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So here we are now...(193 Posts)
I thought rather than pick up my old thread here if you want to read it, it's a bit epic I would start a new one to reflect the fact that I now have a new life with my DDs and without my alcoholic STBXH.
Last Wednesday was an anniversary - a year since I found an empty booze bottle in the bedroom, a year since I hit my rock bottom, a year since I told him to deal with his drink problem or we were over - and I meant it.
It's all in the old thread - the failed rehab, more drinking, more lying, more rehab, the police incident that finally got him shipped out.
But here we are a year on, my DDs and I together. Our lives are immeasurably better in every way. OK, we have less money - but we also have peace, happiness, safety and a bright future together.
So to all those people stuck in relationships with addicted partners - you don't have to stay. You are entitled to a happy, safe life. You do have to put your children first. And when you find your rock bottom, that's enough - you don't have to wait for our OH to find theirs. You will feel guilty for finally looking after yourself and not your OH - counselling helps with that.
And one day you will have the life you deserve - it may be a life without the person you thought was forever, but it will be better. You can have what I have. Reply or don't reply - but whoever you are, one day I hope to see you on the other side.
On the other side here and the relief is immeasurable! No more worrying about how much has been drunk, empty bottles hidden away and he’s his ex girlfriend’s problem now, sure he’ll be behaving himself at the moment but at some point it’ll come out again and I won’t have to mop it up! 😀
First, I think it is great that you got out and made a new and better life for you and your children and I would also urge others in the same situation (haven't read your prior thread) to do the same.
My perspective is a bit different in that I am a recovering alcoholic. Addiction is a medical condition, but that doesn't resolve your STBXH of his responsibility to seek treatment and deal with the problem. Since alcoholism is a progressive disease it's only going to get worse without treatment.
I quit drinking before I met my DH and had kids, so I haven't caused this kind of chaos for anyone, but I can see that it's a disaster for all concerned, including your STBXH.
Brilliant @pointythings, you thoroughly deserve your peace and happiness
I'm on my way to the other side, a large part of this is thanks to mumsnetters (including you), I'm going to Al-anon, off to see the GP next week and, of course, the solicitor to start divorce proceedings.
How are your DDs? Do they see STBXH?
My DS is only small and adores his daddy. This worries for the future
Well done @MissConductUS. You chose treatment and got well. You deserve your family and happiness
MissConduct so you did what my H could not do. You fought the fight. Total kudos to you. I wish my H had been able to do the same.
tiddlypops my DDs have no contact with their dad. His behaviour over the drinking years ruined their relationship with him. He was not a parent to them any more, just a shadow in their lives. Fortunately they are of an age that they can refuse contact and be heard. It is much harder with little ones.
My STBXH misses them desperately but will not undertake the things he needs to do to have a relationship with them. It's the one sadness I have remaining. Maybe with time it will happen.
Thank you Tiddley, it was the hardest thing I've ever done but I knew it would kill me if I hadn't.
I did wind up with a lovely DH and two great kids, so there is hope for the alcoholic too. 🙅
Well done for creating the chance to live a normal life with your children.
My STBXH misses them desperately but will not undertake the things he needs to do to have a relationship with them.
It is so terribly sad.
My STBXH's father lost everything because of his alcoholism, and died relatively young. Despite this my STBXH doesn't see the fact he is following on the exact same footprints, he's just blind to it. This is absolute confirmation (if I needed it) that I have to get me and DS a home away from this disease.
my STBXH doesn't see the fact he is following on the exact same footprints, he's just blind to it.
Denial is actually a recognized symptom of alcoholism, especially if they are still high functioning:
I experienced it myself. I think part of it is that once you are physically addicted you know that stopping is going to be intensely unpleasant and for some, medically dangerous.
I detoxed in hospital and I really think that for most alcoholics that's the safest and most effective way to do it. There are medications that are very helpful in managing the withdrawal but they can't be consumed with alcohol.
The problem is that once you have detoxed, you need to deal with the rest of it - the reasons why you are using alcohol. That's where my STBXH strands every single time. He has a list of psychological issues a mile long, but he has a deeply ingrained belief that 'that is just how I am' and that he cannot change. But he has to, or yes, he will die young. So far his addiction has cost him his marriage, his kids, his home and his job. It still isn't enough.
The problem is that once you have detoxed, you need to deal with the rest of it - the reasons why you are using alcohol.
