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When the A is acting nice and normal?

Old 06-06-2012, 09:18 AM
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When the A is acting nice and normal?

I know this is a weird question but what do you do when all of a sudden the A in your life gets normal? You know, like pleasant, cooperative, nonconfrontational, helpful, etc. I want to let my guard down but I have so many walls up that I never know what to do. It's that roller coaster that they put us on and now that jail is over, I guess he's back to normal? But, how is that fair to me? He put us through his crappy emotions for the past few months; up and down, up and down, passive aggressive, mean, and confrontational and now he's back to nicey nice and so what do I do?

I used to just go along with it and get nice right back at him and soften myself. My therapist even told me yesterday that I need to soften and take down some walls but I am so afraid of being hurt again that I keep them up to protect myself. She also said that if I can't do that then I need to be more assertive about making it clear that I need a break from his craziness and all the stuff with the DUI. Hence, the reason I'm going to FL for 3 weeks.

I know he's not drinking right now and won't be for the next 11 days because of the home detention system but who knows if he'll drink again once that's over. He just drove on his suspended license and drank 9 days ago, I'm guessing it will happen again. So, there's this part of me that feels I need to protect myself from his future actions and yet, there's this part of me that wants to trust again. I hate feeling stuck and like I'm sitting on the fence. One side of me wants to retreat and the other wants to keep pushing forward and pursuing a better relationship and then take down a few walls in the process. Hey, I've already been hurt enough, why not open myself up for more? UGH!
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:47 AM
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I remember the feeling of wanting everything to be resolved--NOW. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. You can enjoy the peace without dissolving your boundaries. Expecting trust to be rebuilt in 9 days is a little much, don't you think? More will be revealed.

The best thing you can do is the next right thing. Whatever that is, for you. Take the awfulizing out of it, quit trying to affect HIS outcome, and just take care of yourself and your children. Whatever he's going to do, he's going to do, regardless of what you do. So, why not just relax? Keep taking the steps to make your life better, and it will get better, no matter what he does.

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Old 06-06-2012, 10:25 AM
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I know this is a weird question but what do you do when all of a sudden the A in your life gets normal? You know, like pleasant, cooperative, nonconfrontational, helpful, etc. I want to let my guard down but I have so many walls up that I never know what to do. It's that roller coaster that they put us on and now that jail is over, I guess he's back to normal? But, how is that fair to me? He put us through his crappy emotions for the past few months; up and down, up and down, passive aggressive, mean, and confrontational and now he's back to nicey nice and so what do I do?
You're obviously on a path to recovery, based on your posting. You seem to know that this is just a temporary thing -- forced on him -- and he'll revert to his old self. Active alcoholics do try to hang onto co-dependents because it alleviates the problem of them having to be responsible. "Fair" doesn't enter into the equation when dealing with a drunk ... it's all about them and their booze.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
.... I know this is a weird question but what do you do when all of a sudden the A in your life gets normal?....
Not a weird question at all, I've been thru that exact situation many times.

My experience is that alcoholics do not "get" normal. They don't "get" _anything_. They don't get alcoholic all of a sudden, it takes them a _lot_ of practice and a lot of drinking. Likewise, they don't get normal all of a sudden either, it takes them a lot of practice with a good recovery program and a lot of _not_ drinking.

Well, perhaps there is _one_ exception, they do get _very_ good at pretending to be normal

Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
.... My therapist even told me yesterday that I need to soften and take down some walls ....
You know, that never worked for me. What I did, if we can run with the analogy, is I put a peephole in my walls. When somebody came knocking I would take a look, and if it's somebody that has hurt me before I would just walk away and not even answer the doorbell.

If they kept coming back and I saw by their actions that maybe, perhaps, possibly, there was a huge change in their behavior then I would open a "window" in my "walls" and tell them to go away and come back when they are doing better.

Eventually, if after a couple years of perfect, unimpeachable behavior they still came to knock on my door I would let them stand on the trapdoor above the crockodile pit for a few minute before I told them to go away and keep improving.

