Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:02 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:07 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:38 pm
Posts: 10
I realize that my husband is a big boy and made his own decisions. I realize that they were motivated by selfishness and the need for instant gratification. With that in mind, does anyone else feel they were the emotional catalysis?

Some background as to why I feel this way. My hubby is a very sensitive man. I'm sure his heart was broke many a time during his teenage years. We have never spoken of it. We were both virgins when we married. Sex was horribly painful for the first 5 years of our marriage. I was plagued with constant yeast and bladder infections and had horrible side effects from birth control. Needless to say sex was very infrequent in his mind and far too often in mine. Neither of us discussed this well and he felt like he was crazy and I had no desire for him. And so he took care of himself through porn all the while telling me our marriage was great and not to worry. Evidently, I broke his heart, and I can understand that. I can understand how devastated he must have felt to resist temptation his whole life to ultimately be teased and then "rejected" in marriage.
We have been married 14years now. Since a surgery 5 years into our marriage, our sex life dramatically improved, yet his addiction continued. D day was 4mths ago. I just can't get over how I feel about this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
I think you're on a slippery slope. Keep telling yourself the truth -- you didn't cause it, you can't cure it, and you can't control it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:04 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 659
Onestepatatime, I know how you feel about wondering "what did I do" to, I don't know, make it easy for my husband to be an addict? The truth is "no", you weren't a catalyst for his addiction. Here's what has helped me to really believe this (and, sadly, it took a while):

1) He had choices on how to respond to your medical/physical issues early in your marriage. Ideally, what would you have liked him to have done? I would have liked him to see that I wasn't rejecting him, that I was dealing with infection. I would have liked to been able to share our sadness and frustration over the medical problem. I would have liked to explore different ways to express our sexuality that did not involve painful intercourse. (There's more than one way to make love, and I believe addicts are so caught up in their own selfish orgasms and how to get them fast and gauranteed, that they aren't very creative about lovemaking. And, it isn't about emotional connection, it's about selfish intensity). He had lots of ways to choose how to respond. Going to porn, fantasy, compulsive masturbation was a really immature, selfish, destructive choice. He made it. You did not. And, honestly, he had developed this addiction before he met and married you. This was his "go to" way to self soothe. Do I think that stressful times in my marriage "caused" my husband to act out? No. I believe that stressful times in our marriage increased his stress/anxiety/bad feelings and he was unable to respond with anything but more acting out.

2) We were subtly and not so subtly blamed by our partner's for their compulsive choices. I got this message over and over again. Probably because of the way I was raised, I believed these messages on some level. I accepted the blame. It was so liberating and healing when Jon made it explicitly clear to me that my husband's acting out was NOT MY FAULT. Because of my early trauma, I was programmed to take on this blame and to work oh so hard to "correct" my behavior in order to not make other people behave badly. This is nuts, of course, but deep down, I was taught that I was to blame for other's people choices. I've had to work hard, and am still working, to shed myself of this lie.

It's painful, these realizations of mine. It's also very scary to realize that there is NOTHING I can do to make my husband stop his addictive behaviors. But, and this has taken me forever to feel, it is also a relief to know there is nothing I can do. I don't have to blame myself, or feel inadequate, or feel like a failure. It's still scary living with an addict who is trying to recover. But I am not to blame. You aren't either.

When I hear your story I am reminded about how deeply selfish addicts are. Here you were in pain, and your husband was, like mine, all about his pleasure. His needs. His immature belief that he was a victim. To this day my husband still struggles with thinking I rejected him sexually, when he rejected me due to the toxic mix of his fear of intimacy and addiction. I've got some stuff, and we can work it out, but when you've got this huge monster of an addiction in the room, everything else pales in comparison.

With compassion,
dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:30 am
Posts: 95
Onestepatatime, I can fully relate to how you feel and I am battling with the same thoughts all the time, even when I'm not aware of it. I found out a few months ago that my husband had been hiding a porn addiction from me for over a year. In the early conversations, he talked about 'the root cause', i.e. our sex lives. He clearly blamed me and, even though he now says that he doesn't, I don't really believe him. For a long time when I was younger, I found it really hard to orgasm during sex and my husband was the first person I ever did this with, but only ever with a vibrator. Due to childhood trauma of my own, I have issues around enjoying sex, letting go, feeling sexy, etc. But we were having sex a couple of times a week and I was having orgasms most of the time, so it was pretty ok in my book. For him though, I wasn't enthusiastic enough, I didn't enjoy it enough, he felt like he was hassling me etc. In terms of sex, I have always felt like a problem that needed to be fixed. He stopped putting any effort into it on his side and never seemed to want to talk about it.

