Do I say something or wait

Old 03-28-2011, 07:52 AM
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Unhappy Do I say something or wait

My husband got out of rehab 6 weeks ago. He is currently working on step 4 which he has been working on for quite awhile, it seems he hasent done anything more with step 4 since he has gotten out. 2 days ago I was looking through all his paperwork he was working on while in rehab and came across his moral inventory, there where things in there that pretained to things he has done while married to me, I want to ask him about them, should I, or should I wait for him to get to step 5 and confront me with them.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:56 AM
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I dont think you should mention it..but I also feel like you violated his privacy.
I keep my recovery journal in my pocketbook so no one can read my thoughts. These are my feelings and I would be fuming if I found out anyone was reading them.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:02 AM
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His recovery is HIS. I agree you should not be reading his work books or journals. He has as much right to his privacy as you do. It's his business whether or not to share these things.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:23 AM
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Why are you going through his paperwork from rehab? I'd let the man have his privacy. His recovery is his. His feelings are his.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:27 AM
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But what about his vows to our marriage, and my feelings, I have never broke our vows, those are sacred to me, how do you think I am feeling
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:35 AM
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Then if what you read hurt you so badly, perhaps it's time to separate.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:48 AM
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While I agree it was private and you should have not read it I totally understand why you did. In fact I think I would have done the same thing (being totally honest here). We are put through hell and most likely don't even know the half of it. Lord knows we may never get the truth so I get why you looked. Right or wrong, I do understand.

I guess for me it would depend on what you read. Is it something you feel is a deal breaker for your marriage? If so then it is just time to move on. If it is not, then I think you need to wait to see if he tells you about it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:01 AM
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Once alcoholism is introduced into the marriage, all bets are off. Vows, pledges, promises, concern for feelings, etc., are gone by the wayside. I'm sorry he did things you don't like, but if you hadn't gone snooping, you wouldn't know and it wouldn't be upsetting you. Now that you know, it's up to you whether or not you wish to continue with the marriage. This just goes to show that it is less than fun being married to an alcoholic.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:05 AM
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I've been on the receiving end of snooping - intentional or unintentional - doesn't matter...married or not. He violated my trust and privacy by taking whet he found and confronting me about it. I may be his wife, but I have a right to privacy and to be an individual.

If your RAH is really working the program, he will eventually share these things with you. Eventually means on his own time and terms. Until then, I'd forget about what I saw.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:22 AM
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I understand that this is a very difficult time, 6 weeks into recovery, while a great accomplishment on his part, is really no time at all.

What are you doing for yourself to counter the effects of being in a relationship with an active alcoholic? That you are reading and posting here is wonderful, but I guarantee that if you focus on yourself, and your own recovery from being involved with this terrible disease, you will ultimately find some inner peace, and no longer feel the need to monitor your AH.

Al-anon, SR and a great therapist have helped me so much. We need to heal as well; and monitoring and attempting to control our alcoholic loved ones is a tough habit to break, but the rewards of doing so are innumerable.

My best to you. Glad you have found us.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:14 PM
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It was absolutely out of line to read his paperwork. It is a major trust violation, and I would be infuriated if you were my wife. Think very, very, very hard on this before you decide what to do around this. I'm pissed just writing about this. Were my wife to ever violate my privacy in such a fashion, ESPECIALLY AROUND MY STEP WORK, there would be hell to pay.

What you did was wrong by any measure.

Take what you want and leave the rest.


P.s. How do I think you are feeling? Perhaps exactly how I felt the second time my wife got out of rehab. Betrayed, scared, angry, hurt, lost, helpless-- those are just a few of the feelings I had. I never, never, never read anything of hers unless she explicitly and specifically asked me to. I also don't ask her questions about her recovery, nor does she ask me about mine. Our respective recoveries are none of the other person's business. What is my business is whether or not I'm happy with her, and what I decide to do around that is my decision for which I am 100 percent responsible. None of this came naturally to me-- I learned it all in Alanon.

