Here goes

Old 10-26-2010, 11:02 PM
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Here goes

This is my first post. I have an AH, been married for 27yrs, he has been drunk virtually every night of the marriage, drinks 10-15 beers a night.
He knows I don't like the idea, but ah, what the heck. He is a really nice fella, never violent or abusive, but does sulk at times (especially when chastised about his drinking), he also does his fair share around the house, and is intelligent with a good job.
He doesn't sound too bad, but after 27yrs, I have had an absolute gutfull. He used to have heaps of friends, but now he just sits alone, out the back and drinks and drinks and drinks. He has acknowledged in the past that he has a problem, but of course nothing is done to solve it.
I have ALWAYS been depressed about his drinking, but after an incident last year, he broke my heart (sounds corny, but true), I still find it hard to look at him, let alone anything else.
Im thinking about leaving more and more, in fact I'm getting a bit obsessive about it, one of the main obstacles for me is my home, that I have worked so hard for (I have always worked full time and pulled my weight), Im scared of losing everything, i have older kids 1 at uni and another in high school, I don't want to leave them behind, as I love them dearly, but they may not want to leave their home.
I don't want to sound overly materalistic, but its a big thing, he won't leave, I know that for a fact, but I will have to walk away with nothing, thats a big deal, cause we are just average people. There are no big bucks or settlements on the horizon.
What to do ?
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:43 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
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Get some legal advice? I'm not in AUS, but surely you can speak with a lawyer there to find out what your options are?

I tend to awfulize things in my head, the unknown things of course. I have to force myself to not worry over the things I can't change or know at the moment.

Your kids may want to live away from the drunkeness also, that's certainly possible.

And, I can say from personal experience, moving on with nothing isn't the end of the world. Honest
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:36 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

I agree with the recommendation to check with a legal counselor to find out what your legal rights are as a partner. Speaking with a lawyer helped me to stop the stinking thinking and start making a solid plan for myself.

Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed. There are sticky (permanent) posts at the top of this forum and they contain some of our stories as well as loads of wisdom.

This is a link to a sticky post. It contains steps that have helped some of us:
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:38 AM
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Honey, my blood ran cold at your post as it was so much like my problem.
My late XAH drank heavily since he served in Palestine, and for 24 years was a good worker, loving man and adored father, til alcohol caused dementia made it impossible for me to stay with him.
We went from a good social life and friends to him, sitting alone drinking til he flaked out, and I finally gave up and left him there all night and went to bed. I felt so damned guilty, then angry at what he was doing and what he made me do.

I had the money, but thank God had held of buying our own home, altho he made inroads into the bank account, til I moved the funds elsewhere, but there was no home to fight over.

Our girls were all either married or about to be, tho they were shocked and very upset, with me at first, then got to experience his behavior for themselves.

I agree totally with the girls above, in seeking legal advice asap, and clearing up any questions of you losing your equity in the home. From others in your position that I know of, every one of them either kept the home, or for those who left the home, they recieved their due share of all assets.

Please do see a solicitor as soon as you can, for your own peace of mind and to give you a base to work out what you want to do, and how to manage that.

Keep posting and reading here, and getting ideas, advice and loving support....from so many who know the mess and chaos of alcoholic problem marriages.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:33 AM
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hi and welcome-

i'm with pelican and still waters' advice to seek a legal consultation. there's a lot of experience here and oftentimes, the courts do force the AH to leave the family home.

best to get the information up-front so that you can make a solid exit plan.

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Old 10-27-2010, 06:39 AM
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Yes, I agree with the posters above, it would be good for you to learn your rights and learn what kind of settlements are customary in the courts in your locale. Divorce typically means you separate the assets, not he gets everything and you get nothing.

As for the house, it is true that women typically want to keep the house for sentimental reasons. I am not a lawyer but I would advise you to try to follow at least this rule: Do not allow your feelings and emotions to dictate your financial decisions. Try to start thinking of your marriage as primarily a financial relationship. Start thinking of yourself as a smart businessperson instead of "his wife." But don't let yourself get so hyperfocused on the money that you start to live in opposition to what are your true values. Aim for balance between the two.

Your entire post describes my Dad. I personally think 27 years is enough. My parents are married now 50 years and I can assure you, the person you are married to will only get worse. MUCH worse.

I am glad Jadmack chimed in because I know she has been through what you are going through. I agree, let your kids figure it out on their own. They will.

