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Opening up this can of worms...

Old 02-05-2012, 08:46 AM
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Opening up this can of worms...

We've been separated for almost 2 years. I have been going to Al Anon for almost 2 years. I struggle to detach with love and Let Go and Let God. I know those are valuable tools for me and I have used them in the past. No contact is the basic rule unless I have a question about the house, or as a general birthday or holiday greeting. He never gets in touch with me unless he suddenly realizes he might have a piece of mail at the house. I stopped the reminders and let him take care of his own responsibilities.
With that said, I do keep in touch with his sister and we can have an hour conversation that does not include him. My last conversation with her we talked about Christmas- the first since their dad's passing. She mentioned that she had to set some boundaries about AH next visit with her. She also mentioned the I word. She is quite concerned about him.

I know the the general consensus from this community and AL ANon on intervention. However I have been doing some research on other recovery methods and ideology about getting help for loved ones just as a way to stay informed on new ideas and prepared for the "what if".

The fact that my SIL-an RA mentioned it made me sit up and take notice. Part of this whole- "it's in God's hands" thing is allowing me to hear the notion coming from an outside source at a time when I am much more able to handle it and see it from a different perspective. I would never have been able to consider this a couple of years ago. And I am still not too confident that I will be strong enough to accept if he chooses not to go into treatment.
I would need to talk to my son and daughter as well and see if they were willing to participate. I would also have to do more research which brings me dangerously close to the territory of putting too much focus back on him. Will this process set my recovery back? Still thinking about that-saying the serenity prayer quite often.

How will this help my recovery? I keep this question close at hand. I think that this may be the last thing I need to do to be able to say I tried everything I knew how and truly move on. I've been feeling stuck for a while now.

I'd like to hear your valuable opinions, especially from people who have done an intervention and if they thought it was a helpful experience for their A and for themselves and their family. I guess I am more focused on how it would affect us at this point. That's progress for me right there.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:54 AM
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Just my two cents...I think you should maintain no contact. As you said, you are letting him take care of his own responsibilities regarding the mail, but how about letting him take care of his own responsibilities in all other areas as well. It sounds like you are starting to heal a bit, but if you keep picking at that sore, you're going to get it infected again. JMHO
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:28 AM
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if it was me, i'd back off of the relationship with his sister. you wouldn't even know about this otherwise and you would be happily focusing on your life and your recovery.

whether they choose to do an intervention or not, that is a matter for them to decide.

it does not have anything to do with you.

i would take nothing to do with it. you're absolutely right, it's too much focus back on him. and do you really want to drag your children through all that?

there is help available for him when he chooses it. if others want to force his hand, i would step back from those relationships and get on with my life.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:17 AM
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I couldn't say it better than naive. (As usual.)

I'm sceptical about interventions anyway. Let's see: he's separated from his wife (at least in part) because of his addiction, his addiction has caused problems with his relationships with his kids, and his sister had to tell him off for ruining a Christmas visit.

If he's still drinking after all that loss and damage to his life, what is an intervention supposed to accomplish? It just seems like it's more about his loved ones desperately hoping that he'll have some epiphany and say, "But you're right--I've been ruining my own life! Now I'll change!"

Which, I know how strong that desire can be, and how painful.

I agree that perhaps the sister can become less of a friend, for now at least, as she's taking the focus away from YOU. No matter how kind her intentions are, that's not helping.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:17 AM
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I think his family is finally seeing how quickly it is progressing. Everyone was in big time denial. Have no plans to formally end the marriage. Still not ready to make the decision. Was hoping this would motivate me to move on.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:04 PM
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Two years later and you still wanna help? If his family wants to attempt to resolve his issue that is their choice, I agree with Suki, no contact. Your recovery seems to be sluggish at best, I wouldn't get involved.

I really don't understand why you are having such a difficult time moving forward but the bottom line is that it is your choice.

Take care and keep going to those meetings.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jamaicamecrazy View Post
I struggle to detach with love and Let Go and Let God. I know those are valuable tools for me and I have used them in the past.
I don't want this to sound preachy or like I'm a tub-thumping, bible-basher but real love is about letting go.

Love is about you surrendering all of your attachments to what is - God, if you like - and having no investment in the outcome. If you're struggling, then you haven't let go and by extension this can't be real love.

I may be criticised for what I'm about to say, but I'll say it any way. You'll know when you've truly let go when you hear on the familial grapevine that he has had a drink, and can feel as neutral about it as when I say to you that this afternoon I had a cup of tea.

Best wishes,

Peter
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:16 PM
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I have seen two successful interventions.
But both included the participation of people who were active parts of the addict's life at the time of the intervention. You're not.
I'm trying to put myself in your position -- I've been away from AXH almost 2 years, too, and he's also still actively drinking.

I'm wondering, based on my feelings, trying to put myself in your place, if you're really considering "helping" with an intervention for his sake -- or if you're considering doing it (and considering dragging the kids into it) because you're feeling guilted into doing it???

I've refused every attempt from AXH to "help" with his recovery. I get nauseated at the thought of his family pressuring me (no matter how gently) into being part of an intervention.

