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 Post subject: Workbook topics
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:16 am
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Hi all.

I know this has come up in the other threads, but if you have specific ideas about content you'd like to see covered in a workbook please post your brief ideas here...this will help me organize :g:

Dr. B.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:19 pm 
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rebuilding trust


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Oh and divorce issues and the church


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:17 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:20 pm
Posts: 1422
My dear Dr. Steffens,
Thank you.

I would love to see specific strategies on dealing with the effects of ptsd and the effects of the addiction. When I read your book I realized that I had been experiencing most of the effects you listed on pgs. 6 & 7. For the most part I’ve had to sort out for myself how to recognize and deal with these effects. Trial and error is definitely not the best way to do this. My current therapist has helped me tremendously, but my first therapist didn’t seem to even recognize these, let alone help me.
Your chapter on healing was tremendously helpful to me. I would love to see that section expanded. I think it would be extremely helpful to develop specific strategies based on that section. I personally would love to see specific strategies on how to:
Validate ourselves.
Deal with blameshifting and minimizing.
Deal with the isolation.
Determine who to share with and who to avoid.
Help in determining how to structure our days so that we can get through them with some measure of health.
Determining how/when to search in order to protect ourselves.
How to realistically determine our odds at achieving at healthy partnership.
How to care for ourselves on a daily basis. (physical and mental health)
How to find the right therapist(s) for both partners.
How to find helpful resources, i.e. rn, books, spiritual guidance. . . .
How to stop conversations that become damaging instead of helpful.
How to recognize that logic and education don’t always work with addicts.
How to find balance in ourselves so that we don’t allow these addictions to overwhelm and define us.
HOW TO DEAL WITH THE COMMON BELIEF THAT PORNOGRAPHY IS NOT CHEATING.
How to develop healthy boundaries.
When to see a dr. for medications.
Healthy ways to try to get some sleep.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:13 pm
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I would like to see

- exercises or practical ways we can learn to listen to and trust out instincts.
- Learning how to deal with triggers
- Learning how to deal with disturbing imagry (my H masturbated to sexually charged photos and youtube videos of little girls).
- Learning to how to get through anxiety attacks without medication!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 165
I did read your book awhile ago... will review it and see what comes to mind. But off the top of my head, I'd like to ask if you might address issues for people who were not married to their SA partner, and not cohabiting. I have found there are separate issues about decision-making, and about loss, grief, and fears of seeking a new relationship. I'm now afraid that every man I meet has a secret porn use habit, and I don't know how to bring the topic up. Plus i don't expect honesty. Help!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:33 pm 
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Good Point TaffyApple. :g:

My H and I separated almost 2 months ago. Eventually, maybe, possibly, at some point far down the road ( :s: )I may have an interest in getting involved with someone again. And, like you, I am struggling with the idea that all men have these issues and how could I ever trust another man again...ever? So, learning how to move past a SA relationship and possibly into a healthy realationship with someone else would be of great benefit! :g:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:34 am
Posts: 276
Dr Steffens,

Thank you for your work on this disturbing topic.


Issues I would like to see in your workbook:

One of the biggest losses for me was the loss of time in my life worrying about this.

Shifting the focus back to oneself, REALLY understanding that we are not the problem, and we cannot fix his problem.

Restoring feminity in ourselves (I did things like buying clothes with flowers on them, buying underwear that I felt pretty in, planting flowers, taking baths with candles, meeting with a group of girlfriends regularly). Also, the equivilant for men who have been through this. Some kind of daily short practice.

Restoring safe feelings about being touched, safe sensuality (I go for foot massage and back massage). Maybe a daily check list that we have included something (like hugging the children, asking for a backscratch, whatever).

Understanding that the arguments make no sense, to recognize and find ways to disengage. The amount of time and energy I spent proving my husbands lies are regretable. That might include strategies for each type of
argument. So maybe, as a workbook, you could have examples of these argument strategies, and we could practice recognizing them and responding with an answer that helps us stay centered.

I find that a lot of workbooks, I buy but don't actually end up doing, so I am trying to think about what makes them inviting. I agree that RN is inviting and motivating because it is an online community where I feel listened to. So, perhaps an online version (also it is easier to keep private). I am also an iPhone junkie, so it could also be developed as an App program.

Another author who I admire has developed an online community through a blog. She sends 3 paragraphs of wisdom to my inbox once a week, which she also has as a podcast. It is great to receive little bits of wisdom over time so it can be incorporated into our lives.

I think the biggest loss for me is my sense of self, which has made this workshop a godsent. In fact, I would think it would be hard to improve on this. I am curious if you have given thought to collaborating with RN to publish this workshop?

With all the publicity recently on this topic, and the commomn perception of this behavior being "sexy and fun" ( sorry, those were my H's actual words) or "like driving a sports car" (ouch!), the fact that this leaves so many people and families emotionally devestated needs the same level of publicity. That men who treat women this way are not experiencing the true female, that pornography turns men into lousy lovers, that this kind of sexuality requires that women behave in a more masculine way (actually, I am moving out of politically correct language, somehow I am trying to express that men who behave this way are actually requiring women to behave more like these men sexually. In other words, in pornography. women seduce men by behaving like these kind of men---so the feminine disappears altogether from sex, it's really like a guy having sex with a women who is mentally (in their own minds) a guy).

Another point I would love to see explored is thia idea of our resilience, how to turn that into our best friend, so we can better protect ourselves, our families, and even the SA who probably in the end is yearning for his own humanity.

So, I am way off topic! I am overseas where it is hard to buy books so anxiously waiting for the Kindle version! I have read your essays online, and read about you on this forum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:35 pm 
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Oh! I forgot one other thing!

