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Old 04-23-2017, 05:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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OP here again...
After my ABF's almost-week-long relapse after 8 weeks sober... he finally came home from work on Friday not drunk. I'd been feeling like I was drowning all week - waiting for him to come home sober so we could address things, but every day he would come home drunk and my stupid hope would be extinguished. (Why am I ever so hopeful in this situation?????) It was like Groundhog's Day... thinking he'd come home fine the next day, and having the nightmare relive itself each weekday.

Anyway, I finally felt relief on Friday afternoon when he got home, and we literally talked for about 8 hours about his relapse week. (That never happens! Usually, I try to talk and I get shut down with an impatient hand gesture and a "I get it! I get it!") But we really did talk all afternoon and all night about what happened this week. He was strangely humble, seemed remorseful, apologized for his behavior and for his cruel words to me. He said he didn't realize that "having a few cocktails at the wedding on Saturday would lead to such a terrible week." He forgot most details about Easter Sunday because he had blacked out when we had dinner w/ his parents. I had no idea how he blacked out because I thought I saw him have 2 beers and maybe a sip of wine... but he admitted that he snuck whiskey while we were all out in the kitchen cooking. And admitted that when he at a work lunch with his coworker on Tuesday, waited for the coworker to go to the bathroom and then asked the bartender for a quick shot. So not only was he having alcohol this week, but sneaking it around me, his family, and his coworker(s). Sigh.

I had Dr. Jeckyll all week, but the Mr. Hyde I was talking to on Friday made a lot of realizations on his own - said that this showed him he does not have control over drinking... that he thought a clean bout of 8 weeks would be good enough, and that he could have drinks again and be fine... but he was wrong... and he just kept saying he didn't know he would spiral like that.
He even said that on Friday morning, when he looked at me sleeping in bed before he left for work that day, he felt like he hadn't seen me all week. SEE? I really did have Dr. Jeckyll around.

So after the long talk and seeing him be a normal scared guy... I felt hope again. I met with our old couples' counselor (I hadn't seen her for 6 months, after she said that we were in a toxic relationship and that we should focus on our individual therapy before coming back together as a couple)...
I filled her in on the last couple of months... his progress, his healthiness, and then his relapse week. I know if she didn't have her professional hat on, she would be like "IT'S TIME TO LEAVE. GTFO OF THIS RELATIONSHIP." But as a psychologist, she has to let me figure that part out for myself (obviously).
Her advice to me was to start focusing on myself. She pointed out that everything has been about him, revolved around him, and even in my individual therapy sessions, all I'd do is talk about him. She said that this whole time, I've been saying with my actions "You matter more than I do."
Yes, I realize I'm codependent. I have to work on this!
And she pointed out that the 8-hour discussion we had... WAS ALL ABOUT HIM and his needs. Omg. She was right. I didn't think about it like that before.

So I need to be getting back into an exercise routine, meeting friends to hang out, finding stuff to do that makes me happy without him... and I know the point of all that is to make me stronger - to refocus my priorities on ME... which will eventually... make me strong enough to make the right decision.

It's just so heavy on my heart. I really have to try to not be codependent... I really have to absorb all of this and know that it's up to HIM to make these changes... and it's up to ME to decide if I can handle dealing with this for any longer or for the rest of my life. Do I wait for a relapse? I feel that my brain/heart/mind/soul couldn't handle it.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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8 HOURS??? so that's like 8 weeks of a college course. sheesh.

OR 8 Alanon meetings.
OR a short audiobook.
OR a roadtrip Seattle WA to Mt Shasta CA.
OR a good night's sleep.

has anyone recommended Codependent No More yet?
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:26 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Good point...

The inner turmoil in my mind during this long discussion was "oh wow, this feels better, this gives me hope, maybe he really will see the light this time" -- and "holy ****, this conversation better not be a waste of time because a relapse is guaranteed to happen, and I won't be able to stop crying."

Yes, someone recommended the book in an earlier post.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:28 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Like the others, I completely identified with so much of what you said--I found myself nodding in agreement as I read and even chuckled a few times.. (the intervention by a bunch of people who spent the day drinking...yup. I can identify).

