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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:05 pm 
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It was a little difficult to try to create a mood where I was trying to convey love.

I attempted to do the best I could by being attentive: Trying to anticipate if the food was too hot before giving her a mouthful and asking her if she would like some water when I was feeding her the main course.

My wife has an excellent palate so I tried to make desert the fun part. I blindfolded her and then puree some different fruits. I then asked her if she recognized the fruit. She guessed everyone except the cherry. I then did the same with ice cream. Again she got everyone except one, the field berry. Lastly, I did the same for chocolates.

I believe we both enjoyed that exercise. I marvel at my wife’s senses and I think my wife had fun.

We then watched a movie of her choice: The Fault in our Stars. I had my wife sit down cross legged in front of me on a cushion on the floor and I massaged her throughout the movie. Although I have to confess, I sometimes paid more attention to the movie than the massage.

I did not brush her teeth or give her a bath. I just didn’t think the mood or timing was right. And of course it didn’t help that my 20 year daughter came home while the movie was on.

Overall though, I believe that I think my wife appreciated the effort and enjoyed the evening.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:20 pm 
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For this exercise BillN planned the evening. He first made a wonderful Chicken stew, then he fed it to me. Making sure that it was cool enough to not burn me as he fed me. He then blind-folded me and fed me different fruits, ice creams and chocolates and had me guess what he was feeding me. Afterward hwe watched a movie of my choice, 'The fault in our stars' while he brushed my hair. He was intending to brush my teeth but I did not feel comfortable with this as our daughter came home and I didn't want to have to explain what he was doing.

I enjoyed the stew that BillN made. He took care to ensure that it was just the way I like it. The taste test as inventive and fun. I enjoyed the different flavours as well as the challenge of guessing what I was eating. During the movie I found that I was of 'two minds'. I enjoyed the movie but I kept 'checking in', thinking about what BillN was experiencing. This is a habit I have. I had a hard time making the movie "all about me" because i really want to connect and experience things together. I liked having my hair brushed. It's the first time BillN has done that specifically. Although he tends to provide a lot of shoulder massages while we watch TV so it was a variation on a theme.

Overall, I appreciated the amount of time and effort BillN put into planning and coordinating the evening. It helped me to feel that he wants to make this marriage work. :g:

_________________

Keryaa
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:27 pm 
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Exercise 3 - Keryaa

I don't know if I'm doing this correctly but here is my attempt:

My Values
1. Honesty – I am honest with people so that they know where I stand and what I am about. I separate myself from dishonest people
2. Fidelity – I don’t put myself in situations where I might be tempted to be unfaithful to my husband or where it could be construed that I am unfaithful to my husband.
3. Conviction – I act on my beliefs. I work to change things that I feel need to be changed.
4. Transparency – I don’t hide things from those I am closest with. I don’t leave people to find out things about me from others or on their own.
5. Punctuality – I plan for events and leave enough time to ensure that I arrive on time for events. I manage my schedule to meet my obligations.
6. Ethics – I use introspection to evaluate my actions and words so that I behave in an ethical way in what I do whether at work or at home.
7. Kindness – I treat other people kindly because I want to be treated that way.
8. Marriage – I work on my marriage to make it strong so that my partner and I can be united.
9. Responsibility – I admit when I’ve made a mistake when I realize that I’ve been wrong.
10. Thoroughness – I try to ensure that I do things right the first time with good results.

The following are behaviours with the consequences attached:

What behaviours would you find completely unacceptable in your partner?
1. Lying about sobriety - end of marriage
2. Cheating – end of marriage
3. Sneaking around trying to hide things from me – end of marriage
4. Deceiving me with half truths – end of marriage
This may seem harsh but I have lived with this for too long now. I’m no longer willing to put up with these behaviours

What behaviours would cause you to worry about your partner’s overall balance?

1. Quietness – Must explain why he needs time alone and let me know how long he needs so I can leave him in peace
2. Being short with me when I ask questions – apologize and tell me what I’m doing that is making him angry
3. Working overtime - Must show pay stub showing payment for overtime. Hours must match time worked
4. Laughing too loudly (forced laughter) – Talk about what is bothering him eg anxiety, fear, boredom

What behaviours would symbolize a return to their addiction and/or a detriment to their own healing?

