She's Off Alcohol and Breaking Up

Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Male
My girlfriend of one and a half years,we lived together for one year, she's 36 I'm 48, just broke up for the umpteenth time,4 weeks ago) she always came back within a day or two or three.

Let me give you some back ground. She began to go to Alcholics Annonymous, about 4 months ago, she's been sober since, at the time her recovery began, all intimacy went out of the relationship. I felt she had lots on her mind so I remained supportive. After 3 months without sex, one exception, her birthday, I began to feel used.Sex was always a big part of our life, she used to say it was what kept us together. I was putting up with alot of stress, I began to feel that I was the only one still in love in the relationship.

She decided it best that she move out, she stated that she's been an alcholic for twenty years and this is the first time she has not had to depend on someone so she wanted to get her own place, stay together, just not live under the same roof. She was clear this was not a breakup. Since she could not afford a place I would have to help her, I began to feel even more used, feeling that one day when she could afford it on her own, I would be dropped.

One night I think I caught her lying to me, about where she was and who she was with. I lost it and felt for sure I was being used, I told her it was over and that she would get no more help from me. I gave her the money to move and that was it. She says she wasn't lying and she was sick of my insecurities.

Anyway, she got her place and moved out, I thought i had seen her for the last time and expected to not here from her, I wasn't going to call her either. So it was goodbye, well that was on Saturday, on Monday she emailed me, how's your day going, well I was surprised, I didn't respond kindly, for it was a lousy day. I was missing her, and I was in pain. I said things I shouldn't have and laid blame for everything on her. She resonded in kind and so we had a couple of days of nasty words.

Things changed when I called her and stated I didn't want to livein this ugliness, we're two adults and I wasn't going to go there anymore. She agreed and the emails kept coming. Very simple no emotion, just how's your day kind of stuff. Then I got a mail, she wanted to see my dog and keep him for awhile, she missed him and he her. So I agreed and and she came and got him, when I wasn't home, seeing each other is still difficult. I did receive a mail from her that stated that she was of the feeling this is over, we didn't love the same, we didn't think the same about relationships, and children. She stated she had no more feelings about this, and if I felt the same it might help me to heal quicker. she also said she was sorry. I agreed with her and said she was right, that her moving out was a great decision and that I also agreed with everything else she stated.

Here's where I get confused. She had planed to bring my dog back on the 8th, I was also to watch her dog while she went out of town to visit her Mom. When she asked if I would watch him I told her of course ,because I miss him and would love to spend time with him. She said great he would love to see you too I'm sure, so it was set. Now after I sent her the mail agreeing with her she decided to call my niebor and ask if he would watch the dog, she told him she didn't want me to watch him, he couldn't so I got the dog. She doesn't know I know this. I believe she was trying to be spiteful, she hasn't shown or expressed any spitfullness to me however. I don't call her or harass her in any way, I do respond to emails, openly and friendly.

When she came to the house to drop off the dog she was uncomfortable, so was I. She only stepped in at the door, she wanted to get out quickly, that I feel sure of.

I would like for us to try again, we often talked about spending our lives together, we both thought this was it. We were and I know I am still in love. She sent me a mail the other day that for the first time expressed some emotion. I had expressed to her the vision of clarity I have recieved since we broke up. She responded with, I wish you had achieved this clarity months ago, it would have saved me months of suffering and depression.

Sure she's depressed, she stopped drinking and is now seeing the world for what it is. But she's blaming me, so I know there's no chance of a revival of this relationship at this time, she's not given a single hint that she would even be interested in discussing it, so I will continue my patience and wait God's will.

What I want to know is do you think there's a chance later on, does she still love me, based on her actions. I'm hopeing a few days with her mother will help bring some peace to her soul. I feel she's troubled and needs help. I know I'm powerless to do anything about it. I wish I could move on, but I'm certain I love her, so I will hang in for a while, or shouldn't I. Please give me advise on how best to handle this situation. Thanks Advice
First, it sounds like your old relationship had some serious problems. Sex was keeping you together - which is always a bad idea. You fought a lot and would break up when things got bad. So there wasn't a lot of trust there, or dependability. She was depressed, she felt you were insecure. And it seems none of this really got talked about at the time.

It sounds like there was a bunch of rollercoastering once she got clear of alcohol, which is pretty normal. It was a hard time for her, a hard time for you, and in the end maybe some time apart to sort through things was helpful.

If you want to reforge a relationship with her, you need to do it on an entirely new basis. The old one was inherently unstable and probably would have failed with or without the removal of alcohol. If anything, that gives you two a *better* chance of success now, if you both make a real effort.

A real effort would involve making a commitment to each other to work through and talk through issues - not to run off if you seem to hit an obstacle. It would involve talking through issues and not escalating them. It would involve working jointly to solve problems, instead of trying to blame each other. It would definitely involve making love and respect the center of your relationship - not sex! I would chat with a therapist and suggest to your ex that the two of you go together - not necessarily to get back together, but to help both of you discuss what your lives are doing and to help you help each other. It's always important to accept and understand what you've done so that you can be a better person. Hopefully she will agree to that, if only as a way to help you move along. And while you have these talks, she might realize that what you two have for each other does have a lot of potential, if you just take better care of the relationship and each other in the future.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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