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Planning to split up with my alcoholic partner but filled with doubt and guilt(209 Posts)
Hello all, I've been with my partner for 12 years now. And it's only just becoming apparent that he's an alcoholic. He's not a falling down type. He works full time. He only drinks in the evenings. But he drinks every night until he's drunk and then goes to sleep. And he smokes about 4-5 joints a day. I feel like I'm being SO unreasonable splitting up with him. I've been wanting to split up since the day he moved in - but it's taken me 12 years to feel strong enough to split up. But we have a 4 and a 7 year old together. The second I think of them and how much this will damage them, I just feel like, no matter how much I want to split up, no matter how miserable I am, this just isn't bad enough to justify ruining their lives. They're both such sensitve girls - the elder one has a terrible temper and gets angry really easily and the younger one can burst into tears when something even slightly goes wrong. But I don't think that's got anything to do with my relationship because from the outside there is NOTHING wrong. It's just me that's miserable. But I keep it all in. I'm not cross with them. I am pretty happy really. My life is great apart from this problem. I take them all over the place doing lots of stuff and we have lots of friends. They don't see him drunk - he doesn't fall down. He might sway abit but that's it. But I've worked my arse off with my own business for the past 18 months only to discover that he's spent £3K on booze in 6 months and was hiding the credit card statements. Basically my business isn't that successful and he's drunk ALL the profit I worked so hard to earn. I also do 99% of all household chores and childcare. I confronted him yesterday, he said he was sorry but that he was planning to stop on Sunday because that's the day before his new job starts, and he got drunk tonight as usual. Even though I'd told him his behaviour had devastated me and he said he was 'sorry'. Isn't that abit..odd?
I was going to counsel give and take until I read this:
But I've worked my arse off with my own business for the past 18 months only to discover that he's spent £3K on booze in 6 months and was hiding the credit card statements.
1) Alcoholic Anonymous (and al-anon for you, as a partner)
2) He starts inputting toward the family from his new job (if he holds it down)
4) LTB -- but I suspect you are not there yet, by a long chalk. But if you did, it would be OK.
Thank you for your reply - what does LTB stand for?
OP, please contact Al Anon. They offer advice and support to people dealing with ex/partners who have alcohol abuse issues.
I think you are right to split with him. And I understand that you are worried about the impact on your DCs, but your partner doesn't have to be falling down drunk for your DDs to realize that he is emotionally absent and a drain on all your lives. Do you really want them growing up thinking that a normal relationship involves one person being stoned or under the influence all the time? And are you willing to sacrifice your own happiness to model this?
He is not serious about change.. So all you can do OP is *make a plan and leave.
Also I think I better add that I went to 12 step meetings for an eating disorder for 10 years. I've listened to hours and hours of AAers and Al-Anons talk about that their problems on podcast and in online meetings. My partner knows all about AA - there's a meeting up the road. I've introduced him to a guy who goes there who will pick him up and drop him off. But he's not interested. I haven't mentioned it more than a couple of times but I don't see why I should have to mention it anymore. It's his responsibility to get there after all. I've given him an easy way in and a contact but he says he doesn't need AA. He's planning to just stop on Sunday. But I know alot about addiction, if you just stop with no treatment then the problem is still there because the problem is YOU! I have found that I've almost got nothing in common with Al-Anoners - I don't 'identify' with their experiences and feeling at all really. I have never got involved with my partners drinking - hence I didn't know he was drinking my profits! I live an independent life. I can't stand neediness. I don't feel I 'need' him in anyway shape or form. BUT I will say that his alcoholism affects me because I feel a huge burden of responsibility for him because he's so childlike in many ways. I worry he won't be able to cope if he's out there on his own, because he's never had to and he doesn't have any friends or family nearby. I know I shouldn't but I can't help feeling that if we split up, I will cause him to turn into a 'destructive falling down' drunk by fucking up his life. I wouldn't honestly give a shit if we didn't have children - I don't want them to see him fall apart. Whereas if I could just hold it together, he could just carry on the way he is. Yes we'd be stony broke, I'd be paying for his booze, and I'm working 8 hours a day with no childcare plus doing everything in the house and with our two children, BUT my children wouldn't be damaged by a break-up and I wouldn't trigger my partner into drinking himself to death. Maybe.
My SIL is
chained married to an alcoholic. She has been married for over 40 years and instead of enjoying her retirement she leads a dog's life looking after a shambling wreck. He has advanced cirrhosis of the liver, brain damage and treats her like dirt. She should have left him years ago, but she made the mistake of staying. Her life is utterly miserable.
Do you want this?
"The second I think of them and how much this will damage them, I just feel like, no matter how much I want to split up, no matter how miserable I am, this just isn't bad enough to justify ruining their lives."
You are probably more likely to ruin their lives by staying. Do a bit of research on the life outcomes of children brought up in families with alcoholic parents.
As a real-life illustration, exMIL stayed with her alcoholic, abusive husband for religious and social reasons. Her children did not grow up well adjusted and grateful to her. They grew up to develop alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, suicidal tendencies, an inability to form positive relationships. The daughters each ended up in a series of abusive relationships themselves. Those in the family who have had therapy resent their mother more than their father.
I have divorced an alcoholic spouse while my child was pre-school. It wasn't a walk in the park but I have no doubt that it was preferable to the alternative of staying together and sending my DD the message that I condoned her father's behaviour. Since her father left my DD sleeps better, eats better, is generally less sensitive and anxious and doing very well at her new school.
^ I worry he won't be able to cope if he's out there on his own, because he's never had to and he doesn't have any friends or family nearby. I know I shouldn't but I can't help feeling that if we split up, I will cause him to turn into a 'destructive falling down' drunk by fucking up his life.^
That shows what a kind person you are.
But seriously, he will go down and take you with him if you let him.
LTB = Leave The Bastard.
You leaving him might be the shock he needs to sort his life out. But if you leave him, that's his responsibility.
Hmmm 'emotionally absent and a drain on all our lives'. That really hit home. In fact it made me cry abit. Which I don't normally do. THAT's what it feels like - rightly or wrongly, even if it's unreasonable to feel this way - it feels like I'm draining away to nothing. I feel totally numb most of the time. I've had to become so tough it's ridiculous. I feel like he's sucking out my 'life force' and soon they'll be nothing left. Except he IS sorry but alcoholism is a disease and he just can't stop. I accept that I'm modelling an appalling example of a 'relationship' - we've slept in separate rooms for five years or so and there's no affection. There's only him groping me which I can't stand. I've asked him to stop but it's like he can't hear me. He just says but I love you so much. Wow this is sounding bad. I feel like he's drinking to punish me for not having sex with him and I feel like I deserve it - what right have I to use his income to pay for the house we live in and then refuse to have sex?!!
No, he isn't sorry in the way that you understand it. I'm rather dubious about the "love" from what you've described too.
What alcoholics say is often meaningless because it's just a way to justify their drinking or ensure they can maintain a lifestyle that allows them to drink.
The fact is that whether it's a disease or a choice, his alcoholism has exactly the same effect on your and your children either way.
In your case, he's also sexually abusive so even if he stops drinking, it isn't going to fix all the problems.
"Sorry" or not, he will will continue to drink, spend your money and treat you like rubbish.
What do you want to happen?
Bunbaker and ChangingWoman thank you for your advice - but I do feel like you're coming from a different perspective that doesn't apply. He isn't a destructive drunk that can't hold down a job and is aggressive and disappears and gets into fights and is embarassing in public etc etc - the children would never know I don't think. He is a quiet anxious drunk. He comes home from work. He goes to the shop. I cook him tea and he eats it, then he sits in front of the telling, drinks till he's fairly drunk and then goes to bed and he does that every night plus he smokes weed alot. Hardly traumatic for a child. But it IS traumatic for me because I do EVERYTHING and I'm carrying him in every way imaginable. And the resentment and anger I feel, is eating me alive and is wearing me out. I'm tired of being angry. Angry that I've cooked him a meal every night for 12 years. Angry that he has EVERY weekend off and NEVER takes the children out of the house. He will play on his PS3 with our elder daughter every three months or so. And he will do a puzzle with our youngest sometimes, but that's it.
It is precisely the feelings of guilt and helplessness that Alanon will help you deal with. My uncle and cousins found them invaluable when dealing with his ex/their mother.
Changing is right. Children who grow up in households where there is substance abuse are rarely grateful for the experience and many go on to have addictions or relationships with addicts because that is what they know.. Would you want your DD's to have your life OP? To work their fingers to the bone to feed another's addiction?
If not, you will have to show them another way.
This man is an emotionally abusive bastard who loves booze more than he loves you and more than he loves his children. He will put booze above you and them every time.
You are doing your girls an enormous amount of damage by staying with him, don't kid yourself you're not. You can't possibly damage them any more by dumping him.
You are not responsible for whether he falls apart or not, in fact he may need to fall apart in order to hit rock bottom. You cannot protect your children from seeing that, only he can. It is better that they see it from afar, than that he's living with them when it happens. You are not responsible for what he does or whether he falls apart.
Have you had counselling yourself? You sound like you feel you haven't got the right to dump him because of his addiction, because you had an eating disorder. You do. You need counselling to try and sort out your feelings around this.
This man is leeching your life's energy away and not functioning as a father to your children. You can all be much happier without him and you have the right to get rid of him.
I got rid of an alcoholic ex and it was like a cloud lifting from my life. Honestly, you won't understand why you put up with it for so long afterwards. You and your girls can be so much happier.
BasilFucker speaks truth.
Stop looking after this person, and start looking after yourself.
Thank you ChangingWoman - I do see what you mean. I've been down the 'sexually abusive' route. I've read alot about it because I had abit of relationship couselling and she suggested I was being abused and I said that wasn't the case. Every now and again I will say to him that I'm not comfortable having a sexual relationship with you because our relationship is in a mess. Then he stops touching me for a couple of days. Then he starts again but each time he says 'is this ok?' and I'll immediately shut down and freeze - I want to say no but I just can't because I know if I do, he'll be hurt and I just can't bear to reject him again and again and so I say 'yes' through gritted teeth and I just stare ahead and dig my nails into the palm of my hand and wait till it's over. I don't understand why he can't see how uncomfortable I am. Sometimes I wonder if he knows I can't say no and he gets off on the power he has. He has recorded himself touching me in the past - unbeknownst to me. He said he was doing it to keep him sane whilst we weren't having sex - so he could still look at my body even though we weren't sleeping together. But when he's asked me to come upstairs with him, I haven't been able to say no and then I just lie there wanting to scream. Twice I've just run out of the house and driven off rather than have to say no. When I've returned and explained that I didn't want to, he's said, you should have just said. But how many times can you reject someone?! Before you completely break them. He 'adores' me and everytime I reject him, I feel physical pain. Sometimes letting him touch me is preferrably to feeling the pain and guilt of rejecting him. Again I feel So responsible. He is so pathetically needy - I feel like his ego is a tiny fragile baby bird in my hand and it's my responsibility not to crush it. He had an appalling upbringing, an abusive one. I just feel like I can't allow him to feel anymore hurt or rejection. And it feels like his entire self-esteem is enmeshed in this relationship and I am its keeper.
Yes it's true that I don't look after myself. After I've looked after the children, my business, the house and him, there is literally nothing left for me
No, sorry, there isn't a special distinction between undamaging (functional) alcoholics and damaging (violent/unable to work) alcoholics. Neither are ideal parent material.
I strongly recommend that you go to the library or browse the internet and do some general reading about:
a. the effects of family alcoholism on child development (esp. emotional development) and life outcomes
b. spouse / partner long term relationships with an alcoholic
Damage doesn't just come from a sudden trauma. Consistently drunk people are incapable of demonstrating the normal human emotional responses and interactions which children need to be exposed to in order to develop.
He has already damaged you. Reread your posts - the way you are living is neither normal nor desirable. You can't do anything to control his drinking or to protect your children while you remain with him.
I wish you the best of luck. It took me years to understand and accept most of this.
Thank you - I do feel like I'm under a spell abit and if only I could get free of him, things would look different somehow.
Wow. I feel like you've just typed my conversations with my besties. I have been with my other half for 14 years. He's a functioning alcoholic and to the outside world, we're a fairly successful "middle class family". Every couple of years I lose the plot and tell him I can't cope and want out, he says sorry and promises to make an effort to cut down/stop. Of course, it NEVER lasts. Nasty little cycle. We have one DD who is our life, we both dote on her but I can't help but worry myself sick about her growing up and realising that Mummy is always a bit sad, or cross with daddy and daddy usually stinks of booze past 6pm.
I think about leaving him, more frequently recently. I have the same concerns as you. Worried that he'll end up worse off. I know I'll be fine.
I wish I had the answers for you but really I can only sympathise and say that I completely understand how you feel. We just have to do what's best for our LO's. Best of luck, you'll make the right decision x
Thank you Whingebag - sometimes I wonder if the only reason he is 'functioning' is because I do the 'functioning' for him?! And that's why I'm so tired all the time.
My dad is an alcoholic. I know he loves the booze more than he ever loved me. And I know that's unfair and I "understand" about addiction BUT I grew up knowing I was never the priority. Never. I took that expectation into every relationship I had until this year. I am 48.
That is just one of the impacts of having an alcoholic/addicted parent. It's crap. Genuinely crap.
Both my brothers were alcoholics, nothing you can do will change his behaviour.
Notice I said were, because they're both dead.
I'm sorry to hear that Belle and I do take it on board. I think by drinking again tonight despite yesterdays conversation, he's put his cards on the table really. Booze is more important to him than my 'devastation'. So he obviously isn't capable of loving me. I guess that's why Al-Anon kind of annoys me, because it sounds like the people often learn to live with the alcoholic and live their own lives - that isn't what I want at all. I want the strength to get him out of my life. I don't want to learn to live with it!
The second I think of them and how much this will damage them, I just feel like, no matter how much I want to split up, no matter how miserable I am, this just isn't bad enough to justify ruining their lives.
Living with an alcoholic parent ruins your life anyway, so you'd probably be improving their lives. Don't think they don't notice anything. You said yourself: They're both such sensitve girls - the elder one has a terrible temper and gets angry really easily and the younger one can burst into tears when something even slightly goes wrong.
That's terrible Frame - poor you and them. My grandad shot himself in the head because he went to AA for years and still couldn't stop drinking. I know where it leads. I guess I've convinced myself because my DP can hold down a job, and isn't passing out or anything, then I shouldn't make such a fuss.
SuperAmoo, I can only reiterate what others on this thread have said, it would be best for you to get out and take the children away from this situation which is draining you and causing you to feel so resentful. As for your post at 00.22, please don't put yourself through this any more, it sounds hellish. You really owe it to yourself to get away from this situation.
And your children. They may not see him actively drunk but I suspect the anger and sensitivity you describe is exacerbated by his alcoholic neglect and the unhappiness of the relationship you describe so graphically.
You are not your partner's keeper, you are not responsible for him and if you leave him it will not be your fault if he turns into a pathetic falling down drunk.
He may pull himself together and I hope he does but that's up to him. As you know he will find it incredibly hard to stop drinking without help. I think it's unlikely he will stop for any length of time at all if things stay as they are with you protecting him and providing a safety net. I am an alcoholic, now teetotal with AA, but not before I wore out my safety net. Alcoholics will do a great deal to avoid facing reality. Sometimes it just has to come and kick us up the @rse.
Look after yourself and the girls now. Best of luck.
You are desperately unhappy. Alone, you are shouldering the burden of being the responsible adult in the house looking after not just the home and children but also a dysfunctional adult.
I read a lot of threads on here by people who are desperately unhappy, but because they have coped with so much, have learned to live with such ill treatment, they are convinced that "its not bad enough to leave", they cite how much worse it could be "he's not a violent drunk" or "he's not very physical, it was just a shove" etc.
In truth there is only one thing you need to know before making the decision to end a relationship. It is that you do not want to be in the relationship any more . You don't have to pass some test of how awful the other person is or justify your reasons to him or anyone else. You've had enough.
As it happens, there is a heck of a lot of people who would think that drinking every night, getting stoned every night, being emotionally absent, leaving the other partner to do almost all the chores and childcare, being sexually pushy (and yes, abusive, you should never be in a position of being scared to say no, even if that fear doesn't come from what the person will do to you but to themselves) are all pretty darn good reasons to run for the hills.
