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Is it worth the effort?

Old 07-25-2012, 12:05 AM
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Is it worth the effort?

I've bumped into my AH several times in the last few weeks. So much for NC. We actually have had several good conversations. It felt like 2 old friends talking but I know it has not been very healthy for me to engage with him. He was honest about his medical complications, his restrictions for work & fire dept, not being able to sleep, strained relationship with his kids, loss of work time and reduced pay. I did not think it was an appropriate time to point out that these were all consequences of his actions or inaction. I just listened and told him to take care of himself because many people care about him.
He stopped at the house to pick up mail and came into the kitchen to check on a plumbing issue. He was cordial- none of the raging anger he displayed last year. Perhaps this is our HP at work giving us an opportunity to heal. He left abruptly saying that it hurt too much to be in the kitchen and he started crying as he left. Could this be remorse? An awareness of how much he has been willing to give up?
Well for some reason I could not leave well enough alone. Mainly because I feel we all tip toe around him because we don't want to poke the bear. So when he says he is cutting back on his drinking we all just nod and smile. No one calls him on anything. So I sent him a very nice email. It really did come from a loving place. I said that I enjoyed our walks and talk and feeling like friends again but I knew I could never go back to living with an active drinker even if I still felt like his wife. That I was trying to accept that he may never seek sobriety but that it was difficult for his family to accept that in lieu of his recent health issues. I expressed how scary it was to see his health declining. Our counselor used to say that he had more of a relationship with alcohol than with me. I said that it seemed he had made that relationship a priority in his life and perhaps that was the distance he felt in his relationships. I said I would continue to pray for him and the rest was between him and God.
So today-about 2 weeks later he calls and asks me to set up an appt with the counselor. I said sure just out of habit. I asked him why and he said we needed to talk. I asked if he was angry about my email and he said yes but he didn't want to discuss it and he wanted to talk about our next step.
I said that for me, in order to take the next step and have emotional closure I needed to talk about the drinking and the role it played.
I also said that if he wanted to talk to the counselor then he needed to take the action the set up the appt and I would be happy to go.
I question my motivation. I know that I want him to take actions and feel the weight of each decision he makes to move further away from me. Yeah, a little passive aggressive but then he can't play the victim either.
I want to be able to address the real issue and not just sweep it under the rug. I doubt it will make a difference to him but I need to speak the truth as I see it in order to move on. Otherwise I feel I will regret what I did not say. I will feel as though we have unfinished business. Instead of just slinking away as he has done I want him to be very aware of what his choices are costing him.
I also feel like I need to express my boundaries.
So, is this the time and place to say what everyone else is afraid to say? What else do I have to lose? Or is this just something I should let go and let god take care of.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:00 AM
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My opinion, just let it go.

I used to feel that way too, what I realized was, that it was a form of control.


Bottom line is, in active addiction, they only believe what they want to believe and they don't believe that alcohol has caused them any problems.

To me , it wasn't worth the aggravation of putting myself out there to get shot down.

My guess is , he wants the counselor to support his theory of you being the crazy one and him being just fine. The further away I get from those conversations the better I feel.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:58 AM
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I had SO MANY of these conversations with my exah.

I thought maybe I could 'get through' to him...

I'd pour my heart out...I'd be as kind and loving with my words as I could...like you, I wanted my exah to see that the alcohol was destroying everything he held dear. I would tell him that people loved him and cared about him and only wanted him to get well so he could be a part of our lives...a part of his children's lives especially.

These talks never did a bit of good.

IMO, your husband knows everything you might say to him. Deep down, he knows. But he isn't ready to set the alcohol down.

I understand wanting to communicate your feelings. If it makes you feel better to do so, than do it. Just be careful that you aren't doing so with the expectation that some kind of light is going to go off and your AH is going to decide its time to seek help. There is nothing you can do or say that will bring him to that point one moment sooner than he is ready. His motivation has to come from within. That's been my experience, anyway.

No matter what, keep taking care of YOU.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:15 AM
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I completely second what outonalimb posted. That was my life too. No talks ever did a lick of good... In fact, they kept me right smack dab in the middle of his business.

What worked for me was focusing on me and minding my own business. As for my XAH, I had to take my blinders off and start seeing him for who he is... Not what I hoped he could become. Both feet planted firmly in related and I got honest, almost brutality honest with MYSELF! I started admitting out loud that I wanted a divorce. I wanted to be done with the ********. Up until that point I was too shamed and scared to say those words. I was previously afraid that wanting that made me a bad person... I know now that's the furthest thing from the truth.

Im done. I'm done... I'M DONE!!!!!! I shouted it on top of my lungs... It felt good to u lock the door and set myself free. I unhitched from the sinking ship, so to speak, and swam to the surface. Life on top of the water isn't perfect but it sure beats drowning to death with an alcoholic around my neck.



Hmmmm.... Sorry if I got off topic... Guess I needed to get that off my chest this morning!!!! Hahaha! Hope something in there helps! My overall point was to tell you it's okay to feel and want whatever you want.

Thanks for letting me share,
Shannon
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:20 AM
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The way see it you've already told him. You've told him before and you told him again in the email. Telling him again with a counselor is not going to get him to see it any differently. You are not going to get the kind of closure where he sees the light.

I do not understand why you would see a counselor with him. I'm sorry. I think his motives are very simple. He wants you to take care of him again so his drinking and his life is easier. I would go back to no contact.

Eventually you will feel closure even without his input.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:49 AM
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Any good therapist would not even counsel a couple where one is active in addiction. Only once that addict is in a program for the addiction can couples therapy even work.
You may not be wasting your time with him, but you will be wasting good money on the couples therapy for sure.

