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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 5:31 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Vision of current life
I am confused, full of self contempt and despair, Most of the time I feel lonely, I always have, despite having the love and support of my soul mate and my family, I feel damned because of my actions and thoughts. I don't trust myself or my judgement in anything at the moment, especially with the feelings of those I've hurt. I understand that I am clinically depressed and the medication has dulled my mind, I understand that my addiction was always an escape from my feelings, from being me, and that my battle with alcohol and prescription medication, diazepam, sleeping tablets etc was the same, but I'm struggling to have compassion for myself. I am in therapy, I now have a shed load of reasons for why I am the way I am, but I can't change the past. I currently 'go through the motions' holding down my job, keeping my home, supporting my family despite living on my own, but I am trying to be 'clean' clean actions and thoughts, I am trying to be honest and I am trying to 're-wire' myself. I am attending SAA weekly and this grounds me. I am terrified of breaking, not coping, and going to bed for 3 months like I have in the past, I realise now that I am broken, but I'm still functioning and that's a big positive. 'The penny is dropping' constantly, and little epiphanies are happening that give me hope. I am beginning to believe that my sex addiction is a mental 'illness' just like my depression, and one that I may be able to recover from as opposed to suppressing as I have done in the past. In summary, at the moment I feel like I 'exist' rather than 'living' but I have to hope that there is 'life' and peace (from the hurricane in my mind) going forward. Having read this, I feels like a litany of self pity but it's how it is at the moment........confused as I say.

Vision of partnership
I know I have hurt the one person I have every really totally connected with, my soul mate, my wife. I know the love still exists, over the next year I hope that I can regain our friendship, that we can start again in the knowledge that, rather than suppressing my difficulties, I can understand and manage them, maybe even cure them now that my eyes have been opened. I hope that we can be together, look after each other and have fun together.

Challenges: Still unsure if the depression is the result of the addiction or vice versa, I'm fairly sure they are not mutually exclusive and feed off of each other, but that will be my main challenge. A big challenge will be 'parking' the mistakes of the past and focussing on the 'here and now'. I hope we can be the partnership we were, I know we will have to face loss and sadness but I hope I will be bigger and stronger in dealing with this as well as you.

Experiences/memories: I hope we will be able to look back on our lives and say 'that was fun' we went where we wanted to go, we laughed and did the things we wanted to do, that we had a peaceful, comfortable and honest life, that we watched our son find happiness, that we were good people, that we supported our family we shared our passion, our ideals and goals like we used to.

Whilst I am confident that, after a lifetime of fighting addiction and depression I can see a light, I am frightened of my depression and the impact this has had on myself and those around me. Now that I accept and, to a degree understand, my addictive nature, and that sex is just another escape like alcohol etc, I feel like it is something that can be managed. It will, however, be an obstacle until such time as I can deal with the urges which, at times, are borderline overwhelming. This is a work in progress, and I feel like I have taken great steps in understanding and managing these urges and hope that, in time, my new understanding may alleviate my self contempt and, in turn, my depression. A very big obstacle will be forgiveness, me to myself mainly and wife to me. Communication always has been a big obstacle, but I'm sure with the right boundaries and guidelines this can be overcome. By far the biggest obstacle will be honesty and, whilst I'm confident I can undo a lifetime of instinctive lying, this isn't going to happen overnight and I need to remain conscious of my obligation to be honest with everyone, including myself.

Overwhelmingly I want to be the good person that I have intermittently been and know I can be.
I want to be honest
I want to be trustworthy
I want to be with my soul mate
I want less stress in my life
I want less confusion
I want to find peace
I want to be find joy in the things I used to, training, music, art
I want to like myself
I want to be happy and have fun
I want to see my son enjoy his life
I want to be able to read and study

Partners Goals
To have an honest relationship with me
To be financially secure
To see her son happy
To have a peaceful life
To cut down on her working life
To travel more
To have a nice home

Practical Values

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 5:32 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
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 a fulfilling life, I have a wonderful and supportive family and friends, a loving Son who is a good man. I have a good job and own my own home. I am financially secure. Despite the trauma both my husband and I have been through over the past 6 or 7 years we are still supportive and both want to work on re-building our relationship. My vision is to try and 'go with the flow' more in my life, to endeavour to be less controlling. At the moment my state of depression is thwarting my efforts somewhat. I am trying to be kind to myself and give myself time, we are both hurting in our own way.

