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is it me? or is it him? maybe I'm doing this all wrong??

Old 02-02-2012, 12:41 PM
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Unhappy is it me? or is it him? maybe I'm doing this all wrong??

My (20 yrs together, 15 married) RAH and I are struggling. This is SO hard. I keep saying that the only thing that's changed is the fact I'm not cleaning **** up off the floor and hearing what a 'f-ing' #$%^ I am...

and he just said the same thing. Nothing has changed.

He was upset with me. Says I ignore him. and ...do I? Maybe.
I am having a hard time detaching...and not abandoning (an issue brought up on another thread earlier today)...

He says when I am asked to go somewhere or do something I always say no and it makes him feel bad. He says I don't talk with him...I talk to hear myself talk..about mundane things..nothing of importance.

he said... "I went to AA for you but I stayed for me."
mind you ten seconds later he was talking on going back out...
so was it for him?
not if he can't see how much better his life is now.
so he went for me. he still goes because I won't live w/ an active A.
the fact he even told me he was thinking of going back out reeks of manipulation...
I don't play that. I won't get pulled in. and if he drinks he's gone. Period. so if he drinks he's choosing how he wants this marriage to end. His choice not mine.

the thing is ...I don't want to go to an open AA mtg. I've been to many with him and while I do think I'm supportive...I don't think I should NEED to be there. This is HIS deal. I do my alanon and he does his AA.

and I don't WANT to go hang out w/ his AA people. I'm sorry but they are all perfectly nice but I just don't want to.

nor do I want to go hang out with a bunch of youngsters either...I mean..my thinking is that he should have friends his own age...and be hanging w/ people who have common issues....perhaps men who are married, have kids etc... not a bunch of 20 yr olds who have no wives, no kids...limited responsibilities...

I do love him. But we all love our A's .... we do. the question is whether it's healthy for us to be involved with them.

and how involved.
He's my husband. We can't lead completely separate lives and be happy.
I"m very unhappy but I"m not sure exactly why.
I'm working on my life...but not so much on OUR life.
I don't know where that line is.
What's okay and what's not.
I've read and read my alanon books. I'm trying to do what is right.
and I'm not trying to hurt him on purpose..but he is hurt by it. Yet I doubt him and suspect manipulation...that surely isn't good..right?

I don't know anymore. he said we're married we are supposed to be entangled...but according to alanon...we aren't. we have to detach with love... ??? Where is the line? between him and me...and where is it okay to be 'entangled'?

He asked if I was leaving him.
I said no, I hadn't decided.
I can expect some fallout from THAT answer.

but it's the truth.
I am so confused on what is the right thing...and what is acceptable and what isn't. I'm not foolish to think I know the difference right now because I'm not far enough in alanon to really have that part yet. That's part of our disease I guess.

I just don't know.
part of me wants to go sooo badly...
we've NEVER had a good marriage. so I just feel like I don't know what I'm fighting for anymore.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:45 PM
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Seems to me, from reading your post, that your AH isn't actually interested in recovery; he's interested in retaining his hold on you, either by accusing you of "ignoring him", of "not talking with him", or by outright insulting you, all the while continuing to drink. He also appears to be quite shaken by your attempts at focusing on YOURSELF and YOUR happiness instead of his drama and manipulation...so he's pulling out all the stops and confusing the heck out of you.

You have a right to be happy, whether with him or without him. You have a right to explore and question exactly what it is that makes you happy. Just because King Baby is stamping his foot, demanding attention while demeaning you, doesn't mean you can't continue to search for your happiness and fulfillment. Are you attending al-anon or individual counselling?
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:55 PM
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I go to alanon regularly and have a sponser. He isn't drinking though. that's the big huge part....even though he wants to sometimes...he isn't doing it.

I do feel manipulated.
if he doesn't get his way...holy crap watch out... he is like an overgrown child at times and that is really hard to deal with.

He says he can't talk to be about issues because I react badly...
I think it's because I won't accept all the blame, won't let him manipulate the situation and I refuse to let him hurt my feelings. All things I did BEFORE i attended alanon.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:22 PM
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oh no....he didn't. I was just specifiying stuff he did when he was drinking....

and that he agreed with me that outside those outlined actions (being called names, pee on the floor..etc...) nothing had changed with our relationship.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:28 PM
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If you have never had a good marriage, why are you still there? What is the payoff for you?

His disrespect for you is apparent and a healthy relationship is not entanglement, it is a parternership, a life together with equality, and freedom to be yourself, not an appendage of him.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:39 PM
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He asked you to go to an AA meeting with him, you said no, and he got mad?
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:52 PM
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Oh..The usual crap...

I learned this:
NO ONE, not even my own kid's will ever be allowed to talk to me like that again!

Look up & Read on the internet about domestic abuse.
It includes, verbal abuse too!!

When I go home after work, my home is peaceful, spotless clean and my dog's kiss me and love me no matter what...Wouldnt trade it, for that crap anymore!
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:54 PM
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In my situation, RABF and I have been living separately, and I think we may be able to salvage some semblance of a relationship because of it. I've worked on mine, and he on his, and we don't step all over each other with frustrations. We're in progress to deal with particular situations on our own.

