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If you were one of those "crazy spouses" and your marriage ended....

Old 02-14-2011, 10:05 AM
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If you were one of those "crazy spouses" and your marriage ended....

If you are one of those spouses who feels "crazy" i.e. obsessive, angry, depressed etc just by living with your A, not necessarily related to anything they do, just a constant state of discontent, did that crazy feeling go away once you were alone?

If so, how long did it take?

Please chime in if divorce didn't relieve your crazy feelings too.

Were you able to have future relationships with others that didn't make you feel crazy?
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:14 AM
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Hi, my name is Tuffgirl and I am a crazy spouse of an alcoholic.

I am separated, and yes I am a little less crazy. But it has nothing to do with the separation. It's because I am choosing not to be crazy anymore and working really hard on that.

You see, I went to Al-Anon to find answers to fix my situation (my alcoholic) quickly and completely. Really, isn't there an easy solution to this? I mean, just stop drinking and turn into a completely different person and everything will be fine for me. Wait, you won't? What? So I moved out, and I found SR. I listened to myself writing posts, I internalized what I was reading here, I read everything else I could get my hands on, I EDUCATED myself to what my reality really, truly is today. And then I realized just how flippin' crazy I have been. Wow. That was a humbling experience.

IMHO, staying or ending a relationship with an addict doesn't change how crazy you are. Only you can change that. And I do believe we are destined to carry those crazy behaviors into the next relationship, and the one after that, and so on...until we stop the madness and acknowledge we are crazy by choice and probably a lack of understanding to a better way of dealing with life.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:16 AM
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I am back with my A now, who is in a loose form of recovery, lol...
But the times that I had no contact were very calm, but I was obsessive.
It is critical to realize that alcoholism has afflicted you, as well, as a loved one and that you do some work of your own to progress back to healthy functioning.

Many people continue going to alanon to assist them with processing feelings even after breaking away from an alcoholic.

If you still feel crazy, I suggest joirnaling, alanon, and a nice couselor who can help you regain some healthy functioning.
Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:48 AM
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You take yourself wherever you go...
separation did not relieve crazy feelings for me.
I have never been no contact. I have been low contact for periods of time, so that plays into the equation also. If you're still emotionally attached, the feelings will continue.
You can do things like alanon, reading, here, just about anywhere to learn to change your thinking. It isn't easier to change necessarily just because there isn't an alcoholic living in the same location as you. There simply is no alcoholic living with you. You are still there. Whatever you were when you left, you will be for some time until you change yourself, and that's a slow process, just like changing thinking is slow for the alcoholic also.
I had somewhat of a high feeling of freedom for a few months, but that doesn't last, and then the real work either begins, or you stay obsessive/angry/depressed just like when you were living with the alcholic.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:24 AM
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My XAH made me feel crazier than anyone ever has in my entire life. While in relationship with him, I yelled more, bawled more, cussed more, lied and manipulated more, did more drugs and doubted myself more than I ever have. I don't doubt that there was caring in there, at some point, but our relationship brought out the ugliest side of me. Looking back, I barely recognized myself.

It wasn't separation or divorce that made the crazy feelings go away...it was simply time apart, alone, rest, good food, exercise, SR, Al-Anon and counselling. I remember feeling absolutely exhausted for the first little while after I left. Heck I even posted about it here on SR. I guess I expected an instant fix.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:51 AM
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Yes the crazy feelings went when I divorced. I was no longer in that crazy place where I was accepting things I just did not accept. I was no longer tolerating things that went against my core values.

For a long time I did not allow myself any option but to stay married. After years of 'strategies', 'discussions', and 'plans', I gave up. I accepted and I tolerated - but I could not detach. I could produce the actions of acceptance and tolerance but underneath I was seething. It was eating me alive. To deal with this I became very flat. Everything negative went under the lid but to do that *everything* went under the lid. There was no joy, no anger, no happy, no sad, no mad, no excited, no nothing. There was the inner me spinning like a crazy top and the outer me that was ....flat. My kids used to ask "Are you happy?" when we were doing a fun thing or "Are you mad" at any random time.....because they could not tell. I was usually just very very serious and pragmatic. I did not express emotions....until the lid popped off and all that underlying anger came spewing out over some inconsequential thing.

