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Old 11-22-2010, 05:08 PM
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New and seeking advice

Hi,

I have been a lurker for a few months now. Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories and for helping and supporting those who come here, looking for support and understanding. It has been a source of great strength and comfort for me, to come to SR and read. It was amazing to see how similar most of our and our alcoholic’s stories are – I saw myself and my AH and all the alcoholic drama in so many stories here. Thank you, thank you.

I am now looking for advice and/or share of what you did, post separation decision. I made the decision that my kids and I cannot live in this toxic environment anymore.

My story is pretty much the same as everyone else’s here. Married to AH for 14 years now, two elementary grade aged boys. He was not an alcoholic when I married him, but there were some red flags (tendency to drink a lot, self centered, lazy, etc). His drinking started becoming a problem few years ago, when his dad died and he was between jobs due to bad job market. He has poor stress management skills and turned to alcohol to cope. The rollercoaster started then, with him becoming increasingly worse but refusing to admit to a problem and denying the need to go to rehab. Couple of times, I managed to get him (yeah, I know – typical codie behaviour) to meet an addictions specialist and check out a rehab center - but that’s where it stopped, only 1 visit. The past 3 years, he has no job (he bought alcohol with his unemployment insurance money) and pretty much drinking and sleeping on the couch and alternating between being extremely needy/depressed and argumentative and trying to quit (max of a week. detoxing with lots of nausea/vomitting/shaking/sweating/etc).

I have been going to individual therapy and reading a lot on the internet/books (codie no more, etc) and learning to detach. Tried only one alanon meeting but didn’t feel comfortable and haven’t tried any more - my therapist has been suggesting Alanon meetings or Codie meetings. Between work and being responsible for the kids completely (since couple of years, I have not been letting him take care of the kids, pretty much a single parent now), it is difficult to make time. The past year, I have been really insistent with AH that he either go to rehab or he leave (we live in a rental and lease is in both of our names). To cut a long story short - he left a couple of weeks ago, he is currently out of the country (we are dual citizens). I want to take some decisions/action now, before he comes back (I told him he cannot come home and he needs to have at least 6 months of sobriety/steady work before we can even talk about reconciling) - he has vague plans of getting trained there and coming back here to look for jobs. no specific time frame. He has some savings and I already separated our checking/savings accounts.

My rental lease expired recently. If I renew the lease only in my name, do I have the legal right to not let him enter the house, if he tries to come back? There has never been any physical violence but it took me a long time to make him leave and I don’t want me and kids to get back into that toxic alcoholic lifestyle ever again. Or is it better (legally) to move to a new rental place? I spoke to the leasing center today and the manager says in order to renew the lease only in my name, I need to get a signed letter from AH that he is ok with being dropped from the lease. So looks like I have to move to a new unit. If I move to a new rental unit and if AH tries to enter into the house – am I legally entitled to refuse entry to him into the house, since the lease is only in my name? Or is he entitled to enter the house because we are still married? Right now, I am focused on living separately, am not sure if I am ready to start the divorce process, though I did meet with a divorce lawyer about 6 months ago.

Given that we have kids together, going NC is not possible. In the two weeks that he has been gone, he has called couple of times, mainly to talk to the kids. It has been so peaceful these past two weeks. I know another visit to the Lawyer is due, to clarify some of my questions. So, really need advice/insight to take some informed action before AH decides to come back from out of country.

I am also considering moving to another state where my sister lives but have a good job here and kids like where we are living (heart of silicon valley in California). Maybe will revisit that question once school year ends. I am feeling really confused and unsure of what decisions to take…Would welcome any and all inputs.

Thanks!
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:25 PM
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Hello, BeProactive.

Welcome to Sober Recovery. As you have already seen, this is a terrific site, full of support and other peoople's perspectives. We all have the same goal!

Can I give you my thoughts on the potential move?

Kids need their mom. Kids needs their dad. Unfortunately they can't always have one of each, and they can't always have a very functional one. But I believe that once a parent-child relationship has been established, severing that -- unless there is abuse! -- is detrimental to the child.

I wouldn't move my children away from their father unless they were very young, and would have no contact with him, since sporadic, inconsistent contact is also very detrimental.
If you can not bad-mouth your soon-to-be-ex-addict-husband (STBXAH), and they can continue to spend time with him, that's the way to go. I would suggest putting something in the divorce decree about him abstaining from drugs and alcohol while with them, so it's legal.

