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Head in the sand vs. over the top

Old 06-27-2011, 04:15 PM
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Head in the sand vs. over the top

Hi all,

I am having a hard time getting to the bottom of how I feel, what I need, what to do, determining what is best so that I can feel better about my life and future.

I know only I can make a decision about what is best for me, but sometimes I feel like I let my judgement be clouded by other people's opinions, what my heart wants, fear, and mostly what is happening now with RAH etc. When RAH was just an AH it seemed easier to make a decision about what I needed. There is just something about being mad that can really motivate a person. When he was spewing self centered garbage at me, lying to me, etc I felt stronger about my need for big change. I could very logically tell myself that even if he started on a road to recovery it was a path I could never fully trust because he had been down that road a few other times, plus it is just the nature of the beast. I thought without a doubt that I made the decision that I needed to get back to full time work to protect me and my financial future.

Now that AH is now a RAH (again), although very early in his recovery, things just don't seem as clear to me. Two of my closest friends, whom both had or do have an AH, think I have it pretty good, which in comparison I do. I get the impression they would love to be in my shoes and feel they could handle (live with) my AH. Now I know they are not walking in my shoes and we all have different level of what is acceptable in our lives, but I can't help but let it cloud my judgement or at least question it.

Going back to work is something that I really do not want to do. I love my job of a stay at home mom and I know the impact of me going back to work will be hard on the family, especially hard on the marriage. We have 3 kids and no extra support from family or friends. No doubt me working will cause extra stress, which is the last thing my RAH needs (or anyone needs for that matter).

As I sit here I question if I am trying to stick my head back in the sand or if I really have been a little over the top in regard to how bad my AH is/was. I worry about the progression of his alcoholism, I worry about making changes that will impact this family, I worry about not making changes and regretting it later on.

I am really struggling to making a good, logical and clearly thought out decision about going back to work and when to do it if I do. I feel like I have two sides each with great reasons why I should or shouldn't go back to work.

Anyone have a crystal ball I could borrow? Is all this telling me I really just need more time to determine what is best, or is it me dragging my feet because I am hoping for the best? Part of me feels that I need to give RAH the best possible chance at finding long term recovery, that this is the first time I have been in recovery while he is in recovery too and it actually might work. The other part of me is saying don't be stupid RAH has attempted recovery other times and more than likely he will start drinking again and I should prepare for that and get my butt in gear. Don't wait to see what happens this time because even if he does find recovery (even long term) he could fall back off at any point. I would be very upset with myself if another few years pass and things get ugly again and I really lose the ability to support myself and our kids like I could now if I get back to work.

Makes my head spin... just wish I had a way of getting to the bottom of it all.

Thanks for reading... being able to just come here and share my thoughts helps.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:28 PM
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You wouldn't be over the top AT ALL for making a change and going back to work.

Being a SAHM is a little risky (IMO) for a woman in a stable, happy-enough marriage. Even if you have a great H, he could die, become disabled and unable to work, get laid off, etc. etc.

But addiction is a huge deal in a marriage and we all know addiction is progressive. Even if his current attempt at recovery sticks, relapse is always possible and you'll always have nagging doubts somewhere in the back of your mind.

Most married couples (even parents) are two-career families. If that is so stressful it derails his recovery, he wasn't that serious to begin with.

If you get back into the working world, even part time, I highly doubt you'll ever regret it. You will be protecting yourself and your children if/when things take a bad turn.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:35 PM
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My crystal ball is in the shop, or i'd lend it to you

You're in a very tough spot. Trying to decide what is best by basing it on what has happened in the past, as well as what might happen in the future. I can't help but think there maybe a way to kill two birds with one stone here. Cover your butt and still be a part of the family at home...Maybe part time work? I don't know all the details, or what your profession is.

Going back to work doesn't necessarily have to mean abandoning your family, and staying at home for a bit longer doesn't have to mean putting all your faith in your newly recovering husband. Is this a decision that needs to be made immediately? Have you talked to your HP about it?

I do know this though... don't second guess yourself and your feelings about how bad things were when he was in active addiction. Go back and read journals, old threads and posts, whatever. I know I had big problems with that, when the process of moving on and taking care of myself starts to get daunting, I reflect back and think, "was it really that bad?". And i'm pretty sure you'll come back with, "yes, it was".

Comparing my journey to others was not fair to myself or, them quite frankly. Everyone has different levels of patience and tolerance, and different definitions of marriage, partnership, trust, commitment, acceptable, and unacceptable. What's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander.

One day at a time, you're not alone, Alone ... haha that was funny
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:49 PM
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I feel your pain and frustrations...

