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Post Info TOPIC: Alcohol and affair?


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Alcohol and affair?


Not sure if Im in the right place or not. 

 

about a year ago I found out that my husband was having an affair. He blamed it on his drinking and a mid life crisis. Hes been in AA, therapy and alcohol free since. He is doing everything possible to make up for what he did but Im still having a very hard time with it. Anyone else in the same situation as Im in? 

 

I feel like Im dealing with three different people. 

The man I married died that day. and then I had to deal with a monster! A monster who was the one that killed him. 

Now Im living with a good person but hes not the same.

 

Im still mourning the loss of the 1st one. 

Im still hurt by the 2nd one. 

And I just dont know how to act around the 3rd. 

(Just in case thats confusing, all three are the same person, my husband) 

Thx. 



-- Edited by Gretel on Tuesday 5th of May 2020 09:54:21 PM

__________________

Just for today, I will let it begin with me. I will think how important it is not to lose my serenity. I will keep it simple when my mind wants to burst. I will remember: Easy Does It and First Things First. 



~*Service Worker*~

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YEP....not that I think my Ex's cheated, but they were unfaithful to me putting the liquor before me....and yea, drunk they are one way....recovering another....and yea, the things they did while drinking, another, but thank God for Alanon because I got to focus on taking care of me, and not having to focus on the alcoholics in my life.....Alanon taught me to focus on me...Take care of me......Work on MY issues and learn a new way of living, and I can detach from them , let them learn from their mistakes, reap what the sow , so to speak....

I always say....I didn't cause them to drink......could never control them and their drinking and for SURE I am NOT gonna cure them....Alcoholism is an addiction...it is arrested...put in remission...there is no cure...same as me and my addiction to control and Codependency.....I have to work my program every day to stay emotionally sober.....

Welcome to Alanon and the freedom it can give to you

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Rose, a work in progress!!!

KEEP IT SIMPLE_EASY DOES IT_KEEP THE FOCUS ON ME



~*Service Worker*~

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Gretel,

Welcome! Glad you're here with us and hope you keep coming back. If your husband is serious about AA recovery that's great for him. If individual therapy is helping him that's great too. I doubt you will find one person who posts here with an alcoholic in their life who will tell you they have never experienced any sort of betrayal from that alcoholic. I did experience cheating. Although my ex never directly admitted it, proof has a way of surfacing. There's a lot of wreckage from alcoholism as you probably know from personal experience beyond marital infidelity. There is a lot to come to terms with when a spouse gets sober. 

I like the way you've broken him down into three people. It really is a good way of explaining this journey. But what if you applied those statement to you. You are the most important person in your life. You are your best investment in a happy future. The Alanon program can be a tremendous help with that. It was for me anyway and it continues to be. I found a loving sponsor and although not really a part of the Alanon program, I found a professional who supported my sanity and personal growth who acted more as a mentor than a therapist who I owe my life to. The program and people in the rooms of Alanon helped me feel less alone with their clear understanding of what it was like to live with an alcoholic - using alcoholics, sober alcoholics, dry drunk alcoholics. Somehow they were moving forward with life on life's terms, finding greater awareness of what they themself wanted for their life rather than how they could change themself to fit with their alcoholics.  

Working the 12 Steps of Alanon with a loving sponsor in the program is so helpful for identifying what we are feeling, what we deserve and what we want for our own life. Because of those steps, 1st I have a relationship today the god of my understanding, 2nd myself and 3rd my significant other.

"And I just dont know how to act around the 3rd."  My suggestion... be yourself, it's all you've got and it's enough.

We don't have to walk on eggshells when the alcoholic is drinking, we don't have to offer them special accommodation when they are sober, we don't have to leave them or stay with them. We can choose to forgive or choose not to. But with Alanon, I'm glad I took the risk to know myself. It allowed me to turn my finger inward and I realized that I was the person in your 1st, 2nd and 3rd. 

1st    I grieved lost opportunities                                                                                                          

2nd   I surrendered my hurts daily by putting them in the hands of a loving higher power

3rd   Came to a place of acceptance of myself as loving and worthy of love just as I am

Below it a link to the WSO Alanon website and online meetings. There's lots of valuable information about the program and some more personal experiences there too. 

https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/

((hugs))) In support, TT



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Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.



