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Old 22nd May 2011, 08:33 AM   #1
Lynn
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How to move on

I am a new member and would like some help in trying to move on from a long and painful relationship.
We have been together 11 years and married for 3.
Only ever living together for 1 year at a time before he leaves, sometimes with other women the last few occasions he gets a rented flat and stays there for a few months before he wants to come back again and repeat the process. He is an alcoholic and had been sober for the last year of which we were living together. The reasons that he leaves are never big bust ups, on this occasion in February we had not even had a row.
He came into the relationship having lost everything he owned from previous relationship and a marriage that he walked away from and 2 small children. I had been married for 23 years when I divorced having 2 children of 16 & 18 at the time.
The eldest daughter had been living here with us and she too has been uprouted now on 3 occasions.
The problem to date is that he asked to meet up a week ago and I agreed and it went from there. All the old feelings came back in an instance and we agreed to give it another go. Must be the 6 attempt!!
I said what I was prepared to accept and not accept, the first being he had to sober up. He said that he took out a lease agreement and would not come back for at least 8 months, alarm bells were ringing at this stage.
He came round to my house for a couple of nights but never stayed, always wanting to go back and then this weekend he let me down completely, usual story, cannot be contacted.
He then rings me after a day and asks for my help as he was in hospital, again usual story, been here so many times.
I just feel that I have had enough of the lies, the cheating, the threats and so on.
But I feel guilty to move on after I had promised to help him and that we would work towards getting back together.
I have lost so much, my respect, the respect of my family and friends who have supported me through all of this and have begged me to walk away.
Why do I feel so sorry for him and responsible.
Please can someone help me?
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Old 22nd May 2011, 11:19 AM   #2
Helen_uk
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Re: How to move on

Hi Lynn

I'm so sorry to hear of the problems you have , which must seem like an ongoing nightmare.

Sometimes when we love someone we have to show tough love . Alcoholics by their very nature are deceitful people. My step mother was an alcoholic and she'd go to extremes to get her fix.

Promises work both ways, he promised you he'd stop drinking and stop cheating.... You shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to put your own peace of mind first.

Loving someone doesn't stop because of the way they behave , but you can choose not to keep condoning his choices. If you're in the UK ( not sure if the US also have one ) have you tried contacting Al-anon ?

If it's cheating rather than alcohol that's driving this wedge between you then that also is something you don't have to live with . But you have to make that decision to take a stand and mean it . If you keep giving him " one last chance " then where is the deterrent.... ?
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Old 22nd May 2011, 12:00 PM   #3
Chamomile
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Re: How to move on

Do you think he will start to harass you if you tried to break off from him? It's a fact (apparently) that women who are in abusive relationships tend to stay rather than leaving. Maybe, it's some kind of addiction on its own?

Good luck xx
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Old 22nd May 2011, 12:15 PM   #4
chosen
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Re: How to move on

Lynn, dont you think that after all this cheating and deception that you know what he is like?Why do you keep having him back after such terrible behaviour? Do you want to be with a man who lies cheats and has no morals?
I am all for giving people a second chance, but he has never done anything else except hurt you betray you and let you down, just as he did with his first wife and 2 small children. If I were you I would move on and realise that he isnt going to change.

Think of your children and stop allowing this man to ruin their lives as well as yours.To be honest I am not sure why you married a man like this. You are the only person who can end this, and stop allowing him to muck you around.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 08:49 PM   #5
Lynn
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Re: How to move on

I have been a victim of childhood sexual abuse and have struggled with self esteem issues all my life and of course I know that I am just re-living the nightmare.
Intellectually I know so much but putting it into practice is another thing entirely.
Of course I realise my story sounds horrendous and it is so easy to make a judgement and say, why do you keep taking him back.
If I honestly knew that then I would not keep doing it.
I am reaching out in an effort to stop going back but it is not easy. He will not let me go easily and I have had to endure text messages by the bucket load all of which I ignore but when he threatens suicide etc and then says he loves me I find it difficult.
All this sounds, I know like a victim and I am not anymore.
I value all your comments and advice.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 09:22 PM   #6
Helen_uk
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Re: How to move on

Sounds like you have a similar history to me Lynn . It's difficult to build up your own self esteem when you've had an abusive past .