The problem is, you are coping and surviving these circumstances, which is good in the short term, because surviving is good obviously. But it makes you think that "it's not too bad, I've coped up till now, I can handle it" and makes you stay, much longer than is healthy for you.
Please believe us that we have heard that you don't consider him the worst kind of drunk. It doesn't matter, it's bad enough that he is controlling and damaging your life (and that of your children though you may not realise it till they are no longer living with him).
You also seem to think that you are not a typical spouse of an alcoholic. I don't know what is typical, and maybe it is true that what you've looked at of these support groups doesn't ring true to you. But, you have said things, about not wanting to hurt him, needing to protect him, being responsible for him that make me think that some form of support for you (be it one to one counselling, or a group support or both) while you are leaving him would be a good idea. You might not feel that you are co-dependant, that you don't enjoy being needed by him - and maybe you aren't. But you are in a situation where you feel responsible for protecting his feelings to the extent that you end up freezing and being subjected to sexual contact that you do not wish to have. Where you are so busy trying to keep everything normal (making sure he is fed, that the children and home are looked after) that he isn't able to feel the consequences of his actions, so he never hits rock bottom and seeks help.
There's a lot of strength in your posts btw, about how it isn't your job to make him seek help, how angry you are about the money etc. You can do this. You can leave.
You might not feel he is actively harming his children. But they are missing all the normal interactions a father who isn't drunk would give them that show that he is interested in their lives, that he cares about them. And you are both modelling how relationships work, what women should put up with, etc. And they know how unhappy you are, even if they never mention it and you think you hide it well. Instinctively they know all is not right in their world, and they may well think that it is them that is not right because we are programmed to trust that our parents are right.
Even if they weren't suffering. You are, you are a human being who shouldn't have to live like this. You deserve to be free. I think you know that. Ending the relationship is the right thing, for ALL of you.
The refrain here (and it may well have come from AA or similar) is that you didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it.
(this is a fairly long and rambling post - many apologies, I tend to do that and there was so much in your posts to respond to, I doubt I've done it perfectly ).
It is very hard to face up to the reality of what is happening. Leaving your partner will be hard. Staying will be harder still. By supporting him - financially, feeding him, washing his clothes etc you are enabling his behaviour.
SIL's husband was a functioning alcoholic for many years, like your partner. It wasn't until he collapsed a couple of times (he had an acoholic fit in the supermarket) that it was obvious that the drinking had permanently ruined his health. His brain is damaged by the toxins his liver isn't processing and he behaves like someone with advanced alzheimers.
This is the reality you face.
You need to try and overcome those feelings of guilt. SIL stayed because of guilt - drummed into her her by MIL who is very anti divorce. Her children, who are all grown up now, hate their dad. MIL goes around saying that it would be better if SIL's husband was to die (this from the woman who is against divorce for religious reasons!). Her husband is dragging her down
The fact that your partner drinks is not your fault.
I see these on here a lot:
You didn't cause the problem
You can't control it
You can't cure it
Remind yourself every time your partner gets drunk
I'm sorry you feel that you are responsible for him. Having been married to a functioning alcoholic myself I know the process of finding reasons to forgive or explain their behaviour. He may not be specifically aggressive or antisocial but his behaviour is affecting you very negatively. If it's affecting you this way, if there is anxiety & unhappiness in the household, chances are your DDs are also affected and much of the behaviour they're exhibiting is a result..
My functioning alcoholic ex had a father exactly the same. He learned from an early age that the way to deal with every emotion from stress to elation to bereavement was to hit the scotch. Emotionally he was a mess.
Sorry you've not had the courage to end it up to now. I didn't realise how low my exH had brought me until he finally left. Good luck
He is telling you what you so want to hear and not very well at that. He has no interest at all in giving up drink and the cannabis; these are his sole reasons for being. His primary relationship is with drink and drugs.
Only around 4% of alcoholics make it to AA: its of no surprise to me that he won't go. He does not want to and you cannot make him. He has to want to stop drinking for his own self, you cannot influence that in any way at all.
Your man is currently able to hold down a job, note I said currently. This does not make him any less of an alcoholic, not all alcoholics are crashed out on park benches. Many are on the surface at least quite plausible.
Interesting you write that you seem under a spell with this person; this is because you are codependent and this is often a feature of such dysfunctional relationships where alcoholism features. This is also why you feel conflicted about feeling so unreasonable. You have and continue to put your own self last and co-dependency is often learnt behaviour. That also brings me to the question of what you learnt about relationships when growing up. You learnt about being codependent to others.
Your other primary role here is one of enabler; you have and continue to prop him up. You feel still very responsible for him and he exploits that knowledge as well.
Would suggest you now read Codependent NO More by Melodie Beattie. You are in those pages.
I can also only reiterate the counsel of the other respondents who have advised you to get this person totally out of your day to day lives; they are seeing and hearing far more than you perhaps care to realise. This whole experience has and will damage them emotionally and as adults they could end up with a heap of emotional problems themselves. They learnt all that from you two. You chose an alcoholic as a partner; why?. I realise that you cannot help whom you fall in love with but you may well also have rescuer and or saviour tendencies (which often go hand in hand with co-dependency) which he has exploited to the full.
What do you want your children to remember about their childhoods?. Surely not this dysfunctional role model of one!!. You have a choice re this man, your children do not. They will not thank you either for staying with him long term and will wonder of you why you were so weak and stayed thus putting him before them. Your long term relationship with them is thus at risk of being permanently damaged.
I left a relationship with a man who was very similar in his alcoholic behaviour. And my young children never ever saw him drunk as he was an evening, out of the home drinker. And I can say clearly how much happier and less sensitive they are now, 1.5 years later, not just my view but people have commented a lot on it too. They were 2 and 4 when he stopped living with us, and they were most definitely deeply emotionally affected in many ways. My denial didn't want to see it because it hurt me too much. An alcoholic's behaviour when sober isn't normal either, it is just such a deep relief after the enormous strain of seeing them slurring etc, so it becomes acceptable.
Your DH's behaviour is bad enough to justify leaving. Reading your posts they are heartbreakingly sad. Yes he doesn't give you a black eye, but it is no way to live and just as bad ime. Your DH will/may not change. Mine lost his children, a few jobs and is still drinking and partying away. And just don't be surprised if he has created more than 3k on booze.
I don't mean to be critical, really, but you are enabling him. You say he will be a fall down drunk without you to protect, support, shelter him. You are paying the price of his drinking, not him. You have probably much more in common with al anon attenders than you think. It might be helpful for you to attend a few meetings with an open mind. He doesn't want to change and has no reason to at the moment and you can not control him. Let go. I think the place to start to get your life back and have some normality as a family is with you, al anon might be massively helpful.
OP, I was in a similar position to you. My ex was an alkie; the kids loved him deeply (and of course still do). His repeated promises, stop and start drinking, his lack of real responsibility towards the kids, the fact I couldn't trust him.... All of these led to him leaving.... In the end it was that I didn't want to go down with him. He held down a job and to all intents and purposes was functioning. Apart from that when he had a drink he literally could not stop.
I worried about how he would manage. For the first few weeks after he moved out he was drinking and drinking. I really did worry he would drink himself to death. By that time I was just glad it wasn't in our house. Before that one if my big fears was finding him dead after a big drinking frenzy.
After this I think he realised that he was the only one looking after him! He gave up the booze, went back to AA and hasnt drunk since. It's two years now.
We will not get back together, there's too much water under the bridge. But if you can take one thing out of this- you have to put yourself and your DCs first. He is an adult and has to learn to take responsibility for himself.
It sounds simple- of course in real life it's much messier than that. It took me literally years to get to that place. But you cannot control his drinking; only he can do that. Good luck. And take heart- you won't be depriving your DCs you will be improving their lives long term.
The only functioning Alcoholic I have really known was a lecturer on my MSc course. It was very widely known he was an alcoholic. His first wife had divorced him and taken his children.
He had a second relationship, but she had made it very clear if he ever started drinking again she would leave him.
He started drinking during the year I knew him. His partner left him.
But he could function amazingly well. I remember sitting in a lecture, and I was the only person there who knew he had been on a three day bender. If the other students noticed anything they could have put it down to tiredness, no one got close enough to smell his breath.
I would very much suggest you go back to AlAnon. You are still with him, why?
Read back through your posts, it obviously isn't for your DC, he barely interacts with them and they are already showing signs of stress. What need in you does he fulfill? Is it healthy?
Who needs you more Him or your DC? Who is more important to you?
As everyone else has said, your and your daughters' lives would be much, much better if you were not living with this addict.
Your daughters are old enough to be aware that all is not well with their father, and with you. Living with him has been/will continue to be far more damaging than their parents' relationship ending.
If your leaving is a spur to him getting sober, then great, but he needs to do that for himself and by himself. Don't be fobbed off by promises. If you go and he then continues or gets worse, that is his responsibility. Your priority must be your DC and yourself.
Thank you everyone. I feel clearer in my mind about it all. I can justify my stance and tell you how made it is and then in the next setence flip to making excuses for him and feeling guilty. But I can't escape from the fact that, regardless of the precise circumstances and how 'bad' they are, I can't do it anymore. I have two chronic illnesses, one of them brought on my stress, the other an autoimmune disease and I'm starting to feel really really ill. And it's his alcoholism and my reaction to it that's making me ill. I am exhausted with analysing the situation. I am exhausted with flipping from anger to guilt. I am exhausted from worrying about what will happen if we split up. It isn't in my DCs interest to keep going until I have a nervous breakdown because there's no family to help us if something happens to me. Well not unless I want to upsticks and move 300 hundred miles away where I don't know anyone, no thank you. What do I say to them - we'll be staying in the house so we'll have to stay living together while my partner finds somewhere else to live. DD1 is nearly 8 and DD2 is 4.5. How on earth do I explain to them that daddy is going to live somewhere else?!
Superamoo, if you can make the decision to leave, there is lots of help available. Plan things, seek information and support, before you tell your P or your girls.
A poster called olgaga has a thread with links to all kinds of useful info, in particular on legal advice.
Sorry you're unwell.
It will be OK, or at the very least much better than now, if you leave him.
This book can be helpful in explaining sometimes. It may not be totally truthful to your situation, but it can be a starting point.
What do you get from this relationship now, what has kept you within this to date?.
Is the property in your sole name or joint names?. You can use legal means to get him out if he refuses to leave. The current situation as it stands is untenable. You will likely end up with a nervous breakdown if you do not act.
Olgaga's information is top notch, I would suggest too that you read this as well.
Also it is not your problem where he goes after he has left; that is your co-dependent nature kicking in again. You are not responsible for him when all is said and done.
I called Gingerbread and they were very helpful and pointed me in the direction of some good leaflets about telling children. It hammered home to me how important it is to talk positively about my partner. Unfortunately me and DD1 already tend to talk quite negatively about him because DD2 is the favourite and he is generally pretty horrible to DD1 and so I tried to toughen her up from quite early on. She's already noticed that he never does anything with them and doens't take them anywhere. But I need to big him up abit, I see that. Because he is and always will be their father and a part of them. To be negative about him is to hurt them a little too I think. So I won't mention that he has problems at all unless DD1 presses me to know why he's so detatched from us all and from her. I just don't want to give her the idea that if he has a 'problem' then there must be a solution and maybe she could have the solution or at least help us to 'fix the problem'. There is no solution now. I don't want to think she has any power over this situation.
He is their father, but primarily a drunkard of one. He is no decent role model to them is he?.
Your own relationship with your girls going forward is also at risk of being damaged. They could well ask you why you did not leave years earlier.
How would you feel also if either one or both of them ended up with alcoholic men in their own relationships?. You're both currently teaching them here all sorts of damaging stuff about relationships as you yourself likely were.
Why do you have any need at all to big up this man?. What's he done to deserve you bigging him up, that just suggests that you're trying to put a gloss on everything. Your children, both of them, are very perceptive and they know all too well their parents have problems. Also such overt favouritism by him should not be at all tolerated by yourself as such behaviour will damage their relationship as sisters.
Your only realistic option going forward is to leave him.
I tried all the workaround explanations but in the end I had to tell my 4 year old that daddy drank too much beer and wine, it was making him ill and meant that he couldn't look after her properly even though he loves her. I told her that it was wrong to behave like that and that only he could sort himself out.
I had to tell her this because 4 year olds aren't. stupid and she knows a lie when she hears one.
There's a big difference between telling the truth and badmouthing the other parent. I want my child to grow up knowing the difference between right and wrong.
Again, this all took me years and wasn't as simple as it looks written down. I should really have kicked exH out while I was pregnant and told DD an age appropriate version of the truth from Day 1.
I do see what you mean ChangingWoman but I'm concerned that if I present them with a problem - 'daddy isn't well' - they'll fall into his trap of feeling sorry for him and thinking I'm a bad person for asking to leave and making him suffer. And also they'll think that if daddy stops drinking he can come back which will be over my dead body. I think it will help to tell them the truth because how anyone, regardless of age, understand alcoholism and the fact that it's nobody's fault and you can't the person etc, unless you are either an addict yourself or live with one? I just think they'll end up thinking that daddy didn't love them enough to stop drinking. So better to say that our relationship doesn't work and we're very unhappy living together although we both love you to infinity etc.
I used the daddy is not well with my DS, but together with he is damaging us and we need to be apart.
Our children need to know that as sorry as we feel about people, some behaviour just can't be tolerated.
He may not be able to cope on his own, but what if he brings down the entire family with him?
You'd be doing a disservice to yourself and your children by staying with him.
Possibly to him as well, as addicts often don't feel the need to change until they hit rock bottom.
I guess it depends how quickly he finds somewhere else to live. If it takes him a while and he stops drinking in the meanwhile then saying he can't stop drinking is going to look like a lie! Hopefully that situation won't arise but knowing him, once I tell him he has to move out then he suddenly will stop drinking and be all sweetness and light. yuck
Sorry - they will both know you aren' being honest. They can't possibly not know that there is something seriously wrong with their father. Your older child probably already blames herself.
He behaves appallingly on a daily basis, sexually abuses you, neglects his children etc.. and you're prepared to pretend that it's ok? Really?
If you don't tell them and show your DC, how else will they learn how to behave or interact with others in a normal, healthy way? It certainly isn't going to come from their father.
Your elder daughter is aged 7.
"the elder one has a terrible temper and gets angry really easily"
"the younger one can burst into tears when something even slightly goes wrong"
"he is generally pretty horrible to DD1"
"She's already noticed that he never does anything with them and doesn't take them anywhere"
"then he sits in front of the telling, drinks till he's fairly drunk and then goes to bed and he does that every night"
and THEN you say:
"Hardly traumatic for a child."
Look at what you are saying! It sounds INCREDIBLY traumatic to me. Do you really think they are better off living with this man? Do you really think they aren't affected by him?
Your lovely girls. Protect them now and leave him.
And that is besides the fact he molests you, records you when you are unaware, pesters you for sex and blames his abusive background for giving you and your girls an equally awful time.
FFS he's so awful sexually that you have to drive away to get away from him!
Yes, he will probably drink more if you leave. He'll also drink more if you stay. You don't owe him your whole life or your daughters' lives.
You do owe your daughters a peaceful and happy home, where they are secure in the love of their mother.
Stop drinking is not for a week, or even a month. It has to be a permanent change. Certainly over a year.
Regardless, do you want to risk it?
Yes that's true. It's one of the reasons that I've tried to have alot of friends in our lives and send the children round to friends houses alot and have tea with them. And we do alot outside the house. I've tried to expose them to 'normal' people as much as humanly possible. But in a way it makes DD1 sad because she gets jealous and asks me why her daddy doesn't play games with her, why is he grumpy all the time, why doesn't he take her out anywhere etc? It's heartbreaking really. But then I grew up with very neglectful parents so it's sort of normal to me too. But I'm not totally disfunctional, I have alot of good close friends. But I have to admit that none of them know that this is going on. I just can't bring myself to be vulnerable in front of anyone if I'm honest. Hence I'm on here telling strangers instead. No offence. I really appreciate the warmth and kindness that's been shown to me here.
I can hear what you're saying really I can. But I can only judge the situation from my perspective. I grew up in exactly the same situation - my parents totally neglected me and my dad drank every day and was angry all the time and hit me a couple of times plus we were dirt poor. But I am categorically NOT traumatised by it. It is what it is. I just accepted it then and I accept it now. They did their best. What Dp is doing to me is FAR and away worse than what he's doing to them. They don't know how good they've got it, frankly.
