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Planning to end marriage, friends making me doubt myself

(57 Posts)
mysistersimone Tue 04-Oct-16 10:59:45

This is probably going to be long but here goes.

I met my husband 10 years ago, we've been married for 8. There have been a lot of times I've just wanted to walk out the door and lots of things that have happened that have made me stop loving him. I'm planning on ending the marriage after Christmas, rightly or wrongly this is due to finances.

Over the years he has had many drinking binges. He has wet himself several times, he's wet the bed. He's vomited so badly on our daughter's bed once (it was like black tar) we had to buy a new one. He's run up debt, repeatedly, on crap and booze and fags and junk food. He wrote off a car driving too fast in a 30mph zone! When he was drunk he'd call me at 3am to collect him, we live in the middle of nowhere and there are no taxis even though I thought he'd stay at friends) So I'd take my baby and my toddler out of bed to collect him. His drink antics have been horrible, he stayed out once rather than come home to have a family day, he's fallen on a woman and cracked her ribs, he lost his wedding ring (in his wallet for some reason) Scary when I write all this down. He also verbally abused me at a wedding reception when I was with the kids.

I've had a breakdown and he didn't support me though that. Wouldn't speak about it. Didn't turn up to marriage counselling which I arranged. We haven't had sex for 4 years, I find him physically unattractive.

Through all of this I've felt that this is my lot. That no one else will want me. I'm not physically attractive and as sad as this sounds, in my entire life Ive not had a compliment from a man (yes I know I shouldn't judge my self worth on my looks) I do have 2 awesome kids though and mainly care for them myself. He has good moments as a dad but he's not the best by a long way. He once got so drunk he smashed his face in and scared out kids so much one was almost sick and the other wouldn't open her eye's.

I've confided in 2 friends all these dramas and more. Both had asked me if leaving him is what I really want. This messed with my head. After all that he's done is this what they think I'm worth?? Then I think is this all that I'm going to have, it's been so long this is my normal.

Reading so many threads in here and seeing some reactions to what men do (when its lesser than my H) has made me realise this isn't normal. I want to think I'm worth more but do my friend's see something I don't??

PurpleDaisies Tue 04-Oct-16 11:03:28

I've confided in 2 friends all these dramas and more. Both had asked me if leaving him is what I really want. This messed with my head. After all that he's done is this what they think I'm worth?? Then I think is this all that I'm going to have, it's been so long this is my normal.

I'm assuming there was more to the conversation than just that comment. If a friend was thinking of leaving their husband I'd probably ask the same thing, and try not to necessarily say what I thought but that I was with her whatever she decided. They're probably trying to be supportive but maybe not exactly in the way you expected. Obviously if there's more than you've shared I could be totally wrong.

PurpleDaisies Tue 04-Oct-16 11:04:33

I also should have said, his behaviour has been absolutely appalling and I can understand totally why you don't want to be with him any more.

adora1 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:05:28

You have the power to change your life and you are entitled to a life that makes you happy, he won't ever OP, you know that, regardless of what a friend tells you, they are not living your nightmare, and it does sound bloody awful, I mean what's the point of him, let him carry on his pathetic drink binges, you do not have to be part of any of that.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 04-Oct-16 11:07:48

He is an alcoholic. Unless he is prepared to go into rehab and stay sober the rest of his life that's not going to change. You can't stay in this situation. You've already had a breakdown. You need peace and your dc need one parent functioning well. You are doing the right thing. Have you tried alanon for support as your friends are missing something here..

WannaBeDifferent Tue 04-Oct-16 11:07:52

You are doing the right thing and I cannot see why your friends can't see that. Your marriage sounds like a nightmare. Good on you for realising that you deserve so much more. I wish you lots of luck, I bet the relief will be amazing X

hermione2016 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:09:42

You have an absolute right to leave him.I am surprised by your friends comments but people often feel they need to support marriages.They don't want to be blamed for 'telling you' to leave.

Honestly from that list you are obviously with an alcoholic and nothing you do can change him.Its awful for children to witness a parent drinking at his level.Its affects them very deeply.

I left a drinker and every day I am thankful that I had the courage to do so.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 04-Oct-16 11:20:52


I would be looking to ending the marriage by Christmas rather than sticking it out till then. There is never a good time to leave but why leave it till then?. He will just simply inflict more drunken misery upon you all. This does not have to be your lot at all, I presume you have thought that because you have been thoroughly unsupported by both family and friends. This does not have to be your or your children's normal any more.

Why are finances such an issue, why are these solely stopping you?. Have you actually sought legal advice to date?. Also Solicitors do report that their busiest time of year is in January precisely because couples struggle on over the festive season, I would not delay separation from him any longer than absolutely necessary.

What do you get out of this relationship now, why have you stayed to date with this man?. What did you learn about relationships when growing up? Did you yourself grow up with a parent who drank too much also?. Enabling him as you have done has not helped you or he for that matter; its just given you a false sense of control. That and your own lack of self worth which is not surprising given that you are with someone like this because he has dragged you and in turn your children down with him.

