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Having a bad week, sharing my story

Old 09-26-2021, 06:45 AM
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Having a bad week, sharing my story

I came across this forum about a week ago, and can't believe how many stories sound similar to mine. I wonder if I should even post it, but feel like I need to let it out.

I started dating my STBXAH over 6 years ago. We met through a mutual friend who lived on the same street as him. We would see each other at my friend's parties and talk a little. I never knew he was interested in me, he didn't give me any clear signals. Then one day a voice in my head told me I should be interested in this guy, so I asked him if he'd like to go to my friend's bday party with me. We talked like we were old friends. I felt so comfortable with him.

A month later he found out he would be moving in a few months due to a job promotion. We both felt like this was something special and was worth dating long distance. We would see each other twice a month, and we always had a wonderful time. I felt like we were so in sync with each other. After dating for 2 years, he got another promotion in a different city and asked me to marry him. I decided this relationship was worth quitting my job, selling my home and moving away from my family and friends. He was a workaholic who loved his job and made good money, so it gave me an opportunity to find a new career that I loved.

Once we moved in together is when I noticed odd things. I found an empty bottle of tequila in a sink cabinet outside of the house. I asked him about it and he denied it was his. The bottle looked new and clean and was the type of tequila he liked. He would drink from liquor bottles in the pantry and put them back in the box, and hide them behind the full bottles. I never saw him drink liquor, we would drink wine with dinner a few times a week. I asked why he was being so secretive about it, and he would brush it off. He traveled 50% of the time for work, so we still weren't around each other full time.

After living in that home for 2 1/2 years, he got promoted again. We would be moving back to the city he was living in while we dated long distance. We were both excited about it. He would have an office job and be home more, and I would be closer to my family. That was at the end of 2019. We found a beautiful home in the area we wanted to live, and I found a job soon after moving.

Then COVID happened, and his office shut down so he was working from home every day. I was essential, so I still went to work. That's when I really noticed the progression and he started to change. He would get irritable at little things. He was sleepy in the evenings. He never appeared drunk, but he has a really high tolerance. I came home from work one day, and when I kissed him I could taste alcohol. I said, "oh, you taste like you've been drinking". And he said, "oh really?". After that he kissed me differently, just giving me a peck on the lips. He stopped being affectionate with me. He told me he was depressed one day but wouldn't tell me why. Communication with him went downhill fast. I stared feeling like I was walking on eggshells and our dynamic changed.

At the beginning of this year I noticed that he had gone through a bottle of wine 2 nights in a row. I also noticed he was buying more vodka. I had never counted his drinks until that point. That's when I started reading about what was considered excessive drinking, and told him I was concerned about his health. A few weeks later he told me he wanted a divorce. He was angry that I was counting his drinks, and that we had an alcohol budget. I had always done a monthly budget that we both reviewed each month. He said we were not compatible, and that we don't work as a married couple. I suggested marriage counseling, but he had no interest.

At the beginning of April I packed what I could in my car and went to stay with my mom and stepdad. Three weeks later I flew back to visit and see if he had cooled off. That's when I found a handle of vodka and a bottle of whiskey in the guest room closet. I didn't say anything about it. That evening he told me he was going to the guest room to swing his golf clubs. After he went to sleep I saw that he had drank about 1/5th of the handle of vodka in an hours time. The next day he told me he still needed more time apart and I left.

I started to see a counselor and she told me all of the reasons he gave me for wanting a divorce were irrational, and because of the drinking he needed to work on himself first. But I couldn't make him do it, he would have to be ready, willing and able.

After working with the counselor and having good phone conversations with him, I flew back in June to see if we could talk more and work things out. He picked me up from the airport, and when we got home I sat next to him on the couch. I could smell booze on him, and was worried that he drove under the influence. I still said nothing. We had a wonderful weekend together. He was affectionate with me, but we didn't have sex. I was ok with that because I was trying to work on us first. I suggested we could date long distance for awhile and see how that goes. He told me at the end of the weekend he wasn't meant to be married, and couldn't be a good husband due to his deficiencies. I was devastated.

After that he just kind of shut down on me. We would talk sometimes on the phone. I would work on showing empathy, and try to get him to talk more. He told me he wasn't happy with himself, and he just wanted to be alone and live life. He said we just don't work as a couple.

