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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:33 am
Posts: 16
My husband has a very hard time hearing the words that come out of my mouth without taking it in emotionally and angrily. Throughout the course of a year (there was an ultimatum that I gave him to be in recovery) he hasn't heard anything or won't take any of my suggestions seriously. Even if it's as simple as me saying that he might benefit from going to a recovery center. Hell it might benefit all of us. He simply has his mind up to no and always says that I'm not one to guide his recovery. He is in a 12 step group and has taken upon himself to not see his therapist because he thinks he's on the mend (he's probably seen his therapist twice since January) He doesn't seem to get that all I want is to be in a better place with him (and let me stress we are not anywhere near a better place. he is still very much a person with an addictive mind). That for me to start being secure beside him I need to see the desire and commitment to recovery. Why is this so hard for him to understand? What am I doing wrong?


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 9:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:02 pm
Posts: 420
DolceGabbanaD&G wrote:
Why is this so hard for him to understand? What am I doing wrong?


Nothing. You are doing nothing wrong. If you believe the idea that you are doing something wrong, then you believe that he will pursue recovery if you do something "right." But that is just not the case. He will pursue recovery when he comes to the conclusion that he wants a different life for himself. If he is in an addictive mindset, no amount of love for you is going to lead to recovery. On the other side of that same coin - there was nothing you did that caused his addiction to begin with. There was nothing "right" or "wrong" you could have done, because these were and are his choices to make.

That said, if you are working through the workshop, you will discover that there are many things you can do, to begin to reclaim your own life and create space for yourself from his addiction. That process can be very empowering, and will model for him the kind of decision making you hope he will eventually make - to prioritize your own health and wellness, to wholeheartedly go after what you want for your life. If you want those things for him, don't you want them for yourself?

Seeing those changes in you may give him motivation, or it may freak him out, or it may give you the feeling of freedom and empowerment to set new boundaries and enforce them. Those things could all change the dynamic of your relationship, but they are the consequence of healing, not the purpose of it.

I just want to reiterate one more time - you have done nothing wrong. His choices are not about you. Even his choice not to hear you is not about what you say or know - it is about protecting himself from confronting his problems; he can't hear or listen to you, because he is too caught up in himself. And convincing you that you are "wrong" or saying it wrong, or need to change or grow or whatever is one of the addict's most effective ways of avoiding having to confront themself.

Trust yourself; you can see clearly. He cannot. He will try to convince you its the other way around sometimes, so trust yourself.
thebagholder


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 9:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:33 am
Posts: 16
The thing is I have set my boundaries and I have set goals for me and the family. Especially my kids. The thing is him being around not doing anything to get us to a better place really feels like I'm dealing with a deadbeat. (I don't mean that in he doesn't work or help around the house, because he really does and I can probably thank the compulsivity of the addiction for that) But for being committed to recovery he is a deadbeat, we haven't worked on us, he hasn't come to a realized place. And I completely get what your saying the thing is, maybe I'm realizing that I'm ready for the next stage in my own life. My foot wants to take that first step but something is holding me back.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 10:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:02 pm
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DolceGabbanaD&G wrote:
And I completely get what your saying the thing is, maybe I'm realizing that I'm ready for the next stage in my own life. My foot wants to take that first step but something is holding me back.


For all of us - there were things about the life (we thought) we had with our partner that "worked" for us, one way or another, or we wouldn't have put up with the times we did feel doubt or confusion. In letting go of the life we had, we lose something, even thought we gain all kinds of other things. I think sometimes, getting to that threshold of seeing that what we used to have wasn't what we thought it was, and that our partner is never going to offer us what we want (which may be some version of what we thought we had, only we want it to be real), we are filled with an even deeper sorrow than we had at discovery. Because discovery is instant and traumatic - a shocking upheaval during which we cling to some idea that this reality is not real - that somehow things can return to normal. Getting to the crossroads of seeing that we never had what we thought, and we are never going to have that - seeing clearly that we must choose what we are willing to accept "from here on out" and that it is not going to be what we originally thought we signed up for (even if our partner recovers, we still end up reaching this crossroads, I think). This change to our relationship - to the trajectory of our lives - is permanent. This leads to a much more rational and grievous sorrow. Then, I think, is when we experience the death of what we thought our lives were going to be, and can freely grieve it and move on to the life we are now going to live.

Perhaps you are reluctant to accept the permanence, perhaps you are struggling against the sorrow, perhaps you are still somewhere closer to the start, where you are looking for your partner to do something or say something that makes you feel better and normal again. Perhaps it is something altogether different for you and I am way off. :pe: I can accept that possibility. I, myself, even with a recovering partner, find that I still struggle against the permanence and the sorrow sometimes. I just want my life to actually be what I thought it was - and it's not. And it never will be.

I wish you well in discovering what is holding you back, so you can step out and claim the future of your own choosing. You'll notice my handle - I think many of us partners feel like we are left holding the bag. Because if you want more in this life than your spouse does, it will always be up to you to move toward it - you can't make them be someone they don't want or choose to be.
thebagholder


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:49 pm
Posts: 675
TBH has given you some excellent things to think about. She is definitely right about everything she said. The questions that I'm going to ask may already be things you have thought about. If you haven't, they may help you realize what is holding you back or give you the courage to take the next step in creating the life you want to live.

DolceGabbanaD&G wrote:
But for being committed to recovery he is a deadbeat,

Can you define these terms? What indicates to you that he is committed to recovery? What makes you feel like you are married to someone who isn't willing to contribute? What did you expect from him at this point that would have indicated to you that he is making acceptable progress? What would "a realized place" look like?

The fact that he has not worked on your relationship may not be a bad thing - although I understand why it is frustrating. Remember that it is very important for those in Recovery to first focus on themselves. If they focus on the relationship they will not have the time and energy to make the changes that they need to make in themselves. Your partner's inability to work on the relationship may or may not be a deal breaker for you at this point. And that's okay. Just be careful not to define your partner's recovery by where your relationship currently stands.
If you're feeling stuck, I'd recommend going back to the first few lessons that deal with your vision for your life. Is it current? Are there things you need to add? Are there things that are no longer important to you? Update your vision and then consider which parts are possible with your partner, and which parts are not currently possible with your partner. Consider which parts of your vision you would really like to be actively working on at this part. Defining what that "next step" is for you might be a crucial part of getting unstuck.

Edit: I realized that I meant to say that in my opinion we often feel stuck because the life we are currently living feels uncomfortable but we don't have a clear idea of the life we WANT to be living. When we stop to think about what is important to us sometimes it becomes clear what needs to happen to resolve the discomfort, and sometimes we discover that the discomfort is worth going through for the life that we want to live. Hope that helped!
Mrs. Jones


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