By letting him emotionally blackmail you ( threatening suicide ) you're not going to solve the problem and it will keep going on in a loop.

At some point you have to make the decision to put a stop to this, before it turns into a very toxic relationship ( for you ) if it hasn't already .

When you love someone it's very difficult to step back and see just how much damage is being done. I'm not suggesting you leave him, that's up to you , but by being available to him he will just keep repeating the same behaviours. Eventually something has to give.
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Old 22nd May 2011, 09:42 PM   #7
chosen
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Re: How to move on

Lynn
Firstly why dont you block his number from your phone so that he can no longer text or phone you?Then he cannot keep on and on plaging you to take him back.
Threatening suicide is an extreemly evil and manipulative thing to do, and he knows that he can cheat, threaten suicide, say he loves you, and you will take him back.The only person who can stop this awful behaviour is you.
Maybe you need to get some counselling support to help you to stand firm and not allow him to treat you so badly anymore. Have you had any help with the abuse you suffered?Manipulating cannot work unless you enable it.
A Book that may help is called "Boundaries" by John Towensend. This may help you to set boundaries and stick with them.Another is called, "In sheeps clothing" by George Simon and is about dealing with manipulative people.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 08:23 AM   #8
Lynn
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Re: How to move on

Thank you for all your advice.
I am going to order the books suggested right away.
As far as the phone is concerned I have tried to contact my phone provider and my make of phone does not bar particular numbers. Unfortunately my number is my business number so I cannot change it but I am going to give my phone to my son for a couple of months and get a pay as you go.
I am taking steps to get out of this toxic, co-dependant relationship.
Finding this website and all your help has been my next big step, I know there are many more steps to follow and I welcome them all.
The positive side of all of this is that I have incredible strength and have managed to build up a business, singlehanded to create a much brighter future for myself and my adult children.
I no longer choice to be a victim.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 09:34 AM   #9
chosen
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Re: How to move on

Lynn
Well there you are, you are already being strong and choosing not to let him ruin your life. Good for you, and we are always here to help if we can, or even just for you to let off steam!
Good for you with the phone as well. Blocking his number is very important so that he cant keep on manipulating you. By the way, he wont like it that you are standing up to him at all, but dont stop. You are doing well.
Have you ever had any help for the child abuse? I have child sexual abuse in my family and I have seen how incredibly damamging it is.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 11:09 AM   #10
Helen_uk
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Re: How to move on

Hi Lynn,

Well done you ! You have already made changes and I'm sure will continue to do so. You deserve to be happy, we all do.

There is always someone around on here to talk to if you need .

I suffered abuse for years as a child and for a long time as an adult I didn't feel I deserved much ... But I do and you do too .

Keep up the good work but be prepared for a bumpy ride, he isn't going to like it but stay strong.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 06:31 PM   #11
Lynn
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Re: How to move on

I have ordered the books, they are on their way. Cannot wait to read them.
I do feel so much better today knowing that I have friends to talk to.
I have never had professional help, some counselling years ago and I once joined an Adult Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse group. I have never stopped trying to find the answers but not always known where to look. I mainly read books, anything and everything on Abuse and relationships. There are so many issues to deal with but slowly but surely I am getting there.
This relationship, as dreadful as it has been has taught me the most about my past, it has been so painful at times and this has reminded me of how I felt as a child. Up until recently I could not feel anything from the past, I had been frozen in time, I had the memories but I could not remember feeling anything, I had spilt off from myself in order to endure the abuse.
I now have the memories with the feelings so I can heal.
I have not been able to connect emotionally or physically with a healthy man, I chose a man who is running away from himself, addicted to alcohol, who was emotionally and physically closed down, he could not be intimate. A perfect mate for a while.
I have tried every which way to love him but of course nothing has worked, he just keeps running away, but he has allowed me to show love and intimacy and feel safe.
The biggest test will be when I meet a healthy man.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 07:25 PM   #12
Helen_uk
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Re: How to move on

Gosh Lynn , I think you've been living my life .

