is this petty?

Old 08-01-2009, 12:26 AM
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is this petty?

So my husband is in treatment, and our only contact is letters except for every other weekend one night visit. At our last visit I asked that he try to write the first couple days after a visit because its better that way because i get letters during the week of no visit.... when he waits ......basically I will be seeing in in a few letters the week I cant come are better than several the day before I'm coming to see him

and secondly at the last visit he said hes been struggling with basically he lays that on me and then from last Sunday till now NOT one letter.............whenfor the past 5 weeks i get several a week

I feel annoyed
I mean for petes sake I have a JOB a house the bills school kids and two dogs.........

and i manage to write him, yet hes in treatment meals prepared work a few hours a day and classes...............and he doesnt write, expecially when he told me he is feeling depressed..........and would like to know if thats getting better or worse.....then not one letter....

I feel like it was rude thought less and basically I'm mad................with all I have to be responsibile without him here to help~~~ I manage to write yet he cant?

Not to mention I am somehow upset that things keep going wrong around the house and hes not here doing his part.........I KNOW in my head that his part is to get better but when the tub explodes and water is shoooting all over the place and I am not physically strong enough to turn the broken knob............I want to strangle him for not being that normal? Am I being over reactive ?

Is this petty? seriously I want honest opinions because I'm torn I;'m feeling disregarded yet shouldn't i just be glad hes there? I am glad hes there and hes working on getting well but sometimes it just pisses me off ya know
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:08 AM
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hi liesagain, i do want to share my esp. sounds like he's been there a few wks. while in rehab, i was always encouraged to focus more on myself and my recovery and that was hard to do. i was told that those things that i worried about the most outside of recovery, would be the very thing i would lose.

i was depressed alot too,mostly out of concern for my family and all the pain and suffering i had caused. i knew that i couldn't be good for them unless i grasp and held onto what recovery was all about.

maybe he's not trying to affend you, he probably has counselors to help him deal with his depression. i'm glad that he's there seeking help and pray that soon you will be able to talk to him and find him in a better frame of mind. still praying for you and yours
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:17 AM
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Yep....totally know what you mean. I don't think it's petty or over reactive at all - you have a right to have a husband who takes part in the marriage, yet because he is there, trying to do the right thing, he is not THERE for you right now....and you are understandably frustrated. I'm in somewhat of a similar situation in that my AH is in the early stages of recovery...he's going to meetings and working with his sponsor...I should be happy, right?!...but sometimes I how long is this going to take? He's moody and depressed while I still have to carry on. Not trying to sound selfish and I am supporting him in his recovery...but I just want to have my freaking husband back already and a marriage again. So, no real words of wisdom - sorry - but just wanted to let you know I understand. Guess if I want his recovery - and have made the choice to stick around - I kind of have to accept this as all part of the process. I don't know why your H didn't write - maybe he is working through things - but that doesn't make your needs any less valid.....always remember that your needs are important too. Hugs ~
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:53 AM
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I don't think it is petty only because you have no idea what rehab is like or where your H is at.

Early recovery, to be quite frank is HORRIBLE. I can only relate what I went through. First, I was detoxed so I had no alcohol or drugs in me to numb me. Then I had to start learning how to cope in a world where I truly felt I did not fit. And, I had to do this with a brain that felt like mush and I felt like I was walking around in a fog. Now I did not go through rehab where it is more intense, however, just all the 'stuff' that was being given to me at meetings and by my sponsor and I honestly didn't know which way was up. Oh yes, and I must not forget the depression. Of going down into the dark abysss and it being a real struggle just to get out of bed, yet alone do what 'they' wanted me to do.

Now he has regimentation, has to get up at a certain time, has to eat at a certain time, has to be at different classes and group therapys at certain times, and when one is depressed and in the dark abyss, that can be a struggle, that unless you have been there is hard to imagine.

So, for him not to write letters well to me that is understandable. I believe your 'expectations' are not realistic. It is going to take time and lots of it before he is a full member of the family. It is a slow process.

I KNOW in my head that his part is to get better but when the tub explodes and water is shoooting all over the place and I am not physically strong enough to turn the broken knob............I want to strangle him for not being that normal? Am I being over reactive ?
No that is not being over reactive. I believe we all 'delude' ourselves a bit when a loved one goes into rehab in that we 'think' everything is going to get back to normal quickly and it's not. When he does get home, and if he is serious about his recovery, he will have outpatient meetings where he was in re hab will have NA or AA meetings to attend, will get a sponsor and spend time with the sponsor. Will get involved in going for the 'meetings after the meetings' (coffee shop) with some of the folks he's getting to know, so he still may not be around much.

I do understand your frustration. I can tell you that when one does find recovery, and works very hard, it does get better in time.


Love and hugs,

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Old 08-01-2009, 02:18 AM
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I don't think it is petty, but I agree with those who have said that being in rehab is really difficult and the first couple months of sobriety are hell.

I can understand how you feel, wanting your husband back, but the best way to get him back is to allow him to get his head on straight. Which is not to say that he should get an indefinite amount of time to not participate in the marriage. However, when he is in rehab, he definitely should be as focused on that as he can be. Those people in rehab who worry too much about taking care of things on the outside were those who did not do as well when sent back out into the world, from my experience.

