awkward interactions after separating

Old 08-02-2014, 08:25 PM
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awkward interactions after separating

I guess this is sort of an update. My AW and I have been living apart for a month now, I made her leave after several closely spaced relapses, she knew I was done with it, and left peaceably enough.

We continue to interact - she is house-sitting for a friend, and we are going to counseling together every other week or so, and she comes over a few evenings a week to visit the dog, and we usually sit and chat for a bit. It is all very cordial, no drama, she fills me in on her job search, her recovery, and so on.

Problem for me is, I find it all somewhat awkward. I find myself not really wanting to hear about any of it. As a human being, I am glad she is working her program, I hope she finds a job, and so on, but I just have so many negative associations with these things that I find myself wanting these meetings over with quickly. At least she doesn't stay long, and I know she wants to keep channels open, but I really starting to get why people prefer no contact at this stage.

I know she remains hopeful that we can reconcile, but I have no desire for that at the moment. I guess I am reluctant to close the door entirely, but wonder from time to time if that would be the right thing. Our counselor is encouraging regular contact and interaction, but I find myself pushing back on that. I was asked what kind of interaction I thought would be the most productive, and honestly said I had no idea, that I am completely at a loss as to how to proceed. I wonder about myself - am I just avoiding the real issue, avoiding conflict, somehow being a coward about this? Or am I simply leaving the reconciliation door open, because, who knows how I will feel tomorrow?

So far, I have just been just setting that question aside, taking life a day at a time, trying to focus on my own recovery, taking care of business in my own world. I have let go of trying to steer toward a specific outcome, I no longer feel invested in things going one way or another. I do wonder if I can ever be persuaded to give her another chance, I am very shy of putting myself once again in that vulnerable position, possibly having to push her out again.

Reading here, I know my feelings at this stage are not at all unusual, and it is far easier for me than for some - at least my AW isn't continuing to drink, and we don't have any kids, no meddling family members who think they know better. Stories on this site also, though, seem to all end the same way, and wonder if I am just delaying the inevitable. I suppose it's possible that there are stories where couples do find their way back, but I have not heard or read one of those that I can recall!

There is no mystery to me why things are awkward - I find myself treading cautiously. I don't want to say anything unnecessarily hurtful, but also don't want to give false hope. I sometimes am impatient, not in the mood to walk that line. The pointless small talk grates on me. I wonder if there is a way to transcend this awkwardness other than just reducing the amount of contact.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:47 PM
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Wow! I swear that sounds like you just wrote my story. Except I have been out for 2 weeks and I'm not going to counseling with her.
I feel the same as you man, I feel like I'm waiting and giving her time and myself time but not sure why. She calls my mom and family members all the time now, and for the last 2 months before I left she wanted nothing to do with them. I'm doing things on my own again and I love and not sure I want to go back because how easy it will be for things to go sideways again. I get enough from the conversations she with my family to know she is still lying.
As for avoiding conflict I have thought that too but for me I have nothing to say right now to her that won't sound like I want a divorce. That's where I'm leaning but I wake up each day and see if anything has changed. So far it hasn't.
I went no contact because AW is very controlling and manipulative and knows my guilt buttons. I'm working on that and they are fazing me less and less.
In sorry you are going through this, it sucks. In the end I know I will be happy though.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:08 PM
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Hey Hockeyerik -
I saw your thread, it sounds like you are young enough to put this in your rear-view and move on. We all have to do things in our own time - but I feel stupid having put up with this roller coaster for as long as I have. I truly misjudged how destructive this disease can be. Thanks for the kind words, best to you in your situation. Stay strong, brother.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:34 PM
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It really is awful, it's so hard to love somebody and to really try and care for them only to have them treat you like crap over and over again. I am young and I will move on. Already setting new goals for my own life and what I want to do. That pretty much tells you where I'm at with this situation. Stay strong indeed.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:20 AM
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Hi jmartin. I am sorry you are going through this. My AH and I are separated after he walked out to continue drinking. I know how hard it is to love someone but because of the problems alcohol causes to marriages and families there is that uncertainty as to whether you really want to step back onto that roller coaster again.

