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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:14 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
Stage Three, Lesson Nine

Exercise Twenty-Two

A. Find a place where you will be alone and safe. Ensure that, for the next fifteen minutes, you won't be interrupted for any reason. Not five minutes, not ten...not even fifteen interrupted minutes...fifteen uninterrupted minutes.

Then, close your eyes and just feel. Feel the things that are important to you. Feel your values. Feel your regrets. Feel the trauma you have experienced. Feel the wonderful moments in your life. Let yourself experience all of the emotions that come to you — though allow these emotions to encompass a wide range. Focus on each emotion and DO NOT OPEN YOUR EYES! (this is an important part of the exercise).

After you have done this for fifteen minutes or longer, open your eyes and answer the following:
1) Describe the most extreme emotion that you have ever experienced.
2) Describe the most irrational behavior you have ever engaged in as a result of your emotions.
3) If you could go back in time and offer yourself "perfect advice" that would have influenced this irrational behavior...what advice would you offer?

This was a very intense experience for me. Almost like a dream. I started the exercise at 6:21 am and then when I thought 15 minutes probably had elapsed, it turned out to be 7:07! That's almost 45 minutes. I thought of many things in my life, from good and bad childhood experiences to the variety of good and bad decisions I made as an adult. And the exercise made me cry a couple of times, with regret and also with gratitude.

Regret that I have not yet found a way to really feel secure inside. Gratitude that I have many lovely things in my life, and guys like New Guy who find me desirable. Sure, lots of guys have liked me, but I haven't liked them for one reason or another. But New Guy is smart, funny, accomplished, respectful -- and here's the best part -- he seems to like me for the person I already am, and that validation really helps my self-esteem, whether we actually wind up being together or not. It's great to feel appreciated.

1) The most extreme emotion has been deep fear. Fear of not getting to be a mother to my child. Fear of loneliness and feelings of insecurity.

2) I assaulted my Current Guy on a few occasions when I was having a psychological/emotional meltdown.

3) To do some self-nurturing, to take a step back and behave from a values-based place instead of an emotional one, especially since the likely consequences would be the opposite of self-nurturing. They would be self-destructive.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:29 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
I am realizing that things are very off with my Current Guy. The fact that he still scans other women indicates he is interested in sex in terms of fantasy or something. But not actual sex with me. And the fact that even over 5 years post dday I have to keep begging him not to scan -- especially since he knows how hurt I am that he has completely rejected having any actual sex with me -- well, this is not how a healthy, devoted relationship looks like to me.

Yes, he does compliment me once in a while. But it is in connection with just LOOKING at me. No contact. Not even kissing any more. This relationship is not working for me. I feel abandoned, not needed and not happy.

Meanwhile, when I think of New Guy, one of the things I like about him is how he NEVER looks at any other women besides me, not that I can tell at all. And I have tried to notice if he ever does, when he doesn't realize I'm looking at him. Now, maybe I'm just a fantasy to him and he's not genuinely interested in actual sex either. But what a refreshing change from my Current Guy who usually acts quite indifferent to me sexually.

I need to realize that with Current Guy that maybe the sexual and romantic relationship is over. I feel sad.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:30 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
I was just re - reading the section in the lessons on the sexualized mind and objectification. I can see how this still applies to my current guy and maybe even New Guy. On the weekend CG and I went swimming again and he was once again scanning my friend G. But he never looks like that at me anymore, nor does he ever get aroused or interested in doing anything sexual other than the briefest of kisses once a week or so. He is affectionate a little bit, gut rarely hugs me and still turns away from me if we walk by one another in the hall. I am convinced at this point anyway that he just doesn't want a sexual relationship with me. Although I do enjoy the affection and cuddling.

But until and unless he does something to address the sexual disconnection then I think we've gone as far as we can with being real partners. We're more like just housemates, not lovers. Although this week it was good to see him reading a book about instant gratification -- and he really has been eating better and drinking a lot less than I've ever seem him do in years. So he seems to be going through some good changes. But enough for me to feel fulfilled? I'm VERY skeptical now.

Now, for New Guy, I still wonder about him. Yes, I am quite certain he is attracted to me, at least physically. But if he is truly afraid he might lose control of his urges if he were to be alone with me, or afraid to try to get to know me, then maybe he's just objectifying me. Which doesn't seem healthy either, if that's what's happening.

If only I could find someone with the affection of CG and the passion for me that NG seems to feel. I am disappointed I have only seen NG at meetings lately and that's it. Even though in January he said he hopes he sees me soon, and in February he looked at me longingly and with what appeared to be strong emotion, the fact is that he has taken absolutely no initiative to see or talk to me in months.

So who knows? Maybe he only felt a romantic fascination that meant absolutely nothing except in his own mind. Or perhaps it was just an idle infatuation and he chose not to pursue it since I gave him only the subtlest of cues and he doesn't realize I'm actually interested romantically and sexually. Maybe he just wanted a fling and thought I seemed like a party girl -- but if so, why did I clearly overhear him tell his co-workers he was interested in me and that he can't stop thinking about me? Would someone talk like this with co-workers if all he wanted was sex?

