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Ann Hedonia

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Ann Hedonia last won the day on November 4

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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. Thank you @Ginny for your sound advice. And thank you @Cowslipfor expressing so well were you are at. The rationale that 'she knows and doesn't really mind' enrages me! I think my partner confuses my support for collusion too, and nothing could be further from the truth. Like you, there are many positive parts of our relationship, and when he is not in his addict mode, he is a lovely man. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the part I love, and that the addict behaviour is what is incompatible with my life. If needs be, I would have to take a stand against the behaviour; it is my horror at the thought of doing that that I fear my partner plays on.
  4. @OurLifeIsALie, I found similarly shocking stuff on my partner's phone. It was so disorienting for me, as he had never shown a shred of interest in other men. It made me think, how can I be enough for a man who fancies other men? If he had plain said he was gay, I think I would have found that easier to manage in a way, as I know some people discover this about themselves later in life. What I find hard to get my head round is that he vehemently says he isn't, but was sending very explicit material to other men (and women). I've done a lot of reading, and have talked to trusted and knowledgeable friends about this, and I have come to the conclusion that in SA, a big part of it is the secrecy and the shame, and that each reinforces the other. The expression of the relationship between the secrecy and shame happens to be sex and the more shameful and secret that sex, the more it does that job. I have learnt, from talking to my partner, that this kind of sex, and all the feelings that go with it, are compartmentalised into a different box in his head than his feelings for me. He kept saying to me, "it's not about you" which I found very hard to understand, as it felt so deeply personal to me. I don't put my sexual feelings into little boxes in that way, so it is very hard to understand what that feels like. It's not easy at all, but I am working very hard at not taking his addiction personally. He is doing the work, and I believe that he wants the stuff in the shameful box to lose its power in his life and for the feelings in the box in which he puts our life to be stronger and safer. I hope for that too, and am prepared to support him in getting there, as long as he keeps the work up. I hope that I am not being a mug for doing this, but I know that if he can't manage his addiction, it won't be for lack of support on my part, and I will leave the relationship sadly, but without blaming myself. Read all you can - knowledge is power! And I while everybody is different and has to find their own way, I would strongly urge you to be true to yourself, and remember that your recovery from this is yours, regardless of what choices he makes. x
  5. Tabs, I admire your compassion for addicts. It's not always easy to hold on to that when we have been so abused, betrayed and hurt by them. I find it a hard balance to tread between holding compassion and not letting that manifest as making myself more vulnerable. I don't want to be bitter and angry, because I don't think anything positive comes from that, but equally, I want my hurt acknowledged. My partner too went to boarding school. Maybe boarding school is a positive experience for some people, but in my work, I encounter many many people who are deeply damaged by the experience. They aren't all SA, but their capacity for healthy relationships is invariably damaged. Anyway, Tabs, having read your story, I admire your courage, and your heart. I try to build those qualities in myself. Thank you for sharing your example. x
  6. My partner has engaged in a 12 step SLAA programme, and has been reading everything he can about his addiction and recovery, as well as seeing a really good therapist weekly. So far so good, and I am proud of him for doing these things. However, he has not maintained more than three weeks sobriety, "slipping" twice since starting the program a couple of months ago. I was, understandably, furious and hurt, particularly the second time, because he swore that the first slip was just part of his withdrawal. I was hurt on behalf of the other men in the programme, who presumably rely on the honesty of their fellows in recovery to support their own recovery. Anyway, he is back on the programme now, with more calls to his sponsor, etc, and swears that he sincerely wants to get well, and to have a life with me. The second slip destroyed my faith, not so much in him, but in myself. How could I have been taken in by all his fine words, his nightly calls to his sponsor, his meetings etc, all of which I accommodate into family life, arranging mealtimes around them etc, as I think his recovery is so important, when he was lying to himself, his sponsor, the other men, and to me? I would like to know how other women manage to draw the line between supporting a recovering addict, knowing that it is a chronic relapsing condition, and being played for a fool? It might be important to add that he didn't tell me about these lapses, but I discovered them and confronted him. He admitted that without this, he would not have told me.
