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Old 12-13-2014, 05:57 PM
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As the spouse of the A ...

As the spouse of an A, do you ever take your anger out on the young children? Do you break their spirits down because you are angry with your A? Just looking for honest answers.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:01 PM
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I would say I could be "short" with my kids because of the stress, and there were certainly times I was preoccupied and didn't give them the attention they needed/deserved.

I don't believe (based on what they've told me and they are both adults now) that I ever "broke their spirits" or lashed out at them--at least, no more than most parents do when they are having a bad day.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:05 PM
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I know that there were times when my exhaustion and frustration made me impatient with the kids or made me less present in their lives than they deserved. I am ashamed of how I let his alcoholism drag me down and the things they experienced and witnessed due to my ex's drinking.
After I left him I started working the Alanon program, which has made me an exponentially better mother. I am able to relax and enjoy the time we spend together because I'm not always waiting for the other shoe to drop or stressing about the alcoholic's behavior.
The more I take care of myself, the better I am able to take care of my children.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:25 PM
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Thanks for the replies.I am just very worried about my six-year old daughter. She is "ours" but biologically mine. He has been "dad" since she was two but hee is showing some angry behavior that makes me scared. We had the talk tonight "we teach people how to treat us" but she is too young to understand. I think I maybe just married a jerk. Perhaps need a different forum. But I know well the daddy-was-absent, daddy-was-a-jerk complex in young girls. Trying to do the best for this angel.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ladyscribbler View Post
After I left him I started working the Alanon program, which has made me an exponentially better mother. I am able to relax and enjoy the time we spend together because I'm not always waiting for the other shoe to drop or stressing about the alcoholic's behavior.
Yep. I call Alanon "the good daddy club."


The more I take care of myself, the better I am able to take care of my children.
There you go. Looking fine.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:53 PM
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We tend to parent the way we were parented as children, unless we've had any intervention since then. I'm an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, and yes, I catch myself treating my children the way I was treated growing up. I hate it and I'm working on it, but it's still there. I see it in their faces and it breaks my heart. Lots of therapy on my end to try to break the cycle. And no, I am not married to an A.
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:12 AM
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Why do you think you need a different forum? We love talking about jerks here.

To answer your question: I don't know that I was ever angry at my A, so I don't think I took my "anger" out on my daughter, but God knows I took everything else out on her. I was scared and anxious and I think (I know) she sensed that on a visceral level. I remember on the nights when he wouldn't come home, and I didn't know where he was, trying to parent her through tunnel-like vision with shallow breath. Hyper vigilant. It's not easy to watch The Little Mermaid in a heightened state of Fight or Flight. I'm sure my anxiety affected her. I see its affect now that she's a young adult. But we try to confront it together head on. I know she understands. It's not like she didn't live in the house with him.

Let me also add that as a teenager she has occasionally tried to play the "You're mad at dad and taking it out on me." card. Smart girl, but not as smart as her mother. I saw right through it.
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by SeriousKarma View Post
Why do you think you need a different forum? We love talking about jerks here.
LOL!! Thank you for this, made me laugh so much. Just the tonic I needed.

~~~~~~~~~

To answer the original question. My mum was married to very active A, and she took out her anger of us three kids very much. Physical violence and verbal abuse. Even as a little kid I somehow knew that her yelling at us was not about anything we did. I could sense it was about her own issues.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:41 AM
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I turned myself inside out trying to protect our kids, but hypervigilance + high anxiety does not make for optimal parenting. During the holidays I tend to mentally revisit my faults in this regard.

I had a huge amount of anxiety, every day, that transferred to our young children no matter how much I tried to mask it. Also as a codependent I was very controlling of my kids, I believe as a way of attempting to manage my anxiety over our situation. Still wrestling with control issues but have gotten better - and they are young adults now and don't listen to me anyway
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:00 AM
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I certainly was short & impatient with our daughter because of being preoccupied with my wife- all the usual codie stuff. But what was worse was arguing (occasionally quite nastily) with AW, in front of her. Things are a lot better since we both started recovery in Feb, alanon for me, women for sobriety and other stuff for her.

I could easily see all kinds of collateral damage done to kids by parents on both sides of addiction. In fact nearly everyone in my alanon home group works with family-of-origin issues; abusive parents of one form or another- and now 20,30,40 years later there is stuff to work on.

Getting less obsessed about RAW and more aware of myself has helped a bunch... daughter is more relaxed and accepting of her mother now.. so, progress.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:22 AM
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I can only speak to my own situation. I've been married to an actively drinking alcoholic for going on 7 years now. Living with active alcoholism and the behaviorisms that go along with alcoholism is at best unpleasant, stressfull and frustrating. As the sober spouse I can tell you that being a step parent and trying to parent effectively when "bio" mom is an alcoholic is very difficult.
So yes, in my situation there are days that I am a really good father, days when I am a so so father, days when I am a great father and days that I just fail miserabley.

So I don't know. Maybe you married a jerk or maybe not. Generally active alcoholics see things with tunnel vision. Maybe you married a really nice guy that much like me, over time, had to give up on his marriage in order to stay for the step kids.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Taz321 View Post
I can only speak to my own situation. I've been married to an actively drinking alcoholic for going on 7 years now. Living with active alcoholism and the behaviorisms that go along with alcoholism is at best unpleasant, stressfull and frustrating. As the sober spouse I can tell you that being a step parent and trying to parent effectively when "bio" mom is an alcoholic is very difficult.
So yes, in my situation there are days that I am a really good father, days when I am a so so father, days when I am a great father and days that I just fail miserabley.

So I don't know. Maybe you married a jerk or maybe not. Generally active alcoholics see things with tunnel vision. Maybe you married a really nice guy that much like me, over time, had to give up on his marriage in order to stay for the step kids.


Are you saying that you are still married to protect the kids but have given up on the "marriage"?
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:56 AM
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I do not have children but I am an ACOA. Growing up, my father was the alcoholic and a gentle (but irresponsible) soul. My mother was physically and verbally abusive to us. As the eldest, I took the brunt of her anger. My dad passed away when he was only 40 and neither him nor her ever sought recovery.
As a young adult, I decided not to have kids which turned out to be a blessing since I started drinking alcoholically in my 30s. At least I did not put any child through the misery of growing up in an alcoholic household.
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Old 12-14-2014, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Ali2013 View Post
Are you saying that you are still married to protect the kids but have given up on the "marriage"?

Again I can only speak to my situation. I would not say that I stay in the "marriage" to protect the kids. I stay because I love them and because they love me. I stay because they are to young to understand and I stay because as a step parent I have no parental rights. Unfortunately in this jacked up state that I live in the sperm donor that has never laid eyes on or given one damn about those kids has more rights than I have.

Again I am only speaking for my situation. I certainly don't stay in my marriage because of any hope that my wife will one day choose sobriety over alcoholism. My wife has been an alcoholic for most all of her adult life. She has drank away ever meaningful relationship that she ever had, to include ours. It has been a very humbling and emotionally devastating experience as a husband and a man to come to the realization that a chemical (alcohol) is more important to my wife than I am, more important to her than our marriage and unfortunately more important to her than her kids relationship with the only father they have ever had. A "father" that unfortunately for his own well being loves those kids more than he loves himself.

But that is just my situation.
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