Recovery Nation

Personal Development Forum
It is currently Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:47 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
In an attempt to work on my lessons here I began perusing other partner's lesson threads. I'm sitting here broken hearted for the posters. I know the feelings and emotions they are describing, I recognize the behavioral patterns of the addicts that hurt so bad. I only found some minor differences. A lot of the partners seem to post about being supportive and concerned about their addicted spouse.

This is where the confusion seems to be the focus although I'm truly impressed as well.
I have zero sympathy for my addict, I don't care how she feels, I get angrier each time she apologizes because I've heard hundreds of apologies and I am honestly sick and tired of them. Each apology seems even more insulting, each time she tries to tell me she understands the damage she's done I want to scream at her. Each time she makes an excuse, blames her addiction, talks about how much she hates what she's done I want even more to scream at her to shut up.

Stage 1 Lesson Four, "Make a list of those values in your partner's life".
None, she's repeatedly lied, cheated and treated our relationship and me as disposable.

I'm going through the threads and finding other partners fourth lesson lists and they're open, caring, seeing qualities in someone who has treated them like crap and I'm seriously baffled.

How do you think about, look at or talk to your addict without feeling a large amount of anger, pain, disappointment and disgust?

My addict is in SA currently, just over two weeks, the process seems just as selfish and secretive as her nauseating lying and cheating. I understand it's not supposed to help me on any level but haven't the addicts been selfish and secretive for long enough?
When are they humble, ashamed, empathetic, sympathetic?
When do they begin to become a service to their partner?
This service to others seems to just feed into her selfish behavior of feeling valued and important by pretending to be of service to others. It's also a way she maintained inappropriate boundaries with her male contacts. She pretended to be concerned about how they were. So, her service to others is part of her addiction.

I'm sick and tired of being the only person who isn't supported in this, I'm sick and tired of watching people congratulate her on her accomplishments of which there have been miniscule changes. It's like congratulating someone for only punching 49 babies a day instead of 50.

Am I the only one with all this going on?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:55 am
Posts: 59
I totally get everything you are saying and feeling. For most of the past 5 months I have been raging frequently at my SA partner and am totally broken hearted by all the lies, deceit, manipulations, the pretend recovery etc. It has all been beyond anything I could have imagined and so is the anger and pain I feel. ,
However, I can see that my behaviour has not been beneficial to me -except maybe as a temporary emotional release followed by even more pain from the way he treats me. Nor was it beneficial to his recovery. I imagined that if he could really see how hurtful he was he would stop but it doesn't seem to work that way with SA's. Lately I have been able to detach emotionally to a greater degree and leave his recovery up to him. I am still just as angry and hurt and don't like him any more than before but I have more peace and amazingly he is treating me much better and really trying at counselling. I'm sure everyone is different but I an amazed at his behaviour since I have stopped trying to make him realize how terrible the things he did were and how much he hurt me. If ever he does recover then I think he will realize it, and if not I guess he never will, but, in that case, I won't be here to worry about it.
I wish you all the best and know you are not alone in your feelings here.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:40 am
Posts: 67
I understand where you are coming from, and it took some time for me to feel some sympathy for my husband, but I do. I looked back at my own response to stage 1 lesson 4 and this is what I had.

A) (wow! This is a hard one! My initial reaction is that my husband has NO VALUES. How does someone who cheats, lies and uses drugs have values??)

This is all I could think of for a while. I was feeling too much anger and that was my knee jerk response. Then I started thinking about our marriage and it's state before I found out about SA and the terrible truth and was able to write the rest of the response....

My husband is a very good father. He truly is. He has always been hands on and loving to his children. He has more patience than I do. The children adore him, and he adores them. He loves to spend time with them, and never seems to get frustrated.

Despite his actions, my husband is very loyal to me. He does try to spend time with me, and has always encouraged me to go out and find what makes me happy. I just couldn't. He shows me he loves me regularly.

He works hard to provide for his family. He knew how important staying home with our son was to me, and he has made it happen. He is and has always been, a good provider.


Really thinking about it and writing it out was the beginning of allowing me to see beyond my anger to the totality of my marriage. MY marriage, was I THOUGHT, pretty good pre D day.

Quote:
How do you think about, look at or talk to your addict without feeling a large amount of anger, pain, disappointment and disgust?


I don't always. When I feel anger, I feel anger. I just recognize that anger is a destructive emotion not only for the relationship, which was already torpedoed by my husband's betrayals, but for my children and FOR ME. My anger is poisoning ME. So when I feel the huge build up of anger, instead of always venting it to/at/on my spouse (and believe me, I have and I'm sure still will), I will grab my journal and pour out my emotions there. If I'm out and don't have my journal, I'll write an angry, vengeful email to my husband, BUT I SEND IT TO MYSELF. I still get the satisfaction of hitting the send key and sending my pain into cyberspace, but I'm not causing more damage to the relationship.
I have also read that anger is a "cover" emotion, so I try and see what lies beneath my anger at any given moment. Often times it is just horrible pain and sadness, but I've also identified feelings of powerlessness and injustice. Going through the lessons on here has really helped me to express and adress these underlying emotions. The overt anger and rage has truly lessened as I've been able to deal with the emmotions that were being masked by my anger.
As for feeling disappointment and disgust, yes, those things are there as well....but I understand that my husband feels those about himself. I don't feel the need to kick him while he's down anymore, and that too, came from my progression in doing the lessons and realizing what hell it is to be living the life my husband has been living.
I should probably post a disclaimer that my husband has been showing a lot of effort and putting in hard work to address his addictions and underlying causes. I am able to recognize his efforts, and it helps me see him in a more compassionate light. If he wasn't being so transparent with me, we would not still be working on the relationship because I feel life is too short to spend it with a non recovering addict.
Quote:
My addict is in SA currently, just over two weeks, the process seems just as selfish and secretive as her nauseating lying and cheating. I understand it's not supposed to help me on any level but haven't the addicts been selfish and secretive for long enough?
When are they humble, ashamed, empathetic, sympathetic?
When do they begin to become a service to their partner?


Honestly, my husband has had to learn empathy, sympathy, humility. He had the EQ of a two year old. He is making progress, especially in the last month or so in saying, "whoa, I'm actually starting to understand how much I've hurt you and damaged the relationship." My husband truly believed that his secret life wouldn't affect me. It seems blatantly obvious to a healthy person, but he's had to learn it. He is 5 months into IC, 4 months into SAA and Recovery Nation and it is still a work in progress....but I am seeing it. It has really only been the last two weeks where he is asking me if there is anything he can do to support me emotionally. He had to learn to do this! It was a big step forward for him, and us as a couple, but you can see, it has taken time.

Quote:
I'm sick and tired of being the only person who isn't supported in this, I'm sick and tired of watching people congratulate her on her accomplishments of which there have been miniscule changes. It's like congratulating someone for only punching 49 babies a day instead of 50.

