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Old 04-15-2011, 02:40 PM
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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.
I went to a different school every year of my life, it has not damaged me.
What had a huge effect was my alcoholic abusive father.
We moved every year because he was an officer in the Army.
Yes, your girls are learning what normal is from you and your husband.
Put on your oxygen mask first and save yourself for your girls.
He is barely keeping the lid on, stella said it perfectly in her post.

I am recovering from alcohol too. Without a program of recovery, the return to alcohol and or abusive behavior is almost guaranteed. I know this from personal experience.

Please make yourself happy with a new job, show your girls what a happy, productive woman can do with her life. Please, I am asking from the heart of this little girl.

Beth
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:02 PM
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WTBH,

I'm thinking you joined SR after this thread was started, so maybe you haven't had the opportunity to look at it.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-chapters.html

It seems clear to me that what you are dealing with is so much more than alcoholism. I have serious doubts that all the AA meetings in the world would change your AH.

I think you are experiencing a respite from his abuse and control only because the balance of power has temporarily shifted.

1. He has DV charges hanging over his head.
2. You have a very real opportunity to leave.

He is "keeping a lid on it" as others have said because he has to. He sees that his control over you is threatened. Once the above two things are laid to rest, I fear for you. It's quite likely that he is seething inside over having to "play nice." Once he is no longer threatened, all that anger is going to erupt violently. I hope you and the girls are no where near him when that happens.

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Old 04-15-2011, 04:19 PM
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WTBH, I'm not going to pile in on you because you've a lot of posts to think about, but I did just want to echo what LTD and anvil have said.

LTD's last post has just reminded me that your H's court date for assaulting you is next month, isn't it? With my realistic head on, I would say that looking good for the judge is foremost on his mind right now. What better picture to paint than he is back in the marital home and every thing is hunky dory? Not just for the judge either. I bet he thinks that it'll mitigate any court result in the community's eyes.

I vote for taking the job.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:41 PM
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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.

I really am not unhappy... I am disappointed that my job has been cut but I am actually calmer even when dealing with AH craziness than I've ever felt before. I feel like everything is relative on a spectrum and right now I certainly am not the pinnacle of health but from where I was compared to now, I'm a lot better. Ex. I have not been the greatest mom at times bc I have been focussed on and overly emotional about AH. Right now, much to my surprise, whether he's here or not, I'm not letting it impact my time with the girls. I guess it's just a little ex that on a screen doesn't seem significant but how I feel and go about my day feels really different and it's big to me.

If I get sick of AH before he gets sick of having there be rules here I will take the girls and go to my mothers. That's been made clear. I had said things were not great for me at my mom's- you're right. 3 weeks ago I went out to dinner with my mom and had, for the first time in my life, an honest conversation with her about her treatment of me growing up bc she let her anger about how my dad treated her come out in the form of abusing me and I told here that my biggest fear was that I'd let my feelings about AH impact what kind of mom I am to my girls... I can't really relay the intensity of the convesation adequately here but it was the single most honest conversation in possibly generations in my family and I now know that I could, if need be, be at her house and be able to be honest with her. That's not something I was comfortable, willing or felt safe doing when I first went there. I don't know if my mom seeing how bad things were with AH made her willing to face the facts and be honest about the past or if age has something to do with it or if it was a HP moment but a lot of things changed in me after that talk she and I had. So, that's a long way of saying I'm fine if I go stay there again.

I know you may think I am making excuses but I am certain I am not. I am trying to find a middle ground for my kids sake and as I said earlier, being around him is actually making me have to take a closer look at dealing with me; something I haven't been doing as much of as I should.

He's in an outpatient rehab program until 7 each night (started last week and goes for 10 weeks) and goes to an AA meeting (or not) and doesn't come back here until 9 ish each night so I've not really had to interact with him at all and he's not been here when the girls are awake (except in the mornings) so it's really not a problem for me at the moment. It was more of a principle issue when I found myself manipulated into having him here but honestly, it's not bothering me and I kind of appreciate having the chance to "practice" dealing with him if and when that arises since he's here...

