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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:39 pm
Posts: 25
I have been reading the posts on this site for a while and am aware that my story is no different than many others. I married 31 years ago and it was only when I retired that my H’s behaviour really aroused my suspicions. D day was 2 ½ years ago. I asked him to tell me everything, but as seems to be typical it took 2 ½ years for me to find out what might be somewhere near the truth. He has happily watched me suffer while he protected himself by lying, manipulation, drip-feeding information etc. What should have taken 2 hours to tell me, took 2 ½ years.
I always knew his behaviour to be:
*like a single man – acting as a loner
*humiliating ( staring at young girls etc)
*insulting (“I would have preferred you to be tall/blond/ slim” etc)
*callous ( he made me get out of the car when he was giving a young female colleague a lift because SHE wouldn’t want to see ME in the car. I had foot surgery and had asked him to drop me off at the hospital)
*devious (disappearing before I woke up in the mornings even at weekends)
*arrogant (never walking with me – always one step ahead)
*hypocritical (always being helpful to those who looked nice or who had money, but disregarding those who were of no benefit to him)
*self-seeking (always trying to do things for others to get thanks or praise – not caring)
*controlling
*cruel (went for a night out in the company of OW when I was in hospital with cancer)
*exploitative (he admitted he married me as I had a home and a reasonable job, but would rather have married his cousin whom he loves)

I now know (after much research) that the reason was a sex and love addiction, with additional behaviours spanning 40 years (8 years before he met me)
*staring (and I mean staring) at young girls even as young as 18 – he is 63;
*going into a trance
*infatuation / obsession with colleagues or neighbours. He has been “in love” for a total of about 20 years with 10 different people – to my knowledge but this may be more?
*romantic stalking
*P & M

The constant adrenaline rush caused me to go into shock. I lost 30 pounds in weight, and read every book / article I could lay my hands on to try and figure out how I could “find” and “fix” the problem.
H did go for help to a psychotherapist who, having charged a fortune, concluded that H was acting normally and that I had the problem – I was devastated. 3 Pastors also made me feel entirely in the wrong when I asked for advice about separation.
H refuses any help apart from mine. He does not want me to divulge his “problem” to anyone – especially not on line. He cannot do the RN lessons as he can’t use a computer (a blessing in some ways) nor does he understand the concept of some of the lessons without my help.
My own and only support – to my H’s horror – has been selected members of my family.
And now to give H some credit. He does want to change. He has stopped - at first under threat of separation - all of the sexual behaviour (so he says) but is still struggling with staring at girls and trying resist the compulsion to “just talk to them” which from experience will inevitably lead to obsession.
I am at a loss as to how to cope with this. We never have a holiday, it is too painful and leads to rows. We can’t have our extended family around to the house because the young men have grown up and now bring their attractive young girlfriends with them and it is just plain embarrassing. We have tried to do a bit of voluntary work together but a young attractive girl has just joined, and in his words “I was just shocked when I saw her” . I dread every time we go to the place and have to watch him “falling in love” again. We may have to leave any place where young attractive girls are present? How do we live - just run away from life?
Whilst I am still living in fear every day, he continues to spend his life seeking admiration from others, being happy and joking, being completely unconcerned about my distress unless I direct it toward him. Looking at his attitude you would not think he had done anything at all. He even blames me for “getting stressed” and getting him stressed. He seems to be able to switch off from the whole problem and doesn’t seem to show any remorse. I don’t think he even recognises when he does anything hurtful until I explain it to him.

There seem to be 4 alternatives:
1 To separate, but financially as we are no longer working this would be difficult
2 To struggle on as before, watching him having emotional affairs.
3 To help him through the RN Recovery lessons as well as my own.
4 To get a grip and think “why on earth bother” at our age – easier said than done.
I’m really not sure of the best way forward, but know that I can’t go on like this.

My only chance is to do the partner lessons and see what happens.
Although I may not post this tonight, I am typing this as I enter the New Year as I always seem to be– on my own.


Last edited by goodbye2012 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 452
Dear Goodbye -

Welcome to Recovery Nation. I am sorry that circumstances find you here, but here is a very good place to be.
Quote:
What should have taken 2 hours to tell me, took 2 ½ years.

This is a horrible thing to have to go through. And although this is common behavior for a PWA, none the less it is similar to torture.
Quote:
H did go for help to a psychotherapist who, having charged a fortune concluded that H was acting normally and that I had the problem – I was devastated.

Well, what probably happened was that your H did not tell his psychotherapist the truth. But, whether he did or he didn’t, you are not to blame, nor has it ever been your fault or about you at all. Do not listen to anyone that tells you it’s about you. Because it’s not.
Quote:
H refuses any help apart from mine. He does not want me to divulge his “problem” to anyone – especially not on line. He cannot do the RN lessons as he can’t use a computer (a blessing in some ways) nor does he understand the concept of some of the lessons without my help.

