Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Slap on the Wrist

I deserve a good ol' slap on the wrist.  I've been lax in enforcing my common sense boundaries and yet I speak of the importance of boundaries all the time.  I speak of the importance of setting the boundaries  to keep yourself feeling safe, not as a way of punishing the addict.  I speak of setting a reasonable, enforceable consequence for the addict and while it may be difficult in the home once enforced; it's not impossible.  These are things my rockin' counselor was proud of me for setting into place, both in my original Boundary Agreement and in my common sense boundary agreement.

Yet, my common sense boundary agreement has managed to become outdated, collect dust and now, I'm ashamed to say, I've even allowed a boundary to be breached without consequence.  Anyone dealing with an addict knows it only confuses the situation and when the boundary agreement is enforced once again, things can become ugly, which is what they became over the last week or so in my home.

The original violation was Devin not telling me he working with a female as soon as it happened.  The way he told me was half ass at best and rather than fight about it, I decided to find out how long they'd been working together.  I fell into the roll of investigator.  He answered the questions honestly and his reward?  No consequence.  The problem?  He should have had a consequence for not being open and honest.  The co-worker didn't work there for a day or two; it has been months.  That's not being transparent and goes against our Boundary Agreement in a big way and I allowed to let it slide.

Why?  It was in the midst of Disclosure Week and I mentally couldn't handle it.  I know that now, but it's still not a valid excuse.  I should have been strong enough to stand by my Boundary Agreement.

The next violation was a simple one.  He missed his check-in text.  Oh, c'mon, Elsie, really?  A check-in text?  How tight is this leash?  It's a text to let me know he's at work. It provides me assurance which is his job in our marriage now.  It's two-fold; it alleviates the whole, "hey, I don't have another dead husband" thought from forming and the "hey, he's not off cheating on me" again thought from forming.

That one I enforced last Wednesday and let him know it was being enforced once I heard from him later on; he was not pleased.  The best way to describe it is having a child who is grounded but has the ability not to come home?  I put a question mark because that's not quite right.  He came home, but he just had a lot of Christmas shopping to do during the duration of his consequence. It was typical conflict avoidance or in this case consequence avoidance.

 If it weren't for the fact that it just happened, I'd laugh.  If it weren't for the fact that we just had a  rough, albeit productive, counseling session last night, I'd laugh.

I do know it's gotten my ass in gear to rewrite my common sense BA.

Let the slapping begin!

Ow!  I said wrist, damn you people are mean!
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37 comments:

  1. He slipped up, and then you slipped up. Sometimes we just can't handle these things, and mistakes get made. What you have to do now is something that you've shown yourself to be quite adept at, don't let it take over your life. If you want to rewrite your BA's then maybe the time has actually come to allow him some concessions and not be so strict with him.

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    1. We both definitely made mistakes. I hate even writing that sentence down. ugh. You're right. In talking to my counselor, my original BA - the one you guys have seen, the one I provided the link to, must stay because it also connects to his circles, his recovery.

      However, when I brought the common sense boundary in to her last week, I had already marked off a ton of things because it was so outdated and yet other things had been left out. Just like the original, I hadn't thought of everything. Imagine that? LOL So, I'm taking my time and going through it again.

      I think I'll post the common sense one too as a way to help my lurker folks too.

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  2. Not telling you about working with a female for that long-that one would set off some alarm bells. I'm surprised you let that one slide.

    I hope you guys get this sorted out before Christmas as it will mar the holiday for all of you if you don't. And it would be nice to go into a New Year on a good note in your marriage.

    Addiction is complicated I know and that may not be possible.

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    1. I'm surprised I let it slide too. Time frame or not, it's just not like me to be that way anymore but, there it was, he showed me an app on the phone he had to install for work and she was a contact but had no information i.e. name which meant she hadn't been entered into his phone so it caught me off guard.

      When he explained the app that part made sense but when I pressed him for details he said he sees the same two women in the same classes now because they are the only ones who made this far advanced. I knew about them but as for the co-worker, he said his "doors and windows" are in place (a term used from a book we've read, he's not even remotely tempted to cheat.

