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 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:27 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise Thirty-Five

A. Brainstorm the areas of your relationship that you suspect MIGHT have been influenced by your partner's addiction. You have already documented the consequences of their addiction earlier in the workshop, so there is no need to duplicate your effort here. List only those subtle behaviors associated with sexual addiction that you suspect may have played a role in the following situations:

b. Your partner's sexual desire for you over the course of the relationship

There would be lit to say, but if I want to focus on the evolution and influence of sexual addiction, I can summarize in this way:
At the beginning and for the first years ( when no kids):
We were " making love" ( not only having sex) as this was a true sharing , connected moment. We had emotional and physical intimacy. There was tenderness, affection outside the sexual act.
However there were already some behaviors that i understand now were influenced by his addiction: a kind of Voyeurisme ( he had to watch the penetration, this embarrassed me but I was too shy to say) ; a "Teenager" approach of sexual experiment ( try fantasy position , and intercourse acts that were coming from porno pictures/movies; but at all fulfilling for me) ; always eager to have sex and even pushing for it when I did not feel comfortable.

Then with the arrival in our life of kids:
He became worried and frustrated about our sexual life. Always asking for it . But with less affective gesture; " make love" started to change sometimes into " have sex" . Still there was tenderness , cuddle, kisses and we could be connected when making love.

After the 3rd kid, the move to Asia ( high stress for him and increase of opportunities for him to act out)he reached the worst of his addiction, his identity completely fusing with it: there was no more " making love", but sexual performance ( to summarize : "marathon" ,"hammer", " watch" , "dominate")
No more affective gesture at all, no cuddle, no kiss. Always asking for sex and if I was not on he would criticize or ridiculize me.
Any affective word ( for anniversary, birthday..) was sexualised. He even modified his vision of our relationship in the past, claiming it to be highly sexual. To justify his frustrations and saying it was me the problem.

c. The ten biggest decisions that were made in your relationship (e.g. marriage, childbirth, housing, career)

I had the opportunity to discuss this with my partner, and to get honest answers ( not pretending like he always did) so I have a good understanding of how he made decisions, or more often not really made a decision.

Moving to UK at the end of university: he agreed just to please me , he didn't really want to do it, he saw it as an opportunity to behave like society was asking him ; but at beginning this was providing him no meaning, no fulfillment.

Not Staying in Uk: I found a permanent good job in north of the country, he was in the south and his temporary job was about to finish. I proposed him to join me in north and to look for a job there. He said he did and couldn't find anything but recently he admitted it was false: he never looked for a job there, he just pretended. And found excuses. He was too afraid to do this on his own; lack of confidence.

Not moving to Spain: once again I had a good job opportunity in Spain this time; and he found excuses for us not going... He made me think we were equal and that he trusted me. But in fact he never trusted me or anyone, never believed in me.

Decision to get married: he didn't make this decision. When I insisted he agreed to please me. But what really was/is the meaning of this wedding?

Buying a flat: he was part of the decision, but did not involve himself really when searching for it, negotiating bank loan etc...

Having a kid: again he was not the one proposing or willing it. But it was me who suggested it and when he agreed he said " yes a kid is wonderful, always having Love" and he told me recently that he realized that he meant at that time " someone who will always love me" , that scared him.

I realize that all the others big decisions follow the same scenario: he never took openly a decision, never created the conditions for an opportunity to happen, never involved himself in decision and the associated tasks to achieve the goal of the decision.

d. The seven biggest arguments/conflicts/difficulties that you have had

This is a difficult questions because i can not recall any real arguments... He always avoided them. He had different ways : either let me talk, argue etc.... Until I passed on something else or he waited to be able to manipulate me ( making it appear I changed myself but never clearly stating his opinion) . Some other times he would let me talk, not agreeing with me but not discussing it, just at the end shout a "No" so strong it couldn't be discussed.

B. If you were granted five specific questions to ask your partner regarding his/her behavior that were guaranteed to be answered honestly, what five questions would you ask? And what do you think the answers are?

I have already asked him all the questions I could have and I believe he answered as honestly as he could ( he start not to lie to himself so not to me either...) . Also he disclosed things I would even not have imagined asking... So I don't want to ask me/him any more questions. I am fed up to search, investigate, question my past. And the answers are too painful.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:30 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise Thirty-Six
In this lesson, it was touched upon how your values have most likely been altered as a result of your partner's behavior. Here, we will explore the resulting changes that took place to your value system.
A. Describe three events in your relationship where you had doubts/suspicions about your partner's behavior but made the decision not to confront them.
1) What did you do? (e.g. tell a friend, eat a double-cheeseburger)
2) Would your approach change should the situation occur tomorrow? Why or why not?

It is very hard to say but I did not have any doubts that he could have this kind of behavior. I knew/felt he was not doing well in the past 2 years ; but never suspected such things.
The only 2 times I suspected he was not ok with happiness, our relationship was the 2 times he talked to me, kind of crisis , saying he was not happy, he wanted love, he wanted me to desire / seduce him. These 2 times I talked to a friend . And did efforts to show that I loved him.
I think now , If same situation should occur, I would tell him I take this very seriously and arrange to have proper communication with him ( and if needed explain what boundaries may be violated by his request).

B. Discuss your partner's addiction. Given the information that you currently possess, what do you know of your partner's upbringing? Where/when do you think your partner first developed these destructive patterns?

I have some understanding of the development of my partner's destructive patterns given all I know now, from looking at the past differently now I know about the addiction, and also because my partner managed to open on his childhood and his family environment.
My partner has been raised in a dysfunctional family: his parents provided basic care but did not show concern for him, for his development; they never allow to show emotions ( all rationalized); lack of nurturing and love; centered on themselves ( afraid of others, so not going towards others and always criticizing the others) ; never set up boundaries so my partner grew up without boundaries, learning that the important is how to get out of difficult situation without trouble ( never learning how to be accountable for his acts).
Then my partner discovered masturbation early and got "addicted" to daily masturbation from the beginning ; as a way to express out emotions; to be comforted. He also got in contact with pornography images early ( TV in his own bedroom when teenager, watching erotic programs at night)
Also when he was 17 to 19 he had a girl friend, the " cheerleader" type, the one that all his friend may have been jealous of. During 2 years she kept him under sexual pressure: he was spending weekend at her parents' home, sleep in same bed, she let him touch her, get highly aroused, even watched porn movies together or give him light oral sex; but she never agreed to make love with him, she always told him no. And he accepted all, to please her. He lied about this situation to everyone, pretending to have a fulfilling sexual activity with her. This must had a huge impact on his sexual development, his habit to fantasize/masturbate, his lack of self esteem, and the place of lie in his life.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 12:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 38

A. Make a list of the ten biggest stressors in your life that you believe are currently affecting your emotional well-being. For each item, document whether each stressor is mild, moderate, severe or extreme:

Refer back to the values you listed in this workshop previously and consider the role that they are currently playing in helping you manage these stressors.

