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XH living in a shit hole, feel awful, dont know what to do

(94 Posts)
fuckinghellwhathaveidone Sun 17-Feb-13 22:51:30

STBXH moved out 6 months ago. Lives in a bedsit and wont have kids over night as it isnt suitable.

He is really really poorly. Ive been trying to persuade him to come and stay, so we can feed him/look after him and beacuse he has no heating. he refuses

So I went round with dd1 today to check on him. i cant stop crying. He lives in a SHIT HOLE. I mean REALLY REALLY REALLY hideous. His room is ok, but damp. But the communal areas/bathroom/kitchen are condemable. The toilet leaks and the house stinks of piss. The bathroom is black with mould.

I feel so so so guilty

fuckinghellwhathaveidone Mon 18-Feb-13 07:20:53

I don't think he is in the house he is because he is drinking all his money. His wage is low, but he could find somewhere better. He landlord is a 'friend'.....I think when he moved our he was emotional and scared and just went there because it was easy. I don't know why he has stayed there. He is very chaotic. I don't understand slit of his decisions/choices

He is not a in the gutter drunk....he works full time and studies a lot. I think he probably feels over qhelmed at the prospect of funding somewhere else and moving

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-Feb-13 07:21:34

What mathanxiety wrote earlier.

Do not have him back in your house under any circumstances; doing that would only enable him and enabling only gives you a false sense of control. That would be totally unfair on the children and sends them confused messages.

You are still seemingly codependent which is an unhealthy way to behave when it comes to relationships and I would read Codependent No More written by Melodie Beattie. You need to detach and get off this merry go around that is alcoholism.

You need to remember as well that alcoholism is a family disease, you still seem caught up in his problems. Your children are also affected, seeing their dad in a pool of vomit is a sight no child should ever see in their home.

Would also suggest that if you cannot return to the Al-anon meetings, you at least read their literature.

Unfortunately living with an alcoholic does bring this sort of chaos in its wake, am not at all surprised to see that he has ended up in substandard accommodation.

You cannot act as a rescuer or saviour in a relationship; neither approach works. You wrote earlier that his family could not help him. You are no different in that you cannot help him either; he has to want to help his own self. Its his choice, not yours to make and he was never your project to rescue and or save. You cannot rescue someone who does not want to be helped, he does not want your help besides which you are too close to the situation to be of any real use anyway.

You can only help your own self.

The 3cs re alcoholism too are ones you would do well to remember:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-Feb-13 07:26:00

He is allowing himself to be exploited now by a supposed friend but he took this accommodation of his own free will.

If you really want to help him you will let him live his life as he chooses and not try and help him. You cannot let yourself and by turn your children be dragged down with him into his pit.

fuckinghellwhathaveidone Mon 18-Feb-13 07:28:49

Thank you atila

That is what I need to hear. It's so hard.

Lizzabadger Mon 18-Feb-13 07:33:33

Don't have him back. You will get sucked in again and be back to square one.

If you really feel you must help him then help him find somewhere more suitable to live.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-Feb-13 07:34:55


You're very welcome.

You are a good person and you've managed to get away from this man after a long struggle with both his behaviours and your own feelings.

Work on yourself now (hence the suggestions of both Al-anon and the book); make a good life for you and your children without his day to day prescence in it. They will thank you for doing that and you will thank your own self one day for doing that as well.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 18-Feb-13 07:37:44

Do not intervene in any area of his life; this includes looking for alternative accommodation for him.

Doing that for him only enables him and only shields him from the consequences of his own actions. He accepted this accommodation of his own free will; he did not have to accept what was on offer. Enabling him helps no-one and enabling only gives you a false sense of control.

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 07:48:44

He is not drinking at the moment is he?

Another thing that is being assumed here is that he is on minimum wage.
Apparently he is on a low wage. It is quite possible that he is being exploited, and is on lower than the minimum wage.

He seems to allow himself to be exploited[not by you op].
He almost definitely has low self esteem.
And because he is from another country, he may not understand certain systems.

Yes yes to giving him some practical help.
But try not to feel guilty. Especially at night when everyones' thoughts can go a bit unrealistic.

cestlavielife Mon 18-Feb-13 17:02:59

ah - "he could find somewhere better. "
"he works he studies"

so not such a poor fella in need of your help then?
ie he could get help elsewhere - his work, his studies, other "friends"

focus on moving forward with your DC without someone who is hapy for his dd to find him covered in vomit.

help him from a distance. if you must. let him drag himself back up.

you have enough on your plate helping dd to get past this. working paying mortgage day to day stuff. let him fnd the help he needs, because he is not your child.

yes it sounds cruel but your priority has to be dc and therefore you so you can take care of them - because he cannot; eg does not seek a better place to stay so he can see them etc. he chooses this.

LIZS Mon 18-Feb-13 17:11:49

Is he usually a "victim"? Did he rely on you to cover up his drinking and pick up the pieces each time things went wrong ? If he studies is it via a college ? - if so he should have access to all sorts of support should he choose to follow it up. Sounds as if he may have the means to make an improvement but for whatever reason can't/won't. You are not responsible for his life, please put your own and your dc 's needs first.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Mon 18-Feb-13 20:51:50

Hope you are ok OP. i just wanted to say well done for making the move to separate & remove him from your children's day to day lives. Lots of people never manage it. It must be so hard but you have done the right thing. Please stick with it.

