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Leaving it behind

Old 05-31-2012, 12:42 AM
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Leaving it behind

Am new here. I am about to leave my husband with our two boys because he is an alcoholic. What I am struggling with is the feeling of guilt, anxiety and sickness because of what I'm doing. His business is failing as well and now I have decided to leave I feel terrible. He says he will look into getting help, I do not hold out much hope, he has been a drinker or a stoner since we met 16 years ago. The problem is he is a very sweet and kind man normally. I feel that if the drinking stopped we could be together. When he's drunk he is never aggressive, but most of the time he is just embarrassing. He gets REALLY drunk. Where he doesn't know who or where he is. A few months back check came to me and said he would really try to give up. He lasted two days. He needs help I know. I'm just so sick of being the helper. I'm sick of coming home from a 12 hour shift and hes drunk on the couch. I'm sick of our boys seeing their father staggering and slowing down and eating like a pig with food everywhere. I suppose all I want is someone out there to tell me it's ok to leave. I haven't told anyone about his drinking, i am ashamed. I feel like I am not enough. I have had enough of this life. How can I get through without him, I know what he is like sober and I love him when he is. This is the hardest thing I will ever do. I hope its the right thing, I think he has to hit the bottom before he can truly recover. I can't do it for him can I ?
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:50 AM
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No you can't do it for him, he has to do it himself, and yes it is okay to leave. Good luck, prayin for ya.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:28 AM
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NewRoad, i'm going through something very similar but I don't have children and appreciate that makes things even harder. There are lots of people on this forum though who do have children and going through same thing so sure they will be along soon.

I have been with my ABF for nearly six years and were planning marriage and children so I thought we would be together for life. I can relate to the guilt and anxiety - my XABF has had several job issues that have made me stay. He now has a very stressful job that doesn't pay great and I worry about his finances but I have only just realised that I am not responsible for him and that he is responsible for himself. That took ages to sink in as I thought it was my role as a caring partner to help him. You seem quite far along in understanding what you can do, and also importantly what you want to do. I didn't want to be someone's helper and you should'nt have to be his.

If you can, go to a meeting for affected others such as Al Anon - I am going to counselling and it is really helping. And this forum has been invaluable for support and advice so keep coming back.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:34 AM
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Anon, yes exactly.. I feel like I am giving up on him. He says he can't do it if I go.. I am so torn. Am listening to my head for once. The thought of living without him is very difficult, but at the same time it's liberating. I feel guilty for saying it. Am so worried for him, I feel like Im letting him down. I know I can be strong for him and my kids but I'm just so tired that no one is strong for me! Thanks for your support! Am depending on this forum, it helps so much. Xx
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:50 AM
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I can completely relate to that - my ABF has no close friends, just work colleagues, and his family are very detached so I have felt like his whole support system but I haven't felt he has been there for me. It must be even worse if you have two children and you aren't getting support. Also, being strong in a partnership is an admirable trait but its something both partners need to do for the other. It can't always be one way or you end up resenting it. It's not then a partnership, well at the least the kind I want and think I deserve.

I too feel guilty as I feel a sense of overwhelming relief at the thought of not having to worry about his drinking or deal with the fall out of one of his binges. But like you, my feelings haven't changed for him - I'm still in love with him despite everything so I know I will desperately miss him and it is so painful as a result. I panic also at the thought of what will happen to him but I know I can't continue like this and keep my job which is keeping a roof over my head. I'm doing it for me but also giving him the opportunity to sort himself out.

Something that helped me was to write down the postiive benefits of us splitting up and the negatives of us staying together. Most of the positives are about me - not having to worry, not have to be someone's carer, start to focus on me and look after myself, give me my sanity back but I also put down there that it gives him the chance to sort himself out, stops me enabling him and gives him his dignity back. What he does with that is up to him but I find looking at that allays my guilt and reminds me that there could be positive benefits to him from my decision, whereas there are definitely negatives for both of us by us staying together.

Hope that helps x
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:58 AM
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Hello NewRoad, Welcome to SR!

I'm sorry for everything you have been going through and that your husband continues to drink. It certainly does sound like he needs a lot of help, but you have been trying for 16 years and he's still drinking. That's because no one can get an alcoholic to stop drinking. It's totally an inside job. He has to decide he has had enough--that the pain of the consequences of his drinking is greater than the pain of his actual feelings and emotions without alcohol.

I hope you will come to believe that you and your boys deserve to come first. Please take good care of yourselves!
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:07 AM
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Hi NewRoad and welcome.

One of the first things I learned when I came here was the 3 c's.

I didn't cause it.
I can't control it.
I can't cure it.

Her drinking was hers and hers alone. I can't make her drink and I can't make her stop. Nothing I do can change that, nothing I say can change that. I have no control over her drinking and her behavior.

What I do have control over is how I choose to react and my attitudes. I have the choice to decide whether or not I want to live with unacceptable behavior. I have the choice to start living for myself and to put myself first. I have the choice to decide whether I want to accept the pain she is causing me.

So, I chose to separate from my alcoholic wife of 36 years and move out. I chose to start divorce proceedings after moving out. I chose to have a me first attitude and to take care of myself. I chose to develop an attitude that I am worth having a good life and it is up to me to make it happen.

