Advice for breaking up (again) with alcoholic?

Old 12-01-2013, 06:36 PM
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Unhappy Advice for breaking up (again) with alcoholic?

Sorry if this is a little long and convoluted?

I broke up with my abusive alcoholic boyfriend, moved 4000 miles away from him across an ocean and told him (halfheartedly) that if he got sober and stayed sober at least a year, I would consider talking with him about starting over. We have a 10 month old daughter together and I brought her with me. (He has no claim to custody as she is not a citizen of his country).

He went into treatment (he is in a European country and 12-step is not the typical model there for addiction treatment). I found out last week through a friend that he was drunk again. Then he called me on Skype Friday, drunk, and proceeded to send me the typical barrage of abusive messages when I wouldn't talk to him.

This morning, I told him that there is now no chance that I want to be with him, ever, in the future. I told him that we would make arrangements for him to see his daughter, if he wanted that, at some point in the future.

HOWEVER, he does not seem to believe that I am actually serious. He has tried every manipulative trick in the book today, from attacking me with the most venom he can muster, to telling me that I am "his treasure" and that he will do everything to give us a future and that I am cruel and heartless for not believing him. Oh, and he blames his relapse on the "too-strong" medication that his psychiatrist put him on at treatment. (The first excuse was that a friend bought him a mulled wine and it would have been rude to turn him down.) I have pointed out the incongruity of everything he has said to me. There is also, of course, the hell he put me through for two years. Up until this point his treatment seemed to be working--he had acknowledged all the abuse I had suffered and that it was his fault and a result of the drinking. However, because I am now saying "no, I don't want a relationship" to him, all of his treatment-acquired rationality is out the window.

I'm pretty sure he thinks that I am going to change my mind, and at earlier times, I may have been fooled by his promises. Anyway, my question is now where to go from here. I blew off probably too much steam on him today, and I am now thinking I will try a conservative approach: just responding to him with short, matter-of-fact answers when he contacts me. He will hate this, of course. He's already threatened to kill himself once today and I expect more of that sort of thing, along with more verbal abuse, accusations, threats, and email harassment. I seem not to be strong enough just to block his emails, etc. There is also the issue that blocking him in this manner just makes him madder. (Of course, he claims that I, not him, am the real problem because I won't talk to him about "our relationship" and that blocking him on Skype "isn't helping us to move forward.")

If it wasn't for the fact that we have a daughter and the fact that he owes me $18000, (which he is so far reliably sending small payments on each month, along with child support), I would sever contact entirely.

So I guess what I am asking is what can I do to smooth things with a totally irrational alcoholic and still maintain my own sanity? A friend suggested that I just tell him what he wants to hear, since I don't actually have to see him in person. But I am not a dishonest person deep down, and I can't live with saying things that aren't true just to assuage his ego and keep money coming. I do not want to be in a romantic relationship of any kind with this man.

I have lost the entire day to this insanity and I fear that there are many more days like this looming in the future.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:25 PM
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I guess the more obvious general question I have is what is the most effective way to tell an alcoholic "no, I won't do what you want" without them going completely ballistic?
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:39 PM
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When you find out, let me know. I am going through something similar. So far I have found the least amount of contact the better. But I do know that as long as he is drinking, there is no way for him to rationally discuss things.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:53 PM
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So it seems, after reading all that... that Mr. Wonderful will not remember any of it tomorrow and start the process all over. It's called rinse and repeat!

You are not going to make any head way with this guy as long as he's drunk n playing the victim. All drunks are victims. Remember that! Everything you do to him because of his choices are your fault. That is what an alcoholic wants you to believe.

Stand firm with this guy. You say no, mean it. Sounds like you're done with it anyway. There is going to be no easy way for Mr. You're Missing Out on Me to take it like a man. His, I'll kill myself bull is nothing but him attempting to guilt you back into his life. He's more than likely throwing everything at you but the kitchen sink to keep you for his own deluded purposes to feed his addiction.

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Old 12-01-2013, 08:54 PM
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I agree with SpouseRecovery. How to respond in that type of situation takes a lot of work and thought, and feeling out the moment, and sometimes no response is better. I have a similar situation at the moment. And as has been said so far, trying something rational on someone who has become irrational seems to be impossible. Sometimes you can get through I guess, but in these types of situations that seems to be rare, sigh.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sourcranberry View Post
I guess the more obvious general question I have is what is the most effective way to tell an alcoholic "no, I won't do what you want" without them going completely ballistic?
LOL! I think we all want the answer to that one. I am in a similar situation (I moved out of state to get away), though my axb has not been to any treatment or ever entertained the idea that he has a problem with alcohol or is abusive in any fashion when he drinks- he doesn't remember it, so it must not have happened. I just keep dumping him, over and over. I only talk to him if he's sober, and when he says he misses me I say "I bet you do" and leave it at that. We also have a child together, and for the most part he has totally ignored our son. When he's drunk he hangs up phone on DS, when he's sober he's too busy being righteously angry with me (for "walking out on him") to make the effort to call.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:00 AM
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If you absolutely have to maintain contact, I suggest saying over and over and over that you will not speak to him about anything but your child. prepared that this may cut off your funds. To would be worth it, but I don't pay your bills and understand finances and how they can affect your life.

Then...don't speak. If he says anything about anything except your child, do not speak to him about it. He will get it eventually. If you don't engage eventually it will wear him out trying and he will stop. You have to stand very firm to your boundary with this if this is truly what you want. This is detatching from a distance. You can do it, but it will be hard.

Take care of you and your baby!
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:07 PM
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I agree. Not engaging sometimes will stop the behavior because they want to try something new. Not getting a reaction anymore will put out that fire. It has for me on some behaviors.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:49 PM
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No contact helps me lots when I can do it and xah has adjusted to it over time. When he has other women around, that always helps. Your A will adjust eventually, too. You have to not feed into his efforts to draw you back into any conversation whatsoever.

But some contact is necessitated by our four children and finances.
I just stick to email and keep it completely business like. It works. Keep the boundaries ridiculously clear and firm.

I live in Europe and AA is less prevalent for sure where I am. But if you want a recovery program, it's there for the person who is earnest about wanting help. So don't buy his excuses!
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:09 AM
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Most of the time I stay quiet, he thinks I am torturing him because I won't or even talk with him when he is really drunk as he is verbally abusive.

I think you are a lot stronger than me to and have lot of courage to break up with him.

I agree with the above comment that alcoholic often see themselves as victim and we are all against them.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:42 AM
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Thank you everyone for your comments. After he just did and said something particularly unacceptable yesterday, I have cut off contact with him. I can't live with that level of toxicity in my life and I'm tired of having to adapt my own behavior to his insanity and irrationalism. Why should I be the one who always bends over backwards for him? He's an adult, not an 2 year old. (I think that having an actual child has now given me some perspective on this, since now I actually do have a little baby that I have to adapt to, and adapting to the whims of an adult alcoholic makes no sense by comparison.)

I had started waking up every morning nervous about what is going to be in my email. It was like that living with him, and after having had a little peace after getting away from him, I can't go back to feeling afraid every day. The concept of detachment is a good one, but there is only so much that you can realistically detach from someone who is actively abusing you (either verbally or physically) on a regular basis. (Unlike other people, I could never just leave the apartment when he started to get abusive because I was afraid he would destroy my belongings, including all of my work and research--detaching by leaving when he was drunk or hungover and angry would have just made him angrier and put me more at risk later. There are some kind of alcoholics that you just cannot safely be with.)

I am going to attempt to go through international channels for child support--I found out that I may be able to apply for it at the court in his country, even though I'm a foreigner.
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