What was I for?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Susannah, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Very good question, indeed. You can enlarge this to the entire spectrum of addictions, being it P, alcohol, eating disorders etc.
    While there is not a single factor influencing it, two things come to my mind:
    1) A natural self confidence. I don‘t mean the kind of overly extrovert „here I come mentality“, but rather the confidence that comes from the fundamental acceptance of oneself, which will digress in some points from the social norms widely proclaimed or used. So you may not make it into the football team and are considered less cool, but you are confident in your abilities in other fields. Or you may not be 1.8m in height as a girl, but you are bright, have charisma and are fun to be with. Self confidence in the sense I mean it results in you being able to accept yourself and to go along with what you got at hand.
    2) A social network you can turn to and the ability to use those close contacts in case of need. Being able to show the weakness to the close ones, accepting their comfort, eventually being able to draw strength from that network of friends or family.

    I see and accept your point on the effect P has on women and the false role model it is propagating, clearly out of reach for any woman. I don’t want to defend it, nor say it is okay. I took a more general view taking it as one of the many role models our society is still clinging to and we all too often use, too: the female model with the BMI of less than 16, the family father who has to provide for his family, the strong and hung hero being able to satisfy every woman, the spouse who has no difficulties to manage both her career and the four kids while looking like one of those women in the magazines at all times and, yes, the demure wife who is managing the family life who is able to act like a porn star at night with her husband.

    I did pile it on to make it blatantly obvious that we will never be able to meet those expectations. While some may say that today nobody is expected to be like that, ask yourself whether there is not a grain of truth in those believes.

    Let me know whether you believe I got it all wrong.
  2. mcgrim

    mcgrim Fapstronaut

    It may be that the only difference is choice. One person chooses one way and another person chooses a different way.

    Those early choices steer our lives in ways we can't imagine later in life. Perhaps I am over simplifying things but in the end we all have choices to make every second of every day and those choices determine the direction our lives go in every day and can have long lasting effects.
  3. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    I see what you are saying. But for me, I think it is the lie "You are exactly what I want!" when everything I see says otherwise, that causes the problem.
    hope4healing likes this.
  4. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    I don't disagree with the essence of what you say. But what exactly do you mean by "our part in the addiction"? My husband had this addiction years before he met me.

    Agreed. The exercise of coming to terms with my husband's addiction and its devastating effect on me has been a positive "growth opportunity". However, I would have preferred to spend my growth time on self-improvement instead of having to claw my way back to where I started and heal damage I needn't have sustained.
    hope4healing likes this.
  5. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

    Hello Susannah, ya we all play a part in the addiction. I will only talk about my experience...and try and keep it as short as possible.

    Genetically, I’m predisposed to addictions. On my mothers side of the family was alcohol abuse, drug abuse, womanizing men. I grew up with an alcoholic mind set, meaning I thought like a dry drunk. When I joined Alanon , I started to straighten out. However I still lived surrounded by alcoholics and I took the road of judge , jury and executioner. I wasn’t addicted therefore I was better than everyone else...!!! Good golly who was I fooling.

    On my fathers side was , alcohol abuse, sexual abuse,womanizing in epic proportions.
    Divorces, betrayals, just total chaos. Multi-generational behaviours

    I grew up and although I was “sober” I still had bad habits and personal defects. Still I gravitated toward that which was comfortable. My choice of friends and acquaintances all had issues with alcohol, sex addiction issues and drug issues. I turned outward and voiced my disapproval and set up what I thought was firm boundaries...lol...actually they were walls.

    My husband came from an extremely strict religious family. In fact you could say his family was addicted to religion, control, and power. Spare the rod and spoil the child. His family situation goes back generations based on those three things. He experienced work abuse, spiritual abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse.

    My husbands addiction is a self soothing strategy employed to keep him safe and secure and comforted. He never and I mean never had a soft place to land. No one to comfort or hold him and say everything will be alright. He shut down and turned inward. His behaviours started at age 8, that means a 40 year history.

    So here we are today.

    Well I thought I was marrying a good upstanding Christian . He was that , but as time went on he showed his true colours. When things got tense, he withdrew, when he felt threatened and asked to talk about emotional issues he blamed me etc...you know the classic behaviours gaslighting , stonewalling, manipulation,isolation,shame etc... He employed all the tactics that kept him safe in childhood.

    I accepted his mistreatment for that is what I grew up with , AND his behaviours were less abusive than what I had previously experienced. Like I’ve said in other posts, if he was an actor he did acedemy award winning performances. I actually thought I was going crazy. Also, there were no physical signs of addiction. He did all his porn use at work. He works 10 days on , 10 days off. He actually had started out a victim of abuse and became the perpetrator. Me I was going to fix it ALL.

    I made excuses for bad behaviour. I made A LOT of excuses. In September of 2018, I decided that life is too short to be a doormat or have my wants and desires unmet. I told him to step up or step out of the way. I’m done being used and abused...AND that was where the rubber met the pavement. He told me of his 40 year porn history.

    I went into shock...complete and total shock for about six months. During that time I did a close examination of my behaviours, what I put up with, tolerated,accepted and why I accepted the treatment I did. How is it possible that when I thought I had been so selective, I had gravitated to another addict. ( childhood imprinting)

    I am a rescuer/fixer...I have tried to fix everything and everyone my whole entire life, even if it meant a deep sacrifice for me. The more disrespect I allowed the more disrespectful I was treated. I never put myself first...that was selfish, I was meant to serve and fix. If something was wrong it was my fault. I was an easy target...a broken little girl trying to get love through enabling,rescuing and fixing. Thing is other people’s issues aren’t mine to fix. They have free will. They can choose to live their life anyway they choose. Who am I to judge ?

    So, after years of being a slow learner, when my husband came clean, I had some skills..pretty weak ones but skills just the same. I sat down and figured out who, what, why, where and how I had come to this place. What are my values and morals that I want to live by? What’s my bottom line?

    Then putting fear aside...I set some pretty darn firm boundaries. Basically if he was unwilling to work with me on healing then I was going to go. He didn’t know that , but that is what I had planned. The relationship was over. Much to my surprise, he has taken a 3 month leave of absence from work, he’s going to 5 SA meetings a week and is seeing a therapist once a week, he has also parked his Harley for the year so he has money to pay for therapy. If one of those requests were not met, I was going to move on.

    For my part, I have joined S-Anon and am also seeing a therapist to help me deal with my abandonment issues, betrayal, fixing and rescuing etc...

    If you did a genogram of your family history, I’m pretty confident you would see a pattern of family behaviours and traits. People just seem to gravitate toward that that is familiar.

    I hope I’ve shed some light on the topic...it’s brief, but if you have further questions or curiosities, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    I learned that my husbands recovery and sobriety is up to him. He has the god given right to live anyway he chooses...and so do I. If he chooses porn and other avenues that’s on him...not me. He knows exactly where I stand. He can either work to join me or he can move on. I’m not going to chase him, hound him, belittle him or anything else. I am however going to stand up for me and what I need and desire out of a relationship . We are on a three month trial sleeping separate. June 1 we will renegotiate .

    I hope that helps
    1dayattatime and Mourde like this.
  6. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Thanks for sharing your story!
  7. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    Excellent question!
  8. fadedfidelity

    fadedfidelity Fapstronaut


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