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YAY for you BBM! I know how hard that was but, I'm SO proud of you for taking that first step. Don't be discouraged. The same thing happened to me when I went to my first SAnon meeting. They are VERY structured even tho there were only 3-4 of us in attendance and that kind of put me off too. I was told that you need to go at least 6 times before you decide that it isn't a good fit since the first time may have been just an off night. You should feel very good about the strength you are showing in moving forward. It's all so hard. Everyone here knows exactly how hard it really is.
Atta girl for reaching out to the priest! I hope you will be amazed at how people who care will respond if you just continue to reach out.
Missing what you thought you had is so very normal. At some point you need to use the rational part of your brain to separate out what that was vs. what your reality is now. Men who love their wives and children don't treat them this way. Addicts USE everybody for their own selfish gain. That is very hard to admit but, it is so very true. Mourn the loss of your fantasy but, get a grip on your reality and your future.
I'm almost 58 and terrified of starting all over but, after a year and a half of dealing with addict thinking and behavior, I know anything has to be better than this.
Keep going Honey! You are smart, loving and stronger than you know! Your strength will provide much needed security for your little boy.
It was hard and I actually almost talked myself out of it before leaving my house. I thought "I have been dealing with his alcoholism for over 10 years alone, why do I need this?" But I went, basically because it was better than sitting at home, crying.
I was reluctant to reach out to the priest also. I am just worried about what everyone will think. I don't want to lose my job because of him. I worry about that. I work with a lot of prominent parents...what if they found out about him and didn't trust me with their kids?
I realize that what my husband is NOW isn't what he always was. I don't what him NOW. I want the memories of the good stuff back. I don't want to be alone either. I am terrified of starting over. I don't know any different than him....I am 35 and have almost always been with him. I don't even know how or where to begin. It scares the bejeesus out of me to be without him.
Can you contact the person that you have a counseling appointment with and see if you can do it over the phone? No, that's not ideal, however, if you truly can't afford to get there, either by your own car or public transportation, then it's loads better than not going.
I'm glad you went to the meeting too. That is another big step.
You remind me a lot of myself many years ago when I was married to my X-POS-WH.
I was the QUEEN of denial. And the definition of co-dependent. X-POS-(piece-of-shit)-WH was, like yours, an alcoholic, abusive, a liar, a cheater and in constant trouble.
I made excuses for him, covered up for him, propped him up, paid for attorneys, refinanced my house several times to pay off his debt, etc, etc, etc.
I used to think he would eventually grow up and stop drinking and be responsible. I used to think that if people really knew him like I did, they would see, like me, that he was really a wonderful person.
EVERY SINGLE TIME he got into trouble, or something bad happened to him, it was someone else's fault. Someone had always done him wrong. He was the forever victim. I felt sorry for him. He'd get fired from his job, I'd help him find another one. Lather, rince, repeat.
When I found out he had been cheating on me (through our whole marriage) I couldn't believe it. And I couldn't believe he could be so cruel to me as he was. I kept thinking, this isn't the real him.
It took me a long time to realize and accept that the nice loving guy I had married never existed. THAT man was all an act. The REAL guy was the liar, the cheater, the abuser, and the alcoholic.
I was so screwed up when I got out of that mess, I didn't even know which way was up. I was 39 years old and thought my life was over.
Today I am 53, remarried to a wonderful man who is completely different in every way from my ex. It's almost embarrassing to me today to realize that I had accepted the horrible treatment my ex dished out to me.
I think the fact that you are worried about what others think tells me you know deep down how bad things have been. But maybe you're just not quite ready to accept it. I get that. I've been there too. And I am here to tell you, the ONLY way to clear your head of all the BS clutter he has polluted you with is to remain no-contact. Stick with it. NC = no more hurt.
[This message edited by sadtoo at 12:41 AM, July 19th (Saturday)]
I feel like I could have written your post, Sadtoo. I have always defended, supported, and believed 110% in my husband. Even at his worst, like now, I want to defend the man I love. The man I knew. I have even told people you don't know him like I do, you don't understand....I guess they saw what I didn't. I guess I just didn't want to face facts. I still don't. It hurts to know I was so blind, so naive...so STUPID for so long.
NC is best for me because I am STILL that blind, naive, stupid little girl that wants to know he loves me and wants me. I know I couldn't turn him away if he needed me. How do you turn your back on someone you love so much? And yes I still make excuses for him when my friends and family say bad things. He is off his meds, he has mental issues, meth changes a person....blah blah blah. Silly, I know.
He is toxic. We don't need the heartache. I get that. But I still miss him, I still love him. I WILL be better off without him, eventually. But that doesn't make the heartache, the hurt, the loneliness or the feeling of being lost, empty and terrified without him.
This is who he has always been, he just did a fantastic job of hiding it from me, of convincing me that he was the father and husband we needed. He just couldn't hide it anymore. His demons took over. Maybe he will get better, but it won't last. It will always be like this. I am surprised he did as good as he did for as long as he did.
I am very screwed up right now. Mentally, emotionally, physically, financially....he really did a number on me. I have a huge mess to dig myself out of while he enjoys his life with his whore. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about how easy and carefree his life is while I worry about EVERYTHING.
