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Expectations and facing reality

Old 08-11-2013, 12:03 PM
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Expectations and facing reality

Here I am a few years on SR learned so much from everyone, saw all different paths taken and shared my own.

RAH a year into sobriety with maybe some slips, working on his recovery in AA, me going intermittingly to alanon, both of us going to marital counseling for 5 months now.

So I was thinking our relationship would be better and in a lot of ways the day to day dynamics is better but our relationship s*cks.

Last week went on a road trip with my 12 yr old son to visit my dad. We had a great time, stopping and sightseeing. I stretched what was originally going to be a 3 day trip to 6 days by making it a road trip, therefore RAH opted out as he said he had to finish up some work that was pending. It wasn't clear he was going to come in the first place but the 6 day timeframe cemented his complaining and basically became a no he couldn't come.

While I was away I realized there was nothing about being with RAH that I missed. Basically we are existing in the same house together and our main communication consists of him asking me what's for dinner. This is a bit of an exaggeration but not far off.

I suppose I was expecting a lot more that this. It doesn't resemble anything of our relationship before the chaos ensued. There is no warmth, no friendship, no intimacy. It seems it's only what my RAH describes as companionship, which to me is more like just living separate lives under the same roof. He is not much of a communicator to begin with but it seems like he is barely trying to interact with me and if I share anything that has any more emotion, positive or negative, other than "it's a nice day outside" it either gets not much of a response or a defensive reaction.

I haven't had many relationships in my life, been with RAH since my early 20's for over 25 years now but I find myself often wondering that this cannot be what I stayed married for and what I want to have for my old age, especially after my kids are grown and out of the house. I do bring this up to RAH and he says he has been making progress with his recovery. Well that is all well and good but I don't see it doing anything for our relationship and if I press on anything, time together, taking care of important matters, planning for our future, intimacy he just doesn't seem to be fully there or angry. Could it be all the years of alcohol abuse?

I am so grateful for him not drinking and I try to focus on that.

Not asking anything really as I know this is my own decision of where I am at. Just needed to get this out here and see where it might lead me.

Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:17 PM
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Geeezzzz, from the guy side of things, I could have just about slipped on a dress and a wig, changed the he to she and we could have been having the same conversation.

Only (minor, really) differences are:

3 Kids,

The Road Trip Vacation was 3 weeks (planned well in advance, she was invited to attend all or some, and also attended none),

and together 13 years.

Other than that, same story, only the names have changed to protect the guilty.

For a too long, never ending soap opera version >>>

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...t-me-well.html

Bottom line.

I set the countdown-timer for 12 months total since return from rehab.

Then enough of this crap.

119 days to go. Not that I am counting.
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:04 PM
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I suppose I was expecting a lot more that this. It doesn't resemble anything of our relationship before the chaos ensued. There is no warmth, no friendship, no intimacy. It seems it's only what my RAH describes as companionship, which to me is more like just living separate lives under the same roof. He is not much of a communicator to begin with but it seems like he is barely trying to interact with me and if I share anything that has any more emotion, positive or negative, other than "it's a nice day outside" it either gets not much of a response or a defensive reaction.
In order to stop breaking my own heart, I had to give up expectations entirely. It certainly has changed my relationships for the better. About your marriage, nothing can restore it to what it once was, none of us can go backward. I think you must see the relationship as it is and either take it or leave it. Wish I had some magical advice on creating wonderful relationships but I don't. Sometimes it's simply too late, too much damage has been done, for two people to remain together.

As you're seeing in Alanon, it's all about accepting and this is a very big challenge. When I really "got it" that the other person wasn't going to change and that there was nothing I could say or do, I left. I had no other choice.

Whatever you decide to do we'll all support you here. A very big hug!
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:29 PM
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Wow Hammer I missed that thread but took a look and yes I see what you mean.

BTW I have 3 kids also. The older 2 (16 and 19) had other commitments so couldn't join us.

Thanks for that thread, a lot of great posting on that.

NYC you really state it clearly and in essence it doesn't matter what timeframe I give it.

I pray every day to really "get it" which I know will give me more peace whichever way I choose to go.

Maybe the question really is how long does it take to really "get it", "it" being acceptance and no one knows how long that will take.

In one of my alanon groups there are several elderly women still with their sober AH who they describe as "dry drunks" and/or having additional mental illness. They seem to be happy, alanon is a very important part of their life. I suppose I am not quite accepting that picture as being my life yet I probably somehow still expect my RAH will miraculous change, yet there really is nothing to indicate that.

He of course doesn't want to end our marriage and tells me I am not trying which makes me realize I have to take responsibility for what I want, love what is and choose to stay or leave.

Thanks for support.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:04 PM
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I think it would be difficult to learn to live together as a "normal" happily married couple post-active-drinking. You learned to fit yourselves in that mold for awhile, and now you're learning to unfit that mold and try another. I would think that takes some time. I'd probably want to try on some new things with my partner. New hobbies. New adventures woven into my new life. I don't know, I think the anticipation of learning my partner's heart without the veil of booze would be a nice adventure. Am I a romantic? Sure!! Are you too tired to think of it this way?
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:53 PM
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Looks like I am heading in a direction, perhaps it is just time...