Member

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Thank you so much!! This really helps!



__________________

Just for today, I will let it begin with me. I will think how important it is not to lose my serenity. I will keep it simple when my mind wants to burst. I will remember: Easy Does It and First Things First. 



~*Service Worker*~

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My qualifier was 3 people. The person who I met who could not do enough for me, the person who totally ignored me and the person who blsmed ne for all his oriblems. However I.have to.say I also blamed him for all my problems While he never cheated on me he certainly out everyone else before me. I had tremendous resentment towarda him. Tge resentment which was mutial cemented us together. With al anon. I gave up.all exlectations of him. That was an incredible piece of work. With other boyfriends and even husbands(i have been married twice) i got to be cheated on. I remember looking out of the window and seeing my husband in our car with another woman parked outside. That was very painful. My ex husband eventually went into recovery. He still resented me deeply. I have a deeo capacity for resentment and lettimg go is not easy. Yet the more I ket go of resentment the better i am. I felt betrayed in all my relationships. My qualifier was particularly troubkesome because we stayed togethsr for 8 years. 8 years of mostly resentment. That is a hard one to deal with. Yet that was what bought ne to al anon. I coukd not relate to the orogram before then. I was not at that point. Now I am daily I have to surrender. This COVID crisis is one of the things I have to surrender to daily.

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Gretel welcome to the family and thanks for jumping right in with your concerns.  MIP offers Experience Strength and Hope to all who come here looking for answers, sanity and guidance.  

I had no idea the quantity of affairs I would witness with my Alcoholic/Addict wife.  In fact she once asked me if it would be okay for us to have other partners which blew my mind.  "of course not.  How can we hope to have a marriage and family under those conditions", I answered not knowing that to an alcoholic/addict that question might often be nonsense.  To her my reaction was non-sense and I learned then the condition of our relationship.  She associated with a group of addicts and affairs were usual under the influence.  I didn't know and didn't know that I didn't know yet still my mind and intentions were about having a "normal life".   It couldn't happen under  those conditions which led to divorce.  

For me I was looking for steady relationship and I looked and looked which included often a different sexual partner hoping this one would be the final one.  I finally arrived at the thought and feeling condition that I didn't need to be married and became single until  my present spouse followed me to Hawaii and announced I wanted to be married...too you.  I thought about it seriously not needing to be married to anyone and then (relapses??) considered it again.  We have been married for 28 years the longest of all my marriages and relationships. I was not as attached mentally and emotionally to this wife as I was to my addict/alcoholic and have come to re-understand the depth of a co-dependents addiction. 

I have learned a new understanding of Love in the program given to me by a female member who had been in similar situation as me.  "Love is the complete and total acceptance of every other human being for exactly who they are" which very deeply altered my definition and my understanding and behavior.   It levels the playing field and increases the amount of humans beings I can and will be in love with.  My HP governs that definition as it is very near his own.

Affairs are not love.  They are just nerve ending excitement just like getting drunk.

Keep coming back (((((hugs))))) winksmile 



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Jerry F
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Thank you very much for your share Jerry. I greatly appreciate it.

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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Thank you everyone! You all have really helped me.

__________________

Just for today, I will let it begin with me. I will think how important it is not to lose my serenity. I will keep it simple when my mind wants to burst. I will remember: Easy Does It and First Things First. 



~*Service Worker*~

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I think it is pretty mormal to be behind the curve with an alcoholic. Many people here express a lot of anger when their spouse goes to rehab. I know processing a relationship that seems to change by the minute is pretty daunting. Early recovery (that is the first 5 years) is pretty daunting. After all we are behind the curve. I had to deal in a professional setting with someone in early recovery. I have to say she was a little more difficult to deal with than the alcoholics Early recovery is a big uphill struggle for an alcoholic. After all they have generally spent a lot of time being an alcoholic. Then there is all the feelings which they have worked so hard to squash down Al anon is a big help in learning how to navigate that territory. In fact I believe it is a great guide. Having a relationship with a recovering addict alcoholic is a big deal. I found it very hard to deal with my #friend# professionally. In sobriety she achieved great gains. Early sobriety is a tough place to be. Having all the skills you can gain with al anon will helo you a great deal

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Bo


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Excellent points! Thank you for sharing!

