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What do you think?

Old 03-19-2011, 10:36 AM
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What do you think?

After another adventurous Friday dealing with me AH I'm wondering about a few things.

> Does a person's literacy level effect their recovery? I read a lot to help in my recovery and it helps me understand things but my AH dropped out of school in the 7th grade to hustle on the streets to take care of his mother (father was in & out of jail from his A & C addiction) and siblings since mom battled a H addiction . He's gotten better at reading since we got married (I'm in college) but he still has his reading comprehension problems which frustrates him. I'm reading the Big Book myself trying to get a better understanding of A for my own recovery and I see words that I know he'd never understand.

> What's the differences between the AA and Al Anon program? I guess in respect to delivery method. I know Al Anon, we don't give advice, we just share our stories, how does AA work? I'm not ready to go to one of their open meetings as I think it may upset me.

> I was going to ask if an alcoholic can also be codependent but after getting Codependent No More on my NOOK, I read that its possible. Explains a lot about my AH since he took on so much responsibility at like age 8 because his parents addictions. It took me years to convince him to stop running in the middle of the night every time one of his bros or sis got into a fight on the streets. Last night he kept talking about how everyones problems effect him even though he doesn't care (???). I didn't even attempt to address it since it was obvious the day's drinking had caught up to him and I've learned that I'd be wasting my breath trying.

> He is convinced that I'm all he needs. This disturbs me most of all. He's ready to go to rehab/detox again and try therapy & AA. even though he thinks AA won't work (Not that he's tried it before - guess he's going on what he's heard or seen on TV), but since year 1 of our relationship he's felt that I could help him with his issues, which I've tried over and over again to tell him I can't. Not only do I have issues of my own I have to deal with but I also haven't experienced half of the traumas he's dealt with in his life. I know detox will get his head clear from the alcohol but will AA help him realize that his issues are deep and his wife can't fix him?

> I called a lawyer friend of mine already to discuss a divorce (that was Mon and she hasn't called me back yet) because I know the insanity I deal with and the effects its had on me. My sponsor said I needed to choose between myself and him and this was a way. If he got himself together we could always remarry, but I honestly love my husband very much and am hoping for the best but trying to deal with today's reality.

BTW, we're still separated and no he doesn't know about the call to the lawyer.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:55 AM
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Does a person's literacy level effect their recovery?
Not that I've seen. I know a lot of people who are/were basically illiterate who recovered just fine. The BB and other AA books are available on audiodisc now, too. A sponsor is the biggest help in understanding the BB, regardless of your literacy. Having a PhD doesn't make recovery any easier to understand--it is definitely possible to overanalyze unless you have someone to guide you in understanding.
What's the differences between the AA and Al Anon program? I guess in respect to delivery method. I know Al Anon, we don't give advice, we just share our stories, how does AA work? I'm not ready to go to one of their open meetings as I think it may upset me.
Not much difference. Just as in Al-Anon, each group has its own format, but generally there is no cross-talk (responding directly to another person's share). I highly recommend going to an open AA speaker meeting or open discussion meeting (by yourself is probably better than going with him). It will give you hope. AA meetings are one of the most hopeful, uplifting experiences I have ever had.
I was going to ask if an alcoholic can also be codependent but after getting Codependent No More on my NOOK, I read that its possible. Explains a lot about my AH since he took on so much responsibility at like age 8 because his parents addictions. It took me years to convince him to stop running in the middle of the night every time one of his bros or sis got into a fight on the streets. Last night he kept talking about how everyones problems effect him even though he doesn't care (???). I didn't even attempt to address it since it was obvious the day's drinking had caught up to him and I've learned that I'd be wasting my breath trying.
Sure. But the alcoholism will do him in a lot sooner than the co-dependency, so work on that can wait until later. Lots of times the 12-Step work will, itself, reveal issues around co-dependency, particularly old resentments against parents or other relatives who were/are alcoholics.
He is convinced that I'm all he needs. This disturbs me most of all. He's ready to go to rehab/detox again and try therapy & AA. even though he thinks AA won't work (Not that he's tried it before - guess he's going on what he's heard or seen on TV), but since year 1 of our relationship he's felt that I could help him with his issues, which I've tried over and over again to tell him I can't. Not only do I have issues of my own I have to deal with but I also haven't experienced half of the traumas he's dealt with in his life. I know detox will get his head clear from the alcohol but will AA help him realize that his issues are deep and his wife can't fix him?
It will if he does the work. That's up to him.
I called a lawyer friend of mine already to discuss a divorce (that was Mon and she hasn't called me back yet) because I know the insanity I deal with and the effects its had on me. My sponsor said I needed to choose between myself and him and this was a way. If he got himself together we could always remarry, but I honestly love my husband very much and am hoping for the best but trying to deal with today's reality.
It's always good to get information about all of your options. I'm sensing you aren't quite ready to give up on the marriage just yet. You don't have to make any drastic decisions immediately. If he's willing to go to rehab and AA, you might want to see how he makes out with those.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:49 AM
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Thanks LexieCat.

