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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:26 pm 
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Exercise Thirty-One
A. Previously, you listed the consequences your partner's behavior has had on your life. Today, consider the consequences that your partner's behavior has had on your partner. What consequences of his/her actions has he/she had to face? List both the imposed consequences (i.e. from you, legal, etc.) and the natural consequences (lost respect, shame, etc.)
Imposed consequences: contract, having to move into a bandb for a week, his family knowing, doing the Rn course, having an STD test, loss of a wife, having to be honest, having to work and prove that he is willing and able to recover.
Natural consequences: feelings of facing up to being a SA, damaged relationship, lost respect (from my family), doing some form of recovery work, listening to me hurling himself back at him, showing him the mirror of his exploitation and abuse of women.


B. Review the list above, ensuring that you have made a complete and unbiased inventory of your partner's consequences. After this review, list below any additional consequences that you believe your partner needs to experience in accepting responsibility for their behavior.
This is difficult as he does accept responsibility, he always did. If I had to say something, I would probably say
To feel humility in the presence of the 'divine feminine', to be humble in the presence of the female instead of being a predator, exploiter of her.

C. In your own words, describe the roles that blame, punishment and/or responsibility have played in response to your partner's behavior.
Unhealthy:
Using blame or punishment out of fear when I start to relax and 'forget'. I find it so hard to balance letting go, with being seen as condoning, saying it is ok. It isn't ok.
Healthy:
The contract makes it very clear what my expectations are and his responsibilities are. This is very helpful.
This makes it clear that I am not condoning, that his behaviour is not acceptable and that there are consequences.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:12 am 
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Exercise Thirty-Three
Rather than labeling yourself 'codependent', it is much healthier to think in terms of the patterns that you have engaged in that may be obstructing the recovery and/or healing process.

A. What patterns are you NOW ENGAGING IN that may be impeding the healing/recovery process? What unhealthy roles/thought patterns might you be holding onto?
I am really struggling with letting go. I feel like if I let go of 'what he did' I am condoning it, forgetting it, putting myself at risk, being foolish, and many other judgements/fears.
When things are going well, I feel that I dredge up what happened and hold on to it to keep a distance between us. The distance feels safer than letting go.
I am scared to let it go.
Letting go feels like jumping into the void. What will I find? Can I trust? John says you can't trust a SA. But at what point can you? Never? I am not clear about that. H is really trying and I am seeing progress, he is communicating and using his value system. But when I write that I immediately get visuals of 'what he did'.... Simultaneous- warm though, bad visual. They are hand in hand at the moment.



B. Of these patterns/roles, what have you done/think you should do to change them?

I really don't know. Is it a question of time? It is still early days.... At what point, is it no longer reasonable to hold on to the fear?

I think I will look at the forum and see what comes up....


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:02 pm 
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Exercise Thirty-Four
A. Consider the consequences of your partner's behavior over the course of your lifetime. How might they affect future decisions that you make? What positive roles might these consequences play in your life?
Strangely, I don't think that over my lifetime they will be that dramatic. I suppose because he is really making the effort to do things differently.

1. I have realised how strong the sexualised mind is and will never underestimate it
2. I have greater insight into compartmentalisation
3. I will be very cautious with my daughter. I feel nervous about the risks in the world from men, I hadnt realised how even 'good men' are sexualising women. I knew it happened but not to this degree.
4. I will be even more stringent in bringing up my son to bring up women.
5. Positively, if we get through this, my partner and my relationship will be much healthier.
6. I don't feel personally damaged by the process so don't feel that damage to me is a consequence. I have not taken it personally. Although I am angry right now that he was so stupid and could throw away the relationship. I can also separate the behaviour and see that it is 'his thing' and not mine.



B. Referring specifically to your partner, take some time to consider the addictive patterns over the course of his/her lifetime. Imagine your partner as a child. Imagine them as a teen. Imagine them as an adult. Imagine them in other relationships. Gain a firm grasp as to how similar patterns have helped them to manage their life. What thoughts come to mind?


My first thought is 'what a waste'. A waste of time, of energy, he could have been doing things to make the world a better place, rather than a worse one.

