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gz0nkw recovery thread
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Author:  gz0nkw [ Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:37 pm ]
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Exercise 33

1.The insights you are searching for throughout this exercise will be in relation to the finite qualities of emotion; the lack of fear/anxiety that comes with developing confidence in being able to anticipate emotional intensity; and the confidence that comes with the same.

2. Each day over the next three, share a few insights relating to these topics in your personal thread. Insights that you have gained from that particular day's focus.

Saturday - The day started off very well, I slept very well, and slept in. My wife woke up before me and left the room without me knowing. Today we were looking forward to hot sex. I thought to myself that there is still a possibility that things will not occur later that night and I should be prepared for disapointment, not being prepared in the past had lead me to shock and severe stress before. Things are going very well until after lunch time, my wife asks me to check my oldest daughetr's room to see if it is clean that 'she could not bear to check it'. I do check her room and overall it is in pretty good shape, my youngest daughetr shares a room and her side of the room was much messier. I tell my oldest daughter that a couple of things could be straightened up and I also tell my wife. My wife was not satisfied with my assessment and starts in on me that my oldest daughter needs to get her laundry taken care of (although my wife is using the washing machine), and her overly critical attitude toward my oldest continues, my emotions now change toward anger, in the past I have let my wife be the disciplinarian and I have gone along even when I thought she was way too harsh. In my last counseling I was told that I was enabling my wife's behavior and I needed to stand up for the children. So asked my wife if she hated my oldest daughter?This was probably not the best and most mature tactic, but I was influenced by my emotions and my perception that my wife was unfairly attacking my oldest daughter. Things really got out of hand and my wife called me an 'asshole' and became furious with me. lately she has been very prone to severe anger quickly. I gathered my emotions and went about my business as she stormed off. I focused on my values of my relationship with God, the love of my children, and other good things in my life. This was a rollercoaster of day, but that is how things have been for me since before Christmas, my wife's moods swing wildly, and I have been really working on balancing the stress caused by my wife.

Sunday - This was an awful day, my wife woke up first and showered, she crawled into bed and initiated sex, and I was not fully mentally prepared, . She furiosly leaves the bed and accuses me of mastubating and lying to her, I calmly tell her that I haven't since last June (this is the truth), I do not feel any guilt or shame, it is a good feeling because I am being honest, she is still furious and tells me that I ruining our relationship with my lies, again I tell her I am not lying, she is not convinced, she continues to yell at me and slams the door as she leaves. My emotions are in pretty good shape, I know she is being unreasonable and I am telling the truth. I take a shower, get dressed and go down stairs. I see her and again calmly tell her I am telling the truth, she says nothing and walks by me. She really doesn't talk to me for the rest of the day and she sleeps in the basement Sunday night. I do get an opportunity to talk to my accountablitiy partner and he helps me process things and put things in perspective, it is such a blessing to have someone to talk to in times like this. I sleep in our bed and I am slightly upset with her, but again feel good that I am telling the truth, and I am not ashamed. I fall asleep fairly quickly.

Monday - I get up and go to work, my wife is ignoring me before work. This has happened before and I am somewhat used to it. At work she sends me an email telling me her deal 'she loves the kids very much and she will not leave for their sake, and she will keep up the illusion as long as she can, my secrets and lies have ruined our relationship according to her. I send her back a response that her perceptions of me and the kids are completly wrong and that her anger towards me and the kids is way out of control. I tell her that I think she desperately needs attention and affection but the way she tries to get it is to bite me and kids heads off. I tell her that she really needs to stop trying to control all of our lives and again I reassure her that I am not lying and even swear by the name of Jesus that I am telling th truth. When I get home she will talk but there is no reaction, I asked if she got my response and she said yes and that is all. She sleeps in the basement again. I have a SA support group meeting that night and I get a lot of support from the others in the group and we spend a lot of the meeting talking about my situtation (without the level of detail I listed above). Again I get good insight from the group and some possibilities.

3. At the end of the week, assess the level of effort you put into this task. Did you remember to consciously seek out such developmental opportunities each of the seven days? Post your assessment in your thread.

