Hi Kim, Firstly, thank you for writing. Secondly, there’s no help here. Communication coaching is simply conversations that produce more desirable results. Neither of us will be exactly the same after these coms.
You ask, “Is it over?” Of course not, else we wouldn’t be having this com. It's obvious that you're unaware that you chose him to mirror you for you, so that you could become aware that you were out-integrity before you met him. You had no business marrying anyone until you had acknowledged and resolved earlier integrity*
Re: “What I lack is the freedom to choose.” True. However, you're forgetting that once you made those agreements you automatically gave up choice about those items. Wedding vows and marital agreements are liken to entering a 2 foot diameter tube the walls of which are made of rock-solid agreements. Before you make, say, a no drinking agreement, you have the illusion of freedom. The minute you make the agreement you've entered the tube. There's no way out except through the other end, at which time you will experience true freedom and choice. Once you drink it's the same as trying to stand up in the 2' diameter tube, you'll hit your head and it will hurt. If you back up and out, and quit, such as with a divorce, you'll eventually have to enter the tube again so as to experience being enlightened, a person who can be trusted to honor agreements. In other words, enlightenment, the light, is at the other end of the tunnel. That's the benefits of making and honoring agreements. You know before you make such an agreement that you'll probably want to drink but that you won't because you're a person of integrity. The problem is, you haven't made a commitment to honoring your word. Any “choice” you’d make now would be generated from the decision from which you live; it appears you live from the decision to argue and have relationships not work.
The challenge is to choose to experience what you’re experiencing and, not make a decision using the mind that created the problem; simply keep telling the truth until the problem disappears.
Re: “. . . so I can not decide if it's a failure to communicate,” Most who read this will think, “Whaaaat?” Given that one cannot not communicate it’s clear that you were unconscious when you wrote that sentence. You'll get value from reading about communication breakdowns
Re: “. . . or if it's that my husband is so fear-driven that he's irrational.” Here’s where you reveal your misunderstanding about responsibility. Are you willing to acknowledge that somehow you (albeit unconsciously) are intending him to behave this way—that he is mirroring you for you? He’s revealing your addiction to abuse, to abusing and to being abused and, to setting it up to be controlled. If you were in choice you would not choose to hang out in such an adversarial relationship.
So we ask, toward what end does this result you've created serve you? What are you learning about you and do you need to play the game longer or are you ready to choose to have an abuse-free fear-free day? My intuition tells me it hasn’t gotten bad enough for you to get that it’s all your creation and that you need coaching/counseling
(read a definition of responsibility
Once you have read the definition of responsibility the following will make sense: Notice that you cleverly (albeit unconsciously) chose a therapist whom you could con, one who would not address your addiction to controlling, your cause for the friction; one who would not require you to recall and complete earlier similar interactions with your controlling parents. One difference between a Communication-Skills Coach and most therapists is that a coach will not continue working with someone who continues to choose to relate with an abusive person, to do so is to enable the abuse. Sending a patient home to an abuser, for another 24-hours of abuse, is irresponsible. A coach first consults with one partner who is willing to communicate responsibly from cause. Then the other partner, then as a couple. If you put your foot down and insisted that he acknowledge each and every abuse (each condescending make-wrong) then he'd no longer be attracted to you because you couldn't be controlled.
Most consider your sabotaging behavior reprehensible; it’s tantamount to smoking crack in front of someone just out of rehab (read, Parole—the First 24 Hours
). Your behavior verges on evil. And no, you didn’t do it for the reasons you believe—there’s something else that’s motivating you; I suspect it’s something for which you have a need to get caught. Which parent is he most like or not like? Who else in your life would say that you thwarted them?
I trust you’re aware that you set him up to impose Sharia-like law on you? You conned him into marrying you; you deceived him, you led him to believe that you were committed to honoring your word. And, that you then abusively made him wrong for following through on the agreed upon consequences. This was your way of controlling him. No actualized powerful woman would go out on a date with him. He hasn't driven enough women out of his life for him to discover how he destroys relationships.
Let's review what you're calling agreements; they are in fact demands.
1. tell me when you've had a drink even if it was 12 hours ago
For this to be an agreement it would read. We agree to communicate openly, honestly, and spontaneously, no withholds.
2. when you tell me, I will stop talking to you and you will not sleep in the same bed as me
This should have been the red flag. Punishing someone for telling the truth reveals ignorance, his misunderstanding of the word responsibility. It doesn't make sense to punish someone for manipulating them (even unconsciously) into doing an undesirable behavior. He's completely unaware that he set you up to fail. You should have insisted on another agreement, "If you shut down communication between us, if you refuse to communicate an upset through to mutual satisfaction you must leave the house. If we cannot resolve an upset we will engage the services of a communication-skills coach."
3. you can not have alcohol in the house even if you hide it well
This should read: We agree to not have alcohol in the house; the consequence will be immediate annulment, with absolutely no second chance. The one who breaks the agreement forfeits the right to sue for possessions or custody. Such an agreement can be mutually amended.
4. don't call it by name - just say "beverage"
This reveals his addiction to controlling and yours to being controlled. Only an ignorant needy person would make such an agreement. Ignorant
meaning, one not clear about creating and supporting agreements that work.
5. you can not drink more than once every 2 weeks
This is another indication of him wanting to control your behavior and of your need to be controlled. It further reveals that he is not experiencing love in his relationship with you; wanting to change another is not love.*
What we're looking at is incompletes in your relationships with your parents. To recall and complete these do The Clearing Process
With aloha, Gabby
PS: There’s no way he can heal until you commit to not interacting with abusive people. He has no choice but to react to your leadership-communication skills. No matter the age difference you will always be the leader in your relationships.
PPS: For a partner to be awarded the position of leader, the quarter-back who (after all considerations have been communicated) makes all the calls, the one who is served, he/she, this leader, must themselves operate from impeccable integrity and with the firm agreement to not make the source of their power (the one who feeds the leader power) wrong (except that the leader acknowledges the perpetration immediately to their partner's satisfaction), else, and here's the biggie, they must exchange roles until the ex leader has demonstrated an ability to serve. Read Who get's what?
PPPS: In my opinion women make the best leaders/managers.