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Finally divorce. How do others handle?

Old 08-15-2011, 10:58 AM
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Finally divorce. How do others handle?

I first posted months ago, and have not checked in for long time. Have been attending alanon live meetings weekly. Have filed for divorce couple wks ago after 16 years. We have five beautiful, smArt, healthy kids (15,13,11,9,7). I am so sad. But I know this is only path that brings me peace and comfort.
My older kids have been attending alateen for about a month, it seems to give them some understanding and an outlet, though they do squwalk about going beforehand. Alanon has helped me tremendously.
A week prior to filing, I called police and ended up getting restraining order. The main concern was driving with kids while drinking. Normally he was pleasant while drinking. But def episodes of anger, picking fights, etc. I say this because this court appointed no contact has made life so much better!!!
He returned to our home in April after 90 days sobriety. This was at the end of an 11 month separation where he did not live in our home. He "visited" daily. He needed to be sober and he honored that agreement, with just a couple of exceptions when he needed to be asked to leave.
Once he was home for a month, after kids and I were thrilled with his return, the aa meetings stopped. The drinking again. He told me he did not think he really had problem, was planning on drinking, but only once in while. He says he only did 90 days aa for me. You guys all know this story. Like many of u, myself and kids lived the crazy train too long!
Finally got courage and strength to walk path that I know is right for me. I know that someday he will find a path to health and wholeness.
Question??? To all others who left, or divorced, how did you keep from getting angry? This life with no contact, no bullish***, and no being blamed is def more peaceful. But raising 5 active kids is a lot of work. I have tons of family (mine) support. His family thinks he drinks a Lot, but not really alcoholic. He has been out of house and known about divorce for three weeks, he is still drinking. I am trying to keep focus on me and stay joyful, yet angry that there is still no justice! I am still taking on so much of the family responsibilities! All of them. How did others cope with these emotions?
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:07 AM
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Hello fulloffaith.

I can say my decision to kick my xabf out came because he was not supportive, or helpful, or anything I want or need from a partner. Having him around was like having another child except twice as aggervating and bigger "drama" then a child, because his drama included lots of fines and legal issues and financial burdens.

We had no children together thank God. But I imagine if we had, it would have been me taking all the parental responsibilities, **** I couldn't depend on him to mow the lawn let alone take care of a child.

You have probably been doing it alone for a long time. Give yourself credit. You can do it because you HAVE to. Soldier on.

You will get angry, that's normal and ok. Let it in, accept it for what it is, and let it go.

Last edited by womaninprogress; 08-15-2011 at 11:10 AM. Reason: And to answer the question about anger...
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:19 AM
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how did you keep from getting angry?
I didn't. I spent months being frightened -- both of him physically attacking me (he broke the protective order several times and I was too scared to report it) and of him actually managing to talk me into coming back. Once the divorce was final, I let myself be angry. Anger was actually a good emotion, because it meant I had taken the power back from him.

After the anger -- it's gone now, most of the time -- came... I don't know how to describe it. Disinterestedness? Distance? Detachment? I wasn't surprised when I heard he was drinking again; I guess I was expecting it. I get furious regularly when he pulls some BS involving the kids, but other than that, he's like any other drunk out there. I don't feel pity, I think it's too bad that someone chooses to ruin their life with alcohol.

Allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling. Your feelings are OK. They'll change over time; mine will, too, and part of not living with an A anymore is the luxury of being allowed to have all those feelings that weren't permitted in your A marriage.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:31 AM
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Thanks, its helpful to know others went through it too. My ah was very high functioning. It's one of the reasons the choice to separate was so hard and agonizing. He did help a lot. He did drop the ball sometimes, but there was also some legit help. Actually, sometimes when he drank he knew it was "wrong/hurtful", so he would overcompensate and do laundry, cook, etc. To outsiders prob looked like dream. But I just wanted a true partner, real conversation. I knew it was all sort of a sham, like not living my truth. It's def right decision, but it's true that letting go of the fantasy is hard. For me, even letting go of parts of the reality is hard. Not the drinking bs, but the good stuff.
I do not want to b angry, but to send love and good wishes. But it's hard when you feel like you're in the trenches and they partying. I know that is illogical and I would not trade places with him for anything. I guess its extra hard because their sickness actually looks like fun.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:38 PM
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fulloffaith, i loved your last sentence, ' I guess its extra hard because their sickness actually looks like fun. ' Wow, how true this is and sometimes that part is the hardest for me too. People who don't understand or want to understand alcoholism, do believe that drinking is fun. I get so tired of drinking jokes, and comments about loosening up with a little alcohol to make your life better. I've learned not to hold any resentment about those jokes or comments because for the most part people are ignorant as to how alcohol affects some people. One big thing I've learned through working my al-anon program is that I don't have to convince anyone that alcohol is a problem for my AH or other alcoholics. I know my truths and my job in life is not to persuade anyone that I'm right. On the other hand, I've also been pleasantly surprised as to how many people in our society DO understand alcoholism, and how many DO share with me that they are recovering.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:23 PM
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FullofFaith- This line really spoke to me:

