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Old 10-25-2012, 11:35 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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It's easy to get caught up in the drama-junkie trap. Before I even really knew what that was, I read some things that made me realize I was on that hamster wheel. It was tough leaving it behind because in the midst of all my emotional and financial fears it would make me responsible for myself and no other adult, and responsible for what I was allowing my kids to be exposed to.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:39 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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All I am saying is that when I went to his therapist, I had listed 137 things that were wrong with me. Wanting sex or not wanting sex, was one of them.

I remember being afraid to have sex. I would, then 2 days later he would go out and drink, and either come home late, or not at all, and it was all my fault. He told me he couldn't take it, because "I DID NOT ENJOY IT".

I used to actually jump out of bed after sex, and ask if that one counted. That's how nuts I got.

So will bow out of the rest of this conversation, because it is a trigger to me.

May make me irrational



Need to say one more thing though, sex to a man means that everything is ok, honkey dorey, no more b!tching about problem, because if you have sex with him, then he takes it as everything is OK.

Now bowing out
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:08 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I thought step 4 was about taking personal inventory. I guess I thought it would be good to hear from him what my shortcomings are so I can add them to the list. I guess that's not appropriate??? Honestly, I haven't actually started doing any work on this step yet nor have I done the full readings in my Paths to Recovery book so I guess my perspective is off? I am in no way looking at this as passive aggressive. I was serious and I felt I could learn something about myself by hearing what he has to say.
Hey Liz,

I haven't gotten to step 4 yet, so grain of salt and all that. But, I think that when I get there, I'll start by allowing myself to take my own inventory for a while without the distraction of other voices steering me in other directions. If I find I'm feeling strong enough to hear other people's opinions... Well, I would not approach anyone in active addiction, particularly not someone who has been lying to me and making my head spin even during counseling sessions. I think I would look toward people I trusted and respected for their perspectives. It seems like your expectations of your AH are higher than he's capable of delivering on right now.

Take care,
Fathom
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:50 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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My husband and I started marriage counseling in his second month of recovery while he was still in rehab. He didnít go to a 12 step rehab; where he was at it was based on work with psychiatrist/therapists. But what I wanted to say was that I think it is correct to take an inventory of self after your husband writes out his list. My experience was that part of marriage counseling is learning to listen to the other person, and trying to understand where they are coming from, what is prompting their feelings, even if you disagree with their feelings/opinions, etc. From that you are supposed to both attempt compromise. I donít think it works if either party goes in thinking the whole problem lies with the other person. I know I had my share of issues that I had to face, and work on for myself, and to benefit my husband.

I do think that most men view sex differently than women. Men often need sex to feel close, where women need emotional relations before sex. To be blunt, your husband sounds sexually frustrated & yes its selfish thinking, but Im not sure its all addict related on that part. Im also not really sure itís a case of manipulation, or power control but maybe thinking it will help fixí whats wrong based on his definition of emotional benefits of sex.

I also am not criticizing AA at all; but if he does not feel comfortable with that kind of recovery, then there are other options that can work; like one:one therapy,AVRT etc. I think he gets to choose that, and we can only watch actions and see if what they are doing is working in our eyes. And whatever method they use; it does take time. (Whatever method we choose; it takes time) I know in this case, your saying he is still drinking; so may all be a moot point and he just doesnít want to stop.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:38 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Liz

Are you going to save yourself from this man?

Do you actually love him enough to put up with his [email protected] indefinitely?

What would happen if you got fat, got sick, lost your looks and your figure? What would he do?
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:24 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Liz...
My heart goes out to you because I spent years trying to fix my marriage. I did not want a divorce. I was going to find another way. And if my marriage was going to fail in the end, I had to satisfy myself that I tried everything I could to save it. I understand and I appreciate what you are trying to do because I did it too.

Just be careful.

Your feelings, your wants, your desires, your needs...they are all important. Sometimes I got so wrapped up in 'saving' my marriage that I put my own needs last. I slept with my husband to make him happy and afterwards, I felt like I had betrayed myself because it was just a physical act...it didn't come from a place of love and trust. I could have just as well went out and slept with some random stranger on the street because I didn't feel an emotional connection to my husband anymore. Sleeping with my husband left me feeling like a prostitute. The pain hurt somewhere very deep in my soul.