If you haven't gone to Al-Anon yet, I strongly suggest it. Something I learned there that has helped me immensely and seems would help you too:

Let Go and Let God.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:50 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
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Wow! thanx everyone, for kind replies. AND Still waters, I hope the kids want to come with me, they are really nice people, good company, and they make me larf a lot.
I have spent the past 3 days crying on and off, and Im not mormally a cryer, now Im left with a nagging headache (wonder why) lol.
At the moment we are not really talking, I just can't be bothered, same old, same old. He brought a case of 30 on Saturday, and only 4 left on sunday night. I came home on Monday and he was was sitting in the house watching TV, like a stool pidgeon (normally he is tucked away out the back). Of course he had polished off the last 4 beers. No surprises there.
I have never been good at confrontation, actually Im hopeless at it. I have NEVER asked or told him to give up, I have only ever said, please try to cut down ( insert giggle here ) also I have NEVER threatened to leave, I believe those threats should not be made lightly, as they loose there value.
So Im waiting for him to say what the matter with you? and im gonna let rip, its bubbling inside. Im going to tell him AA's or Over! no ifs buts or in betweens, Im done.
Im just curious, he is a chronic stuff up, so he is always trying to make up, by doing the washing , or grocery shopping, or buys me a cup cake, no job too big or small for him. As I said he is a resonably good looking, well presented, smart fella - obviously they must realise that they have a problem or they wouldn't try and seek forgiveness. Basically, what Im asking does their drinking tear them apart as much as us. I wonder if he is scared too?
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:13 PM
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Sorry that you are having to go through this. Glad you are here and posting and reading.

In my experience, when presented with an ultimatum, an alcoholic may very well go to AA. My exabf is really a sweetheart too. Smart, funny, thoughtful, and very helpful around the house. But when presented with "it's me or AA"...he went to AA, twice a day, but drank in secret.

I think it's got to be their idea. The only thing we have control over really is what we do. Take care of you, and your children. Things will start to get better for you when you do that.

Sending positive thoughts your way...
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:26 PM
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My dad'smdrinking does not appear to tear him up as much as it has torn up our family, his wife, or his kids. Honestly, I don't think he sees it or remembers what he has done. He has NO RELATIONSHIP with his children and none with his grandchildren either. He just sits there and drinks and smokes.
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:47 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
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There is something both humbling and exhilarating about having nothing. I have been there. And I am truly grateful for the experience. Those times were happy times in my life, thinking back.

When I went through my divorce from XAH, I had three little girls and enough money for a very small down payment on a house. I was scared to death trying to figure out where I could find a decent home to raise my girls in.

I turned it over to God and he answered in ways that I couldn't have imagined. He plunked us down in a house that had been on the market for two years...for sale by the guy who built it and was living in was only three years a great family neighborhood a few blocks from where I work and the girls go to school...and priced MANY THOUSANDS over what I could afford.

Thinking I would never be able to live there, I almost didn't pursue it. But one afternoon, I prayed about it, picked up the phone, called the owner, told him what I could afford, made my almost insultingly-low offer, and he said, "Sure I can do that." I could hardly respond, I was so stunned. We are still here, 11 years later.

It is scary thinking about change, and giving up what you've worked for. I have so been there! We had a nice house when we were divorced, but truthfully I was glad to get out of it and get on to something memories. New found peace and happiness.

Hugs and peace to you in your decision making.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:19 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Being Silent so I can Hear
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If alcoholics were prone to heading off to AA and fixing themselves when we told them they needed to, I don't think SR would be necessary

I do so hope that your husband wakes up to his problem and seeks help, but if he doesn't..well, then he doesn't.

I'd bet he is scared...scared of having to give up his love...the booze. Sad to say.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:31 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
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Broken hearts aren't corny..they SUCK. There may well come a point when you let go of anything (the house) that holds you back from a new life.When it gets too painful..the house, the kids, nothing will stop you .
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:43 AM
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Three short years ago that could be me standing in your shoes. I reached my breaking point and took my daughter and left... Our family home that I had so meticulously decorated and landscaped.... to a small apartment. I took nothing to that apartment that I could not carry myself. It was so peaceful, and we made it our home....

And God took care of us. In a few months we found a house to rent in a location closer to her school and friends.... It was an older house full of character and charm.... we were able to get our cat (lived w/ XAH until then), and get a puppy! And then after a couple of years I decided to buy a house..... and it was an even better house... in an even better location....

There is no way I ever thought any of this could happen. Get some legal advise, and then have faith. There are so many things possible that are beyond what you can imagine now.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:26 AM
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and so it goes--

perhaps consider getting some legal advice and understanding your options before communicating to him "AA or i'm gone"...

best to have your information first, then you will be in a position to exercise your options!

think it all the way through first and have a practical, realistic, do-able plan aleady worked out in some detail.

and i agree with seeking calm, unless it is his idea because HE has had enough, it's highly unlikely that AA will work for him.

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Old 10-28-2010, 08:26 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
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Sometimes when we move in the right direction, things fall into place.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:41 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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soitgoes-Welcome-this is a wonderful place-full of information and support.

