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Old 10-02-2010, 10:07 AM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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And I'm convinced that anyone in relationship with a recovering/recovered addict would be well advised to see to their own recovery as well. In the addictive relationship, it always take two to do the dance.
This is certainly true of many relationships where alcoholism is present, but definitely not all. Nor are all spouses of alcoholics or addicts "adrenaline junkies".
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:21 AM
  # 62 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
This is certainly true of many relationships where alcoholism is present, but definitely not all. Nor are all spouses of alcoholics or addicts "adrenaline junkies".
Logically speaking, one can hardly assume that the word "all" or "everyone" can be applied to any human condition. Everyone doesn't even have to breathe...there are machines that can do this for us. OTOH....my work for several years required treatment of mostly spouses for codependency. I'm not just speculating. While generalizations always have exceptions....they are generalizations because they are more often true than not.

And I can hardly imagine an emotionally healthy person willing to remain in a relationship with an active addict/alcoholic for any length of time. (the operative word being "healthy") Sorry, but I'll stand on my POV....it takes two to tango.

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Old 10-02-2010, 12:40 PM
  # 63 (permalink)  
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While I'm not sure I was an "adrenaline junkie", I do believe my body got used to the adrenaline "dump" of every new crisis.

So that when I finally got out, the LACK of adrenaline made what I now see as my coveted serenity seem empty, and too quiet mentally and emotionally. Some have recently referred to it as boring, I can see that.

But I was SO done and burnt out I welcomed quiet and peacefulness. But it did take some getting used to. Withdrawal? IDK, maybe.

I do know, in retrospect, all that adrenaline was KILLING me, literally. I know it can't be good for me.

Seems like all my relationships were similar in that they had that adrenaline dump, that powerful high, even in the beginning. To me THAT is what love was. Maybe I was a junkie without realizing it.

I do believe I'm "recovered" from THAT particular need now. Being married to an alcoholic was my magic cure.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:58 PM
  # 64 (permalink)  
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So that when I finally got out, the LACK of adrenaline made what I now see as my coveted serenity seem empty, and too quiet mentally and emotionally. Some have recently referred to it as boring, I can see that.

But I was SO done and burnt out I welcomed quiet and peacefulness.
Me, too, Coyote. But now, now that I have had so much peace, as soon as someone brings any amount of sickness, chaos, and/or dysfunction into my life, it's like I overreact or something. The adrenaline just jumps, my mind starts racing and doesn't stop, and I am just anxious. It's like I'm overcompensating now or something. IDK. But you are right, it is actually STRESS and stress is so not good for us.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:36 PM
  # 65 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by nodaybut2day View Post
Hi jaguar...I want to respond to your inquiry regarding No Contact. In my experience, it is often necessary to choose this because we (the other party, the codies, or whatever you want to call us), aren't able to "let go" of the addict and let them find their bottom. Instead, we worry for them, call them, take their calls, email/text, coddle them, enable them, get into fights with them, etc etc...

Our entire focus is THE ADDICT, what they say and do, and it can be totally overwhelming. I know it made me rather dysfunctional.
.
Jag-great thread - helped answer allot of my own questions...

regarding the no contact - guess I'm guilty for being a co-dependent because I CAN'T STAND being alone. Never been without a boyfriend since age 16 for more than 2 weeks and I'd be a total wreck that whole time.

I decided to leave town late tonight or early tmrw morn just to escape my current depressing reality and learn to be alone. I'm terribly scared but know it is something I NEED to do. 42 year old and such a wimp about being alone -- crying has been non stop since my fiance left.

Yeah, he was nasty at times when he did drink but we had so much fun together. Never been with anyone who actually enjoyed doing the same things as me so it was the best relationship I've ever been in. I'm praying constantly he will decide drinking isn't worth losing me. Just last night he said he would never drink around me but that does not sound like the right solution to the problem.

I did ask him to attend some AA meetings. If anything he might be able to make friends and learn how to have fun without having to drink. All of our outings pretty much consisted of being with friends who also drink. It seems like the life we had is completely over.

Anyway, sorry I ranted on your thread. Just can't stop thinking about him.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:46 PM
  # 66 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by azkatz View Post
regarding the no contact - guess I'm guilty for being a co-dependent because I CAN'T STAND being alone. Never been without a boyfriend since age 16 for more than 2 weeks and I'd be a total wreck that whole time.

