two sides to a husband

Some alcoholics still have families when they get to AA. This is a place to ask questions and share experiences about relating to family members sober, especially when newly sober. (If you are not an alcoholic, please use the "Our Friends and Families" forum.)
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isabelle
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two sides to a husband

Post by isabelle »

hello everyone.
i am pleased to announce that this is one week.
the first week for me in over 8 months.
i am proud.

however, i have a pressing issue.
i have come to the realization this time around that to succeed in sobriety, you need to be selfish.
you need to take the time you need for yourself to recover. to pray, meditate, make it to meetings, read literature..ect.
if you don't take that time, you damage your chances at success. so be selfish. and take that time.

my husband has been begging me for years to quit drinking. as much as i fought him, got drunk and only did MORE house work, MORE cooking, MORE kid work to combat him.. and inevitably..MORE damage.. he was right. i needed to quit. i am powerless over alcohol.
so why is it that when i do this.. i get resentment? i ask him to take both kids to give mom some reading time and he huffs.
i hunker away in the basement to meditate and he huffs. it's not like i don't do anything around here.. i cook and clean.. i live pretty much immaculate to begin with.. his lunches are made, clothes are cleaned and put away.. kids are happy and healthy..ect ect.. and yet, when i take the time i need for me to recover.. he huffs. was it not him that so profoundly told me three years ago that if i didnt quit he would leave? hmmm... confusion confusion.
anyway, i continue to take my time no matter how much it urks him. he's a daddy too, and although i spent most of the time taking care of everything around here so that i would get him off my back about the drinking, i think i sabotaged myself in the end. hehehe. he says he supports me, always checks in on how i'm doing.. but most of the time.. his body language speaks a whole other tune. sorry, mr. man. this momma reads right through your huffing. :wink:
anyway... i guess what im saying is this.. ive read many columns in this topic today looking for advice and the only thing i came up with was advice to myself... forget the huffing, grumbling, sighing, complaining, begging, sabotaging, and sneaking. be myself and be selfish. because in the end.. they will thank me more than ever..
after one week we have already incorporated some old family traditions.. have had more time together and instead of worked up, emotional sneaking around momma.. they have quiet, calm, relaxed and invigorated momma. thank you aa.. and thank you higher power. one week.. for a lifetime of family happiness.

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avaneesh912
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by avaneesh912 »

i had to read the 'Family Afterwards' and understand their stand. They are also going thru a phase, the whole family is in recovery. He is probably spiritually sick and you can do nothing about it. You may suggest he go to Al-anon.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

Sally
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by Sally »

We went to alot of open speaker mtgs in the beginning - as much for him
as for me- so he could see and hear sober people laughing and enjoying life-
and get an idea of what i was doing besides not drinking.getting/ Living sober
requires alot of time and it helped to have him understand what i was up to
did he like it?? Nope- not all the time- our kids were small- but the alternative
was far worse. You CAN do this- don't give up.
Sally

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ann2
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by ann2 »

Welcome to the marriage! Not that you haven't been participating, but really, weren't you married to the drink before?

For me, marriage is about compromise and acceptance and love in spite of those weeks when you just can't stand each other. And it's not for the rushing back together/emtional highs and lows either -- it's for the ability to face certain things in me, things I wouldn't see if it weren't for my partner behaving the way he does -- sometimes helpful, sometimes a PITA.

It's all part of my spiritual growth, sobriety!! and reality.

I hate that the Ideal has been taken away from me -- but it doesn't help the marriage to try to force that onto what we have. What helps is surrenduring to my higher power's wonderful and perfect scripting of my life, and all the changes that I go through and all the other characters in this comedy/drama/soap opera experience.

Good to be here to take a break from it all sometimes!

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

RustyS
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by RustyS »

avaneesh912 wrote:i had to read the 'Family Afterwards' and understand their stand. They are also going thru a phase, the whole family is in recovery. He is probably spiritually sick and you can do nothing about it. You may suggest he go to Al-anon.
Avaneesh is right. Al-Anon or some other group for codependants would be helpful. If he likes to read maybe you could get him a book on codependancy.

Also, recognise that his behavior is most likely because he is hurting. He probably would never admit it, but for some reason he is hurting. People deal with emotional pain in different ways.

--Rusty

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leejosepho
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by leejosepho »

isabelle wrote:i have come to the realization this time around that to succeed in sobriety, you need to be selfish.
Not in the usual sense, but yes, we must do what we must do ...
isabelle wrote:you need to take the time you need for yourself to recover. to pray, meditate, make it to meetings, read literature..ect.
if you don't take that time, you [compromise] your chances at success.
isabelle wrote:so why is it that when i do this.. i get resentment?
His expectations of you cause trouble for him, and your expectations of him cause trouble for you ... and Step Four is where we begin learning to deal with that:

"This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, 'This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'
"We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one." (pages 66-67)
isabelle wrote:was it not him that so profoundly told me three years ago that if i didnt quit he would leave?
He understands no more now that you had understood then, so the challenge is to try to help him understand ... and that can be tough. However, do always keep this in mind:

"The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it. Unless one's family expresses a desire to live upon spiritual principles we think we ought not to urge them. We should not talk incessantly to them about spiritual matters. They will change in time. Our behavior will convince them more than our words." (page 83)
isabelle wrote:anyway, i continue ...

