Accountability Removed

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Vixen, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    My husband crossed a boundary. He removed his accountability software without my consent.

    He told me a day beforehand, as part of what I believed was an off-the-cuff threat for me to discontinue a unique new friendship. That's it in a nutshell.

    Longer explanation of my unique friendship: Recently met a kid through playing words with friends. He started chatting with me and after learning a bit about his issues with mild autism, isolation (emotional neglect from family), I took an interest in helping him sort out some of his issues and basically just hearing him out because this was an obvious cry for help. So now I check on him and try to encourage him as he is often bullied, dealing with a recently incarcerated father and nightmares stemming from trauma of his own family isolating him and pranking him in an extreme way. I'm encouraging him to reach out more to his mom. The kid is 16, in special education classes, feels like he is a broken version of his twin and is afraid to be alone. My nephew is showing signs of autism and my daughters are twins so there are many reasons I'm interested in what he's going through-- aside from the fact that he seems to be a respectable kid. And he wanted help figuring out what emoticons mean.

    So I've included my husband in some of the issues this kid is going through. My husband is a counselor and has even led groups of kids that sound exactly like my new friend. I thought this mentoring would be a positive situation that would even maybe lend itself to more bonding with my husband as he can give expertise on the matter. However apparently it makes him uncomfortable.

    I think he's projecting his own history of online filth onto my virtual mentoring. (He used to scour chatrooms, pretending to be a woman, to solicit sexual encounter/cybering from random girls/women.) He even had the audacity to accuse me of having an emotional affair with this kid. Preposterous. My interest in the situation comes only from that of a mother and yields no romantic interest what so ever. I haven't tried to hide anything from him about it, and likewise I've made it clear to the kid that I'm married and that some things the kid HAS to talk to his own mother about as it is not my place. I've actually been somewhat disappointed with how annoyed my husband is about me approaching him for his therapeutic expertise about some of the matters.

    And, it is relevant to mention that my husband has in recent months had his own pity party about how he can be friends with WHOEVER (women coworkers, specifically) he wants. He has predominately female friends and even sometimes hangs out with all of them (no other men) without me. So... if we are talking weirdness, and uncofmortability-- especially given his past-- there seems to be some hypocrisy here.

    My belief is that my husband removed the software as a malicious tactic to piss me off-- or figured out that maybe he could use this situation as opportunity/excuse to weasel his way out of it.

    We have had conversations about removing the software but I clearly told him that I would like to begin counseling first. Part of me thinks it is naive to not have accountability software since my husband has a record for hiding things relentlessly unless he is found out.

    Side note: he has also been constantly creeping on craigslist community to see stuff like weird "ride naked" rideshare opportunities, and other listings quite sexual in nature. So I know his tendency is still lurking to some extent.

    Back to the counseling. I have not begun because we were between insurance since he started a new job. So now I guess I need to figure that out.

    But I really need to figure out how to respond to this situation. Today I tried to divert my attention to tasks at hand and auto-pilot through the family time at a museum. So the day wasn't bad, but I can't compartmentalize forever. I feel like he was trying to be more accommodating than usual. Of course this is common when he feels guilty. And I am not happy at all about this.

    I listened to a book about codependency. My take away is that I may need to disconnect. As of now there is nothing tangible to suggest that my husband is actually acting in to recovery. No groups, no steps, no accountability software. I will say that his overall behavior and demeanor is much better lately (aside from removing software) than it had been in many of the years prior to finding out about the addiction. So he has improved. But I'm concerned that nothing is keeping him from falling off the wagon now.

    Fool me once, same on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. So I'm back to feeling numb. I really have no interest in spending time with him now. Ideas on how to respond are welcome.
     
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  2. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Fapstronaut

    It sounds to me like he is more interested in placating you than in recovery.

    I have accountability software on my phone because I want it there. For me, it is incredibly liberating to me to know that my wife and my accountability partner know what I am doing on my phone. It frees me from the temptation to do something I shouldn't because I know that I am being watched. It also frees me from the constant worry about "how can I prove to her that I am not relapsing?"

    I just don't get why so many guys have a "meatloaf" philosophy for recovery. "I'll do anything for love, but I won't do that". To really recover requires a total effort and commitment.

    I also worry about the "tit-for-tat" attitude you describe. Whatever comes from your online friendship, it should be an entirely separate thing from his recovery. Likewise, getting rid of the accountability software shouldn't be a trade off for starting counseling.
     
  3. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Right now I’m detaching and trying to focus more on myself and kids. Trying to stay busy to keep the paranoia from creeping in. At this point I’ve told him how I feel— and in a nutshell that culminates to not being comfortable with him and not wanting to spend time with him aside from the family routine with kids. I have an appointment to begin counseling on Monday.
     