As a child, I feel for him. I feel his loneliness, his desperation for a motherly or fatherly embrace, for strong, physical love. For cuddles, for contact. I see the little boy striving for approval through using his intellect to get attention. The boy who didnt get held.
I see the teenager desperate for love, misplacing that with sex. Then when that wasnt enough with more sex, and more and more. But it just wasnt working and he didnt know why. And he didnt think about why. A total lack of emotional intelligence. All very cerebral but nothing there to help him where it really mattered. Leading to more and more exploitation of girls and women who couldnt and wouldnt ever be able to meet that overwhelming need for contact. Strong physical holding. So that need got put into a box, met from time to time, then box got closed. Always there though when needed, the porn, the moving into another relationship, the sexual excitement...



C. What does it mean to 'humanize' your partner? Why is this important in forgiveness and in seeking closure to the current crisis?

I do humanise him. I see him and his behaviour as very separate. I get his unmet childhood needs. I get how his behaviour developed and helped him, I get how the box opened and closed. But then I think 'how can such a clever person be so stupid'. I understand it all from a psychological perspective and I get the emotion based decision making etc. but I still find it hard. But then I have MY emotions. And of course they aren't logical/rational/self less.
So I have humanised him but I need to work through MY emotions in order to forgive. It isn't all about him and humanising HIM. I need to humanise myself actually. Allow myself to feel my feelings. WHICH is HARD when you are humanising the other person. Because at the end of the day, they still are responsible for the pain created in MY life, whatever their reasons, justifications etc. are.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:36 am 
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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:

a. Your courtship
His total utter unreasonable despair when I wouldn't sleep with him on our first date, that led to him being devastated and calling the whole thing off while he went away to think about it.

b. Your partner's sexual desire for you over the course of the relationship
Groping me, jumping on me, 'NEEDING' me/my body as totally necessary to his own wellbeing.
NOt being able to read the signs
Being one track minded
Taking days to recover if there was a failed sexual attempt i.e. I didn't see it through.
His desire being more important than ME i.e. a sense of lack of discernment when it came to sex, I had the feeling that any vagina would have done rather than his wanting to be with me.
His denial about his sexuality i.e. I just make love he told me when I asked whether he shagged or made love. Well actually he didn't.
His shutting down of my sexuality - it scared him, it put him off, it was his sexuality that ran the show.
Little wonder that I stopped fancying him, although we continued to have sex and it was good. It was SO loaded for me that spontaneity wasn't really an option. THere was always- I need to see this through or I better not start. So the fun and mystery of not knowing where it would lead was gone. It HAD to lead to penetration it didn't count.
In fact that is what he told me.

c. The ten biggest decisions that were made in your relationship (e.g. marriage, childbirth, housing, career)
Did we make decisions? It all feels like a whirlwind- pregnant within 6 months, bought a house together within 8, married within 14.
He was very in love with me, very attentive, very giving, very generous in supporting me and my career, a great father.
I suppose possibly the fact that he needed ALL of me, my attention etc. This has isolated us quite a bit. In previous relationships, the relationship was just one part of a rich, big social life. But with him it became very intimate. Very closed. He took a lot of my energy, his 'stuff' took a lot of my energy.

d. The seven biggest arguments/conflicts/difficulties that you have had
They were pretty much ALL based on sex and still are. Everything else for us is pretty easy. We communicate well, we are a good team, we want the same things (well apparently not all the same things)
but my goodness was sex a loaded issue.
His approach i.e. lack of connection to me, learning via porn and his need rather than through exploring a real woman
His desperation- of course a total turn off
His belief that sex=penetration
His total sulk if it didn't go as planned, for DAYS...
And of course I didn't know what was going on behind my back. The above was just about the sexual relationship that he and I were having.



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 think I have asked him any questions that I had and I believe he does answer honestly. I suppose the ones that I don't have 100% confidence in is

1. Do you have any secret internet accounts (or e-mail accounts, or porn subscriptions) that I don't know about?
2. Are you having any online contact with someone that I don't know about?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:24 am 
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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?

I always have confronted my H with anything that I perceive to be strange, out of the ordinary. I don't think my approach will change.

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?

Children screaming... need to come back to this.....


C. Optional: If you have no idea about how the addiction may have developed and feel comfortable talking to your partner in a compassionate way about such things, you are encouraged to do so. Obviously, this will not apply to everyone.
Will do so....


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:51 am 
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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?

I always have confronted my H with anything that I perceive to be strange, out of the ordinary. I don't think my approach will change.

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?

Children screaming... need to come back to this.....
... am back. That was interesting, question on upbringing and I leave to see my children.

