Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by HonestyMatters, Sep 7, 2018.
I recognize this place. I'm so sorry.
Not in a good place right now. It's been up and down since 18th of December I think....so for about 3 weeks.
Lots of conflict in that time over varying issues....
i.e whether he needs to do specific work on voyeurism is where it all started on the 18th....that resulted in a huge upheaval.
I ended up contacting an ex girlfriend of his (he was aware of this and said he was fine with it, I could if I wanted to) I've never met her before and it was regarding an incident that I was aware of and, discovered many years back, but because of the secretly taking pics of me and his defensiveness around addressing it still, I wondered if she had been aware of it at the time and felt it might help in whether there were other things in the past which I was unaware of. Anyway, she was happy to discuss it with me over text, she lives thousands of kms away and neither of us have ever had any contact with her.
Anyway, she talked about a lot of stuff, that ended up basically being his word over hers and was all pretty much inconclusive. She was also an ex model who had had professional nudes (soft porn) taken at 17 yrs of age (a year before him and her were together) and sent internationally for the hopes of becoming a magazine porn model. There were things that happened after that photo shoot which she had uncertainties about, that she elaborated on, but what I had been contacting her about a was a video I'd found that he had in the middle of another video of them in bed having sex and whether she even knew about it (he said she did). This was a couple of years after they'd broken up and we'd only been together for 12 or 18mths.
She said she can't remember the video and didn't think she would have been that keen because she'd just found out there had been photo leeks of the shoot in her home town. She didn't know the severity of it at that time, that came much later but says because of that probably wouldn't have been to keen but also could of just been off her head too at the time and may not have really worried to much about it so basically it was all inconclusive and didn't really help. The only reason I wanted to know if she was aware of it being recorded is because it didn't seem so and because of the non consensual nudes he's taken while I was asleep.
Anyway....this all came about because I was upset that he didn't include in his recovery course exercises the fact that he had taken these unconsented nudes of me when I was asleep. And when I asked him about why he hadn't, he said because it was something that happened only a few times, in a one time period, so was insignificant to him and didn't even think about it. Even though he knows how much trauma this has caused me - it was still insignificant enough that he didn't think about it. IMHO, I think he didn't want to mention it because of how deeply ashamed of it he probably is to write about it, where other people can view it and form an opinion on it. Of course, he disagrees with me on that. Anyway, it was because of him leaving it out, and me still not being able to discuss the whole voyeur thing ever without him being defensive that it even lead to me asking his ex about anything....
We managed to put our differences aside as hard as it was and had a fairly pleasant christmas. This was still unresolved and a lot of emotional upheaval going on after Christmas. In the end before new years, he said he would do some work on the issue from a workbook that he had been advised to read and complete just to make sure that he doesn't have a problem in that area. This was after days of back and forth conflict and advice from another person, it certainly didn't come easily.
One day before new years, another discovery that he had done something nearly 2 weeks earlier and intentionally not discussed it with me because we weren't on good terms, even though he knew he should have nor did he inform me about it at anytime afterwards. It was not directly related to porn but in relation to honesty. I should have enforced a consequence but because it was new years eve I said I wouldn't if he could explain in writing that he had not upheld the principles of honesty and transparency as he agreed to and to explain exactly why I was so upset about it. He did this (which even after telling him numerous times what upset me exactly) had to go back and still reedit it, to actually cover the reason why I was upset.
We managed to get through New Years without too much problem but everything has really just been totally exhausting.....
He finally went back to work on the 4th of Jan and this has raised more concerns because his work is his biggest trigger biggest place where he feels urges to escape (in the past revert to porn) and although I have discussed with him in doing up something like an action plan to deal with these triggers this to date still hasn't happened. I know he is struggling at work at the moment and that's why I think it's so necessary for him to have a plan on how to deal with triggers, urges or thoughts in the work place.
On top of everything I have felt that his motivation, enthusiasm and commitment to his recovery work and what he is actually doing has begun to slide a bit since probably mid December so naturally this has had me on a higher level of concern than normal so that hasn't really helped matters either.
Because of everything I feel even more unsafe and even more triggered by everything than normal. In the past 24 hrs I commented on something that I thought inappropriate and it's escalated into yet another argument. I wasn't that triggered by it, but I still commented that I thought it inappropriate. What triggered me more than anything was his response to my comment. He became defensive, called me an idiot over it and showed absolutely no respect, empathy or concern for how I might be feeling at that moment because of what I saw then and because of everything I've been going through in the past 3 weeks with him.
