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Old 11-23-2008, 10:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The truth

My husband takes no responsibility for anything. I know it is sick thinking but, do you think he really knows the truth.
It seems he does things to purposely hurt me. How can he live with himself
doing hurtful things. I couldn't sleep at night
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I couldn't live with myself either, janie, if I were like that. You seem like a very nice lady. But alcoholism is just a horrible thing.

You say in your other post you have no family........do you have brothers, sisters, mother, father, someone somewhere? I separated from my alcoholic family for a long time and so I felt really all alone for a long time. My choice was either that or stay in the insanity of alcoholism. It turned out I made the right choice and I have faith you did too. Al-Anon meetings helped me a lot too ---- what I seemed to have to do is build my self a "family of choice" of people who would support me, and Al-Anon & other support groups were the first step in that.

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GL
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have been going to Al-anon for a number of years. I took a break when my boys were growing up because their schelude were so hectic and I knew that I was going to stay at least until the last one left, so I made the best out of it.

I started going regularly to Al-anon again before I left 3 months ago. The last two groups were bad experiences. I opened up and did not get a favorable (comforting) response. I felt they lost patience with me. Now, as I look back I was just grieving.
I don't have the energy to reach out again right now with Al-anon. I've been going to this spouse abuse support group now where I'm learning about spouse abuse. I like the group, they are patient with me and encourage me.
No, I don't have brother, sisters or anyone. I have 2 or 3 close girlfriends and my church. That;s about it. That's why I'm here
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Janie--
Welcome!

Try not to think that he is doing these things TO you- he is an alcoholic and he is just doing what alcoholics do.

So, no, I don't think he knows YOUR truth, and I think he can live with himself because he is not you, he does not think like you, or have the sense of what he is doing to others that you may have - or if he is on any level aware of how much pain he is causing he may choose to handle it differently than you would by denying it, drinking, or any number of ways of behaving that will be different than how YOU would behave.

I spent years shaking my head in astonishment at how my exH behaved - at the choices he made. I spent precious time in my mind cataloging all the million things he did that were unacceptable to me, that were "just not the way you do things!" etc. I kept expecting him to "get it" to change, to "see the light" to see the OBVIOUS error of his ways!!!

Never made a damn bit of difference to him. Made me crazy as loon, miserable, and focused on my dissatisfaction. When I stopped giving any of MY brain space and emotional investment to his problems things started to get WAY better and different for me....

It's great you have some form of support group. I also learned a lot from one-on-one therapy. Glad you're here!
Peace-
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know Janie, I really don't

When I got sober I really had a lot of delusion and denial, working the steps helped, but it took me nearly ten years to "really" "get it" to understand how much my actions affected others and to realize the impact of my drinking and behaviors and the damage it caused to those around me, I am still learning more today as I address my codependency, and even now I am prey to being delusional and self centered and need others in my life to help me "see" things but truthfully I believe that is a normal occurrence now after many years of being in recovery, all great "spiritual" leaders live a transparent life and seek counsel with others, if it works for them it can work for me.

My "qualifiers" on the other hand...I seriously don't know if they believed the things they said....I really don't, sometimes they seemed to be like a little boy whistling in the dark telling themselves they weren't really afraid, sometimes saying truly awful things about me in order to avoid taking any sort of responsibility for their actions, other times looking at me right in the eyes and lying to me when I literally had "the evidence" (in one instance in the form of a receipt) right in my hand saying, "It's not a lie, it has nothing to do with you, how DARE you question my integrity???"

All I know is it was "crazy making" and alcoholism is a form of insanity, and for me, and this is absolutely for me, was I was unable to remain "sane" in an insane environment.

One thing that was absolutely true is when I "threatened" an alcoholics status quo the "fallout" was horrific, they lash out to protect their disease and denial in amazingly hurtful ways, this includes my mother, my sister, and my XAGF, If I "threatened" their "way of life" or their denial the retaliation was instantaneous and severe, very severe, They would "punish" me badly, hurt me very very badly if I brought any sort of attention to their behaviors and asked for any sort of accountability and then when I "reacted" whether by being "weak" and breaking down and just losing it and crying, or getting angry, they would point the finger at me and point to me as "the problem" and one thing they did was constantly work on keeping me in that state of being "destabilized". I realize I allowed it now, But I literally didn't know how to "do it" any better, I kept thinking if only I tried harder, was more loving, was more patient...if only if only I would "love them better" but I failed miserably, and was stuck being miserable.

Today I realize I am only responsible for myself, but I AM absolutely responsible for myself, my choices, and my state of mind.

