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Another milestone on the path...

Old 04-06-2011, 09:31 PM
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Another milestone on the path...

An update, of sorts...
I went to the AlAnon meeting, and talked to my ABF. I told him that I would no longer live with him as an active alcoholic. He stopped drinking. We've had one conversation about how he feels about it since then. It's been kind of nice, seeing what we're like without alcohol being an issue...

Today his brother took him and ds out for a burger. Someone at the restaurant pressured him to have a drink, so he did. Then he lied to me about it (saying he'd had a sip and given the rest to his brother), and told ds he was a tattletale.

I've been so okay with not waiting for the other shoe to drop, okay with loving him in the here and now. But in what reality is it okay for an alcoholic to have a drink while caring for a kid?? I may have been okay if ds wasn't there, but that's not what happened!

He has not sought help yet; apparently he can quit on his own...

I HATE the idea of leaving, of starting over, of being broke, and lonely, and the tangle of "I love you; I just won't live with you".

Tomorrow's fun conversation: Get help, I'm moving out May 1. Not OR. AND.... Get help AND I'm moving out May 1.
Too drastic? or too little, too late?

I know it's the right thing to do. I just feel awful. Thanks for listening, again. I have tonight to figure out my words.

- Sylvie
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:38 PM
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No I don't think it is ok for an alcoholic to have a drink while caring for a kid. That would be a huge issue for me, especially if he drove home after drinking. I would also be upset that he lied to you about the situation.

I think you are very strong to stand up for what you believe in. The path you choose is not going to be easy, but if you stay that path will not be easy either.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Sylvie66 View Post

I HATE the idea of leaving, of starting over, of being broke, and lonely, and the tangle of "I love you; I just won't live with you".
Hi Sylvie

What about the idea of something happening to the kid? what would you do with the guilt? sorry to be so blunt.

Where I live there are drunk driving accidents & tragedies every weekend. I live near a main street with many bars. I have some images fresh in my mind.


There are others here that have gone broke and have started over. Very wise, content and dare I say happy. You can earn more money somehow.

I don't have much money and rent a very small apartment. I am very very happy and wouldn't trade this for the beautiful large house I shared with XABF. Never in a million years. I was alone in a new city. Somehow things have worked out by themselves. And I realized the only moments of my life where I was truly lonely was when I was with XABF in one of his drunken stupors. THAT was loneliness.

And peace is priceless! Hugs.

Last edited by TakingCharge999; 04-06-2011 at 10:24 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:56 PM
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Aside from the concerns about the child's physical safety, there is also this:

Originally Posted by Sylvie66 View Post

...and told ds he was a tattletale.
It sounds like your son is being placed in middle of a dynamic that is both unfair and unhealthy for him; your ABF is basically calling him names for not lying or hiding the truth. No child deserves to put in that position.

I know you want what's best for your son. I also understand that the thought of moving out and starting over seems difficult and exhausting, but you are absolutely correct: it is the right thing to do. You do not have to go through this alone. There is lots of help available. Coming here is a great start!
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:26 AM
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I must say, I like that "AND".

Yeah, it's disappointing, and nobody wants to go through a breakup (permanent or temporary), but it sounds like your instincts are telling you this is the right thing to do. As long as you aren't doing it as a way to force the issue, but rather doing it for your own (and your son's) well-being, I'd move out.

Do you have a plan for where you can go?
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:49 AM
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Thank you all. It was difficult, because he was both defensive and minimizing ('..it was only one little drink'; 'why didn't he tell me he didn't feel okay about it?' etc). It turns out that the last few weeks, while I've been tastily sampling our new life, he's been feeling oppressed and miserable. Hmm. Why didn't he tell me?? I'm not especially good at picking up subtle clues - I go by what's being done and said. He said I didn't trust him, and wasn't treating him with the respect a man his age should have.

He repeatedly told me that if I expect him to change that much (not having any drinks or being drunk around us at all), then it would be better for us to move out. He thinks I'm being manipulative, stupid, overreacting... and all I could think about was him berating me for hours in a drunken mess, worrying about his health, worrying over the effect on the kids. At least it isn't confusing ~ he apologized and we talked a bit about personal freedom - his drinking impinges on my personal freedom (and safety), and my standards about drinking severely restrict his.

He sat ds down this morning, and asked if he felt threatened yesterday. Ds said yes, and ABF got belligerent. Fortunately, I was there to defuse it before it got really ugly, but it was pretty unpleasant. Ds later told me about a drunken incident about a year ago, that he didn't tell me about at the time, because he was afraid it would come to us leaving. The kid is 11. I am mortified that I left it so long.

I'm sad and scared and resolved. I need help with the logistics. Ugh. I feel ill. Calling the realtor back today.

Suggestions on dealing with the between-time? I'm going to move out, but I won't yet for a month.... the 'what-ifs' are starting to roll around in my head.

He just called to apologize for losing his temper, and for talking to ds that way. He said he doesn't want to lose me, and I said I didn't want that either, I just won't live with him if he drinks at all around us. Silence, and a 'maybe we can work something out'.

I'm remembering that magical phrase "I don't think so".

I'll be back.

