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 Post subject: feeling bad about myself
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:21 am
Posts: 112
Hello again everyone. I've got behind again, but I'm getting back up and continuing on. I've had a difficult few days...and today is no different. Me and my childs father have been struggling in our relationship. I feel like I have been winging it. I've been out of touch with my boundaries and vision. I have been lost and sad. He has had a change in his attitude about recovery for a while now. He doesn't speak the same way about his problems. He acts like he has none. When I've asked about his struggles with porn or acting out, he says he has none. He's got it. He's fine. Deep down I knew this didn't sound logical, but I didn't argue with him. He has been demanding me to move forward with my affection, and wanting a commitment from me. I just didn't feel safe to do so yet, and there have been incidents in which we have had setbacks with him not being forthcoming. Still, I would just momentarily shut out the red flags and embrace him, or kiss him and enjoy how good that felt with him. It always ended up with him wanting even more, and me backing away. It makes me tear up to write this, because I feel like my actions have confused him. But things have never been solid. The other day, (on a day I had let go and just been affectionate with him) I searched for something on his phone and accidentally found a porn site. His reaction was defensive and angry. Ultimately he said he did look at it, but it was months ago. This is a similar situation to the last one that happened about a month and a half ago. I found inappropriate conversations with some women from his past that he hid from me, and he said it was months ago. I told him he should have told me when it happened and not hidden it...now the trust we were attempting to build is gone. Same with this porn site, I told him he should have told me he made a mistake when it happened and not hidden it. Once again I have to find this on my own and it is so much worse. The way he acted was still underlying defensiveness, minimizing, making excuses, saying it was because I wasn't affectionate with him that he chose to view the porn and it was a better choice than real sex with another woman. He never seemed truly humble. He was angry at me. When he first started RN, he had such a different attitude. He was appreciative of what he was learning. He talked about it and told me so. Maybe I should have been more willing to give affection back then, but I was afraid it was too soon. I hugged him and held his hand, but he always wanted more. Last night he said he was going to restart RN, but yet he also said if I don't give him the affection he needs he can't do it, He will go crazy, he said. That is too much pressure on me and it makes me feel very bad about myself. I know I can't give him affection under obligation or out of fear he will leave, or go crazy. It just makes me feel like I'm not enough or something is wrong with me because he says I won't give it to him and he needs it as a human. I told him we all need it no matter what age we are. He acts like Im some cold woman who wont give him any affection at all, which isn't true. But if it has come to this, then I can't do it. I can't feel responsible for him like that. I know I'm a very affectionate person, I have had to hold back from how much I really want to give, because I don't trust him yet and don't feel safe to proceed in a commited relationship with him. I also don't trust that I can stay grounded with self awareness if I just move full steam ahead with the romantic stuff. But that isn't enough for him. Ugh.! I am stuck in my thinking that I have failed, and yet I think I did the right thing of telling him we need to move on. It isn't what my heart wants and I am sad... but after all that has been going on, my gut thinks it is necessary. I really hope I did the right thing. I just don't want to be the one responsible for his feelings, I don't want to carry this all on me. I don't want to be the one holding back from him something he needs, although I need affection too. I'm sad and lost. I will continue on though, and finish the workshop. Am I cold and fridgid for holding back all my affections? That's how I think he feels about me. That he's being neglected. I have told him that I need to go slow, that I need time, etc. But I guess maybe he is acting this way because he isn't recovered. He was not forthcoming to me about viewing porn and obviously his thoughts are not healthy. I feel like I took so many steps backward!! I feel like the dummy. Will I ever be healed and healthy? I keep hearing this voice in the back of my head that is afraid I caused all this and that I messed him up. Did I? That's partly why I decided to end things... I feel like I'm causing his frustration and I don't want to do that. I'm so sad.... Thank you all for listening.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:34 pm
Posts: 92
sammy wrote:
But I guess maybe he is acting this way because he isn't recovered. He was not forthcoming to me about viewing porn and obviously his thoughts are not healthy.


I have to agree.

sammy wrote:
When I've asked about his struggles with porn or acting out, he says he has none. He's got it. He's fine. Deep down I knew this didn't sound logical, but I didn't argue with him. .



there is no point arguing when he is in addict-brain mode, is there? Good call.

sammy wrote:
I know I can't give him affection under obligation or out of fear he will leave, or go crazy.


right. Take care of yourself. Protect your values. If you aren't comfortable being affectionate, don't. You are being true to yourself. :g:

You know you are not a dummy! We have all been there. There's this old saying about having a wishbone instead of a backbone. Man I can relate to that. It took me along time to be able to get rid of that wishbone!

I know that feeling of stepping backwards, too. it's ok. Just keeping moving forward, keep focusing on you!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
Dear Sammy,

I just had to respond to your post. I feel your post is a cry for help.
sammy wrote:
He has had a change in his attitude about recovery for a while now. He doesn't speak the same way about his problems. He acts like he has none. When I've asked about his struggles with porn or acting out, he says he has none. He's got it. He's fine. Deep down I knew this didn't sound logical, but I didn't argue with him.

