Who is the crazy one?

Old 01-04-2013, 10:42 AM
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Who is the crazy one?

Hi all - First post. Getting buckled in-

So I have been with my AG for 13 years. She has had periods of sobriety and clarity (max of about 3 years), but for the most part, not much serenity. We've had periods apart (not more than 6 months), then always end up back together. Even while not drinking, there has been chaos. A few months after first rehab in 1999, she decided to do 13 steps instead of 12. Also had another affair back in about 2004 (while not drinking). This was blamed on me not be available to her needs (we were both going through some crisis at that time). She began relapsing in 2007, and it went on until March of this year. Drinking consisted of 1 or 2 day periods when I was out of town, followed by maybe 1-5 months of sobriety, and the cycle repeated. She was active in AA the majority of time, and has a drawer full of white chips. Things came to a head in March, and finally told her she had to go to rehab or move out. The next day, she went to her employed EAP and did - rehab for 40 days. I visited, and also went through intense family counseling with her for a solid weekend (about 30 hours). We were very open, and I felt like we again were very connected. At "completion," her counselors recommended 90 days in a halfway house vs coming home, which she did. She finally came home in July, at which time we really connected for a few weeks. I was thinking all would be ok.

Over the next several months, things were not good. I travel frequently, and this is a know trigger. When my 6th sense kicks in (hear slurring on phone, she disappears for long blocks of hours), I am fast to accuse, and she is quick to deny. This results in crazyness, as I am never quite sure. Distance was growing between us, as she was attending so many AA meetings, and all other time was spent with us attending to the kids schedules. We finally had a few conversations at the end of October about our needs not being met and things we need to do to get the relationship back on track. On her way to visit her family out of town (3.5 hours away), she called and told me how she loved me, and was glad we were finally able to break down some walls. .... It turns out she was on her way to her ex-boyfriends from high school (we are in our early 40s). A week later, she moved out. The reasoning for moving out was based on discussion with sponsor and therapist, because our relationship was toxic and threatened her recovery. She needed to be alone so she could learn to love herself- No relationships for a year. It was also stated by her sponsor (of 3 years) that if she continued to see the ex, she could no longer be her sponsor, as he was nothing more to her than a "bottle with legs," and a detriment to her healthy recovery.

Fast forward to today - we still talk. If I have no contact for more than a few days, she texts and calls about loving me, is not worthy of me, and misses me dearly. She seems heavily depressed alone, but functioning well around work, etc. Not sure if she is again drinking, but pretty sure there is some form of self-medicating going on. Her sponsor has "fired" her, since she has continued the relationship with Ex (including sleeping with him) and lied to her about it. I also found out that she has been communicating with him since about 2 weeks after she moved back home- like 5 times a day, every day, all hours of the day, night, etc...

Now that you have the small novel of the history, here is where the craziness starts and why I am posting:

Every discussion we have now follows the same pattern - I am reminded of all that I have done wrong (lack of true intimacy during sex, never marrying her, too controlling, highly codependant, not getting close enough with kids, being a miserable *****, not cherishing her and making her feel loved and welcomed in my life, not taking care of myself while she was taking care of herself in rehab, etc). Usually not in a mean way, but with true tears and pain about her needs not being met. It has caused me to do alot of heavy introspection over the past 2 months. I have been regularly going to Al-Anon, I have lost 20 lbs through hard exercise and diet, and feel pretty good about myself. I have also discovered that so much of what she has pointed out to me about my character defects are really entirely true. But during all of our heart-felt conversations, there is very little talk of her actions, other than general "I have been a horrible girlfriend" and "I know you don't believe me, but I am truly sorry." She has stated that her relationship with Ex is comfortable, and she feels good and un-judged while with him, no pressure, etc. She still communicates with him daily, and will not agree to any formal termination of contact with him, but keeps telling me she has hope for us. She states that if we are to move forward, we need to go to counseling, and we even discussed yesterday about a counselor- but she will set no timeline. She is terrified to lose me, but also terrified to try to reconcile as she has done so much damage to our relationship that we I may never be able to forgive. Yet she takes no steps to stop doing any more damage. Yet she won't let me go. I have been hearing these same comments since October.