For me, I had to let go & let God

Whatever happens in the future will happen

I tried to hang on, with lots of wishes and big hopes & dreams of his
recovery.

Decided I needed to have all of those for me first...

I let go of my RAH, and within months he became my XAH

My boundaries were: 0% tolerance to drinking (not one sip or one swallow)

That boundary was for me, not him

After a few things were said & did and his 2 beers, that he thought was okay
after I shared my boundaries...

I knew, being done, was for me

I dont like to pet the snake who bite me over and over again...

Once was enough for me

When your time comes, you will know

You wont care, what he or she thinks or his family

You will care, what YOU think and what YOU want

We all put our heads in the sand and we all put them out at different times
Thats okay...

My stress is way different now than when I was living with him
I still have stress, but its a calming stress, its not a constant worry of
what's and where's he is coming from next...No surprise attacks, maybe is
a better way of putting it

As far as your friends having it way better than you?? (Im cracking up laughing)
One of my friends, kind of said the same thing...
Her husband drinks way too much, but she lives in a million dollar home,
has yard keepers, house keepers, husband is home every night, takes
her on $40 grand vacations, treats her like a queen
""""compared to mine""""""
Mine: Got to the place he couldnt go to work, pissed his pants, passed out
where ever, couldnt remember where he was while driving, got physical,
would steal my money, mentally abused me & my kids, couldnt hardly even
do the yard work unless I told him to do it, treated me like ****

SO, there is a difference in alcoholics, JUST depends on how much those
girl friends really share with you....
How many people have I told that my xah was pissing his pants???
Honestly??... You & my alanon class
And Im pretty outspoken, but that is one thing I dont go and share...

So dont compare your story with all of those other girley friends
because they are probably not as honest as you think...

Back to my girlfriend who lives like a queen...Thats what she
wants everyone to think and she does a good job faking it to everyone

except now, I can see the pain in her eyes, I can see what she does
in her life to "purchase" happiness...It's there, she just deals with it
differently.....

This crap, makes all of our heads think way too much...LOL

Go read my post, $10 grand of rehab, divorce, still loves me, moved away,
still drinking like a fish, and still cant figure out why we are not married...

So if I find the crystal ball, I will surely throw it your way...

Hang in there girl! * Your not alone *
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:06 PM
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Kitty I really wish my old career had a part time choice, but it doesn't. If I could have that it would make life really easy right now. It has been 11 years since I have been out of that career and a lot has changed, so much so that I feel in order to be competitive I need to take some classes before I even try to go back. I was planning on getting that done this summer so I would be ready to look for work once the kids were back in school in the fall. I feel if I wait it just puts my chances at having a good salary/career in question. Not having a part time option makes me feel as if I need to get on one side of the fence or the other on getting back to work. Whatever choice I do make I want to make sure I am making it for the right reasons... ie not because I have stuck my head in the sand and not because I am over reacting. Right now I am having trouble knowing how I really feel. What I do know for sure is that I am confused about it all. It seemed so clear a few weeks back when RAH was only an AH irritating me with all his self centered crap. I usually feel knowledge is powerful but right now having more knowledge about how serious alcoholism is (his alcoholism) and where it can progress to has me at this point on the fence. I honestly thought my AH problem with alcohol wasn't so bad that it couldn't be "fixed". We have been dealing with this for a long time now and I just figured one day it would magically get all better. That he was smart enough and loved me enough that it would all just go away...HA... ignorant me.

Beyourself... thank you so much for sharing your opinion with me. I needed to hear that. I know there are a lot of two income families out there and they get it done. We used to one ( I stopped working after baby #2). For us it was very stressful with just one kid and trying to manage it all. With three... yikes.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:26 PM
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Thank Bobby. I haven't shared everything with my friends but trust me they do or did have it a lot worse off than I. If my RAH did half of what theirs have done I would be long gone! I keep giving it up to my HP so that the decision would be easy and if fact that is what I did and about a month ago and I felt like my HP was leading me in the direction of returning to work, but now... it doesn't feel that way. Maybe HP is waiting to see see what RAH will do??? I know ultimately it is me that has to make a decision, my HP can't do that for me, but I am trying to give it up to him so that he leads me down the path that is best for me and my family.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:58 PM
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When I get like you are describing, I try and take a deep breath and not think too far into the future. Try and keep it in the day. If you are unsure about going back to work, give yourself some time before deciding. With regards to him relapsing, try not to think that way because it will drive you nuts. Prepare the best you can and then try to let it go (I know easier said then done).

Now go get yourself a mani/pedi because that always helps!!

