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Old 10-05-2010, 10:04 AM
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Floundering

It's been 3 weeks now since AH have been separated, and 11 days since I found out he had an affair while on a bender when he was away for military training. I find myself in a complete pit of despair right now, with no end in sight.

Of course my initial reaction after finding out about the affair was to throw all his stuff on the front lawn, cry, scream, yell, and file immediately for divorce. But after having some time for things to sink in, I'm completely gutted at the thought of life without him. I've loved this man since I was 15 years old. We've been best friends for 23 years, and married for 13. I am deep in mourning for the man he used to be before this disease took hold of his soul and stole him away from me. This is NOT the man that I married, and I'm having such a hard time separating the man I know and love from the man he is quickly becoming.

AH is remorseful and has recommitted to sobriety. He's attending meetings and has found a sponsor, but says he needs to focus 100% on his sobriety right now before he can try to repair our marriage. I get this, but it still hurts so much that AGAIN his needs are coming first, when I've been totally emotionally gutted by his actions and feel like I'm again his last priority.

I'm doing the best I can to work on my own recovery. I'm visiting these forums, seeing a counselor, reading Codependent No More, and plan to start attending Al-Anon meetings this week. Still, I find myself constantly praying for a miracle to save my marriage and to rescue my husband from the bonds of alcoholism. I even went to visit the priest last week, even though I haven't atttended church in years, because I'm so desperate for this miracle.

I'm in such a terrible state of grief for the man I love, the marriage that we used to have before this disease took over, and for the future that we planned together. I know we need this time of separation to both work on our own issues, and that he may never recover. I know that I'm not willing to live my life with active alcoholism any longer and the disrespect he's brought to our marriage, but I can't help missing him desperately. I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel and that the answers will be revealed in time, but right now, I'm not sure what terrifies me more, the thought of living with him, or the thought of living without him.

I sure could use some strength and hope right now.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:14 AM
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It takes time, it really does. Just take it one minute at a time.

He's right, he does need to concentrate on his recovery. And you're also right, that yet again it's about him.

But, you can make it about you. Concentrate on doing nice things for yourself!
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:14 PM
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He does need to concentrate on his recovery and you need to do the same.

If he can find his way to recovery what does it matter how long it takes? Go about your life, take one day at a time. Don't look for instant gratification, cannot happen when recovery is involved, this will be a long hard road.

You will be fine, be kind to yourself, and, let the HP take care of his recovery.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:57 PM
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Hurting, my heart goes out to you. I got kind of focused on your request for strength and hope and wondered where you have found that in the past?

To some extent I feel your pain as this could have been my post for the past year. I have only recently begun to feel a clearing of my mental faculties and see things a bit different. But I still remember the emotions expressed in your post. My marriage has been brief but for me it was a second chance that showed up when I didn't expect it. The reality setting in is that this disease affects everyone the same way but everyone's choice to recover varies.

Focus on your own healing from the injuries and disappointments. You both need to be selfish with this healing time. Three weeks is not long in the course of a lifetime. Remember it took time to get to this point and it will take time to correct the course.

I will be hopeful with you and pray for the best in this situation. BTW we have a F&F meeting on Sat nites at 9 pm here if you are interested in coming.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:25 PM
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I'm sorry you are hurting. It is tough to be seperated, angered, lonely, sad and scared. (((hugs)))

I think you are doing all you can right now. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. You will get through this, one day at a time and sometimes 5 minutes at a time, or even one minute at a time. We are here to support you. You are not alone.

I hope you do follow through with a local Alanon meeting. This is something that helped me. I felt less afraid, I felt less confused, I felt less insecure after attending a few meetings.

Are you familiar with the serenity prayer?
Every meeting I have been to includes the serenity prayer, and it is usually recited while standing and holding hands with other members. It is a powerful experience to be in the room with others who have been hurt by addiction, others who have tried everything they could imagine to help their loved one, others who have accepted their limits and say these words together:

Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change,
Courage to change the things I can, and
Wisdom to know the difference.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:09 PM
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Thank you to all. It helps more than you know to have others to talk to who have walked the same road. My friends and family are trying to be supportive, but unless you've loved an alcoholic, there's no way to explain to them how hard it is to separate the man you know and love from the man caught in the grips of disease. I find myself almost defending him when I tell them how I believe that the affair was more of a symptom of the disease than a revelation of his true moral character. As my counselor says, "the disease has escalated, and now he's upped the ante." And I hate that I'm defending him, when I know there's no defense for what he's done.

