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He made his choice, but it still hurts

Old 12-06-2010, 04:52 PM
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When I was 17, I told my first serious bf he had to choose between me and drugs. He chose drugs.

Two weeks ago, I divorced my AH of almost 20 years. I gave him a choice 4 years ago, he told me he would never stop drinking, and then it took me 4 years to follow through. He checked himself into rehab the day after I walked out on him, but by then, it was too late. I was done.

I used to tell people, "it's unfair to only see the alcoholic when he has so many wonderful sides to him. He's not only an alcoholic. It's only part of who he is."

But more and more, there was no other part to him. The alcoholic ate the rest of his personality up. And what kept me in the relationship was partly the memories, the hope that That Wonderful Man I Married would somehow magically return. He never did.

Don't mistake pity for love. Don't mistake feeling needed for being loved. It's got nothing to do with your IQ. Until you've lived with an addict, you might think "I can't believe she's stupid enough to..." but once you've experienced it, you know smart people fall in love with addicts, too. And put themselves through hell.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:08 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Well, unfortunately everyone was right but me. I was the one who believed in him. Believed when he said he would quit. We got thru Christmas ok and a weeklong family vacation in Florida. He never drank once and it was awesome. Once we got back, it was different. I can smell the liquor on his breath. Maybe he just had one - I don't know and I don't care anymore!! I'm not stupid though. I lay my head on his chest and his breath made me sick to my stomach. I got up to leave because I didn't want to have the same old arguement again. He said he worked all day and didn't have time for a drink. Come on! Dammit, dammit, dammit!!! I am not that stupid!! It's disrepectful to me. He said he would stop and when everyone else told me to run - I said no, and I stuck with him because I loved him and I believed in him. Maybe I am stupid ?

I just know that I can't deal with this right now. I have been laid off from my job since November. I am a single mom with two sons at home (19 and 15). I'm debating using my savings and going back to school for a degree.. I need something to look forward to because he was my everything. My future was with him and now I am feeling pretty damn sad that I couldn't trust him. I'm feeling embarressed that I let him into my family and now I have to explain his absence to my kids and nieces and nephews. This just sucks. It really does. I feel like that part of my heart will be closed forever. I will never have the kind of intimate relationship that we had. I don't ever want to kiss another man the way I kissed him. My heart is absolutely broken. It just hurts even though I know this is best. It sucks...
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:44 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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For my own reasons, I am trying to work it out with my AH. I do love him and hope for the best for him.

What I want to share with you is that this is a choice I have made and it's hard to explain but a year ago I forced him out of the house and got myself back to work and somehow made things work out for me and my 3 kids. I did that almost as an insane person.

I am just so glad to be at the point where I no longer feel insane and I can take my time and decide how I want the rest of my life to be.

Much of what my AH says no longer affects me (not all the time and mostly because we don't have a lot of contact) and through counseling I am learning how to stick up for myself or just drop it. This is what I need for me and as for our relationship, it is what it is right now - a marriage on paper.

Not sure if you are understanding what I am trying to share. In the past when my AH said to me "nobody is gonna love you more" I felt the same way you do. Now if he ever says that to me again, I know even though I love him those words will not affect me and I will know them for what everyone calls the "quacking" of the alcoholic.

If I do hear those words from AH again I will have further confirmation of the long road it is for him to recover and I will know he is wrong because I love myself more and that is all that matters.

It took me a long time to get to this point and it is hard when all of sudden I was faced with the prospect of being a single mom. I couldn't even imagine what I would do if I was already a single mom. Although it is like I am and have been for a long time. I am so glad I took the step to get back to work and it was hard at first and still hard sometimes at my age. Even if AH actively seeks true recovery, the time I spend while he is doing that will be for me and what is best for me and my kids future - in truth if I plan for a good future alone, having him in that future as a recovered A may or may not be a plus.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:59 AM
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It is hard. Many of us have done it. He chooses alcohol. the first thing you can do is pick yourself up and dust yourself off, like you are doing with your idea of going back to school. Do it! Something for you. You have a rosy future, even though you don't see it right now. Don't be dragged down by his alcoholism.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:46 AM
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No advice. I'm just sorry. It sounds like you know that you have made the right choice for yourself. That one step ahead of many people....like me, for example.

