Threat? or Establishing a boundary?

Old 08-03-2011, 11:15 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by smacked View Post
I would post this in the Friends and Family section.

From what I know, boundaries are about YOU. What YOU are willing to live with, or not (etc), never about making someone else do anything.
That seems very sensible to me. I think this is the most reasonable and well thought out response.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:30 PM
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Lestersquare, my husband tried similar tactics with me and all I did was rebel. You need to learn about codependency and get into a treatment program with her. Counselling is an absolute must and you both need to attend individually and as a couple. Your ultimatum sounds harsh and accusatory right out of treatment and that's going to have a negative effect. I understand that you're just trying to protect your children but you must respect her effort. Relapse happens. It's not an excuse. The best thing is to hold her responsible for her actions but support her recovery. When I relapsed, I hid it from my husband because he would become angry and restrict me so I adopted an "i'll show him" attitude. Past couple of times I relapsed, he just told me that he knew and he wanted to help me get well. Found a stash of old bottles and just said gently, "I know." It was a relief for the fear to be gone and I no longer need to lie to him. Help her and support her but don't threaten. Please. You need to recover as well.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:43 PM
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If these are truly his boundaries of what he will and will not accept for himself and his children, and not manipulation for the purpose of controlling her behavior... then he has every right in the world to assert & enforce them.

Because someone has stricter limits than another does not necessarily mean he is manipulative, controlling or "codependent."
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:45 AM
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Thanks for the help.

I've decided to let some time pass (after she comes home) before I bring this up.
I do feel strongly about setting the boundary, but I will do so with a little tact, love and compassion.
I realize that being overly harsh will only thicken the wall that currently exists between us. But I want her to understand what will happen on the other side of that wall (my side) if the boundary is crossed.

I am not trying to control or manipulate.
This is me making a promise to myself - I'm just letting her know about it.

Thank you again.
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:54 AM
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I can tell you in all honesty that I wish my husband had been more firm in how he dealt with me. I could tell that my drinking was tearing him up inside but I also knew that he would never leave and that I could push it as far as I wanted to. I think it would have helped me to know that he did have a line where enough was enough. Having said that, however, I would not have responded well to a threat. If he had said, "If you have one more drink, I'm outta here." I probably would have gotten ticked off and run to the nearest bottle just to spite. If he had sat down with me and just explained how he was feeling, it would have been completely different.
In my opinion, the important thing here is that YOU know where the boundary is. How much YOU are willing to take. I think there is also a way to get that across to her. If you make it about you instead of something negative about her, I don't think you can go wrong.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:03 AM
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Lester I believe you have the right idea. Setting a boundary can easily be confused with an ultimatum. It sounds as if your motivations are in the right place. Just keep checking yourself for that nasty resentment...if that starts to rear it's ugly head, you know it's not coming from the right place.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:34 AM
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hi lester!

this is just from my own experience, but i did want to share.

my husband found out something that i did, so horrible i can't share here, while i was at my worst with drinking. he gave me an ultimatum. he told me i had to tell my parents about my problem, the horrible thing that i did, & i had to stop the insanity of my drinking or he & my children would be gone.

that day was the hardest of my entire life. i went through every emotion & wanted to "show" him & drink till i couldn't drink anymore. as the day went on i thought about everything that could happen to me if i didn't stop, i mean, i could lose my kids. why would i, or how could i, choose alcohol over them??

i am now 26 days sober & that day was my day 1. if i did not get that ultimatum i would not be here on sr today.

i just wanted to share that with you & my blessings & prayers are with your family.
take care
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Lestersquare
I am not trying to control or manipulate.
This is me making a promise to myself - I'm just letting her know about it.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:56 AM
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I'm really struggling--as the user. But my husband loves me. He will be there for me no matter what. He doesn't give me ultimatums.

Why would I try to live a better life if the man I love could give me ultimatums?

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but my promises to myself are about my relationship...I've got his back, and he's got mine.

Cancer, alcoholism, demonic possession...whatever.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:09 PM
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Maybe you could make an appt. to meet with her counselor at the treatment center to discuss what they think would be best? They have a very clear idea of her long term treatment plan and where she is in her recovery. Before I left treatment, they set up an appt. for my husband with my counselor and then we all three met together right after. It really helped. Best of luck to you!
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:14 PM
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When I WANTED to stop drinking, I wanted my husbands help. He didn't take me seriously. Then he told me I was done drinking. That lasted about a week until I decided it is for ME not him. I can't do it for him, or I resent it every second. When it's to better my life, relationships, walk with Christ, and career, THEN I have the fight in me to seek whatever help I need to stay clean. Let her know you like the new sober wife. Tell her specifics that you enjoy about her and her company in a genuine way, and it will probably be more productive. It's a fine line between setting the stage for a relapse by letting the addict know you almost expect one, and being totaly unreasonable. Every one is different and might benefit a differently from various approaches. Someone mentioned ALANON. THat's a good place to start, or maybe counciling with someone who understands addiction to help you help her. Just my opinion.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:55 PM
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I am the addict. Here is what I think would have helped in the situation with my hubby and me.

If we had gone to counseling together, so we could better understand one another's situations, fears and challenges. If one of the ways he supported my recovery was to attend al-anon. Because our relationship (25 yrs) was not him being a saint and me being a sinner, we had a complex dynamic and in order for both of us AND our family to heal we all needed to work together.

When it was just me getting a finger pointed at me, stop or else, and don't ask for MY help because you've already messed up felt pretty impossible. He didn't really want to support me, he felt like he was being prince charming not to throw me out on my butt. It was easy to make me the obvious fall out guy for the end of our marriage. He refused counseling at all, because well, why would he want to look at any of his or even our issues?

I totally support your taking care of yourself and the kids. If you want to help your wife and your marriage too..then get into couples counseling with someone who has experience with addiction, and get yourself, and the kids if it's age appropriate into support/recovery groups.

Just telling your wife that if she relapses it's all over...isn't really support. Sitting down and making an action plan that helps the whole family heal, now THAT is support.

My husband didn't support recovery for myself, himself or the family.
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