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 Post subject: Just need some support
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:02 pm 
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The board has been very quiet lately, but I am hoping there are a few people out there who are still reading it. I need some support badly. Last night my partner of nearly 8 years ended our relationship.

I have opened this to both sides, realizing that may be risky given my fragile emotional state, but hoping that hearing support for my situation from those in recovery will convince me that I am seeing my situation for what it is. I do not want to become angry and bitter, nor do I want to take on more than my share of the responsibility (a huge failing of mine).

In fairness to my partner, I had also been thinking of ending things because I was growing increasing despondent with the relationship. Nonetheless, I am absolutely devastated. I cannot stop crying. I loved this man and I wanted a life with him, but if you've read any of my posts here, you will understand that was never a real possibility, not only because of his acting out behavior but also because the relationship was solely on his terms.

While I do think that he had periods of sobriety in the three years post D-day, I do not think he has changed significantly in ways to indicate that he is in recovery. Just a few weeks ago, for example, I found that he had been searching for escorts on the computer. He maintains that he is sober and "just looking," but it strikes me that this is no different than an alcoholic cruising through a liquor store. But it's not just about the acting out...

The precipitating event last night was that I was questioning him about his behavior over the past weekend. He was in one of his moody funks, ignoring my phone calls and texts and refusing to tell me what was wrong. He has done this before and it upsets me greatly. I have tried to explain to him after the fact how this makes me feel, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. As long as I am willing to put up with it, everything will be fine. But if I dare to speak up or question what caused it, I am "punished."

For nearly three years post D-day, I have tried to "endure" this up and down relationship because I felt that he was sick and believed in my heart that he didn't want to be living this life. During that time, I worked the RN program on-and-off, saw a variety of different counselors, read books and completed exercises, and faithfully attended a 12 step program for partners. On the other hand, he did very little.

While he does see a therapist regularly once a week, it does not seem to me that it is helping him to get to a better place. He is increasingly unhealthy, seriously in debt, and on the brink of losing his business. His living situation is deplorable. This is a man who is struggling with life.

I don't know if ending our relationship is a good sign that he is finally recognizing his situation (i.e., hitting bottom) and wanting to change it or rather a sign that he is still an addict and just grew tired of me holding him accountable and setting boundaries around acceptable behavior in our relationship. He says it is the former, but he didn't have a plan about how he was going to get from A to B when I asked. I suppose it doesn't really matter anymore as our relationship is officially over, but I do still care about him. I want him to be happy.

I am not sure what the best thing for me to do is at this point. We talked about having coffee in a few months time, but I feel like I may be setting myself up for more heartbreak. I would need him to show me that he is on the path to recovery for me to feel right about taking the chance to meet him. I talked to him about wanting an amends at some point and he looked at me like I was insane. His response was that he has told me he is sorry and actually thinks he has treated me fairly well in our relationship -- I guess f'ing prostitutes and all else that went on didn't effect our relationship? Rhetorical question. We all know the answer.

If you've read this far, thank you. I am really just looking for support. I don't expect you will have any answers. But I am curious for those in recovery, if you ended a relationship when you were addicted, did you go back and make an amends to that person at some point? What did it look like? How did you go about doing that?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:25 pm 
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Oh sp2007 I am so sorry you are going through this pain. We so desperately want to believe that they can change but it's terribly hard for them and if they don't have their own motivation or ability to handle their emotions, nothing we do will make a difference. Will his amends really make any difference to YOUR recovery?

Know though that what you are feeling is your body's way of acknowledging change. It's OK to feel it, journal it, accept it, cry and scream it out, breathe, sleep and then get up again, one day at a time. One day you will smile again. You are strong. You are a survivor. Hang in there honey x

_________________
'The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows'. Buddha.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:13 am
Posts: 687
Hi:) typing on phone, messy and short.
When you mentioned if we were reading, wanted to.let u know, yes!
I just wanted to offer support, been left a few times for addiction, stinks, also for setting limits of what I would accept.
Can't answer questions on ending relationship. With amends I don't listen to the words, after much experience, only actions count, going much better this way, the words make me feel.crazy.