I am confused about NG yet I'm still having a hard time with coming to terms with the feeling that maybe it really is over with my CG, at least in terms of us being "an item". I feel bitter and disappointed with both of them. And sad that it looks like I am losing what was never going to really happen at all with CG. Just wishful thinking. Like with Man of My Dreams from years ago. At least I've been spending plenty of time at home thinking about all this and giving myself the chance to get in touch with my true feelings.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:06 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
So here we go again. Last week, I opened the computer to find something online, and when I couldn't find it, I decided to simply "restore recently closed tabs" and out popped a photo of my Current Guy's favorite P model. I discovered after a little bit of sleuthing that this image had been accessed about two weeks earlier as well. When I confronted him he said that he had looked at P about 3 times in the last month.

I managed to keep my cool during this conversation. We have had a few since then. But I realize that the same old problem is there: sex IS on his mind, just not in connection with me. He still seems to think of sex as something he does apart from me, not with me. Which does still hurt. But I'm getting used to it. And I don't really see him taking active steps to change things in terms of relating to me sexually. He did say he is working at eliminating the P entirely. But abstinence is not the same as recovery and he still seems to have no interest in being sexual with me.

One thing I noticed though, since the latest "dday" is that he doesn't seem to be scanning these days. We went swimming and to a restaurant and I didn't notice any scanning, except maybe a split second scan of someone near the laundromat, but it might simply have been that he was watching to see if she might have been crossing the street in front of us while he was driving.

The odd thing about the scanning is that he never seems to recall doing it. I do believe him. But I said that maybe he is doing it but without it registering in his consciousness. Is that possible? I might ask this in the forums.

Meanwhile, I have posted in the forums about leaving vs staying and about whether to consider New Guy. I have been offered a lot of good food for thought.

I am feeling mixed up. And just plain exhausted. Going to do another lesson soon.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:22 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
Exercise Twenty-Three is under construction. Space here to do the exercise when it becomes available.

Last edited by Healthlove on Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:23 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
Exercise Twenty-Four

To regain balance, you must regain a perception of control over your life. A difficult task indeed while mired in the addiction of another. One of the most powerful ways of regaining control is to have a clear, realistic notion of what options are available to you.

A. List three or more relationship options that remain available to you.

Recommit to the relationship; Stand by him in recovery.
Request a separation. Live apart.
Request an emotional separation. Live together.
File for divorce.
Take a "wait and see" approach to his/her recovery progress before making a decision on the relationship.

B. For each option, consider all of the benefits that that option would produce. List them.

C. What obstacles do you see as being the most problematic for each option listed above? Are these obstacles that can be overcome? How?

1. File for divorce.
Obstacles: financial dependence, child-rearing, potential violence/threat to safety

Financial dependence: develop a financial plan that will allow me to meet all of my families' basic needs.
Child-rearing: develop a plan that would provide adequate care for my children while I work
Potential Violence: contact authorities, file restraining order if needed

D. Select the one option from exercise A that you feel yourself leaning towards (or have already selected). Why do you think this is/might be the best option for you? What would be your second option?

E. What options do you believe are realistically available to your partner? Which do you think he/she would choose?

He will end our relationship so that he may continue to engage in his sexual behaviors.
He will actively commit to recovery and develop into the man that he made himself out to be.
He will remain in the relationship for as long as possible, continuing his sexual behaviors until I make the decision to leave him.

F. Optional (though strongly, strongly recommended for anyone with even the slightest hesitation towards whether they should stay in the relationship or whether they should end it)

Over the next several weeks, take the time to develop an actual plan of action in the case of a possible separation or divorce. Include every possible detail regarding things like: finances, housing, employment, child care, lawyer's fees, property exchanges, etc. Take the time to develop a thorough, well thought out plan that will provide you with some semblance of comfort should the decision be made to end the relationship. The Partner's Coaches have put together a checklist for you to use in helping you to complete this activity. Click on the Healing Checklist to access it.

The goal of this project is not for you to prepare for separation or divorce, but to develop the knowledge that such an option is a viable one. That way, when it comes time for making decisions as to whether or not to remain in the relationship, you will not base those decisions on ignorance or insecurity, but through choice and control. Control over what is in your best interest.

Information is not something to fear; ignorance is. Preparation and diligence — the attributes required to successfully make this plan — are attributes that promote balance and stability within your life. Again, nothing for you to fear...and nothing for your partner to fear, either.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:43 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
Mrs Jones said:
It's hard to heal. It's hard to recover. Taking those steps means acknowledging that what we had is gone and it isn't coming back. It requires that we accept a new, painful reality. Sometimes it feels like if we stay in the hurt for long enough, then we'll get back the life that we wanted. It's those first two stages of grief: denial and bargaining. You are grieving, so give yourself grace.
I've been on my own for the past couple of days. Getting things done. Going through boxes of papers, and realizing how dysfunctional I've really been. Which has been ery depressing on top of everything else I've been going through. So this was helpful to read, which Mrs. Jones posted elsewhere.