I think his upbringing is CRITICAL. He didn't experience physical contact. He had love in terms of being fed, clothed, talked to but love was expressed intellectually. I think he probably kissed a little girl who had been brought up in an emotional family, she hugged him back and he was like WOW! This feels good. From then on he wanted that good feeling that most of us get from being hugged by our parents. His mind probably translated it as 'this is a good feeling that girls can give me' so he spent the rest of his life chasing that good feeling. But it was never enough. As Jon would say, the foundations were faulty. When they started criticising him (as we do) he took that as being unloved. If they didn't want sex, that meant he wasnt loved. so he got out and moved on to the next high of a new physical relationship and felt loved again...then found out he could get the high himself through sexual excitement through porn and other behaviours and so the addiction was fed and grew...



C. Optional: If you have no idea about how the addiction may have developed and feel comfortable talking to your partner in a compassionate way about such things, you are encouraged to do so. Obviously, this will not apply to everyone.
Will do so....
... we started last night, was really helpful :-)

So this conversation has taken a while... but we have worked through his journey and it has been helpful. We came up with 3 factors that contributed to the evolution of the addiction. I think we are both clear how it started but the missing middle was what I was struggling with. How he went from being a small boy that was starved of emotional connection to this man who was an emotional danger to all women he came across, and who sexualised all females and who was prepared to throw his loving, warm family life (all that he had ever wanted, lots of cuddles, sex etc.) for stupid flings and a prostitute and voyeurism?

So the missing middle....

What we ended up working through was that there were four key things that enabled his addiction to progress:
- technology, his job is about technology so he was always up with the latest, so he was following the development of webcams, digital cameras, storage space etc. and it all fitted quite nicely with and enabled the progression of his sex addiction in terms of voyeurism, objectification and sexualisation of women.

- opportunity: when he could he did (but this is resonating less as I write it as opportunities can always be found... but maybe that is also about the digital world which provided opportunities that just didnt exist before)

- craving for touch (based on zero physical affection in the family (i.e. parental home), this was met by regular massage/shiatsu treatments that were non sexual. Then into the mix came a visit to a lapdancer which fulfilled the sexual excitement need. Which put into the mind 'ah I can pay for sexual excitement'. Which then became so I can pay for touch (massage) and I can pay for sexual excitement (lap dance) so in fact I can mix both and have 'a prostitute'. However, that didn't work for him in the end and was never repeated. But it was helpful to see the formula within his mind.

- his inability to see women/others as whole people. He sees the world revolving around him. He needs people around but so that they are keeping him company rather than anything else. So this sort of links with him not seeing the consequences of his actions on others... they are just puppets in his theatre. He is a kind person but he is also very blinkered. He just doesn't 'see'. This is the bit that I am still trying to figure out.... he isn't selfish as such, more 'blind'. He just doesn't see. I think this is upbringing but sometimes I also wonder if it isn't a bit 'pathological' if that is the word, i.e. something in his brain just doesn't click. When you point it out, he gets it and really tries to do it differently next time, but he just doesn't see consequences...

Need to think about that a bit more.... if anyone reads this... I would appreciate any insights into the above point. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Exercise Thirty-Seven
In this lesson, you were guided through a rather mechanical means for measuring compulsive behavior. What should it mean to you? Very little. Except to reinforce the notion that such compulsion is best understood objectively and mechanically. By gaining a functional awareness of your partner's actions, you will better be able to isolate yourself from the emotions that are attached. This helps you now by distancing yourself even further from any association/responsibility you may be holding onto in relation to your partner's actions; it helps you down the road by allowing you to observe further actions in an objective and rational manner.

However, this measuring technique is just that, a technique. A skill. It is a wrapper for mechanically understanding the very abstract concept of compulsions. That's all. So as a partner, don't spend too much time trying to master this aspect of compulsions--it is more of a recovery technique. Why it is important to you is to provide you with an introduction--a paradoxical shift--in the way in which compulsive behavior can be seen.

A. Consider a behavior that you have engaged in recently that produced some type of positive emotional stimulation. Break this behavior down into its emotional elements. Into the times when emotions were experienced as a result of your actions, thoughts, etc. Ideally, this situation would have between 7-10 emotional elements that you could track throughout the experience. Identify the emotional elements.

