What silence communicates to your partner during and after a relapse

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by kaia, Jun 11, 2020.

Are you in a relationship that includes cyclical relapse with silence/avoidance?

  1. Yes, that is a regular occurrence.

    7 vote(s)
    77.8%
  2. Well, maybe a handful of times.

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. Nope, that sounds intolerable.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. I stopped noticing or caring.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. It ended my relationship.

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. kaia

    kaia Fapstronaut NoFap Defender

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    I feel the need to provide a blunt clarification to the PA in a relationship with a partner that is injured by the behaviors around the addiction, especially when lies and lying by omission is involved and probably has been for some time. There may be some confusion or even plain ignorance about the emotional effect on a partner when relapse happens. regular relapses mean regular reinforcement of this effect, which creates trauma which is difficult for the partner to mitigate by themselves, no matter how emotionally resilient they may be.

    When it has already been established that the relationship is incurring damage and that recovery for the PA is crucial to the survival of the relationship, here is what you are communicating whenever you relapse, lie, omit, gaslight or create distance by avoiding and acting out in spite of the established need for total commitment to recovery.

    -my feelings are more important than yours.

    -i prioritize my desires, wants and urges over your pain....

    -i understand that you are already emotionally injured and this might hurt you further, but i am more interested in it than you.....

    -my comfort comes before preventing your discomfort.....

    -i want a relationship with you, but right now i dont really care about the outcome.....

    -i am okay with risking losing you for a few minutes/seconds of escape into my own isolated pleasure.....

    -I deserve this, even if it hurts you or costs us more time to rebuild trust....

    -right now, i dont know or care what you are going through or how i affect you.....

    -i am not sorry about the trauma i have created in your life.....

    -even though you believe in me and invest your energy and faith into our relationship despite your woundedness, i choose to disrespect you one more time....

    After each statement, feel free to pencil in your excuses and reasonings that carry you through the the choice to relapse. This is what your silence has already told your partner before you arrived to provide the excuse and reasoning.

    SOs: please feel free to include your own conversations with your partner's silence, omissions, and lies accompanying a relapse.
     
  2. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    All of the above and
    I don’t trust you so therefore I can’t come to you when I’m struggling or when I’ve relapsed.
    I will protect myself above you at all cost. Lies protect the person lying, not the one being lied to.
    I think you are too weak to handle the truth.
    I think you are too stupid to make your own choices and decisions about our relationship so I’m going to make them for you.
     
  3. kaia

    kaia Fapstronaut NoFap Defender

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    Absolutely agree, especially the first and last.

    Confiding your struggles in your partner will usually lessen their feeling of being betrayed instead of you choosing something or someone over them (we have sexual needs too! And even worse if we are rebooting alongside you to be supportive toward the best outcome.). Sharing this battle is part of what we are agreeing to do by staying in the relationship. If you wall us out when things are most difficult, you are only insulting our choice to stay and implying that the bond between us is shallow.
     
  4. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    It especially frustrates/angers me at the partners who claim “ I can’t tell because she will divorce/leave me”. So you know how incredible hurtful and harmful your behavior is and still choose to do it?
    Then “ I’m protecting her, with my lies”, but you aren’t protecting her by getting help or into recovery?
    I think this is even more harmful the longer you’ve been in a relationship because your partner has shown a deep commitment but you still don’t trust them.
     
  5. kaia

    kaia Fapstronaut NoFap Defender

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    Lets call it like it is....
    Total bullshit.

    try every reason and rationalization under the sun to avoid simply owning your own weakness and analyzing yourself..... I say "are you buying your own lies? Cause you know i am not in the market for bullshit and how many times have you successfully pawned bullshit off on me? Enjoy your steaming pile of self-deception alone, thanks"
     
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  6. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    To be fair, they are right in that it may lead to losing their partner. However, they made the choice to continue acting in a way that deserves to lose their partner. The only pass I give is if they do not understand it’s an addiction. My husband has tried to quit for our entire marriage. It wasn’t until I found a site calling it porn addiction and then educating ourselves on porn addiction/process addiction and betrayal trauma that he got help. But he didn’t just come onto a NoFap site and journal. Like my counselor says if a dr told you that you had cancer would u just buy books and read and journal about it or would you do everything to fight it that he recommended? Sa groups, accountability partners, counseling, journaling, educating, telling your spouse or close friends and family, getting blockers or getting rid of your smart phone. Changing jobs if need be, changing habits, locking down your phone at night...Refusing to travel alone or be home alone all of those are things my husband did and Still does a year and a half later. He treated it like an addiction not just a habit he wanted to change. I get that many cannot afford counseling but there are tons of free videos, Ted talks, and sa groups. Once you know it’s an addiction, it’s on you for continuing, because there is help out there.
     
