Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mileposts on the Road to Recovery

I shared last time that my sponsor said my marriage had improved since I’d been in Al-Anon.

I wonder if my husband, who is not my alcoholic, would agree entirely. Or if he misses the woman who agreed to his every whim and wouldn’t dream of inconveniencing him.

Three weeks ago, my husband sliced off a piece of his thumb with a table saw. Since then, he’s been somewhat handicapped, with this thumb in various states of bandages and splints.

Simple things are sometimes difficult. The other day, he fumbled with the buttons on his shirt and finally gave up in exasperation and asked for help.

“Geez, ” he said, standing in the closet with his shirt open and his arms at his sides. “Seems like there was a time I wouldn’t have to ask.”

I laughed.

“It’s my training,” I explained. “One of my character defects is jumping in to help when I haven’t been asked. I've been working hard to change that."

“Oh,” he said with a slight eye roll. “It's an Al-Anon thing.”

Which is the same thing he said when I let him drive 20 miles past his freeway exit because he was talking on his cellphone and ignored me when I asked if he had missed his turnoff.”

“I wish you had been more insistent,” he said, finally.

“I knew you’d figure it out,” I said.

On the other hand, I’m sure he doesn’t miss the money I spent on lawyers and counselors and various other remedies for my alcoholic. Nor does he miss my jumping on a plane at every new crisis, or brooding at home when I wasn’t there.

I’m sure he doesn’t miss the resentment I no doubt radiated when I agreed to things I didn’t want to do, just because he did.

I know I'm less judgmental. I'm more willing to listen to others without jumping in to "correct" them.

After only six months in Al-Anon, my husband looked at me over breakfast and said: “You’ve really changed.” And it seemed he meant it in a good way.

Speaking of mileposts, this is my 100th post. Who knew I had so much to say?


  1. Congrats on the 100th post. I have been a bit lax lately. I know that my husband tells me I go from serene to bitch in 3 days if I don't hit a meeting. He's right, bless his know-it-all heart. He doesn't have a program but he knows he benefits from mine! Yep..change is a good thing sometimes.


  2. One of the most interesting things I've noticed is how my relationship with my husband (who is not the alcoholic) has changed You're right; after many years I think I know how he should perform and I'm sure he'd feel the same way! I've seen his look of annoyance when I make a non-committal answer to something I would have jumped right into before I started working the Steps.

    I dunno, though...if I had been in the car that went substantially out of the way I would have spoken up more. MY time is valuable :-)

  3. "Who knew I had so much to say". Love it. This is a post for all of us living with a spouse or significant other. As we work out program the changes become evident and some things are welcomed and some take more time to adjust to I suppose. My hubby sometimes falls into a habit of seeing me as I was and not as I am today. It doesn't have to get into a war though, that is just me observing that he is not seeing me as I am now. Since we are each in our own programs and work them for our own recoveries, we are changing and learning all the time. I like your telling of the times you don't jump in and control or take charge. That takes some people so long to learn.

  4. Congrats on your 100th post but more congrats on learning how to stop being a caretaker! It was excruciating for me at first to stop asking adults (adults!) if they weren't going to be cold if they went outside without a jacket or reminding my dh about his appointments, etc. But I learned and am still learning to let adults be adults, including myself! This post was a good reminder for me today, thank you.

  5. I really love to read your posts and I hope you continue to blog for a very long time. It is nice to read from the view point of a healthy person who is no longer a co dependent. I am going to get there eventually and in my own way. I hope to get there with a minimum of land mines on the way.

  6. People don't always understand that helping them is not really what they need. I have changed so much in almost two years I've been going to CoDA. My marriage has changed, too. Like you, I imagine there are things my husband misses about the "old me". What I really notice, however, is that he seems to respect me more, now, than at any other time in the 33 years I've known him.

  7. I love the part where you said "I knew you would figure it out."

  8. Congratulations on your 100th post....


  9. Grats on the 100th post. That's an impressive milestone in itself. As for you and your husband, I think it's marvellous. The changes you are making can only be good for your relationship.

  10. First off congrats on the 100th post! Woo-hoo-

    Oh wow, I pray your husbands thumb heals quickly without too much damage.

    Glad you recognize that you are less judgmental. I know that is a struggle for me.

    Blessings to you.

  11. Just love the missing exit story. That gives the great ai-alnon giggles. :)

    THanks for your encouraging comment on my blog about finding a mate after 40. You give me hope, sister!! hugs to you :)

  12. Congrats! I know it is hard work and surely it takes time not only for you but your loved one's. It sounds very much like you are appreiated in the way you change. It works if we work it, doesnt it :-) Have a beautiful day.

  13. Isn't it amazing that after six months there is a difference. Years and there is more to learn still. It is a marvelous program. I no longer have to figure things out for others. They can do that quite adequately for themselves. Glad that you have 100 posts. Keep 'em coming.

  14. Hey congrats on 100 posts, that's an awesome effort! And how far you have come in your recovery. Hugs and blessings to you, here's to the next 100 posts!