marriage in quantum superposition

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by DefendMyHeart, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. Trobone

    Trobone Fapstronaut

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    I think you know asking that question "what were you thinking" won't end well. The question of "why did you feel the need to both tell me and lie at the same time?" may be better. He obviously knew he did something wrong, but was afraid to admit the truth.
     
  2. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I feel like a lot of SO's can relate to this
     

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  3. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I did ask him that one already. Got the same "I don't know" response as I always do.
     
  4. Will he rethink this statement?

    IMO, it's that mentality that sets up the backslide. I'm sorry things have taken a step back again.
     
  5. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    That is something I mentioned as well. That he's been telling people, including me, that he's no longer an addict, yet he is still doing addict things. He said he psyched himself out and started to feel as though he wasn't and that is what led to the downfall. He became over confident.
    All in all, he was the one who made the choice to do what he did and then lie about it. What irritates me most about it is how he reacts to me afterwards. He gets mad at me because I'm upset with him, then he treats me like garbage. He distances himself from everyone emotionally, not physically, and goes into a rage whenever someone irritates him. That is what bugs me most and makes me feel pressured to forgive him so that there is peace in the house again.
     
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  6. Trobone

    Trobone Fapstronaut

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    Two things:

    1) He may want to talk to other addicts and have them explain that it's not something that can be cured. He can be feeling in a good groove, or having a good mindset, but the entire idea of addict is that it's never solved.

    2) Both of you may need to rethink this disclosure routine. I've read it enough in your diary that he discloses something big or small and it ends up in a fight where both of you are mad. Is ther another way to go about this? An intermediary that can decide for him if it's worth telling you? A couples therapist that can act as someone in the middle? Maybe a change in the way he says it, or the way you ask questions after?
     
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  7. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    I tend to agree with you. However, some find the use of labels to be unhelpful. I think there will come a time through recovery that an addict is no more likely to engage in their drug of choice than one who was never an addict. That begs the question - is that person still an addict then? Where I want to say yes is due to the fact that the addiction will forever be part of my past. Therefore, although I may never indulge in porn again, the big unknown is if I consumed porn, would I instantly return to my addiction cycle?

    Today - I probably won't, but I have no intention to break my sobriety to test it. What about a few years from now? If I were to unwisely test myself, and the desire to return to my compulsion just isn't there, and I proceed with sobriety with zero struggle whatsoever - am I still an addict? I have friends on these forums that have done just that, and they were unaffected. I'm confident I will never do this, but to me if that's not cured from addiction I don't know what is.

    However, when do addicts reach that point? That's the conundrum. I would never advocate testing our addiction. It's not something to be trifled with. However, in my experience I would never take the word of an addict who confidently says they are no longer an addict, especially if they don't have at least multiple years of sobriety under their belt and have a proven ability to be unaffected by triggers. I'm not there yet, but I am healing. A year ago, any p-sub was a guaranteed reset for me. Today, it isn't. I don't seek out p-subs, at least not recently, but in the times I have out of sheer stupidity, I was fortunate enough to be unaffected. I did not reset. This represents healing.

    So there is hope for addicts. I can concede that I will always be an addict and never be cured, but I can also say that I will reach a point in my recovery where I will no longer be drawn in any way shape or form to my compulsive behavior. Here's another example. A couple months ago I was looking for a non-porn video I had read about. It was a graphic display of violence, and my curiosity got the better of me. In my search results, there was a link to a site that seemed innocuous. I clicked it, and was met with gifs and advertisements of porn which usually accompany "gore" sites. I sighed at my stupidity, shut it down, and abandoned my search. I was unaffected by what I saw. There was no racing of my heart, no pull to linger, no desire to see more. I didn't consider it a reset because I wasn't searching for it, I came upon it (sorta) by accident, and I shut it down immediately. I felt no guilt or shame, and I would have had no issue telling my wife about it (although I don't think I did). In thinking about this later, I realized how crazy it was that I was exposed to glimpses of porn and felt nothing. This would have been unthinkable for me a year ago.

    Recovery is real. Brains can be healed and rewired. It just take time and diligence.
     
