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Facing myself in the mirror

Old 12-19-2012, 10:13 PM
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Facing myself in the mirror

One of the things I've been challenging myself about lately is about whether I am using my AH for his income and whether I'm being fair in our relationship. He still stands by his decision to homeschool our son so jobs for me are limited even if I were to look. He also says that he'll stay married to me forever no matter what because he doesn't believe in divorce.

Marriage counseling is going extremely poorly and the MT is forcing AH to go to individual counseling before he'll see us as a couple again because he said that AH is putting up walls, gets too defensive, goes round in circles, and has too much anger about LIFE for us to get any type of productive sessions. So, miraculously, AH has made an appointment with his old therapist from a year ago who really didn't do a dang thing. But, he now gets to say that he is going to counseling. We'll see how this goes. I just know that I need to keep working my program and focusing on what I need to do for ME.

AH's boss also talked to him about his behavior recently and said that AH was troubling to some of the wives on the Costa Rica trip and one of them apparently went to the president of the company to complain about AH. AH feels that his job is now on the line but in therapy today he blamed this 'woman' for her own fears and meddling behavior for ruining his life, UGH!

Then, he was leaving therapy today and he rear ended someone. No damage to the other person's car but his hood is crumpled and he needs a new bumper, too. This is the car with the ignition interlock device. AH came home around 5:30 today and has been asleep in the bedroom since. He is very depressed. The therapist says that AH is a fatalist and that he needs serious help and counseling at this point. AH kept hounding me about the fact that I must have a boyfriend because I'm still on birth control and because I have to be 'getting it' from somewhere. Nothing I said to defend myself made a difference, it was just going around in circles so I stopped defending myself and just sat there and let the therapist interject.

Anyway, I am still trying to figure out whether I'm heading for a separation(technically we're separated but just living in the same house) or for a divorce. I want to give him a chance to do some individual work but because of our trust issues, I kind of feel that maybe separating while we try to work through things might be a more productive move. I have had accusations thrown at me on this board that I am using my husband for his income and that I am just gallavanting around to my son's tennis tournaments on his dime. My AH was a tennis professional for years. He is OCD about tennis and was putting a racquet in our son's hand when he was an infant. He talks to our son about how much money there is in tennis, how much money the players make in endorsements, etc. Sooo, in defense of myself regarding this issue: I would be completely happy for our son to quit tennis and pick up another sport. I am tired of AH living vicariously through his son. If I want to skip a tournament, my AH steps in and says that our son needs the match experience, needs the ranking points, and that colleges won't look at him if he doesn't get his ranking up. This particular issue has really been nagging at me and I felt the need to come on and remind everyone that the whole story is never really told here. We can only communicate so much through our quick threads and posts here. I come here for support and advice, not judgement and condemnation. And, with that, I'll close and say: THANK YOU to everyone for just being here! Oh, and the puppy is getting HUGE but things are getting easier as we all get to know each other and fall into daily patterns.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:03 PM
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Lizatola, you have a Merry Christmas.

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Old 12-19-2012, 11:22 PM
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Hi Liz, I have read many of your posts over the months. Personally, I don't think it is anyone's business to judge you or why you are staying in your marriage. Most of us have stayed in "unhealthy" marriages for one reason or another; income, fear, obligation, guilt, etc..

I think most of us just want to get healthy and hope other people get healthy too and make healthy choices.

I think the hard part is when kids are involved. Many posters here have been hurt by an addict parent and know the long term effects. Many of us have allowed our own kids to be hurt by addiction and wish we knew better and/or maybe could turn back the clock.

That said, the best thing I have learned in Alanon was "it's none of my business what you think of me." It was a very liberating thing for me. Just wanted to share....
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:04 AM
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You are the only person you can guarantee will be there with you for your entire life - so as long as you can look yourself in the eye I figure you're doing well.

It's tough sometimes to set aside other's opinions and statements and actions. In the last few months I have been called some rather nasty names by one person, guilt-tripped and passive-aggressively insulted by someone I thought was a friend, and then there's the woman at work who is trying to get me fired because of who knows what reason (but it started after I tried to comfort her as she was crying in the ladies' room) - and I need to remember that I didn't make them do any of that, I'm just trying to do the best for me that I know how.

That doesn't mean it's easy, but I guess it's easier than if I stuck to my old patterns of behavior and belief where I internalized everything.

