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Am i to blame?

Old 09-03-2017, 08:58 AM
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Am i to blame?

Someone I love very dearly is in recovery. We shared 20 years of our lives together but the last 7 were lost to her alcoholism. I tried to do what I could to help her But in retrospect I see that My anger and accusations only created a deeper and wider wedge between us. I will do everything I can to support her. I also know that she will have people chirping in her ear telling her to stay away from me. That I caused her drinking and that if I am part of her life while she recovers that I will be a trigger for her. What do I do? I can't just let go and say goodbye. I love her too much. I want the happiness of those first 12 years back. I know that with alcohol out of the picture, we can make it work. Please. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:02 AM
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Well, first of all she has to be sober for a while, right?

You can't change other people, that includes people who will take her side when they are talking to her - it also includes her.

Life is pretty messy and there aren't easy answers - even less so when addiction is involved.

Are you getting support for yourself? Counseling? Al Anon? Time with your own friends?
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:09 AM
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No one is to blame for another person's decision to drink or drug. We may have had a hand in contributing to unhappiness in whatever form, but that doesn't make us to blame.

I echo bimini's suggestion to try out Al-anon if you haven't already. It's hard work because you are in recovery too. As an alcoholic in AA, I have learned much and benefited greatly from the support, understanding and guidance of my peers.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:11 AM
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Could you just let her know you support her completely and that if she needs you you'll be there? Then let her be the one to reach out when/if she's ready. She needs time to focus on herself and her recovery.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by biminiblue View Post
Well, first of all she has to be sober for a while, right?

You can't change other people, that includes people who will take her side when they are talking to her - it also includes her.

Life is pretty messy and there aren't easy answers - even less so when addiction is involved.

Are you getting support for yourself? Counseling? Al Anon? Time with your own friends?
She's been sober for a little less than a month. I guess what I'm afraid of is that if she is vulnerable right now and so open to suggestion, anything She will be told will become her mantra. I do attend al anon meetings and see a therapist. It helps but being in the dark about her recovery and living with the pain of my loss of her is difficult. I just want an opportunity to experience the woman I fell in love with, before the alcohol took over, again. Am I being selfish? Is that too much to ask for? I know her recovery must be most important to her right now but where do I fit in? Why must I be left out? All I did was sacrifice everything to support her before. Don't I deserve the chance to be happy again? I know, all I keep saying is "I" but I'm in pain. I just want her back.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Jezzi View Post
Could you just let her know you support her completely and that if she needs you you'll be there? Then let her be the one to reach out when/if she's ready. She needs time to focus on herself and her recovery.
I've done that. Constantly. Letters and greeting cards. I could not be more supportive and loving.I'm just scared. Maybe the alcohol tricked her into thinking she loved me. Maybe she stayed with me because my lack of knowing how to help her other than screaming and accusing enabled her to drink so she stayed. I don't know. All I know is She is not here and I am alone with my pain and I truly feel that hearing her voice and her telling me That she loves me would make me feel better. Is that crazy or what? Lol. I'm gonna be 47 and I'm carrying on like a high schooler. Pathetic!
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:22 AM
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Looking at your past posts it appears you are in recovery yourself and have been so for a very short time. Maybe that should be your priority.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...g-survive.html
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Usingthe12 View Post
I've done that. Constantly. Letters and greeting cards. I could not be more supportive and loving.I'm just scared. Maybe the alcohol tricked her into thinking she loved me. Maybe she stayed with me because my lack of knowing how to help her other than screaming and accusing enabled her to drink so she stayed. I don't know. All I know is She is not here and I am alone with my pain and I truly feel that hearing her voice and her telling me That she loves me would make me feel better. Is that crazy or what? Lol. I'm gonna be 47 and I'm carrying on like a high schooler. Pathetic!
If you have already reached out, that's all you can do. The last thing you want is to push her into a situation she's uncomfortable with. Her recovery is about her, not you. Be selfless enough to allow her the time she needs.

