Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:54 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:32 am 
Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
From the workshop lesson:
Because of all of the deception inherent in addiction, it is common to challenge your own 'gut feelings' relating to your ability to read your partner. You may have even concluded that these instincts failed you. Yet what is most likely is that your instincts picked up on the curious patterns — it was your heart and head that altered your conclusions. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is a good person who leads their life with values such as trust and love and partnership.
But, now that you know that you are dealing with an addiction...risk, vulnerability...these are things that you can no longer take for granted in your life. You must offer them only when accompanied by logic and reason. And so, at least until trust can be rebuilt, you will need to develop a more mechanical, objective and safe ability to monitor your partner's health.

To this I would add, you must only offer (trust and vulnerability) when there are demonstrated reasons to. A person with an addiction is usually a master at controlling their environment, and they will use a variety of means to do so. One such means is to appeal to your logic and reason with words. Only, these words are not corroborated with consistent action. For example, it is not reasonable that someone would watch porn with their child playing on the floor beside them, and logic would tell you this. Knowing this, a person with addiction who is being called out for that very behaviour would play on that illogic and unreasonableness by acting insulted that one—especially their loving partner—could suggest such a thing: “Noone in their right mind would do such a thing…just what kind of a creep do you think I am?”. Despite the tangible evidence that led the partner to make the accusation, the “logic” and “reason” of the other's words manipulates the “heart and head” of the partner who then ends up feeling bad for thinking such a thing and eventually, after enough similar instances, the partner doubts themselves, feeling like there is something wrong with them and the problem then becomes about the partner’s lack of trust and not about the real problem which is the presence of addiction in the relationship. The point is that we must consider not only logic and reason, but also consistent action that aligns with the logic and reason, before we "should" offer up trust and vulnerability. Words are empty when they are not supported by action.

Be well.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:56 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:22 am
Posts: 163
So true, thank god I have learnt this at long last, many times I was the one left feeling guilty,beating myself up for being untrusting etc, while my husband played the wronged one by doing exactly what you posted.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:07 pm 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 666
Thanks, Coach Mel. Timely post.

Unfortunately in the presence of so many secrets and lies, words become meaningless until integrity is restored. And that is only through consistent and intentional action. My partner has yet to understand it's just not stopping the acting out behaviors, it's adopting honesty, transparency, reliability, predictability and authenticiy in all parts of his life. He says these are part of his values; now he has to practice behavior to make them real.

I also see how hard it is for my partner to initiate action; to initiate conversation; to initiate behaviors to be an adult. It's not just being responsive to life; it's being an active agent in a mature and healthy way.

So, for example, just this week, my partner's behavior shows that he has not yet become fully trustworthy:

1) He forgot to go to a medical appointment.
2) He forgot to take a check to pay his therapist at their appointment.
3) He states plans and ideas and does not follow through.
4) He is starting to initiate conversation, but needs to do this much more often.
5) He asks me to say time out when I notice he has too much; this is his responsiblity.
6) He gets easily overwhelmed by certain tasks and resorts to all or nothing thinking.

My partner does not understand why all these examples indicate to me that he is not yet trustworthy or healthy. That's another piece of work he needs to do.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:25 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
Posts: 131
Thanks for this timely thread! I've been away for awhile(without access to wifi) and glad to get back to RN. I am also struggling with these issues..... I am listening to my partners words and yet observing addictive behaviors and mentality even unrelated to lust and sex. I still see filtering in his conversations with me. He says he is more open with group members, but I still see his ego strongly in controll when communicating with me. Even after 2 years, the protective guilt of his secret life keeps him from being totally open with me about those behaviors. Am I to spend the rest of my life wondering what is going on in his head?? In his heart, he is a really good honest person, but I still believe his head and his lust is in charge. Lust is the basis of this addiction, not just acting on that lust. He still considers abstinence as recovery. I believe transparency in our conversations to be the key to anything long the meantime, I have been focusing on the rest of my life and those things that bring me joy.

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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 190
I know this tactic very well but it takes so much work and cognitive resources to actually work it out, by which time my partner will claim not to know what I'm talking about, and somehow I'm the on causing problems.

After several years of a sexless marriage I had a gut feeling something else had changed. He had been using porn regularly for years by this time and I knew. I was powerless to stop him and he ignored how I felt about it and became an expert at leaving no evidence. Even so, something had changed. The distance that porn created had suddenly become greater. So I asked him outright if he had been unfaithful. His first reaction was to laugh nervously. Then it was him asking me "who with?" and "when would I get the chance?" Like I it was up to me that provide him with names and date. If I knew "who with" and "when" I wouldn't be asking him. It ended up with him saying in an angry tone "I'm shocked you could even suggest such a thing!" And that was it. Subject closed.

Some months later, after d day, I raised the matter again and he asked me what did I mean by "infidelity"? As if he didn't know what the word meant. Another obstacle thrown in the way of actually finding out what had been going on throughout the years when he showed no interest in sex. H does this a lot. He answers a question based on his definition of a key word. His definition, which is not necessarily most peoples definition. He effectively prevents any further communication by playing these "logic" games.

I've seen this guy lie to me, knowingly, and if I didn't know the truth I would have fallen for his earnest "good guy" act. If I didn't believe him when he was lying, I was the one who was creating the problems, according to him.

So now I have to constantly run his words through a sort of scrutiny filter all the fucking time and it just makes me crazy. If I use a word that is too inaccurate – even though he knows EXACTLY what I'm trying to communicate about – he will find a way to avoid the matter or throw me off or shut me up, change the subject or whatever.

It was only after d day that I discovered just how he controlled the show. And how far his addiction went. The bottom line was that he had learned to control me to protect his habit. It wasn't just being clever about his internet browsing, it was also how he controlled me perceptions of him, so that I wouldn't suspect him of his dirty sordid secrets. What a mess. It's very difficult for a relationship to recover when one partner has become so habituated to lies, secrecy, omissions, deception etc.

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 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