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#405459 - 08/01/12 01:49 AM To My Fellow Supporters
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
I almost don't recognize the person I was last year. I am 397 days from discovering my husband's affair - and 302 days from his disclosure of CSA.

This will ramble...

"THE TRICK FOR YOUR SELF ESTEEM IS TO SAY NO WHEN YOU MEAN NO, AND YES WHEN YOU MEAN YES." - said my therapist. I didn't understand then. I do now. I did not abuse my husband. I did not raise him. I am not responsible for his choices. But I am responsible for mine. I SHOULD HAVE SAID NO TO PORN when it made me uncomfortable. I SHOULD HAVE SAID NO to the drinking I started to feel bad about it. I SHOULD HAVE SAID NO to the flirtation with a friend. I SHOULD HAVE SAID NO to the lies and the hiding. I SHOULD HAVE SAID LEAVE when I first saw the signs of the affair. But I didn't. I thought it was my job to tolerate all of it because I was married, because I made a commitment, because I had kids, because he was abused. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Coulda, shoulda, woulda mean nothing and I am not accepting blame - but THINGS WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT had I stood up for my beliefs, my needs, my boundaries, my limits. For those of you questioning this, the answer is SAY NO WHEN YOU MEAN NO. Decisively, clearly and whole heartedly. Worst thing that will happen? You will love and care for yourself. Best thing? You might be the impetus your survivor needs to get his life together.

"THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS LOVE, ONLY ATTACHMENT." said my therapist. WHAT??? No, this is love. Love heals all. Love will save the day. LOVE LOVE LOVE. You know what, she was right. Love is amorphic, love is changing, love does not mean sacrificing yourself. I must LOVE ME. And LOVING someone who does not love themselves, or ATTACHING to someone not attached to themselves is a dangerous business. But alas, I am attached. But this attachment no longer means that I will take abuse. This attachment is here to support you - not to be something taken for granted or mistreated.

"SEPARATION IS ESSENTIAL IN A HEALTHY MARRIAGE" - Did she say separate??? I simply could not get my codependent head around this a year ago. He needed me. I had to be there for him. Right? Nope. I am a SEPARATE PERSON. I AM AN INDIVIDUAL. HE DOES NOT GET TO ABSORB ME nor do I get to absorb him. We are separate. The ecstacy of TOGETHERNESS can only come from two separate entities that join at will. Al-anon honestly helped this along for me. I lost me in his nose dive. Each day that he fell apart, more of me disappeared. This didn't help me - and it certainly didn't help him.

What is the essence of support? It is not holding the money bag for the bank robber, or driving the get away car. It is HOLDING FIRM to who you are, what you need, what you want, what you believe in - and turning toward your survivor and saying I CARE ABOUT YOU, I AM HERE FOR YOU. I followed my lost man down his crazy path, miserable yet proclaiming self sacrifice like a good martyr will. I did myself a MAJOR disservice - and I did nothing good for him. I remember once telling myself, in the throes of annihilation, that at least he would be able to trust me. I stood by right? I drove the get away car so he will be able to trust me going forward. THAT'S A LIE THAT WE CODEPENDENTS TELL OURSELVES EVERY DAY. When and if he gets healthy, he isn't going to trust the person who committed the crime with him. He's going to trust the person that loved themselves enough to say NO MORE.

This is my rant wink And a pulse check on my progress.

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#405481 - 08/01/12 05:10 AM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
I read I hear and I applaud.

Well done, I am sure that there is still a lot to do.
Like bombshell, the shock waves will continue to affect your lives for a while to come, but the shock waves are getting less and less intense.
Living as a healthy separate individual is key to your happiness.

I am so incredibly happy that you are doing so well, and you might see it as a rant and a vent, but I know that it is progress, hard fought for and hard to achieve.

(Continue to) Heal well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#405496 - 08/01/12 08:04 AM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5773
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Well said, Esposa!

Sounds like you have the right attitude.

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#405502 - 08/01/12 09:29 AM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 357
You are so right Esposa. For me, sometimes it is hard to distinguish what is my problem, what is his problems to handle and what are our problems together......

