Basic Information for New SO's

For partners of people struggling with pornography addiction. A place for Significant Others to support one another, vent their frustrations, and share their hopes. Recovering Addicts are strongly urged not to post on this forum.

Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby Susan on Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:21 am

I absolutely love Amazing Grace's post on page 1. All of it...so true.

I'd only add:

Sign up for some counseling for yourself to help you cope. If you have no money, look on the internet for sliding scale fee, or a public aid resource.

Look into the partner workshops on RecoveryNation.com. It helped me to truly 'get it' that it wasn't about me.
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby neverending on Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:30 pm

This post was helpful to some So's on the old board. I wanted to contribute something here... this is all I have.

http://lightwave.proboards48.com/index. ... 851&page=1
Am I a part of the cure, or am I part of the disease?--Cold Play-Clocks

Taking 12 Steps When God Isn't "God" Accountability Circle
http://npsupport.net/community/viewforum.php?f=14
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby completelydone on Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:28 am

Porn- the False Intimacy "Drug"

Intimacy is a deep emotional connection with another person. It is getting to know one another as well as you know yourself. It is accepting each other as you are, while encouraging each other to live up to your potential. It does not mean, however, to tolerate abuse or adultery. Abuse and adultery void intimacy because intimacy is trying to do only what is best for each other. It is considering each other's feelings and opinions in everything you do. It's having each other's backs. It's two people against the world. It's being a safe place for each other in a hard and weary world. It's letting down the walls and being real with one another always. It's honesty in it's purest form. It's laying of oneself in the hands of another emotionally speaking. It can be a scary thing to do because you are making yourself completely vulnerable to another person, but they are also (hopefully) making themselves as vulnerable to you.

Marriage isn't about two people making a family and sharing a home and bed. Marriage is about intimacy- two people giving their all to and for each other in every way. It is two becoming one. It is two people bonding so closely that they are a team in life and love. It's making your life not only with, but about another human being. It's supporting one another emotionally, physically, financially. It's being on each other's side. It's respecting each other as individuals and equals. It is a sense of belonging, of safety, of being wanted, and needed, and cherished. It's romance and infatuation. It's admiration and adoration. It's not expecting perfection, but having a realistic attitude toward one another. It's seeing the good in each other and appreciating all you have. It's needing and wanting each other's companionship more than anyone else's. It's caring about each other's well being, and knowing your mate feels the same about you. It's putting each other and caring for each other's needs first.

Sexually speaking, when you have this emotional intimacy; this close, "it's us against the world" relationship, sex becomes much more than a phyisical encounter or gratification. It becomes an emotional celebration of each other and your love. When you make love, the gratification not only comes but it is far more intense and superior to mere sex for the sake of getting turned on and orgasming. When you make love the orgasms aren't the goal, but they sure do happen and are more intense and often multiple.

Porn and m/b blocks all these things. It's takes what is sacred and special and turns it into anything but that. It blocks emotional and physical intimacy. It prevents a good life, good relationships. It is an intimacy disorder. PA is based in fear of intimacy. Yet, it is intimacy that human beings most need and crave.

In Dr. Ed Wheat's book, "Love Life" he says this about sexual intimacy:

"The physical side of love rests in the human need for close personal contact, especially the need to be touched in a way that expresses warmth, gentleness, softness, and caring. Men have this need for warmth and affection in addiction to sexual satisfaction, but they are much less apt than women to admit it or even to be aware of it. Therepists hav found that men often musunderstand this need and seek sex (or I'll enter porn and m/b) when what they really crave is the physical reassurance of loving closeness."

IOW, men need emotional and physical closeness as much as women do but they are afraid to admit it or seek it because they don't want to feel emotionally weak, and/or they don't want to open themselves up based on fear of hurt/rejection/appearing weak. Yet, most women need, want, and expect emotional and physically close intimacy in their marriage. Without it, they won't be happy and they won't feel loved. I read and posted an article lately that said women leave men for one basic reason- neglect. What does that mean? Lack of emotional intimacy. Without it, love dies and so eventually does the relationship too.

Now obviously there are women who have trouble with intimacy too, as I once did, and they use porn and m/b (and often for women casual sex too) to get a form of intimacy without actually chancing real, meaningful intimacy. All of this has it's roots in fear and is not strong at all, but actually weak. I recognized that once upon a time and it helped me overcome PA and SA so I hope it helps someone here too.

I've gotta get ready for work now and get out of here, but I wanted to share on the subject, because it is so important for the recovery of both spouses.

Take care,
CD
"Recoveryism destroys more lives than addiction itself."
"Porn addicts do what they do because it doesn't cost them enough. Make it cost them."
But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God's promise at that—you can't break it. Romans 4:15

Addiction is deception and only truth cures it.


