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Pls help me with the intensity of the anger

Old 09-22-2014, 10:44 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I have not had this kind of experience (yet), very sorry to hear you are going through this. The apparent injustice of it is effing galling! I am sitting here angry for you! But, I think you are getting some great advice here. I am a firm believer that the leopard does not change its spots - it is extremely unlikely that he will somehow transition to a happy life from here without recovery.

One of the things that has helped me immensely in dealing with my own anger has been the realization that while I was present for it, the bad behavior was not about me. It angered me that she would treat me like she did - it made me crazy, but I was finally able to let it go when I one day realized IT WAS NEVER ABOUT ME. The drama that she stirred up around me, and often drew me into, was just her weird way for her to justify what SHE wanted to do, i.e. drink. Nothing like drama to justify escape and self-medication, and I constantly obliged. She would do something annoying or stupid, I would cause a fuss, which made it ok for her to drink.

I also believe that most of my anger was (and is) really at myself for allowing her to treat me that way, and that my misguided attempts to help her, and continue, which I told myself was the right thing and was due to my altruistic good nature. But I suspect now that instead of doing the right thing, I was trying to avoid confronting my own fears as to what this would mean to my life, and denial that this fate could befall me. Once I saw the drama for what it was - a conscious or unconscious way for her to justify bad behavior, I was able to shift away from being angry at her, and confront my own inability to break free of it. Now that is not to say that letting go of my anger somehow fixed anything or let her off the hook. It just made it clearer to me what was going on, and why it was unacceptable and toxic. It allowed me to embrace the idea that I still do care about her, I just can't abide the alcoholism. This caused me to shift to a profound grief at the loss of the marriage I thought I had, and of course, precious time.

However, it is still not over for me. We are separated, and going to counseling together, and I still find myself getting drawn into arguments, getting miffed at some some passive-aggressive curve ball she throws my way, and still wondering if our marriage can be salvaged. As I write this, I can't help but wonder if I really believe that is possible, or if I am still trying to be the good husband, avoiding the conflict.

As I have only learned myself recently - we all have a part to play. Mine was stuffing that anger at myself. In some weird way, I felt that my anger was somehow necessary to explain why my marriage was failing, that I felt unhappy and unfulfilled in the relationship. I heard the unspoken entreaties from our families to make it work, give it a chance - I tried to do the right thing, support her, wanting to believe her when she promised she was done drinking this time, because the alternative was unthinkable. I thought I was being a patient husband, but what I was doing was patting myself on the back for being a good guy, while unwittingly teaching her to lie to me and tell me what I wanted to hear, because that is what brought (temporary) peace. In the moment, I am sure she may have felt sincere in wanting to stop, but not for herself, but to keep our marriage together. By avoiding confrontation, not setting boundaries, not setting consequences, not enforcing them, I set myself up. She was just being the scorpion that an alcoholic is, and I was the apparently willing frog.

I have since accepted that I don't need to be angry to justify my feeling that I don't want to be around her, her thoughtless, cruel, and inconsiderate behavior is sufficient for that. Not everyone has seen that side of her, and while some vindication might be nice, I understand I might not get much - how would anyone else know? I would expect that if/when the day comes when we divorce, there will be those that support her in building a new life, and will forgive her (from their comfortable distance) and will hope she is happy. That is what her family and friends are for, after all. I can't expect or want them to shun or abandon her. Some of them might even blame me. So be it. All I know is, I have done my best, fought the good fight with my heart in the right place as much as I possibly could. I didn't always do the right thing, but I sure tried. I see I have made mistakes, but I have always acted in good faith. I don't need anyone else to validate that, I know in my heart it is true. And I hope that can be good enough for me.

We really can't be surprised at his family's behavior - if you think about it, they may well be quite aware of the problem, but are hoping it will just go away. What are they going to do, call him out on Facebook? Of course not! Even if they are so naive as to believe his problems are over, we all know the power of pretending everything is fine. You might be out of that picture, but they still need to interact with him, and unless he's messing up their lives, who can blame them for hoping he will somehow get it together (maybe if they just be nice to him, he'll stop!). Who knows what they are really saying to each other, or whether anyone really believes the fairy tale? And does it matter?
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:56 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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SallyTaylor......I basically agree with the view that jenibean takes^^^^.

