Left behind in recovery?

Old 02-07-2011, 07:24 PM
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Left behind in recovery?

Well my husband is just a little over 4 months sober, but I'm feeling terrible! While he was in treatment for one month, he wrote me the sweetest letters about how I saved his life and he loves me and can't believe I've stuck beside him blah blah, but now that he's home, its like I've taken a back seat.
He loves writing, and is currently trying to break into the short story industry and get published. He spends 90% of his day writing. He sits in his car and writes when he's at work (he's in a rear company in the Army, so he does nothing all day), then when he comes home, he writes for at least 3 hours, so I do not see him from 5am to 9pm. Then he expects dinner and we eat and watch tv and go to sleep and that's it. We start the same miserable day over again in the morning.
He says he never thinks about drinking because he is living his dream, but I can't help feeling that his dream doesn't include me. He says, "I'm glad I'm not deploying because I know what I want to do with my life now" and never, ever mentions family. He shows little interest in what I am accomplishing, for instance, I have a job interview for a really nice job tomorrow (which we desperately need since he drank himself out of the army) and when I tell him the great news, he's like .

He just seems incredibly uninterested in me, and when I bring up that maybe he should balance his writing with family time, he has some outburst about how writing is good for his sobriety and he can't see how I could be against it. He also makes it clear that he will not stop. There is no compromise on his writing.

Our sex life is nonexistant. We sleep together maybe once a month now (we've only been married a little over a year) and during that one time it lasts maybe 5 minutes. No joke. He doesn't even really participate in conversations with me anymore. There is always a pause before his replies, like he is busy thinking about other more important things. He even told me the last time I got pissed at him that he doesn't have time for "my games." I take this as he doesn't have time to give two shits about how I feel.

Am I overreacting here? Is this all me being codependant and needy? Or is it him, still thinking the world revolves around himself? I need some advice!
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:03 PM
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Was he drinking through out the marriage and before it? If so then maybe this IS who he really is. The alcohol was covering up things that you are just now learning about him.

Also he is fairly new to sobriety and from what I understand, it is still a bumpy road until they figure out how to balance day to day life (including stress). Sounds like the writing (like the drinking) is a replacement for the escape drinking gave him. An obsession is an obsession.

Have you thought about marriage counseling? One year isn't that long to be feeling so hopeless

Wish I had more constructive feedback but recovery is very complex and affects everyone differently. Hopefully his behavior is part of that growing process and he will eventually 'even out' and participate more in the relationship.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:14 AM
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How much time are you spending focusing on what he is doing or not doing? I do think his focus needs to be on his sobriety for a while, and your focus needs to be on you and making yourself happy regardless of what he is doing (the same as when he was drinking). It sounds like you are making some very positive steps in trying to find a new job, and thats wonderful. Do you really need him to be happy about it for you to be happy about it? I think perhaps there are some lingering codependent behaviors at play.

Echoing what Babyblue said, hopefully his behavior is part of a growing process, and he will even out eventually and be able to reconnect with you and your family. You definitely have some legitimate needs that are not getting met. But he may not be able to meet them. You will have to decide whether you want to live with it or not if he can't. I would give it more time, refocus on you and making yourself happy whether he is connected or not.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:24 AM
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Early sobriety is a very difficult, crazy time for the recovering alcoholic. The best thing you can do is focus on yourself. Have you been to Al-Anon? There are meetings on line if you cannot get to a live one.

All I know from my own experience is that the first year is really hard. And actually, some of the negative behaviors that were there when they were drinking actually are worse, but if your husband is working a strong program of recovery, things will get better.

Most important, take care of you.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:30 AM
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My first month in Al Anon, there was a guy who was a RA who was recovered for 18 yrs. When I shared my story about my, now ex, who was in his first yr of sobriety but not working a program, this guy said to me "He's a dry drunk, put your seatbelt on, you're in for the ride of your life"
He was right!

Sounds like your H is replacing his drinking with writing. Addicts have to be addicted to something at all times.
Is he working a program like 12 steps?
And yes, being in Al Anon to keep the focus on you is a great idea.
It's REALLY hard, but you need to learn to detach.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:47 AM
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Well, he is in a pretty good group (I've been to the open meetings) and he has a sponsor, but he has quit working the steps. He's done the third step, but when it comes to the fourth, he just can't seem to make time. He is not focusing on his sobriety first, he is focusing on his writing first. It may be good for his sobriety, but he hasn't done another step since his second month sober.

