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Want out because of the drinking...

Old 03-16-2011, 08:10 AM
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Want out because of the drinking...

FindingPeace had posted this in the gaslight thread, and it really struck a nerve with me.

Originally Posted by FindingPeace1 View Post
His initial response to my confronting him was to say, "it's not a big deal" and "I did nothing wrong". Now (over a year later) he is saying he acknowledges that it was dysfuctional and he behaved inappropriately.
He has insisted he feels he has been "very consistent" in acknowledging his responsibility.

He complains that the REAL problem is that I waited and got super upset and then "dropped a bomb" on him.
When I say, "What about all the times I brought it up casually and you dismissed it or got defensive?"
He doesn't remember those times, or gets angry and says that's not true.

He says I have demonized him. That I am looking for an excuse to get out. That I falsify the truth. That I misremember. That I twist his words. That I take them out of context.
That is my life in a nutshell. And now I'm left doubting myself, doubting what I KNOW to be true... and bordering on accepting, yet again, that I am the problem, not him. My AH has said similiar things - "You knew this when you married me!" "I can't believe your bringing this up now!" (Drinking has been on ongoing discussion since day 1!), "Wow! Just like that you are willing to throw our life away!"

My AH tells me all the time that I am blaming the drinking because it's an easy scapegoat. It's true there are more problems than just the drinking, but I feel that until the drinking (and all the other irresponsible behavior that goes with it!) goes away - we can't even begin to deal with the other crap.

Am I off base here?

Oh yeah, and let's not forget the fact that he crossed a REAL big boundary when he laid his hands on me (but in his mind, that was my fault).
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:14 AM
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Everything pales in light of the physical violence. Drinking or not...he grabbed you by the throat and that is physical abuse. If it were me, it would not matter what he did or said. No one has the right to put their hands on me in an aggressive manner. If you are willing to accept that, then the rest of it is irrelevant.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:22 AM
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Oh dear!!!! Physical violence to me is a drop dead deal breaker.

Only you can decide what is best for you, but I hope that you will document any and all instances of abuse. You deserve better things in life!

Huge hugs! HG
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:22 AM
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You're right Suki. So right. I'm letting him run-me around and deflect from the real issue. The drinking doesn't matter. He crossed a big boundary, that's what matters.

That was the kick in the pants I needed. Thank you.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:55 AM
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Some will disagree with me, and that is fine. But you really didn't define "laid his hands on me". This could be just a hand on a shoulder. Or it could be a smack across the mouth. Obviously one is far, far worse than the other.

I say this only because my drunk wife stumbled and as I went to catch her and control her fall to the ground, resulting in ZERO injury, I was accused of "laying hands" her. It was true. I touched her. But I didn't hurt her. So be sure what you are saying. A simple laying hands on another person is NOT a criminal offense.

With that said, what you describe is exactly what these people do to people like us. They lie, manipulate, delude, and conspire against us. Ask your self if a person more of you mans temperament and character would put up with HIS behavior for a minute. The answer is NO. And a resounding NO. That is why they are not with people like themselves. They seek out and find US. Because we are the "the glass is nearly full" kind of characters. We have an amazing ability to forget about the dramas of the past. We have to, or else we would go crazy. The people in this world that can not let go of the memories let go of the people.

You are not alone. Nor are you crazy. And most of all, YOU are not responsible for the behavior of a grown man. Any grown man. He chooses to act, say and do the things he does. You are only guilty of enduring his wrath. Nothing more.

Dr. ZRX recommends spending some time alone and see how you like the peace that accompanies it. Also, start keeping a journal. Best to keep it on the computer in Word format and password protect it. Write down the big events. Then go back in a few months and read what you packed away in a little dark spot of your brain. You will be amazed.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:58 AM
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zrx, GettingBy has another thread where she explained exactly what happened. He didn't touch her shoulder or try to keep her from falling, he grabbed her by the throat because he was angry at her.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
zrx, GettingBy has another thread where she explained exactly what happened. He didn't touch her shoulder or try to keep her from falling, he grabbed her by the throat because he was angry at her.
Here is the thread:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...scalating.html



GettingBy, you are right.
As long as he is drinking, he cannot address anything else that is going on, because alcohol plays too many games with his thinking process.
That said, because it is escalating, and because he did grab you by the throat, you need to be aware that it can still get worse. He may be on "good behavior" right now, but since he already crossed that boundary once, that makes it even more likely that he will cross it again.
You need to take the steps necessary to protect yourself, and your children. They are already learning behaviors from him, and the longer you treat his behavior as acceptable, the more they'll believe your example.


