Last week, I answered a question from one of our loving, strong women in our Secret Facebook Group. I love this group. I’ll admit… being the introvert I am, I’m not usually one to join groups. So when I started adding free access to the group when you join one of our programs, I really wondered – are women actually going to find this helpful?
And, boy, do they ever. It’s a safe place (with no judgment) to share what’s really going on in your relationship and to be encouraged, embraced, and given advice (if requested).
Because that’s one of the things that makes The Love Over community different: we offer specific advice and tools to help you – whether your partner decides to get sober or not. We don’t buy into the theory that we’re powerless over this disease. We don’t just need to sit back and let addiction take over our lives.
There are real, tangible things we can do that will help us take back our control and maybe help them get better.
So this week, I’m going to answer another great question from one of our women in this group (we will never share names because confidentiality is our priority – seriously):
Q: I haven’t been able to have a conversation with my AH (alcoholic husband) in years. He takes [the conversation] over, usually talking non-stop, talking over me, and then getting angry with me – all the while telling me everything I do wrong. I usually cannot get a word in edgewise so I don’t know how I can even enforce a boundary since I would not be able to say anything. He won’t stop talking long enough to listen. Any suggestions?
You don’t need to enforce a boundary with words. In fact, it’s sometimes better if you don’t use words. Use your actions. If he won’t listen and have a conversation that is respectful when both you and he are listening and sharing, then stop the conversation. Shut it down.
If he’s blaming or disrespecting you, you have permission to walk away.
By staying and engaging, you’re giving him the message that it’s okay to talk to you like that. Lock yourself in a different room if you have to. Get in your car and go somewhere. Whatever. Just stop giving him attention. He can’t keep talking if there’s no audience.
You can do this. You’re a strong and courageous woman. Changing our behaviors changes your results. If you want him to treat you differently, you have to change first. Remember, my friend, you teach people how to treat you. I’m right behind you cheering you on every step of the way. Put your healing first by joining one of our programs and see how much different your life will be.