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Update- would love to hear your thoughts!

Old 11-08-2010, 08:40 AM
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Update- would love to hear your thoughts!

Good Morning, all!
Here is an update for you all to chew on:

On Sunday BF and I met to talk about ‘what we are going to do’. I was (and still am) leaning strongly in the direction of breaking up. Sidenote: I know I don’t have to clarify this for y’all- but the reason behind my decision to break up is not because I don’t want to be with BF, it’s because I don’t want to be in a relationship where my needs are clearly not being met. They are, in fact, being ignored. Although BF doesn’t see it that way- he just does not get it.

Okay- so I’m going into this conversation thinking that we are both on the same page- that being that we are both thinking that breaking up is an option. In other words, it’s on the table, and so the conversation on Sunday was to flesh out that possibility.

Well, I was WRONG. He was completely surprised by my saying “I think we need to break up”. He said he did not see that coming. That broke my heart into a million pieces, but I kept trudging along. I explained that I think that one of the major causes of our episodes is this: After three years of voicing my concerns about your drinking it seems to me that you have made no effort to change your habits (ie- do what you can on your end to fix the problem). Please understand that I am not saying that this is THE reason. I certainly contributed to the detriment of our relationship by not handling my anger in the proper way by letting it go too far and not addressing in a healthy way. I own that part of the problem. In fact, I have a made a pretty big effort to ‘fix’ myself- but I am starting to think that there is nothing wrong with me. I am not perfect, I have plenty of flaws, just like everyone else. And my anger is a completely natural and normal (and healthy?) reaction to you repeatedly not meeting my needs.

I’m going to have to summarize the rest of the conversation, and unfortunately I won’t be able to summarize every last detail. But, hopefully you get the gist. Here is my synopsis (it’s underlined):

BF did not like the idea of breaking up. He said he did not want to ‘throw it all away’ and that he needed to time to think about this. I said ‘ok’. So, we are on a break. At first I was angry with myself for not insisting that we break up. But, I just could not do it! It seemed way too cruel and mean and, I love this man for crying out loud! I did tell him that if he seeks out the help of a therapist and he takes noticeable steps to take charge of his own mental and physical health that he will be making a step in the right direction. He neither accepted nor rejected the suggestion. We are going to talk again this Sunday.

Now, WHY is he not taking my concerns seriously and doing something to help bring about some kind of resolution? I have no earthly idea. Nor do I even want to try to figure him out- it’s impossible to try to understand other people or ‘get inside their heads’. I am responsible for me and my health. He is responsible for figuring out what he has contributed to the problems in our relationship. If he chooses to seek out a therapist, then he’s making step on the right direction. His business is his business, not mine! (That, by the way, is so hard for me NOT to do- I have really got to stop getting in his business.)

I can only assume it is b/c he is not able to, not necessarily b/c he is choosing to ignore me. The caveat is that he CAN bring himself to the point of understanding my needs IF HE TAKE THE STEPS to open his mind and awareness to his own misgivings, flaws, and addictions. That, perhaps, he lacks the skills to effectively ‘soul search’ and investigate why/how his thinking and behavior have brought us to the verge of breaking up. Therapy is an absolute MUST.

I have to say that, although I was very upset that that conversation did not go the way I planned, I am comforted by the serenity, calm, and peace that I am experiencing internally. I guess this is because I stood my ground, but also compromised by accepting his suggestion that we take a break (instead of breaking up completely).

I am taking it one day at a time. If we meet on Sunday and he reveals that he has not taken any action to seek help via therapy, support group, etc. then the odds that we will break up will get significantly higher. If he reveals that he has made an appointment with a therapist, then I am willing to work with him on that. However, at that point, I know that there are no guarantees. Making one appointment is not a magical remedy…

Like I said, I am finding a source of internal strength that I did not know I had. That’s pretty awesome!

I am going to an Alanon meeting on Wednesday.

I’m taking care of myself. And letting him take care of himself. We’ll see what happens.

Thank you for letting me share this- it is so helpful!!!

Craven
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:44 AM
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Well, it takes two to make a relationship and if one doesn't want to continue, the other doesn't really have a choice. If you feel the relationship is over, then you have that right and he'll just have to live with it. The same would be true were the situation reversed. No one can force us to continue in a relationship just because they don't want to accept that it's over.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:17 AM
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Thank you, suki. I do agree with you on several of your points. And, on paper, I couldn't agree with you more. However, it is still very hard to sever the ties that do bind us together- our immense love for each other, our compatibility on so many levels, the sense of having a partner and teammate 85-90% of the time- those are only a few of the wonderful, wonderful things about our relationship (granted 85-90% should be more like 100%!). Is there a major problem that continues to go unresolved? Yes. Is my partner contributing to the problem? Yes. Has he taken responsibility for his part? No. Has he tried to understand what is going wrong? Yes, but through the 'I'm going to help you figure out what's wrong with you' lens.

