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How do you fix damaged relationships due to drinking?

Old 06-05-2009, 09:08 AM
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How do you fix damaged relationships due to drinking?

Well, I guess I am getting what I deserve. I just listened to a scathing voice mail just reaming me asking me how can I expect to have a relationship when I can't even get sobriety? He's right. He hates my drinking and even though I've been going to my IOP, I've been failing miserably. Part of me wishes they would just say I can't come back, yet the other part knows I have to continue no matter how many times I fail, provided they let me continue going back. Well, I hate his gambling too and think he has his own problem with it yet I never say anything. For all the money he throws in those slot machines he could afford his own phone.

Talk is cheap, right? I don't know whether to return the phone call and try to defend myself or to just throw in the towel. A huge part of the problem with this person is I have no way to reach him aside from Monday through Friday during business hours. He refuses to get his own phone for some effed up reason. He's told me I can buy another phone and add a second line for him but that will double what I have to pay each month and I am not working. Plus, I guess I feel like if he cared he'd get his own d*mn phone. I hate that the only way to communicate with him involves a work phone. I've left him messages telling him how I feel, what I want and he interprets these messages as nasty and tells me not to do this. So basically he gets to call all the shots and I am to call him only during the day and never leave a message saying how I feel. Well, we were supposedly having a relationship and this seems pretty screwy to me. Oh, and he tells me I am lucky he is even still talking to me. It feels like I am being punished for having the problems I do and this doesn't seem fair to me. I've asked him to come to family/friends group night and he never has.

Too, he is the only support I have here which doesn't help. I think I know the answer to this whole situation, but it's the hardest one and I wanted to see if anyone else out there has any thoughts or what your own personal experiences have been in these situations. Too, both my judgement and thinking have been off these days so I thought maybe wiser and cooler heads might offer me some insight. Thanks.

Katie who feels like crap
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:28 AM
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Sigh. Scathing voice mail #2. He doesn't want someone with mental issues who drinks. It's not like I withheld this from him. He told me to work on myself. Now, this is a guy who is 57 and never been married, so it's not like he is perfect - yet I am just easier to sling crap at. We are just easier to sling crap at, and I am saying this of any and all people with mental health issues and/or addictions. We make great target practice - ok, this is how I feel. Who else feels this way? It's not like we deal with perfect people out there but for some reason it's ok to treat me or us like I/we are inherently defective and really want these issues in our lives. Ok, now I am just getting emotional but needed to vent this.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:30 AM
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Why do you continue to have contact with him? I thought you said that he broke up with you? You both have issues to be worked on and from what I've read, the two of you together are a toxic mix. Please, please...get past him and work on yourself. He's not the only guy out there, yanno.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:39 AM
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Katie...he can't treat you any way you don't allow him to. (((HUGS)))
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
Why do you continue to have contact with him? I thought you said that he broke up with you? You both have issues to be worked on and from what I've read, the two of you together are a toxic mix. Please, please...get past him and work on yourself. He's not the only guy out there, yanno.
Yes, yes, thanks. I don't have much of a choice but to get past him and work on me now, do I? Still, it just seems so unfair that because of my issues which I freely acknowledge and am taking steps to remedy, that he should come back at me with the vitriol he did. Sure, he wants no unpleasant messages from me but then turns around and does to me what he doesn't want done to him.

I guess this is the other side of the coin from what one reads in the friends and family forum. I often see the addict just getting crucified over there, as if we're subhuman and just don't care for others. In spite of my issues, I do have the ability to love. And even though I am very angry and sad in this moment, if there is someone out there better for him I wish him well.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:52 AM
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Sweetie...you can't get past him if you keep calling him. Go no contact.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
Sweetie...you can't get past him if you keep calling him. Go no contact.
Thanks, I will now. I just left him a voice mail saying I'd received his VMs and points taken and some validity to said points but that I don't like those kind of voice mails either and that if he needs to say stuff like this to say it to my face or at least in talking. Now I won't call him again nor will I take his calls. I've done NC with him before and he just keeps calling and then eventually comes over, which I don't want but he has a very strong personality.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Katie09 View Post
I guess this is the other side of the coin from what one reads in the friends and family forum. I often see the addict just getting crucified over there, as if we're subhuman and just don't care for others. In spite of my issues, I do have the ability to love. And even though I am very angry and sad in this moment, if there is someone out there better for him I wish him well.
I understand this Katie....alchoholics and adicts get alot of stereo typical things applied to them.

However, as you seem to understand, at this point it seems like it's time to leave.

I had a relationship with a man for over a year, and we cared a great deal for each other. However there were issues that he wasn't prepared for, some of my own problem areas also rose up glaringly...end result we split...and a month later he wanted to try again AND had a real attitutde of health...he had changed.

BUT for me I knew that he was changing for someone else...if we had gotten back together i am pretty sure he wouldn't have changed and i would have stayed stuck as well..instead we let go of our relationship and both of us grew and changed. He is now happily married to a very nice woman. And i am genuinely glad...I love him but in a different way and am pleased for him.

