Let's talk about Boundaries

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Kenzi, Jun 23, 2017.

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  1. ItsNeverTooLate

    ItsNeverTooLate Fapstronaut

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    Exactly. Both people have to be on board for change to happen. I made it clear to my SO, @ReturningToEarth, that if PMO was more important to him, just say so and I will leave. No retaliation, no mention of his PMO to others (except to my parents because I tell them everything).

    Or he can make a commitment to change, not for my sake, but for his own personal growth and recognition of self worth. Only if he continues to lie and be deceitful, then yes, I will tell everyone who asks exactly why our marriage ended. Ultimately this journey is for us, but right now it's really primarily for him to understand that he is worth being loved and how to handle stress and uncomfortable emotions in a healthy, productive way.

    I can stand behind someone making progress to better themselves, even if I'm hurt a little in the process, but if I'm completely neglected and disrespected I have enough self-esteem to know I don't deserve that kind of treatment. I'm not the kind of wife who punishes by withholding sex, I don't talk down to my spouse in public or when discussing him with my friends, I am open to explore new ventures in our life that he's interested in as long as they are also in my comfort zone, I can find attractiveness in all people without lust, and I tell him everyday I love him and mean it. So if I can't get that in return, whose the one stuck in prison? Not him. And I will not allow that for myself either. At this point in our relationship I feel that if someone feels they are in prison, it's one they built for themselves. Both of us are adults with free will. If we choose not to use it, it's our own fault.

    Hope that answers some of your questions @Shockedbuddy. Keep the questions coming if there are more. This community is happy to help!:emoji_hugging::emoji_hugging:
     
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  2. Beautifully said! :)
     
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  3. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    Absolutely.
    It's time to decide.
    My mine relapsed, I said "guess you decided"
    And he said "seriously??"
    I said "yes"
    I was leaving. Just like that.
    He KNOWS I'm serious now.
    I'll only be second to the children.
    Not to a screen.
     
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  4. ILoathePwife

    ILoathePwife Fapstronaut

    I'm not quite sure I understood this, but you've mentioned control three times so I'll address that. In my mind, the boundaries I set were not at all to control my husband. He is free to choose to accept my boundaries or not accept them. The boundaries I set were to say what I was willing to accept and what I was not willing to accept. I was not willing to accept him sex chatting with other women and I was not willing to be married to a man who continued down the path of porn addiction.
     
  5. Shockedbuddy

    Shockedbuddy Fapstronaut

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    Sorry for mistakes, English is not my native language, I'll try to do my best to explain.
    Talking about control, I saw (in summary, different posts):
    * Looking at the history
    * Control over emails or chrome
    * Blockers
    * Calling when at work, when leaving, after that - matching the history
    * Control over looking
    * Control over thinking/fantasies
    * Control over places where to go/pass by

    My question is: isn't it too much of control over another person, wouldn't it poison the relationships?

    Again, I've read a lot of treads with your and your husband comments, I know that it worked well with you and your relationships are in a safe place right now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  6. samnf1990

    samnf1990 Fapstronaut

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    I know this comment was not directed at me, but from my perspective, if my SO and I felt that these boundaries were needed, then it would probably not be healthy for us to stay together. Perhaps the betrayal in the case where these boundaries were agreed on was deeper or more painfully felt, and a greater extent of PA was afflicting the male. What is important to realise though is that both parties were happy with this as a solution to save a relationship that they both wanted to preserve. But I am with you, @Shockedbuddy that I would see this as too much control for my relationship. If my wife insisted on these boundaries and felt them necessary then I would feel incredible personal shame for having led her to that point.
     
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  7. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    @Shockedbuddy I saw that some of the boundaries you mentioned seeing were similar to mine. The thing for me is the boundaries that were strictest were in the first 6 months post D-day so I could have a sense of sanity. My whole world was shattered when I found out. I couldn't tell what was real from what was a lie, the effects of being gaslit for a year. I have always struggled to trust people, and given that I put trust in my fiance, and he broke that (knowing how hard it was for me to trust anyone in the first place) was absolutely life shattering. I have been sexually assaulted and raped 2 separate times and I can tell you that healing from my partner's lying and gaslighting has been ten times harder than healing from my rapes. I know that may sound extreme but I guess I was used to the healing routine for rapes, but this completely was a curve ball I NEVER would have expected. I trusted my partner to respect the fact that I said he can't use porn if in a relationship with me prior to being with me, and I also stated to him, like I tell everyone I meet, "I value honesty and trust, so as long as you're honest with me I can't be mad. I rather be hurt by the truth than happy living a lie." He knew prior and still gaslit and lied. I still, to this day (over a year past d-day) have moments where I still question reality and it terrifies me.

