Day 12 does it ever get better?
By sjanderson
6/8/2014 4:53:23 PM
I know this a rhetorical question, but at 12 days and the third Sunday being sent away from our home because of an argument over dinner. because of health issues my wife is the person who determines what we all can eat - that is because of health considerations she is the one we have to plan around. Anyway she got upset that I didn't cook her dinner. I am trying to follow the counsel given us by therapist to speak my mind, which only seems to make the situation worse. I know the answers in my mind . .. it is my heart that doesn't have the hope today. My problem is I feel like I have tried to do my part and God is not there, that he lets her be a mean angry SOB because of what i have done in the past. I guess I should just bend over take more lashings because I am the reason everything is wrong in the world. She told me today that I don't make enough money and that she is feeding our family from the garden. This is true but she has also chosen to spend a lot of money on credit which has caused us a lot of stress and anxiety. Funny how you can look at things selectively when it is in your favor. I guess I struggle because as I sit here now I feel like God is not there, that there is no reason to try and keep changing etc and that 12 days might as well be no time at all and that the effort I have made in trying to change over the years doesn't count for anything. I know this is self pity I know I know I know. I just want to know that God knows about the situation, that things are going to be okay that the efforst I am trying to make halting hough they are are in the right direction.


You're right    
"Hey there bro.

Love your honesty and thank you for sharing. I know you know all the answers. You are a rock star on this site. I am glad you are willing to vent here.

Let me give you this nugget when it comes to your wife...(coming from a wife). Her anger is not your fault. Let go and detach from her bad behavior. I get what she is doing. I really do. But you are right that it isn't fair that you are expected to take the beatings from her when you are trying to change. You are totally deserving of love and forgiveness. You are deserving of respect for the changes you are trying to make. You are right about all that. But being right isn't going to make you happy.

Cause guess what? She is right too. All that blame and anger is justified. And she knows she is right. Just like you do. But it wont make her happy either. My therapist likes to say, "You can be right or you can be happy, but you can't be both." I finally get what he means.

Here's the deal...she's codependent. I can tell you that from not even knowing her by your description. But you are too. This post...this is the very definition of codependency. Codependency is a tricky addiction because you don't see the relapse the way you do with porn or alcohol. But it is just as damaging. Did I just say that? Yes I did. Her addiction is just as bad as yours. That is why you've got to treat her the way you want to be treated. The Golden Rule really is true after all.

The way you do that is by totally detaching. That DOES NOT MEAN NOT CARING. That is worth repeating. Detaching does not mean not caring. In fact, it is the ultimate caring. God is perfectly detached from our choices. He sees them with perfect understanding and is not in anyway controlled by our bad choices. He views our lives knowing that our mistakes are born of pain and ignorance and misunderstanding and He has such compassion on us. He does not take it personally when we screw up in that He doesn't feel like a failure or get ticked off (I know this is disputable scripturally, but I think Godly-anger is a highly misunderstood concept personally, but that is another post) because we hurt His feelings. That is how I think we are supposed to treat each other.

You know what He does feel though? He mourns with those who mourn. He hurts for our hurts, but He is not affected by it. I know I am not explaining that very well. Buddhists do a better job of describing detachment than Christians. They talk about the perfectly empty vessel and how that is where joy is found. We need to work on that. Anyway, I hope some of this makes sense.

Think of it like a 3 year old throwing a massive temper-tantrum in the grocery store. A codependent will react with anger. THEY feel humiliated. THEY feel frustrated. THEY feel unable to control the situation. They are dependent on the child's behavior. Get it? Well, a non-codependent will view the situation and understand that this kid's bad behavior belongs entirely to the kid. That doesn't mean the parent doesn't do something. You do! You set appropriate boundaries with appropriate consequences, but the emotions are calm and understanding to the child. The parent sees why the child is acting that way and helps by teaching the child successful life tools. But the parent is deeply detached from the bad behavior itself. Anyway....I am rambling now.

You wife is a 3 year old child. Wounded, tired, abused, neglected and probably not sure how to manage herself or her world. She is thinking with her primal brain which has either "fight or flight". You cannot change that. You cannot fix that. You did not create that. It was there before you ever met her. The pain you brought into this relationship just triggers what is already wounded. (I am not absolving you of responsibility here gotta clean up your own crap you've left, but you can't do it by trying to own what isn't yours. I hope you know the difference) You have to detach and love her unconditionally! She may never get better. That isn't your business....but you can. And example is the only and greatest teacher. It is your best shot and her best shot if you can do this. But don't try to do it for her. Do it for you or it will never work. Detach from her in that too.

I can tell you it's the exact same for her... You are a three year old child too. We all are. When my husband relapsed, it was like a panic attack for me. The pain was unbearable and unimaginable. I was humiliated. I was broken hearted. I was angry. I was betrayed. I let what he had done totally consume me. My emotions were controlled by his behavior. I kicked him out or fought with him CONSTANTLY! Totally in fight or flight mode. Sounds like your wife maybe? Guess what? It is possible to have my husband relapse now and I can say, "Wow, babe. You must really be hurting right now. I am so sorry that you are here again. What can I do to help you?" But it is just as possible for me to go totally nuts and become a raging biotch and he can say to me the. EXACT. SAME. THING. Because they are the exact same situation. We are 17 years into this though and this are very recent discoveries. When we do manage that type of love, real love! It is also real detachment.

Detach. BTW....if you are wondering how to detach, you have to 12 step it. That'll show you how.

God is there. You know it. You don't feel Him there right now but that's ok and there is purpose in that. I love that FB post that is going around that says something like "If God doesn't answer, just remember that the teacher is always quiet during the test."

God knows your efforts and He knows your heart. And your broken, halting steps are more valuable to Him than any of us can imagine. It is ALL that He asks. You are doing all that He asks. Just keep doing it.

I hope this helps man. Let her comments slide off you and help create healthy boundaries. Remember that her mean words are just an expression of her addiction. Take nothing personally and you'll be happy."
posted at 18:54:10 on June 10, 2014 by maddy
thanks for your share. I really appreciate it. As i was thinking about it today the words of a friend pointed out about how important sobriety is,that nothing can come betwen us and God. I had never thought about it in this way, but I have let a lot of different things get between the Savior and me. I guess it is hard at times when I look at life through the lenses of what I thought the Gospel was suppose to be .. . that is work hard you get blessed etc. Intead I have to take life on life's terms. I really appreciate the AA principle on acceptence in taking life as exactly as it is supposed to be at that very moment.

I think there is the part of me that wants to throw a pitty party for myself saying look at how much hard things I have had to endure, I a going to try and focus on grattitude for what I do have. Thanks again for your uplifting words. :I hope you are doing well in your journey"
posted at 21:15:26 on June 10, 2014 by sjanderson
Word of Wisdom    
"Thank you, Maddy. Your wonderful and easy to understand comments always give me hope and comfort. I appreciate your willingness to share."
posted at 11:08:20 on June 11, 2014 by wishful
"You got to love them. Mine drives me crazy sometimes but I love her so much and I don't think I would be where I am at right now if she wasn't by my side. Keep working on it and don't give up. I think everyone gets pissed off at there spouse just don't let it overtake the whole of your marriage."
posted at 22:18:18 on June 12, 2014 by torrenca

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"Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You need only to decide some things once. How great a blessing it is to be free of agonizing over and over again regarding a temptation. "

— Spencer W. Kimball