The alchoholics in my life are very capable of love and most of them don't even lie cheat and steal anymore than the average person....in or out of sobriety. Don't buy into the steriotypes cause then if you don't meet them you might start thinking you aren't an alchoholic and we cant have that

Anyhow that was my expereince for what it is worth...my heart goes out to you Katie I know how hard it is (hug)
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Katie09 View Post
I guess this is the other side of the coin from what one reads in the friends and family forum. I often see the addict just getting crucified over there, as if we're subhuman and just don't care for others. In spite of my issues, I do have the ability to love. And even though I am very angry and sad in this moment, if there is someone out there better for him I wish him well.
Hi Katie,

My husband, M, is currently working on overcoming a heroin addiction. I "hang out" on several boards, this one, F&F, and substance abuse. The reason I "travel" is to get views from both sides, and to try to understand a bit better M's side of things. When you're living with someone else's addiction, it can oftentimes be very difficult, to put it mildly. I think everyone has had times when they say things they don't really mean about someone they love, out of anger or frustration or desperation or whatever, and sadly when an addiction is involved, there is a LOT of anger, frustration, despair, whatever. What I'm trying to say is that it may seem like F&F are "crucifying" the addicted person, they/we are really just expressing our frustration, venting if you will, in an effort to maintain our own sanity. I'll put it in personal terms: I love my husband. He loves me. We have been together for 16 years, have two beautiful children, whom we both love more than life itself, and I couldn't really imagine myself spending my life with anyone else. However, when I learned of his addiction, I asked him how he could do this to our children. Academically, I know that this is not something he has made a concious decision to do in order to ruin our children's lives, but emotionally all I could think was "how could he be so selfish, uncaring, unloving, etc." I think you said it well, when you said you were very angry and sad in this moment. We, friends and family, get very angry and sad a lot, over something not of our making,and when dealing with someone else's addiction there a a lot of "moments". So please understand, we are not trying to crucify anyone, nor do we wish to be crucified.

All the best,
Daisy
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ananda View Post
The alchoholics in my life are very capable of love and most of them don't even lie cheat and steal anymore than the average person....in or out of sobriety. Don't buy into the steriotypes cause then if you don't meet them you might start thinking you aren't an alchoholic and we cant have that

Anyhow that was my expereince for what it is worth...my heart goes out to you Katie I know how hard it is (hug)

Thanks (((Ananda))). It is a pity that people think that people with addictions lie, cheat and steal more than the average Joe. The *only* thing I ever lie about is...when was your last drink, how much did you drink? I just don't need the grief and what difference does it make? I am not supposed to be drinking at all.

As far as how I live my life, I pay my bills, I honor my committments and I am a pretty straight shooter. I try to be kind to animals and old people. Sure, I have my issues but even "normies" have their issues and often their issues are worse than my issues. I went to Gam Anon (due to this guy's gambling) and I can't tell you how many women's lives were ruined due to gambling. I only say women as usually it is women at those meetings. They discovered far too late they were on the verge of losing their homes and everything. Yet, I never give him a hard time about gambling. In fact, I only saw him last Saturday at 11:30 at night AFTER the casino. Sigh. Anyway, I am just babbling now so I'll shut up. Thanks for all your thoughts and good on you that you are a big enough person to be happy that your guy went on a remarried someone else.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Daisy09 View Post
Hi Katie,

My husband, M, is currently working on overcoming a heroin addiction. I "hang out" on several boards, this one, F&F, and substance abuse. The reason I "travel" is to get views from both sides, and to try to understand a bit better M's side of things. When you're living with someone else's addiction, it can oftentimes be very difficult, to put it mildly. I think everyone has had times when they say things they don't really mean about someone they love, out of anger or frustration or desperation or whatever, and sadly when an addiction is involved, there is a LOT of anger, frustration, despair, whatever. What I'm trying to say is that it may seem like F&F are "crucifying" the addicted person, they/we are really just expressing our frustration, venting if you will, in an effort to maintain our own sanity. I'll put it in personal terms: I love my husband. He loves me. We have been together for 16 years, have two beautiful children, whom we both love more than life itself, and I couldn't really imagine myself spending my life with anyone else. However, when I learned of his addiction, I asked him how he could do this to our children. Academically, I know that this is not something he has made a concious decision to do in order to ruin our children's lives, but emotionally all I could think was "how could he be so selfish, uncaring, unloving, etc." I think you said it well, when you said you were very angry and sad in this moment. We, friends and family, get very angry and sad a lot, over something not of our making,and when dealing with someone else's addiction there a a lot of "moments". So please understand, we are not trying to crucify anyone, nor do we wish to be crucified.