1) facing possible separation, divorce ( In particular if my husband not able to experience real love with me, keep seeing me as "wife/mother/parent")...,extreme

2) return living in Asia end of August; frighten of not being able to heal, to work on pillars and life balance, to move forward there ( too many triggers, bad memories there)..,, extreme

3) no able to relaunch my professional/personal development, to find a goal/ a direction to motivate me . I realize I always managed my life with goals, giving me lot of motivation and strength. Now I feel that I am in a kind of wait and see phase, and I am not able to set up goals... extreme

4) afraid of loosing my image , image of our couple, image of our family if people like my parents, brother, sisters knew...,severe

5) partner relapse ( ex: contact his main affair) or not able to achieve healthy recovery ( if real life never fulfill him in terms of intensity, and so he gets back to his fantasies , his illusions) .... extreme

6) meet someone from his worst addictive period ( a friend from alcoholic parties or a woman he stalked )... mild

7) new discovery/ new disclosure... mild ( because I am prepared)

8) never able to forgive some of his acts, never able to completely let go...extreme

9) not able to influence the choice of our future life ( after leaving Asia in June 2017).... severe

10) face spiral of victimization, potentially leading to depression.... severe

B. Assign each value to one of the following columns: Plays no role in my emotions; Plays a small role in my emotions; Plays a large role in my emotions; Plays an enormous role in my emotions.

Enormous role: carefulness , love, faith, sincerity , vitality, happiness
Large role: friendliness, learning ( brings self esteem), optimism, bravery, dreaming ,
Small role: health, beauty, curiosity
No role: Open mindedness, integrity

C. How would you manage this stress if all but one or two of your most important values were suddenly removed?
I would focus all on this remaining value, or toward values playing a smaller role on my emotions. This could lead to some excess, like being a suffocating mother or someone obsessed with her health ( physical exercise for ex) ; and this would lead to an unbalanced life.

D. In your own words, and considering what you have learned so far...what do you think the role of addiction has played in your partner's life?
His addiction avoided him to confront with reality, with the reality of emotions. It was a way to escape the bad, stressful, uneasy emotions. It was a way to feel good emotions being sure he would get what he expect; not taking the risk of real life , of unexpected reactions of others. It was a way of seeing him as a strong , powerful, recognized, desired, admired man; what he doesn't believe himself he is but he wants the others to believe.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise forty

Mapping your addiction...

To map what would have been my addiction... That's a tough exercise.
Well , I would see something like that:
I have discovered my body and masturbation early, and without special shame. I found it interesting and source of physical well being.
If addiction would have started it would have been there: the physical and emotional comfort of masturbation and fantasy . I have never been attracted by sexual performance like in porn movies; but I liked the feeling of reaching orgasm quietly, in confidence, with body feelings ( not images ) .
So during my first years of sexual experience with men; not so satisfying in terms of orgasm for me; I would have continued to prefer my lonely masturbation , to control the speed, the tempo; not afraid of what the other wants. Even with my first long term boyfriend , I would have pretended being sexually satisfied and willing to please him; but I would have pursue masturbation whenever I had the opportunity.
Now if the addiction continues ... well, I would have enjoyed my relationship with my partner for many reasons ( good ones like partnership, common view on life, etc...) but kept secret the fact that I could only reach real orgasm, sexual fulfillment, by masturbation and fantasy. And also this behavior would have became a way to face stressful situations, to find emotional relief without any risk of being questioned , destabilized. As time pass, I would have invested more time and relied more on my addiction to face emotional stresses like university exams, and looking for first job. Would have been looking to find a job abroad?... May be not, may be I would have preferred the security of acting normal socially and find the job I was supposed to.
Would have I insisted to get married with my long term boyfriend?.... May be later in time; just to do what society was telling me to do. As in the same time my addiction would have continue to grow, requiring more time to reach the intensity I needed to get emotionally fulfilled. I would less and less rely on reality to bring me emotional fulfillment .
And I would use my environment to feed my fantasies; using people I met, people at work.
Would I have kids? I guess so, but also to comply with the social schema . And may be I would have not kept the 3rd one, who was not planned ( I had a coil; and not willing a 3rd one because I had physical problems during pregnancy , getting worth each time) .., I would have seen this unexpected pregnancy as a constraint ( not a gift of life); because reality would more and more means constraints compared to the comfort and the fulfillment of the illusions created by fantasies.
At some point, I may have faced an opportunity to live my illusions, with a man who would have played the romantic, affectionate lover... And then had an affair... And so enter in a spiral of lies with my husband, and my family and my relatives. Not being able to be myself, as I would not know who I am anymore.
I feel at that point I would have seen a conflict between a life I was supposed to live, and my life of illusions...,
But honestly I can not say what would have been my reaction.,,,

I can see the consequences: never lived abroad ( which has been so far a dream and a life project that I have realized), living a life socially normal, no real bound with my kids (my addiction would bring me more emotional fulfillment . I would just "act" as a mother; never experience "be" a mother, not letting real emotions touch me), not had a 3rd kid, no deep Love for my husband ( as not sincere, open, etc..), see the people around me as object ( those who could be used for fantasy; or for my social image), never feeling in peace as never feeling being myself.

A. Now that you have considered the role that sexual addiction might have played in your life, in your opinion, and knowing what you should now know about addiction...what are some of the reasons that it didn't develop?
First reason I would clearly say today is my family: I grew up in a loving and caring family. Even if it wasn't a perfect family, and I often felt I was not fitting well in this family ( not from the same mould), my parents always showed concern for who I was , encouraging me to look for what I would like to do, expressed ( in words, so in real) their love for me.
So I experienced love as a reality. And also it helped me to develop self esteem.
My brother and two sisters have also been strong contributor of my emotional education : you can fight, disagree, be different etc... But still love each other , listen to each other, care for each other, trust each other.
There were strong values in my family ( care for others, be responsible for our acts, family etc...) .
Also from teenager age I developed few friendships with strong bonds, again experiencing this as a reality ; not an illusion ( with sometimes difficulties in relationship, disappointment, but did not stop me from making new friends)
I think also that when I was a teenager I had to " fight" to express myself , because I was feeling different from my family; and my fight has been listen to ( or if I was crossing a rule I had to take responsibility for it, and I was taking it); this gave me a strong sense of confidence in who I am ( no pride at all, but when you fight for who you are, you respect who you are).

B. Reviewing your exercise results from the lesson itself, at what point do you think you would have recognized that you were addicted? What do you think you could have done about it? How do you think you would have hidden your sexual addiction from others?
As I write earlier I don't know.., I would have seen a problem, but not sure about what I would have done. Talking to my husband does not seem an option if I always lied to him ( as I consider hiding things is lying). May be to a close friend... But would have had developed close friend?
For the hiding question: I guess I would have pretended to be what they were expecting me to be...and so not being myself with anyone.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:47 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise 42

Consider the following situations and share what your response would be in each:
Your partner is contacted by an old romantic partner that they haven't seen in many years. Not wanting to keep any secrets from you, they tell you exactly when the person will be in town and would like your permission to catch-up over dinner.

