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What to do when YOU enter the recovery process but the sober AH does not?

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What to do when YOU enter the recovery process but the sober AH does not?

Old 05-18-2009, 09:12 PM
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What to do when YOU enter the recovery process but the sober AH does not?

Hi again,
I think I posted something like this a while back. It still plagues me.

AH has been sober for almost one year. He chose not to do AA, support groups, or have a sponsor. He did some counseling, but not 'addictions' work.

Earlier this year I was feeling hopeful. Like we might make it.
Then, his old tendency to blame me for his feelings started up again. As did passive-aggressive behaviors. I totally lost it.

I entered psychotherapy recently, and now I'm in the thick of my own recovery process. I'm finding I have absolutely NO tolerance for this blaming behavior. Or, his constant looking to me for support and validation. I have nothing to give him right now.
But he still is not interested in doing his own "work". AH wants to continue couples counseling - but this is fruitless because we need the SPACE to do our own work, first!

I know I cannot control his recovery process.....but how can a relationship survive if only one person seeks recovery from codependency???

I'm really troubled by this.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:29 PM
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Our relationship couldn't survive. We went to a couple sessions of counseling together....not very productive. My counselor has agreed to see us together again, but only if we have a specific topic, such as "How are we going to handle seeing each other at the children's school activities". She said it would be useless to try "marriage" counseling at this time for the very reasons you describe.

I think if you continue your personal growth through counseling and he does not you will find that you aren't moving forward in parallel lines, but rather will be going in opposite directions. IMHO it will be very difficult to have a close, emotionally fulfilling relationship with someone who is stagnant and who's heart is not open to change and grow with you.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:32 PM
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First, let me put out there that I could not be with a person who wasn't as committed to his own mental health as I am. I have done a lot of work on myself and couldn't be with someone who was happy to remain sick and blame me for it.

But this:
AH wants to continue couples counseling - but this is fruitless because we need the SPACE to do our own work, first!
I COMPLETELY get your point and it seems he could really benefit from individual counseling, but I don't know if it's necessarily impossible to heal without great draughts of space around us. What does your couples counselor say about his blaming you for his feelings, passive-aggressiveness, etc.? Are there specific behaviors and modes of expression that can be put on the table in couples counseling, "calling him out" on this a bit? Do you have a clear boundary around this behavior?

In an ideal relationship, we'd both be on the very same healing curve at all times, but sometimes one partner's just far out ahead of the other and there's a lot of fear -- of being left behind, of not doing the right things, of "losing their personality" and lots of other irrational stuff.

That said, sometimes it's just an evolving incompatibility. One partner grows, the other stagnates.

Whatever the solution turns out to be, robinsfly, I hope you'll continue your inner work and continue to post here.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:16 AM
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Sometime relationships end because the people become too different. THat is what happened to my fist marriage. We were married 18 yrs, there was no alcoholism involved. Over the years we became different people than we had been when we married in our early 20s. It was no one's fault. It was that we grew in differenet directions, had diffreent needs and expectations. We divorced in a relatively civil manner.

I think as you continue to work on yourself, it will become clear to you what you need to do. There is no rush to decide.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:34 AM
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Hi Robinsfly,

This is a tough one, and my best advice is to try and not pay attention to what he's doing, and continue to focus on your own recovery. IMO, this is the best way for everything to start falling into place for you. When my AH got sober, I'd been going to al anon for 5 months. In that time, I grew, learned, and he didn't. His behaviour became very intolerable, and eventually applying the al anon principles of detachment etc. wasn't enough and I asked him to move out of the bedroom. And where I hadn't had the strength to do that in the many years prior, I somehow had it then, and it was subtle but powerful and serious. He moved into the basement and started going to AA.

6 months later and he is still in AA, although not as involved in his recovery as I. He told me after a recent couples meeting that he doesn't want to make it his life (the meetings and the focus on A) as some of the other people. I am strong enough in the program now to be able to let his comments go, instead of wondering if he'll ever progress as much as I am.

Basically, as I grow in the program, things unfold in front of me. I seem to know the right thing to do as any given situation arises. Have faith and confidence in your recovery that when the time comes, you will have that same clarity. You will know what to do; if that means leaving him, or staying and working it out. It's tough because we usually look to the future and want it a certain way, and want it to be like that right now. Truth is, we don't and won't know what the future holds, so just focus on today and strip away any expectations.