I understand. We partners all understand. I have many journal entries dealing with the unfairness of it all. IT IS UNFAIR!!! We've been handed a pile of garbage and our spouses are unable to offer us the support we need. That is why it is important for you to find support for yourself. This community is here for you. I was able to find an S-anon group that has some great people to talk to who really understand the special kind of hell we find ourselves in. I encourage you to reach out. And dive into the partners recovery section. The lessons Jon put together are so helpful. They really helped me to start not only seeing my husband in a different, more compassionate light, but to more importantly see myself more clearly.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:23 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
I can totally relate. On carefully reading partners threads, I have learned that some do not post that 'I don't love my partner anymore'. They just don't post anything.

Know that in the start of recovery we will have no clue if they are really sincere. They will continue to lie. They will continue to act out.

In the lessons Jon talks about how we can dehumanize our SAs. I still do that. Not as much as at first, but still more often than I would like. For me, it's just that this stuff is so incomprehensible. My hurt, anger, and sadness can seem so darn overwhelming that I can't let myself think another human being could do this to me. Have you gotten to horror? Fear? Disgust? Repulsion? Mortification? Lots of other really hard emotions can brew up. In my individual therapy one of the best things I have learned is that all of my strong emotions are REASONABLE responses to this betrayal and the resulting trauma. We are okay to feel this way. We are justified. I wish I never felt this way and I wish I could get over it, and it feels like it goes on and on and on. Here's the next thing I have learned. It's going to take as long as it is going to take to heal from all of this. It's not fair. And, that we can not change.

I can see my husband as the wounded, really deeply wounded, little boy that he is. I can see that he was once an innocent, dare I say perfect, little child who suffered trauma in many different ways. I can see he developed his addiction to self soothe and escape painful feelings and reality. It took me about a year to see this. I can't see this all the time. When they lie, and blame, and spin out more BS, and are so monstrously self-involved and non-empathetic, it's very, very hard to not dehumanize them. And when they start to reveal what they have done, and I can only imagine what he hasn't revealed, my emotional responses get even worse. Trickle truth, partial disclosures, continued lies...they create more trauma for us.

Empathy and remorse. I have learned this takes a long, long time for an SA. They don't have the skills. They are still too self absorbed. They need to have honesty with themselves and compassion for themselves before they can have it for us. I think the harsh reality is that some SA's may not ever learn empathy or feel remorse. Some, not all. Jon says they have to feel the betrayal in their core. Think about all they have to do go get to this point: they have to be ruthlessly honest with themselves, they need to do a "fearless inventory" of their betrayals, they have to stop all the addict minimization, justification, rationalization, they have to stop the acting out, they have to identify their emotions, they have to take responsibility for their behavior, they have to figure out who they have harmed, they have to form a core identity and believe it and live it, they have to develop empathy and compassion, they have to develop communication skills, and then, maybe then, they can express true remorse.

I also have learned that my husband didn't do all these awful, hurtful things with the main goal of hurting me. The reality is he didn't give a damn about me and my feelings. There is some solace in knowing that he isn't a psychopath, but not much solace in knowing he had no, not even a little, regard for me as a human being. None. He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. He used me. There is a wrinkle in that in blaming me and keeping me distant and doing god knows what all that he used his anger and resentment of me to fuel his addiction. But, really, I could have been anyone, even a cardboard cutout.

Have you decided you are done? That's okay and no one would blame you. Do you not know? That is okay as well. There is a great lesson about considering our options which helps ease some of this. We really do have to believe in our options and the freedom and control that we do have now or can create. What I have learned, and it is deeply painful, is that I need to focus on me and my healing BEFORE I can make the best decisions about what is in my best interest. For me that means "waiting and seeing." At first I thought it was "waiting and seeing" if my husband could recover and who he could be as a healthy man. It is that, but it is also "waiting and seeing" about me: how come I married this man (know that now); how come I stayed in such a destructive relationship (know that now); why am I staying now (know that now); why am I stuck on not living my life (don't know that yet); what do I want my new life to be (don't know that yet); when will all these volatile, strong emotions become reasonable (don't know that yet).

I need time. Time to heal. Time to get unstuck. I have changed. I am healthier than I was. I can create boundaries. I can think more of myself and not self deprive. But I still have a ton of work to do. It's not fair, but it is my reality and the fact is that I will heal. I am healing. It's taking longer than I like.

So, I think the solace I can provide is to allow yourself to feel what you feel. How we react to those feelings is a whole other matter and I am learning to not rage at my husband. That does improve things. But I'm not too worked up about the times I have raged. I am trying, not always successfully, to be more mature and balanced in response to my rage. It's not good for my husband, but honestly, the person who I need to care about right now is me and it isn't good for me. Time does help. The lessons help. Trauma therapy helps. Posting to the partners forum helps.

With deep compassion,
dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
dnell wrote:
Know that in the start of recovery we will have no clue if they are really sincere. They will continue to lie. They will continue to act out.

That's essentially where I am now...and have been continuously.

dnell wrote:
In the lessons Jon talks about how we can dehumanize our SAs.

Yes, but imagine what these SA groups and partner recovery groups would look like if they were run by the partners.
But seriously, I don't dehumanize her, I do let her know I'm disappointed that she isn't doing the work, or is half doing the work. Now that she's in SA I'm supposed to assume she's doing the work so I haven't said anything.

dnell wrote:
Have you gotten to horror? Fear? Disgust? Repulsion? Mortification?

Yep, been through all of them and nausea as well.

dnell wrote:
I can see my husband as the wounded, really deeply wounded, little boy that he is.

My addict is more of the angry, indignant and hostile when confronted about being caught lying, having inappropriate boundaries with men etc etc...It's hard to see her as wounded when she's so defensive about being caught....again.

dnell wrote:
I can't see this all the time. When they lie, and blame, and spin out more BS, and are so monstrously self-involved and non-empathetic, it's very, very hard to not dehumanize them. And when they start to reveal what they have done, and I can only imagine what he hasn't revealed, my emotional responses get even worse. Trickle truth, partial disclosures, continued lies...they create more trauma for us.

Alright, now we're talking about where I am now. The truth hasn't all come out, only what she's been caught with. We have ridiculous conversation where I present her with evidence and she spins out layers and layers of nonsense no matter how obvious it is that she's completely full of shit. Even in her first two weeks there's been bullshit that it took contacting our couples therapist to explain that it's a lie, we all know it's a lie and that it's useless to keep trying to debate it.

dnell wrote:
Empathy and remorse. I have learned this takes a long, long time for an SA. They don't have the skills. They are still too self absorbed. They need to have honesty with themselves and compassion for themselves before they can have it for us.

