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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:46 am
Posts: 40
This is my first time posting in the help forums.

I have opened this discussion up to both sides because I want to hear from anyone who wants to add to this discussion.

I don't even know what help I'm asking for, or what questions I have to ask. I just want to reach out and say 'this is where we're at, and it's really f-ing hard'.

My 'self help' thread is pretty composed, and I have tried to maintain my stability throughout my partner's decidedly unhealthy recovery. He has tried, but only ever gets so far before it falls apart again. He is afraid to do the real work, and really commit to ending his addiction and finding his true self.

My partner's program is going well; this is a tough road for both of us, but instinctively, I get this stuff. But I've noticed this has created a tension between us (as I try to move us toward health, and he is not fully committed). It has brought out some alarmingly self-sabotaging and destructive behavior in my bf. I have gotten so adept at understanding his addiction and navigating us through crisis + him back onto his recovery path that he has to try to harder to destroy me/us. It took me a while to realize this was happening: the more we get through together, the stronger our relationship seems, the more inevitable his recovery, the more appalling and destructive his behavior has to be to bring it all down again. I mean breakdowns, rages, breaking things, physically hurting himself and sometimes stopping just shy of hurting me (he's grabbed me and shaken me) and throwing his addiction in my face and calling it "honesty"...He scares me, himself, and our pets.

He doesn't share any of this ugliness on his thread, I don't think, so I thought I would share it here. This is a wonderful, insightful community of like-minded people. I feel safe sharing this here.

I know I am powerless to effect any change in him, and this is so hard to witness, and to experience. I am heartbroken and exhausted. I feel like he is committed to hitting some sort of rock bottom as much or more than he is committed to recovery. He seems to be afraid to really begin.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:16 pm 
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Lavalamb
On phone can't say much but did just post to him on recovery side there is a phhone number they are usually nice good for reaching out been there theadog

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"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:27 pm 
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Theadog,

He told me about your post to him and I read it--thank you.

We are not in the best place right now, for sure. I am pleased he is sharing with others.

I think this must be so common in SA recovery and partners...We want to see them recover so badly, their addiction and accompanying behavior hurts us, sometimes we show that hurt too intensely, and then we're dealing with an addict, who is not good at dealing with their emotions or others' emotions. He cannot turn to the immediate gratification of his addiction, so lashes out.

I feel disappointed in myself when I cannot step back, and I fan those flames.

Sometimes nothing I do for myself is good enough. I am still in too much pain. We both need to cope with these feelings and get through these times better. I'm often reminded of an old David Bowie lyric: "When it's good it's really good, and when it's bad I go to pieces."


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:13 am 
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Lavalamb
Don't have internrt typing on phone will post this afternoon:) yes this is very commond. What is uncommon is is you guys doing the healthy behavior of talking about it! I am not working a counslor on here so I will be limited. In what I can say so keep reacjing out maybe other partners willl join in know they have been there to. I agree with u and David nowie:) keep reaching out. Thanks for saying sometjing helps us all when some are brave :g:

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"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:04 am 
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Lava lamb,
Your name has always made me smile:). At this point in recovery I don't think you are expected to be able to handle the emotional imbalance created by sex addiction, that is what the workshop is for:). Although I know what you are saying that when my emotions become overwhelming it doesn't help them or me, but normal. I couldn't have done this without counseling, it was too much, I couldn't see the forest for the tress, I needed an objective perspective on it. so if you want that kind of help, trust your gut and find one that is a good fit:). I believe you could post on here if you are having trouble with finding one. Crisis lines can be helpful and you don't have to go anywhere or see them face to face, if you don't like them you can end the call:)

So glad you guys are talking about it, I got so sad writing to you guys, it brought it all back and that is ok, I need it to heal so thank you. Sorry I can't be of more help but I am limited in my role as a recover mentor, you are in great hands here on the partners side, I have used these lessons to help heal. The most empowering format I have ever seen!

When in extreme emotional imbalance I have trained my mind to turn to three values and their action plans to stabilize, reduce emotional intensity, when way down the rabbit hole I pull them out read them and use willpower to do them, it has become automatic, there is hope.

Good luck to you both!

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"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
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hi lava lamb,

Quote:
It has brought out some alarmingly self-sabotaging and destructive behavior in my bf. I have gotten so adept at understanding his addiction and navigating us through crisis + him back onto his recovery path that he has to try to harder to destroy me/us. It took me a while to realize this was happening: the more we get through together, the stronger our relationship seems, the more inevitable his recovery, the more appalling and destructive his behavior has to be to bring it all down again. I mean breakdowns, rages, breaking things, physically hurting himself and sometimes stopping just shy of hurting me (he's grabbed me and shaken me) and throwing his addiction in my face and calling it "honesty"...He scares me, himself, and our pets.


