Letting go

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Lostneverland, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    My husband works 10 days on and 10 days off. He says he hasn’t looked at porn for 7 months. And it’s not an issue , he just buries his feelings and thoughts. During his 10 days at home he appears to be invested in working through the issues. He has attended SA and comes home a different man. We met with a sex therapist who is going to work with him and then us as a couple. It’s good to see.

    When he goes back to work, he’s in a different world . He becomes detached, angry, resentful etc... if I ask questions he gets defensive. Simple questions such as, did you do any reading last night? He replies, yes I did ,a couple of pages. My reply, oh ya, what did you learn or what resonated with you? His reply I don’t know , I don’t remember.

    I’ve asked him how he would best like to approach our issues, nightly phone calls was decided upon. However the phone calls are hows the weather pleasantries. Even though I said I would like to know how’s hes doing emotionally etc.. I asked him to do that 7 months ago, and he didn’t , our previous therapist asked him to do it and he didn’t, I asked one more time , and he didn’t.

    He says he doesn’t have time to read most nights as he’s rushed. My reply , well if you had time for internet shopping, truck shopping and porn viewing , obviously you have time for making life style changes. His reply, I guess so but not really.

    So tonight I said, look I’m not going to be the punishing mother, or the intrigating mother. I’m taking all pressure off. I love you, and if we’re going to heal this marriage , it can’t be 10 days on and 10 days off. We need a plan. His response was, I don’t know what I can do. I said, ok, well take the next few days and figure out what would work. You’re the captain of this ship, and I want to support you. So maybe in a few days when you return we can talk about your plan. I asked does that work for you? He replied I guess so.

    I asked him if he’s going to therapy just for me or because he realizes he needs to deal with the underlying issues. His response was , I’m doing it for both. I said, then take me out of the equation cause if you’re doing it for me no amount of 12 steps or theraphy will help. I said, I love you and I want us to work, but it’s not up to me alone. We need to work together.

    We have this BIG elephant in our lives, thousands of girls actually, and he jumps into his pit of denial and thinks everything will just disappear. I’m saying, no we have to talk and share.

    I get the feeling he just wants to pretend nothing ever happened...live in denial etc...and carry on as before!!!

    He’s just totally shut down, distant, resentful, angry, defensive and negative about everything and I mean everything.

    I’m finding I don’t want to talk to him at all. There’s nothing but how’s the weather, an nasty emotions.

    What am I to do, cause I’m sincerely at a loss. This is like the beginning stages of War of the Roses. Except I don’t want to play.
     
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  2. Ugh I'm so sorry. I feel you on the "rather not talk" side...

    The two sides of them is so frustrating...it's why I call it "Jekyll and Hyde". I don't know if it's part of the reboot or what but it's like watching an awful soap opera.

    I found myself sleeping on the couch last night (probably the best sleep I've had in weeks), and right before that Katrina's post kept bouncing around in my head.

    Then I thought about how we all keep trying so hard, and I know our partners are, too. But I questioned are they trying for themselves or for the relationship? And how can they truly love anyone else if they don't love themselves? Are we just the "safezone" they know they can continue to work their fantasies inside of, and when caught or backsliding...put up a front and they know we will keep doing what we do, 100% support and toleration?

    Then I thought....how easy it would be..well *easier*...to just walk away. I haven't for the kids and because I truly love this guy...but cmon...walking away means handling myself, healing wounds to scars, not worrying every second about what he's thinking or planning or doing (even subconsciously). It means I don't have to feel the stress every second of every day or look at him and wonder "when will I be good enough without the other thoughts and images in his head?".

    A lot to wonder. A lot to consider.

    I feel helpless because I'm the "fixer." I'm the one who usually has good advice or suggestions but I don't in this situation. I will say without a doubt I support you, pray for you both and always am here with an open ear and a shoulder to lean on.

    I think by reminding ourselves every moment of every day, that this isn't about us, it's a huge help.

    Try to enjoy today, please. Many hugs I send to you this morning.
     
  3. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    I think a lot of PA's are that way, including my husband. If they can pretend the problem doesn't exist, they never have to be accountable for the damage done, they don't have to deal with the deeper issues that brought about the addiction in the first place, and they can avoid having to do any recovery work. For a lot of PA's, denial leaves the door open for relapse, too. (I'm not saying that your husband relapsed, just in general.)
     
