Checking in...Progress?

Old 12-01-2017, 09:02 AM
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Thank you everyone.

Thank you sylvie for the great comments and personal story. I do see how it relates. You know, I see in myself that when the alcohol drinking really took off, I was trying to control it so heavily. I tried to throw it out, I tried to point it out, I tried to take her places so she couldn't drink.

I am ok, but this morning I was hit with the anger/sadness again. I say dual description, because I find myself yelling but crying...whether it is internal or external. I am so mad that she abandoned me and Shiro (dog), and that I was in my toughest time too in my life. Mostly me, and just so abruptly. So sneaky. As though it would have been ok if she was just gone. Why didn't we talk about any of this further than "its just over." I find that a very childish way to handle a serious relationship with your FIANCE!!! I won't say graduate school is an existential crisis like she must have been experiencing, but it certainly is/was a time of dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. I am mad because I don't know if she actually realized my end of things. I tried to keep everything going, even when she was falling apart, and it just made things emotionally harder on me.

This leaves me wondering still of any hardship I placed on her. Did I not handle things correctly? One thing that really hits me hard is that I told her we couldn't go out when she was drunk because it was embarrassing. That seems like the worst thing you could possibly say to your loved one, and I said it. I hurt from saying that to her. I did apologize, but I feel like maybe my apologies were not truly heard, on a few occasions regarding my emotional outbursts due to difficulty regarding her not being sober. This is my own battle to fight, and for the most part I did remain extremely calm, and found early on that I should just walk away or tell her I cannot speak to her unless she is sober. I would then bring back up the topic if I caught her sober, and we could usually work through things.

I think for me, I may have been in an emotional hard spot, but I know my head was clear. I wanted to be with her, and support her in being sober...but I also had my life to continue. Whereas, she was not sober for a long time, and I just think that all of it had to be such a haze of confusion, from one day to the next. That must have been very difficult for her. But sadly, in the end, there must have been something I said or did that stuck with her enough to want to leave me. I don't know what though. I would openly admit if I did something atrocious.

This reflection is good for me in a way, because I then look at her actions after the first rehab, and I still have to remember she is a severe alcoholic. I accept that. I have no clue where she is mentally, or with empathy for me and our situation now, but I cannot concern myself too much with this. Of course I still wonder, but I don't actively seek the answer. If she wants to answer that for me, she will by reaching out beyond the "I need this's".

Back to anger/sadness. I really did well the majority of this week. But this morning I just broke down. I have a feeling that may have been the last time I will ever see her, but I also have mixed feelings that it wont be. If she retains anything of her former self, and eventually comes around to understanding clearly for herself what happened...then I think it wont be the last time I hear from her, especially regarding us.

Problem is, if she doesn't remain sober, then I know I will definitely hear from her again, but for all the wrong reasons.

Anger/Sadness...

I am not poetic, but love lyrics...and I was thinking on my car ride in to work today:

The shell, this body, ever so temporary
To enter this world with no experiences
To leave with brimming wholeheartedness
The things we keep as we go on will be
The love we shared, in all of it's truest forms
Why then is it that some don't cherish our brightest spark in each of us?
This artificial skin, to not see what is within
Just reach, and touch the heart
Find the universal truth that was known from our start


I know it isn't great prose...but I hope you can see where I am.

Just want her to see. To see her value, to see her heart, and meaning. To see me, and all that I am worth, and put preconceived notions aside, and remember why we started in the first place.

This isn't up to me for her to do though. But I do hope she does.

I on the other hand, am back to work again today. I accomplished so much yesterday, and it felt good. I will do so again today.

I was thinking...my house has changed it "aura" due to her absence, and removing of things. I put a few new pictures, paintings up...but I don't know what else I can do to just make change...

Any simple recommendations?
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:09 AM
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I changed the colors in my bedroom, changed the shower curtain and towels, and painted some of my own art. I got back into model airplane building, and displayed them, and made a 'cove' for all of my fishing gear in my spare bedroom. I took black and white photos at a motorcycle show I went to and framed and hung them. I found some bookshelves on graigslist and set up a library area with a cozy chair and lamp to read in - rather than leaving my books packed in boxed in the garage. I got back into many hobbies that I had let go when I was so focused on the relationship, and have it all proudly displayed at home now. I happily host dinners with friends now, rather than dread them.

