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Period of sobriety and not feeling much toward AH

Old 09-21-2011, 08:16 PM
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Period of sobriety and not feeling much toward AH

My AH is what seems to be a little beyond early recovery. (maybe 6 months sobriety after a 2 month relapse which came after 4 months of sobriety) We are interacting more sanely with each other, mainly regarding our kids and for projects around the house even though he is not living with us (ie - cleaning the garage, yard - things that have gone neglected for awhile).

I am having some trouble keeping myself from showing my resentment for the past and I am thinking it might be because I still have a lot more recovery on my part.

For example when AH makes comments about feeling pleased about something and not what he expected (ie. participating in parent night at the kids school or getting something done more efficiently) I am quick to remind him that he spent the last 6 years not really being present for these things or hungover. I feel like I constantly need for this to be acknowledged and shortly after I do say these things, I feel bad about it but not really bad enough to not do it next time.

We are having more sane conversations when we disagree about stuff but I just feel so distant from AH and I can't seem to bring up good feelings toward him.

He doesn't seem to be bothered too much by this, although we still spend a large part of time NC. I don't really seek out spending time with him as I made it clear I did not want to spend time with an A that is not in recovery and have left it up to him to seek me out as he works on his recovery.

In typing this out I am feeling I need to apologize to my AH for constantly reminding him about his past A behavior. Perhaps it is part of my recovery and I am feeling resentment about having to take responsibility for my resentment. It's especially hard as it is on my mind now and I know that if I call him at this late hour he won't answer as he is very good about taking care of himself now and not being bothered when he needs to go to sleep. Again typing this out I am telling myself I must respect that and deal with my feelings myself as I won't get any empathy for how I feel from him anyway.

I am thinking that I need to focus more on what it means to take care of myself and just let my HP help me deal with the remnants of my resentment when it is time.

I don't know. After 25 years being with someone and alcohol probably always being there I have no idea of what a healthy relationship is and I seem to have lost touch with my feelings. A good thing is that I don't get angry much now, even though some resentment still seems to be hanging on.
I feel so much better when I am by myself or with other people than I did a year ago so I know I am making progress in recovery.

Maybe it was just too long and "I lost that loving feeling". This makes me feel sad but wondering if that "loving feeling" was just my fantasy.

Hope this isn't too rambly. Any other's ESH is appreciated.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:05 PM
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It's that history that is so hard to get past. Scenes replay in ones head. Being a "single" parent for so long and being alone makes it hard to "get that luvin feeling back". I agree. Like yourself 25 years of trying to juggle marriage, life, kids and alcohol abuse does not make it easy. My husband will be home next week after 28 days. In honesty it has been nice not to have to worry about him and my teenage daughter and I have enjoyed just being with each other. She is as worried as I am about his transition home. I told her we have to move forward and give him a chance to get our trust back. It's all up to him. It's up to us be ourselves and do what is right for us.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:08 PM
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I didnt get the months of soberity like you have.

But I have found a peace and I have found that it's a better place
to be alone than it is to be with them sober or not.....

Lost that loving feeling...I can relate to that one too.
I "use" to love mine like that, but I believe the diesase ate that away..

I would rather be single and happy, than married & miserable....

Thanks for sharing your post...It was very warm!
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:27 PM
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Hi dancingnow,

I am currently going through the same process, so I know where you are coming from. This is a bit of my own ES&H.

My AH of 23yrs and I separated about 3 months ago and we both live on our own, working and taking care of ourselves individually. My AH has been sober for almost eight weeks, so its very early days. He previously managed 5 months before relapsing.

He reached his rock bottom after I left him, didnt want to loose me, and is currently working hard on his sobriety. He really seems to 'get it' this time and is saying and doing all the right things. I believe he is genuine but time will tell. TBH I am a little scared of him relapsing again and feeling hurt once again, so I am continuing with working on myself, going to therapy and enjoying the time on my own. I have told him that my boundary is to never have alcohol in my life again so I need to protect myself by making sure that I keep doing what I am doing and have something to fall back to, if it all goes pear shaped. I have carved out a very different life for myself since discovering Al-anon, SR and therapy.

I do have some resentments but nothing that is getting in the way of our new flourising relationship. We do intend to get back together sometime in the future and I plan on having some marriage guidance councelling to get everything out in the open so that we can move forward, but for now I am happy to let him work on himself as I think that he has enough to cope with.