My H continues to drink and refuses to seek help and he can't come home while this is happening. I like you have left the door open for him as I love him and want him home but not while drinking. For me going no contact is extremely difficult but I find that I am clearer in what I want and feel. Recently my H and I have been having contact via text and it causes all sorts of confusion and distress for me because of his mixed messages and how I feel about the situation. It was kindly pointed out to me on this forum that I am stronger when I have no contact as I am able to focus on me what I want and figure out how I feel. Maybe that what you need time away from your W to get your own head around everything and understand how you feel and want and maybe some individual counselling for you

I wish you peace
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:51 AM
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My RAH and I are a success story; however, in comparison to other folks experiences his relapse was short and sweet. I did not go through years of it I went through months. I wanted to be done with him and he did a 180.

It's my opinion that if you are feeling that you do not want to have contact you should step up and let that known. I don't feel that is closing the door, rather, acknowledging that your recovery is just as important. Resentment builds when you do something that you don't want to do and I think would be more integral to ending any possibility of salvaging this relationship than going forward with little to no contact.
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:57 AM
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Contact is very hard for me too. When I don't see him, I feel like this relationship is over and I'm okay with it. Then when I see RAH, and he's so sad, and so sorry and wanting to make amends in so many ways, I find myself right back to square 1 and wondering if I'm doing myself any favors by seeing him. Or maybe I am, because obviously I'm not convinced that completely walking away and shutting the door is the right answer.

As people often say here, "More will be revealed." I'm hoping it becomes clearer to me over time. In large part, my ultimate decisions will be guided by the responses of others in my family, ie my kids and their families. If they decide they can forgive him and move on and have some sort of relationship with him, I probably will let him move back if he stays clean after a year. But the likelihood of that happening is extremely slim.

These decisions don't come easy, that's for sure.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:51 PM
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I kind of stopped reading and posting here a while back (four years it seems!), but have been thinking lately about posting an epilogue here, finally getting around to it. The short version is we are now divorced, the process went about as well as I could have expected, and I have moved on with my life.

The longer version is we were separated for three years, with less and less frequent contact between us. In retrospect, I think I had reached the point of no return well before the separation. I had plenty of work to do with myself to recover, and had no real desire to date anyone else through most of that time. Finally though, when we hit the three year mark, it seemed unhealthy to let the situation continue that way, and I suggested that it was time for us to let go and divorce, which we did.

I have to admit I disliked going to Alanon meetings, but I found the overall message very useful, and reading the literature was a godsend. I went to meetings for about a year after the separation. I had taken the advice about self-care, and had rekindled my involvement in the hobbies and interests that I had let go during the dark times. It was truly difficult to restart some of that, as the depression I felt over my situation had robbed me of much energy and will power. But - I found that it was easier each time and soon I had an active life back, which helped so much in letting go of the negative energy and resentments that had seemed to take over my consciousness while living with the AW.

I've now been divorced for nearly a year, have been dating some, and really feel like I have a completely different life than what I had before. The house is truly mine now, I got over the idea that I would want to move somewhere else to change the scenery. I've dated a few women, taken on some major projects, and am grateful each day that my waking life is no longer affected by the chaos and uncertainty. I hear stories from family and friends that the ex is still drinking and drugging, but I no longer feel part of the drama, and wish her the best. It's tragic that she can't seem to break free, but I have finally got it through my thick skull that it simply ain't my business.

The hardest thing for me to do in all of this was reconcile my feelings about the commitment of marriage. In that we agree to "in sickness and in health," and I struggled to understand where my responsibilities begin and end with the disease of alcoholism. My desire to honor my commitment was strong, and I had a hard time finding the way to let myself off that hook. I ultimately had to decide that her inability to honor her half of that commitment, and her unwillingness to seek help and recovery, was effectively that choice on her part, and I was just taking the steps of making it official. I've moved past it emotionally, but I still believe that it is something that merits discussion. I think it would help many people in situations like mine figure out how to let go.

I am grateful to my friends from Alanon and those of you on this site who helped me navigate my situation. I got through it in my own time and in my own way, and have no real regrets. The process of self-discovery in all of this has helped me be a better person, and better understand my own weaknesses and flaws, which is helping me make better choices in my life - I think - lol - as I go forward.

Again, thank you.
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:57 PM
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jmartin….thanks so much for your update. It means so much--especially for those who are still in the middle of the forest.....

