Change of Plans

Old 12-31-2008, 09:34 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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(((TC)))- this passage on the Hazelden website spoke to me- and I copied a bit of it for you:

Monday, December 29, 2008
You are reading from the book "The Language of Letting Go"

. . . Knowing that a relationship is changing or is about to end is a difficult place to be in, especially when it is not yet time to act but we know the time is drawing near. It can be awkward and uncomfortable, as the lesson draws to a close. We may become impatient to put closure on it, but not yet feel empowered to do that. That’s okay. The time is not yet right. Something important is still happening. When the time is right, we can trust that it will happen. We will receive the power and the ability to do what we need to do.

Ending relationships or changing the boundaries of a particular relationship is not easy. It requires courage and faith. It requires a willingness on our part to take care of ourselves and, sometimes, to stand-alone for a while.

Let go of fear. Understand that change is an important part of recovery. Love yourself enough to do what you need to do to take care of yourself. . .

I think the way you are handling yourself is amazing. I hope you will go to Dallas tonight and have fun. I can tell you are grieving too- which is to be expected. Your AH sounds a lot like mine has- wanting me to just accept him for who he is, telling me I am trying to control him, that I can't accept him for who he is. It's hard to hear that- but the reality is is that it's true. I have tried to control him, I can't accept <live with> him for who he is. I distinctly remember letting him go and just standing back to see what he would do to salvage our marriage. He did nothing at all. I realized during that time that I had been doing all the work, and that when left to his own devices my STBXAH would do nothing and would make choices that were hurtful and would show me very clearly where his priorities lie. In fact, he had been doing this for years, but I refused to see it. It hurts. But I have to accept him for who he is.

I am so in awe of your ability to do this- to say what you need- to set a boundary and stick with it. Of course your AH will say it's an example of you trying to control him. In fact it is a boundary you are setting to protect yourself. Going to Dallas and celebrating the New Year alone shows real strength. Have fun!
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:14 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ToughChoices View Post
That's true. That certainly sounds like what he's saying now.

He peppers our conversations with admissions of "his problem" and his need for help, but he gets defensive when I express displeasure about this aspect of his personality.
Like, it's okay for HIM to admit that it's a problem, but if I say anything about it being a problem he goes into all-out justification mode.
The drinking is "a problem" for him when the problem gets him sympathy.
When it gets him frustration or anger, it ceases to his problem and becomes mine. My "perception" problem.
I am tired of this.

I wish him all the best. I'd like to believe what he's telling me. That he just had a bumpy patch in life - the drinking filled a temporary void - and now he's ok. Now he can have a beer at a party. But I don't believe it. Not at all.
And that's where we disagree.
I'm not WANTING him to be an alcoholic for life - but I don't believe that alcoholism just goes away.


Like, it's okay for HIM to admit that it's a problem, but if I say anything about it being a problem he goes into all-out justification mode.
That was my experience as well, the funny thing, in my case "her drinking" was never a problem in our relationship until she decided to "get sober" and began "shining the light" on her drinking (we had plenty of 'other' problems)

I had years of sobriety under my belt, so she announces one day "I am a akahalik" and that she was going to begin attending meetings "to get help"

That's when it got surreal for me, she'd ask me for help, then absolutely hit me between the eyes when I told her about "the suggestions" such as 90 in 90 etc. I took her to a meeting and introduced her to women and walked away (which is 'what you do') and she came unglued and yelled at me all the way home (one hour drive).

There are a number of "standard practices" that you do when you get sober, she asked me about them, and then promptly shot each "suggestion" down as I told it, and then when she was doing it all "her way" and was drinking and lying about it, and it wasn't working, she'd ask for help, I'd point these things out she'd absolutely tear me a new @$$hole for "being mean".

It was just very strange, she'd ask for help, I'd tell her what "the norm" was, then she would argue with me and that she didn't need to do those things because she was "different" and "unique" and she would quit drinking "using willpower"

I need to interject that this was where my friends were laughing so hard they literally had tears rolling down their cheeks when I told them about this, as this is what every single alcoholic in the world says when they walk through the doors of AA, and I had pompously shared at group level a week before she decided to get sober "Anyone who has a relationship with a newcomer deserves everything they get" (the rule of thumb is no new relationships for a year) so a week later there she was holding my hand at a meeting announcing herself as a newcomer. At 11 days she was telling me how to run my program and what I was "doing wrong". (need I point out my friends were gasping for breath rolling around on the floor they were laughing so hard when I told them)

Anyway, I've had tons of experience, I mean years and years of experience working with newcomers but when it came to having a practicing alcoholic in my own life it was like I had to relearn the rule book.

Andrew's Rule #1

It's OK if they say it about themselves but it's a deal breaker if you do

Telling the truth is unacceptable to practicing alcoholics and considered manipulation and abuse

Anyway, I'm just kind of "saying this stuff out loud" to kind of "get a feel" for it, sorry I'm not offering more recovery and solution on your NYE thread, I'm still kind of hurt and confused about this whole aspect and don't quite have "clarity".