I know what you mean my the aura at home....the air is so much lighter, and my place actually FEELS like a home - where I can relax and experience peace. Keep building on you and your space - you will become so, so protective of it and the serenity that goes with it!
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by GoodguyJoel View Post
I was thinking...my house has changed it "aura" due to her absence, and removing of things. I put a few new pictures, paintings up...but I don't know what else I can do to just make change...

Any simple recommendations?
Oh, GGJ, this was such a huge thing for me! XAH always was keeping the blinds closed, so the first thing I did was OPEN THE BLINDS AND LET THE LIGHT IN. Fresh air, sunlight, warmth!

I just went crazy for color, bought a bright striped shower curtain ($4-Goodwill), bright towels for bath and kitchen, colorful rag rugs ($5 a pair, Amazon), a giant braided wool rug ($35-craigslist), big tablecloths that I used as bedspreads, new sheets and pillowcases, new blankets, NEW BIG FAT SUCCULENT BED PILLOWS--just anything I could find that added color, comfort, warmth, softness and just plain PLEASURE AND BEAUTY to my house.

I bought houseplants and put them into cute or quirky containers from Goodwill--oversize coffee cups, one-off handmade bowls. Although I have many huge and wonderful trees outside, there is something about having plants inside that cheers the soul in its own way. My particular favorite is a plucky little African violet that I picked up from the markdown section that BLOOMED, against all odds, in the drafts and darkness of my first winter on my own. I will never forget that brave little plant and how it gave me strength to keep moving forward.

I bought a variety of beautiful big baskets (again at Goodwill) to house all my wool fiber for my spinning wheel, and lovely huge scarves to line the baskets with, then put everything onto a painted white metal shelf in the hall, where it's neat, out of the way and pretty.

I took 2 wooden boxes and made a small altar for my meditation space, draping it w/one of several different cloths, depending on the season. I bought a "kneeling chair" for $5 on craigslist, since sitting for meditation is too uncomfortable for me. I decorate that altar with a candle on a handmade ceramic plate and whatever items seem appropriate--berries, leaves, a small carved stone turtle, a feather from a Canada goose.

I painted the bedroom a soft green and the living room a pale dusty rose. I bought a bunch of plain, cheapo black picture frames at Goodwill for a buck or so each--they are the size of a piece of printer paper, and whenever I find some quote, prayer, poem or other piece of wisdom, I print it out and stick it in a frame so I can think about it and bask in it as often and as long as I want.

I bought candles and oil lamps--and I make sure to actually BURN them! I have searched out incense that I really love and sometimes light a stick in several different places in the house. I bought and learned about essential oils, and use them in a diffuser to help me sleep as well as wearing them in a scent locket and making my own bath salts.

I bought a tri-fold screen from CL, got it home and then found it was a bit more water-stained than I originally thought. Next trip to GW, I found a lovely filmy curtain, off white, with bamboo plants in soft greens printed on it. Guess what? It is the perfect size to hang over the screen, making a beautiful divider for my meditation area!

I could go on and on but will rein myself in. I didn't do all this at once, or even in the first year. It took many trips to Goodwill, many craigslist scannings--and in most cases, it's not like I even had a clear plan in mind before I got started. I'd go to GW or CL just wondering what I might find that looked interesting, and things just kind of followed their own path.

I think you'll be really surprised, once you start to let the secret, suppressed you out, Joel. You're gonna think "man, I've been dressed in a dark suit w/a button-down collar, but NOW--I'm wearing gold lame, tie-dye, beautiful handwoven wool, gauzy cotton--who KNOWS where I'm going?"
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by GoodguyJoel View Post
I was thinking...my house has changed it "aura" due to her absence, and removing of things. I put a few new pictures, paintings up...but I don't know what else I can do to just make change...