I'm just totally exhausted and now that I've vented all that, I know I need to start focusing on me.....because that is not happening enough I've just got caught in another never ending loop of betrayal trauma once again and there's no self healing or self nurturing or anything happening. And he certainly is not being supportive or caring about me at all either which I know I shouldn't expect because he's trying to deal with what he's got going on.....but it's fucking hard!!!
I forced myself to do a half hour workout in the lounge room....release some tension and something positive at least!
Very late evening here now....
Yes I want to, and am trying to take the righteous path too Ghost.
It can be so very difficult with him, you have no idea of the kind of stubbornness
and unreasonableness I'm dealing with at times, especially when these challenges arise, and they continue to rise....
and i'm not just talking about last night, honestly that's nothing in comparison.
I know I've got to keep my anger in check....it's something I struggle with.
With betrayal trauma (PTSD) I go into fight mode not flight....
I'm aware of this, and because of everything that has happened, is happening I feel like I'm always
not far off boiling point, so it doesn't take much to tip me over the edge....
I am doing my best, it is all I can do at this point.
I thought I'd try and rewrite that after a nights sleep. It's sounds like I'm saying I just want to fight and I turn in to a raving lunatic and that's not what I meant at all.
I want nothing more than a harmonious and loving relationship with him. The problem is most of the time i'm living with immense FEAR. When something triggers me or multiple things I go into a state of fear (BT - PTSD) and therefore go into fight mode not flight.
Lately there's been a lot of things like I mentioned in my other journals - like him slacking off on his recovery work, disconnecting from me, the whole voyeur related thing and the extent of it, whether he's holding up his principles of being honest and transparent no matter what the situation (if we are at odds or not). Him refusing to stop being stubborn, to put his ego aside, to validate me etc...all of this amounts to a huge amount of FEAR in me. Now if something else happens it doesn't take much for me to lose it, to be triggered again.
This comes out in me confronting him and being very much to the point. I'm a very straight forward person and he doesn't handle this well. He hates confrontation, and depending on how he responds which could be, to just be totally defiant or oppositional , stubborn or stonewall me or just tell me I'm being an idiot etc....then I become even more confronting and speak my mind and say my truth. This can happen even if I'm not saying anything that's not true.
This is when I'm in fight mode (fear mode) and have a hard time backing down. He doesn't do anything in these moments to calm me down or give me comfort or to make me feel safe again. A lot of the time it feels like he's actually purposely antagonising me and making the situation worse. I might be verbally telling him all the things I need, even what I need to hear right now for this to stop and because he just totally withdraws he refuses to give me any comfort whatsoever. He will never be the one who comes to me EVER. It always has to be me - that's how stubborn he is.
I'm not sure if that explains it better or not, I just know that my anger is very much FEAR based. I'm scared as hell when I feel the recovery works slackening, he's not connecting or being open with me, when I don't know if there's more going on or if I have the whole truth, when he refuses to do things etc.....I am totally terrified which puts me into a traumatised state, and eventually in fight (fear) mode
Edit: Right now I know things are even harder for him doing PMO - hard mode, I know he's struggling with emotions, something he says he's never felt so intensely, but instead of connecting with me, I feel like he's disconnecting. He say's he just wants to be left alone. I know we all need alone time, and I value my alone time too but it's hard to not feel like he's disconnecting from me further especially so if the recovery work starts becoming less. If he's struggling he needs to be doing more....instead it's the last thing he feels like doing....it's just a tough time for both of us.
And something that I keep thinking about the last week - is he's literally been doped up on dopamine his entire life and that is why he's feeling his emotions so strongly. I understand this. He's always been Mr laid back, don't care about anything, getting around with a goofy smile on his face most his life... and I know it's all about boundaries / consequences and honestly in the last 3 weeks, I think we've spent about 3 or 4 nights sleeping in the same room together. We both need space from one another.....
I feel the pain, anger and desperation in your writing. I also recognize it. The only difference between you and me is that I go to flight mode rather than fight mode. I struggle several times a week to stop myself from just getting in the car and driving so far that no one would ever find me. I'm so sorry things are so painful for you both right now.
We have such a looong way to go..... God help us (I'm not even religious) .... Anything help us!
I thought to myself this afternoon when he comes home from work I'd like to just go and give him a cuddle. Not because I feel bad or I feel like I've done something wrong but just to show some love and affection because everything has been so horrible between us.
