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Old 07-15-2017, 08:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why are alcoholics so angry??


I am going above and beyond for AH right now. I pretty much have the kids 100% of the time. I'm doing everything with the divorce which he has agreed he wants also. I still manage all of our shared assets. Yet he is still constantly angry. Everyone says this is because he is "sad and hurting". If I were sad and hurting I would try to do something to make it better. Him being angry makes everything worse. I just don't understand and I don't know how to deal.

I know the themes on this board is to seperate myself from him completely. I have kids age 5 and 2 so that's not going to happen right away. I will be actively coparenting with him to make this as seemless as possible for kids. Like we are taking the kids camping this week together. Not ideal, but I will be grinning and bearing it for them.

Is my best approach handling his anger just to be sweet as a button 100% of the time? Wondering what some of you recovered alcoholics think. And hoping someone can explain why if someone is truly sad, why are they a d-bag and seemingly intentionally making things worse???
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Detaching from his moods -- whatever they are -- is in your best interests since you are not able to go no contact with him completely.

Hurting people hurt people. Best explanation I can give. It's why it is important to remember that we are responsible for our own feelings and what we do with them.

Wanting to feel better and have a more positive outlook is something healthy people do. Addiction isn't healthy. Neither is codependence, but codependence sometimes feels more noble or self-sacrificng. It's still unhealthy.

Now, I can understand not being able to discontinue contact because of the kids. But why the camping trip together? Why put yourself in a position to have to squash your very valid feelings? Why the pretense that everything between you is fine?
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, you have a lot on your plate! You are not in charge of his feelings, but one guess...he's still drinking. If so, that brings with it a whole army of physical symptoms, feelings, anxieties and responsibilities he knows he's messing up especially if his family is coming apart. Is he good/safe with the children? Camping together is pretty intense. Good luck, and I hope you can enjoy!
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Detaching from his moods -- whatever they are -- is in your best interests since you are not able to go no contact with him completely.

Hurting people hurt people. Best explanation I can give. It's why it is important to remember that we are responsible for our own feelings and what we do with them.

Wanting to feel better and have a more positive outlook is something healthy people do. Addiction isn't healthy. Neither is codependence, but codependence sometimes feels more noble or self-sacrificng. It's still unhealthy.

Now, I can understand not being able to discontinue contact because of the kids. But why the camping trip together? Why put yourself in a position to have to squash your very valid feelings? Why the pretense that everything between you is fine?
We had these trips planned since January and I'm being stubborn. The kids live camping so I want them to still have these experiences. I have this trip and 2 more small ones planned this year already that I plan on doing. Nothing new will be planned for us as a group. Ultimately, the idea of camping by myself with 2 young kids sounded terrible also (lots of work). So either way has down sides.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, you have a lot on your plate! You are not in charge of his feelings, but one guess...he's still drinking. If so, that brings with it a whole army of physical symptoms, feelings, anxieties and responsibilities he knows he's messing up especially if his family is coming apart. Is he good/safe with the children? Camping together is pretty intense. Good luck, and I hope you can enjoy!
He's for sure still drinking and no, not safe with kids. See my most recent posts for details 😭. But ultimately if I'm there also, we will be safe. His parents are coming later in the week so I plan on leaving kids with him while they are there. That is the extent he gets them right now....supervised essentially.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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From my experience;

I was angry because I was filled with self-pity. There wasn't anything that anyone could do to help me because, even when they did, it was never enough.

I looked outside myself for everything and nothing and no one lived up to my unrealistic expectations.

I was all about "poor me, no one has it as tough as I do, no one understands me." I believed everyone had it easy except me.

I have been sober for 2 1/2 years now, and the clarity with which I view my life now did not come quickly. It has been a process.


I have learned to rely on myself, to trust myself, to do for myself. I, and only I, am responsible for myself, for my happiness, for my growth, for my well-being. None of that comes from other people, it is in me to find.

My AH continues to drink daily and, although he is not abusive or outwardly angry, I realize that his emotional capability is limited, as was mine, when I was still actively drinking.

I still have moments of frustration with my AH, until I remind myself where he is. He is living in active alcoholism and life from underneath the haze of active alcoholism is very small and very "all about me". He isn't emotionally available or capable. He can't access that for himself so there is no way for him to show up for me.

I hope this helps a little bit, I just wanted to throw a few things out there.

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Old 07-15-2017, 09:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Detaching from his moods -- whatever they are -- is in your best interests since you are not able to go no contact with him completely.

Hurting people hurt people. Best explanation I can give. It's why it is important to remember that we are responsible for our own feelings and what we do with them.

Wanting to feel better and have a more positive outlook is something healthy people do. Addiction isn't healthy. Neither is codependence, but codependence sometimes feels more noble or self-sacrificng. It's still unhealthy.
Sparkle these words are helpful! I do need to detach from his moods and behavior. I'm a sensitive person and generally highly impacted by others moods, so it's hard, but I guess no time better to practice like the present.

