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Old 01-12-2014, 09:09 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Why not just accept that you don't trust him?

No more emotional internal discussion, dissection, back and forth, guilt because he's trying, blame because he doesn't succeed, self-doubt because maybe if you were better, more fully alanon-ized you could and would trust him....

What is is what is. You don't trust him. Period.

Let it go.

Live your OWN life.

Check back in on your feelings in a month, or 3 months.

It might really be a good idea to just find a place, any old place and separate. Board your dog with a friend.

Get into your OWN space, your OWN life.

The real issue for us all is "Who are WE? Who do WE want to be? What brings us JOY?"

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Old 01-12-2014, 09:31 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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What shooting star said... That should be my signature
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:36 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ShootingStar1 View Post
Why not just accept that you don't trust him?

No more emotional internal discussion, dissection, back and forth, guilt because he's trying, blame because he doesn't succeed, self-doubt because maybe if you were better, more fully alanon-ized you could and would trust him....

What is is what is. You don't trust him. Period.

Let it go.

Live your OWN life.

Check back in on your feelings in a month, or 3 months.

It might really be a good idea to just find a place, any old place and separate. Board your dog with a friend.

Get into your OWN space, your OWN life.

The real issue for us all is "Who are WE? Who do WE want to be? What brings us JOY?"

ShootingStar1
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I woke up in a better place today. Whether I am stuck here for a while or whether I find my own place, I can still live my OWN life so, for now, that is what I need to do. I know that, and in my heart I know that even more than in my head. I sometimes follow what my brain says more than what my heart says because I'm too practical and analytical.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:58 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Shootingstar...that was one great post!

Liz...glad you are feeling more at peace today. It's easy to let chaos and confusion drag us down...but we don't have to.

Take care you you!
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:58 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ShootingStar1 View Post
Why not just accept that you don't trust him?

No more emotional internal discussion, dissection, back and forth, guilt because he's trying, blame because he doesn't succeed, self-doubt because maybe if you were better, more fully alanon-ized you could and would trust him....

What is is what is. You don't trust him. Period.

Let it go.

Live your OWN life.

Check back in on your feelings in a month, or 3 months.

It might really be a good idea to just find a place, any old place and separate. Board your dog with a friend.

Get into your OWN space, your OWN life.

The real issue for us all is "Who are WE? Who do WE want to be? What brings us JOY?"

ShootingStar1
^^^ This, yes, definitely.

Also Liz, have you considered that you may NEVER trust him, regardless of how many changes he makes, how long he maintains sobriety?

I don't mean it as an absolute, but your relationship seems to have HIGH highs & LOW lows & long cycles of various forms of manipulation. It is only my observation, but it seems like in these kinds of extreme cases, the injured spouse sometimes simply can't ever rebuild that trust - that the saying, "too little, too late" literally applies to them.

Just food for thought, you don't need to answer here, but it might be worth contemplating. I'm glad to read that today promises to be a better day for you!
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:18 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
^^^ This, yes, definitely.

Also Liz, have you considered that you may NEVER trust him, regardless of how many changes he makes, how long he maintains sobriety?

I don't mean it as an absolute, but your relationship seems to have HIGH highs & LOW lows & long cycles of various forms of manipulation. It is only my observation, but it seems like in these kinds of extreme cases, the injured spouse sometimes simply can't ever rebuild that trust - that the saying, "too little, too late" literally applies to them.

Just food for thought, you don't need to answer here, but it might be worth contemplating. I'm glad to read that today promises to be a better day for you!
Yes, I always consider this and that's what scares me the most: the fact that I might not be capable of trusting again even if someone is trying to prove they are trustworthy. I guess I feel that that's a problem with ME instead of seeing it as a problem with the other person. The 'there's too much water under the bridge' saying comes to my mind frequently. I think that's exactly what spurred this post originally: the frustration with myself and taking on the fact that I have difficulty with trust.

Actually, I sat down last night and made a list of people whom I trust, people I would trust to make big decisions for me or with me, people whom I know have not hurt me or who have made amends when they did. And, 80% of them were my family. My mom, sister, my cousins, my aunt, my grandmother, and then a handful of friends who have stood by me and encouraged me and who have been loyal and supportive no matter what. I finally came to realize that they aren't perfect, we've had our differences of opinion, and we all respect each other for those very things. It made me appreciate my family so much more when I realized who was actually on that list. It's too bad we all live all over the country, though, because we only communicate via phone or Facebook these days.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:29 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I am working very hard to take the focus off of my AH. I am so ready to fix myself and all those nasty pesky character defects.
It occurs to me that you're still trying to manage outcomes. You know what? You don't trust your husband. You have character flaws. Let it go. So it is. C'est la vie. Such is life. Accept and move on.

