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My husband's resentment

Old 06-06-2011, 09:05 AM
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My husband's resentment

I've posted about my husband before... a very supportive, loving husband who also happens to be a manager at a liquor store here in town. Through my 6 years of drinking, he has been subjected to the very worst of me. I used to drink every single night and every single night I would pick a fight with him and say the most horrific things. Everything from what a horrible father he was to that he was the reason I wanted to kill myself. He would always forgive me the next day after I needed reminding of what I had said or done. He would talk to me about my drinking when I brought it up but never asked that I stop, even though I knew that's how he felt. In fact, I used to wonder if he really loved me because I would always think, "How could somebody who really loved me watch me do this to myself?"

I am finally on the road to recovery and yesterday we had a long talk (not an argument...not even heated) about my drinking. He told me how resentful he is that we're in this situation to begin with. He told me how resentful he is of me because of all the years that were wasted and how he always felt like I cared more about alcohol than him. He said he still thinks about all the things I've said to him over the years, but that he doesn't ever want to talk to me about it because he doesn't want me to feel bad and because things are getting better now. He said that he would feel better about things if I could promise him that I will never let it get back to that point again-- that to know that he would never have to go through that again would make him feel better. That put me in an extremely tough position, because while I would love to say "Of course, honey. I promise you." people relapse all the time. Even though I've been struggling more recently on the weekends, I can't imagine going back to my daily routine, but I'm sure all alcoholics feel that way.

Anyway, I think it's ironic that it's when I'm feeling stronger that all of these emotions came out. Honestly, I think he's having a really hard time dealing with this. I think he feels guilt because he works where he does and I think he's still dealing with all of the resentment that's built up over the years.

All of this makes me very, very sad. I wish I could go back, but I can't. I guess my question is how do you help your partner through all of the resentment? Is there anything I can do? Have any of you ever dealt with this? I have caused so much pain and I feel so helpless about it. I don't know how to fix it. He's a very good man and doesn't deserve to be in this position.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:17 AM
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Hi saphira....One thing I learned in recovery is to forgive myself. I cannot take back the past, but I can make sure I never repeat it. Hold my head up and lead a decent life. All I can hope for, is people see I have changed, and forgive me in their own time. I will always remember the awful things I said while intoxicated but cannot change them. Hopefully the good I do now, will someday outweigh the bad, I did then.


Best Wishes To You!
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:24 AM
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Hi Saphira,

I know my husband resented my drinking too, because it upset his world. It's very hard to acknowleldge the pain that I caused when I was drinking, because nothing can change it. All we can do is to acknowledge the feelings and let them go. Forgive yourself, over and over if you have to. You can let your husband know that you are willing to talk about his resentments if you want to. That might help him.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:40 AM
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While the timing for this sort of this is never right, I'm glad your husband discussed this with you now, when you are feeling stronger. If he would have unloaded all these feelings in your very early sobriety, you might have been of the "f**k it" mentality and not pursued serious sobriety to begin with. At least that's what I probably would have done, sadly enough.

I also think it's a good thing that he feels comfortable to share his feelings (my hubby is SO not that type and hasn't said one word to me about my drinking days...not one word). Like the others have said, do everything in your power to remain sober, forgive yourself daily if you have to, and remember that time is a great equalizer. As your months and years of sober good living add up so will the the good memories to replace some of the old ones.

Take care and best of luck on your journey
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:57 AM
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The work i did in AA got rid of any resentments and cleared up the past...wouldn't have been able to stay sober long without it, too much weight and baggage to carry around...
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:13 AM
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I don't think alcohol can turn you into an abusive spouse so i think quitting alcohol is not going to be the fix, either. It seems a lot more complex than that to me. I would recommend marriage counseling to work through it. Best of luck with your recovery!
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by saphira View Post

I guess my question is how do you help your partner through all of the resentment?
That's a good question.

The only thing I can do is to get recovered. Then I make a living amends one day at a time... My wife will work through her resentments, I will work through mine.

Anything else, to me, seems hollow, empty words. Just promises.

Maybe be grateful that he opened up and shared his feelings... Not only did it help him, I'm sure, it helps you... also it seems that he trusted you with his feelings, not something he did before?

You are doing great... As they say, time takes time... I know, that's an annoying phrase, but true.

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Old 06-06-2011, 12:01 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I guess the hardest part is that while I do still feel guilty for what I have done, I have forgiven myself for the most part. I know that's not who I really am. I guess it's just hard to see my husband's pain and know that there's not much I can do about it except stay sober. You guys are right about him opening up--it is definitely a good thing and something that is uncomfortable for him to do. It means a lot to me and maybe this is a sign that he views me as a stronger person as well? I guess maybe I just need to give him some space.
Mark75, I think you're right that I can only worry about getting through my own crap and he'll have to get through his.
SSIL75, I know that sometimes hidden issues tend to come out while drinking and I'm sure that I did some of that. But I can say in all honesty that a lot of the stuff I said I absolutely did not mean at any level. It was just mainly anger at myself I think.

Thank you all for the advice! Marriage is tricky enough as it is without dealing with the added issue of alcoholism. It's nice to hear other perspectives on it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:05 PM
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The only thing I can do is to get recovered. Then I make a living amends one day at a time... My wife will work through her resentments, I will work through mine.

So true, and a good reminder to me.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:08 PM
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I understand

I am going through a similar issue with my spouse right now - years of resentment towards me on his part (which I totally understand) and now I just have to start learning to let go - I can only clean up my side of the street and do a better job today; I can't make him happy. It is really hard though. Good luck - I wish I had answers.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:57 PM
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While the timing for this sort of this is never right, I'm glad your husband discussed this with you now, when you are feeling stronger. If he would have unloaded all these feelings in your very early sobriety, you might have been of the "f**k it" mentality and not pursued serious sobriety to begin with. At least that's what I probably would have done, sadly enough.
After a couple of AA meetings my husband was about to unload on me and I told him not to. I said, I'm not ready and that's what Alanon is for. I can't hear about all the crap I've said and done right now. I don't know when I will be ready and I don't feel it will ever be my job to "help" him work through it. I am not a therapist and lord knows I had a hard enough time with my own junk.

All I'm saying is, if he hasn't gotten any support outside of you that can be very stressful. I think if he is really resentful he has to find his own support. You can't fix anything, all you can do is not drink and work on your own stuff. If someone where to tell me tomorrow that it's up to me to fix my husband I'd run for the hills! LOL I wouldn't know what the heck to do!

Thank goodness when i told my husband to stop he did. I don't know if I'd be sober right now if he would have unloaded on me.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:25 PM
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Saphira
I have no useful advice. I am dreading the day my wife and kids feel it is safe enough- to tell it like it was and how it has impacted on them. Hard though it is to see, this is a step forward and there will be a way through. The big book does have a chapter on advice for families and partners.
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