Sad to be back...

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by anewhope, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. TryingToHeal

    TryingToHeal Fapstronaut

    This is one of the most disheartening things for me as a SO. At any moment, he could recall all those images in his head and be effectively watching P without actually watching, and it doesn't help that he has an incredible memory. That makes it feel though that even though he hasn't touched P in over a year, it is always there, in his mind. Yes, that does also make me worry about a relapse at some point, but bigger for me presently is that those images in his head are there forever and can be recalled all the time. I guess it may seem like it is not much different than an imagination, but it feels different to me being real people he watched and the betrayal involved in watching.
     
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  2. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    This is what I have always referred to as my husband's "super power." He has the shittiest memory of anyone I know, can't remember to check the kid's homework or where we went for dinner last night but he sure can recall whatever porn image he wants anytime anywhere. He had/has the uncanny ability to take a brain snapshot of a hot girl right in front of me, when it was only a quick glance, and save that for later, to either PMO to or look for similar images to PMO to.

    And honestly, as much control as we SOs give up and as much trust as they work to earn, there are things like this that will forever make us wonder if it's ever really over...

    On the flip side, the ramifications of loving an addict is the life sentence for an SO. It fundamentally changes who we are.
     
  3. Banjaxed

    Banjaxed Fapstronaut

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    If you choose to let it.

    It is an incomfortable truth that you have a choice, whether you currently believe it or not. It is hard to make that choice, it might take a long time and you might have to make it more than once, but you do have a choice how you react to this.

    Or rather, you can choose whether to let it affect you negatively (yes really), or maybe whether you perceive it to be a negative.

    I’m channelling the message of a man who visited my sons’ school yesterday. He lost both his legs as a child. His message is one of positivity - accepting what life throws at you with open arms, making the most of what you are given and being positive in all you do.

    Easy to say, less easy to do.
     
  4. JustSadPorn

    JustSadPorn Fapstronaut

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    I'm intrigued. What do you think would be some positives about being the SO of a PA?
     
  5. Banjaxed

    Banjaxed Fapstronaut

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    I think the point is you have been dealt a hand, and you can choose how you feel about that hand.

    It’s really an extension of the idea that some people are never happy or satisfied no matter how much they have, whereas some are perfectly content with nothing.

    I’m hoping a far more eloquent philosopher can chime in and help me out!
     
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  6. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

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    I was happy and satisfied til PA basically punched me in the face ;)
     
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  7. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    I am sorry, but no. A woman who views porn as cheating/betrayal does not have a choice in reaction. If your woman slept around with thousands of men would you react calmly and politely or would you be traumatized and your future impacted?

    Disclaimer (since I got chewed out for making blanket statements last time I posted): I am talking broad strokes, generalities, this may not apply to everyone.


    Let me give you an example to think about.

    Does a rape victim/survivor have a choice? No. A person Decided to Violate them. The rape vic/survivor now has a life that is FOREVER changed and those effects are LIFELONG. That vic/survivor will NEVER BE THE SAME.

    Same goes for PA's and SO's. I know my husband gets mad when I talk about my rape in comparison but there are similarities.

    SO's (if they made their boundaries clear prior, or at some point) were Violated. The SO did NOT have a choice. The Choice was TAKEN from them. SO's (like rape survivors) experience PTSD/Betrayal Trauma. The SO's life will NEVER be the same. It's FOREVER changed.

    Why?

    - We didn't have a choice
    - We were violated/betrayed in one of the most intimate/deepest ways
    - We are traumatized

    Now... in terms of a future with the PA, it's tough. We are forever changed (whether good or for bad) and we can attempt to have a relationship and repair things, and if the PA does make changes, gets sober, dedicates themselves 100% to recovery and the relationship ...then I think odds are good that the SO can have a decent (possibly even happy/content) relationship/life with the PA.

    But make no mistake, it will NEVER be what it could have been. I could choose to leave my husband, and for hypothetical's sake, I found a man who was not a PA/Abuser/Rapist, I would have an amazing relationship with that man, but that man would definitely see the effects of the PA and my own rapes. He would notice how I get scared in crowds, he would notice me watching the room every time someone enters/leaves, he would notice sex can be challenging for me. He will notice that I cannot watch certain shows/movies because of nudity without PTSD attacks, etc.

