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Old 04-15-2011, 06:50 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I also find myself in a similar position, sort of. My AH and I are not separated and I am not ready to make a decision about the marriage. At this point I've made it clear that I'm not happy with the way things are and cannot continue. He has not quit drinking. He still believes he can cut back. I see no change, and without some kind of active recovery, I can't commit to the marriage.

Anyway, we rent our house and just found out that our landlord intends to sell it. We *could* theoretically afford to buy the house, but if we did and ended up divorced, I could not afford it on my salary. I also couldn't afford to buy him out. I've said that I don't want to buy the house due to instability (he's considering a job in California, I have said I won't move the kids because they've changed schools twice in 3 years and have only just settled where they are).

He isn't listening to my perspective on this.

I really relate to your issue with the kids - I also would be gone from this relationship if they weren't part of the picture. It's challenging to try to figure out the next best step, when you're working to keep them safe and happy. It's also difficult (for me) to consider the best options when I'm not quite ready to put an end to the marriage.

I don't have any advice, just wanted to say good luck with your decision.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:57 AM
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As I said, it's totally up to you how to handle things with him. But again, it seems you are equating one thing with another. Limiting his access to pushing your buttons does not have to equal banning him from the children. He can take them to a park, take them out to dinner, go for a walk with them, or whatever. Letting him spend time with his children doesn't mean you have to let him come over and walk all over you. And not wanting him in your face doesn't equal blaming him for your troubles.

L
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:10 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
If you knew what it had been like before we were separated and what it is like now, you'd see that I am getting quite a lot out of this separation. And more importantly my kids are too. I'm not sure why anyone would think that banning my kids from seeing their father would be a good idea and as I've said a million times now, he comes by for dinner or to see the girls in the afternoon so as to SEE the girls bc the therapist the girls see who specializes in working with families that are separating/divorcing and/or dealing with addictions is the one who suggested this. As soon as his being around is toxic for anyone it will be re-evaluated. The only reason it has been less than peaceful for me is not bc he is physically present but bc I let his presence upset me. That's not his doing. That's mine.

If it were just me and we had no kids, I'd be NC. I don't have the right to punish my kids or my AH by not letting him see the girls just bc I think that might be "easier" for me. That's insane. I grew up with a mother who banned my father from the house out of spite and she to this day has no peace. I need to find a way to have peace whether he is around (to see the girls) or not and saying that the only way I can have peace is by not having him around (even just for an hour to see the girls) is putting the responsibility for my peace, on to him and that's no different than him blaming me for his drinking.



Thanks-- this is a good point and the clarity helps... I really appreciate it.

Hi wanttobe,

I want to share some ESH, mostly experience:

I have been exactly where you are (except without the sign from God re: a job in another town. I am still waiting for that one.)

Any time people who had been through something similar to what I had said "trust me, you will feel differently when..." I was highly irritated. How dare anyone tell ME what I felt. I had mentally checked out of my marriage long ago. I am FAR more insightful than most people and I know that I am ready for the next step. I am totally in charge here.

And everyone who had been down the same road was patient with me and just kind of shook their heads...and they were right.

By the facts alone (a pending family violence charge, alcoholic huisband, 2 small children, job loss, financial stress), you are simply not equipped to just disregard his physical presence. It is NOT your responsibility to be calm when he's around. And your counselor told you at one point that your children's behavior showed regression when he was around. And every week there is a flare-up with your children around while he attacks you verbally.

You are doing EXTRAORDINARILY well under the circumstances, but your circumstances are dangerous to you and your children.

You will probably hate me now, but I hope you can understand that we have all been in eerily similar circumstances and we can see that while you are doing a great job, you are not all there in terms of clarity.

Please forgive my outspokenness.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:38 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I would think that if you have a written agreement with him, his consent to your move, you should be able to move out of state with the kids. That’s the law where I live. Must have written consent.

If moving is the only way you can provide for your kids, I don’t see any choice. If you stay where you are, it seems that you would now have to rely upon someone who has proven to be unreliable, regardless of the reasonn why he's been unreliable.

As already mentioned, there are lots of people living apart, even with kids, for economic reasons. And there have always been families that have done that. To me personally, this wouldn't really be about alcoholism or recovery, divorce or legal separation as much as about financial necessity. 35 years ago, my parents lived in different cities for 10+ years for that reason.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:15 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I have to agree with LaTeeDa here - I believe her point that moving to take a job that you LOVE is not declaring the marriage to be over, unless you decide to make that declaration (or he does). It is a statement of your need to provide for yourself and your kids. I think its honorable for you to be considering it, as that shows you know what is in the best interests of your family, regardless of him.