Without help, nothing will change. He may abstain for a period of time, but the underlying issues will never be addressed. And you helping him will not work. He must make the effort to do it on his own. Your only job is to heal yourself. You will learn how to do this through the lessons here and you will also learn the importance of separating yourself from his addiction. If he wants to recovery, he will find a way to do the lessons.
Quote:
How do we live - just run away from life?

I understand that you have been with your H for many, many years. Take some time and work on yourself and the lessons here. I know that you would like all the answers now, but be patient and they will come.
Quote:
He even blames me for “getting stressed” and getting him stressed.

He has an addiction because he does not know how to deal with his emotions so this is normal, but not an excuse for blame. You are not responsible for how he feels – he must learn to be responsible for his feelings. Again, unless he chooses recovery, nothing will change.

But, the good news is that you have made the choice to heal and to grow. You are here for you.

There are many wonderful coaches and mentors who will look in on your healing thread from time to time, but ultimately your healing is up to you. You may post your second lesson by hitting the “reply” button at the bottom of this page. This way, all of your work will stay together. If you have specific questions that need immediate answers, it is best to post on the open partner’s forum.

Again I welcome you. Take care of you today.
Sending you hugs,
Coach Sue

_________________
"You are the designer of your destiny. You are the author. You write the story. The pen is in your hand, and the outcome is whatever you choose." Lisa Nichols


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:57 pm 
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Coach Sue,
Thank you so much for your response. Whilst I initially had many doubts (and still have some) about separating myself from my H’s addiction, I now feel encouraged to do so. I know it’s early days yet in terms of RN lessons – so I have spent “thinking time” at the gym tonight preparing my vision.

My Vision
My faith in God has always been important to me. He created me for a purpose and that was to love me. To be loved by Almighty God has got to be the most precious thing - nobody can take that from me. I will continue to trust in Him. I will use His values to love myself and to know that despite my advancing years I still have value as a person.
I will remember that a person’s value is more than what they look like.
I will value every day I’ve been given since recovering from illness. I will aim to use every moment purposefully to enjoy things rather than to worry.
I am going to pursue peace and happiness by resisting the temptation to talk about addiction, and concentrate on fun and laughter. I am quite creative and will spend time on my hobbies.
I am a person with integrity and I forthwith refuse to allow others’ behaviour to make me compromise my standards.
I value my relationships with my family (mother, daughters, sisters, nephews and nieces etc) and I will continue to keep close ties with them.
I am a caring person, and will continue to provide support to my elderly mother, my daughter and grandson, each of whom has particular needs.
Most of all I look forward to regaining that relaxed feeling when I wake up in the morning, an eagerness to face the day and a sense of peace when I go to bed.


Last edited by goodbye2012 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:20 pm 
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I thought I had posted exercise 3, but when I looked it had not registered, so this is my 2nd shot.

Exercise three

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)

H used to suggest we went to bed, but then he stayed downstairs for hours. My gut told me that he was watching P and I now know I was right.

He used to leave for work every morning 1 hour earlier than necessary. I had the feeling that there was a reason to do with women. I learned years later that he used to sit and wait for a young colleague to arrive and then have morning coffee with her.

When several young girls started at his workplace my gut told me that it wouldn’t be long before he was offering them a lift to and from work. It turns out that he did, but always denied it.

When he used to get especially dressed up to go out with work colleagues, I had a feeling that the latest OW would be there with them. He denied it but I found out later that she had been.

He used to spend hours outdoors over a 12 month period “repairing a trailer” which seemed to be working OK to me. I had a feeling it had something to do with the attractive neighbour – he admitted years later that he used to wait to see her as he was infatuated.

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.
H used to leave home every Saturday morning at 6am. He said that he wanted to go to the market to get the good bargains. It crossed my mind that it seemed a bit strange, but I decided it was reasonable enough and I decided to believe him. He was getting there early to buy P dvd’s.


Last edited by goodbye2012 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:40 am 
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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.


After spending every single day of our relationship with this “problem” it has been very hard for me to separate the values in his life that I think were a part of him and not the addiction. Quite often, those things in the past that were outwardly positive would have a selfish motive, and I took to thinking of him as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to distinguish between the two. Anyway, here goes:

When I (or anybody else) am at my worst – he is at his best. If I’m ill, he will look after me practically and get me anything I need – BUT he will then disappear not realising that his company and emotional support would be valuable to me, He just thought he’d done all he could.

He is unusually helpful to other people, will pick people up in the car, tow them home when their car breaks down, is a good host and will take turns at household tasks etc.

He is witty and I am able to laugh when I’m not crying.

He is extremely patient especially with older people and would often suggest taking parents for a day out or a holiday.

