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Need Some Courage...

Old 02-02-2011, 08:00 AM
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Need Some Courage...

I am so grateful that i found this site. I am at a very emotional place where I am seriously considering ending my relationship for good. Its been almost 16 years of marriage and I am still hurt and confused. When my AH was asked to leave in May, I was absolutely certain (after much prayer) that it was the right thing.
I am finally at a place where I think I need to officially end the marriage. I wish I had the same exact clarity that I did at the start of the separation. Perhaps it is just fear and nerves keeping me from doing what I know in my heart needs to happen? Also fear that once the kids are presented with the divorce - there is no going back. That is very scary.
So proud of myself for initiating and handling the separation. I know God will take care of me and the kids. Peace at all cost. But it is still very scary, lonely, and hurtful.
I know many of you have gone through divorce with alcoholic. Any encouragement, or thoughts on what worked for you during the process, would be helpful. I think I know what I need to do....and do not want to chicken out. Love and Peace to all of you who have given me strength without even knowing it!
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:13 AM
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(((hugs)))
How can I encourage you? Well, I can tell you how I felt, and how I feel now.

I left a nice house and a financially secure life, to move into a small apartment where I can hear the neighbor's downstairs ask "where's the barbecue sauce?" and I work two jobs and pray every day before I try to start my old car... and I have an inner peace and happiness that I lacked for 20 years.

I won't lie to you -- it has been hard. But it has been worth it. Every bit of it.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:16 AM
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It's not an easy decision to make. One poster recently said "I have to come up with a reason for leaving him that he will agree with (or understand)" and that really resonated with me. I had such a need to be right and to make my husband UNDERSTAND why I couldn't do it anymore (because then, maybe, he would change).

It was really hard to come to a place where I said "I am just not going to live like this anymore. And my children aren't going to grow up thinking that this is how people treat each other and all twisted and warped as a result of this alcoholic dynamic in their home." But thanks to support from friends, family, and detaching enough to trust myself, I was able to end it.

Now, having said that, it isn't true that there is no going back. If, in 2 years, he presents himself to you in recovery, and having put his life together, you can always reconcile. I wouldn't tell anyone this - it's just for the benefit of you. It isn't conditional, but IF that happened, you could always consider reconciliation.

You are a good mom, but it's time to put your peace and your children's peace first. Good luck to you.

eta: lillamy's post. Yes.
I have some difficult financial decisions to make, but the peace and ease and lack of a battle zone in my home - irreplaceable.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:30 AM
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It is indeed a frightening decision to make, but perhaps if you think of it as one that will fundamentally change your life for the better, it might be a bit "easier", at least theoretically.

I ended up having to run back to my parents' house because things got too messy with XAH, and over a year later, I'm still there. I have no privacy to speak of BUT, I have financial security (for the first time in my life), I have peace and quiet (relatively speaking with a toddler in the house), and my daughter SMILES and laughs now, instead of doing the "deer in the headlights" pose she did whenever XAH would scream and throw things at the walls. I count my blessings every day for all this.

You'll be ok.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:19 PM
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I want you to be sure--and feel good about your decision. You're not quite there yet.

Perhaps you could write a list of reasons why you are unsure. Every little shakey thought, and share a few with us here, or work them out on your own.
Face all your feelings. It will help you gain clarity and conviction.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:29 PM
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thank you all so much! Stella, you make an excellent point and clarified it in my mind. I am trying to justify my reasons and feelings to him. But that is not necessary. I need to do what is best for me and kids and I do not need his consent, approval, or permission to do that!!! I know it is true, but scary.

I tend to move back and forth. A few months ago I thought I mastered this. I would talk to him, make a point and then shut up. I would not try to defend myself or belabor a point. Not sure why at this time I am slipping back into old habits of trying to convince him of how hurt I am and why the relationship will not work. He knows already! And more importantly, I know already!

I guess this is why it is recovery. You live and you learn, right?
Good point too about making lists. I have not done this in a long time. Maybe I will post my reasons for wanting to hold the marriage together. I am sure you all will have a lot of comments to keep me real and honest! I definitely need that type of support to keep me doing what I know needs to be done.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:50 PM
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I have deep respect & admiration for you.
It takes guts to do what you are doing.


Peace - priceless.
Something that helped me when breaking up with XABF was going to AA meetings.

It helped me realize what it took for alcoholics to start changing.

It helped me understand what solid recovery looks like. And how long it takes when it is for real.

It helped me understand what rock bottoms can look like.

It was very very helpful to talk about my side of the story with alcoholics.

