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From Mean & Nasty to Stupid & Silly

Old 06-28-2008, 07:58 AM
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From Mean & Nasty to Stupid & Silly

First, let me explain that ah has come a long, long way. Only 6 months ago, he was drinking vodka every night. He would become very mean, nasty, rude, etc..

Well, that ended when I finally found the courage to enforce my boundaries. I was going to leave if the abusive behavior continued.

Fast forward 6 months... He still drinks beer/wine occasionally (whole 'nother story). Most of the time, he manages to manage it, and I'm ok with it. But there are still times when he overdrinks. He isn't nasty or mean, he just gets stupid. I'm sorry, but that's the only way I can describe it. Silly and stupid. I just leave the room/avoid him when he's like that and he knows it. He knows when I walk away, he's gone too far. But it's starting to get old.

OK, to the point (finally!)

How do I explain to him effectively that the stupid/silly/"i love you man" behavior is unacceptable to me? He thinks it's funny/entertaining/amusing. I know it sounds crazy, but the only thing I can come up with is that it is annoying, aggravating, ridiculous. Sometimes I think maybe I'm being too uptight (which I know I can be). When I try to explain it to him, it just comes out all wrong. Telling him he's acting like an a$$ just isn't getting it. It's funny that a year ago, I was praying for just a silly drunk! Now I have one, and I'm thinking "be careful what you hope for!"

As I said, our communication has come a long way, he's really opened up emotionally to me, but I am just stumped on this one. I just can't seem to effectively convey to him why this is a problem. I'm sure someone here has been there/done that. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:12 AM
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DII
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I'll give you my take on this. An alcoholic is never "kind of better". Eventually he will go back to the vodka and get mean again. Treatment and recovery. I'm not the best at taking my own advice though....so don't feel so bad. Have you tries Alanon or counseling? The best thing you can do is understand the disease and your role in it.

Good luck and keep posting!
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by discovery View Post
...Most of the time, he manages to manage it, and I'm ok with it. But there are still times when he overdrinks. He isn't nasty or mean, he just gets stupid. I'm sorry, but that's the only way I can describe it. Silly and stupid. I just leave the room/avoid him when he's like that and he knows it. He knows when I walk away, he's gone too far. But it's starting to get old...
Discovery, I see contradictions in your post. You say you are ok with his current drinking? Yet you have to ''leave the room/avoid him'' when he is drunk??

Being completely honest with you, it sounds as though you are lowering the limits of what is acceptable behaviour. Gradually as time has passed you have allowed certain behaviour to be ok with you. You cannot enforce one boundary saying, ''I will leave if the abusive behaviour continues'' and then allow the type of abuse you are receiving to be ok.

What qualifies as abusive behaviour to you?? There are many ways to abuse someone, physical abuse by hitting and beating are just one way. I personally have suffered from emotional and mental abuse and I feel he is doing this to you. It sounds as though your AH has switched his abusiveness to more subtle forms that you are attempting to qualitate so you can continue living with him. Treating someone poorly and laughing it off is abuse IMHO.

IMHO he is still abusing you, he's just getting better at it, which they do. Please please don't allow this to become ok, keep to your boundary and stop this now!!!!
:praying
I pray you find strength to enforce those boundaries you have set up, and more importantly follow through with the consequences of breaking them.

Please take care of you
Lily xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:30 PM
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I think I need to explain a little better. We have come a long way down our recovery road, both individually and as a couple. There is absolutely, positively no abuse involved here whatsoever. Thank God, that is long, long gone. I've lived the emotional, verbal and physical abuse. Believe me, that's done, because I did finally find the strength to walk away rather than engage in the madness. Guess I thought I could fight my way out. (Reading for hours on end here for months and months was a major source of that strength! - I can never thank this board enough!) We still have our issues we're working on; don't get me wrong. But there's hope again.

To the beginning of the ordeal - His parents passed unexpectedly and within months of each other in '04, and he went off the deep end for a few years with the drinking. He was a monster when he was loaded, which was most of the time. Not much physical, but the words that would come out of his mouth and the attitude and mind games, ugh... To this day, he will just look at me sometimes and cry for the things he did. He had so much anger bottled up inside.

What happened in the last 6+ months is first he quit completely. Made some good connections with AA and a great sponsor, who he still speaks often with and rather considers him a father figure. He is also still in counseling, which seems to be more effective for him than the traditional AA route.

He decided one day to ask me if I would mind if he had a beer. Summer, BBQ's, you know the story. I told him I can't control what choices he makes, the decision is his alone. I told him that there are always consequences to the choices you make, good or bad. So, about a month later, he had a beer. And that was it. And from then on, he's had a beer or two, here or there. I know it's playing with fire, but it's his fire, not mine. I refuse to play alcohol police. Is my attitude that of detachment? Who knows? But it's quite liberating living the 3 c's. Is he one of the few that can come back from hell and resume "social" drinking? Maybe, maybe not, time will tell. But I still know that if that monster even peeks around the corner down the street, the bags are packed.

