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Old 12-16-2010, 05:24 AM
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I'm a new comer

I've taken some time to read tonight many of the threads of folks in relationships with alcoholics. I've been married myself to a man for 10 years that I know is an alcoholic. This is my second marriage, the first to a man who I knew from HS, who had classic avoidant behavior and ultimately turned to meth. He had become impossibleto live with and I made the decision I could never trust him. My love in that marriage was so deep and I was sick with the pain of loving him. I decided if I separated once, there was no revolving door. The marriage was characterized by continuous financial crisis and I just couldn't live that way.

When I remarried, I knew this man was very sensitive, very emotional. He liked to care for me and I liked to care back. I examined the whole person and decided I loved him and wanted to be with him. He still has many good traits. 12 years later, I don't know if he's the same or different, or if my perceptions and expectations are what has changed.

My recollection of him in the early years of our relationship was that he was madly in love with me and wanted to connect with me all the time. He drank everyday then, but didn't seem "as drunk" with that daily drinking. He'd make a couple of cocktails a day, and that seemed about it. By the time my son was 3 or 4, he seemed to have become a heavier evening drinker.

There are steady traits in him that make him still a very attractive mate: he's reliable with regard to work. Has had the same job for close to 25 years. Has never drank on the job, will not drink during the week before 5 pm. He has never had a DUI, has never reported to work drunk. He has never failed to pay our bills. He has never drained our bank account for his habits. I estimate between smoking and his alcohol, his monthly spending is about $200, quite a bit less than I've read here from others. It doesn't much go up. He's delightful first thing in the morning, makes and delivers coffee to me daily. If he's not gone to the gym first thing, he will offer his help to the kids and me to get out the door (we both work full time). We have a beautiful home. He helps with such chores as dishes and laundry. Our cars are always in good shape. In reality, there is a lot of good.

6 years ago he had episodes of rage that made him very difficult to live with. I threatened to leave unless we found a counselor. He immediately was referred to a psychiatrist and has been on a combination of psychotropics to keep his moods more stable since then. I agree with this. I believe he is a cyclic depressive. Not drinking would likely help, as alcohol is a depressant, but I saw a change when he started on meds. Between therapy and meds, there were measurable behavior changes. While he is still himself, prone to irrational moments where he is assigning my motives (which is never a good thing), acting on his "assessment" of what I really think and feel (which is usually wrong), and then trying to get me to account for it or apologize. The huge blow up fights have mostly ended. I will say though that it's up and down...and I'm probably more tied to that cycle than I'd like to admit. It's the clash of rational with the irrational. What I've gained from therapy is the ability to observe and interpret what's happening, peg it, and communicate it effectively. Sometimes the cycles are shorter as a result. Sometimes that simply leads to his digging in his heals in denial and not developing any greater awareness that will lead to change "in the moment."

His drinking pattern is absolutely predictable. He starts drinking when he gets home from work, and it stops with him either going to bed early, or falling asleep on the couch. He starts earlier on weeknds, but will only drink light beer until 4 or 5, then will switch to his cocktails around that time. He's created pretty rigid drinking rules for himself on his own. He's generally not much drunker on a Saturday or Sunday than during the week. I've tried to set effective boundaries around inevitable behavior. One rule I have is that he should take responsibility and go to bed if he's tired. It's rude to sleep on the couch and have everyone walk around him while his snoring disrupts the room we are all in. If I don't have to ask him to go to bed, there is no conflict. We have a pretty peaceful night. If I have to beg him to go to bed, he gets belligerent and argumentative. Never good. It's hard for me to allow a pattern of "couching" to persist. When we have company it's embarrassing. If my son has friends over, it's embarrassing to him. Another rule I have is that his choice to drink should not infringe on the rights of others...he should not yell at us, pick at us, in general, be nasty with us. If he's not those things, I basically carry on. We can go many weeks at a stretch without problems. Then when he hits a cycle, we can have daily conflicts, no matter the time of day or whether he has been drinking.

