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#454945 - 11/24/13 01:01 PM Spouses of survivors, a little help please
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 187
Loc: Canada
Since embarking on this challenge, of recovering myself, I have faced instances of objection, or flat out opposition to my need for a little time and space to do my personal recovery work, which i do in our basement.
I blamed myself the first time. I informed my wife and son that I needed an hour and half, twice a week, undisturbed and left alone. I don't think I made it clear how important this was to me, and how much I needed their agreement and support. I was interrupted on a couple of occasions, got frustrated about it, so I brought it up to discuss. This precipitated an argument. It was claimed that I made no such request, and in fairness my approach was accusatory.
This was resolved, or so of thought, until again, a few week later, I was being interrupted. This time, I was left alone, but it became time to play with dog, while turning on the stereo directly over my head. Again an augment ensued, and I thought resolution.
Not so however. Most recently, while I was in the midst of an embarrassing exercise, my wife comes down to change the laundry.
I tried to discuss this again with her, and she flat out said she cannot guarantee me the time I say I need, because..."she lives here too", " the laundry needed done", " your using this as an excuse".
I am at a loss, this has resulted in my not wanting to do my recovery work, for fear of interruption. I am in an avoidance spell right now, but my concern in my wife.
What is going on? I've tried to ask her what is going on, but I get no where.
Are there any spouses with some insight?
What is she afraid of?
This certainly does not illicit warm fuzzy feelings, in fact the opposite is true.
I have a deft lack of trust now that I cannot yet overcome.
Perhaps if I can address what is bothering her, we can both get what we need.
I just have no way of knowing what that might be.
So I ask for, a little help please?
_________________________
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

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#455019 - 11/25/13 01:17 PM Re: Spouses of survivors, a little help please [Re: Adam A Gedman]
Truth2013 Offline


Registered: 11/04/13
Posts: 8
Loc: Maryland
Hi Adam,
I can understand your frustration. Sometimes it's best to go to a park and just work on your recovery there. Just try to get outside of the house to do your recovery.

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#455029 - 11/25/13 03:56 PM Re: Spouses of survivors, a little help please [Re: Adam A Gedman]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 359
This is just me, Adam, and I am a wife who has been traumatized over and over by living with a sex addict and the lies. If my husband told me he wanted time alone, undisturbed, 2 times a week I would probably say "over my dead body".

Of course, if he hadn't acted out and lied all those years, I would understand BUT ONLY IF I TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD WAHT WAS GOING ON WITH HIM AND WHY HE NEEDED THAT MUCH TIME.

How involved is your wife with the everyday struggles you have? If you don't include her in this, she could be very resentful of not being involved in your life.

I, and I am sure many other wives feel this way, like to feel needed (probably to the extent where it is very unhealthy, at least for me)

I sometimes feel resentful of my husband's recovery time. I hear a lot about that in "the rooms". Of course, it is much better to have a husband taking time away from us to work on recovery time than to have a husband who is not doing any recovery work.

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#455117 - 11/26/13 11:09 AM Re: Spouses of survivors, a little help please [Re: Adam A Gedman]
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
I understand your frustration. I need alone-time to write and it is essential for my well-being that I get that time (my way to work through my past). My husband doesn't like it. He'll come into the room "to just read a book here, I'll be quiet" or check what I want for dinner or whatever. I think he calms his own fears about losing me (even if I only distance myself for the hours I'm writing) by checking in on me and re-establishing contact.

I can't say we have worked it out completely, but between talking about it (emotional connection) and it just happening kinda often (getting used to it) it got better over time. I also get less upset when he comes in. I just ask him to give me some space and give him an approximate time for how long. Not engaging emotionally helps me to find my focus again quickly.

If none of this works, I think I'd just try to find a space outside of the house to be alone when I need to be.

