marriage in quantum superposition

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

  1. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I think there is much to be said about recovery as well as nothing at all. There are so many times that I go from feeling like nothing is ever going to get better to feeling that nothing seems real anymore. It goes back and forth all the time. The former tends to hit during times my husband acts out and lies whereas the latter tends to hit during "down" times when he seems to be doing well with his recovery.
    I often question if any of this really matters in the grand scheme of things. There is so much more in life that is beyond this addiction, my husbands recovery, and my own healing, but this often gets masked through the process. I find myself spending hours and hours scrolling my news feed searching for life and connection out there only to realize how much time has passed and how much of it was wasted. I would say it was a form of self-loathing, but I often feel empty when engaging in this random scrolling. I am in between semesters right now so I feel like I'm trying to make up for all the time I would normally spend reading articles or writing something, but I know that would only be an excuse. I really don't know why I do it. I dont feel depressed, sad, anxious, or upset. I do know that it occurs for several weeks after my husband acts out, so there is a pattern to it. Perhaps I'm looking for an escape from myself? Even while facing what would be my emotions head on, I still overcome them rather quickly, so it doesn't appear to be an escape. Boredom? Perhaps.

    I do have my qualifying exam approaching in July and I really should be focusing on preparing for that. Yet I find ways to fill my time elsewhere. Do I lack motivation and need direction? I think this may be the case. I'm used to deadlines and someone holding me accountable to my projects in class. That accountability hasn't been there for several months because my last instructor is the head of the department. Since he is always busy, he doesn't have a whole lot of time to check on our work to make sure we are progressing in the way we should. This is unusual for me because I've always been a self-motivated person. Prior to D-day, I would make sure my assignments were complete and ready to go months before they were due. This is where I need to get back to. I could easily write up my paper for quals right now and have it completed before my start date, but... no motivation. As I keep telling myself, "I will start it tomorrow". Eventually "tomorrow" will come.
    Tarsus, kropo82 and hope4healing like this.
  2. I do this sometimes, too. I've thought a lot about it, and I think I do it for a couple different reasons. Sometimes, when I feel empty and 'blah,' I think it's mostly because of boredom. But, the majority of the time, I feel hurt, anxious, abandoned, inadequate, or any other effects of betrayal trauma, and I think I'm endlessly searching for answers or solutions to fix everything and help me heal. My rational mind knows that I'm not going to come across some magical information that will solve everything, but sometimes desperation overrules rationality.

    The reason I started analyzing why I do that is because I wondered if I was doing it for any of the same reasons PA's turn to P....avoiding unwanted emotions, etc. But, I don't think it's similar because I'm not turning to things that help me avoid thinking about how I feel. Instead, I'm turning to things as a way of dealing with my emotions by addressing them and trying to find ways to change. (Sorry, I don't know if that makes sense?)
    DefendMyHeart, Tarsus and Vizsla Dad like this.
  3. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I do see your point and it could be part of why I do it. To help me process the information on deeper levels. I think in the beginning I turned to endless searching and scrolling because I felt so hopeless and started to think there was no point in continuing forward with my research. It made it even more difficult that my topic of research was about P addiction, so I couldn't exactly immerse myself in it without reliving those moments of pain. I did a paper over betrayal trauma and it took me twice as long to complete it because it was so difficult to even look at.

    I had read something awhile back about how kids who were exposed to trauma and played games like tetris, their trauma wasn't as deeply embedded as those who didn't play those games. I have a game on my tablet called toy blast, which is sorta like a strategy game. I downloaded it years ago to keep myself entertained during the all nighters I would have when my youngest was a baby. After D-day, I played it more and more often. It didn't take away thoughts or anything, but it gave my brain something else to take up cognitive resources, so I can see how tetris would be helpful for trauma.

    It does make sense. I would do that as well during the time I felt the worst. I would come on these forums and search for answers as well from other addicts, looking for hope. It is hard to process emotions that intense so turning to things to help take up some "brain space" is one way to help cope with them.

