Tuesday, November 5, 2013

To Trust or To Snoop?

from where else? Bing

Trusting your gut. 

Many of us do it without giving it a second thought.  Maybe you did it last weekend when you made your football picks.  Thankfully, my Giants didn’t have to play and I was saved that humiliation.  I can’t say the same for this week.

Let’s take it a bit further. Perhaps you trusted your gut on your way to work this morning and you left a few minutes early.  You don’t really know why, but your instinct told you it was best to walk out your front door five minutes earlier than normal, so you did.  You didn’t question it.  You just got in car and left.  Maybe you avoided a traffic jam.  Or even a car accident.  You’ll never know.

Many moms understand this on an even deeper level.  A mother’s instinct, that gut feeling, can tell you something is wrong with your child.  It can scream at times.  It alerts us before something has happened to our precious little ones.

Then, there are people like me.

I managed to screw up my God given gift.  Not through any fault of my own though. Mine was a wreck thanks to relational trauma caused when I found out about Devin’s sex addiction.  The PTSD from the trauma caused me to become hypervigilant.  I acted on every suspicion I had about Devin.

I never allowed myself time to relax and settle back down.  I lived in an almost constant state of anxiousness.  If I suspected Devin was surfing porn, I’d run to the computer and check.  I’d spend hours wasting away trying to dig up some kind of evidence of him looking at porn or having an online affair.  That led me to forums on sex addiction and betrayal.  I kept myself in a negative mindset.

Then, Devin would do something completely innocent but to me, it was a red flag.  I’d be back at the computer again.  Wasting my time and energy.  Every time I closed my laptop, I felt sad and defeated.  Sometimes, I was even disappointed I didn’t find anything.  At least if I found something, I wouldn’t have squandered away so much time for nothing. 

Eventually, it dawned on me.  I couldn’t trust my gut anymore.  I lost the ability to know when something was “off” with Devin.  Those of you married to an addict know they have “tells.”  Things they do or say when they are headed down the wrong path in their recovery. 

When I wasn’t able to quiet my mind enough to calm it, I knew things had to change.  I stopped being hypervigilant.  It was a difficult journey for me.  It meant entering a world of not knowing.  Not knowing what Devin was or was not doing was frightening.  It meant learning how to trust.  I had to begin placing my belief in him and in myself.

I had to hope he would come to me when things were headed down a slippery slope.  I also had to believe that I could trust my gut. 

In time, my gut instinct came back.  I could see clearly when Devin’s recovery wasn’t going as well as it should be.  I trusted my instincts and talked to him when I felt it was necessary.  Each time it’s been for good cause.  Then came the time I hoped for, he came to me.

I think it’s okay to trust.  It’s also okay to verify, with your spouse’s knowledge…none of this spyware crap unless you’re both on board with it.  To me, if you’re spying on your spouse because you’re afraid they’ll act out again or because they’re not working they’re program then you need to have a serious talk with your spouse. Not spy on them.  You’ll just drive yourself bananas.  If they want to act out, they will.   Not to mention, you’re expecting transparency from them.  Shouldn’t they get it from you too?

Devin and I have an agreement when it comes to trust but verify:  If I have a feeling he’s surfing, or I trigger and it results in me looking at any of his devices or tracking him on his phone, then I tell him within twenty-four hours.

Although, I can’t recall the last time I’ve done either of those things.  My gut instinct has been very calm.  I like it that way. 

37 comments:

  1. I think that's a very good agreement. I'm so glad you've been able to trust your instincts again.

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    1. Because of his addiction, we each have a set of agreements we abide to. They make our lives much easier!

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  2. I woke up one morning this summer with a horrible uneasy feeling that I just couldn't shake. An hour or so later, I got a text from my guy that the truck was broken down and he was literally limping back here to put it in the shop. I had so hoped that my gut instinct was wrong or just worrying too much as usual. Always trust your gut. I told my stepson that last week when he was unsure about a car he wanted to purchase. He said something about the deal just didn't feel right.

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    1. I think our gift of instinct is absolutely amazing, JoJo. I love how in touch you are with yours when it comes to your fiancé. I hope your stepson didn't buy the car! I think our instinct is like a sixth sense of some sort and God telling us to be on alert.

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  3. YOUR Giants? I knew there was a reason I liked you. Apparently, we are both fellow travelers on "Misery Highway."
    Even though they won two games, oh.....PU!
    The Vikings and Eagles LOST those games, rather than the Giants WINNING them.

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    1. It's good to know I'm not alone. At least we can say we aren't those bandwagon fans. We still love them (love to hate them, same thing) even when they suck ass. I'm glad I cancelled my NFL Ticket this year. I'd be really pissed to be paying to watch them lose.

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  4. The behaviour you're describing is classic codependency, which is a form of addiction in its own right. Glad you were able to break free from it!

