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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm going to try to be as short as I can.

I have been married for almost 2 years now. My husband is from US and I am from Spain. Our relationship has never been easy but in the last year it has turned into impossible. Excuse my English, if I make any mistake.

He is a recovering addict with a lot of childhood issues. I found out a lot of these problems after I got married. I tried to help him with his addiction problem. He becomes really agressive when he drinks and he can be abusive. I tried to make him realise he needs to stop and he has calmed down a bit, but he still has this anger in him. As a result of all this, I have no friends at all. I have become socially anxious and cant even stand being in a bar or around people having a drink.

He can be a loving husband when he wants but when something doesn´t go his way, he goes crazy. He feels that the way for him to be respected is to fight whoever decides to disrespect him. He thinks this is the only way for people to take him seriously. I am so tired of this drama. He blames on me. He says I'm controlling and that I'm turning him into a p---y.

I just would like to know what other married people think of this because he is making me think I'm crazy. Does this make sense to anybody?
 

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You are in an abusive relationship.

Making you feel like your crazy, isolating you from others, and the anger/fighting are easily seen signs/red flags.

Please take care of yourself - it may only be a matter of time before, in his anger, he feels that you disrespected him and lashes out to fight you. Please take this seriously.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for the advice.

I have heard the term abusive relationship before. He just makes it sound as if I'm making everything up and it's all my fault.

I gave him an ultimatum and packed my stuff to leave. He begged me to stay. So far, he still drinks and he says that this is what adults do.

I feel I made a mistake getting married...
 

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Give him an ultimatum. Get help and get dry or be without you.
Perfect advice.

All his attention should be on a solid marriage and attending to you. If he's too self absorbed or drinks too much then he needs to either get help or you may need to end the relationship.
 

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He is a recovering addict with a lot of childhood issues. I found out a lot of these problems after I got married.
Dulcinea, what do you mean by "lot of childhood issues"? Was he abandoned or abused before age 5? Was he raised by an emotionally withdrawn mother? Does one of his parents exhibit angry, abusive behavior? Finally, how did you find out "a lot of these problems" following your marriage? I ask because it sounds like your H may have strong traits of a personality disorder (PD) that originated in early childhood.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
His mom beated him when he was a kid and he was sexually abused by his uncle. He didn´t tell me all this. I found out because I spoke with him trying to find a reason for his behaviour, and I also spoke with some relatives about his childhood.

These things that happened to him are horrible and one thing led to another and I guess this is how he has so much anger and got addicted to alcohol and stuff. But it's not my fault and I shouldn't be paying the consequences. I have asked him several times to go to therapy but he says he has been before but it's hard for him to get over it and that I don't understand him. Whenever he does something crazy or get in trouble, he says that he has been through a lot as a child and this is the result....
 

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His mom beated him when he was a kid and he was sexually abused by his uncle....he says that he has been through a lot as a child and this is the result.
Dulcinea, the behaviors you -- always being "The Victim," temper tantrums, verbal abuse, lack of impulse control (e.g., excessive drinking), and controlling behavior -- are classic traits of a well known personality disorder. Moreover, that PD is strongly associated with abuse in childhood, especially with sexual abuse. Indeed, 70% of those having this PD report that they were abused or abandoned in childhood. Yet, if your H has strong traits of that PD, you also should be seeing most of the following behaviors as well:

  • 1. Black-white thinking, wherein he categorizes everyone as "all good" or "all bad" and will recategorize someone -- in just a few seconds -- from one polar extreme to the other based on a minor infraction;
  • 2. Frequent use of all-or-nothing expressions like "you always" and "you never;"
  • 3. Controlling behavior that tries to isolate you away from close friends or family members;
  • 4. Irrational jealousy and lack of trust;
  • 5. Flipping, on a dime, between adoring you and devaluing you,;
  • 6. Frequently creating drama over issues so minor that neither of you can recall what the fight was about the next day;
  • 7. Low self esteem;
  • 8. Verbal abuse and anger that is easily triggered, in seconds, by a minor thing you say or do (real or imagined), resulting in temper tantrums that typically last several hours;
  • 9. Fear of abandonment or being alone;
  • 10. Always being "The Victim," a false self image she validates by blaming you for every misfortune;
  • 11. Lack of impulse control, wherein he does reckless things without considering the consequences (e.g., binge drinking, eating or spending);
  • 12. Complaining that all his previous GFs were abusive and claiming (during your courtship) that you are the only one who has treated him well;
  • 13. Mirroring your personality and preferences so perfectly (e.g., enjoying everything and everyone you like) -- for the first six months -- that you were convinced you had met your "soul mate;"
  • 14. Relying on you to center and ground him, giving him a sense of direction because his goals otherwise keep changing every few months;
  • 15. Relying on you to sooth him and calm him down, when he is stressed, because he has so little ability to do self soothing;
  • 16. Having many casual friends but not any close long-term friends (unless they live a long distance away);
  • 17. Taking on the personality of whatever person he is talking to, thereby acting quite differently around different types of people; and
  • 18. Always convinced that his intense feelings accurately reflect reality -- to the point that he regards his feelings as self-evident facts, despite his inability to support them with any hard evidence.
If most of those traits sound very familiar, I suggest you see a psychologist -- for a visit or two by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you are dealing with. I also suggest that, while you are waiting for an appointment, you read about BPD traits so you will know how to spot the red flags.

Although you will not be able to make a diagnosis (only professionals can do that), spotting the warning signs is not difficult. There is nothing subtle about traits such as verbal abuse, temper tantrums, and lack of impulse control. An easy place to start reading is my brief overview of BPD traits in Maybe's thread at My list of hell!. If that description rings a bell, I would be glad to discuss it with you and point you to good online resources. Take care, Dulcinea
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Many of those behaviours are happening. I'm just really confused.
I love my husband but I don't know if I can handle being with him anymore. I just had another fight with him. He got depressed and drank a bottle of wine on his own. Is that normal? it's not normal to me, sorry. After that, he just started to be really mean to me and then he said maybe we should divorce. I said fine, I'm really done, this is killing me. He then said he loves me and that he is trying but how long can I wait for him to "try"? I am really sad just thinking about the idea of packing my stuff and go... He went for a walk..Now he will probable come back saying he loves me, and he's sorry and all that bull**** so I think this can still be saved but can it? I am almost sure I should end this marriage
 

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You're not crazy, and I hope you *do* leave now, before you have children. He WILL eventually turn violent with you. Not "might" turn violent. He WILL. His belief that being a man requires physical violence is a HUGE red flag that you should not ignore.

When I used to counsel alcoholics, I became very mistrustful of the word "try." When someone says they will "try" to do better, what they are really saying is that they will still accept it if they don't. They are building an excuse for failing to change.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
KathyBatesel you are right! I said that to him. I dont want to hear the word "try". He obviously doesnt care about me. I should leave. I was leaving for a trip to Spain to see my family next Thursday and I am thinking of just taking my stuff and stay there with my family and friends
 

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Many of those behaviours are happening. I'm just really confused.
Dulcinea, I agree with Kathy, CurlySue, and the other respondents who advise you to ensure your safety by leaving him until he has proven he can stay dry for a long time and control his anger. Yet, if an overpowering sense of guilt or obligation is preventing you from leaving, we likely can help you get rid of those misguided feelings by pointing you to professional articles that help explain why your staying with him is actually harming him with your "enabling" behavior.

To go down that path, however, I would need more information about his actual pattern of behaviors -- namely, feedback on which of the 18 behaviors listed above he strongly exhibits -- with examples of how they seem to apply to him. That said, my sense is that you are too overwhelmed at the moment to undertake such a discussion. If and when that changes, I will be glad to discuss the matter (i.e., the red flags in his behavior) with you.
 