On the weekend we had a bit of a fight, and his 'old' ways came back. He is passive and opens the door for me to control him. I detached, then I talked about it with him. We ended up clearing the air, in an actual healthy exchange. Continue to work your program in the face of his codependent behaviours. It can only go so far if you don't fuel his fire.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by blessed4x View Post

I think if you continue your personal growth through counseling and he does not you will find that you aren't moving forward in parallel lines, but rather will be going in opposite directions. IMHO it will be very difficult to have a close, emotionally fulfilling relationship with someone who is stagnant and who's heart is not open to change and grow with you.
Here's the thing: AH says he is open to change and growth...but he firmly believes we have to do it together.
Then, when I mention he might consider therapy, he says "oh, I'm not recovering like YOU want me to" arrgg!
Again, the blame.

I'm simply trying to be honest. I'm stating that I do not see the point of couples work if we each have not plowed through out own issues of codependency. Also, during the counseling sessions, I do most the talking (it's always been like this) and AH sits there and scowls at me. Nice.

Originally Posted by GiveLove View Post

I COMPLETELY get your point and it seems he could really benefit from individual counseling, but I don't know if it's necessarily impossible to heal without great draughts of space around us. What does your couples counselor say about his blaming you for his feelings, passive-aggressiveness, etc.? Are there specific behaviors and modes of expression that can be put on the table in couples counseling, "calling him out" on this a bit? Do you have a clear boundary around this behavior?

In an ideal relationship, we'd both be on the very same healing curve at all times, but sometimes one partner's just far out ahead of the other and there's a lot of fear -- of being left behind, of not doing the right things, of "losing their personality" and lots of other irrational stuff.
Thanks GL.
The counselor actually keeps saying that the root of our problem lies in our inability to "speak our needs" to one another. He's a big proponent of this theory of non-violent communication. In other words, our needs are not being met because we are too busy reacting and we don't know how to listen with empathy and compassion.
All true..... but this counselor never addresses the issue of codependency. And the knee-jerk reaction to defend ourselves and blame stems from codependency. Doesn't the root of the problem need to be addressed?

This is what I'm trying to do in individual therapy. AH is learning new healthier coping strategies (play music instead of drink) but he still looks to ME as the source of all our current problems. :sigh:

Originally Posted by silkspin View Post
Hi Robinsfly,

This is a tough one, and my best advice is to try and not pay attention to what he's doing, and continue to focus on your own recovery. IMO, this is the best way for everything to start falling into place for you. When my AH got sober, I'd been going to al anon for 5 months. In that time, I grew, learned, and he didn't. His behaviour became very intolerable, and eventually applying the al anon principles of detachment etc. wasn't enough and I asked him to move out of the bedroom. And where I hadn't had the strength to do that in the many years prior, I somehow had it then, and it was subtle but powerful and serious. He moved into the basement and started going to AA.

6 months later and he is still in AA, although not as involved in his recovery as I. He told me after a recent couples meeting that he doesn't want to make it his life (the meetings and the focus on A) as some of the other people. I am strong enough in the program now to be able to let his comments go, instead of wondering if he'll ever progress as much as I am.

Basically, as I grow in the program, things unfold in front of me. I seem to know the right thing to do as any given situation arises. Have faith and confidence in your recovery that when the time comes, you will have that same clarity. You will know what to do; if that means leaving him, or staying and working it out. It's tough because we usually look to the future and want it a certain way, and want it to be like that right now. Truth is, we don't and won't know what the future holds, so just focus on today and strip away any expectations.

On the weekend we had a bit of a fight, and his 'old' ways came back. He is passive and opens the door for me to control him. I detached, then I talked about it with him. We ended up clearing the air, in an actual healthy exchange. Continue to work your program in the face of his codependent behaviours. It can only go so far if you don't fuel his fire.
Thanks Silkspin. Sounds like you've gone through a similar situation. And continue to live it.

