I say he's in vague recovery because he doesn't seem to putting a lot of effort into it - thinks its enough to attend meetings 1-2x/week and say hello to his sponsor every day. But I'm not supposed to be thinking about him! I'm supposed to be thinking about myself. That's very difficult to do when you're still sharing a house and think that you want to stay married!
Anyway - I was prompted to write because kickedinthegut was talking about cuddling and which side of the boundary it's on. Well, it's on the definitely permissable side of my boundary, although I have said that I don't want sex at the moment. Mainly because I don't have any sexual feelings for him at the moment; (I'm not sure that I ever did. I've always used sex to feel loved so I'm just as messed up as he is.) But he doesn't like this at all because it arouses him and he then gets aroused at work and goes off to the toilets several times a day. Has anyone in recovery got any advice on this matter? And am I using cuddles for the wrong reason - to make me feel good? Aren't I supposed to be making myself feel good? It's so confusing.
I'd better stop now! Forgive me for spouting - I'm trying to find me someone to talk to but haven't found anyone appropriate yet.
Have a good day everyone. Hope you're still staying strong Cleo.
I'm trying to work out whether I want to stay with my husband or not. My problems are that I don't know which bits of us are for real and which are a result of our addictions/dependency issues. Personally, I feel that I would heal better without him there and would certainly feel more confident about his love if he went away and decided to come back but I don't think this would be an option. (I work from home so wouldn't find it particularly easy to be the one to move out - and he wouldn't be able to afford to stay in the house anyway). Even if he managed to stay in recovery whilst living on his own, I don't think he's ever come back. I think he'd either think that I didn't want him (he always assumes, never actually asks) or he'd find it easier to just start again. It's not terrible being together at the moment, just very confusing as we both try to make our way through our messes. But if our marriage is never going to work, I'd rather not spend any more of my life on it.
Has anyone any thoughts? How do you know who your husband really is when you've got used to him wearing a disguise?
As for cuddling & shared showers, I stopped all of that last summer once I realized three things. One- he uses these behaviors to fuel his addiction & emotional abuse. Two- I need to learn self care, one aspect of which is self soothing when I'm upset or lonely or angry, etc. I need to be more emotionally self sufficient. Thirdly, I'm trying to learn to reach out for healthy support when I need it. He isn't healthy so I don't reach out to him often, if at all.
I doubt that's helpful to you, but that's where I am.
*edited because I hit enter too soon. Twice.
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 3:17 PM, December 21st (Tuesday)]
"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow
"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."
Rough week or so here. I am really drowning right now. I get the whole he needs time to start to heal before he can talk about it, addicts lie, begging for truth is a waste of time and all that stuff. But twice in the last week he OFFERS a partial truth. Nothing I asked about just out of the blue. But they were only half truths wrapped up in lie after lie.
Why the hell is doing that? If he isn't ready to talk about it, why is he offering these things up? And when the lies are so freakin' obvious in my face I have said to him - and again these are conversations HE initiates - "If you aren't ready to talk about this, I think we should drop it. I'd rather you say nothing than have you lie to me right now".
And then he SWEARS up and down he is ready to talk about it, that he wouldn't have brought it up if he wasn't - and continues to try gaslighting and straight up lying. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT?
I was doing so well this time around. No tears, no screaming, detatching ridiculously well. But the lying is driving me right out of my ever loving mind. And the tears and the anger are creeping back in. It's going to be what kills this M, I know it. I am just so .... at my wit's end.
Edited cuz you would think the BS of an addict would remember how to spell "lying" by now.
[This message edited by dazdandconfuzed at 4:34 PM, December 21st (Tuesday)]
But the lying is driving me right out of my ever loving mind. And the tears and the anger are creeping back in. It's going to be what kills this M, I know it. I am just so .... at my wit's end.