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 the next year I would like to build trust in my partnership with the ultimate aim of being able to live together as a couple. We both need to work on ingrained behaviours which jeopardise our relationship. I would like us to spend more time having fun as a couple and with our son. To cook together more. I hope we can support and help each other grow. I want to be more compassionate and feel less insecure. I want to support my husband with his choice to lead a healthy lifestyle.
I would want my husband to stop lying and for him to begin to forgive himself. That he not only tells me that I am the only woman he has ever loved and his soulmate, but that his actions confirm this. For example, that he plans times for us to spend together, just walking, shopping, or meals, dates other events which he knows I enjoy. I will continue to do this for him, but to also be compassionate, offer support and praise. I would hope that my husband be a man of his word and then when we agree something that he does not let me down (he wouldn't let a friend, colleague or another member of the family down and yet easily does this to me). I would expect that we respect each other's boundaries and encourage and help each other to stick to them. I would like my husband to share and communicate EVERYTHING with me.

The biggest challenges at the moment are my husbands addictions and my hurt and insecurity. My husband is successfully managing his alcohol addiction and working hard on his SA. Hopefully we will lead a long life and all of this will become manageable and not overwhelming our daily lives.

Challenges, death of parents, retirement, addictions, health, depression, family problems.

Memories. We already have so many happy memories of our life together thus far. When we met, married, had a child and all the times in between. Living and sharing our cats and dog. We have had wonderful holidays and family times. We supported a children's charity through our local church which was a memorable and rewarding time. We have both suffered from depression and have always supported each other. Although it is never nice to go through depression, the support and understanding I have received is a good memory, making me feel loved. I hope we have memories of good times with each other, family and friends. Memories of times with our Son, building our house (we have shared this goal), travels.

Experiences. Togetherness, trust and peace. Continue to keep fit, walk, challenge ourselves. Watch our Son grow and continue to support him. Travel, build a house. Cook together. Perhaps enjoy grandchildren. Support each other in our personal goals.

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.).

Lying including withholding information
Lack of self compassion
Repeated behaviour cycles from both
Inefficient communication
Overcoming life's painful experiences
Not being able to forget

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?)

My goals are to be more self confident and assured in myself. To be able to regain my love and joy of life. To be more compassionate and forgiving to others. Also to have a fulfilling relationship based on trust, honesty, love and compassion. Sharing life's ups and downs, joys and sadness. To move into old age with the person I set out to share my life with. For the next years of our life to be based on real life and not just a model of a perceived life. To take life easier on approaching retirement. To travel more. To one day build a house.

I want to support our Son and grow with him as he progresses through his life. I want to continue to share my time with my extended family, Mum, Dad, sister and her family. I want to share my time with my friends, going to the theatre, cinema.

I want to take walking holidays, enjoy the beautiful countryside where I live. I would like to challenge myself, for example walking The Great Wall of China.

I want to continue to keep fit, practise yoga and weight training. I want to continue to grow and learn about this life we live. Oh and learn an instrument and keep a dog when I retire!!

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)

I believe my partner's goals are to achieve a healthy life. To be a good person. To reach an emotional maturity. I believe his goals are to be able to re-build our marriage. To be a good Dad, husband.

I believe he too would like to relax more as he heads towards retirement. I think he would also like to travel and build a house.

I believe he would like to continue to keep fit, to play and listen to music, to draw. I believe he would like to take some formal learning, maybe a philosophy degree. I believe he would like to take on some charity work, which he did in the past and enjoyed.

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)


PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:17 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Our Caring Day:

Last Sunday I spent the day caring for my wife. The week before we had had an impromptu meal at a local hotel together which we both really enjoyed and, knowing that she liked this very much, I decided to replicate it on our caring day. On the Saturday, I spent a fair bit of time travelling around (and getting lost quite a bit) to get the ingredients. This made me feel good, like I was doing something special.

