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I finally left....its too hard
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I finally left....its too hard

So here i am a year later.
Ive never posted my story but i guess its all the same in a sense. Ive been living with an alcoholic for seven years.
Its been hell and back but i loved him with all my heart.Ive gone through alot of emotional abuse that has slowly killed me over the years.
Last June was the last I could take. Ive been told over and over again to leave ( his house ) i left mine to be with him. I finally found the courage to leave...it took me 8 months to leave but i couldnt take it anymore...i was going crazy. I set myself up financially so I wouldnt be left on the street. I bought my house so i was serious
Its been a month and a half being on my own and its the hardest thing Ive ever done in my lfe. But I knew it had to be done, sometimes when you think u have no courage it appears.
Right now Im devastated...lonely ...hurt, and I dont know where too turn. I have lots of support from family and friends but none have been in my shoes...hard to relate. I cant eat...cant sleep
Lately Ive been hitting the bottle myself. I know I souldnt but Im too messed up right now and it seems like its my way out.
What do i do? Where do I go? How do i move on when you love them so hard....i need help. Im a mess
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1580085_tn?1310635043
i know its hard but you have done the right thing, what choice did you have, live as you were , unhappy and hurting, at least this way you can live in peace, i know its a cliche but time is a great healer, you can rebuild a life for your self. it may even make him reach his rock bottom and get some help for his drinking, either way it will get easier for you as time goes on, take care and god bless.
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1666434_tn?1325265950
The best thing I found is to start focusing on yourself.  Hitting the bottle yourself only numbs you for a moment and makes you stagnant.... meaning it doesn't push you towards a resolution only stalls you from finding one.

The irony is now you are left to discover who you are and what you want.  When I left my alcoholic, it dawned on me.... I didn't even know what my favorite color was anymore.  I knew their favorite color.  I knew what they liked. I knew what they didn't like.  It was ridiculous that I had become so removed from myself because I was focusing so much on their alcoholism.

Even without the alcoholic in your life, healing still needs to occur for you.  It's going to get better, but yes we have to take baby steps towards doing some good for ourselves.  I don't care if it just means getting dressed for the day...  that is a step right there.  Whatever baby step you can take right now do it :D  Try to do something for yourself daily that makes you feel good.  Each day add something.  You are practicing a new life right now, it's bound to feel a little awkward.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your kind words. Everything makes sense but it doesnt. My problem is that I still want him and i cant shake it off. Ive been going through so many different phases that I just want to crawl in a hole. I cant stay home but I dont want to work. Ive eased down on the drinking but your right...now i need to find who I am and Im not sure if i'd like it. Its like I want my old life back but i know that would be crazy

Im just so angry at the world. It should have been me that left not him. I thought I was his rock but at the end the partying won.
I decided to see my doctor so he can help me along. I started taking anti-depressents for a month now and its seems to work. No crying...no anxiety but still depressed. Its like his been put in the back of my mind then reappears. I just need to get through the next few months and its scary to wonder where ill end up.
I think the thing that hutrs the most was a spent so many years with him....now im 38 single and childless...not the way my life was to go

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1666434_tn?1325265950
Once you identify you and your goals, you will look back on this moment and wonder why you wanted it so much.  Sometimes when it is all we "know" we want to slip on the old shoes.  They are comfortable, they fit, they make sense, you know what to expect.... which is ultimately drama that just keeps you worried and too busy to focus on yourself.

Keep talking that's the best thing to do.  I have seen family members recovering from living with alcoholism "relapse" by going back.... I've even seen them find a "new" alcoholic.  Now is the time to challenge yourself and see the direction you want to take.  Especially if you want a relationship that is healthy with someone and possibly have a child...you can be able to carry out a relationship that is nurturing to you instead of destructive.  Look at this as a second chance for you.  Through sadness you may actually come out and find some excitement, something new.  Keep posting I think it always helps :D
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1475202_tn?1388955435
You said "in the end you guess the partying won". I'm 39 with end stage cirrhosis. I won absolutely nothing. Partying is not a good thing to win about! Look at what he lost! Someday down the road he will be talking with one of his friends about the great woman he lost. You will have no regrets as your raising your child with a terrific husband that shows you every day how much he loves you. This I have no doubt!

