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 Post subject: ancillary issues
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:30 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Recently I filed for divorce, which moved my husband into crisis mode. I did not file to try and shock him into action: I filed because it was the right decision for me, and mentally I had prepared myself to a) move on with my life and b) for my husband's reaction to likely be to accept it and leave. I had every reason to believe he valued his addiction far more than the marriage and up until now, had been highly resistant to any changes, help, etc.

Now I am dealing with a person who claims he will do anything to save the marriage. He will be going to a therapy intensive next month: part of the purpose of this is because the doctor can give me a realistic expectation on his prognosis and how committed he truly is toward doing a 180 on his life. I don't expect miracles, but have done my research and believe this is the best hope for us/him.

Currently I am not living in our marital home, which in many ways is more peaceful for me. We stay some evenings together in the place I am staying, and I visit him in our marital home.

In addition to my husband's direct addiction-related behaviors, I'm struggling with how his general immaturity impacts my life. A specific example that is a source of stress and anxiety for me is the state of our home. Now, I've seen much worse in other homes, but my husband uses the kitchen and dining area for hobbies and does not clean them up. I am left with a lot of visual clutter and this makes it difficult for me to get my work done and also use a kitchen effectively. Additionally his lack of organization with his self-employment will likely, at some point, boil over into the home, with paperwork all over, no organized system, etc.

I'm looking for community advice (and perhaps a coach here could chime in, as so many here are dealing with partners who won't even look at addiction issues, let alone a tidy home) on how and when to approach these issues. My husband's current state of mind is in crisis management, and his immediate focus is working on understanding his compulsions.

I don't want to launch a laundry list on to someone who is in his current state, yet these are issues that affect me. I would appreciate any insights as to whether it makes sense to hold off on these other issues for a little while to see if he a) gains stability and b) shows a consistent effort toward change and recovery.

I haven't withdrew the divorce papers, but have put the process on hold for 3 months to allow him time to demonstrate ongoing sincerity and effort. (with the understanding I am not seeking perfection, but progress and commitment).

Thank you in advance for your wisdom and feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: ancillary issues
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:02 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
meepmeep, I feel so good for you about your strength and clarity about yourself, your marriage, and your future.

Your question about what to ask for when is a good one. In both my MC and IC, my counselors want me to practice saying what I want and need, REGARDLESS of the impact on my husband. They want me to practice these skills and to feel better just asserting my needs. I have been working on it, and it has been helpful to me.

The reality is that my husband could not respond maturely when he first really became aware of the risk of divorce. He had to stop acting out and become a bit more aware an mature. So, how I deal with this is that I keep setting boundaries and asking for what I need with the full awareness that it is unlikely that he will respond in a mature way. But, for around the house, it's another opportunity for a bottom line: you won't stay over if he doesn't ....." He can't stay over if he doesn't.... (Or, you will stay over if he....). Even when my husband was just starting active recovery, firm boundaries worked with him. They had to be repeated, but they worked.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: ancillary issues
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:30 am
Posts: 95
Hi meepmeep,

For me it would probably depend on how much stress and anxiety his untidiness & disorganisation is causing for you. If it's mild and you can deal with it for a couple of months, my natural inclination would be to hold off on asserting this boundary while he gets a bit stronger. But I'm not sure if that's the right advice - it's just what I would be inclined to do! Dnell is further down the recovery road than me, so her advice is probably more appropriate in the situation. But, if it was causing a lot of stress and anxiety for you, then yes, I think you should say something. As dnell says, the key is stating your needs regardless of how he feels.. I haven't quite got there yet.

B.


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 Post subject: Re: ancillary issues
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:34 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Thank you both very much.

Dnell, I used your suggestion after HE auggested he clean things up. I said, "that would make me more likely to stay over and easier for me to work here."

I appreciate the initiative on his part.

Although this is an aside from the original post, I do feel a bit disjointed. I never expected to be focusing on a potential couples recovery. And, I have told him as much. My prior work with RN made a dramatic difference in my capacity to cope with this, but objectively, his motivation is high and that likely affects me.

Im learning I really need to focus on me. So much of the past several years was spent in "wait and see" mode, with my energy wrapped up in that. It's possible to get emotionally healthy and stable AND lose sight of your own desires and vision. It's time to gently return to a life vision again.


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 Post subject: Re: ancillary issues
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:00 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
meepmeep, I get how it would be disconcerting to have your husband finally come around to REALLY getting that he can't take you or your marriage for granted.

I agree that continuing to focus on you and your life's vision is key, no matter what your husband is doing. I've learned that as my husband recovers, I am on a different road. Will our roads meet? I don't have a clue, and that's not important to me. What is important is how I feel about me and my life, and the decisions I make about that.

My husband took me for granted for so many decades and really believed he was in total control of the marriage: as in, he would leave if he found the "perfect one". I know now he was always looking, which he has told me, and that he would have just walked out. So, now he can't take me for granted. I will make my decisions about staying or going based on what is best for me. Now he can decide it's best for him to leave at any time, and that's just life. I'm no longer attached to his staying. And, that changes everything in my marriage.

But, even with motivation, change is slow. Think of the work we have to do, and then think of how much work they have to do.

dnell


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 Post subject: Re: ancillary issues
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:19 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Hello ladies,

I do not want to be a bearer of bad news, but I wish to point out that reality that crisis management is not true recovery. So, 3 months is not likely enough time to assess wether or not this has been a real catalyst and eye opener for him-which it very well may be. There are no guarantees and ultimately, the only person who will know what is really going on is your h-and currently, he is not in a place to be able to share that honestly. Whatever you do, do it with the awareness that this could be crisis management. That is, ask yourself “If I could know right now that the outcome 3-6 months from now will be such that I will find myself in the exact same place I am right now or was before this inspired recovery, would I still choose to give him the chance to show that his efforts are sincere?”. At this point, the answer clearly seems to be “yes”. Consider the values this choice supports and the values that are potentially violated. Are you ok to allow those values to be violated (a compromise while you continue to “wait and see”)? You are already thinking of this as you ponder telling him how his disorganization affects you-I encourage you to consider other possible violations. It is also really good that you are working with your counsellor to determine what is realistic for you to expect.

Be well.

_________________
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)


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