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How did you know change was genuine?

Old 01-02-2014, 09:58 PM
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You should proceed with caution.
Its not do black and white.
My ah walked the talk ...sober for a month or so. I could tell he wasnt drinking at all no drugs etc.
He was the nicest sweetest most amazing man. I could tell he was serious.
Obviously it didnt last and hes back to drinking. Has been. Frankly he talks alot of talk. Tries to pretend hes doing right trying sober etc but I can tell! And its been going on for awhile

Even when its genuine. ...it could fall apart. When it is genuine youde know but you also wont really be certain.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:06 PM
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Anvil, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. Exactly what I needed to read today about consistency of character and that it's possible even in addiction. (As in: a needed reminder that AXH's addiction is NOT why he was abusive.)

Liz, wishing you peace and continued strength.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:27 AM
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It's interesting that he keeps asking what you want. Manipulative people will glean information from their date or object of affection and "chameleon" themselves to win the prize. In a perfect world our mates do not have to work so hard to be a "match" with us and the relationship is good because we are compatible with similar interests and personality.

Add alcohol to a troubled relationship and it goes South in a hurry. Remove the alcohol, turn up the manipulation and there is no actual real spiritual recovery or desire to change within the A and things get even trickier because of veneer of sobriety.

As other posters have said it is all about time... time is our friend and reveals all. The A cannot white knuckle and keep up the Academy Award performances for any great length of time... they simply do not have the patience and if not in recovery they get very thirsty after a while! And if we the codie do not start acting the way they want then the old character defects start boiling back up to the surface and the fašade starts to wear off.

Finding a balance of encouraging the A on their journey of self discovery of who they really are or even want to be without being sucked back into the unhealthy vortex of their old manipulative ways is tricky. They have to find their own way out of alcoholism and we have to find our own way out of the disease as well... and while the two journeys are tracking side by side the only one we can control is our own.

Keeping our side of the street clean... being true to ourselves while acting in love towards our A without being manipulated or used is the goal I would try to find. Hope you have a support network in an alanon group and a GREAT counselor well versed in addiction at the ready.

The mark I have set is ONE YEAR... most A's cannot make it one year sober without authentic recovery... real recovery... not just being dry. And once they are sober a year then you see who your A is.... it should become evident by then what kind of person he really is.

Sometimes you wring the alcohol out of an asshat and all you have left is a sober asshat.

My XA has never made it more than 8 months sober. He is on the 4 month mark now and his goal is 1 year sober so I will go on a "date" with him. I have been promising him that for over 2 years while he was a complete drunk. It will be a miracle if he makes a year even though he is in authentic recovery right now...it just is a miracle when a real alcoholic can really kick this horrible disease forever.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:36 AM
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My ah relapsed after a year and a half sober
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:34 AM
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Hi lizatola;

I'm a bit skeptical too I must admit.

I hope it is for real, but it seems rather good timing since you've asked him
to leave and won't allow assets to be sunk into another house.

More will be revealed. Meanwhile, enjoy the extra help and see where it goes
as long as you feel comfortable and willing to deal with the situation.

My guess is the "cracks", if it is an act, will be starting to show in a month or two.
He doesn't strike me as particularly disciplined with his emotions from what you've posted, and that's hard to keep going as a front.

Just another of those uppity feminazi opinions, of course.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:43 AM
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It's interesting that he keeps asking what you want. Manipulative people will glean information from their date or object of affection and "chameleon" themselves to win the prize.
Also -- when I was married to a manipulative A, this question "what do you want" was in order for him to be able to abide by the word of what I expressed, not the spirit. For example, if I said "I want to be able to hang out with my friends without you yelling at me about it" -- he would not YELL, he would just quietly ask when I got home "so how many guys did you f***? were they better than me?" etc. When I pointed out this was exactly what I was trying to avoid, he'd say "NO -- you just told me you didn't want me YELLING at you..." and so he could conclude that my "want" was a moving goal that he would never be able to live up to and that I was just trying to manipulate and control him.

I think your response was perfect. You want consistency. Predictability.
Question is if you will ever be able to get that from a person who doesn't understand the request.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:52 AM
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Sorry Liz but reading this just seems like Deji Vu all over again.

