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Old 10-09-2010, 09:23 AM
  # 81 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
Thanks firestorm. But when I read your "foul" post from last night, I didn't pick up on that. It made a lot of sense to me, I actually liked reading your perspective. It's good to be self-aware though.
And I read it and was reminded of the rantings of my STBXAH, about how it's all my fault.

I appreciate the apology Firestorm.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:43 AM
  # 82 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MissFixit View Post
I did not know that his word was basically no good.
This is exactly what I learned in my relationship with a RA.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:12 AM
  # 83 (permalink)  
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I agree with Coyote about learning frompast relationships and not making those same mistakes. For me, so far so good. Three times this past year (I haven't totally filled you guys in) I have cut off BS and disrespectful behavior from others. No fight. I state my needs and my truth and I am out. Each time they try to call, email, drop by to maintain contact and I do not respond.

Someone told me that it is avoidance behavior. For me it is eliminating crap from my life. No need or reason to continue engaging unhealthy people.

FYI, they get mad at you.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:26 AM
  # 84 (permalink)  
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I know I've had a lot of unrealistic/unreasonable expectations from most of the relationships in my life--the "good" ones and the bad. I've created a lot of my own unhappiness that way. I related a LOT to L2L's post about that.

That's a large part of the reason I am on hiatus from any intimate relationships right now. If I can't figure out how to get what I want and need from my life, on my own, I don't want to be looking for someone else to magically give it to me. I want to be able to bring something of my own to the table in my relationship with another person. Maybe someday I will be able to enjoy sharing my life with someone else, but I'm not in a place where it would be good for either one of us right now.

It's been five years since my last relationship. This is, by far, the longest time in my life I've ever been without one. From the age of sixteen, I've never gone more than a few months without one. So I never really grew up or learned who I really am.

Workin' on it, though.
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:59 PM
  # 85 (permalink)  
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Not to beat a dead horse, but I think that in a healthy relationship I can rely or depend on the other person. No one is an island. I am independant, but I would prefer to be a part of a team. I like cooking for someone and having that someone worry about the tread on my tires. I do not think this is co-dependant. I think it is a good relationship.

Like all things, I think that independance can be carried too far as well. I have been and seen others become defensive about every show of dependance. In extreme anything is bad. To ME, a balance of dependance and independance works. I can still be soft and tough.

HUGS to all
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:09 PM
  # 86 (permalink)  
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I believe resentment just goes hand-in-hand with trying to having a relationship with an alcoholic, whether an active or a dry drunk. I have been married for 40 years to an alcoholic who is now a dry drunk. For the majority of those years he actively drank over more than half a gallon of rum each and every night. When he finally quit he went cold turkey without working all the steps in AA. He still possesses all the traits he had while he was an active alcoholic.

Than I suffered a massive stroke in DEC 2009, and almost died. From DEC 23rd until JAN 8th I was comatose. When I came back into reality I woke up with so much rage inside of me. Rage and resentment for a lifetime spent with an alcoholic! I didn't receive any care or compassion from him. He didn't give me anything I could hang onto for survival. Forget about our marriage vows "in sickness and in health". He just refused to be there when I really needed him!

I have taken an inventory of my life and how I managed to get into this situation. I've had to go into therapy to try to lessen some of my anger. I now am able to see where I became my husband's crutch and enabler and never really made him to account for his responsibilites and life. I'm supposed to be recuperating, and, God knows, I don't need the stress that just goes living with a dry drunk.

The best advice I can give someone is run as fast as you can away from an alcoholic who doesn't want to work on his recovery!
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:03 PM
  # 87 (permalink)  
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Relationships with or without the drinking are never easy. I am not denying the challenges of loving someone who drinks but there is a HUGE difference in loving someone who is actively drinking and not willing to do anything about it than someone who is struggling, stumbling and aware they have a big problem to work on.