First I would not appreciate the term " permission", as this sounds for me like asking a parent ( mother) the permission to go out... And I would explain him that this way of presenting the situation is not in line with how I see relationship.
Then I would ask him if he knows why he wants to see her , what he expects from this dinner and from catching up with her. Not asking to give me an answer if he doesn't want to, but that he honestly asks himself.
And finally I would tell him that if he indeed wants to catch up with an old romantic partner , I doesn't feel comfortable with this. Knowing what he did in the past, I feel suspicious and jealous . That it hurts me in my relationship values ( as jealousy is not natural, acceptable in a long term relationship ) . Asking him openly how we can handle this situation without me feeling hurt...

You come home early from work and find your partner masturbating to porn on the Internet. Upon seeing you, they quickly close down the computer and lie about what they were doing.

I would tell him that even if he denies, I believe that he was masturbating to porn on the Internet. I would remind him that even if for me masturbation and porn watching is not deception towards me, he is deceiving himself and his commitments he took for himself. And that I don't want to be with this kind of man, not reliable. So there would be a consequence from my side, something like no physical intimacy for a period of time at least; or may be more sever consequence...,

You suspect that your partner is lying to you about where they were, but you have no proof.
I would tell him about my suspicions and what emotions , pain, it creates.

You find yourself feeling frisky and so you make a few sexual overtures towards your partner that are quickly brushed off. You are feeling hurt and rejected.

Difficult to imagine that. I think somewhere I would see this as a possible sign of healthy recovery; may be for once he would not feel ok for any reason ( stress at work etc..,) and not take sex as a way to release the pressure . I would tell him that I am surprised; and ask him if he has any problem on his mind. If he says no, I would then suspect that he is in "fantasy world", not interested in reality; and I would share my thoughts with him.

After discovering that your partner had been involved in many affairs over the course of your marriage, you experience the urge to ask your partner if he had an affair while you were pregnant some eight years ago.

I may first ask myself what the point to know? That this would not be worst than the other things he did . May be I would still ask him, because I can not resist the urge to know; but I would know this is just to please my " morbid" curiosity, that it would not change my perception of what he did in the past, and who he is today. And I would tell him this also.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:47 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
I have interrupted my workshop lessons for some weeks now because an important event happened: I discovered my husband relapsed.
First I would like to comment on how I discovered it. Despite my engagement to him, and more important to myself, I read his thread. This was a very strong commitment for me and towards me. Until that time I never had the temptation to read his thread, because of respect, honesty and the fact that his healing is not up to me. But this time I got gut instinct feeling there was a problem (but absolutely no clue about what it could be): we were 10 000km apart, him in Asia working, me in my home country in vacation for 3 weeks; the way he was talking to me over the phone, just ring a bell that there was something not right, but the way he was talking was not allowing me to question him deeper (I used the usual question: how are you doing/coping , not too tough being alone; etc…). So I did check in thread and discovered about the relapse, and the fact that this relapse could have important health impact (oral sex with no protection, meaning significant STD’s risks) . The fact to break my engagement did create a strong conflict in my values; but given the risks I try to “forgive” myself for breaking my commitment. And now I changed this boundary/commitment: If I have a gut feeling instinct that something is wrong and that there can be a major danger (for me and/or the kids), I can exceptionally break this commitment to not spy on him.

The fact that he relapsed and even more the fact that he lied about his relapse was terrible. Before he went back to asia we agreed together on the following: whatever happens during these 3 weeks on his own, he should tell me before I board the plane to return in Asia, so that I can take the decision myself to board the plane, make my own choice knowing all the truth. He interpreted this commitment as a black and white statement: if you act out, I leave you. This was never what I told him, and I am always careful not to threaten him. He told me a planned to tell me when I would be with him in Asia. But as I explained him, by doing this, he denied me the right to make my own choice. And I explained him how this was a complete lack of respect, lack of trust, lack of empathy, lack of seeing me as a person (not as a comfort object). The only thing that he was considering was his own comfort, immediately: knowing that I would come back to Asia, then he could arrange things. Not thinking about realistic consequences.
So I did board the plane knowing the situation (and being very clear with the reason why I board this plane, why I make this choice) but before I had to protect myself, especially to know that I would come back in a place where I could feel safe emotionally. I asked him to re-arrange our home, and to prepare for me a separate bedroom. He did it with a lot of attention, much more than I would have ever expected. This situation helps me a lot, to feel ‘safe’, not to be under any risk of emotional manipulation (conscious or not, from himself or even from myself to myself).
Then besides the relapse and the lie about the relapse, I had to face the full disclosure (because I also discovered he was still hiding things. after 10 months of recovery he was still lying, so somewhere lying to himself, and not honest with me… I told him that if he chooses to continue not to be honest with me, he makes the choice to sabotage any chance for our couple, and somewhere he makes the choice not to succeed in healthy recovery). Well, no need to tell about how much it hurt. But I prepared myself, and the following days/weeks, I managed to stay emotionally not too instable thanks to the lessons and exercise I did before (thanks a lot RN! ): I used my support system (Friends and activities), my values, my boundaries (some new ones, for this special situation, to protect myself), and I tried to keep as much as possible meaningful communication with my husband (in particular for him to see that reality is not only black and white, that we can talk about problems/ issues even if there is no solution yet)
And one thing that I am doing these last days is to “use” exercise 43, shared values, when I communicate, explain my feeling about present or past events.
Before I discovered the relapse I did work on lesson 43 and was nearly finished; now I can’t continue with the exercise as I started, and I don’t feel emotionally enough stable to do it in one go. I prefer to work on it daily, based on experience (past or present). Each time there is a situation where I feel bad/uneasy etc… I look for what is my value behind, what boundary I have, and what consequence if boundary broken. And I do exchange about it with my husband. This is very helpful (for me and for him I think).
When I have build enough experience on this shared values, and I am comfortable emotionally, I will take the time to complete this exercise 43.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
First I would like again to share some comments on what I am going through, after my H relapse and full disclosure.
After managing to regain some emotional stability ( avoid any spiral), I was still not feeling like going forward, I was still in what I call " victimization syndrome" ( basically ruminating). And I refuse to still consider/view myself as a victim. So I went back to some past lessons. I realized that some lessons were ingrained, and that I have started to develop skills and need to pursue in this direction: for example boundary violation, this is something I apply in daily life, if something hits me I check if this is because a value has been violated, why and how, I clarify to myself my boundary to protect this value ( strengthen it if already exist, or define it clearly if there was none or only vague one); and if this boundary violation is coming from my partner's act ( past or present) I exchange with him about it. I do it using "I" ( "this value is important for me", " I cannot accept this" " or " this generate this feeling for me"; and "so the consequence is.." ) and I try not to use too much "you" ( " how could you do this" type of sentence). I have to say at the beginning when it was related to past event I was quicker to use the accusation "you" reply . But I realized this does not help me ( and not him also); it just keeps me in "victimization syndrome". Thinking "I", what I want, what I value, brings me more strength, and more understanding of myself.
Then looking at past lessons, I also realized some lessons needed to be worked further, for example: strengthen my values , this needs a lot of effort, to daily engage in activities that strengthen my values , and the goal is not only to support my emotional balance, but more important to regain trust in myself, self esteem, knowledge about who I am and what I want and how to achieve it in reality; to lead a life that I want to.
Working on shared values help me also. Given today's situation ( cohabitation with my husband with no intimacy, physical and limited emotionally more friendship type) , I decide to work on this exercise based on future relationship ( with my H or someone else) ; this is giving me the confidence that I can ( I have the right!) to look for one day developing a meaningful relationship, with shared values ( with values I always had and that I want to keep: trust, respect, transparency, deep Love, partnership, ...). It gives me hope in the future, whatever the situation becomes with my H , i refuse to compromise this vision of relationship because of my H recovers or not, or by being afraid of who he will become ( because he is drastically changing, or at least uncovering his true self). For the moment I am not in a position to develop such relationship, because I choose to take time to heal ( I can not fully move on as long as I have not "let go"at least) and I choose to take time to help him to recover. But this is my choice.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:14 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Exercise Forty-Three
A. Make a list of values/goals relating to your existing relationship (or future relationship) that you can use to help guide you. Ensure that you limit this list to what is absolutely necessary in establishing/maintaining the relationship.
B. For each value listed, what boundaries do you have in place that will ensure that this value remains protected

