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Old 06-13-2014, 08:41 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Bwaahhhaaaa, yes, a long time ago, I tried various methods of communicating, but he got depressed and manipulative with his actions and would pout or give me the silent treatment. Wonder if that would change with real recovery???
Ah. BTW I wasn't suggesting you try it; I was just wondering what would happen if someone told him that. lol
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:13 AM
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Why still angry............

I first thought about that story of Lois throwing the shoe at Bill, damn your old meetings....

For me, my partner (although not an A) came to an Al-anon meeting and all the members were clucking about it, I told my sponsor I was happy for him if it works for him but my happiness/excitement/gushing had nothing to do with him coming to a meeting....still my sponsor suggested I could try and express that with some love....rather than "bully for him, I am needless and independent"....

Maybe I'm trying to say that I don't invest my wellbeing in the recovery journey of my loved ones....When I feel unsure why I feel the way I do - the memories of the denial, the hidden agenda, the self-deception, the sense of powerlessness, the lack of recognition, the bitterness, the feeling of "is that it", the contempt, the resentment, the fear..........more will be revealed......Today I am trying to Live and Let Live, particularly, to Live...
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:40 AM
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I think my response would b that the choicrs are his, he is in complete control of his own recovery, he can stop looking at the end of whatever it could have been and make this the choice of being blessed with a new BEGINNING. Keep up the good work on you and let him be in control of his own recovery.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:49 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
I think my response would b that the choicrs are his, he is in complete control of his own recovery, he can stop looking at the end of whatever it could have been and make this the choice of being blessed with a new BEGINNING. Keep up the good work on you and let him be in control of his own recovery.
Thanks Hopeful! I have to remember to focus on my own program and to not get bogged down in paying attention to what he's doing or not doing, whether it's recovery related or not.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I really am struggling with the idea of him being in recovery. It's like I am looking for reasons to get back on the merry go round, like I want the drama, and like I am looking for trouble. Does that make sense to anyone? I don't think I'd know what to do with him if he were communicative, kind, respectful, hardworking, energetic, inspired, etc etc.

Maybe I'm afraid that I'd have to do a lot more changing too, and that scares me? Or, maybe I'm just afraid that we'd both change so much that we'd have to move on anyway, even after recovery? GAH, I think too much, LOL!
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:58 AM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I really am struggling with the idea of him being in recovery. It's like I am looking for reasons to get back on the merry go round, like I want the drama, and like I am looking for trouble. Does that make sense to anyone? I don't think I'd know what to do with him if he were communicative, kind, respectful, hardworking, energetic, inspired, etc etc.

Maybe I'm afraid that I'd have to do a lot more changing too, and that scares me? Or, maybe I'm just afraid that we'd both change so much that we'd have to move on anyway, even after recovery? GAH, I think too much, LOL!
I wouldn't waste a moment worrying about this, Liz. IF it happens (BIG IF), you will figure it out. And spending energy on the question is just another way of focusing on his recovery instead of your own, though in a pretty good disguise.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:53 PM
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Liz I get ya. Whey my XAH would stay sober for longer periods of time it was like he expected everything to be fine and dandy. I did not know who he was from one second to the next. I just could not handle it as he wanted me to think he was some great guy I could depend on when I knew deep down he was not that person.

I told him many times, if you are true to recovery and that is who you want to be, that is wonderful. However, it takes a long period of time to build up trust because it's actions, not words. Hmmm...that never happened in his case. He went back to being the same crappy addict he always was.

I don't think that means it cannot happen for anyone who is committed to it, for me it just means that I don't listen to what comes out of the mouth and look at the actions over the long term.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:05 PM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I really am struggling with the idea of him being in recovery. It's like I am looking for reasons to get back on the merry go round, like I want the drama, and like I am looking for trouble. Does that make sense to anyone? I don't think I'd know what to do with him if he were communicative, kind, respectful, hardworking, energetic, inspired, etc etc.

