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Update; he's home

Old 02-01-2013, 12:22 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Some people love the drama of staying in a relationship with a drunk. Work on accepting him as he is right now because he won't change. Alanon helps us not get sucked into the whirlpool of an alcoholic's spiraling life ... we learn boundaries.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:30 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hey Liz...Ever get the impression you aren't figuring all this stuff out fast enough to suit other people's liking?

When Dr. Laura was talking about women withholding sex as a form of manipulation (which does happen, I'm sure of it)...I kind of doubt she was dealing with sex in an ALCOHOLIC marriage. I haven't read Dr. Laura but somehow I think its all a bit more complicated when issues of addiction are involved. I don't think any therapist would recommend that you be physically intimate with someone you don't trust. I don't think its hard to understand why someone isn't physically attracted to someone who has hurt them. Sorry, I just don't the whole manipulation by withholding sex charge.

I do agree with one thing...
In the end, you have to decide whether you can love your ah and stay with him as he is today. If you can, then I agree, jump in with both feet and commit yourself to the marriage. If you can't, then it's time to leave. But getting to this point of decision is a process. It's not a contest to get there as fast as you can. I really hope you're going to face to face meetings. They're the only thing that helped me reach the point of decision in my own time...on my own terms. Alot of times, I felt judged here. I felt a real sense of impatience from people that I wasn't 'getting it' fast enough. And that's too bad, really. This forum is great...don't get me wrong...but we're codies in the end...and sometimes I think we like to convince others to see things OUR way and to see it out way NOW.

I think you're asking all the right questions. Keep asking them. Double up on your meetings. Work those steps. Work an honest program of recovery and you WILL find the answers you seek. I guarantee it. It works if you work it.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:38 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Withholding sex to punish, or promote desired behaviour, is manipulation.

Performing sex because of guilt, or because people tell you that not performing sex is manipulation, is being manipulated.

Not performing sex because you don't feel in a healthy place, and / or you don't feel the relationship is in a healthy place, is, IMHO, healthy.

You are digging and probing and coming to some realizations at your own pace. That is good.

And yes, do what you need to do, to come to your decision. Just realize, that if it comes to endless agonizing over the decision, that is a decision.

Wishing you well.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:42 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Honestly, it takes what it takes. Acceptance was a long time coming for me. Oh, I thought I accepted him as he was, but still I continued trying to get him to change. That's not acceptance. For me, crying myself to sleep every night wasn't enough. Him driving drunk with our kids wasn't enough. Hurting the dog in a fit of rage wasn't enough. No one can predict what will be enough. But, when you get there, you will know it. In the end, you have to accept him exactly as he is. Whether you decide to stay or leave at that point is irrelevant. It's the acceptance that frees you.

In my case, I wasn't letting go until I had been sufficiently dragged and psychologically beaten to a bloody pulp. What I see here is not judgement or impatience, but the desire to prevent someone else from going through hell. Trouble is, we all have to go through our own personal hell, otherwise we don't learn the lessons.

L
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:52 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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LaTeeDa,

Perfect!

MamaKit

Whether you decide to stay or leave at that point is irrelevant. It's the acceptance that frees you.

In my case, I wasn't letting go until I had been sufficiently dragged and psychologically beaten to a bloody pulp. What I see here is not judgement or impatience, but the desire to prevent someone else from going through hell. Trouble is, we all have to go through our own personal hell, otherwise we don't learn the lessons.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:07 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Rejection or not.. .. if he were serious what you do makes no difference.
If hes changed and wants to repair then by not jumping in ...it should not affect how he wants to move forward.
Much like blaming someone else for a persons drinking....
You cannot blame soneone for your recovery and it sounds just that.
That he is expecting you run to him open arms just because he says too.
Sounds like his recovery is not all there
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
Sounds like same song again!

If someone has done a wrong - and they know it - They want to make it right - they say it. Then they will wait for it if that's what they want.

Rather than saying "if you don't respond quickly the portal will close" I would believe it more if he said "I don't care how long it takes I will wait and do whatever it takes to win you back'"
You said it better but that was what I was trying to get at lol
Well said!
And that is how you know someone is making an effort
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:07 PM
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@outonalimb - I totally agree with you. "Withholding" (I hate to even call it that) physical intimacy in an alcoholic relationship isn't manipulation. When you lose that emotional intimacy and you essentially lose your partner to alcohol, any physical intimacy during active drinking cycles equates to sleeping with the alcohol, not your loved one. I haven't truly seen my husband in years. This thing I've been living with is not him, and I don't like it, so I'm sure as hell not going to sleep with it! Has it been difficult & has it put an additional strain on the relationship? Yes. But I'm better off dealing with that than with the shame & regret that inevitably would come afterwards.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:18 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Just a little thought blurb I had reading this. Forgiveness. You mention that you have read so many books on forgiveness... In my own experience forgiveness has very little to do with the other person. It is a state of peace you reach within yourself. I know for me, there was not a book in the world that could make that happen. And it is ok if you can't forgive yet. In my situation, it happened after years of struggle and it happened quietly without me consciously willing it to.
Good luck with this. Sounds like a fraught situation...
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:44 PM
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Liz, From reading many of your posts, I think you are getting more then you realize or can even admit, at this point, from your "marriage." It is fulfilling a need (negative and/or positive) for you somehow.