I am especially glad to see that your life in on a good trajectory......
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:08 PM
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I'm going to comment before I read any comments.

I'm in my own place now and had to leave the home AH and I shared. We had no kids together, just dogs. He is in recovery as his job forced him to go because they had had enough of him and his ways. I am very disinterested in it because of the hell he's put me through during our 7 year marriage. I just don't care anymore. He's been begging me to tell him where I live and I just can't do it because I went homeless trying to find my safe place. I don't want him at my house. I don't want him making trouble for me and my landlord. I don't want to fix this mess, even if this his last chance at sobriety and he makes it. I don't want it. I don't want it because I know who he can be at any given moment and it's too much for me to bare.

I told him last year, when I came back after being out of the house from April til June that this was his last chance. He knew I needed surgery on my right foot last August and in February of 2018, he knew I needed surgery on my left foot. In March, he decided that for whatever reason that he was going to drink and he threw our last chance away. He refused any outside help and told me I needed help, not him. He made me feel like this was all my fault and if I weren't such a witch that he'd of never drank. So, in June, I left. He's been horrible. Accusing me of cheating on him. Sleeping with my co workers (I work in a prison so he calls me the DOC Who're), I'm nasty and well... blah blah blah. Whatever.

Now that he's in rehab, he wants to fix this. He wants me to think about him and give him another chance. I'm making the biggest mistake of my life, we could make so much money together, yadda yadda yadda.

I had my foot reconstructed on Wednesday 9/5. He was no where to be seen because he's living it up in rehab even though he knew I needed him before he destroyed his last chance. It is not an easy surgery and with my other foot, I am up to 14 screws and 2 plates in both feet. I needed him and he is not here. My best friend is and ya know what? He can stay the heck away. Oh and I think I forgot to mention... I've had to drive to his house for the last 3 weeks (50 mile round trip) to take care of his dogs because no one wants to help him. Not even his damn son. It isn't the dogs fault.

So... if you've read this far, I get why you feel reluctant and get so short in wanting your little visits with her to end. I completely get it because I don't want to see my alcoholic at all. I don't want to save this marriage. I don't want to work on it. I don't want any of it. Just let me alone. I'll find my way through life as I'm sure you will too. You owe her nothing as she felt you didn't deserve a good marriage. She and he felt like they weren't hurting you or me. They hurt us. It wasn't just them in the marriage. We were there too, watching our lives go to alcohell.

I wish you well. If you don't want it, tell her to leave you be. I've told him to leave me alone and I'll call when 11/13 comes around and he can sign my divorce. You deserve to be happy and find someone who appreciates you, tells the truth and doesn't hide a side of them that can destroy the foundation you build. Someday, maybe I'll find someone but for now, I need to be alone because I've suffered so much hurt that it's got me messed up and I'd be a terrible girlfriend. lol I will admit it.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:15 PM
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And now that I read all the comments, GO YOU! Glad to see you divorced. Sad to see she's still at it but you must feel so good about your decision to save yourself. I know I sleep good at night moving on even though I had it so rough being homeless. I'm so very happy for you.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:54 AM
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Glad you got away from the chaos and have formed a life for yourself!
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:34 PM
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Thanks all, best to you.

BoxinRotz - I hear you and can completely relate to your story. All I can say is what a relief it is for me to no longer be part of the guilt tripping and manipulation that my AW seemed to want to live in. It took a long time for me to see those things for what they were. My AW tried very hard to shift blame to me, and I had to constantly be vigilant to not fall for it, and that effort by itself can be exhausting. Sounds like you know the name of that tune as well.

It took me a while to get to the point of saying I am done. It sounds like you are there. I finally realized that I could no longer pretend that reconciliation was possible. At that point, I felt that the merciful thing for both of us was to end it. That process was painful in itself, but as soon as I made the decision I felt relief and hope for the future, and all of the drama and ongoing turmoil became background and beside the point - because I knew I was soon leaving it behind. The task in front of me - getting divorced - became my focus.

Best wishes to you - whatever path you choose.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:19 PM
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Thank ypu for the update, jmartin.
Glad things are going well.
“Really regret leaving the addict in my life. Big mistake.”
Said no one on this site ever.
Most posters say they wish they had done it sooner and not lost so much time trying to fix things.
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