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My deteriorating marriage...

Old 07-27-2010, 02:25 PM
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My deteriorating marriage...

Hello,

Since August last year I have become emotionally divorced from my H.

At that time I told him I was leaving after I found a gambling ticket in his jeans (he said he wasn't gambling anymore). After bawling his eyes out for a while and making what I consider vague suicide threats, he came into my room and said he would get gambling counselling (second attempt). I have threatened to leave several times over the years after a few gambling binges he has had over the years (the first one took place on our *honeymoon* the year after the wedding), and I convinced myself I needed to leave this time. But I felt pressured to make a decision so I stayed. I said I'd give him 6 months.

Since his counselling, he hasn't gambled. But I think the trust has been pretty much destroyed. I'm not plugged into this relationship, I think I have detached almost to the point of being divorced from him. I don't speak to him all that much, not getting involved much in his life or much that he says, putting a lot of my focus on our two children instead. This makes him upset. If I wasn't afraid to leave I would tell him the truth (which he really kind of knows anyway), but I'm not ready to do so yet, so I have to keep stalling the issue. His mother is also a huge part of our lives (another big problem and I could write another huge post on that) and I've detached from her in a big way also. She complained to my husband last night that she feels totally cut out of our family. To me he said "I'm not as upset about that as I am about us".

His drinking has also been a problem over the years. I've threatened to leave in the past for that too. I remember when I booked us in for marriage counselling almost 10 years ago his drinking and the gambling were big issues for me. He would go out with his friends, and the next day our plans to do something together would often be cancelled because of his hangover. Over the years I've learned not to bother asking him to do anything (ie social occasion) I'd like to do because he would often sabotage it in ways like this. When I'd plan for us to do something romantic he would call me a creature of habit (I like to revisit places we enjoyed in the past) or sentimental, which killed our romance long ago. (Sorry, I'm digressing.)

I wouldn't call him an alcoholic but he exhibits a *lot* of alarming behaviours I've seen described over and over again in the threads here. Asking him to cut down he will do it once or twice but after that there will be some kind of creative accounting going on, whether it's drinking on the way home from work, and lately, finding empty beer bottles in the garbage. It's like he will always find a loophole. He would often bring a bottle of wine home and drink 3 glasses (his are always filled to the top) but nowadays it's the whole bottle and I will find two beer bottles in the garbage. That happens about 3 times a week. (The hidden beer bottles thing started almost immediately after I had a talk with him a couple of months ago about not being sure if I can trust him in regard to his drinking. I told him to drink as much as he likes but be honest and drink it at home where I can see what's going on.) He will still come home from work and he has been drinking. He still meets friends after work for a drink. He has work functions almost every week where there's alcohol being served. He told me he will never be a teetotaller, even though he has depression/anxiety/panic disorder and on heavy medication and is constantly on a merry-go-round where he drinks too much, it affects his meds, he gets depression and wonders why, yet everyone else can see it clearly, and it affects the whole family. His weight is also ballooning and he blames everything else but alcohol. In about October last year we went to a wedding of one of his friends and he proceeded to get blind drunk, making a fool of himself and passing out in his chair. When he woke up he grabbed his glass and poured himself at least a triple scotch. In a couple of days he was crying to me and saying he wanted to harm himself. I at that point was tired of dealing with this yet again and called a mental health crisis team who he saw that day. He came back and told me he was booked in for alcohol counselling. His first session was promising. They had agreed that he would abstain for one month, and if he handled it to do it for another month, and so on so that after six months he would see if he can enjoy just one drink at a time. The *very next week* he told me he was having a few drinks after work with friends.

I am no angel myself. I deal with all this by spending all my time on the internet, and eating too much. I have started seeing a counsellor but she has no experience with addictions, it has ended up being more for issues with myself, like parenting... I have neglected my children in the past (husband doesn't know about this)... I think I have often taken this out on the kids. Also my own family are self-absorbed and no emotional support whatsoever.

So here I am today, still here, afraid to go because I don't want to upset my husband, especially with his mental health issues; thinking about how long we have been together (almost 20 years) and all the "history" we have; that he is a kind and gentle guy most of the time; he works in a very stressful job for us (though I'm totally uninterested in money); afraid I will make a mistake by breaking up; splitting up the family. The kids both start school next year, I'm afraid it will affect their education if I leave now or in the next 6 months. The family health insurance kicks in in February next year so I can have some much-needed medical procedures. So many excuses not to go. I think I might be codependent: addicted to him.

Thank you for reading, sorry for the length, I wanted to get it off my chest, was hoping for some ES&H. I don't believe in God but I've been doing a bit of praying lately, asking for courage and insight from somewhere.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:19 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

You will find loads of information and support for yourself here. I always find wisdom in the permanent (sticky) posts at the top of this forum. Some of our stories are there also.

Alanon Meetings are free and offer face-to-face support. I enjoy the feeling of belonging and not feeling alone while living with someone else's active addiction.

Please make yourself at home here by reading and posting as much as needed. We are here to support you.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:15 PM
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Hi subjugated, and welcome to SR.

I am sorry for your pain, I truly am. I have no personal experience with compulsive gambling in my family, but my youngest daughter is involved with an alcoholic who has compulsive gambling, addiction, and alcoholism in his family. His two brothers wiped out his mother's savings while gambling, and the youngest one, also an addict, is currently incarcerated on felony drug charges. I see the pain in that lady's eyes.

As was already suggested, Alanon is a great place to find healing for yourself. It has saved my life.

Also get your hands on a copy of the book "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. I'm sure they have used copies on amazon.com for a fair price. It was a real eye opener for me. She has a series of books on codependency.

I hope you continue to post, and know you are among friends.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:23 PM
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I can't bring myself to call you "subjugated". You are a lot stronger than you think.