I have done most lessons over here, when trauma reaction starts, eg can't quit crying, I reread that lesson about three values to stabilize helps a lot.

Maybe others will come along with more experience.

Peace to u

_________________
"When everything else is stripped away the essential is reveled." B.K.S. Iyengar


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:59 pm 
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Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3783
Location: UK
SP
as TaD wrote we are reading your posts and I believe that both sides feel your pain and related confusion
Quote:
I am not sure what the best thing for me to do is at this point.

IMO you should focus on you and your continued healing
We addicts are responsible for the break ups or downs in our relationships so the blame for all pain , yours and ours lies with us, so please dont dump on yourself , love yourself and for now become a little of what we on the dark side were/are
selfish

Quote:
I don't know if ending our relationship is a good sign that he is finally recognizing his situation (i.e., hitting bottom) and wanting to change it or rather a sign that he is still an addict and just grew tired of me holding him accountable and setting boundaries around acceptable behavior in our relationship.

Only time will tell but the reality is that as an innocent and pained partner you have every right to hold him accountable and setting boundaries

I hope that you do get what you want as it is evident that you still have love , but unfortunately for love to work you need to like

liking must be very difficult after discovery of truths deliberately hidden

look after yourself and as Coach Mel says
Be well

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 650
Oh, sp, I am so sorry. This is going to hurt. But, I think you have gotten some good posts and now is the time to focus on you. Really focus on you. When you can breathe again, see how it feels to be on your own. Yes, it will hurt. But, maybe, just maybe, you will feel some freedom. You might feel some hope. You might get back in touch with "you" again. I have now reached a very deep level of detachment from my husband's addictions, and he is in active recovery. I know with this detachment, and with getting out on my own, and traveling on my own, I feel....better. More hopeful. More me.

I do think amends would help your healing, but I don't think they are necessary for you to regain your life. But, this is more trauma. There is loss. But I read from your posts that the loss is more about potential, rather than reality. I know I have had to grieve for what I wanted. I am angry about what I had. This grief, though, also helps me with my self esteem. It helps me to clarify what I want out of a relationship. It convinces me that my boundaries are just right.

My marriage counselor asked an interesting question: Did my husband think he could find someone better than me? He said "no." Well, that's a complete change of heart from these last 30 years! Do I believe him? Well, sure, for the moment, but for the reality of really creating intimacy with me? Not yet. And then the counselor asked me if I thought my husband could find someone better. And, I said "no." But, what he didn't ask me, and what I have asked myself is, 'could I find someone better?" I know I sure deserve better. And, this is the question you can ask yourself. And if your answer is no, I gently urge you to go back to the best counselor you had so that you can continue to heal and be able to answer that question, "Yes, I deserve better."

With deep compassion,
dnell


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
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Thank you all so much for replying. It means a lot to me. It has been a very hard day.

Intellectually I know that I did nothing wrong, but he has a way of shifting blame that is subtle and insidious. It is hard for me to not feel responsible on some level.

Kenzo, you mentioned that it is evident that I still love him -- yes, although I have a significant amount of hatred mixed in there as well. I am not so sure about liking him -- my immediate thought was that I did, of course -- but the truth is that I was starting to seriously question his character. It's just been going on for so long and is so disrespectful.

Dnell, I guess in many ways I had already begun to detach from the relationship -- I wanted a life with him, but in all honestly, I found it hard to commit to a man who was not in recovery. Please tell me that I did not misread the situation. I know it is ridiculous for me to even be asking that, but it helps to know that others see it for what it is as well.

Kenzo, you are right that time will tell if he has committed himself to change or if this is just more of the same. It is clear to me that he has "framed" the end of our relationship in a way that completely minimizes the impact of his behavior so I really have very little hope left that it's a sign of some positive development on his path.

I dread the thought of having coffee with him three months from now and seeing the same person in front of me, making the same excuses for his life and having not progressed at all in terms of his ability to have empathy and take responsibility for his actions. I suppose if I do not feel strong enough to face that possibility then, I will just cancel. I don't have to decide today.

