Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Meeting with "The Leader"

I wasn't sure what to expect from the AA group since my father-in-law has been so nasty with me. And it is his group. He has been going nearly every Monday night that he is in town for 20 years.

My husband was very pissed off that he didn't get to share the queen-size bed in the motor home with me. The first night the kids fell asleep with me in it. He was pretty childish about it so I decided he should just stay in the other bed the next night too. We haven't slept together regularly in years.

One of his friends asked me if he was sleeping up there and I told him he was. He told me, Good! That's where he deserves to be!

Another friend approached me and asked how I had been doing. He said he had been very worried about me and had been praying for me. He said he'd seen too many women like me become just a shell of who they are from this experience. He asked me how long I was going to do this.

I started to tear up and told him that I felt trapped. We talked about my father-in-law and his money. He was very surprised by the things I told him. He said he didn't know that side of him but I knew what I knew and what I had experienced. It was a very good talk.

Later we met with the group leader. This was who I was most nervous about. He is my father-in-law's sponsor and has known him for over 20 years. I have always respected him because I think he's a straight-shooter and very family-oriented.

He asked me ahead of time if I had agreed to meet with him or of I was forced into it. I told him I wanted to talk with him.

So we left the kids with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend for an hour and a half. (My brother-in-law later told us it was a lot of work. Lol maybe his dad and my husband should take that statement to heart and appreciate what I do all day long!!)

When we sat down with the leader he started by saying that he was not a professional but that he had done this with many people and could probably get through a lot of stuff with us in an hour because he did not need us to come back every week and pay him $150 each time.

Then he turned to my husband and told him he'd been a selfish prick and from what he'd seen from him he just didn't get it.

He told me that he knew about the other women and that I had reason to be angry and not trust my husband. But he also said he had a strong prejudice towards families staying together and that we could overcome that. He said he knew because he and his wife had. That he'd been a cheat and a drunk and she taught him how to be a good father.

He told my husband that he'd really screwed up because he had a pattern of doing the same things over and over and not being honest about things. He did not know about my husband staying out all night long or not coming to our daughter's birthday party. I told him that I did not believe he was sober. My husband said he was. I asked him when his sobriety date was, and he said January (4th, I think?)

He mentioned he had a one-day slip. I said, I don't believe that for a second, and I would bet my life that it was more than one day. I specifically remember him having numerous problems throughout December of last year. Christmas Eve for one. The leader told him that if there was more he needed to be honest about, he was already at the bottom, and it would be better to just get it all out in the open. My husband never admitted to more.

He asked whether I was willing to be intimate with my husband after my husband complained about that not getting any sex. I was like, No way! It seemed like such a crazy question from a 67-year-old man I barely knew. I was chuckling inside my head.

He kept telling my husband that our problems were not financial. They were about his patterns of dishonesty. My husband complained about having to work so hard, and the leader was like, tough luck! He mentioned me working more and I told them both that I have been working, and raising the kids - AND RAISING KIDS IS WORK. If I work more, it will be at the expense of the kids. Everything has already been at the expense of the kids, and me. And I think my husband needs to step-up and fix what HE HAS BROKEN.

He asked me if I could give my husband amnesty. I said, there's amnesty and then there's stupidity. He needs to start showing me something different and then I can perhaps start to trust and forgive him. I asked him, At what cost this would be to me? That's how my dad got cancer, sucking it up and being nice to people who did not deserve it. I'm not willing to do that.

I asked him about his father growing up and he didn't sound that great. But the point I was trying to make is that you learn how to be a man and to have integrity as a child from your parents and since that didn't happen, I didn't see much hope. He said he learned from his wife. I told him I thought men learned from the modeling of other men. I don't really want to be my husband's mommy. I have 2 little kids to raise.

The leader told me he didn't think I'd be able to get over all this for a long time, but that the only hope he saw was if I was able to give my husband amnesty for the past and move forward. He told my husband that this was not a matter of me just sucking it up and taking him back, but that he needed to do things different.

We ended with him summarizing all of it, and then he gave us each a hug. He was a very good man and said he was tired from it. He said he really put a lot into these sessions because he really believes in marriage. Then he was off to the next couple.

Whatever happens, I will always appreciate him taking the time and sitting down with us. I am very pro-marriage, and very pro-family. I think we have gotten too far away from that. But I have also been trying for a very long time, and nothing seems to be different.

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