When Your AH Has Your Life Planned

Old 05-27-2013, 06:28 AM
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When Your AH Has Your Life Planned

Just wanting to hear more of your stories. You know how it goes when you're learning to detach and yes, I'm still struggling with that guilt and feelings of obligation.

When AH talks, he has our entire life planned out - what we are doing, where we are going to live, how we are going to live and here I am trying to find the courage to continue with my plan to leave. Yes, I have my weak moments where I think I should stay. I hear all these plans he's made and they just are so different from what I want which is my life back. And I can't discuss things with him as most people in relationships can.

Did anyone have a similar situation and just leave while their AH was planning their life in a different direction?

I know we're supposed to focus on our lives but sometimes it's very difficult to do.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:56 AM
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"ours" (me and the kids) have sort of come to just ignore it.

At least after last summer. Mrs. Hammer played that she could not pick a house, and we wound up "homeless" for a month. Aside from the being Very Educational for me on just what Passive Aggressive behavior is, it really helped me see that I/we are dealing with real mental illness.

Since she has been back about five months from rehab, she has come up with three (maybe four, I guess thinking about it) different plans/places to move. Some local, some distant. Including across the country with no jobs, etc.

Last month she was throwing fits in the kitchen saying she was going to relapse if my daughter and I did not agree to one of "the plans."

The kids just look at me with the "Dad Fix This!" look and want me to assure them even if mommy goes crazy, we are not going crazy with her.

So I listen to what my daughter wants (senior kid, as it were) for schools, housing, etc. And our boy who likes to build is helping spec out what our "forever house" will look like. So we will do that and Mrs. Hammer can either come, go, go crazy, or whatever.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:30 AM
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My second husband "made plans" for us by signing another lease on the house we were renting. I had already told him not to do so (he signed the original lease before we were married) because we could not afford it. He had lost his job due to drinking, I was working at a low-paying job and looking for another to make ends meet.

When he signed the lease anyway, I told him that the house was HIS problem, that I was moving out. I believe I left him one month's rent and told him it was up to him to figure it out.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:31 AM
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My AXH was not only a drunk but also controlling, manipulative, and abusive. Part of that was denying me the right to have input in planning our life.

The first time he came home and showed me brochures from this new town where he had gotten a job offer, I thought it was exciting and would be fun to discuss the pros and cons about potentially moving. He accepted the job and informed me we were moving the following day. And so went our life. Whenever I had started putting down roots, making friends, getting comfortable (and there were people close enough that someone might realize he wasn't the career climbing young perfect professional he presented himself as), he quit his job, found another, and moved us.

I don't know that that is common. That deliberate keeping the wife isolated and off balance. But I hear from many AlAnon friends that their spouses sort of just make their plans and assume or demand the sober spouse agree. Not always out of spite but... Because they take for granted you're in agreement. And I know my AXH did too - because I often chose to not argue, because it was easier to let him decide. For the peace of the family.

That's one reason it took me long to be able to leave him. Because I didn't have the money to even rent an efficiency on the minor part time jobs I was able to pick up here and there.

For me, letting him decide and plan and going along prolonged my pain.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:40 AM
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Thank you all so much for sharing your stories. Hammer, wow, you really are a strong person. I admire that. Lexie, you are very brave. Lillamy, I think our situations sound very similar. Did you move out without him knowing? Thanks again everyone. Every time I read your posts, it helps me so much.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:08 AM
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I actually had a similar situation.

I moved to the town he grew up in. I knew from the begining it was not a "forever" place for me, though I overall have enjoyed my time here.

We regularly discussed moving while we were dating. At the time he was not sure he wanted to be back here, was unhappy with his job etc.

We got married, and almost right afterwards I realized drinking was a part of my marriage. Part of it (I don't know if it was directly related to drinking or not) was the fact that all of a sudden it was MY FAULT that I did not love where I was, he was not moving, he was the man and we should follow him (though I made more, and am a professional in my own right). He accused me of being selfish for wanting to take him away from his family, his friends etc.

I really struggled feeling like it was my fault that he had not "heard" me about not wanting to be here. I felt like I did not say it right, I was not straightforward enough etc.