Once I got my introductory literature for Al-anon, I read the following: "The Alcoholic's Weapons
The first weapon is the ability to arouse anger or provoke loss of temper. If the family member or friend becomes angry and hostile, this person is less able to help the alcoholic. Consciouly or unconsciously, the alcoholic is projecting an image of self-hatred against the other person. If it is met by angry hostile attacks, the image is verified." past behavoir is justified and now there's a new excuse for the future.
I wonder if the SA's do this, too. I know when I read this the first time I was floored. I'd tried to be detached from WS's drinking, but I could clearly recognize his behaviors that had the result of making me angry. I asked my counselor if WS could have used this anger even though it wasn't directed at the drinking and he said yes.
I guess it makes sense if there is self-loathing. They try to make us mad, to receive what they think they deserve?
I dunno - thoughts anybody?
Thanks for posting the Al-anon paragraph. My CSAT has said very similar things, so it sounds true to me. At least, it sounds like my sawh. The CSAT also says that SAs are full of shame- so projection of feelings and/or maniplulation to get a desired reaction is common. In fact, I saw wh's IC alone last week & he told me to try my hardest to be neutral or positive with wh (sounded to me like a kind of 180). The IC didn't say why, but if the paragraph you posted is true then maybe this is why? In other words, I think the IC wants me to break sawh's pattern by always being upbeat or positive. At least, I think this is why. What do you think?
Why do they need to do this mind fuck to us and then swear they love us and don't want to hurt us?
Why? I have NO idea. I just want the magic pixie dust that makes SAWHs stop the b!@#$%^t already.
I am in detective mode right now....I hate this. Did it 4 years ago when I found out about one of the affairs (the second of all the others I later found out about) It took me a year to feel safe enough to stop snooping. I am so angry I am back here again in detective mode. I HATE this feeling of being so vulnerable. I found out he deleted an email from her last friday. He did admit it but it still really messes up my mind. What did the email really say..probably not what he admitted to. I hate not REALLY knowing what is going on, only what SA tells me.
He is going to meetings every night, finally fessed up to OW coming into town while I am away, but I think that was only because I brought up transparency the other day and he felt quilty about not telling me. I guess ultimately it is a good thing he told me, but it really sucks I have to go on my trip knowing she is going to be around.
I am so sorry you all are having these struggles right now. It just seems never ending. I am praying for all of us to have some peace for Christmas.
Unfortunatley I think alot of us will just have to fake it for our families.
Counting down to the 27th when I can escape this madness. Don't know how long I can be gone for - maybe two weeks or more. I guess when the money runs out.
And compartmented - I completely get it about their reaction when we get angry. I don't get angry very often, only when he's really upset me (or, as a codependent, is it when I lose control of the situation) - but it usually seems to make him feel better and then he's all nice to me for a bit.
I didn't sign up for this!
I think he is now in what RN calls the "Forced Abstinence/Expanded Emotions" with a little of the stage one "The Identity Crisis/Minimal Disclosure" thrown in for good measure. He had his first slip a week ago and things have just been sort of spiraling out of control since.
It's kind of a chicken or the egg thing. He said last night he thinks he lost that articfial good feeling when we started fighting about his lying - which started again after the first slip. I asked him if maybe he actually slipped because that good feeling was waning? Or maybe it wasn't my anger that drove the good feeling away but his own self-loathing because of the slip? He said he wanted to think about it and couldn't really answer yet - so maybe that is a good thing?
First slip - he had extended contact with someone he had been acting out with. I had no way to know. When we talked about his day he said "I was working with so and so". Hours after he came home he said "We need to talk. I lied to you, I wasn't working with so and so, I was working with Woman". I felt kicked in the gut, obviously - but because of the lie. I believe I handled it very well though. I told him I was glad he told me, that I was upset, but mostly because he had lied earlier. I was very calm. But then he started the trickling. He wasn't working with her AND the guy as he claimed, just her. The didn't just happen to be working in the same area, he joined her where she was working. Well, actually he was standing around for a while just chatting with her. So on and so forth. In the end we got down to he sought her out, was hanging out with her, but he thought it was "OK" because he didn't say anything to her he wouldn't say in front of me.
