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Old 03-16-2019, 08:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Driving me insame


What is it with alcoholics, they hurt you then act as if nothing happened.
My AH has treated me badly in the last few days, ignoring my calls, saying he would attend an important function with me, then backing out when we had a fight where I called him out on his bad behavior.

For me it's like living with an alien now. I was one step ahead of him and had someone else lined up to go with me to the function, because in the past he has let me down so many times I decided to be prepared.
He text me the next morning before the function, saying he was sorry but I said his words meant nothing and I was taking someone else to the function and I did (a female friend). He then did the 'oh woe is me' and I told him I would do whatever made me happy, i had given him the option, he played games and this was the result. In the past I would have forgiven him and pretended all was ok again, more denial.

Today he gets up late and asks me if I want to go to lunch as if nothing has happened. I said why would you want me to go for lunch after the last few days, I cannot fathom it. He got angry and then I told him I am not going to pretend nothing happened and sweep it under the carpet. He got even angrier and launched into a tirade about me being the one with the problem, blahblahblah. I asked him why we cannot talk like civilized human beings. He said he was done talking and stormed off in the car.
I am supposed to be working a Christian co dependent recovery course thing but it is so hard to stand my ground, I know now why I used to acquiesce and also pretend nothing happened, denial denial denial, I just cannot do that anymore, but this is so difficult. I just cannot get through to him on any level at all unless I pretend that all is well. I read somewhere that the first stages of setting boundaries will cause this type of reaction.
Please tell me what you did, I am angry and heartbroken at the same time. It is like trying to communicate with a wall, I just can't.

Title should be "insane"

Last edited by Givenup2018; 03-16-2019 at 08:51 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-16-2019, 09:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I get it. I really do understand. ((((hugs))))

Open AA meetings, especially going to AA speaker meetings tend to help me. It is a disease of absolute insanity. My Al-Anon sponsor found this to be a huge changing point in her recovery. My experience wasn't as dramatic. It is something I'm extremely grateful for.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He's used to being able to manipulate you, so he's going to react badly now that you aren't sticking to the script. Expect it, and it won't be too much of a surprise.

Am I right in thinking his opinion of you really matters to you? Is that why you feel so bad when he storms off?
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Boundaries are so important and good that you are making them.

On the flipside, if you want to maintain this relationship, what is the communication style.

If he says to you, lunch today? and your reply is - why would you want to go to lunch etc - that's a guaranteed argument. It's bait. I totally get you are angry, that's a normal reaction, however if you want to fix this relationship if you come at it this way all you two will ever do is fight.

Quote:
I asked him why we cannot talk like civilized human beings.
You are hurt and you are angry and you are accusing him of being in denial and not having remorse for his behaviour. Again, that's not going to get you the result you desire. If you really want to communicate then you are going to have to sit down and calmly discuss it. If it gets too heated you both need to perhaps walk away for a few minutes.

I'm not saying you are wrong or that you don't have a right to be upset (just want to make sure you know) but this communication style will never work.

Really with a boundary of this type, if you want to explain it to him you can (you kind of already have, but a calm conversation about where you stand may be in order, to keep him from questioning you every time). Then that is just the way it is, no need for a heated discussion each time this happens and it will keep happening unless he decides to change the way he approaches things (which is really tough and also unlikely to happen in any quick fashion if at all).

I do wish you luck with it though.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He's used to being able to manipulate you, so he's going to react badly now that you aren't sticking to the script. Expect it, and it won't be too much of a surprise.

Am I right in thinking his opinion of you really matters to you? Is that why you feel so bad when he storms off?

No, his opinion of me doesn't matter really I just don't want all the agro and feeling like s*** every time I try to stand my ground.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Boundaries are so important and good that you are making them.

On the flipside, if you want to maintain this relationship, what is the communication style.

If he says to you, lunch today? and your reply is - why would you want to go to lunch etc - that's a guaranteed argument. It's bait. I totally get you are angry, that's a normal reaction, however if you want to fix this relationship if you come at it this way all you two will ever do is fight.
This makes perfect sense, I know alcoholics are sensitive and feel that they are under attack, at least mine does


You are hurt and you are angry and you are accusing him of being in denial and not having remorse for his behaviour. I find accusing such a strong word, he throws it at me all the time, I see it as merely stating facts, or calling him out on his bad behaviou
Again, that's not going to get you the result you desire. If you really want to communicate then you are going to have to sit down and calmly discuss it. If it gets too heated you both need to perhaps walk away for a few minutes.That will not happen, every time I try to do this, he will avoid it. The other night I tried, he talks all about work, then sarcastically says, I hope you don't want to get all emotional, what did you want to talk about? To me that is simply him shutting down the conversation. He does this all the time. Having any form of communication results in him talking about his problems and his work, there is never any room/time for mine. It is his way of ensuring nothing gets put on the table and discussed

I'm not saying you are wrong or that you don't have a right to be upset (just want to make sure you know) but this communication style will never work. You are absolutely right but sweet talking him, being sensitive to him etc gets me nowhere either, he thinks that all is ok

Really with a boundary of this type, if you want to explain it to him you can (you kind of already have, but a calm conversation about where you stand may be in order, to keep him from questioning you every time). Then that is just the way it is, no need for a heated discussion each time this happens and it will keep happening unless he decides to change the way he approaches things (which is really tough and also unlikely to happen in any quick fashion if at all).

