Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by HeartBrokenAndScared, Jul 7, 2019.
No but I definitely will! Thank you!
2. Stretching exercises
3. Cold showers
4. Meditation (just sitting and doing nothing, thinking of nothing for some time)
Entry #15 - 7/29/2019 - 7 pm
Long long Monday at work! Very busy there and not as much time to myself as I would like for working in my journal and other self-care. It's ok. It's life. I am feeling a lot of anger and resentment today.
My partner asked me a week ago to limit the conversations we have about this addiction. I have respected that. However, I feel that he is just observing and waiting for things to "blow over". That will not be the case this time. I'm seeing no work, no initiative. I'm just seeing avoidance, everywhere. I've started to think about an in-house separation and what that would look like. It's beyond frustrating to me for him to do no work on himself and then think I am going to enjoy him spooning me when it's bedtime. It's like he doesn't get it.
I may end up heading in that direction. I feel so good when I am alone now. Like a huge weight is lifted and I feel myself growing and learning. I've started to really feel my value again. The possibility of meeting someone who I can trust crosses my mind a lot. Also, being perfectly content alone for the rest of my life seems not so bad also. What seems hard to stomach is living with someone who is waiting for me to let this blow over. It feels insulting to me.
If some sort of conversation is not initiated by him regarding this within the next week or so, I'll move to the in-house separation. I'm going to research that a bit tomorrow and get an idea of what that will look like. I'm not doing this from a place of anger. I'm doing it because I am getting healthy emotionally and I don't want anything or anyone to stop that progress. It may give me a clarity relating to the value of this relationship for me at this point. If or not the relationship is something I want to continue in the future.
Self care today (on a super busy day!):
Did this journal entry
Had a healthy lunch and breakfast
Started planning thanksgiving break and a family meal I want to host
Moisturized my face
Listened to 2 episodes of my current podcast
I'll take this for today and keep on keeping on. Each day I am reaping the benefits of this work on myself. Normally after a day like today at work, I would be so distraught but I am very together emotionally this evening.
Wait and see for some time atleast, because you don't know whether he is going to never make any attempt at this... Maybe he is doing some soul searching about his addiction? Maybe a tiny part of him wants to give pmo up? As it's been a part of his life for so long, giving it up will be quite painful mentally, even if pmo is trash as we all know... If he even accepts that he should not PMO, then he has done something that about 80% of the guys today don't...
But of course you know him best.. You probably know better than me whether he may try to slowly recover or will never even make an attempt at all... However what I know is that accepting that pmo was wrong and that I should never do it was quite difficult for me at the start, even though I had strong religious motivations for that... If you haven't already, ask him to go to"yourbrainonporn.com".... And ask him to watch the TED talk "the great porn experiment"....
Best wishes to you in everything.
I woke up early super this morning, thought I'd check into NoFap and saw your post on my journal. Your insight and experiences were so unbelievably close to my own that I came here to read your journal...
Oh my goodness, what can I even say. You are such a strong woman, and I identify with your feelings so much. Of all the advice, reading and learning I have been trying to do, I have most valued reading other people's stories to know that I am not alone. Especially with addicts, the loss of trust can feel very isolating, like you are the only one going through this. Now, after reading your posts, not only do I not feel alone in the journey of being the partner of a porn addict, but you are even going through the same "letting go of control" journey.
This is where I am at the moment, although I am in a slightly different place in our relationship, as I'll explain.
My mum is also in counselling, which if it has taught me anything is that no matter how unbiased you believe yourself to be or how much experience you have, it's never the same dealing with someone you are emotionally involved in. Getting a good counsellor is no bad reflection upon your skills, instead it gives the therapy a neutral voice that you can both agree or disagree with without hurting each other.
You might have looked at this already, but what about the possibility of joining a group? For example, the Significant Others Support group is a members only area. If there was an equivalent for him, he could start his journal there and then move the thread into a public forum later?
Amen. Amen to that.