I was mad about the trickling. He offered to take a poly to prove that's all that it was. I told him he can't count on outside means to "prove" he's telling the truth anymore. I had been keeping it to myself, but something he said in MC let me know that he did in fact "lie" and get away with it on the poly. It didn't register as deception because he really, truely believed he had told me the truth. But he hadn't. So I told him no more polys, they are useless.
We got through all that. Then he was out with my DS the other night and really screwed up in a bunch of ways. One of which was throwing out DS's brand new retainer. So he tells me he is sorry but the reason it happened is because he was using all his mental energy concentrating on not scanning.
And that's where I screwed up. I had no idea scanning was one of his rituals. My feelings were hurt. I know he's an SA, I know he cheats, but I always thought it was something highly compartmentalized. I didn't know that when we were together he'd always be actively scanning. And the tears I had been holding in for weeks escaped. And his shame increased. And he started lying and minimizing. And then I got really, really angry.
How can you NOT get angry when someone is looking you right in the eye and lying? And then you tell them - I know what you are saying is a lie. And they get MAD at you for not believing them. And of course that is one of his "tells" - the angrier he gets when I don't believe him the more obvious it is that he's lying.
And then he screwed up all over the place last night. The details don't matter - but it was like he was deliberatly poking me. He messed with the ONE THING I keep for myself which he has been told multiple times NOT TO MESS WITH. Then got angry and defensive about it.
What a crappy night. Now he is suddenly back to his old WS self. Not a guy I particularly like, at all. Bit of a jack ass truth be told. I guess we'll just have to see where this leads.
The first weapon is the ability to arouse anger or provoke loss of temper.
Yup - that's where I'd say we are right now. sigh.
Noticed your member # -We have both been on SI way too long
SabinatheOwl - any tips on self soothing; what works for you?..Its just that they're so nice and it makes me believe that my husband and I might make it - just for a few moments!
I think it's absolutely natural & normal for one spouse to turn to another for some comfort & solace; I mean, it's one reason to be in a committed relationship, IMO. It's impossible & unfair for one person to fill all of another person's emotional needs though. I've just learned this earlier this fall, so I hope you don't feel like I'm preaching at you or am annoyed, I'm also reminding myself of what I've been learning.
Second: One of my therapists had me write out a list of things I can do to self-soothe when I'm very upset. I had to think long and hard. I knew my ability to think and concentrate are nil when I'm very upset. So I came up with a list of things I used to love as a child: coloring books (mandalas & flowers) & colored pencils, mazes, dot to dots, crosswords, word seek puzzles too! I'm considering looking for paper dolls t I managed to find 'grown-up' versions of all of the above. I have a tote bag which carries several of my items so that no matter where I am I have something to distract me.
I hope these suggestions are helpful to you. Don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day. We're only human, try to worry about one day at a time. If you want specific title information about what I bought, PM me.
Hugs to all~ Sabina
*edited for formatting*
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 8:41 AM, December 22nd (Wednesday)]
The reason I ask is that you might want to look at the time frame. IF (and only if) he is sexually sober (no masturbation, no physical sexual activity at all, not even with you) he may be struggling with withdrawal while his brain chemicals reset. My rSA was impossible when he was in withdrawal, but then again, he didn't engage in slippery slope behaviors during that time, he was just an irritable asshole. So I don't know, I could be dead wrong.
If he's not sober, that is an issue. His brain will never reset until he gets sober and remains so for a minimum of 90 days.
What a great post, I guess we all just need to find those things that are uniquely soothing to us.
Had a really stressful day today. My 3 sons went to counseling today, did not go well, they basically just listened and did not share. My oldest still feels like SA is just a bunch of bull and his dad just did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it without any regard for the family. How can I argue with that ....it is true.
I tried to talk to him about grace and how people can have big flaws and to think about addiction as a possiblity. He is just not ready to hear it. Sometimes I think I am not believing it either.
