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-   -   When do I walk away? (https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-alcoholics/206242-when-do-i-walk-away.html)

HisChild 08-01-2010 12:18 PM

When do I walk away?
 
My husband is an alcoholic. We have 4 beautiful children and at the moment I am stuck. He has done rehab and assured me each time was the last time. I have never been afraid of him until now. He struggles with depression and would usually just get drunk and go to bed. He drinks from morning to night. A week ago he became aggressive with me in front of our oldest son and I chose to call the police. I filed charges against him and he spent the night in jail. I truly thought that this would be his rock bottom but he left jail and drank some more. That is why he didn't seek medical attention for a cut he received while drunk. He is now in the hospital and might lose his arm from the infection. I know that I won't let him come home after leaving the hospital but how long do I stay. When is it time to file for divorce? My small children and the fear of raising them alone is what has kept me here. I feel so alone and could use the thoughts of others who have been in this situation and is there hope for his recovery or am I just spinning my wheels.

suki44883 08-01-2010 12:23 PM

When do you walk away? Now sounds like a good time. You don't have to put up with physical aggression. You children certainly do not need to be exposed to that. Fear of the unknown is not any reason to stay in such a situation. Do you work? Do you have family nearby? Do you have friends who could help you? Do you have a church family that could help? There are many, many ways out. A call to the domestic violence hotline would be a huge help. You don't have to do anything other than talk to them. They can direct you to places where you can get help for yourself and your children.

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this awful situation. You cannot control his drinking or anything else, but you can control your own and your children's situation. Your husband's recovery (or lack of) is his own. You being there makes not one iota of difference. It just keeps you and your children in the middle of the chaos. Please, make the call.

LexieCat 08-01-2010 12:31 PM

I worked in the domestic violence field for many years, and physical violence is NEVER acceptable--and even aggression is violence. You did exactly the right thing by calling the police.

I can guarantee you he will be remorseful and make more promises. Unless he gets help (with the alcohol AND the violence--they are related but separate issues), you can expect this to continue, only worse.

You have a window of safety with him in the hospital. Whether you file for divorce is not a decision you need to make immediately, but you CAN insist that he not live with you until you are satisfied it is completely safe.

My strong suggestion would be a domestic violence restraining order. Suki is right, this is scary and damaging to your children. Kids are better off with one parent who financially struggles than two parents in a violent home.

Please take care of yourself and the kids.

Freedom1990 08-01-2010 01:31 PM

Welcome to SR, HisChild. :)

I am a survivor of domestic abuse. My now 32 year old daughter spent 5 years of her early life living in a home with alcoholics/addicts, and violence.

She is an active addict today, and also seeks out unhealthy relationships with addicts/alcoholics.

Your husband has been through rehab. He has the tools for recovery.

He has made the conscious choice to return to active alcoholism.

The good news is you can find recovery for yourself from the wounds of living with an active alcoholic, and you can be an emotionally healthy parent for your children.

They have no voice, and it's wonderful you realize he cannot come back home. Protect those children like the precious beings that they are.

Please contact your nearest domestic violence center, and see if you can talk to a counselor.

Get your hands on a copy of the book "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. "Women Who Love Too Much" by Robin Norwood is also a good read.

Find some local Alanon meetings and start attending. There you will find the face-to-face support that is so invaluable in recovery. They will understand there, I promise.

I know how scary it is to think of being a single parent in life, but it is possible, and it doesn't have to be scary.

I raised two daughters as a single parent. My recovery support circle has been there with me every step of the way. One of my first sponsors was in the room with me when I delivered my second daughter. :)

Again, welcome to SR. I hope you continue to post, and know that you are among friends. :hug:

Learn2Live 08-01-2010 01:34 PM

I do not have any answers for you HisChild but I do want to offer my support. I hope you will give Al-Anon a try. Take good care of yourself.

KerBearz 08-01-2010 03:04 PM

I have been in a place very similar to the one you describe and I'll tell you my experience with it. I chose to stay with him and believe him and try to help him each and every time he relapsed and went through treatment or detox. I was simply too frightened to leave (for his sake and for mine). I thought my boys needed to be raised in a home with 2 parents ~ and they were ~ except I was doing the job of both parents. I became "supermom" and did everything within my power to raise my children in a healthy home. My husband continued to drink and get sicker and sicker. To make a long story (22 years!) short... I believe it would have been much, much healthier to have ended this marriage many years ago. There is never a "good time" to do this... there is never enough money or the holidays are coming, etc. I look back with regret for all the time I lost. We are still married, but he is currently in jail. Great role model, huh? I know this is a tough decision to make! Hugs to you.

Pelican 08-01-2010 03:28 PM


Originally Posted by HisChild (Post 2667872)
He struggles with depression and would usually just get drunk and go to bed. He drinks from morning to night.

When is it time to file for divorce? My small children and the fear of raising them alone is what has kept me here. I feel so alone and could use the thoughts of others who have been in this situation and is there hope for his recovery or am I just spinning my wheels.

Welcome to the SR family!

You will find lots of support and information here. Please make yourself at home.

