Author Topic: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses  (Read 4139 times)

stillme

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Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« on: December 05, 2016, 08:12:09 AM »
I am trying to keep an account of how "I" am doing during this process. I still have my extreme ups and downs. I still get extremely disappointed when I feel that my husband isn't making the progress that I would like to see on the emotional/connection side of the relationship. Right now my biggest current struggle is mourning the losses.

I have been almost overwhelmed with grief over the years of our relationship that were lost to porn. One of the things I can honestly say hinders our progress is that when things start to feel 'better', I think about how we could have and should have had this 'better' relationship years ago. Why did we have to hit rock bottom before he realized he loved me, why did he have to fall so far down before he realized he wanted this relationship? Why did he allow something as stupid as pornography to distract him so much he missed important milestones in the development of our children. Sometimes, you don't get a do over. In our conversation this morning he said he was going to "fix things" and I asked, "How do you fix what was missed to time?" You don't get to 'fix' not having an active role in the pivotal years of your children's development. How do you 'fix' all those times he turned me down when I asked him to come to bed with me. He picked jacking off to porn over having sex with me for years. It wasn't until I thought about things recently that I realized just how many times he flat out rejected my advances. How do you 'fix' that?

It feels unfair, that I am expected to simply move on, to put the past in the past. He didn't spend the last few YEARS feeling rejected, feeling abandoned, feeling unloved. He spent those years on a dopamine high. He is walking away from something that was fake and walking in to something that is real. I am being asked to trust someone that I used to trust and he violated that trust. The only reason that I don't trust him now is because he proved himself untrustworthy. I am being asked to 'trust fall' from a cliff into the arms of someone that has consistently dropped me every single time I closed my eyes, crossed my arms, and fell back thinking that he loved me enough to catch me. I can never get back to the pure trust I used to have for him, the trust that I had that he would never let me fall, he would never betray me or hurt me intentionally.

I am mourning the loss of my ideas of a 'good marriage'. I see the only way to make this work is to significantly lower my expectations. To stop holding out hope for restitution. What can he possibly do to repay the harm that he caused? The most he can do is try not to hurt me again. That is like someone breaking your leg - they don't take you to the hospital, they don't hold you and comfort you until the pain medication takes effect, they don't take on your duties while you are healing, they don't even notice you are in pain most of the time. Once things finally come to ahead, the absolute only thing they can offer is to get 'anger management counseling' and promise not to break your leg again. And you have to find a way to accept that.

I am mourning the loss of my fantasy. I am mourning the mountain of disconnect between what I needed to see and what I am actually seeing. My husband honestly cannot figure out what things he could do ease the pain of what he caused. I can think of 1,000 ways. I am no longer giving him lists of things he 'could do'. The reason is because when he would do the things I requested, they weren't from the heart and they were consistent and sustained over time. He would do them until he though he was 'done' and he was ready to move on.

I feel like I am in a bit of limbo - I am mourning the loss of our marital past, I am mourning the loss of the fantasy of fun and fascinating future. It is hard to believe that I am not trying to hype myself up to accept mediocre. Sigh

cuppatea

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 01:29:51 PM »
Yes I can understand and feel every word you've written.

In that Paula Hall book she talks about how long term couples have history which can help with keeping the relationship, but I kinda feel like all that history is tainted now. This is something he can't understand (well there are many things he doesn't understand, but that is one of them), he knew what was going on in our relationship, I didn't it, it was like I was with someone else, someone who doesn't actually exist. All those happy memories, aren't happy for me before, they are just painful reminders that none of it was real. I'm not sure how to ever get over that part, and like you say it can't be fixed, save making a time machine, which seems unrealistic lol

I was/am still hoping for restitution. Not sure if that is just wishful thinking really. Think I might have convinced myself that as he analyses things he'll get what he's done and apologise. He has apologised but I mean specific apologies about different aspects which show he's really thought about the impact and how I feel/felt. I think for him he still tries to avoid thinking about it, he wants to just move forward but to a degree I feel stuck, I can't move forward because I'm being dragged down by the weight of the past.

Mediocre really isn't something you should settle for, it's definitely not anything to get hyped up about.

stillme

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 02:24:09 PM »
It is hard because I came into this reboot/recovery thinking I was "only" dealing with a porn addict. I allowed myself to be swayed by the whole 'reboot story' that 90 days of abstinence and he would be recovered. I didn't find good, strong, supported research on what true porn addiction/sex addiction recovery looked like. When the reality hit that we weren't looking at 90 days, we were looking at 3 - 5 years, everything changed at that point.

