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2 Weeks of AA and Alanon = Things suck

Old 08-13-2014, 11:06 AM
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2 Weeks of AA and Alanon = Things suck

I'm about to share the results for a timeline of 2.5 weeks. I know that's nothing when discussing recovery.

Soo my AW started AA about 2.5 weeks ago. She goes every day. She doesn't have a sponsor. I don't think she's drinking or drugging but I've been wrong about that before.

I started going to Alanon at the same time. I don't go every day. I don't have a sponsor.

I was learning to keep my mouth shut about her things and focus on me. I was doing good for about 2.5 weeks...BUT....and I've been waiting for this....

We're now having scheduling conflicts and it really has nothing to do with AA or Alanon but she's made it into that. She used her AA meetings as a club to beat me with. Blah blah blah. Well, I just won't go to my AA meeting then...blah blah blah.

To me, it really feels like 1 more tool she can use to manipulate the situation to her liking whenever she wants. It's becoming a threat. She leaves late for her meetings so I know she's walking in late. She has her books but never reads them and never takes them to her meetings. She's even criticizing other alcoholics and drug addicts for their wrong doings. She makes comments about them and judges them and I quietly sit there thinking to myself....You best shut your mouth and look in the mirror cause I can and have said the same things about you. I secretly wonder if she's actually doing any real work on herself. I would not put it beyond her to go to AA for an hour so she can prove and tell all her admirers that she's working hard and I'm still an ass. I'm still a big bad wolf.

I've been trying to work with her meeting schedule but it extends beyond that. She's doing things that make it impossible for me to be involved in the family. I told her that she needs to take care of her own schedule. However, she's gone every friggin night. We don't have dinner as a family. She's missed several nights of bedtime stories for the boy. She leaves on the weekends for hours at a time. She takes the boy to do fun things, never tells me about it until afterwards and completely excludes me as best as she can. There is no family time here.
It's like we're practicing what it would be like if we were divorced. It's exclusion. She won't hesitate to then turn the table on me and make me think that it was my decision not to join her for that family outing.
How can I, when she tells me about it after she gets home from doing whatever it was she planned on doing? She's off for the summer. Spent most of the summer, getting drunk. I had to put the boy back in school. Now it's as if I took him away from her, which I did, but that she has to make up for it now and it's complete utter BS!

Here's a shocker. She lied to my face last night. She tried telling me that we talked about her plans to go golfing and or swimming with the boy. We never had that discussion. At all. I couldn't believe that she thought I would believe her. Had we had that discussion and I knew she wouldn't be home for 2 hours after I got home for work, I would have gone to alanon. But I didn't, so I didn't and that's another example of the selfish crap she's pulling and I'm getting very mad! If I didn't know better, which I do, I would have said she was dunk or high last night. I don't think she was. Perhaps, she's as selfish and nasty even when she's not drunk or high.

I kept my mouth shut for 2.5 weeks while dealing with her BS and I finally got pissed enough that I broke my silence. I reacted like I always do and I blew up. I let all those feelings just flow out and they weren't nice happy sunshine pump feelings. Her choices, even in recovery, are impacting my life and I'm tired of it. She got defensive. I got angry. We argued. I slept in a different room last night. This morning, she was like she always is after a night like that....Trying real hard, perhaps too hard to be nice. She told me to have a nice day, I said thanks and I walked out the door for work with the boy in tow. So here I am to post about it. I can't make it to Alanon until tomorrow. I don't know if it was right or wrong.

I read here once that this can happen when people are doing their recovery thing. Especially in the beginning. They don't know squat but they talk big. Hell, I've been on this board for 5 years, thought I knew a few things. Then I went to Alanon and realized that I know nothing.

I did make sure that in the midst of the argument, I let her know that I was proud of her for going to AA.

I know I'm focusing on her again and I know I'm not supposed to be doing this. I'm just so angry with her dry drunk attitude that I'm starting to wonder if active or not, she's just nasty. If that's the case, I need to make choices. I'm also wondering if I simply failed in my own recovery, which I believe I could have done better. The question is this. Am I not showing enough patience? Was I supposed to keep it bottled up? If so, why? Don't I have the right to express my frustrations with her for the good, the bad and the very ugly?

Thoughts?
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:36 AM
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Lotta Drama.

*Their* drama is not good for us nor the kids.

Like you say -- 2-1/2 weeks is pretty early to see what is coming out of this, but you are correct, at this point it does not sound favorable, but who knows.

We work on *us* and *we* get better. About the best you can do.