Any simple recommendations?
Hot tub in the living room. Seriously though.. It's now entirely your space to do with as you please. You don't have to ask for 'permission' anymore I've been having VERY vivid dreams of my exAgf the past few nights(damn chantix) and woke up in a panic this morning because I thought I had actually made her mad because I'm golfing today..Stupid dreams.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DontRemember View Post
Hot tub in the living room. Seriously though.. It's now entirely your space to do with as you please. You don't have to ask for 'permission' anymore I've been having VERY vivid dreams of my exAgf the past few nights(damn chantix) and woke up in a panic this morning because I thought I had actually made her mad because I'm golfing today..Stupid dreams.
AW told me once that "you abandoned your (our) son" because I played golf. Umm, he was at summer camp at his daycare all day - how is this abandoning him???

This was in response to her going next door to the neighbor's house to have wine, and REALLY abandoning our DS while he ate dinner. I came home from work and he had NO idea where she was. She was gone for over an hour!!

I'm getting PO'd just thinking about this.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by CentralOhioDad View Post
AW told me once that "you abandoned your (our) son" because I played golf. Umm, he was at summer camp at his daycare all day - how is this abandoning him???

This was in response to her going next door to the neighbor's house to have wine, and REALLY abandoning our DS while he ate dinner. I came home from work and he had NO idea where she was. She was gone for over an hour!!

I'm getting PO'd just thinking about this.
It's crazy! She would do whatever,whenever she felt like it and expected me to be 'on call' for her. I never played on her days off,but I think she resented me for being self employed, while she has a 9-5. I'd show up to meet her at the bar, she'd get drunk and start a fight about nothing. Very selfish person she was.
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:31 AM
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You know to follow up with the idea you two are talking about. Selfishness. When I was in Canada a few months ago for a conference. She said she wouldnít drink one bit while I was gone. She did of course. It would start that we would talk in the morning. As I found out she was drinking, we would talk more frequently, even using face time. I would try to talk through with her why she is drinking, and how she should really put the effort forth to get out and hang with some girlfriends while I was gone for a few days. She was supposed to with 2 different ones. It never happened. She just drank and slept, and called me. I couldnít always answer, so I didnít. But when I would go back to my hotel, I would check in. Sometimes we would talk for hours. She didnít realize how important this trip was to me because I was there presenting my work, and attending the conference as a representative of our school. Instead of being out and enjoying the location in my free time, I spent the majority of it on the phone with her. Pleading to try to take steps to not drink. Whatís worse is we had a hand warmer packet out from her using it on her sore back. This was before I left. One of us put it on a counter top. The dog got it. Are some. She found it tore open, and freaked out. I told her regardless of her situation with drinking (at 8am nonetheless!) I told her she needs to take the dog to the emergency vet. He was throwing up, and we both were scared. She finally listened and took him.

After this I look back on the carelessness and inability to think clearly on what to do in an emergency and it is scary. I forgave her, and we said it was neither of our faults directly, but that we both need to be more careful. I know Iím my heart though, that she should have known to throw that out before the dog ever got it! Iím not mad now because he is fine, but for her to drink at 8 am, find the dog eating it, and not know what to do, or go because she had been drinking was just a messed up situation.

Sad overall. But the time spent on the phone with her was supposed to be a big part of my doctorate! Presenting my work in front of a large group of people in similar fields! And not only that, but I should be out enjoying a new location! Instead trapped in my room talking to her drunk

Another thing I hope she sees in time. I was considering taking her with me because we hadnít been on a trip in about a year together at that point...but I was going to be in the conference most of the time, so we decided she would just stay home. Well it was like I was along side her most of the time...talking to someone who didnít want to hear about trying to get sober. Trying to do good things for herself while I was gone. This also points to the fact that I was gone! The drinking wasnít due to me! I canít stand that I still feel like she blames me for her drinking... I have to get over that!
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Old 12-01-2017, 11:45 AM
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nm
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:37 PM
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Trailmix,

nevermind what?

This isn't a bashing contest...I just was starting to realize the severity of this all, again putting it in perspective for me. I should have focused on me...but didn't. I chose to talk to her. This was my fault...I am accountable for my actions.
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GoodguyJoel View Post
Trailmix,

nevermind what?