What I keep trying to remind myself of, when I am so tempted to feel responsible for him turning to porn, is that he had choices. He could have talked to me, he could have asked me what I would like, he could have suggested counselling for us together, he could have been honest with me. Instead, he chose to take the easy way out and retreat into the world of porn. Please remind yourself that the addict always had a choice.. we didn't, because we didn't know what was happening. We cannot be held responsible for the choices that they have made and how they chose to handle the situation at the time. It was their immature coping skills that took them to that place, not anything we did or didn't do.

Best of luck on your journey,
Beachcomber x


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:55 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 659
I've been thinking a lot about the blaming addicts do and how utterly damaging it is to people around them. And with sex/love/porn addictions, how deeply hurtful it is to partners. For the partners who are women, we already have to deal with a culture that objectifies us and demeans us. It's even worse now, but we were always supposed to be the good girl but also be a porn queen. We were not supposed to "tempt" men but also were supposed to "turn them on." Somehow many men in our culture want to control our sexuality and then blame us for it. So, we have to grow up feeling inadequate and insecure and stuck about our appearance, our desirability, our WORTH around these issues. It's toxic even if we come from healthy families and get involved with healthy men.

So, the fact that I wanted my husband to desire me, cherish me, love me, and he didn't...and he used these very issues I am insecure about to hurt me and to distance me, whew, that really hurts. And it makes me very, very angry.

So, why do they do it? It's too triggering to do a "both sides" post but I'm curious what the recovery side folks think about all of this. Anyway, here's my two cents which could be right or wrong.

First, I think all of the blaming is a convenient way to avoid responsibility for their behavior. One thing I have learned is that my husband has trouble taking responsibility for ANY of his behavior. I've started to see how (except for his acting out behaviors prior to beginning active recovery) passive he was, how unable he was to make decisions, how he was unable to easily figure out what to do in any situation, how childlishly he behaved if anyone tried to hold him accountable.

I also think it is a good way to protect and hide the addiction. If they blame us, they keep us off balance and guessing. They can pursue their addiction with more ease if we are off questioning ourselves rather than closely looking at them.

I think it also fuels their addiction. They believe their BS and they believe what they blame us for and it makes them resentful and entitled. If I was really that unsexual, that unattractive, that undesirable, didn't my husband deserve to act out?

I think it also stems from their inherent terror of intimacy. A good way to avoid intimacy is to avoid lovemaking, vulnerability, honesty, cherishing one's partner, being kind. Keeping us distant keeps them safe.

I also think it's alot of projection. At their core, these addicts have such low self esteem and high self loathing. It's intolerable to feel that way so they spew it out on us.

I know in 12 step programs they have the addicts make a list of their resentments. (They also want the addicts to figure out how they set people up so that they can resent them; and to figure out how they nurse their resentments; and to figure out how they use their resentments to fuel their addictions. Lots of painful self awareness needed here...). I'm not usually a resentful person, but I think my husband is no where close in his recovery and struggle for health to hear MY list of resentments about the way he treated me. And his cruel blaming is on that list.

With compassion,
dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:30 am
Posts: 95
It's really interesting to read your post dnell, because I can see my husband in so much of what you've described. I'm at the very early stages of my healing (and he his) so to see that his self-loathing, passivity, childish way of dealing with things, etc is common to other addicts is a bit of eye-opener for me. It helps too! Sorry for hijacking, OP.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:36 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
I want to reinforce what's been said here, and what you will come to learn as you work through the workshop: There is nothing you did or can do that would either be a catalyst to your partner's addiction or end it. This is NOT your fault. It has NOTHING to do with you.

Let me share a little about my own experience that might help you think differently. Toward the end of our marriage and before DDay, I totally lost libido. I couldn't explain why I simply didn't feel sexual and didn't feel like having sex with my husband when he initiated. We had sex once a month or once every other month, usually only when I initiated. He completely blamed me for not meeting his needs and I accepted the blame. I chalked it up to lack of energy from having three kids, running my own business AND homeschooling, getting older, lack of sleep from having too much to do, etc. Those were all true.

However, in retrospect, I can now see that I already could sense my husband's addiction, albeit on a very subconscious level, and that's why I didn't want to have sex. It was a way of protecting myself. While I felt satisfied physically with sex when we had it, I felt there was no emotional connection, and my husband could not look me in the eye during sex. Also, he kept trying things that made me uncomfortable, and even though I told him to stop, he would keep trying until sometimes, I would just let him to get it over with. In retrospect, I can see that his idea of sex became more like a porn video, with him being visually focused on parts of me, instead of connecting with me as his loving partner. Add to that his subtle putdowns of my post-baby body, usually made as affectionate jokes, along with the myriad other ways his sex addiction infiltrated my well-being, well, no wonder I didn't feel very sexual.