I don't know if I have it in me to last five years trying to 'recover' from something so stupid. I am still grappling with how the hell this man could throw away a marriage for something as trivial as pornography. But, as the layers get pulled back and it comes to light that pornography was simply the outlet for which decades of repressed emotions and stunted maturity would manifest - yikes! I really had no idea what I was getting in to.

Yes, the 'perfect child' syndrome allowed my husband to hide his issues quite deeply. He created a scenario for his life that he was able to hold on to for a very long time. If I yelled from the mountain tops everything he did, I would say 90% of the people that know him would think I was lying. To everyone, including me until everything happened, thought he was the kindest, nicest, sweetest, most innocent man on the planet. He was the absolute manifestation of the 'good guy'.

I am now doing some reading to figure out if he is actually a narcissist. I don't know quite else how to come to terms with his complete emotional detachment. His inability to remain consistent in relationship rebuilding is another issue that leads me down the narcissist track. I could be completely wrong, but this just seems so very - wrong.

I know for a fact he hasn't gone back to porn since d-day, but he still can't seem to conquer the emotional attachment issues. I have kindly and gently asked for divorce (and admittedly, sometimes yelled it from the mountain tops). His response is always an utter breakdown. He begs and pleads and promises to do better. Even when I reassure him I am not going to take away his relationship with his children, I am not going to try and bankrupt him (I make good money myself), I just want an opportunity to find peace, happiness, and joy in my life and that just isn't happening when he can't be consistent in rebuilding.

It has been the inconsistency that is so damaging. It isn't that he doesn't try, he just doesn't try for long. Some simple things are - he would write me sweet notes on Post-It notes and leave them on my pillow, on the mirror, in the bathroom. They were very sweet and I would tell him how nice they were and how great it was to read his words. Then, as quickly as they started, they stopped. He did it for one week, then never another note again. It couldn't have taken more than 30 seconds to write, "You are beautiful, have a wonderful day.", but nope - no more notes. I even looked for them thinking maybe he started to hide them better. I didn't complain about the notes stopping, but man did that hurt bad. It was worse than never getting a note in the first place. I was feeling all special and wonderful and warm and just like that - he pulled the rug out from under me. I wondered - why in the hell would he do that?

The same with texts. For a couple weeks he would send me texts during the day saying he missed me, he was thinking about me, couldn't wait until he got home to see me. I went from getting multiple texts a day to maybe one or two texts every couple of weeks. Of course, that played head games with me - okay, does he no longer think about me during the day?

This seems like such a simple thing - put in the effort to rebuild the marriage (true effort, real effort, consistent effort) or lets go our separate ways. His inability to do one or the other is the crux of my anxiety. It is not fair for me to be in limbo or for the kids to be in limbo. I could handle him wanting the marriage and fighting for it, I could handle him not wanting the marriage and us leaving amicably and on good terms, what I am not handling is him wanting the marriage and not being willing to put in the hard work.

He is working hard at getting to the bottom of his addictive personality. He is in weekly individual counseling as well as a weekly men's group for recovering porn addicts. He keeps a journal and does the 'big things' that need to be done. But, he just does not seem to be able to get and keep a true emotional connection. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I need for my own recovery.

aquarius25

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 02:25:30 PM »
I  love and agree with every word of this!!! You are spot on about everything! Thank you!

cuppatea

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 03:04:46 PM »
My ex is a narcissist. I had some good articles bookmarked about that but that was on chrome and I had to delete it cos it was malfunctioning. I might be able to find some of them again, if I do I'll post them in here for you. There is usually a distinct pattern with narcissists. A cycle they go through, and take you with them. There is idolisation where they are everything you need and desire and make you feel super special and totally swept off your feet, then their is devaluation, usually where abuse happens, their mask slips and you are left blaming yourself for the loss of the perfect partner you had at the start, because of wanting to get that back and blaming yourself for the loss this is where they can easily abuse you without using any violence etc (though some are violent), coercion and the promise of a return to idolisation is enough, the last part is discard, often they move onto someone else, however that doesn't always happen, sometimes they discard you in the relationship by pretty much ignoring you and usually cheating with someone else who they are idolising. This cycle can repeat, so they may devalue you and when they feel you are likely to leave they will bring some idolisation back to hoover you back up, and once there they devalue again and round and round you go, till either they do discard you or you leave them. I left mine and when he couldn't hoover me back in he turned properly psycho, shit stirred with my family and friends caused me heaps of problems and then tried to get me beaten up.

