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How would you answer this question from a friend?

Old 10-11-2011, 09:51 PM
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How would you answer this question from a friend?

I was in a conversation tonight with a long last friend (male)
He still talks to the X once in awhile.

Tonight my friend tells me that he sounds great when he does talk to him. Note to myself: He only hear's the happy manilupation voice from the x...Like the world is great and I dont drink anymore (Quack)

He only know's what the x has told him of our situation

So in conversation he ask me this:

Well, think about it, he has lost you, the kids, the marriage, basically everything, so how do you expect him to quit drinking, what is his incentive?
Dont you think it would be better for him, if you gave him an incentive to live for and to quit drinking for?


Incentive.....Hmmmm????
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:11 PM
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I would simply answer " The addiction is hubby's not mine."

Not to mention I think your friend's tone was rather manipulative also.......... just saying.......
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:40 AM
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I come on SR because of the empathy. I really feel like the people on SR 'get it' they understand what I go through because most of us on SR have lived with an alcoholic.

When I talk to anyone with no personal experience of living with an alcoholic about my life and they respond, I am often left feeling 'puzzled' by their response. It quite often feels alien to me which is why I tend not to bother and leave that talk for Al-anon or SR.

Of course, I can see that your XAH had an 'incentive' which was to not loose you, his kids the marriage etc in the first place and if he wanted that more than his alcohol then he would have fought for it. It is very sad that your XAH is obviously so gripped by his disease that he cant see, with any clarity, what his disease has cost him and maybe he never will.

Please dont over-think your friends comment. Its not even worth going there. Its his opinion and you know how much 'incentive' your XAH has had but not stepped up to keep. I think its a bit like politics, there are always ways to 'twist' or explain a difference in opinion.

My favourite saying: 'that's your opinion, but lets agree to disagree'
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:52 AM
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Oh for stars sake.....! What a question!

Why didn't he stop when you were together? It's not like he didn't have plenty of opportunities!

Because......

Outside incentive matters not at all!! Your xAH has to do this for himself.

Sorry you had to go through that, Bobby.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:38 AM
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Sadly there is an ocean of ignorance about alcoholism and many of us have had others judge us based on their own misconceptions and the manipulations of the A. Recruiting supporters to influence me to take him back was embarrassing and so I have had some experience in this regard as I have had practice!

I simply tell the person questioning my alleged abandonment of the A with the statement that my X like the rest of us was given opportunities and choices and it had been agreed upon by both of us on what would be our plan if he relapsed. I didn't leave him for drinking I left him because he refused to honor his commitment to treat his alcoholism and deal with a possible relapse.

His choice to drink had consequences that he was well aware of as my boundaries had already been well established and were not negotiable.

I can report that after 4 years of active recovery that included several relapses that my hardline no contact dumping on his head was exactly what my and his HP ordered. He drank like a fish for a few weeks in isolation and broke up with alcohol for good. I see and feel a profound change in him... a peace and serenity... always before there was a sense that he was getting sober because "he had too" and deep down he didn't want to give up the booze despite being abstinent for periods up to a year.

Now... he KNOWS that he knows that he never wants to drink again. He is joyful and happy and he is actively staying spiritually fit every day and staying connected with others in recovery.

I am happy for him but I am NOT jumping back into the currently cool frying pan. I do allow him to wine and dine me on dates and I am keeping my own residence. It will be a very long time before I consider a relationship with an A... even one that I love dearly.

So... thats the skinny on my A and wish I had dumped his on his head 4 years ago... he needed to work this out on his own with his HP. It saved his life when I let go and let God.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:17 AM
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Well, depending on how close you are to this friend, you can choose to educate him a bit, or you can choose to disagree with his views. I have found that most people in our society support codependent relationships and view them as altruistic and "truly loving", most likely because popular culture pushes the messed up message that "true love" means giving everything up for the other person.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:14 AM
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I have answered in the past with something like "Nope, I tried that and it didn't work, she has to want to get better for herself. I can't do it for her".

Your friend,
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:30 AM
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Oye!! I've heard a lot of that "talk" from well-intended "friends." What has worked for me is ending the conversation by stating that I don't need/want to discuss the particulars of the decisions I have made. If I stay in those kinds of conversations, I find myself in a situation of defending/justifying MY choices... which I don't need to, nor should, be doing.

I did what I did, because of MY truths. That's it. My AH is now free to make HIS own choices, based on HIS truths.

Keeping it simple has worked wonders for my sanity - and eliminating circular conversations like that. Because the problem with those kinds of discussions, is that they usually end with me feeling like I *should* have been able to do something different, and if I had done something different... then maybe AH would have gotten sober! See it?!? I put myself in a situation where I am now accepting blame/responsibility for AH's choices!!! And, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HIM!! I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER HIM!!

So... again... I avoid those conversations, and I avoid accept his responsibility!!

:-) Shannon
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:18 AM
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Oh well, maybe his intentions were good, but since when do we grown ups need incentives for positive actions? This is not kindergarten. This is life.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:27 AM
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Kindergarten makes more sense.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:33 AM
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I really like the idea (and book) that we learned everything we need to know about life in kindergarten.

Amazon.com: All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten (9780804105262): Robert Fulghum: Books
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:48 AM
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You smile and say "Yes, isn't it sad that even in the face of losing his wife and children he still couldn't stop drinking?" Then you point him in the direction of an Al Anon meeting and offer to lend him some reading material.

Most people just don't understand the dynamics of living with addiction. My AH's best friend gave me the same line, but once I educated him, he "got" it.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:01 AM
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SoaringSpirits you are so right. All they would have to do is live with an A for just a month and they would be members of SR soon after.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:02 PM
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See? I guess I still have a little sarcasm left over. I'd probably say, "Since you are such a good and wonderful friend to him, how 'bout you move him in with you and you try to see if your influence makes a difference?"