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Old 09-23-2014, 06:02 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Anger isn't a bad emotion. It's an emotion. Like any. It just feels like you have to
do something
. But you don't.

The karma bus always hits its stops. It may not always run on our time schedule, but it always hits its stops.

He's your ex. Don't drop to his level. He'll punish himself better than you ever could.
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:34 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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This.....

The karma bus always hits its stops. It may not always run on our time schedule, but it always hits its stops.

You just have to wait for it, and realize that you don't have to contribute to the mess he will become, it will happen on it's own.

Hugs.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:13 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I had so much intense anger.
I think my ex is a narcissist. The kids and I were reflecting back anxiety, sadness, worry--that things weren't right. So he'd get mad at us.
When we all adored him, things were as they should be. But we couldn't hold together the image he wanted to project, because we are real people. Individuals who exist outside of his needs. Narcissists don't do the work to become admirable people. They just manipulate people and circumstances to get the applause.

I think when an alcoholic moves on to a relationship that, on the surface, looks great, they're just switching mirrors. They want the world to see man + model girlfriend=everything's great. And bitter ex-wife? Well, she must have been the problem, since everything's fine over here!!

That is enraging. But alcoholism and abuse have their own timetable. If anything, I'd feel compassion for the other woman. She is being used. I don't know if you are dealing with narcissism, immaturity, alcoholism or all three plus--and whether or not his personality would improve in recovery--but if you keep the focus on you, it won't matter either way!

I did a lot of physical work at my house--rage is great for cutting back blackberry canes or hammering nails. Al-anon, therapy, and physical movement did me a lot of good. Martial arts is a great outlet, too!
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:09 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I think your post is beautifully written, and I think you probably summed up what a lot of people have felt, are feeling, or will feel in the future.

I've not words or advice for you, however, I wonder if the post made you feel worse, better, or the same?

I kept a journal all the way until married; I'm still married and will journal off and on.

Hope that you find the answer you are looking for, and I think it's wonderful you are able to vent and articulate what you are feeling.
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Old 09-23-2014, 12:41 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I totally get where you are coming from. I feel exactly the same. Today I did something "minor" to get back at him, and guess what? I feel horrible because it brought back so many painful memories (it's only been 2 weeks). It probably didn't phase him at all. He probably enjoyed it because now he knows I'm still thinking about him. Please, learn from my mistake, which was a total codie relapse. It wasn't worth it. Hugs
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Old 09-23-2014, 01:50 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Maybe it will help to cope if you can throw some assumptions out the window. The assumption is often made that the ex will ride off into the sunset with the gorgeous new gf/bf into happiness and bliss.

Well, he is still an alcoholic right? So much for happiness and bliss because until sobriety is part of that glowing picture, the cruelty and verbal abuse will soon start with the new partner. The using and manipulation, the betrayal: it will all be repeated behavior. And of course, you know it won't happen quickly, it will emerge slowly, forming little cracks and chips in the relationship after a time, as it did with yours, and then the little cracks will turn into shattered pieces with more time. Sure, years maybe.The family, usually codependent and in denial, will hope beyond hope that he has changed, so of course they support the new endeavor.

The alcoholic will change jobs, partners, families, locations, hobbies, habits, whatever, in an attempt to escape that one thing that is inside of them that cannot be escaped: the alcoholism. The change cannot be made by any of these scene and costume changes: only complete sobriety will bring about any real change.