It's the hope that is the worst. Just waiting, and knowing that you can't live their life for them. It is, as a person without children, how I imagine the feeling of watching your children make life-ruining decisions feels. Except that your partner is someone who should be looking after you, not making you feel like a terrified mother.
This was absolutely fascinating to read, thank you so much for posting about it.
I guess I wanted to comment here and say firstly, that I really identify with your current journey. If nothing else, you have helped at least one other SO to feel like it is possible to focus on herself again with self-care and love. Secondly, I wanted to say that I think the main difference I have with my husband is that I can see two different people; the kind and loving man, and the addict. I don't know if this is something you can see, or (and it sounds like this might be the case after reading about the ex-wife situation) the two identities have started to become synonymous.
And also, this might be a totally useless offer, my husband joined this site last night (on his own, surprisingly), and is looking for an accountability partner. Maybe that's another angle to try? Not to post publicly, but to speak to another addict about it? Maybe helping someone else will help him see the problem from the outside.
Ok, very long post, sorry about that! Have a lovely day today if you can, and keep up that self-care.
No worries on the long post. He actually joined the site when I did but said he would use it "later" when he needed to. Back in my helping days, when I first started here I reached out to a strong male figure to be his AP but he never responded to that person. I think that's when I started to realize he was not really ready or wanting to do this. It's so hard sometimes. I really WISH he would want recovery. Thanks for reading my journal. I write it in hopes of it helping someone else.
Hang on! You have people who are your friends and love you. Your life is important to me. I know it’s hard to believe that during the dark times, but we are right here to help you through. I can see you struggling. Sometimes I don’t know what to say or do to help, but know we will always do whatever we can to support you. You’re a friend; you matter so much to me. We will get through this together
Please remember to be gentle with yourself today, no one is perfect, you are good enough just the way you are, my new friend
We talked a lot last night. Some of my self care has gone back into working on communication and hard conversation. I hope the effort is invested well.
Work is brutal this week! Ready for some downtime soon.
Remeber to reward yourself , whether going out with some friends or changing to a more comfortable bed sheet, a comfortable bed sheet is worth more than people realize The world is already hard enough no need to make it harder for yourself, my dear friend
Entry #17 - Friday morning 9 am - overcast outside but a nice breeze coming through the screen door
So in my last entry I had mentioned that my partner and I were talking about things a bit now. That has been a dead end so far. I've gone from anger to hopelessness. We both have today off from work and had talked about taking a day trip to the mountains, but I don't feel up to it. The exhaustion from the work week plus the dead end conversations are just leaving me drained.
He told me that while at work yesterday he had to stop to use the bathroom at a gas station and it was hard for him to not pull out his phone to watch something while there. I feel like we are just fighting a losing battle. I've stopped wanting to be intimate with him because I just don't know who he is anymore or if he even has real feelings towards me. That doesn't stop him from trying to connect with me that way. It feels icky when he tries now. Hearing the words "I love you" also just feels icky to me also. I appreciate that he is sharing the urges with me, but what's the point of that? He doesn't talk about it to anyone else and the longer he abstains it seems like the worse it gets for him. I don't know.
I've been working with the feelings wheel a lot in my journaling. If you don't know what that is, check it out. It's a great prompting tool to get in touch with and understand your feelings. Right now I feel excluded, helpless, insignificant (fear based), despair, powerless, disappointed and grief (sadness based). So basically this morning there is just fear and sadness. Fear that this will never be better and sadness over what I had hoped our relationship would be. It's kinda hard for me, in these feelings, to put on a happy face and go on a day trip with him. How do I become vulnerable again with someone who is incapable or unwilling to be vulnerable with me? I believe the emotions I am having are messengers to just keep a safe distance.
In our conversations he has said that he knows he needs to just tell me everything and see where we can go from there but he is just isn't ready. I am not ready to make any new memories with him or be close to him without knowing who he is and what has happened. I find myself thinking that maybe we just aren't meant to be together, we aren't a good match. Maybe there is someone out there who wouldn't mind his extracurricular activities and maybe there is someone out there for me that I could have an authentic and genuine connection with.