He's great for a while and then it crashes, he's great for a while and then it crashes.

Still seems like the same old roller coaster ride to me.

Your friend,
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
Also -- when I was married to a manipulative A, this question "what do you want" was in order for him to be able to abide by the word of what I expressed, not the spirit. For example, if I said "I want to be able to hang out with my friends without you yelling at me about it" -- he would not YELL, he would just quietly ask when I got home "so how many guys did you f***? were they better than me?" etc. When I pointed out this was exactly what I was trying to avoid, he'd say "NO -- you just told me you didn't want me YELLING at you..." and so he could conclude that my "want" was a moving goal that he would never be able to live up to and that I was just trying to manipulate and control him.

I think your response was perfect. You want consistency. Predictability.
Question is if you will ever be able to get that from a person who doesn't understand the request.
Wow! Words of Wisdom oh Wise Wone

God, if I had only understood this forty years ago my whole life might have been different.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:30 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Hopeworks View Post
It's interesting that he keeps asking what you want. Manipulative people will glean information from their date or object of affection and "chameleon" themselves to win the prize.
Yeah, well, so do codependent people. {Raises hand shyly} The old saying is that if you scratch an alcoholic, you'll an Al-Anoner underneath--and by that I think the meaning is that alcoholism often hides a whole range of psychological problems.

As the Al-Anoner in my family, I'm thoroughly aware that I have a host of personal issues that I get to work on...and I'm aware that I have issues that I'm not even aware of yet that I'll get to work on in the future. Progress not perfection.

The advice that you "proceed with great caution" is (in my humble opinion) the exact opposite of what I get from Al-Anon which is that I need to "let go". I need to stop worrying about the things I have no control over and keep the focus on myself. I think m1k3 hit the nail on the head when he said: "...the only time when I knew change was genuine was when it was mine."

For what its worth, I really like the sticky on "Letting Go" in the Spirituality section of SR.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:16 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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this question "what do you want" was in order for him to be able to abide by the word of what I expressed, not the spirit.

Lillamy, you make me laugh - I remember telling my then early teenaged son "Put the dishes in the dishwasher", and coming back to the kitchen to find the dishes in the dishwasher but the silverware and glasses still on the dinnertable.... But he grew up, and he now owns his own dishwasher and loads and empties it without direction from me....

Liz, I think you're slipping back into putting your husband in the center of the circle again instead of you. What he is doing, what it means, how he behaves, how he might behave, is the "recovery" real, is it even a recovery, ---you are again constantly taking HIS temperature to make the diagnosis of what YOU should do.

For me, my problem with my AH wasn't just the drinking. It was that beneath the drinking, he was not someone I could live with and keep myself intact. His pull on my emotions and behavior was so strong, and his abuse and rage so large that I chose to leave to save myself.

I literally ran away on July 4th 2012 because the alcoholism and abuse escalated to a point where I could not bear it. Then, after we agreed on the terms of the divorce in April 2013, we had to work together on getting our jointly owned home ready to sell. By then, he had "moderated" his alcohol intake significantly; and he had owned a great part of his behavior and he apologized and wanted me back. So I had to decide, aside from the risk of his alcoholism, whether I wanted my marriage back while NOT in the heat of crisis.

What I realized is that a leopard doesn't lose its spots; they are part and parcel of who they are. My husband's patterns of behavior, how he saw me, how he treated me, his rage simmering under a veneer of humility - - these are part of how he is constructed. I chose to stay divorced and gone.

I think your therapist is leading you down a dangerous path. I'd ask her what benefit it would be for YOU, for YOUR emotional healing, to initiate emotional contact with a man who has devastated and controlled you with his narcissistic behavior for so long? I just don't get it. Space for you and you alone, both emotional and physical space, would let you break the "yo-yo" relationship with your AH of "if he does that, then what? If he does this, then what?" How does your therapist not see this?

Your work to become emotionally independent enough to separate has been so hard fought for. It almost seems like your therapist is paralleling your husband in making you doubt your resolve.

I guess it boils down to thinking long term, not short term. In other words, "what will the benefit be of separating which will force me to think and act on my own benefit, versus staying enmeshed in this short-term perpetual dance?"

