My SO journal

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by lostintx, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    So, I joined this site earlier this week after some internet research about Pornography Addiction. I thought that maybe by typing everything out and chronicling my journey it might help me work things out. I'm not typically one to keep a journal, however I don't really know what else to do.
    My husband came to me last Friday when he get home from work with a serious look on his face. I had been celebrating completing a college course with an A because I swear to sweet baby Jesus that it was one of the hardest classes I've ever taken (besides the math courses). Immediately I was put on edge. He told me that he needed to talk to me about something very serious, and I could tell that he was doing all he could to come to me with whatever it was. So we sat down outside while the dogs got some quality play time in and he started. He told me that during his sessions with his therapist something had come up and he and his therapist thought that I really needed to know about it. He told me that he is a PA and has been hooked since his early teens. The way he went about telling me was very therapeutic, and I'm fairly sure that he and his therapist must have worked on how to broach the subject with me, because neither he nor I are masters of the spoken word. He reassured me that it was nothing to do with me and that he wanted me to know because he was seeking help to overcome his addiction. I took it pretty well initially. I was calm, I thanked him for coming to me with it and asked how I could help.
    We spent a very peaceful evening together, just like normal, but I guess I was a walking time bomb. I woke up the next morning and prepared for work with a horrible feeling in my gut. I was unfocused and out of sorts all day while I tried to process everything, and I work in a field that doesn't allow for any lapses in attention or judgement. If I zone out, someone could die. Needless to say I felt very unsafe at work, I felt a little reckless and the horrible feeling in my gut not only didn't go away but intensified. I got home and my husband and I talked about it a little more, but I quickly found myself becoming upset, so I changed the subject and tried to keep it light.
    The next day, I felt better about things, and we spent a nice day together. We went shopping and picked my daughter up from her dad's. I was having a hard time not thinking about things, I began to feel anxious and so I decided to arm myself with knowledge. Suffice it to say, I think that that rabbit hole probably would have been best left untraveled, but hindsight is 20/20. I only made things worse. I told my SO that I was going to try to figure out some questions to ask him (that way he could prepare himself) and I would get back to him the next night.
    Monday night rolled around and after my daughter went to bed we started with the Q&A session. I also wish I had skipped this one because we were going to be seeing our therapist in a few days and perhaps thing would have gone better if she had been there to mediate. He denied every spending money on porn, told me about the various places that he would partake and told me about some of the finer details of his behavior and admitted to me that the last time he had partaken was the day after his initial disclosure. I asked him if he thought that that might constitute cheating and he was surprised that I felt that way. Tearful, I ended the conversation there.
    I had to work again the next day and things were even worse. I decided I didn't feel safe working in the state that I've been in and discussed taking a LOA with my director and manager. They were very supportive and helped me get the paperwork started. I am very lucky to have bosses like them.
    The next day was the day of our couples therapy appointment. It was rough. I actually put on makeup and dressed up (Sometimes these things can be like armor). I don't remember the drive to the office and I barely remember the 20 minute wait for the appointment (I am compulsively early to everything; I think that comes from my first marriage). I broke down pretty much as soon as we got to the room. Our therapist was very supportive of me and told me that PMO is absolutely a form of infidelity. I felt a little validated there. I shared my feelings with my SO with the help of our therapist and we discussed an action plan to prevent further lapses and to aid in recovery. She talked about doing a complete disclosure (this is to come... oh joy) and prefacing it with a polygraph test. She and I decided that I needed access to all of his accounts- email, social media, everything. I felt better for the rest of the afternoon. I think that the crying and the panic attack was kind of like a pressure release.
    That night my husband got up to get a shower and something in my brain flipped. All of a sudden I was most certainly NOT fine. I shut down a little for the rest of the night, but then talked it over with him just before we went to bed when I felt I was calmer and more rational.
    Today has been an emotional roller coaster. I woke up and wanted nothing to do with him. A few hours later I felt like I really just needed him to hold me. We had a pleasant morning and went on a little lunch date, but then I had to go in to work to finish completing the LOA paperwork. On the way to work I felt like I did on the way to our therapists office. The closer I got to work, the more I felt like I might vomit, and when I left my bosses office, I nearly burst into ugly sobs again. I got home to find that our dog had destroyed the carpet underneath his crate and his crate tray. I didn't really put it together, but I'm pretty sure we are stressing him right the hell out. I feel a little guilty about this, so I have been being extra affectionate with him tonight. Poor puppy shouldn't have to be miserable just because SO and I are. I also made an appointment to see my GP to see if she wants to tweak my medications or add something on to help with this sudden uptick in anxiety. Wednesday can't come soon enough.
     
