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 Post subject: GTucke12 healing thread
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Share an unadulterated version of your partner's addiction.

This is the begining to my long road to heal. Part of me wants to keep it consise and to the point, but after years of having my husband trivialize his behavior I feel the need to tell the tale in anything but a trivial way.

So it begins, 24 years ago. I was getting out of a marriage I should have never been in and and he was still with another. We were friends who fell in love. Going to the same bars to drown our pain. We ended up living together and over the years it turned into a relationship. I had a young son when we began and he is 15 years older than me. His kids were grown. We settled down and had a daughter together 5 years later.

He drives truck, just as my ex and my father did. I know the lifestile and was aware of truckstop pros. I guess I knew he might use them on long runs, but accepted it if it didn't affect anything at home. Neither of us are prudes and sex was just something I accepted men needed. We made love afterall. Pros were just for an occasional release when I'm not around. When I found the first condom wrapper in the truck, I wasn't happy, but got over it. He denies any knowledge. I let it go. Years go by. As I look back I see it more and more the things I let go. Seeing him downtown and thinking there was someone else in the car, then circling the block and she was gone. I was obviously mistaken. The night he called after having a few drinks. He had been flagged down and entrapped, but it wasn't worth fighting. Now I know he didn't want me hearing the tapes. I was very pregnant and had been neglectful, so I blamed myself. After the birth we had a good sexlife. I never felt neglected or unloved. He was a good provider.

Flash forward 15 years. Daughter is having emotional problems. She is "cutting" It takes everything I have to deal with her. Counseling and therapy. Teaching her to show emotions I didn't even realize her father and I never show. I learn a lot, but Dad is too busy at work suddenly to participate. He can't handle the emotional issues. I make excuses for him, but I am drained.

Over the years he put on weight and has untrated sleap apnea, so I begin to sleep on the couch. Before I know it years have went by and as my son and daughter leave the house I realize we have been living a platonic relationship all this time. He had been having erectile issues I blamed on the weight and age and was stressed about a lot of things. I blew it off and didn't want to put any more pressure on him to perform. Somewhere along the line we try again, he comes to me and we spend a month together kissing like we hadnt in years. Trying to make love several times a week. Hes all over me and I love it. I am going through empty nest and need this attention. He suggests I try to order some pills online. He is computer illiterate, so I do. The pills came. He is surprised I control them. I give him one to keep beside the bed. He can take it when he wants. He says they don't work. I find them hidden after unsuccesful sex with me in his truck. He lies and steals them. He was going to sell them to a friend, because they do him no good he says. Our sex life and the attention ends. I am told I don't need to be snooping in his things. Giant Red Flag. A man doesn't lie unless he has something to hide. There is no reason to lie unless you are hiding something. I know I have been used. So it begins. The quest for answers.

Checking cell phone records, so many numbers and time on the phone I put GPS tracker in his car. So many lies about where he is. I see him driving known prostitute areas for hours and he always has an explanation. They become laughable after a while. He cant figure out how I know where he is when he lies. Starts leaving the cell phone somewhere and goes after the pros. Still caught. He lies and never admits to anything. He stops for a while. But it soon starts again. I had to catch him with the pro in the car and he still tried to lie out of it. No I didn't see the act. He really is pathetic at this point. But I had a point to prove. I wasn't crazy like he tried to make me think. But I was getting there. I needed answers and he couldnt tell me why he was doing these things when he knew I was watching. Why are you willing to risk it all. He was leading a double life. It was almost a relief to read about sex addiction. He fit the profile to a t. It wasn't my fault. I wasn't crazy. No matter how hard I tried it wasn't going to make a difference. The final straw so to speak was 7 days ago. He read a little bit about addiction and agrees he "might " have a problem. Now I am awaiting his action on it. We have talked and he knows how I feel about him.I gave him reasurance I love the man he is not his alter ego that needs this coping mechanism.I will stand by him if he wants help and is willing to change. He has a choice. So do I. I need to heal either with him or without him. The following is a letter I wrote him as well aas links to recovery nation and a few other sites to get him started.

How it is.

Where I am.