Hurting people hurt people seems to be accurate, I just don't understand it.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi, batchel.
I think your best bet is to detach as much as possible, given the current situation.
It will become easier in time as you define in your head what is acceptable and appropriate regarding the soon to be ex.
I forget. Are you able to get to Al-Anon meetings?
I found contact with people there very helpful for my clarity and serenity.
Assume you are going camping "for the kids?"
Or are you concerned about something else?
As time goes on and, hopefully, you and the ex can work out a co-parenting situation, you should be able to do less and less of this.
I don't know why your ex is angry.
Please keep yourself, and the kids, of course, safe.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just saw your other posts.
I'm up to speed now.
Good luck.
I dislike camping, too. It's a lot of work and not much fun for me.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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"....can explain why if someone is truly sad, why are they a d-bag and seemingly intentionally making things worse???"

personally i wasnt angry because i was sad. i was angry because things didnt go my way,soooooo king baby here would throw a self pity induced temper tantrum.
best for people to have just stayed away from me and NOT engage in any way.
best for THEM.


seems camping with soemone that could very well be polluted with alcohol and an angry SOB is gonna be a lot of work.
ever see a drunk put up a tent? cook over a campfire?
charcoal burgers.yummy
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I also agree with Rose that an active drinker has stunted emotional capability.
Anger may be all he can manage right now.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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batchel....This article might explain some of the workings of the alcoholic mind.....if you are interested...
LOL....I have an idea that your question is really just rhetorical, though....
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by batchel9 View Post
Hurting people hurt people seems to be accurate, I just don't understand it.
At some point, I decided to stop needing to understand something before I could accept it. Because until I accepted it, I was not able to account for it in my decision-making. That's to say, it stopped mattering WHY my XABF acted selfishly and impulsively; it only mattered that he DID, and that THAT was the behavior I could count on.

I get about being stubborn re: the camping trips. But your ex seems to be deteriorating. Ultimately, your kids are 5 and 2, and they would get over it if you decided NOT to put yourself (and them, and your soon-to-be-ex) in an incredibly uncomfortable position. They wouldn't like it, but you're the parent, and you get to decide what's best for them in the long run. You have to consider if it is worth it for them to spend time with two people who can't stand each other -- and one of them not even pretending otherwise. The sooner they can come to accept the changes that are happening in their lives because their parents are divorcing, the sooner you all can begin to deal with the consequences of that.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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batchel....I divorced my children's dad while they were still young....2,3, and 5yr. old.
I took my kids on camping trips and trips to the beach, etc.
Their dad was too disagreeable for us to do activities, together, with the kids.
Sooo...I invited other adults along with us for the trip....or, sometimes, my sister....
We always had fun!
I think you will come to realize that you will have to lower the bar on what you expect from him.... and establish new patterns as a single parent.
You might want to establish connections with other single parents, and do things with them and their kids....There are lots of such groups around, like that, these days...lol---google, google, google....
the reality was that I probably did more stuff with my kids,,,even as a working mother with a limited income (at that time), than parents that were still a couple....Who knew?
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm just putting this out there from my own, unhealthy behaviors. Very similar to you, I handled all the household chores, bills, kids etc. BUT :

I kept planning trips with my AH & the kids because I was too scared to travel alone and I didn't have confidence that I was fun enough. For me, it wasn't until I moved outside of my comfort zone that I started to grow as a person.

Plenty of tears from me along the way when I'd be in a strange place without him. I still battle anxiety about it but it doesn't keep me home anymore (or inviting him along).
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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it sounds almost as if you are trying to PROTECT him from any of the divorce consequences. you have relieved him of ANY responsibility and are still acting as if you are married.

your kids are 5 and 2. they won't remember if they went on this one camping trip. unless while at said campsite they drunken father goes into a rage, or the grandparents aren't watching closely and someone falls IN to the camp fire, or the lake, or wanders off. i think you need to dig deep - who are you REALLY doing this for?
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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He may be angry because he's finally feeling the consequences of his drinking - his marriage is over and he's being "abandoned" by you. My ex became even angrier and more vindictive during the divorce process, which I didn't understand for a while - I thought "this is what you wanted - you made it clear you don't like being married to me, so why all the bellowing and snorting when you're finally getting unmarried?". It was explained to me that abandonment fears are not logical - even though ex had spent years telling me how unimportant and insignificant I was, he was still angry (and a bit frightened) when I changed things by moving out.

For this weekend, in similar situations one thing that helped me was visualization exercises - can you imagine your ex as a tree? Just a big tall thing with branches that sometimes blow in the wind and sometimes branches fall off (or acorns, pinecones, whatever). A tree has no inner life or emotions, so there's no point wondering "What is the tree feeling that is causing its acorns to fall off? Is the tree upset and that's why its leaves are changing color?". You can't "understand" a tree because there's nothing to understand.

I'm not saying your ex is like a tree in that he has no inner life, but if you treat him as if he was like a tree and just go about your business and let him do whatever he's going to do without engaging, you may have more inner peace.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My anger, was all about me. I hated myself, and booze loosened my tongue so I would kick the dog.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hi, batchel.

I think anger is much easier than other emotions. Sadness feels bad; fear and loneliness feel bad; but anger feels pretty darn good sometimes. Anger functions like a shield, protecting us when we don't want to feel or aren't ready to feel other emotions.

For example, when I first left my AXBF, I didn't cry. I didn't miss him, and I sure as hell didn't feel sad. Every time I spoke with him, I felt instantly incensed. It was only about a month later that I felt sad for the first time. It was very startling--and boy did it throw me for a loop. I even questioned (briefly) the decision to end our relationship, but by that point, I knew I had made the right decision. If I had felt sad sooner, things might have been different. In a way, anger was a substitute for the sadness I wasn't yet strong enough to feel. And anger is a part of the grieving process.

I can see how as long as your husband feels angry and blames you, he doesn't have to take responsibility. His anger is shielding him too, but in a more self-serving kind of way.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree with other posters- you are placing yourself in a position
to be a target for his anger. How can this be enjoyable for you
& the kids?

I understand wanting to harmoniously coparent, but that
should never require you to be a martyr.
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