So confused, hurt and broken-hearted

Old 12-27-2013, 06:09 PM
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So confused, hurt and broken-hearted

After 18 years of marriage, my husband gets clean of opiates, goes to treatment, comes home, attends meetings and meets someone else at an NA meeting. Another addict with a husband of her own.

I am told that because of the mistakes I have made (I'm not an addict but struggle with PTSD and all that goes with it), I am untrustworthy and leading a double life. I'm not. I parent and homeschool my kids. I work as a freelance writer and I work hard at it.

What I'm having difficulty with is:
Feelings of worthlessness that I'm not worthy any longer of knowing or being a part of his life or recovery.
Getting gaslighted regularly, where I really begin to doubt my perception of reality.
Being lied to.
Having honest open communication withheld purposefully. For example, he's never copped to the fact that he's in a couple with someone else, yet exchanges 50+ emails a day with her, has gone places overnight to meet up with her, etc. I can't ask a single question and get a straight answer.
He makes sexual overtures to me and I can't for the life of me understand how he can want me that way but not any other way.

There's so much more. He arranged for my kids to be somewhere else, he went to marathon meetings and I spent Christmas eve alone. This is the last Christmas to be spent together as a family, the first New Year's I'll be on my own and he'll be with someone else at midnight.

I guess this really sounds like a pity party and I apologize for that. I am hurting so so badly and the person who keeps telling me he's "the only real friend I've ever had", who cares about me so much, is the very person I'm allowing to cause me to doubt every single thing about myself, my intelligence, my abilities and whether or not I'm a capable parent.

I have my own therapist, who my husband is convinced is a figment of my imagination, and I can't get in to see her until January 6th.

For the first time in my life, on Christmas eve, I found myself sitting in my car, wondering how hard I'd have to hit a tree to launch myself through the windshield. I had a plan. And that scares me. I had reached the point where I truly believed that everyone would be better off without me.

I am no angel; I have made my share of mistakes in my life and I own every single one of them. My heart is just broken.

Is it ever going to be OK again?
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:32 PM
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Change your life, don't end it! What's the point in letting someone else take all of your joy from you? You just want a different life and only you can make that happen.

You will be okay again, but you have to make it through the hard part first, but once you do, you will have a better life than what you have right now. Big hugs to you!!!
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:39 PM
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HOW do I do that?

I appreciate your response and I need to hear this in the coldest, hardest way. I don't know where to start, what to do or where to find help. There are no nar-anon meetings in my area. I guess al-anon would work as well, yes? I've been in such crisis that that has been the focus of therapy for several weeks. Putting out one emotional fire after another.

I'm afraid.
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:56 PM
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Welcome to SR, CourtJester. I'm sorry you are going through this. I wish I could say it was rare for this to happen, but, unfortunately, it's not. Addicts who go to rehab or NA/AA oftentimes are at a vulnerable point and it's not unusual for them to feel a kind of closeness or identity with someone going through the same things.

In spite of all that, that is no reason for him to treat you the way he is and has been treating you. You deserve better than that. I would suggest that you speak with legal counsel to find out exactly what your rights are. After 18 years of marriage, he can't just walk out without providing for his children.

If you are a named account holder in a joint bank account, that is good. You have every right to half of whatever is in that account. After talking with counsel, I'd open an account in my name only, at a different bank, and move half the assets from that/those accounts into it. If he has already decided to leave you, then you must protect yourself and your children.

I'm glad you found us. You'll find a lot of support here. (((HUGS)))
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:04 PM
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I don't have any meetings around me either, so I just check the boards here daily. Feeling lost and alone is a miserable feeling, but you've found us so we will help you as best as we can. Now is the time to take charge and become resourceful and empowered. You can do this as many of us have. You will look back at your posts at some point and say "I can't believe I was that miserable" etc. You will be okay, it's just going to be hard for a little while during the sorting out period. Everyone here has helped me immensely. They will help you too.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:13 PM
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Good therapists are available to their clients when their clients are deeply depressed, having suicidal thoughts, and in such a dark place. You should be able to call your therapist, leave a message asking for a return call for a phone session in the next few days, and if your therapist refuses to respond, then I am not sure you have a good therapist. If the therapist is completely unavailable until Jan 8, then a colleague should be on call to take crisis calls for the therapist. If that is not available, then I am certain you are with the wrong professional.

In divorce, I have found that narcissistic addicts have an unfailing trait: they attempt to take their spouse down as low as they possibly can. They do this through psychological mind-games and manipulations which, I am so sorry to say and you are well aware, work with exacting efficiency. Essentially, they cut the spouse down at the knees, paralyzing the spouse with the most unbelievably harsh and degrading accusations, and the mortal sin in this, in my opinion, is that they target the most vulnerable, human, fragile imperfections of the spouse and present those to the spouse as if those human frailties were disgusting and revolting.