So, if you look at it as a 'black and white' issue, then yes, I probably should have said 'I want to break up, period. No, ifs, ands, or buts.'. But, in between black and white there are a million shades of grey. He is my best friend. He makes me want to scream. He is my #1 fan. Sometimes I want to punch him (never, ever would!!!). He 'gets me' on so many levels. He has inspired me to become a better person. But, his drinking and lack of understanding of my problem with his drinking is killing this relationship.

Sorry, I got off on a tangent there! Thanks, suki, for helping continue to stay focused on my needs and my health!
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:21 AM
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People sever ties all the time and many have much more invested in the relationship than you do with yours. Some have been married for many years, own property together, have children together, etc. It all comes down to what you are willing to live with.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:08 AM
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Suki- The discourse on this forum seems to be generally supportive, so upon first glance, the first sentence of this response offended me. I'm sure that was not your intention. I certainly didn't come here to have anyone blow smoke up my you-know-what, and I do appreciate your perspective.

Having said that, I agree with you, and I am more than thankful that we do not own property together, have kids, share finances, etc.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:11 AM
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Are you no contact during this break? You sound so much stronger, and more sane, then I was at a similar point in my relationship so not sure I can give you advice really.

A share from my experience. There are plenty of alcoholics (or maybe just people) that simply refuse to accept that it is over. Alcohol makes it easier for them to pick an outcome and cling to it without ever letting reality in or making any attempt to really look at it. Make sure that if you continue to hold off on the break up it is because you want to, because you see some real changes in his actions and in your feelings, not because you want to be kind. Does that make sense? He may NEVER accept that you are breaking up, but that doesn't mean you aren't going to break up.

My, now ex, husband sat in a counselors office and said he didn't think it was really over. It wasn't what we wanted. He wasn't going to accept it. I had told him point blank "I don't want to be married to you." on my own and in front of the counselor. We were half way through a legal divorce. He'd been served and signed papers. He wasn't having it. Wouldn't discuss it. Just because he wasn't going to accept it, doesn't mean it wasn't going to happen. It was like a knife twisting in my gut but I could no longer allow him to decide my life because I didn't want to hurt him.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:17 AM
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No, it wasn't my intention to offend you, nor am I in the habit of blowing smoke up anyones ass. You listed several reasons why it's so hard to let the relationship go, and I pointed out that people let relationships go in spite of having much more invested. Sorry you took offense. I'll back out of this thread now. Good luck.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:22 AM
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Now, WHY is he not taking my concerns seriously and doing something to help bring about some kind of resolution?
He does it because he's an alcoholic. He's doing what alcoholics do, and it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with him.

You've been expressing your concern for three years.

Nothing has changed.

Walking away from my EXAH was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life.

I didn't die from the discomfort of leaving a toxic relationship.

That discomfort was temporary.

I'll take that discomfort over the pain and crazy-making of being involved in a dysfunctional relationship any day of the week.

I wish you nothing but the best because that is what you deserve.

Just my two cents.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:38 AM
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CRAVEN! I'm so glad you updated. I've been looking for signs of life from you since you first started posting.

I'm glad you had that discussion with your ABF. It gave you an opportunity to say what you had on your mind. Also, it gave you an opportunity to see your ABF's reaction and that it hasn't really changed (well, he seemed in "lala land" to me, from reading your post), not even in the face of a breakup.

I just wanted to speak to the part of your post that discussed how difficult it is to let go. A) It's ok not to be ready right away. When you're totally, 100% ready to walk away, you'll do it. B) If you were to break up, it would not negate all the wonderful things this person has brought to your life in the past. Yes, you would have to sever ties and lose the support you have from him, but you can always cherish the journey you had together. And finally C) perhaps the breakup will finally bring your ABF to find recovery for himself...

It's really hard to decipher exactly what HP has in store for us, but generally, I find that if we step back and listen, the path is there. It seems to me, as an outsider looking in, that your path is being shown to you. And it seems to me that you're already taking that first step.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:41 AM
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Thanks, Freedom.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
A share from my experience. There are plenty of alcoholics (or maybe just people) that simply refuse to accept that it is over. Alcohol makes it easier for them to pick an outcome and cling to it without ever letting reality in or making any attempt to really look at it. Make sure that if you continue to hold off on the break up it is because you want to, because you see some real changes in his actions and in your feelings, not because you want to be kind. Does that make sense?
Yes, it makes perfect sense. I feel like I've started a process, and internal change, that I cannot stop. And, honestly, right now, I can feel myself becoming 'hopeful' that he'll get the help he needs and will make a lifelong, permanent change. But I know that that is an unrealistic dream. I AM changing my mindset, but I know that I have to be vigilant about it... it feels like it would be really easy to slide back into the cycle that we have established. It takes practice to change!!
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:11 AM
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Supportive doesn't always feel good...

