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Aftershock, aftermath, STUFF!

Old 01-04-2006, 02:25 AM
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Aftershock, aftermath, STUFF!

I don't know whether it's giving up smoking but I seem to be having a rough time right now. I have so many mixed feelings and gaps where clear lines of responsibility should be which is making it hard to really comprehend what happened. I'm also struggling with the aftermath.

We've been looking into changing the mortgage to fund me returning to college, part of that has been to try and sort our finances. We have a joint account and individual accounts and although D is basically open he's responsible for his own money.

The problem is over the last months he's wound up £10K (about $18K) in debt. Some of that obviously had gone on booze but alot of it was the result of some very strange spending sprees!! I don't mean normal stuff, not stuff anyone would want. For example he bought a job lot of silver baubles to make a giant flash unit, LOADS of broken digital cameras to repair, circuit boards and programmable micro chips for other ideas, a broken teapot he thought was silver - ebay and the charity shops have made a fortune!! It looks and is different from a 'normal' spend - I know he was ill, I don't know how much he really was responsible.

The debt will effect what mortgages we can take, D is determined to pay it off alone AND to try to fund me to study but that's unrealistic. I sometimes feel so sad for him because it's such a long walk out of this. Then sometimes I feel angry because HE DID THIS - or did he, was it JUST because he was ill?

Trying to make future plans, feeling hopes and doubts and right in the middle I remember what it FELT like and sometimes I desperately want to know (read someone to tell me) how much of it was his fault.

It's so pointless because there's no way of getting answers, any help that might have begun that process came too late. Even if I had answers it might not make anything easier.

BLAH!! I thought I was past this and I'm not.
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:09 AM
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This is interesting because I've seen this kind of behavior. When most people looking at the purchases would conclude that they were irrational, you can say they were at least impulsive and probably compulsive. You'd have to tell me whether you consider someone entirely responsible for their compulsive behaviors.
I had an employee who was homeless, yet constantly -- and I mean daily -- picked up junk from the gutter that people were throwing out ('perfectly good...just needs a little fixing...can you believe they were throwing it away?!'). It was a compulsive behavior to the point that he would bring back furniture in the company vehicle -- mind you, he was homeless! No place to put them! We just figured it was a sort of unconscious reflection of his desire to have a normal life, a place where he could (never mind that he probably never would) store and sort and work on these things.
But in all this time he never actually moved forward to resolve his lack of shelter. It was like some kind of anxious displacement of his paralysis on that front, that he would keep doing these things that seemed so out of touch with reality.
Like D's desire to pay his own debt and your schooling, it isn't just a lack of realistic planning. It's a reflection of the distress, confusion, and shame he probably feels for having failed at something that is very basic to many men: providing for our families, managing the finances, and so on.
I would imagine he has many irrational beliefs about this situation that are causing him to be upset. And it doesn't help, sometimes, when the spouse is taking charge and bringing order out of the chaos. It forces him to face those irrational beliefs, while up until now he's been able to submerge them, even placate the distress somewhat by continuing the behavior. See, if he can just get some more of this, or organize that, he can get caught up and make something of all that stuff. I imagine if you had a big garage sale he'd probably suffer considerable emotional anguish. So this may be something you'll want to approach rather gingerly, meanwhile making sound financial plans and goals of your own.
So much for my armchair analysis! Take care, and keep your expectations realistic!
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:52 AM
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Thanks Don - I think you've hit a lot of nails on the head in understanding what's happened.

Like D's desire to pay his own debt and your schooling, it isn't just a lack of realistic planning. It's a reflection of the distress, confusion, and shame he probably feels for having failed at something that is very basic to many men: providing for our families, managing the finances, and so on.
This makes SO MUCH sense. His father worked 70 hours a week in appalling conditions to raise his family, D can earn more in a week than his father could in a month and he has said he feels an absolute failure. A large chunk of the 'stuff' is part of plans to make money that don't work - because he spends more than he makes on more plans to make money!!

The whole issue of blame/trust is a nightmare. If I say I might not be able to take a year off work to study he feels I don't trust him and blames himself for that. I try to SAY all the things I trust him with completely like being faithful, not trying to hurt me, being a loyal friend, trying his best to stay sober, being a loving husband, kniowing he will stay with me through life 'warts an' all'. But it always comes back to blame/trust/responsibility. In the middle sometimes I am angry then I feel guilty for it because I know it wasn't a simple act of selfishness - I had a ringside seat through it!!

I really believe CBT would help him but right now it makes him feel worse because he feels 'wrong'. I think maybe that would be different in a face to face setting with a good, well trained CBT counsellor. I think it's a bit to irratic over the net, especially while he backs off whenever it makes him feel worse.

