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Had the talk..

Old 07-07-2010, 07:32 AM
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Had the talk..

It was very... anticlimactic? I dont know what I expected.

I told him I didnt like so much drinking. And that I felt like I was walking on eggshells all weekend. I said, 'I dont know if you ever felt that way about [ex gf, who was an alcoholic] but it feels pretty nerve wracking and icky.. '

He told me he didnt want me to feel like that. That he would cut down on drinking. There was no denial or blame or excuses or anything. I cant remember everything but he did say at one point, 'So do you want me to quit?' I dont know if the right answer should have been "yes" or what but I said it wasnt my place to ask him to quit, but that I know for myself that I can not live with the dysfunction of drinking even if it is only my feelings of nervousness about friends/ family/ the kids.

Thats enough for me. It wasnt a big pressurey talk, and I didnt make him feel bad. We didnt get extremely detailed or naggy or emotional or anything... but it's enough for me, to know that he knows it's a problem for me.

I told him that I can not get into a cycle of me disliking it and nagging and him feeling controlled, and that I have a pretty low tolerance for dysfunction and that I know I cant live with that nervous feeling.

I know it isnt that simple. But I feel like I did my part and he can chose what he wants to do with it now.

Im going to his house tonight. I know if he doesnt drink tonight that doesnt equal "a big change".

Just wanted to share that I talked to him about it.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:43 AM
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Sounds good to me. All you can do is tell him how you feel about it. It's good that you don't live with him. It really makes things so much easier when you have a place to go to get away from any dysfunction.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:19 PM
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Obviously he'd quit drinking if he wanted to.. so, clearly he doesn't want to. Hell, he has absolutely no reason to! I'm also glad you don't live with him, and luckily your kids aren't around it day to day. Protect those babies!
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:01 PM
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Been there, done that. The whole cycle you talk about. I got called his "other mother" because of it. Ugh, what a stupid monkey on my back.

You sound very practical and matter-of-fact about it. I was never able to have "the talk " (let's see...how many "the talks" did I have, if you include IM convos, and emails? Oh probably about 200??? over the course of 3 yrs?) without getting emotional. My emotion was mainly anger. I was angry that I kept having to repeat myself so much.

Anyway, you're right that you can't do much more than tell him how you feel and, if things don't get better ,make a choice for yourself whether to leave or stay.

Originally Posted by incognito70 View Post

I told him that I can not get into a cycle of me disliking it and nagging and him feeling controlled, and that I have a pretty low tolerance for dysfunction and that I know I cant live with that nervous feeling.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sandrawg View Post
Anyway, you're right that you can't do much more than tell him how you feel and, if things don't get better ,make a choice for yourself whether to leave or stay.
This is the part I have been meditating on lately.
How I want to have "the talk" so that HE can choose to change. So that HE can see the light. So that HE can do...something. Maybe even make it clear (in words) to me that he refuses to change.
And even though he has made it clear in actions and words, I can't seem to hear them.

But for ME to choose to leave is for ME to take the risk. For ME to take action. For ME to move forward. Scary.
And exactly what I need.
I can know what I need for ME and take action toward getting MY needs met.
Deep.

Hugs,
Peace
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:43 PM
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But for ME to choose to leave is for ME to take the risk. For ME to take action. For ME to move forward. Scary.
And exactly what I need.
I can know what I need for ME and take action toward getting MY needs met.
Yup. Cause it's all about YOU. It never WAS about them in the first place. We just fool ourselves into believing it is about them.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:06 PM
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I had dozens of "the talks." Each time I thought "now, he's going to get it." "Now things will finally get better." That was my denial. Every time, he agreed with me. Every time he said things would change. Nothing changed.

I had to stop talking and start acting. I had to stop listening to his words and start paying attention to his actions. Talk is cheap........

L
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:33 PM
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Sounds like you handled the conversation with grace and kept your cool - that is great. I have had several "talks" with ABF and he often was in agreement with what I said. I got all kinds of warm fuzzies from that. Problem was the action part. ABF placated me and then kept right on going with his same old and he came out with plenty of passive agressive new stuff too to counter act much of what he "said".

We don't fight much at all - more like a chess game - move and counter move. The talks were just a part of that slow motion game for us. Hope your outcome is more postive then mine has been.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Lola1024 View Post
I have had several "talks" with ABF and he often was in agreement with what I said. I got all kinds of warm fuzzies from that. Problem was the action part. ABF placated me and then kept right on going with his same old and he came out with plenty of passive agressive new stuff too to counter act much of what he "said". .
I think they sometime welcome these talks. it keeps us and them in the same ole place.It seems if we(as a couple) are connecting better and it gives them a chance to "connect "with us against the same enemy. By us not acting and only "quacking" they get a safe place to repeat their ACTIONS. ugh!!!

My STBXAH always liked these talks - then he knew I was going to DO nothing - and he could up with his sneaking behaviour.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:35 AM
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Great. Now you've had "the talk". Now he knows your feelings on the situation.

