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I'm really struggling

Old 12-16-2009, 08:49 AM
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I'm really struggling

here. I've known (and been with) my boyfriend for 3 years.
When I met him I didn't know he was an alcoholic, and by the time I woke up and realized it, I was already pregnant with his baby.
So, of course I had to 'stick it out' to make a family work.
Things got increasingly bad. Many bad fights, many nasty things said to me and my kids etc. Too many to post.

We lived together from February 2008 to May 2009, but tecnically broke up in January 2009. I had to stay in the home until I could afford to move out. (boy was THAT ever tough!)
He was hell to live with during that time.
I picked up my four kids, and we all moved to the city we're in now and we love it here. I love the kids' school, thier friends etc.
He moved to a new city as well, closer to here than he was before as he wanted to be closer to his son.
In June of this year, he told me he still loved me. Realized what he had done. Sought help though counselling, and decresed his drinking.
I was very skeptical of these changes, he hurt me so incredibly bad in the past. (mental anguish, not physical, although we did have a few minor physical altercations)
As we spoke more, he seemed like a changed man! He'd come over and not drink, he was attentive and loving and so happy that we were seeing each other again.
Since then, the drinking has picked up, the nasty comments are making a comeback and my fears for my future with him have resurfaced.
He wants to one day move back in together, but I told him I am not leaving this house. I told him, I'm not picking up my life again, uprooting everyone to move in with him and have everything fail again, after all we are arguing more and more frequently. I'm terrified of history repeating itself.

Now...here's my dilema.
Do I stay with him, or do I leave him?

I love him, I really truly love this man. During our good times, we laugh a lot, we have a lot of things in common, he loves my other kids, he likes my family, he truly loves me.
BUT, after he's been drinking....he says nasty things. The kids witness the things said, they see the empty beer cans start to accumulate on the counter. They say things that are now normal to them but disturb me and my boyfriend. (An example - we played a game where we had to ask the magic mirror a question, and it would give us an answer, kind of like a magic 8 ball. My oldest daughter asked "Will <my boyfriend> ever stop drinking?" He and I looked at each other. Inside I was crying. Or just recently, the girls were playing around and asking him to buy them a Webkinz toy, and my daughter piped up and said "If you do, I'll get you as much booze as you want!" Again, on the inside I crumbled)
He does silly things, and no matter how many times I ask him to stop, it still continues! Like, unbuckling my seatbelt as I'm driving. I laugh once or twice then get angry. When I laugh he assumes I'm having a good time, but when I get angry, he gets angry with me.
He's always threatening to leave my home or break up with me (when he's here) if we have an argument.
Did I post before about the hamster incident? Where I told him I wanted to get my girls a hamster for Christmas and he told me not to. He said that he wasn't going to stand by and watch my kids manipulate me while I bought thier love. He said if I did it, I'd be alone. He threatened to break up with me if I bought them a hamster.

Man, there's just so much.
I'm torn with...do I stay in hopes that he'll change? Do I stay and learn about my codependency and see what happens? But if I do....at what cost? My kids are the most importatnt things to me in this life. (i'm sure many of you can relate to that)
Do I give him an ultimatum? Do I give him a date as to which he needs to start stopping, or do I cut my loses?
From the small tidbit you read, does this seem like a terrible thing for my kids? Am I putting them at great risk if I ride this out?

I think that I'm in love with the man I know he's capable of being, but I'm not sure if I'll ever see him.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:05 AM
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Elsie: Hard Choices.. Good Luck and God Bless You!
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:06 AM
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Hey Elsie, What does it mean to "start stopping?" which was one of your boundaries in your post? Do you mean a date for him to begin controlling his drinking? He can't do that. It's not possible for him.

Try reading your post as if I or someone else here has written it...what would you tell us?

(((hugs)))
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Elsie View Post
I think that I'm in love with the man I know he's
capable of being, but I'm not sure if I'll ever see him.
You hit the nail on the head Elsie. You love his "potential" but not who he is right at this moment, both when he is sober and when he is drunk/mean/abusive.

This is from a classic reading post:
We ALL have the potential to be many things. It is WHO we ARE TODAY that needs to be acknowledged. Do you love who he is TODAY?, because that is the only person you can be absolutely sure he is willing to be and that may be who you will be trying to "love" forever."

With regards to your children, (and this is JMO), I think it is sad to think of children growing up seeing what they are seeing. My daughter is what made me leave my X-husband; I couldn't stand the idea of her growing up to think that the way he treated me and the way he behaved was a normal behavior for a man. Also, I imagined HER being an adult and being in an abusive relationship with an addict and it broke my heart. I HAD to go.