While I'm not subject to physical abuse, police visits, out of control debt...I do feel the loss of my mate...daily. He's just not emotionally available if he's had too much to drink. It makes me feel like I'm alone. I want my family to be together, but we aren't in reality. There's "us" and there's him. And I admit that I've tried some pretty outrageous tactics to provoke change. I further admit...none of them work. And yet, I'm in the midst of a cycle that I'm as much a part of as he is. I'm tired of expecting certain things will not happen in my absence, like my kids getting dinner (they've learned to take care of that on their own). Tonight's episode was over the fact that I called him to make dinner while I was christmas shopping, and only 2 hours later when I arrived home, he told me he didn't even remember the phone call...no he did not make dinner for my son. I was ridiculously angry. Looking back on the evening, it makes no sense that I behaved that way...to what end. It changes nothing and just causes resentment.

I know my choices are stay and make the best of my situation, or go. My kids prefer a united home, so I'd rather stay. I don't want a divorce. But I go through periods of time that I feel like a fool. I've chosen a partner to have children with that falls short of what I think he should be. I've chosen a life where most of the day to day is going to fall to me. I admit I don't feel like I can relax. He's not my refuge. I struggle with my feelings of respect for him, even love (I'm not sure I even know what that is). I have increasingly slept in another bed because I feel like I don't even have a relationship. I don't know what the right choices are. I know fighting has a negative effect on my kids and I should do everything to avoid it. I think it's time for me to re-examine my role and how I make decisions. If I stay in this, I need to examine how to be a wife to an alcoholic husband. How to deal with issues of intimacy, sexuality, communication, etc. How do I accept the entire person?
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cafleen View Post
How do I accept the entire person?
Welcome!

This is definitely the right question, but I suspect you have it aimed at the wrong person...

My experience was once I framed the correct question, at the correct person, everything started to make sense, and fall into place. The decisions then were not easy, or simple, but they were much more clear.

If you ask this question of yourself, you will be set on the pathway to get where you need to go.

-Because, your husband is who is he, and does what he does, and despite this something about your life is not acceptable to you.

Somewhere in your narrative is the essence that your needs are not being met. Will you accept this for yourself? Do you love yourself and honor yourself enough to do whatever it takes to get your needs met and provide yourself a healthy life?

Your choice is to learn to accept what your life is, or make the changes you need to get where you find your life acceptable, and the person you are acceptable.

The great news is you have entirely the power to do this!

CLMI
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:16 AM
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hi cafleen...And WELCOME to SR. I'm glad you've been reading here for a while and that you've decided to share your story. There's a great deal of wisdom to be found here.

You ended your post with an excellent question. Let's flesh it out a bit. Do you accept your AH as he is today, totally and completely, drunkeness and emotional distance included? That is the only person he is willing to be at this moment.

Catlovermi pointed out rather adeptly that your needs are not being met and if you "accept" your AH as he is now, they will undoubtedly continue not to be met. What's more, seeing as alcoholism is a progressive disease, I surmise that your husband's drinking will eventually get worse and he will become even less available than he is now. Can you live with this?

As for your kids, have you asked them directly if they want you to remain in a partnership with an alcoholic who spends his evenings and week-ends mildly blotto and unavailable to you or them? I don't know how old they are as I type this...

Whether they want a "united home" or not, do they also want a mother who is happy, respected and fulfilled? Do you believe that you deserve that?

I strongly advise that you find a local Al-Anon meeting and start attending regularly. There's great comfort to be found in being surrounded by people who've been where you are right now.

Please keep posting and reading as much as you like. SR is *always* open
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:14 PM
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feeling a little more hopeful today...less anxious. My mom and I talked and she provided a lot of perspective for me. Husband stayed home with the little one and made dinner tonight while the older one and I went to boys scouts. Dinner? Did I say dinner? Yes, he made dinner.

My kids are 10 and 3.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:59 PM
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How do you accept the entire person?

I think either you can or you can't and only you can decide that. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to accept and I also spent a lot of time trying to "fix" my situation. The truth was all I could do was set boundaries, focus on my own needs, and let go of my expectations when it came to the results. In time I have found all the answers I needed. You have control over you and you get to decide what direction you want to take in your life.

