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I have seriously fucked up and need some help to get back on track

(39 Posts)
Madeamassivemistake Mon 25-Mar-13 10:41:38

Over January I spent five weeks in a drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre. The treatment I received was excellent and I have been clean and sober since (got my three month 'chip' a few days ago).

I met a man there whom I felt a very strong attraction to. He is married. Nothing happened between us at the centre, there was no disclosure of any feelings, but the chemistry between us must have been obvious to others I think as the staff voiced concerns about us seeming 'too close'.

He left treatment a couple of weeks before I did, and immediately sent me a text saying that he wished we had met fifteen years ago (which I think is roughly how long he's been married). The text completely did my head in, and I sent back an angry response along the lines of, 'yes, ok, there is an attraction between us but you are married and this is not appropriate'. I informed staff that he had sent this text which led to a discussion in group about relationship issues (so far, so managing to do the right thing).

Unfortunately someone at the centre broke my confidentiality and let him know that I had discussed his text with the staff as part of my treatment. He then texted me again, unhappy that I had done this which caused a row between us that I found very upsetting. He said that he thought it best we have no more contact.

I then left treatment and sent an e-mail apologising for how things had turned out and saying it was a shame we couldn't keep in touch considering how well we had got on (a huge error on my part, I know). He wrote back saying he valued my friendship and wanted to keep in contact and had only been worried about how the conflict between us had been affecting me. I then wrote back (and yes I do know how wrong this was) letting him know when I would be in the area and asking if he fancied meeting up? He wrote back saying he was unsure if he would be available but that he would let me know.

At this point I came to my senses and faced up to how innapropriate this contact between us was. I discussed things with my peers in recovery who encouraged me to have no more contact with him. He didn't contact me either and we didn't speak for a month.

I then very recently went back to the rehab centre for follow up care (which is around the area he lives). One of the other patients told me this guy was in a hotel room alone on business and was feeling isolated. All my resolve went out of the window and I texted him again. We exchanged a few pleasantries and I asked again if he fancied meeting? He suggested a place and then I didn't hear from him again. I texted asking what was wrong and he said he thought it best 'we take a rain check'.

I have since texted and e-mailed saying I don't understand - I know he's married and that we can't have a relationship, but he'd said he wanted to be friends. I've asked that if he cares at all, that he be honest with me about whether or not he wants to be in touch so I know where I am. All I've had is complete silence. Looking back he's always been very unreliable - promising to ring and then not e.t.c. It has always been me who has initiated contact.

I know how wrong I've been trying to pursue any sort of friendship/relationship with this bloke. But I feel distraught. I cannot understand why he is completely ignoring me after everything he said. I thought he cared about me. I feel stupid, humiliated, and terrible about myself for having violated my moral code. I feel very weak and as though I can't quite bounce back.

I have ceased any attempts to make contact and will not do so again. But what do I do with these feelings that are left over? I just feel so terrible sad Why can't men just be honest about their feelings and intentions? Why is that so fucking hard? All he has to say is that he's changed his mind and doesn't think being in touch is in either of our best interests. Why has he just left me hanging like this?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 25-Mar-13 10:51:15

"Why can't men just be honest about their feelings and intentions?"

To be fair, you seem to have been the one mostly pursuing the relationship. Rather than feeling stupid and humiliated, however, just treat it as a learning experience. You were looking for affection and friendship during a rough time of your life and that's fairly normal. We've all done stupid things when we're feeling lonely.

'Take a rain check' incidentally usually means 'don't call me'.... So he has told you it's over and you can stop torturing yourself, stop feeling aggrieved about him and move on with the rest of your life. Good luck

quietlysuggests Mon 25-Mar-13 10:51:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LunaticFringe Mon 25-Mar-13 10:56:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 25-Mar-13 10:57:36

I feel for you, OP, but you're all over the place and being very inconsistent.

1. He's married - leave OFF.
2. You're in treatment - focus on THAT.

Whatever feelings you think you have are not based on anything more than infatuation. You don't know this man AT ALL. You feel humiliated because you kept contacting him and he's pushing you away. You'll thank your lucky stars for this one day. He flattered you and you called his bluff.

You know what you need to do. Focus on your treatment and maintain a 'no contact' stance. I suspect that you're using this 'relationship' and the drama of it to distract you from your treatment and the reasons for it. I'd probably fall into that trap too. Don't take this any further in your head, there's nowhere for it to go but downwards. You don't need this in your life or in your head right now.

Get some more advice and support from your treatment professionals; see what they have to stay. Don't get any more 'useful snippets' from fellow-patients.

Madeamassivemistake Mon 25-Mar-13 11:05:09

Cogito when he said 'take a rain check' he was referring to meeting up. He then put at the end of the text, 'I would like to chat though'. So he wasn't being very clear.

Quietly what is thought blocking please? How do you do that?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 25-Mar-13 11:09:13

I think he was letting you down gently and 'I would like to chat' was just part of that. Leave him in the past...

