Blogs


Notices

Looking at 2nd "Residential" for AW

Old 01-01-2011, 09:41 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Awaiting Email Confirmation
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 53
Looking at 2nd "Residential" for AW

Thanks to everyone here for such valuable posts and the support Iíve taken from them; theyíve lifted me at the lowest moments.
My 16yr old daughter and I will be attending our first Al-anon meeting tomorrow (I will scope out Al-ateen options for her also for ongoing)

My AW is about to do her second shot at residential. The last time was November and it was not a success. Iíve learnt a heap from SR and other sources since and have a better understanding of what we must and, more importantly, must not do. Iíve also a better understanding of addiction in general.

I of course hope she does it this time, not to appease us in the hope that if she does it she will secure the status quo at home, but because she really wants it. Obviously this is super difficult to gauge.

The pessimist in me suspects she has committed to this second round as she senses the threat is hanging over her that, either we will leave, or I will ask her to leave if she does not get into recovery. I have alluded to this verbally a couple of times.

My immediate concern is that when we talk about her Ďgoing iní, she keeps asking for reassurance that I wonít end the marriage (wording varies each time) and that ď...I need to know that you wonít leave me...Ē and such like.

My instinct tells that Iím being manipulated so she can disingenuously undergo treatment with the belief that no matter what we will continue as a family after. From what Iíve read it would be better if she believed that the family is already over and that the rehab is solely her shot at her own recovery rather than a desperate route for the addiction to prevail.

How should we best behave during that period? I sort of feel last time I pandered to her every whim and emotional want to keep her in there; I was naive about the lengths the A will to back then. I had the simplistic view that lies where dimply denials of having been drinking, only recently have I had my eyes opened to the full extent of the deceit, manipulation and the theft. Should we minimise our contact whilst still being kind and supportive in a removed sort of way. Sheís going to feel scared and lonely but how do I support the lovely woman locked inside with the hideous demon which controls her 50% of the time?

I have read and taken a lot from Co-Dependent No More, read lots of the posts and stickies in here and I now feel in a better position, more detached, more in acceptance. So I feel Iím better educated, but still question my judgment.

Any input would be welcomed. Thanks.
reefbreakbda is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to reefbreakbda For This Useful Post:
Ladybug0130 (01-01-2011), Learn2Live (01-01-2011), Phoenixthebird (01-02-2011)
Old 01-01-2011, 09:52 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
catlovermi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,294


My personal rules of thumb are:
  • Treat them like a "normal" adult, meaning do not over-pander or under-expect on behaviors. Whether they can live up to "normal" standards is up to them, but I will no longer accept abberant behaviors and lying in my life.
  • Never promise, because an addict also cannot promise. Take it day by day, watch the ACTIONS, don't pay attention to the WORDS.
  • My personal boundary after active addiction is TWO YEARS track record, to start believing a change is real.
CLMI
catlovermi is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to catlovermi For This Useful Post:
freefalling (01-02-2011), Jazzman (01-03-2011), Ladybug0130 (01-01-2011), naive (01-02-2011), Phoenixthebird (01-02-2011), theuncertainty (01-04-2011), wicked (01-01-2011)
Old 01-01-2011, 09:58 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true.
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 5,924
Blog Entries: 5
I have learned that no matter how scared and lonely I think another person is, and no matter how responsible I feel for them, unless they are a small child, it is best for me to let that person sink or swim without too much influence from me. My recommendation is to work your own program (kudos for going to al-anon and taking your teenager too) and leave your spouse to her own program.

