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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:09 am 
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Exercise 1 - Done (completed offline while waiting for our profile registrations to be approved)

Exercise 2 - Done (completed offline while waiting for our profile registrations to be approved)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:12 am 
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Exercise 3 (Partner)

Document your existing values and boundaries.
I value family. My kids and I have the right to feel safe in the home in which we live, free from pornography.
I value hard work and education.
I value sexual fidelity, including online or person-to-person sexual encounters. Intimacy is between "us" not the
pornography images he has viewed or the webcam chats he used.
I value openness and transparency in my relationship with my husband. I expect my husband to speak with me and share
problems with me, rather than keeping it from me. We are supposed to be a team.
I value honesty, integrity, and trust. Lies and half truths only kill relationships.
I value shared responsibility of household duties and earning.


What behaviors would you find completely unacceptable in your partner?
-Use of pornography
-Any act of sexual acting out/infidelity with another person (whether online, in person, text, or phone, or any other means)
-Internet chatting with other women
-Masturbating
-Watching sexual webcam chats
-Watching films or webcams of people having intercourse
-Watching pornographic films in any location
-Paying for pornographic websites OR utilizing free ones
-Meeting other women alone for coffees, lunches, dinners, or events of any type
-Flirting in any fashion with women
-Viewing websites/magazines or advertisements with pseudo-sexual content, such as Victoria’s Secret or Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue
-Any email, phone, or text exchanges with other women that infer a romantic or sexual interest.
-Going to strip clubs or bars where the entertainment is sexual
-Purchase or hiding of condoms
-Keeping secret email accounts, bank accounts, and credit cards
-Erasing “history” on computer or phone without my knowledge
-Failure to block contacts from people that are not friends of the marriage
-Joining dating or social networking websites


What behaviors would cause you to worry about your partner's overall balance?
-Drinking excessively
-Trying to please everyone
-Self-soothing by using porn
-Becoming withdrawn or angry over “little things”
-Falling back into being “too tired” to participate in the household
-Failure to take antidepressants as prescribed


What behaviors would symbolize a return to their addiction and/or a detriment to their own healing?
-When trivial things become too important that he needs “blows up” (anger).
-When completing his recovery is no longer a priority. The confessions and anger have subsided, time elapses and life
continues as usual.
-Secrecy
-When sexual relationship with me stops or grows very few and far between like before.
-Being “too tired” to handle his responsibilities around the household, at work, and at school.
-Failure to take antidepressants as prescribed


What healthy behaviors would you like to see from your partner in response to what has been identified above?
-I would like to see that he truly values what we have together as a couple, to not take “us” or me for granted.
-I would like to see that he truly values me as a partner and what I bring to the relationship.
-I would like to see that he values my sexuality and that he has no need to seek outside sexual stimulation.
-I want him to ignore the voice in his head that tells him he has can “do that tomorrow” instead of doing it now.
-I would like to see the light I used to see in his eyes- that spark.
-I would like to see complete honesty, openness, and transparency. Lies only make things more difficult.
-I would like to see him stand straight and tall and look confident and happy.
-I would like to see him working on his anger management and coping skills.
-He needs to think about what his actions will cost him if he gives into his impulses.


Consequences if Contract is Broken
-If pornography is found in the home, computer, phone, etc. SA will be informed. He will also lose all computer
access/cell phone access/tv movie rentals. This will be done by installing a series of passwords and time restrictions.
He will need to resort to my computer and his brothers and parents will be notified of the reason why.
-If the use of pornography occurs at any time, he is to sleep in another room until I feel I can speak to him calmly and
or forgive him.
-If caught lying or has put off telling me the truth he is to sleep in another room until I feel I can speak to him calmly
and or forgive him.
-If he puts off this recovery or if I always have to remind him about it, I will no longer participate in the couple’s
recovery and he must do the individual recovery workshop on his own.
-If he continues to give in to rages, I will call my him out on these destructive behaviors because they hurt him,
they hurt me and they harm our relationship. If it continues, I will ask him to move out until he has sought
professional help and has the anger under control. If he refuses to seek help, I will file for divorce.
-If he acts out sexually again (whether online, in person, via text, phone, etc), I will consider our marriage at an end and
file for divorce.
-If he abuses the new foundation we are trying to build in our marriage and throws all of this recovery away and goes
back to his addictions, half-truths, and blame-shifting, I will file for divorce.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:27 am 
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Couples Exercise 3 (SA)

