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Old 10-30-2016, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Recovery and Relationship advice


Hi, not sure where to post this but I suppose this is as good a place as any. I'm a 38 year old man and i am in recovery at time of writing I have been sober for almost 8 weeks.

The catalyst for me getting sober was the fact that my wife left me...there were a large number of events which led to this, but the main thing was the fact that I was drinking and I am an alcoholic.

My wife left and is saying now that she doesn't love me, hasn't loved me for years and that it doesn't matter what I do, we will not get back together, I had/have been married for 9 years. My wife is refusing any form of counselling, marriage advice, al anon etc. I have a son and a step daughter too

Has anyone else been in a similar situation and resolved their marriage issues like this????

How did you do it, is it just a case of learning to live with it?
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I was divorced after 20 years of marriage. My ex-wife was just done with me at that point. Nothing I said or did mattered to her any more, whatever I said or promised to do. She'd given up on me forever in the months leading to our split, hardened her heart so to speak. So yeah, our marriage issues were resolved by the divorce. And I lived with it.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum. Unfortunately it is a common occurrence that the alcoholism destroys families and relationships. Your marriage sounds like it's done with and she's not coming back, but stay strong with your sobriety and be there for your kids.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The only relationship that my drinking completely destroyed was my last boyfriend (first relationship after the death of my husband 5 years ago). We were very close, in love, planning the future etc. Then came the drinking....he was blown away because I wasn't a drinker for the first 18 months of our relationship. Sooooo it was bad. And because I was truly in denial that this relationship was very bad for me, I tried to hang on like hell. Going from soooo apologetic, to angry and resentful. So that's probably what absolutely killed the dying horse. If I wanted the relationship to have a chance (which in hindsight would have been really bad) I should have let him be, focused on my recovery and let things play out. But instead I tried to force and control the situation, to no avail.

So what I'm saying is, focus on you. If there have been many misadventures that have led to her decision then I'm guessing you've said 'I'm sorry, I'll never do it again' more than a few times. She's sick of it. So the only amends you can make is to focus on your recovery and prove, first to yourself, then to anyone that might be watching, that you are truly embracing recovery. But what she does is up to her. Respect her space. Focus on you and your kids. Actions speak much louder than words. Its hard to do, believe me I know, but it the only way, IMO.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't share your experiences but I want to congratulate you on your sobriety. You are doing so well and your recovery always comes first
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When it was over, with and for my XGF, it was over. We'd been good friends for several years before we were a couple, and I was sober for all those years. She'd wanted to become a couple back then, but I'd just recently suffered a devastating loss and, as much as I liked her and was attracted to her, I knew I wasn't ready.

After that, we lost touch for several years before I contacted her. We spent time together, fell in love and then lived together. She saw some red flags at first, but didn't seem to pay much mind to them. Knowing her as I do, she sees and thinks about just about everything. And then I got worse. She is a psychologist in private practice, with expertise in addictions and risk reduction. She at first tried to help, but no one can truly help an alcoholic who doesn't want to stop drinking.

As always happens, things got progressively worse until she asked me to leave. Nothing, not my suggestion for couples therapy, my empty promises to get sober, go to AA, or to do whatever it takes to save the relationship changed her mind or her feelings. It was over. Part of me was relieved, knowing then that I could drink the way I wanted to drink without having to hide it so much. It was about a year-and-a-half later that I put down the drink.

When I finally left, and after she'd changed the locks, she asked that I don't attempt to contact her in any way, that it was too painful for her to have to deal with that. I mostly complied at the very beginning and, later on, only contacted her to make written amends, and then much later, to ask for some kind of reconciliation via a written letter, some four years after she had had enough. Part of me expected that she wouldn't reply to my letter, and that's exactly what happened.

I continue to make monthly, financial amends, but have otherwise not attempted to contact her. Getting over that whole episode was a very difficult struggle for me, and it took a great deal of time for me to achieve some kind of internal resolution. I also lost someone who had been a very good friend in the process. And I don't know that I can ever fully "get over" having brought so much emotional pain into her life, though I've achieved a certain level of peace within myself in terms of forgiveness.

