Rebounds & Recoveries for Codies vs. Qualifiers

Old 01-16-2017, 10:29 AM
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Rebounds & Recoveries for Codies vs. Qualifiers

Not through any fault of my own, though a distant friend I ran into, I found out that my ExAGF (separated around 7 months now) is seeing someone new.

If you follow any of my earlier threads, I have said I have been able to remain in limited contact with occasional interactions with her, but we had been keeping it business only and not really anything about relationships, drinking, the past, etc. Around a week ago, she contacted me about dropping off the rest of my things and we had a great brief interaction where she offered she was 3 weeks sober and working on a recovery, left the remaining items she had of mine and was off. The interaction makes more sense now -- With a new relationship starting, she needs to do the right things. No more contact with her ex who she lived with for 10 years. And no more drinking. It makes sense now.

I believe she was finding ways to initiate most of this contact when she was alone, but with someone new, expect there is no reason for contact to continue, so I will be doing the same as well.

I have to admit, I didn't really want to hear about her starting a new relationship, and I'm not sure why if it's out of jealousy that my ex has a new guy in her life, or that it's out of genuine concern that she learn to recover and be with herself and get well before she start down the road of a relationship again. Maybe it is both. I do realize that of course it's none of my business, and have no intention of knowing anything further for my own well-being (this was an accidental bit of knowledge anyway).

All that said, it's got me to thinking - I've been out of the relationship with her for 7 months now, after 10 years together with so many ups and downs fueled by alcohol. But here I sit, still cruising the forums, looking for support, offering support, learning more about what happened, yet having not even dipped a toe into the dating pool again. I wasn't waiting for her to get well, mind you, but I also seemed to have no interest myself in dating someone or starting a new relationship. As time goes on I am starting to become a bit more bothered by being alone, so I imagine at some point that feeling will outweigh the fears/concnerns/work/effort of jumping into the dating pool again, though I still feel a bit uninterested in it all for some reason. Starting a brand new relationship just seems like work.

I guess I'm trying to understand a bit more as to why us codies may have so much more trouble rebounding into a new relationship than the problem drinkers / alcoholics do. Everyone has a right to be happy, mind you - If she's found a path to enlightenment and a new relationship is allowing her to get better, it is a positive thing. I genuinely want her to do well. But I want me to do well, too, and I guess what I am jealous of and wrestling with today is, why she caused such turmoil, and gets to be enjoying the comfort and company of a new relationship, and here I sit, alone, lonely, having trouble even considering getting back into the fray again. It seems like such an unfair component of this environment, being a codependent having been in such a long term battle, giving up the battle, then still feeling like I've fallen onto the losing end of it.

Anyway, just some thoughts for the day. Not trying to be melancholy mind you, sorry if the post is a bit of a downer vs. the others. I'm going to be fine, of that I am sure. Lonely but fine for now! It just stings a bit to know now with certainty that she's moving into a new relationship just months after our long term relationship ended, done nothing to search for a recovery program (other than stopping for a few weeks), and on she is to the company of someone new. Sometimes it seems like the As get all the upside, and us Codies get all the downside.

I'm off to exercise, thanks for reading! Thoughts welcome as always.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:33 AM
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Wells, I would offer that not being ready to rebound quickly is a hallmark of Recovery, rather than Codependency.

Try to resist imagining where she is at with either her recovery or her relationship, and especially try to resist the comparison. From my perspective, your choice sounds extremely healthy and her choice to get at into a new relationship with such limited supposed sober time does not.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:46 AM
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I guess I'm trying to understand a bit more as to why us codies may have so much more trouble rebounding into a new relationship than the problem drinkers / alcoholics do. Everyone has a right to be happy, mind you - If she's found a path to enlightenment and a new relationship is allowing her to get better, it is a positive thing. I genuinely want her to do well. But I want me to do well, too, and I guess what I am jealous of and wrestling with today is, why she caused such turmoil, and gets to be enjoying the comfort and company of a new relationship, and here I sit, alone, lonely, having trouble even considering getting back into the fray again.