Now looking back, I was very clear about it (I told him within an hour of him proposing that I could not live in my town forever and he needed to know that if this was going to work). It was just another example of how I took it all on as my fault.

I was primed to take it all on, he was primed to give it all to me. I was also ready for peace at any costs....but that only worked for so long.

He would be furious when I would talk about applying for jobs other places just for something different. It was a no-win situation for me, and it took me a long time to realize I was not being selfish, but was trying to put my needs into the mix which is more like self-care.

I am sorry that was a hard place for me to be.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:21 AM
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My heart goes out to you. I've been separated 6 times in less than 7 years. My heart goes out to anyone married to a drug addict.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:43 PM
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LifeRecovery, thanks for sharing your story. You mentioned peace at all costs and that's what I've been doing for the last few years and it's cost me so much in so many areas of my life. Sad#3, sounds as though you are dealing with a lot. I hope all is well for you now and thank you for your support.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:12 PM
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Because an alcoholic is in denial of the severity of their addiction they tend to just live in la la land carrying on like everything can be peachy keen. My ah made plans also (not that they were bad plans ) but that everytime he discussed future us plans I got a terrible shiver and thought to myself " like I want to make any plans with a drunk" even the more simple plans like a trip .....nope ill pass lol.
We even spoke about moving out of state and as fun as that would have been had he been sober then.....I didnt care the idea of living far off from friends and family with an alcoholic.

Throw an alcoholic into the mix and what would be romantic and sweet "our sweet life" future planing turned into an even longer frightening nightmare. Luckily my ah has been sober for over a month...not long but it makes future what if talks more bearable before I just nodded my head and smiled while making comments to myself mostly because like you I couldmt communicate with my partner as well. Thats a big one for alcoholic relationships..communication is walking on egg shells.
But I didnt need to communicate with him in the talking faze of future plans in fear of a fight but I can promise you had plans actually went through on his half...I would have dead center stopped them but I always just listened to his plans and brushed them off or later came up with ways they didnt work ....and alot of the times they didnt work because of him lol

Lexie cat- had a similiar situation with my ah as well re signing a lease when I had been looking for another place to move to. My ah did alot of things without communicating with me first as well...another one was taking out loans which he loved to do so often....finally pay one off to surprise he took out another one why? Got me...for toys and drunk knick knacks.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:25 PM
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He knew when I moved out. i left suddenly with the clothes on my back and the children because he threatened to kill us all. And at that point, little details like "where are we going to live and how will I feed my children?" stopped mattering. Surviving mattered.

I needed to revisit that today, so thank you for asking that question. I've been pity partying a bit here lately but I just remembered how my life used to be like when I lived in a constant state of hyper vigilance and heck, eating rice and sleeping on the couch sure beats that...
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:54 PM
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ThisLonelyGirl, thank you for sharing your story. The walking on egg shells part is really tough. So glad your AH is sober for a month and hope he continues on that path and you can make plans.

Lillamy, I can relate. Hypervigelance because you live with an angry person is no way to live. You are very brave to have left. Thank you all so much.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:43 PM
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My AH planned to move us to another country. My son and I put it off for as long as possible. We were supposed to be packing after he left - we didn't pack a thing! At the appointed time he arrived and started packing our entire lives up into a massive big truck which arrived. By this time I was co-operating with the move. But on my way to the bank to close my account the day before we left I cried all the way there in the car.

Once we arrived it was a very harsh lifestyle and difficult, boring and lonely. My son first went on 'holiday' and then refused to come back. Then a year later I went on 'holiday' and decided not to come back. Two years after that he tried the same thing with his mum - I believe he packed up all her things and moved her - she also came on 'holiday' and refused to go back.

All the planning he did was for everybody to fulfill HIS needs. There was not really any thought or consideration given to anybody else. Thank God we're back now and can see each other whenever we like. I thank my HP for that as much as I can.

His plan might have worked if he did not have his main focus on drinking but that is what alcoholics do.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sunnshinegirl View Post
Hammer, wow, you really are a strong person. I admire that.
ehhh, not so much.

Just following "best practices" from a NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) guideline >>>


WS = Well Spouse (that would typically be us)
MIS = Mentally Ill Spouse (that would be the A, A, and/or A)

[In part]
. . . . .

