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Looking for advice


pecanshan
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Wow... I'm trying to figure out where to even begin.

 

MY husband is a wonderful man that has had a terrible past. He was molested by his stepdad when he was young for several years and he told his mother about it and she still stayed with the man. Believe it or not she actually was a social worker that worked with abused kids yet she decided not to even save her own son.

 

I met my husband seven years ago and he was very upfront about the abuse. He actually was working for his stepdad at the time. Yes, the same man that had abused him as a child. I guess he was brainwashed for all of those years and actually believed his stepdad was sorry and "cared" about him. My husband did terrible in school because he could never concentrate. He was being abused so badly that his life was in total turmoil. By the time he got to highschool the abuse had stopped but my husband was an emotional wreck and skipped school all the time and was constantly getting in trouble. He ended up dropping out by the tenth grade. He was pretty much dirt poor and homeless. So who should come along and save the day? His stepdaad of course. His crying stepdad that weeped to my husband "John" telling him how sorry he was for all that he ever did to John. He begged for forgiveness. He told John that he would give him a job and he wouldn't bother him. I guess John was desperate so he took the job. It was in construction and John thought since he didn't graduate that he no one else would give him a chance. His stepdad promised to hand the business over to him one day for all the pain and suffering he caused John.

 

To make a long story short, my husband and I married. A couple of years ago an article came out in our local newspaper that John's stepdad had been arrested for trying to "solicit" a minor. Well my husband flipped of course. I think deep down in his brain he believed that he was the only one that his stepdad had ever tried to molest. But he was wrong. After that article came out John had numerous childhood friends that came up to him and told him that his stepdad had tried to molest them as well. John was stunned. But the worst blow that came was when John's younger brother (he's two years younger) told John that it had happened to him for all of those years too. John was devastated. He had always thought he was the only one that it had happened to. Well he was really angry. So angry that I thought he was going to kill his stepdad. Him and his brother decided to ban together and press charges against his stepdad so that he could never hurt another child. I have never been so proud of my husband in my life. His stepdad went on the run but was later caught by the police 3 states away. He had a taped confession on him and a gun and had planned on killing himself. We all went to court and the judge gave him 2 life sentences. We were all so relieved. I thought everything would get better after that.

 

John opened up his own construction business and it boomed. We went from having nothing to having anything we wanted. I had a two year old child and things were going great. John had no hangups around our son. I wasn't sure if he would have trouble showing our son affection because of his past abuse. But he was a great dad. He even talked about helping other children who were abused and trying to turn his negative past into something positive. But then something turned around in Jason and he became withdrawn. He started spending money left and right buying expensive cars, boats, a new house. I think he thought that money and material things could make him happy and maybe could make him forget his past. But no "toy" or amount of money could make him feel happy. I always knew it wouldn't because happiness doesn't come from money.

 

My husband has always been a pot smoker. He never does it in the house and he never does it around me or our son. He has become extremely good at hiding this bad habbit. I really hate that he does it at all but I know that it's his way of pushing down his pain. It's his self medication I guess you could say. I pray that he will stop doing that one day because I will be devastated if our son ever found out his daddy did that. We have tried to get counseling to help him overcome the pain from his past but it doesn't seem to work. John never really gives it a chance.

 

John has become an alcoholic in the mean time. I think from the stresses of his compnay and his painful past. He is never sober around me. But the thing that saddens me the most is that we have a beautiful 2 year old son who is the apple of my eye. He never gets to see his daddy sober.

 

John is starting to fall of the deep end. He seems angry all the time and he leaves and goes and stays in hotels. He says "he's just messed up and has a lot of problems." I'm devastated. His actions make me so angry with him. I beg for him to get sober and get help, I yell at him, I cry but nothing works. So now he sees me as a nagging wife. I love John so much. I have been there for him through this all. But I have become resentful towards him for not appreciating the family he has now and trying to look towards the future. I'm not him though so I can't fully understand all that he is going through.

 

He has left and been gone now for three days. He says that he needs time to think and figure out what he wants in life. He says I no longer make him happy. I feel like I've been kicked in the gut. My past 7 years with this man have been nothing but me trying to help him and loving him. Sure, I have gotten angry at him sometimes but we have had a very stressful few years and have had to go through a lot.

 

I am completely devastated and I don't know what to do. I put on a happy face in front of our son because I don't like him seeing me upset. (incidentally, John and I never argue in front our our child.) I feel like John has completely fallen out of love with me overnight and I have no idea how this has happened. I think he has so much anger and pain from his past that it is overtaking his heart and he just doesn't have any room in there for me or our son anymore. I want to pick up the phone and call him an beg him to come home. I have numerous times and I tell him I won't give him a hard time about his drinking or pot smoking anymore. I just want him back home. My calling him though has really pissed him off and I understand why. He needs space. I guess I was just in total shock and needed to understand why he left us.

 

So now I don't know what to do.... I don't even know if anyone has any advice for me. I have no one to talk to about this so I feel really alone. It felt good to get this all out anyway. Thanks for listening.

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Welcome to ENA and this is a great place to be able to vent some of these feeling sthat you have had to hold inside for so long. I am really stunned by what both you and your husband have gone through. I commend you for the courage to share it.

 

You are right that you can't fully understand what he is goidn through. And, unfortunately, he can't fully understand what *you* are going through. I am curious on a few details.

 

What was the length of time between he decided that he might want to start turning his tragedy into a gift and help others, and the time that he started seriously self-medicating with alcohol and pot?

 

Have you sought any help, such as therapy, in order to provide a more intimate and safe environment for sharing your feelings and concerns?

 

Is there any history of drug/alcohol/Abuse in your fmaily history?

 

As for right now, you can't control his actions. Only he can. I can understand how much you want to reach out to him. But, he needs some distance. He uses drugs/alcohol to withdraw and, if you attempt to engage him, he will only withdraw further. You can't make him change and yelling will definitely negatively impact your ability to communicate feelings effectively. I am by no means condoning his actions, nor am I saying you should just accept it or enable it... however, for now... it seems as if some of the tension between you two needs to be released a bit.

 

So, please, instead of focusing on him and how you can help him and how you can get him to come back... focus on yourself. Think about what you need... on an emotional level (as opposed to what actions he can make). Try to think of what *you* can do for yourself right now... and not you can make *him* do. Look to the positive things that you feel might help... leave any of the negatives out of the picture right now.. they are counterproductive.

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Well I don't really think you can help him with this. It's something I think he needs to do on his own, and only he can decide whether or not to get help.

 

Also I don't think he bought all those things (except maybe the car) for himself, but for his kid and you, as I'm sure he's determined to be a much better father and husband than his father was.

 

 

Best wishes!

//C.E.

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Hi

 

Pecanshan, you are not alone, because this is the enotalone forum.

 

Your husband has alcoholic issues and pot smoking issues.

 

Does he willing to get help?

 

Is he avoiding the past issues through alcohol and pot smoking?

 

I understand that it is a painful pass for your husband and a sudden reality shift.

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I would suggest you get him to a therapist ASAP. I hope his not as stuborn as I was when my sisters tried to help me. I went through the same abuse issues when I was a child. You also need to rethink what's best for you and your child if he falls deeper into self a destructive behavior. It took a major paradigm shift for me to change. Part of it was to forgive my mother for putting me in such a dangerous environment. These are tough issues and it wonderful you care so much. Hang in there for now and get him help soon.

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I think what everyone has suggested is great and extremely helpful. I would like to add on that you check out local Al-Anon meetings to help you and your son deal with his drug and alcohol abuse. While you may not be able to make him stop his behavior, these groups can help you deal with how it affects you.

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