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Ann Hedonia

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Ann Hedonia last won the day on June 11

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  1. I would endorse everything that Tabs said, and I would add that it is so important to take care of yourself, like really really take care of yourself! One year on, I am only now realising how much time and effort I have put into holding my partner up as he is dealing with his addiction. I still intend to support him, but this year, I am taking care of myself better and asking more of him. You will find a lot of understanding and support on this website. Sending you big hugs, Ann x
  2. It isn’t love, you’re right. There may be love in there, but it sounds as though it is smothered by this cruel insanity where fantasy obliterates love, good sense, responsibility and morality. Unless and until he accepts that he needs help, he will remain lost in the madness of the addiction. You can’t make him do this. All you can do is get yourself well. Draw on your own good sense, responsibility, morality. - and love; love for yourself and your children. It doesn’t mean you don’t love him, but taking care of yourself and your children is your recovery. This is as important as his, and as necessary. I say this as someone who is awake at 4am on the anniversary of the day I discovered my partner’s deceptions and depravity. I’ve spent the last year holding him up in his recovery. I’m going to spend the next doing the same for myself. I wish you true love as you make this sad journey too. Ann x
  3. Tuesday is the anniversary of my discovering my partner’s madness. I’m crumbling inside, so much so that I pranged my car last week in a car park. It was a tiny bump causing thousands of pounds of damage. The woman whose car I hit was so lovely. In my apologies I wanted to tell her why I made such a mess of pulling into a parking space. (I didn’t, by the way). The next day, I got a parking ticket because I got the day of the week wrong and didn’t realise that the “free after three” parking was the day before. This isn’t like me. One year on, we are still together. He’s working his programme, mostly, and he has a good therapist, and we are about to start couples therapy. That all sounds good right? But there are days when I drown in doubt. He assures me that he loves me, but can’t say what he loves about me. We have some wonderful times together, when I think we’ve really turned a corner, and then it feels like things being good is too much pressure for him and he retreats again. I’d like to look back on this post and be glad that I stuck it out. I’d like him to be the one reminding me that another year has passed and that he is glad that we made it. I’d like him to understand how painful it is to learn to trust, not only him, but my own judgement. I’m not sure today which I have less faith in. Ann
  4. In my experience, addicts can't deal with real emotions, which is why they hide away in the fantasy of porn and meaningless relationships. I know you want him to help you, be accountable etc, I wanted the same, I still do, but it has been 11 months since I discovered all the awful things my partner was doing, and while I can see that he is working on his recovery, it is only now that I have been able to ask him to work on our relationship. We have started couples therapy and, to tell you the truth, I am still highly doubtful that he is able to think of anyone other than himself. Your partner won't know which end is up at the moment, but well done him for taking himself off to treatment. If these 30 days give you a chance of beginning a healthy honest relationship, then it is worth it. It also gives you a chance to look after yourself without the distraction of his crumbling in front of you. He can't make your PTSD go away, only you can do that, preferably with professional support. Being in the same house as him won't necessarily stop him acting out over the next 30 days, or any day after that. His recovery is his work, and yours is yours. Taking care of yourselves is absolutely necessary before you can take care of each other. Now, almost a year on, I'm not sure how far my partner can recover. I'm not sure that we will be able to have an ongoing relationship, but I do know that I can and will look after myself. Be kind to yourself, Ann x
  5. Hi Tabs, thank you for being so open and so positive about your hideous experience. There are many layers of truth and many ways of seeing a situation. Taking the time to stop, listen to our heart (and yes, to listen to the addict) and to reflect before deciding how to act is a skill. I would add to that, how important it is to be compassionate to ourselves too. From that position, it is easier to be compassionate to others, including the addict. I despise what my partner has done, but I can also see that he despises himself. It isn't always possible, but I mostly manage to be compassionate towards him, whilst at the same time holding him accountable for the pain he has caused and his responsibility to follow through on his wish to do better. I think that combination of compassion and accountability is the only way forward, whether that is as a couple, or separately. It's a tough path to tread. I wish you well as you move forward on your journey. Ann x
  6. Yes, GemGem, I am still with my partner - just! I stay with him as long as he is genuinely working his 12 step programme and going to therapy. We have now started couples therapy, although the first few sessions have all been individual sessions with just him and the therapist. I am much stronger than I was, and much more boundaried. More importantly, I have a clearer sense of my worth, and know that it is entirely unconnected with his addiction. Please eat GemGem. You will need every iota of mental and physical strength to get through this, so good fuel is a necessity. Please also find little ways to be kind to yourself, even if it is just noticing a blackbird singing (there is one outside as I write this), or enjoying the feel of the sun on your face for a minute. These moments will remind your body that you are more than the unwitting victim of someone else's shame, and then your mind will catch up with that feeling. You can't change him at all, but you can look after yourself; that will make all the difference. In love and sisterly solidarity, Ann. x
