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I wish there were magic words

Old 08-24-2010, 02:23 PM
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I wish there were magic words

OK, so I think Iím back to ďclarityĒ. I am absolutely heartbroken at the thought of my children having to deal with the aftermath of divorce but the status quo isn't good for any of us either.

My husband and I havenít been speaking to each other. Itís been months. I started it. I was starting to get clear on some things and just didnít have the emotional energy to pretend that I cared when he would complain about the stupid choices his parents, siblings, coworkers and politicians were making. And I realized that his drinking and anger werenít my fault Ė it wasnít because he didnít think I loved him so no amount of trying to be the perfect wife and love him enough was going to change things. I didnít have to force it or pretend any more. At first he tried being nice Ė he would make plans for us to do something together or would make dinner several nights a week. He even thanked me for something. (yes, that is notable.) I still didnít/couldnít respond so he just started not talking to me, too. Itís not an openly hostile silent treatment or anything. We answer if the other one speaks. We say goodnight, hello, bye... but thatís about it. No eye contactÖ

I felt really bad last week imagining how lonely he must feel to come home and no one cares, leave and no one cares and to not even know why. But he hasnít asked me. If he was acting weird like that with me I would ask what was wrong. Iím sure he knows and is dreading having to talk about it. Itís time though. Iím going to just tell him that we canít keep going on like this. We need to either work on it or end it. And working on it doesnít mean I go to therapy and get back on Prozac for a few months until I forget how bad it was. I know that there are things I need to work on and change. I am willing to do the work I need to do but Iím not going to do it by myself. He will need to go to counseling for his anger and drinking (possibly AA but will leave that up to him and his counselor). Just saying he is going to stop being mean and stop drinking is not going to cut it. I found a few counselors locally who, among other things, specialize in addiction, anger management, emotional abuse, divorce and work with adults and teens. This is important to me and makes me feel better about what all of this has/will do to my kids.

If he doesnít want to work on it itís ok. Iím not going to beg or yell at him. He has a right to continue to drink if he wants to. I hope heíll be civil and will work with me on the housing situation and work with me to stay in the same neighborhood for my daughterís sake but if he doesnít Iíll deal with it.

Iím scared though. I am pretty comfortable with my decision. Iím not happy about it. I wish I didnít have to make this decision but I feel like Iíve gone through every scenario and every excuse and I still think Iím doing the best worst thing.

I havenít had the conversation yet though because Iím trying to figure out how to say it. Iím sure heís going to be angry and defensive and refuse. I keep thinking that if I can just say it right, explain it in a way that he understands that I do love him and heís hurting me, and the kids, and himself and Iím not asking him to do anything horrible, Iím not being selfish or asking him to do something Iím not willing to do myself, Iím not saying our problems are all his fault, Iím just asking him to work WITH me...

I know itís ridiculous but I just keep thinking there must be some magic words and I need to figure out what they areÖ
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JessiJoy View Post
Iím scared though. I am pretty comfortable with my decision. Iím not happy about it. I wish I didnít have to make this decision but I feel like Iíve gone through every scenario and every excuse and I still think Iím doing the best worst thing.
My sponsor told me that sometimes all our choices suck, and we just have to pick the best one out of the bunch. That's been true for me more than once.

I don't know of any magic words for you to make him understand. We just aren't that powerful, you know?

Try not to anticipate his reaction. Stay in the moment. I've found as long as I am honest, open, and willing in what I do and say, there really is nothing that can hurt me.

I'll be keeping you in my prayers!
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:08 PM
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I found that there were no magic words that would get through to my alcoholic boyfriend. But the following magic words improved my life drastically:

"I'm done."
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:43 PM
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No magic words, no magic wand, just everyday plain english." This is not working, I am done, our children deserve better."
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JessiJoy View Post
My husband and I havenít been speaking to each other. Itís been months. I started it. I was starting to get clear on some things and just didnít have the emotional energy to pretend that I cared when he would complain about the stupid choices his parents, siblings, coworkers and politicians were making. And I realized that his drinking and anger werenít my fault Ė it wasnít because he didnít think I loved him so no amount of trying to be the perfect wife and love him enough was going to change things. I didnít have to force it or pretend any more. At first he tried being nice Ė he would make plans for us to do something together or would make dinner several nights a week. He even thanked me for something. (yes, that is notable.) I still didnít/couldnít respond so he just started not talking to me, too. Itís not an openly hostile silent treatment or anything. We answer if the other one speaks. We say goodnight, hello, bye... but thatís about it. No eye contactÖ
This is my household right now. He relapsed a few months ago, drinking socially until socially turned into disaster. After a difficult weekend 2 weeks ago I found I too no longer cared about his sobriety/ recovery whatever. No hostility but just small talk. He's back in AA with a sponsor after that weekend, and it's still too new to me. I don't know what my words to him will be yet - at least you have clarity and hopefully that will naturally lead you to the right words. I asked him to leave once over a year ago and it was just like the others said - I'm done, please leave. He sensed the difference from all other conversations and the seriousness and sought sobriety and we eventually reconciled.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:03 PM
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I keep thinking that if I can just say it right, explain it in a way that he understands that I do love him and he’s hurting me, and the kids, and himself and I’m not asking him to do anything horrible, I’m not being selfish or asking him to do something I’m not willing to do myself, I’m not saying our problems are all his fault, I’m just asking him to work WITH me...

Ahhh the 'ol try to speak rationally to an irrational person dream - in the dream we say just the right thing to make a little bell go *ding* in their head and they see the light and (cue music!)........

I know for me when I am overly nervous or freaked out about what to say or how to say it, that is a bright red flag for me that I am sliding down the codependent slope and into dangerous waters of expectation, resentment, and illusions of controlling outcomes.

I realize I am focused on the other person so much I don't even know how I really feel or what I really want. If I knew that then I would know what to say - "I" statements that express how I feel and what I intend to do about it. And then back it up with action.

My exH and I once went a record 22 days without speaking a word to each other. With a 6 month old baby in the house too! I also remember saying to him (about things I felt he needed to change) "It's not like I'm asking you to stick pins under your nails!" I mean, why couldn't he just see that it would be good for him to change? Didn't he love me enough to please me in that way??!! God I was sick! Yuk. Seven years of that tension. I hated that feeling, I hated walking on eggshells, and as much as I thought I would hate being divorced and its effects on my children life is grand and the boys are healthy!

Not that I am advocating divorce - but it isn't the worst thing you could go through in life! What I found through the pain I suffered in my marriage and divorce was that I was a pretty far-gone codependent - and when I started working on that and changing myself life got much better...

Peace-
B
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