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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:35 pm 
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Just reflecting on my time here, and reading over some of my old lessons. I came across this post in my healing thread, from late January, 2008:

I think that since our last conflict over the weekend~ when he said he was not happy and wanted to leave the marriage~and I did not react other than to plainly state my position on it (ok, I did get a little defensive but I was firm and calm and I didn't compromise my values)...ANYHOW, since he didn't get the reaction that I suspect he was looking for I think he rethought his strategy and decided to tell me some things (safer things) so as to continue this charade of recovery. I do not have factual proof. I am merely going on history and instinct. I do not really know how long I will stand by and watch him try to pull my strings and continue his denial and play acting...but I do know that for now I am letting it be.

What stood out to me is how dead on my intuition was, and always has been. I knew then how this would turn out. This being my relationship with my soon to be ex husband, or more accurately, this being my husband’s relationship with himself, his addiction, and how he navigated our (likely entire) relationship. His relationship will me was very strategic. He was continually controlling his environment and I now believe that his attempts at recovery were also part of that control. He never connected to recovery for its own sake because he was using recovery to get something. In this sense, he objectified his recovery as he objectifies people. The final evidence that consolidated my intuition was the way he flicked his switch so quickly from valuing similar things to me and sharing a common vision of a future together, to declaring that "this is who he is; he has his thing and I have mine and we do not belong together". The switch was because he knew that his deceptions and manipulations had expired with me.

The point-trust your intuition. Jon once told me that my intuition may not be 100% right, but it will be closer to the truth than his words. At that time, I decided that it only applied in early recovery. Eventually, I was telling myself that I "should" be able to trust him, and that it was my lack of trust that was the problem (which he gladly supported). I don't regret giving my marriage the time I did. I don't even regret trying to trust someone I clearly should not have. I am sad for him, and for his lack of ability to connect authentically with others, and-more importantly-with himself. Also, when I wrote this, I wasn't ready (even though I believed I was). I wasn't, because if I was I would have left-the writing was clearly on the wall, and I could plainly see it.

Be well.

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Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:54 pm 
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A strong inspiring post. A lighthouse of courage, confidence, healing, healthy perspective and firm values. And the sad tragedy of SA thinking/acting when recovery is not sincere. Thank you for sharing.

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NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:38 am 
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Hi again, for some reason which I was not aware of on the day when I was putting my previous comment here, my way of commenting kept haunting me. I continued to ask myself what I actually meant to say, looking for, reaching out for. Intuition! Apart from becoming aware of my partner's antics, what else is important about intuition for me right at this point? I kept thinking, Newdawn, what did you do that commenting for? Something was missing. That thought kept coming back to me many times. And I know myself well enough to realize that when that happens then there must be more to it. That my commenting on your meaningful post has some more implications for me. So what was the meaning for me? Now a few days of seeking answers later, I finally know what your post is for me. It truly is a lighthouse. It was my guiding light to realizing that I was off course in how I handled my own healing and my thoughts. It started to dawn on me that if I carried on like I was right now and would ever be faced with a situation like yours I would not have the platform in place to handle it from. Grim truth. Your post was the opening window to me exploring the truth about my not being able to let go of too much involvement in my partner’s recovery. I was realizing that I had avoided setting much needed boundaries. Looking at what I needed to do. I was scared of that change. Afraid to follow my instincts and look at my truth. I was off track/misguided/procrastinating/flaundering.
For me Lesson 3 is great for learning to trust my instincts in respect of SA behaviours, but also in learning to trust my instincts about my own behaviours and thoughts. Perfect trigger post for inducing change for me! Couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you Mel ! :g:

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NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:52 am 
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:g:

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Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:54 pm 
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I hope rereading this old post and validating your intuition is an encouragement for the tough reality that you are enduring right now. To know that you know what you know - a cyclical statement that partners often don't feel confidence in.

As far as giving it the time you needed to give it - that is definitely part of the process. To know that there is no rule aside from your own values and healing. No matter how awful, endearing, changed, or stuck our partner is, we have the right to choose - to stay as long as we need to, to leave as soon as we need to. Knowing he will not heal is not, necessarily, a reason to immediately abandon the relationship, if it still fulfills other values that we need to honor, in order to maintain our balance.

