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  • in reply to: Introduction #4594
    Elizabeth DLillyB

    Hi Christie

    Welcome to the group and thank you for sharing so openly your story so far. I’m sure John would be able to share far more knowledge on this front (being a clinical Psychologist), but I think we often walk into adulthood seeking out relationships that mirror the ones we grew up with. Even if we do so unintentionally. It’s what we have grown up with, what we have been conditioned to, and I suppose it’s also what our nervous system is used to coping with (or attempting to cope with at least).

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a turbulent life so far. I can’t imagine how that must have been for you. You’ve definitely come to the right place. John and Lou are amazing and everyone here appears to be navigating similar things. Sometimes, it’s just a comfort to read other peoples stories, and know you aren’t alone.

    My biggest bit advice to you is to start looking after YOU. Start putting yourself first. You more than anyone else deserves it. I too kept my husbands drinking issues secret from my friends, family and colleagues and it was only after having one-to-one sessions with John that I found the courage to start to begin to be open about it for the first time in my life. Looking back now, almost two years on from my first session with John, I realise it was only then that my own healing began to happen.

    You can learn to love you. You can begin to heal. It takes courage and determination, and sometimes it isn’t easy, but you can get there.

    Surround yourself with people who can support you. People that bring you joy. Do things that speak to your soul. Even if you do them on your own! Take time out to nurture yourself, to rest and recoup.

    The moment I let go of the need to ‘fix’ or ‘heal’ my husband, was the same moment I started to understand I deserved to be in a relationship that supported my needs as much as it supported my husbands needs. Being married to an alcoholic is very one-sided, as partners we put our needs aside again and again. We feel bad because we know deep down they are good people, or they love us, or we hang on to the hope that ‘someday’ they will sort themselves and everything will work out just fine. Our desire for them to get better is often stronger than the desire for our needs to be met. We may feel financially stuck without them. Or there are kids involved. It can be SO complex.

    But deep down, despite all of that, we know we deserve to be happy.


    Wishing all the courage in the world in order to get to that place Christie.

    Big hugs from across the pond (UK)
    Elizabeth x

    in reply to: Introduction #4556
    Elizabeth DLillyB

    Hi Ben,

    Thank you for your lovely, supportive message and taking the time to respond. It’s so difficult because there are days he presents himself as the kind, caring and loving person I fell in love with. But then there are days he is angry, defensive and challenging to say the least. I just don’t think he is ready yet to self-reflect on just how difficult this has been for me.

    The problem I have is, at present, due to his Tourettes diagnosis, he isn’t working, as the role he had he can no longer do. He is a civil servant and the organisation he works for is trying to redeploy him into a different role. It’s proving to be a long, dragged out process and whilst that is happening, he isn’t earning anywhere near what he did in his old role. Because of this he is struggling to pay the bills and cover his half of the mortgage of our marital home. I know he has accumulated quite a but of debt in the process too, which is an added stress for us both.

    Realistically, I could afford to cover the mortgage and the bills on my own, but he would struggle to find somewhere himself until he is settled into his new role and is earning a full wage again. So financially, I’m a bit stuffed until then.

    The good thing is, the time living by myself has forced me to practice a huge amount of self-compassion, and that in itself proves to be quite empowering. I have more confidence in myself in setting strong boundaries (something I struggled with in close relationships prior to this happening). I do think, if I did return, I would be able to leave again very easily IF things didn’t work out. I am also wondering if couples counselling with Lou would help?

    Anyway, that’s where we are. It’s still almost 2 months before I am due back and a lot can change in that time.

    I hope things are proving a little better for yourself with your own situation. Sending a big hug back, Elizabeth xx

    in reply to: Introduction #4554
    Elizabeth DLillyB

    Hi Everyone

    I’m Elizabeth, 48 years old. My husband is an alcoholic. We’ve been together 22 years and his drinking has been a real issue for about 10 years, although looking back, he’s never really had a healthy relationship with alcohol since we got together all those years ago.

    In 2020, during Covid, his drinking escalated to unprecedented levels and to cut a long story short, in 2021 he suffered from a full mental break down and developed Tourettes. Despite desperately trying to get him help, including intervention from his doctor, he just wasn’t ready to. And after enduring a year of him drinking heavily from the morning until he passed out in the early evenings, and his behaviour becoming abusive, I eventually moved out in September. I moved into a wee little wooden one bedroom lodge in the country, on a six months lease with my two dogs.

    He has stopped drinking for 2.5 months now, and is attending online AA and Smart recovery meetings, but he is still refusing to go to any in-person meetings.

    Despite the sobriety, he is still incredibly defensive, angry and difficult to communicate with at times. And he has expressed his resentment about me moving out and not paying for him to go to rehab instead. Myself and his adult son did actually try to get him to go to rehab but he flatly refused at the time.

    It’s so exhausting.

    I’m due to move home in April, but in all honesty, I just don’t know how I feel about it all. I swing from one decision to the next on a daily basis.

    I’ve had one-to-one sessions with John, and he has been utterly amazing. With his help, I was able to look after me first. It took some courage, let me tell you, but I am so glad I have.

    Anyway, it’s so nice knowing there are others out there who will understand what I’ve been going through these past few years and I am very grateful for that, as well as John and Lou.

    in reply to: Living in Hope #4553
    Elizabeth DLillyB

    Hi Cora,

    Thank you for sharing. I too have missed the webinars, as I tend to be at work on a Thursday, but I hope to be at next Thursdays.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law, I can’t begin to imagine the amount of stress you must be under at the moment.

    Sending you a huge hug and maybe I’ll see you next week x

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)