On the day, I showed her the ingredients and she was very excited, we spent some time laying on her bed cuddling (clothed) and I asked her to put her head on my chest and stroked he'd hair. I know I am a sex addict, and this was difficult to begin with because I was quite triggered, but, in truth, whilst I adore the physical act of sex, I adore the closeness and affection I feel with her when we're close so the feelings of lust were outweighed by the wonderful closeness and affection. We listened to the birds and chatted for a while.

Then I ran her a bath with candles so she could soak, which she loves, while I prepared dinner. Once it was all going, I then tried to bathe her, this was very difficult for both of us and I was vet triggered, she said she was too, so having washed her arms legs and back I left her to do the rest then wrapped her in a warm towel.

We then had a lovely meal and I covered her in a blanket on the settee and read to her. I felt a bit useless at this because, despite being a highly qualified and successful professional in a former life, (felt like I needed to qualify that lol), the medication makes it hard for me to read and think. Nonetheless she enjoyed our reading.

Then I brushed her hair and we talked for a while. Before I left I brushed her teeth, this was a bit weird but not unpleasant, not something I've ever done before, but it did feel like I was looking after her. She allowed me to do control the day, which I know is not easy for her to do.

We had a lovely time and, as usual, it was very hard to leave her and be alone again. I think I have always cared for her, nursed her when she was ill so the hair brushing and teeth cleaning (although weird as I say) came easy. I adore this woman, I desire her so very much and I have always felt the need to look after her and protect her.

I felt good that I had made it work and that the day had gone smoothly, at the same time I was fighting the guilt and self loathing for what I had become toward the end of our marriage. Managing my addictions and undoing a lifetime of beliefs and re-inventing myself is a tiring task that leaves me exhausted constantly. I know she also gets tired with all that is going on in her own development so we're in this together.

The day made me reflect and served to reinforced what I already have come to know, that sex without affection, with anyone other than my soul mate, is an empty and, frankly, sad act, like masturbating to porn. I understand now that it is an escape for me, from my feelings of inadequacy and futility, that, just like being drunk, stoned or medicated, it's running away from my fears and it is a short lived release.

I do not want to spend the rest of my life in this twisted cycle. I can't understand why I still have the desires, why I still get triggered, I guess that is true addiction. I'm hopeful that I can re-wire myself and my thought processes and I know it's early days and I mustn't despair but, in truth, I'm a little bit frightened.

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:17 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Value Conflicts

Being unreasonable
When you are confrontational abusive or unreasonable I will remove myself from the situation.
No contact for 2 hours

Last edited by Cloz on Sun May 28, 2017 11:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 3:53 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Rather than an evening we decided to have time together on Sunday. I was looking forward to the time together and having my husband nurture me. I did not feel in any way awkward about this, because even during the time of his addiction (unknown to me) he continued to be caring. However it made me realise just how far apart we had come as it didn't feel as familiar as I had expected.

Cloz wanted to cuddle. I know he feels a great comfort in this. In truth I find it very difficult at the moment. However, I still have great love for him and want to support him in his personal recovery, I gift him this.

What was immediately obvious was just how much thought he had put into our time together, the meal he prepared for us. Going to great lengths to get it all right, I really appreciated this effort. I found it very difficult to sit back and allow him to take control and it made me realise just how much I control situations.

I found being fed very difficult - again this is because I was not in control.

My husband prepared me a bath, with candles and let me soak while he prepared lunch. He then came and washed me. I felt uncomfortable with this, as I did not want to trigger him and make the day difficult. Furthermore, whilst we are refraining from sexual contact, I too am finding this difficult.

By far my most favourite time of the day was when he read to me. He has never done this before and I loved it. Not only because he read to me, but he allowed me to ask lots of questions, which he answered with great knowledge. This was an insight into lifelong learning of his, which he had never really shared with me in detail before.

It was lovely to have my hair brushed and the teeth cleaning made us laugh.

My husband also brought his letter along and we burned it on the fire, which made him feel good, as though he was destroying the past. I did not feel the same sense of closure.

The time together did raise the trust issues between us as follows:

Cloz outlined what he would be doing during our time together, this did not include hair brushing, feeding or teeth cleaning, which were part of the exercise. I picked up on this, tried to leave it and see what the day brought, but couldn't. So I asked if he had read through the exercise and would he like to read it again. He agreed. He read out the exercise and I said he had not mentioned the above three things. He insisted he was going to include them that he just hadn't thought to mention it. I immediately saw this as a lie, that he had forgotten, and then lied to cover that fact (my view hasn't changed).

