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PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:44 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1013
Please give us a further update if you can. I have had to take some time off from coaching, and I wish I'd seen this post earlier. I'm very glad to hear that the therapy is making progress. I'd strongly encourage your wife to finish the healing workshop before you both do the couples' workshop together.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 97
Just thought I'd give an update on my recovery for those interested in reading.

I have remained committedly sober since January of 2008. MB addiction has been been completely overcome and detached from my identity. I've not had any urge to Mb or look at P since I started my recovery. Jon had indicated to me way back when that in the grand scope of addictions, mine was relatively minor. He was confident in my recovery and this was a real boost for me. Objectifying women has been successfully kept at bay with healthy doses of positive self-affirmation and alpha-therapy meditation to help overcome low self esteem issues. I feel very strongly in my maturity growth and the need to be a virtuous man. My relationship with God is good and I want to serve him well. Fathersforgood.org has been a very good website for me. I discovered that I had a had developed a lack of empathy problem as a result of bullying I received as a child. I also discovered that not growing up with a mature and virtuous father example set me up for much unnecessary pain and anguish. There was a lot of personality disorder in my family of origin. My alpha male grandfather seemed to have suffered from borderline personality dissorder. My grandmother AND mother were narcistic. All this dysfunction left me unprepared to deal with life's challenges in healthy ways.

Emotional maturity and the growth of which has been the cornerstone of the recovery of my marriage. My wife and I both remain committed to maturing in character and virtue now that we are wiser. My wife has matured as well as I. She is becomimg more and more aware of her family of origin issues. We have BOTH become painfully aware of how our families "programmed" us for a painful marriage. Me for avoiding conflict and dismissing my wife's mistreatment by certain members of my family including my own mother, and her unhealthy conflict dealing abilities as a result of being bullied by her siblings and other relatives. She was the youngest of her siblings. We also became accutely aware of and knew nothing about the phrase, "People are attracted to others of similar wounding". This has made a profound impression on BOTH of us and now we are understanding why my wife and I were attracted to each other. We are "reacquainting" ourselves now with our newly matured selves and it is wonderful. I now understand why couples that mature together after a trauma like this can be much happier than before. I have also come to realize that a mature women is still an emotional being, and has much to benefit from a mature virtuous man. In my opinion this arrangement seems to fit the world naturally of how marriage should be. Again, just my opinion.

The only real issues we contend with have mostly to due with her not trusting in my virtue and occassional inability to fully trust my thoughts, which I empathise with. I know this will still take some time to recover from but I am committed to my marriage. Whenever she gets in her stinking thinking mode I kindly reassure her of how far I have come and my steadfast committment to remaining clean of thought and virtue for God, for myself, and for her. I kindly remind her that it is not her place to be my thought police, nor is it mine to be hers. I cannot remember the last time my wife has been physically or verbally confrontational. I attribute the occassional spats we have had in the recent times to that of normal marital conflict. We use recently learned communication skills to express our issues in respectful ways and I have learned (and still learning) what I need to handle marital conflict as a virtuous man should.

Occassionally, I have to deal with issues of shame despite constantly making healthy values decisions with all its benefits. I have fully realized how I hurt my wife and I see how childishly pathetic my behavior was, and this guilt ebbs and flows. I meditate on these feelings and talk to my wife about them and it really helps. One cannot be fully recovered without taking inventory of the pain that was caused to others.

My wife never did go through the RN Partner's Recovery and I haven't been to a therapist in quite some time. We seem better prepared now to handle what life throws at us. We are confronting the closet skeletons in our families and this has been very elluminating for us. We seem to really be digging deep into our childhoods to find out how we can become better people and make a better marriage. We are well on our way to being very happy together.

The unseen benefit of learning all this is that my wife and I are better prepared to help teach our children about the importance of emotional maturity and boundary integrity. Learning about these two issue alone are worth all the gold in the world and I cannot understate their importance in child rearing. All parents should study these subjects before raising children.

My addiction is a distant memory for me. It shall remain so with all my heart. Women are people, not slabs of meat, and they are to be respected as creations of God just as we all are.

Thanks to Jon Marsh (in heaven) for all his help. Thanks to the RN workshop for helping heal me. Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread to help give me perspective. It has really come in handy during some very dark times.

I am not quite sure if I will ever again add to this thread hereafter. As Jon Marsh said, "The hope is that you never have to come back to RN ever again." I think he will be right in my case. I hope my experiences hereon can offer some help to others than can use it. If anyone wanted my advice I can only simply say keep trying and don't give up on yourself. Others are watching you including God. Do the right thing even if it seems ackward or irrelevent. Your confidence is a well that springs from within you to offer you strength when you least expect it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:48 am 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 97
This thread goes back years and it has been understandibly parsed.

Here are some updates for those interested in reading.

