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And now after rehab.....

Old 09-26-2011, 09:00 AM
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And now after rehab.....

RAH completed rehab a little over 2 weeks ago. We have been to two MC sessions and plan on continuing them until our relationship is firmly on the right path. RAH is calmer, seems to be pretty rational about most stuff, doing the right things to show me he wants things to be better (like taking me out to dinner, calling from work just to say hi and he even brought me flowers), things a good marriage should just simply have. He seems to be active in his recovery with meetings and talking with his sponsor.

I honestly feel pretty good about where life is at, BUT I am having trouble with a few things and thought I would get some help here to see if my perspective is off or if his is. The one BIG thing that we are not in the same place at is sex. For years I really felt like I was being used, it became simply physical with complete lack of any loving. He had this internal time clock of 3-5 days and if he didn't have sex about every 5 days he really got grumpy. So being the good codie that I was I would do my best to comply and be the good wife, fearful if I didn't it would just make things worse. When I finally reached my bottom and got the courage to change sex was one thing I finally put my foot down to. I see it as a consequence of his actions, of course he sees it as punishment. I have explained to him that I am not trying to punish him and now at this point I need time to heal, and our relationship needs time to heal. What really bugs me is that when he does talk about this, it is ALL about him and how long it has been, there is not one single thought in his head about me and my feelings. Even a simple " I miss being with you" would really go far, but what I get is him being irritated that he has been faithful for all of our marriage and not having sex is his worst nightmare. It makes me feel as if all the nice things he does is to simply get sex, not because he is doing it from the heart.

The other thing that came up during our MC (right at the end) was that the most he ever spent on alcohol in a month was $100. It leaves me wondering (if he is being truthful) why he was taking $300+ in cash out each month (and it wasn't for lunches because all of those went on the credit card)? One of my friends questioned if he was perhaps having an affair. I honestly have no clue, but it does leave me wondering. I really want to talk to him about it but in the past when I try to discuss money issues with him, it set him off. Now while I know I need to talk to him about this I find myself fearful of his reaction to my questions. Logically I look at the money and what he said and I call BS. I would love to say the past is the past, but he was the one who talked about this in MC so it brings it into the present. Either he is not being truthful on how much be spent on booze or there is something else I don't know yet.

Anyone have some feedback for me? I feel kind of stuck emotionally on both of these topics.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:17 AM
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I am picking up my husband from 28 day rehab in a couple of hours. I am glad to hear that things are going relatively well with you. In regard to the $$ my husband spent more on booze than he admitted and it was hidden in other things...such as going to the grocery store buying groceries and then taking out another $40 in cash to go to the liquor store. This was over and above his weekly $. He is in rehab and my grocery bill goes down dramatically.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:32 AM
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I suppose you will know if and when you are ready to restart the physical side of the relationship-I know from my point of view it's a turn off when you stop respecting someone.
Regarding his attitude, probably too big a generalisation but maybe us blokes are wired in a different way, not as sensitive sometimes-but that shouldn't mean he doesn't respect your wishes. It's a delicate business when everything else has been out of kilter.
Regarding the money, my guess is it went on booze-but he sounds to be doing well so you'll have to decide whether it's worth the upset to challenge him further-good luck!
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:34 AM
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Winnie, either that or carrots got expensive where you live!
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:46 AM
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"Even a simple " I miss being with you" would really go far, but what I get is him being irritated that he has been faithful for all of our marriage and not having sex is his worst nightmare."

This made me so sad. What a strange, sad, creepy little worldview he has. He wants a medal for being faithful? He gets pissy with you because you won't pretend to be turned on? Ugh.

Not sure what counselling could do about that.

About the money, sure, bring it up in counseling. "You said you never spent more than $100/month on booze? I used to see at least $300 going out. What was that about?" And just let him answer. It could be there's something to hide, or maybe just drunken denial as to the amount of money and booze consumed. But you bringing it up in a calm way is totally appropriate.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:52 AM
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My husband has been sober for two months. Up until recently we hadn't had sex in three months. I feel very similar things - for years, I followed the same clock you did...have sex to avoid a disagreement, regardless of how I felt about it or him. Now, things are better, BUT I'm still not that interested. There is a lot of hurt there and I don't want things to be the way they were before. At the same time, I'm not quite sure how to get there. One thing I know for sure: if he keeps mentioning it, I'll never want to do it.