  7. Lorna Ann, sadly, there are many many women (and probably men too) who have been where you are. We feel alone because the shame and horror keeps us largely invisible. On this forum, we can be heard by each other, without judgement and with compassion. What has helped me enormously is the realisation that his recovery is not mine. I have my own path to health and stability to tread; it may be parallel to his, but equally, the two paths may diverge. I know this is blindingly obvious, but it took me some months for the penny to really drop and for me to believe this in my heart, as well as in my head. Taking this position means that I can extend him compassion, and even love, but it means I am free from responsibility for his actions, and, equally importantly, he is not responsible for mine. I am free to choose what is meaningful and healthy for me. I hope that in time, you will find peace within yourself and the courage to choose what is safest and healthiest for you. And while you do that, know that you are in good company with the rest of us who are journeying with you. x
  8. @Snowflake, it sounds as if you and I are at similar points in our partner's recovery and our response to it. All the weirdness and things that just didn't make sense came bursting into painful undeniable focus on 1st June. Anyway, several rocky months on, he is completely and genuinely submerged in his recovery, with 12 step groups twice a week, and daily phone calls and written questions that he is presented each day. All of this is great, and I cannot fault him for sincerity, however, as I keep reminding him, there are two of us in recovery. I find it very difficult to watch any tv programmes with sex scenes in them when we are together. I'm currently watching Harlots on i-player, and I turn it off when he walks in. He assures me that I don't have to do this, as it doesn't upset him. This makes me so fu***ng livid, because it's not his feelings that I am sparing by turning it off! I've told him this, and he still doesn't get it! At first, I kept my distress from him as much as I could, because he was too fragile to bear his own shame and guilt, and my hurt and anger. Now, I've started to let him know what I feel and think; if we are to move forward in the way that he says he wants, then he needs to know who he is moving forward with. I may be a supportive partner, but I am so much more three-dimensional than that. I won't bob along like a dinghy in the wake of his recovery. He assumes that we will live happily ever after now that he has seen the light. He needs to see me too, or he will be continuing his journey on his own. I don't know if any of this bears any relation to what you are feeling, but I wanted to share with you my experience of not being cowed into being the "good wife" and being frightened of derailing his recovery with the imposition of my own feelings. OUR FEELINGS MATTER TOO!!!!! If our partners can't handle the fallout of their behaviour, then they aren't really doing the real work. X
  9. Sunflower365, at day 12, I was struggling to remember to breathe! You are in the very early days, and will have waves of all kinds of feelings swamping you. Re asking for a disclosure, if you asked now, do you think you would get a full and honest answer? Even if he did come fully clean, how would you know, and how would you trust that he was telling the full truth? A genuine disclosure, willingly and voluntarily given can’t be forced. However, I too was consumed by the need to know. I checked his phone. It’s not something I had ever thought of doing -it wouldn’t have crossed my mind- and I felt horrible doing so, but it did give me the information I needed. I compared this with what he was telling me, and so I can substantiate any speck of trust I might be willing to extend. He is now happy for me to look at his phone, and I do, occasionally. So far, so good. Remember to breathe; and be kind to yourself. X
  10. I am both saddened by the fact that there are thousands of us, and heartened by it. We don't deserve this, but I have been so comforted by the honesty of other women who have been/are going through this nightmare. I recently spoke to my partner's ex-wife who had been blaming herself for his behaviour for the last 26 years. We are not alone, even though the shame and embarrassment of this addiction isolates us. Sunflower365 and Domino69, and all of us reading these forums, we each have to find the path that is right for us re supporting our addict partners. I have made a choice to support my partner, because he is genuinely putting in the work to get better. However, I reserve the right to change my mind as our situation changes. I know his bad choices are nothing to do with me. He may make more bad choices in the future; all the choices I make have to be about what is right for me. Sunflower 365, just remember that it took a long time for his habit to develop. He won't change it quickly. You too can take as much time as you need to come to whatever decision is right for you. I'm not part of a 12 step group, but the advice to take one day at a time is very wise. Sending love to all of you going through this pain, x
  11. Hi all, I am new to this forum. I discovered my partner's deception on 1/6. My first response was to ask him to leave that day, but he crumbled in front of my eyes, and I realised he wasn't safe to be out in public/drive etc. Anyway, some months on, he is getting help from SLAA and from a really good therapist. I see how hard he is working, and I am proud of him for that, but I am raging inside, because all of his recovery talk is totally self-absorbed. There is little or no recognition that there are two of us going through this. Everything I have read about sex addiction (A LOT since the beginning of June!) talks about being patient with your addict partner and offering him the support he needs, but none of the literature I have read directed at addicts talks about being patient with us, and offering us support! He "slipped" last weekend, has apologised, and now I am supposed to move on from that. I am torn between pride and hope in his recovery, and rage at his utter selfishness. I feel trapped by my compassion for him. I feel as if my pain is too much for him to handle, alongside his own, so I have to look to friends, my therapist, and now this group, for support, all of which is good, but there is a place that only a partner can fill, and that place is devoid of anything but his pain and his need at the moment. How do the rest of you cope with the self-absorption, firstly of the addiction, and then of recovery? I just want to shake him and say, "what about me?"
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