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  2. anxietywife

    anxietywife New Fapstronaut

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    Self care right now is very important. I experienced panic attacks for quite awhile and I also bounced back and forth between wanting to be with him and needing to get away from him. You are most likely experiencing betrayal trauma. Do what is best for you to find your way through this.
     
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  3. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    I'm really trying with the self care. Our therapist was telling me about betrayal trauma and it totally makes sense. I've experienced PTSD from other events in my life and this feels a lot like it in some ways. I haven't had a full night of sleep in almost a week, my mind is always going, my anxiety is out of control and I've been flipping out about some really weird stuff. She gave me some reading homework to complete to gain better understanding as to what it is and how to cope.
    I've been having a hard time keeping lines of communication with my spouse open today. I've been trying to keep it light, because honestly I feel like we have beaten ourselves up enough over the last couple of days and I really just want a day where it's not the primary focus. He seems distant and moody. He did tell me this morning that this is the longest he's gone in a long time without having an orgasm. That was a little upsetting, because until recently our sex life had been very sporadic. There was a period last year when he heavily avoided any intimate contact with me for two months. But six days is the longest he's gone. That feels really great. Of course I don't know how to tell him how I feel about that without it sounding accusatory, so I'm just going to keep it to myself until I figure it out.
    I asked him today if he'd gotten started on using this forum. He said no. He hasn't been to a meeting yet, he hasn't talked to anyone else about it, he hasn't gotten a good start on the reading our therapist assigned him and he hasn't started working on his full disclosure. It's frustrating. I want him to be successful and have the support that he doesn't seem ready to accept from me, but I don't feel like he's putting any effort into it as of yet except the lack of porn use/masturbation.
     
  4. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Sounds like he’s white knuckling it. My PA went five months thinking he could abstain and do it by himself. He couldn’t. He became more moody, angry, manipulative, rude, disrespectful. Our home was about as friendly as a snake pit.

    I finally said, “ Get into a 12 step program, and here’s the number for a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. You have until June 1 to show me progress...deep commitment progress” if on June 1 , you have succeeded in those two requests, we can renegotiate our marriage for the next three months.
    CURRENTLY
    We have no physical contact, just the occasional hug good bye
    We DO NOT sleep together, we are in different rooms on different floors
    He attends 4 meetings every other week, and talks with his therapist every other week.
    He has a sponsor and talks with him daily...so he says.
    I’m looking for behaviour changes, emotional involvement and disclosures are to be transparent and crystal clear...no lying by omission.
    It’s up to him to gain my trust...not me begging him to trust me enough to share.

    I am kind and respectful to him. I treat him as a human being...but I will not accept emotional abuse any longer. If he can control his emotional outbursts in public he can control them at home. YA , I’m pretty much done with his procrastination to prolong his habit.

    All the best to you, it’s not an easy road, the main thing is to educate yourself ,protect yourself, learn all you can about the process of addiction,what addiction does to the brain, and especially learn about emotional abuse. Learn about BOUNDARIES...

    Prayers and loving thoughts coming your way...
     
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  5. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    Sometimes PA's want to believe that simply abstaining from the behavior means they're in recovery. Since they're already fighting urges, triggers, etc., some like to think they're doing enough work/effort already with that. Of course, abstaining is not really recovery at all, but they have to finally realize that on their own.
     
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  6. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    There's a book called Your Sexually Addicted Spouse by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means. It does a great job of explaining your side of this...the betrayal trauma, PTSD, etc. It helps you to understand all the things you're experiencing and how to work through it.
     