I'm looking forward to her getting there.

dnell wrote:
I also have learned that my husband didn't do all these awful, hurtful things with the main goal of hurting me. The reality is he didn't give a damn about me and my feelings. There is some solace in knowing that he isn't a psychopath, but not much solace in knowing he had no, not even a little, regard for me as a human being. None. He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. He used me. There is a wrinkle in that in blaming me and keeping me distant and doing god knows what all that he used his anger and resentment of me to fuel his addiction. But, really, I could have been anyone, even a cardboard cutout.

This makes you somehow feel better?

dnell wrote:
Have you decided you are done? That's okay and no one would blame you. Do you not know? That is okay as well.

I don't know, the angry side of me answers immediately....yep, done. F*#k HER!
The other side, I love her, I love her daughters and I want to have some hope.
The hardship I'm facing now is that she seems to love to take that hope, light it in fire, crap on it, smash it with hammers, shred it, light those pieces on fire and then pee on the ashes.

dnell wrote:
There is a great lesson about considering our options which helps ease some of this. We really do have to believe in our options and the freedom and control that we do have now or can create.

Stuck on Stage 1 Lesson four, I look forward to that lesson...but honestly, I know my options and they're clear to me.

dnell wrote:
What I have learned, and it is deeply painful, is that I need to focus on me and my healing BEFORE I can make the best decisions about what is in my best interest. For me that means "waiting and seeing." At first I thought it was "waiting and seeing" if my husband could recover and who he could be as a healthy man. It is that, but it is also "waiting and seeing" about me: how come I married this man (know that now); how come I stayed in such a destructive relationship (know that now); why am I staying now (know that now); why am I stuck on not living my life (don't know that yet); what do I want my new life to be (don't know that yet); when will all these volatile, strong emotions become reasonable (don't know that yet).

I guess I'm in the, "getting my shit together and if she's there when I get there then maybe I might give it another thought". I'm just having a hard time finding positive qualities in the person who has been screwing me over repeatedly for six years.

dnell wrote:
I need time. Time to heal. Time to get unstuck. I have changed. I am healthier than I was. I can create boundaries. I can think more of myself and not self deprive. But I still have a ton of work to do. It's not fair, but it is my reality and the fact is that I will heal. I am healing. It's taking longer than I like.

We're on the same page here.

dnell wrote:
So, I think the solace I can provide is to allow yourself to feel what you feel. How we react to those feelings is a whole other matter and I am learning to not rage at my husband. That does improve things. But I'm not too worked up about the times I have raged. I am trying, not always successfully, to be more mature and balanced in response to my rage. It's not good for my husband, but honestly, the person who I need to care about right now is me and it isn't good for me. Time does help. The lessons help. Trauma therapy helps. Posting to the partners forum helps.

This is where I'm caught, I don't understand how I'm supposed to have the ability to see good qualities in someone who is still essentially actively screwing me over. I'm not so sure right now that I care if it's good for her, maybe the part about it not being good for me is what I need to focus on.

dnell wrote:
With deep compassion,
dnell
[/quote]
Thanks dnell!


Last edited by hadenuff on Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
babylex622 wrote:
Really thinking about it and writing it out was the beginning of allowing me to see beyond my anger to the totality of my marriage. MY marriage, was I THOUGHT, pretty good pre D day.

I've been thinking about it for about two days, so far I've got:
She's an excellent manipulator
She's dedicated to her lies
She's no quitter when it comes to her addiction
She's got no boundaries
She's got no limits

babylex622 wrote:
I don't always. When I feel anger, I feel anger. I just recognize that anger is a destructive emotion not only for the relationship, which was already torpedoed by my husband's betrayals, but for my children and FOR ME. My anger is poisoning ME. So when I feel the huge build up of anger, instead of always venting it to/at/on my spouse (and believe me, I have and I'm sure still will), I will grab my journal and pour out my emotions there. If I'm out and don't have my journal, I'll write an angry, vengeful email to my husband, BUT I SEND IT TO MYSELF. I still get the satisfaction of hitting the send key and sending my pain into cyberspace, but I'm not causing more damage to the relationship.

I will have to try this.

babylex622 wrote:
I have also read that anger is a "cover" emotion, so I try and see what lies beneath my anger at any given moment. Often times it is just horrible pain and sadness, but I've also identified feelings of powerlessness and injustice. Going through the lessons on here has really helped me to express and adress these underlying emotions. The overt anger and rage has truly lessened as I've been able to deal with the emmotions that were being masked by my anger.

My therapist is a big fan of that phrase as well...I've tried expressing how I feel and instead of allowing anger to cover the real feelings when we're talking. Then she lies to me and I feel like I have a right to be angry, I just exposed myself, made myself vulnerable, made her feel better so she could understand. I'm grateful when my therapist actually says, you should be angry, this is a situation that warrants anger.
The therapist basically is a take no shit lady, she is confrontational when she needs to be and refuses to allow her to use her standard avoidance, manipulation, diminishing....etc.

babylex622 wrote:
As for feeling disappointment and disgust, yes, those things are there as well....but I understand that my husband feels those about himself. I don't feel the need to kick him while he's down anymore, and that too, came from my progression in doing the lessons and realizing what hell it is to be living the life my husband has been living.

I look forward to a day when I see disappointment and disgust in her about her actions. Right now what I see is minimization, defensiveness, excuses. I feel like she kicks me when I'm down...and now I'm supposed to try to sympathize with her while she's abusing me? That sounds counterproductive. If the addicts were physically abusive, we would not say try to understand what it's like to be the abuser.

babylex622 wrote:
I should probably post a disclaimer that my husband has been showing a lot of effort and putting in hard work to address his addictions and underlying causes. I am able to recognize his efforts, and it helps me see him in a more compassionate light. If he wasn't being so transparent with me, we would not still be working on the relationship because I feel life is too short to spend it with a non recovering addict.

It's not that I don't appreciate the view from the other side of the hill, so please don't worry about disclaimers. I'm happy for the couples I read about that are making progress, sometimes even jealous (I'm very jealous that you're getting transparency...I'm getting secret second cellphones, secret extra emails and deception).


babylex622 wrote:
Honestly, my husband has had to learn empathy, sympathy, humility. He had the EQ of a two year old. He is making progress, especially in the last month or so in saying, "whoa, I'm actually starting to understand how much I've hurt you and damaged the relationship." My husband truly believed that his secret life wouldn't affect me. It seems blatantly obvious to a healthy person, but he's had to learn it. He is 5 months into IC, 4 months into SAA and Recovery Nation and it is still a work in progress....but I am seeing it. It has really only been the last two weeks where he is asking me if there is anything he can do to support me emotionally. He had to learn to do this! It was a big step forward for him, and us as a couple, but you can see, it has taken time.

