need some help with this

Old 02-25-2015, 11:32 PM
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need some help with this

I'm sort of struggling with 2 main issues right now and I could really use your guys esh on this.

#1)RAH is in Chicago right now until next Friday for training. He has 6 months sober and before he left I really had no apprehension. I knew there was nothing I could do to make him drink or not drink there. If he was going to drink, he would and probably wouldn't tell me about it anyway so it didn't matter. Well I'm worried about it now. We have talked on the phone every night pretty much and he tells me how he goes down to the hotel restaurant (where he and fellow trainees sit at the bar) to eat dinner and hang out. He tells me that he has told everyone that he doesn't drink and they are respectful. I'm just you have to sit at THE BAR? There really are no other options as far as eating. No one has a car and a shuttle picks them up and drops them off from training every day. I just need to get out of my head and not worry about it anymore. Ideas? I know he a going to drink if he wants to. I know there is nothing I can do to stop it. Why does it terrify me so much?

#2). I'm listening to this audio book entitled "Boundaries" (thanks for the reccomendation cookies!) And I realize how horrible my boundaries are. So here goes: I busted my butt while RAH was in rehab to get my house looking really nice. And it did for a while until RAH stopped cleaning up after himself again. He has never had to do this in his life. His mother cleaned his room for him. The house WILL look nice again, but I am not doing it alone. And I refuse to pick up after him. He needs to he doing it. So what is an appropriate limit to set there that's isn't about him and isn't nagging? I won't pick up after him, but I won't live in filth, either.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:10 AM
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Hi Terp, I can understand your apprehension about him eating at a bar. As a recovered A, I can say that once I made up my mind to become sober, where I was didn't make much difference. I wouldn't have sat at a bar in the first few weeks, but as he's been sober 6 months I'm sure he can handle it, IF he's firm in his sobriety. If he's not, then he'll probably make his own opportunities, away from his work mates.

With housework, is he stubborn or careless? Stubborn is harder. My suggestion is that you take a deliberate, collaborative approach. Get his agreement that the work isn't divided evenly, and that's not fair. Ask what he thinks would be fair, and discuss it along with your beliefs. Write it down so you can both refer to it later. Consider making a night where you put on the music, buy take out and clean together. You might find he's good at it! I did this with my son and he was much faster than me, in fact he sent me out to get the food so he could get on with it.
I don't think I could live with anyone who left all the housework to me.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:10 AM
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As far as eating in the bar, I travel for work, too, and if that's where I have to eat that's where I eat. It annoys me when my colleagues make an "event" out of ordering drinks before dinner, going on and on about it. It isn't so much that I can't drink, it's just BORING if you don't. I forget whether your husband is in AA--a couple of times I've skipped dinner and gone to a meeting instead, grabbing something alone later. I just say I've got friends in town and going to visit (take a cab). There are minibars in hotel rooms, too. At six months, he'll either drink or not, and mere proximity shouldn't be an issue. Alcohol is EVERYWHERE, and at home, too. If he drinks, it won't be because he had to eat at the bar.

I live alone, and I'm pretty messy. I'm a horrible housekeeper, but since I live by myself I have only myself to blame. Part of the problem may simply be that it isn't as important to him as it is to you. He may not expect you to pick up after him--it just doesn't bother him the way it does you. So, it might not be a matter of boundaries so much as it is a difference in priorities.

Is there any way you could hire a maid service to come in a couple of times a month? That way it won't be as much work for you to keep it up to your standards.

My thoughts would be different if he were criticizing the way the house looks and blaming you for its being that way, but I don't get the feeling that is the case.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:24 AM
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Yeah alcohol is everywhere. Sounds like this may be this first type outing for him since getting sober. Maybe he just wants to socialize, maybe he is trying to figure out his new normal. Maybe he will figure out he is bored as hell and next time will do something else. There are a myriad of ways for that to go other than he will drink which is possible.

AS to housecleaning - I too am the messy one. RAH is OCD. Here is how we handle it - I do contribute to cleaning the house I am messy, but not filthy. Anything that goes above and beyond basic cleaning is up to him. I think you are facing an uphill battle on this one. No one has ever been able to change that about me (believe me my parents tried really hard and no go). I don't give a sh!t if a coat hangs on the back of a chair or in a closet. Housecleaning can be a real sticking point and can cause a lot of arguments. Hiring a maid may be the way to go here though I doubt it will alleviate his messiness completely (aka picking up after him). Maybe you guys can come to an agreement about some things - for me leaving food around or dirty dishes is gross. That I won't do and I have done some things RAH has asked such as not cluttering up counter space with my crap. Pick and choose your battles.
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:43 AM
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terpgal....I suspect that your unhappiness with the the degree that it really a reflection of a bigger issue in the relationship...which is a feeling of inequity in general.
As far as the cleaning, itself, goes...If I were in your shoes, I would hire someone to come in and clean. If he doesn't like that...well, he can stay mad until he gets glad.