You remain in my prayers. May you continue to be well.
thebagholder


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:12 am 
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Hi again, I have had quite a week with the old Intuition thingy. To know what we know...thebagholder, you are so right. A very good point. I realized that I had lost a lot of my confidence in my intuition in the throws of early dday aftermath. I did not know what was up or down, woods for trees etc. The past week has taught me a big lesson about intuition of a kind that is not focused on my partner and his addiction, but which moreso became a firm building block from where my healing can now truly begin. Intuition with regards to my partner was one thing and of course totally important for obvious reasons, but I also felt that my intuition was clouded by issues of my own. Which I felt meant, that unless I figured out what this clouding was and meant, my intuition could not really do its job properly. And I was certainly not listening to my intuition when it told me to look at myself. Which turned out to be the clincher/missing link for me and not an easy hurdle to jump. I fought it with all I had and looking at what my partner did or didn't do and pointing the finger was far easier than being honest with myself. I cringe at the thought of how I behaved now. Eeek. But intuition kept niggling me until I could no longer ignore it. And finding (homing in on?) this post was one of the guiding stars. Our subconscious is a strong force....

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NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:49 am 
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I am just reading this tonight. It reminds me again to always trust my instincts. Of course, it's not really that simple in practice, is it?

I have been struggling with this for months -- my instincts telling me one thing, my SA telling me another. I ask myself why I would ever believe anything he says after all he has done and yet...

Perhaps it's a function of being raised to always give people the benefit of the doubt -- or maybe it's just wishful thinking -- but more likely it's that I realize I am so traumatized by his actions that it is possible that I may be overreacting. And of course, his explanations are plausible...

You can see where this is going. It is torture.

So for me, the real question has always been what do I do when this happens? How do I move past this?

It occurred to me tonight in reading this thread that a true sign of recovery in a SA, when confronted with a disconnect between his partner's instincts and reality, would be transparency on the spot -- not in response to a demand for it -- but rather because he appreciates the trauma he caused and desires to validate his partner's experience.

Barring that...trust your instincts.

Not sure if this helps others, but for me it was as if a lightbulb went off, so I wanted to share.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:02 am 
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Quote:
It occurred to me tonight in reading this thread that a true sign of recovery in a SA, when confronted with a disconnect between his partner's instincts and reality, would be transparency on the spot -- not in response to a demand for it -- but rather because he appreciates the trauma he caused and desires to validate his partner's experience.

Barring that...trust your instincts.


Exactly! :g:

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NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:24 pm 
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Wow, ladies, ladies, ladies! Coach Mel, you spoke of exactly where I am at the moment, and I really appreciate everyone's post relating to that ever elusive intuition!! I read somewhere once, "is it this intuition or just my fear?" I am sorry to say, I chalked it up to my fears toooooo many times over the past 15 years, and turned into that fearfull person! Turns out, one of my biggest feelings right after DDay was validation and a voice in my head saying, "you are not that fearfull person, after all!"

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It is always OK in the end...if it's not OK, it's not the end!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:28 am 
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Hello,
Quote:
"is it this intuition or just my fear?"
oh boy does that sound familiar. I still sometimes ask myself this very question, but I don't linger in there any longer. Simply because these days this question has become less important to me. I accept that even sometimes I might get it wrong and might need to reality check myself. Let's say when I am at a low point and perhaps not so able to keep things into perspective. The way I found around it for me was asking myself, "what if it was fear and what if my worst fears came true?" Well most of them basically have, I realized and with what support I have especially here on RN, and with what I know and with who am today I would in fact be even better equipped than ever to handle what comes my way. I read somewhere here that this is in fact our reality of the past and present, not the future. It has already happened. Then I look at myself and I realize that in fact I can handle it. I know I will still be standing even if the worst happened. Weeks ago I was terrified of my partner relapsing/AO. Today, I am not. Because I proved to myself already that I can handle it. Right in line with
Quote:
"you are not that fearfull person, after all!"
. This is something that we all need to feel at some stage imo and it will help us much, much, much to regain our previously dismantled/dented self confidence. :g:

_________________
NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:57 am 
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These were really helpful posts to me. I am not reviewing the past as much as I used to (thank goodness!!!!), since I now know my intuition was spot on. I am ruminating much less about times I sensed things were off and convinced myself they weren't and then reviewing again to come to a differernt conclusion. That is a waste of my time. But, I am clearly listening now to my instinct to understand what is happening right now. So, I do trust it when my alarm bells ring (sometimes loudly, sometimes softly) and to know that my husband is acting out. (Doesn't matter what he says; don't even need to bring it up all the time). I do trust my intuition when I don't trust his words. I do see now that he lies to me, but he also really lies to himself.

But, here is my question to all of you. Sometimes my intuition tells me "things are not clear." My husband is different. He is working on RN and indvidiual therapy. I can't predict his future or if he will get to health. But there are times when my intuition tells me that we are in transition and things are not clear. What do you all think? Is this valid or more denial on my part?

dnell


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:54 am 
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dnell wrote:
But, here is my question to all of you. Sometimes my intuition tells me "things are not clear." My husband is different. He is working on RN and indvidiual therapy. I can't predict his future or if he will get to health. But there are times when my intuition tells me that we are in transition and things are not clear. What do you all think? Is this valid or more denial on my part?

dnell


No, it's not denial, it is your intuition being, once again, right on. As the workshop repeats often, recovery is not a linear path. If you sense change, there probably is change. If you sense an uncertain outcome, the outcome is probably still in flux. Because recovery is a process, not a switch, you will more likely "feel" it unfolding (or stagnating), more than you will "know" it has happened/is happening or not. Additionally, our husbands have a constellation of unhealthy behaviors, thoughts, and undeveloped skills and insights. It would be impossible for them to grow in every direction at once. They will develop in the ways that they see the need, and it will be incremental and not always what we want most. I wanted my husband to work at developing empathy first, so he could understand and accept my pain. He didn't see that as important at first; he felt like he needed to build on his organizational skills and boundary setting. I had, for quite some time, to recognize and accept his immense growth in dealing with his parents and boss, and him being much more help around the house, in lieu of the heartfelt apology and gentle kindness I thought I deserved. What he was able to accomplish, however, freed more space in his life, every step of the way, to tackle the next challenge, as he discovered it. At any point, he could have given up, stagnated, or turned back, so I had to avoid my own all-or-nothing tendencies, and stay alert to the changes I saw and felt were occurring. I had to accept that I could only react to what I did see and feel and release my desire to control what I simply could not know with certainty.

May you have the patience and peace you need to continue trusting yourself!
Thebagholder


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:14 pm 
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Thankyou, thankyou new dawn!!! Everything you say is soooo wise...are you old like me?? :s: Remembering what Jon also told Mel......you may not be 100% right in intuition but more often than not..... I just think now, my SA is learning enough(with his 12 step AND on RN!!!) how to take care of himself healthily, that when my intuition is wrong, he will better understand my apology instead of being so righteous!!! Im unclear about your question regarding intuition or is it denial??? His denial or yours???

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It is always OK in the end...if it's not OK, it's not the end!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:13 am 
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Quote:
Additionally, our husbands have a constellation of unhealthy behaviors, thoughts, and undeveloped skills and insights. It would be impossible for them to grow in every direction at once. They will develop in the ways that they see the need, and it will be incremental and not always what we want most…so I had to avoid my own all-or-nothing tendencies, and stay alert to the changes I saw and felt were occurring. I had to accept that I could only react to what I did see and feel and release my desire to control what I simply could not know with certainty.
And this, in my opinion, is the hardest part of healing—maintaining the balance of keeping their recovery process in perspective, while also maintain awareness and staying aligned with our own vision and values. This often necessarily requires that we allow some of our values to be violated, but only as an intentional exercise in giving space for other values to be supported. It’s a trade off between short term discomfort for a vision for long term health. Then, on top of that, we must remain cognizant that there are no guarantees. At the end of the day, all our effort and work may not yield the results we wanted.