    I do find myself going back and forth between "nothing I do will ever matter" to "I have to do this so other people can understand so they never have to feel this way" then I'm determined to change the world. That spark dies down a few moments later though lol.
    hope4healing likes this.
  4. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I had a fb memory pop up the other day when I was aimlessly scrolling the news feed. Around 9 years ago, my mom came to visit for a week. During her visit, my sisters decided it would be fun to take my mom to the local strip club to hang out. I know it sounds odd, but for my family, this was actually normal.

    My sisters spent many years of their lives working in those clubs. My father, being an SA, encouraged this way of life for me and my siblings because he was under the impression that a woman's value was her body. I remember many times growing up that my mom would tell us that the reason my dad wasn't home on some night was because he was at a strip club with his friends. After my father passed away, it was as though his soul continued to live vicariously through my mother. She frequented strip clubs with my sisters, started drinking, and slowly disconnected from life. I myself had been to plenty in my life, given how this was my family's "norm", we would often meet each other there. It was no different than going to any other club.

    I remember that night fairly clearly. My mom was concerned she may get too drunk and attempt to get up on stage. My sister and her husband ended up in a fight. My other sister ended up trashed and her then husband had to carry her out while hoping the vomiting didn't start until they were outside in the clear. A few weeks after the fact a few of my friends who saw the post were going on about how my family was the coolest and I was so lucky to have a mom open to that way of life (whatever that means). From the outside, I suppose it would seem as though it was all about pleasure, but from the inside, my entire family was miserable. Every one of them had a deep hatred of themselves and was only looking for an escape.

    I think this is one of the reasons why I'm able to understand my husbands struggles in a different way from other SO's on here. I literally grew up in the middle of a section of the adult entertainment industry and was encouraged to participate as well. This was all "normal" to my family and my parent's friends. This was all that I knew for so many years.

    Growing up around this type of stuff also provided me with insight on how women actually feel about stuff. They make look all glamorous and seem all happy, but 99.99 percent of the time there was some drug they were encouraged or required to take to appear that way. To cover the depression, sadness, regret, and the plethora of other negative emotions that would normally show on their faces.

    I'm not even sure what made me decide to post this in my journal. Perhaps it was an attempt to make those in the Industry a little more human. Perhaps it was because it was a reflection of a past I rarely thought about but knew played a part in how I am today. This is also another reason why I dont seem to allow the leverage in my marriage other men are afforded. Because I know all the excuses. I know the justifications to continue something that shouldn't be continued. I'm familiar with the "self talk" of an addict because of how much I was exposed to at such a young age.

    My husband often talks about his past and the things he was exposed to. This is how I was wired, he would claim in his defense all the time.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2021
  5. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    Watching a few threads on here has made me reflect on how things were when I first started posting on here. I remember numerous times where men would come onto my threads in an effort to gaslight me. They tried to make me feel horrible for having any negative feelings towards the way my husband treated me, lied to me, or hurt me. Evidently I was supposed to be 100 percent supportive of every aspect of his recovery regardless of how he treated me. I was supposed to look at myself and view all my flaws as reasons for my husbands behavior and need for P. Every effort I did make to try and help him was never good enough because he "had a serious psychemotional problem" and me expecting honesty from him was too much pressure on him.

    I remember how hurt I was when I would tell my husband about these comments and how he would just dismiss them as not a big deal. I hoped he would come to my defense at some point and tell these guys that what they were saying was not true. That I had been supportive of his recovery. That lying to me wasn't okay. That my anger towards him was warranted. He told me he didn't want to say anything because he didn't like confrontation. During this same time, he was commenting on other threads in a way that would provoke others, leading to confrontation. I pointed that out to him. He said the reason he didn't want to say anything is because they were "standing up for me" and he didn't want to lose their support. He even went onto their threads and tried to make friends with these people.

    This happened back in the beginning. I do understand he has grown since then. It does hurt a little when I see him putting so much effort into defending other SO's on here from those types of attacks knowing he never did the same for me when I needed him.

    Maybe it is just one of those down days because normally this wouldn't bother me the way it is. Hopefully by getting it out, I will be able to get away from it.
  6. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I wanted to clarify something from my last post. I dont want people to think I dont want him to come to the defense of others where it is needed because there are many times it is needed. It was merely a reflection of the past that I needed to get out.