P.p.s. Terry, are you attending Alanon? If not, please consider it. It will help you to be a happier person. If you are fine being miserable, just keep trying to control his recovery. That will work.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:36 PM
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I am sure what you read obviously upset you very much. The truth does hurt and so does betrayal.

I do not know what vows you took, but mine went something along the lines of "Love Honor Trust" By snooping, you have not honored his provacy, and you certainly do not trust his recovery.

Notice my vows do not have the words "Obey" oh yes, those were specifically deleted and I most certainly corrected the clergy when she said OBEY!
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:07 PM
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This is a toughie. His recovery work should really be a private issue when it comes to his thoughts and journaling. But whats done is done. The issue now becomes what to do with the info. If you bring it up then are you prepared for whatever outcome? If you never mention it, will it eat you alive, do damage to your trust? Not sure how risky his behaviors were but I can only tell you how I'd handle this....

I'd have a deep discussion with myself, therapist, friend, whomever to process what I found out. Then I would make up my mind if this is something I can excuse because he was in active drinking mode and is working to change his ways. Or is it bothering me so much that I can no longer trust him or worry about catching STD's (which as much as I support his privacy, risky behavior of drinkers ain't cool if it puts their partners at risk so it may be a conversation worth having).

Hard to say. Just think about this for a long while before and if you decide to act on it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:34 PM
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Snooping is wrong, very wrong. That said, I have done it. I have even done it around someone's recovery work, though I don't believe I would have ever dared to look at someone's Fourth Step. The only ones who are ever supposed to hear about the Fourth Step are God and the person's sponsor (or whoever they choose to hear their Fifth Step).

What's done is done. I certainly wouldn't go and tell him that you did that--it might be harmful to his recovery. What you do with whatever distressing thing you have learned is to keep it to yourself, or confide in a therapist or Al-Anon sponsor.

And PLEASE make a vow to yourself that you will stay OUT of his recovery and his private thoughts and papers from now on.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:03 PM
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I know you are getting lots of slaps on the wrist for looking at his papers and I just wanted to say I am sorry you are hurting, and wondering if perhaps there was a degree of testing you going on by leaving those things laying around.

Alcoholics destroy our trust and our ability to trust our instincts, our judgement and ourselves. Reading his private things isn't right-- you already knew that-- but in my al anon group this topic came up a while back and it was shocking to realize how many in the group had done similar things.

It's not okay, or justified, no matter what the A has done, but it is definitely a behavior that is a symptom from having lived with an A.

Just as privacy is sacred, so is truth. When you've been lied to for years and your gut tells you something is not right but the A in front of you tells you you're imagining things, it sure is hard to not be tempted to look for "evidence"... I've been there. Never found anything but have looked and felt very guilty for doing so...
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by terry2768 View Post
But what about his vows to our marriage, and my feelings, I have never broke our vows, those are sacred to me, how do you think I am feeling
I think you are feeling angry, betrayed and hurt. I don't blame you for your feelings. You are most certainly entitled to them.

The reality about alcoholics is that you can't count on them, you can't trust them and you can't believe much of what they say. And, even when they go into treatment, it takes weeks and sometimes months before they start to normal out again (as my RA friends C and M tell me).

You alcoholic husband's brain has been hijacked by booze. His thinking has been skewed as has his behavior.

Every time my AH starts lecturing and pontificating, I have to remind myself that I'm not listening to man I married. I'm talking to the booze junkie he's become.

I would take some time with this issue. It's only been six weeks. I know it's hard and it's not fair.