Another thing I just wanted to mention is. In your second post you say something about how you are a bit more hopeful today after talking to your mother and about the good things your husband did. I am so glad you are feeling less anxious and more hopeful and it's great he cooked dinner with your boys, but if I could offer any advice I would be aware of how others influence your emotions and about how they change depending on circumstance. You don't live in a vacuum, but I put myself through a pretty terrible emotional roller coaster by allowing the actions of my AH and the opinions of my family to weigh to heavily on my mood for the day. For me it became very much like; AH was good then I was happy and ignoring the issues , AH wasn't then I was anxious/upset/angry/etc and reacting. I had to learn instead to keep my focus on my goals and desires regardless of the mood of the day and to take action instead of just reacting. Anyway, maybe this applies to you or maybe it doesn't, either way, something to think about.

Glad you found SR. It has been a lifeline for me and there is always so much wisdom and perspective to be found here , so keep posting.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:04 AM
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cafleen,
I'm Phoenix...one of the older members of SR...NOT WISER...JUST older!

I a 58 year old codependent, currently in a 40 year marriage with a dry drunk husband. For the majority of our marriage he actively drank over more than half a gallon of rum each and every night. When he finally quit he went cold turkey without working on his journey of recovery. Our marriage was and still is always about him! His common reponse to decisions we needed to make was "What about me (him)!" Your relationship with your AH sounds so similiar!

You wrote "My kids prefer a united home, so I'd rather stay." Most children prefer a "united home". Do you REALLY have "united home"? Or is this something that you WISH you had?!

I suffered a life changing massive stroke in DEC 2009. From DEC 23rd until JAN 8th I suffered from vascular dementia, and almost died. Once vascular dementia develops, there are no drugs currently approved by the FDA to treat it. My doctors had no scientific explanation why this miracle happened. The only explanation is By the Grace of God! However, when I came back into reality I was filled with so much rage and anger inside of me for "wasting" my life.

One of the only lucid dreams I remember when I was suffering from my vascular dementia was of me being surrounded by darkness. I was in the middle of a big pasture with darkness all around me. In the middle of this pasture was a farm house with its lights on. As hard as I tried to run to that farm house, I kept running into obstacles that hindered my path. I finally made it to that farm house, and I was welcomed in. I sat beside a warm toasty fireplace, and was able to use the phone. Shortly after I talked on the phone I found my way back to reality. I will let you interpret my dream, but I'm a Christian and have my own interpretation!

*******************************
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:39 AM
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Hi Cafleen and welcome,

My AH of 22 years is very much like your AH in that he works hard, is up very early and doesn't appear to 'suffer' for his drinking in the morning. He cooks and cleans and as you say there is a lot of good in the marriage.

My AH too, drinks everyday after he gets home from work and falls asleep very early in the evening. I too have to pester him to go to bed and this really annoys me.

Tonight was classic, he was extremely pleased that our youngest daughter (19) was coming over for dinner and he was cooking for her. After dinner, he fell asleep and proceeded to snore loudly whilst I entertained and chatted to our daughter. I told him to go to bed 3 times and he said that he didn't want to as it was too early. I personally don't understand the logic to that, if they are asleep anyway surely they would be better off in bed. Also like you, he is asleep, snoring in our 'living' room whilst we are trying to enjoy our evening and watch TV. As soon as daughter left, he went straight to bed.

If I stay in this, I need to examine how to be a wife to an alcoholic husband. How to deal with issues of intimacy, sexuality, communication, etc. How do I accept the entire person?
My answer to your question would be to try Al-anon. Al-anon has been my lifesaver. Last year I was a complete mess and felt as though I was going mad absolutely obsessed with AH drinking. Today I am feeling quite peaceful about his drinking and there is harmony in our house. My husband hasn't changed at all, but I have and the way I reacted to him, his behaviors and his drinking. I am still a work in progress but find Al-anon extremely beneficial. Yesterday evening my Al-anon group had chosen the topic 'fantasy' coping with the loss you feel when you realise that you will never have what you consider a 'normal' relationship with an alcoholic partner and this really helped me hearing how other members coped.

