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RAH told me his amends today

Old 08-03-2014, 09:09 AM
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RAH told me his amends today

Sigh, I am so glad that I gave up expecting anything from him or caring about the outcome of my marriage. I know he was nervous about making amends and he even admitted that he didn't even know how to list all the specifics so he just went with a general apology; mostly over giving me the silent treatment and withdrawing.

There was still a lot of blame shifting and quite a few excuses given. At one point, I got the feeling that AA folks like to bash Al Anon folks, but I tried to let it go. He said that his sponsor tells him all the time about how marriages can be healed through the programs but he told me that his response is always, "Won't happen for me. Not with my wife. She's married to an alcoholic and she doesn't want to see me happy." It was right about that point where I had to pray for God to shut my mouth because I was ready to blast him on that one.

For some reason, I still got the feeling that he thinks a successful marriage is his end all be all key to happiness. That makes me sad for him that he hasn't seen yet that there is so much more to life than having that. I actually told him to just keep doing what you're doing and that it will get better. He's been sober now for 2 months since his last slip.

I don't know what's actually in his head, but I still felt that I was being manipulated into feeling sorry for him or that I was being drawn into places where an argument could occur. There was only one point of the conversation where I got defensive and had to point out that my coping mechanism for his sarcasm was different than what he was used to with his siblings and that I am tired of hearing how sarcasm is just 'their way' and his insinuation that it's OK just because it's how he grew up. I wanted to point out that he grew up with 2 alcoholic parents, not 1, and that those weren't healthy coping mechanisms and that maybe sarcasm isn't always called for. He also tried to tell me how he has to chide our son and tease him a lot because our son is an only child and that he needs to learn that people aren't that nice out in the big bad world. Sigh....only time will tell and that's what I'm sticking with today: One day at a time.
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Old 08-03-2014, 09:56 AM
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Wow. Sounds like he does not get it.

If my X ever gets to that step, I'm kinda preparing myself for the same scenario.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:03 AM
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Only 2 months sober and he is ready to make amends? That's the the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
he told me that his response is always, "Won't happen for me. Not with my wife. She's married to an alcoholic and she doesn't want to see me happy."
That's what he calls making amends?? Okaay....
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Santa View Post
That's what he calls making amends?? Okaay....
I know, right? And, what I'm surprised about is that he confided in me that this is how he communicates with his sponsor? One minute he'd throw out a blaming statement and then would say, "Well, I know this is about me and I take full responsibility for what happened." Yet, his previous words didn't come out that way. It's one of the reasons that I had to stop listening to what he says and watch what he does anyway. That way I don't get caught taking the bait and I don't get reeled in. I still hear craziness and I am working hard to stay on my side of the street, as best as I can.

Oh, and he made it clear that he is staying in the marriage and has no intentions of leaving and kept baiting me with, "I don't know what you want from a husband', or, "I don't know what your plans are", etc. I felt that he was digging up a response from me and I wasn't willing to respond at that point so I said nothing.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:03 AM
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I could see a 2 months starter amends, particularly if theres something recent & hot- if theres a lot to make amends for I would tend to view that as the first of many. If it is just a starter an encouraging response would probably be helpful- OTOH if its just 2 months in and he feels this is all he needs to do then I'd be kind of dubious about the long-term recovery.

I've made a starter amend to my RAW, there are more to come after I work thru the 4th step for my first go-around- I've acted out codie drama pretty often thru our marriage so theres a lot to attend to- can't do it all at once since this stuff goes so deep and I have to understand what I've done before I can apologize for it.

All that said theres a woman in my alanon home group w/ her husband coming up on 1 year sober, apparently he's gone thru the 10th step- she is wondering "what about me?" which I totally get- she had to deal with the usual helpings of grief and pain. On one hand she feels owed on the other clearly his amends are his business... Maybe he's still working on formulating it and getting to a place where he's meaning what he says and saying what he means... perhaps, truly more will be revealed and she's working on her business in alanon anyhow.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:08 AM
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I would call the ""I don't know what you want from a husband', or, "I don't know what your plans are" business is acting out codie drama- I sure play that passive aggressive crapola. It took me while to start getting w/ the program and seeing and changing my behavior.. I'm surprised his sponsor is generally in favor of doing something like a step 9 amends so quickly- if it is that and not a step 10 immediate apology.. or this could be "transitional quacking" where he's starting to pick up the language and concepts but they're not deeply rooted yet.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:14 AM
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Okay since I'm the AW I figure I'm allowed to say this. His amends ummmm, trying to be diplomatic here so as to not offend anyone... trying trying trying... I think they are shall we say, LACKING? If I were you I'd be mad. I'd be looking for no blaming, no manipulation, no "I only behaved the way I did because YOU did XYZ." Good job on holding your tongue. In my personal experience with the few AA meetings I've attended I have not heard blame shifting so I'm sorry you're getting that vibe. IMHO no matter what our partner does it does not excuse bad behavior on OUR part. I hope in time your AH comes up with much better amends to you-you certainly deserve them.

