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Things are always changing

Old 12-02-2010, 10:05 PM
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Things are always changing

Just when I finally feel like I have it all figured out things change, again! A week ago I quit marriage counseling and told AH I wasn't going back until he was at least 30 days sober and seeking help for that. He said he wasn't willing to do that and even if he quit he would not seek any help, so I said I guess it is over then. Since then he has left me alone. He didn't talk to me for two days and then on the third asked me to get the rest of my stuff out and to make the final separation of our finances; he even told me that he didn't trust me anymore with his emotions or want to be with me. I agreed and accepted it as over and on tuesday we went together to the bank to separate our account. It was empowering for me letting go of worry about his bills for good. Well, after separating our account I think things got too real for AH. He is telling me today now how he sees that he messed up, how sorry he is he has fought me so hard, he is going to do whatever it takes, for the first time ever acknowledged that alcohol might be a problem, etc... I told him I am not really sure anymore if it will be enough and I asked him "What's in it for me?" when it comes to being with him (I feel he provided very little in the last several years we were together, not to mention the drinking and the problems associated with that). He said that he couldn't answer what used to be in it for me, but that he would do better and that he would be a partner for me. He told me I need to look at the future and not the past, but the past still matters to me and I am not sure how to let it go right now. I feel so confused and I know I need to give things time to set in and time to see what really will happen. I need to keep working on me and see how the pieces fall, but I hate it because I feel like I am being pulled back into the limbo that I thought I had escaped. It is hard to hear him say some of the things I have been dreaming of him saying and waiting to hear so long and finding that I resent hearing them...why couldn't he say them months ago. The problem is I am so tired of fighting this battle and I think I might just want out. I want to believe him and I want to believe that what he is offering me really could exist, but the truth is I don't. I want to believe in him and his ability to change, but I wonder how much he really could offer me even at his most functional. What is worse is there is a part of me that wants him to fail (that sounds terrible I am sure) because it would make my decisions so much easier. The thing is this last week that I felt single was the best week I have had in a while. I have been depressed about what it means to not have someone in my life (I haven't been single since I was 16), but that was nothing compared to the anxiety trying to work on things with him has brought out in me. It was nice to think of a future where all I had to be concerned about was me and my kids. It was nice to think about having a direction and not being in limbo anymore and I had decided I was going to get my stuff out and the end it once and for all. It was exciting thinking about the possibilities. It felt so good saying to myself it was over and really meaning it for the first time. I haven't missed him even a little in the two months we have been apart and I thought it was all over for me, but now I am lost. I thought I wanted him to make changes in his life and that if he made those changes I would see him as relationship material, but now I am afraid I won't be able to see him in a positive light again. Is it really possible to rebuild a relationship that was unhealthy into a healthy one? Is it possible to take a relationship that has been broken apart and build it back up? And now that it is being offered to me, do I really want to work on it? I am not sure I have what it takes to rebuild this...rebuilding myself seems hard enough. As always any advice would be appreciated and thank you in advance SR (you all have been a real lifeline and I couldn't do it without you)!
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:36 PM
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There is no need to change your plans just because he made some promises. Words mean nothing, it's actions that matter. And it will be a good long time before you will know for sure that his actions are telling the truth.

When I separated from my husband, I had gone through many ultimatums. I would threaten to leave, he would stop drinking or cut back enough to appease me, and then the cycle would start all over again. I knew I didn't want to do that anymore. So, when we split, I told him that there was no discussing "us" for 6 months. He could do whatever he pleased in those six months (meaning get sober or don't--I didn't really care anymore). I told him I needed that long just to sort out my own stuff.

Rebuilding yourself is hard enough. So, keep on that path. If it's meant to be, it will. Somewhere down the road. Don't let a few nice words and lovely promises distract you from what you need to do. Because, the truth is, you still need to do it--even if he gets sober.

L

P.S. If you break your posts up into paragraphs, it makes them much easier to read.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:07 AM
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He is quacking. Let him get sober, go into recovery, and see what happens. There is no rush. You can always readdress the relationship in a year.

Pay attention to his actions, not his words. The words mean nothing.

Go forward with your plans.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:26 AM
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I completely agree with previous posters...You need not change a thing.

Re-read you post...your answers lie there. You have felt better, and more hopeful since you have taken steps to take care of yourself and your children. Don't let go of that because he said what you wanted to hear.

His actions will tell you all you need to know. Sober and in a program of recovery. Those were your terms. Not the promise that he would do it. Give him the gift of doing it on is own...for no other reason than he wants to change his life for the better.

