Yes,I love him and yes, we can get along relatively well on a very superficial level. But I'm emotionally the only one present and the situation is unlikely to improve if my therapists are correct (I've never had a reason to doubt them). I'm left asking myself do I want to be, *can* I maintain, my emotional health on my own with little positive input from him? Do I want more for myself? Are these selfish needs?
Realistically I can't teach him what he's either incapable of or simply won't learn. I'm not his parent, and I'm no longer invested enough in this relationship to help him, guide him, spell it out. I suppose I "should" do so, but ASFAIC he needs to step up on his own. Am I wrong to want a relationship with a fully present adult man? Is it wrong for me to want SAWH to step up *on his own, with no prompting from me*?
What do you guys think? If this is probably as present, as healthy, as he's likely to be for the foreseeable future it simply isn't enough anymore. And I don't want to have to teach him how he should treat me. Unrealistic of me? Possible, maybe probable. I suppose I'm expecting him to step up and show me he's all in. To make an effort to show me through actions that I'm important to him. I'm not seeing this, aand the codependant in me wants to set it all up for him so he he only has to make a very small investment. I won't do this this time, hopefully I won't do it anymore with anyone.
Any feedback welcome!
PS. Typed on my new toy (a Playbook) please forgive formatting and typos.
"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow
"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."
I want more from a husband. I want more for my children.
[This message edited by Nature_Girl at 1:19 PM, January 8th (Sunday)]
We have recently been under a bit of stress because his company is about to be sold to his previous employer. There will be no position for him there, so we will have to relocate far away due to his severance package and non-compete agreement. My sons are devastated and I am sad that I will lose my local support system.
Good news is that he has an excellent position waiting for him in a part of the country we both like. Any of you familiar with the greater Annapolis,MD area? I would love some advice about neighborhoods and High Schools ... my youngest will be a freshman in the fall and is artistically and academically gifted. I'd appreciate any input ... you all here well know how hard this move will be for him emotionally, after everything our family has been through. Also interested in info on local SA support groups.
Thanks in advance for any input!
I am also proud of you Kat for being part of the women's lib movement. Lately I've watched reruns of the Dick Van Dyke show as well as a few episodes of Mad Men. I think about how lucky I am to live in a time where if I do end up getting a divorce, I won't be automatically shunned as a failed wife. I am also lucky to have a career and not be financially dependent on WS, so that now that this mess is out in the open...I have the option to stay/go without fear for my physical survival being a component in the decision. I have these options because of women who came before me. I stand on the shoulders of giants. Thank you.
I'm trying to keep an open mind about our relationship, but with each passing day I think I want more to my life than just "babysitting" him and waiting for the next pile of sh*t to hit the fan. I suppose he will have to convince me that he is truly a different person - one that is proactive in his recovery rather than pretending everything is "fine." And he will need to prove to me that he has grown up quite a bit by being financially and socially responsible. He will need to convince me that he can think beyond the scope of his selfish existence. Basically, he's going to have to be a completely different person - a stranger who I get to know from scratch.
Maybe I will like him after he returns from Keystone. Maybe I won't. But I no longer feel like I "have" to stay with him just because we are married. He cheated on me throughout our engagement as well as our marriage. As far as I'm concerned, the whole thing was a ruse. Contracts don't count when one person is being conned (at least in my book).
Part of me would really like to know what it's like to be married to someone who took their vows with the same sincerity I did.
[This message edited by WS is an Addict at 7:04 PM, January 8th (Sunday)]
The conversation about staying or leaving has been getting me thinking. I think my addict husband and i are in the "too good to leave; too bad to stay stage." I mean, we are getting along, we've settled into a nice pattern of sharing. He's stepping up in terms of chores and such. I could be content like this, but is it really being happy? I am very much of a loner, an introvert. I don't particularly like going out or even talking with friend on the phone (thank goodness for facebook). How much do I need a relationship? How much do I want this relationship. I truly don't know the answers. And I'm also not sure I wouldn't have found myself in the position even if he wasn't a SA.
WS... don't put to many expectations on when your H gets back from treatment. He will still be in the infancy of his recovery. And by its nature, recovery is a somewhat selfish process, especially at first. If they suggest to him to go to a halfway house, insist that he goes. That was a big mistake we made, as I really needed him home because we had 3 young children and a month of doing it alone had fried me.
I can honestly say that over the last 11 years of dealing with his SA, there have been long periods of love and happiness. And since this time he is so committed to recovery and I am gradually seeing him "grow up" I have reason to believe we could be in love again.
I don't know why it makes a difference. It's just something I'm trying to make peace with in my head, I guess. I mean, I will most likely develop breast cancer at some point in my life because it runs in my family - that is not my fault. Is it also not WS's fault that he is an addict?
