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Post Info TOPIC: Husband new to Recovery; me too


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Husband new to Recovery; me too


Its too long of a story so I wont even try. Suffice to say after many failed attempts hubby had gotten sober almost a month ago. Was going to AA. Had some medical issues. Missed a few days. Im fairly certain he went and drank tonight instead of going to his meeting. Like 95%. Im trying hard to take care of myself and follow the al anon steps even if I cant make it to meetings right now. But I dont know what to do. Do I call him on it? or just let him worry about him even if I know hes walking down a path that will lead to the end of our marriage. he Has suicidal tendencies but I just cant keep him alive anymore by suffering through it. Its not my job. Anyway its hard not to call him on it bevayse he acts like a little kid and he thinks he can keep getting away with it. What should I do? 



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~*Service Worker*~

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Welcome Lrf22. Glad you're here. I do hope you find yourself some face-to-face meetings as I find they are invaluable to my recovery.

I'm going to let you off the hook. You are not responsible for your husband's actions - you're not responsible for his recovery, you're not responsible for making sure he gets to meetings. You're not responsible for making him know he can't get away with things.

The person you are responsible for is yourself. You are responsible for your actions. You are responsible for your own recovery and making sure you get to meetings. You are responsible for making sure you know that trying to be responsible for your husband is an exercise in futility.

I absolutely sympathize with the suicide threat, as that's what landed my exAH into AA (briefly). And boy did he play that up... making me feel responsible for his decision to attempt to end his life. It's a really cruel, selfish thing to do - but then that's alcoholism. It is a cruel, selfish disease. And that's why Al-Anon helped me so much - it removed from me any illusion of responsibility I had for the alcoholic and others in my life and encouraged me every day, one day at a time, to keep my focus on myself. Work on why I keep wanting others to change so I can feel okay.

Getting to meetings, getting my hands on the literature and reading it, getting a sponsor and working the steps were all things that helped me shift my focus away from the alcoholic and his issues.

Recovery is a journey - not a destination. So it helps to remember that we don't suddenly change our thoughts and behaviors over night. Allow yourself some grace because your alcoholic will test you over and over and you'll backslide - it's all part of the learning process. But I promise with continued effort and application of what you learn in the program it does it better and easier. You'll start to untangle yourself from the alcoholic's mess and be able to allow him to be without getting wrapped up in trying to make him understand or make him stop drinking, etc.

I hope this was helpful. Glad you're here. Keep coming back.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Greetings Lrf22-I have to agree with everything Aloha said-alanon offers us a journey for growth and healing that has proven invaluable to me. I got so bogged down in my As alcolosim that I lost myself and tried to control the drinker. I quickly learned I am unable to control anyone but myself (at best), and with a lot of program and practice, I am able to be happy and peaceful much of the time. I can only suggest that you let yourself be exposed to as much alanon as you can, because in one way or another, we have all lived through similar experiences. I think there are live meetings on this board if you cant go in person. Give yourself a chance to recover. Lyne

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Lyne

Bo


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It's so easy as an newcomer/beginner -- even as a seasoned person -- to get bogged down in the minutiae of everyday situations. What do I do when this happens, when he/she is doing that, what do I do, when this happens I am not sure how to react, and so on and so on and so on.

So, from my experience -- first, there is no right or wrong. There is healthy and unhealthy, but even that doesn't matter. If you are doing the work, working with a sponsor, each and every situation, no matter what you do, CAN and WILL be a learning experience. Hence, one of the principles of this program is progress, not perfection. Second, my sponsor used to tell me "when it doubt, stay out!" -- meaning, if you don't know what to do, stay out of it, stay out of the alcoholic's way, stay out of their business, etc. It also means, shut up! LOL. I am sure plenty of people here on this website will figure out a passive aggressive way of telling you what to do, yet without telling you what to do, and will figure out how to tell you call him out. That's fine, for them. So be it. I have found that when looking at "calling out" the alcoholic...I ask myself a question...TO WHAT END? Sure, anyone can say, it's how you feel, it's your truth, it makes you feel better. So be it. But where is that going? What impact does it have? Even on you? If it makes you feel better...go, have at it. LOL.

