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Angry - Need advice

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nevergiveup10 posted 1/21/2014 07:26 AM

I got a call from my BS this morning, her purse (car keys, ID, phone, everything) and jacket were stolen from a bar last night. She met a friend for happy hour last night which of course turned into bar hopping downtown - on a Monday night.

This irresponsible behavior has been going on for quite a while and at some point she's gotta realize she has three kids and a business. I knew something was going to happen eventually, thankfully it wasn't a DUI or worse.

There is no one other than me that will call her out on this behavior, but I'm sure it won't be well received. This is how she deals with stress, and the latest is with her family in addition to my A.

I know this sounds selfish, but I have felt the anxiety building up inside me for some time. I don't want it to come out in the wrong way

20WrongsVs1 posted 1/21/2014 07:52 AM

I know this sounds selfish, but I have felt the anxiety building up inside me for some time.

Identifying, and stating, your feelings isn't selfish. It's healthy. It's the next step, how you process tht anxiety, that is important. And can be tricky.

This is how she deals with stress.

And how did you deal with stress? I know how I did, and the consequences haven't been pretty. I'm not saying that self-medicating with alcohol is *as bad* as self-medicating with illicit sex, but neither method is healthy.

This irresponsible behavior has been going on for quite a while and at some point she's gotta realize she has three kids and a business. I knew something was going to happen eventually, thankfully it wasn't a DUI or worse.

Careful. If you say this to your wife, she will probably react defensively. Or, eventually prove you right. "Yeah, see?! I got a DUI. Happy now!?" This is a situation that calls for empathy, not blaming and shaming. What if you sat down and told her something like...

"When you go out drinking, I feel anxious, and I worry for your safety. Our family depends on you, not only emotionally but financially too. Can we work together on both of us figuring out healthier ways to manage our stress?"

Whatever works for you and feels authentic, but doesn't label her or put her down ("irresponsible behavior" or condescend to her (pretty sure she knows she has three kids and a business). It's just you stating your feelings and needs.

SlowUptake posted 1/21/2014 08:05 AM

Looks like your BS is enjoying the single life while you're seperated.

My advice is don't call her out, you'll be seen as a hypocrite and it won't have the effect your after.

Is there perhaps a mutual responsible friend or family member who you could voice your concerns to and who could then talk to her?

Prayingforhope posted 1/21/2014 08:53 AM

Good input here. At MOST you can share your feelings, but the rest will only work against you big time. "Oh so YOU can go out and do THAT but I'm not allowed to have a few drinks..."

But the safest path is what SlowUptake says, just don't mention it all. You're walking a fine line (and I have ALL these same feelings about my BS) BUT you really don't get to voice you opinion here because YOU put her in this position.

For now, and this is hard beyond hard, you need to let her go, live her life, and focus on you.

But don't worry, we're still here and you can vent to us anytime...

20WrongsVs1 posted 1/21/2014 10:13 AM

you really don't get to voice you opinion here because YOU put her in this position

Respectfully disagree on two points. One: NGU10 has a right and responsibility to voice his feelings (not necessarily his opinions...there's a difference), so long as he isn't criticizing or attempting to control Mrs. NGU10. Two: NGU10 didn't *make* his wife go out and get drunk on a Monday night and get her purse stolen. That was her choice. So was calling NGU10 and telling him about it. What's her motivation for that? Is she looking for NGU10 to express support and comfort and, perhaps, even concern? Or, is she setting him up to judge and criticize her, so she can feel better about the separation? Personally, NGU10, I hope you can be the bigger person and choose the former (next time) instead of the latter (as you appear to have this time).

Prayingforhope posted 1/21/2014 12:45 PM

Thanks 20WrongsVs1, I agree with you on the feelings part. That is a right I have also given myself to express to my BS, but no opinions, manipulation, etc. which is a tough line to keep.

I struggle with the second part. Yes, you're right, his BS is making these choices, and NGU10 didn't force her to go out to a bar, etc. But this is a tough one, because I get the sense from NGU10's posts overall that this is new behavior his BS has picked up since DDay...so if this is her way of dealing, or being defensive, or getting payback, whatever part of her healing process from the A, then it's really tough to criticize.

I'm too new to this to think I have any rights in the marriage I destroyed, so take my comments through that lens...

SpotlessMind posted 1/21/2014 12:49 PM

Hi NeverGiveUp--

I think it's important that you express your concern if you're worried. (Note: I said concern, not anger as it says in your title. In this case, I think anger would be a defense mechanism for the anxiety you mention, and would not be received well at all.)

I think you should speak up bc a) you owe it to yourself and her to be honest about how you are feeling, b) letting yourself be vulnerable is a brave thing and c) since she told you about it, she might be looking for some kind of feedback and if you give her none, she might interpret that as a lack of caring.

But definitely tread cautiously. I like the way 20Wrongs phrased it. Make it about how you are feeling concerned and worried over her safety when she goes out drinking. It's a legitimate concern. Be prepared for her to lash out and act defensively, and make sure you stay calm and empathetic.

Good luck to you. This sounds like a difficult situation.

nevergiveup10 posted 1/22/2014 13:12 PM

I think she was expecting a lecture but also hoping for support. I bit my tongue and listened, albeit quietly. She asked if I could come take her to her car and go to lunch, which I thought was nice.

Before I left I got a call from the police, someone had found her wallet, phone and checkbook in the middle of the street, all intact. The only thing really lost was her purse and some makeup.

Needless to say that news lightened her mood. At lunch she told me about the night and admitted that she had made some poor choices and put herself in a potentially bad situation. I expressed my concern that this wasn't the first time she had told me that, and this time she was lucky. I asked her to be more conscious of how her decisions may affect others, namely the kids. I don't want to raise them alone. She was receptive and I think this time may have made somewhat of an impact.

We spent a very nice snowy day together after lunch and I spent the night at the house with her. She is becoming more comfortable sharing with me I think because I try to listen rather than react.

This could have been messy but it turned out ok. Thanks all for the support.

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