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Strangely relieved

Old 09-10-2011, 08:12 PM
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Strangely relieved

My RAH announced this morning - in an email - that he wants to proceed with a divorce. Yesterday was our 2nd wedding anniversary. For those newcomers...we've been together 4 years, and living separately for 9 months as we both work on our recoveries...his from alcoholism and mine from craziness due to living with an alcoholic.

I had been out of town the past week, got home late Thursday night, tried to call him, no answer. Sent a text message that we were home, and his response was "good deal". Yesterday no call. Last night a vague email about his memory of our wedding day. This morning I finally responded with a "shame you couldn't say these things to my face and instead do it in an email" and his response...let's get a divorce. There was more said...blaming me of course...the usual...none of which bears repeating.

Ok then. Divorce it is.

When is enough enough? What is everyone's 'tipping point'? Sometimes its something so small and innocuous that just sends you into the point of no return. What little respect I had for him...what I was trying to gain back over the summer of "trying to work on our relationship" just completely went out the window.

So tonight I sit here in my living room, watching the yellow leaves swirl around my back deck, and feel strangely relieved. Sad that he chose this path, disappointed that my dream for marriage didn't even remotely come true, but relieved that I can look back on the last 4 years and know I did the best I could. Oh sure, I wasn't perfect. But I did everything with the best of intentions and with as much grace as I could. I loved, regardless of the outcome. I took a leap of faith and that makes me a courageous person.

And the funny thing is...that guy I fell in love with...the one I haven't seen for over two years now...I still love that guy. I always will. And I miss him dearly. "He" may not have been real, but for me it was, and I am happy about that.

Thanks for listening.
~T
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I took a leap of faith and that makes me a courageous person.
Yes you are courageous! I have gotten a lot out of reading your posts, dear.

Sending you lots of hugs of support from Kansas!
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:30 PM
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Thinking of you Tuffgirl. It just sucks to watch this disease progress and steal our loved ones away from us.

Loving a memory, just isn't enough.............. but I too have spent some time traveling down memory lane, thinking about the wonderful man who is now lost to Alcohol. I miss him. It truly is like mourning a death, except he still walks this earth in his oblivious state of mind.

Keep taking care of you, All my best to you.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:02 PM
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Hugs, T. Lots of hugs.

One thing someone said to me once that stuck with me is this: Just because it didn't last forever doesn't mean it wasn't worth something.

Just because your marriage didn't last doesn't mean there wasn't love there. That it wasn't, at one point, worth the effort. That it didn't, at one point, have all the potential you thought it had.

Addiction changes everything.

Be good to yourself.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:37 PM
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And the funny thing is...that guy I fell in love with...the one I haven't seen for over two years now...I still love that guy. I always will. And I miss him dearly. "He" may not have been real, but for me it was, and I am happy about that.
Just because your marriage didn't last doesn't mean there wasn't love there. That it wasn't, at one point, worth the effort. That it didn't, at one point, have all the potential you thought it had.
These quotes hit home for me.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:43 AM
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Me too, rorty. it is strange...I am so happy to have had those moments, even though I know now it was a facade built to hide the alcoholism and the real person underneath it. And funny how at this moment, as I face "the end", I feel happy for having had the opportunity to live in that fantasy land for a while. A short while, granted, but it was worth it.

My story is not over, and I am excited for a new chapter. I will grieve the ending of this one, but it won't stop me from the next big thing. I wonder what it will be? A new job? Travel (I hope!)?

I know that right now, I have a great little house that I bought myself, two wonderful (albeit hormonal) teenage daughters who are growing up so fast, a fantastic job, and a new little puppy who is pooping all over my carpet but I actually love her anyway!

Life is good. That's the "strangely relieved" part of all of this. My gratitude list is long and meaningful. I can't complain...i am doing good right now and I am content.

Thanks all for your support! I love you guys!
~T
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:14 AM
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I wonder what it will be? A new job? Travel (I hope!)?
I like this quote . Let your heart be your guide. Life IS good. One of the great things about life is that it can be simple, as simple as you want or need.

