Need help cutting ties with toxic ex (x-posted in Personal Growth) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 01-16-2011, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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3.5 years ago my life was happy, sane, and normal other than an amicable divorce.  Then I met a man who has introduced such drama and dysfunction to my life that I don't even recognize myself anymore. "I" would never have gotten caught up in this. "I" would have been stronger and smarter.  But here I am and I have been sucked into the abuse cycle I used to pity other women for.

 

We met fresh out of divorces. He was the opposite of my ex in all ways good and bad.  Dynamic, sexual, emotive, and fun..I was hooked by date #2. Within 4 months he was living with me and I learned of his explosive past with his ex and that he is an alcoholic. Why did I stay? I don't know.  Things got crazy in our house and his drinking became too much to bare.  I moved out. He became very nasty.  He threatened me and would call all the time screaming and cursing. His car was in my name and he refused to switch it to his so I had no choice, but to report it stolen.  The police called him, he denied having the car, but within hours the car (smashed to pieces by his baseball bat) was towed into my driveway.  I got an order of protection.  I was a wreck.  He has custody of his 4 young girls and I had been raising them and loving them and hated  not knowing how they were.  He broke the order constantly by calling and texting "I love you" and "I'm sorry".  I reported it to the police but they did nothing.  Then the texts told me  his mother had pancreatic cancer and was dying.  He would leave sobbing voice mails and eventually I broke down and answered the phone.  Like a snowball our relationship came back to life despite all my knowledge that I should be running far away from him, not towards him. I thought I could heal him and his children. He had gotten sober and I fooled myself into thinking he had really changed.  Things were great.  I went to court and they dropped the contact part of the order, although I still have a basic PFA.   It was humiliating and I was definitely scolded by the judge that I would not be taken as seriously next time.  We dated, we moved back in with each other, we actively were planning a wedding. Then the drinking came back full force and I left before things got ugly again.  He cried and begged and pleaded for us to at least still be friends.  I gave in out of a desire not to let things get nasty. That was in September.  Since then I have been on a dysfunctional roller coaster  with him.  We get close, things are good, I loose will power and sleep with him (always the best part of our relationship) and then realize what a mistake I made and I pull away.  He freaks out, starts getting nasty, calling a million times, etc and I agree to be friends so that the nastiness will stop.  It is so stupid of me.  I KNOW better.  I have decided to handle this like I would any other addiction.  I am going to suffer through the detox (him being nasty), go cold turkey (no communicating), and get over him once and for all.  I am embarrassing myself publicly here by announcing the dysfunction of my life.  I would love all the support I can get as I know I am in for a rough time.   I am in no  fear for my safety, just expecting him to show up and call all the  time.  I know I could call the cops for harassment, but after backing out of the original PFA I'm sure they won't take me too seriously.  And I was stupid enough to once again have his car in my name and so here we go again.

 

As I just read this I feel so dumb.  I can't believe I posted this.  I'm a doula, an attached mother, a good friend.  My family is full of social workers and psychologists.  My friends are all productive, moral, and  gentle people.  This is not part of any reality I've ever known.  I really don't know how I let this happen.

 

As an aside.... my life is awesome now in every other way.  My kids and I found a rental house we love, my friends have been an awesome support.  My grandparents are helping financially as I attend nursing school (starting pre-reqs next week!).  I'm able to home school my kids and they are thriving.  I have so much guilt about my children being witness to my drama and I owe it to them to be strong this time!

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#2 of 14 Old 01-16-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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hug2.gif You sound like you know what you have to do. These relationships can be like a vortex, just sucking you in the second you try to compromise in any way. I agree- this is scary, and it's walk away or nothing. Change your phone number for crying out loud! disappear!

 

Once you have your distance, you may want to check into getting some court ordered visitation with his kids, if you are invested to that point. I don't know where you live, but in my state, you have to have performed regular daily parenting functions, with the encouragement of the custodial parent, for over a year. Just something to consider, you sound really upset to lose them.

 

Congratulations and here's to your fortitudeclap.gif


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#3 of 14 Old 01-18-2011, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your encouragement and support.  I would love to stay in contact with his kids, but I fear that would just put them in a weird place with their dad. My kids and I miss them already, but I know it's time to say goodbye and let them start adjusting to life the way it is now.  I know they hold onto hope that I will come back, which breaks my heart.  Feeling really strong today!  I know I can do this.