This isn't a bashing contest...I just was starting to realize the severity of this all, again putting it in perspective for me. I should have focused on me...but didn't. I chose to talk to her. This was my fault...I am accountable for my actions.
Hi Joel,

My "nm" wasn't a reflection on you at all, I just meant nm - i'm not going to post what I was posting.

In a nutshell all I was going to say is that you asking her to not drink and take care of herself while you were away is the same as everyone here telling you to just forget her and move on.

It's that simple and that complex.

You didn't cause her to drink.
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:43 PM
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Joel, you are doing a lot of self reflection, but she is not. That's the reality. You are still doing the "maybe she will change," and it's just not likely. You know that, I know you do. You backslide into this place of maybe, and you hurt because you did not, nor will you likely ever, get the closure you deserve. It's hard to realize that, and you see that as a theme here at SR pretty often.

When my XAH was gone, I switched around my bedrooms. Painted and remodeled and moved my room into a completely different room. Got new furniture in much of the house. New decorations. New towels. New life, and new stuff (or what I could afford). It helped, a lot.

Keep moving forward, one step at a time.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:59 PM
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I'm getting rid of all the dark colors I used to wear. My AH was one of the worst parasites I have ever known. I'm starting to see that now. If I told you how he took advantage of me and my parents and the way I excused his behavior, you would be shocked, really Joel, you would be the one telling me to focus on myself. I think you're doing the right thing, by focusing on yourself. I also think you need to give yourself permission to be angry, really angry at her. I mean, how dare she? Other people put so much money into her recovery, only to find out that she didn't really want it. She could have just said, "yeah, I don't want to go." Right? That's not how addicts work though. They're deluded about everything. Also, she cheated on you (and no, I don't agree that has anything to do with the center being mixed gendered rather than single sex, because my AH used to say if he were really desperate, he would get on with a man.) What kind of person cheats on someone they love? She's a cheater, that's what she is. Imagine where your career would be now if you didn't have to deal with her pathetic lying ass. I'm glad you're getting help and going to meetings. I lost my PhD, my career, my money, my friends, and my precious, precious time. It's not your fault that she drinks. That's on her. Unless you got a bottle of alcohol and forced her to drink it, and did this repeatedly, it's not your fault. She wants to drink and cheat and lie and be a parasite. Let her do that. But you don't have be around that bullcr@p. BE ANGRY Joel! Anger can be healthy sometimes. Then you need to use that anger to rebuild your life. Use that energy to make yourself awesome.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:06 AM
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Everyone,

Thanks for the great ideas! I think I will move around the furniture for starters! I hung some new pictures today, and played some up beat music while doing so!

Ophelia. I am a little confused by the statement about sexual identity. We were purely heterosexual, but maybe my comments about girlfriends may have confused in the past. I just mean... girl friends. Not that this matters, maybe you were making a different point about being desperate. Odd thing is, both of us never were. Hmmm....donít know what to think. But wanted to clarify if any confusion.

Anyways. Off to my parents house this afternoon with pup to have a nice lunch and walk the dog! Still no contact from my end with Aex. Donít mind keeping it that way. Donít know, but still wonder what sheís up to/ thinking. But trying to not have those thoughts...just one of those...Iím looking at the moon tonight thinking of her type thoughts wondering if she is looking at it thinking of me. Trying to minimize those though. Takes effort.

Anyone doing anything fun this weekend?
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:15 AM
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Joel...

There is nothing more inward-focused than an active alcoholic.

She isn’t thinking about you. She’s thinking about how to get more alcohol and when. The End.

Being a romantic is lovely...but some situations call for rock-ribbed pragmatism.

