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Why am I so bent on keeping marriage alive?

Old 05-22-2012, 08:28 PM
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Why am I so bent on keeping marriage alive?

Maybe I have a "never quit" attitude? Maybe I'm just plain afraid of raising my son alone? Maybe I don't want to get a full time job soon? Maybe I'm emotionally attached to his sickness and don't know how to exist without it?

All these questions plague me tonight. He said some things tonight that I'm trying to examine and figure out how much truth there was to it. At one point he told me that he doesn't give a flip about our son's emotions. He reiterated that point and said that our son is too sensitive for a 13 year old(not true by the way, I've seen worse with some of his friends in tears sometimes) and that he's just like me(I take that as a compliment). I really was blown away by him saying that he just doesn't care about his own child's emotions! That really hit home with me.

He said he's waiting for the day when I throw him out. He can't talk to me because I take everything wrong. You know, like tonight when he tried to justify driving on his suspended license and said that I am making too big of a deal over it. It's just 2 miles to the store, how bad can that be? He won't possibly get caught.

He also challenged me and said, "What? Are you going to rat on me to the cops? I never rat on anybody, that's crap." Ummm, so I asked him, "What if you saw neighborhood kids tagging the park equipment? You're saying you wouldn't call the cops?" He said, "Nope. I don't tell on anyone." Oh brother! Seriously, I swear he's lost his memory and is going insane. He called the cops many times on some of the neighborhood kids at our old house. Then he brought up the fact that I was 'thinking about calling him in as a drunk driver the night he got popped' but I said, "Yeah, but I didn't have to because you got caught before I made that call." So, he says, "Yea, but you were going to. You were going to rat me out." I guess protecting innocent lives on the street isn't a good idea and that he thinks less of me because I was 'thinking' of calling the cops. I get no credit for NOT doing it, and of course I really don't care and now I'm really ticked that I didn't actually call it in. It's insanity and I sit here and wonder why I stick around? UGH!
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:49 PM
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Your story sounds so much like mine it's eerie. I don't know your motivation, heck it was difficult enough to sort out my own. Here's what I discovered after many months of therapy. Don't know if it will resonate with you or not.

In my mind, divorce=failure. Throughout my childhood, both my parents looked down their noses at people who were divorced. Partly a generational thing, no doubt, but also a way to make them feel better about themselves. I absorbed that belief without ever realizing it on a conscious level. I didn't want to be "one of those people."

I was also extremely resistant to letting go. Not so much letting go of him, but letting go of my dream, my idea of how my life *should* be. Somehow, I believed that with enough determination, I could force the outcome I wanted. What a stress-filled existence that was!

Many other things, but those were key. Mainly, I needed to examine my beliefs and decide if they were really worth keeping or if I was just conditioned to believe certain things. Once I started questioning myself, I found I could let go of a lot of stuff that was really not serving me.

L
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:13 PM
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Also, what really bugs me is that he gives our son no credit for what he's gone through in the past few months. He lost both his grandfathers and had to travel cross country for both funerals which can be quite draining even for adults. And, then he's got his dad going to jail soon. I don't know, I guess that's not enough to justify being emotional to my AH. He has absolutely NO empathy or compassion right now. It's just all about him.

Thank you, LaTeeDa, for sharing. You're right, it's about failure for me too. And, about letting go of the dream that someday things could be better. Maybe they could be, but right now REALITY BITES.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:25 PM
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As I read our post I thought of my life with my Ex now sober alcoholic husband and although I did not want to break up my family because I was raised that you stay no matter what he divorced me in the end. What I did for d out later is that he did a ridiculous amount of damage not just to me but to my children and I will forever feel guilty about that. There was simply no good reason why I stayed and for how long I did. He was not a good husband and not a good father to my children at that time, although now that he is sober he is a much better father too the two youngest.
It is not your fault that he is an alcoholic bit it will be your fault just like it was mine if you stay.. You can get a full it e job, you can have your own life and you most certainly can and deserve to be happy...
I am praying for you..
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:48 AM
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You don't need me to tell you that trying to argue with a drunkie is like teaching a cat to knit.