    I did talk to him about it and he did apologize for not being there for me when he should have been. He said that it was because of me that he has grown in the way that he has, and he appreciates all that I've done for him and how supportive I have been of his recovery. I know that when things come up in my mind that still hurt, it is because they still need to be addressed and healed so I am able to continue to move forward. Just like with his actions and thoughts, there is that potential for a buildup if things go unaddressed that will later come out in some unhealthy manner.

    I've had to learn from a young age how to be resilient and how to adapt and change based on the environment I was in. I battled a lot on my own, more than any person at a young age should ever have to deal with alone, and if things went unaddressed for too long it would lead to depression. Although I have "trained" my mind not to sink down into those extreme levels anymore, being able to be open and have communication is still important to me.

    When I was married to my ex husband, any attempt at deviation from "perfect" was met with harshness. I had to maintain a certain appearance, physically, emotionally, and psychologically at all times to prevent upsetting him and the abuse that would follow. For years after him and I split I would have nightmares about how suffocating the relationship was. Even without the abuse, it was a very exhausting relationship. I was never allowed to be who I really was and I almost lost that part of myself. Years after we split up, after I married my current husband, my ex messaged me saying "I messed up in life and lost the love of my life and I have to live with that everyday". Those words were like someone placed me in a coffin and closed the lid. He never knew me for who I was, just who he wanted me to be. The "love of his lfe" was nothing more than a mere image he conjured up in his mind. It wasn't real. I was never real to him.

    Whenever my husband would dismiss me and my feelings in the beginning of his recovery, I felt that same impending doom of being locked inside a coffin. If I'm not allowed to be who I am as a person in front of the one person who is supposed to be the biggest part of my life then what is the point of the marriage? We may as well just be friends at that point. I'm glad he has grown and I hope he continues to grow to the point where he sees my pain and wants to help fix it rather than retreat into his own mind and use it as an excuse to be an a-hole to everyone.
  7. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    The other day I noticed I had a lot of new hair growth coming in around my face. My hair used to be so thick, but due to all the stress that has occurred these last few years it has caused my hair to thin. Now that I'm correcting some of the physical things in my body, it is trying to heal ever so slowly.

    The bad thing about this new growth is whenever I would put my hair up (my hair was all one length) in my usual style, which is a bun on top of my head, my hair around my face would stick out in every direction making me look like I just gave 4 kids a bath and got them to bed. I looked stressed as heck. So I had this bright idea that I would color my hair just a shade darker so it wasn't so noticeable anymore because I dont like leaving my hair down. So I bought one hair dye, all natural, just a shade darker. Brought it home and pulled this bag of powder from the box with instructions on how to boil it in a nonmetal pan while using nonmetal utensils to stir it. I dont have any of that stuff and I sure wasn't going to go spend money on it, so I decided to buy a full kit instead. I picked out a shade that appeared to be slightly darker than my own, mixed it in the bottle where it still looked slightly darker than my own, and applied it to my hair. A few moments go by and I notice my hair looks almost black. I thought maybe it was because it was wet, but I knew better and should have washed it out right then. But no. I allowed myself to believe it was going to be okay. 45 minutes later I'm drying off my fresh new black hair. Not what I wanted.
    I decide to deal with it anyway and attempted to put my hair up the next day. Not only could you still see the new growth, it was worse than before. So I did what any reasonable person would do in that moment and I gave myself some bangs to cover the growth. Except.. I cut them too short. So I had to cut more. And now I have these thick bangs and black hair, but at least you can't see the new hair growth anymore, even though I don't like it one bit. It was a series of bad decisions I cant undo. I just have to wait.

    However, my husband started paying A LOT more attention to me after the fact. I noticed it and figured it was related to him doing his dopamine detox. Oh, he's just bored. Oh, he's just trying to readjust where his mind is going. Oh, he just wants to hold hands for a bit.

    As it turns out, and I'm sure anyone who has read this far knows exactly where this is going, by dying and cutting my hair I've turned myself into "another woman" and his brain is going into crazy mode due to novelty. We talked about it yesterday after he told me about a dream he had. I asked him if that was why his attention toward me had increased and he said yes, and he felt ashamed about it because it is all so superficial and that his attraction to me should be based on who I am, not how I look. He said he wanted to continue to abstain until my hair goes back to the way it was before. This could take anywhere from 6 months to a year since my hair grows so slow. I'm curious if he will be able to hold out that long and if it would be for better or worse.
    hope4healing likes this.
  8. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    Well, that's one possible explanation. I tend to be skeptical when dealing with self-analysis and our interpretations when looking through the lens of "addiction". I can self-introspect until the cows come home, and many times my analysis is skewed or didn't take into account other nuances and factors.

