Some advice on how to support a friend leaving AH...

Old 09-26-2009, 02:12 PM
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Some advice on how to support a friend leaving AH...

I recently found out that my friend is leaving her AH. He is also addicted to drugs.

I suspected for a long time that this was the case because of what I had gone through. I begged her not to marry him before she did it. This was right before I left my xabf in September, 2007. Obviously that did not go over well, but we worked through that and are as close as two friends can be now, more like sisters.

Long story short, she told me that she found out about his addictions in May. He agreed to go to outpatient treatment, then decided not to. Back and forth. We all know the routine. Anyway, that had been going to couples therapy, then he decided not to go and she has been seeing the therapist on her own, who also happens to specialize in addiction. She decided at some point that she wanted out of the marriage. She did not talk to anyone about what was going on and told her family a couple of weeks ago, then me.

I know this sounds weird, but I'm not really sure how to be a good support to her. I think that's because when I was going through all of that with my xabf, she was like a rock for me for whatever I needed, especially in this last final break. So now that the shoe is on the other foot in some respects, I'm not sure what my place is. She is more calm than I've seen her in a long time and looks and sounds like I did when I hit my bottom and started to dig out.

I've told her that I'm here for whatever she needs, even if it's just for a place to go until her lease with him is up. I've also told her that I will help her in any other way I can otherwise, but it's hard to know what to do otherwise. I think because her resolve, in some ways, is much stronger than mine was when I left xabf.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:16 PM
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IMHO, Taking care of you and your life is what is best for her to see.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:35 PM
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I have been taking very good care of my own life, which she knows because she has been there every step of the way, but as you are likely aware, if you've left your AH or partner or stopped contact with an alcoholic or addict in your life, it's not easy. She has no family here and, although they are willing to help her also in any way they can, I think all of us have valid concerns about her getting out of the situation with him with her mental and physical health intact, which is why I'm trying to figure out the best way to support her being that my once worn shoes are on her feet because I am done with my xabf and have been for a long time.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:42 PM
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It sounds like you ARE supporting her by being a good friend! You made the material offer of a place to stay and the friendship offer of "whatever you need" and so she must feel that love and support.

My mom had a friend whose husband died when they were both in their late thirties. She made a firm date - weekly, to get together with this friend. They met at the same restaurant every Wednesday for like a year - for an early supper. After about a year it petered out into a less structured catch as catch can time together - but my mom's friend said that year of Wednesdays helped get her through the worst time of her life.

Maybe plan something fun to do together in a week or so. When I am depressed or struggling it is good for me to have something- some event or movie opening or ANYthing to look forward to....also when I was going through my divorce I liked doing something instead of just sitting around endlessly talking about all the crap I was going through-- it's nice to get out and just be happily distracted for few hours!

My guess is you are being a rock for her - you just might not realize it yet!
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:44 PM
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If she's game, maybe make a point to pull her out of hiding and isolation in the evenings - evenings because IME they're the worst time for sitting around and letting your doubts about the breakup run rampant through your mind. Seconding Bernadette - having a date with a friend to look forward to is way better than feeling like there's nothing but sad, lonely evenings in store all week.

That plus lots of patience for those days when she's particularly hard on herself.
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:46 PM
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Thanks Bernadette!

We are going for pedicures tomorrow, so that should help. We also see each other pretty often and usually end up cracking up about stuff. I think it's just odd being in this place when she is where I was not so long ago. Maybe that's codependant. Who knows at this point, but knowing how bad it can get, I think I'm slightly overzealous about it. lol! More to discuss in therapy next week : )
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Old 09-26-2009, 02:52 PM
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That's the weird thing. She's very calm at this point. She cried when we talked, but it was nothing like the sobbing on the floor I did. She has not told him she is leaving yet, but is seeing a divorce attorney later this week.

I don't think she will change her mind or second guess herself either. She seems much more sure of her decision than I was the first time I left. I hope it stays that way. If she decides to stay, I'll support her, but I hope not. I really want her to have a happy life and with an active A, I know she won't.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by NYC_Chick View Post
I don't think she will change her mind or second guess herself either. She seems much more sure of her decision than I was the first time I left.
Maybe YOU taught her that.

Thanks and God bless us all,
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