I posted this about two weeks ago, and the changes he is making have been really encouraging to me. He hasn't gone back to doing his activity/sport, his drinking is almost non-existent, and he seems to really be "getting it" when it comes to my emotions. Previously, when I would be having a really good day, and then a trigger or memory would hit out of nowhere and I would get sad, he would get upset/angry because I was letting it ruin my day. Now, he is seeing it for what it is...another shitty repercussion of HIS choices. I now get met with hugs, and apologies for hurting me with his choices. He isn't perfect, and still messes up, but I no longer feel like I have to argue or fight for him to see my side when an issue gets brought up. I feel like he's finally hearing me for the first time in our relationship.
redfish - your response was thought-provoking to me. I think that is a great idea, have him set some boundaries for himself. I think that would really make him think.
And I really thought reading the responses was enough...and although it was helpful, seeing responses and suggestions on my situation, in particular, has been so helpful, and has really helped me find my "voice" in all of this!
Sisoon - I think focusing on becoming a safe partner has helped me navigate my way through this lately. I don't want to give him a script of what I think he should do, I want him to see the problem and find a solution on his own. This has been my number 1 thought-provoking question to him. "XYZ makes me uncomfortable and you do not feel safe to me, what are you going to do to make me feel safe in this situation" that line usually makes him truly think about whatever it is, and he is coming up with resolutions on his own.
He knows that his drinking is something I am NOT ok with, that is a hard boundary for me now. And he has been in a few situations since my last update and he is doing really well. For instance, all of the soccer dads bring beer and shots to tournaments. This past weekend he was offered shots so many times and he said no every single time...even took some crap from the other dads and his response was "I don't do shots anymore, I make too many bad choices when I do" I was so shocked and proud that he acknowledged it like that!
your words have been ringing in my head since I read your reply because they are so true...all change right now looks exactly like temporary changes...as long as things feel good, I don't mind waiting it out to see if they are permanent.
Stevesn - I love reading your responses on other threads, you always have such an insightful perspective. I remember reading your reply on the bachelor party post and thinking "how the hell do I ask him when he stopped cherishing me?" so, I never asked him. Well, it just so happens that he kind of brought it up on his own this weekend. We were busy all weekend, and saturday night, laying in bed, we just started talking. I could tell he was having a moment of "WTF did I do?!" A little backstory...I met him when we were both teenagers still. He was into drugs at the time (stupid me didn't see this as a red flag) and he said he needed help. So I was his friend and kept him on the right path and he always said I was his "reason" for getting clean. So, in bed, I asked him if he was ok...he responded by telling me how strong and amazing I am, and that I was the reason he was even still alive and how I was everything he ever wanted and he couldn't believe that he spent so many years not seeing what he had right in front of him. He said I was the only person who has been in his corner his whole life, and he almost threw it all away because he was selfish and took me for granted for so long. He said almost losing me was the scariest thing that has ever happened to him. He said he will spend his whole life making this up to me and proving that he is worth the second chance that I'm giving him and he will treat me the way I should have been treated from the beginning.
Obviously, he will have to back this all up with his actions, but this unprovoked epiphany moment was so touching, and it felt like he is really getting this.
He seems different. Even in everyday situations, not just the "OMG I'm so sorry for what I did" moments. Like, if I'm driving he will check traffic and tell me areas to avoid, or if there is water on the garage floor he holds my hand and tells me to be careful. I had a rough emotional day last week, and he cooked dinner on his own for the first time and told me to go take a bath and relax. I have been with him for 17 years, and this kind of stuff has never happened before. I feel taken care of for the first time ever, and it feels so different and so nice.
As for me, I am still seeing my IC, really working on working through triggers and staying in the "now". Self care is the name of my game lately. I get my nails done, skip house work when I need to, to take a nap or a bath or whatever I need, and he picks up the slack. It has been really nice just focusing on me and giving him the opportunity to step up and be what I need. I hope that I can continue posting good updates and this is truly how our life is going to be...but I guess that is a time thing.
[This message edited by FairyTaleGone at 2:54 PM, Monday, September 13th]