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When you are changing

Old 04-18-2017, 01:21 PM
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When you are changing

I am growing. It has been a crawl but I am growing. I know for many this has gone on too long and I should be much further ahead than I am. But it's baby steps for me as I continue to heal. Please be patient.

I recently began pulling out of the codependency trap with Abf. While his cycle continues and I have all but left the relationship, my body is naturally letting go of something I keep fighting. Yes, I want to stay and I am attached to him. Yes, I want to believe so much that he wants to change, but No, I can no longer wait for that day to come and my little hope candle is barely a flicker. Since his last bender and my inevitable take back that I do (ie. not using my window), I have taken the month that he was gone to treatment and his moms house, and have built up more of a life for myself. You see the thing is that I was so ensconced into life with him that when he left to binge, I had no idea what to do. My world felt empty and I realized that my life was built around him and my job - when he left last time on the bender I had neither and didn't know the first thing to do. I felt like a ghost and an alien walking around an unfamiliar world.

I hated that feeling and the overall direction my life was going with him as nothing ever was changing, just repeating, so this time I took our month apart and I dove into myself. Especially not working yet I had the extra time to become involved in things I couldn't when I had work and my relationship before both in a sense, left me. I became involved in charity as I looked for work during the day. One of which held a fundraiser at a bar last week he wanted to attend with me while I worked. I said no for obvious reasons (and was proud because at first I was scared to). I also went back to therapy and reconnected with things I use to love. Drawing, working out, seeing old friends, and eating better. Now that Abf came back to the city after his "month off", he wants to plug back into us. No matter his denial that he isn't trying to do that, his disdain for a healthy me says it all. I also don't see any massive change in him so not surprised by his reaction.

When he asks to see me I now have to check and see if I will be available. This week I have friends in town and watching my sister's boys so let him know which days those were on. And that I also wanted to get in a work out each day. This of course turned into the classic "Looks like you moved on and I don't even know who you are. I know it's my fault for all I've done and I can't blame you but you are not into this anymore and you don't want to see me. You have clearly moved on and have things now in your life you'd rather do". While the old me would apologize profusely and break all my plans, I stood by myself and explained that this is exactly the recovery I am on that will help me because like him, I am sick too.

Has anyone else experienced the process of shedding their codependency and it threatening their partner? Please note I am not asking because I am afraid of this, but because I feel my changing and his reaction actually means I am doing it right.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:32 PM
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Also to note, I haven't noticed him changing in the way he needs to in order to stop. After the last bender he was supposed to go to inpatient treatment for a month. Then it turned into outpatient for a month. Then it turned into what he actually did which was 10 days of outpatient followed by what should have been staying at a new sober house. He went to the sober house and hated it. Didn't like that he had a curfew so after lasting two nights there went to live at another sober house that has 3 other guys and no curfew. Can't say that sounds like a sober house to me but at best, 3 roommates who may be dry. In my heart I do not believe he is living at a legitimate sober house.

Not to mention, when he spent the month at his mom's house detoxing and getting the treatment, he reconnected with his son who lived there. He said it changed him. Sadly, he's now been back in the city for three weeks and has seen his boy 2-3 times only on Sunday for a few hours.

To me this doesn't show me he is putting in the grit to change. Whether it be for his sobriety or his family situation. Just more words. He wants to plug into the same and short of breaking up, I know I cannot. My body won't let me go back to the way things were. It just won't. You can't force someone to do the work to change, so what do I do......change myself. the universe has a way of either pushing the change onto them, or moving you out of the way for them to find someone else who is fine with status quo.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:14 PM
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Well, I wouldn't wait for the UNIVERSE to move you out of the way. That's putting something on the universe that you can do for yourself, right? I know you FEEL that you can't, but the reality is that you can--you still are not willing to.

I'm glad you're feeling stronger. I would just add one thing that sort of jumped out at me--your reference to your "little hope candle" being down to a "flicker."

I left my second husband almost 20 years ago. I still HOPE he gets well--that he chooses to live the end of his life, sober. I don't think that's real likely to happen, but I hope for his sake that it does. The thing is, I don't allow that HOPE to drive my bus. And my belief that it's highly unlikely he will get sober and my refusal to stick around waiting for the miracle have ZERO to do with whether the miracle happens for him.

I sometimes get the feeling that you believe your hope is all that keeps this man alive.

Keep working on loosening your fingers. Keep working on letting go.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:48 PM
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Has anyone else experienced the process of shedding their codependency and it threatening their partner?
Yep - I think it's pretty standard....when you change the routine they are used to, they don't deal with it well. When I started detaching, my ex grew more and more aggressive, loud, vindictive and vengeful during his tantrums.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:24 PM
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smarie...Oh, trust me, when you make real changes...when anything impinges on their zone of comfort....they notice!
My situation was much different, than yours....but, when I made some new boundaries with my adult son (I stopped making any push toward AA and ignored any quacking).....
He said to his brother and sister..."Something is wrong with mom..she is not herself...something is going on". LOL!
A time, later, I said to him "I want to apologize to you..because I know that I have enabled you, at times. I should not have done that".....He replied..."You did not enable me...don't put yourself down..that is the last thing you need"...LOL.....

Trust me...they notice..and they react.

