I'm struggling with those complicated borderlands between boundaries and control, acceptance and accepting unacceptable behavior, keeping quiet to keep my sanity and keeping quiet to keep a false sense of peace.
A few weeks ago, we'd reached a breaking point in our marriage. He'd gone to stay with his folks, and I'd taken his key to my home. I needed some time to think about what it was going to take for him to be welcome to stay here, and I came up with a few things, a few boundaries that are necessary for my sanity, for my comfort living with someone who has been in and out of active addiction and who has entangled me in all the insanity that comes along with it. I told him that he needs to be able to pay his own way, including both paying for his own methadone and paying half of our bills, and that I needed to see outward signs of recovery, beyond going to the methadone clinic. I need to see him attending meetings, working steps, building community, having a sponsor.
His response to these requests was to find a job, the next day, and to bring me money for groceries. He told me that he can do the things I need, that not only can he do them, but that he realizes that these are things that are vital for his own survival. Without a job and without some recovery in his life, he says that he knows he isn't going to make it, regardless of what happens to our marriage.
The job isn't perfect; it's only going to last for two or three months. It is, however, a job, and it's paying his bills and paying for his methadone. For the first time in almost a year, he's being a true partner, at least financially. That's a wonderful thing, and I'm grateful.
And he has been lackadaisically attending the meetings that are held in conjunction with the Nar-Anon meetings that I attend. He gets in the car, he goes with me, he listens and talks to the folks in his group. He has not sought out a sponsor, and he hasn't looked for a different group. Last week, he blew off one of the meetings because he wanted to hang out with his father. It made me furious.
So what I'm struggling with is where, exactly, it is that I've placed my boundary, and what my boundary means. I suppose that attending one or two meetings a week is better than never doing anything. I hope that he will continue to build relationships, and he'll find a sponsor (one that accepts his methadone maintenance...there has been some controversy at the N.A. meetings he's attended), and he'll fully engage the program. I don't know if he will...especially as he is doing well with his methadone and feeling very "fixed."
Part of me wants to yell and cry and tell him he's not doing enough. Part of me wants to ignore it. I don't know what would be right, and I don't know what it is that I want.
What I am most afraid of is that he will fall apart again, relapse, and that without the support and tools that he can gain from recovery, it will be another long, hard fall. I am afraid that we'll be on this roller coaster forever, and that he's not going to be a person who I can spend the rest of my life with. I'm afraid I'm letting myself down by letting him off the hook for one of the boundaries I set in order for us to continue in this relationship. I'm afraid that I'm borrowing trouble by worrying about his recovery when I'm knee-deep in the muck of my own. I'm afraid that if I don't worry about his recovery, nobody else will.
|I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;|
|I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,|
|And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,|| |
|And in short, I was afraid.|