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What do fair and reasonable expectations look like?

Old 02-23-2014, 11:43 AM
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What do fair and reasonable expectations look like?

I have been lurking on the boards but this is the first time I have posted. I am hoping someone can give me some guidance on what my expectations should be/what I can expect to happen.
I told my AH he had to leave last month (after he was arrested for a DUI). He spent the next few days at a hotel, while attending AA meetings during the day and drinking all night. He then started renting a room from his sponsor. He was sober 13 days and then relapsed. It took his sponsor a couple weeks to figure it out. In the past week he lost his job, was kicked out of his sponsor's house, and is currently in the hospital for detox/psych hold.
When I spoke with his mother she berated me and made sure I knew he couldn't be "pressured" with any thoughts of taking care of our children, supporting his family, his marriage, or his job right now. His sponsor also told me he can't be worried about working right now.
I don't know what to do right now. He has always been functioning prior to this point. I no longer want to be married to him and I am having a hard time seeing the difference between detachment and abandoning him. I am left with the responsibility of figuring out how to support our family, pay for his legal & medical expenses, etc.
He has continued this behavior for years, and now he gets a pass to leave me with all the responsibility? And I am not "supportive" if I expect him to be concerned about how to keep a roof over our children's head? He has made the statement that money is evil, it is bad, he doesn't care about it, our kids will always be taken care of, he is going to get well and get his family back.
What is reasonable for me to say to him, or expect from him with regards to his financial responsibility? I don't want to hinder his recovery, but I am terrified about how I am going to do this with no help from him, not to mention future expenses he incurs.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:06 PM
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I would suggest you go to your local court and ask what you can do to have him have to help financially...

Are you divorcing or separating from him? If so, there would be a mandatory child support order...

If you're married and he's not helping financially I am not sure what he can or can't be forced to do...

Im sorry you're going through this...
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:12 PM
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I do hope, you can find a good lawyer to help you out. Your children do have to eat and they are helpless in all this.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:14 PM
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Can his mother pay for his legal and medical expenses? If he is not working and you are the breadwinner right now, can his family pick up some of his slack (considering his mom says her son cannot be expected to take care of things)?
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:14 PM
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Welcome to SR, bluebird.

I suggest you visit with an attorney and find out your rights. If you have a joint bank account, it would be wise for you to open an account in your name only, preferably at a different bank, and move as much of the money as you can into your own account.

If your husband isn't working and isn't doing anything other than drinking, then you cannot depend on getting any financial help from him. If you aren't currently working, you may have to get a job. The one thing you CANNOT do is just wait around to see what happens. You must be proactive to protect yourself and your children.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluebird74 View Post
When I spoke with his mother she berated me and made sure I knew he couldn't be "pressured" with any thoughts of taking care of our children, supporting his family, his marriage, or his job right now. His sponsor also told me he can't be worried about working right now.
Or what, Little Princess's head will magically explode?

I think we may have the same MIL and same other side sponsor.

BUT -- NONE of that is our problem, right?

I don't know what to do right now. He has always been functioning prior to this point. I no longer want to be married to him and I am having a hard time seeing the difference between detachment and abandoning him. I am left with the responsibility of figuring out how to support our family,
Understand all that part . . . But THIS PART????

pay for his legal & medical expenses, etc.
WHY? Let him go to jail and go bankrupt on the medical bills.

He has continued this behavior for years, and now he gets a pass to leave me with all the responsibility? And I am not "supportive" if I expect him to be concerned about how to keep a roof over our children's head? He has made the statement that money is evil, it is bad, he doesn't care about it, our kids will always be taken care of, he is going to get well and get his family back.
What is reasonable for me to say to him, or expect from him with regards to his financial responsibility? I don't want to hinder his recovery, but I am terrified about how I am going to do this with no help from him, not to mention future expenses he incurs.
You will likely do much better, or just even ok, IF you can get rid of the loss and the dead weight.

Here is how I keep it straight --

First, I can only have (1) #1 Priority -- For me, that is the three kids. NONE of the kids are named Mrs. Hammer, so I know she is NOT a #1 Priority.

Second, to keep the #1 Priority ok, I have to take care of ME. Mrs. Hammer is not named ME, so I know she is not a #2 Priority.

Next, to keep all those in good shape, and living indoors, eating, in school, etc. . . . none of that is about Mrs. Hammer, either.

So she is not really on my watch, nor "take care of" list.

