A year on..

Old 05-29-2013, 01:48 AM
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A year on..

Hi all, though I do not post much, I regularly come back to SR- it is an important part of my recovery process, and I would like to thank all those who post regularly. I see SR in the same light as my sponsor- both are wonderful for detached, hard hitting advice, that is given in the spirit of tough love- and I appreciate this every day.

At the moment, life is ok - emotions are a bit all over the place- as I have allowed hope, expectation to emerge again.

My RAH is now a year sober, goes to 3 AA meetings a week- but has not been able to embrace the programme fully- so he has many dry drunk episodes, and periods of white knuckling. He doesn't have a sponsor.

I try to go to up to 3 meetings of Al Anon, meet with my sponsor twice a week and meet up with other members - I try to do service as much as I can( have chaired at 2 meetings, and recently became group rep for one)

This is where I am not keeping to my side of the street- detachment- I am getting right back in there with my husband's mind games, and allowing them to affect me. When he gets bored with life, instead of discussing it, he likes to engage me in these little games- asking my advice, and then implying I am controlling; or disagreeing with every little thing I say, with a wry smile on his face;oh and asking me where i am going, what i am doing, lots more examples, all day long at times - it gets wearying.

Most of the time I can detach until he pushes too far, and then my hard worked for Serenity goes out the window, and I am looking back the track, and down the track instead of keeping it in the moment!

Sometimes I wish for what I cannot get- a husband who is emotionally attached, able to discuss his recovery issues and who will apologise for all the crap over the years! His making amends seems to be staying sober, helping out around the house( he is unemployed) and trying to join in with family life( though he gets seriously annoyed when they ignore him- they are in their late teens!)- now I need to determine whether this is enough for me, and I am floundering...
Do I want this for the rest of my life? We get along most of the time, as long as I keep stress to the minimum....is this it? Do I deserve better? When will I be able to address the fact I am still care taking? When, and how, do I let go of the hope that he will change?! As I am recovering through Al Anon, and the Steps, I am finding it harder to accept unacceptable behaviour:maybe because I never knew what was acceptable or not, had never learnt boundaries.

Sorry I am rambling- amazingly like sharing, this post did not start for this purpose, I must have needed to write this . Any tough love advice gratefully received!
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:52 AM
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It doesn't sound much like recovery to me. but more to the point, you are worth more. I have been struggling too, and to realize its still all about him, all the time, what he feels, how he's reacting, everything...

I don't know how you learn empathy or if it can be taught but I think without it, there is no real foundation to a relationship. I would rather be alone than worrying all the time about what someone else is going to do or how he feels, especially when there is no one to worry about me or how I feel.

Sometimes I wish for what I cannot get- a husband who is emotionally attached,
You know what you want... Someone who is emotionally capable of being in a relationship.

That's not too much to ask.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:32 AM
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Dear Loopy, it sounds like he is staying "dry" but not in recovery. As you, do doubt, have learned by now---recovery means working the 12 steps and changing the thinking; which leads to changed attitudes; which leads to changed behavior.

I have been told that the appearance of "dry drunk" behavior often is the precursor of relapse. Not to frighten you--I have been told this by long recovering AA members.

The question you really seem to be asking is about your ability to accept unacceptable behavior. I would ask you if you are satisfied and content in your relationship. If this is as good as it gets--are you content with this? How important is your own happiness to YOU? Is your goal to survive or to thrive?

I remember to the hour when I decided to leave the relationship (marriage) to my children's father, many years ago. It just dawned on me that I would always be invisible to him and that it was never going to be any better. I felt like I would "die" inside if I remained in that marriage. I wanted to be happy--to be myself--to be loved for who I was---to be free from walking on eggshells for the rest of my life.

I divorced him. Later I married a wonderful man and had a great love. He died, suddenly, recently. I have never regretted the decision to leave my first marriage.

I hear that my first husband is still the critical, narcissistic jerk that he always was. Hasn't changed one bit in all these years!!!!

This is my story. I think you deserve to by happy by your own terms--this life is very short.

dandylion
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Later I married a wonderful man and had a great love. He died, suddenly, recently.

This is my story. I think you deserve to by happy by your own terms--this life is very short.
Dandylion, I'm so sorry for your loss. (((HUGS)))
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:53 PM
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Bluegangal - thank you, I need to be reminded that I am worth more, and yes, asking for emotional availability is not too much. I just need to process everything- I suppose now I am at a crossroads- I had decided to give a year of living sobriety before making any decisions, and now the year is up.....

Dandylion, thank you for your reply, and my heartfelt sympathy for your recent loss. Your question am I happy and content? Is one I shall take on board. Being born to 2 alcoholics, and married to one for 25years means that I have always put my feelings last on my list. Al Anon has taught me the importance of looking after myself, and though the theory makes sense, I have found it hard to put into practice. Still progress rather than perfection, A day at a Time and Keeping it Simple are all slogans that help me through the day?

I have been walking on eggshells, I do think that his actions seem to be a precursor to relapse- if it will be, it will be. For the moment I need to learn to say how I feel, not withholding in case it affects his sobriety.
My journey for the past couple of months has been one step forward, and three back. I need to bring the focus back to me, and stop letting him live rent free in my head.
Thank you again for your story and honesty,
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:35 PM
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Becoming Aware

I had decided to give a year of living sobriety before making any decisions, and now the year is up.....
I think you know what you must do, but you are not ready right now to do it.
That is perfectly OK. Take the time you need, unless of course there is violence involved.

Sometimes I wish for what I cannot get- a husband who is emotionally attached, able to discuss his recovery issues and who will apologise for all the crap over the years!
My experience with my second ex husband was something like this. He went back to drinking after both of us went to a six week in patient rehab.
He could not have a real emotional attachment to me because that would take a lot of work for both of us.
And, he would have to be sober. He was unwilling to do that, he decided that I was the one with the problem, and he could "control" his drinking.


he likes to engage me in these little games- asking my advice, and then implying I am controlling; or disagreeing with every little thing I say, with a wry smile on his face
Wow! This is exactly what my ex was doing. Little mind games. And that little smirk on all the time.
Always wanting to know my exact whereabouts, and even if I was at work, he wondered who I was "fooling around with."
Turns out, he was the cheater.
I was still sober, and he went back to drinking right away,
he wanted me to "change back" to being a submissive drunk.
That was never going to happen to me again.

Your dedication to Al Anon should keep you on track.
It might not feel like it, but you are becoming aware.
Next is acceptance.
Then there is action.
You are making great progress and I think the mind games are to get you off track.
Do not "change back", always forward.

Keep up the good work, and come here to ramble anytime.
When I share with you, it helps me.
Amazing how it works.



Beth
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:16 AM
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Thank you, wicked! Yes, I am not ready yet- why I am unsure, but time and my HP will help, maybe I am still clinging to hope, maybe it's simply hard to let go of a life created over 25 years. I need to accept where I am at, and as you say Action will follow.

Thankful for Al Anon, it has helped me change my focus, and yes, I believe the mind games are his subconscious effort to derail me. My feeling is that he is unnerved by Al Anon, my programme and how I am changing. I spent the afternoon with my sponsor who brought me back to ground, and placed me back on track.
Thank you all for your replies- it helped so much.
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