I realize how hard it's been for me to get used to the changes since dday.Having to let go of what I had hoped I might have with Current Guy. I am really skeptical that he's ever going to want a sexual/intimate relationshipp with me. If he did he would be doing what he can to make it so sex can happen. But I don't think he misses that part of relating to me.

And I really don't want to go through life as a celebate. Also, it's hard for me to navigate my options when I'm in the process of getting ready to move. For many years, my house and the freedom that went with it, helped me when other things were hard. So now this security is being taken away from me. I am really scared of what the future holds.

I also know that New Guy might have emotional problems too and I'm worried about what might transpire there too. If he's really not ready to rekate to me, then maybe it'll be a long time b4 I meet someone else who I'm attracted to. Other guys have expressed an interest in me over the years, but I never really felt like this for anyone besides Current Guy until I met New Guy. And my attraction is very spontaneous. Even if nothing concrete ever happens between us, he has already made me feel appreciated sexually, which means a lot to me. And now that Current Guy seems to average abandoned the sexuality between us, it is too frustrating to desire him and I find myself not feeling turned on to him, especially now that I caught him using p again a few weeks ago. If he hasn't found away to recover sexually after 5 yrs post dday, and no re - kindling of romance between us, if there ever really was any in the first place -- he might just have been ao with ME all those years too -- then maybe it's more realistic to think it isn't going to become in the future. But I'm grateful we're genuine friends.

Then there's New Guy. I can't stop thinking about him, and I don't really want to. And the more I contemplate what has happened between us to date (conversations and him becoming friends with my friends -- much more than Current Guy in fact) I really wonder what could happen. And that prospect is exciting, and I am starting to not feel guilty about exploring that possibility since I've comunicated to Current Guy that I might start dating other guys.

But through all this, I've been trying to be honest with myself and Current Guy, and keep balance in my life, and look after myself by eating well, getting some down time, music, exercise. Good things like that, and the cleaning is undong the many years of neglecting my space and need for organization so I do feel good about these positive things that are within my power to do.

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 2:27 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
It's interesting that I am on Exercise 24, which deals with exploring options of how to relate.

I will go back to it soon, see above. But meanwhile I am doing more journalling as I discover something that previously I might have overlooked. But I see another instance of denial and I am happy that I called Current Guy on it.

This week I was at home several days, taking care of personal business and tasks. On Friday, I had plans to see friends and maybe go to a certain bar where several of them were going to be performing. I had asked CG earlier in the week if he wanted to go to that bar with me, and he said no, as he's really trying to avoid drinking and the temptation to drink.

I was happy at the time to hear that this is what his plan was. He said that he only had one or two drinks each day this week. But then the day after the bar (which I never made it to, as something else came up and I went to see some other people) that's when my Current Guy and I went to the racetrack. We had some lunch and he drank two beers. Then when we went to his place afterwards, he had two more beers and fell asleep.

I told him that I didn't really buy it about him not wanting to drink. I said it seems that he doesn't want to drink sometimes, which is good, but that when he's with me, that's when he drinks enough to pass out. He said he isn't interested in sex since he feels old, and that's what prompted me to realize it's the alcohol that is most likely making him feel old -- and when he chooses to drink around me, then that makes him feel low energy and not wanting to relate to me.

I also said that when he talks about not wanting to drink and not wanting to be tempted to drink, it really boils down to not wanting to drink except at home. I said I realized that going out and spending time with me is not a priority for him. He just doesn't want to socialize or go dancing with me. He'd rather drink by himself at home. And I said that I don't like the idea that he tries to get credit for "not wanting to drink" (pretending to be healthy) when he's really continuing to drink, and doing so maybe in a way that makes it easy to avoid relating to me or doing things with me.

This relationship really isn't giving me what I want (including the opportunity to GIVE love in a sexual way, in addition to the other ways) and I really feel more like a caregiver or maybe even a co-dependent enabler, than a mate. This does not feel fulfilling and I realize he is not committed to having an intimate relationship with me. Sure he kisses me hello and goodbye occasionally, but these feel like just perfunctory gestures now and not spontaneous expressions of desire on his part.

I am adjusting to letting go of the fairy tale and realize that unless he develops a different relationship with booze that it will continue to get in the way of having a romantic relationship together. But more importantly, I am now seeing that having that kind of relationship with me is not important to him. I don't think he wants to be all that close to me. So he still either:

1) is afraid of being close with me, including sexually/intimately or
2) he simply doesn't want to be.

Either way, the outcome is the same. Either way, he isn't actively doing anything to change things or to try to get closer to me. And without the sex to glue us together I feel worlds apart.