Whether it has a chance of being successful or not would be completely and utterly beside the point for me. The damage it would do to me, and to my recovery, and to my mental and emotional health (not to mention that of my children) would not be worth it in a million years.

But that's me. I am done with AXH. For ever. End of story.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:11 PM
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Crazy: Why are you still separated after two years? I can understand holding on, but even for someone like me who would give anything for my AW (soon to be X) I don't see how or why you would hold on for that long. If it were me in that situation, I don't think I would feel like I were living my life.. Granted it's only been three or four months for me, but I'm letting go now because my Alcoholic told me she didn't want me in her life.. what are you holding on for? Just wondering.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:35 PM
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If you honestly believe that you will be able to move forward with your life without any further hopes for......actually, what is it that you are hanging on hoping for, before you feel you have "tried everything"?

Are you hoping that if your husband finds sobriety that you will reconcile? Has he given you any indication that he wants to reconcile with you? I only ask because based on what you posted, he only contacts you if he is missing mail and that's it during a 2 year period?

Life is short Crazy, so to be waiting for something that is not within your control to make happen is well, crazy. I have known of couples who separate and don't divorce, but they have gotten on with their lives. Neither wants to remarry nor do they want to be with their estranged spouse ever again either. In fact they have split up because they couldn't live with whatever circumstances were. Nothing was going to change, so they went their separate ways forever and always.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:24 PM
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Thank you for your honest answers. They have given me some food for thought about what my motivators truly are. And I know I have to be honest with myself in order to come to a decision. I was expecting your responses to be leaning towards not becoming involved and I understand the reason for it. What I did not expect is to have to justify why I am holding on and where I am in this process. I really just wanted to hear the other side of the story because I believe you can't make informed decisions just listening to one side. I believe that my AH is sick physically, emotionally and spiritually. The number of addiction counselors in my area that advocate for interventions or similar strategies have become the norm. Perhaps he has gotten to the point that he cannot make rational decisions on his own. It is difficult to detach completely after almost 30 years of marriage. At his point I am concerned for his health and for my adult children to be able to have their father back. Reconciling is not my top priority anymore. I am living a good life without him in the equation for the most part. He does not talk about reconciliation nor does he push for divorce. When I am ready to end it I will. I don't see an urgency to move along faster than I am comfortable.
I will continue to check in here and attend Al Anon meetings. I find that they have helped me get over other obstacles in the past and I'm sure they will continue to be a place of emotional support.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:29 PM
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Adipsia,
I find it difficult to believe that I will ever get to a place that I could hear he was drinking and it would not phase me. I know it is not about me. I know there isn't anything I have to do about it. But I know it is something that continues to harm him and that would sadden me. Whether we were attached or not.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:08 PM
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Sorry, I forgot that your children are adults - they will obviously be able to make their own decisions about whether to participate in a potential intervention.

You are quite possibly right that he has lost the ability to make rational decisions. And I can understand the willingness to make one last effort - or at least participate if someone else initiates one. If you are focused and steady in your own recovery, I guess I don't see anything wrong with it.

And thank you for your second comment. It reminded me that we are dealing with a disease here. I'm detached and have not an ounce more to do with my AXH than is absolutely necessary - but your post also showed me that I carry a whole lot of bitterness and anger towards him, still.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:34 PM
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Of course you want him to have a better life.
but....
he lost you.
he lost his family...
and still he hasn't hit bottom.
an intervention won't get him there any faster.
if his sister wants to do one...fine...but you really don't need to have any part of it especially if your on NC.
I really don't know whether your kids are of an age where it would help or hurt...but I don't think I would let mine particiapate...
if he says no,... and he may....
they could go away with unmeasurable guilt...because they may feel like, maybe they didn't say enough or the right thing....they are kids...this isn't their place...they don't need to be involved in this.
I don't know that I would want my kids anywhere near that situation.

Last edited by blwninthewind; 02-05-2012 at 10:36 PM. Reason: mispell
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:59 AM
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Crazy you dont have to explain your recovery or program to anyone. My sponser used to tell me "take what you need and leave the rest." You are right where you are supposed to be.If and when you divorce your AH is your call.You come here for support and I support you no matter what you do.I'm not a big intervention guy because your AH needs to come to this place on his own or it doesnt work.That is my experience and I have been in a program for a long time.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:19 AM
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Jamaicanmecrazy,

I am carefully going to respectfully disagree with the previous posters in this thread ... with extreme caution.

Alcoholism is a dreadful, awful disease with absolutely apalling rates of actual long term rates of long term recovery ... in other words the odds are not in your favor for a successful outcome of the intervention.

That being said... nothing is impossible with God. And in recovery our own and others we really should consider what our HP is leading us to do as I truly believe that "the opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity". Only God knows what is happening in the A's head and heart and if he is ready to hear and accept the truth and take aggressive action as a result of the Intervetion.

I don't know any of the people involved but before any attempts are made I strongly suggest that each member considering an Intervention read "No More Letting Go" by Debra Jay. It is excellent in every way... in my opinion any way.

Being a recovering codie makes your decision a sticky one... are you in counseling? If not it might be a good time to seek out someone well versed in both codependency and addiction.