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Gretel - I just wanted to offer a quick welcome to you - glad you found us @ MIP and glad that you joined in. There is never any shame in feeling how/what you feel. I recall vividly grieving the person I met/married and feeling deep resentment/hatred towards who he became when active in the disease. I had tons of fear about the future and always wondered 'who' might show up daily...

What I learned in recovery was I tended to project outcomes mostly negatively - always! My sponsor kept suggesting when I projected, if the future looked bleak, I should try to rewrite a different outcome. It was my will and my crazy brain that projected negatively - the God of my understanding wants me to be happy, joyous and free! So, I practiced that and have come to conclude and believe with my full being that if I keep doing the next right thing, the best is truly yet to come.

My marriage is in the best place it's ever been. That includes the 'lust phase' of before the formal marriage. We are 100% comfortable with the other, we know each other's strengths/weaknesses and are just comfortable and content in this phase of our lives. In all my practice projections, this was not an outcome I could have envisioned/considered.

Keep coming back - trust your program and trust your progress! It does work when we work it!!

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

Bo


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Big difference between someone who had a spouse cheat on them...verses someone who DID NOT have a spouse cheat on them.

I wonder who can truly feel what it is like to be in those shoes.

Program? Yes, absolutely. Everyone can speak to program. As far as feeling what it's like to be in those exact shoes, to wiggle your toes and feel what the inside of those shoes feel like, to actually lay next to that person and know what it feels like, but, because you can't put it into words, your emotions, your feelings are something that someone, some people might not understand...well, that's a different story. There is a difference between empathy and sympathy. There is a difference between loss and trying to relate to loss, or saying that you do. The alanon program is there to help those who want it to, embrace it, are open-minded, and who want to commit to it. It's not for everyone. But I know it worked for me...what I put into it, and what I got out of it.

I completely agree -- there is no shame in feeling WHATEVER you are feeling. Period. The feelings are our own. What we do with them, how we manage them, cope with them, handle them, and so on...that is what the alanon program helps us with. And each person's program and recovery is their own.

Some people look at the Mona Lisa, or the Guernica, or the Caravaggio - The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, or Jackson Pollock's One: Number 31, 1950, whatever it might be...some people might see the most beautiful piece of art of all-time, ever, in the history of the world. Maybe one person see that. Others might see something that makes no sense whatsoever. My perspective...neither is wrong.

All the best.



-- Edited by Bo on Friday 15th of May 2020 11:42:35 PM



-- Edited by Bo on Friday 15th of May 2020 11:43:29 PM



-- Edited by Bo on Friday 15th of May 2020 11:44:52 PM

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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I do want to say there are some people who do indeed get sober in rehab. After numerous relapses they certainly get sober. I have known people who made sobriety the center of their lives and suceeded I have always been pretty upset when other people told me to review my expectations of the qualifier. After all aren't I entitled to the companionship of someone who is at least momentarily responsible? However my rage and resistence to #reality# got in the way of looking at what brought me to the qualifier in the first place. Al anon can give you the chance to grow and do far more than #survive# The qualifier does not have to be the center of the universe. Many many people have numerous relapses then then get sober. There is always hope. In the meantime, during this extraordinary time, lean on this program. Discover tools and strengths you will be eternally grateful for.

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Bo


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Interesting point Maresie...yes, people do get sober in rehab. Of course they do. In my experience, it's the ones who truly want to get better, get healthy, get and stay clean and sober, and do so one day at a time. They come out of rehab...and that's what they want. That's what they focus on. That becomes the most important thing in the world...staying sober...one day at a time.

