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Old 05-09-2011, 02:24 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sillysquirrel View Post
How do you not focus on someone who makes his angry presence known at ALL times? I would love to focus on me, but believe me, things get ugly around here if I even think about it.
When I focused on my exH, I was teaching my children by exampe to focus on him, too. From that grew the assumption that he was more important than anyone else, that his words and opinions deserved more weight and respect than mine or others' did, and that like me, they should follow his lead and example. I was undermining myself, and their development of their own sense of self and self-respect, as much as he was.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:52 PM
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Just because he says that crap doesn't make it true..

He is quacking, and he is getting in your head, which is exactly what he wants.

When he spews those words at you, tilt your head and say "oh", or "really" and let that be the end of the conversation.

Sadly..there is nothing about his actions that indicate he is recovering, it sounds like he
is just someone that isn't drinking but is still miserable...suffering from untreated alcoholism.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:54 PM
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"He is very angry, always feeling sorry for himself, never happy with anything, and blames me for every thing that he feels is wrong with his life (which is everything). Being in his presence is truly exhausting. He drains everything out of me. I have to think about every little step I take, every word I speak, every action I make. He says that he is not drinking, so what is the problem? "


I really can relate to this because this is exactly where I am with my AH. It is horrible to live like this because it is soul destroying. If your home is like this then he is not in recovery even if he isn't drinking. Continue to go to meetings for you, and don't worry about what he is or isn't doing because you really have no power over that. Reaching out to others is very healing.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:10 PM
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National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-7233
1-800-787-3224 (TTY For The Deaf)

By state:
United States DV Resources by State

I read your last post and got the impression you feel caged. Perhaps you can call the DV line whenever you get the chance and he is not around for tips on your situation. I am getting worried about you as I know often what we post here is just a small part of the realities we live. Do you know how to delete outgoing call records from your mobile? or perhaps you can use someone else's mobile during your Alanon meeting? Who is your real life support?
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:35 PM
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why would you need to be in a relationship with someone at the level of commitment;
when they are in the relationship with you at the level of optional?

for a breakfast of bacon and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig committed.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:01 AM
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I feel that he drank to cover up the bad feelings he was always having. I feel that the drinking was a symptom of a much deeper issue and that issue is still there, screaming at me constantly but RAH can't see it. How can he not see how angry he is all of the time for no reason???
I thought I had the most perfect and right reasons for being angry. Anger is one of the most common traits of the alcoholic, and believe me, I had it. I woke up angry and was angry all day and went to bed angry. I went for months without my husband and kids seeing me smile. I found an excuse in everything to blow up and resent my family.

Now, now that I am in recovery, it gives me a chill to think about how full of hatred I was. I spend my days being amazed at how much goodness life has given me, and how I didn't appreciate the gifts in life that I have been given. It's such a bittersweet feeling and I do feel sad sometimes at how much time I wasted feeling sorry for myself.

But...that is all about your husband. Your situation right now? You are a major codependent. You will never be able to change your husband. As I am living proof: I had to learn to find my happiness through recovery, all by myself. My husband could not have done a single thing to change me: I had to do it, for myself.

I would look at the financial arrangements first. He is economically dependent on you and he shouldn't be. Maybe sometime in the future he will recover, but, you are squandering your precious moments of life waiting for that to happen.

My husband waited: but we are coming up on 30 years married. I was not chronic when we first married. I didn't become a daily-all-day drinker until our kids were grown up. It was about 8 years of our married life that I fell into the depths of serious drinking. When I finally stopped I knew that "I'm sorry" wasn't good enough. I had to DO. I had to get into action. Recovery is not a thought: it is action, doing things.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:09 AM
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After 3.5 yrs with an alcoholic bf, off and on, I determined there is nothing but craziness in being with one.