Your 4th step has to come from within. I think the main point of the 4th step is to seperate out your REAL defects of character from the ones others have tried to convince you are there (most especially the alcoholic who uses emotional warfare to protect their addiction at all costs and maintaint he status quo). But you'll figure this out when you get there. You've mentioned that you have a sponsor. Use her loving guidance to tackle this most important and sensitive step in your recovery.

Love yourself Liz.
Cherish yourself.
Be true to yourself and your feelings. They are trying to tell you something. What is it? The answer lies WITHIN...not without...not in the assessment of a marriage counselor or the distorted and self-serving views of someone in active addiction.

Hugs...
Mary
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:06 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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He is also telling you very loudly, with a witness, exactly who he is, what he wants and what he is willing to do.

He is going to continue drinking and he wants you to have more sex with him and quit asking him to change anything.

He's not going to change anything what magic do you think the counselling is going to accomplish?

It's fair enough for him to want a marriage that includes sex, it's fair enough for you to not want to have sex with someone who is drinking, it's fair enough for him to decide he is not willing to give up drinking, it's fair enough for you to want to be married to someone you can have an emotional intimacy with. You both want each other to be fundamentally different people to who you actually are. there isn't really a "right" and "wrong" type of person, but some types rub along together and fulfil each other's needs better than others.

ExAH and I both tried this for a long time, but fundamentally, at the cores of our being, we were not suited to each other. I was able to make much better decisions once I accepted the reality of who we both were.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:57 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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He is also telling you very loudly, with a witness, exactly who he is, what he wants and what he is willing to do.

He is going to continue drinking and he wants you to have more sex with him and quit asking him to change anything.
When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM.

He doesn't ask for you to change anything but sex because simply, you are good enough already at vacuuming, etc., secondly, he doesn't want to think PAST sex. Booze and sex, hey, whomever said that there was more to life?

He really is a man of simple desires. Take that as a good thing, or a bad one. I mean really...you can have the easy life. All you have to do is enjoy the comfort of his good income, go on those trips, and be as busy as a bee with your son, church, and whatever else floats your boat.
When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM.

Liz, I'm going to apologize ahead of time because I find your posts kind of frustrating and triggering. Nothing changes until it changes. Change is difficult, it hurts, not knowing hurts, taking risks hurts. I'm bothered that you're so invested in what a resentment-filled active alcoholic who is emotionally abusive to you has to say about your character defects. It's like you're welcoming his abuse as a personal growth experience.

I'll be honest, that bugs me so much because I've been there. And when my abusers heaped "helpful" criticism about what was wrong with me, I internalized that and beat myself up for it. He's grooming you for more abuse. He's keeping you plugged in. I can say that my willingness to submit to abusers was likely directly connected to my sexual assaults and the shame and denial that surrounded all that trauma. These are things you could be working on in individual counseling -- I can say with experience that this was the difference between me staying and leaving -- instead of submitting to and welcoming more abuse from your abuser.

Perhaps it's time to recognize that your way isn't working here. Maybe it's time to submit to some direction. Talk to your sponsor. Heed the advice of your peers here. Listen to the counselor. If AH is drinking, counseling is an expensive, frustrating and time-consuming way of validating things you already know.

Occasionally you seem compelled to action, you screw up the bravery inside you and stand tall and get defiant, but usually you are still plugged in to your AH's drama and venting that you throw yourself up against the wall of your husband's narcissism and alcoholism and remain shocked and surprised that it doesn't crumble.

That wall won't crumble. He's going to have to dismantle it brick by brick. First, he's going to have to see how the wall divides you. Then he's going to have to get invested in the work of dismantling it. He's telling you outright that you're going to live with that wall and like it. You're trying to figure out how you can scale the wall, climb the wall, clean the wall, blow up the wall, and/or resign yourself to living with a wall that blocks out all the sunlight and prevents you from finding authentic happiness.

But maybe the wall it what it is. It's just sitting there blocking out all the sun. But you don't have to live in its shadow.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:04 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ZiggyB View Post
It is so seriously difficult for a woman to have sex with someone who doesn't meet her emotional needs, and make her feel valued as a person. It's sad but men will never understand that. We are wired so differently in that regard. I went through the same thing with a couple of my exes. The worse the relationship seemed to get, the less attracted I would feel to them and that was another thing they would feel resentful about.
Sorry - disagree! Please don't lump all males into that 'men just want sex regardless' bucket. The longer this issue goes on with my Wife, the less I want sex. We have had no sex in quite some time, and I have absolutely no desire to have it with her. Even if she walked into the room looking like Kate Upton, I would still know who was really underneath it all, and have no interest.

