Co-dependency by proxy--call the handmaiden

Old 12-13-2020, 10:29 AM
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Co-dependency by proxy--call the handmaiden

Hi everyone, I have not been posting much but have been lurking.

My alkie ex and I are still friends. I don't know if I'll ever get over him. I moved out of the marital home about three years ago, and last year moved to a new town about an hour away.

He's having a spectacular bender at the moment.

It's funny that--now that I am really out of the picture, everyone is ringing me and emailing me like, "What can we do about him?"

Our neighbour rang me last night to say he'd been staggering along the street to get alcohol. Neighbour helped him back in the house and poured all the alcohol away. She said, "Was that the right thing to do?"

Another friend has been emailing me and copying others (I think other friends) describing the state of him and the house. Very long detailed posts about the vomit on the floor and the uneaten food and the bottles. Finally last night she wrote that the situation was urgent and "Akrasia as next of kin should call his doctor and notify his brother".

I wrote back to her copying the other randoms saying that she was describing everything I'd lived with for ten years and that I had tried going to his doctor, locking him in the house, and screaming down the phone to his addiction counsellor to get him into rehab before he died. I told her if she saw something that warranted calling an ambulance that option was open to her.

It really bothers me that these people whom I thought of as friends seem to see me as a handmaiden.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by akrasia View Post
My alkie ex and I are still friends. I don't know if I'll ever get over him.
I don't mean to be blunt, but just pointing out: If you're still friends with him, still in love with him and still in his life, people will get the impression that you're still the acting wife. You haven't removed yourself from the situation, then you're not only not giving yourself the opportunity to get over him, you're giving everyone else the impression that you're still with him. Characterizing yourself as a handmaiden implies that you feel no agency over your own life, but the fact is that you do have choices regarding the extent to which you're available to him. Trying to be his friend while still in love with him is usually an effort that leads to feeling put upon and misunderstood. Hence, feeling like others view you as a handmaiden. The only way this changes is if you make different choices. Others will follow your lead.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:59 AM
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They're treating me like the handmaiden; that was a sarcastic remark. Moving out and moving an hour away is the very definition of removing oneself from the situation. Nice victim-blaming.
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Old 12-13-2020, 12:56 PM
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Hi akrasia. You have been around this forum for some time so you know that whenever you are focused on other people and their actions (which you cannot control) you are in a for a ride.

These people are just being controlling, perhaps with good intentions. They don't know the 3 c's and they probably have little to no idea what alcoholism is. I'm sure you have come across this many times over the years. I think your reply was good and I would personally go further with that and ask to be taken off the group email.

I'm also sorry you feel like a victim.


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Old 12-13-2020, 12:59 PM
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Why do they think you are next of kin when youíre divorced? They can call his brother or the police to do a welfare check (thatís what itís called in the US, anyway.)

I think you said it just fine. You did everything you could for a long time, but at the core, this is a problem only he can address and he doesnít want to. Very few people are versed in the realities of addiction and all of these well-meaning suggestions are based mostly in just not knowing any better...but I can certainly see why youíre feeling defensive at their involvement.

I can feel your hurt and justifiable exasperation and sadness. Iím sorry youíre going through this.

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Old 12-13-2020, 02:17 PM
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Your post is relatable to me. A few years ago, I separated from my qualifier, and he moved far away. I'm still in love with him.

I was shocked to receive a message from a person who identified herself as his "new girlfriend ". She asked me to talk him into treatment because she said he might listen to me.

Oh, if it were that easy! All I did was wish her luck.

I'm still in contact with him, and I know he has no intention to seek treatment now or maybe ever. It doesn't affect me in the least, though I do still care about him.

I live my life, but I have not been interested in a romantic relationship with anyone.

I hope you continue on your path to peace!!

I wish you well!!
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Old 12-14-2020, 03:26 PM
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You say you've moved out of the home, but it's not clear if you've actually divorced, and even if you did...what is your ex telling people?

Some people don't divorce. Their lives, their rules, but if the relationship is still codified by marriage, a spouse remains the next of kin, even living someplace else. A couple married men offered to date me after I became widowed. I noped right out of those situations, not because of morality, but owing to practicality: at my age, I wasn't going to develop feelings for a man and care for him in his later years and have everything he owned left to his still-wife. Or your ex cold be telling people you're still married, and you just live closer to your job.

I would have been more blunt than you, probably writing something such as, "Yes, that's why we're now divorced."
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Old 12-15-2020, 01:59 PM
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Hi Akrasia

One of the things I had to do to help myself in letting go of my relationship was to ask my friends and loved ones to not tell me about my qualifier.

I struggled with this at first, until I realized that this is what was best for me around my own sanity.

Staying friends would have been a hard and slippery slope for my recovery, and I am wondering how hard it may be for yours?
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Old 12-17-2020, 03:59 PM
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Relatable story

My qualifier relapsed 11 years ago and flew to Las Vegas gambling and drinking.

I was done.

mayors wife, mom, others asked me to try to get him back into rehab. No one knew where he was but I had to stop in Vegas to pick up a car and met with him after tracking him by his gambling addiction (rated).

Long story short he said no... still drinking and now in LA on skid row after 2 near deAth experiences. He is still thirsty. From the penthouse to skid row... the disease is progressive.

they have to find thier own way out and they have to be willing to do what it takes....

He was the love of my life... chemical brain explosions do not make for a happy, healthy, stable life!
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Old 12-22-2020, 09:59 PM
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Thanks very much, it never even occurred to me to tell mutual friends/neighbours not to contact me with the mess.

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Old 12-24-2020, 07:26 PM
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It took me a LONG time to realize what boundaries were and that they were for me and my sanity.

Also an affair recovery site mentioned a concept I had not considered before

No contact = No new hurts

The contact with my ex was minimal but I am in a small town and word travels. Once I asked my loved ones to limit the info they shared it helped me heal immensely, was a chance to establish boundaries and also helped me to learn how I wanted other people to treat me.

You got this.
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Old 12-26-2020, 01:15 PM
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enabling by leading a normal

That shows how much the As and Addicts are enabled even if it's doing some basic cleaning. But you know what the A must learn to clean up after themselves and if a welfare check is made and they are officially advised to go into a rehab maybe that's what they need. Let that bottom happen.

You moved away let alone an hour away which enough. They will try to keep you in their lives anyway they can even if they lead people believe to you are still in it. Remember As/addicts are always trying to hide their habit, their attempts are frequently futile or meaningless but they'll still try.

Sooner or later the A and others have to come to realization that things will never be the same or back to normal what ever that was. Normal to them could still be a bad for you and others. Friends and Family should not have to live other people's lives even if having to clean up or drive them no matter how simple or harmless those acts are.
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