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Mourning what he once was

Old 10-09-2010, 04:54 PM
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Mourning what he once was

It's coming up on one month since AH and I separated. I'm very slowly coming to terms with the fact that our marriage needs to end, but it's so hard when I'm still so in love with the man he used to be. AH is a handsome, charming, funny, intelligent, kind, generous man who happens to be rapidly sinking further and further into his disease.

He doesn't drink in front of me and is the type to isolate himself when drinking instead of being the stagger around the house causing chaos kind of drunk. Which is not to say that he doesn't cause chaos. He's caused plenty of that by not being emotionally available, by the reckless spending, by the lying, by spending more and more time away from home, and now by the infidelity. But it's been easier to overlook the other things (aside from the infidelity) because when he is home and spending time with us, I can still see all the qualities that made me love him so much in the first place.

I know that I'm clinging to the memory of a person who no longer exists, but it's still so hard to separate the man he used to be from the man he is quickly becoming. I don't want to stop loving the man I married, and I hate giving up the dream of the family and future we should have had together. I know I need to do that, but it's something I'm really struggling with.

I met with a psychotherapist this week who explained to me the devastation going on his brain, between the alcoholism, PTSD, depression, and post-concussive disorder (from Iraq) and how his destructive choices have absolutely nothing to do with his love for his family. She actually said to me, "that poor, poor man. He's destroying himself and everyone he loves and he's out of control to stop it." In a sense it made me feel better knowing that it really is a sickness causing him to act this way, not lack of love or morals. But on the other hand, it just makes it harder to leave. I want to hate him for what he's done, but I just can't.

I could really use some support from those who have left an alcoholic whom they still deeply loved. I wish with all my heart that he would be "cured" and I could have back the man he used to be. But I know that will probably never happen and I need to find the strength to move on. He's been part of my life for 23 years (since I was 15) and it's so hard letting him go. I miss him terribly and am so angry at this disease that's taken him from me. I know I can learn to live without him, I just didn't want to.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:45 PM
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Letting go is so hard. My strength and peace have come from:

1) Letting go and letting God. I pray every day for the XABF I left, and for me, that we both heal. When I pray for him, I picture God's arm wrapped around him, holding him up, comforting him, teaching him, healing him, loving him.

2) Accepting that nothing I could have done would have changed him.

3) Understanding that being there for him was only allowing him to stay sick. He deserves the dignity of living the consequences of his actions.

4) Reading the wisdom of the people at SR.

5) Working hard on getting to know myself, learning what I need to do to heal so that I can be happy, regardless of my circumstances.

6) Educating myself about addictions, alcoholism, codependency, abandonment, and adult children of alcoholics.

7) Making a choice to live life to the fullest, not depending on anyone else for happiness, but understanding that having happy, healthy people in our lives is a gift.

8) Eating well, exercising, praying, journaling, reading, spending quality time with my girls and my girlfriends, and treating myself in ways that don't cost money.

9) Letting myself grieve when I need to, in whatever way I need to.

HurtingAgain, I am sorry for your pain. Your grief will take place at whatever pace it needs to. Keep coming here when you need to vent, or share your pain, or feel your anger, or need some encouragement. The people here are amazing and giving. They have been a lifesaver for me, and will be here for you, too. Hugs and peace to you.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:54 PM
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I'm sorry you are hurting.

((((cyber hugs))))

It is painful. It is a process, a natural emotional process of grieving. It sucks!

It does get better.

You are not alone.

We care about you.
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:44 AM
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I also mourned the loss of what STBXAH could have been, what we lost; seven stages of grief. It's been hard, some days I have to re-work some of those steps.

Originally Posted by HurtingAgain View Post
She actually said to me, "that poor, poor man. He's destroying himself and everyone he loves and he's out of control to stop it."
This sat strange with me, but I think it's my history playing in. Yes, STBXAH is out of control to stop his downward spiral, his behavior is destroying himself and his family. But right now, I cannot "poor, poor man" him yet. No pity here yet. Maybe after I've had a bit more safety and space.

Originally Posted by HurtingAgain View Post
I know that I'm clinging to the memory of a person who no longer exists, but it's still so hard to separate the man he used to be from the man he is quickly becoming. I don't want to stop loving the man I married, and I hate giving up the dream of the family and future we should have had together. I know I need to do that, but it's something I'm really struggling with.
Man, I remember this struggle. STBXAH was amazing - gorgeous. The man I dated could have been a good husband and such a great father. I had such a great dream family to have with him: 2 amazing kids, a goofy-lovable dog, a cool little kitten, a cute and cozy little home with a huge yard, a husband that taught the kids to ski, bike, play baseball, basketball, rugby, taught us all how to set up tents, where the best hiking and camping is.

The only part of that dream that I got was one truly amazing son, and for him I will be forever grateful. The rest, well, it was just a dream that was never and will never come true with STBXAH. What STBXAH gave us instead was a shadowy-tinted hell of half-promises, lies and half-truths; oh and most importantly; an active A who routinely passed out on the couch.