Peace
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:20 AM
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"Won't happen for me. Not with my wife. She's married to an alcoholic and she doesn't want to see me happy.
Did he and his sponsor discuss an amends plan? I can't imagine that they did. A sponsor would not let that statement through the gates. Sounds like he winged it without discussing it with his sponsor.
Amends aren't for fixing relationships. Amends aren't for making people happy. Amends aren't even for other people. They are for him to openly admit that he was wrong and say he is sorry and mean it and indicate honestly that he will try to change his behavior so it won't happen again. He is not supposed to argue about it, not try to explain or excuse himself or try to make it someone elses fault.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:42 AM
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Liz, speaking from this side of the house you are still giving him a lot of rent free space in your head.

I found things got a lot better for me when I stopped caring about the other side of the street.

Have you discussed his amends and your reaction with your sponsor?

Your friend,
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:02 PM
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here's the beauty of amends....when we are the recipient we are under NO obligation to accept them, DO anything about them, or give the "olly olly oxen free" blank check on forgiveness. at any time you could have put a hand up and said - to me your amends sound more like same ole same ole and so i'm cutting this conversation off now because I am feeling uncomfortable. boundaries still exist even during the amends process.

if I owe you a thousand bucks and give you a roll of quarters, I still have a ways to go to "make good" - unless YOU decide that debt is now satisfied.


only time will tell

tell what? his statement regarding his son, to me, is really troubling. - he basically said it's his job to mentally and emotionally abuse his son to toughen him up. THAT IS NOT WHAT PARENTS DO. sounds like he just likes having yet another victim......
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
here's the beauty of amends....when we are the recipient we are under NO obligation to accept them, DO anything about them, or give the "olly olly oxen free" blank check on forgiveness. at any time you could have put a hand up and said - to me your amends sound more like same ole same ole and so i'm cutting this conversation off now because I am feeling uncomfortable.
Thank you for this! It is an empowering reminder about healthy boundaries.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:20 PM
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Sounds like he's in very early recovery, with PAWS (post acute withdrawal syndrome), and that both he and his sponsor have a lot of work individually to do. Those who've been in AA for some time are often very supportive of Alanon. The sponsor judging how his wife feels doesn't seem typical of those who've come a long way with their own recovery. I might say that, but not in judging him or RAH -- no one is perfect and there may be a good reason for them to have some time together in this sponsorship. If not, your husband can in time figure out if this match up is working for him.

One day at a time. Great plan. My husband and I are in different places in our recovery, but it doesn't mean one is any better than the other -- just different paths because we have our own things to go through. There's a lot to process during recovery and awareness sometimes takes quite a while to start coming -- my awareness took many years in coming, but this last year has been amazing. A lot of hard things to face up to, time for processing, learning to clear things out and find new ways of thinking, behaving, living.

I'd suggest reading books on emotional abuse -- it seems like the chiding and teasing isn't healthy for your husband, son or you. If you post a thread about that, perhaps there would be some good tips for handling that.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:25 PM
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Wow, this sounds oh so familiar. My AW has made several attempts to "make amends" that have also devolved into similar blaming of others, offering of excuses, and other things that have not sounded much to me like she is accepting responsibility for her actions. As if to say yes, she drank, but there were extenuating circumstances! Like you, I have sometimes wondered whether she is getting bad advice from a sponsor or counselor. I am left with the feeling that she is apologizing because she knows she is supposed to, or in order to get something that she wants, not because there is any genuine sorrow or remorse for how she has behaved, or any true empathy for the pain she has caused others.

My AW claims that she is not as good at communicating or putting her feelings into words as I am. I have a hard time with this one, as it seems to be offered as an excuse for not communicating, as if it lets her off the hook somehow. Oh, I can't cook as well as you, so therefore I can't feed myself? It seems more of a sociopathic thing - how an apology would come out if one isn't actually sorry, but is going through the motions.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:18 PM
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hi liz, really glad you posted this and are working your own program cause this has got to be the most outrageous quaking i've heard from an a in a long time. i mean no disrespect at all to you, and really not to your h either. his 'amends' just really struck a sour chord with me.

being only 2 months sober i find it hard to believe he has worked the first 8 steps thoroughly enough to be doing an honest step 9 which is making amends. not doing the leg work of the first 8 steps will make doing step 9 almost impossible. it sounds like he is picking up the jargon and trying to use it to his advantage in manipulating his situation. jmho.