  7. We can’t hug you, but any of us who read your pain can identify with it. I, for one, know the fury of seeing my partner compartmentalise his feelings, while I am fragmenting. He looks like he’s fine, and I appear the mad one. Is it loyalty, shame, or hope for better times that keep us from telling everybody what is really happening? What helped me, was just to remember to breathe. Each breath will move you closer to some point of resolution, though it may yet be some time. You aren’t alone; we are all suffering in silence with you. X
  8. Ann Hedonia

    Mich

    It is so hard to keep giving love and not have it respected and valued. First and foremost, you have to take care of yourself. Read everything you can about sex addiction. For so many of us, there is a lovely man that we love, and then there is the addict. As long as the addict is the one you are dealing with, you don't have access to that good man, however good a husband/friend/father he might be. The addict will chew the man up, chew you up and chew your relationship up. Get yourself well, with good trustworthy support. If your husband won't do the same, then he is lost to the addiction and with the best will in the world, won't be able to access all that is true and good in himself. Many of us ask ourselves the same questions every day. You are not alone. x
  9. Oh Lorna, there is nothing so crushing as learning that the person you thought you knew so well isn't that person at all! One thing that we all have in common on this forum is that we feel so alone. Sadly, there are many of us, all hidden in a shame which isn't ours to carry. In the early days, sometimes I had to actually remind myself to breathe. Just know that you are not alone, and that all of us make our way taking tiny steps, even if we don't quite know where we are headed. Be kind to yourself and remember that you did not cause this, and you certainly can't cure it; all you can do is take good care of yourself. x
  10. Hi Struggling Partner, I can relate so much to this, particularly the part about having to find it out yourself, rather than having a disclosure. I reached a similar place to you recently, not because he had relapsed, but because he was hiding stupid little things. It is the secrecy and minimising that I find so destabilising. He keeps asking me to be patient, which is a bit rich given how understanding and supportive I have been of his recovery. Then I had a moment of clarity. As long as he continues to work his programme and see his therapist, I am prepared to be patient re his recovery, understanding that it is a chronic relapsing condition. What I have zero tolerance for is the secrecy and obfuscation. I found myself saying out loud to a friend that if he lied or minimised one more time, I would ask him to leave. I had never made that boundary explicit before, and it felt liberating. I had always told myself that a commitment was a commitment, but I can't be committed to a relationship on my own. I sent him an email with this boundary very clearly laid out. I invited him to tell me exactly what has been going on (because I could sense that he had slipped). For the first time ever, he offered information that I didn't know about. It would be very very sad if we had to split, but I felt much better for giving myself permission to do this if necessary. I haven't thrown this around as an idle threat before, and my loyalty and love are well-proven. I know that if he crosses this boundary, I will end the relationship. I will have many regrets, but I won't regret standing up for myself on the need for trust. I have also asked him to go on the Laurel Centre course for addicts to support their partners. He has signed up for this, very willingly. I don't think he would have done this if I hadn't taken a stand. It took me several months to get to this point, and I'm not advocating that you take the same stand, but I know that if we don't value ourselves, why would our partners value us? There are so many of us out there. I am so glad that we can find each other for support on this forum. Ann x
  11. Can a partner heal if the addict isn't being honest? How many chances do we give them? My partner has admitted that he is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. He says that he hides the truth from me, because he fears that I will reject him (I have discovered some shockingly awful and painful things and still haven't rejected him, because I understand this is the addict part of him, and that he wants to be someone other than the addict). Then he hides and minimises relatively small things, compared to my initial discovery. I have said repeatedly that it is the lies and secrecy that will break us up, not the truth, however painful. He says he hates himself for setting up this double bind, where he is creating a scenario where he can prove to himself yet again that he is a shame-filled unworthy being who is so unhappy with himself that he has to act out - so that addict wins again, and two people who fundamentally love each other lose, not to mention my step-son with whom I have developed a loving relationship over the last six years. I feel totally stuck. He has agreed to go to couples therapy, in addition to the personal therapy that he has weekly. His therapist told him he had to start being honest with himself in order to be honest with me. I know in the past he has lied in couples therapy with his ex. I wonder if I am just wasting my time and money trying this route, when the addict in him is bound and determined to push me away. There is so much love between us, and his son, but I wonder if love is enough. I am wondering the same question as Kaykay, above.
