Thursday, December 20, 2012
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Part 2
Wow, I haven't written anything in a LONG time! It is amazing how the craziness of life, work and family creeps up on you and before you know it over 2 months have gone by without a single word from me!!! I truly must stand up and give a HUGE applause & hug to all of the fabulous women out there who blog ALL THE TIME. I just don't know how you do it!!! I really am impressed and I just want to say that before I move forward with my verbal diarrhea!!!!
One issue that I have been seeing with many of the women that I work with in my coaching practice at Compulsion Solutions is around the idea of compartmentalizing. Both people see that concept VERY differently. Many men see the compartmentalizing as that their minds were shut off and the acting out didn't mean anything to them ... it was just a physical thing, it wasn't really them - it was Mr. Hyde, not Dr. Jeckyl. But to us, to the partner, it sure meant something! It's a profound betrayal. Ed & I actually did a podcast where we talk about that concept of the 2 sides ..... Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Sex Addiction.
I do understand how they "compartmentalize" their behaviors (that is how our addict hubby's are able to do what they do), and it is true to an extent, but it doesn't make us feel any better in the moment. Those words don't comfort the wounds that are within us and in fact many men try to justify their behaviors that way ... and at times it can make us feel worse ... many women say it's like their whole life was a lie! To the guy, it was a different side to them .... but we don't think like that .... the addiction doesn't make sense to us so that doesn't make sense to us either.
So, for our hubby's it is so important to recognize this whole other side to the compartmentalizing. To us it's like you had your cake and ate it too. The more you try to convince us that it was a different side to you (not the part that loved your life) ... it starts to sound like an excuse - and there is some truth to that. Now, I know why men say that .... so we understand that you always loved us and this had nothing to do with your love (and I really believe that to be true ... I know it was for Ed). It's still hard to hear and almost impossible to hear at the early stages of discovery / recovery. The women are VERY wounded and anything that defends HOW they were able to do it (I know that is not the intention but it can sound like that for the woman) ... can suck!
Compartmentalizing is a coping strategy. I mean, think about it for a minute ... how could they do those things if they didn't shut themselves off ..... but the fact is that the actions were still done and they are still painful. In fact, it is almost heartbreaking to hear that you shut off a side of yourself .... a side that is supposed to love and protect your partner above everything else.
So for the recovering guys out there ..... The women that I work with just have a hard time understanding it. Although you compartmentalized it and that helps you cope with your pain ... in our minds you still made the "CHOICE" to give in to that horrible voice in your head. You are still responsible for your actions and your partner thinks.... "if you really loved me you could NEVER do that". That is because we have a hard time understanding after that kind of betrayal - and honestly, there is truth to that. Now, that doesn't mean that you don't love your partner ... but understanding what love truly is, the maturity of how to handle an adult relationship, full of respect, honesty, vulnerability, integrity is not something you knew how to do well. But definitely something that can be learned!!!!
So guys .... completely "own" your shit! Be accountable for the crap that you pulled!! Your addict may have been the reason you did what you did but it was still you! You may not be able to realize it but you always had the choice, you just didn't make the right choice! Embrace the power of recovery and learn the tools that help you make the right choices! You CAN absolutely do it!!!
And to my LADIES .... just remember you are AMAZING! You also have the power of choice, you have chosen to stay or you have chosen to leave .... no matter where you are, you have made that choice for right now ... and neither choice is the wrong one! Embrace the opportunity you have, right here and right now to make your life better!