help with boundaries

Old 06-24-2008, 08:41 AM
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help with boundaries

SOmeone told me on this forum to write downmy boundareis and their consequences, should they be broken. I think that is a very good idea---Im gong to wait until i get back from vacation just because my kids (and me) deserve a relaxing, calm vacation with no tension between their father and ah doesnt realize in know he's using again...if i bring it up it will cause fighting, arguements, tension in the house...and i dont want that.

Anyway, i need help because i have a feeling that this is what will happen..ill ell him i know he's using again, and i am not going to live like that again...ill tell him that i don not want that CR*P in the house, and he'll deny that he is using....if i think he is using in the house, he will deny it.....if i find residue he will say its not coke...if i tell him i know there was cashadvances..then he'll know i was snooping, and put a security code on the card so that i cant call and find out how much he is taking out...(the card is only in his name).

How do i fight this??? Do i just put my foot down and say no drugs inthe house, if i find anything even resembling coke, than you have to move out!!
He wont go!!!! what other consequence can i give???? He wont listen to me i threaten to leave?? in knwo i have to be good and ready and no threats---

so ya see-- i really need help with this--
basically its like he is always in control--he will just deny and lie his way out of everything.....

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Old 06-24-2008, 11:58 AM
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Denial is a protective device, a shock absorber for the soul. It prevents us from acknowledging reality until we feel prepared to cope with that particular reality.

I am not saying this to be mean or negative but you are no where near ready emotionally to address his continued addiction.

Before you can do a thing to help yourself you need to really ask yourself what YOU want YOUR life to be for YOU and YOU alone. Keep in mind that decision affects your children as well. His addiction whether you think it does or not also is affecting them.

Codependent thinking of hiding things, pretending things are ok and living on hope is how new codependents are formed, our children.

Take time to think about what you really want in life. If you want to remain in your home living the façade because that is what’s easier for you emotionally and financially then accept his addiction, accept he’s not going to change and get used to all those things addiction brings with it. Lying, denying, moodiness, ATM withdrawls, cash advances, cheating, to name a few behaviors.

Otherwise that only leaves YOU to be the one to chance and counseling lots of counseling and support groups will help you move away from what you can’t control, his addiction.

You have stated clearly all HIS responses to boundaries you could set. What you are not saying is more important. You are not saying that if you find residue, or find out about cash advances or anything resembling coke that YOU WILL LEAVE THE HOUSE. And that too me says you are still stuck in trying to control his addiction.

Go back to counseling, keep posting, get your full time job back and accept the help in getting you strong to make healthy decisions for future and your children’s future.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:23 PM
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Drained Wife....... going on this vacation..... and if you have time to think about yourself and the children...... think about NOT what happens if he continues in active addiction...... or even think about if he stops.... think about what YOU want....... and then the boundaries will also surface within YOU..... what you are willing to tolerate! Does that make sense?

LET GO and LET GOD! Seriously! What he does..... he is going to do.......... NOW.... is the time to be thinking about what you want and what you want for your children!

You are up against a drug...... you will not win! End of story! His not using is something only he can own! And you can own whether you want yourself and your children to be around it!

My exah..... I had to leave the house. I knew that I was not able to stay in my boundaries while living with him in active addiction........ so I figured out financially how to carry on ....... on my own. He cried and cried ....... saying he would stop........ but I had gotten so tired of the wordy words..... they mean NOTHING.......! It's been 10 years now...... and he has just gotten himself deeper and deeper into trouble....... with months here and there of sobriety ..... but nothing truly changed! I got the help I needed to move forward and focused on me!

Now..... a new phase in my life began...... I fell in love with another addict 8 years later! I was in total denial and wasn't aware of the usage ... until I saw my codie ways showing it's head again! While I loved him a ton.... I knew that the addiction was taking me down with him just as fast as it was taking him down........ so I detached. And then I gave an ultimatum which was one that I was going to stand by ...... no matter what. ZERO TOLERANCE.... and I got his family involved..... and his friends too.... and we all did an intervention and he went into rehab. He comes home this weekend. Recovery I will full on stand by....... however, if I end up back in the cycle of addiction with him....... we are done! Not because I don't love him, but because I do love him.... and I love myself and my children! It's not what I want for myself or my children! What gave me the strength and continues to give me the strength? To "let go and let God"........ to know that I am powerless over his actions...... and only empowered by my own doings!