The alcoholic breaks us maybe? It makes us wary. We second guess ourselves. Once enlightened we know we have to work on ourselves to avoid becoming codependent and rinsing and repeating with someone else. We feel mentally battered down and worn out and not able to give to another relationship for much longer than our alcoholics cos they were never giving in the first place. Many are not working on themselves, and have no self awareness. They do now see the damage they caused and we allowed for so long.

I am 3 years completely out of a relationship with my exah and separated since 2009. I started dating a year ago. I am still not sure I a m completely ready and we are going VERY slow. I think it is good you are cautious. I know it's lonely tho. However you will get used to it. My boyfriend is away at the moment and, for many reasons, I am completely alone. I am quite enjoying the peace even tho I've not spoken to a single adult for over a week. I'd never have thought I'd ever enjoy my own company but I do.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:53 AM
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Wells...without getting all cerebral about this.....I think that what you can chalk your feeling up to is mostly human nature......
The nature of Human Nature is complex, and I don't think that any of us can claim to completely comprehend all of it.
Foe example: In our primitive lizard brain....I believe that there are still rudiments of basic territorial and competitive behaviors/instincts. For someone that we have mated with to be with another can still stir those emotions, to some degree. In more prehistoric times...the interloper would probably have been wounded or killed.....nice, huh?
Learning that one we were once with, is with another, almost,universally, causes us to feel weird for a while. It goes away, after a while, though....

I know I must have said this to you, more than once....(because I say it hundreds of times, here on SR..lol).....That--you are only 7mo. along in the grieving process. It takes longer that this to completely process what has been going on for years.
It takes a longer while to "digest" it all...the kalediscipe of feelings, the various emotions...examining and reexamining your inner environment....until, a new normal is reached and new neurons are laid down......

If you aren't interested in dating...yet, or ever....then I propose that you shouldn't. for Pete's sake...one shouldn't go into that arena when you are apathetic and don't have any appetite for it. (No girl, that I know, wants to meet somebody like that). You have to be ripe and ready for a relationship...or, you will contaminate any blossoming of romance....probably, unconsciously.

I am glad that you are doing well.....I say to give it more time.....Time and Space are such great healers....
Though, it is great that y ou are sharing your thoughts, feelings, and progress.....
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:58 AM
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My XAH just wore me out, and continues to do so b/c I have children w/him. He made me not trust others, he made me weary that all people are really messed up, and I am unwilling to dip into any other person's treasure trove of issues at this time.

I know that is a skewed outlook, which is why I know I have to keep working on ME.

Hugs.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:43 PM
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Always great to hear from you all, thanks. I think we'd all agree she needs to find peace and sobriety for herself before she starts a new relationship but it seems to be the opposite pattern for most addicts I read about.

Despite her supposed self-inventory and introspection, the fact is that she's drank for at least 6 more months past our breakup, immediately began dating and has now moved into a new relationship. It's not the outcome we want for our addict exes. Yet, it seems like this is almost ALWAYS what happens!

In our brief contacts over the summer and fall (mostly by text) it was obvious she was drinking and feeling sorry for herself. The door back to us getting together could have been opened by me right there I think and she'd have walked back through, but nothing would have changed and we'd have been right back where we were before we broke up. So I knew I couldn't do it. So, it's ironic that within hearing she's taken the first small steps to getting sober, it's because she's with someone new. She had 6 months in these limited contacts to reach out and tell me she was recovering. For me, I got the drunk her and no signs of recovery, just the hope she could come back. For someone ELSE, she gets sober. It's baffling. It was obvious for a while she wanted me to take her back. Why wasn't the notion of qutting drinking even considered as something she would be willing to do to save us? Yet for some brand new dude she's ready to change and quit? I must admit, it's a bit disheartening.

