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Post Info TOPIC: What boundary do I set for my husband?


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 11
Date:
What boundary do I set for my husband?


 

Hi guys! Im back again. Really trying to work on some boundaries and having trouble. Im at work today and husband is at home with kids. Husband was out drinking til 3:30, and twin 21 mo olds were up and playing since 6:30 am. He didnt go in there to change their diaper and waited til nanny came at 8 to get them up. The boy had a poopy diaper and a rash. He cried when nanny gave him a bath bc of rash. Certainly would have helped if Daddy had changed his diaper when he was awake 1.5 hours earlier. Hes not answering the phone and he is sleeping. Nanny is taking care of kids. We have a nanny to help with the kids, not to totally take care of them. Obviously, Im ticked and disgusted. I know I cant control him, but what kind of boundary can I set for myself and the kids to help ME? Thank you!  

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Jessica


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 643
Date:

Hi, McGreuder, and welcome back! I like how you said in your post "what kind of boundary can I set for myself." I learned in my Al-Anon journey that boundaries are for me, not for someone else. I am the only one I can control.

I know taking care of little ones is a LOT of work, very exhausting, but their safety comes first. When it comes to taking care of children, it's extra important to know who can be trusted. If someone has shown me that they can't be trusted in some aspect of child care, I may need to find an alternative to that person for that job.

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a4l


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 935
Date:

Welcome Jessica. No advice, other than the stock standard of go and get some F2F support via al-anon meetings. Work it into your schedule, because this is progressive. As to the nanny, a one off might be tolerable but if that's a regular occurrence, it could create problems sooner rather than later. I was reflecting this morning on the lack of reliability of an alcoholic partner when one has young children. I don't think it is a boundary issue so much as it is a tolerance one. At the end of the day, as long as both drinking and a relationship can co-exist, and it doesn't have to be a peaceful, loving or healthy co-existence at all, then it will continue. That is my experience along with accepting full responsibility for everything to do with our children and never relying on the other half of their dna because the risk factor was jut too high. Raw deal, but much better to get honest and deal with it than continue to stay stuck in the never ending cycle of expectations and disappointments. Sending you all my best wishes, it is not easy. ( also, given that you're at work today and the nanny is currently there, I would take 20 minutes to buy myself lunch and a coffee, and feel good before heading home to deal with whatever will be waiting there regardless). Take good care.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 3570
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I'm glad you have a nanny to help. 

I also was married to an alcoholic when I had a baby/young child.  The boundary I had to set was to act as if the A did not exist, and to be 100% responsible for my child.  That doesn't mean not getting childcare - I did get childcare - it's just that I couldn't rely on the A for anything.  Even if he claimed he was fine.

Here is the incident that finally brought me to that realization.  My A was a binge drinker, so he could go 8-10 months without a drink. He would claim he had stopped drinking forever.  (Each time, I would believe this - until finally I saw the pattern.  But sometimes he'd go to AA and be all full of recovery and I would think "At last!  He's sober!  And in program!  Just what I wanted!"  But the relapse/binge always started again.)

Anyway, we were away from home on a work trip for me, with our kid who was 2.  I only had to be away for an hour or two at a time, and each time I'd come back and everything was hunky-dory.  Then one morning I had an all-day trip I had to take, showing some people around in another city.  So I got up when they were both asleep, and got back on a late bus, coming in around 1 am. Kid's diaper had CLEARLY not been changed all day and kid had not been taken out of his pajamas all day.  Husband was passed out on the bed in his day clothes.  The worst part was that the apartment we were in was 3 stories above ground and had a window that opened down to the ground.  (I think it had formerly opened onto a balcony but the balcony had been removed.)  I had cautioned husband that we must keep it tightly locked so kid did not fall to his death.  But the window was wide open.  It was only the grace of God that saved our kid from tumbling out that window. 

I knew then that I had to leave my husband.

The next day I looked into a bag for another reason and found the huge stash of beer cans.

We had to finish out the trip together, so I did not tell him that I was going to separate, so he wouldn't get mad or whatever.  But the rest of the trip, and for the rest of the time till he moved out, I just behaved as if he wasn't available to watch our kid.  Because however much he loved our kid (and he did), I knew he was not in his right mind and could not fulfill his promises.  Alcoholics simply can't.  They may have all kinds of good intentions.  But they simply can't.  It would be like asking a 3-year-old to drive to the store. 