Time. It sounds so cliche, but it does heal.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:08 AM
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I'm so very sorry. I recently went through a very similar experience and am still reeling from it. Addiction is such a horrible, horrible thing. Doing something for yourself is just one of the best things you can do. And know that although it has left a huge hole in your heart, it is not about YOU. His problems are about HIM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:32 AM
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I am one of those who married an alcoholic. I too have been beating myself up repeatedly thinking I should have been smarter than that, I should have seen the red flags waving in front of my nose, I should have listened to my gut instinct the first time I had an inkling. This was also my first time dealing with alcoholism and I didn't know what I was looking at until it kicked me in the a$$ quite a few times. Well, here I am 3 years later, separated and hurting. It hurts like hell, but everyday gets a little better and a little clearer.

To deal with it, I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about alcoholism, plus starting attending AL-Anon. I went to counseling. I talked honestly with my teenagers about what was going on with him. I finally gave the ultimatum, and he's been in AA since that day. But I still left. Why? It is an emotional roller coaster ride and I needed off for a while. I needed to get my head back on straight. I need some time to breath. And he needs to be in recovery and focus on himself. This is NOT the time to focus on the marriage. This lifestyle really messes with your head something fierce, no matter how smart you think you may be!

Without wanting to sound harsh here - I think you are LUCKY that you can walk away from this relationship relatively unscathed. You don't have to go through a divorce, deal with kids and custody, split assets, and so on. If I had known this was going to be my future, I would not have married my husband. This is drama overload for me!

I read a great book recently - I posted this somewhere else yesterday but will pass it along to you. It was so helpful in understanding the ways alcoholics justify their drinking and the internal struggle they go through each and every day. "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp. It really made me rethink what empathy and compassion means. But it can also help you understand that when your ABF says he won't stop drinking - he really can't stop right now. You're better off without that in your life. Listen to him - he's telling you the truth.

Take good care.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:42 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by hwsm View Post
Like I said earlier; I never had the courage to give him an ultimatum because deep down, I knew that his choice would not be me and I was not ready to accept that. I still have trouble accepting it even though I know it is the best thing for me.
So that's what led me here; searching for answers; trying to make some sense of it all.
I know you don't feel very lucky right now, but from my perspective you are. I STILL - after 14 years - did not give him that ultimatum, because I too knew the answer that I didn't want to hear. I threatened to leave - hundreds of times but not for the drinking. For the abuse that came with it. I didn't follow through. It's all about the alcoholic and his/her disease. The elephant in the room eventually became so large and loud that it squeezed me right out of my own existence.

Hang tough and you'll make it!
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:22 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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It's hard because Monday would have been our one-year anniversary. We were looking forward to doing everything for the second time (Superbowl parties, Valentines Day, baseball season, etc., etc., etc.).

Thank you all for your support and kind words. They mean more than you could ever know. I'm hanging tough. I'm tired of being the "debbie downer" and feeling sorry for myself. Although I can't imagine anyone else in my life right now, I know deep down that this is the right thing to do. I told him that I will always love him, but I cannot make any more promises for the future.

**{big sigh}}
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:42 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I am one of those who married an alcoholic. I too have been beating myself up repeatedly thinking I should have been smarter than that, I should have seen the red flags waving in front of my nose, I should have listened to my gut instinct the first time I had an inkling. This was also my first time dealing with alcoholism and I didn't know what I was looking at until it kicked me in the a$$ quite a few times. Well, here I am 3 years later, separated and hurting. It hurts like hell, but everyday gets a little better and a little clearer.

To deal with it, I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about alcoholism, plus starting attending AL-Anon. I went to counseling. I talked honestly with my teenagers about what was going on with him. I finally gave the ultimatum, and he's been in AA since that day. But I still left. Why? It is an emotional roller coaster ride and I needed off for a while. I needed to get my head back on straight. I need some time to breath. And he needs to be in recovery and focus on himself. This is NOT the time to focus on the marriage. This lifestyle really messes with your head something fierce, no matter how smart you think you may be!

Without wanting to sound harsh here - I think you are LUCKY that you can walk away from this relationship relatively unscathed. You don't have to go through a divorce, deal with kids and custody, split assets, and so on. If I had known this was going to be my future, I would not have married my husband. This is drama overload for me!

I read a great book recently - I posted this somewhere else yesterday but will pass it along to you. It was so helpful in understanding the ways alcoholics justify their drinking and the internal struggle they go through each and every day. "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp. It really made me rethink what empathy and compassion means. But it can also help you understand that when your ABF says he won't stop drinking - he really can't stop right now. You're better off without that in your life. Listen to him - he's telling you the truth.

