A Complicated Journey

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by Staying Positive, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. D Jane

    D Jane Fapstronaut

    I'm so sorry @Staying Positive. I swear I could have written this myself, except mine moved out 7 months ago and gained a WORLD of privacy for himself and probably kept acting out until I literally FELT it leave him sometime in April. (But then maybe I was just relieved of my fear of it.) Anyway he hasn't had a real rage since then. Jerk, asshole, selfish, disconnected.. yes. But no rage. Also you seem to have a social life. That's great! I hope you find new ways to cope day by day.
  2. D Jane

    D Jane Fapstronaut

  3. Waiting is just the worst part when there is nothing you can do. The only thing that helps is you guys in the same position who prove to me that I’m not going crazy, especially when it can go up and down so fast. Thank you.
  4. I’m sorry to hear that. I’m grateful my husband at least has acknowledged that he will relapse if he is alone, so at least we do have that baseline to work from. I’m looking forward for the anger to stop, I really hope recovery can teach him how to deal with strong emotions so he can let me back in.
  5. LuxPerpetua

    LuxPerpetua Fapstronaut

    You have a really insightful way of putting things. I agree 100%, the helpless waiting is awful and the rapid ups and downs can be completely disorientating. Also yes, you're so right, reading other people going through the same thing is what makes me think "okay, I'm definitely not imagining this or making a mountain out of a molehill". Thank you too, reading your reflective posts about not being a priority made me feel less alone and also helped me understand the situation better by seeing it through someone else's eyes. I hope it gets better for you soon.
    Staying Positive likes this.
  6. After Thursday and Friday's frustrations, by Friday evening I was just really hoping we could get the weekend started on the right foot. That evening I had found a meet-up group online for English-speaking people, and after his avoidance all week I thought that it was perhaps what he needed or wanted. I'm not really a social person, but I felt determined to just go and try to have some fun and then maybe my husband would want to talk when I got back or the next day. He certainly hadn't wanted to talk all week.

    My husband actually came home early in the middle of the day on Friday to spend the afternoon working from home (some issues with the network in the office), and I definitely felt very awkward as we spent a quiet afternoon in the flat, not really talking but not really alone either. He finished work and still didn't seem to want to talk, and in the end the tension felt so high to me that I decided to sit in the bedroom and read a book until it was time to head out to town.

    I know that he has to decide when he wants my help. It's not up to me to point out his emotions for him and offer unsolicited advice, that's not part of recovery, that's just me trying to take over. So I did my make-up, started deciding on an outfit, and was about to start doing my hair when, after the whole day of him not really talking, I decided 'to hell' with the rules of recovery, this evening is just going to end badly if he sinks any lower into whatever mood this is.

    So I told him how I thought he felt, and asked him to talk to me, good or bad, about how he was feeling and what he was thinking. It turned out to be a big mess of emotions, all negative, some selfish and some just sad or angry, and he didn't know how to express any of them. He couldn't tell me if he wanted me to stay or not, "didn't care" what I did, and didn't feel anything towards me.

    Again, this was one of those points where I know the man sat in front of me hugely resents me, but that the man inside, under the addiction, doesn't want to be left alone and is hurting.

    So I stayed home. I didn't go out. And to his credit, after a couple of hours talking he finally opened up.

    He found a twelve-step group that he was supposed to call into that evening, but they managed to not add him to the call properly so in the end he never joined it. At that point I was glad that I had stayed home. That was going to be something he was going to do while I was out, but his disappointment and frustration at the Skype error on their part would have sent him into a complete downwards spiral, and being left alone with those feelings is what caused him to relapse before.

    We agreed to try and make the weekend as calm and emotional-turmoil-free as possible, and Saturday and Sunday were spent doing some hobby activities together, doing a few household tasks, watching tv, and keeping the conversations as light as possible. I think we both wanted a break from the strong emotions of the week, and I really didn't feel up to trying to handle any anger this weekend.

    Over the two days I could feel that he was coming out the other end of this particular cycle of addiction. They seem to last around 2-3 weeks, but at least with this journal I'll be able to look back and start to more accurately pick out patterns to help predict his behaviour in the future.

