Al-Anon Family Group

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Post Info TOPIC: Boundaries- manipulation?


Newbie

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Date:
Boundaries- manipulation?


Hello, new to Alanon and this forum. 

 

Boundaries are something I am still learning and working on. I have a question though, if I set a boundary, say "I will stay at my parent's house if I feel unsafe" or "I will ask you to leave the relationship and house if you are not in active recovery, working steps and slowly improving" or "I will ask you to leave relationship and house if I find out you have been going to strip clubs or having another relationship with another woman", 

 

How do I enforce or uphold some of them? I don't want to snoop anymore so how will I "find out" if he is having another relationship or going to strip clubs? 

 

Also what the hell man, I feel like some of these are just being respectful in a monogamous long-term relationship. 

 

I really need help setting and describing the boundaries because it does feel like manipulation to me. 

 

This feels like a safe space and please let me know how you have dealt with setting boundaries and how I can improve. Thank you for your time. 



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~*Service Worker*~

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Welcome to MIP Mary - glad you found us and so glad that you shared. One good rule to consider when defining boundaries is that they are for self-protection/sanity vs. punitive for another.

When we discuss boundaries in the course of Al-Anon recovery, this is just one tool of many that help us restore ourselves to a center, saner, serene place in life. We work the Steps (12, in order) with the first being:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable. This step, very important, helps us understand that no amount of begging, pleading, yelling, reasoning, requesting, etc. can/will change the actions/words of the A. (A being the Alcoholic) We also accept that our efforts to deal with the disease and the diseased have made our lives a bit insane/unmanageable.

So, when I first arrived, and wanted fast answers and fast relief, many lovingly explained that I did not get 'here' in short order and there's no easy solution for peace/serenity. I was frustrated as I had hoped for fast solutions to take away my anxiety and pain. Yet, I did find hope from others who came before me - they were genuinely calm, kind and patient - vastly different than I at that time.

Detaching for me, physically at first, was far more helpful until I better understood how to embrace this program and use the tools. Having a sponsor was genuinely helpful as were meetings. I don't know if this helps - but wanted to share a little ESH (Experience, Strength & Hope) and welcome you! Keep coming back - read, share and repeat!

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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

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Mary welcome to the recovering family and the MIP board.  You found the door and found it open choosing to use the courage to step out and ask that "how" question.  I came into Al-Anon in 1979 dumb as a stick I use to describe my condition.  I was born and raised withing the disease of alcoholism not even knowing it was a disease.  It was a condition after drinking too much that got the drinker unable to participate on any level with me and the family and who ever.  I didn't know what to do and did nothing waiting until the next time when what ever happened was another accident.  My alcoholics were close relatives until I was old enough to have the more personal relationships such as my wife or friends and then also myself as I agreed to join them in the drinking.  I learned about the absolute power of the chemical alcohol and the dangers that came with it.  I was powerless totally but not victimless until I came to agree that I had choices with it all. 

My first response to being unable to control or manage another's drinking was anger and then rage and then violence.  At one advance I very very nearly took the life of my alcoholic/addict wife who I felt a very deep love with.  I could not believe that my reaction would look so very horrible and it took my soul into hell.  I still remember her telling me "I'm sorry...I deserve it" which was such a stunning negative admission...She is a "sick person", "not a bad woman" was one of the lessons my awareness of the disease was teaching me and I was stunned into disbelief that I had done what I did.  Without going into the negative progress both she and I learned the facts about the disease we lived with and what was necessary to do to change our mutual relationship in alcoholism and drug addiction.

I harbor very important lessons that have taught me about what it is and what it does..."It is a four fold disease that can never be cured; only arrested by total abstinence".  Truth I learned in college studies. "it affects the mind, body, spirit and emotions".  Truth again as I watch the alcoholics in my life family, friends and self die in the process of loosing everything while they struggled to keep everything and anything they held of importance; like it, love it or else wise.  

That is just one way the disease causes us to create boundaries many being terminal.  Many of us have reached the terminal stages including death while the Al-Anon Family Group 12 step and 12 tradition helps and teaches us to attain peace of mind and happiness whether the drinking continues or not.