This seems to be a cycle, and it is good you can see the overarching pattern. I'm sorry his behavior has escalated to what is frankly, abuse.

A few thoughts:
-what makes it seem to you that the relationship is stronger? What are you basing this on?
-Detachment is a wonderful tool for us partners. However, and this comes from my own experience as well as what I've read echoed here by some others, detachment can give way to becoming an unhealthy form of numbing.

When we get to the point where our emotional tolerance for destructive behavior is so high, we can step into a dangerous position of self justification--of changing the boundary lines for ourselves as to what is 'enough' or what we will continue to allow into our lives.

I know that for me, my own belief systems and over enmeshment with my husband meant I felt the only justifiable reason to leave my marriage was if he hit me. That was my metric. I figured anything/everything else was for me to 'work through' and subconsciously considered to some extent a badge of honor that I could stay/tolerate so much.

I'm concerned that what may be happening for you here: that in your own clinical understanding of addiction and its cycles, you've detached to the point where your own boundary lines and values are blurry, and that because you see yourself emotionally handling it better, it's healthy to stay.

I'm not suggesting you leave your relationship. But I am suggesting it's a good time to return to your values and the work in the workshop. What values are upheld for YOU by remaining in a relationship where you are abused, and your physical safety is threatened?

This is where regardless of your developed emotional resiliancy, a return to making decisions based on values will empower you and enable you to see your situation more clearly.

Do you have boundaries in place for these escalating behaviors and cycles? If you need some help developing them and working through this, let us know: we can help here.

I am so sorry your bf has escalated to this extent. YOU are the most important here right now. Your health, your physical safety. Simply because your emotional well being is detached enough to handle this doesn't mean this doesn't affect your life. I am thinking of you!

meep
-


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:48 am 
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Theadog, thank you for your words of comfort and advice, and for your caring re: both of us. I'm sorry you had to experience a similar pain. We both reached out to counselors early in recovery, but neither were a good fit, and neither properly understood SA. RN has been great, and the partner's program is definitely a good source of support and guidance for me. I think both of us need to either rely on it more, or find additional sources of support, for sure.

meepmeep, your points really resonate with me...All of them.
Quote:
-what makes it seem to you that the relationship is stronger? What are you basing this on?

I think I feel this way because he does initially embark on a healthy recovery. He did this time, with the RN program, that is. He applied himself to the lessons, and he voluntarily shared with me, was vulnerable, was directed, and I felt the unencumbered presence of a partner in my life. We felt connected and enjoyed each other's company. He seemed to be on track. We listened to a Jon Marsh interview last night, and JM described perfectly how palpable the shift is, from this connection to an SA slipping back into relapse. He had no real safeguards in place to ensure his recovery stayed afloat. I think he just kept on his recovery when it felt good, and slipped when that felt good. So his recovery turned from genuine to deception. He is not yet able to outsmart his addicted brain. I am sure that takes time. So, to answer your question, his recovery seems to start out genuine and I feel things changing for the better. The gut feelings when things go wrong: I allow for some grey area in recovery; I know there are good days and bad. But then the descent into relapse and a return to addictive thinking becomes impossible to ignore...And I see the pattern.

You're absolutely right: finding the right amount and right kind of detachment is something I need to keep in mind.

I know you are right re: keeping myself safe, emotionally, physically, etc. Sometimes I wish I had somewhere to go be alone. I don't have many resources right now. I need to lift my head up, somehow...The partner's program definitely helps keep me on track.

The best either of us can do is try to learn from these mistakes, and not repeat them.

Thanks both of you for replying and sending good thoughts. Good thoughts right back at you. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
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Lava Lamb -

Quote:
rages, breaking things, physically hurting himself and sometimes stopping just shy of hurting me (he's grabbed me and shaken me) and throwing his addiction in my face and calling it "honesty"...He scares me, himself, and our pets.


I am quite concerned about you and your physical safety. What you describe above is not good. Do you have a safe place to escape to if need be? Do you have access to domestic violence resources (hotline, counseling, etc.)? I fear your belief that you are contributing to this escalation of physical harm. Is it time for a separation for you and your pets? I encourage you to get help and advice about your situation in addition to RN.

Please, please put yourself first and take care of yourself.

Let us know how you are doing.

dnell


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:43 am 
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Lava Lamb wrote:

I know you are right re: keeping myself safe, emotionally, physically, etc. Sometimes I wish I had somewhere to go be alone. I don't have many resources right now. I need to lift my head up, somehow...The partner's program definitely helps keep me on track.