My addict is still pretending that she understands, pretending to have empathy, sympathy...this is why I guess I'm having the newbie hard time that I am.


babylex622 wrote:
I understand. We partners all understand. I have many journal entries dealing with the unfairness of it all. IT IS UNFAIR!!! We've been handed a pile of garbage and our spouses are unable to offer us the support we need. That is why it is important for you to find support for yourself. This community is here for you. I was able to find an S-anon group that has some great people to talk to who really understand the special kind of hell we find ourselves in. I encourage you to reach out. And dive into the partners recovery section. The lessons Jon put together are so helpful. They really helped me to start not only seeing my husband in a different, more compassionate light, but to more importantly see myself more clearly.

It's not just that they are unable to offer us support, it's the fact that they're seemingly put on a pedestal and focused on. That everyone congratulates them for shitting on the carpet less. The reason I came here is because I felt like I had no support, no one to turn to and honestly, I'm too humiliated to discuss it with anyone in my life. Her choices are embarrassing, my decision to continue to allow the abuse is embarrassing....in essence, right now, she's a massive disgraceful disappointment and I'm embarrassed about being in the relationship, attempting to forgive her and hoping she might get sober.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:22 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
hadenuff - Honestly, I could have a beer with you and we'd be on the same page. Okay, maybe a lot of beers just to get it all out.

I think at this point you can't find anything good to say about your wife. Fair enough. I'd skip that part of the lesson. I have moments where I can only think of one thing that sustains the thread that binds me to my husband. That's not much. (Honestly, it's the fact that he has loved my dogs and they loved him. That is tainted, though, since when he walked the dogs he used that as a major opportunity to act out. The flirting with the women in the neighborhood; the scanning and romantic and sexual fantasizing about the women and girls in the neighborhood; the voyeurism in the neighborhood.) My therapist is always saying "honor the moment you are in" and I believe that. Honor this moment when you can't think of any positive trait about your wife. This is your true moment. It's not right or wrong. It just is.

I think you beautifully summed up where you stand:

Quote:
I don't know, the angry side of me answers immediately....yep, done. F*#k HER!
The other side, I love her, I love her daughters and I want to have some hope.
The hardship I'm facing now is that she seems to love to take that hope, light it in fire, crap on it, smash it with hammers, shred it, light those pieces on fire and then pee on the ashes.


I struggled with this whole area of hope as well. In my case, hope is what kept me in a destructive relationship and let my husband manipulate me. He used my hope. He trashed it and destroyed it. It's.....devastating. So, now, he doesn't get my hope. I get my hope. And, believe me, it's been hard to gin up a lot of hope for me based on my over 30 year horrific history with my husband. But I really need to focus on me and take all the good stuff my husband disrespected, took for granted, manipulated and trashed and focus it on me. Here's what I can feel good about: I was faithful, always; I was loyal; I believed in my husband; I worked hard, really hard, at making our marriage work; I was kind; I was honest and caring; I was patient; I thought better of him than he did of himself and than he deserved. What I didn't do was set boundaries; I tolerated the intolerable; I didn't listen to or trust my gut; I self deprived; I put my marriage and my husband's crap above me. But, that made me destructive to myself and to no one else. Not a bad list, though. What if I had been with a decent and loving man? I could have had a terrific marriage. I grieve my losses, but I celebrate what was and is good about me. That I can feel good about.

I had to give myself permission to take the time to work on me. To muddle through what I was going to do and when I was going to do it. To not know the outcome of my husband's recovery or my marriage. To be okay in the midst of all this stuff.

And, this celebration of the addict's baby steps. Therapists can be helpful or harmful. Is your marriage counselor trained or experienced with sex addiction? If not, I'd be careful since they want to help but harm instead. Been there, done that. I've learned to ignore the gold stars given to my husband. Here's what I can tell you. These SA's...down deep, they are really, really wounded and screwed up people. Their lives have been nightmares. We wouldn't want to stay inside their brain for more than two seconds. They leave a trail of destruction, but ultimately, as much as they've damaged us, they've damaged themselves even more.

So, today, I hope you do something for you that does not involve your wife. Something that is fun and life affirming.

In solidarity,
dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:54 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 124
Hi hadenuff,

I just wanted to chime in and say that most (all?) of us have been there, so even though we may sound like we're compassionate and understanding, that isn't always the case. I remember wishing my husband would just die, so I wouldn't have to deal with it and make the hard decisions before me. I think that's even the first time I'm writing that, since it's so ugly to admit. Still, two years later, I have my moments of outrage, though they're shorter, further apart and better put in perspective.

The anger you're describing is totally valid. It's not only okay, you're expected to be angry. When you get to later lessons, you'll learn that the stages experienced by partners can mirror Kubler-Ross' stages of grief, anger being one of them. I found it comforting to see my experience spelled out so systematically in that lesson, since I felt so all over the place. To add to that, in the beginning after discovery, it's an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions, so just be prepared that you're going to feel strong emotions for a while. You've had life as you thought you knew it pulled out from under you. Nellie James told me in the beginning to give myself the gift of patience with myself. I had no idea how patient I would have to be, and didn't even know how to process that advice. In the end, it came down to making thoughtful, values-based decisions (as opposed to emotions-based decisions), and giving myself the time to know what those were, while having compassion for myself as I learned what I needed to learn. My guiding principle along the way has been to allow myself to experience the full range of emotions, but to act in ways that I could look back on and be proud of.

One of the reasons I found that I stayed angry was that I still had expectations that my husband would change and behave as I thought he should once in recovery. It sounds like that may be the case for you, too. Even though you want to be able to say F-you, the fact is that if you truly had zero sympathy and didn't care how she felt, perhaps you'd just walk away and be done, right? Unfortunately, we still hold out hope that our SA's will hunker down and do the hard work they need to do to recover and make amends by being the person we thought they were. Enter the anger when they don't.

I'm sorry to say that it doesn't happen that way. At least, that has been my hard-learned experience, as well as that of many people here. The SA's recovery is a long, circuitous route that surely won't even begin to look like recovery over the two short weeks she's been in it. For many, it takes years and years and many mistakes along the way. I know it's hard to do, and it took me at least a year before I could actually let go of expectations, but try to just focus on going through your lessons and truly focusing on YOU and what you need to do to heal. The sooner you can let go of her recovery and any expectations of it, the sooner you can get on with your own.

Finally, try not to judge your experience by anyone else's here. Each of our experiences is unique to us, and while we have many commonalities that allow us to be in solidarity, your values and choices are yours alone. Try to be a little easier on yourself and let yourself go through your own unique experience.

Hang in there. You're in for a ride with no quick fixes. But I've nearly come around to being grateful for my journey of suffering, because it has brought me to a much higher level of being. And if I hadn't stuck around to work through it, I wouldn't have the strong values and boundaries that my husband's continued acting out has forced me to define and protect.

In the mean time, yeah, it sucks.

(still) Rising


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
dnell wrote:
hadenuff - Honestly, I could have a beer with you and we'd be on the same page. Okay, maybe a lot of beers just to get it all out.