Madeamassivemistake Mon 25-Mar-13 11:09:40

Also I'm not in treatment anymore. You can't Mumsnet in rehab grin

I'm home now, but I have a sponsor and lots of support e.t.c.

something2say Mon 25-Mar-13 11:09:47

It sounds to me as tho you are creating chaos and looking away from your own recovery.

Easy way to feel better? Stop the first and start the latter. Stopping the first will be part of the latter.

I'd delete his number and that way you can't respond if he texts you. He has no business making a closer relationship with you for the sake of his marriage. Deleting his number will be good for both of you.

kinkyfuckery Mon 25-Mar-13 11:13:18

Stop pursuing him. He has told you he isn't interested. He shouldn't have had to - you should have ran in the opposite direction.
You knew him for 3 weeks, I'm sure you'll get over him.

EggyFucker Mon 25-Mar-13 11:14:01

I'll tell you what, next time you "lose your resolve" and contact this married man, why don't you direct it through his wife ?

You are more likely to get a reply to your needy attempts to pursue a relationship with him, but it might not be the one you were looking for

I hope your treatment has one of it's aims being how to build your self respect, because boy that is something you need to work on

Leave this man alone

Madeamassivemistake Mon 25-Mar-13 11:20:23

Yes it is something I need to work on EF. I am only too aware of that.

I do not have any intention of contacting him ever again. I know it's wrong.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 25-Mar-13 11:24:16

Of course you're still in 'treatment'. shock It's not just the 'residential', active part that defines it. I don't know whether you feel like you've 'failed' to have needed the treatment for your problems but you're vulnerable, certainly and I really think that you're using this as some kind of 'prop'.

Stop it. You're going to need to speak to somebody in RL. You say you have the support. Why not tell them exactly what you've posted here? I suspect that they will give you blunt, no nonsense responses that might make you feel foolish... and you'd do anything to avoid that at the moment.

You have enough on your plate right now, don't you? Focus on it, to the exclusion of everything that will not serve your ONGOING treatment.

Do not contact this man again, ever.

EggyFucker Mon 25-Mar-13 11:27:27

You know it's wrong but you have overstepped boundaries on several occasions

Do we know you under another name, love ? This has happened before hasn't it...or are you still in the same stupid situation ?

venusandmars Mon 25-Mar-13 11:34:47

Hi there, I'm also an alcoholic, and I know how vulnerable you can feel when you're in the early stages of recovery - well done you on 3 months sober, what a great achievement.

In your group you will probably have talked about how strong bonds can form between people who are going through the same intense process, and other posters on here are right - in other situations you might not have felt so close to this man. It will feel difficult that you can't have a friendship with someone that you felt a connection with, but whatever your circumstances it doesn't sound like that would have been a good idea anyway. At the moment you will both be in vulnerable situations, and that would make it more likely that your judgement could be impaired about what to do / how far to take your friendship.

You are doing the right thing now by not making contact. It is possible that if he has spoken about this with his own sponsors / support that he has been advised not to reply - in some ways even replying to say that he won't meet is prolonging contact, and that is probably not good for either of you. If he does feel something for you, then it's maybe best that he isn't honest enough to declare it to you, and involve you in his feelings - that's something for him to sort out, on his own and with his wife.

I'm sorry you're hurting, but can you use your support / counsellor to talk this through? Keep on going in recovery, and you will get stronger and more emotionally resiliant. Good luck.

Madeamassivemistake Mon 25-Mar-13 11:36:16

I have spoken to my peers about it LWINW. And my sponsor too. It is not uncommon for both men and women to fix on sex and relationships as a way to distract themselves in early recovery, so people I have spoken to are understanding but of course clear that I should have no more to do with him.

But I don't feel I can keep going on about it. There's nothing new to add to the discussion. People ring me and ask how I am and I tell them fine, because what else is there to say? 'Actually I'm still losing my shit. About exactly the same thing I was losing my shit about a week ago'. There's nothing new they can tell me you know?

Learn from it and move on seems to be the advice. I find it frustrating because if I was able to deal with things in such a healthy manner I would never have got myself in such a disastrous state in the first place would I? I would love to learn from it and move on. Unfortunately I am sick and unable to do that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 25-Mar-13 11:37:43

" Unfortunately I am sick and unable to do that. "

The two are mutually exclusive. Yes, you're sick and you're working to get better. Dropping this infatuation doesn't depend on you being well. You can do it already if you want to.

Madeamassivemistake Mon 25-Mar-13 11:43:14

Yes EF you do know me under a different name. And it's still the same old stupid situation. I haven't started a thread about it before, but I have alluded to it on someone elses thread.

You know the funny thing is, there are two other people (one of whom has a partner of 25 years) that I was in treatment with who have begun an emotional affair together. The woman claims the man is her "soulmate". Now I can see easily just how crazy and damaging that relationship is. I mean soulmates? How ridiculous.

