine hope ...
I will take your advice and go through one day at the time ... no expectations ... enjoying the nice moments of closeness, dealing with the hurtful ones. Yesterday I've spent most of the day reading and it had such a calming effect. Most of the days I'm happy with where I am and what I have. Emotions come and go. I just need not to get too caught up in them.
Thank you again for sharing your wisdom. It helped a lot.

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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 Post subject: Re: Is it beyond repair?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:47 am 
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Partner's Coach

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
ursula wrote:
but I found myself fascinated in that moment thinking OMG, this is one of his real faces, afraid to react negatively for fear it would go away when I need to understand the most who he really is... I would want him to show his real face instead of hiding behind social conventions and pretending to feel empathy.


Empathy is a skill that our partners need to learn and I completely understand what you're saying about wanting him to be honest instead of trying to hide his true thoughts. However you also say this:

ursula wrote:
by his underlying subtle mocking which he fiercefully denies


If he cannot even acknowledge his lack of empathy in this situation, if he is in denial about this, then that leaves you in a dangerous situation. A person who will laugh at someone in pain, especially pain that they caused is not a safe person. Would you feel safe near a person who maimed an animal and then laughed as it struggled to live? I'm not saying that you're wrong in wanting him to be honest about his feelings. I think honesty is better than hiding, even when the truth is ugly. But the level of lack of empathy he has is alarming. I just urge you to be very very careful in this relationship until you see significant progress made in this area. Be Well and Safe!
Mrs Jones


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 Post subject: Re: Is it beyond repair?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
Mrs. Jones, thank you for getting back to me. You really got me thinking ... I asked even him ... He says he cannot feel proud about his manipulations. He says I'm misinterpreting his reaction, that deep down it's very uncomfortable and he is ashamed, therefore the loud, nervous haha type of laughter ... And still, I cannot ignore my gut that tells me there is a degree of satisfaction for a plot genially constructed, for a lie perfectly delivered that he doesn't want to acnowledge behind being genuinly sorry ... The mocking comes when I attack. I am triggered and I attack, therefore he protects himself and when he sees that his arguments are being ignored (my brain does not function in that moment, there is a certain peak of pain I reach before I can even hear what he is saying), then, either he gets angry or he has that malicious 'what can I do' type of grin. It is then when I point out that I know I'm totally irrational but it's his doing. After that he seems overwhelmed with guilt. I think it's also a difference of perspective. He feels attacked and he gets so stuck in explaining and justifying the incident whereas I do not need his explanations (as it's almost impossible to believe his words) but I need his acknowledgement that it is his fault, not mine ... so I stop feeling guilty for the mess we live in which he created.
I know what you say about him being dangerous ... I do feel it in my guts. I have so few chances of seeing him around women but for some reasons I imagine him feeling the rush and acting unconsciously 'available' ... I do not believe he wants to see these things and I am not there to point them out. Rarely when I do see him like that he says I'm wrong and yet ... I know I'm not ... And I also know that if push comes to shove he would not hesitate to step on me one more time for his own gratification. However, the good news is ... he seems to be wanting recovery for himself. I know he did all this manipulation to control the way I react ... Now he says he tells the truth and he does not feel that fear anymore ...he is confident that the truth will prevail... The bad news is ...he is probably not being totally honest with himself...but that kind of awareness takes time...
Thank you for warning me...I do want to protect myself from harm...I will keep my boundary about sex and I will wait and watch with an open mind, trusting my gut...time will tell...as he says, the truth always comes out one way or the other. Thank you

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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