I am not trying to defend anyone who drinks and causes havoc in others lives. But for every dysfuntional relationship with an alcoholic, there is one with someone who isn't. My dad was very angry and abusive. Barely touched a drop. My ex husband was cold and uncaring (but a great dad), not a drinker either. Dysfunction comes in many forms.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:22 AM
  # 88 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by firestorm090 View Post
It means that many of them expected what I was unable to deliver and they nonetheless pursued that which they wanted of which I was unable to deliver.
Here's the real question, was it wrong for them to expect that I deliver that which I was unable to deliver? No. This happens everyday, whether booze is involved or not. The real problem comes from laying all our hopes, dreams, insecurities, inadequacies, and lack of direction in life in one individual, for no one man or woman can fill the void we have inside, whether he/she is a drunk or not. It's just easier to blame it all on the drunk than to face our role in all the dysfunction and accept responsibility for our part.
This is sooo true! I did pursue the things he couldn't give me, so much so I made myself ill. But here's the thing...I didn't just happen to choose a guy, think "Yeah, he'll do" and then try to extract all the things I needed from him. Unfortunately, if that was the way it happened, with him protesting "No, I seriously don't have these attributes you want...I have nothing to give" then I sure woulda thought twice about everything.

I was promised the world. Everything I liked in a man was dangled on a string in front of me. Then once I was head over heels it was all taken away and then it took about 5 years of blaming myself for not being good enough before I realised those things he dangled to get me hooked were never real in the first place. He just wanted someone else to look after him after leaving his mothers home at the age of 31.
Vomit, drunken rages, drooling, incoherent ramblings, paranoia, violence, selfishness...well they're not gonna capture an enablers heart are they?

I think that's where my resentment comes in. Being given the perfect relationship for a short period of time, only for it to be taken away and replaced with absolute hell.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:47 AM
  # 89 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tally View Post
I think that's where my resentment comes in. Being given the perfect relationship for a short period of time, only for it to be taken away and replaced with absolute hell.
I do believe the resentment comes from this same place for most of us, and it is, I guess, natural that once the hard reality knock us we feel hurt, betrayed, cheated, resentful and angry. But I guess the most important question for us on this side of the fence is what do we do with it. Do we let it run our lives or we make that final decision to let go of it and move ourselves to the better place?
I think it was Freedom who said it once: feeling resentmet is like drinking the poison yourself and waiting for your enemy to die. I agree with that.
Once I made the decision to remove resentment from my life and all other negative things that were only hurting me, I had to find a way to do it. It was a process, during which I've learned a lot.
I've realized my RAH didn't hurt me deliberately but because he couldn't do better for whatever reason. He couldn't be who I wanted him to be. I could either take reality for what it is or I could keep trying to bend it my way.
IMHO it is about our exectations and forgivens too. Mainy forgivnes to ourselves. Accepting the fact that we too did the best we knew and could under the circumstances. IMO nothing in life is black or white, life consits of all shade in between. It is not about fair or unfair, but about making most of our reality, about trusting things happen for some reason even though we can not understand that reason all the time. I believe my HP has been constantly giving me signs, I just needed to get to the point to start being able to read them. For that to happen I had to open up and surrender, let go of my expectations and let life itself present itself to me in all its beauty, in both good times but the bad ones too, that were always there to teach me something.
During this process, that I privately call my quest for myself, the resentment and anger just slipped off me like oversized dress, costume meant for someone that is not me, and for the first time in my life I felt free and trully happy.
The past is past, I don't run away from it, it has caused me a great deal of pain, but it has also thought me some trully valuable lessons. What matters is this moment in time, and what do I make of it. I'm not saying that any of this is easy, but practise makes it perfect.
JMHO
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:01 AM
  # 90 (permalink)  
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He couldn't be who I wanted him to be.
I think many of them can't be who THEY want to be also.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:39 AM
  # 91 (permalink)  
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This is an awesome thread. Thanks everybody for sharing. It is truly helping me today to deal with this stressful situation with AF, Mom and AB.

