Relationship specific journal

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by eagle rising, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. eagle rising

    eagle rising Fapstronaut

    We are trying to uncover my behaviors, many times seemingly unexplained. Why did I do this and that? Why do I continue to do stuff that would cause my wife pain? Why does it feel like I am not making progress?

    My wife believes that I am subconsciously trying to hurt her, and there may be a couple of different reasons for this. One reason that comes to mind is because she does not want me to watch P. Another reason is because she points out, during our conversations, how my actions hurt her. To be honest, I still don't want to believe it on some level. How can what I do bring down someone who I see as such a strong individual? I can see, consciously and without a doubt, the shear amount of willpower that my wife has. Many moons ago we did talk about how this might be a factor in my mindset in this regard. My actions hurt her deeply and continually because she loves me. Her love for me is like nothing I have seen before. But, it is this capability of her that I simultaneously love and hate. Why? Why do I have this split attitude? It may be because, on a subconscious level, I don't like it when a woman is better at life than I am. I have been wrestling with this idea for a long time. I don't consciously see women as below me. Consciously, I believe women should be respected in all regards. But, I am aware that I still judge women based on how they look. I may not say the words in my head, but I feel the energy behind those words. There is so much to ponder about my behavior, but we both believe that the same behavior I exhibit now is what lead to P, and P just covered it up for many years.

    I spend a little bit of time reflecting on our conversations, but not nearly enough. At times I am not able to bring about deeper and connected understandings about who I am and what I have done. Perhaps I use this as an excuse to not continue to reflect.
     
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  2. eagle rising

    eagle rising Fapstronaut

    "If we ever get a divorce it will not be because of your addiction, it will be because of your dishonesty."

    This message, though I parted on me on many occasions, did not sink in until this evening when we were reflecting on what I perceive my wife wants out of me as an addict. Does not my wife, who is the bearer of pain, deserve nothing but my truth? The answer is an emphatic yes, she does. All this time I thought she wanted me to be perfect in every way, completely faithful in my entire mind. No, that was a delusion I created on my own based on my own flaws. She wants an honest husband, because she understands more than I do, maybe ever could, that honesty is the best medicine for my addiction and for a healthy marriage.

    I reflect and reflect and reflect again. In that I beat myself up for not seeing things earlier. I beat myself up for not being the perfect husband. I beat myself up for not being the best at recovering from my addiction.. I beat myself up for not learning quickly and fully every single aspect of my addiction and what my wife has uncovered for me. My wife is still with me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
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  3. Comedic Irony

    Comedic Irony Fapstronaut

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    If I may intrude: I have been reading these posts of yours and have learned a great deal about relationships, about what it takes to make them work, and what a loving partner is able to provide.

    But, if I may, I see that you are continually beating yourself up for even the most trivial of flaws. It appears as if you think you have failed her many aspects.

    However, remember, you have saved me. Even the most trivial, one lined replies from you have saved me. I am still going strong, very strong, only because I heard a voice, your voice, from beyond the abyss.

    So, take it easy man. You are a hero to people you don't even know, and may never even meet. In fact, be the best, fighting , Saiyyan version of yourself, always because you don't know who else would be inspired by you. Help someone else out, be a little Messiah to a few more of us. You will feel even better.

    Lastly and most importantly, remember you are here, fighting and screaming and fist-thumping only because you want to be a better man for your wife. You are here breaking and rebuilding yourself and breaking and rebuilding yourself over and over, even tearing yourself down only so that you can choose the best parts of yourself to build a new you, whilst incinerating the worst parts.

    And you have come a long, long, long, long way. The fact you are conscious about your mistakes and extremely remorseful, even penitent, and therefore desire to seek an expiation, a cleansing, through these posts implies how desperately you want to be a better human being, a better husband.

    Your wife should be proud of you, and one day, rest assured she would be, and love you more truly and more completely than ever.

    Yes, you screwed up. Yes, you lied. Yes, you were hung up on some girl you never spoke. But take a step back...and realise....these were not very grave sins...mere peccadilloes...venial errors...
    Irrespective of whether your marriage works or not, try your hardest to make it work, and if it doesn't, well, that's life. That's love. Embrace even that side of it. But be the motherfucker of the mountains, man, be the motherfucker who continued to fight and fight and fight up the gradient.

    And stop being so harsh on yourself, doesn't suit your style, your warrior spirit, the spirit of your "ancestors" that had eagle blood coursing through their veins, the blood of hunters, the blood of the spear, of the red, tooth and claw. Life will throw some real challenges man. In my case, I have been diagnosed by an auto-immune disease that is incurable, but we got to keep swimming man...we got to keep swimming...and it's best if we do it with a smile...

