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Old 09-25-2018, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Struggling with Wife in Rehab


I'm new to the forum as I'm trying to find healthy ways to deal with my resentment towards my wife in rehab. This is actually her 2nd time and after 2 1/2 weeks she seems to be doing actually quite well. But I can't get rid of my resentment and anger towards her and it's driving me crazy, because I know I need to be happy and encouraging her recovery, because it's the long run that counts not right now.

I've tried 4 different Al Anon meetings and it's just not for me. Her rehab center hasn't done a single family session yet, which has been tough.

Did anyone else experience such incredible resentment while your spouse was at rehab and all the care and attention they get, while you are rewarded for not making poor decisions by having to solely run "real life" responsibilities. I'm beating myself up for having these resentments and so wish I could just be cool and supportive with her recovery and tell her don't worry, I've got home covered, while you work on getting better for the family. Why can't I do that. Ugh?

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Old 09-25-2018, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm beating myself up for having these resentments and so wish I could just be cool and supportive with her recovery and tell her don't worry, I've got home covered, while you work on getting better for the family. Why can't I do that. Ugh?

Because it is really frickin' hard to do that! It does not just come naturally. If AlAnon hasn't reached you can you get some one on one therapy, with a therapist who understands addiction/codependency?

I've had a lot of success with transforming the "beat myself up" voices by just kind of observing them and making some space around them, like, "Hmmm I seem to have this strong point of view that I should be able to just shake off my anger and resentment. What other points of view are possible....?"

This kind of stops me from just attacking myself, which does no good, and shifts my perspective a little. What we go through in relationships with As is not just undone when they get help and get sober and find recovery. We've been through a war, man, there are lasting effects and defenses and bad habits of mind we have built up just to survive.

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B.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I second therapy for just you. If al-anon didn’t work for you and there are no other kind of support groups in your area then make an appointment and get yourself the help you need.

This is not just all about her and her issues this is very much about you and yours as well.

Just because the drinker is in a pink cloud right now after 2 ½ weeks in a rehab facility doesn’t mean you need to force happiness and encouragement FOR HER recovery. That would be faux and false and no relationship will survive under those conditions.

You are entitled to your own feelings and emotions and for the time needed to resolve them. And neither should be held back with an ill thinking that sharing your emotions will somehow affect the outcome of the alcoholic and their recovery.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Did anyone else experience such incredible resentment while your spouse was at rehab and all the care and attention they get, while you are rewarded for not making poor decisions by having to solely run "real life"

Oh yes. I can relate to that. I ended up divorcing cos I was a single parent anyway as he was less than useless and it stopped the endless can you bring phone calls while he was in there. It took 2 years of no contact for me to forgive him and even now, 4 years on, he still does things that makes my blood boil. It is still ALL about him if I allowed it. He's still in rehab btw. He spent the equity out of our marital home sale to fund it and then found out if he'd used the money to buy our son's ( who were 15 at the time) a home he'd have got treatment for free. That is one tiny thing in a book full of crap he has pulled so yep I know the rage and resentment all too well.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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But I can't get rid of my resentment and anger towards her and it's driving me crazy, because I know I need to be happy and encouraging her recovery, because it's the long run that counts not right now.

I went through this stage too. I think its a normal part of the process. I went through a lot of chaos, confusion, pain, and on, on, on. while my husband was in active addiction. Those emotions needed to surface and be given a voice (so to speak) so I could feel like I was heard, and sort of soothed so I could then begin healing.

I didn't find Alanon helpful either except for the parts that reminded me to focus on being kind to myself. The best thing I did for me' was to begin therapy. I had to do it before my husband because I was such an emotional mess. Just like you are saying - this helped me deal with my emotions and it made it possible for me to offer more support and encouragement to my husband while feeling good/honest in my efforts.

