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I still feel responsible for him

Posted by on Dec. 27, 2017 at 12:34 PM
  • 5 Replies

I divorced in June, have been separated since Sept. 2016. It's been a long while since I've truly been responsible for him. 

He was a raging alcoholic. I could see him slowly dying underneath it all. He was going and he was going fast, and I didn't want to watch it anymore. 

He's not been doing well since I left and since I divorced him. He's been in and out of jail, mental institutions and rehab centers. 

I found out a few days ago that he was in a new mental hospital and had tried to kill himself.

It breaks my heart because I feel responsible for him. 

Logically I know I'm not, but try explaining logic to feelings of guilt and responsibility. I feel like I could have done more, even though again logically I know there wasn't anything left to do.


by on Dec. 27, 2017 at 12:34 PM
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Replies (1-5):
Emilys.mom.1
by New Member on Dec. 27, 2017 at 1:08 PM
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I know how you feel. Im sorry you are going through so much right now.  I understand that feeling of responsibility to him. I feel responsible for his financial welfare when he is the one who wouldn't hesitate to steal from me. I feel responsible for his mental health when is the one who would love to drive me insane if he could. I think about his past, and everything he's gone through, and all of his struggles and I feel like I want to spend my life, my energy, my DAUGHTERS time and the energy I need to give to her, so that he doesn't have to suffer. But in doing so, I failed my daughter. I kept taking him back, no matter how badly he treated us, and now, even though I have custody the little girl I love so much resents me. She resents that I took him back so much. She doesn't trust me. We had this awesome bond, even though part of it was in pain and fear of him, and it's still there, but everything is different. Please, save yourself! The only person who can help him is him. HE has to make the changes for himself, NOBODY, not even you, can help him. You can be there for him in small ways, as in, you don't have to treat him badly or add to his problems, but in putting yourself and your children first, he will LEARN how to be responsible. And even if he doesn't catch on, you and your children will be ok. I have a great therapist who helps me through these same things. I am not where I am supposed to be yet, but I am working on it. Hang in there. There is nothing wrong with being a good person, but there is also nothing wrong with letting go. And living. 

tottaxi
by Battle Weary on Dec. 27, 2017 at 2:03 PM
1 mom liked this

How do you find about all of his woes?  Are you getting any sort of counseling? A counselor might be able to give you some tools to help you stop having such guilt and that feeling of responsibility.

One thing you might try is burying him.  Mentally, of course.  A friend of mine was having difficulty moving on from a very toxic relationship.  She knew the guy was bad for her, but couldn't seem to shake him after investing so much time and emotion into the relationship. 

She saw a psychiatrist who suggested that she close her eyes and imagine her ex as dead.  Visualize the funeral home, the people there, what she wore, his coffin, the flowers.  And then riding in the procession to the cemetary and burying him.  To create the scene and make it as realistic as possible.  Give a eulogy to the mourners and tell them the good and the bad and what havoc he dumped on your life.  Wish him well on his journey and then throw that first shovel of dirt on his casket and walk away.  Your job is done.  He's moved on and now you can, too.

That really helped my friend.  She allowed herself the time to grieve, but accept that the relationship was over, that she did what she could, but there was only so much that others could do for him 

He can choose to take responsibility and get himself on a better path OR NOT.  HIS CHOICE.  He's doing what he WANTS to do.  

Now visualize your life and the happiness you are choosing for yourself.  

Work hard to truly believe he has passed.  Don't bring yourself down because of his choices. When your mind strays to thoughts of him find something to do to divert your attention.  Read. Crochet.  Walk your dog.  Clean a closet.  Replace the negative thoughts with something positive.  Don't allow yourself to go over to the Dark Side.

alexsmommy51405
by Member on Dec. 27, 2017 at 2:12 PM

I don't want him back at all. I feel kind of bad because I'm seeing an old friend of his, and if he found out he would be totally hurt. 

However, I'm in that weird state where I don't want to do more damage to him and MORE IMPORTANTLY, I don't want him to dictate my life and who I end up with. 

I found out from his mom on Christmas day. I was supposed to be dropping the kids off to see him but he wasn't there so I stayed and later that day I found out he was locked up in a mental hospital and had tried to hurt himself. 

I feel bad for all the people involved. His family has in no way blamed me for anything, I was the one that put him through 4 different rehabs trying to get him sober. 

I feel bad for the guy I'm seeing because they used to be really close, but like the friend said 'they were only friends when it was conveinent for my ex.' That's how everybody feels about my ex. Only important when it's convenient for him. I wouldn't be surprised if he didnt want to see me anymore after finding this out.

