drinking and abuse

ok, so my husband is not a physically aggressive person, usually, and so i don’t really fear any kind of physical abuse from him.  he will make bad “jokes” about things like saying it would really suck if he died, and make comments about death, etc.

emotionally and verbally, is where he makes his mark, so to speak.  when he drinks, though, his true colors really come out.

they say that when you are drunk, you don’t lie.  i know that to be the truth.  things that you would never say sober, come out when you are drunk, and you just can’t keep those things hidden.  i have experienced his drunken abuse many times over the years, usually when i am driving home from somewhere that he has been drinking heavily, and i have not.  that’s when the truth hits the fan.

when he has been drinking, i suddenly become a terrible driver.  driving his drunk ass home.  he will tell me that i am going the long way, “why didn’t you turn there?”, he tells me he could have gotten us home sooner, quit using the brakes so much, and on and on.

but, there are two particular times that really stand out for me.

the first night, we were driving two hours to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving.  he had spent the day with our son at a football game, and when he got home, we were to drive to their house.  well, he drank before the game, during the game, and then drove 45 minutes home with our son in the car.  i told him that he seemed to be more drunk than if he had only had drinks before the game, as he said he had only had a few beers at a bar before they went in.  he got mad and accused me of lying, of telling him that he was a liar.  he told me that he didn’t drink at all during the game (he “remembered” the next day that he had actually drank three shooters of rum EACH half of the football game).  he told me that i was being paranoid that he was too drunk and that he was only “letting” me drive so he could rest.  but, not only did he not rest, he berated me for treating him “badly” the whole way, and then spent part of the way lamenting and almost crying that he wished he could be more generous like his father.  who, by the way, is a high functioning alcoholic.

the next day, when i told him that i was not happy with him driving my son like that, he said something along the lines of, “well, i wouldn’t have driven home if i wasn’t ok to drive”.  this same trip, he was angry with me for not wanting to sleep with him the night we got there (when he had just spent two hours berating me), and gave me the silent treatment in front of his relatives the whole next day.

the other time i remember, also involved drinking and driving.  we went to a concert.  we stopped at a bar before to eat, and then had some beers there, and during the concert.  knowing i would be driving home, i stopped drinking early enough to be good to drive.  he, however, just kept on.  after the concert, the band threw out some guitar picks, and i got one.  i never go to concerts, so this was exciting to me, and i was going to keep the pick.  my husband says, “are you going to give that to K?”, our daughter.  i said, heck no, i’m keeping it.  he spent the next two hours, i kid you not, telling me that i was a “sad” person, to keep the pick.  he always gives stuff like that to her, and why wouldn’t i do the same?  she will be so upset that i wouldn’t give it to her, and on and on.  he told me that i was a selfish parent, and that he ALWAYS thinks of the kids first, and that i just don’t give other people any consideration.  then, he took the keys, and walked away from me in a crowded city that i am not familiar with to find a bathroom.  i waited in the car for a bit, then went to find him.  i thought he would never let me drive home.  i think he was afraid if he gave me the keys, i would leave him there.

all the 45 minute drive home, he railed on me about how he makes so many sacrifices for our family, he works at a job he hates, etc, etc, just so that we can do things like this, and now i was ruining it by not giving her the pick.  then, when i refused to talk to him, he just badgered me the rest of the way home.  i ended up apologizing to him just to get him to stop haranguing me.

i know that i shouldn’t have given in, but i knew that he would never admit he was wrong.  the next day, he acted as if nothing had happened.  no apology, no reference to it, other than to say “oh, did you give her the pick after all?  thank you!”  i did give her the pick.  i wasn’t going to listen to that crap for the rest of my life.

my point, here is that a drunk abuser is still an abuser.  being drunk doesn’t give anyone license to treat you like crap, and then say, well, i was drinking, so it doesn’t count.  it counts. This article is a great explanation of studies and other research done about alcohol and abuse.  it’s concern is more along the lines of physical battering, but emotional abuse is the battering of your soul, is it not?


index cards, part five

he hates correction!!

i once asked him if he wanted to do the dishes or switch the laundry and he told me to quit patronizing him and to stop treating him like a child, and then he did neither.

he was having a conversation in front of me with my daughter, and when i tried to tell him that i agreed with her, he told me to butt out and that this had nothing to do with me.

he tells me that we (me and the kids) gang up on him all the time.

he pushes the kids too far with teasing and then gets angry when they don’t think he is hilarious, or when they tell him to leave them alone.

he gets angry when i agree with someone that is disagreeing with him.

belittling me:

acts like he doesn’t believe me when i tell him things to the point that i feel like maybe i am lying?