I wish you well - let me know if you have any magical insights.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:20 PM
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Since you are in MC that would be a 'safe' place to bring up the fact that not only his past treatment in the sexual department but his 'attitude' make you feel like his 'garbage can' and does not make you 'feel' 'loving' toward him at all.

It is also something he can discuss with his sponsor.

I would suspect since he is still very new in recovery that he is having 'one he!! of a time holding everything together' and really probably has no clue about the difference between 'physical' relief and a 'coming together for love' relationship in the bedroom.

I am grateful that you are seeing improvement, but please remember, like most in early recovery, he is still very fragile. I know I sure was, and most of the sponsees I have worked with in AA are also. It may be a good 6 to 9 months to a year before all the cobwebs are cleared from his brain and he actually is working on the 'wreckage of his past.'

Please keep working on you.

Love and hugs,
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:01 PM
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I second the suggestion to bring up the $ in counseling.
The sex thing is such a difficult issue. I don't think that most men and women look at sex the same way. Does he honestly think you are purposely avoiding something that you WANT to do just to punish him? Or does he just not care if you want to participate or not? I don't know too many men that want to have sex with someone that has put them through hell. It takes time to heal and feel loving again. Sometimes I wish our bodies functioned the same way as theirs, so that if we didn't want it, we wouldn't be capable of it.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:05 PM
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As a male, rejecting sex is the same as rejecting me, at the emotional level. I can get it intellectually but in my gut it still feels like rejection.

Just something to think about.


Your friend,
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:07 PM
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Just my experience but both money and sex were something that our marriage counselor was very comfortable with us discussing and talking about. She also had a lot of great suggestions on both topics for reading etc. We did not go long enough to address those issues significantly, but it was something that at least gave us starting points.
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:10 PM
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If he can't "get" why after all that you've lived with (lies, more lies, verbal abuse etc...) you aren't eager to have sex right away, he's clearly got a long way to go with AA and dealing with not being utterly self-centered. Humility, empathy etc... all seem to be things that fall by the wayside with alcoholism and if he's able to think only of what his needs are right now, he needs to get to a meeting, talk to a sponsor, do some reading etc... The solution is NOT that you need to appease him.

As for talking to him about the money. I know your fear. There's no safe topics with my AH and anything even remotely related to his drinking or money spent were always topics he'd flip out about. That said, ask yourself this: if you're trying to work on your marriage and he is saying he's committed to recovery, shouldn't comfort and lack of fear about bringing up perfectly reasonable topics be pretty important pieces of the puzzle. One thing I've realized is that my AH managed to convince me over the years that totally reasonable questions, topics of conversations, attempts to problem solve etc... were me "nagging, invading his privacy, being a Nazi etc...". The fact is, spending money, being unaccountable for it and having BIG discrepancies bw the amt he said he spent and what he did spend had better well be things he's capable of discussing bc they are big issues.

I know you must be fearful he'll react the way he used to but I guess the only way to know if he's actually making the changes he says he is, is to ask him about the money and see how the conversation goes. I think you'll know within about 10 seconds whether he's actually making good recovery progress based on how he reacts.

Either he's lying about how much he spent on alcohol or he's omitting (my AH thinks ommissions aren't lies so good luck with your AH if he thinks similarly) info about what he did with the other $200 a month. You absolutely have a right to know and have a right to ask.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:02 PM
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Thank you to each of you who responded. All great points and things I need to give some thought to.

Mike- I get the whole men's side of sex but I honestly am not trying to reject him, but would really like him to see the female side of things. Seems a bit crazy to me to run a bulldozer over our marriage and not at least have some sort of sympathy for what I have been going through.

Laurie- I honestly am doing my best to understand how fragile he is right now and that is why I am trying to be very careful with how I say things and when I say them. I honestly would be 100% okay with him just continuing to focus on his recovery and not tackling MC at this point, but of course sex seems to be everything to him and I simply can't reconnected until we are able to work through some of our issues.