Maybe this isn't the best coping mechanism advice, but I think that the best recipe for happiness is the removal of unrealistic expectations from our views of reality. The part where you perceive their happiness as a realistic expectation is the part that hurts, but how realistic is that expectation?
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:19 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
Maybe it will help to cope if you can throw some assumptions out the window. The assumption is often made that the ex will ride off into the sunset with the gorgeous new gf/bf into happiness and bliss. Well, he is still an alcoholic right? So much for happiness and bliss because until sobriety is part of that glowing picture, the cruelty and verbal abuse will soon start with the new partner. The using and manipulation, the betrayal: it will all be repeated behavior. And of course, you know it won't happen quickly, it will emerge slowly, forming little cracks and chips in the relationship after a time, as it did with yours, and then the little cracks will turn into shattered pieces with more time. Sure, years maybe.The family, usually codependent and in denial, will hope beyond hope that he has changed, so of course they support the new endeavor. The alcoholic will change jobs, partners, families, locations, hobbies, habits, whatever, in an attempt to escape that one thing that is inside of them that cannot be escaped: the alcoholism. The change cannot be made by any of these scene and costume changes: only complete sobriety will bring about any real change. Maybe this isn't the best coping mechanism advice, but I think that the best recipe for happiness is the removal of unrealistic expectations from our views of reality. The part where you perceive their happiness as a realistic expectation is the part that hurts, but how realistic is that expectation?
I love this.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:47 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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I would get on my knees, raise my hands and say "Thank you God I'm almost done with this loser!" Alanon is a wonderful support during the rocky period of divorce. It helps to get physically active (fast walking). Also, sit down and write him a letter about how you really feel (of course, don't send it). Let it rip on paper.
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:23 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Community of friends and fellow survivors - I can't tell you how helpful your perspectives and experiences have been. I feel so much better even now 24 hours after my post hearing that I am not alone in these feelings. I wish I could reply to each and every post as I benefited from something that each and every one of you had to say -

The point about the validation really hit home. I think the validation would help some of the anger dissipate. But as many of you have pointed out why should I need him/his family to validate my feelings? And if he didn't do it while we were married he certainly won't do it now!

jmartin and other friends - it is validating to hear that you feel the empathy for this experience on my behalf - that helps a ton! It confirms that I am not crazy to feel that way :-) I think part of this dance has been the crazy-making that the A/narcissist/abuser/whatever label fits brings into our lives and makes us doubt our perceptions. I am SO angry at myself for putting up with it/accepting it/ not protecting myself - I think I've been afraid to face up to that disappointment of letting myself down in this situation and the denial of the situation helped me protect myself from those feelings for so long.

Punchdrunk - I literally have only felt the anger - really felt it - for the first time in 6 years this past weekend. I remember experiencing certain things and telling my family about it and my brothers were angry on my behalf and I was just sad and self-blaming. Feeling this anger is a bit scary but liberating in a way. As several posters have pointed out it is part of the process. I think you will tap into it eventually when the time is right for you.

In the meantime as I've gone public with the news of the divorce (changed my name at work last week so lots of questions have come up as to why even though it should have been obvious!) I have had the chance to practice different answers. Sometimes I am quiet and say it didn't work out. Other times I've said the alcohol played a role. And other times I said the affair. I realized that I was ashamed about the alcohol abuse and the affair and so part of telling that element of the story is empowering to me in not hiding it anymore. I realized that I''m not the one who did those things so what do I have to be ashamed about?

I am starting to see the point about being thankful that he is gone. After being separated for 4 months now I'm finally enjoying the peace and quiet at home and the relief of not having to wonder each and every day about his ETA from the bar, his mood etc.

And I think those of you who have pointed out that it is not likely to be a fairy tale for him are spot on. The key is for me to detach so much that I don't care whether it is or is not a fairy tale. I'm working on that:-)

This is an amazing community. I'm sorry we all have had these experiences but please know that those of you who have posted have really helped me over the past 24 hours process my racing thoughts on this and my feelings. c011:
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:21 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Sally, I can assure you he will NOT have a happily-ever-after with his gf because all the sh*t he put you through, all the abuse he was capable of - he is still that guy. He'll put her through it too. Or she'll put him through it or they'll torment each other. Karma is a bitch as they say and it's true, although it may take years to see it.

I've been through this with 2 ex's. One was only a few-months bf so not particularly intense but he dumped me for another woman. The other ex- now that was VERY intense, that was years, we were soul-mates, etc. But he dumped me for another (younger) woman.

Years later, at different times, BOTH these guys begged me to come back. Repeatedly. The women they dumped me for were long gone. I happily refused as I am with a wonderful man who I trust completely. I shudder to think of what my life would've been with either of those ex's.

