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mephistopheles posted 5/29/2013 07:35 AM

I am a married SA four plus years into recovery with no major relapse or acting out in that time. By all intents and purposes we should have long ago entered into what Milton Magness calls the "Freedom Period" after about two and a half years. However, after four years of my IC, her IC, and MC, we are spinning our wheels with regard to moving forward in our relationship. This, then, is a cry for help. What are we doing wrong? What else should we be doing? Is it just a matter of more time needed to heal? I definitely do not subscribe to the co-dependent model for my wife but favor the trauma model. I'm in for the long haul but would like to have some expectations for a life together that goes beyond contrition and repentance. She's 58, I'm 62 and life is too damn short to live this way. I'm open to any and all suggestions with exception of throwing in the towel.

[This message edited by mephistopheles at 7:47 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)]

mephistopheles posted 5/29/2013 07:50 AM

The stop sign was an accident as I didn't realize that the box was checked. I'll take advice from all quarters. Does anyone know how to remove it?

[This message edited by mephistopheles at 7:51 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)]

Deeply Scared posted 5/29/2013 07:52 AM

I will remove it, please be more careful in the future when starting threads.

hardlessons posted 5/29/2013 09:25 AM

mephistopheles, first I would can your IC's and MC's. 4 years and you two are still standing around asking "What the hell?" is concerning. What are your goals in IC? Do you 2 talk about what is going on? With all that talk, has there been any action? Such as changes in behavior? Have you two been to a doctor to see if there is medical issues going on?

Card posted 5/29/2013 10:29 AM

I'm sorry you're stuck.

It's a tough place to be and often appears to be no way out.

I say "appears", because there is always a way through where you are.

I would recommend going to "the healing library" and researching some marital recovery programs. These will help you deepen your love for each other and your marriage.

I used the Marriage Builders Program and found great success in breaking out of the mundane. There are several programs available if you search them out.

hatefulnow posted 5/29/2013 10:54 AM

Stay the course.

silverhopes posted 5/29/2013 11:24 AM

There's this great book called "The Seven Principles to Making Marriage Work". I haven't read all of it, but the part I'm up to already has some great activities to reconnect you and help remember and foster what you love about each other. Got the recommendation from here originally; it's by John Gottman.

mephistopheles posted 5/29/2013 15:49 PM

Thanks Silver and Card,
We've read many books but not those. I'll give them a shot. Thanks Hatefull, I'm in it for the haul.

hardlessons posted 5/29/2013 16:44 PM


[This message edited by hardlessons at 4:44 PM, May 29th (Wednesday)]

hardlessons posted 5/29/2013 16:44 PM

Just for the record I am full o love, not hateful!

mephistopheles posted 5/30/2013 10:34 AM

Sorry Full. Well, we had another major meltdown last night. After spending a wonderfull Memorial Day weekend at the beach with another couple, we spent Wednesday dealing with PTSD. We seem to go in two week cycles. I've been trying to anticipate them. Last night I made a nice dinner with her favorite desert but something triggered her. A week ago she asked me to post our problem on this web site in the hope that some sage advice might help us. I hesitated and asked my IC if it would be a good idea. She didn't think so. My wife has been using it as her major source of counsel and venting for years seeing her IC rarely and attending SANON even less frequently. It seems that most of her support is here. I was afraid to post fearing that if I stated something that she thought didn't truly represent our situation from her perspective, that would be triggering. She assured me that was not a problem and she would not be reading my posts. Well, the trigger last night was the four year time line. She claims it is more like one year. Sure there have been issues during that time. Recovery is not a perfect linear process. But I have not relapsed or acted out in that time and have been actively involve in my program and couseling. I have said things in my addictive defensive posture during a couple of these emotional onslaughts that have not been helpful and each one of these mistakes retraumatizes her and takes us back to day one. I try but sometimes get worn down and make mistakes. I guess the answer is to not make mistakes.

[This message edited by mephistopheles at 10:36 AM, May 30th (Thursday)]

Josephine01 posted 5/30/2013 10:45 AM

Oh mephistopheles,

I really have no great advice I am sorry. But I am a BS who wants to let you know that it is good to see someone who is really trying to R their marriage. I want to wish you both the best of luck.

mephistopheles posted 5/30/2013 10:52 AM

Thanks Jose.

mephistopheles posted 5/31/2013 08:52 AM

Well, we seemed to have weathered this storm. We will be working through some Milton Magness routines and procedures, particulary what he calls the FASTT Check in procedure. It seems that all the little triggers build up until, for lack of an emotional safety valve, they explode in one of these meltdowns. Hopefully, having a routine for talking about our issues, it will allow the pressure to be released a little at a time at a lower level of emotionality and vitriol. I'm hoping that is part of the problem and not that she's trolling for pain and triggers on SI. I can see why my IC thinks that SI could, in addition to providing a place to vent and seek friendship and advice, a font of triggering stimuli. Hopefully, that is not the case. Well it's going up to 93 today so, with the the lawn done and the house cleaned, I'm spending the rest of my Friday on the Delaware River in Mein Kleines Segelschiff. Have a great day all.

[This message edited by mephistopheles at 8:58 AM, May 31st (Friday)]

mephistopheles posted 5/31/2013 09:23 AM

Dear Card,
Marriage Builders looks like it has some great stuff. Thank you again.

hardlessons posted 5/31/2013 10:49 AM

I've been trying to anticipate them.

Stop doing that, will not help and makes you walk on eggshells. You need to be consistent, period. You waiting for the big trigger just amps you up and then when it happens your a deer stuck in the headlights again.

Sure there have been issues during that time. Recovery is not a perfect linear process.

We waywards shouldn't sound this flippant. We don't decide the R process much, we support the BS and heal ourselves.

Marriage builders, Milton, all that stuff is great, but that wont fix YOU. The marriage wasn't the problem. You and your choices were.

What are you doing to fix you and the why's that allowed you to make these horrible choices?

mephistopheles posted 5/31/2013 15:41 PM

Thanks Hardlessons, you're absolutely right. I see my own IC, work steps in a 12 step fellowship, and have become 100% tranparent in my dealings with my wife. I have a GPS on my phone and she has all my passwords and account numbers so she can see what happens to every penny of our income. I'm trying to be supportive and have been relapse free for four years. It is so worth it to feel real again and to leave the fantasy life behind. I had this wierd flash last week while painting a fence (a chore I've avoided for three years) and realized that I was happy and enjoying the mindless task while listening to the birds chattering at me. I'd have grumbled and complained the whole time in my past life.

hardlessons posted 5/31/2013 15:51 PM

So if all of that is in place, either your BS
1. hasn't healed enough yet and needs more time.
2. can't or doesn't want to heal, for some it is a deal breaker and either don't want to admit it or feel they can't do anything about it.

3.She doesn't feel safe in the M regardless of how well life is going for you.

Have you talked to her about this?

mephistopheles posted 5/31/2013 16:07 PM

I think she needs more time and my big inappropriate mouth keeps resetting her reovery clock back. The more I mess up in this regard, the longer it's going to take.

hardlessons posted 5/31/2013 18:26 PM

I see my own IC, work steps in a 12 step fellowship, and have become 100% tranparent in my dealings with my wife. I have a GPS on my phone and she has all my passwords and account numbers so she can see what happens to every penny of our income. I'm trying to be supportive and have been relapse free for four years.

So with all this, with all that hard work why do you still keep putting your foot up your own ass? I know for me when I start running off at the mouth I have something going on, something I am not dealing or coping with well.

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