My old ways...

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.)

My old ways...

Postby Larryp713 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:35 am

I had an uncomfortable situation and conversation with my wife this morning.

Last night, I was at my daughter's school concert by myself, waiting for the concert to begin. I had recently accepted a few FB friend requests, and a couple were from people I did not know but had a couple friends in common. I thought they might be from other AA groups I attend occasionally. One of them happened to be a Catfish troll, with pictures of a nice looking younger woman. She/he sent me a private message and I exchanged a few messages back and forth, but deleted the conversation and unfriended whoever when she/he sent me her/his email address. There was nothing to hide in the messages, but my wife is very leery of social media and how people can pull personal information, so I didn't want her to see this (she no longer has a FB account, but she checks out mine regularly).

When I got home last night, I gave her my tablet to see a video I recorded of the concert. Of course, as soon as the tablet connects to wifi it starts downloading all the FB stuff, including the whole conversation I had, then it deleted it. My wife was annoyed, I could tell, but I explained what it was and she went about her business.

This morning, I was driving her to work and we were talking about some friends that were getting a divorce. I told her we should start communicating better and praying together, and all the sudden, I could tell she was angry. She brought up the whole message thing from last night, how I often take long lunches and am gone most evenings for a couple of hours. I told her I was going to AA meetings at those times, and that I know it was stupid to delete that conversation without her seeing it, or even have the conversation. I apologized, but she is connecting all these dots and thinking I am being unfaithful. When I looked her in the eyes and told her that I was not seeing anybody, she brought up the fact that I had been hiding my drinking all those years and lying about it.

I will speak with my sponsor about all this tonight, but I am still plagued by my past which taught me to hide/deceive/cover up anything so I could continue drinking. I still am not completely honest with my wife about things. I am not drinking or having a relationship with anybody else, but I cannot blame her at all for being suspicious and not trusting me.

I am grateful for this design for living that AA has taught me. My immediate reaction was to attack her, take her inventory and mention her shortcomings. But my mind immediately went to my part of this, seeing her side and recognizing that I am at fault. I would not do that on my own. I need to seek God's help and trust His will for me in this. Make the changes necessary to right this ship. I still have a way to go, but I can see myself getting better at this life thing. Thanks for reading, and bless you all. Larry
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Re: My old ways...

Postby Niagara » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:50 am

How long are you sober Larry? Does your wife attend Alanon?

Why is she checking out your facebook page regularly?
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
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Re: My old ways...

Postby leejosepho » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:00 am

Larryp713 wrote:I will speak with my sponsor about all this tonight...

...and that can be part of some of the best advice anyone anywhere can offer.

FB is not the problem, of course, and all human beings need to choose their friends wisely. I think I might have about a half-dozen FB friends, three of those are family and I make certain all of my "follows" are unchecked with only a very few, carefully-selected exceptions. As to private messages, I do not accept those even in A.A. chats unless I have good reason to believe the other person needs privacy even though I already know I will not. Living spiritually can easily include a level of transparency where living even in a house made of glass would be no problem at all as long as we do not showboat the fact we are doing so.

Larryp713 wrote:This morning...I told her we should start communicating better and praying together...

Can you see where you had tried to impose upon her something you had just been reminded about or realized as a need on our own end?

Just like for you and me, let her ask whenever she might be in need of and looking for advice or suggestions.

Larryp713 wrote:...she brought up the fact that I had been hiding my drinking all those years and lying about it.

I honestly have no idea whether my wife trusts me today, but that would be her concern and not mine. My job is only to continue being trustworthy.
Last edited by leejosepho on Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: My old ways...

Postby Larryp713 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:01 am

Niagara wrote:How long are you sober Larry? Does your wife attend Alanon?

Why is she checking out your facebook page regularly?


I have been sober 10 months. My wife is not interested in Alanon. She usually checks my FB page to see how her family is doing, since most of them are FB friends with me. She doesn't check it often. Most of my new FB friends are AAs.
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Re: My old ways...

Postby Larryp713 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:05 am

leejosepho wrote:Can you see where you had tried to impose upon her something you had just been reminded about or realized as a need on our own end?

Just like for you and me, let her ask whenever she might be in need of and looking for advice or suggestions.


This is very good advice, Lee. I felt prompted to say that since we were talking about couples going through a divorce, never considered it an imposition. I can see how it sounds like one now. I need to focus my efforts on being a positive example and much more transparent. Thanks.
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Re: My old ways...

Postby leejosepho » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:15 am

Larryp713 wrote:I felt prompted to say that since we were talking about couples going through a divorce, never considered it an imposition. I can see how it sounds like one now.

Had it not been for the immediately-previous disturbance and if she is already open to sharing spiritual things together, things might have been different there. But at least for today and the foreseeable future, yes, keeping our own parts of the street clean in transparency is our focus.
=======================
"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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Re: My old ways...

Postby Niagara » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:44 pm

Larryp713 wrote:
Niagara wrote:How long are you sober Larry? Does your wife attend Alanon?

Why is she checking out your facebook page regularly?


I have been sober 10 months. My wife is not interested in Alanon. She usually checks my FB page to see how her family is doing, since most of them are FB friends with me. She doesn't check it often. Most of my new FB friends are AAs.


Ah thanks for the clarification - I read it as checking your facebook to check up on you. Got to love the written word for misinterpretations - which is why I asked about alanon.

I learned that it's going to take a while for people to trust me again. It's harsh, certainly. I feel like I'm doing my best, and why can't they just accept that, dangit!!!! But it was my actions that created that mistrust in the first place.
My sponsor told me this right at the start, and in typical niagara fashion I thought 'yeah yeah, my family trust me already, they know they don't have to worry anymore'. Well, when my husband left me, my eldest sons response after a few weeks was a tentative 'proud of you mum, when he left we thought you'd go back to drinking'. That's what they know me to do, you see. That fear was still there for them, even if they didn't voice it.
What I found was in the earlier days they didn't say anything because they were afraid if they did, it might set me off again. 15 months or so in, they're not scared to voice things anymore. Haven't been for a while. They stopped walking on eggshells with me, because I believe an element of trust is coming back in.

I obviously can't say whether or not this is the case with your situation, but with me it went from silence and best behaviour to a gradual return to normal family life where nobody shies away from disagreement through fear of the reaction.

I do know this though...my words, they mean nothing. I have to prove I'm changed through my actions. Even mistakes (when corrected) are showing a different pattern than previously. Apologizing and taking responsibility because I forgot something, whilst an error on my part for forgetting, is vastly different to getting defensive and blaming them for attacking me when I didn't MEAN to forget.

Have you studied the family afterwards? I found that enlightening as to the effect this has had on my family, and also brought home the realization that since they didn't write the book about me all those years back, it is something that most of us go through, at some point in recovery.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month -
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