I spent hours upon hours for months complaining about my husband but doing nothing to change it. I had a bad case of "if only he would or wouldn't's." It wasn't until I got really honest about ME, and stopped blaming him for everything that went wrong in my life, was I able to make real changes. I had no idea how much I liked playing the victim because it was great distraction from my own issues and honestly addressing them.

My therapist and I agreed we would only talk about me during our sessions for a while, and that helped a lot. I remember when she said "wow, it's been 40 mins and you haven't mentioned his name once." I had never realized how much he consumed my thinking until I changed it. That's when I started to make progress and reclaim myself and my life.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:49 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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He's manipulating,proceed with caution.


Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
So AH is back. He claims he has had all these revelations. He was all over me physically and we already had a discussion on how he's making an effort so why am I rejecting him? I basically told him I was uncomfortable and confused. I confronted him about his cheating accusations and how that made me feel. He was hugging me and says, "does this seem like a man who thinks his wife is cheating on him?"

I'm more confused than ever. He said his brother's sad bachelor existence that he witnessed back east was enough for him to realize that his home is here and that he wants our family back.

He said that if I keep rejecting him than, of course, he will start to pull away again. I have no idea where to go from here or how to proceed with caution. I told him I've heard all this before so why does he expect me to follow his 180 so cavalierly? Man, I have a long way to go.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:41 AM
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All too often I see people make a very big mistake in a relationship. Not paying attention to a problem until it is too late. There is such a thing as "too late" not all things are fixable.

I would imagine the problems you have had with AH were there before you ever found SR. When we are continuously hurt by another's actions it changes us. How long has it been? From reading your first post I would say 3 years plus. So for 3 years you have been asking, begging, pleading, appeasing, fixing, therapy, marriage counseling , Al Anon, supporting, talking, asking, pleading begging for CHANGE.

And here it is - this week, after all this time - he is presenting himself as the the man you want. It wasn't your asking, begging or pleading, it was an observation that his brother's bachelor life was not what he wanted. Hmmm.

But change is change, an offer to move forward is an offer.

What about you? How have you changed? How has 3 + years of this BS affected you? has it been worth it to finally have him say the things you have asked for that have gone unrecognized after all this time?

How many times I have seen this scenario - maybe not with addiction issues - but a partner try and try and try to fix a problem. And then when they finally put on their running shoes and head for the door the "problem" immediately changes. It's a MIRACLE! Often by that time the person "running" is so checked out of the relationship it can't be fixed.

If you choose to give a go again I hope that you keep your walls up. Keep expectations low and disappointment high. Stay somewhat detached. Protect yourself emotionally. I would have to see a good solid YEAR of dedicated behavior before I would let those walls down.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
All too often I see people make a very big mistake in a relationship. Not paying attention to a problem until it is too late. There is such a thing as "too late" not all things are fixable.

I would imagine the problems you have had with AH were there before you ever found SR. When we are continuously hurt by another's actions it changes us. How long has it been? From reading your first post I would say 3 years plus. So for 3 years you have been asking, begging, pleading, appeasing, fixing, therapy, marriage counseling , Al Anon, supporting, talking, asking, pleading begging for CHANGE.

And here it is - this week, after all this time - he is presenting himself as the the man you want. It wasn't your asking, begging or pleading, it was an observation that his brother's bachelor life was not what he wanted. Hmmm.

But change is change, an offer to move forward is an offer.

What about you? How have you changed? How has 3 + years of this BS affected you? has it been worth it to finally have him say the things you have asked for that have gone unrecognized after all this time?

How many times I have seen this scenario - maybe not with addiction issues - but a partner try and try and try to fix a problem. And then when they finally put on their running shoes and head for the door the "problem" immediately changes. It's a MIRACLE! Often by that time the person "running" is so checked out of the relationship it can't be fixed.