As Seattlemom said you just need more time to get to know yourself and someday you will be so thankful you kept pushing forward instead of going back to bad lifestyle you had. You really deserve so much more. Once you find the confidence in yourself you will have a glow to you that will make people envy the life you have. I am a firm believer in karma and after what you have been going through your gonna smell like a rose. You just need more time. Stay confident and strong. Posting here and finding people you can talk to is a good start, so see your already finding what you need to do! Take care of you. God bless you!

Randy
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1666434_tn?1325265950
For what it's worth to kind of add to rpooo, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to be willing to do the footwork.  If you want something bad enough, which I am assuming you are ready for a change and to be shown a change, then you are going to put your efforts in and start fighting for you.

Alcoholism is "cunning and baffling", there are no winners.  When I left my alcoholic over about 18 years ago, I literally just grabbed a bag of stuff and had a friend pick me up and take me to a relatives house.  I left our car, I left our furniture, I left everything.... but for all that was "lost" there was more to be gained.  At the time I was just to stuck in my head to see the big picture.

I had to go back to that place once after and my alcoholic was there, he was begging me to stay and he was crying etc. but I knew I had to be strong and I had to walk away.  When I walked down those stairs, it killed me inside to hear him weep, but I never looked back--- very symbolic moment for me.  What I did for him sounds horrible, but it was perhaps the most loving thing left for me to do... I let go.

Years later and after my own spiritual growth I found a healthy relationship and have been blessed with a marriage for 12 years that I never in my wildest dreams thought I could have.  You have to believe you do deserve good in your life.  You do deserve to be happy.  Keep talking it helps walk us through our own thoughts :D
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Avatar_f_tn

I read  your posts this morning and wow how powerful all your words are. It really hit home this morning that i am powerless to the disease and the only way to go on is to look forward. I feel good but i know its the pills kicking in. Im going to be on them for three months as a crutch to get past all my depression. One thing ive realized is now being alone at home its lonely but at the same time i will finally be able to get 'ME" back. i lost so much of myself to the alcoholic that i forgot how to live. I find that excercise as got me a bit out of the rut. I find im not scared to be me anymore but at the same time I miss him like hell.

Today was his birthday...i thought to my self no contact its been two months now. But i did finally send him a text just because he was a big part of my life. Im trying not to think about the great time he will have tonite without me.
Its weird my moods and emotions are everywhere but im still moving forward...thats all i have.
I never thought that the day would come and i would be without him...but im slowly doing it. Ive realized at this time how important my family are and how much support they have given me even though I shut them out...they never gave up.
I want to be around good people and now im realizing he was toxic to me and i was powerless to him.

Thank you for all your thoughts...its helping me get through my process.
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495284_tn?1333897642
Allow yourself to feel all those emotions.  Dont bottle them up. Finding you again is exciting and scary at the same time.  Many times it is alot less lonely living by yourself than living with someone especially an addict.  Be good to yourself~~~~~~~sara
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1475202_tn?1388955435
Hi sn40! It's been a couple days so I thought i'd check in with you and see how your doing? I was really pleased to hear your reply and how much you were relate to what everyone had to say. I am usually not to good with advice on this sort of stuff (prob. cause im male..he he) but I am good at lending support to anyone that needs it. I'll be watching out for you :) So if ever you need to talk I'm always around here somewhere.

Randy
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1666434_tn?1325265950
I even had to deal with anxiety and being scared when I left my alcoholic.  I was so used to be frightened of living, it was amazing.  I didn't realize how quickly my life became saturated with another person and how unhealthy our correspondence truly was.  Don't give up.  You are doing everything you are supposed to be doing, focusing on you for a change.  I am so proud of you for starting to exercise, run out your anger and your fear.  That is perfect.  Thanks so much for coming back too, I really enjoy the follow ups!
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Avatar_f_tn

So i thought I was doing good and not anymore. Ive been trying to get on with my life until I saw my ex a few weeks ago. We started dating again but I found out some stuff about what his been doing the past three months and im so hurt. His fooled around which i cant say anything because we were apart, but I found out he could have been with someone else last year when we were fighting before our break up. I promised my friend i wouldnt mention it but its eating at me when now. The house I left behind is now a party house....even his dad is fed up. Plus theres always young 20"s hang around the house guys and girls....were in our 40's ...is something wrong with that?