I flew back in August to pack my things. He had a bunch of expensive liquor bottles on the kitchen counter and about a case of wine in the fridge. And a cheap handle of vodka hidden in a kitchen cabinet. Another handle of vodka in the recycle bin. I never saw him drink that weekend but I know he drank about 1/5th of the vodka in the cabinet. That's when I sat down with him and explained what I've read about alcohol use disorders and how I was concerned for him. How it's a progressive disease that only gets worse. I told him about how I was scared when he picked me up from the airport under the influence in June. Of course he didn't remember that, and downplayed his drinking to stress at work. He was so emotionless and I didn't even recognize this person anymore.

So now I realize I have to move on, but it's hard because I remember who he was when we met. I know he's in denial, I can't make him get help and I have to let him hit bottom, but how do I stop hurting? Why did he push me away when I was the one person who would support him if he decided to get help? I apologize for the long post, I tried to summarize the last 6+ years of my life the best I could. I'm sure my story sounds like a broken record on here. I just never knew how powerful addiction was, and that I would experience it with the person I wanted to share my life with.
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Old 09-26-2021, 07:55 AM
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I am so sorry you have had to go through this. It sounds like you have taken in a lot of good information and understand what you are dealing with. Your husband is absolutely right that he can not be a good husband at this time. And good for you that you understand that you cannot change him and must move on. It is so sad. That is addiction. You can wish him well from afar. Many of us, for some reason (or maybe for none!) are drawn to alcoholics. Not that they ARE alcoholics, but something in the personality clicks with ours and we feel immediately comfortable with them, finding ourselves in relationship after relationship with people who have the same problem. I realized this for myself in my mid-40's. I have been trying, with therapy, to figure that out and learn how to look for people to associate with who are in a more healthy place. Not sure if that helps you or if I went on a tangent there. Anyway, there is a lot of information and wisdom on this site. Welcome.
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:07 AM
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The path through the pain (not around it, it can't be avoided) is Acceptance. His issues with alcohol existed before you came into his life, and they don't have anything to do with you. Addiction is incredibly cruel, but no matter how personal his behavior feels, it actually isn't. He is operating under the influence of the addiction, which wants only to maintain the status quo. As long as you weren't questioning the drinking, you were okay, but once you did, the addiction recognized you as a threat, and began its campaign to protect itself. That's why he pushed you away--because you were the one person who would support him if he decided to get help.
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:16 PM
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So sorry you are going through this. It is terrible and so painful. I remember finding my XAHís hidden bottles and feeling like I had walked into a living nightmare, slowly realizing the worst- case scenario had come true. Addiction is ugly and cruel and, like SparkleKitty said, he started to get upset/defensive only once you brought up his drinking. You are doing absolutely nothing wrong but you are coming between him and his drinking and addicts will do anything to keep drinking, including losing their kind, loving spouses. As much as it hurts, you are doing the right thing by letting him go. He is being upfront with you that he will not change. The good part of this, it might be hard to realize, is that he is not wasting years of your life in denial, promising to change, breaking promises and keeping you on the merry go round as he spirals downward. Some of us have been there. Sounds like you are closer to your family again, no children together- you can start over. You have a lot to offer the world and there are good, kind, healthy people out there to share it with. This is good place and youíll realize youíre not alone.
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dbyrer View Post
I am so sorry you have had to go through this. It sounds like you have taken in a lot of good information and understand what you are dealing with. Your husband is absolutely right that he can not be a good husband at this time. And good for you that you understand that you cannot change him and must move on. It is so sad. That is addiction. You can wish him well from afar. Many of us, for some reason (or maybe for none!) are drawn to alcoholics. Not that they ARE alcoholics, but something in the personality clicks with ours and we feel immediately comfortable with them, finding ourselves in relationship after relationship with people who have the same problem. I realized this for myself in my mid-40's. I have been trying, with therapy, to figure that out and learn how to look for people to associate with who are in a more healthy place. Not sure if that helps you or if I went on a tangent there. Anyway, there is a lot of information and wisdom on this site. Welcome.
Thank you for the response. I had been in a few serious relationships before him, and never had any issues with alcoholism. I met my husband in my early thirties, so I thought I knew the type of person I wanted to marry by then. He seemed so normal, but he was the one with the dark secret. Now I will know what to look for when/if I'm ready to start dating again.
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SparkleKitty View Post
The path through the pain (not around it, it can't be avoided) is Acceptance. His issues with alcohol existed before you came into his life, and they don't have anything to do with you. Addiction is incredibly cruel, but no matter how personal his behavior feels, it actually isn't. He is operating under the influence of the addiction, which wants only to maintain the status quo. As long as you weren't questioning the drinking, you were okay, but once you did, the addiction recognized you as a threat, and began its campaign to protect itself. That's why he pushed you away--because you were the one person who would support him if he decided to get help.
Addiction is so hard to understand. It seems like he knows he has a problem from what he has said to me, and the fact he was hiding alcohol from me. It's so hard to move on when I just want him to realize he needs help.
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiderweb View Post
So sorry you are going through this. It is terrible and so painful. I remember finding my XAHís hidden bottles and feeling like I had walked into a living nightmare, slowly realizing the worst- case scenario had come true. Addiction is ugly and cruel and, like SparkleKitty said, he started to get upset/defensive only once you brought up his drinking. You are doing absolutely nothing wrong but you are coming between him and his drinking and addicts will do anything to keep drinking, including losing their kind, loving spouses. As much as it hurts, you are doing the right thing by letting him go. He is being upfront with you that he will not change. The good part of this, it might be hard to realize, is that he is not wasting years of your life in denial, promising to change, breaking promises and keeping you on the merry go round as he spirals downward. Some of us have been there. Sounds like you are closer to your family again, no children together- you can start over. You have a lot to offer the world and there are good, kind, healthy people out there to share it with. This is good place and youíll realize youíre not alone.
Thank you. Starting over at 39 feels like the end of the world sometimes, but I do have a good support system around me. I'm taking this opportunity to change careers and start doing what I'm passionate about.
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by onegoodegg View Post
Once we moved in together is when I noticed odd things.
I'm sorry onegoodegg, it's a disaster for a relationship isn't it. The truth is, you can't have a really close "normal" relationship with an alcoholic because their first love is alcohol. That is the nature of addiction.