I wanted closure, yet I recall reading that you should NEVER expect closure from an addict. I think the other reason staring down the end of contact is tough, due to the her being in a new relationship, is facing the fact that the closure truly never will come.

I just need to have faith in myself as a good caring person that one day, it will be my turn to be in a new relationship and this part of my life can be in the rear view mirror.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:43 PM
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we have to remember that all the things that WE wanted "for" them often do not come close to matching what THEY want for themselves. we think they WANT to be sober, to work HARD at recovery, to dig deep and become better people.

in reality, many people. not "just" alcoholics, choose the Easier Softer Way. many of the members who first come here flatly REFUSE to consider Alanon, are convinced that THEY don't need to work the steps, THEY don't have a problem. addicts don't have the market cornered on resistance to change.

before hank and i met, he got tangled up with a rather unstable woman. ok, two back-to-back unstable females.....first one was on house arrest, second one was, well, a mess. she pawned his stuff, did all sorts of ill-behaved things. and i asked him WHY on earth he stuck out with her for 9 months? he kinds shrugged and said, it was better than being alone. he was also using/relapsing/sobering up during that time, depending on the week. or as addicts say: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.

she is living her life as she sees fit. it still doesn't make sense to YOU.....and it probably never will. remember this isn't a competition....this isn't about HER getting all the goodies and you getting stuck with the lump of coal. you have your life back, 100% now. that is truly a great gift.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:48 PM
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I guess I'm trying to understand a bit more as to why us codies may have so much more trouble rebounding into a new relationship than the problem drinkers
Addicts are addicted to a substance and are quickly attracted to a new enabler. Codependents are addicted to people and their addictions.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:20 PM
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Really great points - What we want for their lives and for them may be the exact opposite of what they want out of life. There is no right or wrong (as long as you're within the confines of the law, anyway). What one person thinks is the right choice, the right path, the right life, may be totally different for someone else.

I guess the big thing I wrestled with today, to be honest, was the timing of the new relationship with the sobriety attempt. The new relationship by itself, I could get, to just keep the enabling party going. The sobriety by itself I could accept, as a way to try and stabilize and get life back under control and learn to be healthy enough for a path forward. But the combination, of a new relationship, and getting sober, that's what surprised me today. Especially after what I'd say were months of attempts at reconciliation (while drinking). Sort of like, "I want you to take me back, drinking and all -- But I realize if I am starting a new relationship I have to stop."
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:42 PM
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Even if you take addiction out of the picture, some people really feel like they need a partner. My Dad, who was married to my mom for over 30 years, married an old HS classmate he met at his reunion a few months after my mom died. I think they were married less than a year after she died. That's just how my dad is. I know he loved my mom very much and would have given anything for her to still be with him. But she wasn't, could never be again, and he needed someone. Not for me to judge. I think even before the reunion he was exploring a possible relationship with someone local. He didn't run around while he was married--I would stake my life on that one.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:07 PM
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Your imagination is filling in a lot of gaps here, Wells. No need to torture yourself with the assumption that she has "seen the light" somehow, and that her entire perspective on sobriety and recovery has changed because of someone new. The odds that she is white-knuckling it in an effort to hook in someone new so she doesn't have to face the rigorous honesty of recovery are really very high.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:28 PM
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Good call on calling me out on my imagination! It truly has been my worst enemy throughout this process (even when we were together). The unknown and having my brain run wild with the different scenarios of what's going on. I wish there was an "off" switch for that! Keeping busy helps the most but I can't help but have things creep in there from time to time. Out, out I say!

The irony is that I don't want her to have a bad life. I just also know the statistics of success when it comes from addiction and relationships without a true recovery. So it's bad news to hear in that regard - not just jealous actions.

I knew this was possible as our relationship started very quickly after a prior one, and our last breakup (and this one), she was on the dating sites before even being fully out the door. To her, a relationship is absolutely critical and I think the #1 focus and need for a fulfilled life. I can't fault her for this, I have seen it before and have friends in the same pattern and for some it's worked.

