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#2577328 12/22/11 11:13 AM
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ZandR Offline OP
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Hi. I need some advice and I am not sure where else to turn. about 9 months ago I admitted to my husband that I was having a drinking problem that I had been hiding. He was upset and rightfully so. I went to rehab and am doing fantastic in that area of my life (and I am not just fooling myself, I really am doing great with that) Anyway things got really ugly with my dh and I and we are working at getting our marriage back on track.

What I want to know is how many times should I have to ask for forgiveness? He wants me to tell him this ALL.THE.TIME. And he gets angry that I am not doing it on a regular basis. I feel like we can't move forward if I am continually made to feel bad about what happened. It's gotten to the point that my depression is really bad and part of me wants to just say the hell with it and leave, but honestly that isn't an option at this point and I do love him.

He also says he wants to feel appreciated, wants it feels like he wants me to thank him for every little thing he does. I agree we should show each other appreciation but it needs to go both ways. We've been married for a long time and honestly I have Rarely felt appreciated. And if I try and point that out then I am being a b*tch or selfish.

I am at a loss as to what to do. I am so unhappy and I don't see a way out of this. Obviously there is a lot more to our story. I guess I just want to know if it's normal for him to want me to ask forgiveness over and over and over again. I have asked and have been very remorseful and truthful and honest in my apology.








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Hi ZandR, welcome to Marriage Builders. smile

Well, I would stop asking him for forgiveness and just tell him that you would rather EARN it by your actions. Asking for it over and over is not going to help him forgive you. Forgiveness comes from repentance and with alcoholism, adultery, etc, it takes a long time to really change. So stop asking and just focus on earning.

Other than that, the subject should not be brought up again. Bringing up mistakes of the past is a real downer on your relationship.

Quote:

He also says he wants to feel appreciated, wants me to thank him for every little thing he does. I agree we should show each other appreciation but it needs to go both ways. We've been married for a long time and honestly I have never felt appreciated. And if I try and point that out then I am being a b*tch or selfish.


I would use this program to turn your marriage around and I would start with the book Lovebusters and then read Fall in Love, Stay in Love.

Check out this article: How to Create Your Own Plan to Resolve Conflicts and Restore Love to Your Marriage


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Thank you that is exactly how I feel. I keep telling him that actions speak louder than words but he wants the words and I just can't keep doing it over and over, it hurts to much. He is one that brings up past mistakes a lot and can't seem to let go (it's a family trait to hold grudges). I am one who believes that past should stay in the past and we should focus on teh here and now and the future.

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Did you cheat on him while you were drinking?

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Originally Posted By: ZandR
Thank you that is exactly how I feel. I keep telling him that actions speak louder than words but he wants the words and I just can't keep doing it over and over, it hurts to much. He is one that brings up past mistakes a lot and can't seem to let go (it's a family trait to hold grudges). I am one who believes that past should stay in the past and we should focus on teh here and now and the future.


Just don't engage in that kind of talk anymore. Tell him you are not asking for his forgiveness because it is inappropriate. Rather, you are perfectly happy to earn it through your actions. And hopefully someday he can forgive you. smile


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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ZandR,

Once you have come clean about EVERYTHING, then you should still feel regret, but should not have to grovel. Tell him that he always will have the right to ask questions in a respectful way.

But you do need to tell him everything, if you went to the casino when drunk and spent money you didn't tell him about, or if you hung around with friends who encouraged you to drink, or if you talked too much with drinking buddies about how awful your H is, flirted with men at bars etc.

He might ask you to get rid of your drinking buddies.

God Bless
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I would think the drinking buddies would already be gone as part of recovery.

Melody linked to a good article. Your husband obviously needs a lot of compensation, so I would suggest negotiating a way to do that for him that is not at your expense. Personally, I *hate* it when someone has betrayed and then has the attitude of "Oh, sorry, my bad, now let's forget it ever happened!" It sounds like you have done more than that, but I caution you against trying to sweep it under while your H still needs compensation.

