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Does he feel regret?

Old 08-08-2009, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BS08 View Post
Do alcoholics feel it when they really hurt someone they love, who truly loves them, when they lie, hide, cheat or deceive us?
Somewhere deep inside their tortured psyche,....maybe.

My (soon to be) ABF tells me that I shouldn't feel the pain I'm feeling, that I should roll with the punches, that it's no big deal. He's been on a 2 week non stop binge that has created havoc in so many ways - ways that he cannot or will not see.

While I am practicing detachment from his drinking, there comes a point when all of the detaching in the world gets thrown out the window - in my case, seeing my dog chewing his tail and paws raw through all of this conflict, wagging his tail when ABF rolls in and slinking into the corner when ABF brushes him off.

It's one thing to do that to a person who can speak up, but to a helpless animal was my breaking point.

When he was semi-sober, I brought this up and he told me he loved the dog like he was his own-I told him that love and responsibility go hand in hand. Every single time when I get close to hitting home with him, he gets up and leaves because he can't or won't face the truth about what his drinking has done to me. Where does he go? A bar, where else? TO me, it's easier to drown your pain in whatever your drug of choice is than to face the truth.

Originally Posted by BS08 View Post
I've never been involved with someone before who had addiction problems (he also is a chronic pot smoker-- several times a day) and I have to say, it's awful painful to watch someone you love on such a destruction track.
It is awful and painful watching someone you love self destruct. The painful truth I am coming to grips with is that there isn't a darned thing you can do about it. As much as you feel anger, you want to shake some sense into them, it's their choice and you have to give them that choice, allow them the respect as a human being to live their life as they see fit.

According to my ABF,, there's no help available - I was supposed to give him options - I told him it was up to him. He's been though 2 rehabs and no aftercare-he can do it on his own. Does not like AA and laughs at my decision to go to Al-Anon.

Originally Posted by BS08 View Post
The emotional rollercoaster has been hard. I know I am better off without him, but the love we shared still hangs on me and the deception that he did is like a weight on my heart all the time.
This is where I am at right now. At the beginning of the week, during a drunken tirade. he asked for his rings back and he got them back from me. The next day, he apologised to me for what was said and expected me to continue on as if nothing crazy had happened. I've had a hard time dealing with that but between SR, a good friend who is going through a lot of the same turmoil with an AH and Al-Anon, I'm getting through it.

Originally Posted by BS08 View Post
Just trying to make some sense out of it so that I can stop punishing myself and move on....
Remember the three C's:

You didn't cause his drinking.
You can't control his drinking
You can't cure his drinking.


Originally Posted by BS08 View Post
And it also makes me realize that I am a co-dependent and need to work on my own issues...

Thanks for any thoughts...
I've lost track of the number of times I've read and reread "Co-Dependent No More". It helps, it comforts, it gives me strength.

Last edited by Linkmeister; 08-08-2009 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:46 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by queenie88 View Post
wow...this really spoke to me! there are so many people who post here that have such wise, incredible things to say. i find myself copying/pasting a lot of posts into a word document i've entitled "enlightening." it's a really great reference. i'm currently in the process of getting over a relationship - my XABF kicked me out of his house after i expressed my opinions on his drinking/drugging lifestyle, strung me along and then dumped me two days before he would be incommunicado in another country for work.

NO REGRET. i just can't believe how insensitive, unempathetic and self-centered he can be. our relationship was great when it was all fun and games...traveling, i was his "wings," he promised never to leave me, i was the most important person in his life.

fast-forward to when i moved in and the second night i was there he got drunk and passed out at his friend's house, despite my asking him not to get so drunk that we'd have to spend the night there, despite him saying "this sh*t isn't going to happen when you're up here." the co-dependent crazies got the best of me and i broke down crying, telling him i needed him to be there for me because i was going through a lot. his response? "i can't take all this emotional bullsh*t!" should have known then. but i ignored all the red flags, the warning signs. and here i am, kicked out and dumped by the alcoholic/weed addict.

