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Too close for comfort?

Old 02-16-2011, 06:51 PM
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Question Too close for comfort?

Ok, this may be a silly question...or maybe not. But I am really struggling with this one this week and could use a different perspective.

I attend an Al-Anon group pretty far away from where I live. I did that on purpose - it was so threatening to my A and I wanted some distance. Well...I really like the group but the schedule is starting to be hard to accommodate during the week...this group meets at lunchtime, my lunchtimes seem to get busier and busier at the office. Taking 1.5 hours to go to a meeting right in the middle of the workday is becoming tricky. Weekends are ok, but I am now down to two meetings a week, on the weekends and I would really like to find a sponsor and really start working the program.

There IS a group that meets in my town two evenings a week. I would like to check it out for convenience reasons, BUT this is the Al-Anon group that meets at the same location and same time as my RAH's AA home group. Given the feelings in the past about my attendance at Al-Anon, and given we are now separated, and given he just told me off for asking him questions about AA, I am uncomfortable going to this meeting to check it out. I know I can do whatever I darn well choose - but I am also torn between respect and distance (as it seems to be important to him right now) and convenience for me.

So should I talk with him about it? Or just say to heck with it and just go, knowing our paths will cross, or do I say forget it and keep going to the group I've been with already? Anyone else run into this kind of proximity issue?
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:04 PM
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I would put my SELF first and do what I need to do to meet MY needs. And I would make no excuses, explanations, or apologies to ANYONE. Neither would I discuss it with anyone beforehand. If he doesn't like it, that is LITERALLY his problem.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:14 PM
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I don't get why he doesn't encourage you to go to that meeting if he wants a relationship with you in the future. Are you planning on divorcing?

If he wants a relationship, you could go for coffee afterward each week.

If he or you wants divorce, then who cares what he wants, he doesn't deserve to make such demands.
It isn't even a complaint that makes any sense whatsoever. (unless of course, he's working on some girl from AA and doesn't want you to know or see them outside having a cigarette together).
It's not like you would be in the same room with him, so why does he care?
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:21 PM
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Mine always freaked out too. I think he was paranoid that I would discuss him and he wanted control over that.
That has been years ago and it never occurred to me until today that maybe he was flirting up some women or had other gfs there. In his case, that might well have been true.

I get that you would like to respect his wishes. That is very good and decent of you. But, it is impacting you in a negative way now...and you need to be in your office. I would go ahead and go to the meetings you need that are available to you wherever they are. You know him best..as to whether you prefer to tell him or not. If it is just going to be an argument and/or have you feeling guilty, I would skip it and do what I needed. He may just have to compromise. They are open to the public...and he is all ready seen there.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by brokenheartfool View Post
I don't get why he doesn't encourage you to go to that meeting if he wants a relationship with you in the future. Are you planning on divorcing?

If he wants a relationship, you could go for coffee afterward each week.

If he or you wants divorce, then who cares what he wants, he doesn't deserve to make such demands.
It isn't even a complaint that makes any sense whatsoever. (unless of course, he's working on some girl from AA and doesn't want you to know or see them outside having a cigarette together).
It's not like you would be in the same room with him, so why does he care?
From what I can gather - and this is me making assumptions here - I think he thinks I sit in these meetings and talk about him. I asked him once if he would attend a meeting with me and he scoffed. I asked him if I could attend an AA meeting with him and he also scoffed at that - why would I want to do that?! Seems to me that he wants me to stay out of his sobriety at this point, and if that's the case, I respect that.

We're separated but not divorcing, unless he is secretly planning to because I am not, and you never know with an alcoholic, do you?! What you are saying makes perfect sense to me. We should be able to talk about things, but I am still getting the shut-out. Which is why I am hesitant.