tells me all the time that i am not good at finding the deals and complains when i don’t shop right, and end up spending too much

points out all my mistakes, and does it in front of the kids and others.  then tells me he is just trying to help me when i get mad.

tells others how promiscuous i was and how much i drank in college

twice has made me go back to the store (probably more times) to return something that was too expensive, because i didn’t do it right (get the one on sale, etc)

got mad once that the paper napkins were out, then told me we need to use the cloth ones and only use paper when those are all dirty, which is what i do anyway.  he was very condescending, like it was something i hadn’t ever thought of before.

has called me stupid, a bitch, dumb, dumbass, etc.

makes fun of me in front of my own friends, tells others their ideas or interests are stupid or horrible

says things like “even mom knows” like i am normally stupid or something.

makes comments about me like “look at you!  all interested in that!” just basically being very condescending.

tells me all the time that my choice in tv shows is bad or weird or stupid and same with my music

asking what i did all day when the house was a mess, but never helping me to clean it.

dwells on our mistakes and doesn’t let them go, but gets mad when i bring his past mistakes up and tells me that i shouldn’t hold them against him, because they are in the past

makes jokes about my athletic ability.  tells me how clumsy i am

constantly teases me about my grey hair, being short, my small feet

scares me by jumping out at me and things like that, then tells me i take life too seriously when i get mad, even after i have asked him countless times to stop.

makes jokes about how “lazy” i am, even though i know he somewhat means it.

accuses me of taking things that don’t belong to me, but doesn’t apologize when he realizes he was wrong

makes comments whenever i don’t want to cuddle or whatever.  like “your stomach hurts because you are so mean to me all the time”

has joked about things like throwing me off a balcony and serving me antifreeze

joked about having sex with other women so they wouldn’t be lonely and his “girlfriends” and tells me how amazing other women are all the time, even though he has cheated on me in the past, and i tell him all the time those jokes aren’t funny

silent treatment:

went behind my back and found out i had credit card debt.  didn’t talk to me for days.  when i finally asked what was wrong, he got mad and told me he was waiting for me to tell him about it.

will go days without talking to me except about the kids, will hardly touch or hug me, and will talk to everyone else but me, and then when i call him out, tells me i am being paranoid.

didn’t have sex for a month, even though he always complains about how we never have it enough.  then when we were about to and got interrupted, he complained that we always get interrupted.  ??


lied about depositing cash into our account when he actually hid it in his dresser, then lied about how much cash it actually was.

lied about me being on our joint account

lied about cheating on me, denied it flat out when i confronted him

lied about where he was when he was really cheating on me

read my journal then lied and said he didn’t when i saw him do it.

lied about sleeping with other girls while we were broken up in college, then admitted it years later after we were already together again.

lied about kissing another girl at a bar when i asked him about it.

lied about adding me to our gas card.  said it wasn’t possible, and when i called the company, they said it would be no problem



index cards, part four

more abusive comments and instances, from my husband:

weight and food comments:

told me i looked pregnant when he knew i wasn’t

several times has bought me shirts in several sizes too small, and then when i can’t wear them, says “some day” they will fit

laughed at me when i said i was interested in joining an adult soccer league.

when i wanted (needed) to buy some new clothes, said “aren’t you trying to lose weight?”

when i was eating dinner one night, he made such a hurtful comment about it, that even my teenager told him to quit being mean to me.

we were at Costco, and when i said i wanted a hotdog, he kept saying “i don’t need anything, i’m not hungry” until finally i yelled at him that i wasn’t asking about him, i was asking about me!

he will go without eating at a restaurant (acting the martyr) and then ask me if he can have some of my food.

buys soda and keeps it in the garage then gets mad when i drink it.  he will count the cans and ask the kids who had some.  yet, he gave up soda like two years ago.

i was eating leftovers “eating AGAIN?”

constantly tells me how he doesn’t drink soda any more.  i know, already!

“didn’t you just eat?”

i tell him to stop buying junk food and he tells me to use my will power, then he will tell me to stop buying chips because he can’t help himself.

tells me to not let him eat junk food and to quit buying it, even then i’m not the one eating it.

brags about how he fasts during Lent every year

told me more than once he would buy me a new wardrobe if i would lose weight.

he tells me he is fat all the time (he is not) and that if i don’t talk with him about it, like tell him to keep track of his health, that should, because he is my husband.

dismissing my feelings:

i slept on the couch in the living room for three weeks with our newborn baby because the light at night bothered him when i nursed.  but then he complained that i was not in our bed.

i asked him three separate times to call the doctor to make a therapy appointment, but he just blew it off.  then when he finally did call, he didn’t tell me, and he didn’t make an appointment because they told him the file was closed and he needed me to open it.  but i couldn’t open it because he didn’t tell me he had called!