Work
1. Children screaming, thought about going to work: experienced possibility of calm
2. Sat at my desk: children still screaming- felt irritation and guilt for not playing with them
3. Started reading emails: felt myself drifting away
4. Heard their father taking them away: felt relief, they would be ok
4. Read an irritating email: felt annoyed
5. Resolved irritating email: felt glad it was off my desk
6. Moved into writing: felt excited as it came together
7. Got into the writing: felt nothing as totally focused on the moment.


B. Do your best to break down one of your partner's sexually-compulsive behaviors in a similar way. Put yourself in his/her mind, what emotional experiences do you feel he/she experienced throughout the act? Important: break-down only a single behavior--a snapshot in time--not an ongoing pattern of behaviors.

Internet sex
1. Planning the moment: excitement
2. Buying steak and red wine: satisfaction with a plan in action
3. Needing me to be out of the way: guilt
4. Me leaving: relief
5. Eating steak and drinking wine: satisfaction, pleasure
6. Linking in to see if she is there: excitement (possibly guilt?)
7. She is: relief, disappointment, excitment
... I dont want to go into the rest obviously excitement masturbation probably no guilt as deleted in his mind already.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:54 am 
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I am not enjoying these advanced exercise. I don't want to be in the mind of a SA, I don't want to think of cats licking genetalia and men preying on women. The sun is shining. I resent being brought into this sexualised world. I really do.
I resent having to worry about my children, about myself. About who is out there watching, lurking... It is a dark world and I don't want to be here.

Exercise Thirty-Eight
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:

1) Realising the reading my H chose for our wedding was DH Lawrence's 'Fidelity' Oh why did I not see. Severe. I feel sick and stupid.
2) Family all wanting to come and visit at same time: Moderate
3) Living with a SA in recovery. Pretty extreme at times.
4) Work: Mild
5) Raising children: mild or moderate at times
6) Flat renovations: mild
7) Guilt, responsibility for extended family members: mild
8) Having to travel away from children for 2 weeks: mild
9) Having to chase up builders: mild
10) Not being able to float in a bath: mild

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. Personal integrity based on weighing up pros, cons, impacts on all different people, including myself Small role
2. Honesty and openness- currently being reassessed in terms of what I can/should tell my loved ones about this situation Huge role
3. Loyal, faithful small role
4. There when needed by loved ones, offering unconditional love but not idiot compassion. Small role, actually a stressor at the moment.
5. A mother that is mindful of not acting out on her children, providing love, guidance, reliability, fun, laughter, joy, boundaries: large role
6. A loving, fun, challenging, honest, communicative wife: large role but not being loving or fun at moment.
7. Looking after myself/knowing myself as an integral part of being able to be the above- being aware of my own blindspots, limits, messiness. Large role
8. Being a professional with integrity and ethics- again honest, open, attention to detail and compassion for my ultimate clients. Large role
9. Being a 'good' daughter and sister. Small role. Again a stressor at the moment.
10. Trying in the small ways available to me to 'make the world a better place', acting on the privileges that I have had not taking them for granted. Large role.

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.

Example:
No Role: extended family
Small Role: physical health
Large Role: spirituality, sexual intimacy
Enormous Role: family, self-respect

C. How would you would manage this stress if all but one or two of your most important values were suddenly removed?
If I didn't have work or my children I suppose I would fall to my other values: my friends, running etc. I suppose there are different levels of values to fall back on at different times. They are not all at the same level.

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?
Haven't we done this exercise again and again? I know about the role in his life. BUT today I want to think about ME. He takes over all the space.
It has been his emotional management technique... bla bla bla... not feeling very compassionate today.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:27 am 
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Decided to skip next two advanced addiction sessions, I have enough knowledge for now. I don't need more. It isn't helping me. To come back to later.
Now moving onto the transitioning part, which is where I am.

So take this time to mourn. To consciously recognize the finality of these losses. To accept that they were neither fair, nor deserved. Purge yourself of the hold that sexual addiction has had on your life so that you are free to pursue a values-based, goal-oriented life. So that you are free to move forward. How? There is no set way. The only necessary element to this process is to consciously validate the losses that you have endured and then, as we will see in the next lesson, to make the choice to let go. To move on.

Some guidelines to mourning:
Don't relive the intense pain and anguish.
Don't relive the anger.
Don't relive the need to assign blame.
Don't connect your need to move on with your partner's willingness to accept responsibility for these losses. These are losses that have occurred to you. Embrace them as your own...nurture them...grieve them.

