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Question related to my previous post ...

Old 03-29-2011, 09:14 AM
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Question related to my previous post ...

For those of you significant others ...

What happened after they got sober? Do you still wish you would have left?

Thanks ...
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:46 AM
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Yes.
Mine got sober, and things continued to be bad.
IMO, he needed to move out, get his life on track with, by and for hmself.
All the King Baby whining he did when he came out led to him placing blame and accusation firmly at my feet.

I decided to put him out, and he argued for it, against it, then finally I forced his hand, and now he lives by himself.

the good news about that?:

He works, and he whines, but I am not there to deal with it.
He makes mistakes and he is the only one to blame.
He acts impulsively and childishly, and he is the only one to deal with the ensuing circumstances, and he can only take issue with himself.

Did it work/is it working?:

For me, it has created a window of serenity and distance, where I can get back(slowly) to living a normal life and keeping my sons schedule and emotional life stable without him throwing curveballs, mood swings and immature expectation into the mix...

For him, it is forcing him to realize that the things that are still out of balance are HIS things, he needs his meetings, and he has started to rely on them a measure more without the comfort of old patterns of blame to throw around.

One big for instance:

When A lived with us, he whined and struggled with being entitled and basically everyday teenage behavior. Since he left, he still had been living that way.
When he was here, his boss (cousin) and his brother (coworker) supposedly never found fault with him or his behavior...it was me me me. I was the only one who found him grandiose, entitled, whiny...

This past Friday, his brother and cousin had a sit down with him.
They framed it as "Look, you wouldnt let someone walk around with lettuce in their teeth for six months, would you? So we are going to tell you something you need to know about yourself. "

They proceeded to tell him that he is widely disliked by the crews on the job, and becoming increasingly hated because of his whining about doing a job, after rehab that they have all been doing all along, he expects special treatment, he gets more opportunity, and they are all getting fed up with his sh*t.

My RAH, was able to hear this from THEM. Even though, for 4 months, I said it nicely, calmly, then increasingly agitatedly. Until I was screaming, "You have lettuce in your teeth!!", LOL...
My point being, I was serving as an escape hatch. I was the person he was allowing himself to scapegoat. And I was expecting something more, so, I also allowed it for a time. I was the one saying it, so it didnt matter, because, of course I find fault in everything.

He called me on Saturday, to let me know that he had been to a meeting after they confronted him, and he had had an AHA moment.

He put it this way:
"You know how you hear stories about a guy who ran into a burning house to save someone? And the news talks to them about it, and they say, ' Oh, it was nothing, really, its just what anybody would do.' Well, it may not be what anybody would do, but it was the decent thing to do. And I feel like I have been a different kind of guy, one who says to the news, 'yeah, I saved the person. I am a hero. Do you want to give me money? Can I get a TV show for it? Im glad you see how great I am..'. .."

If my RAH stayed here, he would never get to that little understanding that we all take for granted from non addicts.
He would have continued to have an escape hatch that was provided by our respective resentful and vengeful dynamics.

I feel very strongly that he should not have come home at all, and I made a mistake. But, he is now learning slowly, and I get to be at arms length, without my life becoming a stressful, terrible mess.

Getting physically sober means no alcohol, but there is more work to do. It is humbling work. It is VERY difficult to co exist with someone who is experiencing that kind of relinquishment of control and realizing all the crap they created while on their bender, and the rest of us were living, coping, growing.

Even if you feel the relationship can be salvaged, and/or you want to see who he/she is after sobriety, I am a big advocate of halfway-house type scenario. This could mean a friend or family members home, but, even then, the A could use anything and everything in their reach to avoid letting the reality hit them.

And that is why I wish he had gone right into his own place after. Its going to be a long time before he catches up, and accepts that real life is not always as fun as looking for the next case of beer, or distraction, and it is his work and his work alone to find joy in there.

Come to think of it, it is the same work I am doing. I am needing to find joy in a life without the distraction of a mess of a partner.

Just my experience. Keep posting
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:34 AM
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B66, that is one of the most insightful things I have ever, ever read. Thank you.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:02 AM
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Yeah, Buffalo, well said. You nailed my life spot on. I was the one to leave, and because of exactly what you describe. I was his blame, I was his problem, I was his scapegoat. I remember vividly asking him the night I left, "Who will you blame now?" Well, four months later, still me! And he is actively in AA (participating? working the steps? maybe...don't really see anything yet).

What I have now? Breathing room. Quiet. Normalcy for myself and my daughters. A regular schedule (amazing how much I missed and needed predictability). Honesty. We don't keep secrets anymore. Laughter. Joy. Gratitude.

