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Old 03-30-2012, 12:35 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I only knew that...

...because I used to do it all the time. I still catch myself now and then. All in all it sounds like you are taking care of yourself, working the self-awareness angle, and working on yourself in general so kudos!

C-



Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Stop being right. I was just about to defend myself re: putting the ball in his court, but that's its own method of control, isn't it?



Well, I don't know. I'm getting a lot of mixed messages about early sobriety and I'm unable to tell what's him being him and what's the fog of early recovery. My counselor is urging inaction until I have all the facts from an addiction counselor, so that's part of it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I'm getting a lot of mixed messages about early sobriety and I'm unable to tell what's him being him and what's the fog of early recovery. My counselor is urging inaction until I have all the facts from an addiction counselor, so that's part of it.
IMHO, you are waiting for other people to tell you it's ok to leave, when you are clearly unhappy and have been since...somewhere in 2011 when you first joined SR.

Just because the man is sober doesn't mean he's going to magically become your ideal partner. You have a right to be happy, and you don't need the permission of People With Many Diplomas to want to leave.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:59 PM
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IMHO, you are waiting for other people to tell you it's ok to leave, when you are clearly unhappy and have been since...somewhere in 2011 when you first joined SR.
2010, even. :/

It's not a matter of "okay" -- I know it's okay to leave him. It might even be "wise" to leave him at this point. There are enough red flags and/or question marks that I'm already leaning in that direction. But we are married and I have two kids to worry about. I need to make sure that some loopholes are closed no matter what direction I want to go in. One of those loopholes is, "Saving it: Is it possible?" The other one I'm worrying over is, "Saving it: Is it worth it?" "Possible" is one thing, "worth it" is another.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I need to make sure that some loopholes are closed no matter what direction I want to go in. One of those loopholes is, "Saving it: Is it possible?" The other one I'm worrying over is, "Saving it: Is it worth it?" "Possible" is one thing, "worth it" is another.
Why is it your responsibility alone to ensure that everything has been done to save the relationship? What part does he play in all this? Have his actions demonstrated that he is committed to working on the relationship? Furthermore, while you are trying or considering trying to save this relationship, what happens to your children?

Furthermore, I'd like to plunk this idea down: just because you separate now doesn't mean it will be for life. If it's meant to happen, God/HP/the universe will bring you back together.

Case and point: my aunt and her previously abusive/alcoholic husband. They married in their late teens/early twenties, and two kids later, it was a disaster. He abused her, he abused the kids, his stepfather rapped the kids, she tried to leave him, he tried to have her committed...yadda yadda yadda.

Fast forward 15 years and many many thousands of dollars of therapy, they meet up again as my grandmother is dying. They fall in love again, and get remarried. They are each other' first and third spouses. He has been sober for 3 years, tobacco-free for as long, he is in AA permanently and he continues to go to counselling. Aside from that fact that he is battling two different forms of cancer, they are quite happy to be together. So, in their case, it was truly "meant to be", but they had to let go of one another for other things to take place.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:06 PM
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It is so hard to let go of the fantasy...so hard. For so long we learned not to feel, not to talk, and not to think. You are thinking, you are feeling and you are talking, I think you are recovering after all it is progress not perfection. Best to you Florence.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:21 PM
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Why is it your responsibility alone to ensure that everything has been done to save the relationship? What part does he play in all this? Have his actions demonstrated that he is committed to working on the relationship? Furthermore, while you are trying or considering trying to save this relationship, what happens to your children?
I don't have an answer for this one.

