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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:08 pm 
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Hi,
I am not quite sure how to handle this and could do with help please. I have recently committed to giving my relationship the chance it deserves. I have seen steps forward in recovery of my partner which encouraged me, as this is certainly a first in the time we were a couple. Together with the fact that I value my partners many wonderful qualities outside his addict and that we share much the same vision of how we would like to live our life, I feel I owe it to myself and all that we have been through together to give this love a chance.

After conveying this to my partner, for a few hours it seemed to be received with joy. He had been asking me for this since dday. However, to cut a long story short, he since switched to his addict and got himself stuck in anger and resentment against me. It feels like we are both on separate islands now.

What seems to have happened is that my commitment presented us with not only with another chance, but also with a safety blanket 'of I will not leave you now', but overall with an also more couragous, yet also vulnerable me. Through my own healing I have become once again very like the person he fell in love with. My assembled self rather the dismantled version I played in previous years for his benefit.
Unfortunately my being more me is what seems to have triggered massive seething efforts to control me somehow. Right now we cannot even have a discussion about anything outside of SA without me feeling his anger radiating towards me.

I faced the same dynamics early on in our relationship and remember them well. Once we had moved in together and he was presented on a daily basis with someone who was not afraid to show love, sexual desire and appreciation openly, he must have realized that he could not handle it, no matter how much he wished he could. Hence he responded with anger as a weapon. First at himself I assume, then turned on me as a scapegoat...or so it feels/looks anyway. There was also emotional blackmail as in continuous threats/and sometimes actually leaving the relationship (if I loved 'too much' or challenged him in anything), as well as increasing withdrawel of love, emotional and physical affection, in order to manipulate me into not expressing myself as me. And I was not to show courage to be vulnerable (did it show him up? I suppose this is how it must have felt for him).
His crazy demands and manipulations was what eventually dismantled me in the relationship and what prompted me to seek professional help a few years later. The tools I gained from this are now a good basis to start my healing from.

But now I feel once again presented with the dilemma of being needed to dismantle into bite sized emotionally void pieces for his benefit. Which I don't want to give him this time. I don't want to play act or be someone I am not. I am not one of his fantasies - I am me!

I am trying hard to keep my anger and dispair aside when we talk and most of the time I am capable of doing so. I figure that if I am warm and receptive then he may feel safer to venture out of his dark place. But it is not good enough. Nothing helps.

I know he is suffering in his world now, but I could not see any other way than to explain to him that I don't have his solutions. That he needs to find the courage to trust himself and me somewhere within himself.
Sadly he still refuses to come out of his hole. And the anger at me seems huge. At times it even causes a physical reaction in me. I shiver.

He has been in this place before, but never as long as this. I fear that he is using the fact of my commitment to our relationship as a safety blanket to keep himself stuck. The pressure of my leaving is diminished now and it seems like this makes it easier for him to stay stuck in his dark lonely place. Is my commitment to us used as a tool for delaying recovery? Could this be? Have I in fact presented him with an excuse to stay stuck safely now? :t:
He told me today that he feels blessed to have me stick with him. But why is he still so much on a mission to hurt and negate me? Instead of walking towards recovery and with that automatically towards us? I guess he is simply not ready or is hopefully in the process of getting himself ready. There are tiny glimpses which may suggest that.

I keep assuring him that even though I don't know his answers that I am here for him whenever he is ready to communicate without wanting to harm me emotionally while we are talking. That I am committed and have no intentions to leave him. But this seems to make things worse. Anger, staying stuck etc. The more compassion I show the angrier he gets.

Is this common in a committed recovery? What can I do, if anything? It is affecting me emotionally and I am thinking of increasing the time I seek for keeping/regaining my balance/focus in my SA free zone. His sudden desperate attempt to zap me of 'me' is making me feel like I want to retreat for a break of maybe a couple of days or so without hearing anything from him and SA. But I feel somehow guilty for wanting this. I realize that I need to heal foremost, but I also want to consider the relationship and my partner's tragic state right now.
At this point I feel he somehow needs to stay stuck and make this unhealthy choice temporarily. I cannot change if he wants to fill his life with negative emotions or procrastinate in his recovery. But I don't want to join him in this dark place. I am working so hard to create a life of peace and joy now and to stay on track. And to move on from my traumatic past years. But I don't want him to think I abandon him. I would tell him this of course if I chose to take a longer break from this craziness. But I am not sure if he will grasp or believe it. Am I making this too much about him? Am I off track?