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  4. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Exactly! Seems there has often been a power struggle in our relationship. Sometimes I think he tries to mirror my behavior to feel like an equal rather than empathize with what is actually at stake in our relationship. Emotional memory of a goldfish.
     
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  5. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    This was me putting my feelings on the table after a couple days of ruminating:

    “Six months ago I found out that you had hijacked our marriage, basically all along. Sunday you decided to break my boundary of requiring accountability software without consent and hijack my recovery for a third time. I do not feel valued, respected, or emotionally safe. I'm tired of wasting energy. I resent being in this situation at all. I resent having flashes of rage and paranoia about what filth you now peruse with complete access to when you are away. I know you were still lurking at those shady Craigslist ads. I resent the fear to even try to get close to you because dismissal will trigger concern that you are sending your sexual energy elsewhere. I'm tired of being wasted. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... well I did not sign up for this. I do not want to be your fool. I never wanted this dynamic in a relationship. I never wanted to be in a marriage with someone I do not trust, and I was trying to make the best of the mess. I was trying to protect myself and you don't even respect that. I don't want to be in a relationship where my boundaries are shit on. Accountability software was the only thing giving me a semblance of security about the situation. You don't want to do any groups, steps or even regular exercises to improve intimacy. My security and hope has dwindled. I am not comfortable around you now. As sad as this makes me, I can't expend much energy on this as we have children that I need to engage with in quality ways.”

    His response:
    “So what is your plan? I also get a say in our relationship. It has been 6 months. I do want to be supportive of your needs but I'm also allowed to make decisions and be part of the decisions made on our relationship. It's been 6 months you are unwilling to move forward or address the things I want”

    Me:
    “Focus on myself, work and kids. See if anything changes. See if counseling gives any ideas.”

    Him:
    “I'm willing to be a part of our relationship but as an equal”

    And I’m not even wasting energy on arguing with his prompts now.
     
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  6. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Fapstronaut

    Equality requires respect, communication and responsibility. I bet it would be fair to say that he feels like he isn't getting the first of those, and you feel like you aren't getting any of them.

    I feel like there are three models that PA's and SO's use to tackle addiction:

    1) The PA says "This is my problem and I will deal with it on my own"
    2) The SO says "This is their problem, and I am going to make them fix it"
    3) The PA & the SO say "This is our problem, and we are going to work together to fix it"

    Honestly, I only think that #3 works in the long run, but it sounds like he isn't interested in working with you to work on the problem.
     
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  7. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    He does a whole lot of minimizing. I think he feels he has already put in his time. I do at times fear that he is doing this just to placate me rather than having an actual moral dilemma with his previous very immoral behavior.
     
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  8. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Ready whenever you are!
     
  9. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    This may be more difficult than I'm seeing, but if you have a boundary and he violated it, you follow through with the consequence you sent no wavering. If he continues to break these boundaries and bully you and gaslight you, which exactly what he's doing, then you have a decision to make.
     
  10. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    I honestly didn’t have a specific consequence set. In the past I distanced myself and threatened to go separate ways for the holiday and he came around. I’m trying to avoid ultimatums but in my mind it was kind of a prerequisite to be in an intimate relationship with me. I’m still distant now. May try talking with him tonight. But I’m on the fence.
     
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  11. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    Specific boundaries and consequences are very necessary. Ultimatums should be avoided unless you absolutely have no other choice (as in, boundaries and consequences are having no effect) AND you are willing to follow through with those consequences, which tend to be more extreme and final.

    The only way boundaries and consequences will have any effect is if you design them for your specific situation and create consequences that are painful for your PA and that you are willing to stick to 100%.

    Here are some links to help you get started.

    http://adammmoore.com/2014/06/12/defining-and-enforcing-boundaries-in-sexual-addiction-recovery/

    http://awiferedeemed.blogspot.com/p/our-plans.html?m=1

    I'm sorry you are going through this.
     
  12. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    That may well be true, but what reason does he give for removing the accountability software?

    I'm going through this dilemma too at present. Does he post here?

    That's worrying. I've seen repeatedly how therapists and councillors are often broken people themselves. One would hope that this made it easier for him to discuss all this without turning it into a battle, but it does not sound like it :(

    Wow, how does he imagine that's recovery! Not good.

    Six months! I'm on day 886 and it is not over yet.

    From these discussions you have ample reason to believe that.

    This is the crux of the post but sadly it is the bit I am having most trouble answering. How would he answer simple questions like
    • I still cannot trust you, what can you do to help me?
    • Where will your recovery take you next?
    • How do you know when you can ease off the restrictions that you have placed on yourself to keep your life porn free?
    • What does recovery feel like to you?
    • Long term, what techniques will you use to prevent yourself slipping back into regular porn use?
     
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  13. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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  14. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Poignant! Well after an arduous discussion last night, my husband eventually reinstalled the accountability software.
     

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