I can look back on my relationship with my ex now and plainly see the times he returned to idolisation, each time I was close to going he would offer me something else, moving in, engagement, buying a house. Each time I was moving away, thinking I should go etc he must have felt it and returned to idolisation. Narcissists are generally sexually abusive, they use sex as a weapon. Either by actually abusing you physically (with violence or coercion) or through withdrawing affection and only giving it when you act like a performing monkey for them. Sex is always about them and what pleasure they get from it, they don't give a shit whether you enjoy it and actually the more humiliating and/or painful it is for you the more they enjoy it. They are truly pyschopathic with no emotions at all, though they can certainly fake it to their own advantage.

stillme

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 05:13:36 PM »
If you have a partner like cuppatea has described then get out quick.

However if he is not like this, and you want to stay with him, then try not to seek restitution. I know it's hard because you've got a certain view of how you want an apology to look, how his 'trying' should look and how love should look. But the past is done. You're either choosing to move on with him or you're not.

When you're thinking about restitution and how you expect him to behave try to remember that we're all human and we make mistakes. Even if it seems ridiculous that he would jeopardise everything for porn try to have compassion for the human aspect of all of this.

Also I'm sure you do plenty of loving things to try to build your emotional connection, but instead of being disappointed that he hasn't written you a love post-it write him one. Also if you haven't already done so it may be useful for both of you to do the love languages quiz so each of you knows how the other best receives love. I can post you a link if you haven't seen it before.

The more you think about what things he should be saying or doing to make it up to you the more time you're wasting. So although you feel valuable time has been wasted with his addiction, it's also being wasted now. I say this as someone who has left my marriage; the damage to my self esteem was too great for me, it was to the point where if he would make advances I didn't feel they were sincere even though they probably were. So I'm not saying stay with your partner, I'm just saying if you're staying then focus on the present and the only thing you can control- your actions.

While I appreciate your feedback, the answer is no. I have spent six months catering to his every emotional need. I wrote him letters encouraging him in his recovery. I sent him daily emails telling him how proud I was of him. For our anniversary, I meticulously planned out every gift while he purchased a few gifts for me two days before our anniversary and will readily admit right now they were highly inappropriate. When he went through disclosure and had to admit to spending THOUSANDS of dollars on pornography (including webcams with women, sending porn actresses gifts to get 'more attention' in chat rooms, going to a massage parlor and getting a blow job), but I am not supposed to get any restitution. Really?

Why should I not seek restitution? I took primary responsibility for the children for six years while he jacked off to porn. He made elaborate excuses to get out of doing the most basic things, while I took up the slack. He admits to "falling hard" for one cam girl and sending her nude pictures of himself while we were on a family vacation. I kept wondering why he would slip away instead of spending time with me - now I know. He says he is done with that life and wants to rebuild - but I am not supposed to get ANYTHING from what he did? I am supposed to continue to pump up his ego and continue to forgive for each and every trickle disclosure and in the meantime I get nothing?

No, sorry - that is an inappropriate request.

In the early days of his recovery, I held him while he cried in my arms. On the other hand, when I felt overwhelmed and told him that I was emotionally and physically tired, he simply stood there looking at me and saying, "You should get some rest.".

Through therapy he is finding out why he is emotionally stunted (his mother is a narcissist), but why should I be the one who has to continue to sacrifice? When do I get what I need? When is there someone to cater to my emotional needs? His porn use devastated my self esteem, but I am not allowed to want some encouragement? I am not allowed to want to feel beautiful or wanted or loved? My role is simply to continue to support and support and support while I get nothing in return? Yeah, that sounds like a great life.

Cuppatea - I don't think he is a true narcissist. His mother is and he is probably dealing with being completely emotionally stunted from being raised in a house with her while his father emotionally checked out.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 05:23:49 PM by stillme »

Loleekins

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 06:40:09 PM »
"try to remember that we're all human and we make mistakes"

Everyone makes mistakes. Typos. Your grip slips and you drop your cup breaking it. Unfortunate accident. Turn down 12th street because you thought it was 13th street. All mistakes people make.