My ES&H: when I told my RAH I was buying my own home, he ranted and raved about this being grounds for divorce. I said that's fine. Divorce me. He swore, threatened (not physically), called me names (quitter being the main one) and said I was spitting on his attempts to provide for me. I said sorry you feel that way. Where are we today? He spent last night changing out hallway light fixtures at my new house while I painted. Why? Because he was QUACKING. And when I didn't buy into that and pressed on with my plans for what was best for me and my daughters, he didn't have any other choice but to accept it and find peace with being married and living separately or he could divorce me. Looks like today, he is going with the former. The latter is always an option if he so chooses, or if I choose.

Take what works and leave the rest.

And stay strong!
~T
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:35 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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WTBH...here are my few thoughts:

If you are being offered another teaching job at a place you taught before, then you must be an awesome teacher. I don't know what the situation is in the States, but here in Quebec, there are TONS of teachers and many many of them are terrible. They're just what we call "des bouches-trous" (literally: hole fillers), and they play the system, bumping one another out of contracts. It's sad because in the end, the students suffer for it.

When I saw that you'd been offered a job in another state, my gut instint was: oh wow, HP is really giving you a sign. It's a pat on the back AND a way out. A new beginning like that would be an opportunity to truly get some distance between you and your H, to finally be able to see things clearly and assess whether or not the marriage is truly worth saving. It's difficult for you to assess this while having him in your house regularly.

My next thought was: if she doesn't take it, she is going to resent the heck out of her H for years to come. As you mentioned, he could have employment opportunities where you'd potentially be moving, but he doesn't want to disturb his circumstances, because...it'll be uncomfortable *for him*. My XAH was exactly the same: the world revolved around him and him alone, everyone else be damned...because HE was suffering, oh my.

I found it impossible to live my life with such a selfish individual. Like you, my concern is about my duty to provide for my child. I don't like the job I do know, but it allows me to put money aside for DD's education, to pay for an awesome (expensive) daycare, and to buy her the necessities she needs. Ultimately, it will help me pay for closing costs on a duplex where we can live close to an elementary school, close to transportation and amenities, so I can give her the childhood she deserves. I see the same sense of duty in you, and it's just being confounded by your H's utter LACK of the same quality.

IMO, your attitude is correct: write him out of the equation and think about you and your girls. Again, JMHO, I believe the girls can and will adapt to a change of location; it can even become an adventure for your family. And as for your AH, this sort of distance may be what he needs to figure out his priorities in life. If he wants to see his children, then he can work with you to figure out a solution, whether it involves relocating himself or perhaps having the girls in a split custody situation where they would see him on holidays and during the summer (depending on their age and whether or not he is apt to care for them of course).

If you have some time to consider the offer on the table, then by all means, take every last minute of it. Sometimes just letting things simmer can lead to important revelations...
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:07 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
As I said, it's totally up to you how to handle things with him. But again, it seems you are equating one thing with another. Limiting his access to pushing your buttons does not have to equal banning him from the children. He can take them to a park, take them out to dinner, go for a walk with them, or whatever. Letting him spend time with his children doesn't mean you have to let him come over and walk all over you. And not wanting him in your face doesn't equal blaming him for your troubles.
L
I do not trust him alone with the girls and the T told him that she did not either due to the fact that there is no telling when he might drink. She said this to his face the very first time we met with her before the girls joined us and needless to say he has not liked her since. But he has agreed to see them with me around. I suppose I could have my mom come over but he's a con man and I don't trust him. So, that's why I am around when he is. I wish it were black and white and simple but it isn't...
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:17 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Return to Normal- Thanks for your post- It helps to know that the confusion isn't mine alone-- and others of you too who said you have been in similar situations...

I need to just think this all through and not make a knee jerk decision....

To AH's side I will say this. The job in MA is very near where his family lives and he has friends (heavy drinkers) who are still in the area and both these factors are part of what's unappealing to him. But then again, I moved to NH and have been near my family and left all my friends and I've survived. So, sympathy for how it would be "hard" for AH to deal with all this isn't a reason for the rest of us to suffer. But I know these are concerns. Maybe moving there would be good bc he'd either have to take recovery seriously or not and he'd sure have tons of opportunities to practice!

Another thought... I probably could find something here if I am willing to do anything- not necessarily something I love or even like. Since I left my job in MA I've worked in positions I have not loved at all but like NDBT I've dealt with that bc providing for my D's is all I've cared about and the jobs have been a means to an end (being able to provide for them and having time to spend with them bc my schedule has been good). So, a part of my wanting to move is bc not only is there a guaranteed job, but it's also something I'd love. But is that good enough reason to pull up roots, take the girls away from their friends and grandmother who they are used to seeing daily? Part of me thinks that if I really am putting their interests first then maybe I need to think about the value of their comfort with where they are now and consider the fact that maybe I should just find something/anything, even if I hate it, so that they can stay here.