I didn't get healthy UNTIL I looked at my expectations. They were the major reasons I ended up -- angry, sad, frustrated, disappointed, and so much more. For me, there is a big difference between my expectations of the alcoholic and my expectation or want of companionship, and a companion, a partner, etc., who is _____________ (fill in the blank). One is an expectation of another person -- an alcoholic. The other is my want, what I expect in a relationship, a marriage, a partnership, etc. As soon as I turn to the other person -- then it is an expectation of that other person. In alanon there is a saying -- high hopes and low expectations. In having acceptance, that I can't control it, cure it, fix it, etc., I can become free, free of the desire to try and do or get those things. How can I expect the alcoholic to _______________ (fill in the blank)? The alcoholic is emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. Their thought process, their thinking, decision making, etc. -- all of it has become corrupted. For years, I asked the alcoholic to do things she just wasn't able to do. But I thought she could. I asked to be a certain way, but she just wasn't able. But I thought she was. I wanted her to behave certain ways, but she was just absolutely unable to do so. But I thought she would. While there is no right or wrong...who is the one to look to for me being angry, upset, disappointed, etc.? Once I realized it was ME...that's when I was able to begin to get better, get healthy. That was the beginning of my recovery.

I've been in the rooms of alanon for many years, and my perspective has always been...the "hope" that they talk about in alanon...is hope for us. The steps, the slogans, the mindset and methodology behind the alanon program...is about US. Hope that we can get better, change, get healthy, have acceptance, and so on. Now, acceptance doesn't mean I have to accept unacceptable behavior, being treated poorly, verbally abused, bullied, manipulated, and so on. No, that's not what acceptance is about!

Nothing changes if nothing changes...and the change that statement refers to, is change in US.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

a4l


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Thanks Jerry. That was quite a mind/heart expanding share.

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a4l


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I don't know about sober rehab etc. I know for me, i didn't know I was an alcoholic until I married one and used his addiction and mine to he as a very handy way of avoiding all responsibility for all of my issues until that just became impossible and too far high a cost paid in comparison to benefits received. I agree desire is absolutely key to sobriety. Desire not for sobriety, but the things which only come from it. Dignity was mine.

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Its so frustrating! My husband says he is still trying to do everything he can to move on but I just cant seem to! I feel like Im losing love for him more and more. Sometimes I feel like he forgets what he did so its not as bad for him. I mean he was drunk all the time and he wasnt the one who got hurt. I feel so alone because he just doesnt seem to get it. He actually said that he does kind of forgets sometimes if its a good day and then he sees me silently crying and then he remembers. I feel like Im the only one with this f*ing trauma!!! How am I supposed to move on with someone who hurt me so bad and doesnt even realize the extent? How can he truly make up for it when he has no clue the amount of pain he put me in? Sometimes I wonder if this is it, if this is as good as it gets? Is this my life now? Its been over a year and I still cry every day. 

 

Sorry, just rambling. 



__________________

Just for today, I will let it begin with me. I will think how important it is not to lose my serenity. I will keep it simple when my mind wants to burst. I will remember: Easy Does It and First Things First. 

a4l


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I'll be honest Gretel. I've had my partner screw around. Actually I think way more times than the times I formally know about. And I didn't " get over " it until I got to a certain space/place in recovery. It was at that space when I was able to truly accept, understand and believe that his infidelity ( and let's be real here, how good could it really have been given that these are alcoholics we're talking about), his infidelity had nothing to do with me. By that I mean no part of it was a reflection on me as a person, woman, lover, mother or wife. No, it was purely a reflection on him. Knowing that head heart and spirit helped me to stop hurting in the places I was already a bit damaged even before him. I know it hurts but you may try to tell yourself the truth of another's wrongdoing. In this instance, a cheaters cheating is a reflection on their shortcomings, not their partners. Do something nice for yourself. Order bubble bath, get a facial (if it's permitted) and exercise is always good for the whole being. Take care! And keep coming back.

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A4l...That is a wide awake awareness; the stuff that has solidified my recovery...makes sense which is part of sanity.   Thanks.  ((((hugs)))) smile



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Jerry F
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Gretel, I hear you. Loud and clear. I think I felt exactly the same way you are feeling. At least from how you are expressing it, that's what is resonating with me. My wife cheated on me, and I know how I felt -- then, over the course of time, and now. What I can say, for me, is this -- no one can tell you how to feel. You are going to feel how you feel, and I think that's OK. No matter what, the spouse that cheated, who they are "being" in and around their infidelity, is absolutely going to have an impact on the other spouse. It has to. If it doesn't, then the person is oblivious, lying, or in denial.