There are two ways of viewing this from a trust point of view. I could have seen the time through and the evidence of whether he had just omitted to tell me would have become clear if he had indeed included the above. (My fear of doing this would be my disappointment that despite saying he wanted to stick to the programme to the letter, he hadn't, proving that he is not a man of his word) I realise I have to address this in my boundaries.

Or, Cloz could have told me the information initially and not missed anything out. Following years of discoveries where I have to 'ask the right questions' to encourage an honest answer, I need cloz to be open and give all this information, so there is a clear picture and no room for anything to be misconstrued. We discussed this and Cloz still doesn't understand where I am coming from - it's early days. I am looking at all the positives, and the big changes we are both making in our relationship. I appreciate Cloz's dedication to change and am realistic that these ingrained habits won't change overnight. We need to stick with this for a peaceful and loving future for both of us.

All in all, This time together was a positive start on rebuilding our friendship and establishing a basis for mutual trust.

Thank you Cloz, I appreciate the effort you put into our time together and I will endeavour to be more patient in allowing you to work through your demons and make changes in your behaviour at your own pace.

I may not have liked you or your behaviour at times throughout our relationship but my love for you has never changed.

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 5:46 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Value - Lying

If lying takes place, I want to be told about it within 1 hour. This builds trust in our relationship.

Consequence. Broken trust. No contact for 48 hours

Value - Omitting information/deceit

Consequence. If it becomes evident that Cloz has withheld information, this is broken trust. No contact for 48 hours.

Value - Trying to access porn

Ideally I would be told at the outset, but negotiate 1 hour. No excuses that it was late, sparing my feelings, etc.

Consequence. If I am told I will offer support. I will feel that our relationship is becoming one of open honesty. I will be happy for Cloz that he is beginning to live by his values.

If not told. No contact for 48 hours and relationship building starts again.

Value - Accessing internet sex forums/chat rooms/online sex

Consequence. If told within 1 hour. I will endeavour to remain calm and deal with my hurt. We will work through it. If I find out. No contact for one week, to give both of us time to assess our future.

Value - Accessing phone sex

Consequence. If told within 1 hour. I will endeavour to remain calm and deal with my hurt. We will work through it. If I find out. No contact for one week, to give both of us time to assess our future.

Value - Contacting past sexual partners
Consequence. If told within 1 hour. I will endeavour to remain calm and deal with my hurt. We will work through it. If I find out. No contact for one week, to give both of us time to assess our future.

Value - Not keeping your word

Consequence. Broken word, broken trust, unreliable. No contact for 48 hours.


Cloz will tell me when he has been triggered to lie, drink alcohol, access porn, when he has been scanning during our regular conversations. I will offer support, encourage him to contact a fellow SA member for support.

Consequence. No contact for 48 hours

Being 100% accountable

Cloz has offered to be 100% accountable. This means being able to be contacted at all times. I expect him to keep his word on this. Which means he needs to regularly check his phone. I will not contact him when he is with his therapist or at SAA meetings, but I expect him to check his phone for messages when he leaves these meetings and get back to me. Consequence of broken word. No contact for 48 hours.

Cloz will also allow me to access his computer, iPad, iPhone on request.

Value - Alcohol

Consequence. I want to be told immediately or within 1 hour and I will offer support and we will work through it. Not told. No contact for 48 hours.

No contact for 48 hours follows the betrayal. This means if we have events planned we will not do them alone or cancel.

Cloz is already committed to sticking by his values and make a healthy life for himself. Not only is he beginning to be honest and share his recovery with me. He has also committed to SA and seeing a therapist. It must be extremely difficult to make these changes but he is. He is also giving up smoking and has an ambition to eat healthier and keep himself fit.

I too am trying to change some of my behaviours, it is difficult, but I know we both need to change to have a peaceful, healthy relationship together. Boundaries are something I find difficult.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:53 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Exercise Five

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 visit with them alone over dinner.

Ineffective: feel insecure, say you don't want him to go. Accuse him of wanting to have sex with her.

