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Hi Jenny
I am glad you can write too and I hope writing that post gave you some relief.
I think each knock back gradually strengthens the barrier and it is that which will protect you and take you on and in to the world you want to inhabit.
Your ex, it seems, is not fully embracing recovery (if at all) and as such he will almost certainly keep trying to drag you back into his cycle of addiction – he doesn’t want to let go. You on the other had have proved over and over again that you can survive and although the latest behaviour is a wee bit different it is in essence the same with the lip-service followed by the emotional blackmail.
Your ex has rebuffed his GA mentor with the ‘I know what I’m doing’ line which tells you that other CGs recognise he is not accepting his addiction.
If you asked me ‘how did he manage to make you feel a fool again?’ my reply is that it doesn’t surprise me – you are not made of stone and the addiction that your ex owns depends on you being compassionate. So how do arm yourself against it? It’s the same old answer I’m afraid and I reiterate my earlier words – this knock added to all the others will make you stronger – you will never be stone but you will be safe.
You want to see the good in your ex and I believe there is probably a lot of good in him – you would not have married him if it were not true. I understand you enjoying his company over a meal following his apparent progress with your children – the shared interest in them naturally keeps you hoping for the good, however, I think it is best, although difficult, not to look for the good because it leaves you vulnerable. I believe that, when your ex changes his life, the anger, hate and resentment you feel now will dissipate, so maybe you are trying too early – especially when he really isn’t trying hard at all – yet.
I cannot fault anything that you have done Jenny. You tried, as a loving mother would, to support the relationship of your children with a father/stepfather who has lost his way – he let you down and you battened down the hatches in the face of yet another threat but still you took the time to tell him to use GA and rehab.
You know the way up again
Keep posting – posts like this are like mile-stones – when you find yourself being tested you can look back and say ‘yes I was there a few days or weeks and I wasn’t happy but I took this path and it was a good way forward’.