It was a burden to raise a toddler alone, absolutely.  I had to gather a big support system, paid and unpaid, and trade favors with all kinds of other parents.  I would have had to do the same if my husband had been hit by a bus, or had run away with a floozy, or whatever.  That's how I looked at it.  He simply wasn't there for the job.  I complained to my therapist, "I'm doing all his work for him!"  She said, "No, you're doing it for your child."

Hugs. Hang in there.



-- Edited by Mattie on Sunday 5th of August 2018 11:24:58 PM

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Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 779
Date:

Welcome...I am sensing you are a beginner/newcomer to alanon, in part, vis a vis your question. When people are looking at boundaries, I think they really need to take a step back and have a very clear understanding of what a boundary is and what it is and can be used for. Simply put, a boundary -- when properly designed, structured, implemented and enforced -- is for YOU. It is designed to protect you, to keep you from harm, to give you called upon actions to take to protect you, help you maintain your health and well-being. The only thing it has to do with the other person is -- WHEN the other person does something...period. WHEN the other person _______________, you will _______________. Not to oversimplify it, but it's an action/reaction thing.

So, for you, check your motives. What are you trying to accomplish -- and who is it for? The answer to the latter better be YOU, LOL. I don't know that this situation is as much about finding a boundary to set, as it is about your overall thinking, action, reaction, etc. I can't help but think is this a "am I accepting unacceptable behavior" question/discussion. You don't like what he's doing and not doing, and I get that -- the sleeping (it off), not answering the phone, not taking care of the kids, and so on. Is this a question of "enabling" and "what's my role" in this whole thing. When my wife "decided" to give up her career, and/or was "between projects" (when she was consulting), and she was home -- I asked why did we need a cleaning lady as often as we did? Why did we need grocery shopping delivery? Why did we order in meals as often as we did? It was not a question of money or being able to afford it. So, I looked at my role, my contribution to the entire situation. Start with the fundamentals -- go to face to face meetings, as many as you can, as often as you can. Find a sponsor, and start working the program. The first three steps are the basics, the fundamentals...the beginning.

It can be hard for a beginner/newcomer to do -- it's daunting, it's overwhelming -- as they may not have the tools, experience, etc. However, the alanon program is there, meetings, sponsorship, all of it is there. It works if you work it -- so work it, you're worth it.

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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...

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 11
Date:

Thank you so much for all of your replies. I guess I vacĆ­late between telling him he needs to be more responsible in this situation, and just making sure it doesnāt happen again by covering everything with nannies. I guess I feel that he has to take more responsibility and I want to say...if you continue to do THIS, then Iāll do THIS. I guess thatās the answer. If he lets these kinds of things happen again, then I will do X (for myself)....and, of course, make sure the nanny is here.

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Jessica
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 779
Date:

Mcgreuder wrote:

Thank you so much for all of your replies. I guess I vacĆ­late between telling him he needs to be more responsible in this situation, and just making sure it doesnāt happen again by covering everything with nannies. I guess I feel that he has to take more responsibility and I want to say...if you continue to do THIS, then Iāll do THIS. I guess thatās the answer. If he lets these kinds of things happen again, then I will do X (for myself)....and, of course, make sure the nanny is here.


 

It's an interesting question, and I understand your motive. However, how do you see this playing out when you frame it as -- "if you (continue to) do __________. then I will do __________ -- if the nanny is there to do all the things he won't do? That might be the problem -- the nanny being there gives him the ability to "not be responsible" so to speak. On one hand, you are looking to figure out how to control him, change him, etc. -- at least to the extent that you want him to behave a certain way. On the other hand, you want/need the nanny there or else the kids won't get taken care of. It's a catch-22 situation. 

Him not being responsible, present, responsive -- due to his drinking -- is something that, unfortunately, you can't do anything about. If the nanny's there, it gives him an out to keep doing what he's doing. If the nanny's not there, it could be disastrous for the kids. Not having the nanny there could be scary. I don't know that this is the situation where a boundary is the solution. However, the bigger picture is his drinking and the impact it is having on YOU. You know what to do -- meetings, readings, working the program, finding a sponsor, and focusing on YOU. 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...

 

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