When I was 18 I had a child with a guy who is still obsessive and dangerous (he has a lot of traits that are associated with active alcoholism, actually). We were apart for the entire pregnancy, and then right after my son was born a series of events had us living together and trying to parent our son together. It was two years of total misery. It was complicated by my parents, who believed that this was my punishment for getting pregnant as a teenager. They held the purse strings and refused to help me leave him, until the night my mother came over, saw me in a complete meltdown, and swept us up and out of there. I never went back, but that's when the real abuse began. My ex, who the People with Many Diplomas believe is NPD, targeted me as someone who needed to be brought down to size. I tried working with him to co-parent, and for years he undermined me, lied, manipulated me, had my parents, friends, acquaintances, believing terrible things about me, and then he mounted an epic custody battle where I had to answer questions about my sexual relationships (because of course I was a total ****!), whether or not I was an abuser (because of course I was unstable!), whether or not I was a substance abuser. Meanwhile, I'm living at home with my strict parents, trying to figure out how to go to college, trying to reconnect with old friends he'd isolated me from. I was literally a straight A student trying my best but everyone from my parents to the judge looked at me like I was a piece of trash. It was a total mind f*ck. It took me years of therapy to tease out fact from fiction, and to learn that there was nothing I could have done, no matter what he or my mother said, to make it right. I still have a hard time dealing with him on occasion because he's so unpredictable.

So here I am, more than a decade later, weighing my options with an emotionally unavailable man right after having a baby. All of this confuses me. All afternoon I've been thinking about what Cyranoak said about controlling behavior, which is wild because I feel so out of control. Do I think my RAH would do to me what my ex did? I would hope not, but I can't be sure. He has resources. My counselor doesn't have experience with addiction, so she's trying to refer me out. My parents still think that if I just loved him enough, or in the right way, it would make everything okay. His parents are delusional --- they equate sobriety with recovery. They think I'm a big ol' killjoy for not being more grateful for his recovery. There are so many question marks. I feel like I need more answers before I can move. Right now the confusion is paralyzing.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:50 PM
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I think the notion that nothing is absolutely final except death is a good one to remember. I love my AH and I know he loves me, but I finally realized that nothing I could do was going to "save" anything except myself.

After all is said and done, either we will end up together or we won't. My job is to make sure that the only reason I end up with him--or anyone--is because it is genuinely right and healthy for me. Right now I'm thinking that could take years, and that's okay. Anything is better than getting gradually more and more unhappy and beaten down waiting for someone else's behavior to fix my problems.

Sure, I hope for a miracle, that after all our troubles we'll find a way to share the love again without the BS. But I've stumbled just far enough along this road to realize that hoping for miracles can coexist very comfortably with working hard to be someone whole and healthy enough not to need them.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:34 PM
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He seems to be focusing on recovery which is good, but avoiding you is not. It must be incredibly frustrating after everything you had to deal with. Has he apologized or made any ammends to you for what he did when he was using/drinking? My boyfriend and I are on the verge of a split and it is due in large part because although he got sober (the first time it was pills...lasted 2 year sober and now it is booze) he never took responsibility, never got professional help, and never apologized for what he put me through. I stayed but spent the last 2 years stuck in the spot I was in when I found out he was using...I was unable to move forward. You deserve someone who is present and it sounds like he is only there physically right now.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:33 PM
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A quick update: Finally had a *real* talk with RAH about what I'm seeing/feeling/needing, instead of one of those shallow talks, and he said his reluctance what it comes down to is that he's afraid to dive into the old **** because he's afraid of relapsing. This tells me he isn't as confident in his sobriety as he purports to be -- unless he's really just a selfish jerk (which I still doubt). Honestly, I think he's scared of me.

I don't know what to do with that.

I don't want to dive in a wallow around in the "things you did to me" puddle, but I do want to feel heard and feel like he recognizes what we've been through and how to avoid it in the future and set some new ground rules if there is any chance of clearing the air between us and moving forward. It's more complicated than "no drinking" -- a lifetime of old behavior has to be relearned, both of us. In therapy I'm realizing the extent that codependency and controlling behavior rules my family, and how much of an effect my parents' dysfunctional behavior had on me and my sisters and how it's now playing out in our relationships. Therapy is really frustrating for me, because I'm learning all this stuff about myself and my life and how I got from point A to B, but I don't know what to *do* about it. Maybe I need a life coach like Oprah. Ha.