Your poor girls are already trying to fix their parent but that parent is you, not him. They have given up on him already.
They see YOU feeling ill and tired and stressed and they don't know how to make it better.
Do you not realise that this is also what makes them upset and tearful and angry and unsettled and awful?
I understand that you think you are protecting them by sticking with the status quo.
You aren't. I promise you.
Blaming yourself and bigging up your husband whilst simultaneously saying you are splitting is putting you right back at the point of enabling his behaviour and pulling the rug from under them. You are the nearest thing to stability they have and now you are going to lie to their faces and tell them that you are the bad one?? Seriously??
They will already see their father as a negative force in the house. He treats one better than the other? And you let that happen? And your way of dealing with it is to toughen up the older one? How the hell is she ever going to feel selfworth and know what a good (normal) relationship is like if her own mother allows her to be treated like that and her own father is then put on a pedestal?? So confusing and so so damaging.
He isn't a bit unwell. He is an addict. Addiction = selfish and addiction is a dirty, horrible, lonely and self-absorbed place to be. You can't change that. Your poor kids will already know that they can never be good enough for him and neither will you. Do you realise that?? No amount of smoothing over the cracks will change that.
Yes, addiction is an illness of sorts but there are ways of explaining that to your children without either bigging him up or slagging him off or leading them to think you or they are responsible for his actions.
Where does he smoke these joints? At home? When the kids are in bed? In the garden? In the living room? Seriously??
You are very dismissive of al-anon. My experience has been very different to yours and I think perhaps you are hiding behind all this 'not falling over' 'not abusive' stuff because it assuages your own guilt about your inertia.
Stop playing the martyr and start playing the mother.
Have you read the Al Anon 3 act play?? It isn't as long as it sounds but it resonated so well with me and the rest of the family. Here is a link to one version:
Oh my god I have just read your last reply.
Let me explain one awful truth.
Many many people brought up in neglectful and abusive families go on to replicate that life again in their choice of partner.
This is what has happened to you. You ARE affected by your neglect and it is heartbreaking to see what little selfworth you have as a result. That is why you are sticking in this horrendous situation.
Do you REALLY want your girls to accept that 'they don't know how good they've got it, frankly' and therefore take pride when they finally realise how awful life can be?
Because believe me, the odds of them following in your sad footsteps are extremely high.
YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO BREAK THAT TERRIBLE CYCLE.
YOU!! Just by taking a stand now and showing them that they can choose to be happy, not just wait to be miserable.
I feel so sad for you right now, and even more sad for your girls
They don't know how good they've got it, frankly.
Oh my god, your poor girls. Not only are they having a really shit time at home with their dad, their mother thinks they are well off!
OP, that comment alone tells me you need serious counselling.
Please please listen to the reactions to y
Your last post.
You have been SO traumatised by your upbringing you can't see that you've replicated it for your poor daughters.
That link I posted describes your role to a T... please read it and the rest of the text on the link.
The third character in this act is the key person in the play, the spouse or parent of the alcoholic, the person with whom the alcoholic lives. This is usually the wife or mother. She is a veteran at this role and has played it much longer than others in the act. She is the Provoker. She is hurt and upset by repeated drinking episodes; but she holds the family together despite all the trouble caused by drinking.
In turn, she feeds back into the marriage her bitterness, resentment, fear and hurt, and so becomes the source of provocation. She controls, she tries to force the changes she wants; she sacrifices, adjusts, never gives up, but never forgets. The attitude of the alcoholic is that his failure should be acceptable, but she must never fail him!! He acts with complete independence and insists he will do as he pleases, and he expects her to do exactly what he tells her to do or not to do. She must be at home when he arrives, if he arrives.
This character might also be called the Adjuster; she is constantly adjusting to the crises and trouble caused by drinking. The alcoholic blames her for everything that goes wrong with the home and the marriage; she tries everything possible to make her marriage work to prove he is wrong. She is wife and housekeeper and may, in addition, feel compelled to earn part of the bread. Living with a man whose illness is alcoholism, she attempts to be the nurse, doctor and counselor. She cannot play these three roles without hurting herself and her husband. She is so upset that she cannot talk to her husband without adding more guilt, bitterness, resentment or hostility to the situation, which is already almost unbearable. Yet the customs of our society train and condition the wife to play this role. If she does not, she finds herself going against what family and society regard as the wifeâ€™s role. No matter what the alcoholic does, he ends up "at homeâ€™: this is where everyone goes when there is no other place to go.
They don't have a good life. You didn't have a good childhood either. You are very damaged, unable to see your situation for what it is and need help and support. It doesn't have to be al-Anon.
You are failing your children at the moment. You have the power to put a stop to the hell you're all in. Do it.
"I just can't bring myself to be vulnerable in front of anyone if I'm honest".
How much can you admit to yourself that you are vulnerable?
Did you learn as a child to always be strong? Not to rely on others because they won't be there for you?
Is this what you want for your DC?
Hi op I have not read all the msgs on here but wanted to give you a bit of insight to my story. My h has got addiction problems which if he isn't using one substance he will use another. I was with him for 11 yrs and had not affected his ability to work until this year, he also lied to me about how bad the situation was telling me he was going through depression. For the past 2 years I have struggled to want to be near him although did get pregnant b him whilst I was pregnant he got worse. we have three children together now and I have split with him. it all came to a head when he could no longer function properly lost his job and had people coming after him. unfortunately it took me so long thinking I could help him showing him diff places to access help that it dragged me down. My 2 older children (7&5) did pick up tho on the fact that there dad didn't interact with them like others dads do and my oldest also told his dad that when he got older he wanted to be like him at 33 'Lazy'. All these little things made me wake up and realise that what he was doing was hurting his children not violent but emotionally and socially. They still have a relationship with him and I have not told them why we have separated just that we cant make each other happy any longer. it is hard cos as others have pointed out I have realised that although addiction is an illness it has also been his decisions as well, cos he has not followed for any help. I hope you can come to a decision but pls be aware that even if our children are not physically be damaged by their fathers they are emotionally as they do notice more than we give them credit for xx
But I am categorically NOT traumatised by it.
You should ask yourself if you are not traumatised why you are putting up with his behaviour and allowing your children to be exposed daily to it.
" I just accepted it then and I accept it now."
As your children will when they end up with shit partners because they don't know any better.
Please listen to the excellent advice on here. You have to break the cycle. You and your children deserve so much better.
I'm sorry, but you appear to still be in denial about your partner. It is not normal behaviour, It is not acceptable behaviour. Stop enabling him.
I don't agree with you that much harm is coming to my children. The harm is happening to me. Just because you've got an absent parent doesn't make you a fuck-up. They don't know any different so how would it make any difference to them? They get loads of a attention from me and I am NEVER EVER EVER negative or sad or cross with them - I keep that to myself - I keep it all in which is why I'm getting ill. We're constantly laughing and singing songs and having a nice time - I make sure of that EVERY DAY. They are not traumatised or neglected or hard done by at all. I could only have fucking dreamt of the stuff they have and all the love and attention and affection they get. I got ZERO affection as a child - my own mother never touched me when I was growing up. She hugged me for the first time since I was a little girl, when I was 19 years old! It is a fucking miracle that I am able to show my children so much love and patience and affection as I do. It is ME that is suffering. Not them.
Please re-read my post at 12:38.
Nobody is saying you are directly harming your children, but they are living in a harmful environment. THEY ARE, not just you.
Agree with all PPs, this is not normal, you can do nothing for or about your DH's addiction, all you can do is look after your DDs and yourself. Please start doing that.
(my STBXH is a functioning alcoholic)
Denial as well is a powerful force.
Your innate co-dependency needs are being met by this man; that's probably why you have stayed to date. Your own overwhelming responsibility felt towards him is having a real and deleterious effect on both you and your children. You would still want to put him first and are happy currently to sacrifice both your happiness as well as your children's on his altar.
The harm is happening to them as well via you; one child has already given up on their dad and talks about him with disdain and the less favoured child realises all too clearly that her sister is being favoured by her drunkard of a father. You can deny it all you like but they are being emotionally scarred here (just as you yourself were).
I am also not altogether surprised to read that your own childhood was dysfunctional at the hands of parents one of whom drank heavily. You're basically now replicating the past, history is indeed repeating itself here. Your girls will likely grow up to be exactly the same as you are now if you do not act. They go to other people's houses; they know all too well that "normal" families do not have a drunkard for a parent nor does that parent not take any real notice of them.
You learnt all this from your own childhood, they taught you about alcoholism and co-dependency. It is of no surprise to me that you found yourself a drunkard and a drug user because you saw in him the same level of damage. One damaged person + one damaged person = two damaged people. That's what your girls are seeing now and are very likely to replicate the same dysfunctional lives as adults.
I think that is a lie you have had to tell yourself in order to survive staying in the relationship, but of course I am not there seeing your children. The reason that people have pointed out the damage they think is likely to be caused to your children isn't to make you feel more rubbish about not ending it sooner but to encourage you to see that staying is not a painless option for them, so while the break up might cause short term distruption, the end result of a home where they and their mother can be safe and calm is worthwhile.
However, now that you have choosen to end the relationship, I'm not sure whether it matters whether your motivation is improving their lives (which you don't think are THAT bad) or your life (which you sometimes think isn't THAT bad and sometimes think is THAT bad), the point is that you have realised that things are not going to get any better for you (and we think for your children too) unless you end the relationship. Its okay to do it for yourself. But we think that you will find they will enjoy having a mum who is safe and happy, and this will improve their lives too.
So, what's the plan? What are the practical steps you need to take that will help you to end the relationship and stop living with him?
You sound like you have done so much to try and give your daughters an emotionally healthy upbringing when you lacked one yourself. Not living with an addict is the next thing they need, even if you can't see how things would be different for them, you can't picture it because their lives seem normal, even good compared to what you had.
Please do consider counselling, I think it would help you, but so will not living with an abusive addict which is probably the more urgent thing, so if you can do it without counselling by all means go ahead.
You think your girls are lucky because they are only living in a grade b shit situation, when you grew up in a grade a one?
All children deserve a childhood free from bad treatment. That is their right. It's not a privilege, as you seem to think.
I guess that I'm scared that I won't be able to give them anything better a 'grade b shit situation' on my own. So in a way it's preferrable to stay because maybe on my own, maybe I'll fall apart. Maybe I get ill and won't be able to look after them? Maybe I'll become angry and cross all the time because I'm on my own. I don't quite trust myself
I do have dodgy health so it's not surprising that I'm worried about that but I suspect he may have planted seeds of doubt in my mind whether subconsciously or not, about my ability to take of myself and our children without him.
You're already doing 99% of it aren't you! Plus you are overcompensating for his shitness. You will be an even better mum than you are now because you won't be wasting all this emotional energy protecting your girls from him and denying your pain xx
Also if you do get ill (even if "just" a bad cold) it is easier to ask others for help if you are on your own, then if you have another supposedly able bodied adult at home.
Your health may improve once you don't have him around too. Its "surprising" how often that happens.
Sorry you had a bad childhood, it does sound awful, but you're in denial about the impact living with your partner is having on your daughters. It doesn't matter how great you are and how much you devote to them, they are still living in a crap situation, because of his behaviour and your choice to stay.
Sadly his addictions come above you all, which is already clear to his daughters. The onus is on you to put them, not him, first.
You are strong enough to live alone with them.
Thank you everyone. I am going to do it. I guess I'm using this forum abit to get the bad stuff in my head out - I'm sorry if sounds like I'm dumping my shit on everyone. I just want to have a clear head when I talk to him. I don't want him to be able to pull the wool over my eyes yet again. He happens to have MS but it is relatively benign - the only major symptom is faitgue, also some mild speech problems and some loss of balance. But he uses it as a weapon against me if I confront him - he says I don't know how tired he is (he always has plenty of energy to meet his dealer or go to the shop to buy beer) and he says he 'has' to smoke weed. It's a grey area - I have no idea how ill he actually is. Atleast if I'm feeling abit stronger, he won't be able to wind me in again with his sob story about his ms.
But I am categorically NOT traumatised by it. It is what it is
But you are and you need to realise this.
You are putting your DC in exactly the same position you were in and they in turn will do exactly the same.
Others have put this much better than me but you see the cycle - surely????
I'm glad you are now ready to get him out.
You need to do it fast as well and you need to get yourself some counselling.
You will be fine with your DCs. Actually you be amazed at how much relief you will feel and how much healthier you will be away from this leech.
As the saying goes:
"If you don't get on the carousel, you won't go round in circles"
Time to get off and give your DDs the chance of 'normal' healthy relationships as they grow up.
You are the teacher so teach them well.
"He comes home from work. He goes to the shop. I cook him tea and he eats it, then he sits in front of the telling, drinks till he's fairly drunk and then goes to bed and he does that every night plus he smokes weed alot. Hardly traumatic for a child."
You dont think?
I imagine my husband do that, instead of helping our children with arts and crafts projects, instead of taking them to the pool, instead of helping them with homework, instead finding a movie to watch with them, instead of taking them for a cycle ride, our children would find watching dad sit on his bum and drink alcohol every night would be quite traumatic.
The difference is that my children is not used to this, yours are.
He is not actually a role model for them, not as a dad, or a husband, or a man for that matter!
I mean, he is not a good role model.
He is a role model though.
But I am categorically NOT traumatised by it. It is what it is
But you are and you need to realise this.
You are putting your DC in exactly the same position you were in and they in turn will do exactly the same.
Others have put this much better than me but you see the cycle - surely????
I'm glad you are now ready to get him out.
You need to do it fast as well and you need to get yourself some counselling.
You will be fine with your DCs. Actually you be amazed at how much relief you will feel and how much healthier you will be away from this leech.
As the saying goes:
"If you don't get on the carousel, you won't go round in circles"
Time to get off! and give your DDs the chance of having 'normal' healthy relationships as they grow up.
You are the teacher so teach them well.
Before you say your children aren't affected think of them in five years, ashamed to bring friends home because of the pitiful loser in their living room. They will despise him and disrespect you for putting up with it.
Super, glad you're gathering your thoughts about leaving.
Before you speak to him, try to think through your plans, get info and seek support.
Otherwise you run the risk of being talked round, fobbed off with promises, or guilt-tripped, will stay and nothing much will change. If you're undecided on leaving, better to say nothing and think it through more than tell him and deal with all the inevitable drama and possible escalation of the sexual abuse.
Before you say "but he deserves one last chance to stop boozing" (and the rest), or that before breaking up you need to know you've given it your all, you've already given him years of your life and inumerable chances, and given it more than your all, have tried and tried to improve things: he hasn't taken any of those opportunities because his primary relationships are with drink and drugs.
Weed is not a clinically-proven treatment for MS. Even if it was, he's an alcoholic in addition!
So you also had one parent who did not show you love and understanding, like your husband is doing to your children now.
Maybe that is why you are ok with that?
You say YOU are suffering. If not for your children then, could you end this for YOU?
You need to think about your and the girls' safety.
This person is not just a boozer/pothead, he is already abusive towards you. he could turn very nasty if his equilibrium is threatened.
If you can avoid staying under the same roof after you end it, that would be best.
Have you contacted Women's Aid? If not and you're in the UK, they may well be able to help.
Right now the DCs are little and don't quite know what's going on, but they will when they are older, how angry and ashamed are they going to be with
the useless tosser their DF when they are in their teens, they won't be able to have friends round, life will revolve around him and his selfish behaviour not them.
I also think that DCs do pick up when their home life isn't really happy, they will copy their DM and pretend everything's fine and think that DF's behaviour is normal.
They need a safer environment with a relaxed and happy DM away from DF. But I think you also need to explain to them why you are moving, and that it isn't their fault but sadly Daddy is drinking too much or whatever, don't leave them anxious about what is going on. My DF was an alcy and nothing was ever talked about or explained which made things worse for us DCs imo.
Glad the fog is beginning to clear OP. Just keep reading and learning and posting and stay one step ahead of DH.
Because just like affairs, there is a script and it is so easy to slip back into enabling and denial.
It is strange isn't it, how those of us who grew up in dysfunctional families feel as though we hate to show our vulnerability. I am just the same; and though my father isn't an alcoholic, he is a very selfish and probably narcissistic character who we grew up stepping around.