You betrayed him pretty bad with all the lying.

Find out what he is after with all the asking for forgiveness stuff, and find a better way to give it to him. You can tell him how it makes you feel, and what you would feel better about doing instead, see if that floats his boat. It's a negotiation.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
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There were no drinking buddies or anything like that. It was just easier to drink a bottle of wine in the evenings rather than deal with the issues I needed to be dealing with (stress and grief). My drinking was always at home by myself, so no cheating or anything. I have been full blown honest with him about everything and it's just not enough. I KNOW the trust is gone and will take a very long time to come back. It's just the groveling that I am expected to do I can't deal with, and if I try and talk to him about it, he says that's not what it is, he just needs to hear it from me over and over that I am sorry and gets really pissed and yells and stuff. I am definitely not trying to sweep it under the rug or anything but I want us to move forward. I feel like it's 1 step forward and 7 steps back.

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ZandR, I would drop the subject and move forward. You didn't betray him, you developed a drinking problem and have addressed it. There is no cause to "grovel." If he yells and abuses you, I would tell him to knock it off. Don't tolerate abuse.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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How did you hide drinking a bottle of wine an evening?

Melody, finding out your spouse has been purposely hiding something from you feels like a betrayal. She hid this from him, and he likely had an expectation of O&H. I agree that she not grovel. And not tolerate yelling. But its up to him to decide whether he feels betrayed, and what compensation he needs for that. She can decide whether to give it or not.

Has your husband said he feels betrayed?


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Originally Posted By: CWMI
How did you hide drinking a bottle of wine an evening?

Melody, finding out your spouse has been purposely hiding something from you feels like a betrayal. She hid this from him, and he likely had an expectation of O&H. I agree that she not grovel. And not tolerate yelling. But its up to him to decide whether he feels betrayed, and what compensation he needs for that. She can decide whether to give it or not.

Has your husband said he feels betrayed?


There is a world of difference between adultery and hiding how much you are drinking from your spouse. Where does Harley ever recommend Just compensation for dishonesty?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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ZandR, you should read this article by Dr Harley about a husband who uses his wife's affair to control and punish her. I believe your husband is doing that with your drinking. Harley's advice is to stop allowing him to do that. Don't tolerate it any more:

Originally Posted By: Dr Harley
Using resentment as a way to control and punish a spouse

I'm convinced that what's kept the resentment of S.R.'s husband alive for so many years is that he has found it to be an effective way to control and punish her whenever she doesn't do what he wants. Whenever they have a fight, he brings it up, and it causes her such guilt that it gives him a decided advantage in winning the argument.

By this time, I don't believe that her affair is the problem that she thinks it is. Instead, it is an issue that her husband is using to get the upper hand in his relationship with her. It probably shows up the most whenever she has been reluctant to have sex with him. It throws her off balance whenever he mentions it, and makes her feel guilty, wanting to make it up to him somehow. He may also bring it up whenever she is winning in a power struggle he is having with her.

What she describes to me in her letter is abuse, pure and simple. There is no excuse for the way her husband keeps bringing up her moment of weakness she experienced years ago. He is disrespectful and abusive.

I suggest that she look him right in the eye and say to him, "Listen Buster, do you love me? Do you want me to love you? Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me? If the answers to any of those questions is 'yes' you sure are going about it the wrong way. You are not doing things that I admire, you're doing things that I find disgusting!"

What if he says, "Fine, then lets just get a divorce and end it all."

To that I would say, "It's up to you. I married you for life, but if you want a divorce, it's your call. If you want to be in a love relationship with me, however, you're going to have to treat me much better than you have been treating me. You must never again bring up my affair, and if you are upset with me, you will have to treat me with respect until we can solve the problem. If you are upset with our sexual relationship, I want us to discuss it as adults and solve it with mutual respect. I refuse to be treated like this, especially by the man I love."