I agree with dnell: can you seek out some support through domestic violence resources in your area?

lava lamb, I know what it's lke to feel alone and scared. I lived in a foreign country with my husband with very few resources available to me and near total logistical dependency on him. It is an incredibly destabilizing and fragile position to be in.

How can we help you begin to find resources for yourself? Are you employed? Are there steps you can begin to take to set aside money for yourself? More critically, can you reach out to a women's shelter and see what kind of accommodations and assistance is available to you?

I know how easy it is to downplay a partner's abuse and escalation. It becomes easier to numb yourself to it over time. But your partner has shaken you. He has raged. His is not a safe person. even if he does not do this every day, or even every month, his behavior is abusive, and it compromises your safety.

It is hard to even begin to think of leaving. I know this 100%. So that is why my initial advice was to help you find an immediate sense of rebalance in your life so you can think clearly through the next steps you need to take in your life and with this relationship.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:57 pm 
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dnell and meepmeep,

There is some logistical stuff, for sure. I am planning on saving $$ this year. We both wanted that for me regardless of any turmoil in our situation--for me to have my own independent finances/options. We work together (in his business), so that makes my immediate independence tricky. We met working together, so this is natural for us, although we both think me pursuing my own stuff in future (regardless of how the relationship goes) makes sense. I've had a lot of setbacks in recent years, so this is the first year I'll be able to save again. Part of the tension comes from feeling trapped. I don't feel trapped very often, but when I do it adds another layer of desperation.

This really is a low point, and an extreme, I wanted to share. And I wanted to reach out before this cycle gets worse. I hate sharing stuff like this, I like to just soldier on, but I know it's not acceptable.

I am not ready to move out or give up, a lot is still working in our relationship; but if this pattern continues, I will be forced to. I am keeping this option in the back of my mind (and he knows this, too). I will explore some options. I don't want it to come to that, but I know this makes sense.

Both of us are new to RN and I think we both put too much stock in this recovery plan just fixing him ASAP. We both got way too busy, got off our programs, stopped looking after ourselves (hobbies/relaxation-wise), were living and working together 24/7, and when he started slipping tensions were running SO HIGH. I'm not excusing what happened at all. But I do want to try both of us getting back on track with better measures in place to support ourselves, and more realistic expectations.

Thank you so much, and I will keep you posted.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:46 am
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There are some good resources out there (just checking now).

Calling a dv hotline when all is calm, as it is now, as Theadog suggested to my bf, sounds like a good idea, to get an handle on a potential 'next time'.

Also, if I do have to leave, and cannot find any viable options, my bf has always said he wants to try to pay to help that transition. He is pretty cut up about this. And I do not believe that is a control thing--still wanting to be a part of my circumstances. He is totally freaked out and worried about me not being OK because of him. He understands I'll have to go if we can't make it work, and we both still love and care about each other so much. Relying on him to transition out of a relationship with him may not be the best option, but it's an option. Hopefully not necessary.

He's got some work to do...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
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Location: UK
hello LL
first of all you need to ensure that you protect yourself
addiction or not physical abuse cannot be tolerated
I suggest that if possible get some distance between you and he at least for now
anger is common in we addicts but that does not mean that it it is acceptable to be directed towards others
in particular those that we hurt already
I hope he sees sense but for your own sake be selfish in self first

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Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:05 pm 
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Thank you Kenzo,

Sound advice and we do need some space, (even just in our day to day).

I know sometimes selfishness is good for all involved (when behavior needs to stop ASAP).

LL


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:26 am 
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Lava Lamb wrote:
I know sometimes selfishness is good for all involved (when behavior needs to stop ASAP).


I think there is a big difference in having healthy boundaries and being selfish. I understand what Kenzo means as in act in your own best interest when faced with abusive behavior. Taking space away from harmful behavior is a healthy boundary and valuing your sanity, your health, and probably lots of other things.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:47 pm 
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Quote:
Taking space away from harmful behavior is a healthy boundary and valuing your sanity, your health, and probably lots of other things.


I agree. I just read my next lesson, which is on boundaries, coincidentally enough.

I have been thinking about boundaries all day. It has helped me understand how manipulated I have been and how unfair and imbalanced our relationship has become. I understand how I sometimes reach breaking point. My level of understanding (for him) and resiliency are probably useful attributes in a healthy relationship. In an unhealthy one, with me still working on building firmer boundaries, it's not wise to invest so much of myself (in light of how little my partner is investing at times). I see that now...


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