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Why I'm still with her...

Old 02-25-2011, 12:06 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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How you deal with the trust issues?
I'm sure she lied to in the past, as all addicts do. How did you, if at all, rebuild the trust?
For me, after I left my XAGF, even if she did embrace recovery, which she didn't, I could never get past the fact that she lied to me so many times, I can't be in a relationship where I can't trust her.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:22 PM
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She lied all the time, and so did I...

...and I don't deal with my trust issues alone, we deal with them together. I have enormous trust issues with her, and as I've said before, small things like misspelled texts or her being late will set me off. But, we are aware of this dynamic, so I try to take a breath before freaking out, and she's patient with me when I do.

Little by little, incrementally, I have less fear and more trust around her and our relationship. I can say, and I believe my wife is aware of this, is that all it will take is one relapse to completely destroy what we are carefully and slowly rebuilding.

Also, she's good at just walking away from me when I'm being a dick, and I've learned to walk away from her when she's being bitchy. Remarkably, we both seem to handle the walkaways just fine-- we both understand exactly why they are happening. I've experienced no fallout from a walkaway.

Lastly, she is actively in recovery in AA, I'm actively in recovery in Alanon, and we both put our recovery first in our lives. Everything else, including our relationship and our daughter, comes second (we are, respectively, responsible for what that looks like in our individual lives, and the decisions around it).

People perceive this sometimes as selfish or bad parenting. All I can say is that without our recovery we are more selfish, and worse parents.

This is how it works for us. At least today.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by phineas View Post
How you deal with the trust issues?
I'm sure she lied to in the past, as all addicts do. How did you, if at all, rebuild the trust?
For me, after I left my XAGF, even if she did embrace recovery, which she didn't, I could never get past the fact that she lied to me so many times, I can't be in a relationship where I can't trust her.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
Remarkably, we both seem to handle the walkaways just fine-- we both understand exactly why they are happening. I've experienced no fallout from a walkaway.
Respectfully walking away is one tool I am working hard on. It's almost impossible for me to let something rest for a bit and walk away or leave it alone, for now...
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by phineas View Post
How you deal with the trust issues?
I'm sure she lied to in the past, as all addicts do. How did you, if at all, rebuild the trust?
For me, after I left my XAGF, even if she did embrace recovery, which she didn't, I could never get past the fact that she lied to me so many times, I can't be in a relationship where I can't trust her.
This is a problem for me. I value honesty above most other things. And mine lies when the truth works just fine. The next time she tells the truth about her drinking will be the first. I don't even ask anymore. I simply expect the lie. I know it is coming, so I don't get frustrated anymore. I am unable to just put it behind us because it is still happening. In fairness, it is happening less. And I understand it is a part of the recovery process. Her process. Not sure I am going to accept as part of mine. We'll see.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:42 PM
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My two cents worth, I wanted to cry when i read your post. This partially described my feelings about my AH and the resistance to divorce. Having stated that, I see that what is really missing is the part about respect for one another.

Through it all, the good and the bad, the difficulty staying together and pulling apart, I did lose respect for him and let me face the fact that he never had any respect for me, worse is that he never respected himself. If he did, I don't think I would be at this point.

So thanks for sharing. It was a help in sorting through this part for me.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:21 AM
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its weird, in here we really do judge i guess, i could never judge anyone about staying...that is their choice...in my al anon group all of the women that are there are still with their A's, some are sober, some are not...

you have al anon...you know what you have and how to work it...

I respect that too....sorry you had to tell us why though....
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:30 AM
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Now that I have signed up here at SR. I really wanted to dig up this thread & say a huge 'Thank you' for sharing this. Your thread oozes raw honesty and I love re-reading it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:45 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Rayn3dr0p View Post
I was no perfect angel in our relationship, but he still chooses me and probably always will. Of course, there is one glaring difference between your story and mine: without any true recovery on his part, I'm not interested in continuing to see the worst of him.
Yup, that's it for me too. I honestly feel and agree with EVERYTHING Cyranoak said in the original post. I love and respect my husband but I have reached my bottom on tolerating his drinking/behavior. I'm moving forward with the divorce as that is what's best for me.

Should he reach his bottom and choose recovery... I'd be fulling in support of it, and maybe someday would even be willing to consider reconciliation...

but that all depends on him choosing recovery.


Cyranoak... I have the utmost respect for you and the situation you're in. I look forward to seeing posts from you. Thanks for being here.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:51 AM
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Thanks, pup. I must have missed this thread initially. And I needed it today. Thank you, Cyr, the honesty is so inspiring. I am going to make a list today as to why I stay.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:54 AM
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It's amazing that someone can be with an alcoholic and not lose respect for them.