You just need to do what feels right to you. And maybe it's right, and maybe you'll walk face-first into a detour sign that's hidden in the fog. That's life, and I figure as long as I'm trying my best, that's all anyone has the right to expect from me anyway. I'm human, just like everyone else, and I can live with that. Some days easier than others, but I'll manage.

You are a strong person with a good moral compass and a great son to remind you of why you are doing what you're doing so you can keep moving forward. You'll get where you need to go. Just keep doing your next right thing.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:20 AM
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Kinda funny to judge someone around here... Man it would suck if I figured out I am the only one with a screw loose.

Hang in there Liz. My guess is that you are doing your best in a tough situation. I don't know about anyone else but my best has sucked at times.

We all need to remember this is a place of support sometimes :-)
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:58 AM
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Continue on your path. You are going forward, and that is always the right direction.

You do not have to justify your decisions to anyone. Whatever decision you make today, or tomorrow, or the next day - just work on acceptance of that decision. That is what will bring you peace, IMO.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
Continue on your path. You are going forward, and that is always the right direction.

You do not have to justify your decisions to anyone. Whatever decision you make today, or tomorrow, or the next day - just work on acceptance of that decision. That is what will bring you peace, IMO.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Thank you Thumper, and thank you to everyone. I appreciate the words of support.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:08 AM
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I think all in all, you're doing a good job taking care of you and your son. The 2 of you (and new puppy) are YOUR main priority-your husband comes a distant third. (only my opinion, of course).

Just continue on the path you're taking, be confident in your decisions, and things will fall into place.
Being involved with an alcoholic just sucks, plain and simple. I'm going into my 2nd month of NC, and it's getting easier day by day-

I hope you and your son (and puppy) have a wonderful Christmas, and the new year brings us all serenity and peace...
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:17 AM
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Hi Liz and happy holidays!

I found out for me the decision actually ended up being pretty easy on when to stay or go. I left when the pain of staying was greater that the pain of leaving. At that point the decision became crystal clear and that door opened. Before then I was aware that the leaving decision existed but I simply wasn't at the point to make it.

There are no easy answers to questions like these. Trust yourself to make the right decision at the right time.

Your friend,
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:25 AM
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((Liz))

pink hugs (hope, unity, gratitude & serenity) to you & yours
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:31 AM
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Alcoholism is a progressive disease and this is pretty apparent in your husband's life. When behavior is brought to the attention of a company president his job IS in jeopardy. Absolutely nothing will change until he stops drinking and gets into recovery. Most therapists won't even treat active alcoholics. When things continue to get progressively worse do you plan on being along for the ride?
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:56 AM
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((((Liz))))
I'm sorry that you have felt judged. That is not a good way to feel at all - especially from a place like this. I know I've responded to your posts on many occasions, and if you have felt judged by me I apologize and never intended judgement. Normally, I wouldn't have felt the need to write this apology, but I found myself very triggered by a thread a few days back (clearly, I was not alone) and I posted comments that were not helpful, but harsh and judgemental. I should have just put my hands behind my back. I will do my best never to do that again.

I also wanted to echo Mike's comment. (re: when the pain of staying is greater than the pain of leaving) I never thought this fit my situation since it was a threat to my life that ultimately made me leave. But in reality, the pain and fear that threat caused was much greater than the pain of staying. It was not gentle tipping of the scale - it was as if someone dropped a brick on one side. I have moments of seeing that event as a partial blessing because I'm not sure how long I would have continued to stay in that marriage of misery. I knew (really knew) that I wanted out for more than 4 years. I found every possible reason not to make that step.

I hope you either have that moment of clarity that Mike spoke of or a husband who chooses to dedicate himself to recovery so he can, in turn and in time, be genuinely dedicated to you and your son.

Please know this -
You deserve to be happy and treated with respect. And if the time comes when you feel you must go - you CAN do it. You have it in you to be on your own if that is what is best for you.
When I accepted that for myself, my perspective was completely altered and some things I had once valued as important ceased to be - and the things that are really important found their proper place.

As always, I'm rooting for you and I believe in you.

Hugs,
MamaKit
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:26 AM
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Liz, one other thing to share. Don't be hard on yourself about a time table.

I was married 36 years with at least 15 of active alcoholism. We all tolerate pain at different levels as well as commitment on making it work.