I was never someone who could just go out and hum someone for the hellofit, and still can't.

Just one guy's opinion
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:10 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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And sorry, Liz, but do you think a list from someone whose brain is riddled by alcohol and who has such a narcissistic outlook on life going to give you a viable and unbiased assessment of the things that he thinks you should be working on? I'm sorry, but that seems to be twisted thinking. You say he is constantly changing his mind, lying, etc. So, how much faith can you put into the revelation of some sort of list?

I'm confused, as you probably are as well, as to what you want from this relationship. At times you seem quite steadfast and sure, and then you seem to be defending him and giving into his whims and demands.

I pray for you, I really do.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:32 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Katiekate View Post
Liz, your husband continues to hold you hostage ......
Liz - please read what Katie said above. It's true. Recite the serenity prayer to yourself over that .... may be it will help.

Originally Posted by CentralOhioDad View Post
....do you think a list from someone whose brain is riddled by alcohol and who has such a narcissistic outlook on life going to give you a viable and unbiased assessment of the things that he thinks you should be working on?
I was thinking the same thing OhioDad said here ..... after you do step 4 (and 5), that's when you see the character defects you need to work on. Getting a list of what someone else thinks is not the way to go here, IMHO.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:18 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Just my experience

Liz, first of all I read all of your posts and have found them to be helpful to my situation. I have been married to my AH for 27 years. Like you he is an excellent provider, big house nice car swimming pool etc. With all of this he thinks I have it made. Not!!! He thought all was well since we would have sex at least once a week felt I needed to do this even though he was drunk every time and it would make me ill the smell and the shame I felt afterward. I felt I had no other choice til I just could not do it anymore. Asked him to leave in Nov. 11. He stopped drinking for the winter but was a dry drunk. Finally in May he consented to go to marriage counseling when he saw I meant what I said. Because it was summer and he wanted to be able to drink with friends at the lake where we spend the summer. He asked the counselor if would be OK for him to drink but not around me. I was willing to give it a shot. He would not drink around me but would be drunk by the time I got to our camper. After this happened 3 times. I brought it up during counseling. What he said is not important but the counselor asked me if I was willing to live with this. All of the feelings dealing with his drinking came flooding back and I had the courage to finally look him in the eyes and say if you cannot quit drinking I will not be there. The counselor asked him to give it some thought and to let me know. He came back a few days later with .I cannot quit on your terms it must be on myown which I totally get Thanks to this website. That was 3 months ago. We have had contact only when necessary and it has been so peaceful. He also wants to work things out without lawyers so we are now applying for mortgages separately to pay off the house I live in and him to mortgage the house he inherited from his parents.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:27 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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more to follow

