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Old 01-04-2017, 02:22 PM
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New here

I'm so glad I found this forum - I'm new here, hope this is okay that I post here as it's my first time.

My name is WendyLew (not my real name of course) and I am living with someone who is a long time drinker. He started way before I met him and I'm one of those people who just didn't want to see the warning signs when they first started popping up. We've been together almost 20 years now and he's started to become an angry drunk. My evenings are spent feeling tense and filled with worry that I'm going to be saying the wrong thing (oh wait, everything I say is the wrong thing!) It's gotten so bad that I'm feeling chest pains now that are making me worried about my adult child who lives here with me.

This is not his child, she's from a previous relationship and they have not spoken a word to each other in over a year. She refuses to talk to him as he's repeatedly made me cry and break down. His game seems to be "how many more ways can I break my partner?" He's upset with her living here and does not like me spending time with her when he gets drunk. He figures he should be the center of attention. I think he is starting to resent that she's here as she's trying to get a job and begin her life after her college degree.

He's just recently started to become a little physical. I don't mean he's hit me but I've gotten the odd nudge now and then when he gets verbally abusive. Just enough to worry me. My daughter has been trying to get me to leave but he's financially trapped me (in a way) and I see it for what it is now - he argued with me not to get a job when I could have gotten one and said he'd be the provider). I have access to the money so hiding some is do-able but I dont have a lot to work with.

His drinking and bad mood comes first. I was so stressed when he was yelling at me last night that I looked at him and asked him to please stop because my chest was hurting. He made a rude comment and blamed my daughter for my stress because I was doing dishes and she was (hiding) in her room to be away from this. He just walked away while I was telling him I needed his help. Not once did he even bother to check to make sure I was okay.

He works in another state so is away for quite a few weeks and does not drink. When he does not drink he is a very good provider and takes care of us. He's kind but sadly never laughing or warm anymore but a day into his return from where he works and he's got to have a dozen beer. He can't pass out early enuff on the couch upstairs for my liking to be honest. We spend the entire afternoon and evening dreading him coming downstairs to talk or try to get something to eat in the kitchen. There is always anger and stress. Its gotten so bad that my kid hides in her room and texts me with her phone to see if its safe to come out.

A few weeks ago he threatened to kill himself if I left him. Well. What are you supposed to say when someone says that to you? I was stunned! I am now worried about just more than his bad moods! I tried to talk to him a few days later about this and he told me I was being a drama queen. When I noticed he had more cans of beer, he said it was non of my business what he was doing and just not to worry about it.

Every night when he's home he just gets madder and madder. To the point the dogs wont even go around him - they run and hide under my chair. I cant trust he'll not accidentally let a dog out or step on one as they are small. I even worry about the cats when he's drunk. Our house is mortgaged together, the bills are all in our combined names - I'm 54 and I never expected to find myself thinking of going on welfare after years of working and taking care of my family and now if I leave? I lose my home and go into debt? I feel utterly scared and trapped. I'm really hoping there is someone here who has been through this and has some advise..

I'm hoping its okay I just jump in here as I'm lost at how to deal with first, losing the man I fell in love with to alcohol and secondly, how to walk away from him (emotionally and financially).

Yuk.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:35 PM
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Welcome, WendyLew. I am sincerely sorry for what you are going through. If you are waiting around for it to get easier and for him to get better by chance, it just won't happen. He has to be ready to seek and accept help, and it just does not sound like he is there yet. You are, though.

Reading through your post really, really made me worry for yours and your daughter's safety. I really mean that. I am worried for you both being there.

My husband threatened suicide a few times. I understand how paralyzing and traumatized that makes you feel. I am sorry you are having to feel that. I know how scary it is. But, my husband is still alive, and is in recovery. Part of him getting there was me making him leave and him realizing I was not living with him in active addiction anymore.

Your situation is a little different. You financially depend on him and I also would also be nervous about him becoming enraged if you tell him he has to leave. Would you and your daughter be able to leave whenever he is gone for work? Even to stay with family or friends until you are able to find work? That is what I would seriously start considering if I were you. And, save the dogs too if you can.

We are here for you, and will offer the most sound advice we can. Many of us understand what you are going through. I would advise you to please take care of yourself and, maybe more importantly, your daughter. It is your job to protect her. She needs that from you. You are also the only one who can protect yourself. And YOU need that.