But your question--why am I trying?--is really at the heart of the dilemma.

You're trying because that's what decent people do--they try to stick through things with their spouses. Don't beat yourself up about it! I'm guessing you weren't a trained addictions specialist when you married him, right? So how were you to know that alcohol addiction is a weird sort of allergy that eats up a person's mind? Of course your first thought is to talk sense into him and help things get back to normal.

Unfortunately alcoholism is unique in that there's just no talking to him. He'll quack and quack because all that's going on in his little brain right now is ALCOHOLALCOHOLALCOHOL.

RE: leaving. Your son deserves to be away from this crap.

RE: driving on suspended license. If your husband injures or kills someone whilst driving on a suspended license--whether he's drunk or sober--you could be sued in civil court if it came out that you knew and did nothing about it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:03 AM
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What kind of an example are either one of you setting for your child? He is breaking the law and you are proud that you didn't rat him out. Honestly, this makes zero sense to me.

You stay for a reason, there is a payoff to you, might be time to explore what it is.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:44 AM
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There's no point in reasoning with him, he isn't going to make any sense. I would ignore whatever he's saying because he likely doesn't mean much if any of it. I think it's in the book The Addictive Personality that the author says trying to reason with an alcoholic is like trying to reason with a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks the FBI is following them. They are not mentally healthy so you know you can't convince them that they are not being followed. The book says an addict is the same way--not in their right mind, not making any sense, and incapable of being convinced that they make no sense. Addicts have their own private (literally insane) logic and they need it because it's what enables them to ignore reality and keep drinking.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:52 AM
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I read this somewhere and it really helped.

The person who put the most in to a relationship is the person with the most to lose.

That hit me right between the eyes. The reason it was so hard for me to leave was the same reason that I was so angry. "I put so much into this, can't you give just a little?" Of course the answer (actions not words) was no.

Once I got that understanding moving on was much easier.

Your friend,

Once
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:24 AM
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I hope that you find the strength to make things right in your and your sons life. You already know what to do.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by m1k3 View Post
I read this somewhere and it really helped.

The person who put the most in to a relationship is the person with the most to lose.

That hit me right between the eyes. The reason it was so hard for me to leave was the same reason that I was so angry. "I put so much into this, can't you give just a little?" Of course the answer (actions not words) was no.
This has just blown my mind!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:46 AM
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Thank you all for the replies and sharing. My counselor asked me yesterday to make a list of the pros and cons of leaving in relation to our son and what he is and isn't getting from being exposed to AH. I haven't started the work yet and maybe I'm afraid to.

These are the reasons I stay, not just related to our son:
1.Financial benefit, not having to split up our income or assets
2.the ability to homeschool our son who has Tourette's, ADHD, and processing issues. I can teach to his ability and level. He is also very sensitive about his tics and cries when kids give him dirty looks, etc. I'm just not sure he's cut out for a large public school.
3.We just bought a new home and have put a lot into it and I'm not ready to give it up yet.
4.I've put a lot of myself into this marriage and I'm not ready to give that up yet, either.
5. I still love my husband, despite how crazy he is acting.
6. Our son has anxiety issues and only is comfortable staying home alone for a few hours at a time so I think this overwhelms me sometimes especially if I need to find work.
7. I feel that I can control the negative environment that my son is exposed to better by living together than I can if we live apart. I already know how my AH is; prejudiced, hateful, negative, distrustful of humanity, sets the wrong example, would let our son watch crap on TV, etc. I'd have to de-program the kid every time he left AH's presence. At least, with us living together I can control the environment and remove our son from detrimental conversations and influences from AH.

Honestly, number 7 should probably be number 1. I remember saying this to a therapist years ago, before the drinking even started again. I mean, I know I can't control everything but I believe it's my duty as mom to protect my kid from negative influences and I feel that I can do that better by staying in the same house with AH, even though it's not a healthy marriage.

