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Says he is going to quit

Old 11-17-2010, 03:19 PM
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Says he is going to quit

Been separated now from my AH for two months and we started marriage counseling three weeks ago. Today we had our third visit and for the third time it has been laid out to him that I will not live with him if he continues to drink and I told him today I expected a response to that because if he couldn't give me something we were wasting our time. His argument so far has been he won't quit until I move back in because I am trying to "control" him. He feels he doesn't have a problem and that the only problem is me. Well today he finally agreed to quit drinking and to do so for at least a month before I consider moving back in and says he will keep it up after I move back also. When I asked him to set a date he said tomorrow. It is hard for me to believe that he will quit and the way he is going about it doesn't make sense to me. I want to have faith in him, but I don't trust him and he doesn't seem very serious about it. I guess I just don't know what to do now or how to look at things. How do I proceed in evaluating the situation for myself when I am not around to do so? I will still see him three days a week when he takes the kids, but the rest of the time I won't be around. How can I tell if he is serious about quitting?
It is strange too because something about him quitting makes me nervous. I think the uncertainty of it makes me uncomfortable. I guess it is like if he is drinking I know what to expect from him and I know what to expect for myself (he drinks-I stay away), but if he quits then what. What if quitting is not enough?
Any thoughts?
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:32 PM
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I have two things to say.
One I have said in a number of threads and it is delighting me, still.
Active recovery can be seen from a mile away.

and from Anvil's post in the "bracing myself" thread:
he sure SAYS a lot but doesn't seem to DO much. on the one hand we have and on the other we have - one is all talk, the other engaged in ACTION.

of course it's your fault......it can't be HIS, right? what he hoped was if he did the BARE minimum, that would be good enough for you and he could just couch surf and laze around and not have to DO anything. wouldn't have to WORK, wouldn't have to start the process of self discovery, wouldn't have to be a full active partner in the home and in the relationship, wouldn't have to actual PARENT the kids, just whatever he could do from the sofa.

except you wanted more than a weight that kept the couch from floating away. you outlined the conditions upon his return to the home, and he didn't even come close to meeting or exceeding them.

TRUE recovery is ACTION.


These bring me great comfort as I can stop fretting "what if I was wrong? what if I was too harsh? What if I am not giving him the benefit of the doubt?"

It just wipes it all away.
When he is making changes, it will be evident.
Are you unsure and stewing and unhappy and wistful and confused and doubtful whether he is recovering?
That doesn't sound like recovery to me.

I believe, in from a distance, if he is making changes, it will be evident.
Him blaming you, delaying change, talking the talk without walking the walk...no recovery there.

I have been in a zillion talks with my AH. I have come to accept (on my good days!) he DOES NOT WANT to change.
Instead of setting guidelines, "You have to...or I will..." I am trying to switch to asking myself, "Is the way he is RIGHT NOW acceptable to me? If no, what am I going to do about it?"

Hugs, peace
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:38 PM
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If he stops for one month (and I agree, you won't really KNOW if he sneaks drinks), that doesn't mean he will quit for good. One month really isn't that long. If I was already out of the house, I'd insist on at LEAST 6 months (preferably a year) of total abstinence along with regular participation in a program. If he is only quitting to get you back, it doesn't sound like he's serious about it.

You always have the right to change your mind. As long as you are living away from him, you have the right to require whatever you want before you agree to move back with him. That is not controlling him, that is taking care of YOU!
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:34 PM
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I agree Suki on that one month isn't a very long time and I am concerned that if I move back before I am ready and he is ready that it would be a mistake especially concerning moving my two kids back and forth. I think that is part of the anxiety I am feeling...I feel like I am expected to figure things out quickly. The counselor just suggested I come up with a timeline as to a minimum amount of time and that was my minimum, yet, I am struggling with the timeline thing in general. I think next session I am going to tell him and the counselor that a month is a minimum and a guideline before any considerations with be made, but that I will not commit to a timeline of when I will move in. When and/if I move back depends on how I am feeling and I need to give myself the space to make clear choices for myself and my kids.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:37 PM
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I agree 100%. Don't do anything until you feel really good about it. If your gut tells you it isn't time, then listen to your gut. You have that right and since you are already living apart from him, the whole hassle of leaving is already done.

It sounds to me like you are doing the best thing for YOU, and that is never wrong.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:42 PM
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What the rush? If you stay away for 6 months, so what? Give yourself time to see everything clearly, to make a good decision for your children.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:20 PM
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My xah said something very much like that. It made me feel uncomfortable because he was trying to make me responsible for his recovery. Toe the line, and I won't drink. Rock the boat and bottoms up - all my fault. No thank you.