    I could stay with my husband, who knows all the trauma, and in ten years from now, I may still be having trauma effects, and that is just part of what he chose to do to me. I live with it, he lives with it. We do the best we can to have a relationship.

    Make no mistake, the effects of what the PA has done to the SO are not light. They equal what rape survivors go through (and I speak as both a rape survivor and an SO, and honestly the Rape was easier than this). Both go through traumatic life-changing events that have a lasting impact.

    The SO does have a choice as to whether they will let this drown them or let them rise above. The SO can sulk and be depressed and be "woe is me" or they can be stronger, they can rise, they can educate, they can help others, they can move forward. In that sense yes, the SO has a choice (after their choices have been stolen from them). But the getting stronger takes a long time of healing

    Sorry if you take offense, just trying to shed light as to why there is nothing positive about being the SO of a PA (that lied/cheated/betrayed). If you are the SO of a PA who was honest from day one then the situation is different. I am speaking to those who stole/took the choice from the SO.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  8. Queenie%Bee

    Queenie%Bee Fapstronaut

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    Clapitty clap . Maybe He doesn’t understand the depth and that’s ok . Could you imagine if the PA delved as deep to understand betrayal trauma as the SO digs soooo deep to understand PA . My husband did not get it . UNTIL he did .
     
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  9. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

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    Wow, yeah... God, now I want Jak to go research betrayal trauma more hahah
     
  10. JustSadPorn

    JustSadPorn Fapstronaut

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    I guess, if I had to pick one, I'd rather be married to a PA than lose both my legs.

    Not exactly a bright ray of sunshine.
     
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  11. Sometimes it takes something huge to finally learn about who you are and learn how to live in a way that works for you.

    People grow up learning interpretations of the world that become so automatic we don’t even notice them anymore. Sometimes these interpretations helped us get by in childhood but are unhealthy in adulthood. But since they’re invisible to us we don’t understand to fix them and write a new, more realistic narrative about ourselves, other individuals and society as a whole. For me, being an SO of a PA has been a (really fucking difficult) gift because I was finally pushed to face my problems instead of ignoring them at all costs in my own ways. Some people ignore problems at all costs with addiction, others like me ignore them at all costs by “compulsive caregiving”. I think addicts and people who learned to compulsively (maladaptively) caregive are often attracted to each other through subtle cues - each of them seeking what they simultaneously fear and desire most. Just as he had to face his own problems to heal, so did I. I’m not trying to say everyone here is like I’m describing, I am just describing a pattern I have both noticed and read about.

    Healing is not simply about healing from the betrayal itself but healing from those illusory interpretations we used to adapt to a painful environment in childhood where our needs (the things that kept us safe, emotionally or physically) were not met. Those things we think can “keep us safe” end up more like a prison, really not so different from the addict. Sadly, compulsive caregiving is also harmful to our partners, even though that harm is not so obvious at first. It’s more insidious.

    In summary, facing the addict and the pain I have experienced from betrayal by them was like looking into a mirror for me. It’s painful to face but in many ways I was not much different from him, I only believed that I was. It takes a great force to have to face that but I am grateful that I did so I can learn to love truly and experience genuine intimacy instead of something else disguised as intimacy.
     
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  12. Banjaxed

    Banjaxed Fapstronaut

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    No need to apologise, no offence taken. I agree with everything you say, but the comments above are what I was getting at

    I wasn’t suggesting that there are any positives To being the SO of a PA. i was responding specifically to comment that it is a “life sentence”, which suggests falling into the “woe is me” camp (or a lighter flavour of it)

    The only positive I can possibly think of is that if you are the SO to a PA, and PA is really the symptom of an intimacy disorder, then uncovering that PA, as traumatic as it is, gives you both a shot at a healing process that leads to a level of intimacy, connectedness and closeness that you have not otherwise experienced and may not even know existed. Plenty of journals on here, and the BAE series attest to this. Of course I am comparing this to undiscovered PA. the best is obviously having all of that without the PA in the first place ;)

    Anyway I am going to shut up now as I am skating on thin ice, and even thinner knowledge, particularly about the effects of trauma as you suggest.
     
