Please single parents who left AH/W

Old 11-17-2010, 12:19 PM
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Please single parents who left AH/W

Before you left were you alone? Afraid? Broke? How old were your kids? What did you do? What was your breaking point?

I have no support EVERYONE thinks I need to give him another chance but I was in a relationship w/ a person who had other issues who didn't commit to me prior to meeting AH. I wasted 11 years of my life w/ this man hoping/praying and manipulating him to marry me. Never happened!

Because of past hurt I can't do it again. I am not going to let AH take my lifle from me. He doesn't deserve my precious young years. I know the script all too well. We will have a honeymoon period for the next 10-11 months and then something will happen and a couple of beers will be followed by a bottle of wine for me so that he can drink. He will hide the beer and the wine in the garage and I will go off looking for it when he begins to act as if he has been drinking, verbally argumentative etc etc.

We will go on as happy wife and hubby w/ our two boys planning our futures and then something stressful will happen in our lives (work, the kids getting sick, credit card debt) which will cause him to drink. "I'm not an alcoholic I just drink to deal w/ all the stress I am under."

As sure as the sky is blue there will be another occurrence and the next one will be worse than the last.

Will it be me that gets hurt my babies or my AH? I am supposed to stick around like a good wifey and "help" him get help. I need to call my doctor and my psychologist fast. My head hurts writing this.

My feelings toward men are diminshing. Absentee father who gave a crap about me. An unemotionally unavailable mother and the one person who loved me unconditionallly-my grandmother IS GONE!

All I have in this world are my two boys. Please pray for me.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:23 PM
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Sassy, is he physically abusing you? I know you have shared how belligerent he gets.
A restraining order is an option, as well as a battered women shelter.
San Fransisco has a few shelters. There are many support structures out there, even if your friends/family don't support your decision.

hugs and peace
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:00 PM
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I know it is hard, but try and block out the chatter of all the rest of the people that are not living your life.

Go where you need to go, do what you need to do, so that you are the best person, the best mother, that you can be. I am a much better mother now that my life is more peaceful, more sane, more stable, more secure.

When I left I was very afraid, very confused, and it was very painful. My children were 3yo twins, 8yo, and 10yo. I did have the support of some family (which was significant - I'm so sorry you don't have that), I was broke but I already had a job - which was also significant.

Small steps towards your goal. Just the next right thing. If freedom is what you want, and you can't be free today, you can make it one day at a time until you are at the point where you can leave. Put your feet on the floor in the morning and remind yourself that this is not the day but you know where you are going, you have a plan. You can handle one more day.

Disclaimer: There was no violence in my marriage. I was afraid of many things but I was not afraid of him hurting me or our children. I do not have any idea about the right things to do in a case where that is an issue. I urge you to speak with someone here, or with a domestic violence hot line in your area to get more appropriate support if that is an issue for you. My prayers *are* with you and your boys.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sassyea View Post
Before you left were you alone? Afraid? Broke? How old were your kids? What did you do? What was your breaking point?
I was and continue to be very lucky in that I have my parents to support me. However, before things got BAD, I was truly alone save for SR. I couldn't confide in my friends; XAH made me give them all up. I had to tiptoe around everyone just in case I'd leak out what was really happening with XAH and I.

Yes, I was PETRIFIED. I posted here constantly, always asking for support, reassurance, confirmation that I wasn't *crazy*. I didn't want to have to deal with joint custody with an A in complete denial of his addiction. BUT, I also didn't want to waste away my years with someone who was hell bent on taking everything from me, even hope.

Yes, I was broke, in debt, with a past bankruptcy and ruined credit. My relationship with XAH was what drove me to get the job I currently have. It's boring as hell but it pays....I knew, even when I took the job, that I'd need some money to break free from XAH. I planned in advance and secretely, imagining finding myself a tiny one bedroom apartment furnished with stuff found at Good Will or at garage sales....I didn't care about anything except getting away from XAH and his madness.

When I left, my baby girl was 15 months old. She still nursed 6-7 times a day/night. My stepson (XAH's son) was 12.

My breaking point came one evening, when he *hadn't* had a drink yet. He got so out of hand, raging, shaking, pounding his fists on the table, blaming me for his troubles, and all the while, I held our baby girl in my arms. I looked down at her and saw her to the "deer in the headlights" move (you know, when you freeze and try to make yourself really small to avoid having the WRATH of XAH zero in on you...). In a flash, I imagined her growing up with this madness at home, the place where she was supposed to be safe. I imagined her as an adult, dating or married to a man like XAH. I was horrified.

