I had a message from my ex husband’s daughter today, to say my ex husband died. He was only in his early 50’s. His daughter is understandably in shock. His mother is devastated to lose her only son. Only 3 years after losing her husband.
It’s all very sad. Over the last few weeks, I had been talking about my ex husband. He was an addict, addicted to gambling and alcohol, as was his father. His mother was the text book enabler of them both. Her whole life centred around her husband and son, and enabling their behaviour, to ‘keep the peace’.
My ex husband was abusive. He hit me when drunk. There was financial abuse – where he spent his money on his addictions and I paid most of the bills. It was a toxic marriage, as he was a compulsive liar and I never knew what he was doing, or what state he would come home in. This clearly did not help my complex trauma issue. And it is part of my trauma history.
I tried so hard to ‘save’ him. I tried to help him stop drinking. He told me many times – I was the only person who truly wanted him to be well, sober and have a good life. I know he loved his parents – but knew they enabled his addictions. He told me I was the only person who truly loved him in a healthy way.
He was an addict, raised by an addict father and addict enabler mother. It is truly so sad.
During the times he was abusing me, his mother and some of his friends, blamed me for the abuse. They used phrases like “if you didn’t wind him up when drunk – he wouldn’t hit you”, “you knew he drank a lot, so why complain’. So to them – it was ‘me’ with the problem. In their toxic minds, I shouldn’t have been upset or annoyed about his drinking. I should just tolerate it and keep quiet. But, I didn’t. I wanted him well.
When I last saw him, he was ill. His liver was swollen and he was generally ill from all the alcohol. And I know he was devastated that our marriage was over for good. He begged me to try again. But, I didn’t. I knew I had to end the marriage.
Over the last few weeks, I have been talking about the differences between him and my current husband. My ex did actually ask questions about my past, the abuse, my abusive mother etc. He did actually care enough to think about how my past had affected my life and wanted to let me talk about it. I know his abuse was addiction related. If he had been able to get sober and stay sober, he would have been a decent person.
Whereas, my current husband never asked about my past. My current husband is in fact, far more selfish than my ex. My current husband has no addictions, and was/is selfish to the core – all the time and stone cold sober. All I have been to my current husband – is an object there for his needs only. And I have endured abuse from him, for 16 years. And he feels no remorse and no shame at all.
I have told my current husband this over the last few weeks. And how my ex, whilst abusive, was more caring than he is. Which was a shock for him to realise. I was only with my ex for 5 years. I was with my current husband 10 years – before my breakdown – and he never asked a single question about my trauma history. Never gave it a thought. Never asked whether I wanted to talk about it. Not a single second of anything – but his toxic selfishness.
But, at least my ex did think about my past. He did show interest. He did offer compassionate words about how hard my relationship with my mother was. He did care.
It is a bizarre situation to be in, when I can say my ex – an addict, who did abuse me drunk…. was in fact a better husband than my current husband.
I am glad though, to have been thinking these good thoughts about my ex. Before he died. And it does feel weird that I was thinking about the good things my ex did, and the good person he could be….. only within the 2 weeks before his death.
My ex husband was abusive. There is no doubting that. He was fucked up. He was an addict. He had enabling parents and friends. But, he had good within him. He could be unselfish. He could and was good and caring at times.
All this is very emotional to deal with. I have been out this morning to buy cards for his daughter and mother. I will arrange flowers are sent to them both.
As they live the other side of the world from me, I can’t attend the funeral. I wish I could.
I do know I will grieve this. I was married to the man and I loved him. He has died too young and his mother has to bury her only son. His daughter has to grieve the death of her father, too young. It’s heartbreaking.
And I will hold on to the good about him and I know God knows he could be a good man.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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