I decided to leave town late tonight or early tmrw morn just to escape my current depressing reality and learn to be alone. I'm terribly scared but know it is something I NEED to do. 42 year old and such a wimp about being alone -- crying has been non stop since my fiance left.
I was the same way--since my first b/f at 16 I couldn't stand being without a significant other. No sooner did one relationship end than I was "working" on getting another.

I broke up with the last guy five and a half years ago. I took a detour into the bottle, myself, and am now in AA. After one brief attempt at dating following the last breakup, I realized I didn't even know what I liked to do for fun anymore. I was so used to living my life around someone else, I had no clue who I actually was.

I decided that until I get my own self back, I have nothing to offer anyone else. I've only recently started thinking of the possibility that someday I may want to share my life in that way with someone else again. Not that I have anyone in mind, nor that I've been looking, but I am starting to think someday, maybe, I will want that again. OTOH, maybe I won't. I enjoy living alone, and only if I meet someone who will be better to be with than my peaceful life alone do I need to change that.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:10 AM
  # 67 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by coyote21 View Post
While I'm not sure I was an "adrenaline junkie", I do believe my body got used to the adrenaline "dump" of every new crisis.

So that when I finally got out, the LACK of adrenaline made what I now see as my coveted serenity seem empty, and too quiet mentally and emotionally. Some have recently referred to it as boring, I can see that.

But I was SO done and burnt out I welcomed quiet and peacefulness. But it did take some getting used to. Withdrawal? IDK, maybe.

I do know, in retrospect, all that adrenaline was KILLING me, literally. I know it can't be good for me.

Seems like all my relationships were similar in that they had that adrenaline dump, that powerful high, even in the beginning. To me THAT is what love was. Maybe I was a junkie without realizing it.

I do believe I'm "recovered" from THAT particular need now. Being married to an alcoholic was my magic cure.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
Coyote.
It's not adrenaline per se, but the abuse...just like any other substance can lead to dependence with repeated abuse/overuse. Adrenaline is a natural human solution to a perceived threat, but since we have very few saber tooth tigers around these days, most of our perceived threats are emotional rather than physical. But the brain has difficulty differentiating between the two. Hence, we tend to respond with "fight or flight" to emotional "insult" to our egos. On a side note, adrenaline is an awesomely powerful drug which, abused over time, will kill you quicker than alcohol.

An example of not blaming the substance, but how it is used, is that there is virtually no difference between fear and excitement....other than how we experience them. Some folks like roller coasters, some don't. Some find solitude and serenity boring. I value them because I no longer require the world to entertain me, to fill me up. I have a spiritual program to do that these days. I do believe that only fear (and its positive cousin, excitement) stimulate adrenaline. Love never does.

blessings
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:07 AM
  # 68 (permalink)  
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Lots of good information, ZBear, thanks for sharing. I'm quite certain that I was not an adrenaline junkie. I craved serenity and a peaceful and quiet life. I hated the merry-go-round and my boyfriend's childish and self-centered behavior.

For all but the last two years of our 22-year relationship, we lived in separate houses, in separate cities, only seeing each other on weekends. And things went rather smoothly for all those years because he was able to hide the extent of his drinking when our interactions were limited to just weekends. The last two years of the relationship, I moved much farther away from him--way out in the country--and thought it would be easier to maintain the relationship--and cheaper for me--if he moved in with me.

Once he did, I recognized immediately that his drinking was much more than social drinking, as he couldn't hide the severity of his problem now that he was living with me 24/7. I also decided immediately that I could not live with his addiction/behavior and its affect on every aspect of my life. But I also had just moved into a new house and needed his income to pay the mortgage. So, I began to develop a plan to free myself from his alcoholism by paying down my debt so I could afford to continue to live in my house once I ended the relationship.

It took me two years to pay off my debt and as soon as that was done, I asked him to leave. The moment he was gone, I was back in my comfort zone. My comfort zone is peace, quiet, serenity, and stability--not chaos, insanity, and adrenaline rushes. I didn't miss living with an active addict one bit. And I certainly didn't seek out a replacement addict.

I hear what you're saying and agree with nearly everything you posted previously, but I don't think that every person who ends up with an active addict in their life is codependent, sick, an adrenaline junkie, and in need of fixing themselves.