We went out with binoculars to look at a certain planet that is often hard to see, but I begged him to show it to me (he's a better astronomy buff than I am) but he doesn't take the opportunity to turn the event into a chance to relate to me romantically. It's fun, but strictly platonic. Maybe that's all he really wanted with me in the first place. And if he doesn't stop the booze then he continues to get the payoff he seems to want: avoidance. If he's always too tired to get frisky then he gets to avoid the intimacy. I know I'm being presumptuous but I am glad I verbalized that to him and he didn't disagree. All his actions or lack of affection and physical playfulness are consistent with my remark based on what I feel is real observation. It's sad. And now I am not feeling guilty about moving on. I just want to do that in a healthy way.

I noticed when checking out one of New Guy's social media accounts that he has eliminated three younger women from his list. That seems like a good sign. And I do anticipate running into New Guy this month. I miss him. I wish I could get to know him better. Maybe that opportunity will be there. Meanwhile Current Guy is being fun to be with in a casual, platonic way. Which is nice in itself. But I am no longer hopeful or imagining that romance or sex will happen again. And I have gotten used to letting that aspect of relating to him go. I have learned not to anticipate it.

Of course, I am trying not to presuppose what might or might not happen with New Guy either. He might have changed his mind about me. He might not be ready to relate to me -- or anyone for that matter. I might realize that I only had a fleeting interest based on feeling flattered by his attention. I might discover traits about him that don't appeal to me. Who knows? It could go any direction with him. And even though he might "like" me that might not mean that I will feel fulfilled with him either, if it turns out he is too afraid to get involved with me.

After all, he's been through two divorces already. And he has had some serious stress on the job in the past, which could definitely affect his feelings about life or relationships or whatever. So the proof is in the actual pudding, so to speak. Actions speak louder than words.

So he likes me. If nothing ever happens then it doesn't matter. It doesn't mean any more than if he didn't, if nothing further ever happens. But since he told me he wants to hang out with MY friends when he retires, and he said he wishes he could meet my son, then maybe there is something to explore in the future. Time will tell. But if the opportunity presents itself to try to get to know him better, then I am feeling like I might be ready to take that chance.

I suspect that if he IS interested in me, he doesn't want just a fling. Maybe he wants something meaningful like I do, and will indeed still be interested if he sees I am too and that this wasn't just some idle fantasy. Also, I never made it very clear that I am attracted to him back. I wasn't ready to communicate that until I was certain which direction things were going in with Current Guy. And now I have the answer to that. Where are they going with Current Guy? They aren't really. Which is why I am so unhappy with him so much of the time. The romance seems to be completely gone now. Of course, if HE changes (and I haven't gotten involved elsewhere), I am willing to re-visit the possibility of re-kindling a romance with him. But it will have to take Current Guy actively trying to be close with me. But he doesn't seem to want that or else he just doesn't care. So it's time to move on, as hard as it is to go forward when the predictable and routine have given me at least some security.

I am afraid of changing and of being alone. But I needn't really, as he will most likely want to hang around sometimes if I want some companionship in the future. And of course, I have lots of other friends too. And if we do have to part ways, at least I am not having to walk away from a wonderful sex life. That is totally barren now. I don't want to have to go through life being a celibate.

But I am also feeling that if anyone comes into my life, they should be either really healthy emotionally or moving along an emotionally healthy path -- or I will not want to be with them. I am so tired of trying to relate to emotionally-unavailable men.

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 5:09 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
When I mentioned to Current Guy that the drinking still is an issue even though it's not a huge amount, it still makes him fall asleep and then he can conveniently avoid intimacy with me, I reiterated it a few hours later.

He said that he is not doing that deliberately to avoid me. And I acknowledged that. But I added that unless he is doing things to actively recapture the intimacy/sex or to make that happen, eg taking Cialis etc., then it amounts to no intimacy. So deliberate or intentional is more or less academic if the results means no intimacy and I said this.

I gave him a foot rub while talking about this. I told him I missed the closeness with him and that he said post dday that he wanted to make me happy and that I miss that.

I also said that I don't want to hurt him by moving on, which I said I will most likely do if he can't find a way to open up again. I also asked him if all the fighting and me berating him post dday were so painful for him that I am unforgivable and maybe that's why he has lost interest. He said that maybe that's true. That was hard to hear. Especially since I've been quite patient and generally loving, independent and fun to be with a lot of the time. But I'm glad we talked about it.

Because at the end of the day, either he wants me and does what it takes to make the relationship fulfilling OR he doesn't want me and can't find a way to forgive and he realizes it's okay for me to move on.

When I talked about all this stuff the second time tonight, I found my guilt re-occurring. Yet I know intellectually that I should not really feel guilty when we don't seem to want the same things out of the relationship or when nothing I do or say helps him desire me anymore (or nothing HE does seems to make him want me either). Whatever it is, I just don't seem to matter to him anymore and he no longer seems to care if we have an intimate relationship, and if anything he maybe prefers it this way.