All of this made it extremely difficult for me to focus on my sobriety, to get sober. I didn't even allow myself to feel the heartbreak as fully as possible for the first several months. At some point, it hit me like a tornado. My heartache was both intense and exquisite, and it took a great deal of work for me to learn to work through it. There are still, and probably will always be, some lingering effects, but allowing myself to work through the process of grief, remorse, and forgiveness has helped me to find a place within myself where what I did and what happened during those years doesn't influence or determine my thinking and my behavior in any adverse way that is obvious to me.

It takes time.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a relationship with someone who also drank alcoholically in my early-mid-30's. For years, I regarded him the love of my life (and vice versa). It was first one of those encounters with instant intense chemistry, then turned completely obsessive, just as addictive as the alcohol we drank itself. I gave up all my carefully designed, positive long-term plans to stay with him... sort of unlike me as I never did anything similar before/after for anyone. During the initial years, we both were in deep denial about the addiction problems and instead, engaged in a fantasy world, stopped participating in normal life in many ways, and kept cultivating ideas, feelings and imaginations that became increasingly detached from reality, hanging onto each-other and our destructive mental worlds as though everything else was unnecessary and uninteresting. We both managed to retain some level of "normal life" functioning (eg. jobs) but clearly everything was headed south, while still clinging to the perception that we were tied in some sort of incredible, transcendental love together. It was me who "woke up" from it first, after those dreams we had created together did not go anywhere for years and it became frustrating and hopeless. I recognized that a lot of it was because of the drinking and suggested to him that we somehow seek help and get sober together. Did not work. Eventually, I took a leap and gave up on it, moved jobs, location, and set up a very different life. But still could not detach from my BF... we kept "relapsing" with the relationship, now long distance, for a couple more years. I also never got sober while in it.

Eventually I cut every contact with him, which was hard because he did not just accept it at start. It broke my heart because I still loved him very much and it was awful to cut the ties completely and definitively. It took me some more time to get into recovery and my life has changed very dramatically since. Part of it is that in sobriety, I started a new relationship with someone local, someone who did not feel like some kind of "spiritual connection", but turned out a much much better fit with me in every possible way. It is not based on my relentless seeking (and projecting) familiarity and similarity onto select others like was the pattern of my youth, but a scenario where our traits, preferences and interests complement well.

I just ran into my ex accidentally a couple weeks ago, after years. It wasn't a pleasant encounter... he still drinks and did not look very good at all. Yet, of course it triggered a lot of feelings... What I can say without doubt, is that it is one of the best choices I have ever made, to get away from him and from that environment. I could not have imagined for quite a while that I would have a healthy, loving relationship that does not involve craziness and destruction after him... but I am in it now. No obsession, no extremes. I've learned from this experience that love does not have to be craziness and can be a relaxing, life enhancing experience. The ex was extremely hard to let go of, but I am nothing but grateful about the choice and the eventual outcome.

It took me a few years to get over the ex completely and for a good while, I found myself projecting my memories about him/us onto others, looking for "him" everywhere. It took a good deal of self awareness and work to get over this pattern but I feel I am free of it now and with it, came a lot of mental peace and liberation.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome! I was able to save my marriage, but I was lucky.

If your wife is firm in her decision there isn't much you can do at this point. Stay sober and be the best person and best parent you can be.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Guys thanks for your responses. My wife would have made subtle hints re my drinking, but never said stop dwith inking the r I'm leaving or similar.

The day after wife left I tried to enrol in a local treatment centre, but they couldn't take me for three weeks and/or until 5 days sober. I lasted a week waiting and then went to an AA meeting.

I have regular contact with wife due to DS, and I made a mistake of trying to do step 9 with daughter way too soon.

I spoke to dd about a suicide attempt by wife - wife told me about this after we had split and that I had made her feel that way - and considering suicide myself (dd is at college a flight away) DD kept me walking about city for 5hrs before meeting me.....and then carried all I had said back to DW. There were a number of issues between dad and I previously. DD did make mention of SIL having told wife to leave me on a number of occasions.
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Old 10-30-2016, 04:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome apalem.

I agree there's not much you can do right now but focus on yourself and your recovery.

Get yourself together - then you can look at the wider picture.

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