Day 218: back to square one?

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Don’t worry, I didn’t drink. I am just luring you in with a catchy title, because I have no soul.

The square one I am talking about it relationship-related, not substance related: looks like Anne might be single again – or in need of some serious relationship counseling,..

Why am I boring you with the repetitive back and forth stories about my chaotic love life? Because they not unrelated to a more extensive sense of the term “addiction”, and I for one have definitely used relationships in unhealthy ways to espace from difficult feelings of unworthiness, loneliness and low self-esteem in the past. Now that -thanks to sobriety- I have a bit more clarity as to who I am, who I want to be and what I want,  I am a lot less patient and a lot more reactive than I have ever been (which is … never). I think I’m making up, in slightly extreme ways, for years of codependent “settling” and people pleasing, and being treated poorly -never physically- in order to preserve -“save”- my relationships at all costs. 

Long story short, after yet another argument sparked by a small detail (I didn’t say what I wanted for breakfast -because I am terrible at asking for stuff-, boyfriend made breakfast for himself but not for me, and made a humiliating joke in front of his roommates while I was busy being upset at the lack of breakfast, and I flipped out), and I decided it was the last straw and declared this had to end. 

AND NOW…… cue panic back-pedaling. 

In the scope of a single afternoon, it went from “let’s break up” to “let’s take a break”. In classic Anne fashion, I became yet again torn between wanting out of this “unsatisfying relationship with a man-baby”, and terrified of being/dying alone and unwanted, Godzilla the cat having no other choice but to devour my corpse once the dry food runs out. Sigh. 

I am so confused: this person drives me crazy, mainly because he REALLY reminds me of mother, in so many ways (except for the alcoholism). And guess what, a lot of our arguments also happen because he is reminded of HIS mother in many of the ways I am (I have trouble expressing my needs/ he has trouble being attentive to the needs of others because of overwhelming anxiety = THE PERFECT COMBO). The strange thing about this relationship is that we are very often completely enmeshed, and often project our childhood/ family issues onto each other, but are very much aware of it (because of our recent sobriety and his work with his therapist: a lot of stuff is coming up for both of us) …. 

Our argument resolutions often sound like “I am sorry, I was triggered and swapped a parental figure for you and got overwhelmed, but now I know you are not my mother and I am sorry for my behavior”. Sigh. 

So here I am, actually enjoying this alone time (unlike our breakup in October, where I was a tragic heartbroken mess), but unsure as to what to do: we love each other deeply and have known each other for 6 years, but drive each other insane and are SO TRIGGERING for each other despite all our efforts and best intentions. ALSO, I am 33, whereas he is 28 (and has yet to see the world), and I am realizing this week that I want kids, and time is RUNNIN’ OUOOOUUUUT if I want to find the “perfect” partner (must stop thinking “perfect” is a thing),,,, and I can’t be wasting my time arguing in shitty relationships if I don’t want to die alone and childless, with entrail-eating cats for only company. On the other hand, this guy sees right through my bullshit and my fear of intimacy/vulnerability, and he has been SOOOO good in helping me learn how to trust and feel safe and loved for who I am. I will be eternally grateful to him for that. So it would be a shame to throw it all away especially as we only have another 6 months together before I am supposed to leave the USA. And yet another part of me really does want to explore how it is to be WITHOUT a relationship-crutch and just be with myself: to learn that it’s not that awful and that terrifying to be alone. AND YET, the present circumstances aren’t helping: being 100% alone during covid is NO FUN (especially without a car).

So yeah, “back to square 1” means: back to this crippling hesitation and inability to make a decision due to a gigantic internal conflict, which I would normally drink away, or worse: I would get drunk and make an uninhibited, rash decision, and then stick to whatever came out then, out of sheer stubbornness. But now I can’t do that, I have to actually figure out what I want, and nobody has taught me how to doooo thaaaaat.  