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  8. Trobone

    Trobone Fapstronaut

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    I would say recovery is real - but complacency is also real. I know from my past that I tend to fall back into old habits. So maybe I won't walk around calling myself an addict, but at the same time I fully 100% believe that 2-5-10 years from now I won't be able to regulate porn and if I begin I will end up being compulsive and using it to numb myself again.
     
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  9. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    He has an AP that he talks to about most things. Or, at least he is supposed to but has felt like he didn't need that form of recovery anymore because of how far he had progressed so he quit telling his AP stuff. I think if he had continued to talk to his AP, his pattern would have been recognized long before yesterday's incident.
    He is on this site and does talk to other addicts. I think even you have spoken to him on a few threads on here.
    I think he put himself too high up on a mountain where he thought he was looking down on his addiction from a great height only to later realize it was a hill he was standing on and he needs glasses. He did become complacent and started skipping his meditations and morning yoga opting to spend time on the internet instead.
    He is only suppose to tell me if he does something deliberately. He willingly tells me things here and there when he's having issues, which are things he should be disclosing to his AP, not me, and I only respond with advice not anger to that stuff. The deliberate stuff is generally met with anger because it was deliberate on his part. As far as involving a therapist to aid in disclosures, that isn't an option right now and won't be for a long time because of our daughter. We don't have family or anyone that is able to watch her for us to go to an appointment. He can't hold onto things until then because they will continue to get worse if he does.
    I do get mad at him when he does something that he knows he shouldn't, but that anger doesn't last too long on my end. What is lasting is the reevaluating of the marriage and whether I want to stay or go. His anger is long lasting because he is still not mature enough to own up to his responsibilities to me and this marriage. He will confess in his journal where he went wrong, confess to other addicts and talk about how humbled he is and all that, but he ignores me until I act like I'm "back to normal" so he is comfortable again. This is the part of him that makes me question our future the most because of how he is towards me and how selfish he is. He's the one who messed up, I should be the one who has the right to be angry, not him. He should be the one trying to fix and mend the marriage, not me. By ignoring the problem he is only pushing me farther away from him and eventually that will lead to splitting up. Like, I could handle his accidents and incidents and set backs a lot better if he actually seemed like he valued me as a wife and as a person. But he only "loves me" when I'm happy.
     
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  10. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    This is so awesome and so good to see. It provides hope for the hopeless that things can get better with work and diligence
     
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  11. This is exactly what my husband does, and it shows that there's still a long way to go. Being mad at us because they made a poor behavioral choice is very immature, and it indicates a lack of accountability which is obviously necessary for successful recovery.

    Again, this shows the immaturity and need for accountability. I've explained to my husband that this is not the mindset of someone who is committed to their marriage or recovery. Just because he isn't acting out with PMO, that doesn't make him "recovered." Until he learns to honestly take responsibility for his choices and their consequences, and he's able to consciously recognize when he starts down the old path (clicking on questionable ads or searching for content that's likely to show triggering material, etc.), he's still only one step away from the addiction. But, he'd like to think that abstinence alone puts him way far out ahead of it when, clearly, that's just the first step.

    I completely understand what you mean about not feeling valued. When they can direct all their anger and disappointment in themselves at you, it makes you feel like an emotional punching bag.
     
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  12. It's great that you've been able to come this far. I'm sure it hasn't been easy, but I doubt recovery ever is.

    I think that 'healing' for some may look much different than for others. For you, it has meant that you aren't easily sucked right back in to the addiction even after seeking out psubs. That's amazing...and probably not as common. For others, healing might never get that far, regardless of how long they've been doing it. Someone who's been in solid recovery for 10 years may struggle after merely a glimpse of a P image. I think success comes in the way they 'manage' the moment.
     
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  13. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    Very true. Some of us have damaged our brains far more than others. The addiction runs across an entire spectrum. I do think everyone can reach a point of healing that doesn't involve white-knuckling, and the verdict is out - even for myself - if I would get sucked back into the addiction regardless of the previous successes I've had. Regardless - as a foundational standard of my recovery, I will never test it. It's not something I ever want to go back to, so there would be no reason for me to test it. So in a way I can't ever be an authority on the matter. But I've had friends on here who have done that very thing and passed through the fire unscathed, so there's that. I didn't agree with what they did, but they did it and continued on.
     
