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Can mom in sobriety live with spouse and childrens rejection & anger?

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I am a mom of three teenagers and wife for 23 years. I drank off and on throughout our marriage and the last three years of my drinking was a nightmare. I did things that I am so ashamed of and would never think to do sober. I'v been in sobriety for 7 years and my spouse CONSTANTLY reminds me of my past and how I distroyed our marriage from drunken flings and AFFECTING our children from my periodic leaves during blackouts. I'm at the end of my rope for good and don't know what to do. My spouse, over the last year, disrespects me in front of the kids and now they they talk to me the same way. My eighteen year old daughter told me yesterday to leave because I don't contribute financially to the house and her dad payed for everything, insinuating that I was a using him. I have not worked much since my children were born because either I was drinking, my spouse was traveling and we had no sitters or I could not find work. I started back to work two and a half years ago and pushed through some graduate classes with an "A". I began to get concerned about our marriage because my husband appeard to loose intrest in me and I needed to get to the bottom of it before time passed and it became too late. For the past five months, i'v been on a leave of absence because i started to develope anxiety, and my depression kicked in. While I was off, I tried to work on my marriage by going to couple counceling and spending quality time during the summer with our kids. I run circles around them "cleaning up" after them and taking care of everything in and around the house all my myself. I literally clean up their bad behaviors by taking the brunt of my husbands wrath and clean up my past by working non stop around the house rearanging things, filing, cleaning, washing etc.. My husband tells me I cannot go back to school and have to get back to work because he cannot support us on his salary alone. He is in medical sales and works on straight commision but does this every year. (claim we have no money because hes self employed). By the time I get petrafied of loosing our house he rolls in a huge amount of money and buys something like a new quad for hmself or something. He has cried wolf for the past 21 years and now when he says we could loose everything I don't believe him. Even though we go through this every year, I still take it to heart and become extrely anxious; cleaning, organizing non-stop till I pass out from exhaustion. Last month I broke out in shingles, had my hands go numb due to stress and had to have heart sonogram, x-rays and take lasix from the swelling in my hands. I wish there was away I could get him for abuse but because its verbal its hard to prove. Bottom line, he and the children make decesions without asking me. I need some in-put on how much of this in normal and when to draw the line in my marriage and move on. As a christian and child of divorced parents as well as ACOA. I also live with depression so when they disrespect me and take advantage of me I feel I deserve it. Please Help. I am 47 years old and lately everything they say negative about me I take to heart. Im concerned that because my spouse and children have taken advantage of me for so long, it will affect their adult life and self respect. Please, if anyone has any advice on how I can gain my dignity, respect and voice once again, plkease let me know. Also, if anyone is an attorney who knows how I can prove that his verbal abuse towards me has influenced our children against me and how if there is a way to win in court if i needed to file for divorce let me know. He always tells me there is no way I will get our children or anything financially because of my past. Is this true? Thank you Moyra

answers (1)

First off I want to apologize for what you are going through and the fact that you have enough courage to act against it is amazing. My mom was a drinker all my young life. She was an amazing mother when she was sober but when she started to drink the devil in her came out and just like you said did things and said things she will forever be ashamed of. Although she put me through hell she is and will always be my mother and I will stand by her and support her no matter what. Yes I went through my teen years where I thought I hated her for what she did. It took me awhile to understand but it did sink in that the women she was when she drank wasn't the mother I knew and loved. My father sent her to rehab multiple times and she's been to many groups and orginizations. Nothing helped. Three years ago next week I almost lost my mom. I sat her down and explained to her that she needed to find it in herself to want to quit or she never will. She needed to find a reason why, no doc or random stranger could, not even I could. I'm proud to say my mom has been sober since that day. It wasn't easy but she did it. No doc or group to hold her hand. She found other things to keep her attention. She started gardening, doing yoga, she even bought a dog just for another reason to be outside and have someone to share it with her. Although I am so happy for her my father on the other hand is not. He never stops reminding her of the person she once was and how she ruined so much of their marriage. He's been the main bread winner in the family for as long as I can remember but to me my mother working no stop raising 2 kids, keeping a house together, working when she could, it's not an easy task. It's as if my dad feeds off the fact that without him my mom would be nothing, he loves the fact that if he decided to up and leave that my mom would be forced to sell the house and everything in it just in order to live, he feeds off control. It sickens me to see this but I know deep down inside he really does love her I see it in the little things he does for her. Now about you. It really hurts me to see that you are going through this with no support from anyone. And having the children you raised talk to you like you mean nothing to them is even worse. Yes, you made mistakes and yes you did things you would like to erase but you can't and they need to realize that. I'm sure there has been times where they screwed up and you stood by them anyways. Another thing they need to realize is that Alcoholism is genetic and they need to learn all they can about it to help you and themselfs. As much as I would love to drink and party I have to take a step back and remind myself of the woman my mother became and the possibility of that happening to me. It honestly just sounds like your husband and children make you out to be a burden and that is unacceptable. And on a medical stand point the fact you are running yourself ragged by cleaning up after them and catering to them is giving you nothing but added stress and anxiety that is causing your body to litterly attack itself which is extremely unhealthy. I'm not an lawyer so I can't give much advice on that matter but I know verbal abuse is very hard to prove unless you have proof such as harrasing phone messages or even a witness to come forth and testify. Regarding the kids thats a whole different ball game. Get some legal advice. It never hurts to know and most of the time it's free or close to nothing. The best advice I can give is to kill them with kindness. Let them know they cannot hurt you no matter how much they try. Don't give them the saticfaction of seeing you affected by their words or actions. Seeing a person with self strength and courage is scary to those who want to do you harm. Manage you anxiety the best way that you can and please keep an eye on our health. If you need someone to talk to or just need to vent feel free to e-mail me . When you are going through something like this you need someone to talk to, trust me. I hope everything works out for you.

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