I don't know if I'm just rearranging chairs on the Titanic or what, but I'm not in a good place to make any big decisions. I'm terribly frustrated and sad, but taking solace in the garden, fixing up my old, rickety house, and hanging out with my kids.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
A quick update: Finally had a *real* talk with RAH about what I'm seeing/feeling/needing, instead of one of those shallow talks, and he said his reluctance what it comes down to is that he's afraid to dive into the old **** because he's afraid of relapsing. This tells me he isn't as confident in his sobriety as he purports to be -- unless he's really just a selfish jerk (which I still doubt). Honestly, I think he's scared of me.
Reading this and your early post, I see the word "fear" a lot. He fears relapse and/or you. You fear leaving him will be a repeat of earlier patterns of having to coparent with an inadequate and possibly dangerous ex-partner.

If you step back from this and try to remove the fear from the equation (imagine you are telling a good female friend what you think she should do), what do you see?

Originally Posted by Florence View Post
but I do want to feel heard and feel like he recognizes what we've been through and how to avoid it in the future and set some new ground rules if there is any chance of clearing the air between us and moving forward. It's more complicated than "no drinking" -- a lifetime of old behavior has to be relearned, both of us.
I completely understand the need to be heard and the desire for him to recognize what the impact of his actions were...the need for validation is a strong one. In my case, I came to accept that my XHA never would give me the validation I sought. I had to give it to myself...and if he ever did, it would be empty. Just using words again...

The same words he used to swear to me he would change or "cut back";
The same words he used to cuss me out, belittle me and manipulate me;
The same words he used to assure me that he never cheated on me...

As great as a conversation with your AH is, it's all just words. Actions (LONG TERM actions) are what will speak. What has your AH *done* towards preserving your marriage and work on his self-improvement?
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:13 PM
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*I'm confused*....Do you want him sober?...then you have to give him at least 1-18 mths of complete SOBERTY for his BRAIN to even function NORMAL....never mind the intense meetings all the time...this is a LIFECHANGE...its only be gone...

are you in AL ANON? i have not read you working your honest program....
are you still playing the VICTIM role here? are you looking for validation?....
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:46 PM
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Honestly, I don't know what I want from my life or what I'm doing with my life. I feel like it's wherever the wind blows. I have vague ideas of what I want down the road, but no clear ideas on how to get there. Back to school is one. A different career than the one I'm in now. RAH could be with me, or not. He's never been abusive, drinking or not, and he's a good dad to DS12 (whose bio-dad is a piece of work) and the baby, and I can use the help at home and the extra paycheck. That's basically how we're living now. On the other hand, that's not a marriage. We've known each other since we were kids, and we've got a LOT of history. I care about him a lot, and he's made a ton of real progress. Not quacky progress, but real progress. I'm back and forth between sticking it out a few more years and putting in the work and just cutting my losses. Neither feels good. The noise from family is not helping.

are you in AL ANON? i have not read you working your honest program....
are you still playing the VICTIM role here? are you looking for validation?....
Fourmaggie, I appreciate your input, especially the first PP above, but I can't stand the finger-wagging stuff. Al-anon basically doesn't exist in my area. I went to the one meeting here several times to find a group of folks who were trying to find their zen by sticking it out through physically abusive, actively drunken relationships, and congratulating themselves on "detaching" from their alcoholic spouses for decades in the same household. If that's recovery, I don't want it. Individual counseling and SR is it for me. And marital/individual counseling with an addiction specialist, if I can get one to return my calls.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:07 PM
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its a shame really that you dont have a good MEETING where you are...there is so much to learn from one self and to have sort of compassion on what the recovery A is going through...its alot, never mind being sober...but to be so stagnated for so long and now has to deal with his HONESTY...its alot for one person....