    My wife often makes fun of me about the fact that I can be attracted to her when she looks her worst. My wife is incredibly beautiful, a beauty she doesn't acknowledge. When she just wakes up and is sitting on the couch with her hair a mess and groggy eyes, she's still beautiful to me. When she's freshly showered and is made up, she's my goddess. Regardless, she's the exact same person. There are times she wears something that makes me want to get close, and it can be different depending on the circumstance. Sweats and one of her favorite t-shirts that always slides down and shows one of her shoulders - drives me crazy in a good way.

    The question then becomes, is any of this superficial? Should I be ashamed of this? I'm in love with my wife, and it has nothing to do with her looks, but at the same time I'm sexually attracted to my wife, which has everything to do with the intimacy we've shared over the years. Whatever your husband feels towards you, the fact that it's directed at you is something to be celebrated and encouraged, not shamed.

    You made some drastic changes to your hair that by your description left you with negative feelings about your looks. Your husband had an opposite reaction. He found you attractive. From that observation alone, perhaps that's an avenue for you to personally explore. Explore in the sense that the changes you made, regardless if they were unintentional, are not nearly as bad as you think.

    In analyzing your husband's reaction, yes - we can look at everything through the lens of addiction. He acted differently towards you because of novelty and the coolidge effect - something exhibited by all porn addicts. As a response to this, why not abstain and fight the triggers that lead to addiction?

    Except - his renewed interest was directed at the one person that it should be directed at - you! The coolidge effect does not apply here, even if you changed your hair color every week. It's still you, and it's the relationship you have with your husband that matters. We can go down the rabbit hole of couples who role-play and if that's an unhealthy part of their relationship. There's no single answer - it depends, but one can also look at benign actions through different lenses.

    What if your husband's renewed interest in you resulted in zero negative responses? He's not triggered to pursue compulsions, go on the internet and seek out black haired women with short bangs, or whatever else defined his addiction. Would the interpretation still be the same, that his attraction to you was superficial and related to the coolidge effect? I would argue no.

    I think the core problem I'm addressing is where do we draw the hard boundaries as addicts? It's different for all, granted - but sometimes we can draw incorrect boundaries that hinder rather than support our recovery. I offer no judgment as to whether the boundary you and your husband placed is appropriate - it may very well be, but I'm offering an alternate perspective. Maybe in the deep recesses of your husband's brain, he looked your way, saw a new look, and it got his heart racing and his juices flowing, "Is wife??? Hubba hubba!"

    Beauty is superficial, but the intimacy I share with my wife transcends age and circumstance. When we're both in our 60s, and my wife comes out of the bedroom all dolled up and ready for church, and I drop my jaw and go to her to enjoy some momentary physical connection - that has nothing to do with superficiality and everything to do with the fact that I love my wife for who she is, and we've intimately shared each other for decades.
  9. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    Except that it did.

    It resulted in more fishing and him seeking out certain SO's on here because he was wanting attention from them. He decided to take a break from this site as a result. I dont know if this was because he was trying to suppress this new interest in me and it came out in other ways or not, but he did react in a negative way.

    This morning he asked if I wanted to be intimate, to which I replied no. Not because I didn't want to, but because we have to take our daughter to the clinic this morning and there's a lot that needs to be done before we leave the house. I reminded him of his words the other day, that he wanted to wait until my hair was back to normal, and he said he was "over it" so it didn't matter anymore.

    He did his meditation and took a shower, which seems harmless in of itself. However, he showered yesterday morning and he has always spoken out about people in this house that want to shower daily saying it was a big waste of water. When I pointed this out to him, because he was upset with me a few months ago about me wanting to shower daily, he says he doesn't remember it and got really defensive. So now I'm wondering if it was due to us going to the clinic because we will be around other women the entire time, or if there are other reasons for this sudden odd behavior and him being so defensive about it. Either way, he has withdrawn from me because I asked him about it.

