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When did you finally know it was time to leave?

Old 02-20-2014, 02:15 PM
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When did you finally know it was time to leave?

The A I had been seeing for the last couple of years has 2 years of sobriety, starting his third. I have gone to AlAnon and open AA meetings with him.

A month I found an active dating profile with recent pictures, called him on it and he got angry and was disgusted that I didn't trust him..
Yep, that was my light bulb moment.

I've been thinking about all the things I have done that are so out of character for me-the checking up on him, nights of sleeplessness, the highs of euphoria, when things were going well, followed by the waves of depression, when I didn't hear from him for a day, and on and on...

Please share with me when your light bulb moment came.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:22 PM
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My light bulb moment was when I realized that alcohol was more important to him than ds15 and I was powerless to do anything about it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:37 PM
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My A and I have been friends for 4 years, and he knows my history with my emotionally abusive ex. He was always so supportive and wonderful.

Finally, I moved in with him for all of the wrong reasons...and honestly didn't realize how bad his drinking really was until I was faced with it 24/7.

Things have been getting progressively worse emotionally. It started with little statements that made me feel like I shouldn't bring up this subject or that subject. Then it got to the point that if I mentioned anything about his drinking - especially setting boundaries for myself - he got REALLY angry.

Last weekend we had it out yet again - only this time it was actually REALLY bad. He was nastier and scarier than I'd ever seen anyone in a long time! Disrespectful, rude, screaming, blaming, cursing, name-calling, sarcasm. Just plain old MEAN....all because I tried to set a boundary. That was it for me. He said to me something like, "If you can't accept it then we aren't going to work." I told him I agreed (very calmly). Then he said that nothing is ever good enough for me...and I realize he's kind of right. Nothing short of sobriety out of him is going to be good enough for me - because I will NOT live in fear of his temper. I will not live in fear of expressing my feelings...

NOW he wants to talk and be loving...even though he doesn't know I'm looking for places to live. It's so hard to see him trying and knowing that it's "too little to late" for me. I need to be in a safe place and right now this isn't it.

Once I'm out into my own place I'd be willing to stay in a committed relationship with him and work on our relationship - but NOT if he's actively drinking. I can't do it - and I won't do that to myself.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:38 PM
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Easy .... when he threw one of the dogs out of a window and broke his leg. Then I looked for help and understanding, found this forum, and that was that. Years of threats, verbal abuse, controlling behaviour ... you name it. But no-one, but NO-ONE hurts my dogs. That was my lightbulb moment.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:47 PM
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It's strange that we put up with so much, but when they hurt an innocent dog-we're done.
I would be that way too
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:52 PM
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I was thinking about this topic just now. Trying to process. So glad you posted this. it is helpful to hear from others when they knew it was time. I posted a thread a long time ago that was even titled i think it's time to leave or something like that. The "I think" was crucial there...Obviously I was tricking myself still.

For me there was the 'i think it's time' moment, but then there was the "I KNOW it's time" moment that broke me, broke my spirit, dashed my hopes, and told me I must repair myself. It was a moment where I took care of her and got nothing but abuse in return. I'm dealing with other things now related to no contact and lack of closure, but for me...

It was physical violence toward me and fear of it escalating to something more intense in the future. My hopes for the future were dashed after she hit me repeatedly, in multiple ways, in public and not in public, in a single night that was supposed to be a quiet early-Christmas goodbye before I flew home to my family for the holidays. Telling her 'I love you with all my heart' during her blackout and getting hit in the face as a response. Carrying her home and learning she did not recognize me or seem to know my name. Her trying to kick and punch the owners of a restaurant that same night - all out, full-body, put your full weight into it punches... as people watched with their mouths open. Like a movie or a nightmare out of body experience. Her trying to lie in the street after the restaurant kicked us out, in some half-hearted suicidal demonstration (would not call it an attempt).

This is just a minor percentage of the mega-dose of things I saw on the night that finally 'got through' to me.

The day before this happened, we exchanged christmas gifts and she made christmas dinner for us. It was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen, one of the most beautiful things anyone had ever done for me.

The violent night would have been enough, but the juxtaposition of these 2 emotionally intense days was so heartwrenching and confusing. But I knew I had to leave. I thought I might die if I didn't.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:53 PM
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When my husband brought his alcoholism upon our kids, I was done. That was my breaking point.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:26 PM
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Wow I had a bunch of lightbulb moments and ignored half of them. Among all the moments of chair throwing, glass throwing, stool smashing, screaming, lying, insults, slapping, yelling, dog hitting (yep, nothing as major as Brindie, but bad enough), blaming, puking, ranting, manic cleaning, stumbling, slurring, etc, what stands out the most? After raging about how he hated it here, screaming F*@#CKKKKK, and then crying, stumbling around, barely able to get out his words he was so drunk. He went crazy throwing things, saying he needed to get away from me, he loved me, he hated me, etc. That he was sorry he did this, that it was my fault, that I had messed him up, that I was his everything, ripping my shirt off into pieces when it was 15 degrees F outside, then getting a jacket out of his truck for himself and leaving me to walk through the house past my kids without a shirt, sitting catatonically and refusing to react, telling me I am not a painter (meaning I had not done them) when I painted a boatload of paintings right in front of him, etc ...that whole mess he went through that last super bad night, yeah it hit home, it was enough, it was clear he had to leave, but nowhere near like the lightbulb that came on the NEXT day when he leaned over in the kitchen and kissed me....and was confused why I stood there shellshocked and didn't really kiss him back, when he acted as if nothing had happened, as if I should be behaving like normal, giving him affection after being told he couldn't stand me. That was the moment I knew I was going to make him leave, but wasn't sure how to get him out. The actual moment I knew he had to go NOW was when he verbally attacked my son...because I knew what would happen next and I could not let that man lay a hand on my kid. Period.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:49 PM
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My usual response to that question is "when he threatened to kill me and our children and commit suicide."