Yes, I have had a lot of learning opportunities in the last few days, many of them concern balance, not to become too optimistic or too disapointed, and to remember the good things when I am down, and to talk to my accountability partner when I am in need. I think I have faired very well, and since mid January I have been really trying to balance my emotions with values and trying to remove my wife from becoming a roadblock to my recovery. I am gaining confidence in these emotionally distressing times that I am not resorting to acting out to seek instant gratification, but am staying the course to recovery. Overall I feel really good about my future, obviously I am concerned about my marriage, but I am happy to be able to tell the trith about my progression and not needing to act out, but I am sad that my wife doesn't believe me.

Author:  gz0nkw [ Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:26 pm ]
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Exercise 36
I. Describe a scenario from your past where not having a well-defined set of boundaries has prolonged and/or intensified the personal consequences that you have experienced.

Recently, I have finished reading the book "Boundaries in Marriage" by Cloud and Townsend and it was an extremely valuable read for me. The thing that it showed me, was that I was conflict adverse, I would often compromise to keep the peace with my wife. And even more recently these lack of boundaries on my part have put our marriage in distinct danger.

Specifically, "There is one word to remember in defining your boundaries to others: consistency. (Lesson 36)" I never have had any consistent boundaries with my wife. And of course "By maintaining a well-defined, consistent set of boundaries, you will have created an environment where you no longer need to question yourself in the great majority of situations where values conflict.(Lesson 36) " I have no well defined set of boundaries and I have feel I have no control in conflict, which only leads to more conflict avoidance on my part.

"Why is this so important? Because as we have learned in previous lessons, it is behavior which involves a conflict in your own value system that triggers emotional instability. That triggers you to question your own sanity. Question your gut instincts. It is behavior that involves a conflict in your values that upsets the foundation of what would otherwise be a fulfilling and productive life. Take a look at any argument that you have ever had. Take a look at the most significant emotional consequences that you have been subjected to in your life. In all cases, at the root of this will be a conflict in your value system. Either a struggle with your own management of that system, or another’s intrusion upon that system. Every time.(lesson 36)" I would have to agree with this totally.

In short my lack of boundaries significantly has caused major issues in my marriage. I often feel I have no control with my wife, I then feel I need to compromise and then I feel very emotionally unstable, which feeds my need for comfort from the wrong places.

II. Describe a situation in your life where having solid boundaries will assist you in managing the event in such a way as to protect your value system.

I need to come up with a number of boundaries and let my wife know that it is important that I consistantly maintain them. I need to look at conflict as a way to grow rather than something I need to avoid. I need to take control of my life.

In short I need serious help on boundaries.

Author:  CoachDevi [ Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:50 pm ]
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I have just checked back through your recovery thread and, while I can see you are making progress and having good insights, it looks as though you omitted lesson 5 (listing your top 15 values) and also completing proactive action plans for the top 10 or so values (Lesson 7)

As boundaries are very specifically intended to protect your values, it might help you to go back to those values and check that your prioritised first 10 or 15 are still the ones that are important to you and that they are the ones that will form the basis of the core identity which you are rebuilding.

Author:  gz0nkw [ Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:55 pm ]
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Exercise 37
I. List three of your highest values (values prioritized within the top five).

To feel loved
Intimacy with my wife
Be the father God intended me to be

II. For each value, list at least five concrete boundaries (rules) that you will use to protect that value.

To feel loved
1. Look at conflict as an opportunity for growth, do not shy away from conflict.
2. When stressed, seek love from my wife, caring from my recovery partner or friends, strength from God through prayer.
3. Share with my wife, times when I feel unloved and the reason for why I feel unloved.
4. Trust God's plan for me, see through the pain to see in God's purpose in my struggles.
5. Make a list of all the sources of love on my life and carry it with me and refer to it when in doubt.

