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Old 07-12-2011, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by zrx1200R View Post
Some have posted the question of why I am still around. I shall answer. I'm leaving for Afghanistan in October for a year. With a high school age daughter in the house, I am far more comfortable being married to her and 6000 miles away than I am being un-married, 6000 miles away, and a large portion of my income being fed directly to her. All this with absolutely zero input or control over the household. It is a small price to pay in an effort to keep my daughter from experiencing further abuses. She is old enough now to see right through her mother's lies and fabrications. And she will never have to deal with any other men in the house when I'm gone. Oh, there certainly may be other men in my house. I am not so naive as to think it impossible. But they will not be there when my daughter is there. And that is worth a small sacrifice on my part. One more year tacked on to the 22 isn't going to make much difference in the grand scheme of things.
Okay, fair enough. I think we all sort of make "contracts" or "deals" about what we want to get in exchange for what we give up. And you know the terms of the conditions of the deal, who you are making the deal with and her performance record, and the risks and benefits of the deal.

The only downside for me, the way I handled things, was that although I DID make the deal and DID know the risks and benefits, I got mad that he continued to act consistently with how he had previously acted. Then I became absorbed in the fact that he was exactly who I knew him to be. And my life and emotional well-being suffered. BUT! I had made the deal knowing who he was and what he did. So I didn't really have a right to be upset about the fact that I had made a deal with that particular person.

It's like I entered a contract to buy 100 widgets from a widget dealer. I knew he sold low-quality widgets, didn't deliver on time, packaged things poorly. I knew it but I entered the contract anyway. I can't then be shocked or angry if my widgets are late, broken, and packaged badly. I assumed the risk knowingly. And if I spin out into my anger and shock (which I tend to do) and begin to believe that that widget dealer SHOULD have been something he isn't or hasn't been, I am the one who is wrong. (Studying for the bar, obviously.)

So I guess so long as you are honest about the terms and conditions of the agreement, the forseeable risks, and don't get shocked or angry if she does things consistent with what she typically does, it's workable even if uncomfortable. One thing I would do is to make sure you and your daughter have set up a very good back-up plan for her if things go worse that you may have anticipated, like some place she can go and live at a moment's notice, if needed.

My heart goes out to you. This is a very hard situation you're in, difficult choices.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by zrx1200R View Post
I'm just not hearing many versions of: "My spouse finally sought help for her alcoholism. And after XX number of months my spouse has broken the chains and our lives together have improved dramatically". In fact, I've not heard a single example of a similar story. Not one.
Dude, I've told you before, that was the story with my first husband. Our divorce had NOTHING to do with his alcoholism.

He got sober, never slipped or relapsed, we got married after his first year sober. He is now 31 years sober. Part of what drove me a little nuts living with him is he was SO good. Seriously--that's my issue, not his. He is a good, kind, and humble man.

OK? So maybe you haven't heard many stories like that, but please stop with the "never heard one." This is at least the second time we've had this conversation, and I don't know if you think I'm lying, or what.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:06 PM
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never was a poor choice of words.

I often tell my students "Seldom say never, and rarely say always".

I shall correct the errant post immediately.

Technically though, I only read your story. Didn't hear it. I learned that one from living with a crazy person. Who keeps stealing my sweater.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:13 PM
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OK, I'll try to attach an audio file for you one of these days.

Never say never.

"RARELY have we seen a person fail who has THOROUGHLY followed our path." Even Bill W. couldn't say never.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by zrx1200R View Post

I'm just not hearing many versions of: "My spouse finally sought help for her alcoholism. And after XX number of months my spouse has broken the chains and our lives together have improved dramatically". In fact, I've only heard of a very few examples of a similar success story. Not many. I hope there are more out there.
I just discovered I can not edit posts.

But even more technical positioning. Lexie Cat, you are not married to the person any more. So there can be no "our lives together have improved dramatically". You are not together, thus validating my point: Alcoholics, even when they recover, are difficult to stay married to. So my above example is still accurate

Yes, I agree. I have heard a few success stories around here.

I still maintain there are few that fall into the category of:

2 married people. One of whom is an alcoholic. After much gnashing of teeth and trying to bring some peace into the home, the non alcoholic person suggests in their own, personal way that the alcoholic needs to get help, and fix this. Now. Then alcoholic gets help, or wins the battle on their own. And these two people live happily ever after.

I suggest this scenario is extremely rare. It appears to me, from what I have experienced, read, and heard that in those rare cases where an alcoholic does eventually succeed in recovery, the original spouse is not with that person for long.