He may or may not be a waste of time, but like others said here, put your energy on you and he either follows or he continues into the mess.
It's tough to let go because we cannot and will not give up on our dreams, but just maybe this is not the dream your higher power wants for you.

Active addicts, while active, are a waste of time, yes
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:01 AM
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We search for that little sliver of light. We hope with all of our heart that something they say or do is a sign that they are going to return to being that loving, sweet, kind, caring person they used to be. We think because they want to talk it means they are finally in so much pain they want to turn things around. But in reality, what we see and what we hear is just the ghost of a man we once knew. A tiny squeak of a voice that once boomed with happiness and confidence and love. They never return. Even when they get sober, they don't return to who they once were. Every day we change. That was then, and this is now. We cannot turn back the clock.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for your input. We had seen a counselor starting in 2007 and continued for 3 years-off and on. I sometimes see him alone when I need to process what is going on. He encouraged us to separate which was good and my husband always brings up things he learned from him. So I guess it was money well spent even if it did not have the outcome I had hoped for. He is a "safe place" to go to now when we need to talk about difficult things. For my husband- I think it helps keep his rage in check. For me it just feels safer to say the things I need to say.

I am going to think about this for a while. If I know my husband he will drag his feet on making the appt. I don't know, It somehow feels different this time. I feel like I am doing it for me without the expectation that it will make him want to change. Its like I have to see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears when he says that the alcohol is not the problem and that he wants a divorce. I need to feel that sting to help me shut the door. And of course I want him to have to say it out loud to me-in front of a witness.
I feel like if I just let him off easy its another way of enabling...sparing his feelings...catering to his needs.
I know I should be ready to take the next step because all the evidence is there. Yet I know I am not there yet. Maybe this is the push I need.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:37 AM
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I think you see this counseling session as FOR YOU.
Then go!
You have an awareness and understanding that perhaps wasn't there last time you went with him.
You're emotionally distanced enough to see the conversation the two of you do have in the counselor's office with more clarity.
You don't have wishful thinking going there.
I see no red flags unless there is something you didn't post but is true, such as wishful thinking.
I also see this as you showing yourself that you are gaining strength and taking your power back.
Maybe you feel you have a voice now that YOU hear...screw whether he hears it...that is one time in life I do think it might be good to "hear ourselves talk" !
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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What worked best for me was turning my focus to myself. I am the only person I can work on and I am worth the effort.

Your friend,
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:48 AM
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And of course I want him to have to say it out loud to me-in front of a witness.
I understand this completely. My ex, it was like trying to nail jello to the wall.
I don't see you waiting for the recovery angels to come and pick him up, you just want that final word to be said by him.

Thank you

Beth
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jamaicamecrazy View Post
Its like I have to see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears when he says that the alcohol is not the problem and that he wants a divorce. I need to feel that sting to help me shut the door. And of course I want him to have to say it out loud to me-in front of a witness.
To be up front I did not read your old posts so this may not apply but.....

I totally totally get this. I think you need to be prepared for the fact that you may never hear that, anywhere, much less at this meeting.

The only red flag i see about this counseling session is that you have a per-determined idea of what you want to happen, how you expect it might go, what you hope to gain. Even if all that is for yourself you still have a role in mind for him to play. Has any other interaction with him played out like that?

It has been my experience that any kind of interaction with him where I expected something different then what I'd received in the last 1,374 interactions led to further feelings of frustration, confusion, guilt, unease. Opposite of where I was hoping to end up.

The only way for me to get to where I wanted to be (re: feelings, closure, etc.) was to remove him from the equation and figure out how to get there myself.

I feel like if I just let him off easy its another way of enabling...sparing his feelings...catering to his needs.
Nope. You are giving him your power because instead of figuring out how to deal with your own feelings - you are trying to figuring out how to control his. It doesn't matter how seriously he takes the 'consequences' because if you leave him to it - he'll be living them. None of your business how he feels about it.

I know I should be ready to take the next step because all the evidence is there. Yet I know I am not there yet. Maybe this is the push I need.
Maybe you should set up an individual counseling session before you agree to go with him.

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Old 07-25-2012, 01:57 PM
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I have to second all that Thumper posted.

I too waited around for my XAH to admit the problem... take responsibility... own up to his part... blah-blah-blah. I felt that anything short of "making him own his part" was enabling... turns out I was wrong. Sitting around waiting for him to "man up" just wasted precious years of my life that I'll never get back.

We tried the counseling thing... the counselor had him backed into the alcoholism corner with seemingly no wait out except fessing up... and yet the disease, the cunning/baffling ******* that it is, somehow weaseled its way out!!

There I stood... with the key in MY hand... waiting for my AH to unlock the door. Insane... but that was my disease of codependency.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
We search for that little sliver of light. We hope with all of our heart that something they say or do is a sign that they are going to return to being that loving, sweet, kind, caring person they used to be. We think because they want to talk it means they are finally in so much pain they want to turn things around. But in reality, what we see and what we hear is just the ghost of a man we once knew. A tiny squeak of a voice that once boomed with happiness and confidence and love. They never return. Even when they get sober, they don't return to who they once were. Every day we change. That was then, and this is now. We cannot turn back the clock.
This is very true and I can totally relate. The person I dated 12 years ago was Regan. That drunk thing I was with recently for 4 weeks was the thing in the upstairs room that Father Merin had to use holy water on.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:28 PM
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Thank you, Learn2Live for that well-described reality check. And thank you, Alucard for the Exorcist analogy.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:59 AM
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Thank you all again for your honesty. Many things you all have said have been right on.
I am making contacts to start with a new therapist to work on my own co dependencey issues and the fact that I may need some meds to "take the edge off". I realize that I feel like a feeling dangerously close to depression-not just about him but over other things in my life.
I need to get the focus back on me and how to be healthier.
Taking him out of the equation is the best way to put it right now.
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