    So yesterday, Monday morning, I woke up feeling completely drained. He went to work, and I just felt exhausted. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what I did all day until about 3pm, when I got a message from my addict-support friend asking how I was. At first I was typing and even as I tried to compose messages I was just blanking out, running on autopilot. She suggested I grab the feelings wheel, and after I sent her three emotions she wrote back with exactly how I felt, like she'd just jumped in my head.

    Something about the way that I didn't have to explain to her how I felt just pulled me right up out of the fog. I let out a breath I realised I'd been holding since about Thursday, and could finally think a little clearly.

    I realised then that living with someone who can't empathise with you is exhausting. Explaining everything you are thinking or feeling in detail while also being careful to give good reasons for those feelings or apologies in case those feelings cause offence takes so much out of you. And here was someone who has never met me, who has only been messaging me for a few weeks, and just got how I was feeling straight away.

    When my husband came home Monday evening I was still distressed and upset, but I didn't feel the need to hide it any more. He's in a good place with his addiction at the moment, and although I know it will cycle round until he stops it, this is at least a short amount of time where I can relax for a little while.

    In the end I broke down into tears and told him that I wasn't coping right now, a realisation I'd only just come to after talking to my friend, and to his absolute credit he was as loving and supportive as he could. I know that when he can work on this addiction, he's going to allow himself to be one wonderful human being, and I'll be so proud when he gets there.

    He attended his addict support group, and I'm just so grateful for that group. I know that my husband feels like everyone is out to get him, and this is possibly the first time in his life that he's found a group of people who are so totally and absolutely on his side. They can't be against him, because they share the same addiction, and it's opening him up to a new way of seeing relationships.

    It's hard to be one of the people he doesn't truly trust at the moment, but Dr Rob says in the Prodependence book that the closer you are to an addict, the most you will be the last person they can truly trust. They believe that trusting and being vulnerable will end up destroying a relationship, so as their partner they will most likely leave you until last, and you have to be the most patient of everyone.

    Today I feel less foggy. I let myself sleep late, so I feel less physically tired, and I'm giving myself space to emotionally heal as much as I can. I'm grateful that he is in a place to look after himself for a little while. Taking it one day at a time.
  7. testwarz

    testwarz Fapstronaut

    As a recovering PA I am astounded at how thoughtful and caring SO’s are and in general the PA partner/husband is still just being a jerk and really should wake up fast before life passes them by. It soounds though like your PA is indeed trying and if he is really Pmo free and also no O then be aware that he may be flatlining very hard and that is a complex biological withdrawal and healing process. That why 3 months on hard mode is a useful guide as to when the recovery kicks in aNd no amount of group sessions can accelerate that body’s process....
  8. He’s definitely trying to be self aware, and that's a good thing. He may or may not be flatlining...He had a lot of that type of thing happen during his first reboot, but he'd been clean over a year before this last relapse, so chemically things are a little different this time round. It's definitely more of an emotional battle this time than a physiological one, which is why now is a good time to start recovery. Otherwise we'll just be in a 90 sobriety challenge, which he can obviously do, rather than actually engaged in recovery.

    Flatlining does affect feelings around physical intimacy, and that's fine, but it's not an excuse for addicts to be neglectful or distant until feelings of attraction come back. Biological fluctuations or no, recovery starts teaching addicts how to be emotionally stable and supportive consistently and lovingly.
  9. I feel awful today. I didn’t want to get out of bed until midday and I’ve been walking around in a numb foggy daze since I did.

    I feel like I’m being gaslighted again.

    The morning my husband went into work late so we could have some quality time together, but honestly I know in my heart that he went into work late because he’s playing D&D after work today and won’t be home until after 9pm, and so he feels guilty. He went into work late so that he can make himself feel less guilty. Put in a couple of hours of time with me this morning to offset being out this evening.

    Just being physically next to someone doesn’t equate to quality time, and feeling lonely and abandoned is not mathematically related to the number of hours we are together or apart.

    He does want to help, he does want things to get better, but at the moment his main motivations are still selfish. He stopped looking for new twelve-step groups again this week, and that’s made me feel very frustrated.

