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post #41 of 131
Thread Starter 
post #42 of 131
hi. still reading

elmama you sound just like me.

i think its fine to tell someone 'i know you're mad but this isn't the way to ask me. you're being mean' or whatever the situation may be. i have told dh things like that when i've finally decided i've had it. when you find a boundary let them know you have it seriously though. my dh really does the grumpy stream of consciousness everything is MY fault thing sometimes. and its just delusional. his life is under HIS control. i can't usually point that out to him right in the middle of it but i definitely bring it up afterwards

we just went out of town to spend a weekend with one of my friends. she does not like dh. and in the last couple of years she's been pretty vocal about it. it's kind of uncomfortable for me now. she's been an advocate for me to leave him and i haven't. she claims he's mean to me in the way he talks to me. so i noticed i'm superparanoid about what he says and what she's thinking about it etc. and mostly the things he says ARE mean but they're facetious. if i ask him to do something he says 'no' with a deadpan tone. but he does it. he's trying to be funny. but i think she seens a meanness in everything. granted he HAS done mean things. but i don't think he's like that in general all the time.

he was being sweet with isaac and doing lots of caretaking and i was wondering if she noticed or was impressed or anything. my friend was telling me how her other friend's (who just had a baby) dh wasn't doing anything. i'm like SEE he's not a total loser

sorry kinda off topic. but she's a RL friend who has seen his ups and downs over our relationship
post #43 of 131
Originally Posted by elmama
I stay with this man because I love our family and because I have seen progress, but I am wondering, how do I do this without letting my resentment build up. What do yall think?
elmama, are you in recovery? I was living my life filled with so much anger and resentment that the only place I could truly function was at work (before ds was born). The worse things were at home, the more time I spent at work (major workaholic). Al-Anon has been my saving grace. I have serenity in my life more often than not. I'm living my life with gratitude, and I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am that I am a SAHM to my beautiful ds.
post #44 of 131
Thank you for your great ideas. I think it will be really helpful to remember that my dh is mostly angry with himself and at his own parents for letting him down. This is the most loving way.

Jstar, I am sorry you have to be so on edge around your friend. I have definately been through that. Geez, it is hard enough sometimes to be comfortable in our own skins without having to worry about what someone else is thinking about someone else and how that reflects on you...if that makes any sense. My dh is generally pretty pleasant to be around socially. Something that gets pretty aggravating is that he needs lots of time to himself so sometimes he will just disappear for 10-20 minutes at a time. I would rather he do that though than stick around and isolate himself. It has happened that I notice him getting grumpy and I gently ask him if he wants to go be alone. Its my way of letting him know that it is not ok with me that he behave rudely with me or anyone else. I just realized that that is a big boundary for me: It is one thing to have my dh let go on me in private, but when he makes me or other people feel uncomfortable in public I get enraged.

I'm not in recovery for any drug/alcohol addictions...my addictions have always been to people. Hey, maybe there is a codpendency thread! It seems that being a mom and partner has really accelerated my healing as far as that is concerned. I don't have time/energy/desire for unhealthy contracts with people. Anyone else find that motherhood does that to you?

Take good care y'all. I am off to visit my folks for ten days.
post #45 of 131
Originally Posted by elmama
I'm not in recovery for any drug/alcohol addictions...my addictions have always been to people.
Same here. My recovery program teaches me that I'm powerless over other people, places and things!
post #46 of 131
I'm not in recovery for any drug/alcohol addictions...my addictions have always been to people. Hey, maybe there is a codpendency thread! It seems that being a mom and partner has really accelerated my healing as far as that is concerned. I don't have time/energy/desire for unhealthy contracts with people. Anyone else find that motherhood does that to you?


Each of us have our own ways of dealing with people. I remember a while ago I saw a talk show discussing recovery for family members. The counselor on the show asked a woman in our situation, what did she think Al-anon was for? She gave all the basic answers that we would notmally say - to help us deal w/ the issues for our family and ourselves. The counselor said all of her answers were correct, but there was one major one...about our recovery...in that we must relinquish power to the recovering SO in order to lead a more normal lives. I had never thought of that concept before, but it is so true. When our SOs are at their low point, we carry the burden to move our lives forward as normal as possible...we try not to fall deeper in the hole. We work fulltime (or more), care for the family, clean the house, shop for groceries...we are basically living like single parents w/ an extra kid because we won't allow ourselves to trust our recovering SO and relinquish some of the responsibilities to him. Al-anon basically helps those of us who have stuck by our SOs who are in recovery to move forward in a more normal relationship where both the DH and DW share in responsibilities. So the recovery is not just for our SOs, but for us. When you are carrying the burden for such a long time, you don't realize how tired you are.

