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Old 06-03-2013, 10:30 PM
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Recoveries and Marriage

Well, my husband and I were doing the Love Dare and made it to day 27 (out of 40). We had some "rain delays" because I got sick, he went away for a few days, and then he got sick. I think the book is wonderful and would highly recommend it to anyone who is working on a better marriage.

That said, I honestly think it was too soon in his recovery and probably in mine too. I can now fully appreciate why addiction "experts" suggest that recovery addicts focus on themselves and not enter new relationships.

Recovery is a lot of work. Marriage (relationships) is a lot of work. Parenting is a lot of work. Running a business (any job) is a lot work. It's way too much for anyone in early recovery, IMO.

The Vivitrol shot made things very easy the first month. It helped him get back over hump. It made him saner then I have seen him in a few years. However after it wore off, he had to battle the demons using his tools he has learned. He's experiencing emotions he has numbed out for a while now as well.

I could visually see him on overload and I wanted a break too. He had suggested the book, it was a great idea but I don't think it was realistic for the amount of time he had clean. Neither one of us were ready.

Once again, I am reminded why recovery for both of us must come first. There should be no expectations placed on either of us. Two people do not make a whole. Two healthy people make a healthy relationship. There are no short cuts!

We decided to attempt again in a few months and I am fine with that.

I guess the moral of the story is....it's hard to understand what a RA must go through. As non addicts, many of us can have very unrealistic expectations. We really can't fathom recovery from any substance and what it means. We expect "normalcy" that just isn't possible. The brains needs time to heal. It takes time for behaviors to change. (One both sides)

I can accept that now. However, I am not condoning bad behavior. Addiction, recovery or not....bad behavior is completely unacceptable for all involved. While working our recoveries, we can still have a loving, respectful marriage but in all honesty, I wanted everything to about me/us, to be number 1 again without even realizing it. I still went out with friends, etc, it wasn't my behavior but it was still my thinking. I have a lot of work to do still because it is just too easy for me to fall right back to loving my husband more then I love myself again.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:59 AM
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The love dare is an amazing book. Watch the movie fireproof.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:39 AM
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Today, I am questioning if I am just "standing by my broken man" from Cynical One's blog. I am wondering if I am settling.

The confusing part for me was that he has always been what some consider "high functioning" but along with the money he made - came poor choices, poor spending habits and a lifestyle I have never found acceptable. When i see him working, it can blind me of the true sickness of his brain. If he was not working, would things look differently?

I am questioning now if I used his addiction as an excuse to accept unacceptable behavior and choices. How easy it is to say....well he wasn't himself, he was sick. Oh, he did that because he was active in his addiction. Oh, he is in early recovery, so his moodiness is understandable. Oh and let's not talk about the truth or the pain because it may shame him. The past is the past. Blah, blah, blah

I may have made many mistakes but I have tried very hard too. I tried to salvage what was left of my marriage. I have tried to support his recovery efforts. I tried to put the past behind me. But in truth, I wonder if I just kept raising the bar.

I sat on the fence for a long time waiting and watching. In doing so, I still allowed my life to be put on hold because I wasn't sure what my life should be. What was my role?? Ugh, I was still so enmeshed and couldn't see it.

I struggled with the expression "take addiction out of it" because that wasn't the reality but was it because I really didn't like the answers? Is denial still my drug? Was fear still leading the way?

The truth is that lately when I read about somebody leaving their relationship, I feel envious. I think yes, they are free, free of the insanity of addiction....which includes recovery efforts.

When I read about people hoping and praying for their spouses to seek recovery, I want to tell them...the hard part has really just begun. It's not the miracle fix, I wanted so desperately. Of course, I want all our loved ones to want and need recovery, it's just not our (we) solutions, it's simply there's and that isn't always what's best for us, you or me.

The expression "Cry now for losing him or cry later because you stayed" still haunts me!!

So today, I ask God to show me the truth. Give me the wisdom and strength to do His will and to guide me for I feel very lost.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:53 AM
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Let me add, the past few weeks on and off....I have not liked my husbands mood, tone, attitude or behavior. I do not think he is using however I am not seeing the man I was seeing in "recovery." High or dry high amount to the same thing, IMO.

I have heard it said...when you become between an addict and their drug...you become the enemy. Lately, I feel like the enemy.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:40 PM
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This post caught my attention today as I'm struggling with some of the same things you are. My husband has been home from an inpatient stay for over two months. While on some fronts, there has been a marked change/improvement in attitude and behaviors, most notably in terms of forming a relationship with our kids, there have been others that I remain frustrated with.

There was no effort around embracing a recovery program after discharge or in following through with the detailed after care plan he created while there. He's not attempting to find a job or look for the right school program, but instead is spending most of his day on the couch watching TV and only sporadically helping with the household chores.

