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Can't support DH any longer...

(29 Posts)

I have reached my limit, it seems.

I have arrived at a point where I feel so emotionally exhausted, I end up going to sit in my car, pretending to run an errand, so I can have a cry.

Nothing horrible going on, I just seem to have nothing left to give.

DH is having a hard time, again, at work and has black moods again. and I have to keep the home nice for the kids, be the cheerful one, the supportive one, organising everything, I just give give give.

But nothing left now.

I can still be giving and loving to the kids, and the dog. But I have told DH I can't give him any more.

If he says "I love you" I just feel rage, and I want him to stop saying it, as he just says it when he needs ME to say that to him, IYSWIM.

I feel angry and exhausted. How can I go back to being me.

(DH is recovering alcoholic, has been unemployed, moody and things have generally been difficult the past few years. New job now, he gives it his all, then takes all his frustration and anger home.He is a difficult man. He loves us, but I just want to run away.)

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 11-Feb-14 13:05:34

I think you may need a break from each other. I'm really not very sympathetic towards people who bring their work problems home and inflict 'black moods' on their family. It's self-indulgent, miserable behaviour. Some time apart to rethink and refresh could be what you both need.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Feb-14 13:06:37

Would you want to consider now formally separating from your husband?.

I could not do that to the kids.

Youngest has anxiety attacks as it is. Though recently is much better.

DH has been in tears yesterday and today. But I just feel angry, I have run out of sympathy completely.

isn't it ridiculous to just feel rage, whenever your husband says "I love you". I have told him to stop saying it. I feel a bit unreasonable.

NaffOrf Tue 11-Feb-14 13:14:39

You may find your DCs become less anxious when they are not living with a father who infects the household with his black moods.

Just a thought.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Feb-14 13:19:22

You say you could not do that to the children but they are already seeing and learning from the two of you about relationships here. Is this really the model you both want to be teaching them?.

Staying ultimately for the sake of the children is rarely if ever a good idea and I note your DH is also a recovering alcoholic. He is still an alcoholic, even if he is a recovering one.

Better to be apart and happier than to be together and miserable surely?.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Feb-14 13:20:07

Also tears can be manipulative and designed to tug at the heartstrings.

it's odd with kids, they seem oblivious to it, mostly.

Oldest DS is 12, and has started to occasionally making me cups of tea or rubbing my shoulder, I think he understands a bit more. But my youngest, with the panic attacks, adores his dad and his world would completely fall apart if we were to split up (he is 8 and his dad is his hero)

singleandfabulous Tue 11-Feb-14 13:25:16

I've just split up with someone very similar. No kids and we didn't live together (thankfully) but still, very hard to live with when they have a world full of (self-inflicted) problems (in my exdps case, alcohol, gambling, debt, anger). In the end, when he used to burst out crying I just didn't care anymore because he never did anything to change his circumstances. He is now getting counselling which I hope helps him move onto the next stage in his life. I'd had enough. He sucked all the energy, life and goodness out of me. I was done and it sounds as if you are too. We only have so much of ourselves to give.

JeanSeberg Tue 11-Feb-14 13:26:38

How can I go back to being me

It sounds like you know the answer to that but you're not ready to face it yet.

I hope you find the strength to end things.

I think you'd find everybody's spirits would be lifted and your children's anxiety issues would greatly improve. It is possible to separate amicably and minimise the impact on the children (whatever might be said on here).

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Feb-14 13:30:21

You would like to think that they are mainly oblivious to it but they are not. Sound travels within the home.

Your eldest seems particularly aware and has now almost taken on a caring type or rescuer role with regards to you because he wants to see his mum happy at all costs. Some children who do grow up within homes where alcoholism does feature grow up to become super responsible or really caring. That could well be the case with your eldest. Poor soul is probably an old head on young shoulders. That's not good for a 12 year old at all, he should really not have to be doing that for you at such a tender age.

If your marriage is loveless your children may come to regard that as normal/If it's loveless, children may grow up to regard that as the norm.

Also, you can't burden a child with a choice you've made. They aren't going to thank you for resentment and bitterness or take kindly to being told, 'If only you knew what I've sacrificed for you". Your own relationship with your children in the long term could well go pear shaped because they may feel that you put your H before them.

One day your children will leave home, what then for you?.

We have dealt with worse, so it seems weird that something relatively "small" like his current stress at work and the subsequent moods make me feel "that's it".

I guess it's the straw.

but can you break up over a straw? it seems frivolous even. If I would have left when his drinking (and bad drunken moods) was bad, that would have made more sense iyswim

I am just surprised by my own feelings, if that makes sense.

