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Help! Losing my resolve

Old 01-20-2013, 06:36 AM
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Help! Losing my resolve

Not going to give the whole backstory here. Last night I told AH husband that I wanted to separate and I asked him to leave. After many hours of discussion (him trying to manipulate me and get me to change my mind) he stated that he was absolutely not leaving. I told him, "By tomorrow, either you leave or I'm leaving."

I thought this might happen, so I set up a place in advance for the kids and I to go. (if the kids wanted to come with me, which they do.) He could easily just go live with his mother.

So this morning I woke up to a long letter about how much he loves us and how he can't get better without us. Plus I really don't want to move into my friend's basement! I never actually thought he would refuse to leave.

I'm losing my resolve....help.....
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:53 AM
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Ugh. I am so sorry!!!

The only thing I have to offer you is how I have moved through the process when coming to a similar crossroads in my life. I realize that having those second thoughts is simply because I don't WANT to go through the hassle of making those necessary changes. Change is hard and painful at times. But the end goal is what I have to keep in mind...and in order to get there I have to get through a lonely dark tunnel. I accept that the tunnel is going to be difficult but temporary and then start on my journey one step at a time. One day at a time.

Without knowing you or your husband, my feeling is that when he sees you are serious and in fact obtaining the necessary boxes and luggage, etc., and beginning to pack, he will hopefully realize that the children's needs should come before his own and he will leave. Your words need to be backed up with action -- it's critical at this time--just as you expect his words to be backed up with action.

On the other hand, you could "wait and see" if his letter means anything at all. You can have another round on the ferris wheel if you want, but experience probably tells you that you will be in this very same spot a month from now. And then what? Might as well get started through that tunnel. It's a necessary part of the journey and it begins with acceptance.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:53 AM
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In my experience once you set a boundary you have to keep it. That's why its best to know that you will before you say it.

If you don't keep your boundary you are setting yourself up for this merry go round again.

His decision to get better has nothing to do with you or the kids - its up to him only. Don't get pulled into being guilted that sobriety somehow has something to do with you it doesn't.

Keep posting - others will be along with more advice.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:06 AM
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I had to leave with myself and three kids. My alcoholic refused to budge.

I had to leave our dog and cat in his care at our family home. I left and did not tell him where we went. I did not contact him for 3 days.

After 3 days, I contacted him and told him I needed more time and space apart. I asked him to please find a temporary place to stay so that the kids and I could resume our normal routines as well as resume care of the family pets. He said he would look for a place.

24 hours later, we were back in the family home and he found a place to stay. We were there temporarily, but it gave us time to formulate a more permanent plan.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:15 AM
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"So this morning I woke up to a long letter about how much he loves us and how he can't get better without us. Plus I really don't want to move into my friend's basement! I never actually thought he would refuse to leave."

I have got the same kind of letter. For my situation, it was nothing more then manipulation on his behalf but I wouldn't have believed it if someone had told me that. I had to learn the hard way and I am still learning. At the time, I still thought my AH was "different." Sadly, most addicts know us better then we know ourselves. And they will do anything to protect and sustain there addiction.

If you decide to stay, I hope you will start going to Alanon. Nothing changes if nothing changes. If you decide to stay, you will have to accept your choices with no expectations, something that took me a while to learn. I played the victim too long, when in fact - I became a willing participant. Sadly children, have no voice in this situation.

Please remember that HIS recovery is inside job. You didn't cause it, You can't control it and You can not cure it. Your actions will speak louder then your words.

P.S. I remember having this nagging feeling - if you truly loved me - then why are you making me leave?? I ignored that feeling. I was wrong and ha to learn to trust my instincts.

Have you read Codependent No More? It was a real eye opener for me! It was that book, that helped me put my own recovery of codependency into action.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:27 AM
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Moving out now does not commit you forever. You can change your mind at a later date if it seems wise to do so.

Right now, you have a plan in place, you stated your intention, and I think it's important to carry out your plans. None of us has a crystal ball to know the outcome of any particular action we take. There are ALWAYS "what ifs". If you wait until you are certain what will happen, you would never make any decision or any change.

You have thought this through. If you don't do what you have said you would do, why should he take ANYTHING you say seriously? He views it as just another empty threat, just a manipulation by you to make him do something he clearly does not want to do.

Up to you, but I would consider the above carefully before you decide to give him one more chance.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:30 AM
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BTW, when I packed up and left, as I had said I would, I had my important personal stuff already stored in boxes at a friend's house, went to a motel for three days to get some space to plan, stayed at my brother's for one week while I found an apartment.

It all worked out fine. The alcoholic never got sober, but I was out of the insanity.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:06 PM
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Thank you all so much for the support. Everything you all said is 100% true, and I just needed to hear it again. I've talked to friends, my sisters, even my mother-in-law also. I'm going to stick with it.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:36 PM
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As my ever wise youngest child once said to me, "I guess you just have to go through the shock of that first cold dip into the swimming pool to be able to have all of the fun you're going to have once you're in the pool".

