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Old 01-29-2010, 12:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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This is my life with a drunk husband.

It's 12:30 AM and I'm writing this because I have just had the night from hell and I literally have no one else to talk to. I can't talk to my parents or my sister because they don't need to know the whole story.

I've been married to a binge-drinker for almost three years. It was love at first sight, and we went way too fast. It was magical and romantic and I thought I was going to have everything I ever wanted. He is so handsome, and personable, loving and loyal. He came here from England with nothing and now has his own business where he's respected and earning great money. People who don't know him well are always telling me I'm a lucky girl. Sober, he is my dream guy, and he felt like family to me almost immediately. I ignored the warning signs and we got married, and had a little boy. When he's drunk...it's like a nightmare. He's a monster, it's something I've never seen before. There's no getting through to him, it's just anger on a level I can't describe.

Three years later, here I am, living with my parents since December, with ruined credit and a life I DID NOT want. I left after he had an episode while my mother was visiting. He felt he had earned a night out with the guys, so while I was picking my mother up from the airport, he was out getting drunk. He came home at 3AM with coke in his pocket, screaming at me that I'm a lying ****, and that I cause him to drink. He woke our little boy up and wouldn't put him down until I begged him to. I stayed up trying to calm him down for 3 hours, and layed in bed with him until he cried himself to sleep.

The night of our belated wedding reception he over drank and left me at the hotel room alone while he went out. I remember being 7 months pregnant, sick with the flu...his friend was out visiting so they went out "for a few drinks" and he came back angry, threatening me to the point that his friend had to intervene. These incidents happen, and then 3 or 4 months go by without incident. He's so sorry, and he tries. He's a good husband, the guy I knew. Then just when I start to trust him, it happens again. One night in June, he went to a business dinner where he said he wasn't going to drink. He did. He drove home wasted, and angry. He pushed me onto the couch and slapped me. That's the second time he's ever slapped or pushed me, and I still feel sick thinking about it. Do you know what it's like to see the one you love with their eyes vacant and hollow, with no expression on their face, and to feel so completely terrified and afraid of what they may be capable of? I can't even describe it right. It's the worst thing I've ever felt. I remember a few months ago, I wanted to get out of the house with my baby because I didn't want to be home when he got back drunk...it was 2 AM and there I was pushing my little boy in a stroller down the street trying to find a cab. It must have looked crazy. The cab driver took me to a motel nearby, and I remember him asking before he left..."Are you ok?" He was young, and good-looking, and he looked like he felt so bad for me, and I thought....I'm that girl now.

How do I reconcile the sweet, caring husband, who is so loving towards his son, with this scary person he becomes sometimes? He told me he would use this time apart to work on himself and make things better. But tonight he called (he must have been drinking all day), and demanded to know about the relationship I was in before him, sexual details, and why I haven't been straight with him about it. Yes, I have lied to him about little details of my past, but only because he gets so crazy about it. I got a bunch of texts tonight saying what a liar I am, how much he hates me, and how much he wishes he had never met me. He also told me if I'm not honest with him, he's going to sleep with as many girls as possible.

I have tried so hard to keep my family together. I don't want a divorce, I want him to change! I do everything I can to take care of him..I'm a good wife, and I was a good girl, I was never slutty like he accuses me of being. I've lost myself...I don't see my old friends, I've gained 30 pounds, I dress like an old hag. I don't even recognize who I am. I love him so much, or do I really? How can I love someone who tells me how disgusting I am, and how I'm the biggest **** he's ever met? How can I want to be with him?? I can't even believe the things that come out of my mouth sometimes when he's drunk on the phone...tonight I was begging him not to cheat on me for spite, because once he does we can't go back. Who is this girl begging a drunk not to cheat on her?

If anyone actually read this, thank you...I feel better that I've written some of it down.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My heart goes out to you; I was so sad reading your post. You CANNOT change him; only he can do that. He is an alcoholic, and even though when sober he is VERY AWARE of how he hurts you, he does nothing to stop. You are worth far more than this drunk bully of a man. I can tell from reading that your self esteem is shot to pieces which is a consequence of living with this disease. Why don't you have no contact at all for a while and see if he goes for help; and remember, he will only stop when the pain becomes too much for HIM, not for you. Don't be held to ransom by his threats either; what a control freak! Concentrate on yourself and your little boy, get some strength back, physically and mentally. You don't have to make any major decisions right now, take all the time you need. Is this the life you want for yourself? Do you want your son learning that this is how men treat women? And try Al-Anon meetings, where you will be understood and given support through this. Prayers and thoughts are with you, God bless.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Dear HW,

I read your post and I am glad you found this webpage. Most posters are in US I regard, so please be a little patient while they wake up...