WTBH- he does have a long way to go, but I have a feeling part of the selfishness is just simply who he is. He even admits to thinking selfishly and how he is trying to work on that. What I am really concerned with is him not being honest with himself which seems like a slippery slope into a relapse. Before he went into rehab I kept telling him when he was ready to be honest and had nothing to hide to just bring me all receipts, but yet he still has not produced any... and I see charges at CVS and Cirlce K's days apart from each other. I don't even want to have to question things, but yet as I sit here I still am.

Balance of my needs and his fragile recovery... hard one isn't it....
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:31 PM
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Have you told him point blank what you need from him as it relates to sex?

Some guys have to be coached and re-coached until they get there, my first wife could not for whatever reason articulate her needs in the bedroom, it was a painful process of trial and error to get us into synch.

When it comes to money and drinking I can tell you from experience a $100.00 does not go far.

I knew guys who bought booze every time they filled up at the gas station, some guys got cash back on their credit card at every store they could, one guy I knew had a savings account at another bank with the bill coming to the office. Each had different obsessions examples include booze, strippers, sports betting, fanatasy football, hunting supplies and guns, fishing tackle, you name it, it does not have to be an affair or booze for him to hide it from you.

Can't speak for you but if it was me I would need a full accounting so we could "wipe the slate clean" going forward.

Best of luck to you, please make taking care of yourself the priority.

Peace be with you,

WBD
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:49 PM
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(((((Alone22)))))

What I am really concerned with is him not being honest with himself which seems like a slippery slope into a relapse.
Yep it is there. I could not even begin a thorough and honest 4th step until I was almost 9 months sober. Up to then, there were GAPS in my honesty, and I cannot honestly say whether it was from the mush in my head or I was just not yet able to look at me that deeply. I do believe it was a bit of both.

Having been on both sides of this street called alcoholism and addiction I do understand both sides. I have found myself with loved ones in early recovery getting impatient and wondering why they cannot just spit it out, after all the are 'sober and/or clean', and then the 'light bulb' once again goes off, lol and I realize and remember how hard it was for me and what a mess I was in those months, even though I was holding down an pretty darn good job.

I am NOT asking or saying, to 'give him the benefit of the doubt' oh no, just asking that you understand that as hurt as you are by his lies, deceit, hurtful words in the past, there is a part of him that is just a hurt by what he did to himself and to his loved ones.

Only he has control over if he relapses or not. Either he keeps moving forward through the confusion, pain, self doubts, or .................. he doesn't.

J M H O

Love and hugs,
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:56 PM
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Balance of my needs and his fragile recovery... hard one isn't it....
If you focus more on your own fragile recovery and less on his needs you may find more balance...
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by hello-kitty View Post
If you focus more on your own fragile recovery and less on his needs you may find more balance...
Yes, I second that. What works for me is to sort my own needs out first - in this case, balancing my need for (truth, honesty, intimacy, respect) against my need to be compassionate, fair, tolerant of others and my need to "do the right thing" so I feel good about myself. Once I decide within myself what my needs are, identify conflicting needs, prioritize and sometimes compromise within myself, then i can take a firm position with ASO. What I will no longer do is to try to untangle ASO's underlying needs and compromise my own needs to meet their needs (as I imagine or guess them to be).

To me, sounds like it is not your RASO's needs that are truly confusing you, it is your own - your need for his approval, validation, acceptance, needing him to "prove himself to you" by compromising for you, "needing" him to give you what you want, etc., etc. - and you're trying to figure out whether and how to get these things from him. I'm not saying this is wrong to want these things, but you cannot "make" him give you what you want (intimacy, for example), nor can you talk him into it. And if your internal needs are conflicted, that's for you to work through.

All you can really do is find a balance within yourself that you are comfortable with, decide what to ask of him, then ask it calmly and clearly without rationalizing or explaining, and let him work through it. Anything else seems like head games to me.

That's all I got.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:43 AM
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I have to agree, put the focus on your recovery. He will either get better or he won't. When you work a recovery you grow and change. Who knows where this will lead. So, focus on your recovery, enjoy today as best you can and let things unfold as they will.

Btw remember it is not your job to manage his recovery or make him happy.

