having trouble letting go of the past...

Old 03-11-2008, 10:22 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Let me preface this by saying my story is different from yours because my husband isn't a substance abuser.

The first time my husband and I went to a marriage counselor was our last time as a couple. The counselor asked each of us about our pasts and my husbands was like Leave it to Beaver, whereas mine was the polar opposite. When the counselor asked if any of my past issues had been resolved with therapy and I said no, he insisted that I address them first before moving onto marriage counseling.

We walked out that door (I was fuming) and never went back, eventually moving out of state a year later. Fast forward a few years and I wanted to revisit marriage counseling, but my husband said no, not until I resolved my own issues first. That was tough love from him and I needed it, but hated him for it at the time.

After four years of individual counseling, I discovered we didn't need marriage counseling. I resolved the issues from my past and learned new and better coping skills for the past, present and future, along with conflict resolution and anger management.

I told my therapist what I learned was that if I didn't resolve the past I wouldn't move onto the future, would always relive it.

Those four years of individual therapy ended up benefiting me in ways I would not foresee. Like dealing with my AD. My current therapist said where I'm at right now is amazing, given it's been just under a year with co-dependency. I've seen him maybe 8 times and everything I learned previously came back in a rush. All I needed was a refresher course and now, vigilance.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:40 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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My 2-cents. I agree, making sure we take care of ourselves first, and some of us have pasts that require some assistance in dealing with, should be our first priority. Doesn't mean your AH isn't an issue or that he doesn't have his own work to do, but that's just it. He needs to do his own stuff, and if he doesn't, then he's making a choice. It will be your choice if you want to live with that person or not.

My AH half-heartedly tried marriage counseling and his own individual counseling for all of a month - maybe. He was so busy saying "it's all my fault, I know I made mistakes BUT SHE ..." I knew he was never going to get anywhere with that kind of attitude in therapy. I had allowed a lot of years to pass, waiting and hoping for growth and change in our marriage, I did my part - he didn't do his, and it's not OK for me. Then throw the addiction issue in on top of it all and I'm really done - I was confused for a while, but never about being done with the marriage, just about who and what I had been married to. For me, being clear that the marriage was over was huge and I couldn't have gotten there without doing my own work.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:11 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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well, i am dong my own work in individual counseling, so i think that the marriage counselor should focus on the problems in our marriage.....why did i pcik who i picked?? well, first of all, i was a chubby kid---all my frineds had boyfriends, and i didnt....everyone had a date to the 8th grade dance except for me--in high school i slimmed down, but never seemed to be able to keep a relationship with a boy going....i think i was too needy..i wanted a boyfriend so badly....but i really think it had more to do with my weight issue, then my dad....when my ah came along i pursued him and then after giving up, he pursued me....he was my first real boyfriend...i have nothing to compare it to.....i think my self-esteem, the fact that i was chubby, i felt bad about myself for not making the cheerleading squad or softball, my parents divorce left me and my mom living in a small apt. when everyone else i know had a house they lived in, that all contributed to me having low self-esteem....but causing the issues in our marriage--and that is what we should be focusing in on in MARRIAGE counseling....i dont believe it is related....its not related to the drugs which caused issues in our marriage, its not related to him having a possible affair, or treated me badly.
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:58 AM
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I can relate to Chino. My AH finally agreed to go to counseling... about 4 years ago. He too spent most of his time pointing out that I had a problem. HE didn't have a problem. He was looking for the counselor to tell us how to live together with him being the same as always. Fixing me so I could live with him. Well, long story short... after about 3 - 4 sessions and my AH not even remotely considering that he needed to work on him ... (keep in mind I was going to individual counseling to deal with my stuff) ... the therapist bascially "threw us out". I joke about it... mostly because I saw it coming. She said, "Until he decided to work acknowledge that he need to work on his and our marriage issues, there was not point in us continuing." I continued on with my counseling, my AH's reaction was, "see we don't need counseling". And of course, he promptly continued on with his life, never changing a thing. Fast forward about 5 years, and I am back in counseling and moving forward... not waiting for him to get it this time and looking forward to a new and better life. Focus on you and get well.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:37 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I agree with anvil, childhood issues have everything to do with relationship issues in adulthood. For me, there came a time when I just stopped and said 'I am an intelligent, educated woman. How in the world did I get myself in such a mess?' It was then that I gave myself permission to look at my childhood, my parent's issues, and how those things affected the choices that I made. It really isn't about blaming; maybe your parents did the best they could at the time. I have no doubt that my own children were hurt by my codependency because we have talked about it.

It is about acknowledging that the child that you were was hurt by things that happened, and that the hurt you felt influenced the way you look at life and the choices that you made in relationships.

I really don't think true recovery began for me until I accepted these rather unpleasant realities.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:56 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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The drug use and the affair our symptoms of a troubled marriage along with a trouble self, his self and your self.

No you didn’t cause him to use drugs; you didn’t cause him to have an affair, that’s all on him.

Your troubled self is why you stayed and why you lied for him and why you denied his drug use and why you deny the affair. It’s why you push blame else where, it’s why you get so angry and defensive to posts here when you are not hearing what you wish to hear.

Two troubled self’s equal one dysfunctional/bad marriage.

You mentioned that if he worked on the root of why he turns to drugs to cope with life then every thing would be great. You seem to believe that would make your life all better and your marriage great.

I don’t think you fully understand the concept of codependent and addiction based relationships. Anvilhead made a wise observation about how he molded you all these years into what he wanted you to be in order for him to do what he wants.

Addicts don’t pick emotionally strong and healthy partners, they pick who they can mold.

Learning about codependency and about how you’ve given so much of yourself away in this relationship and about how you allowed yourself to be molded is the way towards the root of your self.

It’s possible that if your husband ever decides to truly address his own issues and his addiction and you have chosen to only work on the marriage, he may become too healthy to stay.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:45 AM
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Co-Dependent No More... awesome book by Melody Beattie. I highly recommend reading it. HUGE eye opener for me.
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:47 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
the girl can't help it
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I think addicts and alcoholics display behaviors that sure seem narcissistic. It could be because they are addicted then again maybe not.

My H has gotten himself into a fine mess with child support and they are going to throw him in jail if he does not come thru. So now all of a sudden he has stopped doing dope and is trying to get things straightened out.

I don't feel very impressed and I feel like there is not much remorse regarding how he has screwed me and his kids. He seems way more concerned about his own hide than anything else. I don't feel very much sorrow for him and his plight. I would not be surprised to see him go off on another binge as soon as he is out of hot water which he has 2 more months to go before having another court date.

I have changed i no longer feel it is my job to try and keep him in between the ditches. He has to do this on his own cause I am sick to death of his [email protected]

I don't know about all this counseling you are going to jointly. I personally would not waste my time or money going to marriage counseling with my H cause he is who he is and I do not see him changing. I accept him the way he is but that does not mean I need to allow him to wear me out with his stuff. His stuff is his.

Hang in DW take care of you cause doing that will keep you sane.
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