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I hate it when he's really normal

Old 06-22-2012, 12:38 PM
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Liza, I have read through this thread and it hits very close to home for me. When I first came here and to Al-Anon, I was desperate for a way to get things "back on track" and back to the version I had in my head. I was so focused on my husband and his behavior and the why's of it all that I had overlooked the needs of ME and my kids. Hell, even the animals have needs, ya know?

I wrote letters, emails, begged, cried, left. Shoot I tried it all. I thought finding sobriety would stop the madness. I thought moving out would stop the madness. And now, here I am, with my new court date to finalize our divorce.

It was hard to hear the ES&H here and in Al-Anon that this may not work out at all. I felt a lot of guilt for my kids and my family and even his family as I know this has a ripple effect on everyone around us. I was afraid - afraid that this relationship ship had sailed away for good. That what I really wanted - a family - was now an elusive pipe dream.

I was angry - this wasn't what I signed up for. I gave up some very good years to be in a relationship thinking I was getting one thing and instead I got this?! WTF? Really??!!! I beat myself up for being so stupid. And that made me angrier.

Today, I know I did the best I could, and he did the best he could. Addictions/mental illness/etc. make people very difficult to have relationships with. I quit talking. Quit asking. Quit expecting. Just. Quit.

And then I found ME! And you know what? I like ME. Other people like ME. I have a lot to offer, so what if this one particular person thinks poorly of me. So what if I made a mistake. So what if I become another statistic. I am still living and a good life after all. I have much to be grateful for, even though this marriage was an epic fail. I am a great Mother. My kids are much happier out of the chaos, tension, and stress of living with unpredictability. I owed them that, and I am proud that I followed through with it all.

Your husband is an addict. Stop expecting him to act different and being angry and taking it personally when he doesn't. It isn't about you. It is about addiction. It is his brain on drugs. He has no proper judgement because his brain is not functioning correctly. He has no impulse control. And I would go as far as to say he knows this about himself. He knows he has a problem but he has no idea nor the desire yet to own it and fix it. Nothing you can do or say will change that because its not your problem to change.

I thought I would be reason enough for my husband to stop this madness. And at first, I was. But even after 18+ months of sobriety - there is still so much going on that I have simply had enough. Had. Enough. It makes my life unmanageable and I can't live that way. But it took me two full years from the moment I uttered the word "alcoholic" in my first Al-Anon meeting to reach the end of my rope. Give yourself some time to come to terms with your life as it is today. When you get to that point, you will know it. Until then, try to enjoy your life regardless of what he is or is not doing.

You are going to be ok in the end. I am ok now, and even better than ok!
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:31 PM
  # 42 (permalink)  
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Just wanted to say thank you to all who responded here! My AH has been reading a book called the "Anger Trap" for the past week or so. At least I can see that he's realizing he needs to work on some problems, not sure what will come of it because he started reading the book last summer but never finished it. I am actually thinking of reading the book myself since I have my own anger to own and take responsibility for. It actually was a book that my therapist suggested last month.

LTD shared something earlier about 'making my marriage work' and 'making me happy' and I guess I've intertwined the two. I always thought that I had to be happy in marriage along with being happy in life because I was always happy with life. I have always enjoyed myself in life: hiking, gardening, enjoying animals and wildlife, going to parks and museums, swimming, yoga, exercising, playing tennis, getting a massage, spending time with friends, going to church....yes, I do ALL those things and I LOVE my life. I guess I just wish that my marriage fit into the puzzle a bit better. It's like everything fits together nicely but I am trying to fit my mishapen marriage into a box that it won't fit into. Maybe that's OK, I just don't know it could be when I want a partner in life and not a personality disordered alcoholic. I guess I just haven't accepted "what is" yet......
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by gerryP View Post
You aren't still surprised that he will continue to rent a car whenever away on business are you liz??
I'm surprised that he continues to be "allowed" to rent a car with a suspended license.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:47 PM
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By who's definition is normal? The alcoholic's or those that don't pay admission but still have to watch the show? You know inside what you need to do and I send my prayers when it is time to do it.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by choublak View Post
I'm surprised that he continues to be "allowed" to rent a car with a suspended license.
They don't run his license, they just do a visual check of his facially valid(though not truly valid) license. If they ran it, they wouldn't rent to him.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
You're right. Speaking to him about his behavior, giving him the letter, drawing him a picture--none of it will change anything. Zero, zip, nada.

