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So many questions!

Old 12-19-2013, 08:31 AM
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So many questions!

Hi all! Things are actually going well over here. My AH has been on his best behavior ever since our meeting with the pastor. And, I mean, super nice and kind and considerate and friendly and helpful, etc.

He backed off on the buying of the house thing when I told him flat out that I wasn't going to sign ANY documents ever regarding this house until he provided me with the financials. He never did and he backed out of the deal, even after having made an offer (of which he did not tell me about) and they countered at a lower price.

I am now planning on finding a rental. He said recently, "Good luck finding a rental that will allow for less than a year." Umm, when did I say I was looking for less than a year? Actually, that is what I am planning on at this point because he was right about that, most places want at least a year and I have to find a house because the apartment complexes around here won't take my dog because of his breed and age (14 month old doberman).

I looked at one a few days ago that was quite promising and I am looking at 2 more homes over the next few days. I'm scared but excited.

So many questions run through my mind. So many what ifs. What if his changes are for real and I am just wasting about $20,000 of our dollars to go live somewhere else along with the changes I need to make to our lifestyle? What if my son hates me for this because it will surely be my fault since I'm the one moving him out of his beloved home. What if I am making a BIG mistake? etc etc I could go on.

I keep reminding myself that I am just going to stick out the one year separation and take things one day at a time. He may very well be on the right track, but he has a long way to go and it won't matter if I'm living here with him or not. He can get better without me here. I've thought about putting some requests out there to him like: I will go back to counseling with you if you do individual counseling for 6 months and go to a recovery program weekly. But, I stopped short of that because that sounds conditional and controlling. That's where I struggle mainly because he keeps asking me for, "Tell me what to do, what do you want me to do?" I don't know if he's really that stupid or if he truly just doesn't understand what I mean when I say, "I think we both need time to heal and work on our own recoveries under separate roofs right now. This will give us space and time to heal." He thinks that if I move out, I am violating some Christian commandments and that I'm not doing my part as a Christian wife to keep our family together. No, I didn't buy into it, FYI. I just sat there pleasantly smiling and saying that I still think this is part of the solution FOR ME.

I guess only time will tell, but I wanted to thank all of you for the support.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:57 AM
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If the changes are real, they will still be real in a year. If they're not, well you'll know soon enough.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:27 AM
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Sounds familiar. My AH said the same thing to me, many times. Just tell me what to do and I will do it. As if I hadn't told him for years. Be very careful about telling him what you want. Mine had a way of doing what I told him and then saying--"see, I did what you wanted and it's STILL not enough." Finally, I stopped telling him what to do and told him I was doing what I needed to do. He could do what he wanted. It worked out much better for me that way.

And don't forget--you will be okay, no matter what.

L
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:35 AM
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Good for you, Liz for taking pro-active steps.

As to any requests or "offers" you might make to him - I'd suggest just not saying anything at all. First, anything you might say comes from your current perspective and feelings, and the key reason for your separation is to figure out who YOU are outside of the confines of this defining marriage. So you need to take the time to reflect alone before you'll begin to know what the next step is together.

Second, any offer for joint counseling or whatever "if he does X, I will do Y", puts you squarely back in the middle of his life, monitoring his recovery or non-recovery... I'd leave him to do whatever he chooses to do without comment or even much observation on your part.

You have my best wishes and support.

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Old 12-19-2013, 09:52 AM
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Liz, as predicted, he is campaigning for a return to the status-quo---status quo for HIM. Certainly, not status quo for YOU...LOL. It appeared that the status quo was not satisfactory for you (for the most part)---but, It was for HIM! Thus, his desire to have it reinstated.

His requests for you to tell him what to do--is him asking you for a guranteed ticket for the return of life as usual (status quo). Don't fall for his transparent efforts.

I think Sparklekitty summarized it in a few words!!

How do you know that you won't Love living under a separate roof!?

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Old 12-19-2013, 10:20 AM
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The big reveal for me was when after living apart for about 4-5 months, and up until that time seeing only AH's best behavior, his charming self, his responsible, well-meaning self, he relapsed and failed at covering up that relapse. He lost his job, went back to VERY expensive rehab he'd left a year before, disappeared because he was "sick" during his drive up there (it could have been completed in one day, he took three days), lying to me and his family about what he was doing, and then he blamed and threatened me for being unhappy about all of that. That's when I filed for divorce.

Literally a week before, I'd been in a marital counseling appointment asking the counselor what I was doing and whether we should reconcile again. The counselor asked me what I was looking for. I didn't know. I decided, thanks to you guys, to do nothing. I had my answer within the week.

