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Husband only considerate when I am ready to leave him

(15 Posts)
mmmm67 Fri 27-Nov-15 21:23:01

I have been with my husband for 17 years. He has always been a heavy drinker (at least a bottle of wine a day everyday). We have 2 children of 12 and 9.

I threw him out when we were first together because of the drinking. He was incredibly upset and got kind and considerate and thoughtful etc. I could see no reason to be apart, we had our children and all the while things deteriorated - he was bad tempered, drinking etc.

6 years' ago for these reasons, I stuck to my guns and separated. I felt incredibly guilty because he was broken about it (and I was quite relieved), and because he was then so nice it was as though I was determined to break up the family. I did see it through, feeling awful.

Obviously we had to see each other and he would not accept the end of relationship. Finally, 3 years' later, I went to marriage guidance with him. It was very successful and, even though I was actually happy on my own and as a single parent, I agreed for him to move back in.

He started drinking heavily again, making me responsible for him, very needy, not listening to my frequent requests for him to stop drinking - I couldn't have made it clearer how sickening I found his drinking.

Finally, a couple of days' ago, I told him to move into the spare room and that I wasn't go to make him leave again (I didn't want that responsibilty) but that I didn't want to be with him. I feel released and relieved. But he is incredibly unhappy, being sweet and nice and has now given up drinking.

Now he is asking me why I want to break up the family. I keep trying to tell him that it wasn't me. I really do not want to be persuaded to carry on with him (I have a very overgrown sense of responsibility), I just feel like the person who is breaking up this family because he is now being so loving and nice. It is always the way.

If we did not have the children I know I would never choose to be with him. He is making me feel so burdened that I wish he was dead, so that I could be free of him (really, I know that is horrible). He was a huge step of faith for me to take him back, and within a year he had reverted. Haven't I given him enough chances?

wannabestressfree Fri 27-Nov-15 21:27:12

Yes you have. You need to separate and stick to it.

RandomMess Fri 27-Nov-15 21:30:51

Just keep telling him that he has spent most of the marriage drinking, he is the reason why you are separating and that he only ever manages a small break because he is a functioning alcoholic. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

mmmm67 Fri 27-Nov-15 21:31:25

Thank you. I just feel so guilty. I know it could well be better for the children not to be parented in this relationship, but at the same time, I know children want to be with both parents...

mmmm67 Fri 27-Nov-15 21:33:12

Repeat sounds good. He just keeps on and on and on. Even his being nice now seems like a threat, because I know what happens...

RandomMess Fri 27-Nov-15 21:39:57

"You're a functioning alcoholic, I'm not prepared to spend the rest of my life tolerating you" Even shorter and sweeter...

mmmm67 Fri 27-Nov-15 21:41:57

Thank you. I do just feel caged with him now, and cannot stand being persuaded back with him again...thank you.

Marilynsbigsister Fri 27-Nov-15 21:45:12

Does he even acknowledge he has a drink problem ? That is at the heart of the situation. Is this the first time he has stopped drinking ? Did he stop when you separated ? Does his attitude change when he has had a drink ?. A lot of questions I know. I suppose what I am asking is, would you want to be with him if he was sober all day everyday, or has his addiction killed any love you have for him ?. Addiction is so hard to deal with, especially the partner of an addict.

mmmm67 Fri 27-Nov-15 22:06:07

Sometimes (when I am ready to leave) he will admit he has a problem, but most of the time he is just head in the sand. He can hide away from everything, he doesn't face any difficulties.

I think I have just lost all respect for him. I have watched the pattern again and again and I really do wish he would just disappear. I really was very happy on my own, I found it easier to be a single parent - it really was a sense that if it was possible, I had to try to make it work.

And now I have tried. I think I just want to be told I have tried enough. I am a daughter of alcoholics - I come from a long line of them - I just don't want to think about how much people are drinking any more. I don't want to worry about anyone but my children.

mmmm67 Fri 27-Nov-15 22:13:54

I think, MBS, if he could give up alcohol and develop a proper life with friends and hobbies and responsibilities, I would want to be with him. He makes me laugh - we were always good friends etc. But the fact that he can't do that for himself - only when under threat (he gave up for 3 weeks last time we separated until he realised it was no good), makes me feel that he does not want what I want etc. I can't respect him, I don't want to be forcing him to stop drinking and he can't do it accept under threat..

EternalSunshine820 Fri 27-Nov-15 22:23:15

moosemolloy you probably already know this, but there's a behaviour called 'hoovering', I learnt about this on the MN 'Stately Homes' feed. Googled:

behaviour called hoovering

which pulled up some enlightening stuff about people who only behave decently just before you might leave them (hoover you).. it made for an interesting read

mmmm67 Fri 27-Nov-15 22:35:22

EternalSunshine, thank you so much. I knew there must be a name for it! I am reading about it. Thank you.

pocketsaviour Fri 27-Nov-15 23:08:59

OP it makes sense that you are the child of alcoholics and you are having this problem with feeling like it's your responsibility to fix this family.

You have been brought up normalising this sort of behaviour and feeling like it's your fault for saying "no more".

Co-Dependent No More by Melody Beattie would be really useful reading for you.

You might also find the ACOA website helpful.

This man is an addict. He will never choose you, or his children, above drink. He chooses to not even acknowledge that he has an addiction. Instead he has manipulated you back into a relationship under the false pretence that he would change, something he had fuck-all intention of doing.

It is now the time when you need to put your children first (not to mention your own needs) and kick this man out. You are not on this earth to save him. You can only save yourself, and your kids.

Costacoffeeplease Fri 27-Nov-15 23:17:08

Oh how tedious and pathetic he sounds, just get rid, you've wasted enough time on him now

mmmm67 Fri 27-Nov-15 23:19:29

Thank you, pocket saviour. i would say that to anyone else. I am just finding this so hard. I find the whole issue of co-dependency a bit baffling. I can see that I do think I am there to help the people I take responsibility for and don't take my needs into account, but at the same time I am a very independent person - I am not scared of being alone.

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