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Married to an adult child of alcoholics (one a narc)....

(12 Posts)
Somethingtodo Mon 08-Dec-14 08:15:18

which means that he is passive aggressive (spineless, never confronts - but just ignores my requests and does his own thing/way anyway, he is not a grown up with respect to money, parenting, planning etc).......and it is driving me to distraction. I feel like a crazy mad banshee as I get no response to any of my issues so ask day in day out and the tension rises.

Anyone else living this dynamic - or have overcome this dynamic - really need some advice.

MerdeAlor Mon 08-Dec-14 08:34:12

Ohh, This could have been posted by me 10 years ago. My DH is son of two alcoholic parents (his DM in denial with narc tendancies). His DM is the epitome of passive agressive with no understanding of boundaries.
We are still married - happily but it has been a rough ride. My DH was
immature with money, responsibility etc and has in the past managed to do the 'I'm a pathetic man who can't cope' act in order to make me do stuff.

How did it change? Umm I changed my reaction to my DH for a start. I made sure I looked after myself and our DS then allowed my DH to sort himself out. If he got into problems (forgetting his wallet, not doing things etc) he had to sort out his own mess. I treated him as an adult not as a child which was what he wanted.

I put in calm clear boundaries with his parents. When those boundaries were stomped over - which of course they were are still are. I explained to my DH what happened and why they were unacceptable.

We sat down and made some family rules for the whole family. They are as much for my DH as they are for my DS.

Don't get me wrong - we still have issues but keeping the lines of communication open is good. We try to communicate without raising our voices and I try to avoid the triggers that drive me nuts!

CogitOIOIO Mon 08-Dec-14 08:35:22

You can't 'overcome' someone else's choice to behave badly. That his parents are badly behaved is interesting but ultimately he is making his own choices same as you are making yours

All you can reasonably do is set out the expectations, put up some dire consequences of failure (including ending the relationship) and then follow through with the consequences if the expectations aren't met. Life's far too short to live in tension or believing you are crazy.

MerdeAlor Mon 08-Dec-14 09:08:54

True. Absolutely stop rescuing and reacting. Make your rules, set your expectations, explain them clearly and then step back.
FWIW I found it a gradual process. The worst points were when our DS was a baby, from then on it got better and better.

ilovelamp82 Mon 08-Dec-14 09:14:11

I was. We split up last year. Probably not what you wanted to hear. Life is hard but so much better on a daily basis.

ilovelamp82 Mon 08-Dec-14 09:16:39

That was after 10 years of using his upbringing as an excuse and trying to teach him and fix him. Ultimately I realised I was doing all the work and he wasn't changing and I didn't want my kids growing up in that environment and seeing an unhappy unhealthy relationship. I wanted to stop the cycle so hopefully my kids can go on to have healthier relationships.

Somethingtodo Mon 08-Dec-14 11:23:18

I have listened to "but I am weak" nonsense for years - like it is a given. It is worse that he doesnt just not step up - he also deliberately undermines everything I do - so I have triple the work load - mine, his and the next load when he undermines me. I hate the fact that our children "see" this hideous dynamic - me the escalating banshee - and he the put upon little man. I have called him on it for years and years - he promises he will change. He chooses not to. I am worn out with it. You are right the only one who can change is me - by not reacting to his poor efforts of being a parent / husband and just asking him to leave. But I have done this many times - he refuses to go.....what can I do ?

CogitOIOIO Mon 08-Dec-14 11:24:59

If you're married then talk to a lawyer. Get some advice, start the ball rolling with divorce papers, that kind of thing. If he's not taking you seriously you have to up the ante or nothing will happen.

MerdeAlor Mon 08-Dec-14 12:30:39

This is seriously unhealthy OP. It sounds like you want and need to leave this relationship?
So you have asked him to leave in the past and he refuses to go? What is your housing status, do you own, rent? You need legal advice OP.

TantricShift Mon 08-Dec-14 12:46:18

Alanon may help. As you can't change him you can change your behaviour towards him which will give you enough head space to work out whether you want to carry on in this relationship or make a break. I do not think it is always about another person being bad or not willing, sometimes a person is so entrenched in a behaviour that they do not even realise it is unhealthy. If your family system was flawed then you grow up believing it to be real. As a recovered alcoholic and child of an alcoholic it took the misery of alcoholism to finally make me change. Your DH does not have that, all he has is his behaviour and no matter what you tell him, whether you nag, scream, cry he still will not change until it is painful enough for him to change. Maybe leaving him will make him sit up and see the truth but I doubt it. Your actions cannot manufacture his surrender and ultimate desire to change but your actions can help you change the way you perceive things and how you deal with them so you don't end up feeling like you are going mad.

Somethingtodo Mon 08-Dec-14 13:42:35

I never thought of Alanon - I will look there. He also had or has "drink issues" - throughout most of our life he has drunk heavily, humiliated me in public and has not been "available" thru his hangovers to support running the family. I dont know why I took that shit for so long....he then went teetotal for 5 years and although he is drinking again moderately - I am terrified that if I leave him he will just become the dirty lonely alchi in a bedsit - I dont want that for my children and is the only reason we are still together.

We own our house together.

CogitOIOIO Mon 08-Dec-14 13:48:15

See Alanon but talk to the lawyer as well. You're not responsible for his future.

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