Honesty : no lies, half truth, omission. no minimization of any kind . And if one is saying an important thing, it is his/her responsibility to ensure that the other catch fully the message. No excuse like" but I told you", yes it was told but the other may not have been receptive at that time, because of any reason, and the important is to ensure the message is received, not only said.
Boundary: any half truth or omission or minimization would be considered as a lie, and breaking the relationship values. It would be considered as a choice/decision from the lying person to sabotage the relationship.
Action if boundary broken: depending on the lie and the reason behind that lie, action would start from call for communication session for explanation, up to stop physical and emotional intimacy until communication enables to explain the reasons and evaluate consequences.

Boundary: The partners should not hide significant emotions or thoughts. If one is feeling frustrated, not satisfied; or if wants ( or doesn't want) to do something, he/she should tell it and as soon as possible. Not holding it and then take the risk of mood swing . Or not trying to make the other change his mind by manipulation.
Action: if I feel any uneasiness / mood swing, or tentative of manipulation , I would express my perception and ask for feedback. If tentative of manipulation is confirmed, and considered as an important boundary violation, then this would lead to stop physical and emotional intimacy until find conflict resolution, reach common agreement.

Sincerity of feelings
Boundary: the partners should be sincere about their feelings. If one says I love you, or any emotional/feeling statement, it should be the truth of what he/she is feeling, not to please the other , to get something, to avoid conflict.
Action: lying on feelings would immediately put an end to intimacy; put in question the relationship if this is a conscious tentative of manipulation.

Partnership : a relationship needs effort, reliability and to take responsibility for it
Boundary: each one should do efforts for the relationship , to help each other, to allow the other to rely on him/her for emotional comfort, with confidence. Both partners are responsible for the relationship, it is not possible just "to give up" and pretend nothing is wrong.
Action: if partner is not making any effort, the other has a right to call for a communication session about this issue, has the right to ask for explanation for such behavior.

Value ( personal)
Deep Love. Deep Love is something that can not be explained, rationalized
Boundary: If relationship face troubles, no partnership or no trust; this does not mean there is no Love. Love is something above, something strictly personal ( like faith) , which means that there can be a separation even if there is still Love.
Partner can not use Love as a tool to use the other ( manipulate) or threaten the other. Partner can not decide that there is no Love.
Oneself can not use Love to give excuse to himself/herself for enduring not satisfying relationship , not acceptable behavior from partner.
Action: formally reject any use of " Love"in arguments ( from partner or oneself)

Respect the value of the other partner; so each one need to know the main value of the other, and their major boundaries.
Respect also the weaknesses , stress factor, difficulties the other partner may have. For example jealousy, social uneasiness ...
Boundary: if value boundary is not respected, must call for communication session , using communication skills ( no accusation etc..)

Communication: open and honest communication . And each one should take ownership of what he/she says, using "I" not "we" or " people" or....
Boundary: not accept any unclear communication or not "i" statement
Consequence: have the right to ask for clarification , for what the other think/believe/feel.

Both partners are Equal
each partner consider the other his/her equal.
Boundary: one shall not consider the other as a parent, child, spouse for social image or comfort
Action: if one feel being treated not as equal, shall call immediately for communication session ( explain perception and ask partner for explanation in non aggressive but serious manner)

Boundary: each partner should respect the individuality of the other. not attempt to change, modify, criticize the other individuality. Each partner has the right to express and experience his/her individuality with confidence
Consequence: if any conflict raise from one not respecting the other individuality, this should be discussed in a non threatening, non criticizing, ... Manner; and both perception should be listened , to together search for a resolution of this conflict ( learn to compromise together sometimes)

Intimacy: healthy relationship need Emotional intimacy and physical intimacy.
Without these two, sexual intimacy is not possible ( for me this is clear, as there would be no connection and I refuse just sex, I want " to make love")
Action: if no emotional and physical intimacy ( tenderness), there will be no sexual intimacy

Value ( personal)
Boundary: given the consequences and today's knowledge about my H addiction ( and how this has affected my values, self esteem ... And how u am still considering myself healing process) ; I expect from my partner empathy and understanding ( even if is another partner) In particular to avoid putting me in situation that may hurt me ( risk of jealousy, poor communication, topics that may trigger uneasiness, sadness etc...)
Action : no empathy may lead to block my healing, and so may delay my ability to invest in confidence in relationship.

Value: Fidelity ( faithful to partner and to our own love feeling)
Boundary: fidelity is to be faithful physically , mentally and with the heart. This includes overt and conscious subtle infidelity. This means one should not want/desire be with another partner, physical contact or verbal romantic exchange ( this does not include images/triggers of fantasy to come sometimes; but includes conscious efforts to fantasize on things one wants but don't express . If one is using fantasy to bring him things he can not have in real life, this means the relationship is not satisfying. )
Any infidelity would lead to immediate stop physical and emotional intimacy; start couple counseling or end relationship.

