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"Normal" behavior?

MichelleCarmen

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Feb 8, 2003
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15,880
Tacori E-ring|1302975270|2897819 said:
Sounds like you really love him and he has many great qualities. Do you tell him what you love about him? I am not a couples counselor, but I would never think it was fair to use topics you discuss in counseling outside of that safe environment. It sounds like he has a co-occurring mental illness along with his addiction (which is really, really common). I think he would benefit from individual therapy until he is in a better place and you guys can add in the couples therapy. He needs to figure out WHY he uses substances to numb his pain. Also discovering his triggers, what has worked in the past, what hasn't, is vital for sustained recovery. Sounds like there is too much to work on at once. In the meantime, I know I am a broken record, but get to an Al-Anon meeting. http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

I do not know your entire situation but if violence is involved you need a safety plan in place. Like MC mentioned, extra car keys and money hidden, a place to stay if you need to leave, etc is about taking care of yourself. I always think it is smart for a woman to have her own bank account even if there is only a few thousand dollars in it. No one plans on getting a divorce and hopefully that will not be the case for you because you sound like you really love him, BUT you cannot put yourself in a dangerous situation.
Oh, and yes, a second set of keys! I keep a second set in my purse, but my situation is a bit different in that I ALWAYS take my purse out of my car but have forgotten my keys. If I lock them in my car, I can still unlock my car with the second set in my purse (I also have my Dh's key in my purse). lol (I started doing this after locking myself out of my house and car a couple of times!) lol This is no joke -> once I locked my keys in my car and luckily I had my sun roof open and I had to up on top of my car, climb through the roof, to get into my car to retrieve my keys. lol Plan ahead for EVERYTHING!!!
 

Izzy03

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Hi all! I thank everyone again for all your support as I try to steer my way through all of this. With the semester winding down, I have been juggling a lot of projects and finals, but everything is going well on that end.

As for my marriage, things have been going pretty well I guess. We attended our second session in couples counseling and have a third session scheduled for tomorrow. Our first session was kind of a screening session and I was discouraged because I felt as if my husband was trying to "woo" the therapist. During our second session, he was much more honest about our problems, so I felt that it was more productive. I talked to the therapist about how DH brought up topics from the previous session during an argument, and DH was very open about taking responsibility for his poor communication skills. Between my studies and DH opening a business, we have been under a lot of stress. However, our disagreements have not been escalating, so I am starting to feel hopeful. DH has been communicating his frustrations with me and controlling his anger.

I am slowly beginning to trust him again. I used to look for any excuse to suspect he was on pills again and now I am starting to realize that I need to stop accusing him constantly. For example, if DH fell asleep on the couch or left dishes in the sink I would assume he had been taking pills. Now I am trying to be rational and realize that maybe he was just tired so he left the dishes for later and took a nap. I have still not seen any rational signs that he is using, so I need to start trusting that he is still clean.

DH and I still have separate bank accounts and credit cards because we never got around combining finances after the wedding, and when I realized he was abusing pills I refused to go forward with combining our accounts. I do have money set aside in case of emergency.

Tacori~ One strength that our marriage does have is we are pretty good about praising each other. For example, he will always thank me for cooking dinner, and I am sure to thank him helping me with the dishes. Our couples counselor began tapping in on some of DH's issues and I suspect he will encourage him to seek counseling on his own. Hopefully couples counseling has opened the door for him to realize that he could benefit from individual therapy. I do plan on attending AA meetings and will invite DH, but I am fairly certain he will not want to go. As for my safety, even in DH's fits of rage, I have never been fearful that he would hurt me. In the past when I have left for a few days, he has never tried to stop me.

Monarch~ Thank you for your support. I have read your Who's Who and I know you can relate to my situation. I am so happy you have are now in good place.

With all that said, I know we have a LONG way to go! I will remain realistic that we may still end up divorced, and our marriage may be broken beyond therapy. I am going to give this another year MAX! If we are not happy and functional by our third anniversary then I will reevaluate my situation. In the meantime, I feel like I am finally on the right path to figuring things out. We'll see how session #3 goes!
 