His been so good to me...that he missed, and his dad said he was very happy were back...

I cant trust him....i asked him to fess up and he did but i have this terrible gut feeling that im going to get hurt again.
I missed him so much and i enjoyed our time together these past few weeks but im so confused.
I want to stop seeing him again but im so messed up right now because i missed his so much...

Please help...im going crazy
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1475202_tn?1388955435
Stuff like this relly bothers me and I think its because he had a good woman that he treated really bad. So he lost her Now with ever girl he sleeps with and and every party he has it a slap in the face to you!!! Is it so hard for you to see how badly he is treating you? He lets this take place in your house and he strings you along just incase he decides he misses having you at home or simplely because he doesn't wanna sleep alone. He needs his A*** kicked for treating another human being this way.

I am sorry to tell you but this part of your life is over, move on. It is no longer in your power to have back what you didn't want to begin with. You can not change him, he has demenstrated that. His words are lies just to keep you around.

It is time you have nothing to do with him at all. Divorce time, and part your ways so you may get over this. I truely wish the best for you!

Randy
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495284_tn?1333897642
You are setting yourself up for some major disappointment.  The house you left behind is a party house?  That should tell the story right there.  Dont be his security blanket.  Addicts want their cake and eat it too.....Be your own security blanket.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  You have to decide when enough is enough.  The sooner the better.  This relationship is very toxic for you......sara
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82861_tn?1333457511
BAD move.  Listen to your gut.  It's screaming at you to RUN.  You're confused because you already know this relationship is broken, yet you're trying to make him into something he isn't: a normal, decent human being.  He's a drunk and he's going to remain a drunk until such time as HE decides he doesn't want to be a drunk.  You don't have a say when or if he ever makes that decision.
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1666434_tn?1325265950
It's not easy to leave, it's hard.  And what is worse is we are so used to being with them that the old shoe fits until the behavior starts kicking in all over again.  It's a roller coaster and it's going to continue until you decide to get off.

Promises and words are not actions.  You deserve to be happy.  You don't deserve to feel scared or mistreated or constantly worried in a relationship.  That's where retraining our thoughts comes into play and we have to start working on ourselves to do this.

I know from experience from going on and off again with my alcoholic and it never changed.  I even left, which made them work "harder" towards trying to keep me, I would be eluded to think something might work, but it never did.
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1475202_tn?1388955435
Please consider what everyone is saying to you. Do not allow him the chance to ever treat you like this again. Ask yourself, would you ever treat someone this way? I guarentee you said NO! Thats because its wrong in so many ways. souround yourself with friends and loved ones that support what you are doing. If you dont have anyone that you can, I can tell you that I care very much and so does everyone that replied. If you ever need to talk to someone more privately use the PM feature. I'm always glad to listen.

There is no reason at all you should have any further contact with him. Also you said "you cant hold it against him for sleeping around because you were not together." Yes you can, when you love someone you dont go and jump into bed with other people the moment they are gone. I bet you didnt! God bless you and I really hope the best for you. Try and smile today there are many people who care. Feel more than welcome to email me anytime.

Randy

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Avatar_f_tn
So Im back to square one....i am so angry:(

