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How to validate my angry ABF?

Old 04-16-2016, 12:03 AM
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How to validate my angry ABF?

How does one validate an alcoholic? How do I show respect for what he thinks and feels when it is not him really talking, but the alcoholism?

My abf of over 12 years want us to be over He is furious with and hates me for what he feels have been years of being invalidated and disrespected. I actually feel like it is him who has been doing this to ME. And he was an alcoholic when I met him and already behaved this way. After years of being badly treated, in fact outright abused, I have indeed become less respectful of his feelings.

I have watched how he has changed over 12 years as his disease has progressed. And I recall what he was like during his two periods of sobriety, one for 6 months and another for over a year. When he talks to me I hear his disease speaking, not always, but frequently. But he is a person and I do love him and so...do I treat the alcoholic behavior with respect?

What about how he insists I have made things up that have happened, things he doesn't recall or is denying? When I tell him, "Look that is not true, not factual. Or that happened at a different time or for a different reason. Or if you remember what happened first was you did blank and then I did such and such" he accuses me of not respecting him. But I'm not lying or making things up! It's not just a matter of opinion. I honestly don' think he remembers half of what's gone on during our relationship.

And now he has said he will not validate and respect me or give me anything that I want because I have done this to him. But our relationship began with him doing this to me! I realize "you did it first" sounds childish. It's just that cause and effect have been reversed and somehow I am now the bad guy.

I feel bad. He says he feels I have abused him and tormented and tortured him. But that is confusing because this man has emotionally, sexually and physically abused me. It's like he is dumping me because of the crummy way I dealt with being abused.
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:29 AM
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Hi Jaguar. I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this. You talk about it not really being him talking, but his alcoholism. Unfortunately, when someone is an active alcoholic, that IS who they are. There is no differentiating between the non-alcoholic and the alcoholic. They are one in the same.

Now, you ask how you can show him respect. The way you do that is to realize that you have no right to control him. He is an adult and is free to make his own decisions. It's not your place to tell him what he is doing is right or wrong. But IT IS your place to decide if you want to be around this type of behavior. This is referred to as detaching with love.

As far as his not remembering things the way you do, you need to remember that the way alcoholics think is not rational. Trying to reason with them is futile. And again, it comes down to you deciding whether or not you want to waste your energy and sanity on trying to reason with him.

As for him resenting you, I think that is common in alcoholic relationships. I know it is the case with me and my STBXAH. He has done horrible things to me over the course of our 13 year period. But all he sees is that I've tried to control him and have accused him of being an alcoholic and have tried to be his "mother." Resentment grows from both sides, which obviously makes it difficult to have a healthy adult relationship.

In your last sentence, you allude to being the victim, but you admit it's a result of the way you dealt with his abuse. I think you've hit the nail on the head here. One thing I've learned in my recovery from codependency is that if I am feeling like the victim, most of the time it's because I have not set proper boundaries. I.e., I allowed him to treat me in an unacceptable manner and I just kept accepting it.

Have you tried Al-Anon? I think you'd greatly benefit from it. Hugs.
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:39 AM
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I'm confused about the sad face about him wanting the relationship to end. Don't YOU? Why would you want to stay with him if he's abusive?

I agree with the alanon suggestion.
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:39 AM
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Hmmm I have been thinking of him as separate from the alcoholism. I guess that has been the wrong approach. I have tried to fight the alcoholism, but he just feels like I am fighting him and I guess that's what I have been doing.

And I have continued to try and have rational discussions with him that go around and around and around. And for some stupid reason I keep expecting him to recognize he is being irrational Nothing is accomplished except he becomes angry, hateful, and sometimes violent. And he feels tortured. He feels abused.

He says he wishes I had just left instead of trying to change things. I had so much invested after his last period of sobriety and I was so devastated when he went back to drinking that I just kept hanging on and hoping and struggling.

But leaving is what I should have done. For myself and for him. I see that now. And I did leave a couple weeks ago even though it means some serious hardship for me. For years he has told me that if I didn't like it I should leave, but I kept staying and trying to change things...
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:43 AM
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Beccybean I don't know why I wanted to stay and why I miss him. Love. Fear. Delusional thinking.
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaguar55 View Post
Beccybean I don't know why I wanted to stay and why I miss him. Love. Fear. Delusional thinking.
Wishful thinking I suppose, the thing is, while he is drinking he is not going to change. And it doesn't sound like he wants to change. So the choice you're faced with is to accept him how he is, or to accept that he cannot treat you how you (and any other living creature) deserves to be treated and move on.