Sometimes this issue is only solved by leaving, but the emotional attachment is really fierce. How to break the emotional attachment or at least " sweat it out" until enough time has passed to break that attachment. How many of us keep returning to a situation where our needs don't get met, and we are unhappy, becuase we truly love thes guys from deep in our hearts. Sometimes, leaving or having the ability to leave is all that's left to do. That staying with a guy who is acting this way is not even good for him.

That's hard. And tragic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:22 am 
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Hi Dr. Steffens,

I haven't read your book yet so I'm not sure if you've already included a recommendation that the SA/PA get a full psychological testing. After I discovered my husband's rampant secret life he went to a therapist who immediately thought he had undiagnosed ADD. He sent him on to be tested and indeed he was diagnosed with ADD among other co-morbid disorders such as a low grade depression.

It was such a revelation to both of us and changed the tone of our relationship as soon as we were educated. So many of his confusing actions finally made sense. It has not changed the impact of his betrayal on me but it has helped me understand, accept, separate myself and find compassion for him. I found a therapist who deals with both SA and ADD and their partners. Her advice to me is more specific and informed.

The diagnosis has helped him move forward more quickly in his healing, particularly now that he is taking medication and has the self awareness and focus. There is still much for him to peel back. But this diagnosis and the new context has changed both our attitudes.

So - my recommendation is to look at the SA/PA and any sexually compulsive behavior from every angle. The more informed you are, the more you are able to put together an appropriate and realistic healing plan for both partners.

Without this diagnosed he would have continued to spiral out of control and we wouldn't have had a chance. I should mention that at the beginning of our relationship he went to a therapist for about 3 years who completely missed the ADD. I didn't know about his secret life back then but if his first therapist had been more thorough with a diagnosis he, and we, would have had this chance a decade earlier.

forlife

ps - is your book available digitally? If not, please consider it for privacy purposes around children.


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 Post subject: Great topic ideas
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:16 am
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Hi all...just a quick comment. Thanks so much for the great ideas as to what might be included in a workbook. So I already have enough for 6 books! :w:

I do want to keep the workbook focused on the partner- and will most likely follow the book in terms of topics but will also add topics and information.

One thing I have no control over is the book going digital. That is up the my publisher- but I will certainly pass that idea along! And I will consider the idea of weekly emails. I do have a blog but it is not daily. There are so many excellent support sites (such as RN!!!) that I don't feel a need to replicate what is already being done with excellence. I want to focus on where the needs are not being met.

One other note- some have stated that the book cover is triggering to them. I had no control (and wasn't asked) about the title or cover. That will not happen again if I have anything to do about it.

I think that's it for right now. Again...thank you all so much for your openness. I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and ideas.

Dr. B


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:41 am 
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I would like to agree with startap about those of us who have left our SAH. I left almost 2 months ago and still spend too much time thinking about him and his addiction and his actions. Learning ways to move on mentally is just as important as moving on physically. I continue to check his email and this is just damaging to myself as each new sex site he signs up for hurts me so much. I know it's not about me, but about how he deals with his pain and his life, but I need to "feel" that. So...maybe some notes for those of us who have left and are having difficulty letting go of the betrayal and the pain would be wonderful. I have no concerns of going back to him, the lasting effects of his actions and addiction is still so damaging...I feel broken.


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 Post subject: Moving on
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:46 pm 
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I appreciate the comments asking for help in moving on once the relationship has ended...I'll see what we might be able to do around that issue.

I imagine after that level of betrayal, healing takes a great deal of time. Ending a relationship holds with it its own losses, grief, life changes and identity stuff. Add to that the complications of the kind of betrayal and often abuse that can occur and it can take considerable time to let go and move on.

Thanks for sharing...

Dr B.


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 11:12 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:59 pm
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Topic: Sexuality of the (betrayed) Partner. So much SA/PA literature is focused on the SA/PA and their sexuality. Even here on RN, there are exercizes on healthy sexuality, etc for the Recovering SAs, but absolutely zilch on healing the damaged sexuality of Partners. It's like we're all supposed to suddenly be nuns, and happy to be that way. ':s:'

So maybe some suggestions / workbook exercizes on regaining a sense of the value of our own sexuality, womanliness, beauty, sensuality, worthiness, in the face of this terrible discovery. How do we cope, when we are unwilling to use SA tactics (MB, P, sex workers, affairs) to bring us some relief / comfort? How do we regain our sense of ourselves as sexual, desirable women? Whether we've been sexually neglected by our Hs (as in my case), or whether we've been used and objectified by our Hs (as in many others')?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 1:18 am 
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My husband and I are 58 Years old. We have been married for almost 36 years. I believed we shared the same values. I believed we had a faithful marriage. I am staying with my husband who lived a secret life until May of 2007. He "drip-method-ed" the truth to me for 2 years. I may have most of it now. Short version – sex obsession; addicted since around age 5; voyeurism; daily masturbation that escalated to 10+ times a day; a collection of graphic erotic novels by 5th grade; later – video, magazines; experimentation with penile insertions, enemas, anal toys by age 10 to 12; obsessions with sex and particular girls as far back as when he was in the 3rd grade; extreme internet porn obsession; posting pics and info on line; strip clubs, lap dances, phone sex, massage parlor sex, prostitutes; STD testing for him years before 2007– never told me; STD testing for me 2007 and 2010; risking himself, me, our family; wasted money, time, commitment, and connection taken from our family.

I read your book in Oct. 2009. It was the first book for partners I could relate to. I asked my H to read it and try to get some ideas of my feelings. He waited until March, 2010 to read it. It was a day he was mad at me. He picked it up and read it at lunch that day. He came home upset – “all this book does is tell you to leave me,â€Â


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