I don't mean to be harsh; you have done so much emotional work and have so much to be proud of. I think it is very hard when the abuse is more subtle and insidious than when it is overt and unmistakable.

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Old 01-03-2014, 12:51 PM
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FYI: to ShootingStar and others who have responded. I forgot to mention that this was a resurrected thread from way back in March of last year. I had gone back through my old posts and this one struck out for me and I wanted to bring it to the forefront for myself to be able to read through it again.

Not that it really matters anyway, because the patterns are what they are with him. I am working on enjoying him being pleasant and trying very hard to NOT be resentful or snarky or whatever I can be at times. I am working on acceptance while still getting into my own program of recovery. Time will reveal more to me.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:14 PM
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Oh that's funny! Well, then, no wonder Mike felt like he had heard this before -- it's because he actually HAD!
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:21 PM
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It seems that nothing has really changed.....

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Old 01-03-2014, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post

Oh that's funny! Well, then, no wonder Mike felt like he had heard this before -- it's because he actually HAD!
Don't pick on me! I'm old! For real, I turn 60 next week.

Your friend,
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:27 PM
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Mike, my friend, have you seen "Finding Nemo"?
My kids call me "Dory" -- I feel your pain.

Not making fun of you. At all.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
Mike, my friend, have you seen "Finding Nemo"?
My kids call me "Dory" -- I feel your pain.

Not making fun of you. At all.
Yep, and I can relate.

BTW, feel free to make fun of me anytime you want. It keeps me humble.

Your friend,
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:09 PM
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Liz -

It takes about two years of sobriety for the body to make a recovery. That is because the addiction has basically ravaged every part of the addicts body.

So even though the person may be sincere and "genuine" only time will tell how long sobriety will last. Some things that make it more likely include a support group, regular visits to a doctor (make sure it's a specialist), the best nutrition, exercise, and avoidance of triggers.

Some people don't like AA because of the religious overtones and the "culty" feel that it produces. It's not for everyone. However, there are other alternative out there. There are support groups now being offered that have no religious affiliation and do not have the same culture as AA. Many people find them more appealing.

With a little research the right fit can be found.

Best of everything!
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:45 PM
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Hi Lizatola
I've been with a RABF whom now has 1 years sobriety.
In my opinion it takes a whole year just to get over the major symptoms.
It is only now that he will begin to really learn who he is.
Our relationship will build from here. We must start over & put all the past behind us & treat it as a new relationship (had 3 years together prior to sobriety).
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:55 PM
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Liz, how is that apartment hunting going? Are you just going to stick around while he hoovers you to death. (Hoover, like the vacuum, just sucking you back in). Can also call it the honeymoon period. Are you still looking for an apt, or did he talk you out of it like the deja vu thing. Over and over and over? I think you know that he will be nice since you think you are holding the cards now (moving out). I thought I did also. The opportunity for me was gone, and I got stuck again.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:47 PM
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Hi Liz,

I think you're very wise to listen to the little voice telling you to proceed with caution. I know from past experience my RAH has been at times absolutely sincere about wanting sobriety, but it didn't always last long. It's only been a month, I'd give it sometime before you let your guard down.

My RAH has been sober now for almost 4 months and I'm seeing things in him that are very different from previous attempts to get sober. He's focusing on new healthier activities like golfing and working out. He actually talks with me about how he feels about his past drinking vs current sobriety. He pays more attention to my sensitivities, like calling me to let me know he's playing golf and turning his phone off. He's making a consistent effort to repay financial obligations incurred because of drinking. Most notably, in the past he didn't want friends and family to know he was quitting, I assume because he knew he wasn't fully committed. Now he's telling everyone, with out an ounce of shame! That's what has convinced me he's really serious this time.

Time will tell if it will last. I try to stay hopeful and positive but I'm still very cautious, as I know relapse will always be a possibility. Although I remain aware of this, I try not to let it cloud the good that is today. Tomorrow is unknown, and today is all we really have anyway.

Everyone's recovery is different and you know him best. What differences in him do you see? What does your gut tell you?

I agree with the others who are suggesting you focus on yourself. An emotionally healthy you will be best equipped to deal with whatever the future holds.

All the best to you both!
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