If you choose to give a go again I hope that you keep your walls up. Keep expectations low and disappointment high. Stay somewhat detached. Protect yourself emotionally. I would have to see a good solid YEAR of dedicated behavior before I would let those walls down.
The drinking has been around 3 years now. I've been in Al Anon for 1 year. His BS has been going on for 18 years now. And, I've gotten so wrapped up in unhealthy ways to adjust to his craziness that I don't know how to fix some of it. I have to admit that I've learned through therapy that I can say NO, I can stop being afraid of his retaliation, but my physical body still reacts when he raises his voice or starts an argument. I still get anxiety attacks and adrenaline pumping, etc and that makes it hard to argue effectively or say what I mean properly without making my position worse. His friends used to tell me that he was the master at sarcasm and manipulation but I was so naive I didn't realize how it would be used against me.

This is his personality, yet I see the side I fell in love with on a regular basis. When he and our son play ping pong in the other room and I hear them laughing at each other, it warms my heart. When I see him working a room of people with ease, I admire his ability to know how to talk to people. When he decides to get honest about himself (which happens on occasion and we have beautiful open conversations without blame or rejection), I break out the party hats because I know there's a good man in there. I know he FEELs like he loves us. I know he didn't drink and get the DUI to bring us misery. I know why he drinks. It just seems that he doesn't, and he hasn't been honest enough with himself to work on his own issues.

And, even though he's asked for forgiveness for EVERYTHING he's done, the hurt is still there FOR ME. I step back, lick my wounds for a month or so, and then he goes on another binge and he's back to sticking in the knife in my heart and giving it a twist for good measure. He goes back to defending his behavior, pointing the finger at me and finding some false accusation to throw at me to redirect, etc. So, yes, it's been the same old song and dance with him but the drinking has thrown me for a loop. I told AH that the DUI was truly the straw that broke the camel's back for me. His minimizing of the DUI itself and the fall out from it are what anger me the most. It's all caused a lot of resentment. Not the actual DUI, I forgave that, but the way he handled himself afterwards and continued to make it seem like I was crazy for getting angry about his continued drunk driving. Sigh, anyway, I feel like I've come a long way. Believe me, I have changed and he knows it. The question is: can he change enough to keep me? And, can I overcome my trust issues? Big questions, but that's OK. I'm still taking the time for me. I have to keep working MY steps, going to MY meetings, and taking care of our son. Life moves on and there are greater rewards ahead of me, whether they be in this life or after.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:12 AM
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It is obvious you still love this man and you love your family you have together.

And that alone seems like a good reason to give this another 100% try. You see, I couldn't say those things you said above about my now ex. I didn't have the same feelings you had in the end of my marriage to my alcoholic. I was too full of contempt, as was he, to even move forward on anything. It was doomed, and the last act of kindness I could do was to let him go. It hurt like hell, but it was the right thing to do.

But your situation is different. And maybe, just maybe, he has had an epiphany here. Losing a parent is rough on all of us - it makes you grow up fast - regardless of the kind of relationship you may have had with that person. Maybe he has realized he has some areas that need serious work! But you'll never know that unless you try. And trying requires a change in mindset for you. It means shutting the door on ending the marriage and focusing completely on sustaining it.

You can do it without losing yourself. You can be wary without being withdrawn. You can act in your own best interests while also acting in the best interests of the family. It's a balancing act, but one that is achievable if you are self-aware in your actions and intentions.

You speak often of your faith - now is a good time to have faith that more will be revealed. But I also believe you have far more power here that you recognize. I don't doubt that your husband has put you through hell. But I do believe even the most messed up person can grow and change, if committed to it. But the only way to find out if he is committed is to allow him the freedom to do the actions, knowing he has your support.

Sorry if I came off as harsh yesterday, but all the overwhelming doubt in this thread has me a little turned off. So always remember to take what works for you and your family and leave the rest, ok?

And P.S. Forgiving does not mean forgetting. There is a difference!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:21 AM
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When my XAH and I were still married but he refused recovery- my therapist suggested tell him to do 90 meetings in 90 days and then we would talk. He didn't- and I didn't.....We didn't make it- but I am so much happier now without the chaos and drama.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:05 PM
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I agree with Tuffgirl - seeing as she has been through it I respect the opinion. Keep us updated - hoping .......
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:39 PM
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liz, I have something to say.

I was raped when I was 17. I told the ABF years ago, before we were together. I was very drunk, didn't press charges, avoided the guy (and his wife who happened to be a good friend of mine) and that is how I got over it. Not the best way to do it, but I was a freaking child.