Al-anon is helpful to some and not to others. It really depends on the type of people in the group and how it is operated. I found it helpful at certain points in my life, but stopped attending because I just did not feel 'right' with the people there...no matter how many different meetings I attended throughout the city. I found that my family, friends and online support groups helped me recover and move forward with my life. It helped me see my relationship w/ my DH in a new light.

As for resentment, I had resentment and the 'recovering' helped me get over it. One of the main things that helped was that DH and I agreed that no matter what, he had to tell me EVERYTHING. No MORE LIES. If he was going to inject Heroin, take cocaine or whatever...I wanted to be there and watch. In my mind, I knew that at least he would be safe with me if something goes wrong and I would be there to help him up when the drug wore off and he wanted to try recovery again. So after that point, there was no resentment because I accepted him as he was (flaws and all) and committed myself to his and my recovery.
post #47 of 131
its like you have this life that is 95 percent great but then 5 percent of it is really bad. and you wonder if the 5% has more bearing than the rest of it.
When our SOs are at their low point, we carry the burden to move our lives forward as normal as possible...we try not to fall deeper in the hole. We work fulltime (or more), care for the family, clean the house, shop for groceries...we are basically living like single parents w/ an extra kid because we won't allow ourselves to trust our recovering SO and relinquish some of the responsibilities to him.
My god am I happy to have found this thread!
I don't really have time to write much now, except hello, and I'm glad to be here.
post #48 of 131
Thread Starter 
post #49 of 131
Originally Posted by Mamabeakley
Yeah, I think so to. Although I think it is more relinquishing the illusion of power . . . there was a point when I "took away" access to our money for my dh. I don't think this was a wise, spiritually mature thing to do. But I think it was something I needed to do to really gauge how much of his behavior I was responsible for. I felt guilty because I felt he was using money I earned to buy drugs. Guess what - when I took away that money, he still bought drugs. But because it was clearly not under my control I was able to let go of the illusion that I had any responsibility for it.

I think its a fine line btw. being responsible for myself (I would still need to pay rent, buy food, pay the phone bill, etc. if I were single) and taking on responsibilities which should be his. A constant dance of awareness and practicality and intention . . .
There was nothing wrong with what you did...you had every right to do so in order to protect you and your family. I have done the exact same thing. When I say relinquishing responsibility, it does not necessarily mean finance because you still need to protect yourself. Some women won't let her SOs do anything at all...they are creating a divide b/w themselves and their SOs (for protection) but it hurts their relationship and the family. I still have main control of our finances in that I know where every penny goes, but I have relinquished many of the responsibilities, such has shopping, paying certain bills, etc. I think this relinquishing only works if the SO is in recovery and for that moment you do not believe he has relapsed because he can't make amends to the relationship if the DW doesn't allow him to. Does that make sense? So if he has relapsed, then the DW does maintain what she is doing because she can't rely on him. My DH has been in recovery since August 29, 2001 when he enrolled in the Methadone program. Granted he is on medication, but he has not had the urge/ desire and has not made the attempt to use. Mentally and emotionally, he moving forward to, hopefully, a drugfree lifestyle. He is just taking it a day at a time. So he has been pretty stable in that I have been able to gradually relinquish some of the responsibilities to him...does that make sense?

Thanks, I agree 100% w/ your statement.
post #50 of 131
Hi everyone - sure am glad to see this thread getting some action!

I've been reading and thinking about all the post re: 'taking' away power from the addicted partner, and creating some boundaries and safety zones for ourselves and kids...

And I wonder, how do we do this when the addicted parent is acting inappropriately towards/with the kids? My DH isn't using, but his alcoholism finds so many awful ways to manifest itself without him picking up a bottle...

The latest example is nothing major, but DH was at it again this morning... I was sitting in a big chair with DD (6y.o.) and DS (5mo) having a 'just got up' sort of snuggle. After a while I suggested to DD that we get going on the day and put on clothes and she said no. DH burst in from the kitchen and said, "If the children are not going to follow directions and do what they're told, I just can't be a part of it! This is unacceptable!" He was shaking and his face was already - voice really tight and full of rage. WTF, I thought! He hadn't had any prior interactions with DD - this was the first thing... And I was so tempted to tell him just to leave if he couldn't handle something as simple as a six year old who just woke up and wasn't ready to get dressed yet. But I didn't - told him it wasn't a big deal to me and that we weren't in the place or time to be making policy statements about the children's behavior. I took DD to get dressed and when we re-emerged I told DH that if he needed to take off I could handle getting DD to school and the rest of the morning without him He promptly left.