I would just like to add to this discussion the following from Joy2MeU (Robert Burney). Not sure if it is OK to post a link to his website so just google him if you want to read more. His website has helped me a lot.

"Healthy Romantic Relationships - Interdependent, not codependent
"One of the false beliefs that it is important to let go of, is the belief that we need another person in our lives to make us whole. As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims."
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney

One of the first steps to opening up to the possibility of have a healthy relationship is to start changing the dysfunctional attitudes and beliefs we learned in childhood. Our attitudes, beliefs, and definitions set up our expectations and perspectives which in turn dictate our emotional relationships. In order to change our relationship patterns we need to change the attitudes and beliefs so that we will stop expecting the magic of fairy tales in our romantic relationships.

You are not going to live happily-ever-after once you find your prince or princess. There is no happily-ever-after on this plane of existence. You may find your prince or princess but they will have issues to deal with. Relationships are something that needs to be worked on - not some magic wand that makes everybody happy.

A healthy romantic relationship is based on interdependence. Codependence and interdependence are two very different dynamics.

Codependence is about giving away power over our self-esteem. Taking our self-definition and self-worth from outside or external sources is dysfunctional because it causes us to give power over how we feel about ourselves to people and forces which we cannot control.

If my self-esteem is based on people, places, and things; money, property, and prestige; looks, talent, intelligence; then I am set up to be a victim. People will not always do what I want them too; property can be destroyed by an earthquake or flood or fire; money can disappear in a stock market crash or bad investment; looks change as I get older. Everything changes. All outside or external conditions are temporary.

That is why it is so important to get in touch with our Spiritual connection. To start realizing that we have worth because we are children of God. That we are all part of the Eternal ONENESS that is the God Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit. We are Spiritual beings having a human experience - our worth as beings is not dependent upon any outer or external condition. We are Unconditionally Loved and we always have been.

The more we can start owning the Truth of who we really are and integrating it into our relationship with ourselves, the more we can enjoy this human experience that we are having. Then we can start learning how to be interdependent - how to give power away in conscious, healthy ways - because our self-worth is no longer dependent on outside sources.

Interdependence is about making allies, forming partnerships. It is about forming connections with other beings. Interdependence means that we give someone else some power over our welfare and our feelings.

Anytime we care about somebody or something we give away some power over our feelings. It is impossible to Love without giving away some power. When we choose to Love someone (or thing - a pet, a car, anything) we are giving them the power to make us happy - we cannot do that without also giving them the power to hurt us or cause us to feel angry or scared.

In order to live we need to be interdependent. We cannot participate in life without giving away some power over our feelings and our welfare. I am not talking here just about people. If we put money in a bank we are giving some power over our feelings and welfare to that bank. If we have a car we have a dependence on it and will have feelings if it something happens to it. If we live in society we have to be interdependent to some extent and give some power away. The key is to be conscious in our choices and own responsibility for the consequences.

The way to healthy interdependence is to be able to see things clearly - to see people, situations, life dynamics and most of all ourselves clearly. If we are not working on healing our childhood wounds and changing our childhood programming then we cannot begin to see ourselves clearly let alone anything else in life.

The disease of Codependence causes us to keep repeating patterns that are familiar. So we pick untrustworthy people to trust, undependable people to depend on, unavailable people to love. By healing our emotional wounds and changing our intellectual programming we can start to practice discernment in our choices so that we can change our patterns and learn to trust ourselves.

As we develop healthy self-esteem based on knowing that the Force is with us and Loves us, then we can consciously take the risk of Loving, of being interdependent, without buying into the belief that the behavior of others determines our self-worth. We will have feelings - we will get hurt, we will be scared, we will get angry - because those feelings are an unavoidable part of life. Feelings are a part of the human experience that we came here to learn about - they cannot be avoided. And trying to avoid them only causes us to miss out on the Joy and Love and happiness that can also be a part of the human experience.

