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Knowing when it's time to separate/ divorce

Old 02-09-2011, 06:23 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I can only tell you I wish I left at the first, second, third, forth or fifth time I made up my mind. I rationalized it all away, and in the end stayed. for over 20 years.

I am a man of few regrets. But I wish I had the strength to leave long ago. I simply didn't.

The collective wisdom on this forum is amazing. I bet there is over 500 years of living with alcoholics actively participating here. I have yet to read a single post that says: "I'm so happy I chose to stay married to my alcoholic spouse. We had a really long talk one day 20 years ago and I told him I wasn't going to take it anymore and that he needed to quit. Or I was leaving. And you know, he stepped right up, and quit. Our life has been so fantastic in every regard since this. I'm so glad i didn't listen to my fill-in-the-blank who suggest I leave him after his X number of years of abuse."

Never once. Did I miss that thread somewhere?

More than likely, you will look back 20 years from now and wish you had done something. You make the decision. You have to live with it. But go back and read what you wrote. And your path will be clear. They are not like the wine they drink. They do not get better with age. They just get worse. And so do you.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:39 PM
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That small quiet voice inside me knew it was time to go years before I actually went. I ignored it. I shoved it aside, rationalizing and justifying my denial and magical thinking. I was unconscious.

After I got into therapy, I asked my therapist how to discern that voice. How could I separate it from the other voices, the shaming, rationalizing, committee in my head that told me all the wrong things to do? She said the voice of your instinct, your gut, is never loud or shaming. It always has your best interests at heart. It is that feeling you have right before you step on the ice that maybe you should *slow down*. That little thing you feel right before you fall on your a$$.

L
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:53 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I can't speak for anybody else, but I wish I hadn't left in anger.
I think calmly and rationally deciding to leave is one thing; in an emotional state is another.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:03 PM
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I love you all and your generosity of spirit.
Thanks to you all.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:29 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by zrx1200R View Post
I have yet to read a single post that says: "I'm so happy I chose to stay married to my alcoholic spouse. We had a really long talk one day 20 years ago and I told him I wasn't going to take it anymore and that he needed to quit. Or I was leaving. And you know, he stepped right up, and quit. Our life has been so fantastic in every regard since this. I'm so glad i didn't listen to my fill-in-the-blank who suggest I leave him after his X number of years of abuse."

Never once. Did I miss that thread somewhere?
Um, possibly.

My experience with my first husband (who got sober the year before we got married) was ALMOST that ideal. We wound up getting divorced later, for unrelated reasons, but are still VERY close friends.

The only drawback to that scenario for me was that when I was living with another alcoholic, who almost died from the disease, I was overly optimistic when he was sober a few months in AA. I married him, and he quickly relapsed, never to recover again, so far as I know (haven't talked to him in about three or four years, but last time I did he was still drinking).

Some people really DO "get it" almost out of the box. It was only a few months between the time I first gave my first husband the Big Book one of my co-workers gave me and his last drink. He's sober for 31 years now.

I don't think it happens real often, that smoothly. It wasn't without bumps along the way, but they weren't major ones. He's a good guy, and I was very fortunate.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:11 PM
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I'm nodding my head at so many posts here.

I knew many years before I left that I wasn't living the life I wanted as long as I was living with an actively drinking alcoholic. Do I wish it would have ended differently, and not with a death threat and running away and going into hiding? You bet. Do I wish I had done it years ago? Absolutely.

But the thing was -- I left when I was ready. And I have no regrets about leaving. And that's the point I had to get to, the point where my sense of self-preservation was stronger than my sense of responsibility for him.

I didn't leave in anger. I was very focused when I left. And I knew that I had been leaving for a long time. Getting in the car and not looking back wasn't the first step; it was the last one.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:58 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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My favorite part of this thread: They are not like the wine they drink. They do not get better with age.
Totally true.
Wondering how it all worked out for you...
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:02 AM
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Funny how he's embarrassed that someone should find out that he is doing whatever he can to save his own life and his marriage and ability to raise his child with you, but he's not embarrassed to live as an alcoholic, with all the shameful behavior that that can encompass? One of the defenses my AH uses is that he believes that everyone loves him as the party guy, even though he regularly crosses the line from party guy to passed out incoherent, slobbering guy--and people see that too. Not sure how lovable THAT is. My AH also won't do AA.

If you feel that you "know" it's time to leave, I would back up those who said that fear of bailing out on him is not a good reason to stay. You can't control what he'll do, whether you stay or you go.
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