It was priceless to get their feedback. (RUN and be happy you are not an alcoholic, in a nutshell).

AA/Alanon, where the courage of others adds to yours...

Hugs!! you can do this.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:18 AM
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hi fulloffaith-

in my experience, as time apart increased, i kindof forget how bad it was and then i missed him. i found it helpful to go back to my initial posts here or my notes on how much he drank, lied and spent, to remind myself how trapped and used i felt. honestly, after six months, i had forgotten much of it.

i also found it useful to attend open AA meetings. like TC, it helped me to realize how much worse it probably would have gotten, listening to their stories.

and of course, posting and reading here kept me straight. every single day, someone would write something that i could remember happening or could relate to.

during the period of time it took to re-establish my life, i personally needed to constantly remind myself of tangible reasons why i was leaving my life with him.

oh, also, speaking up to my family and friends provided some much needed support. i was kind of soldiering on, solo, and it took a lot to begin to explain what had transpired.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:22 AM
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by Naive "in my experience, as time apart increased, i kindof forget how bad it was and then i missed him. honestly, after six months, i had forgotten much of it."


I have only been gone from my AH for 3 weeks, but I find myself volleying between forgetting and missing (as above) and intentionally making myself remember the horrible things I had been through. Then I am mad again...lol

It will be a wonderful day when I wake up and feel neither, just able to move on...

In reality, you have to ask yourself where your fear to move on comes from...
"There is no going back"

You haven't gone back for close to a year...that says alot..you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.

I have yet to remove my ring for the very same reason....It might become a reality....even though I have moved out and already am making it a reality...

This to shall pass? or can we move it along a little quicker by taking action...?
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:35 AM
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I don't know the how-for you-but I think you can do it.

I think you already have the courage, you just don't realize it.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:41 AM
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My XOH is not an alcoholic,BUT, he was abusive. I moved out of the family home after he pushed me to the point of self harm.

That was in December 2008, he was in my life still trying to control until february last year.

I have no regrets, no guilt, but I am lonely. I am in control of my finances, I am in control of who I see, what I do and who I do it with. Can't do much though because I have 2 boys.

The one thing I am still battling is depression , but that is a small price to pay for the freedom that my kids and I feel.

Neither of my boys will grow up thinking that shouting an inch from your face is acceptable behavior.

They will never know how long a red hand print will last on bare skin.

They will never flinch from a raised hand.

They will never wet their beds long after they should have stopped.

They will never be afraid to tell me anything.

I will never have to watch my child cringe in a corner for fear of being hit.

I will never hear *I'd rather see you dead first* again.

I will never get stressed out on a family outing.

I will never see the hate in other relatives eyes.

I will never have to justify my decision.

I can't think of anymore reasons why my decision was the right one, but I'm sure you get the gist.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:37 AM
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Wow...thanks for all the support. Sailor John, I LOVED that you said I alredy have the courae. Just what I needed to hear today. I have been reading and hearing that message a lot lately. That God already gave us everything we need, we just have to realize it. That is part of getting to our full potential.

I totally do the back and forth between good and bad memories. The thing is, some of those bad events are never justified. No matter how good the sober partner is, the drinking just creates unacceptable behavior.

Thanks for listing so many reasons that a life without hime will be better. Even if they are not "tangible", they are reasons that make a better day to day life.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:55 AM
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I redefined what courage meant to me. I used to think that courage was moving forward without fear. I was paralyzed with fear, and did not move. I was trying to figure out how to not be afraid. I was trying to figure out how other people, courageous people, could be so fearless. I slowly realized that courage is feeling the fear, and doing it anyway.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
I redefined what courage meant to me. I used to think that courage was moving forward without fear. I was paralyzed with fear, and did not move. I was trying to figure out how to not be afraid. I was trying to figure out how other people, courageous people, could be so fearless. I slowly realized that courage is feeling the fear, and doing it anyway.
I needed this. Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:11 AM
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thanks Thumper. So interesting, its like the 5th time I heard that quote about courage in the past few weeks. I thing someone is trying to tell me something? LOL.

Him leaving the house in May was so difficult. I lost my appetite, started losing my hair! I think it was a depression that I tried so hard to hide from my kids. Tried to put on a strong face. But having gone through that, I know I can make this final step. This one last detatchment. I know I can. It is just hard. It hurts. I know things happen for a reason, maybe our separation had to happen as sort of a practice for me. Now that I know I can handle the day to day without him (the good and bad), I know I can live all of my days without him.

We all deserve better than the slim pickings an active alcholic feeds us. Its amazing to keep being confronted with the fact that I am the only one who can change My life.
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