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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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Am I Wrong In Wanting Separation?

Am I Wrong In Wanting Separation & Divorce?

April 10, 2000

I like your frank style and I hope you get a chance to respond to this. I requested and initiated a separation and divorce against my husband's wishes.  I don't trust him and I don't know if I am wrong for that. "Wrong" for feeling what you feel?

A year into our marriage I found out that he was drinking heavily when he was supposedly completely sober.  I had been suspicious but he said it was all in my head and I believed him.  When he was arrested for drunk driving the truth came out and then I also heard from friends that he had been caught on numerous occasions by them but they didn't say anything because they thought I knew.  He confessed to a two year relapse in his alcoholism and sought help.  A couple of people I knew said it had been going on longer than that.  Things got better for a little while and then the same money and communication and anger issues arose again.  Every time I got someone to talk him into including me in the bills we suddenly had more money for a while.  Each time this happened, I eventually was phased out of it by him doing the finances when I wasn't home from work.  Then we had less again.  He said this was a coincidence but never showed me why it was so. Why didn't you go into your financial records to find out why?  

He became cold and distant again.  I had been going through a rough time and hadn't been easy to be around myself for quite a while.  He said it was because of that.  Garbage. That's taking his responsibility and dumping it on you. Every time we got in an argument he took off for a night or two. He offered to run all the errands and insisted there was no reason for me to go along.  I bet. He usually ran into various circumstances that made the errands take an awfully long time relative to their purposes.  He began to show definite control issues with the kids, referring to them as "insolent" to excuse his behaviors.  They are good kids. Should you trust him: has he demonstrated trustworthy behavior?

So, I decided it was time to start the divorce process.  We had been separated once before for six months.  We had been in counseling together several times.  I had heard all the promises before.  When I took over the bills, I noticed that a lot of cash had been withdrawn from the bank above and beyond family expenses that I could account for.  I also saw that our credit card was maxed out but he had thrown away the itemized portion of each bill.  I requested them from the bank.  I found several movie charges to an 800 number.  I called the number and got a listing of pornographic movies.  For reasons too long to explain here, we had an agreement from the start that he would give that stuff up. 

When I confronted him, he very calmly scolded me for jumping to conclusions.  I checked further and decided maybe I had but I couldn't find out for sure until the following Monday.  So I apologized ahead of time in case I was wrong but told him I would double check.  He then confessed to renting them because he was lonely at the hotel after a fight.  Also, three months into the separation now, the kids and I have the same standard of living we had with his income and we are fine financially.  Gee whiz! I can't help but wonder why we don't miss his income more-- and believe me, I have tried to justify it. Sounds like you've contributed to the carrying costs of his addictions...

He said recently that there was too much distrust on my part.  I agree. Then he said he knew he was being honest and trustworthy but the problem was that I couldn't get over what happened early on.  Am I wrong to be distrustful? Trust is earned. Never forget that. He needs to demonstrate a track record of trustworthy behavior before you, or anyone else, could trust him. The incident with the movies feels an awful lot like the incident with the drinking. Yep. I can't help but wonder what else he has been covering up until he is caught red handed. Yep. Is that wrong? Of him. Am I being abusive to question his word? Ugh! How can you possibly say this? What a crazy conclusion! Am I wrong to request the divorce? I don't think so; but, that doesn't matter since it's your life. I think you need to look at why you second guess yourself all the time and disregard your intuition. Seems doing so gets you in trouble...

I haven't filed the papers yet because he is being so nice again now and I wonder if I am just overly suspicious.  On the other hand, what he has done feels like emotional abuse to me because he will let me feel crazy and guilty before confessing mistakes. Yep. The addict's typical get-away-with-it mentality. He knows from experience in counseling that I can understand mistakes but openness and honesty are essential for me in a relationship.  When is distrust wrong and when is it common sense?  D

Dear D,

Why do you need validation to leave? To me, this is another no-brainer. Your husband shows a long history of get-away-with-it self-serving and manipulative behavior. He is alcoholic. He is sex-addicted. He is trying to distort your reality: YOU are too distrustful? Ugh. D: Wake up. Trust yourself. Take responsibility for your life - and only your life. You need support. Go to your own therapy. Go to ALANON. And, check out how it is that you are so easily manipulated and swayed from your own good impulses. Is your codependency showing? Ooops! Good luck, Dr. Irene