It's a common, everyday occurrence that people in alanon -- as part of their problems -- do things like, JUSTIFY, RATIONALIZE, DEFEND, VACILLATE, and more of the like. It makes us feel better. It justifies what we say and do, and guess what...it makes us right!!! BANG!!! Gee, what a surprise, we want to be right! While you may know he's walking down a path that leads to the end of your marriage...it is him who is walking down that path. Not you. What do you want to do? Warn him? Stop him? Convince him? Show him? What? While I am sure you have done that, plenty of times...I have a question...how did that work for you?

One thing I have said hundreds of times -- when you are in a position of calling someone out, or the person is thinking they are getting away with it, or they are continuing to do something because they haven't gotten caught, etc. -- WHY do you feel the need to call them out, let them know, catch them, etc.? That is not about the alcoholic...IT IS ABOUT YOU...and it is about what this disease has done to you, the impact it has had on you, and how this disease has affected you.

If you can't get to meetings, you can pick up the phone. If you don't have a sponsor, you can get one. Focus on YOU. Not him. Acceptance, gives you all the answers to your struggles. Surrender, allows you to feel what you are feeling, without letting it consume you or eat you alive. And, letting go, allows you to begin to get better.

All the best.

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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...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Welcome, Lrf22.
Sending you support, as did Aloha and Lyne. They know of what they speak of!!!

Since the Addiction will always blame you, the best thing you can do is remember the Three C's: You didn't CAUSE it, you can't CONTROL it, and you certainly can't CURE it! At one point, I actually wrote that out on a little card and kept it in my pocket! Yes, the gas-lighting was that bad. Having the three C's helped my sanity.

Pointing out that you are 95% sure your spouse is drinking will only cause his denial to rear it's ugly head, make you doubt your own mind, and really is a form of CONTROL. It took me more than a hot minute to understand (and accept) that one!

Getting a sponsor is tough - hard to find someone available at times, hard to put yourself out there - but invaluable in times like these when you need to be "talked from the edge."

&



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PnP - music & nature lover

"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"I don't ask for much, I only want Trust... and you know it don't come easy." - Ringo Starr

~~If nothing ever changed, there would be no BUTTERFLIES~~ anonymous



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Thank you all so much. This is very needed reminders. I just struggle because were still together and acting like its not happening and just acting the same is super hard. I know I need to focus on me. Im going to find some meetings I can make.

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Bo


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Lrf, I hear you! Been there, done that. So, what I found, in my experience, is "not acting the same" and "not pretending like it's not happening" -- and let me be clear on two things. One, that's just what worked for me. I didn't do it at all times, but I did a lot. And, two, that doesn't mean I called the person out either.

So, I looked at me. I looked at why I had this desire to call them out, to say something, to not let them get away with it, etc.

Then, I made change. In ME. For ME. About ME. What I did was I learned to detach, both physically and emotionally. There's a lot that goes into that. Yes, people simplify it, but there's a mindset and a methodology behind the words. I also learned to not participate and contribute. To me, pretending it wasn't happening was enabling!!! It was my contribution. My role. So, I had boundaries. When the alcoholic __________, I __________, and fill in the blanks. When I suspected the alcoholic was drinking, or was behaving a certain way (exhibiting the 'ism's), not able to really engage, in a healthy way...then I didn't engage or get into a discussion. I didn't ignore. I expressed. I said, as I've expressed to you in the past, when the discussion takes on a certain tone, or a certain volume, and/or there is a certain dynamic going on, I am not going to engage with you because it's not healthy, and not good for me...and I respectfully walked away and detached. If I had to, I would be specific. I wouldn't accuse, but I would express what I feel. I could say, when you are like this, conversing in this way, rambling, not being coherent, as I said, I am not going to engage with you. I used to very often say I am not going to get into this right now. Yes, sometimes it feels like a battle. And in some cases it is. It's a battle of will, with the disease, with feelings, and more.

However, regardless of what I did...I made sure that I CHECKED MY MOTIVES. I made sure I wasn't trying to control, prove, be right, manipulate, get the alcoholic to change, etc.

Meeting makers make it. Stick with the winners. Yes, focus on YOU. You have the awareness and that's a major part of the battle. Keep doing it!!! You are doing a good job!

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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...