I then met a man who I tiptoed around in the same way (my alcoholic ex partner). We replicate those awful patterns of our childhood even though we don't want to; and we keep on being strong and invulnerable cos we're used to it. And we are usually co-dependent people pleasers who expend a lot of energy in kidding the world and ourselves we're alright.
Do read Melanie Beatties book if you haven't already. It really helped me. I was also given a lot of strength by a website called sober recovery. It has forums, and there is one for friends and family of alcoholics. It literally changed the way I thought about things, and helped give me the strength to get my kids' dad to leave.
Good luck to you- you're not alone. And it's not your fault. But you can change things. Really.
PS. I did tell my DCs that dad was leaving because he drank too much beer and I didn't think it was good for us to live with him when he was drunk so often. That wasn't bad mouthing him, that was the truth. Children need honesty, they have a lot of intuition and they realise stuff anyway.
Your last post has hit me like a punch in the stomach, Squeegle. I had never thought of it like that. Thank you.
You are welcome Imperial. I feel the whole process of being with an alcoholic and all that entails has taught me a load about why I have accepted so much bad behaviour when others might not have.
I reckon if we can share some of these things, then some people like OP stand a chance if getting out of such an unhealthy relationship a bit earlier than I did!
Hi again everyone. I'm in trouble with this. After feeling really strong, I've gone backwards. I don't understand what's wrong with me. I have read Melanie Beatie - I have her daily reader too - I read it every morning. I've also read a book called Boundaries which is excellent. My partner isn't well this week and espeically today because he has a big infectious lump in his face and has a fever and the antibiotics aren't working. It is kind of gross but I just feel so bloody sorry for him - he has his first day of his new job tomorrow and he's scared and he's got a fucking infected growth on his face, I just feel filled with sadness for him. So sad that I show him ZERO affection, zero love. That he is so very unloved. When he came home from work, I was polite but brusque, let's say. And he said you're quiet, are you ok? And I said 'well I'm feeling pissed off, for obvious reasons' (he went out to the shop as normal tonight but only bought 4 bottles of beer so is trying). He then went to the sitting room and cried. I just couldn't bear it. I didn't react. I didn't say anything. I just offered him some pain killers and a hot waterbottle which he declined. I can see how awful he feels for what he's done and I'm just being eaten up inside with guilt with feeling sorry for him. With wanting to look after him. I've got to thinking how much of our problem is my fault. How I convince myself that I 'do everything' but how part of me does it on purpose so I can hate him. I am a fucking martyr. Sometimes he offers to help and I say no - I've learnt to do that because if I let him help then it's like excusing his behaviour, like saying all is well between us. And it gives him ammunition in the bedroom, if he's helped me, then there is an unwritten rule that I then have to be sexual with him. 99% of the time I don't ask for help even when I want it and need it. That's because I dont' want to be in a relationship with someone that I have to ask for 'help' because I don't see it is as my 'role' to be the cleaner and cook and nanny. I work more hours than him and I think 'why the fuck should I have to ask you for 'help' when you should automatically do your share in the house and with the children?'. And I don't ask him to do something with the children because I'm busy thinking' why the fuck should I have to ask you to do something with your children, you should do it automatically'. So it is all my fault. I've created this situation myself. Haven't I? I can't do this, I can't be mean, it's just not me at all. I'm back to feeling like I would rather work myself to death than try and sort this situation out because it's so much easier. I know I'm being pathetic, I just can't stop.
I just feel like, no matter how much I want to split up, no matter how miserable I am, this just isn't bad enough to justify ruining their lives.
You need to start looking at it like "No matter how much I don't want to change this situation, it's too bad to justify ruining their lives." which is exactly what will happen if you force them to live with an alcoholic.
They're both such sensitve girls - the elder one has a terrible temper and gets angry really easily and the younger one can burst into tears when something even slightly goes wrong. But I don't think that's got anything to do with my relationship because from the outside there is NOTHING wrong.
They're not on the outside though. They're living it. Do you really think your children are living in a parallel universe? No, they have grown up in a home with an alcoholic chronic dope smoker and an unhappy mother who is angry, no matter how well you think you hide it. They make not know all the details of what happens when they go to bed, but they are not on the outside. And they have no choice in the matter. You do.
I just saw your last post. Please contact some RL support agencies and get some counselling You may not be able to leave straight away, but you need help and professional support from people who know your situation.
Thank you. What is an RL support agency?
Maybe you are angry because you have this unhappy home life. But you seem to be convinced that only you can sort DH, only you can support him when he as this job interview, only you can care for him when he has this infection on his face. When the best thing for him might be for him to learn to care for himself, find the courage to go to the interview, find fulfillment from being with his DW and family, caring and supporting them, find the courage to fight his demons or whatever causes the drinking.
So maybe you need to take a step back.
But counselling to understand your feelings sounds the best advice.
Sorry if I was a bit pushy in the last post.
I recognise the 'fucking martyr' description as something I did myself, if you swamp yourself with responsibilities then you don't have time to look at your self, your own failings, and if those responsibilities are other people's issues it is (you can tell yourself) beyond your control so you can feel martyred and self-pitying too.
This might not be exactly the same for you OP but this is something I did.
I'm ashamed to admit that I've already had relationship counselling. But it didn't really help. I just couldn't accept that it was right to upset DP when it wasn't his fault he was like this. What am I teaching my DCs if I chuck him out - 'when someone's ill you just get rid of them?' How is that teaching them about compassion and about kindness to a fellow human being. He doesn't hit them, he makes little attempts at conversations. He sometimes offers to help at bedtime but both children refuse to accept his help because they're used to me - is that his fault? He doesn't know how to cook because I've always done all the cooking - is that his fault or mine? He doesn't do anything in the house but he leaves for work at half seven every day and never has a day off sick even though he hates his job. So why should he have to do anything when he comes home? I dont' have to go anywhere to work, I just sit at the computer and sell stuff and yet I expect him to commute and work and help? Isn't that abit unreasonable? I've created this person who is infantile and childlike, needy and anxious by doing everything for him, and now I want to chuck him out becuase I don't like the way he is even thought I 'made' him who he is with my fucked up behaviour!
Thank you Venus - yes I know what you mean totally. I've created a business that is so big that I can't get all the work done without making myself ill. We did need the money but I question my motives too - the making myself this busy so I never have time to feel anything. I never have time to take responsibility for myself - I wear old torn cloths and always look a mess but it's my fault because I was the one who grew the business to breaking point. I complain that I work myself to the bone but at the end of the day, no-ones got a gun to my head. We could just be poor - I don't have to work until I drop. And yet I do.
a hilarious typo just caught my eye - i wear old torn cloths! Ha! Clearly I meant clothes. I can hear the tiniest violin in the world playing. I'm so full of self-pity it's completely nauseating.
Everything he does is his choice. Everything. Including choosing not to get help with his drinking and choosing to steal from you.
I am sorry for whinging and going on and on. And dumping my crap on this forum. Good night all.
Thank you purple. I hadn't thought of that. He does have a choice to get help - there is ALOT of help around here - loads of meetings, lots of treatment centres and counsellors. He just thinks he'll just stop and it will all be fine. Problem is that won't help me - he'll stop but I'll still be codependent and ill.
This is weird, your DP sounds like my alcy father. He went to work every day without fail, couldn't do a thing in the house, maybe make a cup of tea, was a useless father, did nothing with us DCs, never really spoke to us when I think about it, did no repairs, no gardening. He was also angry, bitter, unreasonable and selfish. However my DM stayed with him. This was the 1960s though and she didn't work and had nowhere to go.
Your DP could open a recipe book any day he chooses and follow the instructions if he wanted to cook.
If any of my adult DCs found themselves living with an alcoholic partner I really wouldn't rest until they had separated. I know it's just not worth someone else trying to fix their problem.
Thank you Venus. It makes it hard that he hasn't got anyone else. His only friend is an alcoholic too! And his family live far away and are totally messed up anyway. If only he had someone else I wouldn't feel so responsible I think. I think if he could put his point of view across he would say that I've shut him out of the children's lives, that I withdrew from him first. That I started it basically. And I think I did - gradually as I realised how emotionally stunted he was, how anxious, how angry and selfish and lazy, I withdrew more and more and took control of more and more things because I felt he wasn't trustworthy. The more I did everything, the more useless he felt/feels and the less he feels able to do. He really is at rock bottom emotionally - I've seen to that. With my doing everything and constant criticism - he must feel like he can't do anything right.
You probably won't believe this but, and I learned this relatively recently, my DM was advised, by the doctor where DF was being dried out, that if she left him he might stop drinking. Anyway she didn't so we'll never know.
It is a chicken and egg situation, what caused what, the drinking, the low self esteem, the depression who knows what came first. But I'm sure you are wrong to think it's all to do with you.
You didn't cause it. You can't control it. You can't cure it.
Even if your behaviour is part of the problem, doesn't that just make it even clearer that you aren't helping him? (in the long term with the stuff that really matters - obviously you 'help' him with the day to day things to keep him functioning) And that leaving will give him the opportunity to either carry on much as he is but with takeaways instead of home cooked meals, or to get genuine real help to get better. And either way you and the girls will be better off?
Forget about blame at the situation. No one here is in the "You made your bed, you lie in it" mentality. You are in a crap situation that's making you ill. Disregarding whose fault it is, what can you do to improve it? Because he's not capable of improving things for you and the girls at the moment or in the foreseeable future.
And you are likely to get more long lasting success by taking that step to ending the relationship, because tinkering at the edges of exactly how many drinks he has at each night, or whether he makes a clumsy attempt at trying to be a good dad, isn't going to be enough to make you all happy. Look after yourself and your DDs and give him the opportunity to stand up and look after himself.
Its not the sort of illness that you can stand by and support him through. His misery cannot forever make your happiness and freedom take a back seat. Its good that you want your children to learn kindness, but that isn't what this is. Enduring sexual contact you do not want is not a kindness to him, its an betrayl of you. There is being a loving generous person who gives what they can afford to, and there is standing still while someone robs you of the last of the most basic nourishment to keep you going. You will both end up crashing.
On flights during the safety demonstation, if the air supply is compromised, oxygen masks are released from the sealing. Passengers are advised to fit their own masks first before they help their neighbours, even if those are their children. The reason is that if you pass out from lack of oxygen, you are no use to anybody. Its not heroic to not look after yourself.
Its time to put on your oxygen mask. Save yourself, it will give you the strength to help others. Then save your daughters. Then, once you have secured your mental and physical safety, from a distance, you can point him in the direction of real support - AA, his GP, etc and he can find others I'm sure.
I think you need to let go of your huge sense of responsibility past, present and future for his behaviour. He has been vile and abusive towards you, at the very least he has not been a full and equal partner. He is not some child or pet that you are beholden to, he is an adult, and if he isn't capable of standing on his own two feet, he needs professional help. You did your best but it will never be enough for him.
You didn't cause it, you can't contol it, you can't cure it.
Obviously my long post was cross posted with many of yours, I shall go and catch up. Sorry if I've repeated anything or made mistakes.
Great post. Superamoo was going to bed.
Super, by staying you are teaching your DDs that their happiness does not matter. That their needs need not be fulfilled. That they exist only to enable the addict.
Just as you were taught.
See the business. If you didn't have to spend all your time and energy looking after him, do you think you might be able to cope with the business better? Certainly you could if he was a full partner who did his share of looking after the children, cooking meals and doing the housework - obviously this isn't an option you can magic up, but its worth bearing in mind that if he wasn't making life so blooming difficult it would be easier.
If he wasn't stealing your earnings and drinking them, maybe you could afford to pay someone to be a part time assistant, to take some of the admin things (like posting things) off your hands for a few hours a week, so that you could concentrate on the more creative or strategic elements of the business. Or maybe you could pay a cleaner or a babysitter for a few hours etc.
You know, if you seperate, it doesn't stop him from giving up the drink one day (with professional help?) and being a good dad when he sees his DDs. Obviously he might not, but then he might never stop drinking while you are with him either.
Good night, hope you feel better in the morning. xx
"How is that teaching them about compassion and about kindness to a fellow human being."
You're not being kind to anyone right now. You're actively supporting a lifestyle which allows him to continue his revolting behaviour which is damaging him as well as you and your children. It isn't kind to stay in a situation where you are constantly angry and repelled by him. I don't see kindness in your partnership on either side. It's built on abusiveness and totally pointless martyrdom.
Your children deserve compassion and kindness and a better than third-rate childhood.
Put them and you on the receiving end of your kindness. Any emotion you have is wasted on your husband because it means nothing to him and makes no difference to him.
OP, last week I kicked my dp of 12 years out. Our dd is 4 months. It was hard. It still is hard. But I got great support on here. One poster said that she was the child of an alcoholic, that I was doing the right thing, and that she wishes someone had looked after her. When it gets tough, I'm holding onto that.
DP is doing all he can to demonstrate he'll change. He's probably seeing more of DD now than he did when he lived with us - and he now lives over an hour away. He might now have the motivation to stop drinking. To be honest, the time apart has given me space to get really angry about all the lies and excuses I made up on his behalf, and all the miserable hours I spent waiting to see if he'd come home, and all the money I spent paying the bills whilst he was spending all his money on booze. I realise now I was facilitating his drinking. It might be too late for me and dp, but he can still have a good relationship with dd if he sorts himself out.
Of course I feel bad for dp. And I feel sad for my dreams of how dd would grow up with me and dp together. And I loved him for 12 years in spite of everything, so I'm mourning that too. But I am entirely certain that I did the right thing.
You will surprise yourself with how strong you are. And keep posting here. MN is fantastic support.
Those negative feelings you are having are in part your codependency, taking on all that responsibility for another person when you cannot control how they feel or behave, he has done all that on his own. You don't know whether he really feels all that uselessness or whether it is some guilt in you projecting on to him. Chances are he is not feeling anything, other than deep affection for a bottle of beer, and resentment at you for trying to stop him drinking.
Have you looked at therapy to help you with your codependency, or CoDA meetings? When I was in your situation I was told very frankly that if I were to stay in an alcoholic marriage I would probably end up dead, and that I believe. The emotional strain was so big, and all I focused on was the other person. The only thing my other person focused on was himself. Living in that situation for me, was utter hell on earth. In an actively alcoholic relationship there is no room for affection and love and honesty. And to be honest I didn't love him for quite a while before I had the guts to end it, I just felt so responsible. It was a good feeling letting go of that feeling, and beginning to look after myself and my children. I realised that my ex was an adult and he was not my responsibility, his feelings and his behaviour were all his own to look after.
It's no wonder you don't ask him for help if he turns it into you 'owing' him sex. Of course you don't ask for help. That is not your fault, it is his.
He's unloved - because he's made himself unlovable. He's behaved appallingly, abusively to his wife. He's ignored his daughters. He has done this.
You are codependent and have a false belief that you are responsible for his well being. You need some counselling or therapy to unpick this. But you also need to get him out. Is he not a grown up? Can he not learn to take care of himself when you stop doing it?
This 'alcoholism is an illness = he can't help it = I shouldn't improve my own situation' attitude is found relatively often on MN but rarely in the children of alcoholics. You know he can help it, right?
I have a feeling you will see a dramatic change in your dds when you leave your DH. And at the very least it is worth a try.
Agree with the poster who said instead of assuming that by leaving you would be ruining your daughters' lives that you assume that by STAYING this long and longer you are ruining them (far far more likely to be the case).
Instead of living with someone who doesn't do things for or with them and observing a relationship where the woman does everything and man nothing, and drinks all the time, and feeling the tension in the house, they could come home to you, calmness and safety.
RL agencies: womens aid (especially given his abusiveness, sexually), al-anon, other organisations for families living with an addict; your GP (for you), family centre/ school. Lawyers, Citizens Advice.
You seem to be dwelling very much on HIM, and your part in his behaviour. What about your daughters? Feel sad and worried for THEM, not him!
As has been said: you didn't cause this, you can't control or cure it. All that is up to him. Your job is to get your DC into a better situation. They should be your priority and are suffering as a result of living with him.
He may well end up losing his job. A new job is a risk, especially if it's with a new employer, as there're no unfair dismissal rights for two years. The economy is hard, and employers can often see the signs of alcoholism, or his performance could be poor.
His situation is sad. But I have limited sympathy for him, especially given his negligent treatment of the DC and what you've said about sex. His tears are for himself, and are standard tactics when people feel their partner might leave. Maybe one day he will seek help and get better, maybe not, but either way he's not your problem when you have DC to consider.