Craziness, pain, frustration, dissatisfaction, trauma, PTSD, emotional abuse, drama, confusion, having your self-esteem beaten to a pulp, being blamed for everything, projection, deflection, denial, dishonesty, mistrust, stress, crying, hurt feelings, loneliness...yeah, that sums it up in a nutshell, in my experience.

Originally Posted by sillysquirrel View Post
I don't know why I doubt myself about these things sometimes. He is so good at making me think I am overreacting or just plain crazy..
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sillysquirrel View Post

I am VERY upset that he would say such a thing to our children. Why would he want to make them insecure about their relationship with their own mother? They are his his children, after all. Doesn't he want them to feel safe and happy? Does he really want them to think their Mother could just up and leave them? He knows that I would NEVER "write them off". He knows they are the most important thing to me and NOTHING comes before the happiness, health, and safety of my 4 children. So, I am viewing his words like this....It is more important and "fun" for him to put me down and try and make me feel bad (and in the process, make our children feel bad) than it is to have happy, secure children.

He is downplaying this and saying I am making a big deal out of nothing. He says the kids don't even know what he meant when he said it. I think they do...or they have a good idea....and if they don't, they will probably find out.

So, am I crazy??? Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Or was this statement completely inappropriate?
You are not making a big deal out of nothing and as a mother I cringed reading what he said in front of all your kids. Your take about the impact that kind of stuff can have, that you wrote above, seems pretty dead on to me.

It's the ways that their behavior impacts the kids that is the absolute hardest for me to take. I totally agree that that kind of remark takes away a kids sense of security that you will be there no matter what. He can claim that the kids don't know what he said all he wants but kids hear and see way more than we know or care to admit.

As for why he did it or why he'd do something like that? I guess it's bc he's an alcoholic and he's not thinking of anyone else. He's thinking that he is angry and hurting and wants to blame you and it doesn't matter who he hurts in the process of doing that. It's not all that different than my "R"AH not showing up when he said he would a week ago, doing so intentionally to "hurt" me and then hurting the girls in the process and later blaming me for it... They are concerned with how they feel and any/all behavior to improve their feelings is justifiable (in their minds).

I am so sorry you had to deal with that on Mother's Day -- and I am so sorry your kids had to hear the quacking from him. Your kids are lucky to have you as a mom...

In a nutshell, he knows the best way to hurt me is through my children. What better way to hurt me than to say I am an unfit parent? I don't feel comfortable leaving the kids alone with him. But, the difference between us is that I don't leave them with him EVER for any extended period of time. I have grandma watch them if I need to go somewhere and try to almost always be present when they are with RAH. He, on the other hand, repeatedly says what a terrible mother I am but has no qualms leaving them in my care all of the time. Just for the record, I am an excellent mother. I am a self-employed, stay at home mom. I don't drink, smoke, hang out in bars. I give my kids hugs and kisses everyday. I read to my children. We swim, we jump on the trampoline, we go for walks, we go to parks, we hunt for agates, we pick berries, we have bonfires, etc. I treasure all of the time I have with my children and I am feeling very sad and sorry for myself tonight because my RAH went out of his way today to make sure that my Mother's Day was miserable. If only he would put that much effort into being a nice guy.....
I wonder how many of us spent Mother's day or the day after being hurt just as your RAH did. Mine too knows that the best way to get at me is through our kids and through suggesting that I am a bad mother, could make things better for them if I tried harder (ie: when he breaks promises its my fault bc I didn't call to remind, hound etc... him to keep his word). You know you are a great mom and he knows it but he also knows that it is your achilles heel to question it and so he does. Mine does it too. It's really hard to walk away from those remarks. I won't pretend that it's easy or that I do it well all the time. Last night I got sucked right in. I guess the best we can do is hope that the next time our "R"AH's present us with verbal attacks we KNOW are false, that we have the ability to walk away or respond with just an "oh" or "really" and remind ourselves of what is true:

You are a great mom & your H is sick and will do anything-- even hurt his kids and wife with the things he says-- to protect his sickness.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:38 AM
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I spent Mother's day being tired. AH slept until 1:30, woke up and played video games. Didn't lift a finger, barely acknowledged my presence. I had planned on leaving for awhile on Sunday, but changed my mind due to how tired I was, and I took a nap instead. I woke up 2 hours later, he was still sitting in front of his Xbox, middle son still on the computer, youngest had napped with me. Not even a basket of clothes folded for me.

