XAH is in love again and I'm still triggered

Old 04-26-2014, 01:22 PM
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XAH is in love again and I'm still triggered

It's been two and a half years since I separated from my AH, and almost as long since I posted to this amazing website. Long story short(ish):

We were together for 6 years. It took me a long time to realise he was an alcoholic and an addict.

When I finally summoned up the courage to sound the alarm, he refused to get help. I moved out. He started looking at dating websites.

I went to Al Anon. And with me still nagging like a good codie, he went to AA. He did a month of rehab. I supported him but did not move back in. We agreed that the first year of recovery is momentous and we would not make any major decisions during that time, but continued to see each other. He started listening to me - really listening – both of us working hard to be honest and open to change. There was a brief window when I felt maybe, I could love this man and live with him again and what we have could be stronger than any fears about relapse and ensuing downward spirals. Maybe we could learn to live like grownups, in mutual respect.

He relapsed. First into the drinking and the pot-smoking, then into blaming me for abandoning him, equating my “flaws” with his addiction, finding 101 reasons why AA was not for him, insisting he wasn’t “really” an alcoholic, quack quack quack quack quack.

And I was done. 16 months after moving out, I asked him for a divorce. He was surprised. He relapsed harder. He looked at more dating websites. He went on a couple of dates, but they didn’t lead anywhere because “the women were his age (late 40s) and just too unattractive.”
He continued to insist that he and I belonged together, that what we had was special, that my life was “better with him in it,” that I had given up on us too soon. He mentioned, repeatedly, that our wedding vows “had really meant something to him.”

I kept going to Al Anon.

He went into rehab a second time, and back to AA.

He is currently 3 months sober. A few weeks ago, he met someone in his AA homegroup. And now he is in love, and so brimming with happiness that he feels able to tell me “I still really love you, and I wish you the same happiness.” And he mentions, again, how much our wedding vows meant to him. How the spirituality he is discovering in AA has made him realise how amazing and powerful those vows really are.

And I am a mess. Crystal clear that I did the right thing – I don’t want him back, I don’t miss him, I am appalled that I could have lived as long as I did with someone so immature and so insensitive. But I am absurdly jealous of this new woman, who (he has told me) is younger than I am, and “athletic” (AH was concerned, throughout our marriage, that my body shape was moving “beyond acceptable parameters,” even when I was an average body shape). I am in better shape now than I have ever been and yet the “athletic” remark really hurt. I’m jealous that he is enjoying the thrill of new love while I am still working through so much crap from our relationship.

And even though he has moved on, and is in love, he still refers to the divorce as “my project” and insists that since I instigated it when he didn’t want it, it’s up to me to make it all happen, all the paperwork and all the costs. And I can do that – I am doing it – but standing in line at the Supreme Court downtown in a windowless room straight out of a dystopian novel, I felt absolutely enraged. How dare he. How come I’m still the one cleaning up the mess and being the grownup, while he gets to play.

I know it’s irrational and pointless but I keep getting stuck in an imagined, self-righteous rant that will finally MAKE HIM SEE (a) how miserably damaging our marriage was for me, (b) how outrageous and bewildering it feels to have someone insist he loves you when so much of what he says and does makes you feel like ****, (c) how “wedding vows” mean more than just staying monogamous and staying put.

When he repeats how much the vows meant to him, I hear “clearly they didn’t mean much to you, since you left.” Why does that still hurt?

I have moved on too, in lots of good ways - still going to Al Anon, working on healthy boundaries and good self-care. And much of the time I am truly happy. But it still upsets me that he doesn't "get it" and most likely never will. I want to wish him well, not to begrudge him happiness; I also want some insight about who he was (and maybe largely still is) to hit him like a 2x4 plank on the head.

Thanks for letting me vent. If anyone recognizes any part of this, please share!
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:52 PM
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I just read this on FB:

Don't be jealous when you see your X with someone else.
We were taught to give our used toys to others less fortunate.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:54 PM
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Astolfo--yours is an oft-told story. Of course he is behaving just like an alcoholic and doing the things that an alcoholic does. "Leveling" you to make himself better (comments about atleticism and age); blame shifting (weddding vows comments).