BS08...you are not alone!
Thanks queenie. For some reason, your post really helps me. I'm just hitting a real low tonight but it's nice to know I'm not the only one. I've reread the last email my exABF sent me where he seemed to honestly somewhat admit the problem:


" Obviously the weed and drink is a problem and always will be.
First time I've been called a sex addict, but probly pretty close to
the truth. I need to get the alcohol back in check, so i can continue
to be a professional ski patroller! It's always been easier to quit
drinking than quit the weed.

I'm going to get some free mental health counseling through *****
*****, and I'm looking forward to trying that. One of the topics for
my end of season review is the emotional rollercoaster I ride. I
thought I was doing better, but it seems to be an issue at work, and
something I need to work on, but will talk to counselers about it."

It reminds me that I'm the one that had to deal with the real problems he has, not his friends. They not intimate with him and trying to build a life with him based on trust and respect, so it's different for them.

I have to really remind myself really hard it's not me, it's not me, it's not me.....and the problems really are there....
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:04 AM
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It's not you, BS...

I was a mess yesterday night too so no worries, I am next to you there!!

On the topic of regret, I have been imagining what would happen if ex came TRULY SORRY and acknowledging the hurt.. what difference would it make? the hellish months would still be there and the harm has already been done.

It does not matter if he feels regret or not...

And we are better off without them. Honest.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:17 AM
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Regrets....

I was having a discussion on this topic with my friend who is in AA just last night.

She had an intersting perspective.... In her humble opinion (her comments as best I can remember them)

"Feeling regrets and remorse for your actions is THE KEY indicator that someone is truly working the program and trying to heal themselves. The things addicts do to those around them, especially their families, are beyond comprehension. When I truly 'got it,' I literally went in front of my parents and got on my knees and begged them to give me another chance. As part of my ammends to them, I committed to showing through my ACTIONS, not my words, that I was a different person. When they said jump, I asked how high and then tried to jump 10 feet higher. I told them there was nothing I would not do to earn back their respect and trust. I meant it, and I showed it every day. I cleaned the house. I took out the trash. I cooked dinner. I washed the car. I did the laundry. I made breakfast. I openly admitted my mistakes. I apologized when I was wrong.

"It took almost a year before they even began to trust me again. I wished, hoped and prayed that the trust would come back sooner, but I realized that I had years of damage that I was trying to undo. I also realized that they would never fully trust me again. I had to be ok with that.

"It is impossilbe to do a true fearless and searching moral inventory of yourself, if you are an addict) and not come away from it feeling like the biggest piece of **** that ever walked the face of the earth. How could you look in the mirror and see how you lied, cheated, stole, manipulated, and so on, and feel no regret? If you feel no regret, then you would be willing to go do it again.

"It is also why the 5th step (admiting to another human being) and the 9th step (making amends) are so hard. You don't just have to look at yourself in the mirror. First you have to admit to someone all of the horrible things you have done and then you have to and admit them to the person you directly harmed.

"The biggest and most challenging part of making amends is the commitment to never do that again. If you don't feel regret, why would you say you are never going to do it again."

What she said to me rang very true. Until a person is truly in recovery, the question of feeling remorse or regret isn't really part of the equation.

HTH
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:23 AM
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And many never find recovery, they only use recovery as a weapon. Sadly.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
And many never find recovery, they only use recovery as a weapon. Sadly.
Either they use recovery or the promise of recovery as a weapon. Even sadder.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:29 AM
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Great thread!!

What I like of SR is that there are all these diff. paths and with every story I realize there is just no power against alcoholism.. people try everything--- and in the end its still the same story (for the majority)

Even if they stop drinking for a while..3rd rehab... lose family and KIDS, for God's sakes... (losing unique time while children are still babies, how can someone miss that..) relapses and dry drunks and more emptiness or progression... there is just no way to "fight it"--

I agree regrets come from a place of deep soul searching and if you are out there passed out its a little difficult to stop and listen and look back at your actions. That is why they say, in later stages of alcoholism they start looking at the past with regret.. I can imagine you see your friends married, your ex drinking buddies have diff interests... and they can no longer hide it as social drinking... and see they have invested in nothing and thrown the people that would have stayed with them, really cared, out of their lifes in exchange for buddies that do not give a damn about them...

