HFA and detachment

Old 03-05-2011, 05:18 PM
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HFA and detachment

Okay I need help on this one to better understand what I need to do for me. I get the idea of detachment, which means to let the A feel the consequences of the choices they make. Let them handle their problem(s). If we don't it is hard for them to see or understand the harm they are doing.

I am married to a HFA and the only thing he is harming is our family(mostly our marriage) and his health. I am finding for me to detach I am having to emotionally pull away from him no matter what he is like. AH is horrible only part of the time, just plain disconnected a lot of the time, but part of the time he is a rational, loving person. I find it hard to stay detached when he is being the loving, kind husband I want him to be (which by the way I think could be happening to manipulate me into thinking he is getting the bigger picture so that he can continue to sneak and drink). Do I just stay emotionally distant from him no matter what? When would I stop doing it? ( I would like to think that perhaps someday he will stop for good and put his family and himself before the alcohol.) How will I ever know the recovery is real?

He has been trying to get sober and stay sober for over 8 years now. He will go to AA, seem to take it very seriously, go to counseling, but yet I don't think he is any closer to quitting than he was years ago. Makes me think the consequences have not been great enough, but short of me leaving him will they ever be?

Am I detaching from my HFAH correctly? This feels awkward to stay married because it is not bad enough for me to leave, but to be so emotionally distant from him and still go about daily life. How do you smile and chat with someone you are emotionally distant from? How do I make this okay?

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:36 PM
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I don't know what a HFAH is, but have you gone to alanon? Have you seen a therapist that specializes in addiction? Both of these can help you decide where your boundaries are..
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:32 PM
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I'm thinking HFA means high-functioning-alcoholic?

I can only give you my experience, which involves a recent relationship with my young niece, when she went psycho on alcohol and benzos (we've raised her since she was 1 and her mom died in a car wreck). Long story, but stepmom (her g'ma) has let her do whatever she wants, with NO consequnces for her 17 has turned into a codie and doesn't help the situation.

I haven't heard from her since the night she literally terrorized me. She's been chatting with dad and stepmom (moved out in June) and they were quickly back to "everything's okay" and thrilled to hear from her.

Me? I texted her, once, that her W-2's were here, and "I love you" and got back "k". I'm not reaching out to her, and if she comes back home, for any reason, I am not going to be all excited about it. In fact, she has a long way to go before I even trust her to not get stupid again. If she acts up, again, I will leave. Can't do it permanently, as I don't have the means to do that, but I won't be around her when she's acting like that.

I love her as if she was my own kid (I don't have kids) but she's getting detachment from me. She'll eventually get back in touch with me and act as if nothing happened. I've forgiven her (I'm an RA, so I know how we do stupid stuff and hurt people) but I haven't forgotten.

I can be around her, and answer questions if she asks, but other than that, I just do my own thing. It's taken quite a while for me to get to this point, and I'm considered the "problem person" in my family because I feel she should feel consequences for her actions.

As far as your husband, when he's in his "good mood" I would work hard on accepting that I have feelings about the "bad stuff" and I'm entitled to that. I've also found that responding with "hmmm" does a lot of good. You don't have to smile and chat if you don't feel it in you. This is about YOU and your feelings, not him and trying to "make up" for what he's done.

Don't know if this helps, but it's what I'm doing. It's taken me quite a while to get to this point, 3 XABF's, and a LOT of help from my SR friends. I had to reach MY codie bottom and realize that, yes, I am most likely being manipulated (or at least she tries), and I no longer wish to play that game. I don't detach because I'm hoping it will make her straighten up, I detach because I don't like the way she is living her life, and I'm not going to get dragged back into the ways I used to "oh, she's trying, I need to give her all my support", only to have her go back to the same stuff.

Hugs and prayers,

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:44 PM
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It's hard.
There are times I like hanging w/ my RAH but I also have found that the more time I spend w/ him the more he tends to slip in some manipulating or disrespectful behavior.
2 wks ago..he would make a point to focus on US...(he was manuevering to stay), would not take phone calls when we were hanging out, wouldn't be playing his stupid games on his phone etc...
Now...he's take calls, make calls, play his games. Ignore every word I say because he's too busy texting his AA buddies.
I'm now very aware that alcohol is a problem (he is in recovery) but...the bigger problem is that I thought it was THE problem and it's not. The fact is that he's a selfish a$$%^%$ is.
Now I have to I want that ? do I want to be married to that?
I just don't think I do. Things are becoming clearer to me on a daily basis and although I don't like what I"m seeing I understand it better now. I'm just not sure if I'm willing to make the sacrifice to lose who I am becoming and remain married to him...I just don't think it's what's best for me or a good example for my kids.
Pros and Cons...the list really makes everything crystal clear.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:30 AM
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Thank you. HFA.. high functioning A...sorry I am new here so I don't have it all down yet : I will be going to my first Alanon meeting tomorrow and I have been in therapy for a few months now. I guess I have kind of done the pro/con since I have decided (at least at this point) to stay after giving it much thought. While I am not happy with my marriage, we have 3 kids and leaving seems far more stressful for all.

I think the saying one day at a time fits. I am trying to project into the future when I need to make short term decisions right now. Right now I do not trust him, right now he needs a lot of time to work on recovery, right now I need to keep my emotional distance etc. I guess I am just scared that at some point I will think I can trust, but the reality will only be that it is just part of the next roller coaster ride.

Blwn you also nailed something else I think about, which is the "how much is your behavior really part of being an A and how much of you is just really a self centered jerk?" He is in therapy getting that one figured out.

Life is too short and I am so sad that this is something my family has to deal with.
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