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12 step husband is leaving me/kids..how do I cope w/ my anger?

Old 02-04-2011, 11:12 AM
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Angry 12 step husband is leaving me/kids..how do I cope w/ my anger?

My husband and I have been together for a LONG LONG time. he's been sober for under a year and has been actively involved w/ his 12step group.
He sprung on me that he doesn't love me and is leaving me soon.

Maybe I shouldn't be but I'm having a hard time being alternately angry and sad... sometimes I want him to stay and others I want him out NOW.

Keep in mind I've been supportive. I have not thrown up the past or anything that he did while he drank that upset me, embarassed me etc.. in other words I was living in the present and besides the fact he was never home and always either going to mtg or working the steps or hanging out w/ other 12steppers that needed his support. I didn't do Alnon. I also attended mtgs w/ him whenever he asked me to.

He told me today that "he can't find serenity" when he is with me.

Are you freakin' serious??? I put up w/ all kinds of crazy crap for almost 20 yrs and stood by your side...and now your sober and decide u don't love me and need more serenity ??? I was fine to cook, clean and take care of you for all that time. I put up w/ all the worry and cleaning up the messes you created by your drinking and irresponsible behavior but now...NOW...your sober and say "I'm finally feeling" and your bailing out????

So...I'm left with 3 kids. I work part time and am in school full time (a very stressful and difficult healthcare program to boot!) and you're planning your escape.

I just don't know how to cope. He wants to express himself to me...but doesn't want to hear my view or feelings about it, he just gets mad and does the "I'm leaving"...and hangs out w/ his step buddies.

I think he's lost his mind...
If anyone should be leaving it should be me for realizing that I'm being ignored, neglected and yes, I do feel I've been, and am currently being manipulated and emotionally abused.

The only thing is... I know that him leaving is better for me. Better for my kids. But it's still hard to let go.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:40 AM
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I'm sorry to hear that this is happening.
Putting up with his business for 20 years makes it sound like you're a very strong person. Perhaps that's all I can say to you at this time.

Stay strong.

Keep posting. I know there are people here who've been there done that and may have something useful.

For me, I embrace my anger. I don't act on it but I fully stand behind it! It makes me strong when I'm feeling weak.
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:55 AM
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One great way to get anger in control
is to vent about it.

So you're off to a great start here!

I'm very sorry for the reason
but also very glad that you've decided to join us.

Better to let it out here
than on or around the kids.
THey're going to have a hard time as well.

And they're going to need you.

Welcome to the forum.
I hope you make lots of new friends here
and received the help you want
to get through this crisis time.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:08 PM
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in his recovery, has he ever seen a therapist, counselor, or psyc type person?

My wife came back from her very first appoint, the very first week of trying to start recovery quacking about how the therapist and the Psychatrist both said once she gets sober that she may have no need for me anymore.

I didn't say a word. My kids and I are better off with her not drinking. If she can get and stay sober, it won't matter one bit if we are still together or not.

just like trying to make them get sober, we can't make them love us.

sure it hurts. But move on. You will be better off in the long run anyway. Vent all you need to. Don't ratchet it up. Just be cool. Like Fonzi.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:23 PM
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I'm in a similar situation as you: 18 yr marriage to an active AH. It sucks!

I'm a nurse, so I'm familiar with the 5 stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining. depression and acceptance. I watched myself go through the steps when my AH told me he wouldn't be here if it weren't for the kids and that we wouldn't make it after they'd gone.

1st I didn't think he really meant what he said. I kept asking him if he was sure. He never could figure out if he meant it or not. That was denial.

Then I got angry and got a counselor. That was VERY helpful. I journal everytime I feel the anger come on. Write whatever comes to my mind.If I die and they find my journal they won't believe what I was thinking and felt.
I also paint, so I painted several angry women.

I'm in the bargaining phase, requested a divorce myself and then 2 weeks later agreed to try to "work things out." I now know that's probably a mistake.

The things that have helped the most are therapy, journaling, taking care of myself and planning something I enjoy each day and now I've added Alanon. Attended my first meeting and it was a huge blessing.

I'm also going to work part time and will begin school full time in summer to get my masters, so I really know what you're goign through.

I can see that although work, school, kids and becoming poor will be hard, it's not as hard as living with someone who is unable or unwilling to love you. There is nothing that hurts worse than that. We deserve more.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:25 PM
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Make like a swan.. cool, calm and serene on the surface and paddling like mad underneath. Paddle here, friends, whoever/wherever you feel able.

If I feel angry (which isn't that often) I find a boxercise class (win..win.. get fit and get the grrrrr out) or pummeling the bejeezus out of dough and making bread vents my raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!

Tx
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:56 PM
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I have nothing really to add but to say that you should be proud to have been strong for your family and your husband. I should know, because I am the child of your exact situation a generation ago. My mother endured embarassment from the rumors of why 'he' left, supported and nutured her family with no economic support. The thing I will always respect was that my mother never said a bad word about my father in front of me. I know now that she vented with her friends, but not in front of me. To this day I do not know how she got through it sane, but she did.

Vent and grieve, but be strong for your kids, they will always respect you for it.

Toss
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:59 PM
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to SR blwninthewind. Thanks for sharing. I say good riddance. What a blessing in disguise. About this:
I put up w/ all kinds of crazy crap for almost 20 yrs and stood by your side...and now your sober and decide u don't love me and need more serenity ??? I was fine to cook, clean and take care of you for all that time. I put up w/ all the worry and cleaning up the messes you created by your drinking and irresponsible behavior but now...NOW...your sober and say "I'm finally feeling" and your bailing out????
The past is past. It's done. You did what you thought was right at the time, all these years, and now we are in today. But honestly, it was never your job to clean up all his messes and you have BIGGER and BETTER things to do with all your energy and efforts than continue to be with someone who does not know how to, or want to, be an equal partner. I think this just provides you opportunities.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by blwninthewind View Post
...and you're planning your escape...
If you think about it, at the heart of addiction, the addict escapes. They use whatever substance or behavior that is their addiction -- to escape. They escape reality and its consequences, its hardships and challenges, its demands.