Tacori E-ring

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Al-anon is different than AA. Al-anon is for family members of alcoholics/addicts and AA is for alcoholics (or addicts). You should go without your husband so you can be completely open and honest.
 

monarch64

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I second the Al-Anon thing as Tacori stated above.

Izzy, I think you're a very strong woman and I am in awe of your patience and understanding. We don't all have that in us, those things are virtues that are sometimes curses, but sometimes gifts. I wish you continued strength no matter what your decision is as far as your marriage. Take care!
 

Izzy03

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Dec 10, 2007
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I'm not quite sure what to think of today's session, I think it was productive but I am also feeling very discouraged today. I have days when I feel like marrying DH was a huge mistake, and other days when I think we can get through all of this. Its so hard to have my feelings shift day to day. I'm considering possibly moving out after finals to finish my internship, but I'm afraid it will make things worse (he would be really pissed).

I don't know. I see these couples that are so in love, and I want that back. I get that everyone has their problems, but I'm so afraid we will never get back to being "crazy in love".

Thanks Tacori- I wasn't aware they were different, but I will be certain to get a meeting before I make any decisions.

Monarch~ Thank you, I always considered myself very strong and I am a little disappointed of what my marriage has turned me into. Sometimes the thought of dating again freaks me out, and other times it sounds like it would be a lot of fun. I really don't the energy to go through all the b*llsh*t again. I don't know if the idea of being alone is holding me back or not. Anyway, reading your journey towards finding your prince charming has given me hope that I will find happiness one way or another.
 

Tacori E-ring

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Izzy, I think of therapy is a lot like cleaning out your closet. No one really looks forward to it. It takes a long time. It ALWAYS looks worse before it gets better. You have to make some tough decisions like if you are ready to give up your favorite sweater from high school or those jeans you will probably never fit into again. And once it is clean you have to do keep up with it otherwise it will go back looking like it was before you cleaned it. It says a lot that you said you were once "crazy in love." Some couples never feel that.

If you decide to go to Al-Anon they will tell you not to make any major life decisions until you are in the program for at least 6 months. If you aren't ready for change, it won't stick and there is no point in wasting your time. No one chooses to go to any support group meeting b/c you have a free night and are bored. It is scary to make that step and to admit that *you are powerless* and* your life has become unmanageable*. Change is a long, painful, difficult process and in reality you BOTH need to change. Otherwise your next husband will be exactly like your current. You probably don't believe that but I see it over and over again. We are attracted to certain people for a certain reason. If you don't find out what your patterns are, you cannot break them. If i was your therapist I am not sure I would continue to work with you w/o your Al-Anon participation. I know it would help. I have told you over and over again, so now I will step away because these are choices *you* need to make on your own. Misery truly is optional. Best of luck.

ETA: most women I speak with KNOW when they are ready to leave their SOs. There is no doubt. If there is doubt and you are not in danger you need to give yourself time to process those feelings.
 

Izzy03

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Tacori E-ring|1303524616|2903116 said:
Izzy, I think of therapy is a lot like cleaning out your closet. No one really looks forward to it. It takes a long time. It ALWAYS looks worse before it gets better. You have to make some tough decisions like if you are ready to give up your favorite sweater from high school or those jeans you will probably never fit into again. And once it is clean you have to do keep up with it otherwise it will go back looking like it was before you cleaned it. It says a lot that you said you were once "crazy in love." Some couples never feel that.

If you decide to go to Al-Anon they will tell you not to make any major life decisions until you are in the program for at least 6 months. If you aren't ready for change, it won't stick and there is no point in wasting your time. No one chooses to go to any support group meeting b/c you have a free night and are bored. It is scary to make that step and to admit that *you are powerless* and* your life has become unmanageable*. Change is a long, painful, difficult process and in reality you BOTH need to change. Otherwise your next husband will be exactly like your current. You probably don't believe that but I see it over and over again. We are attracted to certain people for a certain reason. If you don't find out what your patterns are, you cannot break them. If i was your therapist I am not sure I would continue to work with you w/o your Al-Anon participation. I know it would help. I have told you over and over again, so now I will step away because these are choices *you* need to make on your own. Misery truly is optional. Best of luck.