Sabina: "You teach people how to treat you" I see that in very negative sense. I taught my WH that if he yelled enough and snarled enough, I'd stop asking questions. I did that very well.
On a positive note, Sanon and lots of hard work has taught me to NOT be his parent. I may back slide a bit, but generally, I try to say what I need and give up the consequences. The result of that with our most recent blowup is that he has gone to meetings 3 times this week, to seek advice, to ASK for advice, instead of just sitting as a passive bystander, and he promises that I will have what I need (a timeline) by the end of the week. For today, at least, he sees that this has been a life sentence for me, and that his complacency is an affront to me. He was thinking that just because he is sober, being an attentive H, doing most of the housework (he's retired, I'm not) that we are "fixed" that things are getting better. To me were are in a holding pattern, I'm still waiting to see a repaired relationship, still waiting for the missing pieces, for the step 9 letter, He says he knows now how important it is to me and he'll step up. We'll see.
Sabina, I think all you CAN do is say it all one more time, let him know how important this is to you. And that it IS up to him to figure out a way to fix things if he chooses it. Then YOU have to make the very hard decision about what to do if he simply cannot be there in the way you need. And figure out what you can live with and what you cannot. I may be reaching, but I think we all miss the 1-1 intimacy that married people should have, that I had with my H in the early part of my marriage. It is the thing that SAs cannot do. And, to be truthful, I think that I no longer cannot do it either. I feel that I have built a wall that is impregnable. (sigh) I guess I have to spill this insight to my IC...
It's funny about the Asperger's, my H definitely display spectrum behaviors. He can not recognize sarcasm, doesn't get subtle jokes and unless things are spelled out to him, he truly is foggy in the Asperger's sense. I know that this is a male trait as well, but it is exacerbated in some people, and made worse by the fact that they just don't WANT to deal with the pain they caused us and the shame involved. They pretend everything is ok. So WE have to press the issue. I guess the choice is pressing the issue, choosing to be silent and sad, or figuring out how to work through each crisis AS IT ARISES in some kind of continuing MC. Didn't think marriage was going to be quite this hard...
HURT! So proud and happy for you!! Well DONE!
WS Mary Tyler Moore...I don't watch Mad Men but I've heard about it. Do you believe that when I was in High School the entire student body went out on STRIKE because a new principal came in and revoked a newly passed dress code that had finally allowed girls to wear PANTS to school instead of skirts and dresses???? I was a junior in HS when I went to school in a pair of modest and loose pants. No JEANS God forbid!
RE: Addictions and genetics Hand raised here. Both of our families have addictions through the roof. And mental health issues. I don't doubt there is a connection. His parents were a classic passive/aggressive waltz. Both good people trying to do their best and managing to screw up their kids in the process. Heaven knows the damage I've done to mine
But I think that we can't think like that. THEY did their best, even my crazy, alcoholic abusive mother. Every time she told me how worthless I was, it made me work harder to try to show her I was smart, talented, worthwhile, etc., I may have never convinced her, but I convinced myself, and others.
"One day at a time" "Just for today" These are two slogans that work for me most of the time...and this is a link to others. It's an AA link but same thing really.
Be well, all. I'm holding you all in the *LIGHT*
[This message edited by scaredyKat at 8:50 PM, January 8th (Sunday)]
Just *had* to say it has to be NO coincidence I am desperately trying to finish the book Sabina recommended to me (What Shamu taught me about life, love, and marriage) before it is due at the library tomorrow and that she posts that she struggles with the idea that spouses of SAs teach others how to treat them.
Honey, EVERYONE teaches others how to treat them. Even animals, remember?
What a great book. Certainly not all the answers to the greatest questions in life but a very interesting read from a SA spouse perspective. It has zero to do with SA of course, but it talks about how animal training works and how you can apply it to humans. Strangely VERY compatible with S-Anon teachings.
What an idiot I was!
I know now that I was only teaching WH that I was a bootscraper he could scrape his daily shit on. A willing doormat. A garbage can into which he could dump all his negativity & vitriol. A soothing pool of cool water to wash away his troubles, make everything okay, a safe place in a world of troubles.
What's the difference? I plan to continue sleeping on the couch. It's going to have to be a day by day, night by night decision. I've never been able to maintain this boundary for long, I've always caved in to SAWH's arguments and threats. Thus I've taught him that I'm not as good as my word and if he waits long enough I'll give in. The thing is, I need to maintain this for me. Really it has nothing to do with him. I need to prove to myself that I'm worth more than the $h!tty treatment I've been accepting (through my not standing up for myself).