    So the one about letting me know when he got to work and left was in the beginning to make sure the history matched up because I didn't trust him to either not delete or go to porn and not tell me. Basically, that was used as a trust exercise. I now know he doesn't do that and won't. He still lets me know if he gets to work, but I see it as a letting me know he is safe and didn't get into a car accident (his driving worries me sometimes).

    In my opinion, and from what I know from other addicts, is that blockers or accountability software is part of their recovery, especially in the beginning when temptations are highest. My partner is fine with having blockers (for words such as porn, sex, etc.) so if he typed them, it would redirect him to a message picture "Do you need to talk?" or something like that as a reminder that it's okay to ask for help or so he didn't actually expose himself to whatever images or videos he would search. Of course the fact that he typed it in to search would be something that needs to be addressed but at least it's a ways to keep the harm of "relapse" or "slip" to a minimum because there wasn't exposure to the imagery/video. He hasn't done that, but that is what it is there for.

    With addicts of any kind, they can start trading addictions, so stop porn but start gaming obsessively, or in the case of my fiance, get car obsessed. So some of the boundaries are also ways to try to not trade addictions. My fiance ended up going through a two month phase of everything was about cars 24/7. Every conversation we had, and whenever we went out to restaurants, he wasn't checking out girls but cars. I didn't hold his attention for one second. So we have a boundary of car time is when we are driving in a car, and if we are in a restaurant, try to be present. He was using cars as a way to not talk about addiction and to escape.

    As for places, sometimes the places like beaches or gyms can be highly triggering to either the addict, partner, or to both, so to try to not go to those locations early on in recovery might be beneficial for both parties. I know that I don't go to the beach for anorexic reasons, and I also hate the beach, and so does my partner. We agreed the beach isn't our thing, plus it might be triggering so it's fine that we don't go because we don't have a desire. Gyms aren't an issue because we hate gyms, don't have the money to spend on gyms, and we have work out equipment at the house.

    The boundaries that some have listed, I would assume are not permanent. The thing is there can be certain boundaries (that may seem extreme) in place in the early stages of recovery (first 3-6 months) as to establish trust, realiablitly, etc. Because for most of us, we were lied to and gaslit. I can say I was "lucky" because I only experienced one year of lying, whereas other partners I know have experienced it for 20 years. So for 20 years, imagine if you realized your life was a lie. I think some firm boundaries in the beginning would be something needed to just keep sane and able to function.

    The first 3 days after D-day I almost couldn't function. He had to stay home the day after I found out because I was so shell shocked I could barely do anything. The boundaries allowed me to feel sane, safe, and secure enough to stay with him to rebuild in the beginning.

    In all honesty, I don't check his history that much, or I even forget to, but he will offer it to me. I don't keep tabs. I may ask if he went by a location just to let me know (i.e. strip club or something) because he forgot that I would hope that he wouldn't drive by a strip club (there are some near his place of work, he never ever went, but I am highly uncomfortable with it). So he lets me know. His memory is terrible so there have been times where he forgot. But for the most part, a year into recovery for both of us, the thing we work on is communication mainly. It's not about showing me history I don't trust you, but it's about, "Hey I felt triggered today, can we talk about this?"

    So boundaries are there to help the healing process and will change over time. Boundaries are supposed to be flexible and renegotiated as healing progresses. Hopefully that clarifies some things.

    Also, I know english isn't your first language, but you used the word "control" a lot when describing boundaries. I personally don't think anyone can control another person, but I think people can respect other people. So if I state my boundaries, my partner can choose to respect that, we can talk and negotiate, etc. Control implies that they have no choice. Addicts and partners both have choices as to if they want to stay.
     
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  8. Shockedbuddy

    Shockedbuddy Fapstronaut

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    @AnonymousAnnaXOXO
    I'm sorry about everything you've come through.
    I can imagine how hurtful everything you've come through was to you.

    Thank you that you've shared your story end explained why these kind of boundaries were really important for you.

    I really respect your decision to try to solve the problem with your partner and deep exposed search of inner piece.

