Actions Speak Louder

My happiness about my earlier achievement has been short lived. I have known my husband was upset since finding out I was hiding alcohol from him. 

And he said some snarky things today and something really hurtful and I decided to call him on it. I told him that he can be mad but let’s at least be honest about what it is about. That I know he is mad at me.

“You’re damn right I am. I am furious with you. You tell me that you have everything under control. You tell me that I’m not allowed to call you out on your drinking or on your poor habits. I censor myself because you tell me that’s what you need to make changes. And then, you don’t change. You tell me you will change. I get mad, and then you change for me just long enough for me to believe you have changed. Then, you start again. I’m done. I’m done with this. I am done with comforting you for the consequences of decisions that you actively make.

You told me 8 months ago, when I found you hiding alcohol, that it would NEVER happen again. That you may struggle with how much you’re drinking but you wouldn’t hide it from me. And then yesterday I find this. And you know what that makes you? A liar. And maybe it’s just about this. Maybe. It probably is. But given our history with your lying how am I supposed to believe that this is all you’re lying about? You have told me at least three times in the last year that this would stop. 

I know you’ve said sorry, but if you’re sorry, show me that you’re sorry because right now your words mean nothing. Actions speak louder than words, and I don’t see any action. I see you in therapy and you tell me you’ve made progress but where is it? You don’t share any of that with me. You don’t talk about it with me. And then I find this – and it doesn’t look like progress to me.

You need to figure this out, and right now you need to figure out why YOU want to do this, because I need some time. I don’t want to go to MO right now – I don’t want to have our second wedding. I’ll do it, and I’ll get through it, and I’ll say the right things – but know that that is all that it will be. You are not behaving like the woman I fell in love with.

This has to change. And we have had this conversation and I’ve heard your suggestions but PD, those are the same nice words I have heard you say 100 times before. They sound good, and you’ll be different for two weeks and then, you fall back right into it. So you figure out what needs to be different this time for this to stop. Because you can’t stop for me – it needs to be from you. Why do you want to change? Do you even want to change?

And enough about the “I will tackle this in November.” November has been coming for three years. There is always a reason you can’t do it now. You need to slow down, and you need to stay away from the things that hurt you, and you need to sort this shit out, PD. And right now you need to figure out how to do it without my active support. I love you, but I need to take care of myself right now.”

I think the worst part is he is right, about all of it. I don’t know why I don’t want to drink. For that matter I don’t know anything about myself. I did get the chance to tell him why I drink, and explain what I’ve learned the past week. And I told him that me coming in the bedroom and demanding a conversation about it was a sign of progress, as was not  blaming him for my mistake. 

But he’s not wrong. He’s not wrong. I’ve had the “I will change” conversation with him 100 times before. How do you make that stick? 

I don’t want to go to MO. And I suck at comforting myself. I don’t know what to do right now. So I’m breathing and lying down and acknowledging that these problems are all a product of my childhood, and I am literally on my own to fix them. And that that fucking sucks.

I am glad I talked to him though. I am glad I gave him space to be angry with me. His emotions are valid and too often he hides how he feels from me because I can’t handle the confrontation. 

And he cares for me regardless. He just brought me hot tea and rubbed my back even though I am the one who has made him upset. He is caring for me despite how mad he is.

This is too painful.. the ache in my chest is on fire and I wish I had that weighted blanket from yoga therapy. I can’t shake the feeling that my relationship with my husband is on the line if I don’t change so drinking isn’t the answer to this pain. I’ll sit with this as long as I can but I already feel myself slipping away and into being perfect. I’ll be perfect for two weeks and have no needs or emotions, I’ll just exist as an empty, disassociative shell.

There’s no point in seeing A then before my MO trip. If this is how it’s going to be. Until I figure out how to actually inspire this change that I need to save this relationship – until I figure out how to do this, I’ll just be perfect. After all, I’ve done it before. 

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22 thoughts on “Actions Speak Louder

  1. pd, you hit the nail on the head. the problems are a product of childhood trauma. he knows that right? does he? i’m sorry he’s angry and cant be supportive right now. hard to know what you need to do for the best. i would say just keep working hard in therapy, change isnt easy. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds so hard. I ordered myself a weighted blanket a little while ago, now just waiting for it to arrive. Maybe you can find a place close by, or online (where I bought mine from) and get your own one?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww, PD. This all seems so painful, intense and overwhelming right now. I wish for you that you didn’t have to go to MO right now, but I so get that pressure, too. I think you have learned a lot, and you are working hard to change. Maybe you are right, you weren’t trying those years you said you were changing, but you truly are now. Maybe acknowledging that, pointing out how then and how is different? I don’t know. I do know it’s hard having your husband not understand things or feeling distant from him because you are keeping a lot from him. That’s hard. Sending lots of hugs and support. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alice! How lovely to hear from you – I hope you are doing well. I have been thinking of you. I know you understand a lot of the societal pressure for perfection – I realized tonight half the wedding guests aren’t mine but my parents.