In order for you to never slip again you need to do basically two things:
1. Make a final decision about it.
2. Get to the root cause of the problem.
completelydone
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby oneminatatime on Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:12 pm

hello-- i'm SO glad i found this site. i'm totally worn out, worn down & overwhelmed. my story is probably somewhat similar to some of you out there, and once i've had a chance to read more posts, i'll try to formulate something more cohesive to say. the one comment i've read so far that jumps out at me that i want to comment on is : "This is not about you, not even a little bit. You could be a supermodel, available 24/7 for sx and he would still use prn.... This is not about your attractiveness, your love, your abilities, etc.. This is about HIM and HIS inability to be truly intimate, his 'need' for a fix, his 'need' to run from his problems rather than deal with them. HIs addiction and recovery are his to deal with- you can't do it for him."

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT!! I've been a member of a 12step program for codependents for almost 11 mos now, and there are still times where i'm my own worst enemy, and wonder why i wasn't good enough for him. it would take me hours to write out all the sick, dysfunctional aspects of our now-ended intimate relationship, the intense feelings i sometimes still have towards him (although at this point i sincerely doubt he EVER felt the same way about me), and the ways in which i still wonder in moments of weakness or despair what i'd have to do in order to 'compete' with the porn for his attention.

what i DO know cognitively (most of the time) is that the porn addiction is HIS issue, as is his alcoholism, his mental health issues, and his other baggage that he's carried around. likewise, my codependence, my other issues and reactions are MINE to work through and recover from. i'm just glad to know i'm not alone when i start to question what was wrong with ME, and why i couldn't hold his attention, affection or intimacy. thanks again for being here. i'm glad to know i have a safe place to turn to learn more about my OWN recovery.
Insanity is repeating the same pattern or behavior over & over and expecting the outcome to be different!
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby coo19 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:54 pm

I thank you for adding this to the site. I have caught my husband multiple times sending and receiving pics and pornographic videos of himself and other women after he promised me many times he would stop but obviosuly that was a lie. I found 4 different e-mail accounts he used, his cell phone and messengers where he was doing this as well and also joining chat sites. My husband fails to realize that I'm not stupid. The bad thing was I found it by accident, until then things were PERFECT! Although I do not believe my husband has had a physical relaitonship with anyone behind my back to me what he did and continued to do was cheating on me. I even got in touch with some of the girls and they didn't know of me at all. At the time I was pregnant with our only child and we had just been married. He had an entirely separate life that destroyed my life. My question is this, how do I forget the past? The last time I caught him was 5 months ago and since then things are good but I can't stop thinking about it, I can't trust him, I have nightmares and still have days where I dwell on what he's done and I still wonder if there's more I dont' know about or if it's still happening. You know it's not hard to open other accounts. It is killing me. Every time I look at my daughter I think about the fact that I was pregnant while all this was happening and we had a great sex life and still do. I don't understand why??? He tells me it had nothing to do with me but how am I supposed to believe that? For the rest of my life when I think of the year we got married and had our daughter, what should have been the best year of my life, I'm going to think of his lies. How do I get through that? How can I move on after being lied to so many times. Even though we still have a great sex life things just feel different to me. My heart has never been broken like this by anyone, probably cause I always locked up with other people and he was one of the few I didn't feel I needed to but now I am starting to with him and that scares me. I'm afraid that if I don't get over all this eventually it will lead to the end of our family. I love him more than I can even tell you, we get along very well but this one thing is tearing me apart. I don't understand why? I don't know how to forget it and I don't know how to trust him. Any suggestions???? Any advice is much appreciated.
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby mayberry on Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:13 pm

DennisW posted this on his journal tonight--a link that Hephzibah had provided--and I think it's excellent and want to post it here. It has a Christian perspective, but I think it may be useful even if you're not Christian:

http://www.blazinggrace.org/cms/bg/healingforwives

The topic is:
Healing for Wives Who've Been Hurt
From Adultery or Porn Addiction

There are other articles on that site that may be of interest to both PAs & SOs.
Last edited by mayberry on Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: To add a bit more information
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby completelydone on Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:20 am

A lot of people keep asking me what my signature quote means:

Recoveryism destroys more lives than addiction.


It means there must be a sincere change of heart. Trying to remain sober is not a change of heart, it is will power to not do something you want to do. A change of heart means it becomes something you no longer want.

Here is a good link to an article that explains that from a Christian perspective:

http://www.blazinggrace.org/

The only thing I would add to that is that we can really CHANGE our desires and therefore be free from sinful addictions/strongholds in our lives. When we learn the truth about a certain sin; when we no longer believe the lie attached to it, it no longer has hold on us. When we really see the truth, a team of wild horses would have a hard time dragging us back to our old sin/addiction.