And as wrong it was, we were romantically involved on Tuesday after 3 hours of the most gut-wrenching crying about what we have done wrong. Yet still no "I need to call off my other relationship."

I am so hurting with the feeling that I will never get the best of her... and he will. I have paid my dues. I have hung in with months of sheer happiness, followed by weeks of pure anguish. I have always been waiting for the periods of anguish to go away, for the chaos and drama to end, and for us to live out the dreams that we both so much want. In short, for her to totally "get" recovery.

My craziness is that I am unsure who is tha crazy one - her or ME???
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:18 AM
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Oh, I don't know...I might spend less effort figuring out who's crazier/right or wrong/better or worse, and put some thought into what you can realistically expect from the combination of both of you, and whether you can live with that.

I believe her actions have shown you who she is and what she really wants, as opposed to her words. The question is, what do you want? If this is as good as it gets, can you accept that?

I stayed with my XABF for longer than I should have, and it took me a long time to admit that it was because I a) didn't think I deserved to be treated better, and b) didn't believe there was anything else out there for me. Five years later, I have been proven utterly wrong on both counts (and I thank the fates every day for that).

Healthy relationships are possible. They may not quite contain the excitement of the rollercoaster we codies get used to...and I thank the fates every day for that, too.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:37 AM
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Maybe neither one of you are crazy, but you're in a dysfunctional relationship that doesn't work and neither one of you seems to be able to let go of it.

I did the breaking up and getting back together with axbf many times. IMO, relationships are difficult enough without the addict/codependent pattern which is extremely unhealthy for everyone involved.

No doubt you have a few character defects (most of us do), but you also can't be expected to totally fulfill someone else's needs. I got that from my ex all the time too. Nothing I "gave" was ever enough. But perhaps they are just like bottomless pits that will never be filled, which is why they need to drink so much.

Is it love you are feeling or are you just addicted to her? A truly loving relationship should not make both parties miserable/

good luck with it all!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:47 AM
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In rereading what I wrote, I don't know why I stay in this situation. I know that the best would be complete termination and total no contact. I do deserve more. But I am afraid that I will be losing so much. While I have had many relationships during much of my life, in the last 40 some-odd years, she was the only one I believe I truly fell in deep love with. If we were to fill out questionaires about what we were looking for in a partner, including interests, hobbies, looks, desires, goals, etc, we are a perfect match. Unfortunately there aren't any check boxes for "Alcoholic, which includes utter selfishness and the inability to tell the truth."

While most will say that her actions indicate "Dude- get on with it," my craziness comes through our conversations and the 10s of hours of crying which tell another story about a terrified, guilt ridden woman that I feel really loves me.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:54 AM
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Welcome to SR, crazed. I am sorry for the situation that brings you to this forum, but glad you found a place to bounce stuff off of other people who have been down this road.

I would put my money on you are both crazy at this point. I know I was...being in a relationship with an active addict makes you totally nuts. Its a crazy train ride and a total mind-trip. And it is this way because it protects the users addiction and behavior while using. They can't function any other way. I mean, look at the damage left in the wake of your GF...do you really think she has the capacity to step up and face all that? Sheesh- I feel a tiny bit guilty for her just reading this.

Ok, so your crazy - well luckily for you, that's fixable. Maybe instead of focusing so much on her, and trying to salvage this relationship right now, how about dedicating your time and energy on yourself, so you aren't crazy anymore? Imagine a peaceful, predictable life full of joy and serenity. Is that what you want? Then go get it. If not, then stuck with your drama - much of which is self-perpetuated.

This is where you have choices and control. You can't control her - that much has been proven over and over again. But you can control how you want to live your life from this day forward. You can protect yourself by setting boundaries and following through. I know one of my hard fast boundaries is no affairs. That's a deal-breaker, period. What are your relationship boundaries? If you can't answer that - a good therapist can help you work through your stuff until you find your comfort zone with boundaries.

