Recently Separated after 15 Years and 2 Children…

My partner and I have recently separated after 15 years and 2 children. I asked him to go finally because he is angry and dissatisfied generally and lies to me about what he is doing with regard to other women and other things that he doesn’t want me to know about. He had become close to another woman who he had strong feelings for 2 years ago (although no sex). He is now close to another one who he pours his heart out to. We tried for nearly 2 years to repair our relationship but when I asked him to give up close friendships with other women (he is prone to ‘collect’ women) he did but became resentful. He insists there is no difference to friendships with the same and opposite sex. He has also been pushing our 13 year old daughter around on and off for a few years when she angers him and has started doing the same to me. I still love him and know that he has to address his anger which is destroying him. He blames me for the fact that he no longer l lives with his children. How can I repair this? I am always giving him more chances but nothing changes. Until recently we were still occasionally having sex and he could be very loving. Even when we had our final conversation last week, he said he couldn’t believe he was letting me go but it is over. He has never been able to sustain another relationship for more than 2 years. I would dearly love to repair our relationship but don’t know what to do now.

Response from Daniel?

From what you described, it would be in your best interests to shift your attention from him and the relationship to yourself, to learning how to take better care of yourself in this relationship, relationships in general and preserve the safety of your children. The relationship is in a state of disrepair, and it is unlikely that rebuilding is going to happen anytime soon. The status is ‘separated’ for good reason. If he could somehow be in relationships with other women platonically, who provide emotional support, that can be a good thing for him. I doubt his ability to get more intimate without sabotaging those relationships as well, unless these women are co-dependent. His anger and instability render him unready to enter into or be actively involved in a sexually intimate relationship at this time. Pushing you and your daughter around and then blaming you for his inability to manage his anger more effectively should remove him from consideration of any possible relationship. He nor you are taking responsibility for the number one priority, that being to feel physically safe. Until safety can be established, there is no way you will be able to resolve conflict and address issues that have plagued the relationship. Giving him more chances only speaks to what sounds like deeply ingrained co-dependent behavior that only further perpetuates the longstanding dysfunctional dynamics. Before the relationship can be repaired, the two individuals who make the relationship must repair themselves.

Fast Addiction, Recovery CEU’s http://www.relationshipvision.com

author Daniel Linder
category General, Relationship
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High Functioning Cocaine Addict – How to Approach the Subject?

I just recently ended a relationship with someone that I think may be a high functioning cocaine addict. I never saw him use the drug and he only had a few of the physical symptoms of a cocaine user but his mood swings were undeniable. When I questioned him about drug use in general he screamed at me and told me he didn’t use drugs even though he had admitted to have a coke problem in the past and had tried about every drug in existence. He has a good job, money, a nice house and parents with money so I doubt that he will ever hit the “bottom” necessary to see his addiction or be forced to deal with it. I guess my question is – if he is so far in denial that my questioning him resulted in a screaming match, is there any other way to approach the subject without alienated him or making him even angrier than he already is?

Response from Daniel?

A high functioning cocaine addict is more the exception than the rule. Don’t rule out the possibility of his hitting bottom, albeit it may not be when you’d expect him to, as I imagine he will not continue on indefinitely as high functioning. However there certainly are exceptions to the rule especially when there are co-dependent significant other he can depend on to support his addiction by helping him escape its destructive consequences. Given that he “screams” at you, his reactivity is a manifestation of denial, which is, in itself evidence of addiction and basis to make a diagnosis of addiction. There is likely no way to approach him without forcing a confrontation as your questioning poses a threat to his dependency or relationship with cocaine and his defensive weaponry, i.e. denial will make it impossible to see the problem, let alone discuss honestly and rationally. Expect his mood swings to continue as his use will, which will inevitably doom the relationship.

Fast Addiction, Recovery CEU’s http://www.relationshipvision.com

author Daniel Linder
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A Pattern of Attracting the Wrong Kind of Person….

I am a beautiful African American woman with a 20 yr old son. I?m an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA) and have been really working on patterns and all that good stuff. My son?s father is a pot smoker for 30 years now. We haven?t been together for over 7 years. He is a part time father, pays more attention to the women in his life, than my son, who doesn?t seem to mind since he is 20 and has his own life. He also smokes pot. I am pissed off at the past and the present. How do I let go of the anger I have toward him? He has abandoned me and my son and now has this cocky attitude that hurts me. Here I?ve done all this work and he just married a 26 yr old. He?s 51. I also keep attracting the same guys as him. He may not smoke pot, but they?re always unavailable, or just stop calling. I’m smart, funny, pretty, African dancer, but its that same man who works too much or just the same shit –different face and race. It?s freaking unbelievable (smile.) Help. Thanks so much. Peace and love.

Response from Daniel?..