after one week we have already incorporated some old family traditions.. have had more time together and instead of worked up, emotional sneaking around momma.. they have quiet, calm, relaxed and invigorated momma. thank you aa.. and thank you higher power. one week.. for a lifetime of family happiness.
Yes, and keep up the good work!
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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isabelle
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by isabelle »

why thank you everyone for your positive and constructive input :)
i have not been pressing, or pulling any information from him, nor have i been trying to talk him out of the moods that he does get in. to be quite honest, it has been like this for a long while now.. drinking or not. when i take time out of my daily routine to do something different it tends to cause a slight amount of hostility, sober or not. it is nothing new.
i have come to the conclusion (under advice of the big book) that he is spiritually sick and i pray that he finds happiness. he has never been a talker, more of a "quiet, keep to himself" kind of guy. so i realize that nothing good would come out of me pressing the issue, he realizes i need some "me" time right now, whether he likes it or not. i do not bring up the spirituality of the program either, he can come to those terms on his own. right now, i just leave him be, and i do not get angry at him. besides, we have all created our fair amount of pain in this relationship.. let's not forget.. he used to be quite the drinker himself..
i have found peace in praying for others. i have noticed that most people suffer from their own personal amount of pain, and how they express it, in anger or not, is still a sign of hurting. since i have been really working the steps, reading and praying daily, i have found a certain amount of inner peace that has provided me with a shelter from resentment. little things that used to make me so mad before brush right off me without regard now. it is amazing. i hope this can continue. it feels good being content in the moment.. something i never had before.
:)

happycamper
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by happycamper »

Welcome Isabelle, glad you are here!


First Id like to share my experience on the always misleading junk that is heard or strewn about at meetings that AA is a selfish program.
I remember being at a meeting with my sponsor when I was about 6 months sober. It was a real treat to have my sponsor with me at a meeting since we lived far apart. I was sharing how AA was a selfish program and it was most important that I take care of me and screw everybody else who got in the way. And, the only reason I really ever shared the 'selfish program' idea was because I had heard it before and I simiply was parroting it cuz' I wanted to fit in and be what I thought was 'cool'. I wanted to be liked and I figured if everyone else was saying it, it must be right and I most certainly wanted to be right.

After the meeting in the car on the way home my sponsor said to me, " I dont ever want to hear you say that AA is a selfish program again". I was dumbfounded naturally and asked her why? she then directed me to several different area's in the book that claim just the opposite of what I had been spewing at meetings trying to 'fit in' ...

Number 1 in the Doctors opinion it talks about the altruistic movement among us. I did not know what altruistic meant until I looked it up. I would highly suggest that anyone who still believes AA is a selfish program do the same and search for the meaning of the word.

My sponsor told me that i was a selfish, self-centered person when I was drinking and that I did NOT come to AA to continue to be that way. I came to AA to be of the best service to God and the ppl about me that I was capable of.

Is it not difficult when first sobering up to deal with other ppl ... like my husband, kids, other family members, co-workers, etc, etc. ? Yes , you bet it is. But it is not an excuse for me to be selfish , and or say that the new program Im now working to change my life is selfish.
There is absolutely nothing selfish about me getting me heatlhy.

When there is an alcoholic in the home, the whole family is sick. the answers to all the questions anyone has as how to deal with this sobering up period and beyond are in the pages of our book called Alcholics Anonymous.

Yes, hubbys ( and or wives ) who are non-alcoholic can be hard to deal with at times . However, as long as I work the 12 steps every single day, I will get better, I will. And then I come to the realization that when I change the way Im looking at things, the things Im looking at will change :D .

Again, Isablle, welcome and enjoy the journey, follow the plan laid out for us and you cannot fail.
Faith without works is dead

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isabelle
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by isabelle »

hello happycamper and thank you for your reply
i did not mean to say that aa is a selfish program, i don't think that's what i did say, if so i apologize.
what i was meaning was that i need to be selfish in a few ways if i want to recover. in that i mean to take time to myself to do the work that needs to be done. the old me would say "okay honey, leave the kids, you go" and i would never get any work done. instead of applying myself and giving this the time that it needs, i would always make time for everyone else first.
aa is most definitely not a selfish program, if it were, there wouldn't be millions of people helping millions of people make their worlds and the one we live in such a wonderful place. i only meant that i need to learn how to make extra time for just me so i can stay focused on what's really important right now.. my sobriety. i hope i didn't offend you by any means, it was a self realization. i've spent far too much of my life being a people pleaser and it has left me in shambles. and i spent far too much of my drinking career trying to make up for the fact that i drank so much in other ways.. aka.. doing all the childcare, housecleaning, ect.. that it's a big change for me (and the ones who live with me) to be putting some of that aside for a while.
for the first time in years, i have put reading and writing before dishes and laundry.. and giving up control in areas of my life i had no idea were possible.. and it feels great. everyday it gets a bit easier and guess what.. the house stays together all the same. (funny, isnt it :) ) it's the changes that some people are finding hard. but with the grace of my higher power, putting my HP to work in my world everyday, i am finding ways to cope with the emotions that are coming along with this wonderful change. in ways i would have never thought of before.
:D

happycamper
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Re: two sides to a husband

Post by happycamper »

Aww, Isabelle, please dont worry, you did not offend me.

I was merely sharing my own experience on the huge un-truth that AA is a selfish program.

You're story is so very similiar to my own, I feel like we know each other :D .

Another thing my sponsor use to tell me was , " Keep the focus on me and staying sober". I have done pretty much so exactly what my sponsor has told me to do for almost 7 yrs now and she has never, ever steered me wrong. I am truely blessed!
Faith without works is dead

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