It was difficult work to begin to identify how I try to control the outcomes, but with Al-Anon and reading I have learned. No matter what you do or say, she is going to do what she is going to do. So taking care of you is the best thing you can do.
Learn2Live is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Learn2Live For This Useful Post:
freefalling (01-02-2011), nodaybut2day (01-05-2011), Phoenixthebird (01-02-2011), RollTide (01-02-2011), wicked (01-01-2011)
Old 01-01-2011, 10:04 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Belgian Sheepdog Adictee
 
laurie6781's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In Today
Posts: 6,101
she keeps asking for reassurance that I won’t end the marriage (wording varies each time) and that “...I need to know that you won’t leave me...” and such like.
This is STILL manipulation on her part. Generic answers like:

"only time will tell", "we'll see" are really all you can give.

but how do I support the lovely woman locked inside with the hideous demon which controls her 50% of the time?
Sad to say you cannot. That is what the residential treatment is for. They will support her, they will pull her covers in group and in private sessions.

What you can do is work on you, and figuring out what you can do for you and your child to give you both some semblance of serenity. Come here as often as you need, and sit back over the next months and WATCH her ACTIONS. That will tell you what is really going on ....................... not the words coming out of her mouth.

J M H O

Love and hugs,
laurie6781 is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to laurie6781 For This Useful Post:
Babyblue (01-01-2011), barb dwyer (01-04-2011), bookwyrm (01-01-2011), Ladybug0130 (01-01-2011), Phoenixthebird (01-02-2011), suki44883 (01-01-2011), wicked (01-01-2011)
Old 01-01-2011, 06:46 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
Originally Posted by laurie6781 View Post
WATCH her ACTIONS. That will tell you what is really going on ....................... not the words coming out of her mouth
Mostly, but not completely true. You can tell some things from their words.

My A is in rehab right now, for a week and a half, and all he talks about is himself. He'll ask about me, but change the subject as soon as he feels I've given some sort of an answer ("But enough about me, how are you feeling, sweetheart?" "I went shopping today, I really needed some -" "That's nice, did you get the alarm clock I asked for? Everything is horrible in here, I really miss you, etc, etc").

That is how I know it's not working yet.
StarCat is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to StarCat For This Useful Post:
Phoenixthebird (01-02-2011)
Old 01-01-2011, 09:05 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MO
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by StarCat View Post
Mostly, but not completely true. You can tell some things from their words.

My A is in rehab right now, for a week and a half, and all he talks about is himself. He'll ask about me, but change the subject as soon as he feels I've given some sort of an answer ("But enough about me, how are you feeling, sweetheart?" "I went shopping today, I really needed some -" "That's nice, did you get the alarm clock I asked for? Everything is horrible in here, I really miss you, etc, etc").

That is how I know it's not working yet.
I agree with you. You can definitely tell when things start to change. My A is also in rehab right now. He has 11 days left of his 30 day program. Like yours, he was all about himself the first few days. I could tell that he was starting to change because he stopped telling me how horrible everything was, stopped being so negative all the time, and actually stopped interrupting me just like yours was doing. It may have been small changes, but it's still change in the right direction.
brittbritt40 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to brittbritt40 For This Useful Post:
Phoenixthebird (01-02-2011)
Old 01-02-2011, 12:34 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Awaiting Email Confirmation
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 53
Thanks each of you for these insights, it’s becoming clearer. I suppose it is actions rather than words, though sometimes the change in the words may be a sign that the real intent is there or coming at least.

I had some sort of idea that we would see less of the belligerent self-assuredness and more humility and introspection. The latter of course could be faked but one can probably sense if it is genuine!
reefbreakbda is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to reefbreakbda For This Useful Post:
Phoenixthebird (01-02-2011)
Old 01-02-2011, 01:39 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
freefalling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: South Africa
Posts: 330
Originally Posted by reefbreakbda View Post
.

Sheís going to feel scared and lonely but how do I support the lovely woman locked inside with the hideous demon which controls her 50% of the time?

.
Do you feel scared and lonely like she does. Does she care ? Does she support your problem with her?

My rockbottom came when I realised that I was more scared and lonely and also was controlled by" his demons" and there was a real possibility of me dieing before MY stbxah !