Anyway, he comes home, I'm in my office, he's in the kitchen so I come out and we say hi to each other. We talk for a minute about a couple of things I was doing today and then he talks about a coworker and whats going on in his business at the moment and how he got caught up talking with him and that's why he's a bit late....so he talked about this for about 10 mins or so and I listened and talked a bit with him about it and then eventually he said so "I guess WE both need to say sorry to each other". I immediately thought you should really just speak for yourself and not for me but didn't say that of course. Then he said he is sorry and he shouldn't of treated me the way he did and he could of handled it way better. I don't know if it was the right thing to say or not but I said ok, and acknowledged that and then said "I'm not really sure what I should be sorry for because I was triggered". And honestly I don't know if I have to be sorry for being triggered. I didn't say it meanly or anything like that but honestly that is how I feel. Should I be feeling sorry for feeling triggered?? Maybe I should, I'm really not sure - but I don't think so....
We went on speaking just normally and calmly and I tried to explain to him my previous post to you @GhostWriter because I knew he wouldn't have seen it yet. The conversation I thought was going alright and he said he understood, we'd only been talking for about 10 mins, and then while I'm still talking he just turns away from me without saying anything and started looking through the paperwork on the bench. After about 30 seconds I said "So, that's it then is it? . And he said to me "Well you want me to do recovery work and all you're doing is talking, this is what you always do, we are just wasting time talking" I was just FUCKING gobsmacked!!! It was like everything I was just talking about moments before... HE JUST DID!! I said "I can't believe you. You just don't get it do you. Now I just feel totally TRIGGERED again" "Here I am trying to tell you how I feel and you just totally dismiss me, and tell me I'm wasting your time" He said "I'm just trying to tell you how I feel, and this is how you react" I said " we've just been talking about your co-worker for 10 mins which you were very relaxed and happy to do but now that we're talking about us and about how I was triggered, now I'm just wasting your time" I said "you just don't care one bit about my feelings" to which he replied that I don't care about his. I'm just like FUCK ME!!!
Then he say's he is happy to talk about his co-worker and other things because it just can't be about us and recovery work all the time. And I get that, but considering we haven't been talking for days, and things have been bad between us the last 3-4 weeks then I think it should be higher up on his priority list. Then he says "Well everything just can't be about my addiction and recovery work, if it is then it's just not going to work"
I just had to leave because I was just fuming.....
He went into the lounge room and started doing a bit of recovery work, in fact I think he went on NF and must have seen your post here then GW.
A few moments later.....I came back in (as I do *sigh) but I wanted to say something to him. I said "You know, I read on someone's signature on NF earlier a very thought provoking question - What's the opposite of addiction? It's Connection" I said " you just basically cut me off, disconnected from me to go do your addiction work" and he said "yes, it is really ridiculous". I left it at that, now I'm in here writing this....
I'm just lost for fucking words now.....not exactly how I thought things would go.....but I probably should have expected it in all honesty. When has it ever been any different?
Is this just BRAIN FOG to the nth degree or what????
Like I said .... such a long way to go.......
I know exactly what you mean by just wanting to escape....some days I feel like that too. And I'm so sorry for everything you are going through too @Susannah . I'm sure we will get there one of these days, whether it's fight or flight, none of it's any good for us. In a book I'm reading at the moment on Betrayal Trauma, it talks about how we have to learn to self sooth, it's so important, I'm sooo yet to get even close to being good at it. But the authors were saying being constantly stuck in fight or flight mode can literally take 10 years off your life....which is pretty bloody scary.... So we have to learn how to do this, no matter what!!! I've started reading parts of your journal too, and I'm so sorry, I truly am for the predicament you find yourself in. We both need to practice self compassion and self nurturing and really be accepting of ourselves and how we feel right now and be gentle on ourselves....because giving ourselves hell and hating ourselves for feeling the way we do only adds to the pain and trauma....we need to practice self love so we can build the strength to move forward in our lives no matter what choices our partners make and no matter whether they beat this battle or not xxx
So I thought ....Right I am going to do the righteous thing here and just go and do what I had planned on doing this afternoon.....So I went into the kitchen just now and said I want to give you a cuddle because that is what I wanted to do this afternoon and it all just went haywire....
We had a cuddle and I said "I am sorry, not for being triggered but just for how horrible everything is between us right now" He said "He was sorry too" and we just held each other for a little while.
Last night, he wrote me a check-in and was talking about how when he read my journal last night, a few posts back and he read his, he thought to himself, if he was an outsider looking in he would think, you both need support and neither one of you is giving it to each other. I told him I read his message and I really did agree with him. Neither of us have any outside support systems whatsoever, other than this forum, and we are both just battling and struggling to keep it together ourselves, and to be there for each other. I am seeing someone every few weeks for anxiety but they have no knowledge on porn addiction or betrayal trauma.