I have probably alienated a few people with my sharp tongue...hmmmm, back to my spiritual reading....
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:08 PM
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how good a friend is this guy bc that's a, (ummm, trying to think of a delicate way to say it when what i really want to say doesn't sound very nice) enabling, guilt trippy, crappy kind of thing to say.

is this friend trying to play god and be intermediary and think that you owe your ex some new consideration or that you need to be concerned about his feelings?

i'm feeling annoyed for you by this friends presumptuousness. i have pretty much stopped talking to people who didn't "get" it when i stopped lying about what life with AH was like. i don't begrudge them their opinions or lack of ability to get it, but nor do i feel compelled to spend time with people who i feel i need to explain or justify my behavior to.

i have friends who don't live with or haven't dealt with alcoholism who get it just fine and don't ask things like your friend did. maybe you could set a clear boundary with him that you don't wish to hear about your ex at all and then it just won't be a part of conversation?
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:30 PM
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What an incredible crock of sh*t...

...this guy is no friend. He's trying to manipulate you, and is a codepedant manipulative pile of ****.

Guck that fuy. Seriously. Who says stupid crap like that? Good ******* God!

Here's an idea-- he is 100 percent respsonsible for incentivising himself to get sober. Him and only him! Christ.

My two cents.

Cyranoak


Originally Posted by BobbyJ View Post
I was in a conversation tonight with a long last friend (male)
He still talks to the X once in awhile.

Tonight my friend tells me that he sounds great when he does talk to him. Note to myself: He only hear's the happy manilupation voice from the x...Like the world is great and I dont drink anymore (Quack)

He only know's what the x has told him of our situation

So in conversation he ask me this:

Well, think about it, he has lost you, the kids, the marriage, basically everything, so how do you expect him to quit drinking, what is his incentive?
Dont you think it would be better for him, if you gave him an incentive to live for and to quit drinking for?


Incentive.....Hmmmm????
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:17 PM
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Oh! Cyranoak, I need to hang out with for a week or two!...Kind of like SR bootcamp! LOL....

Well, I believe his intentions were good. He is just very un-educated in the diesase.

This is how I answered it: There are no inscentives, no prizes, no guarantess.
He is the only one who can help himself and find recovery & get sober.
I cant make the fat man go the gym and exercise everyday & get skinny, just like I cant
make my drunk x husband get sober today..Get my point?

This what it did to me: It laid on the guilt trip. It made me sad. It made me
frustrated that no one on the outside understands. It made me wonder if I did
everything that I could of, should of, would of, possibly could of done.
..It played with my head.

What did I learn: To not put myself in that position again. To not let those
feelings of guilt attack me and hold me to the ground. To get knocked in the head
once again is not a good feeling. I have to remember, a year ago, I was as dumb
as my friend....

So, it was a good lesson. Hard. But Good....
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:57 PM
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There is a lot of valid responses on the focus of it is not in your control to fix. All of which I fully agree with. It's placing an expectation on you, which you simply don't have the power to fulfill (and I personally see a grain of sexism in there...wives/mommies are always seen as the "fixers").
What I've had more experience with ..even with a short, non marital relationship.. is the level of dishonesty in what REALLY has gone on. Most of the regulars here will emphatically tell you that the alcoholic SHIFTS BLAME as part of the denial process. Using the partner as a scapegoat. My x and I had several blowups, all of which were without others present to witness. Within a few days, his buddies clearly were distant, hostile and with unspoken criticism, towards me. If the x wanted to cover his part, he was easily able to do so, at my expense. He might even go as far later, to grudgingly admit to being responsible for something.. but the damage was done, in terms of what he already had told others.
Your partner may well be telling the friend that he is doing GREAT.. but that isn't necessarily true, and your friend is likely in a position that he accepts that, without knowing the facts.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:28 AM
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Sorry about that...

...at this point I'm a little protective you those of you I've been on here with for awhile. You are way nicer than me Bobby!

It's a sore subject for me because wife's family used to say **** like that which now sounds so moronic to me I can barely listen to it. I'd tell them to mind their own business and they would say it is their business because she's their (wife, daughter, friend, cousin, etc.).

They made things worse for a long, long time because when I stopped enabling they just picked up the slack.

AAAAAGH!

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by BobbyJ View Post
Oh! Cyranoak, I need to hang out with for a week or two!...Kind of like SR bootcamp! LOL....

Well, I believe his intentions were good. He is just very un-educated in the diesase.

This is how I answered it: There are no inscentives, no prizes, no guarantess.
He is the only one who can help himself and find recovery & get sober.
I cant make the fat man go the gym and exercise everyday & get skinny, just like I cant
make my drunk x husband get sober today..Get my point?

This what it did to me: It laid on the guilt trip. It made me sad. It made me
frustrated that no one on the outside understands. It made me wonder if I did
everything that I could of, should of, would of, possibly could of done.
..It played with my head.

What did I learn: To not put myself in that position again. To not let those
feelings of guilt attack me and hold me to the ground. To get knocked in the head
once again is not a good feeling. I have to remember, a year ago, I was as dumb
as my friend....

So, it was a good lesson. Hard. But Good....
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:16 PM
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Within a few days, his buddies clearly were distant, hostile and with unspoken criticism, towards me. If the x wanted to cover his part, he was easily able to do so, at my expense. He might even go as far later, to grudgingly admit to being responsible for something.. but the damage was done, in terms of what he already had told others.

My AH's family had noticed I had changed (become "cool") towards him long before they knew he was alcoholic. When they found out about the alcoholism, some said that explained my attitude and some figured my attitude caused it. Today, pretty much all of them think he would stop drinking if I would just be "warmer" and more supportive. Blech!
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