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I think I need a reality check

Old 09-20-2011, 11:00 PM
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I think I need a reality check

So, I broke the "No Contact" I'd been having with AH. The one that's been COURT ORDERED, where he could go to jail for 9mos and/or be fined $1K. Being weak and codependent, I contacted him a little over a week ago via text message. It's snowballed from there–we've even seen each other several times. He's asked me to help him, but I've told him I can't, he has to help himself.

He had 8 months (since his DUI and moving in w/ his brother) to get his act together. He says he's NOW going to start going to AA as of this Thursday; he's also made an appointment to see his primary doc to discuss options with her (but will refuse to do any type of inpatient treatment based on a previous bad experience as an inpatient in the mental health ward).

He says he realizes now more than ever what he is going to lose...the reality of the dividing of our assets and having court proceedings fast approaching has hit him hard. He says he loves me and realizes he needs to get help and change. Until I see any action or proof of change is there any point in believing him or getting my hopes up? At my last Al-Anon meeting, 2 women had similar stories to mine and they ended up divorced. They told me to get out while I can. But I can't help but wonder -- maybe my experience and story will be different? What percentage of A's are able to work a successful recovery program and stick with it? Maybe my AH will be one of those success stories?

I've still been reading other's posts and attending weekly Al-Anon meetings as my lifeline. I fear I'm regressing back into a state of denial and need a reality check...
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:17 PM
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That's what we all told ourselves.
It will be different this time....
Or I won't end up like that..for me it will be different.
I can save him.

sweetie, as much as you want to you can't.
You need alnon.
Trust me you do.
Just try it. I was scared to death and didn't know what to expect...I didn't want anyone to tell me to stay...and i was afraid they would advise me to leave him...they did neither they just said "keep coming back" and I have. I feel better. I'm not super happy, but I'm not completely unhappy either. I'm finding my way. You can to.
It's one thing to make an informed decision to stay...but your not. Your praying things will get better. They won't.
Not w/out help for you and for him.
Alnon. Please just try it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:31 AM
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He had 8 months (since his DUI and moving in w/ his brother) to get his act together. He says he's NOW going to start going to AA as of this Thursday;
He's talking about it because he's talking to you. More hooks and manipulation from where I sit. He hasn't actually done it yet and he didn't do it in the last 8 months.

he's also made an appointment to see his primary doc to discuss options with her (but will refuse to do any type of inpatient treatment based on a previous bad experience as an inpatient in the mental health ward).
Quack quack. He made an appointment (so he says). He knows his options already. Again, to me, this looks like a bunch of bluster as a way to hook you back in. He's doing a whole lot of talking and promising a whole lot of not much.

the reality of the dividing of our assets and having court proceedings fast approaching has hit him hard.
Yes, well, reality bites sometimes. That doesn't mean you have to fix it for him or shield him from it. It is a big deal for you too. Is he showing any concern at all for you?

He says he loves me and realizes he needs to get help and change.
Then give him the opportunity to go get help and change. You are not part of that process.

Until I see any action or proof of change is there any point in believing him or getting my hopes up?
I do not think so no. One of the biggest lessons I've learned personally is to listen to the actions, not the words. It is the only way for me to keep a clear head because to listen to the words and ignore the actions is crazy making if they do not match. Actions matter. Words are weapons in my book. Tools of manipulation, blame-shifting, guilt, emotional abuse even.

But I can't help but wonder -- maybe my experience and story will be different? What percentage of A's are able to work a successful recovery program and stick with it? Maybe my AH will be one of those success stories?
Maybe he will be. He hasn't actually done anything yet that would put him in that group but you just have to wait and see. Focus on you and your recovery, making decisions that are in your best interest in the here and now (not on what might be) and you can build a success story for yourself regardless of what he does.

I've still been reading other's posts and attending weekly Al-Anon meetings as my lifeline. I fear I'm regressing back into a state of denial and need a reality check...
Did you journal at all? I don't so I used to go back and read my first posts here and I also read the stickies at the top a lot when I felt I was in need of a reality check.

When things became a little confusing it also really helped me to think about what was in my best interest, think about my boundaries, and looking for that small voice inside (or gut feeling) and trying hard to listen to it instead of ignoring or even arguing with it.

