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Old 09-06-2012, 05:23 PM
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Go ahead and say "we told you so"

So, AH and I had another meeting with the marriage therapist(MT). No surprises that it didn't go well. He goes off on tangents and the MT and I keep reigning him back in and then I get criticized and wind up defending myself.

I am a broken record, just go ahead and beat me over the head. Although, I have to tell you all that I had a very peaceful feeling come over me while AH and the MT were heatedly discussing the fact that he needs to change FOR HIS WIFE. I tuned them out and felt this peace and I started getting teary eyed and I realized that I need to get out. I need a break. The insanity was just too much for me.

He kept saying how he was just being honest but his honesty comes out as sarcasm and the MT kept calling him out on it and he couldn't even see how we would take what he said as sarcastic or exaggerated because in his mind, he's just telling the truth. He also said that he 'wants his wife back' and that Al Anon, my therapist, and all my divorced family members are counseling me against him. OH, and the websites I go to, too. He even yelled in the meeting and said, "Tell her to stop looking all over the f*cking internet!!!" He calls these outburst The JS Experience and the MT made him apologize to me for that one, LOL!

He didn't want to address the drinking, he wants me to tell him what to do. And, of course, I won't tell him anything so he gets frustrated. He doesn't want to go to counseling on his own and when he asked me what I wanted, I told him I wanted him to get emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy. He got defensive and said, "how do go about getting emotionally healthy?", then he turned to the therapist and said, "Let me ask you this question? How do I get emotionally healthy?" And, before you know it, he was off topic and lying about how he has been seeing his therapist for a year(he hasn't been in about 9 months, actually). And, then the subject got changed again so his question never really got answered and nothing really got accomplished.

So, here it comes: Go ahead and tell me: WE TOLD YOU SO!
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:35 PM
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We all have our situations and what becomes of them. That also comes with our own ways of getting there. Most of us know that we aren't going to change anyone here overnight, just like none of us would ever change our A overnight. We're just here for support and advice, and I'd really hope that no one would say "I told you so." That's not what we're about. What we are about is being supportive and helping you along your journey.
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:45 PM
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It's all about progress not perfection, keep watching his actions, the real truth continues to unfold, right before your eyes.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dollydo View Post
It's all about progress not perfection, keep watching his actions, the real truth continues to unfold, right before your eyes.
One of the things I did tell him is that he has a beer shrine in his office and that it bothers me(he has beer towels hung up tacked to his bookcase, he still has his Bass ale tray set up in the closet with his barware on it, etc). He said, "That's the problem, she's triggered by everything related to beer and alcohol. I cringe when I see a Heineken commercial because I know she's shooting daggers at me." I had said, "J, look around your office in your mind and pretend you're a visitor. What do you see? Do you see someone who drinks or someone who doesn't?"

Anyway, he said he'd put away all his beer paraphernalia. I got catty and answered, "Whatever. Do whatever you want." Umm, yeah, that probably wasn't the right response but I was pissed off at myself for even bringing it up. The problem is that this particular action isn't going to solve anything. His idea of action is for me to tell him what to do and I refuse to tell him how to live his life. So, he's confused. Duh, of course you're confused. That's why I keep suggesting individual counseling for him(only when we're with the MT, not at home or getting in his face or anything). He just skirts the issue and makes grandiose statements and gets everyone off track. If we do get back on track talking about the marriage, he blames and points the finger and brings up crap from like 12 years ago thinking that it's relevant or important today. Like how I got worked up about some financial stuff way back when. Umm, that was when we were living on $40K a year and I had just come home from work and I was stressed out. Making a 6 figure salary kind of fixed that anxiety problem, you know? Things are different now. When I bring up the past, it's stuff that is still current today like AH's attitude, his sarcasm, the JC experience(as he calls it, LOL), etc. Anyhoo, it's a fun ride and it sure keeps me on my toes. And, I'm sure this is part of my sickness, as well. I probably get some emotional jolt from the madness, sad but most likely true.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:06 PM
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"Anyhoo, it's a fun ride, and it sure keeps me on my toes"
So, it sounds like you're ok with the way things are, then?
Or was that sarcasm?