The man I love is not the same when in active addiction...... so I choose to hate the doc ..... not the man. And my way of fighting that DOC is by not letting it be a part of my life..... which means..... not letting the "carrier" be a part of my life as well. Make sense?

Empower yourself..... and for your children..... it's not a personal attack on him..... it's the proven way for you to *fight* and attack the doc..... to detach..... and look after YOU! It's brilliant actually!!!!!!!
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:28 PM
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How do i fight this??? Do i just put my foot down and say no drugs in the house, if i find anything even resembling coke, than you have to move out!!
He wont go!!!! what other consequence can i give???? He wont listen to me i threaten to leave?? in know i have to be good and ready and no threats---
DW... the boundaries are not about him at all. The boundaries are about YOU.

What YOU want.
How YOU want to live.
What YOUR day looks like.

If you don't have that with him... YOU leave. There is no need to confront him, to give him opportunities to deny what you KNOW. You know... that is enough.

Find a small place and imagine it being serene...peaceful... filled with love. It can be a trailer in small family park. You are happy, the kids are not worried. You have a little flower garden in the side yard.

Imagine what you want.
Write it down.
Break it into manageable bits.
Start working toward the first bit.

Just as addicts struggle with getting clean and sober... WE struggle with letting them go. Imagine yourself as the addict, and try to envision what you would say to this person... YOU can do this. OTHERS have done this. There are RESOURCES out there.

I wish you the best.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:15 PM
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Everyone's posts are wonderful.

How about you sit down and you make a list of things that YOU want out of life. Then you circle the things on the list that YOU can make happen. Then you write down the steps that YOU are going to take to make those things happen.

This isn't about your husband. This is about you and how you want to live. It really doesn't matter what he says or does. He's happy with the way things are and he will continue doing what he wants. So decide what you want. And take steps to get there. If living a chaotic life with someone you can't trust isn't what you had in mind, well, you don't have to be stuck there unless you choose to be.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:57 PM
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Live your life, not his
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:26 PM
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Hey Drained! I'm listening too. Trying to absorb and apply, absorb and apply. Start using "I" when you talk to him instead of "you" too. (Got reminded of that this morning).
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BigSis View Post
DW... the boundaries are not about him at all. The boundaries are about YOU.

What YOU want.
How YOU want to live.
What YOUR day looks like.


I know it is confusing at first when setting and sticking to boundaries...

I first started small...when I saw that I was actually sticking to them, I increased my boundaries and what will happen should they be broken.

Just focus on what YOU want, not what he will do.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:16 PM
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Great posts!

Sorry if I led you to believe they were about him. Remember the 3 c's: You didn't cause it, You can't control it and You can't cure it. There is also the 3 G's: Get off of him, Get out of his way and Get onto yourself. I agree the boundaries are for you. What do you want in your life? Think. What is it that you want? What are you going to accept? Set your boundaries on that.

Food for thought....last year we took our kids to Disney. My RAH was in full blown addiction and I didn't know at the time. It was the trip from HELL. He had to be near the room, he had no patience with people, lines, even his own family. He was very aggitated or sleeping! We were all miserable. I finally left with the kids and did things by myself. I ask for a divorce on that trip! The kids still talk about how they never want to go back with him! It was a trip from hell with someone in full addiction. Just be prepared.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:00 PM
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If you go on the vacation, make sure you and the girls have time alone to do the fun things. If he is using and they find it he WILL NOT be coming back with you. Be prepared for that.
Look into yourself and find out what you want, how you want to live, and how you can get there.
My addicts were my son and his exgf. I could not live that way anymore and made them leave. I figured out what I wanted and how to live my life for me.
You can do it too, just take it one step at a time, baby steps.
Good luck, keeping you and your girls in my prayers.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:51 AM
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As for the trip--i do think he will want to do fun things...and i dont think he would bring cocaine on the trip, risking getting caught at the airport, etc...