I am on the path to healing. I have realized that the problem we are dealing with is yours and not mine. I did what healthy individuals do. I loved and trusted and tried make a life with the man I thought I knew. I believed I was loved and wanted a family that was forever. When I discovered it was all a lie, that none of the past 20 years were real. I had a lot of things to deal with. Anger, hurt, resentment. I have been betrayed and manipulated. I take some responsibility for my hurt. I have been aware for some time, but in denial wanting to believe i was wrong. I was not. I am not crazy. That is a typical response the addict uses to try to hide dicovery. I am now aware of that. I have watched it snowball out of control. Its taking more and more to get your fix. More lies, more manipulation, more money. You spend all your time trying to find new ways to get what you need and avoid dicovery.You get angry when something interferes with you getting your fix. This problem of yours is deep seated and ingrained in you by now.It is a secret life you have made for yourself. You lie to yourself about it. You think it hurts noone. you are wrong. It is unhealthy behavior. It is escalating and it takes more and more to get the same level of satisfation from it. It is similar to a drug addict, that takes more and more to achieve the same effect. I cannot watch this continue without taking action. For myself and for you. It is because I love you I am no longer letting this continue as it is.

Where you are.

This is what you need to determine, and I need to know.

Typically I believe you will be in denial you have a problem. If you do admit a problem, there are two senarios that will happen. You will fake getting help believing you can continue feeding your addiction and not get caught again.You will tell me you can quit cold turkey.You will think if I don't know about it there will be no problem, you think you can just be more careful. You will only attempt recovery for my benefit, to try and save the relationship and avoid public embarassment. If this is your thinking, don't bother. You will not succeed.

The second senario will be the hardest for you. You have to admit you have a problem and want to recover from it for yourself, so you can learn how to love and be loved in a healthy way. To understand you have a problem and need to change the core of your thinking and behaviors. You will need to be honest with yourself. Stop lying to yourself. This addiction is a learned behavior and coping device that hides the root of the problem. There will be withdrawal and you would have to find a new way to cope with the stress and anxiety that plauges you. It will be impossible to heal and recover without help.The help is out there, but you have to be honest and not try to manipulate the process. Trust has been broken and rebuilding will be the hardest part. If you are not willing to go through this process, that is your choice, not mine.

Where we are.

I need to know. For the first time in your life you need to be honest and communicate. If you get rid of this demon, that will be possible. You will be able to talk to me and tell the truth without fear of the discovery of your secret life. How hard and stressful it must have been to keep it all straight. You may be angry that my snooping has forced you into this. If that is what you feel you are not ready to quit, and I am not able to continue this game we play.

Imagine a life where you don't have to worry about how you can achieve your fix every week. Imagine learning how to cope with life without turning to your secret life. No more sneaking around and lying and stealing. Imagine finding a way to be happy with a healthy realtionship. Its hard work. Your way seemed so easy to you. But take the time to see it for what it is. You have been trying to live two lives for so long you think its normal. Can't you see how much stress you have created trying to relieve the stress of daily life and get your fix. You have lost more precious time and opportunity that you realize. Look inside yourself and think about the times you missed doing family things so you could have to time for your fixes. Blaming it on work, but you know the truth. If you dont you are still lying to yourself.

There is time to get yourself right before god, You are a good man. You are loved. You can learn how to love back. It can be fulfilling and worth the effort, but you have to deal with this demon that lives within you first. You need to learn healthy ways to cope with life. You have had many failures in your life, but you have many blessings too. God brought us together for a reason. I hope and pray you wont let the evil side win over. It has already robbed you of many things in life. There is still time to live right and be happy again.The fat lady is not singing yet. Its gonna be your choice what song she does. It can be a happy ending or a tragedy.

We can never go back to where we were. I don't want to. that life was all lies and deceptions. I need to either start over with a healthy relationship or move on. I cannot begin my healing until one of these things happens. I do need to heal. I am in recovery now. I need to know how to proceed. I am a broken person now, but there is time for healing. For both of us. I pray you see the truth. I pray you are strong enough to see and deal with the pain you have caused and are willing to make ammends. See your excuses and manipulations as a symptom of a disease. You can either heal yourself or succumb to the disease. Like chemo is hard on a cancer patient, so will the process of breaking this cycle for you. The question remains to be answered of whether or not you want to heal or just let it run its fatal course. See it as the hurful, evil thing it has been. Taking more and more from you and giving less and less back.I can point you to the tools you need to help you, but you need to be sincere in your efforts or it is a waste of time. The choice is yours.