If you are healthy and healed enough this could be step in your journey that may help you to accept whatever it is that is in the future ... or it could set you back in your own recovery!

Tread carefully... seek guidance from professionals and your HP... and remember if the Intervention is successful the road of recovery is loooong and difficult. It certainly doesn't come close to guaranteeing any successful outcome and relapse is always, always, always in the realm of the possible and even the likely.

That being said... my RA and I have experienced the "miracle" and there is always hope... but it truly is a miracle and it is so very, very, very rare.

Keep us posted ... you are in our thoughts and prayers.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:32 AM
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hi jamaicacrazy-

i've just spent the last hour reading many of your posts to familiarize myself with your situation, as i was curious why you would remain married after two years of no contact.

i gently inform you that no contact means no contact. in your case, you have not been no contact at all. you speak to him, text him, phone him, ask the children about him and even talk to him when you run into him and his "plutonic" girlfriend. you interact with him about the house, he even comes over and fix things. you even have access to his bank account. you also speak to his sister regarding her concerns about his drinking.

that is not no contact. that is plenty of contact.

and it perhaps is contributing to the fact that you are not moving on with your life.

i understand that you were married for a long time and that you hold onto hope that he will change. in the two years since your separation, he continues to drink and now his health is in the decline.

i understand that you have hope that he will wake up, but perhaps consider protecting yourself financially...

i understand that you believe he will be good with money but this is a progressive disease and alcoholics frequently end up in financial ruin. i understand part of the reason you have not divorced him is because you might have to buy out his half of the house.

i would encourage you to separate financially from your alcoholic. you are still married and even though you think your finances are separate (your own cc and bank) they are not.

there is a significant probablity that his health will deciline and YOU will be responsible for the medical bills, which could bring you to financial ruin. already he refuses the doctors advice regarding his liver and high blood pressure. and he's still drinking, so these are likely to get worse not better.

please consider YOUR future financially. you can finance to pay him his half of the house. if you don't, you might loose the house to his drinking.

additionally, the house is keeping you in contact with him, as you must contact him if there is a big bill or things to be fixed, he even comes and does them.

if you divorce and buy him out, you will no longer rely on him for these things and you can have conversations with your lender and handyman instead of him.

i am advocating divorce in order to protect yourself and your home. just because you divorce him doesn't mean that if he gets sober and you want, you could still reconcile.

however, at this time, he is still drinking and in denial.

i am afraid that if you do not take action, he will take you down. right now, you still have a chance to protect yourself. your finance ARE NOT separate because you are still married and should he accrue debt, medical bills, loose his job, crash the car, overspend on alcohol, you will be at risk.

and we all know, that is what they do.

you say that he does not spend much money...would rather wear old shoes than buy new ones...

this does not mean he is frugal when it comes to buying alcohol. it only means he is frugal in terms of personal appearance...quite common actually because they want to keep the money for alcohol.

and you said he wouldn't even buy a tv for his new flat...my alcoholic wouldn't even buy a 20 digital convertor for the tv, so he could have money for alcohol.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:25 PM
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Hope works- thank you for your response. I feel you have given me an honest response with many cautions and some references for me to continue to inform myself. That is exactly what I needed-not to feel that I am on trial. Naive you certainly have done your homework about me and I cannot dispute or deny any of the things you mentioned. Perhaps someone else will read this and think that I have made all the wrong choices and I can be a warning that leads someone else in the right direction. However I am satisfied with my choices up to this point and am looking to make more of them in my time. I understand that some people have had to endure some terrible hardship whether emotional, physical or financial because of their A. That has not been my experience. Lillamy, I know you have closed the door to your A out of necessity and though you may harbor bitterness toward him you still manage to show compassion on this board. Your strength is admirable. Thank you. To take the disease analogy one step further...say you had a loved one with an incurable disease, but one that could be managed with the right combination of nutrition, medication, counseling yet they would not follow through on treatment. You found yourself getting infected and so quarantined yourself for protection. Once you became healthier, and your immune system could handle it, and you made sure you wore protective gear and had all the right doctors lined up for treatment, wouldn't you give it 1 more try? Rather than watching them die and saying there is nothing for me to do unless he gets help himself? That just does not sit right with me. Whether that is a sign that I need to do more work or not is up to me.
This board is a wonderful place to seek encouragement, support, and information. It has helped me tremendously. We all need to remember to keep what we want and leave the rest.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:22 PM
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Two things. Number one, you are still very codependently attached to your alcoholic. What are you doing for your own recovery? Are you doing anything beside coming to this board? These are rhetorical questions and do not require an answer to me or anybody else-- just yourself.

Number two, I don't believe there is a consensus, general or otherwise, about Interventions on this board. My experience is that there is not concensus.


My two cents.

Cyranoak



"I know the the general consensus from this community and AL ANon on intervention."
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:48 PM
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But I know it is something that continues to harm him and that would sadden me. Whether we were attached or not.
Yes, in the same way he can still cause you pain. So let his sister plan the intervention. And try to remind yourself that there is NOTHING you can do or say that will affect his drinking. You've worked so hard on yourself, you've got the results to prove it... so why get involved again with a toxic person?
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