Post therapy

noluck

Member
My boyfriend and I had couples therapy on Tuesday and it was…insightful. I left the session feeling hopeful for the future and I think my boyfriend did too. I had one of the best nights I’ve had with him in a long time. Great morning too. Today, he returned to work after two days off and he unfortunately works nights/ mostly unsupervised. He called me as usual to tell me good night and I could tell he was in “one of those moods”…you know the kind—angry at the world and everything that isn’t feeding the addiction is his enemy. His moods are so unpredictable at this point it’s predictable. He can wake up sweet, attentive, loving, or he can wake up irritable, condescending, and frankly- a jerk. In this case it changed within a couple of hours. At this point in his recovery, it sounds sick to admit but at least when he was watching porn he was sweet and apologetic. Even if it was all bullshit. I had wanted to talk about the homework our therapist gave us but I could sense he wasn’t in a good place to hear it.



She told me to read “Codependent no more” by Melody Bettie and to abstain from all sexual activity for 30 days. We live together so this should be fun.



I’m 40 pages in the book and I’ll be honest—I scoffed at the idea that I was codependent. But it must be true seeing how triggered I am by reading this damn book!



“A codependent person is one who has let another persons behavior affect him or her and who then is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.”



The night before therapy, I told him the frustrating thing about our relationship is that I can’t control whether or not he chooses porn. The only thing I can control is whether I leave him or if I stay. But honestly…I control a lot of things. I can make excuses to stay home instead of seeing my friends to be near him. I can choose to work from home more instead of going into the office (where I get more work done). I can look over his shoulder every time he’s texting to be certain it’s innocent. I have done exactly what the book defines the codependent person as: a hurt person who then becomes obsessed with controlling that other person’s behavior.



I didn’t consider myself controlling before I met him. I never wanted to know phone passwords, I chose to trust and give the benefit of the doubt, even when red flags are present. But at this point who cares how I got this way or whose fault it is—they are now my problems to face.



I often wonder once he beats this lil demon how I’m going to be left feeling. Will all the photos still haunt me? Those random sexts? Am I going to silently resent him for putting me and us through this? Will I love him less?



I had to ask myself again—will I love him less?



Committing to 30 days no sex I can already envision the benefits. We cut tonight’s phone call short because he wasn’t in the mood, and that’s okay. But If he chooses to watch porn during these 30 days at least I’m a little less affected than I was before this commitment. What I mean is for so long our sex life (penetrative) was contingent on whether or not he watched porn. I don’t have to worry about that for 30 days. Instead I have to worry about myself again. Who am I going to look like in 30 days? What do I want to do with my time now that I’m not obsessing over his?



If he chooses not to fight for this and give it all up for porn, so be it. I cant control that. But what I can control is whether I leave or whether I stay.
 

Tha

New Member
Neste ponto de sua recuperação, parece doentio admitir, mas pelo menos quando ele estava assistindo pornô ele era doce e se desculpava.
Muitas vezes me pergunto, uma vez que ele derrota esse pequeno demônio, como vou ficar me sentindo. Todas as fotos ainda vão me assombrar? Aqueles sexts aleatórios? Eu vou me ressentir silenciosamente dele por me fazer passar por isso? Vou amá-lo menos?
Eu tive que me perguntar novamente - eu vou amá-lo menos?
Na noite anterior à terapia, eu disse a ele que a coisa frustrante sobre nosso relacionamento é que eu não posso controlar se ele escolhe ou não pornografia. A única coisa que posso controlar é se o deixo ou se fico.
My dear, I couldn't be more empathetic with you. I have exactly the same feeling. I hate the person who twisted me, it's exhausting to be monitoring, having this insecurity and forgetting to look at myself. It's a problem with the person we love, but we often become a part of it. It's frustrating not to have things in our control.
I'm glad you started couples therapy. It is certainly a big step in the care of the relationship, but especially of you.
I learned something from you today. It is important to do what is in our control. What is not, is trusting that he will do it and, within his choices, it is up to you to decide whether to leave or stay.
Thanks for sharing your point.
Best regards.
 
His moods are so unpredictable at this point it’s predictable.
I can totally relate to this @noluck, I could read my ex's patterns based on his mood and actions. He would often be distant and cold, not say Goodnight or Good Morning the following day and I would instantly know he was feeling guilty and had been acting out and watching Porn.

