Coping With The Hate

I have been married for almost five years and have a four year old son I can't get enough of. My husband is a recovering alcoholic who attends AA meetings on a regular basis. We attend church regulary, though not as often as I would like. We used to be there every Sunday, and I was in the choir before I got pregnant. My family lives very close, and we enjoy each others' company, so we like to get together and do fun stuff. Of course, my mother and father love to see their grandson.

My husband has decided that he does not want to be around my family. He is basically punishing me for calling the cops on him last year. Ever since we got married, and even before, he has been a heavy drinker (vodka). He used to do it out in the open, then began hiding it from me because he was drinking constantly. Our financial situation has suffered, he has lost jobs and now is a stay-at-home dad who insists he is going to work online (we don't even own a computer - I have a work laptop that I bring home sometimes).

Anyway, I have dealt with my own hot temper and have been forced to confront it because he pushes my buttons constantly. I think I should keep a record here of all the mean things he says to me. They are truly hurtful, demeaning, and divisive. We are both in our thirties, and the last time we had sex was in september (today is March 7th). Before he went to jail, he was all over me. He has decided he hates me for sending him to jail.

Let me go off on a tangent here - to explain the incident that is now an unbridgeable gap between us. He had gone off the "deep end" more than once with his drinking prior to this incident in January of 2009. In October, he spent almost the entire month not working, lying on the couch drinking himself into insanity and depression. Our son was two and a half. I would come home from work to find him passed out on the couch and my son awake. He would get drunk and end up yelling at me over trivial daily-life type things that normally don't make people argue. And all this while he is still coherent enough to barely slur (although I could tell by now) and he could still walk straight. Every night that he drank he would end up puking in the toilet. In January, he had gone to work for a couple of days with a daily labor service and I was glad he had found work that was going to last all week. He wasn't looking for a job, and would just call in to the labor service to see if they had anything. Normally they didn't - it was annoyingly slow for a long time. When he finally found work, he worked on a Friday and a Monday and had work lined up for Tuesday. Monday night he drank himself into a stupor and could not wake up Tuesday morning at 5:30 to go to work. When I got up to wake him up (which he had asked me to do), he would not get up. He told me to give him ten more minutes. Then when I tried to wake him up again he lied to me and tried to tell me that he really didn't have to be there at six, that 6:30 was ok (the night before he had told me 6). Minutes went by, and finally I was desperate. It was more than just a day's work. I had wanted to put him in rehab for the longest time, and had talked to his family and people in our church who told me there was a way to get him in for free - but nothing ever came of it, and for all my fact searching, I couldn't find anything out myself. So days and months went by that he was basically drinking himself to death. Of course, it would take a couple of years for his liver to catch up with him, but in the mean time, my son and I were enduring his daily verbal/emotional abuse. He was abusive towards me, not my son - my son had to listen to it. That morning, I began yelling at him at the top of my lungs while my son slept next to him. I know this was the wrong thing to do but at the time, I felt that if I left him, it would be even worse for my son, and much more for me and my sanity - we would be forced to live at a shelter while I tried to go to work every day (teaching high school - try to keep your composure in that setting while you go home every day to a f***ing shelter!) I knew that morning that if he couldn't/didn't get up and go to work, that he needed to be removed that very day from my house. I guess I couldn't make up my mind either way. I'm having a hard time now remembering all the details, but I know that I was on Christmas Break from school, and that after arguing for a while, he got up and started yelling back, and after I told him I was going to leave, that I had had enough, he picked up my son and was holding him. I turned to my closet to grab some clothes. He grabbed my hair on the back of my head and wouldn't let go. I estimated then, in the police report, that it was for about eight seconds. He was holding my son in one hand and my hair in the other.

When he let go, I turned around and started hitting him with my fists. He put my son down on the bed, and I continued to hit him on the chest and face. I then walked out of the room and called the police. I would rather let them deal with him then to do what I really wanted to do to him. When the police arrived, they arrested him on an outstanding warrant, and later that day I had an officer return and take my statement. They charged him with family/domestic violence, which turned out to be his second offense - both of them against me. It turns out ( I could not recall this detail, and am still hazy on it) that he had received the same charge almost ten years ago before we were married but were living together (same kind of circumstances without kids). He spent four months in jail before getting a court date. Posting bail wasn't even a financial option, but I'm sort of glad for that. He had to go back for in-patient care (IOP) for six weeks, and ever since he's been back home, his whole attitude has been in the crapper. Before he went to jail, he would always apologize for his behavior, sincerely wanted to change, and would constantly tell me how much he loved me and our son. He still tells me he loves me, but when it comes to my family, he will not be around them. It's weird, because my mom was over on Friday, and he gave her a hug just like he used to when things were "normal". But for my son's upcoming birthday, he does not want to meet up with my brother's family and spend the day at the zoo, because he "doesn't want to be around my family". His reason? I called the cops on him. I told him that he's acting like we're divorced. He said that's pretty much how it is. 

At any rate, we had constantly been at war over what-would-happen-to-our-son if I left. As if he had the capacity to take care of him! He would constantly threaten me that he would fight and he would get custody. That he would bring up all the crap in the past that I had done - like throwing a can of vegetables at his head (I said I had a temper, right?) which caused him to bleed profusely, while he began to pass out on the couch (this was before our son was born). No matter how I tried and try to make him see reality, he insists that I am crazy - that his words are just words and (to quote him) I'm not strong enough to just take it. If that's not abusive, I don't know what is. Day in and day out, when someone tramples on your very existence - your very humanity and dignity - your right to be respected - something is going to snap. At one point I had a wooden practice sword that we use for defense against would-be robbers (better than nothing!) - and hit the wall with it while I stood there and yelled at him to leave me alone (verbal abuse again - it would only get physical when I had hit my breaking point - which happened a lot in the past, but has cooled down to me punching a wall enough to hurt my knuckles).