My ah was very high functioning. It's one of the reasons the choice to separate was so hard and agonizing. He did help a lot. He did drop the ball sometimes, but there was also some legit help. Actually, sometimes when he drank he knew it was "wrong/hurtful", so he would overcompensate and do laundry, cook, etc. To outsiders prob looked like dream.
You describe my AH to a t. Very high functioning and could be very very helpful at times. And it was nice to have an extra body around so that occassionally I could give the girls (I have 2 young daughters) time 1:1. It sounds awful to say it this way but it's true. And like your AH, when he came down from a bender or was "caught" in some big lie, he'd go through a period of being Mr. Thoughtful/Helpful etc and I'd almost think that things could be pleasant. But you describe it so well-- it was like living a lie, a sham. The world sees him as Mr. Wonderful but they don't live with him...

I am not divorced yet (we are going through mediation) but I too have been wondering how I will fare with my anger/resentment toward him that will surely rise up in me once it's officially over.

Right now I feel mostly disgust and annoyance and hate having to have any interaction with him at all. Maybe that's a coping mechanism to keep me from being sad-- who knows?

I really can relate to your story and wanted to just thank you for posting it and sharing it bc it gives me a feeling of support that I am indeed doing the right thing. I have a lot of people telling me to give him another chance (my own mother and sister) and I've been feeling guilty...
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:08 PM
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I agree---when we see the supposed 'high functioning" we often feel bad and like maybe it isnt such a big deal, and try to cope with it...me, I have done it for years, mainly out of it being easier instead of divorce or for the kids sake.
Everyone always told me how LUCKY I was that my husband would cook these amazing meals or clean the kitchen spotless after dinner, but it was all when he was drinking...nobody else had to deal with the husband snoring on the couch afterwards, or coming to bed and hiccuping or talking in his sleep and keeping me awake after his amazing meal and cleaning.
There are so many things we compromise on and I have learned that I just cannot keep making excuses. Nobody knows but me what my life is like and although it might be easier to have them around for other reasons, i have to ask myself is it really worth it in the long run?
My girls have been without my AH for a few weeks now and I am just starting to get structure back into our house, with my young girls feeling stable and peaceful. It was often just an unpredictable environment and I truly enjoy knowing that I can provide them with a calm household. It isn't easy, trust me, but I am taking it one day at a time.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:02 PM
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Wow!! Thanks so much for your comments. It's so amazing that so many of us share the same stories, even the details. I just got in from alanon meeting and we discussed patience, which I work on daily. And struggle with daily.
It's almost as if, at my breaking point, I really had to question if my loyalty to the marriage was really me "using him" for the little help or affection he could give??! In no way really loving and honoring him as a person. Really not giving him dignity or respect ( or of course myself).
Thanks so much for sharing your own stories. We can give eachother strength. We all need to be true to ourselves first. I'm finally, finally doing that.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:08 PM
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Hang in there...

Originally Posted by fulloffaith View Post
To outsiders prob looked like dream. But I just wanted a true partner, real conversation. I knew it was all sort of a sham, like not living my truth.
I like you have 16 years of marriage (20 altogether) to a wonderful, high functioning alcoholic man. We have four kids together, two by birth, two adopted from foster care. They are 17, 16, 13 & 10.

It has been a good run. We have been best friends a long time. He's a successful professional who looks high functioning. He cooks and helps with the kids. He's a good dad. I still have fun with him. He's just been medicated with booze every night for a few years. The last two year have been hell, though, due to his drinking mainly. We are separated (my request) and trying to figure out what comes next. It is really sad. But it's also wonderful, the house feels so much more peaceful. That gremlin or shadow passed out watching TV is not there to pull me down. I grieve for my husband --- where did he go?

How do you deal with the anger? The feeling that you've just been royally shafted and there's no justice? You look at your kids, and you know that they will grow up knowing that they had a courageous mom who took action to keep them safe. They will benefit from a peaceful home environment. A sane parent who listens to them and doesn't blame or act like a drill sargeant. All that is justice --- for them.

As for you, try to stay busy. And keep posting. It sure helps people like me to know they are not alone. It's an awful business, alcoholism and divorce. Hugs.
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