Don't know about the rest, except that if you lease a home in your name, you get to not allow ANYONE into it.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:32 PM
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I am about 5 months into a very similar situation. AH who used to just drink a lot socially...progressed into Rx drugs. We have two children ages 4 & 8. It's a real challenge figuring out how to be a single mom so totally feel for you and am sending you lots of strength. I think I actually suffered a complete nervous breakdown somewhere along the way...LOL. If you search my posts you'll find one that uses the EXACT word you used about AH being gone...peaceful. I can't believe how much peace I feel in my home now, even with clean laundry piled everywhere and toys all over the house. LOL!

A couple of thoughts I have:

1. I also haven't attended face-to-face AlAnon meetings but instead picked up books, lurked on this site, read articles, etc. For me, I have found it to be a very effective process. I think everyone needs to do what works best for them and it sounds like you are taking some very positive steps...so good for you!

2. You might want to consider a restraining order to be certain that he can't enter the property...even if you move to another unit. However, I would think that if your lease is actually EXPIRED, you wouldn't need AH's consent to be removed from it. The lease is over...he no longer has legal rights to the property. But I'm certainly not an expert on it so probably best to check. Maybe there is a legal aide resource you could contact to get a quick and free answer about that.

I think it is totally OK for you to move at whatever speed feels best to you right now. I took about 3 months before I even spoke to a divorce attorney. It wasn't that I had any ideas that I was going to let him come back, I just wasn't ready to take that step yet. My parents are "encouraging" me to move back to the town they live in (just a few miles away from where I live now) but I have told them that I'm just going to stay put for awhile. No need to change so much so drastically yet. You'll know when it is the right time for you to start making more major decisions...but let yourself be OK with making one at a time if that is what feels right.
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:49 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself and share your story. Yes, there are similarities in many of our stories. Alcoholism is progressive and it does get worse.

I remember when I had reached my bottom in living with active alcoholism.

I had 2 of 3 children still at home. I was trying to land a job in another city about 5 hours away. I was attending Alanon. I was trying to find housing in our current city as well as wondering when I should look at housing if I landed the job. I was wondering when I should file for divorce, just leave, or file for seperation. I was so stressed out trying to plan and choose.

I picked up the phone and called someone in my Alanon group. She listened as I told her all the options I had. She listened as I cried. She validated my stress and frustration. Then she asked me a question. This question:

"Pelican, you don't have to have all the answers by 3 p.m. today, right?"

Wow.

She was right. I needed to be patient, more would be revealed.

After letting go of the outcome, I made small steps. One was consulting with an attorney. That cleared up a lot of my legal confusion.

Be gentle with yourself. You can make good decisions for yourself and your children. You will be okay!

Let us know how we can help you (((hugs)))
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:55 PM
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Thank you CoffeeDrinker and SKW for the replies.

CoffeeDrinker - thank you for the input. Though AH has been an awful father (I can forgive the awful husband part but find it difficult to forgive the awful father part) - I know he loves his kids a lot. What you said is true - kids need both mom and dad. I have been very honest with them, they know dad drinks lot of alcohol and I told them it is a disease, but they are still confused why daddy cant quit even after their repeated requests. I hate what is does to the kids more than anything. My boys are 10yrs and 8yrs and I love them dearly and so wish that they had a good father

SKW - Thanks for your kind words and the best wishes. Wishing you lots of strength as well - I have gone thru many nights of crying my heart out and wondering why me. I guess it is what it is and need to deal with the reality and take steps to protect us precious little ones. Sorry to hear about your breakdown - Hope you are doing better now. Lots of best wishes to us in our new journey. I really appreciate you telling me that it is ok, take your time, thanks - made me feel better, thanks.

I spoke to the leasing manager again and he told me that if I write something down saying that AH left and we are separated - he can renew the lease in my name only. Don't really want to deal with a move now - I will be joining a new job next week.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:00 PM
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Thank you, Pelican for sharing your story. I hear you - I am also at the stage where I think I need to make all these decisions and having everything worked out. Thanks for pointing out again, that I can take my time. Yes, I need to go get legal counsel. Can I go to Family Court and get answers to these legal questions?
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BeProactive View Post
I spoke to the leasing manager again and he told me that if I write something down saying that AH left and we are separated - he can renew the lease in my name only. Don't really want to deal with a move now - I will be joining a new job next week.
Well how about that?! I hadn't had a chance to welcome you to SR yet, and it looks like a higher power has already helped out a bit with your situation, eh?

I do want to thank you for giving your children a chance to live in a non-toxic environment. You are the only voice they have.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:14 PM
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I consulted a lawyer thru emplyer assistance. That did not go well!

