Being Supportive But Also Working Recovery

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by IamOlive, May 8, 2019.

  1. IamOlive

    IamOlive Fapstronaut

    Hmmm so when we have dicussions I’m starting to feel nervous about speaking my feelings or why I feel the way I do because most of the time it usually ends up with him getting mad and feeling hopeless (set back). I usually feel like the bad guy and that I’ve hurt him.

    I have a problem that I ramble when I get nervous thinking I’m going to smooth things over but that makes things worse. I’m trying to be mindful of that and also not give advice when not asked.

    So far each time he gets out of it but I’m fearful that something I say will put him down permanently.
  2. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    This is not about you or your reactions. It's about him and his unwillingness to take full responsibility for his actions and how it has damaged himself, you, and your relationship. He needs to blame someone else because he doesn't want to shine the light on himself.

    He is going to have find a way to get out of the shame and blame cycle if he wants to truly recover. That will mean he has to put in more effort to help himself get well. This is him, not you.
  3. I will only comment as to the triggers part.

    I feel it's not your part to adjust to my discomfort. I need to figure out what does it for me and deal with that, but I need you to tell me when you are triggered and we communicate our of it.

    I want us to be supportive of each other but the same time work on what we need to work on, BUT I dont think, or at least I hope that doesnt mean we are strangers to each other in the process, other wise what is it all for except to get you better and me better and then there is no WE
    1dayattatime and Butterfly1988 like this.
  4. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    It sounds like the two of you would do well with couples counseling from CSAT that practices EFT (emotionally focused therapy). It may be that you need extra help communicating and navigating your way through this.
    hope4healing and IamOlive like this.
  5. I see it as an issue of timing. There are 3 distinct recoveries going on:
    #1: the PA and his recovery
    #2: the SO and her recovery from betrayal trauma
    #3: the recovery of the relationship/marriage

    Depending on lots of complex details -- those 3 can happen in tandem .. Or #1 and #2 have to happen first, then #3 happens .. Or maybe #1 and #2 get 99% of the focus for a season (say 6 months), and then you go through a season where #1 and #2 get 50% of the focus and #3 gets 50% of the focus.

    One thing you have to realize is if #3 is only getting 1% of the focus or less...that does not mean that either of you are throwing away the "WE" are simply focusing lots of time and energy on your individual recoveries -- you BOTH have lots of healing and realizations ans growth that you need to work through...PA and BT are not easy to overcome. YES, it's possible..but it will take time, depending on how long things were the way they were.


    For me: our DDay hit when we were married for a little over 20 years...we have 6 kids...and our marriage was "suddenly" completely broken. (My wife knew it had been badly broken for some time..but she just kept things going.) The amount of hurt and betrayal that my wife is working through...the amount of additional hurt I caused her after DDay, because I did not handle my wife's BT and triggers's a miracle we are still married honestly.

    Take time..for your individual recoveries. And as a of the hardest things for me to recognize was that simply abstaining from porn IS NOT recovery. What my wife is looking for is a true transformation of who I am from the inside out. 22+ years of hidden PM'ing had a negative affect on me ... It affected how I think about sex, how I think about my wife. It certainly affected my ability to emotionally open up and connect with my wife.

    Anyway, good luck on your individual journeys of recovery...certainly don't give up on your marriage! But at the same time..I believe it's healthy and sometimes very necessary to give each other space to heal and grow individually.
  6. Iambrain

    Iambrain Fapstronaut

    I dont want to pry but has he expressed that he feels you arent being supportive? The idea of self care is to take care of yourself so you can better take care of others. It might seem counter intuitive but just focus on what you need anf the realization that its all in the name of loving him better. You arent being selfish youre being balanced.
    IamOlive and TryingHard2Change like this.
  7. One of the books my wife's counselor suggested that she read early on in recovery: Bold Love by Dan Allender

    As a husband, early in my recovery..still not fully even recognizing or understanding porn addiction, I didn't quite like all that I read about this book..when I just quickly browsed through the table of contents and reading the overviews. But, it's all about the betrayed wife establishing boundaries, doing self-care, creating parameters where the husband can learn and grow on their own..which is a hugely important piece of the recovery puzzle -- the SO _cannot_ do the PA's recovery for him.

    Note: that book is a Christian-based book .. just an fyi. Also, I don't think it's about 'porn addiction''s broader. But I think it's still very applicable and helpful.
    IamOlive and Iambrain like this.
  8. Live and Grow7

    Live and Grow7 Fapstronaut

    It's certainly important for recovery for us as the addicted to recognize and acknowledge the pain that we've caused our wives. I had to sit and apologize to my wife for an the hurt I've caused her. For her blaming herself and bending herself so much for my comfort because she wants us to work.