...especially when it isn't something I want to hear, if I'm not ready to hear it, if it's not soft enough for me, if it comes from somewhere I can't or don't understand, if I'm feeling jealous or resentful that they seem to know something I don't, or if I think they don't know enough about me to be making such a judgement. It's just that you are still talking a whole lot more about him than you are about yourself, and that sets off warning flags for those of us with a lot of recovery under our belts (for me that means practicing Al-Anon since 2003, no fewer than 2 meetings per week).

In my opinion it's about you. Your recovery. Your desire to be happy regardless of whether or not he is in a program, drinking, or doing anything else. It is clear from your most recent post that you are still very much on his side of the fence. You are talking about him, what he has to do, how he responded, his recovery, how you can change his behavior, etc. What about you? It's about you, not him. I don't care about him here. I don't need to hear about him here. He is responsible for him, his life, and his recovery. I care about you.

You will hear often on this board to worry about your side of the fence, and not his. There is a reason for that. If you don't break this habit, in my opinion, you may never be able to have a lifetime relationship with anybody, alcoholic or not.

I've said this to you before and I'll say it again-- get thee to an Al-Anon meeting. Many, many Al-Anon meetings. It may not do a damn thing for him, but I guarantee your life will be better after committed engagement to Al-Anon than it is now. It won't guarantee a happy ending, you'll just feel better than you do now.

Take what you want and leave the rest.



Originally Posted by craven View Post
Suki- The discourse on this forum seems to be generally supportive, so upon first glance, the first sentence of this response offended me. I'm sure that was not your intention. I certainly didn't come here to have anyone blow smoke up my you-know-what, and I do appreciate your perspective.

Having said that, I agree with you, and I am more than thankful that we do not own property together, have kids, share finances, etc.

Last edited by Cyranoak; 11-08-2010 at 11:13 AM. Reason: spelling error
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by nodaybut2day View Post
CRAVEN!
I just wanted to speak to the part of your post that discussed how difficult it is to let go. A) It's ok not to be ready right away. When you're totally, 100% ready to walk away, you'll do it. B) If you were to break up, it would not negate all the wonderful things this person has brought to your life in the past. Yes, you would have to sever ties and lose the support you have from him, but you can always cherish the journey you had together. And finally C) perhaps the breakup will finally bring your ABF to find recovery for himself...
Noday, thank you for this. I'm sure that y'all read stories just like mine all the time. The fact that you can keep your responses fresh and effective is amazing. I hope you know how helpful you, and everyone else, have been!
Back to your post: Intellectually, I am totally on board with A, B, and C. Emotionally, I am getting there!! I stepped, no jumped, out of my comfort zone by telling BF that I wanted to break up. That was huge, for me. So, I think I am definitely getting closer to stopping the madness.

Again, thank you.

PS- I don't have a computer at home, which is why I didn't post over the weekend.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
...especially when it isn't something I want to hear, if I'm not ready to hear it, if it's not soft enough for me, if it comes from somewhere I can't or don't understand, if I'm feeling jealous or resentful that they seem to know something I don't, or if I think they don't know enough about me to be making such a judgement. It's just that you are still talking a whole lot more about him than you are about yourself, and that sets off warning flags for those of us with a lot of recovery under our belts (for me that means practicing Al-Anon since 2003, no fewer than 2 meetings per week).
I think that's the difference between you (the collective you. Not just you, cryanoak) and me: you all have a lot of recovery under your belts. I don't. I wish I did! I wish I was in your place. I wish I was on the other side of this crap, but I'm not. I'm in the middle of it and am just trying to stay focused on me. Your experiences have shaped your advice and suggestions, but this is completely new for me. What comes easily for you may not come as easily for me. I like to look at it this way: I am young Luke Skywalker and you all represent Yoda. Maybe if I imagine you looking like Yoda, I won't let my feelings get hurt. Ha!!
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:46 AM
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Hello Luke...err...craven!

I can only assume it is b/c he is not able to, not necessarily b/c he is choosing to ignore me.
Yeah, that. The Force is there, but he has to choose to use it right?

You're getting there, it's a one step at a time thing. One eye opening moment at a time.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
You're getting there, it's a one step at a time thing. One eye opening moment at a time.
Yep. I can do this.

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