Exercise Forty-One: Mourning the Losses

I. For this exercise, put your intellect away. Mourning is an emotional experience, not an intellectual exercise. How you achieve the goals outlined in the lesson should be unique to you. The only critical directive is that, when you have properly mourned for your losses, take at least fifteen minutes (several hours, preferably) to celebrate yourself. Celebrate your life. Your experiences. To recognize the ebb and flow of your life span and your current place within it. To reconnect to your individuality, your esteem and to the control that you have over your future.


II. Optional, share your experiences with this process. Again, don't worry about the intellectual aspects of communicating. Just share. Let it make no sense to anyone but yourself, if needs be. Just share your thoughts as an individual who is breaking free/has broken free from the grasp of another's addiction.

Exercise 13
A. One of the first steps on the road to healing is to take inventory of all the ways that your partner's compulsive behavior has affected you. Begin listing these consequences and post them in your Healing Thread..

Affects to your physical self: 9
My husband repressed my sexual energy in many ways.
As affect that has come up since disclosure is that we have realised this.
I am therefore reclaiming my sexuality and enjoying that. I feel 6 years younger i.e. the age I was before we met
Currently his penis is a source of revulsion on occasion.
I wanted him to be tested for STDs. Where we live this isn't currently possible so we will need to wait 3 months before penetrative sex. This feels like a good thing. It means he has to discover my body and the benefits of foreplay without it all being about his orgasm.
--- coming back to this a day later, more things have come up. My physical energetic self is currently absent. I seem to have withdrawn emotionally. I don't see the man anymore, just the behaviour. Will I get over that. I really don't know.

Emotional 7
I imagine that this is going to keep changing. Still feel on a pendulum. But hopefully in the end it will all be better as he is going to be more stable to live with. Right now I am the one feeling unstable. The rug pulled from under my feet.


Social 9
I have many friends. He has very few. I fully understand why now. He hit on many of the female partners of the friends that he did have. Causing many male friends in his life to back off. I watch people be uncomfortable around him and now I understand that there were picking up on his behaviour subliminally or through him eying them up, so to speak.

He is now having to explore why his friendships are not as they could be. Hopefully, again, this will be good in the long term and we can have a social life.

However, I will be monitoring his behaviour with women. Maybe being too protective of other women that he has dealings with.

I will also have to watch not treating all men as if they are potential sex addicts.

Spiritual 5
I really don't know about this one. Personal development is part of our spiritual journey together so in theory this addiction and recovery from it is part of our spiritual development.

Economic 7
Taking time to do this course is taking both of us away from economic activities. We are both self employed and this course takes energy away from looking for and taking on work. I feel too exhausted to take on anything challenging right now. Which may have consequences for my career.

Interpersonal (him and I) 10
In some ways we are much closer now. In others, I am just waiting for the next revelation.
I also need some time to see how this goes to see if I can respect him as a human being. His recovery is in his hands so I just need to wait and see how that goes.

Our children 7
I am very aware of becoming very aware of my daughter (2) as a female. I hadn't really thought of her as a female really before. What this meant in terms of risks, of finding herself caught up with a man such as her father has been before she had the maturity to deal with it safely.

I am aware of how important physical contact is for small children. Husband didnt get it. But I have always been very physical with them. I don't see that changing.
I am also very aware not to project my stuff/ his stuff onto them. But am sure they pick up on things subliminally.
Think the learning from this will help us to protect them e.g. knowing the difference between loving contact, sensuality, sexuality and abuse.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:14 am 
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So where I am at now...

I accept that this man is in recovery, I understand how he got where he got, I fully take on board the neglected child
BUT

1. I don't like what he did.
I am a feminist and here is a man in my bed who abused the trust/vulnerability of women systematically over a long period of time, including myself.
What he has done is against my entire value system. I don't like that behaviour.
And I need to like him to connect with him. Which I do want to do.

So there is a part of me that is totally frozen and cannot connect with him, in a way that I need to to feel like a whole person.

2. Pretty much all the behaviour occurred while I was away, therefore I do not KNOW that side of him. It is not like living with an alcoholic, which I did much of my life, where you see them before they binge, when they binge, when they feel bad about it, when they are trying not to drink. So you know them and can love them, even if you don't like the behaviour.
With this situation, I do not know the person who did these things. I never saw them in action, I never saw them trying not to act out. It is a totally different person. So I feel like I am looking at 2 people.
The man I know and love and then alongside him a total stranger who I don't particularly like.
AND I need to integrate those two people for my own sanity and to be able to move forward.