By changing our intellectual paradigm - our attitudes, beliefs, and definitions - we can stop expecting life to be something it is not. We can stop expecting relationships to be magic just because falling in love feels magical. We can start having a realistic view of relationships which will allow us to be responsible enough to do the work it takes to work through issues, to keep communication happening, to form a healthy interdependent partnership with another human being. It is in taking responsibility and working through issues that the True magic of emotional intimacy can flower. The sacred magic that is Love is worth the effort.

Two people consciously working together can be a very beautiful experience."
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:27 AM
  # 92 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sesh View Post
I do believe the resentment comes from this same place for most of us, and it is, I guess, natural that once the hard reality knock us we feel hurt, betrayed, cheated, resentful and angry. But I guess the most important question for us on this side of the fence is what do we do with it. Do we let it run our lives or we make that final decision to let go of it and move ourselves to the better place?
I think it was Freedom who said it once: feeling resentmet is like drinking the poison yourself and waiting for your enemy to die. I agree with that.
Once I made the decision to remove resentment from my life and all other negative things that were only hurting me, I had to find a way to do it. It was a process, during which I've learned a lot.
I've realized my RAH didn't hurt me deliberately but because he couldn't do better for whatever reason. He couldn't be who I wanted him to be. I could either take reality for what it is or I could keep trying to bend it my way.
IMHO it is about our exectations and forgivens too. Mainy forgivnes to ourselves. Accepting the fact that we too did the best we knew and could under the circumstances. IMO nothing in life is black or white, life consits of all shade in between. It is not about fair or unfair, but about making most of our reality, about trusting things happen for some reason even though we can not understand that reason all the time. I believe my HP has been constantly giving me signs, I just needed to get to the point to start being able to read them. For that to happen I had to open up and surrender, let go of my expectations and let life itself present itself to me in all its beauty, in both good times but the bad ones too, that were always there to teach me something.
During this process, that I privately call my quest for myself, the resentment and anger just slipped off me like oversized dress, costume meant for someone that is not me, and for the first time in my life I felt free and trully happy.
The past is past, I don't run away from it, it has caused me a great deal of pain, but it has also thought me some trully valuable lessons. What matters is this moment in time, and what do I make of it. I'm not saying that any of this is easy, but practise makes it perfect.
JMHO
this is a really great post, thanks for this
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:31 AM
  # 93 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
Two people consciously working together can be a very beautiful experience."
This is what I think we all hope for.

I agree, this is a great thread
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:12 AM
  # 94 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tally View Post
This is sooo true! I did pursue the things he couldn't give me, so much so I made myself ill. But here's the thing...I didn't just happen to choose a guy, think "Yeah, he'll do" and then try to extract all the things I needed from him. Unfortunately, if that was the way it happened, with him protesting "No, I seriously don't have these attributes you want...I have nothing to give" then I sure woulda thought twice about everything.

I was promised the world. Everything I liked in a man was dangled on a string in front of me. Then once I was head over heels it was all taken away and then it took about 5 years of blaming myself for not being good enough before I realised those things he dangled to get me hooked were never real in the first place. He just wanted someone else to look after him after leaving his mothers home at the age of 31.
Vomit, drunken rages, drooling, incoherent ramblings, paranoia, violence, selfishness...well they're not gonna capture an enablers heart are they?

I think that's where my resentment comes in. Being given the perfect relationship for a short period of time, only for it to be taken away and replaced with absolute hell.
I had PLENTY of red flags that I chose to ignore. I believed exactly what I wanted to believe, despite the glaring reality right in front of me.

While the alcoholic IS responsible for initially misleading me, my resentment is really about my inability to walk away before I invested 13 years of my life drilling a "dry hole". That responsibility falls squarely on my own shoulders.