Not a single word about mother's day, but in the past he has told me I don't deserve anything for it since I'm a crappy mom anyway. I AM a crappy mom for having subjected the kids to his drunken rants, for me engaging when he's like that and coming off as crazy, for believing all these years that it was my fault that he drank, yelled at me, kept money from me and the kids, etc. But I will NO LONGER be a crappy mom.

I know, not any opinions, but a very much BTDT.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:09 AM
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I am the A in the family, married to a normie. My family never celebrated my birthday's, mothers day, etc. We always, on the other hand, celebrated my kid's and my husband's birthdays.

In recovery, I realized that it was important for the kids to celebrate not just their BD's, but mine. It wasn't healthy for them to see that my birthday was not celebrated, but others in the family were.
I am not sure why my husband did not celebrate my birthday, it may have been because he was tired of my drinking, but, it may also have been because he just forgot or didn't grow up with "birthday" traditions. I don't know.

I started putting a big circle around my birthday on the calendar and actively planned my BD and M-day when I started recovery.
It was important for two reasons: to break down the destructive effect of crushed expectations: there is no feeling worse than hoping for B-day and M-day celebrations that don't happen.
The second: it gave my husband and children the structure they needed: they were not unwilling to celebrate these days for me, they just needed some structure and guidance.
I know many people may find the planned for yourself B-day and M-day strange, but I have had the best one's ever in the last 4 years and wouldn't do it any other way now.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:50 AM
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Hi I read your post and it sounded a bit like my ex after we divorced. We were stuck in custody litigation for years. WHY? I thought we could co parent. In a joint arrangement the kids went back and forth but when with him he would not save a seat for me at school functions would barely talk to me etc...I did the exact opposite.

One night at my house, my 5 year old twins started crying...I was reading them a story...tucking them in like I always had...and my son through tears said Why can't we just stay here Mom...when we are at Dad's, it is like we don't have a Mother....it's like you are dead. Pretty tough words for this mom. My ex had said awful things to them and the same type of things to me. When I foresaw we were going to divorce I had taken a partime job and he started telling our children that I didn't want to be with them. (I had always been home with them) He did it to set the kids up for litigation. So, beware of what he is doing.

Also, your children have a father who is an alcoholic even though he is not drinking. If you do not educate them on that they will grow up repeating his behavior. My ex is hateful toward me, treats our one disabled child horribly. I saw my other kids start doing the same. I stepped in and taught them the opposite of what he showed them. Long story but he won custody for a couple years during that time the oldest, our daughter drank, did drugs, cut herself and all I could do is keep dragging him into court....btw he's a judge...didn't make it easy)

My daughter has alcohol problems. I kept up the litigation and got them back but he basically ignored her and she nearly self destructed. My sons were younger when they came back tome and are perfect gentlemen. I taught them how you treat women and people in general. Their teachers and anybody who meets them gush about how polite , articulate etc they are. The boys would never date a girl who drinks. My daughters BF has a warrant out for his arrest regarding a DUI.

YOU have to counter your husband...whether you stay with him or not...other people who have not been in the situation would say it is "badmouthing". It's not. You can do it by stating the facts and parenting them. If it puts the alcoholic who likely has other problems in a bad light sobeit. Raising kids to believe that their alcoholic dad is a great guy will only lead to them repeating his behavior and then listening to him when he enables their bad behavior.