Your friend,
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Alone22 View Post

WTBH- he does have a long way to go, but I have a feeling part of the selfishness is just simply who he is. He even admits to thinking selfishly and how he is trying to work on that. What I am really concerned with is him not being honest with himself which seems like a slippery slope into a relapse.
It does sound like selfishness is a problem for him and it seems to me that honesty (or dishonesty in his case) is directly related to the selfishness and vice versa. Someone who is primarily concerned with themself, isn't going to have a hard time justifying dishonesty to himself.

I agree that his lack of honesty with himself is a VERY fast and slippery slope to relapse.

I was told during AH's first stint in outpatient rehab that relapse happens LONG before the drinking part of relapse occurs. The mind set is what leads to the drinking relapse, and it sure sounds to me that your AH's mind set is in a pretty close to relapse place. Still telling stories about money, selfishness about sex... sounds very much like relapse thinking to me.

I hope he has plans for his recovery (just leaving rehab with no plan isn't a good idea if that's what he did) but more importantly, I hope you have a plan for you-- even if it's just that you try and get through each day for now.

No matter how right you are about AH's thinking not being clear and how right your concerns are about whether he might relapse, you're not going to be able to prevent it (I learned this the hard way like every other lesson I've learned). I tried just as hard to try and stop my AH's relapse (when I thought he was sober- turns out he never was) as I tried to stop him from lying, from drinking, from blaming me etc... And I was not successful even once at any of this.

Have you told him what your boundaries are? You have a right to set your own terms you know right? You can tell him what you will and won't tolerate and what you will and won't do in response to those things occuring. You are under no obligation to sit and wait and see what he chooses to do. You get to live your life and if he wants to be a part of it I think after a stay in rehab he's heard plenty about what's required for recovery. Now it's up to him to decide whether he's going to do it. That's all on him. I remember how much I wanted to MAKE my AH want to be better after each of his stints in outpatient rehab and how crazy I made myself by paying so much attn to his non-recovery.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:33 AM
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Again thank you for your insight and comments.

Willybluedog- yes I have told him and will continue to do so. He knows that after many years with no affection what the problem is. He was a closet drinker so his reason for no affection was because he didn't want me to be able to smell the alcohol. Sex is not the problem the lack of feeling loved is. $100 does not go far and I see this has a red flag that he is not being truthful. While I have no proof I do assume he too would buy his booze while getting gas, buying groceries, and more than likely took out cash while doing each. I would really like to have a full accounting of where money is being spent. I feel each partner in a marriage has the right to know. Given his history of lies this seems like a great place to start. I have told him this for about 6 months now.

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.

As far as focusing on me, I get that, but we are all human and we all have needs and relationships should be give and take. As codies we are not selfish enough and A's are too selfish, but a happy balance in the middle is what should be best. If codies simply focus on themselves and their needs that too becomes a slippery slope in my opinion. For us it is remembering to listen to our inner voice and make sure the compromises are not too great.

WTBH- if he is going to relapse I know there is not much I can do other than take care of myself. Giving him sex or not demanding full disclosure on his spending is not going to keep him from drinking. Life is full of excuses if he wants one. However when I see a red flag I am going to take notice. What he said during MC could be one, but really only time is going to tell. I am pretty sure our therapist caught it too. RAH has been very active in his recovery since leaving rehab. He has the tools he needs to be in long term recovery. It is going to be up to him to use them or not. While I am supportive of his recovery, I will not own any part of it.

As I sit here I have to admit to myself that I am fearful, but at least my fears are not stopping me from moving forward with my life. Fear had me dead in the water for a long long time. Entrusting my HP and giving my fears to him is extremely helpful. As much as I want to plan my life out, I know now how silly it is of me to think I can. While I think planning for life is good, having the expectations it will unfold according to my plan is crazy. I am not fully in control, and now I know that. While I can drive my boat and go most places, I can not control the big waves and the direction my boat will be facing once they come. I can only steer in the direction I'd like to go once the wave has passed.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:43 AM
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Garfiild- very well put. I think I do know what my needs are and at this point it is being able to articulate them in a way that is not demanding of him. I have always had the point of view that if I have to ask for flowers then it is not worth even getting them. In other words if I have to ask you are only filling a demand and it is not because you wanted to. Yet at the same time we can't read each others minds so some discussion is required...
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