Quote:
I just think now, my SA is learning enough(with his 12 step AND on RN!!!) how to take care of himself healthily, that when my intuition is wrong, he will better understand my apology instead of being so righteous!!!
This is the hope. :w: Facetiousness aside, such would be a good indicator that your husband is accepting responsibility for the impact of his behaviour.

Quote:
I think witnessing a transition is based on intuition in parts, but more so on the facts/changes/genuine efforts that we see in our other halves and let's not forget in ourselves.
Actually, I don’t think witnessing transition has anything to do with intuition. Jon once said it would be palpable. At signs, I did see that my husband was doing work. Where my intuition served me was in telling me that things are always as they seem. I picked up on subtleties that my husband would swear were not there (like a smirk on his face when I’d as him a question based on my intuition). I could have doubted what I thought I saw, which I did for a long time. But, I never really saw recovery manifested in my husband as a way of being. It was always a pattern of doing work (to appease me) and then sliding into complacency. The only time he’d pick up his game was when I’d start fishing. But, given that I wanted to believe that he would recover, I would often give him the benefit of the doubt. I think that if my husband were making a true transition, I wouldn’t have to look to my intuition for answers—as Jon said: it would be palpable. The changes that come with the transition are real. This does not mean there won’t be mistakes or even relapses, but the way they manage themselves in face of these is where the distinction between faking it and making it comes in. As Jon said, no urge should go unchallenged. Mistakes will be met with maturity and restorative action (not necessarily restorative to the partner’s ego or wants, but restorative to their own inner healing. Eventually, they will get to a place where they can be there for the partner, but as the bagholder pointed out, they must first work through what they need to work through to be able to get to that place where they can offer truly felt empathy. But, by the time they do, we may no longer need it (but would appreciate it nonetheless :w: ).

Quote:
I also believe that sometimes we need denial as a kind of break until we are ready to look.
Yes. I believe denial is definitely an adaptive self-preserving mechanism. Like any other adaptive behaviour, it can become maladaptive when we get stuck in it. It is adaptive to eat, but sometimes we eat more than our bodies need and we feel ill, and sometimes to a point where we put our bodies under duress either from becoming obese or raising our cholesterol, for example. It is adaptive to want love—love is what keeps the infant close to its caregivers, and out of harms way. But stuff happens and we start to shut down as a way of protecting ourselves (protecting ourselves is also adaptive) but the adaptive need for love still there. Due to “what happened” the need becomes maladaptive, and causes us to strive for it so much we sacrifice our true selves (i.e. parts of our vision and values) to get love externally, where it is no longer accessible internally and on top of that, our adaptive self-preservation mechanism has most likely become maladaptive in that we protect ourselves even when our environment doesn’t call for it.

Quote:
But I would not consider myself wise. gosh, I read some of the posts and it hits it home how much I still have to learn. Just a bit wiser than I was 2 months ago.
I have been here for many years-and I had been doing self-development work for several years prior-and I still do not see myself as wise, but a bit wiser than I was. :w: I don’t think that human beings ever stop growing and learning, if this is the path we choose.

Sadly, for my husband, the prospect of “doing work” for the rest of his life was daunting, and something he didn’t want to do. Personally, I don’t see any of this as “doing work” (i.e. in the sense that Westernized societies have come to associate with “doing work”). I often use the word work, but I think of it as practice and as a way of being. And, I make mistakes (boy, do I make mistakes!). I am continually learning: I learn from my younger colleagues as from my older mentors; I learn from all of you; I learn from my children; I learn from my friends and family; I learn from strangers. I am so grateful that I am able to see life as an opportunity for learning and I am sad for people, such as my husband, who see learning as burdensome.

The thing is, as human beings we are always learning. Everything that comes into our environment impacts us in some way. If we are intentional, and pay attention to our environment, the learning effects are greater than if we are unconscious. But, the effects are still there. We benefit from learning if we take in what we are exposed to and integrate it thoughtfully into our own prior knowledge. (In memory literature, this is called “elaborative interrogation” and it is an excellent study tool). In this way, the brain can continue to form new connections and pathways (new memories). If we are not intentional, the brain will simply reinforce old pathways. The old sages knew, intuitively, what it has taken a few thousand years of research to “discover”. Here’s to the power of intuition! :w:

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Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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