I'll buy the beers as long as I can have JD, it would be really nice to be someplace where I could meet with other partners face to face and just have someone I can share what I'm going through and feel like someone else understood and gave a shit. The forums have been very helpful but I can feel myself still fighting the process. I'm still aggravated about many parts of the process, for example: Addicts are selfish and secretive individuals, so then why are they allowed to remain selfish and secretive in their process? I can't help but feel like despite knowing I need to recover myself, for me, outside of the relationship, that allowing the SA to remain selfish and secretive doesn't really help in repairing the core relationship since it fosters continued distrust.

dnell wrote:
I think at this point you can't find anything good to say about your wife. Fair enough. I'd skip that part of the lesson. I have moments where I can only think of one thing that sustains the thread that binds me to my husband. That's not much. (Honestly, it's the fact that he has loved my dogs and they loved him. That is tainted, though, since when he walked the dogs he used that as a major opportunity to act out. The flirting with the women in the neighborhood; the scanning and romantic and sexual fantasizing about the women and girls in the neighborhood; the voyeurism in the neighborhood.) My therapist is always saying "honor the moment you are in" and I believe that. Honor this moment when you can't think of any positive trait about your wife. This is your true moment. It's not right or wrong. It just is.

Basically you and I have a similar issue, any quality I can think of she has attached to her addiction which makes it harder and harder to view as a quality but more as a motive or ritual for her addiction and abuse.
It's another hang-up of mine I guess which I will need to work on, it's hard enough relating to the material which emasculates me constantly by referring to me as "she" or "her" but this elimination of words like "abuse" seems odd as well. If the SA gets to separate themselves from their addiction, be allowed to be selfish and secretive, shouldn't the partner be able to use phrases like "pattern of abuse"
(I came back to edit this....this elimination of phrases and words is not RN, it's the SA 12 step program, reminding the addict that they are an addict, have abused their spouse or referring to their actions as "a pattern of abuse" is considered dehumanizing. I apologize if I caused any confusion, I was pissed off and should really consider taking a breath before spewing my nonsense.)

dnell wrote:
I struggled with this whole area of hope as well. In my case, hope is what kept me in a destructive relationship and let my husband manipulate me. He used my hope. He trashed it and destroyed it. It's.....devastating. So, now, he doesn't get my hope. I get my hope. And, believe me, it's been hard to gin up a lot of hope for me based on my over 30 year horrific history with my husband. But I really need to focus on me and take all the good stuff my husband disrespected, took for granted, manipulated and trashed and focus it on me. Here's what I can feel good about: I was faithful, always; I was loyal; I believed in my husband; I worked hard, really hard, at making our marriage work; I was kind; I was honest and caring; I was patient; I thought better of him than he did of himself and than he deserved. What I didn't do was set boundaries; I tolerated the intolerable; I didn't listen to or trust my gut; I self deprived; I put my marriage and my husband's crap above me. But, that made me destructive to myself and to no one else. Not a bad list, though. What if I had been with a decent and loving man? I could have had a terrific marriage. I grieve my losses, but I celebrate what was and is good about me. That I can feel good about.

Thankfully I have completely stopped allowing her destructive behavior to influence my decisions about what I need, what I want, where I'm going. It's why my vision statement from one of the first lessons in stage 1 was so simple. I was easily able to focus on it and not on anything related to her needs, wants or desires.
I do still struggle with having a painful time facing the reality of the choices I made which were harmful to me. I still want to defend myself and say I didn't allow her destructive behavior to influence me....although I know it clearly did.

dnell wrote:
I had to give myself permission to take the time to work on me. To muddle through what I was going to do and when I was going to do it. To not know the outcome of my husband's recovery or my marriage. To be okay in the midst of all this stuff.

Again, I have been able to focus on me so that hasn't been a problem, letting going of whether or not she is working her recovery is still not even in its infancy. I've been focused on that as part of deciding if I stay and I understand I need to let that go and let her recovery be about her and my recovery only be about me and not the relationship.

dnell wrote:
And, this celebration of the addict's baby steps. Therapists can be helpful or harmful. Is your marriage counselor trained or experienced with sex addiction? If not, I'd be careful since they want to help but harm instead. Been there, done that. I've learned to ignore the gold stars given to my husband. Here's what I can tell you. These SA's...down deep, they are really, really wounded and screwed up people. Their lives have been nightmares. We wouldn't want to stay inside their brain for more than two seconds. They leave a trail of destruction, but ultimately, as much as they've damaged us, they've damaged themselves even more.

Its not our therapist (who is an addiction/trauma specialist with her own addiction history), it's her support group. They seem to be ignoring minor missteps and celebrating tiny victories. It's difficult to explain but this was not found out by me trying to find out about her recovery but my SA disclosing how she feels about how things are being handled in her group. She was elated that they all supported her when she "came clean" but then they all understood that she minimized and compartmentalized her reality as part of coming clean. I didn't share this with her as it's not my lane, but I was disappointed (that's minimizing on my part, I was furious) that they didn't immediately then require her to restart or come clean completely as a consequence, the response according to her was basically it will all eventually come out.

dnell wrote:
So, today, I hope you do something for you that does not involve your wife. Something that is fun and life affirming.

Since I really don't want to give away where I am because I think it gives away who I am, I will simply say there is almost no things to do just for me. I did however take several days to focus on things I wanted to do to relax like enjoying a really good cigar and meeting with friends to eat pizza and watch a movie. Where I am, both of those things are HUGE and massive removals from the day to day.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:34 pm
Posts: 92
Hadenuff, I am so sorry for your pain but glad that you are reaching out for support, this is a good place for that. I can't top what others have said here. Im in no position to offer advice, I still come back here frequently just to read, to get myself back on the path whenever I realize I have strayed. I only wish to offer you solidarity, support and encouragement. The anger, mistrust, sadness and frustration is normal and justified. Your feelings are justified. Keep looking after you, you are worth it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:51 pm 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
hadenuff - I've been thinking about your posts and two things you mentioned stand out to me.

You can say "pattern of abuse" here on RN and no one on the partners side (at least no one I can think of) would question you or criticize you. SAs abuse their partners. Period. And they do so over a long period of time. None of us here minimize the abuse and damage from our involvements with an SA. As Jon says early on, nothing can prepare us for this crisis. It is damaging and while we can heal, it will have long lasting scars. It's not fair, but it is our reality. That said, their abuse is due to their selfishness and immaturity and the need to keep the addiction at all costs. If I view through the lens of the addiction was the most important thing in my husband's life, everything he did makes sense. The harsh reality is he could have cared less about me and my feelings, and even harsher, he objectified me (still does) and used me for the roles I played. That is a truth I've known for quite a while but it is still overwhelmingly painful. The fact that I got caught up in it, the fact that I tolerated it, well, that's a tough one. The RN lessons, the partners forum, and my therapist have really helped me forgive myself and provide a perspective on what was me and what was him.