    So we talked this morning, and he told me that honestly, he really doesn’t think his addiction is responsible for all our relationship problems at the moment, and that I’m using it as a way to put all the blame for our problems on him. We were close before the recent relapse, so clearly things have changed in the last couple of months with me too, and we need to work on our communication.

    I feel sick. I really do. Because things were not great before, unless you count the times that I ignored or forgot about his addiction when I felt that things were going well. Since d-day last February we have had many arguments, some where he’s completely lost it with his anger, and he has frequently told me he doesn’t think we’re right together and that we probably should just divorce.

    And yet, this morning, it was like he forgot. He forgot the pain of constant rejection over the years of him secretly acting out, when I just assumed that I was not attractive or not good enough for him. Arguments when he’d get upset and angry if we reached 7 days without having sex. Arguments when I told him he was too pressuring. Arguments where he accused me of never initiating sex and leaving it all up to him.

    Times I’d have sex because I just wanted my husband to be happy, and that was all he seemed to want sometimes. But forgetting about it because then we’d drive somewhere for the day and have a wonderful time, and I just thought that this was something all couples went through.

    Comparing me to porn videos. Objectifying me. Taking me for granted. The years of trying to help him take responsibility for everything from his money to his time to his addiction, and feeling completely powerless because this addiction is poisoning everything.

    When he told me this morning that he feels the addiction is being blown out of proportion and that “we” have communication issues, that’s when I just felt like I’d been punched in the stomach.

    He minimised the addiction, telling me that it wasn’t as much of a problem as I was making it out to be. I understand it hurts him to face the addiction. I’m sure he would like something else to be at fault here. And I think that’s because I’m being really firm on this recovery, and his brain just doesn’t want to do it.

    His heart does, he wants to get get better. But his brain wants to be better, without having to go through all this work. He is putting off this recovery as much as he can. Redirecting blame onto “our communication”, when he knows how completely shitty being the partner of an addict is, and how much they have to sacrifice to stay and support.

    Part of it is my fault. A few months after his first reboot, I didn’t know what next steps there were, so I just assumed things were alright now. I didn’t know there were twelve-step groups for sex addicts. I never talked to other partners. So I just wanted to forget and move on. And each time we argued and he threw the threat of divorce at me, I thought that if I could just show him enough love and support then things would get better.

    So now, I’m not backing down. I don’t need to work on anything right now, except looking after myself. He is still treating me poorly. He is still choosing not to deal with strong emotions in a healthy way, and he’s avoiding his recovery as much as he can.

    He doesn’t have the tools to empathise or support me, let alone to understand how it feels to live with an addict who lies and manipulates, and lots of that is from how he grew up. But this is a turning point. Now he has a way to change things.

    I’m so fucking done with being blamed. It was my fault for not having sex enough, or for never being the one to initiate it. It was my fault for being over-sensitive. My fault for being controlling, for not being supportive enough, for being sad all the time, for not trusting him. “I’m just not a good match for him. He’d be better off alone. He knows what he needs in his recovery.”

    And when he’s sorry, when he’s truly vulnerable and opens up for just a moment, he holds me and tells me he doesn’t know why he says those things, because they aren’t true.

    This cycle of hurtful behaviour is just going round and round. He wants everything to be alright at home and with us so that he can feel better because he doesn’t want to start any recovery programs when he feels this bad. It’s like it’s just not sinking in how much damage he’s doing every day he doesn’t make his recovery a priority.

    In the past, things have eventually gotten better because I prefer to forgive and forget. Not this time. This time I’m beyond hurt, and things are going to be different. It’s always been “one day”, but not anymore. No more hiding from it, no moe forgetting about it.