You are worth more and so for that matter are your children. What are they learning about relationships here?. Your friends here have been overinvested and unhelpful. Importantly as well they have not see the day to day reality of living with such a man presumably because they think he is "nice" and the "life and soul". Its your life, not theirs and you do not need anyone's permission to end this marriage.

Time to get off the merry go around that is alcoholism; your own recovery from all this will only start when you properly start the process of separation from him. Alcoholism is truly a family disease and one that does not just affect the alcoholic.

mysistersimone Tue 04-Oct-16 11:21:50

He is an alcoholic. His work place even tried to help him but he got better at hiding it from them. He binges rather than daily drinks.

It's taken me so long to make this decision, I just feel by 2 friends asking me a few times now if this is what I want that somehow I'm making a mistake ending it. Surely when your husband has done things like scream at you infront of neighbours telling you how shit you are and infront of the kids (and never apologising) there's no love left? I arranged the marriage counselling, he showed up to 3 sessions and then no more.

adora1 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:26:38

His love affair is with drink, you can never compete, maybe you leaving will actually help him in the long run to realise how fucked up his life is.

mysistersimone Tue 04-Oct-16 11:26:56

Attila - yes, my Dad drank heavily and was verbally abusive to my mum. So there's my example of a marriage. All I get out of the relationship I suppose is a roof and food. We have no affection, and my weight is slowly going up as I use food to comfort myself. I suppose I'm hurt by my friends comments. Am I that ugly I should be grateful I have a man? It does feel a bit insulting.

kate33 Tue 04-Oct-16 11:28:25

He's not well but only he can make the decision to recover. A loving wife and two children have not been the impetus for him to seek help. Maybe losing you will be the impetus, the rock bottom and he can go on to be a good Dad . Maybe not. But that's up to him. Your responsibility is for yourself and your dcs, that's a hard enough job without having to care for someone who doesn't care for himself right now. Just focus on you, make yourself happy - sounds like you are due some happiness op!
As far as your friend's go - do they fully know how things have been, have you felt that you had to hide or down play the awful things you've been dealing with? That would be understandable but if not I would be including new friends on my list of life improvements that I intended to make. Like others have said Al anon is a great starting point. Good luck and don't look back.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 04-Oct-16 11:30:37

The 3cs of alcoholism:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this

So his workplace enabled him too (note points 2 and 3). Their actions did not work either unsurprisingly.

The only person who can stop drinking is your H and if he does not want to stop then there is nothing anyone else can do to change his mind. He could go onto lose absolutely everything around him and he could still drink afterwards. That is his choice.

Seriously consider seeking legal advice for your own self now and attend counselling sessions on your own. You are likely acting out co-dependent patterns of behaviour (co-dependency often features in marriages where alcoholism is present) and that needs to be addressed along with your own low self worth. Talking to Al-anon as well may be helpful to you, at the very least do contact them by phone and read their literature if you cannot attend their meetings.

mysistersimone Tue 04-Oct-16 11:32:21

Maybe I have watered down some of what I've told my friends. I am a good wife, I keep a good home and love my kids and put them first all the time. I support him and all he does, he doesn't support me.

WannaBeDifferent Tue 04-Oct-16 11:32:38

This is your life and only you are living it . Is there anyone else who might be a bit more supportive ?

I will say again, you are doing the right thing and I would leave sooner rather than later . Make this Christmas the first happy one you've had for years .

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 04-Oct-16 11:41:04

"Attila - yes, my Dad drank heavily and was verbally abusive to my mum. So there's my example of a marriage".

That is why you are in a marriage like this now because that is what your parents showed you as an example. You've simply gone onto repeat that with your own family unit with your children now seeing you being verbally abused by their dad.

All I get out of the relationship I suppose is a roof and food.

Those are basic needs, not reasons to stay within a marriage. You get nothing at all from this marriage in terms of love, friendship, companionship, a person to support you. None of that is there because your man's primary relationship is with drink. Nothing and no-one else matters to him and his next thoughts centre on where the next drink is going to come from.

"We have no affection, and my weight is slowly going up as I use food to comfort myself. I suppose I'm hurt by my friends comments. Am I that ugly I should be grateful I have a man? It does feel a bit insulting"

Please stop using food to comfort yourself because it will not help you. You are not ugly at all on the outside or inside and I am sure your children think you are the best mother for them.

Keep writing on here too.

Seeking legal advice and ending your marriage to him will help you and your children in the long run. They cannot and absolutely must not grow up as you did learning those damaging lessons.

GeekLove Tue 04-Oct-16 11:43:05

Could it be that their relationships are worse than yours? Even if your relationship is the least shit doesn't mean it isn't shit.
Thing is he is an addict and the addiction will always come first if he doesn't want to fix it. You cannot fix it - only he can.
You are doing the right thing in breaking the chain of bad relationships.