Value: Life is a gift.
Life is a gift from God or ..., whatever the faith is coming from, each partner should truly believe that Life is a gift , and that we should cherish and protect this gift
Boundary: we should never act in a way that put life, own's life or partner's life or any other person , at risk ( practical example: sex with partner after unprotected sex with someone else)
Consequence: if any life risk is taken , end of the relationship

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:35 am 
Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Hello ana13

First, a long overdue welcome! It is great to see the commitment you have to your process. I am so sorry for the events that brought you here, but as you already know-here is a very good place to be.

It is great that you were able to pull yourself out of your spiral of emotions, seek the help you needed and do the work that has you where you are today.

He knows I am supportive, but also that I can not help him on this recovery path.
. :g:

PS: I am not english native speaker, so sometimes I may use unappropriate word or sound strange, I hope I can still be understood.
Yes, it was detectable that English is not your first language, but you speak well enough-very well actually-that it is easy to understand what you are saying.

I have always been a smiling and joyful person, since childhood. For me it is natural to smile, to see the bright side, to welcome people or events. The discovery of my husband's addiction nearly killed this nature. I will get it back.
Great attitude and yes-you will! Really great work on your vision work

I have been heavily manipulated and I feel guilty and angry at myself of not having suspected anything, of not having trusted my instincts.
You are clearly a trusting and positive person by nature which is a very good thing. You have probably already come to the realization: There is no reason for you to have suspected as this is not what we expect when we enter into a relationship. It is not your fault he violated that. It is also not your fault that he developed a secret addiction. There is nothing you did or didn’t do that caused it-he is 100% responsible.

He should (by himself) get support/help from external people . I can not cope anymore with this multiple role. It is too much for me and it does not help me to focus on my healing
Yes. You had the best intentions to be there for him, but it is not ideal as you are also a person who needs healing. To do that you need to be able to separate yourself from his addiction.

For me: take a clear decision about our relationship (I can not one day think ‘I stay’ then the next ‘This might be only wait and see’)
It is ok to be unsure. Wait and see is perfectly ok. There are no guarantees and so early in the healing process you do not need the added stress of making such a definitive decision.

1. commit to the "new" relationship ( I don't like to say recommit, I prefer to consider as a new type of relationship with a new type of commitment )
You have made a thoughtful distinction, here. :g:

If I have a gut feeling instinct that something is wrong and that there can be a major danger (for me and/or the kids), I can exceptionally break this commitment to not spy on him.
I personally agree with this. There is a big difference between compulsive snooping and looking into a gut feeling. Also, his work is online, on the internet for anyone to read so you were not breaching privacy. That said, if you hold a strong value against even checking up on him, I understand the conflict. IT sounds, however, that you are learning the boundaries of your values, and how you prioritize and balance you values within your system of values, and not simply considering each value in isolation.

You have managed your husband’s regression into addictive behaviours very well. You have a strong commitment to your values and you think critically/thoughtfully, and you are very insightful. Your work is very thorough and your commitment to your process is clear. I am sorry you had this experience, but you are going to be ok, ultimately. Continue to take care of you!

Be well.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:45 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
Thanks Coach Mel for your kind and supportive reply. It is good to receive encouragements ( even if with each lesson I feel like receiving personal encouragement each time). I took some time to think about your comments.
Yes I need to separate myself from my husband's addiction. And this is not easy. I often have to repeat to myself: "this is not me who did all that" ( so I shouldn't pollute myself with disgusting images), "this was not done against me", "I should not feel guilty in anyway". I need to take distance , and I have step by step affirmed this need to my husband , in particular by refusing to play the role of comforting mother , best friend or psychotherapist ( listen for hours, without really be listened in return).

I also realize the healing process is long, and not straightforward. I still need to learn/develop some skills ; to strengthen my values, which requires energy and courage sometimes; and to re-learn to set up goals for my life ( short and mid-term to start with).

The Wait and See situation is still difficult to handle for me. I am under the impression of not driving my life, and this is not natural. I have to clarify what I am waiting for... I am waiting for reaching a certain stage of healing, to be able to " Let it Go " ( I have done it 4 times since the first discovery , and so I am tired , and full of doubts ; I lack energy to see things positively ; I'm afraid to take risks again). I am waiting to see how my husband "grows" ( implementing new life management skills, dissociating from his addiction) and I can only rely on facts, not words. I am also waiting for him to be available ( I feel he has not yet fully dissociated from his addiction. And today's reality is that his relapse of August does not allow any physical intimacy until all his medical checks are completed). And we would like to try to complete the Couple workshop, but he wants to wait the stage of lesson 60 for him.
So I have to accept this wait and see situation.
And keep focusing on my healing , and my values & boundaries.

Thanks ! I will get over it ultimately!!

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55

I have started to work on the first lesson of the Couple workshop with my H. This first lesson covers many points and we both take our time to work on these points, then discuss them together.
Some parts were already done in my individual workshop (vision, values); but the others were more difficult, required more work.
First I started with my individual goals for the rest of my life. This was not easy as I felt that with the discovery of the addicition, and the trauma associated , I had erased all my dreams so all my goals. But because it was individual goals, I managed to dig them back, and in some ways reconnect with my identity. And this feel good.
Then the work on What we expect to experience within the relation ship within the year, and for the rest of the life. This has been sensitive task to start with, not to look at the past, but only to the future, with realism and with hope at the same time. At the end I got something , may be too optimistic or idealistic, but if I don't hope for something very strong, if we don't develop a relationship with deep Love, respect, trust etc...; then I fear I can not overcome all the shit that happened, that he did.
The following work on obstacles had some special effect for me when I talked about it with my husband: I could talk about all my fears, my struggles etc.. with him listening like a partner, not like if I was accusing him, and him to retreat or defend himself.It was a good opportunity to voice myself.

So we both keep working on this lesson, and communicate about it (already 3 communication sessions)
I will post when it is finished. It is definitely a good tool to improve the communication with my H, and discuss the relationship on an equal level, looking at today and tomorrow, being realistic, pragmatic, and at the same time allow some Hope.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:51 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55

I want to share here what I came up with for the exercise 1 of couple workshop. This is related to couple but at the same time very personnal (values, goals for life). This is sometimes very optimistic, but well, optimism is part of my values, so I have to accept that I have to see the future with optimism, otherwise I can not look at it , invest energy/time/patience/compassion... for it.
It was like I said a very constructive exercise to do with my partner. to talk at equal level. He was surprised sometimes (for example with my goals, or the goals I believe he should reach). It was usefull to voice my concerns about the possible obstacles; to clarify what they are, and the potential consequences (as I had this unique opportunity to voice my fears/anxiety , I used it extensively and came up with a long list!). My partner came with an interesting suggestion, it was to try to come with a action plan for the obstacles. I did it and shared it with him.

Exercise 1

a. An updated vision for the life that you are leading (this may require no effort at all if your current vision established in your individual workshop is accurate)

I have copied my initial vision posted in June in my personal thread , just added one sentence about discovery/beauty .

I see myself...

