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Sil telling me I'm the only person who can help my ex sort his life out. I feel so hurt and betrayed.(27 Posts)
Long back story, sorry.
Both me and my H (separated) have a history of drug and alcohol abuse. After his behaviour became more erratic and abusive I got to the stage where I finally started sorting my own problems out with therapy etc and we split up. It was a messy separation and I fucked up a few times in the process.
I guess I reached my lowest point when our ds 3 went to live with my mum. I realised at this point that at the time this was for the best and was in full agreement with that plan. I have been completely clean, sober and NC with my ex for over 7 weeks now and I think one of the main reasons I've been able to achieve this is because of being NC with him. I'm due to move in with my Mum later this month.
I've always viewed my sil as a friend first and an inlaw second. She has been really supportive and a genuine close friend. Since our split she has kept me up to date with how my ex is doing and has been in regular contact with both of us. She (until now) has been 100% behind me splitting with him and when we were together used to tell me that I should leave if things get worse etc. However I can totally see, since having therapy that she is massively an enabler. I got a really long email from her last night basically telling me that ex h is in a bad way and the only person able to pull him out of it is me. She hinted, without saying anything outright that he is using harder drugs and more often. I get that he's her brother and she must be hurting to see him spiralling down but I feel so angry and hurt that she's suggesting I'm somehow responsible for this and should be doing more to help. She knows, as I've told her that although I'm physically detached from him, mentally I haven't at all and if it wasn't for the very real risk of losing my ds I'd be there trying to help. I think she's exploiting this and manipulating me. She's always been such a good friend and after losing touch with most of my close friends I don't want to lose her too but I'm really hurt by this.
What should I email back to her?
(by the way, there is absolutely no way I am going to stop being NC with Ex)
I think you should ask your therapist for help here.
But for now, I'd tell your SIL that you don't want to hear anything about your ex, and that only he can help himself.
If she insists on talking to you about him, leave the room. Block her number. Block her emails. Block everything. This is damaging of her, and you have to protect yourself.
I have no experience, so hopefully someone better qualified to give you advice will be along later, but I would reply something like "Sadly, the only person who can help X is X. I can only take responsibility for my own behaviour. The stark situation is that I have to decide who I want in my life, my children or X, I've picked the children and therefore won't be seeing X again, I can't 'fix' him."
You are focused on getting you sorted so that you can get back to your DS. Which is brilliant, don't underestimate how well you are doing! It's also the best thing for your child, who has to take priority over your ex.
You can't take on the responsibility of helping to rescue your ex, it would jeopardise getting back to your DS. Can you tell your SIL this?
Hi Jesse, firstly congratulations on getting this far, I'm so completely chuffed for you.
Sadly I think at this point you need to cut contact with your SIL. Or refer her to Al-Anon. She doesn't understand that the only person who can help an addict is themselves.
Keep putting yourself and your little one first.
Post has come up twice. Asked hq to delete one.
I'm going to send a short email back then nc. It's shit that she's saying this stuff and really out of character. I'm just sad to potentially lose another close friend.
She's no friend though is she, guilt tripping you like this?
I remember your previous threads - it's great to hear you're getting yourself sorted out - keep your eye on the prize, and ignore any distractions
If it's so out of character for her, could it be your ex emailing you from her account?
I guess not costa I know she cares deeply for him and wants him to be 'saved'. I can't blame her in that sense because I was in the same frame of mind until recently.
I really doubt it's him emailing me. Although that's making me a bit paranoid now.
It must be hard if your DB is clearly self distructing, but while she must think you can fix this, you've recognised if you get back together with him, rather than you fixing him, he'll break you again.
She might well care about you, but she cares about her brother more, and would be prepared to throw you under the bus as a last ditch attempt to save him.
Put yourself and your DC first. If your ex is ready to change, he will do, if he's not, you getting in contact with him will only hurt you.
If you could have saved him then it would have been by going Nc with him-that would have been his rock bottom and given him the incentive to change so that he could hope to win you back. You going back to him would just enable him while causing you suffering. Family loyalty is obviously causing her to try and get you to do something which would be very bad for you and well done for sticking to your guns. Things will only get better as you have more recovery time under your belt. well done for getting this far- the first weeks are so hard and you are coping with so much
You are doing so well Watching people give up addictions it has often been my view that the hardest thing to give up is not the drugs/alcohol but all the mates you had when you were in that world. However unfortunately it is rarely if ever possible to go clean and stay with them while they continue the same behaviours as they drag you back in.
Your SIL inevitably is closer to her brother than you - so she has a strong interest in keeping you around to look after her brother. From your post it sounds like she has also enabled you both on drugs/alcohol front too.
