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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:21 am
Posts: 112
hello.... I guess Im looking for some support, or maybe just to share? Not too sure, but I'm feeling a little sad. My ex has been doing good with abstaining from sex with other women. That is huge for him. The thing is, it's not enough for me. I really want and need a fully recovered man, not just an abstinate man. I know this takes time, and I'm not in a hurry for him to get there...but he is. We recently had a discussion about the 90 day abstinance from masturbation that's reccommended for SA's. At first he said no way, he was not going to do it. He said it was the only thing he had left, that he didn't think he had a problem. Then, he changed his mind and decided to do the 90 days. I was proud of him for that. I know it was a tough decision. Now, about 2 weeks into it, when I ask how he's done so far, he said good for the most part. He says at the end of 90 days, he will see how he's done. I said, "you mean if you have a slip up you aren't going to start again from day one?" He says of course he isn't going to start again from day one. I say, well you can't say that you've been abstinate for 90 days then, if you don't start over. To me, that's like an alcoholic saying he's been sober for 30 days but had a couple drinks during that time. He wouldn't discuss it further because he said he didn't want to argue with me.
Anyway, I know I have no control over what he does, but for me, that mindset isn't someone who is recovered. He feels that he's fine and solid the way he is. I know I have to be true to my boundaries and clearly state my stand on this. I kind of just refocused on my vision for myself this evening and have a clearer picture in my mind again of what I want and need. I'm sad because he has come a long way from before,and I do love him very much, but although this seems to be enough for him, it definately is not for me. He keeps asking me to be in a romantic relationship with him but I know I can't unless he's recovered. Or at least truly committed to be recovered, and not just abstinate. I know he may just give up on continuing to make progress and trying to heal things, and that makes me sad. But I know that's his decision to make, and I will never feel safe any way. I'm just sad because I don't think he really wants to recover. Not enough to give up masterbating for 90 days. He's already made it pretty clear to me how much he doesn't want to let it go. Oh well... Just venting, I guess. Just dissapointed, but grateful at the same time that I can handle seeing things for what they are and knowing that I will be ok no matter what he chooses for himself. That does feel good. Thanks for letting me get this out...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:00 am 
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General Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
Dear Sammy,
I hear you. You know what's staring you in the face, no matter what he says or how he justifies it. I can tell you my H did the abstinance thing. He did it without finding value or meaning to it therefore he was also dancing around the boundaries, not wanting to start over the time when he pressed me for sex. I was the one keeping him abstinent. After those months he continued to lie and manipulate me into having sex with him, posing as 'not interested', therefore 'in recovery'.
So, it seems your partner is deep in the fog, as you say, probably not really wanting to let it go. It is an addiction afterall. Without commitment you cannot make it. All you can do is keep your vision and boundaries firm, as you have done so far. What I did was try to talk to him about life, vision, values, in a non-personal way, reading inspirational books and discussing ideas with him. Not picking on him but being a friend and sharing my ideals. It helped a lot to broaden his horizon but also mine... They cling to the addiction because they can't see very far. They need to start looking beyond ... Good luck to you both.

_________________
"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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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Sammy, I know what you mean. It's too early for me to understand my husband's long term sincerity to recovery, but I be;lieve he is struggling with abstinence versus recovery. And I KNOW that will not be enough for me. I also know that he would rather have "both"---his addiction and me. But the "me" is someone who does things for him, not someone who is a real parter in a real relationship. I don't think they can get to even being close to becoming a real partner or seeing us as real women unless they are in recovery. It's sad and painful and scary. I see red flags in what you are describing. I know that we need to live our lives fully whether or not our husbands recover. I know I need to be prepared to stay for some unknown amount of time while my h tries to recover. I know, right now, he is as sincere as he can be about wanting to recover and many of his actions support that.
It's so hard to know what to do even as I work on my boundaries. I wish it would be more clear, but I am seeing now that my clarity needs to be about me. About whether or not I am okay, and even better, that I am doing well. I am inspired by your feeling disappointed but okay. I feel for the struggle we have to know what is the right thing to do.
I wish us all strength, clarity and peace.
dnell