As far as Al-Anon goes, I've been to a Sunday night meeting about 5 times, but I don't know if I really like it. Its just a bunch of older ladies sitting around talking about themselves and how their week was, and when its my turn and I get to complain and talk about my problems, there is never any advice. Its just "Thank you Courtney." and they move on and I'm stuck there feeling exhausted and angry.

I was able to detach and let go of the things my husband did when he was drunk because I could tell myself "He was drunk, that wasn't him speaking", but this new stuff...I have no idea how to deal with it. I asked him if he had anything planned for Valentines day (last year we went gambling in Kansas City and stayed in a beautiful hotel downtown, and he did all that while actively drinking!) and he told me no, that he hadn't even thought about it. Its just things like that that hurt. Of course he hasn't thought about it, he says he doesn't like the holiday, so he doesn't want to do anything. Its as if everything has to revolve around him all the time. If he doesn't like the subject, we won't talk about it. If he doesn't like going to see a show or going out somewhere, we won't go. It doesn't matter in the least how I feel.

But now I'm just rambling.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:15 AM
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You need to try a few meetings to find one you like. I was lucky, my first meeting became my home group.
We have a "loving interchange" where we share and accept advice but we don't consider it cross-talk.
But there are times, when just reading and listening is healing as well.

The real key to healing is to take the focus on him and put it on you. And I know that's really hard. But it's the ONLY way to find peace
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:23 AM
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I have to agree here that the first year is the hardest. And they need to focus on themselves because if they don't - they can't stay sober. It seems so unfair that you have waited and waited and now he's sober and WTF?! He's still withdrawn and remote? I, too, wanted a quick fix and saw AA as that and then whoa - he's suddenly TWICE as self-centered?! However, I understand now it is what it needs to be, for him, to remain sober, and I need to continue to focus on myself and get the bulk of my needs elsewhere. Emphasis on "bulk", because hey, I am still married after all!

Anyway, it feels frustrating because it is frustrating. But try to re-frame it in your head that now is a time for you to be self centered, too. Are there things you've wanted and out off because of his drinking? Are you living your "dreams"? Do you have people outside of your marriage that can be proud of you (since he can't)?

And lastly, do you understand how he really feels about this job interview? He forced you into that by his own bad behavior; how can you expect him to be supportive and excited when he KNOWS he did this?! Can you, for a minute, imagine the guilt he must feel? You just aren't seeing it yet, but trust me, its there.

I am practicing my compassion now - this is where I am in my journey through recovery - recovery from life with an alcoholic, that is. We can't move forward without it, regardless of the outcome of the marriage.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:42 PM
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Interesting, when you said that your AH has put his writing before his sobriety.

My rabf and I have talked about this, and he has learned in the rooms of AA that anything you put before your sobriety, you will lose.

Something too about not letting the gifts that come from your sobriety become more important than your sobriety.

Even those with 20+ years of sobriety attend meetings, do step study, realizing that they are always 1 drink away from losing all they have gained in sobriety and recovery from the disease of alcoholism. Recovery never ends, and those who let their guard down, or become complacent about their program of recovery, are at a much greater risk of relapse.

Take care of you. I read Courage to Change every day, I read Codependent No More repeatedly ( I highlighted it, and go over those parts ), I see my therapist regularly, and I read and post here almost every day. All of this is working for me no matter what my boyfriend is doing.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:59 PM
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Alcoholic stepping in here....(double winner AA and Al-Anon)

The 4th step is a hard step in AA. It involves really looking inward at ourselves "made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves".

Alot of folks, not just alcoholics, or Al-Anons do not like to do this. I doubt his sponsor agrees with his decision to stop working the steps. I had to go to any lengths to get sober, and that include working my recovery program before anything else.

Four months sober, is a wonderful grain of sand falling thru the hour glass of life.

I echo the words above. Please read Co-Dependent No More, and Courage to Change. They will help you work your program of recovery while he does, or doesn't work his.
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