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I'm a mess....no flames please

Old 08-07-2017, 07:54 AM
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My point is that you haven't asked him to move along and stop contacting you. THAT is what I'm suggesting--not that if you say the "right things" he will leave you alone, on his own. Isn't that sort of like thinking if you just say/do the right thing the alcoholic will finally listen?
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:07 AM
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If one thinks of boundaries.....I have heard it described as this----It is like being in a room with a door that has the doorknob on the inside (only)....the door knob can open and let someone in....or, close the door, keeping someone out....
The door is controlled by the person in the room---regardless of what is on the outside...
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
LOL Liz....how easily do your really "run away"? If I remember correctly? You bonded with and married your Ex when you were about 20yrs. old and stayed in the toxicity of that relationship for over 20yrs.....
That just doesn't ring true, to me, of someone who jumps and runs.....
RIght. Good point. I don't physically run away. I emotionally run away and 'escape'. I find other outlets to distract me, to fill my emptiness that I am experiencing. I am an escape artist in my own mind. Denial is a big part of my escape and I tried that for years. I refused to actually 'see' what was going on in my alcoholic marriage. I knew it was a screwed up mess from the beginning. I never felt emotionally connected to my XAH, but now, after feeling how connected I am with my current bf, I never realized just how much was truly missing from my marriage.

Heck, I didn't even know that you could be emotionally connected through sex. That just blew my mind and touched my soul.

Yes, I ran away. I didn't want to live life on life's terms. I even escaped through parenting, making that my life's mission so that I didn't have to face my marriage problems that were brewing all along.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:26 AM
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Liz...that makes logical sense....Using that same model...do you think you are doing the same thing with your current boyfriend, also....rationalizing how blissful you are with him....yet---scanning the landscape for something to fill in for what is missing?
The reason that I say that is because of the things you have mentioned in various of your posts, about him, over the past couple of years that you have been with him....
I am just saying these things to you as a way of asking you to dig deep and honestly......
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:34 AM
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"An escape artist in my own mind" - what a great phrase, and how well it sums up the lessons that some of us learn through long association with an alcoholic! That was definitely my state of my mind during the later years of my marriage (and contributed to why email approaches from my own version of fantasy dude seemed so positive and affirming at the time - here were all the ingredients of a great escape to fantasize about!). My other "escapes" included reading all the time and getting involved with any volunteer cause that would have me - none carried the same risk of sleaziness as carrying on an online flirtation/liaison with someone I wasn't married to, but all served the same function, I realize now in hindsight.

Your current relationship with your real-life partner may be affected by this escape-artist conditioning. If you recognize it for what it is and deal with it appropriately (telling fantasy dude that you think it's better not to be in contact), taking these actions might be part of your healing from alcoholism.

Your current relationship with your boyfriend sounds really good. You know the difficulties that may lie ahead (his daughter hitting adolescence with a bang), and it sounds like you have a realistic handle on how to appreciate the good qualities in someone while also acknowledging that they have other qualities which irk you. I suspect that if you say "so long and good luck" to fantasy dude, you may sense a feeling of peace creeping in (although your initial emotional response to closing off this source of validation may be frustration or ambivalence).
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SparkleKitty View Post
I can only speak for myself, but I kept chasing that high of being demonstrably wanted--despite being in relationships with good people who were good for me--until I realized that I could not be satisfied with an external relationship until my relationship with myself was solid and unwavering, and until I did the work to have that. I needed to be on my own to have and do that, and to stop wasting other people's time and energy while I got my act together.
This Liz, right here^^

You moved pretty quickly into this relationship & also into blending your families by living together fairly early, right?

By early I mean - without giving yourself REAL time alone to truly find YOU. I truly, sincerely, without question, think this is a critical piece of our self-evolution. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you, right? It should be the Best Version of You.

I hear all the good points about your BF that you list but I wonder, are you ignoring feelings of obligation, guilt, people-pleasing (even if it's a different kind, for different reasons than it has been in your codependent past)? You are obviously grateful to him for a lot, but is that enough?

Was there a reason you didn't pursue a relationship with this guy after your marriage ended? 25 years is a long time, and it makes me wonder if he's in love with the idea of you vs. the reality of who you are. I'm wondering if you've wanted to try this relationship out for a long time & were just never brave enough to try or even ADMIT it out loud to yourself? Maybe you didn't even realize that about yourself until recently & that's what is contributing to your confusion?
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:13 AM
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One other thought...it's pretty standard issue midlife crisis to realize that time really is marching on, we really are middle-aged and what the heck happened to the last decade or so.

Wanting to turn back the clock somehow and get a magical do-ever is pretty common. Some women get implants and botox. Some guys get combovers and sports cars. Some of both try to turn back the clock to early relationships that seemed magical because they were so hormone-driven and the whole thing was NEW...no disenchantment, no mortgages, no responsibilities.