You don't have to stop posting-- I wasn't trying to attack you by saying I was feeling judged-- I just kind of was/am but I also know that just bc I am feeling that doesn't mean that that's what is happening. I appreciate hearing all opinions and as I've said, this has given me lots to think about.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:55 PM
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what are you really afraid of here?
making a decision I will regret and I think (separate from AH's involvement in the picture) there are things I will regret whether I go or stay-- so it's what will I regret less I guess.

if you pass this job up, can you say assuredly you won't later have regrets? that you won't resent your AH or worse yet, your own kids? are you sure this isn't some level of martyrdom here? or that you feel you don't DESERVE to follow your own dreams? what would be the BEST role model for the children? stay miserable or seek out joy, happiness and the great unknown???
I am sure I will. But here's what I am confused about within myself. My career doesn't matter all that much to me. It is a means to an end. The end being having time and money to make my life comfortable with my kids. My kids matter most to me. So, I've been thinking that I could be happy staying here, living at my mom's if I don't find a job, work mother's hours, let AH stress about money instead of me for a change and have TONS of time to spend with my girls. They are young only once and I've worked many long days, weeks, months and missed a lot of time with them. This job I'd love in MA would be long days, a longer school year than a traditional school and would be great in a lot of ways but I'd also have less time with my kids. I wish I was the kind of woman who was career driven, and before I had kids I was. But after staying home with my oldest when she was a baby I realized that work was just a way to make ends meet. Certainly when I am there I give it 200% and love what I do but if I have to choose what matters more, my kids and time with them matters a million times more... So, if I don't take the job and instead stay here and have more time with the girls bc I can't find a job- I'm not going to be miserable about that one bit. Money, climbing the career ladder, accolades in my professional life really haven't ever mattered to me. I've made good money for a few years now and each year I have more and more committments with work and less time with my kids...

This is not a matter of not putting myself first- honestly, if I were to put myself first I'd have never gone back to work after staying home with my oldest and would have told AH that I was going to be a SAHM and he'd have to figure out how to pay the bills or get another job. That's what I would have loved to do. So, there's definitely no martyrdom here (though I can understand how that could be something wondered about). I genuinely have no internal drive saying "oooooh career chance". I just want something that pays the bills but allows me to have time with my kids. It's flattering that my old Principal loves me and wants me back and that I could teach whatever I want and I do love the school and would love the job. But what I love more are my kids and seeing them happy. And I'm trying to decide whether I think they'll be happier being poorer but staying here close to family and friends or having money but being away from everything familiar.

Sorry if I'm rambling-- I'm sort of thinking as I type...
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:10 PM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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I sort of feel like the message I am saying is getting lost and people are running with their own interpretations a bit... Or maybe I am thinking this through more and my feelings are changing-- in any event here's the facts of where I'm at right now.

1. I am not considering staying in NH to "stand by my man" as someone suggested. Good god no. I am considering it bc this is where my support system (friends and family) are and MORE importantly, where my kids support system (outside of me) is.

2. Since no one has been in my house with me I guess I am finding it hard to understand how there can be value judgements made about the message I am sending to my kids. Yes, for years they've seen a lot of bad. For the past several months they have heard a consistent message from me about what I will and won't tolerate, they see me (except for losing it 2 weeks ago) limiting what I say and the reaction I give their father and it ends what would have been in the past a huge debacle. The girls are in therapy and I relay with brutal honesty to the therapist what AH and I interact like and what the girls see and hear (which fwiw is very little since he saves his obnoxiousness for when they are in bed and when I don't respond he leaves so there's nothing that occurs) and HER take as a professional who works with kids and alcoholic families and has for 25 yrs, is that I am sending a clear message to the girls about what will and won't be tolerated. Please remember that what you hear here is a snapshot of a far more complicated picture so please ask questions before over-analyzing or drawing conclusions...

3. There are teaching jobs in NH I am sure. They are few and far between and NH is the new Wisconsin in terms of insane budget/bills being passed that are decimating education. It's not a stable career here. If I find a job there's no guarantee it won't be cut in a year and there are few districts that hire someone with 10+ yrs of experience bc due to lovely union rules you have to pay someone based on experience, not merit (crap in my book) so teachers with lots of experience in a bad economy are screwed.

4. I am not waiting for or hoping for AH to change. I want what's best for my girls and myself and I am not sure what that is and it has nothing to do with sitting around hoping AH "recovers". I'm not sure that if he does recover I even want to be with him. I am very confused about a lot of things. Whether he changes his stripes or not is NOT going to determine whether I move or stay.

5. What's tugging at me to stay is this: My best friend lives here and I see her daily and I'd be sad to lose that. Her kids are my kids best friends. They all go to school together and have since they all were babies. They'd be sad and so would my bf, her H and I for that to end. My mom who for all her issues is a good grandmother is the one constant, stable thing in the girls lives and they see her several times a week. They'd lose that. I guess those are the big things I am thinking of right now... AH isn't the reason I'd stay or go.