Your friend,
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:31 AM
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Thank you all. I think there's something in me that says I'm not good enough to put first. It feels very odd to be thinking of me for a change. Am uncomfortable with it, and frankly, scared to death. Am scared that I won't make it, am scared that he is right and he won't make it either. I feel like if I stayed I could help him..i took a vow to stay for better or worse.. Yet so did he, and he's been absent throughout our marriage - psychologically anyway. The one thing that keeps me strong is the knowledge that when my father was dying last year, I left work to care for him and I was with him when he passed away, such a privilege. I did it on my own, every time I came home to collect some clothes etc, my husband was drunk. He was no good to me, I couldn't bear to near him, he would stumble up the hall to try and hug me and I was repelled by his insincerity. I developed a stomach ulcer during my dads illness and he left me in the hospital because he was tired from the night before. I had to get a cab back in my pyjamas. That night he got wasted completely. Am so ashamed about this. At the same time it makes me want to leave.. I know I have to, it's just the gettidng there..
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:58 AM
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Yep, I have been abandoned repeatedly by my AH as well when I needed him the most.

It feels very odd to be thinking of me for a change. Am uncomfortable with it, and frankly, scared to death.
I think this is so beautiful.

Eventually, the pain and shame subsides and it gets easier. Right now, my AH is begging me (again) to not leave but is unwilling to do the things necessary to show in some small way he's willing to change like A) get sober or B) go to therapy.

So I'm leaving. Finally. I'm tired of worrying, trying to fix myself so he'll love me, the emotional games and madness. It's a real relief to know it'll end soon. I've left before and I always wake up feeling like it's Christmas morning when we're separated. You don't even know the relief it will bring. It's like magic.

The way I got the courage to leave the first time was by realizing I had done everythign in my power to change him and it just wasn't going to happen.

So, the fear of the unknown because more appealing than staying and living for another 15 years with an alcoholic who doesn't care enough about our marriage to meet me half way. Also, this place gave me the ability to see his blameshifting for what it is.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:22 AM
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What I am struggling with is the feeling of guilt, anxiety and sickness because of what I'm doing. His business is failing as well and now I have decided to leave I feel terrible.
Big fat hugs to you. That is, I believe, a normal reaction. I struggled with it for a long time after leaving, until my counselor said, "Not only do you have a RIGHT to do what you did, you have a RESPONSIBILITY to take your children out of a pathological situation."

You're not leaving him, you're saving your children and yourself.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:55 AM
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glad yer here!!

I am about to leave my husband with our two boys

i have to ask because im not that smart: you are taking yer boys with you,right? not leaving them with dad?


He says he can't do it if I go
that is the manipulation i tried and it didnt help with my sons mom staying, or any other woman for the matter.

I think there's something in me that says I'm not good enough to put first.

that sounds like a low self esteem. time to put you 1st and get yerself physically, mentally and emotionallly healthy. i am sure that iffen ya looked at yer past, putting everyone else 1st realy wasnt working too good for ya. you are worth it!

Am so worried for him,
nothing wrong with being worried, but it aint too good for an alcoholic to be carried.

I feel like Im letting him down. I know I can be strong for him and my kids but I'm just so tired that no one is strong for me.
no, yer letting yerself down by putting him fisrt and not taking care of you and since you can be strong for him, its time to switch that focus on to you and use the strength and knowledge of others who have been there to help you get strong.
one thing i HIGHLY suggest is explaining to your kids that dad is a sick man, and rom what it sounds like, it's the disease of alcoholism.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:26 AM
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Newroad, you said that your husband is a good man and a loving man when he is sober, do you think if he was the man you first married and if he knew what he was going to be like and how he is now with you and the kids that he wouldn't be the first one to tell you to go? The reason he can't tell you this now is that this disease has made him incapable of it. I kept staying and hoping looking for a sign that the one I first married would come back but he never did, so I had to leave. Since I left when I talk to him on the phone he is actually sober sometimes which never happened when we were still married.

Praying for you and your children that God will give you peace and strength.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by NewRoad View Post
I suppose all I want is someone out there to tell me it's ok to leave.
It's OK to leave. You have to protect your boys and yourself from the madness.

I left my husband of 16 years, a year ago. Same story, kind guy but major drinking problem. I still love him. But I decided I could not continue to let myself and our kids slide down the rabbit hole with him.

What really got me was one day I thought "where will my life be in 5 years if I stay?" I knew I had to get me and the kids out of this toxic situation.

Hugs. Hang in there. You are not alone.
You are such a good mom for putting your kids first and taking action!

PS, I can totally relate to your comment about not being used to putting your own needs first. It's sort of exciting to care for ourselves and LIVE again, not just exist.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:59 PM
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All of this , It's what I needed to hear. Thank you so much, your kind words and encouragement have blown me away. Am so so grateful..
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:10 PM
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Tomsteve, yes my boys are coming with me..They are sad about moving out, They feel sorry for their dad I know. I have been honest with them, they are old enough to handle it (14 and 18). My 14 year old says , mum I told you dad had a drink problem 2 years ago... Its true, he did. He was worried about having a friend stay over in case his dad got drunk and embarrassed him.. I knew then he had a problem of course but I swept it under the carpet. Poor kid...
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:26 PM
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All I can say is that for me, it did not get much better with physical sobriety.

The alcoholism was masking so much more. They have to work so hard to be healthy and present. It is not a magic bullet. Someone who drinks that much will have a lot of work ahead of them, and so will you if you stay.

I can only speak for my experience. I know it's not that way for everyone.

Good Luck. Keep moving forward.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NewRoad View Post
How can I get through without him . . .
It is a valid question but I have to ask from a child’s point of view what could happen if you do stay? Something has brought me to the Al-anon side tonight and I cannot let it go, I usually live in ACoA. This is only my experience it does not happen to everyone. Please do not take this as though I am insinuating it will. There was a problem with alcohol in my biological home. They finally divorced when I was five and my sister was two. We bounced between them and a couple of temporary homes until I was eight. On the last visit that sis and I had to the sheriff’s office and hospital, children’s services stepped in and said we were not going back to either of our parents. I do not expect you to answer this but please ask yourself, what could happen if you do stay him?
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