HUGS
freefalling is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to freefalling For This Useful Post:
Phoenixthebird (01-02-2011), wicked (01-02-2011)
Old 01-03-2011, 03:17 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Awaiting Email Confirmation
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 53
She has been organising getting into the new rehab herself and whilst it gives me some confidence, I still treat every word with suspicion.

She's keeps asking me questions along the lines of "...aren't you glad I'm doing this..." and I gauge my answer carefully. I'm determined that she does not get any sense that this restores the status quo, that she is not 'buying' some more justification just by talking about it.

I tell her "...yes its good , but really I'm interested in actions, words don't carry miuch weight from you right now..." I say ity kindly and calmly. She is also calm.

I give her a brief hug and tell her that it is the right thing and its great that she is organising it herself.

I can tell she is dissapointed and was looking for more "support", but I think I have found the balance of where to stay dettached in this and sense when she is looking for the kind of comfort that allows her to kid herself that there is not a problem.

I want her to have no doubt that I cannot and will not be sucked-in. I am making sure that whilst being calm and kind she can be in no doubt whatsoever that there is a huge, massive problem.
reefbreakbda is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to reefbreakbda For This Useful Post:
catlovermi (01-03-2011), coyote21 (01-03-2011), desertgirl (01-03-2011), naive (01-03-2011), nodaybut2day (01-05-2011), Thumper (01-03-2011)
Old 01-03-2011, 04:59 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
catlovermi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,294
Sounds like you're in a pretty good place, for balance.

So long as we focus on our own balance and what is acceptable to us for our own life and our childrens' environment, the decisions are much more clear.
When we get sucked into thinking from the addict's "distressed" point of view, it gets tempting to start shifting our own boundaries and re-negotiating with ourself what is acceptable. (In my experience, lying seems to be a big step - when one starts to accept the little white lies, it opens up the floodgates to unacceptable other behaviours. IMO the other big one is focus-shifting - turning the central issue into something else and pushing the raw facts of addiction and recovery into the second tier of importance.)

Addicts seem to instinctively know this, and pull out all the manipulative stops ("you're not supporting me enough," "you aren't showing you love me," "you are abandoning me," "I'm trying as hard as I can," "I miss my kids," "I need my family to be able do this," etc., etc.), to pull your heartstrings and twang on the guilt, but if you are focused on your bottom line and your childrens' bottom line, it becomes more clear what to listen to, and what is posturing.

CLMI
catlovermi is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to catlovermi For This Useful Post:
freefalling (01-03-2011), naive (01-03-2011), StarCat (01-03-2011), Thumper (01-03-2011)
Old 01-03-2011, 06:40 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Today is a New Day
 
StarCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,766
Originally Posted by catlovermi View Post
(In my experience, lying seems to be a big step - when one starts to accept the little white lies, it opens up the floodgates to unacceptable other behaviours. IMO the other big one is focus-shifting - turning the central issue into something else and pushing the raw facts of addiction and recovery into the second tier of importance.)
Thank you for that post, especially this part.

My A is telling me how everyone in his therapy says he just needs to go to counseling and not AA, but he'll do both for my sake if I go to AA with him. (His councilor has assured me that he's supposed to do both, and by himself).
He also says that the councilor said he needs a strong support system, and if he's got a strong girlfriend he should go to her when he needs help. (Again, a confirmed lie).
And this morning he called and left a giant list of things I need to do to make the relationship he has with his family much better, because I wasn't taking a proactive role in things so it's mostly my fault, he'll admit he contributed with the drinking but he'll never drink again so the rest is up to me.

:rotfxko
StarCat is offline  
Old 01-03-2011, 06:51 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
littlefish's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1,650
She's keeps asking me questions along the lines of "...aren't you glad I'm doing this..."
It sounds like she is still thinking she needs to recover for someone else. You might try responding to this kind of remark by asking her: "Are you glad you are doing this?"

