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Unread 11-30-2013, 12:33 PM   #1
antique
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Default Getting my courage up

Thank you to everyone who has given me advice in the past couple of weeks. I have thought long and hard about this relationship, I have read about your experiences, I have talked with friends who I know have my best interests at heart, and I have decided that I need out. I have wanted out for a long time, and nearly managed it a year and a half ago. But I just didn't have the conviction to follow through.

How on earth do you start that conversation with someone? It all seemed so clear when I spent my break in my office to avoid him, when I was sleeping in my mother-in-law's basement while he partied. I had the absolute red hot conviction of rage that as soon as the house was cleared after Thanksgiving, I would stand up and tell him to get lost.

The last of the family left this morning. And I'm floundering. He made me breakfast, he did the dishes. It does not make up for the sleepless nights, the anger, the inability to go out and enjoy ourselves without my worrying that he's going to get wasted and/or get into a fight. The shame I feel when he drinks around my family. He pushed me out of my own home - after I had been working 60+ hours a week for nearly a month with not even a weekend day off - so he could stay up drinking. He went to bed that morning after I had gotten up to go back to work.

I'm so used to trying not to disturb the uneasy peace that it's totally against my nature to do so. But if I go, it needs to be this weekend. Otherwise I'll fall back into my miserable routine. I am weak, but determined to get stronger.

How do you do this? How do you stand up and confront an alcoholic in denial?

Thank you to you all!
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Unread 11-30-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
RIX
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Hello Antique~

I am sorry to hear of the pain and confusion you are experiencing!!

When you say "I need to get out"... do you mean divorce? Do you mean separation until you see if some things change?

I can imagine that considering a total ending of the relationship (divorce) is overwhelming!

Perhaps considering a separation with a specific deadline, and goal. Like for the next 6 months we will be separated, in that time he can either pursue a path of recovery not... if not you explore next steps.

However you decide to proceed I suggest going into the conversation with a clear idea of why you are doing it. Maybe even write down the reasons. As you know alcoholics are masters of manipulation and blame shifting. They are constantly trying to make those close to them feel guilty and at fault.

I recommend focus on how you have felt and what you experienced vs accusing. Accusing conversations usually turn into peeing matches where both sides are trying to show the other that their "Sins" are worse and they are at fault etc...

I am sure some of the others will weigh in with some great advice... just some thoughts I had for now.

Keep posting Antique... you are in my thoughts.

rix
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Unread 11-30-2013, 05:15 PM   #3
antique
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Thank you Rix. I do mean divorce. I am hesitant to suggest a trial separation, because I know that he can be incredibly kind and thoughtful when it seems worth his while. About a year and a half ago, he moved to another state for work several months before I could leave my job and come along. During the time when I lived alone, I was the happiest I've ever been. It was so peaceful...like the weight of his presence was lifted from me. So I tried to leave him. He talked me into giving it another chance and did behave better for about six months. But it didn't last. I suspect any trial separation would produce the same results.

Your advice about using 'I' statements and writing down my points is very good. He runs me in circles when I try to talk to him and I usually forget what I wanted to say.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
R. Lee
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antique, "He can be incredibly kind & thoughtful when it seems worth his while."

"During the time when I lived alone, I was the happiest I've even been."

You can't trust him. I think you know what you have to do.

Good luck with your decisions.
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Unread 11-30-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
antique
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Thank you Lee. You are right that I know what has to be done. I'm collecting my thoughts this evening and plan on speaking to him in the morning. That way I can get out of the house when the conversation is over and spend the day sorting myself out.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 06:19 AM   #6
nan
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antique, sorry that you have to go through this process- alcoholism is a very damaging disease to everyone involved, not just the alcoholic. That said, I thought I would throw my 2 cents worth in and remind you that you will not gain anything by talking and talking with him this morning. Without you saying one word, he will know why you are moving out. He will act like he doesn't, and will throw all kinds of excuses, and try and lay the blame at your feet, all in defense of his disease. I hope you won't put yourself through a long discussion. I think the time for "words" has passed. I also think you think you will feel better "explaining" everything to him. Believe me he knows why are you choosing this action-and I hope you don't put yourself through an agonizing discussion. It will serve no good purpose.

Again,just my 2 cents and something for you to think about anyways. Good luck, and keep us posted.

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Unread 12-01-2013, 09:30 AM   #7
RIX
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Antique~

Thinking and praying for you this morning.

I guess now that I read Nan's input about how a long discussion and attempted explanation will be rather fruitless and possibly even harmful to your emotional well being... I have to agree.

In my last post I was more under the impression that you were in a season of this being among the first discussions of your desire to leave due to his behavior... since that is obviously not the case, to the point that you already attempted to leave the situation once in the past... I whole heartedly agree with Nan... he will absolutely know why you made the decision you made - even though he will surely make it seem like a surprise, and like he was blind sided and its your fault... etc...

You are in our thoughts today Antique!

Blessings!!