I still love my husband. I miss him. But I could no longer point out the lettuce in his teeth without getting my head verbally cut off and the only person who could end that was me.

Last edited by Tuffgirl; 03-29-2011 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Quiet...not quite. darn spellcheck!
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:09 AM
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Mine never got sober. He's had some very unfortunate things happen due to his being drunk. It seems to be catching up with him.

I think that by divorcing him I did myself a HUGE favor but I also feel that I gave him an opportunity to stand on his on and feel the consequences. Whether he will find his bottom or not I don't know. But I do know that I am a different and much better person due to the work that I have done after my divorce.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:22 AM
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Buffalo and Tuffgirl ...

Are you guys open to going back? You can obviously tell me to MYOB.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by putmeontheair View Post
Are you guys open to going back? You can obviously tell me to MYOB.
I don't mind sharing at all. That's the point of SR, to share our strength, hope, and experiences. I just bought my own house, and I have no intentions of going back to the marriage anytime soon. But I also don't want to divorce. I have papers filed and saved on my desktop, but I am not ready for that yet, either. I don't want to make hasty, emotionally fueled decisions.

I also think part of me wants to see if my RAH can find sobriety - the real sobriety, not just 'not drinking'. But my boundary is I won't sit and wait...I have a right to live my own life and be happy. And I have to protect my kids and make their lives manageable. They deserve that. Am I open, yes. Under the right circumstances, yes. Will my life end if those circumstances never appear? No. And that's a very comforting feeling.

There is nothing wrong with hope and open-mindedness. But there is if you let it paralyze you into inaction in other areas of your life.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:02 PM
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I am committed to my own recovery, and to my sons stability, to the degree that I can control that.
My RAH has personality issues, mental issues. He is slowly making progress, but I am not "waiting for him".

Like I said in a different thread; if he is stable and working on himself and sober and progressing in a year or so, I might be open to dinner.

In the meantime, I am in no emotional position to initiate another relationship.

I see him, due to our shared child. I am civil, kind and supportive. We have some tangled financial/ car issues that I am getting resolved. He can be nice all he wants and he can talk abt his changes all he wants, but he would need to sustain that over time, prove that our son is a priority and not go back to instant gratification type of behavior like sleeping around. He can see whoever he wants. He lives alone. But I am watching his overall life and his actions. I truly feel detached from what he says.

Some of the words sound really good... But it has to be sustainable for him. No band aids or quick fixes.

If I fall in love in the meantime, well, that's his loss.

And that is all umbrella'd under bigger questions;

Do I love who he really is?
Who is he, really?
Can I overcome the pain of the past?
Do I want to work on a project person anymore?

These are big questions.
I don't know the answers.
Sometimes he calls and demands some answers.
I don't have them.
I am in my own recovery.
He can't tell me that he will NEVER lie, drink, or manipulate again, because he is in progress, and it's one day at a time,etc...

I can't tell him some answers, either. I am also one day at a time, in progress.
But I know I won't live with him anytime soon, and he noe has to earn time w our son. Because he spat on it while it was free.

Hope this helps
D
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:02 PM
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I stayed. And there are days when I wish I had just bailed. But there are days when I'm glad we stayed in the same home. While one of my boundaries was that I wouldn't be around him while he was drinking, many of my boundaries focused on his behavior regardless of sobriety. If he's acting like an a*#@, I don't just 'take it' anymore. I try to walk away and talk about it when I'm not riled up. I don't think we're anywhere near out of the woods yet (even at 7 months sober....), and while I try to be hopeful, I feel like many days, we're just spinning the wheels and going through the motions of daily life.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:38 AM
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I just wanted to amend something from my last post:

I wrote
"Can I overcome the pain of the past?"

this question is so big, right now.
Somedays it seems like he could save the world from the apocalypse and I would still be saying, "hmmm...I remember that one night..."

And all of that feeling stuff really came out into the light AFTER i got some distance from him, after he was sober.

It is still coming to light, so there is this pretty massive chasm between his page and the page I am on...
He is starting over, trying to leave the past behind, and his past actions are just now somewhat hitting me, because I am out of the day to day trauma of dealing with them.

It seems insurmountable at the moment, but I do believe in true forgiveness and release, but I am also open to that not exactly meaning that we would be together.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:52 AM
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This is a great thread and is so helpful to me today especially! Thanks to all who have had such wise things to share...
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:59 PM
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My XAH never got sober, and most likely never will. He still believes he doesn't have a problem and that everyone else in the world is out to get him. He is a perpetual victim, hungry for recognition, eager to take on a new enabler, and skillful at exploiting the weaknesses of those around him to his benefit.