Why is your A on your priority list?
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:44 PM
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Bluebird---I know that everyone in your "circle" will likely want to weigh in on how you should or should not conduct your affairs. Everyone that feels that they have a dog in the fight. Your MIl and his sponsor have HIM as their dog in the fight. Their concern is not you or your children.

Based on this info......I say that you will do better if you take a F----You attitude toward them (mentally, of course...LOL).

This is hard-ball time and your survival depends on your sense of self preservation fro this point, on out.

Trust and depend only on those who have YOUR welfare at heart!! Like your lawyer, Us
on SR, alanon members, your counselor, and those friends who may be willing to help you.

You would be right to expect that he live up to his parental and moral obligations---but, the truth and the reality for you right now is that you will probably get next to nothing--at least, in the short term. He is broken down due to the disease and those in early recovery can barely keep it together for themselves. Is this fair?? Hell No!.
But there is nothing that is fair about this disease. It destroys individuals and families if we let it.

I understand that this is not what you would like to hear--but, sadly, it is the truth.

You will survive through this. Many others have walked in your shoes.

dandylion

p.s. Don't worry about h indering his recovery. You have no control over it. It is completely up to him. You have your hands full with the survival of your self and the kids. You can tell everyone that dandylion said so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluebird74 View Post
He has made the statement that money is evil, it is bad, he doesn't care about it.
I bet he'd change his tune if there was no money for alcohol.

As for his mother, if she doesn't want her precious to be troubled with thoughts of supporting his children, she'd better step up to the plate herself.

I'd suggest getting legal advice, doing what you can to make sure you and the children are housed and fed and leave him to cover his own expenses.

I don't see any need to worry about abandoning him; he chose to sabotage his own recovery. Not your problem. Besides, he has Mummy to wipe his backside.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:13 PM
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I'm sorry you're in such an upsetting situation. What you're seeing is the progression of alcoholism ... for a while active alcoholics can keep it together but as it progresses they become like your husband.

I'm both a recovering alcoholic (23 years) and codependent. One thing I know is nobody can get an addict to put down his/her drug of choice (in this case booze). It's time for you to take care of yourself and your children. Try to take the focus off the alcoholic and put it on yourself and your family ... here you can make a big difference.
Just let expectations go. Nobody can predict if someone will get sober or continue drinking. Remember that addiction/alcoholism is classified as a mental illness.

God bless.....
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:14 PM
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I ABSOLUTELY COMPLETELY agree with what Hammer said. VERY sensible, very well put. So, in following that line of thought, here is my opinion and I am in a bitchy mood today so it isn't nice.

You have just gone through this massive paradigm shift, your life has totally changed and suddenly you are the sole support of yourself and your children. You should not be "pressured" with any thoughts of having to take care of a grown man who is clearly an alcoholic with who knows what other issues. You should not be "worried" about taking care of him and his mess....take care of you and the kids. Period. To hell with what HIS mother says, if she is anything like my ex MIL then her boy can do no wrong, and therefore, let HER deal with him and his chaos. Seems to me he "abandoned" you when he picked up the bottle and got addicted, and don't put yourself through all the guilt, etc, it is not a crime to protect oneself and children in times of family crisis. Get a lawyer, get yourself your own bank acct, etc. This is the time to buckle down and protect you and the kids. Stop feeling guilty about it. Do NOT let people tell you how to manage your home or your kids, or your marriage. If you cannot be married, or do not want to be married, then that man is no longer your problem, so to hell with whoever is berating you. Tell them to shove it in their donkeyhole and go no contact with them. All that matters right now is your welfare and your kids welfare. Like I said, I am not Miss Sunshine today, I am sick of these alcoholics destroying good people's lives. Focus on you and your kids. Get your house in order. That is what I am working on. Your kids deserve the best life you can give them, and this is your first step in that direction.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Ofelie View Post
You have just gone through this massive paradigm shift, your life has totally changed and suddenly you are the sole support of yourself and your children. You should not be "pressured" with any thoughts of having to take care of a grown man who is clearly an alcoholic with who knows what other issues. You should not be "worried" about taking care of him and his mess...


