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  #46  
Old 04-19-17, 04:01 AM
Letching Gray Letching Gray is offline
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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Originally Posted by Hermus View Post
It will most definitely be difficult for me as well. I do realize that. I'm wondering whether if one has never developed the capacity to feel loved and to trust on the love of others, that's something one can learn or whether that is just a fundamental insecurity that I have to learn to tolerate. One thing is positive though. The more I come to understand myself, the more capacity to self-compassion I start to develop.

Like they say in my recovery group:

I take refuge in my own recovery.
I take refuge in the truth and the path to recovery.
I take refuge in the community of fellow recovering addicts.

(Slightly edited version of the original for the ban on religious and spiritual discussion on the main forum.)
Silly, I know, but I liked the message. Heidi and "Grandfather". The old, bitter closed off grandpa had no use for anybody and didn't mind who knew it. Then, this beautiful, sweet loving child comes along and turns his world right side up.

Love is the greatest force of all and love can help anyone to change and to become more secure in the knowledge that he is loved, i think.
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Old 04-19-17, 06:15 AM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

I have a question for you- are you supposed to be avoiding relationships of all kinds with women because of the chance that it will trigger your SA? Are you capable of having a connection with women that will not be leading to sex? Do you feel like if you were to slip with the SA that it would trigger the relapse over alcohol or vice versa?
Lets pretend that tomorrow you meet the perfect women that you know in your heart was made for you. And lets say you decided to date and get involved romantically. Lets say you sleep together fairly quickly- what would be the warning signs that it would be a SA problem? How would you feel afterwards?
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Old 04-19-17, 08:58 AM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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Why are you supposed to be abstinent?

(Not questioning it. Just curious).

For how long are you supposed to be abstinent?

I'm assuming there is some sort of end goal here, something like when you are able to xyz you can have relationships again. What is the end goal? Are there intermediate goals for you to strive for? Do you have a plan? Maybe a fairly specific plan would help.
The thought is that I can't develop healthy relationships because of my addiction, personality dynamics etc. So starting a sexual or romantic relationship right now would lead to a repetition of destructive patterns that have developed in the past. What I would much rather have is that I can develop romantic relationships, while still being in therapy so my therapist can steer me in that and can help me with issues that arise regarding my SLA. But well, my therapist wants to go this way, so maybe it's right at this point to follow her advise. The thing that concerns me is that I will not be following therapy anymore once my counsellor suggests I would be ready to start a relationship. That would mean I would have to do it without that guidance and I think that is going to be much more difficult.

The lack of a specific plan makes it extra difficult. My therapist didn't give me one, so I don't know exactly what I'm working towards. That makes it that I don't really know what I'm working towards and thereby I start to feel angry and resentful. I also start to doubt whether my therapist really has the goal of helping me develop healthy relationships, or whether she just wants to ensure that I'm abstinent from relationships until I leave therapy. Don't know whether I should discuss this with her or not.

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I do think the capacity for real trust is still there in you, and that most likely it will be counterintuitive for you - maybe to the extent that the healthy right way might seem completely wrong and totally foreign.

To trust is to willingly permit another person to have full control of the final outcome, in the context of the type of relationship. (Example: I fully trust my mechanic to control the outcome of my car repairs, but I don't trust him to run my country, and I'm not going to marry him. )

In a trusting loving relationship, both people must give full control of the final outcome of their lives, to each other. Not that they lose their will or never have a disagreement, but that they aren't habitually guarding themselves against their partner. If only one of them trusts, then it's slavery (in the crudest and worst sense). If neither of them does so, it's merely a business arrangement between adversaries.
It is not a capacity to trust in general. I do trust my doctor, the clerk at the supermarket, my friends etc. to not mislead me. Specifically it is the trust that someone really loves me and cares about me. It seems to be mixed with some issues regarding object constancy. As long as she is there things are mostly fine (as long as I don't feel criticized or made vulnerable, which I have difficulty handling). Then I can see at her behaviour and way she responds to me whether things are fine. The most difficult thing is when there is no contact (either because she is busy, doing stuff with friends, just needs some time for her own etc.). Then all insecurities will come up, I can't monitor her behaviour and adjust mine to it and basically there is a lack of control. No way to see whether a girl still loves me when she is out of sight and that causes a lot of anxiety, which quickly translates into anger.

Control is an important issue here. Giving up control with all the anxiety I have is a really difficult thing. Letting someone have her own life, not clinging etc. It drives me nuts.

