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How to know if I am overreacting
November 7, 2006
10:51 am
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katiescarlet
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My husband and I are trying to work on things and I have spoken to him about my codependence issues as a result of his alcoholism. His first reaction was to think about moving out and then he calmed down and wants to be patient with me and give it another shot.
Today he called me from work to tell me he was having a bad day and yelled at a subordinate. He told me he is very stressed and that part of the problem are the problems at home. What do I say to that? My first instinct was to apologize and then I realized that it is not my fault. Of course then I wondered if this is just another passive aggressive way to control me by causing me to feel responsible for his problems. Does he even know he is doing that???
I am just so tired of second guessing myself and doubting everything I feel. I don't want to blame him for things that are just my imagination, but I also don't want to continue the same destructive patterns we had when he was drinking. I sometimes think it is more difficult to get through recovery than it was to live with the alcoholism.
Anybody have any words of wisdom?

November 7, 2006
11:01 am
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lovinglife
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Katie...I have no words of wisdom for ya but I'd have to say that yes, recovery can be more difficult, however it's the only way to go.

For most of us, there are just a few issues to deal with and work on. When we have experienced something completely dysfunctional but yet we were *functional* to a point, it is going to take some work and alot of patience.

Happy to hear that your husband is in recovery as well. How long has it been?

November 7, 2006
11:49 am
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katiescarlet
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lovinglife,
He has been sober for almost nine months. I feel like I am just starting to deal with the issues that 17 years with an alcoholic have created. There are days I just want to give up and it is frustrating not knowing when or if there will come a point that I am not dissecting every aspect of our relationship. Being able to vent in this forum is really helpful. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

November 7, 2006
12:05 pm
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lovingmom
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katiescarlet - I know all too well the feeling of second guessing myself and doubting my feelings, thoughts and decisions. My husband is also an alcoholic, but refuses to admit it and therefore, keeps drinking and keeps being abusive as a result. I don't have advice; I can only give support and tell you to hang in there. It does sound to me like he was wanting you to take the blame. I've been there too. I wonder the same as you, is it all worth all the work on myself to get through this? I believe it is worth it, as much as we question what we are going through. I think in the long-run it will all pay off and we'll be happier and healthier as a result of our hard work. Good luck to you.

November 7, 2006
1:52 pm
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turnabout
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Look here, little miss o'hara ( i LOVE that movie! ), your husband has a responsibility and obligation to his coworkers and subordinates NO MATTER what kind of wife he has at home. If he yelled inappropriately at a subordinate at work, then HE failed in his responsibility and IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU!!!

No doubt we cannot completely compartmentalize our lives. Trouble at home follow us to work sometimes and vice versa, but we, as individuals, are responsible to each and every relationship in our lives based upon each one individually. You have a responsibility to your husband, yes, but you do not have a responsibility to his coworkers ... to provide them with a comfortable work environment. Do you see how ridiculous that sounds??? And yet, it seems that he is insinuating just such a thing. He failed there; Not you.

I think you can sympathize with him for having a bad day or for feeling stressed. We naturally want our loved ones to experience nothing but great things all the time, even though that's impossible. But you certainly don't need to shoulder the blame for his behavior. Doing so only perpetuates the codependent cycle which will keep BOTH of you bogged down. I mean, you can feel sorry or sympathize over what he's experiencing without holding yourself responsible for his reaction to it. He didn't have to yell at that subordinate... he didn't have to react that way. That was HIS choice. He needs his fanny held to the fire on that one. Relieve your mind, sweet. That's not your problem.

Turn

November 7, 2006
2:00 pm
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southgoingzax
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Practice saying:

I'm sorry you feel that way.

What can/will you do to resolve this issue?

The best thing you can do is try to emotionally detach - realize that it is not your fault and that HE has to take responsibility for his actions. Give him back the responsibility - do not accept any for your self. It is not your problem....

It's really hard, I don't pretend you're in an easy place, but please know you are not responsible for how he acts at work - I hope you can make it through this,

zax

November 7, 2006
2:18 pm
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Shaney
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Hi there -

I can see where you would become a bit defensive, but at the same time, at least he is communicating with you. It just plain sucks to have things upset at home... it affects everything else, including work. I can empathize with the both of you. You two can really get through this together, if you both have that "together" mindset. I've had similar phonecalls from my husband, when things aren't going so well at home. I've just responded by saying, "Yes, unfortunately when things aren't good at home, it affects both of us negatively. But lets just work on making our life and our home a place where we both can find refuge. Lets make it a place of solace again - I want that just as much as you do." This way, he sees it's not just him that's being affected, it's you too. At the same time, you're putting a positive spin on your response. It's tough, any way you look at it - but you can get through it. Good luck :o)

November 7, 2006
2:21 pm
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katiescarlet
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Turnabout,
Thanks, you made me laugh a real laugh today. Gone With the Wind is my all time favorite book and movie. I don't think I've read many other books that had such complicated and deep female characters.
You and zax are right. And I guess I have to change my behavior in order to make it necessary for my husband to change his. Nobody takes advantage of someone who doesn't let them in the first place.
Thanks again and have a great day!!
Katie

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