I remain strong in my sobriety. No MB or P since D-day. That's about 3-1/2 years now. I am fully aware of my boundaries and practice living by my values not my feelings at every opportunity that I can. I see now very clearly the flaws in my character that fed and led to my addictive behavior including my incongruencies and low self esteem. I cannot stress enough the importance of respecting the value of my dignity and love for myself. Emotional maturity is key to healthiness and happiness. God remains very important to me.

My wife has made leaps and bounds in her happiness as well. A very obvious problem that I see in my wife is that her state of mind can be very volitile. Mostly she remains caring, happy, and loving. It's been years since she told me she loved me. She can be very affectionate however. Family of origin issues are routinely discussed. Emotional maturity is a very important concept she tries to relate to. Any conflict we now have does not stem from her slipping into random depressive or unhappy states. It now has to do with any slight indescretion she percieves as "dissapointing" to her and she slides in to kitchen sinking all my flaws. The most recent is when someone takes too much of my time. My wife perceives this other person, who is a happily married female and foster mother of one of our troubled employees, as someone who overlooks my wife and wants to show me attention. I empathise that my wife shouldn't be treated negatively so I agree to keep my distance from this other person. Due to some issues being discussed between the foster mother and my wife and I the foster mother took about an hour out of my busy work day to chat about my foster employee and his bioligical family issues. Very intense issues that would maky anyone feel bad for my employee. I tend to be a social person and enjoy having conversation and I admit that I shouldn't spend so much time away from work. My wife confronted me about the lengthy discussion and all our marital issues re-emerged all over again. The words expressed were punishing, hurtful, and lamenting.

I have come to accept a very significant and profound condition that exists in my wife. She, her mother, and some of her sisters, demonstrate mild OCPD. What I mean by mild is that every condition by itself may not seem like enough to warrant such a conclussion, but the characteristics as a whole paint a picture that can only mean that mild OCPD is rampant in my wife's family of origin and the term "blissfully unaware" is very obvious. Without going into detail all over again my wife was bullied as a child by some of her siblings ranging from outright physical confrontation by her brother to phsychologically abusive and controlling sisters, to emotionally distant mother. Her mother and father were loving but had no clue about the importance of boundary integrety in their marriage and child rearing. Her parents marriage is not what I would call loving, but more codependant.

My wife is decent and good hearted. However, all of my wife's siblings, her included, demonstrate some sort of mild and subtle "controlling" behavior, and keep walls of privacy from outsiders. Examples of mild OCPD manifesting itself in her family collectively are hoarding of receipts, compulsive shopping to the point of filling up entire rooms, excessive yard sale hunting, excessive coupon clipping, yards packed with potted plants, messy kitchens and living rooms, cluttered garages, perfectionism, writes off friends over minor grievances, excessive list writing, charming to general public but different when in private, quick to criticize others but reacts harshly when criticized, compliments and saying I love you received suspiciously, in fact her whole family is suspicious about anyone else outside their family nuclius, hard time controlling temper when something sets them off, wife thinks she knows me and others better than I do, insists on full value for everything they buy. In the past my wife used to post sticky notes all over her computer, a large portion of clothes she buys she ends up returning for refund or credit, it took years to decide on which contractor to hire for home improvements, and more things than I can remember.

One of her siblings has an nurological condition and requires constant medication. This second oldest sibling was diagnosed at the early age of 12 and her entire family had to tiptoe around her for fear of hurting her. This contributed to some very profound boundary conflicts and fights among the other siblings my wife included. The entire family was ignorant about how parents raising disabled siblings and created adverse affects during their childhood. This dissabled sibling does enjoy a lot of power in the family and continues manipulating the family to this day. Three of her siblings have divorced their husbands, one right away got pregnant and remarried. All of them have some sort of history of marital dysfunction. Two siblings have been physically or verbally abused by their spouses. Two other siblings show signs of domineering their spouses. All siblings show some narcissism. There are sibling conflicts over inheritance of parents assets. One sibling is a human resources director (bigshot) but won't (I mean won't) keep a job for more than a couple years. She claims this is due to conflicts at work and low pay.

I've become very aware of how OCPD interacts with all of my wife's decisions. I did not comprehend how this underlying was a factor in our marriage from the beginning. I have tried to talk to my wife about OCPD and she doesn't resist me but she doesn't see it as deeply as I do. She will actually admit to our children about looking out for OCPD that may inadvertently be passed down to them. She still won't admit to seeing a counselor though. I stopped going to one for my recovery because I was doing well on my own, but I am contemplating going back just to deal with the OCPD issues. My wife says she is an empath because she feels that she absorbs others emotions and I suggest to her to get observed by an expert and she won't. I can't tell when she is being an empath or just jumping to conclussions based on her obsessing.

I fully understand the only defense against someone with OCPD, even mild OCPD, is my boundary integrity. The problem is that I am punished for defending myself and accused of being boundary monger. She feels that I defend myself moreso than I need to. She has called me a jerk many times for many things of which I would perceive as minor offenses. Her "blissfully unaware" attitude that she isn't required to monitor her anger sometimes gets in the way of her empathising with me. Once the anger beast in her is loose she allows it to dominate her attitude and that's when the kitchen sinking begins. I have called her a bully when she gets this way and she denies being so. She doesn't even see the hypocracy of her angery words. I try to tollerate her venting for as long as I can while trying to defend my dignity, and while trying to empathise with all her pain of D-day. It's like dealing with a child and understandibly so!