Years of deliberate abandonment, lies, hiding, concealing, disrespect, and all the rest (no time to type the endless here) via porn and all that potentially goes along with it (not typing that huge list either) is not a mistake to me. Can never be called a mistake.

On the other side of it - saving your marriage or relationship, what's restitution? For me it was a shift. A 180 degree shift. That shift needed to be as much honesty now as you created deception in the past. As much dedication as your abandonment. As much respect as your disrespect. Regard equal to your disregard. As many thoughts and attachments as you poured into porn, those belong to this relationship. Me. Your child.

Failing to turn some aspect of life around cannot be classed a mistake by me. It's a choice. You choose it or you don't. He had all the time and ability and effort at his fingertips when it came to porn. Where is it now? Shift it. Apply it where it should have always been applied.

Everyone has a different form of restitution I would think. That was mine. I could not classify what he did to our family and relationship via porn and his subsequent actions a mistake. Nor could I classify as mistake him not making the choice to invest as much of himself as he had into porn and porn activities back into our family and relationship.

That, I believe, is the rub for many people. He had all the effort to do porn and porn activities. Where is the equivalent effort in rebuilding? Ultimately, that was the end for me. Knowing he had the ability to prioritize what he wished, when he wished, and he chose to slack on prioritizing his family.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities --- Voltaire

aquarius25

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 08:16:28 PM »
I have and still do on more than several occasions feel the exact same way as this original poster. She describes the loss that an SO goes through perfectly. It's hard!!! I can only speak for myself. I mourn the loss of the life I thought I had. I can see now that I will never have that. It's just not possible. With constant communication and commitment on both mine and my husbands part we can choose to have a new marriage. Restitution isn't what I want. I want healing. He can never make up for the damage done, there are no works in this world to make up for the severity of the hurt. But he can start new. He can be a support to help me heal. He can take initiative and choose to become more than a sad sorry addiction. He can choose to me a man of  good moral character, one who loves his family, and adores his wife. In return I choose to stay and be committed to this new relationship. Its a work in progress. If he chose not to be this person than he would be choosing to leave his family. I got to a point where I wasn't going to be the bad guy who was ruining the family. He would need to be the one to leave. He agreed to step up, and I am slowly, painfully slowly, starting to fall in love with this new man. I am looking forward to the new relationship that we are forging through this process. Sometimes I feel like its going slow, and sometimes I feel like I relate to limbo as well. All I know is that as long as he is trying then so will I. Restitution I don't ask for because it is not possible to be given. I want a life full of more than making up for the hurt, I want a life full of joy.

Loleekins

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 10:22:17 PM »
"Mistake- an act or judgment that is misguided or wrong." I didn't say "accidents", I said "mistakes". Yes, years of bloody big mistakes in most cases, all of which involved choice.

Misguided is not applicable. Having or showing faulty judgment or reasoning. The reason for the lies, deception, and hiding is because the judgment and reasoning are sound. This is not acceptable in the marriage/relationship. It's understood by the individual partaking that it is not acceptable. The follow on actions due to their sound reasoning of it not being acceptable are deceit and secrecy.

Understand this is merely my life code style. I do not abide lies and deception. I further do not abide fuzzy thinking in my life when it comes to "mistakes". Knowingly choosing an action that you are without doubt about as damaging, is no lapse of judgment or misguided intention to me. Nor will it ever be. For better or worse, I tend to dwell in a more logical side of things and a less emotional one. It's what caused what I'm about to write next. :)

Everyone comes to their own conclusions in this matter. Obviously. Some of us will be more driven emotionally, some in a different capacity. Some will make decisions including children as a factor, some won't. And we're all going to arrive at whatever decisions in our own time. Perhaps he becomes stellar, giving you more than enough to work out a future with. Perhaps he doesn't at all. Maybe he's somewhere in between always giving glimpses of the healthy well adjusted person he could be, but falls down on the job frequently as well. Everyone will have a feeling, a concept, for what will work for them (based on things he's showing that are indicators) or won't work.