    Love, xoxo
     
    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 likes this.
  9. If you broke the intimate trust that your SO had in you and you truly cared and wanted to earn that trust back I think you'd prob work with them no matter the cost. I personally don't feel my boundaries are controlling at all just basic respect. But we also put restrictions and blockers on phones and computers for the whole family (kids incl). It's not to control, bc honestly a PA could get around them if they wished, it's more of a tactic to help the PA think twice before going that route and prevent the easiest access. It's to help them. Also checking internet history or email randomly to give the SO peace of mind after trust being broken doesn't seem unreasonable to me either. If you did the things to make someone else feel insecure and uncertain then you should be ashamed and you should want to make it better. But I also personally don't want to be the Porn Police to a grown ass man either. So these things are more to "help" the PA think before they act & keep them accountable, not control what they do. Hope that makes sense.
     
  10. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    I had a total breakdown yesterday.
    The little things added up....
    We are a year later & made it (finally) PM free.
    And I checked the history.
    I found a secret tab had been opened.
    We talked about it.
    And it turned out to be a butt open from his pocket... Nothing was searched.
    Cuz even the secret tab has a lock on it.
    He would have to have taken the lock off, which would be shown.
    But during our discussion, he said "I don't get privacy right now"
    I didn't like this sentence.
    However, he also came to the conclusion that I the ad that caused his last relapse was causing him to act funny and we both saw it a couple of days ago.
    We are both a little more vigilant now.
    It was great to talk about it in more detail.
    We hugged it out and even something Sooooo small can have a tremendous effect on the healing brain.
    Not alot gets to him anymore.
    But subconsciously I knew he saw it.
    Subconsciously he felt it, even though he did not feel he felt it.
    It was the Big thing.... If that makes sense.
    One of his "numb-ers"
    He's on guard today.
    He has his Lists.. Which he loves.
    And his books.... After his Notice yesterday.
    He's doing a lot better. More focused.
    He's glad he "figured it out"
    His son is going through puberty and he fears he will also fall "down the rabbit hole"
    The first thing I said when he came home was, "I did something I hate doing - we need to talk"
    I've never done it without mounting cause tho, and I've never done it "just to do it".
    I have rules for myself....
    He has to show me at least 6 signs or I'm probably making myself nuts.
    There Were other minor things on the history, just since the ad, I only went back since he was weird (2-3 days) the ad was yesterday.
    I pointed them out.
    He was very receptive.
    Said that those things could lead to bigger things that could turn into bad patterns, he agreed and said he will stop.
    It takes communication on both parties.
    He didn't realize that he was reforming some bad habits.
    Very slowly.
    It's been 3 years of rebooting.
    He's had 3 relapses.
    He KNOWS this is the last go around.
    That's more than a boundary.
    That's asking for his commitment.
    Which is why it's called marriage anyway.
     
  11. ILoathePwife

    ILoathePwife Fapstronaut

    Yes. This. Everybody's boundaries are different. It's not about forcing the other person to do what you want, it's about protecting yourself. If I'm going to continue to be part of this relationship, this is what I need. The addict can choose to accept the terms or not.
     
  12. Shockedbuddy

    Shockedbuddy Fapstronaut

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    Golden words.
     
  13. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I would like to know as someone who is considering leaving has anyone enforced boundaries meaning actually left the relationship for good that could give an opinion. I have heard from a few women that have but not many as I suspect they are no longer on here. Are you happier so you regret it? What did he do? What was the last straw? I have what I believe to be a dry drunk so he respects the boundaries but resents me for it. He also still can't O from sex. So while he's stopped he never seemed or acted sorry. He fights with me constantly he will not listen to how I feel or anything negative I have to say. Because of this behavior I am unable to heal. I am angry all of the time as well. So is being clean but hating it ever happened to anyone?
     
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  14. TooMuchTooSoon

    TooMuchTooSoon Fapstronaut

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    I'm in the process myself if you want to compare notes and chat. I've pretty much decided to end things. Just figuring out the how and when. He'll have to be the one to move out which makes it even harder.

    I just don't see how anyone can recover and therefore fix and rebuild their relationship if they're not doing the work themselves. Mine quit P but thinks it unfair to completely quit M. He doesn't want it to be a big deal. But it is. He admits he ogles and can't seem to stop but nor does he say how he's tried to or not. Things got better then worse. Defensiveness, resentment, rationalization and justification, failure to acknowledge the pain and damage they've caused... it continuously cuts and eats away at the relationship. And a little progress may be better than none but at the same time it just keeps you reeled in, throwing you crumbs. We deserve more than crumbs. We deserve 100% or damn near close.

    I'm done begging him to get better, to treat me better, to make is better. I'm just done.
     