But how to embrace or know the unknown? I would find it easier if I had seen the events or heard about them at the time. But they were SO invisible, SO well hidden. To choose a reading at out wedding called 'fidelity' shows just how hidden that other side was.

So I feel like I don't have anything to go on to measure that I am not being lied to, that there is recovery.

I DO see that he isn't having hissy fits all the time (childish sulky tantrums), that he isn't constantly mauling me, that he is really trying to be empathetic, values based etc. That is great.

But does that mean he isn't lying? That is quite a stretch to be honest.

3. Life is really good when I don't think about It. Back to normal.
BUT if I think about It, then all the pain, disgust and disbelief is all still there.

So I feel again that I am fragmented, in denial of a painful truth most of the time. But it is still there just below the surface.

So here I am, still fragmented, withdrawn energetically from a large part of myself. But getting on with day to day life.

Any thoughts, advice, suggestions most welcome, they are always so helpful. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:09 am 
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Quote:
did give up smoking
good stuff! :g:

Quote:
Found this pretty frustrating. Me talking, him listening is what we do. He listens well, but doesn't mean anything changes so I don't trust him listening.
It is quite possible that you are his moral compass, in that his “public” self is lived vicariously through your values and boundaries. You are right that he needs to participate in his own development.

Quote:
If I have something to say, then I need to say it mindfully not mindlessly.
:g:

Quote:
I will find it very difficult to know because he is so good at deceit. He is a master at it.
How depressing and upsetting and frustrating.
I am really struggling with trust at the moment. how to trust a proven liar?
I believe that trust will be built (naturally) when he consistently takes intentional and healthy actions to promote his own recovery. This will show up in areas such as communication, transparency, vulnerability, responsibility etc. You can’t fake all of these consistently. I think someone who is faking will have to go in hiding when they are not faking because it will be too difficult to keep it up. It will be difficult to keep it up as it is, but if he is sincere, he will own his mistakes, whereas someone who is less sincere will deflect, blame-shift etc.

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Using blame or punishment out of fear when I start to relax and 'forget'. I find it so hard to balance letting go, with being seen as condoning, saying it is ok. It isn't ok.
This is one I have struggled with as well. In the past I would be compelled to remind him of where he stands, my anger, how much work he should be doing and where he is falling short--just so he doesn’t forget. The irony. If it happens now (and it sometimes does) I will check in with myself. I still tend to want to project onto him (has he forgotten? is this the new normal?) But after working through it I realize that he doesn’t need to be reminded... but I do. So, I remind myself the reasons that I choose to stay (and that it is in fact my choice) which are centered around my vision and values. Often it’s because I realize I’ve been coasting/not paying attention, and just checking in with myself will help to ground me.

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I am really struggling with letting go. I feel like if I let go of 'what he did' I am condoning it, forgetting it, putting myself at risk, being foolish, and many other judgements/fears.
When things are going well, I feel that I dredge up what happened and hold on to it to keep a distance between us. The distance feels safer than letting go.
I am scared to let it go.
What are the values based reasons that you choose to stay in the relationship? Good self-awareness around your fear of letting go. Just because you are choosing to stay now, doesn’t mean that you will always have to make that choice. It’s not your only option. Also, think about what will happen if he does prove to be untrustworthy? What are the possible outcomes? What will you choose?

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I hadnt realised how even 'good men' are sexualising women. I knew it happened but not to this degree.
It is wise to teach caution and safety (absolutely) but be careful not to pull from the vivid examples of the kinds of ‘good men’ that are salient to you as a result of your experience here. The sample is small, and biased. Not that it is unrealistic to think that your daughter could be victimized--we are all examples of the possibility (to one degree or another)--but the key is to develop a balanced perspective so that you can teach the kinds of values that will protect her when she is young, and teach her how to protect herself.

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So I have humanised him but I need to work through MY emotions in order to forgive.
Very insightful, and responsible, too. :g:

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I just make love he told me when I asked whether he shagged or made love. Well actually he didn't.
I think this is more of a product of what his interpretation of making love is, based on his experience and level of emotional maturity. It is quite possible that he did believe that he was making love vs shagging. He likely doesn’t (or didn’t) know the difference.

