Natural Consequences

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by GhostWriter, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

    I believe in natural consequences. We've all talked about Boundaries and essentially beat that topic to death. So for this, I want to focus on consequences only. Specifically I am interested in:
    • What Consequences did you implement immediately upon DDay?
    • How much have your Consequences changed as you navigated the healing process?
    • What do your Consequences look like today?
    • Do you have any regrets over the Consequences you've made?
    • Have you upheld the Consequences? And if not, how long before you did uphold them?
    • If you didn't uphold your Consequences, why?
    • What Consequences worked for you?
    • What Consequences didn't work for you?
    • Having implemented your Consequences, what is your relationship status?
    • What trouble/experiences did your Partner have upholding your defined Consequences?
    • Where they effective in maintaining the Boundaries for which they were defined?
    That's all for now...I may add some more later. Answer what you can. Ignore what you can't. I appreciate the feedback. Thanks!
    Vixen, AnonymousAnnaXOXO and Jennica like this.
  2. 1. Honestly I don't even know. At the beginning (2.5 years ago) I was in total shock and all I knew was he had to get into therapy and be in recovery and be honest. I think it took me a while to get the whole boundary and consequence thing. I am not sure if I even set any consequences except trying to get space and process what I just figured out.

    2. It's changed a lot because during the journey I learned about boundaries and consequences. I lost myself along the way with trying to help my husband that I supressed my emotions/needs to get him on his feet. But once I started to regain myself I started to set consequences like sleeping on the couch, temporary in house separation, or I will naturally distance myself emotionally if he won't try.

    3. Consequences are pretty much the same - sleep on couch/ I sleep in guest room, or emotional distance

    4. I don't think I have any regrets over the consequences. I think Jak and I weren't ready for hte in-house separation when we tried it (hence why it failed) but I think if we ever needed to do an in-house separation in the future it would be successful because we are both in a place to understand what it means.

    5. I have not always upheld the consequences (like when I mention divorce and wanting to look into it with him). Jak never believed me about divorce even though there were some close calls with it. That has been the consequence I didn't uphold, and honestly, I learned the hard way why you need to uphold consequences. If I could go back, I would have held onto the divorce consequence and said it only when I knew I could follow through.

    6. I didn't uphold the divorce consequence because well, I'd just given birth, and as horribly pathetic as this may sound, I needed Jak at that time. I couldn't walk the week after I gave birth, it was traumatic for me and I couldn't even change a diaper without breaking down crying. I was a mess, and when his lies about the car stuff came out I didn't have it in me to divorce, hence hte attempt at in-house separation.

    7. Consequences that have worked are the couch, or saying Jak can go to his dads. Jak needs consequences that are immediate and are able to be followed through with that very day. Hence why the point system didn't work with him.

    8. The point system we tried to figure out if I would stay. We learned through that, that a consequence that would happen in a month if something didn't happen wasn't going to be effective. If he didn't do something he had to have a consequence on that day.

    9. We are rebuilding the marriage (together as of two weeks ago).

    10. The couch and me saying he can sleep at his dads have been the most effective consequences for two reasons. The immediacy and the discomfort of the consequence. Jak hates sleeping apart from me, hence why the couch works, and Jak never wants to disappoint his dad, so if Jak showed up on his dads doorstep, that would be a real consequence that Jak would want to never have to endure.
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  3. Jennica

    Jennica Fapstronaut

    Great set of questions, I hope I can answer them sufficiently. Sorry for all the editing notifications if you are getting them.

    DDay #1 infidelity, was the firm non negotiable boundaries for me.

    I will without a doubt leave the relationship if he steps outside the marriage again sexually. ONS, affair of any sort. I will not do another round of affair recovery, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” frame of thought.

    We will not be friends if it happens again. I was asked why, my answer was that if it happened again it wouldn’t be a “mistake”, there is nothing he could tell himself or me for that matter that would justify it after the damage and fallout he has caused from it. I know I would only see him as a toxic person and chose to not have him in my life anymore.

    DDay#2 the depth of PA,
    Non negotiable
    #1, 100 % transparency with PA. No more secrets and lies and I will stay.

    What that means is I’m actively choosing to start to trust him. He could have continued to hide things from me, (he disclosed some wrappers). he could have chosen to continue his behavior and if that happened and when I find out, I would be done. No more secrets and lies from that day forward.

    The basics we have come up with to uphold this.

