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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:18 pm 
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It's been 4 years since our disclosure. Things were going well. My husband attended SA meetings was sharing his struggles and was open with where he was at. It was genuine and I felt like we were moving forward. He proposed and I said yes. I felt like we were finally doing this, it wasn't easy, it wasn't perfect, but we were a team and this is what mattered to me. A couple months into the engagement I felt his disconnection, he shared less, he was always tired at night which meant no sex. I felt something was wrong but I brushed it off thinking "he's probably just stressed from the wedding planning" or "i'm so stressed with wedding planning and grad school, I don't have time" Looking back on it now I wasn't prepared to face the truth. As we got closer to the wedding the behaviors escalated, once again I said nothing. We got married and a month into our marriage my intuition was screaming at me. I fell into old patterns and was constantly looking for something to prove that what I was feeling wasn't crazy. I was a crazy woman!! I was looking in drawers, jean pockets, accounts, and when I found nothing I would repeat the process because surely I must have missed something. I kept telling myself you haven't found anything you are crazy, just trust, let it go, and I did. But then it was his behaviors that tipped me off again. He would go have drinks with coworkers (acting out with coworkers is his MO) and would say I am working a program, I can control myself, and we are just having drinks to relieve stress. I believed him because he was working a program and he had done nothing in the past 4 years to indicate any betrayal. But it was his actions that did not match his words. He would say I will text you through out the night to let you know what's going on. Those texts were pretty rare and if he did text he would say I coming home at so and so and that time came and went and nothing. One day I was leaving work and my car did not start. I freaked out because I had an exam that evening. I called my husband and let him know what was going on. His response "What do you want me to do" and not in the caring way but more of the you are bothering me right now kind of way. I sat there and was in disbelief. I told him I would ask a coworker for help he said ok. Thank goodness for my coworker who helped me, I made it to school and took my exam. My husband never called or text to see if I got to school okay or if my car got fixed. I got home that night and he still wasn't home from "having drinks". I was livid!!! He got home and I was yelling and crying and he just stared at me with a blank face and said an annoyed sorry. I knew something was up but still no evidence. I really felt like I was going crazy which in turn made me even crazier. I was able to hack my husband's phone for deleted texts (my all time low) and the wind was knocked out of me. Texts to call girls, flirty texts to coworkers, texts to coworkers asking for pictures because he thought they were so beautiful. Hundreds of texts to one specific coworker who he basically spent 9-5 with venting about me and basically connecting emotionally, also several pictures she sent to him in bikinis, and topless. I was devastated. Here we were only one month being married and I'm having to go through this all over again. We had a second disclosure and it came out he lost his sobriety by masturbating a month before the wedding. My sadness engulfed me. All I could think of was he stood there in front of all our family, friends, and Creator and said his vows to me!!!!! The one thing that is most sacred to me and he was in his addiction and lying. I was disgusted with that part of him. This was 9 months ago and I still can't get passed it. I think a big part of why I can't get passed it is that he knows what he did was wrong but he doesn't think it was such a big thing because he didn't act out with an actual person. I tried to explain to him why it was so hurtful but there is no understanding or empathy for what I am experiencing. This hurts equally to his actions. He just wants to move on and I am stuck. I feel like I am glued to the floor and I can't move. I want to move forward but the pain is so deep within my soul I am scared too much damage has been done. He's resentful toward me and has checked out. All I can think is you selfish bastard I have been with you through thick and thin, been patient with you for 9 years, you are the one who betrayed and broke my trust and you can't handle 9 months of uncomfortability?!?!?!? I take my vows very seriously and believe the union of two people in marriage is sacred. I don't feel like I am 100% sure of leaving this marriage and I feel like I am in purgatory. This is heartbreaking and so painful. I have never felt so much pain like I have with this man. I keep praying, asking Creator what is my purpose, what do I do, what must I learn, the questions are endless and I don't have the answers yet. Just needed to vent. I feel so alone with no one to turn to and finally decided to come here.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
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quietstrength - I feel your pain and struggle from your post and I want you to know you are not alone. The partners here understand and have had very similar experiences. The lessons were very helpful to me in addressing so many of the issues you raise.

