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Divorce Dilema

Old 09-06-2011, 04:53 PM
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Divorce Dilema

My AW has been a long term binge drinker. Even with several treatment programs she could not stay sober. Recently she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2. She is on meds and has become a different person, for the better. Acts normal, not drinking, and working the programs. Is actually plesant to be around for a change. She says it is because the meds have taken away the anxiety that she was self medicating for by binge drinking. Now here is my dilema. I had had enough and was in the process of filing for divorce. I didn't want a divorce but I was finished living with a drunk. For those that their A has found sobriety and you stayed together. How well were you able to repair your marriage? Could you move on or was their always a resentment? I have to decide soon if I am proceding with the divorce or putting things on hold and giving her a chance to prove that she is a new person. Neither option will be easy.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Hayfmr View Post
. I didn't want a divorce but I was finished living with a drunk
This pretty much sums it up for me. After 18 months of therapy and a scare from the doctor, I decided that my health and my life were important - I was important and I could no longer live with the drinking. He told me that he was going to drink for the rest of his life and if I didnt like it I could leave. I left my AH of 23yrs and moved into a place of my own, living on my own for the first time in my life (45yrs and grown up DD's).

I still loved my husband despite all of what I had been through with him which included verbal abuse, an emotional internet affair, porn, smoking behind my back, lies, feeling lonely, coming second to beer, coming second to work! I just couldnt live with the drinking anymore (I had tried and tried) as it was begining to effect my health and happiness, so I was done. I have been able to put a lot of things behind me and repair the relationship and have had numerous councelling sessions in the past. Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand to move forward. You never forget but can forgive.

Sometimes I think that I 'let things go' due to my own issues, likely caused through the verbal abuse. I suppose that I put up with a lot in my marriage that more 'healthy' people wouldnt even entertain!

About eight weeks after leaving and going no contact, my AH asked to meet up with me. I thought about it for a few days and decided that I would go just to see what he had to say. He was a bit of a wreck, very shakey, had lost a lot of weight and tearful. He told me that he had reached his rock bottom, was getting help from his doctor and was seeing a therapit. He didnt want to loose me and knew that he had to stop drinking for the rest of his life.

I told him that my boundary was that I was no longer going to live with drinking in my life ever again and the ball was in his court.

He has been sober for 4 weeks now and seems genuine about his desire to stop drinking. He is still in therapy, still sees his doctor regulary, reads books on alcoholism and works a programme. It is very early days, I am watching from afar and I am busy trying to keep the focus on my life and making sure that I stay healthy.

My AH is back to behaving like the man I love and we do have a long term plan to get back together again but we dont intend to rush into anything. 'Time will tell'
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:53 AM
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I don't have experience with my AH changing or becoming sober. All that comes to mind re: your question is this: If you have doubt about whether you want a divorce, I'd wait. You can still separate, spend time apart and watch from a distance to see if the BP2 diagnosis and meds really are helping and take your time to decide on a long term plan. I'm really trying in my own life to go with the one day at a time mentality and that includes not making life changing decisions instantly. If you see genuine change in her (and to this outsider her explanation of using alcohol to medicate herself prior to getting proper meds does sound different than an A who craves alcohol and even with medication for anxiety etc... wouldn't be able to stop) and aren't feeling gung ho about the divorce, then I think you should wait and see...

But again, that's just my 2 cents from the side of the fence of not having had to wonder what to do since my AH has never shown improvement...

Wishing you and your W well...
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:29 AM
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I can only give you a slice of the experience I've had in my family with bipolar disorder. Most of my mother's sibblings are bipolar and most of them are alcoholics or drug addicts. Even though they are all medicated on lithium, which seems to control the manic phases rather well, only 2 have managed to stay clean. The rest are still drinking, while taking medication, and their spouses have elected to stay with them. Those are not happy marriages....

You say she has changed her behaviour since starting the meds. So, she is perhaps ready to work on herself and her recovery. There's nothing in there about repairing the damage to your relationship. That usually comes later, when recovery has been solid for a long while...are you willing to wait that long to see what happens?

If you're unsure, then do nothing. More will be revealed.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:36 AM
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Good luck, Hayfmr. I know what a tough place this is to be in. I like WTBH's "wait and watch" approach. I would also perhaps list out what are the pros/cons of staying versus leaving? Sometimes these kind of lists give me some clarity..
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:38 AM
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Thanks for the support. I called the lawyer and put the divorce on hold this morning. I am going to take a wait and see attitude.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:04 AM
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I am happy for you and pray it works out.