RW95831’s values:

Enjoyment of nature’s wonders
Music- writing, playing, listening
Helping those in need (time permitting)
Making people happy, comfortable
Being able to provide by working hard
My ability to figure things out
My wife and family

Unacceptable behaviors in partner:
Lying
Cheating
Drugs

Worrisome behaviors in partner:
Withdrawn/silent
Sad/depressed
Nervous/scared

Detrimental behavior to partners healing:
Withdrawn/silent
Closed/shutdown

Healthy behaviors from partner:
Open (to discussion)
Understanding


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:31 am 
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Couple's Exercise 4 (SA)

The Partnership Contract (SA)
I, ___(RW95831______ do pledge:
To take personal responsibility for ending addiction in my life.
To not allow any excuses, obstacles or challenges distract me from this responsibility.
To make the transition to a healthy life a top priority — above even saving my marriage/relationship.
An understanding that there are no guarantees inherent with recovering as a couple. That the decision to continue the relationship has not yet been made. That a healthy decision can't be made until two healthy individuals merge from this recovery or it becomes apparent that such health will not be achieved.
To invest the next six months (at least) of my life developing new life management skills and learning how to effectively use them.
To continue to evolve the skills that I learn (on my own and as a team), long after the workshop has ended.
To make decisions based on long-term health, not short-term advantage.
To encourage my partner in her healing efforts. Not to hijack or manage those efforts, but to support her management of them.
Not to seek/assign blame for the problems in our relationship but rather, to acknowledge that there are problems and work together to solve them.
To construct a value system that consists of no less than eight active areas of my life that are capable of generating meaning and purpose (e.g. marriage, career, kids, hiking, music, etc.)
To mechanically monitor my life as laid out by the Recovery Workshop for at least six months. This will involve one month of (less than five minutes) daily monitoring and five months of (less than fifteen minutes) weekly monitoring.
To never consciously deceive my partner as a means of minimizing personal responsibility for my actions or 'protecting' her from pain.
That I have shared everything about my addiction to the best of my recollection/willingness. And that anything I continue to hold on to, I am doing so because I am not ready to share it openly.
That I have no hidden relationships, accounts, magazines, files, etc., that I have stashed away. All of them have been either destroyed or acknowledged.
That I will not allow a single compulsive urge to go unchallenged. I may not be able to control these urges, but I will never allow them to evolve into destructive action without putting up a conscious fight.
That I will immediately share with my partner, support system and/or recovery coach any ritual that I do not manage successfully.
To communicate to my partner and/or support system those times when I recognize complacency, confusion or conflict settling in to my recovery.
To monitor my recovery for signs of 'going through the motions' and take action when such signs are observed.
To seek as a privilege, not a punishment, opportunities to develop my emotional maturity and life skills.
To learn and respect the evolving values of my partner.
To accept all consequences of all my decisions. That includes any decision to withhold information, to engage in secret behavior, etc. I understand that it doesn't matter if the consequences are reasonable or just. Just as I have chosen to engage in the behavior; others have the choice of how they will respond. I am responsible for my actions.
To accept all consequences from having violated my partner's boundaries. This, as dictated by my partner's observations, not my own.
Keep mindful that my partner is imperfect and deserves understanding and patience. That she will make mistakes — some in direct contradiction to what is healthy.
To discover, acknowledge and eliminate all destructive communication rituals that I engage in.
To never use violence, emotional abuse, coercion or other threats to manipulate or otherwise control/repress my partner.
To respect my partner's boundaries surrounding sexuality: including a refrain from unwanted sexual advances, sexual pressure, sexual expectation, etc. I recognize that any sexual activity between us during this period of recovery must be mutually desired.

(Signed and dated a hard copy on 7/31/14)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:34 am 
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Couples Exercise 4 (Partner)

The Partnership Contract


I, ____MW95831____ do pledge:
To take personal responsibility for healing from the trauma that I have experienced. I have both the right to heal and the right to live a healthy life. To surround myself with healthy people.