It is hard to see them suffer. I wwant to "kiss the boo boos" and make them all better. The problem is that if we do that, if it wwere even possible, is that we take an opportunity away from them to grow and learn and with that comes an increase in their self esteem.

I can't get sucked into the insanity because it makes me insane and then I can't be the parent I need to be to ensure my kids don't grow up in a dysfunctional family and end up where I am. I need to tell myself that constantly. I do my children such a great disservice if I am not taking care of myself.

This is where I am, 722 days after my life was shattered and my eyes opened.

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#405571 - 08/01/12 09:38 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Next goal for me? To gently reinforce my boundaries, rather than responding to inevitable infringements with my own version of crazy wink

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#405578 - 08/01/12 10:22 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Esposa-

Do you want to share some of the boundaries you will introduce???

Hugs-
herowannabe
_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#405580 - 08/01/12 10:54 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Oh Hero... I'm starting with the easy stuff. I'm not doing anything that makes me feel like crap wink

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#405858 - 08/04/12 07:24 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
Una Mujer Offline


Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 11
I am in tears reading this. Thank you Esposa. You're awesome.

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#405871 - 08/04/12 10:42 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 203
Loc: IDAHO
Esposa,

I love love love your post. So many great thoughts. It's so easy to lose yourself in another persons darkness. But I think that you are right, you partner needs you to be the person that walks in with a lantern not the person that is content to follow him around in the darkness. You have given me much to think about thank you

HD- female survivor
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#406194 - 08/08/12 10:22 AM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
pixystick Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/11/08
Posts: 19
Loc: east coast
Esposa
I like your style. Im gonna do a copy and paste of your plan. I know that I can only change me. Cant change my H. I've just about had it with being punished for another person's crime. Im taking my life back! Well said!

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#406195 - 08/08/12 10:32 AM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
...wow. That was a 180 behind-the-back and under-the-leg slam dunk that broke the backboard.

With one post you just made F&F obsolete. Might as well pack up this forum and make this thread the new splash page everyone sees when they click here
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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#406231 - 08/08/12 08:30 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Dream on, Scotty! wink
_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#406645 - 08/13/12 05:20 AM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Having lived on both sides of the co-dep issue, brava Esposa for your post. Wish more co-deps would read it...or at least hit some Al-Anon meetings. (lol...and that's my POLITE expression of an opinion).

Controlling and/or being controlled are natural reactions, but only limited in their usefulness. Put another way, being a helicopter has about the same effect as being an annoying housefly.

As I've progressed in my recovery I've learned when the expression of various emotions are appropriate and inappropriate. Sometimes a blowup is appropriate. And sometimes that gets the message across. Sometimes just going with the flow is appropriate. Sometimes it's being a door mat.

What comes out of it is the freedom to not feel as if one's walking on eggshells all the time. My responses and reactions become more honest and spontaneous.

btw, I've yet to learn to do it perfectly.

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#412721 - 10/10/12 06:58 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
.

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#412724 - 10/10/12 07:44 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
Blue1966 Offline


Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
I would have had a major problem with the T in the OP.

Beyond say yes or no and mean it, I disagree.

Love, yeah that's an elusive thing, few really ever find it, but it does exist, and it's amazing when you do find it.

Separate? Oh so we are supposed to abandon each other just because it's a little rough? Reinforce what has been done to us over and over form multiple angles? I don't think so.

Anymore there is so much emphasis on not being co-dependent that even a healthy turning to each other for support is getting labeled as such.

Yeah we might not have it exactly right but you know, stuff like that makes me glad there isn't a T that would be reasonable for either of us to go to - all too far away.

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#412840 - 10/11/12 07:31 PM Re: To My Fellow Supporters [Re: Esposa]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Hi Blue - I am not sure I am clear on your post but "separation" is what makes turning toward each other possible. Separation doesn't mean separate and certainly doesn't mean abandonment - it is the psychological perception of two distinct people who can remain attached while turning away and toward each other.

Anyone ever read HOLD ME TIGHT? It is a really interesting book about adult attachment theory.

As far as the distinction between codependency and support - there is a MAJOR one. I am 100% present should my husband need support, reassurance, comfort, affection. I am not, however, available to be swallowed whole.

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