Maybe I'm afraid that I'd have to do a lot more changing too, and that scares me? Or, maybe I'm just afraid that we'd both change so much that we'd have to move on anyway, even after recovery? GAH, I think too much, LOL!
I do kinda get it, many non-recovered Codies probably fear their qualifiers recovery attempts for these reasons too - it means they have to change & get dragged out of their own comfort zone as a Codie where ~right or wrong~ they prefer to deal with the "Devil they Know". I've read often on the other side of the forum about situations where the A tries to get sober but their F&F seem to dig in their heels against the addict's recovery to keep the status quo because they are more comfortable with the dysfunction than they are facing the unknown.

But you aren't blind like that Liz, you are IN recovery yourself & have been for a significant time. If you have to "change" to fit in around his recovery, something is wrong, right? You have no more of a guarantee about what tomorrow brings whether he is in a healthy, active recovery or if he is blowing smoke about the whole thing. It's future tripping either way.

BTW - I don't think you are necessarily looking for reasons to "get back on that merry-go-round" as you are expecting it as a possibility because it's possible/likely based on past behavior. I do agree with SK here though - it's a very insidious & subliminal way of wandering over to his side of the street to give too much thought to this kind of stuff. Give yourself a break - when it comes up internally agree to NOT think about those things until he has shown you XXXXX amount of time sober & in recovery ..... & then cross back to your side of the street.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:49 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
I do kinda get it, many non-recovered Codies probably fear their qualifiers recovery attempts for these reasons too - it means they have to change & get dragged out of their own comfort zone as a Codie where ~right or wrong~ they prefer to deal with the "Devil they Know". I've read often on the other side of the forum about situations where the A tries to get sober but their F&F seem to dig in their heels against the addict's recovery to keep the status quo because they are more comfortable with the dysfunction than they are facing the unknown.

But you aren't blind like that Liz, you are IN recovery yourself & have been for a significant time. If you have to "change" to fit in around his recovery, something is wrong, right? You have no more of a guarantee about what tomorrow brings whether he is in a healthy, active recovery or if he is blowing smoke about the whole thing. It's future tripping either way.

BTW - I don't think you are necessarily looking for reasons to "get back on that merry-go-round" as you are expecting it as a possibility because it's possible/likely based on past behavior. I do agree with SK here though - it's a very insidious & subliminal way of wandering over to his side of the street to give too much thought to this kind of stuff. Give yourself a break - when it comes up internally agree to NOT think about those things until he has shown you XXXXX amount of time sober & in recovery ..... & then cross back to your side of the street.
I will keep that in mind when it does come up. For now, I know that his recovery is VERY new but this whole recovery thing on his side of the street is new to both him and to us. I know that right now I am not ready to trust anything that doesn't have a decent amount of time into it. The big question I have to answer is: how many XXXXX amount of time sober and in recovery is needed for me to be able to honestly try again in the marriage? I don't have an answer to that right now.
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:31 AM
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Time for a classic "more will be revealed" I think. . .
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:41 AM
  # 50 (permalink)  
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When my wife and I entered recovery both of us tended to pay a lot of attention to each others inventory. She even marked up one of my alanon books w/ sticky markers on the things she felt I should pay close attention to. I made lists of topics she might find "productive" in her meetings. We both learned that was too far and we had to concentrate on ourselves. Now we generally appraise one another about things we learned, interesting discussions etc, for my part it seems like we're both re-learning how to be two married people instead of the angry mess we were before. We haven't had a big challenge to our respective recoveries yet...
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Old 06-17-2014, 05:43 AM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
Thanks Hopeful! I have to remember to focus on my own program and to not get bogged down in paying attention to what he's doing or not doing, whether it's recovery related or not.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive but I really am struggling with the idea of him being in recovery. It's like I am looking for reasons to get back on the merry go round, like I want the drama, and like I am looking for trouble. Does that make sense to anyone? I don't think I'd know what to do with him if he were communicative, kind, respectful, hardworking, energetic, inspired, etc etc.