Quote:
I fell into old patterns and was constantly looking for something to prove that what I was feeling wasn't crazy. I was a crazy woman!! I was looking in drawers, jean pockets, accounts, and when I found nothing I would repeat the process because surely I must have missed something. I kept telling myself you haven't found anything you are crazy, just trust, let it go, and I did. But then it was his behaviors that tipped me off again.


Our sex addicted partners deceived us with secrecy and lies. When we would check to see if things were "alright" they would say "yes" and subtly or not so subtly tell us we were crazy and blame us for any problems. This is addict behavior. I think all of us wanted to believe our partners. I could not conceive of how dishonest my husband really was since I could never be that way, and I thought he was committed to our relationship and shared the values of honesty and transparency. I was wrong. We were not crazy. We just stopped trusting our instincts. Jon teaches us in the lessons to regain trust in our instincts and to never again ignore our internal alarms or the red flags. SA behavior IS crazymaking, but that does not make us crazy.

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I think a big part of why I can't get passed it is that he knows what he did was wrong but he doesn't think it was such a big thing because he didn't act out with an actual person. I tried to explain to him why it was so hurtful but there is no understanding or empathy for what I am experiencing


My husband, prior to starting a recovery program but after D-day, would say the same thing. "What's the big deal? I didn't have sex with an actual person. I didn't betray you." Well, that simply isn't true and we all know it. This is more addict thinking. Addicts do not have empathy. They may never had had it, or they may have lost the skill over the course of their addiction. They are so compartmentalized in their thinking that, as Jon teaches us, they believe that what they did in their secret life had no consequences. Of course this is not true and one of the things they need to learn is that EVERYTHING counts. All of the partners want some understanding and empathy. What I have come to learn with my husband is that empathy will be one of the last things he learns. Well, that and healthy sexuality. And he may never learn it. So as I heal, I have learned painfully and slowly that I cannot count on my husband for support.

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I take my vows very seriously and believe the union of two people in marriage is sacred. I don't feel like I am 100% sure of leaving this marriage and I feel like I am in purgatory. This is heartbreaking and so painful. I have never felt so much pain like I have with this man. I keep praying, asking Creator what is my purpose, what do I do, what must I learn, the questions are endless and I don't have the answers yet. Just needed to vent. I feel so alone with no one to turn to and finally decided to come here.


So well said. As you go through the lessons, your values will become even more clear and stronger. I too believe that marriage is sacred and my husband completely and utterly disrespected my value. I found the lessons and the partners forum to help me find many of the answers that you pose.

Yes, this is painful. It is excruciating. As Jon says, nothing in life can prepare us for this kind of crisis. But, we have no choice but to heal and take care of ourselves. You are not alone. We understand.

Jon advises us that we need to put ourselves into a kind of protective bubble so we can regain some emotional equilibrium and a sense of control over our lives. This took me a while to do, but I needed to focus on me and my well being. I needed to detach from my husband's addiction. This was harder and took longer than I wished it had, but the more I detached, the better I felt. So, for now, be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Try to do one nice thing for yourself each day.

With compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:01 pm
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Thank you for your response dnell. It's comforting to know I am not alone.

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I have learned painfully and slowly that I cannot count on my husband for support.


This hits me to the core of who I am. I am currently experiencing once again that I cannot rely and expect support from my husband. I think my expectations are causing me so much grief. I expect my husband to comfort and be there for me and this is not realistic. It's difficult to accept this when the person you married and love the most cannot give that to you. Once again thank you for your kind words and presence.

quietstrength


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:57 pm
Posts: 94
Hi Quietstrength,

I don't reply often because I have been such an utter failure at all of this I am not sure what I can offer to actually help...but I do want you to know you are not alone and you are not the first to feel emotions so similar to what you are feeling.

You mentioned something that really resonates with me when you said your expectations are causing too much grief. I hope you have better luck than I had at managing your expectations, defining and prioritizing which are actually healthy values and boundaries (like "I see myself being loved and supported by my partner in times of grief and despair") and which are fantasy/Disney/Hollywood. I still struggle with expectations today. I still grieve that my Hollywood fantasy never happened and I still have moments where I feel like I deserve whatever I expected because I stood by him. Even now - almost 20 years and a divorce later I go there sometimes. Find a way to count your blessings that you haven't spent a lifetime wrapped up in a fantasy that was never coming true. Not because he isn't decent or because he's an addict necessarily, but because your expectations might not have ever been reasonable. Then establish those boundaries around expectations that are valid and solid and reasonable. And go from there. Best of luck quietstrength. I cry when I read a new account of pain and sorrow and I grieve for you and for the 8-10-15-18 year younger me who didn't learn the lessons that could have rescued me.