Basically, the whole concept of "walls" is about castles and dragons. Inside the castle I have something very valuable and fragile. Outside the castle there's thousands of dragons disguised as people. If I ever let in a dragon because I made a mistake and it was not a person, then I have lost my deepest treasure. But if I turn back a person because I am a little too paranoid, well.... there's 7 _billion_ people out there in the world, there will be another one coming down the road in about 5 minutes

Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
.... One side of me wants to retreat and the other wants to keep pushing forward....
Yeah I used to do that too. Then I realized I have more than two options. I don't have to retreat _or_ push. I can just stand still (which is what I am doing now ). Or I can take a vacation, or I can set a goal that I will spend 12 months working on improving _me_. The last time I set a goal of 12 months I actually caved at 6 months, but I did learn a lot about me the first 6.

Keep reading and posting lizatola, it's the best thing I ever did for _me_.

Mike
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:28 PM
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My first reaction when this happened was to be suspicious....cause it never lasted and there was always an alterior motive.
It doesn't hurt for him to be pleasant and cooperative...but it doesn't mean that you have to roll over and lick his boots either
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DesertEyes View Post
Not a weird question at all, I've been thru that exact situation many times.

My experience is that alcoholics do not "get" normal. They don't "get" _anything_. They don't get alcoholic all of a sudden, it takes them a _lot_ of practice and a lot of drinking. Likewise, they don't get normal all of a sudden either, it takes them a lot of practice with a good recovery program and a lot of _not_ drinking.

Well, perhaps there is _one_ exception, they do get _very_ good at pretending to be normal



You know, that never worked for me. What I did, if we can run with the analogy, is I put a peephole in my walls. When somebody came knocking I would take a look, and if it's somebody that has hurt me before I would just walk away and not even answer the doorbell.

If they kept coming back and I saw by their actions that maybe, perhaps, possibly, there was a huge change in their behavior then I would open a "window" in my "walls" and tell them to go away and come back when they are doing better.

Eventually, if after a couple years of perfect, unimpeachable behavior they still came to knock on my door I would let them stand on the trapdoor above the crockodile pit for a few minute before I told them to go away and keep improving.

Basically, the whole concept of "walls" is about castles and dragons. Inside the castle I have something very valuable and fragile. Outside the castle there's thousands of dragons disguised as people. If I ever let in a dragon because I made a mistake and it was not a person, then I have lost my deepest treasure. But if I turn back a person because I am a little too paranoid, well.... there's 7 _billion_ people out there in the world, there will be another one coming down the road in about 5 minutes



Yeah I used to do that too. Then I realized I have more than two options. I don't have to retreat _or_ push. I can just stand still (which is what I am doing now ). Or I can take a vacation, or I can set a goal that I will spend 12 months working on improving _me_. The last time I set a goal of 12 months I actually caved at 6 months, but I did learn a lot about me the first 6.

Keep reading and posting lizatola, it's the best thing I ever did for _me_.

Mike
I have no idea how to quote here, so I just wanted to say that I set a goal of giving myself a year to work on myself. That was back in Feb. but I find that something keeps coming up to make me analyze the relationship over and over.

Based on your user name, are you in the desert southwest? I love my Sonoran Desert, hanging at water park today with my son and his friend!

Thanks for your share, it helped me realize that it's ok to just do nothing right now and be OK with that.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
.... I have no idea how to quote here...
No worries, it's actually kinda tricky. You're doing just fine and we all know what you mean. If you really want to give yourself headaches I can show you how, but you might want to pick up some aspirins before you give it a shot

Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
.... I find that something keeps coming up to make me analyze the relationship over and over. ...
yup. That happened to me too. In my case it's called "codie-itis"

Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
.... I love my Sonoran Desert ...
Mohave desert, at the moment. I love taking a weekend and just go hiking way out in the badlands. The feeling of purity and cleanliness in the dry desert air is inspiring. And don't get me started about the stars at night ! My employer keeps moving me around all over the country, just left Virginia and have no clue where I will end up next.

Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
.... Thanks for your share, it helped me realize that it's ok to just do nothing right now and be OK with that. ...
My pleasure. I'm doing the "vacation" thing. Seeing the sights, traveling around, not getting back into life until I run out of money... well... maybe not _totally_ out of money

Mike
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
a day or two does not a life time change of behavior make! unhitch thyself from his wagon...his ups and downs and sideways. quit looking for the deeper meaning...quit REACTING. choose to ACT of your own accord, not gauge everything on HIM. time will tell......
Have I told you how awesome you are? I love this and especially like the Old English wording, LOL!
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:19 PM
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Lizatola!!!

Just wanted to send love, light, and smiles your way.

You are on the right track.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Milly39 View Post
My first reaction when this happened was to be suspicious....cause it never lasted and there was always an alterior motive.
It doesn't hurt for him to be pleasant and cooperative...but it doesn't mean that you have to roll over and lick his boots either
I have to laugh because last night he went off. ABOUT JAIL and the 'system'. My son saw his ankle bracelet that he had put on yesterday for his home detention and it opened up a conversation about how everyone AH saw being processed for DUI's were just normal people, none of them were alcoholics. And, did we know that he wants to leave this state as soon as he can afford to because he's going to be on Sheriff Joe's radar for 7 years? Their(the law) is going to have a target on his back and all they want is his money. Sheriff Joe's sister owns the company that provides the vending machines at the jail and Sheriff Joe himself has an interest in the company that provides the food there so they have to keep the jails filled so that the Arpaio family can line their pockets.

He also has the breathalyzer system installed in the house and the alarm goes off randomly for him to breathe into and get a photo taken. Well, he installed the damn thing in his closet in his office down the hall and then was whining last night about how he can't hear it and that if he misses the alarm he'll have to go back and do his whole 45 days and it's all their fault(the government again). Umm, he could have installed it in the kitchen or at least put it in the open in his office but his shame at having to use the thing made him hide it behind a door??? And, then he complains about not being able to hear it? Apparently, they told him he should use a baby monitor so I have a feeling he's going to ask me to go out and get him one today.

FYI: If you want to know more about Sheriff Joe and Tent City in AZ, just look it up online. He's always a force of controversy here in AZ and in the country because of his immigration policies and chain gangs, etc. I wonder if my AH will vote for him again. He used to be so PRO Sherif Joe, I bet that's changed, LOL!
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:32 AM
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My RAH has had so many of these periods. They are short lived, and they are what I call my achilles heel.

But that is just it...He can be "normal" for a short lived spell. And he tends to say all the right things, do the stuff I feel he lacks. BUt it only fosters this sense of safety in me. I end up feeling naive and taken when he suddenly switches back. ANd this is in physical sobriety as well.

La Tee Da has the right idea, but for me, its still just an idea. He is going to roller coaster up and down whether I relax or not, so why not just relax, but...I just can't anymore, and that is where I see that I am becomeing aware of the machine while it is in motion. I get sick to my stomach when he starts acting right. Because I see how often in the past it hooked me, and then he switched, and with mine, the switch is always so much just after that wall goes down. It's like he has radar.

So, I am not a healed voice, just one that resonates with what you are saying.

My A called a lunch yesterday to "discuss" our son, but just wanted to say he "loves me. And he wants us to live as a family. In his house, which I will love..."

What? I din't swoon, and when I didnt that was the end of Mr Nice guy.
He has a script, and if I stray from the script (ie: have a thought or question him), he is enraged.
I guess I was supposed to sigh, "My Hero!" and faint or something.
He did not want to discuss any of the obvious dysfunction that is and was present, only to propogate this fantasy, one in which he is rescuer, he is provider...Nevermind that he cannot actually be in the house, or remain stable. I had to remind him that his state is erratic, and that affects our son. He actually conceded to that...right before he got angry.
Oops. I think I busted his pink bubble.