Effective: Thank him for his honesty. Explain in an adult way that the situation triggers feelings of insecurity and reminds me of when he met women for sex. Offer to prepare a meal at home for the person, where I would also get to meet her. This would also give an opportunity for them to be alone at some time during the evening.
In this situation I would not be comfortable giving my permission for them to meet alone.

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.

Ineffective: to go into an instant rage to defend feelings of hurt, helplessness, hopelessness and disappointment.

Effective: Ask what caused the trigger and how can I help. If he still lies, say I know he is lying and that is going against his new values. That he may have slip ups in the beginning and he can trust my feelings with those. The important thing is honesty. Put the consequence of going against my values in place.

You suspect that your partner is lying to you about where they were, but you have no proof.

Ineffective: accusation - confronting.

Effective. Ask for verification. Discuss and share my feelings of insecurity.

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. You want to know if he ever used your bed to have an affair.

Ineffective: Push for an answer as this is a valueless question.

Effective: try not to ask the question but if it becomes consuming explain the situation to your partner. He has the opportunity to reassure you of the successful gains that are being made in the relationship.

This exercise highlighted a lack in both of our communication styles. It was good to be able to discuss them openly. I do feel my partner has come a long way and we were able to communicate much more successfully than in the past. I am also on a huge learning curve, where I will also make changes which will allow me to live within my values.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:15 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Exercise 5

Situation 1
Ineffective: Make excuses, change the events to minimise impact, be defensive
Effective: explain how it conflicts with my values, explain my concern about her focusing on the behaviour, be 100% honest irrespective of consequence, ask does she need to know
Situation 2
Ineffective: Blame her for rejecting me, minimise the acting out, be dismissive - it was only 20 mins etc
Effective: explain that I felt rejected which triggered me, admit it was wrong, explain my concerns about more problems than it would resolve but be honest irrespective, explain it was a slip not a relapse
Situation 3
Ineffective: Hide my concerns (bottle it up), minimise my concerns, make excuses for my feelings
Effective: share my concerns and ask for her help, be 100% honest about my feelings
Situation 4
Ineffective: Dismiss her concerns, get defensive (I've been honest), refuse to talk about it anymore
Effective: why does she feel I lied, explain that I've been honest and she knows everything but acknowledge her concerns, why should she believe me, empathise, reassure her

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Exercise 9 - As planned EP read the lesson and we sat down to discuss her thoughts on the similarities and differences with my actions regarding SA. It was very hard to just listen and witness her pain, as well as feel all the shame and disgrace that I am contending with every day. I am extremely conscious of the similarities between the lesson and the actions of any addict i.e. me. In all honesty, it opened further a gaping wound that was far from healing and led to a very trying and painful week for both of us. I think we both came to the conclusion that it is still very early days and that it is unrealistic to not expect some fairly significant steps backward throughout the program. In all honesty, I think I may be haunted by my feelings about my addiction for the rest of my life as may EP. We agreed to stick with the programme and not make any life changing decisions until it has reached its conclusion. I am still hopeful that I can become the good person that I have always strived to be and that it will be someone EP wants to be with going forward..... A difficult lesson and experience for sure.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:49 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Ask yourself the following: “If my partner did the things that I have done —exactly as I have done them—what would I need in order to rebuild my trust in him/her?” Really think about this. What would you want from them, expect from them, demand from them? Share these thoughts in your Couple's Thread.

