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Archive for February, 2009

Even though my situation is far from ideal at this moment, I am also very grateful. I realize that I won’t be able to battle my problems with negativity.  I need be gentle with myself and appreciative of the many blessings I am fortunate enough to receive. I’m going to try to make a weekly list of the all things I am thankful for. This will hopefully help my morale and lift my spirits.  The way I see it: things could be much better, but they can also be waaaaaayyyy worse!

Here’s my list for this week…I’m thankful for:
  • Friday Nights: The only time of the week that I truly dedicate to myself.  I order take out, sip on a glass of wine, and enjoy the evening.  
  • Work:  Not only do I have a job during this terrible economic crisis, but I was also fortunate enough to receive a raise this week!! 
  • Finding a Part-Time job:  If you think keeping a full time job is difficult in this economic climate, try finding a small PT job! I had to jump through so many hoops in order to land this particular job.  However, I got the position and it’s a perfect fit for me. 
  • Positive Energy between me and ML:  Things have truly been calm between us. No negative exchanges. No blame games.  No Drama. We’re still friends, and that’s most important to me. 
  • Small Victories: ML agreeing to go to couples group AND then also going to SA group. At the very least he’s putting the effort. Crossing my fingers for this week as well.
  • My Recovery: S-Anon, the Junky Wives Club, and this blog have been my oasis in the desert. Without these three things in my life, I would be in pieces! I am so grateful that the weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that my “secret” is no longer just mines to bear.  I have found a fountain of knowledge and support from the many women that have touched my life in the last few weeks.  For them, I am most thankful!

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ML has three sisters and today I received a message from the oldest.  She wanted to let me know that they were hosting a baby shower for the “middle sister” and would love to have me there. In her message she said that ML’s mother tried to contact me, but I did not return her call. This is true.  The fact is that I am very upset with my mother-in-law. We never had a dream relationship, but I trusted her enough to pour my heart out regarding ML’s addiction.  She always said that she loved me like her own daughter and that I could always count on her.  I was devastated and in utter despair.  I didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t tell my mother because if she ever found out about the videos ML took of my sister, she would kill him (or at the very least never ever have anything to do with him again). So I decided to go to my mother-in-law  to see if she could “talk some sense” into ML and support him in his recovery, in case I couldn’t be there for him.  After suggesting that maybe I wasn’t “good in bed” or that maybe I had “let myself go” AND that perhaps my sister had “initiated it”, she agreed to talk to ML about the situation.  Weeks have gone by and she has yet to mention anything to ML.  I told my husband I had this conversation with his mother right after I spoke to her.  I was hoping she and the family would stage an intervention and knock some sense into ML. Unfortunately, they work together everyday and she has yet to mention anything to him regarding his addiction or our separation. 

This boils my blood!  Not because she bailed out on me when I needed her support, but because she is doing a terrible disservice to her son by pretending that a problem doesn’t exist.  This is not a “marital problem”.  This is a severe addiction that can land her beloved (and only) son in PRISON. Of course ML is having a hard time accepting he has a problem, his mother doesn’t seem to think that installing hidden video cameras is worth a mention! By not speaking to him, she is trivializing the f*cked up things he did and making me look like the nutcase who overreacted.  The sad thing is that she has three daughter of her own.  What if my sister-in-law’s husband decided to do the same thing to one of her daughters? Would that not be a problem?  I’m really trying to manage my expectations, but my MIL reaction to this whole mess has left me completely disgusted. If ML and I decide to work on our marriage, that woman will no longer be a part of my life. She is completely useless. As for my sister-in-law’s baby shower, I’m debating whether I should go or not.  I feel like I will be participating in one big charade my MIL is orchestrating to keep up appearances.  I’m soooo done with that! 

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Losing My Religion

“Losing My Religion” is one of my all-time favorite songs.  Since I’ve been going through this crazy time in my life, it has taken on a more powerful meaning.  You will find the Tori Amos’ cover of the song below for your listening pleasure. It’s a beautifully haunting rendition of the REM classic.


Losing My Religion
By: Tori Amos (REM cover)
me, me…
me in the corner
me in the spotlight
losing my religion
thought that I heard you laughing
thought that I heard you sing
I think I saw you try

consider this
consider the lengths that I would go to
the slip that brought me to my knees
and I don’t know if I can do it
oh no I said too much
I set it up
thought that I heard you laughing
thought that I heard you sing

life is bigger
bigger than you and you are not me
the lengths that I would go to
hey, I said too much
I set it up
I think I saw you try

it’s me, me…
me in the corner
losing my religion
trying to keep an eye on you
and I don’t know if I can do it
oh no, I said too much
I set it up

thought that I heard you laughing
thought that I heard you sing
losing my…
it’s me
it’s me…
can’t you see

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Faulty Alarm

I wanted to elaborate on yesterday’s post regarding my expectations. I find that equally as important as managing my expectations is the setting of my personal boundaries.  Just because I’m expecting less from others does not mean I have to settle for less.  When I realized I was starting to expect less from people, I felt defeated. Does this mean everyone can walk all over me?  Absolutely not!  It means that I can’t control the actions of others, but I am able to control what I am willing (or not willing) to accept. For example, why do people buy an alarm system?  It’s because they have accepted the possibility that an intruder can enter their home.  Do they want their homes to be burglarized?  No. However, if their homes were ever targeted by thieves, they are protected.  I have accepted the fact that I can’t expect much from the people around me, however, my boundaries are supposed to be established in order protect me from further emotional damage.