      We talked about it and I explained the BA but then never did anything to enforce it. I just let it be. I was the one that became complacent this time just as much as he did.

      Since we came home from our counselor last night, we've been great. Funny how a really difficult and uncomfortable conversation can make someone realize the importance and value of what's right in front of them. He's taking the afternoon off today to help me since I'm still sick. I learned a lot about him in our extended session last night.

      I think Christmas will be great - thank you!!! =)

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    2. Good to hear that it all got sorted out in the end. Every now and again a good row clears the air in a marriage and you feel better after it.

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    3. I agree, sometimes it takes that rough patch, that pothole, to sort things out - on both sides.

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  3. Letting it slide so easily, what has got into thee? Surprising he didn't say anything though after that long and got him texting too, I can see the reasoning behind that, no leash needs to be shown, for it's a leash of his own design. You liked the slap I bet too hahahaha and a mafia war? hmmmmm.

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    1. Yep, I became lax in how I handled things with him feeling comfortable about his co-worker. On one hand, it's good - it means its not an issue for him anymore, that pursuit and chase, on the other hand, it's not good because he's forgotten how important it is to reassure me. Now he remembers that importance. The leash is absolutely of his own design aka addiction. It's not that he can't do things, it's that he needs to be open and honest.

      Yeah, I got a little mafia thing getting ready to happen over at my other blog on Thursday. Your cat may want to check it out....

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  4. That is a pretty short leash but if both of you have agree on it, then you both are responsible to see it through ~

    Wishing you a wonderful week Elsie ~

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    1. It's short in some respects due to his history. Some things have been adjusted so it's not quite as confining but still, he is an addict and I have to protect myself first and foremost and he knows and understands that.

      Wishing you a great week too!!

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  5. Relationships are ever-evolving and they definitely take work. I'm glad that you guys got past this bump in the road. Yeah he shoulda told you about working with those women and texted his check in for sure. You should've called him on it. Water under the bridge...all you can do is keep moving forward. I'm glad that he's taking time off today to take care of you!!! :)

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    1. I'm trying hard not to beat myself up to much but it's hard. I tend to have high expectations of myself and when I screw up like this, well, it gets to me. However, I can then take that to improve myself. Like you said, keep moving forward. He did a good job knowing I needed him today.

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  6. You gotta maintain those boundaries before they crumble!

    Tell me, who are the 2 certain somebodies who need to watch their asses?

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    1. I admit, I'm shocked I let boundaries go when I'm talking all the time. Disappointed too.

      I'm sorry, I can't release the names of the somebodies, I'm under a contract. That's what happens when you work with the mob.

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  7. Like Anne says I seriously hope that this doesn't threaten to ruin or spoil your Christmas in any way Elsie and you definitely don't deserve a slap in the wrist in my eyes. It's fine to relax your senses a little or at the very least not your fault since it happens to the best of us. Hopefully things work out.

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    1. Things will still run normally in our home for Christmas and New Years, especially with Junior coming home for a few weeks, it will be wonderful. (Whatever normal is!) But, I'm pumped for the holidays, we have a lot plans and I may even have to have a drink or two with my son now that he legal and all!

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  8. boundaries can be super scary, especially when you're not the one making them but the one that has to obey them.

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    1. PS for reasons unknown I cannot reach your other blog, Elsie, I constantly get a message that my browser cannot reach your server ;(

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    2. I respect how scary the boundaries are for him to know are coming down the pike again. I offered his input but he felt since it was for my sense of safety and well being that I draw it up alone. The original was done the same way. He may not like them, but he understands and respects them once we sit down and discuss them.

      I don't know why you're having a problem with the other blog? I've been hitting it to work on a post without a problem earlier this morning and just now.

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    3. I can access it now, but wasn't able yesterday, maybe something with the server, I've noticed you're not on blogspot but on your own dot.com domain now :)

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    4. Hmm, I wonder? I've had my own .com on both blogs since I opened them. The new one was a Christmas present to myself. It's what gave me a fit the other day on my new one - Blogger and Go Daddy didn't want to play nicely and I had to go in and reconfigure the settings on the Go Daddy side. What a pain in the tushie!