_________________
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 8:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
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Newdawn,

newdawn wrote:
At this point I feel he somehow needs to stay stuck and make this unhealthy choice temporarily. I cannot change if he wants to fill his life with negative emotions or procrastinate in his recovery. But I don't want to join him in this dark place. I am working so hard to create a life of peace and joy now and to stay on track. And to move on from my traumatic past years. But I don't want him to think I abandon him. I would tell him this of course if I chose to take a longer break from this craziness. But I am not sure if he will grasp or believe it. Am I making this too much about him? Am I off track?

Your struggle sounds familiar even though my H had different reactions. I used to be very involved in his recovery ... talking about it daily... it was a crazy roller coaster, a lot of daily drama and turn of events ... I used to have this distinct feeling that he takes me as the enemy instead of realising that the enemy is his lack of awareness, insight or even commitment ... it all seemed so irrational ... and yet, it was happening. I also had these days of feeling suffocated by all the chaos ... I just wanted to be free but felt guilty about it ... instead I would plunge back into fighting him, especially as I noticed that some of the things I said turned into epiphanies/core beliefs for him ... I could clearly see that he progresses through my struggle ... I used to call it "push and pull" him through his own recovery ... him kicking and screaming ... me pushing and pulling, always come back with renewed hope and new energy... forcing him to understand some things about himself ... But, somewhere along the way I grew tired of all this pushing and pulling. I got disappointed ... I couldn't understand why after so much progress ... true ... through push and pull but nevertheless progress ... he still fights against it. Maybe because I've never given him the chance to find his own way? I just knew I can't keep doing it forever and I don't even want to. I want a man that I can admire. I don't want someone that owes me his recovery. In fact, I don't even think that is possible... there is a certain click that needs to happen (or a number of clicks) and I don't think it can happen if we are so involved in their recovery. Think about it this way: recovery is not just recovery ... recovery is his chance of proving himself ... his worth, his powers, of building up some self-esteem, of beginning to trust himself, it lays the foundation for caring for himself, respecting himself and eventually, hopefully, loving himself. Now ... how can he achieve all these things if he gets help from me? Also, think at all the time you spend thinking about him and him thinking about you. Chances are you both waste a lot of precious time and energy trying to come to terms with each other, trying to accommodate each other or dealing with the other's negative emotions and reactions when it's just an impossible task right now as he is not ready. My H and I ... we've wasted almost one year in this terrible struggle trying to hold on to each other but making an even bigger mess of things. In the meantime there was hardly any time or energy for personal healing or recovery.

About you commiting to not leaving and his irrational reaction ... it's not that surprising at all ... you know he doesn't have the skills to deal with intimacy and it will take a lot of time and effort for him to comfortably engage at that level ... You try to have a mature and loving relationship with someone that cannot give you that ... it's like putting the cart before the horse... He is trying to make you scapegoat and point the finger at you so he will cover up for his inabilities. But you knew this already. As painful as it is, it cannot be helped. He is not ready. Why not giving him space and time by focusing on yourself exclusively?

The best thing for me was when I've decided to stop interfering and mind my own business. I became much happier and from that perspective I was able to accept that I do not know how he is doing, what will be the outcome but I'm ok with it. I have set a certain time frame that is long enough ... two or three years from now on ... long enough for him to trully recover or long enough for him to procrastinate and go in circles ... it's entirely up to him ... now and again I dare say something ... like my opinion about how well he is doing in his recovery lessons ... but even there I felt extremely uncomfortable to tell him I don't think he is doing that well ... but I shared that only after I made him promise he will just let me state my opinion ... take it or leave it ... without getting into an argument because I know exactly ... word by word what he would say, how he would justify it and how he would say that what can he do if I don't want to see his progress ... I know all that, it was just on my consciousness not to say out loud what I trully thought for fear he thinks all is rosy when it's not ... but ... I don't expect him to do anything about it, change anything ... as I see it, the mechanims are working already ... those invisible strings that push us together or pull us apart ... the forces at play such as commitment, awareness, insight ... I see them more as being beyond his control, not to mention mine ... If it happens, it happens, if not, not ... And I will stick around for those two or three years to see which one it is ... But in the meantime I don't want to be bothered much with it ... and definitely, not as in me fighting against him trying to make him see some things ... if he comes to me asking for feedback or opinions ... well ... that's different (never happened yet ...) ... but apart from that, any time it feels like push or pull I disengage. I say what I need to say, put it out there but for my own consciousness, for my own peace of mind, so that whatever happens I know I've done my best and I've been true to my values. Bottom line is I'm not that emotonally attached to the outcome of his recovery. I'm enjoying our moments together, if possible. If not, I'm in my own world working hard on not obsessing on anything else but me ;).

