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Realitycheck

Red flags

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Like most who've been here,  I have experienced the worst living hell this past eighteen months trying to cope with impact of my partners addiction. I have a few questions :

If your partner is in recovery, after six months of therapy including the intensive course and the UPN day should they still be finding it difficult to express empathy?

If your partner still has trouble with the truth, ie not being completely transparent with the email accounts they hold, not making effort to obtain bill for phone that is still on contract but no longer in use(?), (he may well have ordered a secret replacement for all I know) is this a clear indication they are not in true recovery or have relapsed?

What would you think if they claim to be in recovery but they still have to ask you what  'falling on your sword', 'owning your shit' or 'manning up' entails?  

I have tried so hard to keep a lid on my emotions but I really don't know that I can go on with someone who has caused so much pain in my life yet continues to be so emotionally unavailable. He has basically told me this is who he is, he's just not good at expressing it, like I need to accept that. 

He is no longer with us in the house and I fear for all of our future. I have three children, one at uni and one is a baby.  I just don't know what's next? 

 

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Hi, I have just read your post and feel for you. Have you tried couple therapy? It might be helpful in establishing clear boundaries and maybe draw up a accountability contract. It might also be helpful for you to off load some of you anger to see a counsellor on your own.  This is a really long and winding road isn’t it? I am six month down the road and still feel like I am on the big emotional roller coaster - just when I think things are stabilising, something else happens to push me back to anger.

whatever you do, be kind to yourself and keep looking after your own needs first.

 

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Hi Florence, thank you for taking the time to respond. I have given clear boundaries and had sessions with a councillor on my own which stopped as they were expensive and  taken up offloading about the latest set back he caused.  I learned about and put myself through reading stuff no woman should have to. Laterly I tried the couples counselling although I knew with his attitude it was going to be difficult and it was.  I know for a fact that he is not being transparent. Every attempt I have to get him to do so ends up a huge row where I am nearly at breaking point. The more I question his honesty and ask for accountability the more adgitated he becomes and the manipulation begins all over again. He is not actively fighting this even if he were as abstinent as he claims. He has no accountability partner, he has a therapist who encouraged him to leave when my baby was months old and I was devastated and even more devastating when he told me that.  He calls me paranoid, tells me I need to sort myself out, makes up stuff the councillor says about me, blames me for his life being awful and talks to me with utter hatred at times. Last week he screamed at me he hated me because I called him out on lying to me.  I'm not allowed to have emotions or be upset and get no real empathy.  It breaks my heart he would still put me through this after all the help he's had chance to tap into.  I am exhausted. I can't change /cure and I am not the cause of his addiction. Nor can I  fix a relationship where he is not willing to do the work. He is different person in front of the councillor and I noticed he suddenly fakes reasonable attitude day before an appointment.   Hs has even managed to make them give me a hard time by distorting reality and rewriting history,  guilt tripping me for times I've reacted angrily when he's pushed me and pushed me because he is not doing his part ie, responsibility/accountability. The councillor has told me that I need to find my compassion! 

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Just to add, he is also completely different person when enjoying all the lovely family times we've had throughout this shit. But the moment I need him to show up and really face this he's turns into a reptile. 

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so sorry to hear all this - it sounds like your husband is still very much in denial to say the least! Perhaps from now on you need to focus on you and what you need and how best to achieve that - this might include thinking about whether you have a future together. I do hope things improve for you soon. 

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Yes, he is now trying to make me take responsibility for the last argument and saying that I treated him badly. Yes I reacted angrily to him waring me down with lies,  denials, manipulation, gas lighting and his anger.  Why?  Because I am worn out, hurt and still being lied to all over again with the same responses that he gave with the same issues that turned out to be him acting out after birth of our child.  His behaviours are way, way beyond a porn issue.   I regret giving him the opportunity to put me through this and reduce me to person I don't like just because I expect and require him to be honest and accountable. This is why he is no longer with us.  It's devastating because we had a truly amazing family, he had good well paid job, was highly regarded but we were not married and I can't even divorce him.  

 

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Realitycheck,

I am so sorry to hear this. As Florrie said, it sounds like he is still in denial, as much as I hate to say it.