Once apart, I could control my world in a way that led me to safety and security. Behavior, values, acceptance, and feelings could all overlap. There were no conflicts. I knew I could pay my bills. I knew I could have a bedtime for my kids. I knew I could make a plan for tomorrow and that it would happen. I knew I could protect my boundaries regarding my body. Better yet - I knew I wouldn't have to protect them. They were safe. Everything was safe. The 'crazy' went away. It took about 3 months.

The thing I still struggle with (I've been divorce a year) is I am still very serious. I have to remind myself to have fun and be joyful and silly. Young boys need that. it doesn't happen if I don't 'make' it happen.

I also still struggle with not paying attention to what I need and taking *actions* to deal with it. Related to that is I still need to learn better ways to cope with and release anger, frustration, negative energy. I've exploded twice over the last two weeks. That is not OK. It is a wake up call that I need to quit whining about being overwhelmed and do something to deal with it because I'm way to old to have a tantrum.

Divorce did not magically give me the skills to know how to deal with that, it just allowed me the mental/emotional space to stop spinning and see it and work on it. I have released the anger, resentment, rage. I'm not doing anything that would fill that tank back up. Thank heavens.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:54 PM
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I am definately less crazy than I was with him, I have to admit to being crazy in my previous relationship too though: cocaine/pot/addict alcoholic with an inability to keep his private parts from straying into those of other women.

So I know I pick partners who I cannot function sanely with, I lose my self and my sense of perspective. I'm not the victim in this, in relationships before this I have been a not great girlfriend too. On my own I'm stable, grounded, and the only attacks of the crazies I ever have are in relation to contact with ex. It was a huge step for my emotional stability to minimise contact with him. My depression is gone, my social phobia is minimised (these are pre-existing things, but within the relationship I was in, they ramped up to extreme proportions, not helped by him actively manipulating them to throw the focus off of him), it didn't all go away immediately, but it got better and better with further distance and space to process. I am not perfect, but I am much, much happier and more stable.
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:57 PM
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My mind started to begin to clear at 2 weeks of no contact. At 30 days, I felt miserable but I knew it was the right thing. At 8 weeks I suddenly realized with great relief that I was FREE!
I stayed pretty much to myself for the next six months...had some counseling, did tons of reading...and just let myself heal at my own pace.

My next relationship did not work out. It did for awhile and then it didn't. There were some things that slightly triggered my previous feelings and behaviors but I thought that I was inappropriately projecting. I don't think so now..I think I should have paid more attention to my gut instead of thinking that my perspective was too skewed from the very bad relationship with the abusive alcoholic.

I am in one now that is the healthiest relationship I have ever been in.

There isnt any of that crazy dynamic that triggers me to feel and act crazy!

While I was in the relationship, I, like, noday..became someone I did not know. I had not been like that before and it overtook me. I lived with insanity and anyone who is sane adjusts to that well! LOL

Getting out of it was CRITICAL!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:26 PM
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Yes I was relieved when I left. No more crazy for me. It was that "ahhhhh" feeling that I so thoroughly enjoyed.

Peace,
Jen
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:27 PM
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I've been divorced 4 months and separated 18 months with very little contact. I am still crazy sometimes, but it's pretty rare. It manifests in a fear of abandonment or of being ignored. At those times I have to bring the focus back to me, and it isn't always easy.

I am learning to retreat and lick my wounds when I feel hostile or misunderstood or angry. I have lashed out a few times recently and I regret the results. I stand by what I said, but I didn't have to say it so severely, and the way I acted says more about my fears and frustration than it does about the victims of my anger.

