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Talking to the A about trust

Old 04-30-2012, 06:46 AM
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Talking to the A about trust

I have been feeling compelled to talk to my AH about my trust issues with him. He quit drinking after the DUI in February. We have had no intimacy in our marriage since then because I just plain old don't want to do 'it' with someone I don't trust yet.

He hasn't approached me about the subject. He is so wrapped up in himself right now that I pretty much feel like I'm an after thought as he goes through his days. He will be losing his license tomorrow for the month of May and goes to his sentencing hearing in 2 weeks. He cancelled all his appointments for the month of May and made sure that he doesn't have to travel for work. I told him that I will take him to court because I told him that I have a right to know what's going on since he hasn't been very forthcoming with the past court appearances. I guess I'm on a 'need to know' basis at this point, which is fine. But, I can go to court for myself, not to be supportive of him.

Ok; that was a bit off topic, LOL. I want to approach him about WHY I don't trust him and how the foundation of our marriage will not be rebuilt until certain things happen. He can choose to do these things or not, but I think it's fair for me to let him know what I'd like to see happen.
1. Get rid of your alcohol stash hidden in the closet. If you don't want to, fine, but know that it's a huge barrier to MY trusting you.
2. Know that your beer paraphernalia in your office screams "I'm a drinker" and that the drinking tray and glassware in his closet isn't helping me either.
3. Tell him that I won't go to marriage counseling until he's had at least 6 months of weekly counseling for himself.

So, my question is: are these things reasonable to a dry alcoholic? Would he just balk at this at this point? He's facing serious jail time because here in AZ everyone goes to jail for their DUI's. He got a super extreme DUI which actually qualifies him for 45 days but I think the judge can suspend 31 days, leaving him with 14 days and work release.

I also thought that maybe I should wait until he's gone through sentencing and done the jail time before I talk to him about these things. There's a part of me that is compassionate about his plight and I don't want to dump too much on him before he goes to jail. Yet, the other part of me says that I have a right to express myself to keep the lines of communication open in our relationship. How can I rebuild trust if I don't tell him that there are barriers to this issue caused by his inability to throw out his secret stash(including dumping out his flask, LOL)?
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:54 AM
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If he cant admit that he has a problem that how do you know if he really wants to stop?? Consequences don't always change an alcoholics behavior. There is always another "rock bottom" around the corner. You can't fully trust him until you are 100% he wants recovery. And him keeping all his beer stuff kinda shows he stills misses the drinking.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Justfor1 View Post
If he cant admit that he has a problem that how do you know if he really wants to stop?? Consequences don't always change an alcoholics behavior. There is always another "rock bottom" around the corner. You can't fully trust him until you are 100% he wants recovery. And him keeping all his beer stuff kinda shows he stills misses the drinking.
Well, I don't need him to admit he has a problem but wouldn't it be fair for me to express what I'm looking to see in him for me to trust him again? I feel, at this point, that he's just going along thinking things are getting fixed and are hunky dory with us when really I still don't trust him. Does he have a right to know why? I'm not TELLING him to get rid of his stuff, I'm just wanting to tell him that those things are barriers to trust and it's up to him how he wants to move forward in his life. He can choose recovery, he can choose to keep his beer stuff. He just can't expect trust from me if those things are there. I can still love him, I can still be kind, and I can still be his wife but I can't commit to ever trusting him again if he doesn't choose recovery. So, he can choose to have a crappy marriage or he can choose recovery. Right now, I feel like the ball is always in MY court when it comes to our marriage. I initiate all our 'talks. I initiate all the hugs. I initiate time together for dinner or whatever. He hardly makes any move towards reconciliation, except for flowers he brought me once.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:03 AM
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You can't control an alcoholic, you can't make an alcoholic quit drinking, you can't make an alcoholic tell the truth and I could go on and on and on. Best of luck, focus on you, let go and hope for the best, prepare yourself for the worst. so hard loving an alcoholic...m
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:11 AM
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If it were me in your position - him removing the stash in the closet would be like taking a pebble off a mountain.

My feeling is that he either behaves in a trustworthy manner, or he doesn't. Giving him a list of specific things would not help the trust issue if it were me. Of course, I'm not you, so this is just something to think about.

Trust is something he will earn through his choices and actions, not by crossing things off your list. How about you go see a counselor. I think that would be really helpful. You are going through some major life stress right now. If you already do and I forgot - my apologies.

You are married and living together. I think it is reasonable to expect to know the outcome of the court appearances.

If you want communication sooner rather then later, go see a marriage counselor sooner rather then later. One thing a good marriage counselor will do (especially one familiar with addictions) is help you with communication. For right now watch what he does and listen to what it says.

He knows alcohol is an issue. It wouldn't take much of an IQ to figure out that your wife would want the alcohol out of the house. Not removing it isn't about him not being able to figure it out. It is an action (or lack of action) that he is taking. We can't say where it will lead but in my opinion talking about it won't make any difference even if he does remove it.