Be strong! And be safe.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:58 AM
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You can leave a relationship for any reason, you know? Even the fact that he leaves the cap of the toothpaste. You don't need his permission to leave. And he is free to leave the relationship if your requests to be an active partner and parent who doesn't resort to physical violence don't work for him.

GettingBy, the drinking is a red herring for you. It almost always is. It may not be for him in that his life would be less chaotic if he stopped drinking and got into recovery, but for you it has to be all about the behavior.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bolina View Post
You can leave a relationship for any reason, you know? Even the fact that he leaves the cap of the toothpaste. You don't need his permission to leave. And he is free to leave the relationship if your requests to be an active partner and parent who doesn't resort to physical violence don't work for him.

GettingBy, the drinking is a red herring for you. It almost always is. It may not be for him in that his life would be less chaotic if he stopped drinking and got into recovery, but for you it has to be all about the behavior.
Giving myself permission to leave, no matter what, was a big step for me. It is a very basic point but to get my whole being to that point took some work. SR helped me a lot to get there. Keep reading. It also helped to quit engaging in the crazy making conversations. I just refused to go there anymore. It was very hard to get my thinking clear when I was still engaging in the crazy.

I am great for having little snippets and pre-made tapes/sentences/thoughts running through my head. Most were self defeating and they happen all the time, without trying. I mean when I'm driving, in a conversation, in the shower. I almost always have these things running through my head. One of the things I had to do when I was trying to disengage from some of the crazy making was to a) not get into a conversation and b) sometimes he'd talk and I was 'trapped' for a little bit so I had to very pointedly play a different tape in my head. I'd grab onto some other little snippet and make myself think that instead of the old stuff that was so bad for me.

I may have just given the impression that I'm a complete mental case :snicker: but it worked for me. I still do it when I need to.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:29 PM
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Hi Gettingby,

What I'm going to say here is simply my opinion. Take what you want, if anything, and leave the rest.

There are tons of active alcoholics who are not physically abusive. It's a separate issue. To say it's because of the alcohol or the actions of others is classic gas lighting.

Alcoholic abusers who are sober are simply sober abusers. I drank heavily throughout my twenties, sometimes until I passed out. I have never, under any circumstances, struck a woman (and there were plenty of times I wanted to). There is absolutely no excuse for it at all. It cannot be excused. I'm trying to be clear here. It took no effort at all to not hit women. Why? Because I don't hit women.

Violence is the refuge of the incompetent.

My two cents. Take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:02 PM
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I think I am reading this section differently than everyone else.
I want to clarify my earlier statement to make sure it is understood.

Originally Posted by GettingBy View Post
My AH tells me all the time that I am blaming the drinking because it's an easy scapegoat. It's true there are more problems than just the drinking, but I feel that until the drinking (and all the other irresponsible behavior that goes with it!) goes away - we can't even begin to deal with the other crap.

Am I off base here?
Abuse is a separate issue from alcoholism. His reactions to things are a separate issue than the alcoholism. Stopping the drinking will not make everything go away - and it sounds like you realize that.

He cannot address any issues - his behavior, the abuse, anything - until the drinking stops, because it is affecting and controlling his brain and his thought process too much.

That said, most abusive men get worse when they stop drinking, so expecting things to "get better" - even acknowledging that they won't be fixed - will probably still be a set up for failure and disappointment. Also, "All the irresponsible behavior that goes with it!" might not have anything to do with the drinking at all.

Now is a good time to start figuring out your next steps.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:03 PM
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Thanks all! I was really having a rough morning. I allowed myself to get sucked into the crazy talk again, and it's really not healthy for me.