I do better when I detach. take a step back. Go for a walk. Write in a journal, play with my children, or read.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:04 PM
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I have noticed that since my ex and I have broke up, I have gained more patience and I actually listen when people talk to me. Before when we were together I was constantly on edge ALL THE TIME. I couldnt focus on anyone or anything else because my mind always had to be two steps ahead of his. (When is he going to get drunk again, when is he going to go off with his freinds and leave me alone all weekend, is he going to flirt with other girls). I was also edgy with my family and friends because I would be so angry all the time that he wasn't giving me anything emotionally and I would take it out on them. I would see my friends in happy relationships and I would want to scream because I was so envious. Now, I'm slowly becoming calm again and not hating the world because he made me hate everything.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:50 PM
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I was in a rush headed out the door..that should read anyone who easily adjusts to insanity isn't well...at least that is my theory. Put a sane person in a crazy situation and they will wind up acting crazy. Sometimes the crazy sneaks up on you too! That frog in the hot/boiling water syndrome.

Imagine yourself with someone who doesn't criticize, find fault with you or try to change you.
Someone who is dependable and loyal to you. Doesn't flirt around, drink or go hang out all the time without you or take you for granted.
Someone who accepts you and loves you for who you are.
Someone who is supportive of you.

That is doable, it really is!
But we also have to be that person too if it is what we want.

I didn't get that and I tried to be that at first but before too very long I was just as critical of him as he was of me.
In fact, there wasn't much stable..I either loved him crazily or hated him crazily.

I am too old for that kind of "excitement" anymore! LOL
I will take stable.
I love being able to make plans for 2 weeks and know that we are both going to be still getting along and do what we planned! Revolutionary! hahahahaha
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:13 PM
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There was some calmness when I moved out. No picking up after someone or worrying about his "mood". But I realized that I did not know how to take care of me. Al Anon helped a great deal. My therapist had said that one of the gifts of separating was that I could finally see what was my crazy and what was his crazy. Boy did I discover how much there was of my crazy. I know now I have definite triggers that cause me anxiety and its amazing how quickly I go back to crazy patterns of behavior and thinking. I do however recognize that now and have tools to help me step back.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:56 AM
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I've been thinking about this thread a lot. There is an important part that I didn't articulate in my post.

Living with alcoholism made me feel crazy, like I described already, and divorcing made the 'crazy' part go away but while alcoholism gets some of the blame - most of the blame lies with myself because of the way I handled things.

Divorce was a huge part of my answer but I don't really blame him for my crazy if that makes sense. I could have avoided crazy all along, no matter what he did, had I only made different decisions.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
I could have avoided crazy all along, no matter what he did, had I only made different decisions.
Well said! Yes, I am coming to realize these are OUR decisions; not their behavior. And that this is where I have the power to change. And that is very comforting, because I am still not ready to give up on my A or my marriage. This is where I find a little bit of hope again.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:55 AM
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Thanks all, your posts were very helpful, and the ones that admitted they didn't feel better after divorce helped me to take inventory of myself. The ones that did feel better gave me hope.

My main crazy feeling is inside. I don't yell, or keep track of him or nag him. I'm more sad, really sad that my marriage has ended without my permission.

I guess I'm in the phase where I'm feeling down a lot and I hate to feel down.

I did find some huge help last night. I read the 4th step and printed out some worksheets that go with it on resentment and fear. Basically an inventory of past hurts and the role you played in them. This is from the alcoholic's 4th step, but I felt I needed it too. By analyzing my fear I could see that by lacking self reliance I was putting myself in a position to be in fear of abandonment. So I'm working on being self reliant.

And today.......I got a job offer, which I of course accepted!!!!! :day6

I'll be making enough money to support myself and my girls!!! And I only have to work 2 days a week (long days) God rocks!!!

Self reliance here I come!!! I'm hoping this will help to heal the fear issues.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:01 AM
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Congrats on the job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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