ETA: most women I speak with KNOW when they are ready to leave their SOs. There is no doubt. If there is doubt and you are not in danger you need to give yourself time to process those feelings.
Thank you Tacori~ Sometimes I worry that the "crazy in love" is what got me in trouble in the first place!!! Sometimes I feel so lucky to have a husband who cooks, helps clean, walks the dogs, takes me on dates, etc. But now we have all these other issues that seem better some days and worse on others. I mean, I know they said marriage was work, but DAMN!! Some days I worry that I will regret walking away to soon, other days I worry that I am wasting my time. I am not a woman who enjoys gambling!

As far as the what you said about having doubts, honestly there are days that I am SO ready to leave but I can't because I have to finish a paper, study for an exam, or get ready for clinicals. Then there are other days when I have my doubts. I know that sounds contradictory; you are telling me "when you know, you know!". But some days I feel like I do know, then others I am holding back..... does that make sense?

As far as Al-Anon, I will go, I promise. And I NEVER break a promise (except maybe the whole "til death do we part" promise...... :rolleyes: )
 

swingirl

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Izzy03|1303520916|2903061 said:
I'm not quite sure what to think of today's session, I think it was productive but I am also feeling very discouraged today. I have days when I feel like marrying DH was a huge mistake, and other days when I think we can get through all of this. Its so hard to have my feelings shift day to day. I'm considering possibly moving out after finals to finish my internship, but I'm afraid it will make things worse (he would be really pissed).
In my opinion THIS is why you SHOULD leave. You are afraid to make your husband "mad". If he really wanted the marriage to work he would take any steps to satisfy you even if it meant you moving out. Just remember everyone has good parts of their personality. You can always dwell on the feelings that you had when you first feel in love. But being happily married and "getting through this" are miles apart.
 

mayachel

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Mar 2, 2008
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Dear Izzy,

The very fact that you are questioning the normalcy of the situation is a red flag. If you want what appears to be everyone who has answered, including my own opinion-no it is not normal behavior. Here's the thing. There is a fine line sometimes between what we get conditioned to as common behavior that we can forget what is normal behavior.

There is a great book I suggest you flip through the next time you are in a bookstore. It's called The Verbally Abusive Relationship. Just notice if you find yourself nodding in agreement to the check off lists of examples.

There is also a metaphor that has stuck with me from the book that I think is applicable here as well.

A scientist took a frog and placed it in boiling water. The frog immediately sensing that it was dangerous, leapt from the pot, to safety. Another frog was placed in a pot of cool water. The water was gradually brought to a boil. Since the frog was so good at adapting, and the surrounding so good at doing it without the frog noticing, the frog boiled to death. It didn't realized the little ways in which it was adapting to a dangerous situation.

Wishing you the best. You deserve it.
 

Izzy03

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Dec 10, 2007
Messages
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Sorry for disappearing again, but finally classes are out for the semester. One less thing off of my plate! Not much as changed in my relationship. We continue to attend therapy on a weekly basis and DH has finally agreed to seek individual therapy. I am beginning to trust him, and I seldom question whether or not he is using drugs. I am confident that he is genuinely clean. His temper, however, has not improved at all. His fits of rage have always been a "come and go" type of thing, but I have realized that he lacks the ability to cope with stress. I use to accept his excuses that stress was responsible for him losing his temper, but I have reflected on how others around me deal with stress and realize there is no excuse for his behavior.

I have made the decision that if he is not able to begin working on his anger problems immediately then I will go forward with a divorce. I plan on telling him this as soon as I figure out a way to word it so it doesn't seem so threatening. My intention is not at all to give him an ultimatum, but I want to be sure he KNOWS I am serious about leaving if he doesn't start making changes quickly. He seems to be more invested than ever in making our marriage work and has told me that he fears I will leave him, but I can't help but wonder if he expects me to continue putting up with his crap.