I do get the Jekyll and Mr Hyde syndrome.



I learned it is all the same person. You cannot separate Jekyll from Hyde.... Hyde is always dormant somewhere, to strike anytime.


That is the nature of addictions... it is also the abuse cycle. The alcoholic drinks, harms whoever is closest, cries apologizing, next day acts normally. Then the cycle starts all over again.


Have you read the Classic reading under the "Sticky" section on top of the forum? tons of useful information. I regard you are staying in different places?



This is one of the best pages I have found:

Addiction, Lies and Relationships




Have you gone to a counselor or therapist, do you got Al anon over there?
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh (((hopelesswife))).

I really feel for you. I 'played by the rules', I was 'good'. And it still didn't make the slightest bit of difference to how XAH behaved. No one should ever have to go through what you've been through. Physical violence is NEVER acceptable.

The hardest thing to accept is that you cannot change him. Nothing you do or say will make that happen. He is the only one who can change himself. But there is hope for you. You can change YOU. You don't have to be 'that girl'. You can regain control of your own life again. You just have to take one small step at a time.

Have a read through the sticky posts at the top of the forum - there is a lot of information and wisdom there! Have you considered counselling or AlAnon? When my marriage was falling apart, my one to one sessions with a counsellor really helped me. It helped me gain a better perspective on what was happening to me. You can always ask your local domstive violence service for advice.

One last thing. I dare say your family are really worried about you and know more about what's happened than you think they do. Do you think you could try to open up to them? My family was a great source of support and comfort for me once I gave them to chance to be.

Welcome to the site. Keep posting and sharing. It really does help! :ghug3
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't talk to my parents or my sister because they don't need to know the whole story.

Oh I get it... I used some Bach flowers to heal from some trauma and stressful situations, and my sister got angry, said they were dangerous "as if it was such a big deal", well... let's just say it brings more peace to talk about this with people who know how it is like. It is very frustrating when others do not get you.

I thought I was going to have everything I ever wanted.

What is it that you truly wanted? and what do you want now?


He is so handsome, and personable, loving and loyal.

The acts he performs with his partner and child are not loving or loyal.


People who don't know him well are always telling me I'm a lucky girl.

You said it... they don't know him like you do...



Oh I just saw you are staying with your parents. That is good news!

You said he was working on getting better, what exactly? all I read was he got drunk as usual and was violent again.





3 Golden Cs ... and an extra P :

Cant control him
Cant cure him
Didnt cause the problem

Couldnt have prevented it




You took decisions with the info you had then. Now you got different info. so it may be decision time again. Your child and you deserve peace.

Who he was then was...then. You got to take what is going on now. This is what he choses to do, drink. You cannot wait for a miracle to happen ... or live in wishful thinking land... it is the now that counts.... the now, the ACTIONS. His seem predictable. But yours? you are at a crossroads..

I say this with respect, of course I cannot even imagine what you have gone through, but some items caught my attention. You are not alone. :ghug3
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I feel the need currently to post this on every thread where the woman says she doesn't want to get divorced.

That was me.
I stayed with someone I was not happy with for 17 years because I was afraid of divorce and all that it meant on every level.

I went from a very secure financial situation while married, where I was able to be a stay at home mom, to working two jobs and going to school.
He is engaged (actually was before even separation papers were signed) I am "alone"
I don't have my children every night (he doesn't have substance abuse issues) I have them about 63% of the time (yes I did the math)

MY LIFE NOW IS 1000 TIMES BETTER THAN MY OLD LIFE

I'm tired, things are hard, BUT I am in a much better psychological place.
My family and friends have been incredibly supportive.

Please don't let fear of divorce, and the fantasy of what your life should have been, keep you from making healthy choices for you and your child.

Welcome to SR and Good Luck
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi hopelesswife...and WELCOME TO SR!!! This is an awesome place with loving and supportive people. I'm glad you found us.

Regarding your husband, you've received some good advice. He is addicted to alcohol. You know this. Please remember Takingcharge's last post:

3 Golden Cs ... and an extra P :

Cant control him
Cant cure him
Didnt cause the problem

Couldnt have prevented it


Your husband's choices are not under your influence. You CANNOT change him. You CANNOT make him stop. You are not that powerful! HE chooses to pick up his drink every time, not you. This is undoubtedly the hardest thing to accept: the fact that we, the spouse/partner/friend of the addict have absolutely no control over that person. The best thing we can do is DETACH and focus on ourselves.

