As usual, I love this post. What has literally stopped me from walking away at any point the past 11 years of marriage has been my AH’s Bipolar 1. He medicates. He never misses his meds...ever. He described his condition to me as “(he) thinks about suicide every day, and wants to act on it about twice a year” and thats while medicated. He said that the first 30 minutes of drinking give him peace and he recognizes it gets away from him at that point. It broke my heart to hear that the man I love suffers like this, but it wasn’t until being introduced to Love Over Addiction did I realize there were TWO people in our relationship and zero out of two people gaf about how my mental and physical health was. Happy to report now one out of two of us gaf about me. Michelle saves MY life every day.

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Jun 9, 2023·edited Jun 9, 2023

Early in our marriage we fought about his drinking. I never felt at fault. He was the fun guy, and he took it too far. My concerns were dismissed as me being to "good" or controlling. Mostly I just ignored him when he drank too much. Then there was The Fight. The big one. Of course he'd been drinking, but this time it put me in a horrible position and this time I didn't have the strength to stay calm or rational. Nope. I lost it. Yelled, screamed, threw things...and it hurt him. He had to get stitches. I was immediately labeled crazy, psycho. My shame was so deep. I went to therapy. I worked on anger management. I started antidepressants. He joined me at counseling because he felt he needed to be sure I told them the truth about my rage, and we left with event the therapist telling me to really consider why I was so oversensitive about him having a couple drinks occasionally. His parents told me he wouldn't have to drink at all if I were a better wife. The church said I needed to pray more and turn the other cheek. My mother told me to suck it up because it wasn't that bad. I was 27 years old and BELIEVED THEM ALL. I believed something was truly rotten about me.

I'm incredibly grateful to LOA for helping me see the truth and learn to set boundaries that protect me. I'm also grateful to a wise Christian girlfriend who pointed out that "turning the other cheek" is when dealing with your enemy. Not your spouse.

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Wow, Kerry, that is A LOT! I'm so happy you see yourself in a different light now, you are a very brave lady ❤️

Funny how addition manipulates THE WHOLE world around the addict and not just the spouse, ey? Even the therapist fell for it...

I only recently started to notice the TINY manipulation tactics that are used against me. Not the big/obvious ones (and I laughed a little calling them 'obvious' because they were NOT so obvious to begin with 😅 thank GOD I found LOA!). I don't mean the blame games, or the in-your-face arguments, but the teeny tiny oh-so-subtle ones that are DEAD EASY to miss. The ones that pretend to come from a loving place. The ones that really seem like nothing in the moment, but then fester inside you (if you let them).

The more I notice them, the more I see how EVIL addiction really is. It's both sad and scary. Sometimes it FEELS so true, and makes you question yourself.

I challenge myself to say 'nope, not falling for this trick' or 'nope, I won't let you flip it around on me' (even if I don't really believe it myself at times) and that's normally when addiction gets REALLY angry 😳 But it also has nowhere to go, because I did not insult, or fight back, or say anything bad or hurtful, and it's funny to see it stuck sometimes 😂 As difficult as it is to manouvre and protect yourself, I sometimes enjoy that little 'gotcha' game with addiction. Needless to say, my AH hates it! But this is not about him. This is about me protecting myself from this disease. And I *will* enjoy and celebrate my victories ❤️💪🏻🙃

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Oh Joanna, I feel your comment so much. Thankyou for sharing!! And weldone!!!! Hugs

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Thank you! Hugs to you too, sweet Jenny 🤗🥰

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Wow is right! That is heavy!! It really is amazing what addiction can do to everyone around the one with the addiction. The manipulation is real! When I first realized that my husband was an alcoholic, I didn't want to tell anyone. I was ashamed for him. I am a strong person but I was in uncharted territory. It took a couple of years for me to realize that I am still a strong person and that the addiction is not my problem and I cannot fix it for him. When I started telling a select few friends and some family, I felt relief. But it has taken me a few years to realize all that addiction does. It is not my fault!

I'm glad that you are on a good path for yourself and that you have a good friend that is supportive.

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I am so incredibly grateful for this substack. Thank you Michelle. I felt so lost after LOA ended but understand.

My story..

I chose to stay. But my AP (alc. partner-not married) has escalated his addiction so bad recently. He retired last December.

Actually was kind of ‘positively’ ushered out due to a lot of factors. It was a bit demeaning for him. Ageism is real!

Now he doesn’t bathe regularly, doesn’t take care of the outdoors. His only responsibility, I clean. His new thing is not eating. He refuses to eat breakfast & lunch. Then about 4pm he goes to pour his first drink. By 7:00 he is so crocked he starts the verbal abuse. He demands food, ‘why don’t I feed him?’ ‘Why don’t I cook anymore?’. He actually sent me a voicemail last week after I wouldn’t engage in his drunkenness that said “you are a big fat loser”.

Then if I stay downstairs he tells me what a loser I am, how if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t have a place to live blablabla. Last night it got so bad after I went upstairs, I had to play ocean sounds & cover my head as I cried myself to sleep. Finally. I think I need a way out. He said this AM he doesn’t remember (of course)

& said he needs to quit drinking. Yeah right.🙄

My self esteem is non existent. I try to see ME in the mirror but sometimes don’t recognize myself. In the last few years I worked so hard on me. I lost 60 lbs only to gain 35 back. I have no friends anymore. I’m embarrassed to tell the only family I can, my two cousins....my sister is not in my life, that I need a support system. They are financially very secure & I don’t think they would get that I am too broke right now if they tell me to leave.

I am done. Thats all I know...my big open heart has turned black & crispy. I compare myself constantly to others. Everything seems darker than normal.