Based on all the factors and variables, it's hard to say when to draw the line. I don't think it's possible for a person to figure out and say to another person "It's been six months, you should think about calling it quits". It's too unique and individual. I would never presume to attempt an answer on what she should do or how long she should do it. I respect the ladies here that have made choices based on their unique experiences to try and work out their relationships.

How long did I provide the chance to fix things before I said, yep, that's enough for me? One year. That year was based on him having developed his internet porn habit before we had a relationship. He started at age 12. If he had developed the habit during our relationship, I would not have given that year at all.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities --- Voltaire

cuppatea

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 11:23:07 PM »
I like that perspective Aquarius, I'm not there yet though, I need the apologies still and lots of them. I also need to see consistency and lots of that. I also feel like just doing what he should have been doing all along isn't really enough, he should make an extra effort, with me and with the kids, he should put all his porn/celeb perving time into his recovery and a large part of that needs to be making good with his family. Doing the bare minimum instead of less than the bare minimum isn't really what I want to end up settling for, I shouldn't have been settling with it prior to d-day either really, it wasn't fair on me or the kids.

I also agree with loleekins, they knew hence the secrecy and deceit and the outright lying. My husband was trying to maintain that he didn't lie he just didn't tell me and that he didn't see secrecy as lying but it's just not true it went way beyond that. There would have been instances where I had come home and gone "hey what you been doing?" and he would have told an absolute blatant lie to my face, that's not secrecy, that's actual fucking lying to your wife's face. There is also all the conversations we've had where he hasn't been honest about his opinion or his actions. He would talk about some of the guys at work for instance but he never once mentioned that he was just as bad if not worse than them, in fact most of them time he seemed like he was disgusted by it, obviously that was all lies and deceit as well, being one person to me and another when at work. I still wonder about that now, like is he all repentant at home and business as usual with the lads at work. I honestly don't know, how could I ever know. The broken trust for me is definitely far worse than the porn and wanking, like a billion times worse, it wouldn't have mattered what he was lying about it would still be hard to ever trust someone again after knowing they deceived you for so long, it being around sex is just like the cherry on top of an already extremely painful betrayal

aquarius25

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 11:55:43 PM »
Cuppatea, I completely understand. I do want to clarify a few things. I do still very much need the apologies. I don't see them as a form of restitution because what I am looking at is the heart behind them. I am seeing him become a different person. Restitution, to me anyway, says they are trying to make right what they did. When my husband says he is sorry, yes he does want to make right what he did but his apology is attached to so much more emotion than that. He isn't saying it because he is supposed to in order to get things better. He is saying it because he feel the sadness in his heart. I genuinely believe at this point that he is probably in the same amount of pain as I am. He feels terrible how much he broke me. He finally understands the full weight of his actions and just how far from ok they were. I don't trust him, but I am trying.

 The other reason why I know, at least for myself, that restitution is something I need to let go of is because it can never be made right. There is no amount of sorry's and good works to fix this. The lies, the deceit, and the hiding is too much. I had to decide that I was going to give grace. Grace is extending something that the recipient does not deserve. After all this crap he doesn't deserve this chance, he doesn't deserve me. But I am willing for my kids, my family, and for my love for him to try. I realized for myself that I had to let go of being right if I wanted to be with him. There is nothing right about P. By staying in the relationship I realized that I am basically choosing to be with the person who has created the damage. If it were a case of physical abuse I would be choosing to stay with my abuser. I am trying to heal everyday all while living and sleeping next to the person who caused the pain. There is nothing right about that. I, by staying, and choosing to let go of the idea of "right" and "justice" because there really isn't any. The justice would be for me to leave. What he get is the knowing that he doesn't deserve this chance so he better make the very most of it everyday! I can say that if I felt he wasn't, I wouldn't be in this relationship. Hanging on to the idea that is can be made right all while trying to stay in the relationship was killing my soul. Letting go of that is a constant choice I have to make everyday. Forgiveness isn't a one time thing. Its a choice in every moment. It is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. I am not there yet but I am working on it just as he is working on making the most of this undeserved opportunity to keep this family together. My hope is that we can eventually become better than what I thought our marriage was. My heart will certainly hope for that. I am learning to accept the pain as a measure of our progress forward. Some days its a lot of pain, some days its a lot of progress.

stillme

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2016, 05:04:06 AM »
I totally understand how you're feeling. So what's your next move if you're not getting what you need? I know that I wasted a lot of time in a previous relationship trying to make it work with a man who was physically, sexually and emotionally abusive and very controlling (prior to my husband). I kept thinking if I just do this or that differently then maybe it'll get better. I was also worried that I wouldn't find someone as good, which sounds ridiculous now.