And so now that the fog has cleared a bit from the alcohol... what is he doing? -- escaping

It's not so surprising, to me. It's another iteration of the same malady.

The HARD work, the TRUE recovery, is when life is taken on life's terms, not escaped.

I'm sorry for this circumstance you are in and do not deserve. Confusion, rage, sadness... they all make sense to me in the context of being left in the trail of dust... of an escaping addict.

Sending encouragement,

CLMI
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:00 PM
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I've heard many stories like this.

On a roll to "get their life in order" they seem to have a momentum that they can't STOP changing things, even the good things.

Exah is trying to get sober. I wonder if I had stayed and he had tried, if I would have been curbed.
Sorry about all this...you didn't cause it, can't cure it, can't control it, and can't make him stick out the marriage either.
But you CAN take care of YOU.
Take care of you during this time...you deserve to be treated good by YOU.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:09 PM
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of course you feel angry and sad and hurt and shocked and used and.....?, that is entirely natural: when any husband or wife decides to leave a relationship the one who is left feels all of these things to some degree whether addiction has been involved or not. hop onto a divorce support forum and see.

it is incredibly painful, but people do work through that, you don't have to pretend not to feel these things, there's no "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" about feelings. vent away. It may also help to know that you will feel better in the future? (())
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:13 PM
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Sorry you have to deal with this disappointment. Bottom line, though, is that you have no choice but to accept it. Well, you COULD rant and rave and guilt-trip him and throw things, but in the end, if he wants to leave he will leave, and you will feel no better for having worked yourself into a frenzy of anger.

Living well is the best, er, I hate to use the term "revenge", but karma? You did your best throughout the marriage to deal with many difficult situations. You deserve a break. You are getting one--maybe not the one you hoped for, or expected, but this will not destroy your life. There are many opportunities to have a happy life without being married to someone who, for whatever reason, doesn't want to stay in the marriage.

Big hugs, you will come through this just fine, I predict.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:11 PM
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Vent, vent, vent. Work out, write, paint, or ____. Listen to angry music while you vent.

When I was working on the papers for my divorce, I sat in my car at lunch time or when I needed a few minutes alone at home and cranked up "Untouchable Face" by Ani DiFranco. Definitely not kid-friendly, but it helped get the angries out:

"i see you and i'm so perplexed
what was i thinking
what will i think of next
where can i hide
in the back room there's a lamp
that hangs over the pool table
and when the fan is on it swings
gently side to side
there's a changing constellation
of balls as we are playing
i see orion and say nothing
the only thing i can think of saying

is f_ you... "

Or sad/mad music: Done Wrong by Ani DiFranco
YouTube - Ani DiFranco - Done Wrong

Truly, I do listen to other artists, but so many of Ani DiFranco's songs still resonate with me. I had a few other favorite angry songs, but can't think of them right now... To paraphrase something I read from some one else when I really needed to hear it: Anger is not a bad emotion. It can be truly liberating and help spur us on to take the action we need to take.

It hurts and it s-cks and it's completely not fair. But I really love DesertEyes' signature:

Sunsets are not endings. If I have enough faith, they are beginnings.
Please remember to take care of yourself and Vent away!
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:18 PM
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The past is past. It's done. You did what you thought was right at the time, all these years, and now we are in today. But honestly, it was never your job to clean up all his messes and you have BIGGER and BETTER things to do with all your energy and efforts than continue to be with someone who does not know how to, or want to, be an equal partner. I think this just provides you opportunities.
I like this.

Regarding your personal emotions during this transition. I found they neeeded expressing. I journalled, I used this forum, trusted friends, and professioanl counselling. NOT the children. Anger and other strong emotions need processing or else the grief becomes trapped and either makes you sick or comes back to bite you on the bum months or years later.

Welcome to SR.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:21 PM
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Good advice TheUncertainty. I also recommend Alanis Morrisette! She's really good to listen to when in these kinds of situations.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:29 PM
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to Blwnthewind-
no advice per se...just wanted you to know that your thread sounded so much like me I thought I might have written it and forgotten about it. When my husband of 27 years all of a sudden said he did not know if he wanted to be married, my first thought was-"I put up with your drunk ass all these years and you don't know if you want to be married to ME?" More than the anger, I feel hurt. The anger was there through all our marriage but now it is just hurtful and I keep clinging to the thought that it is the alcohol or depression or mid life crisis or unresolved childhood issues- not that it could be that he simply does not love me anymore. SO I vent and I cry and I go for walks and I try to do everything fun I denied myself in the past. I am trying to fake it until it feels good. It has worked well for some things and not so much for others. Reading your post made me feel like I was not so all alone. Neither are you.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:36 PM
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Hi jamaicamecrazy! to SR. I hope that you will also start a new post and introduce yourself and tell us more of your story. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:51 PM
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I just thought of another good song: Call Me When You're Sober - Evanescence
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:06 AM
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Great song! Check out the video on youtube when you need a boost!

My facebook statuts last week was "Its an Alanais /Pat Benetar/Pink kind of day." That's all my friends needed to know to send warm wishes and for others to stay the hell away! haha
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:14 AM
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I also recommend Alanis Morrisette! She's really good to listen to when in these kinds of situations.
I recommend Alanis highly. Get the music (with the words) and sing/yell it very loudly in the car.
I did that and felt great relief. I was furious too. Absolutely blind with rage.
Alanis gets that.

Beth
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