When she says:
“...I need to know that you won’t leave me...”
You could reply that you need to know too, that she won't leave you for the bottle.
littlefish is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to littlefish For This Useful Post:
reefbreakbda (01-03-2011), wicked (01-03-2011)
Old 01-03-2011, 07:35 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true.
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 5,924
Blog Entries: 5
. My A is telling me how everyone in his therapy says he just needs to go to counseling and not AA, but he'll do both for my sake if I go to AA with him. (His councilor has assured me that he's supposed to do both, and by himself).
He also says that the councilor said he needs a strong support system, and if he's got a strong girlfriend he should go to her when he needs help. (Again, a confirmed lie).
And this morning he called and left a giant list of things I need to do to make the relationship he has with his family much better, because I wasn't taking a proactive role in things so it's mostly my fault, he'll admit he contributed with the drinking but he'll never drink again so the rest is up to me.
This sounds pretty typical of alcoholics. I used to fall for these kinds of things and run around like a chicken w my head cut off trying to make these things happen, thinking it would fix the problem(s). Sooner or later I learned about blameshifting and manipulations and stopped doing these things. But most importantly I came to understand that falling for it and participating in it only hurts the alcoholic more because it only perpetuates the addict or alcoholic's delusions and incorrect beliefs more. I learned to stop playing by their rules and their reality. So, like I said earlier, it's best not to cater or react to anything they say regarding themselves, their alcoholism, or their Recovery. Frankly, IMO, if they are talking about it to me that is a clear indicator to me that they are not serious about getting sober.
Learn2Live is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Learn2Live For This Useful Post:
wicked (01-03-2011)
Old 01-04-2011, 01:29 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Awaiting Email Confirmation
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 53
Thanks Learn2Live,

I have been amazed that not giving in to the emotional games actually works!

My AW is masterful with the tears and “...don’t leave...” me stuff.
Previously I have given way, but today, much as it tore at me, when she cried and said “...don’t leave me alone...”, and “... will you still have me...”, in-stead of collapsing into pitiful adoration and commiserating cuddles, I answered her with “We’ll see” and similar deflective non-committal but kind comments (Laurie6781 ). When she said why should she be punished (Residential take 2. starts tomorrow), I responded firmly that it was not punishment. It was hard but I stuck to my guns.

If you read my very first post here in November you will know she yanked me out of my initial detachment learning with a suicide attempt.

Today she said, “I don’t want to wake up tomorrow”. My reply was to kindly state that if that was the case we needed to go to the Hospital (she knows I mean the psychiatric unit) and that I was not going through that again. It felt hugely uncompassionate at the time, but when she showed up in the living room ten minutes later to watch TV with the kids, you’d think it had never happened.

I fully knew then that she had tried to play me, and I had prevailed.

It felt like a good thing in my otherwise rotten life!
reefbreakbda is offline  
The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to reefbreakbda For This Useful Post:
bookwyrm (01-04-2011), coyote21 (01-04-2011), freefalling (01-04-2011), keepinon (01-05-2011), Learn2Live (01-04-2011), naive (01-04-2011), nodaybut2day (01-05-2011), StarCat (01-06-2011), Thumper (01-04-2011), tjp613 (01-04-2011), wicked (01-04-2011)
Old 01-04-2011, 03:25 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by reefbreakbda View Post
From what I’ve read it would be better if she believed that the family is already over and that the rehab is solely her shot at her own recovery rather than a desperate route for the addiction to prevail.
I'm sorry but I think that this is awful, awful advice. The more someone has to live well for the easier they will find it to get better. If, as far as you're concerned, your marriage might survive if she gets well, there is nothing wrong with her knowing that. If she thinks it's over one way or the other, her incentive to go through all of the hard work of getting better is minimised.