I also realize how scared I am of starting something new -- with anyone -- not just New Guy. I am not used to being sexual anymore. I am afraid of getting my heart broken yet again. I am afraid that things will be okay for a while and then deteriorate like they always have with everyone I've been involved with so far.

And yet, I don't want to stop thinking about the possibility that things could work out with New Guy the way I would like, if it turns out that Current Guy is not able to feel attraction to or desire for me anymore. Because maybe things will turn out well with New Guy. Also, if things could be fulfilling for New Guy and me, then the longer I wait, the more I am depriving New Guy of the chance to have a loving person by his side to have fun with, help him, be a listening ear, etc etc. I just want to be open to what is going to be most fulfilling for me. The right relationship -- IF there is one for me!

Meanwhile I am really focusing on myself and what I need in my life and all that good stuff. It's helping. :g:

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:38 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
Well, now I have my answer about New Guy. I finally got an opportunity to talk candidly with him and tell him how I feel about wishing I had the chance to get to know him and that I felt intimidated by his walkie talkie device last summer, which kept me from opening up.

Anyway, he listened and then shocked me by saying he got married over the winter. I did my best to hear this gracefully and wished him well. And he asked if we're still friends and I said yes.

But I also said that I thought I overheard him talking about ME last summer with colleagues and he said I was mistaken, and if I overheard anything at all, he was talking about someone else and not me.

Anyway I was crushed hearing this, especially since I wonder if things might have been different if I had only communicated this last summer when he told me he liked me "a lot" as he himself phrased it. And at that time, he looked very disappointed that I didn't say I liked him too. Instead, I just said "really?" with a smile. But either that wasn't enough to inspire him to pursue me further or else he didn't really mean it or else he changed his mind.

But when I asked him about him saying he liked me, he said that even if he wasn't married, he would not be able to have a relationship with me anyway since police officers in this region are expected not to get personally involved with the constituency they police. Well, if that's the case, then why on earth did he tell me he liked me a lot (and sounding all emotional when he said it)?

And to top it off, he always ACTS like he's very attracted to me, so what he's saying (rejecting) doesn't match the way he looks at me, his body language and the fact that he always seems interested in me every time he sees me.

When we did have that conversation, he said he was glad that we at least got things out on the table, and there will be opportunities to talk later and that he does want to continue to be friends -- if I could call it that, and I said so -- but yes, I was relatively gracious about it all and tried to be as agreeable as possible even though I started to cry.

Later on that day, he smiled and waved at me briefly, looking like he didn't want me to feel bad.

But I feel so bewildered about why he was trying to tell me he liked me a lot. In hindsight it seems like he was leading me on. If he wasn't interested in me romantically, it's too bad he said something that I think most women would interpret as interest.

But maybe he had a sexual addiction or some sex problem of some sort, and I just happened to figure into his acting out. Or maybe he denied having expressed interest to keep from getting in trouble professionally, if he thought I might ever report him for sexual harassment for acting or sounding interested. But if relating to constituents is so inappropriate, then why would he ever have taken the chance to act or sound interested in me like he did?

If he was on the verge of getting married or had already tied the knot when I saw him at that award ceremony at the beginning of the year, and it seemed like he had been talking with the other guys in the office about me, why did he do that? Why would he care if I found him attractive or not, if he really wasn't interested in me?

These things don't add up. He acted and sounded interested in me right from the first time we talked when he was on the beat. That's when HIS superior suggested he "go after me" and New Guy said, "I just might do that. I might even ask her to marry me some day if she'll have me."

Then he said yesterday that he never was interested in having a relationship with me. And that getting involved with constituents is frowned upon. So if that is so, then why did he imply interest in me in front of his higher-up in the department? Maybe they were just kidding around, but I feel badly that I was just being played in a little joke, especially since he gave me reason to think he was interested in me, and I DID hear him talk about being attracted to me on that day he turned me down for coffee, when he said he was afraid of not being able to control himself if he was alone with me.

It just doesn't make sense, the mixed messages, him acting like he likes me and now this. I feel betrayed and sad that I couldn't have explored getting to know him. He knows I had deep feelings.

I am also concerned that if he is now married, then why is he continuing to act interested in me? Maybe he really has commitment problems and it's just as well to steer clear of him.

The thing that also makes me sad is that this is the first time in twenty years I have had someone pay attention to me like that, someone who really seemed to "only have eyes for me". Meanwhile my Current Guy has NO interest in sex with me anymore, and doesn't seem to be attracted to me at all sexually, although he has been relatively open and affectionate lately at least.

But without him showing me any excitement, I find that I am not feeling excited about him either. Yet, I have been spending a lot of time with him for security.

Now that I will have to vacate my place I have become quite emotionally dependent on Current Guy for comfort even without the sex. I guess we really are true friends.