This is where things get a bit complicated. I'm a healthcare professional, so I see this from time to time in my work. Some patients do self medicate with alcohol for various mental health issues. If they do it regularly enough, they can force chemical changes in the brain that creates a physical addiction.
Molecular basis of alcoholism
For a patient with that set of issues the physical addiction and the issues being self medicated both need to be dealt with.
I was "lucky" in the sense that a genetic predisposition allowed those chemical changes to take place without self medication for other problems. Patients like me have no "off switch" that tells us when we've had enough to drink, leading to the chemical changes documented in that study and the co-morbid physical addiction.
Again, I am sorry that this disease has affected you and your family in such a terrible way.
And by the way, thank you to everyone for offering such kind words to me. I honestly thought I might get flamed, given how you've all suffered at the hands of other alcoholics.
That's really interesting, I didn't know that. Unfortunately my H absolutely was self-medicating for all those other issues. And still is. I'm glad it wasn't like that for you.
I have the utmost respect for people who overcome their addictions, whatever they may be. I go to a support group for families of people with addictions, and two of the facilitators are in recovery themselves. Having that perspective is hugely valuable. You didn't destroy a family, you changed direction, rebuilt your life and then built your family. What still irks me most about my STBXH is that he can't or won't see that most of his current misery really is of his own making. Until he stops seeing himself as the victim, he won't find recovery and our DDs won't have a relationship with their father. That makes me sad because he used to be a good husband, a good father and a thoroughly decent human being.
That's really interesting, I didn't know that.
I am happy to answer questions from anyone, either on thread or by PM. It is part of how I give back.
I go to a support group for families of people with addictions, and two of the facilitators are in recovery themselves. Having that perspective is hugely valuable.
I am thrilled to hear this. It is the best possible thing you could do for yourself at this point.
That makes me sad because he used to be a good husband, a good father and a thoroughly decent human being.
Addiction destroys lives, no question about it. I like to think I was a pretty decent person before I started drinking abusively. Then I was a massive pain in the arse to everyone while drinking. I hope I have become a good person again in recovery.
By the way, I didn't mean to imply that recovery was done with detox. It took me at least a year to learn how to live happily without alcohol and rid myself of an alcoholic world view. But it can be done.
Unfortunately this is going to be a sad update. I got the call about 20 minutes ago. My STBXH has been found dead in his flat. I was always afraid that this would happen. He was so deeply lost in addiction and depression and he couldn't find his way back. No details yet, but the police and coroner will be in touch. I'm away from home with one day of holiday left to go - and no, I'm not going back early. We'd just sit at home brooding so tomorrow we are going to the beach, we are going to raise an ice cream cone in his memory and talk about the good times and then when it all hits home we are going to seek counselling and support and build our future.
Wow. That is awful. I am sorry for you, and your children and for him. Extremely sad. xxx
You did everything you could love!
His suffering is over now.
Be strong and build a happy future for yourself and your family
This is such a waste of life, so sad for you all.
I'm busy telling family and supporting DDs. And yes, it's such a waste. I thought that all the way through - I married a great guy, happy, funny, clever, everything I wanted. Then this happened and he became a depressed withdrawn stranger who stopped being a parent to his DDs and said drinking was his only pleasure in life. Such a waste of all his talents and his personality.
So sorry to hear that pointy.
I have followed both your threads and admired your strength and courage.
My boyfriend overcame his addiction and i'm so proud of him.
Sorry for your loss op.
Myheart well done to your boyfriend. It's a hard fight. It gives me hope that some people win it.
My husband is an ex soldier that was medically discharged from the army after a bomb blast he was injured in Ireland and he drinks to blank that out . He has ptsd and not a night goes by when he comes home drunk, so drunk he has no memory of last night. What happened to you ex is my worst fear for my husband. Life is poor hell at the moment and I have given him the last decision he chooses drink or me and his children. I give him that choice at Christmas and he promised he would get treated for his drinking and ptsd and he never did. Here we are summer and he has promised after we return next week he will get treatment. I think I will be saying goodbye to 29 yrs but me and the kids will be better without him. I hate the smell of the drink that he gives off and the temper I am walking on eggshells. Any way you have inspired me and apart from the sad lose you have told us I feel a lot stronger and this time next week will be his wake up call that I hope he will take, I fear not though.
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