I need to stay focused on the *real* issues - the unacceptable behavior - most importantly, the physical abuse. Unacceptable, unacceptable, unacceptable. No excuses - and getting sober won't fix that problem. The drinking and the abuse are two separate and distinct issues... and when I blend them, I confuse myself.

I'm looking forward to sitting with the attorney tomorrow and getting started on my future life. I'm engineer so I like things logical, and I like planning/organizing. A divorce isn't going to be a fun thing to plan - but that's okay.

Feet on the ground, one foot in front of the other.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:06 PM
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(((StarCat))))... it appears our posts crossed electronic paths!! I'm right there with you. I agree... two separate issues.

The right thing for me and the kids is divorce. He will never get better with me around enabling.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:14 PM
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well, you don't need my permission to leave for grabbing the throat. That is pretty clear cut. No ambiguity there.

Run, and don't look back.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:31 PM
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I agree, Thumper. Giving myself permission to take control of my own destiny was surprisingly difficult. I don't even know of I could describe how I got there, because it was truly a lightbulb moment out of the blue that came from lots of little pieces of awareness.

GettingBy, he doesn't get it. And that's OK. So long as you do, then you'll be fine. And so will your children.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:01 PM
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If I had not been in the same position I would have agreed with everyone. However my husband has never been physically abusive. The last 2 years we were together his whole personality changed. He became verbally abusive and did the whole manipulation thing as well. Accused me of having an affair when he had admitted he was having a relationship with someone who had a "crush" on him. It was crazy. I sincerely thought he had a brain tumor. Then one night he tore my clothes off me and screamed that he wanted to punch me. I was not scared because I had never known him to be violent. But I knew he had crossed a line and that I could not stay. I still think it was the alcohol. I don't think he would ever have became this out of control if not for his continued drinking. Of course he never claimed responsibility. When I told him he had crossed a line he said I crossed the line years ago when I stopped treating him with respect. That person was not my husband. Not the man I have known for 30 years. I cannot be with that man. But I keep hoping that he will choose sobriety and the sweet man I have known will be found again. How naive do I sound?
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jamaicamecrazy View Post
But I keep hoping that he will choose sobriety and the sweet man I have known will be found again. How naive do I sound?
Nope, not naive, only human. Lots of us here on the forums hope for such an outcome. Just remember that hope is not a plan - don't build your life on it.

I hate to be the one to tell you this but your husband has been physically abusive.

Originally Posted by jamaicamecrazy View Post
Then one night he tore my clothes off me and screamed that he wanted to punch me. I was not scared because I had never known him to be violent.
This is outright physical abuse. Don't minimise it.

Please find yourself a copy of 'Why Does He Do That?' by Lundy Bancroft. It really opened my eyes to what was going on in my marriage. XAH escalated his verbal abuse in the last 2 years of our marriage too. I'm only starting to recognise the other, less obvious, forms of abuse he had been using prior to that.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:21 AM
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(((( jamaicamecrazy))))),

I stayed with my AH because I kept hoping he would become the man I knew he 'could' be. False hope based on my expectations. I'm leaving because the man he IS is not healthy for me and does unacceptable things.

It's hard. I feel so much guilt. I worry about the kids being mad, confused, sad, etc. I worry about how hurt/mad/upset he's going to be when he gets served... But that's what his HP is for... So I have to let go of the outcome, let go of the false dreams and live in the here and now... Just THIS moment.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bookwyrm View Post
Please find yourself a copy of 'Why Does He Do That?' by Lundy Bancroft. It really opened my eyes to what was going on in my marriage. XAH escalated his verbal abuse in the last 2 years of our marriage too. I'm only starting to recognise the other, less obvious, forms of abuse he had been using prior to that.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-chapters.html
Reading the book study thread in the meantime could help, as well.
No substitute for the full book, but at this point it's a very nice supplement.

You deserve better than abuse, in any way, shape, or form.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post

........I have never, under any circumstances, struck a woman (and there were plenty of times I wanted to). There is absolutely no excuse for it at all. It cannot be excused. I'm trying to be clear here. It took no effort at all to not hit women. Why? Because I don't hit women.

Violence is the refuge of the incompetent.


Cyranoak
I like this, Cyranoak--it cuts through any moral ambiguity, any excuses. Says it like it is.
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