What I needed to see, and what I needed to know in my bones, was the difference between the facade and the reality. Brace yourself, a literary metaphor is coming:

The Man Behind the Curtain
"And was this fellow, Oz, a powerful dinh? A baron? Perhaps a king?"
Again, the three of them exchanged a glance from which Roland was excluded. "That's complicated," Jake said. "He was sort of a humbug—"
"A bumhug? What's that?"
"Humbug," Jake said, laughing. "A faker. All talk, no action."
— The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass
Sometimes the big bad guy is actually very small. Sometimes he's a faker, all talk, no action. In the movie, Oz turned out to be a hologram. In the books he was whatever he needed to be to keep his minions in line. Your AH manipulates you by being big and terrible when he needs to be, and by being small and deferential when he needs to be. He does whatever works. He is these things long enough to change your mind, for you to forget his last offense, to change a years-long pattern of behaviors into a series of unfortunate incidents.

A long time ago, my therapist told me, regarding dating, that everyone can be on their best behavior for about a year, but that eventually you're going to have to fart, pee, cry, and fail in front of your intimates. In relation to codependency, I think a year is a good long while to give us codies the information we need to see our qualifiers with a compassionate but distant eye, to let some of the scabs heal over, and consider what we want next. Additionally, a year is a long time for Oz to fake and talk his way back into your life. After a year (or less in my case) you'll know.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SparkleKitty View Post
If the changes are real, they will still be real in a year. If they're not, well you'll know soon enough.
Yep, pretty much. I have to admit that he seems so much better than any other time I've seen changes in him. Just generally seems to be more joyful, not a word I really ever use to describe him. And, sometimes it's hard to not smile back at him.

It's so hard to determine whether this is all part of the manipulation to keep the status quo or part of real change. It was only 2 weeks ago when he barked at me and the pastor and made a stink about how he shouldn't be the one to move out, I should be the one to go. 2 weeks of change is just not enough for me. Actually, 6 months of change may not be enough for me to be honest.

Anyhoo, I am just looking for support for my decision, even though I know it's my decision to make. Mostly I am concerned for my son because he sees dad being jovial and funny and here's mom dragging him away from dad just when dad starts to improve. That's where I'm struggling now.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:33 AM
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More will be revealed, especially when you find a place.
You're doing great, putting you and your son's well being before his.
You are sounding very strong in your posts!
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:43 AM
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It's always hard to be the one who has to look out for the bigger picture with children. The children can't see that bigger picture, so they react to what they see, often pushing back against us.

You just have to know that what you are doing is right. You may not get thanked for it now (or, possibly, ever) but it is still the right thing to do. You certainly aren't doing this easily or impulsively. I'd trust your gut here.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:51 PM
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Liz,
I really admire your strength and courage in following what is right for you! I can relate to what you are saying about your son, my son also enjoys my H so much and I feel that sense of fear also, that he will be upset and not understand why mom and dad being apart may be the best for all parties involved. I hear the tell me what to do line a lot also, and that just sets off the warning alarm in my head. I do not want to be accused of being controlling or a harpy, I try to simply state my needs and he can figure out how to do it. To me, the answers are in his literature, with his sponsor and in his rooms, if he wants to find them he will. I will pray for you and wish you all the best!!
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post

I will go back to counseling with you if you do individual counseling for 6 months and go to a recovery program weekly.
as a recovered alcoholic I see nothing wrong with that

could

be the beginning of a bright new life together

regular church attendance for the two of you and your son would also be a plus

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Old 12-19-2013, 04:10 PM
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Just remember YOU are the most important thing in YOUR life.
One day at a time is the only way to go, focus on yourself, work your recovery & then you can reassess everything.
You can do this.
Hugs.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:13 PM
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It's difficult.

If you decide to go ahead with the separation - Will your son have regularly scheduled time with his dad? I found it important to stick to a regular schedule and I often assured my son that he would have special time with his dad during these times. It worked out very well and in fact I think my son really enjoyed the focused time with his dad and got along just fine when he wasn't here.

I've seen some books on controlled separation which I think progresses you through a separation and makes it goal-oriented, having the separation be a way to improve your marriage. Never did try that as AH was still drinking and then had too much on his plate with recovery but it seemed interesting.

Keep focusing on you. Letting go and letting God helps me a lot, especially with financial worries, although I did put aside some $ in an account for myself, when I was working and that gives me a bit more comfort. Maybe you can do same, it seems like you are pretty financially savvy, couldn't you figure out a budgeted way to put some $ aside in account just for you?
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:23 PM
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Good for you! I admire your strength. I don't know how old your son is, but I agree with dancingnow, as long as you have a set schedule for your son to see his dad then I'd be willing to bet he'll probably welcome the move. No doubt he is picking up on and effected by the turmoil your AH's drinking has caused.