Glad you are here!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
quietstrength wrote:
All I can think is you selfish bastard I have been with you through thick and thin, been patient with you for 9 years, you are the one who betrayed and broke my trust and you can't handle 9 months of uncomfortability?!?!?!?


QuietStrength, I know this is unbelievably frustrating...after all you've been put through you're now expected to continue tolerating crap and dealing with more immaturity.

Here's what I've learned
(I'm not a doctor, I don't even watch them on TV...I'm just another partner who is coping with this same nonsense)
Addicts are immature, they are selfish, make horrendous choices and they lack the ability to understand that this impacts other people in a negative way. This isn't to say they can't change, it's just the facts of dealing with an addicted partner.

Here's what I've come to which helps me not pull my hair out of my head...
I can't control my partner's decisions, I can't control my partner's selfishness, I can't control my partner's inability to feel any level of compassion or empathy.
I can control my own recovery, my own serenity and my own happiness. I can control how long I will allow my partner to choose to not make good decisions, seek sobriety or make the effort to learn not to be selfish, immature and uncaring. I can control if I stay in this relationship or not.

Here's what I've come to accept as facts...
My partner's addiction isn't my fault, I have enabled the behavior but I didn't create it nor do I have to tolerate it.
My partner's addiction has NOTHING to do with my looks, my age, my sexuality, my feelings.

I deserve to be happy, I deserve to be in a healthy relationship and I deserve to be treated better than I have accepted. This is what I need to work on.

quietstrength wrote:
I don't feel like I am 100% sure of leaving this marriage and I feel like I am in purgatory. This is heartbreaking and so painful. I have never felt so much pain like I have with this man.


Once again, I am in the exact same place. I've never been in this kind of pain, I've never had my heart broken like this and I still haven't decided if I want to stay in this relationship. To make it even worse is I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time focused on the fact that my partner doesn't seem to be suffering or putting forth the amount of effort to reduce the pain I'm in.
Then I need to remind myself that my partner's side of the street isn't my job. It's not easy, but there's tons of support here from people in the same place as you.

quietstrength wrote:
Just needed to vent. I feel so alone with no one to turn to and finally decided to come here.

Now...here's the good news...
This is the place to vent.
Now you're not even close to being alone because this place is filled with people just like you.

Welcome to the best place to be for all the wrong reasons. I'm sorry you have to be here, but I am really glad you find this place.
(side note...another bright side for you...you can't make mistakes here...I've tried, everyone is amazingly supportive and friendly)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
newlifewife wrote:
I don't reply often because I have been such an utter failure at all of this I am not sure what I can offer to actually help...

DEAR LORD!

Why are you so hard on yourself?
This is an insane process that deals with completely unknown factors and random events. It is impossible to fail at this, you can only fail to try. At some point in my brief time here everyone I've dealt with has helped in some way, shape or form. Never underestimate the value of simply being able to empathize with someone in pain.

Slightly off topic, don't be mean to yourself, there are enough people in the world who already consider that to be their job, don't help them.
If you're nicer to yourself you'll notice it's more difficult for other people to be mean to you....or you just won't give a shit.

Both of you need to take the advice a wonderful woman here once gave me....
Do something nice for yourself today
(go get a mani/pedi, have a glass of wine in the tub with some relaxing music on, go buy a ridiculously overpriced box of fancy delicious chocolates, pop a whole bunch of bubble wrap...you know something that you find relaxing...do it)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 649
hadenuff, it is so good to hear from you and you sound so wise and compassionate. Still thinking of having a virtual beer with you.

newlifewife, I also wanted to reach out to you and say that you are not a failure here. All of us here struggle. I am still struggling as I continue my journey of healing. Tell us why you think you are failing? The last thing any of us need is to beat ourselves up...and gosh knows I did an enormous amount of that! It was so easy to feel like a failure in my marriage. The reality is my marriage was a failure, but I was not. I tolerated the intolerable and accepted the unacceptable, but I did it since I put my husband and marriage above me. I made them more important than I made myself. That doesn't make me a failure, though it is sad and tragic. RN and individual therapy has helped me learn self compassion, and I really needed that. My husband has been reading "Daring Greatly" by Brenee Brown (sp?) and I recommend the book. She gives a web site (self-compassion.org) that has a test about how self compassionate we are. And there are exercises to help gain self compassion. I found it to be helpful.