1. Leaving the bed in the middle of the night on a regular basis – No naps on the next day on nights he doesn’t sleep well.
2. Bringing home his laptop – Must have valid, work-related reason for bringing home his laptop and must show pay stubs showing payment for same. Hours must match time worked
3. Being unaccountable for large periods of time – This falls under unacceptable behaviours if it is found to be occurring for weeks/months. If it is for one day, must be able to account for his time eg. Who he was with, what he was doing
4. Freedom seeking eg. Not wanting to tell me where he is and what he is doing – This one is hard because I’m at the point of saying, “If you want your freedom, go; and don’t come back”
5. Sexual dysfunction/ sexual aggressiveness – Must talk to his sponsor/counsellor about this issue. Must tell me if he is masturbating/fantasizing
6. Working overtime - - Must show pay stub showing payment for overtime. Hours must match time worked
7. Hanging around females/ engaging in friendships with females/engaging in ‘hero’ behavior with women (damsels in distress) – Must end the relationship if he starts to have feelings for the person. If he is having feelings, he is spending too much time with that person.
8. Putting my needs last and his desires first – Must let me choose our next date night activity within the week of the breach.

What healthy behaviours would you like to see from your partner in response to what has been identified above?

1. Sleep at night
2. Work at work during normal work hours (work-life balance)
3. Less sexual dysfunction or at least being willing to explore his sexual dysfunction
4. Seeing a counsellor
5. Transparency about his activities
6. Make male friends that are equals
7. Consider my needs above his desires

_________________

Keryaa
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:43 pm 
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I. My existing values:
Family: I want my family to thrive. I want them to be ‘happy and healthy’. I want the Nielsen clan to enrich humanity now and for generations.
Health: I want to be able to participate and enjoy all of life’s treasures.
Work: I want to be mentally challenged and do productive work and correspondingly be remunerated for it.
Discipline: I want to train and discipline my appetites. I enjoy life and what it has to offer but I want to make sure I put them in proper perspective. This includes all appetites from sex to physical fitness to work.
Relationships: I want my family and friends to enjoy and value my presence.
Skills: I want to work towards a set of skills: To develop a proficiency in them. I want to both appreciate the effort and skills others have and develop my own set.

II. Behaviours that I would find unacceptable:
Infidelity: It is my partner and I or it is nothing.
Callousness: I want to know that my partner cares for my well-being.
Deceit: I want to know what that I can trust my partner.
Disrespect: I want my partner to acknowledge my efforts to be a good husband/father.
Wasteful: I want to know that I can trust my partner’s use of our abilities and resources.

III. Contract
Infidelity: With someone else, that could be a deal breaker. However, if it is another man my partner is spending an inordinate amount of time with; a decision will be needed to be made on who she wants to spend her time with.
Callousness: Cutting me off when I’m talking about something I deem important, is a simple, explanation that I was talking, please wait to I’m finished, even though you may know what I am going to say.
Callousness: Pointing out faults in my effort before acknowledging them, is hurtful. I don’t mind saying “Bill you do the dishes most nights and 95% the job is done to a high standard, but I can’t help but notice that this pot in the clean rack still has obvious grease on the outside”. Contrast that with the criticism though when my effort to do the dishes and done most of them well, is not acknowledge, in my opinion, is callous. The consequence is that the criticism needs to be rephrased in light of my efforts.
Deceit: if I determine that my partner has not told the full story, then I must confront her with it.
Disrespect: If my partner says negative, hurtful, or makes me appear less valuable than I should appear before others, I would like my wife to say something positive about what I have done.
Disrespect: If my partner is angry, I would like her to acknowledge her anger in a constructive way. I don’t want her to yell, scream, and raise her voice to me. If she does, she must apologize for letting her anger to dictate her actions.
Disrespect: On some subjects, are values and opinions are going to be different. I know that can create tensions but please accept that they can be different for no other reason that I may envision something different or I may not see your particular point of view well. And that may be due my own inability but it is never for impure motives. The consequence of questioning my motives is that you must hear what I have to say and why I may differ on your opinion.
Wasteful: I want to have outside interests and pursuits. I know that I need guidance and boundaries. I do not want my athletic and professional pursuits to supersede those of my family and relationships. However, if we agree on a schedule amount of time for these pursuits, I should be free to pursue them. I do not mind and in fact would enjoy any enquiry regarding what and how my progress is going but I do feel any pressure to do less should be curtailed. I am not inflexible though, I understand at times it is appropriate to reschedule or miss activities when a more pressing item must be dealt with.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:11 pm 
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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?

I do consider my wife of equal consideration. In fact, she often right more often than I am. Trouble is, when I think I am right, I like to prove it. This is not just with my wife but everyone. Sometimes, it is a strength because I question things and do not blindly follow. However, my wife has said it is ‘tiring/exhausting’ to constantly prove she is correct or for me to consider her perspective.