I really really wish there were a clear cut best choice. There's lots of pro's and con's about going and staying-- I'm not a huge prayer but I think I'm going to find time to just "be" this weekend and give this all a lot of thought....

I really do appreciate everyone's advice - every last word of it-- truly!
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:17 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I suppose I could have my mom come over but he's a con man and I don't trust him. So, that's why I am around when he is. I wish it were black and white and simple but it isn't...
Con man seems like a perfect description. Not only has he weasled a way to get back in the house daily, but now he's staying there. So, he gets to verbally abuse you, in front of the children, because you don't trust him alone with them, but can't see your way clear to limiting their time with him.

I'd say, he's got you exactly where he wants you, and it sounds perfectly miserable.

L
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:28 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
Con man seems like a perfect description. Not only has he weasled a way to get back in the house daily, but now he's staying there. So, he gets to verbally abuse you, in front of the children, because you don't trust him alone with them, but can't see your way clear to limiting their time with him.

I'd say, he's got you exactly where he wants you, and it sounds perfectly miserable.

L
Odd as it may sound I don't feel miserable at all. I feel much more in control of the choices I am making than I have in a long time. Granted I got snookered into his staying at the house again but it's giving me a chance to practice detaching. I have made it clear to him that the girls matter first and foremost to me and that I won't let him be alone with them until he starts to walk the walk. To go back on that would not be a good thing. The times when he is verbally obnoxious to me are when I engage and keep it going. Last night he snapped (late- well after bedtime) at me and I said simply "that's not acceptable" and walked away. This morning I got an apology (that I'll believe when I see behaviors change). His verbal nastiness is NOT okay but I have a role in it and I have contributed to the devolving conversations with the girls around by engaging with him when I know better.

Rules I laid out last night FYI:
- If I even think he is drinking he will leave. If he doesn't I will call the police and they can "test" him (and I did this once and he knows I will do it again).
- If he is staying at the house, he needs to be somewhere I am not (outside of the house) in the evenings and I don't want to interact unless it is to discuss practical matters.
- I will not accept being snapped at or talked to rudely period- whether the girls are around or not. If he can't be appropriate, he will leave. If he doesn't, I will call the police.
- He will bring the girls to school on a set # of mornings and do his share of "tasks" around the house. It is not a hotel. I will not clean up after him, make his meals, do his laundry etc...

I've NEVER been clear and unemotional about limits and what I will and won't tolerate and I intend to stick to these. I think that he thought he'd come back and act like he always has and that's not the case. I have a routine with the girls and if he is going to disrupt it he will need to leave.

So far he is pouting and mopey (not when the girls are up-- he puts on a good act) and I'm really just waiting for him to find a way to blame me and decide he is leaving again. His being at the house is not the cakewalk he thought it would be and I think that it might be good that he's seeing what I expect from someone who lives in my house with me...

I stupidly fell for the con that got him back into the house but I think he's the one finding himself surprised to be perfectly honest.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:59 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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WTBH...I'm so glad you've set up clear boundaries for yourself. At least for now, you have clear cut guidelines that your A needs to respect or he's out.

As for this job...again, my instinct says: a happy woman makes a happy mama and a better parent. I think a lot of mothers tend to put everything kid-related first and end up running themselves ragged and feeling frustrated/unfilfilled. For the first little while at my current job, I was woefully unhappy...it's not at all the job I dreamed of. Having given it some thought, I'm now doing part-time graduate work in education WHILE working this job so that in a few years, I can have access to a field that excites me WHILE being able to provide for DD. It's the best I could come up with considering the circumstances.

IMO, your kids deserve a happy mama. You deserve to be fulfilled in your job, especially after all the cow excrement you've dealt with in the past few years.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:01 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Your situation triggers me, so I need to be careful how I respond.

Please be open to the possibility that your having rules and his living according to them is a TEMPORARY phase. He is likely to become very angry and hostile at your attempts to control his:
1. behavior
2. ability to express his feelings
3. access to his children
4. control of the house
5. pending court case

His being there keeps you playing his games, even though it doesn't feel like it to you, and men like the husband you have described to us will not accept the subservient position for very long.

I hope that you will be careful, because your situation sounds volatile and dangerous to me. I do not exaggerate.

And I will now step away from the keyboard.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:15 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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I'm sorry you feel judged and this will be my last post on this thread. Having said that, I have to agree with anvil and LaTeeDa. As much as you may not think so, he is getting what he wants. He has wormed his way back into the house. It IS his house too, and if he decides he doesn't want to leave, you can't make him go. You have no legal papers giving you possession of the home or the children, so he is within his rights to stay there and say whatever he wants to say, even in front of the girls, and be in whatever part of the house he wants to be in. In order to get away, you would have to go to your mom's house, and you have already said it is very uncomfortable there for both you and the girls.