AH did move out of the bedroom 10 months ago after the last rock-bottom crisis. He stays in the basement guest room.
Working my program in the face of his co behaviors seems almost impossible, because we have two preschoolers at home. They are getting in the middle of this, and our spirits are suffering.
I feel so much more at peace when AH isn't around. The kids feel it to. They are absorbing all the household tension.

Do you ever think, that's it: I cannot take the passivity and blame anymore? Regardless how much you try to detach.

Unraveling 8 years of an addictive relationship is grueling and exhausting work. I cannot take care of his feelings anymore. kwim?
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:05 PM
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This is what I'm trying to do in individual therapy. AH is learning new healthier coping strategies (play music instead of drink) but he still looks to ME as the source of all our current problems. :sigh:
So...he's an alcoholic but all your current problems are you? What about past problems?
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
So...he's an alcoholic but all your current problems are you? What about past problems?
Yes, all me. Because I am the one who doesn't want to continue couples counseling. I am the one who "shuts him out". I am the one who is never satisfied.
All words from AH.

Past problems, AH seems to recognize his part. Yet, I can't count how many times I heard that he acted such and such a way and checked out w/ alcohol because I "rejected" him.

He's sort of like, "I stopped drinking, everything is fixed, let's just learn how to communicate now"
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:39 PM
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I had a big load of blame aimed at me recently.....it took me a couple of days to remember I am not that powerful for it to be ALL ME.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RobinsFly View Post
Yes, all me. Because I am the one who doesn't want to continue couples counseling. I am the one who "shuts him out". I am the one who is never satisfied.
All words from AH.

Past problems, AH seems to recognize his part. Yet, I can't count how many times I heard that he acted such and such a way and checked out w/ alcohol because I "rejected" him.

He's sort of like, "I stopped drinking, everything is fixed, let's just learn how to communicate now"
Ah yes, I'm familiar with all this. I too thought we should both get individual counseling (I already was) before trying to do marriage counseling. He told the marriage counselor (and me) that he didn't need any individual counseling, that he wouldn't even know what to discuss with one, that it was me who needed help.

Mine didn't say I rejected him, he said I disrespected him by daring to *gasp* tell him he was wrong in front of the kiddo. Ah well, act like an ass, get treated like you're an ass. Total cause and effect there - but lost on an alcoholic I'm afraid.

Bottom line in my opinion: You either go along with couples counseling, or you don't. I couldn't. I could not physically sit in there and listen to his lies, his made up fantasy of history, etc. I couldn't do it.

Asking him to get counseling is a small thing, IMHO.

So, if you don't do couples counseling then what?
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:15 PM
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RobinsFly, Are you sure you aren't married to my RSTBXAH? This I know, alcohol can mask a personality disorder, or the A uses to not face the pain that they have inflicted, but even in the absence of alcohol, even in a person that has never drank a drop in their whole life, the stinkin thinkin personality can still thrive. Your husband is abusive, because passive aggression and blaming are simply abuse. I suggest you read two books on how to disarm abuse, Emotional Blackmail (forward) and The Verbally Abusive Relationship (evans). There also IS a couples program, intense 72 hours that works on your inner work in the context of the marriage, so it's both self work and couples work. It did more for us than 6 years of couples counselling. It can be found by googling Retrouvaille. It's an international not for profit marriage group. Of course, like any program, it has to be worked. And my AH felt that it was working, so why continue doing it? HA! that didn't fit into his plan to make his life a mess at every turn! Good Luck, You don't say if you have children, but if you do, divorce only changes one set of problems for another so weigh your options with an open mind to which set you would rather live with. Divorce won't change him any more than sobriety did!

Last edited by GiveLove; 05-19-2009 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RobinsFly View Post


his old tendency to blame me for his feelings started up again.
As did his passive-aggressive behaviors.

I totally lost it.

I have absolutely NO tolerance for his blaming behavior.
I have absolutely NO tolerance for his constant looking to me for support and validation. he still is not interested in doing his own "work". .
Boy Robin, I can see why you are drained, angry and frustrated.

Alot of wise people here before me have given you some excellent feedback, and i agree with everyone else. You may be outgrowing this relationship.
Your inner growth is calling and you are responding.