But i guess i will have to just see what is going to happen.....
My therpist said that if I just keep it in my head that this is not how i want to live my life but for right now, and with good reason, I dont have to confront him about it. when the time is right (after the summer) i can do that and be planning accordingly.....and working with her in the meantime to focus on myself, get stronger, have a support group, etc...... I have the summer to enjoy with my kids right now, so i might as well take advantage of it.....
He may be in active addiction, but at least (for now anyway-as for the past 3 years) he has kept his job.....and although he is not a great dad, at least he does talk to the kids, and does things with them once in a while.....not the best situation, but for right now...for the summer, i just feel like i have to let it ride until the vacations over, my mom goesback to florida, etc......
i dont know if this makes sense to any of you...but im going to see my therapist today to salk more about it..ill keep you posted....
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:10 PM
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Whatever works for you.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:23 PM
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Well it is what it is. I hope your children aren't too negatively affected by being around cocaine and coke addicts. Keep them out of the residue and hide the drug paraphenalia if he leaves it out accidently. Enjoy your summer!
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:18 PM
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One of my favorite mantras when I was wrapped up in my situation with my ex was:

If I choose to do nothing, I have nobody to blame but myself for what happens next.
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:20 PM
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He doesn't have to take coke with him to use while on is readily available in the Bahamas and pretty much any other place you can think of.

Hugs and prayers!

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Old 06-25-2008, 02:24 PM
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“All choices have consequence. Even doing nothing is a choice”

Everything in your life is a choice. Even doing nothing is a choice. At any moment you have hundreds of options, some significant and some seemingly insignificant. Pay attention to the choices you are making. Too often we all operate on automatic, doing things by habit rather than by choice. Life is a series of choices, as you realise this you can slow the process down, recognise that what you are doing is making a choice. You cannot really abdicate from making choices. If you try hand over responsibility of the choices in your life to others you are often setting up a situation where you can blame them if things don’t go your way.

Acknowledge that the automatic choice in this situation - the habitual choice - would be to act the same way you always have. Then to stop for a moment and choose what you would like to do based on the stronger more successful Self you would like to be.

In every moment you have a choice - how to act, how to react, how others’ moods, how these choices will affect you and how you will affect others. These choices are not made only once but every moment of every day. These decisions mould and sculpt your experiences and actions in the moment and eventually your day and life. When things happen that are not to your liking you can either allow them to bring you down or choose to find the opportunities in them.

A reason people make poor choices and hang onto their negative emotions is that we live largely in a squeaky wheel society. Squeaky wheel syndrome: The person who makes the most fuss or acts out gets more attention. Think of the quiet kids at school who did their work and didn’t get up too much mischief, they seldom got as much attention as those who acted up. The troubled kids got negative attention. In a world where people often get too little quality attention, what with TV and interactive media, for them any attention is better than none. We only have to look at the popularity of “reality” or Jerry Springer type TV shows where people make an absolute fool of themselves for the attention and 30 seconds of fame. The number of people who are willing to degrade themselves like that is amazing.

Don’t worry so much about what! Concentrate on how and why!

Which path you choose does not matter as much as the choice of how you travel that path and why. If you choose out of fear, guilt, greed (for future reward with less integrity and effort) or to fit in or belong your journey will lack realness and your choices may result in future guilt. If you choose a path of integrity, love and the desire to know and understand yourself you will reach a depth that will thrill you. Life is about choices in the moment. Nobody can make choices for you, only you are able to do that. Others can inspire you to choose one path or another just as you can inspire others to choose more beneficial paths. This inspiration is more through deeds and actions rather than just the words. Words can be powerful but words followed by action are incredible in the impact they have together. The consistency of words and actions together is inspirational.

Many people think it is best to follow the course of least resistance. This is not necessarily true. Many of our greatest achievements have been made through much trial and error. Think of the hundreds of failed attempts Thomas Edison made on route to a successful light bulb. The thing was that he didn’t give up but he also kept a positive outlook and in his own mind he didn’t fail, each time he succeeded in discovering another way that wouldn’t work.

Nothing happens unless you choose to act now. Change happens in the moment, not over time. The effect of those choices, of the changes you have made, happen over time and you get to make those choices again and again in the moment. This is what is meant by “live in the NOW”. Too many people live in the past or future, making reactionary choices out of the past. Living chemically and physically out of memories of what happened. When we feel sad and lonely more of the bad experiences come to mind. When we are feeling good more positive experiences come to mind. Our choices determine our frame of mind; our frame of mind (and the dominant emotional pictures) determines which experiences stand out.