I grew up with an alcoholic and it is damaging in so many ways. I have lots of emotional a scars from the experience, the need to rescue people being one. This has lead to many an abusive relationship for me. I wish had a mum that put me first. You have done the right thing. Your children are lucky to have you. smile

I suspect even with a better income he would still live in a shit hole. If his first priority isn't you or the kids or his health, it is not going to be living in a nice environment. His first priority is alcohol and that's what he will spend his money on. Not nice surroundings. People also tend not to care about their health when they are pissed out their faces.

Secondly even if he did have a nice place, I doubt it would stay that way for long. I'm wondering who cleared the vomit up that he passed out in...

Be kind to yourself & stay strong. Remember you are helping him more by doing this than by enabling his drinking.

fuckinghellwhathaveidone Mon 18-Feb-13 21:13:26

thank you for those words seriously...its what i need to keep hearing. Because I know it really. But now he isnt in my face day after day, it becomes easy to forget how bad it was, and the reason he really really had to go. He was hospitalised through drinking, he lost his driving licence, he lost a job...with a home attached to it. Its stupid how easy all that stuff is to be forgotten. And yes I cleared up his messes, and made excuses for him and minimised. And i cant be a good mum with him here, because I get so preoccupied with trying to keep everything 'ok'

after he left, I spent months just feeling relief. I have noticed lately that I have started to feel sad about the marriage ending. I think my normal grieving process was delayed by the relief of not having to deal with him....And I think he shock of his horrific house, un-corked all that last night. Ive been really teary all day, but I am studying so Ive been busy and with people all day. Which is a good way to cope, for me.

He came round for tea. I did talk to him about his house and found him some places on the internet that he could look at. he seems interested in having somewhere nicer but he said it is about the money. Its not that he couldnt afford the nicer places, but it wouldnt leave him with much at all after bills. Whereas his place now is very very cheap, leaving him more of a disposable income. Id rather have a decent home and less money, but that is his priority. Ive offered to help him look if he decides that is what he wants. Ive also talked to him about getting environmental health inspectors round to force the landlord to improve the house. The EH inspector i spoke to wasnt very helpful though...she said they dont close properties down, they contact the landlord. I asked what happens if the landlords dont do the necesaary works and she said 'they just do' hmm

million he is paid above minimum wage. But yes he is a bit of a victim. His life has been pretty awful and im not sure i wouldnt feel quite victimised. I feel very very sorry for him. But it is not something I can deal with. I used to worry so much about my future/the kids future when we were together. At least now I can predict and plan, and there wont be any more 'disasters'.

Thanks so so much for talking me through this. I was besides myself yesterday. I still feel wobbly. But much more normal smile

badinage Mon 18-Feb-13 22:16:56

I think you've done all you can for someone who is living in a foreign country and isn't familiar with the system, but have stepped back from feeling you owe him a relationship (beyond the co-parent one) or that you can solve his addiction.

I think it must be so hard for you bearing in mind his welfare matters so very much to the children. I understand why that has made you so torn, beyond the normal sorrow at seeing anyone who's ill who's got themselves into this state. It's all about boundaries isn't it? Good luck. You are obviously a compassionate, kind woman.

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 22:18:12

Look after yourself and the kids. Glad you tried to help him with things. I hope he makes the right choices for himself.

Snorbs Mon 18-Feb-13 22:35:29

That's another thing that I feel guilty about. I should have recognised the alcoholism much earlier than I did.

No. He should have recognised his alcoholism much earlier than he has.

His alcoholism is not your problem to fix. Not least because you can't fix it. Even if you were a trained alcohol abuse specialist you still wouldn't be able to fix his alcoholism until and unless he decides he wants help.

He lost his driving license, he lost his job, he lost his family a home, and he eventually lost his wife and kids. All through drink. No-one held him down and poured the booze down his throat. He chose to. These are the inevitable consequences of his choices.

This is what happens when you choose to piss your life away. Little by little, bit by bit, you lose things. You lose jobs and people and relationships.

One day the amount that he his drinking has lost may make him wake up and realise that, no matter what, he cannot face losing any more and he'll make positive steps to address his drinking.

At the same time if he wants to do something about where he lives then he can. He's choosing not to. The more you try to deal with his life for him the more you will be sucked back into worrying about him all the time.

A useful reminder is to think "Is this something that he could, and should, be dealing with by himself?" Talking to environmental health is just such a thing. Finding somewhere else to live is another. Fighting his case with the GP is a third. He's a grown-up. He might want you to act like his mother but for you to take on that role would be doing him, and you, a disservice.

His life will carry on being a slow-motion car-crash whether you spectate or not. You've got enough on your plate as it is. Leave him to it.

amillionyears Mon 18-Feb-13 22:57:01

Except he is in a foreign country, and English may not be his first language.

mathanxiety Tue 19-Feb-13 05:30:40

How about printing out your own last post a few times and sticking it up in strategic points around your house?

The middle paragraph you could read as 'I wouldn't have enough to buy booze with if I paid more for rent'.

You could also read - 'I am perfectly happy wallowing in my own crapulence thank you, and I also enjoy the attention the chaos that I have chosen gets me from you.'

He wouldn't be doing this if there wasn't a reward for him somewhere. His reward for living in a dump is more drinking money and your attention.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 20-Feb-13 19:50:18

How are things OP? Hope you are feeling emotionally back on track smile

Milly22 Wed 20-Feb-13 21:56:11

From a friend's experience, you do not want your children brought up with an alcoholic, sorry but this is bad news. He needs to sort himself out and get help and only he can do that if he loves his family more than the bottle.

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