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Will she be even more mad with me?

Old 11-14-2010, 01:41 AM
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Will she be even more mad with me?

I feel a bit like I am throwing myself into the lions den as I am the alcoholic and my wife is the codie. Anyway here goes...

I am on day 6. Early days I know but I am feeling really determined this time to simply take each day one at time instead of setting up long term goals (to fail). It seems to be working much better than my previous attempts as I only need to get to the end of "today" which is a whole lot more manageable.

Anyway my wife is away on business and I haven't told her yet. She doesn't get back for another 10 days and I am hoping to make it past the worst of the withdrawals stuff before she gets back. I dont want her to muscle in or take control right now cos I'd be bound to flip.

Everything has seemed pretty illogical for so long and I was hoping maybe some of you codies out there can give me an inside track on what is coming around the corner at me?

I read somewhere that many marriages end in divorce EVEN after the alcoholic has quit and this got me to thinking. If I finally take control of my life and beat this thing, will I in some way be taking the one thing away from my wife which she can rely on to be mad at me about? On the surface she will almost certainly be thrilled but, deep down, is she going to be even madder at me cos I took away her reason for codependency?

Thanks for any advice (or even if you just want to tell me to stop be so self centred!).
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:48 AM
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You are doing the best thing you could do for yourself right now. Get yourself well. Then go from there with your marriage. Is family counseling a viable option?
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:19 AM
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Well, from our side of the fence, the things I would say to you are: stay in the now, stop awfulising and keep your own side of the street clean! Your recovery is yours to work on. Focus on it. Take one step at a time and one day at a time. Trouble may well rear its head - but it might not! You cannot control your wife. Stop trying to analyse her. Get the focus back on you.

I would say all these things to a codie. Maybe they apply to you too?

Wiser heads with more experience of your type of situation will be around soon to talk to you.

Well done on your very early recovery - keep up the good work!
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:13 AM
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Welcome Nat! You have our support and will find plenty of good info and experience here.

I think staying focused on your sobriety and making that #1 is the best thing you can do for yourself and for those around you.

While no one can tell you if your marriage will work or not what I can assure you of is that your wife and anyone else close in your life will not miss the alcoholic you. Your wife will go through her own journey but don't think for a second that she will miss the fact you drink. God knows my husband doesn't .

I suggest you visit our Newcomers Board as it was a great starting point for me when I first came to SR. Lots of us there who can help you during these somewhat confusing days of early recovery.

Newcomers to Recovery - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Know that above all....you can do it.

All the best!
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:36 AM
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Congratulations on day 6. Keep up the good work! Are you going to AA? If not, you may want to consider it.
"On the surface she will almost certainly be thrilled but, deep down, is she going to be even madder at me cos I took away her reason for codependency?"

Maybe. Maybe not. Are you worried about this? Her feelings really are her problem, not yours.

Do you know the serenity prayer? It is at the bottom of each of my posts. The serenity prayer has helped teach me how to handle my worry and anxiety about what other people might think or feel about me. Helps me get and stay in the Present Moment.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:11 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your support - I am so pleased that I joined SR!

We are currently living in a part of europe where they don't speak english very much. Whilst nothing is impossible, it is a 7 hour round trip to the nearest english speaking AA meetings. Which also kind of makes marriage counselling a bit tricky too.

Still, chin up, tomorrow will be a week so I can celebrate (only kidding!)

Many thanks for the serenity prayer, Learn2Live
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:50 AM
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hello and welcome no alcohol today-

as a codie, i would be delighted if my alcoholic got into recovery. note, i said got into recovery versus got sober, because these are two different things.

please consider getting into an AA group on-line, or at least reading the big book on-line. being successful in quitting drinking is not just not drinking, it's a fundamental reversal. read the 12 steps and i would imagine there would be a lot of support for you over in the 12-step forums here at SR.

as for your wife, the most important things right now is your recovery. because without that, you probably won't have a wife anymore. put that first, keep your side of the street clean, make your amends to her for the damage done.

and hey, good luck! you are more than welcome over here with us. we have a few alcoholics among us and it's good to hear their perspective, it adds a lot to this forum.

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Old 11-14-2010, 06:19 AM
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Congrats!
Your wife might be a little scared if it's been a long time since she's known the sober you. It will be a time of discovery for both of you.
Be kind and you'll both adjust better, and helps to avoid triggering either of you.
Simple kindness goes a long way in a marriage, any marriage!
You might want to tell her over the phone that you aren't drinking, and give her a heads up so that she can start adjusting too.
Just a thought-tailor it to your marriage.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:27 AM
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My experience was, once the using stopped, alot of resentments came flooding back to me. I also would suggest online aa meetings. Recovery is a heck of alot more than just not drinking and I wouldn't be suprised if there was some backlash along the way.It's called the consequences of your addiction.She probably has some residual hurts from what the addiction has done.Although you may feel better right away, she may not, and that's ok.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:04 PM
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Do this for yourself, regardless of what comes. Your recovery is more important than your relationship, more important than your marriage. That's my message as a codie to you as the alcoholic. You're being self-centered now, but in the best possible way. Your sobriety is your own, as much as your alcoholism is. Your partner's anger is her own, too. I've read that codies sometimes experience their alcoholic partners in recovery as being more self absorbed than when they were drinking, but each person is different. I think the long term benefits of your sobriety can only be a healthy thing for both of you, regardless of how the chips may fall.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:15 PM
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I was angry with my exA when he stopped drinking. Not because he's stopped, I was delighted about that. I was angry because he expected me to just forget everything he'd put me through and act like none of it had ever happened...and then he wondered why I was resentful and bitter.