Clearly I am very confused!
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
I went to a different school every year of my life, it has not damaged me.
What had a huge effect was my alcoholic abusive father.
We moved every year because he was an officer in the Army.
Yes, your girls are learning what normal is from you and your husband.
Put on your oxygen mask first and save yourself for your girls.
He is barely keeping the lid on, stella said it perfectly in her post.

I am recovering from alcohol too. Without a program of recovery, the return to alcohol and or abusive behavior is almost guaranteed. I know this from personal experience.

Please make yourself happy with a new job, show your girls what a happy, productive woman can do with her life. Please, I am asking from the heart of this little girl.

Beth
This is upsetting to me bc I have made huge changes to protect my girls and the fact that I guess however I am describing my life is making it sound like something other than what it is and making you all think that they are being subjected still to bad stuff is upsetting me.

I left and went to my mom's bc I said no more to what you describe growing up with. AH has been around marginally to see them, eat dinner sometimes, say goodnight. The girls have both displayed SO much less anxiety, clingyness, anger (according to their teachers/therapist and me) in the past 6 ish or so weeks.

I am sorry for how you grew up Beth and I wish your parents had made different choices. But I feel I have made different choices to do precisely what your parents did not do and my girls are already showing that they are better for it.

Is there a lot more to do? Yup. Are things complicated right now? Yup. Am I going to let the old pattern begin again? Absolutely not. Do I have a plan to leave or have AH leave if there is a hint of the old pattern popping up? Yes. Is all of this different than before? Yes. Am I actually focussing on my recovery now instead of AH's? Yes. Does this make a HUGE difference in terms of the tone of the house and our interactions and what it is like for the girls if and when he is around? Absolutely.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:27 PM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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He is "keeping a lid on it" as others have said because he has to. He sees that his control over you is threatened. Once the above two things are laid to rest, I fear for you. It's quite likely that he is seething inside over having to "play nice." Once he is no longer threatened, all that anger is going to erupt violently. I hope you and the girls are no where near him when that happens.
Possibly. Yes. Historically his raging is taking out on himself. He goes on multi day long benders and comes crawling back full of apologies. That will NEVER happen again. This Jan I came thisclose to not letting him back after his last bender and I told him then and I vow on my children's lives IF that occurs again, he will not cross the threshold of the house- at least not with me in it.

The DV arrest was a terrible thing. He acted very badly. So did I. And the fact that I am a woman and he a man is probably the only reason we were not both arrested. He was trying to leave and I was demanding an answer/a promise from him (insane I know) and reached into his car window to try and unlock the door. He rolled the window up and my arm was there bc I was not letting him leave. I am not a victim making excuses. I am someone in al anon looking at MY role in the chaos and I have a BIG role.

Maybe I should be afraid of his potential for violence, but I am not. He will hurt himself before he'd hurt me is my guess based on the years and years I've known him and watched how he abuses himself (with alcohol).

But, all this aside, I agree that right now he is on "good behavior" and when real life huts him or he gets the DV charges dropped there's a strong likelihood the "act" will stop. Then again, maybe he will decide to take his recovery seriously and the act will be real and not an act. I don't know... None of us do.

I've let resentment eat at me for a long time bc I can't stop focussing on the past and assuming that bc he acted one way for so long and did so many of the same things over and over that he will do the same thing again. I don't have to trust him and believe his words but I do have to stop setting myself up to be angry by assuming nothing will change. Maybe if I spend half as much energy focussing on what I can change in ME vs what he needs to change I'd find a lot of things different.

I am not ignoring his issues-- I'm just choosing to give him a chance to prove himself (not necessarily around me) and more importantly I'm finally choosing to stop obsessing about what he is and isn't doing and focus on ME and my girls and CHOOSE to have a happy life no matter what.

For ex/ I had the BEST afternoon/evening with the girls... He will be back later, I will be in bed and I am spending Sat alone with the girls tomorrow. So, his sleeping here really isn't impacting me and as far as I can tell it's not impacting the girls... When it does, there will be a swift and permanent response.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:35 PM
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You may want to take a peek at that thread anyway. It's quite informative.

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Old 04-15-2011, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bolina View Post
WTBH, I'm not going to pile in on you because you've a lot of posts to think about, but I did just want to echo what LTD and anvil have said.

LTD's last post has just reminded me that your H's court date for assaulting you is next month, isn't it? With my realistic head on, I would say that looking good for the judge is foremost on his mind right now. What better picture to paint than he is back in the marital home and every thing is hunky dory? Not just for the judge either. I bet he thinks that it'll mitigate any court result in the community's eyes.