I have another question to ask the forum -

Of course I hate to deal with my AH when he's under the influence because its truly frustrating. As each day passes with his BAC rising because he doesn't drink anything but A so its like he's never sober. I understand I shouldn't nag or complain about his drinking but how do I communicate my feelings without referencing the drinking when he asks why I'm acting or sounding this way?
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:12 PM
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I either came up with canned responses (that I actually had to practice) or pretty much just quit talking to him about it. My xah knew what the problem was. He just didn't want to admit it to himself and he thought he could manipulate me out of my decision by continuing to ask and argue.

So be it if he didn't understand. I finally just started saying "I'm sorry about that." if I felt I must reply for some reason. I wrote a couple of letters didn't really further his understanding any but it gave me peace of mind because then I could say to myself "OK - I said what I wanted to say in as clear a way as I could and I gave it to him and now I can be done with that."

He claimed not understanding, not getting it, not who he thought I was, for a year after our divorce. He didn't stop doing that until this most recent stint in rehab. His counselor asked for a conference call, and I agreed, and maybe they helped him understand or move past that. I don't know. Maybe it will change if he relapses again. Either way, I just had to let it go. I no longer spend time wondering if he is manipulating, really not understanding, or what else. I just move on.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:12 PM
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How are you acting and sounding?

You don't need to constantly express your disapproval of his drinking. Do you have an Al-Anon sponsor? She might be able to help you with detaching from his drinking behavior.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:33 PM
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I'm figuring it just my old pattern of thinking. I'm really new in my recovery, my desire to still explain intertwined with my desire to not keep things bottled up and risk hurting myself that makes me want to let him know how I feel. For instance, he called wanting to see me today, I'm tired from the work week, I'm still feeling some kinda way from last nights discussion and when I told him I didn't want to, he wanted to know why. His housemates distracted him and I was able to get off the phone without having to "think up" the appropriate response. Now I have a headache and I'm hoping since I'm turning off my phone, he doesn't just show up at my apt.

I have days where detachment is easy - typically the beginning of the week but I'm finding by the time Friday rolls around and I'm tired from work I just don't have the strength. I know I still battle "guilt" and am excepting I'm a full fledged codependent. I really thank y'all for being here for me.

Lexiecat - I do have a sponsor, just got one this week and I'm still kinda feeling her out. I was really hesitant about getting one because of times like this where I feel like I'd be disappointing her. I also am realizing my "control" issues. It's like my AH has controlled so much of my life and I'm trying to get me back and a sponsor feels already like another control mechanism. I'm sure I'm wrong but its just how I feel.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:41 PM
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A sponsor isn't there to "control" you, but she IS there to help you learn new ways of thinking and behaving. Just like a teacher, or a coach, or a mentor. If you wanna learn, you gotta listen and ask questions. ESPECIALLY if you are also trying to un-learn old ways of thinking and behaving that weren't serving you really well.

I totally understand the almost irresistable urge to tell the alcoholic WHY you aren't feeling all lovey-dovey. If he asks, directly, you can say that being around him when he is drinking makes you uncomfortable. You don't have to justify it any more than that.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:45 PM
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Since he has been physically violent in the recent past, I would be very careful what I say around him. You never know what might set him off, especially if he is always drinking, as you say.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
Since he has been physically violent in the recent past, I would be very careful what I say around him. You never know what might set him off, especially if he is always drinking, as you say.
Thanks for pointing that out. I guess that's another reason, with me being tired and all and him drinking, his desire to see my today, like face to face is soooo not what I want. I also see in our phone conversations his resentments surfacing and his moods flipping. That's why I turned my phone off.

Lexiecat -

A sponsor isn't there to "control" you, but she IS there to help you learn new ways of thinking and behaving. Just like a teacher, or a coach, or a mentor. If you wanna learn, you gotta listen and ask questions. ESPECIALLY if you are also trying to un-learn old ways of thinking and behaving that weren't serving you really well.

Thanks, after my nap I'm going to call her.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:56 PM
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Part of what I had to learn is that I did not have to keep talking until I said something my xah would accept as 'good enough'. I could say 'tonight doesn't work for me.' or 'I'm tired tonight and want to be alone.' I don't have to keep going and offering up reasons he feels worthy. I don't even have to say why. It might just be a feeling and I don't know why, I might not feel like telling, I might know it will just be another circular discussion going nowhere. You don't have to tell him why. He is not sober he isn't going to 'hear' it anyway.

I even began to say "I don't know." to things when I really didn't know. Imagine that! His head about popped off. He kept badgering and I just stuck with it. Sometimes people really don't know. "I can't decide that now." was also one he hated. I had always felt like I needed to come up with *the* answer and then stick to it right now, no matter what. He had gotten used to that and then when I changed my mind, he'd go on and on and on about it. I didn't owe him, or myself, an answer right then and there. I could think it through. If I made a mistake I could say "I made a mistake and I'm changing my mind."

Those were big things for me.

I want to add my xah is not violent and had shown no physical aggression to me what so ever. Have you spoke with a domestic violence person? I think their advice should be followed first, whatever that might me.
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