I finally finished divorcing my alcoholic husband after a 15 year marriage when I hit my breaking point–he abandoned me when I was told I have a more severe health problem than was previously thought. He continued to stay in the home for 9 months, not contributing financially, making verbal threats to me and using prostitutes, escorts, phone (s*x)chat lines, dating other women.
Now he is finally out and I need to heal, but my brain wants some answers to put this to rest and move on.
I never saw him drunk but saw that he hid alcohol in the garage and other places. He never admitted to me that he would drink and drive, but during the 9 months, I confirmed some regular drinking during the day followed by him going out.
Since his departure, he has tried to return and found I changed the locks and he called the police on me. He had my mail forwarded along with his causing me to spend 2 days trying to track down mail, bills, etc.
Is this normal for an alcoholic or am I dealing with something else? (since I did not see him drink to the excess of others I read the posts on)
Can I expect this harassment to continue?
I am now finding out everything he said about himself and his family history over the years was just one lie after another. Do alcoholics lie about past events from even their childhood or time before they met you? And if so why? If it has no use for the current relationship.
He poisons my name to everyone and now is telling people he was the one abused. How do I not let this bother me? How do you stop contact with others that like to share this information with you – I don’t want to hear any more? I have cut everyone out of my life that were mutual friends & contacts but during the 9 months, I would hear him on the phone talking very loudly so I would hear things he was saying about me or telling other women how he loved them. Sometimes it seemed the timing was too perfect (just as I would walk in the door). Could he have staged these phone calls or talking to a “dead” phone? Would alcoholics go this far when they realize you are leaving them?
How is he so cunning to think of all these dirty tricks?
Hoping somewhere out there, there are others who were married to a functional alcoholic that can shed some light on the issues I now face as I try to repair the damage and move on so I do not let it forever change the way I deal with people in the future.
Unfortunately, you can’t fast forward to the wisdom you seek, so listen to those of us who have been where you seem to be.
Yes to all of your questions. Why? Many reasons, none of them likely to make sense to someone such as yourself that would never do the same. Try not to waste too much time trying to figure out his motives, etc., simply do whatever it takes to protect yourself. You’ve been through alot, I wish for you the best.
Abuse and alcoholism are two different things but/and are often seen together. A book called “Why Does He Do That? – Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft addresses the first more clearly and succinctly than anything I have read to date and Al-Anon meetings are invaluable in helping one sort out the latter and find one’s own Recovery. One Day At A Time. Peace.
Bless your heart. I feel for you and I understand some of what you’re dealing with. Sometimes it’s a complete waste of time to ask “why?” Karen is right – none of the ‘reasons’ would make sense to a sane, rational person. Don’t let him keep you off-balance with his craziness, which is a drunk’s stock in trade. Get yourself a post office box or a box at one of those UPS mailing centers, and personally write or call each business/person you get mail from and give them the p.o. box address. Don’t give that address to a single soul, and make sure that you and only you can pick up your mail, even if it means having to show your ID.
As for the people he’s telling so much bullsh*t to, do your best to ignore them and him. My momma always told me that the truth will come out eventually. People who would believe what your ex- tells them aren’t your friends, and people who are your friends know it’s all a lie. Of course he was staging much of what you heard. Drunks use fear along with their crazy-making to try to hold onto those they’re afraid of losing, or that they know they’ve already lost. Sadly, drunks hurt the people who love or loved them in ways they believe they should be hurt – but they know we’d never do such a thing, and they don’t have the guts to do to themselves. It’s easier to rough us up emotionally, because that way they can focus on us rather than look at themselves and their behavior.
Hold your head up, do what you need to take care of you before you worry about dealing with him or anyone else. Don’t get caught up in any conversations with your ex- and refuse to react to his attempts to pull you back into his world of craziness. Stay strong. We’re here for you.
Seek and find the Al-Anon meetings in your area and get a sponsor
I have been told since day one of recovering from being married to an alcoholic.
After 6 years of recovery(only the last year in al-anon),I finally am grasping it more and more to…
take care of ME… and take my focus off of HIM.As someone already said on here, you cant fast forward to get the wisdom you seek. It’s ok to be at the stage you are in, because it is all you can do and that is ok and has to be ok.Keep working on taking care of you and focusing on yourself, seek recovery and things will get better. I was a complete wreck last year after my husband relapsed AGAIN right after my beleoved mother passed away.I can say, i need alot of work. But I am also seeing alot of wisdom and peace come my way, when i can embrace the suggested ways to heal from others in recovery and my meetings, and my recovery materials.
Healing takes time. I found it came in spurts – you will be out and think to yourself, I am really enjoying myself. Make a list of things you like to do. Go to your local Expresso cafe or diner regularly and make new friends. Dance to music in your house – it relieves stress. Ride a bike as often as you can – the fresh air and scenery are uplifting.
Go to a mall and walk – get a new lipstick and nail polish!
I had panic attacks during my divorce and ended up in the hospital. (Had a newborn baby and husband was fooling around). I was fortunate to find a great female therapist. Also, took night courses at a local college after work.
Being busy with activities you enjoy will bring you back to you.
Karen–Thank you–short & to the point you answered all my questions (Yes they do but does not make sense to me & never will)
Laura–Thank you for the book suggestion (Why Does He Do That?) I did read it but I guess those of us that don’t behave this way can never understand the mind of those that do.
Sally–Thank you for your fantastic insight to how I feel and your prayers. It helped put my mind back into normal mode realizing he probably would go that far to stage phone calls & comments. I will do as you say & hold my head up!
Ross-Thank you for reminding me that this recovery is a process and not something one answer will solve.
C-Thank you for your suggestions to get some healing back in my life-great ideas.
Thank you all, I can always count on you guys when I’m feeling down. Al-Anon in my area is very limited and I was never able to get a sponsor. I actually got more insight and help by going across the hall and sitting in on an AA meeting. Finally though I found a wonderful “safe house” one county below mine that has free place to stay, free counseling and free support groups. Run by a woman who walked out of an 18 year abusive marriage & found there was no help in the area–she’s like a one-man operation & getting county funds now because of the wonderful work she is doing for victims of all abuse. I hope this time it will be the right counseling for what I went through & help me get some answers and closure.
Thank you all!