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indecision--reunite with bingeing husband?

Old 05-18-2018, 10:59 PM
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indecision--reunite with bingeing husband?

Hey all,

Gosh, I'm struggling. Happy to have frank input.

I separated from my sometimes-binge-drinking husband in February. His drinking manifests as binges happening about twice a year.

The rest of the time, when he's not drinking, we are happy. It was just the Russian-roulette nature of the bingeing that was doing my head in. I was losing perspective.

So we separated and now I miss the hell out of him. This is a fifteen-year relationship, ten-year marriage. Happy times. He has supported me through so much. He listens to me, supports me, lifts me up.

We saw each other last night and had some food and he said he would always love me and I was always welcome back.

And the situation is complicated by the fact that shortly after separating I chose to have a passionate fling with a man I know (a friend through work, not a hint of anything before but shortly after I separated he approached me and told me he had feelings for me and I was happy to be swept off my feet). This affair is not something I see as a long-term future, I sort of see him when I see him and he has dropped off the radar for Ramadan for reasons I don't quite understand.

I miss the hell out of my husband. When I imagine going back I imagine our going to counselling together, and I know there will be the difficulties. And at the same time the idea of going back makes me feel so peaceful.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:46 AM
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Has your husband expressed any interest in quitting? Has your leaving and seeing someone else made any difference in his drinking?

Left untreated, alcoholism is progressive. Twice a year binges could be the best it ever is. And it is likely to get a whole lot worse.

What would happen if you were just on your own for awhile, no husband, no passionate fling, no back-up plan, just one-on-one with yourself? How would that be for you?
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:49 AM
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akrasia, only you can decide what's good enough for you. I know I certainly have been through times where I felt lonely and fearful (XAH and I married for 19 years, together for over 20) and entertained thoughts of getting back together, somehow thinking that things would be different, even though nothing had really changed. I understand your desire to go back, and how it makes you feel peaceful to imagine returning to a life you were familiar with, even if not necessarily happy with.

Apparently someone was looking out for me, b/c without fail, every time I began to have thoughts of returning to XAH, something would happen to make me realize that for me, this was NOT the answer. I needed to learn to be my OWN friend and my OWN support. And I also needed to learn to use resources other than XAH when I truly did find myself in over my head or faced with a situation I couldn't handle myself.

As examples, I have managed to keep my large and fierce yard more or less maintained, even making some additional progress w/trimming back some trees and removing some shrubs and perennials that I don't care for. In the winter, I have managed to keep my long gravel driveway cleared w/the help of my trusty snowblower. Both of these are things that XAH took care of prior to this, and that I feared I couldn't handle. WRONG. I DID manage, and I also got help from some tree professionals and from my neighbor when I ran into situations beyond my abilities or knowledge.

Two months ago, my dearly beloved 15-year-old basset hound wasn't acting right. I rushed him to the vet, but he did not come home again w/me--I had to make the decision to have him put down and then live w/the consequences of that decision, all by myself. No one to cry with me, no one to hold me, only a horrible empty spot in the bed. Although I'm still in the process of grieving my long-time friend, I know that in time, I will have managed that, too. (Thanks to my friends here at SR who helped me through this hard, sad time.)

akrasia, there have been days where I have literally cried all day, where I have stumbled around the yard w/a saw and pruners, crying and snipping and sawing and hauling wheelbarrows of trimmings to the burning pile. I have laid in my basset's bed in front of the heater and sobbed until I couldn't breathe any more.

And there have also been days where I have rejoiced at the smell of the lily-of-the-valley in the early morning, at the clusters of birds at my feeders, at the dew on the freshly mowed grass in my yard. I've laughed at the antics of my new dog friend as she bounds through the house (she is a most un-basset-like creature!). I am learning that just b/c it's painful to lose something (or to choose to leave it behind) doesn't mean that going back would be right, or even possible.

Should you return to your A b/c you miss him terribly, and his drinking isn't that often or that bad? I will remind you that alcoholism is a progressive disease and it does not progress in a straight-line fashion. He may stay like this for years and he may go off the deep end next week. No one can say. So there is that to consider. This, right now, is acceptable to you. If it starts to be monthly or weekly, how will you feel then? Will it be easier to leave then?

