Posted on | July 19, 2011 | 26 Comments

My ex has been emailing. And texting.  And sometimes calling.

The current topic of conversation hovers just shy of “I made a mistake, please take me back.”  He says things like “I wish I could come spend the weekend in Macon and help you with yard work” and “You’re still the person I want to talk to at the end of the day.”

And it is so very hard for me because I am a broken woman.  Before I was broken, I would have tossed my hair and laughed and thought “too bad, sucker!” Before I was broken, I would have ignored, deleted, and neverminded all his words and semi-promises.

But now?

Now I am struggling.  Because this is the man I loved.  This is the man who gave me my son, the best thing in the world.  This is the man I swore to be there for through better and through worse.  This is the man… my man… the person who was supposed to be there forever.  How do I not let him back in? How do I not see if it works this time? 

And then this morning, I had a long talk with one of my best friends.  And she put it in the simplest terms for me.

“You are like an alcoholic.  And when an alcoholic wants to have a drink, they call their sponsor.  Let me be your sponsor in this.”


That makes sense.

That I can understand.

I am addicted to a man who hurts me.  I am addicted to a life that is damaging to my self esteem and to my well being.  I am addicted to a person who is no good for me.  I crave something that can only ruin me and when I give in to it, I lose control and lose focus and lose all semblance of me.

If acceptance is the first step on this path, then let me strap on my ruby slippers and skip on towards the Emerald City.  I have a sponsor, now.  I have someone to call when the craving comes on.  I have a voice on the other end of the phone, ready to dole out tough love and blend it sweetly with emotional support.

It’s not going to be easy.  It’s hard to quit something so habit forming.  But it is not healthy for me or my son. 

My name is Law Momma… and I am an addict.


26 Responses to “Addicted”

  1. Jana A
    July 19th, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    Perfect comparison. Granted, I’ve never been in either situation, but it seems perfect. You’re strong. And you have a WHOLE slew of Tweeps who will be your co-sponsors… ok?

  2. monk
    July 19th, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    this put tears in my eyes. i love you, monk! I wish I could take all this hurt out of your life. i wish I could wash that man right outta your hair. I am honored to be your sponsor. (and to make it on the blog — score!) We will get you through this together. Bring on the venti no whip non fat peppermint mocha wet with an extra shot of espresso 🙂 (yes I just memorized your order. because that’s what besties do haha)

  3. Mrs. MidAtlantic
    July 19th, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    What a good friend and sponsor. We all need a sponsor for certain parts of our lives – the hard part is finding one. Please, please don’t shy away from your friend who cares so much about you!

  4. Angela E
    July 19th, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    The ultimate best reason(s) for “why not give it another try”? (Take it from someone who’s been through the divorce mill…) Because…he’s the man who broke your heart. Not to mention, chose to leave you and HIS SON. And I do believe that even being alone for a while is better than settling for being someone’s “second best”. ‘Nuff said!

  5. krlr
    July 19th, 2011 @ 10:09 am

    Oh goodness! Half way thru that, before you got to your conversation w/your friend, I was ready to send a telegram (that sounds less stalky than ‘using my internet skills to find a phone number’). I’d never judge because what happens between two people is shockingly complicated & doling out relationship advice should be right up there with religion & politics but as one of your many readers, there is little about this that sounded, um, uplifting (read: h.e.a.l.t.h.y.). Is that still going too far? If so, I apologise. But I’m thrilled you have back up – er, a sponser.

    [oops, one more time: HELP YOU WITH YARD WORK? no-no-no!]

  6. Anthony from CharismaticKid
    July 19th, 2011 @ 10:22 am

    When he calls, he is simply making sure you haven’t forgotten about him, because he is scared of not having you emotionally attached to him anymore. So he calls just to REEL you in a little bit more each time.

    It’s time to move on, and he realizes you are actually doing that.

    Tell him that if he wants to talk, it shouldn’t be about your relationship, because that is over.

  7. IdahoGirl
    July 19th, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    I am so very glad you have such a good friend! Cherish her for everything she’s worth.

    I’ve never been divorced, though I’ve ended a long term relationship that was much like a divorce. And it was absolute hell. I felt all of the same feelings you talk about – was tempted in the same ways and we didn’t even have children together.

