Ben started a new job and is out of town for orientation and training for three weeks. He was issued a new computer through his company, and he has a lot of internet access on his phone right now [for work purposes].
Anyway, we've got triggers galore right here.
First of all, there is him being gone for three weeks. He doesn't have a great track record when it comes to sobriety and traveling.
Then there is all the internet access...
Meanwhile, I'm left to care for a one-month old without my husband. It's been difficult, but it's getting easier. [And I went to stay with my family so I have help.]
I didn't know how to set a boundary with this trip. Well, other than the usual let-me-know-within-24-hours boundary. But a couple days into his trip, I realized what I needed. It's very hard to communicate because of time zones, conflicting schedules, and a baby who seems to know when to cry to disturb phone calls. So, I asked him to email me a check-in every night. He knows what to write and what things I expect him to discuss in his check in. This has been really helpful because I can see his process throughout the day, and it allows transparency at a time that has been very difficult to have good communication anyway [and I'll assume that is normal when you are in the newborn survival-mode stage].
Things have been really good with us. I feel overall peaceful and happy.
I'm grateful for a husband who respects my boundaries and is trying to be in recovery. He has been making great progress. In fact, I've seen him making progress towards recovery in a situation where he would normally fall back into the addictive behaviors. That is HUGE. He wrote this blog post today, and as I read it, my heart was full. I love seeing his processing, and I love seeing him take steps towards recovery that are HIS steps, not things I have asked him to do. I love being surprised by discovering he is doing something new for his recovery. In that past, I've had to kick him into recovery. Now, his recovery is very much his own.
Even if he weren't respectful of my boundaries, I'm grateful for the things I have learned on this journey. I am strong enough to set boundaries and hold to them. That is huge too. By asking him to email me a check-in every night, it has eased a lot of my anxiety and triggers because I know he isn't hiding anything. That's what boundaries are for. To bring us peace and keep us safe.
Here's too hoping for the best on the rest of his trip!