MatildaTheCat Tue 04-Oct-16 11:57:41

Do you have a firm plan in mind, OP? Somewhere to live, finances etc? It may help you to get some concrete plans made and yes, definitely get legal advice. Keep a written log of the events you describe in case he tries to get joint care of your DC.

Does he have medical records on his alcoholism? The black tarry vomit could well have been blood so he may be in real danger, not to mention the drink driving.

Your friends may simply not see the same man that you live with. Maybe their own husbands get pissed sometimes and they are comparing that with the totally unacceptable behaviour you mention. Keep trying to get RL life support.

And I truly don't believe you are as unattractive as you say. Get shot of the deadwood which is dragging you down and you may be surprised in time just who you discover in yourself.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Tue 04-Oct-16 12:07:08

I am a long time sober alcoholic and what you describe is raging alcoholism with no mention of him ever actually doing anything about it. People can and do stop drinking but not while they deny they've got a problem. Your marriage sounds like hell on earth and I would have left long ago.

Alcoholism is described as a family disease because of how everyone gets sucked in. There is also a strong genetic component. Your parents' relationship "taught" you to first choose a partner with a drink problem and then to put up with his alcoholic behaviour. If you are not careful you will programme your DCs to do exactly the same when they grow up.

One way to look at is that you are following a script taught to you as a child. The only way to rewrite the script is to call a halt to the nightmare in which you and your DCs are living. If you don't feel you owe it to yourself, get the strength you need by reminding yourself that you owe it to your children. You're not drinking but you are allowing your DCs to be harmed. That's your responsibility - to get them out of harm's way.

I strongly suspect that once you make a stand and part from this abusive man you will feel, among the understandable anxiety and doubt, a great surge of self-respect. Your children will be taught a priceless lesson. You will have broken the chain. Of course if your DH responds to being dumped by going to AA and getting sober that too will break the chain but the signs are not good.

Why wait until after Christmas? Most alcoholics are at their absolute worst around Christmas and New Year. Why not give your poor kids their first Christmas free of drunks?

Redken24 Tue 04-Oct-16 12:09:09

Leave now, enjoy a first christmas with kids that not worrying about husbands antics. I missed it if you say how old they are, but having had some experience with family like this - please just get away!
Ignore your friends - you say you have never had a compliment about your appearance - maybe you have just never "heard" it. Looks fade, personality doesnt - if you have raised two amazing kids then they obviously are taking that from somewhere (from you i mean)

Mikkalina Tue 04-Oct-16 12:21:36

Poor you. sad You deserve so much better. Maybe your husband is very lovely to your friends but they don't live with him. Just ignore them. If you can, please leave him. flowers

BenLinusatemyhomework Tue 04-Oct-16 12:47:41

Sweetness, you don't need anybody else's permission, agreement or validation to make steps to improve your life.

There can be all sorts of reasons why people will not behave or support you in the way you would expect and it's usually to do with your change/growth challenging their own world view in a way that is destabilizing for them. That's actually nothing to do with you and you need to start working on differentiating 'your shit' from 'everybody else shit'. As another poster said, you probably have co-dependent patterns of behaviour and if I were in your shoes I would start with researching everything I could about co-dependency and see if you can get some therapy specifically for it.

A very simple excersize that I teach my kids when they get overwhelmed by others expectations of them is to hold their hands in front of them, making a circle with your arms, palms facing them and say, out loud or in your head 'what's mine is mine' and then flip palms outwards and say 'what's yours is yours'. It sounds dumb but when you are not practiced at setting heathy boundaries for yourself (which you won't be), physically acting it out can be very soothing to an agitated nervous system and 'grounds in' the concept of setting a boundary.

You need to get out of the marriage asap but if you don't tackle the co-dependency you will replicate it in all your relationships, be they romantic, friendship or familial. Good luck OP - you deserve to be and happy and cared for flowers.

GingerbreadLatteToGo Tue 04-Oct-16 12:49:07

I have NO idea why your friends are asking you that, it's beyond belief, if you were my friend IRL I'd have had you out of there YEARS ago. Whatever is going through their heads is somethng no to do with their own situation, not yours.

There are so many things in your OP that would be a deal breaker for most of us, let alone them all together. (However, I do feel the need to point out that NO ONE ever needs 'a good reason' beyond, I'm not happy')

Are you 100% sure you can't leave sooner & have Christmas with the kids without all of this grief? The sooner you leave, the sooner you can begin a whole new life for you & the kids, without this total waste of space.

BenLinusatemyhomework Tue 04-Oct-16 12:50:28

That should have a 'loved' in the last sentence. flowersflowers

PickAChew Tue 04-Oct-16 13:00:06

You need to tell them that they're welcome to him, if they think he's such a catch.

Unless it's genuinely going to take until after Christmas to fully extricate yourself from a financial mess, then it would be healthier for you and the kids to have Christmas and New Year without him around. Agree about finding out what legal rights you have ASAP and finding out what benefits you'd be entitled to.

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