Al-Anon is a great resource that costs a buck or two per meeting - but at this point, if I were you, I'd go full on recovery mode and hit it on all fronts: Al-Anon (sponsor + step work), self reading, personal therapy, etc. Because being crazy is no way to live - you've got this one shot at this one life. Why waste it living it in such a state of un-manageability? I think I just made up that word! ; )

Keep reading here, and keep coming back. After several years of crazy, I am completely and totally grateful for mustering the courage to step off that crazy train ride and find serenity and peace in my life again. Hoping for the same for you.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:07 PM
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Thank you all. Regarding boundaries - I used to have them. We broke up several times in the early years. I think they somewhere disappeared. I feel like somehow my alcoholic equates "you never make me feel pretty" to "sleeping with an ex boyfriend."

But why do I FEEL SO GUILTY, especially after speaking with her about things?
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:13 PM
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We're all crazy at one time or another, what matters in the end, is do we change what is making us crazy, or do we continue on with the crazy?

I know how hard it is know you should leave but then have those 10 hour convorsations where our addicted love one spills their guts and we get to "see who the truely are". The problem is, that is the only time she appears to be genuine. If she meant all the things she says to you in those talks, and if she loved you as much as she claims, then why won't she end the affair, pick a date for counseling, and get the show on the road? In my experience, whenever someone won't set a date to start doing something, whether it is counseling, rehab, starting school, basically anything...it means that the person either isn't serious about doing it or isn't ready to change. Whatever her reason for stalling, please remember, your life matters too. Do you want to spend the rest of your life waiting for someone to put even a little effort into your relationship?

I'm happy to hear that through all this you have been doing things for yourself such as dieting and working out. It gets really easier to forget about our own needs and health (emotional and physical) when living/dealing with an addict.

The only person you can control is yourself. Since you can't change her, make the changes about yourself, so that you can be happy and healthy. Reflect on your past, and try to picture the type of future you want for yourself.

A saying that I always read here that really helped me start making decisions for myself was "If this is as good as it ever gets would you be happy living that life?". It made me realize I was dismissing what had happened in the past and what was occuring because I was constantly telling myself the future would get better. The truth is, it may never get better, and sadly, addiction is progressive- chances are it will most likely get worse.

Keep reading and posting. This is a great place to vent and get advice
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Crazed View Post
But why do I FEEL SO GUILTY, especially after speaking with her about things?
That is a GREAT question, and one that often arises here, and tends to be wrapped up in the dance of addictions. Why do you feel guilty? None of us know the answer to that for you personally, but I know for me it was coming from a sense of obligation to the "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" vow I made. I do believe addicts are sick people, and it kept me in a toxic situation for too long. I had to let go of the guilt before I could let go of my alcoholic and move on with my own life.

And the strange thing is - once I let go and started moving in a more healthy direction, I could look back and see all the good in my alcoholic, along with the sickness. I can say now that I am grateful for the experiences and life lessons, and I would do the same thing over again if I had the chance, but I wouldn't go back again. Ever.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:28 PM
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This certainly doesn't sound like a good relationship, at least not for you. Have you asked yourself if this is what you want in life or do you think that just by handing around it will change? I suggest starting with "Codependent No More" coupled with Alanon.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:29 PM
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Hi Crazed,