That said, from my personal experience, my person feeling -- there is a very big difference between the "reflection" of the person, and the emotional elements of the infidelity. To me, they were completely and totally mutually exclusive. The infidelity may have been the catalyst for both, but they were not related and did not coexist for me. One had nothing to do with the other. More importantly, while I never once felt that my wife's cheating had anything to do with me in any way, shape, or form, and was no, zero reflection on me -- that in and of itself did NOT help me in anyway deal with the emotional elements of the fact that my wife cheated. It also had nothing to do with the fact that -- integrity -- which is innate, and a core component of who I am and how I live my life, now was an issue. Was it not an issue "because she was drunk" -- and if that's a question you can answer yes to, that's great. That is without question a to each your own thing. My wife said she was trying to do everything she could to -- move past it, let it go, earn back trust and respect, and so on...but she said I was the one who couldn't do that, and I was preventing "us" from moving on. Interesting. She said she never, ever lied to me after the cheating, about anything! But she did. It might have been about minor things, or a major thing, but she did. So, is that acceptable behavior? Am I to simply say, how important is it? Should I say that's not really her, she would never do that if she weren't drunk? Or, could I say, she's an alcoholic and I have to have acceptance, because this is who she is, she's emotionally bankrupt, her thinking is corrupted, and so on? I guess that's up to each person.

My wife too "forgot" what she did. I know she did. She even said at times she did. And she behaved like she did. OK, got it. It wasn't as bad for her, because she forgot it. My wife didn't get hurt by what she did...and that came out very clearly in therapy. The therapist ended up expressing that she felt I was harboring no ill-will, no anger or animosity, etc., about what happened, and my wife's accusations that I did, and that I was preventing "us" from moving past it -- had more to do with her feeling I was not "accepting" of how she was living her life. The therapist ended up explaining to my wife that I was completely accepting of how she was living her life...just that I no longer was willing to "fix" the problems that were created by how she was living her life. The therapist explained it perfectly!!!

I feel it's OK to be hurt. I feel it's normal. While it's great to feel it is no reflection on you, that doesn't help the being hurt. I get that. That's how I felt. Just because her cheating spoke to her, not me, about her, not me, and was allegedly indicative of her "shortcomings" and "problems" -- why does that have to be OK with me? Acceptance? Or, is it "Acceptable Behavior"...I for one do not collapse the two.

If you can get past it, you will. You will stop hurting -- if you stop hurting -- when you're ready. The hurting will change over time. It will take on different feelings, emotions, and you will have a different perspective in and around the hurting, and all of the other emotions as well. What should you be doing? Feel what you feel. Accept those feelings. Don't fight them. Feel them. Then what I did was surrender to them. I didn't fight them, force them down, away, etc. I let them drape over me, but not consume me...and then I was able to let them go. Actually, I didn't have to consciously let them go...they just slid away from where they were with me. It was very freeing actually, almost like a transformation, but in a spiritual sense.

Work with your sponsor, lean hard into the steps, work the steps, and see where the journey leads you. It will lead you to a place where...you will know when you get there. For today, how do you live? One day at a time. Keep your head where your feet are.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



Member

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Bo,

Thank you so much!
You have been the first person that I feel truly gets what Im going through! Finally I dont feel so alone.
Thank you for your share. 



-- Edited by Gretel on Sunday 17th of May 2020 10:52:18 AM

__________________

Just for today, I will let it begin with me. I will think how important it is not to lose my serenity. I will keep it simple when my mind wants to burst. I will remember: Easy Does It and First Things First. 

