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Chrissy

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  1. Jo, I'd like to refer back to your post about your analysis of the situation and figuring out what you felt might have triggered his 'over'- reaction. As Tabs has mentioned we are empathetic human beings, this is our core, this is what we do, nothing forced, nothing learned and it flows naturally out of us. This is who you are: perceptive, spontaneous, empathetic, genuine and big hearted. Helping an addict deal with their 'acting out' and helping someone, especially whom you love would be and is the most natural thing in the world. However reading through what you have written raises a few questions that I'd like you to ponder. You mentioned...'stepping in before he slips' …might you be trying to manage his behaviour? Is his openness about being triggered actually helpful for you? Do you think that it might make him more dependent on you...and perhaps you dependant/vigilant/watchful/wary on him? I'd be a little cautious about attributing your husbands actions to you helping your sister, although you mention that you're not trying to make excuses for his behaviour. The fact that you think you've 'figured it out'- might be taking away from him the sole responsibility of him figuring it out, not that he would or maybe in an emotional intelligent place to so. What you did Jo in helping your sister and her husband was noble, true, worthy and reflecting your core character, the fact that those pure actions had such a devastating effect on him just doesn't make sense. In fact it won't make sense, these are concepts so diametrically opposed to each other. Can't we be those things to others without fear of causing such a volatile and extreme reaction? Will that self knowledge of yours prevent you from helping your sister in the future...or anyone else? At some stage we have realise how much of our partners behaviours affect the way we are and act. This phrase troubles me, ' I’m just devastated that both him and I didn’t recognise it happening at the time we really let our guards down', Does this phrase demonstrate a 'shared ownership' of the problem I wonder? Jo, it is so painful to be confronted by our partners lack of empathy or emotional support, but it is indicative of their predicament. They are such broken individuals, but however much we love them and so desperately want them to be whole and integral people, they need tailored and different support than what we can give. Set your boundaries Jo, be uncompromising with them. You and your family's security whether that be emotional or physical is more important that his state of mind. Big hug to you dear sister xx
  2. Jo, This sounds a truly horrific experience and one which you are trying to make sense of. You have been violated and the trust that your partnership had has been shattered. I wonder if seeking some professional support might help you. The fact that he's looking to you for TLC indicates to me that he feels the victim here- which is totally the wrong way round! This is psychological abuse. You cannot allow the fear of 'pushing him over the edge' prevent you from protecting yourself. He is ultimately responsible for his actions and his actions have consequences. I'm not surprised you're scared, I would be! Sending you a big virtual hug xx
  3. Evening everyone, As Jo Joy so eloquently wrote the fear of loneliness for us the partners somehow outweighs the downs of an abusive relationship...because that is what it is and that perhaps holds us back from moving forward. If we value ourselves as human beings and recognise out true worth we will realise that we crumble inside when we are with them. We cannot be ourselves, we have to be their version of us and it's crushing and can end up causing our spirit to split. I spent 23 years of my life living a version of me that wasn't truly me. Only when I started to learn more about what controlled my then husband did I start to piece together a jigsaw of a life in parallel. In my case he knew the consequences of his addiction as it was written by his hand in a workbook, unfortunately the pain of loosing his family wasn't sufficient. Beatrice123 don't compromise your boundaries and hold firm, your friends stand with you sister! xx
  4. Dearest Sunflower, You will get through this, it does take time and the process that you describe is a stage in the processing of grief. The fact that your husband doesn't tire of saying sorry to you for the deepest sadness that his behaviour has caused, for me is a real sign of remorse. As you have been together for so long I am not surprised that this process of working through pain and hurt is taking a while. In my experience ( 30yrs married) with my ex husband, 'disclosure' was in 2014, he was asked to leave in Oct 2016, divorce Nov 2019. From Oct 2016 to about April 2017 I was numb and crying most days. (Trying to study and work at the same time!) After that I was crying less but little things triggered another episode and I would feel disorientated and in a state of hyper arousal for about a week. This went on for at least a year. After the deep sadness stage came the anger phase which lasted about 3 months and the air was blue!!! Anybody who knows me wouldn't have believed the amount of anger I felt and the language I used! Gradually the pain has got less and less but then he is no longer with me, no longer there as a reminder of the pain.... Sunflower, do allow yourself to feel but it might be useful to have a counsellor to accompany you in this processing of grief. Warmest hug Chrissy xx