That line of thinking says that I am inherently to blame for the situation that I found myself in, that I somehow created it, or was at least equal in the blame for the chaos he brought into my life. I am no longer willing to accept that line of thinking anymore. I was not the cause of my boyfriend's drinking, I was not the cause of the chaos it brought into my life, and I will not accept any blame for his actions.

For a brief period of my life, I found myself in a situation that was nightmarish. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had never dealt with an addict before and I had no idea what I was getting into. I will not accept the blame for his actions, I was not looking for an addict when I met him, someone to blame all my problems on, or someone who would provide me with an adrenaline rush. I was looking for companionship and love. I just got much more than I asked for.

Is there something wrong with me for making a wrong choice? No, I simply made a poor decision--one that I have not repeated. I don't consider myself to be codependent and in need of fixing. What I did need was guidance on how to deal with the situation until I found a way to extricate myself from the nightmare, and I found that here amongst the friends and family of other addicts.

The adrenaline junkie theory, is a good theory, but it's just a theory. It's certainly not my reality nor an explanation for why I found myself dealing with an addict.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:09 AM
  # 69 (permalink)  
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certainly the adrenaline high, and attendent crash had it's place in keeping me in a dysfunctional relationship (although less so this last one than the one before), but it is by no means the whole or even the biggest part of the reason why I stayed. Nor can I speak for anyone else, especially those who become enmeshed in their children's siblings, or parent's lives, which are different dynamics than choosing to stay with an addicted partner.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:13 AM
  # 70 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by zbear23 View Post
On a side note, adrenaline is an awesomely powerful drug which, abused over time, will kill you quicker than alcohol.
I have been around the rooms of Alanon for over 4 years now. There are people who have, for whatever reason, decided to stay under the same roof as their alcoholic mates. These folks without exception have suffered a myriad of ailments from heart attacks to cancer and every thing in between.

I have two pictures of me holding LMC in her Halloween costumes,exact same pose, taken two years apart during the worst of my "trudging through hell years". I was 52 and 54 in the pictures.

I had always looked much younger than my years and in the first one I look to be mid 40's, yea me. The second one I look AT LEAST my age. I would say those two years aged me at least 10 years. Nice.

I know with out a doubt it was killing me, I could feel it. I decided to intervene on my own behalf.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:20 AM
  # 71 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by coyote21 View Post
I have been around the rooms of Alanon for over 4 years now. There are people who have, for whatever reason, decided to stay under the same roof as their alcoholic mates. These folks without exception have suffered a myriad of ailments from heart attacks to cancer and every thing in between.

I have two pictures of me holding LMC in her Halloween costumes,exact same pose, taken two years apart during the worst of my "trudging through hell years". I was 52 and 54 in the pictures.

I had always looked much younger than my years and in the first one I look to be mid 40's, yea me. The second one I look AT LEAST my age. I would say those two years aged me at least 10 years. Nice.

I know with out a doubt it was killing me, I could feel it. I decided to intervene on my own behalf.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
That's stress, something which we all deal with and all have to learn to deal with in the healthiest way possible. Even with no alcoholic or addict around, we still run into stressful situations. That's part of life.

And coyote - every single grey hair on my head I attribute to my daughter.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:23 AM
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That line of thinking says that I am inherently to blame for the situation that I found myself in, that I somehow created it, or was at least equal in the blame for the chaos he brought into my life. I am no longer willing to accept that line of thinking anymore. I was not the cause of my boyfriend's drinking, I was not the cause of the chaos it brought into my life, and I will not accept any blame for his actions

I try to avoid blaming altogether. I simply believe that we are all responsible for our own behaviors, that we "volunteer" for our own problems and as often as not come to depend on something outside ourselves to regulate our feelings....whether that is booze, drugs, work, food or adrenaline producing relationships.

It's not just having an addict in your life that makes you codependent. Codependency is a set of thoughts, feelings and behaviors and actually doesn't even require a "relationship" with an addict. Many nurses are codependent by virtue of their occupation, not their relationships. It is all in the response to the addict....not just having one in your life.

Just like drinking alcohol doesn't make one an alcoholic, having one in your life doesn't make you codependent. which is why I stipulate that codepedency is an adrenaline addiction. Generally speaking, like any other addiction, the issue is doing the same thing over and over and expecting diffferent results. You IMO are not codependent. You actually seem to have handled yourself and the relationship quite sanely and serenely. That is NOT typical codep. behavior.