I've lost a LOT of respect for my bf because he's lied to me so many times. And because when I gave him the ultimatum about stop drinking or lose me, he walked away and right back to his pot addict ex who was always his backup. We were off and on for 3.5 yrs. The first time we broke up, he rushed to her and there were 3 months of drama after he decided to dump her and get back with me.

There is absolutely NO way I would put myself thru that again.

I honestly don't see how one can maintain respect for someone when they engage in typical alcoholic activities, but maybe I am one who has a harder time separating out the person and the disease. Fact is, I've never known what my bf is like, without a drinking problem. He's had it since he was 14.

Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
See, I think this is absolute key.
Love, like you say, isn't enough. If you don't have respect, and mutual respect, "love" means jack sh**.

I don't expect anyone here to feel a need to defend their choices -- and I think it's clear to anyone who has read your posts, Cyrano, that you are not really a pushover who took her back because you were so damn codependent you couldn't do anything else. You've got your stuff together, and it sounds like you have a good relationship, warts and all, and that you're both very much aware of what you have and what you almost lost. I think that's a great place to be.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:58 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I just found this post today too-- I really appreciated reading it and thank you Cyranoak for sharing your innermost feelings/thoughts.

Like you I have been brutally honest on this site bc if I am not, then what good is it.

It's nice to hear someone saying that despite all the ups and downs that you and your W have been through you still want to be with her.

If my H were to take recovery seriously some day, reconciliation would not be off the table for me and it's for many of the same reasons you describe.

He's seen me at my best, worst and everything in between. We have a history together and I do love him whether I "should" or not. The man he was, prior to alcoholism having a death grip on him is the man I fell in love with and I am not convinced that that man is gone for good.

That said, I am not waiting around to see if and when he re-emerges. We will be getting divorced but that doesn't take reconciliation off the table someday if it's right...

Your post was really nice to read today...
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:38 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Thank you for the post of your story. It helps me greatly to hear of a couple together working through recovery for both of you. Many common threads to the situation my wife and I are in and your storey: she is not in denial but has just been unsuccessful at maintaining her recovery, for the last four years. I respect her efforts, I love the person under the illness, she loves our kids, we have trust issues, also a good cook (when sober) .

Ten days and counting until my AW comes home from her six week rehab program. I know she will not come back fixed. The program is not a magic pill. We both have lots of baggage over the years and issues to work through. ME AS WELL. Some issues we will work on alone others together. We both need to make adjustments and if she is sober we can work on those changes together. I will keep my boundaries in place but try not to make them walls that stop open communication. I am feeling apprehensive about her return. I am trying not to set up expectations but it is difficult. I think I will focus lots on the kids and me for the first weeks and try to let her integrate in o our family routine at her pace. Let her make her choices and plans. I can not make them for her. I am bad at trying to do that and must work on resisting that urge.

I have been thinking about the tool of detachment with love. For many on this site I have been left with the impression that means distance from the alcoholic in their life. For me I have been trying to detach the symptoms of the illness and the pain they have caused me from the person. If she is sober I can partly do that and gives me the freedom to slowly start to trust again. Same tool just used differently. Thoughts?

Thanks best of luck to you and your significant other the progress you have made. Good story to hear.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeep08 View Post
...I have been thinking about the tool of detachment with love. For many on this site I have been left with the impression that means distance from the alcoholic in their life. For me I have been trying to detach the symptoms of the illness and the pain they have caused me from the person. If she is sober I can partly do that and gives me the freedom to slowly start to trust again. Same tool just used differently. Thoughts?

Thanks best of luck to you and your significant other the progress you have made. Good story to hear.
Good to see this thread again. Cyranoak's message has many lessons.

Jeep08, I've also had a tough time figuring out the whole detachment thing.

In your comment above, it sounds like your ability to detach is dependent on her ability to be sober. Seems like that keeps you fully attached to her.

I've found that detachment isn't so much about doing something with a focus on the alcoholic but doing it with a focus on you. Here's an example: I started jogging. That's something I do alone. It's good for me and my AW isn't a part of it. By default, I've detached from my AW because I spent that time focusing on me. I don't care if she's sober or not. I'm going jogging and for me that means I'm detached. I mentioned it to you before but in my case, regaining or giving back trust isn't even on my agenda right now.
In the end, I got tired of living my life attached to the status or potential condition of my AW. I got attached to myself and that is moving me forward and that is what I believe detachment is all about.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for the comparison. Every comment makes me think my way through this maze and with those thoughts I move forward.