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  7. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    Thanks . My therapist has me reading another book right now, but I'll grab that one when I'm finished.
    We actually have had an ok morning so far. We are taking our dog to group training, and he did so well. I haven't focused as much on everything. I'm going to see my best friend in just a few. I haven't seen her in half a year, but she's the only one besides my boss and our therapist I've told. I think I'll be good. I need to leave the house and have some time for myself.
     
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  8. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    Welp, the afternoon was not nearly so great. I drove to go see my best friend, and it was nice. Her daughter was having a birthday party and there were a ton of little kids around. I think that was what started it. My mind went down a crappy rabbit hole. My SO and I had been talking about trying to have a baby next year prior to all of this. I had to leave because I felt the anxiety and sadness building back up in my chest and I would be a really crappy semi-aunt if I did anything to be a downer at this kiddo's party.
    I had a good cry on the way back. It was a loooong drive. I talked to our therapist and she and I are going to do a phone session tomorrow morning. Think I may go to the support group she suggested too. I wasn't open to it originally... I think embarrassment was a component in my lack of desire to go before, but I have to deal with this and it can't hurt to go, right?
     
  9. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Hello...support groups are wonderful, and you don’t have to talk if you don’t want to. You can just listen. Everyone who goes feels exactly the same way you do. Thing is they all have experienced what you are experiencing. They know betrayal trauma, and all the behaviours that accompany a PA.
    I recommend trying a few visits , sit quietly and listen to what everyone has to say. Then decide. It really can’t hurt, and you will see the strength in fellow warrior SO’s.
    All the best to you..

    PS: I belong to two groups, and I enjoy them thoroughly.
     
  10. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    I had a long phone chat with my therapist today, and I think that I'm going to make it a point to go to at least one of the groups she suggested this week. I'm going to try to keep myself busy this week. I think that will be helpful. I have a tendency to just hang out at home on my days off, but I don't think that sitting at home and stewing is the most helpful thing I could be doing for myself.
     
  11. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Excellent plan..I too tend to isolate and it’s not healthy. So like you, I’m going to go and do something for me, even if it’s just a drive.
    If you can go to at least three meetings , the anxiety will subside by the third meeting and then you can say with confidence, I tried, but it wasn’t for me. OR...these meetings are best, I’m learning I’m not the only one in the world. (Wink) which you aren’t. Be good to you. Enjoy your week.
     
  12. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    We had a mostly pleasant evening together. Took a long drive to go pick up the minion and talked about how to approach an issue with her (She bought some weird Japanese boob enhancement cream. It's funny, but terrible). We played a little pokemon go while we waited and then we each settled into our respective homework for the week. I'm currently reading Treating Trauma From Sexual Betrayal: The Essential Tools for Healing by Kevin Skinner. I set up some appointments to check in with those who I have chosen to disclose our situation to, so I'll be keeping myself busy at least 4 of the next seven days.
    I am still angry and hurt and anxious about everything and it seems even the small things can set me off, but I did better today. At least I didn't work myself up so much that I gave myself palpitations or chest pain like I did yesterday. My SO finally started using the NoFap forums today. I'm actually really happy about that; I really feel like he's going to find some great support here. He is also going to start going to 3 meetings per week per our conversation with our therapist. He has set those up and made a commitment to go to them and he's begun working on his full disclosure. We both agreed that it would be best if he password protected the file, because I know that at some point I would've given into temptation and gone down that rabbit hole otherwise. We definitely don't want that. I had a meltdown when he first told me and I didn't get all of the details then. I think that the details are going to make me feel much worse, and it's probably for the best that our full disclosure is completed in the presence of our therapist.
    I think part of what had me feeling a little better today was the phone session with my therapist. She validated how I was feeling and corrected some of the negative self talk I've been doing. I think that what makes her so easy to work with is that she's been where I am. She understands the feelings and the crazy cycling through my brain right now because she was in my shoes once. Apparently the whole scenario is very similar to what happened to her. I think it made me feel better to hear her tell me that kids were not definitely off the table. I had been having a hard time with that, and while I know that I won't be ready any time soon since I need to hear his full disclosure and decide where to go from there, I was very re-assuring. For a long time, neither of us had a desire for more children. I had my daughter when I was very young, and I always felt like I had missed out on an important part of growing up because I got started so young but recently we have both been re-evaluating our stance and we both decided that at the end of the year we would start trying.
    I have been making sure that I initiate non-intimate touch with him for at least a little bit every day because even though I am feeling all of these negative emotions toward him, I want to make it work and I want him to know that I support his desire to change 100%. I think that we are going to have to re-explore the non-sexual side of our relationship. Right now I don't think that physical intimacy would be good for either of us but rather it would be more of a stress release. We talked about it and he agreed that for now it would be best to abstain.
    Still having difficulties getting any kind of decent sleep, but I'm not sure if that is due to stress or just the fact that I am a nurse and I have always kept odd hours on my days off. I think that tonight I will work on our boundaries and figuring out what self care really means for me. I don't know that I have made any legitimate attempt at self care since my daughter was 6 or 7.
     
