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Should I Stay or Should I Go?


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Hello all, 

I am feeling extremely lost. I am a 38 year old married woman with 2 children. My husband and I met when we were young- I was 19, he was 20. We have been married for 13 years, but together for almost 20.

We are kind of an odd couple. Very different in personality and lifestyle. This used to be interesting and fun. Of course, over the years it has become the source of an extreme disconnect. He likes to drink, a lot. At this point he is in alcoholic status- drinking 7-12 beers daily. Never drinks hard liquor. I never drink EVER. Actually I really hate being around alcohol and intoxicated people. He is very social. I would rather stay at home. 

There was some infidelity on his end about 7 years ago. It started during my second pregnancy and continued for quite some time after. He still talks to this woman. I do not know the full extent, but physical boundaries were crossed, and almost more heartbreaking was that it was a full on emotional affair. I never really recovered from this. Don’t trust him. Don’t think I ever forgave him or can. 
 

Last year, things got so bad with his drinking and other drug use that I had finally had enough. I found a place to rent and I left. He was shocked and very angry. The goal was to work on ourselves and hopefully return to a family unit after a year. Over the year, I felt great. We were able to work out a consistent schedule with the kids that was about 70/30 or 60/40 on a good week. I had time for myself. I met other men, which is something I’ve never done. It was wonderful. I didn’t have to worry about his daily drinking, which causes me extreme anxiety and stress. I REALLY enjoyed it all. 
 

Fast forward, lease came up. We decided it was time to give it another try all together. I moved most of the things I had purchased to storage because I was feeling uncertain. So the kids and I came back. Immediately things felt the same. He was drinking just as much if not more. I’m being criticized for the Same things I was being criticized before I left. Things like being controlling, buying crappy groceries, being a cold person. I’m not saying those aren’t valid, but I’ve come to realize it’s 💯 emotional abuse. I’m criticizing him for the same things as well. I was going back to the old unhappy, anxiety ridden me. 
So.... I started looking for houses. Not to rent, but to buy. I’m crazy. My father offered to do the purchase with the promise that I will purchase it from him after We sell the house we are currently living in, which is beautiful. My husband had no idea I was doing this. I was afraid to tell him. 
Finally I got the guts to tell him. I am unhappy. I want us both to be happy. I want this to come to an end. He wouldn’t really talk face to face, so I sent him something I had written. It didn’t place blame on either of us... just saying I was happier apart. That I loved him. Don’t want things to be nasty, no custody or child support battles, etc. He was really upset, then seemed to accept it. Then back to a denial state. Just a few nights ago he was intoxicated and spewing the most hateful comments at me. 

Then a house came up that was perfect. Offer put in, offer accepted. It is set to close on June 21st. The seller turned out to be a friend of mine, so I actually paid to rent it until closing. I have the keys now. I ordered furniture. I felt so bad that I wanted out ASAP. Everything is in line. Except for that my husband has no idea. I told him I was looking for a rental, and that I had a lead on a property. That’s all he knows. Awful, I know. 

Then a few nights ago he tells me he is not going to drink Monday-Thursday and he will do anything he can to be with me, though he refuses counseling after some bad experiences a few years back. He has been doing that- not drinking-actually drinking NA beer, and being extremely sweet. Now, this is week 1. I know only time will tell if his lifestyle will truly change. 
 

So what do I do? Do I leave as I had planned? Do I try to get out of the house purchase, cancel my furniture, and stick it out here with my husband with the hopes that it will be better?  Some days it’s great. It’s just that some days/nights are truly unbearable. 
 
Any advice greatly appreciated, 

P

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OP.....alcoholics never stop being alcoholics. He doesn't get dry, doesn't get help and uses excuses to avoid that. That right there should tell you that he has zero intentions to ever quit.

Sure, alcoholics can binge drink. This is quite common. They can go days, weeks, even months not drinking BUT invariably they will get wasted again and again. This cycle doesn't stop unless they decide to stop it - meaning rehab, AA, counseling, whatever it takes. It's not a passive promise but real hard work that takes time. He'd have to be completely sober for several years for you to even consider that there might be some hope he'll stay that way and that includes ongoing counseling and support for life. He is telling you he won't do it.

As if that's not enough, he has spent years cheating on you and ever after getting caught he continued on with the other woman and you stayed and put up with that? What on earth is going on with you OP? This is insane.

