Grieving SO

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by PaleAle76, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. PaleAle76

    PaleAle76 Fapstronaut

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    Fiancé has had a really rough week. I think the emotions of these past couple of weeks have finally caught up with her. She hasn’t been sleeping. She hasn’t been going to work. We talked on Wednesday, and it almost feels like she’s grieving the loss of our relationship… or at least what our relationship was. Or, what she thought it was.

    Crying, she said to me, “You’re my whole world.”

    I responded, “And you’re mine.”

    With tears in her eyes, she replied, “I thought I was.”

    I don’t know what I can say or what I can do to try and ease the hurt she is feeling… I almost feel as though there really isn’t anything I CAN do, since I am the reason she is in pain. I am also starting to realize that despite how well the first couple of weeks had gone, not all of them will be so smooth. I hurt my fiancé terribly. I betrayed her trust, and while I can vow never to do it again, it will never erase the fact that I did. It has left a permanent stain on our relationship… and I think that is part of why she is depressed. All of those good memories from our past are now tainted. Nothing I can do or say will change that.

    I guess all I can do is continue to make the right decisions, and focus on making new memories.
     
  2. TryingToHeal

    TryingToHeal Fapstronaut

    Yes, and yes.
     
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  3. SpouseofPA

    SpouseofPA Fapstronaut

    you are correct there isn't much you can do.
    dont shut down.
    don't turn away
    offer help even when she screams at you.
    ask her if she needs a hug.
    comfort her as best you can.
    recognize that the pain she feels is because of your actions. Feel that. accept that. Express how that makes you feel. Cry if you must.

    and number 1 thing, continue to fight the PA and be HONEST with her.
     
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  4. WantsToBelieve

    WantsToBelieve Fapstronaut

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    I am glad you have such a keen awareness of the pain your addiction has caused, and a wish to make it go away. I hope you both can begin to heal and take steps forward together. Forgiveness is hard for us who have been betrayed. And forgetting is impossible. I'm afraid the only thing you can give her is time (and effort in your own recovery), and that's the only thing she can give you as well, other than the patience of a saint.

    I am guessing her pain comes in waves like mine does. That's really hard, because there's nothing necessarily that triggers it to come up again. It just does. And it confuses the hell out of both parties.
    I sometimes have a hard time remembering that I have to let myself feel the pain in order to heal it. It's so hard to do sometimes.
    But try to remember that is what she needs to do. To let it process. The alternative is much worse.
    She could be holding it in, not speaking to you at all.
    The fact that she can talk to you like this.... means she's still comfortable with you. Even just a tiny bit.
    Keep your heads up. There is hope.
     
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  5. PaleAle76

    PaleAle76 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks- that is what I am trying to do. The easy part of this for me has been quitting the PMO. The hardest part has been confronting the pain and hurt I’ve caused.
     
  6. PaleAle76

    PaleAle76 Fapstronaut

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    As a side note, I noticed another thread on co-dependency. I think my fiancé and I are both codependent... I know I am. If she is upset, I am upset. I can’t feel happy if she is feeling pain.
     
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  7. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    She’s grieving the loss of the relationship she thought she had, and the person she thought you were. This also happened to me when I first found out. It was like every single memory we had together was now tainted by PMO. When we were on vacation was he doing it in the bathroom, was he thinking about that during sex with me? It really is a horrible feeling to have. I also started to question my ability to really know my partner, how could he have fooled me for so long, what else did I miss? The only thing you can do, and the best thing that you can do is to show her with your actions and words that you are done with PMO and that you can be trusted. You can rebuild trust, if you work hard.
     
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  8. Penelope

    Penelope Fapstronaut

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    THIS!
     
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  9. oreogirl

    oreogirl Fapstronaut

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    This is all so true, exactly. I would also like to add, I had to mourn the loss of our relationship, what I thought was real was not real, it was a long painful process, be gentle with her, and I hope she can be gentle with herself, remember you have been struggling with this truth for a while (probably years) and it is all new to her.
    When my husband first got into recovery 22 months ago, he was feeling better and better, not wasting him time sitting on the couch, well you know, it made him feel so much better, not lying and hiding was helping with all the shame and guilt that had built up over the years, those first few weeks were very freeing for him, but I was in total crisis, I felt like I was going crazy. One moment sticks out for me I would like to share. Shortly after it all blew up in his face (see what I did there, haha) a few weeks, maybe during month 2-3, I was trying to wrap my head around the reality of our life the past 7 years (that's when we got a laptop and he really had freedom to get so badly addicted), it was like a puzzle clicking into place, like that piece that helps you see where lots of other pieces go. I looked at him, and asked, on Christmas, my birthday, our anniversary...? His eyes filled with tears, he couldn't answer. Later he wrote me a letter, and said he wasn't ready to say it to my face but yes, all the time, any time he could, always. It was healing to know the truth even as it broke my heart. Be honest.
    Not sure if you could see yourself writing her letters, but my husband is not the type, and he wrote me over 100 letters that first year, it was a huge healing piece for us as a couple. Time does heal, I hope she can take the time she needs to mourn the relationship, and that you both can find a new one, hopefully an even stronger one, once the dust settles.
     
  10. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    My ex was not the type to write either. I did write my own thoughts down. Sometimes I look back and see how I was hurting so much. I think we forget about that sometimes. So if an addict is willing to write to her, then he can have the memorialized for himself as well, which could be helpful down the road.
     