You have improved, enormously, over when you first started posting here!!
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:51 PM
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it's classic "change back" behavior. when a dysfunctional "system" exists, be that a family, friends, lovers or even a work group, it depends on everyone drinking the juice, so to speak. speaking the lingo, obeying the rules. so when any ONE person/unit in that system starts to change, pull away, that upsets the rest of the system.

you can actually see the reverse in a healthy system. an ant colony relies on everyone to know their job and do their job without question, even if it means they will die. they all travel along their little pheremone trail, doing there thing. if one ant decided all of the sudden - oh hell with this, i'm not lugging this fly up that damn hill - and just sat down, or whatever ants do, it would create a traffic jam. and confusion.

now i caution you - he's not going to like that and he's going to up the ante. be prepared and don't buy into the sales pitch. in fact every time he says the word LOVE consider that a sign it isn't real.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:05 PM
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^^^^^yes, yes, and yes^^^^^^^
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:41 PM
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Good to read your post Smarie.

It does sound like your psychological grip is loosening on this guy. I used to actually imagine holding my qualifier in my fist and uncurling my sticky finger from around him.

And I second what Anvil says. You probably haven't seen the last of this guy. Keep working your program so you are as strong as possible when he does up the ante.

Keep posting. You will figure this out.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:13 PM
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Support to you
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:38 AM
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If I would have posted a few years ago when I first started understanding AH had a problem- many on here would have probably tired of my wishy washy going back n forth with AH. (although I know I would have been welcomed with open arms back then- I just wasn't ready to face the truth) I am still a work in progress. I still do not know what the ending will be. But I am glad AH is no longer in our home.

You are doing great taking these baby steps. I'm sure he is threatened that you are becoming stronger. Sounds like you are taking positive steps for a great new future.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Smarie78 View Post
I know for many this has gone on too long and I should be much further ahead than I am. But it's baby steps for me as I continue to heal. Please be patient.
We're not judging you, I promise. You are exactly where you need to be Smarie, don't ever question that. That's why we talk about "progress, not perfection"..... we ALL wander our paths differently.

I'm happy you are starting to separate yourself from your enmeshment with your qualifier; it's really the best way to gain clarity. And yes - when you change your dance steps, he'll see it as a threat and he'll likely try pushing at those new boundaries in every dramatic way possible. Be prepared!
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:51 AM
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Thanks everyone - all great stuff! this week has been really interesting. I have seen him pout and become upset with me for doing nothing else then living the life I would and should live in ANY relationship - with an alcoholic or not. I have plans, I go to the gym, I visit my family - I volunteer and I am independent. I don't cheat or look for other men - I just hone in on my own person and who I want to be. He is threatened by this and has almost said it but stopped short of the words. I still struggle because I start to feel punished when he plays on my emotions and behaves as though I am abandoning him - but I keep pushing and know in my heart I am being the best person to myself and everyone around me by taking care of me.

I know he doesn't like it because he is use to me dedicating all my time and life around him and I simply have other things now. Truth is, I always have. I just put them aside to live in this tiny world with him. He likes to say he is at the bottom of my priority list. But its not that - I am just at the top. I am living healthy. I see my beautiful nephews at least 2-3 times a week and spend real quality time with them. I see friends and do the things that make me happy. It's amazing too because he has the power to do the very same things. Seeing my nephews gives me fulfillment, can you imagine if he decided to see his son as much? I tell him that I am doing the things to make me whole so that next time if he should relapse and disappear again, I won't be broken because I will have other things. And like I said before, these things are vital in ANY relationship. Balance is everything. He sees balance as a threat, but I am loving it.

I just had a meeting with a recruiter who is helping me with my job search and I have an interview next week I set up on my own. Now enjoying a coffee sitting at a downtown cafe and I know that no matter what this person chooses to do or dedicate himself to, it will not break me. I've got other things and I am happy. So far he has shown no real dedication or work to prevent relapse (he would disagree but I think we all know what it looks like when they are doing the work) so it's only a matter of time. I am ready.

Progress....allllmooostttt there. :/
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:02 AM
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Oh my goodness. All of your baby steps are taking you in the right direction. Way to go! Good luck in your interview next week. Just keep taking those baby steps to a bright future. So good that you are focusing on YOU!!
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:01 PM
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I still struggle because I start to feel punished when he plays on my emotions and behaves as though I am abandoning him

that might work if he was FIVE and it was his first day at kindergarten. but how unattractive in a full grown man. how needy. how pathetic.

so that next time if he should relapse and disappear again,

do me a favor? take the IF out of it. assume it will happen as surely as rain will fall and wind will blow. make it a fact that just has not happened YET.
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:34 PM
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You are sounding good, empowered, and happy SMarie! BIG Progress! Pat yourself on the back!
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:36 PM
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Have you thought about looking for your next job in another part of the country and just leaving him behind? It was great for me--I actually moved back to where we were living when we met--got my old job back. It helped IMMENSELY to have all that distance between us.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Have you thought about looking for your next job in another part of the country and just leaving him behind? It was great for me--I actually moved back to where we were living when we met--got my old job back. It helped IMMENSELY to have all that distance between us.
^^^^ This may or may not be right for you Smarie but I too left geographically when I realized my qualifier had no bottom in sight.

I went and lived in South America for 6 months. This was probably the biggest step I ever took to becoming proficient in Spanish. I have always been interested in language. I still study it and speak fairly well if not fluently.

I realize you have family in the area you live so moving would be difficult.

Stay close lady. We are here.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:58 PM
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wow, you went all Butch & Sundance! why do i not remember this part of your story????

sorry to hijack.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
wow, you went all Butch & Sundance! why do i not remember this part of your story????

sorry to hijack.
Yep and it was mostly Bolivia too. (-: I was in a bad bad way so I knew I had to get away.

This was late eighties so no internet and no contact.

Smarie, I do get frustrated with folks who keep staying but then I remember how absolutely radical I had to get to cut myself out of his life. It is so painful. I would not have done well if he had been a short drive away or had phoned me on a regular basis. Back in those days, a phone call between Bolivia and the US was huge. I had to go to a special building in La Paz to make such a phone call.
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