By the way, you are not expecting too much of him to work, commute and do some stuff at home. That is standard adult life for goodness sake!
Examining your part in things, and why you have stayed all this time and until your eldest daughter is seven (well old enough to know things are very wrong) would be better done AFTER you leave. And such analysis is downright destructive if the result is to keep you there.
YOUR life would also be better!
A good friend of mine lived with a man a lot like this. She left when her son was five because she was concerned he'd turn out like his dad. Was very worried about impact of leaving on her son, but as it turned out he was fine, almost right away. Her partner was full of tears and promises, so she said: "I'm leaving, if you sort yourself out, we'll talk about things in a year's time".
He still drinks and smokes (and works, and goes to the gym a lot). He's had several spells of bad health (including long spells off work, though so far he's kept his job), e.g. back injury from falling down stairs drunk, blackouts, lots of bugs. He has a new partner who also drinks.
She was also very worried about her ex having their DS for weekends, as he was unfit to care for his DS due to his drinking: but realised that if she considered him an unfit father for shared custody, why were they living with him everyday? In the event her ex P didn't want overnight visits (interfered too much with drinking ) and sees his DS twice a week, once after school at a relative's house and on Saturdays (when he still doesn't take his DS to football as he'd rather watch it, while drinking).
My friend worked hard as a single parent, but said this was much easier than being with her ex. Her son is now nine, doing well, and my friend is marrying someone much nicer!
I grew up with alcoholics. I despise my DF for choosing booze over us four kids and I despise my DM for thinking he was her responsibility.
I had, from the outside, an incredibly privileged upbringing yet I knew that I was never my mothers's priority. All that mattered was her stupid unrealistic bullshit dream that one day my DF would wake up and stop drinking.
He still hasn't, and I blame them both for pissing away my childhood.
Luckily, I have had some amazing therapy and am now able to help other people to learn to repair the damage done to them by alcoholism in their family.
Is that what you want for your own children?
OP, I meant real life organisations like Women's Aid or Alanon.
Please listen to the other children of alcoholics here. My grandfather (who we lived with) was an alcoholic and it ruined my childhood too. All the adults who should have been safeguarding me from that didn't and it has utterly fucked my life.
Thank you everyone. I am really trying to have an open mind and take it on. I have been to CODA but it ended up being really upsetting because everyone was really ill at the meetings because there are no recovered people where I live and therefore no sponsors. Just week after week I'd go and listen to people talk about how bad they felt and it helped to know I wasn't alone but in the end it was soul-destroying that noone ever moved beyond feeling bad. I may try and go back - I haven't been for a year. I live in hope that a recovering/recovered person might move into the area and start going to the meeting. I know I'm a codependent from the way I went from relationship to relationship to relationship from age 11 - all I've ever wanted is someone to be kind to me and look after me abit because my parents couldn't. And I've ended up with someone who doesn't take care of me at all. It's so so sad. I see that I've never really acknowledged that, as lovely as my parents are, they didn't take care of me. I was abused by a teacher at school when I was 9 for instance, sexually and physically, but I never even mentioned to my parents until I was 19 because my parents were so detatched from me. I think I am finally starting to see that that is a sad thing. That i don't have to be brave about it anymore, that I'm allowed to feel sad and angry. There's alot of abuse and bullying and neglect in my childhood. I've been to many different counsellors and talked about it for hours. But I've never felt it before, strangely. A counsellor doesn't react do they - they have to be neutral and I always took their neutrality and their silence to mean that what happened to me wasn't bad. But your stories, your reactions, your advice are starting to make me see that my childhood was actually pretty fucked up. Because my DP's childhood 'trumps' mine because his dad beat his mum, I've always thought I was making a 'fuss' if I felt sad about my own. I guess I'm just still worried that despite years of counselling, despite years of going to meetings, I'll still damaged goods and if I'm left alone with my DCs, then I'll just fuck them up too.
You sound like an incredibly articulate and intelligent woman who is able to intellectually fully understand the situation you are in. But emotionally unable to trust yourself enough in the same manner.
It is very clear that if you are left alone with your DCs you will in no way fuck them up - you are already making that clear with the time, love and energy you are expending on them. That won't change.
What you would be able to do is focus on them fully with no need to worry about covering up, compensating and trying your very best to cover a hole which in fact the oldest one if already aware of.
My mother was beaten by my father but for religious reasons would never have left him. Thankfully he ran off with someone else and I have never seen him since. Has it impacted me - only in the sense that I know I have grown up healthier, more rounded and a better person than if he had stayed. Even so, any arguments between her and my (step) dad used to cause great anxiety and that even when my real father left when I was only 3.
Yes, your kids will be subconsiously absorbing all of this, but through your own love and care may end up as adults saying that their kids also have things 'much better than we did'. But it's not a matter of just improving, it's a question of giving them the absolute best they could have in total. And at this stage it's clear that would be with you and you alone.
And then there's you yourself. You also deserve a whole whole lot more and the ability to feel love, passion, trust, comfort and ease with someone. If you don't leave now, you will find yourself like one of the earlier posters mother has, looking after an alcoholic stoner who will become evermore disfunctional, your girls will leave and you will be left alone with him for the rest of your life... I don't believe that is what you dream of your future being...
Best of luck and take care.
I don't think you can fuck up your children more by being alone with them, and showing them that you cannot tolerate bad relationships, than by staying in this relationship and normalizing alcohol abuse.
I also suspect that you will be able to move on better from your childhood if you do get rid of this relationship.
Thank you. I really appreciate you all taking the time to reply and support me. I'm doing abit better now - I tend to be fine when he's not physically near me. I'm putting up as many obstacles as possible between me and going back to how things were - in the past, I've talked myself into leaving and then he's come home smiling and emptied the dishwasher and I've thought, actually things aren't so bad after all. This time is different. Yesterday I told one of my closest friends everything - turns out she worked in a treatment centre for alcoholics ten years ago which I never knew so she helped, as you all have been doing, to see how his behaviour is 'alcoholic'. Lastnight my sister sent me an email inviting me to her birthday meal and instead of making up some bullshit excuse why I couldn't come, I've just rung her up and told exactly why I can't come - because I live with an alcoholic and can't leave the children alone with him and because we're splitting up anyway. She was horrified to hear that he spent all the money I've worked so hard to earn. She said he was a complete shithead - which was really nice to hear because previously my family have always taken his side, which has made me feel worthless and awful. I've also told two other people that we're separating so I can't go back now. I have to move forward with this. I'm just going to wait for his antibiotics to kick in because I don't believe it's right to tell him that I've had enough when he's genuinely ill. But as soon as he's better in a couple of days, I'm going to say that it's finished and he needs to find somewhere else. If he reacts badly, my sister said we can go and stay with her for half term. No doubt I'll have another wobble in a couple of hours or espeically when he comes home this evening - I'll see his sad face and just feel like my insides are being ripped out but I'll just keep posting, because you've all helped me so much so far. Thank you
It's great that you have RL support.
My sister was invaluable to me when I left exH.
Telling everyone has also been very cathartic.
I hope all goes well in the next few days. Sending strength vibes.
when he comes home this evening - I'll see his sad face
Are you trying to give him the support you feel you never had?
You are taking on too much responsibility for what is his life, true he is probably seriously affected by his childhood, but that is all the more reason for you to step away. You cannot make up for his lousy parents. You'll wear yourself out trying to fix all that, it's for him to fix, not for you.
And you don't know if perhaps he will fix things (or at least improve things) in his life once you are no longer doing everything for him. Try not to make assumptions Super, especially when they are so pessimistic!!
Very sorry that you were abused as a child superamoo, and that your parents didn't take care of you, that is really sad.
Glad you have some RL support and have told some trusted people about the situation, that was brave of you. Maybe there can be online or telephone "sponsors" or forums.
When you tell him, be prepared that he might not be willing to accept it or to move out. You might need legal advice. Do you co-own the place you live in or is it rented?
It is sad, he will be sad, but he still has time in his life to improve things, and be a better parent. You can't do that for him, together or not, and he has already taken far too much from you.
You and your girls CAN have much better daily lives, just the three of you. You can do it.
I know you worry that you'll fall to pieces if its just you and the children, but you are already doing pretty much everything you will do as a single parent except then you won't have the pressure of trying to hide his drinking and stop it affecting the children. You'll be able to relax in your home, and ask for help when you need it from others, which you couldn't do before because it meant admitting that he wasn't helping you, that things weren't alright at home. If you find things hard, you can speak to your friend and your sister, resume counselling, go to your GP, or go to the CoDA as the person who is getting better. Whatever works.
All that energy you are expending on taking care of and protecting him, you'll be able to spend on you and your daughters. You missed out on love and care from your parents, maybe you can't go back in a time machine and make up for that, but you can give yourself love and care now and in the future. You can do little things for yourself, to nurture yourself and hopefully improve your health too. What you were missing as a child you can give to yourself as an adult.
I'm so glad that you have confided in your close friend and your sister. It is so reassuring that you'll have people who can help you out emotionally and practically with the seperation - especially as your friend has experience in this area. Of course your family thought he was brilliant before, you were hiding how bad he was and probably giving them the excuses you were giving us about him working hard etc.
Sorry that you were abused and didn't have anyone to confide in. That is awful. You might find counselling or therapy more helpful now that you are begining to be able to feel emotions. If you feel that their silence is saying that it was okay, its worth telling them that. They might change how they interact with you, or at least they might encourage you to think about why it is a problem for you. Its quite all right btw to ask to see a different therapist, its a really difficult thing opening up about a load of personal stuff, they understand that you need to find someone you can trust.
Consider having someone (family/friend) with you when you tell him that its over. It gives him much less scope to manipulate or bully you, puts him on his "public" persona and means there is someone to call for help if things were to turn nasty. And of course there's always the police if he threatens to harm anyone (including himself).
Have you read The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed ?
I haven't yet, partly because I know my mum loves me and I get on well with her as an adult and I don't know how ready I am to think about how I feel about how she was when I was growing up - she wasn't horrible, or anything, but a lot of the time she just wasn't there or was distant. She was depressed and my dad was/is emotionally abusive. So I think that he, either in his bullying or at other times in his "fun dad" persona, just totally eclipsed her emotionally in my life.
But I think I will read it one day, because in counselling I spent a lot of time talking about my dad and I'd get asked "what about your mum?" and I had nothing to say, I couldn't think of anything good or bad about her in relation to me. I guess because she was depressed and working full time and looking after a large family and dealing with my dad's verbal abuse but it is sad. In turn, as an adult she's told me that she couldn't remember her mum ever hugging her, she supposes that it must have happened, but she can't remember it.
It sounds like the sort of title that might apply to you and help you begin to heal from the lack of affection from your mum. Though obviously I don't know if its any good. Sorry for the personal sidetrack.
[For clarification I'm not saying that working full time is terrible nor is having a big family, but in combination with one EA parent and the other one being depressed, it probably meant there wasn't much time or energy for me.]
OP, as mentioned earlier, I kicked my dp of 12 years out almost 2 weeks ago. Believe me, it is easier alone. I was doing everything by myself for dd (4 months) so I'm not missing anything. And in fact, it's so much easier not worrying about him coming back and being drunk. And once you start telling more people, they'll also be supportive. I've had some lovely offers of help from some very unexpected sources. My only regret is not doing it sooner. I now realise just how badly treated I was in this relationship (and the one before it). If I can do it, after not thinking I was worth standing up for my entire adult life, then I promise you can too. Stay strong. I'll be thinking of you. x
Thank you DressingGown. I'm having another wobble today. DP is being really nice and helping lots. I know I should be angry because he's only helping for selfish reasons but it's still hard to keep going down the 'splitting up' path when he's being like this. Now my head is just going 'well you have made abit of mountain out of a molehill because he doesn't drink that much'. I haven't ever had to 'worry' about his drinking because he's hasn't got that thing that 'true alchoholics' have where when one drink leads to another and another and another and they can't control how much they drink. DP drinks exactly the same amount each night and goes to sleep. He never goes out to buy more and sometimes he doesn't have to drink all the bottles he's bought. But the fact is that, even though it's not much (typically 6-8 bottles of lager a night), he HAS to do it. Even if he's ill, or if I'm ill, or he has an interview in the morning, or he has to get up early for something, or even if I've just told him that he's been found out and I'm devastated'. So is he an alcoholic? I just don't know. Lots of ppl have mentioned 'covering up or trying to hide' their alcoholics drinking which I've never had to do. Drinking 6-8 bottles of lager a night is something that hundreds of thousands of people do and think nothing of it. Plus he would argue that he's not drunk or hungover. I would probably agree with that, that he isn't that drunk, it's the combination of drinking and smoking constant joints that makes him look out of it. So is it just me who has the problem - maybe I just don't like him and I'm trying to find a reason to split up so I'm making a massive thing about him drinking? He doesn't go out, he doesn't buy clothes, he doesn't have any hobbies. The only thing he spends money on is tobacco, weed and beer. So what the hell am I complaining about? I feel like I'm just being hysterical and unreasonable and a total t**t basically.
You're faced with an easy choice and the right choice. The easy choice is to minimise his behaviour, doubt yourself, blame yourself. rationalise the situation, make excuses and maintain the status quo. It's the line of least resistance... more of the same. Any of us who have had partners with alcohol or similar problems have made similar arguments... plenty of other people get pissed/stoned, why am I so up tight? etc. But life is short. Don't waste it making excuses for someone that doesn't deserve it.
But the fact is that, even though it's not much (typically 6-8 bottles of lager a night)
It is a lot in my book. Anything above two would worry me, if every day.
Only, you are already used to it. And used to minimise it.
If he of any use while he is drinking? Will he wake up during the night?
And, as you said, he needs them.
That he drinks that much and he's not drunk or hangover says a lot too.
He doesn't go out, he doesn't buy clothes, he doesn't have any hobbies. The only thing he spends money on is tobacco, weed and beer. So what the hell am I complaining about?
You have to ask?
He has no life, but drink and weed.
He has no interests, but drink and weed.
Why would he buy clothes? Why is not buying clothes better than not buying alcohol and weed or tobacco? Clothes don't destroy his liver, or his brain, or his lungs.
He doesn't drink socially. He drinks alone in the house, regardless. Because he needs it.
If there are people who need 6-8 cans of lager every single day, they need help.
From the CDC website:
What do you mean by heavy drinking?
For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 2 drinks per day, or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 1 drink per day, or more than 7 drinks per week.
What is the difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse?
Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work. Manifestations of alcohol abuse include the following:
Failure to fulfill major responsibilities at work, school, or home.
Drinking in dangerous situations, such as drinking while driving or operating machinery.
Legal problems related to alcohol, such as being arrested for drinking while driving or for physically hurting someone while drunk.
Continued drinking despite ongoing relationship problems that are caused or worsened by drinking.
Long-term alcohol abuse can turn into alcohol dependence.
Dependency on alcohol, also known as alcohol addiction and alcoholism, is a chronic disease. The signs and symptoms of alcohol dependence include—
A strong craving for alcohol.
Continued use despite repeated physical, psychological, or interpersonal problems.
The inability to limit drinking.
6-8 bottles of lager every single night without fail is not normal.
He's spent 3K in 6 months on booze. 500 quid a month. A sum that equates to the entire profit from your business. You are working to keep him in drugs.
It doesn't matter if he is a 'true alcoholic' (a term which doesn't exist for a good reason) - he's a problem drinker. He drinks, your problem. You can't fix his drinking but you can fix the fact it's your problem.
Also check the NHS website
And re-read your OP.
he's drunk ALL the profit I worked so hard to earn.
I also do 99% of all household chores and childcare
If you don't want to leave now, see how long he keeps up the "good behaviour". You will need to leave at the first sign of problems. Otherwise it will only get worse.
Thank you for that info. I'm so glad I have you all to put the situation into perspective. My parents, my sisters and closest friend have all said that his drinking is totally normal and I'm being unreasonable, in the past. It's really comforting to finally have someone take my side for once and not defend him, thereby making me feel like a nothing who doesn't matter.
I'm shocked so many people close to you think 5+ bottles a night is normal. Maybe for a student. And even then they'd have days off to study, be ill, or generally recharge. But that's young people (still abusing their bodies!) with no real commitments. :-/
Surely he's tired? His quality of sleep much be crap. Has he ever had blood tests to check if he needs thiamine and/or vit b compound tablets? Even for relatively "light" alcoholics/abusers (a kind term!) these may be needed.
