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Manipulating into worrying?

Old 01-08-2011, 09:55 PM
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Manipulating into worrying?

When you leave an A, do they sometimes try to manipulate you into worrying about them? I'm just wonder if my ex's recent Quack was trying to do that. Reaching out for "help" but then pulling back and saying he's afraid of how others will react when he admits it....
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:22 PM
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YES.
They will do whatever they can to try and get you to help them avoid facing alcoholism/not drinking.

My A has COPD, and was always talking about how he was dying of a lung disease, but I didn't care about him enough to help him get better, so he was glad he was going to be dead by tomorrow.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:33 PM
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Sometimes?
All the time.
I don't know how many versions of it I've heard:
  • "People who don't have family support have an atrocious rate of recovery compared to people who do."
  • "I am doing everything you wanted me to do, why are you not supporting me so I can be successful?"
  • "This is a disease, how can you leave a sick person? That's like leaving someone because they have cancer!"
  • "What if I die and we're still not on friendly terms -- how would you live with yourself?"
  • "It's your fault that the children are suffering because you ripped our family apart."
  • "It's my mom's fault that I'm drinking and it's your fault I didn't quit earlier."
  • "It's your fault if I lose my job because you left me and I've been so upset I've been making mistakes at work.
Those are only the ones I can recall off the top of my head.
And it's sad, really. Because I do care about my ex. I really, truly do. But there's no DMZ right now: If I show the slightest bit of caring, he jumps at it and tries to pull me back in. He's like a black hole, and right now, until (if) he gets to the point in his recovery where he realizes that he (not I) is responsible for him, I have to keep my distance.

Does it hurt? Of course it does. We were married for 20 years. We have amazing children together. But if I e-mail him about something cute one of the kids did while they are with me, he will ask me if I can babysit so he can go shoot hoops with his AA friends. I swear.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:38 AM
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If he really wanted "help" he would be at a meeting or checking into a program, not calling his ex girlfriend.That's when you will know he means it..when you DON"T hear from him.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:44 AM
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When my exabf contacted me with a text during the days after I left that, "My life sucks, Goodbye.", my heart sank, I thought about running to his side, but instead, just replied, "Call someone from AA or a therapist, they can help you."

When they truly want help, they will know just how to find it. And all the rest is manipulative BS.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:26 PM
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Hey SeekingCalm - what if they say, "AA ain't it for me. I don't like therapy." I like your response but I've already gotten that response back. The latest one I was sticking to was Detox. "No one can help you until you help yourself?" I get the impression if I say "I'm sorry I can't help you" it will turn into "I reached out to her for help and she turned me away. wahhhh. Now I'm drinking even more...."
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:38 PM
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If they say AA is not for them, and therapy is not for them, and only come to us for help, then in essence they do not want help at all.

We can't help them, so they can say they came to us for help, but it is meaningless because we are powerless.

If they really want help, if they really have hit bottom, they will crawl, walk, run, whatever it takes to get that help. My ex said the same things,"AA is not for me, I will no longer see my therapist, I just want to be me!!!" But once I left, and he was left alone in an empty house with a bottle of vodka for company, well two weeks of that and he ran to AA...been there ever since. It's not easy, but he's been sober and working a solid program of recovery for over 11 months.

I got to the point where I realized if my exabf wanted to die more than live, there was no amount of love or support that would change that. And I wanted to live, and be happy and whole. With him or without him.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:48 PM
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I'm not interested in "saving" him. His doctor told him he will die within two years and even that's not enough. I'm happy to be free of this BS and I just feel like if that's what he wants to Godspeed but leave me out. But I feel like he was trying to manipulate me into an exchange where he could turn it so that now it's my fault that he's still drinking. In hindsight, I think he did that a lot behind my back to his friends. I guess the best I can do at this point is just don't respond?
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
Hey SeekingCalm - what if they say, "AA ain't it for me. I don't like therapy." I like your response but I've already gotten that response back. The latest one I was sticking to was Detox. "No one can help you until you help yourself?" I get the impression if I say "I'm sorry I can't help you" it will turn into "I reached out to her for help and she turned me away. wahhhh. Now I'm drinking even more...."
I finally got to the point that the entire thing just ticked me off. I was then able to say. "Bummer. I hope you find something that works for you."

