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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:01 pm 
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Slowhand's Exercise Three response:

I am basing my contract on Alethia and Along the River’s response. I viewed several and this one seems to speak to me the most. I am concerned that we have not done the individual exercise where we document our current values, etc. Look at their thread and others to see what I mean, please and see if this is something we need to do. I may be overcomplicating things, anyway, here is my part.

1. Belief in myself – I am full of self-doubt due to my childhood. I constantly fight with feelings of worthlessness and that I am not good enough. I put the burden on Candy to build me up instead of engaging in healthy habits.
o Action: Slips or relapse
o Response: Stop and pray. Journal my finer points. Say out loud why God loved me enough to send his Son to die for my sins. Hand it to God. Seek out someone else to partner with in this regard to not burden Candy. Share with Candy my actions.
2. Honesty – This is the most important component of love and yet one that I struggle with. Even in day-to-day interaction I tend to exaggerate. It gives me a mini adrenaline rush and I recognize that as part of the learned behavior from my youth as well as a way to satisfy my “rush” need associated with PTSD.
o Action: Lying about anything
o Response: Yellow event chain
3. Strengthen my role as a partner to my wife – I feel strongly that my role in the relationship is outlined Biblically. I feel that our son looks down on me because I do not fulfill these responsibilities. I feel that Candy would gladly give these responsibilities to me if I were responsible, mature and trustworthy enough to execute them. I was managing our finances, maintenance and upkeep of the house, yard and vehicles alone. I was keeping things from Candy regarding finances. I need to be the source of righteousness, kindness, honesty and trustworthiness in our relationship in order to not only be an equal partner but also seen as a leader and respected as such.
o Action: Slips or relapse
o Response: Yellow or Red event chain
o Action: Not fulfilling my half of the work in our relationship
o Response: Discussion and getting back into it
4. Commitment to an addiction free life – Commitment to righteousness, holiness turning what I think is a natural tendency toward “niceness” into a Christ-like, mature lifestyle. I haven’t always been kind or respectful to Candy and it has caused her to put up walls to protect herself. Naturally resentment is there, and it may never go away. I live with that regret. My hope is that through consistent open honest communication I can convince Candy of my love for her, devotion to being a Godly, noble man and admission of being weak and leaning on her (unfortunately in some instances) and God’s strength. Complacency is an issue in this regard, and it definitely leads to relapse.
o Action: Slips or relapse
o Response: Yellow or Red event chain
o Action: Complacency, noticing I'm getting too relaxed about things
o Response: Discussion and writing down actions to take on a regular basis
5. Devotion to self actualization – Gideons, Master Gardener, Naturalist, Youth Leader continued growth and development. Mostly my self actualization is rooted in my love of Jesus and devotion to becoming more like him. To be nobler with all it’s facets…kindness, attentive to the needs of others, attentive to my needs of rest/healthy eating/exercise/positive thoughts and self-image.
o Action: Slips, relapse, lying in any way
o Response: Discussion, Yellow or Red event chain depending on what the issue is.
6. Develop emotional maturity – Realizing that lust is an immature reaction. Seeing others as the complex, wonderful children of God that they are. Having a time and place for everything. Moderating areas of my life and focusing on a healthy balance of rest, prayer, meditation, study, play, affection, intimacy. A big part of that is seeing and valuing Candy as the wonderful wife, mother, friend, soulmate, play mate, partner she is. To be willing to sacrifice more for her sake, be the leader she needs me to be and take charge in a Biblical way.
o Action: Slips, relapse, lying in any way
o Response: Yellow or Red event chain, discussion if only that needed
o Action: Lack of work to keep in recovery
o Response: Discussion and writing down actions to take on a regular basis
7. Do the right thing – Always with an eye on safety and security for those who look to me for protection. Being vulnerable is a strength I want to continue to cultivate while erasing feelings of lust and low self-esteem.
o Action: Slips, relapse, lying in any way
o Response: Yellow or Red event chain, discussion if only that needed
8. Engage with learning
o Action: Avoiding learning somehow (excessive time spent playing computer games and watching t.v. unless it is something that brings Candy and I closer)
o Response: Cut out the things that are taking over the time it takes to keep learning and add that back in.
9. Minimalism - live a simple and healthy life – Keep Jesus in the center of my life and our relationship. Focus on empowering and supporting my growing Family. Declutter, read the Marie Kondo book and put it to use.
o Action: Life gets too complicated
o Response: Be willing to remove things that are cluttering up life, be it physical objects, or addictive behaviors that are causing life to be cluttered with recovery management, etc. Review on a regular basis to make sure extra stuff does not take over my life.
10. Strengthening my role as householder and partner – Discussed previously…make our home super clean, tidy, make delicious nutritious meals for Candy. Support Candy while she is still working with opportunities for exercise, rest, healthy environment, fun and eliminate stressors and anxiety causing “stuff”.
o Action: Slips, relapse, lying in any way
o Response: Yellow or Red event chain, discussion if only that needed
11. Devotion to community (volunteer) – Scouts, Gideons, Master Gardener
o Action: Ensure these activities don’t turn obsessive
o Response: Prioritize this time but discuss with Candy and Family to ensure I am not putting this before God and Family.
12. Strengthen engagement with family (sister, brother, niece, and nephew)
o Action: Go twice a year, attend Family functions.
o Response: Prioritize this time so that not too much time goes by without contact -- it upsets me emotionally and that needs to be managed.
13. Engage and appreciate natural beauty/nature
o Action: Stay engaged with Scouts and MG, RV with Sandy, take forest bike rides
o Response: Carve out at least very small periods of time that are focused on this (have coffee outside in the yard, sit out there and watch the wildlife, etc.)
14. Engage and improve health
o Action: Daily stretch and workouts, seek out gym and swimming pool at Ft. Jax twice a week, train for Peachtree.
o Response: Make sure to add this back in the following week and not beat myself up about skipping it for a week. It is far more likely that I'll add it back in if I don't feel guilty about it.
15. Financial stability
o Action: Sit down weekly with Sandy to overview and check daily. Eliminate short-term debt and keep to the budget.
o Response: Discussion -- bring it up so I don't feel guilty and then get on it and spend even a little time looking at the budget and reconcile.