It's fab that you're sober, please concentrate on that but remember to try and give your other half some time to adjust.

Another factor that could arise is her being scared of relapse and as a consequence of that fear, she walks on eggshells around you. Once it stops it's like we can finally exhale but I was too scared too. I didn't know what to expect, what to say or how to act around him for a while...
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:41 PM
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I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to give support.

There are lots of words of wisdom here.

"Its a new dawn, its a new day, its a new life for me and I'm feelin good"
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:51 AM
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NoAlcoholToday I found a lot of honest expression of concern for your wife's feelings in your post. That's a GREAT starting point! You are basically asking what will your future be......Sorry NoAlcoholToday but my crystal ball and tarrot cards aren't working today! (LOL)

Seriously though, there is a thread on F& F Forum entitled "Stinking-thinking-dry-drinking" that hopefully can give you some insights of things NOT to do.

Your marriage will be basically starting a new stage. I recommend you treat your wife as though you two are just beginning to date, as in your original time. I suggest you take time to get to know each other all over again. Abstinence may be as hard or even harder than drinking because it reveals so many problems that were obscured by the family's focus on alcohol. Denial remains as strong as ever as the family has to face the harsh realities of delusion, illusion and collusion that have dominated its reality during drinking and that are now revealed during the period of abstinence. In many families, the entire family system has been organized by alcoholism. Not every couple will or, for their own personal health should survive recovery. This could be a time of tremendous personal growth for all individuals involved or it could turn out to be a period of decline. As Carl Jung stated: Seldom or never does marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crisis. There is no birth of consciousness without pain.

The family disease approach is the best known and most widely used form of treatment. Alcoholism is viewed as a disease and family members also have the disease "codependence". In the disease approach, the family members are treated with therapy separate from the alcoholic. This therapy encourages the alcoholic, the spouse and the family to reach outside the family for help. The use of Al-Anon, Al-Ateen or Adult children of alcoholics groups is highly recommended as well as individual and group therapy to address various psychological issues. With this approach, family members should not actively intervene to attempt to change the alcoholic's drinking. They are encouraged to detach and focus on themselves to help with their emotional distress and to increase their skills needed to cope.

If you both work your own recovery programs there is no reason why your wife can not travel with you along the path of mutual growth and genuine healing!

********************************************* ******************
JUST FOR TODAY I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

JUST FOR TODAY I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my "luck" as it comes, and fit myself to it.

JUST FOR TODAY I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

JUST FOR TODAY I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don't want to do - just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

JUST FOR TODAY I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won't find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

JUST FOR TODAY I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.

JUST FOR TODAY I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA
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Old 11-15-2010, 04:36 AM
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HI N,

My initial reaction is to remind you to focus on taking care of yourself. You will be facing many things as you know and need to learn how to be ok.

I agree that abstinence is one thing and recovery another. When my husband got sober, as long as he attended meetings and talked to a sponsor he was able to manage the many things that came at him - not necessarily from me but his own life.

He also seemed able to enjoy life like never before for which I loved watching. He got to know me, I remember the wonderful feeling of him seeing me - the good and the bad. I began to feel comfortable and happy in our rel. It enabled him to think clearly and rationally which was only good for us.

However, when he stopped meetings and tried to do things on his own - he stopped being able to cope and relapsed. Sometimes I think we tried to accomplish too much too fast - but then again his choices reflect where he is just as my choices reflect my thoughts and emotions.

If meetings are hard to attend, read whatever info you can here and there are meetings here too. At some point you will have this convo with her. My prayers will be with you. Be patient with both of you.
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:15 PM
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Italy? Nice. Nice distraction too. What would be a good distraction for me would be learning all about what's inside Italian delicatessens. Not sure what delis are called over there but I know that they are filled with very yummy stuff. Maybe learn how to make some nice dinners for your spouse to distract her from any anger that might arise? Cannollis would help too. LOL.

I believe there are 12-Step/A.A. meetings here on SR. You can go to those, right?

I've thought a little more about your original question and I think it might be helpful if you give more thought to what are your fears. And write them down. When I first got into Recovery, I started journaling. All you need is a spiral notebook and a pen. Every day I would write about all the things going on in my head, etc. It helps. Try it.

And remember:
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:14 PM
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Many thanks L2L. I am open to all suggestions at this point.

I guess I have been running on automatic for so long that I am fearful my wife and I wont quite be on the same page anymore, even though we both want to be.

My day 7 went like a breeze today and I phoned my wife to tell her I had nailed the first week.

Thanks so much everyone!
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:18 PM
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Congratulations on Day 7, NAT! And thanks for bringing your questions and story here. It always helps me to hear things from the perspective of the alcoholic working on recovery.

I wish you and your wife the very best.
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