To allow myself to feel the pain of this discovery without shame or embarrassment. I did not cause this addiction. Our marriage did not cause this addiction. Both have merely been caught in its web.

Understanding that there is no path that I am 'supposed to' follow. That whatever I feel, is natural. When it becomes destructive to my own life or others (e.g. neglecting my kids, my career, my friends, etc.), it is my responsibility to take action. I am accountable for the destruction that results from my behavior — even if that behavior is directly related to his addiction.

To hold my partner accountable as a mature adult, not a child. That his skills may be immature is not a sufficient reason to lesson my expectations of him acting like an adult. I will be compassionate as he develops this maturity, but will hold him accountable for what he does during the development.

To share my feelings, thoughts and experiences openly — using healthy judgment as to when, to who and how I share them.

To rebuild trust in my instincts. To use these instincts in guiding the gray areas of my life. To develop the courage to act on these instincts.

To separate my healing needs from my partner's recovery needs — acknowledging we have different paths to travel as individuals, but respecting the importance of both.

That I will make a decision to stay with my partner based primarily on my love for him and his ability to meet my most important needs; not because I feel pressured/stuck in the relationship.

To build a life of my own, capable of sustaining meaning and fulfillment regardless of my partner's commitment to his recovery.

To acknowledge that challenges existed within our marriage/relationship prior to the discovery of this addiction.

To not use avoidance as means of managing our relationship.

To acknowledge that I have made mistakes in my own life, in our marriage/relationship and will continue to make mistakes.

To not settle for sticking my head in the sand. I do not want to sweep this crisis under the rug, nor do I want it to just go away. Instead, I want to take
the time we need to fundamentally change our relationship.

To establish a boundary system that is clear and healthy; to teach my partner those boundaries; and to work together to enforce them. This means providing ongoing feedback, support and encouragement to my partner as he recognizes those boundaries.

To encourage and support my partner in his effort to change his life.

Understanding that my partner will not achieve perfection in his recovery. That he will make mistakes — some irrational, some selfish, some immature — that could serve as grounds for destroying any progress that has been made. I will instead place these actions in the context of addiction recovery, not perfection.

Within reason, I will accept gradual progress in my partner's recovery when it is accompanied by sincere effort.

To seek out changes in my partner with objectivity and optimism. I want him to succeed. I want him to become healthy.

To keep perspective between the ideals and the reality of my partner's recovery. For instance, while I would like for him to experience no urges, I know this is an unrealistic ideal. In reality, I will separate these urges from his response to them.

To provide my partner with a safe environment from which he can learn about his addiction, pursue recovery and transition into a healthy person.

(Physical copy of the contract printed, signed, and dated 7/31/14)


Last edited by MW95831 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:39 am 
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Couple's Exercise 5 (RW95831 and I did these verbally so that we could discuss each other's scenarios real time).

(P)
1) Consider the following situations and share with your partner first an INEFFECTIVE way of communicating each; then how you WILL EFFECTIVELY communicate such situations should they come to pass. These are to be considered safe, hypothetical situations. Even if they are similar to a real-life event, process them as hypothetical. Your mindset and emotions should be one of disengaged learning, not real-life processing.

a. Your partner is contacted by an old romantic partner that they haven't seen in many years. Not wanting to keep any secrets from you, they tell
you exactly when the person will be in town and would like your permission to visit with them alone over dinner.

b. You come home early from work and find your partner masturbating to porn on the Internet. Upon seeing you, they quickly close down the
computer and lie about what they were doing.

c. You suspect that your partner is lying to you about where they were, but you have no proof.

d. You find yourself feeling frisky and so you make a few sexual overtures towards your partner that are quickly brushed off. You are feeling hurt and
rejected.

e. After discovering that your partner had been involved in many affairs over the course of your marriage, you experience the urge to ask your
partner if he had an affair while you were pregnant some eight years ago. You want to know if he ever used your bed to have an affair.

2) If there are any disagreements/confusion with how these effective situations would be communicated, share them in your couple's thread.



(SA)
1) How many times over the past year have you consciously made a decision that you felt you were right on, but deferred to your partner's decision because consciously, you thought that she was deserving of equal consideration?