My advice to her husband is to never mention her affair again. It's a good example of one of the enemies of good conversation, dwelling on past mistakes. Whenever you keep bringing up your spouses past mistakes, you not only make your conversations incredibly unpleasant, but it cannot possibly lead to a resolution of a conflict you may be discussing. And as soon as his resentment doesn't pay him any dividends -- no longer helps him get his way -- he will find that it hardly ever occurs to him.

Hanging on to an unpleasant thought because it helps us somehow is what psychologists call "secondary gain." It means that even though the thought is unpleasant, it gets you something you need, so your mind keeps it around for its usefulness. There are many unpleasant thoughts that have this characteristic, and I have helped many people let them go by helping them destroy the usefulness of the thought. Making sure that S.K.'s husband never gets what he wants by bringing up her affair will help him overcome his resentment.
here


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane


There is a world of difference between adultery and hiding how much you are drinking from your spouse. Where does Harley ever recommend Just compensation for dishonesty?


I can't find any. However, your next post references punishment after ten years, and the OP and her H are only months out from what can be a great betrayal. Maybe he can't forgive. Maybe she hasn't done enough. She had a secret second life he didn't know about...for how long?

How long were you hiding?

I do not condone his yelling at all. I don't think Harley is about not helping your spouse heal from dishonesty, either. I do agree on a moving forward point, perhaps she could offer her one-year coin?

That's a year less than infidelity, time fit the crime, Mel?


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Originally Posted By: CWMI
[
I can't find any. However, your next post references punishment after ten years, and the OP and her H are only months out from what can be a great betrayal. Maybe he can't forgive. Maybe she hasn't done enough. She had a secret second life he didn't know about...for how long?


Once all the facts are on the table, it should never be discussed again. So, maybe 2 days? 1 day? Even with adultery, the greatest betrayal, the policy is to never bring it up again. I don't get the sense that she has withheld any facts from him. So, it needs to be dropped and never brought up again.

Harley references his policy, "Enemies of good conversation" on bringing up mistakes of the past in the article I posted above:

Quote:

The Second Enemy of Good Conversation is dwelling on mistakes, past or present.

One of our important emotional needs is admiration. So whenever you remind your wife of achievements of her past or present, you deposit love units because she needs to be admired.

But when you remind her of her failures, you do the opposite. You undermine her confidence and self-esteem, and withdraw love units.

Criticism now and then is bad enough, but spouses often get into the habit of dwelling on mistakes. These mistakes are mentioned repeatedly in an effort to make sure that the mistake is understood and corrected. But that's not how mistakes are understood or corrected. All this does is magnify the pain until conversation is too unpleasant to continue. Then hope of respectful negotiation is lost.

here


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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My question was about the hiding a bottle of wine drinking per day.
This suggests to me that there isn't a lot of UA happening; meeting each other's needs, intimate conversation, etc.

You've come to a good place to learn about how to address this issue with your husband. But as you will hopefully find out, you can follow this plan to build a better marriage than you ever thought possible.

~optimism


Me: 43 y.o. BFWH, D-day 11/11/09 (NC since 9/01)
Divorce from WW final 9/16/10.
Current Status: MB-based Marriage to Nature Girl 12/8/12 (first date on 12/11/10)
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Quote:
My drinking was always at home by myself, so no cheating or anything. I have been full blown honest with him about everything and it's just not enough. I KNOW the trust is gone and will take a very long time to come back. It's just the groveling that I am expected to do I can't deal with, and if I try and talk to him about it, he says that's not what it is, he just needs to hear it from me over and over that I am sorry and gets really pissed and yells and stuff.
ZandR, how are things going? It's been a few weeks since you've posted. Are things going any better with your H? Have you stopped groveling?

How much time are the two of you spending together each week?


D-Day 2-10-2009
Fully Recovered and Better Than Ever!
Thank you Marriage Builders!


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