Sending you all the strength I can muster via tinternets.
A bottle of lager is around 2 units (sometimes more). He's consuming 12-16 units a night! 84-112 units a week! Who thinks that's normal? Because their perception of normal is way way off.
He's not a partner. He's not an equal. You can limp along in this shit non-relationship, coexisting in the same house for years if you want. You will get more and more resentful and you will set an awful example for your children.
Or you can woman up and take the plunge.
Just think - your friends who believe that much alcohol is normal must have got that idea from somewhere. Where? Because by bringing up your kids with someone who drinks that much, daily, without fail, and is never challenged on it - that's what you are teaching them. You and he are normalising extremely heavy drinking.
You've also said that he looks 'out of it' but he's not drunk! What? Of course he's drunk after that much alcohol. He might give the veneer or functioning but would you trust him to drive a car? Or look after your kids? Hopefully not. So he's drunk.
XH would sometimes get drunk and stoned at the same time. It's a special kind of disgusting IMO. I couldn't bear to look at him when he was like that. Any you have to every night
"My parents, my sisters and closest friend have all said that his drinking is totally normal and I'm being unreasonable, in the past".
Your parents were and remain pretty poor role models; why are you at all listening to anything that they happen to utter?. I am also horrified that they actually have thought this amount is "normal". Its anything but.
Also all of these people do not live with this man, they are not seeing the day to day reality.
Who is more important to you, him or your children?. The easy choice is to stay with him, the harder path is to get away from him altogether because he is dragging you and your children down with him now.
Right. I have been reading this thread for the last couple of days and there is so much good advice. Attila, as ever, is spot on with her advice and ELAF has just said what I was going to about the amount of units being consumed here which as way in excess of anything 'normal'.
SuperAmoo, your posts could have been written by me 5 years ago, when the full impact of my husband's alcoholism was becoming apparent. Your description of behaviours in your relationship, and the obvious lurching between clarity on his alcoholism back to thinking you are over-reacting was something i did all the time. Again, my husband was another highly functioning, intelligent person here whose DD has no idea that drink was the reason behind her dad being frequently moody and spending half the weekend asleep on the sofa. She know her parents weren't getting on, that I was regularly upset and angry and she eventually talked to me about us needing to leave. What finally started me on the path to leaving was overhearing my H talking to my DD (about something else), but using the same manipulative language he had used with me for years about drink, and turning things on her so that she would feel that she was the one in the wrong. That's when I realised that staying would do her far greater harm than leaving.
My H died from liver disease and related health issues before we actually left.
That was well over two years ago. We have both been left with a lot of guilt over and above normal grief. He had alienated the majority of his family members by the time he died, but I know now that was a symptom of the alcoholism and am finally able to grieve for - and miss - the man he was before the drink took hold.
My one regret is that I didn't leave him far sooner as mabye that would have shocked him into seeking help.
However, the bottom line is that your decision to leave or not, will have no impact on whether carries on drinking, even if he says otherwise. He will only stop if he wants to, and if he doesn't he will carry on regardless whether you are with him or not.
Now a few years down the line, I have found a normality. While my DD and I will always live with the loss of a husband and father, there is no doubt that life is now easier. I no longer feel sick with anxiety when I drive home. I no longer dread weekends. I don't spend my life waiting for the next disaster and I no longer panic about money being drunk away. I still find myself sometimes, reading quietly on a weekend afternoon and just having a sense of peace that I hadn't known for years.
Finally, thank you to the poster who said that while alcoholism is an illness, it is not an illness you can stand by and support. This - ie wanting leave someone who was ill - has haunted me for years. Suddenly the penny dropped that yes, in this illness, if you stand by and support you are actually enabling, covering up and helping the drinker to carry on. Alcoholics thrive on justification and sympathy. They also like to blame those closest to them for the their condition. Can you imagine someone saying to you 'if only you were nicer then I wouldn't have cancer' or 'you have driven me to having this heart attack by being so cold and angry'?
You would realise that such statements were nonsense. They are no less ridiculous when you replace the words cancer and heart attack with alcoholism and drinking.
newstarticus, I'm very sorry to hear that your husband has died. Please don't spend too much time wondering if your leaving sooner could have been the shock that sent him to treatment - it might have done, or he might have used it as evidence that his self-hatred was justified and that drinking was the only way to deal with it. He might have phrased it as 'now that they've gone what reason have I got to try and recover?' - we addicts are bloody good at making up plausible reasons to carry on, less good at just stopping. He made his choices and I'm sorry for your loss.
Thank you tribpot. Knowing my husband, he would have, as you say, gone down the route of using my leaving as another excuse to drink. He was so far away from accepting a future without alcohol that I doubt anything would have made a difference.
OP I'm sorry I have not had the chance to read all the replies you've had so I may be saying something lots of others already have. Your dh's drinking is very likely to get worse, not better. Staying with him will be the thing that ruins their lives. I say this as a child of an alcoholic and my mum also thought leaving my dad would be worse for us. Believe me , witnessing my mum being emotionally and mentally abused and ground down to the point where she was unable to function was far far worse than the alternative. The positive is that she did eventually leave him and while it has taken many years of therapy and him actually dying (from alcoholism) to set her free she is now the happiest she has ever been. Her only regret is that she didn't leave him sooner. Her life has passed her by. By the way we also all did the AA/ Al-anon thing and it worked wonders for my mum (gave her the strength to let go ) but my dad wasn't in the slightest bit interested so it's horses for courses. Good luck with your future please keep your kids' emotional well being at the forefront of your decisions!
Thank you everyone. I am so grateful for everyone's continued support. Tonight was 'the' night. It was supposed to be his first drink-free night before his new job starts tomorrow. But he started pacing the floor earlier going from room to room, and I knew what was about to happen. He went out and came home with more beer than usual - because he said, he was so nervous about starting his new job tomorrow, and because his face hurts much (to be fair his infection in his face is getting worse but probably because his body is so run-down from all that drinking). So there's ALWAYS an excuse. The new job was supposed to be the reason for stopping not drinking more. I am really starting to grasp now how he's taking us all down with us. He's going to lose this stupid job and there's nothing on earth I can do to stop it happening. So I am getting out now. I feel so so sad for him, having alcoholism but I see that I can feel sad for him and still ask him to leave. Why should we all suffer just because he is? He might not have the choice as to whether he drinks or not, but he can choose to drive two minutes up the road to the AA meeting. It's sad too because he's suddenly making so much effort with DD1, and they're getting along so well, I feel sad for her - she's finally got what she wants but only because he's on the back-foot and terrified he's pushed me too far. Little does he know that there's nothing he could do now to change my mind. I'm letting him do a couple of days of his new job so he can get over the first-day nerves and then I'm going to tell him to look for somewere else. Gulp. I wish I didn't have to carry on living with him after I've told him it's over, but there's absolutely no alternative. I run my own business from home, I hold a huge stock, it's selling like hotcakes because it's christmas stuff and so I'm tied to the house and can't go anywhere, not even for a day. And until he's got a place to go, he's stuck here too. Porkward, as my sister would say.
Please understand - he doesn't 'have' alcoholism. It's not like the flu. He is choosing to do this. He was severely agitated by the prospect of no alcohol tonight, which suggests a physical dependency but it doesn't matter.
There will never be a good time to tell him it's over. Please don't wait until you've lost your nerve.
Sorry I've just realised I left out a bit - newstarticus I'm very sorry to hear what happened in the end, with your husband. But thank you for posting about it because it all really helps me to cut through the crap. Sometimes I feel abit like I'm suffocating in cotton wool or treacle or something. I have a moment of clarity and see the situation as it is and then the cotton wool quickly smothers me again and fills my head so I can't think again. Particularly when I'm around DP and especially if we find something funny and laugh together, it makes me feel like I've invented it all and all is well. Then I read a post like yours and the cotton wool thinking recedes again and see everything the way it really is. It all really makes a difference to me. Thank you everyone.
tribpot I do take your point about 'having' an addiction but I totally disagree - I believe that addicts are born addicts and that the disease of addition is what they 'have'. I don't know why I'm saying 'they' as I'm an addict too. I too believe that I 'have' a disease called addiction and it's bloody unfair to me that other people don't have it. Non-addicts aren't better because they 'choose' not to abuse some substance or other - to me, they haven't achieved anything by not using to excess. If someone is able to choose then they don't 'have the disease of addiction, IMHO. What I would say to non-addicts who think that any type of addict can 'choose' not to use is 'ok hold your breath, do you feel like you need to breathe? That's how an addict feels'. If it isn't like that for you then you're only a 'heavy user' - you can indeed decide whether to use or not. But the 'genuine alcoholic' cannot choose, they have totally lost the power of choice. I would challenge anyone to read the AA Big Book and find anything that contradicts what I'm saying. The guys who founded AA DO make the distinction between heavy drinker and 'true' alcoholic. A true alcoholic 'has' alcoholism. I'm sorry to sound like I've got on a soapbox but it's a topic that is close to my heart. And it's why DP is such an enigma when it comes to alcoholism because I just can't figure out if he 'chooses' to use because he doesn't want to stop or if he can't stop. But I'm tired of trying to figure it out now. Now I'm ready to go.
But the big book is not the ' truth'- it's just one take on alcoholism. I'm on the fence really about what causes addiction.
What I struggle with is if it's a disease is how it can be 'cured' by taking a moral inventory and confessing your sins. That doesn't sit well with me.
Whatever the nature of your DP's alcohol problem and the extent to which he could "help it", and whatever his good qualities, he is still not someone good for you to be in a relationship with or for your DC to live with, and you can't cure him.
Is he likely to make active efforts to find somewhere to go; or stay put and hope you'll change your mind (which would be limbo for all of you)? If you have a mortgage together you'll need legal advice on your options. If it's your place or rental agreement allows, give him a (short) deadline!
I think some people do have addictive personalities - but it is still a choice. My mother kicked heroin, tobacco and alcohol in her time, when she chose to. (Well, I've been told about the heroin - it was before she met my father, so I didn't know about that. But I do remember her giving up smoking when I was 13, and later, drink.)
And wishing you strength to carry it on. It will be better on the other side.
BTW, your DD will still be able to have a good time with her dad (just not spend overnights at his, when you separate - unless he kicks the habit).
It is possible that confronted with losing his family he will clean up his act, so your children may finally have the father they deserve.
At the moment he may be scared but it's not rock bottom yet.
I understand your point about addiction, but that is why alcoholics cannot touch a drop.
Alcoholics may not be able to stop once they start drinking, they may have trouble not drinking if it is offered to them, but yours is still driving (not even going around the corner) to get his booze.
He won't find a place, I don't think, unless you force him to. Keep insisting and, if possible, find him somewhere. Talk to his family if necessary. Or insist he does.
Well, I guess I'll deal with that situation if it happens. I think he'll hate me so much he'll want to get the hell out of here as soon as possible. Re the Big Book not being the 'truth'. I would suggest that it is the 'final truth', the last stop on the line for someone who is truly an alcoholic - you only need to look at the stats - it is the only thing that works for the 'hopeless' alcoholic. Maybe other things/truths work for people that aren't 'hopeless drunks'. I do believe that the only hope for someone like that is a 'spiritual experience/awakening'. That might be unpalatable to some people but anyone who doesn't like it has the luxury of not being in that situation, where your only hope is to be lifted out of your situation by a power greater than yourself because you're literally propelling yourself head-first into the grave, like Gascoigne for instance. The only real choice an alcoholic can make is to walk into an AA meeting, IMHO. But I agree with everything everyone has said about gettng away from DP because, if anything, I'm just stopping him making that choice and in the meantime, he's draining us all.
I've been reading this thread for a few days now too and have been working up to posting (once I start on this topic I struggle to stop and I'm finding this thread v. triggering)
Superamoo - your husband sounds like a younger version of my ex (who was a lot older than me). I left him 9 months ago because of his alcohol dependency.
He drank similarly to your husband (though no weed) and it's just a horrendous way to live. It's not living, it's existing. I was scared he'd be drunk in charge of our DD, scared he'd be drunk and grumpy, scared he'd be drunk and happy, scared of waking him once he passed out on the sofa, scared he'd start a marathon 'let's discuss what's wrong with spud for 8 hours until she is literally incapable of speech or coherent thought' session. I never went out, I refused all invitations, I didn't go out on my own because I didn't want to leave DD with him late. It was horrific. I don't think you can clearly see it until you're out. It felt bad when I was in it, but looking back I just cannot understand why I spent so long in such a negative, painful relationship.
When I asked him to give up alcohol he used to scream 'You've already taken away everything else from me and now you want to take this.' His priority list went 1. Alcohol, 2. Everything else. If he didn't drink he would be physically jittery and uncomfortable as you describe. He would not acknowledge a problem. I left because he picked my daughter up from school when he was so drunk he was slurring and rocking to stay on his feet. I left that day with him screaming 'Everyone will think you're fucking stupid!' as we walked away. No one thought I was fucking stupid. They just thought it was about fucking time.
He still drinks. He still feels incredibly sorry for himself and he still accepts no responsiblity. He cries and texts me all the time to ask 'What did I do?', and tell me that 'We were so happy'. We fucking weren't.
Anyway. Leave. Don't feel guilty. He owns this. Not you. Addiction as a disease or not, you don't (and shouldn't) ruin your one life on all this shit.
Good luck - you sound really strong. I'll keep posting if it's useful, although try and keep it shorter in future....
Sorry Amoo I wil not hijack your thread any further after this post with debate about AA and the big book and I agree that you need to leave him and look after yourself (nor do I wish to be unsupportive) - I am also involved with and am in love with an alcoholic (although I don't live with him) but the stats are that AA has only a 5% cure rate. It is steeped in religion and is not the only way to deal with alcoholism - it is the accepted way though.
google orange papers, stanton peele - there are other methods of recovery such as rational recovery etc which do not involve breaking someone's ego down further and making them feel worse about their situation.
And Gascoigne is a supporter and attends AA I believe which shows it doesn't always work.
My so has been to rehab and has already relapsed twice and has gone very strange! - when I found out what he was actually in doing there - (had no idea prior to him going and have remained supportive throughout) - was horrified and feel that there are better and alternative ways to try to get well. But they must find them for themselves.
I have detached though as I can see it is the only way to deal with the situation.
it is the most harrowing thing I have ever dealt with - I would not wish it on anyone
Poor you sincitylover - thank you for posting. As someone who was totally and utterly 'broken' in rehab and then slowly built back up again, I can say, from my point of view, it was horrendously painful, almost unbearable, but I'm glad that I went through it, because I was rotten to the core and needed a total refurb. It's done me the power of good to go through that process. I know that in AA they're doubly harsh. Anyway, dp coming. got to go.
My DH is similar to yours although some bits of him worse and some better. In the end it doesn't have to come down to the drinking - he just doesn't make you happy and hasn't cared enough about you. My DH moved out 6 weeks ago and my initial feeling was one of relief and weight lifted off my shoulders. Then the guilt crept in. I would get late night alcohol fuelled texts with poetry in - all bullshit - some days then aggressive texts other times - it's all my fault he was in garage all night drinking, smoking and texting as I wasn't interested in him/affectionate to him etc etc. Then saying Please don't leave me. It is hard asking OH to move out as their life is more altered than yours (access to DC, living standards) but you have to remember: we didn't ask for this! We didn't ask them to spend all evening boozing so that they are essentially useless from 8pm til 10am. I certainly don't love him enough any more after 3 years of this shit to want to look after him if he did get an alcohol related illness (he drinks 1-2 bottles of wine every night but can function and hold a job). We have tried to help them. We can't. I keep the texts from him so when he is being nice and normal when he comes to see DC I don't get sucked back in because he has NEVER accepted he has a problem with alcohol or has behaved unreasonably. I found counselling with someone recommended by a friend very helpful. I'm lucky I didn't have childhood issues like you, but it was pretty clear early on in my counselling that my sadness was not internal but all related to him and my mums recent death. Regarding carrying on since he left - apart from having to be a little more organised it's not much different. You need to make a few plans to keep busy but once you get him out I GUARANTEE you will feel better. At least initially and after a few wobbly moments you will move on. He won't come back to you because he won't stop drinking. Another trigger for me was my health issue which has also improved since he left. Also like you, my DH has had several things wrong with him physically which can make you feel sorry for him, but like an infected face wound, some are probably related to not looking after his health. Sorry for rambling.