At about 6 or 7 months, I was wondering what was coming out.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...t-me-well.html

Some of what you are dealing with may go deeper than Alcohol and Addictions.

But as they say . . . . more will be revealed.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:39 AM
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You have every right to discuss your frustrations - I would be very frustrated too.

Its a difficult balance with recovery. Recovery has to come first sometimes at the expense of the spouse.

In your case that doesn't sound like what you are dealing with. It sounds like dry drunk behavior and quacking, red flags for relapse (if she really quit drinking in the first place).

Your requests are simple and reasonable. Your response I think normal, she's been tugging your chain and then lied to you.

Even if she isn't drinking she is still exhibiting the same behavior.

Are you working the step program in Al Anon? Sounds to me like you need to set some boundaries.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:49 AM
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I know I'm focusing on her again and I know I'm not supposed to be doing this. I'm just so angry with her dry drunk attitude that I'm starting to wonder if active or not, she's just nasty. If that's the case, I need to make choices.

My exah is nasty drunk or sober. I never knew until he managed to stay off it for a week or so to "prove a point" to me. He was still taking sleeping meds tho but I realised he is actually a piece of work and his drinking is not the main reason we are divorcing now. I think your concerns are very valid and you need some answers.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:59 AM
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Perhaps, she's as selfish and nasty even when she's not drunk or high.
I know that it seems there is a Jekyll and Hyde complex with alcoholics, but I don't think it is the case. What you have in the fleeting moments of the hangover and brief periods of sobriety is the same person you have drunk: but they (we) are much more aware of social conventions when sober and behave better.
I was full of fear and anger for a long time after I got sober, so my sober personality was essentially a mirror of the drunk one.
AA's program, if she listens and truly wants to learn, will drum into her head that she has to stop blaming other people for the problems she herself creates. AA will tell her to stop lying and being so selfish. AA will tell her a lot of things she absolutely will not want to hear. For that reason many people walk out the door and don't go back.
I hope she stays and I hope she listens.
As far as spending all her time at meetings. well, she might need that. I needed it in the beginning. But, I eventually found balance and returned to my normal life after a while.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:09 PM
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I'm sorry Shellcrusher. Lots of triggers in your post because there was so much familiar stuff there (and red flags).

I think you have every right to discuss your frustrations and I think your concerns and frustrations are legitimate and 'logistical' so even people early in recovery ought to be able to make some movement towards improving the situation if there head is even close to being in the right place.

But that movement does not seem to be present in you relationship. I have zero advice on how to live with that and find peace. IMO, there are lines to be drawn in the sand about what we tolerate in the name of detachment and working on ourselves.

Before I found alanon or this board I invested enormous amounts of mental energy and effort in tolerating unacceptable behavior in an effort to find some kind of peace with those circumstances. I had taken separation off the table. I made my bed and I was going to lie in it and wanted to find a way to be happy with that.

That didn't work out so well for me. My husband did not find recovery within or relationship and I nearly lost the plot trying to make it all OK in my head and make the unacceptable somehow livable. I had no idea how to separate our lives where his did not so drastically impact mine. Your wife sounds passive aggressive. I admit that I can be passive aggressive and was my husband was very. The difference between us was a) he was mean and b) he did not hesitate to involve the children in his games. Just like your wife. To this day I do not know if that was premeditated or done subconsciously but I guess it really doesn't matter anymore.

A ramble to say know your truths Shellcrusher and honor yourself.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:16 PM
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Here is my feelings and I will tick a lot of people off but its my feelings.

No where.in the big book does it say " meeting makers make it." Nor does it say " these are the meetings we attended." It says " these are the steps we took" . The steps are a great blueprint but nearly the whole book was written by men during a different era. Its not perfect.

You have a right to your feelings. You have a right to express them. The world doesnt stop just because someone is trying to recover. She has a.moral obligation to you and your son and she needs to work out a balance. Making family dinners a priority can go a long way towards all of you healing. Her telling you of her plans to do things with your son should be a common courtesy. Perhaps she is trying to reconnect with your son and thats good but she shouldnt hide it from you.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:28 PM
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Hey Shell, sorry to hear this. I have no advice to give on this situation but based on my experience that sounds very much like what I went through.

As someone else here once said, you can wring the alcohol out of an a$$hat but you are still left with an a$$hat.

Your friend,
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:55 PM
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Thanks everyone.
For me, just posting my anger and frustration helps bring me back to earth just a bit.

Hammer. I remember that thread. Not our best exchange and I didn't keep with it at the time. Going back and reading it today, it does remind me of something another person at alanon told me regarding sponsors. I should be looking for someone with about 5 -10 years on me so they can help me see around the corner.
I don't know where you're at right now, but I hope things are well.