It's not HIM that needs convincing, it's you. If his behavior is unacceptable, why are you accepting it? He doesn't need to know your thoughts, you do. What are they? You say you are not ready to walk away. Do you know why? Are you hoping if you say just the right thing, write the perfect letter, he will slap his forehead and say "of course! you are right! what was I thinking?" (I say that because that's where I was for a long time.)

Your mental energy is much better spent figuring out you than him.

L
I had to go back and re-read this thread today and this post stuck with me for a while. To answer your question: No, I don't know why I am not ready to walk away and maybe it's just going to take longer for me to figure that out? Maybe I'm expecting too much from myself at this point and I'm trying to force change both on myself and on my husband?

Back in February, before his DUI, I told myself that I was going to spend a year working the Al Anon program before I would make any decisions about my marriage. I just got a sponsor last week so really I haven't been 'working' the program. I am planning on holding myself to my original commitment. If I start working the program now, I can work with my sponsor for the next 6 months and see where I'm at in that time. I can still set some boundaries, I can still keep putting money away for myself, I can still find a part time job, but I can also work the program in the right way so that I can make a decision that doesn't feel forced. I think what I'm lacking is confidence and I obviously have some work to do on myself at this point so I might as well start somewhere.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ady gil View Post
Regarding the letter:

I did send the STBXAH a letter (well an email) but I did it for me not for him. One of the issues I have had my whole life is I don't confront people, I don't tell them how I feel I bottle it up and then explode (sometimes in very ugly ways - something I've been working on). So I felt that for me I needed to straight up once and for all tell him - "your drinking is a deal breaker, your behavior while drinking doesn't work for me and I won't live with it anymore". I then went on to tell him it was none of my business if he drank or not and it was his choice but I did have the right to decide if I wanted to live with it. Believe it or not in the almost 2 years this has going on I never once told him it was a deal breaker until that email. I sent him that email because at the time he was asking over and over to move back here and I needed to flat and firmly say no (and my plan is and was should he just "move" back I will move right out immediately (I have secured the funds) - I didn't say that part though). The old me wouldn't have confronted him would have let him come back, not made a plan for me, and then would have gotten seething angry for about 3 months before exploding on him.

I didn't send the letter for a reaction or an outcome but to lay out there how *I* felt and why *I* was doing what I was doing. It was his choice to read it and get something from it or not. But for me it was a step in dealing with my fear of confrontation and acting in a way best for me.

Was it the best decision? I don't know remains to be seen but I did feel stronger after I sent it even though I got a series of reactions from him - angry at first but finally seemingly acceptance (more will be revealed).
Ady, I sent you a PM, let me know if you got it!
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:18 PM
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I didn't send the letter for a reaction or an outcome but to lay out there how *I* felt and why *I* was doing what I was doing. It was his choice to read it and get something from it or not. But for me it was a step in dealing with my fear of confrontation and acting in a way best for me.

This jumped out at me and I think it bears noting that, when ady sent her letter, she had already made her decision to leave, which I think is important. She had a plan in place, and the email to him was, basically, her having her say, without expecting it to have an affect on how he responded, or even if he did.

I just thought it was important to point that out. You're doing fine, Liz. You'll figure out what you need to do to ensure the well-being of you and your son.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:21 PM
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I think you are wise not to force a decision. Here is my ESH on the subject.

Awareness-->Acceptance-->Action

They go in that order. IMHO, I think you are still struggling with acceptance. Still hoping something you say or do will cause him to see the light and get his act together. If you take action at this point, it may be the wrong action, or it could be the right action but you won't be at peace with it.

Acceptance is the key. Once you accept that you truly are powerless over him and his addiction, then you can take meaningful action. So right now, try to wrap your head around accepting WHAT IS and don't worry too much about action. Once you reach acceptance, action will come naturally.