Take good care.
I read some of the "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp. I'm learning tons of information and recognizing so many things now. How alcoholics are masters of deception and the whole blame thing. How he can't really feel things because he's numb from drinking. It makes me look at him in a whole new light. Like I feel sorry for him that he just doesn't get it. Wow. Thank you.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:11 PM
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Hwsm, what has worked for me over the years is try to look for the lesson this life experience was meant to teach you. It is there, you have only to find it and learn it. What has really helped me in this regard is AlAnon, therapy, reading books, and SR.
(((hugs))) hope you're feeling better
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:26 PM
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Hugs. Just, hugs.

I wouldn't say he can never get well, but frankly, it doesn't sound to me like he's lost enough, yet. Most alcoholics don't quit drinking because they intellectually believe they should.

Even losing you probably won't be enough. He will rationalize it somehow--blame you, most likely--and continue on until SOMETHING makes him DESPERATE enough to stop. That could be years and years away.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:19 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Lexie -

So true. He's already said that everything I've ever said to him must have been nothing but lies. That I've hurt him worse than anyone ever has. That he "should have learned by now". And that he just "keeps trusting the wrong people".

WHATEVER! Looking back now - I see the lies; how easily they came to him. How I believed his excuses. I love him, but more than anything, I feel sorry for him. How sad.

I was seriously the best thing that ever happened to him and he really blew it; big time.

Thank you again.

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Old 01-29-2011, 09:12 PM
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Hugs to you. I saw so much of myself in your posts that I have tears in my eyes. I didn't marry him or have babies with him, but I did have the most amazing connection to him. I excused a lot, I ignored a lot, I justified a lot. Now I hurt a lot, and miss him a lot, and worry a lot. The thing is had I left him on our first anniversary when all the red flags were already there I could have avoided A LOT....being thrown so hard that I knocked my 3 year old down, getting a restraining order and the humiliation that went with it, loosing tens of thousands of dollars supporting him and ending up broke. Please run, run as fast as you can. Listen to the red flags. I sincerely wish I did.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:15 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Big slap in the face today. I got an email notification from a dating website that my AXBF is actively seeking a relationship. He added me to his "favorites" list. I think he just wanted me to read his new and improved profile. He said his relationship of the last year was wonderful but he was tired of being told how wonderful he was and then being shown the door. I don't know anymore. Today hurt worse than anything he's done before. I know he's sick, but that makes me feel like I meant so little to him. I just look forward to each day ending so I can go to sleep; then it starts all over again. How long does it take to get over someone like this?
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:16 PM
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I think I'd find another dating site. Why would you want to be on the same one he's on?

Alternatively, create a new profile, and remove your photo (you can always send it to someone if you are interested in him). That way you won't get any unwelcome "notifications".

Of course, you would still have to resist the urge to keep checking his profile...

BTW, the stuff in his profile is blatant manipulation on his part. He KNOWS you would see it.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
BTW, the stuff in his profile is blatant manipulation on his part. He KNOWS you would see it.
He also conveniently forgot to include the part about WHY he was being shown the door. Please don't forget that part, yourself.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:52 PM
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I haven't been on that site since we met. It was a shock to get a notification from him. I am sooo not ready to date or even meet anyone at this point. My profile was not even active. I know he just wanted me to see his new pic and profile (the pic, btw, was one that I took of him last month in Florida). I know it's manipulation, and rotten.

I had a terrible day. I spent hours laying on my bathroom floor, sobbing uncontrollably. I wanted to have a serious temper tantrum and punch walls and throw stuff! Then once I finally settled down, I get two texts from him - which I did NOT respond to. The last one hinted that he was wanting to end it all and wouldn't contact me anymore. Lol Then I got another long email from him. Some of it's comical but some of it I want to address and set him straight. I never showed him the door. I said "what part of you promised to stop drinking did you not understand?"

I just keep thinking about the quacking. You guys have kept me going here...........and I thank you for that!
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by hwsm View Post
Then I got another long email from him. Some of it's comical but some of it I want to address and set him straight.
This is a very crucial time. I've been there before - more times than I care to admit, and I DID contact him and I DID give my power away and I DID take him back. Please weigh your decision - very carefully.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:59 PM
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It's a really hard decision. I think of the million reasons that I love him weighing upon this one issue (a big one, at that) that we clash over. I do love him and I do want to be with him. I don't know if I can walk away from everything that we had. Part of me wants to stay strong but the other part misses him and wants him back. Thank you for letting me know that other people have been there and had these same feelings.
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