Remember I love you and that has always been genuine. Know, though, that I will set you free if that is what you choose. I love you that much. I need to heal from this either way. It is survival for me at this point. It is survival for you too. It cannot contiue the way it has been. How it changes is up to you.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:34 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Create a vision that represents the real you

When the present is still so shattered it is difficult to see the future. I thought I knew where I was going. I still know where I want to be, just not so sure how to get there anymore.

Let’s begin with this "vision" . I used to see myself moving from ohio after the kids were grown and on their life paths. Florida has always been my dream. Annual passes to Disneyworld and an hour drive or so to the beach. Maybe I would be traveling around in an RV. Meeting new people and making new friends. A nice porch to sit on and maybe a fire pit on cool nights. Friends and family coming in every so often for nice visits on their vacations. Everyone is always happy and relaxed on vacation.
By my side would a man who loves me and enjoys my company. We will have discussions about politics and the news of the day and walk around the flea markets looking for new treasures and discovering souvenirs from the past. Holding hands and enjoying the days together without stress.

Sounds more like a dream than a vision.

Maybe a more realistic vision. Pay off the house and car and get the youngest through college. Enjoy babysitting those grandbabies who I've been neglecting due to all the stress of this life. Bake cookies with them and take them on fabulous adventures in the backyard looking for lightning bugs and walks by the creek not worrying about getting our shoes muddy at all. Making smores by the fire and getting ice cream BEFORE dinner. But I always saw grandma and grandpa there. That makes me sad to think of the possibility of doing it alone right now.

The real me is what this is about. It’s really hard. I seem to have lost that person years ago. I have been living for the kids, the business, the husband. So much time has gone by. Not sure I EVER had a vision just of me. Never really knew what I wanted. It just happened.
i get excited about things then let down because they are unachievable. I have lots of dreams, but gave up on visions. I have been living day to day. Some are better than others. Maybe today is just not the right time to do this.
Getting it simplified. Day to day activities in the here and now, in an ideal world. I would quit hoarding everything I hang onto because of my insecurities. Let go of the past and be secure I will be able get the things I may need in the future. Let go of things that I “may” need someday. Organize what I do keep. No more piles. Get the house in order and catch up on all the little things it needs. I lost pride in it and I would love to clean it up and cook nice meals and have family over for dinner parties. Have sleepovers with the grandbabies. Oh that sounds like fun. Watch Disney movies and eat popcorn.
I need to get some financial security. As of today I have none. Maybe go back to school if I ever get to a place I can function mentally again. Maybe get into social work. Been blue collar my whole life. My body is worn out. I need trained and the job market doesn’t favor 50 year old unskilled females with gout and arthritis. Getting a job with medical insurance would be good. I’ve always been a quick learner, except for relationships. I have a very optimistic attitude and a hard time giving up on people. I’ve been more sensitive to the needs of others and let mine go. Maybe I could use that to help people that actually want help.
I need to get my hair done and eat healthy again. No more mcdonalds because I’m too depressed to cook. No more forcing myself to eat because I will get sick if I don’t. Quit thinking about doing immoral thing like getting drunk and having an affair, because I know two wrongs don’t make a right, and he wouldn’t care anyway. The only one that would hurt would be me. Live what I believe. Respect must be earned. Live by example. If I am disrespected I must take action. Integrity and honor are the only things we have that cannot be taken away. You can take my money, house and car, but I will continue to have my integrity. I will not disrespect others. I will treat others as I want to be treated.
I want to trust again. I want to quit overanalyzing every detail of everything I hear and see. I want to forget the way my heart pounded when I made each discovery I had been deceived and humiliated. I need to look in my past and see the positive not the lies. I want to be able to feel real love again. I hope it’s possible.
I really want to “fix” this mess. I need to get to place I can accept it is not mine to “fix” I want to accept and believe I did the best I could and being in this mess is NOT my fault. Some days I know and some days I doubt again. I want to get off this rollercoaster of emotions. It would be nice to wake up every day and know if I will be able to function or not. I need to get to that place quickly. I feel more like Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde than my SA is.
I need to me more active in my children’s lives again. I have spent too much time chasing this demon I have been living with. It is what it is. I need to let it go. Go camping and not sitting by the computer or phone checking calls and locations. Let him do things for himself. No more enabling his lack of character. No more cleaning up his messes. No more making excuses for him when he blows off events and appointments. No more doing it because he didn’t get around to it and not finding out till the last minute. Let him live with the consequence of his actions. No more protecting him, though to be fair I usually protect the kids feelings more than his, by making excuses. I never wanted them to see him in a bad light. I have a feeling I won’t be able to do this much longer anyway.
I don’t know if this is what I should be focusing on. I will continue with these healing lessons as best I can. I am committed to at least try and see if it helps. At least it gives me something to focus on instead of mindless games and television ,trying to relieve my brain from running rampant with what ifs and whys.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
A) Brainstorm the times when your 'gut feelings' have been right about your partner's sexual and/or romantic behavior. Include times when you feel strongly that you were right (though it may never have been proven either way)