For instance, I use to smoke pot. Whether or not you believe it is a sin is not relevent here; my point is coming from it's addictive power. I use to smoke pot to feel good; to run from emotional pain, stress, etc. The lie was that pot would cure my problems. That was the lie I believed. Pot would heal me. That is, of course, a lie. Pot can never heal us. Instead it has all sorts of bad effects in our lives, and when we come down from our high, our problems are still there. Now that I KNOW it's a lie (there's not one little bitty part of me that believes any of that anymore) pot holds no pull on me. I'm not even tempted by it, it is so far gone from my heart. I had a heart change. I didn't try to be sober, I changed my mind. The truth really does make us free.

So, that's what I would add to that article. Yes, filling up with God affects our choices and desires, but so does "renewing the mind" which the New Testement tells us repeatedly to do in order to defeat our flesh. When we renew our minds to truth, who are in Christ, God's grace and love................ sin loses it's power over us. Temptations grow fewer and fewer in the areas we've conquered; and easier to overcome. Eventually, we quit getting tempted in that area at all; as I am with pot now. You couldn't force it on me. I would sock you one if you tried to force it on me. :D

That is what freedom looks and feels like. It is possible. It will never happen though so long as we stay stuck in recovery because we are trying to not do what we want to do (sobriety). It only happens when we have a change of heart.

Take care,
CD

**************************************************************************************************************************************************
Recoveryism destroys more lives than addiction.

When people get stuck in recovery instead of going on to freedom, it destroys lives, marriages, etc.
Just look at all the SO's that have left, divorced, or are planning on leaving in the past few months. Their PA's are stuck in "recovery", never getting to the top of the mountain. Eventually, even with all our love for them, our kids; eventually in spite of our dream of mending it all to keep our families together, if they don't come to a point of being recovered, instead of perpetually recovering, we give up and leave. They keep slipping, we keep hurting, we get to where we can't take it anymore, our kids lose their family unit.

If one is forever in recovery, then something is wrong. Something isn't being done that needs done. Something isn't being understood. Something is missing in their recovery. I am free of porn. I made that final stand 10 years ago now; my husband made it almost 4 years ago. Neither of us believe "once and addict, always an addict". I'm not cutting down that approach. If others want to take it, it's their business. But, IMO, and in my experience, you will be what you believe. I believe I'm free, therefore I am. Some people believe they are addicts and always will be and therefore..............

I think you get the picture. At best, one that is always in recovery is sober. But what I wanted for myself and for my husband was a heart change, not just refraining from something. There's a big difference between refusing your desires, and changing them. I think that's where most addicts get stuck. They don't know how to change, they are simply trying to refrain one day at a time.

That's not good enough for me. I want a CHANGE. I did it myself, so can anyone else. I'm not special. I just found the right path to help me RECOVER; not stay sober. I don't need to try to stay sober anymore. My desire has changed. I don't want porn. I want love. My husband's desire has changed. He doesn't want porn, he wants love. I'd rather pour hot oil all over me than to go back to that lifestyle. We have been set free. We don't live in bondage to porn anymore. All that's left is healing between us. We're getting there.

But this is what we believe. Others don't. They have that right. I hope they find their way to recovery, instead of living in slavery to porn.

Take care,
CD
"Recoveryism destroys more lives than addiction itself."
"Porn addicts do what they do because it doesn't cost them enough. Make it cost them."
But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God's promise at that—you can't break it. Romans 4:15

Addiction is deception and only truth cures it.


In order for you to never slip again you need to do basically two things:
1. Make a final decision about it.
2. Get to the root cause of the problem.
completelydone
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Posts: 2052
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby completelydone on Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:25 am

Don't Feel:

I was going back over some things that helped me overcome my addictions, and understand my husband's. People who are addicted are often not given permission to express their emotions growing up. For those who try to express them anyway, their often met with, "You're wrong for feeling that way.", "You shouldn't feel that way.", or misplaced religious shaming for feeling anger at all. I know when I was growing up, and many women, are told to be ladylike, godly, holy, sweet, kind, etc. What this is translated to is- don't be angry; anger is negative, or sinful somehow. However, boys are encouraged to vent, rant, and throw things to let their anger out, and are taught that being too nice means they are not macho enough; but feminine. Because of this false conditioning of what emotions are right or wrong, acceptable or not, negative or not, etc, many people tend to repress "negative" emotions altogether which can and does often lead to depression, anxiety, and addictions.

As a result of family experiences, individuals create their own rules for emotional control. For some people anger is frightening; instead of acting “angry,” they act “hurt.” For others, the feelings of being scared or hurt are replaced by anger and rage. Important relationships are harmed when people are not appropriate and honest with their emotions.