We also did family therapy after he began treatment. I hope the rehab your husband is in will offer something for family members, or joint counseling for the both of you.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eBeck View Post
Did anyone else experience such incredible resentment while your spouse was at rehab and all the care and attention they get, while you are rewarded for not making poor decisions by having to solely run "real life" responsibilities. I'm beating myself up for having these resentments and so wish I could just be cool and supportive with her recovery and tell her don't worry, I've got home covered, while you work on getting better for the family. Why can't I do that. Ugh?
I didn't even start feeling the real burn of my resentments until many months into my husband's recovery, for exactly the same kinds of reasons you bring up. Here's how I described it in the past:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
6 months sounds like such a long time to be in recovery & working changes into your life but in reality at 6 months I was only just starting to feel my own rage & resentments & exhaustion at the whole situation. And I felt entitled to them; I had earned every bit of that heartache & I wanted answers & apologies. I wanted him to know how badly it hurt to have the person you trusted the most betray you, I was vengeful for a while... and how dare he now have this positive attitude, full of snappy AA quotes & glass half-full thinking while I was just starting to feel the edges of the white-hot rage I had buried inside.

For me things stayed very much the same for the first (almost) year of his recovery especially since I hadn't yet understood how to embrace my own (or understand how badly it was needed). Yes, he was no longer drinking, but instead of being locked away in bars & spending his time with other A's he was locked away in daily AA meetings & sharing all the details of his drinking problem with a bunch of strangers which I found isolating & a bit insulting - here I was the person MOST affected by his poor decisions & I wasn't even privy to understanding how or why we got to this point. I felt abandoned by him for his alcoholism at first, and then abandoned for recovery/AA after.

Even though our area has literally about 100+ AA meetings each month, Al-Anon meetings are very few & far between & never during times I could actually attend. And when I did I felt such a disconnect - there seemed so little information about moving forward with a RA, more of the topics speak to supporting those with active A's or those that chose to leave. I wasn't finding anything relevent to MY life or challenges.

I was still having to hold down the roles of being both Mom & Dad to our DD since he was only able to concentrate on his recovery. I still went to work every day to a job I only half-liked and I still struggled with the financial fallout he had created in our lives. I was the one searching for solutions, assistance, debt consolidations, etc. I was forced to look at the Big Picture & he was living One Day at a Time. Nothing really changed for me as quickly as I expected. No one in my circle really understands addiction so even though I had a few shoulders to lean on, they couldn't really understand anything that I was going through. And I really didn't want to run around announcing how wonderful his recovery was going since I essentially knew nothing about it and didn't want to look like the fool if/when he relapsed.

I was never so happy as I was the day I googled and found SR. I learned SO MUCH about things I had no understanding of - resentments, detachment, the chemistry of addiction, the physiological changes happening in his body during his detox, how very not unique our situation was, etc. That's when things changed for me - that's when I started to see my own recovery needs more clearly. That's when I was able to better separate Me from Him & start handling things with a Me-First attitude.

There was also the element of feeling like I would NEVER be done supporting him..... while my own support seemed lesser both in volume & intensity. Some days the "issues" in my mind got so tangled up that I just wanted to be free from all of it & I thought about leaving more AFTER he sought recovery than I ever did before. I wasn't sure we'd ever be on the same page again.
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's hard to really know what the solution is.

I do know with NarAnon we're encouraged to attend 6 meetings minimum before we give up, but if four different AlAnon meetings have all left you feeling like it's not for you....then maybe it's not.

The forums here will provide at least some support I would hope.

And professional therapy is not a bad idea at all.

Resentment is easy to get. We've done things "right." We didn't abuse substances. We looked out for our loved ones. And then we were left to deal with whatever fallout their actions may have had and to handle the day-to-day a man (or woman) short so to speak.

All you can do is take care of yourself and make sure, the best you can, that your needs are being met.

Bless you on this journey.

-Eric
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My therapist used to say something to me all the time which is now a mantra I’ve adopted. She said, “Stop ‘shoulding’ all over your life!”
I used to feel like I “should” feel a certain way or I “shouldn’t” feel another way. After saying her catchy phrase - which was meant to bring attention to that behavior in me - she would tell me that it is ok to feel or not feel a certain way. Our feelings are there for a reason - to bring attention to something within ourselves that we need to acknowledge.
She advised me to sit with those feelings, find out the root of them, and then work on resolving the inner conflict where those feelings come from. By stepping back and realizing the “why” of our feelings we can approach them from a place of love (for ourselves) and begin to heal.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes! I had huge resentment for a very long time. It took a lot of therapy to learn that carrying it around is hurting one person, ME.

I would say a good therapist who understands addiction is in order!

Good luck and welcome. This forum is an amazing place of support, I'm glad you are here!
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