  5. Hi again long suffering, Like Tabs I was with my husband for 30 years, he was my only ever my intimate partner. I learnt with him, trusted him and was deceived by him. As the addiction seemed to have more of a hold on him, his acting out got more daring and risky although I could only ever take his word for it … Addicts lie so the whole truth I'll never know. I got married at 22, very naïve and totally inexperienced. He moulded me to what he wanted. On occasions I couldn't understand why I really wasn't aroused by him and faked being so as that was what he wanted. He wanted me to score our sexual encounter...I think this was one of the keys as to why sex started to be a turn off. It had to be perfect all the time. I realise that for him it needed to be...and better than him acting out, as I do believe that he desperately wanted not to act out his addiction. I really wanted to be myself, but somehow couldn't be. I wanted to be loved for who I was but found that that wasn't good enough. I was unaware until in the last years of our relationship that he'd acted out since the first years of marriage and kept it a secret. He used to tell me about his acting out usually about two weeks after the event. I instinctively knew something was up...but couldn't put my finger on what it was. We had to have sex and would then implore me to have more sex as this was going to help him get over it! (his addiction). I felt used and abused and told him so...yet he'd say he loved me and cherished me. I really couldn't understand this at all and felt really confused. We went to sex therapist who really didn't grasp the fact that it was as a result of the addiction that our sex life was dysfunctional. He said he guaranteed that after the 5/6 sessions we'd be much better. He didn't understand that my lack of trust and the fact that I'd been lied to on numerous occasions was a key to the lack of libido in me. The whole episode left me very frustrated. Latterly my husband too suffered with erectile dysfunction and just wanted me to stimulate him, so no intercourse at all. I was SO frustrated. During this time I was also perimenopausal which really throws a 'spanner in the works' as it were. I actually felt repulsed and disgusted by him. After he left and in these subsequent few years I've gone through significant healing, read, listened to podcasts and come to understand myself much more. It has been a long process but a necessary one. My understanding of real intimacy is the total submission to each other...if one is guarding secrets and actually not allowing the other to love them, intimacy is flawed. I would love to find another partner and share my everything with. I hope this helps in some way. Big hug xx
  6. Hi Long suffering, I really want to reply to your post but will have more time at the weekend. This rings a lot of bells with me and the process that I've been through have come to understand things with a greater perspective. Big Hug xx
  7. Hi Foreverhealing, I'm 58. I started the process of 'leaving' I think a very long time ago. The leaving was in my head. Those little instances that made me feel less than worthy, the times when I went to a counsellor because I was told I was the problem, when I felt that my health came after my husbands sexual desires, when I had to 'score' our love making...the undermining of my trust that I tried to give time and time again. For all of us it's one step at a time and support from those who can identify with us Take care xx
  8. Hi ladies, Reading through these posts I'm stuck by the similarities and the common thread to them all. That is something that we can hold on to .....that we are NOT alone in this journey of trauma/healing. The problem is that it takes so much time and not all of us can wait or should wait. What is right for one cannot be applied to another's circumstances. For instance that you , Feeling Fragile can be an accountability partner to your husband is not necessarily beneficial for someone else. In my circumstances I was so deceived by the lying and half truths that I wanted some other blokes who knew him to basically tell him to 'man up' and get a grip on his life. However he only told them what was happening days/weeks later....and the problem seemed to be that certainly one of them was so taken in by my husbands stories that he believed I was the problem! My husband's problem was that he wasn't just using devices he was the device and acting out in public. I couldn't 'babysit' him all the time I was already in a downward spiral of psychological abuse and pain. I absolutely didn't want to leave my husband as I didn't believe that it was an option. Eventually there was no choice as he made very little effort to engage in recovery. It was so painful both the act of divorce and the process of grieving for a life that you knew. I now have my life back...it's been a hard process of re-building and new build but I'm a stronger an more resilient person as a result.