These are my thoughts on the situation....


***I have never lived with a man, myself, who was eager to do housework. They couldn't have cared less. It it myself...or compromise a solution....
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:19 AM
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I wish I could hire someone but it just isn't in the budget. He does leave his dirty dishes everywhere. His new addiction is diet Pepsi and instead of him leaving beer cans everywhere, it's Pepsi cans. It drives me crazy. I don't know what to do.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:25 AM
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terpgal.... Except to suggest that you all do without something else--to pay for the household help....I don't really have any more that I can add for this particular problem....except to say that it is up to each one of us to decide what we are willing to live with....


***if this is l iterally what is driving you "crazy"....there is SOMETHING that you can do without in order to save your sanity.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:58 AM
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I would probably begin collecting the Pepsi cans that he leaves lying around, to take to the recyclers myself. Then use that money to buy myself a cup of coffee for my trouble.

When someone in our house begins leaving dirty clothes on the floor, or dishes out, I find it only really bothers me if that same person is taking me for granted, and isn't treating me kindly in other areas. I don't feel as bothered when it's my kids, as when it's my AH, which kind of says something about my current relationship with my AH.

If you think that this bothering you is about much more than just messiness, perhaps a conversation about how in general you don't feel appreciated for all that you've done/do. And his picking up after himself more could be one way that he could show you that he does appreciate you.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:03 AM
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One other thing, my AH needs very specific details about what to do, like I need to tell him what constitutes picking up after himself, putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, putting dirty clothes in the hamper. If I just ask him to pick up after himself, he still doesn't "see" what needs doing. But if I give him specifics, then when he takes off his socks, something in his brain clicks "oh, socks, they have to go int he hamper". It's just how his mind works -- he doesn't "see" details the way that I do. HTH
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:26 AM
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I don't give a sh!t if a coat hangs on the back of a chair or in a closet. Housecleaning can be a real sticking point and can cause a lot of arguments. Hiring a maid may be the way to go here though I doubt it will alleviate his messiness completely (aka picking up after him). Maybe you guys can come to an agreement about some things - for me leaving food around or dirty dishes is gross. That I won't do and I have done some things RAH has asked such as not cluttering up counter space with my crap. Pick and choose your battles.

Ditto on all that, you and I would make perfect roomates Red.

And as far as eating at the bar, my x was interviewing for a job that was across the street from a bar and the thought of it drove me nuts. Irrational I know, but that was a big part of me needing to end things. I didn't trust him and his conviction to sobriety at all. For good reason to, it didn't stick.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:05 AM
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1.) the bar thing. As the one in recovery I "get" where your husband is at. You don't fully realize how prevalent alcohol is in society until you quit. That said given the astronomically high relapse rates, you read about them here EVERY day and there is rarely a day that passes in my recovery group you don't read about another one. You have every right to be concerned. I'd just be honest with your hubbie and accept your concerns as valid. I've yapped about this on and on here but every single time someone in outpatient rehab asked how long it was going to take their s/o to trust them they were given the unscientific answer count on taking at least one year for each year you were addicted.

2.) Glad you liked the recommendation. My biggest issues with boundaries have been within my marriage but frankly they do extend beyond my marriage. With housekeeping though you've been given a lot of good advice. I'd be inclined to break it down into small pieces, write a list. Then take that list and sanity check it with friends on your expectations vs what most people would find acceptable. From there take the middle ground and ASK him, don't SUGGEST aka "it would be nice if" to do dishes on Monday/Wednesdays/Thursdays, etc. Then if he doesn't agree to those things you let him know that you'll do something like put all of the dishes in his closet, etc. There may be things that most people aren't bothered by but you are. For those do them yourself and do the ole "agree to disagree." I had a college roommate who had high housecleaning standards. I remember her going OFF one time after moving in because we didn't clean behind the refrigerator. Since college she has lived by herself and I suspect she is much happier that way:-)

I need to give my list of "how to set boundaries" to you guys. I sure need HELP!!!
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:19 AM
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Terp, as far as the housekeeping goes, I would sit him down and tell him that you are overwhelmed and feel as though dealing with everything while doing all the work is just too much for you. Make an actual list of who is responsible for what. This was recommended to me by a counselor years ago when I was married. I am not now, but I do have the same type of thing with my children. They are on the list, but I am too! It has helped as a messy house gives me anxiety!

AS far as him drinking and sitting at the bar, there is not much you can do. This is for him to figure out. I understand it freaks you out, but go back to the basics and all you have learned. You know that your sitting home worried will not influence if he drinks or not. It's good that he has been open and said he does not drink. I am not a big drinker. I have sat at the bar with others that I work with and not drank at all. It did not bother me, but I am not an alcoholic either.

