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Old 10-29-2009, 12:34 PM
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Making Progress

Hello Friends,
I am still sorting through the difficult process of deciding what is best for me in this relationship with my AH. About a month ago I established a boundary regarding him using my car. I told him that he could no longer use my car to go out drinking. We have had several blow ups as a result of that but I have stayed my ground. On one occasion I drove him to the bus stop so that he could go to his bars from there, on two other occasions he rented a car for the day so that he could go out. I did not try to stop him from drinking, just not letting him use my car. This has effectively reduced his opportunities to go out drinking, because he can't afford the car etc.
Last night he told me that he has decided to join the bowling league on Friday nights. I told him he couldn't use my car to do this as I know he will be drinking and staying out well after bowling. He is angry about this and called me again today to find out "my decision" - if he can use the car. I told him my position has not changed. He said then we need to do something (ie split up). This time I am not biting, I am not worried about splitting up. I am just tired of the struggle.
Unfortunately, I am not quite there to initiate the separation myself. Almost but unbelievable not quite there.
I am trying to keep to my guns about not letting him use the car when I know he is going to be drinking. However it does bother me that I am, in a way, controlling his drinking behavior. Also I don't like this division - that I consider my car to be my car. But that is because I pay for everything and feel resentful about that.
Please give me your feedback on the car issue. thanks
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:47 PM
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Sounds like you clearly established a boundary for yourself and made it stick. I see no problem with what you've decided and think you're handling it beautifully. It also sounds as if your AH is trying to test that boundary with all he's got and is somewhat dumbfounded about your steadfastness. He's starting to quack (i.e. "we need to do something") and flap his little wings uselessly to try to get you to comply (where's the smiley that represents that?!).

I don't think you're controlling his behavior in this respect. The fact that he needs YOUR car to go out drinking seems rather infantile, like "Mom! I need the car!". If he wants to go out and get blitzed, then he can find his own mode of transportation to go do it. You've just decided not to make it EASY for him to go out.

Nice.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:51 PM
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I think it's totally reasonable that you set that boundary. You face a ton of liability if he gets in a wreck. I also think it's a small and well thought-out boundary. It's a baby step to figuring out what other boundaries you may have. It's so much better than, "If you go out, it's over!" and then it not being over.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:24 PM
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You are not preventing him or anyone else from drinking.

It is your boundary, neither him or anyone else can drive your car when drinking or going to drink. Sounds like a 'sane and normal' boundary to me.

I am personally very particular about who drives my vehicle. It is my responsibility, my insurance, my financial situation, etc

Good for you for sticking to your boundary!!!!!

Love and hugs,
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:03 PM
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I agree....Good for you for setting a boundary to protect your interests.

And what a great job you did seeing through his attempt to use a perceived loophole in your boundary statement to further his use of your car.

She won't give me the car to go drinking so I'll get the car to go bowling. I'll be drinking while bowling and then I can grab a few on the way home. See, that should get by her because I'm not taking the car to go straight to drinking, right? WHAT BS!

At one time or another we are put in a position of seeing through the manipulation. At one time, I fell for my XABF's BS when I set a boundary about not buying him cigarrettes or beer anymore. He worked his magic and I took a big bite out of the poisoned apple and felt like a complete fool.

Good job not questioning your boundary as he intended for you to do. It's still taking your car to go drinking whether it's a roundabout way to get drunk or not. It's still not going to fly.

When I wondered about my boundaries being meant to control my XABF, I considered the benefit to me. If the benefit to me was foremost in the boundary such as my safety, finances, my pets health or whatever and secondarily kept him from from drinking as usual or made him deal with a consequence or two, well that was just icing on my cake.

Hang in there, you're doing so well!!

Alice
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:21 PM
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Tell him to get his own car, he's an adult right??
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:42 AM
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Thanks friends for your input, I agree that he has been trying to manipulate me to get to do what he wants to do. So far it has been not so hard to stick to this boundary. I won't say I never second guessed myself, but fortunately I have seen the "catch" behind my thinking. For example, it was fine for the past year or so for me to be unhappy every time he went out to bars drinking with my car. But now suddenly it's not acceptable that he is unhappy because he can't do what he wants.
I think it is becoming easier to enforce boundaries because I am less connected to this relationship at all. I am less fearful if the relationship ends. This has been such a long time coming, but I am not going to beat myself up about that.
I have come to understand that I was codependent long before my AH came along. I see examples of codependency all over my life. A recent example: a church friend has invited me to go to the ballet with her on Sunday. I have done this several times in the past, and the last time I told myself I would not do it again. She always asks me at the last minute, she really wants someone to drive her there, and she always wants to go for an appetizer an a drink after. I like the ballet ok, but this takes up my entire Sunday and I don't like it that much. The point is that I don't want to go. She called me again this week, and I actually considered going. This is the people pleaser in me. She left me a message, and I was tempted not to call her back until today, but I made myself call her and decline, so that there was no chance to give in. So you see? This woman and I are not even really good friends and I feel obligated to do what she wants. I understand now this is not about AH, it is about me. Finding what I want and having my own life.
So whether I am with AH or not, I need to work on me, being more free to be who I am. Finally at 50 I am getting this. I guess better late than never.
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