You know you could find someone who would treat you better, so whar's keeping you there? Is it your children? Your commitment to your marriage? Or something more? Are there signs that he'll be able to make it up to you? That he'll be a better partner, the kind you need?

I suppose I'm going at it from these two angles of stay or go because I don't know how to make someone truly understand and make up for the ways they've hurt you. They either get it or they don't. I'm sure you've told him plenty of times so what more can you do?

Again, no. I will not quickly force myself or my family into one decision or another. So that I won't be on the internet years from now telling a bunch of strangers how to live their life and how much I regret my own decisions.

I am choosing to take my time and work through each and every emotions. Process every thought and feeling with health doses of logic and reason as well as allowing me to know exactly how I feel. Processing emotions, having complex and sometimes changing emotions, venting, and having sharps rises and falls are all NORMAL parts of the healing process. So no, I am not about to sit around and feel forced to make a decision because a stranger on the internet thought it was time. Actually, it isn't time. No decisions should be made in the first twelve months following disclosure.

Knowing exactly what I want if I stay and knowing exactly is the point at which I will go is again - healthy. When you are the partner of a recovering addict, you realize a lot of choices were taken away from you when they were in the process of acting out. This choices I get to make, and I will make it wisely.

Yes, their are children involved, so again - nope, not a quick decision.

And honestly, I am not sure why your posts are sounding so, almost hostile. You seem to be more in a rush for me to make a decision than my husband. My husband and I aren't sitting around arguing, fussing, and fighting, we get along just fine and can have open and honest communication, we have a good life and our kids have a great life - there is no need to rush a decision. I am happy about 85% of the time, I want to be closer to 90%. This post is an example of working through a trigger. Examining for myself - processing, working through my feelings, seeing if there is something else I need to say or do. It might be good to consult books written by professionals on what it is like for partners of recovering addicts, it might help to see what is normal and even healthy when it comes to recovery.

So yes, I will continue to take my time. Yes, I will continue to vent and even work through some of my emotions in this forum. I actually like writing them out before a counseling session - seeing them, seeing reactions, and not simply keeping them in an echo chamber. Most feedback is helpful. I will say, even yours is helpful. It helps me see how important it is to take time to ensure my personal decision is wise and one not filled with any regrets. Because this isn't a quick "stay" or "leave" situation. This is about quality and helping my husband and myself reach for the goals we both say we have for our marriage. To not be willing to settle for mediocre for either of us, but to do the hard work.

This isn't kids' play, this is real life and real life takes time. Real life for me is filled with respecting logic as well as your heart. Real life for me is about being willing to do the 'hard' work, no matter how much strangers on the internet push at you to hurry things along. I, am personally, worth the wait. My husband thinks so as well.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 05:38:31 AM by stillme »

aquarius25

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2016, 10:59:41 AM »
Stillme, I think you are making a very wise choice in taking your time. Emotions are not stable, the are all over the place. I can 20 different emotions about 20 different things all at once! Making decisions based on such unstable things will lead to a life of chaos. I think you are very wise to give yourself time! That is a very mature way of handling a difficult situation and you are showing your children what a process of healthy decision making looks like!

Hablablos

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2016, 02:12:18 PM »
Hello stillme,

some of your posts about your husband reminds me some aspects of Nice Guy Syndrome. During my recovery I came across book called No More Mr Nice Guy by Robert Glover which helped me discover some reasons why I fell for addiction and I think it could be beneficial to your husband as well. Here are some points you can compare what you know about your husband: http://www.drglover.com/no-more-mr-nice-guy.html

I hope you will find it helpful.
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new"

Learn from mistakes of others, life is too short to do them all by yourself

Porn addiction is the best thing that has happened to me

cuppatea

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2016, 02:18:30 PM »
I so agree with the 20 emotions, often I'm just really confused about what I'm feeling cos I'm feeling so much of everything all at once, it just becomes this knot in my chest that I can't work out or get rid of.

