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Old 03-29-2011, 07:18 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I just wanted to let everyone know that I did not intentionally look through his journal. When I attended his support group meetings those journals where with him and I did see much of what was written in them. When he came home from rehab he left all his information out in the family room for over 6 weeks, until I finally moved it all to a bookcase I cleared off for all his recovery material. He never said, " do not look at any of this." I was organizing it for him, and like I said, I had seen much of it in support meetings already, so never even thought anything about it. Unknowingly I came across the papers I mentioned earlier.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:45 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by terry2768 View Post
I just wanted to let everyone know that I did not intentionally look through his journal. When I attended his support group meetings those journals where with him and I did see much of what was written in them. When he came home from rehab he left all his information out in the family room for over 6 weeks, until I finally moved it all to a bookcase I cleared off for all his recovery material. He never said, " do not look at any of this." I was organizing it for him, and like I said, I had seen much of it in support meetings already, so never even thought anything about it. Unknowingly I came across the papers I mentioned earlier.
I really feel for you... That sounds to me like a set up. My AH did the same thing. I didn't look at his journal but the fact that I MOVED it from being shoved between the seat cushions of the couch after 2 weeks (and moved his big book from the middle of the living room floor) resulted in a week of being verbally abused and accused of invading his privacy.

Unreal. I am so sorry. Clearly your H is no where near behaving in ways that are consistent with recovery-- maybe he's sober (or maybe not) but it's not the drinking that makes him an alcoholic and it sounds to me like you are in for a long road with him...

And like others said, if what you found, regardless of how you found it, is a deal breaker, make a decision that is best for you. Infidelity is NEVER okay (if that's what happened-- I think that's what we are all assuming). And it's not something that is attributable to the disease. It's a crummy behavior that's unacceptable no matter what your disease may be.

I realized recently that for YEARS I have attributed every abusive, crappy behavior of my AH's on his disease-- Kind of giving him a moral break a bit... And recently I came to my senses and realized that not every bad behavior on the part of an A can be pinned on alcoholism... I lied to myself and tried to say this was the case for a long time bc it gave me hope that if it was bc of the disease, then maybe if he recovered, so too would the terrible behavior. But there's no guarantee of that and I finally have decided I don't feel like sticking around to see whether or not he a) recovers and b) if he does recover, whether the behaviors change.

I think that there are some people (even the big book says this) who are just corrupted deep down and dealing with far more issues than just alcoholism and in those cases, sobriety and recovery aren't going to change things.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:03 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I don't know... this might be codependent, but my thoughts are:
  1. He's currently in recovery
  2. He listed some things in the "moral inventory" of things done in the past
  3. Whether or not he left his stuff around, it is still an invasion of privacy to read it without permission IMO
  4. Nonetheless, it leaves you with stuff to process about his character

It sounds to me like he's trying to deal with stuff doing his Step work. If you can't deal with what might have been in the past, as suki and others have said, you need to decide what you can accept and what you can't--but rehashing the past with him when there's enough to deal with now might put too much stress on recovery and your marriage--can you handle that?

I think if it were me, I would try to process this information on my own, but would be vigilant with my boundaries from now on with regard to his behavior. If you find yourself in a safe place in the future, like in joint counseling, and the stuff is still swimming around in your head, maybe bring it up where you both can neutralize it and decide what to do about it with a trained professional, because if you just do it on your own, I just don't see it having a good ending.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:44 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Terry, right or wrong, I certainly understand what you did and why you did it. My AH has "suggested" in a variety of ways that I'm paranoid, overly sensitive, or downright crazy when I've accused him of various behaviors that he was in fact guilty of. We're in marriage counseling right now, and he calmly admits to the therapist that he was doing these things and in fact trying to make me think I was imagining them.

If his paperwork (assuming he ever started AA) were right in front of me, I think it would take a level of moral fortitude that may not really exist to resist finding out if I was perfectly sane all that time. Because that's what you were probably looking for, validation. If it were me, that's what I would be looking for. Validation that my own mind is secure. If you were just looking to see his deepest darkest secrets, that is not so understandable. But I think people are judging a little harshly I think. I would certainly not value his privacy over my sanity, and if he knows there are hurtful things in there, he is risking your feelings again by leaving them out to tempt & shock you.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:46 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Look, we've all made mistakes and this one is no worse, and no better than plenty of mine. However, part of recovery is honesty, and honestly she did not have to read the papers.