There is time. Wait and see what happens.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:19 AM
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He is blowing smoke in your face. He would already be in AA working a strong recovery program if that is what he REALLY wanted.

The % of recovery for life people is very small, like something less than 10%. Is he one? Who knows, the question is: Are you willing to put your life on hold waiting for a miracle?
There are no guarantees with this disease, relapse can happen at any time.

Yes, you are stepping back into fantasy land, keep those meetings up and follow the restraining order, it applies to you too.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:56 PM
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Thanks all. Lots of wisdom here. I am paying attention. I feel I need to post an update. Tonight I got a text mssg from AH -- he wants to have a lawyer-free discussion about the temporary issues for our Legal Separation case. He is "not in agreement" with what my lawyer drafted.

I replied that it would be best to work this out through my lawyer and it went downhill from there. He threatened to involve his lawyer "who is waiting in the wings", and said "then it will get really complicated." And that his goal was to "make it all more civil." Uh, excuse me, that's what lawyers are for! As is typical with AH, his texts soon drifted from the original actual topic to very blaming/accusing things--saying that I've always made things into a bigger deal than they really are (meaning the RO, his alcoholism); bringing up anger issues I've had in the past and really making a big deal about it (diverting the topic off his alcoholism?); saying it was my own fault that I cut myself off from friends (blaming me, NOT him or his drinking); saying that I AM THE ONE WHO'S BEEN DECEITFUL (he is the one who lied, lied, lied). And while he's texting me, he's telling me that I am the one that seems so angry during our exchange?!?!?! He's now telling me he's "totally sober and happy about it." For what, 6 DAYS? I saw him briefly last week and HE WAS DRUNK. He actually tried to tell me "I have blown everything in our relationship out of proportion." He is really showing me how he has no reality of what he's done to me, himself or our relationship. And I am realizing I am sicker than I thought.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:02 PM
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Your realizing how crazy alcoholics are

You need to realize, more than likely he is still drinking
They learn to hide it pretty good
and being sober for a few days is not all it takes.
They need to be sober for a good 24 months
and let their minds/souls heal and the brain needs to repair itself.
Research, ask questions, educate yourself. You will find
that you are no different than us and he is no different than
them...Alcohol destroys brain cells!!

If he is not in AA by now...I would say, he probably wont be
and thats not your problem. YOU are the one that needs fixed!!
YOU are the one that matters! YOU are the one that needs to be
happy and love yourself!

How can you love a dog that bites you everytime you pet him?

Oh, let me guess...You make him drink! LOL...They get pretty colorful
with their blame games...Look up QUAKERS on this site. It will make you
laugh, on the excuses we have all heard of why they drink!

You need to realize, you need Alanon. Alcoholism is a diesase.
It is a diesase that is like cancer, but this one, eats the entire family...
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:16 AM
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Yellowbirdy, This is the same active alcoholic husband that became violent. The RO is there for a reason. Be careful. He is just trying to get you to engage so he can continue to manipulate you further. Take a step back, just breathe, save your energy, focus on you............

Let the lawyers handle it. Sending you strength.
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:01 AM
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Let the attorneys do the talking and you do the walking, away from him.

By contacting him, you opened the door now you need to close it, go no contact. The restraining order was court mandated as you feared for your safety, your recent actions say the opposite, it's ok, I am not afraid.

Yet,he is already getting verbally abusive, next he will become physically abusive. He is an abuser, he is an alcoholic, he is sick and yes, you have become as sick as he is. Now is the time to do something about it, get into therapy, keep the meetings up talk to your family, do whatever it takes to close the door on him and get yourself healthy.

Last nights texts should be a wake up call for you. Don't do this to yourself, you deserve so much better.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:23 AM
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He says it's really hitting him now that it's fast approaching, he says he WANTS to make changes (vs just making them-- people who make changes make them, they don't talk about wanting to make them), he says he's going to see his primary care doc but already has conditions about what he will and won't do which tells me he will not actually listen and take the advice of the doctor bc he appears to have all the answers already (or so he thinks).

He's talking a lot and it's all stuff that you want to hear and it gives you hope and he might even believe some of what he's saying. But what about his actions in the past 8 months shows you that he can be counted on to DO what he says he "intends" to?

If he wanted all the things he claims to want, he'd have been working on all the things he's just now thinking about for the past 8 months.