Oh-- and if I hold off, and keep emotionally detached, or limited contact, if I stick to realities and dont back down, he pulls out the big Charm. The Big GUns. And he will pursue me and my graces.

It is so twisted. And juvenile. And he doesnt seem to see it. So, sometimes I just maintain a holding pattern. Not reacting or sometimes not even responding, because I am shaky and dont trust myself, the part of myself that wants to jump into the fantasy pink bubble with him, and pretend some more, only to be double burned when he switches.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:01 AM
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If I'm allowed to comment here as a recovering alcoholic, someone who loves one, has associated with other alcoholics as well as their spouses for considerable years, and had an alcoholic father growing up ...

In my experience, most alcoholics, that are not in some form of recovery program are not better. Doesn't matter what they say or do for short periods of time. I would lie, manipulate, cajole and basically anything else we need to do to protect my drinking. As a 10th grade kid taking slightly advanced mathmatics, I could convince a nuclear physicist that he was doing it wrong.

As I said somewhere else, protect yourself emotionally and physically if necessary, but help us to hit bottom if you can.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by FredG View Post
If I'm allowed to comment here as a recovering alcoholic, someone who loves one, has associated with other alcoholics as well as their spouses for considerable years, and had an alcoholic father growing up ...

In my experience, most alcoholics, that are not in some form of recovery program are not better. Doesn't matter what they say or do for short periods of time. I would lie, manipulate, cajole and basically anything else we need to do to protect my drinking. As a 10th grade kid taking slightly advanced mathmatics, I could convince a nuclear physicist that he was doing it wrong.

As I said somewhere else, protect yourself emotionally and physically if necessary, but help us to hit bottom if you can.

My AH doesn't think HE has a problem, he just thinks he lost control for a few months and that's why he got the DUI. So, a week and a half ago he drank 24 beers in a weekend, but I guess that's not a 'problem' to him? He still doesn't know that I know about the binge that weekend, but it all fits together. He's the victim, not the aggressor, and society (our laws) are preying on him. UGH, it's so hard for me to keep my serenity.

Fred, my AH went to Catholic school for 12 years and he learned very well how to convince people they were wrong from his logic classes and persuasion classes, he learned manipulation from his twisted family, and he learned guilt and shame from the church. Throw in his ADHD, anxiety, depression, and his early alcohol abuse in junior high and he's got some wirings that just aren't connected in his brain. And, I'm truly serious here. I should have heeded the warning signs when we were dating 20 years ago but he quit drinking before the wedding and I thought that would solve the problem. I had no idea that alcoholism was so encompassing a disease, a disease of the mind more so than a disease of just drinking too much. He swears he'll never divorce because he was raised that marriage is forever. He's always been faithful to me and provided well for us, but he doesn't see how much his actions and alcohol abuse have hurt his family. More will be revealed as time moves forward. For now, I'm looking forward to my weekend away!
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:12 PM
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Lizatola,

I am right there with you. My AH had his doctor appointment today. I do not know what he disclosed to the doctor or what the doctor said to him. I was not home when he got here to change for work. But what I found when I got here was a dozen roses, and a card. I won't go into all the wording, but basically he says he's been blind to what he's been doing to me, and can't believe I haven't already left him. He thanked me for that.

He says he is ready to change the way he treats people so he can get better, and if he gets better, then we will get better. He is not in a program, but only drinking an occasional low-alcohol beer, which is within a boundary I set long ago. I don't mind seeing someone enjoy a beer, but can't stand drunks.

So, like you, I am wondering about the wall I have put up. He says, in the card, that he understands that forgiveness and trust may take a long time. I agree with so many friends on here that our A's know how to suck us in, manipulate, and play nice until our guard is down. Ugh!!! So frustrating. Keep working on you, and I'll keep working on me. Deal?
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by feelingalone43 View Post
Lizatola,

I am right there with you. My AH had his doctor appointment today. I do not know what he disclosed to the doctor or what the doctor said to him. I was not home when he got here to change for work. But what I found when I got here was a dozen roses, and a card. I won't go into all the wording, but basically he says he's been blind to what he's been doing to me, and can't believe I haven't already left him. He thanked me for that.