Here's hoping you can have a safe and happy holiday season.

Your friend,
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:32 AM
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Liz, I know I've been hard on you sometimes, and I regret some of my harshness. It's clear you're making progress.

I was thinking the other day about me and my AH, who just -- after many years of un- and under-employment -- finally got a good job with good pay, after I kicked him out after this last relapse, of course. I know that if I invited him back home, he'd be there within the evening. He's doing pretty well. To my knowledge he's sober and working a program. But there's a part of me that doesn't know how I feel about him and what the future of our marriage looks like living with alcoholism, or even with recovery. And yet there's another part of me, a BIG part of me, that wants him to come home because I'm so tired of shouldering the financial and practical burdens of a household alone. I might, still. I really might.

So, in short, we're all on a journey. Sometimes (I'd posit most times) our judgement towards others is really about ourselves.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Liz, I know I've been hard on you sometimes, and I regret some of my harshness. It's clear you're making progress.

I was thinking the other day about me and my AH, who just -- after many years of un- and under-employment -- finally got a good job with good pay, after I kicked him out after this last relapse, of course. I know that if I invited him back home, he'd be there within the evening. He's doing pretty well. To my knowledge he's sober and working a program. But there's a part of me that doesn't know how I feel about him and what the future of our marriage looks like living with alcoholism, or even with recovery. And yet there's another part of me, a BIG part of me, that wants him to come home because I'm so tired of shouldering the financial and practical burdens of a household alone. I might, still. I really might.

So, in short, we're all on a journey. Sometimes (I'd posit most times) our judgement towards others is really about ourselves.
((Florence)), I understand. Although, at this point I am pretty much a single parent anyway. My AH is currently sleeping in his office, his depression is seriously worsening. I know there is nothing I can do, it's just uncomfortable around him at this point because I am pretty much tapped out emotionally and have nothing to offer him anyway. I pray for him and for all of us daily and that's about where it ends.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:19 PM
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Hi Liz,
I think deep down inside you probably know the answer to that question somewhere.

When I was married, I did not feel the love but I was very comfy in my situation of having his income help and support me. I was working too, but he made far more than I did. It takes a LONG time to decide if you want to break up a marriage. I pondered it for years before I finally did it.

At times I admit I do have my regrets, but I know my ex husband never would have left me and I think it's better than we are no longer together. You need to figure out what is best for you.

Best wishes,
-z
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:55 PM
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It's all about control. He wants you to home school because it keeps you dependent on him. He wants you to think he will never settle for divorce to convince you to give up this crazy talk of independence. It's just plain sick. He regards you as a possession, not a partner.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Jazzman View Post
It's all about control. He wants you to home school because it keeps you dependent on him. He wants you to think he will never settle for divorce to convince you to give up this crazy talk of independence. It's just plain sick. He regards you as a possession, not a partner.
I've thought that before, too. He made a comment while with the marriage therapist the other day that he felt used for his money and that all he was good for was providing a paycheck. Yet, a minutes later he insinuated that I should give him s*x because he pays for our bills and the house, etc. So, in my mind that makes me nothing more than a prostitute. Yet, he's also said that if I get a job outside the house, then our marriage will be over for sure. So, I always feel trapped by his words. I had thought early on that I was in a reciprocal marriage, that we made decisions together for the betterment of our family. The decision to homeschool was a mutual agreement, and he was the one who wanted me to come home from work and who was proud of himself for having a wife who was a SAHM(stay at home mom). Anyway, the way I see it is that I'm da*ned if I do, and I'm da*ned if I don't. Seems to be a common thread for us.

I never really recognized the possession vs partner issue, but I guess I can see it now. Maybe it wasn't like that in the beginning years but it's evolved into this as he slips deeper into denial and into his illness.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:25 AM
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Lizatola, you're looking at this with great courage.

Jazzman's comment about being a possession, not a partner, rings true for me. My AH is a narcissist, and that is one of the hallmarks. If that fits for you, you might want to look up some threads from this summer/early fall on narcissism. Or google Sam Vaknin and narcissism for some extraordinary You Tube videos.

You have all my support whatever you choose in this so difficult passage.

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:26 AM
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It sounds like you are having some really strong insight lately, and taking a brave and difficult look at things. You should be very proud of yourself.

I hope you and your family have a warm and happy holiday.
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