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NewEveryDay #2786821 03/03/14 11:07 PM
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Hello, New Every Day:

I almost never post, but as the grown daughter of an alcoholic father, I'm compelled to chime in here on one specific point...

When you say that your ex-husband is responsible about his drinking because he has your older daughter drive if he's had too much to drink, that really struck a "creepy" chord with me. Having a child, even an 18 year old, take care of a drunk parent isn't "responsible." It's kind of sick, actually. It's pulling the child into the selfish dance of the parent, or parents. It's handing over to the child a piece of the responsibility for the parents' dance. You are not three adults making family decisions together.

Again, I'm the grown (now 50 year old) daughter of an alcoholic father. The message that kind of behavior suggests to me is "Hey, honey, I'd rather drink than be your father -- I'm sure you understand!" Imagine what kind of relationship dynamic that sets a girl up for in the future.

If your ex-husband can plan his drinking out well enough that he has this deal with himself and with his daughter, that's not responsibility, it's an example of how he chooses to drink rather than be present for his children.

Don't sit by while your children parent their father. They're the children. You and your ex-husband are not. I understand that you can't make him stop drinking. But if you see your daughter taking over the parenting role as a "good" piece of the puzzle, she's getting mixed messages from all sides. Who does she turn to for real support in this situation? And how will your younger daughter, with that many more impressionable years to observe, break free of the pattern? Is she going to become the chauffeur as soon as she gets her driver's license? And what about the gap of years after the older leaves for college(?) and the younger is still at home?

This is only my perspective, and I offer it with respect. I've been reading here for a long time, and I've followed your story. I have no doubt that you love your children fiercely.

Good luck to you.

Portola #2787005 03/04/14 10:40 PM
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Portola, thanks for your post, and I totally agree. I don't remember saying that getting a driver made him responsible, but if I did I stand corrected. All I meant was that if he was driving under the influence with the kids that would be a clear thing I could point to to say these kids need a respite from all that. My kids both know I got out because I wasn't going to revolve my life around his drinking anymore. And I've talked to both of them about focusing on their own lives and it's not their responsibility to make anyone's life better or different.

I don't know what's going to happen when OD leaves for college this fall. I'll aim for a good balance between detaching while still keeping an eye out for her.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
NewEveryDay #2787007 03/04/14 10:45 PM
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NED,

How many alcoholic drinks does he consume during the day?

How many alcoholic drinks does he consume with dinner AND after dinner?

How many drinks does he consume on the weekend?

Does he ever smoke pot?

Jedi_Knight #2787011 03/04/14 11:17 PM
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New Every Day:

Thank you for your generous response.

It raised another question for me, which is, what would happen if your daughter (or you?) simply said that she was no longer going to play chauffeur for her father? That she didn't feel it was her responsibility and didn't want to be a part of his drinking in that way. Has that idea been considered? It would be a way, that's in her control, of changing the dance without making any demands on him, which she obviously couldn't control anyway. Setting her own boundary.

I do realize in saying this that your daughter may not think she has a problem with being the designated driver. And who am I to say she does? (Someone almost three times her age, darnit!) But it's the kind of thing that gets so ingrained and so confusing, where it feels good to "help" and be considered "responsible," and kids want so much to please their parents. But it's still weird, you know?

Thanks again.

Portola #2787015 03/04/14 11:59 PM
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Jedi, when we were together, there were ups and downs. So my best guess would be from where we left off at the end there. I was deliberately working on not counting because that was a sure way to drive myself nuts.

Weekdays was none during the day, then 1 or 2 with dinner and 3 or 4 more after
Weekends mostly 6 unless out with friends or family and then it was more.

Pot isn't an issue, only once years ago since the kids were born, and that was when he was out of town without us.

Portola, it was rough when I told him I wasn't going to drive him anymore. I don't know whether OD remembers that time. But that's a good thing to talk to her about, that she can decline to drive and let someone else handle it. Especially since she's going off to school in the fall. I was always the designated driver in my group and it did make me feel responsible and helpful, and may have kept me out of worse trouble. But it's important to think through choices and find out what happens when you do say no.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
NewEveryDay #2787019 03/05/14 01:36 AM
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Does your YDD ever express any concerns to you about her dad's alcoholism?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



BrainHurts #2787049 03/05/14 09:48 AM
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Brain she did, a little over 2 years ago, that on Sundays when I brought them back, so he wouldn't have to drive, that he was already asleep for the night. So I started keeping them until after dinner, so I'd know they had had something to eat, and he didn't complain. She hasn't expressed any concerns since then, but she knows I am open to hearing her if she does have concerns.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
NewEveryDay #2787056 03/05/14 10:04 AM
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I'm used to my MIL who would need hospitalized when she was drinking, because she would literally drink into alcohol poisoning.