I just wish for so much more and am feeling unfulfilled. And worried that I might have to wait another twenty years to meet someone who is excited by me. I feel a big jumble of painful emotions right now. Loss, regret, anger.

And anger at myself for being such a poor judge of what's going on. Again, why couldn't I see this coming? Why can't I find a man who desires me who I find desirable in return? I feel like a terrible failure with relationships.

And even though I told Current Guy that I need some excitement in my life and want to give myself the chance to see if there is anyone out there that I might be able to have this with if Current Guy is no longer interested in sex with me, I don't want to hurt Current Guy's feelings about all this that has transpired to date with New Guy. So I can't really open up with Current Guy even though I feel all broken up inside. I can't turn to him emotionally without hurting him. So I have confided in a few women friends. And writing this down helps. I feel so bad about my life right now. :t:

PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:43 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
Much has changed since the last post. Since then I finally moved in 2015. That was really stressful -- traumatic actually since I had been in the same place for over three decades. But I survived it and my new place is working out.

I have gotten over New Guy, I barely got to know him anyway, and have rarely run into him since he informed me he got married. I have stayed with Current Guy although I briefly explored getting to know another person. But that was just a silly fantasy about someone very incompatible with me. And I let my Current Guy know that since he is paying attention to me earnestly now, I am not interested in exploring other relationship possibilities.

By last summer he continued to live somewhat unhealthily and he had a heart attack. That was a big wake-up call and he has reworked his priorities big time, while I have continued doing all those things I'm now well in the habit of doing to look after myself, so I have been able to deal with everything without falling apart.

At this point, my SA has made major changes (rarely drinks, and has minimized smoking over the last year) and he's so much more fun to be around.

He finally is becoming much more the person I want him to be. And he's been very helpful to me in the last couple of years.

The thing that has worked best in my life is my self-healing and I'm finally starting to really like the path I'm on FOR ME!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:09 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
The last year has been tumultuous. In some ways my Current Guy has grown. In some ways I have grown too. I have developed a good support network of people to have fun with.

After the heart attack, at first Current Guy was very mindful about taking care of himself. He understood his fears about relating to me, to a large extent. But he started smoking again and there were some instances of him reverting to a bit of P use at times, so I knew he wasn't really making the progress I had hoped. However, he continued to work at it and wanted to make headway and get over his hangups with me.

By the early fall of 2018 my Current Guy and I went to a healing practitioner who was able to help him release some deep emotional blocks related to his past and instead of suppressing his emotions a lot (which he tended to do unless he was drinking) he suddenly was able to feel strongly. And at first he felt very excited about relating to me. But then about a week later, he rejected the practitioner because he said she was not the right religion. He was doing some very strange things by early fall, including drinking more heavily than usual, and letting me know how angry he really was at me, for contributing to the downhill slide at his place over the summer after we cleaned it up in the spring. He tended to isolate himself and he also started messing his place up even more than it was.

By Halloween he was spending money wildly on things even I would consider frivolous and excessive, such as a bunch of costumes, jewelry for himself (which he never wore previously) and a huge resurgence in P, although he assured me he was not AO at all. I am reasonably sure that this is true.

He told me in early November that in October he did return to the hooker he had been seeing up until 2009, and apologized to her for paying her for sex. He said that he gave her some money but did NOT have sex with her. He said this was the closure that he never did before. Hopefully for his sake -- and my peace of mind that he is finally over her -- that is true.

But his behavior towards me became more and more angry, and by later in November 2018 he wouldn't allow me to go to his place, which he messed up intentionally, basically to get even for me messing it up, and with a feeling of resignation and despair.

By October and into November, he was phoning me up, talking about a bunch of random things related to his fantasies and fears and then hanging up. He was doing this now, whether he was drunk or not. And he talked without letting me get a word in edgewise, on many occasions. This was so much unlike him.

So was unprovoked rage -- we had had a dinner out and I grew tired after this meal lasted several hours and he was also drinking heavily. So I went to his place to wait. As I was sleeping he broke a window near me, insisting I had to let him in -- which I was completely willing to do, and said so. But he kept pounding on the window until it broke. I was shocked at such outrageous behavior and hostility. He did give me cab fare (it was the middle of the night by now) and he made me stay away for several days.

But it was the last straw when he called me up a few days later, in mid-November, and agreed I could go over to clean as we had done that evening when he broke the window. But about two hours later, when I arrived, he told me to go away. Moments later, the building managers arrived to do an inspection (he had not opened their letter of the previous week indicating that they were concerned about the state of the suite and safety of other tenants and wanted to view the suite).

The managers were shocked at his strange behavior towards them, and the cavalier attitude he adopted, and lack of willingness to even listen to them. He had thrown some things on the lawn, including a book he really liked. They agreed to give him another week (he has resided there for 30 years and they always liked him), so they were being especially lenient considering the serious nature of the situation and his erratic actions.