God help me because prayer is my power.

Thanks for letting me purge. 🩵

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Just wanted to say that we're all here for you and know exactly what you're going through. It can be so very lonely and you don't deserve any of that. I also desperately need to leave but can't afford to....and he won't leave! Hugs my lovely❤️

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We are your sisters. We are here for you. I completely understand not be able to leave for financial reasons so now is the day where you take your life back. Whatever you used to do to make YOU happy - do it. I have learned my AH continues to be my AH whether I am enjoying life without him or being sucked into his darkness. I make a daily effort to not do the latter. In some sense, we get addicted to being their caretakers and that is not what any of us agreed to when we met them. Life is for the living. Time to move the focus to you. You deserve it. You are worth it. You don’t need any man to endorse that. You are a woman. Stronger than any man.

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This is great truth. His drinking is not my fault nor is it my responsibility to monitor, worry about, or try to counsel away. I enforce my boundaries and let him self-destruct if that’s what is going to happen.

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What kind of boundaries have you made Wendy?

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My boundaries include:

I will not ride in a car with him when he’s been drinking.

I will not have sex with him when he’s been drinking.

I will not bail him out of jail.

I will not drive him around if he loses his drivers license.

I will not sleep beside him if he’s drunk.

I will not lie to anyone about his drinking.

I will not search for evidence of his drinking.

I will not check up text him throughout the day.

I will not track him or allow him to track me.

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These posts really hit a nerve inside of me...why did he do this? This doesn't look like fun to me. To be a slave to a substance.. I had dozens of theories. I delved deep into the psychology of addiction. The biology of it. I learned alot. It didn't get him sober.

The hope I had if only I can find the right thing to say, maybe a light bulb will go off in his head like in the old cartoons I used to watch as a kid.

What if I try to yell? Cry? Throw things? Wait to have "the talk" when he's sober? What if I pretend he's not in the room and I ignore him? Then I started to think... what if I did my own experiment? I knew his drug of choice made him paranoid and sketched out... so, I made sure I watched EVERY SINGLE HORROR SHOW THAT AIRED ok TV. If he was sober, I would reward with putting on sports or what made him happy. It didn't work. Although the bratty part of me was satisfied momentarily.

All of the times I walked on eggshells, terrified to trigger him into using.

Maybe if I made myself prettier? Kinder? Funnier? Something to divert his attention from using. If only...

The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach with these memories.

My brain KNEW I didn't cause it and I can't cure it.

My heart... my God... was shattering daily...

I had to force myself to say that mantra. The serenity prayer.

He did get sober. On his own. Because he wanted to. His way. I give him all of the credit. All the support and love now.

Looking back, i felt so alone until I found LOA. I was lost.

The advice I can now offer is... the only person you can control is you. Your reactions. Your choices. Your actions. You did not cause it. You cannot cure it. And that's okay.

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My husband is currently sober and I'm thankful. But this whole ordeal has really put a strain on our marriage. I finally had to just step back and say 'this is all you'. You are the only one that can fix this. But in doing that, I had to start living my own life and taking care of me. I almost had to stop caring about what he was doing to himself, like I was removing myself from the relationship. That has then caused me to be more independent, self-sufficient and 'single'. The downside of that, is now I like being 'on my own'. So, now I am struggling with wanting to stay in this marriage. We have been married for 35 years. That's a longtime and it is not easy to walk away from that. It's hard to convey to him what his alcoholism has done to us. I don't know that he will ever understand. I think he thinks that now he is sober, everything should be back to 'normal'. I haven't had 'normal' in quite a few years. It's a struggle. For now, I stick with it. But I do know that his addiction has changed me and many do not understand that part of the equation. I know the focus on recovery is about the addict and what they are experiencing. Do they ever discuss in depth what they have put their SO/spouse/children/siblings through? and how it has affected them? I wish there were more programs out there that focused on the ones supporting the addicted. LOA has helped me more than I thought it would and I am grateful for this community.

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This is me! 100% 30 years this year. I’ve had one foot out for so long, protecting myself and our kids from the addiction. It is to the point that I LOVE being on my own! I WON’T go back. Even though he is sober. (5month). But I feel the guilt, he wants to reconcile. I know he is working hard. I don’t feel the same way about him any more. It’s such a balance. I want to feel like a whole human capable of functioning without him and the addiction before I’m willing to even entertain the idea of re-establishing regular contact. My needs have changed so much, I’m not sure he is capable in his infancy of recovery to meet them. And I am learning boundaries and self care, not giving in to people pleasing that I may not be what he needs either. Such a difficult space. For now, being separated feels very good. Hang in there. We can do hard things

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I know how you feel. It's like having PTSD. You're supposed to just "erase" all the bad stuff now that he's better. It's difficult because you're so thankful the worst is behind you but... the memories creep up out of nowhere. The buried anger, sadness, regret.

I know in recovery they're supposed to make amends... I've gotten the "I'm sorry" and I'm sure he means it.

There is a podcast I listened to for the families. Mostly, it's focused on parents of addicted children but you can apply it to your life.

It's called "coming up for air"

There's resources listed on their website and they use a specific method in dealing with addicts.

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I love his little smushy face!

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His choices do affect me and our 3 adult children. One adult son (I will call him son 3) has mental health issues. He lives in our garage apartment. I was needed to help with my newborn grandson. My daughter in law had a difficult delivery. They needed me. I have flown out to help several times. I love being there with my grandson. But when I am not here my husband’s choices affects son 3’s mental health. I have to be the buffer for the choices my husband makes because those choices affect those around him but especially son 3.

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Love Tubby !

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Tubby is the best!

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