I should perhaps not use such strong language, but I always find myself enraged when a battered spouse describes what an addict is doing to her psyche and her soul. And you are a victim here. In an ordinary divorce, spouses complain about the other not meeting certain needs, not being on the same wavelength anymore, etc. But divorce from narcissistic addicts is an ugly business, and every dirty, ruthless tactic will be used by the addict so he (or she) can get exactly what he wants and maintain an image of superiority.

Gaslighting is what it is, yes, but it is more brutal than that. It is not just trickery. It is a calculated assault by the addict on another's humanity, and the person being assaulted is not just an acquaintance, it is a spouse who has sacrificed for the addict, likely mothered (or fathered) the children of the addict, and, my God, tolerated the sickening behavior of the addict probably for years.

Please call your therapist. You are too alone. Please go to Al-Anon twice a week and please ask someone in a meeting to be your sponsor. You are too alone. You are a trauma survivor and you have become isolated from the world in large part because of your marriage. If there is a support group for trauma survivors, find that as well and go, weekly. Alone, you are like an animal culled from the herd, and your selfish addict husband is the predator. Call your therapist. This is too much pain for you to bear alone.

Your life will get better when you break away from him. He holds you as if in a spell, as a dark sorcerer who has imprisoned you in ice. But you have angels waiting. You have people out there with love and friendship in their hearts, waiting, for you.

Call your therapist. Attend meetings faithfully. Find a church. This will break the spell and you will no longer be at his mercy. What you feel right now is a passage, it is leading somewhere, and though you are in darkness, what you are walking toward is Light. Angels--friends, people in recovery, fellow trauma survivors who understand--are waiting for you.

We understand. And we can tell you this is a temporary stage in a passage toward a better life. You will survive this and be stronger. You are going to be all right.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:31 PM
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Thank you!

Thank you, everyone, who has replied to my situation. I am so so grateful. Really, there are no words.

As for my therapist, she is unavailable until the 6th. She really is great. I did call and got referred to the crisis line. It wasn't helpful. I kept thinking about how I felt when my mom died when I was 10. I watched it. My first episode involving PTSD. I know what that feels like and the only thing that kept me here was KNOWING that I could never do THAT to my girls.

Some kind soul sent me a link to wso-naranon. I checked there and found a NEW meeting in my area. I talked to the chair, who was so very kind, and now have a stepping off point to healing and support. At this point, I'll welcome with open arms all the support I can get. I want to heal, I want to have a life and I don't want to care anymore about things that I cannot change.

Thank you all for your open-heartedness. You all are a great blessing to those of us in need.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:06 PM
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You are not alone. There are other people going through surprisingly similar circumstances and feeling similar emotions and that is why we are here. Please attend the meetings. They are invaluable.

Please don't do anything silly and please know that this is not your fault as all you have done is love so done who will NEVER reciprocate, as he is unable In His own sickness.

Maybe make a New Years resolution to never have to feel thus way again and to always remember that you are worth so very much more.

Bless you.
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Old 12-27-2013, 08:26 PM
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You are never alone. We are holding your hand in support as many of us have had similiar issues.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:55 AM
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Don't allow this P.O.S. gaslighting narcissist addict to do this to you.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:47 AM
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Hello and welcome...although I am very sorry for what you are going thru. I am a survivor of a marriage (and divorce) with an addict (as well as the mother of an addict who is currently struggling with sobriety). So I am one (of many) here who can tell you that you can also survive and come out a stronger person.

You are very lucky. The Pacific NW (specifically WA & OR) have a very strong Nar-Anon presence. There is great support to be found there. And there are new meetings being started right after the first of the year that may not show up on the WSO site yet!!

You are reaching out and that is very healthy. You have a therapist....also good. You are gathering your tools of survival.

The things that you describe that he is doing do not sound like he is "in recovery" regardless of whether he is staying clean. But there's nothing that you can do about that....because you can't control him. Perhaps it's time to refocus your energy on taking care of you. We learn in Nar-Anon how to live full lives focusing on what we can control (ourselves)....whether the addict continues to use or not.

SR is a great place full of people who understand what it's like to love someone addicted to early recovery......relapses.....unfaithful name it....there are people who have experienced the worst of what addiction can dish out.......and they are surviving.......and many are full, healthy, and happy lives. You can too.

You are not alone.

Glad you found a meeting. If it's a new start up meeting, give it some time.....sometimes they take a little while to get established well. Some of the dearest friends I have in my life were found in those rooms. They have held me up when I didn't think I could stand on my own.....and now they are people I know I can call anytime for guidance, support, and friendship.

Glad you found us here on SR.....hope you stick around!

gentle hugs
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:32 AM
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So sorry you are going through such a tough time. Many here who have similar situations and can sympathize with everything you say. Know first and foremost you are worthy of someone who truly loves you and respects you. You re going through this dark period right now but you will come out on the other side. Nar-anon is a great place to meet others face to face who can help. Welcome to the board. You will find so much support and understanding here.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:28 AM
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I am so glad you have found a meeting and SR.