Addicts "use" without their own permission. Codeps do exactly the same thing in their adrenaline saturated relationships. No adrenaline....no codependency. Sorry, but I don't subscribe to all the Melanie Beatty touchy feely emotional complications generally associated with codependency. I think it's much simpler than that. The way codependency is defined by most people these days, one can hardly be a caring human being without being labelled. I think that's nonsense.

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Old 10-03-2010, 10:56 AM
  # 73 (permalink)  
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Ms. Beatty's books have been extremely helpful for many people here in the F&F forum and outside of this forum. They are recommended daily around here.

Yet you, an alcoholic, feel comfortable coming here and letting us know that "in your expert opinion" it's all touchy feeling "nonsense".

How nice.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:58 AM
  # 74 (permalink)  
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I don't completely agree with it, either, and I DEFINITELY qualify as an Al-Anon.

I think whatever construct aids in recovery is a good thing, though. If it speaks to your experience, then it's helpful.
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:37 PM
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Zbear, it's interesting that you have said this:

Sorry, but I don't subscribe to all the Melanie Beatty touchy feely emotional complications generally associated with codependency. I think it's much simpler than that. The way codependency is defined by most people these days, one can hardly be a caring human being without being labelled. I think that's nonsense.
I've been reading Melody Beattie's more recent book, "The New Codependency" copyright 2009. She wrote this book to clear up misconceptions about codependency that have evolved since she first wrote "Codependent No More." Pretty interesting stuff.

This is from page 8: "An acquaintance explained how much he enjoys being a husband and father. "I suppose that makes me codependent," he said, apologetically.

"No," I said. "It means you like being married."

This is from page 5: "Caring about people we love, feeling victimized when we're betrayed, giving our all to people we love, or wanting to control people because we're watching them destroy themselves and hurt us doesn't mean we're sick. These are natural reactions. Codependency is about normal behaviors taken too far. It's about crossing lines."


Zbear, you and Melody Beattie actually have very similar beliefs:

You said this:

I try to avoid blaming altogether. I simply believe that we are all responsible for our own behaviors, that we "volunteer" for our own problems and as often as not come to depend on something outside ourselves to regulate our feelings....whether that is booze, drugs, work, food or adrenaline producing relationships.

It's not just having an addict in your life that makes you codependent. Codependency is a set of thoughts, feelings and behaviors and actually doesn't even require a "relationship" with an addict.
Melody Beattie says the same things:

"When it comes to codependency, some people are confused. Recovery (from codependency) isn't about pointing fingers; it's about taking responsibility for ourselves."

"While alcoholism in the family can help create codependency, it isn't essential."

"Codependency is normal behavior, plus. There are times we do too much, care too much, feel too little, or overly engage. We forget where the other person's responsibilities begin and our responsibilities stop."


I understand your take on adrenaline addictions. Biochemistry and human behavior are directly related. It wasn't until I read "The Journey from Abandonment to Healing" that I understood the powerful way our brain reacts chemically to trauma--and all of our human emotions and experiences. I don't know if I'd go so far to say that codependency is simply an addiction to adrenaline, but I would agree that there is a relationship there.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:30 PM
  # 76 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
Ms. Beatty's books have been extremely helpful for many people here in the F&F forum and outside of this forum. They are recommended daily around here.

Yet you, an alcoholic, feel comfortable coming here and letting us know that "in your expert opinion" it's all touchy feeling "nonsense".

How nice.
Just curious....does that mean I'd need to be a schizophrenic in order to have the expertise to treat them? Hmmmm.

alcoholics are not the only folks that overcomplicate and overanalyze their illness....and that is my objection to Ms. Beatty's et al POV. Using such measures, I can easily diagnose nearly anyone as being codependent. I think that's hogwash. Dependent, yes.....codependent, no.

I hope you aren't taking this as a personal attack. I'm merely sharing my own experience, strength and hope as a professiional who has provided help to hundreds of codependents. I suppose could be mistaken. Maybe it was just magic or something. Maybe I'm codependent<G>. Yikes!

blessings
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:36 PM
  # 77 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by HealingWillCome View Post
Zbear, it's interesting that you have said this:

I've been reading Melody Beattie's more recent book, "The New Codependency" copyright 2009. She wrote this book to clear up misconceptions about codependency that have evolved since she first wrote "Codependent No More." Pretty interesting stuff.

