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Wish me luck

Old 04-28-2014, 10:03 AM
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Wish me luck

Couples session today. Going to talk boundaries. Long overdue. I'm nervous as hell.

-DrS
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:04 AM
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Are you both sober?
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:07 AM
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Good luck Doc, I've been following your thread. I know you put a lot of work into this, just remember if you don't have a chance to finish it all today there will be time later.

My husband and I used to walk down the opposite side of the street when we left couples counseling, that was 17 years ago. Oh happy days…..
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Coldfusion View Post
Are you both sober?
Yes.

-DrS
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:23 AM
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Your intentions and motives are pure with your boundary request, you want peace. Good Luck ((doc))
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:24 PM
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She asked for a separation. I predicted as much. She'd rather not change. More later.

-DrS
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:07 PM
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Hard news, Doc. I would like things to go the way you want but sometimes what you want isn't the best thing in the long run. Obviously we don't know much about the dynamics of your relationship but as you said, some people don't like change. To them the certainty of a bad situation is better than the doubts they feel when confronted with change. It may also be that she had all the power in the relationship (of felt like she did) when you were a drunk. While she may have hated the drinking she might have liked feeling like the one in charge.

It sounds like you're trying the best you can. At best you can only change yourself. Trying to change someone else never works.

Best of luck however it goes.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:21 PM
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Wishing you my best !

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Old 04-29-2014, 05:47 AM
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Thanks raku, thanks for reading everyone. Details below, as promised.

We attended a therapy session yesterday. This was on the heels of me spending the last several nights out of the house (which I initiated).

So at this session, unlike the last 2-3 we've been at, she was calm, almost steely calm, but at the same time polite in a very unusual, uncharacteristically overcontrolled "Miss Manners" kind of way (extra pleases and thank you's). When I was talking about my boundaries (after she asked for the separation) - I got to mention again the verbal abusiveness stuff specifically, she quickly stopped and said that she "apologizes" for saying those things (as if that makes it all OK). It was weird. She wasn't acting normal. I felt like she wasn't being real - although she was being highly civil - so I'll give her that.

After we talked for a bit she proposed that I come home, stay in the house, after the kids are put to bed every night she will "go to my side of the house, you will go to yours, and we won't interact with each other," and I'll sleep separately from her. I immediately said that was a no-go, and I will continue to sleep outside the house. Again - boundaries. I'm not going to be a nonperson in my own home, not appropriate, not going to happen.

The therapist seemed surprised that I set that boundary. She said it was very uncharacteristic of me and almost seemed unhappy with me, said that when I'm out of the house I should "look at that" about myself (not sure what she thinks I should be looking for). It's pretty straightforward to me. I'm at the point in my life where being frozen out, being ignored, being stonewalled - that's not something I'll accept from a partner (e.g., what's politely called 'giving her space'), also I won't accept abuse.

But yes, it's uncharacteric of me to set these boundaries. Typically I pursue her when she's stonewalling, shutting down, avoiding. Which is what invites the abuse and nastiness. I honestly think in retrospect my drinking and using was a way to deal with the helpless feelings that being in those situations brought up with me. Now that I have nearly a year sober, I've come to realize that inviting abuse the way I did, accepting emotional neglect the way I did, allowing myself to be hurt the way I have, and making excuses for my wife, has been deeply, deeply unhealthy. Things become difficult when you're not the "bad one" in the family anymore.

My plan for next couples session, I think, is simple - I'm going to tell them that a one-year separation plan (which is what my wife asked for) is too long if the plan is to work towards reconciliation. I will say I think my wife probably knows that, which is why she asked for a year. All the sources I've consulted this far (I've read a few articles on the subject) suggest a reconciliation separation should last no longer than 6 months.

If I'm mistaken, then I will ask her to clear that up. I will also tell her I can't accept a one-year (or any) separation request from her without the goals for a separation being defined. If she insists on asking for a separation with undefined goals, then I will have to ask for a separation for the purposes of establishing a divorce.

The only circumstances where I can agree to a separation leading to a reconciliation anyways is if her anger management issues - her tendency to be quick with verbal abuse and anger when faced with difficulties with her partner - is made the top priority for her therapy work and for the couples work. Period. If that can't be the case, then we don't have much more to talk about, and we work on a separation, remaining friends who are civil with each other, and working on our separate lives.

I'm sad about this, but I'm starting to think this is the only way to go. Comments, other perspectives are welcome. I'm really wondering if any of this marriage can be salvaged.

-DrS
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:54 AM
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I'm sorry, Dr. S. It seems as if you've given this a lot of sound thought (I know you have)--and it seems that your wife has, too, from the way she acted. Please keep us informed.
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