Taking care of yourself emotionally and reaching out are absolutely the most critical things for you to do right now.

You asked for some suggestions for other steps to take. Here are a few "practical" ones when you are ready to think about them:

Consulting a lawyer and finding out what you need to do to protect your children
and yourself financially is also very very important.

Be careful at first so that he doesn't get wind of what you are planning.

The suggestion of opening a bank account in your name only and putting half of the assets you share is very important so you have money in the short term, whatever happens.

Also, if you are the primary person on any credit cards where he is also named, get him removed and a new card issued in your name only.

Paying up and ahead on electric, gas, etc. is a good idea if you will be staying in the house. Many people "stash" cash (money left over from grocery store, etc.) just to have a small nest egg in case. It is not uncommon for addicted spouses to try to use money to control the other spouse.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:24 AM
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I did the separate bank account thing when my career started to take off as a writer because every penny I earn in direct deposit. While I haven't been able to put away any kind of nest egg, I have found a rental in the same community that is quite affordable and large enough for the girls, myself and our pets. Plus, it feels like a healing environment for all.

My RAH has always used money as a means of control. Always.

Thanks so much EVERYONE for the support. I hate knowing that there are so many that are in similar situations. At the same time, I am so grateful for the support and guidance of someone else who has been down the road I'm on and found a life at the end of it.

<<<<<hugs to all>>>>>
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:35 AM
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CourtJester: Many years ago when I was married to an addict, the same thing happened to me when he got into Recovery. I survived it and lived to tell the tale. at some point, it dawned on me that my estranged husband had found someone who forgave him for what he did in the marriage (to me!) Convoluted, I know. But that is his brain (and the other woman's brain), not mine.

So anyway, I survived, thrived, and was able to raise my kids with financial security, emotional security, spiritual security. It's all good.

Keep coming back!!
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Vale View Post
Don't allow this P.O.S. gaslighting narcissist addict to do this to you.

Welcome to the Board. I've quoted Vale because she wrote exactly what I was thinking after reading your post. Your husband is practicing a very vile form of psychological abuse. So, a couple of observations:

1) Anyone can go through the motions and talk the talk when it comes to NA. Just because someone's stopping using doesn't mean they're in recovery. Just look at your husband for proof.

2) As someone that was also the victim of emotional abuse, I learned how to strengthen my boundaries in the wake of that abuse such that I don't tolerate it. Nor should you.

Ordinarily, I'm not as direct as I'm about to be with you, so take my thoughts what what they're worth.

I'd lose this guy. Period. From what you have shared with us, there is nothing about him that suggests he is ready to take responsibility for his actions and his behavior. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. He has shown you what he's about. You have right in front of you all the information you need to make an intelligent decision about how you wish to spend your life. And while I don't know you, I do not want to see you spend the rest of your days with someone that has the type of characterlogical issues your husband appears to have. And I can tell you with a pretty high degree of certainty he will not change.

Do whatever is necessary to protect yourself. And do not, under any circumstances, believe a f**kin' thing that comes out of his mouth.

Be safe. I'm glad you found us.

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Old 12-28-2013, 01:06 PM
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I'm sorry cj for the crap he's done to you. I'm going through a dark time myself right now. MT xabf left me homeless & broken while he went to rehab
he never kept in touch like he said he would. before he went, he'd say awful things to me BC I wasn't working at the time & it's def been a rough battle to say the least. I wish you well in life and just take comfort in knowing that you aren't alone!
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:26 PM
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I kind of want to say "What they said" to all the posts above.

18 months ago, I left a narcissist abusive porn addicted gambling alcoholic husband of 20 years. I was gas lighted and a victim of Stockholm syndrome -where your abuser isolates you and gradually convinces you that you can't live unless he controls your life...

I made it out. One of my posts is in the sticky "What is Abuse?" on the Friends and Families of Alcoholics forum here at SoberRecovery. (A "sticky" is a post of universal interest that is permanently kept at the top of the forum page.) There is a lot going on the F&F of Alcoholics forum right now that would be useful for you to read. You can post and read here at SoberRecovery (SR) on any forum. For those of us involved with addicts, it often doesn't matter which addiction they have - alcohol or drugs or others - we suffer similar consequences, and our solutions help each other.

You can do this. You can get free and be healthy and happy again.

All the posts here are helpful. Having lived with and divorced a narcissistic alcoholic, I think English Garden is spot on about divorcing a narcissistic spouse. Aside from just trying to separate assets, they want to WIN, and to them, they win when someone else loses. The bigger the other guy loses, the better they win in their minds.

So, I agree that if you have joint cash or liquid assets, take half of them and put them in your name. There is a thread on F&F of Alcoholics about "I think I'm ready" by Jarp and it has lots of good advice about what to do when you need to leave a nasty spouse.

Good luck, keep coming back!

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