I too held that hope for a long time although my aw has yet to break denial, a big difference in what your ah has done.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:33 AM
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Only thing I can share is what we are going thru now. My wife is almost 4 months sober now. This is her longest sobriety to date after many relapses before. She also suffers from General Anxiety disorders and Depression. She takes meds for these and they seem to help her greatly.
O.K. how we are doing the last 4 sober months ? We have fought many times and sometimes nasty. Most fights right now is about money issues. She tends to spend more money now because she's not drinking. Other fights are resentment issues and such. I'll take the blame also for some of these fights and not pin it all on her. We both have some challenges in this new way of copeing. Yes, we both have resentments that need to be ironed out. We have even discussed getting a divorce during the last 4 sober months. In reality, we both know in our hearts we don't want a divorce, but it may still come to that after 28 years of marriage ? Maybe the damage is to great and can never be repaired, don't know for sure yet ? If she goes back to drinking full time again, that would be the deal breaker for me, I would have to say "Uncle".
The only good thing its a lot easier when we have these disagreements she's not intoxicated. Its a learning process for us both. I think when we have these fights we later sit back and see how stupid we both look. I know I feel real stupid at times. I know she's doing her best and she has gone thru a lot herself. I just got to learn not to put foil in the microwave, just use the crock pot method instead !
I got to work on myself also to make this work. She's going to 4 AA meetings a week. So we got a ways to go.
Thanks for listening and Good Luck to ya Brother !
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:53 AM
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I am in the same position Hayfmr! My AH has been working his program for about 11 days now. I am emotionally just done with this situation and just when I was ready to walk out the door I started to see a change. It's lovely how that always seems to happen huh! I am so confused and don't know what to do, but I feel that the look from afar approach may be best also.

Personally I am going to use this time to work MY program and try to figure out what I want out of life again. I have lost site of what I want to do. My focus has been on this situation for so long it sounds good to let go and focus on ME! The way i look at it is if AH and i are separated for a month, a year or whatever it may be and we can sort through this garbage than what's a month or a year compared to a whole life together. That's really a short time amount of time when put into perspective!

I hope you will find peace with your decision!
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:39 AM
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I am currently in the same situation. My AH was on a downward spiral, and I just couldn't take the drama anymore. I went to a lawyer, and got all my options. When I got the guts I was going to utilize my findings. A week or two later, I managed to gather up the courage, and made the appointment to speak about drawing up papers for a postnuptial agreement or a divorce proceedings. Then, unrelated, he attempted suicide, went into a psychiatric hospital, and is now doing great in a outpatient rehab. He seems genuine in his recovery, and is completely enthused about changing himself for the better.

Now, I stand just as you. Do I continue with the divorce process or not. A social worker at the psychiatric hospital stated that it is necessary for me to leave what was in the past in the past. She explained that it is advisable for me to get separate counseling and a support system to resolve any of my resentments, because from here on out this should be looked at as a new beginning. She also advised, if I gave him another chance to make sure I follow through with the outcome stated if my boundaries were crossed again. It is crucial to his recovery, as well as mine (I add), that I stay firm with my boundaries. I love him very much. During our discussion with the social worker I said that I would give him another chance, but if I were to see him under the influence again I will continue with a divorce. I will not tolerate drunkenness in my home any longer.

Listening to the social workers advise, we have been getting along great. We both had to forgive all the bad things, and move forward. Right now, we are both working on ourselves separately, and when we get home we don’t talk about relationship problems. We have to allow for more individual space then we used to to work on ourselves. It is so pleasant in my home now. We laugh together again. The social worker suggested separate counseling for now, and then couples therapy after a year if we feel it is necessary.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:39 PM
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Thanks for the support. Looks like I am not the only one in this position. We have a daughter getting married this weeked. Will likely be lots of stressfull moments to test her. How she reacts will tell me a lot. I have to say though that it has been an awfully long time since I have seen her acting like this.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:09 AM
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I am going forward with a divorce from my AH. I think that if he were to quit drinking and go into recovery I don't think I would stay/go back with him. There has been too much hurt. He is also a verbal abuser.

I would for the sake of hoping he would get better for himself put the divorce on hold, but I don't think I would be able to stay with him.

Last year I took him back because he wrote a suicide letter and my son read it and I thought he was really going to do it.

So know, with all the lies and manipulation I don't think that I would if he quit drinking.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:21 AM
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The Eckart Tolle book A New Earth helped me alot......to learn to live in the "present" and not the past.....you can google A New Earth- on Oprah and see him talk about every chapter- was life changing for me........especially chap 5 I think- the "painbody.".....
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