    For the record, I think we should shower daily.
    Tarsus likes this.
  10. Trobone

    Trobone Fapstronaut

    You are obviously more of the expert in your marriage than me. But just to ask the question - is it possible you're overthinking this?

    You made a change and weren't happy with it. He seemed to enjoy it. If we leave it at that, it's OK.

    I know I've gotten my hair cut shorter, or grown a beard, or changed the fit of my jeans, etc and my wife has complimented me on it. I have not always been happy with how I looked or felt, but she was. It doesn't mean that she's looking for something different and new. Sometimes it just means that they like it.

    I get why you question his motives, you have a good reason to. As would my wife.

    IMO (and only my opinion) - he should not feel guilty about being attracted to you, and wanting to abstain for months while your hair grows out it overboard.
  11. Real Roboin

    Real Roboin Fapstronaut

    Are you ok? That is some very odd , addicted behavior.
  12. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    Me? No. Him? Absolutely. His overthinking has set off a string of events that caused negative behaviors because he didn't want to come to terms with the fact that my change of appearance brought stronger feelings of attraction towards me. I literally just pointed this out to him a little while ago. He told me that when his mind is troubled by thoughts, he stares at me as a way to redirect it in my direction rather than towards someone else. So I told him, "yet, when it does happen, you push it away and instead seek attention and validation from other women." He said he realized his contradiction and will work on it. He just doesn't like that his feelings changed toward me based on superficial stuff.

    My only major thinking that occurred during that time was what I said above. That my looking different impacted him, which it did. On top of that, it made me feel less bad about how I looked. But since he battled it, acted out by fishing, hoped to gain the attention of other SO's on here, tried to gain the attention of my daughters therapists, and him telling this morning he was "over it" regarding the change, I just don't feel so good about it anymore.

    I wish we could have just left it at that. That would have been nice.
  13. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I'm okay. Another day another issue, I suppose
  14. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    My husband still has not fully grasped the concept of how important communication is between. He gets it when things build and we finally communicate, but prior to that, he seems to have a very difficult time coming to terms with the importance of it.
    He will communicate things in his journal, to other members on here, to those he is an AP for, and to himself. At that point, I suppose he feels he's said it enough times to others that now the burden falls on me to understand what he is doing even though I have no idea what was said.
    He has spent these last few months trying to direct whatever lust starts brewing towards me instead of towards others. Then, when it finally comes naturally to him, as it did when I dyed my hair, he pushes it away because he has decided that he no longer wants to have anything to do with lust. However, it still brews under the surface and comes out in other ways, such as fishing and striving for attention from other women. Now, this makes no sense to someone who is on the outside of these conversations he has (me) because I see him as falling back into his addictive behaviors. It isnt until he actually tells me what is going in with him internally that I'm able to help him put pieces together so he can see why things happen the way they did, and how to re-center himself.
    So he was aroused when he saw me. He didn't like that because to him, he was paying attention to the surface. Where that may be true to an extent, he could have used that to connect it to something deeper rather than keeping it at the surface and allowing it to go towards the surface aspect of others. He has been doing his yoga and meditations in hopes of achieving a state where lust is no longer part of him. There are yogis and monks who live life never identifying with their bodies and as a result, lust is never there. He has only been doing these things for a few months now but given how he still has false ideals of perfection for himself, he expected to transcend this aspect of himself right away. This is just not possible for someone who spent most of his life indulging in lust. It is very hard for him to come to terms with that.
    Now that we've communicated about it, I was able to remind him that yogis and monks who did not start out that way from a young age had to learn the proper ways of channeling their energies towards a higher purpose. Someone, such as him, who has a whole lot of energy that has been dedicated towards lust, can use that to reach a higher purpose. I will just have to work with him to show him how.
    After we talked about all this, he went on to tell me about some troubles he was having in his mind. How certain associations kept popping up and wouldn't go away. We worked through them as well. He sat there, almost in tears, telling me how much he appreciates the fact that I'm able to sit and talk with him about his problems rather than getting mad. That he appreciates everything I've done and do for him. Of course, since I have a difficult time around others who express emotions like that, my brain was like "guess its time to get up and go to another room" which makes me feel really bad that he is in a state of vulnerability and I am unable to comfort him because I'm looking for an exit (I didn't leave the room in case anyone is wondering. I made myself stay put).
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  15. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I find myself in a conundrum of sorts.

