|from where else? Bing|
I’ll be at the dealership to get my car worked on today. I know I said that the other day but I never made it because I had a migraine. They are supposed to have wi-fi so I can check my blog. If not, I apologize for being late getting to your blogs.
Yep, another post from me.
Two days in a row, can you believe it?
The kids are back in school and blogging can become a regular part of my week.
I just need to figure out a schedule.
Sorry guys but I’m doing another post about sex addiction. I normally don’t do two in one week but, meh, I’ve been gone for awhile. Plus, I was pretty excited to find the link below and wanted to share it with those who may need it.
Now then, where was I? Right, revelations. Not the Bible chapter but self-discovery. Yesterday, I talked about the importance of not being a parent to Devin any more. That type of relationship is toxic in a marriage.
While doing some research on Devin's recent diagnosis of SLA vs SA, I discovered a fantastic
, and found that Devin and I fit this pattern almost perfectly. Or, more accurately, we
to fit this pattern.
Process of person's relationships
Security, safety acceptance, “oneness” (merger)
Greatest fear is abandonment
Underlying fear is healthy intimacy (in enmeshment the core of the person is actually sealed off)
Self-contained individuals who appear strong, stable (often avoidant or obsessive compulsive, like their families of origin)
Line up next relationship before leaving current one--forming love triangles
Instant closeness, looking for “magic” feeling
Obsessing about partner
Talking obsessively to others about him or her
Acting out anger and revenge for being abandoned
Enters relationship in haze of fantasy--found this stable, strong, accepting individual
Gets high from fantasy
Denies how walled in avoidant really is
Avoidant gradually becomes distant and shuts down, abandons relationship in some way
Love addict acts out anger & revenge, turns to affairs and addictive sex
Partner capitulates and renews relationship, or love addict moves on to new relationship
Sense of self and self esteem does not develop--love addict remains in dependent position. Ability to tolerate fear and discomfort must develop for growth to occur
Wants to be connected, but not closely
Greatest fear is intimacy/engulfment
Can have a hard time rejecting others or saying no
Individuals who provide much of the enthusiasm and intimacy for both of them
Ambivalence all the way through may be in relationship because can't say no
May show initial traditional romantic pursuing, but ultimately enters relationship because love addict provides most of the “intimate energy”; may fear would never make into a relationship otherwise
As love addict wants more and more attention avoidant attempts to please by giving it to them--at least initially
Eventually avoidant becomes overwhelmed by enmeshment and/or neediness of love addict, becomes critical, and eventually backs off from relationship or abandons it
Feels relationship has failed, sometimes gets involved with addictive behavior or affairs to distance, distract, or numb out
May return to relationship out of guilt or fear of being totally alone, or moves on to connect with another partner
Cycle of abandoning and returning can go on and on, especially if love addict starts to move on
If you didn’t figure it out, I’m the
in this scenario. I feared intimacy with someone and getting too close. It made me feel vulnerable. That fear was created after my first husband died. I also thought I’d lose my sense of independence that I worked so hard to achieve after his death.
What I didn’t realize was what an emotional mess I was inside after his death. Instead of fixing myself, I focused on fixing others. Some of you in a relationship with an addict may be nodding your heads right about now. We tend to want to rescue people from their problems. I tried to “fix” two alcoholics before I met Devin. I didn’t even see the pattern of my relationships until I wrote them down while doing my step work. How crazy is that?
The last column describes part of my relationship with Devin that are so painful to even think about. It includes everything from me backing away from our relationship and then returning out of guilt to engaging in his addictive behaviors in an attempt to rescue our marriage.
While it’s been a wild and crazy journey, I can truly say I look back on what I’ve been through with Devin with appreciation. I never would have done this much work on myself had disclosure not happened. Our marriage wouldn’t be as strong as it is now if he didn’t have the courage to tell me the truth and to get help. We are better people today then we were in 2009-2010.
My rockin’ counselor smiled as I walked into her office. “How are you, Elsie? It’s been so long since I’ve seen you alone,” she said.
“I’m doing pretty good. I’ve got a lot to discuss with you. I haven’t seen you one-on-one since you got sick. I guess it’s been three months,” I answered.
My rockin’ counselor had fallen sick in the middle of summer and cancelled all of her appointments. Once she recovered from her illness she chose to only see certain clients. She began with her sex addicts recovery group that Devin was a part of, then expanded to sex addict’s couple therapy. She was now ready for individual sessions with spouses of sex addicts. That’d be me!
“The last time you and Devin were in,” she checked her notes, “you were having some communication issues. How’s that going?” she asked.
“Much better, I think. He’s initiating
instead of waiting for me. He’s also sharing more about group and meetings.”
“Has there been ownership?”
“Yes. Devin was anxious to share too. For the first time in FANOS he shared about a trigger and how he
’d it,” I said.
(note: the link to this is a great
explanation of the program)
“FRC?” my rockin’ counselor asked.
“Face it, replace it, connect. It’s something he learned while we were were still in
online,” I explained. “I feel pretty good about our reactions. I didn’t get anxious from his trigger. I’m proud of him for being comfortable enough to tell me and I let him know. But there's more.”
I sat back and explained to my rockin counselor Devin’s recent escalation in eBay purchases. Then, I switched over to his increased need of advice on how to communicate with our daughter. Advice I’ve given multiple times before. I told her about two situations that occurred over the weekend that made him feel excluded at the dinner table. An ongoing theme in our home; Devin feeling excluded despite everyone’s effort to include him. Each situation Devin isolated himself rather than reach out to the family when they reached out to him. This has been discussed repeatedly in our rockin’ counselors office in couple’s counseling.
She asked how I responded to Devin. I explained I provided the advice he sought about our one of kids. The first time I consoled him on feeling excluded and offered advice. The second time, I didn’t feel it was productive to feed into his pity party so I simply said, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” and left it there. I explained that more times than not I had been reacting with that response the last few months.
My rockin’ counselor said that was the best course of action to take with Devin. That we had fallen into a
with one another at the beginning of our relationship. I had changed the dynamics because I was further along in my recovery. He was trying to fill that void somewhere else. He used to fill it with online affairs but now he fills it with his hobby.
It was a very good reminder that it’s not my job to rescue him from his low self-esteem or the fact that he had a crappy childhood. I gave him all the tools I can, I laid them at his feet, it’s his job to pick them up.
gave him all the tools he needed to become sober and he succeeded when I backed off from micro-managing his recovery there. I need to do the same here. Love and support him but not parent him.
He’s made significant strides in his SA recovery. Look at how he opened up in FANOS! I just have to remember he has work to do in emotional sobriety. Hell, it took me twenty years before I knew I was an emotional mess and needed a twelve-step program. The least I can do is be patient with him.
I’m proud of him and I’m proud of me too! We’ve come a long way, baby. *Lights imaginary cigarette* (I still miss those cancer sticks!)
|This is not our spare room. Not even close!|
If you don't reach out to a program, reach out to a healthy place like church, a counselor or someone who doesn't bash your husband or being a sex addict. He's a sick person, not a bad person. Don't let people tell you otherwise.