Could use a little support/major vent

Old 12-05-2016, 10:22 PM
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Could use a little support/major vent

I am not sure where to start as I have been mostly a lurker for over a year but hoping that writing this will help me in some way. In the last 15 months, my husband of 17 years has been to detox, done an IOP and spent 38 days at an inpatient treatment facility while I have attempted to take care of 4 kids, not lose our house, keep them in their school, keep a business afloat, lost a father to liver cancer and took on another fulltime contract role. He has been back from rehab for just over 2 months and basically has been lying and drinking the entire time save a few days 4 weeks ago when he begged for another chance and said if he lied to me again I should divorce him. Needless to say, he quickly resumed his lying and drinking and I have decided to move forward with saving myself from this life.

I intended to keep my mouth shut until I was 100% ready but completely lost it today after a weekend of insane hidden drinking and him driving one of my kids after I had arranged a ride to/from his game. I had been monitoring his “stash” (and yes, I have been told multiple times how I am “crazy town” for looking when suspicious and wish I could not worry about it but I have to protect 4 kids) so I know at a minimum how much vodka and wine he consumed and then drove my child so I told him if he ever put a child in the car again I would call the police myself on him. He knows that I am now serious about following through on my promise that I will not live with an active alcoholic. He doesn’t work (except on paper as an owner, has no recovery plan (or wasn’t interested in following the one he left rehab with), has decided AA isn’t for him and I do not think I can ever trust him again after so many lies and deceit. I am financially devastated, emotionally devastated and tired of this chaos.

After realizing I am serious, I have been told that I will do irreparable damage to the kids, he has nothing to live for without me and the kids, he is much better than he was and this is not a linear process, he will never be in the same room with me again if I choose to leave him, this isn’t fair, he took his marriage vows seriously etc.

I have found bottles in my child’s carseat, under the tub, in the pool equipment, in the bushes, under tubs, in toys, in shoes, my 5 year old daughter brought me an empty bottle while we were putting up the Christmas tree that was in the light container, and the list goes on as you all know. When she was 4, she walked over to a corner in the yard and said “this is where daddy hides his wine”. Prior to leaving for rehab when I had told him he had to leave the house, he and his mother got into an almost violent altercation and my MIL almost called 911 on him while all 4 kids watched in horror screaming in fear and my daughter still asks “how to make it leave her brain.” My 14 year old is the only one that sees that he is drinking post rehab (they were unaware that alcohol was his issue prior to rehab because all his drinking is done in hiding) and I watch his face drop when his father “disappears” or can’t be found in the house. He has said he has given up all hope for his dad to get better.

I am barely touching the surface on stories (as you all must have as well) so why I am I doubting myself and feeling horrible with guilt and abandonment? I know I need to protect my kids and they do love their dad very much (and I do not want that to change) but I am supposed to live in this hell forever? I deserve better. It pains me to see him as sad and depressed as he is but I cannot save him. I feel the “cant live threats” are manipulation (he admitted previous threats were when he was in rehab) but will I ever forgive myself if he harms himself? I do know that if something happens to my kids and I sit back and allow it to happen, then I will never, ever forgive myself. He claims to take responsibility for his actions but it always comes back to me and the state of our relationship.

I have spent countless sleepless hours on SR and appreciate all the stories of strength and advice and know they have helped me through many nights. Thanks for reading my unplanned vent/novel.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:37 PM
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Wow, just wow Smig. You truly are hoeing one hell of a row. Argh.

I am so glad you posted and hope you can get the support you need to do what is best for your family. Unfortunately whatever you do feelings of guilt and (if you do divorce him) abandonment are pretty normal for all of us. Go ahead listen to those feelings respectfully and then do what you need to do to protect yourself and your children.

This disease has no respect for marriage, children, life, family or anything decent in this world. Please circle every wagon you can.

Big hug and let us know how you are doing.
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Old 12-06-2016, 05:53 AM
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S,
Hon, you have been a good wife to your very sick husband. At some point ah needs to take accountability for his addiction, not you. Your children have seen some horrible things and it's just not fair to them. There is no guilt in taking care of them and letting this adult grown man, for once take care of himself. I totally disagree that you are hurting your kids by leaving, just the opposite. You are gifting them a loving, calm home with out all the drama of an alcoholic in it. (If you feel he will hurt himself, call the emt and let them take him in for an evaluation, he won't pull that again if you call him out)

I always said after 34 years with my axh, he was not going to die on my watch, enough is enough. You have threatened divorce so many times he doesn't hear you anymore. Actions speak louder then words. You might want to contact an attorney and find out your rights. Most first time visits to a divorce attorneys are free, so ask. Come in with a million questions.

I know you have no time for any meetings, but you can read all over this forum. Read the adult children of alcoholic forum and see how tramatised the members are growing up in an alcoholic home, and wishing mom would just leave. If anything, that forum will solidify that you are making the right decision. Go to the new to recovery forum for alcoholics and see how hard it is to get sober. Lots to educate yourself about his addiction. The bottom line is, is that it is progressive. If you actually can believe that, it will only get worse, as you can see over the years.