I know you love the "sober him", but please realize that he is both the "sober him" and the "drunk abusive him", all rolled into one. Do you love this person completely, loving husband and drunk abusive husband?

I am really concerned for your safety and the safety of your child. If you husband is capable of hurting you, then he is capable of hurting his son. Have you considered calling the National Domestic Violence hotline for support and advice?
1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
It's free! Please consider calling or checking out the website.

You asked:
How can I love someone who tells me how disgusting I am, and how I'm the biggest **** he's ever met? How can I want to be with him??
As much as your husband is addicted to alcohol, you are "addicted" to him. He is your drug. I would highly recommend reading "Codependent No More", an eye-opening read.

Please keep posting as much as you want. We're here.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome.
Please continue to protect and your child from somone potentially violent.

How do you rectify the two sides of your husband? How do any of us? Painfully. By accepting they ARE both.

It is NEVER NEVER NEVER okay for anyone to abuse you at anytime. NEVER. So no matter how good and golden and kind and handsome and funny and complimentary or whatever they are, it means nothing if they treat you like dirt (even if the dirt is only sometimes).

You deserve love and honor and respect.
You deserve love and honor and respect. (did you get it the second time?)
You deserve love and honor and respect. (believe it yet?)

Write it on a yellow stickie and put it somewhere you'll see it every day. Tell yourself.

The way out of this is to hold your fragile self in your arms as if you were your own child and care for her. Listen to what she wants and needs and protect her.

What I see is a person with strength that is opening her eyes. The fact that you are here shows you are growing. You are ready for change. You are ready to move toward the life you and your child deserve.
You can do it!

Stick around.
Try picking up a copy of Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.
Read the stickies at the top of the forum.

Hugs
wife
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We are all you. We haven't all been physically abused - like you have. But we are all living with the remnants of the dreams we had when we met. We have all been disappointed and cast aside for alcohol or other issues. We understand. None of us thought it was "good" or "right" to divorce. Many of us felt sorry for him (or her). Until the point came where we saw that the person who needed compassion was us and our children - not the alcoholic.

Please stick around and keep reading. We all understand you. Hugs.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You know, another thing that struck me from your post was "I was a good wife and a good girl."

Good for whom?
What is good?
What if you had slept with a bunch of men before your husband? Would that necessarily mean anything about you?

No.

I want to compliment you on your honesty and bravery in sharing such good stuff with us! We all know those feelings.

So while, part of you knows this, I will tell the other parts -

You are enough, just as you are.

The little girl in you who is trying SO HARD to be good enough, to hold it together, to make it okay...you can tell her to come sit in your lap. She can stop. She is enough.

There is a wise woman in you that doesn't need your husband or anyone else to tell you you're enough.
That wise woman can see your husband's insults and control and know it doesn't have anything to do with you and you don't need it.
The wise woman can see your husband's good side is not all he is.
The wise woman knows how strong and smart and capable you are.
The wise woman brought you here.
The wise woman is interested in growing, moving forward, getting your needs met.
The wise woman has no shame for any moment of your past because that is the GIFT that brought you to this moment and the possibility for something different.

Find her.

Hugs
wife
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The best advice already seems to have been given by those much farther along in thier recovery than I am. I just want to welcome you to SR and let you know that we are here for you. So much of your story mirrors mine and many others I have seen here.

So many of the things you ask I too have asked. It's sometimes hard to swallow but after being here at SR for almost two years asking the same questions over and over I'm finally getting it. Finally seeing that choosing what's right for me and my children will never make me the "bad guy". Keep reading and posting and you'll soon see it too.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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(()))

I am SOOO glad you and your child are safe, and not living with this on a daily basis.

Quote:
I have tried so hard to keep my family together. I don't want a divorce, I want him to change! I do everything I can to take care of him..I'm a good wife, and I was a good girl, I was never slutty like he accuses me of being. I've lost myself...I don't see my old friends, I've gained 30 pounds, I dress like an old hag. I don't even recognize who I am. I love him so much, or do I really?
are you actually me? LOL!
I'm thinking now, 10 months out of living with my husband (the alcoholic in my life, and one that I am starting the process of divorcing) that maybe I don't love him, I don't know, I know that I had (and still have although it's less strong) a powerful emotional bond to him, I'm not sure it is love, that's where I am at the moment.