and i am also quite disturbed with his comments about your son. it sounds like he has figured out how to rationalize to himself being abusive.

you handled it well though and seem to have a handle on working your own program of recovery. i don't know your full back story and i apologize if i've been offensive in any way. wasn't sure i should post this but i couldn't stop thinking about it. i'm long time ra and recovering codie to my ras and for some reason your rah's halfa** amends offended me. i guess i mostly wanted to tell you that his performance imo wasn't even close to doing an amends. you deserve better. and imo if he truly wants to live a sober life he needs to be honest with himself and really work his program..... he's still pointing the finger at everyone but himself.

sending good thoughts your way and wishing you the best in your recovery.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:15 PM
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Thank you, everyone for the feedback. I wasn't sure if this was a 'normal'(if there is even such a thing) amends, because I did find it to be a whole lot of quacking. As for his sponsor, I don't know the man's name or much at all about him. RAH told me that he meets with his sponsor after every Thursday meeting and that he asked his sponsor how to handle things with me if I would have brought up specific incidents which I feel he needs to apologize for. Which, by the way, never even crossed my mind because I had nothing to say and I wanted to focus on listening, trying to stay on my side of things, etc.

So, his sponsor knew he was going to make amends and he counseled RAH as to how to handle me if I should point out the past, etc. My own sponsor had told me a few weeks ago that AA groups around here take their folks through the steps quickly at first and then more slowly for the second time around. I have not spoken to her today as she is out of town this weekend on a retreat.

I don't know, but I still feel like he's just checking boxes. He made mention, also, to the fact that I had TOLD him what to do last year while we were in marriage counseling and that's why he fought me on it. I corrected him and told him that he pushed and pushed me for an answer and that I had no choice but to say something. He agreed that he pushed and said, "Yep, that's my way of controlling things."

As for what Mike said above: Yes, I let him take up space in my head, but not nearly as much as it used to. Mostly I just wanted feedback on this amends process because it sure seemed screwy to me. I've made my amends to many people through Al Anon and I remember being in tears and being genuinely sorrowful over what I had done to them. And, none of it was all that bad. Most of my amends were because I was sticking my nose in other people's business and telling them what to do and how to do it and another of my amends was to an old friend where I had to apologize to her for ending our relationship over a controversial episode instead of talking to her about it. I dropped her as a friend and never fessed up about my real feelings. When we met for coffee a few months ago we were crying and laughing and talking again as if the past 5 years didn't matter. It was a very freeing feeling but it took time for me to get there and lots of introspection and meditation.

Well, either way, I'm just hoping it's a step in the right direction for ME. RAH has his own path and I pray for him, that he is in God's will and on his way to real recovery, whatever that may look like for him.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:31 PM
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I doubt very much his sponsor knew about that 'amends'. I'd bet real $$ he winged it and was going on a fishing expedition to get you to give him a checklist of what you want to see. Here is my cynical opinion - he either wants you to give him a short cut, doesn't want to engage in real recovery and isn't even seeing a sponsor just making it up as he goes, or he has a personality that, at a fundamental level, does not allow him to 'see' anything outside his inner experience.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
...or he has a personality that, at a fundamental level, does not allow him to 'see' anything outside his inner experience.
Based on lizatola's past posts, I would say that this is the case. Even without alcohol he seems to have real deep-seated, fundamental personality problems. Whether it is fixable or not depends on if it's a full blown personality disorder or not and on how much effort he is willing to put into working on himself, whether that's in the context of an AA program or individual therapy or whatever.
Good for you for sticking to your program. This whole thing sounds incredibly aggravating.
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:41 PM
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Quack. That's all I see when I read the whole OP. Quacking from both sides. He's a dry drunk and NPD who will likely never get it, and you're still playing ostrich. Time will tell what? Time has yelled, screamed, and taken out billboards to tell you a TON. You choose to wage it off and continue to live in this deplorable situation. Your son is being bullied by his own father and you just let it happen. Really. What more do you need to gtfo?
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by NWGRITS View Post
Quack. That's all I see when I read the whole OP. Quacking from both sides. He's a dry drunk and NPD who will likely never get it, and you're still playing ostrich. Time will tell what? Time has yelled, screamed, and taken out billboards to tell you a TON. You choose to wage it off and continue to live in this deplorable situation. Your son is being bullied by his own father and you just let it happen. Really. What more do you need to gtfo?
My friend, I think everyone here moves at their own pace. Lizatola may be at a different point in her own recovery.

Edit: Step 9 can also be more about actions and or behavioral changes than words. So while the AH doesn't really amend the way we want him too, I'm going to give Liz some praise for keeping her mouth shut.

It's a lesson I've been working on myself and I'm willing to bet that all our qualifiers have done "deplorable" things.
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