Even though I understand this concept and it sounds great in theory, I’m still having a hard time putting it into practice. My alarm system is all messed up! I thought many things were “deal breakers” and would set off my alarm, and yet I am still here. ML keeps pushing the boundaries. First he moved into the house belonging to the man with the 20 year old daughter that visits (against my pleas) and then he installed a new computer in his room. He crosses my boundaries with no consequences at all.  I may cry and yell for a few days, but I eventually get over it –  and he know this all too well. Essentially, “I” allow him to walk all over me.  I want to establish my boundaries and ultimately stand my ground.  I just don’t know how to say NO to him….

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Today I had a session with my therapist, Dr. X.  We talked about many things, including the new developments with ML.  Even though I felt pretty good about the week’s progress, Dr. X always has a way of raining on my parade. She said she would like me to set higher expectations for ML.  She thinks that if we are still trying to work on our marriage, I should demand a stronger commitment to recovery. According to her, I’m settling for minimal effort and I continue to make excuses for him. Ironically,  I’m often criticized for having very high expectations of others.  I always expect too much from others and it results in disappointment. My problem is that I constantly give and my efforts go unnoticed or unreciprocated. After years of the same result, I am at the opposite end of the spectrum – having no expectations at all. Even the expectations I once had for myself have lowered drastically.  Am I settling for the crumbs? Perhaps.
The truth is I’ve lowered my expectations for ML (and others) to avoid the risk of being hurt. For a very long time, ML was on the highest pedestal I could conceive. I built him up to be everything my father was not. To my dismay, he couldn’t live up to those expectations.  Honestly, I don’t think anyone can.  I’m starting to think the reason why I had such high expectations for everyone is because I felt I could control them(or at least the situations). This belief was put to the test with my husband’s sexual addiction and failed miserably. I realize I can’t control anyone, including my own husband. Why bother with high expectations only to be disappointed again?  I’m grateful for the baby steps, even if that’s all ML can manage at this point.  It may not be enough for Dr. X, but for right now, it’s enough for me. In the meantime, I will continue to hold on to these expectations, carrying them wherever I go,  until I find the strength to toss them away for good.

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ML went to his first SA meeting last night and I was very anxious to hear his thoughts.  He commented on how the meeting environment was more comfortable than that of the couples meeting we attended on Saturday.  He felt that he belonged there.  He also said how he always thought his viewing of pornography and masturbation where normal behaviors, but after attending his meeting, he realizes this kind of compulsion can be very problematic.  He then proceed to ask whether I had any problem with his porn and masturbation habits prior to the discovery of the video voyeurism? I was very careful in answering this question. I wanted to make sure that I did not condone these behaviors, but I did not want to lie.  The reality is that the porn and masturbation were never an issue for me. Unlike other women that have experienced a lack of intimacy or sexual anorexia due to their partner’s pornography and masturbation addictions, I never felt that we were lacking in the intimacy or sexual departments. Those habits never bothered me, that is until ML took it a step further with the voyeurism.  To answer his question, I started by saying that porn and masturbation in itself is not bad. For example with alcohol, most people can drink socially and still function properly. Alcoholics, on the other hand, can not.  Just a taste of alcohol can send them on a crazy binge where they can hurt not only themselves, but others as well. He was the “alcoholic”, except his addiction is sex. He agreed stating that he sees how the porn and masturbation where triggers and contributed to the voyeurism. He’s starting to acknowledge that he has a problem.


I must admit that I am over-the-moon with ML’s decision to attend the SA meetings. He said he really enjoyed the group session and is looking forward to the following meeting.  Even though today I am feeling very optimistic, I am trying not to get overly excited.  I know recovery is a long, treacherous process. I am sure there will be many upsets, but I can also appreciate the small victories (like this one!). I’m already starting to see (and feel) the light though the cracks…

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Not exactly our usual version of a Saturday night. Typically, our Saturday nights consist of catching a movie at our favorite “indie” film theater and getting a bite to eat. However last night, ML and I went to our first couples group meeting hosted by my S-Anon group. The topic for the night was empathy. It couldn’t have hit closer to home. One of the reasons why sex addicts can act out the way they do is because they lack empathy. And as expressed by the other SA’s in the group, this characteristic was lacking in their lives as well. ML was also working on learning empathy with his therapist before he stopped attending sessions. At first, I didn’t understand what having empathy had to do with ML’s acting out.  Now I see it is at the root of his addiction.  If ML had a morsel of empathy, he wouldn’t be capable of objectifying women the way he has in the past.  If he could feel the pain caused by his actions, then perhaps he wouldn’t have acted out  in the way he had.

The session was not about explaining empathy or how to achieve it, but a discussion on how the couples are struggling with giving/receiving empathy from their partners. Many things that were discussed hit very close to home and I related with many of the situations in the room. When we were driving home, ML asked if I thought we belong there (in the groups).  I said, if we don’t belong there, than it sure sounds like we do. He agreed.  Even though the session was not a huge revelation to ML that he has a problem, I am grateful he decided to go to the couples meeting with me at all. It is one baby step towards repairing some of the damage.  He says that at the very least, he really enjoyed spending time with me. It may not be our usual Saturday night routine, but then again, our lives are at a very unusual place.

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