Please stop hoping he'll become a decent man. Please stop dreaming about "family" because what you have in reality is a dysfunctional mess. Please stop dragging your children through this and leave this man once and for all. Get legal counseling, get a proper divorce and be done for good. Lose his number. 

As for the house, be sure you talk to an attorney before you close. You might need to keep it in your father's name so you don't lose it in the divorce as marital property. Be smart and stop dreaming. Start dealing with the reality that you've made a poor choice in men and let go of this circus already. Your kids need better than you clinging to a cheating alcoholic.

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You need to stop bargaining about the drinking. It would be best to stop negotiating with him or telling him things. Simply consult an attorney and get your kids and yourself away from this.

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Posted (edited)

Stop looking backwards. He is not going to change. You already have both feet pointed towards the door and you're one foot out. Keep walking. 

Remember your resolve when you were creating yourself an exit plan and the help you gained from your loved ones. That does not come cheap and you may not have that opportunity to start over again so easily. You're too worried about the sinking ship and whether it sinks. It is already sunk. Keep your eyes firmly forward and plan your future with your children.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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1 hour ago, Penny32719 said:

There was some infidelity on his end about 7 years ago. It started during my second pregnancy and continued for quite some time after. He still talks to this woman. I do not know the full extent, but physical boundaries were crossed, and almost more heartbreaking was that it was a full on emotional affair. I never really recovered from this. Don’t trust him. Don’t think I ever forgave him or can. 

I'm not minimizing the fact that he's an alcoholic.  However, it may be helpful to focus more on his past infidelity issues, along with him still talking to this woman. As you stated you "don't trust him and don't think you'll ever forgive him." (Rightly so).

Also, I'd be careful not to make any quick decisions, other than leaving your marriage, (imo).  In short, I hope you make the right choices, and I'm sorry you're in this mess.

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Why did he just now decide to try to stop drinking? He had so many opportunities over the past 13 years. 

It's because he doesn't REALLY want to stop drinking. He just wants to stop you from moving out. Once you cancel everything and agree to stay he will start right back up with the drinking and verbal abuse.

If he truly wants to stop drinking he can attend the program of his choice and stick with it for a year. Then maybe revisit dating him again. But for now? Keep moving forward. And yes, get legal advice.

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3 hours ago, Penny32719 said:

There was some infidelity on his end about 7 years ago. It started during my second pregnancy and continued for quite some time after. He still talks to this woman. I do not know the full extent, but physical boundaries were crossed, and almost more heartbreaking was that it was a full on emotional affair. I never really recovered from this. Don’t trust him. Don’t think I ever forgave him or can. 
 

Last year, things got so bad with his drinking and other drug use that I had finally had enough. I found a place to rent and I left. He was shocked and very angry. The goal was to work on ourselves and hopefully return to a family unit after a year. Over the year, I felt great.

Exactly.. YOU have had enough now.

Stop giving on and being so 'accepting', when you know, deep inside you're done!

 

3 hours ago, Penny32719 said:

Then a few nights ago he tells me he is not going to drink Monday-Thursday and he will do anything he can to be with me, though he refuses counseling after some bad experiences a few years back. He has been doing that- not drinking-actually drinking NA beer, and being extremely sweet.

A little too late isn't it?  IF he wanted to change for you/ your relationship/ for the better, he would have tried, long ago!

He will fall back on this, they always do 😕 .

3 hours ago, Penny32719 said:

Do I leave as I had planned? Do I try to get out of the house purchase, cancel my furniture, and stick it out here with my husband with the hopes that it will be better?

No.  You keep moving ahead, you've dealt with enough dread for too long.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Penny32719 said:

Hello all, 

I am feeling extremely lost. I am a 38 year old married woman with 2 children. My husband and I met when we were young- I was 19, he was 20. We have been married for 13 years, but together for almost 20.

We are kind of an odd couple. Very different in personality and lifestyle. This used to be interesting and fun. Of course, over the years it has become the source of an extreme disconnect. He likes to drink, a lot. At this point he is in alcoholic status- drinking 7-12 beers daily. Never drinks hard liquor. I never drink EVER. Actually I really hate being around alcohol and intoxicated people. He is very social. I would rather stay at home. 

