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Old 03-02-2014, 08:54 PM
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Forgive

My husband has decided to try. Off to counseling and he has actually caught himself mid-sentence at times so that he's not blaming me for everything anymore. But... I am so very down.
I tried to leave in January- had an apartment, clothes packed, a very, very part-time job.
I stayed. I could not handle leaving because I still believe my children are better off with us together.

It is better. I will say that he seems to be trying more and getting help but it is very difficult when you're with someone because of children and nothing else. I just really wish I didn't feel so empty. Nice 'thought' to move along, get on with life, yada, yada... but I won't.

I'd rather die married to him than feel like I'm killing my children by leaving. Not a very happy post - sorry.

Just looking for some coping and hope from anyone saying that things can somehow be better. :|
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:29 PM
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I am sorry you are down tonight. If you feel empty, was your decision to stay correct? Are you in Fear, Obligation, Guilt (fog)? I don't know your variables to your story, but I wish you grace and peace.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:54 AM
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wifeofanACoA---I just reread your posts from last fall. You had been struggling to leave for a long time. You recognized (intellectually, at least), that you have been living with abuse and called for an appointment with the DV center....and had a counselor that you had been seeing.

It seemed that you were beginning to find your way out of the forest----can you tell us what happened? Is there anyone helping you right now?

Please keep posting....there are many, many, here on this forum who have walked in your shoes.

There is help and you definitely are not alone.

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Old 03-03-2014, 05:42 AM
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I felt the same way and really believed it was best for my children for us to be together, I never wanted them to have to have split family. I did this for so long. We separated 5 weeks ago when I felt my mental health couldn't take it anymore. It's far from easy but I now know that was not the best situation for the kids. The house is calmer and I am in a much better place emotionally which is better for them. Just my experience...again it's not easy. I wish you the best with whatever you decide.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wifeofanACoA View Post

I'd rather die married to him than feel like I'm killing my children by leaving. Not a very happy post - sorry.
wow. Very concise and perfect description for the condition. Super job on expressing that.

Dunno about happy or otherwise, but certainly no need for apologies.

But there is some room for gratitude, so let me say Thank You.

At any rate. FULLY understand what you are saying.

Hit me this Saturday at the Alanoon meeting near our house. I thought everything was going fine and dandy, and it came around my turn to read and talk and first paragraph -- in was something about "Felt it was our responsibility to hold the family together . . . " and I just started gasping for breath. Stopped myself before I started the crying stuff, but just had to pass the book on for someone else to finish.

Just looking for some coping and hope from anyone saying that things can somehow be better. :|
Dunno about that, either. Not there . . . (yet?)

Looking back, I think we were doing a lot worse, so that must mean this now is better? Right? Really, is that reasonable?

I guess if your's/he is starting to do Therapy, etc., maybe? Dunno.

What I wanted sometime back was this big fantasy all-better happy ending thing like I hear some of the Olde-Tymer Alananny Angels talk about. Where he/she is doing their AA stuff, and me/us doing the Alanon stuff, and life is just this Happy Bubble or whatever.

Dunno. I can see that me working my side makes me better and that makes me a better dad, so that is all good. Guess I will not worry too much about the rest.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:31 AM
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So sorry you are feeling down.

Now..for some reality. You wouldn't be killing your children if you leave him. Honestly. Kids will often push back against changes from what they are familiar with. And that's ok. Because they can't anticipate how things will improve over time in a new environment.

Also...think of this: How much better for your kids it will be for you not to be so sad and depressed. This is very real. Your life matters, and your kids would benefit from your well-being. Please know that you don't have to feel empty forever.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:55 AM
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So sorry you are going through this. As a child of an alcoholic father, I can tell you that growing up was difficult. My parents divorced then remarried 8 years later. Though we were poor during the years they were divorced, all three of us children were much happier. Just my experience. Today, I have a fantastic relationship with my RA Dad. He's helping me through all this "stuff" with my AH. But I had to learn to forgive all the horrible memories I had growing up. Tough to do.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:16 AM
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Hi, WifeofanACoA. I am an ACoA, my STBXAH is an ACoA and an alcoholic. We are divorcing. We have 3 kids - teens/young adults. Honestly, when we told them we were divorcing, they took it better than I did! I was the one crying, they were ok. Our home life had been pretty miserable for the last two years. Last summer was the worst. I think the kids had come to the same point that I did - they just wanted relief in whatever form it took! My AH has been out of the home a little over two weeks and guess what? We are all surviving. The kids seem happier, the house is calmer, quieter, and significantly less stressful. We're no longer anticipating the next bad thing. Instead, we're relaxed. The kids are out of their rooms more and have commented on how much calmer our home is. Like you, I really wanted my kids to grow up in an intact home; however, I've come to realize that a healthy home is far more valuable than a divorce-free home. We can all breathe again We are all in counseling, so that helps. Ironically, my oldest ds has told me that he prayed for years that I would leave his father. I never knew - just assumed, like you, that the kids would be happier if we stayed married.