  4. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Thanks...both of you. I just wish there was a statement I could make that would motivate him., besides the ultimate...” I’m done.”
    I honestly don’t know who the real person is!
    Chances are over the last 7 months he’s been or hasn’t stopped viewing porn, we’re talking a 40 yr history here.
     
  5. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    I started my six-year recovery journey by quitting my 25-year career in IT. I knew I could not stay in front of a computer for 8 hours a day and recover. So I became a plumber! There are no computers there. :) This resulted in a 60% pay cut. Very tough to do with a wife and two young kids to support. But it was what needed to happen for healing to begin.

    The other *huge* help over my journey has been regular (i.e., daily and more than daily) check-ins with APs. And this site is a great place to acquire one or more of those.

    At the end of the day, he has to decide that he wants to live differently. He has to find reason to change within himself. Until he wants it -- and agrees the pain of change is less than the pain of staying stuck -- he will not change. My prayer is that he will get to this place soon if he is not already there.

    I've summed up my story recently in my "Day 200" post. https://www.nofap.com/forum/index.php?threads/day-200.223536/

    PS. No matter what happens, please know that PMO is *not* about you. It is an addictive coping mechanism, like alcohol or drugs, that has become a problem in its own right. If the addiction wins, it is a tragedy -- but it is not the fault of those close to the addict if this occurs. it is 100% on the addict to get clean and stay clean. SOs can support and encourage, but they cannot do the work for the addict. The entire thing is simply very, very hard. The way forward is not always clear, and the path ahead is rarely a straight line. My prayer is also for you and all affected by his PMO habit. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You are worth it!
     
  6. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Good job Tao Jones. Quitting your job was optimal. My PA has come up with a strategy to maintain his current work schedule by calling his SA sponsor every morning and doing his morning readings. He wants to maintain the 10 days on and 10 days off. I’m not feeling the change as much as I would if he was home every night and in daily contact with me rebuilding and proving his actions and thoughts.

    When he was home last week, he said he doubted he would be bringing his Harley out for bike riding season as the funds required to get it on the road would be better spent in theraphy for me and for him. I thought...” wow, positive change and growth”.
    Two days back at camp and he said, “ I can’t wait to get the bike out.” I said, “well we will see.” He replied, “ what do you mean, we will see, the bike is coming out.” I said. “ we will talk when you get back.”

    The bike is going to cost approximately $2000. to get it on the road. That includes insurance ,new tires,and a tune up. That money would pay for five theraphy sessions for each of us.

    The bike is an extension of himself...oh la la look at me , I’m a cool biker dude. If I go with him on the bike, I feel like nothing more than a prop. I’ve told him in the past how I witnessed a bike accident , and it wasn’t pleasant. I have asked my PA not to do certain maneuvers because of that, yet when I go with him, he does exactly what I’ve asked him not to do. I have since stopped going with him. So now he goes out by himself which he thoroughly enjoys and who the hell knows what he’s doing? (Passive aggressive action or what)

    So for about a week...(while he was home) I thought...uummm...he’s putting the needs of the relationship above his own desires. Two days back at work,..and it’s all about him and his bike...with the periodic comment, it will be less expensive riding the bike to meetings than driving the car. ( I shake my head)

    As far as I’m concerned...he needs to park his bike , and focus on healing the relationship. He has used his bike as an escape from reality along with his PMO. He was never and I mean NEVER been there for the kids or me...where was he ?? Riding his bike!!!

    I made excuses for him...oh he works hard, he needs enjoyment, it’s his passion...all the while he was lying and decieving me for 17 years...deserting his family for his self centred ego boast. Lol...do I sound resentful, probably.

    I believe there needs to be consequences to a persons actions. He has yet to face any natural consequences for his actions.

    What is your opinion/ thoughts?
     
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  7. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    The day I confessed my PMO habit to my wife was the hardest day of my life. I was ready for her to leave me. She would have been right to do so. P is adultery, as far as I am concerned. I had hidden it from her for 15 years of our marriage. I did this because fear of consequences was a huge motivator for me. So, as an addict, instead of letting that motivate me to quit, I lied! But eventually I knew I had to be honest with her, no matter the cost, as I owed her that much at the very least. She is amazing in many ways, we've worked through things, I've committed to honesty and recovery for the rest of my life, and we are celebrating our 19th anniversary this July.

    I, too, let PMO keep me from my wife and children in damaging ways for years. I regret that very much. My rule of thumb these days is to default to doing things with other people -- especially my family -- and finding things we can do together that we all enjoy. Maybe if your husband knew how you felt about the bike -- if he read what you just wrote here -- it would cause him to see things differently. But I am not sure; you know him best of all, of course.