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  7. dandausa

    dandausa Fapstronaut

    I just wanted to share that I haven't dated for 8 years because of my unwillingness to be honest and truly desiring change. I just have trouble believing I will ever be faithful enough to be faithful to someone. It's sad but that's been my perspective for a long time. I do believe I'm starting to change, but this addiction really destroys you and consumes your soul. Especially when it grabs you when you're just learning about sex and desiring sex as a pre-teen. I've been doing a lot of recovery especially since February, getting honest with almost everyone in my life about my PA. But I understand what you all are saying and I've avoided relationships for a long time because I do understand that I have an inability to be honest with myself and others. Thanks for sharing these things.

    Some of us may go to our graves without a relationship or ever having sex because we recognize how screwed up we are and how much we have the potential to hurt with using our sexual gifts selfishly and our inability to be honest or give up everything for change and that's okay.

    Maybe God will change me at some point, but He's my only hope at this time.
     
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  8. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    I think it’s great that you understand you have a problem. Even better that you’re working on it. You get to choose, every day if you will walk towards recovery or walk towards your addiction. My husband often says he will ask himself “ does this take me further away from my addiction or closer to it”. Because he feels you are never just neutral. At a year and a half clean ( he’s been an addict 40 years) the transformation in him has been unbelievable. Since I’ve been with him 33 years, I see the changes before he even recognizes them. He couldn’t get clean without help, a lot of help. He couldn’t stay clean without work, a lot of work. Your inability to be honest with yourself is something my husband, and probably most addicts struggle with. Early in his recovery my husband would ask me “ is this normal or is it my addict talking”. He still asks occasionally but he’s gotten good at recognizing it now on his own. It’s not the porn that kills the relationship it’s the secrecy and lying. Just know, God is not going to miraculously cure you. You must do the work to get clean. God will give you the strength, wisdom, ability to be free, but you have to be willing to sit in you pain, feel the uncomfortable feelings. My husband is a very different man than he was even 6 months ago. The further away he gets from his addiction, the more I see him growing into a man. Not the man-child that I’ve lived with most of my life. There is hope, and you get to choose which way you want your life to go.
     
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  9. kaia

    kaia Fapstronaut NoFap Defender

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    Hey, psalm, i truly appreciate each of the posts you've contributed to the forum and i find your perspective to be very grounded, fair and boundaried. Do you have experience with any intense self work, healing modalities, spiritual or philosophical mastery? Just curious. I think you'd be a great mentor or curriculum writer for a solid SO recovery guidebook or something like that.

    Im sure there are some out there but ...i keep daydreaming about putting together some wisdom, advice and tips to start focusing on personal healing and growth and focus much less on a PA addicted partner. Its really difficult to figure out how to really use that approach at first, it almost feels like impossible or you dont know where to even start figuring your mess of thoughts and reactive emotions.
     
  10. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    Why thank you! I have had a lot of different counseling and counselors, but no intense self work. I am considering emdr, but I’m waiting until my husband is at least 2 years clean. I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior. Mostly serial killers, lol! However, once I stumbled on an article about porn addiction and betrayal trauma, I immersed myself in research to understand it. By the time I had my first counseling appointment with my csat, I had a pretty good grasp of the problem and the best advised solutions. So the research helped but true understanding has come from living it for 28 years. Living through 5 years of confusion because I had no idea. Living through 3 years of trying to fix it (and thinking it was fixed)but no one knew it was an addiction so no real help. Realizing 5 years after first dday that he really hadn’t changed and wasn’t going to. Then 17 years of complete detachment from my husband where we lived parallel lives basically as friends, married but alone. Living with an addict who is sober but not in recovery and then finding real help and seeing what actual sobriety and recovery looks like. I believe part of my ability to understand has been from God but also having come from a really stable, loving, connected family of origin. My csat also said she’d love to see me mentor others, I’m just not sure I’m ready for that yet. I’m still healing and learning. I do want to help others, so for right now, it’s sharing what I have learned and experienced to others on here struggling.
     
    kaia likes this.
  11. kaia

    kaia Fapstronaut NoFap Defender

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    Is this a comment or a nonverbal implication of the thread subject...?
     
  12. Real Roboin

    Real Roboin Fapstronaut

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    it is nothing, sorry to reply
     
  13. kaia

    kaia Fapstronaut NoFap Defender

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    I was genuinely interested in hearing your input. :(
     
  14. fredisthebes

    fredisthebes Fapstronaut

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    Really interesting and challenging thread. Lots to think about here.
     
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  15. kaia

    kaia Fapstronaut NoFap Defender

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    Addendum...


    "Shhhh. Pretending you don't exist right now! Leave a message (plz dont)"
     
  16. Real Roboin

    Real Roboin Fapstronaut

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    I am not sure , I understand what this means......
     
  17. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    I think @kaia is adding another item to the list she started in the original post (and @Psalm27:1my light extended in the second post in this thread).
     
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