Please beware of what he might be doing in order to set you up for a custody battle.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:52 AM
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Littlefish - it was similar in my house. My kids were very sad one year when they discovered that they forgot my b-day. I had left it up to their dad to help them with that. I can also see now where 'being ok' with them forgetting all my days (even though I don't really care) has led to them not really appreciating me or putting themselves out there to being considerate or recognizing someone that they care about. They have to do that, not just have it done to them. Their dad never learned that.

So I do it differently now. I do it just as you describe. I told them this year that it is customary to make breakfast in bed for mom and I told them exactly how to do that (and I set it all up the night before because they are young yet). I then pretended to sleep while they made it, lol. They felt great that they could do that for me and I felt great too. They learned a lot of good stuff.

It was my best mothers day ever and I suspect it was a great day for the kids too. Free of alcoholism and all the tension, sadness, anger, resentment, miscommunications, anxiety about what to expect, and dashed hopes. I got a special morning and peace and serenity. No worrying about what promises would be kept and which one's wouldn't. Woot!!!!!. I had to do all the cooking, parenting, and a billion loads of laundry as usual so while I didn't get the pampering like I might if I was part of a couple I wasn't anywhere near as exhausted as I was all the years I was with an alcoholic.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tryingtoparent View Post
YOU have to counter your husband...whether you stay with him or not...other people who have not been in the situation would say it is "badmouthing". It's not. You can do it by stating the facts and parenting them. If it puts the alcoholic who likely has other problems in a bad light sobeit. Raising kids to believe that their alcoholic dad is a great guy will only lead to them repeating his behavior and then listening to him when he enables their bad behavior.
Your post and this in particular has given me a lot to think about. Thank you.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:27 AM
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Thank you to everyone for your opinions and words of advice. I appreciate it all. I have been in a dark place these last few weeks or so. I am thinking alot. I am seeing the effects of all of this on the children. I am finally fully understanding that staying together for the kids is NOT the answer.

On Sunday, "R"AH was mean and angry, going out of his way to verbally attack me. Telling me what a terrible mother I am, how he pays for everything (yeah, if 50% is everything), how he is going to divorce me, and how he will easily get over 50% custody because he has a new job(36% pay cut and less hours). I have been the primary (and practically the only) caregiver these children have had since they were born. I quit my job when my 3rd child was born so I could focus on being a Mom. My clientele followed me and I was lucky enough to be able to start my own business, which is doing very well. I am now able to work from home, be here for the kids to get them off to school, be home when they return, take them to basketball/football practice, Dr, DDS, Orthodontist appts, etc. My schedule revolves around them. So, why am I concerned that he could actually get even 50% custody? He can't spend more than 1.5 hours with them alone without blowing a gasket! I am concerned because he is a master manipulator. He can come across as a very calm, playful, humorous individual without a care in the world. What judge will be able to see through that?

As far as the new job with the huge pay cut. Well, he has told me for years that if I divorce him I will get nothing for child support because he will quit his job and go work at McDonald's just to make sure I get next to nothing. Seems he is keeping his word.

Yesterday, it was as if Sunday never happened. I don't even know if he remembers the evil, nasty things he said. Just comes home and says "how was your day". Jekyll and Hyde.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:41 AM
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So, why am I concerned that he could actually get even 50% custody? He can't spend more than 1.5 hours with them alone without blowing a gasket! I am concerned because he is a master manipulator. He can come across as a very calm, playful, humorous individual without a care in the world. What judge will be able to see through that?
This is a legit concern. I won't lie and say "oh it'll all be okay". I have the same exact fear. My AH is charming, comes off as calm, is the emotional abuser described in the links on emotional abuse that are around the site here. I have a very hard time imagining a judge seeing through it since my state makes it clear that the courts try in all cases to keep the kids with both parents- equally- as much as possible. Like your AH, mine loses his patience very quickly with the girls when he's with them. I left him for 1 hr on Mother's Day and went for a walk. I came back and both girls were crying, the house was a wreck and he was angry. 1 hour. I guess I have decided though that I am going to see what happens with the court and move fwd despite my fear of how good of an actor he is bc the current situation is not okay for any of us (girls and I). I really, really understand your fear. It's real.

