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 Post subject: separation options
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:51 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
I'm revisiting my options in my marriage and have hit some snags--emotionally and logistically.

I know myself well enough now to realize I am not likely to be emotionally ready for a full-out divorce from my husband. However, he appears to be backsliding and returning to acting out.

In my jurisdiction, there is no such thing as a legal separation.

A physical separation, while ideal in my mind, introduces a couple challenges, namely the cost of me staying elsewhere, and also the fact that we have only one car, which is in my name. If I were to leave, it would hamstring him in terms of him getting to his job/transportation. I can weather the cost of 4-6 weeks living elsewhere, but with no legal separation in my state, am aware there may be implications of this choice legally.

I'm concerned if I do an in-house (emotional) separation, it won't give me the space I need to be able to detach further from my husband. Since our relationship is sexually anorexic, there'd be no change in that with an in-house separation. However, I am open to hearing more ideas on how this might work, particulary to protect and serve me emotionally and otherwise.

For any of you who have separated in some way before deciding to divorce (or recommit to the relationship), how did you handle logistics? Did you find a way to make it beneficial for your healing?

Thank you,
meep


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 Post subject: Re: separation options
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 650
meep - I am so sorry to hear about the challenging state of your marriage. For what it is worth, here have been some of my experiences of emotionally separating from my husband while living in the same house. And, as I strip away denial and think about my life, I realize I have emotionally separated multiple times over the course of my marriage. And, bear in mind that our addicted husbands probably were never really connected. So, when I think about this, during active addiction my husband preferred me to separate emotionally. As the addiction progressed, he also liked me to be gone physically as well. On the other hand, early on, he wanted me to be Suzy Starshine and deliver him fun, admiration, you name it. Later on, he wanted me to just be his cook and his maid. So I guess what I am getting at is that what is more important is how YOU feel about this separation.

There were two ways I have done this: one was to inform my husband of my plans (and, now boundaries) and the other was not to inform him. When I would inform him, I would say, as calmly as possible, "I think it is in my best interest and the marriage's best interest for each of us to live as independently as possible for (X) amount of time. That doesn't mean I will cheat, and I expect you won't either. What it means is that I will eat by myself, I will come and go as I please, as shall you, but that we will keep each other informed of our whereabouts and our schedule and when we will be home." Conversation was limited to basic functional things, like: "The repairman will be here at...." What worked best for me was to imagine I was single and had to do everything on my own. Actually, that really worked. I was faithful to my vows, but I didn't rely on my husband for anything. That turned out to be the best approach. Sad, but true.

Alternatively, I would just do these things and not tell him anything. So, I'd say 'I'm going to the store and the movies and I will be back at (X) o'clock." If he would ask to come along, I'd say, "No, I'd rather do this myself." Looking back, it was interesting to note when he really relished my being gone. Then he really wanted to know my schedule so he could plan his acting out. That's hard to come to grips with, but be aware of that.

Boundaries around all of this are difficult: there are some bottom line ones (e.g., he has a woman over, he does something else you can't tolerate), but some of the other things, like meal planning, food shopping, laundry, etc., can be flexible. I still did my husband's laundry when I did mine. But, I didn't feel I had to. In the past, I wasn't aware of the addictions, but I was aware of my husband's desire to have me gone and his increasing hostility towards me. I HAD to get out of the house to get away from the abuse. I still modeled decent behavior in saying where I was going and when I would be back. On reflection, I realized he didn't do any of that. (Getting sad and mad thinking about the past.)

The two things I tried to be aware of were: how did I feel? was this working out for me? what should I do differently?. And, what was my husband's reaction: did he notice? was he more hostile? less?

Given that I have developed more intolerance to some of my husband's immaturity, I am finding I have to do more emotional separating. And, even in recovery, we have to wait and see if they will mature. With an active addict and planning for the future, I think I would focus on me and my well being. I would want to give my self the emotional space to think clearly and to plan. And, I would want to feel better about myself, which I know happens when I get out and live my life.

With compassion,
dnell


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 Post subject: Re: separation options
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 650
Meep - Forgot to say, separate bedrooms and bathrooms really help.
dnell


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