In a way I may be jealous of the way they can so easily exit a relationship and enter a new one so quickly and efficiently, a talent that's mostly eluded me in my life. I don't do well in the search, but give my whole heart once it starts (and have learned I need to work on the red flags up front instead of just course correcting to make everything work regardless of issues).

I will work on putting these thoughts out of my head. I think 7 months later I have finally reached the point where a true no contact can take place so long as no one tries to offer me information or I run into her at the grocery store. It took us that long to settle things, and in a weird way I think we both dragged it out way longer than we needed to. She dragged it out until she had a new relationship, and I dragged it out hoping she'd find recovery and we'd have some weird chance down the road.

Ultimately I just want us both to be happy, so in my mind, I will try and fast forward the tape to me in a stable, happy, healthy, fulfilling relationship and not worry about how or when I'll get there, just have faith in myself and that I can get there some day. These are the thoughts I need to focus on, and I need to continue to try to get her out of my head which I should be able to do more with time and distance and a true, final no contact that had to come with this revelation.

Thanks for listening! I appreciate hearing all the insights, it is so helpful to me in my growth and self-assessment.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:21 PM
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I learned - on this site - that I never had to be worried or jealous that an alcoholic/addict ex would find someone after me & value them more (enough to get sober/clean for them).
I learned - on this site - that the next person would inherit the same issues I'd dealt with, perhaps even magnified, because with passing time & mounting relationship "failures" alcoholics/addicts become increasingly secretive, embittered, & entrenched.
I learned - on this site - that the attraction of a new lover is more the attraction of being able to start with a "blank slate" & the desperate hope that a new partner would somehow magically transform issues that belonged fully to them & could only be changed through intention & hard work.

I remind myself of these three very-true truths anytime I feel the subtle sting of seeing/hearing that a damaged ex is "happily" starting a new relationship. So far, these truths have always been spot-on.

They are re-packaging themselves in shiny wrappings, but I made a decision that I did not want the being inside that package, so I realized I can feel nothing but compassion for whomever claims them. I suspect I will likely meet some of them on this site someday! Lol.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:25 PM
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heartcore - I really want to thank you for that. I like to hope I was aware of most of that but it's so nice to see the sentiment written down there so concisely and as a reminder that everything and everyone here has been pretty spot on here so far -- Why have any reason to think differently?

In the same way I made mistakes romanticizing the past thinking back, I can easily make the same mistake making assumptions about the future.

I have to also remember that, while I myself could have been a rebound, one that lasted 10 years, I knew pretty early on what type of relationship it was going to be, and I signed up for it anyway. But any relationship, short-lived or long lasting, with an addict, sure is a bumpy road.

When I broke it off, I had to finally accept the fact that she couldn't moderate and as long as alcohol was around, she could not be part of my life. She has a tough road ahead if she's trying to find a way to start over and moderate, but she is the queen of the "fresh start / clean slate" approach as you mention above so I'm afraid she's going to repeat history. For her own sake I have to hope that anyone new in her life is not as much of an enabler as I was. She needs to get better!

Thanks again so much, your post came at the right time today when I really needed to read something like that. Much appreciated.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wells View Post
heartcore - I really want to thank you for that. I like to hope I was aware of most of that but it's so nice to see the sentiment written down there so concisely and as a reminder that everything and everyone here has been pretty spot on here so far -- Why have any reason to think differently?

In the same way I made mistakes romanticizing the past thinking back, I can easily make the same mistake making assumptions about the future.

I have to also remember that, while I myself could have been a rebound, one that lasted 10 years, I knew pretty early on what type of relationship it was going to be, and I signed up for it anyway. But any relationship, short-lived or long lasting, with an addict, sure is a bumpy road.