Fine, what's done is done. But, going forward this is one more thing to learn from.

Lastly, I'll close with this-- not one of us is better than another, and many of us share traits. That said, shared bad traits are still bad whether others have them or not. It has taken no effort at all to honor RAW's privacy. Good God, I don even want to know!
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:39 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I dunno, given he was sorta careless with is supposedly very personal and private writings, it could have very well been left there intentionally. Going through AA steps doesn't make anyone immune to whatever fall out from what they have done while drinking no matter how it is discovered, whatever step they are on.

What is the bigger hurt? The fact that, gosh you read his diary/journal or that he did some risky and possibly damaging things on an ongoing basis? What if she had read something about how he victimized a child or something?(going to extremes here but you get my point). Is it still protective information that the partner should overlook? Hardly.Consequences will still happen and that is why the disease is so icky, even when healing, there will be residual pain.

Plus we are all assuming that her reading this is a BAD thing. Painful, yes but sometimes when this kind of stuff comes to light in a marriage, it can actually be healing and begin conversations that wouldn't have happened otherwise.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:05 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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In regards to what wanttobehealthy said,"unreal. I am so sorry. Clearly your H is no where near behaving in ways that are consistent with recovery-- maybe he's sober (or maybe not) but it's not the drinking that makes him an alcoholic and it sounds to me like you are in for a long road with him... " That was a real eye opener for me! Can you explain that in more detail? Another thing that has been bothering me, is he is now smoking Mr Nice Guy. My husband is an alcoholic and an addict, both his sponsor and counsler have told me that is not acceptable, but in my husbands head he does not believe he has a problem with pot, which is what he used to smoke but he thinks by smoking Mr Nice Guy it's ok. By hearing this, IS he really not working the program? IS he in major denial? So maybe all this is about his character and not about the alcohol at all. He has said to me let me work the program the way I want, is this the correct way of thinking, cause if it is not, I would like to share this with him. He does go to 1 or 2 meetings a day, for his 90 in 90
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:23 AM
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Smoking Pot is universally not being in recovery, but I know a lot of sober alcohlics who do this, and my RAH is enraged by it. He says he always wants to call them out, and to judge but that even that is frowned upon in his group of friends.

I was not going to weigh in on this reading the list thing, as it is touchy for me.

I searched my RAH phone after he came out of rehab.a lot.
I had been cheated on, lied to, there was so much that went on.
I did find things that were current things that made me feel unsafe. He had had contact with an old "friend " who had been an enabling, doting female drinkiing buddy. She was on a list of taboo people and one that I had a boundary about him contacting.

I do not ever feel bad about looking through his phone because only 2 times did I NOT find something that I felt was information that I deserved to know in order to act in good concsience for my own emotional safety.

When someone lies and tricks and betrays you, and then comes back to the relationship, I feel that part of that recovery of the relationship has to be a level of transparency.

Now, if he had done things that you knew about, and he is now doing things that are not within your boundary, then I feel like if you found evidence of CURRENT betrayal, or lies, etc...then that makes sense...

But it sounds like this is stuff that he is trying to leave behind.

smoking pot may be a lesser evil to him, or a benign way of avoiding reality, but he is still avoiding reality.

But, if my RAH had done 90 in 90, I would have jumped for joy.

I think, to a certain degree, you may need to hold your tongue until you watch his current actions long enough to trust him.
He may come clean, he may not. But you might damage his trust by bringing it up.

JMO. keep us posted.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:25 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Also, I wonder if you feel comfortable saying here what it was that you read?

There are definitely degrees.

If we are talking about sex once, if we are talking about a secret double life, if we are talking about a chat line...Are we talking about flirting?

these are all different things, and it does matter.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:50 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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One was a BJ at a bar he used to go to everyday and mentioned who gave him the BJ, I never went to the bar so I do not know who this girl was. That, for sure, I know happened while he has been married to me. The other thing I am not sure if this was before or after I met him, had sex with the girl next door. We did have some swingers living next to us for about 6 years, they are no longer there
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:04 AM
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OK...I would be hurt by this. I am really sorry.
I still think you should hold your tongue.

He is working on things and working it out. He might come clean, but if he doesnt come clean,,, but completely leaves all that behind,and there is no indication of infidelity or even shady behavior... how do you feel about that? The guilt may be eating him up already, and that is the hell that a person has to live in when they betray someone they love.

I dont blame you for looking, or for being hurt.