I saw my counselor again today, who agreed that it's best for us to remain separated and work on our own issues before attempting to fix our marriage. She said the same thing that some of you have, "this didn't get broken overnight, and it won't be fixed overnight" and she thinks that putting AH in a volatile emotional environment right now will be a detriment to his sobriety. AH actually told me on the phone today that he has a hard time talking to me because he needs to supress his emotions right now. I'm trying my best to keep my distance. I'm just really missing my best friend. It's so hard when he also happens to be my worst enemy right now. I don't want a divorce. I want my husband back, the way he used to be, and it's terrifying not knowing if that will ever happen.

Thank you for the information on the alanon chat on Saturday. I think that will be helpful. And I plan to attend a face to face meeting this Tuesday. Other than that, I'm trying to learn all I can about detachment, and will continue to pray for a miracle. In the meantime, I'm so glad to have found this forum and am so grateful to you all for caring.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by HurtingAgain View Post
I don't want a divorce. I want my husband back, the way he used to be, and it's terrifying not knowing if that will ever happen.
It will never happen.

That's not to say that things will never be good again, or that your marriage cannot be saved. It's just reality that life never goes backward, only forward. If he stays sober, and if you stay together, it will not be the same. You will both have grown, changed, and moved forward. Clinging to "the way things used to be" is a certain recipe for suffering.

I think Alanon will really help.

And, I wish you the best.

L
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:00 PM
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LTD is right, you can't go back to the past. BUT some people come out of recovery more "whole" than they ever were in their lives.

Regardless what he does with his recovery, your life will be better if you concentrate on your own healing.

Big hugs,
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by HurtingAgain View Post
Thank you to all. It helps more than you know to have others to talk to who have walked the same road. My friends and family are trying to be supportive, but unless you've loved an alcoholic, there's no way to explain to them how hard it is to separate the man you know and love from the man caught in the grips of disease. I find myself almost defending him when I tell them how I believe that the affair was more of a symptom of the disease than a revelation of his true moral character. As my counselor says, "the disease has escalated, and now he's upped the ante." And I hate that I'm defending him, when I know there's no defense for what he's done.

I saw my counselor again today, who agreed that it's best for us to remain separated and work on our own issues before attempting to fix our marriage. She said the same thing that some of you have, "this didn't get broken overnight, and it won't be fixed overnight" and she thinks that putting AH in a volatile emotional environment right now will be a detriment to his sobriety. AH actually told me on the phone today that he has a hard time talking to me because he needs to supress his emotions right now. I'm trying my best to keep my distance. I'm just really missing my best friend. It's so hard when he also happens to be my worst enemy right now. I don't want a divorce. I want my husband back, the way he used to be, and it's terrifying not knowing if that will ever happen.

Thank you for the information on the alanon chat on Saturday. I think that will be helpful. And I plan to attend a face to face meeting this Tuesday. Other than that, I'm trying to learn all I can about detachment, and will continue to pray for a miracle. In the meantime, I'm so glad to have found this forum and am so grateful to you all for caring.
im in a similar position same time scale too only difference is hes still with the tart he fell into bed with (ask me am i bitter u bet i am ) but even today ive been making excuses to friends about him saying its his illness that has made this happen and i have no idea really if it is or if sober he would of done the same thing but i also find myself wanting him back the guy ive fell in love with and it simply isnt gonna happen well not in the foreseeable future and even if by some miracle he does go into some sort of recovery could i ever stand to let him touch me again after all i know hes been up to as hes told me chapter and verse again i have no idea.

I for one am so glad i go to al anon cos i can feel my twisted logic becoming straighter and my head starting to see things alot clearer i dont think i will stop loving him any time soon but im prepared to work hard on my healing and that till do for me for now im not wanting to run before i can walk all i care about atm is me and even though ive been checking up on him (couldnt help it eh im only 3 weeks into recovery) ive not sent panicky emails wondering if hes ok ive sat on my hands.

I cant recommend al anon highly enough though and dont just see it as short term fix cos for me i think it will be with me for along time with me helping others like im been helped now xx
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:43 PM
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Ditto what LTD said. Just thinking about you today. Stay well.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:08 PM
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This may sound like I'm not being serious with the suggestion, but I am.

Sometimes I find it helps to just give in to the pain and grieve. By that I mean, find time by yourself and just let it wash over you. Focus on it. I have set time limits on this before (say, 30 minutes), and find that I get tired of it before then. I will just wail, if that's what I feel like doing. I will feel sorry for myself. I will be angry, if that's the feeling I'm fighting.

I have found that fighting the pain, trying to be strong, etc, is just exhausting. Fifteen minutes of surrender makes me feel better. It lightens my load.

I've done this with a time limit, and I've done this and prayed for the pain to be taken away. Either way, I feel better, and get moving again.

Good luck. Better days are ahead.
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