When I broke it off, I had to finally accept the fact that she couldn't moderate and as long as alcohol was around, she could not be part of my life. She has a tough road ahead if she's trying to find a way to start over and moderate, but she is the queen of the "fresh start / clean slate" approach as you mention above so I'm afraid she's going to repeat history. For her own sake I have to hope that anyone new in her life is not as much of an enabler as I was. She needs to get better!

Thanks again so much, your post came at the right time today when I really needed to read something like that. Much appreciated.
Glad you realize this now. I was going to say "She's only 3wks sober because she's probably been dating him for 6-8wks ." The real her will show up soon enough.
I'm a recovering A and just ended my 12-14'ish(can't remember,I was drunk ) year relationship with an active A. We've been off/on for the last 6 or so years and she would ALWAYS hop directly into a new relationship. Myself,like you, would always not feel like dating. She'd come back,I'm assuming they got a view of her true self and ended things so, I was her go to/plan B. Once I got clear headed, I just couldn't take her behavior anymore! I'm sure she'll have a new guy lined up by weeks end and the 'show' will begin. Only difference this go around is I'm staying sober, working my program and there is no coming back to me. Also,like you, I hope my ex really gets the help she needs and lives a happy life,just as I intend to do myself. Take care,man!
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:03 AM
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I can only speak from my own experience but once I got sober the healing for both us began. The human brain is a complex piece of hardware and we seem to want to overthink everything at times and it can cause a ton of questions and resentment. I think at its core, it really is a timing issue. When an alcoholic gets sober and begins recovery, we want everyone to just draw a line in the sand and mover forward like the wake of our destruction didn't happen. But, it did. We want everyone to look at us as healed, better, and we can't understand why our spouses and loved ones can't just move forward right now. Alcoholics want everything right away and we want to feel better right away. The disconnect is that alcoholics and the loved ones we hurt heal at different speeds and without patience and acceptance on the alcoholics that the reality we created for our loved ones is still there and there is real fear and a lack of trust, it is easy fir birth sides of this addiction journey to want to jump right into a new relationship or new job or new city and get on with living a new life. It's just not that simple and for me it has bee ndifficult to be the brand new bicycle that no one wants to ride yet but I have to patient if I want to make a real life with my loved ones. I haven't had real human touch in nine months and I miss that void. However, I have to be as patient with my loved ones as they were with me when I was in my active using days. I need to slow my roll and just keep showing my loved ones that my best apology is my commitment to my recovery and pray that eventually they will want to hop on board and take the ride with me. It took a while to break. It will take awhile to mend and it may never be fully healed.
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:30 AM
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hey Wells!

Couple of things. First, I don't think you are over it yet. You are still putting "some" energy (any is too much) in thoughts of what you wish for her, or what you think she should or shouldn't be doing (dating again). No one can say what she is doing or whether she should or shouldn't be but her.

Sometimes when people break up the emotional ties remain, and for some that is longer than others. Its just who we are individually as people. Some people will immediately seek the company of others so they don't have to feel the pain. Some people wait for months or years. Its an individual thing - but for having been with her for 10 years I do understand.

It takes a lot to unravel the "identity". That to me is what it very hard. You identified as a couple for a very long time, and you obviously loved this woman a lot.

I dragged it out hoping she'd find recovery and we'd have some weird chance down the road.


IME the above is why you have been "stuck". I think your Ex saw much more so than you that this relationship wasn't going to fly because she was NOT going to quit drinking. For as many go rounds as you all had she finally reached the end of your rope and there were no more chances. She knew it.

You, however, would have given it another chance if she had gotten sober and in recovery. You simply weren't on the same page.

Sometimes we just need to accept that people we have chosen aren't good fits for us, nor us to them. It doesn't have to be about alcohol. Sometimes a relationship becomes so toxic and the interactions of the 2 people involved there simply is NO changing it.