People show us who they are by what they do. I was always trying to get my xah to change what he did, thinking it would change who he was. It doesn't really work that way.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:38 AM
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Thanks, Thumper. The reason I want to hold off on marriage counseling is because my current counselor(who specializes in addictions and codependency) thinks that we both need individual counseling first before we come together to work things out.

I guess I thought that he should at least know why I don't trust him. Maybe he already knows that?
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:52 AM
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You might want to read something I had posted from the viewpoint of an RA some time ago:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...y-symptom.html
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:07 AM
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As a RAH I can say that until he admits he has a problem and gets help, things will get worse before they get better. The chances he quits on his own are so low it is safe to say it can not be done. Good Luck, seriously. Diagnosing and treating his disease is up to him.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by breath View Post
As a RAH I can say that until he admits he has a problem and gets help, things will get worse before they get better. The chances he quits on his own are so low it is safe to say it can not be done. Good Luck, seriously. Diagnosing and treating his disease is up to him.
Thanks for sharing. Well, he was dry for 15 years so I know he can QUIT. The question is, is he ever going to realize he really has a problem with alcohol? My guess is NO. He admitted he lost control, but has yet to really admit that he has a problem. And, we're back to the reason that I don't trust him: I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Hence the reason I felt compelled to at least vocalize why I don't trust him. If he already knows this, then so be it. At least I'll be at peace knowing I spoke my feelings regardless of his reaction or non-reaction.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:40 AM
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Um what's a "super extreme DUI"? I always thought a DUI was a DUI..."y punto".
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Freedom1990 View Post
You might want to read something I had posted from the viewpoint of an RA some time ago:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...y-symptom.html


Thank you xoxoxoxoxo hug
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by choublak View Post
Um what's a "super extreme DUI"? I always thought a DUI was a DUI..."y punto".
BAC above a certain level. A standard DUI is .08-.15. Extreme DUI is .15-.20, and a super extreme is anything above .20. The punishments go up as the BAC goes up.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:50 AM
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I don't know all the feelings and emotions you are experiencing right now, so I may be off base in this observation. (please excuse if I am way off base)

When you said this:

" I told him that I will take him to court because I told him that I have a right to know what's going on since he hasn't been very forthcoming with the past court appearances. I guess I'm on a 'need to know' basis at this point, which is fine. But, I can go to court for myself, not to be supportive of him."

Didn't you want him to handle the consequences for his unacceptable behavior without burdening you?

Maybe ask your therapist about the difference between giving him responsibility and still wanting to know outcomes. I can see where it would be difficult to maintain detachment while wanting to be an informed partner.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
i'm trying to imagine if hank had some court thing coming up, for ANY reason, and didn't talk to me openly about it???? especially if the results were going to have such an IMPACT on both of our lives? if he was facing jail time, loss of license, etc etc....

liz, if you took some to reflect...can you think back to when you two had open honest free flowing communication between you on any and ALL topics? cuz i suspect that's more at the core of the trust issues.......when the other person shuts down or shuts us out, puts us on a "need to know" basis as if we are inconsequential or ancillary, after the fact.

if you took you car in for repairs, when it came to time collect the car you'd expect MORE than them just telling you "that will be $600" - you would have wanted to know the estimate AHEAD of time, agreed to the estimate, and an itemized bill of all work that had been done, as well as parts replaced. that's a minimum expectation. in a relationship we should have at least as much communication as we would with our mechanic!!!

i think this next month will be very telling....that MUCH more shall be revealed to you. this may be an excellent opportunity to detach and observe....LET him show you who he is, and what his true intentions are........
To address the court issue thing: I had told him when he got the DUI that I was going to take a hands off approach. It was his crime and he was going to have to take care of it himself. He had asked me to find him a lawyer because I'm so good at research on the web, but 2 days prior to that he had thrown my research skills under the bus when I tried to warn him about taking Paxil with alcohol. So, I told him NO, find your own lawyer because I don't want to resent myself for enabling when you're perfectly capable of doing this on your own. So, what he heard is: I don't want to know anything about the DUI because it's your mess so don't bother to include me. Every time I ask about the DUI he gets all bristly and defensive and his favorite saying is, "I'm taking care of it, don't worry." He even reminded me of that this weekend when I told him I would go to court. He said, "But, you didn't want to be involved." He still doesn't see how this could be important to our family. He wants to keep ALL of it away from our son, which truly isn't possible. He's hiding behind his guilt and shame and self-loathing and he's keeping me at arms length.

As for if we ever had open communication: yes, there are times when we can talk to each other openly. It was on and off through our marriage but he was always prone to angry outbursts(prompting me to recoil in fear and anxiety) and days of depression where he would lock himself in a room for days on end and then I'd write him a beautiful letter telling him how he's valuable to us as a family, I'd give of my heart, body, and soul and then he'd magically loosen up and the depression would lift. And, we'd be good for a while. The cycle would continue though. He'd get depressed, anxious, angry, etc and I'd step in and lift him out of it all the while losing myself in the process. Being the rescuer and enabler can be very draining and I finally hit MY bottom last year. I've stopped being the rescuer and I wonder if this is part of the problem? I'm trying to get out of our codependent ways, and maybe the drinking was part of the rebelling? I was tired of being his mother, wife, garbage dump(you know, where they dump all their negative emotions, complaints, pity parties, and self loathing in), etc.