Quote:
Do you know what it's like to see the one you love with their eyes vacant and hollow, with no expression on their face, and to feel so completely terrified and afraid of what they may be capable of? I can't even describe it right. It's the worst thing I've ever felt.
yes I do know what you mean, that description is very familiar, and it is terrifying.
Somehow whilst I was with him, I didn't recognise that I was often terrified, that some of my crazy behaviour wasn't being anxious or over-reacting or controlling: I was flooded with adrenalin, every cell of me scared and paralysed.
it's taken me this long to start to come to terms with the many concurrent stories that I weaved to describe our life together, the great guy that he is, the loving father that everyone loves, that people think is charming, who goes out and eulogises about how much he loves his family and wife and then comes home and terrorises me. The paranoid, accusing, angry, controlling, drunken, raging, threatening, sexually agressive, ocassionally violent man that I was afraid of yet argued with and stood up to? Love? Alcohol? Lies? Abuse? Happy family? where does it all fit in? none of it makes sense to me let alone anyone else.

I need help to gel all this into a coherent narrative of my recent past, have you considered therapy?

Quote:
How can I love someone who tells me how disgusting I am, and how I'm the biggest **** he's ever met? How can I want to be with him?? I can't even believe the things that come out of my mouth sometimes when he's drunk on the phone...tonight I was begging him not to cheat on me for spite, because once he does we can't go back. Who is this girl begging a drunk not to cheat on her?
because he's not always a monster, because you've conditioned yourself to appease him and become/appear weak in order to try and manage and avoid the worst behaviour, developed skills to keep you and your baby safe. Despite the fact that I almost always feel safe now, I still am too anxious to ask him to leave my home if he acts disrespectfully to me (I tried it once, all he did was stare at me and snear "really, do you want to go there?" and I backed straight down, made myself small and retired to the kitchen) it is taking me practice to stand up for what is right for me, I am making baby steps towards consistently acting like someone who is safe.

I haven't told my family and friends the worst of it either, initially because I wanted so much for him to change, for us to work, that I didn't want to prejudice their opinion of him if we managed to work it out (there's me taking responsibility for their feelings about him!!!) But at the moment, although I grow stronger, the silence is for me, I can't deal with their reaction, I don't want to discuss it, and explain, if they didn't beleive me or minimised my experiences, I'm not sure I would survive that. I know I could never have any contact with them again, and until I am secure in my understanding of what happened I can't risk the opinions of others.

No constructive help I'm afraid pet. just hugs and recognition of what you're going through.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Great Site TC999 -

These are some big ones I connected with and think you might too HopelessWife

Excuses Alcoholics Make:

You're not so pure yourself!
Following the adage that "the best defense is a good offense" the addict seeks to turn the tables and distract attention from himself by "attacking the attacker," i.e. the individual who attempts to point out to him the reality of his addictive behavior. Under the spur of necessity to defend their addiction as they are, most addicts possess a keen eye and a sharp tongue for the shortcomings and faults of others - even as they deny or are indifferent to those of themselves. Thus the addict is often almost demonically astute at exploiting the vulnerabilities and Achilles Heels of those who, wittingly or unwittingly, threaten the continuance of his addiction.

It will never, ever happen again!
Following an unusually painful or embarrassing episode caused by his addiction the remorseful, frequently tearful addict promises those he has harmed that nothing, absolutely nothing could ever cause him to repeat such behavior. He may take the lead in excoriating and flagellating himself for his unpardonable sin as a demonstration of penance and a reassurance to those he has harmed or offended. Almost always effective in allaying anxiety and soothing hurt feelings on the first occasion of use, this defense rapidly loses effectiveness with repeated use as those whom it is intended to reassure become, usually with good reason, increasingly skeptical.

Look at all I have done for you! or This is the thanks I get!
Another "guilt trip" designed to disarm or deflect criticism of addictive behavior. References to the hard work, long hours, job stress and material status of the family are common attempts to win sympathy and understanding for behavior that has become harmful to the addict and others.

I'll handle it myself!
Another nearly universal defense. The addict finally acknowledges and even believes that he has a significant problem but is adamant that he can and will deal with it by himself rather than seeking any kind of professional or support group help. Because he does not yet understand the nature of addiction he supposes that recovery is merely a matter of will power, hence that it is superfluous or even a disgrace to ask for help from others for what he ought to be able to do by himself.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm sorry that this response is going to be curt, but I'm walking out the door....