    I think it's important for you to be open and raw with us. It took me really seeing how much I was hurting her and how she was truly at her end before I honestly woke up. I couldn't keep treating it passively like I had been doing when I was single. I have something important to fight for and I've gotta fight for it.

    I say as someone who's hurt his wife to please take care of yourself too. Make him be accountable and responsible for his own recovery. I know in my early passive attempts I can't say I was truly doing it for myself or seeing the depth of my problem.

    I pray it improves for you and that you both get a great recovery. While recovering now things feel great with my wife and I know that overcoming stuff like this together can certainly build you guys up.
    TryingHard2Change and IamOlive like this.
  9. blazer72

    blazer72 Fapstronaut

    You mentioned you were in the stick with not many resources. My wife and I live in Texas and I found a CSAT in Colorado that does skype meetings with us. It is actually more convenient than going to see someone in person, but it is hard to find privacy from the kids sometimes.
    IamOlive likes this.
  10. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    Yes there are 3 recoveries going on... and yes #1 and #2 should be worked on first... but if the addict does not get better and continues gaslighting and relapsing and lying then the betrayal trauma will never move forward as the betrayed is constantly being re-traumatized and cannot move forward. The betrayed can try to distance and do self-care... but unless the addict starts getting honest and moving forward himself he does hold the betrayed back in their healing unless the betrayed gets major space from the addict.

    I do want to say that the marriage does need work through this, but it's the addict who needs to take the steps to rebuild trust and make amends because I waited far too long for my husband to even try to heal the marriage. He had quit PMO and was over a year clean and still hadn't worked to repair the damage... so don't neglect the marriage recovery either in this journey as it can do further re-traumatization. Timing is everything though and usually the betrayed is the one seeking help and to better themselves and they get stuck and frustrated why they aren't moving forward only to realize there is no way to move forward when they are with an active addict so that is why I make it a point to make sure that people know that the addict does need to stop the abusive and addictive behavior for true ground to be covered in healing from betrayal trauma.
  11. 1dayattatime

    1dayattatime Fapstronaut

    This is totally normal in relationships that have betrayal trauma. My wife and I have been in recovery for 2+ years and only the last 8 mos was it possible for me to hear her feelings without feeling completely hopesless. It takes a while for some of us. There is hope if you are both working your individual recoveries. Those feelings of hopelessness come directly from shame. I still feel them sometimes and have some specific self talk that I use that is all inside my head so that I can get through it and hear what my SO is actually feeling.

    All of that aside, he needs to own his recovery for him. If he is just doing it for you, then the next big fight turns into a relapse. Many of us start recovery for our wives, but we can only stay in recovery for us. So it doesn't matter what my wife does, I'm doing this for myself and my life. You need the freedom to feel your pain for the relationship to heal. The only way for that to happen is for him to deal with his own shame and that takes a lot, but it is totally possible.
  12. samnf1990

    samnf1990 Fapstronaut

    The discomfort of talking about these sorts of things is one of the reasons that PAs can tend to react badly when asked about their progress/asked specifics about their addiction/asked if they have relapsed etc. Learning to be open and being okay with honesty and vulnerability is an important step in the PA's recovery. Your husband, if he reacts badly when you initiate such discussions, are potentially down to shame and avoidance of the topics of discussion. The better his recovery progresses, though, the more positively he will react to such discussions. If he has nothing to be ashamed of, he won't feel as bad when prompted to think of his actions, or try to avoid the topic and distract you with gaslighting or avoidant behaviour.

    It is perhaps worth having a discussion about how much he is and is not prepared to discuss with you. And make sure you let him know what you would like to know. Perhaps he will need time to think and to come back to you later, but if you make it clear what you want from him, he has a specific goal of openness to work towards. Setting a time each week, with my wife, has been a great way for us both to anticipate when we will talk about these sorts of things (nofap/recovery-related) where we can both ensure we are emotionally prepared. It also helps me to have that accountability. If either of us have questions or things we want to communicate or get off our chest, then this is often the best time to do it. Certain things can't wait, but having a predetermined time to talk allows us both to be in the best head-space for the conversation and not be caught off-guard.

    Remember, too, that this is an anonymous platform, and that there are plenty of people here who are going through, or have gone through, similar things. If issues like PIED etc have affected your intimacy and it is an emotionally difficult topic for you (or one you would rather discuss with other SOs rather than porn-users and PAs at various stages of recovery), then the SO support section of the forum is full of other women going through similar things, with plenty of experience, perspective and advice. A private discussion with a wise, helpful and supportive SO might be worth having about these aspects of your relationship and your recovery. None of this difficult stuff is worth bottling away. Hiding from the real world and its difficult aspects is one of the reasons so many guys end up numbing and escaping through P use. Facing and overcoming hurdles can be difficult, but it is always worthwhile.

    I hope some of this message is helpful.

    Good luck with your journey.
    Lilla_My, Butterfly1988 and IamOlive like this.

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