Did any of this make sense? I feel like I'm trying to make sense out of a senseless situation, LOL!
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by changeschoices View Post
There's no point in reasoning with him, he isn't going to make any sense. I would ignore whatever he's saying because he likely doesn't mean much if any of it. I think it's in the book The Addictive Personality that the author says trying to reason with an alcoholic is like trying to reason with a paranoid schizophrenic who thinks the FBI is following them. They are not mentally healthy so you know you can't convince them that they are not being followed. The book says an addict is the same way--not in their right mind, not making any sense, and incapable of being convinced that they make no sense. Addicts have their own private (literally insane) logic and they need it because it's what enables them to ignore reality and keep drinking.
Well, my AH HAS thought that the government was out to get him and that the banks wanted to steal our money. He absolutely is paranoid, just not schizophrenic. I need to get that book!
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:09 AM
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Your #7 reason, probably isn't as true as you want it to be. The reason I say this, I too believed that for the last 12 years that I have been protecting my kids, always being there, control the situation, make the kids happy when dad lets them down. Its not true, as much as I want to believe I accomplished all that I didn't. How do I know my 16 year old step-son talked to me this weekend, really talked and shared his feeling with me about the divorce and his dad and the drinking. What killed me about it was the fact that I failed in sheltering from the emotional impact of the drinking. My 16 year old stepson told ME - that watch his two younger brothers cause things his dad said and did has really hurt him and will never forget those things, the every day lying, broken promises, the drinking, that is what he associates with his dad!

So even though you may be protecting him from the physical side of things, there probably is a good chance you will never be able to fully protect him from the emotional damage.

The talk I had with my stepson is what opened my eyes up to the fact that their dad, my soon to be X, needs more help then anything I could ever do and the only way to protect them physically and emotionally at this time is to go for full custody and maybe just maybe it will be his bottom and for once he will chose the right thing to do and get help.

Your story sounds all to familiar, all the reasoning we do as the spouses will never change our life, til we change it for ourselves. One thing I regret most, is that when my hubby was going to jail for DUI, I wish I stuck to my guns and kept with the divorce then. Would of made so many things easier then through the courts with the divorce, much less getting him out of the house!

Take care, most of all really take care of your son! :ghug3
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post

These are the reasons I stay, not just related to our son:
You could write 100 more reasons if you gave it more time and thought. If you're not ready to leave you're not ready to leave.

You don't need anyone here to tell you that living with an active alcoholic isn't healthy for you or your son.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:02 AM
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I felt a deep sense of pain when I read your post. Your home is such an unhappy place for a child to grow up in. It is so very sad to see your situation from the outside, to see the abuse you and your son endure, and then to read your rationalizations for staying in that prison.

Please know I am not judging you. This is what happens to spouses of abusers. We know this here at SR. It sometimes is just so painful to read.

You and your son are worthy of respect, concern, support, and genuine love, and my fear is that ten years from now, you will still be with your alcoholic and your son will be as far away from both of you as possible. You will have lost yourself as well as your son.

So keep reading, posting, going to counseling, until you find the strength and will to change your life. You can. Just keep moving forward every day. Don't isolate. We all really do understand. Stick with recovering people and don't give up.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:11 AM
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If you can make a plan to get out of your marriage, really make that plan, and can start to envision it as the best thing, you will be able to do it.

Your plan of life as a single parent may look nothing like the life you have now, but that doesn't mean it can't be a fantastic life.

In life, there are always trade-offs. I made my AX leave because I did not want my children growing up in an alcoholic home. Even though he never drank around them and they had no idea he was an alcoholic, it was not what I wanted for my kids. I think they picked up on the underlying tension in me because of what I was going through with the A. I am a strong person and I told no one about the problems and shielded my kids from any knowledge about it. But I was expending emotional energy to keep the A on course and that energy could've been spent on my kids, friends, family, my career, my health--in short, all of the places it really should've been going.