    Make your wife read these posts...and, forgive me for being so intrusive, I would like to hear what are the new things you have done to make amends, to make your relationship better. Use all your time, other than the time devoted to math and statistics, to making positive changes to your relationship...and see where that takes you.

    And slowly, but surely, all wounds will heal. But start small. There is a great, fierce genius in starting. The same genius when you began this voyage.

    Godspeed, brother. Remember, Vegeta was first a planet destroyer, a murderer, and now the greatest of heroes. But have you ever seen Vegeta pity himself? No, he used all that pity and channelled it to make him more powerful than ever.

    Be Vegeta. In fact, you ARE Vegeta, you just got realise it man. Time to go Super Saiyyan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  4. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    To reinforce @Comedic Irony's epic post, I wonder if you intentionally used repetition here because you acknowledge that beating yourself up is not helpful. Rewrite what you wrote using messages that reinforce the positive aspects of your recovery

    I didn't see things earlier, but I see them now. My eyes are open and I have a clear path to follow.

    I haven't been a perfect husband. Well, nobody's a perfect husband, so that's an impossible standard. I am, however, taking steps every day to improve my role as a husband. I'm better today than I was 84 days ago.

    I haven't been the best at recovering from my addiction. But I am recovering from my addiction. If there are things I can be doing better, I have the power to do that. Recovery is a process and not a destination. Processes involve constant adjustments in order to improve.

    I haven't learned quickly and fully every single aspect of my addiction and what my wife has uncovered for me. So I will set goals for myself. What can I be doing to continue my education? I also know myself and how quickly I can learn. Why would I expect to earn a PhD in a month when the most brilliant minds on this earth can't even accomplish such a thing? I will set achievable goals and celebrate my successes when I reach them.

    My wife is still with me. This is the greatest blessing I can ever come up with. Imagine all the women that have left their men in my condition, and my wife hasn't and is supportive of me. I will respond with gratitude. I will respond with love. I will respond with continuing in my recovery. She deserves the best I can give, and I will give it.
     
  5. eagle rising

    eagle rising Fapstronaut

    @Comedic Irony I see no intrusion, my friend. I am grateful for what you have shared.

    Yes, this is very true. I have done this my whole life, as far as I can remember. As I am writing this I remember the feelings of inadequacy as a human being during my childhood and teenage years. I remember my father and uncles constantly yelling at me for the most trivial of things. Every single time we went to work on something. During every single aspect of every single activity this happened. It is perhaps here the harshness I put on myself was begun. This is something I have been reflecting on.

    I am completely open to my wife about how this addiction and life has tormented me. She has an account here. Aside from our journals in our prospective corners of the forums we share everything. So, what I have shared here she is quite aware of. We've come to these conclusions together in a very meaningful way. This is why I get so down on myself. Not because we don't talk and we don't work on things, but because I feel like my knowledge of how my past has not influenced me to change immediately and completely. I demand perfection in myself, and the funny thing is I have the notion that it should come magically, assuming "perfecrion" was real. I'm aware it isn't, but my brain needs a constant reminder like I had to do with getting P images out of my head.

    This really put me in better spirits, my friend! You have reminded me of things that I have heard and/or seen before and you presented them in a manner that truly reflects who I am and appeals to my visual nature. I appreciate this.

    I have never associated myself with Vegeta. I loved Goku's innocence and peace with everything. Little did I know there was that hatred boiling underneath because I felt constantly under fire. I thought it was from others, but it was from me. I thought I was better than everyone else at everything and if evidence showed otherwise it was someone else's fault. I see what you are saying, and I feel like having this perspective will help me even more. The more and more I saw those around me become better and better at what they did the more and more I hate myself.

    This is where my wife comes into play, the Goku of my life. She's making reach deeper and deeper. All in all I have to find my peace where I'm at, and since it's not happening immediately it is very frustrating for me.
     
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  6. eagle rising

    eagle rising Fapstronaut

    I see the pattern of focusing on negative aspects of my life and my marriage. I have gotten way too comfortable with it, and many times I have felt that my reflections were helping me. In a sense they have, I am receiving help from my fellow earthly inhabitants. It must take more than just reflecting on the negatives. This has been said to me many times, and even from my own brain. I feel myself going back to that negative state of reflection because I have not realized that I also need to reflect on the positive.

    I come to realize that I have indeed grown so much over my recovery period. What is plain to me is that my words and actions must align, otherwise my words mean nothing. And I have made huge steps in this respect. It was hard but I have the willpower to continue forward. I am proud that I'm not in that place that I was some time ago.
     