I dont always word things well and dont always say what I mean to say on SR but I am sure someone else will pitch in with some more apt words soon.

Do try Al-anon and keep posting/reading here. You sound much more together with your alcoholic than I was with mine and Al-anon will improve things further for you.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:01 AM
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Yes, I would have to agree that Al-anon might offer you some ways to improve your life "whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not". The "quoted" part in the previous sentence is part of Al-Anons opening reading in my group.

Clearly there still seems to be a lot of good in your marriage. Alanon has helped me change the only person I am capable of changing, which of course is me. It has changed my perspective and allowed me to see the many options in life that have always been there, but were obscured by my own ways of thinking.

Just as an example lets use "the falling asleep in the living room and snoring " annoyance. That IS surely annoying. But rather than beating the dead horse of repeatedly telling someone to "get up and go to bed", which serves no purpose other than to aggravate all involved, maybe try moving the conservation to the kitchen, or another room if possible, turn up the T.V. or put on some soothing music to help drown out the snoring. That way you are changing the only person you can change, to make a situation more enjoyable.

To Eight Ball, although it seems totally absurd, I'd be willing to bet your husband may have thought he would have been "rude" to go to bed with "company" still there. Much more hospitable to lay there snoring! Ha!

Thanks and God bless us all,
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by coyote21 View Post
To Eight Ball, although it seems totally absurd, I'd be willing to bet your husband may have thought he would have been "rude" to go to bed with "company" still there. Much more hospitable to lay there snoring! Ha! Coyote
No doubt whatsoever. You really cant work out their thinking sometimes hey? Completely irrational! but funny though!
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:12 AM
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welcome-

regarding the sleeping on the couch problem, what if you got rid of the couch and replaced it with two hard back chairs?

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Old 12-17-2010, 07:09 AM
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he doesn't sound like a bad guy.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:00 AM
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You have a great deal of awareness for a newcomer...

...and you are an excellent writer as well which is why I'm confortable saying that. The only thing I'd add, and a few folks have already shared this, is that when I found myself alone in my marriage the only thing that really helped me was Al-Anon.

If possible where you live, I'd encourage you to go to at least six different meetings before deciding if it is for you. How to find a meeting in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico

Take care,

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by cafleen View Post
I've taken some time to read tonight many of the threads of folks in relationships with alcoholics. I've been married myself to a man for 10 years that I know is an alcoholic. This is my second marriage, the first to a man who I knew from HS, who had classic avoidant behavior and ultimately turned to meth. He had become impossibleto live with and I made the decision I could never trust him. My love in that marriage was so deep and I was sick with the pain of loving him. I decided if I separated once, there was no revolving door. The marriage was characterized by continuous financial crisis and I just couldn't live that way.

When I remarried, I knew this man was very sensitive, very emotional. He liked to care for me and I liked to care back. I examined the whole person and decided I loved him and wanted to be with him. He still has many good traits. 12 years later, I don't know if he's the same or different, or if my perceptions and expectations are what has changed.

My recollection of him in the early years of our relationship was that he was madly in love with me and wanted to connect with me all the time. He drank everyday then, but didn't seem "as drunk" with that daily drinking. He'd make a couple of cocktails a day, and that seemed about it. By the time my son was 3 or 4, he seemed to have become a heavier evening drinker.

There are steady traits in him that make him still a very attractive mate: he's reliable with regard to work. Has had the same job for close to 25 years. Has never drank on the job, will not drink during the week before 5 pm. He has never had a DUI, has never reported to work drunk. He has never failed to pay our bills. He has never drained our bank account for his habits. I estimate between smoking and his alcohol, his monthly spending is about $200, quite a bit less than I've read here from others. It doesn't much go up. He's delightful first thing in the morning, makes and delivers coffee to me daily. If he's not gone to the gym first thing, he will offer his help to the kids and me to get out the door (we both work full time). We have a beautiful home. He helps with such chores as dishes and laundry. Our cars are always in good shape. In reality, there is a lot of good.