It should be hard to look at the long list of losses and to start seeing the pattern... and how more than one person is afraid of you and want to stay as far away as you as possible... and you can quack and lie about why is that... but deep down you know exactly why..

I wish you all the best in your recovery
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:59 PM
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Hey BSO8 did you ever hear back from your ex? When I first read your post a few weeks ago I felt it was something I could have written myself. My xabf broke up with me about the same time your relationship ended. This site has been of tremendous help.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sclarke64448 View Post
Hey BSO8 did you ever hear back from your ex? When I first read your post a few weeks ago I felt it was something I could have written myself. My xabf broke up with me about the same time your relationship ended. This site has been of tremendous help.
No, I don't exist anymore. He doesn't care how I am. He's with the woman he cheated on me with and seems to just be happy as a clam, at least on the surface. He's happy parading her around and returning to his partying life. I am constantly reminded, by what I hear and see and by friends, that I dodged a bullet. I have to constantly remind myself of that. He wasn't good for me, and anyone who thinks that I'm that disposable isn't really worth being in my life. I miss the man I thought I knew, the friend I thought I had, but I don't know who this addict person is. I don't expect to ever hear from his again. Problem is I know I will bump into him sometime when ski season hits. It's inevitable and I don't know quite how to deal with it. I never want to see him again.

And ya, this site has been invaluable. I don't know what I would of done without it and it's on my gratitude list every day.

Thanks for asking! I hope you're healing well from your breakup. It's never easy....
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BS08 View Post
No, I don't exist anymore. He doesn't care how I am. He's with the woman he cheated on me with and seems to just be happy as a clam, at least on the surface. He's happy parading her around and returning to his partying life. I am constantly reminded, by what I hear and see and by friends, that I dodged a bullet. I have to constantly remind myself of that. He wasn't good for me, and anyone who thinks that I'm that disposable isn't really worth being in my life. I miss the man I thought I knew, the friend I thought I had, but I don't know who this addict person is. I don't expect to ever hear from his again. Problem is I know I will bump into him sometime when ski season hits. It's inevitable and I don't know quite how to deal with it. I never want to see him again.

And ya, this site has been invaluable. I don't know what I would of done without it and it's on my gratitude list every day.

Thanks for asking! I hope you're healing well from your breakup. It's never easy....
BS08...i'm so sorry to hear that your xabf has treated you so poorly. i know our situations are strikingly similar so i can definitely relate. perhaps it is better that you don't hear anything from him. i heard from mine - he called after he kicked me out of his house, strung me along then dumped me 2 days before he was going to be in mexico. he's back apparently, and it's been about three months since we've talked. i asked him why he was trying to get in touch with me and he says it's because he "cares" about me. it's just all so ridiculous. i don't think you would do things like that to someone you care about, do you?

He wasn't good for me, and anyone who thinks that I'm that disposable isn't really worth being in my life.
YES!!! that's just how i feel - disposable. he's thrown me away like some piece of trash, and then he expects to be able to march back into my life? when we talked he sounded surprised that i seemed angry. i was trying to keep it together but i guess i didn't have the happiest of tones. as if i'm going to be happy and excited to hear from him after what he did????

ugh.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:51 PM
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Hey BS08 and Queenie we are all in very similar situations -and as I said on a post the other day, just to see my ex's number flash up on my phone would be enough for me. I haven't heard from mine since mid-June - the 19th to be exact - apart from one threatening message. I do have weak days where I'm pining but all I do now is thank some HP I did have three years which I genuinely enjoyed with him and where he did largely make me happy but no longer have to deal with the alcoholism. The thing that bugs me is if he is with his new woman and suddenly sorts himself out - that he used to drink every single day without fail while with me, but that he'll see the light with this woman. If it's some small consolation both your post and Queenie's helped me immensely - although I'd never wish this pain on anyone it's good when we know someone else out there knows exactly what we're going through. I went to an AA meeting on Friday and was talking to an RA afterwards and he said he always looked for girls with their own house and car. Maybe that's why this woman had the advantage over me - he couldn't stand being on his own but largely because of his addiction I got into debt and had to move in with my parents, who didn't like him. So in essence I invested so much financially at the start, and lost him as a result. I like to stay positive and think things happen for a reason. Although I still love him I do know things worked out for the best between us. I do think though mine will be back in touch when he is homeless - again!
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:07 PM
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yes, here

I can only speak from my experience: yes, my former husband feels regret, lots of it. He apologized to me (five minutes after the divorce papers were signed, but hey, better late than never) and I accepted his apologies.