  11. moonesque

    moonesque Fapstronaut
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    A big part of this too you can give to her is ownership over what youve done. Things happened and yes it can be different based on your actions but things also happened based on your actions. Sometimes its hard to use the language to be direct or meet the emotions you and your SO have head on but reality is what it is and you must be able to give that to her. Its definitely difficult for me to do but Ive learned a lot on how to do it anyway. It will be hard but its the foundation of a real relationship because it involves honesty.
     
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  12. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    A PA messages me recently and asked what could your ex addict could have done if anything to get you to stay? My answer is reflective of the comments in this thread. The biggest factor in my decision was that he would not let me grieve, be hurt, feel or express any emotions about his addiction, his lying or how he had damaged the relationship so I could never move forward. I was stuck in the grief and hurt. After Dday everytime I brought it up, he got angry and defensive, refused to discuss the matter and if I still would keep trying, he would throw a temper tantrum, yell, scream and talk about how he could not take this anymore and did not understand why I would not just move on. This started a week after the disclosure and never stopped. So our discussions ended up with me comforting him. I tried it all, being kind, being positive, giving him time to think and come back later to discuss, it never worked. A few times he agreed to try to listen but the anger on his face while I was speaking was unmistakable. He would not listen to me and he did not care. He thought that by shutting me down, he could avoid the discussion, his pain and that I would move on more quickly. But it had the exact opposite effect in that it extended the time that it took for me to heal. If he would have listened, let me talk, talked with me and showed caring and love about how much he hurt me I would have healed a lot more quickly. Eventually I realized he was never going to give me that chance. He had actually started to believe that i was the reason I was in pain because I just needed to get over it already. He grew angrier and angrier at me rather than seeing this was his fault. To me this type of behavior was indicative of issues that are much deeper that PMO. So I’m not sure if other SOs feel this way but from my perspective this is a huge deal and if the PA can’t do it it’s unlikely she will ever be able to move on.
     
  13. PaleAle76

    PaleAle76 Fapstronaut

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    Luckily my fiancé and I are very open with each other, and we talk about this on a daily basis. Being able to talk with her about this I think is making all the difference in the word as far as my 'recovery' is concerned. I know a lot of guys are unwilling/unable to talk about their emotions. Feeling vulnerable is not something men are groomed to find acceptable. I think too many men feel it makes them look weak, but admitting that you're flawed is not a sign of weakness. Acknowledging you have a problem does not mean that you're fragile. Rather, the refusal to adit these things to me is a sign of weakness. An unwillingness to admit there is a problem is denial. And that is something every man (or woman- but lets be honest, its mostly men) on these forums has had to deal with. I know the pain I have caused my fiancé, and I am trying to own up to it the best I can. The SO's who have posted on here are exactly right- "She’s grieving the loss of the relationship she thought she had". All I can do now is make sure that the relationship we have going forward is one of honesty, trust, and intimacy. Hopefully she will get to the point where she is no longer mourning the relationship she thought we had, but is grateful for the better relationship we will have without this albatross that has been hanging around my neck for the past 25 years. And that is something I hope she realizes- that this isn't about her. This was a problem long before my fiancé and I met. I have thought a lot over the past few weeks about my past… specifically my compulsion. In a lot of ways its depressing thinking back. Its uncomfortable. And that is why we so often deny, even on a subconscious level, that there is a problem. Its a psychological defense mechanism. And I know if it wasn't for my fiancé, I would still be in denial. The two of us have talked a lot about the prevalency of this issue, and the unquantifiable harm it is doing to relationships around the world. I can honestly say the men who have significant others to help them through this are truly lucky. I imagine all the men who realize they have a problem, but don't have a partner to confide in… or someone to be intimate with. And then I imagine all of the countless more men who don't even realize what porn is doing to them. I think I would feel hopeless in that situation- caught in an endless loop of loneliness and empty self pleasure. My fiancé has helped me break that cycle. I am endlessly thankful she has, but I am also deeply regretful for the pain I know it has caused her.
     
  14. Jennica

    Jennica Fapstronaut

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    What is the point of that reply other then to rip people down. That reads incredibly rude and certainly not supporting.
     
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  15. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    It’s clearly from someone who is not yet ready to change. It’s best to just ignore.
     
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  16. self healing

    self healing Fapstronaut

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    My husband gives every indication that he is doing all the right stuff for the past 3-4 months. About two weeks ago, however, I had pain and distrust well up inside; 6-7 years of lying doesn't get processed in a few months. He also made a few comments which were reminiscent of when we weren't having sex at all ("I'm an old guy" and such). So I told him of my hurt and anger that I was feeling at that moment. I was frankly surprised that he didn't get in the least defensive, but let me have my space to hurt and process. I've read in some of the responses how important that was for other SOs as well.
     
  17. PaleAle76

    PaleAle76 Fapstronaut

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    Trolls will be trolls.
     
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  18. PaleAle76

    PaleAle76 Fapstronaut

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    No doubt about that! Grieving (or healing) is a long process, and everyone deals with it in their own way. I am just thankful that my SO is able to talk about it. I know a lot of people tend to shut down when they're upset, which I think can make the healing process in situations like this all the more difficult. If my fiancé had retreated from me when she found out, or if she closed me off, I know for me personally it would have been harder to confront this. I used emotional distance as an excuse in the past, completely oblivious that my own actions with PMO were what was causing the distance. And I know that without my SO's emotional support, I probably wouldn't be able to overcome this.
     
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  19. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    It’s great that he was able to support you and allow you that space. Grief often pops up randomly. You will be just rolling along feeling okay then bam out of nowhere something sparks a memory and you are hysterically crying. When my Dad passed it was the same way. Grief is grief and I think often it’s harder to grieve the death of someone that’s still alive.
     
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