When there is a pattern of attracting the wrong kind of person, i.e. emotionally unavailable, addicted over a long period of time, usually unconscious unmet emotional needs are driving your attraction and selection of mate. You?re relying on imagination that enables you to inflate the character and compatibility of the people you get involved with, idealization at the expense of reality. You can be getting very little nourishment but act as if your getting a lot more than you are, or that you will get more some day in the future by becoming the person you think he wants you to be. Given that it appears the you don’t know how to take care of yourself, that you don’t put your needs first or heed internal warning signals, nor identify them as such, I suggest that you take a hiatus from relationships to do the necessary self-work that will empower you to break this pattern. Low self-esteem issues and self-worth are likely at play here as well. In order to attract men who are more emotionally available and stable, it is necessary to have reached a point in your own emotional development when you distinguish between the kind of mate or relationship you don’t want from the ones that you do, and act accordingly.

Fast Addiction, Recovery CEU’s http://www.relationshipvision.com

author Daniel Linder
category General, Relationship
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Pent Up Pain from Unresolved Emotional Needs

I was abused as a child by both parents. I married a man old enough to be my father, who controlled me completely. Then I married a totally inept man, who is now in a home with dementia. I have had a relationship with Gerry for nearly 3 years now. When I first met him he swept me off my feet, my dream lover, the love of my life, I used to call him ‘Mr. Wonderful’. He was very charming, exciting and dangerous. As soon as he was sure of me, he would reject me and be cold and indifferent; I left him several times, and got back with him because I longed for him sexually. I want an end.

Response from Daniel?

The way you described your history in relationships, as well as your current tendencies, there is strong indication of addictions gone untreated. The pent-up pain of unresolved emotional needs has left you desperate for relief, reliant on denial, imagination and sex for relief that sends you into codependent, sexually-based relationships that supplies zero emotional nourishment. You use sex for love, depend on relationships to provide what has long been missing, are unaware of your motivation, haven’t learned to exercise healthy self-interest in your relationships, and haven’t developed a spiritual program. When addictions are raging out of control, stabilization is the first step to be followed by a year of intensive self-work and program support before getting into another sexually intimate relationship.

Fast Addiction, Recovery CEU’s http://www.relationshipvision.com

author Daniel Linder
category General, Relationship
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Cannot Walk Away from a Heroin addict

I have recently become acquainted with an old flame. As such, (We both liked each other when we were younger but never really got it together. We were best friends as I heard he was a heroin addict and I wanted to lend my support …One thing led to another and we ended up having a relationship (if that’s what you would call it.) Throughout this, even though I thought he was off it, he was still using a little every day. I am now wise to this …So after five months he finally got clean and three days into him being clean he said he didn?t feel the same way around me now that he?s sober. I just can?t understand (I mean I understand of course,) was he using me all along? He’s begging me to stay in his life and can we be friends, but I don?t know if it will be too hard. But also I don?t want to walk away as he is clean and he has no friends left…

Why did he change his mind so quickly about us?…(three days)

Response from Daniel?

Sounds like codependency is getting the better of you. Unconscious emotional needs and your own addictive tendencies make early stage recovering heroin addicts or any other early stage recovering addicts an irresistible magnet for you. In order for you to break this cycle of getting into doomed and dysfunctional relationships, it may be necessary to take a hiatus from relationships for awhile so you could do some intensive self-work, i.e. become more aware of the emotional hunger driving you and your own need for relief and distraction by being with others who have their problems and struggles to work on rather than your own. You a victim of your own delusions to think that you could possibly serve as his only friend, or be someone who could provide all of the emotional support he needs. The primary challenge in early recovery is to achieve a sustained period of stabilization (sober), build more of a sober support system, rigorous participation in a program and to not get into a sexually intimate relationship for at least a year.

Fast Addiction, Recovery CEU’s http://www.relationshipvision.com

author Daniel Linder
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The Relationship with Yourself vs. Relationship with a Higher Power.

You mentioned, “The ?relief? that the ?relationship with a source of relief? provides is from pain or frustration related to unmet emotional needs.” This is interesting to wrap my mind around because I know of a few people, including myself, who struggled in their relationships with a notion of a Higher Power or a God. They are recovering devout people. I say that partially joking, but many of us had a very dysfunctional relationship with God, and ultimately acted out in other addictions to numb that discomfort.

I think the ultimate relationship many people need to learn how to have is the one with themselves — and in learning to do that by way of program, treatment and counseling, all arrows point up to some invisible all mighty; some might find that an obstacle or Catch-22.

With a real nourishing relationship with another person or one’s self, we seem to be driven toward a level of intimacy we did not know before. One wise person I know said ‘intimacy’ meant: look “into me and see.” and intimacy requires a great deal of trust; and trust is not easily awarded or deserved for a lot of people. So, I find that people feel less-than, and often undeserving of intimacy where a partner can actually look into them and see them for who they are in the here and now … so they remain closed down in this area. For some people I know, this is where porn seems to come in; they see porn providing a whole lot less rejection when dealing with a picture or a movie. (But it recycles the pain because the pain is never dealt with or experienced).

I think you understand this all a great deal better than me (thankfully), and I agree that there are tremendous pent-up pains residing in a lot of us due to unmet emotional needs — and that for many of us, we numbed (or sought relief) from unemotional non-nourishing sources — and then we happened to get addicted to that stuff.