    He decided that if he relapsed he would would share with me what he watched with in 24 hrs and we would talk about it.
    (Hasn’t been a relapse)

    We would have daily checkins at the end of the day (for both of us). The first 5-6 months.
    A lot of hard conversations came out of this.

    (Current) Now it’s retrospective at the end of every week. Mutual Check in neither of us have missed this. No longer “hard” conversations, but positive realizations.

    Non Negotiable
    #2, Ongoing serious recovery help with these issues and I will stay, support him and work on us. This will not be short term.

    What was under this was how he and myself would find what worked for the recovery and stick to it, actively change it if it doesn’t, it’s fluid.

    He offered to put restrictions on his phone in the beginning to help me. It also helped him in a few ways. In the beginning he had to develop the habit of journaling at least once a week. We changed it when we both felt it wasn’t needed anymore. His honesty and vulnerability has brought back trust.

    He wanted me to be his AP and I have been and currently still am. We have become each other keepers.

    Found NF shortly after DDay #2
    NoFap for both of us, past and on going.

    Currently for the last month or so when we removed the phone restrictions.
    I felt it was more important for him to access recovery stuff that was blocked without me having to approve it. I really disliked that part of it. I still need to see continued consistency so we agreed to.

    (His/mine) Journal post at least once a week.

    (His, independent) He decided to join SA every week (about a month ago or so)

    (Us) Relationship recovery video or article a week, we share it and talk about it together.

    (Me) Us having these talks even small ones are by far this biggest thing that has helped my side of things.

    I haven’t really had to uphold any consequences. I told him what I needed to stay, he took the ball an ran with it. We are committed to it. If things start to get complacent we talk about it before feeling like one of us has to implement any consequences.

    I did feel in the beginning (DDay #1) I needed to set the non negotiable boundary for clarity and understanding that is my limit and most importantly set for myself. As for if he cheated again I promised and committed to myself that I will leave. If I had faith in anything (especially at that time) it was in myself. We had a few discussions on what I defined as cheating and affairs so there is no misunderstanding. It would be his choice if it happens again but I made it clear the consequences of that and I will hold myself to that. This one will not be negotiable, ever.

    Thankfully he is committed after DDay #2. I personally never wanted to set a bunch boundaries/consequences as mine would just be for showing basic respect or I would have to chose to go. When we have ups and downs they are no longer “fights” but we have become really good with talking things through together and conflict resolution so I believe the consequences are known, our relationship fails if we don’t. I don’t feel I need to force the boundaries & consequences because we have the same goal and that is building a better, honest, closer loving relationship together. We may need to remind the other now and again of negative behaviors and how it makes us feel and we do. The real consequences for us would be the continued deterioration of our marriage if we hadn’t made the changes and have an understanding of ourselves and each other and neither of us want that. I believe why this is working for us, he (and I) have #1 figured out what was important and prioritized it. So for us it’s not about a night on the couch if XYZ does or doesn’t happen. the consequences are the disconnect and all the other negative stuff involved that would hurt us if we didn’t prioritize ourselves in a positive way.

    BTW GW, did you get to read that link that explains Non Negotiable boundaries? Was curious what you thought of it?
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  4. JustSadPorn

    JustSadPorn Fapstronaut

    • What Consequences did you implement immediately upon DDay?
    I've had five D-days since about 2001. The first 4 of them, the "consequence" was me working harder to be a better wife: sexier, more fun, more loving. That worked about as well as you'd expect. I wasn't very smart about things back then.

    We had some other issues over the past couple years that had me thinking about divorce. I was starting to see that no matter how excellent of a wife I was, he just wasn't all-in for our marriage. The issues were all related to his addiction, but neither of us knew that yet.

    The most recent D-day, which was a disclosure (though not a very well planned one), I left for several days and stayed at a rental a few hours away. It wasn't so much a punishment for him as me needing space to think.

    While I was gone, I found NoFap and YBOP and sent them to my husband. It was the first time either of us even considered that porn could be an actual addiction. Prior, he basically thought he was a sick freak with no willpower. I thought I just wasn't good enough to deserve fidelity.

    After learning about addiction, he imposed major consequences on himself. He stopped M, which he previously did not fully realize was part of the problem (he had already been off P for a couple months). He disclosed to his therapist (we were both already in therapy), joined SAA, and began doing daily recovery work.