...Smiling: I have always been a smiling and joyful person, since childhood. For me it is natural to smile, to see the bright side, to welcome people or events. The discovery of my husband's addiction nearly killed this nature. I will get it back.
Every day I try to be fully present to what I am doing especially if it is with people, enjoy the moment shared , allow the smile and even the laugh to come back. Especially with my kids, in daily routines or games.

...Loving and Caring for: With my kids, my husband, my father, mother, brother, sisters, close friends, and friendly relations I show them Love by being friendly, attentive and by caring for them in simple, daily actions ( a smile, a phone call, a compliment, an encouragement, by listening to them, proposing help etc..)

...Learning: through a job, or studies, or any other activity, I see myself constantly learning new skills, explore new area.

...Discovering: Since my childhood I had this dream to live in many places abroad. I have managed to do it , living so far in 4 different countries, and I've always appreciated the experience. I will continue to discover and travel, whatever happen in my relationship.
I will seek for beauty when discovering ( nature, people, art etc...). Beauty and art have strong effects on me: inspiring, regenerating, soothing, bringing peace and comfort.

....Being a mother. I am a mother that sees her mother’s role as the most important job in her life. I see myself helping my kids to grow up, encourage them to discover their true self and their values, help them to learn how to face difficulties they may encounter, initiate them to spirituality.

...Having faith: I don't belong to any church, but I used to in my childhood and teens age. The dramatic experience I am going through revealed to me the importance of faith and the force that it can bring. I am opening the door to God in my life.

b. An expansion of your vision in the area involving partnership (specifically focus on two areas: what you hope to experience within your partnership over the next year; and, in looking back on your life from the point of your death until now, what challenges, experiences and memories you hope to share with your partner)

Over next year, I hope to experience with my partner the following:

Succeed as real partners to build a new life for our family in a new town, in our home country: a life which brings happiness, joy, energy, for everyone, for the couple, and for the family.

To enjoy together big moments ( celebration, vacation, week end, family/friends reunion) as well as simple little happy moments of daily life (take a coffee, watch a movie, ...)
To enjoy time/activities just two of us
That each partners actively organize some time/activity just 2 of us together , doing something outside home, outside routine, that we both enjoy, that can bring lots of positive emotions,

To enjoy peace, serenity in our relationship
To enjoy getting asleep together peacefully, talking to each other with serenity ( to fully see the man he is today)

To experience honesty and spontaneous full transparency.
I really hope this year my H continues to share his true self, to completely open to me.

To socialize as a couple. To make new friends, open ourselves to others.

To experience healthy intimacy , emotional and physical; that we are both comfortable, fulfilled and happy with.

To pursue developing good and meaningful communication between us ( in particular when time for communication is limited)

At some point within the coming year I want both of us to be able to confirm our commitment to the relationship with a symbolic/formal engagement ( "wait and see" must come to an end)

Over the lifetime the challenges, experiences and memories I hope to share with my partner:

Generally speaking:

Mutual deep love
This a strong hope, and I know this is not guaranteed, whatever efforts from each of us; this is not a skill, this is not something we can just decide. But I hope both partner to seek for this "goal", and enjoy the road towards this goal (a quest?)

Build together projects: Both partners involved in building common projects, and enjoy together the realisation of these projects (can be related to our home, to our vacation, to moving to a new place/country, organize big family reunions...)

Each partner encourages and support the other partner individual projects

Complicity: experience true complicity, based on the respect of the other individuality and full transparency

Parenting: harmonious collaboration in our parenting role
See our kids growing up, be there for them, and keep a strong bond with them. Show them the importance of values like Love, Family, Respect.

Full Trust,
but with vigilance/concern, not blind trust (be aware if the partner shows signs that something is not ok, and discuss it with him/her , for example)
I hope to experience for the rest of my life a relationship without any lies, betrayal and secrets
I hope that never again my partner, the person I love, put my life at risk, put my kids physical and emotional health at risk, and take security risks.

Surprises/fun :
that we both bring surprises/fun in our life, couple and family life

Grow old peacefully together, hand in hand

All our life enjoy true and meaningful intimacy, physical and emotional (with kindness and with passion)

Both partners rely on each other, care for each other .

To always listen to our hearts, and keep the Light on (faith), so we can look at the road in front of us (building and developing our relationship) with optimism.
And one day in the future we can look back together down the road, see all the wonderful time, the precious moments we enjoyed together on this road and be proud of us, individually and as a couple.
To develop spirituality in our lives (spirituality: God, Faith, consciousness, Light, Heart, Soul...whatever each one of us wants to call it)

And here are some specific goals/images I want to experience with my partner over my lifetime:
Take my partner to Quebec, a place called "Rocher Perce", to see the Whales
Sleep outdoor, in sleeping bags watching the stars
Several days hike in full autonomy, just the 2 of us
Receive a "big" surprise or gift, as expression of his love, that I could cherish (memory or object , whatever, the symbol is important)
Offer him a "big" surprise/gift as expression of my love

c. A simple list of the likely obstacles that are/will be standing between you and enacting this vision. (Think current or likely future obstacles only; such as inefficient communication rituals, alcohol, lack of forgiveness, etc.).

Our new life pattern when we move back to our home country, in particular frequent business trip for my H, can be an obstacle for developing communication, building intimacy.
And this may increase the risks of slip/relapse for my H.
Also if my H spend all the time in business trip, the risk is that I will find my emotional balance without him, I will organize my life without him, because I will not want to do the same mistakes and "wait for him" to do things. I have the right to live my life fully, to find a balance daily.
To be back in an "healthy"/ normal environment may trigger some strong anger/shame/resentment when looking back at the past (the enormity of the acts may hit harder)
Lack of time just 2 of us.

If I have problems to find an activity/job, some kind of independence; I would suffer from low self esteem, increase the risk of resentment/victimization spiral.

If my H relapse , or if I discover lies (given the awareness my H has now of the addiction, and all the work he has done with RN and by himself ; and given all the efforts I have already done on my side; I might not be able to cope with any relapse/lie)

If my H is not able to build a Balanced life ; so he may have problems to manage stress (risk of relapse; risk of defensiveness, agressivity, impatience) And also if he
keeps only 2 pillars: work and family , this can be dangerous for the family and the relationship.

Lack of empathy from my H. He is trying to develop it, but when it is related to moments when I am triggered for example, his first reflex is still to protect himself and so he tries to escape/avoid the situation.

