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Reconciliation
User Topic: Threw the rules out the window
La Traviata
Member
Member # 14941
Default  Posted: 10:26 PM, May 27th (Monday)

...and I am so glad I did.

He relapsed (drank alcohol, took off his ring, sought out other women) and I left, in mid-April.

I decided I was sick of the mind games, the "loving detachment" the "working on me" then goin home to a depressing/non-nurturing home and the waiting for him to come around, so I told him what he could do to SHOW ME that things are different this time. I didn't make it easy. I gave him some huge challenges and some humbling exercises. I was convinced he would find excuses, but so far he hasn't (other than logistical concerns, like "this person is out of the country until X date so we can't meet with him.")

I cut ties with Al-Anon. I imagine there are plenty here who will take issue with my approach, but it's gone well so far. And if it all blows up in my face, after a year, I will be able to leave with a clear conscience.

He needs to:

Completely move us into a new apartment

Find a church

Find a MC and schedule at least one phone consultation before I come home

Follow his sponsor's "Boot Camp" requirements (which are very rigorous and time-consuming)

Other requirements that are personal to us, such as asking certain people to apologize to me, and cutting ties with others.

I know this might not be the approach for everyone. It might not even work out for me. But I've got a lot of hope. Last time, I felt helpless, and in constant fear of "enabling" or being "controlling" or "codependent" but this time I finally feel like I can put his feet to the fire if I need to. Of course I can't/won't do the work for him, but I won't be a prisoner to his moods any longer. If he wants this marriage, he can fight for it.


me: BW 31
him: WH, 29
DDay: 4/16/12
RelapseDay:4/15/13

A year of false R. I grew and worked, he didn't. He took off his wedding ring during an alcoholic relapse, I packed and left the next day. I went back 8 weeks later, working hard


Posts: 186 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: NOVA
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 11:06 AM, May 28th (Tuesday)

Just wanted to let you know that you've been heard.

And you're right - you have to find your own path through this trauma.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 9991 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
La Traviata
Member
Member # 14941
Default  Posted: 1:00 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

Thanks, sisoon. I don't know why I even posted that- what response was I expecting?

"Great job ignoring all our advice you've finally figured out what we have all been puzzling over for all these years?"

Anyway, sorry. I didn't mean it as an insult. This whole process of trying to do what works for me does have some unpleasant consequences. I have the support of my therapist, my family, my husband and a few key friends, but a large part of my greater support community seems to have been dependent on me believing things I no longer believe and doing things I'm no longer willing to do. Hell, I lost a few friends when I started considering R this time around.


If something works, it's not the wrong way to do it, obviously. And Al-Anon and SI's conventional wisdom have helped tons and tons of people. It's not helping me. Being constantly told I'm codependent and powerless and all I can do is "work on me" and develop coping strategies and take up hobbies while I quietly wait for him to figure his stuff out makes me feel like dirt. Loving detachment is hell.


This is my way of clearly declaring what I deserve and declaring that I will not settle for less any longer. For the first time in years I feel like I have some control of my relationship. It feels good but I'll miss my friends.


me: BW 31
him: WH, 29
DDay: 4/16/12
RelapseDay:4/15/13

A year of false R. I grew and worked, he didn't. He took off his wedding ring during an alcoholic relapse, I packed and left the next day. I went back 8 weeks later, working hard


Posts: 186 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: NOVA
Rebreather
Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 1:24 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

I'm very confused by all of this, lol

To my mind, you've finally actually started following "the rules." You've created boundaries and listed your demands for R. Isn't that the "gospel" for R? It also seems you've detached enough to not "need" him any more, nor are you "helping" him be success - which is kind of what recovery from codependancy looks like, to my mind.

Perhaps I am misunderstanding. I don't know jack about Al-Anon, so maybe that is a key.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6359 | Registered: Jan 2011
DixieD
Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 2:41 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

Yep, I'm with Rebreather. This post confused me too. It's very important to set boundaries, express your needs and if they are not met, make decisions from there. You have a choice. I see this discussed on SI all the time.

I've not been to Al-anon but I've been to CodA meetings and the idea is to focus on yourself. To accept that's all you can change and have control over. To stop focusing energy on trying to get someone else to do what you want, or what you think they should do.

IMO, the whole point of the 180 or detaching or working on yourself (whatever you want to call it) is that you AREN'T sitting around waiting or wasting your time for your spouse to come around.


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
La Traviata
Member
Member # 14941
Default  Posted: 3:37 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

I guess you could look at it that way.

Most of the boundaries that I've seen modeled have been a lot more general and safety-oriented. Last year, my boundaries were all things like "you must be sober in the house" and "I need to know where you are at all times. I stayed completely out of his AA business- I might occasionally ask "how was your meeting?" and he'd say "fine." When I discussed how this made me feel isolated, I was pointed back in the direction of "you do you, let him do him." When I would talk about how sometimes I felt suspicious, we'd resolve the issue (i.e. he'd prove he was where he said he was) and if I still felt bad and untrusting, that again was MY problem, which I interpreted as "This ongoing suspicious feeling I have is my problem and trying to involve him in resolving it would be codependent." I guess I took on a lot of self-blame.

