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 Post subject: Need Support
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
I just need a little support today -- someone to listen and to validate my experience.

I've posted before about my situation and it's pretty clear from my partner's actions that he is not in recovery. Yes, I have seen glimpses of hope here and there, but overall in the two years since discovery, I am still dealing with an addict.

I have been working RN on and off over that time -- while also attending a support group for partners. I feel like I am doing better, but it's been a long journey.

After his behavior in October -- when he planned an entire trip to visit an ex-GF behind my back -- a trip that was then cancelled -- something in me snapped. I knew that I just couldn't continue the relationship as is -- even though the pull to do so has remained so strong.

I've been treading water since then.

In the past several weeks I have noticed texts on his phone from a local number. One of the texts clearly indicated it was from someone who had knowledge of his daily routine -- asking about a conference call that he had earlier that day. It made me uncomfortable, but I decided to let it go.

We were at the movies on Friday night and again a text came in from the same number. As we were getting in the car to leave I asked him about it. Of course he had a somewhat plausible explanation, but my instincts told me it was a lie.

Last night I spoke to him about this again and told him that I didn't believe him. I explained that I could no longer take him at his word as I've done so many times in the past, only to then discover in the end that he has lied. I suggested that he could show me the texts to prove me wrong. He refused.

We've done this dance before -- and eventually I've resorted to snooping to confirm my suspicions -- and, of course, I've been right every single time. I told him that I wasn't going to do that anymore.

Basically we've reached an impasse.

His response to all this was to take a tranquilizer and to fall asleep on me. I cannot tell you how many times I have confronted him about problematic behavior in the past and he's fallen asleep on me. When I told his therapist about that, he was shocked and said it was completely unacceptable.

In any case, we never finished our "conversation" -- I put that in quotes because basically he says nothing while I talk. Does it matter? Do I need to have an official conversation with him that it's over? After seven years, it seems like the coward's way out not to do so, but at this point it seems pretty clear that we can't continue like this.

I know that I need to move on with my life.

It's just heartbreaking, because I truly believe that he loves me -- and I love him -- but I know that I can't put up with this anymore. I just can't.

I'd really like to hear from people who have been in this situation about how they've handled this or for anyone who just wants to comment so I don't feel so alone :-) Thank you for listening.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:58 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
sp2007, I am so sorry. Your situation is painful and heartbreaking. This addiction....it destroys so much.

I just want you to know that I feel for you. I send you my virtual embrace. I wish I could say something to ease the pain.

It is clear he is not in recovery and is an active addict. I respect your decision to put yourself first and to take care of you and your life and future. I do not think you owe him anything. I think, and this is just my two cents, that every decision and step you make must be about you and what is in your best interest. Any discussions with him should be based on you...what is the best timing for you...what is it that you want to achieve for you.

With support and compassion,
dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
Thank you for replying, dnell.

I feel so sad about this but I am also somewhat relieved.

I know that I'm making the right decision for myself based on my values.

I do not know if my choice will make any difference in his recovery at all.

I would like to think that it will have a positive affect, but I'm not pinning my hopes on that.

I do still love him -- and I want him to be happy. I just reached a place where I can no longer allow him to treat me the way he has.

I need to love myself more.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:48 pm
Posts: 45
sp2007, this is all so heartbreaking... I hear you, and it is a painful decision, and also one senses relief... one reaches a point where 'enough is enough' and something has got to change. I sense that you may have reached that point... am sending you virtual hug and support.

The change in my case is coming from me... Having been at this for 3 years (dday Jan 16, 2012), I feel in my gut that 2015 is my make it or break away year... The last ditch effort is the coming week's Couple Intensive, which was recommended by my therapist, so that when I call it quits, I have no regret, and I know in my heart that I will have done everything. This addiction is but a symptom of a serious underlying intimacy disorder, facilitated by a narcissistic personality. Abstinence is not recovery, and my gut screams that there is stuff still going on, but have not found out yet the whole story. Have tried for three years to understand the whys, tried to be supportive, put up with nasty and cruel behaviours, relapses, lying. Since June 2014, I finally turned the focus of recovery on myself, and since September/October, more clarity has come to me. And H provided the biggest reality check when, in excusing and defending nasty and cruel words and actions, explained it all by saying 'This is who I am'. He will not change, short of a brain-transplant... Well, the past six months have been a great revelation for me, and I feel in my spirit and soul that I can now face the hard decision and know that whatever I do, my world will not fall apart, and my spirit is stronger and I will survive, and maybe find some peace and serenity.

Take care of yourself. I finally got what 'self care' really means... This is what I am doing now. I cannot allow to be treated this way... it is not loving, but hateful and cruel... I deserve better. So do you, dear sister-soul.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:43 am 
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General Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
Dear Sp2007,
I don't have much personal experience to share with you. Luckily, my H has never put me in the terrible situation you are in.
Last night I was browsing old threads and I've come accross one that might be of help to you in this moment and protect you from further pain.