Too tired, maybe and beaten down. And the thing is it still seems like there is a veil of booze, it's different but somehow the same. That's what I just don't get. I have mentioned so many new things for us to do and they just fall through the cracks and he doesn't seem to be able to make the time. RAH is parked in front of the TV watching sports all the time, 3 x as much as he did before and he is always got some work issue bugging him.

It doesn't much matter, all h*ll broke loose tonight.

I asked my RAH why is he so combative and he informed me he was this way when I met him and I am just so clueless to not have seen it.

I must have said it enough that I don't think we are making much progress and maybe we should consider divorce. Tonight he agreed and told me I was a lunatic and yes let's get a divorce.

I should have just gone ahead on my own with this. Of course I thought we could work out an amicable solution but he in no way is considering what is best for the kids. He is adamant that I won't be staying in the house. We haven't even worked out custody arrangements.

How quickly he goes to battle, I should have known.

I mentioned the custody and he says he knows his kids love him.

WTF - see where this is going. I do. I should be ok, aside from him being the major breadwinner for most of the years I have always been the responsible one, managing the money, taking care of the kids, everything.

I just hope I can get another job at my age. I was employed for 3 years after staying at home for over 15 but that didn't last and I haven't had much luck with the interviews I've been going on.

Took my tests to certify for teaching and will know if I pass next week. I am anxious about getting a teaching position at my age (53), positions seem slim, although I could qualify for MS science/math may be more opportunity there.

I am starting to ramble. I am thinking my RAH is on drugs sometimes when he gets combative. (It's not physical - it's just dismissive and mean and nasty, talks in circles and tries to tell me I'm menopausal.) Two counselors have told him that there is nothing abnormal or too much too handle and I don't have a problem.

The same issues keep coming up for me, it's nothing new. I am rambling now and maybe this is hormonal but seriously I don't think so. I think it's the bits of craziness that I still have left in me from this disease.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:44 AM
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dancingnow, if it isn't working--it isn't working. I can "hear" the misery in your post. You don't have to live in misery if you don't want to! You matter just as much as anyone else does. If you are done--you are done.

My concern for you is to seek legal counsel ASAP. You need to know what your rights are---don't listen to his "threats". If he is hostile and, maybe narcissistic, you especially need to know what the real legalities are.

I am so glad that you are already involved in alanon. No doubt, your self-confidence has taken a few hits---but, you will be surprised how you will be able to rise to the challenges. You sound like an intelligent woman--of course, you will get a job!!!

You have us, here at SR--we will walk with you. Gather your support team about you--esp. an attorney--. Lean on the experience of the others who have walked this path before you.

You are going to work your way through this. You will be o.k. It won't be l ike this forever!

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Old 08-12-2013, 07:31 AM
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Thanks DL for your encouragement and support.

I will seek an attorney. I must let go of another one of my illusions that RAH and I will work things out amicable and just have a lawyer review our documents. It doesn't happen in our marriage why I am expecting it to happen with a divorce.

This is what my RAH refers to as clueless and maybe he's right in some sense but to think all these years how someone can think of my nature of consideration and goodwill as clueless just makes me sick to my stomach.

Again I am so baffled as I am always expecting someone kind and considerate to show up in my RAH now that he is sober and it just is not there. I wouldn't have necessarily described him as kind and considerate when I first met him but he certainly wasn't unkind and inconsiderate.

I just have to get out some of the other cruel things he said to me. He tells me that I don't love my kids, I don't know how because my mother never loved me. I just make believe is what he tells me.

He's the one that puts on a show. Makes all the right moves when someone is watching but can't be bothered when it's just me and him.

It seems like the last few months of him putting on a show at the marriage counselors of working on our marriage while shutting out and dismissal was going on in between these sessions has really taken a toll on me.

Maybe this has nothing to do with being an A and with sobriety I am able to see my RAH true colors.

I can't believe I am not even sad any more about this, after all the years. At least he sought sobriety. Maybe it was just too late and too little for me.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:13 AM
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I remember feeling like such a failure. I wanted so badly to *make* my marriage work. And, once he quit drinking, everything would be fine, right? Only it wasn't. I think the real problem was by the time he got sober, I had changed too much. He was still very much the same person I married 20 years before, but I was completely different.

It's okay not to accept an unkind, inconsiderate partner. Just because you chose him many years ago does not mean you have to stick it out if it's not working. Sometimes one person grows and the other does not. You don't have to feel bad about growing.

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Old 08-12-2013, 02:03 PM
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dancingnow, having a good and considerate nature IS a beautiful thing. Never doubt that!
It is just that we co-dependents fail to take care of our own needs.

Alcoholics and narcissists know exactly where our sensitive buttons are and go directly for them when they want to hurt or blame us (to keep the spotlight off of them). Hell, they, often, are the ones who helped to install the buttons!

He is angry and he is quacking. Do not buy what he is selling.

You need to take of you--if you don't do that, you can never be happy--and you certainly will not be able to be your best self for anyone else, either. This especially applies for your children.

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