Bo


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You are very welcome Gretel...the feeling of not being alone was always very comforting for me. Even being a leader, not a follower, I took comfort in knowing there were other people in the room who had seen what I saw, went through what I was going through...and HAD DONE IT SUCCESSFULLY...and HAD GONE OUT THE OTHER SIDE. That is recovery. Keep posting, keep sharing...take what you like and leave the rest. Use what applies to you, keep trying and trying, and then keep trying more. All the best.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

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Gretel - I believe your last share was very telling in where you are. For many in recovery, we often need to step outside of the recovery program and work through trauma with a therapist, counselor, etc. I am not suggesting there is anything 'wrong' with you and where you are with the trauma you've experienced. I am just suggesting that professional help has been really, really helpful for me when my life and emotions are held hostage by the trauma.

There is no proper way to process infidelity. There is no magic period of time to be 'over it'. No matter how common it may/may not be, it hurts deeply and destroys trust - in the person, the relationship, the present and the future. Beyond an attempt at family counseling when our whole home was in perpetual chaos from this disease, I've sought help from professionals three times - an intensely physically abusive relation (which included infidelity/pregnancy in another woman), infidelity and rape. I would not be who I am today or where I am today without every tool I've chosen to explore inside these rooms and beyond these rooms.

My experience has been similar to what A4l shares - I had to work on accepting that I was not to be blamed for another person's actions/choices. It was all about them and not about me. It was these realities I struggled to get to on my own or with my sponsor. I'm sorry for your pain and the hurt you are feeling - sending you tons of (((Hugs))), positive thoughts and prayers for peace. Keep coming back!

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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Iamhere,

Thank you! I am currently looking for a new therapist. I was seeing one but it wasnt a good fit. I am also looking for a couples therapist as well. Hopi g I find a good one that will help us and help my husband understand the pain Im in.

__________________

Just for today, I will let it begin with me. I will think how important it is not to lose my serenity. I will keep it simple when my mind wants to burst. I will remember: Easy Does It and First Things First. 

a4l


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What difference does it make to have your husband understand the pain you're in? It's your pain. He's not crying. Why are you?

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I hear the voice and direction of a sponsor and in the past mine,  Thanks for the memory a4l I always can use the memory.  ((((hugs)))) awwwink



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Jerry F
a4l


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Likewise Jerry, I was reminded that the ESH component of sharing comes from the roots of the heart, down there in the gut. Not just the mind, which is perfectly capable of running on autopilot and loop for as long as we choose. I could "see" you in your share. It was touching and insightful.

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Bo


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I really hope Gretel is doing well, especially being she is a newcomer/beginner, and I hope she wasn't turned off, hurt, offended, or anything of the like.

I have no idea where everyone else is from, but where I come from there is a saying..."the beginner/newcomer is the most important person in the room"...and seasoned people, people with time in the program, people who have gotten better, gotten healthy, people who are grateful, and people who are compassionate...they understand why that saying is true and important.

All the best Gretel.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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Gretel,

Thank you for the thread. I haven't been there, but I have been helped by the shares of the people who have.

Bless you. I hope you find your way.

Temple

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It's easy to be graceful until someone steals your cornbread.  --Gray Charles

 



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Bo--Thank you for your posts.

As I told Gretel--I haven't been there, and I don't think I could bear it. And I printed what you said about thinking the alcoholic was capable of doing things she was not.

I keep expecting my dry but unrecovered alcoholic to be able to behave in ways that he cannot. Lord! I hope I can get this before I die.

Bless us and keep us, every one.

Temple


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It's easy to be graceful until someone steals your cornbread.  --Gray Charles

 



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My own experience of recovery is thar many recovering alcoholics do not get to remorse My own experience of pain is that i really have to watch my boundaries when I am vulnerable. When I was really ill in the past month I was particularly vulnerable. I choose actively not to show that vulnerability openly. I protected myself rathef than tried to be acknowledged. I have cried many tears over the behavior of the alcoholic. Adjusting my expectations has been excrutiating to say the least. There was tremendous grief in giving up those cherished expectations. However when I have addressed those expectations realistically I am not consumed with chronic disappointment. In my case I most certainly have abandonment issues and those were triggered regularly like clockwork because I did not have the tools to protect myself. I railed long and hard when people in the program suggested I review my expectations. I resented that suggestion deeply. I felt entitled to that completely unreasonable expectation and I would not give them uo. Eventually being willing to address the kind of people I interacted with helped me. Then I started to have a reasonable idea of how I had set myself up. Abandoning myself in a relationship was the absolute norm for me. I was the one who did not treasure and maintain my boundaries. Certainly being in al anon has been a very painful experience. However it has also been where I was accepted for who I was and were all the time. As I was unable to accept myself under any terms that was and still is very healing for me.

