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Boundries or Full Disclosure?
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Another problem with my recovery is with full disclosure and honesty.

First. I have been totally honest with my wife.

The problem I have, I want to be continue the honesty but I think we need some boundries, with my recovery.

I am working on my recovery the best that I can but when I share my failures with my wife, she takes it as a personal attack and gets angry and hurt all over.

Now, I have watched the pattern, our relationship will begin the healing process, she will ask me about my progress and when I am not meeting her expectations she gets upset; hurt angry disapointed. Now I am not letting this affect my recovery I continue to fight, however it sets the recovery of our relationship back all over again.

I think my recovery should have some boundries, I don't believe my wife can hold me accountable yet she continues to try and when she does we get into this mess over and over.

I want to be open with my wife 100% and I want to be able to share, but I don't believe she is capable of handling the dissapointment and let down she gets when I am not meeting her expectaions or following her "recovery timeline". That would be her expectations to my recovery where I should be and when.

So how can I address this? I want to be open, but I know she is not able to handle that.
Yet she wants to know everyhting.
Posted on 09/22/09, 11:57 pm
12 Replies | Most Recent Add Your Reply
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Reply #1 - 09/23/09  12:48am
" Here are some unsensored ideas.

1. Let her be your higher power for a while. Give your entire will over to her. Let her tell you exactly what to do and what not to do about your recovery. If she expects you to spend time meeting some expectation of your recovery that conflicts with your job, make sure she undersands that you will not be going to work to meet that expectation and that she undrestands those consequenses.

After about a week she will be totally overwhelmed being your Recovery Higher power, and come to the conclusion she does not want to do it any more.

2. Commit to your recovery. It sounds like you are slipping around in your recovery. I think if I were in your shoes, working those long hours, I would not be able to make any sort of foundational changes that recovery requires. "Recovery is simple, all you have to do is change everything about your life." Doing what is necessary to recovery no matter what the costs, will improve your success. When she sees your success, she will begin to get it. It may not improve because it will eventually leave her holding her own bag, which is pretty painful for her.

3. Be a little selfish about your recovery. My wife was irritated that I was going to so many meetings early on, because I was not home. I did it anyway, because I knew that if I do not recover, there would be no hope for our marriage. I.e. if I am not sober, i am no good to anyone.

4, Get a little honest with yourself. You say she is not affecting your recovery, but here we are discussing how to keep her from affecting your recovery. Trying to take control of your recovery, "meeting her recovery timeline expectations" is a very co-dependant behavior. You have to own your own boundaries. A boundary without a consequense is just a threat.

5. Tell her that it is not helping you to ask you something and then react to it negatively. Maybe impose a crosstalk rule in those situations. Agree that if one of you share a risky or provocative truth, the other is not allowed to respond with anything other than "thanks for sharing" for 2,8 or 24 hours.

6. Understand that addictions and co=addictions are all about boundaries, or the lack of them. You do not keep your own boundaries, much less others. Neither does she, or you would not be here together. Find some peace in that and take it easy, as long as you both have a paramount committment to your marriage, it is OK for things not to work well, Just make sure it is getting better each time.

7. As discussed in earlier threads, sit down and discuss what she does and does not want to hear, write a contract and agree about how those converastions are going to be handled and review it before starting up. If someone violates their agreement, stop the discussion and reread the agreement.

8, Did I say Recover? Your wife may think she needs to be in control of your recovery. But you, God, your wife, and I all know that what she really needs is for you to do the right thing regardless of her. Eve wanted to be in control of things when she gave the apple to Adam. At that moment she absolutely needed Adam to do the right thing even when she is telling you something else.

I think it went something like thisl

Eve: "Here, eat this fruit, it is good?"
Adam: "Crunch"
God: "Yea, why did you just do that"
Adam: "She told me to"
God: "Because you listened to your wife (Which you have no excuse for because I told YOU not to eat this fruit.) here are the consequenses."

You are responsible. Do it right, and she will be better off than if you do it her way. After the fact, she will agree.