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opportunity: when he could he did (but this is resonating less as I write it as opportunities can always be found... but maybe that is also about the digital world which provided opportunities that just didnt exist before)
Opportunity in and of itself doesn’t resonate, but when you consider it in combination with the other elements (craving etc.) then opportunity becomes a facilitator. Opportunity is a big component of escalation as well, as far as the elements of time and behaviour are concerned.

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I think this is upbringing but sometimes I also wonder if it isn't a bit 'pathological' if that is the word, i.e. something in his brain just doesn't click. When you point it out, he gets it and really tries to do it differently next time, but he just doesn't see consequences...
I will leave diagnoses to professionals, but I will say that he doesn’t get it because he hasn’t learned how to; he hasn’t connected to connecting as something meaningful. Also, it likely occurs as too much work. There are a number of unhealthy elements at play... emotional immaturity, immediate gratification, objectification... all of which require active participation to re-learn. Motivation is the one that is so difficult, that causes so much pain within the relationship because as otherwise “healthy” individuals, we cannot see how or why they cannot seem to do it, or maintain their motivation. Often this is where partners become too involved, in trying to force or control motivation (this is often related to trying to control our own environments, but in a misdirected manner).
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Realising the reading my H chose for our wedding was DH Lawrence's 'Fidelity' Oh why did I not see. Severe. I feel sick and stupid.
Hindsight is 20/20. Don’t admonish yourself for something that you really had no way of knowing. You trusted, which is what healthy people generally do going into a marriage.

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I imagine that this is going to keep changing. Still feel on a pendulum. But hopefully in the end it will all be better as he is going to be more stable to live with. Right now I am the one feeling unstable. The rug pulled from under my feet.
It will balance out--you will balance out. Even if he doesn’t. Granted, the outcome of your relationship is not likely independent of his recovery but your emotional balance is independent of his recovery. Your emotional health and balance, your reactions, actions and inactions are all things that you have control over.

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But does that mean he isn't lying? That is quite a stretch to be honest....


You are right that it does not mean that he is not lying. What is the painful truth that you feel you are denying? What is the values conflict that is causing your pain?

_________________
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)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:25 pm 
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Many thanks Coach Mel. It is always good to know that someone somewhere is keeping an eye out for us all....

So... your question... 'You are right that it does not mean that he is not lying. What is the painful truth that you feel you are denying? What is the values conflict that is causing your pain?'

I don't quite 'get' the questions but I will try as if you are offering them, I know they are worth considering.

Values conflict that is causing my pain is the easier one.
I have a strong value around being aware of consequences of our actions. If we feel our actions will harm, we don't do them. Or if we do them, we do them mindful of the consequences and explain our actions to the person that may be harmed, before we do them. The do no harm principle.

I find it really hard to believe (well I do believe him but I find it hard to compute as it is so against my values system) that he really wasn't aware of the consequences, in that he was so sure he would never get found out. That the consequences just weren't relevant. I 'get' all the reasons why a SA doesn't get consequences, short term thinking etc.

BUT my brain really struggles to reconcile its black and white thinking with such bonkers, daft behaviour from an intelligent adult. i GET it cognitively and emphathetically and compassionately BUT I don't get it somewhere. The somewhere that wakes up and looks at the man that I do still love and just can't make the dots connect. It is like someone is trying to make me believe that 2+2 is 5. I believe them as they are the maths master and everyone believes that it is 5 but somewhere deep down it just doesn't compute for me.

OK, the painful truth that I am denying....?
That I am not so smart after all, that I am not so intuitive, that I didn't actually know the person I was so clear that I knew so well.

And again, I can hear the partners support forum saying 'but you couldn't have known' and again I know that but it makes me feel unsafe. I have always been so big on getting to know someone, to protect myself. My mothers voice always loud and clear 'Protect yourself'.
And it just didn't work. My method just didn't work. I need to let go of that too I suppose. So no I wasn't so smart, I failed in protecting myself. BUT if I can't protect myself, then who can? And I suppose that brings up panic in me. It is a feeling of falling into the void. Maybe that is ok, maybe that is part of growing up in mid life. It is good to write this through though so thank you for the question.

That is my fear. If I can't protect myself then noone can. So there I am- a vulnerable human being. And in my childish smartness, I was never going to be that. because vulnerability hurts. like hell. So I wasn't going there. Tough me.

But maybe I will be a more fluffy person now. Maybe that is ok. Maybe it will help me with parenting my children.

Keep the armour off for a bit. Well... I will give it a go....