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I have a question for you- are you supposed to be avoiding relationships of all kinds with women because of the chance that it will trigger your SA? Are you capable of having a connection with women that will not be leading to sex? Do you feel like if you were to slip with the SA that it would trigger the relapse over alcohol or vice versa?
Lets pretend that tomorrow you meet the perfect women that you know in your heart was made for you. And lets say you decided to date and get involved romantically. Lets say you sleep together fairly quickly- what would be the warning signs that it would be a SA problem? How would you feel afterwards?
It would be nice if you could refer to my condition as SLA. SA is primarily about sex, while this clearly has more to do with the need for love, affection and reassurance. Sex does play a part, but in another way than with sex addicts. I more depend on sex with a partner as a way of reassurance, than that I have to act out physically. So calling it SA wouldn't do right to what I'm talking about. For example, I don't really have problems with compulsive masturbation or porn, which would be typical for SA. For that reason I don't have to be abstinent from them. Especially in the case of mb I'm glad that I don't have to abstain. I imagine that totally no mb would even be quite hard for men who don't have issues with SA or SLA at all. No mb for a week, no problem. But no mb at all for months or even years, while being single: Well, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

I'm not avoiding all kinds of relationships with women. In this stage I think that wouldn't be wise, since simultaneously to SLA I also have avoidance issues. Either I'll be obsessed or just avoid making a connection to women. The avoidance is not easier per se than the addictive behaviour. So I'm focusing on learning to establish friendship with women instead. But that's not nearly enough to satisfy my needs. The problem is that even a relationship wouldn't be able to satisfy my needs. The difficulty of my predicament is that the love I get is never enough to feel fulfilled.

I think if I slept together fairly quickly with a woman, that would not necessarily be a huge issue. It's what would come after that that would be the issue. At that point I would start to cling, get angry when my needs for affection are not fulfilled, start to look for other partners that could fulfil those needs (although that would be an illusion). So that would be clear warning signs.
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  #49  
Old 04-19-17, 09:17 AM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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What makes you suspicious, besides not giving you a goal/date for dating again? To give you a date would presuppose she can predict the future in a way, you know? Your recovery is based on one-day-at-a-time blocks of time. Withdrawal is different for everyone. You may need more 24 hours than some, less than others, but it is impossible to say for sure.

A sign that we are finishing this phase of our recovery, according to the SLAA text, is that the urgency to act out on our bottom line behaviors, isn't as powerful. It doesn't consume our thinking like it once did- wondering when we can act out again.

But dating may not be something you need to withdraw from. Your bottom lines are yours.

Whoops. Just saw your last paragraph. Have you asked her if setting goals will be part of their work with you?
One of the problems is that I can't be sure about whether or not I have the urgency to act out until I enter a relationship. When not in a relationship there is the longing to be in one, but my bottom lines in general are very much related to my behaviour when I'm in a relationship. So there need to be other things that can be a sign of whether I'm ready or not. And even then it will be difficult to determine. Before the thing with the girl I asked for a date last week I was doing fine, so that was one of the reasons I thought I might be fine to start dating again. Soon found out I was wrong about that.
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Old 04-19-17, 12:15 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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It would be nice if you could refer to my condition as SLA. SA is primarily about sex, while this clearly has more to do with the need for love, affection and reassurance. Sex does play a part, but in another way than with sex addicts. I more depend on sex with a partner as a way of reassurance, than that I have to act out physically. So calling it SA wouldn't do right to what I'm talking about.
Im sorry if it seemed like I was trivializing your disease. I didnt know what SLA was so I thought it was something totally unrelated to SA.
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Old 04-19-17, 12:22 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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Im sorry if it seemed like I was trivializing your disease. I didnt know what SLA was so I thought it was something totally unrelated to SA.
Didn't take it as trivializing. Just thought you had the wrong picture in your mind. No problem.
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Old 04-19-17, 05:45 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

I have to say, what you are doing, everything, the pain, the heartache, the uncertainty, is a tremendous thing, Hermus. The whole shebang is tough, tough stuff. It feels like having the wind knocked out. Proud of you Hermus. Great Job.
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Old 04-19-17, 05:52 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

My sponsor sent me some 4th step worksheets. Going to start working on the 4th step. I think it's logical to start there, since I've already got the first three steps covered by my spiritual recovery group.
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Old 04-19-17, 06:21 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

Somewhere I heard that relationships in your first year are not suggested. Sobriety is hard enough without someone else's baggage to deal with. But like Grey said, we are all proud of ya.

That fourth step is a hard one for many -- but once you have done 4 and 5 the rest is easier. If you do a poor job on #4, it will keep haunting you as character defects show their ugly head in the future. My fourth was pretty intense ....and now three years later, I see the need to revisit it. That's recovery!

Someone also said we don't have to know where we will end up. We just have to do the next right thing today and have faith. (I think there's also something about letting go, but....I've gone on enough.)
Carry on!

Last edited by namazu; 04-19-17 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: Religious discussion (including faith in a "Higher Power") is not permitted in this section of the forum.
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Old 04-19-17, 06:28 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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Somewhere I heard that relationships in your first year are not suggested. Sobriety is hard enough without someone else's baggage to deal with. But like Grey said, we are all proud of ya.
Yeah, and that is one of the things that makes it more difficult. I mean there is a human propensity to want to love and feel loved, physical affection etc. I think it's extremely difficult for many people to ignore those basic things for so long. The best thing for me to keep strong is the knowledge that most of the people I know who have remained sober and clean for over a year are the people who didn't date during the first year. On the other hand I've seen quite some fellows relapse due to relationships in early recovery.