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#4 of 14 Old 01-18-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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You are not dumb!!!  *hugs*  Abuse puts some crazy blinders on us.  Check out the book, "Women Who Love Too Much" by Robin Norwood 

 

It is an addiction... and one you can break.  :)  I'm more than 8 months sober from chaotic abusive romantic relationships.  :D


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#5 of 14 Old 01-18-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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If this gives you any hope....

 

My father was married to an insane abusive woman when I was in middle school for a couple years.  They divorced and I never heard from my step siblings again.  I had really bonded with my step brother.  Through an unfortunate series of events, we regained contact through facebook and have been friends again for almost two years now.  Last year I even got to see him (I'm in OK and him in MD).  We are attempting to repeat this sometime again soon. 

 

Though you lost them now, perhaps one day in the future, you shall reconnect too.

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#6 of 14 Old 01-18-2011, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Both posts give me hope....that I will get through this and that there is a chance of a future relationship with the girls.  I was able to tell them that my choice has nothing to do with them and that I love them very much.  I also stressed that it is not their job to keep his secrets and that if things are bad they should tell a trusted adult like a teacher. Child & Youth has been notified that there are issues, but the kids are very protective of both their parents and cover for them.  So sad, but they are strong girls and I hope standing up for myself gives them a good example that they can too.

He never lays a hand on them, but his drinking causes a level of neglect that is probably not considered abuse, but enough that my heart breaks for them.

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#7 of 14 Old 01-18-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by septmommy View Post

Thanks so much for your encouragement and support.  I would love to stay in contact with his kids, but I fear that would just put them in a weird place with their dad. My kids and I miss them already, but I know it's time to say goodbye and let them start adjusting to life the way it is now.  I know they hold onto hope that I will come back, which breaks my heart.  Feeling really strong today!  I know I can do this.



Hi -- Sorry you are in this place.   I had an ex whose kids I raised.  After we split up I had formal visitation because I had been acting as a parent for close to a decade, though we were not married.  But then he started threatening me and stalking me.  He used the visitations as opportunities to harrass me.  It was the saddest thing, I had to break off contact with the kids.  That day that I said goodbye was one of the hardest of my life.  I didn't want to downgrade their father, so I couldn't say why I wasn't able to see them.  I just told them to always remember I loved them.

 

I'm glad you're good in other ways ... you will get thru this !


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#8 of 14 Old 01-18-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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Hi mama,

 

I'm so sorry you've been through this rollercoaster in the past few years. I can empathize, also being an ex-spouse of a rageaholic, alcoholic, abusive drug user. I too wanted to save him, heal him, care for his children. I too overlooked my own personal boundaries time and time again, giving into the begging, thinking that the power of my love would somehow "make it better".

 

Honestly, things changed for me when my XH started to lose it in front of our baby. He could threaten me but I wouldn't stand for him threatening our child. That's when I found Al-Anon, counselling and another online forum that I still frequent; that made me realize that I was definitely not alone in my struggle. Countless other men and women had gone through what I went through, and some were still stuck in their relationships, bound by children, mortgages and threats.

 

If you haven't found an Al-Anon group near you, I *urge* you to do so and attend a few different meetings to find one that's right for you. There's really nothing like face to face support of those who have walked the path you are on. If you aren't able to make the meetings in your area, I'd advise to attend a few online meetings...it's not a replacement for face to face, but it's definitely good to have as a backup.

 

Once you do go to Al-Anon, you'll learn that

You didn't CAUSE the addiction

You can't CURE the addiction

You can't CONTROL the addiction

 

You probably already instinctively know this and realize that *nothing* you say, or do, (or don't say or don't do) can change your ex-partner. You simply don't have that power. The only power you've got is over you.

 

Re-reading your post...I think you should get your hands on Codependent No More, by Melodie Beattie. If seems that you are having a bit of trouble disengaging from your ex, almost in an "addictive" way. Don't get me wrong here; there's no jugdment from me...I went about ALL my previous relationships with the same issue. Beattie's book was an eye-opening read for me and it lead me to seek counselling so I could finally address my issues.

 

Finally, I can SO empathize about "leaving behind" the children of the ex alcoholic partner. By the time I left my XH, my stepson was 12 going on 13, and I'd known him for over 6 years. It was heart-breaking when my XH threatened legal action against me if I dared to contact my stepson. I had been a mother figure to him for what felt like a very long time and I was being forced to abandon him. I tortured myself with guilt for months afterwards...eventually though, I realized that I couldn't "save" him...I had to let go.