Big hugs to you! XXX
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:34 AM
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Relapse fears - not much esh there.

Chores - Sharing or taking turns did not work for me. What finally worked best in my house was that I just did the things I could not tolerate or if I needed them done in a certain time frame or in a certain way for my own peace. I declared the other things 'his' and he either did them, or not, but I could let it go. Some things we did together.

That actually worked really well for many many years until other issues reached such a level that I could no longer 'let go' of anything. We each had resentments and were not being considerate of each other or our marriage.

A couple examples (from when it worked). I can.not.stand overflowing garbage for even one evening. I know I can not let that go so I'll just do that chore - every time. I did most all of the grocery shopping and putting away (which is kind of a big job for a family of 6) and he did the lawn care. Why? Well - I want the food I want when I want it and he wanted the lawn mowed in straight lines at a particular angle.

He wanted me to do his laundry - he said it was one of the nice things about being married. I will be a wife that does things that make you feel loved but not at the expense of feeling like an un-cared for personal servant. You don't pick your socks and clothes up from all over the house - I don't do your laundry. Tit for tat which might not be the healthiest way to handle it but it did work out.

I can't stand crap sitting all over my living room (like cans and food plates) so I will pick them up but I can stay out of the den in the basement so I took responsibility for the living room and gave him responsibility for the den. The den got nasty but I didn't look at it. :ohm: When he was 'functional' he would eventually get things cleaned up on his own time line - which was nothing at all like mine. It wasn't really 'equal' on paper. I did more chores but I cared more and I rarely if ever shoveled the driveway or sometimes I'd ask him to go fill up my car with gas in the cold winter time and he would - so it all worked out.

He's an easily overwhelmed man and is all or nothing. A family of 6 was just way more than he could manage when it came to organizing his thoughts and activities. Living alone (even when drinking) he is neat as a pin and a little OCD. Family of 6 - completely disorganized and overwhelmed and gets a little paralyzed. It is interesting to see this play out in my kids as they get older. Sometimes it is more than just alcoholism.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:38 AM
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Unless the maid is there 24/7 I don't see how she/he could help with his every day/minute
sloppiness. That's pretty disrespectful of him IMO.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:07 AM
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After years of laundry issues we just decided to each have our own laundry baskets. If he wants to do laundry three times a week fine. I get tired of clutter in the living room so finally just got three wicker baskets with little chalkboards on them with our names. Whenever the clutter gets too much I just toss it all in the baskets and I'm a much happier camper. Fears of a relapse are real and valid. I'm sure you have your boundaries in place should this occur and a plan so just keep that one in mind.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:12 AM
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I travel for work at times & sometimes the hotel bar is the only place to grab a bite. It sucks, but sometimes you just have to make do. However, I have opted to order from the bar to go & taken it back to my room instead of sitting around with a bunch of other seminar attendees that I don't know while they get schnockered. BTDT & it always ends up ugly & boring. I get a lot more out of a good meal, a good movie, time in the hotel gym & a good night's sleep instead. Last time I got a lot of use out of the pool & sauna inside the ladies' locker room, lol.

This is actually a good thing in a way - it's a great way to test yourself in how you handle your lack of control. Use it FOR your recovery if you can. This experience may show you your vulnerabilities/triggers/etc more clearly.

My RAH is a slob & I'm an everything-in-it's-place kind of girl. I definitely had to work on relaxing to reasonable expectations & pick my battles. I stopped doing his laundry & I stopped picking up after him. Socks on the floor? I kick them over to his chair. Dishes & wrappers left on the table beside his chair? No problem, that's HIS corner to slob up. Eventually *some* of it got through to him & he got better at picking his stuff up. DD also flat-out asked him one day why she was accountable for her mess but he wasn't.... I'm sure that showed him how his actions look to others.

That also means that when I *do* get bent out of shape over these habits then I need to either clean it up myself or let it go; constantly harping & nagging drove us BOTH crazy. I had to give him some room to be a slob in a way, you know? Let him have areas of the house like his closet, his side of the bed (nightstand/floor), etc. He can have chaos in his garage but better not think about leaving crap all over my storage shed. (And when he has, I dragged it all over to just inside the door of his garage so he had to trip over it to get inside & after a few times of the same results he stopped doing it.) He's just as entitled to be messy as I am to be neat. As long as there isn't food sitting everywhere & his habits aren't bringing bugs & rodents I try to keep it in perspective. He never was a neat & organized guy & sure wasn't going to pick that habit up by osmosis simply from being married to me.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:15 AM
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Cookies post reminded me that I'm a Box Girl - when his clutter spreads too far (small tools, receipts, guitar picks, etc.) then I grab a small box & throw everything inside & leave it on his dresser. It gives me control over creating a clean space & not actually managing all of his "stuff". He has boxes stacked everywhere & can't always find what's he's looking for but it doesn't cause ME any stress, lol.
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