XAH continued to blow up even after I asked him to calm down for the sake of the baby. I calmly got my stuff, put my baby in her stroller, and walked out. I went to see a social worker at the local community clinic where I poured my heart out like I never had. When I came home, XAH had left me a note telling me that I'd better "shape up and start appreciating him or he'd find someone else".

Finally, what did it for me was having my ex-MIL, XAH's mom, tell me to get out and save my daughter's life, because her son was crazy.

My departure was all perfectly planned, but everything changed when XAH threatened not to let me leave if I didn't grant him equal custody right away. Then I had to move quickly and run away with my daughter.

If there is abuse of any kind in your relationship, you need to get in touch with a local shelter to see what kind of resources they can offer you in getting out. I got counselling from one shelter, and lawyer referrals from another. It was very useful...

*hugs* you're not alone in this.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:54 PM
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Unhappy No "physical" abuse.

But he has threatened to take my kids back to Germany. He is German I am an American. He has threatened to call the cops, told them I was crazy and an unfit mother. Always portraying himself as the calm and patient father while I had my "freakouts for no reason". No reason?!?

This is a form of abuse for me! Not having peace in your home is abuse. I grew up in a dysfunctional family with drinking. My mother, my grandmother and i hated all of it.

As a young girl I even hated New Year's Eve because of all the partying and drinking that would go on and each year at Midnight I would release a sigh of relief because I knew it would be over soon.

But like the other pp said I am making a plan and everyday I will get up with that idea in the back of my mind. Detaching is dangerous for me because I feel that I will lose that emotional connection w/ AH and if I do the marriage is really over and that scares me to my core. I look back at all the incidences that have escalated in my house and it looks as though I am looking at someone else's wrold through their house window.

Before I met AH I was grieving over the death of my baby but I had Joy and Hope in my heart that God was going to bless me with an even brighter future and here I am being tested again.

I do not blame the Lord for this at all. I am here to learn something but I am stuck and unsure of which road to take and I deathly afraid of making yet another mistake which is why I pleaded to all people who have left their A spouses and who also had children.

There was one time I left my son he was 15 or 16 months old and I went to bible study on Wednesday night and came back to AH drinking wine. I blew a gasket!!! I asked him why he couldnt' wait till I got home to start drinking? It led to a huge argument till the next day when he sobered up.

He couldn't see that he put our babies life at risk while getting drunk on wine. All these incidences add up for me and I feel terrible that my mother can't see what this is doing to me and has done. I do not know what is even normal anymore.

I just long for the days when I was single in my own apartment w/ hope and joy of the unknown. Today I am blindsided w/ darkness uncertainty and pain.

Am I being selfish that I want out of this dysfunctional marriage? Shouldn't I want to raise my boys w/ their father. My mother thinks it is because I have gotten bored w/ AH and yes that is true. Who wants to make love to a stinking alcohol smelling cigarette smoking bafoon. Someone riding them sloppy drunk?

Who wants to be romantic w/ someone who currently has a black eye because he got into a brawl like a college boy this past Saturday night leaving his wife and kids on a boat docked in the berth of the marina?

Am I crazy? Is this normal?
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:03 PM
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Is there a police record or hospital record of what happened at the marina? If there is, go get it. Start collecting your own evidence. Your mother is not in this marriage and if she lived this way, I do not understand why she would want you to continue.
It is not boredom with your AH, he is seriously ill and does not want to get well.
Please start a journal and keep records of these episodes of his, you will need them.
what is the citizenship of your children? are they americans? if so, i think he would not be able to take them out of the country without your consent.
just throwing out ideas here.
alcoholics talk alot, my ex threatened me alot, but when it came down to it, he showed up at court hungover and smelling like he just smoked a rock of crack.
i know it is scary when he says about going to germany with the kids, but there are all kinds of legal and practical things that would have to be done first, and he is not in the frame of mind to follow up on any of that.
you are not crazy. this is normal for an alcoholic though.

alanon will help you. get some legal advice. maybe a free consultation?
you can do this, you are scared, but still got all your marbles.
you will do this for the kids.

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Old 11-17-2010, 04:30 PM
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My kids were 8 and 13. I was afraid and they were afraid. I had a job but no support. I was poor but didn't care. I wanted peace. I had no support but somehow managed.

I was scared and alone, but looked forward to having peace at home. The kids could not thank me enough for my decision. They didn't like being poor but felt it was much better than living in the chaotic/ angry situation.

Surprisingly, both kids reached adulthood and told me that they were glad I set the example I did. My son confided that he was afraid to grow up and be like his dad. My daughter was closer and more forgiving but now agrees that she wouldn't be the person she if I hadn't made that decision.

I feel fortunate in their views being so mature. I am still poor, working hard, tired all the time, but my kids are good.