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Old 06-27-2011, 07:11 PM
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Alone22, I am in the same place as you - a stay at mom for 12 years and I need to go back to school in order to earn a higher income. My advice for what it is worth - take the AH out of your thought process and put some feelers out there - it doesnt hurt to look in the paper (or craigslist, who knew!) for jobs, ask around because you never know what is out there. Baby steps - yesterday I sent my college transcript to a graduate program where they will evaluate what classes I need to take to get a teaching cert. I was amazed at the confidence I felt just doing that one thing!

My point is that looking in the paper for a job, getting some info on classes (how many? how much? ect) ect can only help you make the decision.

Gather info and go from there. Peace -
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:36 PM
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Alone...I have also been a SAHM for almost 9 years, and I was thinking through the exact same scenarios just a few short months ago...it is maddening, and it seems there is no perfect answer. But I finally realized that a lot of my angst centers around what "might" happen in the future. Granted, it is an educated guess, but none of that stuff is happening right now. So, I decided I should just focus on the next right thing. For us, it is best that I stay home at least one more year, so that's what I am doing...but let me be clear...the only way he enters into that equation is that he makes it financially possible. When I say "best for us", I mean best for me and the kids. I am also making plans and taking steps to make it financially easier for me to leave if and when that happens. But you know, I have gotten pretty good at detaching over the last few months, and I'm not obsessing about what comes next...I'm finding peace and joy in the here and now and trusting I'll know what comes next when I need to know. I am simply not in control, and I am finally ok with that...relieved, actually. I need to give my HP credit for my new-found outlook, though, because I can assure you I couldn't have fabricated it on my own...it is a gift from my HP. Hope this helps in some way...I am thinking of you and pulling for you!
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:08 PM
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Ok I have to pull a 'cyranoak' here and say - his recovery is none of your business. Go get a job if you want one. That's your choice...his recovery is his choice and his to manage. Stress is part of living. Your working will not cause him to relapse; he will cause himself to relapse. You don't owe him a 'stress free environment'. He needs to own his own sh!t, and his stress management is on him.

As a former SAHM, I love working. It is so much easier than parenthood! I get paid vacations, sick leave, nice clothes, $ in the bank, praise, adult conversations. But...I feel the constant pull of home life vs. work life. Yes, I suffer from the irrational guilt of being a working Mom instead of a SAHM, even though it is a better fit for me. So I got used to that nagging guilt and do the best I can with it. It's now been the exact amount of time working as staying home, and my girls are doing great. It is a juggle but one I am glad I have mastered (most days).

You can always try it for a time period and quit if it doesn't work out for you. No harm in that.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:31 AM
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I was always the primary breadwinner in our family. Thank God because if I had to rely on my exah for financial support, my son and I would have been homeless and on welfare a long time ago.

I could never rely on someone else for my or my kids financial well-being. For me, it would mean giving way too much control over my future and my life to someone else...and if that someone else happened to be a drug addict or alcoholic...well...the stress would kill me.

Its hard to juggle my career and motherhood. I admit that there have been many days where I looked at SAHMs with alot of envy...and yet, in the end, I think my son appreciates how hard I work and the stability my job gives us.

I can only say what works for me.

You've got to do what is right for you. But please...whatever you do...don't make a decision like this based on what might or might not cause your AH to relapse. Life isn't stress free. If he needs an excuse to drink, he'll find one without your help. Do whats right for YOU and YOUR kids.

Hugs...
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:53 AM
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Thank you! Just getting other people's POV is helpful. Just for clarification I would never not get a job because I thought it might hinder his recovery. It was just a possible negative to doing it., which I know in reality shouldn't even be any part of the equation. If he is going to drink, he is going to drink, period. I have looked into what I think I need to do in order to get back into my old line of work. There are classes I can take to get me up to date on changes in the law and best part I can do it from home. The other nice thing is that I have maintained some contact with those I used to work with that still work in the industry. Jobs are out there so I believe if I chose to go back I should be able to find work fairly quickly. Doing this leg work and getting my ducks lined up did help to take some of the stress off. The feeling of being overwhelmed went away when I took these small steps. My hang up on working again is I don't want to go back to work, I like being home with the kids. While I would love the financial security of working it comes with a pretty big cost (stress). It was really hard when I was working to balance it all and back then I had one kid and family who could help out if I really needed them. Now I have 3 kids and no family to help.

Outonalimb: while i was growing up in a dysfunctional alcoholic family I told myself I never wanted to be in the position my mom was. She stayed because of financial reasons. I went to college with the full intention of always having a career. I wanted to always have the power to stand on my own. When I quit my job 11 years ago it was a difficult decision for me. I hear exactly what you are saying.