I will grant that it happens. I went to a new years eve party this year with my wife's AA chapter. There were some who fit this bill. However, none had very long sobriety with their original spouse. There were a few people who in the process of getting sober lost their marriage. And then stayed sober. And lived happily ever after with a new spouse.

I shall attempt to review my posts for possible histronics more closely.

Cheers,

ZRX
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:32 PM
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Your example is NOT accurate. Not wanting to be married to someone does not equal something being "wrong" with the person you're married to--just that it may be the wrong match for you.

Heck, I stayed married for over thirteen years to the guy, and it was only because I felt so guilty leaving him that I stayed that long. So if there was something wrong, it was with me, not him. His present wife is happy as a clam with him--they are now married about thirteen years, and seem to be very happy together. I stay with them when I go to visit my kids.

Learn to accept being wrong once in awhile. It build character.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:44 PM
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In one of M1K3 posts he stated this Quote " Hope Clouds Observation"
Boy did a light bulb come on after reading those words.
I appreciate your post ZRX, thanks for keeping it real. I really get what you are saying.........
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post

Learn to accept being wrong once in awhile. It build character.
just come visit my house. Just about every word I utter is wrong. Really. I'm quite used to the concept. Although I must admit I don't agree with it. Naturally.

I learned on Oprah the other day that my example is not wrong. It is what I'm feeling, so it is real. And must be respected. Sweater. Now!
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:15 PM
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Here ya go. Sheesh.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:28 PM
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:rotfxko

I am so cracking up at this thread!
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by zrx1200R View Post
I'm just not hearing many versions of: "My spouse finally sought help for her alcoholism. And after XX number of months my spouse has broken the chains and our lives together have improved dramatically". In fact, I've not heard a single example of a similar story. Not one. I hope they are out there.
I've heard four so far - one in my Al-Anon group, two in other Al-Anon meetings that I only attended once each, and one at work - and I haven't been listening that long.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:53 AM
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Bravo. Good to hear of some success. How long have they been "recovered" and living "happily ever after"?

Perhaps there is some hope.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by zrx1200R View Post
Bravo. Good to hear of some success. How long have they been "recovered" and living "happily ever after"?

Perhaps there is some hope.
There is always hope... always. It's up to us to open our eyes and LOOK for it.

My sponsor... she is a great example of what Al-anon recovery can do. Her and her husband, of 35 years, had separated and were getting a divorce. Her lawyer gently suggested Al-anon 6 yrs ago... b/c she was filled with anger, hatred, and resentments... surprise, surprise! 6 months into Al-anon - SHE was calmer, more peaceful... a happier human being... and by the grace of God - her husband decided to give AA a try (b/c he was attracted to this new person she was becoming!!)... several months later they started marriage counseling, and spent the next 5 years building a better, stronger, healthier marriage than anything she could have ever imagined. Not a PERFECT, happily ever after marriage... a real one with TWO partners who took responsibility for their part in the relationship. Who each focused on THEIR OWN recovery and "stuff."

There is no happily ever after to any story though. To want that, hope for that... will only set you up for dissappointedment. As for my sponsor, her husband died a year ago due to the years and years of abuse his body endured from his drinking. She's not angry that he's gone... she's soooo grateful to have found Al-anon, and he AA, and the 5 years they had of growing as human beings together.


People mistake sobriety for the "finish line", the happily ever after. It just can't and won't ever work that way. Why? Because we are humans. Our human condition is such that we will never be perfect, there will be mistakes made, and hopefully learning and growth - which all equal change and evolution. All that... is THE GOOD STUFF.

I'm grateful for my Al-anon program, the wonderful members of my home group, and my loving, adoring sponsor who has given me more hope, inspiration and happiness in the short time I've known her. She's taught me that my happiness is an inside job... and comes from focus on me, and working a solid recovery program - no matter what anyone else chooses to do or not do.

Thanks for letting me share!
Shannon
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:18 AM
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Z - I don't know if I would be comfortable calling my situation a success story (although I think I am definitely heading in a successful direction myself), but my RAH has been sober 8 months now and working very hard in AA. We remain separated but cautiously optimistic that there will be a "happy ending"...I don't care for the "happily ever after" because I think in marriage that does not apply! ; ) It's hard work, this marriage thing.

Anyway, things got worse before they got better. We came to the brink of divorce several times over the last 6 months, and giving up the anger and blame (for both of us) was challenging. It will be some time before I'd feel enough trust and comfort to consider living with him again, but spending peaceful and enjoyable time with him lately has been very nice!