 

2HP


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You got terrific ESH and I applaud your decision to go to F2F meetings because when I took that suggestion... I got to observe and experience how it really works (experiencing it was different than reading about it.) Within 6 months, I had found a sponsor who helped me understand how and when to apply the Al-anon ideas. very quickly, my life felt much much better.

I am confident it will work that way for you too (((big hugs)))



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Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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2HP wrote:

You got terrific ESH and I applaud your decision to go to F2F meetings because when I took that suggestion... I got to observe and experience how it really works (experiencing it was different than reading about it.) Within 6 months, I had found a sponsor who helped me understand how and when to apply the Al-anon ideas. very quickly, my life felt much much better.

I am confident it will work that way for you too (((big hugs)))


 

Excellent insight!!! Thank you very much for posting this!!!



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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...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Lrf22 - Welcome to MIP - glad you found us and glad that you shared! I am sorry for what's brought you here - the disease is patient, cunning, baffling and powerful. It's so easy as one who loves another with this disease to hope and hope more that they 'get it' and then 'all is well/better'....and it's painfully devastating when those haunting thoughts come up with the disease active again. It would be nice to share I've not been 'there', yet I have a few times. Currently, I have one of three in my small circle sober and the 'isms' are still present in the sober one so he's not speaking to me!

What I have experienced in the face of relapse and slips and suspicions is that nothing I say, do, scream, cry, beg, plead, etc. changes what they do/don't do. It's not because they don't care or love me - it's the grip of the disease that pulls them away. Accepting and embracing the disease concept really helped me to hate the disease and not hate the person.

I too encourage you to go to some meetings - they are well worth my time. I went to a few different ones in the beginning to explore and found one that felt more comfortable. It was important for me to feel safe and not feel bossed, controlled, ordered, etc. Recovery is personal to each person and there is no perfect program or formula - find what works for you. I also had to learn to listen for similarities instead of only hearing the differences. The disease in me had me focused on many 'wrong turns' and thus I just had to practice listening vs. anticipating a response.

I have confronted mine with my suspicions and it never went well. Nobody ever admitted the truth, apologized, and rationally suggested they'd get right back to meetings...never! What I have learned, because I am still with my AH as well, is to speak my own truth in a calm and loving manner. As I got better in recovery and realized what was really important to me, I absolutely was full of fear that the disease would win, and take their life or health. So, I have the right to simply state, I love you and am worried about you - are you taking care of yourself? Nothing more, nothing less - because, as I got well and let go of controlling others or trying to force solutions, this was my truth!

I also encourage you to get phone numbers while at the meeting! When my mind would race, project, etc. at the start of my Al-Anon journey, it was such a gift to be able to reach out to another who could listen and share ESH with me. Those phone numbers were very, very helpful for me many times!

Embracing recovery as you can, when you can and remember will help you change you! I no longer obsess over what mine are doing, nor do I rescue them or enable. I filled my life with things I enjoy, worked my program and in spite of the disease, we're all doing better than before. We are retired, and actually golf together 2-3 times a week, dine together most evenings and can have real discussions about important things. It's taken a long while to get 'here' but detaching from the disease and the insanity combined with tons of acceptance and healthy boundaries saved my sanity, my life and my marriage!

Keep coming back - take good care of you and trust the process. You are not alone and there is always hope and help in recovery...

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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

 

 



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I was very, very angry at my AH. I did call him out in the beginning of my journey of Al-anon. I look back on that and just feel horrible. It did not do anybody any good by my actions. It all takes time to understand.