I think it is important to do what you think is best for all. Living with anger and fear can be a dangerous role model for life for your kids. If your family is not supportive, then seek support in alanon. Choose life with less fear and anger when possible. They are like that commercial - priceless.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:35 PM
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I feel your pain, I'm in a similar situation right now (though in my case, it's my wife who is the alcoholic). I am thankful that I have the support of my parents, and her parents, in caring for and protecting our 4-month-old baby. It's been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life to stop and say "I will do whatever is necessary to protect this baby from harm, whatever the personal cost." That's what's at stake.

What I've learned, and what you already mentioned: if you're going to make a break, have a plan. Don't speak and act out of emotional exhaustion. Get some legal advice, even a free 30-minute free session will do wonders to give you confidence about what your options are. Be honest with yourself with where your line in the sand is, communicate that to him, and be ready to act on your plan the moment he crosses the line.

I haven't acted yet, but we're standing at the line and I can see the tension building inside of her like a tornado. And I'm terrified about what happens next. But I would rather struggle as a single father and give my son a childhood without memories of a drunk mother falling down the stairs.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:45 PM
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Hi Sassy, Wicked is right. Start collecting evidence and diarising the abuse. Even though he hasn't physically hit you, yet, you are still living in abuse. He is threatening you, calling you the 'crazy one'. One thing though, it may be safer for to leave your diary/evidence somewhere else (work, a trusted friend, even a social worker?) so he doesn't find it.

When my ex AH and I broke up, I had four kids. The youngest was 3. I was terrified. The straw that broke the camels back was a particular night when I was put through the abuse cycle, the tension build up, abuse, remorse, (no honeymoon period in this case though) over and over again in one night. In the morning I was in shock. I went to see my homoeopath and she gave me a remedy for shock and then a remedy called Staphysagria 30C. I'd had this remedy before so I knew what it would do. It helped me get stronger and stronger until the rose coloured glasses came off my head and I told my AH I couldn't be with him anymore, that he needed to get help for his rage problems or it was over. We continued to live together for another 3 months and then he moved out and moved in with another woman....The abuse, however continued and escalated. With the help of a very understanding, compassionate, supportive police officer, I finally had the courage to tell him what had been happening and he sought an AVO on my behalf. He was like an angel to me... When my AH left, he took most of the furniture, he ruined my perfect credit rating and I was left with all the kids and all the debt he'd accumulated (because he was the secondary card holder to my credit card) We are lucky here in this country that we have a social security system where as single parents, we can recieve monetary support from the Government. My health started to improve however I was stll fearful of him. Now, 7.5 years after separation, he does not intimidate me anymore. He's tried, but he knows I'm stronger and I'm no longer under 'his spell'.

I too had no support from parents. During our realtionship, I didn't tell my friends about the abuse. They came to me when they saw him act abusively. One friend thought I was crazy I 'put up with' the abuse and could not be my friend anymore because I didn't leave him in her time (mind you, she's a counsellor!!!). A couple thought I needed to 'hang in there' and I admit, I only washed over the abuse with them as I felt too much shame to discuss it. There were a couple though who had been through abuse themselves, one in particular. She was the one who finally convinced me to call the police.

You need support now. I wish I had SR at the time as there is so much support here. You're way ahead of where I was when I was with my AH. I was in so much denial, I didn't even acknowledge his alcoholism even though he drank every day and I used to be scared when he did because I knew the abuse was coming...

You're also seeing your Doctor and hopefully a therapist. Are you crazy for wanting to opt out of an abusive relationship? No. Are you selfish to want to? No. When I was wondering if I was at fault for ending my relationship, a Christian friend told me that even though the grounds for divorce in the bible is Adultery, it's also Abuse, Addiction, Abandonment. All A's!

Just a question, when you mentioned detachment from your AH being dangerous and losing the emotional connection would scare you to the core. What about that would scare you to the core? Is it because you'd be alone with all your kids and all the responsibilities that this entails? Is it because it's scary to think of being alone? Is it because you're afraid of the repercussions/retaliation from your AH? And his family? Or is it all or none or some of the above?

You deserve peace in your life, so do your babies. Keep coming back here Sassy, attend Al-Anon if you can. You're on the right track. One step at a time.....

Last edited by Floss; 11-17-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: spelling mistakes...
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:03 PM
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Before you left were you alone? Afraid? Broke? How old were your kids? What did you do? What was your breaking point?
Alone before divorce -- check.

Afraid -- check.

Broke -- check.

Three daughters -- 3 months, 3 years, and 6 years old

Breaking point -- infidelity by AH.