So, if a person has arrested their addiction today and has gravitated toward an intimate relationship with God and/or another human being, why will mere acknowledgment of a Relationship Model of Recovery help bring about trust, self-esteem (we deserve), or even respect in a relationship? Wouldn’t this Model of Recovery make relationships with anyone NOT in recovery at this level intensely impossible?

Response from Daniel….

I believe that there is a stage of recovery when recovering people must come to terms with some limitations and implications embedded in the 12-Step program and philosophy that pose challenges to their continued growth. At some point, the ?externalization? of the higher power comes back to haunt them ? the consensus that the higher power is the ultimate source or authority, and exists outside of oneself.

It seems, today more than ever, within the Anonymous constituency, an ever-increasing number people are expressing disenchantment or wonderment about their relationship with their higher power. The higher power, what is it? Many are feeling like they?re up against a wall, and are realizing, as you yourself had stated above, that their relationship with a higher power or the higher power has become dysfunctional, that they?re (still) emotionally starved, that take them back to the days of their addiction, and puts them at risk of relapse. Many are wondering why they?re left feeling bad about themselves for becoming addicted of being addicted, that there is something deeply wrong inside their core. Their higher power equates to losing touch with themselves, as if their selves have brought them nothing but destruction. They have learned to not take credit for anything and bestow the responsibility for everything good that happens to God. As a result, many are losing faith. This stage can be many years into recovery and any number of relapses later.

Something must have gotten lost along the way. In the earliest stages of recovery, some call abstinence or sustained abstinence, we realize that it was our will or lack of will that wrecked havoc on our lives?and that we are powerless, our lives unmanageable, and only a ?power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.? In the beginning of recovery, total surrender is both necessary and comforting, as it lightens the burden of shame and demoralization from having lost control and the many humiliating consequences. It?s blind faith that gets us out of the gate. Initially we stop blaming ourselves.

At what point can we begin to take some credit for what we had accomplished? At what point do we begin to focus on ourselves as a source and authority? When do our relationships take center stage? When will the relationship we have with ourselves be restored? When you say, ?I think the ultimate relationship many people need to learn how to have is the one with themselves — learning to do that by way of program, treatment and counseling, I thought it was me talking. It has been a basic premise or theme running through my work as I emphasize the primary relationship, i.e. the one we have with ourselves, as well, developing relationship-building skills. Yes, when all arrows point up to some invisible all mighty; many will find the prevailing interpretations and applications of the higher powers to be a Catch-22.

When one establishes or restores the relationship with oneself, intimacy becomes possible. The profound treatment implications of The Relationship Model of Addiction come from the premise upon which it is based; that intimacy is a basic human need, and when intimacy or understanding are achieved, emotional needs are actually getting met as opposed leaving one starved and desperate for relief, that they are life and self-sustaining.

There is something missing if recovery and one?s program serves to perpetuate the sense of isolation and disconnection. Intimate relationships and understanding and the process of co-creation are key missing ingredients. You seem to understand that before you have a relationship characterized by respect, trust, acceptance and deep knowing or understanding with someone else, we must first develop such a relationship with oneself. Before you can love someone else, you must love yourself.

You seem to see that the addictive potential of pornography comes from the temporary and artificial relief derived from the relationship that develops with an imaginary other. It?s only in fantasy to be in a relationship in which you will never be rejected or abandoned and the (imaginary) other is everything you wish him or her to be, until, of course, reality comes crashing down. Relating, let alone being truly intimate with another human being quickly becomes an unbearable, if not, impossible proposition. While the relationship with pornographic images may provide excitement and escape, in the end, the addict is left emptier and hungrier than ever.

Just thinking about The Relationship Model of Addiction doesn?t necessarily ?bring about trust, self-esteem and respect.? It doesn?t matter whether you think about the model or not, the idea is focus on yourself and the relationships you are creating. The idea is also to heighten your awareness of your hunger for connection, your longing for love, your hunger for intimacy. If that translates to you suddenly being able to create depth and rapport in your relationships, then see for yourselves, the difference between groveling for crumbs to survive and the replenishment that intimacy brings. I refer to the ?sacred space of co-creation? as when two separate, self-realized people come together, united in purpose, exploring and exposing themselves, enraptured in deep understanding. Intimacy as a life force is, in itself, life-sustaining, inspiring, the closest thing to a natural rush as you could get. But the relationship goes beyond the rush, beyond sexual excitement and attraction, beyond unmet emotional needs; the relationship is a swirling energy, a whole other entity, like fire igniting when a match strikes a flint. It?s food our beings need to thrive. Living with a sense of purpose is what The Relationship Model of Addiction is about, and your purpose becoming a more powerful force than your need for relief. Later stages of recovery are when you?re most likely to embark on that long journey home. The next relationship is the one that develops when you and ?the higher? come together.

Fast Addiction, Recovery CEU’s http://www.relationshipvision.com

author Daniel Linder
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