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7350

Please, read very very carefully about all the pitfalls and keep your focus on the last paragraph ... I just loved it so I need to quote it here ... "Amazing what a little motivation will do. :wink: I'm very happy for you. Both in your decision to move forward with your life...and for the way you were able to take a confusing and traumatic event in your life and put it into its proper perspective. The pain of this relationship will linger, no doubt. Even thirty years from now, you will likely look back on it and wince. But hopefully, it will be as you are sitting on the porch one summer night after having tucked the kids to bed and kissed your loving H of twenty years. Take care of yourself."

I wish you all the best.

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 661
Sp2007, Endofmyrope, Ursula - I've been thinking about love this morning. My husband said to me, and I am deeply appreciative of his candor, "I don't know why your love wasn't good enough." Lots of profound truth in that simple statement: I did love him; he knew it; it wasn't good enough for him; he doesn't know why. Now there's lots more complex, deeply messed up other stuff going on here, but this is what I am thinking today. My love...it's not faulty, or inadequate, or disgusting, or worthless. It is not to be scorned, mocked, or devalued. It was taken for granted at best, and devalued and rejected at worst. Does that make me unlovable? No. Does that make me not a loving person? No. Is it tragic that I did not see and understand this better? Yes. Did I have clues? Yes. Did I have the whole picture or any semblance of the truth to get an understanding? No. Am I still a loving person after all this betrayal and hurt? Well, yes. Is there a true and healthy love possible between me and my husband? Now there's the life altering gazillion dollar question that can only be answered if he gets healthy and if that healthy person is someone I can love.

So I am back again to thinking that this awful, destructive addiction is so damaging in and of itself, but leaves unaddressed the underlying intimacy disorder. I said to my husband this morning, "Why should I think that my love would be enough now when it wasn't in the past." And, he can't answer that.

I also feel love for all of you. I do. I do because we open up to each other. We are honest. We dare to be vulnerable. We empathize with each other. We appreciate each other. We can hear the truth from each other. I feel so good about this and it is tremendously healing for me and makes me feel good about myself and my future no matter what it brings.

Sincerely with love and compassion,
dnell


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:48 pm
Posts: 45
Why should I think that my love is enough now when it was not in the past? (I don't know how to copy and paste yet LOL)

Dear Dnell, you succinctly stated what has been hovering in the back of my mind, and have put words to it... and the past months have brought the answer to that for me.. it was not then, and it is not now, and it will not be in the future... As H stated, this is who he is... very sad, yet liberating... am still grieving ...

Hugs and love to you too...
endofmyrope


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:38 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:49 pm
Posts: 3834
Quote:
Basically we've reached an impasse.
His response to all this was to take a tranquilizer and to fall asleep on me.
He's avoiding, escaping which is classic SA behavior. My H would disappear into working on a project until our first counselor identified that as escapism and gave him other things to do - journal about his life, keep a feelings log, and absolutely no "have to do" projects that he could escape into.
Quote:
In any case, we never finished our "conversation" -- I put that in quotes because basically he says nothing while I talk. Does it matter? Do I need to have an official conversation with him that it's over?
Would he participate in a conversation? You have reached a point where you are making a decision about what you can or can't live with. I'm not sure if you've attempted to enforce boundaries with consequences - perhaps, this present decision is a consequence. Regardless of the label used, you feel that you are done. I suggest that you make a plan, an exit plan. I believe there are guidelines about this here on RN. Perhaps, Mel can point you in that direction. I feel it's important to have all your ducks in a row.
Quote:
I know that I need to move on with my life.
I understand how hard it is to come to this decision. I recall our own couples counselor telling my H and me at the beginning of 5 months of counseling that I might reach a point when I would tell him that I love him but I can't stay in the marriage any longer. I felt shocked and frightened by that statement, but she was so right in making that clear to me. That was before we joined RN and before finding our own private counselors and continuing our healing journeys. Nonetheless, her words have stayed with me. We were lucky. My H worked with a wonderful counselor for about a year while he did RN. I worked with one you supported me in my healing as I did RN. Nonetheless, there were many ups and downs along the way. Had I been five years younger with more options, I'm not sure if I would have chosen to stay - I honestly don't know. If I had NOT seen a sincere effort on my H's part over time, I would be in your boat....making a life changing decision. There is no right or wrong way to approach this except what you feel in your gut and heart. Do make a plan, though. We are here to support you.

I hope this helps. :w:

Nellie James


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
Thank you all for your thoughts. I've been wanting to write back for awhile, but I haven't really known what to say.

Leaving him should be easy -- we don't live together, don't have children together -- logistically it's simple, and yet...

I told him that I can no longer be his girlfriend, that I don't want an intimate relationship like this. I really thought he heard me.

It was OK for a day or so. Giving each other space, respecting the boundary. I felt good about the decision to end things.

I thought we would be OK.

And then he started with text messages and emails, followed by baby's and i love you's, etc. like nothing was wrong.

It's almost as if the conversation we had never took place! Honestly, it's really disturbing. This is a person who is very, very sick.

I'd be lying if I said that my heart doesn't absolutely break to see him like this. He is completely miserable.