I am humiliated and ashamed at myself for staying as long as I did and believing his words, but I guess I need to cut myself some slack there. The amends would help me heal -- it would tell me that he did actually love me and care about me -- but it needs to be genuine for it to mean anything, and I know that I will need to find a way to heal without it.

Dnell, I know in my heart that I deserve better. In that respect, I guess I can say that whatever happens I will be OK. I also can "do" better, but that is just a bit of bravado on my part to make myself feel a little better. Maybe :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
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sp2007,

I'm not known for sensitivity so those reading, I hope you don't take this too personally.

sp2007 wrote:
I am not sure what the best thing for me to do is at this point.

You focus on you, you focus on your health, you get healthy for you.

sp2007 wrote:
We talked about having coffee in a few months time, but I feel like I may be setting myself up for more heartbreak.

You're no longer in a relationship, you're focused on your own health which means having coffee is only a good plan on any level if it benefits your health.
Will you feel better seeing him a few months from now?
Will you benefit from seeing him in a few months in anyway?

sp2007 wrote:
I talked to him about wanting an amends at some point and he looked at me like I was insane.

While reading this I suddenly got an insight to the lesson I've been completely stuck on.
The lesson wanted me to write about how the realization that my partner has been acting out made me feel.
Then, they wanted me to write a letter from the perspective of my partner apologizing...what I would want them to say, what would make me feel better.

I think part of this is to ensure that I get to hear those words, that I get to express what I need to hear.
So, what do you need to hear?
Do you really need to hear it from him?

sp2007 wrote:
I am really just looking for support

Hopefully I haven't offended any of the recovering members, but I can assure you I've received TONS of support from both sides. This site has quite literally a plethora of support.

Today, you need to do something nice for yourself, it's advice I've received here and I can assure you there's a high level of value in being nice to yourself.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:14 am 
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Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 650
Quote:
Dnell, I guess in many ways I had already begun to detach from the relationship -- I wanted a life with him, but in all honestly, I found it hard to commit to a man who was not in recovery. Please tell me that I did not misread the situation. I know it is ridiculous for me to even be asking that, but it helps to know that others see it for what it is as well.


sp, knowing what I know now, I can't live with an addicted man who is not in sincere recovery. Heck, even living with a man in active recovery is hard! So I do not believe you are misreading this situation. And, I know, really know about the doubts that creep in for me in my situation. It's an odd combination of hope, despair, longing, lack of self esteem.... Really, I see it as just more symptoms of trauma in my case. So, I find I need to be gentle and compassionate with myself. It is okay to doubt, to question. But, I also know that literally no one would question a decision to leave my husband even now, even with his work on recovery. Our partners will blame us, but really, no one else would. Please know this.

Quote:
I am humiliated and ashamed at myself for staying as long as I did and believing his words, but I guess I need to cut myself some slack there.


Yes, I know exactly what you mean. And this is yet another tragedy of addiction. This shame does not belong to you. It doesn't belong to me. I am working really hard in my individual therapy to shed myself of this shame. And, trusting your partner? That's not humiliating or shameful. That's wonderful. That's such a beautiful gift. And he trashed it. My husband trashed it. But that doesn't make the gift any less beautiful or you any less beautiful for being able to be so trusting and devoted.

As far as having coffee in a couple of months. If it were me, I would wait and see how I felt over time. You don't owe him.

sp, we were traumatized. We will be scarred. But we can heal. We deserve to heal. We can regain our life, our joy, our self esteem. Some days it doesn't feel that way, but some days it does. The good news is that we are in charge of our own healing. That's actually great news.

Here's my current thinking about amends in my situation. I believe Jon is spot on when he says amends start with recovery. I think they MUST focus on recovery and health, first. I don't think addicts have much self compassion, and without self compassion, they can't have empathy. They must learn to be comfortable with themselves, to stop the image management and get to know an authentic self. They have to learn to give, to be less selfish, to think of others. Until then, I don't think the amends will mean anything to me. And, to get to this point of maturity takes time and lots of dedicated work.

sp, give yourself the gift of time. Be gentle. Take baby steps. Take hadenuff's advice and do something nice for yourself today. Know that I believe in you, the partners here believe in you.