I think it's difficult not to develop some sort of codependency in this situation. I went from being a happy bubbly Woman who always trusted until someone gave me a reason not to, never being jealous of other Woman and never checking a partners phone or laptop......to feeling like a crazy person that was filled to the brim with mistrust........I started doing bizzare stuff like smelly the sheets to see if I could smell coconut oil (so embarassing), looking over his shoulder when he was texting or fantasizing about backing over his laptop in my SUV!!!! No judgement please......LOL

Therapy taught me to stop wanting to be the Porn Police, set boundaries and give myself a timeline for change and if not make the decision to walk away. I didn't tell him but I set a 3 month timeline in my head, which was the end of August, and come that time he was disrespecting me and crossing my boundaries so I walked away.

I'm going to look that book up too.
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Only advice I have is that frequently therapists identify the SO as codependent. Kevin Skinner has researched and actually has a website that addresses Betrayal Trauma. Betrayal trauma is something that more fully addresses the relationship and how it feels when there is porn addiction or infidelity.
 

ImBroken

New Member
I like what @Gracie has to say above. I’m not in denial - but there is zero codependency with respect to my husband’s addiction. His addiction was recently ”found out” and I have no desire to control him. I have never enabled him and never knew the depths of the addiction. I honestly thought he watched porn occasionally and pleasured himself. I’ll admit I do it myself on occasion. Granted, I am ONE WEEK into the finding of his addiction - all the begging, pleading and submission to the problem was not what I asked for - it was his reaction. I am way off from making a decision whether to end the 30 year relationship - He is doing a meeting a day for the first 90 days - he has had multiple online therapy sessions. I’m just so mad it happened - I am the type of person who may never get the “visual“ out of my head. Right now I am torn between anger, resentment and disgust. This board has been immense help - I can’t shut my mind off - I start to feel panicky and just come here to read and learn - it has helped immensely.
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
It takes a bit to get through the raw emotion time. It is quite a roller coaster ride @ImBroken. There was a time at the beginning and he kissed me and I was so mad and hurt I wanted to bite his tongue off. Even now he will say he thought I was going to do it. It takes time but please know you are right, you are not codependent.
 

noluck

Member
I like what @Gracie has to say above. I’m not in denial - but there is zero codependency with respect to my husband’s addiction. His addiction was recently ”found out” and I have no desire to control him. I have never enabled him and never knew the depths of the addiction. I honestly thought he watched porn occasionally and pleasured himself. I’ll admit I do it myself on occasion. Granted, I am ONE WEEK into the finding of his addiction - all the begging, pleading and submission to the problem was not what I asked for - it was his reaction. I am way off from making a decision whether to end the 30 year relationship - He is doing a meeting a day for the first 90 days - he has had multiple online therapy sessions. I’m just so mad it happened - I am the type of person who may never get the “visual“ out of my head. Right now I am torn between anger, resentment and disgust. This board has been immense help - I can’t shut my mind off - I start to feel panicky and just come here to read and learn - it has helped immensely.
I don’t think I enable his porn addiction but I do think I enable him if I set hard boundaries and when/if he crosses them I do nothing. I never knew the depths of his addiction…I don’t think he did either. In a way we found it out together. We’re in our late twenties and in the gay community so much of that is normalized. When things spiraled out of control for him (and me caught in the crossfire) was when he quit watching porn and in a bizarre, inexcusable effort to remain “sober” sexually messaged a bunch of Russian strangers thinking he could manage that better than quitting porn altogether. It doesn’t make sense but I do believe that was his addict brain logic. I caught that pretty early on and thank god because Im not sure our relationship would be able to heal from much worse if I hadn’t. But then again it’s all bad. Who knows how far it could have gotten (or how far it could go!!! But I’m feeling optimistic today so I’m staying positive)

The book’s not perfect it doesn’t describe my situation to a T. What could? I didn’t -and still don’t- think I ever aimed to control him but the little things like I listed in my original post proved otherwise. If I love him, and I do, I have to just be there for support. I don’t need to “check in” or make sure he goes to meetings, never leave him alone, etc etc etc. It’s not my cross to bear and I have my own healing to do.

Trust me I understand the visual torture. Together we deleted over 20k pornographic photos—I thought I’d never want to see a naked man again. But we’re getting there! It’s been two weeks and he’s really putting in the work thus far. Journaling, meetings, couples and individual therapy, as long as he continues to do so—I’ll be here to support and love him by his side and hopefully never from afar. My advice would be to do the same—set your own boundaries in your own “recovery” and heal you!
 
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