The Well Spouse will probably need to take over the practical, day to day responsibilities of the family. These responsibilities may include the following, depending upon the severity of the illness:

1. Making sure the family has a permanent place to live. Often Mentally ill persons will want to move and/or change jobs often, running from the illness and failures to cope. The WS must affirmatively and unequivocally put a stop to this constant moving. If the WS has the finances, he/she should buy a house, put down roots, and deal with reality.

2. Handling the finances. Most mentally ill persons do not handle money well. This may mean withdrawing credit cards from the MIS. This usually means setting up a separate checking account. This means paying all or nearly all of the bills. We have found that even when the WS has tried to share some bill paying responsibility with the MIS, it usually fails. If the WS is a woman who is not working, she MUST get a job.

[LOT more on the link.]

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Old 05-27-2013, 04:22 PM
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sunshine...just out of curiosity, exactly how much ACTION has followed up his TALK about what HE is going to do with his life???? and shall I presume that HIS grand plans included continuing to drink?

it's ok to not want the life he has to offer anymore. it's ok to want something else. to be done.

how much we tell them about OUR plans (to leave) depends a lot on their state of mind. are they abusive? controlling? do you have access to finances or is there a fear he may cut you off? its usually a good idea to have solid plans already in place before making any announcements. one should also be prepared for the full court press on THEIR part to do anything to get you to change your mind. all kinds of oaths and promises, tears.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:20 AM
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Cr955, that must have been so difficult to move to another country and feel so isolated. Hammer, thanks so much for the link. Very helpful. Anvilhead, yes, he continues to drink a lot daily starting at noon until he passes out after dinner. And yes, he's taken action and spent a lot of money we don't have while he travels the country looking for the perfect place. My job is here, friends and my entire life is here but he has this magical thinking it will be better elsewhere. He's verbally very abusive but not physical but he's been a little better now that he thinks we are changing our life so I tried to talk to him about it last night. I got one sentence out of my mouth before he said whatever and walked away. I'm not allowed to have an opinion that counts and I get shut down when I try to express my thoughts. When it's really bad, he just tells me I'm a f--- idiot so I really have learned to keep quiet and go with the flow. I'm making plans to leave and I'm putting aside money from my paycheck but I guess like a lot of people I take one step forward and two steps backwards because I'm plauged by guilt and fear over leaving him. I'm learning from all of you though.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:06 AM
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Wow I did not realize that this is a common problem. My Sober AH just wanted to move us all after 17 years here. I told him I was not going and I think the kids ended up telling him this too. He ended turning down the job, but blaming me for him not going. (side note, our counselor told him it was his decision and he canít blame me lol) He also wants to let the house go back to the bank at which point I would be left holding the bag. I was furious at this (he declared bankruptcy 2 years ago and can do this).

Sunnshinegirl thanks for starting this thread this It has given me something more to think about.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:10 AM
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Cricket, thank you.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:40 AM
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I was with my AH for ten years. It wasn't until after I had left him that I realized how many of our life decisions had been made by him, without much input fom me. Let me rephrase that... I had given my input, but it had been discounted completely. We had been planning a big lifestyle change, to go sailing around the tropical Pacific Ocean together for 5 years or more, and that takes a lot of preparation and saving. We had departure dates planned for years, but he couldn't muster the self-discipline to actually save money by that deadline and he decided to postpone... AFTER I had quit my job! Thanks. He postponed for 6 months, then another 6, then another... Then, he got mad at me for not being able to keep up with my end of the finances. Right, cause that's simple to do when you don't have a steady job. Grr.

When we finally left, his drinking got really bad. We lasted for 6 months before I finally put my foot down and we ended up back in the town where we had met. I left him one night soon after we returned and i stopped talking to him except through emails for more than a month. He was still making plans for us... He was going to make some modifications to the boat and we would sail away again within 3-4 months. Nothing could be more frightening to me now. There is NO way I would step foot on a boat with him now. La La Land, for reals. I never told him this, but I think he finally figured it out after 6 months of my failure to engage with him on the topic. That's when he decided we should get a divorce without the help of an attorney. I let him make the decision of divorce, but I made the decision for myself that I needed a professional to handle communications with him. I am no longer willing to let his choices push me around and keep me off-kilter, or put me at risk.

Take care,
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