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How much change can I expect?

Old 11-14-2010, 05:10 PM
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How much change can I expect?

I went out with SRAH (Recovering AH that I'm currently separated from) last night. He's only been sober for about 3 months (as far as he's told me without a relapse) and is attending group therapy and according to him AA (without a sponsor or working the steps). Overall we had a good time, but there was this one thing he said that just kinda rubbed me the wrong way.

We decided to go to the movies. I picked him up (since he still doesn't have his license or a car) and since we had some time before the movie, suggested we'd go to a restaurant and get an appetizer first. So we were sitting, talking and finishing up our appetizers, when he all of sudden says "ok, you have two options: you either pay for our "meal", including tip (he's a big tipper) or you pay for our movie tickets". I was a bit taken back by the way he approached the topic and then told him that I would pay for my half at the restaurant and my ticket at the movies. He followed up saying he just wants to make it fair and thinks I should pay at the restaurant, considering he payed the full restaurant bill last time we went out (where I had ordered $5 worth!!!).

So this might seem like nothing major and maybe I am overreacting a bit... but to me it felt like he could have approached it differently, as in asking "so how do you want to do this - do you want to split the bill" AND I feel like in life you give and take (sometimes you give a little more, sometimes you take a little more) and to me it felt like he kept count of his "giving" quite a bit. Honestly during his drinking time I felt like I gave and gave until I had nothing left to give, so maybe I'm a bit hypersensitive to the whole thing now, but I feel like if you keep count on everything you do, then you're probably not giving to be nice, but you're simply giving to get something out of it (which seems a bit manipulative or something). This whole thing really wasn't about the money... I don't mind paying for myself (sharing a bill) or paying the whole bill, if a friend had payed the bill last time... it was more about what he said and how he said it and the fact that he can't just "give" (because then what's in it for him?)!

He did ask me why I got so upset once we got to the movies and then gave me a hug and a kiss after I told him that I didn't like the way he went about it. So that is definitely some progress, because in the past he would have not cared to understand why I got upset and would have just told me to stop acting crazy.

Any feedback?
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:16 PM
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Before I had another date with him I would ask him straight up what i was expected to pay. Avoids hurt feelings and confusion. You can then say Yeah or Nay to the date.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:10 PM
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Gosh Lotus at first I thought you were wondering how much change you can expect in your own life, from yourself.

And that is unlimited, I say.

Glad to see you here.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:00 PM
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It really wasn't about the money at all (and like I said I don't mind paying for myself in the future)... it was more that in that moment I realized that he might be sober, but that we're still not on the same page when it comes to the whole "give and take" aspect that is crucial in relationships or friendships. That and the fact that he didn't ask for my input first, but expected me to do as I was told (i.e. he didn't say "how do you wanna do this", but instead said "here is what you do"). So the money thing was just an example, but it could have been about anything else.

Transform - no worries, I do focus quite a bit on myself these days (that is when I'm not stressed out with school work or I'm having one of my anxiety attacks - which I've been having quite a lot of lately ) and I do try to break my own unhealthy habits - in fact just earlier that day when I was on the phone with him, I caught myself in the middle of a "having to control his life to make sure things go as planned" mode, recognized it, said "oops..." and let it go. But thanks for keeping the focus on me, not him. AND it's good to be here... I do love this forum, even though I haven't been posting all that much here lately.

I guess I'm just wondering how much change can I realistically expect from someone else after 3 months of treatment? I guess I feel like he thinks that treatment and AA is "only" there to keep him from drinking (which, don't get me wrong, I know that is a priority) and not to help him turn his life around and grow as a person.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lotus2009 View Post
I guess I'm just wondering how much change can I realistically expect from someone else after 3 months of treatment? I guess I feel like he thinks that treatment and AA is "only" there to keep him from drinking (which, don't get me wrong, I know that is a priority) and not to help him turn his life around and grow as a person.
There is no way to know since each and every person grows and changes (or not) at their own individual rate. More on point is how much growth and change do you need from him? And even more on point is why do you want to date someone who must change in order for you to be with them?

L
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:14 PM
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Lotus,
This hits home for me. I've been separated from my RAH for a year & 3 months (who's counting?). My RAH has been sober for 8 months. I keep waiting for the signs (my HPs signals) that say "Ok, you can go back home & start a new life w/ him." I see lots of progress on his part. I see lots of progress on my part. I also see that we both still need lots & lots of work. I say the entire serenity prayer (there's the part about "patience"). I have been a codie my whole life. He has been an A his whole adult life (18-20 years). . .given our backgrounds, we each (separately) need a lot more work. I am assuming that he needs years of active recovery to heal himself physiologically as well. Now that the effects of alcohol are gone (though I am not naive enough to think that a relapse is impossible), we are now able to deal with our issues! NOW, the work begins!

In my case, I think 8 months of recovery (both for my RAH & myself) is still early. However, compared to a year ago, both of our lives are infinitely improved. I am still hoping we have a chance at a healthy life together but we have to focus on each of our recoveries. I think LaDeeDa's question,"How much growth do you need from him?" is a great "measuring stick" (though not quantitative).

Best to you, Lotus.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by dollydo View Post
Before I had another date with him I would ask him straight up what i was expected to pay. Avoids hurt feelings and confusion. You can then say Yeah or Nay to the date.
I think this is the best approach for the next date.

I would be feeling the exact same way you do btw.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
And even more on point is why do you want to date someone who must change in order for you to be with them?

L
Ahh... you're right, those are the questions I need to ask myself, because I know I shouldn't be with someone for his potential but for who he is right now!

So, I think the reason I'm so focused on what happened is that I want to get back together with him (which I told myself I won't do for another 6-9 months and working hard on not giving in), but I'm scared that things would go right back to where they used to be! BUT I think I need to go back to ODAT and not worry about something that's not even here yet... I got enough on my plate as is! *step away from the addict and HIS recovery*

Thanks Yorkie for sharing your story ... it put some things in perspective for me.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:47 AM
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I just wanted to send you a hug.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:15 PM
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Lotus, your story resonated for me too.

My ex abf and I have been separated since January. In February, he went back to AA in earnest, and has stayed sober since that time. I started dating him again when he had 3 months...but it did not feel right. He held on to old resentments, defended doing so. He had no patience, was crazy competitive and argumentative, and all the nice things he did seemed to come from a place where he just wanted something in return. He wanted me to resume our life together before I was ready to do so. So I broke it off, asked for time alone for myself. I wasn't ready.

And looking back now, maybe it was him, but even more so, I realize that I need to be stronger and happier with myself too. If we are to ever live together again, I want my life to be solid and complete all on my own first. I made him my "everything", and it almost destroyed me.

So now he has 9 months of sobriety, I am told, and I have 9 months of recovering (SR and Al-Anon), and living on my own. And I believe that I must make the most of this time alone, and not be pushed into anything I am not ready for, by anyone, no matter how much I may love them.
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:06 PM
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One of the benefits of growing older is that I have a smart mouth on me and I am not afraid to use it.
He apparently wasn't looking at the "big" picture, I think I would have helped facilitate that by answering, "I dunno, depends, are you going to walk home, call a cab or pick up the tab like a gentleman?"

Would I reallly say that or something very like it? Yes I would and I would say it matter of factly as an illustrative lesson and I would not regret it.

and, yes, I am wary of people who keep track of such things..as if those tangibles were somehow of more value than things that aren't easily numbered.
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