At least this time we’re not doing the no contact thing, and we’ve agreed to talk about all this (yet again) after a few more days of alone time.

[I’m sure one of you will know: isn’t there a thing where either addicts or codependents of children of alcoholics have trouble making decisions, especially ones with real-life “permanent” consequences?]

In either situation there is pain. And either way, it will be ok. Right now my biggest fear is breaking up and regretting it later. I think my uncertainty is due to my inability to see if this relationship is in fact toxic, or if it is merely extremely challenging because for the first time ever, it is with somebody who truly loves me and wants to heal just as much as I do. URGHHHHHHHH 

Hope you are having more productive lives and thoughts than I am !!!

Hang in there !

Xxxxx Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

33 thoughts on “Day 218: back to square one?

  1. Anne, I feel ya! I was very clear with my ex that I wanted to be 6 months clean before we got engaged. We broke up when I finally was able to put together 5 1/2 months. And I’ve been single ever since. I’m now 2 years, 4 months and 23 days sober and while I still have wandering thoughts of running back to him, I also realize that with him (and every other person I’ve been in a relationship with), I never stayed sober. So there’s a healthy fear of any relationship for me knowing that.
    These last 875 days have been a major growth period for me. Lots of therapist appointments mixed in and lots of soul searching for me.
    I’m 37 and he and I were together 4 1/2 years and were friends for about 8 before that. I absolutely love my single life now. I’ve learned that I not only can tolerate being with myself, but I also actually kinda fell in love with me along the way. This is the longest I’ve been single since I was 16.
    I’m blathering at this point and have no real answers or suggestions for you except that whatever decision you or you and he make, just make it and make the best of it. Do it one day at a time and you’ll see the reasons why probably later rather than sooner.
    Sending lots of love!!!
    Monica 🥰🤗🥰🤗🥰🤗


    1. Thank you Monica, on the contrary, so many things in your comment resonated with me !!!! I think it’s absolutely wonderful that your journey has allowed you to fall in love with yourself. This is the ultimate goal! I hope i can find the courage to do the same 🙂 Maybe I should freeze some eggs, that way I can chill out (no pun intended) a bit time-wise 🙂 big big hugs ❤ xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh this is a tricky one for sure Anne. I don’t think any of us can ever be 100% ‘sure’ that we are committing to the best person for us or that the relationship will stand the test of time. I’ve been with my husband for over 20 years and married for almost 17 of those. Our relationship has changed and evolved and I think ‘love’ takes on a different meaning dependent on what is happening in your lives together. Although there are lots of flaws in my marriage and I can’t say for sure we’ll be together until the very end, one thing I do know is this: All those years ago, I never ever had doubts about our relationship or if he was the one for me. We may not be love’s young dream any longer and at times it’s bloody tough going to keep being together. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you feel you need space and time to be single, take it. You have the chance to do that now. It becomes more tricky to do that when you fully commit and children come into the equation. Just my opinion and I am absolutely no expert.