Sorry to hear that it's come to this, a situation that I play out in my mind on a regular basis but have yet to find the courage to enact upon. I admire your resolve and as has been said before, the first step doesn't dictate the rest of your life, it just gives you a platform from where you can start planning the rest of your life.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:10 PM
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The thing is, talk is cheap, it means nothing. Most alcoholics will go to great lengths to hang on to enablers because we make it much easier for them to drink. At the heart of both codependency and alcoholism are denial and justification, the reason it is so difficult to leave. I recommend Alanon, which made it possible for me the support I needed to leave.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Trambler View Post
As my ever wise youngest child once said to me, "I guess you just have to go through the shock of that first cold dip into the swimming pool to be able to have all of the fun you're going to have once you're in the pool".
That is brilliant - out of the mouths of babes!! Some of the things my kids have said to me have really hit the nail on the head.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:48 PM
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On Wednesday I told my AH I was leaving after a "relapse". I put relapse in quotations because I haven't seen active recovery as far as I can tell, rather a few days of abstinence, a few meetings and then back to the bottle. I went to my moms and made arrangements for seperation.

On Saturday, my AH also told me that he wanted to get sober with me in the house and that he needed my support. He tried to make me feel guilty that I was leaving him in his darkest hour and how he was looking forward to a new life in sobriety and couples counseling.

Later on Saturday I came home to share my boundaries with AH and see what his plan was going to be for recovery.

He was drunk when I got there.

I stayed around for just a bit because I didn't know what to do. A few hours later he took the dog for a walk and bought beer on the way.

I think actions are more important that words. One of my boundaries is that I will not live with an active alcoholic. Until I can see sobriety, I will not be under the same roof.

I stated my boundary and left. It felt really really good to uphold a boundary and protect myself. I slept better last night than I have in weeks.

Highly recommend the boundary keeping! It'll feel good
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:25 AM
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Well, he refused to leave, so the kids and I packed for one night and left to spend the night at a friends house. I left a note saying we would be back at noon to pack the rest of our stuff if he was still there. I spoke with his brother last night, who was going to go to the house and try to convince him to leave, at least for the sake of the children.

My heart is breaking. I'm not angry...just so, so sad.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:56 AM
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I am so sorry you are hurting right now.

I hope that this will be his wake up call.

Stay strong and come back often for support!
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:49 AM
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He did end up leaving the next day. I came back at noon (the kids did not want to come) and he was home, waiting to say goodbye. We both cried and cried, we hugged, exchanged "I love you" and he left.

It's been 5 days now and I'm still not sure how I feel. Just sort of "fine". I guess I thought the change would be more dramatic. The kids say they are fine but I know there is a lot of underlying pain there. I do have to admit that we are all more relaxed.

I'm not sure what to do now. I haven't been without him in 22 years. I have no clue how to get on with my life.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:17 AM
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hey Dekalb - Glad to hear he went peacefully - Nice to know things are (as expected) more relaxed.

What to do? 22 years is a longtime its gonna take time to readjust. I might start by thinking about all the things I couldn't do when he was there and drinking and start with that.

I am sure others will be along with more experience in how they coped with this drastic change.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:03 AM
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I think for the kids, especially, you want to keep their routines as normal as possible. No big changes right away. They may not be as "fine" as they say--I'm sure they will adjust, but this is a huge change and they might be reluctant to talk about how they are feeling. You might want to see how they'd feel about talking to a counselor at school--someone they don't have to worry about upsetting (the way they might be concerned about worrying you). Alateen might be another good resource for them--to talk with other kids in similar situations.

As for yourself, give yourself a little room to breathe. You just undertook a massive change, yourself, and even the best changes can be disconcerting at times. Al-Anon can help. Use some of that peaceful time in the evenings to do a little planning for what you want in your life. Decide what your priorities are and focus on those.

Hugs, proud of you.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:51 AM
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when I left my alcoholic husband, my youngest had just turned 13. I asked her how she felt and got a shoulder shrug and "I don't know".

I suggested she use basic words to describe her feelings: like sad, mad, glad, scared, etc.

She chose "sad".

I was then able to share with her that I thought that was a normal feeling. I assured her that she is okay. That her feelings are okay.

So how are you feeling Dekalb?
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:46 AM
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I haven't made any big changes yet. Trying to keep the routine for a while. Our lives, sadly, have hardly changed at all because he was an isolating alcoholic and didn't spend much time with us anyway.

I did sign us up for some family counseling. I told the kids, "The fact that your father moved out and you say you are perfectly fine IS the problem." Unfortunately, there is no Alateen our area, so hopefully the counseling will help.

As for myself, I just feel sort of numb inside.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:55 AM
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And one more thing...I'm a little concerned that he didn't take me seriously about not coming back for a while. Not coming back until he was in some serious recovery. I found his toiletries in his bathroom drawer yesterday and realized that when he left, he must have only taken his travel kit. This worries me a little.
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