    Accountability software sharing my online browsing with a group of APs has been a big part of my recovery. I use Accountable2You. The fear of exposure and the consequences that come with it are a powerful motivator (although maybe not to all). I hope your husband can get something like this in place and develop a network of helpful, encouraging APs via this site or some other resource.
     
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  8. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Wow...sounds like YOU and your wife made excellent choices and decisions for all concerned. You have openly demonstrated your commitment to your family. My views of porn use is exactly the same as yours , it’s ADULTERY.
    CONGRATS ON YOUR 19th ANNIVERSARY
    The day my PA disclosed to me was the day I said , step up or step out of the way. Then with a SMILE on his face he told me what he had been up to for the ENTIRE lendth of our marriage. I asked him in a calm and rational manner...”did you ever think of how this would affect us, he replied..NOPE...did you ever think how this would affect me, ...he replied.NOPE...Did you ever think about our marriage viows...he replied .NOPE! He said this all with a smirk on his face. I went into instant shock. It was like someone had dropped a rock on a mirror. My entire world shattered.

    My PA is more emotionally attached to his bike than he is to me. He calls his bike his baby. ( I shake my head) lol yes he’s attending 4 SA meetings every other week or so, and seeing a therapist every other week. However , what has changed for him, nothing really . He loves the meetings. He has like minded men to hang out with who don’t judge him, but accept him as he is. He has never had friends before so this is really a bonus for him. Ya , I don’t know...!

    In the past I have said, let’s go do this or that , in the car...and he goes along with it..but every time he sees a bike his head turns and he’s not in the moment. There are a lot of bikes in spring and summer, so his head turns often along with the comments of the brand, style and motor size...etc...He would rather be on his bike..”being the lone wolf he was meant to be” unquote... I finally gave up...I’m not going to fight for someone to be with me who in turn makes the time together miserable.

    Funny thing is , I bought the bike for him. I tried so hard to give him everything he missed or lacked in the first 30 years of his life. Ya I screwed up majorly. I should have called him on his BS, right from the start. Thing is, he’s an award winning actor. If he was in the movie industry I swear to god he could win the Academy Award...for Best Actor.

    It will be an interesting week when he returns home. I think we’re coming to the final crunch time...for him to put his money where his mouth is. Time for him to sacrifice something he enjoys and that divides us for something to bring us closer together.

    I’ve only been dealing with the knowledge of his addiction since September of 2018, but in all honesty , I’m so fed up.

    Thank you for your support and adivce, and once again congratulations to you and your wife.
     
  9. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    I am sorry this is your situation. Keep doing for your self what you need to do to stay sane in the middle of it all.

    One thing I can assure your husband: If he wants to retain all the good things he currently has, real, costly sacrifice will be required. There is no other way forward. I will pray he chooses wisely and well.
     
  10. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Thanks for your input, I appreciate it.
     
  11. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Hey Tao Jones... well we had a chat this morning. It appears he’s going to face the consequences of his actions. Yes he had a temper tantrum, but he calmed down down rather quickly. He actively listened and validated me. The Harley will stay parked this year so we can enjoy time together doing things together. He’s going to take three months off work and focus on building a solid routine in rebuilding the marriage foundation . He’s going to increase therapy to weekly and meetings weekly..both of which were every other week.
    I want to THANK YOU for being boldly and bluntly honest. In saying,
    If he wants to retain all the good things he currently has real costly sacrifice will be required. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU...
    I used your line and it hit him hard... Your insight and knowledge is appreciated
     
  12. Tao Jones

    Tao Jones Fapstronaut

    This is amazing. I was hopeful he would see sense. Now comes the hard part. I will be praying for you both.
     
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  13. SO HAPPY to hear this this morning!!! woohoo, what a step in the right direction and girl you soooo deserve this turn of events!! Tao knows his stuff for sure! -gives a big cheer and a lot of prayers your way!-
     