He says he is ready to change the way he treats people so he can get better, and if he gets better, then we will get better. He is not in a program, but only drinking an occasional low-alcohol beer, which is within a boundary I set long ago. I don't mind seeing someone enjoy a beer, but can't stand drunks.

So, like you, I am wondering about the wall I have put up. He says, in the card, that he understands that forgiveness and trust may take a long time. I agree with so many friends on here that our A's know how to suck us in, manipulate, and play nice until our guard is down. Ugh!!! So frustrating. Keep working on you, and I'll keep working on me. Deal?
Hmm, I received a card just like that and 2 days later he blew up and was passive aggressive and the card basically meant nothing to me. Oh, and it, too, came along with 2 dozen roses.

As I keep telling myself; ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS right now. He knows everything to say to make me pity him, make me feel guilty for not seeing how much he really loves me, make me feel sorry for his plight, etc. After 20 years together I can finally say that I can almost predict what he will write. He has always told me he is a putz and that I should leave him and that he's amazed I have stuck it out for so long. Now, I feel it's all part of the manipulation to keep me here. Unfortunately, my heart is hardened right now so I don't think I'm the best one to comment on this, LOL! Maybe your AH is on the right track, who knows. Just know that it's ok to take down our walls, it's just how much more hurt are we willing to take on in the future? There will always be pain and the lessons we learn from dealing with our A's will serve us well as we strive to set boundaries in ALL our relationships and shed ourselves of the codependency that brought us here.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:14 PM
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We have been married 19 years this summer. What I think needs to happen for me is to forgive myself. He says he's been blind to what he's done to me, but nothing has been done to me that I didn't allow. Difference now is that I won't allow it anymore. I have to wonder if the doctor said, "buy her some flowers, and a mushy card, she'll get over it." I don't really think that's what he said, but it's what I want to ask him. I won't ask, though. Not setting myself up for that conversation.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by feelingalone43 View Post
We have been married 19 years this summer. What I think needs to happen for me is to forgive myself. He says he's been blind to what he's done to me, but nothing has been done to me that I didn't allow. Difference now is that I won't allow it anymore. I have to wonder if the doctor said, "buy her some flowers, and a mushy card, she'll get over it." I don't really think that's what he said, but it's what I want to ask him. I won't ask, though. Not setting myself up for that conversation.
Yeah, that probably wouldn't work really well for you, LOL! Honestly, I am in the same boat. I was(and still am to some degree) very angry with myself for being a doormat, for being a people pleaser, and for being an enabler at my own expense.

What matters now is moving forward and what steps are you taking to NOT fall back into those patterns? What are you reading daily to build yourself up? Who are you in counsel with who can push you forward when you feel you can't take that step?

Anvil said it best above:what do you value most in a relationship? It's those questions that make me really think about what I am getting out of this relationship and how much more effort I'm willing to put into it.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:25 AM
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My AH would always "buy his way out" whenever he pushed me too far. Cards, gifts, a night out, whatever. And it worked for awhile. But, as Anvil pointed out, those things do no make a relationship.

Come to think of it, the man I'm dating now has never bought me flowers. But, he is always present when we talk, he's always honest with me, he never plays games or puts me down. We work through whatever differences we have with neither of us feeling like a "winner" or a "loser." There is no power struggle, no mind games, to attempts to control. Just mutual respect, honesty, and appreciation. How I lived without those basics for so long, I'll never know.

L
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:12 AM
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Wow, I got 2 dozen roses for my 5th anniversary and 3 days later he left and did not come back until 3pm the next day (minus the cellphone he "lost" and his new car that was broken into). I sense a theme here and I am realizing who the "thorn" is amidst those roses!
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wicked (06-08-2012)
Old 06-08-2012, 10:17 AM
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I wonder if my AH will vote for him again. He used to be so PRO Sherif Joe, I bet that's changed, LOL!
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