Quote:
That fourth step is a hard one for many -- but once you have done 4 and 5 the rest is easier. If you do a poor job on #4, it will keep haunting you as character defects show their ugly head in the future. My fourth was pretty intense ....and now three years later, I see the need to revisit it. That's recovery!

Someone also said we don't have to know where we will end up. We just have to do the next right thing today and have faith. (I think there's also something about letting go, but....I've gone on enough.)

Carry on!
Isn't it the idea that you keep working the steps over and over anyway? That's what I always understood. That you keep working the steps and new things come up every time.
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Last edited by namazu; 04-19-17 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: consistency with edits to quoted post above
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Old 04-19-17, 07:51 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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Yeah, and that is one of the things that makes it more difficult. I mean there is a human propensity to want to love and feel loved, physical affection etc. I think it's extremely difficult for many people to ignore those basic things for so long. The best thing for me to keep strong is the knowledge that most of the people I know who have remained sober and clean for over a year are the people who didn't date during the first year. On the other hand I've seen quite some fellows relapse due to relationships in early recovery.



Isn't it the idea that you keep working the steps over and over anyway? That's what I always understood. That you keep working the steps and new things come up every time.
Yep. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Step 10.) That's the daily work of doing inventory.

Step Four took me a while to do. It took time to recall everything. But, I do think it is intended to be a one time, thorough, entirely complete event, when finished compiling it. I don't think it was designed to force us to do it perfectly. We do the best we can and if we've left stuff out, we add them. It is pretty cool, fun actually. It is a major step in the process of getting well.

Is anyone interested in conducting this conversation under the "debates" heading, in case some would like to discuss the spiritual aspects of the steps?
[Mod note -- I'd suggest Meditation & Spirituality instead of Debates, since this is a practice/path that helps your manage your condition. - Namazu]
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Old 04-19-17, 07:57 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

I think you need a plan. Nothing set in stone. Nothing like eg in 2 years I can date again but goals that you can work towards otherwise how will you develop healthy behaviours.

Surely the end goal.isn't abstinence. I'd talk to your counsellor about that. Maybe the reason why you struggling so much with this is because you need more tailored customised approach rather than a blanket indefinite dating ban.
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Old 04-19-17, 08:10 PM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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Originally Posted by DJ Bill View Post
Somewhere I heard that relationships in your first year are not suggested. Sobriety is hard enough without someone else's baggage to deal with. But like Grey said, we are all proud of ya.

That fourth step is a hard one for many -- but once you have done 4 and 5 the rest is easier. If you do a poor job on #4, it will keep haunting you as character defects show their ugly head in the future. My fourth was pretty intense ....and now three years later, I see the need to revisit it. That's recovery!

Someone also said we don't have to know where we will end up. We just have to do the next right thing today and have faith. (I think there's also something about letting go, but....I've gone on enough.)
Carry on!
Hm... I yhink I disagree with whoever came up with these steps, at least the last few.

I would not be able to operate like that ie not knowing where you end up but just doing the right thing today and having faith.

First of all if you don't know where you want to end up then any path is fine and it doesn't really matter what you do or not do. How do you know what the next right thing is if there is no context and no goal to define right snd wrong. Dating, romance and sex are not wrong in absolute terms but they might need to be put temporarily on hold for a particular reason. This reason needs to be thought over and made explicit though I think.

Last edited by namazu; 04-19-17 at 10:14 PM.. Reason: To avoid derailing thread with discussion of faith and the meaning of "Higher Power".
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Old 04-20-17, 12:25 AM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

When they talk about the "psychic change" that occurs with AA, I believe it has to do with doing steps4-7. Thats what did it for me.
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Old 04-20-17, 01:37 AM
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Re: Sex and love addiction part 2

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Somewhere I heard that relationships in your first year are not suggested. Sobriety is hard enough without someone else's baggage to deal with. But like Grey said, we are all proud of ya.

That fourth step is a hard one for many -- but once you have done 4 and 5 the rest is easier. If you do a poor job on #4, it will keep haunting you as character defects show their ugly head in the future. My fourth was pretty intense ....and now three years later, I see the need to revisit it. That's recovery!

Someone also said we don't have to know where we will end up. We just have to do the next right thing today and have faith. (I think there's also something about letting go, but....I've gone on enough.)
Carry on!
The step that I especially dread is step 9, making amends. There are people I have harmed without them even being aware. For example, it is going to be hard to tell my parents: 'You know the money you gave me for renewing my driver's license? Spent it on alcohol and dating sites. I have even been driving around in your car while having an expired license.' In the end I might have to tell, but that's not something I'm looking forward to.

Wow, I just admitted one of the most horrible things I have done in my addiction. Something I only started to care about once my mind had sobered up actually. Strange how addiction can affect normal thinking. I wouldn't say in general I am a person without morality, but in the time I was actively using I didn't even care much about these things.
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