There is power in the anonymity of our online community that allows us the freedom to be completely candid and open about something that is so hard to talk about. But, if I saw any of us in person, I would give each and everyone of you a warm hug and let you know how beautiful, lovable and worthy you all are.

With deep compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
Posts: 131
Soooooo well said, ladies!! I think sadness, like my anger, is just hanging around in the air....and breezes back into my brain when some other little thing sets me off down that path!! I think it's ok to feel the emotion and contemplate it and then LET IT GO!!! Soooo much easier said than done, my friend!

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


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:57 pm
Posts: 94
Thank you all for the vote of encouragement.

Since you asked, dnell, I wasn't intending to sound particularly hard on myself (though I never intend to...I guess it is my habit). I'm an apologizer and I guess I wanted to preface my note to quietstrength that what I say, though encouraging, might be laced with advice having been there/done that but it might not be accurate or correct RN advice and maybe should be taken witha grain of salt. I wanted to reach out and give her a hug and friendly advice and encouragement and didn't feel particularly qualified. Because if I was qualified...maybe I'd be a happier person myself now. I guess I feel like a failure in that a big push for partners recovery is self and I thought I was always doing what was best, but I now know I was focused on US. I wanted to be with him and so the thought of failure comes in where I question how I can encourage someone else on their boundaries and healthy value based living when I have failed so miserably at getting that part right.

My ex always was and to some extend still seems to be one of the things I value in my life the most. I feel guilty about that. I sound and act too much like the physically abused wife who we all watch in horror going back in for more time after time. I have compassion for that woman...but if she had been presented with all the tools she needed to "get out" and chose not to or did it half assed like I did then I kinda look at that as a kind of failure. Failure to see through the fog of "love" or whatever my stupid connection to my ex is, and step away. I failed and still fail to do what the experts and sweet friends like you tell me is "right" for a healthy woman and choose what "feels right" instead. I'm struggling.

I AM hard on myself. It's almost as if to say to the reader/lister/watcher " I know I messed up here. I know I am not perfect but what I have to offer might still be valuable so listen up!"

And now I feel like a failure as an encouraging force because my dumb statement sucked the life out of poor quietrstrengths thread.

That said. dnell and hadenuff, you are right! Excellent advice for us all.

Compassion is a good thing. Giving ourselves a break and recognizing we have been through hell is important. I know this though for some reason I find it hard to practice. We get used to biting our lips or keeping a stiff upper lip (it is about lips...why is that?) to brave through our pain and then we are hard on ourselves when we aren't flawless. I've been nothing close to flawless and I am mad at myself sometimes. But self love is something I want and need to embrace. How can it possibly be good or helpful to knock myself down when I am struggling so hard already to stand up.

I will buy some chocolates (wish i could share them with everyone tonight!) or pop some bubblewrap and I will look into "Daring Greatly" by Brenee Brown (sp?) and give the web site (self-compassion.org) a look.

Thank you all so much for pointing that out to me. And hang in there quietstrength. You've got some good supporters on your side.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:33 pm 
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Quote:
And now I feel like a failure as an encouraging force because my dumb statement sucked the life out of poor quietrstrengths thread


newlifewife you did not suck the life out of this thread. You were expressing what you were feeling and in my mind you are sharing instead of being in isolation. I have been in the place where I feel I can't say or do the right thing and I retreat back into my shell which is such a lonely place to be.

Quote:
I can't control my partner's decisions, I can't control my partner's selfishness, I can't control my partner's inability to feel any level of compassion or empathy.


Hadenuf I am slowly and painfully learning this. It is so difficult to do this when you need the support of your significant other. I am grateful for your words of strength. Now I know where I can come to mend my heart.

I feel grateful for everyone's words. I don't feel so alone anymore.


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