I don't have to make this decision today, or tomorrow... I keep telling myself to let it rest and enjoy summer, but that is easier said then done.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Alone22 View Post
Thank you! Just getting other people's POV is helpful. Just for clarification I would never not get a job because I thought it might hinder his recovery. It was just a possible negative to doing it., which I know in reality shouldn't even be any part of the equation. If he is going to drink, he is going to drink, period. I have looked into what I think I need to do in order to get back into my old line of work. There are classes I can take to get me up to date on changes in the law and best part I can do it from home. The other nice thing is that I have maintained some contact with those I used to work with that still work in the industry. Jobs are out there so I believe if I chose to go back I should be able to find work fairly quickly. Doing this leg work and getting my ducks lined up did help to take some of the stress off. The feeling of being overwhelmed went away when I took these small steps. My hang up on working again is I don't want to go back to work, I like being home with the kids. While I would love the financial security of working it comes with a pretty big cost (stress). It was really hard when I was working to balance it all and back then I had one kid and family who could help out if I really needed them. Now I have 3 kids and no family to help.
That (in bold) is an awesome first step - helps so much to recognize your options and choices. Even if you choose to stay home with your kids, it is still your choice and you know you have other choices and you will be ok, regardless of what your RAH is doing or not doing. That is your power.

Is there any other options in your industry? Like teaching others what you do? Teaching can be flexible and part-time...a lot of young mothers I know who worked and then stopped to raise kids find teaching is a way to bring in extra income without sacrificing 40+ hours a week away from the family. With technology as it is today - lots of teaching opportunities are online instead of in a traditional classroom.

And I said what I said about your RAH's recovery because it is so easy for us wives and mothers to get caught in the trap of needing to make life easy and manageable for others. I've come to the conclusion it is part environment and part biological to have those feelings. One of the best lessons I have learned so far is to allow my RAH the freedom to manage his own recovery - to back off, let him take responsibility, and find his own way. To not stop living because of his situation, nor to try to "make life easier" in any way possible. I don't soft-pedal things with him; I don't take responsibility for his actions, and I don't own his feelings anymore. If he relapses or slips, that is on him. My doing or lack of doing something does not contribute to those choices he makes. What a relief to let that go - that was a big burden to carry around!
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Alone22 View Post
Kitty I really wish my old career had a part time choice, but it doesn't. If I could have that it would make life really easy right now. It has been 11 years since I have been out of that career and a lot has changed, so much so that I feel in order to be competitive I need to take some classes before I even try to go back. I was planning on getting that done this summer so I would be ready to look for work once the kids were back in school in the fall. I feel if I wait it just puts my chances at having a good salary/career in question. Not having a part time option makes me feel as if I need to get on one side of the fence or the other on getting back to work. Whatever choice I do make I want to make sure I am making it for the right reasons... ie not because I have stuck my head in the sand and not because I am over reacting. Right now I am having trouble knowing how I really feel. What I do know for sure is that I am confused about it all. It seemed so clear a few weeks back when RAH was only an AH irritating me with all his self centered crap. I usually feel knowledge is powerful but right now having more knowledge about how serious alcoholism is (his alcoholism) and where it can progress to has me at this point on the fence. I honestly thought my AH problem with alcohol wasn't so bad that it couldn't be "fixed". We have been dealing with this for a long time now and I just figured one day it would magically get all better. That he was smart enough and loved me enough that it would all just go away...HA... ignorant me.

Beyourself... thank you so much for sharing your opinion with me. I needed to hear that. I know there are a lot of two income families out there and they get it done. We used to one ( I stopped working after baby #2). For us it was very stressful with just one kid and trying to manage it all. With three... yikes.
I'm a single mom. I'm in a single mom network of moms with up to 8 children they are raising on their own. In our case, DS's bio-dad does not get him every other weekend. My folks live 600 miles away. So, a 'break'? ! Ha!

I learned early on that it is a good strategy to get the support system around you locally. Finding friends to trade child care and even close enough friends to take your child/ren when they're sick if you have to work is another good strategy. I know, too, how hard it is to have a network of family friends when you have an alcoholic in the family.

I want to encourage you to continue your education and keep your skills current, no matter what your job decision might be. I believe this is beneficial for the mind, body, and spirit, the kind of balance we strive for when we're in recovery. I also know from experience that your children will be able to see in you that education and hard work are very admirable and worthy endeavors. My son reviews my grades on a regular basis.

Staying at home with the children is very important, imho. No one else can teach them what we can as parents. Finding that balance between raising the children and paying for their raising is crucial in being a successful family.

If there are options in your career to build your skills and possibly consult from home or part time basis, you may be surprised at the opportunities now, versus 11 years ago.

I'm finding that to be the case now.

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