The alcoholic in my life is my sister, but I relate to the guilt thing. For the longest time, I would listen to my sister say that she drank because of me and everyone/everthing else around her and I would believe her, and I would feel guilty. Guilty that I have a good husband/career/life and her life is in shambles. Guilty when I would go NC because of her increasingly self-destructive and crazy behavior. But I started to let go of the guilt when I began focusing on myself and my expectations for our relationship. Was I the cause of her drinking? No. Could I control it and make her stop? Nope. Was I happy with putting up with her self-destructive and unpredictable behavior and the effect it was having on my own happiness, peace, and serenity? No way. I'm not saying its easy--it isn't--but I guess what I'm saying is that we all have choices, just as the alcoholic has a choice whether or not to drink. My sister chooses to live her life the way she wishes, and that's up to her. But I can choose to not deal with her madness, and I don't have to feel guilty about wanting to live the best life for me regardless of what she does with hers. Personal boundaries help me--deciding what behavior I'm willing to deal with, and which behaviors I'm not willing to go along with. For me, my sister is so lost to the disease that I have minimal contact with her. I don't want to or have to take the abuse she dishes out to people when she drinks. And my life is far more peaceful as a result.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:50 PM
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its called the Merry Go ROUND of denial.....(good pamphlet)

have you gone to a 12 step program like al anon?
what about reading Co Dependent No More from Melody Beattie?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:45 PM
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Just my two cents...........

She wants her cake and be able to eat it too.......

But you keep going back.........

I bet when you choose differently you will get different results.

This is so very toxic and unhealthy for you.

"While most will say that her actions indicate "Dude- get on with it," my craziness comes through our conversations and the 10s of hours of crying which tell another story about a terrified, guilt ridden woman that I feel really loves me. "

^^^^^^ Oh crazed this is not love^^^^^ just the ramblings of an out of control addict.

Take back your life, I would end the madness, sure it will hurt for awhile, but not compared to the yo-yo hell you have been living.

You and you alone are responsible for choices. No one else JUST YOU.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:54 AM
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The answer is not complicated and is not (necessarily) about addiction, or alcoholism.

Some people just aren't good for each other period. It doesn't sound like either of you brings out the best in each other rather you bring out the worst - drama, and lots of it.

We are all crazy sometimes when it comes to relationships. Step back and really look at what you are getting out of being involved with her and then decide if this is what you want for your life, I doubt it will ever change.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Crazed View Post
Thank you all. Regarding boundaries - I used to have them. We broke up several times in the early years. I think they somewhere disappeared. I feel like somehow my alcoholic equates "you never make me feel pretty" to "sleeping with an ex boyfriend."

But why do I FEEL SO GUILTY, especially after speaking with her about things?
Have you ever heard of FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt)?

This website is very good and explains how people with personality disorders keep us hooked through Fear, Obligation and Guilt. I would suggest you take a look at it and see which of these behaviors your GF is exhibiting.

Out of the FOG - Top 100 Behaviors & Traits of Individuals who suffer from Personality Disorders

My ex was a big-time narcissist and tried to control me through guilt and I totally bought into it, hook, line and sinker. It was only through therapy how I recognized it. Nothing I did was good enough for him and I felt terrible all of the time. I really loved him too, but he attempted to decimate his pain through drinking and abusing me.

I would suggest seriously taking a break from his person and figuring out why you are unable to set and enforce boundaries. Are you afraid of being alone? It really isn't so bad...
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:09 PM
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Your AG has some symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. And women with BPD most definitely affect the sanity of everyone who has contact with them. Even therapists have a very difficult time de-toxing from a session with a BPD individual.

On the F&F of Substance Abusers you might track the posts of "Zoso." He had quite a year with an addicted borderline woman.

And there is a book titled "Walking on Eggshells" which might be useful. And if you google the name of the disorder you will likely find plenty of materials.

One thing I have learned in my experience in recovery is that attendance at AA by no means confers either integrity or sanity on an individual who sets his or her bottom in one of those folding chairs. For the longest time I was under the illusion that if someone went to AA often, and for years, that person was a walking manifestation of the Twelve Steps. I have learned the hard way how delusional my thinking was. Someone "suiting up and showing up" does not guarantee "growing up."

I hope you will investigate BPD. Your jaw may drop. Only you will know. I wish you the very best counselor you can find, for your experiences have surely created very deep wounds in you which need to heal. You are not crazy, but you are most surely wounded. In such a state, we rarely make good choices.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:48 PM
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Thank you all so much for your support and great feedback. I will definitely investigate BPD. I read "codependent no more" a few years ago, and was a bit disillusioned into thinking it was not me- perhaps another reread is in order.