I will survive. I will fight for my marriage and my dignity. I will work to keep our children healthy. I hope for the best.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 3:42 pm
Posts: 97
After 13 years I am still sober. NO DESIRE to MB compulsively nor watch P. I have established that this sort of behavior was just a weakness in my character which I remain committed to have corrected. I have concluded that the phrase "human sexual maturity" is not just the physical ability to procreate but also includes the self control to restrain sex drive. I view much of how society promotes MB as "normal" as misguided and pathetic, or childish.

My marriage has improved significantly and my wife and I enjoy some very special moments which include intimacy. She has been telling me (occasionally) that she loves me which I always return. We are definitely however, still confronting issues that were part of our original personalities that are still in our marriage conflict. I still have "frozen feelings" as described by one of my therapists. I was advised that this came from my childhood having grown up without a father and being exposed to the toxic environment of my family upbringing living with my grandparents. I know that there was love in my childhood and my mother tried what she could considering her own narcissistic tendencies and my grandmother (her mother). My mother admitted at one time to having grown up with abandonment issues. She definitely lacked some motherly loving skills. My grandfather just very simply couldn't be bothered. Consequently, my wife informs me that I remain emotionally distant much of the time.

My wife still has an inability to fully trust me and throws accusations towards me on occasion. I consider much of this understandable considering the trauma of "D" day and before. I don't fault her and I remain empathetic and apologetic. She still accuses me of MB as she feels I am not going to her for sexual fulfillment as much as we should. We have sex 1 to 3 times a month. In the time since D-day my wife has gone through menopause and doesn't have as much estrogen as before. Now she has vaginal atrophy as her vagina has shrunk enough now that sex is usually painful for her. She also suffered from dryness which we try to remedy using lubes. I have tried to communicate to her how much the pain during sex has affected me emotionally especially with dealing with my shame issues of addiction. I believe the occasional accusations that I am still MBing and watching P, and the pain during sex is getting in the way of me being able to fully recover from mild feelings of shame which undoubtedly contribute to my emotional distance.

One thing I haven't mentioned is how my wife and I are with each other 100% of the day for most of the week. We own and run a small business together and we are empty nesters. We sleep together, wake up and run a small business together, come back home together, and go back to sleep together.
I drive her around 99% of the time we are mobile, and she handles all the bills both at home and in our business. I have a hobby that sometimes allows me to take some time off our usual routine and visit with friends during scouting activities. I have discovered that in many aspects of our lives together she spends a great deal of effort trying to get me to do things the way she wants and complains when I don't do things "right". Unfortunately, she suffers from much anxiety while driving and other forms of fear she experiences. She cannot sit as a passenger in a car without being able to see the traffic in front of her. We cannot go on long road trips with any frequency. If we do she has to take a pill to soothe here anxiety. During all our marriage she has forbidden me from spending any nights away from her. I cannot even spend the night at an outing during scouting activities. She calls herself a "Highly Sensitive Person" or HSP. There is some talk about this on the web and I have been patient and understanding with her about it. I now recognize that some of this controlling behavior had contributed to my MB addiction, though by no means am I blame shifting. I realize I am responsible for my addiction. Much of my attempts to address her controlling behavior have been met with denial or blame shifting. I find myself much of the time not being able to express my own needs of natural creative ambition and making life decisions. She says I am "seeking attention and affirmation" from others.

Last week we experienced a major setback while at work. Our business requires regular internet activity through our web site. As a result I have had a few email accounts through yahoo, gmail, and other providers. As a condition in my recovery I have been completely open and transparent to my wife about any online access and interactions including these email accounts. I encourage and allow her to review my online activity. Unfortunately, there has been some pornographic spam that was found in spam folders which I have had to answer for which I have no clue. I don't visit p websites but still that junk gets in to the spam folder. I have closed those email accounts as needed to prevent future problems but things got heated last week when P spam was found on my gmail spam folder. This time my wife was so furious after spending some time checking my phone that she sucker back handed my head from behind which caught me off guard. I was shocked that she would do such a cowardly thing as to walk up behind me like that. This was done at work where I couldn't fully express my outrage without causing a scene in front of our employees. We spent the rest of the day going through interrogative questioning and deleting the gmail account. I assured her that I remain sober and have not visited any P sites. I told her that I have no clue why that material was in my gmail account. I am back to seeking help from a counselor to attempt to deal with these issues, perhaps co-dependancy.

I am indebted to Jon Marsh and this web site for my recovery. I thank God for him.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:12 am
Posts: 77
I have a different name here now, but this is CoachMonica. I'm glad that you updated this thread. I'm glad that your recovery is so solid and I wish you and your family the best.


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