I vote for taking the job.
Anything he thinks he's doing to look "good" is going to be outweighed by the hard reality that my lawyer knows and his lawyer knows and I have evidence of the fact he's been drinking while on bail conditions. Judges aren't stupid and seeing someone who hasn't been taking recovery seriously, suddenly show an interest in recovery 3 weeks before court is going to be as transparent to the judge as it is to all of us.

The preliminary recommendation from the prosecutor is 1 yr of outpatient rehab and therapy. I have no clue what outpatient program is for 1 yr but who knows. Maybe AH thinks that 3 weeks of AA and outpatient rehab before court will look good but that's his issue that he's deluding himself about.

And honestly, the SOLE reason he is "here" in the marital home is bc I DO have to have, per doctor's orders, someone else here-- another adult-- until I am "cleared". Putting my kids first (since a dead mother will not help them any) I figured that even though he was a weasel about it, his being here to call 911 if something happens is better than hoping my 5 yr old will be able to do it. I've already told my lawyer he's here again and why and had a conversation about how his being here isn't just a "oh I changed my mind" but it actually shows that my concern is for the girls since my being here alone with them despite being told that is not okay (by my doctor) smacks to me of neglectful/dangerous behavior. Oh and custody (at least in NH) factors in how parents have demonstrated willingness to keep one another involved in the kids lives-- I think I am demonstrating that while there are concerns with AH, I have a safety plan in place and he's been able to see the girls and not been alienated.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:40 PM
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It seems clear to me that what you are dealing with is so much more than alcoholism. I have serious doubts that all the AA meetings in the world would change your AH.
Yes, he was diagnosed last Spring with borderline personality disorder though it was with the caveat of "with substance abuse in the picture it's hard to flesh out what's what" (I'm paraphrasing).

One thing I know for sure: My typical reaction for years to HIM never improved matters and I am 100% responsible for what I contributed on my end to making things worse.

I could say tons about all the ways he's ill and he is, but all I can control is me and I haven't really done a great job of that for a long time. Something about pretty much everything in my life falling apart: job, career, marriage, health etc... has made me wake up and realize that it's time to focus on me and get healthy in all ways and then worry about everything else...
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
FWIW, I don't think anyone is judging you for doing separation "wrong." Having said that, him being at the house every day, and now staying there is not really much separation. And, to me, the point of separating is to get away from the other person, their behaviors, their crazy-making, their influence over your life, long enough to have some peace and clarity. And it appears to me you aren't getting that. So, whether you consider yourself "technically" separated or not, you aren't getting the benefit of separation. This is not me judging you, just noticing how it doesn't really seem to be benefiting you. It's absolutely your call and totally up to you how you want to do this, but personally, I would like to see you get some peace and clarity from it. That's all.

I still have my RAH in my life. Not EVERYday, but I get calls, and I take them.
we have a son, and RAH comes to see him(less frequently) and I stay present, and its not at his house because he is not that stable, and I/he dont trust him with our son alone, yet.

Let me just say this,
Getting him out of the house as a day to day, no-matter-what-resident and room mate, and having him come by to see his son, even if it was everyday, is a MAJOR difference from him being there all the time, looming, throwing his blame around. At least I created some breathing room, some moments to think. It was impossible to step back with him here all the time.

I am fine with my level of seperation. It was a matter of self preservation and sanity.

There was GREAT, HUGE benefit from getting him out even though I could not kick him all the way to the curb across town. I got him out just enough.
I got him out of my everyday, every MOMENT existence, and got him into a more workable distance for me. And it was what I was able to do.

I now still have him in my life, and it is not all worked out, and neither am I, BUT WOW!!! Its a big deal, to start making those moves, start taking up that space and saying I need this. I DONT need this.

Give the girl some credit for making the moves she can...
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo66 View Post
I still have my RAH in my life. Not EVERYday, but I get calls, and I take them.
we have a son, and RAH comes to see him(less frequently) and I stay present, and its not at his house because he is not that stable, and I/he dont trust him with our son alone, yet.

Let me just say this,
Getting him out of the house as a day to day, no-matter-what-resident and room mate, and having him come by to see his son, even if it was everyday, is a MAJOR difference from him being there all the time, looming, throwing his blame around. At least I created some breathing room, some moments to think. It was impossible to step back with him here all the time.

I am fine with my level of seperation. It was a matter of self preservation and sanity.

There was GREAT, HUGE benefit from getting him, out even though I could not kick him all the way to the curb across town.
I got him out of my everyday, every MOMENT existence, and got him into a more workable distance for me. And it was what I was able to do.

I now still have him in my life, and it is not all worked out, and neither am I, BUT WOW!!!

