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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:26 pm
Posts: 24
It has been just over a year since I found that I had been living with an SA during my 15 year marriage, yep like everyone it was an indescribable shock and has been a painful journey. I went through the lessons and found real solace in the approach that they directed me to follow, I never knew I could be so calm and measured in what felt like such a horrific circumstance. I decided to take some time off and actually live my life with what I had learnt and luckily my H came to the party with doing lessons and seeing a counsellor.

As time has passed it seems that his old habits have returned. He is drinking alone, staying up late and has not found a new counsellor since we moved areas. There is always a great excuse, work stress, can't find the right counsellor, etc. I have always been mindful not to force my opinion on what a heathy recovery should look like but have definitely been asking questions like how do these things work to support your values... he hates it when I do that. The other thing that I have forced myself to do is not to play detective, it was hard in the beginning but I now pride myself in the feeling that he is in charge of his own destiny and there is not to much I can do about that.

There have been slip-ups. He has never raised the fact that he is struggling and AO - that would indicate a major step forward to me. His discretions get uncovered when I tell him things do not feel right a discussion follows and he will admit what he has been up to. This has happened about every 3 months.

At the moment he is away on business. I used his iPad a couple of days ago and found explicit porn had been accessed. We had had a discussion about how things hadn't been feeling right before he left and he denied there was a problem. I messaged him to let him know what I had found and that we will need to talk about next steps when he gets back. The first thing he did was to look up "how to remove a cache without removing cookies" ( I could see it on our cloud...didn't even know that could happen!). I think it clearly shows where his mind is at with regard to recovery.

I do not think I can move forward from here letting him make his own decisions on recovery and maintain any sort of adult relationship with him. This is like dealing with a child where it is a game to get caught when I literally trip over his indiscretions. Thankfully in our contract I listed that a review of the recovery is necessary if no progress is being made - but how do I move forward without spelling out the bleedingly obvious things he needs to do? I feel we are both educated on what SA is what steps he can take to work towards a healthier lifestyle. Really that leaves me feeling that even with this knowledge he continues to AO... who knows what he has actually got up to, I am caring less to be honest. Is 1 year enough to see the track record and know that unless he wants to change he won't? He will be back in a couple of days and in the meantime I have refused to respond to his numerous apologies. I really want to be prepared to have a direct discussion, thankfully my emotions are in check... I guess the year of living this has helped with that.

Any advice?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:28 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
I do not think I can move forward from here letting him make his own decisions on recovery and maintain any sort of adult relationship with him.
Taking responsibility for his recovery doesn't work plus you don't want to be blamed when his recovery doesn't work. Like many SAs, he's most likely stuck in adolescence. Managing his recovery process robs him of doing the work it takes to grow up - no chance of an adult relationship if he depends upon you.

When he lies to you, violates boundaries, what consequences do you enforce at this point - having been at this for a year?

In addition to consequences or just because you need to communicate, tell him how his behavior makes you feel: I feel _________when you __________. The point of doing this is for you to be heard without any expectation of a healthy dialogue. Just get your feelings out there without any drama or emotion. If he reacts negatively, don't engage. If need be, walk away.
Quote:
but how do I move forward without spelling out the bleedingly obvious things he needs to do?
He is your life partner and you value his health. You can tell him how important it is to you that he sincerely and honestly pursue a health based recovery because he wants to become healthy for himself, not for you or the marriage, but because he values himself enough to want to become healthy. He will either do the work or he won't. There is nothing you can or should do beyond this. It's all up to him. You say he's aware of what he has to do but just won't do it....well....he's got a long way to go, doesn't he.
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I am caring less to be honest.
Yes. A disconnect....I know. We all reach a point when we decide what we can accept, live with, based on our values. Together, the two of you might set a time frame during which he is to focus on his recovery, and you focus on yourself and your health - each of you knowing that at the end of time frame, you re-evaluate your relationship. Have a frank discussion and evaluation based on what positive changes you have seen and what you feel at a gut level regarding his health and yours and your future together or if there is a future. Stick to your guns. Come up with a mini- vision to help guide you through this period so you put your focus totally on yourself and go forward that way using this mini-vision as your roadmap.

Hope this helps.
Nellie James :w:


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:26 pm
Posts: 24
Nellie James,

Your advice is stellar, on the money and so helpful. This can be such a lonely and difficult process to work through and your guidance has very much helped me over the last few days. Thank you.

In answer to your question about consequences when boundaries are violated we had decided that the consequence was to allot more time to speaking about these issues... so in effect more time together. I think I thought that this would be a good idea at the time because it would mean I could more closely see for myself the process of reflection and probably have input into how he was dealing with setbacks. I guess I can see clearly now that letting him take responsibility for his own recovery has been a challenge for me from the very beginning.

The few days to think through my own feelings was useful. My H struggled with not being able to communicate with me but I think also benefitted from having time to analyse what has been going on recently. Of course on his return he was apologetic and without sounding harsh the apologies did't really help to make me feel any better about where we stand. It wasn't until a few hours later that he was ready to really start to think about the last few weeks and how we had arrived in this situation again. He began suggesting things that he should do to get back on track. I stayed well out of suggesting anything but just listened. One suggestion he had was that it would be good for him to tell me every thought that was not supportive of his values on a daily basis. I told him that I could see the value of him reflecting on these things daily but that I did not feel that I wanted to played the role of listening to this... it just didn't feel right for me. He took the hint and then decided that engaging a new counsellor in our area might be the way to go.. Phew!

The feeling of disconnect has proved valuable in letting me hand over control of his recovery to him. It has also set me on a more proactive path with my own recovery. In the last few days I have booked myself on a course I had been putting off and just generally treated myself better in the realisation that my recovery is just as important as his.

Scarily the root cause of the slip up was that he thought he had recovered... Yep as you say a long way to go.

Perhaps my expectations of him being able to communicate when he is heading in the wrong direction early were unreasonable. I guess we both thought he had come further than he has. I have some hope though that while he could not flag a problem early, he has been proactive in planning changes which just feel like he is heading in the right direction of a healthy recovery... we shall see.

It seems that we will not be breaking any speed records in getting to "recovered" but for now we are well engaged in the journey of getting there.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:21 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
One suggestion he had was that it would be good for him to tell me every thought that was not supportive of his values on a daily basis. I told him that I could see the value of him reflecting on these things daily but that I did not feel that I wanted to played the role of listening to this...
An accountability partner, not you, is what he might need. Someone he can call on the phone if need be - a friend, someone from a support group, a minister. He is still depending upon you to tell him right from wrong....you can't be his mother.

What recovery program is he doing? Is he doing the lessons here on RN? If so, he can use his own Community Forum to help him with his daily determination of whether he stuck with his values or not. This should not be your job. Be clear about your boundary regarding this. As for consequences, I suggest you re-think what's appropriate at this point. It's OK to beef this up a bit if it's in agreement with your own values. I think it's hard for our Hs or BFs to realize that there are consequences for their choices.

Quote:
It has also set me on a more proactive path with my own recovery. In the last few days I have booked myself on a course I had been putting off and just generally treated myself better in the realisation that my recovery is just as important as his.
:g: Yes!

Nellie


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