His reasons for wanting a divorce don't make sense on the surface, but coming from an addict, unfortunately they do. He wants to drink, unfortunately people in that situation are rarely brutally honest. I want a divorce because I don't want someone telling me when I can or can't drink or how much or how often. I don't want anyone worrying about my drinking. That's the truth of the matter and also nothing to do with you personally.

I quoted what you said above because it has been said here many times, as you have probably read. Alcoholics, if they choose to do so, are masters of hiding their drinking, but once you are spending real time together, so much comes to the fore.

I know you would love to help him, but unfortunately, he's not asking for help. So now is the time to start focusing back on yourself and what you want for yourself, he will just do whatever it is he is going to do.
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:42 PM
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good egg.....a couple of helpful hints for when you are ready to start dating again.....lol.

Whenever you meet a workaholic....fifnd out what they are hiding from---because they are hiding frm something. In fact, anything that has ---holic attached to it is a sign of hiding from something.
Also, never make a major committment to anyone before you move in with them---no matter how long you have known them. You never really know a person until you have lived with them for a while.

Those two things, above can save a person a ton---ton---of heartache.

lol...I would even go so far as to add a third one to the list of helpful hints----Anytime someone tells you that they don't want to be with you---make them a sandwich and show them to the door. It is a terrible thing to beg someone to stay with you. We all deserve someone who values us so much that they should want to be with us.
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Old 09-27-2021, 08:17 AM
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The hurting will work itís way through your body and soul, kinda like a cold we just have to get through. Things like sleep, activities that bring you joy or peace, meditation, journaling, eating well, exercise, being with people or pets that love you unconditionally, help in my experience! Like vitamins that boost the immune system and alleviate symptoms, but ultimately youíll still have the cold!

Itís been over six months for me and just yesterday I held a mini-eulogy/funeral for my marriage. To help me grieve a little. Iíve also started working on a forgiveness mantra that does NOT mean I forgive how he treated me, but is my spiritual way of trying to forgive his soul and set us both free.
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