When I lose my cool, he calls me out on it and makes it into a "this is a two way street" kind of thing. Where the hell does he get off treating me like that? Another blogger mentioned spontaneous combustion as the best solution to her problem. I disagree. I need him to watch my son - I don't make enough money to support myself and my son (number one), and (number two, more importantly), I feel like as I go through this, I am finding new ways to keep my dignity, learning new things about forgiveness and patience, and that if I endure this for my son, he will be better off (as long as I can keep from losing my cool). My husband is very hateful towards me. He doesn't raise his voice - "don't get mad get even" seems to be his motto - like threatening not to watch my son the very next day when we get into an argument ("good luck figuring out a babysitter for tomorrow" - remember, I pay the bills, he watches our son). He is not physically abusive. He is very emotionally abusive (makes it very clear that if I EVER lay a hand on him that he will "ruin my career"). Not that I'm scared of what would happen. And now, my self discipline is enough to keep my hot temper at bay. I really do feel like I am becoming a stronger person overall for having to endure his hatred. I am not a hateful person. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. My husband, on the other hand, finds every chance he can to call people names (strangers, not "friends"), belittle them, bring race/ethnicity into it (he's not a full-fledged racist, I guess, since he gets along well with people of any race), and generally disrespect people with the words out of his mouth. Mostly we're talking about other drivers, but there's also people at Walmart ("rednecks" if you will), that let their kids run all over the place, people at fast food restaurants who shouldn't be there (350 pound person eating 1000 calories worth of food in one sitting), et cetera. Instead of wanting to help people, he'd rather run them into the ground.

He is so full of hate when it comes to actual strangers/TV characters, but for the most part, he is an optimist about his own situation. Lately he has been working a lot on his car, and my son is learning to be a hard worker as well (he carries a 20 pound tool box to and from the kitchen). I hear him laughing in the living room right now. Daddy is teaching his son to love God and be responsible, even in the midst of his negative attitude towards other people.

I know I should consider myself blessed, because I am. I have to keep reminding myself that God gives us grace, and we are expected to extend that grace to others. I do not want to be ashamed of my actions in front of my son. I do not want to be responsible for teaching him to hold a grudge or to try to get even, or simply to get angry. I want him to know that he can trust God in all circumstances, that there is never a reason to feel like you're trapped in a situation where you have no option but to get angry and retaliate. I am learning to adjust my attitude, and to accept that my husband wants to alienate himself from my family. My son and I will end up going to the zoo the weekend after his birthday, we will meet up with my brother and his kids, and probably my sister and my mom and dad. My husband is going to choose to miss out and stay home, for no "good" reason. It is completely irrational and disrespectful, and what does that do to my son? Is he going to forget about it and move on, or is it something that is going to stick in his head for a long time? If my husband continues to do this, I'm sure my son will want to know why he doesn't want to be a part of his experiences with his extended family. I think it is more emotionally damaging to me than my son, though. And my family, well, they can just write him off like the P.O.S. that he is. Uncle H*******? Who is that? Oh yeah, that guy you married. Are you still married? Is he dead? Why doesn't he come around? I'm not trying to be some perfect family, but for the love of Pete, I think this is just going way beyond rational behavior.

I think I will just stop here and keep adding blogs whenever he ticks me off.

nowiknowhate nowiknowhate
31-35, F
2 Responses Mar 7, 2010

You are an incredible person. I can relate to you in almost every way - especially about the kind of person I want to be in front of my three sons. You are obviously bright, insightful, compassionate and loving. You will find your own way in this and it won't necessarily be the way that any of us suggests. My comment comes in September; your post came in March. I hope you are doing well. I will pray for you and ask that you pray for me and my three sons for whom my only wish is that they could know the man I knew before alcohol became the core of his existence. He is attending AA but can't get past step 1 - admission. It is terribly confusing for me and I spend more time criticizing myself then him for the outcomes. I feel that if I am the "healthier" one then why can't I see the next manipulation coming and avoid it? I guess he is smarter than I am...or the disease is. I am giving AlAnon a go and have only been to two meetings so far. I think I am doing it just to feel like I have tried everything available to me. I fear that things won't end well for us and if that happens and if he ends up self-destructing, I fear that I will not be able to live with the guilt. Somewhere in there is a wonderful man who is hurting and is in need. But it's hard to feel hated for even part of every day. It is hard to know at what point you are helping by staying or if you have crossed a line where it is damaging for the children. A prayer that my husband's wonderful sponsor shared with us is "God, I place my disease/addiction/marriage/troubles in your hands." Simple, but I am hoping it will prove effective. Some days it feels as though it is only the thing I have left.<br />
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Have you ever told your family that their comments are not helping? Perhaps some understanding and compassion would go a long way in helping you and your son to cope. You seem to understand compassion and generosity; perhaps they have it in them too. I don't know what I would do without my family and the support/space they seem to know how to give so naturally. I know I would never have made it this far without them. You obviously have a close relationship with them, but I would find those comments kind of hurtful even if it is helpful to have the validation that the problem is your husband's and not yours. <br />
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Don't isolate. Connect with people and with life. Make your own way; live around him for as long as you can until you decide what the right thing to do is. And keep hope alive; make sure you buy a lottery ticket every week; you can't win if you don't play. God bless.

He doesn't sound as if he is going to AA very regularly. And you need to get to Al-Anon in order to keep your sanity. This is a terrible situation that you are in, and you need to get yourself and your son out of it, be it family, a shelter or even just an apartment. His threats are nothing, and he can't prove anything as nothing has been reported to the police.<br />
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Get out of there, ask your family for help, okay? Take care.