I am sorry you took it as finger waging...but i still stand by what i said...now you have a baby involved...why did you two do that?....
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:10 PM
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now you have a baby involved...why did you two do that?....
Dude.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:19 PM
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"emotionally unavailable man" right after having a baby.

i dont get it?...seriously...he is in recovery right?...he is working his program right?...i dont understand what you want out of HIM?....he seems to be working his program...

so was everything fine before he got sober??
I still stand by what i said...
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:19 PM
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Florence I have not 'been there done that' but in reading over the thread I think you can wait with a decision until you find a better footing with your own recovery and feel more 'solid' in your decision. He is in recovery and is not abusive so is it reasonable to say things will not get worse? You and your children are not in any danger. You can take some time to see how recovery plays out for you, him, and as a couple, without committing to years. It is OK to take it one day at a time and not make long term promises or commitments. It isn't always the out loud commitments that frighten me but the one's I think in my head - those are the dangerous ones. One day at at time and more will be revealed. You can give yourself the freedom to make any choice that feels right today, tomorrow, or the next day.

You don't know right now and the key isn't to make a decision one way or another but to not remain stagnant or paralyzed. If you keep moving through recovery the right course will present itself. You can also move forward with whatever personal plans you need to be fulfilled. You don't have to put those things on hold.

ETA: And I totally apologize but I can not remember how old your baby is. If your baby is a newborn you should certainly rule out any kind of post partum issues. There are really a lot of things going on for you. Take care. Ask you family straight up for some gentleness and a shoulder to lean on with NO ADVICE offered. Sometimes we have to say straight out what we need.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
I have vague ideas of what I want down the road, but no clear ideas on how to get there. Back to school is one. A different career than the one I'm in now.
Ok, this is a great start! What career exactly? What sort of schooling would it require? It sounds like you've got some reflecting to do about what your goals are and how you plan on achieving them. Maybe you could start putting together a few different scenarios and work out the logistics...might be fun AND take the focus on your partner.

(I'm a big fan of plans...can you tell?)

As for "giving it another couple of years"...do you really need to put THAT much time into this when you've already expressed some serious reluctance to do so? How about a shorter timeline, like 3 months, and then re-evaluate? I know it's tricky to do, but try to give yourself permission to call it quits if that's what you feel you need to do.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:59 PM
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I hesitate to do this...but...ok here I go.

Originally Posted by fourmaggie View Post
...now you have a baby involved...why did you two do that?....
This feels somewhat uncalled for. Questioning someone's past choices, whether it be marrying an addict or having a child (or many children) can't really bring them to any kind of realization or be particularly helpful. Heck, my own daughter was conceived under the threat of my XAH leaving me...not particularly glamorous but hey, there is it. The past is the past.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:03 AM
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This feels somewhat uncalled for. Questioning someone's past choices, whether it be marrying an addict or having a child (or many children) can't really bring them to any kind of realization or be particularly helpful. Heck, my own daughter was conceived under the threat of my XAH leaving me...not particularly glamorous but hey, there is it. The past is the past.
Thank you. I also have a difficult time with the idea that it's totally okay to ask mothers to justify the existence of their children.

Thumper and NDB2D, I really, really appreciate your input here. I get so frazzled that it's hard to remember that I don't have to make a decision RIGHT NOW. Based on your advice and one of an offline friend, I'm going to take a few weeks where I don't think about the future or "OMG what the hell am I doing?!" and just take care of myself. At that point, I think you're right. I need to reflect on what I want and put some effort into figuring out how to get there. I'll check in in a few weeks.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:22 AM
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The past couple of years have been a series of disappointments and let-downs stippled with minor successes, and after the last time he really burned me, things just haven't been the same

I asked because you wrote this...its a simple question...IMO

you said you also hold alot of resentments...?

i get the past is the past...i am curious for her involvement in it too, she seems to put alot of blame on the A....

i am just asking questions for her to think about is all....
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