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Old 03-01-2015, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What's mine to own and what's not?


I've been reading these forums for a number of years. I finally decided to try to get clarity. I am the 2nd wife of a recovering alcoholic. We're married 4 years. He was sober for 12 years, during which he married and divorced, and met/married me. We each have children and an ex spouse. I came to the marriage from a toxic family and issues from my first marriage that I brought with me. My anger sought him as a target. He coped by trying to "make" me a better person which led to awful arguing, verbal abuse from him, and when that didn't work to "fix" me, he relapsed and then had a year long affair with a married coworker. He went to rehab in Nov 2013, after which we had about 30 days of greatness. I made the mistake of asking about the affair, and from that day to this day, the downward spiral has been heartbreaking.

We sold our house and are doing the "therapeutic separation"...which has not been therapeutic at all. I have been and continue to go to both a psychologist, a psychiatrist, I take meds for bipolar NOS for the anger issues, and have done a lot of work to tackle issues and work through them. He stopped therapy and AA after the required outpatient time expired, but may have started since the separation. We did not try marriage counseling again b/c of the dredging up of the past and each of our needs to be right. It was unsuccessful.

He has been and continues to point out every fault I came to the relationship with. I've asked him why he never left and he tells me he always just wanted me to take care of him (he's used the word "save" as well). It leaves me thinking: "The alcoholic is telling me what's wrong with me and wants me to save him?" and also "Am I really that awful and I just don't see it?" I spend inordinate amounts of time trying to "make things up" to him with cards, texts, emails (never reciprocated)...we always circle back to how I hurt him with my anger. Which is true...but the past never goes away. I feel he's hanging on to it so that he never has to face himself.

He blames me for bringing wreckage to his life and his relationships with friends and family, and "making" him seek out another woman to fill his needs. His unforgiveness and resentment run so deep that it has pushed aside any of my hurts within the relationship; I am so busy trying to "undo" the past while he sits back and decides whether it's good enough, that my emotional health continues to suffer. He will tell me that he will "fix" his wrongs after I "fix" mine. I feel like I used to have clarity about what I deserved in a relationship...now I feel I deserve what I'm getting on some days, and on others I feel I need to divorce immediately to save myself.

So here's my issue: I don't know at what point my faults end and his own issues and alcoholic thinking begin and wondered if anyone could offer their thoughts for me to consider. He will tell me that his very soul has suffered in this relationship. I agree. But so has mine and I can't say that without finding my faults being thrown at me again. He takes no responsibility for his decisions, demands apologies but won't give them, will not forgive me for hurting him, will not help my security in the marriage after the affair, has not told me he loves me in years, and frankly as I type this I have no idea why I'm still trying to hold on.

Maybe we're toxic for each other whether alcohol is involved or not.
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It does sound very toxic from what you've posted here.

What do you think would be best for you, and your recovery?
No matter what he says, you are not going to be able to "fix" him.

That's his. What's yours, in my opinion, is you.
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All the study in the world - and all the subjective hierarchies - won't get people sober. . .

Only action can do that."


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Old 03-01-2015, 07:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I filed for divorce in August, didn't serve him, and refiled last week. I feel what's best for both of us is to be away from each other. And then we talk, and have good moments or days, laugh, and we hang on, hoping for a miracle.
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Old 03-01-2015, 08:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I guess to me it sounds a bit like I felt my first marriage was: I was supposed to be perfect and take care of him, and I was never good enough.

It didn't mattered what I did -- I was always "too" something: Too fat, too outgoing, too happy, too focused on the kids, too... whatever.

In the end, even if things hadn't gotten as horribly awful as they got, we were both miserable in that marriage. He claims I ruined his life, but now, divorced and no contact, at least ONE of us is happy...
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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lillamy...so right. I guess my story is no different that the countless others I have read on here. We all want someone to tell us it'll be ok, and it sometimes just never gets there and we end up so damaged we have lost our sense of self and right and wrong. We all come with baggage, and we ignite others' demons. But it's not ok to take the blame for it or to blame someone else. We all have a responsibility to ourselves, and for me, feeling unloved, unwanted, and avoided by a newly recovering alcoholic until I fix this mess...until *I* fix it...is more than I can bear. I can't let this be what I have to face the rest of my life. I saw someone in another post...and many other times...say blame and responsibility are 100/100. Not 50/50 or some other fraction. But, both 100s can't be mine.
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hello TJ,

I think you are wise to end it from what you have written. I wish you luck working on you! That is a whole lot easier when you are not arguing and worked up over the exploits and accusations of an addict.

Peace and glad you posted!
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