We are openly talking quite a bit now, when we meet up at weekends and if/when I do bring up past hurts or negative behaviours he is very receptive to hearing them and very appologetic. I tell him not to say sorry but to show me he is sorry by continuing to stay sober. He has a lot of making up to do.

I do like to hear his words though, especially when there are no red flags or warning signs and sometimes I think that I am asking him things subconsciously just to test him and make sure he really does 'get it'. Its slowly sinking in for me too that my AH does appear commited to life long sobriety and that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

I am lucky (IMO) that I still have that 'loving feeling' you described. My AH has been an alcoholic, verbally abusive, controlling, had an emotional internet affair, smoked behind my back and porn surfed and truly put me through some awful times during our 23yr marriage but I am still able to forgive him and love him despite all of this. I dont want to sound like a martar, I am in a healthy place and mind following 18 months of individual therapy and 'it is what it is'.

My AH had been telling me that he was going to drink for the rest of his life and if I didnt like it I could leave. I tried to detach but found that I couldnt totally do that and knew that I could no longer live with the drinking, so I left. I expected to be on my own for some time. I still loved him but at that stage I was prepared to move on for my own sanity and health.

There is that saying at Al-anon about not having to do anything now. Wait until things become more clearer for you. Give it time - all will be revealed. It may be that you never get that 'loving feeling' back and that would be ok - wouldnt it?

We all put up with so much that is not normal, living with an alcoholic, its no wonder we are messed up in our thinking and ourselves. It took me 23yrs (30 yrs of knowing my husband) to get that way, so it might take a few years to retrain my brain! I am learning to put my self first and get my own life the way I want it and if that means being on my own, if my AH relapses, then so be it.

Now I have rambled!
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:40 AM
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Hiya Dancingnow!

My AH has done some really super crappy stuff to me. He has verbally/physically/emotionally abused me. He has invalidated my feelings, minimized my hurt/pain... and just downright avoided taking responsibility for any of his crap. I'm willing to bet you experienced all the same for several years during the drinking. And guess what - it sucks. And it hurt you. And feeling hurt and mad is a NORMAL response. Your feelings are OKAY.

What you are looking for from your AH is validation of your hurt/pain. You're looking for him to acknowledge that what he did is wrong/hurtful/whatever. But he can't give that to you because he's just not capable right now. Maybe someday he will get to a point where he can give that to you, maybe not.

In the meantime, you can work on your recovery - reach out to people who are safe, who can give you love/support - until you heal enough to be able to do it for yourself.

I don't know if you go to Al-anon, but if you do - please consider getting a sponsor. My sponsor has been an absolute godsend. She has helped me see that my own behaviors (ie. going to the hardware store looking for bread!) were keeping me stuck.

Thanks for letting me share,
Shannon
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:44 AM
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I can so relate to this entire thread. Your stories are all so similair to mine, and I appreciate all of the ideas that help to keep you healthy.

I am also the type that would love to get some validation for past hurts. Or aknowledgement or apology that the alcoholic's behavior hurt. If it was intentional or not - things happened that caused pain, hurt, etc. One of the hard parts of this disease (their alcoholism and our codieness) is coming to terms with the fact that we may not ever get that realized. I would think that recognition by them would be a natural part of their recovery. But maybe not. Or like others have stated, maybe the time line is just off - maybe someday you will get that.

For myself (just filed for divorce from AH), I felt very strongly that this "non-validation" was a huge problem for us. The fact that he saw past events and hurts through a completely different lens ( a non-sober one), it is as if we lived different pasts. What I thought was a shared past, a shared 16 years of marriage, was infact two people on two different tracks creating two distinct sets of memories. How can they really aknwoledge and honor you and your experiences if his recollection is so skewed from yours? I also wonder if their denial forces them to sort of not really SEE how badly things were. Like, once they admit how bad it was and offer you support for that...they need to be really recovered and evolved and probably a completely different person.

If you still love him (and it sounds like you do), I hope that the love you feel will lead you to a place of attraction and passion again. I'm sorry if this feels like a second loss for you. One when you physically lost your husband - and now again as you emotionally lose him.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:40 PM
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Thanks so much, you folks and your ESH always hit the nail on the head for me to help me clarify where I am at.

It truly is the validation thing and I am making progress toward not seeking it from AH but not quite there yet.

Thanks for all your thoughts to help me get back on track on working on my recovery for me.
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