Hello I’m dealing with anger caused by actions that took place prior to my fiancé going into rehab. I called off our wedding when I found out he was drinking and soliciting sex from a stripper. He has been in a 4 month program and the other day was the first time I talked to him in months. I was nice during the call and It felt great to hear how good he’s doing. However in days since then I’ve been angry about the responsibility I’ve had since he has been away. I’m taking care of all the bills for the townhouse and I after he gets out of rehab I feel he’s going to get off easy because he won’t be living with me. I know his name will eventually be off the lease but I feel so let down and hurt about the burden of bills and hurt. I still love him and I’m happy that he’s made progress but how do I get past the anger to be able to have a level headed face to face conversation when he gets out next week. When we talked he kept saying he didn’t realize all the blessing he had while he was in his addiction. How do you talk to someone in recovery about their impact they’ve made?
I’m sorry you’re going through this. Speaking as someone in recovery who has had anger towards alcoholic/addicts in my life, people have told me to have compassion for those difficult people and to share and talk about it in safe spaces. Maybe try al-anon. Speak to people you know and trust. Maybe a therapist who you can share this with. I don’t think its the right time to talk to him about this yet. If he makes amends to you, thats when you can express to him how he impacted your life. For now, put yourself first and take care of you the best you can.
Anger is a tough one. It’s hard NOT to feel angry. When my husband got caught drinking and driving (with our kids and dogs in the back seat at 10am on a Monday morning - 20 oz of vodka), we nearly lost everything. I felt such anger all the time. Anger that I was working two jobs to help pay for the expenses that this incident caused, for the times when I could hardly buy food, yet I would find another bottle of vodka hiding in the ceiling tiles.
If I’m being honest, this anger just keeps popping up here and there and I have to work hard to remember that my husband doesn’t want this disease either. He doesn’t want to hurt me, he doesn’t actually want to lie and he doesn’t want us to lose our house, but he can’t help it.
It’s a tough choice to stay and not to walk away. There are many times where I wish I could just get up and go. We have so much together that it’s hard to just let go, so I have to work really hard to forgive him every day and try to remember why I love him.
Be kind to yourself and remember that you have every right to feel angry. This isn’t your fault. Take it one day at a time and maybe one day you’ll wake up and be thankful for all that you are able to do on your own and you’ll feel the power you have over your own life. And everything will slowly feel just a little better.
I agree with @jg12 that you should seek some community. Al Anon is awesome because there you will meet people who are going through exactly the same things as you.
If you don’t get the group just right on the first try, keep trying different groups. You’ll find a good fit one day and even if you just go from group to group listening to people’s stories, you’ll feel less alone.
God bless you on your journey. You’ve got this.
Thank you! Thank you so much!
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am going to find al anon group that I can attend. I’m going to take your advice and take care of myself. I love him and believe that what we have is won’t holding on to but I need to be able to speak with people I can relate to.
Hi @jsb145ae great question, and I’ve totally been there. My partner (now husband) went into rehab and I felt so relieved he was getting taken care of but I also felt alone and wondered what there was to help me feel better, after all he didn’t even remember a lot of what he’d done whereas I was present through most of it, right?
Your feelings are valid. Unfortunately early recovery takes up so much energy for them that they almost need to focus 100% on it. Keeping that in mind, your relationship is important to them and they want to be there for you so I think it’s a balance as to keeping open about your experience and how they can be there for you, while also not overwhelming or expecting too too much from them - trusting that you’ll be able to heal the emotional wounds over time as they heal their addiction over time too.
In our course we have a whole module on self care “you deserve to thrive” with exercises on managing difficult emotions (we find that a lot of us put our emotions on hold while we are concerned about them, so it’s a process of getting reacquainted with them and working through them mindfully). The course is built on foundational communication techniques proven to help maintain connection through tough topics that come up when someone we love is in addiction. We also have a course option that comes with weekly group meetings on Saturdays at 3pm EST. I think you might find it useful. You can learn more HERE.
Oh and the main difference in the CRAFT approach (which we use) in comparison to al-anon/nar-anon is our curriculum is designed to give you skills to interact with your loved one in proven optimal ways for their recovery and your health and wellness, whereas al-anon is more solely focused on your coping with the situation - a bit more passively I think. One of our course graduates actually describes it better than me “That is the biggest difference between CRAFT and a 12 steps program. CRAFT provides you the tools to play in the arena to change your outcomes whereas 12 steps has you sitting on the sidelines waiting.”
Hope some of the above is helpful, all my best - and remember you’re totally not alone in this