It's quite such a relief to have put the responsability for recovery where it should have been in the first place ... on himself. I'm still here and I still process information, but more in a matter of fact way ... my life and joy are not dependant on it anymore and that's the healthy way to view it anyways. There is no "let's fight this thing together" anymore. I value my peace and mental health too much now ... and I know he must fight it himself or else it doesn't have much value ... to me or to himself ...

To wrap it up ... there are ways and means of you taking care of yourself without abandoning or rejecting him. Maybe you want to consider some boundaries meant to bring back some kind of normality ... like ... no talk about his recovery or healing for a while or having a designated time maybe once a week for that kind of sharing ... think about other things you like to do together, common passions ... maybe you could turn your commitment into something milder ... like let's be friends, not partners.. (that helped me a lot to turn off the craziness and focus on trust, honesty, support in a less emotionally involved kind of a way) ... even taking time off if there is no other way ...

_________________
"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: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:14 am 
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Ursula, I thank you so much for taking the time to write such an in depth reply and for sharing your own experiences. Your whole post deserves a thumbs up, because it was the push I needed to get up and over my current stumbling block. When I asked the question at the end of my post "Am I making this too much about him? Am I off track?", deep down I knew that I was. And I guess I needed someone to give me a shove into the right direction. I had been sucked up in this even though I tried so hard not to be. Your reply hit it home and I am very grateful for this.

I feel blessed in that my partner wants to share and does ask my opinion. But until very recently I have often tried too hard to 'make him see' and my replies were clouded/could even escalate (see post of me behaving like a jerk for example) into expressions of old resentments, anger and grieving. I felt zapped from it, so did he and we are still no further. He is still in his hole, clutching on to addiction and I have lost time in my healing and have come off track. I realized that I was more on track and happier 1 week ago than now and with that I experienced a strong feeling of alarm. I am so glad I listened to it and acted on it/came here for answers.

I asked my partner a couple of days ago to please accept that I have not got the answers for him, but I would be delighted if he would share them with me once he finds them. That of course I could tell him what I would do, but my platform for thinking my thoughts, doing my healing, recognizing my issues and my foundations to dealing with it all are so different from his. How can ways of how I myself would solve things work the same for him?! That is crazy thinking. Not sure if he truly understands, but I now do. I look at my previous posts and I can see that they are more about analyzing him than finding answers for me. Not saying they did not help. They sure did, and the warmth and compassion was so much needed in my healing at that time. I was not alone any more. There were others like me. And they were handling it. They understood and gave me hope. I am forever grateful for my replies. That is for sure and I would be kidding myself if I thought a virtual hug won't be needed once in a while. I think we all need some reassurance at some point. Also I did gain so much new insight through my posts and the valued answers to them, but fact is on a self observant note, that my focus was definitely off. A bitter pill to swallow, but the truth nevertheless. And a good thing in it is that I can now finally evolve. I see my cry for help yesterday being about me somewhat recognizing my over-involvement, but fearing the letting go. Thank you Ursula, for helping me so much.

Quote:
Maybe you want to consider some boundaries meant to bring back some kind of normality ... like ... no talk about his recovery or healing for a while or having a designated time maybe once a week for that kind of sharing ... think about other things you like to do together, common passions ... maybe you could turn your commitment into something milder ... like let's be friends, not partners.. (that helped me a lot to turn off the craziness and focus on trust, honesty, support in a less emotionally involved kind of a way) ... even taking time off if there is no other way


This is fantastic practical advice. I had thoughts along those lines too. In fact I raised the subject this morning with him. But he was not ready and we will resume another time. I think we need to wait until he has clawed himself out of his current addiction hole before discussing any positives. As I would perceive putting 'ground rules' and injecting as much balance as possible under the circumstances into the our relationship would be. But someone hell bound on staying alone on an island I suppose is easily overwhelmed by considering partnership improvements. Or anything to do with togetherness in fact. Right now I don't see that he is open to anything, but fantasizing and objectifyng me into his punch-ball. See! I am at it again!!!! gggrrrr. I was tempted to delete that, but it will serve as a reminder. You are so right I need to look elsewhere! Because the alternative would be pretty grim for me.

I will also consider an acceptable time limit for me to stay with the relationship. Thank you for sharing your take on that. I feel at a point now where I can do this. I tried to do it soon after dday. No chance. Then a few weeks after I did it, but too much based on retaliatory/blame thinking. So that was rubbish too. Today I feel like I can start working a time boundary out for me that I can live with. And this I will do. Thank you for reminding me of this.