This has been tough on me but I do have a fulltime job and am now working parttime 1 or 2 nights per week. I do have one son at home but he is 19 works and will be going into the navy I hope soon. I also have a son who is 23 and has type 1 diabetes since he was 7. He is a constant worry not taking care of himself, he also tried to commit suicideabout 2 yrs. ago he does not live with me but close so I always get the calls for help. I am looking forward and still have many bad days but at least I do not my AH to worry about, dread coming home from work and dealing with his drunkenness and how he has the habit of making us all feel worthless. Hugs and best wishes for you and your son. It is not easy but life is better now that I am on the path to my own recovery.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:55 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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The biggest issue is that he doesn't want to stop drinking. He has no intention of ever stopping. Liz, going to marriage counceling is not going to fix that issue. Marriage therapists are not substance abuse therapists and there not miracle workers either. The biggest question should be why are you staying with this man?
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:09 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I wonder if your husband Liz, has ever been anything different with you than who he is now. It seems that the two of you never shared what you are looking for in the history of your relationship, so this new and deeper connection, and intimacy, would be forging new territory.
Another problem is that I don't see that you are sure yourself what you are looking for, only that you want him to engage more. It's like you want growth for yourself, which involves your marriage too, but that he never signed up for that course, and is now clueless.
It's a good thing to want growth for yourself. To expand what intimacy can mean in life. To expand our thoughts to understand more of what life is and means, and what our relationships can do to reach their potential.
His approach to life is a simple one, and he appears clueless as to why you want the status quo to change.
Except for him quitting drinking, what is it that you want? You don't seem to have a clear cut understanding of what you want from him, or even yourself. That's ok, because I think you are on a discovery path.
Someone else pointed out that your husband has his own side to the story, which of course he does. From his pov, you are not going on trips with him, going alone on other trips, and withholding sex, which is considered its own form of manipulation. You're shaking things up with these type of things, but why you are pushing the limits here I am confused on. I read your posts and threads and I know you want MORE, but what kind of more?
I agree with your husband on only one thing in this debate...something he doesn't seem to have put into words yet...if you are on a path of self-discovery, that's great, but you need to separate that individual awakening from him unless you have a clear understanding of what you want from him, and how your path of self-discovery suddenly means that he has to change too.
I tried to articulate what I am feeling about your posts over the last few months but I am not to the point where I can say it succinctly, it is a vague feeling I have.
Florence said what I said essentially, but more eloquently. He has shown you who he is. Now you want him to be someone different, when he has been who he is all along.
I can see part of what you want, tell me if I am right or not. You want something you have never had before, a much deeper connection, communication, and emotional intimacy. I don't think you can get there with two people giving each other lists of what they want different because I think that connections are formed and grow with interaction--talking to each other, not AT each other.
How does a relationship grow when one partner wants to return to the old status quo and the other partner wants to forge into new territory? Can it even be done?
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:24 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Your post takes me back to where my AH and I were a year ago, sitting in a therapist's office trying to work on our marriage. However, my individual therapist told me that this would be impossible until he admitted that he was an alcoholic and sought treatment. Without this admission and desire for recovery, marriage counseling is like building a house on sand.

The discussion has no solid foundation as his thinking and motives are completely driven by the need to keep drinking. He needs you in the relationship because without you, the status quo that enables him gets upset. So, he probably tries to keep you by passively aggressively insisting that you are perfect, then complaining about all of the little things that you do that bother him. Although my AH never called me perfect (I wish), he blamed the troubles in the marriage on my failure to cook my share of dinners, clean the countertop of coffee grains, sweep the floors, spend "reasonably", etc. etc. etc. It meant NOTHING, NOTHING while he was still drinking. Back then, I was completely unable to see that this list of faults had nothing to do with me as I truly am and nothing to do with our marriage. Your AH is the last person to be helping you with Step Four because he can't hear you or see you. All he sees, most probably, is himself. Or, at least, that's the way that it was with my AH.

In my experience, marriage counseling is pointless until he realizes that he is an A and seeks help. The best you can do is save the time and trouble and put it towards the good work that you are doing on yourself. I wish that I did.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:50 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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All I can tell you is my experience.
And it's pretty much this:
e! It would seem to me that to have sex with someone that guilts and pushes you into having sex with them, especially when you are repulsed by them and don't trust them, would feel to me like sexual abuse.
The day I left my AXH fearing for my life, the thought that went through my mind repeatedly was "I will never, ever, allow myself to be forced to have sex against my will again."
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:55 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MadeOfGlass View Post
I wonder if your husband Liz, has ever been anything different with you than who he is now. It seems that the two of you never shared what you are looking for in the history of your relationship, so this new and deeper connection, and intimacy, would be forging new territory.
Another problem is that I don't see that you are sure yourself what you are looking for, only that you want him to engage more. It's like you want growth for yourself, which involves your marriage too, but that he never signed up for that course, and is now clueless.
It's a good thing to want growth for yourself. To expand what intimacy can mean in life. To expand our thoughts to understand more of what life is and means, and what our relationships can do to reach their potential.
His approach to life is a simple one, and he appears clueless as to why you want the status quo to change.
Except for him quitting drinking, what is it that you want? You don't seem to have a clear cut understanding of what you want from him, or even yourself. That's ok, because I think you are on a discovery path.
Someone else pointed out that your husband has his own side to the story, which of course he does. From his pov, you are not going on trips with him, going alone on other trips, and withholding sex, which is considered its own form of manipulation. You're shaking things up with these type of things, but why you are pushing the limits here I am confused on. I read your posts and threads and I know you want MORE, but what kind of more?
I agree with your husband on only one thing in this debate...something he doesn't seem to have put into words yet...if you are on a path of self-discovery, that's great, but you need to separate that individual awakening from him unless you have a clear understanding of what you want from him, and how your path of self-discovery suddenly means that he has to change too.
I tried to articulate what I am feeling about your posts over the last few months but I am not to the point where I can say it succinctly, it is a vague feeling I have.
Florence said what I said essentially, but more eloquently. He has shown you who he is. Now you want him to be someone different, when he has been who he is all along.
I can see part of what you want, tell me if I am right or not. You want something you have never had before, a much deeper connection, communication, and emotional intimacy. I don't think you can get there with two people giving each other lists of what they want different because I think that connections are formed and grow with interaction--talking to each other, not AT each other.
How does a relationship grow when one partner wants to return to the old status quo and the other partner wants to forge into new territory? Can it even be done?
Yes, he was different when we first got married. He was supportive, he was attending church and leading Bible studies in our home, he was more willing to find the positive in things, he wasn't as depressed or anxious, etc. I think it's been a slow progressive downward spiral and I was somewhat in denial for many years because he was so up and down. We spent time with friends and did things. He has no interest in doing anything and always turns down my invitations to events with friends. He has made mention to the fact that he hates humanity and that he wants to live in the middle of nowhere where no human can contact him ever again.