In solidarity,
dnell


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
Posts: 96
Is it ok if I keep posting for a little while? I am feeling pretty bad and it helps to know that I'm not alone. I didn't make it into the office again today. I am hoping I can tomorrow. I am constantly on the verge of tears and am struggling to eat/drink and sleep. I have already lost 4 lbs.

Right now, my thoughts and feelings are completely scrambled. I feel like he has re-traumatized me all over again. I was completely blindsided and feel like I didn't get a chance to say the things that I would have wanted to say. The lines of communication are still open so I could reach out, but I would need to be very clear about why I was doing so and I'm not sure I am at the moment.

I guess I feel like he sort of owes me some "processing time" given everything including the fact that it was an 8-year relationship, and especially since I am finding it so hard to function.

As for getting together for coffee, I was actually the one who suggested that we meet in three months. I guess at the time I just couldn't bear the thought of never seeing him again. And I suppose I am still holding onto that last shred of hope that he actually meant what he said about needing to get his life together. Now I feel simply pathetic to have done so and like he just agreed because he is trying to be nice.

I know in my heart that we can't be together like this. I just wish we could have talked about it, rather than having it flung in my face this way. He said some pretty callous things and his lack of emotion was kind of mind boggling. It made me feel so rejected and used, like the 8 years meant absolutely nothing and I love you was just something he said to fill the air space.

I'm sorry. I am rambling. Thank you for listening.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm
Posts: 83
sp2007 wrote:
Is it ok if I keep posting for a little while?

Why would you stop?
This is where you need to be whether you're with someone fighting addiction or single. The people here understand where you have been, they know what you've been through, they can help you find the right way out of all of this.

sp2007 wrote:
I am feeling pretty bad and it helps to know that I'm not alone.

I will guarantee, you are not alone.

sp2007 wrote:
I didn't make it into the office again today. I am hoping I can tomorrow. I am constantly on the verge of tears and am struggling to eat/drink and sleep. I have already lost 4 lbs.

Breathe, take small steps, take a shower, do something nice for you today and focus on smaller tasks...it's all overwhelming when you look at it from an entire picture. It's easier to contend with in small pieces.

sp2007 wrote:
I feel like he has re-traumatized me all over again.

I think that closure is an important thing in these situations, however in this situation, your situation, I think it's more important to focus on the most important thing...you. When you're on an airplane they give a very clear set of instructions regarding oxygen should something go wrong. That instruction is clear. Place your own mask on first before assisting anyone else. It's a good lesson in life, you need to help yourself or you're no good to anyone else.

sp2007 wrote:
As for getting together for coffee, I was actually the one who suggested that we meet in three months. I guess at the time I just couldn't bear the thought of never seeing him again. And I suppose I am still holding onto that last shred of hope that he actually meant what he said about needing to get his life together. Now I feel simply pathetic to have done so and like he just agreed because he is trying to be nice.

One of the most revealing things I learned here was that I went back and read my own words...the things I wrote were startling.
"I can't live without my partner"....well....sure I can, I've lived a long time without my partner and I was just fine. In some ways I was much better. So what was I really saying?
I'm overly attached to my partner?
I've got an unhealthy need to prioritize someone who treats me badly?
So, that's why I say you need to focus on you, if you want to meet for coffee....for you...then you should. You need to do the things that YOU need.

When I first got here I read some of the Recovery posts, their comments and lessons. I learned immediately there is a clear difference between a healthy recovery and an addict who has no interest in changing. Since this is open to both sides perhaps someone like Kenzo, Boundless or another Recovery side coach/mentor/member would point to the writing of a healthy recovery so you can see you've done all you can and now need to shift focus to you.

sp2007 wrote:
I'm sorry. I am rambling. Thank you for listening.