I recently did the Paula Hall partner course and one of the things we talked about was how can you actually know your partner is in recovery, when you can't trust a word they say? Essentially, they can't just say they're in recovery. It's their actions which must reassure us and show us that they are in recovery - and that means being accountable, transparent, trying their best to not get defensive, attending therapy and/or 12 step meetings, if they have a particularly stressful or difficult time showing or telling us how they're dealing with it, being understanding and empathetic as to why we might find it hard to trust them or get angry or upset.

When my husband gets angry with me or defensive it immediately gets my back up and my suspicions racing, because that's exactly how he acted when he was acting out (I know that now, looking back). It's happened a few times since D-Day and we've had a few big arguments, but afterwards he has calmed down and admitted that I was right to be upset and he shouldn't have got angry.

I'm not saying he - or we - are perfect. We are only 4 months in and I'm under no illusion that this is going to be an easy road, but what I know is that the most reassuring thing in his recovery, for me, is his commitment to a 12 step group (he goes every week, has a sponsor, is on step 4 and has volunteered to be secretary) and the real changes I can see in his behaviour - not just with regards to our relationship but also how he is taking on board things like sharing the housework, doing more family stuff together etc. He lets me open his post if I want to, look at his bank statements, I have Qustodio on his phone and laptop (so I can see what websites he's been on etc). For the most part he doesn't argue back when I get suspicious or ask him questions. Of course we have blips!!! But it's encouraging so far.

Don't doubt yourself. Be kind to yourself. Know that your anger and hurt are COMPLETELY normal for someone in your situation and he should be understanding of that, not blaming you. 

Big hugs. Really hope things improve for you soon xxx

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Realitycheck,

 

Your post echoes my feelings entirely I just sometimes feel he is playing a game with me to keep me sweet and life stable. We do get on  and have fun and family time is always great but this  THING underlies all of the good times so they can  seem fake. I have learned to enjoy and appreciate the good times for what they are since I don't want his behaviour to taint everything in my life. We can and do even sit down and talk things through rationally but I always feel he is not being completely honest. He says he doesn't want to go there when I ask for any details he says therapist says its not good for his recovery to pick over the past

 The therapy which he goes to fortnightly he says has helped him but says he still can't trust  himself he will never do it again so its hard to ask me to trust him when its all I want and I find that difficult despite him saying he wants not to do it and  that he  truly wants to recover.   Details of the extent of recovery are elusive when questioned and full  accountability seems beyond him at the moment . He talks of "one day at a time " -time is passing  but I feel impatient  for results and that I deserve more than that... 

He has had one to one therapy  for almost 2 years now- there have been  several blips along the way all of which have been discoveries by me  and not  by his own admission despite my need for complete truth and transparency. I feel I have been patient and supportive and he acknowledges this. Yet even after all this time still I am no wiser on the extent of his acting out or the frequency of  it  and the truth of how long  its been going on. I don't want details of the acting out  itself  Paula s book has helped tremendously here I now understand about scab picking and the hurt that can come from revelations of the behaviour and the minute detail  of it all. 

The trouble is I feel without the disclosure from him of the extent of it all( and how it has improved which he assures me it has) I can't put it all behind me and move on   with our relationship which this THING aside is good and to some extent much better in terms of communication empathy towards me.

 

  Essentially how do I know for sure he wants to recover and how can I know that he is recovering ...

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Thanks to those who have taken time to read and reply. It's just a shame that any of us have to face this. 😔 

I don't know how others feel but i think there is too much emphasis on partners understanding the addict and the balance is off.  Why,  since their issues are due to a warped mindset are addicts not reeducated on normal human emotional reactions to what is extreme circumstances so they can take real responsibility for understanding the reality of their actions and the damage which their warped mindset causes their otherwise normal partners. In my experience my partner assumes all the pain, loss of trust and trauma is down to my own failures. He is still responsible for his actions.  As if you're supposed to suddenly become emotionally dead like them or your feelings should stay in the box in order to not bring the slightest bit of discomfort his way because he now has this affliction  label to be pandered to.

Its horrible. Sick of this shit. Sorry. 

Where is the book, 'what have i done to my partner and how not to make whats reallyvad worse'? 

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