I talked to my ex last night, we havent really spoken about us being back together but actions spoke louder.
Last few weeks he's been calling me...coming over...i go there, spending time with his father and even his friends. So to me it seemed like were something...and we both loved being together.
His been backing off a bit these past few days...not sure if its because his hungover or not...but he was  drinking heavy last weekend up to Wed.I was drinking with him. When I fnally talked to him last night he said we were going to fast and that now i cant just let things go and see what happens. Thats fine and dandy but communication would have been nice. I said if u want time out to think go ahead but at least u could have been umfront with me.Theres alot of emotions involved. on both sides.I wasnt asking for anything just to see where we stood. Im not a yoyo...We spend the whole three weeks together and now he wants to slow it down.
I let him talk and listened til he was done. Now I started telling him what i was thinking and he kept interrupting and got really mad. So I finally hung up.
I was so mad. He came back into my life and he was the one that put the effort and now Im wrong???
I left the last text Ill ever send him..i told him
" U came into my life and im the idiot? Dont ever ever ever call me again, u ****** me up and now I hate you"
And that was that. I sat and cried all night because i truly love him and im so hurt and angry. I say now Ill never call or see if again. But i know its a lie to me. I swear to God I wish I can not want or love him anymore. If afarid if he comes knocking i wont be strong enough. The sad part about is if he said come back I would...
I feel like im back to squre one and ill never get past him. 7 years of this ******** and still im so blind when it comes to him
I messed up.....I shouldnt have let him back in...
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1475202_tn?1388955435
I very sorry you got hurt again. He's an alcoholic trying to have his cake and eat it too! I'm sorry to tell you but he took advantage of your love for him. I understand how hard it is to move on when you really love someone, I have been there before. I'm ashamed to admit it but even on my knees begging just to be hurt again. I never understood how a person can promise to love you forever then just one day say, umm I just don’t anymore. I changed my mind. Sorry about your luck. It's not fair but I can tell you this.. There is no better feeling than when you take your dignity back and are able to move on to something better than you ever even bargained for! (Hence, my wife) That first time they see you with someone new and better than them. You’re so happy and thrilled that it doesn't hardly matter to you what they are even thinking or feeling but just know later that they realized they really messed up. That is where you need to get and all it takes is for one person to truly love you back. Listening to you talk I know you are a very loveable lady. YOU DESERVE BETTER and YOU WILL FIND IT!
I don’t know if I already mention it but I was once a really bad alcoholic, it only lasted 20 years! ha ha I have never treated someone so badly. Drunk or not tears are tears, they are real! Drunks are very emotional because every feeling the experience is enhanced because of the alcohol. He's not just acting like a POS because of the alcohol, it’s because he is a POS. Plain and simple, mid life crises whatever you want to blame it on but you don’t deserve to have to stand by and take it.
I wish there was more I could say to help you, but this is using everything I know and can say. I am still wishing the very best for you :)
Randy
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82861_tn?1333457511
You've forgotten that YOU are the one in control here.  He can only hurt you if you continue to allow him into your life.  You need to get started with Alanon.  They really can help you find the strength to build a new and happy life.

http://al-anon.alateen.on.ca/
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495284_tn?1333897642
When you are ready to take back YOUR power it will be very liberating for you.......
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1666434_tn?1325265950
We know when we are doing something personally wrong for ourselves when our own actions frustrate us.  We should never be left feeling like "I should have never reinitiated this"--- all we do is start that pattern all over again, different timing but the situation is the same.

When I had to step back, it took everything I had in me to do... they will call, they will try to visit, because they know if they do they can get the cycle to start all over again... where they take back control.

I had to step back from family, mutual friends, etc. until I had the strength to get my head on.  Maybe it would help to start taking some time to find out what you want in life.  Be honest with yourself and write it down.  What are your goals outside of this relationship that has consumed you?  Thanks for keeping us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
So us being together lasted 5 weeks. Its been now 3 weeks since ive spoken to him til last night.

I heard some stories about his drinking through mutual friends. A friend of ours was over to see hime and saw two huge black bruises under his arm. He lied and said he was wrestling but finaly admitted he wasnt. He had a week off right after we split again and drank straight for 5 days. Sick for a week, hes dad told him he was going to die if he keeps it up.

I called him...i needed to see him. Needed to know he was okay. All I keep thinking is what if he dies. He came over and said he shouldnt be here but i miss you too. Sometimes I feel like were both messed up. And everytime I see him....i feel the same way. I feel if i stay awy he will get sick.

But now i know he wont call again...and I expected that i just needed to see if those bruises were there or not. They were more or less gone. Is that liver failure?

So im just angry....angry because i know he weill keep coming in and out of my life and im allowing it? Im having a hard time letting go...and anxiety creeps up on me..the only release is crying.
Im not sure how im going to get past this. Even when i dont see him i feel awful
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1475202_tn?1388955435
Still trying huh? No the bruises are not from liver failure but probably something he did drunk. Maybe some one kicked his a**. I sure wish I knew a better way to help you because your such a sweet lady. It ***** you waste all your love on him when there are many other men who would worship the idea of being loved so much.
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495284_tn?1333897642
When you have had enough of living his addiction you will do something about it.  I hope and pray you will do it soon.   You are not responsible for him or his actions, he is.  You need to let go and start living~~~sara
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82861_tn?1333457511
You said something very true and I don't think you even realized it.  You said, "Sometimes I feel like we're both messed up."  You are!  You are just as sick as your husband is.  It's what happens when we have an alcoholic in our lives.  Al-Anon can help.  Really!
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1666434_tn?1325265950
It takes a lot of courage to leave a pattern... we become addicted to the sickness and we become very much involved with loving the addiction as well as the alcoholic/addict.  I went through a roller coaster for 5 years, going on again, off again.  When things were good they seemed fantastic, but the newness would wear off and we would be right back to where we were and that honestly was a dead end.