I'm sorry to say this bc I am sure it;s not what you want to hear but I think he hopes that you'll cave, you'll take him at his word and he won't have to actually do anything differently.

My own story of late goes like this: My AH who swore before he moved out that he'd do whatever it took to show me how serious he was about recovery etc.... has done nothing. How do I know this? He is telling me and showing me. He actually told me last night that all he can focus on now is his discomfort and he's trying to "survive" each day not having a place to call home (he's living with his brother and has a home-- it's just not his). He continued and said he can't even begin to think about recovery until he feels settled. He offered all of this without me asking or responding. I think he wanted me to do what I've done in the past which is; freak out, beg him to go to AA, tell him I want him to get help so we can be together. I just looked at him and said nothing. I don't care anymore. I don't believe he'll get help bc he has said too many times he will and then doesn't. I don't want to ask him to get help bc it doesn't matter to me. When he wants to get help (just like your AH) he will. And when that happens it won't involve planning and setting dates -- he'll do it.

Please trust that your instincts (which I bet are screaming at you that his words aren't to be believed) are right. I am sure you are sad and in pain and I'm sorry and can empathize.

As hard as it must be to be NC, please go back to it. You're going to just find yourself sucked in to the madness the more you are in contact....
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:28 AM
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Yellowbirdy,

One thing that I have learned in Al-anon is... when we work on our recovery, we heal. We feel better. The ice melts inside us, and we start to feel love again... and then we want to reach out to the ones we love and share all that warm-fuzzy with them!! OH, because we LOVE to love!!

But guess what.... the dog still bites. I've come to learn that my warm-fuzzys are not powerful enough to make my AH love me back the way I want. I have no control over him. He's going to continue to act the way he is capable, until and unless he finds his own recovery. So, even though I feel better, stronger, more loving... there's no way in hell I'm going to reach out to him, or open myself up... because the dog still bites.

Everytime I find myself wanting to get intimate/vulnerable (and No, I don't mean sex... I mean intimate as in share tender feelings/thoughts!) with AH... I repeat, "The dog still bites. The dog still bites." over and over and over again... and then I call my sponsor!!

Thanks for letting me share,
Shannon
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:27 AM
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Please keep in mind that YOU have violated your RO by contacting him then continuing with that contact for a period of time. You don’t have the RO protection once he proves you were the one to violate it.

Let the attorneys handle it from here, go back to NO CONTACT!!
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
He says it's really hitting him now that it's fast approaching, he says he WANTS to make changes (vs just making them-- people who make changes make them, they don't talk about wanting to make them), he says he's going to see his primary care doc but already has conditions about what he will and won't do which tells me he will not actually listen and take the advice of the doctor bc he appears to have all the answers already (or so he thinks).

He's talking a lot and it's all stuff that you want to hear and it gives you hope and he might even believe some of what he's saying. But what about his actions in the past 8 months shows you that he can be counted on to DO what he says he "intends" to?

If he wanted all the things he claims to want, he'd have been working on all the things he's just now thinking about for the past 8 months.
All so very true! Thank you for sharing more of your story as well...really gives me some good perspective and what I needed to hear!
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by atalose View Post
Please keep in mind that YOU have violated your RO by contacting him then continuing with that contact for a period of time. You don’t have the RO protection once he proves you were the one to violate it.

Let the attorneys handle it from here, go back to NO CONTACT!!

Yes, I have. Going to go back to NC! Hearing everyone's advice loud and clear.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by GettingBy View Post

