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Post Info TOPIC: Hurt & anger as a consequence?


Status: Offline
Posts: 11
Hurt & anger as a consequence?

How does allowing the alcoholic suffer the consequences fit in with "putting down the sword" if the consequences are that they've done something or said something to cause hurt and anger?

3 years ago my AH & I split up for 6 months then reconciled. During the separation...actually only a day after I had been out of the house... he engaged in behavior I consider as unfaithful.  Some of the things he did I didnt find out about until a year or so later.  By that time we had decided to try again & I had moved back in.  Since then there have been people and situations that have caused me to feel that insecurity again from time to time. If I voice this to him, it angers him and he says I'm accusing him of being unfaithful now. I'm really only looking for reassurance from him that he recognizes the situation & will take precaution to avoid anything that might make my insecurity worse. I logically know I won't get that reassurance because he's not given it before but emotion gets the better of me every time. 

I'm so tired of not having a voice and not being able to say what bothers me or how I'm feeling.  I feel like I deserve some compassion at times when I need it, not just when he's ready to give it and that causes me to feel indignant and disrespected all over again.

I know having a sponsor would be helpful at a time like this but I just went to my first meeting last Thursday so there hasn't been time. 


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 16184

((Natalie))) I can so identify I have felt as you do and was advised that I am looking for something that my hubby was not capable of giving. Looking for compassion and understanding from an active alcoholic is like going to the hardware store for bread. I could understand that and so I increased my attendance at alanon meetings and learned new constructive tools to live by Please do keep coming back




~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3560

I'm so sorry you're in this situation.  I think many of us have experienced something like this.  The way I see it, there are two questions.  One is: are you justified in expressing your hurt, pain, and anger?  I think the answer would be: of course.  Especially if, in the Al-Anon way, you "Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don't say it mean."  There was a painful incident before, and there are things now that worry you, and your A is not being sympathetic or reassuring - I think any reasonable person would say that it's totally reasonable to have feelings about that.

The second question is: can he give you what you need?  Keeping in mind that those needs are reasonable and justified.  It sounds clear that the answer is that No, he cannot.

Do you have to put up with him being unable to give you what you need?  This was the point where I always got stuck.  I knew I didn't have to accept it - in other words, stay with him.  But the alternative was scary, and I was kind of addicted to him, in that the thought of leaving brought such a cascade of feelings that I didn't know if I could bear it.  It wasn't that he was giving me what I needed.  It was that I thought I would feel even worse and more deprived without him.  And I was already feeling so bad and so deprived that I didn't know if I could take it getting any worse.

In the end - way long after I should have left him and his withholding ways - I finally did it, and bizarrely, it was hardly painful at all.  I think by that time the withholding and coldness had gotten so bad that being on my own felt like heaven.

Everyone's situation is different and I can't know what you should do.  I hope, though, that you're staying because there are enough things that compensate for his inability to be emotionally supportive.  It's good to remember that we always have choices, and we deserve the best.  Hugs.


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 8698

Natalie - in my world, I discovered that working the program helped free me from my own 'mental projections' and to pause when irritated, agitated or discontent. We learn in recovery that we are 100% responsible for our feelings, joys, fears, insecurities, etc. and while sharing these with others helps us heal, we can't look to others to heal us.

I got into the habit of taking all these things to my sponsor who helped me (greatly) sort out what was mine to work on and what should be presented as a potential relationship issue. I was taught in recovery that the past exists to help us learn, grow and heal but it's not there to assume history will repeat itself. If we want real serenity, growth and a spiritual existence, we really have to let the past go and stay in the present.

Your feelings are yours, and they are certainly real. I recall similar situations and similar feelings. What I learned in the rooms is that feelings are not facts and it was my job to use my tools and support to work through my feelings. In my home, when I communicate with a ton of emotion - joy or anger - it shuts down my guys....They just don't handle emotional communication well at all. I have others I go to as a 'first layer of defense' that help me really get to the root of my concerns and present them in a more sane, adult way.

(((Hugs))) - great far as the consequences of behaviors, to me, this means I always have choices. If I find someone is less than honest in a situation, I can respond accordingly. Honestly isn't just what is shared; at times, it includes what is not shared. I have every right to not trust another person based on previous situations, but I have no right to punish them over and over again for those situations. That saying, "Beating a dead horse" - matters....nobody wants another to keep telling them what they did wrong in the past.

Al-Anon and my sponsor gave me a variety of ways to express myself without accusing. I also learned how to say what I mean, mean what I say and not say it mean. For this to work in my home, it's got to be all about my boundaries and my ability to trust the program, the process and my HP. I also had to let go of many, many expectations from others - with and without the disease. It took me a while to understand that 3+4 = 7 but so does 5+2 and 6+1....


Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene




~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 688

This is the kind of discussion you have with your sponsor -- face to face, several times if need be.

That said, I view the two as very different and distinct. One is about the alcoholic -- allowing them, letting them feel the consequences of their own actions and decisions. Putting down the sword is about YOU. I often view this as my part, my role, my contribution in the arguments, back and forth, tug of war, and so on. That was what I let go of when I put down the sword. I would no longer battle or fight with the alcoholic. That also meant I didn't try to prove, be right, and all of that as well. The consequences we talk about is something they feel, realize, bear, etc. If they have done something or said something to cause hurt and anger -- there may be consequences. There may not be. If the saying something or doing something related to you? Or is it someone else? Putting down the sword is you not contributing to the drama, chaos and turmoil, the fighting. And, you want him to feel the consequences of something he said or didn't say to you?

The dynamic you are portraying -- to me, from my perspective -- is about you. What he does, says, etc. -- you want what you want. But he may not give it. He may not be capable of giving it. The answer you seem to realize is that you "logically know" you "won't get that reassurance" -- whether it be because he's not given it before or some other reasons. So, this is who he is, what he does. Now, what about YOU. If he gives you reasons to feel insecure, if the relationship isn't healthy -- then why not go to face to face meetings, find a sponsor and start working on yourself. You talk bout being so so tired of not having a voice and not being able to say what bothers me or how I'm feeling -- that is something you have to work on. If you can't have that or get that -- then -- nothing changes if nothing changes. You can find a sponsor at your first meeting. Go get one! LOL. If the things he is saying or not saying are unacceptable to you -- then it's time for you to look at YOU. What do you want to do? Talk to him? Explain to him? That doesn't seem to work. Maybe an email? Talk to someone else and get into all the details.

Nothing changes if nothing changes -- to me, means, I have to accept the other person, and then decide if that is how I want to live, is this acceptable or unacceptable behavior, and so on and so on. This is all about looking at you. Keep coming back.

-- Edited by Bo on Monday 14th of August 2017 01:01:18 PM



Keep coming back...

God, grant me the accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...


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