    The addiction is the problem. I’m not crazy.
    fadedfidelity likes this.
  10. Just a quick comment to affirm you in this. You are not crazy. Stand firm.
  11. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

    You are not crazy. My husband couldn’t use the “ you don’t want sex, you don’t initiate sex”excuse because he was turning me down every day! So his excuse was that I needed to be nicer to him and maybe then he would want sex with me.
    Then, it was that I had a problem and I wasn’t a normal woman, I was a nympho, because normal women didn’t want sex this much.then it was “ I’m afraid U will say no” lol, I’ve never said no to sex! I really thought I was going crazy too. My gut told me something was off and it’s always been right. It’s the addiction looking for a way to blame you but keep his addiction.
  12. testwarz

    testwarz Fapstronaut

    Just another interestiNg thing... ive played something like d&d for years.. as soon as I got on to NoFap.. I was like I want to experience the world! Havent touched that online game since and recently cancelled my monthly service. I’m jumping out of bed ready for the gym or doing stuff around the house
    Psalm27:1my light likes this.
  13. Good things that happened since I last journaled:
    • He attended his first call-in twelve-step group.
    • I am continuing to try and look after myself
    • He is slowly expanding his support group, including someone from work and his sister.
    I think I mostly feel acceptance. I mean, I feel horrible, lonely, scared, overwhelmed and a whole bunch of other things, but from what I’ve read about addiction and the process of recovery, this is the best situation he could be in right now.

    In the future, of course I will ask him to step up and take more responsibility for other things in life. We’ll need to talk about what our future looks like without kids, about trying to eventually move to America, big life stuff. He’ll also need to take more responsibility for smaller things, like organising his time and getting jobs done. And of course, I need him to learn to empathise, to manage his emotions and to, at some point, start from square one with sex.

    But at the moment I am accepting of where we are, and that we are going to be here for a little while. Living more distant, at arm’s length, like a close friend rather than a wife, is hard but it’s protecting me from getting hurt any more. When he makes the choice to stay out at a party or to shut down or to get angry, I can try not to take it so personally.

    The only way to not be upset from lack of affection or attention is to stop expecting it right now. In the future, of course, I couldn’t live like this forever, but for now I think I just need to step off this rollercoaster with the promise that I’m still here, I’m not leaving, but I also acknowledge that I am as powerless over the addiction as the addict themselves.

    I do hate having to start living like I’m single, assuming that he won’t be here so that I’m not disappointed, but all I’ve asked in return is that he attend these support groups and starts working through the Sex Addiction 101 workbook, and he’s doing those things.

    Tomorrow I’m going out to a meet-up group, and I really hope I find people there that I can go and hang out with away from my husband. Not because I want to be away from him for any length of time, but because maybe it will help me to be away from him and get some distance from the addiction bubble.

    My husband goes to work every day, which must be a big distraction, but because I don’t work or go out I do feel like I live it 24/7, and when I do go out it’s with my husband. But we’ll see.

    Another social gaming night tonight, the last one left me with a migraine so hopefully today will be calmer, plus I’ve managed to book an appointment with potentially a new GP, which might help make things better too.
  14. Wow it's almost as if I'm reading my own thoughts here. It's hurts so deeply just to be a thing that satisfies an urge. And I don't think that PA's really realize that they're doing it. Know you are not crazy. You deserve emotional intimacy. You deserve honesty. You deserve to feel loved and desired, not just made to be an urge outlet. I'm glad to to read that there have been some improvements. I hope it continues.
    Staying Positive and LuxPerpetua like this.
  15. My husband seems to be taking slow but steady steps into recovery, and today I feel tired but positive. This week I’ve been able to express myself to him and he’s kept his emotions steady, and although sometimes I really do want to ask him to do more things to help me, keeping my needs list short and trying to have reasonable expectations seems to be helping.

    Living more distantly is still a bit sad, but it’s ok because I know that this intense level of recovery is not forever. For now, it’s helping to have other partners to talk to and to try and let him do his own recovery as much as he can. Sometimes he needs help or support, but at the moment he still really struggles to ask for it, and I’d prefer him to learn to ask than to keep jumping in.

    Basically there are lots of skills that I don’t think he has yet, like empathy or taking responsibility, but I do feel a huge amount of relief that these are things he is going to learn through recovery. They aren’t my responsibility to “teach”, and I can stop feeling so much like a parent and more like a partner.

    Today is a day for me. Tv, drawing, reading, maybe a nap. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything particular to deserve being lazy all day, but I’m tired and I don’t think it hurts anyone to do so.