This is exactly the opposite of what's supposed to happen. This and the fact that you've found material proof of acting out demonstrates, without any doubt, that he is in active addiction, he is acting out, nothing has changed, or maybe it's even a bit worse because he has been exposed to RN, to the lessons, to all the knowledge and support but he has chosen to continue with his addiction. This would scare the hell out of me because he is no longer innocent to the nature of his problem or its extend. His choice to feed his addiction and stop recovery seems to be now an "informed" one.
Mind you, not only does he act out and not come clean about his struggles/actions, but there is no owning it, no remorse, no acknowledgement, just denial, manipulation (as in trying to convince you it was months ago), justification (as in what is he supposed to do without a woman?). Seems like he is blindly swimming in his addiction, tucked away in his own fantasy world where he is perfect and beyond suspicion and you at fault for not attending to his needs. Say what???

I will write this down for you cause you seem vulnerable to his lies/self-delusion.
Men can live without sex. They will not go crazy or explode or anything like that. My own H went from having sex daily and acting out during his "abstinence period" to no sex for a good few months, 4 or so ... Those 4 months period he was clean and he put no pressure on me ... and some of it we were sleeping in the same bed and still affectionate (hugs) with each other ... He told me it's all in the head ... yes, there are moments when he gets in the mood but chooses not to entertain those thoughts and it goes away fairly quickly. A wet dream now and again to release the build up but that's all. And no, he is not masturbating. For whatever reason, he says it's more pain than pleasure and I had known this to be truth even before Dday.
I know that for your partner might seem like he will go crazy without sex because he is addicted to it. Any addict would go crazy without his drug of choice. But that's only his perception. It is not the truth and you should not entertain this lie even for one second.
His putting pressure on you to have sex is abusive. He is emotionally blackmailing you, taking advantage of your feelings and care for him. He is trying to manipulate you into being his sex object. He is not healthy and he is unable to have a real, intimate connection with you. But he "needs" you or the porn or any other woman to get his addictive pleasure. Beware of someone "needing" you. I know it sounds romantic and all that jazz but the reality is ... whoever needs you, will use you.

Beware of subtle or not so subtle manipulation:
sammy wrote:
The way he acted was still underlying defensiveness, minimizing, making excuses, saying it was because I wasn't affectionate with him that he chose to view the porn and it was a better choice than real sex with another woman.

See how he twists things to make them seem he is making "healthy" decisions ... as in knowing how to choose the lesser of porn and promiscuity. There is no "better" choice between different behaviours associated with sex addiction. Compulsive masturbation is as destructive as porn and as promiscuity, voyeurism, exhibitionism, you name it. Replacing one with the other does not fix the problem.

Never accept responsibility for his "urges". That is his addiction. It has nothing to do with you being affectionate with him or not. Fortunately for me it has been obvious from the start so I've never allowed myself to fall into this trap. My H was desperately trying to hook up anonimously when we would have sex daily. So, it was obvious to me that it's something way beyond his having sex or not. Sex was not missing, it was actually abundant. Sex or lack of sex is not the problem. Don't let him use you in his acting out episodes. That will not stop the addiction from spiriling downwards. He would use you and still act out in all the different ways and means he needs to in order for him to make himself feel better/get his high.

sammy wrote:
Still, I would just momentarily shut out the red flags and embrace him, or kiss him and enjoy how good that felt with him. It always ended up with him wanting even more, and me backing away. It makes me tear up to write this, because I feel like my actions have confused him. But things have never been solid.

This statement worries me a bit. It seems like sometimes you've chosen immediate emotional stimulation ("feel good") over your gut feeling, your boundaries and your values. It seems you've then pulled away when the ultimate barrier was about to be crossed, which is good. It worked, you've protected yourself. But still, you should not have just one absolute boundary. You should have a few others before that so that alarm bells ring when each of those gets violated. The tricky thing with boundaries is that YOU have to respect them in order for others to do so. I've also learnt that the hard way. I've crossed my own boundaries countless times due to my inability to let go of my H. I was also looking for relief, for emotional stimulation and he was the only source of that. We've also played cat and mouse for a long time before I finally had the strength to see it, accept it, own it and put a stop to it.
But, irrespective of what signals you've sent his way, you are not responsible for his not getting healthy.
He was just happy to grab whatever you could spare and press you to violate your own boundaries even further to satisfy his own unhealthy needs, instead of working diligently on his recovery and solving his own issues. This is upon himself, not on you.

sammy wrote:
Last night he said he was going to restart RN, but yet he also said if I don't give him the affection he needs he can't do it, He will go crazy, he said.

Beware of him playing the recovery card to get you soften up.

sammy wrote:
I am stuck in my thinking that I have failed, and yet I think I did the right thing of telling him we need to move on. It isn't what my heart wants and I am sad... but after all that has been going on, my gut thinks it is necessary. I really hope I did the right thing. I just don't want to be the one responsible for his feelings, I don't want to carry this all on me. I don't want to be the one holding back from him something he needs, although I need affection too. I'm sad and lost. I will continue on though, and finish the workshop. Am I cold and fridgid for holding back all my affections? That's how I think he feels about me. That he's being neglected. I have told him that I need to go slow, that I need time, etc. But I guess maybe he is acting this way because he isn't recovered.