    During my doctors appointment yesterday, we were going over my blood work. He had run the same tests a month apart from each other. There were huge spikes in some things, in others, huge drops. He said it was practically unheard of that my levels would be that way in such a short timespan. He has an idea of what it could be and plans to test me for it. One of the factors behind the cause is an environmental factor. This essentially means that the culprit within me is stemming from an exposure to something from my childhood.
    If my test comes back positive, and it does confirm his suspicions, it is also possible that my sisters suffer from the same phenomenon. This issue can cause health problems later in life such as lupus (which my younger sister was diagnosed with a few years ago), MS, dementia, and a host of other autoimmune and/or neurological conditions.

    I haven't spoken to either of my sisters since my mom passed away 4 years ago. They pretty much cut me out of their lives, my older sister even going as far to remove me from social media. It was not a big surprise to me considering how I've never really fit in with my family, and my mom was the glue that held my sisters and I together. Once she was gone, so was the glue. This has not bothered me much because of how toxic they were. I feel like I'm safe from them now. My kids are safe from them. My husband is safe from them.

    On my way home from the doctors visit, I questioned whether or not I should contact my sisters to let them know of the possibility so they could also get tested. I also considered doing it only if my test was positive. Given how they've wanted nothing to do with me these last 4 years, and I them, I dont know if they'll even consider what I say to them even if it is to help them. So I wonder if it would even be worth the headache of contacting them, even though I know it would be the morally right thing to do.

    This dilemma seemed to carry over into my dream last night. I was standing in a field doing some type of work and noticed my sisters over by the house of the owner I was working for. I decided to try and get away from where they were so they didn't see me, so I hopped on a fallen over tree and started rolling it towards a body of water (I dont know how to do this in real life, so this was odd). As I'm rolling along, they spotted me and came over to the tree. They both jumped on each end, me in the middle, and started to talk about how it was great that we could all be together again. I kept my head down because I didn't want to look at either of them and just nodded in response, even though I was extremely uncomfortable, yet at the same time, comforted by this interaction. We continued towards the body of water and I woke up right before we went in.

    There has been, albeit miniscule, a longing to be a part of my family even though I didn't fit in with them when I was younger. I didn't drink or do drugs so I was always the "boring" sister. The only time they ever came around in the past is if there was something I had they wanted. The last time I saw my little sister was when she came to the hospital after I had my youngest child, and it was to try and hit me up for pain pills (she held my daughter and spent time with me, but it was all so fake).

    My main concern in contacting them is how it would reopen those lines of communication, something I'm no longer interested in having because of how they are. If their response is receptive to what I tell them, they will try and come back into our lives. I would be then, faced with another dilemma of whether or not to be the "bad guy" and kick them out of my life again, or, just try and keep a safe distance for the rest of my life.

    I'm not sure if there is even a right way to approach this. I even considered the possibility of involving a 3rd party to deliver the news, but I'm not close to anyone else in my family. At least not close enough to trust that the conversation wouldn't go along the lines of "she told me not to tell you she didn't want to talk to you, but..." which would send a ripple through the entire family.

    On another subject:
    I came across a video with one of the people my husband really enjoys listening to. It was a preview of the entire video, which left him intrigued. In order to watch the full episode, we had to download an app, which unfortunately, was not compatible with our tablets. There was no web browsing option, so the only way to view the series of videos was to download the app on a smartphone. I broke out my old one from years ago, prior to us changing to flip phones after D-day, and downloaded the app. My husband was downstairs at the time so he didn't know I did it until later in the day, right before I left to go to my doctor appointment. I handed him the smartphone with the app open and he started to watch the video as I was getting ready to leave. When I went to tell him I was leaving, he handed me the smartphone and asked me to take it with me because he felt as though it would be too much of a temptation to keep it home. I was glad he was able to recognize his trigger right away and opt to have it out of his sight rather than just putting it up until I came back, so there was progress on his part. I suppose it answers the question he posed a few months ago over whether or not we were ready to go back to smartphones. By we, I mean he.
    hope4healing and Tarsus like this.
  16. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    My husband has been working on "raising his awareness" of things lately.