Consider that you are facing a future with who your husband is becoming not who he was when you married him.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:54 PM
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So this is a tough one for me. I don't know the exact circumstances in which you came across this information...I guess, technically, no matter what the circumstances were, you shouldn't have read any further once you realized what you had in your hands. But if he wanted something to be private, it shouldn't have been anywhere accessible to others. My mom always told me not to write anything down that you wouldn't want someone else to read. I still had to learn this lesson the hard way, and to this day, I cannot journal or brainstorm solutions to relationship-type issues on paper, because I know what that can cost me. So berate me if you will, but he could have kept his sh!t private if he wanted to. Now you know what you know. If your health is at stake, you can be tested without his ever having to know. Don't beat yourself up too much...what's done is can choose differently the next time...
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:05 PM
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If what he did (and I think we are all assuming an infidelity) is a deal breaker with you, then you can choose to leave. You don't have to explain. Just being married to an alcoholic is enough for most people to leave.

If what you read about is not a deal breaker for you, then ask yourself what you expect to gain by confronting him. I agree, he will be angry. In fact, he will most likely equate your reading of his journal to what ever it is he did. He will see no difference. And he will forever more think you are just as bad. At least that is my prediction from living my alcoholic for 20 years. So, if it is not something you are going to leave over, I suggest filing the info away along with all his other bad behaviors over the years and never worry about it again. It's what we do.

You could also choose to do nothing and let it fester and bother you. Eventually you will most likely blurt out some details when engaged in an emotionally charged argument. Of you might mention it to someone else and it becomes public. Then the cat will be out of the bag good and proper. See above.

So, you have a choice to make.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:41 AM
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Wait it out

I would just wait it out. You definitely violated a huge breach of trust yourself by reading his step work. My RAH explicitly asked me to please respect his privacy and not venture near his recovery notebook. And I would never dream of doing so. I have experienced that type of snooping behavior and it can be very damaging. He will feel violated and that will become the primary issue, not the issue of an alleged affair. Maybe he intends to come forward later into his step work? I think that his recovery should be his primary focus right now and working the steps with his sponsor. Give him the time and space to do that while you focus on yourself, working your program and not his. Trust issues do not solve themselves in a day anyway. If you confront him, you would have to be prepared to act on the consequences, leaving him, or staying with him and working through it together. It doesn't sound like this is something he is yet ready to do in his recovery. The horse must come before the cart after all.

Alcoholics and addicts do terrible, awful things under the guise of their disease that they would never do otherwise. This does not make their actions acceptable and does not get them off the hook for the consequences. It just makes things very confusing for their SOs when they decide to pursue recovery! The damage is done. But you also want to move forward. It's a tough call. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:26 AM
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I would think that most of us on SR have snooped before, including me. Isn't it part of the disease of alcoholism?

It is definitely a part of my husband alcoholism (the family disease) that has affected me due to lack of trust, honesty and lies told by my AH. I have checked internet history and 'discovered' my AH had been visiting porn sites. I guessed his password for his email account and 'discovered' over a years worth of sordid emails to another woman. I checked around the house and 'discovered' cigarettes when he wasn't smoking and beers when he was in a period of sobriety.

My AH has 'checked' up on me too. Reading my emails, reading a letter sent to me from my mum, finding my SR account and reading all of my postings. I have never given him a reason not to trust me. He believed that I was untrustworthy because I was 'talking about him' with friends, family and SR!

I recognize that its wrong and feel bad for doing it and since attending Al-anon, counseling and coming on SR, I really try not to snoop. It is hard though! I still check his beer fridge and our joint account for beer purchases occasionally but I try to let it go. Its not worth the fight that would follow if I should mention it to him.

Are you attending Al-anon Terry? It sounds like your husbands alcoholism has deeply effected you too and if you learn how to detach you will feel much healthier. Its working for me.

My AH mentioned stuff to me that he had read in my emails and letter from my mum and justified it by saying that I was talking about him, he didn't show any remorse. What upsets me more is that he doesn't 'get' that it is not ok to invade my privacy and two wrongs dont make a right. I would let what you have found out go, or like others have said, you will likely do more damage to an already fragile marriage, if your husband can add 'untrustworthy' to his list about you.

I remember telephoning my husband when I had 'discovered' his year and a bit internet affair to 'give it to him both barrels' he was more indignant that I had accessed his email account than he was to being found out.
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