I don't know how much this helps you. One other suggestion, if you haven't already done it, is to check out AlAnon for yourself. Other people will understand exactly where you are because they've been there too.

I wish you and your husband the best. That he is in rehab and working on it is a great thing. I hope for both of you it sticks.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:19 AM
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Hi liesagain - I have no experience what so ever with someone in recovery so I don't have much to offer though the people above did . I can tell you that I have been super frustrated with my XAGF for "simple things" like what you are talking about. What my counselor pointed out to me was that I was expecting "normal" reactions from someone who at the moment was just incapable of them. It sort of changed my thinking some, and seems to be in agreement with what was written. It helped a little, but it still hurt and I struggled understanding how something that seemed so simple to me could be overwhelming and impossible to her. If anything the responses you got above helped me to see it better from "the other side" so hopefully it helps you too.

I'm glad that your H is in rehab and working to recover. My AGF is now an X because she just wasn't ready to take action to change things. It breaks my heart but it was out of my control and she was making my life unmanagable. I send you love and good wishes for s successful outcome .
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:45 AM
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When you asked your husband to write the letters at a different time, did you explain your feelings behind your request? Like, "I feel ____ (lonely, disconnected from you, etc) when I don't receive a letter from you for a week after our visit." I think if you explain why you'd like the letters sooner, he will understand. You can't control what he does with that information, but I think you will feel like you have had your feelings acknowledged.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:04 AM
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Lies, My greatest problems with getting upset with the person I love is that I have expectations that he will act and react the way I would. I thought about that when I read the part about your request to him for when he writes. I can totally relate to what you are saying and I could picture myself in your shoes very easily...Been there done that far too many times; just slightly different scenarios (please let me know if you can not do what you said you would do because I worry that something happened; please only say you will if you really will, not because you think it is what I want to hear...) I find I do best with letting go of my resentments when I realize that just because the person did not act and react the way I would in the situation does not mean he is wrong or bad or does not love me. It then lets me acknowledge that I am annoyed...irritated...etc, but I can understand why I am; get beyond it and stop feeling that toxic resentment that only hurts me.

Not being emotionally entrenched in what is going on in your situation, I can also see where writing when he is suffering from depression may be the absolutely hardest thing possible for him right now. It isn't something one can just snap out of and perhaps he just can't do it or does not want to write something that sounds filled with sadness and despair. When I was suffering through a particularly major depressive episode, I found getting out of bed and just moving (never mind talking or writing) to be the hardest challenge i had ever undertaken. It is extremly difficult to describe (like addiction I guess) if one has not experienced it.

I don't want to sound as if I am making excuses for him...just perhaps another way to view things...

When I am particularly disillusioned by others not living up to my expectations, I try to remind myself of this quote too..."Plant your own garden; grow your own soul...Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." it helps me put the focus back on me as the solution for me.
Hugs - I really hope the household stuff calms down and you can enjoy celebrating the strong, loving amazing woman that you are!!

Oh and one thought about your question on if your feelings were normal or you were overreacting...Well, I've faced that kind of feelings about someone who has died...Total anger that he wasn't there to help me through a particular challenge. I felt like crap for having that feeling until someone told me it is absolutely a normal part of grief. I think it is normal to grieve the circumstances we must experience as a result of addiction too.

Last edited by greeteachday; 08-01-2009 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:24 PM
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I spent 3 months in rehab. I was so busy with assignments I had NO time to even dwell or think on things. I wish there had been more reflective time. I don't think it's a good thing to be regimented from 6 am to 11pm daily. My wish would have been for more time to do assignments and just time to absorb everything including my part in all of it.
There is tremendous pain in rehab and depression and guilt and shame. I wanted so badly to be helping my family but was unable to do anything -- I wish someone would invent the perfect rehab.
I do know that it takes about 9 months to really come to terms with the entire experience. Anger is a huge emotion that is really about depression and feeling inert and feeling frustrated. I had huge amounts of that and I do know if my family had expressed frustration about whole experience I would have felt ... "what is the point then in even trying. Nothing I would do would matter or help".
So while I do feel that the newly clean and sober person should own up to responsibilities, guilt and shame can set them backwards. They need support. They need to know in words that what they are doing is a positive thing because being newly clean can go either way. I do believe an addict has the ability to withstand confrontations while in very early recovery but it's hard and emotions are so raw that without a seriously strong strong motivation to recover, some addicts could fall back into relapse without a great deal of family support.

He's doing the right thing for himself and for you and the family. But it's takes about 9 solid months to work it all out for both the addict and the family. It just takes a HUGE amount of patience and love on both sides. I do believe you and he can do this.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:50 PM
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I just wanted to let you know that I agree with everyone else...we feel what we feel, and our feelings aren't "wrong" or "right", it's what we do with them.

I'm struggling with problems at work. Problem is, I need my job. Last night, at work, I was extremely frustrated. So, I vented to the people who let me, filled out a few more applications, and then prayed that HP would let me do what I need to do, and let this go". I pray a lot

I've found out, by being on both sides of addiction - the A and the codie - both are hard and both can be frustrating. Even though I understand both sides, better than someone who hasn't been an addict and a codie, I still get angry/hurt/frustrated, etc.

