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Old 03-18-2011, 06:44 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Family meeting while AH in rehab

The family counselor at AH rehab asked if I would come in for us 3 to sit down and talk. I agreed. However, I have big reservations about this mainly because I do not know what to expect. I feel like I am supposed to put on a supportive tone and not bring up anything that serious regarding our marriage, since he is so new to recovery he barely has a handle on anything and maybe those talks are for later, as if I say something I could sabotage what could potentially be a very good thing. Which on the face of it I kind of call BS on myself because his recovery should be based on what I do or do not do...and if there is ever a better place to get bad news it would be with many counselor people around.
But part of me just wants to be like hey, I think you have been mentally abusive since we married and you need to address that issue, (and sobriety) prior to having any real meaningful relationship conversation.

Sorry that probably does not make a ton of sense, but I am just nervous about the upcoming meeting and of course when he gets out. I would love to hope away that it was all because he drank so much, but I just don't think that would be based in reality. And I am leaning towards a bottom line of: if you don't take responsibility for these times as being abusive and working to correct your maladaptive behavior I don't care if you are sober or not.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've never been to rehab, but I was in a 6 day detox facility. They had a family meeting, too. It was meant to be a time for everyone to be able to say what they were feeling, had felt, and were concerned about regarding their alcoholic. I would suggest you do just that. If you have things you want to say, then say them in an environment where no one can explode or get up and walk away. This is the time to say what you have to say and it's really only fair that you do, so everyone can be on the same page.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:35 AM   #3 (permalink)

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Be honest. Period.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When I did this I was encouraged to be very honest and not to keep anything back.

Equally though I was expected to deliver it in a non-blaming factual way.

DS16 did same.

The A is expected to build up a truthful picture of themselves in Active addiction to break down the denial.

All within the supportive enviroment of a treatment centre.

Perhaps write it down for yourself...
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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But part of me just wants to be like hey, I think you have been mentally abusive since we married and you need to address that issue, (and sobriety) prior to having any real meaningful relationship conversation.
Sounds like a real part of you, and this would be the place to tell him exactly that.
Do you think he has been abusive, or do you know it?

And.....what cyranoak said.

"Dating is not an appropriate treatment modality."

LexieCat, 2/12/2011
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Cat!

I agree, be honest, and keep it about how you feel. Maybe keep the whole "I" statement thing in mind?

I felt.....
I was sad, confused, angry, distrustful, whatever.....

I hope it all goes well!

Hugs, HG
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:03 AM   #7 (permalink)

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Thank you everyone for your advice. Haven't gone to the meeting yet, but am working on thinking about what I want to say.

re: do I think or know if he has been abusive - honestly, I have a hard time admitting that he has been. I am going to address this with my therapist so I can get clarity. It seems like such a cruel thing to say, so I do what to be clear in my own mind that I *know* it. I think I am in a bit of denial because I even think if I do say it, I can no longer ignore it which scares me to some extent. However, I am grateful I have an opportunity to get it clear in my own head before the meeting, and then will have a safe environment to bring this up.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I was asked to participate in a conference call with my xah when he was in an in-patient rehab out of state. I was really nervous etc. as well. I ultimately decided to do it. He had an excellent counselor that made things a lot easier. Some of the things the counselor asked alcoholism affected me and our relationship, what would his recovery look like to me (what could I see that would indicate recovery), did I think there were other things he needed to work on (like anger issues etc.), the counselor outlined some things for me, etc.

The counselor talked to me ahead of time so I had some things written down because I don't do well in those situations if I don't write my thoughts out ahead of time.

Our conversation focused on our kids because we are already divorced and I have no desire to rekindle our relationship so just didn't go there. If I would have wanted that it would have been a great opportunity though. I imagine a lot depends on the skill of the counselor and program.

ETA: I would not hold back. Be brutally honest. The counselors will help him work through that. I think it is important to a) break down denial - I'm pretty sure that was most of the point of our conference call because like I said - we'd been divorced a year, and b) for him to get help in learning how to deal with his feelings, your feelings, etc. and he has tons of support there to learn some skills he can use when he gets out.
Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. - Anais Nin
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:16 AM   #9 (permalink)

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I agree w hydro girl about the "I feel" statements as opossed to "you did this "...But, overall,

I feel that it will be very helpful for him to know this stuff, and that it is a good time to say these things.
You seem like you are in touch with your anger, and your self preservation is intact.

I was NOT in that position. I can tell you, I SHOULD have said and felt that way. I did not. I was on a pink cloudof my own, when he decided to get treatment, and I melted at his humility in going to rehab, it seemed like such a hard, big step for him.
When we visited him (his mom and I), he laid on the promises thick. I melted again. It was while he was in rehab that my pink cloud impaired my vision.

I agreed, then and there to let him come home to us. I thought it would be a reward for his taking steps towrd his health and healing our relationship, his relationship with our son.

I can tell you now, in hindsight, it only served to ease his discomfort, and allowed him to complete the program, but the ease also allowed him to come home, and slack, then slack, then go back to old behaviors.

I had not required him to EARN anything back. I guess, secretly, and in my sickness, I was probably afraid that he would call my bluff, and just go somewhere else.
It was a hard lesson, learned the hard way.
The outcome was 4 more months of worse treatment, because his sobriety and his "struggle" sanctioned his behavior in his mind.

I tricked myself, because in truth, I was strong enough at that time to accept if he had chosen to move on if he did not like my terms, my boundaries. ...I tricked myself into thinking I was doing him a favor.

I wish I could go back, know that I meant what I meant, and told him that he would need to complete treatment for the other issues before even considering his return to the family home.
He now lives in an apartment, but my son is the one who has really been struggling with the confusion of ,"oh, daddy is doing better...Oh, daddy is not that well, yet, Oh, daddy doesnt come home, oh, daddy lives somewhere else now...."

I back you up and support you in making your boundaries, here.
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