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:21 am
Posts: 112
Thank you Dnell and Ursula... It makes me feel better that I'm not alone in my feelings. This is such a hard process. It takes such patience and self awareness on my part; I guess for both partners, really. It is tough, and at times I get discouraged. It's hard because I love him and want to show appreciation for the positive things I do see, but I have to stay true to reality and what I really want and need as well. Stick to my vision! Thank you for responding. I hope the best for all of us here. It's hard!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:02 am
Posts: 63
Hi Sammy,

I am new to this process. Very new,actually, although it has been a few months since my discovery. It has been difficult to get started on the process of Recovery/Healing-- in some ways I feel as though neither of us (my boyfriend or I) have really started yet.

I read your post and it really resonated with me. This is such a difficult reality to process; such a difficult process to go through. It never feels as though I know what is 'right' to do or the 'correct' decision to make regarding any of this. Mrsjones recently told me on another posting that she felt that way for a long time, as well. I suppose it comes with the territory. I hope that we find our answers and our surer footing as we continue the healing process and go through our lessons.

I have had this discussion with my boyfriend, as well, although it wasn't about total abstinence but about abstaining from anything that I would consider a part of his addiction. The problem, for me, has been that he has such a limited definition of his addiction. He really just considered (or considers- I'm not sure that he has really changed this mindset yet) the actual act of acting out as his addiction. For him, as far as I know right now, it was contacting women via Craigslist to send sexual messages. So, he voluntarily said he would avoid Craigslist. But, when I told him I wanted him to avoid porn, to stop following strippers or sexy women on instagram, he was very reluctant. "That isn't even a part of it. I'm a man, what do you want me to do- just completely repress everything? That's natural, it's not a part of this!". Eventually I got him to agree to stop looking at those things by expressing my concern that he was compartmentalizing his addiction. The porn he watches is degrading and has very specific acts, which are the same acts he would email women about. The women he would follow on instagram are a very specific type-- certain body parts being emphasized which are the same body parts that he would concentrate on in his acting out. So, these other things, although not directly the issue, are a part of it. I explained that, even if those details were not the case, it is still an unhealthy objectification of women that he is using to make himself feel good. That IS addiction. And it is unhealthy.

At this point, I hope that he has completely stopped these things, but I don't really know. I have come to realize (if not fully accept yet) that he needs to come to all of these realizations on his own and in his own time. No amount of explaining on my part will get him to that understanding- he will eventually agree and say he understands just to stop talking about it or to make me happy. So, although I can and will set boundaries for behavior that I will and will not accept in my home, that is as far as I can take it. Do not watch porn; do not look at those images on instagram or anything else; do not have pictures on your phone or computer that would not be acceptable for my children to see. These things are for the protection of myself and my children. They are also behaviors that are disrespectful to me, and disrespecting me is not acceptable.

I can explain my opinion of his behavior and his addiction, but he will likely disagree until/if he is ready to really accept his addiction and face the reality of what he has done and who he has become.

Anyway, Sammy, I just wanted to share with you that you are not alone in this particular struggle. I think, from what I have read, that compartmentalization of their lives and their addictions is a huge part of the struggle to recover. So, your ex separates his addiction and acting out from other sexual things like masturbation, because they are not the very limited definition he has of his acting out behaviors. Like the addict who won't act out and will be honest to his wife about sexual behaviors, but will start smoking behind her back and lie to her about it. I think, eventually, there needs to be an understanding that integrity is something that is whole person/whole life. That everything is connected. Hopefully, they will get there. I'm glad that you are at a place where you feel that you can and will get healthy and strong regardless of his choices. I am still struggling with that, but I'm encouraged by reading your post.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:21 am
Posts: 112
River...
Thank you for your reply... Today has been really rough. I'm feeling so weird. I'm trying to put a finger on what it is, if it's hurt, or angry, or just plain tired and discouraged. I just feel like I'm not respected right now, and I just want to crawl into a shell for a while. I'm still trying to figure it out. Thanks for your words of encouragement and for sharing. I'm glad to know I'm not alone. Take care :w:


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