Mainly I just feel so very tired.

The thing is, I still love him. I am just not in a good place right now.

I do want a break.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Feb-14 13:45:07

If you want a break then make that happen. You really cannot rescue and or save someone who really does not want to be rescued and saved.
You've also enabled him far long enough.

He has not changed much these past few years and now you are perhaps seeing him for what he really is. He sucks the joy out of life and infects the house with his moods. You all end up tiptoeing around him.

You may well still love him (I also think there are co-dependency issues with regards to you as well) but does he love you by his actions and words?. No he does not, it certainly does not seem like it and I would think that his primary relationship is still very much with drink. Everything else comes a dim and distant second.

SanityClause Tue 11-Feb-14 13:51:15

I know exactly what you mean about the "I love you".

DH used to say it, and if I didn't respond, would say it a bit louder, like trying to get a child to say "thankyou".

I eventually pointed out to him that he wasn't telling me he loved me, he was asking me to tell him that.

He doesn't do it anymore.

Only when he stopped drinking (only 3 months ago) did I realise how much I had been enabling.

I feel stupid, but I started to believe it was very important for him to be able to drink, so any time we'd go for a pub meal I'd drive (so he could drink, and relax and be happy), I would take the kids to all their sports and birthday parties at weekends (as he would drink from around 12, and I did not want to put him or kids in a drink driving position. It was just easier if I did all the driving). But on the other hand, I would hide drink as well (which he always found).

It is so weird and confusing, as I am not sure how this all developed. I don;t really understand how my mind was working.

But he did stop.

So would it not be utterly unreasonable to feel fed up NOW rather than 3-4 months ago? I just don't understand myself.

Twitterqueen Tue 11-Feb-14 13:52:42

OP, I feel for you, I really do. I have been where you are. There does come a point - and you have reached it - where you simply can't carry on in this way.

What's good is that you've recognised it and you know you need to deal with it. I would suggest you tell DH that you have given all you can right now. That you will continue to support him as best you can, but right now your best is going to be less than he's used to, because you're exhausted emotionally (and probably physically too).

Then try to distance yourself from his needs and wants. Make him do things - go the shop, do the washing - put the DCs to bed. Make him make you a cup of tea or a meal. Try to regain some control by saying 'no I can't help you right now'.

Sanity, exactly that.

2snugglets Tue 11-Feb-14 13:56:36

You definitely need a break, if you continue how things are going, it will make you ill

Get your DH counselling to start straight away. He may only need a few sessions!

In my similar experience, my DH was in a very dark place last year, I couldn't take it anymore the effect it had on me and then I become ratty with the kids.
It turns out there was some awful abuse that had gone on in his family that he found out about and he couldn't deal with normal day to day stuff very well after that.

He's fine now and only needed 6 sessions,

Also share some of the burden. Talk to a family member on DH's side like his mum or sister someone he might be able to offload abit to, maybe someone could ring him in an evening and ask how his day had been.
You can work through this

2snugglets, his mum was here last week. I did not say anything, but she has started calling DH a bit more frequently to ask how he is.

I have told him he needs to talk to people (friends, therapists, whoever) as holding it in is bad as it comes out in moods, which is worse.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Feb-14 14:10:07

Three months without drinking alcohol is nothing in the great scheme of things.

And yes you have enabled him to date and what you tried as well did not work did it?. All enabling gave you was a false sense of control.

Alcoholism is truly a family disease, you are all affected by the alcoholic's behaviours.

vulgarwretch Tue 11-Feb-14 14:10:20

Maybe you were subconsciously expecting that if your dh stopped drinking he would be the husband you wanted? And now that things have settled down a bit you are not experiencing that relief - he is not drunk any more and he is working, but he is still grumpy and not that pleasant to be around. That might explain why you are feeling so exhausted now - because no longer see the end point when it's all going to start to get better.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 11-Feb-14 14:16:46

If you have never talked to Al-anon before now I would suggest that you do so. They are helpful to family members who have seen alcoholism at first hand like you have.

EirikurNoromaour Tue 11-Feb-14 14:17:32

Your children sound really distressed and I would guess that's because of the exposure to his alcoholism and black moods, and your emotional exhaustion. You don't seem to connect your child's panic attacks and anxiety to his fathers behaviour or the family dynamics, so what do you think they are linked to? Why do you think your eldest is trying to comfort you? What exactly does your husband bring to the family dynamic that is positive and healthy?

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