I do wish you luck with it though.
Ok, maybe it is better not to talk at all
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sometimes we have to choose between being right, and having peace.

I totally understand that you are committed to staying in this relationship, and that your goal is to detach. While I personally don't believe detachment is a long-term solution to living with an active alcoholic, if that is your goal, then you may have to give up on such things as "calling out for bad behavior."

Accepting that he is this way, and that nothing you do or say can change him, is the first step of true detachment.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Givenup2018 View Post
I am supposed to be working a Christian co dependent recovery course thing but it is so hard to stand my ground, I know now why I used to acquiesce and also pretend nothing happened, denial denial denial, I just cannot do that anymore, but this is so difficult. I just cannot get through to him on any level at all unless I pretend that all is well.
Is your program working for you?

In AlAnon, we say, "Work the program, not the problem." Actually, one of the first things to go in the AlAnon approach is calling people out on their bad behavior. That can only ever lead to anger, resentment and emotional wall building because calling out is simply judgment, plain and simple. No one responds well to being negatively judged. Loving detachment isn't about letting others get away with bad behavior, nor is it about making ourselves cold. It's about letting others make their own choices and learning how to not need as if our lives depend on it. Loving detachment is, at heart, learning how to be more substantial in and of ourselves. Working the program is developing our own strengths and joys, which always makes for better relationships all around.

Flailing to directly improve a relationship with an alcoholic who is not diligently working his own recovery program will only land us in deeper hot water. Trying to get through to him isn't what will help - and it's not entirely because he is so difficult. Both of you have communication and emotional patterns that are much stronger than you're able to struggle out of as a couple right now. The best course for those of us who are in close communication with an alcoholic who is not in serious recovery is to work our own recovery program. Only then can our relationships improve.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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"All we need to understand are “the 3 C’s”, which are:

We didn’t cause it – it is not our fault that the other person drinks, it is their private battle

We can’t control it – we have no power over the other person's desire to drink

We can’t cure it – it is an illness that cannot be cured through any known medical remedies

If you can start to consider alcoholism in the same way you consider other illnesses, such as diabetes for example, it will become clear that you are powerless over it.

We would not consider ourselves responsible for the cause of someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes, nor would we believe we have the power to control their diabetes by will alone, and certainly if science cannot create a cure for diabetes, we ourselves aren’t likely to be arrogant enough to imagine we will discover the vaccine…so why do we find ourselves taking a different perspective on alcoholism?"


https://www.al-anon-sc.org/the-famil...lcoholism.html

How are you doing today?

What are your plans today for self-care?

Do you have a sponsor in the program you're working, and have they been through recovery from the effects of loving someone with alcoholism?
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sounds like a very frustrating situation. I’m not sure if this would help you at all, but a while back I read a couple of books on communication by Sandra Michaelson (Is Anyone Listening; The Emotional Catering Service), and those books were very helpful in general.


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Old 03-17-2019, 08:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I find accusing such a strong word, he throws it at me all the time, I see it as merely stating facts, or calling him out on his bad behaviour
I think this is a good example. In fact you are accusing him - well that is the way he sees it and since he is the recipient, you are going to be hard pressed to convince him otherwise.

If you look at it the other way around, you think you are stating facts, he would be pretty hard pressed to convince you otherwise?

This isn't something you need to get wrapped up in if you want to truly detach anyway, you have made your boundary now.

As SK mentioned, I also don't think that detaching is a long term solution but for now it just might cut out some of the "insane".

Quote:
Ok, maybe it is better not to talk at all
This is actually true. Detaching is about letting all this stuff go. Just let him be him, you be you, you don't need to call him on anything. In fact how has that been working? Not at all I'm guessing. It can't hurt to try a different approach and maybe it will give you some peace of mind.

It's not easy but it can be done.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Givenup….you have gotten some good responses, I think....I really liked what SparkleKitty said.....

I will add this....alcoholics who are actively drinking, frequently follow the pattern that you describe....seeming to forget what happened, the night before....that is because they really DO NOT remember it. It is a form of alcoholic "black out". they may look normal to you the night before, but their short term memory fails to become "registered" into their long term memory. Sire, you remember all of if, but to them...it never even happened.....

You may need to change your expectation that he will remember what he says or does when he is drinking.....
It becomes easier to detach if you are willing to give up a lot of your expectations....yes, and give yo the need to be "right".
Detaching from an alcoholic is hard....because the playing field is sooo not level, to begin with......
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Givenup…..for what it is worth...you say that his opinion of you doesn't really matter...
From everything that you say, it looks to me like his opinion of you matters very, very much.....
I think that is why you get so very angry when he storms away or stonewalls you.....It might be "natural" to feel anger in that situation....but, it is lack of self awareness to say that you don't really care...(denial)….
You care...I am willing to bet my children's milk money on that...lol...
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am willing to bet my children's milk money on that...lol...
Gambling and with the kiddies milk money! Gather up the group, time for an intervention!