The thing I like best is that he doesn’t carry over any bad feeling (not that I do a whole lot to upset him, but sometimes say things I wish I hadn’t)

Although a lot of what he says is hurtful, I don’t believe he says any of it vindictively.

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

The biggest problem for me will be his tendency towards narcissism (although I’m not too sure if this is part of his addiction).
He never ever uses the words “Us, We, Ours,” always “Me, I, Mine.” He doesn’t seem to acknowledge that we are married sometimes, and acts like a loner.

He is very controlling. His mother and father were also the same with him, and his mother still tells him what to do. I do feel that this is due to his upbringing, but he ticks all the boxes for Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. There is always another rule to follow, another way to do things.

He is very rigid in his thinking and finds it difficult to do things spontaneously.


Last edited by goodbye2012 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Exercise Five
A. How do you manage your stress? What would it take for you to become so emotionally overwhelmed that you would turn to irrational behavior to produce enough intensity to escape from that stress? Can you think of a time in your life that you have turned to such a measure?

*When I look back on my life, there have been several instances that I would consider stressful, all with different reactions – some healthy, some not:
*I watched my father die at age 6 and cried myself to sleep at night worrying what would happen if my mother should die as well. I believe I also became quite withdrawn whereas I had previously been quite an outgoing child.
*I discovered what I thought were signs of a serious illness, and totally blanked the thought so that I didn’t remember it at all for months.
*I did have a serious illness with a long period of treatment. I handled this in a healthy way by prayer and talking to close family and friends.
*I was bullied in school between the ages of 8-11 by my “friend” who controlled everything I did, and turned the whole class against me if I didn’t comply. We ended up going to different schools, but by then the damage was done and my self-esteem plummeted.
*I was bullied in work as a mature adult which was stressful as it could have affected my reputation. I determined that the problem was “hers” and that I would handle it by being open and firm with her, never being nasty behind her back, never refusing to help her. I felt that I had handled this in a healthy way.
*By far the most stressful incident in my life was the night before I was due to have surgery, when my husband said that he would have preferred to be with the (at the time) “younger, prettier” OW (notwithstanding she was young enough to be his granddaughter.)
I expect that my arousal levels were already heightened, but I hit the “fight or flight” level. Since I had nowhere to run, I was left with the “fight” element – he’s much bigger than me, and if I hadn’t been so distressed I would think it comical.
Under similar circumstances (more revelations) I have acted in a very unhealthy way by kicking a step (bruised toe) and punching a book (bruised hand.) These were the worst case scenarios.
*I also think that I talk, talk, talk when I should be coping on my own.

B. Consider a compulsive behavior that you have engaged in. Break it down thoroughly. Get a sense for the anxiety that you experienced prior to engaging in the act. Imagine the continued anxiety that you would have experienced had you not engaged in the act. Describe that anxiety in your own words.
I had a very difficult time thinking of a behaviour that was actually compulsive. I tend to overeat at the moment, but feel that I can control it.

The only time I feel my behaviour was actually compulsive was when I was attracted to a male colleague many years ago. I took every opportunity to walk past him, to arrange to leave work at the same time etc. Yes, I felt very anxious / excited because of the attraction, but it was a fairly normal experience in the romantic sense.
I suppose the anxiety consisted of a thought about him when waking up in the morning; picturing what he looked like; imagining him being there when I arrived; remembering the chemistry between us; the seeing him and feeling at the height of the build-up. If he wasn’t there, I would feel completely disappointed and lost for the whole day. It was an effort to talk to anybody. I almost felt bereaved.

C. In contemplating the role that addiction has played in your partner's life, imagine what his/her life would be like without this life management skill in place. To be clear, the task here is not to imagine his life without the consequences of the addiction, but to imagine how he would manage his emotions without having the compulsive act to engage in. How would he stimulate himself emotionally? What would he use to regulate his stress? Not how should he, mind you, but how would he?
*He would spend long hours in bed feeling lonely and depressed.
*He would be as helpful as he could to other people so that they would (and often do) think that he’s a great person.
*He would go on long walks.
*He would eat more and perhaps start to cook meals.
*He would watch more TV, listen to music


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:57 am 
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Exercise 6
If you have not already done so, consider reading the first half of He Danced Alone.

I did read this some time ago.