List of Responses to behaviors:

1. One on one discussion: May include use of “Yellow” or “Red” discussion topics, i.e., “Yellow - I need to speak to you when ready” meaning he ran into something that was challenging and it went fine but wants to discuss and disclose when I am emotionally ready. “Red - I need to speak to you when ready” means typically relapse or other serious issue that will definitely be upsetting.

2. Yellow Event Chain - For use for milder issues/slips etc.
* Event happens and we identify it.
* We both take time out and spend time alone reviewing.
* I take time to handle my bio-needs, use calming tools so as to not spiral off into more trauma/physical pain of my body.
* I journal my feelings and emotional response, determine which values were compromised (if any) so I can see the situation clearly.
* If values are compromised, I will write three things that I need for him to make amends and repair.
* If values are not compromised, I will write if I need anything to ground out and get back to baseline emotional state/reconnect.
* We then sit together when it is convenient and safe for both of us.
* We embrace for a few minutes if possible
* He discloses how he’s feeling, what happened in its entirety, how it affected his values (he would have reviewed his values by now, journaled and gone through his process).
* I disclose my feelings, how it affected my values if it did, what I need now.
* We process and discuss as needed.
* Do our reconnecting/grounding ritual we wrote based on our shared values.
* After a day or two, revisit and debrief to determine if the process worked or if we need to update it.

