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And now after rehab.....

Old 09-27-2011, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Alone22 View Post
Given his fragile sobriety I am not certain how much I should push for answers at this point, but yet for me I need them to be able to heal our marriage. This is what I mean by a balance between where we both are at.
This is why asking with a counselor present is best.
It's up to you when you want to ask, and how long you want to wait. That said, if it's eating up at you from the inside out, it's healthier for you and both of you to get it out in the open eventually. Otherwise you may start sending non-verbal cues that something is bothering you, and it might turn into a resentment on your end or on his end.

If you're not at that point, no rush, you can wait. Just try to keep track of how much it is bothering you, so you know when you do feel the need to bring it up.


This goes for anything, in any relationship.
I'm very much the "don't-talk-and-let-it-fester" sort, and it's come back and bitten me more times than I can count, and cost me some friendships as well. It's something I am working on, myself.

When it's a small question, it may be doing him a favor not to mention it, but when it gets big enough, or important enough, it's not doing anyone any favors to not put it out into the open.

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:26 AM
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[QUOTE=Alone22;3118336]

Laurie- I need to hear this "there is a part of him that is just a hurt by what he did to himself and to his loved ones."
Given his fragile sobriety I am not certain how much I should push for answers at this point, but yet for me I need them to be able to heal our marriage. This is what I mean by a balance between where we both are at.
The part above (after Laurie's words) worries me a little for you. "Give his fragile sobriety" is something he needs to worry about. It is good that you recognize it and don't want to demand too much but (and this is just my opinion) you shouldn't be tip toeing on eggshells worried that if you ask a question about his spending it might harm his recovery. If it does, then that should be telling about where he was actually at in terms of his recovery. As far as I can tell, A's like to avoid discomfort and don't "live life on life's terms". For as long as you fear talking to him about VERY significant issues and things that you have every right to talk to him about (I am not trying to beat you over the head-- just emphasizing that asking a question isn't the huge deal that you've been made to think it is due to living for yrs with an active A), you are kind of helping him not have to live life on life's terms.

Ask away and it's his responsibility to work his program of recovery to deal with the discomfort the questions may create. I'm not suggesting you not care about his feelings. I am suggesting that tailoring what you ask for and having your comfort about asking questions be based on how far along he is in his recovery is something to think about.

I lived for many yrs with an AN who made me feel that asking questions that caused him discomfort was a problem. So I stopped asking. WRONG. The problem was that he didn't want to be honest with me or himself and couldn't deal with discomfort when he was asked to be an adult and be accountable. The solution was never for me to not ask or to only ask questions with a T around (I've been there too and it set a bad precedent for only ever feeling safe talking openly in front of the T). The solution was for me to ask the questions and when AH reacted, to decide whether I could live with that reaction. I made the choice to live with the unbearable for a long time and I shouldn't have.

I suggest giving your AH the chance to work his program of recovery by treating him like an adult. Ask the questions and say what you need and give him the chance to respond. Maybe he'll surprise you and show that he's using the tools he got in rehab to deal with life's discomforts. And maybe he won't. I think whatever his reaction is will speak volumes.

And my 2 cents about doing it only in the T's office is that it's really easy for an A to con a T and to put on an act there and then when you try to talk outside of the office, to act very differently. It took me a long time to figure that out. I'd talk to him myself and gauge his reaction. But that's just me and that's me being where I am now.

I really am hopeful for you that your H wants to recover and I hope that you take good care of yourself in the process too.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:41 AM
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What I am doing with my RAW is this. Currently we are separated, I am focusing on my recovery, she seems to be focusing on hers. I have no intention of even thinking about the relationship until I am ready. Until then I will simply be patient. I am not going to force it and if it doesn't happen that's ok as well. We have just started to do things together and at this point that is good enough. I have no idea of what our future relationship will be and that's OK too. It took 15 years of her being an alcoholic before I could leave and it will take as long as it takes for whatever is going to happen to happen.

Your friend,
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:55 AM
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Good points! For now sensitive topics such as money and where it is or has been spent will be discussed with the T. At this point he seems to keep a cooler head when we are with her. When the sex topic came up we were able to sit down together and talk about it and he did seem to understand why I felt the way I did, but I know I still walked away bugged by it all. He brought it up with the T when we saw her, but his words were still ME ME ME, which I pointed out and explained he could phrase it in a way that was more loving and less demanding, such as " I miss being with you".