It's tempting to hang around trying to figure out why this happened, and how he got to be like he is. Many people want to fix stuff. But people cant be fixed - they can be guided to fix themselves if they are willing, but you can't make him willing. Sticking around is a bit like standing on the deck of a sinking ship wondering where the hole is, and reminiscing about how nice it was on the boat before it started spouting water. Only HE can save him. But more to the point, only YOU can save YOU. All any of us can do is look after our side of the street.
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:21 AM
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Jag-my ex accused me of making things up all the tume.- still does. I wish I was as creative as he thinks I am! My ex was abusuve as well and it took years of therapy and supportive people getting me out of my FOG (fear, obligation, guilt). I was delusional in my thinking as well-I stated hoping he would see the error of his ways - we have now been divirced for over a year and he lost visitation rights to his own kids over a year ago bc of his refusal to repent and Bhangra and stop drinking. You don't know what his bottom will be, that's all I'm saying. He may not have one until he dies from drinking, wrecks another's life, or kills someone in a wreck. You don't want to be around to find out what that bottom is.

The hard part for you (as it was for me!) is figuring out why you stated in an abusive relationship. I'm sure your self esteem is beyond low right now-it's time to get some support for yourself and realize everything he says about you is him putting a mirror up to himself. You are much stronger and independent than he is-you just don't realize that right now!

Hugs and peace to you!
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:40 AM
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Maybe look at it this way...I'm one hundred percent positive he's not surfing the internet trying to find ways to validate you.

Walk away and don't look back. You can't fix this, you really really can't.

I'm sorry.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:41 AM
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You can't "validate" someone's thinking when he's not in his right mind.

You seem very invested in getting him to see the truth. It won't happen. He's not capable of it, and right now, he's not interested in becoming capable of it.

It's very possible to leave someone while you still care for him. I've done it twice. In fact, I am often grateful I didn't stay until I hated the person.

I'd be working on a plan to move on, if I were you.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:17 AM
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Yeah, what Aries said-HE sure isn't invested in trying to validate YoU! Much better use of your time realizing a sick person can't validate you, nor do you NEED his validation. He is not your source of the truth.

My ex used to complain that I didn't treat him nicely or act like I respected him. Well, he was abusive so I think that released me of my obligation to respect him as his actions were not those of a respectable human being. More like pond scum, which I don't respect or treat nicely either!
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:19 AM
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his alcoholism and his abuse are separate issues. altho they do compound each other.
he will NEVER respect you.
NEVER validate you.
NEVER see your side.
he does not VALUE you as a human being.....just a target.

be done. work on validating yourself. 12 years of this crap is way more than enough!
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:20 PM
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^ thank you for pointing those out, anvil. A target is spot on-not a human. A guy like this doesn't change. He just moves on to his next target that takes the bait as he wears his mask.
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:13 PM
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Validate this guy? What is there to validate besides how he has treated you, which is not good...so validating an abuser? No way. You wouldn't want to validate that, would you? It sounds like your relationship has gotten into a vicious cycle of him being an abusive jerk, not treating you with respect etc. and then accusing you of the very same behavior.

HE is the one who has failed to validate you unless, of course he has some twisted way of validating.

YOU need validation that you don't deserve to be abused; YOU need validating that you have the power to not put up with abuse. YOU need validation that if you need to walk away from this relationship you CAN and you can be a much happier person because of it. He is also likely projecting his own negative feelings onto you. Accusing you of not respecting him, etc. He needs to behave in a way that garners respect and most of all he needs to respect himself. It's likely he doesn't even respect himself and people who have no self respect have a hard time respecting others as well. Does he want to you respect his drinking? Good grief. What exactly is it that he wants you respect? What does HE respect? Most of these questions are rhetorical, I hope you understand...
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:32 PM
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Just a couple of observations. Abusive men generally are all about controlling their partner--and having that partner leave is the LAST thing they want.

It seems to me one of two things is probably going on here. His claim that he wants "you" to be "over" suggests to me that this is either a flat-out emotional manipulation, designed to get you to become more compliant with his wishes, or he's already got his next hostage lined up and waiting in the wings. You have to be more cautious if #1 is true, because he may flip out if you take him at his word. If #2 is what's going on, then you've got a golden opportunity to get out of this abusive relationship.