    I spent a lot of wasted time entertaining letting someone who wasn’t good for me back in.

    And now that I have someone good? It’s a whole new world.

    Hang in there. Call your friend. And if she isn’t around, write to us….we’re always around to encourage you.

  8. molly
    July 19th, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    Girl, you and I have so much in common. I have a very addictive personality. Alcohol is a problem for me. But once upon a time I was addicted to finding the shittiest boy on the earth and trying to force him to love me. What a God-awful hobby that was.

    Thankfully, it’s a habit you can break. It really is. I hope you do soon.

    Just realize he is trying to MANIPULATE you. HIS addiction is playing with your emotions. HIS addiction is the good feeling he gets when he realizes that you’re still hung up on him. Don’t give him the satisfaction.

    If I were you, no matter how hard it is, I would cease contact unless you are talking about your son. That needs to be your ONLY connection to him right now. Maybe someday you can be friends. But chatting with him through email and on the phone is POISON to your system right now. He is poisoning you every time you have an interaction. And the body and brain can only take so much.

  9. Amy G.
    July 19th, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    @Molly and @Anthony have great advice and insight. He is manipulating you, and you have gained strength and gone down the road to recovery too far to let him back in. Because, as my friend’s mom hammered into us girls when we were young — people don’t change. They are who they are. And he’s not going to change to be the man you want, need and deserve. He wasn’t that man before, and he’s not going to suddenly turn in to that man.

    SO SO glad you have such an amazing friend to be your sponsor. And you have a ton more here on your blog, lurking or commenting. We have your back on this.

  10. Delia
    July 19th, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    Your friend is right – and I think you have a lot of sponsors! Just think about how far you have come! Stay strong and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your “sponsors.”

  11. Maria
    July 19th, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    Be strong!! I was you! Our first split was when our son was an infant. I took him back. Things were NEVER the same between us. The trust and love just weren’t there. We went through the motions until our son was 8. We split for the second and final time and this time it was very difficult for our son. Hind sight is 20/20 and how I wish I never took him back that first time!! How I wish I had a sponsor!! Hang in there. Be strong. Learn from someone else’s mistakes.

  12. Jennifer
    July 19th, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    And this is the man that if you ask if he wants to come back, if he wants to be married… will tell you flat out no, that he doesn’t want a relationship with you. He is jerking your chain. It makes him feel good that you still want him, and he is using that as a stepping stone for his ego to build himself a better life.

    I’m glad you have this friend. You need her. You need someone that loves you to pull you through this.

  13. Catherine
    July 19th, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    I have just found your blog and have been so moved by your commitment to telling the whole truth about this difficult journey that you’re on. You have shown such grace and courage. I am holding you in the light (as Quakers say) and wishing you continued love, strength, and peace. Your son is blessed to have such a woman as a mother.

  14. aim
    July 19th, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    i am SO thankful for your Monk….what a positive idea!
    love you.

  15. Stephanie Appel
    July 19th, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    Don’t do it darling!!!!!

    I love the Sponsor thing, what a great friend. You’ve got one here in Chicago too! 🙂 All the comments here are spot-on, so I won’t reiterate everything they said, although it’s just what I was thinking…

    I also remember some posts where you felt so hurt because he seemed to be totally UNhurt and oblivious to your separation, while you were crushed. (I totally understand your feelings, it’s awful to think that someone can leave you and not think twice.) So let this be some balm for that wound – he DOES have to think twice, clearly – how could he not, when he had a wonderful wife and son like you and J??? But that doesn’t mean that he deserves to come back. NO WAY. You are strong and you deserve someone who will treat you right. Hold on to that thought and hold out for that person.

    But in the meantime, it’s ok to feel a little boost in self-esteem when you think about him missing you. (Wicked grin)

  16. Kelster
    July 19th, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    I’m glad you have that support. And like others have said, it’s like he’s manipulating you. I don’t think (or know that) he’s doing it deliberately. But it may come from a place of knowing that you still love him. I hope he too gets help for his addiction.

  17. Adriane
    July 19th, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    When I went through my divorce, something similar happened to me…and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I wanted so much to believe him when he said (almost) all the right things, stopping just short of what I really longed to hear – “lets give it another chance.” Turns out, he really only wanted sex/security for a moment, and then when the sun came up the next morning, I was left (again) with my hurt. Only now it came with a side of confusion, regret, and emptiness, and it set me so far back in my quest to move on.