Since dday 6 weeks ago I am turning more towards friends and family now. Resuming contact with them took big courage and really hit it home how isolated I had become, due to my own shame I was carrying about my life. RN helped me let go of that and I am now back with people who love me and who I love in return. You know what was quite sad, is that I was actually surprised that I still mattered to them. And also how much they had seen/sensed of what I was convinced I had kept so well hidden from them. They got most info they needed to know from my personality change/withdrawel which said it all to them, ... and I was honestly surprised that they still loved me, in fact never stopped loving me. My self worth must have been rock bottom, not even to mention how distorted my view of love had become....eeeek! And since dday I have also discovered simple pleasures that I really enjoy. And I have felt so much happier for it in the past weeks. But I slipped back!... instead of building on the good stuff.

So I say, Newdawn you prized plum, you obviously had to try this thing once more didn't you?, and you obviously needed what exactly from it? more proof of it being futile and more pain??? Ok, you received all that in abundance, now let it be bygones for this one, and do what you need to do!

I am feeling blessed to be here where there is so much compassion and help so I can jump my hurdles.

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


Last edited by newdawn on Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
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newdawn wrote:
But he was not ready and we will resume another time. I think we need to wait until he has clawed himself out of his current addiction hole before discussing any positives. As I would perceive putting 'ground rules' and injecting as much balance as possible under the circumstances into the our relationship would be. But someone hell bound on staying alone on an island I suppose is easily overwhelmed by considering partnership improvements. Or anything to do with togetherness in fact. Right now I don't see that he is open to anything, but fantasizing and objectifyng me into his punch-ball. See! I am at it again!!!! gggrrrr. I was tempted to delete that, but it will serve as a reminder. You are so right I need to look elsewhere! Because the alternative would be pretty grim for me.


For me it has been very difficult and painful to understand that whatever I do or I don't do won't make much difference with him. For example, it took me so very long to decide to sleep in separate bedrooms, even if I kind of longed for distancing myself from the craziness and knew I cannot keep the focus on me with him so close. However, when it came down to it, I was so scared. Fear, this is what was holding me back. I would think ... what if I give him free pass to acting out? what if he realises he doesn't need me that much? what if we just drift apart? what if I lose him to his addiction forever? what if he starts hating me? what if he stops any efforts towards recovery? what if he will be stuck without me? These and many many other thoughts ... I was terrified so I waited and waited until I just couldn't wait anymore as it became do it or lose your sanity ... so all these fears got overridden by my instinct of survival. Well, to my knowledge, none of my fears came true ... Of course he was totally against it but at that point it didn't matter much to me what he wanted, I just had to take care of myself, I couldn't provide emotional stability for us both and I had finally understood I needed and deserved at least the same kind of attention, care, insight I was providing for him.

I strongly believe that our actions impact our partners on a surface level only. They will definitely react mostly negatively but for a short period of time, after which they go back to whatever they were doing before the event happened. I don't believe we can impact their core. Only they can go in so deep and make the necessary changes to their core. Ask yourself why do you want to wait for him to be in some better place? What are you really afraid of? Are you afraid of the outcome of his recovery and that your actions will impact it negatively? That's just an illusion, I can tell you that ... the illusion of having some sort of control over it. Are you afraid he will shut you out? But you say this is already the case ... he is an island ... you said he withdraws because you come close. If that were true, maybe he will come out as you move away ... Whatever it is the case, his reaction or lack of it is not your problem or your responsability. You are your responsability, that's all there is to it. When making decisions make a point of considering your own welfare, not his. One reason for this is that you cannot possibly know how your decisions impact him ... you only know your bit, so use only that information in your decision making. Don't make assumptions or hypothesis about him ... that is a game you will eventually lose and it's a heavy burden that you carry ... you will blame yourself if things stall or go the wrong way because you accept any responsability for him ... his being comfortable or in a better state ... So, if I were you, I would not even think about possible consequences for him ... I would have only my own welfare in my mind and take decisions accordingly. Believe me, in the long run that is the best decision, even for him.

You are doing great! Much better than me, I can tell you that ... I've never been able to learn from others, only after I got burnt I was able to say ... ohhh, this is what they meant ... Remember to be patient with yourself, don't be too hard on yourself. This is not the last time your focus gets highjacked but the sooner you learn to recognise it, the better you'll do for yourself.

Hugs!

_________________
"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: Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:04 am 
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Hi newdawn,
You have gotten excellent advice from Ursula. I underscore everything she says. And you actually, already knew the answer to your own question. Trust in yourself.

