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Getting over your ex

Old 12-07-2010, 04:36 PM
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Getting over your ex

I'm warning you immediately that this might be long.

One of my friends lost her father last year. She said alcoholism "ate her father," basically, turned the wonderful involved father she remembers from her childhood into a self-focused shell of himself. When he died, she was devastated -- because all these years, she had still hoped that he would become that amazing person again, the one she loved as a child (and kept loving though he changed so much).

Three months after the funeral, her mother announced that she was getting engaged. My friend was, I think, more devastated at that news than at her father's death. She couldn't believe that her mother "got over" her father's death that quickly, and was ready to move on that quickly. Her mother had been going to Al-Anon meetings for about fifteen years, and had elected to stay with her father.

I listened to her cry. I listened to her ask "did my mother ever really love him?" and listened to her vent about what an insensitive, hard-hearted [insert insult here] her mother was and how she would never forgive her.

I thought about it, and then I said the following:

I think when you've been married to a person who is an active alcoholic for that many years, you've already grieved the person they used to be (the good person you fell in love with and married), and you've probably also grieved the person they turned into. And harsh as it sounds, by the time they actually die, not only do I think you could be done grieving -- it could actually feel like a relief, and an event that finally releases you from the responsibility of caring for them, and gives you the ability to go on with your life.

She looked at me like I had two heads and kept on hating her mother.

But I'm experiencing the same thing. I've been in Al-Anon for 4-5 years. I've worked diligently on my recovery. My XAH didn't die -- I divorced him. And I meet these people who have tears in their eyes and say, "Divorce is SO hard!" and I think "not as hard as continuing to be married to him would have been"... they say, "don't worry, you might find someone else in a few years when you've gotten over the hurt" and I think "d**n straight I will -- and there's very little hurt to get over, I've dealt with most of that already."

So... I'm trying to be honest with people and say, "Look -- my marriage was over a LONG time ago. I'm not grieving a loss, people. I'm celebrating a prison break."

And they look at me, again, like I have two heads.

I'm not grieving. I'm not mortally wounded and in need of years of checking if my heart is still beating. I'm alive and more well than I've been in many years and I'm ready to get ON with my life!

Can anyone relate to this? It's really hard to be honest with people when it's like they WANT you to be all sad and depressed when you're NOT? I'm not kidding myself, I think codependency is as much of a lifelong thing as alcoholism, but I'm not going to go sit in my little apartment and drink tea and avoid living because other people think that's what I need to do.

I'm not intending to get married in the next three months, but the right man would definitely be eligible for a date or two. And of course, I'm wondering What People Would Think -- which is stupid. People are going to criticize you one way or the other, so you might as well do what feel ready to do. Right?
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:53 PM
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Lillamy,
I have some older female relatives. They were a bunch of sister in laws known as "the merry widows". They were married to brothers. The husbands were all a piece of work but they had to wait until they were dead. Boy, did those ladies make up for the years with the "difficult" husbands! Everyone knew what they had put up with and no-one could say a da^n thing about it! I love that they at least got to live out there lives with enjoyment. Anyone who judges is an a$$.
That's why women live longer, because they deserve the break!
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
People are going to criticize you one way or the other, so you might as well do what feel ready to do. Right?
No critisism from here, Lillamy. I'm in awe of you and how far you are in your path.

Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
And I meet these people who have tears in their eyes and say, "Divorce is SO hard!" and I think "not as hard as continuing to be married to him would have been"...
I completely understand this. The divorce was brutal. But the thought of staying with him is downright unbearable. I know where I was heading while in a relationship with him. I know what would have happened if I didn't get out. I'm glad I'm gone. I'm glad I'm no longer married to him. At the same time, I don't feel free yet. It's all very new, fresh and feels rather like a severely gaping wound.

