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 Post subject: MOTHERING MY PARTNER?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:50 am
Posts: 17
I'm new to this (only been on here a few days) but we're a long way from my partner's disclosure (6 years). Since then, we've managed to rebuild a life and, on the surface, we're doing well. He is a loving, kind, supportive partner but (and, for me, it's a big but) he does not like tapping into and talking about his emotions or revisiting the past. Because of that, I have tried not to bring things up and to just 'get on with it'. I had a meltdown a few weeks ago and said that I needed help (I note the 'I', not the 'we'!) to build up my trust and confidence again. He willingly agreed to therapy (which we had to do over Skype because of where we live). We had individual sessions and couples sessions but they haven't really helped. I think the therapist was wrong for us. She was very kind but I don't think she was very experienced with SA and I hadn't found this site then. She told us to do some sensate focus therapy (as I said that one of our problems was the intimacy/connection side of our sex life), which we did but hasn't helped me (or us actually) at all. My problem (and this connects directly to the intimacy/connection) is that I cannot believe that I'm enough sexually for my partner when he has experienced years of the highs of 'addictive' sex (random anonymous sexual encounters) and I still have trouble trusting him. I have lost all the sexual confidence that I had, truly believing that I can't possibly be as exciting or turn him on as much as the women (and men) in his SA experiences. He hasn't given me any grounds not to trust him over the past 6 years but it would be relatively easy for him to revert back to his old ways without me finding out since, because of work, we regularly spend time apart. I mostly take the high road (!) and keep the faith, on the basis that I won't know if he's cheating anyway. I'm trying to delve deeply here and put things down that I've never really faced before and it is a bit of a brain dump.... My trust is so shattered that I find it hard to believe in his words. His says he loves me every day. We cuddle and kiss (peck) regularly, we hold hands when we're walking along. We hug during the day (when he's not working, we spend all our time together), we cuddle up on the sofa together, to all intents and purposes we are a close, loving couple (especially as we've been together 12 years) but I sometimes feel as if none of it is genuine (from his side). I sometimes feel as though he's 'going through the motions' because he doesn't really (and I mean REALLY) know how to connect with another person in a deep, intimate way. Even when we first met (and for the first six years before I knew anything was going on) we didn't have intimate, loving sex. We had great sex but we didn't 'make love' and we've never managed to do that. Our sex life is pretty dismal now but we haven't stopped altogether as I think we feel it would be too difficult to stop and then start again down the road and perhaps there would be a danger that we would never manage to start it up again. We have regular sex (because we both feel we have to, to make us feel like a normal couple), infrequent but regular. I don't think either of us enjoys it. He probably just does it to keep me happy and to get some physical release for himself. He's generous sexually but nothing he does really arouses me. I do it because I think it might be different this time (it never is). I haven't really climaxed in the last 6 years (compared to almost every time before the SA disclosure). I know I need to sort my head out and I know we need to revisit his SA behaviour (or more accurately, his emotional constipation). This morning, I discovered the Couples Workshop area on here and I thought it was great. Finally, someone understands what we've been going through and the legacy it leaves us with. The point I want to make (sorry, it's taken me long enough to get to it!) and I'd love some feedback to is this: I'm anxious about bringing up 'the subject' again. I think he feels we done the discussions about SA to death (we haven't). He just wants to forget about it and move on but there is far too much unresolved stuff for me and I just can't get past it. We both know we have our future together. Splitting up isn't an option for either of us (I want to say 'at the moment' because it's frightening to think something is forever and then get it whipped out from under your feet) because we're committed to each other. The question is can he honestly expect me to 'get on with it and get over it' (I do know the answer to this!) and is it unrealistic and unhelpful of me to ask him to look back to 6 years ago and go through it all again emotionally, so that I can sort out my head, get on with my life and start enjoying a healthy, happy, intimate, loving sex life (if that's even possible)? I suppose, in the end, I'm afraid that bringing it up again, after all this time, will push him away because he thinks I don't believe in him and in his efforts (success?) in dealing with his addiction .... or something like that anyway, I'm not really sure. I'd be so grateful for any feedback or comments.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:49 pm
Posts: 3957
Hi Sarchez,

Welcome to RN. You have found a great bunch of women here on the support forums. We understand what you are going through and where you are.

I would like to make a suggestion. Instead of looking at the couples workshop why not take a look at the partners. It doesn't matter that you are 6 years from d-day, you obviously have not healed at least not the way you feel is healthy for you or your relationship. As for your husband I feel he would benefit from the recovery workshop as well. Even if it's been 6 years since he has acted out it doesn't sound like he has the tools needed to manage his emotional and physical well being. The good thing about our workshops is anyone can benefit from them to reach goals, work life balance, values and boundaries etc. The individuals are also a prereq to the couples. Without a lot of the info and principles from the individual workshops the couples can be confusing and unsuccessful.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Coach Cheryl

EDITED: You have found a great group of not just women but men as well on the support forums :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:50 am
Posts: 17
Coach Cheryl, Thank you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. I am doing the workshop for partners and finding it really useful, even this early on. I don't know anything about what he covered when he went to SA therapy about 5 years or so ago because he didn't really talk about it and I wonder if, in suggesting he does the SA workshop, it might undermine the work he did before or demonstrate to him that I don't trust him (which I'm trying very, very hard to do). Do you have any thoughts on this? sarchez


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:55 am 
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General Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:49 pm
Posts: 3957
My suggestion would be to concentrate on what the problem is today in the relationship that you have already identified. From what I have read although you have reservations about trusting his recovery the main problem looks to me like the lack of communication, emotional health and healthy intimacy (which can be a sign of one not being in recovery) is what's driving the other thoughts. Of course that's just my opinion :)

If you approach your husband with the truth of your current relationship and how you want that to change you are not questioning his recovery per se but the byproduct of it when people don't realize that they have to re-learn and learn new ways of managing their lives. That includes communication, exploring emotions and how to handle them, value and skill development especially empathy a skill that is virtually removed by addiction if it was there in the first place. The workshop will help him to do those things as well as give him in-depth knowledge about addiction and recovery.



Coach Cheryl


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:50 am
Posts: 17
Thank you. That makes a great deal of sense.


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