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 Post subject: Need Support
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:17 pm 
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Posts: 33
I met with my husband tonight to sign off on our seperation agreement. He had met with his counselor earlier in the day and told me he'd also like to chat about how it went. About a month ago he told me there were more lies he hadn't come clean about and would tell me. I've had some anxiety about what he would tell me but didn't really know what to expect. He told me that the emotional affairs (there were 4 that I knew of) were all sexual. That he has been having sex with other women since our second year of marriage. When he told me, I was oddly calm on the outside, but inside my heart broke again. I suspected this was the case but, just like all the other times, I'd hoped it wasn't true.
I am undecided if I want to remain with my husband or not. The seperation agreement is meant to protect myself. I'm having a hard time detaching. He says there is more but, do I really want to know? How can I move forward when each truth I learn breaks my heart all over again. I really need help getting through this. Some days it feels like the pain will never go away :(


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
He says there is more but, do I really want to know? How can I move forward when each truth I learn breaks my heart all over again.
You are still on an emotional roller coaster ride. The lessons will help you stabilize and regain emotional balance. You already know enough to know he has an addiction. You don't have to be his accountability partner. You can't un-ring a bell. Unless you are sure that you want to know more, why put yourself through more disclosure? The exception is the possibility of contracting an STD. Regardless, get tested.

Most of us here have experienced the "drip method" of disclosure and find it terribly painful. Over time, after doing the lessons, I didn't tip over emotionally when new "old" information fell into my lap. I suggest that you wait until you have gained emotional stability - give yourself the gift of patience in your process as you do the lessons. Your job is to heal yourself which will take your entire focus and energy and personal insights.

Hope this helps.
Nellie James


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:26 am 
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Posts: 33
Thank you Nellie. I have gone for STD testing and discovered that I do have one. Finding out was another absolute blow. It never seems to end.
I don't know if I want to know more. For the last year I've done everything I could to find out the truth. Now that he is finally offering it, I feel like I need to know.
I will continue with the lessons, I'm almost through part 1. I will also be attending a meeting next week for people who are going through the same. I know now I can't do this by myself and need all the help I can get. You're right, getting to a better place emotionally before more disclosure makes sense.
Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
Oh sweetheart. Does he know that he gave you an STD? I'm so sorry. I am of two minds about disclosure. On the one hand, I already know a lot, but I am not sure I know everything and I'd really like to know how much of what I suspect is real vs. imagined. I think it would go a long way towards my healing and I think it's mandatory for me to stay in the relationship. On the other hand, I am not sure I could emotionally handle hearing more. I do know that the "drip" disclosure is really unhealthy for me. I've made the mistake of asking and having him tell me things and it just wrecks me for weeks. I have basically now told him -- and his therapist -- that I don't want to know ANYTHING until he's ready to tell me EVERYTHING. I just know that's the right choice for me. Anyway, just wanted you to know you are in my thoughts. You are not alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:59 am
Posts: 33
Yes, he knows he gave me an STD. I told him about it the moment I found out. I was a wreck. I wanted to scream and rage at him and make him feel like a horrible human being but, I just cried. Of course, he just felt shame and guilt, the usual. Most of my anger right now is because of this. It enrages me that he would put my life at risk. And our children! What if I had gotten an STD while pregnant with our last child?!
He says he wants to tell me everything, in time. I won't ask questions anymore. I think I will tell him he can tell me everything when I am ready.
Thank you sp2007.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:47 pm 
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I want to know about the compulsions and the betrayals. I know I don't know everything and after the period of hurt when I find out something new (disclosures are less shocking now, but I know he can still shock me since I now know I don't know this man and do not know what he is capable of), I feel more clarity. Things make sense that did not make sense before. I sometimes think my fears and assumptions may be worse than reality, but so far, reality has been pretty bad. But, if we are to go forward and create something real and meanginful, I NEED to know what was real and what was not in my 30 plus years with this man. He was addicted when he married me; he has been addicted during the whole marriage; he has lied to me and betrayed me every day. I need to know the extent of those lies and betrayals.

That said, I don't need to hear the details about his lustful fantasies (her big t**s, her perfect v****a). I don't need to hear the intoxicating pleasure in his voice when he starts to relate a particular fantasy. I do want to know: how often (nearly all the time), who (every women he sees--- in public, on tv, in movies, on magazines....any female image available), what is it about, how long does it last, how does he feel about all this, what in the hell need is this meeting? He knows some of the answers, and not others. I want to know about inappropriate relationships with other women. Did I know them? Was I being humiliated and did not know? (I know some of this, but not all of it). I want to know whether or not I should be tested for STD's. I want to know if I need to protect young women in my family and in the families around me.

I want to know why the one woman he did not fantastize about was me. I want to know why he did this. (He doesn't know and I hope therapy and RN will help him find out). I may never know any of this, and I won't know all of it, but I would like to know enough of this so I can make sense of my past and figure out how to think about my future and if it is to include this man.

Lastly, if and when he tells me and how he tells me will be huge signs of his ability to be honest, his ability to show empahty and compassion, his ability to separate his addictive behavior from his core identity, his ability to be something other than an addict.