B. Think of your partner's behavior over the course of your relationship. Describe the patterns that you suspect can be attributed to a sexualized mind.
*The expectation that a hug or kiss from me always had to lead to more.
*We would go out for the day and he would spend hours on his own – scanning
*He would leave for work early in anticipation of seeing OW
*He was very condemning of others who flirted or womanised.
*He was always quick to judge others who had done far less than he had. It was as if his addiction didn’t belong to him.
*Channel-hopping on the TV in the hope of finding something to “see”
*Getting out of the house quickly before I had time to ask any questions.
*Thinking and fantasizing about somebody else when we were “intimate” ie just using me. In fact this was a very bad time for me as he was demanding constantly and becoming verbally abusive if he couldn’t - in his terms- “get any”. He was so unattached that I just felt violated. I dreaded coming home after work and would walk up and down the road rather than come indoors.
*Claiming that he was just being kind and giving people a lift, when he was taking the OW to work.
*Going on holiday with a view to scanning around the beaches or swimming pools and saying that the choice of venue was just to admire the architecture.
*Making any excuse to go out on his own when we were on holiday.
* Tended to suggest we do certain things – it was obvious to me he wanted to re-enact what he had watched on the P.
*Basically just ignoring me unless he needed something.


D Of the four areas discussed in this lesson, which have you observed in your partner?

The sexualised mind
As shown in previous part of exercise. Thankfully, however, there were no sexual jokes, innuendos or anecdotes. I think he knew what I would say, so didn’t bother.

The objectified mind
All females with a certain look and within a certain age group were targets for his ogling. As he has grown older, their age has stayed the same. He didn’t care about how they would feel, or that he was embarrassing me. He wasn’t even aware that others would notice. He did it just for his own pleasure.

I have only just come to realise that he objectified me as well from the moment we married. I was there to serve a purpose which was to provide stability and financial security. I had a reasonable job and my own house. He came to the marriage with no job (not his fault – he had been made redundant) and no money. He has admitted that he married me for this reason, and that he would rather I had looked different. (I was actually considered attractive by some, and had no shortage of offers from other men.)
I have come to think of it like this – "they" are the priceless ornaments that he values and cherishes. He looks at them often. I am the washing machine that he ignores until he needs to use it.

All or nothing perception
Basically they are, and have, everything he has ever wanted to make him complete.
I am and have everything he ever wanted to make him secure (well you get the point?).
He is highly impulsive where woman are concerned, but cannot make a reasoned or rational decision – even what to eat in a restaurant – he copies off me!

The need for immediate gratification
This is evident in all areas of his life. Basically he wants what he wants and he wants it now! He is always saying:
I just want – a nice relationship with you - how I don’t know with the addiction?
I just want – a car I have seen
I just want – to be over this
I just wish – you looked better; you had blond hair; you were taller / slimmer (yes he’s said those things.)
He wants it but never puts in the work to achieve it!


Last edited by goodbye2012 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:19 pm 
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Exercise Seven
A. Consider the role that you have played in your partner's recovery to date. In the field below, describe these roles as they relate to:

I. Effective communication

Most of the time since D day 21/2 years ago has been spent trying to find out what had happened. The more I questioned, the more he lied. The more he lied, the more I questioned. We went round in circles! I felt as if I was going crazy – really crazy. He disclosed in dribs and drabs, mostly when we were both worn out, or he had dug a hole so deep he couldn’t get out of it.
I tend to talk and talk at him to try and get him to understand what he is doing. He loses concentration, yawns, watches TV, interrupts me, talks over me, or just plainly changes the subject as if I haven’t spoken.
So, in analysing whether the communication was effective – I would say absolutely not! But can it ever be when we are hurting so much and they are hiding so much?

I am learning though, through RN posts, that different ways of communicating are more effective. Although at the moment it seems as if I’m doing all the work on our communication, I appreciate that it will help me in the end.

II. Managing your partner's recovery
Well I’ve played far too much of a role so far. I’ve had constant input with H since D day. I’ve read countless books, articles, web sites. I’ve investigated different conditions ie narcissistic personality disorder; psychopathy; obsessive love disorder etc. all in attempt to find out what was going on. In the end, it was plain old S&LA! !D

Now that I’ve found RN, I have printed off, and modified recovery lesson 1 to see if he can follow it. If he can, I intend to do the same for the remainder. What he does with them is his business. I will not be discussing his answers with him or checking them. He will have to tell me though if he doesn’t do them to save me wasting my time. If he needs more input, he will consider private coaching on RN. (He can’t use a computer.)

III. Empowering/disempowering a pursuit of health
B. Consider the focus and attention that has been offered to your partner in recovery; are you gaining equal resource to heal your own wounds? If not, what can you do to ensure that your healing is considered every bit as important as your partner's recovery?
Up until now, I have dedicated every available moment to helping H. My view has been that if he gets over this, then I will be OK and won’t have any problems. As I write this, I realise that my health has been dependent on him and his recovery – and that has to stop!
I have learned enough now to realise that my health depends on ME and my perceptions on my life, not his. I have read other posts where partners have said “I will be OK whatever the outcome” and I look forward to feeling like this.

In terms of other people helping, my husband has had support from pastors and a psychologist and I have had support from my family. Neither of us have told anybody the full story and so we haven’t been able to get any constructive help until now.