    I am so grateful for recovery programs, for addict support groups, for accountability partners, for workbooks, and for my husband’s honesty and hard work this week.
  16. I’m starting to hate the words “my wife”. When my husband talks about me to other addicts or in his journal I feel those words turn me into some faceless generic partner, a nameless enemy. It reminds me of every story where some struggling man takes orders from “the wife”.

    I want being called a wife to feel like a term of endearment, but we are so far apart at the moment that it feels like an unfortunate connection referred to only by its label. In the same way saying that you met up with “the mother-in-law” conjures the immediate mental picture of the stereotypical obstinate nightmare woman, so now I feel that my label as a wife has changed from loving partner to constant problem.

    Not that I’d like my name posted everywhere on forums or mentioned in group chats, that’s not the solution. It’s just another thing that’s making me feel so distant from him.

    I’m so depressed, and miserable, and I really don’t want to do any “self-care” because they all involve me putting even more effort into the day, and I’m struggling to even get out of bed each day. I look around and the flat needs cleaning, the laundry needs doing, the fridge is empty, the bedding needs changing...

    When my husband comes home, we have dinner. Until then, I’ve been mostly living off cereal. Why would I cook myself lunch when I know that I’m just going to have to cook dinner as well? When I look at there being very little food in the fridge, it just makes me angry. It tells me he doesn’t care if I have food or not, I’ll just fend for myself. Is there stuff for dinner? Who knows, but he won’t think about it until he gets home at 9pm. Would he care if I’d just been hungry all day?

    There’s this massive feeling of abandonment. He can’t deal with my emotional state, it triggers him when I’m sad, so I need to deal with those on my own. Running the household is too much for him, so I deal with it.

    But he’s going to his two groups a week, so that’s it. That’s the deal that’s been made. I am grateful he’s going, but I don’t think he’s really understanding the damage he’s done or the damage he’s still doing. He looks after himself, except the flat is cleaned for him and his laundry is done for him and he’s told when it’s time to make a shopping list.

    I don’t know what this post is. Not a hate post, I’m not trying to do that. But I’m so sad, I’m so lonely, maybe just typing how I really feel to no-one in particular will help.

    We keep going to social events. I hate social events, but it’s supposed to be a self-care thing to get out more and my husband loves being social. And I’m starting to feel so self-conscious because people keep asking me if I’m ok, what’s wrong. I was asked at the last one if I just didn’t enjoy the activity.

    I don’t need to feel wonderful, but at the moment I can barely keep a facade up on a 20 minutes phone call to my mother. One of these times I’m just going to burst into tears in front of people, I can feel it.

    Is it better to just stay home, or to risk humiliating myself in front of people and having to tell them “everything is fine” when they ask? To me it feels better to stay home.

    It’s midday. I’m still in bed. I’ve been in bed for 13 hours. Yesterday I got up, but by the afternoon I crawled back to bed in my clothes because just sitting in the living room was too much. I don’t know what to do. I’m so lost.

    I don’t know how the twelve-steps work, but I hope that somewhere in them is a way for an addict to be able to start being a partner again. It’s like we’ve divorced. Except that I wake up every day in this nightmare with a man by my side who has permission to stop caring for me and seems to be doing just that.

    He still goes to his job while he’s recovering, because that is a responsibility he can’t just abandon. But I feel expendable. I don’t feel like a human being any more, I feel like an animal. That all I need is shelter, basic food and to be seen when he gets home from work.

    I know I have to wait. But for fucks sake I wish at least that I knew what I was waiting for. If his twelve-step group said “yep, in four months we work on actually being a husband and not just wearing the ring”, then maybe I’d feel better.

    I’m so angry that I have to justify all my feelings all the time. I feel angry and abandoned but this is the deal when you stay with an addict. And to be honest, I’m not sure it should be like that. When the neglect starts to feel this abusive to my well-being, I don’t think it’s acceptable, even if he is an addict.

    I made a promise to myself that I would never commit suicide. All it brings is sadness to those around you, and there are other options for your life even if it involved completely starting again. But that doesn’t mean I don’t wish I just stopped existing.

    So my goal is just to exist. To wake up again tomorrow. Sometimes I wish we could forget about recovery. At least he used to make me feel loved some of the time.

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