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Dulcinea, although your daily experiences feel very complicated, the solution truly is a simple one. That doesn't mean it's easy, but I will hope that you can find the courage to leave because I don't want to see you spending years living this way. I know how he's "the sweetest guy ever" when he's not being a jerk. I know how great it feels when he acts like you are the most important person in the world. And I know that it does not change without a lot of crisis in the meantime.

All of the things Uptown told you are important. I have some articles you may want to check out, too:

Effects of Alcoholism and Addiction on Love and Marriage

How Can You Help Someone Who Does Not Want Help (But Needs It)?

Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Abuse
 

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Discussion Starter #15
3. Controlling behavior that tries to isolate you away from close friends or family members: I havent seen my family for 2 years cause he cant get a visa to Spain because he got in a fight in Spain and got a ban from there for 3 years. Now I decided to go and he is giving me a hard time saying that I go there to have fun with my friends and find someone else.

4. Irrational jealousy and lack of trust: I never go out with friends. NEVER. Once I did, he threated me with hit me because he felt abandoned by me.

5. Flipping, on a dime, between adoring you and devaluing you: This is constantly. "You are a loser", I get upset, "I do love you" WTF?

8. Verbal abuse and anger that is easily triggered, in seconds, by a minor thing you say or do (real or imagined), resulting in temper tantrums that typically last several hours: Let's say I forget to take out the trash, my cat gets in it cause it has food. That means I will get yelled at and call from loser to dumbass, ***** or more.

9. Fear of abandonment or being alone: After he does all this, he always start getting sad and crying that I am gonna leave him!

11. Lack of impulse control, wherein he does reckless things without considering the consequences (e.g., binge drinking, eating or spending): I could tell you a thousand of these! from getting banned to enter MY OWN COUNTRY to leave to get drunk and come back the next day at night, wanting to punch someone cause he thinks he is being disrespecful (that's one reason we moved out from the last place we lived in).

12. Complaining that all his previous GFs were abusive and claiming (during your courtship) that you are the only one who has treated him well

14. Relying on you to center and ground him, giving him a sense of direction because his goals otherwise keep changing every few months.

15. Relying on you to sooth him and calm him down, when he is stressed, because he has so little ability to do self soothing: He always says that I am the one that keeps him sober like this is my responsability! That's one of the reason I havent visited my family, because I was scared of the consequences of leaving him alone.

16. Having many casual friends but not any close long-term friends (unless they live a long distance away): he NEEDS to have everybody in his facebook as a friend even if he just met them so he can say how cool he is because he has all these friends and they wanna go out with him (but they just go out with him to drink, real friendship?)

17. Taking on the personality of whatever person he is talking to, thereby acting quite differently around different types of people: he is an angel in front of his family.

18. Always convinced that his intense feelings accurately reflect reality -- to the point that he regards his feelings as self-evident facts, despite his inability to support them with any hard evidence.


What have prevented me from leaving has been the hope that he would get dry and understand and we could be happy, then I felt sorry for leaving him in case he drinks himself to death or hurt someone... he says he wont... I dont know
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks so much everybody for listening to me. You cant imagine how much this helps me because I cant tell this to my mother when i'm miles away and my friends would not be objective. I appreciate your replies very much
 

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Dulcinea, you didn't comment on all of the traits you listed. Are you saying he strongly exhibits all of the 18 traits except for 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, and 13?
 

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Dulcinea, you didn't comment on all of the traits you listed. Are you saying he strongly exhibits all of the 18 traits except for 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, and 13?
I commented the ones I can remember an example of the behaviour. These ones are more frequent.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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Dulcinea,

I'm going to let the others give you more specific advice but one thing I do want to say. Many times people who have addiction and/or psychological issues need to work on themselves alone without their spouse being around. I know that may be difficult for you to hear but he may not be able to heal himself from these issues so long as you are there to hold his hand. If you really love him you may have to leave him for a while so he can get the help he needs. Good luck.
 
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