2) Actively seek out at least one such opportunity over the next two weeks. In all conflicts from this point forward, apply this awareness to your decision-making process. This doesn't mean that you have to defer all decisions to your partner, only that you make such decisions after giving your partner's thoughts equal consideration. Actively seek equality, not the illusion of equality in your relationship.

3) Consider the following situations and share with your partner first an INEFFECTIVE way of communicating each; then how you WILL EFFECTIVELY communicate such situations should they come to pass. These are to be considered safe, hypothetical situations. Even if they are similar to a real-life event, process them as hypothetical. Your mindset and emotions should be one of disengaged learning, not real-life processing.

Situation #1
There exists something about your addiction that you were afraid to tell your partner about. The further you get into recovery, the more you realize the importance of absolute honestly not simply as a policy for recovery but as a value for your life. You now want to share with her these additional disclosures but don't know how. You fear her response will be targeted towards the behaviors themselves, not the maturity and growth that was at the center of wanting to disclose.

Situation #2
After achieving two months of complete abstinence, you are feeling sexually frustrated and allow yourself to view porn for twenty minutes while you masturbated. She was in the next room sleeping. She is completely unaware of what you did. What's more, you have covered your tracks effectively, recognize that you wouldn't have engaged in this behavior if she wouldn't have sexually rejected you earlier in the night and feel certain it was just an anomaly. You are thinking to yourself that communicating this event to her will cause more problems than they will solve.

Situation #3
You have maintained abstinence from all overt sexual rituals. Still, a haunting feeling of insecurity and doubt has begun to develop inside your head. You don't want to act out, but are feeling uncertain as to your ability to maintain your abstinence.

Situation #4
Your partner comes to you with concerns about you having lied about the details of an affair. You have been through this with her many times and nothing ever changes. Your answers remain the same (because they are truthful); her accusations remain (because she believes them to be truthful). You are at an impasse. (Note: this might be more difficult to process than the others so, work together to generate an effective response. Don't allow frustration to enter into the picture. See this as a puzzle to solve together.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:14 pm 
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Exercise 6
Intimacy Activity: Hidden Meanings
At the end of the week, share how many of these compliments were found by each of you. Share also your most creative hiding spot and/or delivery form. For example, "Christy found all ten that I hid for her. I found seven that she hid for me. The most creative was when she used soap on the mirror to write a message telling me she loved me...and I couldn't see it until I got out of the shower and the steam highlighted her words."
-------------------------------

RW95831 hid 7 notes the first night and the last three notes the following day. I was only able to find 7/10. I hid 10 for him and he found all 10.
There were a few really creative hiding places. One was taped to the garage door, so when I backed my car in that evening after coming home from work, the sign dropped down and I saw it in my rear view mirror.
Another was placed in the K-cup coffee holder tray that we have, so when I opened it to select a flavor, I found the note.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Exercise 6
We had a good time with this exercise. I found all the notes she had hidden for me to find. Out of the ten, two tied for my favorite spot. One was in the wine fridge, and the other hidden in the toilet paper roll. We were laughing with (at) each other as we both looked high and low, often re-checking what we had already searched through. I had planned to hang a sign on a stop sign on the way to work, but that fell apart when I realized the sign was for the opposite direction. (The sign is in the middle of the street at this intersection.)


Last edited by RW95831 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Exercise 7
1) Calmly, gently sit down with your partner and try to verbally summarize their addiction. Be general in your summary, without graphic content. For instance, "From what I understand, you were a fairly normal kid up until the age of about 16. You then started looking at Playboys with your friends, and then alone. Once you moved out on your own and had unfettered Internet access, the porn use increased substantially. You have struggled with faithfulness most of your life. You have struggled with deception most of your life. All of this has now come to a head in your life and you are now seeking fundamental changes to the person that you are."
------------------------------
RW95831 and I sat and talked about this. I also read his portion of this assignment and we discussed that as well.
He seems to be starting to understand how much I'm struggling with how his addictions and other behaviors have affected me in the last 7 years. Hopefully he'll take it to heart and really work on his issues.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:25 pm 
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Exercise 8
1) In your Couple's Thread, discuss ways that you can practically implement the insights offered in this lesson. For instance, how might you integrate joy into your relationship now, as a part of the healing process? How might you offer sincere support to your partner's efforts to change his life (as opposed to patronizing support, pressured support, etc.)?