Every time I am on the verge of leaving, I start thinking about all of the wonderful traits he has, control his temper (and stay clean of course)!!!! Hmm, is the grass really greener?

I have been reflecting on how the drama of our marriage has totally wrecked the trust within our marriage. For example, I find myself trying to control what he does because I don't trust his judgment anymore. His behavior has ruined what we once had. I'm so mad at him.
 

Izzy03

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Mary~ Thank you, I am a very lucky gal, just not so lucky when it comes to love. I am used to getting everything I want because I work my butt off to make my dreams happen. I guess no amount of hard work will fix my marriage.
 

mary poppins

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Izzy03|1304788433|2914863 said:
Mary~ Thank you, I am a very lucky gal, just not so lucky when it comes to love. I am used to getting everything I want because I work my butt off to make my dreams happen. I guess no amount of hard work will fix my marriage.
Some things are beyond your control. You can't "fix" your marriage because you can't fix or change another person. A good marriage requires two people who are always making an effort.

My in laws have been happily married for almost 50 years. When DH and I got married last year, I asked them what advice they had for us. They agreed that their marriage works because they always put the other person first. I hope you find someone who treats you like that, since you are clearly willing to make the effort. You deserve a man who reciprocates.

I'm glad you swiftly and firmly showed your husband the door last night and I hope you will maintain your resolve despite puppy dog eyes apologies. Life will go on and you will be free to find someone worthy of you.
 

Izzy03

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Mary~ I know I'll have my weak days, but it feels real this time. I hope to move on to an annoyingly happy marriage in the future, I'm just afraid this one has damaged me to point of dysfunction. I might be damaged goods.
 

junebug17

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Izzy03|1304788433|2914863 said:
Mary~ Thank you, I am a very lucky gal, just not so lucky when it comes to love. I am used to getting everything I want because I work my butt off to make my dreams happen. I guess no amount of hard work will fix my marriage.


That's right - especially when you're the only one doing all of the hard work. Your husband, for whatever reason, just doesn't seem to be focused on saving your marriage Izzy - he managed to give the impression he is, but this past incident has shown his heart is just not committed to making things work. He's got a lot of issues, and for his sake I hope he can eventually work them out, but honestly I think you're doing the right thing by leaving. Enough's enough - you have to think of your life now, and what's best for you.
 

Izzy03

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junebug17|1304793466|2914915 said:
Izzy03|1304788433|2914863 said:
Mary~ Thank you, I am a very lucky gal, just not so lucky when it comes to love. I am used to getting everything I want because I work my butt off to make my dreams happen. I guess no amount of hard work will fix my marriage.


That's right - especially when you're the only one doing all of the hard work. Your husband, for whatever reason, just doesn't seem to be focused on saving your marriage Izzy - he managed to give the impression he is, but this past incident has shown his heart is just not committed to making things work. He's got a lot of issues, and for his sake I hope he can eventually work them out, but honestly I think you're doing the right thing by leaving. Enough's enough - you have to think of your life now, and what's best for you.
No, I hope he doesn't work his issues out. I want him to feel all the pain I have felt throughout our marriage. I hope he will be lonely and miserable. Sadly, I'm sure he'll have a new girlfriend in a few months. That's seems to have been his pattern in the past when dealing with breakups.

Thank you for your support. He is a good person and I know he loves me which makes this hard, but he is selfish. His love for pills is greater than his love for me. I'm done putting my heart on the line. He doesn't deserve it anymore.
 

movie zombie

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[quote="Izzy03|1304794809|291493] He is a good person and I know he loves me which makes this hard, but he is selfish. His love for pills is greater than his love for me. I'm done putting my heart on the line. He doesn't deserve it anymore.[/quote]

what you described in your other thread is not my definition of a good person.

you know he loves you....really?!

he's selfish is an understatement.

he's a user, of course his love for the drug is greater....he's selfish, remember? and he's got issues he's not working on so its easier to go back to drugs rather than face the fact his marriage is in trouble and he might have to take some responsibility.

re done putting your heart on the line, he doesn't deserve it anymore: you're still describing him as a good person and know he loves you. you're still in denial. you keep thinking that if you work hard enough and love him enough he will change. did you read any of the self-help books suggested? this is classic.

i'm sorry but the boot has come to this thread as well. the day i see you post that HE IS A DASTARD and that you've filed for divorce [get a legal separation first to make sure you don't become responsible for his bills before the divorce is final] is the day i will know that you are moving on into the new life you deserve.