Thank you HMQ - I feel the same - I'm so sick of it all after all these years that if DP did get ill with alcohol related things, cancer from smoking weed every day or MS related problems, I'd be too eaten up with resentment already to look after him. I have a health condition myself which means that, at some point in the not-to-distant future, I'm going to need help. This is part of the reason I've stuck with this so long - because I've kid myself that DP would be the one to help me. It's slowly dawning on me, that I'd be better off on my own because at least then I'd only have my own health needs to worry about and not his as well. DP went through a phase of 'only drinking wine' and regularly got through 1-2 bottles a night too. Tonight, as promised he didn't drink, because this is the 'new him'. Instead he went out just as I was serving his dinner, to meet his dealer to get more weed. By the time he got back, we'd all eaten and his was cold. Before I'd started this thread, I wouldn't think anything of that. But now, I realise that that isn't a nice thing to do, that I don't deserve to be treated like that. I've decided to leave things as they are just for this week because it's half-term and it's just too complicated. I'm finding it impossible to make any plans not knowing whether DP will still be here or not. But I'm not going backwards. I rent the house we're in from my sister. I told her what's happening and she agree to give us one month rent free so that he can't say he hasn't got any money for the deposit, which is a relief. The rest of the conversation was pretty hurtful though - she has a knack of hurting me, criticising me and generally making me cry. Today was the 'you chose to have two children, now you have to deal with the consequences' themed conversation. She spent the whole conversation telling me I had to take responsibility and sort everything out and I two children to think about. I think if I 'took' any more responsibility for anything I would literally explode
You have had lots of great advice so I will just offer a hug, a handhold and my best wishes.
Sorry your sister has said some unhelpful things. Your family sound complex.....Best filter out some of their views!
That's good in practical/legal terms though, if you rent from your sister, it should be relativeiy straightforward to get him to leave, when you're ready.
Complex that's a good word. My sister came back to me today and started REALLY interferring with the financial side of everything so I've just said forget it we'll just pay rent as normal. It's a shame as it would have helped, but on the other hand it wouldn't have looked good to the housing benefit people if I have a month on my bank statements where no rent has gone out - it will look like the contract between us means nothing. Plus I can't stand her meddling in my life so it's easier this way. Unfortunately she has said that in light of the fact that me and DP can't now buy the house from her, which was our plan in January, she'll be putting the house on the market in Feb. It's really thrown me. It's really made me rethink everything. Do I really want to lose the house for this? When I could just carry on. I could just carry on and just keep trying to get it across to the girls that this isn't a 'normal' situation, that our setup is a bit different to others. I might even just charge DP rent and meals and have him as a kind of lodger. If it meant we could keep the house and not be thrown into financial insecurity. I know this sounds mad because everyone has advised that alcholism gets worse but DP doesn't drink more every day than he did 20 years ago. He just drinks the same every day and it never gets worse or better. Yes I can't leave the children with him, but on my own, I can't leave the children anyway. Yes, he doesn't do anything, but on my own, I'll do everything anyway. Yes he doesn't pay much attention to the children, but that won't change when he moves out. I'm just starting to wonder, why the hell am I doing this? If I just put up with it, we can buy the house from my sister and finally have a fairly secure housing the situation - for the first time in my whole life! We can get the dog that we've been talking about getting for the last TEN years. Lots of things that I could only have dreamt of before, could actually happen now. Why throw it all away just to end up in exactly the SAME situation - doing everything and living as a single parent. I know I must sound mad. I think I sound like an alcoholic rationalising the next drink because they can't remember why they wanted to stop. But I genuinely can't remember why I wanted to get out of this situation now the reality of the alternative is kicking in - poverty, loneliness, having to move into a flat and get rid of all our stuff, the trampoline, the slide, the bench, the bikes, the bodyboards. They'll be nowhere to put anything in the tiny two bed flats that I could afford. I'll have to stop my business because they'll be nowhere to put stock. We'll have to sell the entire contents of the loft. I'll have to sell the piano probably. You talk of childhood trauma but THAT is what I call trauma. Your parents splitting up, having all your stuff sold and moving into a shit flat with no garden far away from your school That is the stuff of nightmares for a child. Not a dad that's bit crap. Don't you think?
I couldn't disagree more absolutely with your last sentences.
Child of an alcoholic dad here- your using the same justification my mum used in your last post. She stayed and my childhood was horrific. That is far more trauma than moving into a smaller flat and losing some stuff.
My relationship with my mother is now poor- I blame her for not protecting us and doing the right thing.
A Dad that's a bit crap? He drinks.
When you've got an alcoholic parent, it's more than s bit crap. It can fuck up your whole life. Material stuff might be nice, but it doesn't make up for it.
Have you spoken to anyone to find out what your financial position would be if you split up? What will it be like if you stay with him and he loses his job?
Anyway, must get going, as I've an appointment with my therapist, whom I've been seeing for a long time to work through the effects of having grown up with a mother who drank, which affects how I interact at work, it affects all my personal relationships and not in a positive way. Is that the sort of legacy you want your children to have?
The last two thirds of your post just show how skewed your thinking still is and you have gone backwards bigtime. That also shows how inured and conditioned you have become to what is happening around you; presumably too your own mother used the same sort of poor justifications to bind you to your own abusive childhood. The roots of your current dysfunction started back then, you were taught and conditioned by them into choosing someone as damaged as your own self.
Your man is certainly not just a bit crap either is he?.
All of those ramblings in the last two thirds of your post is your co-dependency side talking rot.
If you did end up in a two bed flat it would be without your fellow codependent thankfully. He is still meeting some innate needs of yours isn't he, your own need to be loved and needed because your need to be needed trumps everyone else.
Your children would rather be poorer in terms of material things in order to have a happier and not so worried mother in his midst. You can then drop your provoker role in this dysfunctional alcoholic relationship. It would do them a big favour as well not to have such a drunkard for a father in their day to day lives who both sucks the joy out of life and who drinks your profit from your business. He runs you ragged and does this also because he can. This man's only thought is where the next drink is coming from.
Do they really need a trampoline and bodyboards in order to be happy, sell the piano oh calamity!!!. Wake up before your children do not want to see you again or have any sort of relationship with you as adults (he'll likely be long gone by then) because you put this useless waster before them. Who is more important to you ultimately, him or your children?.
Thank you all for posting. The more I read, the clearer things become. The more I post the more I understand how I feel about the situation. DP isn't alcoholic in the sense that most people are posting about. There's no chaos, or unpredictability. There's no covering up for his drinking. There's no visible drunkeness. There's no controlling his drinking - he was able to spend so much money because I don't give a toss about it and don't 'control' it. I mean he drinks exactly the same every night, there isn't any need to control it. The idea that he is 'definitely drunk' after 6-8 bottles of beer is wrong - it is well documented that people have differing abilities to process alcohol - his very high tolerance to alcohol is part of his problem- he can drink quite alot and still get up for work the day and behave normally. The idea that I 'need to be needed' is totally gross to me - the idea makes me want to puke. I can't STAND neediness. That is NOT why I stay. I stay because I've been poor all my life. I grew up in poverty. I just don't want to go back to living in poverty. Staying with DP keeps me out of poverty. I don't understand why that isn't reason enough to want to stay. To say that wouldn't be traumatic for the children to lose the piano, the trampoline, their bikes, alot of our other stuff, is silly. Sorry but it bloody is. I mean that is our LIFE - that is what we do with our lives - we go for bike rides, they play in the garden on the trampoline and on the slide. We go to the beach and use the body boards. We play the piano together and sing silly songs. We'd have to get rid of the pets too. We have their friends round here constantly all day playing. All that would stop. On what planet is that not traumatic - not damaging? How can I justify doing that to them, just because I want to get away from their dad? And not because he drinks, just forget the stupid drinking. But just because I dont like him, because I don't want to look after him and be treated like a maid. Because he thinks there's nothing wrong with having no life and never going outside, but I do. But please, no more posts about how damaged the children are being unless you can REALLY, I mean really show me in WHAT PRECISE WAY they are being damaged by this? And don't say because they've got a miserable mum because that's bullshit. All day I'm happy with them and we do loads of stuff and have fun. I'm miserable when I'm on my own, when I'm near DP which isn't very often as I try to stay out of the house most of the weekend. They never see me upset ever. So this is really a question of morality surely - is it right to fuck up three people's lives just because you're not happy? I know the sexual stuff is pretty grim - millions of women throughout time and throughout the world put up with yucky sex stuff in exchange for financial security dont' they?! So shouldn't I just stop making such a fuss and 'lie back and think of England' as my very old fashioned mother says?! I mean if I really loved my children I would put up with any hardship wouldn't I? Wouldn't you do anything for your children's happiness?
It's entirely up to you, of course.
If you want to work to see it all goes wasted down the drain. Have to do it all yourself at home.
Then, in 20 years risk seeing your DD (if you have one) putting up with the same crap, being a maid and sleeping with a man she doesn't like for money.
Or risk your DS drinking himself to liver failure.
Why do you have to be in poverty without him?
What can you do to make your life better?
Sorry op, you can justify it how you want, but do not use your children as a reason to stay. My mum did, didn't want to uproot us, put us into poverty. My childhood was horrific and as an adult I have a broken relationship with her- I cannot forgive her for it. She should have been the one to shield us from that, remove us from the situation and she didn't because, like you, she was too weak to. And blamed myself and my siblings for staying!
My dad was also someone with a high threshold, held down a job etc. it didn't last. He became more dependant, lost his job. it doesn't plateau, alcoholism gets worse. What happens if you get ill in the future? My mum did and all the care fell to me for my siblings. I remember having to beg my dad for money to buy food in the house to feed us all. His priority was alcohol.
I say this kindly, but look at the bigger picture and be the bigger person here. Material goods don't matter.
I could furnish you with hundreds of examples of how this will affect your children, but I suspect you won't listen.
Ps, my mum tried to hide her emotions, was upset outside of the house etc. we knew. Children are more perceptible than you think. You get one life, don't screw it up for yourself and your children.
Pps, I would have gladly given up anything from my childhood, piano included, to have not had that in my life. It brings me tremendous sadness now.
Why don't you think you deserve to be happy? I think that feeling unhappy is a legitimate reason to leave a relationship. In your situation, you aren't just feeling a little bit unhappy, you are desperately unhappy, stressed and ill.
You seem to be positioning leaving due to your unhappiness as the selfish thing to do. As you have seen, every single person who has replied on your thread (I think) think that is wrong.
You can't see the damage being around him is doing to them because you grew up with similar/worse and think its normal to see an adult behave as your partner does. The most obvious damage it is doing is making his behaviour normal/acceptable to your children so that they replicate either your relationship or his (appalling) coping methods in thier own lives. You want better for them than the life you and P are living at the moment, don't you?
I was going to write out a list of ways that you and your children's lives would be better if you weren't living with someone who is unable or unwilling to act like an adult with cares for and has responsibilities to his partner and children but I suspect that you would nitpick every one, because you aren't ready to accept it. Fundamentally you don't believe you deserve to be happy and safe and you refuse to believe that your children might notice or care that they live with someone who seems to be incapable of loving and caring for them properly.
I understand that the practicalities of being single are daunting and you are terrified of taking action because of the uncertainty incase it makes things worse. No matter how awful the current sitution is for you, you are confident that you are shielding your children from harm. But as defensive as you are on this subject at times, you have also expressed in your posts that you aren't confident that you can go on living like this, that its making you ill, that your bitterness is somewhat shared by the child he doesn't favour etc. I don't think you are able to keep this 'happy families' act up forever, even if you wanted to.
Please consider counselling or therapy for yourself in order to work on that self-worth, and get advice about the financial practicalities of a split so you can make informed decisions.
All this, he's not a (real?!?) alcoholic stuff... it sounds exactly like how the drinker themselves justifies it. If he isn't a real alcoholic, why is his er... hobby of drinking and smoking all evening more important to him and you than him helping around the house or being an effective father? Why does his choice to do this come above your right to be happy. If its not a choice, then he needs help, and if he won't seek it then he's a 'bad enough' alcoholic that its affecting you. He doesn't need to be falling down drunk for it to be bad enough to leave.
You may think he's functioning because he's holding down a job (for now), but he's not functioning after he gets home, is he?
Do you really expect us to say that its okay for you to exchange love, safety and happiness for a tiny bit of financial security (that isn't that secure, many employers will see an alcoholic unwilling to seek treatment) and familiarity? Its not something I'd want for any human being.
If/When you do leave him, you should probably spend some time recovering, going to Al-anon/counselling/freedom programme etc and just enjoying not having the weight of responsibility for his Alcoholism and finding your own, more reliable financial security. But you know, you might one day want to have a relationship with someone else who would do their fair share of the housework, cooking and childcare. Who would treat you with care and consideration. But you'd have to be free of this current (lack of) relationship first.
employers see an alcoholic unwilling/unable to seek treatment as a liability*
You wrote this initially:-
"They're both such sensitve girls - the elder one has a terrible temper and gets angry really easily and the younger one can burst into tears when something even slightly goes wrong"
They're both being affected emotionally and you refuse to see it. Denial is truly a powerful force. And in your case a destructive one. You put your dysfunctional home life and this man now before them no matter how it is dressed up as justification. You are bringing down destruction upon your own self and you as parents are failing them miserably. Just as you in particular was failed by your own abusive parents. The cycle of misery thus continues; your children will not somehow emerge unscathed as adults. They will likely hate him if he's not already dead by then or has left you penniless because he's drunk it all away - and you also for failing to protect them and put them before him.
Wonder what al-anon/co-dependency no more say about the argument that living with an alcoholic isn't damaging to children. Or that drinking every single night and smoking loads of weed and failing to parent is fine. Crazy logic.
There's a thread on here "adult children of alcoholics", for a start. How arrogant to demand "evidence", it's bloody obvious!
Storing the kids' stuff: get a ground floor flat with access to a garden or shed. We used to have a one bed flat in London, with no garden but loft storage and small shed in front garden. No piano, but could've found a space for one. Amazing what you can squeeze in.
Stock for business: seek cheap storage. If it's to become a viable business this would soon be necessary anyway, if it's not viable and just pin money your energy would be better directed to finding more lucrative employment.
Small pets should be Ok in a flat. As for getting a dog, why do that, taking on a big responsibiliity when you have a health issue and have lots on and your P can't be relied upon even to look after his DC?
As for buying your sister's house, your sister doesn't sound all that reliable, and why tie yourself to your DP with a shared mortgage (giant debt)? When he is in a new job that he could be fired from?
Why rely on him financially when he isn't reliable as a father or partner?
Fear of poverty and worse financial situation is understandable, but you may well be financially OK.
"They're both such sensitve girls - the elder one has a terrible temper and gets angry really easily and the younger one can burst into tears when something even slightly goes wrong"
My DD was like this. Both traits. I left her alcoholic (and he was - and his drinking was a LOT like your partner's) dad 9 months ago.
She is now no longer like this. She doesn't blame herself all the time. She doesn't freak at out everything. She very rarely gets angry (likes a grumble mind you). You are fooling yourself if you think your children are not affected by living like this. Sure you don't want to hear it. I didn't want to hear it. Doesn't make it wrong though.
And also, you're fooling yourself if you think your kids don't know that their mum isn't happy. No one can fake real happiness. I'm a happy person, I always have been. Until I lived with an alcoholic and his skewed priorities. I was a sad, sad person faking happiness in my crappy relationship and everyone knew it. People I barely know tell me how happy I look now - without even knowing my circumstances have changed. No miracles have happened, I'm just not being dragged down any more.
I have a lot less money. It's not easy. But I wouldn't swap the extra income for the life we existed in before. No way. No way at all. I feel sick at the thought.
You are coming across as utterly deluded. This is an observation rather than a criticism. Please stop and take a step back.
Do your own research as per my earlier post. Even something simple using the local library and googlescholar. Why should we do it for you? You and your children are the ones living a totally miserable and wretched life.
Why don't you go out and find the proof that living with an abusive alcoholic father isn't damaging if you're so sure?
You're an intelligent woman - start reading and look the evidence in the face.
It's daunting, contemplating being a single parent, but there's a lot you can do to allay some of the concerns. Seek RL support (not from your complex family!), get info on benefits and finances, housing options, job/training options, CSA estimates.