So I can see where other people are fucking up. But when it comes to myself I can't seem to see past the end of my own nose.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 25-Mar-13 11:46:39

Of course you can 'keep going on about it', support needs to be ongoing and if you need to re-hash again and again, you need to be free to do that. Better than the alternative of you keeping quiet as there's nothing 'new' to say and fixating on this non-relationship that is only going to make you miserable because it will not progress or go anywhere.

I know where you are, Made, I know the dangers and I know how easy and desirable distractions can be. Tell your peers just what you've posted here; they're in the same position and will need ongoing support too.

Thank heavens this man has 'declined' to take this further, he's done you a massive favour there actually, even if it doesn't feel like it.

Madeamassivemistake Mon 25-Mar-13 11:55:13

I know. I know he's done the right thing. Now. But I've copped a massive resentment. Because I feel all this could have been avoided. I didn't just pluck all this out of the air - he started it by sending the original text. Whilst I was still in treatment. I would never have disclosed my own feelings and become so hung up if he hadn't.

Ha! I can just hear my sponsor now... "Forget what he's done. You have to look at your own part in this". Makes me feel like blowing a raspberry like a big old five year old grin

EggyFucker Mon 25-Mar-13 11:57:16

No, don't bury it and lie that you are "fine"

You are not "fine" if you are quite deliberately sabotaging your recovery by simply replacing one obsessive behaviour with another

Did you ever think you were the sort of person that would lower herself by chasing a married man?

Look through all your communications with him again and ask yourself, is this is the sort of person I want to be ?

Imagine his wife seeing them, and worrying for his recovery. He has probably put her through hell already.

I don't want to sound unsympathetic, but being in recovery from drugs/alcohol is no excuse whatsoever for your behaviour, and if I thought you were attempting to latch onto my husband who was vulnerable himself I would think you were one hell of a despicable person (along with him of course). It would certainly end my marriage, which I expect is already hanging on by a thread if he is at the point he is in his own addictions.

Viviennemary Mon 25-Mar-13 12:03:31

I don't think you should have discussed it with the people at the centre and you did break his confidentiality in a way. But we all make mistakes and there is not much you can do about it now. Even if you had gone on to have a relationship with this man it would probably have been very stressful and ended in tears.

I don't think you are a despicable person for being attracted to him and being tempted into having a relationship. His wife will have enough to worry about with the added stress of him having an affair.

Madeamassivemistake Mon 25-Mar-13 12:25:37

No I am not fine EF, it's true. I am not proud of my actions either. I know they have been wrong, but I am trying to change. I don't view myself as a despicable person. A despicable person wouldn't care. I have been self seeking and dishonest though and I need to take responsibility for that.

I don't think being in recovery is an excuse for my behaviour either, as in I don't think it makes it ok or not my fault. But I don't think I can entirely separate the two either. My obsessive tendencies towards all sorts of things (relationships, internet, you name it) are all bound up in the illness of addiction.
I am reliably told by other recovering addicts that once you begin to really recover from substance addiction, you find that you gain sanity around all sorts of other unhealthy patterns too.

As for his wife, I have no idea what his marriage is like as I don't feel I can really rely on what he has told me. She is also an addict apparently, although she stopped using years ago while he has continued to use behind her back. They are very wealthy, functioning addicts, so he has been able to indulge his habit without her suspecting, until it got so bad he entered rehab. I don't doubt at all that this has caused a major strain on their relationship. But I don't really see that as being any of my business. His marriage is his own to repair. I am well out of it now.

springyhiphop Mon 25-Mar-13 13:21:46

oh, that 'I wish I'd met you x years ago' shit. Pulease.

Don't forget that he's an addict. He carried on using behind his wife's back so that should give you some indication of the level of deceit he is capable of (as are most addicts). Blocking you could be quite a healthy thing to do on his part but, whatever, you can't really know what's going on with him: he could be doing you over, he could not; he could have spun you in, he could have just been an idiot. Impossible to tell. The important thing is you and your recovery. Believe it or not, a huge upset is ripe material for working on your recovery.

You must tell people that you're not ok. It's common to get stuck in recovery and it looks like you'll never get out, but you do. this guy has represented a spanner in the works and very probably a lot of your 'stuff' has got oiked out around it. Work with the stuff, don't tell people you're fine. If you keep it quiet you are risking relapse. Keep it out in the open. If people get irritated with you and want you to move on, that's their stuff. You have the right to stick with this because it's a biggie so go with it and work it out in recovery.

Well done on the 3 months! xx

springyhiphop Mon 25-Mar-13 13:26:46

and to be fair about this, the 'can't we just be friends' shit on your part. Pulease. Disingenuous, no?

And I agree that these huge 'connections' are very usually nothing of the sort when you are in recovery. As you have seen with the 'soulmate' pair. You're going to get heightened emotion when you're working intensely in a small group - look at soldiers in the battlefield who give their lives for their mates without a second thought. It's a very powerful connection.

But you are not in combat, only with yourself. Leave him and his recovery to him (and his wife). Get on with yours. You'll need support on this but be very clear with yourself that it is your recovery that is paramount here.

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