    One part of his awareness is his discovery in how much I clean up after the kids. This bugs him. He gets upset whenever they leave food debris on the counter after fixing something, and they never clean it up.
    He's the same way, which I've pointed out to him. I told him that it probably angers him like it does because subconsciously, he knows he is the same way. So he has made an effort since then to clean up after himself. It isnt 100 percent, but it has improved a bit.

    Going forward from that, since he is trying to be more in tune with what others need from him at the time they need it, I've approached this by taking a step back and letting him figure things out on his own rather than telling him what it is that I need from him (unless he directly asks me).

    A few years ago, I bought a big basket for our room to use as a hamper. Despite it being there, he still throws his clothes on the floor. For these last few years, when it is time for laundry, I usually pick them up and put them in the hamper before bringing it to the laundry room. I decided not to do that anymore. It is now week 2. His clothes are still on the floor.
    We also have a basket in the laundry room that I use for clean clothes. Since we took the smallest bedroom in the house, there isn't a whole lot of room to put our clothes away, so this basket stays in the laundry room with our clothes, which I fold and sort before putting them in there. My husband digs through the basket whenever he wants to find something. I have re-folded and re-sorted the clothes in there every day for the last few years without saying anything to him.

    This morning when I went to the basket to find something, it was all messed up as usual. Instead of folding and sorting, I messed it up even more. Just tossed the clothes all around until they became one big pile of mixed up clothes.

    Just to clarify: none of this was done out of anger or spite towards him.

    I want to see if he becomes aware of what I'm doing and if he tries to fix it himself. I know that sometimes, the little things will help with the bigger things, so with this being a little thing, I'm curious to see if something improves and he becomes more aware of his behavior with the laundry. I've been resisting all urges to go fix everything because it bugs me to no end, so I'm hoping he figures this out soon.

    I also wonder if I continue to do little things like this if it will help him at all, or if it is too "petty" of me. I know if I asked any of my friends what their take was on this, I would hear about how he should take care of his own stuff and he needs to realize I'm not his maid. That anything he does now to help reduce my workload is something he should already be doing anyway. So if anyone wants to chime in with an opinion, feel free to do so.
    Tarsus and hope4healing like this.
  17. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I'm supposed to start my qualitative exam tomorrow.

    Part of me feels stressed about it. The exam consists of 2 parts; the first being a literature review over the research I've found that relates to my idea, and the second being a research proposal. I have only two weeks to complete it. Since I knew it was coming, I've been preparing slightly by pulling any and all relevant articles I can find that I will need for it. I haven't typed anything out yet because I'm unsure how my literature review will need to be structured. It is based on a question they give me, which I won't have until tomorrow.

    There is a smaller part of me that just wants to call it quits. I dont need this degree, do I? What qualifies me as a researcher anyway? I mean, sure, I've done papers in the past, I've done a ton of lit reviews and several proposals.. but this one is different. Once it is completed, I will have to present it to my committee where they will either tell me I can proceed with the research idea, or tell me I need to find another direction. What if it isnt good enough? What if I didn't put enough thought or effort into it? I go back and forth on this because in the past, when I've done research, the instructor I had at the time told me I overdid it and said something to the tune of "theres no glory in being an overachiever".

    We had a conference at one point with a lady that was distinguished in her field of research. Part of the conference was about providing support for our upcoming dissertation. This particular instructor felt it was necessary to call me out in front of everyone with a "500 pages for a dissertation is too much, do you hear that?" The thing is, we had not even started on them, this instructor isn't on my committee and there is no evidence that supports the notion that my dissertation is going to be 500 pages long. I dont know why she felt as though she needed to single me out like she did. But she did. And it adds to the pressure of feeling like I'm not good enough to even be in this program since I evidently can't satisfy this person.

    I'm probably overthinking everything too much at this point. I'm sure I am.
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  18. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    I often forget that when my ex husband asks me for parenting advice, he isn't actually asking for advice, he is asking for me to confirm what he is doing regardless of how I feel about it.