I think you will find now that she has moved on you will finally get rid of the lurking cobwebs of possible reconciliation that have remained since break up. Hoping that you will.
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Old 01-17-2017, 07:36 AM
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Hi Wells...what red said...

I think you've probably still been waiting for her, not really and truly moving on.

Regarding the new relationship, she has a chance to look shiny and new for someone who doesn't know all of her faults yet. For an unrecovered A, it's so much nicer to build a shiny new life and gloss over the past than to honestly do the work. That's her choice.

Once you're able to let go of her choices and really acknowledge that she isn't good for you, you'll be able to finish healing. I wonder, if she broke up with him tomorrow, came to you and said she quit drinking and wanted you back, would you be sucked back in...and end up watching her, and making "rules", and worrying...

I think it might be time to rip that band-aid off...
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:44 AM
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In the same way I made mistakes romanticizing the past thinking back, I can easily make the same mistake making assumptions about the future.
“Nostalgia is also a dangerous form of comparison. Think about how often we compare our lives to a memory that nostalgia has so completely edited, that it never really existed.” ~Brene Brown

Comparing recoveries is completely useless - whether you compare addict to codie, addict to addict or codie to codie. Our gains come from measuring ourselves against our own previous behaviors, not one another. Comparison literally kills joy & progress, IMO.

Combined with future-tripping, you're never really living right NOW.

What we want for their lives and for them may be the exact opposite of what they want out of life. There is no right or wrong (as long as you're within the confines of the law, anyway). What one person thinks is the right choice, the right path, the right life, may be totally different for someone else.
And thinking that *I* am godly enough to be all-knowing about what ANY other person's path *should* be is the height of trying to control others in the most judgmental & arrogant way. (This was SO hard for me to see in myself because I wasn't intending to act in that way - but that didn't negate the fact that I WAS.)

I have found that I need to watch my pronouns - more I, me, my & less he, she, they, we. Also "should's" only apply to Self - not others. It is not for me to judge how others *should* be doing anything. I *should* be as focused on setting my own boundaries & teaching others how I expect to be treated by showing them.

More will be revealed Wells; whether she succeeds or fails, did it for the right reasons or not will all play out exactly the way she wants it to. Exactly the way she has a RIGHT to do. The only way any of it impacts you is if you continue to tread water waiting to see if you have a future together. Otherwise, how can it matter to your life at all? Are you ready to fully Let Go?
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:02 PM
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I am a "recovering rebounder"

Just like alkies have an addiction to their "drug of choice" I have an addiction to fantasies. I have this checklist in my head of what the perfect relationship should look like. When I meet a charming young lady who meets many of the items on that list my dysfunction kicks in and fantasizes that all the items on my list are checked off.

That is where I get in trouble, I am only seeing part of reality. The other part is entirely made up in my head.

When my ex and I separated I rebounded hard with a lovely, kind and very intelligent woman that I met in a meeting. She had just lost her ex to this disease and was as scared and lonely as I was. Later on, when I had done some recovery work on me I realized I was in love with a person that strongly resembled this woman, but that existed partially in my fantasy.

I got lucky. She came to the same realization at the same time. We literally looked at each other one day and said "What are we doing?" Today we are still best of friends, but the only place we could really make a marriage work is in our imagination. ( ok, I am a short little fat fellow and she is way tall and skinny, but that's a whole 'nother story. )

A few years after that I met another lovely lady. This time I did much better. Much less fantasy on my part, much more reality, and the relationship went really well... until she relapsed. At that point I was able to not fantasize and allow her the dignity of making her own choices.

I have learned in recovery that almost every single time I am in some kind of emotional pain over relationships, or addiction in the relationships, it is because I have allowed my fantasies to cloud over reality. When I get back into my program, remove the blinders that cause denial, and accept reality the way it is, my life is much simpler, healthy and serene.

And I've also been meeting a lot of women who are quite healthy and serene. They are out there, and they are much easier to find when I am looking at reality instead of my fantasies.

Mike
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