I’m relatively new hear myself, and have been with my CG for a much less significant amount of time, but your story is all too familiar. I can tell you even after being here just a couple weeks, you have definitely come to the right place. I didn’t get it at first either and didn’t even post until after I spent days just reading and soaking this all in. I didn’t want it to be true that my significant other had an addiction and I too believed his promises and tried to share his belief that he had it under control. I rooted for him, I tried to fix him, I even went so far as to participate in the addiction with him..until I finally got real with myself and truly HAD ENOUGH.
I, like you, was searching everywhere to find answers to the question "how do I literally deal with this issue on a day to day basis"? I wanted step by step instructions…"If he says_____ then I should say _____", "If he does ____ then I should do _____". The realization I personally came to, after reading and re-reading the advice from the wonderful people on here is that there is no right or wrong answer. At least that’s the conclusion I came to…you may come to one that’s completely different. The answer in my own life is that the addiction is cunning and baffling. Its ever changing, shape shifting, manipulating, *****, and insidious and even charming – changing on a daily basis, so my reactions really don’t matter. The best advice I’ve seen so far is the one I fought the hardest against: focus on myself. So far, finding ways to live independent of the addiction has been the most effective tool in "outsmarting" the addiction that I have seen. Just like another person said, you can choose to ignore the addiction altogether. Shut it out and do something that makes YOU happy.
I think it confuses the addiction…at least that’s what I’ve seen so far in my own life. In fear of losing the enablement, the addiction eases up on the person, and (in my situation) the compulsion slows way down or stops completely, at least for a day or two. It’s a maddening thing to not have control over something that is so obviously detrimental to a person’s well being..having to stand by helplessly and watch them dig a hole. Wondering if your actions and words are giving him a shovel, or a hand to pull him out. The truth is…we really are helpless against it. All the Fighting and screaming and yelling and crying and pouting and begging and pleading in the world won’t change a thing..until the addict realizes they need to change and they take action to change on their own.
Its our choice whether or not we want to stay and participate in it and its our decision whether or not our "staying" is doing more harm than good. I can only imagine what walking away from 30+ years feels like…even temporarily. Like I said, my situation has been MUCH shorter of a time..but I love this man regardless. I love him enough to let him hit rock bottom without my help and I love him enough to be there, without judgment, when he’s ready to turn it around.
That’s just where I’m at personally, like I said, I’m new..and this is all just my personal experience. I hope you will keep coming back and sharing because whether you know it or not, you being here seeking help is helpful to others as well. Nice to "meet" you. 🙂 Tomorrow is a brand new day.