He has grown more and more difficult to have a conversation with. He seems mired in his work, dealing with his fear of jail time, hiding from his emotions, and hiding from me because he knows that I want to talk. I swear it's to the point where if I walk into a room, he'll walk out of it. Maybe he's resentful of me? Maybe he's mad that he's not drinking right now? Not my problem, really. If he doesn't want to heal himself or find recovery, I guess that's his loss. It's just sad that the family has to be collateral damage.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Pelican View Post
I don't know all the feelings and emotions you are experiencing right now, so I may be off base in this observation. (please excuse if I am way off base)

When you said this:

" I told him that I will take him to court because I told him that I have a right to know what's going on since he hasn't been very forthcoming with the past court appearances. I guess I'm on a 'need to know' basis at this point, which is fine. But, I can go to court for myself, not to be supportive of him."

Didn't you want him to handle the consequences for his unacceptable behavior without burdening you?

Maybe ask your therapist about the difference between giving him responsibility and still wanting to know outcomes. I can see where it would be difficult to maintain detachment while wanting to be an informed partner.
I did, but I thought he'd at least tell me what those consequences would be. He purposely keeps hiding information, letting it leak out as he feels I need to know about it or when he needs something from me. If he would be open and honest about it, which I thought he would be in the beginning, then I'd not feel the need to go to court. I guess it comes down to trusting his honesty, which I don't right now so I figured I better show up so I know exactly what we'll be dealing with as a family.

I completely understand what you've said, too. Very good observation and I will take that to my therapist this week! You've made a good point and I need to think about that. I may have my reason, but I have to check my motive.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:26 AM
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And, to address something else that Anvilhead said: she mentioned me being inconsequential or ancillary. I have been feeling like this all weekend. He has completely shut me out as far as telling me when he's coming home, not to have dinner ready for him, etc. It was really weird. Usually, he'd just let me know via text if he was running late or got held up somewhere. This past weekend, he would just be doing his thing and wouldn't even bother to let me know. He came home yesterday afternoon while my son and I were in the backyard and didn't even tell us he was home. He used to pop his head out the door and say, "Hey, I'm home." He sat his butt down on the couch, was home for at least 20 minutes, and just couldn't be bothered to say hello.

Of course, he's losing his license starting tomorrow so I have the joy of having him around for the next month, LOL! Guess I won't have to worry about him calling me to tell me he'll be late at this point? And, I wonder if this past weekend was his last hurrah at freedom, too? A way for him to not have to be accountable or tell anyone where he is,hence the reason he didn't want to tell me where he was going or how long he'd be gone?
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:52 AM
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Maybe you could write a letter to him, one that you don't send. Get your feelings out on paper. At this point, it's really more about YOU and how YOU feel, not about him and what he does/feels/says. If he's ready to get help, he will. Any words you say to him will just be heard as "blah blah blah blah blah." He won't hear you. He can't. He won't. He is just not there.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
how utterly juvenile........

like i said, more will be revealed...and ya might wanna hitch up your big girl panties just in case!!!
and do not be surprised if he attempts to take the car even without a license, or continue to display "strange" behaviors, etc. he's acting like out BIG TIME right now..........
Yes, more will definitely be revealed! I think he's pissed at me because I made a few comments about his pipe tobacco. He hasn't smoked it since last week. I didn't request that he NOT smoke it since he was smoking outside, I made a comment because our hallway and that side of the house reeked of tobacco. Turns out he had a cigar in the trash, YUCK!

I don't know for sure that he'll drive this month but he's already made mention of renting cars while traveling for work and how lots of people drive on suspended licenses, etc. He thinks the rental car company won't run his license since they have it on file already. Hmmm, we'll see. He's also made comments about his lawyer saying that his lawyer says he can buy a beater car, put the interlock device on that, and then drive his regular car around on a suspended license. Now, is he going to do that? I hope not, but his words were, "Lots of people are driving around on suspended licenses." Yep, and lots of people eat pig's brains for dinner? Does that make it something you should do? DUH.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by SoaringSpirits View Post
Maybe you could write a letter to him, one that you don't send. Get your feelings out on paper. At this point, it's really more about YOU and how YOU feel, not about him and what he does/feels/says. If he's ready to get help, he will. Any words you say to him will just be heard as "blah blah blah blah blah." He won't hear you. He can't. He won't. He is just not there.
I have an ongoing locked document on my computer where I put all this down. You're right. I just have to be patient and wait. I can only love so much before I'm empty, though, and I'm getting lower each day.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:08 AM
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Is he in AA? If not then talking to him about emotional issues is like talking to a child. Alcoholics/addicts cease emotional/spiritual growth at the age they started using. They can be dry but if not working a program the mindset is the same. You'll just end up frustrated and wasting your time.
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