Does your counselor have any expertise in addictions? I thought it was really important that ours did. Typical marriage counseling isn't going to cut it in a relationship with addiction issues. Actually - my counselor wouldn't even do full on marriage counseling if my xah wasn't actively in recovery.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:20 PM
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I don't think she does have any addiction specific training and I was thinking about that. I really like the lady and I am thinking about doing some one on one with her, but I have been considering changing my stipulations to say that he at least go get an alcohol assessment by someone who specializes in addiction...it seems to me that we can't really work on the marriage with the addiction still standing in our way.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:59 PM
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You already know alcohol is an issue so not sure you are going to gain much ground with the alcohol assessment.

I would however insist on a counselor that specialized in addictions. I think it is super important.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:10 PM
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Any suggestions on finding counselors that specialize in addiction? Specifically, low-cost...a BIG problem for us is his parents are paying for the therapy and that certainly adds to the complications when it comes to changing things around. I do agree with the opinions, though, that someone with addiction training is important for us and it is probably something I should have looked into before. Kind of thinking now too that maybe some of my anxiety about today's visit and the timeline issue could be that the approach isn't quite right for our situation. I do like this lady and I have some health savings I could use for individual visits, but I think someone with more addiction training is something I will be looking into further.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:41 PM
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I think it is of the utmost importance. People are easily fooled by the addict's manipulation and bs'ing, including therapists. The therapist I went to had worked in a rehab facility prior to going into private practice. She was also a recovering codependent/ACOA (alcoholic mother) herself. She knew the landscape backwards and forwards. She didn't fall for any of the crap and self-deception--from me or my AH. And, her primary interest was the children, above all else. I could go on and on. She made a huge difference in my life.

As far as finding someone who knows about addiction, if they don't list it in their credentials--ask. I would think any counselor who has done work in that field would be eager to mention it as part of their experience.

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Old 11-17-2010, 10:18 PM
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If he was quitting for himself, he wouldn't say what he did about not quitting until you came back.
If he is quitting for you--he will relapse. he must quit for himself.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by brokenheartfool View Post
If he was quitting for himself, he wouldn't say what he did about not quitting until you came back.
If he is quitting for you--he will relapse. he must quit for himself.
I agree with you...the justification he said is "he is quitting for himself because he wants his family back" It is logic that probably won't hold up and I have little faith that he won't relapse, but for now it is what he is bringing to the table whether I like it or not. If/when it doesn't work out then I will still be where I am at holding my ground.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by crystal226 View Post
I agree with you...the justification he said is "he is quitting for himself because he wants his family back" It is logic that probably won't hold up and I have little faith that he won't relapse, but for now it is what he is bringing to the table whether I like it or not. If/when it doesn't work out then I will still be where I am at holding my ground.
Here's the thing. Alanon says that we can find our own happiness regardless of whether the alcoholic has stopped drinking OR NOT.

And I struggle with the OR NOT part. I think when the person is a friend or other family member, that perhaps this can be achieved. But I wonder in a marriage, especially one with kids.
In a marriage there is an emotional disconnect, or lack of connection, with an active drinker. That connection is the very reason that people get married...well, the reason I would get married!
So logically...I don't know how a marriage can be happy if the crucial emotional connection is missing, warped, pick your word.

Maybe others don't experience this emotional lack of connection with an active A. I don't see how though. Or maybe my marriage had a larger lack of connection than some others. I think I'll start my own thread on that.

Perhaps some partners of A's are mostly concerned about dangerous and irresponsible behaviors. For me, it was all about the lack of connection. For you, it may be that he was an irresponsible parent while drinking, or whatever the case.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:36 AM
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I get what you are saying.

Alanon says that we can find our own happiness regardless of whether the alcoholic has stopped drinking OR NOT.
Marriage isn't mentioned. Alanon does not promise happiness in a marriage. They don't make a statement on marriage one way or another AFAIK.
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Old 11-18-2010, 09:03 AM
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A light went on in my head when you mentioned that you were seeing a "marriage counsellor". To me, that counsellor is trying to pave the way for the relationship to solidify once more. She may be an awesome person, but her goal seems clear: save the marriage. I don't know that she's factoring in the addiction your AH is dealing with.

1 tiny month of sobriety is nothing in the lifetime journey that is *recovery*. I agree with dollydo...what's the rush? If the relationship is meant to be, then 6 months or ideally a year of sobriety + active participation in a recovery program before even considering reconciliation. Your instinct to protect your children from more back and forth is bang on; they need stability and 1 measley month of sobriety (as a mere bargaining card to get you to come home) isn't going to give them that.

IMO, you're right. "quitting" isn't enough...
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