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Old 06-17-2011, 07:56 AM
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One Uping It

when my RAH came back after a "relapse" that took him across the states, we agreed to sobriety and separate accounts. I have been reading on here and detaching with love since i have smelled alcohol on his breathe twice and an admitted alcohol filled weekend about a month ago with no nagging drama from me. I don't snoop on his phone, bills, mail, etc. He pretty much goes and comes as he pleases. We still enjoyed hanging together, movies and going places.

Recently, it seems as tho he has taken my detach behavior as rejection and is withdrawing from me. No longer watching movies together or going places. He is bringing his 22 year old son (RAH) to live with us without a discussion. He also has added a prior drinking female to his Facebook list which sounds like trouble to me. He says i havent been to Alanon and that i wont have him. huh? and that chick on FB has went too? I feel like rushing to Alanon but it could be just another hoop he wants me to jump in and then it will be another one.

Has my detachment backfired? would rescuing him out of drinking debt and falling on the floor like a doormat would have made it better?
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by FLsunshine View Post
I feel like rushing to Alanon but it could be just another hoop he wants me to jump in and then it will be another one.

Has my detachment backfired? would rescuing him out of drinking debt and falling on the floor like a doormat would have made it better?

Sunshine, ((((hugs))))

Go ahead and rush to Al-anon but do it because you want to get better.

And no, your detachment hasn't backfired. If he is drinking he is still an active alcoholic and nothing has changed.

Take time to work your recovery and don't worry about him. You have to follow your own path and he will follow his. Just looks like those paths are starting to go in separate directions.

Your friend,
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:33 AM
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Mike is right on.

Oh, and (((HUGS)))

When you say your detachment "backfired", what was it you were trying to accomplish?
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:08 AM
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Well.. i thought that it would give a "supportive and encouraging" environment for sobriety and healing of our relationship. No blaming, pointing fingers, snooping, nagging, guilt trips etc. (the best i could, sometimes slipped) He would handle his recovery and i would handle mine but now he says if i can't see that he has changed.. Its not that i cant see some changes however behaviors are still the same. I still have my boundaries which help lessen the codie. I don't mingle finances (huge trigger) and i don't snoop. But our home is still tense and painfully not FUN at all. No matter what ive changed or reworked. So i felt like since i wasnt all in his business and oogy gooey over him. He feels like i treat him the same as when he was drinking (which he prob is drinking again)
A good example is a young child throws a tantrum even tho your doing what is best for them, a parent ignores the tantrum, the kid gets LOUDER and more animated. My RAH or AH is getting louder and more animated..
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:12 AM
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'changed', or 'changed back'?
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:49 AM
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IMHO - what you are experiencing is classic alcoholic behavior. Detachment isn't for him...it is for you to help keep your life manageable. Sounds like you are doing something for him and expecting a different outcome than the one you are getting.

Instead of focusing on what he is doing (or not doing) - how are you? How do you feel about his drinking again? How do you feel about the marriage (aside from the painful comment in regards to living with him).

My RAH still thinks my detachment is a rejection. That is his baggage, not mine. As long as he continues to define me negatively (I reject him, I disapprove of him, I this, I that, I negative negative negative...ad naeuseum) we cannot move forward to heal the relationship. His guilt, shame, and remorse don't belong to me. Detaching from that allows me to not let him define me. If he said I wasn't going to Al-Anon enough, after I stopped laughing, I would invite him to come along. If he said I wasn't being supportive enough, after I stopped laughing, I would simply remind him that I continue to remain married - that in itself is support. Detachment allows me to not worry about him, fret over what he is doing, obsess about things that are none of my business, and to move on with my life as I want it to be.

Maybe do some more reading about detachment. There are lots of good books out there on the subject.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:30 PM
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Tuffgirl your right.. Its for me and not to expect something different from him which I was doing and surprised by his increase of not doing..
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:49 PM
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Hey FLSunshine...

your post is timely for me today. You see, I thought I was doing so well in my recovery. I was "detached", I was moving forward one step at a time... I was getting on with living. Except... I still had a hook in my AH. I hadn't really let go. I was still watching him, and hoping that MY behavior/recovery was going to stimulate growth in him! Sure, I was getting better, and I was making progress (and that's a good thing!)... but as long as I kept one eye, hand, or hook on him... I was being held back. I was looking for positive affirmation (from his actions! yikers!) that I was working my program right. Ya know that whole, "If we work the program, our family life is bound to improve" thingy... uh yeah, sick ole me, twisted that into - "If you become a better more perfect wife Shannon, he'll have no choice but to sober up! How could he not want to get sober after he sees how peaceful, joyous and free YOU are!"

Ooopsy... I was wrong. I mis-applied the program, and that's okay.

Our recovery is for us. That's it. We initially find our way here for them, and if we stay long enough - we realize that if there's someone who needs saving (and is worth saving)... it's US. And then eventually we learn that it's okay to save ourselves, even if our loved ones choose to keep making the same old unhealthy choices over and over again. And in time - the situation does improve (I'm not saying the marriage is saved - big difference)... the situation improves because WE heal. Our emotional health recovers and we grow stronger - and we no longer participate in the dance and insanity. And so the chaos subsides - and in the peace, we find our truth... and from a calm and healthy place... we make decisions, that honor us as individuals.

To me, that's how the Al-anon program works...

and I was reminded by some wise, old-timers... that it would work just like that for me - if I put the work in ;-)
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by FLsunshine View Post
Well.. i thought that it would give a "supportive and encouraging" environment for sobriety and healing of our relationship. No blaming, pointing fingers, snooping, nagging, guilt trips etc. (the best i could, sometimes slipped) He would handle his recovery and i would handle mine but now he says if i can't see that he has changed.. Its not that i cant see some changes however behaviors are still the same. I still have my boundaries which help lessen the codie. I don't mingle finances (huge trigger) and i don't snoop. But our home is still tense and painfully not FUN at all. No matter what ive changed or reworked. So i felt like since i wasnt all in his business and oogy gooey over him. He feels like i treat him the same as when he was drinking (which he prob is drinking again)
A good example is a young child throws a tantrum even tho your doing what is best for them, a parent ignores the tantrum, the kid gets LOUDER and more animated. My RAH or AH is getting louder and more animated..
I also am of the school to not look at how he's changed but how you've changed. Part of detachment is all about looking at how you've changed.

In my situation, I had to get some distance to get real clarity on the *situation* as a whole, but not on exABF at all. I needed to get him out of the way of my mirror so I could look at my own self.

When you describe the situation like a parent-child relationship, it makes me remember. That's how I thought of my situation, too. It made me cringe because I never wanted to be his parent! I have a child that I have to raise who is actually a child! That's what made it clear to me that I needed some distance to be able to see how I was doing much easier.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:19 PM
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I completely agree with gettingby, I have been doing the same thing, working the program with one eye on him, hoping some miracle would happen and he would see how I was changing and want some for himself, then I realized I was not working the steps at all because I was skipping the 3rd where I am suppose to turn it over to higher power. I just have to learn to work on me that is the main part I needed to learn anyway that the only person I have the ability to change is myself. And don't really need him to acknowledge, others in my life that don't even know I attend Al-Anon have commented on seeing a difference in me in the way I deal with things and that is enough. Yes I hope he will see the light and want to get into recovery, he did just inform me that he thought he needs to see a therapist to help him work though some issues he has, but even if he don't I should never let that come between me and my recovery.
This board has been such a God send for me, sometimes when I am at my breaking point I come here and just read. And somehow knowing I am not alone makes it easier for me to step back and readjust where it is needed to stay on my side of the street. Thanks to all.
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