I hope this makes sense. It's going to be a long and painful road, but it's been an incredibly long and painful road to date.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:59 am
Posts: 33
dnell,

This totally makes sense to me and I agree wholeheartedly. I don't want to know intimate details like boob size and sexual positions. I know this information would serve no purpose in my healing and I have no desire to compare myself to his affair partners. I had done this and it hurt my self esteem so badly and I am not a person who ever thought badly about herself. I know I'm not perfect and I know his affairs were not because I was inadequate or because they were better than me.

dnell wrote:
I want to know about the compulsions and the betrayals. I know I don't know everything and after the period of hurt when I find out something new (disclosures are less shocking now, but I know he can still shock me since I now know I don't know this man and do not know what he is capable of), I feel more clarity. Things make sense that did not make sense before... I need to know the extent of those lies and betrayals.
dnell


Yes, as badly as it hurt to find out more truth, I finally felt like there was some clarity after. That I wasn't f***ing crazy after all.

dnell wrote:
I want to know why the one woman he did not fantastize about was me. I want to know why he did this.
dnell


My husband always told me I was beautiful, so why didn't he fantasize about me? He also told me he never told these women he loved them which he just recently told me was a lie. He did tell them he loved them. That was a huge blow. I believed he loved me. I'm still processing that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Ranger, yes, yes, even though we know it is not about us it would be superhuman not to take this personally. My husband never told me I was beautiful, or sexy, or desirable. Quite the opposite. He recently said that when he married me he thought I was a "7, or maybe an 8". But, I was "cute." He did tell me he loved me. But he has also told me repeatedly that he thought he had to "settle" for me since he "couldn't get anything better." So, I find it very hard to believe he "loves" me if he can say all this stuff. I think he is incredibly cruel. What I don't know is if this is the addict talking? Is it the narcissist talking? Is he just a cruel and manipulative man absent the addiction? I don't know.

And, when I write this down I realize I need to get back to my healing and wonder why I stay.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
I won't ask questions anymore. I think I will tell him he can tell me everything when I am ready.
:g: I think that's wise. When you are ready, you can also tell him what you don't want to hear.
Quote:
Lastly, if and when he tells me and how he tells me will be huge signs of his ability to be honest, his ability to show empahty and compassion, his ability to separate his addictive behavior from his core identity, his ability to be something other than an addict.
SAs in general lack the skill of showing compassion or empathy - they never learned how. They can learn, however, but it won't be any time soon. I suggest a book called How Can I Forgive You by Janis Abrahms Spring. She gives very practical advice on this with chapters devoted to the party who has done the hurting.
Quote:
what is it about, how long does it last, how does he feel about all this, what in the hell need is this meeting?
You're right, he doesn't know all the answers. If he is doing the RN workshop, there are lessons that will help him figure out his rituals and identify the components and rank them. It's up to him to gain these insights so he can change his patterns. It's not all about the sex or the woman's breasts. My H like the attention, liked the anticipation, the danger....sex was part of it but not all. At one point, I wanted to know everything, not details, but, like you, I wanted to know what he was capable of. I also wondered what had been real in our marriage. I came to accept that it was real to me and chose not to throw the baby out with the bath. Frankly, what he was capable of scared me - it took me a long time to make peace with that. It's still there in my memory banks, but it no longer tips me over.

We each have to consider our own emotional health and what boundaries we need when we ask for disclosure early in our healing. There are some things I wish I had never found out. Other information just fell into my lap as I connected the dots which, for me, happened when I was well into my lessons and had been working with my own personal counselor. I doubt if I'll ever know everything, but it's no longer a priority. I know enough.

Hope this helps. :w:
Nellie


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:46 am 
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Nellie - Your post was so very helpful to me. This fear of my h, this man I don't know, is something that is always present but changes. It's reassuring to know you had this as well and have come to terms with it. I don't think they know what they are capable of.

And, it's been very helpful for RN to explain to me that empathy and compassion will only occur with recovery, and late in recovery. He needs to develop compassion for himself before he can ever have it for someone else.

And, I get it is and isn't about sex. They make it about sex, but it's also this distorted unhealthy view of love, admiration, acceptance, esteem---all filtered through this objectifying sexual lens. I hate even thinking about how warped and messed up it all is. And, his view of sex. Ugh. It's crude. I guess I could disempower it by saying it is childish, but add their progression in their addiction and it is not childish at all, it is scary.

And, as far as what was real and true...since my husband was a full blown addict when he married me, and we all know that it progressed these last 30 years, I think EVERYTHING about my marriage was a lie. And here's where I was complicit, and it's a painful realization: I was in love with an idea, a concept of marriage and a partnership. It wasn't a bad idea or concept. In fact it was a healthy idea. What was unhealthy was not seeing that I did not have it. I longed for something I never had and wasn't real but thought it was something I had and lost. But, I never had it. I never had a partnership. I had an addict and my stubborn longing for a dream. Talk about sad and tragic. So, that's part of my healing work. So, maybe I will change this view when I heal, but I look back at an addict and a blind dreamer. The solace I have is that there was nothing wrong with my dream; there was nothing wrong with longing for a partnership and connection with the man I married; there was nothing wrong with working towards making a partnership and connection. What was sad and damaging was my inability to see reality, to trust myself, to take care of myself, to not tolerate the abuse and live my life in a healthy way.