I am a single mom with two teens in my home. I left my active alcoholic husband because I wanted a better life for myself and my children. I had been a SAHM and went back to work after staying home 12 years. I found support here and through Alanon meetings. I am working on my recovery with the assistance of self-help books.

I am also a recovering alcoholic.

I was diagnosed with depression in my early 20's. I know that my alcoholism kept my depression alive. Alcohol is a depressant. IMHO, your AH (alcoholic husband) will not be able to treat his depression until he treats his alcoholism.

It is his addiction and he needs to find the solution. I learned about the three C's of addiction here at SR. They are:

You did not cause the alcoholism
You can not control the alcoholism
You will not cure the alcoholism

The only thing (life) you can control is YOU. You can take care of yourself and your children. They need you to protect them and love them.

We are here to support you.

RollTide 08-01-2010 04:03 PM

"My small children and the fear of raising them alone is what has kept me here."

If he drinks from morning to night you ARE raising them alone.

I don't have children so my situation is different. After years of trying everything I had to make my marriage to my XAH work I finally had to file for divorce in order to survive. Now I'm six months past the divorce and thankful that I finally took the step that I shoud have taken years ago. Life is getting better every day.

Good luck to you.

letgoofmyheart 08-01-2010 04:16 PM

When Do I Walk Away?? Don’t walk away.. Run! NOW! Or you will have 4 beautiful children on the outside but on the inside 4 hurricane’s damaged forever. Who is more important here? You? Their Alcoholic father? Or 4 beautiful children? If you think your afraid, that is nothing compared to what your babies are going thru. You are an example for them, teaching them that mother’s are bundle’s of nerves that leave a heavy vibe of unhappiness in every room you enter, how sad those beautiful babies never know what mood you are in… When they do something cute, they know if your mood is fake or real, those beautiful ones are a whole lot smarter than adults give them credit for. Are you teaching them men are suppose to treat women like crap? So now, I will tell you…Yes, it is tough with 4 babies, he’s been away in jail and in the hospital so how did you make it for these few day’s? Does he get paid when he is out of work? Did he have a copay or deductible for the insurance that paid the hospital bill or does he have insurance? Are you the breadwinner or is he? What I’m getting at is, you are a lot more stronger than you are giving yourself credit for and it’s because you are allowing him to suck the life out of you. There are so many programs and people that will not let those babies go hungry, housing and day care and also schools that will prepare you for a job so that you can finally get out of the housing that may or may not be in a ritzy neighborhood and I would not be telling you this because I’m making it up either. Go to the Unemployment Office and ask them about the schools. Go to DHR ask for help because you want better for your children. Things won’t happen overnight but it will keep you busy until you come to your senses. Keep records of his jail and hospital and when he begs you back tell him you will pick him up when he finishes his rehab and gets a job and stays clean for one year. If he can’t do that, well that just shows how much you and the children mean to him…Actions are stronger than words, although it will crush you if he chooses another and you will want to die if the children can’t reach his heart but they will thank you as they get older and they see the man he really is, mine thank me all the time that I put them before a sick man, they love their father but have no respect for him. God gave you those beautiful babies to love and teach to walk in his light…He did not give them to you so they can be mentally abused. If you were raised this way, break the chain don’t pass it on, and give them lots of hugs and kisses, keep boyfriends away, they don’t need to meet anyone right now, always let them know they are number one. I wish you and those beautiful angels the best.

transformyself 08-01-2010 05:04 PM

Hi, welcome. What helps me the most when I'm faced with the kinds of fears and uncertainties you're describing here is to not think in absolutes.

For today, I"m going to focus on me and the kids and let my husbands higher power take care of him.

That simplifies things.

HisChild 08-01-2010 06:14 PM

Thank you so much everyone for all your words of encouragement. It is great to hear from people who have been through this and are neutral. So many people think I should "hang in there". The hard part is they remember my husband before the alcohol took hold. I married him because he was a true gentleman and a strong Christian. I never imagined we would be at this place - I guess no one ever does. I have to remember daily that it is not my job to get him sober. I am queen of trying to fix someone. I have a strong support system and an education - the problem is letting go of the dream.

MissFixit 08-01-2010 06:31 PM

Please take care of yourself. No one will do that for you.

Bucyn 08-01-2010 06:32 PM

Talk to a couple lawyers and find out about divorce issues. That will give you the information to make the best choices.

It's easier to raise children alone than with an alcoholic; everyone is happier. My sons were 3, 6 and 7 when I left their alkie dad. We lived happily without him, until I foisted an alkie stepfather on them. Left him, and they are fine. They are now 16, 18 and 20 and doing very well (the oldest had a few problems because of alkie stepfather, but those went away with alkie stepfather).

Do you have financial resources if you divorce? A job, a savings account, or does he have a job that will support you and the kids while you are getting on your feet?

Good luck to you, do your research and have more confidence in your ability to cope with the changes.

HealingWillCome 08-01-2010 06:37 PM


Originally Posted by HisChild (Post 2668141)
- the problem is letting go of the dream.

Many, if not all of us here, can say the same thing! It was the thing I grieved most after my marriage and now after XABF.

