Update after Year One of Marriage

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Update after Year One of Marriage

Post by 12zz3 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:25 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm the "Newly Wed filled with Dread" poster from last year. As this year is wrapping up I just wanted to give you all an update and let you know how the first year of marriage ended up:

1). After many, MANY arguments and fights with DH, we had been to two different counsellors this year. The first counsellor wasn't that much help, but she did give my husband a really good referral (which I will talk about shortly), otherwise she seemed to get held up on the situations I was having with my SIL. So, our marital problems were ongoing until September when we decided to find a new counsellor. Our new counsellor was much better, and helped us both work on our communication skills and was able to pinpoint that DH lacked empathy. This was a big break through as we were forced to do exercises to help us look at what empathy looked like and essentially narrow down why most of arguments were always exploding into something bigger than it needed to be.
What I learned from this experience was that we needed to find the right counselor who was able to reach both of us and who was exceptional at being objective in order to help us mutually reach our underlying problem.

2). The referral was to a addiction specialist. For the past 2 years since knowing DH and even in realizing the extent of how bad things really were once I got married, I had been constantly trying to voice my concern that DH had a drinking problem. This was a big problem that involved his family because DH's father had a bad drinking problem to the point where he was told to stop drinking of die because he had ended up in the hospital. This was something that had always been brushed under the rug with his family. So, when DH started to exhibit signs of a drinking problem, his family brushed it off. I already had prior history with a family member to know what a drinking problem looked like. However, I always found myself being in constant battle as the wife who was overly sensitive or who was controlling DH or trying to change him (as per SIL's words). No matter how many times I even tried to get support from MIL to help DH, she would just act as an enabler. Finally, after hitting rock bottom after my ruined bday party, I gave DH a ultimatum and told him to stop drinking or I had to move on. (I gave him a deadline on our first anniversary to change). In the meantime, DH went to the addictions specialist, received the "you're an addict" diagnosis and made the decision to try and stop. This was in June. From that point on, there were a few times when I still suspected DH was still drinking behind my back. I had come to the point where I would even give him a Breathalyzer because I didn't trust him. DH had a couple of follow ups with his specialist, the last one of which I attended with him. DH's doctor was strict on him, and I expressed again that I was serious about stopping of losing me. I also received my validation from his doctor who agreed (much to DH's disapproval) that I was in every way right to do extreme things like requesting for a Breathalyzer sample, and in some cases he;s seen spouses demand random urine tests. In other words, DH had broken my trust that many times that it was perfectly acceptable for this to be a way to regain it. DH finally reached a stage where he had owned his addiction and began telling his family that he was done with drinking. When I heard that he had talked to SIL and told her once and for all that he was done with the lying, he was done with it all period, I was quite happy with him. I know SIL has her moments of being speculative of DH's efforts and sincerity on this issue, but I have seen DH grow.

This past weekend DH and I visited SIL and her husband, which was when she told me that DH had talked to her about stopping. She told me that she and her husband had agreed to help support DH by not drinking in front of him anymore (which they used to back when I was trying to get them to help DH). As well, SIL told me that she had a talk with MIL and told MIL that she should also try and not drink around my DH. The response was that MIL said DH was a big grown man and could make his decisions for himself. This was something I expected MIL to say - she was not supportive when I asked her for her help with getting DH help, nor has she accepted DH's own words that he is trying to stop. Nor has she offered to realize what SIL was saying was for DH's own good. SIL at least finally came to terms in realizing how hard this is for DH and has finally offered her showing of support. MIL and FIL still live in the dark. SIL also didn't believe that genetics played a part of this, which I had to explain to her that if one parent (their dad) was an alcoholic it was entirely possible for the child to fall into that as well by way of genetics. (I explained it to her as DH"s doctor explained it). When I explained it to her, she said that she didn't realize that it was that bad - that it's not even really like DH could help it sometimes. SIL said she had tried to help DH in the past but there was only so much she could do as his sister (to this I kept my mouth shut because she really did not help DH other than try to be on his good side).

Anyway, after this conversation with SIL I had to break down a little for all that it took to get DH to this stage of addiction recovery. I had to withstand SIL telling me that I was changing her brother - yet now she realizes that this change was needed. I had to tolerate being called controlling, a bitch, being seen as the one who was a hard ass and causing problems, took on the embarrassment in the past when DH would get mad a me while intoxicated because I would tell him he needed to stop, etc. It was overwhelming to have finally had SIL realize how important and difficult this struggle had been and continues to be each and every day.

3). SIL, as you probably gathered by now, and I have calmed down with our feud. Not that I will ever trust SIL - but we have learned to be civil now.

4). MIL and FIL, as I mentioned, continue to live an ignorant life. SIL has seen a change in who her parents are gradually over the year, which was something I always saw and knew. That FIL is controlling and has a huge ego, that MIL is a puppet and does not know how to stand up for herself or take control of anything, that they continue to live a secretive life where their stories have flaws that are so easy to detect, that MIL is manipulative and could not be bothered in actually taking care or disciplining her children when it's needed. I am just happy to stay on the side lines and observe and let SIL and DH realize who their parents really are.

5). DH and I have reached our halfway goal of saving for a house. My parents and sister have been extremely supportive. They never expected rent from us, they never expected anything except that DH and I learn to work on our marriage and be happy. They have listed to both me and DH over the past year, witnessed our fights, seen me cry, etc. Yet, they will not say anything disrespectful to DH. In fact, they have been more parents to him in steering him back on the right path as opposed to being judgemental, cursing him etc. My family, though they all had their own flaws that I saw when I was growing up - have turned out to be the most loving, supportive, principled and caring people I have known. This past year revealed that to me, which I am forever grateful I got to truly recognize what loving parents and sister I have. I think DH has been able to learn and grow simply by seeing their ability to not be judgemental and to teach with loving care and kindness. I am blessed in this way.

Overall, the first year of marriage really tested me. So has living with a husband with an alcohol addictions problem which was playing out while living with my parents. I would have never written my life plot out this way. This was something far from what I imaged for myself. However, I have grown closer with DH and he has grown as well. I let go of some bitterness that I had about my wedding being ruined - accepted that our decision to elope was for the best, as was inevitably living with my parents. The distance from DH's family gave him time to grow as a person, his ability to be more empathetic and wanting to be a better person - this experience in watching and living it with him - has been humbling if anything at all. It was hard, it nearly broke me - but we are together and happy now.

I'll never forget my parent's words to me before I got married - "the hardest beginnings have the best endings." - my mom and dad <3

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