I work full time and do most of the child responsibilities, so being the sole income provider and major child care giver, I'm running out of patience. I have done this the past 6 years, and am becoming less (not more) tolerant of having spent so much time enabling and overcompensating and after having finally accepted what was the reality, I find myself not wanting anything even closely related to that to continue.

I don't care where he's at with his "program", because he doesn't have one. He's just going day to day with no direction, no plan, no effort and grumpiness more often than not to boot. I am the enemy and frankly, I don't care.

Harsh, yes? Am I tired of this and wanting something better for my life? Yes. Do I want a better role model for my kids? Yes.

Why don't I just cut my losses? I don't know yet. One day at a time.
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:25 PM
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My husband has a home office, works over 40 hrs a week and still attends (1-2) meetings a day. However, I think he stopped meeting with his sponsor and working the steps and it shows.

Bottom line, his addiction and/or recovery is not my problem. However, when I settle for less or compromise my own values, then it becomes my problem. I think I have a problem.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:02 PM
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Amen to this:
"when I settle for less or compromise my own values, then it becomes my problem".

Me thinks I have a problem too .
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:43 PM
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You don't have to decide today or tomorrow or the next day (since you are not in danger)...when you are ready the answer will come.

In the meantime working on your own recovery will make you strong enough to find the courage to do what you need to do...whether it is stay or go.

You will be okay, whatever you decide. Never forget that. I promise.

Hugs
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by LoveMeNow View Post
When I read about people hoping and praying for their spouses to seek recovery, I want to tell them...the hard part has really just begun. It's not the miracle fix, I wanted so desperately. Of course, I want all our loved ones to want and need recovery, it's just not our (we) solutions, it's simply there's and that isn't always what's best for us, you or me.
.
I feel the same way. It's easy to think that the drugs are the problem, and if they stop using drugs, everything will be ok. The reality is that it is much more complicated than that. The addict has to learn how to cope without drugs. We have to learn new coping mechanisms, too.

Things get so crazy when we are around drugs. Life becomes chaotic and things are done in a hurry because we are just trying to survive. We make decisions based in fear and denial. Once that is gone, we are left with our feelings and the addict's feelings. Sometimes, I just wish everything was normal or easy. I guess there is no easy button! If I had known then what I know now, I'm not sure I'd go through this all again! Of course, it is all part of the process, and we can't go back. We learn a lot along the way, and I think that things happen for a reason.

I can tell from your words that you have grown. You have recovery under your belt! If you look at your old posts, I think you'll see it, too. Progress not perfection, right?

It sounds like you need some more time for your own recovery and some time to step away (metaphorically). It sounds like the two of you were working really hard together, but now it's time to focus again on you. That is what I'm hearing from you. Right?
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LoveMeNow View Post
The truth is that lately when I read about somebody leaving their relationship, I feel envious. I think yes, they are free, free of the insanity of addiction....which includes recovery efforts.

+++++++

The expression "Cry now for losing him or cry later because you stayed" still haunts me!!
The quote was the catalyst for me finally being able to leave.

"The pain you will feel if you stay will overshadow and be worse than the pain if you were to go."

One of my good friends did a tarot reading for me when things started to really hit the fan, and she was right. I had suffered so much- how much more could my body physically withstand? The pain of leaving would be fast and quick like a paper cut- but if I stayed it'd be like being dismembered without anesthesia.

You're a brave woman for standing by your husband through this time- and I admire you so much. I could feel myself breaking down like a beat up old car! Yes, I ran, but I don't ever want to look back; I'd have let myself down.

Focus on you, no matter what.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:59 PM
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LoveMeNow - My hope for you is that your story will eventually turn to a point where you feel complete relief and happiness with whatever you decide. You deserve to be happy, and that is all I want for you...but for now, I see that you have the Patience of a Saint and an enormous amount of tolerance...please just don't let yourself get any more burnt-out.
I wish you nothing but the best - we all deserve the best life has to offer. We only get one chance to write the story of our life, and I only hope you are filling your life chapters with what you feel in your heart to be a happy life for yourself. I hope you make the right decisions for you. Don't settle. Hugs.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:36 PM
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As anne wrote no decision has to be made today.


Has no one told you at all or are there a lack of stories that share that the road after isn’t any easier than before. It is just different, new in many respects and still a huge learning experience.

It holds way more promise but nothing is easy in this life addiction in the mix or not. Relationships change, grow, stumble, life gets in the way, always … kids, bills, hectic schedules, 15 hour work days and the promise of a long relaxing weekend to have a crisis, something breaks, one of the kids decides since it is so quiet they will just barf all over you. Just life… But in the more normal chaos tending to you still needs to be a focus, tending to the relationship isn’t so important if there was a basis somewhere to work with the pieces do fall back in to place … Time, even in its ungracious moments will bring all the answers you need. And time will allow for the possibility for you both to grow more and then be better equipped to work at the together part.

