Several posters have advised me in my Phase 4
"State Your Expectations" that I needed to move to a Phase 4.1, wherein these expectations:
- Healthy sex life
- Productive wife.
- Self-care (stay in good shape, dentist, doctors, etc.)
- No negative talk
Are really all sub-ordinate to this one:
- Quit drinking.
Those of us that remember the book know that Phase 4 is supposed to be quick compared to other phases, and I've been there about two months.
So I rebooted Phase 4 yesterday, and it started with "Quit Drinking".
To my surprise... no defensiveness and no denial. Some pleading. Some, "I wish..." and me foreshadowing Phases 5 and 6, as in
"I am making changes in my life. I am going to become a much better man. You are going to have this choice. 'Do you want to keep up with me? Or do you want to lose me just as I'm becoming the best man I can be?' "
She wants to try and keep up. So I say:
"You do not drink anymore. You are no longer a drinker."
And she agrees.
Now, we didn't say, "Go to AA." or anything positive that she could actually do. We kept this in the realm of the "what not to do", which ain't the strongest way to put things. I have serious doubts about whether she can make this work. The only times she was completely sober was during pregnancies -- but those interludes do provide some hope.
Coincidentally, another sister has quit drinking (for a week), lost two pounds, and Mrs. Beta is thinking, "Maybe it's time for me to do this, too."
In the meantime, I'm practicing my this statement-of-fact-as-if-it's-already-true wife hypnosis technique, and we'll see where it gets us.