I feel guilt for not wanting to do this activity that I had planned with him. I also know that when I had planned it, I thought we would have had more productive conversations and been more connected by this morning. I can feel the sadness in my bones.
He does this thing called Cafeteria Responding. If we are talking by messages, he will pick and choose which ones he responds too. If it's something heavy or emotion based, he will just not even acknowledge it. When I asked last night about those, he said he doesn't want to go there while at work. Ok...I get it but a response back, "hey I read that and we can talk about it when I get home" would be a more respectful way of addressing that. Just ignoring it is further increasing the disconnection I feel with him. I feel like he is attempting to control our conversations by doing this and just skim over some of the harder things that need to be worked through.
His accountability reports are clean at this point and I think it's been around a month since he looked at anything (that I know of). It just seems like he is checking a box. There seems to be just so much avoidance of the whole issue. I don't see the growth I had hoped for. I know I have felt some growth in myself and that will just have to be what I fall back to when I feel despair. I think I'll just fall back on the whole I don't feel well today thing to get through it.
I'll get back to my self care because I don't see much growth happening in his recovery. That truly saddens me. I wish it didn't.
Sounds like he is atleast trying to take steps in recovery... And confessing his urges is a good thing... It's his way of being vulnerable with you...
After quitting PMO, temptations will become worse before they get better... If he TRULY has avoided porn for a month now, then by itself, that's a lot of growth...
If you want out of the relationship, then I won't advise you to try and stay, since that's 100% your choice....
But if you want to stay with him and try to see if he betters himself, then one advice that i'd give you is not to think of his porn struggles as a "you versus me" situation, but as a "us versus pmo" situation.... If he is sincere in atleast trying to recover (and only you can know that more than us), then even overcoming his addiction together, with your help, will bring you both closer together and may give you the intimacy you seek..
Sorry to hear you’re feeling so sad and fearful. You are so justified to feel those feelings, and you should never feel guilty for saying no to anything that makes you uncomfortable, even if there seems like no logical reason for that feeling. Stay with your gut instincts and take care of yourself.
I think I’d have to say that it sounds like he’s taking steps in sobriety but not necessarily recovery, and I’m learning that these are two separate things. Just ‘white knuckling’ it for 90 days is not enough, you need to start actively engaging in recovery, rebuilding trust with people you have hurt and being proactive.
Just hearing from your addicted spouse how much they miss their addiction or how much they want to go back to it can just be more hurtful than anything else. Addicts need their own accountability partners away from their partner for a reason.
Again, this is exactly what @HeartBrokenAndScared was doing and is now trying to avoid. So many partners of addicts try to take on the addiction with the addict, to solve it together, and that’s just not how it works. Addicts have to work on their addiction for themselves.
Partners can support once the recovery process begins, but “us versus PMO” is how partners stop looking after themselves and start treating themselves like an addict instead.
My husband found this video from Terry Crews very helpful, he explains how he had to choose recovery for himself, not to save his marriage or get close to his wife:
Entry #17 - Saturday 12 pm - Hot and Hazy out
The Feelings Wheel Breakthrough
So we had a breakthrough yesterday! We ended up staying home. He understood that I just didn't feel up to the day trip and he was fine just spending a lazy day with me. We watched shows and did household chores.
In the midst of that in the morning, I asked if it was okay if I shared with him what things I was doing in my own recovery from betrayal trauma and he said he would be open to hearing about that. After previous conversations, he knew that I had pulled out of working on the relationship and was working more on myself now.
