Progressive alcohol addiction
(Los Angeles, CA)
His alcohol addiction got progressively worse after the birth of each child. We have been together for the last 16 years and didn’t have our first child until four years after we’d been together. During that time, we were the couple who had lots of friends, disposable income, traveled a lot, and partied a lot. We were in our late '20s. We bought a house together at age 30 and soon I became pregnant. The first child brought us joy and happiness! He was completely into our family life. The social partying was kept to BBQ's with friends and family at our house. I stopped after I found out I was pregnant. I told him we BOTH should at that time… but he never did.
Our first born is now 12 years old! Our 2nd and 3rd came along 2 years apart (3 kids 2 years apart). He started to drink more. With each child came additional responsibilities, expectations, juggling toddlers and babies… very overwhelming! He traveled quite a bit for work so I had a strong support system to rely on (my parents, neighbors, friends, preschool moms). I still do. I have to mention I became a stay at home mom after the 2nd child, which was fine at that time because he was promoted and the economy was not like it is today.
However, his addiction to alcohol used to be on weekends only, then slowly over time went to 2, 3, 4 weekdays and soon EVERY DAY! And that's not counting when he was away on business and I didn't have to see him drunk or wasted! I'm talking when he came home. He would drink at the airport lobby, then on the plane, then go to a local bar, then come home! By then, I knew I had to TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING. I stopped relying on him for dinner, bath, and bed time routines. Sometimes I just directed him out to our enclosed deck where he had Flat screen TV's and patio furniture to sleep on.
I became his enabler. I tried to get him to go to AA. He was also very emotional and verbally abusive to me. I did get verbal abuse counseling for myself for 2 years because he almost destroyed my soul. It is different than regular marital counseling (which we tried several times) but worth the effort. Those counselors know very well what an abuser is and are very supportive of the non-abuser. I also want to mention at some point he did ask me to go back to work, but I had 3 young children and child care was expensive.
I believe it was the financial stress that caused him to excessively drink, but he has an addictive personality anyway (gambling, impulsive shopping). I believe he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder as well because HE is always first, not me or the kids. But yet we continued with life and went on many family trips and adventures. Alcohol was always with us too.
I endured it for so long because I was in love with our family and family life in general. My own parents have been married for over 50 years and are still very loving. He is a high-functioning alcoholic because he is very successful in his career. I helped him through the years giving him advice. We are both college educated. Today, we live in separate states, having sold our house before the foreclosures. We continued to live separately for 4 years and I traveled every summer and winter so we could be a family. This is a 10 hour drive one-way. I still live with my folks.
Eventually, it was clear to me we were just toxic together. He will die with the bottle. I am ready to file the final judgment papers which he agreed on. The only thing he is upset about is that I won't move up to where he lives so he can co-raise the kids with me. He has adapted very well to being single and has had several affairs. He used to fly down for business for a few days and the kids would see him and stay with him. Now he has a different position and has to stay in one office. He really wants me to move.
Our kids are very much grounded and in a stable home with my parents. I kept them in the same schools and they have lots of friends and cousins nearby. His family still embraces me with open arms. I want to move out of my parents' house and get my own place. I am job hunting too. The alimony and child support will be substantial (I hope). I feel I tried my best. The 2 biggest beefs he has with me are 1) I did not go back to work 2) I will not live out of state and move away from expensive Calif. and my parents. We still have these same disagreements.
Today I can directly link the progressive drinking to our downfall. I'm not a saint but I have no vice that changes my behavior. He drinks as much today as he did years ago. Like college. His parents are alcoholics and his siblings struggle with it; he is from South Florida and all his friends there party like in high school. The best thing for him is rehab because I still care as he is the father of our 3 children. Sorry for this book.