C (optional) For those who have made the decision to either stay in the relationship or "wait and see", considering the roles discussed in this lesson (or additional roles that you have thought of), what changes might you consider making to your relationship that would increase its chances for success?
I am in the “wait and see” phase.
In the past, my H was a loner and in his words, he lived like a single man. I have started to make changes so that we go some places together to “safe places” where he is less likely to be confronted with attractive girls.
(His ogling has been uncontrollable for a long, long time, and I stopped going out with him years ago through sheer embarrassment. Quite honestly I’m surprised he has got away with it for so long.)

Strangely, as a side-effect of discussing his addiction, we have had some quite meaningful conversations and have become a bit closer to each other. We should continue to talk, but with a different topic.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Exercise Eight
While this workshop is about rebuilding your life, you are nonetheless impacted by the ongoing behavior of your partner (unless you have completely broken away from the relationship). For those who continue to be impacted by their partner's behavior:

A.Considering only objective signs of a healthy recovery/unhealthy recovery, what path do you think your partner is on? If on an unhealthy path, do you think this is due more to lack of insight about how to change, a lack of energy/motivation to change or a lack of desire to want to change?


Beginning at D day, 2 ½ years ago, it was evident that H had no conscience about any of his behaviour. I had to tell him to stop (under threat of separation) everything he disclosed. I then proceeded to explain the reasons why these things were wrong, and contravened any Christian faith. I have spent every opportunity since then trying to explain how I do things and how other people without addictions perceive things.
At the moment, he claims to have not acted out except for occasional M, scanning and seeing top-shelf magazines (not picking them up) when he goes for fuel. He says that he desperately wants to be free of this, but whilst he knows how to stop behaviour, he doesn’t know how to re-think his life, since finding pleasure in looking at women is all he has ever known.
He has made statements like “failure is not an option” but then admits that he goes to a certain shopping centre because the people are dressed nicer. I presume he is referring to the people he finds attractive.
He also goes to places that may be triggering for him, saying that his mother just wants him to take her there ie a garden centre where the staff are mainly young girls.
He is also quite reluctant to talk about the issue when I want to, and just yawns or walks out of the room. He won’t speak at all once we have gone to bed, and tells me to leave the conversation until the following day – not good when I’m desperate to know details about something.
There are times when he does seem to open up, can be more affectionate towards me and shows remorse about having hurt me.
I don’t feel sure of anything yet though, as I don’t trust his assessment of himself. I think he still tries to put on a performance for other people. I have even seen him change personality in a flash – he had just hurt me deeply by disclosing something on our way to work. When we got there, he changed completely and started laughing and joking with other staff. I had to run to the bathroom to cry.
I really don’t know which category his behaviour belongs to at the moment – it seems a bit mixed.


B. If you were to identify three issues relating to your partner's recovery that you would like to see changed, what would they be?
1)I would like him to be completely honest and stop talking in vague terms of:
“I feel as if I’m getting to grips with it”
“I think I might be dealing with the problem”
“I don’t feel as if I’ve got a problem”
I just want him to say, for example:
“Yes. I gave in to the compulsion to stare at 4 young girls today”
“I went to a garage where I knew I would be tempted to look at magazines”
“Yes I find I’m highly attracted to the new girl at work and I have made the decision to leave work temporarily”

2)I would like him to work on the RN lessons. I have to respect that he is not academically minded, and really struggles with any written work. I have hardly ever in 30 years of marriage seen him write anything down. I deal with all paperwork in the family. I have rewritten a couple of lessons to see how he gets on, but whilst he says he can understand them, he doesn’t know how to answer them. It is difficult to find somebody he could disclose to, who would offer a long term commitment to helping him with the lessons.

3)I would like him to start thinking of us and talking as if we belonged to each other, not talking as if he was a single man :
“I’m going to town – you can come if you want”
“My money, my house, my car etc?”
Stating “us, we, ours”, instead of “ I, me, mine”


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Exercise Nine
A What are the key signs that you have observed in your partner that lead you to believe that he/she is engaged in a healthy recovery?

This in an area that confuses me because of the way my H communicates, but there are a few things that reassure me:
*He claims to have stopped most of the overt rituals.
*He spends much less time on his own nowadays, and usually tells me where he is going when he does go out alone.
*He recognises that he is emotionally immature and that he has made many bad and selfish decisions in his life. He feels that he has wasted his life and mine.
*He occasionally says things like “I must be more .....” showing that he is looking at his vision.
*On occasion, is willing to actively listen to me.