This work on ourselves while we got out of each other's way has been a gift. To us. It may not be something that works for everyone.

I'll let you know in a few months how I feel after we try to put it back together again...LOL.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:36 PM
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Absolutely...it appalls me that I used to put up with the drunken rants and name calling.

I don't miss it a bit!!!

He does not do that...not since he sought recovery.

I just think he doesn't even realize what he says....is demeaning and inappropriate to say to someone you supposedly love.
I mean if I said to my mom... you only talk to talk, not about anything of importance...in a conversation in which we were trying to fix our relationship....that would hurt her AND in me saying such a thing...I would NOT be trying to fix it..but get the upper hand by throwing zingers...
am I wrong?

I don't know.
What do I get from this?
I think sometimes that I just have been here so long I'm afraid to go.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by blwninthewind View Post
He isn't drinking though. that's the big huge part....even though he wants to sometimes...he isn't doing it.

(snip)

He says he can't talk to be about issues because I react badly...
I think it's because I won't accept all the blame, won't let him manipulate the situation and I refuse to let him hurt my feelings. All things I did BEFORE i attended alanon.
What do you get when you sober up a horse thief? A sober horse thief. Take the booze out of the man...does he become your ideal partner?

IMO, he's still a King Baby...here's an awesome SR linky about King Baby Syndrome

And yes, you're bang on. Your King Baby is angry that things aren't "perfectly fine" with you in your rightful place (i.e. under his thumb), taking blame for all the things you did to him.

If the marriage hasn't changed, then perhaps it's time to look at what YOU can change...
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:14 PM
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That sounds like a sad and exhausting 'space' (mentally and emotionally speaking) to live in.

My xah and I had a lot of the same dynamics in our relationship. I fully admit that I had a lot of dysfunctional behavior that I brought to the relationship and I've no doubt that it caused him pain. We saw a counselor for a little bit and she said that we had massive communication problems. His were different then mine but we both had them. She said that it was one of the most fixable things in a relationship and she felt we could get past that if we both were committed to the relationship and to change. We went into her office with our heels dug in because I said I was divorcing him, period, if he was drinking and he said he wouldn't stop drinking if I didn't stay and do counseling. We hashed that out a bit and she said she would not agree to marriage counseling for us, or anyone else, if one partner was not in recovery. He was active and following the voice of addiction - not marriage. So that was that.

My two cents is that your first decision should be if you want this marriage on any level. You sound very uncertain, which I think is natural, but that uncertainty can become a sticking point where no movement is made in any direction and what a miserable place to live in.

If the answer is yes to the relationship I wouldn't waste one day in finding a marriage counselor that specialized/had experience with addictions. I don't think al-anon and AA alone are enough to help couples with these kinds of relationship struggles.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:31 PM
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It has to be exhausting for you, and confusing, and discouraging.

Personally, my instinct for your situation is that you continue what you are doing: going to Al-Anon and not yet making any major decisions.

You said "I'm not far enough in Al-Anon yet....." This implies to me you maybe have less than a year or so in the program? Living with alcoholism creates such distorted thinking and irrational behaviors and automatic defensive responses in us that it takes us a significant amount of time to find our center and know what we want and who we are again.

I am not surprised that your marriage has never been happy, as it has been an alcoholic marriage.

In the years you have been with this man you have planted deep roots, you share 20 years of memory and history and "entanglements" both positive and negative. And it seems to me you would not casually destroy this shared life, and so you are hesitant to bolt just because the happy sober marriage has not yet emerged.

Alcoholics create wreckage. They shatter trust. They leave their loved ones in pieces. And they are themselves in pieces when they finally try to get well.

I don't know how long he has been sober but Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is a very predictable passage for an alcoholic in the first three years of sobriety, and for anyone trying to connect with the alcoholic, it feels as miserable as he says he is.

I don't have any advice. I just want you to know that a hurricane of addiction has destroyed your life and his, and it will take some time before you feel your marriage is safe harbor, if ever.

You have invested 20 years. If you stayed out of fear and never knew him or liked him, then there may be little to salvage.

But if you think you stayed because something in you wants to be with this man, and if that something in you still has life enough to continue Al-Anon, support his AA life however that unfolds for him, and work with a counselor to find out who you are now, in a sober marriage, then whatever choice is finally made about your marriage will be with deepest conviction and a sense of peace. It will not be made out of anger, frustration, resentment. You will feel calm, I hope, and take a look at things and say, "I'm done," should you decide to divorce.

As much as I personally wish that those who live with active addicts would leave them--temporarily at least-- so the addict's disease has full opportunity to bring him to a miserable bottom with no spouse to blame for his misery (alcoholics always blame someone else but if no one is there, then it might hit them that drinking is the problem).....as much as I usually suggest at least physical separation and minimal contact with active addicts........still, in my heart, I hope that the Promises of Recovery are really true. And that it is possible for marriages to be rebuilt, families to be reunited, and there be role models for others so that recovery is not just an idea in a book.....but is real and actually beautiful.