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Unread 12-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #8
antique
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Thank you Nan and Rix - yes, this was the last of many discussions. It was quite brief. He accused me both of trying to be like my mother (who forced my alcoholic father to stop drinking to everyone's benefit, not least his own), and of cheating on him (so not true). I chose not to rise to his accusations. I simply told him that throwing it back on me and making wild accusations wouldn't make it any less true that he has a problem with alcohol. He seemed surprisingly unconcerned.

I'm a little stunned, but completely at peace with my decision. The worst is behind me now.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 12:00 PM   #9
1418
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Hi Antique,

He will continue to blame you and make wild accusations ( I believe). Juts hang on for the ride. The truth always comes out. It may take time, but it will. Keep your head high and live up to your own standards. Cream always rises to the top. This I have learned many times over.

Wishing you strength and continued peace!!!
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Unread 12-01-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
antique
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Thanks 1418. I believe I am strong enough to withstand whatever is coming. Mostly I want to get this over with as soon as possible and move on.
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Unread 12-01-2013, 10:23 PM   #11
R. Lee
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Good going antique. He did not surprise you with his reaction. It took courage to take that step just like it takes courage to say I can't take this no more I have to quit drinking right now & then do something about it right away.
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Unread 12-02-2013, 04:50 PM   #12
antique
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Thank you Lee. I have known for a long time that he would choose alcohol over me with no hesitation. Once I accepted that, everything seemed a lot clearer. I wish him well - I just wish it for him far, far away from me.

I have told only one very close friend so far, who backed me up completely and offered a great deal of support. Sooner or later, I will have to tell my family and then my colleagues. I have no doubt of their support, but it's still a daunting proposition.
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Unread 12-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #13
antique
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My husband asked to talk to me this evening. I reluctantly agreed. I did my best to keep it short, but he tried all of the ploys I was warned about. He hadn't believed at first that I was serious about leaving. Why am I not giving it a chance? Why am I throwing him out when he's so vulnerable? He actually called me evil. Flat denied being an alcoholic. Promised he'd stop drinking. When I refused to believe him, he implied - again - that I'm cheating on him. Had used him for as long as I could and tossed him aside.

I cut off the conversation after just a few minutes because I could see no good would come from it. I tried so hard just to calmly, quietly restate my points without rising to his victim act - but boy did I want to raise the roof. He knows so well how to push my buttons and make me feel guilty. I do pity him, but I don't see why I should have to babysit an alcoholic in denial for the rest of my life. It's nonsense; I know it's nonsense, but it still cuts to the quick.
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Unread 12-06-2013, 08:53 PM   #14
1418
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It sounds like you really kept it together! That anger will probably need to go somewhere. I don't remember if I mentioned this, but writing in a journal really helped me get some of my anger out.

Isn't it amazing when the alcoholic tries to implement the tactics that so many other alcoholics use? Amazing isn't the word I want - but I remember my inner voice saying, "Yep - there is it, that's what they said he would do and OMG he is doing it." But then there is this other part of you that is caught up in the emotion of it.

It is hard to stay calm, etc... becuase he isn't 100% bad. Just like most relationships aren't 100% good or bad... there are degrees of everything. The problem is - he has been in the negative/low percentage for too long, and it is draining/exhausting.

When you have some distance from this - re-read your posts. He went from one extreme to another and to another... I thought your conversation lasted at least one hour.. I was surprised when you said it was measured in minutes!

Stay strong antique. We are here for you.
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Unread 12-06-2013, 08:53 PM   #15
antique
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And I am not throwing him out! I am camping out in the spare room so that he can still live here. I am paying the bills. And I am asking for nothing but peace until he can move out.
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Unread 12-06-2013, 09:02 PM   #16
antique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1418 View Post
It is hard to stay calm, etc... becuase he isn't 100% bad. Just like most relationships aren't 100% good or bad...
You are so right 1418. He isn't a bad person, and I know that. He is ill, and I pity him and wish him better.

My anger does need to go somewhere constructive. I will try writing it out.

This will pass. All things pass. I just have to keep telling myself that! Thank goodness I have to work tomorrow. I have a dozen of my best students set for a very fun training. I will spend the day with my aspiring scientists, of whom I am very proud, and it will be rewarding.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #17
1418
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It is an illness, but he isn't taking ownership of it. He isn't going to AA, or counseling, or admitting it is a problem.

I have a feeling if he were owning it and working diligently to understand why he drinks and develop new coping skills - you would be in a different place.

It is just too exhausting when the alcoholic or anybody else for that matter, that refuses to own their issues and try to make changes. We can't want it enough for them.. or love them enough or anything enough.. It is in their(his/her) hands.. they have to make the choice.

I'm glad you are looking forward to work. I used to work in the biotech industry - scientists ROCK!
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Unread 12-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #18
antique
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1418 - Yes, if he were taking ownership and working on it, you are right, I would be in a different place! I would be behind him all the way. But I can't fight his problem without his cooperation. I hope this is enough of a wake-up call that he decides to take charge for his own sake.

I agree scientists rock! I'm a grad student in the sciences myself, and I teach undergraduate science courses. This particular class is great. They are so eager to learn that teaching them doesn't feel like work! Being with my students today really cheered me up.
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