Things are so much better for me now.

I understand how nice homeschooling can be, I have several friends who do it. But who knows? Maybe there is a great school situation out there that your son would thrive in. I have friends with children with special needs who have are thriving in school and love their school life. And school for your son would give you a block of time to work part time, which can also be wonderful to keep you busy, make work friends, and feel confident earning money and taking control of your financial destiny.

I would rather live in a tiny apartment with my kids than subject them to living an alcoholic home. The good news is, now that I'm free of the A, I am starting a new job next week and looking for more work on the side, so I know I'll be okay financially. My freed up mental energy can now go to improving my life.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:08 AM
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"Maybe I'm just plain afraid of raising my son alone? Maybe I don't want to get a full time job soon? Maybe I'm emotionally attached to his sickness and don't know how to exist without it?"

I'd say the above.

Unfortunately, some women decide to stay in a bad marriage "For Their Children". They don't realize the severe psychological damage this enviornment causes their children.

A child would rather have one sober loving parent in a reduced material circumstances rather than be exposed to the turmoil and unrest of addiction.

I lived in a house of alcoholics...it was not a home...it was 4 walls of fear and unrest...I prayed everyday that someone would come and rescue me and my brother...no one did..
I still bear the scars today. I am sure that your son is anxious, I was too, children internalyze their fears.

I feel sad when I read your rationalizations for staying, of coarse, I am looking at it from the eyes of the child within me....one who lived it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:25 AM
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You really need to get a couple of 'free' consults with several attorneys and ask some of the following question:

1. Since I have been a 'stay at home' mom, home schooling our 'disabled' son will not AH also be required to pay 'spousal support' in addition to child support?

Even in this 'advanced' day and age, family court judges still do ORDER Spousal Support when there is a reason ie disabled child, home schooling, always a 'stay at home mom through whole marriage' etc for it.

Also #7 is really iffy. He is already in a NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENT and you/we do not know what that has already done to him and how it can and does aggravate his Tourettes.

Its real simple to do a pro/con list. Take a 81/2 by 11 sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle the long way, write PRO at the top on one side and CON at the top on the other side.

Then when you think of something, put it on the appropriate side. This is something that will take you some days to complete, and you do not have to stress over it, just as something comes to mind, put it on the list. You have some listed above already but you will have to decide if they are Pro or Con.

You might also want to start a separate Pro/Con List on this one:

4.I've put a lot of myself into this marriage and I'm not ready to give that up yet, either.
J M H O but I do believe that is your BIG/MAIN reason for not leaving yet.

I am glad that you are working with your therapist on this as it is extremely important to you and your child.

Love and hugs,
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:31 AM
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I hear you! I worked so hard in the marriage for so long, scared to be a housewife who wasn't any longer a wife, scared of what it would do to our kids if we split up. I have been separated from my AH for a year and we are going to legally separate. Even still, I am attached to my marriage, to him, to the dreams and fantasies of what might have been. I love the person my AH used to be and miss him tremendously.

My counselor helped me understand this better. She said that in a marriage, there is a) a bond and b) a partnership. She said I am still bonded to him, but that the partnership aspect is completely gone. A marriage cannot function in a healthy way without that partnership. So now I am working on un-bonding (aka detachment!) from him so that I can get on with my life.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:31 AM
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I am with Mike and LaTeeDa, those were my reasons for staying. Giving up the dream is hard. I struggle with it everyday, and I don't understand why we built this dream together and then he did nothing to ensure that it happened. Well, actually I do understand, I just don't like it....maybe that's a better way of phrasing it.

If you stay in this marriage, please get into Al-Anon and your son into Ala-Teen. You both will need some support and tools on how to effectively detach. These conversations you are having are doing nothing but upset you, and validate the crazy reality that he lives in - designed to suit his own ego needs and protect his addiction, by the way.

Take good care,
~T
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