You are dealing with all the complications that come with being the partner of an SA. Frankly, there is no use analyzing or trying to figure out what his motivation is for his anger, for his being stuck. His thinking is skewed and projecting his anger onto you seems to be part of what he does - it's a part of his addiction. The trick is to not personalize it or think you have anything to do with his negative behavior or allowing himself to stay stuck. As Ursula has pointed out he's not there yet in terms of being healthy enough to behave in the ways that would give you a feeling of safety or demonstrate to you that he is "walking toward recovery." You can't expect any stability from him at this point. I know that's a hard pill to swallow, but it's where he is.
Quote:
I keep assuring him that even though I don't know his answers that I am here for him whenever he is ready to communicate without wanting to harm me emotionally while we are talking.
Hmmmm. This is the beginning of a boundary on your part that applies to you as well as him. Being emotionally zapped during conversations is not acceptable so don't fall into that trap. I suggest a couple of possibilities. Use a straight forward feeling statement when he does attempt to zap you such as I feel ________________when you __________. No drama. Do not engage if his reaction is negative. The point is to be heard. You have a right to your feelings. The second suggestion is that you set a weekly check in time with a format that includes time out when emotions run high, and listening without questions along with an overall time limit. Take turns talking and listening. If drama or emotions tip either of you over, table the conversation until the next weekly meeting.

If you do indeed feel that you need a break away from him, don't feel guilty about taking that break. You are not abandoning him by making that choice. It took me a while, but I finally realized that my own emotional health was my priority which meant that I had to take charge of me. If that means taking a break, take it.

And as suggested, redefine the term commitment for yourself. Be clear as to what this means for you. Don't get hung up on trying to honor a COMMITMENT when you really mean a wait and see. Your responsibility is to your own healing which is a process that will be unique to you. His responsibility is his recovery which will be a process unique to him and totally up to him to figure out. He will either do the work or he won't. How it unfolds for him....well, you can't control it or predict it. Support - yes. Responsibility - no. It helps to accept that old patterns are hard to change, and it will take very hard work and personal insights on his part to take those baby steps forward. As you have figured out - it's best to turn him over to himself and put your energy and focus toward your own healing and self empowerment so you can live the life you want.

Keep doing the lessons and digesting what you are learning and discovering which I think you are doing. :g: There is nothing easy about this journey but there will be light bulb moments along the way, sometimes when you least expect them. We all reach a point when we decide what we can live with and what we can't based on our vision and values - whether to stay or go is a bridge we cross. Again, this is a process. Give yourself the gift of patience. :w:

Nellie James


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:24 pm 
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Thank you so much Ursula and Nellie, and oh boy! this is a biggy. I am only just beginning to realize MY issues in this.

Quote:
I kind of longed for distancing myself from the craziness and knew I cannot keep the focus on me with him so close. However, when it came down to it, I was so scared. Fear, this is what was holding me back. I would think ... what if I give him free pass to acting out? what if he realises he doesn't need me that much? what if we just drift apart? what if I lose him to his addiction forever? what if he starts hating me? what if he stops any efforts towards recovery? what if he will be stuck without me? These and many many other thoughts ... I was terrified so I waited and waited until I just couldn't wait anymore as it became do it or lose your sanity ... so all these fears got overridden by my instinct of survival


.... talk about resonating!!!... I happened to be living away from home at the time of dday, to deal with the illness and then death of both my parents. When dday came I decided I would not go back home for now, but concentrate on my healing instead. Keep the distance. I just instinctively grabbed that chance. Probably one of the rare healthy decisions I made in my relationship and after that I found RN and I realize more and more how much I truly need this help. The distance is good for me. I never had the courage to seek distance like this Usually I would claw my way into perceived closeness. Eeek, just seeing this in words makes me cringe now..... I remember the past ddays before the recent one and how difficult it was being in close proximity with the culprit of my pain, but still compulsively needing to be (note to self: must add this to lesson about own compulsions!). But even though I know distance is the right decision for me, I feel all those fears that you mentioned Ursula, of what may happen. But then again, based on what you both shared with me and what my inner truth tells me, well..., if I am honest it is plain and simple the fear of loosing control/letting go of the habit of clutching at straws. THAT is the biggy here for me. Hey, but this is exactly the point isn't it? Giving up control after years of futile trying (it's become a way of life for me, a habit in varying degrees of intensity over the years). And it is not real control anyway as we cannot control this SA thing. So I am afraid to loose something that in fact does not exist!!!! Now if I look at that fact in the cold light of day.....how crazy is that??? That makes me Miss Fantasy Queen!

Quote:
I strongly believe that our actions impact our partners on a surface level only. They will definitely react mostly negatively but for a short period of time, after which they go back to whatever they were doing before the event happened. I don't believe we can impact their core.