I didn't have counselling until about 10 years ago . I blocked out the feelings ( disassociated from them ) and was actually quite matter of fact about everything. I had 2 husbands that were not the best for me and a partner who treated me VERY badly.

It's only been the last 4 years I've really gotten to grips with my past and moved forward . Found my self confidence and met a man who really is good for me.

I'm 47 now . I'm stronger emotionally than I've ever been and you will be too.
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Old 24th May 2011, 07:00 AM   #13
Lynn
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Re: How to move on

Dear Helen,

It is so nice to meet someone who has been through the same and identifies with my life. I have never met anyone who I have been able to share my experiences with.
It is great to know that you have made it and you are through the other side. It is also lovely to know that you have now met a man that truely loves you for who you are.
It gives me hope.
I am fighting the guilt of trying to move on from my present Husband, I always knew he would not let me go lightly. I have some much to loose and he has to much to gain.
I own everything, house, car & business, he has nothing. I would have been prepared to share everything with him but he just cannot be trusted so I have to be strong, be on my own for how ever long it takes and get to know myself and learn to love and honour me.
A tall order on some days.
So glad to meet you .
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Old 24th May 2011, 11:36 AM   #14
Helen_uk
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Re: How to move on

You know Lynn I've found guilt to be a recurring theme through my life. I think that has a lot to do with lack of self esteem , caused by the abuse more than likely.

Even though I KNEW the abuse wasn't my fault, I always felt to blame in some way. That impacted on my choices in regards to relationships, and it's taken a lot of work to get passed that and admit to myself I deserve more.

You are in a good position financially , probably a lot better than most women going through this , but if you're not in the same position emotionally it doesn't make it any easier. You're right in that you need to love you first and to realize you are worth the best. Otherwise you tend to get entangled in toxic relationships that are doomed from the start . I think sometimes there's an element of wanting to " save " people that leads us to pick the wrong choices in partners. It's common for victims of childhood abuse to develop into co-dependent adults and pick narcissistic partners. And that can be a hard habit to break.

I knew nothing about co-dependency until someone mentioned it to me and I read up about it online , it opened my eyes as the criteria mostly applied to me, and then I set about putting that right.

I think sometimes loving someone isn't enough , to have a successful relationship there is a whole quota of things that are needed , trust, respect and compatibility are just some of those things and they have to be mutual.

You've made a success of most of the areas of your life through sheer determination and hard work, and I'm pretty sure you can do the same in the relationship area
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Old 26th May 2011, 07:24 AM   #15
Lynn
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Re: How to move on

You are so right in what you say. I also had never heard of co-dependency until a few years ago. Melanie Beatty has written some brilliant books on the subject. I have read hundreds of books to date, in fact when I go to Waterstones I have to look for the books I have not read because, believe me, I have most of their books in my book shelf!!
But saying that it does not always mean that I can indentify with them. I can have an intellectual understanding and I could recognise it in others at fifty paces but seeing it in myself is another matter entirely.
I think I have got to the stage now where I have accepted that I to am addicted and that being said I have to treat myself like an alcoholic would, or a drug addict and that means not going near or having anything to do with my addiction until I have full control of my mind and body. This is a revelation to me. It has always been so easy to blame him, his addiction was obvious, mine not so. I know that to begin healing anything you first have to be aware.
I am getting to know myself in a whole new light and I am actually happy to be on my own, I have no need what so ever to share my life with anyone at the moment, except my dog!!
This is a good place to be and when I am ready I can move on to the next stage but until I am totally sure that I will not attract another addict or narcassistic man then I will stay single.
I also try to work on the principles of The Law of Attraction and have read many books by Esther Hicks, they are brilliant and a breath of fresh air. I understand about energy and how it works, how others can deplete our energy. Negativity is like a poison and once consumed it attracts more negative expericences.
I am lucky that working outdoors with nature allows me to top up on good energy every day and I am sure this has saved me on many occasions. I just have to follow through with my private life and that is the hardest part of all. I choose today to no longer be a victim and to attract all good things in life to come to me.
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