My two cents,
L
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:16 PM
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Dear Liz, do you think that fear of loss of many of the benefits of the current lifestyle could be a factor that is keeping you "stuck" (your word). Such things as financial security, beautiful home, attractive husband, social status. I do think that the fear of not being being able to duplicate these things as a single parent is a large factor with many people. I know before my divorce I had to make plans for "survival" alone. For me, it turned out that the big house and social standing was a small price to pay for peace-of-mind.
I second every word in LaTeeDa's post about awareness---acceptance----action. Acceptance that you are powerless to change him. In my experience these words are truth.
compassionately, dandylion
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Dear Liz, do you think that fear of loss of many of the benefits of the current lifestyle could be a factor that is keeping you "stuck" (your word). Such things as financial security, beautiful home, attractive husband, social status. I do think that the fear of not being being able to duplicate these things as a single parent is a large factor with many people. I know before my divorce I had to make plans for "survival" alone. For me, it turned out that the big house and social standing was a small price to pay for peace-of-mind.
I second every word in LaTeeDa's post about awareness---acceptance----action. Acceptance that you are powerless to change him. In my experience these words are truth.
compassionately, dandylion
Of course those things play into it. Although, my AH is not attractive to me physically anymore(hasn't been for a long time as he could care less about his weight or his appearance in general) and social status means nothing to me. It's the financial security, the health insurance( as I have health problems and I feel his insurance is awesome and I can keep my same doctors, etc), and somewhat it's the house. The house is great but I have lived in itty bitty apartments, tiny condos, etc and I don't really care where I live as long as I feel safe and can afford it. Honestly, I'd hate to make my son move again as we've just moved into this house last fall and he loves this new neighborhood. He's been through a lot of crap this past 9 months and I'd hate to make him move or change his environment too much. He's another reason that I'm staying put. I know I can't force my AH out so I'd have to be ready to move out myself and I would have to take our son with me.

I guess those are all practical reasons. Yet, I know they can also look like excuses. I'll get it all worked out, this has been quite a few months for me, LOL!
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
They don't run his license, they just do a visual check of his facially valid(though not truly valid) license. If they ran it, they wouldn't rent to him.
I thought you had to "surrender" your suspended license? Oh, wait, he has the special "work license" thing, right?
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by choublak View Post
I thought you had to "surrender" your suspended license? Oh, wait, he has the special "work license" thing, right?
The police took his regular license when he got the DUI but he was able to order a replacement from the DMV 3 months before he was convicted.
He has a piece of paper that is supposed to be his work permit suspended license but he can flash his facially valid replacement at any time. Pretty soon he has to get the ignition interlock and then they will give him a new license with a big R on it, stamped interlock but he'll still have his facially valid one.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:45 AM
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Your title really caught my eye. I was going to post, "normal behavior from an alcoholic is like the weather in Michigan; stick around for a few minutes, it'll change."

But I see he's already given you relief by behaving true to his addiction. That's good. And predictable.

Letting go of the need to be heard, validated or absolved, proven right, whatever. In a letter, face to face, or whatever.

It won't change them. You could just as easily send the letter to an inbox labeled God.

It is really helping me.to remember that I don't need to be heard by him, validated, agreed with, absolved.
I give that to myself, after all, and that is true health.
goodness gracious is this a gift from above or what?!?

LIZ-my heart goes out to you.I know and have lived in and can easily go back to the state of questioning myself, desperately wanting validation from AH and spinning my wheels. I did it for years, decades really.

Just FYI after you emerge from this denial and shift into action, dont' be surprised if you beat yourself up for staying so long. That's the stage I'm in now, although I am working hard on forgiving myself so I can move forward.

This **** is so hard. Undoing our patterns. This stage you're in--the wanting validation and still trying to give him one more chance and hoping he'll change--is a stepping stone to sanity.

There's a sticky up there called "When does the pain end?" or something like that. It really helps me to read that too..

I know you're a good woman, a good wife and mother. it helped me to reframe myself in the context of recovery and keeping myself and my kids safe in order to move from hope in denial to hope in recovery.

For me, it means big big boundaries with AH, not buying into his version of reality and having the courage to take responsibility to change.

big hugs to you. You're working it out. Have fun on vacation!
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:52 AM
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Found the link, this really speaks to me as well!!
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ain-stops.html
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