Anyway, I don't have money for therapy but I've done the imagining him dead thing. I haven't gotten to the part of going to the funeral but I'll do it. It might help. 


Quoting tottaxi:

How do you find about all of his woes?  Are you getting any sort of counseling? A counselor might be able to give you some tools to help you stop having such guilt and that feeling of responsibility.

One thing you might try is burying him.  Mentally, of course.  A friend of mine was having difficulty moving on from a very toxic relationship.  She knew the guy was bad for her, but couldn't seem to shake him after investing so much time and emotion into the relationship. 

She saw a psychiatrist who suggested that she close her eyes and imagine her ex as dead.  Visualize the funeral home, the people there, what she wore, his coffin, the flowers.  And then riding in the procession to the cemetary and burying him.  To create the scene and make it as realistic as possible.  Give a eulogy to the mourners and tell them the good and the bad and what havoc he dumped on your life.  Wish him well on his journey and then throw that first shovel of dirt on his casket and walk away.  Your job is done.  He's moved on and now you can, too.

That really helped my friend.  She allowed herself the time to grieve, but accept that the relationship was over, that she did what she could, but there was only so much that others could do for him 

He can choose to take responsibility and get himself on a better path OR NOT.  HIS CHOICE.  He's doing what he WANTS to do.  

Now visualize your life and the happiness you are choosing for yourself.  

Work hard to truly believe he has passed.  Don't bring yourself down because of his choices. When your mind strays to thoughts of him find something to do to divert your attention.  Read. Crochet.  Walk your dog.  Clean a closet.  Replace the negative thoughts with something positive.  Don't allow yourself to go over to the Dark Side.


Fayanne
by Bronze Member on Dec. 28, 2017 at 11:50 AM

exdh is an alcoholic who now is also a nasty dirty hoarder. The divorce may have triggered the hoarding tendencies, but none of that is my fault. I will not accept any blame or responsibility for an adult making decisions that could have been thought out and acted on differently.

I did not force him to drink (though, I'm sure in his head, I did), and his nasty hoarding/hermit behavior is all on him.

I suggest you either write his name on a piece of paper and burn it, ridding you of the responsibility, leave it in a Bible, and giving the burden to God, or writing his name on a balloon, then snipping the thread and letting the wind take him wherever it will.

It is not mentally healthy to keep this burden on your shoulders.

You're not his mother. He's not a child. Stop mothering him.

If anything, he's showing you the true character of the person you married and divorced.

And since you have kids with him, be very, very careful of how you handle stress in front of them.. ie, DO NOT turn to alcohol as a way of dealing with stress.  Your kids are all at increased risk of addictive/alcohol abusive behaviors due to both their genetics  and their environment.

alexsmommy51405
by Member on Dec. 28, 2017 at 12:58 PM

I want my kids to learn that the alcohol itself isn't the enemy and to learn to drink responsibly. 

I know/my oldest knows that these things are more likely to happen to him (he's 12 so I'm pretty honest with these things with him) but I don't want him to grow up thinking that just because he has one sip of alcohol he'll be an alcoholic. 

He did get my genes also, and I can drink and not drink again for months at a time. I'm a social drinker, only in the social setting, very very rarely around my kids (might have a drink during a special occasion) . 

I think they have enough good influences around them that they'll learn that their dad was not alright and he was not entirely normal. 

I like the idea of writing his name on a sheet of paper and sticking it into my bible and giving up that responsibility. I think the symbolism of it will be what really does it for me. 

It's difficult to give up your burdens to God sometimes, to really feel the release of it from your life but I think this has just enough realness to work. 

Quoting Fayanne:

exdh is an alcoholic who now is also a nasty dirty hoarder. The divorce may have triggered the hoarding tendencies, but none of that is my fault. I will not accept any blame or responsibility for an adult making decisions that could have been thought out and acted on differently.

I did not force him to drink (though, I'm sure in his head, I did), and his nasty hoarding/hermit behavior is all on him.

I suggest you either write his name on a piece of paper and burn it, ridding you of the responsibility, leave it in a Bible, and giving the burden to God, or writing his name on a balloon, then snipping the thread and letting the wind take him wherever it will.

It is not mentally healthy to keep this burden on your shoulders.

You're not his mother. He's not a child. Stop mothering him.

If anything, he's showing you the true character of the person you married and divorced.

And since you have kids with him, be very, very careful of how you handle stress in front of them.. ie, DO NOT turn to alcohol as a way of dealing with stress.  Your kids are all at increased risk of addictive/alcohol abusive behaviors due to both their genetics  and their environment.


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