3. Red/Relapse Event Chain - For use with full relapses and major events.
* If relapse has happened, he will spend 10 minutes alone, to consider his actions/how it has affected him.
* Full disclosure of behavior to me.
* I find a place to be alone and safe. If full relapse or other serious issue, this will likely mean a full day/night away from the home at a hotel etc so I can find safety and calm myself.
* I take time to handle my bio-needs, use calming tools so as to not spiral off into more trauma/physical pain of my body.
* I journal my feelings and emotional response, determine which values were compromised so I can see the situation clearly.
* If values are compromised, I will write three things that I need for him to make amends and repair.
* If values are not compromised, I will write if I need anything to ground out and get back to baseline emotional state/reconnect.
* We then sit together when it is convenient and safe for both of us.
* We embrace for a few minutes if possible
* He discloses how he’s feeling, what happened in its entirety, how it affected his values (he would have reviewed his values by now, journaled and gone through his process).
* I disclose my feelings, how it affected my values if it did, what I need now.
* If amenable and possible he does one of his amend actions right away, but plans the others as soon as our schedule permits.
* We process and discuss as needed.
* When ready: Do our reconnecting/grounding ritual we wrote based on our shared values.
* After a day or two, revisit and debrief to determine if the process worked or if we need to update it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2021 4:31 pm
Posts: 3
• What behaviors would you find completely unacceptable in your partner?
 Viewing pornography-If you slip but are honest with me about it, we will continue working on recovery together. If I find out any other way with evidence that you are hiding it from me, immediate trial separation.
 Seeking any type of sexual experience outside of marriage-immediate trial separation
 Lying/Hiding things from me-If it involves finances, open separate bank accounts and work out expense sharing agreement. If it involves pornography/sex-see above. If it is any other issue, have a discussion to find out why you felt you needed to lie/hide whatever it was and discuss what can help you be honest/forthcoming in the future. However, if this occurs more than 5 times, consider revising the consequence.
 Hiding financial transactions-See above.
• What behaviors would cause you to worry about your partner's overall balance?
 Extreme reactions to hurt feelings. Ex. - saying you wanted to leave and not have anything to do with anyone in the family, including me, when your daughter hurt your feelings over your involvement in your grandson's extra-curricular activities. -Seek individual counseling for yourself.
 Frequent requests for validation-Same as above.
 Assuming innocent comments/actions are a criticism/rejection of you-Same as above.
• What behaviors would symbolize a return to their addiction and/or a detriment to their own healing?
 Unwanted groping-This is not a punishment, but the more you do this, the less I want to be intimate with you and I need a break from this behavior. One week of abstinence. If the behavior repeats, this will be reassessed.
 Telling sexual jokes, making sexual innuendos, buying anything for sex and showing it to me in hopes that I’ll want to have sex with you, pointing out your private area, etc-See above.
 Majority of verbal interactions between us relate to sex-See above.
 Continuing to request certain activities after I’ve said no-See above.
• What healthy behaviors would you like to see from your partner in response to what has been identified above?
 Accepting his faults/himself and knowing he’s ok because God loves him regardless of faults and we all have faults. Faults don’t mean he’s defective or unlovable.
 Honesty and openness in all things, not just about pornography type issues.
 Accepting that others have faults and not being so quick to criticize, even random people on the street.
 Showing respect to me by stopping the groping, sexual jokes/innuendos. For now, while I recover, I need all conversations about what we’re going to do sexually on weekends away to stop. I admit I am hypersensitive to this issue, but for now, I need to have a break from it so that we can come back to it slowly as you recover and eventually get this area of our relationship to a healthy place. As long as you continue with this, it feels like you are making no progress.
 Accept no the first time! Don’t keep asking.


VALUES/BOUNDARIES

Faith in God and striving to follow all of God’s laws
Peace/Peaceful resolution of conflicts
Acceptance of me for who I am and what I am able to bring to the relationship (don’t try to change me or give me dialogue for our relationship). I will accept you except for areas that violate my boundaries but that doesn’t mean I won’t roll my eyes at some of your cornier jokes.
I need time to myself. This is not a rejection of you or others.
Speak kindly and gently even during conflict. It’s possible to express one’s feelings without yelling, snapping, or storming out.
I can’t take away all of your emotional pain/depression. I can’t make up for what you didn’t receive growing up or heal you from past emotional trauma. Don’t expect me to be the mother you wished you had or even the one you did have. I can try to be there for you and listen but it’s not my responsibility to make you feel better. That is a journey you have to take.
Anything that takes sex outside the boundaries of marriage. This includes fantasizing about other people, real or imagined.


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