Author Topic: Partner "Reboot" - what would you add?  (Read 2189 times)

stillme

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Partner "Reboot" - what would you add?
« on: October 20, 2016, 10:16:12 AM »
So, RN, YBOP, and a number of other sites give great advice to porn addicts on what they need to do. We often complain about partner needs often being ignored. What if we could have a thread for "newbies" in shock and needing to know what things would be good starting points. Of course, every experience is different, but that is also a starting point for porn addict rebooting - every person's journey is different, but there are still some pretty general guides (i.e. no more PMO).

What would be some starting 'guidelines" for partners who just went through d-day?

Some things that would be keys for me is that the ups and downs and EXTREME emotions are all normal. You aren't crazy or insane or overreacting. I have been through the lists written by practicing psychologists and psychiatrists and the range of normal feelings include anger, despair, loss of self esteem and everything in between.

Find good resources. Honestly, the resources that have been shared here among partners has been life changing for me!

Find the right counseling, see the perspective they give to partners. I am really happy with the trauma based counseling I am in, so counselors go with a co-dependent based therapy (basically saying you are so angry because you had a co-dependent relationship rather than the discovery/disclosure being a traumatic experience).

I'll add more, but would love to see others add as well.

Gracie

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Re: Partner "Reboot" - what would you add?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 12:37:10 PM »
I will say this research until you find something that reflects how you feel.  Totally avoid anything that says this is okay and all men do it.  It will bring you down right away.  It is very discouraging.

I was on Your Brain Rebalanced in the beginning.  It was manna from heaven at that point.  I found some men's journals and started asking questions and talked about my pain.  They would help me understand and I would help them understand.  It was the most beneficial thing in the world!  They were great.  There were some moments that were not great, but overall I would say it was a good experience.  The women's section did not have any staying power.  Women were in an out.

Then Gabe started this site and I suggested a dedicated partner section.  There were posts in the women's section in the beginning and we had great people.  But then slowly the partner section caught on.  The other advantage was Gabe monitored the site well.  I am really thrilled that this help is here now.  I had nothing.  And I felt so alone.  And I know you all understand that.

The only thing I found that helped was the blog I talk about from time to time markchamberlainphd.blogspot.com  That made all the difference for me and my husband.  His book Love You Hate the Porn was also important to us.  He explained everything.  To the men:  He explained how the wives feel.  He had the men look at what was motivating their porn use.  To the women:  he described the feelings they would have and made them seem okay to have.  If you read through the whole blog and read the book, as a married couple you will be helped.  Five and a half years ago there was nothing.  You had to dig and dig.

The advice I have is examine where your marriage is.  This comes naturally.  Then look at what boundries you need to feel safe.  Tell your partner.  (This is hard but I knew without it we would not survive as a couple.)  Tell them the boundries are not negotiable.  In the past I had let the little discoveries go by unchallenged.  I realized that was a mistake so I was clear about what I needed. 

I asked him what he needed.  What I needed to do.  He asked me to wear makeup more often.  I told him I could do that.  It added 5 more minutes in the morning.  So it was a compromise but one I could make. 

We talked and talked and cried and yelled at different points.  But whenever we did these things we made sure our bodies were touching.  Feet hands elbows hugging etc.  It helped me to feel we were really together in dealing with this. 

That is just a little.


aquarius25

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Re: Partner "Reboot" - what would you add?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 01:46:16 PM »
I agree with Gracie on the boundaries part. Figure out what you need to feel safe and loved, what you are willing to give and where your boundaries are. Also and this is a big one be prepared to enforce your boundary when its pushed. Have a plan ahead of time communicated, like if _ happens I am going to ask you to sleep on the couch for a bit of time and if you cannot respect that then we need to separate. Be ready to be consistent.  I found for myself that I would lay down a boundary but when he broke it I wouldn't be my word and follow through. It left me more upset and it basically told him that my boundaries aren't really where I say they are. When I finally committed and followed through with my boundaries that is when he realized where I was at. He was able to finally understand the severity of the situation and when I could communicate that I needed something he would listen more. Before I think it was more like the grown ups in Charlie Brown where I would be talking at him but he wasn't really listening. Once he learned I was serious he started actually hearing me. That was the first step toward us healing and actually communicating authentically.

Also right after D-day I needed a safe place to talk to other women. To get advise and to feel heard. I needed a place where I could talk about my feelings about my husband and process things. I did talk to a few friends and in some cases it was great but others it was terrible and it created more problems. This site was huge, although I will admit I had huge anxiety about posting a topic and the fear that nobody would respond. I felt that it would make me feel even more invisible and so I actually didn't post for a little while. To this day I remember that and I try to comment on threads that have few replies just because I want them to know someone out there is listening and hears/ sees them. Finding a support group is crucial.

And lastly I would say to go continue living your life. The week after d-day I realized I almost became a PA myself. I was so caught up in needing to know and see everything he had watched it consumed me. I thought about his porn addiction 24hr per day. It was destroying me. I ended up viewing more porn in that week than ever. Then I realized that I was becoming the very thing that I hated so much. I had to stop obsessing and go get on with my life. Now that is most certainly easier said than done but getting away from the computer was crucial. Only allowing myself a limited amount of time on it was the first step.

cuppatea

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Re: Partner "Reboot" - what would you add?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2016, 03:42:05 PM »
Paula Halls book for partners is immensely helpful. She has also done a Ted talk and has a self help resource site for addicts.