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    1. Yes! Yes! Yes! I hated hearing that word when I was in codependency mode. I got so offended. Now, I don't care. I know I was enmeshed with him. When I can see that happening again, I know I'm in a mentally dangerous place and need to step back. It's so true. I was totally addicted to it.

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  5. I understand you! what Smart are you! I use my instinct many times, but hubby ignore me when I say him!
    The kisd sometimes Heard me. You are so good:)

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    1. My hubby used to think the same thing about my instincts when I would say stuff about the kids. Now that I have proved it right with him…he doesn't question it anymore =P

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    2. The other he finally accept I had reason :)

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  6. Mine is still there and keeps me aware, although sometimes I ignore it and pay the price, stuck in traffic or whatever. Could save a ton of time snooping though, just install a keylogger and poof, everything in one spot, not that I have ever done such a thing haha

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    1. You have to listen, cat! You never know when it may payoff….especially when you have the mafia after you. Ha ha…if I had a key logger, I'd be screwed. I thought I was addicted digging with my knowledge, imagine what damage would have been done seeing every keystroke! No thanks!

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    2. haha the mafia has nothing on the cat, he can run away and pelt them with scat

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  7. I don't believe in my gut much I'm afraid, I'm more of a fate type of guy!

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    1. Let the cards fall where they may, huh? Sometimes that's all we can do.

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  8. Trusting an addict is sometimes difficult but eventually we have to be able to have some semblance of trust in regards to them telling us when they're heading down a path again, as you described.

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    1. If we don't start trusting them when we see good recovery in them than we'll never heal ourselves. I feel we'll always remain traumatized and/or unhappy. That's no kind of life, blah! ha ha

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  9. Sometimes finding out the truth is worse than trusting but at the same time maybe it's better to know, I'm not too sure though Elsie, an argument can be made for both sides to the argument.

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    1. I'd much rather know the truth any day of the week than be lied to. I was hurt more by his lies than I was by the affairs. Bizarre but true.

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  10. Speaking of your Giants...they need to get their shit together. I have Victor Cruz on my fantasy and he's killing me!

    Trust is the hardest thing in any relationship. It's hard to trust again once that trust has been broken. It's an ongoing issue that can last a lifetime trying to regain that trust. I'm glad you are on the right path to regaining and maintaining it!

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    1. Hubby has Cruz on his fantasy team too. He curses him every week right along with me. Freakin' Giants!

      Trust is truly difficult. It's still something I struggle with and I'm sure I always will have nagging deep in the back of my mind.

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  11. I have a very strong sixth sense and I've learned to trust it over the years.... but it is usually difficult.

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    1. Isn't it amazing how strong that sixth sense can be sometimes? You just know something is off, then suddenly it come to you what it is. Then, it's up to you what you do about it.

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  12. That's a great lesson. Glad you were able to step back and de-hyper-vigilance yourself (It's totally a word. I looked it up).

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    1. It's funny, Lu. Every time I write the word hypervigilance it auto corrects it. I know it's a word, dammit!! It just has to be because I went through it!! I've seen it other places. Grrrrr. I like your word. I may steal it one day. =)

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  13. The problem is that intuition and fear can feel like the same thing.

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    1. They do. It was hard to tell the difference when I was so wrapped up in hypervigilance.

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  14. I like to trust my gut. I do it with sales and couponing. Nice little tool.

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    1. You absolutely rock at coupons! I'm envious of your skills =)

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  15. i am glad that you are calm now...and i like you agreement to tell him when you have the need to verify as well...i imagine that opens the door to relational conversations as well on why you are feeling that way at the time as well...

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    1. I'm so grateful that I'm calm now too. Being hypervigilant is miserable. I felt it was only fair to tell him because of my boundary agreement with him. It does open up relational conversations with him and that's something we both need to work on together.

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  16. Interesting post. I'm reading around some stuff for the course I'm doing. Reading Gerald Egan's The Skilled Helper it is interesting that when research is done on it despite what we all think following our intuition / gut instinct is actually fraught with danger and likely to fail. Seriously there is good solid research to back that assertion up. Of course we all then think "Yes but that is other people, mine is solid"... Good that you have the consciousness to determine when it isn't to be trusted and have acted on it.
    This post really has made me think - thanks.

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    1. I just looked up your book, The Skilled Helper. I'm so excited for you, Graham. I remember you talking about pursuing counseling and it looks like you're going for it. You are going to make a great counselor. I truly feel there is no one better to help people than someone who has been there with them.

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  17. Its a dangerous game, but you have to trust your gut instinct.

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  18. But, the Giants beat the Raiders.
    Q: How did a crappy team win three games in a row? A: They played crappier teams.
    And they SHOULD win this weekend against the Packers with their third string quarterback. Then again, Big Blue tends to underachieve against craptastic QBs.
    We'll see.

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  19. I trust my inner guts & instincts ~ It works for me and I am happy that you have that agreement in place ~ Hope you are well Elsie ~

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.