I second the suggestion of Al-Anon--it saved my sanity when my second alcoholic husband went back to drinking himself to death.

You can get yourself some peace and sanity. Once your mind has cleared, you will be in a better place, mentally and emotionally, to make decisions about your future--with or without your husband.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:50 AM
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welcome subjugated-

i'll second the advice to educate yourself on co-dependency. also, perhaps take a look at the 12 steps of alanon. recovery is about YOU. you sound ready for a change!

if that counselor isn't helping, then consider getting a different one.

it's understandable how you have shut down emotionally. i do understand how we numb ourselves whilst living with an addict. it's a defense mechanism. however, what about a life where you don't have to shut down and tune out?

when i began therapy, i really wanted to discuss what xABF was doing. i was surprised when my therapist really wasn't interested in this at all. she was interested in ME and always steered the session away from what he was doing. a year later, i get it!

recovery is hard work, but it's worth it.

ready for a change?

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Old 07-28-2010, 07:07 AM
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Hi subjugated. Welcome to SR.

(I really hope that in time, you change your screen name...I did, and it was very liberating!).

Reading your post felt like reading one of my diary entries from when I was married to my XAH. I did the same things you did: bargaining, reasoning, threatening, attempting to control the drinking, pleading, raging. My life was a total rollercoaster.

I hope you can see that what you've been doing so far hasn't worked. This is where the 3 C's of addiction (whether to drink or to gambling or drugs) come in handy:
You didn't CAUSE it
You can't CURE it
You can't CONTROL it.

From reading your post, it seems you're already detached but you also seem terribly unhappy. I know you're concerned about "breaking up the family", but have you considered that due to your H's drinking/gambling, it's already broken? Your children already live with two very unhappy parents. Don't they deserve at least ONE happy and healthy parent? And don't *you* deserve to live in a peaceful, sane home?

There's honestly no perfect time to leave. It's when you are ready. I would however encourage you to consider what effect your current family life is having on your young children.

I too agonized about not giving my DD an intact family. I felt guilty that I'd be the one walking out...my XAH would never leave, no matter how unhappy he felt. He would want to continue being the victim. Eventually though, it dawned on me to imagine my DD, grown up, living the life I was living with an addicted and abusive husband. I realized that everyday, I was modelling an unhealthy relationship for her and she'd grow up knowing nothing else. That's honestly what pushed me to leave.

Keep reading and posting...SR is a great place to be!
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Old 07-28-2010, 07:17 AM
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It is better to come from a broken home than to live in one. Noday hits the nail on the head. Your kids do deserve better and so do you. You can't help your husband, but you can help yourself and your children.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:43 AM
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Welcome, subjugated.

Some other posters have mentioned Al Anon--I second that. It has helped me a great deal.

If I were in your place, I'd look for a counselor who does have experience with addictions.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:52 AM
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Thank you so much everyone

I hope it wasn't too much of an eyestrain to read, I started rambling in the 4th paragraph LOL

I would really love to start going to Alanon. I'm almost excited at the prospect! Can you bring kids along? Probably not, huh... probably not what they should be listening to either...

I actually *have* read Melody Beattie's book, quite a few years ago. I did explore the idea that I might be that way but didn't quite recognise myself in the pages. I never considered that my H might be an AH. (And that many of you are suggesting that this may be so, made the hairs stand up on my neck, I tell you...) Will re-read, for sure.

The more I think about it the more I believe MIL may be codependent on my husband and he on her; it feels very much like some warped triangle between the three of us. This is just a mess. Sooooo tired of trying to figure all of this out in my head. I think I'm reaching the answers though... very slowly...

At my sons' 5th birthday party a few months ago she wanted to go to the bottle shop and buy some champagne to celebrate. I couldn't believe it; I was kind of disgusted. My husband was ready to go along with it also, until I quietly mentioned that I thought it was inappropriate. She once brought over a bottle of vermouth for us (not that we asked for it - she's always bringing unwanted junk over here - but, again, that's another story)... thankfully H cannot drink it due to his meds. The ironic thing is that she and H's father divorced because of his drinking/gambling ways.

I also agree, as helpful as my current counsellor has been, I think I may need to fast-track to an addiction counsellor. We had already gotten someone lined up for when I had finished with the personal counsellor.
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:57 AM
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Good luck on your Path..I am not going to ramble on for once but I would like to suggest another book. It is a daily meditation book also by Melody Beattie called the Language of Letting Go. Its helped me tremendously..
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:16 AM
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When I was young I got into a serious relationship with a toxic guy who had issues with drugs/ alcohol and used to threaten to kill himself if I even tried to prematurely end a telephone call with him. He wasn't really going to do it - it was all about control. I have learned that this is not a good reason to stay in a relationship, to prevent someone from suicide! That's a huge pressure and no one has the right to do that to you.

I am still with my AH and we're trying to work on things. I did ask him to leave when I finally started Al Anon and did some recovery myself and learned that he was overstepping my boundaries. He got sober and we're together, but we're struggling with relapse now. I understand your thoughts on having it good in other ways, I think of those things too, but I remember Dr. Phil saying once that it's better to come from a broken home than to be from a broken home. Like some of the other posters said, 2 unhealthy parents versus one healthy one. As I learn more about my health and recovery, I tolerate less of his destructive behaviours and non-recovery. Eventually the scales may tip that despite the good things that we have, they will be trumped by the negative things which are harder to see, like the effect on mine and my daughters sanity. Go to Al Anon, read the literature, get informed. All these things will help you start putting one foot in front of the other, and before you know it you will be walking on a path where these agonizing questions and doubts will start dispelling and you will start getting clarity on what you need to do.
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