I work on the hotline at my city's women's shelter so I know a little about abuse, and yes, you are the victim of emtional and physical abuse...and I am very sorry.

I also was in a relationship much like you are describing, so I have experience on that level too.

I was married to him for 16 years and the abuse never got better, only worse. After we divorced he emotionally abused the kids since I wasn't around. 90% of the time he was the sweetest, most caring father, hard-working and responsible. The other 10% he was a monster. He is still in denial that he's an alcoholic. He's lost both his children now, too.

But what I want to say is this: Abuse is not a result of his drinking. The two problems are independent of each other. If he were to quit drinking tomorrow, he would continue to emotionally abuse you unless he were to get treatment for that as well. So, don't delude yourself waiting for the day that he gets sober and thinking that will make everything all better. It won't.

I highly suggest that you read: Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men and seek the help of a domestic abuse hotline.

(((Hugs)))
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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definitely read that book
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Another thing to think about is "loving his potential". Are you in love with him EXACTLY how he is today, now. Or are you in love with what he COULD be like if he changed?

If you're waiting for him to change then you're life is going to be one long disappointment, wasted on waiting for someone else to POSSIBLY change and make you happy.

What if he doesn't EVER change? You could wait your whole life and it might never happen and you don't get to find out it will never happen until you're there.

One big thing I've learnt from this site that has helped me alot is detachment. Learning to make yourself happy, not depending on him, not letting him control your emotions...just getting on with it, making my own decisions and not depending on another....letting go. You CAN'T change him, you're wasting your energy, your tears, your pleading, it won't work.

What will work is educating yourself about alcoholism and looking after yourself, putting yourself first.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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One of the most important things I've learned lately about the alcoholic in my life is that I thought all along I was in a relationship with a person who drinks too much, when really I've been in a relationship with the addictive process itself. I read this at Original Papers, where there is a lot more helpful information.

If you can separate your feelings about your AH into two definite sets: 1) Who you want him to be, and 2) What his addiction really makes him be, then you can get a long way to being realistic about your future with him.

Good for you posting on this forum! There are a lot of very smart, experienced people here.
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Do you know what it's like to see the one you love with their eyes vacant and hollow, with no expression on their face, and to feel so completely terrified and afraid of what they may be capable of? How can I love someone who tells me how disgusting I am, and how I'm the biggest **** he's ever met?

Oh yes. I know. I think most of us do. Maybe we have experienced it on different levels to different degrees. Oh, I've had by far worse said to me that you described here. And finally I waited until he was sober (oh THAT was a tough one!!) And when he apologized and tried to smooth everything over I was standing eye to eye with him and with the sweetest demeanor said: You've made it perfectly clear how undesirable and disgusting I am and I wouldn't DREAM of you spending another minute with me since I am so clearly unworthy. Good Bye.

You're being emotionally, verbally and psychologically abused. Do you have a church or a close friend you trust to confide in and obtain objective advice to plan your safety hatch?
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Dear HW

So glad you found us. Your post made me sad for you. You are not hopeless. You are not alone . You broke the silence . You are starting to focus on YOU . He is a manipulating abusive alcoholic and only he can change it. You are going to move forward and start making choices that will benefit you. It may feel uncomfortable at first , but you will learn to love yourself. And you deserve all the love you can give yourself.

Dont go down the tubes for and with a partner who does not respect you (or himself!) Find ways to be good to yourself - it will help him in the long run as he needs boundaries to recover. I only said the last sentence ,because I was so addicted to my STBXAH that that was what motivated me at the beginning of my recovery.

You do deserve a way out of this mess! You are not alone.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Dear HW -

Oh my goodness yes, most of us have been exactly where you are. And I am one of those who includes being abused in my marriage. One of the things I've had to realize is that the alcoholic and/or drug user and/or abuser rarely "gets better". In fact, they almost always get progressively worse. We try, in the beginning, to reason with them, try to make them see what their abusive behavior is doing to them and to us. It is so clear to us. But logic and reason don't work with our abusers (alcohol/drug/violence). Rather, they justify, blame anyone but themselves, further self-medicate to squash any guilt they might have (which isn't much).

With my STBXAH (soon to be ex alcoholic husband), I was looking for a dream man and thought he was it. Trying to distinguish the dream from reality is incredibly difficult, but it can be done.

And as several here have said, once you make the break from the abuse, and start to heal and grow, the end result is an exponentially much better life for yourself, your child, and your future.

HUGS to you HW! Stick around, there is an endless supply of hope and help on this wonderful Forum.
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