Toxic Relationship Help

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    I have been combing this site for a while now on my journey and I have been circling in the same pattern for a while and thought maybe someone out there would have some great insight or advice. I have been married for 12 years, but with my husband for 17 years. For the first 11 years of our marriage he was an “active” alcoholic. There were many struggles, abuse, mostly mental scars that never go away and finally at the end infidelity. After that my husband decided to get some help and quit drinking, which he did successfully. We had some good years after that but then I feel like he turned into what someone would call a “dry” alcoholic. He doesn’t drink but he is not a participant in our lives. He works an opposite shift and does nothing to help out with the kids, home etc… He has gone through some things the past 5 years, the major one being his mother got sick and passed away, and he has just kind of rolled over. He continually talks about how he hates his life, hates his job….just waiting to die…. etc. I finally got fed up with it and left. Since then he has displayed some desperate tactics of anger, frustration and blame. He will not take responsibility for his actions and claims that I am the one who left, therefor I am the one with the problem. He has since used our children as pawns and done some pretty damaging things to all of us. None of which he believes is a big deal – says that I am blowing things way out of proportion and that he still loves me and wants to work things out but feels it is obvious that I do not.
    I have done a lot of soul searching the past 3 months that I have left and have truly come to the conclusion that even if I wanted to go back it would not be healthy for me or my children. His anger, resentment and mental abusiveness is not healthy. He wants a yes or no answer from me as far as divorce and he will not be the one to do it. He wants to play the victim claiming that he is tired of all the hurt and dissapointment that life hands to him. I know that I need to cut the rope but am so empathetic to his pain that I have a hard time doing so. I feel so bad and he continually tells me that I am wrecking his life, that he is slowly dying inside because of me and that I am hurting so many people. I know logically that looking out for myself is number one and that it isn’t fair for him to put that on me, but I am just stuck. This is the hardest thing that I have ever had to deal with. I have a ton of support, I am seeing a counselor and have involved the womens resource center. But I just can’t seem to find it in myself. 🙁
    Has anyone been here – see something I don’t – or have great insight? I know there is no magical answer but it just hurts so much.


    Hello Paula…really sorry that you are in this place in your life. But hey cut yourself some slack, you made the first move and MOVED, for that my friend you need a really big pat on your back. And a reward as well just for you. Go out an dget yourself a new dress or a spa day…start investing in you.

    I know it feels like you are making no headway yet you are… you have taken yourself and your kids out of the drama and to a place of serenity….did you expect it to be easy, for spending 17 years with your partner was after all 17 years…and with that is a life you both built..
    Paula…try to start looking at the little things you have in your life, and begin with gratitude. The universe will align all like towards you and give you the strength to take the next steps that you need. And you dont know what those are… I speak from experience having been there myself, in a similiar situation, and know how tough it was….3 years later I have recovered and am in a state of peace and know that the only person in control of my life is ME…
    I would love for you to keep your control and that can mean shutting off at times, and for now, going COLD TURKEY…believe me, it works…

    Its all about you Paula…ONLY YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE….and you have and be proud of your choices and stop feeding the energy of the past….the future awaits YOU….

    Good luck dear


    Hi Paula
    Your husband is an adult, and needs to take responsibility for his actions. Clearly, he is unable to do this, which is why he is taking it out on you. He must be in a pretty bad place, mentally and emotionally, and maybe he finds his thoughts and feelings difficult to deal with on his own, but the bottom line is, he must. However much you feel for him, you know he has to work it out for himself. Sadly, some men never do (and women). They carry the anger and the hurt around with them forever, repeating the same mistakes in future relationships.
    If he wants to continue a relationship with you, and you feel the same, then tell him he needs to get professional help, and that you will support him (that’s if you want to!).
    If he does not want to continue in a relationship with you, then I would suggest you take a step back, keep your distance, and maybe think about the divorce at a time when you are not feeling so emotionally close to it all.
    If he was an active alcoholic at the beginning, then this tells you he had some serious problems, which unfortunately you would never be able to resolve for him, not with all the love and care in the world. I suspect he had become dependent on you, and now feels very insecure and is acting like the frightened child. It is tough, because the more you see him suffer, the more you want to help him. I think, in your heart, you know what is right, it’s just that you need the confidence to do it.
    All the best.x


    Hi Paula, I read your post, forgive me I don’t have long to reply but he sounds a lot like my ex who was a recovering alcoholic. I have found a lot of help in the Al anon rooms, and also doing reading on Codependency. But I though he sounded a lot like my ex in his manipulations and guilt trips, a way to keep you sucked in, which is Narcissistic behavior. You might find this website and her articles helpful, I know I have. I feel like i played into his abuse over the years, and I feel more empowered now in doing the work on my self. Please feel free to email me personally if you have any questions, but the only way you are going to heal is by looking at your self and your unhealed wounds that allowed for you to stay in an unhealthy relationship for so long. is the narcissism relationship recovery blog I like a ton.