Yep, that was and still is a hard pill to swallow, but ref to above...no choice but cash in my chips and find my own way now. And if I needed any proof that things will in fact get worse if he decided that's his preferred way forward, despite the miracle of my love and well meaning hanging round his neck (another cringe moment felt here...), then I definitely got it last night. When my partner decided it was now time to cross a new line/sink further into the depth of his addiction. He used my grieving for my parents against me and stuck a knife in it. He did this by passive aggressive tactics, withdrawel into iciness and then finishing the job with open anger and making his despicable behaviour my fault and as a cherry on top dictating how I should feel about it.
He has practiced this type of manipulation/emotional abuse as far as I can think back. Together with opening my scars from my child abuse for his own gratification I think exploiting my raw grief was the absolute pits! He still has the ability to shock me. I agree that his anger is masking something else and I have a very good idea of what it is. But the way I see it is that his anger behaviour is his new acting out. He does not sexually AO, but he does now do it in another compulsive and destructive way. I have become his objectified ( he defines me as a 'thing' not person who deserves this) self gratification tool in this. Let's see where it hurts her most, then hurt her best I can and then I can finally orgasm in anger rather than in sperm. Oooha the relief! Sounds harsh, but this is how it looks from where I am standing, and off he careers down the slippery downwards slope into deeper shame and dispair, same as in AO sexually. My intention is not to put emphasis on why he does it in saying this, but what sticks out like a sore thumb is that it just is what it is. I am able to observe more now rather than go right in there for ... answers for him...cringe again..... So very clearly: it is not getting better even though I gave him what he asked me for, even with opening up, even with love, gentleness, support....hey-ho ... I would say rather it got much worse because I did give him more of me. Because like you both pointed out he is not ready. He instead lapped it up as fodder for his addiction. Cheers! No thanks. I am off! I deserve better and I think good old Newdawn here needs to gain some self respect! I will keep reminding myself of this Ursula:
Quote:
Whatever it is the case, his reaction or lack of it is not your problem or your responsability. You are your responsability....So, if I were you, I would not even think about possible consequences for him ... I would have only my own welfare in my mind and take decisions accordingly.
Thank you for those words and your encouragement.


Nellie you are a wise lady
Quote:
The trick is to not personalize it or think you have anything to do with his negative behavior or allowing himself to stay stuck.
I was doing quite well with this one, but I slipped off course. It is not yet an ingrained way of thinking for me. Working on that. His addiction has less power over me. Sometimes none. Then I fall victim again. Pull myself out and start again. But so far he can still at times hurt or shock. At others I just gape at the insanity of it all and sometimes I even laugh and at those times it does not have any bearing on my soul at all. Just on the surface. Note to self: Need to stay very vigilant! Thank you for giving me a shove on that one.

Quote:
Use a straight forward feeling statement when he does attempt to zap you such as I feel ________________when you __________. No drama. Do not engage if his reaction is negative. The point is to be heard. You have a right to your feelings. The second suggestion is that you set a weekly check in time with a format that includes time out when emotions run high, and listening without questions along with an overall time limit. Take turns talking and listening. If drama or emotions tip either of you over, table the conversation until the next weekly meeting.
excellent suggestion and will be considered for sure!

Quote:
Don't get hung up on trying to honor a COMMITMENT when you really mean a wait and see. Your responsibility is to your own healing which is a process that will be unique to you.
... I am doing lesson 7, well to be perfectly honest I am in fact procrastinating on lesson 7. Reason being that when I started on it 2 days ago I was sure I was in the wait and see group, but based on valuing other of his qualities outside his addict. Well, since last night's behaviour I am not sure any longer if even his friendship was theater performance. There is a man who can very convincingly act as just about anything he fancies himself to be, but is in fact not. He keeps proving to himself that his trustworthiness and commitment mean just about nothing and now I finally think that too. So I am not sure where I stand on that. I definitely need to reconsider my feelings and views on that now. So you made a good point there Nellie.
Truth is that at this turning point, even though I have more insight and direction now, I am finding myself still flaundering quite a bit. At this moment it feels like my self built card house is tumbling down. I am grieving for my comfy delusions which have now been replaced by hard truth and I started to question so much. I don’t question his motifs now, I question MINE and I am wondering if my intuition tool needs a recharge of batteries! If I don’t then I cannot turn myself around to a better place. I am changing. Like some rose tinted glasses are falling off my face, but part of me is still scrabbling on the floor trying to find them and put them back on.
Also my trust is now totally shattered. To the point where I don't want to trust him with anything. There is a real danger that I will clam up now. And maybe I must do this for a while until I am steadier on my emotional legs. Until I found a balance. Geez! this is not easy. Where is the life fast forward button please?!