Then I consulted with a local attorney. I live in a differnt state than you. State laws vary. I think a free consultation with a local lawyer may help you. I found most lawyers were willing to do a brief free consultation, the one I called that wanted$ 150/hour for con sultation was beyond my budget.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:32 PM
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Pelican - Thanks for the reply. I think I will go back to that Divorce lawyer and talk to her again about some of my questions. About the lease, about what my rights are if AH tries to come back, what I need to do now to protect myself, etc.

Freedom - lol, thanks. It has been amazing how things are falling into place after the toxic environment has been removed. My company is shutting down and I was feeling quite scared and worried about the job situation and only last friday I got confirmation about this new job. Feel more and more at peace and am very determined to not let that back into my life. This determination has come after a lot of heartache and back and forth.AH left a few times previously to stay at hotel, with his sister, etc) and I had let him come back. No more. My family has been a great support during this time and my therapist and SR the last few months, has helped with my determination.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BeProactive View Post
Freedom - lol, thanks. It has been amazing how things are falling into place after the toxic environment has been removed. My company is shutting down and I was feeling quite scared and worried about the job situation and only last friday I got confirmation about this new job. Feel more and more at peace and am very determined to not let that back into my life.
I'm telling you, HP works in mysterious ways!

When I was rehab in 86, I knew I could not go back home to my psychotic abusive husband after I got out. What's a girl to do? I was over 100 miles away from home in rehab.

About a week before I was due to be discharged, my counselor told me she knew I couldn't go back home to the crazy man, so she and her husband offered me a place to stay till I got on my feet. Gads, what a relief!

I landed a full-time job as a CNA a week after I got out of rehab.

A month after that, my counselor and her hubby found a rental they liked better. So they went with me to talk to their landlord and see if I could continue to rent their soon-to-be old place, and he agreed.

Amazing!

Holy guacamole, I can't wait to hear about all the good things that are awaiting you!
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Old 11-24-2010, 05:59 PM
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Update: Got a call from a friend of his that AH is drinking all day and not doing anything, not even stepping out and asking me what to do. I gave him the name of a rehab center and told him to try to get AH to get admitted there. I also informed his sister here about this development. I have tried a couple of times to involve his family (they think I have to handle him, be more loving to AH and "change" him somehow) and my relationship with them is quite strained now.

My peace is shattered and my reaction is of extreme anger. I am struggling here worrying about starting a new job, working at my current job, taking care of the kids, making sure the household is running and trying to make decisions about how to move forward. AH doesnt help with any of this and on top of all my struggles - have to deal with this situation as well.

I have a lot of anger and resentment against AH and in general about this situation. Therapist said it is natural and it wont change unless the situation changes and I make changes. Was peaceful for a while there and even from across a different country, AH creates drama. I know the answer to this - is to go NC and detach even more but there is still a piece of me wanting to "fix" this issue..
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:48 AM
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hi and welcome-

i did a bit of research on your question as to whether he has the right to return to the apartment. it appears the laws vary from state to state, so you will have to contact an attorney to determine the law for california. it might be in your best interest to change apartments, i would ask the lawyer that question too.

apparently in some states, it appears that he can indeed return and has legal rights to stay:

"Unless there is a court order for protection, he has a legal right to live in the house. since he is not on the lease, you have to go to court and petition to have him evicted. you have to show just cause as to why he should be evicted, and during this time, legally he doesn't have to pay any bills or maintenance cost in the house. also, it could take up to 90 days. there is also a fee you have to pay the county for the eviction notice, and if the county sheriff has to actually remove the property from the house, you have to pay a "peace bondsman" to guard any property left outside for at least 24 hours. you can't just call the police and tell them to kick somebody out, these laws were put in place to protect "Women" from being evicted by there boyfriends or husbands. "
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:19 PM
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hi BeProactive...I just wanted to chime in with a late WELCOME TO SR, and also to comment on your last post.

IMO, nothing has changed where your AH is concerned. He's drinking like he was before. He's just drinking in another country. Unless I misread your initial post, I think this shouldn't really surprise you. He's doing what an alcoholic deep in his addiction will do.

My peace is shattered and my reaction is of extreme anger. (snip) AH doesnt help with any of this and on top of all my struggles - have to deal with this situation as well

Why do you have to deal with this situation? It is not your job to pick up after him, to call his family to let them know he's drinking (again), or to find him a rehab where he can go pretend to be sober for a while.

Perhaps the next time a friend of his calls to tell you what your AH is doing, you can calmly thank him and tell him that you are no longer his mommy, and hang up the phone.