I am sorry my posts seem so bipolar. My mood and feelings change minute to minute. I just want this whole nightmare to end. Sadly, I don't see the end happening for awhile. The light at the end of the tunnel just seems to keep getting farther and farther away.
BBM.. well, to be honest I've been to an Al-Anon meeting too and it was weird for me also. It felt kind of aimless, I didn't like that there wasn't a leader, and it just seemed to be a free for all. lots of people rambling about 'getting in touch with their feelings'. WTF...?? Excuse me but I've never had an issue with that....! I'm here to find out how to better understand the alcoholic and how to cope with that on a daily practical level. So it was a total waste of time, although people say you have to keep going and 'give it time'. Well.. I really don't have time to give, without results. So I get it.
However I was hoping you would have a better experience. But LEAST you gave it a shot... and there are certainly other avenues to try. Hopefully something will click soon!
I just didn't want to face facts. I still don't. It hurts to know I was so blind, so naive...so STUPID for so long.
I get that too. I was the same way. This was probably the most difficult for me to get over ~ the feeling that I was so stupid. But you know what? I wasn't stupid. And neither are you. When someone sets out to deceive you by presenting themselves as someone/something they are not, that is no reflection on you. All you did was love who you thought you married. There is no shame in that. If you knew then all that you know now, you probably wouldn't have ever married him.
Have you heard the parallel between abuse and the frog in the hot water? If you heat the water and then throw the frog into the water, he will jump out. But if you put the frog in while the water is cool and gradually heat it up, the frog will stay in the water until the water boils.
Same with abuse. It doesn't all come on at once. You become "conditioned" to the abuse. If the abuse came on strong in the beginning, you would have told him to F-off and been out the door. But it starts off slow, gradually becoming worse. And the victim stays. And here you sit, not even realizing just how bad things have really gotten.
Keep working on you. Keep reading. Keep going to meetings. Try to make going to therapy a priority.
You deserve a better life for you and your son.
Thank you, Sadtoo. It is just so hard to face that my I failed in marriage. I still feel as if I should have done something, anything different and this would have never happened.
I haven't heard from him still. I don't expect to over the weekend. But I think by Monday or Tuesday, I will. Maybe not, though. I have no clue what is going on in that messed up head of his.
Weekends are hard. We did a lot together, as a family on the weekends. Now I am alone and he is with her. That kills me. Evenings are hard on me, too. That is when I have nothing to do but think. And when I really realize that something is missing from my home. And right now, it doesn't feel like a home.
BBM - the first meeting I went to, there were a couple of old biddies running the meeting so I had no idea there wasn't supposed to be anyone in charge. Instead it was weird, because all of their sharing was around how pissed off they were about their addicted spouses! Hah! Talk about a non-12 step meeting.
I learned quickly to find an online meeting, but more importantly I got a sponsor who helped me work through the steps. The sponsor was the most important part of my recovery but the only way I would have met her was through the online meetings and watching who seemed to be the most sober about their recovery. Then I asked her to sponsor me through the step work.
Your life has become so focused on him. Fixing him, making excuses for him, propping him up, maintaining his "good" image, keeping and getting him out of trouble, ect.
I'll bet along the way, you have lost you.
Who are you? What defines YOU? Think about the things in your life that you did that made you happy that have been pushed aside for or because of him. You mentioned your garden. What else?
If you're like me, I let everything I loved go onto the back burner while I focused on my X-POS-WH. And in that process, I lost ME.
Get back to doing the things that YOU love do do.
I had been reading online about the Al-anon meetings before I went so I will probably continue to do that. At least until I hear something back from my friend/cousin. She is going to talk to some friends of hers that are also counselors. She is no longer a counselor.
It is so funny that you said that about losing myself, Sadtoo. I just told a friend yesterday that I had lost ME. I don't know how to be anything but his wife and a mom. I became so wrapped up in my family that I lost myself along the way. And yes, his issues were a big part of why.
Today has been really hard for me. I have slept most of the day. All I can think about is him. I have wanted to text him so many times. Some days are just so much harder and today is one of those.
You can and will do this. You can be successful and happy and stable again. I know it seems impossible right now but you can.
I'm so sorry your meeting sucked but don't give up hope. You are starting to make progress and realize what has happened that's HUGE to your recovery and regaining strength.
Start doing things you like and enjoy (I even became a beekeeper in my journey)
But please please please do not allow yourself to stay in bed, or isolate yourself home alone. Gather friends, family, and others to help you become strong and independent.
And for God's sake quit telling yourself that he is happy and living it up. He isn't he is a fucked up addict that is desperately searching for his next high. He has no conception of what fun, happy, stable, good, or any positive feelings are. He is an addict that is all he knows and all he understands his life is is sad and pitiful. He chose this. He chose this sad broken existence over love and happiness, safety, security, and family. Do NOT feel sorry. Do not blame you.
