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I'm a sad sack, 5 weeks from D-Day

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Niddrie posted 8/13/2014 15:54 PM

Lorena and I met when I was 18 years old. I liked her immediately. I didnít know that I had romantic feelings for her for 3 years, but there was always something about her. I would see her on vacations and holiday breaks, maybe twice a year during college. She was with someone. Then, I found out she broke up and was single. I didnít know it at the time, but she broke up with her girlfriend of 4 years to be the other woman with a girl named Courtney. Courtney was with a girl named Nikki, and they were together for 6-7 years. So Lorena was the other woman from January to May-ish, when she got tired of being the other woman, and demanded Courtney break up with Nikki, which of course she didnít. Also, Courtney is extremely social, and Lorena would never get any alone time, or dates with just Courtney. So, I came on the scene in August, and we started dating. I was totally in love. I knew they were still friends, but didnít really know the whole scoop. We were long distance from September to December, giving her all sorts of opportunities to screw around on me, eat cake. There were all sorts of warning flags. My sisters went to pick her up downtown and drive down with her to my college, and she was trashed at a bar with Courtney and they couldnít find her. They ended up finally getting her in the car after a long bullshitty time. Then, I graduated and moved back in January.
There was some crap that happened in January. I got annoyed and told her she had to break it off with Courtney, I think Courtney said some stuff like she was going to physically hurt me if she saw me. I was super pissed, and Lorena said she was going to break it off, but she had to do it in person AT A BAR and I flipped. I told her I was done. She figured out that she was being stupid and begged for me to come back the next day. Over the next year she would see or text her occasionally, always causing an issue between us. She would go out and get crazy drunk and stay out really late (3-4 am), but they were in groups, and often with one of our good friends. Twice Lorena saw Courtney without telling me. One was just a lunch she said was spur of the moment. The other time she said she was going to dinner with her best friend from high school and I found out it was a lie. Then I really flipped. I think this was in 2006 or 2007. We went to a therapist. I was going to leave her, but then she agreed to no contact with Courtney, and seemed really dedicated. We bought a house. Everything seemed great. She started drinking secretly 2.5 or 3 years ago. Then when we were getting ready to go to Europe for my graduation present, an hour before, she gets drunk and says she canít go. That itís not fair. Sheís trashed and crying on the stairs, and weíre supposed to go on a non-refundable trip in an hour. I asked if she wanted to break up. She said yes and I said get on the airplane, it will take lawyers to break us up, and we need to get on the plane. I ended up doing it and we had a great trip. When we got back I asked her what the deal was, she said she wanted space, started sleeping in the spare bedroom on weekdays, so she could sleep better. That weekend she had an overnight business trip (on a Saturday- CHUMP!!!) and she wouldnít return my calls. I called all night long. She returned it at 6am saying they had a late night. I know she was with her then. I actually asked her even though Courtney hadnít come up in years. Then she wants to go see some of her old friends, and the only one that emailed her back was Courtney. They hung out two Fridays in a row. I told her I didnít like it, she said she wouldnít stop but she had no romantic intentions and promised to tell me if her intentions changed. They were already fucking. I finally looked in her phone and threw her out. Really, she was with Courtney when I told her I knew, and she just never came home. Now Iím stuck with the house, and we owe over 40k more than itís worth. The worst part is that I still care about her and want her to come to her senses. We had 8 great years together, bookended by this bullshit. But when it was good, it was great.
The other worst part is that she is the only person Iíve ever been with, the only person Iíve ever even been interested in. I donít know anything else. I need help. I love this website and the book, it has been such a great thing for me, but I need more. My shrink is ok. Her shit is finally out of my house. She is giving me two months of mortgage payments. I canít refi w/o a bunch of cash. Iíve known for 5 weeks and am mostly no contact, but she wants one month of no contact and I need this house stuff figured out.