Honesty, transparency, no secrets. Well, that's the goal for the addict. That's a huge step to recovery. But, let's face it, they've been out of control on this runaway train for so long they can't stop it all at once. To us, healthy non-addicts, it seems so simple and straightforward to just step up and be honest and stop the BS. Not so for addicts. They have been using deception and manipulation for so long as life management tools, and they can't understand or value honesty (even though they think they want to be "people of integrity" they don't really get it or believe it at a core level). And as Jon says, when they are first discovered, their immediate reaction is to go into damage control and they only know how to do that one way: with secrets and lies.

In order to recover, and this is hard to hear as a partner, they need a place to be honest and it is not with us. The recovery side of RN can be a start, but I know my husband was less than honest when he did his lessons. He was more honest than he had been in his life, but it was just the start of honesty and awareness. He is in 12 step and therapy, and he is still working on honesty. They lie to themselves. They convince themselves of their own BS. They make up all sorts of stories to justify their crap and then they believe the stories. They have very warped thinking, distorted ideas, and emotions they can't understand or handle. My husband desperately wants to keep me and he KNOWS he needs to be honest and transparent, and he still lies. He is getting better, but it is going to take him a while. He may never be honest and transparent. He may be and it might take too long for me to wait. Or he might be and I just will never believe him. I don't know the outcome and I can't control his recovery. What I do know is that I need to be in charge of me and my life. I only have the rest of my life and every day I think about whether or not I want him in it.

To be fair, I am brutally candid here on RN and I don't think my husband can yet handle my honesty. We need a place to be honest as well. They aren't ready to hear our honesty at the start and that is yet another part of our shit sandwich. Remember we are dealing with very, very broken people who are very, very immature.

I learned a lot from the lessons. Jon really helped me to understand addiction and what to look for in terms of warning signs and positive signs. But it's not an easy road -- it's long and hard.

dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
dnell wrote:
You can say "pattern of abuse" here on RN and no one on the partners side (at least no one I can think of) would question you or criticize you. SAs abuse their partners. Period. And they do so over a long period of time. None of us here minimize the abuse and damage from our involvements with an SA.

I'm not sure if you noticed but I went back and corrected that, it was a 12 step comment, not an RN comment.

dnell wrote:
Honesty, transparency, no secrets. Well, that's the goal for the addict. That's a huge step to recovery. But, let's face it, they've been out of control on this runaway train for so long they can't stop it all at once. To us, healthy non-addicts, it seems so simple and straightforward to just step up and be honest and stop the BS. Not so for addicts. They have been using deception and manipulation for so long as life management tools, and they can't understand or value honesty (even though they think they want to be "people of integrity" they don't really get it or believe it at a core level). And as Jon says, when they are first discovered, their immediate reaction is to go into damage control and they only know how to do that one way: with secrets and lies.

While I definitely understand the fact that they are on a runaway train, need a place to be honest etc...the problem I have is the 12 step program seems to facilitate some of their larger issues. For example, addicts are liars. My specific addict has been diagnosed as a compulsive liar and I'm not sure if that's common but it's a fact. Recently she was advised by her sponsor to withhold information from our therapist and myself about a boundary we had set that she had violated. Enabling a compulsive liar/SA is a lot like handing an alcoholic a glass of liquor. I understand the concern to be anonymous, the concern that their confessions/sharing is private however their choice to violate boundaries, abuse old addictions etc is now enabling the addict to abuse their spouse. I feel I have earned the right to know if our boundaries are being violated or if the abuse is continuing. I believe that to be separate from the anonymous private nature of their meetings.

dnell wrote:
To be fair, I am brutally candid here on RN and I don't think my husband can yet handle my honesty. We need a place to be honest as well. They aren't ready to hear our honesty at the start and that is yet another part of our shit sandwich. Remember we are dealing with very, very broken people who are very, very immature.

Again, another painful part of this for me, I can't be brutally honest, I'm expected to tap dance around and control my emotions in order to ensure she's not hurt. Once again, when does the constant attention on them stop? When does it level out?
These very broken immature people are still allowed to maintain their abuse of their spouses and we're supposed to be concerned about their feelings and their well being, to me this just sounds like a continued pattern of abuse.

dnell wrote:
I learned a lot from the lessons. Jon really helped me to understand addiction and what to look for in terms of warning signs and positive signs. But it's not an easy road -- it's long and hard.

The lessons and warning signs brought to my attention an issue in her recovery and it was addressed, I don't feel it was addressed fully or completely. I don't feel like it was handled fairly or with concern for my feelings, but it was handled.
I absolutely don't feel like it was handled correctly in her 12 step group or by her sponsor (but that's none of my business).

If her recovery group doesn't address her abuse, I'm not suppose to address her abuse (according to the 12step) than isn't it just the 12step justifying their abuse of their spouse?

I hope you at least know your brutal honesty is welcomed by me, I've got thick skin and a warped sense of humor so feel free to take the kid gloves off and hit me as hard as you feel like you have to or want to.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:09 am 
Offline
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
hadenuff - I now understand what you are saying. Jon, here at RN, did not totally agree with the 12 step approach. I also know that each 12 step group is different. Some groups want no disclosure to partners, others allow some, and everywhere in between. I do understand about your concerns about the advice she is getting in 12 step. Does your counselor agree with the 12 step advice? That could be problematic.

There is a book by a man named Magness that I recommend you read that talks alot about disclosure. (I think it's titled "Halt Sex Addiction Now"). It would be good for your partner to read it as well. If Jon had not been taken so soon from us, I'd be really interested to see how his thinking had evolved about treatment of SA and trauma recovery for the partners.

I want to tell you my current views on this, and they do not represent RN, just me. My husband is in 12 step. RN alone was not enough for him to recover. It gave him a great start, and the framework of living by values is something he gets. But he still was white knuckling. He is also in individual therapy. In my view, he needs every form of help he can get (12 step, individual therapy, marriage counseling, RN). There's overlap in philosophies and conflicts. He needs to be mature enough (and isn't that a scary thought) to figure out the conflicts, explain them to himself and me, and decide which approach he agrees with. His 12 step group tends to tell him not to disclose quickly. On the other hand, step 4 is taking a "fearless inventory" about their behavior. And later steps talk about making amends. His individual counselor and our marriage counselor definitely think he needs to disclose and that he needs to be transparent and honest. So, there is a counterbalance to any possible 12 step advice to not disclose. I'd be uncomfortable if my husband did only 12 step, but with these other resources, I feel somewhat safer.