Intimacy with my wife
1. Daily one on one conversion with my wife at least five out of seven days a week. Pray with my wife before and after conversation.
2. Tell the truth and be transparent and honest in all circumstances, do not minimize.
3. Spend time with my wife beyond conversation listed above.
4. Take time to get to know my wife, ask her questions about her feelings and make effort to get to know her.
5. Think of my wife's feelings and wounds when feeling complusive urges.

Be the father God intended me to be
1. Conduct a meaniful conversation at least three time per week with each of my three children.
2. Continue to be the spiritual head of the household and model Godly behavior.
3. Share my faith with my children, teaching them when and how to pray.
4. Spend time with my children teaching them sports and athletics.
5. Love my children when they fail or do wrong, show loving compassion along with the consequences of their actions

III. Absolute boundaries are those boundaries that under no circumstances will you ever cross. These must be realistic AND you must hold them in reverance. Typically, everyone should have at least three such absolute boundaries. List three that you will use to help manage your life.

Absolute boundary #1: I will tell the truth.
Absolute boundary #2: I will finish Recovery Nation, recovery workshop.
Absolute boundary #3: I will establish emotional boundaries for myself.

Author:  CoachDevi [ Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:10 pm ]
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Well - I think one of us must be very intuitive, as I was responding to your thread, just as you were posting the next lesson!

Some of your boundaries read more like action plans to strengthen and promote values, rather than plans to protect those values. While these show commendable and values based intentions and commitment they belong in a different area.

I would suggest that you look at some other recovering peoples boundaries to get a better understanding and if you are stuck then post in the support forum, so that coaches and members will be able to share their own insights and experiences with you.

With best wishes for your journey to health

Author:  gz0nkw [ Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:57 pm ]
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it looks as though you omitted lesson 5 (listing your top 15 values)
Here are my top fifteen values:
Glorify God with my life to answer His calling
To feel loved
Intimacy with my wife
Be the father God intended me to be
Be a provider for my family
Make the most out of my God given abilities
To find comfort in healthy ways
To enjoy a healthy sexual relationship with my wife
To find a healthy release for stress
Be able to deal with my feelings in healthy ways
Deal with emotional pain in healthy ways
To learn to deal with conflict in my marriage
To regain trust of my wife
To have confidence in my recovery
Provide leadership for my children

Author:  gz0nkw [ Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:16 pm ]
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Thanks for the feedback Coach Devi.
would suggest that you look at some other recovering peoples boundaries to get a better understanding and if you are stuck then post in the support forum, so that coaches and members will be able to share their own insights and experiences with you.

I just happen to be attending a Cloud Townsend Boundaries Boot Camp weekend workshop this upcoming weekend July 10-12. I will work on redoing this after I return. Also I did look at some other posts for lesson 37 and I think I understand what is needed.

also completing proactive action plans for the top 10 or so values (Lesson 7)

I will work on this is the meantime, obviously what I posted for lesson 37 is actually action plans for top values rather than boundaries.

I will work on it, thanks.

Author:  gz0nkw [ Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:21 pm ]
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Exercise 37 re do

To feel loved
1. I will secure my freedom to be me by instituting emotional boundaries.
2. I will find a hobby of adventureous fun.
3. I will not coverse with my wife about our relationship without us praying before and after and only one conversation per day at a mutual agreed time.
4. I will derive my feeling of self worth from my relationship with God
5. I will take time to exercise in at least four days per week.

Intimacy with my wife
1. I will tell the truth and become trustworthy.
2. I will noit avoid conflict.
3. I will set aside time every day for a meaningful conversation with my wife.
4. I will seek equality in our relationship.
5. I will insist on truthfulness from my wife.

Be the father God intended me to be
1. I will have at least three meaningful conversations with each child every week.
2. I will lead by example.
3. I will show compassion and forgiveness when they fail.

III. Absolute boundaries are those boundaries that under no circumstances will you ever cross. These must be realistic AND you must hold them in reverance. Typically, everyone should have at least three such absolute boundaries. List three that you will use to help manage your life.

Absolute boundary #1: I will establish emotional boundaries for myself to protect my heart.
Absolute boundary #2: I will tell the truth and become trustworthy
Absolute boundary #3: I will focus on growth in my relationship with my wife.

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