We both have a way to go and so does the marriage, but at least I feel like we are heading down the right path.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:09 AM
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(((((Alone22)))))

I see you are in California. I know for a fact that all over California are "Couples Meetings" where one partner is in AA or NA and one is in Alanon or Naranon. Maybe, in addition to MC you and he need to look for some of these and go to a few

just to see how others are managing and the 'hurdles' they had to overcome when the A of the partnership found recovery and 'how long it took some of them' to get over those hurdles.

I may be wrong, but as I read what you write, you still seem to have A LOT of 'expectations' and I have to tell you 'expectations' can be a killer to any relationship where yours is at now.

How about putting a 'hold' on those 'questions you NEED answered' and instead keep working on yourself, (including your expectations of others, lol) and give you and your H some space.

Move forward with the MC and 'topics' that can bring up more hurt for one or both of you might best just be brought up only at MC.

I am not trying to be mean, it is just that I see this a lot .................. the A finds recovery, the spouse or SO cannot understand why everything is just not moving forward and all is resolved.

Remember you and he are BOTH INJURED here. Some of the injuries are similar and some are not. You are now in the phase of putting 2 people together, both suffering from forms of PTSD and someone saying 'live happily ever after.' AIN'T going to happen, lol

So keep posting, keep a journal, that you can go back and read in a week or a month or 2 or 3, (it is there you will see 'the growth' or lack thereof of both of you), go to your MC, got to your meetings, and most of all TAKE CARE OF YOU.

Love and hugs,
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:52 AM
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Well, the part about the most he ever spent was $100.00 in a month drinking is most certainly a lie. Not a lie to you or the counselor, but still part of the denial. He is minimizing the damage. This isn't from trying to be deceptive, but just a natural reaction to protect himself from seeing how bad it really was. Hopefully, with time he will get more honest with himself.

The sex part I can't be much help with. I am a male and I have felt rejected at times when I was ready and she wasn't, but there is so much more involved that what the mere act of sex contains. My wife of 12 years now is not a very affectionate person at all. She also does not like to have sex as often, but is very enthusiastic when it happens, but still not affectionate. That is just the way things are.

We are all just different beings and if we choose to spend our life together that is something we have to accept. It is best if we see the differences from the beginning. In our case I don't think there have been any surprises for either one of us. In the end we all have to be just a little bit selfish and take care of our needs. If we don't we most certainly won't be happy with anyone else.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:35 PM
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Really good advice here, Alone22. I hope you're feeling a bit better about it all. About the sex thing, there's also the sad fact that, unless they've had really good role models, a lot of guys are raised with the tacit messages that Men Have Needs That Must Be Fulfilled. So when he's in this low state, some of those ugly myths might start bubbling up in his brain.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:46 PM
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Laurie- I trust and value your input but I am struggling with you reading I have expectations. I guess I would like my RAH to do behave in certain ways ( loving, respectful, and honest) and I do have the expectation that those things are key in a good marriage. Can I control his behavior, no. I have to admit I do get confused at determining what my needs are and not have it look like an expectation.

It is funny you say the SO thinks things should be moving forward and all okay because right now for us it is the other way around. My RAH thinks that because he went to rehab and is doing the right things we should just be able to move forward and have it all just be okay at this point. I'm the one having the issue with it. I know he needs time and so do I and putting our marriage back together is going to take some work.

I'm glad you talked about the couples groups. My RAH came home and told me about one here locally. We are planning on going tomorrow night. I think it is a wonderful idea and for some reason you bringing it up makes me feel even better about attending one.

You have given me stuff to think about.. thank you.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:59 PM
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Alone22, I'm a guy so you'll have to forgive me, but I don't see the difference between needs and expectations.

I don't see a difference between

"for this relationship to work I need you to be loving, respectful, and honest"

and

"for this relationship to work I expect you to be loving, respectful, and honest"

The reality is that you are either getting what you want from the relationship or you aren't. Expecting him to change to meet your needs is just another example of control. The reality is that he is what he is, you either accept that or you don't. Change may happen but there is no way to be certain that it will.

Also realize that as his recovery progresses, assuming that it does, it may take him in directions that you are not anticipating.

BTW, what are you changing to meet his needs?

Your friend,
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:30 PM
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I am glad that you have a 'couples meeting' nearby. I hope you and H attend several and become regular members, getting to know some of the other couples.