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Hi gretel here,

Ive been doing ok I guess. Lots of tears but still pushing on. My husband and I saw our couples therapist the other day for the first time and during our session I told him that I felt he was the 3 different people. He was stunned! He couldnt understand why I cant just see him for the man he was before the drinking. I tried to explain that its just not the same. The love for the person I married just isnt the same. I still love him very much but now theres something missing. I feel the only way we can move forward is to start over.
He just doesnt get it. He thinks that now that hes clean I should be able to move on and just pick up where we left off before the drinking.

I just cant.

Its so frustrating!!!! I feel so alone in all of this! And its very exhausting.
Im tired of trying to explain how I feel and not having it heard! Im tired of my puffy swollen face from all the crying! Im tired of always feeling defeated! Im tired of wondering if this is it for me? Is this my life now? Is this all I have to look forward to?


I just have to push on and prey that it will get better.

Thanks for listening.

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Just for today, I will let it begin with me. I will think how important it is not to lose my serenity. I will keep it simple when my mind wants to burst. I will remember: Easy Does It and First Things First. 



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Hi Gretel,
I don't often reply on here, but I know exactly how you feel. I have walked where you are walking now.
A little history, we were married in 1971. He did not drink then but came from a drinking family. I did not know what I was getting into. But I was in love. In the 1990's he was well into his alcoholism, but a very well respected professional in his field. He had a lot of nights in hotels for his work. We had 4 children then. I was with one of his co-workers for a fun trip with a couple of my kids in late 1990's when this co-worker of his tried to tell me (her words), "the wife is the last to know". I assured her that I already knew and I dropped the subject. He got sober when he was ordered (year 2000) to AA by a judge and his brother took him by the hand in AA and made sure he knew how serious this was.
After he was sober for a few months I confronted him with what his co-worker said to me (and he never did know who it was), and he denied it and said all his staff were lying about it. I knew what I knew, mainly that I was picking up the prescriptions for the little blue pill that he used and I knew that he didn't use it when I was around..... (10 a month).
Anyway, I was in AlAnon by then and trying to wade through all that was being told to me. All the same stuff as you are hearing now. Stick with it, it does work. I tried to accept and forget. No that doesn't work. Acceptance is good, though. Accept your feelings about what happened. Accept that he did it. Accept that he is an imperfect child of your HP. You do not have to deny your feelings.
In my case we stayed married. I was ready to leave. At one point I was planning to leave. I stayed and tried to live my own life as good as I could. And that is what saved me. I lived MY LIFE. I lived around him, but not necessarily with him. I intentionally looked for other ways to make me happy.... no, not immorally or illegally. I looked for happiness that I could make for me and for my kids. I am really close with my grandkids and my kids. At one point in this process I actually had to tell him to not "try to get between me and my kids". I chose the kids over him and he knew it.
To the outsiders looking at us we looked like we got along just fine. We have friends who still don't know he was an alcoholic. We traveled a lot after he got sober. We got along. We had shared experiences.
I worked on just trying to regain the friendship that I used to have with him. He was not the man I married, the man I trusted. I had a lot of tears shed over that one. He just wasn't. The first couple of years we were married he was the one I trusted. I lost trust in him and that was the biggest loss of all.
He died in December 2017 of a brain stem stroke. He was beginning to become again a person I trusted and respected. It took 17 years to get back to that place. It was so much better, but it was not the same. I understand your "3 different people" statement. I had that too.
Stay with AlAnon. Study and learn things. Live YOUR LIFE. You may have to live "around him" and not with him for awhile. Give it time and take care of yourself in the meantime.
Mary

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maryjane


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Gretel - I am sorry that you don't feel heard! I can so relate to that and it was so frustrating, sad, and just plain maddening. When I would talk with my sponsor and say exactly what you shared - is that how it's always going to be? I was seriously full of sadness, anger, fear and frustration and it really felt that way! She would gently remind me that keeping myself in the present would be healthier and projecting was pointless because we really do not know what the future holds, not even tomorrow.