Firstly, I have to say that I found reading the partners comments devastating. I made the one person that the real me ever really connected with feel all of those things and, as I slowly come off of anti-depressants and the fog that has clouded my mind for years begins to thin, I am faced with the harsh reality that I destroyed her world, our world. It’s a bit too big at the moment.
I really don’t know where to start, I’ll keep it specific to our circumstances as suggested so, what would I need to rebuild my trust?
I would need to know that she full understood what had happened and that, despite the underlying causes and circumstances, that she fully accepted responsibility for her actions.
That she was willing to address the underlying issues which, although in the past and can’t be changed, need to be accepted and closure achieved. The things that happened throughout her life, the things that contributed to her confused skewed view on life need to be assessed and understood and, where necessary, re-programmed in her mind so that she could continue her life in an honest, trustworthy and realistic way, ie - I would need to know that she was genuinely in touch with reality.
I would need confirmation that she fully understood the impact this had had on me and that she was capable of helping me overcome this hurt.
I would need her to be accountable until such time as my trust had been regained and to know that she was willing to do this.
I would need to know that, ultimately, there would be no further acting out and that what we have is what she wants.
I would need her assurance that she would stick with counselling SAA and the RN program until such time as we were in a position to make a decision about the future and beyond that if it seemed beneficial.
I would need online access to be restricted and to be able to check phones, ipads etc when I felt I needed proof that she was actually implementing what was agreed.
I would need to see a change in values and perceptions that reflected the values we would share going forward.
I would need the help of a qualified individual to allow me to assess the implications a likelihood of recovery from her illness.
I would demand honesty.
I would need communication
In fact would expect all of these things.
Above all else, I would need hope and time.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:08 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Exercise 7
1) Calmly, gently sit down with your partner and try to verbally summarize their addiction. Be general in your summary, without graphic content. For instance, "From what I understand, you were a fairly normal kid up until the age of about 16. You then started looking at Playboys with your friends, and then alone. Once you moved out on your own and had unfettered Internet access, the porn use increased substantially. You have struggled with faithfulness most of your life. You have struggled with deception most of your life. All of this has now come to a head in your life and you are now seeking fundamental changes to the person that you are."
If you don't feel comfortable talking about this with him this early in the process, then write it out. What is important here is that you begin to expand your awareness of his addiction from the time period he has used it to violate your partnership; to seeing it within the scope of his entire life.

I found exercise 7 (P) and 9 for (SA) emotionally draining. I chose to write down my viewpoint on how I saw Cloz's addiction development. It made me incredibly sad to think I had known of his problems all along, had many times told him my thoughts, but he had never listened, instead always making me believe I was the one in the wrong. I have spent my whole marriage being compassionate to Cloz and supporting him through his depression and drinking, supporting him by staying at home to raise our Son and giving up my career as he climbed the career ladder. Although he was always a great provider and gave us a financially secure life. For me the exercise open wounds and brought resentment on my part. I know I have to let this go and in fact one week on, I am managing my emotions. It was difficult for both of us as we were really making progress. But a good lesson learned on managing our feelings within our new values and boundaries.

Likewise, the similarities with the story of the business partner, brought back all the trauma that I have felt for many, many years. I know this was hard for Cloz to listen to as well. He is reducing his medication and finding more clarity in his thinking, therefore experiencing more shame and guilt. In our own ways we both have the pain to deal with.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:12 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Exercise 8

1) In your Couple's Thread, discuss ways that you can practically implement the insights offered in this lesson. For instance, how might you integrate joy into your relationship now, as a part of the healing process? How might you offer sincere support to your partner's efforts to change his life (as opposed to patronizing support, pressured support, etc.)?

Time. A difficult one for me, because I am impatient and Cloz and I work on a different time, he will take longer to process a situation, whereas I will have a more knee Jerk reaction. I see the benefits of giving Cloz time as I understand this is important for his recovery and our relationship (whatever that becomes) going forward.

Support. I can support Cloz by giving him the time, space and encouragement in his recovery. When he is feeling overwhelmed by guilt and shame, I will talk about how far he has come and about the positive outcomes. If I feel Cloz is being self pitying I point this out to him.

Mercy. 10 months into recovery, I found out that Cloz had been telling me a pack of lies. My world fell apart all over again. It was worse than the discovery of porn or internet sex. Worse than the knowledge that he had sex with other women. It was that he could have lied to me so convincingly when I had given him so many chances to move forward in an honest way. At this time the only way forward was for me to give mercy and I did and continue to do so.

Understanding. Cloz is a perfectionist and doesn't like to fail. He has the fear of relapsing, which he feels would be devastating. I find this difficult to understand. It's difficult when I think in such a different way. If I fail in front of Cloz, I know he won't judge me, just support me. I would do exactly the same for him.

Joy - often we will be doing mundane everyday things, like planning what's for dinner or how we will help our Son. Cloz will often say he loves these times as we are not talking about the addiction. I am trying to separate the addict from the rest of Cloz, which is becoming easier as he is so much more his old self, although it is actually a new self, bringing forward all that I loved about him and shedding the addictive, self absorbed, selfish and aggressive side. So just taking time out, walking, listening to music, just laughing together I hope will bring joy. I also hope that Cloz's life will continue to be more joyful.