I am sorry you have to feel this way.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:15 AM
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Huge part of me just wants him to come out and say something, I want to talk about it. I understand I was not there for him as far as the oral sex, but he never asked for it, and I didn't realize it was something he was wanting. Did it mean anything or was it just a BJ? Why doesn't he tell me how he feels, the only time he would mention something was when he was in a drunken stupper, and as all of us know, when do we ever listen to them then. My husband has been alcohol free since 9/2010 and I feel he is working his program, except for the Mr Nice Guy he is occassionally smoking, which makes me very mad,I feel he is not doing the program honestly. So at the same time how can I expect him to be honest with me. DOES any of this make sense!!!!
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:22 AM
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How is he not working the program "honestly"? And, to be frank.. his program is none of your business.

You're obsessing. I would be hurt too. But it wasn't information for you to read.

Are you in counseling? Alanon?

Knowing what you know.. the only control you have is whether or not you want to continue a relationship with someone you feel you can't trust..
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:22 AM
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Have you asked him to talk about the pot?
Have you asked him to have a talk about other women?

From the past?
If so, how did he respond to the idea of talking to you about these things?
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:30 AM
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Smacked,

I disagree with the universal statement that a husbands program is none of the wifes business. '
I go to alanon, I stay pretty well detached...
But when my RAH came home from rehab, we had a deal.
We had TERMS under which he was allowed to live under MY ROOF while he pulled his life back together.

Those were MY BOUNDARIES NOT ULTIMATUMS>

and those had to do with him not using substance, attending meetings, and working on recovery aside from just physical sobriety.

If you live with a wife/husband who has dealt with your addiction for years and you come home to them, and they say,
"you can be here with me and with our child, IF you are in an active recovery program, and you do not use drugs or alcohol while here. "

That is a boundary. I was not willing to live with a sober man who stayed out too much, or who hung in bars anymore than I was willing to live with a drunk person doing the same. When he stopped going to meetings, and started putting himself into bars, HELL YES that was my business. MY childs and my own emotional well being require honesty and I was unwilling to deal with that. BUt guess what, he lied about the meetings and the bar. So, yes, it is my business to know if he was working his program while under MY ROOF> with OUR child.

And now, he lives away, and it is less of my business.
But guess what?
We still share a child. And he still claims he is wanting to reconcile. So IT IS MY BUSINESS to know who he is and where he is putting his focus.
That is common, decent courtesy in a relationship, let alone a marriage/coparenting.

RANT OVER
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:02 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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what i would like to know is...did you have a "gut feeling" of not picking the papers and journals up? what was your gut telling you about your recovery as you did?


I could not imagine doing this...breaks my heart, this A has been coming along way in his recovery...when the A is ready to talk to you about it..then he will....
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:05 AM
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its not your program...he has to find his own way...with his AA friends and sponsor
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:11 AM
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I guess my speedy post came across wrong.

Whether or not I'm in a recovery program is certainly my husband's "business", I suppose, if it's a boundary or condition on his staying in the relationship. The intracacies of how I work said program are for me, my sponsor/counselor and my higher power, and none of his business.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:29 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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I am new to understanding what Alanon and codependence is all about, but from just my personal POV when you are married to someone who lies and who can not be trusted, why should we not seek out the truth? If my AH was getting BJ's and acting in ways that would be completely not okay with me for ANY reason I feel I have EVERY right to know about it. If the only way we could gain that truth is via reading recovery notes I honestly don't care about whatever moral code I could be breaking. I do not see this as being a codie at all. I would not be doing it to monitor their recovery but to know what has gone on behind my back so that I could make sound decisions for my future. Seems like I would be playing doormate if I didn't seek out the truth. As a wife/husband/ SO I feel I do have the right to know about their recovery. Maybe not every detail of it, but I do think some transparency is needed. While their actions speak out would it not be difficult to build back faith and trust in the person if you had no clue about their recovery? Am I missing something here?

I know I didn't cause it, I know I can't cure it, and I know I can't control it BUT I sure as heck feel I have every right to know what is going on, past, present and future. This is something I would want in ANY marriage.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:33 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Smacked,

That is true. Even then, I still feel that transparency in a marriage is neccessary to certain degrees.
Mine is/ was so manipulative and so much damage was done, i truly need to see long term change before I feel that he earned back the level of decent trust that goes between couples.

Thanks for your clarification.
b66


Alone<
I agree.
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