6 years ago he had episodes of rage that made him very difficult to live with. I threatened to leave unless we found a counselor. He immediately was referred to a psychiatrist and has been on a combination of psychotropics to keep his moods more stable since then. I agree with this. I believe he is a cyclic depressive. Not drinking would likely help, as alcohol is a depressant, but I saw a change when he started on meds. Between therapy and meds, there were measurable behavior changes. While he is still himself, prone to irrational moments where he is assigning my motives (which is never a good thing), acting on his "assessment" of what I really think and feel (which is usually wrong), and then trying to get me to account for it or apologize. The huge blow up fights have mostly ended. I will say though that it's up and down...and I'm probably more tied to that cycle than I'd like to admit. It's the clash of rational with the irrational. What I've gained from therapy is the ability to observe and interpret what's happening, peg it, and communicate it effectively. Sometimes the cycles are shorter as a result. Sometimes that simply leads to his digging in his heals in denial and not developing any greater awareness that will lead to change "in the moment."

His drinking pattern is absolutely predictable. He starts drinking when he gets home from work, and it stops with him either going to bed early, or falling asleep on the couch. He starts earlier on weeknds, but will only drink light beer until 4 or 5, then will switch to his cocktails around that time. He's created pretty rigid drinking rules for himself on his own. He's generally not much drunker on a Saturday or Sunday than during the week. I've tried to set effective boundaries around inevitable behavior. One rule I have is that he should take responsibility and go to bed if he's tired. It's rude to sleep on the couch and have everyone walk around him while his snoring disrupts the room we are all in. If I don't have to ask him to go to bed, there is no conflict. We have a pretty peaceful night. If I have to beg him to go to bed, he gets belligerent and argumentative. Never good. It's hard for me to allow a pattern of "couching" to persist. When we have company it's embarrassing. If my son has friends over, it's embarrassing to him. Another rule I have is that his choice to drink should not infringe on the rights of others...he should not yell at us, pick at us, in general, be nasty with us. If he's not those things, I basically carry on. We can go many weeks at a stretch without problems. Then when he hits a cycle, we can have daily conflicts, no matter the time of day or whether he has been drinking.

While I'm not subject to physical abuse, police visits, out of control debt...I do feel the loss of my mate...daily. He's just not emotionally available if he's had too much to drink. It makes me feel like I'm alone. I want my family to be together, but we aren't in reality. There's "us" and there's him. And I admit that I've tried some pretty outrageous tactics to provoke change. I further admit...none of them work. And yet, I'm in the midst of a cycle that I'm as much a part of as he is. I'm tired of expecting certain things will not happen in my absence, like my kids getting dinner (they've learned to take care of that on their own). Tonight's episode was over the fact that I called him to make dinner while I was christmas shopping, and only 2 hours later when I arrived home, he told me he didn't even remember the phone call...no he did not make dinner for my son. I was ridiculously angry. Looking back on the evening, it makes no sense that I behaved that way...to what end. It changes nothing and just causes resentment.

I know my choices are stay and make the best of my situation, or go. My kids prefer a united home, so I'd rather stay. I don't want a divorce. But I go through periods of time that I feel like a fool. I've chosen a partner to have children with that falls short of what I think he should be. I've chosen a life where most of the day to day is going to fall to me. I admit I don't feel like I can relax. He's not my refuge. I struggle with my feelings of respect for him, even love (I'm not sure I even know what that is). I have increasingly slept in another bed because I feel like I don't even have a relationship. I don't know what the right choices are. I know fighting has a negative effect on my kids and I should do everything to avoid it. I think it's time for me to re-examine my role and how I make decisions. If I stay in this, I need to examine how to be a wife to an alcoholic husband. How to deal with issues of intimacy, sexuality, communication, etc. How do I accept the entire person?
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for your replies, Everyone. You're absolutely right that his day should not dictate my moods...of course we all know that is easier said than done. I think it comes down to expectations...how realistic they are, how achievable they are. Like I said earlier, the rational bumping up against the irrational...or maybe it's all irrational! We like to all think we are grounded in reality, but whose reality?