I said to him, it's like the saying "you can't give from an empty cup" "We are both struggling and need support" . He said "I will really try harder, it's just hard because I just feel the way I do" and I said I know "and I feel that the things you say and feel are just totally dismissive of me" so we both kind of went " yeah, we don't know, but hopefully we will get better at it"
I told him, today I just really felt like buying "The helping her heal" DVD's + the Doug Weiss "Intimacy Anorexia Series" + the "Married but Alone Series" as well as one other workbook but he knows he has to buy that himself.... So I think I might just do that tomorrow. I know he still has his NoFap Academy course to finish and he has quite a lot to go but I just feel like I need to do something. He has quite a few books there that he recently got for himself and is yet to read but I think these ones are really important too!!!
So feeling a little better....
The psychologist I'm seeing is no cost through the govt. You get 10 sessions and then that's it. I qualify for it because of the anxiety/depression meds I'm on. I've chosen to do CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). It's nothing that great. The course work I can literally access free online anyway and it's with junior psychologist's pretty much fresh out of university. So I guess it's kind of like training for them too? I'm working on Generalised Anxiety and Social Anxiety. There is nothing available relating to porn addiction or betrayal trauma. In fact, I asked her if there is something specific to betrayal trauma and she said she's never even heard of it and there's nothing available for any kind of trauma through them, not even PTSD. There's general counselling but I've done that before and didn't get anything much out of it.
And as I've said to you before,
Yes, you are right. I know this. I actually had a previous therapist explain using the pressure cooker analogy with me many years ago. She said, basically when you have been through multiple trauma's especially since childhood this is basically how it is for you. She explained just being here, existing everyday and having to do just the normal things in life is an enormous challenge for you, it takes an enormous amount of energy just to be here (living) that most people just cannot and will most likely never understand.
I'm sure there must be some good material on Anger Management too, I'll check it out. Do you know of anything reputable....books / workbooks etc by chance?
Thanks Kenzi. It does sound great, and I'd like to, just not sure how committed he'd be to it. I think it would be better to do it at the same time as well like you's are but he's currently doing his NoFap Academy Course so needs to get through that first at the moment.
Did you get the paperback version or just download it. I think I'd prefer a hard copy, especially for the workbooks but I'll have to see if they mail here and the postage cost.
Doug Weiss's "Intimacy: A 100 Day Guide to Lasting Relationships" & "30-Day Marriage Makeover" sound good too. Have your read either of them?
Yesterday was a gorgeous summers day and so I suggested to my husband we go to the beach for a few hours. He loves the beach and I used to but for years now since discovering his porn addiction and interest in beach voyeur porn, find it quite triggering now. And not only that, I am often happy to just lay back and relax, take in the beautiful scenery and relax to the sounds of the ocean whereas he wants to be in the water the whole time catching waves on his board and so I sometimes feel alone and just stuck there waiting for him to come back in.
Anyhow, it was a beautiful day and I thought it would be something enjoyable we could do together. We got down there and walked the path down to a part just up from the main beach where there's not so many people. When we hit the sand I immediately seen 3 women to the right laying there topless. I was immediately annoyed and triggered. It's not a nudist beach. I thought, not going that direction so went to go left and there's another woman just up laying topless too. We both stopped and I said this is ridiculous. It's not a bloody nudist beach. He was good and did not ogle them at all. I was feeling agitated and wishing we'd never come. Anyhow we walked down toward the water and then way further up the beach. We past a group of about 30 young women and men in there late teens / 20's all just hanging out. I thought I'm getting right past this group. I can't lay there and relax with them all jumping about in their bikini's in front of us. So we kept walking and found a spot about 30m further up and sat back and relaxed.
It was beautiful and after feeling a bit upset and triggered I got over it and relaxed into the book I'm reading on Betrayal Trauma. He read his book as well "Game of Thrones" . After a while, he asked if I wanted to come for a swim and we can walk around to the main beach so we didn't have to walk past the topless sunbathers again. I said no, it's alright. I trust you won't ogle them and so off we went and had a swim. It was beautiful in and I didn't have any triggers and he didn't ogle anyone so I felt safe and at ease. I was proud of myself for getting over my fears and triggers and for him handling it all well too.
We decided that since it's Saturday night, and the kids are all busy at friends places maybe we could go do something together, have dinner perhaps. We came home got ready and went into one of the main restaurant / cafe / pub strips. It was great just to be out and about, amongst others instead of the usual at home. We don't go out very often. The kids are finally getting older now and it's our first time in almost 2 decades that we can now just go out and do some things on our own without having to bring them or being restricted because we have no one to take care of them. I said to him, it's amazing, I spent so many years dreaming and wondering if this time would ever come in our lives. It felt great and made me feel alive - to be able to have some of our own life back. We found a restaurant and sat down and enjoyed a really delicious meal. Afterwards, we came back home again, full and feeling exhausted and looking forward to just laying down. We joked on the way home about how, we both have no desire to go pubbing or clubbing anymore, no real desire to go out drinking and partying to all hours of the morning. Our nice cozy bed and a movie sounded far more inviting lol.
