Absolute uncertainty

Old 11-17-2017, 11:52 PM
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Absolute uncertainty

Hi everyone- I don't want to bore you with a super long story, so I'll try to summarize as best I can.

I have loved the same man (let's call him David) since we were children, when we were neighbors. We had very major religious differences, so my parents (although they liked him very much) were generally telling me it was just a shame, too bad, etc...

Anyway, years pass and I lose touch, hear he's married, yada yada. I always regretted not standing up to my parents, and missing my chance with David. My own situation gets hugely complicated when I get pregnant and rushed into a marriage with a man I did not know that well (thanks again, hyper-religious parents). This turned out to be a disaster that led to me being very severely abused in every way you could imagine.

I spent the next ten years trying to protect myself and my children, and eventually get divorced, remarried, and fall into some serious codependency, not even noticing that I again married an abuser/cheater.

Divorced AGAIN, I'm just done, not interested in relationships, date a bit here and there, not really caring about anyone I met. 3 years pass like this, all while I'm struggling with severe PTSD.

lo and behold, I bump into one of Davids brothers near my hometown, and he tells me where to find him. I reach out, and he's living about 1.5 hours away, and he is also divorced, excommunicated from his church, totally alone.

We talked for hours every night for weeks. This is when I learn he is a recovering alcoholic/sex addict that no longer uses, but struggles emotionally, all the while going to therapy, working, and attending AA.

I'm so proud of him, listen to all of this with zero judgement, and tell him just how amazingly he's vigilantly focusing on recovery.

And I confess my dumb feelings for him. He's totally surprised, and interested in dating. Of course, this guy has been my fantasy since I was 10, so I'm so so excited.

Well, we are well over a year in, and now live together. David is the funniest, smartest, loveliest person - who decided about a month ago to stop taking medication/going to therapy, and hasn't been to AA more than twice this past six months. He is very good about working and helping me around the house, but I'm so overwhelmed by his lack of commitment to his recovery since we moved in together.

I'm trying very hard not to be codependent here, but he's exhibiting all the "dry drunk " symptoms, especially anger. He is constantly isolating, and goes back and forth between "let's get married," and "I'm leaving."

So anytime I bring up going back to any kind of support system, it becomes an argument, or he simply refuses to discuss it. The constant avoidance (he's got some major depression AND major family dysfunction all bottled up) with rapid cycling of anger feels WAY too much like my former abusive husband, and I'm getting really scared. I don't know what to expect Day to day, and I'm trying not to become the anxious terrified person I was before, but I can feel it happening every day.

My children love him dearly, as do I, but honestly I'm scared. I've been through this before, and it has been hell. I don't want to think it's inevitable, but the more he avoids addressing his issues/lashes out at me verbally, I feel very inclined to bail out.

As I said, I have known and loved David most of my life, and don't want to give up on him. But I'm petrified that my own codependencies will hinder him and he'll stay in this phase of denial until something bad happens.

I'm so so lost, and I try every day to focus on improvement of my own life and goals, but we are so intertwined at this point that all of the uncertainty surrounding our relationship is wearing me down.

I've told him that I'd totally support any kind of treatment he'd agree to. I've told him I will love and support him unconditionally. But he has been breaking promises to get help for awhile now, so I just don't know what to do. I'm triggered by his actions almost daily, and I've started using edible cannabis regularly to dampen my anxiety. I know this is a long story, but I would appreciate so much if someone could read it and offer me some perspective- I just don't feel like I'm objective enough in this situation. Thanks in advance, this forum has already helped me out a lot.
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:08 AM
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Hi and welcome Grrrlnextdoor

you've identified a number of red flags and I think it would be silly to ignore those.

The good parts of your relationship sound great, but the less than good bits sound bad.

I'm particularly concerned about the abuse because verbal abuse is abuse and can escalate.

I think you have to at least consider a future where he doesn't get help, and things don't get better...

I'm sure that not the future you want, or your kids want?
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Old 11-18-2017, 12:13 AM
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Hello and welcome to you. I was really touched by your story, I am so sorry for the many difficult situations you have been through. I applaud you for your self-awareness and desire to do things differently this time.
I really like what you said about focussing on you and your life and improvements in that area. That is really all you can do right now. But what does that mean for your relationship with David? It is so hard with love in the mix, I hear how much you want to help and support him, I do. But you also do to deserve to suffer and be afraid.
If I were you, and had grown and wisened up like you see to have, I would get out now. I would do so with love and care, but would do so. I know how overwhelming, sad and difficult that will be but in my opinion it is the best thing for YOU. You know the old saying "start as you mean to go on". In other words I would put my foot down now, before this escalates further, and make clear you are unwilling to be with him if he does not make his recovery- from alcoholism, sex addiction and the emotional stuff that comes with that- a top priority in his life. You will also not stand for him lashing out in anger at you. All couples have disagreements, but you should not have to deal with rage fuelled blow ups and have to live in fear of how far things might go. The more you let this go on the more you set the standard of what you are willing to put up with, thus, start as you mean to go on. Make that firm stance now before things get even worse. And, who knows if they even will get worse, maybe they won't escalate like other situations you have experienced in the past. But you never know and the surefire way to prevent it is by being clear and firm that you will not allow it and taking actions that show that if things do not improve.
You are not asking him to build you a castle or to have a face replacement so his looks suit you better... What you are asking is not selfish, you are asking for something that makes your home life more peaceful, your relationship happier and importantly, asking for something that will be very beneficial to HIM.
But again, the most important part here is that your actions must back up your words. I would be very strong right now, very, very firm. Either get help David or I am leaving. Then do it, as hard as it may be considering how much you love him.
So very sorry for what you are going through. We are here for you anytime you need to reach out.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:05 AM
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I know you're right. I'm going to try.

Thank you both for your vey kind words. I've definitely put my foot down, and so far he seems to be leaning more seriously towards leaving than to get help. He's waffled a bit, but I'm not sure what to expect. I feel like I might need to give a "deadline?" Not sure if that's recommended in this scenario. So far he's just tuning out/avoiding me, and I'll admit- I'm devastated. It's going to be a hard road the next few months, no matter what he decides, and I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Thanks again, your support has made a big difference!!
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:11 AM
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Can you ask him if the both of you can go to therapy together? Sometimes early relationships are full of bliss and we don't think we need any support system anymore. I've been there.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:41 PM
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Well everyone, i got through a couple of convos with him about going to recovery related treatment OR couples therapy, and he seemed to actually be coming around. But today, after he had made intake appointments, he left the room for about an hour, and came back and hunkered down for a full-on verbal attack, criticising me for all sorts of stuff, said I was crazy, unstable, I'd only ever let him down, and ON and ON til he could see I was not buying it. I didn't even argue. Then he basically said one of us has to move out immediately, as I am holding him back from having a normal life, etc... It was brutal. Then he went to bed, where I'm sure hes just fuming. I'm pretty shaken right now, and I appreciate all of your support! I'm going to go see my best friend now, so don't worry if I don't reply right away tonight. Much love..
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