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.

I have done one such example. My wife said that I should not accept any Facebook invites from any females. I have promised her that I will not accept nor invite any females to be a Facebook friend.

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.

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.

Ineffective: Hiding and Secrecy. Hoping that she never finds out.
Effective: Tell her that I know the consequences of some actions may be detrimental, ultimately, true recovery will mean disclosure of all relevant information. It is better that you hear it from me than for you to find out.

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.

Ineffective: I know the correct answer is to disclose and be transparent. However, that would be the end of the marriage. That would be a terrible waste but deserving. What would make this course of action difficult is that I have a quite a bit of abstinence and one time would be the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’.
Effective: I am trying to be open and transparent. I am trying to be open where I am today. When I am being tempted so that I don’t get in the previous scenario.

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.

Ineffective: Blame my wife for not fulfilling my sexual urges.
Effective: Discuss with my wife my fears and concerns. Discuss what strategies might help. Think moment and day at a time.

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.

Ineffective: Tell her that I already told you. Repeat the same answers.
Effective: All I can do is tell her I understand that you feel that there is more to it that I am not revealing. Acknowledge that your trust levels and integrity have been compromised. Ask her if she does see change (hopefully it is obvious—otherwise your screwed). Maybe if she doesn’t see them, ask that since you have done x (some behavior), has that helped the relationship. Try to emphasize that you are telling the truth and that you are working on a better/happier future for us. Again, emphasized some behavior changes, e.g. abstinence, and ask her if she has any other ideas on how you can improve the relationship and communication.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:11 pm 
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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?

I do consider my wife of equal consideration. In fact, she often right more often than I am. Trouble is, when I think I am right, I like to prove it. This is not just with my wife but everyone. Sometimes, it is a strength because I question things and do not blindly follow. However, my wife has said it is ‘tiring/exhausting’ to constantly prove she is correct or for me to consider her perspective.

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.

I have done one such example. My wife said that I should not accept any Facebook invites from any females. I have promised her that I will not accept nor invite any females to be a Facebook friend.

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.

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.

Ineffective: Hiding and Secrecy. Hoping that she never finds out.
Effective: Tell her that I know the consequences of some actions may be detrimental, ultimately, true recovery will mean disclosure of all relevant information. It is better that you hear it from me than for you to find out.

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.

Ineffective: I know the correct answer is to disclose and be transparent. However, that would be the end of the marriage. That would be a terrible waste but deserving. What would make this course of action difficult is that I have a quite a bit of abstinence and one time would be the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’.
Effective: I am trying to be open and transparent. I am trying to be open where I am today. When I am being tempted so that I don’t get in the previous scenario. This is a topic that Bill felt a need to discuss because Karen has set a boundary that results in the end of the marriage for any more acting out. Karen feels transparency and honesty before it gets to acting out is necessary to help avoid the acting out. Bill is working on transparency so he doesn't find himself in this position.

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.

Ineffective: Blame my wife for not fulfilling my sexual urges.
Effective: Discuss with my wife my fears and concerns. Discuss what strategies might help. Think moment and day at a time. After discussion Bill will also discuss his fears with his counselor and/sponsor so that he is able to work through the fears and anxieties that are developing.

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.

Ineffective: Tell her that I already told you. Repeat the same answers.
Effective: All I can do is tell her I understand that you feel that there is more to it that I am not revealing. Acknowledge that your trust levels and integrity have been compromised. Ask her if she does see change (hopefully it is obvious—otherwise your screwed). Maybe if she doesn’t see them, ask that since you have done x (some behavior), has that helped the relationship. Try to emphasize that you are telling the truth and that you are working on a better/happier future for us. Again, emphasize some behavior changes, e.g. abstinence, and ask her if she has any other ideas on how you can improve the relationship and communication. Ask questions to determine what it is that she thinks you lied about. Try to clarify as honestly as possible. Ask what you can do NOW to help her to feel that the relationship is on track.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:22 pm 
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Exercise 8

