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Post Info TOPIC: Deadline


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 200
Date:
Deadline


ABF has been sober for around 36 hours so he's coherent enough to talk to. I have given him the deadline. He has until the summer holidays to improve of I'm calling time on the relationship. His mum knows I've given him this deadline.

 

I am conflicted. Is this me still trying to control his drinking? Or is this me setting a boundary? I am adamant that I will not give my 40s up to this disease and my birthday is in the summer holidays. I can work with a dog walker over the summer so Mabel can be walked while I work and I won't feel trapped by her and worried when I have to work late.  I have had a lot of time alone this week to think about and reflect on what I want. I'm no longer as scared to be on my own. I can do it - and I have been doing it these last months. I will be able to make plans because I won't be terrified he'll come home and not shut the front door properly. I won't be frustrated because his journey to recovery doesn't include making time to be intimate with me. It might even be for the best for him as he won't have to worry about me and my needs, he can just work on himself. 

Here is the fork in the road. My HP and his HP will be the ones deciding which road is taken. 



__________________

"To change the world, start with one step. However small, first step is hardest of all" Dave Matthews Band



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 8690
Date:

MizzB - I don't have answers for your questions, but do know that deadlines here never, ever worked. Each deadline I set was met with defiance, and me having to impose my boundary. I am fortunate that I did not have to pack up and move, yet it was extremely difficult to watch both my boys have to do so with no place to go. My oldest is a master at charm and manipulation, so was able to always land inside. My youngest is a darker soul, and ended up homeless more than once.

All I do know is that my sponsor has really helped me set boundaries up that keep me safe, sane and serene. We discuss if they are intended for protection vs. punishment of others. We've gotten creative for some and we've modified others as needed.

I'm sending you positive thoughts and prayers ... what hasn't worked for me might work for you - only HP knows. (((Hugs)))

__________________

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: 863
Date:

MizzB-Oh I remember feeling "alone" most of my marriage. It's a strange phenomenon .

I gave a deadline last April that was about me: I told my A that I was unwilling to be with someone any longer who drinks and drives and doesn't mind killing innocent people or children. I said I would be leaving is help was not obtained. I also offered to go to the help as well. But if help hadn't been gotten, I really had to leave. And I also did not say any of this in a mean way.

Now my spouse has been sober for almost a year, and we go to counseling together with an addiction counselor. My A though has not gotten a program for alcohol, and I have started bringing this up in the counseling. Things have improved with sobriety but I want so much more. I will just continue as I have been doing: my focus is on me, I have detached and sometimes it's with love, and I accept I cannot control anyone else. If I were not involved in Alanon I would have stayed a basket case. I am calmer and happier, Lyne

__________________

Lyne



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3108
Date:

Mizz B, ..

This is a hard one because it's one of those things what worked for me wasn't about deadlines .. I was just done and I needed something different.

Giving YOU a deadline is different than giving your AB one. I am a questioner of how much an A retains 36 hours after a gigantic binge. The science books say not so much and so do addiction counselors. So for me looking at your situation which I don't have to live with any of the consequences (good, bad or indifferent) .. You have stated your peace and now it's completely on you as to do you to follow through.

I think what I would ask is what is your motive for the deadline? Are you thinking this is the golden lightening bolt that is going to make him turn that corner? Is it guilt, of if I kick him out he has no where to go because you have stated you are ok with being alone and you have a plan which I think is great. Which brings me to my next question is Summer the deadline because that's the time you need to get ready? All 3 of those are different motivations to verbally make that statement.

It took me a LONG time to get past the point of I'm going to say what I'm going to say and magically I'm going to find the "right" words to make him see the magical light of all of the damage he's been doing. Let me tell you how that's worked out for me .. LOL .. it hasn't .. and it still doesn't. You would think I would have figured it out by now .. LOL. And yet my ego and arrogance still insists I'm going to find a way to communicate with a drunk sober or not who is not actively in program.

There are moments of what I call AOF .. that translates to Ass On Fire .. and in those moments I would be the burning bush coming to speak to Moses and my XAH was ALL about what I was saying .. however those moments are only moments and they pass. When they pass .. the urgency of AOF has now taken a backseat to what the prime directive of an active A is .. which is getting the drug of choice.