Maybe I'm afraid that I'd have to do a lot more changing too, and that scares me? Or, maybe I'm just afraid that we'd both change so much that we'd have to move on anyway, even after recovery? GAH, I think too much, LOL!
I think its a very understandable feeling because while we may complain about the chaos - it is what we are used to. Change is hard even if it is for the positive. You'll do fine.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
The big question I have to answer is: how many XXXXX amount of time sober and in recovery is needed for me to be able to honestly try again in the marriage? I don't have an answer to that right now.
AA recommends waiting a year before starting a new romantic relationship. That is not an option for those who are married, but it does give a sense for how much continuous sobriety it take for a new routine and perspective to solidify. The emotional rollercoaster the alcoholic experiences in the first 3-6 months can be difficult - overlay a marriage with years of distrust, bad habits, and expectations on top of this can be too much for either/both to handle.

If it were possible to maintain limited interaction and expectations for six to twelve months, I think that would be best. I don't know that that is realistic, but Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was his addiction. If you want to see if this is going to work in the long run it's going to take some time to give it the space to run its course to find out.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:08 AM
  # 53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Eddiebuckle View Post
AA recommends waiting a year before starting a new romantic relationship. That is not an option for those who are married, but it does give a sense for how much continuous sobriety it take for a new routine and perspective to solidify. The emotional rollercoaster the alcoholic experiences in the first 3-6 months can be difficult - overlay a marriage with years of distrust, bad habits, and expectations on top of this can be too much for either/both to handle.

If it were possible to maintain limited interaction and expectations for six to twelve months, I think that would be best. I don't know that that is realistic, but Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was his addiction. If you want to see if this is going to work in the long run it's going to take some time to give it the space to run its course to find out.
That's kind of what I figured. The sad part is:I feel so done right now with 'us'. I feel that I, personally, have nothing left to give this marriage/relationship and I feel emotionally dry and spiritually drained. Just the very idea of having any type of emotional conversation with him makes me feel emotionally exhausted. Maybe I've just run out of steam. Marriage is hard work for anybody, but marriage to an alcoholic/addict is way more work than a normal marriage and I'm just not feeling up to the task anymore.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:27 AM
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The year was what I held out for. I thought if he could at least make it one year that I could survey the landscape and know I wasn't leaving or hanging on for the wrong reasons.

My STBXAH never made it a year.

But I spent that eight or nine months building myself up in counseling, educating myself about addiction and co-dependency, and learning to sit back and observe instead of rushing in. I was only sometimes successful with the last part. We had relative peace for most of that time, then another epic relapse and I was SO done that I don't think I shed another tear for him since.

By the end of that phase in my recovery, I knew my kids and I deserved better, and I wasn't willing to settle for any less.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
That's kind of what I figured. The sad part is:I feel so done right now with 'us'. I feel that I, personally, have nothing left to give this marriage/relationship and I feel emotionally dry and spiritually drained. Just the very idea of having any type of emotional conversation with him makes me feel emotionally exhausted. Maybe I've just run out of steam. Marriage is hard work for anybody, but marriage to an alcoholic/addict is way more work than a normal marriage and I'm just not feeling up to the task anymore.
Liz,

I've been reading your threads for at least a few years. I know you are ready to believe "this is it." That, finally, he's ready to get on board with what you wanted from him all along.

But, I have to be honest here. This looks to me like the same pattern that's been going on for years now. You get fed up, ready to bail, and he senses it. Then, all of a sudden, he changes his behavior. (Probably out of fear that you are really going to leave this time.) And then you start changing what you're doing, changing your plans, and giving him *another* chance.

It appears to be his M.O. He is a brilliant manipulator who has managed to keep you off balance and holding on to "hope" for a long time. I really hope I'm wrong about this, but it just looks like another strategy of his from where I sit.

L
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:39 AM
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But, I have to be honest here. This looks to me like the same pattern that's been going on for years now. You get fed up, ready to bail, and he senses it. Then, all of a sudden, he changes his behavior. (Probably out of fear that you are really going to leave this time.) And then you start changing what you're doing, changing your plans, and giving him *another* chance.

It appears to be his M.O. He is a brilliant manipulator who has managed to keep you off balance and holding on to "hope" for a long time. I really hope I'm wrong about this, but it just looks like another strategy of his from where I sit.
Ditto.