This morning I read some posts and journals on NoFap while he was still sound asleep. Eventually he woke and we cuddled and curled up for the next half hour and chatted about a few things. I told him I'd been on NoFap and just read a husbands post about how he had just discovered his wife's porn addiction and the betrayal he feels. I said it was really interesting to hear it from a males perspective. How she was doing it while he was at work and the kids were at school and as sad as this situation is, it made me really wonder just how many husbands would feel, if it was there wife's doing all of what they have done. How it would feel for them? Because predominately on here, it's the females who are the SO's.....and the males the PA.
I also talked to him about some flatlining posts I read as well. I keep wondering if he is going through a flatline phase or not? He is day 56 of No PMO - Hardmode but prior to this he'd also done 2 streaks both around 60 day, the first he relapsed with masturbation, the second with staying on a p-sub (tv show) instead of changing channels. So all in all he is supposed to be around nearly 180 without Porn and only masturbated once in that time. And now also that includes 56 days without sex. Up until the last 4-5 weeks he said he was doing well and not really having to many urges or thought and if he did it was very brief and only at work. He was feeling good in himself, had more energy was feeling more positive and overall doing great. In the last month, things have definitely changed. He is feeling tired all the time, feeling down a lot, sometimes just feels numb and defeated. He was getting up and going for a walk or doing a workout every morning but that died off about 6 weeks ago too. So this morning I asked about that and how he was feeling and he said it was very up and down. Sometimes he's feeling good and other times just very down. Is this likely to be flatlining? Also, he's struggling with more urges and thoughts to escape at work, but he thinks this maybe due to having a 3 week break over Christmas and not really wanting to be back there again. I hope for his sake and for mine that this is just a flatline phase and that he will start feeling better soon and get through it without relapsing.
I've also ordered the Dr Doug Weiss "Intimacy Anorexia Book Set" and the "Married and Alone Book Set". So I'm looking forward to them arriving in a few weeks and by that time he should be closer to finishing his NoFap Academy course and we can start on that together. I also bought the "Helping her Heal" video series and so I'm really excited to watch that together. I've been wanting these dvds for over 6mths now and I think the investment in these books and videos as well as any others is well worth it. Decent sex therapists are limited here, and I think we'll get more out of reading and watching these together than any therapists and at a much lower cost.
So all in all I'm feeling positive and hopeful.
It's been good the past few days and I've been feeling mostly at ease...
My husband is now at Day 61 of No PMO - Hardmode. I am feeling very proud of him for the effort he is putting into his recovery. The last 4 - 6 weeks have been the most difficult for him, especially with blue balls and thoughts and urges to escape, mostly at work. We discussed this last night. I asked on scale of 1 - 10 how have the thoughts and urges changed over the last 61 days. For the first few weeks he said it was around a 2, then it jumped to about a 4. After having 3 weeks off work and returning he said it was as high as an 8 at times. That was the week before last, first week back to work. Last week was between a 4 - 6 and this week back around the 4 mark. I've noticed his mood and energy have definitely dropped in the last month. Hopefully, he will start getting back into his exercise as he seemed to be feeling much better when he was doing that every morning. I don't know for sure, but I'm putting all this down to the reboot and part of the process of rewiring his neural pathways. So we only have 29 days of the no sex part of his reboot to go and I'm looking forward to being able to be sexually intimate again with him soon. It's been well worth it but I have found the sexual distance between us difficult at times and I know he has too. I do love him very much, and I feel even more love for him knowing he is doing everything he can to beat this addiction.
Last night, we watched part 1 of the "Helping her Heal" series. This was great. Doug Weiss is so on point as to how a partner suffers and the pain and betrayal they experience living with a Sex Addict. He has lots of great advice for the PA in dealing with their partners pain, anger and betrayal. So I hope my partner takes this on board and can learn to understand what I'm going through and how important it is for me that he work his recovery, that he stay sober so that I don't get thrown back into the trauma cycle each and every time he relapses or becomes stagnant in his recovery process. And also to practice patience with me and to fully get that when I'm acting out in grief or anger or I'm triggered by something, to remember like Doug Weiss says "You caused this pain" , you are the reason she is going through this, so just remember that.