I do hope his changes are permanent but if they're not, you're putting yourself and your son in a better position regardless. That's $20,000 well spent if you ask me.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by dancingnow View Post
It's difficult.

If you decide to go ahead with the separation - Will your son have regularly scheduled time with his dad? I found it important to stick to a regular schedule and I often assured my son that he would have special time with his dad during these times. It worked out very well and in fact I think my son really enjoyed the focused time with his dad and got along just fine when he wasn't here.

I've seen some books on controlled separation which I think progresses you through a separation and makes it goal-oriented, having the separation be a way to improve your marriage. Never did try that as AH was still drinking and then had too much on his plate with recovery but it seemed interesting.

Keep focusing on you. Letting go and letting God helps me a lot, especially with financial worries, although I did put aside some $ in an account for myself, when I was working and that gives me a bit more comfort. Maybe you can do same, it seems like you are pretty financially savvy, couldn't you figure out a budgeted way to put some $ aside in account just for you?
Of course, I would make sure of that! That's why I'm trying to find a rental within 10 minutes of our home. Yes, I have some money set aside for myself. Not much but it provides a bit of peace for me.

As for AH, he keeps being super nice and it's killing me. Why can't he go back to giving me the silent treatment and being passive aggressive, that would be so much easier when it comes to decisions.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:35 AM
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Liz, being sweet is part of the whole passive aggressive playbook. He needs to keep you off balance and by being nice he is doing that.

Keep the focus on you, it doesn't matter what he is doing now. He had plenty of chances, years and years, to make these changes before you decided to move out and he didn't.

It was only important when HIS lifestyle was being impacted. As far as I can tell, nothing's changed.

Your friend,
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:41 AM
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I think it very likely you will not be able to come to any real clarity about your AH and your relationship with him until you have had some significant physical and emotional distance from it all. As I said before, if these changes you are seeing are real (and I wouldn't guess whether they are or aren't) then they will last. The really changed guy will understand and respect your need for space and recovery even after it inconveniences him. Even after he is forced to be alone with himself.

Sending hugs, Liz. It never gets any easier, does it?
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by SparkleKitty View Post
The really changed guy will understand and respect your need for space and recovery even after it inconveniences him. Even after he is forced to be alone with himself.
Wise words ^^^

If he is only being nice to get you to stay, then nice will disappear when you leave (or soon after). If he is really changed, he will stay changed, no matter whether you move out or not.

L
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:21 AM
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Keep the focus on you, it doesn't matter what he is doing now. He had plenty of chances, years and years, to make these changes before you decided to move out and he didn't.

It was only important when HIS lifestyle was being impacted. As far as I can tell, nothing's changed.

^^^^
This hit me like a ton of bricks! My exABF has turned into Mr Nice Guy almost got me convinced that he has changed, but this statement just put everything into perspective. I say keep forging ahead with your plans, as Dandylion said you dont know if you will enjoy living under separate roofs. I can assure you nothing is worth more to me than coming home to some peace and quiet. My DS 9 even made honor roll this trimester and I attribute it to less stress. Wouldn't change that for anything. Hugs and will be praying for you.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by m1k3 View Post
Liz, being sweet is part of the whole passive aggressive playbook. He needs to keep you off balance and by being nice he is doing that.

Keep the focus on you, it doesn't matter what he is doing now. He had plenty of chances, years and years, to make these changes before you decided to move out and he didn't.

It was only important when HIS lifestyle was being impacted. As far as I can tell, nothing's changed.

Your friend,
I know and I have to remind myself of all the broken promises, etc. I swear he is different now, even with how he acts around other humans, not just with us. He isn't professing serious change, it's just how he acts around the house. Again, I've seen what I thought were changes before and it didn't take long for the drinking to start again, etc. He can usually go 2 months without drinking and then he slips and the cycle starts all over.

I still feel like I need the break. I am just frustrated that I'll have to buy new bedroom furniture for my son(his stuff here is extremely heavy and too difficult to move), a new dining table(I'll find a cheap one at Walmart or craigslist), a new TV(I won't take the one that we have here because it's too big), new dresser for my son, and a whole slew of other NEW things that I don't feel like spending money on. Even stupid stuff like a dish drainer, LOL. It all adds up. And, most places don't provide a washer and dryer, either.

I created a shopping cart at Target just to see what 'stuff' would cost and it was around $2000. Oh well, I can always resell stuff if I have to.
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