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  14. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    This is exactly right. A big part of recovery is having the ability to emotionally regulate oneself. If they can't regulate themselves and accept responsibility for acting out, then they are still "white knuckling" to an extent. My husband has learned to emotionally regulate himself better when things are going well, which is good. But as we know, it is when things are going bad that those skills are needed most.

    I saw a quote the other day that said something like, insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isnt freedom, its adolescence. This is a good example of that. Accepting responsibility is hard, but is needed for just about everything in life, not just recovery. I hope for our sakes it is something our husbands eventually learn how to do.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
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  15. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I've become pretty detached from what my husband has been experiencing lately. Him and I dont really have a lot of time to talk to each other as it is because our daughter is very clingy and fussy. Last night he started to tell me things about some of the troubles he has been having and I barely paid attention to what he was saying. I cant remember what he said to me and I feel as though I blocked it out at some point because it sounded like the same old story over again.
    There's always the lingering question I have of what he plans to do about fixing the marriage. His attitude towards me hasn't changed much in regard to how he treats me after he acts out. As though I'm supposed to be the one to continue to do the day to day stuff while he ignores the world. And I better not show any negative emotion about anything because it just makes things worse for him and his time he needs to overcome what he did. I woke up this morning with the realization that he has never maintained the level of commitment and loyalty to this marriage that I have through the entire marriage. He acts out, finds an excuse as to why, doesn't apologize in any form, gets angry at everyone, then expects me to be back to where he needs me to be when he's ready to talk about his own feelings. He's never asked me how I'm doing, how I feel about anything, where I'm at in my healing, if I'm able to mentally process his problems, etc.
    He had to fill up the water jug we keep in the fridge earlier this morning, and it gets filled up with a 5 gallon jug of reverse osmosis water we buy from the store. He overshot the opening of the fridge jug and spilled water all over the counter. He tried to crack a joke by saying "I have a hard time controlling my juices" in reference to the spilled water, which I found no humor in considering his lack of control is the reason for my trauma. I felt it was mocking me in a sense and made me feel like the value of me as a wife and a person was just a big joke to him.

    There has been a lot of things that I've wanted to say to him, but have not been able to bring myself to do so. I feel it wouldn't do any good anyway since he still doesn't have much interest in what my perspective is anyway. Since it is Wednesday, I have to maintain a sense of peace so it doesn't upset his flow and lead him to acting out when we take our daughter to see her therapists this afternoon.

    Something I noticed about myself is the way I see him now. This has changed over the last few months, and him being in more of a diligent recovery period didn't alter this perspective. I dont see him the same way as I did prior, when I would look at him and be thankful he is here and he is working on himself. I think what has caused this indifference towards him is noticing how little effort he has made towards the marriage. I mean, this isnt new by any means, but the realization of it is. I look at him and can see a future with him while simultaneously not seeing a future with him. Neither is more stronger than the other, but this may change over time with one being heavier than the other.

    I feel as though another reason for the indifference towards him is how I'm the go-to person for everyone in the family to vent their problems too. My kids have been having issues with life and I've been having a difficult time trying to be sympathetic to what they're going through. When it comes to mental health there is a fine line between acknowledging their problems and enabling them to dwell on them and making them bigger than they were to begin with. This line is often blurry, especially when my 13 year old tells me that she's been through so much in her life and that is why she is always depressed. Spoiler: she's not really been through much, but since her past therapist said as much, it has stuck with her. When I ask her about what she's been through that allows her to be depressed, she has a very difficult time citing reasons. But of course, I have to listen to each and every miniscule detail about how when she was 2, her sibling pushed her off the couch and it traumatized her for life even though she landed on a pillow and didn't even cry about it at the time. Now its a big deal. Now, it is one of the primary reasons she has to lay in bed all day and expects everything to be about her and her pain otherwise she will sneak a knife into her room and cut herself with it.
    The attitude and emotional maturity of my kids is on par with that of my husband. If I say the wrong thing, they are angry or upset with me for the rest of the day. The wrong thing can be as simple as, "did you want chicken for dinner tonight?" Because evidently I forgot about the time that they told me last year that they didn't like chicken anymore even though they've eaten it many times since saying it, and have also requested it for dinner a few times.
     
