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Congrats or Shut thy mouth?

Old 06-21-2011, 10:28 AM
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Congrats or Shut thy mouth?

M1k3 reminded me of something I wanted to toss out there.
My now RAW will hit 1 month sobriety tomorrow. Yes. I absently know how long it's been.

This question may be directly more towards our double-winners. I believe there's nothing wrong with me be happy and proud of my RAW. Granted it's only been 1 month, it's still progress that I've never seen before. Should I be giving her high fives and rewarding or do I simply keep my mouth shut?

I believe better recovery happens from within. Generating your own source of pride in your own accomplishments is the ticket. Perhaps I'm answering my own question. In a sarcastic light, I reward the dog when he takes a dump outside versus on the carpet. Pavlovian theories and all that.

What do you all think?
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
how about a nice card? that would be appropriate. if she is going to AA or the like she will get her 30 day chip which is where the REAL sense of accomplishment is derived!
My mom sends me a card every year on my sobriety anniversary. It means a lot to me!
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:42 AM
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Good question! I am having a hard time addressing my RAH recovery, mostly because I can't and don't trust it (him). I personally have kept my reaction to a minimum I guess because I want his recovery to be for him, not because he is trying to please me. I like anvil's recommendation, but really you need to do what feels right for you. My RAH and I never really talk about how he is doing and what is happening in his recovery. I think if we did I would be more likely to want to say or do something.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Alone22 View Post
I think if we did I would be more likely to want to say or do something.
Same here.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:49 AM
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i tell my RAH of 3 months how proud i am of him all the time. i guess i believe in positive reinforcement. his family is constantly bringing him cards and gift certificates, etc. i think i does make him feel good about what he has accomplished.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:54 AM
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I don't see how it could possibly be a bad thing to just simply say, "Congratulations on your 30 days. I'm so proud of you."
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:56 AM
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I tried this - and was met by self defeating comments - so I quit saying anything. And now today, I quit saying anything at all.

Shell, whatever you do, do it for you, not for the outcome. If you feel you need to honor this day, do so. If you feel too angry/bitter/mistrustful/whatever to acknowledge the 30 days, don't. She'll know if you are sincere or not. We women know these things.

BTW, congrats to you for sticking it out another 30 days.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:59 AM
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Can't help you with this dude, my AW has been in rehab several times but still hasn't participated in a program. What I can say is congrats to both of you and I hope this is the first of many.

Your friend,
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:09 PM
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The first time exABF stopped drinking, unassisted by a program, any time *he* brought it up to me, "Hey, it's been 30 days!", I would respond with a 'way to go' but nothing really more than that. I was genuinely thrilled for him that he could physically do it.

I have a childhood friend who just celebrated her one-year chip, and I did send her a birthday card and it wasn't her belly-button birthday! Pretty cool to share that time with each other, since she shares so much of her recovery with me.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:41 PM
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I would like my husband to be involved in my recovery, but in the beginning he said no, it is my problem. He offered no support whatsoever and said he would NOT keep liquor out of our house. In the beginning he drank heavily on weekends and told me how good the wine tasted. He waved bottles in my face and told me I how boring I was sober. As the months went by he said AA was a cult and he thought they were brainwashing me.

I would SO totally give your wife high fives. The most difficult part of my early recovery was my husbands refusal to accept my alcoholism. When it comes down to it, he HATED my alcoholism, but he wanted to hold on to the hope that I could still drink normally. And of course he felt shame. A deep sense of shame that his wife was flawed, sick. That is not what he had counted on.
sigh. It was a hell of a rough trip in the beginning.

Now, 3 years on, after my first AA meeting, things are a little different.

He is not so suspicious of AA anymore. He sees it now as part of my schedule and he reminds me on the days of my meetings and asks me if I am going. He has become kinder and more supportive. He has accepted that AA is my lifeline.