    • How much have your Consequences changed as you navigated the healing process?
    I no longer work harder to earn his love. He's doing the work now. I know now that if I have feeling that I need space from him, I should listen to that feeling.
    • What do your Consequences look like today?
    If he lies to me (not about anything catastrophic), or behaves in a generally immature/addict-like way, we don't spend any time together until the following conditions are met. This has happened a few times.
    - He gets honest and takes responsibility
    - He determines and shares what triggered his behavior
    - He has a plan to ensure that it doesn't happen again

    When he was ogling, I refused to sleep with him or go out in public with him. That was really hard and lonely for me. If he goes back to ogling, I'll have to do this again. I also told him that if he starts ogling again, he'll need to take the bus, since he mainly ogles while he's driving. That would be seriously unpleasant for him. If he relapses on ogling and can't get it under control, I know I'll eventually get to the point where I just don't want to be married anymore. I'm not sure exactly how long it would take for me to get to that threshold.

    He hasn't yet relapsed with P or M. If he tells me about any slips when they happen, and is taking steps to address it, I'll need space until I can cool down. This is mostly so that I don't freak out and say things I don't really mean. But I don't anticipate needing any consequences beyond that. The exception to this is if he uses at work OR if it evolves into a binge before he addresses it. Those will result in at least a separation where he would need to move out.

    If he escalates and has any in-person sexual contact, or views any illegal P, I will divorce him.
    • Do you have any regrets over the Consequences you've made?
    I have MANY regrets that I didn't understand things better years ago. I'm fine with my current consequences.
    • Have you upheld the Consequences? And if not, how long before you did uphold them?
    There have been a few instances where he's lied and I could sense it. I've tried to gently talk him into telling me the truth, and it usually doesn't work. It sometimes takes me a few hours to stop trying and just leave. I'm getting better at dropping the rope immediately.
    • If you didn't uphold your Consequences, why?
      I broke down a couple days early on not going out in public due to ogling. It was so lonely for me. The consequence was still effective, however, as he stopped the ogling habit.

      If ogling happens again, I'll find other people to spend my time with to make upholding the consequence easier on me. I felt too fragile and ashamed back then to reach out to other people.
    • What Consequences worked for you?
      Withdrawing my presence from him seems to work.
    • What Consequences didn't work for you?
      Me trying to be Mrs. Sultry McSuperWife in order to compete with porn/other women.
    • Having implemented your Consequences, what is your relationship status?
      Married, not separated physically or emotionally
    • What trouble/experiences did your Partner have upholding your defined Consequences?
    When we're apart during a consequence, I expect him to reach out to me occasionally. Tell me he misses me and that he's working on a solution. I want to know that this is at least as painful for him as it is for me.

    I think he had it in his head that when mom sends you to your room, you're supposed to sit there quietly until she comes back to release you. If you whine about it, you get punished some more. But this is a different situation, not a superior punishing an inferior. He struggled with that idea, but I think he gets it now.
    • Where they effective in maintaining the Boundaries for which they were defined?
      Generally, yes. He's still working on being 100% honest and staying out of addict-victim thinking, but he's making progress. He's getting much faster at pulling himself out of the shame spiral that causes him to be dishonest.
    These are great questions, @GhostWriter. Thanks for starting this thread.
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  5. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

    Wow, thanks for sharing. That was a lot. And thank the rest of you for sharing. This is great material.
  6. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

    So I’m new to this whole consequences thing and I enjoyed reading all that was shared.

    Upon initial discovery I wanted him to leave. He pulled on my heart strings regarding wanting to see our toddler more so I reluctantly let him he sleep on a cot downstairs for a week and when we travelled (a trip book prior to discovery), he got the couch bed in the living area. I was extremely emotionally distant/numb.

    Recently he lied to me again about triggering Instagram material and I think I was enough out of the numb phase and perhaps a little in denial. That burst my bubble and I left for what ended up being two weeks. I didn’t tell him when I would be back becUse I didn’t know. About a week into the trip he flipped a switch and became hostile about me “taking the kids” which surprised me. Wasn’t malicious on my part and he often likes us to leave him alone... I told him if he would stay at a local friend’s next time then he could still see kids frequently even with a temporary separation. He’s obstinately refused.

    So I’m not sure if the last one was too severe. I do think it scared him so maybe it was effective but he let his ugly show a lot. All sorts of villainizing, threats of divorce. Eventually it softened but I’ve still got my guard up.

    If anyone has ideas how to go forward let me know! I’m not sure how to better handle it... aside from maybe a shorter separation. But if he triggers me really hard I don’t like to accommodate.

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