Yesterday, it was as if Sunday never happened. I don't even know if he remembers the evil, nasty things he said. Just comes home and says "how was your day". Jekyll and Hyde.
I get the same. It's crazymaking and keeps me on eggshells at all times... Never know who is going to be there-- unpredictable is an understatement.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by sillysquirrel View Post
Thank you to everyone for your opinions and words of advice. I appreciate it all. I have been in a dark place these last few weeks or so. I am thinking alot. I am seeing the effects of all of this on the children. I am finally fully understanding that staying together for the kids is NOT the answer.

On Sunday, "R"AH was mean and angry, going out of his way to verbally attack me. Telling me what a terrible mother I am, how he pays for everything (yeah, if 50% is everything), how he is going to divorce me, and how he will easily get over 50% custody because he has a new job(36% pay cut and less hours). I have been the primary (and practically the only) caregiver these children have had since they were born. I quit my job when my 3rd child was born so I could focus on being a Mom. My clientele followed me and I was lucky enough to be able to start my own business, which is doing very well. I am now able to work from home, be here for the kids to get them off to school, be home when they return, take them to basketball/football practice, Dr, DDS, Orthodontist appts, etc. My schedule revolves around them. So, why am I concerned that he could actually get even 50% custody? He can't spend more than 1.5 hours with them alone without blowing a gasket! I am concerned because he is a master manipulator. He can come across as a very calm, playful, humorous individual without a care in the world. What judge will be able to see through that?

As far as the new job with the huge pay cut. Well, he has told me for years that if I divorce him I will get nothing for child support because he will quit his job and go work at McDonald's just to make sure I get next to nothing. Seems he is keeping his word.

Yesterday, it was as if Sunday never happened. I don't even know if he remembers the evil, nasty things he said. Just comes home and says "how was your day". Jekyll and Hyde.
OMG, um yes..that's him EXACTLY! Including the Jekyll and Hyde act. The threats to take the kids away are basically the reason I have stayed as long as I have, I'm terrified of what would happen "if", KWIM?

Just last week, he was telling me "like hell am I going to fix that van, you can pay for it yourself if you want it back". Yesterday, when he got a VA check for his ptsd rating, he reminds me to "call the repair place and get the van in" WTH? Whatever, I'm running with it, if he's willing to pay it now, might as well get it fixed now.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:01 AM
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Sillysquirrel....one last piece of advice...altho I could write a book on the subject. There is a danger in a divorce that he gets the kids or at least 50% of the time. My family is the perfect example of why joint custody wasn't going to work and didn't. I was the primary caregiver but when I took the partime job (which was stupid) he had to take the kids for a week while I went to training (pharmaceutical sales) He taped himself with the kids and he actually said things like "Where's Mom you guys?" And they'd say we don't know! (this while they are riding their trikes in the dark on our street) my toddlers weren't going to elaborate in those circumstances. In reality they were calling me every night, the teacher even called me because the ex wasn't doing what he needed to. I had videotape of him sitting in a bar downing 7 beers in an hour, I had his bar tab which showed he drank daily. This is what my lawyer told me to do. I had emails from him that he SAID he did not bathe the children for 4 days because he knew I would when they came back to me....I had plenty. In other circumstances (if the ex was not a judge AND "hired" 2 lawyers he really never paid with $ but favors later) he would not have gotten custody. But the lame brain that gave him custody actually stated that he was the more flexible parent ....yeah he got that right. The lawyers also defended his drinking saying he never had a DUI nor did the kids suffer any harm from his drinking. (nope took a few years with him to do that) I went to law school while he had custody...lawyers and judges don't care about your kids....its all a game to them, a game in which they get paid to play. I was naive when I divorced and thought clearly a judge would see I am the 100% dedicated mom. Nope.