But c'mon!!! I feel like he flips like that more and more - sooooooo little patience and interest, and no effort to be flexible or understanding of where DD is. She's his step-daughter, which I had hoped would make no difference, but he has told me that it does.... it breaks my heart that he's turning into such a rigid self-centered person - it's become his way or no way lately with her. Things used to be different - he used to think she was the greatest kid and had all the time and patience in the world for her. But not anymore...

So I'm trying to figure out where, or even if, to draw a line. I don't want to take over all parenting duties (as a SAHM w/ a tiny babe I already do a helluva lot!), but I sure don't want DD exposed this his nastiness and irrational behavior.

What do you all do when your partners are being irrational and inappropriate with the kids? How do you respectfully strike a balance between everyone's needs? Hope someone can help....
post #51 of 131
MaggieMae, I am so right there with you!

Even when my dh is sober his temper drives me nuts! And it feels in some way like that's another way that I have to compenate for his actions- by being an uber-calm stepford wife- rearranging things for the kids, making what peace I can while my 3 yo tells the neighbors 'my daddy yell on my mommy and my mommy said 'get out of my house!''

I feel like I'm constantly oscilating between 'this is not going to work. you're not working with me at all here. i'd be happier alone albeit unable to pay the bills' and 'he is working to improve. I can see a better day ahead. life is hard enough already without adding a separation into the mix. he's so close with the kids. I don't need to tear the family apart.'

I want some kind of therapy/counselor, but I'm not sure I could ever depend on anyone to care for the kids while I go. What can I do?

And as for the mama who is just about to buy the expensive house- we did that about a year ago- bought an incredible house dense with trees in the back- There is nothing like the peace of going outside, getting fresh air and seeing all the trees and the animals and..... But I can barely cover the mortgage checks on my own as the principal provider for my kids, and that really leaves me between a rock and a hard place. Sometimes I wish we hadn't moved, so that I could buy a smaller piece of heaven just for me and the girls and get by without him.

So my advice is to hold off if any part of you is holding off.

Of course, I grew up with parents who were constantly threatening divorce, so, who knows, I may suggest it too easily..........
post #52 of 131
i have no advice for the temper thing but know i will be asking someday. my plan is to tell him later in private that he CANT talk in that tone in front of isaac. i've had to tell him that he can't talk to me like that. and he really figured out i was serious. but he still too frequently is cussing under his breath as he tries to do something frustrating. so that temper is definitely there

i'm already seeing the temper in isaac. he's a little feisty. doug says 'see its genetic!' which i think there may be a glimmer of truth in. but that doesn't excuse the need for controlling one's behavior!

i haven't been too worried about the house thing lately. its been smooth sailing recently. i hate to live my life thinking i might divorce because there are a lot of steps we would take before we got to that point. we've never had counseling and i would try that before splitting. and he could always try sobriety! if it did come to that point i'd probably have to move and downsize. or maybe i'd get enough child support to maintain the home. who knows.

i'm not even sure its going to work out anyway. our house isn't selling very quickly and the leaky basement was the deal killer for a couple that were seriously considering an offer this week i'm very zen that it will work out if it is meant to.

fwiw i control allllll the finances. i'm the uptight checkbook balancer in our household. dh takes money out and uses his card for whatever he wants but i always have an eye on it. the bills get paid and he doesn't have to do anything except fork over his paychecks.
post #53 of 131
Thread Starter 
post #54 of 131

I'm here 4 you!

I can't say that my husband has the addiction problem as I am lucky in that department. But I DO know what it's like to watch a loved one waste away and not even care enough about those around them to stop.

My Mum is an alcoholic, marijuanna user, has severe mental problems and is happy to pop ecstacy, speed and heroine if she can't get her hands on the first 2 narcotics I mentioned.

I am pregnant again and my son is now 2. Needless to say it is very hard for me to be around, I don't trust her with my son but am not into 'cutting' her out of my life - she's my mum, right?

When I announced I was pregnant with my son, she was so high she couldn't remember me telling her. The very next day she and her junkie aquantences tried to cut my brother's throat while he was asleep in bed b/c she thought he owed her money (which is not true, dillusional even). I felt a range of emotions ... but the only one that has never subsided is grief. To get through the pregnancy, I moved 3 hours drive away, where we now live in a small town nearby my parents in law. My bother has a 1 and a half year old boy that has never met our parents and probably never will. He refuses to have anything to do with mum and believes I should do likewise.