AA is no longer a cult to him. When I once reported that someone at a meeting talked about the cost of strollee lawn fertilizer, his ears perked up and I guess somewhere inside, he realized that AA people are just normal people after all.
well, normal, normal...not normal when it comes to alcohol.

And, maybe I have become kinder and more supportive to him as well, because I have changed completely as a person by working the 12 step program. Maybe a little bit is rubbing off on him. Our marriage has improved 100%.

If I could wish for the stars, I would like my husband to be involved with my recovery. Yet, I know he won't be. It is just not what he wants to do. Maybe your wife doesn't want it that way. either. Maybe she wants it to be her personal journey.
The best way to find out what to do? Talk to her. Ask her if she wants you to be involved in her recovory.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:54 PM
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Thanks for your perspective littlefish.
Sounds like it was a hard path for you and I for one am proud of your strength.

There have been posts here where people ask for success stories. I'm not in the know on your specifics but from my perspective, hearing your accomplishment is one hell of a success on your part.

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Old 06-21-2011, 05:04 PM
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Nothing wrong with being encouraging.

The best thing you can do to acknowledge her recovery progress is make sure you are working on your own!

My wife has nearly a month and its been great to see those changes, but it constantly reminds me to keep the focus on me...

I would be dissapointed to find myself one day where my wife is getting somewhere with her recovery and I was stuck back in my old resentments and self pity!

Take care
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:23 PM
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I would totally acknowledge it with a warm congratulations. A card is nice, too. I always like a sentiment like, "I know how hard you've worked for this, and I'm very proud and happy for you." Keep it simple, not gushy.

I absolutely LOVED picking up my chips at 30, 60, and 90 days. I remember feeling sad when it then became 6 months, and a year, and then it is just the years that got counted. However, NOT sad enough to go back for another 30-day chip!

I'm proud of her, myself. It's a start, hopefully of a whole new life.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:39 PM
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Haven't posted in awhile. My AH has not been drinking for two weeks today! He won't go to AA, but I don't think he's drinking from the way he's acting. I wouldn't say that he's in recovery since he doesn't have a program, but he's said that he'll go to our counselor individually. It's a start and something that he also has never done in over 30 years of marriage. I'm hoping and praying that he'll go to the counselor we saw jointly for marriage counseling because he likes her. She will try to get him to go to AA so I wouldn't need to say anything. He doesn't talk about his sobriety at all and wouldn't even tell our grown kids. I guess he's afraid he'll slip so he doesn't want to say anything yet. I don't talk about it because he wants to keep it so private. I feel he'll talk about it when he's ready. So I'm keeping my mouth shut and taking one day at a time. I'm enjoying his new personality minus alcohol...he's so much easier to get along with
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
M1k3 reminded me of something I wanted to toss out there.
My now RAW will hit 1 month sobriety tomorrow. Yes. I absently know how long it's been.

This question may be directly more towards our double-winners. I believe there's nothing wrong with me be happy and proud of my RAW. Granted it's only been 1 month, it's still progress that I've never seen before. Should I be giving her high fives and rewarding or do I simply keep my mouth shut?

I believe better recovery happens from within. Generating your own source of pride in your own accomplishments is the ticket. Perhaps I'm answering my own question. In a sarcastic light, I reward the dog when he takes a dump outside versus on the carpet. Pavlovian theories and all that.

What do you all think?
Here's my somewhat cynical view. Back earlier this year my AH had about 6 weeks of sobriety and was going to AA daily and all that. On his 1 month anniversary I congratulated him. He told me I was patronizing and to shut up. Then a few weeks later in a rant he told me that it was crappy that I'd never congratulated him.

Point of my story: Do what you want to and what you feel is right. It may or may not blow up in your face or may not be what your wife wants or may be just what she wants. Your congratulations won't make or break her recovery success and if it does then she's not really all that invested personally in her own recovery.

Sorry if that sounds harsh. I just remember thinking "what's the right thing to do that will be helpful?" and clearly that line of thinking was no good in my situation.

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