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 Post subject: Struggling today
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:30 am
Posts: 95
Last night I admitted something to H that I had never told him, or anyone else before - that I'm not attracted to him at the moment and haven't been for a while. I'd been holding it back because I didn't want to hurt him and had been focussing on the broken trust and not feeling close to him as being reasons not to be intimate with him. But last night I decided I needed to be honest, rather than pretending to feel something that I don't. The lack of attraction probably revolves around a few things - the fact that we haven't felt emotionally intimate for some time, hormones (I went into surgical menopause last year), the differences between our personalities that bother me, etc. But it felt like such a huge thing to admit and say and I feel sick since I said it. I can imagine the wound it has caused to his self-esteem and I'm taking that upon myself and beating myself up about it today.

But then I try to remind myself of all of the difficult, honest, hurtful things he has revealed to me in the last 6 months and I'm trying to be strong. We had just had a conversation on Friday night where we agreed to try to work on the relationship for a while, and now I wonder if I've blown it. But then again, he has hidden worse, and I have to be honest and true to my feelings... you can see that I'm flip-flopping!! I think it's the co-dependency in me that's making this so hard for me. I'm taking responsibility for his feelings because I empathise so much. How do you stay true to yourself and deal with the pain you're causing? I'm beginning to understand some of the stuff that H struggled with in terms of revelations over the last while, and how he found it so hard to hurt me.

I feel like I've set us back again, but I also feel like I had to say it. I don't want the relationship that we rebuild, if we do, to be based on anything other than honesty, even when it's hard to be honest.

Just venting really.. not sure if anyone can help!


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 Post subject: Re: Struggling today
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:42 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 659
Beachcomber - I know EXACTLY how you feel. I know about the lack of attraction and desire, the need to say it, and the fear after saying it. So, I am with you.

First, and this is really important, it is completely and utterly reasonable not to be attracted to or feel desire for our sex addicted partners. Why in the world would we feel that way? The betrayals are so deep. My husband lusted after thousands of women, real and imagined, and "fell in love" with thousands of women, real and imagined. He withheld sex, love, desire, romance, and praise and from me. Worse, he endlessly compared me to his objects and guess where I came out in that comparison: he saw me as ugly, unsexual, not "hot" enough, not a real women, a betraying bitch for getting older, getting illnesses, not filling up his emptiness. Yet I was okay enough to clean up after him and take care of him like a child. All of this just goes with his sex/porn/love addictions. And as his addiction progressed, he got into more and more shameful behaviors and fantasies. It's disgusting and repellent to me. He was exploitive at best, and predatory at worst. I find his objectification of women, girls and sex to be not only immature and pathetic, but deeply ugly.

So, that's the addict that makes me want to vomit. The healthy man he is trying to become? That's a different story.

But, we now know the "real" identity of the addict we lived with. We have to adjust to this reality and see through the illusions of our life with our partners. That takes time. And, here's the painful fact about all of us: we sat on our feelings, doubted ourselves, kept quiet. Yes, I think fear of abandonment was part of it for me. My therapist insists that I must tell my husband about these feelings for two reasons: he has to become accountable for his behavior and understand how his addiction impacts other people; and I need to respect my self enough to say my truth. Now saying my truth needs to be done in a compassionate non-raging way. That takes time to get to. But, while I fear as well the impact my saying my truth will have on my husband, it is actually liberating for me. I feel a million pounds lighter. I feel more self respect and more self worth. So I've learned to let myself be uncomfortable.

So, I have learned to focus on different things; How do I get back my own feelings of sensuality and desire? How do I not fear abandonment? I've been working on these issues. Our sensuality and sexuality is a gift to ourselves AND to our partners. This will sound crude, but my husband saw women as "wet holes" that felt good to him. That was our worthy attribute. Our second level of worthiness was how much our bodies stimulated him. Why in the world would I ever desire someone like that?

In order to find desire for my husband, he will have to become a new man. He will have to become a mature, healthy man with values I respect. I've learned respect has to come first. He will have to OWN his own desire and not expect me to be "hot" enough in order for him to get aroused. This need to have us desire them is all about control. He will need to learn the skills of emotional intimacy. I see how confusing sexuality is for my husband and that is no surprise. I don't know if he can figure out healthy sexuality or not. He's a mess.

Take care of yourself today. Do something nice for yourself. Feel good about yourself and your body.
With deep compassion,
dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Struggling today
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:30 am
Posts: 95
Hi dnell,

Thank you as always for your compassionate reply. The thing I struggle with at the moment is that my desire had faded a good while before D-day, before I even had any real inkling that there was a problem with porn. I can look at H and see objectively that he's a good-looking man, but I don't feel close to him or that I can be myself fully with him. I suppose that relates to all of the emotional issues he has, in that we haven't been able to be fully open because of his complete inability to have any kind of difficult conversation. I'm also not great with confrontation, so it was a bit of a recipe for disaster. I learned over time not to bother bringing things up. Also, he has a lot of hard edges.. he's judgemental, hard on people at times, and not always sociable.. things that I find hard to deal with. All of this, combined with maybe some small instinct that things weren't right, meant that I haven't felt 'turned on' by him for a long time.

dnell wrote:
And, here's the painful fact about all of us: we sat on our feelings, doubted ourselves, kept quiet.

This is very true. And I hear you on the fear of abandonment! I think this is partly what I'm feeling so anxious about today - that he'll decide that I'm not worth the trouble and will walk away / give up. In a way, it's going to be a bit of a test, even though I didn't intend it that way. Once the hurt recedes, will he be able to engage with me in an adult way on the subject, or will he withdraw and remove emotional connection / affection as he used to. It will be interesting to see what he does. I really hope he can pleasantly surprise me, as that would mean he's making progress.

I'm at work today and have been feeling sick. I just wish I knew how he was going to be when I get home, but then again I wish even more that I didn't care so much. Now that would mean that I'm the one making progress!!

C.


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 Post subject: Re: Struggling today
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
Posts: 131
Beachcomber,
I am with you on this as well!! Dnell put it correctly, as she usually does(thanks, Dnell!!).........
thinking of you and wishing you clarity and calmness on your journey!

_________________
It is always OK in the end...if it's not OK, it's not the end!


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 Post subject: Re: Struggling today
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:30 am
Posts: 95
Well I got a bit of both reactions last night. H was trying to be pleasant, but I could see that there was a hardness & hurt underneath it all, and he then opted to sleep in the spare room last night for the first time. I tried to explain about honesty, that I know it hurt, just like all of the things that he had said to me had hurt.. I'm not sure if he heard me. He did give me a long hug before he went to bed, which I suppose was something good. He is away now for a few days, and we'll meet up again at our MC session on Friday. I still wonder if I did the right thing and am questioning my motives for saying it, but none of it was untrue at the end of the day. I'm feeling less agitated today anyway, which is something.


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 Post subject: Re: Struggling today
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
Posts: 131
Blessings to you, Beachcomer, for staying true to your heart......and being honest with him. He now has a few days to digest it before your MC meeting and that will be a good opportunity to further express what's in your heart! I find if I try to stay in my heart rather than my ego, things go better with my husband. My ego tends to lose patience and tolerance for his struggles, mainly if I get that feeling of the old false behavior returning........

_________________
It is always OK in the end...if it's not OK, it's not the end!


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