I think some of the overwhelm is just not knowing what steps to take. Absolutely just do what others have said and do a lot of reading and try to get to a point where you can make a reasoned decision based on what you want and need for yourself.

The steps will appear once you emerge from the toxic fog--living with an alcoholic is like secondhand smoke. You need to get a bit of fresh air to breathe again.

I agree with Anvilhead--unfortunately talk is cheap with an A, so by all means communicate clearly and honestly, but don't get sucked into a lot of talk and promises.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:57 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Yes, and ESPECIALLY be careful about bargaining around his behavior. "If you do this, then I'll do that," or "I'll stop doing this if you do that." Yes, you should take care of yourself. Whether he's serious about getting sober or not, try not to expect him to fulfill your needs right now. If he continues to drink, he will be incapable of that. If he really throws himself into recovery, that's about all he's going to have the energy to focus on for a while. Don't accept abuse or terrible behavior or insults, but I'd let things like attentiveness slide for the time being. You'll see soon enough if he's serious. If he is, the attentiveness will eventually return (or you can have a discussion about it). But try taking care of your own needs for right now. The one who's neglected you the most is YOU.
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:00 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Hi dear Peach. Your honesty is so inspiring I'm glad you're here and posting!

I've never lived with an alcoholic - I was the alcoholic. It sounds like your boyfriend is caught in a terrible spiral and he needs to be away in a place where he could focus solely on getting clean and healthy, physically and emotionally. Have you discussed the idea of a treatment center? You can't force him to go, of course, but he probably needs a detox before he can start thinking clearly. One of the main reasons I kept drinking was fear of withdrawal and anxiety.

That's no excuse, of course, but before my first alcohol related withdrawal episode I had no idea how dangerous it is.

I totally understand your apprehension about leaving him. It's horrible to see someone you love engaging in behavior that you know is not who they really are. But I can tell you from experience, alcoholics start to lose sight of who they are when they're in the vicious cycle of abuse.

I think the best thing would be to get him away from the toxic influences in a detox followed by rehab. It's a safe environment and will help him get to the root of the problem!!

Good luck and keep posting - it helps keep us all sober
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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OP here...

WHY IS HE SO SELFISH?

That humbled, nice guy flew out the window again. He has not been drinking since Thursday night... and showed me a glimpse of the good guy inside on Friday... we even had a few nice moments this weekend, but most of it was clouded by my anxiety about everything. Anxiety about what I'm supposed to do to heal myself and become stronger. Anxiety about how someone I love and supposedly loves me could be this way. Anxiety about that future relapse, whenever and wherever it will come? I feel SO down. I have not been able to do anything productive for days, because I'm so in my head with all this.

My therapy appointment from Saturday really got me thinking and REMINDED me how selfish he is/was, how it's been all about him, how I've let it get to this by being codependent...

He is not happy that I confided in another male friend recently. I promise, the friendship with this person I confided in is a platonic friendship... and I literally DON'T know who to talk to about this, because I'm used to hiding his alcoholism from everyone I know and love. I can't talk to my mom about it. I can't talk to my close gf here about it (she knows too many mutual work friends).
But last week, when he said all those nasty things in his drunken episode, I just called my friend so I could leave the apt and talk to someone. My friend's stepdad recently passed away from alcohol-related health issues. He said that he saw a lot of what I'm going through in his mom. -- So it just felt better for me to talk to someone (who doesn't work with either of us/doesn't hang in our social circles, etc.) -- I mean, I know better than to talk to someone who could "spill the beans" on his addiction to people at work and jeopardize that kind of scenario...
I juuuuuuust needed to get out of the house and TALK to someone and tell them the truth. I even admitted to my friend that I'm starting to try to tell someone else what's really going on at home, so that I'm not 100% hiding it and that maybe it'll make me more accountable to figure out how to leave one day. (For the record, I also called my two out-of-state girlfriends to vent, too.)