But the truth is, I knew it was time to leave much earlier than that. I think one turning point was when I turned down a promotion at work because it included travel, and I didn't feel comfortable leaving our children alone with their father overnight. That's when I made the decision to start working toward planning to leave. He forced my hand by threatening our lives, so it happened quicker than I had thought.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:53 PM
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For me it was when the pain of staying was greater than the pain of leaving.

Your friend,
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:48 PM
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When he had me backed into a wall with his fist cocked back, ready to smash my face in and I stabbed him in the neck with the knife I had started carrying because I no longer felt safe around him. It wasn't his fist coming toward my face, or me stabbing him, or the blood. It was the look on our 4 year old son's face, because he saw the whole thing.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:11 PM
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All of you have such terrible stories..

Would you believe I have known this person for 9 years, and have never seen him take a drink. He says he was drunk/had been drinking many times when he was with me-but I never suspected a thing. Can you believe that????
He has never yelled at me, raised a hand to me, nothing like you have been through.

He does the disappearing act, comes back into my life, leaves again-all emotional BS. Wants to be with me, doesn't, wants to, doesn't and on and on...

I hope we all find peace, whatever that is for you...I'm on my way.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:25 PM
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Just now....

After my Abf wanting us to take a break so he could figure out if he wanted to be in a relationship or not, and going NC for a few weeks, we found ourselves hanging out again.

But, still not in a R.

And, tonight, after leaving his house - having him cuddle me and kiss me and tell me how much he appreciates me being around - he goes on to chat with a friend of ours and tells her he will see her again when their inevitable romantic encounter will happen. That the stars and planets have all gotten together to bring them together and it will be a cosmic event. One of amazing proportions.

I have been lying to myself that this partying, alcoholic, insecure man was anything more than that. In my attempt to see the good things about him, I have watered down the bad things like a cheap drink.

He toys with me back and forth...bringing me in so his ego can feed off of the love he knows I have for him...then running away when he feels secure and finds someone with who to stroke his ego even more.

Yes, today is that day when I walk away. I will have to go through and endure the pain I know goes with this...and tell myself I'll be okay.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:24 PM
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Good for you Itsmylifenow. My ABF and I had broken up twice previously. I knew I was really done this time when he called me a pretentious bi*** among other things. He also tried to make me feel bad about my past which is pretty CHASTE, claiming it must be that way because no other man wanted me. He refused to believe that I took time off from dating because of medical issues. I knew I was permanently done that day! My parents had a lot of issues but I never heard my father talk to my mother that way, or anyone in my family for that matter. I refused to be with someone I had to try to convince I was a good person. I found SR after we broke up because I needed to wrap my head around the whole thing and it has helped immensely. Thanks to all the posters on SR.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:54 PM
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Like lillamy, I knew it was time long before I actually left. And similar to Mike, my desire to be free was finally stronger than my willingness to accept a future full of potential craziness (i.e. pain). I had finally accepted that everything I had learned here and in Al-Anon about alcoholism and my alcoholic's behaviors would always be a part of who he was. Always. Forever. That's a long time.

Not one other human soul is responsible for my happiness. Happiness is a choice. I can still love him, and do, but from a distance. I pray for him every day. He is a man with an illness. I love him, I just hate the disease. And now I can love him and have my serenity at the same time.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:54 PM
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Itsmylifenow...I send you strength and hugs! And I love your quote:
In my attempt to see the good things about him, I have watered down the bad things like a cheap drink.

So ironically spot on.

Regarding time to leave. For me...the lightbulb moment was 10 years in, and 10 years before I left. That's a painful reality to forgive myself for! A turning point event in my life--first time I actually needed emotional support in a big way-- and he wasn't willing or able to provide it, and in addition BERATED me for it and simultaneously spent money we didn't have which kept me feeling trapped financially...with small children...and after weeks of depression and constant tears I woke up one morning with new resolve that I was strong enough to live in a marriage knowing full well I couldn't expect anything emotionally since he couldn't help himself. I thought it was best for the kids. I felt trapped financially. And I really didn't "need" him. I had friends and was generally happy. His closet high functioning drinking was tolerable if I didn't "need" anything from him. I thought he was a relatively good father at the time. I didn't mind missing out on a deeper emotional relationship. I had made a commitment.

But 10 years later when it had escalated...wow. I saw the past with my blinders fully off and wished that younger me had made a different choice. Because she knew! That was a turning point in which I chose to go straight. Long way of saying...my turning point was more like a monkey standing on my shoulders repeatedly hitting me on the head with a hammer...and one day it stuck.
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