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I'm the one on the fence.

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La Traviata posted 5/12/2013 10:42 AM

So we've been apart for about a month, and he just sent me a 5-page letter about how "for the last 6 months" he's been "drowning and didn't even know it" and then a few pages about how well he's doing in AA and how he's realized that "he can't do it himself" and needs to turn his will over to God.

All well and good, but that's what he said the last five relapses too. Granted, only one of them involved any kind of infidelity.

Then he went on to say how he wasn't sure what love is but he knows for sure I'm the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with- "we can conquer the world together if you want to. I'll be here." Which is clearly a ploy to lob the ball back into my court. This is what I sent back: (edited for personal stuff and unrelated digressions)

I got your letter.

I'm glad you feel like you're on a path to recovery and that you feel things are different this time. It's good to hear that you've been using healthy coping mechanisms instead of drinking- I was worried that you might drink more now that you live alone.

You're right- it is like a rerun of the worst TV show ever. But it's also not the first rerun, and the problems that caused me to leave have been going on for a lot longer than six months. This is relapse #5 since we've been married and at this point, "I realize now I can't do this myself" is a stale refrain.

Not only did you fail to be honest and fail to put effort into recovery, you placed the blame on me and my mental illness whenever things weren't going well at home. You used my weaknesses as an excuse for your bad behavior and propped yourself up on my faults.

[this part basically details some of his pattern of bad treatment over the 4.5 years of our marriage]

Your letter said a lot of good, positive and honest things, but if your intention was for it to convince me to come back, you're going to be disappointed. You told me that you did wrong, that you've made a breakthrough, and that I'm the woman you want to move forward with. What's missing here is the why. After your continuous pattern of relapses, of thriving on the attention of the crisis then bailing when it gets hard and unglamorous, of making me feel crazy so you could avoid responsibility- why should I come back?

I've been doing a lot of work these past few weeks too. Lots of writing, lots of praying, lots of talking to people I trust. And I've realized a few things. Mainly, that this relapse cycle is bigger than just your struggles with alcohol and I don't like my part in that dance. Also- I am not that crazy. I know my self-esteem issues are my own, but you have used those issues against me in sick ways. Finally- I deserve better. I deserve a husband who adores me, honors me, respects me and endeavors to make me happy, even when it's inconvenient. A man who is willing to swallow his pride now and again, who leads by example and who admires me for who I am.

I know you want me back, but why? What is it about me that you love? If the fact that I adore you unconditionally is the top (or even only) item on that list, do the right thing and let me go now.

If you're going to be the man I deserve and make amends for the ways you've hurt me you'll have to start fighting. Show me. I'm not saying this because I plan to throw a few hurdles in your way before we get to the foregone conclusion of reconciliation. I'm saying it because you've already lost me. I'm leaving the possibility of reconciliation open only because I believe that marriage is for life and I'm not quite willing to give up yet. To be honest, I am not hopeful.

I love you and always will,



I feel good about what I wrote, but I'm left thinking about what he could possibly do to convince me it's different this time. He's had every opportunity an addict could hope for (supportive family, supportive workplace, world-class treatment team) and threw it away for nothing. I devoted an entire year of my life to repairing myself and our marriage and he made a mockery of that. I don't want to D, it's not part of my belief system and I do still love my WH, but I despise him and I don't respect him.

Last year, he did everything I asked- saved receipts, turned over control of our finances to me, gave me all his passwords, kept accountable for his whereabouts at all times... And after a short period where I think he really was trying- he just went through the motions. Not sleeping around or drinking or using or doing anything bad, just not doing anything to recover, either.

What have some of your WSs done to show you that they are committed to change and are willing to sacrifice their pride to do it?

Jeyana posted 5/12/2013 11:22 AM

Unfortunately I can't give an example of what my Wexfiance is doing that would help you out. I can tell you mine is going to IC once a week. Like yours, I get the "I know what I really want now speech" With very little to back it up. I feel your pain. I told him today that he has everything to gain by me giving him an opportunity to be a man that I deserve, and I stand to loose many things by giving him this opportunity. And he shows me by actions, he hasn't hit bottom, he doesn't appreciate this opportunity, and he still takes things for granted. I hope we both find the answers we need. I hope our Ws's figure out the real meaning of this chance we give them. Unfortunately...we sit and wait...and wait..and loose a little hope here and there with every lack of action. (((La Traviata)))

tired girl posted 5/12/2013 11:45 AM

That is a really good letter that you wrote. My question to you is, how long are you comfortable with sitting back and watching his actions to see if they match his words this time? A year? Your right, your part in the dance of this thing has to be stopped, step off the dance floor and see what he does with that, it will tell you so much.

Many hugs to you in this so very difficult time. I was there not so long ago.

La Traviata posted 5/12/2013 14:12 PM

Thanks to both of you.

TiredGirl, you hit the nail right on the head. How long? And what do I do in the meantime? I'm off work on FMLA (I have PTSD) and I'm living with a friend two states over. For the moment I'm living rent free and things are taken care of, but I'll have to decide by the end of June whether or not to return to my home state and move back in with WH.

In the meantime, since I'm on FMLA, I can't work (other than odd jobs under the table) and I'm passing up legit job opportunities here, in my home state, and even on the west coast! (why is it when I need a job NOW I can never find one but when I'm unavailable it starts raining offers?!)

I'm a planner and I live by the following anecdote: Preparing for a battle where not all the necessary information was available, an Army General started drawing up a battle plan. a Lieutenant asked him, "General Traviata, if you know you're going to have to completely change this plan after we get the next intel report, why are you making a plan at all?" "LT WAYWARD!," the General barked, "IF WE DID NOT HAVE A PLAN, THEN WE WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO CHANGE!!"

I guess I just want to have a plan. Maybe I could think of things that would convince me to relocate back to my home state. The big thing holding me back there is that I would not want to move back in with WH and the cost of living there is extremely high, which would be a problem if we separated. The pros of course are that my job is waiting for me there, as well as my therapist. Also, it's kind of hard to R with someone who lives in another state.

BUT! That kind of talk sounds like ME doing a lot of heavy lifting in an R that I'm not sure he understands and that he definitely does not deserve. I need more convincing. Maybe he could hire a skywriter. That would be a start.

Things to ponder.

Skan posted 5/12/2013 23:01 PM

Well, until he does the work for some time, I don't think that you should live with him. You've been there and done that and it hasn't worked. What would you do for housing if you were single? Get a roommate? Rent a room in someone's house? Maybe you need to think separation and living in that fashion. And set a time limit. You've already essentially wasted quite some time on his drama how much longer are you willing to give him to show you by actions, that this time is different?

Divorce wasn't part of my belief system either, yet I divorced my first H for non-infidelity issues. It was the 2nd most painful thing that I've ever gone through and neither of us were trying to hurt each other. One of the reasons that I was willing to fight for this marriage AS LONG as my FWH fought harder for it. Frankly, I quit listening to words outside of MC. All I looked at were actions. And it was the actions that convenced me to stay. (((hugs)))

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