Back to my healing.

Hearing from all of you has been immeasurably helpful to me.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
What was sad and damaging was my inability to see reality, to trust myself, to take care of myself, to not tolerate the abuse and live my life in a healthy way.
Love is blind. Even in the best relationship we overlook things that we wouldn't accept in others. And when we are living with and loving a person with an addiction, it takes it toll. Don't beat yourself up over this. Now you know better. Now you can reclaim the you that you are and live your life according to your vision and values. Stay in the now. I know it's hard to do. It will take action plans based on personal awareness to keep your focus on going forward with your life. We don't forget, but we can put this in perspective - the big picture of what we want from now on.

Hope this helps, :w:
Nellie


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:48 pm
Posts: 45
Dear dnell, your words and feelings echo mine. What Nellie has highlighted in the previous posts ring true for me, and it feels like the person that I was, the joyful spirit, loving and generous, has died. It really feels like the good part of me is dead, and that what is left is the contaminated, abused and disrespected person. As i write these words, I say to myself 'all my workshops, readings and therapy have not been able to change that perception of myself.' Nellie, I try to hang on to what you say, am trying to live my life according to my vision and values, to get the big picture... It is sometimes too painful to move... and I have been at this it will be three years in January 2015... How do you do it?
I sometimes wonder if any of this is worth it
thank you for listening, and oh how I feel all of the pain and sadness...


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:25 pm 
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Take one day at a time and tune into yourself. For me, it was realizing that I was sacrificing myself to my H's addiction and accepting that my healing did not depend upon him. I put my own emotional health first - my priority in my list of values, and finding my joy was a close second. I had to work to change my own reactive behavior patterns which is where the "tuning in" is key. When I felt myself slipping into that dark place of hurt and all the emotions that go with it, I had to change my focus by doing something immediately - something positive - even counting or spelling backwards to buy time until I could really engage in something that I liked to do. That doesn't mean I stuffed my hurt - no - I let myself cry but I didn't stay stuck there. It didn't happen over night. I was a long hard process - one baby step at a time.

We each have to find what works for us. I accepted that my life would change but for the better. I didn't want to be a victim. I wanted to be more than a survivor. I wanted to reclaim and empower myself which meant I had to turn my H over to himself completely. It's not the life I expected at this point, but it's a whole lot better than the life I was in.

Hope this helps. :w:
Nellie


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Dear endofmyrope, oh, my heart breaks to read your post. You are still you! The wonderful parts of you are still there. I know mine are even though I can't feel them all the time. I do believe RN has it right, and Nellie is so compassionate when she says take baby steps. Yes, I feel used, abused, and dirty. I was used and abused, but you know, I am not dirty. I felt that intensely for a while but now, well, that's fading. Because, really, think about us. We stuck it out because of our generous spirits, our love, our understanding, our kindness, our belief that we could reach these men. When I am by myself and calm, and just feel my feelings (since I do tend to over analyze and over think), I can feel all of my good stuff. If we were so awful, I don't think we would feel so much hurt. I see the compassion we have for each other on this forum and I feel the goodness of each of us.

When I can think about the good parts of my anger, it is the part of me that will NOT be destroyed by an addict. I'm damaged, but I am not destroyed. I feel glimmers of my life returning. We deserve this. Not to be dramatic, but, yes, to be dramatic, I want us all to be a phoenix rising from the ashes...to return to the beauty and joy that is within us. We deserve nothing less. We offered priceless gifts of trust and love, and they were trashed. That does not mean those gifts were not priceless. I like what Nellie is telling us: when we start to despair, we must do something for ourselves, something that returns our joy and peace. Honestly, I can't believe how hard that is, but I do believe it is testimony to the betrayal of our good natures. Wouldn't this be so much easier if we were selfish, and thoughtless, and arrogant?

And, RN and all of you have really helped me to see that these addicts, whew, we can't understand how they think. We can't get into their heads to see how they process their feelings. It helps to read about it, but I can't get it. It seems so irrational. So, I know they don't understand us. Even if they could see us as human (which they don't), or have compassion and empathy (which they don't), they just don't think the way we do. I sit with my h during these early recovery stages and am relieved when he is more open, but I'm flabbergasted about the way he thinks: the negative view, the all or nothing thinking, the "life sucks and then you die" attitude, the unilateral decision making, the view that he absolutely knows what I am thinking and feeling (what a joke since he is clueless about his feelings and thinking), the inability to see consequences of his behavior or to think beyond the next few hours or the next day.

Endofmyrope, I send you my virtual embrace. I feel your goodness in your posts. We are not alone.

Wishing us continued strength and peace, dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:36 pm 
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The solace and comfort from this site are true blessings, like a cool salve over a open cut...Thank you, dear all...so much wise, thoughtful words and shared hurt and broken personhoods...sometimes, I can hear my own voice in other voices, and all these voices, trembling and crying, tell me and I tell back that I am not alone, and neither are you all...
am thankful on this weekend...


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