Help for the partners of SA's is brand new. The focus was on the addict. Then it was on us as being "co-addicts". Now it has evolved to trauma recovery for us. Effective treatment is still in transition. My view is that addicts need two approaches (and this is a bit at odds with RN): I think they need to get the addiction in control, but concurrently, need to work on their early trauma which set the stage for the addiction to develop. I think Jon's approach, which was more nuanced, is that the 'why' of it was not as important as the stopping of it by living by values in a healthy way. But when you strip the addicts of their rituals which provided escape from some uncomfortable emotion, the uncomfortable emotion is still there. That original emotional issue needs to be addressed. That's my two cents.

Finally, the last thing I want to do is whack you. Haven't you been whacked enough? You have the right to make bottom lines with your wife. That may mean you want a structured disclosure with her by some date. You have a right to decide what you want when you want it. Learning about addiction helped me to figure out if what I want is reasonable. That is, I want my husband to be more transparent. I learned he wasn't going to do it right away. But as time passes, I continue to say what I want in terms of disclosure and daily transparency. When he doesn't deliver, I "up the ante", or in other words, I enact the consequences of violating this boundary of mine. In my marriage counseling I commit to only six month periods of staying with my husband. Neither of us is supposed to do anything to threaten the marriage. Of course this is ridiculous since he is an SA trying to recover and threatens the marriage all the time. But, it helps me to realize I have control and autonomy. It helps him to realize there are consequences to his behavior. Since I believe he should have progressed more on transparency by this point and has been not doing so, I am now saying I want to write a post nuptial agreement. That got his attention. Keep doing the lessons. Figuring out our boundaries is critical and, hate to say this, took me a long time to figure out how to do it.

In solidarity,
dnell


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
dnell wrote:
hadenuff - I now understand what you are saying. Jon, here at RN, did not totally agree with the 12 step approach. I also know that each 12 step group is different. Some groups want no disclosure to partners, others allow some, and everywhere in between. I do understand about your concerns about the advice she is getting in 12 step. Does your counselor agree with the 12 step advice? That could be problematic.

Essentially I believe she is minimizing her effort and going through the motions. I believe she has a sponsor who isn't proactive enough to confront her in these actions but this is WAY outside what I am allowed to discuss since it's handling her recovery and that's not my job.
Our therapist has just dropped the hammer after being lied to in our session once again, she's currently deciding if she will continue to work with my partner. She refuses to be a party to enabling her behavior.

dnell wrote:
There is a book by a man named Magness that I recommend you read that talks alot about disclosure. (I think it's titled "Halt Sex Addiction Now"). It would be good for your partner to read it as well. If Jon had not been taken so soon from us, I'd be really interested to see how his thinking had evolved about treatment of SA and trauma recovery for the partners.

I've looked up this book already based on comments about it in these forums. The situation I'm concerned with is that I like the concept of this book, the full disclosure, the fact that an addict wrote a response denouncing the book for forcing the addict to disclose and confront the damage they've done. This all obviously appeals to me but it also concerns me based on its massive conflict with SA. There doesn't seem to be a clear path through this situation.
I could be crazy but I felt like the best situation here would be if her SA sponsor had suggested an open conversation with the three of us. Giving the sponsor an idea of where the relationship is, what the boundaries are etc.
The 12 step concept is that the addict needs to surrender to the process and volunteer full disclosure instead of being made to. Basically, SA is for those who want to recover, not need to recover.

dnell wrote:
I want to tell you my current views on this, and they do not represent RN, just me. My husband is in 12 step. RN alone was not enough for him to recover. It gave him a great start, and the framework of living by values is something he gets. But he still was white knuckling. He is also in individual therapy. In my view, he needs every form of help he can get (12 step, individual therapy, marriage counseling, RN). There's overlap in philosophies and conflicts. He needs to be mature enough (and isn't that a scary thought) to figure out the conflicts, explain them to himself and me, and decide which approach he agrees with. His 12 step group tends to tell him not to disclose quickly. On the other hand, step 4 is taking a "fearless inventory" about their behavior. And later steps talk about making amends. His individual counselor and our marriage counselor definitely think he needs to disclose and that he needs to be transparent and honest. So, there is a counterbalance to any possible 12 step advice to not disclose. I'd be uncomfortable if my husband did only 12 step, but with these other resources, I feel somewhat safer.

So how do you handle the disparity between the different methodologies.
I want full disclosure, transparency (including her email and phone) which I see RN supports and her 12 step basically says no to this.
So, violate 12 step or feel like I'm being forced to manage her recovery?

dnell wrote:
Help for the partners of SA's is brand new. The focus was on the addict. Then it was on us as being "co-addicts". Now it has evolved to trauma recovery for us. Effective treatment is still in transition. My view is that addicts need two approaches (and this is a bit at odds with RN): I think they need to get the addiction in control, but concurrently, need to work on their early trauma which set the stage for the addiction to develop. I think Jon's approach, which was more nuanced, is that the 'why' of it was not as important as the stopping of it by living by values in a healthy way. But when you strip the addicts of their rituals which provided escape from some uncomfortable emotion, the uncomfortable emotion is still there. That original emotional issue needs to be addressed. That's my two cents.

I'm new to all of this and obviously my pain is driving a lot of my concerns and views but currently I feel like there is a ton of support and protection provided to the addicts and the partners are consistently told by 12 steps to just endure the continued abuse.
I'm doing everything I can to separate from her recovery for my own safety, it seems reasonable to expect the addicts would separate their partner from their abuse of them by being honest, open and transparent willingly.

dnell wrote:
Finally, the last thing I want to do is whack you. Haven't you been whacked enough?

LOL, yes, I basically just meant I deal better with brutal honesty rather than kid gloves. If I'm being stupid, tell me I'm being stupid.

dnell wrote:
You have the right to make bottom lines with your wife. That may mean you want a structured disclosure with her by some date. You have a right to decide what you want when you want it. Learning about addiction helped me to figure out if what I want is reasonable. That is, I want my husband to be more transparent. I learned he wasn't going to do it right away. But as time passes, I continue to say what I want in terms of disclosure and daily transparency. When he doesn't deliver, I "up the ante", or in other words, I enact the consequences of violating this boundary of mine. In my marriage counseling I commit to only six month periods of staying with my husband. Neither of us is supposed to do anything to threaten the marriage. Of course this is ridiculous since he is an SA trying to recover and threatens the marriage all the time. But, it helps me to realize I have control and autonomy. It helps him to realize there are consequences to his behavior. Since I believe he should have progressed more on transparency by this point and has been not doing so, I am now saying I want to write a post nuptial agreement. That got his attention. Keep doing the lessons. Figuring out our boundaries is critical and, hate to say this, took me a long time to figure out how to do it.