You’re moving on, step by reluctant step. Good.
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:40 PM
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Sylvie...last Christmas I had all blue lights (and a few clear)....but, I just got some strings of multi-colored lights....and added to the blue lights...WOW...what a great combination that adds....
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:45 PM
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Sylvie....that is so funny!!! I made a rather concrete interpretation of "blue at Christmas", didn't I?
I do love the Christmas lights....I just hate when they are taken down, after Christmas....it seems so plain, without them.
There were several years when I got all clear lights and put them in all of the windows...and, left them all year......
I think you are smart to take the holiday as more spontaneous and casual....wh y put ourselves through all that extra pressure.....
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:37 PM
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The rehab center did not make it possible for her to cheat, she made it possible for her to cheat. She would have cheated regardless, at some point, even if she were not an addict. She could have been sober, you could have married her, had children with her, and ten years into the marriage, she cheats. Sure, addiction can make people desperate but cheating is not about desperation, it's about thinking cheating is acceptable. The cheater always makes excuses about cheating: I was desperate, you were this or that (blaming you), the other person was this or that (blaming the other person)... in your ex's case, the cheating was about a shared interest in alcohol/drugs. I used what my ex said as an example because in his case, his interest in drugs was so strong, he would have been willing to try things he may or may not have tried before to continue the lifestyle. However, this is more about his moral failings (thinking it's okay to cheat, or using the idea of cheating to intimidate me... and also I found his statement to be homophobic, because he thought it would shock me) than it is about his addiction. Being straight or not has nothing to do with it. Cheaters are going to cheat. Potatoes are going to potate.

I hope you have plans to enjoy the holiday season.

Originally Posted by GoodguyJoel View Post
Not that this matters, maybe you were making a different point about being desperate. Odd thing is, both of us never were. Hmmm....donít know what to think. But wanted to clarify if any confusion.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by OpheliaKatz View Post
Cheaters are going to cheat. Potatoes are going to potate.
I have not heard this before and I am really amused, Ophelia!!

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Old 12-03-2017, 09:32 PM
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potatoes gonna potate - I'm dying, love the gif!
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:16 AM
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Anyone doing anything fun this weekend?

Now you're asking the right questions! Step back - I'm a Master at Self-Care

I did a whole lot of girlie-DIY spa stuff on Friday evening, after spending some time shopping & getting a haircut after work. I Griswold-ed the heck out of my house, putting up 7 small Christmas Trees & tons of decorations. My village includes a graveyard of Simpsons figurines from some of the Halloween episodes & "Zombie Crossing" signs as a nod to my "Walking Dead" fascination..... it butts right up against our recreated WhoVille....

Some families hide an elf every day during this season but we have Jack Attacks - we take turns hiding our posable Jack Skellington doll around the house causing all kinds of mischief & mayhem. I swear I see my cats roll their eyes at us sometimes...

All weekend I refused to engage with toxic - when my mom dragged me into emotional manipulation on Saturday, I did my best to walk away & vent later. Anytime someone texted me negative crap for no productive reason, I ignored it & refused to engage. My way of managing things right now is to only be concerned with the Thing Right In Front Of Me, Right Now.... so any time I felt my focus getting pulled in any other direction, I worked on bringing it back into the Now. Mindfully.

On Saturday I squeezed a workout in between DD's activities, then meditated & napped. I packed up all my yoga gear & after my bestie & I went to dinner & shopped into the late evening, I changed in the parking lot & hit the beach to do yoga in the Full SuperMoon at one of our favorite hangouts. I think my toes hit the sand around 11:30 pm & we had a GREAT time & I discovered that YES, I CAN still do cartwheels... better than ever in fact!

On Sunday we spent 3.5 hours riding our friend's Harley with absolutely no plan or direction or reason. The BEST meditation.... then I started my holiday baking & spent some time with DD designing the birthday cakes & treats we are making for a Big Party next weekend. Super fun & creative.

We finished off the night with holiday movies & gift-wrapping & then I started planning MY birthday weekend which falls 2 weeks from now. I already started buying my gifts - a new yoga mat/towel set, cute T-shirt, purse & jacket, a few pair of jeans, some random costume jewelry & the sexiest boots in the history of Ever - which I'll be wearing for my bday night out.

I also picked up a great new cooler for my summer beach weekends, new pillows for my bed & wireless earbuds so I can listen to my binaural beats when I go in for acupuncture this week. First thing this morning I made an appt for a professional facial on my bday - I spoil myself with one about 2x per year & DIY in between. Later I'll be scheduling myself for a 1-hour acupressure foot massage sometime early next week, to recover from all the events we have going this weekend.

It was a GREAT weekend.
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