Let me know if you want the source...
It's on the internet for all to see just google emotional pictures and choice
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:29 AM
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i understand what all of you are saying..,..i kow from teh outside looking in that i am taking the easy way out..
I also know that it is foolish to act without first researching and doing some ground work, to get ready for what might come next...i need to first find a lawyer who can advise me..i need to make copies of all financials, i need to have a plan..i cant just get up and leave..i have no where to go....
None of you have been in my shoes with my may have been in like situations, but you do not know him or myself.. I am deeply depressed and feel very very alone...the phone here doesnt ring...i hardly have any friends, I never have anything to do or anywhere to go.....I feel like my world is crumbling , and i dont feel strong enough to take care of my kids as a single parent....
I am extrememly exhausted all the time, and i dont mean from all of this....there is something physically wrong with me..for years i thought i had MS...i found out last year through an MRI that i do not..however, there is still something not quite right..and so i do not think i have the energy to do this by myself..i dont have the physical energy.
Ive been to dr.s and no one has answers for is just something i live with. (ive had other symptoms for 20 years)

This all has added to my low self-esteem. I had a father who abandoned me....also adding to my low self-esteem....I dont know if i am capable of taking on a career and making decent money to take care of my children...... i cannot handle stress very well either....I was doing somewhat better, but now, i feel i am back to square one feeling helpless and hopeless.....believe me , i do not want to be here..but im here nonetheless....i am who i am...i dont know how to be a strong person and take care of myself..ive always worried about money because as my mom being a single mom, we didnt have any....
i hope ive given you a glipse of who i am...A scared indivdual in a horrible situation, with on family to turn to, and no friends who can help.....
Above you say to act now--act and do what??? what do i do????? Just get up, pack my bags and leave????? hire a lawyer with no money to pay him?? what do i do???

Last edited by drainedwife; 06-27-2008 at 10:32 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:07 AM
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What about starting with being open and honest with friends and family about your situation? You seem so isolated, something controlling men manage to do to us.

You mentioned your mom was coming for a visit is it possible to talk with her, is moving in with her an option, even a temporary one?

If you open up to your friends it will open up new doors, your phone will begin to ring, and you will find you do have new places to go. What about ala-non or nar-anon meetings?

Have you talked to your doctors about your depression, are you taking any medications? Often no energy and depression go hand n hand. I know you said you’ve felt that way for 20 years or more but added stress brings on deeper depression.

Didn’t you seek help and advice from an attorney last year when you discovered his drug use and other things going on? What were his suggestions at that time?
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:11 AM
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(((hugs drained))). I wasn't tryin to be hard on you. Just help you. I hope you have a wonderful wonderful family vacation with your kids and your husband. I'm not not telling you to do anything or leave anyone, unless you feel ready to do that. But I am encouraging you accept responsibility for your choices and your own life and move on from there. Nothing we do can make other people change, which is why we must focus on changing ourselves.

Boundaries are for us. Not others. They are about what we want in life. If we don't have boundaries, we can't get anywhere. We are just "blowin' in the wind" so to speak.

God bless sweetie. You are in a bad situation doing the best you can with the tools you have available to you. I know that you have the strength within to succeed at what you put your mind to, it's just bringing that strength to the surface. I felt that way once. And personal boundaries, accepting responsility for my life and a plan helped me gain control over my world (no one elses). I firmly belive that the universe strives for balance and that we (me you and everyone) are on a journey. We are exactly where we need to be right now to get to where we are going. Set a destination and you will get there eventually. Do you know where you want to go?

Anyway, have a great holiday ok.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:20 AM
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ive always worried about money because as my mom being a single mom, we didnt have any....
PS. Money isn't everything. A safe stable loving home environment is far more important. Yes you need to meet your basic needs - ie food and shelter, but there are programs out there than can help with that. You and your children need security and love, far more than you need the latest video games and the latest fashions.

And by the way. I understand chronic illness. I suffer from chronic EBV and it's tough. But I have a choice to be a victim of my circumstances or a victor over my circumstances. Actually I don't have a choice. I am a victor over my circumstances. You can be too. It starts with babysteps.
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