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Exercise Forty-Two
I. Identify the areas of your life where addiction remains the prevalent indicator in your decision-making. Especially consider high-value areas of your life such as family, friends, career, etc.

Where I will live: not wanting to move back to where it all happened. Hating that city. Not wanting to live anywhere with access to prostitutes, swimming pools etc.

Friends and family: not telling them how I really am

II. For each area that remains influenced by your partner's addiction, what actions would you take should your partner not be addicted? In other words, if you only relied on your value system to guide you, what decisions would you make in relation to these areas?

Where I will live: I don't let his addiction define too much where I will live. It is a consideration but not the primary one. The primary one is about being near to my aging parents and good schools for my children. And I wasn't happy where we were anywhere.

Friendships. I would be in touch with people more, I would have more energy to be with people, to make new friends, to work on my existing relationships. I would be less tired.

III. Part of your Personal Relapse Plan involves the need to assess the times when you have lost focus on your values in decision-making Develop this area now. Think about your decision-making processes when you are primarily influenced by your partner's addiction. Think about your decision-making processes when you are primarily influenced by your values. What triggers can you look for that will allow you to recognize when you are engaging in unhealthy decision-making patterns? When you recognize these triggers, what actions will you take?

I think my decision making is fine actually. I am able to separate out what is caused by his stuff. My decision making is so geared by my children anyway. What he or I want, such as a lie in or full night's sleep! is totally secondary.

My relapse issue is about the visuals of what he did. Of sinking into panic and fear about my inability to predict danger and thus protect myself.
If I can't do it for myself then I can't do it for my children.

My armour is fallible. That is what I need to work on right now I suppose....


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:41 pm 
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I am a partner of a sex addict" to "I am a person whose partner has a sexual addiction" to "I am a healthy person whose partner has a sexual addiction" to "I am a healthy person. My values, boundaries and goals will guide me in all relationships."


I suppose I am: a person whose partner has a sexual addiction and who is fine when she forgets about that last bit but not so fine when she remembers.

and other than that and inclusive of that I suppose

I am a healthy person.

What I can see from my previous post, is that I am missing confidence in 'my values, boundaries and goals will guide me in all relationships'.

But that is until something that I have never thought of in my life hits me, smashing every value, boundary and goal. That is what happened. And I don't see how I can protect myself from another such event. Where the relevant values, boundaries and goals don't exist/haven't been defined because the hit was not something I have the imagination or vocabulary for.

I think I am still in shock quite a lot of the time.
People ask me questions and I am often blank.
I am often tired.
I am often lethargic.

So early days still then...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:12 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
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Quote:
And again, I can hear the partners support forum saying 'but you couldn't have known' and again I know that but it makes me feel unsafe. I have always been so big on getting to know someone, to protect myself. My mothers voice always loud and clear 'Protect yourself'.

Quote:
And it just didn't work. My method just didn't work. I need to let go of that too I suppose. So no I wasn't so smart, I failed in protecting myself. BUT if I can't protect myself, then who can? And I suppose that brings up panic in me. It is a feeling of falling into the void. Maybe that is ok, maybe that is part of growing up in mid life. It is good to write this through though so thank you for the question.


Okay, so reflect on what “your method” was and where it didn’t work for you/what parts of it didn't work.

It would be a wonderful thing to take all that heavy armour off, wouldn’t it? You can still be strong--just without the fear: People who know themselves, know their values and boundaries, honour them and know that at the end of the day, they are okay within themselves--these are strong people-- It is possible for you as well.

Could it be (and I am just putting it out there for your reflection) that you were so vigilant and confident in having “done all the right things” to protect yourself, that you wouldn’t see anything other than that which confirmed that you what you were doing was right, that your protections were protecting you? Not seeing would protect you from feeling how you are now: insecure, untrusting, fearful, etc? Now, you are at a point where you “should” be able to let go a little, and you won’t because now you know that there are things that you can’t control, and instead of accepting that, the part of you that wants to try to control this is holding you back, telling you why you shouldn’t let go, can’t trust. So, in this sense, the only thing that is holding you back is fear. “The only thing to fear is fear itself”.

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What I can see from my previous post, is that I am missing confidence in 'my values, boundaries and goals will guide me in all relationships'.


Very good.

There is definitely something for you to breakthrough here-regardless of where your husband is. That he is apparently in a good place is only relevant to him as far as your individual processes go-it shouldn't be relevant to your overall health, only relevant to you as a couple.

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)


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