Redatlanta,
I think I'm doing a step study. I have the books and I read them.
I'm in several groups. 2 of them focus on the steps with supportive reading and shared discussion. It's a great group but it's not a beginner group. I think they were talking about Step 9 the first time I went. I could relate but was I ready to amend? Hell no.
That said, I learned something about it but I'm no where near that one yet.
I'm still very new to alanon but I'm going and I'm keeping an open mind and doing my best to practice what I learn and work it. Setting boundaries have always been very hard for me. I try to set boundaries that I can control and admittedly, they need more work.

Thumper,
I appreciate your words and strength to post in something with triggers. I like your take on drawing tolerable lines for detachment and personal recovery.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:33 PM
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I could have written half of your post.

I'm glad you came here to express your feelings and your anger, that works really well for me too. It's easy to access this forum and just "saying" everything out loud really goes a long way in easing my own burdens and reducing my own frustrations.

It sounds to me like you still have really high expectations for her. You want to have family dinners together, and her to go to meetings and her to watch your son while you go to meetings too? Does she work in addition to this? I would hope that she continues to go to meetings but wouldn't expect much from her outside of that. And even her attending meetings and expecting her to continue going is asking a lot. Also, attending meetings isn't a cure all. Especially not in 2 weeks.

Your recovery is yours. If you want to go to meetings then you need to attend without the help of your wife, like asking babysitters or friends or family to watch your son while you go. I've accepted this to be a fact for myself as well when I was feeling angry that my husband started going to a Wednesday night meeting at the same time that *I* wanted to go to a meeting. Cold hard truth is that his meetings aren't more important than mine but he's just doing what he needs to do for himself. I need to do likewise, which means not relying on him and booking a babysitter so I can take care of myself. It's just the way it is and no, it's not fair.

Focusing on yourself is really, really difficult after spending years focusing on someone else's behavior. When you start working the steps, the first one is all about focusing on yourself. They're a real SOB for me.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post

Hammer. I remember that thread. Not our best exchange and I didn't keep with it at the time. Going back and reading it today, it does remind me of something another person at alanon told me regarding sponsors. I should be looking for someone with about 5 -10 years on me so they can help me see around the corner.
I don't know where you're at right now, but I hope things are well.
Hey all good on things then and now.

As far as Sponsors and getting through the stuff -- Got really desperate for a Steps Sponsor back in January and was wailing at a meeting that "I could-not-make-it-through-the-Steps-because-I-did-not-have-a-Steps-Sponsor" (and oh my, boo-hoo, boo-hoo) -- I really do get pathetic for a guy when I get pathetic.

Finally one of the women said they would help me, and then her Sponsor said ONLY the first three Steps because #4 goes into sex . . . So then she sent to the Super Mecca meeting site of Texas (has 17 Max Filled Meetings a Week) to find Yoda (30 year Alanon Guru guy) who said he was too busy, and handed off to someone else, who handed me off to someone else (and by now I am thinking I am yesterday's garbage just being dumped off) who . . . .

put me in this WONDERFUL Alanon Men's Full Step Study Program with Assigned Sponsors and ran by three guys with two senior advisers over them . . . and 15 of us dummies to make it through the course in 20 weeks. Was like a Grad School Course. 4 books we went through, 1.5 hours class time a week, and 1.5 hour sponsor meeting a week. So while I thought I was being handed-off and discarded -- God just really sending me to where I needed to be.

Knew it was the right place when the second week, one of the head guys -- a Federal Bank Examiner -- turned to me and said -- "We do not know what her problem is, but we are pretty sure what your (me, Hammer) problem is -- you are an @sshole."

Which was pretty much what you were telling me a year ago, huh?

Which is something I clearly needed to hear. So like I say -- It is all good.

So Thanks. We are all in this together.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:53 PM
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You can't do anything about her, her drinking, drug abuse or vile moods. You have the right to express your feelings, but doing so with any expectation of her acting on them is just not realistic. The only thing you can really expect of her is that she will be herself - with the manipulation, punishing you, using AA as a weapon to beat you with, all the rest. However, you have a choice as to whether you engage with it or not, or feel affected by it or not, and learning to detach with love is one of the greatest gifts of Alanon.

There are many, many issues in your post which will be dealt with if you continue to attend Alanon meetings, and 'Keep coming back!' is the best piece of advice I can offer. If you can find a sponsor you feel you can relate to, I'd strongly urge you to do so. You're asking if you've failed in your recovery... of course, the truism is that recovery is a journey, not a destination, and all you can do is your best - which will depend on where you're at, at any given time.