You focus on your recovery. I think it would be beneficial for you to reach out to al-anon for some support and guidance. Hang in there.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Usingthe12 View Post
.. I tried to do what I could to help her But in retrospect I see that My anger and accusations only created a deeper and wider wedge between us...I also know that she will have people chirping in her ear telling her to stay away from me. That I caused her drinking and that if I am part of her life while she recovers that I will be a trigger for her...I know that with alcohol out of the picture, we can make it work.
You are spending a lot of time and effort projecting into the past and future. Meanwhile life is taking place right here, right now. There is nothing bad about making plans, just don't plan outcomes... and it sounds like you are planning lots of those.

Go ahead and make plans, but let go of outcomes and return fully to the present moment When the future does finally show up as the present moment, adjust your plans accordingly and once again, let go of outcomes and return fully to the present moment.

Repeat as needed. :~)
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by nez View Post
You are spending a lot of time and effort projecting into the past and future. Meanwhile life is taking place right here, right now. There is nothing bad about making plans, just don't plan outcomes... and it sounds like you are planning lots of those.

Go ahead and make plans, but let go of outcomes and return fully to the present moment When the future does finally show up as the present moment, adjust your plans accordingly and once again, let go of outcomes and return fully to the present moment.

Repeat as needed. :~)
Thanks. Very sound advice it's just really hard right now to step back and put everything into perspective. I know I'm being selfish. Some days are good. Some days are miserable. Its difficult because a month ago she's telling me she loves me and always will. Now, I can only hear her voice in my head as memories. Its just such a hard time right now. I write a lot. I cry. I clean. Lol. I just want to hear her tell me she loves me and still wants me.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Usingthe12 View Post
Thanks. Very sound advice it's just really hard right now to step back and put everything into perspective. I know I'm being selfish. Some days are good. Some days are miserable. Its difficult because a month ago she's telling me she loves me and always will. Now, I can only hear her voice in my head as memories. Its just such a hard time right now. I write a lot. I cry. I clean. Lol. I just want to hear her tell me she loves me and still wants me.
Yes, you are being selfish. AA calls that egocentric in that the world revolves around us when it doesn't. It's a very common character trait. I'm sure you know that. I certainly have it in spades.

If she was drinking when she met you, she will most certainly change and that is likely to be a very good thing. For her. You both need time for recovery before you can start to figure out how you fit now.

All I did was sacrifice everything to support her before. Don't I deserve the chance to be happy again? I know, all I keep saying is "I" but I'm in pain. I just want her back.
Writing and cleaning and crying are all fine and good. What are you doing that makes you happy? Take this time to be selfish for you and to work on your recovery, not for trying to own or control or manipulate anyone else's relationship with you.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
Yes, you are being selfish. AA calls that egocentric in that the world revolves around us when it doesn't. It's a very common character trait. I'm sure you know that. I certainly have it in spades.

If she was drinking when she met you, she will most certainly change and that is likely to be a very good thing. For her. You both need time for recovery before you can start to figure out how you fit now.



Writing and cleaning and crying are all fine and good. What are you doing that makes you happy? Take this time to be selfish for you and to work on your recovery, not for trying to own or control or manipulate anyone else's relationship with you.
No, she did not drink when We met. She suffered a major injury and when the pain meds stopped working I believe she supplemented the meds with alcohol looking for relief. I also know she has underlying coping issues with loss and death. Her mom, dad, our marriage. All losses that she lived with and I think added to her drinking. I begged her for years to let me help her through counseling and therapy but of course she "didn't have a problem". Tried to get her family involved to maybe motivate her But her family denied there was a problem and now say our "toxic relationship" is the reason. At least that's what they tell our 15 year old daughter. I have stepped in and blasted them for telling her that. My daughter keeps me happy but I know she is also in pain. She sees a therapist and also attends al anon meetings. Its a very emotionally difficult time right now. I wonder what my ex is thinking about all of this. I wonder if she's being open and honest about the pain she caused. Is her family helping her if they are chirping in her ear? The way I see it, they are only hurting her chances and are probably just looking for anyone to blame for them enabling her. Sorry. I'm rambling. Just venting.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:36 AM
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Rambling is one thing, but you are all up in her head.