B. What are the key signs that you have observed in your partner that lead you to believe that he/she is NOT engaged in a healthy recovery?
*He is not yet proactive and relies a lot on me to give advice.
*He often asks “Well what do you want me to do?” instead of making his own decisions.
*He is still defensive if I am triggered by something, and will reply “No no no” to most of my attempts to question him, no matter what the question is.
*In subtle rituals like scanning, he says “I didn’t think”.
*Avoids responsibility for most things in our marriage.
*He doesn’t volunteer any information ie acting out – unless I ask.
*Still evasive and manipulative at times.
*Gives conflicting statements as to where he is at in terms of recovery and doesn’t seem able to assess himself realistically – mostly idealistically.
*Keeps asking me if “scanning” behaviour is really wrong? – “don’t all men do this?”


C.How have you communicated your observations to your partner? Have you communicated the healthy observations as well as the unhealthy? How has your partner responded?
I feel a bit reluctant to communicate the healthy observations to H since every time I have done so, an unhealthy one is close on its heels.
I realise now, that how I approach the issues can be instrumental in getting the most out of the communication. I have taken on board some good advice from a RN member about the use of I_____ statements, so hopefully I will start to have more confidence.
I have to be sure that H is being realistic rather than optimistic in what he says, and that he is not just trying to avoid consequences. I suppose that since I have threatened separation, he is scared of disclosing any more to me than necessary.
I realise that my decisions are often emotion based and consequently when I have settled down, I tend not to stick with what I’ve said.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:19 pm
Posts: 452
Goodbye2012 –
Quote:
Thank you so much for your response.

Your welcome.
Quote:
My Vision

Framing your vision as “I am” statements, will bring it into the present and make it apart of you, whereas “I will” or “I’m going to” creates the illusion, in your own mind, that this is just something you’re hoping for. Such as you wrote:
Quote:
I will value every day I’ve been given since recovering from cancer. I will aim to use every moment purposefully to enjoy things rather than to worry.

Instead try rewriting it in the present.
I find value in every day.
I find joy in every moment.
Quote:
Most of the time since D day 21/2 years ago has been spent trying to find out what had happened. The more I questioned, the more he lied. The more he lied, the more I questioned. We went round in circles! I felt as if I was going crazy – really crazy. He disclosed in dribs and drabs, mostly when we were both worn out, or he had dug a hole so deep he couldn’t get out of it.
I tend to talk and talk at him to try and get him to understand what he is doing. He loses concentration, yawns, watches TV, interrupts me, talks over me, or just plainly changes the subject as if I haven’t spoken.
So, in analyzing whether the communication was effective – I would say absolutely not! But can it ever be when we are hurting so much and they are hiding so much?

Yes, communication can become more effective. In time, as you begin to detach from the outcome – meaning detach from whether he will recover or not – your communication style will change as you realize that all the information in the world will not change how you feel. You must change how you feel. This takes time – be patient with yourself.
Quote:
Well I’ve played far too much of a role so far. I’ve had constant input with H since D day. I’ve read countless books, articles, web sites. I’ve investigated different conditions ie narcissistic personality disorder; psychopathy; obsessive love disorder etc. all in attempt to find out what was going on. In the end, it was plain old S&LA!

Looking for the reasons why is common and many of us have done exactly the same thing. Even the fact that it is “plain old S&LA” is only a reason. Putting a label on it does not excuse it, but rather just explains it. This is why the workshop is designed for you to begin to take to the focus off of your H and the addiction and for you to turn your attention to onto yourself.
Quote:
Now that I’ve found RN, I have printed off, and modified recovery lesson 1 to see if he can follow it. If he can, I intend to do the same for the remainder. What he does with them is his business. I will not be discussing his answers with him or checking them. He will have to tell me though if he doesn’t do them to save me wasting my time. If he needs more input, he will consider private coaching on RN. (He can’t use a computer.)

:g: Yes, private coaching seems like a good fit for your H, but again, that is his decision to make. His recovery is up to him, not you. Good that you realize this.
Quote:
As I write this, I realise that my health has been dependent on him and his recovery – and that has to stop!
I have learned enough now to realise that my health depends on ME and my perceptions on my life, not his. I have read other posts where partners have said “I will be OK whatever the outcome” and I look forward to feeling like this.

Excellent
Quote:
I just want him to say, for example:
“Yes. I gave in to the compulsion to stare at 4 young girls today”
“I went to a garage where I knew I would be tempted to look at magazines”
“Yes I find I’m highly attracted to the new girl at work and I have made the decision to leave work temporarily”
From what you’ve written above, it sounds as though your H is not in any type of recovery, so he is probably just saying things that he thinks you want to hear. He cannot give you what you are looking for and until he is in some type of recovery this will not change.
Quote:
I would like him to work on the RN lessons. I have to respect that he is not academically minded, and really struggles with any written work. I have hardly ever in 30 years of marriage seen him write anything down. I deal with all paperwork in the family. I have rewritten a couple of lessons to see how he gets on, but whilst he says he can understand them, he doesn’t know how to answer them. It is difficult to find somebody he could disclose to, who would offer a long term commitment to helping him with the lessons.