Now you can start working on yourself and setting some boundaries around the kind of behavior you will accept from the people you allow to be around you and your children. And you can determine what the consequences will be when someone violates your boundaries.

Do you know what a boundary statement is?

I do not allow intoxicated people around me and my children. Therefore if I sense that someone may be intoxicated I will leave the situation immediately. I will not discuss it. I will not argue about it. And I will wait at least 48 hours before I speak with that person again. If that person seems intoxicated again, I reserve the right to end our relationship permanently.

Write your boundaries down. Pin them up on your bathroom mirror.

It will help you enforce them.

Because an unenforced boundary is a meaningless, useless threat that actually makes YOUR problem worse.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:59 AM
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I haven't really been around the forum for awhile, but today I needed some ESH and the very first post is about 'the talk'. I had a 'talk' with ah last night, although since being in al anon now for 2 years, my talk has improved.
He has been sober since Jan 09, with a small slip around xmas. As the summer has unfolded, he's had a few more, one big one, and now he seems to be making it a fairly regular thing to have a few light beers with his softball team. He was in AA for 6 months then dropped it, and now we occasionally go to a couples meeting when we have babysitting.
I just told him how I felt, and that it doesn't matter if he likes it or not, it's what I feel. I told him that was seems innocuous to him is very different for me, because drinking stands for what nearly tanked this marriage. He says he feels awkward not to drink when everyone around him is, but he's grown and matured and maybe things are different. He said he had no issue walking away with unopened beers still there, because he knew he had committed to coming home and doesn't like the consequences of a hangover. I listened and then dropped it. Feels kind of like the loop we used to do, but just longer in between. Of course it doesn't matter what he says - I wanted to have open communication about it, but I know that his actions are really what matters.

Yesterday I attended my regular al anon meeting. It was about the 6th tradition, about not letting power, money and prestige to divert us from our primary spiritual goal. This helped me immensely, and so I share here to maybe help someone else. I've had trouble with how to treat him and act after slips. This reminded me that my primary spiritual aim is to have serenity in my life and happiness for myself and for my young daughter. If I keep that top of mind, then anything he does or doesn't do won't faze me. I don't have to give his negative stuff energy and divert from my path. If he starts down a path of destruction then I will have faith that my spiritual path will lead me to serenity, whatever that looks like (i.e. with or without him). It really helps ease my burden, although I'm too struggling with the 'nervousness' of what can come.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:13 AM
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He didnt drink last night. we kept busy and did a bunch of yard work and stuff. I know one day doesnt make a big difference.. we'll see how tonight is. Just wanted to update. His attitude was fine and everything seemed really nice and good.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:21 AM
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But what about YOU? Nevermind his drinking or not drinking or whatever, how are *you* doing today?
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:35 AM
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One day at a time.

You are doing well. Know your boundaries inside and out. Be specific in your mind about what they are and how you will honor them, to the letter, each and every time. Then keep taking it one day at a time. They can change as you go, but not, IMO, without a lot of introspection as to why you are changing them.

I can see where I've never really had boundaries and when I did, they were very fuzzy. I was not able to honor my own boundaries because of it and I basically did not have even very basic personal boundaries in the end. You are entering into this relationship with lots of information and awareness and you can utilize that by creating detailed boundaries and know what you are going to do to honor them and yourself. You'll never be sorry, no matter how this relationship unfolds.

I am spending a lot of time thinking about them and I'm no longer even in a relationship.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:35 AM
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I found his perspective still quite skewed, even if his brain fog is somewhat lifted. Back in the active drinking days, we'd have the talk, more like me being crazy and him making promises he couldn't keep. It would all be good for a while, then the weekend would come. My ah tended to let certain things constrain him (which is still what he's doing) - he'd be able to control it if there were obligations holding him in check - work, sport, whatever. When those constraints were gone, i.e. vacation, day off, weekend - it would be drinking time until he was a mess. More frequently, the obligations started to slip too, like missing work cuz he was so hungover. Not a good system, right?

So now it just looks like he's getting better at respecting or placing obligations in his path to keep from drinking heavily. Trouble is, it's not sustainable. If you don't address the underlying reason, it ain't gonna stick. This is why his logic troubles me. I will not judge, just keep my path, but as Dr. Phil says, the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour. Unless my (and your) ah realize and want to get better, I think that they will start slipping again down the slippery slope. At this point I am working to get myself to a good place so I will be prepared to handle whatever comes my way, and that's the advice I give you too. And please, don't start thinking about ways to keep him busy (if it's crossed your mind). I did that, and it doesn't work. Busy yourself with YOU instead, will work a lot better.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:12 AM
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He didnt drink last night.
This has nothing to do with the price of tea in china OR you. Your happiness, peace and serenity should not be determined by whether or not another human being stays sober.

expectations = resentments

It's a precarious existence.

So many of us have been through the cycle that you are in. It's difficult for me to watch. Like a train wreck. I know people learn when they are ready. I need to let go :-) Codependent traits I guess.

I hope you get everything you want. I really do.
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