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Why I'm still with her...

Old 02-24-2011, 08:59 AM
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Why I'm still with her...

Many of you have asked me after reading many of my less than congenial posts, why I am still with my wife? It's a very good question. Another very good question is why the hell is she still with me, but that's for another time and not really my question to answer.

First and foremost is that I didn't always stay with her. I divorced her and we were apart for a little over two years. Had I not done that, I don't believe we would be together today. I needed to establish clearly and definitively what I would and would not accept from her, and the only way to do that was with the divorce. I also needed to protect myself from her financially.

Second, she never gave up. She never became that whiny, self-pitying, annoying drunk that so many of them are-- she never retreated into the bottle and gave up, or expected me to lift her out of it. She was mean, cruel, selfish, and bitchy, but never pathetic. While I was pissed at her, I never lost respect for her, and she never gave up trying to find sobriety. I respected that about her, and still do. She does not give up.

Third, I like her. I like her sense of humor, I like that she is my intellectual equal, and spiritually superior to me. I like that she pushes me to be a better man. I like that she has always encouraged me to put my recovery and Alanon first. Never, not once, has she stood between me and my recovery, drunk or sober.

Fourth, after all the **** we've been through and done to each other, we truly know each other at our absolute worst. We, literally, have no secrets from each other. She's seen, multiple times, the worst of me, yet still chooses me. I've seen, multiple times, the worst of her, yet I still choose her. It would take me years to get to know another human being as well as I know her, and I bet the same is true for her.

Fifth, and more importantly than any other item on this list, she has found recovery and sobriety (at least for the last 8 months). She was in jail, and I was on my way out the door, when this happened. She knows I've reached my limit and, it appears anyway, that this may have been her bottom.

Sixth, and this is required, I love her. But, let me be clear that this is the least important reason to stay together. I've said it before and I'll say it again, love is just the key that starts the car-- IT DOES NOT DRIVE IT! I smile when I look at her now. Something that hasn't been true since the 20th Century, literally. I love the way she looks (even over 40 and after long time alcohol and Pot abuse she's hot), I love way she smells, I can barely sleep when she's not with me, and she's the only women I want (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). That's how pathetic I am.

So, there you go. Now stop asking me why I'm still with her.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

P.s. She's also an amazing cook. I'm just saying.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:31 AM
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Thanks for sharing. I'm pretty young in my marriage and I can't say that my AW and I have gone through some of your tough times. I do respect what you're saying here. I've been asked the same question by family and friends and some of what you've shared, rings true for me.

Good on you.

Here's how I feel sometimes as it relates to the ying/yang of staying with my AW. ------>A
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:33 AM
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jealous

All I can say is I am jealous!

Your posts maybe pissy, but it sounds like you are working it through.

I wish you success in your endeavor.

I want a good relationship not a divorce.......boo hooo.......
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:38 AM
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It's cliche', but we do in fact live our lives together one day at a time. That's the only thing we've found to work for us. There could be another way. We've not found it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:59 AM
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I hope with all my heart that you both will kick this and move on to a happy life that alcohol is but a distant memory. Gina
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:01 PM
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Thanks, Cyranoak. I've been doing the back and forth in my head this week. I love him, I love him not. My own version of the mental gymnastics I accuse him of doing.

Respect is huge for me. But reading your perspective, I am wondering if I lost respect or if I just didn't like his drunken behaviors. He was also cruel, nasty, blaming, and angry, but he, too, was never pathetic nor stupid.

A friend from Al-Anon said to me yesterday that I am forgetting to celebrate everyday the fact that he didn't drink that day. That should be first and foremost. Oh, how easy is it to forget that...especially since I'd rather focus on me, not him!

One day at a time - think I need this tattooed on my arm where I can see it every day. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:14 PM
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I'm sorry you felt you had to defend your decision to anyone here.....

Best to you and your wife, HG
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:27 PM
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Muchos respect

Tx
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:51 PM
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I hope it was a good exercise for you in compassion to write all of that down in black and white. Many of us should probably do that to remind ourselves of why we are who we are with. It's easy to forget.

I hope things just keep getting better and better for you. I can always use a good success story to hang my hat on.

Peace,
Jen
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:40 PM
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My wife moved out 6 weeks ago, and I miss her. This whole thing is difficult and sad. And yes, I love her. She's just about the sweetest thing on the planet earth when she's sober.

She was 2 yrs 3 mos in recovery up until this past October when she fell off the wagon and all hell broke loose. The worst and most bizzaire behavior yet, including indescretions with other men for the first time, which broke my heart. Now that we are apart, most of my friends, family, and co-workers are saying, "I'm surprised it took this long!"

But there are always the good times, the intimacy, the companionship, and this is what I am mourning right now. My emotions are on edge. And she wants to come back . . . but since she's drinking, that is just not going to happen.