In all honesty - I am sure I am part of this problem. I don't know how to communicate with him anymore and probably never did.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:38 PM
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In all honesty - I am sure I am part of this problem. I don't know how to communicate with him anymore and probably never did.
I was discussing this problem with my therapist this week. I have read lots of marriage/relationship books, attended couples councelling previously, so I think that I know how to communicate, only I dont. The reason I dont like communicating with my AH is because I am scared to do so because of previous backlashes or that my needs are never met or my feelings arent taken into consideration. We never have an outcome or solution to what I want to discuss because it is usually 'turned around' and made to be about something else.

You know that you can both try couples councelling to work through communication issues but when his sobriety has become stable. You will both probably need to learn again how to communicate effectively as I am guessing, that has been completely messed up through the drinking and behaviours.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:39 PM
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I suggest giving the on line meeting in the chat room a test run. I thought it was just as helpful as a physical meeting. You could stop in to a library or anywhere you have access. A laptop with wifi and a starbucks.

Just look for Kassie's post.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:43 PM
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I kind of get what you're saying about his reaction, because I can see my H responding the same way. He would probably feel threatened for the same reasons.

BUT, I don't get how your attending a meeting in a different room, albeit same time, same location, would somehow compromise HIS ability to do his thing in AA, unless you were holding a glass up to the wall so that you could hear what he was saying.

If you want to check out that group, I say go for it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SoloMio View Post
BUT, I don't get how your attending a meeting in a different room, albeit same time, same location, would somehow compromise HIS ability to do his thing in AA, unless you were holding a glass up to the wall so that you could hear what he was saying.
LOL! Thanks for the laugh... like I said, I don't understand his behavior; I am not the alcoholic, I am just the crazy spouse. And you know, I wouldn't want to hear what he is saying any way. I really don't care much anymore.

I am amazed at how uncomfortable I am right now at the idea, yet it would be more convenient for my schedule. But after years of run-ins where I got my head cut off for doing the "wrong" thing, I am really touchy about boundaries. I don't know where his are, until I get my head cut off when I cross one and the electric fence is on - full strength!
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:33 PM
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Tuffgirl...

...may I encourage you to live up to your pseudonym? It's your Alanon meeting, in your town, for your recovery. His thoughts on this are irrelevant, and he has not right in any way, shape, or form, to tell you what you can and cannot do relative to your recovery.

**** that guy. He's not the boss of you. Are you kidding me?

Unless he is abusive and you are in physical danger from him, Woman up for God's sake.

Take care, take what you want, and leave the rest.

Cyranoak
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:49 PM
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My favorite aspect of dealing w/ a A

MANIPULATION....

at play again.

Of course he wants you to go far away. Why should he want it to be convienent for you? He doesn't want you to go anyway right?
Mine did.... until someone told him what ALNON really is.
He thought it would be more "all about me" so he actually encouraged me to go, but now...uh not so much.
when I told him it has NOTHING to do w/ him at all. That I want to go for me, to be a better person and understand what my part in all this is...so I don't make the same mistake again. Well he didn't like that much.
I think you most definitely should go where U want to go! Not where HE wants you to go.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:07 AM
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Do you know that he's even still going to that group?

My own feeling is that you need this meeting for yourself, you know the reasons you need to go (and don't need to justify them to anyone), so you go. Period.

Even if he still goes there, if he's working a program he may have progressed to the point where it isn't an issue for him anymore. If you see him, smile and keep walking into the meeting room or the car, depending on whether you're coming and going. If the prospect of your attending the meeting upsets him THAT much, he can change meetings. There are more AA meetings than Al-Anon meetings available.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
From what I can gather - and this is me making assumptions here - I think he thinks I sit in these meetings and talk about him. I asked him once if he would attend a meeting with me and he scoffed. I asked him if I could attend an AA meeting with him and he also scoffed at that - why would I want to do that?! Seems to me that he wants me to stay out of his sobriety at this point, and if that's the case, I respect that.

We're separated but not divorcing, unless he is secretly planning to because I am not, and you never know with an alcoholic, do you?! What you are saying makes perfect sense to me. We should be able to talk about things, but I am still getting the shut-out. Which is why I am hesitant.