Now, protective order I filed on the ABF months ago stated that he raped me. Yes, he did, regardless of what he says or forgets due to drunkenness or whatever. No means no, especially in the middle of the night when you are trying to sleep and he is so drunk and belligerent that you don't know what to do. The protective order was filed for domestic abuse, although that was also in there. This is the first time I have told anyone, except the judge when I got the order, and she did not include it in the order because I told her to leave it out because I was too ashamed.

He went to rehab, got out, blah blah blah. Now we constantly (well, we did until he left) argue about sex and how he won't touch me because I am accusing him of rape and trying to send him to jail and whatever. No. I would have pressed charges on him if that were the case. I would have told someone if that were the case. I wouldn't have explained it away to the judge that it was because he was drunk (although intoxication is not a legal defense, but I specifically said I would not press charges on him so do not bother making me try). I said I am not the one telling everyone what the protective order said, YOU are. YOU are the one telling people.

Then it got worse. He started screaming at me about why don't you go get raped again, you must have liked it, it was all your fault. You know what? I didn't even care about that, it was the fact that my BROTHER is my next door neighbor and what the hell would I do if he heard all this, because I never told ANYONE else I was raped when I was 17. I am absolutely terrified that my parents are going to find out and blame me, which is why I never told them, which is exactly what the ex is doing now.

He doesn't understand, I don't think about the rape like that. When he brings it up and turns it against me, he is doing it to me psychologically all over again. And the second time around, it is worse, because I don't have alcohol to dull the pain.

I get exactly what you are saying. I have really never told anyone most of this, and I really am surprised that I actually said it now, but I get what you mean, because you can't have sex with someone who is going to throw everything like that at you, but of course, they love you, duh.

And he denied ever saying any of it. I don't care. I know what I said, he knows what he said, and you best believe, I don't forgive that easily. The psychological damage being caused goes waaaaaayyyy beyond the relationship, sex-or lack thereof, or whatever. That stuff is out of control.

Anyway, I don't blame you one bit, you are hurt, angry, confused, and he needs to get the fact that you don't just randomly have sex with people. If he is not willing to try to make it up to you, then fine, don't blame yourself. This is HIS fault, don't forget that.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:48 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
It is obvious you still love this man and you love your family you have together.

And that alone seems like a good reason to give this another 100% try. You see, I couldn't say those things you said above about my now ex. I didn't have the same feelings you had in the end of my marriage to my alcoholic. I was too full of contempt, as was he, to even move forward on anything. It was doomed, and the last act of kindness I could do was to let him go. It hurt like hell, but it was the right thing to do.

But your situation is different. And maybe, just maybe, he has had an epiphany here. Losing a parent is rough on all of us - it makes you grow up fast - regardless of the kind of relationship you may have had with that person. Maybe he has realized he has some areas that need serious work! But you'll never know that unless you try. And trying requires a change in mindset for you. It means shutting the door on ending the marriage and focusing completely on sustaining it.

You can do it without losing yourself. You can be wary without being withdrawn. You can act in your own best interests while also acting in the best interests of the family. It's a balancing act, but one that is achievable if you are self-aware in your actions and intentions.

You speak often of your faith - now is a good time to have faith that more will be revealed. But I also believe you have far more power here that you recognize. I don't doubt that your husband has put you through hell. But I do believe even the most messed up person can grow and change, if committed to it. But the only way to find out if he is committed is to allow him the freedom to do the actions, knowing he has your support.

Sorry if I came off as harsh yesterday, but all the overwhelming doubt in this thread has me a little turned off. So always remember to take what works for you and your family and leave the rest, ok?

And P.S. Forgiving does not mean forgetting. There is a difference!
:ghug3 Nope, you didn't come across as harsh. You definitely gave me something to think about and made me face the truth about the fact that I still don't trust him enough to sleep with him. He has said so many other hurtful things about my sexuality, about my cheating on him and why, etc that I know sex is just not on the table right now. It's not a punishment, it's a truth....for me and I accept that.

Only time will tell if he is truly committed THIS TIME. Since I've heard those words from him before, his track record isn't astounding. I'm going to put my part in, try to spend time with him, greet with hugs and kisses, and do what I feel comfortable doing. If he invalidates my efforts again then I'll know where we stand. I know that I'll be OK whatever happens, I couldn't have said that a year ago. I know that everything works out in the order in which God plans, and I now know not to question what path the universe has laid before me.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by inpieces314 View Post
liz, I have something to say.

I was raped when I was 17. I told the ABF years ago, before we were together. I was very drunk, didn't press charges, avoided the guy (and his wife who happened to be a good friend of mine) and that is how I got over it. Not the best way to do it, but I was a freaking child.

