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Surviving a laspe, relapse or whatever you call it

Old 07-05-2013, 05:23 PM
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Surviving a laspe, relapse or whatever you call it

My husband had been sober for 24 years before I met him and for 2 years after we started dating. We moved to a town where drugs were easier to find than litter on the street. We did not know this when we moved, I had just gotten a new good job which is the reason why we moved. Over the last two years he has struggles with slips and a relapse which landed him in legal trouble. He had been going to meeting and doing really well except when I was having some difficulty working my steps as a spouse. I have some long standing issues with self esteem and after a meeting need to just tell someone what I was feeling to get it out and the person I trusted that say to do this with was my husband. He misunderstood the intent of me talking about feeling stupid or inadequate and got mad. The next day he came home for his treatment meeting with news that his counselor wanted me to start attending some family/spouse oriented meetings (which I want to do) but the suddenness of it caught me off guard and I asked if there was any information on the program that I could get familiar with and he blew up he had only been in it for 2 days so he didn't know much how to explain it either.
The next day I came home and he was drinking and going on about how I blamed other people for my feelings and he went out of his way to get me help too and I didn't appreciate any of if. Unfortunately I didn't handle it well and he got more pissed off and well we got into it somewhat physically (no he doesn't beat me) he was so out of it he was swinging in air but has convinced himself he hit me when he didn't. Now he's been drinking off and on for 3 days saying none of it matters anyway and he's be better off back in jail or just gone out of my life and every ones life. How do I help mend my part of the bad behavior and help support him until he can get back on the right path of sobriety again? I yelled and screamed and hit the beer out of his hand which I know was not the best way to handle the situation but I had just the right buttons pushed to make me mad and I didn't step back and look at the whole picture of what was going on. How do I make it through this time knowing what I did an show can I support him and get him back working on his goal of sobriety??
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:42 PM
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Any advice would be appreciated... This is all new to me and I think in doing something good until it blows up in my face. Thanks
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:51 PM
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Go to an Alanon meeting.

Try not obsess about it.
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:58 PM
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I do online alanon when I cannot make a meeting. Alanon is unfortunately not very widespread where I am living. But I am trying to find the next reasonably close meeting.
I'm just worried that his thinking will get stuck in the "nothing matters" mode again since he was just getting started back on his way to recovery
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:58 PM
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Dear guberbunny, you speak of having worked your steps as a spouse--so, i assume that you have been involved in alanon or other support group?

I can see that you are entangled and embroiled with his issues. That is hard to take without loosing your own temper and reaching your "breaking point". Added to that y our disappointment of the relapse.

My suggestion is that you immediately detach from him. Remember that you can't argue (or even discuss) with a drunk. Remember that he is blame-shifting when he is criticizing you--Don't take it personally---but, don't stay in line for his abuse either!!
Detach--give him space--don't engage with his nonsense and remove your self as far away from him as you can. Even to the point of living elsewhere if that is what it takes.

Get yourself to alanon (or similar) right away and get a sponsor to guide you and to express your feelings to. You need a safe and understanding place to sort yourself out.

Stop trying to "help" him---he will only resent you for it. Only he can help himself. He has to make the decision and it has to come from within him.

You did not cause this and you can't control it. Take this one step at a time---with support you will navigate through this.

Post here as often as you need. Relapses are He** for all concerned. You will find supportive and understanding ears here.

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Old 07-05-2013, 06:00 PM
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There is only so much you can do for him - he has to do the heavy lifting in his own recovery. What are you doing to take care of YOU?

I totally get the blowing up. A few months ago, I wrestled a beer can out of my husband's hand. Not the best reaction. Plus, it was really messy!

Coming here is a really good start for you. You'll hear lots of different viewpoints, but most of all you will feel understood and supported. There is a lot of reading material, starting with Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. Many people swear by AlAnon. If you can swing it, individual counseling can be super helpful. Check out the 'stickies' at the top of the page. Tons of good stuff there, and you can always come back to it. The biggest thing to remember is that you can only control your own stuff. His stuff, it's HIS to control or not.

Talking with a good friend earlier today, we decided that I need to work on stepping around other people's s*** instead of stepping in it. That is a pretty good mental image for me to use and you're more than welcome to use it, too, if it helps! Take care.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:10 PM
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I know I can't fix anything for him or make the decisions for him. I just want to find that balance of taking care of myself and being his spouse and partner.
I am stepping back as much as I can. Info to work he goes to a trusted friend and in the evenings if he doesn't want to be around me I let him go.
The biggest thing I need to figure out is how to let him go when I'm upset at something, whether its him and his drinking of just life in general.
We've both lost a lot of people we thought were friends and turn to each other a lot which sometimes causes out fights.
I am going to al-anon and he was going to AA and NA along with an outpatient treatment program.
He is a lot further along In understanding the steps because of his past experience working them evening he and I are in similar places for working them.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:54 PM
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gubers, I think you need to work on keeping your program separate from his. You should have an Al-Anon sponsor to confide in. Your husband has enough on his plate that it isn't appropriate for you to make him take on the role of confidant right now. And vice versa--you have enough of your own to deal with, without taking on the role of cheerleader.

You can be supportive without getting enmeshed with each other's recovery. Later, when you are both stable and solid in your respective recoveries, there will be the opportunity to become close again. Right now, though, I'm afraid that too much "togetherness" on the road to recovery will mess you both up.

Glad you're here--welcome!
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:24 PM
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Thanks lexie

That balance of how to be supportive but still individual in our own recovery is what I'm trying to figure out
He goes to to his AA/NA meetings and I go to al-anon when I am able (one night a week there is a meeting 30 miles from our hometown) the next closet are 45-60 miles away so I also participate on online chat meetings that are available daily. He asked the lead person at his outpatient treatment about what was available to me since our town has multiple AA/NA groups and no real al-anon group. And he has asked that I attend certain scheduled meetings at the outpatient program that are designed for both addicts and family to help the individual and help understand what the other is dealing with in our own individual recovery.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:40 PM
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Well, to me "supportive" means recognizing that getting sober is hard work, that sometimes the alcoholic will be unreasonable and have mood swings, and being as patient as possible with that, and keeping one's paws off the other person's program--not encouraging, reminding, "helping". A lot of being supportive to someone else's recovery is just staying the hell out of it. It may not FEEL like that's helping, but it is. The more you are focused on your own recovery, the less tempting it will be to mess with his.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:53 PM
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Just a clarification the leader of the treatment center asked me to attend sessions. My husband agreed that he would like me to have that experience. I wouldn't go into any meeting/treatment without him wanting it that way.
We each do our own meeting and have out own sponsors. We are working out how the rest of daily life is going to fit together so we can both recover and grow, being supportive but Leto the other person be completely in charge of what they need to do for their progress
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