From AW to XAW - It's Over

Old 07-31-2013, 07:51 PM
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Lord Have Mercy
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Thumbs up From AW to XAW - It's Over

Hi Everyone:

I just got my final divorce papers which represent the end of my 18+ year marriage. The thing that ended it for us was not alcoholism. I was planning on dealing with that . . . til death do us part. And this 44 year old woman has already come close to dying SO many times.

What finally ended it was AW's text messages, hidden relationships, and lying to cover them up. Not that she ever admitted to any physical affair. The queen of denial, she would insist that her provacative, mutual dirty messages "are just a joke" and "not real".

XAW lives in a fantasy world of her own creation. I literally don't know that woman writing the text messages . . . saying "I love you" to other men and making offers like "I'm taking a bubble bath ... want to join me?"

Yet whenever I challenged her on these messages, she would get a grossed-out look on her face and she would look at me like I was the crazy one. This has been my experience with her since the whole drama started in fall 2010. At least she is consistent.

So we have a woman with 9 lives who continues in her active alcoholism even though her husband is gone, her house is sold, she is living in a little apartment, she has a breathalyzer on her car so she can't drive it (ever), and she is riding the slow road back to the next medical emergency that certainly awaits in the next weeks or months. Oh yeah, she's divorced now too.

When asked about her drinking, she says "I'm doing good!" as if she deserves a big pat on the back. That is ridiculous. She is getting skinnier, changing her diet to about 90% vodka (she eats like 1 bite of any given meal), and NOTHING HAS CHANGED, I mean nothing, this merry go round has been spinning for a good 15 years now.

I am completely defeated by alcohol. I have many metaphors, but my favorite is that alcohol is like a big evil snake that wrapped itself around her. It is biting and poisoning her, but the damn thing is so evil that if I got too close it bit me too. It even reached out and grabbed me and trapped me and I feel I had to amputate a limb just to get away. Of course that is just a metaphor.

The other is that I am running from a burning building, saving myself but leaving my loved one behind. It doesn't feel good. It feels sad.

I have mourned her death so many times and yet she always lives. She lives and drinks and does just enough of the kind and sweet things that make me want to cry when I see the child like woman I fell in love with. She is still in there and she is actually more alone and scared than ever, but what can I do about that?

I am an example of someone who always gave chance after chance after chance. I always forgave, Lord help me, and I did look at alcoholism like a disease, so I was coping pretty well and making the best of it. But this unfaithfulness was just too much. Heck with that.

I went very slowly each step of the way, and if I have any advice for anyone, it's simply that if you don't know what to do -- don't do anything. Be patient. You will know what needs to be done when it needs to be done. I don't know what it is about human nature that waits for something to get "bad enough" before taking action, but that's just how it works. The pain has to become greater than your fear of change.

I jumped off the financial cliff in my divorce, and XAW now has all of our money in exchange for my share of the family business, now my only asset and my best hope to rebuild my future. I am starting over in so many ways, but let me get to my main point: IT IS ALL WORTH IT.

I feel free. I feel like I just escaped from prison. I feel like I just clawed my way out of quicksand. I feel like I can have hopes and dreams and a future. I like to say, "never underestimate what a man will do for his freedom".

Then there is faith. The bedrock of my faith in God has not failed. It has been tested, but not for one minute did I ever think that God wasn't there, that he wasn't in control, that he didn't love me and have kindness and mercy for me. This is a crappy sinful world and we all have to deal with it. God is not making any mistakes and in fact anyone who seeks him will find him. So XAW is in his hands now, Lord help her.

I read this website almost every day and I see the familiar stories of people who are just waking up into the alternate reality, the nightmare, of being attached to an alcoholic. If there are kids, it's worse, if one is married as opposed to dating, it's worse.

I don't usually reply, because I don't want to be the grump that keeps typing: RUN, RUN, RUN.

Plenty of people gave me that advice over the past 10+ years when things were going really crazy with accidents, hospitalizations, poor decision making, unsavory characters, and embarassing situations. I didn't listen to them. I wasn't done yet. I hadn't "had enough" yet. I guess I needed her to cheat on me, so that my heart hurt SO BAD that I literally felt FORCED to leave her. It really was too much, but that's what I needed to make this happen.

From the moment I decided "I'm done, this marriage is OVER", to when I was finally divorced, two and half years went by. I moved out a year ago. Each step was difficult and agonizing because I am codependent, I hate conflict, and I didn't want her to get too upset. How do you divorce someone without getting them upset?

I did it my way. Slow, kind, patient, helping, and generous to her. I am her friend and I do care about her. I feel sorry for her. I have set her up as best as I can. Now I look at her like a sick family member. Like my grandma who I go to visit in her senior apartment, we have a nice visit talking about nothing particular, hugs and kisses, and out the door. XAW is mentally equal to my grandma. Grandma is 97.

I feel I have reached a finish line at the same time as I line up at a starting line. People talking about me "moving on" as if I can't wait to find another woman. That scares me to death. I have no idea how that would even work. I am a stranger in a strange land when it comes to dating which is why I have completely avoided other women up to this point. I like being by myself. I feel like I failed in my last relationship and it doesn't exactly make me want to tee up another one anytime soon.

This is a long post but it is a long time coming. Thank you to all of the SR community -- this board is a lifeline to real people who live in the real (ugly) world of loving an alcoholic, and there is nothing else like it. Long live SR!

When it comes to alcohol, my conclusion is that I don't know my head from a hole in the ground. Wait, I do know one thing: vodka kicked my ass.

Blessings, djayr
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:02 PM
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Djayr, you are awesome. And this is an awesome post. I'm sure many others out there tonight will be touched and maybe even motivated by your experience.

Peace to you,
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:32 PM
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DJAYR- great post. Thank you.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:46 PM
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You are a lovely writer and have been through so much and tell it so well. Congratulations on your new journey, and your freedom. So much of what you say rings so true and I think lots of people well get a lot out of reading your path. The snake metaphor is particularly powerful. As is the juxtaposition of the freedom and grief.

Thank you.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:21 AM
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Thank you so much for that. Your story shows you are a man with courage and compassion. I get that when the pain of staying becomes more unbearable than the pain of leaving that's when it's time. Your post has given me hope for myself.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:37 AM
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Great post, and I'm glad you have your business and a bright new future ahead of you.

"Moving on" doesn't mean that you run out and find a new woman. I personally am on indefinite relationship hiatus. So far it's been eight years. But it's fine, it's great--I am not lonely and I have a great life.

Hugs, thanks for the update and the great post.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:54 AM
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Great post, DJAYR - thank you so much for this. Glad you found your way out of the chaos. You're going to be just fine.

C-OH Dad
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:18 AM
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Eloquent, thank you djayr...
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:39 AM
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Thank you so much for taking the time to share, your strength is awe-inspiring.

I had to laugh at your burning building metaphor - I just told someone the other day that for me, dealing with RAH's alcoholism feels kinda like he dragged me into a burning building through the back door, knowing it was on fire in front & then left me to find my own way out once he realized he was completely lost & could only focus on saving himself.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:51 AM
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Excellent & inspirational post.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:40 AM
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Thanks so much for your post. Vodka kicked my @ss too. Don't know why I thought I could ever win that fight. Love your advice to just do nothing if you don't know what to do. That helps me have peace, knowing the answers will come with time, faith, and patience.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:43 AM
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Praying all the best for you, One day at a time.
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