Feminists everywhere, I am just relaying the message. Please submit any comments to the Guy who set up the rules. "
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Reply #2 - 09/23/09  5:32pm
" Hmmmm. "Tell her that it is not helping you to ask you something and then react to it negatively." Do you think that she asks you to help you, or to help herself? Interesting spin. I know that she asks you because she needs to know, whether or not it hurts. And...believe will hurt. If she is still willing to stay and listen to it to try and get over it, you're lucky. When she asks questions, she is giving you a chance and willing to take the pain...for the relationship. If she can't ask questions and react to the answers, what is she to do exactly????? Just because she asks doesn't mean it isn't going to hurt. I hurt. But, I knew what I was getting in to. That's what I needed to assess.

I needed to know a lot of things at that I could get to know this man that I didn't know. And to see exactly what he was asking me to accept or forgive. So, what does that have to do with him? What does it have to do with the relationship? Because if he's doing it soley for himself, and has nothing to do with the relationship at all...what am I doing here? "
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Reply #3 - 09/23/09  6:22pm
" Choose: First, let me say that you have many GREAT opinions and advice that you offer willingly to others who are struggling. I think that is commendable.

Although, your advice in this particular instance, gives me pause for a lot of thought. This is just my gutt feeling from your analysis and that that gives me pause for serious thought. Please feel free to correct me where wrong.

If a person is only looking to cure themselves, then surely they do need to be absolutely selfish. And do whatever they need to do. They also need to allow the other persons do what they need to do for themselves. True? Or not? That person needs to be just as selfish in order to attain their recovery? Then you have two selfish people trying to make a relationship. Don't want to know what that looks like. Nor, do I want to know what it looks like for one side to be selfish....oops already found that out...the hard way.

The other side of the story that I think he may be asking about, and you seem to know little about, or at least are somewhat misinformed about is a RELATIONSHIP issue, not a personal one. I think that there are two people in a relationship? Yes? In this case, one who has injured the other by their behavior. And so, what I understand you to say is that even though she is hurt, and even though she is struggling to find her answers, and recover too, that he should not consider that?

I realize it's your opinion and you're entitled to it and as such I respect that. We all have to carry our own beliefs and live them. I think that is great if it worked for you, and if your wife was willing to accept what you were doing. Whatever works!

But, for the record, and another opinion, only from one on the "other" side, if my H would have refused to talk to me...even if it hurt me when he answered, and if he had insisted on ignoring my needs (answers), and was being so selfish as to let me suffer (more) with the questions running around in my head, even one more time, I would not have been agreeable to that at all.

In fact, he wouldn't have had a chance to ever know if I would have ever "agreed" with that tactic, because the trauma would have been too much for ME to stand, and I would have left and refused to ever talk to him again. Or worse, at my age, the trauma may have given me a stroke or heartattck. Then what? I think that you SERIOUSLY underestimate the trauma this can cause to some people, read about it. I have. So, has my H. He's much better informed that you are. And, it seems, from my perspective, much kinder too. Good for him. I'll tell him so.

In fact, even though it hurt, the fact that my H would answer and let me react however I had to until I could regain my composure, was one of the ONLY things that let me know he cared at all.

And, because he allowed me to feel...whatever I felt...without trying to dictate to me what I was ALLOWED to feel (because he said so), he got to stay around and look at all the stuff that needed examined in order for me to want to even try and stay in the relationship at all. But, see he chose to help me with what HE caused. He took full responsibility for my suffering. I didn't cause it...he did. He knew and accepted that. And I love him for it.

And, believe it...I wanted to know that he cared SOMEHOW, because all the indicators from what he had already done, told me he didn't. His behavior proved that to me beyond doubt. And that....will acceptable to me.

He had already denied my right to know, and make decisions about MY life, by lying to me at the onset. And that WAS the problem. Had he talked to me long ago...we could have saved a lot of our lives...his refusal to do let me know...let me decide the fate of my own life, was what made it betrayal. Look up the word if you don't know the meaning, and look up the situation it creates, and you will know more about the "other side" of the coin, that YOU think YOU know enough about to make decisions for someone else's life.

You may think that you have the right to make decisions for your wife. She may even believe that herself. If so. Good. It works for you. But, I was not, and am not, agreeable to that, so my H has a different set of circumstances to deal with than you, believe me.

God gives us the right to make our own decisions...I think that's why we have free will...right? Not even he decides that...he gives us a choice. Do I have a choice? I think that I do. God gave me that right. And my H, nor anyone else, has the right to remove my God-given gift.