Once they left, he still wouldn't agree agree to me cleaning up and asked me to return a few days later. I knew that wouldn't be enough time to make the suite satisfactory and that he was at serious risk of eviction. But he agreed to let me in to at least make a quick start, and remove some of my things, although he said I had to do it in silence.

It was horrendous. There was P all over the floor, dirty ashtrays, empty liquor bottles lying around all over the floor and surfaces.

I noticed some records all strewn around and said, "Why are the records spread out?" at which point he said I was not being silent as he expected and thus, I had to leave. He made me go onto the balcony and then he wouldn't allow me to get my jacket and purse -- and it was a very chilly day -- and all my money, ID, etc was in my purse.

Considering the state of the place, his unwillingness to let me help solve the problem and clean, and his irrational unwillingness to even let me grab my coat and purse, I called the emergency services and the police came and brought him to the hospital.

It has been over two weeks and he is still there. It has been a really good healing experience for him and he is very remorseful about what he has done. He is taking medication that seems to be helping him relax and at the same time, does not prevent him from getting in touch with his feelings. We've had some good heart-to-heart talks in the last several days. He has been able to talk about how angry he has been towards me for a very long time and is very sorry about how he dealt with it.

Meanwhile, I put in many hours while he's been hospitalized, cleaning up: assembling a work crew, replacing the broken fridge, overhauling the place with many hours of time investment. He has willingly paid for a housekeeper we hired to do a substantial amount of work, and also paid for the window replacement. I am happy he has taken responsibility. Management is very impressed after the inspection last week -- so his stability at his place is assured if he maintains it.

But I am worried about him reverting to this secret life of P, wild spending, and who knows what. I don't trust him now, and he knows it -- or I think he knows it.

Meanwhile, I have continued to focus on myself and having as much fun as I can in between hospital visits and trying to get things organized at my own place.

I am also realizing that I need to see active commitment to continued healthy living on his part for me to want to stay in this relationship. Further, I now realize that assuming he does start following a genuinely healthy path, that I want him to make a solid commitment to ME, including getting married some day -- and only IF I don't think there is any more reversal to unhealthy living. He has lined up some counselling for himself too.

Once more I realize that I did NOT follow my intuition -- when he was buying all those pens and paper and costumes before Halloween, they were all part of his "journalling" which he did with the P -- although he assures me that this was all part of his "processing" and that he is over the P now. I saved all of the journals in the cleanup. If I am going to continue with him, I need to see him getting rid of the P, the P-based journals, the paraphernalia. I will look for remnants kicking around too, and we have talked about getting rid of it together. I also said that if there are any more "closure" things he wants to do, that I expect transparency -- no more non-sexual visits to hookers without me present, no more visits to P stores, etc.

I told him I do not want him to do anything along those lines that he would not be fully prepared to share with me. No more "secret" life of spending or sexual activity if he wants to have an intimate relationship with me. In fact, I hope that he will agree, when he gets out of the hospital, that we should be able to go over his bank statements together, like ordinary couples do, so that I can see he has a track record of normal spending -- and none of it at the P store.

This stuff has all gone hand in hand with alcohol misuse, him making me stay away, and a "cluster" of symptoms, which are very disturbing to me and not part of healthy living. Now that I have been away from it -- and HE has been away from it for a few weeks now -- my resolve to only go forward with him IF it continues to be emotionally healthy is stronger than ever.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:40 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
It's been about a year and a half since I last posted on my lesson thread. I have gone through a lot since that last post. And the same themes have come up over and over again -- but I am really understanding myself and have established personal boundaries like I never have before.

But since my partner had a serious bout with pretty much a mental breakdown he started to change his living habits but over time, he has fallen back into some old habits, particularly fairly heavy drinking and what seems to me to be an unhealthy relationship to alcohol: drinking alone while I go out with friends, that sort of thing.

And he really has stopped the romantic part of relating to me. I see that as a vital part of a relationship for me -- without that I am not happy. And the sex has been gone for a long time. No doubt the drinking is part of the reason he has lost interest but he is not doing anything at this point to change that factor and so the lack of romance and excitement about me never changes.

Meanwhile there is someone I have met online through another friend. This person and I have struck up a nice friendship and I helped him with some career advice that has made a positive difference and now he is so happy to have met me and wants to meet me in person.

I can't see how we could have a relationship though, since he is much younger than me and being involved with me would involve a real cultural adjustment for both of us. But it has opened my eyes to realize that there is someone who actually feels good towards me, is enthusiastic about meeting me, and maybe even has some interest in me on a personal level. Sensing this has really made my unhappiness with my partner come to light: I realize that I miss having a relationship that involves sex and romance. Sure I can live without those things, and my partner has been a really good provider all these years, but I realize how painful it is for me to have someone who I can turn to for that sort of emotional connection.

And who knows about this new person? Maybe it really is just a good friendship and he harbours some degree of sexual interest that we will never get to explore. Maybe it is just a fleeting attraction and that we will just have to settle for being friends -- or people with a certain affinity, which is in itself a lovely thing to have. Good friendships are hard to come by.