However, I’ve been to enough Alanon meetings to know that there are certainly people who choose to stay with an active A spouse. There is nothing that says you HAVE to leave. If you believe that things are “good enough”, if you’re walking back into the situation with your eyes wide open, knowing what the future is very likely to hold and willing to accept that, then it would be wrong for me to try to tell you otherwise. I would just remind you that you get this one life—be certain that you’re not undervaluing it or yourself.

Wishing you strength and clarity.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:11 AM
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Hugs.
I feel your pain. It's not easy. I separated a year ago and am now in the middle of my divorce. It's not easy. This disease of addiction turns everything on its head. What makes sense in the world of marital vows is turned upside down. In health and in sickness right? But how do I stay with someone when my being there is contributing indirectly to their sickness ? How do I watch someone go down because of their choices and stay with them in sickness ? How do you love someone under the influence when that is not the person you committed to ? It's tough to separate the disease from the person especially when this disease is progressive and the person you married will slowly fade away. If you believe in god, stay in prayer. Ask him to show you his will for you. Healing will come. Ask yourself that when your partner is in the middle of his cravings , is he putting you first? I saw the disease progress. My husband still blames me for leaving him. He feels that I left him. I left his disease. He wasn't willing to get the help. Someday , in my heart in a thousand years - I will be able to leave him. Till then I just ask to give me the strength to get through this.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:26 AM
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Hi, akrasia.
As others before me have said, alcohol addiction is progressive.
If his binges seem not so bad now, just wait.
My alcohol addicted sib has been drinking his whole adult life,.
He has balance issues—can’t drive or ride a bike anymore—is in a mental fog most of the time, is incontinent, and gobbles aspirin like candy.
The only thing worse than an old drunk is taking care of an old drunk.
Peace.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:32 AM
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I encourage you to do what is right for you.

I share that I started off as binge drinker, it grew and grew, until was daily.

Alcoholism is such a whirlwind, progressive condition. Each standard and level of behaviour I set for myself was soon destroyed and I dropped further and further.

The diseases takes us further and further into the depths. It never raises us up, always downwards.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Maudcat View Post

The only thing worse than an old drunk is taking care of an old drunk.
I am in this situation, I confirm Maudcat is right.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:23 AM
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Does your husband know about your "fling"? Have you told him? If I were only separated (as opposed to divorced) that would be a hard thing to just overlook. Maybe you're both better off taking this time for yourselves. Do you really want to go back to the way things were with your husband? Because they may not change. It's tough to miss someone you care about, but staying in something that isn't good for us is hard as well. Hugs to you.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:00 AM
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Three months is a short time frame. Think of the reasons you seperated. Has he talked or more important acted on those changes? Is he welcomed back at any time? He will revert back to his old ways without a consistent long term change in his action.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:27 AM
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I would just like to echo what others have mentioned about alcoholism being progressive. It really, truly is. I never thought I’d be calling myself an alcoholic; it started off as the “acceptable” binge drinking in collège (everyone was drinking heavily, so what made it ok??) and then progressed worse and worse as the years went on. This doesn’t mean that your husband would necessarily do that, but if he doesn’t commit to taking steps to stop, I would bet on it getting worse. Bingeing is terrible mainly because everything spirals out of control so rapidly, and then you start feeling horrible, so you take a little to take the edge off... it’s frightening how quickly it can become an everyday thing.

If he’s interested in really changing and stopping drinking for good, I’d say there’s hope. We are powerless over alcohol, but not hopeless!
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:18 AM
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We saw each other last night and had some food and he said he would always love me and I was always welcome back.

and yet.....during your separation he had not addressed or changed his drinking......and you are currently involved with another man.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:15 PM
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The fling will be a big issue, one way or the other. I can easily
see him using it as a reason to drink for years to come......
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:41 PM
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You said in an earlier thread:

Originally Posted by akrasia View Post
Hiya,
My husband's alcoholism manifests as binges and then long sober periods. The binges always follow a period of "moderated drinking". Like he'll go a few months sober, then say, "huh, maybe I can drink normally after all," then a few weeks later we've got a binge again.
So his drinking is not just binging, he also drinks between binges with a few sober periods as well.