My ABF expressed his resentment about me going to the friend to talk about it. But you know what? I AM NOT GOING TO FEEL BAD OR GUILTY for telling a friend the truth about what's been happening.
Why would HE ever get to dictate how I'm to deal with what's been going on?? I wouldn't be sobbing and running out of the house into a friend's arms if I didn't have an alcoholic coming home to terrorize me, would I???

On Friday, during our 8 hour discussion, he had apologized profusely and said that I didn't deserve it and no wonder I've been upset... but that nice guy didn't last long. Since I've been been so emotional this weekend, trying to process it all and figure out what I must do with myself, he is now saying "Why do you have to be so hysterical?" or when I start crying, he won't validate my reason for crying, and makes dismissive comments about how I've been reacting to everything.

Are you kidding me??? YOU DON'T GET TO CRITICIZE HOW I REACT TO HOW YOU'RE BEING A JERK.

It reminds me of this one line from a TV show I watched years ago that stuck with me. It's something like how the guy criticizes the girl for seeing other men or something "too quickly" and she snaps back "YOU broke my heart. You don't get to tell me how to fix it."

We got into an argument late last night because I asked him not to talk about me in a negative light to his coworkers while they were brainstorming for some creative/entertainment ideas. He, of course, doesn't like being told no about anything... so he irrationally jumped to "Fine, I'll just tell them that we broke up and I'll make up a fake girlfriend with a fake name and talk to them about her."
You guys hear how stupid this argument sounds, right?
Well, the new me, or the me trying to be the new me, said "I'm not going to feel bad about asking you not to talk about me in a negative light to your coworkers, even if it's exaggerated or for entertainment purposes. I should be respected if I ask to not be talked about."
He became so irritated, he got out of bed and went to sleep on the couch at like, 1am. But remember, I told y'all he has a 4:30am wake up for work? He didn't get much sleep. Is that my fault? NOPE. NO, IT'S NOT.

I've been having a very weird day. It's Monday, and I've been so anxious and procrastinating on the work that I have to do. I haven't been able to be productive at all. This whole thing has really taken a toll on me mentally. I usually call him at work to say good morning, but I didn't. I've just tried to stay quiet and do my own thing, it's hard to concentrate.
But he just called me on the phone, on his way home, and the convo starts with "ARE YOU HOME?"
Me: Yes.
Him: Well, I am on my way home and I need to go straight to sleep because I didn't get any sleep last night.
Me: Okay.
Him: Well, should I sleep on the couch or the bed?
Me: *pauses, because I don't know why this warranted a phone call.* Doesn't matter to me where you sleep.
Him: Well, I don't want you to talk to me or fight with me, I need to sleep.
Me: *silent again, because I don't know why he would call me to say this, if he didn't want to start a fight*
Him: Should I go to my parents' house or should I come home? I want to sleep in my own place.
Me: Okay, do whatever you want.
Him: Is the bedroom hot (in temperature) right now?
Me: *starting to get more irritated* I DON'T KNOW IF THE BEDROOM IS HOT RIGHT NOW. I'M NOT HERE TO ANSWER THESE RANDOM ASS QUESTIONS FOR YOU.

I don't know why he does that. Is it for attention? Is it to instigate a bad mood so that we fight when he walks in the door, and he can blame me for fighting with him when he gets home?

I was just sitting here minding my own business, TRYING to feel normal again. What the hell?
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:19 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:29 PM   #29 (permalink)
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The one thing I don't get is what the deal was about his talking about you "in a negative light." What did he say, and how did you hear about it?
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:50 PM   #30 (permalink)
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LexieCat, hmm.. I can't give the exact scenario bc it could reveal our identities, but let's think of it like this.

Let's say he shares a podcast with a group of people, and that the podcast has a big audience. These people use real life examples from their lives, but exaggerate it a bit, for entertainment value. Makes the podcast more interesting, gets people to comment, etc.
Kind of like when a stand-up comedian is like "Omg, all my wife does is shop," and uses stereotypes to try to be funny?

So my real name has come up on the podcast a few times. Nothing too terrible, but definitely exaggerated. I sometimes wake up to texts from random friends who said "Omg, I heard this about you" on the podcast last night and I have to remind them that it's all for entertainment and to take it with a grain of salt.