So, I've spent the past week really trying to focus on me and be self nurturing. My New Year's goals are to 1) Work on my physical fitness 2) Work on my self confidence & 3) to Work on finding myself again and gaining back my independence. So I've been getting into my physical fitness part because I do feel so much better when I look and feel fit. Been trying to keep up doing workouts every other day. I went and got my hair done, bought myself some new skincare products and feeling good to have done a bit of self pampering. I'm still to find some resources on building up self confidence, but just feeling good about myself certainly helps. I know you have lots of great video's on building self confidence, so I will be going through your journal @Jagliana and seeing what I kind find.... A part of my finding myself and wanting to be more independent is getting back into some of my interests. I used to play the keyboard / piano but have not touched it in years......I pulled out all my old music books and had a go at it a couple of weeks ago. I have forgotten so much but I'd love to relearn and get back to where my skill level was at. I also have a great interest in alternative therapies and in particular of late Energy Healing. It just amazes me the results that therapists are getting with their clients with all sorts or physical and emotional problems. So I've been spending time reading and educating myself in this field.
It's school holidays at the moment, and so everything is a little out of routine but I know I need to get back into my business and start building up my clientele. This is a big part of the building my independence goal for this year. Work and building my career took a major nose drive and crash with his addiction. Everything that I'd been working towards - my Traineeship , my university degree and earning my own income all just eventually fell apart as I became more and more consumed, traumatised and beaten by his addiction and unable to cope any more with his ongoing lies and betrayals, and our marriage just feeling so empty and a sham. A few years back I started my own business and had a small clientele but my feelings of drive and motivation as well as confidence have been constantly up and down and so I haven't done a lot with it. I still have a small clientele but I really want to build my business up and be more consistent in my efforts with it. I have knocked back so many clients because at the time I might have been having a bad week or two and feeling anxious and uncertain of myself, and unfortunately I was more often than not feeling like this. So this year I hope to start feeling more grounded and to start having more belief and confidence in myself and my abilities. Hopefully, if my husband stays sober and continues to be consistent in his recovery efforts this will definitely help me as I won't be so focused on whether he is clean or not, or still lying and betraying me.
So this is where I'm at at the moment. I'm about to go do a workout, some housework and then maybe a swim. We are in the middle of a heat wave for the next 4 to 5 days. Going to get to 43 - 45 degrees Celsius apparently (109 - 113 Fahrenheit). Luckily we have a swimming pool and air conditioning. And then back into some work on myself....
It's been about 6 weeks since journalling....
Way to long I know. I don't have a lot of time to write, but that's nothing unusual.
I have a funeral to attend today. A close friend of my daughters tragically died just over a week ago.
He was only a teenager. It has hit her hard. Today will be tough for everyone.
I've been running through a mix of emotions over the past 6 weeks.
Feeling positive and driven some weeks and then really slumped, lost, directionless the next.
Everything starts to overwhelm me. 3 teenage kids all spreading their wings, knowing it all, wanting more independence,
wanting to run wild and be wreck less is stressful. I am struggling with them. Standing my ground and trying to instil responsibility,
them showing respect, making good choices, being productive rather than lazy, generally just trying to keep them on the straight and narrow
is just so difficult and overwhelming at times. There's so much rebellion, disrespect and defiance at times.
It makes me mad that so much time is spent on dealing with my husbands addiction and it's been a central focus in our lives for so long now (years!!!!) that it's been at the expense of the time needed to deal with the kids, talk to them, quality time with them, help them find themselves and what they want to do with their lives, just being there for them. It's been so hard, especially with my betrayal trauma, anxiety and distress with my marriage and my situation, it's hard to be the person I have wanted to be for them when I'm just not feeling it. When I'm not feeling strong, when I feel mentally distraught and lost myself with how to deal with and get out of this nightmare of a mess.
So yeah, I'm having good days and bad days....and sometimes the bad days last longer than the good.
But I'm trying.
So overall in the past month things have been mostly good between us.
There's been a few arguments here and there but we've got through them.
He is 88 days of his NO PMO reboot today. Friday is the 90 day mark and so officially completed on Saturday.
He's been completing his course work and is nearly finished. We are yet to sit down together and go through
it all. I want to see what he has done. We have talked about and agreed to do this way back but things being
hectic all the time, it still hasn't happened. Will definitely try to do this over the next 2 or 3 nights.