In all honesty - I am sure I am part of this problem. I don't know how to communicate with him anymore and probably never did.
A big part of who I am is constantly worried about other people. In dealing with others, I am automatically super-accommodating. I go out of my way, and worry about, inconveniencing or displeasing other people. I am always thinking of outcomes. "If I do this, then this will happen." I think I can read the future. I think I know what other people want or need, and I think I know why. And if I just take the right steps, say the right thing, don't say the wrong thing, work my life and my ways enough, everyone will be happy and no one will be displeased with me. Plus, it's more efficient!

I notice that other people are just not this way. They go about life doing what they think they need to do as things arise, don't seem worried about it, or fret about what other people might think, or feel, or say, or how they might react. To me, sometimes, they appear to be selfish. And sometimes people are selfish. I seem to gravitate toward people who are very selfish and walk all over other people.

What I can control is me. And a lot of it is about finding balance in my thoughts and my life. When I think I know what someone else is thinking or feeling, that is Magical Thinking. In all honesty, Tuffgirl, we cannot know what someone else is thinking and to engage in trying to figure out and guess what someone else thinks or feels is crazymaking. To neglect myself and yes, my own conveniences in life, based on what I think is going on with someone else, does not bring me peace or serenity.

What he says, thinks, wants, or desires makes no difference really. If it is to be, it's up to me.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:28 AM
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Same location and same time.. but not the same meeting.. so I'm not sure what problem your A could have with you attending the Al-anon meeting which would be more convenient for you (?).

Flip it around.. if you had been going to that meeting and your A decided to go to the AA meeting at the same location and time.. would you place any obstacles in his way?

Sounds like you have already made compromises about this.. when do they stop.. when does your recovery become equally as important?

Tx
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:47 AM
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I signed off last night, mulling this over as I was getting ready for bed (this meeting I'd like to attend is tonight, after all) and read a little in my Debra Jay Book, "No More Letting Go". There was a passage that really hit home:

"The healthy people I know - the ones I respect - allow themselves to be less than fully certain without being paralyzed. They're honest about having their fears, but they also face them without running away. They debate within themselves and with others the right course of conduct, neither jumping for the simple answer nor being frozen into inaction. They haven't got the easy answers, but they're willing to go ahead as best they can...They are prepared to put a lot of effort and pain into making decisions, while paradoxically trusting that, in God's hands and in God's time, it will all come round right."

I needed that last night; funny how it seems to work like this when you are paying attention.

Thanks for everyone's input...it is my choice and I did set it up this way and its my right to change my mind if I desire. I do want to be accommodating to others, in a respectful, healthy way. But allowing myself to be frozen into inaction is going back to the same old patterns that Learn2Live describes. Thanks for that - I am very much that person - middle child negotiator/pleaser deluxe. It is an asset and a shortcoming in my life...makes me very easy to get along with while harboring resentments for having to be the one to bend and flex! I am getting it....more and more each day...

So tonight I am going. Shoot - I may find I don't care for this group and go back to my current group. Either way, the decision is mine to make, and the outcome for my RAH is not my concern anymore. Thanks, SR friends!

P.S. Cyranoak - its been nice to read your posts here, as you are often brutally honest with your perspectives. But sometimes, that's the way things stick...hearing them come back atcha a little more realistically.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:52 AM
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It's difficult for me to mediate...

Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
P.S. Cyranoak - its been nice to read your posts here, as you are often brutally honest with your perspectives. But sometimes, that's the way things stick...hearing them come back atcha a little more realistically.
...I'm very protective of women and children. Probably too protective. Ask my daughter.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
...may I encourage you to live up to your pseudonym? It's your Alanon meeting, in your town, for your recovery. His thoughts on this are irrelevant, and he has not right in any way, shape, or form, to tell you what you can and cannot do relative to your recovery.