If you think you will file for divorce, do your homework first...keep a daily diary...what you do with the kids etc...sign your kids papers...don't look at them and let him sign....make a tangible record of how you parent.....HE will be doing the same......and your husband will be on his best behavior once a divorce is filed. Go talk to a lawyer first. Also a common ploy is to go talk to several lawyers....ALL the best lawyers....then your ex cannot hire them. (would be an ethics violation on the part of the lawyer) May cost you some $ but alot less than a huge fight with the best lawyer on the other side.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:23 AM
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THUMPER: Flash forward to your future Moms Day: My sons are 19, 19 and 21. The twins are in college and live in the same city but not at home. (the 21 year old lives with us, is disabled) but they helped my husband make dinner by bringing over the side dishes and my favorite dessert, they walked in with the food and a huge bouquet of flowers that they all went and picked out together, they gave me the nicest card but my son who is studying architecture said Mom, I was looking at all the cards and I was going to make my own with the seven wonders of the world on it because YOU are the 8th wonder...if ever there was a sight to see...YOU'D BE IT! the BEST mom ever! I got I love you's and big 6' 1" hugs. Yes my grown sons will hug and they never end a visit or a phone call without "I love you" even in front of their friends. THAT behavior was not learned from their father.....that was from ME showing them and my husband showing them.
Sadly my daughter who learned the drinking from her dad did not come to dinner because she is mad at me for enforcing her probation order (2nd DUI and she cannot drive for a year but she has been) I forced her idiot still a judge dad to finally take his car away from her by threatening an ethics violation against him. She's a work in progress and I am winning that battle now but your kids WILL learn from you and end up being great adults because of you!
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:29 AM
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And..you are staying in this relationship why?

Originally Posted by sillysquirrel View Post
Thank you to everyone for your opinions and words of advice. I appreciate it all. I have been in a dark place these last few weeks or so. I am thinking alot. I am seeing the effects of all of this on the children. I am finally fully understanding that staying together for the kids is NOT the answer.

On Sunday, "R"AH was mean and angry, going out of his way to verbally attack me. Telling me what a terrible mother I am, how he pays for everything (yeah, if 50% is everything), how he is going to divorce me, and how he will easily get over 50% custody because he has a new job(36% pay cut and less hours). I have been the primary (and practically the only) caregiver these children have had since they were born. I quit my job when my 3rd child was born so I could focus on being a Mom. My clientele followed me and I was lucky enough to be able to start my own business, which is doing very well. I am now able to work from home, be here for the kids to get them off to school, be home when they return, take them to basketball/football practice, Dr, DDS, Orthodontist appts, etc. My schedule revolves around them. So, why am I concerned that he could actually get even 50% custody? He can't spend more than 1.5 hours with them alone without blowing a gasket! I am concerned because he is a master manipulator. He can come across as a very calm, playful, humorous individual without a care in the world. What judge will be able to see through that?

As far as the new job with the huge pay cut. Well, he has told me for years that if I divorce him I will get nothing for child support because he will quit his job and go work at McDonald's just to make sure I get next to nothing. Seems he is keeping his word.

Yesterday, it was as if Sunday never happened. I don't even know if he remembers the evil, nasty things he said. Just comes home and says "how was your day". Jekyll and Hyde.
sandrawg is offline  
Old 05-10-2011, 10:33 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by blueblooms14 View Post
When I focused on my exH, I was teaching my children by exampe to focus on him, too. From that grew the assumption that he was more important than anyone else, that his words and opinions deserved more weight and respect than mine or others' did, and that like me, they should follow his lead and example. I was undermining myself, and their development of their own sense of self and self-respect, as much as he was.
EXACTLY. This is what I did until very very recently. Now that I've pulled back from the relationship a bit, I can see how constantly my daughters ask him how he's doing, how often they "take his temperature". It breaks my heart to see it. But then, they learned it from me. Perhaps they can learn the recovery from me too.
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