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  13. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    Does the man that lost his legs wonder if the next is the day his loved one is going to come and take his arms too? Or next week, or next year? Does he wonder if the work he has done to heal his mind is going to fall to pieces with another betrayal?

    You mistake my words of a "life sentence" as an automatic long life of misery and negativity. Rather, it changes our perspectives, creates deep wounds, changes how we relate with everyone around us, damages our marriages, the list goes on. Most of us heal, eventually, with a lot of time and work. But we are never the same. And while we have the choice to trust again, it can be washed away at any moment based on the choices of the one we love.

    It isn't as simple as choosing to "look on the bright side." Have you read any of the SOs posts here? So many are dealing with abuse, gaslighting, crazy making, fear, doubt, etc. And even for those of us that haven't has to go through those extremes or for those that leave, it's a life sentence of emotional work. No matter how positive we look at things, or how great our relationships are now, we have been betrayed by the person we trusted most and there will always be residual things we have to deal with.

    Just like PAs will always be PAs even if they are are recovering PAs.
     
  14. TryingToHeal

    TryingToHeal Fapstronaut

    Seriously? No. If I could choose, do you think I would really choose to feel like this? I would give ANYTHING to go back to how I felt about my husband before Dday, anything, yes, even my legs.

    Exactly. Yes. Fantastic, thank you Anna (as always :emoji_blue_heart: )

    I feel the opposite.
     
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  15. I think it is simultaneously this way and the way others have described. I think people who have lost limbs can also respond in a wide range of ways. People who have had great crimes committed against them also have a wide range of responses, from eventual forgiveness and peace to undying resentment and turmoil. It both is and is not a choice how we respond to these things in life, and our capacity to choose is dependent upon other choices we make in life and other things that have happened to us in life.

    To react is not a choice because we don’t always have the skills not to. To paraphrase Anna (please correct me if I am mis-paraphrasing), trauma exists for a reason that is universal to how betrayal and unmet needs of a certain magnitude or type affect us as humans. (At least that is what I hear her saying.) But I want to add that learning how to respond instead of react is a choice that takes a lot of effort, time and desire to do so. Not all of us are in the right place to embark on that kind of journey. For some it takes longer time than others or maybe some will never feel ready. But I believe that is the choice that banjaxed refers to.

    Of course it isn’t fair or right that this happened to us and of course we never asked for it. I struggle with feelings about that concept a lot. But I also try (and sometimes fail) to remember that there are many ways to view reality, some that are beneficial to me and my wellbeing and others that trap me exactly where I don’t want to be. It’s a process.
     
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  16. eash860531

    eash860531 Fapstronaut

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    Sorry to hear of your return but happy to have you! Nice PUN months as well. You forgot NoFapruary.

    We are all here to support you.
     
  17. moonesque

    moonesque Fapstronaut
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    To your question ANH, one doesn’t need to sit passively and let the brain’s “pathways” rebuild or however one can say it.

    There are ways to ‘purify’ thoughts without repression, this is from real observation and knowledge of yourself. The images and connections become erased through this quite natrually when done correctly, but you should be careful of what fills their place, one can feel like a newborn again and its a scary world out there.
     
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  18. anewhope

    anewhope Fapstronaut

    Interesting! (To sound disturbingly like Sheldon Cooper!) Most of my mind-map I am very happy with; it is full of positive associations and happy memories and makes me who I am and how I view the world. What I would like to do is erect a series of no-entry signs on the paths that lead into the murky nether regions. To mix metaphors horribly, I am looking for selective deletion not re-formatting.

    ANH
     
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  19. moonesque

    moonesque Fapstronaut
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    I think you can work on what you’d like to achieve first, with a clear goal it can be easier to understand what works and what doesn’t work. If you’re happy with your “mind-map” I wonder how you end up in a place that you would rather be “no-entry”. I hope this can be helpful for you, I dont sound compassionate online very often but I’ve been in (I am at?) those experiences as well. I just wish for this to be a place where people really learn together and less individuals on islands shouting at each other saying that they can be saved.
     
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