  13. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    Up far too late/early. My dog has been picking up on all of the anxious energy at the house and he destroyed a rug. We went to bed at 11:30 last night and now here I am up again at 2:00 because the poor buddy is not feeling so hot. Here's to hoping we don't have to make an emergency trip to the vet. -_-
     
  14. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    I think Facebook has picked up on all of my research into pornography addiction. I keep seeing these posts that set me off. I don't usually engage in the discussions that occur in the comments section of articles, but this morning I found myself doing just that.
    My SO is taking a break from social media for a while to help prevent relapse... Maybe I should too.
    For those of you who may wonder about my fur baby, he's fine. I was up with him until 5am, and he was finally able to keep a little food and water down, so I'm going to just keep a close eye on him for today, then reassess the need for a vet trip.
    I'm exhausted and I burned the crap out of my hand making hot tea last night. Had a little mini breakdown about that, but it felt good to cry. I've been having a difficult time being vulnerable around my SO and I haven't cried in front of him since our therapy session on Wednesday. That in itself is a little depressing. He used to be the only person I felt comfortable being that vulnerable with.
     
  15. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    That statement...I got tears in my eyes when I read it. This is one of the things that makes me so sad anytime I think about it. I, too, lost my 'safe place.' This addiction stole it from me, and not only that, but it replaced it with something so painful. The one place I thought I'd always be able to turn to, and it's just gone.
     
  16. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    Me too. Lost my best friend.
     
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  17. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    I managed to keep myself busy for most of the day. I went on a cleaning spree, so our kitchen and our bathroom look fantastic. Still feeling down, but it's much easier to manage when my focus is directed elsewhere.
    My SO went to his first meeting tonight. I'm really proud of him. He was super anxious about it, but he said that in the end it was really good and that he participated. He talked with his work and is going to take some time off to work on himself. I'm not sure if this will be a good thing or a bad thing for him, because he has to always be busy. I think at the very least he might learn a little something about separating himself from his job. It's been a problem for him for years, not that I have any room to talk.
    Honestly, I think this is the best day I've had since D-day. Not sure if that's because it's the first day I was actually at home with just myself or what.
     
  18. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    Went out and had a drink with a good friend from work. By drink I mean I had lemonade and she had coffee and we had a nice talk. She has a very calming influence on me. She always has. She also has struggled with her own demons in the past, so she has an excellent perspective on things and has been an incredible resource in helping my husband with his past struggles with addiction.

    It was gorgeous outside and it was great to get out of the house and spend time with someone other than my SO or my kiddo. Like I said before, I tend to isolate in general but especially in times of intense stress in my life, so I've been trying to be more mindful of the time I spend in my home. Big dog is still being super anxious. I gave him a Kong toy filled with frozen peanut butter, his favorite rubber bone and a rawhide before I left the house, but he still destroyed the tray in his crate... I can't be too grumpy with him when I know that it's our fault he feels so stressed out in the first place.

    My appetite has been pretty poor lately. It was like this after I left my first husband and I know it's a depression thing, but I really just don't want to eat.