The important thing is that she knows that actually recovering is what's necessary, not just going to rehab. There is nothing wrong with being honest with her about what you need from your marriage and letting her decide if she can/will ever be able to provide that. (And vice versa.)
KittyP is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to KittyP For This Useful Post:
Justfor1 (01-04-2011), reefbreakbda (01-05-2011), TheEnd (01-05-2011)
Old 01-04-2011, 04:40 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 234
My husband was in rehab for 3 months a little over a year ago. I was very concerned about how my actions and words might impact him, but I really think I was off base in worrying about. How well your wife does in rehab has very little to do with you, assuming you aren't mean spirited. It is her journey.

When my husband went to rehab I made him 4 promises: I would drive him there, I would pick him up, I would pay for it, and I would look after his 90 year old mother while he was there.
trapeze is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to trapeze For This Useful Post:
bookwyrm (01-04-2011), reefbreakbda (01-05-2011)
Old 01-04-2011, 05:02 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true.
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 5,924
Blog Entries: 5
Yes, isn't it amazing, when you finally stop reacting to their drama and hysteria, you can clearly see the manipulation? For me it was like talking to a small child who says they did not eat the cookie when they have cookie crumbs all down the front of their shirt. Good for you for taking that huge step back ReefBreak!
Learn2Live is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Learn2Live For This Useful Post:
bookwyrm (01-04-2011), keepinon (01-05-2011), reefbreakbda (01-05-2011), wicked (01-05-2011)
Old 01-04-2011, 05:52 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,047
Don't allude, state. Say what you mean and mean what you say, or don't say anything at all. Dropping hints and alluding is just torturing her in my opinion. I'm not saying make promises you can't keep. I'm saying tell her the truth, whatever that truth is, and stop worrying about her feelings. There is enough lying because of the disease of alcoholism, enough passive-aggressive pseudo-communication, and enough enabling.

Not one of us here can promise we will never leave our spouses. Nobody can. What you can tell her is that if she does not find recovery you are certain to leave her and take your daughter with you. What you can tell her is that the only chance for your marriage to be saved is for her to find long term recovery. What you can tell her is the truth.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak
Cyranoak is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Cyranoak For This Useful Post:
freefalling (01-04-2011), KittyP (01-05-2011), naive (01-05-2011), reefbreakbda (01-05-2011)
Old 01-05-2011, 09:29 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Awaiting Email Confirmation
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 53
Thanks Guys, KittyP, I agree, there has to be something to aim for. Cyranoak, yes I see, 'stating' and not 'alluding': Alluding is a weak way of taking the edge off the harshness of a statement but is of course ambiguous in the end.

In the car on the way there this morning there was extreme tearfulness on her part, and guarded but compassionate listening on my part (hiding inner anguish, counting the minutes to the place, trying to disguise my edginess).

The conversation went like this:

“Promise you won't leave me"

"I can't promise that, its pretty clear this is not sustainable as it is right now, this family".

"So what are you saying? "

“I’m saying that my first choice is that we have a great little family but I can’t promise it”.

“So if I get fixed will we have a family”

“Sure, if your recovery is going well, can’t see why not”

I was happy enough with all that.

It broke my already broken heart and I was on the verge of my own tears the rest of the day, but writing this tonight with my girls mucking around in the living room there is this a palpable lightness of mood about the place, you could almost touch it!
reefbreakbda is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to reefbreakbda For This Useful Post:
keepinon (01-05-2011), KittyP (01-05-2011), naive (01-05-2011)
Old 01-05-2011, 10:09 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 120
Originally Posted by reefbreakbda View Post
Thanks Guys, KittyP, I agree, there has to be something to aim for.
As long as that's honestly what you want too (which it does seem to be). If you did feel like your marriage was over one way or the other I wouldn't advocate lying in order to give her something to aim for. I just think that as long as you are being honest to yourself about what you want and need, then there is no reason you can't be honest with her too.

I hope that this can all work out for you. Does this rehab have a follow up programme?
KittyP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to KittyP For This Useful Post:
reefbreakbda (01-05-2011)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:56 PM.