Regarding recent developments- I have been unable to keep from the phone. We had a brief argument Thursday night, in which many of my character defects were again brought to light. This was followed by an appology phone call from her yesterday. Again with her stating she loves me, sees us together in the future, and is so scared. She also stated that she made a decision earlier in the week to truly focus on herself - AA, therapy, relationships with kids, and learning to live comfortable by herself. She also "slipped" that her affair guy may be having talks with his recent ex-wife about reconciliation.

She then pulled another disappearing act today, and about an hour ago I find that she traveled the 3.5 hours across the state earlier today...
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:28 PM
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C1razed, you've gotten lots of good advice here, and I agree that this sounds like a rollercoaster life ride that you may not want to buy any more tickets for..

Just as an aside, you've mentioned kids a couple of times - are they yours, or hers, or both - how do they fit in?

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Old 01-05-2013, 06:46 PM
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Her kids from previous marriage - 15 and 18. She has split custody with her ex husband. They lived with us in our (really my) house for the past 8 or 9 years every other week. They moved out with her at the beginning of November. I believe they know of the affair and the circumstances of why they all left my house. Although it took me years to accept them as my own, it is truly painful as every day that goes by I feel my bonds with them disappearing.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:43 PM
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In reading through the BPD site, I am getting concerned.... I demonstrate some of the behaviors. (Belittling, condescending and patronizing, Impulsiveness and Impulsivity, Passive Agressive Behavior) - all which she has pointed out to me for years.

Which leads me to these thoughts-
I have chosen not to enter into marriage and have children with this woman because of fear- fear of divorce, fear of raising children on my own, etc. I was there during her year long custody battle, which was horrible. The relapsing over the last 5 years has been a rollercoaster ride from hell, extreme highs and wonderful experiences, to exteme lows and gutwrenching agony. I have just been waiting for some period of consistency in her recovery. I have even mentally thought "If she could just put together a year of sobriety, maybe we could get marriage to work out." Her fear of abandonment would go away, the rock on her finger would scream to the world that she is taken, etc. She would feel worthy and good enough, which she has stated she has always had issue with. All would get better. She has stated as much.

So while she is currently with another man, all I can think about is what I did to drive her there, why it is my fault, and looking at my faults on the BPD site.

I do this recognizing that she is a pathalogical liar and master manipulator, destroyed her first marriage with drinking and infidelity, etc- all while still talking a good recovery game and saying she is sober (claiming 9+ months dry). Yet I've had many clear indicators that she is self-medicating. Heck, her sponsor even threw in the towel, which should be a clear indicator of how she is handling recovery.

Yet for some reason I think things can still be salvaged, she is just hurting, and seeking comfort in the only other way she can without Vodka... (Add Denial to my BPD symptoms)

I believe I've identified two of my major fears:

1) Fear of being alone. I think being alone stinks, especially at my point in life where everyone I know is married with kids, etc. I went to a home show today - I think I was the only non-couple there.... It was quite depressing.

2) But also, and perhaps selfish sounding:
I paid my dues and want the pot of gold at the end of the dysfunctional rainbow. I have been the rock in the stormy sea (or Enabler). I have stayed on where many (Normal- not sick) people would have turned and run. If she does finally "get" recovery, I want to be there. I want to finally live out our dreams with no drama and no chaos. She is successful, talented, beautiful, and my partner in so many things. I am so jealous that this guy is getting the best of her (which we know he is). He has such a solid background with her (best friends in high school, "First"). I am so scared that he will be the one that is on the other side of the chaos, and they will ride off happy in the sunset.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:47 PM
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Now the pendulum of my mind swings-

While I sit here depressed, beating myself up, etc., I wonder if this is much more simple.

Perhaps she is in recovery and doing well, fell back in love with her first high school love, and is kicking me to the curb. She just doesn't have the courage to let me go.

This thought makes me think I am the ONLY crazy one in the equation, and she is OK
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