Not at all saying that's what you're doing, but it sure could be what your flirter is. And it seems like I read threads on these posts remarkably often about old flames magically reappearing and instead of true love, it turns into a true nightmare.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:19 AM
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airesagain....I have read, many time, that relationships that don't work out the first time....usually, .don't work out the second time, either...whether it is remarriage or reconnecting with an old flame....
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:26 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Let me ask you guys this; is walking away from a loving relationship the only option at this point? I am not scared to start over, live alone, find an apartment, etc. Those things are not the obstacle. My issue is primarily the fact that I do love my bf, I value what he adds to my life, the acceptance he brings to us, and the fact that he's never been anyone other than who he says he is. I love his children, and his oldest has definitely bonded with me. Can I walk away from love just because I don't have my crap together? Ugh....I need to get my head screwed on straight.

As for 'other' guy. When I became single nearly 3 years ago, he was in a relationship. When we first met 25 yrs ago, I was married and he was single. I didn't know at the time that he had a thing for me. We were on the same team, we took lunch breaks together, etc.....I just saw him as a friend at work. He revealed his feelings to me shortly after I had started dating my current guy, probably around the 4 month mark. He had been married and divorced in his 30s and they never had children.
He is a fantasy. I know it. There was never a relationship. I never really thought about him much until he started contacting me after my divorce. He lives a life I probably would not be comfortable with after the initial romance phase were to wear off. I know that for a fact. I just need to block him and get reacquainted with who I am and with what I want. I need to out my energies back into my recovery and into my relationship with my bf. He deserves better.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:38 AM
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I don't think there is a single, "right" answer, personally.

I think what you describe IS enough for a lot of people.

I also think there is a tangible difference between loving someone & being IN LOVE with them. Others may disagree, I don't care.... I want/need that feeling in my love life. (and again, that starts inside ME)

I hear you basically saying that what you have should be "good enough" by society's standards and in the absence of having a better idea of YOUR TRUE heart desires, you *should* be happier.

I hate it when I'm should'ing all over myself.
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:47 AM
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What will your happiness hinge on? We can't know, Liz. There are no guarantees.

Have you been trying to be happier in this relationship because it looks so good on paper you would feel foolish if you let it go? Do you think it is what you are supposed to do or be? Do you wish you could appreciate it more, in your deepest heart?

If your answer to those questions is yes, then you have to at least consider the possibility that no matter how good a prospective partner is, you might not be able to embrace a relationship with them until you get right with yourself.

I'm celebrating my seventh anniversary today with my husband. We had mutual friends for more than ten years before we met, and we often joke about why the heck did no one introduce us to each other before?!?!? But the truth is, and we both know this, that as compatible as we are, as in love as we are, and as much as we respect and trust one another for the long haul, if we had met even as little as one year before we did, our relationship would have been a disaster, because neither one of us was ready.

Sometimes the timing isn't right. Until I learned to be okay with myself on my own, whether or not anyone ever came along again, the timing was never going to be right.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:19 AM
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liz, this is not your first post about your current relationship. in fact it is one of many where you have struggled, complained, vented, theorized or discussed the virtues - or lack thereof.

back in 2015: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ship-woes.html

a year ago: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-settling.html

10/2016: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...nsiveness.html

12/2016: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ngs-my-bf.html

02/2017: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ntentment.html

04/2017: http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ing-tough.html

and today's reveal about being in contact with another man. while you have used lots of words to defend how wonderful your BF is, which i don't doubt, and a lot of words to defend how "happy" you are, how "good" things are, it has always sounded echoe-y and a bit false. like you are saying what you think you should be saying, not saying what you really and truly FEEL and THINK. IMHO you have never sounded that capital H happy - you sound like someone who found "good enough, i'll camp here for a while if you don't mind, thanks".

if it was all THAT great and you were THAT fulfilled, you wouldn't be distracted by ANY compliments, come ons, or curve balls thrown your way. your relationship has always sounded a little Machiavellian to me....but what do i know?
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:49 AM
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CORRECTION:

Pygmalion NOT Machiavelli! big difference.
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
I don't think there is a single, "right" answer, personally.

I think what you describe IS enough for a lot of people.

I also think there is a tangible difference between loving someone & being IN LOVE with them. Others may disagree, I don't care.... I want/need that feeling in my love life. (and again, that starts inside ME)

I hear you basically saying that what you have should be "good enough" by society's standards and in the absence of having a better idea of YOUR TRUE heart desires, you *should* be happier.

I hate it when I'm should'ing all over myself.
My problem is that I don't know what 'good enough' even means or what a good relatioship should (yep, I used it too) look like because everyone is different, personalities are different, and what some might see as a NO WAY in heck red flag, others are more likely to pass things off as acceptable or not even bothersome to them. And, since I've never had a good relationship in my entire life, I constantly nitpick the one I'm in. It's like my own brand of emotional crack.