  9. Hi Lilo, How are you doing? Is the trauma therapist helping you make more sense of life? Yes, feeling alive in your body and present in it is such an important step in the healing process. Being in connection with your emotions and beginning to feel able to express them...no matter how visceral they may make you feel or surprising or alarming is vital. My divorce went through in Nov 2018 and we'd been separated since October 2016. I have been through a long process of counselling and therapy and I embraced it all as I knew the only to recover 'myself' was to open myself up to whatever needed healing in my life-from childhood to the present. Even since I finished the counselling about 2 1/2 years ago, I went through an existential crisis of 'who was I'. Again I allowed myself to go through it. I suppose it felt a bit like I was 18/19 again (except I was 56!!!!) and had never gone through it before. Big hug xx
  10. Hi Feeling Fragile, Would it help to express your emotions? Sending you a big hug Chrissy xx
  11. Kay Kay, how are you doing? For me it was the continuous betrayal of trust....and yet I gave him another chance. This betrayal slowly ate away at my trust and my ability to believe in him and believe that he could recover. I trusted in his word on countless occasions and felt I ought to give him yet another chance to change. Eventually his chances to prove that he was taking the relationship seriously ran out. He knew this. I discovered in a work book by Patrick Carnes that his continual non compliance would lead to the relationship breaking. As Tabs has said seeking out a trained therapist who could help with the unravelling and help to give you back some control over your thoughts sounds like a good idea Big hug xx
  12. Kay Kay, Reading your message I was struck by two phrases, 'I can't make sense of my feelings' and 'I don't think he deserves me'. From where I'm sitting there is no sense that you say he doesn't deserve you... Your feelings are in a melting pot of such opposite and contrary emotions at the moment so it's wise not to act on impulse. How can one be treated so well and yet so badly. That does not make sense. Love treats people well in all situations never does it treat people badly. Anna has given good advice insomuch as to look after yourself and your children, those are your responsibilities. His recovery or not is entirely his. Big hug x
  13. Lilo, Thank you for your reply and just to say that what you are feeling is normal. Have you thought anymore about the horse riding? Any other ideas? Singing is such a gift and it can lift the spirit. Are there any ways of using your gift ? A choir? Unfortunately the therapeutic separation became permanent and led to divorce because his behaviour was not safe and I didn't feel safe around him. However each person has their own path which is unique to their situation. Big hug Chrissy xx
  14. Hi Lilo, This absence is such a difficult thing to process. There's a huge hole in your life; a sense of bereftness both physically and emotionally. Huge sense of devastation. There's also a fear that he'll not return, or not want to. It's that numbness that initially comes with bereavement. I went through this a few years ago now as our therapist suggested a 'therapeutic separation'. My ex-husband was completely oblivious to the angst and pain that he was causing so the therapist could see no other option for us than actually 'rescue' me. They wouldn't have necessarily seen it that way and I definitely wouldn't have chosen that path. During the first month I was 'beside myself' with grief and numbness. My adult children took steps so that if he wanted to talk to me all messages had to go via them, I had been married for 30 years.....on the Monday after he left I started a post grad. This actually gave me a focus although on occasion I had to ask for extensions for essays. Lilo, is there something that you can do for yourself ? Something that will absorb your time and energies? What are your interests? This time is an opportunity for you. You're not mad. Yours is a normal reaction to his madness. Big hug xx
  15. Hi Feeling Fragile, That's such a lot of information to process. I'm not surprised you feel numb. What you feel is a normal response to a shock. Be kind to yourself and don't feel you have to respond straight away, allow yourself time to process this information. Sending you a big hug Chrissy x
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