And I am not interested in having yet another failed, dead-end relationship so I'm very hesitant to get much involved unless I see that we could have a serious connection on various levels, including sexual AND with commitment.

but meanwhile, my partner knows that I am not feeling happy in this so-called relationship, and that even though he has gotten ED drugs, he hasn't taken any for a long time now, and with the drinking, all I really am anymore is a caregiver -- doing his laundry and cooking in exchange for him paying for my laundry and letting me use his computer. and of course, getting to spend time with our cat that we've loved for years.

It doesn't feel like a real intimate relationship anymore. And since he never married me officially or promised to provide for me, of course, he has no moral obligation to stay with me or to have the kind of relationship I was hoping we could have had.

He's handsome still, and I like cuddling, but I really do want a relationship where there's more: the excitement of planning a special night, the fun of having sexual activitiy, and the closeness that goes along with a physically intimate relationship. We have none of that, and I don't see it going in that direciton at al. If anything, he is just drifting away more and more and doesn't seem to really miss being close. I guess that is what alcoholism can do in a relationship.

I told him tonight I didn't want to spring it on him if someday I "meet someone else". I told him that what we are lacking is putting me in a situation where I might meet someone else and want to explore that relationship possibility.

I reminded him that I almost dated a couple of others a few years back, and that I might want to try that again if things don't change -- and that I don't see that they will the way things are going. I mentioned counseling again but I know he doesn't want to do that again. The ED drugs sit there in the drawer but I said that if he won't take them then it doesn't really matter if they are there or not.

He got very uncomfortable with this conversation and feels like I am picking on him when I get onto this. But I told him that I'm getting to the point where I am feeling like it is futile to think about us having an intimate relationship anymore and that we should focus on the musical connection we have, which has gone well all these years.

Maybe that's the best we can hope for, and this other person's interest in me is just a means for me to really realize what is missing. I think once this person meets me, he will realize he is only just fascinated with me and not really in love with me for the long haul. I suspect it is just a temporary fancy. Of course, anything could happen -- nothing surprises me anymore. But I imagine it is just that this new friend is just really grateful for the help I have offered him so far and he will discover that he is just imagining he is in love with me. I think he probably just has a fascination, a crush, an infatuation. Or maybe it isn't really a sexual attraction particularly, but just that he likes me, he wants to reciprocate the good favours I have done for him, and that he thinks I'm cute. Many guys think various women are cute and they like you as a person but nothing emotionally important comes of it.

So I am trying hard not to read too much into it. I don't want to have that sort of conversation with him until I actually meet him and we can talk about that, if we even do, in person and not virtually. He would need to come to my country -- which he is planning to do soon.

Which scares me -- it will bring this whole situation to a head and at this point I'm in a lot of turmoil. I feel stuck. I like the security of my present unexciting relationship. And I am excited about the prospects of a new relationship but that would mean having to mourn the loss of what has now been 25 years "together" -- although we don't even have an anniversary to celebrate. Nothing. I feel sad, confused, but also more in touch with myself and what I really want in a relationship.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:53 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:31 am
Posts: 325
I should have mentioned in my last post that a brand new development happened with my partner, Current Guy. When we were discussing sexual activity he said that he thinks it must hurt women. I was shocked to hear this after all these years -- that he actually thinks sex must be painful for women. This mistaken belief was no doubt a factor in why he resisted having sex with me all those years of active SA. I guess he assumed prostitutes were willing to tolerate pain for the money they would be getting. I told him that it doesn't make sense to think that sex is painful -- after all why would I have been begging him for sex all those years if it was painful? I explained sex is only painful under certain circumstances, such as if a woman is tense, not really wanting the sex, or has had surgery that impedes pleasant sexual experiences.

Anyway, I do have a bad dilemma. Do I stay with my CG for the security and somewhat pleasant lifestyle we have? Or do I split up and make that clear so that I can be genuinely available for the next person, should someone come along that I want to consider having a relationship with? Such as the person who is planning to come to my country soon, where he hopes to relocate to permanently if he can.

But that might not pan out, and I will have abandoned the enjoyable things I do have now with my CG, even though the hopes of a real intimate relationship with CG are waning. And the brand new person can tell when we talk on virtual phone calls that I'm not happy. He wants to know what's eating me and I don't want to really talk about CG with my new friend, as much as he cares, since I am so confused, and I haven't really told my new friend how attractive I find him. I have told my new friend that I appreciate his kindness and sincerity. He does seem like a very moral and principled person -- AND he doesn't take drugs or drink any alcohol, and he lives quite healthily and spiritually -- which I consider to be great qualities. But how can I really get to know him if I'm not really free? And do I want to risk letting this new friendship slide through my hands? I don't know how to resolve this. I am thinking it over. I might post in the forum and ask for input.

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