Give the girl some credit for making the moves she can...
This all makes tons of sense... Though he is back and sleeping here and around most days for a short time to see the girls it is TOTALLY different than ever before. And not bc of whether or not he's doing anything differently. I am not reacting or feeling or thinking the same and it's made it so that I can be okay being around him when need be. I never set limits with him before when we lived together, I never walked away and said simply "not acceptable" and refused to engage, I wasted years of my life on emotional and mental energy put into thinking/worrying/obsessing about him and trying to convince him to do what I thought he should to be healthy.

My mental real estate is mine now and even if he is physically present, having gotten him out of my head more so than ever before in my life has really made a difference in terms of my ability to deal with him daily if need be.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
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.
The first time I read this, it sounded like you believed that your AH deserved a job that he enjoyed, and to be comfortable, while you believe that you yourself do not.
I would recommend you make absolutely certain that isn't one of the things in your thought process while trying to decide, because that will unfairly tip the scales. (I know, I've done it to myself.)

You've got a lot of pros and cons running through your mind right now, and I understand, big decisions like this are confusing and difficult. Just make sure that your sense of worth is on the positive side of the scale, and I'm sure you'll find your own right decision for right now when you're ready to decide.

Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:24 AM
  # 55 (permalink)  
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I would recommend you make absolutely certain that isn't one of the things in your thought process while trying to decide, because that will unfairly tip the scales. (I know, I've done it to myself.)

You've got a lot of pros and cons running through your mind right now, and I understand, big decisions like this are confusing and difficult. Just make sure that your sense of worth is on the positive side of the scale, and I'm sure you'll find your own right decision for right now when you're ready to decide.

Good luck! [/QUOTE]

The first time I read this, it sounded like you believed that your AH deserved a job that he enjoyed, and to be comfortable, while you believe that you yourself do not.
Oh, no that's not what I meant at all... We moved to NH the summer before we got married bc of "great opportunity" for a business that AH was going to go into with a friend. He didn't have a career established and this seemed like a great opportunity. I left my job, found a new one and then before we were even married it turned out that AH hadn't actually asked enough questions (but had told me he had) and the business opp. didn't happen. So, we made the best of it-- I thought it was a case of "we'll get through this together" vs. "AH will suck like a leach off of me and wait for me to fix it all" (which I did). So, I didn't move here and take a job I was unhappy with so AH could have one he loved. I was just saying that I've been okay not loving my job bc what mattered more to me was having a schedule that allowed me to spend time with my kids and making enough money to provide for them. But since I now don't have that here I guess I'm thinking that maybe I could factor what I want to do vs. what AH wants to do into the whole equation.

I don't know if that clarifies anything or not? We wound up in NH bc of a bad business decision on AH's part. We bought a house here bc we both agreed to it - no one forced me to do that - and while he's found something he's loved, I've had resentment about winding up here in the first place bc of the business fiasco and have, at times, wished we'd never left MA. But he's not responsible alone for why we did- though at times I've tried to blame my unhappiness on him. These are things I need to deal with in my recovery.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:13 AM
  # 56 (permalink)  
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Absolutely, wanttobe. I can understand what you are saying. For me, it was a matter of "he's my husband" and "we can do anything together" that moved me out here where his family lives, away from mine.

It was all MY going along with what he wanted rather than looking at what was best for ME. But we were married and supposed to make sacrifices for each other.

The problem in my marriage turned out to be that the only one willing to sacrifice was ME.

At the end, I realized that I was going to go down, too, trying to prop him up and help him get out of his self-dug hole, and there literally was a moment where God showed me it was either HIM or ME and the kids, and at that moment, I HAD to put my money on ME. My children deserved it.

I don't know if you can relate to me, but I can completely relate to the crossroads in which you stand. I know it's hard.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:05 PM
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Absolutely, wanttobe. I can understand what you are saying. For me, it was a matter of "he's my husband" and "we can do anything together" that moved me out here where his family lives, away from mine.
Exactly-- that's the collaborative approach I went into marriage with -- that was my thinking too..

But we were married and supposed to make sacrifices for each other.
Right... I thought that too... and like you I was the only one willing to do that. The whole "give an inch take a mile" adage pretty much sums up our marriage... I give an inch he takes as much as he can ....

The problem in my marriage turned out to be that the only one willing to sacrifice was ME.
Exactly. And I stupidly kept/keep thinking that this will change. Keep wanting to give him another chance... Waiting for a different result. Stupid.

I don't know if you can relate to me, but I can completely relate to the crossroads in which you stand. I know it's hard.
I can relate to all that you said COMPLETELY! Thanks so much for your post- It's appreciated more than you know.
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