Also, BBM- I want to say something to you I think is very important. Please do not beat yourself up or think there is something 'wrong' with you for putting him first, thinking about him, being focused on him... there is nothing inherently 'wrong' with that, in a healthy relationship.. you are just doing what you are SUPPOSED to do! Put your spouse first, make them the priority of your life.. that even seems to be a survival instinct built into the genetic makeup of women, moreso than men (typically). We are extra good at that. You are doing what is right and natural. So then we feel conflicted by the mixed messages that our situations put us into. Now because of your spouse's sickness, you have to go against your natural instinct and do the opposite.. and it just feels all wrong.
I don't have any magic answers other than keep taking care of yourself and listen to the advice of the folks on this thread.. they know from hard-earned experience and it's some of the best I've seen on here. But don't fault yourself for wanting to talk to him, wanting to fix the relationship, even being 'co-dependent'. After all, look at those old folks who spend every day together and live happily ever after.. aren't they 'co-dependent'..? Isn't that how you're supposed to be? Why else do they say, 'my better half'..? (These are questions that still confuse me.....!)
But just know that in this situation you want to do what you've always done, which is not inherently a bad thing. It's just that now you have to do something different.. and hopefully as time goes on, as long as your spouse remains 'lost', it will get easier and you will feel a little bit stronger every day.
And if he does come around, then at least you'll have had a much-needed personal growth experience...
[This message edited by cosmicjoke at 10:56 PM, July 20th (Sunday)]
Cosmicjoke is absolutely right. You ARE suppose to put your spouse first. But in a healthy relationship, they are putting YOU first so things balance out.
In an abusive/addiction relationship, (like yours) your are putting your spouse first and he is putting himself first. Nobody is taking care or looking out for you.
I hope your weekend turned out better than it started.
Thank you Cosmicjoke, but I don't see him coming around anytime soon. He is just so focused on himself that he seems to have forgotten that he has a wife and child.
Today is day #5 with no contact. I know that is a good thing but it really bothers me. I still don't understand how he can just completely forget about the life we had. He just walked away so easily. It kills me.
I spent yesterday laying in the pool...still alone but doing one of my favorite things. However, I spent a lot of that time crying and thinking and crying and thinking. It is a vicious cycle....I just miss my family so bad. It is getting better though. I still cry A LOT but not as much as I did.
I considered taking all of our family pictures down this morning...at 3 am, when I couldn't sleep. But I am afraid that will really bother my son when he comes home. I don't want him to think that I have given up on his Dad or am trying to get rid of him. How do I handle that?
I think you can take down the family photos. Don't burn them, or throw them out. Your son may want them later.
I do think it's reasonable to tell him that seeing those hurts too much right now. If your son wasn't aware of what was going on I would offer different advice, but your son has been a support to you early on. You need show him that you are taking steps to be stronger, and make your and your son's life better.
You need to give yourself a set time for crying, daily in the shower, at night before going to sleep the rest of the time when you feel down, do something productive, and healthy for you.
I was just afraid that if he came in and they were gone, it would be a shock to him. He has been through so much already with all of this nonsense! I hate to do anything else to possibly damage him. My heart breaks for my innocent little boy. I don't understand, so I know that he doesn't.
I have vowed to not cry in front of him anymore or to even let him see me sad. He is too worried about me and he shouldn't be. He is only 9. He shouldn't have to call and check on his mom. I hate what my husband has done to him. Bastard.
I agree with TN. Take down the pictures. Your son knows what is going on and he is old enough for you to explain (in age appropriate words & without emotion) why they are down.
Put up other pictures in their place. Find some cute pictures of your son and you together or just your son and put those in the frame. Print them yourself or email them to Walmart and have them print them. Watch for sales & coupons. You can get this done very, very inexpensive.
Another thing I did was redid my house so things didn't look the same as when XH was there. Even though $ is tight, there are ways to do this, even on a tight budget. Switch bedrooms with your son. Look around for any left over paint and mix it all together and see what color you get, then paint the walls. If you have several cans of white or off white, take it in to a paint store and have them "tint" this paint. Some places will do this for free. This will also keep you busy & your mind off him. And it will give you a sense of accomplishment.
I don't know where you live, but it is going to be HOT here over the next few days, so doing anything inside would be good.
I borrowed this from another thread I saw this morning because it made me think of you!
Praying you are gathering your strength for a happier future!
[This message edited by outtanowhere at 5:41 AM, July 22nd (Tuesday)]
I love that, Outtanowhere! I am printing it so I will have it as a reminder.
He texted last night around 10:30. He just said that his phone is going to be off for the next few days until he can get the money to pay for it. He just has one of those AT&T GoPhones. Guess his whore won't pay for it? His wife would have...oh well. I didn't text him back. I don't know why he bothered to tell me. It isn't like he has been communicating with me anyway. Today is #6 of NC for me.
I am starting to get mad more and it is starting to last a little longer each time. I need to find my anger. Especially for what he is doing to our son. At times, I hate him. I don't understand how I can hate someone and miss/love them so much at the same time. This is such a rollercoaster of emotions. It is crazy. But it is my life right now...up down up down....with a lot of crazy twists and turns. I HATE IT.
Come back with me just a few short weeks. Would you have believed it if I had promised you that in a few weeks you'd be going six days of NC without dying? That, BBM, is progress.