But that doesn't mean I can be with him. I know that I need to move on. I know I need to respect myself more. I want to.

Plus, any hope that I had that he might be serious about recovery died the day he booked that flight to see his ex-girlfriend.

Of course he tried to tell me that because he didn't go, it wasn't a relapse. But he's stopped going to meetings and to his CSAT...

Whatever.

What am I doing wrong here? Do I need to move across the country to get away from him? Sometimes I think it's the only way.

Do I just need to give it time? I don't want to tell him to never speak to me again -- I don't feel that way about him -- or to block my phone number.

I just need him to respect the boundary that I'm no longer his girlfriend. Is he just not capable of doing that? How can I get this to stick?


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:54 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Hi sp,

From the tone of your writing, you sound grounded in the middle of a storm around you. I am sorry your partner's reactions and undeveloped, immature behavior continues to show its presence.

I can relate to that rollercoaster of feeling/believing you were heard, and then the strong dissociation that follows. It as if he heard you in the moment (immediate response, instant reflexive reactions) but full on still in addictive thinking, it did not stick. When I left my partner for a night, it was very eye opening to sehow much he begged and chased. It revealed to me just how unstable he is.



sp2007 wrote:
But that doesn't mean I can be with him. I know that I need to move on. I know I need to respect myself more. I want to.


You have reached a point where you are willing to protect your long-term values and arc of your life, even if doing so causes you emotional distress now. :g:

Quote:
What am I doing wrong here? Do I need to move across the country to get away from him? Sometimes I think it's the only way.

This would likely involve completely upending your life. Is that in alignment for you?

Have you explored less drastic options that honor your need for space (and are in awareness of your somewhat fragile emotional state)? These might include taking several weeks (if you can) and heading to a retreat center out of town. Or visiting a friend in another state. Smaller options include bolstering yourself by spending time with trusted friends who can help remind you of your values if/when he calls or initiates contact.

Quote:
I just need him to respect the boundary that I'm no longer his girlfriend. Is he just not capable of doing that? How can I get this to stick?


He may or may not respect your boundary. If you create a boundary that requires another party to behave a certain way, it does not protect you. Instead, a boundary is about YOU respecting your decision you are no longer his girlfriend. How can you protect this boundary, regardless of his actions? Examples include choosing to not answer the phone, and sending a text that says, "I am not ready to speak with you. We have split up. I will initiate contact when I am ready to address you as a friend." (If it is a value or of importance to you to maintain a friendship).

Some phones allow specific calls to go immediately to voice mail. You could consider this, too, if blocking is too extreme for you right now.

I understand it's hard to cut a cord completely. I really do. In my hopes lie a potential outcome where my husband and I split peacefully and remain friends. This may or may not happen. Be kind and patient with yourself as you navigate this, sp. most of all, know you and your needs are worth protecting and are of highest priority. Think first and foremost of you.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
sp2007 wrote:
How can you protect this boundary, regardless of his actions? Examples include choosing to not answer the phone, and sending a text that says, "I am not ready to speak with you. We have split up. I will initiate contact when I am ready to address you as a friend." (If it is a value or of importance to you to maintain a friendship).

Some phones allow specific calls to go immediately to voice mail. You could consider this, too, if blocking is too extreme for you right now.

I understand it's hard to cut a cord completely. I really do. In my hopes lie a potential outcome where my husband and I split peacefully and remain friends. This may or may not happen. Be kind and patient with yourself as you navigate this, sp. most of all, know you and your needs are worth protecting and are of highest priority. Think first and foremost of you.


Thank you meepmeep. This was incredibly helpful to me.

None of my friends can understand why I am struggling with this. They all say "Just break up with him!" But this isn't like a regular breakup, where you don't want to be with the person. I actually want to be with him! I just know that I cannot. And that's the part that is so heartbreaking.

Do I want to remain friends? I don't know. He has been an important part of my life -- and yes, I guess ideally I would like him to remain in it somehow -- but it may be too hard for me to move on that way. And I know that I need to move on.

Your reminder to be kind and patient with myself is a good one. I will repeat that to myself when I feel that I am losing ground so that I stay on the right path.

The support on this board means so very much to me. Thank you again.


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 Post subject: Re: Need Support
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:07 pm 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
sp2007 wrote:
sp2007 wrote:


None of my friends can understand why I am struggling with this. They all say "Just break up with him!" But this isn't like a regular breakup, where you don't want to be with the person. I actually want to be with him! I just know that I cannot. And that's the part that is so heartbreaking.


Hi again, sp,

Two books in the past few months were helpful to me in addressing what is basically a duality or conflict with us:
-Women Who Love Too Much, by Robin Norwood (ursula here queued me to this one) and
-how to break your addiction to a person, by Howard Halpern

Both are available for free viewing in browser at openlibrary.org

The former showed me so much about my choices, it was eye opening, and planted an important seed. It prompted me to examine why I wasn't living true to all my values. The latter has pragmatic ideas, such as writing letters from your wise self (the you who upholds your values) to the self who wants to crumble or give in.

Wishing you peace & strength,
Meepmeep


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