**** that guy. He's not the boss of you. Are you kidding me?

Unless he is abusive and you are in physical danger from him, Woman up for God's sake.

Take care, take what you want, and leave the rest.

Cyranoak
haha...anybody else feel sometimes like they are falling in love with cyranoak?
Alright, that's over the top. Just falling for your posts!

Anyway, what's there to be afraid of? Does he think you're going to be walking in the parking lot, pointing at him, and whispering?
There's no threat. It's a separate meeting for gawd's sake!
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by brokenheartfool View Post
haha...anybody else feel sometimes like they are falling in love with cyranoak?
Alright, that's over the top. Just falling for your posts!

Anyway, what's there to be afraid of? Does he think you're going to be walking in the parking lot, pointing at him, and whispering?
There's no threat. It's a separate meeting for gawd's sake!
Ha Ha! I do enjoy his posts...always a different way of looking at things and oftentimes it is far more realistic than I tend to think! So appreciative!

But no - the issue here is not fear, its boundaries. Appropriate, respectful boundaries. My husband may be an alcoholic, but he is still my husband and I feel respect is still important. Just trying to find the boundary without sacrificing myself or steamrolling over the top of him (which tends to be my MO, hence the pseudonym, which, just FYI, is actually my old dog's name. She is a tuffgirl; I would like to be more tuff in certain areas of my life).

I find I struggle with boundaries - others, not mine. I am clear on mine, but others who don't really understand nor can articulate theirs tend to be very confusing to me. But alas, I need to stop my "magical thinking" and not worry about it so much!
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
But no - the issue here is not fear, its boundaries. Appropriate, respectful boundaries. My husband may be an alcoholic, but he is still my husband and I feel respect is still important. Just trying to find the boundary without sacrificing myself or steamrolling over the top of him (which tends to be my MO, hence the pseudonym, which, just FYI, is actually my old dog's name. She is a tuffgirl; I would like to be more tuff in certain areas of my life).

I find I struggle with boundaries - others, not mine. I am clear on mine, but others who don't really understand nor can articulate theirs tend to be very confusing to me. But alas, I need to stop my "magical thinking" and not worry about it so much!
I don't understand what the boundary is? That you not be in the same parking lot as him at a certain time each week? How is your car being in the same parking crossing a boundary of his? Really...that's what it comes down to.
Why does he have this so-called boundary? He must perceive a threat. I can see no reason for it otherwise.
I simply must be honest here...a woman who has a busy job that she has to drive in a frantic state to get to some meeting too far away and then hurry back to her job, her mind jumping from work to this meeting and back again to work, without a proper lunch break and wind-down, just seems like you are going out of your way to accomodate this want of his that you not attend this local meeting. And for what?
Again, there is no threat. The boundary makes no sense. It isn't logical. He perceives some threat!
The only thing I can think of doing is explain to him just how much of a strain it is on you to have to drive on your lunch hour, hurry to a meeting, hurry back, without a proper break which is what lunch breaks are for. Then ask him just why he feels uncomfortable with you possibly attending the same meeting location. It's not the same meeting darnnit!
If he can't give you that, how in the world could you be married to him? It's such a small thing to give you, this "permission" to attend the local meeting. If his britches in a bunch over that, how could you sort through the difficulties of married life?
And I'm still with cyranoak that you don't need his permission anyway! It doesn't have to be a battle, does it? If you explain why this meeting location is important, and then announce you are going to that location?
Successful marriages incorporate making things work for BOTH parties. See...it all seems odd to me because I think the logical thing for him to do should he want you back, is to actually encourage you to attend that location so that the two of you could go out to coffee each week slightly emotionally cleansed from the meetings and upbeat!
This reeks of control freak.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:54 AM
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Boundaries do not try to control someone else's behavior, boundaries simply help you deal with someone else's behavior, and figure out where you draw the lines for acceptable and unacceptable situations.

This sounds more like someone trying to control your behavior, to me...
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