Today, the truth of the matter is I had to walk away, I realize that they are very sick people, but the disease of alcoholism is infectious in many ways, and the only way I have to keep from getting sick that works 100% is by removing practicing alcoholics from my life, total abstinence from sick people, the same way I don't pick up a drink, they are both equally dangerous to me and my sobriety, emotional health and spiritual well being, I'm not strong enough, smart enough, brave enough to be around such mental illness without getting sick myself.

Today I don't care if they believe their own BS or not, it's no longer "my problem" or even "my business" wondering about what they meant and what they were thinking and why they did what they did was one of the things keeping me sick.

That's just me, that's what I had to do for myself.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thank you
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't think they purposely set out to hurt you. As other said, they just do what alcoholics do which often seems very selfish and hurtful. I asked my XAH on several occasions if he was intentionally trying to hurt me or whether he was ever bothered by the fact I was hurt by his actions. His answer: "Why do you think I get angry when you want to talk about it the next day and ask me for an apology? I don't want to be reminded that I did those things." So I believe they don't have a whole lot of control over what they do when they're drinking. The difference is we feel the pain and they have their pain killer.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't know but my H and I are separated and I have been tempted to mail his suppositories to him, because he seems to be full of it at least to his ears if not to the top of his head!

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Old 11-24-2008, 07:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Janie,

Hang in there and keep building your "family of choice" with church, making friends, your spousal abuse group, our nice SR family here , and others who you "click" with. I found that the family I BUILT was much better, stronger, and more supportive than the family I was stuck with initially.

Hugs,
GL
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I absolutely agree with Givelove about creating a "new" family, my family is here, my friends, my loved ones, and they are so special to me as to be indispensable and it was when I forgot that, and tried to "believe" my relatives were "my family" I hurt myself badly.

I was thinking about the past three years on the way to work today, three years ago I was a normal guy, had a girlfriend, my own little company, a great group of friends, and was a pretty happy guy with long term sobriety, i had my share of people that didn't really care for me, but generally speaking I was well liked, I had my share of "relationship stuff", I wasn't perfect by any means, but I was damned good for being male.

To re-use the "dog" analogy, after being with my family and then in this relationship, I really started acting just like a dog that had been beaten one too many times, I got mean, and I started "barking" if anyone got too close, and if you raised your hand to "hit" me, I bit, but here's where it got tricky.

Teenage boys play this game called "made you flinch" where they act is if they are going to punch their friends in order to see if they can get them to react, and if they do they "made you flinch" thats very much what my relationship with my family and xagf felt like by the end, even if they "made a sudden movement" I would "start barking" and maybe even "bite" but the truth of the matter is I hadn't been "head shy" (like a beaten dog) before I got involved with this woman and my family.

So when it was all over, I felt really bad about some of the things I said, and some of my behaviors, and it has taken me awhile to forgive myself especially for the parts where it appeared I "bit" and "barked" for no reason. They hadn't "done anything wrong" but I was so beaten and headshy I couldn't even see straight after years of being "beaten".

It's taken a number of friends, writing, journaling, a sponsor, reading and posting here, and reading about being in a relationship in abusive relationships to start to "let go", my friends were all saying, well Andrew, "this is what you looked like in an abusive relationship" others were saying "Of course you were acting out, you were in an insane asylum (see twelve monkeys/Brad Pitt) and the literature was saying "having an emotional response to abuse is NOT "abuse" even though the "abusive" partner is going to tell you it is.

This is why I can't get involved with sick people, I don't ever want to act like a dog that has been beaten one too many times, I never want to "bite" anyone again, for any reason, it just makes me too sick.

Today, I'm a "normal" guy again, beginning to date a "normal" girl, I have a great group of friends, I'm generally well liked and I'm pretty happy.

I don't "bark" or "bite" any more, and no one "beats me" any more, I've absolutely gone back to being that "dumb as a box of hair" Black Lab that just wants to go to the beach and play in the waves, not only that...

I went over Orviskes list...the man she is looking for? I went over it with a girlfriend of mine, one that knows me pretty well, the list that everyone was all /sighing over.

100%

/big grin

I will never give my "power" away to another human being again.....ever, life is too short.

Here is my gift to all of you for making that possible:

YouTube - Kind And Generous
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ago,

Awesome vid!!!

TH
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've actually come right out and asked mine how he could sleep. He will lie about anything and everything to protect his drinking. It doesn't matter how absurd the lie is. I've finally stopped walking on eggshells and will now call him on it when he's lying.

He also does not take responsibility for anything he does. There is always some reason why he did what he did. I call it the "whatever excuse works" defense.