What did I do? -- I took unpaid leave, went home to my family and let them take care of my girls while I took care of me. I let myself grieve, and I let others love me. I went to individual and group therapy. Read Codependent No More and other books. I prayed, A LOT. I took note of the good things in my life. I lost a LOT of weight without trying (even though I was eating well because I was nursing my daughter.) I journaled a lot. And I gave it all up -- turned it all over to God. He took amazing care of us. He provided meals, clothing, a home, a perfect neighborhood, more than I could have imagined.

There were times in my grief that I wouldn't have cared if the roof came crashing down on me because then the pain would have stopped, but God had a better plan for me and for my daughters. He saw us through it.

Slowly and painfully...but finally...we came through it. Life is good again.

It's good that you're forming your plan. Now is your time to really put your focus and energy into you and your precious babies. Al-Anon will help you focus and calm you, give you strength and courage, teach you what you need to know. Go to therapy if you can. And keep praying. God will answer your prayers in ways that you don't expect. Watch for that love from him and let him help without getting in his way.

You're in my prayers!
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:14 PM
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I agree with everything that Healing May Come said, I thought I would share that my kids and I are doing well now. I did get involved with another A 'cause I hadn't gone into recovery, but that's over now and now I'm working on me! I was provided with a house, food to eat, supportive friends, kids that I love and who love me and I can actually laugh now! There is a light....keep praying like Healing said....
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:45 PM
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I felt more alone with him in the same room than I did when he was out of the house.

I was afraid of him and afraid of what life had in store.

We were broke and were making decisions each month about which bills to pay: electricity, or gas/heat, car, insurance, or buy food; he, however, would throw those decisions out the window to buy vodka, buy vodka, buy beer, buy vodka, buy who-knows-what-else. I realized that if I left him, I would actually have more money, because he could then drink away and spend only his paycheck and not both.

My breaking point was finding a picture DS had taken with my digital camera. (STBX)AH was 'sitting' half in and half out of the tub, with the shower curtain pulled down on him, and an expression on his face that said he should have been passed out hours before he fell in the tub. I couldn't let DS live with that on a daily basis.

DS was 3 years old when I left.

What I did: I told (STBX)AH that he needed to take care of the bills that were solely his and I stopped paying his car payment and car insurance. (He didn't start paying them BTW and it was all my fault, because I *knew* that he felt uncomfortable going into the bank. Blehhh) I opened a savings account which he couldn't access and had my paychecks direct deposited into it. I saved enough for 1st month's rent and security deposit, found an apartment and signed a lease. Then I told him DS and I were leaving, that I was finally following through with my earlier statements that if he didn't stop, I'd leave.

I was and am lucky that my family has been there for us. My dad and then my mom watched DS while I worked. After a year on our own, I took my sister and BIL up on their offer to move in with and rent from them so I could save for a down-payment for a home for DS and I. (That money is now going towards legal fees with the divorce and custody, and counseling costs for DS and I.)

Even though I believed I was endangering them by staying at their house when STBXAH's behavior got bizarre and even more abusive, they told me to really think about it before deciding to go back or to move back out to an apartment where no one would know if STBXAH showed up. They encouraged counseling and agreed that I needed to contact the local women's shelter for domestic violence. They've helped me with my safety plans and by being present at pick-up and drop-off times for DS's visits with STBXAH.

Some days are so hard being a single parent and that's not even adding in trying to recover from STBXAH's alcoholism and abuse. But, I look at DS as he laughs and plays and I know I made the right decision for us.

Wishing you peace.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:30 AM
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Sassy, I am currently going through this as well at the moment. I have two children 7 and 8 with my AH. My 7 yr old son is special needs. I am a full time college student with one year to go on my bachelors degree. I have no job, no family and almost no friends since I have been basically a prisoner in my own home for the last nine years. I have saved up some money, filed for divorce and am just waiting to the court date in a couple of weeks to order the child support and spousal maintenance. My AH pulled out all the money from savings and checking and decided to open his own account where I have no access. I still have to live with him until I can get out, but I look at everything clearer now. I started with the detaching and from there I started to slowly regain my sanity and my own self esteem because I was not making his problem, MY problem. It took me years to make this decision. One day I woke up and saw things much differently, my question was no longer if I should divorce him, but HOW. Am I scared? YES! Do I have bad days? YES! But now, the good days outweigh the bad!

Keep coming to SR, read! You will know what you need to do when you start taking care of YOU!
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:44 PM
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Going through this with my 12 and 14-yr old daughters. Kind of dragging on because my STBXAW is fighting the divorce, but only just enough to make things difficult. Just starting to get my self-esteem and sanity back. Have plenty of support from my sister and my parents, which has been a great help. My dad pointed out the process of divorce is 'temporary' in the time of your life, even though it may not seem like it at the time and that the process of making decisions becomes easier when alcohol is not involved.
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