Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A chip on my shoulder

Some of my readers are going to be really upset with me for this post but this is one of the many dilemma's we committed partners face.

In the beginning months of her recovery, my wife came home from one of her meetings and proudly shared with me that she received her two-month sobriety coin (it was actually two months and 15 days but who is counting).  Wahooo, or so she thought.

The Two-Month Sobriety Chip
Don’t get me wrong, I thought is was great news and I am very proud that she was maintaining her recovery and staying committed to our marriage. Outwardly, at the time, I effused praise and positive reinforcement upon her when she shared the news with me.

Now the issue.

I have a very personal problem receiving it. It’s not like she was two months without alcohol or drugs (no, in my "normy" world sex is not a drug).  Where my mind goes to instantly is that two months ago you had sex with another man and now we are going to celebrate the anniversary. Holy sh.., Come on.....We can't be serious here?

It’s a catch 22.

I love, feel honored and grateful that she wanted to share this achievement with me, and on the other hand, it hurts. We are both trying to move forward and I want to provide positive feedback to my wife for continued recovery.   Complete honesty (finally!).

I didn’t know what to do and how to say it or not to say it at all  I didn’t think I wanted to be truthful with my feelings because on the other hand, she was sharing an achievement she was very proud of and that is a part of relational intimacy that we are striving to achieve.

I decided to talk to her a few days later and owed it to myself (and her) to be truthful with my issues. I told her in the future that it is difficult for me when she shares this type of info and I would prefer she did not anymore.

How do you think it went?....

It didn't go well at all. She was very, very hurt that I did not want to walk the path of sobriety with her and celebrate her success. For the record, I celebrate her sobriety everyday, I just don't want to commemorate dates of marital infidelity.  Who would?

Today, I know the anniversary. I refused to celebrate it. The only chips I see are on the poker tables and the ones in the foil bags.  I recommended why don't we celebrate the day she went inpatient (Ironically my parents' 51st wedding anniversary) but she won't go there at all anymore. Sobriety Chips are persona non grata. So be it. I'm OK with passing on this celebrating this day.

Some parts of recovery are supposed to be personal and in our house, the chips are one of them.