Trouble is my sister is only 11 and my dad still feels responsible for mum inspite of the fact they recently got divorced. Mum's problems have robbed me of a relationship with my dad and sister - I still see them but they are so defensive of mum that I get so hurt and it takes me a week to get over an hour long visit!!!

I haven't told anyone I'm pregnant again. Just don't feel like they would be very supportive and I am sure that it would send mum off on a drinking binge (not that she needs much of an excuse) I just don't want mum ruining the joyous moment of announcing the pregnancy as she did the first time around. I can't trust them - they are so self absorbed at the moment with mum and her problems and I have realised with therapy that this isn't likely to change.

I get flashbacks when my sister rings up crying but I can't tell her that I've been there and done all that without seeming insensitive. I still haven't got an answer to the problem which is why I was a teen run away - all that physical/emotional abuse - but I feel like I should be able to offer her some words of comfort. What I really feel like saying though is "come and live with me" but it isn't that easy and mum and dad wont have a bar of it. They tell her that I'm the monster that made mum psycho and my sis gets confused ... I really don't want to confuse her further by buying into the trips they come up with. I really can't cope with the situation, it's so hard.

I ran away from home when I was 13 and I was raped/bashed in a youth hostel. I had to live on the streets, in refuges, in temp. foster care and I now suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because of this experience. I can't blame mum but her problems have really impacted on everyones life around her ... I wish she cared enough to at least admit she has these problems rather than turning it into everyone elses fault all the time.

Uncles, aunties, my gandparents all cut us off when I was a child because of mum. I know that's not my fault but it means I haven't got a family to go to when I need support. I don't know any of them, they are like strangers, and I would not be comfortable opening up with any of them even if they did show a genuine interest in me (which they don't so it isn't a problem).

I could really use some suppoert this time. I've been told to stop the medication for PTSD while I'm pregnant and I know I'll get the flashbacks, night terrors, uncontrollable crying etc as soon as it is out of my system. It has really helped but it is not woth risking use of the medicine with unknown affects on fetal development. I'm so scared and the only support person I have is my wonderful husband, who is squeaky clean and always has been. I have been too withdrawn for too long and have never made friends (or enemy's) so I guess I'm still hiding in the woodwork so to speak.

If you can relate, contact me and we will be there for each other. I am worried about the wives of these men with addiction problems - it is too hard to live with everyday for the rest of your lives. Dad did that with mum and thought he could protect us from most of her problems but he only made it worse by staying. Mum is more important to dad than we, his children, are even after a divorce and that lives with us kids forever.

Do you guy's really want your kids to end up like me??
If not, you will have to leave if the addict wont at least try to help themselves or the kids will feel that they never mattered to you. I still feel like dad is there for mum at my brother and sister and own expense.
Shouldn't we come first?
Parents get seperated all the time and sometimes it's not about falling out of love with the person so much as protecting the children from an abnormal upbringing.

Do your husband's addict friends secretly molest your kids? How do you know for sure? Are they worth allowing into your kids life? Do they even care about you - the spouse?

PLEASE PEOPLE! Make your kids the number 1 priority when deciding to continue a relationship with someone in need of help. Don't short change your kids for the sake of your relationships.

Happy to share past with anyone that wants to know ... b/c I believe that dad should have left mum years ago and taken care of us!
post #55 of 131
My poor df had a heroin problem but he has since kicked it clean which makes me so proud of him, one day he said, I am getting tired of this shit and I am quitting so he quit and he's been 6 months sober too.
post #56 of 131
Thread Starter 
post #57 of 131
Hi starlite, and everyone else in this forum. I am new to this particular forum. Actually, I am new to this whole addiction experience. My name is Tara and my Mother is an alcoholic. She is also addicted to an anti-anxiety medication, alprazolam(sp) I just found out about her addictions when I was three months pregnant with my youngest son. He is 6 weeks old now. She has been able to hide all of this from myself, and the rest of our family for ten years.

A little background first. My mother was extreamly abusive to myself and my sister growing up, both physically and verbally. To the point where I tried to commit suicide when I was twelve. She was and still is an expert con-person and liar. She always beat me while my dad was at work and then sent me to my room before he got home so she could "prep" him before I got to him about how bad I had been all day. My Dad didn't know about all that went on during the day. Thankfully my parents got divorced when I was thirteen and after a brief stint of abuse alone in a house with my mother and her new boyfriend, my sister and I got to live with our father. She was going out and partying at this point, but no regular drinking yet.