I left. I got custody and a divorce. I do not allow him to see our child as he is mentally unwell.

I have no regrets.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:14 PM
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thanks, noday. I needed to read that this morning.

It validates my own actions.

~T
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:32 PM
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Why?

Putmeontheair, why do you want to know? Staying or not staying, going or not going, and going back or not going back are very individual circumstances and I don't think any of our decisions here can be relevant to you in terms of experience, strength, or hope. We are all over the board on this. You will get every answer and every opinion. You can certainly cherry pick the answers you like the most, but is that really helpful to you?

What this makes me think, however, is that you are looking for validation of a decision you've already made. Are you in recovery for yourself? Do you go to Alanon? It seems to me you need to focus on yourself and your present circumstances rather than future tripping.

It's a complete waste of time to plan a future with an alcoholic unless they are fully engaged in recovery.

My two cents.

Cyranoak

P.s. Today, eight months sober, I'm glad I stayed. If, however, I had the entire relationshipo to do over I wouldn't even start. What I have now was not worth ten years of my life, especially 35-45, the sweet spot.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:41 PM
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Cyranoak,

Thanks for your response. I'm just trying to figure everything out and hearing others' stories helps me out. I truthfully haven't made the decision ... sometimes I want nothing more than to go ... other times I want nothing more than to stay. I'm just kind of waiting until I stop thinking about the decision. I know that sounds bad, but I'm mostly waiting until there is an "a-ha" moment that helps me figure out what I want to do concretely. I don't want to regret leaving him, and I generally live by the rule that I should make the decision that is most easily reversible. Divorce is generally final whereas staying can be reversed at any point ... does that make sense? Just my thought process anyway.

I do wish my situation were a little more black and white. I am thankful he has gone to rehab, I am thankful he is not physically abusive as to me and to me only, those are things that if they did or did not happen, I would be out the door. There are things holding me here, but there are also things holding me back.

Edited to add ... I am in Al-Anon and working on my own recovery.

Thank you, very much for your response. It did help me in my thinking.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:59 PM
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Waiting for an a-ha moment is OK. It is often said here that we leave when we are ready and not before. If you are never ready, I guess you never leave

I wasn't really waiting for an a-ha moment. I was waiting for something BIG. Something that would scream at me "You have permission to leave now." That is a more self-destructive place to be because sometimes each tiny step towards unacceptable - was only a small step away from what I had been accepting so what might have seemed BIG 10 years ago at the beginning, didn't have much of an impact ya know because we too tiny steps to get there?

It was a lot more then that but this was a considerable part of what kept me stuck for a very long time. It led to a lot of confusion, denial, second guessing myself, and basically ignoring my inner voice that was trying to look out for me. I think al-anon is a great place for you to be and wish I'd have found it long before I did. I didn't start going until after I filed divorce papers and I could have really used it long before that.

Not sure if any of this strikes a cord with you but it popped into my head when I read your post.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:21 PM
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Well here' an AHA Moment for you then...

...divorce isn't final. I divorced my wife several years ago, we were apart for two years, and we've been together again for four years (living together as husband and wife). I call her my wife. She calls me her husband.

And we are still divorced. We may never remarry, but if she remains sober I don't see a scenario where we aren't together until one of us dies.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

P.s. Good on you for being in Alanon. Me too!

Originally Posted by putmeontheair View Post
Cyranoak,

Thanks for your response. I'm just trying to figure everything out and hearing others' stories helps me out. I truthfully haven't made the decision ... sometimes I want nothing more than to go ... other times I want nothing more than to stay. I'm just kind of waiting until I stop thinking about the decision. I know that sounds bad, but I'm mostly waiting until there is an "a-ha" moment that helps me figure out what I want to do concretely. I don't want to regret leaving him, and I generally live by the rule that I should make the decision that is most easily reversible. Divorce is generally final whereas staying can be reversed at any point ... does that make sense? Just my thought process anyway.

I do wish my situation were a little more black and white. I am thankful he has gone to rehab, I am thankful he is not physically abusive as to me and to me only, those are things that if they did or did not happen, I would be out the door. There are things holding me here, but there are also things holding me back.

Edited to add ... I am in Al-Anon and working on my own recovery.

Thank you, very much for your response. It did help me in my thinking.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:28 PM
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Cyranoak, it makes me happy to hear you call 35-45 the "sweet spot" as I am 34. It gives me a lot of hope and makes me believe it's not too late to be happy!
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:35 PM
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You young whippersnappers have no idea what your talking about.
the second half of life is the best!

50+

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