In post break up communication she had mentioned that I had "left her" because of the "new tools" she was learning and how uncomfortable they made me but the truth is I had left her for disappearing for days at a time and drinking and lying about it and stating in an email she was going to go sleep with some men as a "behavior modification tactic" for I guess I was still trying to reconcile those two, because I could have sworn disappearing for days at a time and lying to me about it were old tools but oh well, live and learn

Anyhow, thank you as always, you were able to put your thoughts down here around this much more succinctly then I am in this issue, so please forgive me for "dumping" on your thread but this way it's all out on "paper" and I don't need to carry this stuff around and any "sorting out" or "processing" I might have had to do on this can happen "out there" and not in the murky reaches of my mind which is still a bit like an attic that's so cluttered you can't find anything in a few corners.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:24 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
Being Silent so I can Hear
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It was just very strange, she'd ask for help, I'd tell her what "the norm" was, then she would argue with me and that she didn't need to do those things because she was "different" and "unique"
Hee hee! Oh yes, my AH is the only one like him on the planet. Totally unique. No one can possibly understand it, he's in control and has all the answers. LOL.

Thanks for reminding me of that Ago, gave me a laugh.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:16 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I always have more fun alone! Have a great time!
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:14 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
A jug fills drop by drop
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"Denial" came to my mind

But YOU... YOU are doing much better!! I am glad you are opening your eyes.
Hope you had a great time.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:56 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I had fun. I'm really feeling GiveLove's sentiment about New Year's, though.
It was a DRINKING event, for sure.

Much alcohol was consumed (though not by me) - and I felt a little uncomfortable with it, especially as the night went on. I left when it started getting weird for me.

I'm glad that I went, but I'm not sure that it's an experience that I would repeat. I enjoyed meeting some new people, talking, and eating, but I just don't think I find the "culture of alcohol" very interesting.

I was glad that Peter decided not to come. I would have been very tense and on edge the whole time if he had been there.

Things worked out well.

I'm in the hotel right now - but I couldn't bring myself to pay $25 for a room service Belgian waffle. I'm reading "Smart Girls Finish Rich."

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:52 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I LOVED that book. Also anything by Barbara Stanny........and have you ever read/done the steps in "Your Money or Your Life" ? I have a new version of that on its way to me (me, who never actually pays for books...) because it absolutely rocks.

Yeah, the Alcohol Culture just doesn't cut it for me. Something has shifted in me. The word "party" seems to be synonymous with "let's all get wasted" nowadays, and it often seems like a big uncomfortable waste of time & life. I used to think that going out to bars with friends was absolutely the most fun a person could have. But now I find myself looking around and seeing all the drinkers, hearing them get louder and louder, repeating stupid things over and over, starting to act weird/flirt/argue/spill/forget things because of the alcohol......and I wonder how I could ever have found that interesting.

Sometimes you can meet a few nice people and make interesting connections, but I can do that almost anywhere.

Glad you had an okay time, TC ---- happy 2009. I hope it's your sweetest year yet.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:50 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
Being Silent so I can Hear
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Yeah, the drinking scene is the same for me. I grew up in the South, where people just drink - every day. I never really thought about it, and never thought anything about me drinking - until I had to deal with my AH and saw the destruction at the rehab he went into.

Scared me badly. When I was told that this could happen to anyone - that people were like egg timers and that one day your time was up, and you would find you couldn't just stop? Wow.

I had been fed up with the "bar scene" for years anyway, it depressed me. I can go back to my hometown today and go to the local watering hole and see the same people talking about the same things. Just perhaps sleeping with someone different.

I think I live in a dry county now actually. I'm not sure, I've never bothered looking for any alcohol here.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:11 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
A jug fills drop by drop
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Hi ToughChoices, happy new year!
I live in a University city so most of the city gets drunk not only over the weekend but daily. Yes, my attitude has changed as well. It all just seems so superficial now. I am not sure if I will keep on going out and having a few, for now just the prospect of meeting my ex AH with the new one is too dreadful so I prefer not to go out at all. I am angry with alcohol and with bars and discotheques, it just seems so boring and cheap.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:24 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Totally agree...there's nothing like living with an A to put you off drinking, alcohol and drunk people for life!
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:39 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I found myself at restaurants... watching the people at the next table... counting how many drinks they've had. Madness.

Just my two cents on this:
He told me tonight that I hadn't made any progress on "this issue" (meaning his alcoholism), that I was still right where I started. I still wanted to control him. I still wanted him to be someone else.

This is a really painful comment to me. I'm working really hard.
Total manipulation. Don't you HATE it when they know exactly which buttons to push! Ignore it. You're doing great.
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