If you were to ask me if I was in love with this man. My answer would be yes! I know that I soften when he's around, not in a bad way but in a way where I feel like I can let my guard down and don't have to be cheery or professional or whatever. He places no expectations on my behavior whatsoever and seems to accept me no matter what. When I apologize for being crabby for a few days and I realize I've not been my best, he nods and smiles and just tells me it's ok because we're human and we all are entitled to have bad days. When he gets in to bed after I do and he leans over and kisses my cheek, I may be half asleep but I will roll over and hug him and we just settle in with each other comfortably. Moments like that are where I know I am in love with him. I make a choice to love him every day, to serve him, to support him and he does the same for me. So, yes I love him and I am in love with him. I remember having a conversation with him where we were discussing a very debatable political issue in the car. His intelligence, openmindedness, and ability to examine both sides of the argument without bias made me love him more and I told him so.

As for what Anvil said about the Pygmalion theory. There may be some truth to that as I've never thought of it before. And, yes, Anvil, I know I've posted repeatedly about this relationship and am quite aware.
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:58 PM
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I can't help very much here, but absolutely wish you the best as you sort this out. I have a similar dynamic with a certain person, but know damn well that were we to pursue it I'd bring my craziness right into it, and she'd turn out to be mortal, thus disappointing me when she turns out to be flawed.

In fact, we don't even know each other-- we knew each other in the 90's. God knows who she is now, and I'm damn well not the guy she knew then. I'd be pursuing a relationship with a total stranger, but also with expectations that I don't see as realistic.
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Old 08-07-2017, 02:12 PM
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my point wasn't about the number of posts, liz. it was about the consistent theme of the posts. also the timing.....the last five on the list are ALL two months apart.........i don't know what that means except it appears very cyclical. and i think patterns are important.....
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
And, I go back to: WTF is wrong with me???
I am considering counseling. I'm working with my sponsor and trying to dig deeper to figure out why I'm such a terrible girlfriend!
In my perspective, nothing good comes of slamming such incredibly attractive doors shut and making ourselves turn away from whatever is tempting, thinking we're safe because we dodged a bullet. Sure, the behavior is extinguished but the underlying issues continue to gurgle below the surface - and you can feel it. If you have this much self-derision about an attraction that touches you so deeply, then working this out with a therapist is the productive response, not imposing harsh judgement and rules on yourself in attempts to "behave." I always told myself in my 18 year marriage that if I was ever sorely tempted to cheat, then it was time for me to re-evalute my choice to be married. And likewise, I would never want to be "blissfully" unaware of a partner's struggle to remain faithful. I'd rather meet things head on than have someone secretly agonize with their longing for another. That's me, though. Preserving "The Relationship" isn't my be all and end all. Living an authentic, rewarding life is my continual goal.

From all you describe, from this self-judgment and torn feelings, from the past threads posted by Anvilhead, it looks clear to me that you really, really would benefit from regular work with a therapist. This almost-affair is revealing some deep stuff in you that won't go away simply because you turn away from this particular man. Look at what he is bringing up for you, work on that and as you do, you will find a healthy and fulfilling way forward. It's never about choosing the "right man." It's always about becoming the right person.
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:26 PM
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lol...^^^^^^^that was what I was trying to say (in different words).....
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:50 PM
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I just looked at some of the threads that anvilhead excavated, and yes, it looks like there is more at work here than the appearance of a "road not taken" in the form of this potential romantic interest. It looks like you're feeling very stressed about stepparenting and also feeling as though your boyfriend is a bit emotionally tone-deaf (doesn't provide the verbal reassurances that you value, doesn't realize that making financial decisions without you is not cool, etc). It sounds like you've got a good man, but possibly not the "right" man? So I guess the question is - is he "right enough" for you, or will this dissatisfaction keep expressing itself in different ways even once you tell the other fantasy dude sayonara?

If you find yourself behaving in ways you don't like, or becoming the kind of person you don't want to be (i.e. someone who is tempted to carry on an emotional affair), it can be a sign that you need to think about changing your life - at least it was for me.

A previous poster suggested individual therapy so you can talk out loud about what you want in a relationship, without having to worry about hurting your partner's feelings. That sounds like a really good idea to me.
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
He lives a life I probably would not be comfortable with after the initial romance phase were to wear off. I know that for a fact. I just need to block him and get reacquainted with who I am and with what I want. I need to out my energies back into my recovery and into my relationship with my bf. He deserves better.
Do you sincerely mean all of this or is it what you think you should say, what a "good girlfriend" would say, what a "good person" would say? You don't need to answer, just something to ponder.
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