Niddrie posted 8/13/2014 15:55 PM

This is a letter I want to send to my cheater. I found out July 5. Our relationship was great, we were doing all sorts of stuff together, having a great time. On July 4 she was doing worksheets for me on her ďlove languageĒ.

I think it started to change when I started grad school. You used alcohol to fill the space and loneliness that you feel. You said you drank to escape. I was busy and wasnít filling that lonely space, making you feel good and attending to your needs like I did before. You couldnít accept that you werenít perfect, so you hid your alcohol use, pretending you didnít drink, lying to me and to you. You couldnít accept that you had flaws and needed help. I didnít know, because you are very good at manipulating me. You lied, a lot, and it caused distance between us. Lies block intimacy. Lies create a void that canít be breached between two people. You wouldnít open up to me, wouldnít tell me the truth because you couldnít admit it to yourself. It impacted our relationship and our sex life. We couldnít connect physically if there were walls mentally. The lies continued, to you, and to me. Lies were the beginning of the end.

I always look for the best in you, and thatís all I saw. I always had you on a pedestal, from the first day that I met you and you loved that. I made you feel great, always doing special things for you. Your mom figured it out. You still couldnít handle it, and you certainly couldnít handle me knowing about it or helping you through it. So after a while, you just stopped drinking. It was easier to stop drinking than for you to let me to know you still had a problem. You werenít on the pedestal anymore and were human, and you didnít like it. You didnít deal with the root of your drinking, never accepted that you have issues and pain. We never could even talk about it. We had to pretend it didnít exist, and give unassuming names like ďdrinking problemĒ to your alcoholism. You never asked me for help, never came to me to talk about it, to share what you were going through. You just hid it and pretended everything was fine. The lies continued, expanding the distance between us. I tried to talk about it, reached out to you, but after a while I stopped, I was in the middle of school and could only do so much.

In your year of not drinking (or seldom drinking and doing it secretly. I know of many specific times that you were trashed in that time, and turned the other way, so it wasnít secret enough.) you developed a deep resentment towards me. Probably a combination of knowing the truth about you, seeing you as a whole person, for taking you off that pedestal and making you human, and also, very importantly, a resentment that I couldnít save you from it, I didnít fix it for you like I did so many other things. I didnít take care of it for you and you suffered the consequences. You couldnít forgive yourself, couldnít accept your flaws, and couldnít believe that I could forgive you for having flaws and being human. Probably my forgiveness made you think there was something wrong with me, that I could forgive you when you couldnít. That resentment built up until you hated being around me.

Granted, I wasnít very fun to be with at all. I was beyond stressed with school. It was a good situation for you. You could blame everything on that, make sure to frame our relationship as terrible, frame me as controlling. Your alcoholism created a parent/child dynamic, which made the resentment even easier to fall into and more pronounced. How many times did I sit there, trying to force you to blow into the breathalyzer while you were completely trashed and insisting you were sober? The thought of that now is unfathomable to me. You could not accept that I saw you as a whole person and you wanted out. You withdrew from stuff, from cleaning the house, maintaining anything, looking to the future, making plans. I stepped it up, filled in the empty space you used to fill. You disconnected and stopped investing in your life, in our life. So when the Courtney situation became a possibility, it was the perfect escape. Instead of drinking to escape, you got a new addiction. It was an easy way out. An easy way to hide and get away from the truth.