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#455159 - 11/26/13 08:48 PM Re: Spouses of survivors, a little help please [Re: Adam A Gedman]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 256
Loc: us
Maybe she just doesn't know what you are doing down there and thinks its weird you are being so private about it.
Maybe she feels left out or annoyed that you are being so secrective.
Have you told her what you are doing?
Saying that you are "working on recovery" is pretty vague.
Perhaps if you give her more details about the types of activities you are doing she will better understand why you want to be alone. And perhaps on the days that you make some progress with youself you could tell her about it.
I had to explain to my H why I won't do my workout dvds around him. I told him that I worry that if he sees me pink faced and weezing he won't think I'm very pretty anymore. We both laughed and after that he was better about giving me that time alone.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#455206 - 11/27/13 09:55 AM Re: Spouses of survivors, a little help please [Re: Adam A Gedman]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 338
I'm guessing, but, I'm thinking she is curious or trying to be as 'normal' as possible by avoiding the private time request.

Getting out of the house, timing it for a less active part of the day and/or explaining more about it may help you both.

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#455220 - 11/27/13 11:51 AM Re: Spouses of survivors, a little help please [Re: Adam A Gedman]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
Adam, were there incidents of acting out? Suicidal threats? Porn? Infidelity? Lies? If this occurred in your relationship prior to seeking help, it likely influences why your wife is uncomfortable leaving you alone.

My H lied and cheated on me for years, so needless to say, the explicit trust I had in him is long gone. I give him as much alone time in our home as he needs, but saying he needs to go away, be alone, somewhere secluded? Not going to happen.

Can you explain more about your dynamic at home?

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#455447 - 11/29/13 12:48 PM Re: Spouses of survivors, a little help please [Re: Adam A Gedman]
Adam A Gedman Offline


Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 187
Loc: Canada
Thanks all for your replies.

I am just getting back and hadn't had a chance to read any replies since I posted this plea.

To answer some questions and provide perhaps a little more clarity.

When I started my recovery work, I didn't really take the suggestion of finding a safe space all that seriously.
I had never knowingly felt unsafe. But as I've moved forward with it, this has changed.
The spot I chose has become the place I can open that compartment, without fear, or judgement, and and intrusions feel dismissive of what I am trying to accomplish.

I am no sex addict, at least as far as I am concerned.
In fact for many years sex was not even on my radar.
This was a cause of several arguments, with my wife feeling unwanted and unloved, but I just had nothing to give at that point.

There was no infidelity, and as for lies, sure, we all lie to some extent.
But mostly done with he goal of keeping the peace.
This is a learned trait. A defense mechanism.
If I could convince my drunken abusive father of something other than what perceived transgression I had done to anger him,
than I would be temporarily let off the hook, and avoid some new bruises.

As much as I want to share all this with her, it is terribly frightening to entertain the thought.
There is a bit of old repetition, with an inability trust on my part for sure.
I am far more comfortable with the anonymity of this site to unload my garbage.

I need to do this in my safe little spot in my basement.
Reciting affirmations aloud, and standing doing breathing exercises with my arms outstretched,
or doing a basic meditation with pebbles, would feel more embarrassing in a park or coffee shop, than in my safe little cubby.
So my basement, at least for now is the place I have to do these things.

Suicide has never been part of the after effects for me.
I rarely experienced emotions on an extreme level.
I have been described by some as surprisingly calm in the face of chaos, but also never to excitable either.

I have described to my wife how, if I am in the midst of these things, that if even hear someone take a step down the stairs, I freeze.
It's like when I knew my father was on his way down to my room.
I knew he was coming, I could hear the stomping, and would freeze in anticipation of a verbal or physical assault.

I am worried about her for sure though, and have expressed this.
I am sure she feels like she is walking on egg shells.
With myself, and our son, who is currently in counselling for depression.

The last few years things have been quite good in our relationship.
That's not say that we don't don't have our moments of conflict.
I think she may not understand how this is such a big deal,
given things had been pretty good for so long.

Maybe she's afraid I am going to change into someone she doesn't recognize anymore.
I have had this fear as well, that therapy, would change who I am, or define me other than how I see myself.

I have suggested she see someone as well, as this is a lot to deal with.
I have also suggested she come here, and seek support from other partners here.

So there you have it. I haven't been the worst husband in the world, but haven't been the best either.
_________________________
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

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#455474 - 11/29/13 04:18 PM Re: Spouses of survivors, a little help please [Re: Adam A Gedman]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 684
Loc: NJ
She sounds like she feels left out and maybe confused.

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