For my husband it was harder for him to adjust to me and the changes I made, than me to him. I knew it would take him time to be ok in any respect. Hell the first year off sub the only reason he made it was because he hung on to the notion that if he didn’t like it he was just going to use. It was such a focus for him for many months and then slowly but surely that changed and he wasn’t counting down….5 months 2 days 24 minutes and 6 seconds, 5 seconds, 4 seconds …. and I can shoot up heroin. He promised himself he would take a chance and honored that. When the year was approaching he was laughing cause he couldn’t remember the exact day and neither could I. Hell I still don’t know when I had my last drink. Not sure in today if that is all that important as it may just take from the way better things one could focus on or get lost in …

But one thing I did learn is that as one grows and learns that there is never a bad ending. There may be sad ones, tough ones, there may be ones we don’t expect but nothing is ever as bad as not taking the chance on ourselves to begin with. The chance on the gift of being able to choose to begin with. The pages aren’t written yet and won’t be until the moment they are. Scratch the challenge for now, it really is way to soon and just enjoy the day, the moments in it worth focusing on. If you find there are none anymore that light you up, turn you on, make you laugh so hard you almost think you might pee yourself … then you will do what you need to for you as long as you keep working and learning about yourself.

And still it won’t be at all about him
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:24 PM
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Just as it is suggest in AA and NA:

"no major changes the first year."

I also use this with my Alanon sponsees. Just like the RA, the codependent needs that year to work on themselves. And the fact that many have family, spouses, kids, siblings, parents in the mix also, it does take at least a year.

Now, put the 4' truck chain back in the back of the closet and stop 'beating' yourself up and 'second guessing' yourself. It is good that you are asking these questions but do not let them bog you down. You are trudgin right now through the swamp with the alligators nipping at your butt! And doing a pretty damn good job of it.

Yes, you are glancing over at your RAH but then you are putting your eyes back on you. I believe from your posts that both of you are treating each other with respect at this time, and to be honest that is the best you can do at this time.

You are both correct to put the "Love Dare" up for a few months and come back to it later, when both of you are further along in your respective recoveries.

There is nothing wrong with you 'still going out with your friends,' there is something wrong with it if you are flippant and not considerate and respective of your RAH when letting him know of said adventure. After all he has his 'time' with his 'friends/support friends' etc

It is more how we interact and that is what you are now starting to see.

And yes, I try to share on here just how hard that 1st year is based on my own recovery from alcohol and drugs, but am afraid that it is either not taken well, or is sort of 'brushed' over, THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING. It was a New Hell for me, different from the one I had been living in and in many ways MUCH WORSE.

I totally understand why an RA, even one serious about recovery will relapse during that first year, because unless they are totally as desperate as I was that first year and the 'ups and downs' and the 'feelings' will get to them.

LMN your are growing and changing!!!! Even though you may not think so!

Love and hugs,
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:48 PM
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These are great replies, it's helping me a lot to try and be compassionate to what our RAHs are going through as well. Sorry if I'm hijacking this thread a bit LoveMeNow, but I have not seen many threads relative to folks that are dealing with an addict that has stopped using for an extended amount of time and/or who is embracing a long term recovery program.

However, one question that I'm struggling with and why I think I'm having a hard time being as compassionate is, what if they aren't doing anything (literally) to embrace a recovery program. What if they're just white knuckling it? Is it typical for someone serious about recovery to just sit around and watch TV all day?

I know I'm taking the focus off me here, but at some point in a marriage, when small children are involved, you have to start putting the bigger picture in to play.

I personally cannot accept (anymore) a marriage where there isn't at least a concerted effort toward major things in that partnership in the following categories:

Finances/Employment
Child Rearing
Household Upkeep
Emotional Support

I'm not asking for perfection, just an effort. Is it too much to expect even a small effort in those areas within the 1st year? I personally don't think it is and that is why my boundary consequences are this close to being executed.

As I've read on some other threads, sometimes the addiction just masked the fact that the person was always self-centered / selfish or a jerk to begin with.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by HopeSpringsToo View Post
These are great replies, it's helping me a lot to try and be compassionate to what our RAHs are going through as well. Sorry if I'm hijacking this thread a bit LoveMeNow, but I have not seen many threads relative to folks that are dealing with an addict that has stopped using for an extended amount of time and/or who is embracing a long term recovery program.

