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Is it all for show?

Old 08-30-2013, 07:12 AM
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Is it all for show?

My AH has decided to get fit for the first time since I've known him. He's always played tennis a few times a week, it's his passion and he's good at it (he used to be a teaching pro) but he never did anything else unless I dragged him hiking or something. He would poo poo the gym and say he was fine with the way he looked.

Now, all of a sudden he's going to a trainer with a friend of his(male friend who works out and plays tennis, our age)? He's coming to church with us, albeit not very friendly while there but he came. He's been to his psychologist for the past few weeks every week. And, he's going on a missions trip to Haiti in November and keeps talking about God and his blessings and how awesome it is that he will be going on this trip, etc.

I think my question is: is this all for show? He's been seemingly out of character lately and his moods at home have been relatively level. The day time napping has stopped, the passive aggressive crap has stopped.....

You know, sometimes I resent positive change, too, because it throws me for a loop. I take the focus off myself and start watching what he's doing and I know that's maybe what he wants??? Not sure, but I'm grateful that I'm going to Vegas this weekend (for son's tennis, not to party) and then AH will be gone next week in San Diego for a large regional meeting for work. I feel like I need some time alone, some time to think.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:19 AM
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And, he's going on a missions trip to Haiti in November and keeps talking about God and his blessings and how awesome it is that he will be going on this trip, etc.
It will be interesting to see if he actually goes...
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:23 AM
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Wait and see. There's no need to analyze this behavior yet. Can he keep it up over a matter of months? Will his mood improve?

Keep working on you, Liz. xx
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post

You know, sometimes I resent positive change, too, because it throws me for a loop.
I was thinking about this exact thing yesterday. I absolutely resent positive changes sometimes, because I feel like I have worked so hard to put up boundaries and protect myself, and ANY change that impacts that carefully-constructed serenity upsets me. Definitely something I need to work on.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:44 AM
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Sounds SOOOO comical (to me) to be saying this about positive change . . . but HIS program is about HIM. Not you. I am actually laughing about this one. Because I am getting a lot of this type blowback, as well.

while Mrs. Hammer seems to be doing dormant dry drunk in her program, (but like I say, Her program is about HER) she has sat around telling all sorts of crazy lies to all sorts of people about me and they keep coming back on her now.

One of her lies (now coming back at this exact moment -- from her sponsor no less) was exactly like what you are talking about. While she was off to rehab, and I was reading and studying here on SR, doing my Alanon work like the hyper-active nerd I am . . . and among other things those all advise to improve OUR side of things, we work on US . . . so like your AH, I am:


Going to Church pretty regular.
Doing Family Prayers with the kids.
Back doing Army level PT, even joined a gym this month.
Doing fun and educational family trips for the kids.
And a WHOLE lot of "Praise God" for these blessings . . . .

And all that is coming with LOTS of complaints and lies from the other side of the house.

Think about this a freaking minute, liz -- you are complaining about IMPROVEMENTS. omigod. Good Gordies -- think about how funny that is.

IF. THEY. ARE. IMPROVING. . . . . two words . . . .

1. Thank
2. God.

Especially on the A side of the house.

I would submit you are feeling bad about this, not because of Him -- but rather, being responsible for Your Feelings, maybe check you?

Best checklist I know in this regard is the On The Beam / Off The Beam list . . .

Look and see which side his behavior is reflecting, and look and see which side you are coming from . . . .

(wow, I just hit an open google search, and look what came up . . . )

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-off-beam.html

Two Words.

1. Praise
2. God.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:06 AM
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Someday, you will look back and see the obvious pattern here. I know I didn't see it clearly until I was away from it for a while. My AH would do the same type of things. He joined a pool and swam every day--for a while. He decided to only eat healthy food--for a while. He got in shape, started running, did chores around the house, bought be gifts, etc, etc, etc. And it always lasted for a while. Long enough to get me to stop thinking about leaving and start thinking about staying. Google "cycle of abuse." It's the same thing.

L
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:18 AM
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Go back Liz. Go back to that football stadium or wherever you were supposed to have that graduation ceremony. Go back by yourself. Get one of those grad hats first if you can.
Stand out in that football field all by yourself. Throw that hat up in the air, and scream "Congrats to me!"
Laugh as you do it.
(And if you positively can't go back for whatever reason--go back in your mind.)
When you can do that, and not a minute before, you will finally see that life isn't about if you can depend on somebody else to be...pick your words...consistent, reliable, dependable, there for me, my rock of Gibraltar, not to fool me, be loyal, be honest, be true....pick your words.
Because nobody out there is going to come through for you every time, or even most of the time. Life is about survival of ourselves, our being, our essence. Life's full of unknowns, and curve balls. Those curve balls are never going to stop coming. If not from one person, or one place, there will be one from another person or place.
Hoping to be able to rely on somebody else for that sense of well-being isn't what life is about, isn't what your life is about. It would be short-changing YOURSELF FOR YOUR LIFE TO BE ABOUT SOMEBODY ELSE.
When you can see that, you will be then able to see what you want to do with your life. Because it's about you. Each step will feel more sure.