Hugs and prayers!

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Old 08-01-2009, 02:12 PM
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hey guys, you know I love SR and all of offten supportive and say the right things at just the right time.

I do have a right to my feelings, yet something in me says nows not a good time to lay them on him...........and I believe that 100% because he is trying to do the right thing and he is struggling with shame and guilt and his own issues of not being here to "provide" since thats his man issue............but as I told him.....hes NO GOOD to me here paycheck or no paycheck if he uses every 6 months..........

SO heres the bad part on my side, I vented here then I cussed him in my head for many hours.............1st no letters then my tub spouted a huge flood and I wasnt strong enough to turn the darn stripped thing off (plumer is here today )

ANYHOW I open my mailbox, and had 4 letters a card and a pressed flower........

he did what he said he would do, the dates on the letters and envelopes show he wrote daily...starting the night I left from the visit...........somehow the mail was held and they ALL came today.......................

so first off I am thankful that i had you all to vent to and
2nd i am sooooo glad i didnt write a letter with all the mad angry things that ran thru my mind all last night.

Hes doing what he should be and even trying to meet some of my requests ..........Still I AM entitled to be hurt disappointed and frustrated sometimes and thankfully i didnt have to share that with him now...................... Lucky for me I have SR and you guys Thanks you so very much!!!
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:17 PM
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Lies, you had the same experience I had the first night I came her not too long ago. I was feeling resentment toward my AD, because she was at the lake with her new NA friends, and I am here taking care of her 4-year-old daughter (she left her with me and I have legal custody).

I know exactly how you felt when that bathtub went berzerk. And no, your feelings are not petty, and they are justified. You do not deserve the situation you have. I think someone else said it here, too, but it's what we do with those feelings that matter.

You did the exact same thing I did. You got on this site and you posted. Had you not done that, you would have had the time to write that nasty letter to H you were considering. I was considering letting my D have it verbally, but I couldn't because it was 3:00 am. I couldn't sleep and thank God I found this site and was able to vent.

So many great people responded with insight and thought-provoking statements that I was able to relax, get some sleep and of course everything was better in the morning.

My daughter is freshly out of a 28 day inpatient rehab, and has just gotten an NA sponsor. Unfortunately, everybody here is right. You and I have a LONG road ahead before things will even begin to resemble normal again.

When things begin to overwhelm me, and I have A LOT of resentment toward my daughter, so I get overwhelmed quite a bit, I remind myself what my life was like when she was living under my roof and using. The serenity that came with her departure ( or the departure of her addiction I guess) is what keeps me from going over the edge.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. My father was an alcoholic and I used to be an active al-anon member. I let that slide when he died 13 years ago. I'll be starting back this week and if you've never been, I will tell you it saved my life at one time.

Hang in there and remember that your feelings are just that...your feelings and there is nothing petty about them.
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:36 PM
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Lies I am so happy for you that you have gotten to this point. Its like an uphill battle. This is REALLY hard.......

I also am reassured by your post because sometimes things happen in my life that I get upset about or something happens and it brings up all of those yucky feelings and I start to get ALL freaked out. Then I tell myself to STOP. Before I do ANYTHING or say ANYTHING I PROCESS what I am feeling. I ask myself questions. Like, why do you feel this way or what is causing you to feel this way. I examine it or sometimes I VENT but I get it out and then I realize about 99% of the time that its all of the same patterns from before. Then I set about changing it or releasing it and letting it go.

THAT IS HARD ASS WORK. It takes ALOT of control and ALOT of tools but it is possible. Your post proves it. I know this is gonna sound weird but really recovery is FUN. I am a fixer by nature (NO KIDDING CODIE) and I am FINALLY learn how to fix MY bs and it feels great.......

Thanks for sharing and showing us your recovery process.....
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:26 PM
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not sure if it helps but while in jail my son said it was hard to write letters - its not like he had a lot of new things going on to tell me about - it was the same thing day in and day out. he said whenever he tried to write things it all came out being the same thing over and over again. he just really didnt have much to say that was new. it was kinda the same when he was in rehab - just not much that he was excited to tell someone about.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:15 PM
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Its a bit different than the typical rehab, and actually he has quite alot to write about and hes encouraged to write me (by the program) and share with me the things that are going on with him, in his head, heart and in his program.

This program is a christian based program, and strenghening the marriage is as high of a priority as him getting and staying clean. They believe that addicts learn to be selfish and need to UNLEARN those behaviors.........they are big on respect and treating your wife with respect at all times.

I was mostly upset, because Iwas frustrated by his absence(logically grateful but during a period of stress just plain MAD)

and then with the hold up of his mail home I was having "stinking thinking" This whole issue at that point was me, my stuff and of course his past actions play a big part but today I need to be responsible and identify my parts....and i'm working on that.

it all worked out for the best grateful that I had SR when I needed it.
That storm has passed but their will be others and its good that I can come here to deal with them when needed.
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