Now. Having said all that, I want to share something that happened to me in my own recovery work that I hated at first, but which is really helpful in the long run. (I am a sober alcoholic in AA and a codependent in alAnon)

I've often ended up in relationships with men who "do not work as deeply on themselves as: they need to, as i have, or as I want them to". They'll blame me for their ________(fill in the blanks:stress, being broke, drinking, oversleeping, missing an appointment, ennui, depression, anger, sadness),or they'll say something sexist and say they didn't, they'll behave all Passive Aggressive to the point of making it clear that expressed anger is taboo, they say lots of dumb things sometimes. etc....


I tell you this because it really is possible that one (YOU) can grow beautifully even if one's (YOUR) partner is a jerk and does not get the kind of help one (YOU) thinks he needs. (This is not to say that it also is not possible that this relationship is too toxic for you to remain healthy in. That's your call.)


My sponsor once told me that if i was going to remain in a relationship with someone who had such bad character defects, then that was my right. [B]But[/B] she told me, I need to make his inventory MY inventory for one week, each time i feel like I want to vent all over how dumb/aggravating/etc he is.

That means that if I say he is a blaming baby, I need to own that i am also a blamer and a spoiled brat. If i say he is passive aggressive (aaargghhh!) then, for 1 week, I need to look at my own PA stuff.

Once I started to do this the entire dynamic between me and others has changed..for the better.

just thought I'd share what works for me. I got tired of being pissed off all the time.now I'm not.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:39 PM
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I've been on both sides of this dynamic, and the only thing I can truly share with any assurance at all is there was always two people there, and both have/had a valid viewpoint, neither of us was 100% right, and neither of us was 100% wrong

His viewpoint and experience is valid, because it is his, your viewpoint and experience is valid, because it is yours.

Having been "in his shoes" kinda sorta, I can see his point, having been in your shoes, I totally see yours. The GF I was involved with when I got sober had all kinds of ideas about what kind of man she wanted me to be when I got sober, so I became that man, new career, quit smoking, went back to school, went to meetings, therapy, couples counseling, became an anal neat freak etc etc

Every few weeks she had something new that was wrong with me that I needed to "fix". After a few years I finally figured out wasn't me that was wrong with our relationship.

Turned out neither of liked this "new guy" I had become, I didn't even recognize who I had become, it took some time but I got more comfortable learning how to be me, turned out we really didn't like each other very much at the end of the day to begin with and we broke up.

I would like to make a very important observation from a man's viewpoint.

We aren't your projects.

We aren't "fixer uppers" like houses or cars.

You just might not like him very much as he is now. Doesn't make him a bad person, doesn't make you a bad person either.

The relationship I was in when I got here, I suggested to her that she go find an emotionally distant guy that just called and came by once a week. I truly think it would have been a better fit for her. I wanted more from a relationship then she knew how to do, and she wanted someone other then me.

Neither of those things made the relationship so painful, it was us so desperately trying to fit a square peg in a round hole that was the painful part.

That all being said, it's my experience if "we" aren't growing closer, "we" are growing apart.

It will come clear, especially if you keep working on yourself, and allow him the freedom to be who he is, his actions will also be helpful for you to make a decision on whether to continue the relationship. But what you see is what you get, you start "fixing" him and your dissatisfaction will become a bottomless hole. It will never end. I can promise you that with emphatically with certainty.

Work on yourself, you got a chance.

Accept him for who he is, then make a decision on whether you like him or not, not try and change the things about him that you are unsatisfied with, and you may avoid forums like this one in the future.

P.S. Welcome back
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
i suspect there's more going on here than a lack of good communication skills!!! can you just go do counseling on your own? for a while at least? let him do whatever it is he does and just focus on you for a bit?

besides him NOT drinking, has much else really changed? as far as his behaviors and attitudes and how he treats you? are you sure you even LIKE this guy anymore? that's a valid question by the way.......and shouldn't be just waved off.....cuz it could be that the people you are today just aren't suited to the other.......heck, maybe you never were, and are just NOW coming to that realization........just doesn't sound like a super happy and loving atmosphere.......
I agree. There's more going on than learning better communication skills.

No, I don't feel like much else has changed. There is still the enmeshment, reactions, and general lack of joy and laughter.
I feel like he's simply waiting for me to embrace him w/ open arms.