That interaction can be a big help, especially when it is from folks who have gone through and are going through some of the same things you two are.

Good luck with the meetings.

Love and hugs,
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:41 PM
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Mike- I guess that is my point. Are you saying it is not okay to have needs/wants and to express them to your partner if they are not being met? I don't expect my RAH to be something he is not, but right now who he is without alcohol is evolving. If I simply used past behavior that would not seem reasonable at this point. If my RAH came to me and said I really need you to "XYZ" I would take it under consideration and if it was something I felt I could do without compromising who I am I would try to meet the request. I am not trying to control him, but simply to express the type of relationship I'd like to have. If that is not who he is, then we both know it is time to move on. Same holds true for both of us.

As far as changing to met his needs.... the only thing he has expressed is to me is wanting sex.... at this point there are no other issues, requests, etc. that he has said. In the past I heard I nagged him too much, so you know what I changed what I was doing and I don't nag in the slightest anymore. When two humans interact there are bound to be some issues....trying to working through them seems like a wise idea. If one does not express their thoughts on what they need how is the other person to know? Am I making any sense here? lol
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:30 PM
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I was in an abusive relationship, so I don't know if I should chime in here.

Just take what you can and leave the rest.

My ex wanted sex, everytime that we were in bed together and he was still awake. If I told him no, he would go out after work the next day and not call me, and sometimes not come home. If we did have sex, he would disappear 2 days later, and tell me that he went out drinking with his friends, because I did not enjoy the sex, and it didn't count.

This went on for a long time, I would have sex, and be thinking, did this one count? One day after having sex, I just loudly said, did this one count, and got up, and left the room.

I started hating sex, I felt like I was being used. After each fight, we have to have sex so that he could feel like every thing was better. And once we had sex, I was not allowed to bring up the problems anymore, because how could there be any problems, we just, had sex, and how can you do that, that I am just trying to create problems.

Sex to me, became a "trust" issue. And right now, I don't know if I am making sense.

To me, sex became a weapon, something that he would use against me if I did or I didn't, to him, it was like an OK to his treatment of me, and that the fight had ended.

I do think that your feelings about sex should be brought up in therapy. I do think that he needs to know how you feel, what you want, and how you have felt in the past.

Nothing will be resolved without going through this, and I think that you will have that "trust" issue forever, without discussing it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Alone22 View Post
When two humans interact there are bound to be some issues....trying to working through them seems like a wise idea. If one does not express their thoughts on what they need how is the other person to know? Am I making any sense here? lol
Yes you're making sense, dear.

I think things can get confusing when discussing expectations, needs, wants, etc.

I know for me, I have a bar of standards, and if you want to call that expectations, then so be it. There was a time when my bar of standards was so low that no one could limbo under it!

I can give you two opposite examples of "expectations", and what my boundaries are.

Youngest daughter is a hard worker, responsible most of the time. I "expect" to be treated with respect on her part. She does 99 9/10% of the time. My boundary is if you don't respect me, I will cease communication at the time. The few times she has popped off at my house, she's been asked to leave and come back when her attitude is readjusted. If we're on the phone, I flat out hang up on her.

My AD, well, that is the opposite end of the spectrum. I don't "expect" anything from her because she's an active addict. She is also no longer welcome in my home, and I have minimal communication via phone. Those are my boundaries firmly established after she turned my household upside down in less than a month.

I do think it's reasonable and healthy for a couple to discuss needs and wants. If a marriage can't have dialog, then it's not much of a marriage.

Personally I completely understand your stance on the sex thing. I did the "good" wife thing too. Ugh.

Sending you hugs of support!
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:00 PM
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I had a really hard time sorting out the whole expectations thing until a poster on here wrote it out in a way that suddenly made the lights come on for me. Maybe it will be the same way for you. Maybe not, lol.

Having expectations for "roles" is okay. Having expectations for individuals is what leads to disappointment and resentment. In other words, it's okay to expect certain things from "a husband," "a sister," "a business partner," and so on. Those are the standards DeVon is speaking of.

But, when you cast someone in one of the "roles" in your life, you don't get to demand that they meet your expectations. In fact, it's quite the other way around. If we are going to have certain expectations for a role, then we ought to be careful that the person we choose to fulfill that role already fits it.

In an ideal world, that's how it would happen. We would decide the kind of people we want in our lives and settle for nothing less. If someone stopped meeting the expectations of their role, we would remove them from it.