This is what we're supposedly working on now, after yet another realization that she's been lying by omission, minimizing, possibly deceiving and manipulating her sponsor etc. We're discussing making a list of boundaries and consequences. I've asked her to come up with hers first and we will discuss them. I've also asked a recovering addict who has several years sober to provide some reasonable suggestions for boundaries and consequences. I'm trying to focus on the fact that she's not even a month sober and there's going to be some issues to contend with. We had a bit of a come to Jesus conversation after this new realization and she claims I put the reality of her lack of full surrender into perspective, that she feels like she's been putting forth a good effort but admitted she's been using things like overview and summary to avoid full detail which she's embarrassed of. Only time will tell.

I'd love to see some samples of what you felt were reasonable boundaries and consequences....I understand this is a very personal discussion between you and your SA so I'd understand if that's not possible. As a mentor are you able to PM that information?

dnell wrote:
In solidarity,
dnell

I've honestly began to feel like this is the only place I find that solidarity. I feel like I'm providing half measures due to my unique situation which leaves me limited to what I can explain based on how obvious it will make it who I am, who she is and eliminate the privacy and anonymous nature of recovery. So, thank you, it means more than you know even if it is a signature line, it's a reality for me. I honestly wish the forums were way more active since I feel better here more so than anywhere else.

HadEnuff


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
jacki3030 wrote:
Hadenuff, you are speaking of things here that have always troubled me too. I could never get over the indignation that it does appear like, in order to be a supportive partner, we need to hold back some of our pain, hurt, anger, lest we overwhelm them with guilt and shame and derail their recovery. I know it appears that way, I don't think it really is, in truth IMO, they will do or not do what ever they CHOOSE to do or not do, regardless of their spouses opinion, feelings or anybody's or anything else.

I agree wholeheartedly, it's becoming abundantly clear that the SA has control over whether or not they recover and how much effort they put into that recovery. We on the other hand control our own recovery and our decision as to whether or not we want to continue to be in this relationship.
I think the hardship I have is more about feeling like there is so much support for the abuser in the situation.
If we look at this from a perspective of a crime, we have been the victim of a crime and the SA is the criminal who perpetrated the crime. It would be like going to court and having the judge scold the partner for not treating the SA better when they were being abused.
If we were robbed at gunpoint we wouldn't sympathize with the perpetrator for having a horrible childhood or for struggling with the decision to rob people. The courts wouldn't go easier on a perpetrator because they perpetrated 50% less crimes this year than last year. If 12 step programs are about accountability shouldn't it be more like AA, NA etc with a zero tolerance policy towards accountability?
I understand AA and NA understands relapse and slipups, but I can't imagine NA saying that they are doing a great job if they are doing less drugs.
I struggle with this a lot, I keep trying to read the documentation here reminding me that this isn't going to be fair. In the beginning I struggled with the concept that the SA should basically be doing everything to make me comfortable, to live inside my restrictions to adhere to my values and concepts. Now, I'm realizing this is about them making the choice to WANT to do those things not to do them because they NEED or HAVE to do them.

jacki3030 wrote:
I would be so angry that even though, he never seemed to put any value on my concerns, fears, feelings or dignity, Im supposed to be concerned with his? heck no! In some ways, it is true, for me. I always struggle with my own emotional reactions, now more than ever. I believe that it is important to state your feelings, for your own sake, at least you said it. So when I react from emotions, or from ego, which almost always is explosive, I have figured out that I can regret and apologize for losing my temper, for instance, in essence, the manner in which I CHOSE to deliver the message, but NOT retract or apologize for the message. Although, Im pretty sure he hears that and assumes that the message is retracted whether or not I mention it at all, grrr!. My feelings and thoughts are my feelings and thoughts and I must state them or I will feel like I am disrespecting myself. And although this his recovery, it is my life too, if we are together, and I have a right to state the things I accept in my life, thats what boundaries are all about.

I have anger management issues, I have struggled with them all my life. I have ensured that my reaction and communication has been from a point of clearly communicating my feelings and emotions without hiding behind easy answers like anger. It's hard enough to handle communication in this situation but I've realized that I've been selfish as well. I've allowed my decisions to cause me to be part of the damage being done to two little girls, raising their hope about something that may not work. I've enabled my partner by not setting healthy boundaries and standing by them. I've involved other people in the situation by choosing to have a revenge affair as well as choosing to have many casual sexual encounters when we broke up during this process and then returning to the relationship. This was my choice to make and in that I chose to continue to involve those girls, I chose to involve other people and that damage is mine to own.
So, now it's time to be an adult, own my part in this damage and that I need to be able to rationally communicate my feelings and emotions without the safety blanket of anger and blame to end my part in the damage being done.


jacki3030 wrote:
I too struggle with the concept of full disclosure. That forcing them to tell all too soon, well doesn't work, they will just clam up or lie, minimize etc, because they were put on the spot. Until the person with the addiction (I hate to use the word addict, as it does somewhat dehumanize them, and this is a person with an addiction, not an addict, but darnt! its much quicker to say 'addict' rather than 'person with an addiction', lol, so I do use the word addict, even though I know I shouldn't, also im angry now, so it is what it is, for now, lol). Until the addict is truly ready to be self aware, to let go of their secret world, they are not ready to let go of their secrets, either. And anything they do or say until then is lip service and putting on a show, IMO. But, I have to have that disclosure, so I can get the missing pieces of my life back, line it all up in my mind, deal with it, accept. Be able to figure out if I can know this person, for real, learn to trust him, trust in a future. Until I get that, I feel as though I am in limbo, which I can't deal with. But that is my feelings, others may be able to look at it differently.

I'm right here with you Jacki, I'm sitting in limbo waiting for either the next shoe to drop or there to be some rigorous honesty (their term), transparency and disclosure. I have to choose if I'm going to wait for that and endure the shoe dropping sensation or to leave, seek my own recovery and move on with my life. That's the power of the partner, it's not a punishment for the SA, it's about our protection, our sanity, our well being.

jacki3030 wrote:
Im sure you will get better advise and guidance from others here, Im mainly just lending you some support and solidarity.

Yesterday I stumbled across your journal/post in the other section. I completely mistook that for a community support post and just added some solidarity. I appreciate your understanding and thankfully this is a place where breaking rules are met with polite direction. So far I've assumed a SA post was open to partners because of the subject even though it didn't have "Both Sides Welcome" in the title and had to remove a post and now I've stuck my nose into your recovery thread. I love the support and solidarity here, I love having a place to vent and find like minded individuals so now I need to focus on not stomping through here like a bull in a china shop.
I don't think there can be better advice or guidance, I think it's about supporting each other through this mess. We can all choose to white knuckle the process but history shows that's not helpful.
Please assume if you see me posting here in the community support forum that I welcome any and all comments, positive or negative. I welcome any response as I have no one to discuss this with in person.

There's a common AA, NA phrase that I've always liked, "Thank you for sharing". I think maybe we need something along those lines. I like "thank you for understanding". I think it's extremely accurate for me lately as I feel like I've stormed through this place kicking open doors and throwing things on the ground like a child.
So, thank you all for understanding.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group