Step away, and take care of you
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:29 AM
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hi crystal-

i don't see why you have to be in limbo again. while it's great that he is admitting a problem, why not continue to step all the way back and get on with your life? maybe he'll get sober and get into recovery. if so, you can choose to be with him again later at some far away sober date from now.

don't let him take your hard earned freedom now with a few quacking promises!

talk is cheap. step back and see what he DOES.

or maybe you really are finished altogether, even if he does get sober.

it's your life. you get to call the shots. take your freedom if you want it.

if you need time to yourself, all you need to do is say to him that you don't know what you are feeling, you want time to yourself, and you wish him the best in his recovery.

you do not have to promise him that if he is sober for one month, you will take him back. who knows how you will be feeling in one month! i wouldn't make any such promises, i would merely state that right now i don't know and i need my own time. you're allowed to do that!

naive
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:04 PM
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Lot of good advice on here that I hope you take. And some chiches: talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words, etc. etc. I hate to sound cynical but since I'm a recovering alcoholic (20 years) I can tell you want his words mean. He's going to miss his enabler, you leaving will interfere with his drinking. So buy some time, promise, promise, promise.

You've gone through a great deal and you've earned the right to have a good life. Yes, it's scary to step into the unknown, but as you can see here, lots of people have made the jump ahead of you and report that yes, life really does get a lot better. You did everything you could and I think now you understand you're powerless over him and his disease.

You'll do great!
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by naive View Post

it's your life. you get to call the shots. take your freedom if you want it.
I think I forget that sometimes and I need to remember. I think if for no other reason that is why I need to be single. I don't think I have ever really made choices just for me alone and it is uncomfortable. It feels selfish and I learned from a young age (living with an addict) that selfishness with loved ones is a negative...I just have to keep remembering that for once it really is possible for me to come first and that is ok. I have to take care of me 'cause no one else will if I don't. I guess I also have this sense of obligation that is hard to shake because we are married and it is so hard to feel like I have freedom in my choices that seem to affect so many. Thanks for all the great reminders.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by crystal226 View Post
I don't think I have ever really made choices just for me alone and it is uncomfortable.
It is uncomfortable! I found that the more I walked through the discomfort and continued to make positive changes for myself, the easier it got.

Wishing you nothing but the best in your life, dear.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:25 PM
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Just in case you couldn't see it ... you've answered your own question.... LOL!

Just when I finally feel like I have it all figured out things change, again! A week ago I quit marriage counseling and told AH I wasn't going back until he was at least 30 days sober and seeking help for that. He said he wasn't willing to do that and even if he quit he would not seek any help, so I said I guess it is over then. Since then he has left me alone. He didn't talk to me for two days and then on the third asked me to get the rest of my stuff out and to make the final separation of our finances; he even told me that he didn't trust me anymore with his emotions or want to be with me. I agreed and accepted it as over and on tuesday we went together to the bank to separate our account. It was empowering for me letting go of worry about his bills for good. Well, after separating our account I think things got too real for AH. He is telling me today now how he sees that he messed up, how sorry he is he has fought me so hard, he is going to do whatever it takes, for the first time ever acknowledged that alcohol might be a problem, etc... I told him I am not really sure anymore if it will be enough and I asked him "What's in it for me?" when it comes to being with him (I feel he provided very little in the last several years we were together, not to mention the drinking and the problems associated with that). He said that he couldn't answer what used to be in it for me, but that he would do better and that he would be a partner for me. He told me I need to look at the future and not the past, but the past still matters to me and I am not sure how to let it go right now. I feel so confused and I know I need to give things time to set in and time to see what really will happen. I need to keep working on me and see how the pieces fall, but I hate it because I feel like I am being pulled back into the limbo that I thought I had escaped. It is hard to hear him say some of the things I have been dreaming of him saying and waiting to hear so long and finding that I resent hearing them...why couldn't he say them months ago. The problem is I am so tired of fighting this battle and I think I might just want out. I want to believe him and I want to believe that what he is offering me really could exist, but the truth is I don't. I want to believe in him and his ability to change, but I wonder how much he really could offer me even at his most functional. What is worse is there is a part of me that wants him to fail (that sounds terrible I am sure) because it would make my decisions so much easier. The thing is this last week that I felt single was the best week I have had in a while. I have been depressed about what it means to not have someone in my life (I haven't been single since I was 16), but that was nothing compared to the anxiety trying to work on things with him has brought out in me. It was nice to think of a future where all I had to be concerned about was me and my kids. It was nice to think about having a direction and not being in limbo anymore and I had decided I was going to get my stuff out and the end it once and for all. It was exciting thinking about the possibilities. It felt so good saying to myself it was over and really meaning it for the first time. I haven't missed him even a little in the two months we have been apart and I thought it was all over for me, but now I am lost. I thought I wanted him to make changes in his life and that if he made those changes I would see him as relationship material, but now I am afraid I won't be able to see him in a positive light again. Is it really possible to rebuild a relationship that was unhealthy into a healthy one? Is it possible to take a relationship that has been broken apart and build it back up? And now that it is being offered to me, do I really want to work on it? I am not sure I have what it takes to rebuild this...rebuilding myself seems hard enough. As always any advice would be appreciated and thank you in advance SR (you all have been a real lifeline and I couldn't do it without you)!
But you already HAVE done it without us...LOL!