    My 13 year old has become quite the handful for him lately. She's easily angered, prone to depression, and has frequent suicidal thoughts. Theres been a number of times she has gone the "self harming" route and it generally coincides with something he has done or said to her.
    See, my ex is an alcoholic and a SA. His attempts at therapy in the past is basically trying to find one that will allow him to continue the bad habits he has with an excuse "my therapist says I drink because of xyz, therefore I can drink to cope". When they don't agree and try to get him to open up about himself, his childhood, or whatever, he shuts it down. There is a lot he wishes not to confront about himself. That is his choice and his life.
    He emailed me yesterday saying he is tired of trying the "nice" approach with dealing with our daughter. By nice, this basically means that if she is feeling angered, trying to find out why she is angered vs yelling at her for being angry. He would rather yell at her and demand she does what he wants because it would be faster for him. How it impacts her as an adult is of no concern for him. She has no choice but to "show him the respect he is entitled to because he buys her stuff". This is a very shitty thing to project onto a child, in all honesty. Especially one who has not yet developed skills for emotional regulation and has no idea how to process life.

    Through all of this, I'm trying to talk him down so he doesn't yell at her, while validating his emotions because he himself is incapable of emotional regulation. At some point it dawned on me that my daughters issues may not be completely psychological. That there could be a physiological explanation based on her physical symptoms that have been there since she started puberty. I relayed this information to him and now he is a bit more understanding. Not very much, but he has been nudged from the edge of rage. I only hope it stays that way. Now, to find my daughter a doctor that specializes in the endocrine system.
    Tarsus likes this.
  19. DefendMyHeart

    DefendMyHeart Fapstronaut

    Do I have the right to be mad at my husband for lying to me if he doesn't remember the conversation where he lied?

    This is something I keep asking myself. Him and I had a conversation about an incident that occurred the other night. He put himself in a position where he was triggered because he was, quite literally, in the same environment where he relapsed last August. Sitting in the living room, in the dark, on his tablet, while everyone was asleep. He said he recognized it when his mind started to move in "that direction" and immediately put his tablet away shortly after logging on to it (which was a lie, he watched a sports video first, but not the lie I am talking about even though I should be mad at this one too). He told me about it the next morning and I asked him a very specific question about his state of mind to see how deep it impacted him. I did this to sorta "brace myself" should things go south and he decide to make a series of bad choices. He answered me, basically saying it didn't impact him very much.

    Now here we are, several days later, and it turns out the answer to my question was different than it initially was, and this new answer was how bad it did impact him, which is what led to a bunch of issues and actions on his part that occurred in the days that followed.

    So I reminded him about our original conversation where he gave me one answer, but it turned out to not be true. He said he does not remember that as part of our conversation, therefore he didn't lie to me.

    So yea, I got a bit upset with him and haven't had much to do with him over these last few hours. He is off in his own little world, uncaring about how all of this impacted me because he has his own hobbies and activities to keep himself busy. This is where I get to see how his recovery progress still doesn't take this relationship into account when things get difficult or tense between us. He still would rather ignore it and hope it goes away on his own.

    In the past there have been many, many instances of him telling me he didn't remember something only to later tell me he did and was lying about it so it makes it extremely difficult to see past that. This is probably the main component as to why I am struggling with all this in the first place. Him lying and telling me he doesn't remember it later on triggers the hypervigilance part of my brain because now I want to know if there was more lies. At the same time, I have come quite a long way with healing, so there is a conflict within me where part of me says I should just let it go while the other part wants to hold onto it.
  20. Oh, the convenience of 'forgetfulness.' It seem that, all too often, addicts can't remember some of the important details when it comes to accountability for their words and actions. I do believe it might be difficult to remember all the things you said when some of it isn't true, especially when you're trying so hard to convince yourself that you were honest. But, I think that's actually where a lot of the problem starts...they're lying to themselves first, and that makes it even harder to be completely honest with us.

    I understand this. After awhile, it just doesn't seem worth it. You get worn down and have a tendency to just let these things go. But, at the same time, dropping it is not helpful for their recovery because it keeps them from having to own it, and although it isn't our job to keep them on track, the consequences of letting it slide will likely impact us as well.
    DefendMyHeart likes this.

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