If I am not able to put an end to rumination, obsessive thoughts (victimization, anger, urge for revenge, grieving)
If I can not rebuild respect and admiration (for Deep Love, healthy intimacy etc... I need to feel respect and admiration for my partner)
If I can not overcome the shame.
If I can not reach a closure to forgiveness. For me and for the relationship I need to reach such closure ( cf the lesson for partners on forgiveness; that I invite my H to read so he understands what I mean and we may be able to discuss it one day).
The issue with forgiveness may be linked to my issue of major values collision (integrity versus Love/Carefulness; because of what my H did, the absolute boundaries he violated, I should leave him (it is a very strong guts feeling). But I don't (because of values Love, Family, Optimism). And so I am in conflict with my value integrity)

Not able to overcome "not feeling safe emotionally"
Today I don't feel safe emotionaly : because I have suspicions, I doubt he fully believes what he tells me, or that he may think otherwise 2 days later or in front of other people or facing an urge/emotional trigger. Because I fear being used, as a comfort tool, as a recreative friend, as a parent, as a sexual object. Because he has a problem with love/romantism addiction , so how to know when/if it is love; or just the desire to be in love, to be loved ? Because he is a master in manipulation.
Not feeling safe emotionally prevents me from opening fully to him.

d. A simple list of goals that you have for the remainder of your life. (Important goals that you feel the need to accomplish to experience a sense of fulfillment in your life. Don't leave any out. If there is something that you feel that you must experience, list it. For instance, I know that at some point in my life, I need to spend a year or more in the mountains—surviving off the land. Even if it kills me, it's something I need to do to feel like I lived the life that I wanted to live. What do you need to experience—if anything?)

Do a hike on my own for 2 days , 2 weeks, 2 months... I want to be on my own, in the nature, for a certain period of time; to experience a kind of meditation while walking

See my kids getting married, building their own family and whatever happens keep a strong bond with them.

Take care of grand children; not only have grand children; but have the time, availability and energy to spend time with them and take care of them ; really be there for them and create a special bond with them.

Stop smoking, definitely. I promised to myself to stop at 40; but this was earlier this year and at that time I was devastated by the discovery of my husband addiction, not possible to stop smoking at that time. But I keep this goal, and I need to put a deadline to reach it ...

Do a "grand ecart" once in my life, may be not perfect, but one that can prove I keep taking care of my body and keep up with yoga. I started yoga one year ago, it brings me a lot of strength in my mind and my body. And I discovered I can be good at it and step by step improve.

In the future, have a house big enough to receive many friends & my kids' family , a warm and easy going place where people would be happy to stop by and where they would feel comfortable.

Once in my life have a job I am proud of, that brings me real meaning.

Once setup a project to help some people in needs . Not something big; just a project that has special meaning for me ( can be with kids, education, women in need etc..)

Continue painting and be able to one day get something good out of it. I am painting for myself, nearly like art therapy sometimes. But still I would like to be able one day to really create something I could show to others and that would be recognized.

Take my mum and dad traveling to a exotic/special place. I already took them to Quebec ( we saw Whales!), Thailand and Cambodia. Each time it was very special, lots of emotions discovering together, and long lasting happy memories. It also reinforced the bond I have with them, or may be just added another dimension to this bond. I wish I can do that many more times again.

Do family hiking, over several days , with all in backpack and camp in the wild

Do a road trip across Australia

Learn Spanish

Visit Countries, in particular Chile ( or Argentina), a Middle Africa country ( to get the smell of Africa, where my Mum is born), Australia .

Live for couple of years in an English speaking country

e. A simple list of the goals that YOU BELIEVE your partner feels the need to accomplish in the remaining years of his/her life (Don't ask for these, share from your current knowledge base)

See a Glacier

Do a long trail, in competition, or over very long period on his own

Develop a peaceful (for him) relation with his parents, brother and sister

Hike in the mountains, with me and the kids, over several days.

develop an harmonious/balanced life between work, family, his partner, outdoor activity.

f. An updated list of your top ten practical values (the areas of your life that you currently derive the most meaning and fulfillment from)

Here is a selection of my 10 practical values,
with some actions to strengthen those values

- Take care of my kids daily (this is my job!)
- Do special activity with each of them individualy, plan them (ex: Yoga lessons with L, Read with An this adventure book in english at least 2 times per week, organize activity with Al wednesday afternoon)
- Organize/participate to family activities (ex: family friday night special diner+movie; participate to the football-saturdays. Need to organize more events for us 5. Active in creating a family bond
- Call my parents regularly. Contact by mail or skype my brother and sisters, give news, ask for news , etc...
- Prepare a comfortable "Home" for my family in homecountry. Clean today's home, and all the things that we have so it is clean from any trigger/bad images.

- Make regular contacts with friends, social friends and close friends (ex: weekly call with S, contact by email/skype my remote friends A, C, F, on a regular basis )
- Arrange coffees, lunch, diner with friends here. Or event with their family (ex: bbq with 3 families, park with Hanan and her kids)
- When talking to others try to always apply my mantra 'Nice Thoughts, Nice talks'
- Contact friends in Homecountry about my return (old job colleagues, parents of kids friends, neighbours)

- Always be patient with my kids, listen to them, show them interest
- Invest time and energy to support them with their studies (ex: help homework if they ask, english lessons, follow what the eldest study)
- Care for my kids health, physical (food, sport, ..), and emotional (listen to their problems with friends etc..)
- support, encourage, valorise my friends / family
- Listen to my partner, support him with his recovery work (as long as not too difficult, not feeling used, support him as a partner, as a friend, but with him knowing that I am not only a friend; not a therapist, or..)
- Develop compassion on his sincere efforts, and troubles he may face today

- Show Love to my kids, Tell them
- Show love to my parents, Brother, sisters,
- 'Love myself' , repair my damaged self-esteem, by seeing value in what I do, by encouraging, valorising myself
- Allow myself to recognize my Love to my partner (what is this Love? what do I like in him? what makes him special for me? why do I care for him? )
- Allow myself to express my Love to my partner (words, surprises, .. with his relapses, and with the repetitive ‘full’ disclosure, I have too much doubts, I am scared, I am ashamed, I am not sure he understands them)

- Refer to my values when I need to take a decision
- express clearly my boundaries to my partner, and make them respected
- For ex: i must feel sure of my partner's fidelity to be able to engage emotionnally with my partner (to let out my Love). Faithful physically, emotionnally (romantic illusion), mentally (sexual fantasy)
- clarify to myself what value I compromise today, and why. Tell it to my partner

- Prepare and succeed my exam in december
- Work on what jobs/activity options I can have when return homecountry
- Skill assessement

- Be active, every day. Avoid empty time,
- plan activities for the week end

- Look at MY future, outside the relationship, have the courage to "dream": about next holidays/week-end, plan to go and visit a friend, how to arrange the new flat, etc...Review my individual goals for that.
- make efforts to look at/ to talk about the relationship with optimism, see what has been achieved, what remains, what ground there is already; imagine what it could be tomorrow

- Be fully sincere with D, tell him when I am feeling low, and why. Don't be afraid (ashamed) to express my pain, my fears
- Sincerity with my kids: involve them in the details of our move, the schools, the flat...
- sincerity with my parents: this is difficult as they don't know the reality; and so I feel I can not be sincere with them. Accept that I have to compromise this value to avoid hurting them, and damaging my family image.