I miss the addict I am in love with. Last time I saw him he was an arrogant, selfish, blame-deflecting, self-pitying, complete Addict Personality MESS. And I'm not sure if he was clean or not. 15 years clean time, but I'm not so sure what the truth was a year ago when I last spoke to him.

I'd love to be with him, in parallel recovery, to repair our relationship, and be true individuals, not dependent, but committed to growing up side by side.

But that is because of all the men I have ever known, he's the one I would have walked through fire for. So for me, the hard work would have been worth it, to see if we could make a strong and enduring union.

But he's not recovering--clean or not-- and it isn't possible this day.

You may not feel that way about your husband now--the walking through fire part-- and there are many justifiable reasons why.

But you have built a life together and that is probably why you stay for now.

I would not expect any real happiness between you in his first year and your first year of recovery. Maybe not the second year either. There has been so much damage. Both of you are still pretty crazy. (Sorry....but that's what the family disease does).

But perhaps your long life together, 20 years, is reason enough for you both to commit to no major changes and to pursuing individual treatment for at minimum a full year. As long as there is no ongoing abuse. This includes verbal violence.

Whatever happens, you will emerge stronger and deeper.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:47 AM
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why don't you move out, get your own place, he can work on his recovery and you can work on yours.

if he wants to see you, he can ask you out on a date.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by blwninthewind View Post
He isn't drinking though. that's the big huge part....even though he wants to sometimes...he isn't doing it.
You might want to take the time to read this as I explain recovery from the viewpoint of an RA:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...y-symptom.html

Sending you hugs of support.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:39 AM
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I'm reading and thinking and doing all I can.

I also have 3 kids whose lives hinges on what I do. Their best interest is front and formost on my mind. If it were just me...well that would be different but it's not.

I want to be patient. I want to be kind. I want to have compassion for him as a person...and I'm trying.
I guess what I'm saying is that I just don't know how much longer I will be able to wait for him to grow up and be able to be a partner in this relationship.

I know it hurts him that he can't give me what I need and want...and i'm still waiting outside the hardware store for the bread truck.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:16 PM
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Don't your kids deserve a sane home with a happy mama? Is it necessarily in their best interest to live through this rollercoaster?

As for not knowing how much longer you can wait for him to grown up and be an adult,...what says that you have to wait a specific period of time? There is nothing forcing you to wait X days or X months, hoping and praying that your AH finally steps into the partnership.

IMO, you have ever right to give yourself some space and time to heal. Just because you separate physically doesn't mean the marriage is over, and it doesn't mean you can't reconcile later on, when you are ready and willing to do so. Right now, from an outsider's point of view, you don't seem to be getting much out of the partnership, and I wonder what your children are getting out it too.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:02 PM
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Your story sounds so very familiar to me. Its uncanny!

I think that when I thought of my husband as an actor, I was able to see that he was playing a part/role. Your post with what your h said just seems so familiar. My h wanted me to go to the family things too. I didn't want to either because it felt like a performance to me. If we both go and pretend, then everything will be hunky dory (happily ever after). I wanted a relationship grounded in reality not in magical thinking. I wanted actions that followed the words. I remember reading that love needs to "feel" like love. It was one of Mr. Burney's pages about toxic vs. healthy love.

When you mentioned wanting your h to grow up, it was like deja' vu. My h was like stuck at an early emotional level. I've heard that they're frozen emotionally from when they began using. His inner child is out front pretending to be a grown up. While I'm a grown up trying to have a grown up relationship with an inner child. If that makes sense???

Pretending to be in recovery is different then actually walking the walk and doing the work. I totally understand about waiting for him to grow up because I did it too. His thinking never shifted. He still wanted to play the blame game. Outlook didn't change. He still choose manipulation over asking for what he wanted.

I waited a really long time through several relapses while working on my side of the street. I totally understand the ambivalence. ((Suki)) says often that you will know when enough is enough. You will know when you are done.

I allowed myself to believe the smoke and mirrors of magical thinking often.
Sometimes I wish that I had had the courage to leave sooner. I know that you will make the best choice for you. You are not alone!!!
(((hugs)))
Thank you for letting me share!
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by blwninthewind View Post
I don't know. What do I get from this?
I think sometimes that I just have been here so long I'm afraid to go.
I think you've almost answered your own question. You're staying in this relationship because however uncomfortable it seems, it's something that you know and you're attached to that familiarity. Also it sounds to me that your energy levels are totally depleted, you've resigned yourself to the position you find yourself in.

The hardest thing for me when my alcoholic ex left was the hole in my life. I knew that she was addicted to alcohol, but I had never realised until that point just how addicted I had become to her. How bizarre is that ? Why would anyone in their right mind choose to live in a relationship where their partner is constantly undermining everything that you hold to be good, decent and true ?

The fact is that I would never have chosen that kind of a relationship, the love that I initially gave freely became perverted and ensnared me. I think that's what has happened to you.

What you need to do is realise that time has moved on and the love that you had is no longer healthy for you... in fact, it's kind of like negative alchemy, your addictive relationship has turned gold into a base metal.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, it's a criticism of how I was, as much as you; but what I can say is that when you do overcome the initial shock of having a hole in your life, it's amazing how many positive things can come flowing in to re-energise you again.
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