(That said, as an ACoA, I do think it's possible to change, as I've changed. It just takes dedication, hard work, & time.)
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:30 AM
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I just wanted to reach out and say I understand. It's such a hard decision. I started going to a therapist who specializies in families with addiction and I already feel it has helped me. I hope you have a support system you can reach out to.

Keep posting, we will walk this with you. Tight Hugs!
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:30 AM
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My house is calmer also and I always thought I kept arguing away from my kids for the most part but in order to do that it meant isolating myself. We were all in our rooms a lot. I also have noticed my kids out of there rooms more and they are even interacting with each other much better. I think even without arguing the unspoken tension, the tone when we speak, the lack of caring and affection speak volumes to kids and impacts them much more than I ever thought.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Chelsea1029 View Post
My house is calmer also and I always thought I kept arguing away from my kids for the most part but in order to do that it meant isolating myself. We were all in our rooms a lot. I also have noticed my kids out of there rooms more and they are even interacting with each other much better. I think even without arguing the unspoken tension, the tone when we speak, the lack of caring and affection speak volumes to kids and impacts them much more than I ever thought.
This is exactly what I was trying to say
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:06 AM
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((wife))

Please know that you have to decide what is healthiest for you & your family ~

I just want to share my e, s, & h with you ~ I am in no way telling you what you need to do ~ just sharing what happened in my life & the life of my 5 daughters.

I was married a little over 16 years to an active alcoholic/addict ~ there were periods of sobriety but never for long and there was never sanity in our home. Never healthy boundaries or respect for anyone.

Because of that this is what my daughters learn:
It's ok for a guy to be disrespectful to you
It's ok for your mate to steal money from you or your children
It's ok for you to be the only person responsible for the financial obligations of your home
It's ok for your father to show up at your birthday, graduation, wedding or any other special occasion under the influence
It's ok to believe the same lies over & over again from someone, if they say they are sorry ~ even if they don't mean it.

Children learn what they see not what they hear ~ I know for me, I taught my daughters to tolerate unacceptable behaviors ~ How could I not expect that they would do this when they started dating?

A little over 10 yrs ago ~ I made the changes ~ I wanted something different and did something different.
The blessing is that I am beginning to see them start to make some changes to make healthier decisions too.

I know that for many years - together was what I thought was better ~ today for our situation I know that was not what was healthiest for everyone. I just had never thought about the long term affects of what the A's behaviors & treatment of us would do to them.

That's just my e, s, & h ~ please again know I'm not saying what is right for you - just sharing a different point of view for the family needs to stay together ~

Please take what you like & leave the rest.
Prayers & good thoughts for your family ~ that peace, hope, happiness, sanity & sobriety will be with all of you soon!

PINK HUGS,
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:29 AM
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Here's what my therapist told me:

When you are a child in an alcoholic family, you have no "out" -- you have no experience of a healthy home, you think dysfunction is "normal," and even if you do realize something is "wrong" you have no choice but to continue living with it. (My oldest was 16 when I left their father; without me knowing it, he had researched getting emancipated because he couldn't stand living in the family.)

If your parents divorce, the non-alcoholic parent, given the proper motivation and help, can be able to provide a healthy home. The alcoholic parent may still be dysfunctional, but the time spent with the "healthy" parent is time when the children can heal and grow.

I want to emphasize that I'm not trying to tell you what to do. But I know that in my mind, I minimized the damage done to the children by my alcoholic marriage. I downplayed it because I didn't really dare to leave. And one of my excuses was that divorce is bad for children.

With the experiences I've had, I would say growing up in an alcoholic family is way worse for children than a divorce is. All my kids are still in counseling to deal with the past, four years after the divorce. They're getting better, but we have seen a lot of regressive behavior when they're trying to "catch up" on a lost childhood.

And to be clear -- their father was not excessively physically abusive to them during our marriage. He only ever hit one of the kids (which I didn't even find out about until a couple of years after the divorce). Therapists say there are "markers" that they may have been sexually abused. That, we haven't dug up yet. But the emotional damage done alone will take them a very long time to work through.