The “Don’t Feel” rule leads to a growing army of repressed emotions. These emotions can contribute to experiences of being overwhelmed, anxious, easily angered, and depressed. As these emotions build, people become increasingly vulnerable to addictions that are often used to temporarily quiet repressed feelings.




http://www.pureintimacy.org/gr/intimacy ... 000130.cfm



I have learned in my life to be real and honest with my emotions. I make it a policy of mine for myself to try to always speak the truth in love. Anger is not a negative emotion. It is what we feel when we have been wronged, or we perceive a wrong. Expressing anger is not wrong; depending on how we express it. Obviously killing someone for instance is a very wrong way to express and relieve ones self of anger.

I had to learn to not repress my own emotions and instead communicate in order to dig out issues big and small. When I did not do this, I used a variety of substances, sex, and porn to try to outrun my emotions. My husband was doing the same with porn. All of our husband's have. Unfortunately, men in particular are vulnerable to addictions (esp porn) because they are raised to not feel and express emotions. If someone hurts them, they are to "buck up", "take it like a man"; in essence pretend it didn't hurt them and move on with life. I also grew up that way, so I think that is why I was so susceptable to porn and casual sex myself. All my life crying, anger, grief were not allowed to be expressed and discouraged to even be felt. I was always told I was wrong to feel what I was feeling; that I was to put it behind me and move forward with life as if I weren't affected by it. I learned how NOT to deal with trauma and grief. Eventually, what would happen would be that those emotions erupted inside of me whether I liked it or not. So, without knowledge or understanding, or even approval to deal with those emotions, I did what I had to do to suppress them; drugs, drinking alcohol, porn, sex, tobacco.

Eventually, I learned that none of those things was curing my pain, so I went looking for a way to cure them. I learned that all along I could have had a different, better life, if I would have known to feel, deal, and heal. I learned that healing came through expression of what you feel, what is going on inside of you because of what has happened to you. This is a healthy way of relating and being and expressing.

My husband grew up even more repressed than I. He had NO idea what it was to communicate or be allowed to feel, let alone feel safe communicating the hard, shameful things. He is now a much healthier, porn free, nearly addiction free (he still smokes) person. What we say to each other sometimes hurts to hear, but it needs to be done. It hurts to share and hear painful emotions, anger, etc., but none-the-less it is a necessary and vital step to healing.

I encourage you ladies to not only be free in your expressions of loss, anger, sadness, etc., but to encourage free expression of such within your mate concerning their past, and present. I don't think I need to say that those expressions need to be made in constructive, not destructive ways, but I'll say it just in case.

Take care,
CD

************************************************************************************************************************************************

Suppressing Emotions:

Recovery from family trauma requires facing the past, working through the emotions, grieving loss, and unmasking the lie of shame. The task is best approached with medical, spiritual, and counseling direction. Failure to rectify these emotions will result in continued distress and make a person vulnerable to the deceptive emotional relief found in addictions.



http://www.pureintimacy.org/gr/intimacy ... 000131.cfm

It is so true, whether it is past F.O.O. pain, or pain produced through your PA's porn use. Working through emotions, which includes talking about them, venting them, learning to understand what is causing them, etc. is the only way to heal. We can live in denial of pain/trauma for only so long and it will all stack up within us until we reach a point of volcanic eruption. It is at that point that people seek out emotional relief, instead of dealing with the emotions erupting. They seek relief through addictive behaviors.

The only cure for addiction is to deal with the underlying roots. If we deal with those trauma's to start with instead of minimizing our pain, and/or justifying those that hurt us, and/or blaming ourselves for our own wounds, and/or ignoring our trauma thinking we are putting it behind us, we can avoid addiction ourselves. If we deny out pain, we can be the next addicts.

Be real, deal, explore, heal.

Take care,
CD
"Recoveryism destroys more lives than addiction itself."
"Porn addicts do what they do because it doesn't cost them enough. Make it cost them."
But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God's promise at that—you can't break it. Romans 4:15

Addiction is deception and only truth cures it.


In order for you to never slip again you need to do basically two things:
1. Make a final decision about it.
2. Get to the root cause of the problem.
completelydone
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Posts: 2052
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:40 am
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby Breaking_point on Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:12 pm

completelydone wrote:Crap in shoes, toads and whatnot, etc., ....



This made me sob. I feel so alone and this really struck a chord in my heart.
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Re: Basic Information for New SO's

Postby Hope_lives on Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:36 pm

Here are some suggestions of things to do after you discover your H has been looking at p:

**Call Focus on the Family (family.org) and ask to speak with a counselor. The first call is free. They can recommend a good counselor in your area.

**Read on pureintimacy.org

**Read the partner's section on recoverynation.com

**Read as much as you can on this support board

**Read the book "Love Must Be Tough" by Dr. James Dobson
Last edited by Hope_lives on Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
D-day: Dec. '07
My recovery: this board, literature, RN, a few counseling sessions after d-day
SO recovery: a few counseling sessions after d-day and reading (books/RN), nothing at present
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