My mother and her boyfriend eventually married and bought a house in Arizona where they spent their winters. We live in Ontario Canada and it can be pretty cold in the winters here. That in part was why she was able to hide her drinking so easily.

About eight months ago, her husband showed up at my house and spilled it on us that my mother has been an alcoholic for the last ten years. She had also beat him and he feared for his life because she had threatened it on more than one occasion.(he didn't seem to care when she was beating me when i was a child but here he was asking for sympathy from me) My sister and I confronted her and she broke down. She checked into detox and then into rehab. All seemed to be well. Or so we thought.

She left her husband and got her own apartment all under the guise of "finding herself" and starting a new life "for her". Unfortunately though, the lies continue. Apparently she found a new guy at rehab who now is living with her. This guy borrowed her car, got drunk and crashed it up. Now he might be going away for DUI. She made up lies about this to cover her and this guys asses about still drinking. I told her I wouldn't have a relationship with her if she couldn't stop lying. She failed. I stopped talking to her for a few months. My baby was born and she slinked back into my life, no apologies, nothing. Just tried to pick up where she left off.

This is where we are now. The lies continue. The drinking continues. The lying about drinking continue. I don't know how I can keep on trying to have a relationship with her. The problem is though, I am thirty years old and still looking for her approval. I want that "mother figure" in my life. It's not happening. I just keep getting treated like a beaten dog. I get beaten down and disappointed, but I keep comming back for more.

I am hurt. I am angry. I am embarassed. I am depressed. I want a Mother.

Anyway, thanks for "listening" this is the first time I have been able to "talk" about this anywhere but home.

Take care,
post #58 of 131
I just spoke with my sister-in-law on the phone and my brother has entered AA. He has been six weeks sober and apparently it has been really hard on him physically. I can imagine so. He's about to turn 36 and at his yearly physical they found some spots on his liver. Apparently they scared him enough for the moment. I am very proud of him and am hoping he stays with it. He said to me on the phone that it's the hardest thing he's ever done. He also said he's smoking more which I guess it quite common with alcoholics going through withdrawl. He apparently hasn't ruled out entering a facility if he finds this way too difficult. He is doing well for the moment and I am so happy I could fly.

My brother in law on the other hand is not doing so well. I had posted earlier that he showed up at our house. It was really, really ugly. I took my daughter to my neighbors house and came back to support my husband. My BIL was saying the most hurtful things imagineable about their mother. She passed away when my husband was 11 and when my BIL was 20.

My husband is the most laid back and gentle man you can ever imagine meeting. After a while of this argument I was seriously concerned he was going to haul off and hit his brother. Part of me really wanted him too and part of me was so glad he didn't. One because I know it wouldn't solve anything and two because he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he did.

He ultimately forced his brother to leave our house. He was in tears by the end of it. He told him if he ever contacts us again he would get a restraining order. That he's not allowed around our daughter until he's sober and in treatment for his mental illness as well. It was terrible.

I called his Dad after he left. That was awful as well. He's holding out hope that his problems are soley drug related and they're not.

Since this incident my BIL has contacted most of their relatives out east and has been slandering my husband, my FIL, and their siblings to the 9th degree. He called their Grandmother and had her so hysterical their Aunt had to go to her house and give her a breathing treatment.

It's all so heartbreakingly sad. I am starting to feel genuine hate for this man. I know I shouldn't, but I am sooo tired of seeing the heartbreak he has caused his family.

I'm just feeling rather pissy about the whole thing at the moment. I usually try to stay a bit more positive.

I am really glad this thread is here.
post #59 of 131
Thread Starter 
post #60 of 131
I totally second everything Starlite said. As a child of a drug addict and as someone who is now a mother herself, it's a slap in the face to come to a tribe like this and hear about mothers who knowingly and willingly choose to bring children into the world with a drug addict-- currently using non-recovering drug addict-- for a father, or defending the choice to do so. How else would you expect someone like me and Starlite and Callumsmom feel about that??

If you do choose this, realize you cannot trust that man. You cannot trust an addict- because the addict's first love is not you or your child, it is his addiction. As long as that's in his life, you cannot trust him. And you will not under any circumstances be able to change him.

Hugs to everyone dealing with this. Yes, life is sad, but it's even sadder when someone chooses this path for their child. That doesn't mean they don't deserve help or support, but for those of you who are contemplating this, don't be surprised if someone who has been a child of an addict screams "FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR CHILD, DON'T!!!" I find this thread deeply disturbing on a personal level and cannot participate here.

Maybe we need a children of addicts tribe of some sort.
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