So yes, I believe it is doable for addicts and alcoholics to seek recovery and be committed to it, even if they slip or relapse a few times in the process. Progress, not perfection, right? I just don't think your wife is there yet. She doesn't think she has a problem yet. My RAH knew he had a problem. He knew this was out of control and he had reached a 'now or never' place in his life. I wouldn't say he hit bottom, but more like had a wake up call and got off the elevator at a higher floor.

I feel your frustration. The denial is overwhelming! But there still is hope..........
~T
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:22 AM
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zrx1200R I can give you two that I personally know. One was my uncle who sought recovery through AA when he was in his early 40's and didn't touch a drop until his death at 85. The second, is a friend of mine who lost his wife and kids through his alcoholism went to AA, got sober married my friend and has been sober for over 20 years. He even asks when he goes to weddings or restaurants if anything that he's going to eat has any wine in the sauce because he is always on the alert with his disease. He replaced his alcohol with extensive exercise.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by zrx1200R View Post
Bravo. Good to hear of some success. How long have they been "recovered" and living "happily ever after"?

Perhaps there is some hope.
Ranging from ~5-35 years.
The 35 years is from a friend at work. He's almost been sober for half his marriage now, and he still counts his sobriety by the day. He is extremely active in AA, and goes to a meeting every day.

I do have to say, though, I agree with GettingBy.
Limiting our expectations to exactly this outcome, though, only sets up for disappointment, because it's only one possible happy outcome. I've discovered that limiting myself to exactly what I want means that I tend to miss out on the blessings that I need because they're not what I want - even if they're better than what I am demanding of the universe.
If I had set my "success" upon whether or not XABF stopped drinking and being abusive, I would still be thoroughly miserable, because that's basing my hope, expectation, and happiness on someone else's actions and on things I can't control. If I only base my happiness upon things I can control, and allow myself options for "success" when it comes to things that are outside of my control, I'm a lot happier because I can recognize and accept the good as it comes rather than reject it because it wasn't what I imagined.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:52 AM
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Thank you all for the specifics of the 'success' stories. I've known very few alcoholics, and only 2 that quit; both after huge tragedies that were directly connected to their being drunk. Of the few that I know now, no one is even trying to stop drinking, except maybe, sort of, my maybe, sort of boyfriend.

- Sylvie
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:41 PM
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Hello all! I'm new to this site, and am finding this helpful and all-too-familiar. I've been with my AH for almost 5 years, and I don't have to describe to any of you the drama and heartache that has been ever-present.

I recently asked for a short-term separation so that I could work on my co-dependency issues, and he could work on his "issue" as well. He's now drinking more than when he was here, has tried medication to help him stop (claims after taking it a couple of times it didn't work), and maintains that he is still addressing the issue by researching various options, but hasn't yet come to a solution and therefore is still drinking himself silly.

For me, and so many of you, it seems to be a waiting game. How much more will I and can I take before letting go of the dream of the intact family unit with the strong, capable, SOBER dad and husband at the helm. Instead, what we have is a sinking ship and three beautiful boys who have to be saved. And of course, the codie-captain (me) who vacillates between loving and hating him, depending on his mood and actions in the moment.

I'm so tired and so very sad. But have to say that it is nice not having him under my roof. Maybe nice enough to keep it this way. Maybe...

L
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:21 PM
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Hi Bleslie:

I'm so tired and so very sad. But have to say that it is nice not having him under my roof. Maybe nice enough to keep it this way. Maybe...

The short term separation seems to be giving you some time for yourself to pause, to breathe and to think what is best of you and for your three beautiful sons.

Sending positive vibes your way and hoping you find the answers for what you must do.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:15 AM
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Bleslie... Welcome!!! Why don't you start a new post so you can introduce yourself and share your story! Responses in older threads tend to get "lost".

As for the answers to those questions ... stay married/get divorced? Will he ever get sober? What do I do?!?... I don't know what they are for you. Heck, I don't know them for me! All I know is that TODAY, I need to stay focused on me. I need to work on figuring out what I want my life to look like, and then do the footwork to make that happen. If I have weak boundaries, I work on that. If I have character traits that are unbecoming... I work on that. If my attitude needs adjustment... you get the picture, right?

The only answer is... the happiness you are looking for is inside you. I have found Al-anon a tremendous tool to help me get my head/heart back to healthier places.

I'm glad you're here!
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