I would weigh very carefully (and realistically) the damage done to the kids by staying vs leaving, if that's your only reason for staying. And I would also work through in therapy whether I was being honest with myself when I said "I'm only staying so that the children don't have to experience a divorce."

And I'm saying that with the greatest of love, caring and gentleness. It's not an easy road regardless of which road you do choose. But I think it's vitally important to be aware of what the consequences are either way.

My friends and family after the divorce told me they were thrilled that I finally left. That they had said for years that the kids and I were in a horrid situation. It took me almost 20 years from the first time I considered leaving till the day I actually left. You can't leave until you're ready. But you're lightyears ahead of where I was because you're asking the question and asking for input. I was just stubbornly holding on to a sinking ship.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:20 PM
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I can relate to how you're feeling. I have two very young children and for awhile I thought that keeping our family together would be better, but ultimately I separated from my husband because I recognized that removing him from our day to day lives was the very BEST thing I could actually do for our children.

Prior to separating, our children were frequently around a drunk adult, seeing mom and dad fight frequently, witnessing erratic behavior from both of us - his abusive behavior and my walking on eggshells and having anxiety about whether he would come home drunk or sober.

Now they have a stable mom all the time and now when they see dad (only on weekends, but at least it's very predictable now, which is GREAT for our kids) he is stable too. Separating has definitely been more difficult for my husband and I than for our two children, but the separation is giving he and I the space that is so very necessary for us to work on bettering ourselves to ultimately be better parents and MAYBE better spouses to each other again some day.

Sending you hugs. I don't think there is anything wrong with having hope as long as your main concentration is working on better yourself NOW. Initially I had oodles and oodles of hope (actually all I had was hope and a non-stop pity party for myself), now that *I* am becoming healthier I find myself hoping less and focusing on MY abilities and opportunities more than *OUR* possibilities as a couple. It's a much better place to be.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:48 PM
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Sweetheart,

Not sure what makes you believe your children would be better off staying in such a toxic environment even if he is doing better.

Believe it or not, kids really are as resilient as people say. If you are so unhappy your children will feel that energy and absorb it every day. That is not healthy. If your husband is unhappy in his life and addiction, they will absorb that energy too.

And guess what, reality is reality and though I do believe many of our children have lost treasured and cherished innocence way too young, life is life and it deals out all kinds of great things and not so great things. Your children and you can and will recover if you leave and can learn to appreciate a more peaceful and loving environment.

I hope you find the right path for your happiness. If you find that, choose it and take your kids. Your happiness will also be theirs.

Goodluck
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:08 PM
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Thanks to all your posts. I can't believe that it's been that long since I've been on here. Of course, as many of you could have guessed, I am still in the same situation with a man who only went to ONE counseling session and then never went back. I appreciate the insight of so many, I know that this isn't good for the kids. I understand that living in this unhealthy and tension-filled environment is bad for all of us and the good news is that I'm working (again) on leaving. I have almost graduated from college and I'm saving up little by little. Maybe once I graduate then I'll feel a little more confident about myself and going it alone. I never wanted this for my children (an unhealthy home) and hopefully soon I'll be able to get out of this situation. I plan to see my counselor in a few weeks because I can't get away until then. I've been feeling pretty down about myself but I can make it. I've made it this far. It's so not easy to walk away from something that you know is bad for you. Whenever I come on here I always feel stronger and like I can leave this life. I'm hoping that I can make it happen soon.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:45 PM
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Hello Wife,

Glad to see you post. You should be proud to have a plan X (for exit). There are two posters here working at divorce - Yurt and Wisconsin. You might like reading through their posts as they both have slowly worked out their plans. There are others of course, but they have written well on the planning aspect in recent months.

Best to you,
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:43 AM
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Is it your children you feel you will kill by staying or yourself?
I know how hard it is to step out in faith and trust that you & the kids will be taken care of by God.
If you are working the 12 Steps you'll be taken care of.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:12 AM
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I never wanted this for my children (an unhealthy home)
I can relate to that so much. I can still feel that pain, that... it's grief, actually, of having made choices that mean my children did not have a happy healthy childhood. But that was the case whether I stayed or left. I allow myself to grieve that. But it's something I cannot do anything about. I can't go back and change my choice to marry their father.

I can, however, look forward and make the best of the future.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:03 AM
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lillamy...may I ask....what was the main, core reason that you hung onto the "sinking" ship for so very long? (it might help others...if you could answer this question).
(I hasten to add that all of your p osts are very illuminating, anyway).

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