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  9. Well, what I was gonna comment you already said, so, I'll just support the motion to change the boundary agreement, because honestly if you're feeling it okay to let certain things slide, it's just time. We all have to evolve, that includes our rules too.

    These hiccups are good for relationships anyway keeps you both on your toes. Keeps you together. Never seen a happy couple that didn't argue, is all I'm saying.

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    1. I look at each boundary agreement as a living and breathing document. As time passes, so will our circumstances. In the beginning there was someone who contacted him relentlessly despite a no contact letter from each of us. It was causing me quite a bit of distress. It was in my BA that I know immediately - like stop the presses - if she contacted him. Now, it's removed. Another thing I removed was the need for certain books to be read. I've learned it's his recovery, not mine. We've grown and learned.

      As far as arguing, I just want us to get back to doing it respectfully and right now that's not happening. I know the root, and while I share a lot on here, I'm not sharing that just yet. It's his issue and we will work on it together in counseling.

      Whew, novella over!

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  10. It can be hard to enforce rules sometimes. Especially those kinder of heart often let things slide. I don't mean to say it's necessarily a good or bad thing, it all depends on the situation, the people involved, et cetera. I'd say it's a good choice to make sure they're enforced here though. Getting on top of an addiction isn't easy, keeping it that way is even harder, and sometimes some old-fashioned restrictions and rules may be the best way to go.
    That's just my opinion though. Hang tight!

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    1. Well, Fang, I happen to agree with your opinion whole-heartedly! If I were to constantly let the boundaries slide, then what's the point of having them? I will never feel safe and secure in my own marriage, I will always have fear and never be able to focus on ME. Addicts are finicky folks, I know, I've been sober for twenty years and I'm still finicky!

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  11. Whrn are reading you Elsie always think what difficult have been all this for you, and always amazed me like always you begin again.
    Im really insecure and all these things are difficult, oh dear maybe the life is be learning all the time :( I dont know im still sad by the kids Elsie was so hard.
    Today I made a new post to make a chenge but was difficult.
    Hopr you are OK dear, send you huggs:)

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    1. Thank you, Gloria. I have to just dust myself off, get up and begin again. I'm not perfect and neither is he. What happened isn't the end of the world and we've been through far worse. We learned and that's what's important.

      I'm just now turning on the news again (you know I'm a news junkie) but I'm still having a tough time comprehending the evil that happened to those babies and now the backlash because of it. The focus is in in the wrong place.

      Many hugs to you, Gloria.

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    2. Thanks by your huggs Elsie, you are sweet:))

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  12. Good to read that you started a blog about writing. Wishing you much fun with the new blog.

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    1. I'm stoked about the new blog, Whisk! It's already provided tons of fun and tomorrow - just wait! *wicked smile*

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  13. Humans are like Pavlov's dogs. We need consistency. Remain consistent, girl. We can't be having confused dogs running rampant in our lives (and the term confused dogs includes ourselves, too)!

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  14. We ladies had a whole discussion about the importance of being consistent, setting the boundaries and then sticking to them. Not just letting go - this is one area we can't do that with. Letting go led me to being one of those confused dogs for sure!

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  15. Oh well. You need it...and it helps you. And if you both slipped and you caught it then do you really need a wrist slap? I think not. But that's me.

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  16. I have a problem with rules so I'd be the last one to want to to get that wrist slap, but I understand sticking to the rules is key in your relationship for obvious reasons. But let me ask you this, and I hope you don't mind my asking: is there anything you are addicted to?

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    1. Well, those of us living with addicts should let them know what our boundaries are and what we will and will not accept in their behavior. It makes things less complicated when shit hits the fan.

      Me? Addicted? Hell yeah - I am a coke head from back in the day. I was quite the little party girl & did just fine until cocaine went up my nose and that was that. I was addicted for two years, got sober, relapsed a few months later and have been sober now for over twenty years.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.