So I'm not familiar with this type of drinking.

Jedi_Knight #2787057 03/05/14 10:05 AM
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He doesnt sound too bad based on the comparisons I can make with my former neighbors (I fed their kid dinner every night because they were drunk and didnt feed him---they drank probably 12 - 24 beers a day).

Jedi_Knight #2787066 03/05/14 10:22 AM
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Yes Jedi, if it progresses like that I think it will be very obvious and it would be easy to take intervention then. My stepfather didn't drink every day, but was a binge drinker, he lost his teeth in a car accident and got a few DUIs over the years. It's a sad disease, one that tells them they have no problem.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
NewEveryDay #2790266 03/20/14 07:49 PM
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How's it going NED?

Any contact with your EX-fiance? Did he ever get his remaining boxes?

How about your WXH? Are your DDs still visiting him? Is he still drinking?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



BrainHurts #2790504 03/21/14 10:03 PM
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Brain, it's going pretty well, thanks! The ex got his boxes a while back, and stopped by yesterday to pick up some things he forgot. He was in and out in no time. I can see why we had connected to begin with, but from a distance. I wouldn't connect with him if we met now. He's good-looking and we have a lot of the same background, but I don't *need a man* like I did back then. I really dodged a bullet there in that it could have been much worse.

I never found real proof xh was wayward. But yes my OD is still living there, and the younger one still goes for visits. And as far as I know he's still drinking.

I tried the online dating thing but I'm not ready so I hopped back off before meeting anyone in person. I need to make some more mistakes right now like a hole in the head wink


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
NewEveryDay #2793961 04/02/14 09:08 PM
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I don't know what to tell folks when they ask why we broke up. I had been so excited when I got engaged and I told everybody back then, hadn't thought about well what if it didn't work out. Every now and then I have second thoughts but really I was so relieved after I broke it off I couldn't imagine going back. Is it okay to just say something really generic like that, well we found out we just weren't right for each other?

I never really knew what to say when folks asked why I got divorced either, said something like that, we tried to work it out but couldn't get on the same page.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
NewEveryDay #2793972 04/02/14 10:22 PM
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You really don't have to give an explanation to anyone if you don't want to.

Or what about, "he wasn't the man I expected. I found out he was still married when we were first together and that's a deal breaker for me, and I deserve so much better". Then with a bit of wit say "I'm so making background checks a top of my list from now on". (Big ol' grin) laugh


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



BrainHurts #2793973 04/02/14 10:24 PM
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I would be honest; when asked why I am divorced I usually say, "My wife had an affair and refused to end it so I had no choice but to divorce her"

Jedi_Knight #2793977 04/02/14 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted By: Jedi_Knight
I would be honest; when asked why I am divorced I usually say, "My wife had an affair and refused to end it so I had no choice but to divorce her"

Yes also on the XH I would also be honest.

My XH is an alcoholic and refused to get sober. He chose his alcohol over the kids and I and our marriage. I deserve so much better.


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



BrainHurts #2794052 04/03/14 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Or what about, "he wasn't the man I expected. I found out he was still married when we were first together and that's a deal breaker for me, and I deserve so much better". Then with a bit of wit say "I'm so making background checks a top of my list from now on". (Big ol' grin)


Brain, I like this, and was saying something similar. I guess it wasn't with enough confidence or something, because I keep getting strong push-back, that nobody's perfect, most men do so much worse, and if this is the worst of it I should go and see if he'll take me back. Really weird because I would never say something like that to someone. I know good men are hard to find, but what a lie to settle for someone I don't respect the same way any more. I wouldn't want to be settled for, what a bad feeling that would be to have for the rest of your life like that.

I liked what you said about the divorce though, short and to the point. I could add I don't really like talking about it when someone has followup questions with judgment in their tone.

Jedi, I could see where what you're saying, and hopefully you don't get the same kind of push back, no one would expect you to take that for life.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
NewEveryDay #2794098 04/03/14 10:51 AM
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I'm sure some may judge me negatively for the reasons of divroce, but I really dont know or care.

I was quite ignorant on how to maintain a marriage and a terrible husband in many regards; I freely admit that.

Jedi_Knight #2794836 04/06/14 11:15 PM
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Jedi, I am so glad you were on me to get my ex to get his stuff out of the house. I see on Facebook he got married yesterday, so it's good we had a somewhat clean break.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
NewEveryDay #2794837 04/06/14 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
Jedi, I am so glad you were on me to get my ex to get his stuff out of the house. I see on Facebook he got married yesterday, so it's good we had a somewhat clean break.

Your ex-fiance or your XH?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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