The reason I share my experience is to perhaps give you a different way to think of your early sexual experiences with your husband. Have you considered that perhaps HE was the one who was responsible for your early physical problems? Is it possible that his sexual addiction was affecting you negatively from the very beginning? Only you can answer that for yourself, but it is something to consider.

I noticed in your recovery thread that you say his sexual addiction has been going on your entire marriage. If he was an active sex addict from the beginning, and chances are that he was, then it's completely possible that you were picking up that things weren't quite right. At the very least, it's likely that HIS sex addiction had a negative effect on YOUR sexuality, not vice versa.

Blameshifting is a very powerful tactic for people with a sex addiction. You'll get better at recognizing it the further you get in your recovery. You'll also get better at not buying it.

With warm support,
(still) Rising


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:54 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 659
Beachcomber, in the forum posts, I don't see participants as hijacking. I see us as exploring really challenging issues and everyone's posts prompt me to think differently. I find this forum to be immensely healing.

Rising, that's a good point about our loss of libido being related to some unconscious awareness of the "offness" of the sex/desire/passion with our partners.

Also, it's a really good point that we become more skilled at recognizing blaming and gaslighting. Another support resource told me early on (in not so nice terms, so warning, this is mean) that I should know that addicts: are lying when they open their mouths, and make up reasons/blame even when there is no reason/blame. At some point after D-Day and before my husband was far enough along in his recovery, I learned two things: stop listening to him when my BS meter goes off so I don't have to put up with this crap; and note just how ridiculous some of the blaming is. I mean, sometimes I even laugh out loud. Granted, it's not a sweet, or joyous, or shared laugh. It's just how completely stupid and outrageous the blame is. (At one point some months ago, my husband said, "I don't think I became a sex addict until after we were married and after you stopped having sex with me." Yeah, right. There's a huge, stinky pile of BS. Hard not to think violent thoughts when I hear that, but instead I told him he was wrong and full of it. Jeez.

dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
Onestepatatime wrote:
I realize that my husband is a big boy and made his own decisions. I realize that they were motivated by selfishness and the need for instant gratification.


Yes, at one time or another I'm sure we've all found reasons for what we perceive as our fault but the reality is it's a simple concern for a loved one, the automatic knee jerk reaction for them to be incapable of doing the violent damage that they've done to us in the selfish and immature desire to get what they want, right now. It makes you normal, it makes you human, it makes you a warm loving concerned person....and it makes you wrong in this situation.

You are not at fault, nothing you did created this, nothing you did authorized this, nothing you did gave them the right to do what they've done. I'm sorry you're at this stage, I'm sorry this is how you see the situation, but it's a mirage, not reality.

I can't come close to the knowledge, wisdom and compassion of the others here, but I can be the voice of the asshole.
If he was hitting you would you accept that it was your fault and you needed to be hit?
Is there ever an acceptable reason for that behavior?
The answer to both is always going to be no.

I'm sorry you have to be here, I'm glad you found your way here and the good news is you're not alone in any of this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:38 pm
Posts: 10
Thank you all for responding. I feel so alone right now. It is very nice to talk to someone who gets it!
I'm not good with the quoting or remembering who said what but it was suggested that my physical problems might be related to me knowing something was off. Unfortunately it was a birth defect. And I was so niave I didn't know porn even existed on the computer. It was the perfect storm. I totally trusted him, was unaware of the source, and ignorant of the whole thing.
Is it normal to have swings between feeling good about progress and then having days where you feel right back at the beginning? It maybe helpful to know I'm 5 weeks post partum on top of all of this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:05 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
dear onestep,

Onestepatatime wrote:
I feel so alone right now.

it is very lonely to live with a person with SA or PA, especially in the uncertain time following a discovery. You have been shellshocked--as you noted, you didn't even know about porn existing on a computer. I want to express grief for you here over the loss of your innocense, and emphatically note that you are not ignorant or naive. You were (and still are, in terms of guilt vs/ innocense) innocent: you went into your marriage with a healthy desire for sex and intimacy with your husband, and your husband alone. You trusted, which is what healthy people do when they enter committed relationships.

Many of us partners have felt naive and duped: many of us have noted that if we knew then all that we know now, we wouldn't have entered into a committed relationship with someone with sex addiction.

There were many entries in my workshop journal relating to me feeling stupid about myself. I took on shame, and guilt, that wasn't mine to take on.

My own innocence -- your own innocence -- was gravely injured by our partners' choices, not by our own doing.

You are not alone, onestep. Partners here stand with you in solidarity.

Quote:

Is it normal to have swings between feeling good about progress and then having days where you feel right back at the beginning? It maybe helpful to know I'm 5 weeks post partum on top of all of this.