    If you need any directions further into codependency or have any questions megyn 1 @ g mail dot com


    Hi Paula, thank you for sharing your issue. I have some experience in this area and can attest that it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. In my case, what has been the most helpful is actually creating an internal shift. I used to take everything that was said and done very personally – it’s is hard not to. But in the end, I learned that all of the tactics used were just a form of crazy-making (I learned about this in the books by Patricia Evans –, designed to keep me confused and paralyzed. Although I spent some time learning about issues of abuse, addiction, etc. etc… in the end I learned that whatever the person says or does is THEIR stuff. They may project it onto me, and I may have carried it for them for a long time, but even after many years, it’s not too late for me to realize it was HIS STUFF all along! Not mine. Bam! – FREEDOM! Making that internal shift was such a breakthrough for me. Since then, I have learned the second most important step: FORGIVE MYSELF! See, all along I was carrying this pain, shame and guilt that this person projected onto me… there it was in my subconscious, just piling up. I no longer had room for me, in my own being! It was all being taken up by that person’s stuff. So I’ve been actively sitting in meditation and literally envisioning myself breathe in/insert shovel under stuff – breathe out/shovel the stuff out of my head. I’ve just been envisioning myself doing that clean up lately. And just tuning into myself with love and forgiveness. This entire time I’ve been under the faulty assumption that any of this has anything to do with me. The clarity of realizing that’s not the case has been absolutely freeing and transformative. I agree with the above comment to give yourself some space from the situation and your heart will open up with a clear answer. Blessings!


    Thank you so much for all the responses – this is great!!! It feels so comforting to know that people have been in my situation and also to know that I am not crazy!! I know what advice I would give someone in this situation but for some reason have so much trouble removing myself from the emotional cloud to make sense of anything lately. All of your advice and words of encouragement mean so much more than you will ever know! The fact that all of you took time out of your busy lives to help means so much. I am so blessed! Thanks for your kindness…



    I agree with the beautiful and heartfelt words from the others in the thread. I dearly hope you strongly consider Alanon or other codependency recovery programs especially… Pia Mellody has some wonderful books as well, step by step, very practical. A few things came to heart as I read your words.

    You have such a good heart, and there is no reason for you to feel guilty. Consider that as you leave him, he will hopefully stop blaming you for his issues and finally grow. One of my teachers said that addicts stop growing/maturing when they fall into the addiction cycle, and if they get connected to a caregiver, they may never learn to stand. This blame he tosses at you is just like a temper tantrum kids have when they don’t get their way. Consider how much mental energy is spent on this man, and how little he does with it. Said differently, most of your post is about him, his actions, his words. What about you? Where are you? How do you feel? What are you seeing?

    Consider that you’ve spent a lot of time on his side of the street in your relationship, and are still trying to figure out his side of things. There’s no need. Yes its a mess over there. No, you’re not in any condition to help skillfully. That’s enough. You have kids and yourself to worry about, to care for. He isn’t your task, dear sister, and it will only be when he confronts the ickyness inside him that he will heal. And it will only be when you stop taking the blame that he will see himself. Said differently, when you get sucked into his whirlwinds of ick, your presence only makes it worse for both of you. Its not only OK for you to let go and find your own path, it is actually the way to honor your love for him the most skillfully. I don’t mean this as fact, its only opinion from what I see.

    And i do mean this with a deep and humble respect for your love and compassion. Its takes a very special food to reach the twisted knots within an addict, and quite often instead they latch on to givers, who sacrifice their own well being in the name of “helping” or “peace”. When we figure out our own feelings, desires and needs… that’s when the light of joy will flow through and around us, which is far better than playing his games… better for you, for him, for the kids and so forth. Namaste, may you find your love and light.

    With warmth,

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