I also agree with Emerald about the removal of power, that's very much what it is, i had no say in this situation at all, and worse still a lot of the future is also out of my hands. As much as I may want to make things work if he chooses to exit recovery without actually recovering then my hand will be forced, the balance of power is skewed in his direction. I have choices but they aren't as simple as stay or go. I said to hubby that if at the start of our relationship I was told "I'm gonna watch porn our whole relationship" there wouldn't have been a relationship. He knew that and instead of not watching it he chose to do it anyway and hide it, that is just so hurtful I can't even put it into words. It's just a total and utter disregard for me in a way that I would never ever do to him, I just couldn't without being wracked with crippling guilt. And sure as the brain becomes more damaged by the addiction and thinking more skewed and they've created this whole false reality that seems real to them etc that explains the behaviour closer to d-day. But what about the first time we were in a relationship and he went to porn, I don't think he was addicted then, or at least not to the degree he is now. How could he justify the betrayal then? These are the things I need answers to because otherwise I'll never feel safe he won't betray me again using the same logic. I don't think this is going to be something he can answer quickly. I'm thinking what stillme has said about 3-5 years is probably where hubby and me are at as well. I see me coming out of counseling and him needing to stay in long term to really deal with all the reasons why he got into addiction in the first place and really make sure he has the skills to not relapse or pick up another addiction.

stillme

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Re: Current Struggle - Mourning the Losses
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2016, 03:43:02 PM »
Thanks so much for the responses, they are all very helpful!

Processing it all is very helpful. My husband is dealing with a lot. His therapy is peeling back a LOT of layers he didn't know was there. Part of that is realizing just how much of life he has missed by having such suppressed emotions and coming to the realization if just how dysfunctional his childhood was - even though it looked great on the outside. What he now recognizes is that he has to balance his recovery with our relationship recovery as well. He realizes he is going to be in therapy longer than he thought. His parents made him and his siblings bottle of a LOT of stuff (i.e. child molestation by a cousin was completely ignored because it would make the family look bad; just don't talk about it and move on). They bottled up so much stuff it was repressed, but as he and his siblings can finally speak and all those fucked up issues are coming to the surface.

So, he is finding his way, but realizes it is not appropriate to expect me to sit down and twiddle my thumbs for the next half decade and "hope" when the smoke clears he is ready to focus on a relationship. We are both growing in the relationship. I am more than willing to give him a chance, but it won't be a chance to stay passive and watch life pass him by. If we are going to rebuild, it needs to be worth it. I am venting about the things that I know need to be addressed for me to move forward. I gave up a lot in the years he was addicted to porn and I will not bury my emotions, smile, and pretend it is all okay. In fact, showing him that you can have strong, deep, expressive emotions - and still be willing to fight through it and work things out is helpful to his own recovery.

We both want to model a healthy relationship for our children. I ask him often if he would want our daughter to marry someone that acted the way he does now. If the answer is no, he needs to work on that, because chances are she is going to see him as the model for how a man treats his wife. The same with our son - how do you want them to treat and interact with their wife? Doesn't matter what you 'say' to them, they are more than likely going to model what they see. That is motivation enough for us to stick in here and do the hard work.

I vent here because I am the opposite of my husband - I feel everything! That can also be unbalanced. I like to write it out, come back and read it and even see how others react. It allows me to be an observer of my emotions and emotional state and get things in balance before I work out some of those things with my husband. Right now, I am working out anger and regret. I don't want to come at him yelling, screaming, and throwing frying pans. I am letting those strong emotions come out in a  'safe' place and sit on them until I can find the right words and the right tone to talk things out - rationally, with my husband.

I have found getting my venting out is much more healthy than me letting those feelings just float in my mind. Not getting out the rage was causing the rage to build. Not getting out the sadness and despair was causing those feelings to build. I am in therapy, but I don't want to spend my hour crying, I want to spend my hour every week working through things. So, this is my safe place. It may not always be 'safe', but it is the best I have to work with right now.

The books recommendations I have gotten here have been life changing, and I wouldn't have gotten those without being honest about where I was at emotionally. I also like knowing I am not alone. Yes, we can read books about what is 'normal' in recovery, but having other partners here trudging along - through the good and the bad, it is also a component of my healing.

As others have said - I can go through 20 different emotions in one day. Posting is just a snippet of where I am in the moment. So, I am not going to make a decision based on where I am in that moment. But, I am also not going to bottle up the emotions, they need a release.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 03:45:51 PM by stillme »