Focus on you and your own wellbeing. If you can really engage with the Alanon program, the choices you need to make will become much clearer.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:55 PM
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Shell Crusher,

I recommend a family calendar and have a fair discussion on it. Cooking and any other issues that are important to you, her and the kid should be discussed too. This kind of organization is going to be necessary if things dont work out and will allow you a peek at life without AW - as in having your kid solo.

You are in Early Recovery which is more of a film noir about a missing person more than a light and airy Doris Day flick where it is obvious everyone lives a happy all American life forever and ever. Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:39 PM
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Early on in recovery things c&c and I got worse since she was not medicating anymore and I was all Getting With It in alanon so clearly had room to talk. <eyeroll> Both of us were on a hair trigger. It took a couple months for me to start wising up.

So now we have kind-of a recovery schedule.. she knows my meeting nights, she has some of hers during the day and does online stuff- perhaps AA as she sees fit so at least that isn't a source of tension.

Its tough early on... different tough as you get further in.. but it does feel better.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:12 PM
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Thanks again, everyone. Your comments and thoughts are very helpful.
I mentioned the 2 meetings I attend are step based readings and formal alanon. The other meeting is an all men's recovery group. There's several double winners in that group and I like it a lot. It's not as formal and very much more open discussion.

I like the calendar idea, too.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:17 PM
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As my s/o just posted I was NOT a pretty sight in early sobriety at ALL. I think I'm guilty of many of the things your wife did. I won't even try and justify my bad behavior and won't try and justify your wife's either. You have every right in the world to expect certain things and the ability to attend your meetings too is important. What I didn't realize is how important Al-Anon had become to hubbie pretty early on and was guilty on at least one occasion of causing him to miss a meeting. That has not happened since. IMHO you need to make it crystal clear what your nights are and make it happen. The early days are very hard scheduling wise and you've been given good advice about finding childcare so you don't have to worry about fitting your meetings in.

I did read some of your backstory and you are in a tough spot because you've been through this before, its not the first time. You know the roller coaster and all the twists and turns that are likely ahead all too well. It exhausts me just reading about your story, can't imagine what its like living it. Like others have said though best thing for you to do is focus on yourself and dive into your own recovery.

I wish you and yours well wherever your paths may lead you.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:14 PM
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I think it's fair to say that As tend to be selfish. And RAs do really need to be a bit selfish in early recovery. Which is not to say it's right or fair. Though that she is excluding you, etc, makes me think she's being passive-agressive and punishing you, whether she means to or not. Also, her body and mind are still adjusting.

Express your concerns, but be patient -- this might be all she can do right now.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:26 AM
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You are both attending meetings but don't have sponsors.....the Program of Recovery for both AA and Al Anon are those 12 steps with a sponsor.

Why not get a double winner as your sponsor and start working on your recovery?

The rest will fall into place............
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:00 AM
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Concur w/ the sponsor idea. In my case I made a short list of the people who said things that resonated w/ me over the course of the 1st few months, then got up my nerve to ask the guy at the top of the list. There was a combined AA/Alanon picnic recently, the AA speaker said from a male perspective approaching another man to be your sponsor is sort of like asking him to be your valentine.. too true. lol

Mine is a double-winner, could fairly call him a triple-winner, I was attracted by the clarity & simplicity of his recovery as revealed over that few months. He has a lot of challenges to his recovery even now but has been in program long enough and worked hard enough to have made the mistakes often enough to have a good idea of what he wants and doesn't. He freely talks about how he messes up dealing w/ his qualifiers... he is the exact opposite of a guru, he's in the mud w/ the rest of us slogging away.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jessiec View Post
I think it's fair to say that As tend to be selfish. And RAs do really need to be a bit selfish in early recovery. Which is not to say it's right or fair. Though that she is excluding you, etc, makes me think she's being passive-agressive and punishing you, whether she means to or not. Also, her body and mind are still adjusting.

Express your concerns, but be patient -- this might be all she can do right now.
Completely and totally agree. We A's are a rather selfish lot. I certainly know that at the beginning I felt like I was getting sober FOR HIM and I was doing it FOR HIM. Its taken time for me to realize I need sobriety FOR ME, because I was numbing away stuff that I NEED TO DEAL WITH. Your wife IMHO does sound passive aggressive which is something that is very challenging to deal with (my mother is in that camp and drives me nuts btw).
That said patience, while incredibly difficult, is likely called for right now however difficult it may be.

Peace
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