Quote:
Keep doing the lessons and digesting what you are learning and discovering which I think you are doing. :g: There is nothing easy about this journey but there will be light bulb moments along the way, sometimes when you least expect them. We all reach a point when we decide what we can live with and what we can't based on our vision and values - whether to stay or go is a bridge we cross. Again, this is a process. Give yourself the gift of patience. :w:
thank you Nellie, and this is all that I can think of doing right now. You are so right. And tomorrow I will do that flipping lesson 7 !!!! :g:

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


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:19 pm 
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:g: :g: :g:

Nellie


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:16 am 
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Ladies how can I ever thank you for kicking my butt onto the right path?

EPIPHANY: Last night in conversation with my partner I set my mind to putting new resolutions into actual practice. I responded, but not elaborated. Resulting surprise-surprise in looooong spells of silence. Without my input there were only tumble weeds....He would not fill the silences of course. In the end he said 'I wish you would say something'. I bet he would! It hit me then just how much of the involvement thingy I ACTUALLY did before. How much I talked and talked. OMG! Staggering! How I had been kidding myself. I realized right there-right then that I was the model co-dependent (and I spent some time yesterday to refresh my knowledge on that by reading/realizing about it again). I know this is in me and I have to watch it. I thought I dealt with it years ago and that dealing with it was what enabled me to be quiet and just let him do his thing for the past years. However, since dday I regressed. And I was soooo kidding myself. My partner is puzzled and angry and scared at the new me. When he got overwhelmed by what he was feeling, he angrily accused me of leaving him, trying to provoke a (extreme?) reaction from me. I explained very calmly that I was not leaving him, but that I was leaving a behaviour. In fact MY behaviour, not his. But that I was not leaving him. I managed to steer the whole conversation so it did not escalate at all. I noticed a few times I started to dive into old behaviour, but within minutes and sometimes seconds even, I managed to pull myself back on track.

One HUGE thing that I noticed today and which hit me like a hammer: It is that in fact it is ME who is causing most of my strong emotions of fear and panic that I often experienced during speaking with my partner. While all the time I thought it was him causing it. Of course fact is still, that he hurts my feelings with his behaviours and that this has an impact on my emotions to some extend. But I noticed that it is actually - and this is the real bummer here! - my ANTICIPATION of what will happen next that already produces those emotions in me ALREADY AT THE START of my engaging in co-dependent/enabling behaviour. This happens long before he responds. By the time he opens his mouth my heart already races at 500 beats per minute. I am creating this for myself! This sick vicious circle. This is something I realized this morning during our latest phone call. I realized it, because I so clearly saw the difference in how I felt by not doing my usual stuff. Talk about strengthening one's resolve! I am stopping this madness NOW! I feel like I am jumping this hurdle now. Yesterday morning I was still on the ground...dithering. By the afternoon I had pushed myself up to my toes getting ready to jump, by the evening and this morning I found myself high up in the air and ACTUALLY making that jump. I am still waiting for my feet to be back firmly planted to the ground, but this will come to me too. I know it! Even though I am feeling very raw and vulnerable right now. But I feel for the first time actually that I am on the right track and my healing can now truly begin. This is quite a relief.

I look back on all my previous posts now with a lot more honesty. And I now see how it was my way of reaching out and searching for answers. Sadly I was looking in all the wrong corners and I wanted answers for him and not for me. Without wonderful people like you two ladies here, dnell, enddofmyrope and also a post from Coach Mel that served as guidance,... you all shared your experiences so openly and tried to point me in the right direction. All of you supported me at some point in the past 6 weeks by showing me that I was not alone in this, even though I was not truly looking at the true message behind your answers to start off with. What a blessing you all are in all the craziness that I am going through right now. Thank you!!! :g:

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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 Dec 30, 2014 4:57 pm 
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Newdawn -

Quote:
It hit me then just how much of the involvement thingy I ACTUALLY did before. How much I talked and talked. OMG! Staggering!


Me too...talked, and talked, and talked. Still talk too much. Now, when I don't talk, lots of silence. Lots of annoyance from the other person in my house. What's the right balance? Who knows? I just keep tinkering with it to see how I feel. In my former/non-married life, I was actually known for my communication skills: for choosing precise words; for non-judgemental speech; for "saying what I mean and meaning what I say"; for integrity, compassion, persuasiveness and insight. I was an elected leader in my former home town. I was proud of this. It was so rewarding. It is so weird that those skills do not work in my relationship.