He lost YOUR trust by abusing it, it's his to earn back.

You have character defects because you're in imperfect human being, and isn't it wonderful?

You have a traumatic childhood, and them's the breaks of living with the legacy of trauma.

I struggle with figuring out what's "in my circle," what I'm accountable for, and like you, I assume a lot more accountability for other people's behavior than I should.

Push your NPDAH's crap out of your circle and keep it there. Focus on you. Focus on loving and comforting you.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:53 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Actually, I sat down last night and made a list of people whom I trust, people I would trust to make big decisions for me or with me, people whom I know have not hurt me or who have made amends when they did.
That sounds like a great exercise - you get to see in black & white the people that qualify for your trust & then compare the differences in what you can tolerate, forgive, etc, find the common thread so to speak.

Learning muscle testing on myself has been very helpful lately for me in developing trust within myself, because I'm having to learn to tune out the external world & focus solely inside for the answers. Regular times set aside for me to meditate/yoga/etc. in a non-recovery way, focusing my actions on right now - where it's about me just being who I want to be vs. actively "working" it (idk how to illustrate the difference I'm trying to point out exactly).

For example - if I'm "working" yoga, I may have pulled out asanas or sequences that target hip opening to try to loosen the blocked energy/memory suppression in that area. When I'm "In The Now" with it I step onto my mat with no routine in mind, I listen internally for what my body tells me it needs, feeling for tightness, etc, & just DO. Just go where my body leads me. Maybe it's 20 minutes. Maybe I'm there for an hour. Maybe I do 6 positions over & over, holding them for extended periods because it's what I feel like I need, maybe I run through a succession of many, fluid movements in a much more active state.

Sometimes when I think of these things in terms of recovery (& others, like all the reading, etc.) I still have a time spent/investment/expectation of growth or "reward" going on without meaning to. And that leaves me frustrated when I don't achieve that breakthrough or AHA moment I think I deserve.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:41 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Ugh, and today he brings me flowers. I found evidence he drank on Sat night while I was at the tournament. He doesn't know that I know and I don't usually confront thus stuff anymore anyway. It's sad that now I see flowers as manipulation or a way to throw me off from the truth, instead of seeing it as a lovely gift of flowers.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:28 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Lizatola-

I keep circling around to this post the last few days.

It is my fear to be able to express my thoughts in writing that has been the limiting factor.

I have been doing a lot of work in therapy right now with the Three As of awareness, acceptance, action, especially the first two.

What I see different in this post, compared to ones of the past, is how aware you are. Aware of him, but also aware of your own feelings about him and about yourself. It also feels like you are trying to figure out what is yours and what is not yours in this. I think that is great, but always struggle with not giving me more than my fair share of this.

My therapist is working with me on the second part or acceptance. What she had to remind me of is that acceptance is not trying to change what is, AND it is not trying to talk myself out of what is also. Finally there is a part to accpetance that I have not been doing at all. Accepting that where I am with that person is right where I need to be for my learning. She also encouraged me that I don't always have to figure it out of what is mine and what is not mine, but how do I FEEL about what is....right in the moment. For me part of the "figuring it out," is part of my dis-ease and discomfort.

The part I don't completely understand that she told me is that our life journey is really about the learning we get from interacting with others. In the ways that they "trigger" us to learn about ourselves, our feelings and our interactions. It is a way of keeping the focus on me, but also exploring the world around me with curiosity....a "why" of how I see the world instead of putting it into a right and wrong category.

A lot of it is over my head right now, and I am trying to accept that and grow into it.

I share because I think that I see what she is talking about in your post, better than I can in my own right now.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:45 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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The flowers still ARE lovely, and you get to enjoy them because they are lovely flowers.

As for your AH, he is NOT lovely, but just like he doesn't desecrate the flowers, he doesn't get to desecrate your life.

Firesprite wrote:

Also Liz, have you considered that you may NEVER trust him, regardless of how many changes he makes, how long he maintains sobriety?

I don't mean it as an absolute, but your relationship seems to have HIGH highs & LOW lows & long cycles of various forms of manipulation. It is only my observation, but it seems like in these kinds of extreme cases, the injured spouse sometimes simply can't ever rebuild that trust - that the saying, "too little, too late" literally applies to them.