 

I did send him a very long letter when he moved back in with his mother and contacted me; in it, I tried my best to explain that I wasn't judging his father, but that I just couldn't be around him because it wasn't healthy for me or for DD. I told him I loved him, I missed him terribly, and that I wanted to continue a relationship with him if and when he was ready for it. I had hope that we could get around his father, but XH broke into his son's email, and sent me one final threatening email, cutting off all contact indefinitely. I can only hope that as my former stepson gets older, he chooses to contact me. In the meantime, I show his picture to DD all the time and tell her about her brother.

 

Anyhow, i've rambled on enough. I just wanted to let you know I've been where you are. Please feel free to PM me if you want to talk more privately.

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#9 of 14 Old 01-18-2011, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was very touching to read your story. I tried Alanon and didn't feel a good connection, but trying a different group is a different idea.  I will check out the book as well.  His anger is escalating as I stand my ground.  Yet, somehow I feel bad for him. Guilty about how sad he is to loose me. Until I was in a relationship like this I failed to realize the fact that even in abusive relationships there is good.  That good is what is used to pull you back, to make you feel guilty, and to make you actually miss the same person who can be so cruel.  I recognize this and will not allow myself to give in to the guilt.  I have a good IRL support network at the moment and am thankful for the one here as well.

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#10 of 14 Old 01-19-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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It's quite normal that his anger is escalating as he feels you pulling away. You are no longer playing the role he scripted for you; you are escaping his control. As you detach further, and perhaps as you go "No Contact", there will be lots of thrashing, crazymaking and threatening. Grand promises will be made...perhaps even threats too. It's to be expected. And yes, if you're a smidge codependent, you'll probably feel bad for *him* instead of feeling bad for *YOU* and your children for what he has put you through.

 

The reality is that he's a grown man, and it is not your responsibility to shelter him from the consequences of his poor choices, be they addiction related or not. I realize how hard it is to let go, but it seems like you're already on that path right now.

 

I would really advise that you make the people in your life aware of what's going on, should something "go wrong". You never know how an abusive person will react when faced with the end of a relationship.

 

And yes, please try to find a different Al-Anon group. It took me 3 tries before finding a group that worked for me. I also needed childcare from my group so it made it tricky...in the meantime, I hung out online, had individual counselling and read lots.

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#11 of 14 Old 01-19-2011, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oops, I meant to say that a different group is a GOOD idea, not a different idea :)  My friends and close family are aware of the situation.  I do worry that he may "snap", but I think he is too much of a coward to do anything so brazen as to hurt me.  I could be wrong, though, so I am being cautious.  I can't wait until this is all a distant memory!

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#12 of 14 Old 01-19-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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i never thought i would have been in that situation either. regardless i am strong and i used it to my advantage (at the time) and got out and never looked back and life is good thumb.gif


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#13 of 14 Old 01-27-2011, 06:07 AM
 
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Hey

 

I am living the same thing right now. I KNOW EXACTLY how you feel... I 've been with my current bf for 7 years. I left my family, my friends, my country to be with him and I regret it every day. He is addicted too... not so much drinking but "smoking pot". I met him when I was much younger 22-23 years old. It was fine, exciting, new, sex always been great (the biggest part in our relationship too, sex is the only thing that is great) but the older I get (now 28) I see life different, I want better things, a healthier relationship, I want to start a family, "STABILITY" is what I am looking for at this age, something that I will NEVER have with him. My relationship is so toxic. He will never hurt me, I know that. But he is just toxic to me. Drama everyday. I grew up with years, he still the same pot head I met at 23 years old.... He makes a lot of promises that I want to hear, that he knows I like to hear, but rarely any of them are going to become real. Words that comes mostly from his mouth for a while now are: "I am sorry", "I don't want us to break up", "I love you", "it will better", "I promise"....

 

Reading you "Stepmommy" just made me see that I wasn't alone. It's so freaking similar to my story...

 

