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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?
"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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