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Are we equally to blame?

Old 12-11-2006, 12:04 PM
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Are we equally to blame?

Ok, I haven't been to an Al-Anon meeting yet but just found one I can get to I think...it's in another town, we don't have any here...but I called the lady and she helped me. It's next Monday night so I can sort it out to get there by then...

Meanwhile, I have a question...maybe those of you in Al-Anon can give me insight here...

Where does "the A is to blame, he's bad, he's wrong, his drinking is The Problem..." end and where does "the codependent spouse is a mess, is contributing, is making it worse, is bad, is wrong, her not being strong is The Problem" begin?

We had a terrible "discussion" tonight because he started drinking again (does he ever stop? NO!) and I confronted him with things he's done in his past due to drinking - messing up his kid's life, etc. - and I SHOULD NOT HAVE. I only know these things now due to his in laws telling me, my stepdaughter opening up to me...so OF COURSE he had to retalitate, why was I so stupid as to think he would LISTEN? So he starts implying he knows things about my last marriage (I'm a widow, so he is he) that point to my being an incompetent and hard-to-live with person, etc. It was awful, he made me feel really badly and I got all crying and weepy and vulnerable...so then we took a walk and hugged and made up and admitted each other has foibles...but then we come home and he unrelentingly announce he was off to the pub "machismo prerogative"...just to throw it in my face! So all our "making up" was a bunch of horse s****!

I'm so mad at myself for losing it, for saying ANYTHING, for turning it into a thing...but on the other hand I KNOW he would have gone off to the pub again tonight even if I had "behaved like a nice wifey".

Sometimes I feel I want so much to be RIGHT in this situation that I shoot myself in the foot! If I could just shut up and close the door and ALWAYS detach from him, wouldn't it be better? What is this thing in ME that has to be perfect and right and on top all the time?

Is this part of the Al-Anon experience, this finding out one is so very imperfect also? Or is this his manipulation of me so we can feel "even"...i.e. if I am a hard-to-live-with person it is fair trade for his being an alcholic? Something like that.

I am so tired of feeling like I'm not myself in this situation, that my true strengths and goodnesses are not being APPRECIATED by this man.

But, on the other hand, I feel like a worthless shrew tonight.

I feel like he put me in a corner so he could go drink again. Or I put myself there.

I guess I really need this Al-Anon meeting thing, eh?

I'm going. Next Monday night. Dammit. I NEVER go anywhere at night - I'm still learning to drive on the wrong side of the road here! But I'm going.

I think I need help really badly.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:47 PM
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As long as I've been going to Al-anon, I've never heard anyone in a meeting blame the alcoholic in their life for the mess. That is not to say that there is mention made, briefly, about something that occurred between the addict and their partner. Al-anon is about you. If the alcoholic wants to complain or get off their chest what they have done, they can go to an AA meeting.

His blame is HIS BLAME. You only have to concern yourself with what you do. I think if you stand back a bit and detach from your own post, you will be able to see your role in this situation. You cannot have a calm, rational discussion with an A because you are not dealing with a calm, rational person. You are dealing with someone who is chaotic, thus you will become embroiled (as you did) in a chaotic "discussion" where NOTHING gets resolved and everybody walks away mad, frustrated, and just the same as they were before any so-called "discussion" occurred.

I went through an entire day several months ago of my AH blowing up, then making up, then blowing up again. I finally drove to a nearby restaurant, had dinner, and left him to pass out. You can have the most logical rebuttals to an A's accusations and IT DOES NOT MATTER. They have their beliefs lodged in their brains and aren't about to allow anyone to jar them lose. My AH has admitted he is an alcoholic numerous times - not just to me but to others - but he continues to exhibit classic A behaviors.

I can admit I'm codependent till the sun goes down, but it doesn't stop my codependent behaviors until I am willing to work a program and get counseling. Believe me, I need both - I'm a top-notch codie.

I think Al-anon will help you sort out a lot of things about yourself. Be easy on yourself. You made a mistake, but you didn't commit a mortal sin! We all do just what you did. As they say in Al-anon, "progress, not perfecton." Please let us know how the meeting goes.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:49 PM
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I'm not into blame. It's a disease.
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Old 12-11-2006, 12:55 PM
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I don't post much around here anymore, but your post really struck a chord with me. I think I could have written it about a year ago. The short answer to your question, in my opinion, is yes, we are equally to blame.

But, what good does blaming do? Blame him, blame yourself, blame the weather, the location, the companies that sell the alcohol, his parents, your parents, the political party in office--see what I mean?

The positive I see in your post is that you are aware that you play a part in this dysfunctional relationship. I know it doesn't feel positive, but really it is. Once you are aware that you are part of it, you can change it. You can recognize your choices, and you can do something about it. You don't have to be a victim of the circumstances. You don't have to live your life at the mercy of his actions.

Good for you for being aware and willing to learn. I can't remember the exact quote, but there is one that goes something like this: "We did the best we could with what we knew, and now that we know better, we can do better."

I probably mangled that, but you get the idea. Blaming yourself does no good, learning to do better will change your life.

L
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:06 PM
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Good for you! Blame is a distraction from recovery. Blame is an accusation and a judgement, it a mispsenditure of energy. I think blame is some sort of vehicle for the frustrated.
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:08 PM
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thank you all, your insights are helping.
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