He had made a joke (I think it was a joke?) about continuing a dumb storyline about me and adding that to the podcast. I asked him not to, and to stop painting me in the negative light. I didn't say he wasn't to bring up my name at ALL... I just don't want it all to be negative, just for the sake of entertainment.

His reaction to my request was to act like a child who just had its lollipop taken out of its hand abruptly.
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:01 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Ah, OK, I get it. I thought it was like just a work conversation and he was complaining about you to the people he works with.

Well, given the context, I think you need to make some definite rules around that. But "not in a negative light" is pretty amorphous, especially when you're talking about comedy/entertainment. I think it might be a little bit unrealistic to expect him to divine when you'd be OK with it, and when you wouldn't. And it sort of sounds to me like you've tolerated it and this got under your skin particularly because of how your relationship has been.

So I think if you don't want to be the butt of humor, you should tell him that any comments about you are entirely off-limits. Heck, if he makes fun of you after that, you've got a potential invasion of privacy lawsuit. If he doesn't know that, he can ask any entertainment lawyer. By the same token, though, if he chooses to make up a fake girlfriend for the sake of entertainment, I don't think you have any grounds to complain. That's sort of his business, the way I see it.

And yes, he was acting like a jerk. Engaging with him isn't the best strategy. This is where detachment comes in, as in walking away from the conversation.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:12 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post

And yes, he was acting like a jerk. Engaging with him isn't the best strategy. This is where detachment comes in, as in walking away from the conversation.
I second Lexie's suggestion. In detaching, we try not to argue nor justify. He was trying to engage you. You were on the right track when you were telling him to do what he wanted/needed to do. Don't engage him when he is quacking.

I remember someone posting here that she used lots neutral responses: Mmm, maybe, okay, sure.

Detaching and avoiding engagement is not easy to do and takes some practice and probably even more so personal growth.

Hang tough PC and let us know how you get on!!
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:55 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I had to get out of my situation with my ex, because I was putting more effort into his sobriety than he was. I was losing sleep, crying all the time, scared to death for his life, and he accused me of DRAMAAAAA. It's not drama, it's love and accountability.

We broke up three months ago, and I'm miserable. My heart is so broken. I'm still so in love with him, and I think about him EVERY second of every day. But I tell you what, I have no NEW hurt. There's nothing NEW happening to throw me into hysteria. I worry about him, I'm depressed, my world makes no sense... but things are uneventful, and there's something refreshing about that.

By no means am I telling you to break up with him. I just knew my head and heart couldn't take the constant pain anymore, and he wasn't doing what he needed to do to address is issues and stay sober, and our relationship became unacceptable for my standards and for my sanity. I realized he was going to continue dragging me down, and fortunately I have a strong support system who made me realize it wasn't worth losing myself, more than I already had. And there was NOTHING I could do to get him to change ANYTHING. It was all up to him.

Stay strong, and remember to keep loving yourself.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:01 AM   #34 (permalink)
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My thoughts are this. A jerk can hide that they are a jerk for a short amount of time. Then, it always comes back. I see it over and over and over on these threads, and in my own previous marriage. That is why I hammer on, it's behavior OVER THE LONG TERM, and I am talking years, for someone to prove themselves. The saying a tiger does not change it's stripes is almost always true. For a person to change, they have to be doing so out of their own motivation for themselves, and be willing to work on that every single day, forever. A commitment not many are willing to make.

My counselor told me yesterday that I have put my life on hold. That I have to find myself and who I am again, and find good in my life, not just put it on hold for the next traumatic event to take place. I think that's good advise for everyone, including you.

Hugs to you.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:26 PM   #35 (permalink)
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is there somewhere YOU could go for a few days? get a break from this guy? he's definitely a King Baby pounding on his high chair making demands, and i think he's become such the central figure here, you are busy just trying to squeeze in around the edges.

he sure sounds like a world class jerk, to me. i don't care if you next told me he bought you 14 dozen roses, flew you to Paris, bought you a pony and cooked your favorite dinner. he treats you poorly. he doesn't respect or even acknowledge that you have your own thoughts and feelings. he's too worried about his own whatever to be bothered.
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