Everything else that you have said has made me tear up. I know what its like to love someone's "persona."
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:56 AM
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I like your attitude, enjoy your new life!
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:55 AM
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Tuffgirl- Wow, you sound so calm and peaceful and accepting of this all. I really enjoy and can often relate to your posts and this one is no exception.

My 8th anniversary is later this month and I'm feeling sad about the hopes/dreams I had that day, BUT am also realizing that even then- when things ought to have been at their best- I had concerns, I had sadness and I kept quiet about it bc I didn't want to shatter the hope of what we might be. So, like you I will and am grieving the end of this life I thought I'd have with him but am also eagerly looking forward to all the new chapters to my story that are to come.

I don't want to try and play psychologist here BUT, one thing I've found with my AH is that when he is hurting (and can't numb it all with alcohol I guess) he makes rash decisions and says things to a) hurt me and b) protect himself... So, I wonder if perhaps your H, hurting as he thinks about your anniversary and fearing perhaps that YOU will tell him you want a divorce, has decided that he'll "strike first" so as to not be the one who is left and instead, to be the leaver. My H has done this for years (and I don't know that it has anything to do with his alcoholism). When he's unable to deal with sadness or hurt (particularly around an emotional time) he has many many times told me he doesn't want to be with me only to turn around a day or week later and beg me to take him back and say how wrong he was etc...

I am really glad for you and your family (puppy and kids alike!) that you feel okay moving forward and again, thank you for your post...
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:56 AM
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double post for some reason... sorry.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I don't want to try and play psychologist here BUT, one thing I've found with my AH is that when he is hurting (and can't numb it all with alcohol I guess) he makes rash decisions and says things to a) hurt me and b) protect himself... .
WTBH - I think you are spot on here, but add to that a lot of residual anger already brewing just under the surface. He was mad that I didn't do anything to honor our anniversary when he had been distant, remote, and unavailable all week. I actually did get him a gift and then several trinkets from my trip, and I did ask several times if we could do something - suggested a movie or a show at the local planetarium (its new, I love it!). He never made any plans. And then accuses me of not doing anything. It was all rather pathetic.

He also said he can't be the man I need. That was a first, and through my own recovery lessons learned, I am taking him seriously on that one. If he can't, he can't. Doesn't matter the reason, does it? The old me would have spent hours trying to "change" his mind, or point out the fact that we make our own choices to be whatever we want to be. But not anymore...he is a grown man who can drive his own life and I am not his Mommy or life coach.

10 months sober is still pretty early, folks. I read post after post about people wanting their spouse to stop drinking. And what I am learning is it is way more than that. This explains why some posters here say "RUN" when you get that chance.

I honestly question if I am the right woman for my RAH...I still don't know if I can ever trust him again and not sure if I really want the lifestyle that comes along with a recovering alcoholic. Maybe that's why I am so calm over this...maybe it is why I feel relieved. Maybe this is the right path after all...might as well embrace it, right?!
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
10 months sober is still pretty early, folks. I read post after post about people wanting their spouse to stop drinking. And what I am learning is it is way more than that. This explains why some posters here say "RUN" when you get that chance.
You're exactly right. It is way more than that.

For me, I had to address all three areas in recovery...physical, emotional, and spiritual. Otherwise I was little more than a dry drunk, which I have had periods of being, and it's downright miserable.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
10 months sober is still pretty early, folks. I read post after post about people wanting their spouse to stop drinking. And what I am learning is it is way more than that. This explains why some posters here say "RUN" when you get that chance.

I honestly question if I am the right woman for my RAH...I still don't know if I can ever trust him again and not sure if I really want the lifestyle that comes along with a recovering alcoholic. Maybe that's why I am so calm over this...maybe it is why I feel relieved. Maybe this is the right path after all...might as well embrace it, right?!
I am glad you posted this thought. My RAH is new to his recovery, and I to mine. Working with some counseling, I agreed to give him another chance since now he is in recovery. We both allow each other a lot of individual space, so we can focus on ourselves. The home has been peaceful, but sometimes I wonder if living with him is really what I want for my future. Maybe I should choose differently. I figure I just keep working on me and what comes will come. The way you are taking your situation is inspiring.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
He also said he can't be the man I need. That was a first, and through my own recovery lessons learned, I am taking him seriously on that one. If he can't, he can't. Doesn't matter the reason, does it? The old me would have spent hours trying to "change" his mind, or point out the fact that we make our own choices to be whatever we want to be. But not anymore...he is a grown man who can drive his own life and I am not his Mommy or life coach.
Thanks for this but also...ow! That is so me and AH. He has said similar things to me many times. Of course, I also try to point out to him why he's wrong about this.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:55 AM
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Help with anger