- Pray, to put things in perspective, to develop humility, compassion, to let my heart talk

- use it as part of my support system: paint, look at beauty (nature etc...), put beauty in my life (buy fresh flowers regularly, put kids drawings on the walls, etc..)

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:39 am
Posts: 55
3 years and ½ since D day.
That day I entered in a living nightmare
All the world I believed in disintegrated around me
The sun that was shining in my life since I met my partner, shut off suddenly, definitely

The following weeks, were pure survival
Filled with pain, in my head, my heart, my soul,
Physical pain , sharpened by depriving myself of sleep and food
Obsessed with disgusting images, real memories or scenes coming from my prolific imagination
Obsessed with questions: Why? How? When? With Who? For what? ….

Weeks transformed in months,
And the cyclical “base-jump” phase started….
Each time I recalled an event , a word that I now understood differently ,
Each time I pushed him to a new disclosure,
Each time I discovered a lie,
Each time noticed a slip,
My heart beat started to race, breathing became heavier, and I felt like falling from a cliff and kept falling, falling, falling….
This panic state was taking days, weeks to calm down,
Until I decided to trust him one more time, to listen to his words…
Then another discovered lie would hit,
another jump would start.
Longer each time.
Harder to recover from each time.

It took a year, a year!, to stop this circle of jumps ,
Until I did not want to ask any more questions,
until I couldn’t bear to hear about these horrors any more,
until the horrid relapse,
and until the full disclosure I urged him to do (or he would lose his kids)
Disclosure that he did in a cold un-human tone,
telling about 20 years of lies , from disrespectful to life threatening behaviours ,
with his final words, after I asked how he now feels:
“ Empty. Like I have no more power over you”…
This was the Truth. Truth can hurt more than lies sometimes.
But you can build on truth.
Not on lies

From that point I managed to start detaching from my partner (detachment is Key)
And start MY healing journey:
Moving to a peaceful place, quiet and close to nature, where I could take care of my wounds
Focusing on my values
Searching for my true identity
Taking care of my health
Being close to the ones I love unconditionally (kids, parents, sisters, brother, close friends..)
Taking decisions for me and my kids, with my kids
Protecting me, by refusing to see people, and be in situation that may hurt me (this included put distance with RN, as it was too painful to see other partners suffering)
Making new friends, healthy friends
Enjoying the present, daily little good moments

And Where am I today? Well , rather in a good place I have to admit. Where happiness is not a fantasy.
But I still have some issues, … and I don’t really know how to get over it:
- Anger still comes back from time to time, especially when I am facing difficulties, low moment.
- Horror images and painful memories still haunt me , much less than before of course (I can now wake up naturally, with serenity. This is fantastic). But I am wondering if I would ever be able to remove these images.
- Relationship: my vision and the values I had for a Couple are not valid anymore. And this is really painful. Like losing part of my soul. I will not get back to the same relationship pattern (unconditional, exclusive). I will not behave the same, make the same mistakes. I know have to build a new vision for the couple with bricks called: ‘detachment”, ‘autonomy’ ‘no full trust’, ‘not forgiven’ ….
- Shame: even if I am 100% convinced I have no reason to be ashamed , I still feel shame; shame of having been married for so many years to a SA, who did not respect me; for the humiliation of being cheated and lied to . I should not be ashamed to have loved, trusted, cared… but still, shame is there.

I want to pursue my healing journey, and solve these issues,
that’s why I’m back in RN, posting this long text ! and it helped :)

Healing is possible, it’s a long journey, but we can do it.

Warm hugs, to all sisters in pain.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am
Posts: 190
Ana13, welcome back even though it is clear that the life you believed you had was upended. I’ve been ‘in recovery’ for about as long as you have and the damage is felt very deeply. Nothing can ever be the same again. As much as I desperately wanted to be one of those better-than-ever stories where the relationship is robust and built upon a commitment to honesty, it’s not.

My husband, I sense, has not disclosed everything. I don’t know what he hasn’t disclosed, whether it’s relatively minor ie a more extensive addition to the behaviours I know of, or whether there are entire aspects to his addiction, or which took place during the years when his addiction was active, I really don’t know. I suspect there is more but I know he will never admit to anything. I’ve witnessed his lying in real time and had I not known the truth, I would have been convinced by his act. So I cannot believe him when he says he’s told me “everything”. I have stayed in the relationship in the knowledge that (1) my husband is prepared to look me in the eye and lie to me without compunction, and (2), I don’t know and will probably never know the truth about his sexual history during our relationship.

Trust is difficult. My husband expected me to trust him whilst at the same time feel that it was OK to lie. When I didn’t believe his lies he’d get angry at me. How do you trust someone who thinks lying is completely normal and justifiable? You can’t. I can trust him in other respects but not relationally. As you and I have discovered, that’s why detachment is necessary.

It’s very interesting that you’re husband said after disclosure that he felt he had no more power over you. I am becoming acutely aware of the very subtle ways that my husband attempts to maintain control over me. In conversation and in interactions that veer into anything related to his acting out history, or tricky issues that may be relevant to our relationship, he will do what might be described as ‘controlling the narrative’. Quite literally, he will make up a story and use his ‘story’ to control what I might believe, or to influence me, or steer me away from what he feels uncomfortable with. Ultimately his aim is to silence me.

It’s very difficult to discover and perhaps recreate our identity. Only this morning I was thinking how lovely it would be to go on a retreat, with no men to be concerned about or to impress or whatever, away from the male gaze, and discover who we are, what we’d wear, what we like, how we’d choose to spend our time. No fear of being judged, being able to express ourselves, to make our own decisions without the fear of some opinionated other telling us we’re making a poor choice. Sexuality is another area that needs healing. I’ve tried but when I try and bring it back to the relationship it doesn’t seem to register with my husband. A year or so after recovery, as soon as I was able to have sex and reach orgasm, my husband distanced himself sexually from me. WTF was that all about? Was it about me having sexual power in the relationship again? I don’t know but it’s too remarkable a coincidence that my ability to orgasm made him withdraw from our sexual relationship for quite some time. So he sabotaged my sexual recovery. Yet again. Healthy sexuality with a sexually addicted spouse (in recovery) is elusive. I’ve tried and I’ve only partially succeeded at best. Another recovery expectation is readjusted to the new reality.

Please feel free to raise any recovery issues on the discussion section. Many of us are in long term relationship of 20 or 30 years, or more, and mostly our relationships are stuck in this twilight zone where the acting out has stopped but true recovery isn’t happening either. We have to work it all out for ourselves because all the books assume the addict is going to be all-in on his recovery. We really are having to find our own solutions.

 Post subject: Re: ana13 healing thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:44 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:22 am
Posts: 164
Just seen this,
Welcome back.
And I relate so much to your last post.
I also read the bit about your husband saying he felt empty and had no power over you after disclosure.. I feel the power issue is very revealing and is what I feel within my husband and why he has never disclosed fully or admitted to anything.

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