Even better, it was the perfect punishment for me for taking you off your pedestal. The only thing I couldnít stand and would never understand is cheating, and Courtney was my worst nightmare. You justified it by saying I was a controlling person, and you had anger towards me for not protecting you from yourself, and not loving you enough to prevent your loneliness and pain. You hid it, and had a grand time with both of us trying so hard to get your affection. You spent all summer on cloud 9, with me doing worksheets, and adulating you for every scrap of attention you would throw my way, the whole time that you were already sleeping with someone else. And Courtney finally had the shoe on the other foot. You were always denied by her, she always had the power. You had to chase her, gave her an ultimatum and she didnít ever sacrifice anything for you. Now you had the power, because you were in the relationship and she was the other woman. The roles were finally reversed and she had to chase you. You could decide when and if you saw her. The best part was that she didnít know the whole you. She had you on a pedestal. She didnít know about your alcoholism, about the emptiness. She didnít know about the pain and loneliness. You could go back to projecting the sparkly perfect image that I could see through. You knew it was wrong, (your pet name for her is Trouble!) but pursued it and pursued it. You lied to me and yourself. You had fantasies of us living together as roommates and continuing our life together, you actually told me that. You must have worked out some delusional fantasy where we could both stay in your life and no one would get hurt. A created reality where all your needs are met, no matter what the cost to the actual people you were involving. I know there was significant self deception as well as the lies you told me. You had Courtney and I both doing the ďpick me danceĒ for months, and you finally had the dark hole filled with other peopleís attention and affection.

Everything was grand until I found out. Then you got a permanent, one-way ticket to fantasy land. Now youíre upset. I see it in your words and your actions. Youíre not upset that you hurt me. Youíre upset that I know even more of the real you. You want a month of no communication because you canít stand to see the real you reflected in my eyes. Because I see you now. I loved you more than anyone ever has, I had you up as my favorite person in the world. I was so proud of you, and to be with you. I would have done anything for us. I have more integrity than anyone you know, I was your Good person with a capital G. But I know the truth. I know the real you. And you canít stand it. So you run, and you hide. You are now with someone that doesnít know you. So itíll feel good for a while. The guilt of what you did to me will sink in eventually, which will impact you. I think you chose her too because you felt you didnít deserve me any more, you needed to punish yourself for not being perfect and having flaws. Even now, you push me away, are cruel and hurtful. I think itís because you know I have the capacity to forgive you, and still love you for who you are. You are doing everything in your power to make it so I canít, because you think you donít deserve it, and you are trying to sabotage any possibility. Your response to this email will most likely be for the same reason. Itís too close to the truth to acknowledge, to painful to accept. I hope that changes someday and you are able to accept genuine love for you as a whole person.

I know what youíre thinking. Youíre thinking, ďNo, thatís not true, Iím not escaping from anything. Iím being true to myself and my feelings!Ē I have no doubt that you have feelings. Strong feelings, Iím sure.
But in my opinion, chasing what feels good at any cost is not the recipe for long term happiness. I donít anticipate it will end in happiness for you both, but maybe it will. Part of me hopes it does, even after all you put me through, because then all the pain would be for a good reason. But knowing the little I know about Courtney, and knowing you, thatís not going to happen.

The most heart-breaking part of the whole story is that I saw you for who you really are, the real and whole you, and I loved you all the more for it.
I knew all the bad things, all the pain and loneliness and hurt, and I still put you on that pedestal as a whole person.
But you couldnít allow it.
I saw you as a beautiful human being, flawed, and even more special because of those flaws.
But, you werenít brave enough to let me love you as a whole person, couldnít let anyone love the real you.
So, you took the easy way out.
You forced a situation where I couldnít allow myself to love you anymore.
And here we are.

annb posted 8/13/2014 18:00 PM

Hi, welcome to SI, Niddrie. Have you checked out the articles in the Healing Library?

Unfortunately, your gf has many, many issues, things you cannot fix. Alcoholism is a huge issue, and unless she gets help, there is nothing you can do to change her. She is in a downward spiral, and she is the only person who can pick herself up.

You cannot *nice* her back into the relationship. Time to put your bitch boots on and stop begging, whining, pleading, and trying to win her back.

I would NOT send that letter, IMO it is only going to antagonize her and push her further away. Don't accept blame for HER actions. She had other options moving forward than lying and cheating....communication, separation, counseling.

You need to focus on you right now. Take care of you, get rest, eat, stay hydrated, and exercise. Do things you enjoy doing.

Maybe she will come to her senses, maybe not. Don't get drawn into her drama, and don't allow yourself to be #2. You deserve so much more.


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