Again, there is help here if he really wants to recover.
Quote:
I have to be sure that H is being realistic rather than optimistic in what he says, and that he is not just trying to avoid consequences. I suppose that since I have threatened separation, he is scared of disclosing any more to me than necessary.

Disclosure is in and of itself, not a reasonable barometer of his recovery. Sustained recovery comes from actions, not just words. Rather then looking for explanations from your H, take a step back and begin to look at what he “does” not what he “says”. If his actions are due to your threat of separation, he will be unable to sustain them unless he is in some type of healthy recovery.
Quote:
I realize that my decisions are often emotion based and consequently when I have settled down, I tend not to stick with what I’ve said.

In upcoming lessons you will learn to recognize when you are making value based decision vs emotion based decisions. Until then, give it time and keep going – you are doing an excellent job.

Hugs,
Coach Sue

_________________
"You are the designer of your destiny. You are the author. You write the story. The pen is in your hand, and the outcome is whatever you choose." Lisa Nichols


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:39 pm
Posts: 25
Coach Sue, thank you so much for your very detailed and thoughtful response.
I
CoachSue wrote:
Instead try rewriting it in the present.
I find value in every day.
I find joy in every moment.

I didn't think of this, but I see what you mean. You were right in what you said. It does bring things into the present and means that I am doing it rather than hoping to do it in the future - in which instance I would probably have forgotten about it knowing me!

The remainder of your responses were very enlightening. It is very difficult to separate from H's addiction since I have always thought that what he does affects me. It takes a while to re-think this concept but I'm working on it.
Thank so much again. I feel very encouraged :sat:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:39 pm
Posts: 25
Exercise Ten
Return to your vision created in Stage One; Lesson Two. Select the three most important values that you need right now to help you stabilize your life.

1.I feel that as I found out about my H’s “problem” over 2 years ago, I have been trying to cope (not very well) over this time. One of the ways has been to continue to be a good daughter, mother and grandmother. I feel that this has given me a purpose and has helped me to take the focus off my unhappiness for a while. I do recognise though, that whilst I am doing this I do need to establish some boundaries on my time since it can be very tiring looking after 3 generations of people with needs.

2.The second way that I feel will stabilise me, is to rekindle my relationship with God. Over time, I have indulged in self-pity, arguing with my H, questioning, searching for answers etc. etc. All this has taken its toll on my spiritual health. I intend to start to put more time into Bible study and prayer.

3. Regarding hobbies, I have started some new projects. This gives me a lot to think about and a lot of enjoyment, rather than being preoccupied with what my H is doing, whether he is being unfaithful etc.

B) For each, think about the meaning and fulfillment you are getting compared to the potential meaning and fulfillment available.

I feel that I am getting both meaning and fulfilment from the above, but I am starting to allow myself time to relax and enjoy hobbies without feeling guilty. I also find that I feel better when I am more in control of things, rather than let feelings of “duty” control me. I do things because I want to, rather than feeling that I “should”.

C) Develop a specific plan that will allow you to maximize the potential in each of those three values.
1.
a) I will plan my days better, allowing some “me” time.
b) I will begin to put some boundaries in place so that even though I love my family, I do not feel duty bound.
c) I will try to remain calm and patient when difficulties arise with communication (which they do often due to medical conditions).

2.
a) I will begin each day with a quiet time with God.
b) I intend to memorise more verses that I can call on when I feel upset.
c) I hope to be able to turn to God for help rather than people, since I have found that I had some surprising responses when I confided in 3 people other than my family.

3.
a) I will allow myself time to pursue my hobbies.




D) List the steps you will take in the next 24 hours to begin strengthening each value.
1. I will contact my mother by phone as I have not seen her today, just to let her know I am thinking of her. I will prepare a nourishing meal for daughter and grandson.

2. I will watch a Christian DVD instead of sitting at the computer or watching TV.

3. I already have done 2 hours work on one of my hobbies. I will continue to read before bed and refrain from negative talking to H.