    I've been watching the Gilmore Girls because it's one of my favorite television shows and I find it comforting and there's a part where Lorelai talks about choosing Luke, but he isn't ready to choose her over all of the bull crap. It really stings when your loved one doesn't choose you; When you feel like you are more committed to a relationship than the other person.

    Kiddo made dinner tonight. Tacos and french fries because she's an odd duck like that. Really happy I taught her how to make simple meals now because I didn't have it in me to make food tonight. I feel like I'm failing a little bit there. I haven't been making legit meals since all of this has happened and I told her I'd put her laundry in the dryer last night and I apparently did that but neglected to turn it on. It's good that she gets up at 0500 every morning so she can have personal time before she has to leave for school because she wouldn't have had anything to wear otherwise. I need to get my self together so that I can make sure kiddo has the support that she needs. Being a teenager is rough. She doesn't need any extra chaos in her life right now and she definitely doesn't need to have to deal with two adults that can't get their crap together long enough to make sure that she has all the things she needs.

    Going in to see my general doctor tomorrow to see if she is willing to do the medication tweaking or if I'm going to have to go in to see a psychiatrist. Apparently my work is doing a doctor on demand thing where I can do an appointment over the phone, so if my GP is uncomfortable prescribing me something for anxiety, it should not be too hard to see someone and have a script transmitted to my pharmacy. Gotta love technology.
     
  19. lostintx

    lostintx Fapstronaut

    Saw my GP today and we talked about everything going on and my high anxiety levels. She decided that I needed more than what I initially suggested for management of the situation. We'll see how it goes.

    In the book I'm reading it talks about the fight, flight and freeze responses and how those become ingrained based on upbringing and past relationships. I think that this might explain why I'm feeling like I'm feeling.

    This is my second marriage. I got pregnant very young and married my daughter's father. I thought I was in love, but what does a teenager know about love? I think I knew from the beginning that our marriage was not going to be forever. It sounds terrible, but on our wedding night he took a very pregnant me to a party and got drunk. He and his friends thought it was REALLY funny to offer me alcohol all night long. I think that is a good example of how our marriage was like. He was an alcoholic and he was emotionally abusive. He gaslit, he threatened and I did not feel safe in our home. One night I had stayed over at a friends house til fairly late in the afternoon to help her get her home ready to sell and he blew up and told me to not come home, so I didn't. I think if that friend had not been in my life when she was, I would have remained stuck in that marriage. I didn't feel like I had anywhere to go and I had no work experience and if I left my ex I would have been destitute. As it was, I lived on food stamps for over a year while I finished my nursing degree and was able to start earning income. During this marriage I was feisty and I made an effort to stand up for myself because I knew I deserved better from my husband than what I was getting. This resulted in fighting and threats and an unstable home. I think that at some point I decided that anger was an unhealthy emotion to have and that I tend to just shove it down deep because I don't want to fight and that's not healthy.

    I think that's what I've been doing with my current husband as well, which sucks. I may be unhappy with the state of our marriage right now, but I do love him. I've known him for over half my life and I consider him to be my best friend. I don't want this to wind up like my other marriage. I want to work through this and move on and I think that in order for that to happen, I need to let myself get angry. The problem is, I don't know that I know how to do that anymore.
     
  20. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

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    Hi...hope you’re doing ok...life sure is a journey. You have done the best you can with the knowledge you have. There is nothing wrong with anger , the problem comes in, in how it’s displayed. I turn my anger inwards...the classic, good girls don’t get angry thing... So as he said in the old movie Gone With the Wind...frankly my dear, I don’t give damn..

    My anger turned into anxiety, deep depression, hair loss, and complete body stiffness. I literally froze. I have had to learn how to express my anger in a healthier way. So I go for power walks, sit quietly in middle of 160 acres and scream at the top of my lungs. I’ve started journaling to get my thoughts and emotions out..and then when I am centred and balanced I will deal effectively with the issue.

    Ya , my heart goes out to you...I know what you’re feeling and dealing with,but you have the power to overcome the adversity. I believe in you...
     

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