I had to do some deep soul-searching and separate out what I genuinely loved about my AH from what I thought I was 'loosing or missing out' because of the disease. We lost tons of time, trust, intimacy, and much, much more - no doubt. What I found though is what I fell in love with was still there - just clouded by the disease and my own thoughts about the disease. He was still funny, charming when he wanted to be, good provider, helpful when asked, and much, much more. I had to pause and process simply because my mind was so stuck in the mayhem the disease brought.

He will probably not ever understand what you feel. Just as you don't understand his 'feeling' that all should be well now and we should just carry forward. Men and women really do think and process differently and having a same sex sponsor was 'gold' for me! I was able to share all that I needed to with her and she was able to share what had worked for her and I learned many shades of gray that did not exist in my black/white thinking.

So - I agree with what's shared above me - stick with Al-Anon and keep the focus on you! Work to heal and process for you, not for him or the marriage. Allow yourself to feel and process with another who can understand your place vs. his place. Keep coming back - there is always hope and help in recovery.

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 

Bo


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Gretel, I am so glad you are doing what you want and need to do for YOU. I lived through not being heard, having my feelings dismissed, ignored, neglected, even times when I wasn't even allowed to express my feelings, or my feelings were deflected/dismissed to my wife's feelings and everything became all about her. I can't tell you how many time and how long this went on. In couples counseling/therapy the topic of cheating came up -- and within 30 seconds the conversation shifted to her stress, her struggles, her everything!!! WHAT ABOUT ME?

Been there done that. One thing I think helped me was actually starting to figure out how I feel. What I mean is that for the longest time I really didn't know how I felt. My thinking had become so distorted, so corrupted, that all I knew was that I was in pain! I was unhappy! I was struggling! But I couldn't verbalize exactly what I was feeling! I was confused perhaps. I was unsure perhaps. I don't know what I was. Then, the therapist would say are you frustrated, and I would say YES, that's it!!!

My sponsor used to say it's OK to be confused. Just for today, you are confused. Confusion, uncertainly, struggle, often comes from feeling mixed emotions that are extreme. For me it was love and hate. Happy and sad. Up and down. I love my wife. But I couldn't stand what she was doing. Confusion, mixed emotions. That said, you are having some very clear awareness and clarity around how you feel. That's great! Don't lose sight of that. Hold onto it.

Tears are OK, it's a good thing, it can be cleansing, empowering, enlightening. I love that you are "pushing on" as you call it. That's you doing for you, you taking care of you, you looking out for you. It's you focusing on YOU!!! Whether your husband is stunned or not at how you felt -- is not about YOU. If he calls you a chair, you are not a chair. You don't have to think you are a chair, you don't have to accept you are a chair, and you don't have to behave like you are a chair. What matters is how you feel...not his reaction to it vis a vis he was stunned, he thinks you should forget it, move on, etc. Him understanding why, is him and his job. I admire and respect that you tried to explain that its just not the same -- and therapy is a safe place to do that. Love can be an verb and it can be noun. During a vicious fight, there's not a lot of love going on, LOL. But the two people still love each other.

For me, I loved my wife after she cheated. But, initially, there was something difference. There was something missing.

What it takes to move forward...well, that is going to be different for each person. Don't let anyone tell you what you need or what will take for you. That's for you to decide, figure out, arrive at, whatever you want to call it...it's a very frustrating and draining process. It's hard!!! Feeling not heard makes it more frustrating and draining. It's exhausting!!! I was exhausted just fighting to be heard and understood!!! I felt like I was beaten down, kicked while I was down, and so on...and another thing I want to express about here, in this forum...don't fret, be upset, or get chased away by inappropriate comments, questions, challenges, etc. Take what and who you like and leave the rest. People care, what they say may not always show it. So, just take what you like and leave the rest.

All the best!!!

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

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