And she has loved me, having dealt with my daily pot smoking for the majority of our relationship, something I now deeply regret. Worst of all, I started smoking pot in the middle of her recovery, and that was really stupid. I'm 9 days into my own sobriety from weed.

I am grateful for the separation and the peace and quiet. I'm also grateful that I am not enabling her drinking, because she is a 41 year old woman with cirrhosis who almost died before, and I just don't want to go down that road again. Lord help us both.

So I guess I'm conflicted, either way, Cyranoak, thank you for your post. It resonates with me. There are 2 sides to every story, that's for sure.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:41 PM
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Cy, your key words "she never gave up trying to find sobriety"."I respected that about her." Seems like you both work together great. No one can fault those actions.

My wife of 27 years gets out of jail this Friday after a 30 day visit. Hopeing its the bottom for her. I know it is for me. I hope we get those smiles back like you are shareing with your wife.

One day at a time brother.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:55 PM
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I love your candour and I can’t be the only one who takes hope from hearing that if we both can find recovery, then marriage/partnership can resume or continue.

My wife is not in recovery, I have walked out the door, she is one careless car ride away from jail, and I try not to think ahead except to look after me and the girls. My best fantasy would be that we could all be together in n years time, and I think it would be years not months.

My 16 yr old will need to find her own route to recovery (gentle guidance provided of course) she has withdrawn all love from her mother and has a long, long journey.

Cyanoak your story above and one of your early posts about relapse in yourself remind me of the yin/yang of loving an addict and whether or not they are in recovery. At various meetings and the aftercare group I go to, I often find myself envious of those who have spouse/partner/child in recovery. I feel bad because I am at the same time, of course, happy for them as well as envious. The one bit I don’t envy is that even in recovery themselves, there is still the chance they spend some of the day thinking is this the day it all goes wrong (the misspelt text, late home etc.)

It’s about the only plus of knowing your A is out raising hell and you sole concern is your own peace and that of your kids.

Thanks for your post!
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:32 PM
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I think that goes to show none of us can really judge another person's decision to stay or leave. I don't think anyone should tolerate physical abuse, or extreme verbal/emotional abuse, but short of that, almost every alcoholic has redeeming qualities. (None of mine cooked, dammit.) Each non-alcoholic partner's tolerance level is different. What would send one person out the door is more tolerable to someone else. Everyone's individual circumstances in terms of family and support systems and economic considerations are different, too.

I hope you and your wife make it, Cyranoak. It sounds like you each bring something to the table of the relationship.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:11 PM
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Love is always a mystery to me. Why we chose the people we do, why we put up with things we wouldn't in someone else. Love is very messy too. But when it is real, it shows

BTW, you don't owe anyone an explanation of why you are with the person you chose. The only two people who truly know and understand a relationship are those who are in it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:44 PM
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I understand...

...that I don't own anybody an explanation because of them. But, having often shared that I wish I had divorced permanently, or left my wife years ago, I felt the need for complete honesty and transparency in this regard. In my opinion it goes to my veracity, and without that the one place in the world I'm completely honest, this board, would be ruined for me.

But, thanks to you and others who brought this up on the string. It is much appreciated. Don't worry, I did it for me and my recovery, not for anybody else's.

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by Babyblue View Post
Love is always a mystery to me. Why we chose the people we do, why we put up with things we wouldn't in someone else. Love is very messy too. But when it is real, it shows

BTW, you don't owe anyone an explanation of why you are with the person you chose. The only two people who truly know and understand a relationship are those who are in it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:14 PM
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I never lost respect for her, and she never gave up trying to find sobriety. I respected that about her, and still do.
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 02-24-2011, 10:28 PM
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I understand completely. But my post would be titled slightly differently;

"Why am I still with her?"

I have at best 2 of your 6 points. As Lexie says, we're all different.

Nicely done.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:47 PM
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Thank you so much for your honesty. I feel sometimes you come across as brutally honest and slightly abrasive( I say this with respect) so seeing this side of you is surprising as well as enlightening. It just goes to show that we all have our moments. Your post gave me some much needed hope.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:51 AM
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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**.
YES. This is it, exactly.

Thank you for your post Cyranoak.

I know you made it clear that you posted this for you, but nonetheless, you have helped me work through more of my "Yes, but what ifs?"
There was no room for respect for me in this relationship, because it was 100% him and his issues and what I "needed" to do about it.
I deserve respect. I deserve to live my life starring as myself.

Thank you.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
Fifth, and more importantly than any other item on this list, she has found recovery and sobriety (at least for the last 8 months). She was in jail, and I was on my way out the door, when this happened. She knows I've reached my limit and, it appears anyway, that this may have been her bottom.
I'm not sure where you would get the impression from anyone here that you should walk away from someone that you love if they're in recovery.

Fact is, you are the exception. Our ex's, families, friends, whatever are still out there, for the most part.

Actually nice to hear a story where someone does recover, reading the typical story constantly can be depressing. Thank You!
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