      Accepting your hugs with gratitude xx

      Like

  4. Hi PD, sounds you are in a really difficult place right now.

    I just wanted to share some of the things that have helped me with making changes, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t come across as ‘giving advice’ because I know that being told what to do always makes me feel very annoyed and I don’t want to inflict that on you.

    This link came up on my FB feed recently, and I found it useful. Not so much to follow in detail, but to think about the ideas behind it. It reminded me both of the AA principle of ‘one day at a time’ and stuff I learned in CBT about breaking goals and tasks up into smaller, more manageable bites. All of these ideas are something I use a lot myself because I’m a terrible procrastinator (to the point where it has resulted in substantial financial losses) and they do seem to work for me. Not perfectly, but better than nothing.

    https://brightside.me/article/a-japanese-technique-for-overcoming-laziness-11255/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow PD, that was an intense conversation. Whew. A lot of honesty right there, no where to run from it.
    I think you are making progress, I hear it and see it, and I get why he feels in the dark. That is valid. But you are making progress, that is valid too. And you are working so hard, and maybe it would help him to have context to hear that these changes take TIME. Shit, it took me years to curb my lying and hiding and addict behaviors. Years. When you are doing it in a deep way, like you are in therapy, it doesn’t happen overnight. It just doesn’t. And I know that is hard for someone you love to understand, when they want it better, now.
    Do you have to go to MO now? Is there a reason it can’t be postponed, since neither of you want to go? Seriously, can it wait?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh god, I wish, Rachel. There’s no way we can’t go. There’s a $30,000 party on the line. Ten grand of that is our money, all of it would be lost. Not to mention the 15 guys and girl who have planned parties for us and bought dresses and the 150 guests. And I have seriously contemplated it. It seems absolutely ridiculous that we are going.

      I was able to figure out that the honesty is good. The honesty is positive. And as Andi expertly pointed out – he isn’t enabling me. And that’s a positive too. And he wasn’t yelling, just stating the obvious.

      Thank you for validating that I am making progress. He did acknowledge that me even coming to talk to him about it and to willingly approach a difficult conversation was hard. I think, for him, he’s been waiting a decade for this… and I have said I’m changing that whole time but only really just found A 5 or 6 months ago.

      It is also hard for him because depression and mental illness are so foreign to him. He has done so well though, but he just can’t understand the way I need him too because he’s never struggled with it. He tries though.

      I don’t know what to do. I do know that going to MO right now isn’t going to be good for either of us. I just can’t see a way out of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wish there was a way to postpone. Shit happens in life, you know? Even the most seemingly unmovable, is moved. I am not saying it is possible, I am just saying I wish it was. If in any way, you could recoup the losses or change dates without it being an entire loss. I hear you though, I am not saying I would cancel an entire wedding. I am just saying it wouldn’t be the first time. I mean, even if you lost the money and never had it, would the experience be worth the money anyways? Just offering questions to ponder, no answers over here.
        And regardless, will be here the whole time supporting you.
        I think it is hard for people who don’t get it. Who genuinely don’t get it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I went and asked him “what if we just don’t go” and we talked about it and considered it but the implications and the costs, monetarily speaking, are too much.

        I know – it wouldn’t be the first time, and I’ve considered it. To me our mental health and relationship is worth the cost but I don’t have the money – it would come from him. And it’s really not sensible.

        It is really hard, and it’s not his fault it’s hard. I would obviously he rather doesn’t understand the difficulties of mental illness because it sucks. But because of that he constantly feels like a caregiver in our relationship, and that’s hard too. So. There’s no easy answer.

        Your comments are helping a lot though. This community helps.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds very tough and painful, but he’s not enabling you or being codependent, which is great. Being perfect is false. Try being real. Practice tolerating emotions in small doses. You might surprise yourself to learn how skillful you actually are with that. Thinking of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I need to thank you for that first sentence. I actually went to him and thanked him for not enabling me. And you’re right that he isn’t being codependent which would be worse. Thank you for that perspective.

      I told him I can’t be perfect and he said “oh darling, I just want you to be honest and for your actions to match your words. I don’t need perfect”

      And like – that would be great if I knew how to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It does fucking suck. But from what you’ve written before, it sounds like at least part of the reason why you want to stop is for the girl on the stairs. And that’s a great reason.
    I’m hoping he had a good reaction when you shared what you learned this week.
    I want to share with you what I’ve learned in class, something that I’ve also learned from my counselor. This isn’t our faults. It’s not our fault that we grew up in dysfunctional families and we learned to cope in this way. But it is our responsibility to change it, if that’s what we want. And it sucks that it’s our responsibility. But honestly no one can do it for us.
    Sending you support and love. Let me know if you need anything. And you do not have to be perfect. You can be who you are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is ironically what I told him five years ago when I broke up with him over his anger issues (former – he went to two years of counselling and worked really hard. Actually delivered today’s speech very calmly). That it’s not his fault but it is his responsibility.

      I really don’t like who I am right now.

      Liked by 1 person

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