I've been working on making what I can come true: I'm learning how and where to camp and hike and teaching DS in the process; I taught DS how to ride his bike without training wheels; I've got a safe home for DS; am teaching him to swing without being pushed; found a wonderful school for him; I'll find little leagues, etc. for the sports, will teach him any I can play if he wants (it's been a while, but I was pretty good at basketball, volleyball, running, hurdles, was starting to cross-country ski, I figure I can teach us both... My sister and brother have offered to teach him tennis.) I will hope DS is able to have a safe relationship with his father, but won't expect STBXAH to actually follow through on his 'plans to mentor' DS in sports.

Once the divorce is final, I'll start saving again for my own cozy little home with a yard, and after that DS and I can find a cool cat and a protective-goofy-lovable dog.

It's hard. Making a list of all the things i can look forward to w/o STBXAh has helped (safe uninterrupted sleep at night, Intelligent dinner conversations, eventually owning my own place, ...etc.) and Making a list of all the cr-p I will not miss (waking up to STBXAH peeing on the bed, floor, closet, couch; STBXAH yelling at DS for kicking over the drink he'd 'hid' on the floor by the couch, his expecting me to perform like the porn he watched, etc. etc.) I had to read the last list often when I left or when he'd call. I'm now looking at the list I want more often now.

He, that man I loved, that was amazing, he's gone; he's left just a shell filled with a monster with a shadow of himself. At least in the case with my STBXAH, even though he's not drinking (just dry not working recovery) he's still as abusive as ever.

I'm freeing myself and DS more an more every day. It's hard work and everyday i remind myself and DS that we're worth it.

Well, it's getting late and I may be rambling so I'll stop for now and check in tomorrow. Take care of yourself.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HurtingAgain View Post

I could really use some support from those who have left an alcoholic whom they still deeply loved. I wish with all my heart that he would be "cured" and I could have back the man he used to be. But I know that will probably never happen and I need to find the strength to move on. (
Okay, I can step up on that one! Seven years ago I told my alcholic, porn addicted husband that "I couldn't stand any more ugly surprises." A couple of weeks later he left open one of his sites on the computer. I asked him how he could be so stupid, he said he didn't know, went in the bedroom and shut the door. And at that point I knew I couldn't stand this indefinitely, and the only way I could get through it was to look forward to a day when we weren't together anymore.

Later he told me that he thought I was trying to manipulate him; I wasn't. I was trying to communicate with him. But he was quite skilled at not hearing things that might make him uncomfortable.

There was this whole ugly extra story about him getting involved with someone else while we were separated, and I came to regret the way I asked him to leave (there were no second chances or bouncing in and out of the relationship while he tried to sober up). However, to this day I know I couldn't have continued with the way our marriage was. When I'm 50 I can't be married to someone who needs to withdraw and drink to cope with life's normal stresses and who compares my body to those of women half my age-- and needs to look at them to function sexually. I still love this person very much and I still grieve for the marriage we could have had without his addictions. But I also know my limits. It would have taken more out of me than I have to spare to deal with his drinking and the naughty pics.

After my divorce I dated a man who was not an alcoholic, could have cared less about pornography, and most importantly, shared my value of being honest about who you are and what you want. And we didn't ever have the knock down, drag out fights like I had with my ex. When there were problems, no one hid anything or lied, we talked about them and they got resolved or accepted, and that was it. I couldn't believe how low stress it was, and how safe I felt. We had differences that would have prevented us from being a good marriage, and we're not dating anymore, but I will always value him for showing me what an addiction free relationship is like. I wasn't wrong to feel that I deserved one.

I don't know if I can ever love someone with that intensity again-- I'm not sure I will ever entirely move on, but I have accepted that. The first night my aexh moved out I remember lying in bed and feeling an enormous sense of relief that there were no more secrets being hidden in my house. I know this does not sound entirely rational, but many years later, I still feel that way. If his current gf can live with his addictions, more power to her; but I can't.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:06 AM
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HURTING: every one of your posts pulls at my heart.
I'm a little over 2 months out from my break up so the pain is still very much there as well.
When my ex cheated, I left with a heavy heart because I very much loved/love him. The love you have for the person just doesn't go away. But, like you and your H, we had to separate in order to both take a hard look at who we were and who we became.

I think addiction is to blame for many of the destructive actions, but don't be fooled, cheating is about having no morals. Losing your moral ground though, does come hand in hand with addiction.

I also mourn the dreams I had with my ex, I mourn the man I thought he was and I mourn who I thought him and I could be.
But I do not mourn the death of the unhealthy relationship we had. I rejoice with the knowledge that we were both given a chance to get healthier from the pain the old relationship caused us.

Personally, for me, I am working my steps and am dedicated to al anon and healing. For my ex, he tells me he's working on things and is joining a step group, but I'm leery that he's welcoming true recovery. I need to keep my nose out of his healing and just pray he finds his way.