Don't you feel like giving up on him every single day? don't you feel like you resent him for not being good to you as you would deserve it cause you are good to him? Do you wish of fantasize at least EVERYDAY a way to break free from him? don't you most of the time feel lonely because you are too ashamed of talking about your pain to someone you know, friends or family cause you don't want them to judge you or just don't want them to be worried for you? Don't you feel freaking lonely when you lay next to him when he is drunk and even though his body is next to yours, it still feels empty cause you know he isn't the one for you and he won't be the one who takes care of you or won't be the one making you "happy"? Don't you know EXACTLY what you want from life but you still for some reason stuck with this guy? even if you are usually a smart girl at work, with your family, you are great with your friends but just when it comes to this guy... you feel powerless and DUMB??? that's how I feel every FUCKING day. I could take a piece of paper and draw for you right now how my life with him will be, miserable, drama, arguments, unhappiness and yet... I have the hardest time just having the thoughts of packing up my shit and go... I don't feel in danger, I don't have a kid with him, I am not even married to him. But the more fights the more I feel like I am stuck with him, like I owe him something or I feel like if I leave he won't make it. lol... but you know what I left him last year for few months, the first time ever.... it took him 2 weeks to find a chick to fuck, one of his high school friend... my mistake was that I didn't cut ties with him then. I should have. but I didn't and here I am. We just moved in together last month and it's worse... But hey YOU (Stepmommy) and I both knew how it will be right... we are in the same boat, we both know exactly how bad it will be and we aren't stupid girls, but yet we feel like "maybe, maybe he'll change this time"... or after all I gave in, perhaps he'll realize and will change... or what if I leave him now and he finally changes... the "what if's", what if... what if... even when I stopped talking to him for weeks, knew he was fucking someone else, or I met VERY Fucking good guys, I still kept thinking about how he was, was he too high or drunk to drive, how was his grandmother, I worried and hoped he wouldn't do stupid things and lose his good job.... so we would speak again, he would come over, cry, we would cry and ask ourselves why we got so far this bad, and we would reminiscence the old good times (not many if partly good sex) we would make out, cry so more and fuck. It would get exciting again, fuck for days, feel that rush for a week, go back together and argue so again and hell is back! I know the roller coaster you are in, I am the cart right behind you stepmommy. I have met really good guys, loving guys, caring, everything but like him. But still when I kissed them, I wish it was him, I wish sex was as wild, I wish I had that attraction that I have for him when I was with one of them. And let me make this clear my bf isn't the hottest guy I have met... still in my eyes he is. I am fucking stupid... I am so dumb.. awwww my parents raised me so well, I am a good person, smart girl every other day, I am a good looking asian girl who has tons of guys around. Yet this guy keeps me hanging, why? am I that scared of happiness after all? did I forget how is to be well treated and that's why I am still with this guy?

 

Does it sounds familiar to you my friend...

 

I want to be happy. And I know it's not going to be with him. The problem is, how can I break free and cut ALL TIES with someone I known for so long, someone that I thought was my "all"... I am scared shit. I admit to be scared of the unknown, of the unfamiliar out there. I ask myself stupid things like, oh will be there another guy who knows all my little secrets, my flaws, little simple things that he knows to do just enough to keep me hanging there. It used to be one good week, hell the next. Now it's maybe one okay day and hell the next since the day we moved in together.

 

You think you're the only one that feels stupid to love someone this toxic, you're not alone, I really wish I could tell you what to do, but myself don't know right now. Actually I am lying I know (you and I) both know what to do, CUT TIES with these men. But the thing is HOW. Stepmommy I know how hard it must be, I know how hard it must feel.

 

It will always sound stupid to other people who don't share the same situation, so when they read us they are like, wow this girl is stupid why can't she just leave the fucking guy if he's that bad. GOD I wish I knew the answer or the switch to just do it, up and go! just like that.

 

I want to just go, pack my shit and go, never look back cause I know that's the only way to freedom, but where do I start this journey alone and weak?

 

I know you all have heard stories like ours... you keep reading them, keep judging us and telling us how stupid and dumb we are and how bad is the guy we are with... WE KNOW ALL THIS SHIT, what we want to know IS HOW TO BREAK FREE FOR GOOD from this TOXIC relationship that we keep going back to?

 

We don't need to hear more how stupid we are, don't you think we already KNOW??? we know it, trust me, we know it from morning to when we go to bed all resentful, mad or crying...

 

sorry, for being so raw or i probably wrote things without any order or perhaps not even making sense, but I needed to say how I felt and just share with stepmommy that she isn't alone, I know how you feel, and I am struggling right now at this moment too. I wish I could come by and pick you up and hold your hand and say to you "i know the trick to this" and we both will just walk away happily ever after and both will find true love again with good guys...

 

If someone out there been through this and is now HAPPY because they broke free from this and could share with us how you did it, how hard it was but that you finally cut ties with that toxic guy, please WROTE TO US. We need some hope, and this is why we googled online phrases like" how to break free from your toxib bf" and came to this forum. Help us.

 

Thank you very much in advance...

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#14 of 14 Old 01-27-2011, 06:22 AM
 
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.sorry if I wrote bad words, I am just mad, so mad at myself...

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