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 Post subject: His anger
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:33 pm
Posts: 50
Last summer I took away my spouse's smart phone. It was the main tool he was using to act out with. He used it to watch porn and for voyerism. He crossed so many boundaries with that thing that I know I would never feel comfortable with it ever in his possession again. I made a pro's and con's list about the phone to explain why he should not have it and also fully explained how it would not be benificial for his recovery. In my opinion it would be keeping a gun in the house that was previously used for a suicide attempt. He still resents me though. No matter what I do or say, or what valid points I give he remains angry at me. It's a stupid phone! It's not even necessary! He is treating me, the one who is the most supportive person in his life, badly over a stupid toy! I don't know how to deal with this. Any thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: His anger
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:51 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
hi rainiegirl,

I am sorry this continues to be a source of stress,and I also completely understand. My h doesn't have one but I'm waiting for the conversation to come up soon.

I am at the point in my recovery, and this may be helpful to you if you are at this point, where I will simply say "The smart phone makes me uncomfortable. It causes me anxiety, and that is a result of your choices for the past 10 years. It's really up to you to decide what is more important to you: having the smart phone, or your wife's comfort. I will have to consider my options, including my investment in this relationship, according to your choice."

This puts responsibility for his actions back on him. Instead of demanding or insisting he does not have a smart phone, in my case, I will clearly use it as a metric for his investment in repairing our marriage.

Thi sisn't about control (on your part) but your sense of safety and ability to heal within the relationship. If he is truly interested in recovery AND in repaing your relationship, that should take precedent over toys/computers/activities. If it doesn't, then he shows you what really IS important to him, and then you can decide how that fits within your values, boundaries, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: His anger
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:59 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
This is about his need to control you and his environment. Very immature on his part which I'm sure you know. Frankly, taking his phone away is no guarantee that he won't act out. Nonetheless, stand your ground. There are consequences for his past behavior, and your not trusting him with a smart phone is a consequence - simple as that. You have every right to set a boundary specific to this based on past behavior.
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No matter what I do or say, or what valid points I give he remains angry at me.

His job is to want to become healthy because he wants to become healthy. It seems his anger is getting in his way - red flag? Your points may be valid, but, as I said, this is about control on his part. A healthy relationship is a long way down the road from my perspective based on what you have mentioned in your post. He will either do the work or he won't. I know that's a harsh reality but it's the only way it works. Your job is to work on healing yourself which does not depend on him. Don't sacrifice your health to his ingrained behaviors. Stick to your boundaries - you don't need to explain them to him. He knows but chooses not to honor them - he chooses anger it appears.

Hope this helps,
Nellie


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 Post subject: Re: His anger
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:58 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Anger. Boy, there sure is a lot of that in my relationship. I've got my own stuff; the discovery of my husband's SA was so utterly devestating that I wanted to be angry since it was easier than the hideous pain. And, then I was hurt and angry for years at his constant criticism, rejection, hostility, abandonment...well, you get the idea.

And, his anger. Whew. As time went on and his addiction deepened, the anger got worse. I had a helpful exchange about this in this forum and I see it as fuel for his addiction. The anger and resentment fed his belief that he deserved the acting out (heck, he was OWED the compulsive behavior); deserved to do immoral and hurtful things because of my (fill in the blanks of my inadequacy and failure to serve him or make him feel better); it intensified the rituals by adding the emotion of anger. I also think it is a symptom of his underlying insecurities, lack of self worth and fear of intimacy. I also see it as a symptom of immaturity.

And, early in recovery, I see it as protecting the addiction; serving denial; manipulating me; blame shifting; coping with shame and guilt; and the usual problem of not having mature, healthy tools for managing life. It is DEFINITELY a red flag about his addiction.

I am trying to work on my anger issue in my therapy and it is helping. For his anger, he needs to work on it in his therapy. I can tolerate anger if it is not abusive. Clear boundaries are needed. I think what is tricky is that my anger is just out there and his anger is usually constant and veiled with criticism, contempt, scorn, passive aggressive behavior....

Detaching helps; boundaries definitely help; being able to control my anger and response and to de-escalate or escape the situation helps.

dnell


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