This is from page 8: "An acquaintance explained how much he enjoys being a husband and father. "I suppose that makes me codependent," he said, apologetically.

"No," I said. "It means you like being married."

This is from page 5: "Caring about people we love, feeling victimized when we're betrayed, giving our all to people we love, or wanting to control people because we're watching them destroy themselves and hurt us doesn't mean we're sick. These are natural reactions. Codependency is about normal behaviors taken too far. It's about crossing lines."

Zbear, you and Melody Beattie actually have very similar beliefs:

You said this:

Melody Beattie says the same things:

"When it comes to codependency, some people are confused. Recovery (from codependency) isn't about pointing fingers; it's about taking responsibility for ourselves."

"While alcoholism in the family can help create codependency, it isn't essential."

"Codependency is normal behavior, plus. There are times we do too much, care too much, feel too little, or overly engage. We forget where the other person's responsibilities begin and our responsibilities stop."

I understand your take on adrenaline addictions. Biochemistry and human behavior are directly related. It wasn't until I read "The Journey from Abandonment to Healing" that I understood the powerful way our brain reacts chemically to trauma--and all of our human emotions and experiences. I don't know if I'd go so far to say that codependency is simply an addiction to adrenaline, but I would agree that there is a relationship there.
Thank you for this post. I must admit I haven't read Melody's latest, nor have I heard her make any presentations lately. I used to run into her pretty frequently, and often felt badly that our opinions seemed so divergent. So I'm really pretty pleased to understand that maybe they're not so different after all.

I guess I'd better read her new book. LOL

blessings
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:15 PM
  # 78 (permalink)  
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Lots of information, polite conversation, and interesting sharing in the recent posts. However, I believe we have hijacked the OP's (original poster's)thread.

Our Newbie Jaguar55 recently posted:

Originally Posted by Jaguar55 View Post
Surprising how fast I start to feel like "me" again when I'm not around him. In just a few days I begin to perk up, more energy, my head clears.

He insists I am staying away because I'm cheating on him. He must know better, but I guess he loves pushing my buttons. He still runs me down every day. I'll wake up and there will be a text waiting for me accusing me of being some other guy. I don't even know any other men. It's insane. It really is truly insane. He's insane. Defending myself from his attacks and insults is exhausting. His absolutely freaky nonstop paranoid obsession about cheating is bizarre. He's been on this kick now for 18, maybe 20 months. And I've spent most of that time trying to reason with him and prove my innocence.

He makes it sound like he can't stop saying these things to me, like he has no control over it. Oh, he has no control over his feelings either. You see, the way I handle his attacking me makes him hate me. If I would handle being attacked differently then he wouldn't hate me and he'd eventually stop attacking me. Huh?

He's so nuts that's it's getting easier to practice detachment and stay away from him because he is not recognizable as himself. I'm not staying away from HIM, just the psycho who has taken over his body.

I'm tired of crying and feeling desperate. I don't want to "live" my life wishing I were dead.

He says stopping this time around won't be any more difficult than the last couple times he stopped drinking. I don't believe it. I have a sneaky suspicion that he'd like to stop already and is having a great deal of trouble doing so.

I wasn't a fan of the detachment concept. But even a small amount of distance is helping me and if nothing else changes then things are going to continue in this direction.
Let's go back to what works best when replying to new members: sharing our ES&H (experience, strength and hope)
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:38 PM
  # 79 (permalink)  
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As for Jaguar. Yes there are success stories but unless your guy is willing to admit he has a problem and needs help, that is something you shouldn't even focus on right now. You can't force anyone into treatment. Or to acknowledge they have a problem. It is heartbreaking to love an addict.Trust me, I know. In some twisted way my relationship 'works'. But that is because I detach. I won't even be near him if he is in a bad state. He knows though that he has a problem and he struggles with it and is trying hard to fight it. So I never give up hope. Yet even then I have to face the reality that he may not win it. Some do, some don't. Difficult to predict your outcome.

But there is lots of great advice on this thread. My only wish is that you would step away until he handles the addiction because of the physical abuse. Not all addicts abuse others physically. Remember that.

Take care.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:01 PM
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off topic, forgive me, but babyblue.. what does that dog in your avatar have all over it? lipstick?
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