This may not be your H's bottom, but if it's yours, take advantage of this pain and work on getting stronger.

As painful as this is right now, try to find the blessings as well. Because of this "shake -up", you now have a chance to be healthy alone or maybe even have a healthy relationship with him once he faces his addiction.
Or just maybe in time, you will see this is not the life you want/wanted and just maybe you will find yourself a healthier relationship
It's the unknown that's tough.
Letting go and shedding the old life is hard.

I have some contact with my ex here and there and he seems very despondent, but I know the love he has for me is ever present. His love for me didn't decide his actions, his self hatred and pain did. Your H's actions about his self hatred. His pain, not about you.

I know how hard this is right now, but keep all the focus on you and your healing.
You can love him, pray for him and allow him his time to get well.

Do you have much contact with him? How is he feeling about the separation?
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:50 PM
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It has been a painful year for me but one that has helped me to stand up for myself and push me forward in areas that i didn't know I was capable of doing. The hurt and pain lessens with time. It is different with each person.

My goals two years ago was to let him see his own problem and hoped that I could support him in recovery when that happened. It took awhile and it happened - yes, he got sober for 7 months. He was in AA and had a sponsor. All was good and everything was just as I wanted.

Then things didn't work out with his sponsor. Husband wanted to move back in and AA recommended NOT yet - he didn't like hearing the word NO and so he quit! We had plans in motion and were in therapy together - but as can be expected - I had a major change in my life going on - he freaked out and walked out - cancelled therapy and all plans to reunite.

I was heartbroken once again. We managed to keep trying but I realized that he had relapsed and would not stop drinking. He had changed his attitude about his problem - accepting it as though he had no control over it so why try - and I said enough!

I thought losing me would make a difference - I know I was the love of his life - as I thought he was for me - but I slowly changed my view over this year. It was only recently that I have applied reality to my situation and accept him as he is. I love him but not the life we had. Nothing will change for now and so I am letting go so that I can someday find the life I feel I was meant to live. With or without him. My feelings will not change but they have matured. Hang in there until you get where you need to be.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Summerpeach View Post
Do you have much contact with him? How is he feeling about the separation?
We have a 10 year old daughter, so I still see him a few times a week when he comes to visit her. Every time I see him it reopens the wound, but I can't go no contact with him because of our daughter.

He agrees with his sponsor that the separation is for the best right now. He says he's hurting, misses me, and misses our daughter and wants to be a family again, but that he needs to concentrate on sobriety. I think it's for the best too, but I miss him so much. I keep waiting for the feeling of peace to come over me now that he's no longer in the home, but to be honest, he didn't create much chaos at home. It was mostly stuff he did outside of the house that caused the problems, and when he was home with me we had wonderful, loving times together.

I went to church for the first time in months this morning, hoping it would give me a sense of comfort. Instead I just pictured the two of us standing at the same alter 13 years ago next week and how I meant every word of the vows I said to him, "for better for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part." I thought going to church would help me gain some inner strength in my decision to leave, instead I found myself praying for a miracle that he would find his way back from alcholism and back to his family that loves him so much.

My head tells me it's time to leave and my heart says no, not yet. I read somewhere a few days ago that if you're having a hard time making a decision, it means it's not time to make it yet. I guess that means I have to keep hanging on until I know for certain what the right choice is for me. It just continues to hurt like h*ll in the meantime.
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Old 10-10-2010, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HurtingAgain View Post
It just continues to hurt like h*ll in the meantime.
amen!
keep your head up.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:33 PM
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Like surgery with a hacksaw.....
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:08 PM
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Still in love here too ....

Mine is still pretty fresh - it's been two months after 10 years together - see my post at the top wondering if I am being manipulated because I still love and care about him.

Yes, I am 56 years old and we had a great life. I thought I would retire in a couple of years and we could spend more time together.

But the drinking was bad and the last straw was the online infidelity - I don't know it he physically cheated on me but emotionally he did. Somehow actually reading the texts and emails was worse than anything physical.

I miss his sense of humour and his dry wit - but it would become cruel when he drank. He was not physically abusive but he was mentally abusive. I was always a very self-confident person and attractive and he made me feel like a nothing - and I blamed alcohol.

Two of my friends told me that over the ten years they saw me becoming more and more unhappy - they are happy to see the old me again.

Who knows why we continue to love them - One day maybe I won't love him so much?

Hard to say.

((hugs))
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:39 PM
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Free: my ex was also doing the on-line affair thing. Seeing the txt pics on his cell, made me feel sorry for my ex that he needed to do that to feel good about himself, seeing that he has so many wonderful traits that he could have honed in on to prove to himself he was worthy of more than this behavior. But his addiction is more powerful than the belief in himself.

The addiction/mental issues just suck the souls right out of the body and suck the souls out of the ones who love them
Recovery and sobiety is the ONLY way out of this!
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