Now, protective order I filed on the ABF months ago stated that he raped me. Yes, he did, regardless of what he says or forgets due to drunkenness or whatever. No means no, especially in the middle of the night when you are trying to sleep and he is so drunk and belligerent that you don't know what to do. The protective order was filed for domestic abuse, although that was also in there. This is the first time I have told anyone, except the judge when I got the order, and she did not include it in the order because I told her to leave it out because I was too ashamed.

He went to rehab, got out, blah blah blah. Now we constantly (well, we did until he left) argue about sex and how he won't touch me because I am accusing him of rape and trying to send him to jail and whatever. No. I would have pressed charges on him if that were the case. I would have told someone if that were the case. I wouldn't have explained it away to the judge that it was because he was drunk (although intoxication is not a legal defense, but I specifically said I would not press charges on him so do not bother making me try). I said I am not the one telling everyone what the protective order said, YOU are. YOU are the one telling people.

Then it got worse. He started screaming at me about why don't you go get raped again, you must have liked it, it was all your fault. You know what? I didn't even care about that, it was the fact that my BROTHER is my next door neighbor and what the hell would I do if he heard all this, because I never told ANYONE else I was raped when I was 17. I am absolutely terrified that my parents are going to find out and blame me, which is why I never told them, which is exactly what the ex is doing now.

He doesn't understand, I don't think about the rape like that. When he brings it up and turns it against me, he is doing it to me psychologically all over again. And the second time around, it is worse, because I don't have alcohol to dull the pain.

I get exactly what you are saying. I have really never told anyone most of this, and I really am surprised that I actually said it now, but I get what you mean, because you can't have sex with someone who is going to throw everything like that at you, but of course, they love you, duh.

And he denied ever saying any of it. I don't care. I know what I said, he knows what he said, and you best believe, I don't forgive that easily. The psychological damage being caused goes waaaaaayyyy beyond the relationship, sex-or lack thereof, or whatever. That stuff is out of control.

Anyway, I don't blame you one bit, you are hurt, angry, confused, and he needs to get the fact that you don't just randomly have sex with people. If he is not willing to try to make it up to you, then fine, don't blame yourself. This is HIS fault, don't forget that.
I'm so sorry. Yes, the psychological damage is the hardest part. Our bodies heal physically, but our minds are quite the machine.

:ghug3 Great big hugs to you! What I've learned about my rape is that, no matter the circumstances, if it isn't consensual then it's not right, period. My circumstances were similar except it was a complete stranger and we were totally plastered. I blacked out, he raped me, and I woke up horrified in a strange place with a few pieces of memory of what happened. He knew he raped me, he apologized profusely, he was sincerely sorry, and he walked me back to my friend's dorm room( I was visiting a high school friend at her college so I was unfamiliar with the campus). I had no problem forgiving this guy. We both made a mistake, he just took his side too far. Yes, it hurt and it hurt my pride too, but I hold no ill will towards him. Honestly, I was molested when I was 7 and I had a whole heck of a TON of resentment towards those guys than I did toward the rape. And, some(almost all actually) of my sexual issues are due to my molestation not the rape, so I don't know why AH clings to that event. I guess it's harder to throw a 7 year old's memory under the bus than it is for a 19 year old.

About 7 years ago my AH stopped initiating sex. He said that he didn't want to force or coerce me to do anything I didn't want to do, you know because I was a rape victim. He complained that I turned him down too often. Well, heck yes I did. I had a child who ran me ragged all day and housework(I had to have a perfect house so he didn't have anything to complain about) and I was tired. He would sit on the couch from about 3 PM to 11 PM and not help me with dinner preparation or clean up, not help me get our son ready for bed with bathtime or storytime, and he'd sit there and get angry that I was too tired for sex. Honestly, a lot of that is my fault because I didn't nag him to help me but he made it clear that his fiance(an older woman he dated before me for 5 years) was a nag and that he didn't care for that quality in a woman. So, I tried to negotiate and made some helpful suggestions regarding our sex life.

But, instead of taking my cue about trying to put sex on a schedule and plan it into our week, he decided to get all passive aggressive about it and place the ball in my court. He told me that sex will ALWAYS be initiated by ME, not by him anymore. Honestly, our sex life was so crazy weird like that before the drinking started that it's another piece of baggage I have to sort through in therapy. And, he loves to blame my rape when it's convenient for him.

Sigh, we have so much crap to work through. Scratch that, I HAVE SO MUCH CRAP to keep working through.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:26 AM
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I AM CANADIAN
 
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Location: Niagara Region, Canada
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you changed
he changed
the marriage has changed because of all the changes....

So? now you need to find the strength in on what you "settled" for...this is it...this is your life with the alcoholic...deal with it...(and that is harsh) or leave...
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