    Look after yourself. Don’t rush anything. You are still very very young and have loads of time to start your little family with whoever your partner may be.
    Sending love 💕 to you my friend xxx
    Claire xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these wise words Claire ❤ Yes, I am sure that if I am having this many doubts now, it's not a good sign for whatever could happen 20 years down the road 🙂 I will try to calm down about the "biological clock" aspect of things, and who knows what the future holds 🙂 xxxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is really hard not to worry about the biological clock. I always did because I knew I wanted to have children. You are a wonderful, funny and kind and will be a great mum when it happens. Xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, I agree with Claire that if you need more time being single, do it. The only question I have is whether you generally felt this way before the current situation (which is testing everyone’s patience). Regardless, you can only benefit from learning to be by yourself and how to best take care of your needs. And having kids is wonderful, but it is a full-partnership deal. If you and your partner have difficulty getting along when you don’t have kids, it likely won’t improve after you have kids. The level of working togetherness required is more than I could have ever imagined. Take care of yourself. I promise you won’t die alone, a crazy cat lady. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hahahaha thank you for these comforting words msnewleaf 🙂 Yes, this partnership is strangely very full and committed and intense, but on the other hand, the levels of “working togetherness” (if by that we mean getting along) are loooooooow 🙂 That you had your kid at 40 is a HUGE motivation for me to raise the bar and keep dreaming of a lower-conflict family setting to raise baby Annes in 😉 xxxxx ❤ Anne (the 33 year old baby)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a tough dilemma Anne – it seems to me as if you are asking yourself ‘do I really love him or is this more about wanting to be with someone, have babies etc?’ I had this dilemma with my 1st husband and dad to my girls – we had a lot of good times but I think I knew deep down he wasn’t really the love of my life and that did impact – he was what I told myself I needed and I was too insecure to be happy and single back then. I would tell myself you have to work at relationships which is true but with C I feel completely different – I very rarely question that as it just is and has to be even if we aren’t getting on. I’m not saying we don’t play out our old stuff though – I criticise and do the petty stuff (sounds like he’s the one who does that to you?) and C withdraws and becomes less available which makes me angrier etc etc so r cognising that and remembering to be loving still applies! if you are talking look at John Gottman – we can work it out book; DIY couples therapy – that will help you figure it out as I think our past stuff can trash perfectly good relationships and if you’re unsure it’s worth trying to figure it out. Also think we have to be happy with ourselves to be happy with someone else too so maybe you do need this time to fall in love with you! Sorry for long post! 💞💞💞

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yaaaay thank you DGS for the book rec, I will definitely check it out. 🙂 Yes that’s spot on about the dilemma (though i feel i really do love him – even if that doesn’t mean I want to spend the rest of my days with him)> arrrghhh 😉 Anyway I am so glad you ended up finding C 😉 xxxx Anne


  5. Anne, I feel I am going to have to reveal something here. Ten years ago I was separated from my wife at the time, well separate houses but still theoretically together. I embarked on an affair with a work colleague who was much younger and I thought, way out of my league. It was great, really good until let’s call them niggles kicked in. Little things would escalate, I couldn’t deal with her demands to be attentive and spend a lot of time with her, there were misread signals on both our parts and there were arguments and falling outs all the time. When it was good it was great but when it was bad it was unbearable. I took the decision to end it 6 years ago and she couldn’t let go for over a year. But she eventually moved on as did I. Looking back the relationship failed because I found it too hard to live with her extremes and she couldn’t live with my need for “me” time and my annoying habit of pointing out the irrationality of some of the behaviours. In the end no one was to blame, it was a combination of two people whose issues and ways of dealing with things made them incompatible despite the mutual affection. Maybe working through a lot of stuff may have helped but ultimately we were not right for each other. She went on to get counselling and found someone who is patient and doesn’t get upset when she gets upset or moody and that’s great. I moved on too in ways I don’t want to get into here, let’s just say I’m good. Sometimes relationships don’t work out and it’s nobody’s fault. Only you can know whether it’s worth working on the relationship to overcome the problems or to spend the time on you and then look at things from a fresh perspective. Jim x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Jim. Yes, I realize I’ve been telling this person that we’re “incompatible” for more than a year now, and he keeps coming back with counter arguments, but in the end deep down I know that this can’t be what a successful relationship feels like… If I weren’t so terrified of being single forever, I think I would take more risks and not stay in this familiar but uncomfortable back and forth. OK ANNE there you have all your answers now… thanks uncle Jim 😉 xxx Anne


      1. …”if I weren’t so terrified of being single forever” that says it all, and i’ve been there myself. The awful negative motivator for staying in the wrong relationships. I would suggest exploring that fear before anything else. Jim x

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Gods no! It’s the most important thing now! Relationship stuff! Now more than ever! I’m just being a dolt about it at present. :))) Thank you, and I’m rocking with you in my mind. :))) Xoxoxo ❤️🎸🤘

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