1) 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.)?
Integrating joy into the relationship will be very difficult for me because I seldom feel true joy. Sometimes I feel a happiness coupled with anticipation that I interpret as joy. It is usually fleeting and while I'm at work. I haven't felt joy in this relationship since 1998. So I am at a loss. I felt joy in the birth of my children and it strengthened our relationship. I believe that was because we were both working together for a common purpose when the children were young. I guess one way to integrate joy into our relationship is to find something we can do that has a common purpose. Currently we are planning a cruise in November. This is a thing we can do together with a common purpose. I think the goal needs to be to ensure that both of us can have our desires met. By looking out for the other person, the focus is taken off of self and place on the other person. Both people's needs/desires are met yet they are free to consider the other person. This would be much like the dating relationship where the other person's happiness makes me happy. So I will consider where we can find a common purpose for us in this relationship. This is not easy because we are very different people with different values, morals and goals. I think I have been offering sincere support to my dh's efforts to change his life. I don't nag him about his progress, although, honestly, I don't find there is a lot of effort on his part if I am not actively monitoring him. But I have come to the realization that I can't monitor him. It's not healthy for me. I can encourage him to talk to me about what he is doing to recover without assigning judgement or bringing up past failures. I can avoid situations that may trigger him, such as movies with nudity, or even agreeing to go to a beach that allows nudity (i.e. in the Caribbean), not that I would want to spend my time in these situations anyway. I think providing clear boundaries will help him to feel safe int he relationship. Also, admitting when I've struggled with things as well. Letting him know that he isn't unique in struggling with things.

2) Examining your current role in your partner's recovery, what mistakes have you made? Are there any you might still be making?
I think the biggest mistake for me is crossing boundaries. I grew up without boundaries so I have a hard time recognizing where I end and dh begins. This is an area I am trying to be aware of so that I can draw a clearer line between myself and my husband.
3) Describe the things you ARE CURRENTLY DOING to role model healthy partnership skills.
I am trying to honour dh's preferences. I am trying to find things that I like, apart from him so that he can feel more free to enjoy the things that he likes. Basically 'getting a life on my own'. I am honest with him and I am transparent with him. I try not to disagree with him when he is dealing with a discipline issue with the kids so that they see me as agreeing with him. I actively agree with him when he is in conflict with one of our children so that he knows he has my support and they do to.

_________________

Keryaa
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:40 pm 
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Exercise 9

After telling BillN how his addiction has affected me over our marriage I felt like I'd said it all before. I am an expressive person so he's heard most of what I said. It felt good that he was compelled to listen to me and not provide rebuttals, but just listen. Even though he sometimes doesn't see his actions as damaging, I feel it is important that he understand that even though he doesn't think any real harm was done, or that he was acting in the family's best interests, he should realize that all actions have consequences and sometimes the ends does not justify the means. I also needed to let him know how isolated I have felt over the years and how much I've protected him from the embarrassment of having his addiction revealed. I'm not saying that I was right in protecting him, because I feel that it was to my own detriment that I did it, I'm just saying it felt good to tell him how lonely and isolated I am. Also, how I've been isolated by the people that I did share with (ministers) because they are not equipped to deal with this issue and, besides, I think they don't want to deal with a woman going through this. I also needed to help him to understand how blasted away our marital foundation has been and how hard it has been for me to even see a reason to rebuild after the last discovery. Perhaps this is not positive and it's not meant to be accusing, but there is very little good about it that I can see.

_________________

Keryaa
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:54 am 
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Exercise #9: Listening to my Partner Sharing her Thoughts Openly
I know it really helped my partner express what she has felt. I have to say it was discouraging and painful. I will probably never forget it for the rest of my life.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:19 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?

My wife and I are quite different. We come from different backgrounds and have different values and morals. However, I could not accept that I couldn't trust my wife. I know I take that for granted as her integrity and morals are rock solid. I don't expect her to say "my husbands morals and values are very noble". However, I desperately want her to believe that my integrity and character are the basis of what I love about him". That cannot be said. That is truly shameful. Like a broken glass, I cannot undo that and I only have myself to blame.

I guess if the roles were reversed, I could not fathom it. I'd have a hard time processing it as it would be so out of character. Assuming shed did do what I did, I'd probably believe every word regarding her recovery because she has that kind of integrity. Assuming like me, she crossed a boundary by watching pornography a second and then third time, it would probably be hard to trust her ever again. Every time she'd be on the computer, I'd wonder what she is really looking at and even if she wasn't watching porn, I'd wonder if she really desires to be.

I imagine too, I would question every good thing she did. I'd wonder if she did them for the noble reasons I originally thought they were.

The only way she could ever rebuild trust is by years and years of reliability. She's home when she says she is. She's doing the actions and events she's saying she would do.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:40 pm 
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Exercise 6: We both did not make the mark for ten this week. Bill sent 3 and Keryaa sent 6. All were found except one the Bill did not figure out. Because we did not complete the exercise, but did enjoy it, we will continue for another week to make it up to 10.

_________________

Keryaa
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.


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