I think that you do have the right to make decisions for your life. I think that everyone does. And, and by the way, in heaven, there are no women, nor men, just spirits. So, so much for that worldly nonsense.

And, I don't need to read the rules, I already know them. You might read where it is written that a man shall love his he loves his own body...and be willing to GIVE IT FOR HER. I don't think it said deny her rights???? Did it? Tell me. I'd love to hear it. I love theology. My parents were pastors. And I love God's priciples, and it's great to see folks who really LIVE them. "
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Reply #4 - 09/23/09  6:24pm
" What are her expectations that are not being met? Maybe that's the problem? "
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Reply #5 - 09/25/09  10:29am
" Anon, I can only speak to my situation, but I used to be on the same page as your wife. I wanted and needed honesty, but when he told me the truth, I had NO idea how to deal with it. The only way I was able to handle it was entering my own recovery, and for me that meant getting a therapist, coming to the spouses board here, and going to S-Anon. I firmly believe that was the only way for me to heal, and for us to have a healthy situation at home.

What I didn't use to understand, and what your wife may not yet understand, is that is my fiance left my life, my problems would not magically disappear. I needed to deal with my issues, not because I was in my relationship, but because I needed to be healthy on my own, in a relationship or not.

Another important point is that expectations do lead to resentments. And honestly, her expectations of where you should be in your recovery are not realistic because she doesn't have a sex addiction, and she can't really understand what recovery from SA "should" look like.

If she enters her own recovery, then these problems will naturally begin to lessen, but without her getting some sort of help on her own, I am not sure how you can solve this issue.

A man in my fiance's SA group had the same exact situation as you did, but when he tried to talk to his wife about boundaries or her entering her own recovery, she flipped out. He decided to breach the subject with his therapist, during his session (which he invited her to) and that went much better. For them, she needed to hear the validity of his points backed up by a neutral source for her to believe it was not her husband being manipulative. Maybe you could try talking to her in the presence of a church friend, therapist or other neutral source.

I hope this helps. "
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Reply #6 - 09/25/09  11:32pm
" In our relationship we dicidet to stick with full disclosure, even thought it hurts my gf the same every time I slip. It actually helped her recovery knowing that I am being completely honest. That being said she definitelly needed to recover, just like I did. For my gf it was talking to me( really talking about what is bothering her etc) seening a councelor and this forum. This forum was very helpful, there is a very strong SO support here. "
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Reply #7 - 09/26/09  4:38pm
" Feed,

Thank you, your response it is reassuring, I just hope it will help my wife heal.

I know the things I tell her hurt her and I don't want her to hurt, I love her. "
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Reply #8 - 09/26/09  8:44pm
" You need an accountability partner removed from the situation. Someone who will hold you accountable but doesen't judge. Try a pastor at your local church. "
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Reply #9 - 09/26/09  9:10pm
" Go to 6 SA or SAA meetings. Find a sponsor. Typically Pastors are very compassionate, but not very well equiped for this. "
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Reply #10 - 09/27/09  9:17am
" **Gosh this is the third time I've tried to answer this, my internet keeps dropping out. Here goes again....
Top marks to you Anon, for being ready to go through a full disclosure or the honesty policy. This step has been documented often, as helping the addict move forward within recovery.
Sadly the spouse may not be emotionally ready to hear it. Often we spouses have been dealing with our anguish, disappointment and fears for many years, before the addict is at this point. So an emotional wreak, we may be. I was fortunate (if there ever is such a that i had been going to the therapist for 2 years before my disclosure, so my self esteem was intact.
My h and used a therapist to help us with our first disclosure, and i couldn't recommend that enough. She talked to us both individually, then together, and we set many boundries and guidelines in place, before we attempted a full disclosure. There was no shaming nor blaming and much acceptance of responsibilties, then a plan was set in place to move forward.
I learnt to listen to his honesty, and he learnt to listen to my hurt. I couldn't recommend a qualified therapist enough, it really helps wade through all the murky stuff. It will benefit your wife greatly, as it can be a horrific trauma, and she may need some extra emotional support and some techniques to help her with self esteem, and the sexual trauma she will experience after the fall out.
I know this is a difficult time for you and her, she is doing her best.
Continued strength to you both "

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