Quote:
One HUGE thing that I noticed today and which hit me like a hammer: It is that in fact it is ME who is causing most of my strong emotions of fear and panic that I often experienced during speaking with my partner. While all the time I thought it was him causing it. Of course fact is still, that he hurts my feelings with his behaviours and that this has an impact on my emotions to some extend. But I noticed that it is actually - and this is the real bummer here! - my ANTICIPATION of what will happen next that already produces those emotions in me ALREADY AT THE START of my engaging in co-dependent/enabling behaviour. This happens long before he responds. By the time he opens his mouth my heart already races at 500 beats per minute. I am creating this for myself! This sick vicious circle.


Yes, exactly. I think for me this is a hangover of the "not knowing" from before the various d-days, and the realization that I have zero impact on my husband's recovery and do not know the outcome of his work. It fills me with anxiety. Of course, that is why RN is so important in telling us that we need to take care of ourselves since that will prepare us for any outcome. I think as well that it is sometimes hard for me to recognize and trust that my husband's behavior is changing. He is much less angry and much less verbally abusive. I'm still in my habitual response of bracing myself for the next round of verbal abuse. And, when I finally am calm enough to see that he is changing, I don't trust it. Sigh. And, I give myself a huge break about all of this.

Here's what Jon said in a later partner's lesson that I found to be helpful:

Quote:
"How do I know if I'm being codependent or just a caring partner?"
Tough question...and it is one of the reasons why you are strongly encouraged not to tie yourself to the codependency label if at all possible. Caring about a person with whom you have shared your life with is not something to be ashamed of. Even if that person has completely decimated the bonds that once held the relationship together. To think that the only role that you can play is to sit back and watch them destroy their lives (or cross your fingers in hopes that they can find their own way back to health) is nonsense. There are many things that you can do that will not only promote health and recovery within the relationship, but stability and control in your life as well. Role modeling values and boundaries. Displaying compassion and acceptance. Offering support. Offering objective feedback. These are all healthy actions that should be engaged in — when it feels natural to engage in them.


dnell


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:37 pm 
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Hello Dnell,
I am so glad that you posted on my thread. I always love to hear your take on things. One of the things I really admired from the start are in fact your communications skills :g: The way you write and pinpoint things. I love that in others. And I can see why you find it hard to comprehend that your skills in that respect don't work. It would take a pretty twisted situation for them not to work. Well you explained it recently to me as f..... up. There are no rules for that. But I think your skills sure give you an advantage. It's such a gift to have this talent. By the time I said what I want I have gone all round the houses and back again :w: Also it does seem to give you a tool to channel your emotions in conversation. I am not so good at doing this from my head. I tend to have to deal with/or at least recognize and be willing to deal with the underlying emotional side first before I can gain control over my communication.

Yep, like you relate, I also suffer from that hangover. And the sad thing is that in my case I had the need to hang on to it for dear life almost. As a destructive and yet seemingly protective shield. To prove to myself that he cannot be trusted by seeing him with past resentment goggles, rather than as the person he actually is today. I see this now as my very own example of a way of thinking that held me back in my healing big time and did the relationship no favours either. But totally understandable in the aftermath of pain, confusion and destruction that we experience. You are right we need to be gentle with ourselves.

Thank you for sharing Jon's quote. And it is so good to read it as it puts things into perspective. But for me personally I am not so sure I can shed the label. I would love to shed the label, but sadly I come from a family background of addictive behaviour and I have learned very early on in childhood how to become a 'rescuer'. It is one of the things that was very destructive in my past and I decided to deal with it in therapy, but it would appear that my current relationship is putting me through the test. I did ok for a while, now I have slipped. I could not see the truth for the pain if this makes sense. But I knew something needed to be looked at, even though denial was getting in the way. You guys here RN helped me through this big time. And I feel that there is still a bit of work to be done for me on this issue.

Thank you for sharing Jon's quote. What I think is great about the quote is this

Quote:
To think that the only role that you can play is to sit back and watch them destroy their lives (or cross your fingers in hopes that they can find their own way back to health) is nonsense. There are many things that you can do that will not only promote health and recovery within the relationship, but stability and control in your life as well. Role modeling values and boundaries. Displaying compassion and acceptance. Offering support. Offering objective feedback. These are all healthy actions that should be engaged in — when it feels natural to engage in them.


it empowers us and just reading this makes me feel less helpless and also implements the skills the most of us have or want to learn. IMO in a way it gives our love a new purpose/direction if this makes sense. I think this is a great 'footnote' to the meaning of detaching.

Thank you for sharing parts of yourself and the quote. I really appreciate it.

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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 Jan 11, 2015 5:40 pm 
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Thank you all, thank you so much.
This thread was exactly what I needed to read right now.


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