  7. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    I'm a huge fan of CBT and it has worked wonders for me and also my daughter who I have to work with on a near daily basis for her to recognize and transform her negative thoughts. Part of the underlying foundation of CBT is our thoughts drive our emotions. The basic conclusion then is if we're dealing with negative emotions that cause depression, the best thing we can do for ourselves is change our thoughts. So much of our thoughts are cognitive distortions. The better we get at recognizing the cognitive distortions, the better we'll be at managing our emotions. For example, "I'm not a perfect husband" is all or nothing thinking. I either have to be a perfect husband or I'm a complete failure as a husband. This is distorted thinking, first because no man is a perfect husband, and 2nd because the standard of what makes an effective husband is a spectrum. If today I snap at my wife, that doesn't mean I'm a horrible husband - I just did a horrible thing in that instance. It goes way deeper than that, but something to consider. If you haven't already google cognitive distortions and read all the different types, and perhaps you can start recognizing the harmful thoughts that have been reinforcing your depression.
     
  8. eagle rising

    eagle rising Fapstronaut

    @Tarsus Thanks for responding, my friend.

    I have been introduced to CBT by my wife and, contrary to what the bad side of me thinks, it has helped a whole lot! I just chose not to recognize it. But, the work is not done. I need to put a lot more time into the therapy. In the beginning it was because of the wondering mind into fantasy, now it is about negative thinking in general as you have stated.
    Cognitive distortions - one of my search criteria right now.s
     
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  9. used19

    used19 Fapstronaut

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    These are grave sins to a wife; if you cannot see this then you are never going to heal. Especially to the wives who are allowing parts of themselves to die in sacrifice to the family, to you. As a wife who is so deeply wounded, you all do not get a medal for fighting to make it work. At best you might get a neutral slate to try to start again. Don't confuse the depths of your wife's love for some kind of heroism on your end. Your wives see something good enough in all of you to stick around despite pain that is so destructive it might in the end do her in. Remember this if you really love your wives. I watch daily how my husband is happy to retreat into his life that is intact, while I am on the ground burning in flames. This is not some kind of venial error to her.
     
  10. eagle rising

    eagle rising Fapstronaut

    This statement holds something very deep, very real.

    It is easy to get caught up in this way of thinking, for me at least. It creates an internal energy that would keep the progression going. I cannot deny the inner strength I receive from such kinds of thinking. It takes me away from my inner demons. It fuels me.

    This reminds me very much of our situation. I get up some days and I am not tormented by ill thoughts or fantasy, and I feel great! I try to share the joy with my wife but she doesn't feel the same way. She's sitting there wondering if I lied yesterday. She's wondering if held anything back. She's wondering if I lied about never sleeping with anyone else. Those memories of betrayal are fresh in her mind. She hides her pain, but she doesn't hide it for me. She does it for herself and our chldren. I wrongly assume that she's okay despite our light-hearted conversations and times of playfulness.

    I will remember your sobering words.
     
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  11. lardy_renewed

    lardy_renewed Fapstronaut

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    As someone who has been in and out of therapy for a long time, CBT is a very surface-level technique--like the tip of the iceberg. It teaches you to cope rather than to deal with complex emotions.
     
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  12. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    I appreciate what you say here. I can't speak for all addicts, but as for myself I would never view my actions and anything associated with my recovery from addiction as "heroic". I struggle to accept my wife's love and her willingness to forgive me. I don't understand it. It's quite humbling especially considering the harm I've caused. The only way forward for me is to recover and diligently become the man my wife deserves. I don't know what has happened between you and your husband, but I'm so sorry if it's as you describe - him happily retreating into his life while you are burning in flames. I don't see how any husband who truly loves his wife can thrive in happiness when his spouse is miserable. I'm not suggesting your husband doesn't love you, but I do wonder if he fully knows and understands the depth of your pain. At the risk of overgeneralizing, it can be quite easy for us as men and addicts to be oblivious. That's not an excuse, but something to consider.
     
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  13. Tarsus

    Tarsus Fapstronaut

    Yes and no. It's not a fail-safe solution that works for everyone, but it can open the door to dealing with complex emotions by making us mindful of our thoughts and how those thoughts drive the emotions. The complexity for me arose with the underlying causes for my cognitive distortions. A lifelong perceived reinforcement of my inadequacy, inferiority, and lack of worth. The further one is willing to explore those things, the better it will be in the long run to prevent and appropriately respond to the complex emotions that cause depression.
     
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  14. eagle rising

    eagle rising Fapstronaut

    @lardy_renewed @Tarsus It has certainly helped me especially in my early days of rebooting. Whether or not it helps I think depends on ones mindset and usage of other tools in conjunction with CBT. It is like building a foundation. One needs to know how to form up the walls, tie the rebar, and pour the concrete, etc. There are many things that we need to take into account, but unfortunately I think we as addicts often find ourselves not fully utilizing the tools we are given. It takes a lot of time to master a craft.
     
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