This is where the fine line of detachment is hard to walk. My wife will be living with us when she returns. We share and co parent three children. Total detachment is not going to be the reality nor is it my goal. Detachment from the symptoms of her drinking is the goal. Her being sober is a boundary I have set for the interaction and the effort to take place. The two things don’t mesh well together and are hard to balance but we do our best.

I have established some aspects of my life that are not conditional on her behavior. first, the kids and I have taken up karate. This is something the three kids and I do together. If my wife wanted to join us she could but her actions do not effect if we go to class or not. I do not need her to babysit so I can go. The kids like it and come with me. I enjoy the classes and the exercise a great deal. Second, I have booked summer vacation for the kids and I. We will not exclude my wife she is welcome to join us and we hope she does for part of it. She has given up most of her vacation as part of her rehab program. We hope she can come for as much of the trip as she can get time off for but our trip is not conditional on her. The kids change the equation and how I can practice detachment to a great extent. Before my wife went to rehab one of the ways I felt controlled and manipulated by her drinking was that I was not free to do things I wanted to as I was not always comfortable with her having the kids alone for the fear she would start drinking or had been drinking. This was not all the time but on some specific occasions, I felt trapped that way. Her efforts toward treatment and my existing love for her also effects that we truly want her as part of our lives. The sobriety is a boundary that she is sober protects us form the symptoms and I do not see it as an attachment. Having the few things above that are not dependant on her or her actions have given me renewed strength.

What I was trying to indicate is the idea of detachment can take other forms. Im my case I am trying to detach the anger I have toward the past actions of an alcoholic as symptoms of the illness and separate them from the person suffering from alcoholism that I am trying to move forward with and build something. Sobriety is the boundary set that allows me to consider making that effort.

Thanks for letting me ramble. It helps the thought process to write it out. Keep challenging me it makes me think harder about it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:33 PM
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Jeep, a couple of things...

...the first is that good on you for acknowledging that it is best to not have expectations-- at all. What is going to happen will happen.

Secondly, just a note that it is my personal belief that if you and your wife don't both put as your first priority your recovery (AA for her and Alanon for you, or some other program and/or counseling) I don't see how you will survive as a couple, and I also don't see your kids getting the best of either one of you.

I've said it many, many times, and I think I said it in this thread if I remember correctly, our priorities go in this order: AA and Alanon, our daughter, then our relationship. The thing is, since we have prioritized AA and Alanon the rest seems to take care of itself.

Cyranoak

P.s. We still argue and things aren't perfect, but we do it 12-Step style and as two sober human beings who love each other.

Originally Posted by Jeep08 View Post
Thanks for the comparison. Every comment makes me think my way through this maze and with those thoughts I move forward.

This is where the fine line of detachment is hard to walk. My wife will be living with us when she returns. We share and co parent three children. Total detachment is not going to be the reality nor is it my goal. Detachment from the symptoms of her drinking is the goal. Her being sober is a boundary I have set for the interaction and the effort to take place. The two things donít mesh well together and are hard to balance but we do our best.

I have established some aspects of my life that are not conditional on her behavior. first, the kids and I have taken up karate. This is something the three kids and I do together. If my wife wanted to join us she could but her actions do not effect if we go to class or not. I do not need her to babysit so I can go. The kids like it and come with me. I enjoy the classes and the exercise a great deal. Second, I have booked summer vacation for the kids and I. We will not exclude my wife she is welcome to join us and we hope she does for part of it. She has given up most of her vacation as part of her rehab program. We hope she can come for as much of the trip as she can get time off for but our trip is not conditional on her. The kids change the equation and how I can practice detachment to a great extent. Before my wife went to rehab one of the ways I felt controlled and manipulated by her drinking was that I was not free to do things I wanted to as I was not always comfortable with her having the kids alone for the fear she would start drinking or had been drinking. This was not all the time but on some specific occasions, I felt trapped that way. Her efforts toward treatment and my existing love for her also effects that we truly want her as part of our lives. The sobriety is a boundary that she is sober protects us form the symptoms and I do not see it as an attachment. Having the few things above that are not dependant on her or her actions have given me renewed strength.

What I was trying to indicate is the idea of detachment can take other forms. Im my case I am trying to detach the anger I have toward the past actions of an alcoholic as symptoms of the illness and separate them from the person suffering from alcoholism that I am trying to move forward with and build something. Sobriety is the boundary set that allows me to consider making that effort.

Thanks for letting me ramble. It helps the thought process to write it out. Keep challenging me it makes me think harder about it.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:21 AM
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So, there you go. Now stop asking me why I'm still with her.
Check your PM's Cyranoak. Didn't you recently say something about people only wanting to hear what they want to hear and not be questioned?! :rotfxko

Hmmmm.
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