  12. Hi Squirrel74, I am both saddened and encouraged by the similarities I see when I read our stories on this site. You explain so well the conflict between loving a man who is kind and loving etc, and wanting to support that man, and at the same time, feeling humiliated by the repeated betrayal of trust. In my case, it's not just that I don't trust him, although I really want to, it is that I don't trust my own instincts and responses. I feel for you. I feel for us all. Sadly, we are not alone. x
  13. Hi Snowpatrol, like Sunflower, I haven't been able to face coming on here lately, but I know that there is nowhere else where I can speak what is in my heart to people who truly get it. I found out about my partner's betrayal(s) on 1st June last year. I probably don't need to tell anyone reading this about how awful that day was, and how difficult it was over those first few months. However, he is working his recovery in his 12 step group and with his therapist, and all of that is good. I regularly tell him, sincerely, how proud I am of him. I see the changes in him, and I appreciate them. He can now tolerate hearing me say how upset I was/am, or telling him that I can see when he has slipped, and by and large, we get through those conversations constructively and with love. However, like you Snowpatrol, I am wracked with doubts. I knew last summer that he was not in a good place, but each summer his mood plummets; I had no idea that he was lost in a world of degrading fantasy. I have multiple post graduate qualifications in mental health, including addiction. I loved this man and I would have said that we had a close and trusting relationship (too trusting perhaps!), so you can imagine how I beat myself up every day for missing what he was doing. And my worry is that if I missed it once, might I miss it again? He has never made a disclosure, instead, I have always confronted him with my concerns, and on the 1st of June, I checked his phone. I don't want to be the porn police. One of the biggest losses of this whole mess has been my loss of confidence in myself, in my judgement and, frankly, my value as a human being. Besides his individual recovery, and mine, I think we have to recover as a couple. He agrees, but it's always me that takes the lead in asking for ways to make that happen. My calendar gets full quite far ahead, so I asked him what his thoughts were about the 1 year anniversary of that terrible day. He said we should just go to work as normal and that it was morbid to mark such a horrible day, but that if I wanted us to do something together, he would take the day off. This feels like an abdication of his part in our joint recovery, and that my organising something for that day and him coming along for the ride completely misses the point. I would welcome the thoughts of other women in my position. As a society, we mark Armistice Day and Holocaust Memorial Day, etc, to reflect and learn how not to allow these things to happen again. Is it morbid to want us as a couple to do this? How do the rest of you cope with anniversaries of this kind? How do you cope with the crippling self-doubt? Where is the line between asking for what you want in a relationship, and being the Butlins Redcoat of the relationship? Ann.
  14. I really appreciate hearing this perspective on what, as a partner, seems a baffling course of behaviour. Whilst being angry beyond all imagination, hurt, betrayed, etc, I have also hung on to a great deal of compassion for my partner, and admiration for his courage in facing this. Your explanation helps me do this better. Thank you.
  15. Natalieb, I understand the horrible compulsion to know, and the fear of saying what you know. A good therapist will help you get your thoughts and feelings together, for yourself, and for the sake of your children. Some things are too hard to tackle by oneself, and that's where a good therapist is worth his/her weight in gold. Take very good care of yourself; you will need your health and strength to get through the next part of your family's life. x
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