Time – RW95831’s behaviors over the last 7 years have been deceptive. By all rights, I could walk out the door and not look back. In choosing recovery, he’s showing me that he’s serious about changing his behavior (or at least SAYS he’s serious). I’m willing to give him some time to show me with actions rather than words whether this is true or not.

Support – We’re both utilizing RN to help heal ourselves and our relationship. We have two nights per week carved out specifically to work on this. One night for couples’ work and the other for individual work. However, we’ve started doing “status checks” on a regular basis. We try to communicate where we are mentally for that day and if we’re feeling down, we try to discuss. I am willing to continue doing this while RW95831 is in active recovery.

Joy – We’ve started spending more time together, doing things we enjoy (wine tasting, cooking together, playing guitar together). I’d like to continue doing this as much as possible.

Role Modeling – I try to model the behavior that I want to see from RW95831 as well as my young adult offspring. When I make a mistake, I try to apologize when I realize the mistake. I try not to put it off on other people.

Understanding – To go hand in hand with Role Modeling, when RW95831 comes to me and admits a mistake, if I can detect that he’s sincere, we can discuss and often move on from there. With regard to recovery, I hope we can continue doing this here as well. I also know that RW95831’s work and school schedule make him very tired. I can give some leeway, but he needs to keep his recovery has a top priority.

Accountability – RW95831 is an adult with adult responsibilities. He’s a hard worker and studies hard at school. I want him to show the same attention and hard work to his recovery as he does at his job and at school. When I detect that he’s blowing off his recovery lessons or our couple’s work, I will (and have) call him out on it.


2) Examining your current role in your partner's recovery, what mistakes have you made? Are there any you might still be making?
I have struggled (and continue to struggle) with allowing RW95831 time to make the shifts in his thinking and coping skills. My world has been blown apart and I’m impatient to get back to normal/stable. I am impatient to feel safe in my home and in my marriage.

Also, with RW95831’s being a full time student, he works less hours and for half the pay his old job brought in. That means I work more hours to try to make up the income difference. His having homework as well as responsibilities around the house leaves us a lot less time to infuse joy into our relationship. I have to be aware of not walking through the door, throwing a careless hello in his direction, then surfing the internet until bedtime, effectively ignoring RW95831 for the evening.


3) Describe the things you ARE CURRENTLY DOING to role model healthy partnership skills.
Responsibility – I work 50+ hours each week to make sure we can keep the lights on and a roof over our heads. I also am responsible for the household budget and paying our bills (with our combined income).

Joy – I have a few hobbies that I still make time to enjoy.

Accountability – When I make a mistake, I try to own up and apologize as soon as I realize the error.

I do not use/view porn. I do not flirt or otherwise engage other men/women in an inappropriate way that would be harmful to our marriage.

I have firm boundaries that do not allow other people to put a wedge between RW95831 and myself.


Last edited by MW95831 on Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:31 pm 
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Exercise 9
This reading was a good put yourself in the other person's shoes scenario. A real how do you feel with it happening to you. I do get it. After we both did our reading, we had a good conversation afterwards. :ex:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:13 pm 
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Exercise 10
“Ask yourself the following: “If my partner did the things that I have done —exactly as I have done them—what would I need in order to rebuild my trust in him/her?” Really think about this. What would you want from them, expect from them, demand from them? Share these thoughts in your Couple's Thread.”
To be honest (said the recovering addict !D ), I agree with what she is requesting I do. One of which is taking parts in sites like this one, RN, and Surviving Infidelity. Another one being, obviously, STOP doing it. Becoming transparent, meaning no hidden accounts, passwords to all email etc. Putting her first. Text, and communicate like we used to.
I know what I have put here is what she is having me do, but when you look at it, I am not sure that there is more to add here. This pretty well would be what I would ask, expect, or demand to start at a chance of rebuilding. As I stare at the screen, I cannot think of anything else. If something does come to mind, I will edit, and include below.


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