once, when i did flat out tell him to call the therapist, he didn’t even respond.  he just watched me cry until i got up and left the room.

he overstays his welcome when we go to a friend’s house, but when i try to steer him out of there, he resists.  i usually just leave, then he tells me i am a lightweight for not staying longer.

told him we should go when i could tell the neighbors were tired of us being there.  he said “you can go” and then stayed to drink more.  finally, they just had to tell him to go home.  this has happened twice with two different neighbors.

told me i could snap out of my depression

blows off my concerns of his drinking

doesn’t leave places when i want to go without telling everyone i am making him leave

rarely calls when he is running late.  to the point that we have to change plans because of his lateness.  then he gets defensive about it when i am angry.

used my nice white towels to wash his car once, and when i complained, he told me i shouldn’t be so caught up in “things”

i ask him if i can go somewhere without the kids and he will ask where i am going, why, etc, then say “i don’t care what you do”

i have told him for years that i want a book shelf, and he just flat out refuses.  yet he will spend hundreds of dollars on a new tv or video games, etc.

he will come into the room, change the channel of the show i am watching, without even asking, then he will leave the room.  i will leave the tv on that channel thinking he is coming back, until like a half hour goes by and i realize he is not coming back in.

tells me he will be home in a few minutes, then will stay like an hour or two later without answering my calls or texts.  more than once

doesn’t keep promises consistently.  like helping with bedtime or calling for counselling.

issues with the kids:

insists the kids come with us places, then gets mad when they fuss or complain about it taking so long.

yells at one particular child over every little thing, while favoring another child.

when my two year old fell off the swing, he got mad and told me i shouldn’t need to nurse him to comfort him

uses the kids to check on me and encourages them to tattle on me.

controls when and where we go as a family for vacations, etc, even if the kids don’t really want to do that thing.

makes fun of me in front of the kids all the time, then tells me i am being too sensitive.

undermines me in front of the kids.

makes jokes about how he is not their father.  he is “joking” but it hurts my feelings.

told me he wants to be the fun dad so i can be the bad guy

very rarely helps the kids to get ready to go anywhere and then gets mad when i complain about it.

gets mad at them about things that they have no control over and tries to punish them for just doing kid things.  like when my four year old wanted to cuddle with me and not tell him goodnight, he told my son that “mom won’t let you cuddle with her any more if you don’t kiss me goodnight”, and then tells me not to cuddle with him.  HE’S FOUR!!

bugged me about weaning my son.  what does he care?  he’s not the one feeding him

issues with drinking:

gets mad at me when i tell him he has had too much to drink

hit on our neighbor when he was drunk telling her to make me jealous.  later he “walked in” on her in the bathroom

he gets mad when he sees me drink a soda, but never says a word when i drink alcohol

drove drunk with my son in the car, then fought with me about how much he had had to drink.

i had to bail him out of jail for DUI once

always assumes i will be the designated driver without ever offering once, and if i asked him to, he would say no

drives with open containers of alcohol all the time, and will drink one on the way home from work frequently, even after i have asked him not to.

always tries to get me to drink and just can’t take no for an answer when we go out somewhere.  is getting better about this, but he still does it sometimes.  yet he expects me to drive.



gotta journal for my sanity

i have always liked to write, mostly in an informational way, and to help others to understand things in a new or different way.

but, sometimes, i just want to write for myself.

so, ten years ago, when i wanted to leave the last time, i decided to go see a therapist.  she told me i should be writing all my feelings out in a journal.  i did.  then my husband found it and read it.  that was the end of my writing in a journal.

over the years i have tried off and on, but i always would censor myself.  what if he would find it and then get mad, or be offended?  then i would be on the defensive again.  not a fun place to be.  so i stuffed all my feelings, and let them stifle.  for ten years.

this summer, i began to journal again, on the advice of a new therapist.  i told him that my husband had read my past journal.  he told me to hide it.  or, let him read it, and let the chips fall.  well, i’m too much of a wimp to just let it all hang out, so to speak, so i have it hidden.  that makes it difficult to deal with, sometimes, especially if i leave it in my purse (i like to write while i wait for the kids after school)  and forget to put it back.

i guess my point is, now that it is hidden, i don’t censor myself.  i let it all go.  i can honestly say that my life is much more calm and i can stay way more focused on how he is treating me.  i can see patterns and detect those times when he is just being an ass versus those times when he is choosing to be abusive.

i can also write out when he is being nice, and try to decide if it’s genuine or part of his manipulation.

clarity.  it’s a good thing!