We are so much stronger than ever we suspected.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by barb dwyer View Post
Just in case you couldn't see it ... you've answered your own question.... LOL!
Thanks. I guess on some level I could see that. I think the message reads loud and clear. I know what I need to do, at least for right now. It is just the heartache and the fear of moving ahead into the unknown that is hard. I am the kind of person always trying to make the "perfect" decision, but I guess sometimes you just have to use your best judgement and jump!
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:44 PM
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and sometimes we just need to be told we're okay.

you're okay.

((hug))
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:24 PM
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Changing is right.....now my ex's enabling family is not only paying his bills for him....but now his friggin uncle bought him a condo....I hope they picked out a casket and head stone too.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:33 PM
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crystal-

as for the unknown, trust in your HP and you will find your way.

surrender!

naive
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by crystal226 View Post
Thanks. I guess on some level I could see that. I think the message reads loud and clear. I know what I need to do, at least for right now. It is just the heartache and the fear of moving ahead into the unknown that is hard. I am the kind of person always trying to make the "perfect" decision, but I guess sometimes you just have to use your best judgement and jump!
That was really such a hard thing for me to do. It is OK. Remember that nothing is forever, you can change your mind, you can make mistakes, it will be OK. Make the best decisions you can, do the next right thing, and it will work out. Your decisions and choices are sound. I'll second everyone that said nothing has really changed but his words and if there is one thing that is clear, words are useless.
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:26 AM
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I got the strong feeling that his first decision for separation was really a ploy, where you were supposed to break down, grovel a bit, and beg him not to leave you.

OK, so you didn't behave as he scripted for you, and now he is into "get my enabler back" mode, where he is the crying, upset and grovelling soul who needs you so much.

As the others have posted, it is quacking and means nothing more than any other duck quacking. His actions and behavior is what speaks truly, and even that needs
watching for long enough to see whether it is fair dinkum change or just another role he acts in his play.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:40 PM
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Update: AH brings me a letter telling me all the things I have wanted to hear and telling me he is going to quit for himself and better his life, see a counselor, be the man I deserve, etc, etc... It was hard because for the first time in two months I had a small sense of wanting to go "home." I had a small vision of what I used to see in the relationship and that desire to have that back I felt for the first time. So far I haven't felt that and it is good to know that still exists even if it is something I may never see again. I want to as I move forward be able to appreciate the good and up until yesterday I couldn't find that appreciation even a little.

The thing is he seems sincere and I think that is great for him if he is, but I need to wait for the action because as many of you said he is just quacking at this point. It was painful, but I told him that I still needed my space. That for the time being I was remaining single and focused on myself and that I wouldn't promise anything except that after the first of the year we could see where things are and review the situation.

The thing about being "on my own" is I haven't been at his house snooping around, I haven't been obsessing over what he is doing, and I haven't been using his actions to define my mood or desires when it comes to the relationship. It is difficult to detach, but when I am really doing it, it feels good.

This morning I woke up feeling some of that old anxiety that comes along with not trusting him. I found myself worried about whether or not he was lying to me and just hiding his drinking, I wondered how long he would really last, I worried that if he did slip he would lie to me yet again, my small amount of faith turned into resentment and mistrust. I hate feeling those feelings, but I think in a way they are a defense mechanism because they help me to justify my actions. What I am starting to really see though is I don't need to justify myself based on what he is doing, I need to own my feelings and my choices and I am going to do my best to do better everyday. I have to remind myself to stop thinking about him and the "what if's" and to just think about me and what feels right. I think I will probably have to do that reminding for a long time, but if I do it enough hopefully one day it will come more naturally.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:55 PM
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Crystal, you are doing so well

I have been through the same thing, and I know that I need to be strong enough to take each day as it comes, without all the "what-ifs" that occupy my mind at times. The more time goes by, the easier that is.

I believe that if I work on myself, and I allow my exabf to work on himself, in time, my higher power will give me the answers I do not have at this time.

If your AH means what he says, then no matter what you say or do...he will follow through.
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:52 PM
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If your AH means what he says, then no matter what you say or do...he will follow through.
I agree, and Crystal you are doing so well.
Wow, really getting to the heart of it now, your heart.
Fantastic.

Beth
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