And of course he responded like that. It was all my fault that he was drinking himself silly no matter what I did or didn't do. If it isn't one thing its another - there is always a reason why *we* are the cause of *their* drinking. There is no way to get out of that one IME. Active alcoholics are always trying to twist things so it isn't their fault. You just have to quit listening to it and quit trying to explain it to him.

Here's a good thread from the sticky section. I love the stickies!!

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...nse-blame.html
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:55 PM
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I think you should do whatever will feel right to you, without being concerned about what he may or may not say about it. They will do or say whatever they want to no matter what we do or don't do.

Your lack of response may give him something to say as well, but it doesn't matter. You matter. Many of my exabf's friends think I am horrible for not taking him back. I have to not concern myself with any of that. I know what I know, and what is best for me right now, and I find strength in that.

Do whatever you need to do to have peace in your life.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:00 PM
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No contact is like AA for us. When you're ready you'll go. It worked wonders for me.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
And of course he responded like that. It was all my fault that he was drinking himself silly no matter what I did or didn't do. If it isn't one thing its another - there is always a reason why *we* are the cause of *their* drinking. There is no way to get out of that one IME. Active alcoholics are always trying to twist things so it isn't their fault. You just have to quit listening to it and quit trying to explain it to him.
Goodness, yes.

"You really have more influence over me than you realize... You really need to get in my face about it."
"You need to remind me how horrible I feel the next day. Then I won't drink... or at least not as much maybe."
"It's for my health! Surely you can think of something if I mean anything to you..."


Every time I pointed out that not buying a pint and a half at a time would help, so at least he'd drink less and spread it out more, he'd get three half pint bottles anyway with the explanation "I'll just keep two in the car".

You can't help them, even if you want to, even if they claim they want you to.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:40 PM
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I think you guys are right. I need to just get back to enjoying myself and the fun new things I was getting into. No matter what I said or didn't say, he'll spin it my fault so quit worrying about it and let it go.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:21 PM
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Thanks Rayn. On one hand I've been doing really well. Then I let thoughts creep in. I find that how I feel is always on an uphill scale with waves if that makes sense. So when I have a down day (today would be one) I feel positive in that the next down day will better than this one as things keep moving up the scale. I've actually had days in the last two weeks where I was "happy" as in focused on things and activities and there was no negativity or worrying about someone else. Basically being non-depressed and focused on normal things. The first time in years that had happened. It was pretty amazing.

You are right about posting about him lately. I have been upset lately. I can't remember how it started. I know when he sent the "Please help me!" message, I wasn't so much upset about him - I'm know his games well. But I think I have been punishing myself because I feel like I fell for a trick and feel stupid. I get tired of feeling like a fool. I feel like a fool and I feel like no matter how hard I try - counseling, al-anon and reading up, I f* up. And I get tired of this person always focusing on me and trying to manipulate, contact me, get a rise out of me, throw me under the bus behind my back to old friends or people I used to work with. I just want to live my life and it's as though this person is constantly thinking of some way to try to wrap me up in it and I fall for it. I hate it. This actually brought tears to my eyes. Didn't realize how upset I am about this today.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:58 PM
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It's hard, I know. And some days are good and some are not, and our acceptance is what counts.

He will always try to wrap you up in his craziness, it's what they do. But you came here and you posted, and you realize what he is doing, and you are doing great!

It keeps getting easier, one day at a time. In the meantime, we are all here for each other, and I am grateful.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:17 PM
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No contact was such a life saver for me when I was dealing with similar stuff. I didn't even do 100% no contact because we emailed about the kids and saw each other at drop off/pick up but I was no-contact for anything but those logistics and it really helped me.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:23 PM
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The issue to me wasn't so much the alcohol itself, it was the fact that he was escalating. Add to that he was abusive, and it was a highly volatile mix.

If he had stuck to drinking like had had in the beginning of our relationship, I am not sure if I would have ever called him out on it, even though he did have a tendency to get drunk upon occasion, somehow it seemed "okay," especially since at the time he would never direct his raging against me.

Somehow he worked up to being drunk 5 days out of 7, and then the first night he started throwing furniture I knew he couldn't stay there. I was willing to stick by him in rehab, but he started trying to control my life from inside, and I started to realize things I had overlooked before in our relationship when he wasn't drinking... Yet I still won't tell myself it's over yet, even though I am enforcing "no contact".
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