This is YOUR life.
Learn to celebrate yourself.
You deserve those congrats...I hope you finally give them to yourself.
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:40 AM
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Someday, you will look back and see the obvious pattern here. I know I didn't see it clearly until I was away from it for a while. My AH would do the same type of things. He joined a pool and swam every day--for a while. He decided to only eat healthy food--for a while. He got in shape, started running, did chores around the house, bought be gifts, etc, etc, etc. And it always lasted for a while. Long enough to get me to stop thinking about leaving and start thinking about staying. Google "cycle of abuse." It's the same thing.
Yep, me too. And when he surprised me with the next round of dysfunction, the level of cruelty was breathtaking.

I had to stop being surprised and start recognizing his behavior patterns for what they were.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:41 AM
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And, see, look what has been responded to me: There is always a chance that it's part of the cycle of abuse or him acting nice to make up for something stupid he did that has yet to be revealed to us, etc or there's the other side like Hammer said where I should be thanking God for the positive change.

I waffle between the two. It's hard to know when or if you should start taking a wall or two down, if you can let down your guard and trust your gut. Honestly, it feels different right now. I know, I know, it sounds cliche or like I'm living on a different planet here but really he does seem more aware of his actions and behaviors and he's been an active participant in the family for the past 3-4 weeks now. It's been one of the longest stretches of positive I've seen for quite some time.

I don't hang on to snarky comments or sarcastic crud anymore. I am feeling so much more confident in how I perceive and feel about his attitudes and behaviors so part of the positive here is also that I'm not engaging. I walk away, I disengage, I don't argue when he wants to be right and some of that diffuses things to a point where we get more centered in our conversations. If I don't latch on to always being right (even when I know I am, LOL), then the conversation goes nowhere and I can change topics or leave the room in peace. Maybe some of this is getting through to him and he's choosing to change with it, too?

Or, maybe I'm just blowing smoke up my own as*??? As Florence said, I really just have to wait, there is no time frame here and I have every right to keep working on my program and letting him do whatever it is he chooses to do whenever he chooses to do it!
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:24 AM
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I waffle between the two. It's hard to know when or if you should start taking a wall or two down, if you can let down your guard and trust your gut. Honestly, it feels different right now. I know, I know, it sounds cliche or like I'm living on a different planet here but really he does seem more aware of his actions and behaviors and he's been an active participant in the family for the past 3-4 weeks now. It's been one of the longest stretches of positive I've seen for quite some time.
Maybe you don't trust him because he's been untrustworthy! Give him the dignity of EARNING that trust back. If he does, he does. Don't hold grudges, but don't go handing your heart out to jerkwads either.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post

I waffle between the two. It's hard to know when or if you should start taking a wall or two down, if you can let down your guard and trust your gut. Honestly, it feels different right now. I know, I know, it sounds cliche or like I'm living on a different planet here but really he does seem more aware of his actions and behaviors and he's been an active participant in the family for the past 3-4 weeks now. It's been one of the longest stretches of positive I've seen for quite some time.
jmho. I do not see the conflict.

WHAT YOU ARE DOING is Working? You are doing better. He is (at least appears to be) doing better.

LOT to Love In That. Why mess with what is working? Keep your boundaries up.

You follow I am NOT telling to go make nice and friendly?

Keep working on you. When you/we/me are doing that we hardly care what is going on "over there."

You/we/me cannot get better by watching "them."

===============

True Story. When I had to take my daughter to Alateen, I had to go next door to the Open AA meeting. No parents allowed in Alateen. But there was a window wall with blinds that if I sat in an off-side back row of the AA meeting room -- I could peek through the blinds and check on my daughter. Got away with that for the first two weeks.

Third week, I came in, put my hat in "my chair" and went to get some coffee. When I came back, my hat was moved up a row and that entire back row was filled with AA guys, all sitting cross-armed, and joking with each other.

I looked at a guy named K.

HUGE Guy -- Ex military and I would chat with him after the meetings.

I mumbled something lame like "I usually sit back there, and watch my daughter."

All K said to me was -- "Control Much?"

I said -- "I guess not." and sat down where they moved my hat and actually paid attention and learned a lot that meeting.

Now I sit in the very front row. My friendgirl Meth-Beth has been chairing all this month and I am sorry to see August coming to a close.

Have not seen K in a couple of months and pray he is doing well.

==================

My question to you is the same as Ks to me -- "Control Much?"

Let AH work His program and You work Yours.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:08 PM
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Thanks Hammer for the clarification. As I said the first post, I'm really finding it hard to deal with my resentment over his newfound niceness and easy going attitude. It's so contrary to who and what I know that I truly am struggling with ...well, just not sitting there scratching my head and pulling a Gary Coleman (what you talkin bout, Willis?) on him because he's so nice that it's beyond comprehension for me.