Praying hard for you...
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:58 PM
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I'd suggest calling your local women's shelter and speaking with an advocate. You are the victim of abuse, which is a totally separate issue from the drinking, even if it gets worse when he drinks. I've worked professionally in the domestic violence field for many years, and suicide threats are indicative of serious danger to you. Maybe he hasn't "hit" you yet, but I've known suicide/homicides to happen even when there was no serious physical violence before.

Here's an assessment you can take to see how much danger you might be in: https://www.mosaicmethod.com. It isn't foolproof, and it isn't a substitute for working with an advocate, but it's still a fairly widely accepted threat assessment tool. Another good resource is the book, Why Does He DO That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, by Lundy Bancroft.

Glad you found us here.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:08 PM
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Welcome Wendy! Good on ya for reaching out for information. I hope you find lots of support here.

I second what the others have said.

Have you tried going to an Alanon meeting? Many folks find this super helpful.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:31 PM
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Hi Wendy Lew and welcome. I hope you find the support you need here. I would suggest talking to a lawyer when your AH is out of town for work. Canada does have common law marriages. Do you have any right to spousal support? And I would look for a job to support yourself and get your daughter looking for a job for herself too. You could both contribute to renting your own place. His anger is escalating from verbal to nudges when will it become pushing shoving slapping punching? Twenty years is a long time and it will be hard but as I have heard here so many times. "It is time to leave when the fear of staying is worse than the fear of leaving." Peace to you WendyLew!
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:56 PM
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Praying for you WendyLew...

I don't have any reason to think you are doing this, but I feel compelled to just say, never argue with a drunk. Nothing good will come of it. Also I think the suicide threat is a manipulation tactic. I would be careful how much I react when he says this.

Please be safe and keep us updated. <3
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:56 PM
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Hello and welcome. Keep posting, keep reading, you are not alone!
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:31 PM
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There are ways to split what's together. Please stay safe and don't worry too much about the tangible stuff. Yours and your daughter's health are what are most important (and the furbabies)!
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:14 PM
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Agree that suicide threat is most likely control/manipulation. If he seems serious though, please call 911. If he is bluffing he will stop but if he needs help he will get it.

I speak from experience , my AH spent 5 days in the hospital being evaluated after threatening suicide.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:06 AM
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How are you, WendyLew?
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:01 PM
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Hi Hope778 and all of you who have taken the time to reply.

My apologies for the long time it has taken me to post here. First, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.. thank you!! this made me actually feel so less alone. It is extremely appreciated.

So here is why I have been so quiet.

A day before my other half was due to leave, I sat him down on a sober morning and decided to simply confront the issue and ask what was going on. He denied it being an issue (the suicide threat) but I also discovered that he had no intention to even think about stopping drinking. He explained that he was unhappy about many things - where as I explained that if it was not me / or us ? / why on earth he was taking this out on his family. I left it at that and he went back to work out.

At that point, my daughter and I decompressed and tried to relax. we made some decisions about what we should do / could do / and had many family members over to discuss what was going on.

Suzyq77 I agree - his treat was a manipulation tactic. he pulled another on me this time home (he just arrived a few days ago) and told me that if I left?He'd never pay me support and I'd just have to go on welfare. Honestly, I wasn't concerned as I know if I want to, I can fight for support through the courts, so if it comes to that? Yes I will. It was interesting to see that come across the table as the second type of manipulation to keep me here.

My daughter has urged me to write everything down that is going on - which I have. And last night I was going through some of my old journals that I found while cleaning and old trunk and lo and behold, there were some of my books from a decade ago. I started reading thru them and was saddened and then I got mad at myself and then I just felt stupid. Stupid because I was going through this type of thing (not to this extreme) in 2009 and instead of thinking ahead and planning (even putting away 100 a month!) I just let it roll off me and ignored everything going on. I know this is a survival tactic - it's easier to forget and move on without dealing with something. But man, if I had JUST been able to take a moment and be smart about things? By now I would have had enough put aside that in an emergency (as things are progressing these days) I could have been prepared.

If I had a time ship, I'd have told myself to piggy bank things for a rainy day. Ah well.

Anyways. He's home. He's drunk every night and there is a week left in this cycle. He asked me the other afternoon to explain to him why my kid is angry with him. I sort of sat there stunned. After all, I had explained this dozens of time (you drink, you get angry, you say stupid things, you do things to upset your family - and so on ) but he continued to prattle on that I had never said anything to him. So - I just flat out said that I was not explaining this again. And that clearly if he thought about it, he'd realize that his drinking is now effecting his memories.

