Old 06-24-2014, 01:48 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ireland
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hi all, i'm just wondering has anyone been able to create a good enough/ lasting relationship with an alcoholic partner by applying the al anon programme? i suppose that's what i was trying to do for the few months before my relationship ended and i don't have that long in al anon, maybe a year and a half of once a week meetings. but it seemed no matter what i did there were times where he was just determined to wind me up until i lost it. this would happen more easily if i had pmt. why would anyone want to wind their partner up? he even said to me once of his ex- i knew exactly which buttons to push, i haven't figured you out yet though! are they all like this?

the weekend was hard. he texted me 2 days and i didn't answer as i had decided no contact. then i wondered if i was being unfair. then because i didn't answer. he textd that he was going back to his ex. normally this might panic me but i think i'm just tired of it all. i still didn't respond. but then yesterday i bumped into him as we live near each other and got into a short conversation. basically it ended with me reminding him that he woulldn't talk to me last time he was sober and i dont want him to text me when he starts drinking. seeing him, talking to him brought up a lot of panful feelings, i cried a lot yesterday and wanted to say a lot more.

the thing is i knew he was an alcoholic before i got involved, i chose to keep going back for more unacceptable behaviour and i do believe at some point we have to take responsibility and start looking after ourselves. then today a mutual friend told me how much my ex is drinking, all the abuse he has been through and i know it's true and it pulls at my heart strings but i tried so hard and i dont believe i can help and i know i will keep getting hurt if i stay involved with him. and then comes the most awful thought- what if he died and i hadn't been talking to him. and the reality is he can't keep drinking vodka like he is and survive much longer. loving, caring about an active alcoholic is so difficult. all i can do at the moment is pray for him. i am still too emotionally involved to be able to just be a friend. thanks for reading.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:54 PM
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Thank you for sharing what must have been a very difficult post to write. It's very brave of you to share so honestly but also recognize that you are still too emotionally involved to be able to be just a friend. You already seem to know you can't save him. And your actions tell me you also know that you can save yourself. This is one of the most difficult things you will ever endure, and if you can get through it, you will find yourself much stronger on the other side.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:58 PM
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i'm just wondering has anyone been able to create a good enough/ lasting relationship with an alcoholic partner by applying the al anon programme?
I met many older women in Al-Anon who credited Al-Anon with being able to continue living with their alcoholic husbands. They were, however, all women in their 70s and 80s; another generation, who by and large had been housewives, didn't have a career or much of an education, and simply had no choice. They stayed because they had to; Al-Anon made it more bearable for them.

today a mutual friend told me how much my ex is drinking, all the abuse he has been through and i know it's true
So because he's been through abuse in his life, he has the right to treat other people like crap?

Listen: This is one thing I've successfully made my children understand after leaving their AF: Everyone deals with some garbage in their lives. Some suffer more abuse than others. But everyone has a choice whether to find healthy or unhealthy ways of coping with what life has handed them.

I used to work in a nursing home when I was in college. We had this girl there, Hannah. Hannah would be late for work, not show up for her shifts, etc., and she would always blame the fact that she "had an abusive childhood." Finally one day, one of the older aides had had it, and confronted her and said: "Hey, listen, Hannah: When I was three years old, I was hiding under the couch when my dad beat my mom to death. SOMEHOW, I still manage to show up to work on time. You're only a victim if you want to be."

I've told that story more times than I can count. Your ex -- he's now your EX, you can choose to leave him there, in the past -- has a choice every day he gets up whether to be a victim or a responsible adult. Don't let him suck you back in with the "poor me" routine. And don't let anyone else guilt you into doing it either. If other people feel the need to help him be a victim, I would have no problem going no contact with them either.

Chin up, buttercup. You don't need a millstone around your neck. You can go much further without it.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:19 PM
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A woman in my Alanon group who just passed away a few weeks ago had spent her life married to an active alcoholic. Like Amy mentioned, she was an elderly housewife and had grown up in that generation where you stayed married no matter what.
Alanon helped her cope with her situation, and to detach from her alcoholic husband. The principles she learned allowed her to fill her life with hobbies she enjoyed and friends who made her happy. When her husband started "pushing buttons", she went down to the basement and worked on her craft projects. She probably spent 75% of her time down in that basement hiding from her husband. I loved her dearly, but her shares always made me so sad.
What really struck me about your post is that he bragged to you about knowing how to manipulate his ex and said he was still "figuring you out." That honestly made me sick. I don't think all alcoholics are that deliberate about emotional abuse and manipulation. It really sounds like he has other issues besides just the drinking and even if he sobered up he would still have a long way to go to become a decent human being.
You are doing the right thing going nc with this guy and it sounds like you handled yourself well during you unexpected encounter with him. Stay strong and keep up the good work. Hugs.
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