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Detachment is a skill We can beat ourselves up.for not having that skill. Skills take work to get proficient at. That means practice. That means for a time you are not that good at them. Really when we all come to.al anon we are carrying the 300 lb weight. When we start out with a skill it is like we are trying to life an incredible weight . Al anon has a lot of skills, suggestions. Implementing them is really hard Having trust they will work is even harder. When I came to.al.anon I have been in an 8 year relationship with a man who I instantly became involved with That is my longest relationship. We were fused in a morass of resentment fear and abject rage. He was irate that I would not support him in his addiction. I was irate that he was so incredibly destructive. Talk about toxic. It was pure poison. By one month into the relationship.my health tanked. In fact my health tanked twice in the course of the first year Then the economy.collapsed There were a lot of reasons to stay but even more reasons to go. I chose to stay and stay I.did to the point of being actively suicidal. Confronting the now ex A enraged him even further. He brought immense chaos and complete economic collapse to our lives Of course he had a long long list of people to blame and I was top of the list. He also had hugely enmeshed relationships with a whole host of characters. He used all of them to play against me. Including his family. I was immensely isolated and hugely depressed. I had resisted al anon until then. But that relationship.was not my only foray with alcoholism. That was a very very familiar road for me That was the one that brought me to.al anon and to this group And I found immense solace understanding and care here. Most of all I.found patience and understanding and a sense if belonging. That was what saved me. Of course confronting people seems to be the normal thing to do. With the ex A it made him even more destructive. Although I have to say there were no limits to his destructiveness. He didn't care how low he went. He went to all of them life threatening illness, homelessness, abject neglect of his pets and being incarcerated For some people there is no.bottom. he took me down there with him So to answer the question there is no right or wrong way to deal with an alcoholic. Some of them do indeed get better. Some people hit a bottom. Some of them do not The ex A eventually got a lot of help.from his family. He moved to an area he really wanted to live in. His relatives helped him with that. He still crashed out. He is one cery very destructive person. I am so grateful I did not move with him. The destruction he brings with him is cumulative. My health would not have made it much longer I have my own problems these days but one thing I dont foist on anyone is the idea that there is some way to manage alcoholism There isnt. Put down the stick on you said or did anything to make them drink I.do.know for me it is really hard and exhausting to be around an alcoholic I try to limit all contact with them I work pretty hard to look.at.dysfunctional places in my life I am in such a different place than I.ever was when I got to these rooms I was very dependent. Now I.am entirely self reliant I was suicidal. Now i.have hope Welcome to this warm and loving space. I hope you.find a respite here. I.most certainly did

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Newbie

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So heres the update. I didnt give in and confront him and just let things play out. He eventually told me he was drinking. He blamed it on getting frustrated trying to find a noon meeting that he couldnt find. I stayed totally calm and just said Thats such a shame. Im really so sorry for you. I love you and I hope you can find a way to use all the tools youve been given to be more successful at tackling this. Then I reiterated my boundaries around his behavior with the kids and I. Well see. The real test will come when he violates those boundaries, which he will inevitably do and I have to ask him to leave. Ooh. Give me strength for that one. I have no idea if I can actually do it.

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Oh. But not gonna lie that Im totally pissed about the money weve spent on detox/rehab centers. Cause thats getting absurd. But Im working on detaching.

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~*Service Worker*~

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((((Lrf22)))) What an amazing post and post backs.  I read this and my head and heart whispers "Let go Let God" from my memory journey in the program.  Also the whispers "It works when you work it".  I went to the local morning meeting and sat with the elders of which I am also considered a member and while the meeting went on I was gratified to remember how it happened for me the good, the bad, the ugly and the miracles.  It takes courage not to do it may way and to do it as the program suggests.

You will be rewarded with miracles and he might also.  Underline the suggestions and keep them as reminders daily...all of them work them as often as your can  and in between...practice, practice practice.   (((((hugs))))smilesmilesmile



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Jerry F


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(((Lrf22))) - so, so glad that you're finding your way to practicing detachment. It's so not easy! While going through similar times in my world, it really, really helped me to remember that I am supposed to focus on One day at a Time only and not project...know that you're not alone - keep coming back!

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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

 

 



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Some people do indeed get sober. They get to the point where they have had enough Therr is no knowing when or if that will happen One of my neighbors gets sober every now avd again then he skips back up again Another neighbor had sobered up a lot but he kept hanging out with the same people. Getting sober requires a lot if change Getting clear for us requires a lot of change too. I have changed immeasurably since I cane to these doors I hope to be able to change more I am actively planning a future these days I had no future when I got here. I could not imagine life without the alcoholic. I could not imagine life with him either There was a #no go# sign on every door Life has been really up and down since then Now it is more manageable Much much much more manageable But I have great challenges . I had no challenges when I got here I simply could not go on . Al anon helps me immeasurably to detach focus on myself but most of all keep persevering. Maresie

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