I'm gonna need hand holding, though, you guys. I don't plan to explain anything or defend my position. I'm simply going to make up the couch and go to sleep. If SAWH asks I'll simply state my decision. The roll over and play dead behavior is deeply ingrained in me and was actively taught to me as a child- enforcing boundaries was something that was actively destroyed in me by my FOO. I get very strong fear responses when I do certain things- particularly the sleeping seperately issue.
So will you help me? Mentally and emotionally I can only make this decision one day at a time. Tonight I plan to sleep on the couch. Today is DD's birthday & I'm consciously planning not to do anything or say anything that will upset the birthday festivities. She turns 20!! I'm so old....
Hugs to all~ Sabina
Coping, I am also looking at relocating with a gifted child, but mine is much younger. I look forward to hearing about what you decide to do. I don't know a thing about Annapolis. but I know a lot about cross-country moving.
Sabina, I am not clear why you have to sleep on the couch. Putting the "Why isn't HE sleeping on the couch?" aside (because I assume you cannot make Shamu do anything ) isn't there another room you can call your own? I know I've slept on the couch a few times to prove a point, but a real bed, or at least a separate non-community room would be better. I'm all for in-house separation when the sitch calls for it, but it puts your quality of sleep at risk and I'm not sure if it gives the same message as setting up shop somewhere else if you are talking more long term. Maybe you can walk me through this so I understand how this boundary benefits you I could be more helpful.
I'm on the couch because we rent a small (900 sq. ft) duplex & all three of our kids live here. Literally, there isn't anywhere else for me to sleep except with SAWH. He has attempted to initiate sex with me at night after I've taken sleeping meds on a infrequent but regular basis since summer of 2010. AFAIC this is spousal rape- I can't give consent because I'm on medication. He disagrees and tells me he is sexually dissatisfied. He isn't violent, but I suspect he would be if I actively fought him- most of the time I'm very deeply asleep & well, ..he just hasn't been violent. YET.
The boundary issue of me being on the couch instead of in his bed is because I'm tired of his attitude. He is totally in denial that he's an addict of any type, he regularly blameshifts and gaslights me. I'm the one who initiates platonic affection, who asks him out for dinner or a "date". There is no emotional connection coming from him unless he wants sex or is angry. He wants to rugsweep and cake eat. He initiated contact with his EAOP last April after 15 months of NC. After I found out he flatly refused to go NC again.
It is a very difficult struggle for me to set this type of boundary while in the house with him. There is no financial help for me to get out of the house *and* take younger DS with me. I refuse to leave DS here. I feel used and disrespected. I need to love myself enough to demand respect- and this is one of the only consequences I can think of. Sleeping together platonically is out, as he has proven he has no problem taking what he wants without consent.
It's killing me to keep sleeping with him given his treatment of me. It's killing me to allow myself to remain emotionally and sexually tied to a man who treats me this way. I need to *finally*, finally take a stand. Honestly, I don't know how long I'll be able to do this. But I know I need to do it. For me. For my emotional and mental health. For my children.
Tonight is DD's birthday celebration. I don't plan to take a stand with him tonight. I'm simply going to make my bed out here and do it. I need to do this one day at a time- like the AA slogan. One day at a time. Don't worry about the future. Just take care of today.
Yes, I agree the couch can be comfy!
[This message edited by SabinatheOwl at 7:03 PM, January 9th (Monday)]
Nature Girl the golden rule amen! But you are right, we don't dare forget to take care of ourselves. And we certainly didn't do our addict spouses any favors allowing them to continue unchecked in their self destructive paths...
We're definitely here to support you. One day at a time, one night at a time. Wishing you sweet dreams...
My SAH even thought to buy a nice new air mattress because I refused to let him be the martyr/victim and sleep downstairs instead.
It is an empowering thing. This decision to "leave."
Its one of smaller steps or boundaries for us to make when we aren't ready for the huge ones.
It probably took me almost 2 months to be able to articulate why I had absolutely NO desire to have SAH move out of the bedroom. I just knew I had to DO something for myself. (still not articulating very eloquently!)
I have felt good about my decision. Because I have done this solely for me, the whole persecutor/victim drama is useless for either of us.
I feel safe emotionally.
Not sure if I have a very good point here. I just wanted you to know that you have a hand to hold here. That even if you don't know why you feel you MUST do it. You are right to start with this for yourself. If its killing you to continue sleeping with him, you are right to take action for yourself.
Just wanted to clarify that the reasons behind my move to the basement aren't near as pressing as yours and I am still there 4 months later and I think it is one of the best things I have done in this past 3 yrs of "recovery."
You can do it! Be strong and stick to your guns. The first few nights will be the hardest but once you establish a routine of sleeping on the couch it will get easier. Show him you mean what you say. Hang in there. We're all behind you .