So, the point of my story. On a couple occasions, he has had more than 1 or 2. Not sloshed falling over out of control drunk. Maybe I shouldn't even have called it drunk. He doesn't get nasty/abusive in any way whatsoever. He doesn't treat me poorly at all. Just silly, goofy, a bit overbearing. And I just find it annoying. So, I leave the situation. I go read a book or watch tv. Is that enough for me to end 15 years? No. Sorry, but it's not. Not after everything else we've survived. I just can't seem to convey to him what the problem with the silliness is. That's why I think sometimes I'm being uptight. Or maybe nervous that it will progress (or regress) back to what is was before. Wow, I think I've just had an "aha!" moment. What the problem is is that I'm scared. I'm scared that it's going to go back.

I've never been a great talker; been quiet/shy all my life. Maybe that's why f2f meetings were never really effective for me. But once I get writing.... (An "I'll do it myself" attitude is one of my issues...)

I was just wondering if anyone here had experience with something like this. I've even thought about just deleting this whole response, after my aha moment, but I really need you guys to know that it's ok here. I'm safe in mind, body and spirit. I just wish he wasn't at work right now so we could talk about this.

For those of you who've made it to the end of my essay!!! Thank you for listening!
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:30 AM
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heya discovery,
Well if you take the alcohol out of your story and just look at behavior then you have a husband who has some annoying behavior that you wish he would change. You've asked him to knock it off. You've left the room (more than once I assume since you said he now sees it as a signal). He continues to act in this silly and aggravating manner.

So what are you gonna do?

Either you accept that this is how he behaves and let it go. Or you place some boundary in effect that protects you from the aggravation. Is just leaving the room not enough? It takes you out of the situation.

Does he refuse to try to change his behavior? That behavior must be serving him in some way. Perhaps he likes it that you leave him alone. Is he afraid of intimacy? Does HE blame the alcohol?

I mean, to most of us on this board, since it is f&F of alcoholics - we see this as nothing more than a soon-to-escalate continuation of active addiction. But you seem to see it as unrelated and somehow requiring some "new and different" response than :codiepolice

I hope you can figure it out!!
Peace,
B.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:08 AM
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Discovery.....the problem is him. Like posts before have said, tragedy in one's life cannot be an excuse for drinking or being an alcoholic. The question is does he realize that he has a disease that will kill him? My AW had 9 months of sobriety and then relapsed. Not the first time but about the 6th time. Unfortunately alcoholics can't drink. Not a beer once in a while...not ever. They see the beer as harmless because it's not the hard stuff like vodka....it doesn't matter. The alcoholic needs to understand why they drink, what is the emotional trigger, and how to recognize the trigger behaviors and reach out for help when the recognize they are in trouble. All this depends on them recognizing they have a problem and admitting they are powerless over alcohol....steps 1 and 2. Believe me, I am just as codie as the next and separating emotion from fact is the toughest thing but understanding the disease is the base you need.

Keep posting!
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:54 AM
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Hi Discovery, thanks for clarifying your situation.

I went through this with my exabf. He acted stupid and silly, it progressed from making annoying jokes, wanting to dance, asking me to do things, making me out to be a miserable b*tch when I wouldn't, one liners, fall about the room, knock things over, say insulting things and laugh them off, follow me and hurl abusive remarks at me when I tried to walk away from him, etc etc etc.

The progression I experienced was very much the mental and moral downfall of an alcoholic. This is why I wanted to convey my concerns in my initial post. I felt that this may be what you have been going through with him?! I've been around people who are drunk when I was sober, their ''silly'' actions quiet often made me laugh. My exabf's silliness made me full of irritation, sadness and led to feeling alone, unwanted and ridiculed.

If his behaviour is affecting you enough that you have to physically remove yourself from him, then it seems natural to me that you are feeling some of the same emotions, and I do not wish you to go down the same path I did.

An alcoholic cannot drink, fullstop. Besides the one or two eventually leading onto binge sessions, it is inevitable that the brain, damaged by over use of the drug, will inevitably go back to the distorted behaviour shown in the past. He hasn't been sober long enough to completely repair the damage he has done to himself. Perhaps this is the beginning of that slippery slope.

As much as I wish you find some peace within all of this, I don't think you will ever be able to reason logic with the mind of an alcoholic, which is what he is, less so when he is actively drinking, which is what he is doing.

I wish you serenity,

Love and peace to you
Lily xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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