You can do this my friend, we are here to help. Education is power. We can hold your hand through this process. There are many that come out of this mess and are thriving. You can too! You are a wonderful, kind, brave mother who can no longer live with this man. It's ok, we can't always live with people we "love". Love can not cure alcoholism. Deep breaths, one day at a time, lots of serenity prayers, and you will be ok!!! Sending big hugs to you and your kiddos!!
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:57 AM
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smig....feelings of "guilt"...even when doing the right thing for ourselves and our children, seems to be a common trait of co-dependence....
It is not true guilt....I call it a "false guilt". True guilt is when you do something wrong, and you know it.
Taking care of yourself and your children is the right thing to do. doing the right thing does not deserve guilt!

Imagine the guilt you would feel when your children reach adulthood and ask you....."Why didn't you leave, mom?" "Why did you make us stay".....

I would suggest that you make alateen available to your 14yr.old son.....
I am sure that he is feeling more than he is expressing......
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:17 AM
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I grew up in an alcoholic home with the fear, emotional upheaval, drunken driving, and the perpetual upset dealing with an active alcoholic brings.

This did serious emotional damage to me, and also gave me the wonderful role model
of "drinking to get away from problems and pain" which I embraced and became
an alcoholic in my turn as an adult. Lots of kids who grow up with alcoholic parents inherit this, unfortunately.
Whether nature or nurture, or a combination of both, it doesn't make for a safe, happy childhood no matter what.

The damage to the kids is in the exposure, not you getting them into a safe, peaceful home.

Do what you need to do to protect them--all his promises have added up to nothing so far--
why believe anything he says about recovery until he shows you he can do it on his own for at least a couple of years?

You have given and given and given. Do what's best for you and your kids now
and don't feel guilty about anything. I'm sorry you are dealing with this
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:24 AM
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Hi Smlg - Welcome.

This: "After realizing I am serious, I have been told that I will do irreparable damage to the kids, he has nothing to live for without me and the kids, he is much better than he was and this is not a linear process, he will never be in the same room with me again if I choose to leave him, this isn’t fair, he took his marriage vows seriously etc."

My XAH said the *exact* same thing (minus the kids part). I swear, they must get a list of things to tell us. I know it's terrible for you.

Your priority is to take care of yourself and your kids.

Hugs to you.
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Old 12-06-2016, 07:59 AM
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Sounds to me by his behavior that he is calling your bluff. So whatcha gonna do?

You have no reason to feel guilty. He created this toxic environment for you and your children. You just happen to be allowing it to continue. As far as him threatening you ..... He's delusional. Whatever...

Time to take control of YOUR life. Do what you have to do for yourself and your children and don't look back. They will thank you for it in the future, no doubt.
Keep coming back. We are here for you! Big Hug.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:27 AM
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The guilt is a horrible trap, isn't it? It feels like you're doing something SO WRONG but in reality, all you are doing is choosing to not drown with him while he flails around refusing life vests left & right.

After realizing I am serious, I have been told that I will do irreparable damage to the kids, he has nothing to live for without me and the kids, he is much better than he was and this is not a linear process, he will never be in the same room with me again if I choose to leave him, this isn’t fair, he took his marriage vows seriously etc.
Quack, quack, blame-shifting Quack! This is no more than the adult-addict version of a temper tantrum, IMO.

I feel the “cant live threats” are manipulation (he admitted previous threats were when he was in rehab) but will I ever forgive myself if he harms himself? I do know that if something happens to my kids and I sit back and allow it to happen, then I will never, ever forgive myself.
Absolutely it's manipulation, and here's the thing - he's an adult making his own decisions & he chooses this for himself.... your kids don't have those same dynamics. They aren't in control, they can't choose to get off the roller coaster and they need an advocate.

I'm really sorry you are dealing with all of this, but you sound like you're getting more confident & assertive in your own recovery process. Keep venting, keep posting!!
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:36 AM
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When I was in therapy trying to prepare to leave my marriage, my therapist used to tell me, "guilt is a valuable emotion to guide self-understanding but a terrible reason to make a decision."

That became my mantra: it's ok to feel guilty, it's not ok to make choices because I do.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:56 AM
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Kids first. Take AH out of your equation, because he removed himself long long ago. he is thinking of no one but himself. you think spent sleepless hours in an online forum, pouring his heart out and asking for support to help make things right???

he's crossed many lines. booze in the CAR SEAT? at 4, your child knew where he kept his stash. at FOUR.

i wish you strength and clarity as you move forward.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:57 AM
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The primary weapon of emotional abusers is the deliberate infliction of guilt. They use guilt the same way a loan shark uses money. They don’t want the “debt” paid off because they live quite happily on the “interest”.

And when we own guilt that is not ours to own, the guilt becomes the main weapon of self-torture.
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:11 AM
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(((((BIGHUG))))) be gentle with yourself.
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:29 PM
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Thank you all for the replies and support. It has been a pretty rough and emotional day so far and I really appreciate it!
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