Your response was:

what scares me the most: the fact that I might not be capable of trusting again even if someone is trying to prove they are trustworthy. I guess I feel that that's a problem with ME instead of seeing it as a problem with the other person. The 'there's too much water under the bridge' saying comes to my mind frequently. I think that's exactly what spurred this post originally: the frustration with myself and taking on the fact that I have difficulty with trust

I don't think you've got this quite sorted out. Firesprite was very specific "you may never trust HIM" and your response turned immediately to a generalized blaming of yourself not being able to trust again with another person.

Right now, you are very enmeshed with your AH. There is no other person in your intimate emotional life to trust or not trust. You don't have an across the board problem with trust, as you proved to yourself you trust other people just fine.

If I were asked to write a prescription for you, I would probably suggest that you jolt yourself free of using your emotional experience with your narcissistic alcoholic husband as the filter through which you consider how you relate to the rest of the world.

It doesn't seem to be happening while are you are living with him.

As Firesprite noted "your relationship seems to have HIGH highs & LOW lows & long cycles of various forms of manipulation."

When I've seen you get out from under his manipulation is mainly when he is behaving badly toward you. You can see it, feel it, believe it then. I think you falter when he gets back into the honeymoon part of the cycle and it feels better and you doubt yourself and the veracity of what you felt in the destructive part of the cycle.

This cycle lasts quite a long time - weeks or even months in both phases - and I think, from my observation, you tank again and go back to doubting yourself.

Can you really think about what your life would be like if you weren't centering around him? It may be that you have to have physical separation to get to the emotional separation that is eluding you. It isn't a matter of doing lots of stuff and keeping yourself busy and tired out at the end of the day.

It is more like you've been wearing somebody else's glasses and seeing yourself through their distortions. Time to take off HIS glasses and get your own vision back.

This is a hard one, and having lived with a narcissist, you've got my full support.

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Old 01-13-2014, 11:58 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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if i were asked to write a prescription for you, i would probably suggest that you jolt yourself free of using your emotional experience with your narcissistic alcoholic husband as the filter through which you consider how you relate to the rest of the world.
^^^^^this.


Liz, I'm sending you a DM.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:27 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Ugh, and today he brings me flowers. I found evidence he drank on Sat night while I was at the tournament. He doesn't know that I know and I don't usually confront thus stuff anymore anyway. It's sad that now I see flowers as manipulation or a way to throw me off from the truth, instead of seeing it as a lovely gift of flowers.
Liz, with all due respect, I would offer that all this says is that NOTHING has actually CHANGED on his part. Without true & honest change, you will keep beating yourself against the same obstacles, the same confusion, the same wash-rinse-repeat cycle.

This cycle lasts quite a long time - weeks or even months in both phases - and I think, from my observation, you tank again and go back to doubting yourself.
This is critical IMO - RAH & I were just discussing cycles like this about a friend that I have long suspected of NPD or something similar. Part of what I think allows him to "fool" others into believing he has made changes is his ability to hold it together for long periods of time - which become long, harder to see patterns/cycles. The tell (to me) is that HE never actually changes, he just shifts focus to another form of escapism, calls it therapeutic, declares a breakthrough & buys himself time under the guise of having "made changes".

When he gets to these less offensive, less stressful points in his cycle, his wife gets complacent because she's so happy to not be dealing with the drama & it presents differently so she doesn't see it as part of the cycle; she questions whether it's really "as bad" as she's making it out to be, etc. (Just like you do, maybe?)

It doesn't matter WHERE he is in the cycle, he's still IN IT even when there is no active crisis until something substantially changes....
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:40 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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This is critical IMO - RAH & I were just discussing cycles like this about a friend that I have long suspected of NPD or something similar. Part of what I think allows him to "fool" others into believing he has made changes is his ability to hold it together for long periods of time - which become long, harder to see patterns/cycles. The tell (to me) is that HE never actually changes, he just shifts focus to another form of escapism, calls it therapeutic, declares a breakthrough & buys himself time under the guise of having "made changes".
My NPD ex does this too. And when someone near and dear to him calls him on it he makes a big dramatic break for it, then "blesses" them be deciding to stay and be nice... just long enough before he does it again.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:51 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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the flowers still ARE lovely, and you get to enjoy them because they are lovely flowers.