I probably would still be in the same rut had I not had the strength to leave.  I literally exhausted all of our options in the relationship and it was either going to be me or the relationship.

Relationships should add to our well-being not take away from it.  Keep talking and keep posting and try finding a support group that will help you understand the cycle.
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Avatar_f_tn
Here we go again......its been two month now and Ive been a fool again. Letting him back in my life to get kicked to the curb again. How do i get past this? Why do i keep going back?

I cant get over being depressed when his not around....ive been on some pills but its like their not working. im stuck
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1475202_tn?1388955435
You know how it feels when you talk to him and he just does what he wants anyways because he's an alcoholic?

Well my friend you are exactly the same way. People here care about you but it seems no matter how many different ways we say it you still go back for another helping of getting treated like crap. His problem is he's an alcoholic. Whats yours?

At this point do you really still think it's love or maybe more that you are dependant on him? Do you really believe him when he says he loves you? Would you ever treat him as badly as he has treated you? If you did would he take you back?

So what happened?
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1666434_tn?1325265950
Pills can't cure an unhealthy relationship.  You are going to have to reach your own "bottom" with this pattern.  It took me 5 years to reach my own bottom and realize that it was a dead end.  Some people take 20 years, some take longer.  It all depends on you.  Just like recovering addicts/alcoholics....How bad do you want it?
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82861_tn?1333457511
A similar situation to yours came up in my aftercare group.  One of our groupies who has since graduated made a keen comparison.  "What do you get when a dam alcoholic horse thief stops drinking?  A dam horse thief."  Just because a person gets sober doesn't mean the underlying issues go away.  Your ex is who he is underneath all the alcohol and he sounds like a real jerk.  Is this really who you want to spend your life with?  Do you want to devote yourself to a man who seems to enjoy cruelty, lying and manipulation?  It appears that for every kindness he doles out there will always be a price to pay.

If you really want to get control of your life back into your own hands, you're going to have to do some work on yourself.  Pills don't cut it.  They just allow you to medicate yourself into a semi-calm state but what happens when they wear off?  All the demons are still there waiting to tear you into shreds.  This is how addicts and alcoholics are born so I strongly caution you not to go down that path.  I can't stress Al-Anon enough along with a private therapist.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Right?

Do you have any kind of social life outside of work?  The worst thing you can do right now is sit home alone wallowing in your misery wondering what he's up to.  Reaching out to other people isn't easy at all at times like this but it's so very important.  That's one reason that working the Al-Anon program and having your own sponsor can help.  When you find yourself stuck in a rut and constantly thinking about him, you pick up the phone and call your sponsor.  She'll help keep you on track.  That's what we mean when we say "working the program."  