You probably aren't very good at spotting who is a true friend right now but it's harsh to learn that a lot of your friends were more interested in you for the drugs/ what they could get out of you than you. But you are doing all the right things - therapy, putting your children first, keeping away from the ex. And you are quite right, your ex has to do it for himself, not rely on a rescuer.
I'd suggest you cut down on how much you share with her, especially as it is all being relayed straight back to your ex, and keep low contact with her at least for now, saying you need to focus on your recovery and children. If she is a true friend, she will understand and if not, you are well shot of her.
The thing with many life changes for the positive is many people you thought were supporting you don't they like you in there role whether overweight, depressed, alcoholic.... You actually learn who is really supporting your progress...
Well done on your progress.
Spot on Sharon - the SIL clearly got some kind of gain from you being with her brother, most likely the fact she didn't have to worry about him.
Now she has her addict brother on her plate and she would like you back where you were pronto to restore the status quo so she doesn't have to be responsible for him any more.
Another 💐 for you for doing so well, keep it up!
I agree SiL is enabling exp and i understand why you feel betrayed, however I expect she is probably panicking at his decline and desperately trying to enlist your support in 'fixing' her Dbro. Unfortunately, as you said the only person who can do that is him. I would definitely continue to stay detached but try not to see this as about you as such, more the actions of a desperate and scared dsis.
I have no advice I'm afraid but I do feel for you. on your behalf. It's so hurtful isn't it. Have a sort of related situation with my ex and friends of his I have stayed in touch with. They're suddenly "softening" towards him, even though they know full well how bad it was for me. It just feels like it puts you right back in the horrible place. It's understandable, she's his sister, and in her head some time has passed so the horror of what she knows has diminished, she's probably done some selective "forgetting", and is also expecting you to be "over it" to a degree. But it's just not on. Thoughtless behaviour on her part.
The only practical thing I have to say is don't answer the email until you're good and ready. You will work out what to say, and I think it will probably be a polite, civil knock-back. For now I just think you don't need another complication in your headspace, if you can manage to push it away for now.
You're doing amazingly, this is a really, really tough thing to go through
I think you'd be well advised to keep away from your SIL. It's a shame but really it's not going to work with her hearing from you both and swapping notes. You can't save your ex and the risk is, as you know, that you start trying to rescue him and end up relapsing yourself. Speak to your therapist, try to understand your dilemma and do everything you can to keep on your new path. Good luck
shes prob had enough of dealing with him in the 7 weeks you have had no contact with him.....and wants to pass the buck back to you....go no contact with her too.....you cant help him or her, you can continue to help yourself and ultimately your child..good luck
Well done getting to this stage OP.
Just remember that when you were with him and trying your absolute best, his behaviour was still escalating and the drug use was bad.
Your SIL is wrong. You cannot help him. He can only help himself, once he finally hits rock bottom.
Your priority needs to be your DS. He's suffered enough up until this point.
Thanks for the replies. I sent her a brief email saying that it was really unfair of her to expect that of me and I got one back really quickly. She apologised and said she's just in bits being the only family member left 'supporting' him. She said that she believes he really does love us and that she only said what she did because she thinks if he had something to fight for (his family) he wouldn't be so self destructive. I don't need to hear that. It's been the basis of my thinking when we were together and it didn't work. I going to have much less contact with her for now. She's not an addict but a regular recreational user so like pp said, perhaps her judgements a bit screwed on the situation.
Well he does still have something to fight for - his on-going relationship with his children who haven't vanished off the face of the earth
He just isn't ready. You can't make him ready, she can't make him ready and maybe he never will be ready which is really really sad.
Suggesting Al-Anon to her is a good idea - I don't think she has fully realised the situation before, especially if she is a happy recreational user.
Bombarded with about 6 calls from sil late last night (didn't answer any)
Taken your advice. Another close friend I've got to go NC with
Also yes to losing friends from that circle. Hoping to reconnect with old ones when I move home.
Oh please. He had "something to fight for" all along! Made fuck all difference!
She's being incredibly selfish and a truly shit friend to you. Well done not answering.
Congratulations! It's been 7 weeks that's quite an achievement (understatement)!
Do not let anything or anyone undermine your achievement or pull you back. You've let go of the addictive dubstances and it sounds like he is also an "addictive substance."
Good for you. You've put you DC first. That is brilliant .
Your responsibility and loyalty is to your children first and I know that you know that because you have made such a monumental decision to get clean and I absolutely applaud you. You know deep down you have to concentrate on your own sobriety, you can not save him only he can save himself. I would tell sil that you need to go LC regarding your DP for the sake of yourself and your DC. Are you receiving any counselling at all?
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