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  16. I always have that question in my mind, too, and for me at least, I believe the answer is...nothing. I'm beginning to realize that what I would call his "effort to fix the marriage" is very different from what he considers it to be. So, while I'm waiting for him to do something...anything that will help heal 'us'...in his mind, he thinks that he's working on healing our marriage by not acting out. It's Iike, what more can he do? :confused: (I've actually told him several things that would likely be helpful, but he never remembers any of them.)

    I can also relate to not being able to show any negative emotions. If I show in any way that I'm sad or hurt or angry, it makes everything much worse. He already can't deal with his own emotions, hence PMO addiction, and he can't handle mine either because it brings up his own (guilt, sadness, etc.)

    I'm the one that everyone comes to, too. For the most part I don't mind because I understand why they come to me and not him. But, there have been many times that I felt like I should've done a better job of parenting, but at the time, I was consumed by betrayal trauma effects and could hardly keep it together even before their issue came up. I always do my best no matter what the situation is, but I know that without all the BT stuff, I'd be a much better Mom overall, and I hate that it has affected everything that way.

    I'm sorry about all that's going on with your 13 year old. That's a tough age already, even without the therapist's 'help.' Occasionally, one of the boys will do or say something that reflects my husband's emotional immaturity, but I try very hard to address it immediately because I'm determined that they will grow up to be significantly more emotionally intelligent than that.
     
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  17. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    This is exactly my husband too. "I'm doing all these meditations, yogas, exercising, reading books, etc. What more is there to do?" It is as though i need to put a billboard up somewhere in the house that says: those are for you dear, not for the marriage.

    My chest continued to hurt since he told me about this last incident. Turns out that he withheld more information about it as well as acting out the previous day too. We had a talk about it while our daughter was in her therapy session, which was very difficult considering how many people kept passing by us. We sit in a small waiting room in the hallway next to the elevator. And wouldn't you know, some dude had to come work on the elevator today. We got a few words in. I told him that it was very hard to be married to someone who hasn't been faithful through the duration of the marriage, and still to this day, continues to be unfaithful. Like, why am I here since you don't really need me? You've got all those ass pictures out there that you love so much to drool over whenever you feel lonely, what am I fighting for, really? A one sided marriage? It really isn't worth it. Every lie just puts that much more distance between us. Every time he takes his anger out on me or others is just more distance. I mean, if he really cared about me, he would check to see if I'm okay if something bad happened to me during the time he was angry, right? He doesn't. That day he confessed this stuff to me, I was making dinner. I have horrible night vision and can barely see anything. I was putting some burritos for the kids in the oven and couldn't see the rack. Since my depth perception was also off, my estimate on where it would be was not accurate and it resulted in me hitting the rack, dropping the cookie sheet and all the burritos, trying to get the burritos picked up before they started to cook onto the oven, not able to correctly calculate where they all were and burning the heck out of myself because of how many times my arm came into contact with the oven door. Now, you would think a man who cared about and loved his wife would snap out of his anger for a moment to come assist, but not him. He just sat there, staring at his tablet, less than 10 feet from me.
    This is just one of so many examples. Too many examples. I get mad at him but I would have jumped up to help him if the situation were reversed.


    I can relate to this part as well. So many times my kids would come to me with one issue or another and I was not in the right frame of mind to even think about what they were telling me. My 4 older ones come to me, and I do understand why given my background. My oldest son will send his friends and his girlfriend to me to help when they need it too. None of them know what is going on between my husband and I, but 3 of the 4 can sense when I'm "off" and don't bug me too much about their problems during that time unless they think they're really bad. My 13 year old, however, the world revolves around her and no one else has emotions or feelings except her.

    I also try to address the emotional immaturity, even with my oldest son who will be 24 this year. It is important to take other peoples perspectives and consider how others would react. As far as I know, none of my kids watch P, so at least I got that one through their heads.
     
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  18. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    My husband and I had a long talk last night. I had to remind him of what I expect from him versus what he thinks I expect from him. He convinced himself that I expect 100 percent from him. I told him that was never the case and that I was aware he may never get to 100 percent. That there may always be triggers that he comes across regardless of how far he is in recovery. My main concern is what he does after he gets triggered, not the trigger itself.