I've got tons of uneducated advice, insensitive comments, inappropriate jokes and free time....please ramble away, the mods, mentors and coaches will keep me in line :)

Chin up, eyes forward, deep breath and remember you didn't do anything except care about someone so deeply that you were willing to accept them at their worst. Now it's time to care for yourself as much as you cared for him.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 650
sp, I think hadenuff's post was just right. Of course you can keep posting here. Of course it is traumatic.

As Jon teaches us in the lessons, I think it is important to gain a sense of emotional equilibrium and control over your life. Easier said than done, I know! Can you make it into the office? Just getting up, getting dressed, and getting out can sometimes feel overwhelming, but when I do it, I feel so much better. Can you get back into some sort of routine that is about you? Can you do something relaxing or even fun? A movie? Lunch? Shopping? A massage? Anything that is about you and makes you feel good. I'm listening to more music and reading more. At first, I had a small goal and a big goal for myself each day. Sometimes I wouldn't do either of them. But, just making the goals made me feel better.

Here is an awareness that I am struggling with him: I can't live with an addicted partner, but it feels like I can't live without him. Sheesh. The reality is I CAN live without him. I also can live with him but at a terrible price. My fear of living without him is greater than the reality. I know that, but still it is hard. The only way out of this for me has been to continue to focus on me, with baby steps and self compassion.

I'm also trying to learn to meditate, which actually helps.

sp, l believe in you. I know you will heal. I send you my virtual embrace.

dnell


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:34 am 
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Hey.... I feel so sad for your situation....I'm so sorry you have to live through this nightmare. You do have to make choices that keep you healthy and moving forward . You are more than just a part of a couple, you are an individual who has inner resources and strength that will see you through this ( though I realise they are hard to find at the moment). focus on you and what you need......I think many of us here would make the same decision as you in these circumstances- you can't live in the mess your partner has created for ever. You need to recover from this nightmare and you will, one day at a time, one good decision at a time - remember who you are and be that wonderful person......we celebrate you
With much empathy.......we get it......


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:03 pm 
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Thank you all again. I couldn't get into the office today. Hoping for tomorrow. I have moments where I feel ok and those are a relief, but overall I am still really struggling. My anxiety is severe. It is literally difficult to breathe at times.

I do think I am making progress, however, and your support is a big part of that. So thank you again.

I decided last night to go no contact. It's not to punish him or in hopes that it will elicit a change in his behavior. It's just the best thing to do for myself for all sorts of reasons.

As for not having him in my life, I don't think it will be that difficult. He had managed me down so far already that it really won't be that much of an adjustment.

I do hope he finds recovery someday. If that happens, I trust myself and my ability to know in my heart that it's genuine. As Kenzo said, time will tell.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 6:54 am 
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Hi sp - none of us knows what is in each other's hearts and lives but it seems to me no contact is the right decision. It leaves you free to focus on you. Well done for prioritising your recovery.

I am so sorry you are getting panic attacks; they are a truly horrible thing and seem so real.and urgent when they are happening. I don't know whether you are adept at dealing with them but I found relief by just accepting them, noting them understanding that there isn't enough adrenaline in my body for them to last long and then crying and sleeping them off. The more I fought the worse they got.

Until that point comes is it possible for.you to reach out to your GP for a temporary medication so you can get some calm?

Thinking of you x

_________________
'The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows'. Buddha.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:33 pm
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Thank you, SS.

I have medication, but it only works so well.

I cannot go no contact immediately as I am struggling with a medical issue that I will need to be able to discuss with him for a short period of time.

This is probably TMI, but I have a very serious yeast and bacterial infection at the moment and am on three different medications. I am trying not to think too much about how I got this. Suffice it to say, it's not helping my stress level.

The doctor says I should feel better in 2 1/2 weeks after I make it through the course of therapy.

I sometimes wonder what role that had in all this.

I am still not sure about meeting him for coffee in three months. I realize that I do not have to make up my mind right now. I guess I just feel that nothing is going to change and that he will be in exactly the same place that he is now and that will be devastating for me.

Is it worth the risk? How do you let go of hope?

Maybe I'll be in a different place and it won't matter to me either way. I guess there is just no way to know.

Thank you all for listening.


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