However, one question that I'm struggling with and why I think I'm having a hard time being as compassionate is, what if they aren't doing anything (literally) to embrace a recovery program. What if they're just white knuckling it? Is it typical for someone serious about recovery to just sit around and watch TV all day?

I know I'm taking the focus off me here, but at some point in a marriage, when small children are involved, you have to start putting the bigger picture in to play.

I personally cannot accept (anymore) a marriage where there isn't at least a concerted effort toward major things in that partnership in the following categories:

Finances/Employment
Child Rearing
Household Upkeep
Emotional Support

I'm not asking for perfection, just an effort. Is it too much to expect even a small effort in those areas within the 1st year? I personally don't think it is and that is why my boundary consequences are this close to being executed.

As I've read on some other threads, sometimes the addiction just masked the fact that the person was always self-centered / selfish or a jerk to begin with.
HopeSpringsToo,

I don’t want to hijack the thread, but did want to reply to your question based on my experience. Last month my husband completed his first year of recovery. He did a detox and then went into a Non-12 step rehab for 12 weeks which was based on private therapy, and then he came home. He continued to use private therapy for his recovery and now does this twice a month for maintenance. So our experience was a bit different than some of what was stated above; it just goes to show there are wide variances in the recovery experience. First of all, the ‘one year’ suggestion comes from Narcotics Anonymous, and as far as I know it is not a recovery standard or anything. I know my husbands doctors, and my own therapist never went by this. In fact, my husbands rehab started us in marriage counseling when he was about 6 weeks into recovery. I consider it to have been highly beneficial for both of us. My husband felt like it helped speed his recovery because it allowed all these issues, and feelings to come out while he was in a controlled environment and could work on it with his private therapist also. So for us it worked well. We stopped going a couple months ago because we feel we are at a good place.

As far as your husband not contributing, I do not blame you for being upset about this especially if its been going on a while. One of the things I hold most important is communication with my husband. Not in a confrontational way, but being able to express my concerns and my needs. We have a son who was only an infant when his dad went into rehab. Now of course he is a “big boy”, so I can appreciate the needs of a “family”.

I don’t know the background; was your husband working before he stopped using, etc. I would also wonder if he is perhaps suffering from some depression? Seems like the tv watching all day would possibly be a symptom of this? When my husband stopped using, there were various side effects that occurred because of how the body responds. Some of these changes can go on for a long while. Has your husband talked to his doctor, been in for a checkup? Might be a good idea.

My husband went back to work about 3 weeks after he came home from rehab. He had to make a lot of changes to support a healthier lifestyle such as an exercise program, not associating with people he used drugs with, new interests for his spare time, lots of things related to stress management. Is it possible your husband feels sort of stuck now that he has stopped using? Maybe he has not developed new interest, and is just avoiding past associations and places?

Its really impossible I think for anyone here to judge his dedication to recovery (whats going on in his mind). There are some people who use SR as their only source of recovery; if you read over on substance abuse or newcomers forums for example, its mentioned often. So who knows if their families are aware of this. But hopefully family will see positive change happening in the persons life in time; along with the abstinence.

There are a few of us on the forum who are currently in relationships with someone in early recovery. You might also like to look at some of Miller05 posts. Her husband now has just over 6 months.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cynical one View Post
I hear you laurie, and I'm listening. Seems some know more about what their husbands did and should do...that may be helpful...if it was the husbands that were actually here.
I often wish the husbands could be here to tell their side of every wife’s story here on SR. It would be fascinating. I know I appreciate Laurie's post and her experience as a Recovering Addict; however she is but one RA and cannot speak for the experience of every RA. And since this thread did sort of turn to what people in early recovery from addiction experience and feel.... I know in my situation having been in therapy myself for many months due to my husbands addiction, having worked along side of him in marriage counseling for almost a year, having lived with him and successfully found a way to get our marriage back on solid ground; I feel qualified to express certain details of his recovery. Its not perfect, but it the next best thing to having him here sharing his portion of “our” story of recovery.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:58 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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One of the words that I add to the end of someone else's statement (when talking about addiction and recovery) is the word "yet".

For example:

At least he gets his pills via prescription and doesn't go to the hood to buy them"
after which, I say "yet"

We should always be wise to remember that NONE of our stories are over "yet"
There is no way to define successful recovery or "cure" until the epitaphs are read. And maybe not even then.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:44 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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This thread, which is going no where fast, will be closed as soon as I remind all of us of a few things:
  • Personal insults, pop-shots, attacks and the like have no place on this forum, whether it be a stright shot or a post that drips in sarcasm.
  • If a thread is spiraling out of control, it's often more effective to report it rather than sit back and wait to see how long it takes for a moderator to notice
  • No one has the time to constantly weed through posts for inappropriate behavior simply because a few of us do not get along.
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