Just because he's been possible to live with during his brief bouts of "sobriety" doesn't mean you should continue to live with abuse on the off chance he eventually decides to quit drinking. Furthermore, the abuse may be aggravated by the drinking, but the power/control issues are completely separate. Without his commitment to treatment for those issues, he's likely to continue to be abusive (though maybe less overtly/dramatically so).
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:38 PM
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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the support. This site is what's getting me through right now. Given I can sorta see his point about me not validating his thoughts and feelings of late I have been trying harder to do so. But it has made no difference in how he treats me. Why am I not surprised? Yeah, how does one "validate" abuse? You can't. But in a way that's what I have been doing for years as I stayed and let him keep doing it.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:35 PM
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"some men are thoroughly bad-intentioned, that no amount of patience will make any difference. An alcoholic of this temperament may be quick to use this chapter as a club over your head. Don’t let him get away with it. If you are positive he is one of this type you may feel you had better leave. Is it right to let him ruin your life and the lives of your children?"

--From the Chapter To the Wives in the AA Big Book, First Edition

It sounds to me like your man might be one of the above. That is something none of us can control (including YOU ), and he'd only be able to change if he wanted to, and with a lot of help and hard work. The bit you CAN change, is whether you're around to be the target that he aims his vitriol towards. My goodness, if someone as poisonous as this offers to walk away of their own volition, I'd seize the day, kiss him goodbye and wish him good luck, and then change the locks and block him on my phone quick smart.

You have one life here on Earth. Don't you deserve it to be a happy, safe, and loved one?
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:03 AM
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I love him, but I shouldn't miss him. Well I'm missing what I wanted and not what I had. I come on here for a reality check because he is really good at getting me to believe his version of reality and that our relationship not working out is because of me and has nothing to do with his drinking...
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:20 AM
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Lexiecat I'm mulling over what you said. I wonder if he really wanted me to leave or was just manipulating me? He would say this stuff to me regularly and scream that he hated me and wanted me gone. He'd get right up in my face and make eye contact and would be so very cold. And then I would fall apart and cry and yes, I would cower and go hide in the bedroom and feel scared and desperate because I'm not working and don't really have anywhere to go... And the next day he would act like it hadn't happened. But the thing is if it was a manipulation he played that card one too many times because I LEFT. I don't think he thought I would do it. Or that I would stay away because I have always always come back the next day or even the same night. But I have now been gone a couple weeks. However, he doesn't seem to be crying into his pillow that I am gone... In fact he seems happy to be rid of me. Although the couple times I have been over there he was very friendly and seemed happy to see me. I really don't know what to think. I can never tell for sure what he is thinking and feeling because he sends out so many mixed messages.

Does he have someone else lined up? I don't think so, but.... He gets up, goes to work, comes home for lunch, comes home from work and starts drinking and playing video games until he passes out. Repeat repeat repeat He has only one friend, but sees him maybe a few times a year. He just sits at home and drinks and smokes weed and plays video games, sometimes on the weekend he will game for 10-15 hours a day. LOL So yeah he DOES have someone else. Her name is xbox.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:00 AM
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Jaguar55, Hi. You helped me tonight, and I needed to respond to this once I was able to read and possibly understand something else tonight. Believe Lexie. I would just add in a #3. Alcohol and abuse really are two separate things. Do I think he is manipulative? Well could be, or you were just getting too use to what he was doing, so he needed to escalate the abuse.

My mind is still numb so I really don't remember seeing that he was the best and he was the person you fell in love with. But of course that is all true. Then we continue to hold out hopes that it was just the drinking that changed this person, and we live on hope. That's not going to work.

The thing is, what you see in him now, is the best you will see in him, he will get worse, not better.

Once you take the alcoholism away from the behavior, you are looking at their true behavior. The person that they really are. Alcohol does not really change the total characteristic of a person. Sometimes what you are dealing with is the true personality of a person.

There is this push/pull thing that they try to use. In the beginning they use the push, they are over the top abusive, or we think so, and then they try to pull us back in. In continues. That dance never ends. Then we start to lose our self-esteem, self-confidence, and all we have left is what we thought our dream was and we keep chasing that dream.

My ex most likely had a borderline personality disorder, remember, I'm not talking about yours. I stayed for way too long. Was married and living with him for over 25 years. I was going to leave him way before I did. I was diagnosed with cancer and had to go through chemo and radiation for a year, my ex was terrific then. Once I was OK, his behavior was even worse then before.

The more they think you will leave them, (even through death) the worse the controlling behavior becomes, and that includes the no contact, silent treatment, and all the ways that they can show you they don't care, to the pitiful attempts of apologies that go nowhere. It's really hard to accept when a person lacks empathy and that they can treat you like you don't even exist.

Yes, that is another card that they play, but the things is, they do lack empathy for another person when they do that.

(((((hugs)))))
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