There was some infidelity on his end about 7 years ago. It started during my second pregnancy and continued for quite some time after. He still talks to this woman. I do not know the full extent, but physical boundaries were crossed, and almost more heartbreaking was that it was a full on emotional affair. I never really recovered from this. Don’t trust him. Don’t think I ever forgave him or can. 
 

Last year, things got so bad with his drinking and other drug use that I had finally had enough. I found a place to rent and I left. He was shocked and very angry. The goal was to work on ourselves and hopefully return to a family unit after a year. Over the year, I felt great. We were able to work out a consistent schedule with the kids that was about 70/30 or 60/40 on a good week. I had time for myself. I met other men, which is something I’ve never done. It was wonderful. I didn’t have to worry about his daily drinking, which causes me extreme anxiety and stress. I REALLY enjoyed it all. 
 

Fast forward, lease came up. We decided it was time to give it another try all together. I moved most of the things I had purchased to storage because I was feeling uncertain. So the kids and I came back. Immediately things felt the same. He was drinking just as much if not more. I’m being criticized for the Same things I was being criticized before I left. Things like being controlling, buying crappy groceries, being a cold person. I’m not saying those aren’t valid, but I’ve come to realize it’s 💯 emotional abuse. I’m criticizing him for the same things as well. I was going back to the old unhappy, anxiety ridden me. 
So.... I started looking for houses. Not to rent, but to buy. I’m crazy. My father offered to do the purchase with the promise that I will purchase it from him after We sell the house we are currently living in, which is beautiful. My husband had no idea I was doing this. I was afraid to tell him. 
Finally I got the guts to tell him. I am unhappy. I want us both to be happy. I want this to come to an end. He wouldn’t really talk face to face, so I sent him something I had written. It didn’t place blame on either of us... just saying I was happier apart. That I loved him. Don’t want things to be nasty, no custody or child support battles, etc. He was really upset, then seemed to accept it. Then back to a denial state. Just a few nights ago he was intoxicated and spewing the most hateful comments at me. 

Then a house came up that was perfect. Offer put in, offer accepted. It is set to close on June 21st. The seller turned out to be a friend of mine, so I actually paid to rent it until closing. I have the keys now. I ordered furniture. I felt so bad that I wanted out ASAP. Everything is in line. Except for that my husband has no idea. I told him I was looking for a rental, and that I had a lead on a property. That’s all he knows. Awful, I know. 

Then a few nights ago he tells me he is not going to drink Monday-Thursday and he will do anything he can to be with me, though he refuses counseling after some bad experiences a few years back. He has been doing that- not drinking-actually drinking NA beer, and being extremely sweet. Now, this is week 1. I know only time will tell if his lifestyle will truly change. 
 

So what do I do? Do I leave as I had planned? Do I try to get out of the house purchase, cancel my furniture, and stick it out here with my husband with the hopes that it will be better?  Some days it’s great. It’s just that some days/nights are truly unbearable. 
 
Any advice greatly appreciated, 

P

I'll keep this short.  The simple fact that you are afraid to tell him the whole truth says everything you need to know.  Period.  Nothing's going to change.  Please- for your health and safety, get a divorce. 

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Posted (edited)

I agree with a previous commenter, a major issue here is also the infidelity and lack of trust especially if he’s still in connection with the woman he was fooling around with. Even if he did stop drinking “Monday-Thursday” he’s probably just going to drink more Friday-Saturday and if he’s drunk you really can’t trust him. It sounds like the glimpse of freedom you had was great and you need to grab it with both hands. If he really wanted to change, he would’ve used the year you all were separated to do so. 

Edited by Cutiebug123
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I think unfortunately this "I won't drink Monday to Thursday" is basically just an empty promise. If he drinks up to 12 beers every day, most definitely he's an alcoholic. He won't be able just to stop. He would need to do a detox, go through withdrawal and do rehab. I think it's in your and your children's best interests if you left your husband. He cheated on you, he's a drunk and he's emotionally abusive. This kind of home situation is really not good for children to grow up in. Also, you know you are so much happier without him. People change a lot in 20 years and it sounds like sadly he's changed for the worst.

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Listen to your head, gather that inner strength, and save yourself. You're almost there. Don't look back.

It's all fake promises, and you know it. He doesn't want to see you happy or with someone else. He's abusive and wants to keep your life stressful.

Fly my bird. Be happy.

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