I do much better in my own recovery when I mind my own business and don't try to read other peoples' minds. I'm terrible at it anyway.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by biminiblue View Post
Rambling is one thing, but you are all up in her head.

I do much better in my own recovery when I mind my own business and don't try to read other peoples' minds. I'm terrible at it anyway.
But wasn't it my responsibility as her partner to try to figure what was bothering her and try to help her get help for it? I can't do anything about it now. Its up to her to help herself but at the time, I was just trying to help her figure out what caused her to react with alcohol.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:50 AM
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...and how did that work for ya?

I had to learn from my mistakes and bad patterns, too. Some of us are more stubborn than others. Do you see how your past patterns have played out by making you more anxious and less able to cope? It's a progressive thing, just like alcoholism. People-fixing is as serious an issue as it gets if the person trying to "fix" lets it take over. See how difficult it is for you to let go? She is your project. You are in charge of her. She is not playing fair, in your eyes. You invested everything! How could she not be appreciative!

The fact this is so uncomfortable for you is telling, no?
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Usingthe12 View Post
But wasn't it my responsibility as her partner to try to figure what was bothering her and try to help her get help for it? I can't do anything about it now. Its up to her to help herself but at the time, I was just trying to help her figure out what caused her to react with alcohol.
No. No one can help the addict until they decide they want help. It sounds like maybe you haven't attended many al-anon meetings? Or maybe you haven't gotten to one that helps you to understand what is and is not in your control?

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I remember well all of these feelings from when my dad was in recovery and I don't want you to have to go through the same thing. Energy spent on trying to figure someone else out or fix them is better spent looking inward to find and work on yourself. Not in regard to woulda coulda shoulda with her, but in regard to helping yourself to become the best person you can be. Just as yourself.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:07 AM
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And I stick by "you can count on her changing." Change happens.
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
No. No one can help the addict until they decide they want help. It sounds like maybe you haven't attended many al-anon meetings? Or maybe you haven't gotten to one that helps you to understand what is and is not in your control?

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I remember well all of these feelings from when my dad was in recovery and I don't want you to have to go through the same thing. Energy spent on trying to figure someone else out or fix them is better spent looking inward to find and work on yourself. Not in regard to woulda coulda shoulda with her, but in regard to helping yourself to become the best person you can be. Just as yourself.
I just want a chance, ONE CHANCE, to have my family back together again. Whole. With alcohol not being a contributing factor. I'm going to al anon meetings and to therapy. I am trying to work on myself. To recover. Can you understand how I got cheated? How my daughter got cheated? We love this woman to death. She's a terrific mom and wife. When she's sober. Now that sobriety is a real possibility and given the time we all need to heal and recover, isn't it worth a try to have a healed family together again? I think it is.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:30 PM
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How are you going with your own program. My guess is you might be approaching step three?
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Usingthe12 View Post
I just want a chance, ONE CHANCE, to have my family back together again. Whole. With alcohol not being a contributing factor. I'm going to al anon meetings and to therapy. I am trying to work on myself. To recover. Can you understand how I got cheated? How my daughter got cheated? We love this woman to death. She's a terrific mom and wife. When she's sober. Now that sobriety is a real possibility and given the time we all need to heal and recover, isn't it worth a try to have a healed family together again? I think it is.
I'm truly sorry if anything I wrote led you to believe there is no chance. That's not what I intended to convey at all. Your question was whether you were responsible for figuring out what was bothering her and help her to get help.

My response was in regard to "figuring out what was bothering her" and "what caused her to react with alcohol." What was wrong with her was that she was apparently out of control with her drinking. What caused her to react with alcohol is that she has a drinking problem.

As far as deeper issues go, the "why" of going to the alcohol, it could be any number of a hundred things and it's quite possible that she doesn't know. I certainly didn't.

One more suggestion, yours to accept or reject, naturally. As this is your ex and you are looking for one more chance to get back together with her, perhaps the first step would be to work on reconciling yourself to the divorce and whatever part you may have had in that. Rebuilding can't really begin until you are solidly rooted in the current reality. Her issues are hers to work on and you can't control that. You only have control over you.

Be good to yourself.

O
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