  15. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    I left my last relationship.
    I know that's why my current SO knows I'm serious this time.
    Last time I had to find my backbone.
    This time I refuse to let it go.
    This is my second go around with a sex/porn/internet addict.
    I suppose this explains alot of my personality.
    I'm just done with technology yet I live (so do my kids)
    in this inescapable world of it.
    I also fear that shows the worlds multiplication of the problem that everyone refuses to talk about.

    My last straw in my last relationship was I was going to having surgery and he got on a sexy singles cruise to the Belize.

    (Triggers!!)
    He was always on the computer... I could stand there in lingerie next to him offering him BJ and he would say no to fap as soon as I walked away.
    He finally started to get worse... I'd find girls in the garage, young, pretty, he'd have over to smoke with... He started smoking pot and stuff.
    He'd always hide in the bathroom with his phone.
    Disappeared for days at a time "working"
    He even missed part of his daughter being born because he was flapping because of a sexy nurse named Carmina.
    Yeah.
    No joke.
    When I said "I have cancer" and he said "I'm not missing the boat"
    I said "Now I have boundaries"
    He broke them IMMEDIATELY.
    All of them.
    Didn't try. Didn't care.
    He came home to divorce papers.

    I wish I would have figured it out sooner.

    I am happier.
    I was extremely happy for awhile. (being single)
    The kids were even happier.

    My current SO is even "a better addict"
    He tries to get better.
    He's so far recovered he's getting his empathy back.

    I would much rather be where I am, then where I was.
    It literally felt like I was in a prison.
    Some days my old life was.
    I try very hard to not overlap all of my experiences.
    Today, my SO and me may yell or fight or have to struggle to get by, but he respects my personal Boundaries.
    I had to lay them out, In a shout for them to be heard.... But once he truly understood them, communicating has been easier. My bad days, his bad days... I wouldn't trade it.
    The only reason I am on NoFap now, is because after so many years of this, I wanted to know I wasn't alone.

    I'm so sorry you're both going through this.
     
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  16. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    Sounds like we have the same exact partner.
     
  17. TooMuchTooSoon

    TooMuchTooSoon Fapstronaut

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    In many ways I think you're right. Mine was able to progress to O'ing during sex and even orally several times. Now, again, he can't orally and during sex is on and off. Quality definitely went downhill, he started using his hands again, and he got more selfish and entitled. Pretty much the opposite of what I want and what I stuck around for.
     
  18. Shockedbuddy

    Shockedbuddy Fapstronaut

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    I'm right now packing my stuff and about to leave. I have 2 days with him out of town so I can clean the house.
    I'll let you know how would it go.

    I didn't set up any boundaries, just informed that he needs to change and this change is connected to NoFap philosophy.

    I did awful thing: opened his phone and again saw a lit of pics, so he was lying.

    I confess what I did and asked him what is that. He said I'm crazy bitch and he would better be off without me and I should start packing.

    I guess this story has ended. Wasn't my intention to ruin anything, but, really, if the pics is better than me to the extend he would broke up marriage than the habit, what can I do, just move on.
     
  19. GG2002

    GG2002 Fapstronaut

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    I am sorry that it has come to this for you but glad that for you at least you have made your choice but he can't really expect you to stay? Part of me wonders do they do these things to push us away and be alone in their addictions? Let me say in my opinion you did nothing wrong in looking at his phone. He gave you a reason to be suspect and he should have given you access to his phone and all his devices. If you read on here from the men that are full on sorry they do that. Don't make yourself think that you looking was the issue. Him having the pics was the issue. But oh how these addicts like to gaslight. And the crazy thing. Let me say this. There are crazy men and women certifiable. That being said even the most sane women I believe can be driven crazy by a bad man. I am always cautious when I meet men that say all their exes are crazy. Almost everytime that's code for he's a jerk. When you treat women poorly when you are inconsistent when you lie cheat etc the other person does go crazy! It would be abnormal for them now to act crazy. You my friend are not crazy! Him saying you are is again him not taking responsibility for his behavior. Don't let him make you feel in anyway that you are. It's another form of Gaslighting. I hope you move on and find peace and love. He may someday come to the realization that he needs help and he was wrong or he will continue down this road telling himself that it was you and other women will have no problem with his pmo. And when other women do the same thing he will move on to the next never having a happy relationship. I mean really does he think other would women want to be with a man like him? But know this you will move on and you will find healthy love because you have the ability to do that. Until or unless he makes serious changes his life will be noting but a series of misery.
     
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  20. Shockedbuddy

    Shockedbuddy Fapstronaut

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    That was exactly what he was saying, that I'm the crazy and other girls were okay with it. That it's my issue of insecurities and luck of self-esteem and this is not connected to what he did or what he's doing.
     
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