What are the legal steps to leave. Perhaps finding that out might take a little of the fear of the unknown away. In the US I was able to keep the house after I filed for divorce (not to keep forever because I could not afford it myself). XAH got to be there days while I was at work but had to be gone by the time I got home from work (he was "self-employed" AKA sitting on his butt--and that is for XAH--I know many self-employed people who work twice as much as me).

Would he be asked to leave and find another place to stay. XAH would not leave either when I asked him to. It took a court commissioner telling him to that got his butt out the door.

As people on here know--I lost a lot when I divorce xah and there are times I do not think I am going to be able to make ends meet. But I give it to my HP and somehow things are getting paid. May only have $2 left after getting my paycheck but all the bills are paid and there is food in the house. I get what I need.

Knowledge is power. HP will keep you sane. Maybe see if you can find some AlAnon meetings to attend. There are even meetings with childcare.

I am sorry you are going through this. It is hard and although it may not feel like it now--things get better.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:17 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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Well this weekend went really well.

I started to think and behave with detatchment, it came a lot easier than expected.

I made sure that I had things to do ALL weekend, it started with Sat morning out with my daughter shopping for her school formal, then we went to lunch, and I didn't even hurry home, when I realised I was late, and I knew AH had to buy beer. When I got home I did not apologise for being late either.

Then on Sat night, I went to a charity night, with heaps of friends. I did not ask AH to come, ( which I always do ) I wanted to have fun, and not be determined by AH's drinking. I had a ball. When I got home, very late, AH was sitting up AWAKE and sober, wanting to know how the night went. I was pleasant, and told the truth, that I had an excellent time, I didn't downplay.

On Sunday I went to lunch with some of my family, it was at a new pub. Once again I did not extend an invite to AH. Once again, I had a nice relaxed time.

He spent the weekend, the way he always does, doing stuff, he did the grocery shopping on sat, mowed the lawns, helped with washing. But always in the afternoon, starts to drink and continues, until he is brain dead,staring into space then falls asleep.

I even looked at him differently this past week.
I am new to SR, but not new to the ways of the AH.

Thanks to SR, I started to look at him with pity, rather than anger or dissapointment, he has become is a prisoner, within himself. The alcohol, has stripped him of his friends and fun times. It so upsetting to see.

Im starting to realise, AH may never give up, I have no control over that. The one thing I am in charge of, is my happiness. I have to put that above everything else.

But I really was heaps relaxed on the weekend, first time in a long time.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:42 PM
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that all sounds good!

i find it helpful to ask myself "what do i want?" and then do it.

enough pandering to the alcoholic. they know what they want - alcohol.

and everything else is second to that.

don't be second seat to a six-pack!

and hey, if he goes grocery shopping and mows the lawn, he doesn't deserve an olympic award for it. those are things normal people do all the time. mine wanted a standing round of ovation if he came home with 1/2 dozen eggs and milk.

not good enough!

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Old 10-31-2010, 03:59 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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Yes, Yes, Yes. Focus on yourself. Leave him to count the beers or not. And I learned that from SR and Alanon.
Two years ago, I was in your shoes. Living in a house I loved, 1 kid out of college, 2 kids in, 1 in high school. (You can read my previous posts that describe my journey). I decided that, financially speaking, I couldn't afford to keep the house, as much as I wanted to. It is, after all, just a building. My home is where I live, where my kids are comfortable. You may be surprised at how much your husband's behavior is affecting your kids, regardless of their ages, and that time away from his problem will be relaxing for them, just as it is for you. I have been out of the house 3 months and, although I'm getting used to a smaller place and living alone much of the time because kids are away at college, I don't miss the stress, the blaming, the angry silence, the sense of hopelessness at what my marriage had become.

I learned that my kids were old enough to see what was going on and are amazingly wise people. XAH has lost 2 of them for the moment. It isn't easy at all, and I NEVER imagined that I would ever be divorced, but I feel better, stronger, younger now than I did 15 years ago.

Please focus on you, get legal advice, start to make a plan. Crunch some numbers, trust in God, remember that you are the Mom and are still teaching your children. I read on SR this week that sometimes the pain we feel is because our fingers are still in a door that God is trying to close. I apologize that I don't remember who wrote that...but that thought has so much meaning for me.

I'm praying for you, please know that we have to go through the pain, can't go around it, but we do get to the other side.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:03 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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I'm sure he IS suffering--when you are basically living to drink, well, that isn't really living. He MAY not attribute his suffering to his drinking, though. Alcoholics tend to think their problems cause them to drink, rather than the drinking causing their problems.

What problems? He sounds depressed, and adrift. My guess is that he thinks the alcohol takes him away from those feelings--which it sort of does (at least he can't feel them as much), but the alcohol may actually be creating those problems.
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