I dare to say that he is hitting the things that you believe about yourself to be true--perhaps the lies that the tapes from your past play in your head. Like: You are not good enough; you are not attractive enough; you don't deserve to be loved by someone great. You know--the kinds of messages that many of us receive that undermine our essential worth--and we repeat them to ourselves until we actually believe these lies. My guess is that he knows exactly where every vulnerability of yours lies! An alcoholic will use this knowledge against us to sooth their own feelings of guilt, inadequacies and shame.

While he may be inadequate and immature and insensitive--very far from self-actualization (lol)----this feeling is really--at rock bottom--more about you and how you secretly feel about yourself than about him.

Remember that his recent dive into lusty oblivion will be short lived. The sparkly will wear off in short order--as soon as the bonding hormones taper off.

You, however, are building a strong foundation for yourself. The best--and only realy revenge is to live well.

Promise yourself to live well!!

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Old 04-26-2014, 02:56 PM
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Thank you

Thank you dandylion.

Of course you're right. Almost as soon as I hit "Submit post" I realised this is all about my own insecurity (and immaturity), and that, as always, he only has as much power over me as I allow.

Here's to living well
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Old 04-26-2014, 03:50 PM
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Astolfo---don't be down on all. Most all of us are vulnerable to the remarks from those who are/have been close to us when they are hurtful and insensitive. Those tapes that play in our heads are so familiar that we aren't even conscious of them, any more. It often takes someone else trying to reinforce them for us to be aware how hurtful and destructive that they can be. And, most all of us that have been in relationships with people who are toxic to us have some areas of sagging self-esteem.

We just live and learn and grow.....

I think you have grown a great deal!


PS. Whenever a man "rejected" me--I took solace in the fact that he was dumb enough to pass up the best deal that he would ever have!! (No--I do not have delusions of grandeur, either)
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:17 PM
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Sounds a lot like my husband. It's maddening. The best you can do it to stay disengaged and take care of your own end of things. Hard I know. Alcoholics are masters at muddying the waters. Try to stay clear of it.

Three years after separation (and subsequent divorce) I still grieve for my husband, go to Al Anon, and struggle. He on the other hand continues to drink and now he chases women. And of course everything is at some level my fault, even his drinking...

Yuck. We both deserve a better life than they can give us.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:34 PM
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I agree with the others. Don't they call that something...dry drunk?

It takes a lot more to stop the alcoholic behavior than putting the bottle down. Sometimes, they never get it. And the blame game is the worst. I think they do it because they secretly know it's their fault, and they want to make themselves feel bigger while making someone else feel smaller. And because there is a certain point in time where the only ones they can delude is themselves.

I personally am mad at the ABF right now for the stupid thing that he did the other day because he gets the easy way out. So while I struggle, it's over for him, but as usual, I get to pick up the pieces.

So dependable in their undependability.

Sorry if that is not a word, but you know what I mean.
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Old 04-26-2014, 05:45 PM
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Lots of wise words...thank you all, I'm taking it to heart. Learning what we can out of the pain we have brings us wisdom.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:34 AM
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I'm of the "feel sorry for the poor twit who got stuck with him" camp. I think it was BoxinRotz who suggested the other day that someone write the new woman a thank you card. But in all seriousness, this has nothing to do with you. It always has been and always will be about his alcoholism, and his need to protect it. Given his dry drunk behavior and 13th Stepping, I'll put my money on him diving off the wagon before long. You deserve better!
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:46 AM
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I think we often romanticize the fantasy of a relationship rather than the actuality of it. You have said you don't miss him and you don't' want him back - I think perhaps you are angry that he seemingly doesn't have the repercussions that you have had. Certainly the marriage wasn't as painful for him as he was the cause of the problem. He has blamed you for leaving it, and not he is skippy in love with someone else and wishes the best for you.

Please remember the insanity of what it was like to be with this man, not the fantasy of wishing he would sober up and you would live happily ever after.

Having been down this road with him before you know that no major life changes are advised in the first year of sobriety. I wouldn't say that's applicable to your choice to divorce, but is applicable to his choice to enter into a new relationship with someone else also attempting to recover. That is strongly frowned upon, and I personally doubt it will last. Nonetheless, while he is all happy and "in love" (term used loosely) I would RUN down to that dystopian court and file those papers with glee. It may make your divorce amicable and easy.

One should not look a gift horse in the mouth. I am sorry its hurt you - but tis best to end this all before they implode and he decides he wants you back (which most likely will happen).
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