Accountability. I will hold and have held my partner responsible for his actions by putting into place the consequences for violating my boundaries. Cloz is really making progress on his addictions, but the termites (as the late Jon would call them) are ever present. For me reinforcing my boundaries is difficult, so ensuring I do this is good for Cloz but also for me.

2) Examining your current role in your partner's recovery, what mistakes have you made? Are there any you might still be making?

I have also become more self aware through this crisis. I know that my behaviour within the relationship needs to change to. I am working on this, but can sometimes also be immature in the way I communicate. I am trying to be less controlling and give Cloz the space he needs. I am trying to keep calm and not 'fly off the handle'. I am learning to respect Cloz's boundaries too.

3) Describe the things you ARE CURRENTLY DOING to role model healthy partnership skills.

I am independent and I own my own house, I keep my finances in good order and lead an organised lifestyle, I exercise and eat healthily. I have had a few months off work due to stress, but am now working part time with a view to being back at work full time. I am seeing friends again, taking a weekend away with my sister. It is important for Cloz to see that I can live independently. Emotionally I often still need support from Cloz, I would like to model being less needy - when I achieve it!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
I am now on the individual recovery path

Exercise 1

1) actively committing yourself to change

I am currently in therapy, I attend saa meetings regularly although I don't think the program holds my answer, I am totally committed to this program. This has been a lifelong struggle for me, my curse, and for the first time in my life, I actually have hope that I can become who I've always wanted to be, no need for pretence, no need to loose myself in alcohol, porn, sex or drugs. I am not only committed to changing, I am totally determined to put and end to the side of myself that will otherwise destroy me and hurt those I love.

2) not allowing guilt/shame to sabotage your commitment to change

I guess like a lot of people in my position, I feel incredible guilt and shame. Sometimes it is overwhelming. In truth I just can't let this undermine my desire to change, I feel I have no choice but to change because I don't want to live the rest of my life as someone I despise. I have felt guilt and shame throughout my life, mostly unfounded, but still achieved great things, why not this, becoming the person I want to be, the real me.

3) allowing yourself time to change

My issues span a lifetime, over the past months I have been given reasons as to why I think and act the way I do, it seems like everyday a new epiphany happens, I realise I'm still in the early stages of recovery, I'm realistic enough to realise that I'm not going to reprogram a lifetime of skewed thoughts and actions in the short term. My sincere hope is that by the end of this program I'll have the knowledge and methods to be who I want to be and then my therapist says complete recovery is possible in 5 years. I need this so very badly.

Reasons why I seek to permanently change your life

I need to be the best person I can be for those I love
I want to be with my soul mate but I can't let this happen until I can trust myself
I will not survive if I do not change
I despise the side of me that thinks and feels the way I do sometimes
I know that I'm capable of great love kindness and compassion
Now I understand why I am the way I am I cannot allow these thoughts and actions to ruin my life
I want the love and respect of those I love and respect
The way I was living my life has driven me to despair
My depression is fuelled by guilt and shame and it would destroy me
I can be so much more that I am being
I want to feel good about myself
I need peace from the whirlwind in my head
The respite that I got from the things I did was short lived and unreal
I want to be real, a real person
I don't want to be afraid anymore, no more escaping
The alternative is to perpetuate a painful and lonely existence, I must change

Last edited by Cloz on Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:37 am
Posts: 41
Exercise Eleven
Intimacy Activity: Our Top Five

Cloz scored 30 ep scored 35
The funny thing with this was that we both came up with suggestions that the other preferred which I think shows that we know each other extremely well. No major revelations or surprises, a really nice exercise

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:25 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:22 am
Posts: 36
Exercise Eleven
Intimacy Activity: Our Top Five

This was a fun exercise. As Cloz said in his post - no revelations, in fact Cloz nailed my favourite films and I didn't! I chose films and songs for him, which he had forgotten should be on his favourite list too. Does this show how far we have come from knowing who we truly are/were? Have we both been so wrapped up in the SA lifestyle? Taking this exercise was fun, but it also helped me get back in touch with the things I love. Clever Jon - I am sad I will never know you. Thanks to all of you who keep his legacy alive, it is life changing.

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