And, quite frankly, it's rocking my boat a bit because I was perfectly happy detaching, working my program, and taking care of myself and my son. Well, I was taking care of AH too, just not in the ways that he wants. If things are soon to change, I don't know how ready I am for the relationship dynamics to expand, kmow what I mean. I feel like I have a long way to go until I'm healthy emotionally and setting solid boundaries, and communicating appropriately, etc. Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself, as well? I'm just so tired of being unhealthy in my relationships and being a doormat, etc I am feeling so NOT ready to take down walls and I know that, that in itself, can keep me stuck in unhealthy too.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:37 AM
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I too wonder what is for show and what is real....so hard to tell anymore. Even if an alcoholic joins this site, is it just a new way to try to get some positive attention when they have alienated the real people in their life? Very difficult
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:55 AM
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Lizatola-

What a great opportunity for your recovery.

When my loved one was the person I remembered and wanted him to be it was harder for me to stay the course on me, to me and for me. It was easy to get swept away in the charm that my exAH came with.

It was so much easier to focus on me when he was behaving cruely, or the worst for me was when he was just checked out. It was easier to focus on me, work, recovery then. It was easier to trust myself and set (and keep) appropriate boundaries then too.

Reading what you wrote this is a great chance to keep your recovery in action....regardless of if this is a vaneer or is this is begining of actual change. Cause in the long run his true colors will show themselves. It won't matter when you keep working on you.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
And, quite frankly, it's rocking my boat a bit because I was perfectly happy detaching, working my program, and taking care of myself and my son.
Exactly. Just keep doing that. ^^^

Why should 3 or 4 weeks of "good behavior" change anything? Real change takes time. A lot of time. Years. Stay on your path. Pay attention. But don't make the mistake of forsaking yourself just because he's being temporarily nice. If it's real, it will continue--regardless of what you do. I agree with Hammer. There is no conflict here. You can be grateful for peace and good behavior without abandoning your recovery.

L
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:10 AM
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Only time will tell. Why try to determine the future?

Feeling resent about positive change in the A is not uncommon at all. I felt it when my mother got sober because I had nothing to do with it and I had tried for years to "help" her. Then all of a sudden she does it without my help? Boy did I feel like a failure. To top it off she was different. Not drunk or angry any more and I felt like I didn't know who she was anymore. Turns out I didn't even know who I was because I was so focused on her.

I also felt resentful every time she started making positive changes because I had seen he do it so many times and then go back to drinking. I didn't trust it. I was fearful. I learned in recovery I was ruled by fear.

So yeah, just keep working on you. Let him work on him and it will work out how ever it's supposed to work out.

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Old 08-31-2013, 09:00 AM
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Sounds to me he has embraced his sobriety....good for him!

But like you write, you are dealing with your thoughts and feelings.

I would support him wholeheartedly...

If I was sponsoring him I would give him a big time kudos. If he was in AA see if he has a big book and give the Family Afterwards a read. It's a bit dated but very upbeat.

Sometimes we keep our doubts to ourselves other times not....should you ask him if it's all for show? Probably not.

Put your focus back on your program...you deserve your own recovery and the joys that come from it. You are a very caring and loving person.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:32 AM
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Hi Liz,

I've been reading your posts for a long time. If you look back you will see this seem to be part of his normal pattern.

How many times have you posted a things are getting better post, he really means it this time to be followed with, in a month or so, an OMG! look what he did now post?

Pay attention to his actions not his words and have a plan ready in case the bottom falls out again.

I know you want this to be real recovery for him, I went through the same thing with my wife for years. It was really hard to be honest and see her actions for what they really were rather than what I wanted them to be.

Your friend,
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Maybe you don't trust him because he's been untrustworthy! Give him the dignity of EARNING that trust back. If he does, he does. Don't hold grudges, but don't go handing your heart out to jerkwads either.
YES! I so agree with this...its been a untrusting relationship when it comes to his alcoholic character...

i just had an interesting talk about the Merry Go ROUND>..i said to my friend before detaching...."we have been here before this merry go round, i have brought 'this' up before..twice actually'.... and i know we have, because its journalled (dates and witnesses also..weird)....
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by wiscsober View Post
Sounds to me he has embraced his sobriety....good for him!

But like you write, you are dealing with your thoughts and feelings.

I would support him wholeheartedly...

If I was sponsoring him I would give him a big time kudos. If he was in AA see if he has a big book and give the Family Afterwards a read. It's a bit dated but very upbeat.

Sometimes we keep our doubts to ourselves other times not....should you ask him if it's all for show? Probably not.

Put your focus back on your program...you deserve your own recovery and the joys that come from it. You are a very caring and loving person.
No, he's not embraced sobriety. He's still binge drinking. He's always been a binger so he has periods of being normal and then depressions that come after his binges, depending on how severe they were and how he felt afterwards.

He is not in AA and does not read the Big Book. As you said, I just have to put the focus back on me. I know for a fact I'm still struggling with acceptance and that's a hard place to be. Accepting him as he is right now, not as he was, not as I want him to be. And, if I accept him for who he is right now, can I continue to live with someone who deceives me, lies, breaks the law risking his job and our financial future? Only I can answer that question but, in the meantime I have to keep working my program and finding my own way.
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