In the real world, it's more complicated than that. I, for one, didn't even realize I was settling until I already had. Then I had a mess to sort out. But, it still comes down to this. If the individual who is your husband does not meet your standards for the role of husband in your life, then you must either rethink your standards, or rethink his role. Those are really the only two choices. Making him into someone else is not an option. Not that you have to decide anything immediately, but that is the bottom line.

L
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:03 PM
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LTD that helps, a lot. I have been with my RAH for almost 28 years now. I was 16 when our relationship first started. We dated and split up 3 times before we married when I was 22. In the 6 years we dated we matured and grew to realize we found our Husband/Wife. While no one is perfect, we felt we found someone who we wanted to be with and I don't think either of us was out to change the other person. Then alcoholism came into our lives and slowly each of us changed, and became ill. This change took place over many many years. Now on the other side of rehab and with months of Al-anon and therapy we are trying to find who we are again.

I don't expect my RAH to be anyone but himself but I do have expectation of what a husband should be like. Can there be compromises? you bet and but somethings are deal breakers.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:28 PM
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Alone I think it's great that your RAH is willing to go to the couples group with you and that he is the one that shared that info with you.

I bounce back and forth every day with having empathy for my RAH and getting angry and resentful that it is all about him for the most part with tiny little steps of recovery for our relationship.

After a little more than 6 months of recovery my RAH has crudely brought up the subject of sex and I told him there's so much more rebuilding of our relationship that I need before I will consider that.

Not to be mean, but we are living separately. There are tiny little changes, like just calling me and discussing difficult topics for more than 30 seconds and planning time for us to spend together. I feel like I was damaged so much with all the dishonesty that I often question the sincerity of RAH actions.

There were other issues regarding sex that I'd rather not go into detail, but it was like my AH was living a secret sexual fantasy life. In the back of my mind I am still not sure I believe what he says that it was the effects of alcohol. Since we are living apart I have no way of knowing it is no longer a part of his life as he recovers. Even when we were living together he hid it well.

One day at a time for me and focus on my recovery and accepting of the little steps right now as I am still wondering who the man I married really was or where he went.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:01 PM
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After mine came home frome rehab, we had the same issue.

He went to rehab and nothing is wrong. The world is great and so was our marriage.
That's what he thought....

They say that they act the age when they began to drink...My XAH was 18 when he began to drink.
So after rehab, he all of sudden had a sex drive like a 18 year old.
10 months later, he is acting and drinking like a 18 year old.
Unfortunately he is trapped in a 50 year body...ha ha

After 10 months alone and looking back, I would agree alot with amy55

Wheter it's sex or whatever..."If I dont want too, Im not going too"

I know if you have to fight over sex, something is wrong. I hope you find
out what it is.

Ive had to dig deep in my soul to find out what happen to me.
I lost the love, I lost the faith, I lost the trust, I lost the passion
becasue it was always the whiskey bottle before me......

Now, I think sex is one of those topics, that is highly over rated
Love, is one of those topics, that I wouldnt mind having....
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:05 PM
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And dont forget.....Rehab is NOT the magic cure for anything...

He just got out of rehab. He will say and do alot of crazy things.

Your just getting a sneak preview right now...There will be more
to come...

Keep Strong!!!
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:37 AM
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Alone, what I am trying to say, and so far not doing it well, is that for me, when I have needs, I am placing my happiness under someone else's control. I have worked too hard and come too far to ever do that again. One of the things I have learnt on this journey is that I am the only person responsible for my happiness. To put that into someone else's hands is to set myself up for failure and resentment.

What I have done with my RAW is to set clear boundaries and let it go at that. We have been married for 36 years and it was the last 15 that put us where we are now. If it took 15 years to break things then I imagine it might take a few years for things to get better. I accept that at this point in time I don't have any idea for what the future might bring for me and us and that's OK. I am living on my own right now and that is fine with me. I am willing to be patient and let things happen as they will.

I am the only person responsible for my life and happiness a life is good.

I hope this helps and makes more sense. My posts seem to work better when I frame them around my own experience.

Your friend,
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Old 09-28-2011, 06:49 AM
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About the $$$, VERY IRONICALLY, my exa is an accountant. He once told me that he couldn't afford to stop drinking, because the meds the addiction doctor wanted him to take would be $120 per month, and that he didn't spend that much on alcohol.

He spent 3X that much on alcohol. I think all alcoholics are also bad accountants.
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