My family is ready for me if we have to leave in a hurry. We are planning carefully and putting things into place (looking at a storage locker - picking up extra food when we can - putting cash away quickly and quietly) for just-in-case. I'm doing my research and have found an Alanon group to go to.

Am I happy? Far from it. I'm angry that I'm this old and I have to worry about my future because of his addictions. I'm scared about what I have in front of me. But at least now I have my family in on what is going on and they are going to be as supportive as possible.

I just feel ashamed in a way now, looking back - that I really did not wake up and realize that I had to prepare. I should have taken my head out from between my knees and really look at what was going on. I know, I really do, that it was about survival and keeping myself safe that caused this. But man, what I could have done "now" with my life had I just had help back then and someone to talk to (like here).

I'm going to send this and then go have a tea.

Thanks everyone.. I actually feel a lot better knowing I can come here and find others like myself and those who have been here.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:04 PM
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Lexie - Thank you I will go and check that out link.
It's actually frightening to ponder the idea that he's abusing me. But liberating as well as I can finally see that this is not acceptable behavior and that I didn't do anything to earn this.

So much to read - all of this is really helpful.


Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I'd suggest calling your local women's shelter and speaking with an advocate. You are the victim of abuse, which is a totally separate issue from the drinking, even if it gets worse when he drinks. I've worked professionally in the domestic violence field for many years, and suicide threats are indicative of serious danger to you. Maybe he hasn't "hit" you yet, but I've known suicide/homicides to happen even when there was no serious physical violence before.

Last edited by DesertEyes; 01-29-2017 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Fixed broken quote
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:34 PM
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So good to hear that you have a plan and are working towards a better life.

Prayers for you Wendy. Let us know how things go.
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:54 PM
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Keep moving forward Wendy Lew!
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by WendyLew View Post
My daughter has urged me to write everything down that is going on - which I have. And last night I was going through some of my old journals that I found while cleaning an old trunk and lo and behold, there were some of my books from a decade ago. I started reading thru them and was saddened and then I got mad at myself and then I just felt stupid.
Wendy, I can totally relate! I started a thread on that same topic here:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-me-cleo.html
I also felt stupid for putting my head in the sand. Maybe some of the replies that I got in that thread will help you understand your own situation a little better as well as help you to stop beating yourself up about it.

I just feel ashamed in a way now, looking back - that I really did not wake up and realize that I had to prepare. I should have taken my head out from between my knees and really look at what was going on. I know, I really do, that it was about survival and keeping myself safe that caused this. But man, what I could have done "now" with my life had I just had help back then and someone to talk to (like here).
I can also relate so much to this, Wendy--I wanted things to be different, but I didn't want to have to be the one to change. I didn't want to have to do the work b/c dammit, I was not the one w/the problem! I swept things under the carpet, to the extent that I didn't remember them at all, even years later, until I read about them in my own handwriting.

Then, when it became more obvious there was a problem, I passively accepted his claims that he was going to AA and was sober (even though both turned out to be "alternative facts") rather than learning about alcoholism and getting to Alanon myself. Had I taken either of those actions myself, I would have realized fairly quickly he was NOT in any kind of recovery; however, once again I preferred to look the other way and keep the status quo. This cost me another several years.

I actually feel a lot better knowing I can come here and find others like myself and those who have been here.
I cannot praise the SR members highly enough for all they've given me over the past several years. I came here broken, furious, terrified, and ignorant. Little by little, post by post, the folks here helped me to dry my eyes and then open them wide, the better to see reality and its hope instead of the fears my imagination conjured up. Seeing the strength and courage of others helped me to find my own. Feeling the kindness, wisdom and grace of members here made me strive to give that back, in whatever measure I could.

Keep reading, keep posting. This is a community like no other. I strongly encourage you to reach out for the specific help you need in the real world regarding abuse, etc., but we are here to help in our own way, too.

Wishing you strength and clarity.
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:43 AM
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Wow. A lot to read, digest and process. At the core, you are with one very sick, sick man. Is there hope, sure? But, my advice and I am no expert is you need to take care of you. Planning your escape is smart as well as seeking help from whomever will give it. Your guy is like a boat with a huge hole in it and it's sinking fast. Throw on whatever life preserver you can find for you and your adult child and get off of that boat fast. You will have plenty of time to reflect and start to heal but run. If he decides to get the help he really needs, that's on him and time will tell if he will head down a new path.
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:13 AM
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He sounds really abusive. Glad you are working on leaving. No one should feel they are walking a mine field in their own home.
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