Valid question. Answer is: no, not much. I think I stopped liking him two years ago when I came home from shopping and found him ****-ass drunk while watching our 9-month old twins.
Perhaps it's more about losing respect for him. And I lost respect for myself for putting up with unacceptable behavior for sooo long.

I really question if we are well suited. Only NOW do I see that we initially connected based on needs, and probably not genuine love.
AH doesn't believe that. He has idealized me, and been dependent on me, and relied on me to pick up the pieces after drunken episodes.
I think, most of all, I'm amazed that he doesn't (appear) to recognize his codependency.

I have this fear that I am not "seeing" something clearly. That perhaps I'll have respect for him again. That we can build something and "start over".
Why can't I trust myself???!

Originally Posted by liveweyerd View Post
I had a big load of blame aimed at me recently.....it took me a couple of days to remember I am not that powerful for it to be ALL ME.
True, that.

Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
Ah yes, I'm familiar with all this. I too thought we should both get individual counseling (I already was) before trying to do marriage counseling. He told the marriage counselor (and me) that he didn't need any individual counseling, that he wouldn't even know what to discuss with one, that it was me who needed help.


Bottom line in my opinion: You either go along with couples counseling, or you don't. I couldn't. I could not physically sit in there and listen to his lies, his made up fantasy of history, etc. I couldn't do it.

Asking him to get counseling is a small thing, IMHO.

So, if you don't do couples counseling then what?
This is exactly what he told me. That I need counseling.

My guess is: if I quit couples counseling he will throw in the towel. He already indicated this. He absolutely cannot stand to see me completely detach.
He wants reassurance from me, but I can't give that. Isn't that okay?
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FunnyOne View Post
RobinsFly, Are you sure you aren't married to my RSTBXAH? This I know, alcohol can mask a personality disorder, or the A uses to not face the pain that they have inflicted, but even in the absence of alcohol, even in a person that has never drank a drop in their whole life, the stinkin thinkin personality can still thrive. Your husband is abusive, because passive aggression and blaming are simply abuse. I suggest you read two books on how to disarm abuse, Emotional Blackmail (forward) and The Verbally Abusive Relationship (evans). There also IS a couples program, intense 72 hours that works on your inner work in the context of the marriage, so it's both self work and couples work. It did more for us than 6 years of couples counselling. It can be found by googling Retrouvaille. It's an international not for profit marriage group. Of course, like any program, it has to be worked. And my AH felt that it was working, so why continue doing it? HA! that didn't fit into his plan to make his life a mess at every turn! Good Luck, You don't say if you have children, but if you do, divorce only changes one set of problems for another so weigh your options with an open mind to which set you would rather live with. Divorce won't change him any more than sobriety did!
Thanks for the book and seminar recommendations.

No, divorce won't change him -- but perhaps I will experience peace in my own home, no?
No one wants to divorce. But life is too short to live w/o joy, peace, and laughter. We are both miserable.

Originally Posted by miss communicat View Post

Alot of wise people here before me have given you some excellent feedback, and i agree with everyone else. You may be outgrowing this relationship.
Your inner growth is calling and you are responding.
How do I learn how to trust this calling? Million dollar question.

So, did you end up staying in the relationship?
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ago View Post

I would like to make a very important observation from a man's viewpoint.

We aren't your projects.

We aren't "fixer uppers" like houses or cars.

You just might not like him very much as he is now. Doesn't make him a bad person, doesn't make you a bad person either.

The relationship I was in when I got here, I suggested to her that she go find an emotionally distant guy that just called and came by once a week. I truly think it would have been a better fit for her. I wanted more from a relationship then she knew how to do, and she wanted someone other then me.

Neither of those things made the relationship so painful, it was us so desperately trying to fit a square peg in a round hole that was the painful part.

That all being said, it's my experience if "we" aren't growing closer, "we" are growing apart.

It will come clear, especially if you keep working on yourself, and allow him the freedom to be who he is, his actions will also be helpful for you to make a decision on whether to continue the relationship. But what you see is what you get, you start "fixing" him and your dissatisfaction will become a bottomless hole. It will never end. I can promise you that with emphatically with certainty.

Work on yourself, you got a chance.