You've failed at what? As I see it, you've succeeded in keeping your values and your boundaries in a chaos of floating emotions, unfair finger pointing, emotional blackmail, you've succeeded in refusing to take responsibility for another person's inabilities. There is nothing you've failed at. He failed, yes, but that has nothing to do with you. Even for him there is still hope and there will always be if he chooses to discard the addictive gargles and take responsibility for his own life and happiness.
You are not cold and frigid and even asking yourself that shows that your values and your intuition got a bit warped because of the unhealthy proximity to sex addiction. Your "coldness" is your defense mechanism meant to protect you from an abusive relationship in which you would be used for another's gratification.
You did the right thing. If ending the relationship is what you feel is right, then go ahead. If you think you've seen enough and you are ready to move on with your life according to your vision, do so. Sadness is mourning for the time wasted, for what could have been, for life being unfair, for anything you need to mourn for ... Do so and move on.
Instead of saying "I don't want to be responsible, I don't want to be the one holding back, I don't want to carry this all on me" ... why not say "I want this, I want that ..." Do you know what you want for your life? Do you? Good! Why not go for it? Go back to your values, to your vision, get inspired, get a breath of fresh air and let your dreams show you the path towards the life you deserve.

Hang in there. You are very strong. You will be alright.

_________________
"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: Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:19 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Sammy - You are a wonderful loving woman. It is the new year and I want to celebrate you and all that is good about you. Living with an SA, especially the SA you are living with right now, can make us lose track of all of that is wonderful about us. Do not let him do this to you. I think Ursula and Jacki are spot on. It sounds like he is still in active addiction, and his blaming, manipulation, minimizing and dishonesty are proof of his addiction. Why would you want to be affectionate with someone who treats you as badly as he is treating you? I know EXACTLY what you mean when I display some affection and like it, but right away I don't trust it. A healthy partner would empathize with our situation. They would be patient and loving. They would not be so utterly selfish and demanding and blaming.

Please give yourself a break about all of your feelings. Do trust your gut and instincts about your partner. Please do not beat yourself up about making mistakes or doing the right thing or doing things fast enough. Please focus on you, on being a mother, on being the wonderful person that you are.

You are not alone. We are here with you.

dnell


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:55 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:43 pm
Posts: 64
Hi Sammy, Ursula and Dnell have already given you some wonderful feedback. I am only at the beginning of my own healing, but I can offer you compassion in tons. I have been on this roller coaster of changes and emotional blackmail too and I have done my fair share to repeat this scenario in my life many times. And I too have let my values dissolve, crossed my own boundaries and let them be invaded. But when I look back now, unlike you I did not have the strength most of the times to reinforce my boundaries and remind me of my values like you are doing now. This takes strength and will protect you from further abuse or ending up the living dead that I turned into by not following my intuition about him or myself. Good on you girl! You are doing it. And you may not feel like this right now (but hopefully this will change very soon), but oh boy, you deserve respect in oodles for your strength!!! Measuring success in my opinion is not in counting our mistakes, but what we make of them. And you sure seem to be travelling on the right course. And as for being frigid etc, well I don't think you are looking at the right person here. It is certainly not you! :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 01, 2015 12:40 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Hi Sammy,
In a nutshell, trust in yourself. You are not responsible for his losing ground, but he is. Don't accept his blame-shifting. He made typical SA choices. He will say whatever he can to avoid taking responsibility and to continue old patterns. You have every right to want to feel safe with him before you can become intimate with him. Is he open to having a discussion about what affection means to you? To him? About your need to feel safe? Or does he just want his way when he wants it?

You recognize that you need to get back to your vision and values and stick with your boundaries. :g: That a good thing - build on it. That's not failure, that's healthy self-awareness. So next step is to take action to re-build and reinforce your vision, values, and boundaries. I think it's good to check in with our visions to see if they still fit. They're not set in stone. Revise where you see the need. Same with your values and boundaries. Come up with action plans that you can immediately put in place when you feel that you are slipping a bit - anything to buy time will work followed by doing something, anything that will change your focus. Scrub the floor, go for a walk, take a bubble bath, go for a drive, get lost in a hobby. Just take action. Don't get stuck blaming yourself for his behavior.

Also, what consequences do you have in place for his acting out - even when he minimizes it? Even when he blames you. Boundaries are useless unless they're enforced. Don't let his blame-shifting get in your way or undermine you.

I hope some of this helps. I highly recommend that you revisit the lesson on your vision and those that deal with values and boundaries. Determining what you value and the boundaries to protect those values are key tools for us to learn to use. It takes practice, and practice, and practice. :w:

Nellie James


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:21 am
Posts: 112
Oh my goodness...I am so moved by all the support I have received from all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you so very much. It is exactly what I needed. It has been an extremely difficult week for me, and each one of you has given me a shoulder to lean on and important things to think about. I appreciate it so much!! I can't explain how important all of your replies are to me, and how helpful they are. Hugs to each and every one of you.
:w: Sammy


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