The right counselor I agree with too, if they say co-dependent sack them and find someone else.

cuppatea

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Re: Partner "Reboot" - what would you add?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2016, 04:50:15 PM »
I've bought that book you've recommended Gracie, here's hoping it will help we are in a pretty disastrous place at the moment

Kimba

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Re: Partner "Reboot" - what would you add?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2016, 12:30:20 AM »
First time is tough and I think you sort of dismiss it as its not really a problem... to me I wish I had really stuck to my guns and pursued what I felt in my gut to be right and not take second best :( 

Don't let him say that its ok and you have the problem, that is not ok, defence is the the best offence and they will come out fighting to protect their little secret and their self gratification, have that line in the sand and stick to it...

Seek reassurance from professionals if need be, or as I have done, just searched the internet for like minded people... put some security on your internet...lock down their phone if they will let you... it gives you some reassurance that they are serious about getting straight and being accountable, sure they can get around it but then you know they have a serious problem - not you !!

I think its normal to obsess over it all, you go crazy and search and search for proof, take photos of your proof as they will lie and lie but dont give up, if the relationship is worth fighting for don't give up... try and get them to communicate  ::)
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Emerald Blue

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Re: Partner "Reboot" - what would you add?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2016, 10:43:16 AM »
The first thing I would say to someone who has just learned about her partner's addiction to porn/sex is to find support for themselves whether it's a counsellor face-to-face, a telephone helpline or an online community. One thing you have to realise is that the one with the addiction can't support you and help you through it because they are not going to have what it takes to understand your trauma. In fact, having their behavior dragged into the open is probably traumatic for him. It's also important to stress that your recovery and his recovery are going to follow different paths and you will both be wildly out of sync. For him it's the end of something they want to leave in the past. For us, d day is just the beginning a long and painful process. Also, the RELATIONSHIP itself needs to recover and this is something quite distinct from YOUR recovery and HIS recovery.

Secondly, wise up about porn addiction. There are some excellent articles on yourbrainonporn.com. It's important to understand that porn hijacks the brain's reward system and burns pathways into the brain which leads to the development of the addiction. When guys say "it's not personal" or any reflection on their partner, that's what they mean. There are some excellent books. Sex Addiction: The Partners Perspective by Paula Hall was the one I found the most helpful. There are others: Love You, Hate Porn is a good one, The Porn Trap, Always Turned On and In The Shadows of the Net are others. I don't get along with 12 step-based "Anonymous" ideas but some people find them to be lifelines. It might take some trial and error to find a resource like a book or a program that can give you structure to your own recovery.

Thirdly, accept that your emotions are going to be all over the place for as long as the next six months . When people say it's a mad rollercoaster ride, believe me, they are not kidding! Chances are it's going to take months to find out the true extent of your partner's acting out, and chances are he's going to be the least reliable source of information. You WILL be lied to and it WILL hurt. Just when you have come to terms with what you know already, chances are something else will come to light. Your partner won't look so good to you any more, now that you see him as a porn addicted manipulative liar. You'll be angry at him for what he did. He'll be angry at you for exposing his secret world. In between these traumatic episodes you may well be trying to reconnect emotionally and sexually. This new situation will be crazy-making. HE will be crazy-making. That's why it's important to get support for yourself and get wise to this weird thing called porn addiction.

A few more things. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Chances are you were neglecting your own self care and putting yourself last. That has to change. Get to know yourself. We read a lot about boundaries and values in the self help books and these were just abstract concepts to me. I realised I never properly had the opportunity to develop my own views on many issues. I thought I had my own outlook on life but I was certainly not up to date when it came how the pornography industry operates today. I have had to "update" my views on human rights, specifically the rights of women and girls in the context of the global porn industry and the sex trade. This has been helpful for me, and gaining a wider perspective has helped me in my recovery. These are my values.

Too often a woman whose relationship has been blighted by porn is criticised for not liking sex, or being too unattractive, or even assumed to have outmoded morals or religious views, etc. There have even been men coming on here are trying to provoke us on these fallacious grounds. So it's important for me to be able to say WHY I do not see porn as having any place within my relationship and in my life. Sex – it's possible to have an exciting, multi orgasmic, mutually satisfying and loving sexual relationship with porn, or overpriced lumps of buzzing plastic for that matter. I've managed to have a great sex life without any additional manufactured crap so I don't see the purpose of it. Attractiveness – we can't all be 21 and youthfully beautiful forever, but neither can the men in our lives. That said, there are many ways of being beautiful outside the narrow definition on the pornstar "ideal". Besides, what's so great about some ghoulish sex cartoon? Is that what we are expected to impersonate to be considered "sexy"? Are you kidding?! Religion/morality – I live in a secular society where there are people of many faiths and no faith at all. If I have a moral view it's the dehumanising ugliness of porn and the sex trade, the right to buy, rent, use and discard human beings for the sake of a fleeting selfish "pleasure" that I find abhorrent. I say all of this because recovery also means learning to defend myself against porn-sick idiots.

I hope this helps add to the wonderful advice given here.
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it