I believe mine might be beginning to see the pain that he is causing not only me but himself and his family as well. I think the pain he causes matters to him and he doesn't want to hurt us but again - anything to protect the drinking.

We had a conversation last week when he was sober where he finally admitted that he knows what he is doing when he hurts me (both intentionally and unintentionally) but he can't stand to face it so he will not acknowledge it and instead defend himself with whatever excuse is handy.

It really hurts but I have to keep reminding myself that it is not personal - he would do it to whoever was here. It's truly nothing against me. It took me a long time to accept that though. Once I did accept it though things were easier for me.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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One of the many things that I have learned by living with an A is never be surprised - by their actions, words, behavior. I've also learned since I left him that I should never be surprised by my behavior. I was married to him for 24 years - in and out of rehab, dry drunk, actively drinking, promises, lies, betrayal, etc etc. and I allowed this to happen to me.

Not now, I work my program, I only have control over me, my actions, words and behavior. And I don't allow anyone to lie, control or disrespect me.

I've also learned not be surprised over what an addict will do, until they find sobriety and work their program they will continue to hurt themselves and those around them - they are addicts and that is what they do. Until I found my road to recovery I allowed this behavior to happen to me. K.
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=kingston;1998268]
Not now, I work my program, I only have control over me, my actions, words and behavior. And I don't allow anyone to lie, control or disrespect me.
[QUOTE]

How do not allow someone to do these things to you? What do you do when they do, do these to you? I say these are not acceptable to me to the A, then I am "punished" by him ignoring me or name calling me. If I confront the lie, then I am told that I'm perfect and know it all, and then he changes the subject.:chatter
I like to hear what you have to say you always give good experiences.

Thank you
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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How do not allow someone to do these things to you? What do you do when they do, do these to you? I say these are not acceptable to me to the A, then I am "punished" by him ignoring me or name calling me. If I confront the lie, then I am told that I'm perfect and know it all, and then he changes the subject.

When you tell him that these behaviours are not acceptable what are the consequences to him for continuing the behaviour?

You asked me what I do. Boundaries! That's what I do with just about everything. For example:

George (fill in the name) when you (fill in the behaviour) it makes me me feel (fill in the feeling). If you do this again I will (fill out the behaviour/action) in order to make me feel (fill in the feeling).

There are lots of posts on boundaries including the stickies. I examined the behaviors that my AH did and decided what I could do to.

Now I do this with just about everything. Good luck - K.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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When I was wondering about boundaries and wanted to know specifics I started this thread, which I still look at for the great responses plus I found a "template" for "fair fighting" and put it in there, I find it helpful, so here ya go

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...oundaries.html (So what ARE Boundaries?)
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janie53
My husband takes no responsibility for anything. I know it is sick thinking but, do you think he really knows the truth.
It seems he does things to purposely hurt me. How can he live with himself
doing hurtful things. I couldn't sleep at night
I am sure that somewhere in there he knows the truth that he is hurting you. I am sure the part of him that loves you would not want you to put up with it.
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I will never give my "power" away to another human being again.....ever, life is too short. Amen to that!!
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The passage below is from the article "Addiction, Lies and Relationships" by Floyd P. Garret. Someone posted a link to it on this site a long time ago and I found it to be very, very helpful. (In fact, I found that, if it had been written as a case study rather than an essay, it could have been written word for word about the progression of my partner's dry-drunk relapse.) The language is pretty verbose, but the content is right on:

"The first casualty of addiction, like that of war, is the truth. At first the addict merely denies the truth to himself. But as the addiction, like a malignant tumor, slowly and progressively expands and invades more and more of the healthy tissue of his life and mind and world, the addict begins to deny the truth to others as well as to himself. He quickly becomes a practiced and profligate liar in all matters related to the defense and preservation of his addiction, even though prior to the onset of his addictive illness, and often still in areas as yet untouched by the addiction, he may be scrupulously honest. As the addiction progresses, these areas become fewer and fewer, until the addict’s lies are so constant and so obvious that it often appears to those with whom he lives or works closely that he lies even more compulsively and even more constantly than he drinks and/or drugs.

First the addict lies to himself about his addiction, then he begins to lie to others. Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning, and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth are necessary parts of the addictive process. They precede the main body of the addiction like military sappers and shock troops, mapping and clearing the way for its advance and protecting it from hostile counterattacks.

Because addiction by definition is an irrational, unbalanced and unhealthy behavior pattern resulting from an abnormal obsession, it simply cannot continue to exist under normal circumstances without the progressive attack upon and distortion of reality resulting from the operation of its propaganda and psychological warfare brigades. The fundamentally insane and unsupportable thinking and behavior of the addict must be justified and rationalized so that the addiction can continue and progress
."