Remember-nothing changes, until something changes.....
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:09 PM
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"Anyhoo, it's a fun ride."

Sarcasm....right?
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by AlcoholicLove View Post
"Anyhoo, it's a fun ride, and it sure keeps me on my toes"
So, it sounds like you're ok with the way things are, then?
Or was that sarcasm?

Remember-nothing changes, until something changes.....
Sarcasm, just for fun, because if I didn't keep some sense of humor I'd be a basketcase today. I already have a migraine from crying all afternoon.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:38 PM
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What I see and hear is an exact replication of my marriage. The longer we stayed entrenched in our dance... The more my XAH and I shredded each other to pieces. Everyone said we needed to take 10 steps back... But each of our respective diseases jut kept pulling us closer.

The last few months were awful. I shuddered when I think of the anger and awful sarcastic treatment we gave each other... With our poor children sitting in front row seats. But we were each so entrenched in our desire to be right and win... That neither could see how bad the family was losing.

A powere struggle ceases being a power struggle when one person drops the rope.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Although, I have to tell you all that I had a very peaceful feeling come over me while AH and the MT were heatedly discussing the fact that he needs to change FOR HIS WIFE. I tuned them out and felt this peace and I started getting teary eyed and I realized that I need to get out. I need a break. The insanity was just too much for me.
Well, peaceful feelings are good. Tuning out the drunk and not taking personally whatever he's saying is also good. And realising what you need is a big step and also good....

Oh, darn.... I've never been good at meeting people's expectations. Was I supposed to say something else?
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:11 PM
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I told him I wanted him to get emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy.
This is a really tall order. This is a lifelong process that one has to want to accomplish for themself. You can't just order this kind of personal work on someone, or even request it. A person's life is their own life, and honestly, it does not sound like you and your spouse have the same values.

IDK why you are expecting any "I told you so"s from anyone here. I don't think anyone here wants to tell anyone else how to live their life, just like you don't want to have to tell your spouse how to live his. We just don't want to see you wasting anymore of your one precious life with this guy who so obviously does not care. How much more drama, arguing, and crying are you willing to put yourself through?
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:18 PM
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I don't think he's confused at all. He just doesn't want to be any different.

It seems to me that you go to counseling and you each have similar agenda's.

You want him to change into an acceptable husband.

He wants you to change back into the doormat he had before.

I don't see either one happening.

I found the serenity prayer to be real helpful at times like these. Hang in there.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:56 PM
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Sometimes, for ourselves, we feel like we need to try everything possible, so we can finally accept there's really nothing left to try.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:16 PM
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"I told you so" is a crappy thing for anyone to say.

I'm sorry you had a bad night.

I see some things in your description that hit home for me.

Couple thoughts:
1. Borrowed from Gottman: sarcasm is a form of contempt. There are complaints, criticisms and contempt. Complaints are fine, the other two destroy.

2. After a week of hell dealing with the emotional fallout of my AWs lapse in recovery I realized I wanted the wrong things. I wanted my wife to be emotionally and physically healthy and want her to manage her life more effectively. That's a crummy goal since I can't attain it... She can. Now I want to be emotionally and physically healthy, manage MY life better and be happier and at peace. My wife can't do that, I can. She could make it harder or easier but I need to own my stuff and she had to own hers.


So in number two that is a bigtime do as I say not as I do but that's what I am shooting for. You can't make someone be a great spouse, you can only be one.

It's hard to do that when you feel like the other spouse is not doing their part but if I do my part I am going to feel good about me and I am going to have a much chance of influencing my wife by being someone she wants to be around and being loving and kind.

It ain't easy but I am learning it is simple.

Take a breath, a bad session of counseling is better than no session, progress hurts.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:31 PM
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You both want different things - your AH wants to drink and you want a relationship with someone who can operate sober. Its a battle.

Life for me was a battle with my AH of 24yrs.