My goal is to be recovered enough to not make the same mistakes over and over, next time around.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:38 PM
  # 95 (permalink)  
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i love this thread.
it's really good, and so many different perspectives.

a relationship is 50/50, IMO. both people working together. being honest, loving, considerate of eachother, and themselves.

when we are shown these things in a relationship, when we are given the same treatment we give to someone else, it is wonderful.
in my relationship with xabf (father of our child in 12 days) i experienced true love. he treated me with respect, genuine respect. he loved my mind, my spirit. the strength of my beliefs. he valued our relationship. it meant the world to both of us.
all of that was taken away, when he relapsed. now, i am 12 days from having our child. and he is shooting up roxys every day. and i never hear from him, nor do i contact him.
i left early on in his relapse. because the lies and BS were not something i would tolerate.
my resentment comes from all of that joy being stolen from me. because he decided to use drugs again. the reality that i had known and experienced was stolen from me, and warped into something else. something horrible.
that is why i have resentment.

now i'm going to be raising our son alone. and i live with the feeling that i will get a phone call saying xbf is dead. i trust that God will do what He sees fit.
and whatever the outcome of my situation, i will have no anger towards Him. my xbf, on the other hand, i have sympathy. i have compassion. i shed tears for him, because i know he is not happy. his life is a wreck. but i will be angry, also. because he CHOSE that.
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:01 PM
  # 96 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
And I read it and was reminded of the rantings of my STBXAH, about how it's all my fault.

I appreciate the apology Firestorm.
And I read the first few lines, started laughing, then stopped. It wasn't so much the usual blame-the-victim garbage that struck me, it's the attempt to normalize hard-core alcoholism, making it seem as if it's just one of the many things that can go awry in a relationship.

Some facts: I can be a moody pain, I can get caught up in my work and forget to give time to loved ones, I'm lazy, and I'm a clean freak. My husband overcommits his time, snores, is fussy about his food, is prey to envy, and spends too much money on books. Those are the things we give and take on, the differences that are overcome with forbearance and patience and love.

Driving drunk, putting the finances at risk, disappearing for days? That's in a whole other league and you know it. So enough with the sophistries about relationships and expectations.

I'm not in a relationship with an alcoholic guy because I'm sick. I married him for all his wonderful qualities that are too numerous to write here. I don't regret marrying him. And I won't regret the time I've spent with him, even the time I've spent suffering as a result of the alcoholism. Most people don't go into a relationship armed with the knowledge and experience of an addictions specialist, you just do the best you can, and the fact is most people have the instinct to stay with their spouses and try to help things get better. I'm not going to apologize for that, and it doesn't make me somehow "deserve" the crappy treatment.
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:50 PM
  # 97 (permalink)  
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Well put Akrasia. I think the issue I have with 'codependency' is this idea that I have no control because I have a 'disease'. I make choices every day, good and bad. I know exactly what I am getting into and I am chosing to keep him in my life. I am not going to blame him for whatever crap he stirs up because I chose to stay. I can leave. I chose not to not because I am codependent but because I love him and the good outweighs the bad. If the bad started to accumulate, why would I stay? Why would anyone stay? To say 'it is because I am codependent' is a convenient way to say 'i have no control'. You do. We all do.

I will never apologize for loving someone. Needing people isn't a bad thing. It makes us human. It isn't disease to worry or love. It is what we do with those things in damaging ways to ourselves that are for me what codependence is all about. You can't change the addict or get him to be sober but love does do some amazing things.

My point is, bad people for you in a relationship are bad for you irrespective of the drinking or drugs. If you see the redflags and still chose to stay then that is a choice you make. I read so many posts on SR about women being hit by their addict and then comes the responses about how someone elses man hit them and gosh it really is awful that addicts hit. Almost like, he hit me because I am codependent. HUH???? There is never a justification for hurting or hitting anyone. They guy is a BAD guy. Period. It has nothing to do with codependence or substance abuse. There is a whole cycle that goes with being in abusive relationships, emotional and otherwise. Some of what I read has more to do with people experiencing abuse in relationships and are classic cases of the battered partner, spouse. The drug/drink is secondary to the fact that people stay in these emotionally and physically abusive situations.

You can call it codependency all you want I guess but that won't deal with the core issue as to why people chose to stay in such awful situations.

End my rant
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