On a lighter note, there's always that joke:

Q: How can you tell when an alcoholic/addict is lying?

A: His lips move.


Of course, it's really not funny.....but someday you will be in the position to have a sense of humor about it. Especially if you remember that just because the alcoholic chooses to live in some conveniently ever-changing alternate reality, you do not have to follow him into it. Usually, for me that means NOT ENGAGING, because I've found that if I even let myself get pulled 2 sentences into a conversation about it, I'm on my way down that road. (Remember that movie War Games??? "The only winning move is not to play!") So, it goes like this: You call me a name; I walk away. You start up with the denial and excuses; I say "You don't seem to be in a place where you can discuss this reasonably right now, so I have to end this conversation for now," and I walk away. You chase after me hollering and screaming and making a scene; I just keep walking (and if I'm tempted to feel embarrassed, I remind myself that I am not the one acting like a lunatic, so why should I be the one to be feeling embarrassed?) etc...etc...etc.... I've done and do all of these things -- not real comfortably at first, but it's pretty amazing how quickly new behavior can become comfortable once you realize how much easier your life becomes because of it.......Practice makes perfect!

...and, boy, do they excel at offering us opportunities to achieve perfection!

freya
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freya View Post
The passage below is from the article "Addiction, Lies and Relationships" by Floyd P. Garret. Someone posted a link to it on this site a long time ago and I found it to be very, very helpful. (In fact, I found that, if it had been written as a case study rather than an essay, it could have been written word for word about the progression of my partner's dry-drunk relapse.) The language is pretty verbose, but the content is right on:

"The first casualty of addiction, like that of war, is the truth. At first the addict merely denies the truth to himself. But as the addiction, like a malignant tumor, slowly and progressively expands and invades more and more of the healthy tissue of his life and mind and world, the addict begins to deny the truth to others as well as to himself. He quickly becomes a practiced and profligate liar in all matters related to the defense and preservation of his addiction, even though prior to the onset of his addictive illness, and often still in areas as yet untouched by the addiction, he may be scrupulously honest. As the addiction progresses, these areas become fewer and fewer, until the addictís lies are so constant and so obvious that it often appears to those with whom he lives or works closely that he lies even more compulsively and even more constantly than he drinks and/or drugs.

First the addict lies to himself about his addiction, then he begins to lie to others. Lying, evasion, deception, manipulation, spinning, and other techniques for avoiding or distorting the truth are necessary parts of the addictive process. They precede the main body of the addiction like military sappers and shock troops, mapping and clearing the way for its advance and protecting it from hostile counterattacks.

Because addiction by definition is an irrational, unbalanced and unhealthy behavior pattern resulting from an abnormal obsession, it simply cannot continue to exist under normal circumstances without the progressive attack upon and distortion of reality resulting from the operation of its propaganda and psychological warfare brigades. The fundamentally insane and unsupportable thinking and behavior of the addict must be justified and rationalized so that the addiction can continue and progress
."

On a lighter note, there's always that joke:

Q: How can you tell when an alcoholic/addict is lying?

A: His lips move.


Of course, it's really not funny.....but someday you will be in the position to have a sense of humor about it. Especially if you remember that just because the alcoholic chooses to live in some conveniently ever-changing alternate reality, you do not have to follow him into it. Usually, for me that means NOT ENGAGING, because I've found that if I even let myself get pulled 2 sentences into a conversation about it, I'm on my way down that road. (Remember that movie War Games??? "The only winning move is not to play!") So, it goes like this: You call me a name; I walk away. You start up with the denial and excuses; I say "You don't seem to be in a place where you can discuss this reasonably right now, so I have to end this conversation for now," and I walk away. You chase after me hollering and screaming and making a scene; I just keep walking (and if I'm tempted to feel embarrassed, I remind myself that I am not the one acting like a lunatic, so why should I be the one to be feeling embarrassed?) etc...etc...etc.... I've done and do all of these things -- not real comfortably at first, but it's pretty amazing how quickly new behavior can become comfortable once you realize how much easier your life becomes because of it.......Practice makes perfect!

...and, boy, do they excel at offering us opportunities to achieve perfection!

freya
Wow, thanks for this, I hadn't seen it before. Do you have the link to the whole article?
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Iím going to love myself
More than anyone else
Believe in me even if someone can't see
Thereís a stronger woman in me
Iím going to be my own best friend
Stick with me 'til the end
Wonít lose myself again, never, no
ĎCause thereís a stronger woman in me...
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