Accept him for who he is, then make a decision on whether you like him or not, not try and change the things about him that you are unsatisfied with, and you may avoid forums like this one in the future.

P.S. Welcome back
Yeah, both sides are valid. I am not trying to be "right".

Although it might sound like it, I am not trying to "fix". Been there. Done that, thanks. I'm attempting to do the opposite by peeling myself away from couples counseling that is going nowhere. He so desperately wants me to stay engaged and do the "work" together.
It's almost like he wants me to fix something that only HE can do. By himself. I don't know if this makes sense.

So, am I trying to "fix" the fact that he doesn't want to do self-exploration and individual work? Am I grasping at straws?


I think I absolutely want more from a relationship. Maybe it's this whole square peg in round hole you speak of. :sigh:
We truly care about eachother, and we have these kids together, but perhaps the incompatibility is too great. That makes me very sad.

I am grieving the fact that our relationship was based on codependency, and not true authentic love.

The couples counselor says we can "start over". Really?
Is this possible?

yeah funny guy. Welcome back.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RobinsFly View Post




So, did you end up staying in the relationship?

I was being quite general in my first post, but, no. I left the previous relationships. NOW I am comitted , going on 2 years, to a relationship with a recovering Alcoholic who is really wonderful with me. We are not perfect but we are very accepting and have a lot of shared respect, dedication to growthy and spiritual compatibility right now.

To your question of how would you know how to listen to your inner growth calling? I would suggest to keep it simple. Do not try to listen with your intellect. Listen with your heart and soul. Listen to your suffering and tension as well as your ideals, hopes and dreams for this life you have. Sometimes we are guided out of situations that no longer serve us by our inner conflict. Other timesw we stay and change within.

I totally trust that you are going to find peace in your life. Stick around. I always enjoy our conversations!
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:09 AM
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This is exactly what he told me. That I need counseling.

My guess is: if I quit couples counseling he will throw in the towel. He already indicated this. He absolutely cannot stand to see me completely detach.
He wants reassurance from me, but I can't give that. Isn't that okay?
Mine told me I either went to marriage counseling, or I "got out". He indicated in that counseling session that while he really wanted it all to work out...it was basically my problem to work on. I was supposed to be happy about being abused emotionally and mentally I guess.

You're only guessing that he'll throw in the towel, but you'll have to consider that in your decision. And yes, I think it is okay that you can't at this time give him any reassurances. You know..all this began as a result of his drinking, what reassurance do YOU have that he'll never drink again?
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:15 AM
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Ago, I have some issues with this:

His viewpoint and experience is valid, because it is his, your viewpoint and experience is valid, because it is yours.
If, in my experience, I had been dealing with someone sane I would totally agree with this statement. But when you're dealing with a non-recovering alcoholic this sentence just doesn't work.

For instance, the alcoholic who denies and denies they've been drinking while their tea cup reeks of wine (someones experience here lately) does NOT have a valid viewpoint. They have lies and denial.

In couples counseling I was basically told the same thing you're saying. So, I was forced to listen and agree with fiction.

Counseling won't work if lies are involved.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:15 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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My X told me I needed counseling, and WE needed counseling.

Being the good codependent, I took him up on both.

The joint counseling was useless. He alternated between clamming up and using it as a bully pulpit for how much I wanted to control him (as in, asking him to remain faithful and sober and self-sufficient)

The individual counseling was priceless. Unfortunately, it unearthed some sad (for him) facts:
--I didn't like him any more. He'd become someone that, if I met all over again, I'd think "SO not my type."
--I didn't respect him any more. He'd spent his entire life (not just his life with me) manipulating people with his passive-aggressive, deceptive behaviors
--I didn't think the relationship was growing me as a person any more, and in fact was taking me backwards.
--I didn't think the relationship was doing HIM any good either. He needed someone who had a much more free-wheeling view on life.

In addition, I learned a lot about myself, namely that I didn't want to control anyone any more, and just wanted compatibility, trust, and laughter in my primary relationship....to feed me on this trip through life, doing whatever it is I was dropped down here on earth to do.

Robinsfly, I have a lot of respect for you, going through these thought processes. I remember too well how much of a drain it was. Good luck to you working through it to a solution that's good for both of you (yes, it is possible).
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