i disagree with this due to the point that he bought them under pretense - part of this NICE schtick he's been doing of late. they were not purchased simply because he wanted to buy her pretty flowers....they were bought with CUNNING intent.

he hasn't changed one teeny weeny bit. he's just upped his game. liz look at how easily a little "nice" from him throws you off....stops you in your tracks. how easily he manipulates you. gets into your head. now you've all but called off the search for a new place....not sure where you are with looking for work, but all your focus has gone back to WHAT IF. WHAT IF HE........

wanna know when to be on guard? when he's NICE. when he ACTS nice, does NICE things that are out of character - it's all pretend. he doesn't know how to just BE, so he has to ACT out some emotion because he can't FEEL it. he's like an emotional mime.

i say dump the stupid flowers. don't be fooled. you want flowers? GO GET YOUR OWN.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:02 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Did you read my last post, LOL? EVERY SINGLE DAY. I get up and read my Courage to Change. I take notes on it, I meditate on the reading if I think it fits me or applies to my life. I do my step work (currently moving through 8 to 9). I spent so much time on steps 4-5 that I felt stuck there, too, for a while because I picked myself apart back then too. It was very easy for me to write down my character defects. I know I am missing something, my freaking brain is not wired for this stuff or something.
Are you ALSO going to frequent Alanon meetings and do you have a sponsor? Just reading a book doesn't create change. If so, then alcoholics could just sit home and read the Big Book over and over.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
Are you ALSO going to frequent Alanon meetings and do you have a sponsor? Just reading a book doesn't create change. If so, then alcoholics could just sit home and read the Big Book over and over.
Yes, I know I mentioned this previously in one of the other posts. I attend a minimum of 2 meetings a week and sometimes 3. I speak with my sponsor one or two times a week and we get together periodically to go over my step work and a few other things. I also lead meetings and serve whenever needed.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:37 PM
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Hey, PohsFriend, tried to send you a PM but your mailbox is full! Make some space, please!

Sorry to use the thread instead of a PM -

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Old 01-14-2014, 03:10 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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"My therapist is working with me on the second part or acceptance. What she had to remind me of is that acceptance is not trying to change what is, AND it is not trying to talk myself out of what is also. Finally there is a part to accpetance that I have not been doing at all. Accepting that where I am with that person is right where I need to be for my learning. She also encouraged me that I don't always have to figure it out of what is mine and what is not mine, but how do I FEEL about what is....right in the moment. For me part of the "figuring it out," is part of my dis-ease and discomfort.

The part I don't completely understand that she told me is that our life journey is really about the learning we get from interacting with others. In the ways that they "trigger" us to learn about ourselves, our feelings and our interactions. It is a way of keeping the focus on me, but also exploring the world around me with curiosity....a "why" of how I see the world instead of putting it into a right and wrong category. "


Thanks for sharing. That's an interesting perspective.

I can see how asking for the "why" helps making me aware of old, dysfunctional patterns, but I also see the risk of future manipulation when getting sucked into a new cycle of analyzing, rationalizing and minimizing instead of saying "this is bad, it makes me uncomfortable, life is too short, I'm moving on.". So many things in life where balance seems to be key.
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:03 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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He's still drinking. Saturday night? Haven't you given him enough chances?

At one point I remember reading you were moving into your own place, and I thought FINALLY! What happened to that plan? He temporarily "changed" in order to hold onto you?


Besides the amazingly shabby treatment of you as evidenced throughout your posts on this site, I also remember some seriously messed up things he said to your son about gay people AND, on the other hand, belittling your sister (?) for not sleeping with her partner soon enough (nice double standard there). Also, him not wanting to get a vasectomy is seriously messed up -- sure, let you stay on the Pill for years and potentially mess up your health? He sounds homophobic and misogynistic.

His constant manipulation and gaslighting of you makes me think of qualities of narcissism or even sociopathy. He knows exactly what to do/say in order -- just enough -- in order to prevent you from leaving.

Honestly, from all the posts and threads I've read of yours, he sounds like a narcissistic jerk. He just doesn't seem like a good person. I have no faith in his ability to change based on the evidence of your posts.

Why not start living your own life and maybe eke out some peaceful days for YOU?

He's not going to change. He drank on Saturday!

He is manipulative and you have every reason not to trust him. I wouldn't feel the slightest bit guilty for not trusting him. He is untrustworthy.

I just wish you could find the strength to believe you will have a more peaceful life on your own than with him.
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