As IAH  (Iamhere) tells us we are offered and given soooo many tools to restore ourselves to a center, saner, serener place in life.  When I found that place which I live with and in daily I discovered truly the meaning and essence of the miracles I have been taught by and within our fellowship and taught to give that away to so many others.

I learned the deep meaning of loving the alcoholic/addict as, "the complete and total ACCEPTANCE OF EVERY OTHER PERSON FOR EXACTLY WHO THEY ARE", I let go of all of the negative feeling, emotions, behaviors and actions I had learned and carried with me daily, even toward the Al-Anon program.  Yes I was not picky back then until I was. 

Manipulation? that is a thought, feeling and behavior I save for myself.  Boundaries? I live better with and on the same side as my Higher Power; a God of my own understanding.  He is my father and I am more enabled by living within His character daily.

My eldest son at 54 is my latest alcoholic/addict being.  I also caused his entry into the disease at the age of one.  My manipulation was staying very mostly out of his consequences and being available for love and Acceptance only except to keep my cell phone handy and 911 to have the police for aid.  He is clean and sober today I believe and has wide choice for any of the recovery tools and experiences we keep available.  We don't try to manipulate as recovery for him.  It is our recovery which we learned, built and practice daily which is available to others as this is to you.

Love and prayers to your efforts in recovery.  Go for it as you are responsible for it.  How he finds his is very much his own choice and outcome.

Please keep coming back with an open mind.  ((((hugs)))) confuseawwwinkbiggrin  



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Jerry F


~*Service Worker*~

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Welcome, Mary! I am glad you found us and glad you shared.

All of this was hard for me to understand when I first came to Al-Anon, but I have learned that boundaries are for me, and have to be something I can do -- not something I expect someone else to do. So, yes, I can go someplace else if I feel unsafe. Can I get the other person to go someplace else if they are behaving in a way that bothers me? That might not be in my control -- but I could call in outside resources to help me with that situation.

About snooping -- Al-Anon suggests that we don't, and my experience is that I found out the truth eventually, without snooping. Maybe not right away, but as I've heard in Al-Anon, "more will be revealed." When the truth reveals itself, and it will, then I can enact my boundary. My experience also was that actions spoke louder than words. I did not have to announce my boundary in advance, just use it when it was needed.

I hope this makes sense. Keep coming back. This forum is here for you, and if you can find meetings, whether face to face or virtual, you will get lots of support and hear so much real-life experience.

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Senior Member

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Posts: 330
Date:

Welcome {{Mary}} glad you found MIP forum and shared with us!

You have received some really important Al-Anon guidance from Iamhere, Jerry and Freetime.

Face to face meetings and choosing a sponsor would be a wonderful way to really get the local and hands on support

for yourself. Please keep coming back to chat and let us know how you are fairing.

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown

Debbie



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 2239
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Welcome Mary! This program takes patience, effort, and practice, but the rewards are many. When I walked through the doors of alanon I expected to learn how to fix my A. I had been trying without any success for years. I snooped and did many behaviors I had never done before. I even got permission from our couples counselor, an alcohol/addiction counselor, to alcohol test my spouse. None of it worked as my A does not want alcohol treatment.

Where did that leave me? Focusing on myself so I could have the best life possible, no matter what my A was doing, and whether I stayed or left. The damage to myself was already done, and the only one I could fix is me. So I dug in. Ive been in alanon for 10 yrs or so, 10 on the board here, 8 yrs in face to face meetings (now on zoom), and have my second sponsor. Its helped me more than I could even tell you. I do set boundariesfor myself only. I no longer snoop. I know when my A is drinking and when my A is on a break. We are still together after 30 yrs. Many spouses leave, and many stay. That is for you to decide only. My suggestion is to get yourself strong and calm and only then make your decisions about the relationship.

Learning about the disease of alcoholism is also helpful. People on this board are expert teachers as they are all touched by alcohol/addiction either presently or in the past. Help is available. This board is one of the many wonderful ways you can be heard, find support, and heal. Best of luck and hope you will keep coming back. :)

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Lyne



Senior Member

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Posts: 246
Date:

Welcome (( Mary)). This board is a great place to begin your journey to recovery. The members ' ESH literally saved my life and fired up hope to live a joyful life regardless of what others were doing/not doing. Please keep coming back .

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