So .. how do YOU feel about your situation? Maybe something to consider is you gave your AB information that you were coming to an end .. and this isn't so much about him as it is about you. You are ready to do something different because you need something different. Maybe he's going to get lucky and find sobriety .. it is not going to be "because" of anything you said or did .. it's going to be because he got sick and tired of being sick and tired and that's where true change happens .. when the insanity of stopping the same dance for the same reason and getting the same results .. when that stops .. there is a new dance with new steps that are positive and healthy for you and indirectly for him too because you change it forces others around you to change as well. That spin on what you have said is a different perspective of that same statement. So which side of the fence are you on?

Big hugs .. keep coming back .. keep working your program and continue to look towards your own growth .. if he's meant to be in the picture .. HP is going to place him there .. however if he's not .. you continue to live your life and move to the dance steps that best fit your melody.

S :)

__________________

"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 686
Date:

MizzB wrote:

ABF has been sober for around 36 hours so he's coherent enough to talk to. I have given him the deadline. He has until the summer holidays to improve of I'm calling time on the relationship. His mum knows I've given him this deadline.

I am conflicted. Is this me still trying to control his drinking? Or is this me setting a boundary? I am adamant that I will not give my 40s up to this disease and my birthday is in the summer holidays. I can work with a dog walker over the summer so Mabel can be walked while I work and I won't feel trapped by her and worried when I have to work late.  I have had a lot of time alone this week to think about and reflect on what I want. I'm no longer as scared to be on my own. I can do it - and I have been doing it these last months. I will be able to make plans because I won't be terrified he'll come home and not shut the front door properly. I won't be frustrated because his journey to recovery doesn't include making time to be intimate with me. It might even be for the best for him as he won't have to worry about me and my needs, he can just work on himself. 

Here is the fork in the road. My HP and his HP will be the ones deciding which road is taken. 


 

MizzB, I can certainly understand the feelings of "conflicted" and the thoughts, questions, and with me, confusion, that goes along with that. Addiction -- any addiction -- is a baffling, cunning, enigmatic, insidious, and decimating disease. There can be much direct and collateral damage. Addiction in a loved one can cause many things in the people around them -- confusion, distorted thinking, fear, anger, depression, duress, emotional instability, panic, anxiety, physical and mental sickness, resentment, and so many more things. 

Your questions absolutely have answers, but also an understanding that goes along with them. Find a temporary sponsor so that this is not a myopic Q&A. That said, the deadline you set, is not a boundary -- not as we learn them in alanon. If you read (conference) approved literature, it talks about boundaries -- what they are, how to establish them, how to implement them, and much more. Boundaries are a very important and powerful tool in alanon. That said, in my experience, and from my perspective, the deadline you set is not a boundary, but an ultimatum. Check your motives. Most people chalk that up as a cliche, but it is not. If someone checks their motives, with complete honesty, and objectivity, it forces them to look at themselves. Most people feel that is scary and uncomfortable. In my experience, it is not -- it is freeing and empowering. That's how I got better. By doing something uncomfortable. A constant and never-ending effort to improve, to change, to get better. Change is not easy -- because we are humans. LOL. 

While deadlines never worked for me, and for the most part for everyone else I've met in almost a quarter of a century in alanon -- you have to do what you feel is best. Whatever you do, do for you. Your ultimatum -- look at you, inside of you, and ask yourself what your motive(s) are. Are you trying to "force" or "get" improvement from him? Are you trying to get him to change, behave, get better, etc.? These are rhetorical questions vis a vis this forum. I don't expect or want you to reply. But you should dig deep and talk to your sponsor about these questions, and many more. A boundary is not a deadline. It is not an ultimatum. It is not a "if you don't, then I will" mindset.

As you said, you have a lot to think about. This is a great opportunity to find and work with a sponsor, go to face to face meetings, and you can -- start to change your thinking, your behavior, your mindset, and have an entirely new set of tools to use to help you, and offer you the opportunity to get better, to get healthy.

You sound like you are facing the right direction, at least partially. You sound like you have a lot going for you at this juncture in the situation. All the best.



