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.
me: BW 31
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?
him: WH, 29
A year of false R. I grew and worked, he didn't. He took off his wedding ring during an alcoholic relapse, I packed and left the next day. I went back 8 weeks later, working hard