- Sylvie
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:54 AM
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My daughter is 15 now. The words do not exist for me to be able to explain to you the amount of damage that he has already done to your son, and the amount of damage he will continue to do if you are unable to protect your son from him.

I did not protect my daughter from my wife and those comments and behaviors, and now I'm reaping what I sowed (cutting, drinking, smoking pot, bad grades, bad boyfriends, bad friends, and early sexual activity). I'm not saying this will happen with your son, but I am saying it is not uncommon in family dynamics like yours.

It is a form of child abuse, and nobody will ever be able to convince me otherwise.

Take care,

Cyranoak
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sylvie66 View Post
An update, of sorts...
I went to the AlAnon meeting, and talked to my ABF. I told him that I would no longer live with him as an active alcoholic. He stopped drinking. We've had one conversation about how he feels about it since then. It's been kind of nice, seeing what we're like without alcohol being an issue...

Today his brother took him and ds out for a burger. Someone at the restaurant pressured him to have a drink, so he did. Then he lied to me about it (saying he'd had a sip and given the rest to his brother), and told ds he was a tattletale. QUACK!

I've been so okay with not waiting for the other shoe to drop, okay with loving him in the here and now. But in what reality is it okay for an alcoholic to have a drink while caring for a kid?? I may have been okay if ds wasn't there, but that's not what happened!He said he would quit drinking. In what reality is having a drink a part of NOT DRINKING?

He has not sought help yet; apparently he can quit on his own... QUACK!!

I HATE the idea of leaving, of starting over, of being broke, and lonely, and the tangle of "I love you; I just won't live with you". Well, you have two other choices: 1) learn to accept him as he is or 2) stay miserable. So you've got 3 choices! You just gotta pick one.

Tomorrow's fun conversation: Get help, I'm moving out May 1. Not OR. AND.... Get help AND I'm moving out May 1.
Too drastic? or too little, too late? How about, "I love you but I have concluded that I don't choose to live like this. I hope the very best for you and honor the choice you've made. I'll be moving out May 1."

I know it's the right thing to do. I just feel awful. Thanks for listening, again. I have tonight to figure out my words.

- Sylvie
Yep. It sucks. Big time.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:02 AM
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"He said I didn't trust him" --And there's no reason why you should.

He just wants to continue with the status quo--you all living together, and him continuing to drink. That's what it sounds like from your post.

Your son deserves better, and so do you.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:03 AM
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He lied about drinking.
That is enough to tell you that he is not going to do it alone.

He put son in the middle, made him feel bad for being honest. This is what ACOAs deal with, not having a proper barometer of what is OK, not OK, what is real, what is "normal".

These are behaviors that I would call unacceptable.

Are they acceptable to you. That is all that matters.

Just for right now, you dont want to be with this. That is what you need to know.

Giving him the chance to string you along for another week, month, year, 2 years, 10 years, by saying, IF you do this, I will do this is opening a door for his manipulation, and you will resent yourself for not doing what you know you should right now.

I know that self resentment so well. 10 years later.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:49 PM
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Thank you all. We've been talking, and I think he understands that I plan to leave. He talked to me today to try to get me to stay:

- "I've been doing a LOT better. That was a special case."
- "If you stay, I promise I'll toe the line." 'Who's line?' "Yours!"
- "I only slipped up twice in the last 5 months."
- "I don't see why you won't give me a chance, at least!"

I'm no longer willing to live with an active alcoholic. His words indicate to me that he's not even willing to admit he is an alcoholic, let alone do anything beyond 'trying to not drink.'

I am tired of the random, arbitrary {mess} I get whenever he's drunk in my presence. I won't live with the possibility of it anymore.

He asked me to think it over really hard until Sunday, and then let him know my decision; and that if I decide to go, I have a plan. Fair enough. I'm going to look at houses on Monday.

My 22yo daughter thinks I'm making a good decision. So does my coworker. I haven't told anyone else, besides my ds. I'm a bit afraid to, because ABF is such a popular guy. Well, it won't be the first or last time I make an unpopular decision.

I'm going to be a bucket of tears, though. Wish me luck this weekend...

- Sylvie
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:15 AM
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Good luck!

One step at a time. You can do this.
And you're not alone.

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Old 04-09-2011, 08:35 PM
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Thank you ~ he asked me again today, kind of jokingly, if I'd decided whether or not to stay with him. (I thought I'd already been clear). He was obviously expecting me to say 'yes, I'll stay, just keep the drinking away from us'. Instead, I said I'm moving out.

He doesn't understand, because we have so much else working for us. Everything else. All I could do was repeat that I'm not willing to live like this anymore.

I'm crying because I'm sad, because I hurt him on purpose, because everything else has been so good.

And I keep thinking of coming downstairs to get breakfast ready after sleeping alone all night to find him pie-eyed and still drinking. Of steering him past sleeping children so they won't see him like that.

I don't know what will happen next, but I do know that a year from now, I won't be dealing with frequent, arbitrary, drunken rebukes; or a boyfriend who isn't available because he's hung over; or a vague sense of unease, just because it's Tuesday.

I just read my personal mission statement...at the end, it reads "Everyone wins, or I don't play." That seems pretty clear.

Keep me in your prayers, please.

- Sylvie
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