Oh, I am so sorry to hear you have discovered all this in the midst of recently having a child. Onestep, that is a lot to take on at once. Even if we don't consider the hormonal changes you are experiencing (which are nothing to sneeze at!), that the trauma of discovery came into your life around the same time as bringing a child into this world is a titanic. My heart goes out to you. You must be juggling a lot emotionally, and this is completely normal.

To give you some perspective, this has been a pattern in my marriage for years. I've been working the RN lessons and vision work for 2.5 years. And even now, as it looks like my husband is falling into yet another vortex of addictive behavior, my emotions go up and down.

It gets better. I am far more emotionally stable than I was when I started the workshop at RN. Today I discovered my husband is waffling around in 'gray zone' borderline material, and it jilted me for about an hour, and then I carried on with my life and did what I needed to do to keep balanced and healthy and begin to make plans for my future options, as it's clear he's not in recovery.

Everything you're feeling and experiencing right now is normal. The ups and downs--the hope-filled days contrasted with the times of dispair -- it's a rollercoaster in the beginning.

Be kind and patient with yourself. Wherever you are, you are. Whatever you feel, you feeling. Every single thing you feel is legitimate. Your needs and feelings are valid!

Please, as you are able, continue to work on the lessons in the workshop. I would not be as stable and emotionally calm today were it not for my work there. Understand change won't come immediately for you, but as you focus on yourself, your needs, and developing a boundary system and vision for your life, you can and will feel more empowered. Over time, you will feel less emotionally unstable. But right now, everything you're experiencing is a natural, normal result of a significant trauma in your life.

None of your husband's choices are your fault. you didn't cause them. I promise. Sometimes we find it easier to look to ourselves for blame, I think, because this feels like something we can control (ourselves). But you are not to blame. And whatever path your own healing takes, it is not up to you to try and make him feel better, or up to you to try and pretend you're ok--when your marriage is very much not ok because of the choices he made.

I know you have a new baby there to give love and care to, and that takes significant time and energy. Please find small ways to give yourself love and care each day. You are deserving of this--whether it's a bath, a new haircut, reading a book that makes you feel good. Take care of yourself. Love yourself.

in solidarity and kindness,
meep


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
Onestepatatime wrote:
Is it normal to have swings between feeling good about progress and then having days where you feel right back at the beginning? It maybe helpful to know I'm 5 weeks post partum on top of all of this.


Well, lessee, I can't get pregnant so I can't relate to the hormones however...
On a monthly...no weekly...no daily....actually on a minute by minute basis I can feel like everything is amazing and then the next minute that my partner is completely heartless, incapable of recovery and still acting out in every way possible.

One minute I want to trust and care for my partner, the next I think about filling them with hard candy, hanging them from the rafters and using them as a piñata.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:11 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
hadenuff wrote:
One minute I want to trust and care for my partner, the next I think about filling them with hard candy, hanging them from the rafters and using them as a piñata.


I've been on this forum for two years. I've never in all that time read anything that made me laugh out loud like this did. Thanks for the levity, hadenuff.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Am I the only one??
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:38 pm
Posts: 10
After a couple of very dark days, we talked. He hates talking about this. I don't blame him I hate it too. But we talked. He feels so much better after me confronting him, that he has a hard time relating with me seeing everything broken. Ugg... I read somewhere about men having waffle brains, yep it's true! He can totally disconnect one thing from another. But the good news is he said he doesn't feel hollow, vain, whitewashed, and can actually feel like he is worshipping God now. My heart breaks to hear him talk like this. I can't imagine the hurt, darkness, and evil he felt. It makes me feel so bad for him. Before, I would have said enough I can't hurt him, I can't put him through this. But now, I am able to say, I need this discussion, it's not that I don't care for you or your feelings, but I need to do this for me. I was very proud of me! I do notice a difference in his behavior. He is much more touchy, sweet touchy. He doesn't get mad as easy.
Last night I told him I wanted us to share something with each other every night. Something we have never told the other, something happy, said,a fear. He told me he was excited to see pumpkins.... Face palm! Ugg! Again I normally would let this slide because I don't want to hurt his feelings, instead I told him I wanted something more than surface. We share our day really well, I want something more and told him one of my weird fears. He did respond with something very nice but it was after much laughter, jokes and teasing. He then told me he would try and meet my expectations. I told him I just want him, all of him good or bad. He said I was talking about your sharing thingy. Ugg! He is so scared. See early in our marriage he tried to get me to talk, like I'm trying to get him to talk. I never realized he needed encouragement to get deep. I didn't really notice he was only sharing surface because I was only there too.
Thanks for listening. I have never really shared anything negative about my husband before this forum. I hate seeing the negative in him.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group