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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 9
Hello RN partners! I am new to this community though I have been curiously reading lessons and forums for about 6 weeks or so. I am very grateful for all of your lessons posts. I have completed my Lesson one, and am stuck on Lesson Two, building a vision for my life. I have a lot of it mapped down, but am struggling very much with the ideas of boundaries and deal breakers, and how to build a vision that might not include my partner.

While he has admitted his problem with porn & other forms of infidelity, and knows that he is currently out of control, he is doing nothing to better himself yet. I struggle with wanting to fix him, wanting to push and nag, and wanting to give him space to figure it out on his own (and the intense fear of what other infidelities will happen while I am waiting).

In a word: I am super insecure. I don’t seem to have any assurances and I struggle with that. Thank you for listening and for being here. This is the most alienating life experience I have ever been through.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 654
Hi Kay - I understand what you are saying and feeling. I didn't realize how insecure I was when I first discovered my husband's addictions; nor did I realize how much more insecure I would become after discovery. Addressing this is a big part of my healing.

Keep doing the lessons and much more will become clear. I didn't know how to set healthy boundaries and I was afraid to. I am not anymore, but I've been at this for four years now including working with an individual therapist who treats trauma.

For the values lesson, just do the best you can. It doesn't have to be perfect. We can revise it at any time. But what I found helped was to just let myself dream...not think about what was perfect or what I could or could not do, but what I believed in.

I'm glad you posted in this forum. The partners here are very supportive.

With compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:20 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 9
Thank you, Dnell for your note. I truly appreciate it! It is nice to know I am not alone, and that others have persevered. Did you ever find things got worse for you, before they got better?
I find the readings and lessons stir up a lot of emotions. I feel worse now than when I began (about the future of my relationship). However, I believe this is part of a healthy process. All I can do is buckle in and ride it out, and complete the program and go from there.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 188
Welcome to RN, Kay. Infidelities in whatever form it happens and the resulting betrayal trauma is not an easy situation to deal with. You have placed your trust in someone, made a lifetime commitment based on what you believed to be true of that person’s character, only to discover this relationship was not what you believed it to be. You are bound to feel insecure *especially* when you have sought to build a secure and stable foundation for this place. I’m over three years out from d day and I still feel insecure. Not quite as acutely as before but some days it can still hit me like a tidal wave.

The worrying thing about addiction is that it’s not like a single one-off affair that has a lifespan of its own, whether it’s a one night stand or something that goes on for several months, or even a year or two. Typically, an affair ends, and when it does, it’s in the past. Obviously this is a gross-oversimplification because affairs can be messy and complicated, but they will typically run their course and be over. Addiction isn’t like that. Sex addiction is about chasing a high that floods the brain and is often rewarded by orgasm. Pornography is highly addictive because it’s easy and it’s there, 24/7 on a mobile phone. It’s accessible, affordable and anonymous. Sex addiction can also include webcams, strip bars, massage parlours, paid-for sex and serial affairs. There’s no emotional investment, it’s the adrenalised seeking out of the next “fix” that matters. It’s easy to fall back into addiction because chances are you’ve got a device in your pocket from which you can access pornography, join dating/hookup sites, hire an escort or look up the various strip clubs in your city. Add to that all the sexualised imagery in advertising, movies, music videos. Even if you don’t look for it, you will encounter it. To you and I, it’s meaningless visual garbage that gets everywhere. To a sexually compulsive person, unless they learn how to handle with it, chances are it will start lighting up the addiction pathways in their brain. Sometimes, for some people, these images can trigger off a chain reaction that weakens resolve.

Unfortunately, as partners, we have no control over how our addict spouses behave. As obvious as that may sound, that fact is also an agent of our insecurity. We can’t make our partners change (although they may eventually change). We can only control our own behaviour and to some extent our thoughts. This is where boundaries come in to play.

Yourboundaries exist to protect you, especially against the hurtful actions of others, whether they actually happen or not. Boundaries are not rules that you demand your partner complies with, although you can certainly negotiate and make requests. It’s important to communicate to your partner what the non negotiables are. If your boundaries are broken by your partner acting out again you need to make sure you know what you are going to do in response. You don’t have to tell your partner, you just need to make sure you act in a way you deem appropriate. For example, your husband relapses with porn after saying he would quit. If this is a breach of your boundaries you may decide to disconnect the home internet for 7 or 14 days. If you tell your husband you will quit the marriage if he looks at porn again, and then he looks at porn and you do nothing, your boundaries will have no relevance and (in the mind of the addict) and will be meaningless.

Boundaries are very confusing but you’ll get there eventually. I suggest Vicki Tidwell Palmer’s podcast called Beyond Bitchy at beyondbitchy.com. It’s about all boundaries in our many different relationships, not just sexual betrayal. She also has a free worksheet that you can refer to, so you can understand better what your needs are and what you want to achieve. Sometimes you are powerless, and sometimes the best you can do is to accept this powerlessness. If so, then there is a do-nothing option. It’s not defeat, and at least you will know you have taken the best, most realistic option available to you in that moment (not necessarily the most ideal).

It takes a while to understand boundaries and there’s a lot of confusion about boundaries in the recovery communities. Boundaries are not rules you set for others to follow, nor are they demands. Once you realise that a boundary is like a demarcation line between where you end and others begin, that exists to protect and buffer you from hurt and pain, you’ll get it. In the meantime please check out the podcast mentioned above.

Happy to help. X


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:42 pm
Posts: 9
Thank you so much for your insight, Blue. This is most helpful and I will absolutely check out the podcast when I have a bit of time to explore it!

I really appreciate all of you, this community has helped me so much already.


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