As to what I want, here is the letter that I shared with both AH and the therapist yesterday, maybe this will answer some questions:

The partial list of what I want from a husband and/or my marriage:
I would love to be married to someone who is willing to take the steps needed to become healthy emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I am a patient person but feel Iíve been thrown the crumbs from the cookie on the table. Lots of empty promises, filled in with convenient lies, some blame shifting and manipulating thrown in, mixed in with a few affirming words and apologies.

Trust: trusting that the words that come out of his mouth will be backed up by actions. That the promises made to me wonít be broken as if they were no big deal and inconsequential, which throws me into a cycle of distrust again. Also, trusting that he will show good judgement when acting upon his promises. I want to know that the words he speaks are truth, but if there are no actions backing up those words than the words become empty promises and I feel used and taken advantage of and feel that Iíve been made a fool of, over and over again. This includes accountability; if he canít be accountable to me than he can find someone in AA or a therapist to confide in who can walk him through a recovery process, if that is something he chooses.

Loyalty: Meaning that when I open my heart and soul to you, that you will take my feelings and experiences and treat them with respect. That you will not use them against me just because things arenít going your way. My experiences and feelings are MINE, they are not there to be exploited and manipulated to shame me, guilt me, or prove that you are better than. You should also expect this from me, and should feel comfortable sharing this with me, although I understand why we donít talk about this stuff right now.

Maturity: Meaning that you are 45 years old, and a father and husband. You have a son who wants to look up to you and a wife who wants to honor you. Maturity means being a positive male role model in your family and having integrity in the decisions you make. Interpreting the law or disregarding it to fit your personality and whims tells your family that itís OK to shelve your values, saying itís OK to break laws, they were meant to be broken despite the possible consequences.

I want to be in a relationship where I feel safe, physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally. I want to feel protected and sheltered from the world and I want a husband who wants to be those things for me. I want to know and trust that the decisions he is making are the right decisions to protect his family.

If we are going to address anything in counseling, I believe the alcohol use needs to be addressed and then we need to address the trust issues and how you are going to try to regain my trust. What actions are there going to be?


That was most of it, I ended it by saying that I am working on my own issues in individual therapy and that I believe that God's plan is perfect for us even though things aren't going as we planned.

When the therapist asked him what he thought of the letter, AH just said, "Yeah, I know all these things. I'm tired of being responsible." And, he carried on from there about his issues with responsibility among other things.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
"Yeah, I know all these things. I'm tired of being responsible." And, he carried on from there about his issues with responsibility among other things.
One of the hardest things for me to grasp in recovery was that my expectations for "a husband" were perfectly reasonable, but my expectations for "him" were not.

What you want is not unreasonable Liz. But, it's not what you have. You can write a thousand letters and go to a hundred marriage counselors, and you will still have what you've got. You can spend years, even decades, of your life trying to shame, cajole, manipulate, or charm him into being what you want, or you can accept him as he is and turn all that energy toward figuring out what you want in your life. Acceptance is the key. He is what he is and he isn't willing to change.

L
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:11 PM
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Lizatola-
Gosh, those 2 sentences he said just made me sad...
I believe there is your answer.

There comes a time when we have to stop beating that poor, dead horse and try to carry on, as much as we don't want to...When we decide enough is enough, is of course, different for all of us.
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