Too many to count. I have been reliving every moment of the past 24 years. In retrospect I was almost always right and talked myself out of it. Actually after he had been caught a few times and promised to quit cold turkey what surprised me more was how blatent he was going back into it. I was so full of hope and checked on him everyday, then Bam. Like he didn't have a care in the world. No reason I could see, yet there he was cruising for pros.
Before I started checking on him I "knew" he was up to something. All the times I went on vacations by myself and he was supposed to meet us but "things"came up. Work conveniently picking up when I had out of town business I wanted him to attend with me. Checking on colleges with daughter,ie. I went to too many things by myself because he couldnt get away, yet the task he stayed behind to do somehow never got done. Too many coincidences. I knew. I was in denial .How about the time we were being intimate and I tasted latex on him. Yea, that was tough, yet I denied I could be right.
If he is stressed about work or family he will avoid dealing with it and seek his "fix" It is so ingrained in him I know when to expect it. If he cant have sex right before work, he will not be satisfied and able to work till he gets his "fix" If he has a job that needs done and it is too hard for him, he will walk away from it for a "fix" If he needs to attend a social event he feels uncomfortable going to, he will blow it off for a :fix" I didnt catch them all I know, but I knew when he came home. He never tried to hold me at night and slept well. He will only cuddle when he hasn't acted out on a few days.

B) Identify as many major situations as you can where you allowed your head/heart to override your 'gut feelings' in relation to your partner's behavior.

All of them. I knew I either had no choice in the matter. Could'nt avoid what I needed to do to check on him. or didn't have the tools in place to obtain proof. I read him like a book but kept it to myself. Even an insinuation brought on adamant denials and accusations that I was crazy.
He missed vacations witht the kids, graduations, counseling sessions , funerals, college interviews, you name it , he found a way out of it. If he wasnt taking an opportunity, he lied to avoid being in an uncomfortable social situation. Either way, it is part of his SA.
I had to let it go. How could I admit to myself I was staying with a man capable of this. What would that say about me?

C) Relying on the experience you have gained, make a list of likely behaviors, situations and/or feelings that may trigger a conflict between your gut instinct, your value system and/or reality.

I still am not confident in myself, but I am sure if he is too stressed about work or family he will avoid dealing with it and seek his "fix" I think at this point I am over it. I am so done with the lies and deception. I want to believe I am at zero tolerance. But I think if he acted out and showed any remorse and took responsibility, I might be fooled again. I want to believe so badly I can have a life with this man. I am still on the fence in reality, although I am finally talking a good game.I am isisting he at least get informed about the help available.I need him to take the first step, and if he backslide and admits it, I might let it go. Because of his job if he wants to get a fix it is very available. Short of following him all over the country I can never be sure. I have to learn to trust. I'm not there yet. With him or anyone. I am trusing myself more now that I have went the extra mile to prove my suspicions. If you want to call that a success. At least I have been able to prove I'm not crazy. Something has been going on that shouldnt have been. Some days I want details, but I'm getting to the point it doesn't really matter.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:03 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Exercise Four

1) Make a list of those values in your partner's life that--in your gut--you believe is a part of him. Set aside the addiction and the behaviors that were a part of that addiction. Focus on what values you believe will survive the recovery process. Post these in your Healing Thread. If there is a time when you are feeling close to your partner, share these thoughts with him--so that he knows that you are beginning to separate the addiction from his core identity.

Not sure I really even knpw him any more, but this is what I believe.

He is a very sensitive person, yet hides it well. He can be kind and gentile, yet stong and supportive. He goes out of his way to help others. He loves his family and has good values except for his SA. If he were to be, healed I believe he would be a great family man. The pull to his SA keeps him from being 100% dedicated to us.