I think in any relationship, with or without the complication of substance abuse present (or take your pick of a myriad of other things), there is a tight rope we walk on where we are trying to balance our priorities against the other person's priorities. We are both trying to find out what is reasonable to ask of the other person, what we will finally accept and let go of, what we will keep fighting about. I see it in many couples. Issues over how clean to keep a house, who should cook meals, who should take out the garbage, how late a person can be without seeming rude, etc. And in any relationship, again without the complication of substances clouding a person's judgement and abilitiy to interact with others, you see turf setting, pushing back about perceived controls, etc. My pastor calls that time, after you're over the honeymoon period of early marriage, the time when your ego boundaries start bumping against one another. But we find a rythym in life that is peaceful when each person expresses a willingness to listen and respond. Absent the alcoholic issues, every person in a relationship has to choose when to push and when to back off.

The greatest illustration of this is raising a toddler, no? Potty training is a huge lesson in letting go. This begs the question: why not apply what sounds like such sensible reasoning to my relationship to my husband?

That's the rub...we want so much from our spouses. I guess we all are prone to a bit of fantasy when it comes to marriage...and that is the perspective my mom was giving yesterday. We all are charged with the task of considering the entire situation, then making a decision about what is really there. Each person's limit is different, what each person considers untenable is different.

There are some hopes I never want to give up on...that may be true of all of us. When we give up, maybe we ar letting go of the person more and more. I think an expectation of respect at all times is not an unreasonable one...but I need to continue to work on how that will be achieved and how I will repond when I don't get it. We all have to define what we call respect. For years, as my oldest son got older, I didn't stress about what happened when I wasn't home. But then when he entered school and I knew I needed a partner that would guarantee such things as homework and bedtime were handled in my absence (say if I took a night out), then I began to make a stink. My solution to his falling asleep if the kids were young (under 5 or 6) was to ask that if he was tired...no matter how early, he and said child just went to bed togethr. Let the little one sit in bed and quiety watch TV while he sleeps...that way I don't worry about a child answering my door or greeting me in the driveway when I come home (we live in a rural area). This worked most of the time...when it didn't, I raised a stink. Some things cannot be condoned through silence. And I couldn't hold an alternate expectation that I should give up the occassional night with a girlfriend (much needed) in order to compensate for where he fell down. But I did know it was a popcorn for dinner night in my absence...and I had to let go of that. I've gone up and down on the dinner in my absence issue. :-P

And so that brings me to the couch thing...that comes down to taking personal responsibility and demonstrating respect for those around you. I give you permission to check out early (please don't take that literally...there may be a better way to word it), and you respond in kind by doing your snoring in a more appropriate and private place. The living room has the comfy couches, the computer, the TV we may all want to watch. If I have to put up with your snoring, I may as well go to bed. Why should I hide out because you can't be considerate? So, for those who say, turn up the TV or leave the room, I respectfully disagree. He can do it...yes he can! But he'll slide into a pattern (somewhat consistent with his depressive cycles) where he starts to loosen up on his behavior and fall asleep more often on the couch). Again, I have to decide, what will I do? Will I adjust that night, or push the line a little. Can I effectively use humor? Each situation is different...but I have to learn, dealing with him in that moment s probably poorly effective. And if I'm talking the next day when he's alert and available...how do I do that? How do I have the greatest impact?

No easy answers. Maybe this helps everyone know where I'm coming from.

And in response to one poster...he's not a bad guy. I have to remember the entire person, learn how to not be stuck in that exact moment, broaden my perspective. But I'm working hard not to rationalize either. Again, that tight rope between letting go or silently giving permission to that which bugs you. My first post summarizing our relationship was a good exercise for me. He read that post, incidentally. A little passive aggression on my part? maybe. But it has been a launching point for communication. I admit I've been angry lately, so frequently angry I can't even say why...I had to let go of that. Posting the other night, talking to my mom, talking to him, finally putting words to why I was angry, and finally seeing I've got some work to do outside of "him" was a good thing.