I agree with every word of your post.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:40 PM
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As do I. Spot on ofelie.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:56 PM
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I am having a hard time seeing the difference between detachment and abandoning him.
Here is the difference, as I see it:
There is no such thing as "abandoning" another adult who has made choices that has gotten him/her in serious trouble (legal/medical/etc). You are not responsible for those choices. You are, however, responsible for protecting yourself and your children from the fallout of the bad choices your husband has made. How that "protecting" looks is your responsibility to figure out. But don't EVER let anyone talk you into feeling like your husband is YOUR responsibility. Last I checked you have to be a legal adult to get married, and if you can be saddled with adult responsibilities like voting and serving in the armed forces and get married, then you can also be saddled with figuring out how to get sober when you're an addict.

Sound harsh? Maybe it is. I had pastors, relatives, friends, coworkers, even my husband's boss telling me I needed to "stand by my man" Tammy Wynette style. My AXH even asked me what was wrong with me since "everyone else's wife" at rehab was participating in treatment and supporting their alcoholics financially, morally, emotionally.

I was at a point where I could no longer do that. And it took me a long time to come to terms with the idea that my needs and my wants for my life were just as important as his, objectively speaking. And for me, they were more important. And that is totally OK.
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:49 PM
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Thank you, Lillamy, Ofelie, Hammer, Dandylion, and everyone else who posted.
I want to let him, his sponsor, and his family know that I am no longer interested in taking part in his recovery or worrying about what is going to happen to him. It feels harsh, but I care more about the survival and well being of our children.
He called earlier and we were talking about his plan when he gets out. He says he really wants to go into a treatment program, but he doesn't want to bankrupt his parents. I said, "What about us???"
I have to figure out how to provide for three small children on less than half the income we are accustomed, and he's telling me how much he likes the facility he's in. He's really "helping a lot of people" there And he wants me to drive 30 minutes to bring him his wedding ring.
I see how out of touch he is with reality, and how he and his support system have no concerns with how this impacts anyone but him. It is time for me to put my focus on taking care of my kids and providing for my family.
Again, I really appreciate the feedback and support.
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Old 02-23-2014, 10:26 PM
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Yes, Bluebird, you've written a very realistic post. You need to, you have the right to take care of yourself and your children.

I'd say go to a lawyer ASAP. Married to him, your finances are entwined with his and his actions, no matter how irresponsible, can affect your debt. You need to take immediate legal steps to protect your own financial integrity so that you can care for your children.

Good luck, we're here for you.

ShootingStar1
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:59 AM
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I agree with ShootingStar. Once the money is gone it's gone - please think about protecting yourself financially.

Once exaf's family or origin stepped into my life, my life changed from being friends with king baby to being faced with the demands of a whole nursery of cry babies - later to be known as Quack Choir. Lookig back their demands and behavior seem like a ridiculous play of insanity, but I won't forget the overwhelming guilt and shame and confusion I felt back then.

I started to see clearer when I looked at the bottom line of my bank account. I can only spend my money once and money spend on an alcoholic is - in my case - not a future invest but a gift to a person that thrives on entitlement and the belief that people "owe" them.

I can't change the thoughts in their head, but I don't have to give them my bank card to feed their illusions.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:25 AM
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I, too, agree with all the previous posts. I waited until we had to file for bankruptcy. With no support for 17 months it is day to day. I found that most creditors will be patient if you talk with them and explain your situation: They really just want evidence of a payment each month. I use the local food bank, and have for years. Definitely talk to a lawyer and separate asap as this is the only way to keep future bills from becoming yours. When I filed I also filed a financial statement and got all court fees waived due to having no money. Absolutely let his family take care of him. My qualifier has exhausted all avenues aside from a sister he is now living with who he can barely tolerate. You are #1 and have a lot on your plate; however, take priority for yourself, seek help, and go one day at a time. You will be a wonderful example for your children, who are #2.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:28 AM
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He abandoned a program and sponsor that was helping him. He abandoned his family. That is the reality.

Yes, you are left to form a life for you and your children. His legal mess and his medical bills are his problem, not yours. I would let dear old mom know that too.

Tight Hugs.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:31 AM
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I have to figure out how to provide for three small children on less than half the income we are accustomed
You can do it!!! I don't know how easy it is to find but somewhere, there's an old thread on how to adjust your budget to a much smaller income -- people here had great ideas for how to cut costs in the wake of losing an income...
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:35 AM
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I don't know if you are a church going person, but there is a program at my church called Stephens Ministries. They will help you in any way you need help in that they will budget with you, help council you, etc. It is free of charge. I am Lutheran, not that it matters but it is a good place to start looking. There is also a program here called Love Inc that does the same thing. Start looking for programs that are local to you that can help you form a budget and let you know what sort of help there is for you.

You can do this.
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