Thank you for sharing. I really needed ES&H like this right now.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:12 PM
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You know, I haven't posted here an awful lot. But when I go back and read my posts from when I first came here, 4 years ago, I can see how far I've come. And that, my friends, is some pretty tall corn. And I owe a lot of it to this place. Because even when I haven't posted, I have read.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:54 PM
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Kudos to you woman! I admire you!! I only wish I could be where you're at!!! My AH still frequently gives me glimpses of the man he used to be and we still share a lot as best friends, lovers and parents; but the addict always manages to pop back in to remind me he's there. This disease sucks and IMO, the only reason anyone would judge you is out of a lack of their own self-esteem.

I always tell my daughter the reason bullies pick on kids in school is usually because they're insecure and unhappy in their own lives and they generally choose to attack those they are jealous of. I'm pretty sure the same thing applies here.

Everyone handles things differently and if you're 20 steps ahead, people may say something is wrong with you only because they're not where you're at and ultimately the problem lies within them - they just don't get that.

Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
I think when you've been married to a person who is an active alcoholic for that many years, you've already grieved the person they used to be (the good person you fell in love with and married), and you've probably also grieved the person they turned into. And harsh as it sounds, by the time they actually die, not only do I think you could be done grieving -- it could actually feel like a relief, and an event that finally releases you from the responsibility of caring for them, and gives you the ability to go on with your life.
MOST DEFINITELY!!!!
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:38 PM
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Yep, you've said it so well... we do grieve as we journey through the years with them... and have paid our dues by the time they are out of our lives. The feelings I had for my XAH have melted away like a popsicle on a warm day... all gone... and the bad memories are fading too.

Life is good!
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:12 PM
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Grief is such a personal thing anyway. Everyone does it so differently. So to say someone should feel like this or that after the end of something is not really fair.

The best story I heard about a widow was this one:

The widow was being comforted by her friends at her husbands funeral. They told her how lovely the service was and she remarked that it did cost a bit but luckily she had enough left for a stone. "Headstone?" remarked her friend. "No, the 5 carat kind of stone I'm getting for myself! That s.o.b. never bought me anything!"
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:07 PM
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((lillamy))

Grief is different for each person - but i can relate to what you have said about those living with active alcoholism going thru that process while their mate is still alive or they are still married.

That is exactly what I did for almost 3 yrs. I lived with my ex ah for almost 3 yrs after he relapsed and I went thru the grieving process then - the loss of our marriage, the love I had for him, and all that WE lost as a couple. I knew I was leaving for almost a year before I actually RENTED another place to live.

I spent Thanksgiving nite sleeping on the floor in my new rental in Nov 2008 - I went on my first date with someone new 2 nites later - I was DONE when I walked out of that door on Thanksgiving Morning. I had been done for many many months prior.

There were many rumors about infidelity, cheating, blah, blah, blah on my part, but none of them were true - I just followed the healing of my HP and did what was right for me.

Today, I'm remarried to that wonderful gentleman who took me out for a nice supper over 2 yrs ago - Neither of us knew that was going to take us to this level - but the God of my understanding did. He had a plan and I'm so grateful I followed it - no matter WHAT those other folks said.

You follow your guidance and the direction of your Higher Power -

Praying for His Best for YOU!
PINK HUGS,
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:08 PM
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I am still celebrating my divorce. And plan to for some time. Yes, I grieved that marriage, what we had, who he was, and all the hopes and dreams I had. But that marriage was so painful, it would have been worse to stay.

As I've been changing my name everywhere, it's funny the reactions I get. It's very clear to all that I was the leave-er rather than the leave-ee, because I'm dropping the hyphen and his last name from mine. I have made no bones about it - I'm very happy it's over, and darnit, they should be happy for me!

Anybody who thinks otherwise, well, hasn't walked in my shoes. I've gotten plenty of "congratulations" along the way, and my best friend sent me flowers to celebrate. I daresay that if anyone were to give me the line about someday finding someone once I'd "gotten over it", I'd probably look at them like they had 2 heads.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:20 PM
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Your post made me remember someone's alkie uncle - this person told me when his uncle finally died, all the family could feel was RELIEF. Very very sad it comes to that. I hope your friend finds solace and peace soon! keep moving forward and thanks for your thread as it motivated me today.
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