As for staying vs. leaving, you'll make that decision when you're ready. Your recent posts show that you're doing a lot of thinking and discovering lately. Give yourself some time. HP will show you the way.

As for the ultimatum...I wouldn't, but again, this is just me. An ultimatum feels too much like an attempt at controlling his behavior, when it's clear you have no control over his addiction. Focus on yourself instead. Focus on what makes you or would make you happy.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:56 AM
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What I mean is..

Originally Posted by stella27 View Post
Hey Elsie, What does it mean to "start stopping?" which was one of your boundaries in your post? Do you mean a date for him to begin controlling his drinking? He can't do that. It's not possible for him.

Try reading your post as if I or someone else here has written it...what would you tell us?

(((hugs)))
What I mean is, when he begins to stop drinking.
He's told me himself that he will not go to AA (he says it too religion based for him) and he will not go see his Dr for advice. He says he can quit on his own, or control the drinking.

I feel like I keep giving chance after chance after chance and never seeing long term results.
Then I think, well...*I* have issues, is it fair of me to ask this of him when I have issues that need taking care of? (codependency and social anxiety disorder)
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:06 AM
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Elsie

There's a whole society out there for you:
Welcome to Al-Anon and Alateen

Get to a meeting so you can interact face to face with people just like you.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:48 AM
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It only depends on what you can tolerate. Try reading my post..Living with the alcoholic by Jager72. I hope my life story helps your decision you have to make. Just remember, it is the alcohol and not who he is. But, face it, if he is not involved in any sort of help for his disease, he WILL continue to drink. So, what is your tolerance level? And also, you do not deserve his destruction. I live it and it is not easy but, I learn to tolerate the disease since I am a recovering alcoholic despite my Fiance' still drinking. Hope this helps you.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:05 PM
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He's told me himself that he will not go to AA (he says it too religion based for him) and he will not go see his Dr for advice. He says he can quit on his own, or control the drinking.

All classic signs of an alcoholic who is nowhere near ready to give up drinking.

He may never give up.

The way I make these kinds of tough decisions is I base them on the here and now today reality.

Can I accept this person just exactly the way they are today? Can I accept the influence he/she is having on my life and my children?

And when dealing with an alcoholic even though you don't want to awfulize the future- but as Shakespeare said "Past is prologue." It's only going to get worse. An alcoholic does not have the ability to control their drinking. It will be hidden, lied about, denied, but it will always always get worse until they choose recovery. And an alcoholic in recovery is whole different animal - it is a huge thing for them to go through, they really change - they don't know who they are becoming as their sober selves and we can't predict either....but I know very well the fantasy I have about the alcoholics I love who minus their drinking behavior would be just great and the best people on earth! But that's just not reality. There aren't two people in one - just the one whole person, who if they are an active alcoholic will often play 2 sides of themselves to keep us hooked into them and their nonsense. In other words - the alcoholic in recovery may bear little or no resemblance to the sober drunk.

I try to look at how much I love my partner's behavior. Does he do things I love? That are healthy and positive and that further the relationship? Is he growing as a human being or stuck on a merry-go-round?

But MORE, much more than that I need to look at myself and my own heart. Who am I? What do I want out of my one precious life? When I am taking my last breath will I have regrets about how I spent my days or regrets about how I taught my children to live or raised them? Do my goals and dreams occupy my thoughts? Or do I fill my mind with the troubles of others?

Focus on you and everything becomes pretty clear.

And if focusing on you feels strange and leaves you with a kind of blank mind - well welcome to codependence!! But fear not, there is a way out! Keep focusing on you!

peace-
b
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:29 PM
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A long-time girlfriend of an alcoholic once explained to me why she finally chose to leave the man she still felt love for. She too had four kids (two girls, two boys) and said, "By staying, I was teaching my girls to grow up to be women who are willing to suffer lives of control and abuse, and I was teaching my boys to grow up to be men who bully, abuse, and drink -- because they saw that that kind of man got rewarded in my life."

You are teaching your children what kind of adults to be, right now. You can visit the Adult Children of Alcoholics forum (right below this one) if you'd like to see how those kids turn out as adults. I'm one of them, and have never forgiven my mother for it.

Your beloved abuses you, controls you, and puts you in danger...and thinks it's funny. I find that all very disturbing, though you are probably so used to it, you can't see how terrible it is.

I hope you will investigate Al-Anon meetings and also perhaps personal counseling, to sort out what you really feel, what you really want out of life, and how to move ahead somehow. Those things saved my life.

Hugs,
GL
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