Since my SA gave me access to his computer I found a post between him and his boss, they are talking about their trips overseas and about being glad to be going without the wives and about the how great the women were over there....wink, wink. It is nauseating. I asked my SA if his boss was an SA too. Sometimes I still struggle with feeling like this SA thing is just an excuse for bad behaviour.
Guess I am just having a bad night. I am trying so hard to make this Christmas tolerable for my kids...it really is alot of stress.
I hope some of you are having a better time of it right now! Someone has to be in the Christmas spirit!
Edited for spelling!
[This message edited by cleo at 9:34 PM, December 22nd (Wednesday)]
Anyhow, kudos to you for doing your best to keep the Christmas Spirit alive!
Thank you to all of you for being there. I liked the RN stages of recovery - I'll have to look those up.
Look after yourselves - I'm sure there is some fun to be had out there, for all of us. We went to deliver a card to friends last night and ended up staying for tea and a chat; it helped both of us.
Withdrawl is definately possible. He has also stopped his occasional drug use - who knows what's going in his head. I think the fact that this is going to be hard work is setting in. In the past, with his addictions, this is usually the time he gives up. I *think* he is working hard right now, I guess time will tell.
cleo - we have been here way to long, huh? right along with 7yrs. If not posting, I have been at least a daily lurker (multiple times a day) for the whole 4 years. I had been thinking maybe for the last year or so that I needed to move on but was afraid to in case I NEEDED to be here again. I was actually thinking of asking to have my account removed because I lacked the willpower to just stop coming. Glad I chickened out.
I can't imagine how awful this is with kids old enough to "get it". Mine are still too little to have anything but the vaguest concept of what sex even IS, never mind SA. That must be so ridiculously hard. I'm just gonna hope H finds maintainable sobriety before I have to explain it to my kids, OK? I have had to have the "daddy is an alcoholic" talk and that wasn't all that fun so I'm hoping to not repeat any time soon.
I think that will be my goal today, searching for Grace.
runningscared - definately check out RN. The stuff about stages is in the Partner's Workshop (which is free) - I think maybe lesson 3? I'm finding the lessons really, really helpful.
Had a difficult night as we tried to have Christmas eve as usual and it was the elephant in the room if you know what I mean. My oldest son is barely speaking to his dad after the recent revelations. My heart breaks for both of them.
My SA and I are in separate rooms and when I went to bed tonight I found a card on my pillow telling me how happy he was to have me supporting him and by his side during this Christmas and also a key chain that said "With God all things are possible"
I just felt numb when I read the card and opened the present. I have received so many similiar cards over the last four years it just did not make me emotional as it has in the past, and that is so sad. I want to feel something. But I just can't trust any sentiments right now from him. It is so sad.
I don't want to step on any toes, but if you are a Christian I read something today that really comforted me. I won't quote it here but PM me and I will send it to you if you are interested.
Happy Holidays to all and I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!
[This message edited by cleo at 10:15 PM, December 24th (Friday)]
I want to invite you over to the 180 train thread in General.
Also, a link to the description of the 180:
I have found that focusing on myself is really the only way to sanity. I have stopped making our marriage, or him, the focus of my actions with WH. I am doing things now with my focus on me, and what I need for sanity in the moment and healing in the future.
For example, I have bought a bed for our home office, and made space in there for it. I now have my own bedroom. I can shut the door and lock it and have peace. I do not have to sleep in our bed with WH and have him groping me, or wake up to him MB'ing because he can't sleep and I wont "serve" him.
I am doing other things as well to focus on me. I am working the parners workshop on RecoveryNation.com and finding it very helpful. I am making more choices about my free time that are strictly for me and my enjoyment, instead of doing things WH thinks I ought to do.
The 180 is about you. Do not think it will have a positive effect on your WS, it may, or it may not. That is irrelevant. Focus on you and your needs, detach from your SA and take care of yourself!
Oh, and confession: I am a puzzle addict. Yes, yes I am. Sudoku, spider solitaire, etc. I can turn my mind off and ignore all my responsibilities and troubles for a while.
hugs to all, kk.
Separated, divorcing, moving on.
I edit because I always make typos.