The past 6 weeks has been difficult with him because I felt he was slacking off on his work. Still doing it but not enthusiastic
or seeming like he's doing much - at times he wasn't. He's been feeling depressed, tired and generally just feeling shitty and
I guess it's part of what he's going through. Withdrawal symptoms. He finds the course work difficult. Hard to work out what he's feeling,
why he's feeling it, what he wants with his life, how he's going to do it etc. I'm not sure that he's truly worked enough out within himself
yet to truly inspire change within himself and to integrate it into his life yet. I guess it's a work in progress. And I am seeing progress albeit
We have just finished a 1 week in-house separation. I called it because I feel his lack of effort / time put into his recovery course was dwindling and had been for sometime. He was still getting on NoFap each day and reading / posting a bit but I was distinctly feeling more and more insecure and unsafe because of his lack of motivation in keeping up with the course material. We had also had a couple of arguments over the kids.
There has been some very alarming stuff going on with each of them - all different things. Ranging from lingerie shots being posted on social media, taking drugs, posting photos on social media to friends doing drugs, to not being responsible with organising important things that have been previously agreed on, to hanging around the wrong people, generally having bad attitudes, a whole array of stuff.
So basically the arguments were because I'm trying to directly deal with what's going on, implement boundaries & consequences with them, trying to talk to them and get them to listen and understand. Of course, this is difficult and sometimes results in arguments and them being disrespectful and verbally abusive toward me.
A couple of occasions he's right there, in the same room, only a few feet away and he sits or stands there and does not say a word. Does not pull these kids into line. Does not support me or back me up on any points I'm trying to drive home. Does not tell them it's not okay to tell me to shutup, or fuck off. Does not enforce that they need to tow the line or else. He just sits there, like he's in some soundproofed bubble that cannot be penetrated and pretends to be totally oblivious to what's happening in front of him. This makes it even more difficult to get the kids to listen and understand because dad doesn't seem to give a shit, so why are you so upset and enforcing limitations on us mum!!!
So all of this, coupled with other stuff I said I needed timeout! Needed him sleeping elsewhere and he can focus on getting his work done. And he has spent a lot more time on his course and I believe is nearly completed it. It finished yesterday. I am feeling better for it. More focused, more productive and more motivated.
Soon as he finishes this course we will be starting the intimacy anorexia and married and alone work. I've had the books all sitting here for the past few weeks waiting to start them with him. I'm looking forward to starting that and joining the discussion group that he has told me has been set up now.
So that's all for now, could write more but out of time.
I'm glad I've gotten on here and written something. Need to keep at it.
We were trying to go through his recovery course work this morning. The purpose of this is for me to understand what work he has done in recovery, to see how he is progressing and to discuss anything that I might have questions about.
One of the questions is talking about his past history with porn use in which he’s written a huge list. We tried to discuss the part where he’d written about past girlfriends 20+ years ago. He said he was still buying magazines back then (amateur porn) but wasn’t hiding it from them.
I asked him what his idea of “not hiding it” looked like…..he said he doesn’t know because he can’t remember back then properly.
So I asked the following…
Did you ever buy them in the company of your girlfriends?
Did your girlfriends know you had them?
Did they see you bring them into the house?
Did they know where you kept them?
Were they EVER there when you were looking at or using them?
To all of the above he answered NO.
I said “Were you open & honest with them about it ever” – Answer NO
I said “Well, how can you describe this as “not hiding it” then?”
He said “because his FEELINGS on it are that he was not hiding it!!!”
As far as I’m concerned answering NO to everything above clearly indicates it was being hidden. He argued continually that I’m totally wrong because it’s not what he FEELS. And because he can’t recall everything properly because it was so long ago, he can only go by his FEELINGS on it. His FEELINGS are the truth (his truth).
As far as I’m concerned, your feelings are based on your thinking. So I asked him, is it possible, if he feels he wasn’t doing anything wrong it’s because he just convinced himself of that back then (self-deceptive thinking). Was he just lying to himself then to make himself feel better about it. And so maybe that’s why those feelings come up now. He argued continuously that because he FEELS he wasn’t hiding it, then he wasn’t.
I tried to get him to logically tell me the difference between hiding something and not hiding it. Logically, he says he can see the difference but because he can’t remember properly, that all he can base his truth on is his FEELINGS – and his feelings tell him otherwise.
I sure as hell know how much he has lied to me and lied to himself over the past 20+ years. He totally lied and convinced himself our entire marriage that looking at porn behind my back was ok, that it’s not that bad, what I don’t know can’t hurt me, that it’s stupid of me to be upset because he’s wasn’t physically doing anything with anyone, that he didn’t have an addiction and can stop at any time, these are all the self-deceptive kinds of thinking that were going on to make himself feel better and to convince himself that it’s all ok to do. But he disagrees that this is possibly what he was doing back then too.