  14. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Thanks both of you...I’m taking a hands off approach. It’s his stuff to work through. He has support people in place .
    Really I feel, and correct me if I’m wrong, there really is nothing I can do except set up boundaries to protect myself.
    If I want him to be honest and open, then in return, I must be honest and open...clear and concise.
    I have to know who I am...and in all honesty, I lost myself and my life dancing in circles, while he was busy self satisfying. I have to take responsibility for the choices and decisions I made.
    I mean if I felt in my gut years ago , that something was off, and he wasn’t talking, why did I accept that lame excuses. It’s a free country, I could have set boundaries then, but I made excuses for his behaviour, ultimately though, you can’t be a victim and be responsible at the same time. So now I’m not afraid, I’m voicing what’s working for me and what isn’t, and hopefully he follows through and if not than I have to be prepared to follow through on my consequences.
    Example;
    My self worth and self esteem lie in my hands...if I don’t feel I can trust him to be there for me, why do I keep asking him to be there..obviously he’s incapable . How many times do I set myself up for failure and disappointment by asking him?
    So this time a situation arose, and I simple said, “ it’s all good, I’ve got people in place to assist me.” He responded with, “but I want to be there.” I replied, “ no it’s okay, I believe your behaviour, you’ve said those words before and I’ve been hurt and disappointed . It’s not going to happen again. When you show me honesty and trust,and then follow through on the little things, then I’ll believe you on the big things.” In the meantime he’s to focus on his journey of healing.
    I have to LET GO...and have trust and faith, otherwise I feel I’ll just be running myself ragged being his chief cook and bottle washer. There comes a time when enough is enough!
     
  15. Butterfly1988

    Butterfly1988 Fapstronaut

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    Keep loving yourself and taking care of yourself. It’s so tough to be in this place with those we love, but we can’t control the actions of others nor do their actions have anything to do with us. You are an amazing person and I am so proud of you for finding strength and the ability to support others during this tough time. You got this!!
     
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  16. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Hey deannab106...thank you for your words of encouragement. They mean the world to me.
     
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  17. giiiirl I so feel you on this one....I'm feeling inspired and big hugs and love to you! Stay strong and you're gorgeous!
     
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  18. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Hey SOoffanaddict...thank ya kindly. It’s been a journey. Things seem to be improving. He’s crying every time he talks about the things he has to learn. He’s taking a leave of absence from work , for 3-6 months to work on his issues. He’s working with a CSAT therapist and doing 5 SA meetings a week. He calls his sponsor every morning and does his readings every morning. He seems to be embracing both.

    I’m being supportive, but for his three cheers for a job well done he gets that from his group. Ive also set limits and boundaries. Since the time we went shopping and he raised his voice at me and I walked out, waited for him in the car, and then stated calmly that if he ever did that again I wouldn’t be waiting for him. He has been polite and respectful. I still however take the keys.

    The other thing that has occurred is, I told him he uses his Harley as a prop and ego booster. He has used his Harley as a means of escape from reality and we all need that from time to time..however it’s about balance and not obsession.

    So given our financial situation with him taking time off...his bike will have to remain off the road this year. It will cost about $2000. to get it on the road, tires tune up etc... that translates into the payment of ten theraphy sessions. So I asked him what his priority was? He said it was getting healthy. He was upset that his Harley would have to stay parked , made a few comments and I said, well if you were an alcoholic and killed someone , which in effect you have done spiritually with your 40year porn history, you would have to hire a lawyer, do restitutions, then there’s the civil case and possible jail time. So consider yourself fortunate. He said he gets it and sees what he needs to do.

    He said his theraphist said he’s doing the right thing as he seems very enthusiastic about sobriety. So that’s a thumbs up for progress. I have no idea or expectations of where we will be by June 1...which is a date I’ve set for the renegotiation our marriage. If by June 1 there is still progress we can renegotiate the marriage. Which means things may remain the same where we are living together as friends or the relationship takes a turn where we share the same bed. (No sex though)

    Ya we are a work in progress...I have to heal as well. So I’m soon to start seeing a betrayal trauma specialist as well as ive been going to S-ANON meetings. It’s good to have other people who understand and share what they have learned. It also allows me and my PA to share the healing journey of working the 12 steps and traditions.

    I’ve dealt with addicts my entire life and apparently I’m a slow learner, as this appears to be the motherlode of all addictions. Go figure... I mean what you resist persists and I’ve been resisting addicts my whole life ... then I get the super duper test..until I finally surrender to seeing how I’ve participated in this circus.

    So as he is on his journey to healthy living so am I. In all honesty though I never saw this coming, but everything happens for a reason. So time to put on my big girl boots and walk through the muck and crap to the other side...

    Thank you once again for your kind words...love to you always
     
  19. Butterfly1988

    Butterfly1988 Fapstronaut

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    Very proud of you for sticking to your boundaries and consequences as well as for doing things to find your own peace and sanity!
     
  20. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    So glad to hear he is taking this seriously and that you have a place for your recovery as well.
     
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