    I also had to remind him about how it is his lying that makes me angry. It is his selfishness and apathy that pushes me away more than his triggers and actions that follow. I do want 100 percent honesty from him, not because of our relationship necessarily, but because if he is unable to learn to be honest with himself, he will continue to bury himself and stunt his own growth. When he first told me about the second glance he took at the picture, I didn't get mad at him. The anger came later when my gut told me he wasn't telling me the full truth about the incident as well as withholding information from me. Other deliberate actions he took.

    There was a misunderstanding about what I meant when I told him that it was difficult to be married to someone who wasn't committed to this marriage the same way that I was. What I meant by that was him lying to me and withholding information from me violated trust. If there is no trust, there is no commitment on his end. Not only does it make me lose trust in him, it makes him lose trust within himself, which creates distance between us. He said his emotions always get in the way of how he interprets what I say to him. As time goes by, and he continues to lie or withhold information, it causes my survival skills to kick in full force and I will start attacking his actions. I will start bringing up stuff from the past. This is how I am able to create distance from him. It is survival to move away from a threat, and when he is in that state of mind, the anger, lying, then betrayal, he becomes a threat to my well-being.

    I told him in the future, if he has to tell me something and he feels he may lie about it, instead of telling me, write it down and give that to me. Write down everything before he comes to me about it. That way there's no pressure. He can give me the paper and walk away. I will still talk to him about it, but if it happens to trigger me, it will also give me time to come to my senses before talking to him. If he doesn't remember to write it down and just starts to tell me, I will remind him that the lies hurt more than the confession itself and allow him time to come clean, even if it means him going to write about it at that point. I feel this would be the best way to communicate with each other.

    I understand his background plays a huge role in why he lies when he tells me things. I can ask him a simple question and be completely calm at that moment, but to him, I'm mad and interrogating him, which then causes those childhood instincts to kick in where he feels he needs to protect himself by not giving the full truth. Not only have I heard stories from him about how his dad and uncles are towards those they feel are not meeting the "status quo" on how a perfect man should be, I've seen it during times when his dad has come to visit. My husband would go from 50 percent confidence about himself to 0 percent when his dad was around. He would shrink beyond recognition. Suddenly it was his dad that was in charge of everything in our home instead of me and my husband, which of course I would disagree with. I would watch my husband struggle and lie to his dad about things because of the amount of pressure his dad would put on him for perfection. My husband has spent these last several months learning how to accept his flaws, and was doing "okay". When his dad visited this last time, I only heard my husband lie to him one time, which may not have been deliberate. He was telling his dad about how much he made at his then job and told him the bi-weekly pay amount was actually the weekly amount. Since I'm the one that takes care of the finances, my husband may have just gotten that part mixed up since he rarely looks at the bank account.

    My husband also tends to see me as some perfect being who despite all odds in life, managed to step through all hurdles of fire unscathed and as some magnificent guru. I have combated this image he holds of me in his head as a comparison to himself for several years now. Last night I told him several stories of things that I did in my past that were not good and went against that image of perfection. I'm human. Yes, I've been through a lot. Yes I've done some shady stuff in my own life. Yes, one of the reasons I still push you forward is because I have a deeper understanding of what you're capable of based on my own experiences in life. I did have to laugh at his "i never would have seen that coming" comment after the fact, but he did see my perspective a little better after that.

    Hopefully it sticks with him that mistakes are part of the human experience. It is what happens after those mistakes that set you up for success or failure in life. It is important to learn and try to avoid repeating the mistake, but that also takes time.

    Day by day..
     
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  19. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    What an incredible post. It's the communication that can so often break through the barriers to connection. I genuinely hope this will reap greater rewards for both of you in the future.

    As an alternate suggestion, instead of him writing notes and handing them to you, he could also privately message you on the forums if that's easier. Then he wouldn't even need to approach you and hand you the note, and may even alleviate even more pressure while still achieving the same goals.
     
  20. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I did also give him the option of sending me a text on my tablet rather than writing it down. Even if he is sitting across from me when he sends it, it would still give him time to run away before I read it lol
     
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