Protect your serenity by letting go and letting god. Seeing as:
You didn't CAUSE it
You can't CURE it
You can't CONTROL it
...you might as well keep doing what you were doing, move forward with protecting your finances from this man, and focus on yourself and your children.
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Old 11-25-2010, 02:40 PM
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He sounds like another child, not an adult let alone a partner. I applaud all your decisions. You are very strong. Congratulations on your new job!!
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:43 PM
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BeProactive,
You have made a very wise and correct decision for you and your children. It appears to me that your "head" is screwed on right and you are a strong person!

I have always heard that anyone that you allow to live with you for longer than 30 days and they use your address as their permanent address you need to go through the courts to have them evicted. However, your situation is different. I agree with the other posts, you need to check with a CA lawyer.

********************************************* ******************

Your face will not glow with happiness unless you love yourself,
The birds will not sing songs unless you sing with them,
The flowers will not blossom unless you water them,
The beautiful smell they carry will not breeze through the universe unless we take care of them,
Everything is meaningless unless you love and take care of yourself......
Love yourself,
Accept yourself,
Believe in yourself,
Believe in your wishes,
Believe in your dreams,
Hopes and desires.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:55 PM
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Thanks naive. I have an appointment with the divorce lawyer, that I spoke with previously, on Tuesday. My Sister and I have written down the questions that I want to ask at the apointment (regarding this as well as if I can start the divorce proceedings when he is out of the country).

nodaybut2today - yes, he was pretty much the same at home as well. drinking, not going out anywhere, except to get his alcohol. I assumed if he was out of this cocoon that he would be forced to get help and take care of himself. I guess he is just creating his own cocoon there and wasting all his savings. I still somewhere inside of me, want to help "fix" him, I guess. need to continue working on myself. Yes, good suggestion - I should tell his friend not to contact me. Not sure if I am there yet.

Takingcharge - thanks. I have no interest in getting back with him (too much anger and trust issues) but just wish he would get better - do wish him the best. I need to work on letting go more.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:56 PM
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Thanks Phoenixthebird, will ask the lawyer.
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:17 AM
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Old 05-12-2011, 11:08 PM
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update: I can't believe I am back in this hell again. It has been such peaceful 6 months and the kids and I have been having a wonderful, peaceful, fun time together. AH came back couple of days ago at 11pm in the night - banging on the door. I opened the door and told him he can stay only for the night and leave the next day (big mistake). He refused to leave the next day and I called the cops - showed them the lease in my name only. Apparently it is not enough (naive you were so right) - some of his property is still here, mail still coming in and we are still married. So, he is now back and we are back in the toxic enviroment. He is still drinking, smoking, not respecting boundaries, acting difficult, no job and I am scrambling to figure out what to do now. Thankfully the lease is expiring this month end - so have following options:

1) Move to another unit (to make him leave us alone) and start divorce process
2) Move out of state to be near my sister and get away from this
3) Restraining order (but no domestic violence issue). has anyone gotten restraining order based on emotional/mental abuse (heard this is difficult)

I am so tired and angry but one good thing is that I know that I definitely want a divorce now - no ambiguity. I can't believe AH is forcing me and the kids to live with him and am furious that am having to scramble around to figure things out while I am forced to support him. Kids are happy to see their dad but are worried about his drinking again. Hate, hate this situation.
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:30 AM
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hi again-

moving apartments does not solve this problem. you will need to go to a lawyer to get temporary custody. i don't think you will get a restraining order if there has been no physical violence.

seek legal advice.

one thing you can count on his that the alcoholic makes many threats but follow through on just about nothing. they are not at the top of their game, so i would encourage you to ignore what he says/threatens/bullies and just go about your plan.

i would also keep your plan to yourself. do not share your plan with him, no matter how he provokes you. loose lips sink ships and leaving is a very dangerous time, as the alcoholic does not like to loose his enabler and the cozy nest of the home.

be careful with your banking information and passwords. i would also advise you to get important documents (passports, birth certificates, etc.) off-site, as well as anything valuable (jewlery, electronics) that he could pawn to get some booze. anything that makes him more comfortable there, get rid off, like cable tv, access to your internet provider, food he likes. watch out for him running up long distance phone bills...i blocked all international calls from my phone.

start documenting things: his drinking, his verbal abuse to you or the children, etc. this will help you in court. you would be wise to make contact with some local resources for women. they may be able to assist you.

the good news is that his reappearance has cemented your decision and resolve. this will spare you the waffling that kept many of us in a bad situation for way too long.

good luck. we are here to support you.

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