    I can’t help thinking that if he REALLY wanted to work on the relationship and do your yard work, etc., he wouldn’t be emailing you about it…he’d be showing up in his work clothes with a rake. This reeks of manipulation.

    Don’t let him thwart your progress.

    (Just my $.02.)

  18. lawmhcgirl
    July 19th, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Just caught up on a few days of posts. So glad to hear you have found a sponser. Keep strong law momma. Lots of us out here in cyberspace cheering you on! You are amazing, not just your writing (which is – AMAZING) but your willingness to share this deep painful process with us, your readers.

  19. KristinaYellow
    July 19th, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    Your friend is awesome-and right! Be strong-know that the man you fell in love with and believed would be there for all time doesn’t exist. He has had time to make this call, make this decision, make this break-and it was his idea. He’s unhappy? He’s unsure? Too bad so sad! You know he’s just doing this because he’s hedging his bets-you have written before about this habit of his. When he’s calling you and saying these things-review your blog. Remind yourself that he’s hurt you, without caring or remorse. You and J deserve better. You will find better. And for now, you need to cut him off when he says those things and explain, nope, not ok. Talk about J, talk about finance, whatever. Nothing personal-no “I wish…”, nothing that will somehow make you feel hopeful and then hurt when he back pedals. We are all here for you. HUGS

  20. S
    July 19th, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    I don’t think he gets to play that game. Not with a wife and a son and a marriage.

    When I was in college, I was in an on-again, off-again relationship. We broke up four times until I finally moved half-way across the country.

    Your ex filed for DIVORCE. With a son. It wasn’t a hook-up situation.

    It’s not good for your son to see him treat a relationship so lightly. It’s not good for your marriage to be jerked around. It’s not good for you to have your heart broken. A good husband would go to the ends of the earth to prevent his wife’s heart from being broken.

    He doesn’t get to play that game.

  21. S
    July 19th, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    Oops, meant to add after the on-again relationship — now I’ve been together with someone for 9 years, married for 6. We’re strong because we know that the marriage is solid. We don’t bring the marriage into the fight. We know whatever issues we face, we’ll face them together.

    That’s what you need in a marriage. Not someone who jerks you around like this. Be polite, be friendly for your friends sake. Protect your heart and tell him to F-off.

  22. barb in VA
    July 19th, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

    I don’t think he’s jerking you around deliberately. IMHO, the grass on the singles side wasn’t as green as it looked from his married vantage point. Now he’s lonely, he misses the company, he misses his son, he misses his life- the OTHER grass looks greener, AGAIN. And he wants to play “do-over”. This guy is just selfish and self-centered; he thinks he gets to have whatever he wants whenever he wants it, and other people’s feelings ( wife?son?) be damned. I don’t want to be married anymore, no, wait, I do want to be married, well, I don’t want to be married, but I want to come mow your lawn ( !?!?!? metaphor alert!). The problem with this is, until (unless?) he grows up, he’s gonna keep yo-yo-ing, and you’ll keep getting hurt. You’re smart to walk away. You don’t have a choice really; you already have one high-maintanence emotional toddler, you don’t need another one.

  23. gillian
    July 19th, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    After I left a long, unhealthy relationship (without looking back, although he continued to call) several of my girlfriends instituted a ‘call me instead’ rule when I started to feel like I needed to call him. It was a very smart plan. Especially when, 2 years later, his new wife emailed me to ask if he had a history of cheating!

    You can do this. You are doing this.

  24. pinkflipflops
    July 19th, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

    ((((((()))) stay strong.

  25. jpm
    July 19th, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    I totally agree with Barb in VA!! I couldn’t have said it better!

  26. Alena Chandler
    July 21st, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    He is damaged too. Not because of anything you did…and quite possibly he’s been damaged longer than you’ve known him. But this game? This is his drug. He is using you as a crutch. A way to hold up his own esteem. He wants you to feed into his ego and build him up. And what’s hard about that for us as women is we want to be wanted. We want to be that relationship myth…the all odds stacked against us couple. But sometimes you have to call a spade a spade…he’s a spade {see how I didn’t really call him a bad name there? Smooth.}

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