I got out my feelings wheel. He knows I journal in my personal one and on here. I told him I use the wheel to help me identify my feelings and then explore them in my writing. I also told him sometimes I will do a search for things like: "what to do when you feel grief or when you feel tired". I get ideas of what to do after that. I asked him if I could show him how it worked. He gave the typical man reaction to the word "feelings" but said okay. I pulled out the wheel and I said, "right now I feel helpless and that is in the area of fear and being scared. I feel resentful, which falls under being let down and the main emotion of anger. I feel powerless, which is despair under the emotion of sad. So basically my three emotions right now are sad, angry and fearful." He took that in. I asked if he would take a turn because at this point, I feel like he may be "numb" emotionally from using PMO for so long to avoid any and all uncomfortable emotions. I had already sent him the feelings wheel before on his phone but I had one there on paper, so I passed it over to him. He picked out several emotions. They were all in the happy category, he said he felt thankful to be off work for the day. He felt hopeful by his month long recovery so far and he even felt cheeky under the playful area of happy.
This sparked an enlightening conversation about why we feel so disconnected in our relationship right now. Two people in a room, one feeling happy and the other feeling sad, angry and scared. That was an insight for both of us.
We did a few other things around the house after and I asked if we could talk a little bit about his recovery process and how things are going. We did good with that. He shared more urges (those make me so dang uncomfortable but I listened). We also talked about what we thought was coming in the future. It wasn't a long conversation. Maybe about 30 minutes.
After we finished talking, I asked if we could use the feelings wheel again to share how we felt after the hard conversation and that after that, we'd go on about our day. What happened then was the breakthrough! He started with the wheel. He named off about 10 emotions. Earlier he struggled to find a few. He said he felt victimized, ashamed, embarrassed, vulnerable (all under sad on the wheel) and that he felt rejected, threatened, worried, inadequate, anxious (all under fear) and that he felt resentful and violated (under anger). I was floored by that and how the conversations make him feel. I thanked him for sharing that with me and then asked if I could have a turn at the wheel myself. I said I felt valued (under accepted and happy), I felt thankful (under peaceful and happy), I felt intimate (under trusting and happy) and that I felt hopeful (under optimistic and happy). We had completely shifted roles after that hard conversation about his addiction, I was happy and he was sad, angry, and fearful.
In that moment, so many things made sense for both of us. Why he avoids these conversations and why I keep pushing for them. They make me feel better than my normal emotional state and they make him feel worse than his normal state. I could see a light bulb going off and took that opportunity to say that we could push through everything but we had to go through it to get to the other side and that it wasn't going to be an easy task. I also told him that sometimes when I seem "crazy" it's just because I am working through a lot of emotions and trying not to numb those out. I told him that my journal is the way I identify and work on the feelings, so that I can move forward. I think he finally understood that I wasn't just making an "I hate you" book about him. Ha.
I think the knowledge that we gained yesterday was probably the biggest thing yet in our recovery process as a couple. We have made progress as individuals up until that moment but that seemed like a win together. He seemed genuinely shocked that the hard conversations bring hope to me about the future and that they make me feel VALUED. I didn't know that about myself either. When he takes the time to talk to me like that about hard things, I feel valued and safer in the relationship. It's so good for both of us to know how the conversation make each of us feel. Now I understand the importance of not bombarding him with these conversations all the time. They do take him to a hard place emotionally. The feelings wheel is a tool that I see us using often as a way of figuring out where we are and what the main emotion is based in.
I feel so much more hopeful today. The tides turned for the day yesterday after that. We actually got up and hugged each other and stayed that way for a few minutes. I asked him if he would like to have a bonfire that evening and grill out with a few adult beverages together outside. He was very excited to do something like that together. We really have not spent much time together like that in a long time.
I had a few more adult beverages than I should but we had a great time. We have a little grill we use when camping that you can use in a pit over charcoals. The steaks cooked slow over open coals like that are my favorite. He grilled the steaks and some shrimp also. He asked what a few of my cousins were doing. So I invited them over and they stopped by. My son also had a friend come over to stay the night. The atmosphere in the household was almost celebratory, lots of laughter and everyone having a good time. It was glimpse of better days and the good days we had before this crossroads. When we came in from outside and everyone was gone or settled in, we were also intimate for the first time in awhile. I was finally in a place where I felt happy with him and valued and able to be vulnerable enough to show him that I do still love him. That area of our relationship is still tricky and I think it will be for a long time. He struggles with all the things he has been exposed to for a long time and what are actually his desires and what has been planted from P. I think that will be an ongoing sorting out process for him for months and maybe years.