Last edited by goodbye2012 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:39 pm
Posts: 25
Exercise 11
Dear Husband – is that who you are? Is that what you have been? Yes we went through a ceremony 30 years ago when we promised to love, honour and cherish each other. But you knew that you could never do this as you had been an addict for 10 years, and were already infatuated with another girl.
So if you aren’t my husband, who are you? You have often seemed like a stranger to me – in fact I remember asking you once “who are you?”
Life hasn’t been easy for us and we should have been there to support each other, but instead you lived your life like a single man. You never talked about “us” only “I”.
You have been devoted to and often controlled by your mother, but I have never objected to you seeing her and taking her out every weekend. In fact you treat her more like a wife (in the social/emotional sense) and I am more like a mother to you – providing a home and finances. What I didn’t realise was that every time you went to see her, you were acting out before and after.
You have always had a roving eye – except that yours tended to fix on one girl and not move. I felt humiliated since you told me that I didn’t look as you had hoped and I knew you were disappointed in me. You never seem to value anything in life other than looks.
Even though I knew about the “looking thing” as you called it, I always trusted that you would be faithful to me. I didn’t think you had it in you to betray me. I was absolutely gutted. I just thought I meant more to you than that. You “loved, honoured and cherished” them and in your own words “didn’t give a jot about me”.
So 2 1/2 years ago I started to find out who you were. You were the cruel, heartless, arrogant, conceited, deceitful, immature .....”person” who cared about nobody but himself and the current girl in his life.
You made me feel like a worthless, used, abused, nothing!! I was the host and you were the parasite – just feeding off everything I gave you, and continued to give you, both emotionally and financially. You expect such a lot from me – if I ever slip up and call you a name because of what you have done to me, you are quick to criticise and say “that’s not very nice is it?” trying to make me feel as if I’m the baddie in this!
To top it all, you constantly give me mixed messages even now. One minute you feel as if you aren’t doing anything unfaithful, and then you shock me by revealing something that you consider is nothing.
Well I’m fed up with all this now – and I wish you would leave me alone. But you are so selfish that you won’t even separate because you don’t want to live in a different place. You just expect me to put up with your rotten behaviour and mixed messages.
After 30 years of marriage I feel as if we’ve just come full circle.


Dear Wife,
You know now that I’m sorry for what I’ve done to you. The truth is – and I mean truth – is that there were emotional reasons I became a SA. All the thoughtless behaviour and words were as a result of an addicted mind, and are not as I now feel about you.
Now I have come to my senses, I look at you and realise what I’ve missed – a wife who has been faithful and caring, and a life that could have been happy and loving. We could have done everything together, but due to my need for self-gratification I neglected and abused everything that you offered.
Well I don’t know if it’s too late to ever have a relationship with you – I hope that even though we are older, we can spend whatever time we have left in love and harmony.
I truly love you and want only you.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:51 am 
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Posts: 25
Exercise Twelve
A. Describe where you are now in terms of your response to the discovery of your partner's addiction. Not where you were last month, or where you hope to be next month. Where are you right now?

I haven’t yet reached the separation stage, since I still feel that my emotions are dependent on H’s behaviour.
When he is reassuring me that he “doesn’t want this any more” “is seeing things in a more moral way” I definitely feel better and less anxious. Then he owns up to slipping up by scanning once or twice and I fall apart. I tend to make emotional decisions such as splitting up.

When I’ve settled down, life goes on in the never ending circle of reassurances and let-downs – all of which seem so important to my well-being. I know I should be able to separate from his behaviour – but I haven’t yet learned how to.

I still also ask questions where he has been? whom he has seen? were they attractive?
I need him to account for his time.
I avoid any social situation where there might be young attractive girls – not an easy thing to do.
I won’t go out for a meal or go on holiday with him. (He has the cheek to say he needs a holiday)
I live my own life doing my own thing, meeting my own values of supporting my mother, daughter, grandson, but this I find means that we are growing further apart.
I can’t let my defences down in case I get hurt again.
I don’t feel that I have a husband.
I resent the fact that he is pleasant to others and liked by them. He is so helpful that everybody calls him a “great” but they don’t really know him.
I resent the fact that he looks for sympathy from those in whom he has confided – and gets it!
I find it very difficult to grasp the concept of separating from his addiction. If a husband puts all his time and effort into seeking out other women, he effectively separates from the wife. My H has never spent time with me. Now I feel as if I am just reversing the situation by separating from him because I don’t trust him not to hurt me again


Exercise twelve B.
--there are common patterns that you should expect and even prepare for in the months and years to come. Discuss what these patterns might be and how you will deal with them.

I expect that when I get on with living my own life and don’t challenge or ask questions of my H, everything will tick along nicely. He will say “I don’t do this any more”. I will be left with a choice of whether to believe him or not.

His love addiction was very difficult to detect (he had numerous emotional affairs over the years) and his acting out was always when he was away from home for the day on other business.
In order to prepare I think I will have to live a very vigilant life, always asking questions and checking, since I can’t imagine any other way to find out what he is really doing or thinking. The opportunities to look for actual evidence will be very limited, and I don’t feel that I have the stamina to live a life like this.
I will probably repeatedly have adrenalin producing “feelings” and always be seeking to separate in order to eliminate them. In fact I don’t know if I can ever fully trust him again. How will I ever know for sure?


Last edited by goodbye2012 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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