I said so you believe if your girlfriends found out you were looking at porn behind their backs whilst in a long term relationship with them, that they wouldn’t have had a problem or been upset about it? His answer - I didn’t say that.
Nothing he’s saying makes any fucking sense to me!!!!
It’s a total mind fuck IMHO.
From here it escalated into a massive argument with him telling me OVER AND OVER AGAIN “that all I want is for him to lie to me!!”
How he has jumped to this conclusion in his brain is FUCKING BEYOND ME!!!!
All I’m trying to do is get him to understand the difference between hiding and not hiding something and what that looks like!!! And then, is it possible that he was practicing self-deception back then, just like he was through the entirety of our marriage.
And all he can say is “You want me to lie to you” so “I might as well just lie to you then and tell you want you want to hear” . Fuck knows what HE thinks I want to hear.
Then a couple of minutes later he says, for arguments sake, let's just agree to assume that he was being self-deceptive back then and that he was hiding it.
I am like for what purpose is that when you are telling me you don't believe it for a minute and you've just been telling me over and over that I want you to lie to me and so you might as well then........
It’s just a TOTAL MIND FUCK!!!!
Yes, this is how I feel about it too.
I don't think he's being OBJECTIVE at all. As it says below being objective is removing your feelings from the situation and dealing with the facts.
(of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
"historians try to be objective and impartial"
All he says is he can't remember things clearly enough so he has to trust his feelings. If he was addicted back then, those feelings are most likely distorted due to addicted self-deceptive thinking. He started looking at porn (mags) at age 12-13 and videos (when they got a VHS player) a year or 2 later. Left home around 18 was in 2 long-term relationships between 18 - 28 both of which were about 3 years in duration but CAN'T OBJECTIVELY say whether he was addicted to porn or not back then or whether he was hiding it from them or not.
We talked more about it all this morning. Mainly about the last girlfriend before I met him. There was about a 1 year gap. He's now saying if he tries to look at it objectively, at the facts he can remember, then it's POSSIBLE that he was ADDICTED back then and it's POSSIBLE he was hiding it from her. But he won't for a second commit to that. Because if he TRUSTS his OBJECTIVE VIEW on it now of how it was back then, he feels like he's LYING to himself.
His feelings on it are he wasn't hiding it, even though the facts say he probably was. And that he was just a private person and other male friends were all looking at stuff and had magazines hanging around in the open etc and so it wasn't a big deal. Also, he ASSUMES his girlfriend wouldn't have had an issue with it because for instance, her and her sister once sent him to a strip club to keep an eye on the sister's boyfriend because the sister didn't trust him and didn't want him to go. Also this ex was never bothered for instance, if they went to the beach and there was someone topless down there. I said could this be that she just trusted you that you wouldn't be getting aroused and getting off on other women behind her back. Answer - Possibly.
My concern is how can he WORK his recovery and make REAL progress if he can't or refuses to look at anything porn related from an OBJECTIVE point of view. He says he can but always has to trust his feelings over objectiveness where he can't remember. And I can tell you from experience everything is a constant "I don't know" or "I can't remember". It always has been.
It's like he's stuck in constant LOOP of "Can't remember" or "Don't know"
I said to him a moment ago.
Honestly, do you think it's normal to have to deal with someone who can never look at anything objectively because they can't remember 1 hour ago, 1 day ago, 1 week ago, 1 month ago....never-lone 20 years ago?
Response "I don't know"
There it is again, constant Loop.....
No, not as yet. The plan was for him to go through his NFA course work responses that he's had to complete over the past 90 days. So far it's a disaster because I'm supposed to be able to ask questions but his responses as per usual just leave me in the dark. It's as clear as mud. He is totally pissed off that I've told him his answers to my questions lack objectivity. So he's just lashing out now trying to be hurtful in whatever way he can. He's blurting shit out purely just to piss me off and openly admits it. He hasn't traumatised his wife enough yet apparently.
Anyway, so I didn't want to start a new project until this one is complete. He still hasn't completed the last module either. I was going to help him after we went through the other because he doesn't know how to respond but yeah we're not there yet.
He hasn't finished watching Doug Weiss's BT videos with me yet either. So I said I wanted him to do that first as well.
So sorry he's resorted to grasping and deflecting. I can feel the frustration in your writing. In fact, I felt my blood pressure rising on your behalf while I was reading! Your writing about this past incident here in order to defuse it is a courageous move and demonstrates your commitment to openness, full disclosure and honesty. Well done. And don't let him convince you to waste even one more minute thinking about or apologizing for this thing you have done more than adequate penance for over the years.