There are brighter days ahead! One step, one minute, one hour, one day at a time...the light gets brighter, and the end of the tunnel eventually starts to emerge. Take care of yourself and your precious gifts, your children! Hugs and prayers for all of you.

ItsmeAlice 08-01-2010 07:10 PM

Welcome HisChild - PLease stay and continue posting. You will find understanding and support here as I have.

Rolltide said just what I wanted to in this...

"My small children and the fear of raising them alone is what has kept me here."

If he drinks from morning to night you ARE raising them alone.



I don't have children by choice but my pets are my children and I realized all the work to tend to them what made that much harder by my XABF (ex-alcoholic boyfriend) behavior. Separated from him I have found a new confidence as a leader of my little pack.

There is always hope that your spouse will find recovery. Until that time, though, you owe it to yourself and your children to be at a safe distance. This is a progressive disease. Your fear of violence has now been realized and it just gets worse from here.

Take care,
Alice

SheCanRun 08-01-2010 07:41 PM

I left when his aggression was escalated to a new level that I'd never seen before and it scared me so bad I literally RAN from our home. Guess I lived up to my name on here huh? :) My small children heard the entire episode.

I stayed longer than I should have for the same reasons as you. When I left I didn't know where I was going. My thought was sleeping in my car is a better option than with that crazy man who says he loves me and calls himself my husband.

I've been living with a friend and her family for the past 5 months. Some days I am so frustrated that I'm still here and he's still in our house that it makes me crazy. However, I'm out and safe. I'm feeling better everyday. I'm working on my recovery everyday and I wasn't able to do that when I was there.

You will know when the time is right, and I promise that you are strong enough to do it.

nodaybut2day 08-02-2010 06:52 AM

If you care for this man, which I think you still do, then give him the DIGNITY of finding his own recovery. By "sticking it out", you are preventing him from reaching his bottom and perhaps finding his way to recovery.

Your 4 lovely children deserve a SAFE and SANE home, whether it have one parent or two. Sure, we'd all love to provide our children with a "normal" two parent home, but when that's not possible at least give them a home with one happy and healthy parent, where there's no threat of violence, no dance of madness and no fear for the alcoholic's NEXT drinking binge. They deserve this.

Please consult a lawyer ASAP and find out what your options are.

And please keep posting. SR is always open :)

coyote21 08-02-2010 08:40 AM


Originally Posted by nodaybut2day (Post 2668559)
If you care for this man, which I think you still do, then give him the DIGNITY of finding his own recovery. By "sticking it out", you are preventing him from reaching his bottom and perhaps finding his way to recovery.

Your 4 lovely children deserve a SAFE and SANE home, whether it have one parent or two. Sure, we'd all love to provide our children with a "normal" two parent home, but when that's not possible at least give them a home with one happy and healthy parent, where there's no threat of violence, no dance of madness and no fear for the alcoholic's NEXT drinking binge. They deserve this.

Please consult a lawyer ASAP and find out what your options are.

And please keep posting. SR is always open :)

A few months ago, LMC (Little Miss Coyote, 9yo TOMORROW) was lamenting about coming from a single parent home, and believe me, I get it. She said she wished she had a "normal" home with a mom and a dad.

I thought a minute and asked her how many kids at school she knew who had a mom and a dad, after a moment she said 2. My response was that SHE was living in a "normal" home. Sadly the "broken homes" out number the intact ones.

Any way, it gave her a new perspective and seemed to make her feel some better about her situation. It's been 6 months or so, and hasn't come up again.

Thanks and God bless us all,
Coyote

Bernadette 08-02-2010 09:42 AM

from letgoofmyheart: If you think your afraid, that is nothing compared to what your babies are going thru.

This is so true. So true. I lived this.

from HisChild:I am queen of trying to fix someone. I have a strong support system and an education - the problem is letting go of the dream.


Well you're in the right place then!! Welcome to SR!!

The good news is it is an adjustment of focus issue. I had to find the way of becoming Queen of Fixing Me.

It took some training (AlAnon and therapy gave me the tools) and it took practice (behavior and thoughts are often habitual and new ones have to be performed repeatedly in order to stick!), but with all the energy I was formerly devoting to fixing all the As in my life devoted to me I see there is nothing I cannot handle, figure out, survive, or surmount.

I am not especially smart or disciplined - I just had to admit that my way was not working and follow directions for a while of a better way until it became natural.

The past is gone: you are free in this moment!

Peace-
B

fourmaggie 08-02-2010 10:01 AM

gosh I can not stress AL ANON enough...I have learned so much...

NO! NO! NO! to violence....oh god! sending my prayers to you....

dollydo 08-02-2010 03:41 PM

Welcome!

I was raised in an alcoholic home. Today at 63, I still bear the scars of their abuse, both were "A's".

My only advise...children first...please don't put them through a toxic childhood, one surrounded by alcoholism.

I have come through the dark tunnel, not without many setbacks. No, I am not an alcoholic or drug addict, but, I made so many bad decisions based on what I saw in my home.

You have the opportunity to make a better life for you and your children, do it.

Make your children your first priorty, give them a chance for a bright future, the longer you stay, the slimmer their chances are. Not my rules, just how it works.

I send you hugs,

Dolly


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