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Jerks before they were alcoholics...

Old 03-25-2011, 06:22 PM
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Jerks before they were alcoholics...

One of my first posts when I started coming here I asked if verbally abusive alcoholic partners ever change. I was still under the presumption that the alcohol MADE him act a fool and be mean towards my kids and myself.

Now, I think that at least my AH was a jerk before the drink and I was just wearing rose colored glasses and never saw it. Looking back, there were signs that something wasn't right, but I was so in love that I just didn't want to look. For him, the alcohol intensified his aggression. It made him run off at the mouth easier and made a wonderful excuse for him the next morning. I sooooo wanted the alcohol to be the reason as I did NOT want to think that the man I married and gave my entire heart could be that cruel. Unfortunately, I was wrong and it's taken a very long time for me to override that thinking.

At this point, I'm hypersensitive to everything he says or does. Just this week he sat me down and told me that if I could just love him for the man he is today and let the past go we could be fine. (Keep in mind that this past Saturday he was gone until 5am, totally MIA.) I see an alterior motive in most of his actions and I feel that he's condenscending much of the time.

We're a far cry from a healthy relationship, he's still a jerk even though he tells me he's not drinking (I don't buy it), I'm still hypervigilant, I still hide things from him to protect myself and we still don't do ANYTHING together. I think the hardest thing for me is that he isn't bad all the time and I've always held onto these tiny threads with the hope that it would support us.

Letting go is very, very hard and if anyone ever said otherwise I'd not believe them. I'm just thankful that I realize for my kids and myself that this isn't working. I get it that the alcohol isn't the main problem, just something I could put my finger on.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:50 PM
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I think that is the hard part all of us have had to (or will have to) come to terms with. They're not bad people all the time. Heck, if they were, it would be easy to leave.

I remember reading once about an experiment on rats. They put a treat dispenser in the cage and administered treats in three different ways. One cage got a treat whenever they pressed a lever, one cage got treats at first and then they stopped being dispensed. The last cage was totally random. Sometimes they would get a treat, sometimes not. No predictable pattern.

The rats who got consistent treats were very casual about it, they went and got one when they wanted, no big deal. They didn't overindulge in the treats. The rats who got some at first and then no more stopped pressing the lever pretty quickly, they knew nothing was going to come out. But, the rats who got the intermittent treats became neurotic and obsessive. They pressed the lever over and over hoping for a treat. When they got one, they gobbled it down and went back to pressing the lever. They couldn't live their lives because they were so obsessed with the lever.

It's like that with the alcoholics in our lives. We keep trying, hoping for those crumbs of affection, love, kindness, respect, that only come once in a while. We go crazy pressing the lever. It becomes all we live for.

L
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:11 PM
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It's a merry go round type of thing, I really wanted to believe that in the end him not drinking would fix everything. I would be happy to see him again and look forward to him coming home, he'd stop his tantrums and belittleing...heck, we'd live happily ever after. That was what I wanted to believe.

The reality is that him not drinking didn't fix our marriage. It was really easy for me to point the finger and say he's the problem (yeah he did create a number of them), but now I feel and look differently at things due to our history.

It makes me sad at times because I thought that we would grow old together. To me this isn't what was supposed to happen, even though it did. The hardest thing that I've ever had to learn in this whole ordeal is that I just have to let go and the pieces will fall where they belong.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:51 AM
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LaTeeDa... That hit close to home. I feel like the 3rd experiment.

inahaze, the merry go round is exhausting. My AH hasn't stopped drinking (pretends he has, though). I am finally realizing that even if he does, our marriage will not recover. Realizing he isn't the person I thought he was (he never was that person) has been difficult to accept. Letting go is VERY hard...
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:07 AM
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I'm going through something similar in my relationship. I've been doing alot of research and have found that even though the A might not be actively drinking the years of abuse have essentially warped their mind and way of thinking/interacting. That it takes at least a year (up to 3) for the healing to begin. I try to remember that every time we have a disagreement. That his brain is basically sick, and I try to be a bit more understanding. It's hard because I am still trying to move on from all the past hurts brought on by years of lying and betrayals, but the nonsense behavior is still in my face.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:09 AM
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I believe in the brain sickness concept as well. But I also believe its immaturity and an angry mindset in which they view the world. Some people are capable of changing that, but it takes a long time and a lot of painful lessons learned. I am probably not in the best frame of mind today, as I have had a few nasty run-ins with the RAH over tax issues. And today I don't have any hope his mind-set will ever change. Someone here said that you can wring the alcohol out of an a-hole and you still have an a-hole. This makes sense to me today.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by inahaze View Post
...Now, I think that at least my AH was a jerk before the drink and I was just wearing rose colored glasses and never saw it. Looking back, there were signs that something wasn't right, but I was so in love that I just didn't want to look. For him, the alcohol intensified his aggression. It made him run off at the mouth easier and made a wonderful excuse for him the next morning...
-alcohol intensified his aggression- I think that says alot. Without the alcohol or drugs he probably can control himself a little better. Not because he really wants to but because he knows it is wrong. There is still probably a mindset or attitude that tells him it's ok to scream, bully etc.

I don't buy that drugs & alcohol by themselves turn someone into a criminal, liar or abuser etc. Most of these individuals already had this capability in them. Not potential but actually thought about doing many of these things at one time or another but were able to control their urges even wether it was the law or peer pressure. Throw in some shaky sober beliefs, morals and experiences it's too easy for some to cross the line. The alcohol & drugs from what I've heard take away impulse control or that line. Remember many addicts etc had to cross a line to even start abusing drugs most of which were illegal or criminal behavior.

This is why I think rehab has got to emphasize the gravity of one's actions while abusing. Too me it should be pounded into someones head as why & what they did was wrong.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:38 AM
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Realizing he isn't the person I thought he was (he never was that person) has been difficult to accept. Letting go is VERY hard...
that's it in a nutshell for me. Realizing that he is who he is... He's not the man I always thought he could be if only... If only he'd stop drinking, if only he'd talk and listen more.

He stopped drinking two weeks ago, not because he wanted to... Because I said I wouldn't live with the drinking anymore. He's been mad at me since... Mad as hell and it's been awful to live with. He's not being the person he wants to be, and he's no where near the person I want him to be.

Why bother. I told him last night. "it's done. We need to go our separate ways. I've got an attorney and will be starting the divorce process. You can go live your life and I can go live mine... And we'll figure out how best to share the kids.".

He yelled, screamed, blamed me, called me a quitter, accused me of being the problem. According to him, I just can't be happy. My response, "you're right. I can't be as long as I'm stuck in this rut with you. "

Truth is... We've had these very same discussions since we met 10 yrs ago. So he is who he is... And I should have quit 9.5 yrs ago.

Oh well, lesson learned, and I have two beautiful children now. Onward and upward.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by GettingBy View Post
He yelled, screamed, blamed me, called me a quitter, accused me of being the problem. According to him, I just can't be happy.
If only I had a dollar for every single time I heard this same exact BS. I'd be a pretty wealthy woman today, that's for sure.

Thanks, gettingby, for sharing this as I am sure I am not the only one here who gets this very same crap screamed at me. StarCat posted on another thread that she isn't playing the "Let's pretend everything is (insert your name here)'s fault" and I just can't agree with that more today. I am exhausted by it all. I want my RAH to go find a new family to terrorize. We've had enough.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:27 PM
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According to mine if I'd just let go of the past and love him who for who he is today we'd be a-okay.
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