In all likelihood, nothing with your husband is going to change. He may not be drinking, but he is not in recovery. He may be attending AA meetings, but he isn't getting much out of the program. He is still the same selfish, obstinate bully that he has always been.

You have been given a huge gift of an opportunity to do the kind of work you love doing. Your children will be happy if YOU are happy. Right now, neither you nor your husband are happy and I don't imagine the girls are nearly as happy as they could and should be. It's your decision what you ultimately do, but if you decide to stay where you are, I believe that before long, things will return to the way they were a few months ago.

I wish nothing but the best for you and your children. Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:22 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
if you decide to stay where you are, I believe that before long, things will return to the way they were a few months ago.
I believe he will remain on "good" behavior, or a least "good enough" until the job opportunity has expired. Then it will be same ole, same ole. And you will be back to "stuck" and him having financial "power" over you.

I know you're thinking I can't possibly know that, your circumstances are unique, he's making progress, etc. But, damn, they really are THAT predictable.

L

P.S. I think that is why this thread is triggering so many of us. We can see the train wreck about to happen and can do nothing to stop it.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:23 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Sometimes it helps me to simplify - and it is extremely hard to simplify. It always seems complicated.

I like your list of rules. They are good in protecting yourself. Here is the but...You do not trust him enough to leave the children alone with him. Is staying near a man that you have to threaten with a call to the police to keep him from drinking or being verbally abusive in your best interest? Is being near a man that needs a rule like you have to be outside if I am inside and you don't interact with me unless needed something you want to commit to?

If you pass up on this job to stay near will you be able to change your mind later? Financially will that be possible?

The choice you are making is about a job, not a divorce, but in one way you are choosing between a job and 'standing by your man' so I can see where it gets complicated. Who are you standing by though? The real man or the fantasy of who you want him to be?

If he turns into that fantasy man - he'll come find you. If he does not then what are you left with?
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:44 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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In the fall of '09, my AH promised to change, to stop drinking, to help out, to be a better husband and father, after he kicked the kids and I out(which, now in his rants, is me having left him?!)

He stayed sober for 45 days, attended a single AA meeting, never changed, in some ways he's actually gotten worse(first DUI for example) Purposely spends his paychecks on crap, so he doesn't have to support his kids, why? Because he "doesn't get none".

Was it worth the damage to my self-esteem, my psyche, the kids self-esteem, etc to stay? No, I stayed in large part to lies he told me. do I regret it? EVERY DAY! the only bright part of some days, is knowing that the end is very, very near.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:02 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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It sucks but I found out the hard way that they do MANIPULATE us and get what they want. Mine has done it soo mannyy times and that is why I now feel I am really DONE. I just feel I can never give him another chance because he has already had a million chances and we still end up in the same situation. He is good and sober for a few months and BAM he gets comfortable, starts drinking again and the whole cycle repeats itself. Wash Rinse Repeat. Happens everytime without fail.

I have totally been where you are and it is so hard but try and learn from us that have been there. You are so young and do not deserve anymore years living in CRAZYTOWN. We are here for you!
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:14 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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I want to add that I've been thru many of the sober/drunk cycles since he started drinking( I didn't marry a drunk, he became a drunk a few years into the marriage). Every time I got my hopes up that "this" sober cycle would stick, that maybe I wouldn't screw up this time, I'd be a better wife, nothing I did/didn't do would make him go back to drinking.

You know what has changed this time? Me, the way I think, the way I'm acting has changed. I know he sees it, if he didn't his rants wouldn't have changed the way they have lately.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:15 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Odd as it may sound I don't feel miserable at all. I feel much more in control of the choices I am making than I have in a long time.
Odd how it can be a slippery slope, what we will tolerate, consider normal, or an improvement. I know I have experienced the "lowering expectations of reasonable behavior syndrome".

What I want to say, underscore I guess cuz you have said it, is to consider the childrens' needs above anyone elses.

Stability is important. But many children are uprooted and the reason that kids thrive or not, isn't about geography. I don't personally believe in taking children away from a parent, but it sounds like you don't have a lot of choices. (Really there are no teaching jobs in your area??)
The notion of you moving and the kids staying w/ dad is ludicrous.

You are modeling what a woman/wife is, and how she allows herself to be treated by her man. That is huge, in my book.

Not meaning to shame you, or increase your burden....
I always advocate for the children though.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:16 PM
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Yes coffeedrinker..I also went reading on the ACOA board, and realized that's how my boys would end up if I didn't get out. Talk about a kick in the pants!
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