He does have odd beliefs about money some of which I can understand because occassionally his ideas can be worth a fortune. He saved one company £30K (for a calibration unit) by tying a piece of string from the ceiling, sticking the 'thingy' they made on the end and doing the maths for a pendulum swing!! He also knows he SHOULD (as he puts it) be able to earn a fortune - if he only worked hard enough and wasn't so lazy (his words not mine). Future plans are based on his view of him 'bucking his ideas up'. My lack of faith in them is lack of faith in him.

Meanwhile I'm struggling, about to loose my job, scared of having faith in him to earn, scared of him knowing I don't, sad for what happened and that he asked and asked for help but didn't get it, and sometimes so angry at him which makes me feel horrible because I don't mean it.

I don't even know where to start trying to figure out my irrational beliefs so I can not be so 'under' the aftermath of what happened. I'm so proud of how hard D has fought back, I love his never ending drive to turn things around, I love that he's never just given up - I think he's so damn cool. But I'm also scared and shocked by what happened and sad. Meanwhile it feels like I should be so happy, loads of stuff is better than it was, D wants me to be very positive, I want to be very positive.

How do I help me?
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by equus
Meanwhile I'm struggling, about to loose my job, scared of having faith in him to earn, scared of him knowing I don't, sad for what happened and that he asked and asked for help but didn't get it, and sometimes so angry at him which makes me feel horrible because I don't mean it.

I don't even know where to start trying to figure out my irrational beliefs so I can not be so 'under' the aftermath of what happened. I'm so proud of how hard D has fought back, I love his never ending drive to turn things around, I love that he's never just given up - I think he's so damn cool. But I'm also scared and shocked by what happened and sad. Meanwhile it feels like I should be so happy, loads of stuff is better than it was, D wants me to be very positive, I want to be very positive.

How do I help me?

Holy crap! My thoughts exactly!
D used to invent little things that were really helpful and say he was going to get a patent, never do it, then we'd see the product he allready thought of on an infomercial.
I dont know how to encourage you to help yourself Eq, bc I couldnt do it myself with my D.
I can say this..maybe this is little glitch in the plan and you'll be back on track tomorrow or next week. Your thoughts are lucid and rational, not to mention valid. Work through them, I know you will!
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:04 AM
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Work through them, I know you will!
Thanks....
I'm trying, I think maybe I'm working in too many circles though!! Getting angry messes with my head, I feel frustrated that I can't find an answer I'm at peace with.
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:05 AM
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and sometimes so angry at him which makes me feel horrible because I don't mean it.
Actually, I think the problem here is that you are trying to deny yourself the right to feel a VERY valid emotion! Being angry is okay! It's what you do with that anger that makes it good or bad. Stuffing the anger deep into a pocket, hoping it will go away will not make you feel better.

I've found that when I try and fight what I feel are "bad" emotions (ie. sadness, anger, jealousy, etc) I tend to make the situation worse. If I acknowledge them, (ie. I'm sad b/c my husband has a drinking problem and b/c of that he's chosen to spent the evening with a bottle instead of me.) I can accept it easier. If I try and deny it, (ie. I shouldn't be sad b/c he's sick.) that only makes things worse for me! So... I accept it, yes, I'm sad b/c he's not spending time with me... then I have to figure out what I can do to make the situation better for me!

In my case (somewhat similiar to yours!), B spent a CRAPLOAD of money on an ex-girlfriend (what he claimed was drunken benders), so when I met him he had $15k in credit card debt. So now, we are working on whittle away the debt... have it down to $5,000... and knowing it's there still makes me mad from time to time. It's a debt that I don't want to pay, why should I, right? We've had our share of battles over it, no doubt, but the end result is... there's nothing either of us can do to fix it over night. So I accept it. It's okay to be mad, as long as I realize that being mad is only doing damage to me. Having that extra debt has limited our options, but it's just a fact of life that I have chosen to accept.

Final thoughts... don't deny yourself any feelings. Feelings aren't facts and they most certainly don't define ANYONE's character.

Thoughts are with you,
Shannon
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:15 AM
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Whether I have a right to anger or not it takes me somewhere I don't want to be so I dislike it. I think it's valid but only as an emotion - I feel it, therefore it is. What I dislike the most about anger is it alters my focus to the thing taht annoys me the most.

Without anger I can see whole people with whole lives - with it I can see glaringly obvious flaws. It isn't the latter that truly reflects the other person, it's the first.

Maybe it's also about whether or not what happened is acceptable to me. I watched it and it wasn't 'normal' self centred spending, nor COULD he have drank it in only 4 single lapse sessions since August, he thinks he drank half of it but that's impossible. I wanted some professional to say WHAT HAPPENED, the best we ever got was a GP saying 'some mania' (amongst other things!!). I can't be the one to tell him - he already feels stupid.

Inbetween his shame/wanting to believe it's all ok now and my frustration anger is just an outlet but not one that's helping - if that makes sense?
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