The 12 steps are basically a self-paced self-improvement program and Al-Anon uses the same one as AA.  The hardest part is getting started and it IS work.  It can be very emotional and uncomfortable work but if you don't do it you'll still find yourself falling back into the same behaviors that got you here in the first place.  If you really want to change your life (or even save your life) give it a chance.  You'll also have an opportunity to get out of the house and meet some new people who are going through the exact same thing that you are.  I was surprised to find what a comfort that is.  I hope you do to.
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1666434_tn?1325265950
@Jaybay, always love your posts.  Discovering yourself is the craziest thing indeed.  It's so easy to focus on someone else, after all that's why we are engrosses with our alcoholics.  They help us keep that distance in between us and ourselves.  Use this time as an opportunity to focus on yourself and allow the alcoholic time to focus on them/and their sobriety.  Kind of hard to have a relationship with someone else if you haven't figured out yourself.
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Avatar_f_tn
That's so nice of u Praise God I have really been threw trail and trubilations,but God is great,I lost my sister,my two year old ,I even found my boyfriend dead,and I have anzity attacks also,so I pray for all of yall situations,but we just gotta hold on that jus satan,but God has more power than him I love y'all,gud day
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Take everything to God honey I went through this same thing,but I prayed and trust God to stop him,it took some time now he dnt even think about it and we all have a habit,even if itt is being on facebook,or this God waited on u now u pray for ur husband love him and help him love u.
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I wanted to check in on you and see how everything is going, the holidays are here so sometimes we can use some extra support to get through it :D
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1963551_tn?1325604592
I am in the same situation..I have been with an alcoholic for 7 years. Married for 4..The most wonderful man you could ever meet until he drinks and drinks..and you watch him fall, stumble, wet himself, throwup and finally pass out..I have almost lost him twice from alcohol poisoning and it hurts so bad to watch someone you love so much to just dwindle away. Went to several rehabs and nothing helped..Thanksgiving was the last straw..and the stress from that day put me in the hospital for 4 days with bleeding in the stomach caused from my blood pressure getting so high..they called it a stroke of the digestive tract. Anyway he tore through the house while i was in the hospital..cutting electrical hoses, water hoses on the washer and dryer so the house would flood..busted the computer..so many things I cannot mention. He left the day after Thanksgiving after he did all the damage and stayed in a hotel for 2 weeks..He quit a good paying job, didn't have a car and sat in that hotel and burned $1200 on booze and who knows what. I took him food a few times and clothes..Being the person I am, I felt sorry for him and quilty. And I just loved him..He never layed a hand on me..I just couldn't watch this anymore. So the last thing I told him was I love you but you need help and you cannot come home. He just said Goodbye..I found out from  his parents that he is in a rehab that they will not tell me where, and he cannot call out or write..I did get a Christmas card which didn't say much at all and no return address...I filed for divorce when i got out of the hospital when I saw the house..I was so upset this time that i had just had it. My divorce will be final in Feb and to tell you the truth..I miss him like crazy..I cry, I pray, I can't sleep, my life is a rollercoaster. So I know what you are going through..I know this is what I have to do, not only for him but for me..but I love him and my heart is broken into a million pieces. His things are all still here, and i have no idea when he will be able to make a call or really write a letter or i can write him. He will not even know he is divorced..And it scares me because I want to talk to him, maybe try to help again. Is that wrong? I know I should be trying to find me..I know it will take time..but, the know knowing where he is or how he is hurts...Should I go through with the divorce? or should I wait..? Shouldn't I know where my husband is? I know I am rattling on but, I am really confused right now.
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Avatar_m_tn
Married 24 years  my ah left me 3 months ago he had stopped drinking for a year his mom past this year he inherited 20k (you would have thought 100k) needless to say he started drinking again.quit his job  $$ gone in 2 months ..he came in drunk one night said I'm Out of here I said ok..i was tired been on this rollercoaster ride too long filed for divorce .in the back of my mind I do hope this is his bottom and we could live happily ever after.I know  he loves me but alcohol gives him permission to bury  his unresolved issues and he has many,i he has told me He knows he has a problem but too embarrassed to seek help , he has also told me I was crazy and he could stop whenever he wanted I have heard all the stories I stayed with him for all the wrong WIFEY reasons I am stronger now  I do feel I can live without him ...never felt that way before.  I will continue with divorce proceedings but trust me it's not because I don't love him..but because I love me.... finally!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm sorry for all you're going through, really. I have to ask though - You left him for drinking and now you're drinking? Interesting.

I don't think your problems are related to leaving your ex. I think they're related to your own drinking. My advice is to deal with your drinking issues and then perhaps life will fall into place.

Excuse me if I'm coming across as a jerk but I don't kiss anyone's butt. I don't feel more sorry for women than I do men. If you were male everyone would tell you to grow, be a man and all that crap. Yet here everyone is approaching you with sweet kindness when what you need is a kick in the butt like the rest of us do sometimes. We ALL need it from time to time. Yes, including me and I've had it done plenty of times in my life.

When I started on the bottle after complaining of MY ex drinking too much my good friends pointed out my mistakes so I could see what I was doing and change. And I did change. For the better. Do the same for yourself, trust me.

Best of luck. Sincerely.
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Avatar_m_tn
Aren't we men just HORRIBLE? I know women don't do ANY wrong. It's only men. I hate myself fore being male. I'm a horrific person because of my gender. Thank you for reminding me of that.
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