It must already be lonely and hard to see friends and family if you can never leave your DC alone with their father.
You wouldn't "lose" the house, as things stand your sister could decide to sell it at any time, or you might be unable to get a mortgage, and wouldn't own it even if you got a mortgage with your DP, but would be legally tied to him.
Or risk your DS drinking himself to liver failure.
This one - do you want your child to be the one who finds him when he's thrown up blood everywhere? Because that's one of the things which can happen with liver failure, and believe me, it's traumatic enough when you're an adult with first aid training. And no one outside of the family would have been aware just how much my mother drank - she held down a job and was always available to give us lifts to and from our evening activities.
It'll probably be a some while before it gets to that stage, though, so please read all the other posts where everyone is pointing out how you're in denial. Please don't put your children through all this. Poverty is rubbish, no one's denying that. But living with an alcoholic parent is far, far worse.
My dead wasn't an alcoholic, I think, but he liked to drink several times a week also smoke, just cigarettes, every day. Both of these things impacted on the family finances. I think it came down to what he wanted, to drink and smoke, basically selfish behaviour.
I have a brother and sister. My sister has been in an emotionally abusive relationship for over 20 years, my brother has been in an abusive relationship for over ten years. That's how one person's selfishness in a marriage can affect the children, maybe not in childhood, but later on.
My parents are still together, my ddad gets his own way still. My dmum makes excuses for my db and dsis's relationships.
I read on mn a few weeks ago that living in this kind of situation is hard and leaving is hard, so choose your hard. Sorry to whoever said that for copying it, badly.
I think the 'choose your hard' idea is a very useful one. I'd also say - although it's cheesey that doing a hard thin that feels like the right thing to do is a lot easier than do
Than doing a hard thing that feels all wrong.
Gah - bloody phone - pressed go too soon.
Thank you everyone. I'm really really struggling. I feel like I'm going totally mad. I've got 5 members of my family telling me 'don't be a fool, don't throw everything away'. Because me and DP have been working our arses off for 8 long years to get to this point where we can buy the house. We've finally reached the point where we can buy it from my sister and now I'm going to throw it all away and take 50 steps back, financially, and live in a flat again. I know it's just a material thing, I know I must sound pathetic but I've been SO looking forward to this moment and now it's just fucking crumbling in my hands. I know I'm sounding deluded and defensive and all those things. I just don't want this to be happening to me. I don't want to be wallowing in self pity and saying poor me but I HAVE had such a tough life so far and just as I thought it was going to get better, it's getting worse again and I just can't bear it. I know I shouldn't justify his behaviour but that's why I do it. I just want something nice to happen to me. He drank again lastnight - I've been doing 100% of everything this week because he has an infected cyst on his face and is on antibiotics and painkillers and is in alot of pain and is feeling ill. He is going to work but then he's feeling exhausted when he comes home. So even though I've found it hard not to be resentful, given the circumstancs, I've tried to be kind and help him. So yesterday I ran round like a blue-arsed fly taking DCs to parties, to trick/treating, doing all the household stuff, getting my orders to the post office, etc etc. Then this morning I discover that while I was doing that he was drinking. Now 50% of my brain says that is revolting behaviour, and a perfect example of what you're all talking about. Then the other 50% of my brain says, he's in agony (because the painkillers aren't working) and of course he's going to resort to drinking, because he's in so much pain. So which is it? I feel so mad. I just don't know anymore.
I like 'choose your hard' by the way, that does help me to see that I can't make a wrong decision in some ways because both the choices are shit. So I should go with my gut. And my gut does say run away quick.
Alcohol interfere with how many antibiotics work. His drinking will probably prolong the pain.
I said that to my sister and she said, though maybe she's wrong, that the reason they say don't drink with antibiotics is because you might forget to tak them if you're drunk/hungover and also if you drink too much and you're sick, then you'll miss a dose. So in this case I can't say look what an idiot he's being, because drinking 4 bottles of beer doesn't make any difference to the antibiotics. It's more the principle that's wrong.
I really would disregard what your family has to say on the matter. They aren't living your relationship. They don't know your day-to-day existence as you do.
I do know what you mean about feeling like you've reached a point where you should be able to be happy. When I left my ex it was (from the outside) probably the most stable I'd been in my adult life. I'd recovered from cancer and the mental aftermath of having it in my early 30s, he'd just got his first stable job in years, my DD was settled in school, we had a nice house and an income we could easily manage on. I think maybe it was because there was finally no other trauma to focus on that I could really see how the rest of my life was starting to pan out. Then I started to emotionally detach from him and his EA got worse until we reached a real crisis point.
As for being ill so he's drinking. Well yes. That's the reason today. Wonder what it will be next week. And the week after. And the month after. Then next year. There'll always be something.
That's kind of the what I'm thinking - he said that his new job would be a new beginning and fair enought he couldn't have know he's be in so much pain and so miserable with a health problem. But I suspect that they'll always be a reason to drink. And you're right. We've been throught SO much shit over the past twelve years, financial problems, housing problems, me getting really ill for 3 years, mental health problems. It felt like the end was in sight and to have to let go of that idea, is really painful. And I'm tired too. I just dont' want to have to struggle any more. Yesterday I was planning how I'd stay with him but make my life easier and happier - buying him a ready meal 3 times a week that he has to cook for himself, getting him to clean the kitchen 3 times a week. Paying a cleaner to come in once a week to help me. I was even going to get myself some nooky from somewhere so I don't have to be so godamn lonely anymore. But this morning, on discovering a load of beer bottles in the recycling bin (the bin that I have to empty every fucking time ) I just see I'm papering over the cracks. This has GOT to stop. He would risk EVERYTHING to have another drink. No matter how much pain I was in, I don't think I'd risk it all in that way. Though I am sympathetic as I have my own problems with addiction.
My understanding is that alcohol in the bloodstream actively interferes with the action of some antibiotics - it works against the antibiotics working iyswim.
NHS guide here In this household we usually get prescribed erythromycin and alcohol stops that working properly. Your husband's antibiotics may not be affected. However that is why it is recommended not to drink and take antibiotics.
Are the painkillers safe to take with alcohol? Not all are. Do you think he would skip the painkillers in order to have a drink?
Yes - papering over the cracks was exactly how I felt about it.
I think you've got a lot of clarity already. I tried for ages to FORCE things to work but at the end of that day the problem wasn't mine so I couldn't do anything about it. In fact, everything I did to shore up the relationship and our family life just worked to embed the problem and enable it to continue (and worsen). It took me a long time to accept that there was nothing I could do to be truly happy until I was no longer in that relationship.
You know, I don't want to sound smug and blasé but things are SO much better now. Simple stuff too. My DD is having one of her best friends over for a sleepover tonight. I could NEVER have arranged that before.
Ask yourself what your family have invested in this marriage continuing. Does your sister need you to buy her house? Does she have an alcoholic or otherwise shit partner and you leaving would shine an uncomfortable light on her relationship?
OP you're in such a shit position, I really feel for you. I have had my own EA relationship with an alcoholic. I escaped because he died. Does that sound terrible? It does, doesnt it? But that's what I was reduced to feeling.
But jeez your sister is a hell of a piece of work! Normalising his drinking, interfering in your finances and feeding you a load of bollocks about antibiotics. Don't believe a word that that one says.
Coming in late to this thread. OP: I have an alcoholic mum. She was given 6 months to live last year. She's still here. She's only 70. She has completely fucked up her old age. She's physically frail, mentally frail a lot of the time. She was full of self-pity. She is a glass half-empty kind of person. She has divided 3 siblings with her wilful and reckless disregard for anyone but herself. I am still in contact and do a lot for her. But, unfortunately, I find her a burden sometimes. I don't want to, but this is the effect of HER previous behaviour.
I was in a relationship with an alcoholic for a couple of years. It ended up being chaotic. He would collect his daughter from school while he was drunk. He would drive my son to school the next morning while drunk. I didn't realise he was drunk because he'd go downstairs and drink during the night and I didn't know. Once I clicked, changes were made. In the end, I kicked him out. He was like Captain Chaos. Well-meaning, but a bloody nightmare. Not horrible. Not cruel, but just a nightmare. My relationship with my son went from strength to strength once I had done this.
I also have a sister like yours. As welcome as a spoon full of acid in your tea. You need to filter her very unhelpful comments. She is not walking in your shoes. I totally agree with Eirikur's comments above.
Oh yes, you're told not to drink alcohol while taking antibiotics because they negate the effectiveness. Your H is in more pain than he need be because he won't stop drinking.....
Thank you everyone. I have checked, I wouldn't normally go to that level of interference, to be honest because it feels icky to me. But... as it has come up quite a lot on here, I googled his antibiotics because I know that he would have and it says 'it is safe to drink alcohol with flucloxacillin'. So green light to keep fucking me over then. He's refusing to go to the gp to get stronger medication because and I quote 'I'm a bloke, don't you know anything about blokes'. And yet if I question why he's drinking he says, hilariously, 'don't you know how much pain I'm in'. Hahahahahahah This is a brilliant example of how I end up feeling mad everytime I come up against his behaviour really. Because I'm a woman and therefore don't understand 'male' behaviour which is all completely justified and reasonable because it's 'male' and I just wouldn't understand because I'm a woman. I will now get on my feminist soapbox and say I just can't STAND men that do this, that use their sex to justify stupid childish behaviour that invariably let's them off the hook in some way and makes the lives of the women in their worlds more difficult. How did I end up with someone like this. Yuck.
Sounds like you're angry. Good.
His logic is fucking pathetic. He won't go back to the doctor to get stronger anti-bios because he's a man? So he'll carry on in pain, inconveniencing you and jeopardising his new job because he's too manly to seek medication that will treat him? Yeah, whatever. He knows full well that you can't drink on stronger anti-bios and he's quite content to martyr himself and continue drinking.
When are you going to reach the point of no return? When are you going to realise his primary relationship is with alcohol?
I wonder how much alcohol is acceptable with these antibiotics.
I don't think this boil should influence your decision at all. He's not bedridden. He's refusing to go to the gp.
Just do what you have to do when it's the right time for you.
He is not taking care of his health, drinking to excess all the time and smoking weed. He may be lucky, or (more likely) may suffer all kinds of ill health, and expect you to continue to do everything.
Pain killers and booze don't mix well, someone without an alcohol problem would give the booze a break and pop paracetomol and stronger antibiotics.
Agree that your family are not best people to pay heed to.
It makes no sense to buy a house with him. It would not be fulfiflment of your hopes for your own home, because the foundations would be so rocky.
"Yesterday I was planning how I'd stay with him but make my life easier and happier - buying him a ready meal 3 times a week that he has to cook for himself, getting him to clean the kitchen 3 times a week. Paying a cleaner to come in once a week to help me."
The best ST solution would be for him to do his fair share of cooking, cleaning and domestics, like decent men do.
Really hope you don't cook him a separate meal. Forget that for a start!
I feel sad for you OP. It's only going to get worse the more time goes on - that's your reality.
He's clearly deeply depressed - the amount he drinks and the fact he also has to get stoned out of his head every single night is worrying. I can't believe your parents think it's fine - are they heavy drinkers/drug takers too? As others have said before , i would not look to them for help because they are deluded too. Only a spell in Intensive Care in a Coma stopped my relative ftom drinking. That was after spells in rehab etc and losing nearly everything she had. But in the end she realised she was the only one who could save her own life.
You need to stop with the excuses, stop feeling guilty and realise this is not a relationship any more. You need to harden yourself and accept that he is the one who decides his own fate. I wouldn't want my kids getting older and watching their father drinking and smoking joints every night and resenting me for not getting out.
It's up to him to get healthy and rebuild his relationships not you.
For my parents, it's all about their grandchildren and providing them with a stable homelife. I might not be happy in this situation but it DOES provide the DCs with exactly that - a stable, predictable, happy homelife. My parents want me to put up with the situation for the sake of the DCs. As an aside, I'd like to say one and for all, that DP's primary relationship is NOT with alcohol. He smokes more weed than drinks. And in the past has snorted more coke than smoked weed. I have never got the impression that alcohol is his 'first love' at all. DPs primary relationship is with himself. He is king. He comes before everyone else. He sees every action in terms of how it will affect him and what he will get out of it. He is quite profoundly selfish - the extent of his selfishness is only just dawning on me. I alway give people the benefit of the doubt and have done so in this situation. I always thought that there's just no way that his behaviour was down to selfishness, I've always given him other excuses - his abusive upbringing, his health problems, my refusal to have sex with him. When actually he is just a selfish little twat. He is addicted to himself. He is only ever thinking about himself. It results in a sort of paranoid self-consciousness and anxiousness that means he's constantly wondering what you're thinking of him. He refuses to set foot in a swimming pool for this reason, for example. He is constitutionally incapable of putting the children first - they have given up asking him to come swimming with us - such is his terror that someone might 'look at him' because he's not perfect. So of course I've taken the DCs swimming every single time. So his insecurities become my burden because I have to pick up the slack caused by him being too scared, too lazy, too selfish. Too self-obsessed. They love MacDs but he's never taken them - it's always me. Because 'he doesn't want to'. It's seemingly irrelevant that the DCs want him to take them. What's important are his feelings about it. I don't want to go either but I take them, because I'm not a complete bastard.
stable, predictable, happy homelife
Really? Read back what you've said about your DDs' behaviour.
This person, because of the drugs, alcohol and his view of himself, is highly toxic for the children.
Your description reminds me of my exH, bar the drugs, although he was on antidepressants and was using increasing quantities of one of them that was addictive. This mixed with alcohol, in secret. I only knew because the bottles got empty very quickly.
He reportedly had social anxiety, but this is like yours. It's all about people looking at him and criticising him, because he's obviously the most important person and everyone will be noticing him.
I had my moment of clarity about who he was when we got a kitten for DS and he started basically torturing the poor animal. He would grab him and block his airways. Twice, the animal had to pee on him for him to let go. I was incensed and I told him that he was basically a bad person at heart and someone I didn't like. To the point that he asked me if I'd divorce him if he continued doing it and I said yes. It was actually just over a year until I left after he became violent, because he was losing his psychological grip on me. Like you I thought it was important to give DS a stable home. I had believed he was mostly ill and that we have to support each other and work at the marriage.
So, it's good that you realise what type of person he is deep down. You need to build on that to be able to let go of him and protect your children.
Do be careful, though, he has all the potential to be violent. Has he ever threatened you or has been violent at all?
Because if you do leave or get rid of him, I do recommend that you do it without him knowing or with people around.
He was a sahd because he wouldn't work due to his "anxiety", but I was the one running around getting DS ready for school and doing things with him at the weekend.
Although he drank he was more or less functional, but, once, I got home with the supermarket delivery man knocking. He had been there for a while, and even after I had rang home repeatedly nobody would answer. DS was asleep and exH was lying on a pool of sick on the sofa. God knows what happened there.
Essentially his presence at home was toxic, in relation to me and to DS.
We are now much happier. I'm much more relaxed now and DS is much more social. He enjoys going places and meeting people.
He realises what a twat and a liar his dad is, although they still have a relationship and he loves his dad.
Even if you think your DC are ok now, I strongly suspect you will notice a difference in them once your toxic STBX is removed.
So really, why the fuck do you think your children have a stable, happy life with this alcoholic, drug abusing, selfish, self pitying, lazy, unpleasant man? Because your wring yourself dry pretending everything is fine? Because they have piano lessons and trampolines?
You are deluded.
"For my parents, it's all about their grandchildren and providing them with a stable homelife. I might not be happy in this situation but it DOES provide the DCs with exactly that - a stable, predictable, happy homelife. My parents want me to put up with the situation for the sake of the DCs".
Your parents themselves failed by giving you a rotten childhood where you also learnt how to be a co-dependent. Does this home really provide them with a happy home life, look at your DDs own behaviours which are characteristic of living with a parent who is an alcoholic. Material things do not in any way make up for the overall miserable existence they are living in now.
His primary relationship is with both alcohol and weed; just because he uses more weed does not mean to say his own dysfunctional relationship with alcohol is any less important. The man has an addictive personality all told and cares only about his own self due to his innate selfishness. Your children will in all likelihood end up with men just like this one.
Ok, so you've laid out what you think of him. Wow.
Living with a father like that, even if everything else is peachy (which it/you is not) is not stability!
How about your parents? And family? What do you think of them? Important if you're giving their views about your choices and parenting of your DC weight.
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