My AH ended up telling me that he wanted to drink and he was going to drink for the rest of his life and if I didnt like it, I could leave.

This really was a blessing as I now had a choice. To continue to remain married to him, which meant that I had to learn to live with his drinking and ignore it, for my own sanity and peace OR I could leave.

I did try to 'live with it' for a while, hoping that I could, so that I could remain married to the man I loved (80% of the time), and keep my family intact. I attended Al-anon and listened to a few ladies who had continued to live with their active alcoholics and appeared to have found calm and serenity.

I personally couldnt find calm or serenity. I was still stressed, filled with anxiety on my way home, treading on eggshells and the woman who had found serenity at Al-anon did so, by leading their own busy, active lives. I too, got a busy, active social life of my own but I needed to have a relationship with someone who was loving, caring, thoughtful etc and I knew I deserved that.

Following 18 months of SR and Al-anon, 12 months of therapy, I eventually waved the white flag and surrendered. I told my AH that if he wanted to drink for the rest of his life, it was his life and if thats what he choose to do, that was fine, but his choice didnt mean that I had to choose the same thing and live my life with an active drinker.

I told him I was leaving and did about 6 weeks later, when I managed to find a rental home of my own. I have never regretted leaving, its hands down the best thing that I have ever done (much better than marriage councelling).

If your AH was to tell you lizatola that 'he was going to drink for the rest of his life and if you dont like it you can leave' - what would you do? Like it or leave?

AH's can go all round the town and houses with marriage councelling, telling you want you want to hear, arguing etc but at the end of the day what they are really communicating by continuing doing - is to keep drinking.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by GettingBy View Post
What I see and hear is an exact replication of my marriage. The longer we stayed entrenched in our dance... The more my XAH and I shredded each other to pieces. Everyone said we needed to take 10 steps back... But each of our respective diseases jut kept pulling us closer.

The last few months were awful. I shuddered when I think of the anger and awful sarcastic treatment we gave each other... With our poor children sitting in front row seats. But we were each so entrenched in our desire to be right and win... That neither could see how bad the family was losing.

A powere struggle ceases being a power struggle when one person drops the rope.
Thanks! It's nice to know I'm not alone!

The funny thing is; I did drop the rope unless I needed to defend myself or unless someone specifically asked for situations and further explanations. I didn't get out of control, I didn't raise my voice, I sometimes just sat very quietly and listened without rolling my eyes or looking up at the ceiling or feigning interest in some other rude way.
I think that's why I was at peace at certain points of the talks. I didn't need to dig myself out of the hole he was putting me in because I knew I didn't belong there.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PohsFriend View Post
"I told you so" is a crappy thing for anyone to say.

I'm sorry you had a bad night.

I see some things in your description that hit home for me.

Couple thoughts:
1. Borrowed from Gottman: sarcasm is a form of contempt. There are complaints, criticisms and contempt. Complaints are fine, the other two destroy.

2. After a week of hell dealing with the emotional fallout of my AWs lapse in recovery I realized I wanted the wrong things. I wanted my wife to be emotionally and physically healthy and want her to manage her life more effectively. That's a crummy goal since I can't attain it... She can. Now I want to be emotionally and physically healthy, manage MY life better and be happier and at peace. My wife can't do that, I can. She could make it harder or easier but I need to own my stuff and she had to own hers.


So in number two that is a bigtime do as I say not as I do but that's what I am shooting for. You can't make someone be a great spouse, you can only be one.

It's hard to do that when you feel like the other spouse is not doing their part but if I do my part I am going to feel good about me and I am going to have a much chance of influencing my wife by being someone she wants to be around and being loving and kind.

It ain't easy but I am learning it is simple.

Take a breath, a bad session of counseling is better than no session, progress hurts.

It's funny that you mention Gottman because this was exactly the guy who our therapist used. The MT kept calling my AH out on the sarcasm and telling him that it was a form of contempt(AH was getting sarcastic with the MT, and also with me) and my AH just couldn't see it. He's so used to sarcasm, it's part of his MO and couldn't understand why people just don't get his so-called jabs and humor and can't NOT take it personally.