He is a great hugger. His touch can be so gentile and he is a strong man. He used tp know just the right time I needed a little hug or touch to cheer me up. I miss that.

When we were close in the begining years we could finish each others sentences and communicate in a crowd without speaking. I miss that.

Good work ethic. Knows how to make money when business is bleak. His perseverance is amazing. For good and bad endevors both, unfortunatley right now.

He loves others more than he loves himself. To the point he is in pain when his loved one are suffering. The pain he feels now causes him to run.

2) Make a list of those qualities in your partner that you believe will continue to pose as obstacles throughout your relationship.

Without treatment, he cannot succeed He will not be truly happy again without help. His low self esteem forces him to tell tall tails and his stories are told to boost how others see him. His accomplishments are brought to conversation, without considering his failures.

He needs to take responsibility for his problems. He has a habit of blaming others for everything negative that happens. He needs to admits sometimes bad things just happen and accept it without placing blame on others. He needs to put a connection between his bad behaviors and his failures in life.

He needs to be able to deal with emotional situations. Funerals, sickness, everyday stresses. He needs to learn to talk openly and truthfully and show some emotion other than anger. Quit running when the going gets tough and let others deal with it. Sometimes He needs to be the one to step up to the plate.

He needs to learn to communicate effectivly. Listen to himself and others. He needs to put himself in others shoes once in a while and ask himself if he would like to be spoken to that way.

He needs to just DO IT. he is a procrastinator and when it gets down to the wire and he finds he cannot complete his tasks he creates an excuse that can be very creative at times. It is never his fault.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:59 am 
Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Part of me wants to keep it consise and to the point, but after years of having my husband trivialize his behavior I feel the need to tell the tale in anything but a trivial way.
Good for you-you deserve to validate your experience!

A man doesn't lie unless he has something to hide. There is no reason to lie unless you are hiding something.
So true.

It wasn't my fault. I wasn't crazy. No matter how hard I tried it wasn't going to make a difference.
Exactly! You are not crazy! What's more, you have very good insight and understanding about addiction. I hope your husband can understand and appreciate this, and choose to not take you for granted.

Sounds more like a dream than a vision.
It sounds realistic enough to me. Maybe not in the immediate future, especially if you wish to give your current husband the chance to be that life partner and if he so chooses. Although, when you write this: "maybe a more realistic vision"... it does sound like you are thorwing ideas out in the air, not really committing to any one thing. Vision writing is not easy as we are not used to doing this kind of introspection and work. I think it will be better for you to start from what is important to you, and go from there. Don't start from "what isn't good enough" or "where I am deficient" as that rarely empowers. Just stick to the facts of what you value, not the story of how you do or don't currently measure up. Sticking to the bare bones will help you focus, and connect. That said, I do see some very good things that you can include in such a vision. Role as a grandmother, as a partner, a friend. You seem like you are adventurous--this is something that branches across many domains. Also, you want to remember to write from the perspective of "I am" or "I see myself". These will call you into being. I want and I need are disempowering places to create from--"one day" "some day" thinking that aren't really motivational and will have you trying to fix so many other things first, so that you can "one day" or "some day" be good enough, have the right conditions to fulfill on your values. All there is is now. And now. And now. I don't know if you saw the "Vision How To" post in the partner's support forum (first topic). It may provide some additional insight and ideas.

In retrospect I was almost always right and talked myself out of it.
Hindsight is 20/20. We often talk ourselves out of b/c we don't want to be right, we aren't ready to face it.

If he wasnt taking an opportunity, he lied to avoid being in an uncomfortable social situation. Either way, it is part of his SA.
Yes, sadly, it is.

He loves others more than he loves himself. To the point he is in pain when his loved one are suffering. The pain he feels now causes him to run.
This would seem to me to be more in line with low self esteem that is often behind SA. Putting others first can be a way for him to "justify" his addiction, to absolve himself of his guilt, to restore his social identity for himself. This, however, wouldn't explain his apparent ability to empathize, which is remarkable b/c often the SA blocks out empathy, as a self-preserving means, and instead objectifies the people around them--and not only the people they use for acting out. :?

Welcome to Recovery Nation, GTucke12. I wish you well as you continue your journey.

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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