My therapist, while generally supportive of Al-Anon, would get frustrated with some of the things I took away from meetings. In her opinion (and now, mine) I was taking on too much self-blame for my own bad feelings. Her assessment is that while I have a few codependent qualities, my fear of dependency is a bigger obstacle. Unsurprisingly, I have a trauma history. So I guess I brought a lot of my own issues to the table, but so does everyone.

The feedback I've gotten from my "list of demands" has basically been that I'm trying to do his recovery for him, and until I realize that the problem is MY disease of codependency, my efforts are doomed to failure. I've been told I'm setting him up for failure to give myself an "excuse" to leave instead of just leaving. I've been told that if he follows my program it won't be real R for him and he'll relapse since I'm asking for things that aren't in the 12 steps, or asking for amends right away instead of waiting. (that's step 8 for those of you who don't know.)

He actually requested that I start going to 2 open AA meetings with him a month so that I could get to know the people who were part of his recovery support.

It's working for us so far, and I thinking I'm probably projecting my negative experience with Al-Anon onto SI, because nobody here has ever said anything negative....


rollercoaster much?


me: BW 31
him: WH, 29
DDay: 4/16/12
RelapseDay:4/15/13

A year of false R. I grew and worked, he didn't. He took off his wedding ring during an alcoholic relapse, I packed and left the next day. I went back 8 weeks later, working hard


Posts: 186 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: NOVA
Skan
Member
Member # 35812
Default  Posted: 6:58 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

I''m going to give you a big pat on the back for deciding to make him EARN his way back! Don''t know what you''ve done in the past, don''t really care except in that you learn what did and didn''t work for you, and are now trying something that, if it doesn''t work for you, will let you know exactly how committed he is to fulfilling your requirements and needs. (((hugs)))


Imagine a ship trying to set sail while towing an anchor. Cutting free is not a gift to the anchor. You must release that burden, not because the anchor is worthy, but because the ship is.

D-Day, June 10, 2012



Posts: 4727 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: So California
Missymomma
Member
Member # 36988
Default  Posted: 7:58 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

I think setting boundaries is healthy. There are many groups of spouses of addicts that are unhealthy. My therapist and I have discussed this at length. There are groups of codependents that don't realize that it is also codependent not to set boundaries. It is the other end of the spectrum from trying to dictate everything. Being healthy means living in the middle, not on either extreme. Saying these are the things I expect and these are the consequences, is healthy IMHO. Maybe you can find a different Al-Annon or CODA that understands that.


DDay - 6/15/11
R started - 7/1/11
False Discl- 9/27/12
Real Discl - 2/12/13
Poly - 3/1/13 Pass!
Me - BS (46)
WH - 52 (SA, NA, WA)
Kids: 2 littles and 1 grown
The road to recovery is long and hard. Some days I am up for it and others not!

Posts: 1084 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Texas
Wonderingwhy11
Member
Member # 34782
Default  Posted: 9:03 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)

La Traviata - You can do all your work and stop being codependent but it does not help working R if the other person isn't working on their issues.

the "loving detachment" the "working on me" then goin home to a depressing/non-nurturing home and the waiting for him to come around

This statement is probably why most struggle with R. It only works when both want to R and work on the problems separately and together. When the other person isn't willing to change then you have to decide to stay and live with it or decide to leave. Neither are easy decisions but for me it was better to ask WH to leave a second time (we were separated for a while) if he wasn't going to live by the boundaries we both agreed to.

It is a process and I hope it all works out.


Me BW - 46
Him WH - 53
Together 23 yrs, Married 18
DDay August 2011
2 kids - 13 and 15

Gotta love the life that we livin'


Posts: 376 | Registered: Feb 2012
La Traviata
Member
Member # 14941
Default  Posted: 12:02 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)

This statement is probably why most struggle with R. It only works when both want to R and work on the problems separately and together. When the other person isn't willing to change then you have to decide to stay and live with it or decide to leave. Neither are easy decisions but for me it was better to ask WH to leave a second time (we were separated for a while) if he wasn't going to live by the boundaries we both agreed to.


The problem (well, one of the problems) with last year is that WH was left to his own devices after rehab. Yeah he had to (and still has to) attend an Army-mandated substance abuse prgram, but that is a very ineffective program and he's basically "punching the card" every week. Everyone there is forced to be there and there is very little real recovery. He was encouraged to go to AA but had nobody to follow up with him. Nobody to even notice that he never really got a sponsor or worked the steps. It wasn't far from there to him deciding that he could "mail it in" at AA the same way he did at his Army program. And sadly, it worked. He'd isolated himself from his partners in recovery, and Al-Anon had taught me that even asking about his AA experience was codependency, let alone saying, "hey- are you even working the steps? Why haven't you been going to meetings? Do you have a sponsor" Etc...

We both felt alone and un-empowered to make a change. He made the only change that made sense to him. No excuses- it was a stupid, awful bad choice. But our previous state of "in recovery" was the worst kind of false R.

[This message edited by La Traviata at 12:25 AM, May 29th (Wednesday)]


me: BW 31
him: WH, 29
DDay: 4/16/12
RelapseDay:4/15/13

A year of false R. I grew and worked, he didn't. He took off his wedding ring during an alcoholic relapse, I packed and left the next day. I went back 8 weeks later, working hard


Posts: 186 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: NOVA
Topic Posts: 10