You also mentioned that he is quite clear that he is not going to stop drinking - period.

So nothing has changed and it's not going to. He's basically saying - you bend your boundaries (well chop them up and throw them away) and we are all good. Which is what he said before.

Now you have had some distance and your life is not sitting on the edge of your seat wondering if it's sober time or "moderating" time or binge time, I can see how that situation doesn't look so awful, because you aren't feeling awful.

It will be more of the same but of course, that's your choice.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:41 PM
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Binge drinking doesn't remain binge drinking. It's a phase. My husband was a everyday drinker before he met me - I now see it from his credit card statements and the number it's checks he wrote out to this one restaurant where he used to get his food from everyday. Apparantly the guy was also supplying him with alcohol. You don't run up a 40 dollar bill for one persons food every other day at a cheap fast food Chinese place. He cut back and became a weekend binge drinker when he met me and it continued for a bit till he was back to hiding and buying alcohol on his way from work . **** bottles . One shot of vodka on his way back from work - wife will never know - he'll have the buzz and then weekend is around the corner to binge drink a bottle of vodka right? Whar are you willing to give up to get back with him?
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:40 AM
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Akrasia, my therapist gave me some advice that might be helpful here. For context, my AH had told me that he wanted to start drinking again after a period of sobriety and I was deciding what to do.

My therapist said that I had to decide how many more cycles of his drinking I could go through. She pointed out (correctly) that I knew exactly how it would go, that he would moderate for a few weeks and then would be right back to his terrible bingeing, drinking all day, alcoholic behavior. She said that we had already been through this over and over and the result was the same each time. So I had to decide if I wanted to jump back on the merry go round and go through all of the frustration and heartache and misery again. Or if I had hit my bottom and was truly done with accepting that behavior in my life.

You need to make the same decision.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:05 PM
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"I am learning that just b/c it's painful to lose something (or to choose to leave it behind) doesn't mean that going back would be right, or even possible."

Thank you for this. I'm printing this out and carrying it with me. I really needed to hear this tonight.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:49 PM
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Thanks for the heartfelt and thoughtful responses. I am really grateful.

Not so much thanks for Anvil for the random one-liner repeating facts back to me. Good reading comprehension. Next time don't bother.

You all are not wrong.

I need to cool it right the hell down with Mr. Fling. Way too soon. Need time to myself to think and pray. If it is meant to be with him then he will still be there when/if the dust settles.

I've no idea whether estranged husband could get over fling. He and I also need time apart.

There is also the baggage of loneliness and shame--yeah I said shame!--with leaving a long marriage.

I mean, if I hear of a couple splitting my immediate reaction is to feel sorrow for them. I don't look down on them at all or get all judgey, I think things just didn't work out and that's too bad and I hope they're okay.

But from the other side now, I somehow imagine that everyone is scoffing and judging me. (They aren't--well not that I've seen!)

I am so unbelievably lonely I can't bear it. I honestly don't know how to go on.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mylifeismine View Post
The fling will be a big issue, one way or the other. I can easily
see him using it as a reason to drink for years to come......
Bless you, I can tell you've been there!

At your first line I thought you were going to do some finger-wagging at me about flinging, but then you said, "Yeah, that'll just be another excuse for him to drink." Oh man you know just how it is.
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:19 AM
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I was married for 18 years. I completely understand the feelings of sorrow that come with loss of a long term relationship.

You are right, you need to focus on YOU. Being OK with yourself on your own. Moving from one relationship to the next will keep that focus on that, not on you.

Hugs to you. I wish you all the best.
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:00 AM
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Akrasia, no finger wagging here, but I haven't been there. I do
understand the family disease of alcoholism, how it affects
all, and what alcoholics like/need to do for their addiction.

Like other posters have said, getting right into another
relationship is a way to not look at our own issues (you
mentioned shame- this is a big issue) and it makes everything
harder and more complicated. Better to take the time to be
comfortable on your own and really get to know yourself before
getting involved with someone. I can't speak from experience,
just reading here from the wisdom others have shared
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