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Old 03-17-2019, 06:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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^^^^^^lol!
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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As I was reading your post I felt like I was reading one of mine word for word. I have never been able to have a "normal" conversation with my ABF. He completely refuses it. And when we have horrible nasty fights the next day he acts as if nothing happened and "let's go to lunch".... THIS freaks me out and mostly is just so insulting and what has resulted in me feeling like I was going insane. Anyway I started attending Alanon regularly and I really feel that has saved me just a little bit. I find it difficult to detach with someone I live with- but the importance of my life and wellbeing has become more or a priority for me instead of my nonstop focus on him and his inability to do the right thing and lead a respectful relationship- it just won't exist because he is actively drinking- and he doesn't respect himself or care about his wellbeing therefore he won't respect or care about mine. Not saying Anything to him like calling him out on all the damaging things he has done and going about my life has caused him to take notice a bit. But it's hard work on both ends.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Is your program working for you?

In AlAnon, we say, "Work the program, not the problem." Actually, one of the first things to go in the AlAnon approach is calling people out on their bad behavior. That can only ever lead to anger, resentment and emotional wall building because calling out is simply judgment, plain and simple. No one responds well to being negatively judged. Loving detachment isn't about letting others get away with bad behavior, nor is it about making ourselves cold. It's about letting others make their own choices and learning how to not need as if our lives depend on it. Loving detachment is, at heart, learning how to be more substantial in and of ourselves. Working the program is developing our own strengths and joys, which always makes for better relationships all around.

Flailing to directly improve a relationship with an alcoholic who is not diligently working his own recovery program will only land us in deeper hot water. Trying to get through to him isn't what will help - and it's not entirely because he is so difficult. Both of you have communication and emotional patterns that are much stronger than you're able to struggle out of as a couple right now. The best course for those of us who are in close communication with an alcoholic who is not in serious recovery is to work our own recovery program. Only then can our relationships improve.
TBH I don't see how that can always work. So if we arrange to go for dinner and he turns up 1.5 hours late, I simply smile as if nothing happened, (isn't that denial?) how does one "lovingly detach?" or work the program in such a situation or similar scenarios? I am struggling with this because it sounds good on paper but how do you actually put it into practice? The only way to my mind it works, is if I have little or no interaction at all?
I know I am sick, just realizing it, the compulsiveness, the need to control, etc. Implementing boundaries I guess maybe I would not wait for 1.5 hours, go home and pretend nothing happened, really how does that work? Isn't that avoidance?
If loving detachment is not about letting people get away with bad behaviour (as you say), then what is it about really in actual practical real life terms. I am lost tbh.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi, I guess you keep your expectations low, or work out whether it's worth accepting invitations from him. Is he always late, or is it a once or twice off? It would be easy to call each other when you are running late, in fact it's just good manners. But you did say he was always letting you down, so it seems like a pattern.
I think you did the right thing in asking someone else to the function; you don't have to rub it in, just state it as fact.
Make an effort to act politely to him and maybe it will rub off. You can hold your own without 'nagging' (I hate that word).
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:28 AM   #19 (permalink)
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"All we need to understand are “the 3 C’s”, which are:

We didn’t cause it – it is not our fault that the other person drinks, it is their private battle

We can’t control it – we have no power over the other person's desire to drink

We can’t cure it – it is an illness that cannot be cured through any known medical remedies

If you can start to consider alcoholism in the same way you consider other illnesses, such as diabetes for example, it will become clear that you are powerless over it.

We would not consider ourselves responsible for the cause of someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes, nor would we believe we have the power to control their diabetes by will alone, and certainly if science cannot create a cure for diabetes, we ourselves aren’t likely to be arrogant enough to imagine we will discover the vaccine…so why do we find ourselves taking a different perspective on alcoholism?"


https://www.al-anon-sc.org/the-famil...lcoholism.html

How are you doing today?

What are your plans today for self-care?

Do you have a sponsor in the program you're working, and have they been through recovery from the effects of loving someone with alcoholism?
Thank you Mango, no I do not have any sponser, I live in a place in Asia where there are lots of AA groups but no Al Anon or Coda, I am trying to do this myself with reading, etc. I have joined the online Coda group.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I think this is a good example. In fact you are accusing him - well that is the way he sees it and since he is the recipient, you are going to be hard pressed to convince him otherwise.

If you look at it the other way around, you think you are stating facts, he would be pretty hard pressed to convince you otherwise?

This isn't something you need to get wrapped up in if you want to truly detach anyway, you have made your boundary now.

As SK mentioned, I also don't think that detaching is a long term solution but for now it just might cut out some of the "insane".



This is actually true. Detaching is about letting all this stuff go. Just let him be him, you be you, you don't need to call him on anything. In fact how has that been working? Not at all I'm guessing. It can't hurt to try a different approach and maybe it will give you some peace of mind.

It's not easy but it can be done.
Well we are not speaking to each other at the moment now anyway, (he is angry with me and told me he is 'done talking,' ) so yes it is pretty peaceful but not a long term solution at all. My problem is I like to talk, talk, talk...........................
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