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Is this a mean thing to say?

Old 03-19-2011, 08:45 PM
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Is this a mean thing to say?

I responded to a post the other day. The comment i responded to was along the lines of... our relationship is perfect except for the drinking. I know he can get more out of life if he gets to the bottom of why he drinks, he can have a good life, be happy, etc etc.

In my own journey I have realized that maybe my RABF likes his life the way it is, and my telling him things similar to the comments made above (maybe i have made those exact comments myself) are essentially telling him, "I don't love you the way you are." Rather, "I love you the way you could be." I realized this about my thinking and I apologized for implying that and I am trying to learn now to accept him the way he is, detaching with love, rather than the way *I* think he "should" be, or "could" be.

Is it mean to state this comment to others on the boards when sharing my ES&H? While it is a sad thought... it was a true thought and realization for me.

Opinions please and thanks!
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:27 PM
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Hi concernednurse!

I don't think its mean at all. I think its honest. I also think many of us have thought this very thing in the past, and many lurking out there reading our posts are thinking this right now. The "yes, but..." syndrome. Its part of the process of recovery...learning that we are so focused on what could be that we neglect to look at what is. I look back and wonder what I was thinking...everything was perfect except for the drinking...no it wasn't! It couldn't be! Yeesh I was so naive.

Life is not perfect, and I am not either. My marriage won't ever be perfect. That's unrealistic. So for today, I accept things as they are and make the best of it.

I think you sound very healthy...good for you!

~T
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:03 PM
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I dont feel like that is mean.

People come here for advice, and wake up calls.
Some arent ready, they balk at the advice, they leave... and some come back when they are ready.
If they are ready to hear what you offer, they will hear it.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:11 PM
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I don't think it's mean either.

but I see your point.

You wouldn't walk up to a bi-polar person and say "wow if only your brain worked right our relationship would be perfect"....

I think there are multilayers to this ....
I don't have a problem saying to my RAH that if he drinks he's gone. Period. because at some point I have to have my own boundaries and what is appropriate for myself and my kids. I know it's a disease. I know I wouldn't walk away from my RAH if he weren't an alcoholic and had Cancer, (just for example) but I know what I can tolerate and what I can't. Maybe there are those who couldn't handle a sick spouse...but I also believe there is a difference in those who are active alcoholics and those who are trying, and I mean REALLY trying to recover from their addiction.
you can't help someone who won't help themselves and yet it's so hard to walk away when you know they will fail miserabely w/out help.

So is it mean to say that? I still say no.
But I also question your idea of 'perfect' if the drinking is the only problem.
Normally the drinking is a symptom of a underlying problem that is not/has not been addressed.
I do think some people are just prone to addiction in general.
If they didn't end up alcoholics, they would be sex addicts, food addicts, gamblers...etc.
again...just a symptom of a problem.

I don't know ..this is a great topic by the way.
I'm going to think on this one more and do some reading.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:48 AM
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I don't think it was mean. Interesting perspective which I can fully accept because yes, we shouldn't tell someone how to live their life or assume we have a better way or not accept them for who they are.

There is also no guarantee that stopping any type of reckless behavior leads directly to a better life. That is oversimplfying things because that better life may be long, long away after recovery and sadly, some never find it.

But I think you can have an acceptance AND hope they not continue to harm themselves or self destruct. Particularly if you are aware of the personal pain they are in by being an alcoholic, or how they struggle to find the solution.
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:42 AM
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I think it is perfectly possible to love someone as they are and still not want to be in proximity to the chaos they leave in their wake. To not want to watch them on their path of self-destruction, and to feel like a party to it.

I wouldn't say that I stopped "loving" my husband who went back to drinking after he almost died of liver failure. Rather, I couldn't stand watching what he was doing to his life and couldn't stand the impact it was having on my life. So I left him. I still pray for him. If he were to get well, I probably wouldn't want him back in my life, but I wish him nothing but the best. He isn't a bad person, he is a desperately sick person. But he is the one who holds the keys to his own recovery. Until he is ready, nothing I did would make any difference.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo66 View Post
I dont feel like that is mean.
If they are ready to hear what you offer, they will hear it.
I think this is it... when I first came to the boards my first post was whether to write a letter to my ABF or talk to him in person... a thread that I subsequently had deleted for various reasons. And, of course at that time, i think i was looking for a way to convince him he had a problem, all the while knowing i was doing it to protect myself. I did give him the letter actually, if anyone even remembers the thread. But, the truth is that I got a lot of tried and true advice on the thread that was like "get out now..." etc. And like many others who aren't ready to hear the truth, I gave him the letter. But I have done a ton of learning since that time, and I think the harsh but true statements that people made re: my situation at the beginning were helpful, even though at the time, I didn't want to hear them! "My situation was different." NOPE! It was similar to everyone else here minus minor details. As I continue, I am much happier in my relationship now that the alcohol has been removed, and happy and hopeful that my RABF is going through his process in trying to stay sober.. but I will continue to focus on my recovery first and foremost, as that damn relapse may one day rear its ugly head. Thanks for all your responses, everyone!
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:02 AM
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I have realized when I am angry even a bird's song is noise...
And when I am sad it is all dark even if its 36 Celsius outside.
When I am hurt, everyone's words, everyone's, will hurt me somehow
And when I already sense a truth, when I read it, I truly feel supported...

Anyway I remember when I arrived and things were too fresh and too painful.
I believe its honesty what we are looking for here as real life is full of fantasies, many created by us, often years, decades ago...
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