I used to complain to my AH about stupid little stuff with him. YOu know, like you left your shoes out for a few days or you forgot to take the trash out, etc but he always saw them as being serious attacks on him and I wound up feeling crappy from his backlash so I just started doing everything around the house by myself. It was just easier than awakening his dragon within. I learned very well how to keep the peace and, in turn, I loaded myself up with resentments and unmet expectations.
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Old 09-06-2012, 11:42 PM
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Lol

Gottmans seven principles book was the best thing I have ever read. It just made so much sense to me. When I decided to go forward and ask my darling and very pregnant wife to marry me, little fixer me was just so focused on getting her to read it with me and do the exercises. She was not ready to and came to call it the GDB - goddambook.

So with our little adventure over her lapse last weekend a few things happened:
1. The sun came up in the east, I know as I was sitting on the beach freaking out and had a great view.
2. I spent a lot of time here and at alanon this week and realized how much time and energy I have been wasting being stupid trying to control that which I did not cause, cannot cure and cannot control.
3. After several folks here and in my local alanon group succeeded in their group community service project to pull my head out of my ass I sat down with AW and apologized for blaming her for all of the stress and worry I caused myself in my misguided and frantic attempts to solve all this crap.

4.... Came home from al-anon meeting tonight and wife was reading the goddambook and telling me how great the goddambook is since she has been reading it most of the day.


I found a really great counselor a few months ago and he had great advice for what to do when you find yourself in a tug of war with your spouse... Drop the friggin rope.

Wife having one drink after 8 months of sobriety seemed like the end of the world, now it looks more like the beginning of MY recovery. Letting go and focusing on what I can control and what is - as opposed to was and will be... Has been quite freeing.

I hate my wife's alcoholism... But I love her madly and am so proud of the courage and determination she's shown and embarrassed by my failure to treat her like the awesome woman she is instead of like the irrational child that exists only in the presence of booze.

Sigh. Growing up is a bitch
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:12 AM
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Hey, what's the goddamnbook?
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
This is a really tall order. This is a lifelong process that one has to want to accomplish for themself. You can't just order this kind of personal work on someone, or even request it. A person's life is their own life, and honestly, it does not sound like you and your spouse have the same values.

IDK why you are expecting any "I told you so"s from anyone here. I don't think anyone here wants to tell anyone else how to live their life, just like you don't want to have to tell your spouse how to live his. We just don't want to see you wasting anymore of your one precious life with this guy who so obviously does not care. How much more drama, arguing, and crying are you willing to put yourself through?
I realize this and when I spoke it in the therapist's office I stated that I wanted him to get mentally and emotionally healthy for himself and asked him if he wanted that. He does, but it was pretty obvious by his body language and his attitude that he doesn't really think that's possible nor does he want to try.

Oh, and the reason I expected I told you so's(not that anyone would) but it was the first thing that popped into my head because many of us here know that marriage counseling with someone in active addiction doesn't work. Everyone here told me (and others) that it doesn't work.

Yet, Trilogy pretty much summed it up for me: I feel I have to try EVERYTHING so that I can say that I tried EVERYTHING. It also gives me a very good perspective of how sick my AH's mind is. You know, I brought up the rapist comment thing and he still is sticking by it. He said, "You don't know what it's like to be a man. We walk around thinking we're going to get accused of rape all the time." I looked at him and said, "I'm your wife. What in the hell do you think I do? Sit around looking for ways to get you thrown in jail?" To which he replied, "All you gotta do is call a lawyer in the AM and I'm screwed." UGH, I should have known better than to even bring that one up. The MT just sat there and was shaking his head because my AH kept going off about lawyers for about 5 minutes which, AGAIN, got us off topic. Sometimes I wish we could record our sessions and I could put it up on youtube, just for entertainment value because if you weren't married to him, you'd actually find him quite entertaining in his paranoia.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by choublak View Post
Hey, what's the goddamnbook?
John Gottman's "The Seven Principles for Making A Marriage Work"
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