Fwiw, I've maintained a friendship with both. I never thought in a million years that would be possible - but it is.

As someone else said, the best revenge is living well. Live your life well. You deserve happiness and you'll get it. You won't always be so angry, in fact a day will come when you could care less what your ex is doing or who he's doing it with.

God bless...
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:32 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I would get on my knees, raise my hands and say "Thank you God I'm almost done with this loser!"
That is exactly how I felt. I was so happy his focus was removed from me. However:

Years later, at different times, BOTH these guys begged me to come back. Repeatedly. The women they dumped me for were long gone.
Yup. It only took a 3-4 years for XAH to go through a couple of GFs, go way downhill with his disease, then still try to insinuate himself back into my life. The longer you have shown yourself willing to put up with an alcoholic's behavior (in my case, 20 years), the harder it is to be rid of him for good.

This week I have a hearing on a PO to stop him harassing me.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:37 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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53500 and Santa - congrats on coming out the other side! That gives me so much hope :-) I'm literally focusing on one day at a time - really just one moment at a time - but woke up today feeling a bit less angry.

As many posters suggested, I am trying to sit with the uncomfortable feelings. I did scream as loud as I could in my apartment yesterday - I didn't realize the windows were open but thankfully nobody called the police!!! (guess that is an everyday noise here in nyc!) Note to self - make sure to do this in a sound-proof room in the future.

Also, I decided I am going to paint the inside of his closet pink. :-) I am reclaiming what used to be his space and making it all MINE. I also adopted a kitty 2 weeks after he left and put her bed near where he used to like to sit in the apartment - he was allergic to cats so I have particularly enjoyed seeing her occupy what used to be his space...
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:43 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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SallyTaylor.....painting the inside of his closet pink is such a good idea!!!
I also like the kitty idea....LOL.

Making environmental changes does help a lot in moving in a new direction.

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Old 09-24-2014, 11:30 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Oh I redecorated by entire house room by room to get rid of the bad juju...it worked too.
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Old 09-24-2014, 12:17 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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ST...I also adopted a kitty when my X moved out! He is also allergic, good way to get him not to linger when he picks up my girls LOL. Then...a kitten was abandoned at my sisters and she had to leave town. Now she is mine, so I have two, and a dog!

My kids say I am going to turn into an old cat lady, fine w/me!!!
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Old 09-24-2014, 01:04 PM
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ST...I also adopted a kitty when my X moved out! He is also allergic, good way to get him not to linger when he picks up my girls LOL. Then...a kitten was abandoned at my sisters and she had to leave town. Now she is mine, so I have two, and a dog!
There you go! I realized I love my animals much more than I did the alcoholic and got much more affection and support as well.
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Old 09-24-2014, 02:33 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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You have every right to be angry. I read some where in this forum..."Be patient!! The one thing I know about jerks like your husband, they will screw up!! Be patient. It might not happen as fast as you would like it to, but I can guarantee you, he will screw up!!!!!!!" (just gives you hope) haha

My STBAXH goes out every night, I mean every night of the week, a very busy social calender. Everyone loves him. ..... Here's another comment I heard on this SR, It helps to ask yourself if you trust and respect the person. Would you recommend this guy to your sister? If the answer is no, then it's not love. I realized I didn't even like him! Do you really love him and want him back? Most of us don't, we just don't want them happy if we aren't. We just feel they have moved on and we haven't. Which is right we are all enablers and Co-dependents. Its our issues, stuff we need to work on ourselves. Alcoholism is a "FAMILY" disease and it just stinks!!!
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Old 09-24-2014, 03:04 PM
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To avoid confrontations I used to swallow my emotions. Thanks to my AF my emotions were bad and his were unpredictable. After leaving my AW I started to journal. I NEEDED to let those emotions out. What I wrote at times was viscous, nasty and down right scary, but they were mine. I was like draining pus from an infection. Necessary and painful.

Three and a half years later, in the middle of a divorce, I am in a much better place. I can have emotions but as others said I don't have to choose to act on them.

As for the journals, well I threw them out about a year ago.

It does get better, much, much better.

Your friend,
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