But it seemed to me that my husband's alcoholism related behaviors were sort of peripherally about drinking, and all about avoiding shame. I could have dealt with it if he just drank, he was never violent, abusive, or a drunk driver. But he had, and has, a terrifically difficult time being honest-- and said, verbatim, "Maggie, I have a hard time telling you the truth." And I couldn't live with that.

Fast forward to the present: nothing has changed. Intellectually I understand that today it would be too painful for me to have an honest conversation with me, because that would involve facing some bad behavior on his part-- it's easier to ignore me. Which he does. His current girlfriend/caretaker has apologized to me regarding his inability to communicate with me since I acquired a boyfriend. And he has admitted to me that his problems accepting my involvement with someone else-- although he refused to reconcile back when. (That would have involved admitting to a whole lot of folks that he was not quite as single as he had portrayed himself as being. He couldn't hide it from his new girlfriend anymore, but tell the truth to their friends? Not a chance. It was less humiliating to get a divorce and keep it quiet.)

So, as far as I can tell, the part of his self that is supposed to recognize bad behavior or decisions and stop him from proceeding, doesn't work. And he's sorry, and he recognizes the damage it causes, but he can't fix it, either.

I don't really wish him ill. Even if I did, I wouldn't need to; he arranges to screw up his life without any outside assistance (anyone care to guess how well his new relationship, the one he sacrificed his marriage for, is going?). I still love him very much. But I am relieved not to be affected by his wildly self destructive actions anymore either. I listen to my daughter talk about the ongoing conflict in his and his girlfriend's house and I feel nothing but gratitude that it's NOT ME there... and that my SO is compulsively honest... and won't drink more than a glass of wine.

We all deserve better than that. It's ok to love someone and still remove yourself, whether physically or emotionally or however.

--BG
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:31 PM
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Confused and wanting clarity

Whilst I understand that moving forward is a blessing in disguise and that I am out of a potentially bad situation earlier on. I find myself wanting answers.

I was only with this guy for 3 months but we were friends prior and I only knew him during his active recovery. He relapsed 5 days ago, and I was not planning to stick around if we wasn't able to stop drinking again. Nonetheless, the first time I saw him drunk, he was overly emotional to me, speaking on the lines of love and how he would never hurt me etc. I didn't want to enable his drinking over the weekend, but was there to support him, as it seemed as though I was the only one there for him and he wasn't drinking in my presence. Everything has been going great with us and was feeling increasingly closer to him. And then suddenly I receive a drunken phone call today, stating that he would never like me the way I liked him.

My ego feels crushed that in this time and place where I feel like I am going places with my life, and he is without a job and passed out on the streets drunk, that it was him who ended it with me. I find myself wanting answers, did he never actually care? Or is his disease taking over and the sober him really did care, but was afraid to do so?
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:32 PM
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Hi, teacup,

Welcome! This is a very old thread (from 2009), so you might get more helpful responses if you start a new thread and introduce yourself.

I'm sorry for your pain. It's very hard to see someone we care about ruining their lives. I'm sure he DID care, as much as he could. Alcoholics are very messed-up in their thinking, and as long as they continue to drink, they aren't reliable partners (or friends).
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:03 PM
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Alcoholics drink to avoid negative feelings, so I doubt he thought about it much. Perhaps if he gets sober he'll feel something.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:57 PM
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teacup - you gotta ask yourself why you "care" so much you were only involved with for three short little months. with someone who in your own words is an unemployed, passed out in the street drunk.

THAT is the real question.
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