Damn...this is a long post. I have to work.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:11 AM
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I didn't mention in my first post my long history of alcoholics in family (at least 3 generations) or my past participation in ACA. I'm also a counselor. But, none of that matters..I still get wrapped up in what other people do. A human weakness...need to learn to release control.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:27 AM
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I hope all the talking between all of you works. You all sound like such a nice family.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:41 PM
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we have our moments. :-)

Last year we had an apartment built over our garage for my mom and she moved out to California from NY. We live in the mountains. It's really nice having my mom on site...and she has lived long enough to be a little removed from the immediacy that I feel as a mother of young children. She sees people with a little deeper insight than I think I do. She's good for my kids. And she provides nurturing love to us all...particularly my husband who had a not so nurturing experience with his mother. I think he likes that. Ah well...rambling again.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:04 PM
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I totally get you on the couch thing. It drove me insane because we had one comfortable place in the house, one tv, etc. but apparently me and four little kids could sit in the floor or hang out in the kitchen all night every night. :sigh: How the hell does anyone detach/accept etc from that I have no idea. I couldn't. Leave and go somewhere when they are miserable and making everyone else miserable. I tried it. I really did. So infants and little kids off to the park (or shopping if it was to cold which is a riot with four tired kids) - even when we really wanted to hang out at home, take a bath and relax in the evening, had laundry and cooking and all the things it takes to run a household to do. Yet one drunk man commandeers the house to drink beer, feel sorry for himself, and watch TV and/or sleep while we take off. I did it but I wasn't detached. I was seething. I could not figure it out - and still can't.


My xah wasn't a bad guy either.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:04 PM
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I agree on the couch thing...it's why it's one of the things I won't let go. It's just something I became insistent on years ago. And it's probably one of the things I'll always deal with...to my chagrin. But most nights he gets up like a grown up when he's tired and goes to bed. Most nights.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:27 PM
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I mean this as gently as possible when I say...

...that regardless of his childhood or history, he is an adult man, not an infant, and to extend your metaphor do you really want to potty train your adult husband? I'm not saying give up on him-- what I'm saying is give him the dignity of treating him like an adult, and holding him responsible for his own behavior as an adult. I may be misreading the tone of your posts, and if so I apologize, but it seems as if you see him as helpless like a child, and perceive yourself less as a wife and more as a mother to him.

My wife had a very, very, very horrendous childhood, far beyond anything I'll every be able to understand or empathize with. How a human being can do to another human being what was done to her boggles my mind. I used to use that to excuse her behavior all through her 30's. Now I understand that regardless of what was, today IS, she is an adult woman, we have a child to take care of, and she is responsible for the decisons she makes and the consequences of them, as I am for me.

It only took me 10 years to figure this out. I don't want to be collateral damage anymore, and I won't be around a drunk anymore-- even when I love the drunk, and I signed up to be husband to her, not her father. Only one person gets to call me Daddy, and I will not expose her to a drunken mother any more than I already have (reminds me I need a cool name for her like Coyote has for his precious daughter-- Little Miss Cyranoak doesn't have the same ring to it, plus it's too derivative).

From ACA you know well to take what you want and leave the rest.

Take care,

Cyranoak
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:46 PM
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I don't see him as a child...I don't see myself as his mother...I think I've perhaps misrepresented myself with the nurturing post. My conception is that everyone enjoys being nurtured from time to time. Families that are healthy do this for a life time, appropriately nurture one another that is. However, no one should have the "dignity" to interfere with others' ability to even enjoy their own home. In reality, how is asking someone to go to bed when he is tired treating him like a child? Isn't allowing the person to sleep where ever he or she chooses and not having the expectation he or she be responsible and considerate toward others doing more to treat the person as a child?

I don't excuse any of his behavior...none of it. I am cognizant of his upbringing, but I don't condone repeating it, ever. If his father was abusive towards him, or his mother failed to nurture, I expect him to recognize how that affected him and not repeat that for his children. In reality, we are both further from the abuses we both experienced as children, but clearly there is more work to do.

I think context is everything...maybe you are fine if someone is taking up the favored room in the house and believe progress is ignoring it and finding another place to spend your time...to me it is limiting my opportunity to enjoy my own home. I don't see how this is any different than a room mate or other member of the family walking in and turing off your music to watch TV without asking if it's okay. There are basic standards of consideration that can be expected from everyone.
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