I don't have work today but he did, so I'm just having a lazy recovery day. I know there are going to be lots of ups and downs but I am going to enjoy this moment of feeling happy and feeling valued and hopeful. I only ate half of my steak (part of my recovery has been curbing emotional eating and just watching my portions so that I feel attractive) so the other half is in the fridge waiting for me.
Self care today on a hungover but hopeful about my relationship day:
Eat my leftover steak and a salad for lunch
Work on laundry
Get all the dishes clean
Moisturize my face
Make a list for tomorrow when I jump back into productive mode (but laundry and dishes, can never wait!)
I hope this helps someone too. Especially the couples who share genuine love for each other and feel lost when it comes to finding things to fix it. I'm learning so much daily and keeping progress of what works and what doesn't for us and for me.
Thank you friend. It's reassuring to hear words like this. To thine own self be true! Above all else.
I've learned this lately too. I'm actively searching for tools to help with in the unknown in front of me. I hope my example of pro-activity helps my partner in that area too.
Shew, Amen. It's a huge trigger for me also. I am still hopeful that my partner will choose to have an AP when he is further in recovery. It's too heavy for me to carry his stuff. I have my own to sort through. I actually think it is hurtful to my own recovery. I think it slows it down. That's a new insight though.
100% percent amazing insight!! Two whole, healthy individuals are needed in order for a healthy attachment to occur between them. I'm of the mindset after a lot of research on this whole thing, that the basis of addiction is that it's an attachment disorder. People learn to use an addiction to feel better versus reaching out to people for comfort. I think once someone has done this for awhile, shame and guilt further fuel the attachment to PMO.
It grows in isolation, just like in the video you shared. I love that video by the way and admire him for being so public to help bring awareness to the public.
I really appreciate your responses to my journal. I feel like I can really relate to you in a genuine and authentic way! I've started spending more and more time here. Even the best friend in the world can't help much in this unless they have gone through something similar.
Thank you for such an insightful response.
Nice breakthrough! I hope you guys(especially him) communicate even better, become even more closer, and sort out any misunderstandings patiently... Because misunderstandings, when they are sorted out, can lead to an even deeper understanding and intimacy...
It was so awesome to read this breakthrough in your journal! Sounds like your hard work stepping back and focusing on yourself made emotional space to let this conversation happen, which a victory for both of you.
It’s still going to be a slow journey, and I think from your journal you still have d-day ahead of you at some point, which will be hard, but it’s those glimpses of light that help us through the dark days. Don’t stray from taking care of yourself, and be ready for the possibility for him to suddenly go backwards; my husband sometimes made a big step forward (especially talking about emotions) and then I’d talk to him the next day and it was like the conversation didn’t happen. But it was just his way of finding space to take it in and learn how to be ok with feeling vulnerable.
So stoked for you though. I can so relate to that feeling of gratitude for knowing that the love is still there under all the madness. You can choose to stay or go in a relationship, but not knowing what’s going on can be the worst. You knowing how you feel about him puts you back in control of yourself and your life, and you deserve nothing less.
The feeling is most definitely mutual. Who would have thought sex addiction would be the catalyst to finding strangers who I can relate to better than most of my closest family? It’s a surreal journey to say the least, and through the tears and joy I’m so grateful to know that above all things, I am not alone. And you are most certainly responsible for that, so the appreciation is returned in bucketfuls!
If there was a love button, I would have clicked that one. Hope you are having a good day today friend.
What a wonderful break through. How good it must feel to being moving forward. I’m happy for you.
Now where did you get the emotion wheel?
Congratulations to both of you
The super helpful emotions wheel is mentioned on the podcast The Betrayed, The Addicted and The Expert, and the website is www.feelingswheel.com.