And my STBXAH was a hope dealer too. He always figured out whatever it took to keep the gravy train rolling and everyone in his life just charmed or threatened enough to keep from taking action against his using routine. He was all charm and goodwill until you pushed at his addiction a little bit -- found a hiding spot, insisted on him committing to this or that, erected or enforced boundaries in the home. Then the crazy was back on... until it was time for the hope show to start again.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:48 AM
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LIZ--.....Honestly, I don't see the "sad part" ...from where I sit. The sad part that you talk about (feeling emotionally drained and worn out).....may be your bottom. Just like many addicts have to reach a bottom before seriously embracing real change---may be true for us, also.

You often speak of asking God for a sign. Well, Babe, open your eyes...your sign might be right in front of you.

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Old 06-17-2014, 09:16 AM
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I've had the feeling for years that if you Liz, had the power of choice (financial independence) that you would have bolted long ago.
As you work toward feeling and thinking that you have a choice--(your work prospects) you will know what you want, regardless of what he does.
No where is the lack of intimacy in this relationship more apparent than the lack of physical intimacy. That speaks of a separation the last few years, without an actual separation. So I've seen it as being separated but living in the same house.
I think of Hillary Clinton. She has a husband that cheated, but she stayed. He's imperfect, they all are, we all are. The point being--Hillary has financial independence already, and so she knows in her heart that it was her choice to stay, never feeling that she HAD TO.
He may change, or not. What's important here is that Liz continues with her changes. Then you Liz, don't have to be reactionary to what he does, or doesn't, do. You simply live your life, have the power of choice, and decide who you want in your life. It's liberating. It opens doors within your own mind.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:51 AM
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When the crisis hit in Feb our marriage was hanging by a thread- both of us were actually thinking about how we would get out though not talking about it to each other... Beatie suggests that relationship changes be deferred "until its clear" what the choice is. I get the rock bottom proposition though, I know my wife was pretty sick of me and I could make lists of what I was thinking about her, and that had been "maturing" for getting on 10 years.

As others have suggested, its the changes (or lack of) on both of your parts which show recovery. One thing that recovery is teaching me is patience with myself and with her- obviously I want stuff better NOW because the old situation was horrible. But I liken early recovery to putting a broken bone in a cast, it has to heal and you have to not stress the situation more while thats happening. Might be you two will knit, might be not but you can't tell for a while.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
The year was what I held out for. I thought if he could at least make it one year that I could survey the landscape and know I wasn't leaving or hanging on for the wrong reasons.

My STBXAH never made it a year.

But I spent that eight or nine months building myself up in counseling, educating myself about addiction and co-dependency, and learning to sit back and observe instead of rushing in. I was only sometimes successful with the last part. We had relative peace for most of that time, then another epic relapse and I was SO done that I don't think I shed another tear for him since.

By the end of that phase in my recovery, I knew my kids and I deserved better, and I wasn't willing to settle for any less.
I guess that was my timeline, too. I'm not going to stop doing what I need to do for me, that's for sure. I am moving forward with this job position. I have handed my son off to a private school for math tutoring and for possibly teaching him all next year to get him through algebra, which takes a HUGE load off my shoulders despite the cost it will be. I continue to go to my meetings and to talk to my sponsor, etc.

What strikes me as different right now is that AH has repeatedly professed that he's an alcoholic whereas he fought those words for years. He is taking ownership of the damage from the past and is also telling me that he knows there may be too much water under the bridge for our marriage to survive in the future. Basically, I hear more honesty coming from him than ever before in the past and not as much smoke and mirrors and gas lighting crap. Unfortunately, he may be right: there may be just too much water under that bridge because I'm so on guard right now and I know I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. How many freaking shoes have to drop for me to get my head out of my *ss, right?

I feel good about going back to work on 'something', even though it's a temporary job. I feel good about what I've prepared for my son for school curriculum for next year. And, I feel good about where I am in my program and with the support I have so far. I figure that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other then somewhere along the line, it will all work out.
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