MoZo

ps its not what he deserves, Izzy, its all about what you deserve.
 

Izzy03

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Thanks, Mozo. He really is a good person. I know that sounds like denial, but he is. He's very generous with everyone around him and aside from the addiction and anger issues, he always puts my wants and needs first. Our relationship turned me into a spoiled brat because he always gave me everything I wanted. HOWEVER, he clearly does not put me first when it comes to the drugs, and THAT is when it really matters.

Maybe he will get better, but I am not going to stick around to find out. This wasn't a slip-up, but instead appears to be becoming a pattern. You are right, rather than working on the marriage, he will turn to drugs when things get too tough. I don't think it makes him a bad person, just a weak person and a bad husband.

Funny thing is, as he left last night, he was mad at me! He always does that. Turns things on me, then comes back with his tail between his legs. Maybe its my love for dogs that always makes me fall for his apologetic puppy eyes!

Oh, if only I had a crystal ball. I am eager to see how this story will unfold. But for now, I'm sticking to my guns. The classmates I am moving in with sound determined take care of me, I think they will be key in helping me through this as a study for boards.
 

movie zombie

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Izzy, your husband will hurt you professionally. remember that. you've worked too long and too hard. also, you can always tell what a woman thinks of herself by the man she's with.

MoZo

ps spoiling you rotten is a good way to appear to be a good guy. provides a good smokescreen to hide behind when the SHTF. users are bright people too.

re the crystal ball: until you close the door on this relationship you won't be able to walk throught tne next life door. unfinished business always trips one up....as your hubby will learn one day. you're in this situation because of decisions you've made. it took some time to get where you're at now, it will take some time to get to the next place. but you will only get there if you make the decisions that take you there. you have a bright future ahead of you. go for it!
 

MichelleCarmen

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movie zombie|1304798122|2914988 said:
Izzy, your husband will hurt you professionally. remember that. you've worked too long and too hard. also, you can always tell what a woman thinks of herself by the man she's with.

MoZo

ps spoiling you rotten is a good way to appear to be a good guy. provides a good smokescreen to hide behind when the SHTF. users are bright people too.

re the crystal ball: until you close the door on this relationship you won't be able to walk throught tne next life door. unfinished business always trips one up....as your hubby will learn one day. you're in this situation because of decisions you've made. it took some time to get where you're at now, it will take some time to get to the next place. but you will only get there if you make the decisions that take you there. you have a bright future ahead of you. go for it!
Yep! I remember years back reading of one woman who's husband was abusive and after every event, he'd later bring her home an expensive gift. It was a person here on PS! She left him and remarried!
 

Amber St. Clare

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Izzy--what are you waiting for??? Get out now. You can have all the discussions you like ONCE YOU ARE SAFELY AWAY FROM HIM. There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of behavior. I don't often use the word must when I'm answering threads, but for your safety YOU MUST LEAVE. end of discussion.
 

Tacori E-ring

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Addicts cannot cope with life, hence the reason they abuse drugs. People start experimenting with mind altering substances for fun. The problem with addicts it is quickly gets out of control and turns to pain. He cannot handle life in a healthy and mature way. Addicts use drugs because they are in pain. Period. He is not weak. He is a sick, sick man.

I am sure he is a good person. I don't think that part is denial. What does sound like denial is that you seem to think you are now "safe" from any lasting effects from your marriage. Staying or leaving is not going to help YOU learn how to COPE with YOUR life. What are you going to do to deal with the pain from your marriage? How are you going to break YOUR patterns?
 
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