__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

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

 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 224
Date:

Good afternoon MizzB. Thank you and others for ESH who came before me. Very interesting topic. Deadlines to me remind me I need to get the taxes in by the 15th or there will be costly consequences. I prefer boundaries. One that I set is that I will not accept unacceptable behavior and that begins with me. If I am in any way trying to change anyone other than myself; that is unacceptable behavior in my guide book. Believe me minding myself is a full time job so much easier to mind what someone else is/is not doing. Leaning on alanon program, literature and my sponsor keeps me in my lane where I'm not bumping into others.

__________________

HES



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 152
Date:

Hi MissB. In my experience, deadlines don't work. Unfortunately, it's a horrible thing to say, you are not his first love. Unless he is willing to change himself, he will sooner give you up than the bottle. I think the deadline truly becomes a boundary when you you follow up on it and leave the relationship. If he wants to he will come back. Also, if your A is now 36 hours sober he is not in a state to think rationally and might react in anger. I hope you will find wisdom and strength here.

__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 200
Date:

Thank you all for your views. They are very useful. I think in my head I am looking at the next 3 months and thinking - I have so much to do in those 3 months with work that I can throw myself into it and, if he truly wants to get well, as he keeps saying he does, I can leave him to focus on that without putting domestic demands on him. I then get 6 weeks off work and I feel that if we are going to end, that it the best time to do it as I can nurse myself through it, get myself organised with a dog walker (which will take time for Mabel to get used to someone coming in as she is a very wary dog) and be ready to go back to work in September. I'm also keeping in mind this stupid birthday which is probably impacting on me more than I'd like to admit.

I really do think I am giving the deadline for me. This is my timeline, this is my limit. If ABF carried on drinking, then that's all I'm willing to put up with - 3 more months. I don't think I am doing to to try to change him. I know all the logic of not being able to change people, but whether emotionally I"m still trying that, I don't know. I don't think I am. I think I'm saying that I can't deal wtih any big conversations in the next 3 months or any big changes during that time for work but that at the end of that busy period, I'm prepared to make that change. And it also frees me a little. No more conversations about his drinking. If he drinks then he knows the consequences and the timeline within which I'm working.

To be honest, I don't know if he will take the opportunity to start getting into recovery. He's tried so many things and nothing has worked for him. I get the feeling that being in a relationship is too hard for him while he deals with this - our relationship is very poor and has been for a long time. And that being in a relationship, I make things too easy for him, but I don't think he wants to end it. I'm sure he does love me in his own way. Of course i wish him well and I want him to recover for him, but I dare to say I'm a very ambivalent to our relationship continuing. I do love him, but I know that it won't be a perfect relationship even if he does and there will be ongoing problems, and there is always the fear of relapse. Part of me wants to be out of that. Part of me thinks we've gone so far down this path, I don't know if we can get back to it being fun. And part of me focuses on the good things that we do have and how well we get on when he's not drinking. I think this ambivalence is what is stopping me ending it immediately, but the stress of an active alcoholic is tipping me over. Giving myself a timeline (maybe a better word than a deadline) gives me time to prepare psychologically to move on, and if he is drinking the whole time then I have time to process and detatch.

I think that I am trying to make a change to get different results. But not for him, for me. I am taking the time to meditate and reflect on why I am so hooked on this relationship and I know I need to make changes and for me, I am trying new things, like not messaging him if he's drinking; asking how he is when he gets in regardless of how drunk he is and the reflection on this is that it makes it easier, but that I don't want to live like this indefinitely. I genuinely believe (and I could still be wrong) that this is for me and I am changing for me and trying to grow stronger to end a relationship that isn't working for me.

__________________

"To change the world, start with one step. However small, first step is hardest of all" Dave Matthews Band



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3108
Date:

Hugs,

It sounds like you are in a good place and good on you. Change is soooo hard, it's like waking up and having the wake up call I'm 50lbs heavier than I need to be .. none of that happened overnight .. it all took one day at a time and that's how I view my personal growth .. just one day at a time and I don't need to measure any of that against what anyone else is doing .. it's all about me and my goals and what I want to achieve.

Keep coming back,

S :)

__________________

"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay

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