Everytime I find myself wanting to get intimate/vulnerable (and No, I don't mean sex... I mean intimate as in share tender feelings/thoughts!) with AH... I repeat, "The dog still bites. The dog still bites." over and over and over again... and then I call my sponsor!!
This is really great -- thank you for sharing. When I am feeling weak in my codependent state, I am going to try saying this to myself.
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Old 09-24-2011, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
he says he's going to see his primary care doc but already has conditions about what he will and won't do which tells me he will not actually listen and take the advice of the doctor bc he appears to have all the answers already (or so he thinks).
The more I think about what you've said about this, the more it strikes home. AH just is NOT ready to change. He is deep in denial...he has been resistant from any type of medical help all along. Also explains alot more about our relationship in general and why he had problems implementing things we learned in Marital Counseling...just refuses to work on any type of problem/issue or see that one really exists.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by YellowBirdy View Post
The more I think about what you've said about this, the more it strikes home. AH just is NOT ready to change. He is deep in denial...he has been resistant from any type of medical help all along. Also explains alot more about our relationship in general and why he had problems implementing things we learned in Marital Counseling...just refuses to work on any type of problem/issue or see that one really exists.
I hope my words don't come off as if I think it's easy to just say "well he's in denial and I'm done". I can see how obviously in denial my own AH is and (probably bc our anniversary is approaching) yet I still am having these pangs of "but I wish things could be different". And it's insane that I think that bc he's been abusive and awful for a long time... Anyway, my point is that I for one know how hard it is to separate the "what I know" from "what I feel" and I've found it easier to manage these discrepancies by telling myself that it's okay to FEEL whatever I feel, provided I don't act on it. And being apart from AH makes it a lot easier not to act.

I know eventually AH will start the cycle again with me of "I'm going to be so different" (it's sort of started a little and I've just ignored all his contact about it) and I am preparing myself for how hard it is to just say no.

I'm going to post another thread about an analogy that just occured to me that might explain what I'm saying better.

I'm thinking of you and holding you in my thoughts... You'll get through this.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:13 AM
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My wise counselor told me last week that I am trying to look at (and correct or fix) every single interaction that I had with my ex. I am losing the big picture when I do this.

In the midst of the divorce he said something to me like "I don't know when I stopped being a person of my word." This tore at my heartstrings, and I have struggled with it ever since.

After thinking and feeling about what she told me though something clicked. He had not been trustworthy really throughout our relationship, and certainly after we got married and the alcohol use really kicked in.

I have talked ad nauseum here about only looking at what he said and not his actions...that feels similar too.

I never gained that perspective though because I was so intent and focused on the one incident, that I never looked at the fact that he had not been reliable in his words, that his words and actions did not match etc. I had a similar realization about his alcohol use some time ago too.

Gosh I learn a lot from you all.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I hope my words don't come off as if I think it's easy to just say "well he's in denial and I'm done".
WTBH, I totally get what you are saying! What you've shared really helps me feel not so alone.

Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I can see how obviously in denial my own AH is and (probably bc our anniversary is approaching) yet I still am having these pangs of "but I wish things could be different". And it's insane that I think that bc he's been abusive and awful for a long time... Anyway, my point is that I for one know how hard it is to separate the "what I know" from "what I feel" and I've found it easier to manage these discrepancies by telling myself that it's okay to FEEL whatever I feel, provided I don't act on it. And being apart from AH makes it a lot easier not to act.
I had an "ah-ha" moment reading this. Separating "what I know" from "what I feel"...very good advice!! And it sure does help being apart from your AH to make it easier not to act...I'll vouch for that!
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:31 AM
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Hi yellow Birdy

Lots of wisdom here, I'm glad you're listening. Thumper sure knows wth she's talking about:

Actions matter. Words are weapons in my book. Tools of manipulation, blame-shifting, guilt, emotional abuse even.
When things became a little confusing it also really helped me to think about what was in my best interest, think about my boundaries, and looking for that small voice inside (or gut feeling) and trying hard to listen to it instead of ignoring or even arguing with it.

There is time. Wait and see what happens.
I love this. Focusing on myself and my boundaries is getting easier for me once I remember to do so, I've focused on others for so long, especially AH-what he's doing, how he's doing, WHO he's doing, how it impacts the kids, what I can do about it. It makes me horribly sad for ME now to see how I wasted my life and time.

This focusing on and being honest with myself can be very scary, but in the end the truth is what will set you, and myself as well, free.

Good for you for coming here, asking for advice and taking it. This stuff is a hugely steep learning curve.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:41 AM
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From my own experience words are nothing but letters strung together, and it takes the actions to make meaning out of them. So far you have loads of words which consist of nothing but stuff I put on my roses.
He hasn't done anything about the problems in your marriage or those of alcoholism because to him THEY AREN"T HIS PROBLEMS, he has dumped them onto you.

I agree that NC is the only way you can save yourself from being swamped in his quacking, and having some peace and quiet in your life. Let him be as he wants and lead your own life as best you can, til it either proves he is doing something about himself or you decide it is over and done.

Wishing you all the best and lots of strength and peace of mind.
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