oops...meant to post a new thread and posted two responses to this one instead. Sorry.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
So tonight I sit here in my living room, watching the yellow leaves swirl around my back deck, and feel strangely relieved. Sad that he chose this path, disappointed that my dream for marriage didn't even remotely come true, but relieved that I can look back on the last 4 years and know I did the best I could. Oh sure, I wasn't perfect. But I did everything with the best of intentions and with as much grace as I could. I loved, regardless of the outcome. I took a leap of faith and that makes me a courageous person.
Hey Tuffgirl... ^^^^ That right there... is Al-anon recovery at it's finest. I LOVE all the responsibility that you have taken for YOUR stuff. That's it. That's all we can do. I get it. I so get it. I too am taking responsibility - I know I have not been perfect. I own my stuff - and I'm working on it. That's it. That's all I can do.

I admire your courage and strength. You inspire me.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:36 AM
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TG, way to go dealing with this. I'm sorry it didn't turn out better as I know you were willing to be patient and give him a chance to get himself together.

I reading an interesting book now called "Don't sweat the small stuff.". There is a small section in there that says to treat everyone you meet as enlightened and you are the only person who isn't. It's changing your perceptions from " Why are they doing this?" to "What are they trying to teach me?". I like the way that feels.

Your friend,
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:25 AM
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Don't Sweat the Small Stuff is a good book. I have it somewhere in my overflowing bookshelf. My RAH taught me patience, that's for sure! Probably one of my biggest shortcomings. But I also learned to pay closer attention to my intuition and heed those red flags instead of wanting to dig deep into my denial blanket and get comfy.

I won't lie, SR friends, that I am most disappointed and sad. But acceptance is easier this time around, compared to a year ago. Detachment is also easier as I've had a lot of practice. I guess I needed to give things one more healthy try so I could feel like I did everything I could before giving it up. I honored my commitments to the point where they couldn't be honored any longer.

Again, thanks for all your support, guys! I am so grateful I have a place I can lay this all out - it does help to process everything.
~T
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:55 AM
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:28 AM
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TuffGirl:

"Strangely relieved" was how I felt when I ended things with my EXABF. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and while yes, there was sadness, it was that feeling of relief that first scared me (did that mean I didn't love him, that it was all for naught that I moved west to make a life with him?) then comforted me because I KNEW I was doing the right thing, letting him go to live his life on his terms.

Detachment was easy TG, yeah, I had practice as well, from a distance, as we also lived apart. Acceptance was easier as each episode happened. What got me was the grief I felt, stuffing my emotions about us down into myself, looking strong oun the outside but being torn up on the inside. Once I started to figure out what was still going on inside of me, when I began to let go of that grief-losing us, what "we could have had", what was, instead of what is, things started to get somewhat easier for me. It made it easier to take the steps to move on - I have a very close friend-our lives and experiences parallel each other and sharing with her has really helped me during the hard times.

Here I am - an oldie but goodie, graduated with top marks (mind you, working retail, not the greatest, but not much out there), proud of what I hacve done, living on my own and feeling the peace of it. There's lots more work to be done, but they are things and steps I could not have done with the EX in my life.

With phase one of schooling behind me (I am still doing more advanced accounting courses on-line), I am looking for a job in that field and where I live, those kinds of jobs are few and far between. I have resumes out there, doing everything I can to find that kind of job, but can't sit around waiting for it to happen. I may have to look further afield, which would mean leaving here to follow the work. It's a daunting decision but one that I have to face - give myself time to see what happens here. It is causing me stress but the upside of that is that I have the recovery tools to cope - tools I didn't have before but am grateful to the EX for because being in a relationship with him led me to AL-Anon and to SR.
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