All the best,
Daisy
Thanks, Daisy. I really do appreciate your perspective. I've been on both sides of the coin. I've had former relationships with both heroin and crack users and understand the pain of watching them use. I can also appreciate it's painful for this guy to see me drink. However, often I do feel like it's a crucification to those of us who have these addictions. I've known people IRL who despise their alcoholics in their lives and are convinced the alcoholic wanted to hurt them. Not true. We just try to get through the day as best we can. We don't mean to take anyone down with us. Unfortunately, this does happen. Doesn't make it right. What I am speaking to are those who *know* they have a problem, acknowledge and try to climb out of the hole. Sounds like your husband is in that place and so am I and so are all of us on this site. It's just a very difficult place for all to be - on all sides of the fence.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:30 AM
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The fact that you can only reach this man during working hours Mon-Fri should have stopped any relationship from forming, that would tell me there is another more important (to him) relationship in his life. I agree with the other cut off ALL contact with this person, you can't properly take care of yourself if you are trying to please someone else. I cut off all relationships (aside from family) when I got sober and it's only now after nearly 2 years of sobriety that I feel confident enough to start letting people back in. Take care of YOU.

Judy
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jamdls View Post
The fact that you can only reach this man during working hours Mon-Fri should have stopped any relationship from forming, that would tell me there is another more important (to him) relationship in his life. I agree with the other cut off ALL contact with this person, you can't properly take care of yourself if you are trying to please someone else. I cut off all relationships (aside from family) when I got sober and it's only now after nearly 2 years of sobriety that I feel confident enough to start letting people back in. Take care of YOU.

Judy
Yes, I suppose I could now rationalize this by saying...but I can leave him a VM on his work cell phone at any time, but the truth is that is BS. He doesn't seem to understand that I need to be able to reach him when I need to be able to reach him. I don't know why he is this way, but he's always been and I've known him for three years now. Thanks Judy for pointing out the elephant in the living room.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:04 PM
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The bottom line is Katie - you deserve better.

D
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:16 PM
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Thank you, thank you, thank you all. I have good news to report! It's unrelated news, but still good news. Y'all remember that rehab I went to in CA that ripped me off? Well, through perserverance I just received the money back today I'd been asking for. Sure, it's not all of it, but I am a reasonable person and it's what I wanted. As fate would have it, a nice guy took the reigns over from the previous administrator. Moral of the story - keep plugging along and good things *can* happen. Whew!

As to this situation (this thread), probably not much can be done, but I was graced with one big good thing today. Hey, I just might treat myself to Chinese food tonight!
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
The bottom line is Katie - you deserve better.

D
(((Dee))) thanks. I know you are right, but I really do need to internalize this. It's one thing to know it on a head level - heck, I live on that level, it's another thing to know it on a heart level.
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:22 PM
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I was involved in a very difficult five year relationship that had me almost always feeling confused and unhappy. As hard as it is, I think it's critical to look at what the other person "does" as opposed to what they "say". I believe that is where the real truth of the relationship can be found.
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:42 PM
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Katie,

You may not want to hear this, but please give it a chance. You've spent a page full of posts going back and forth about what might be wrong in this relationship. In doing so, you've overlooked an obvious possibility. Could it be your untreated alcoholism? I don't mean drinking being an issue in the relationship, but simply the way an alcoholic mind relates to the world.

I could never connect in a relationship before meaningful recovery. I required a pretty tranformative change in my outlook on life before I could really give (or get) anything to a relationship. I couldn't love or be loved. I didn't know what love was, but I sure thought I did. It wasn't until this new perspective developed that I saw how warped my old perspective really was. I'm a huge believer that fixing my outside circumstances (like relationships) is absolutely futile until the alcoholism is fixed. And I can't do a damn thing about the alcoholism while I'm focused on all these ancillary 'problems' that distract me from my real problem.

Is it possible, not right or wrong at this point, but just possible, that with a revolutionary change in your outlook on life, you might possibly look back at this time and see how unhealthy your way of relating to people really was? I don't know about you, but I took hostages. And I couldn't begin to change that or even see that until I recovered from alcoholism.
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:15 PM
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keithj,

Excellent post!

Love,

Lenina
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by keithj View Post
Katie,

You may not want to hear this, but please give it a chance. You've spent a page full of posts going back and forth about what might be wrong in this relationship. In doing so, you've overlooked an obvious possibility. Could it be your untreated alcoholism? I don't mean drinking being an issue in the relationship, but simply the way an alcoholic mind relates to the world.

I could never connect in a relationship before meaningful recovery. I required a pretty tranformative change in my outlook on life before I could really give (or get) anything to a relationship. I couldn't love or be loved. I didn't know what love was, but I sure thought I did. It wasn't until this new perspective developed that I saw how warped my old perspective really was. I'm a huge believer that fixing my outside circumstances (like relationships) is absolutely futile until the alcoholism is fixed. And I can't do a damn thing about the alcoholism while I'm focused on all these ancillary 'problems' that distract me from my real problem.

Is it possible, not right or wrong at this point, but just possible, that with a revolutionary change in your outlook on life, you might possibly look back at this time and see how unhealthy your way of relating to people really was? I don't know about you, but I took hostages. And I couldn't begin to change that or even see that until I recovered from alcoholism.
Hi Keith,

It's completely possible and most likely probable what you say. I just don't know how to get from point A to point B. That is my problem.

I will think on your post and don't disagree at all.

Katie.
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