Go Back   SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information > Friends and Family > Friends and Family of Alcoholics
Forgot Password? Join Us!
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read Chat Room [2]

Welcome to the Sober Recovery Community

Already registered? Login above ---^
To take advantage of all Posting, Chatting, Gaming, and all the features available at SoberRecovery, join the over 100,000 current members, and become a member of our supportive community today! Ads will no longer appear on the forums, once you register.

LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-27-2006, 09:33 AM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: new jersey
Posts: 4
How to detach

How do I deal with an AW who only acts up some of the time? She can go for a couple of months without drinking (at least I think she can). Last week I came home from work, she's drunk, my 3 young daughters are home and she informs me that she's going to drive my 10 yr old to basketball practice AND coach the team! Naturally, I object and refused to let my daughter in the car with AW. She tells me she's not drunk but took a sleeping pill to relax (as if that's supposed to make me feel better--another lie, she's drunk). A big fight ensues, kids crying, they don't understand why we're fighting. Ultimately, I drive my daughter to practice and coach the team that night, which I'm happy to do when I can.

How do I detach, how do I not be co-dependent, how do I not enable when the safety of my 3 children are involved. How do I do those things and protect my girls? Her behavior is forcing the children to be involved in confilcts they don't need to be involved in.

She seems to think it's no big deal AND she has already had one accident while drunk with kids in the car.

It's an endless cycle of dysfunction and chaos.
justabouthadit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2006, 10:17 AM   #2 (permalink)

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: East Coast
Posts: 45
Detaching is difficult. You need to set boundaries and stick with them. An example would be, "your bahavior is hurtful and if you do not stop, I will need to do what I have to in order to protect me and the children". This would suggest that either you will leave with your kids or she will have to leave.

An AW who insists on driving the children to practice is frightening. I know, my AW was doing it as well before she had a DUI and went to rehab. I travel with my job and never knew what was going on while I was gone. When I was home, I did the driving. I was not very good about setting boundaries and detaching myself in those days. I know better now.

You have to protect yourself and your children from the affects of this disease. It sometimes means making very difficult choices. I would also suggest that you attend Al-anon. It has helped me. I'm fortunate enough to have a men's group that is all men like us with AWs' who are either actively drinking or in recovery. Detachment is a big part of what you can learn there. Getting out of codependent bahavior is another skill you can learn. You basically need to let your AW make her own choices (as long as they are not hurtful to others) and allow her to be accountable for her actions. Do not continue to bail her out of her jams. That's enabling.

I know exactly what you are dealing with. I lived it myself. Let us know how things go for you.
steady14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2006, 10:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
denny57's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 5,077
I would also suggest Al-Anon, and Alateen for the children if they are affected negatively. If that's not for you, there are other support groups out there - interacting with people who understand exactly what I am going through has been so helpful for me.

Several of my friends also attend a "stag" meeting and absolutely love it - so you can check if one exists near you.

Take care and keep posting.
denny57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2006, 11:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
been searching for the dream
IrshIzNotSmilin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Inhaling the mountain air through my mind's eye.
Posts: 240
Hi Just, This sounds so very harrowing and difficult for you and your children. I do not have children and do not know how it would be to go through what you are going through with children. Do they know that their mom has a problem? Do they understand it at all?

I was just married in 2005. My AH is a very functional person. He had 4 kids and they are all seemingly ok. Functional, successful people. If he had been more of an outward drunk I think that they may have been worse off. Who knows?

I do not like being married to someone who drinks but I love him and don't leave and I have stopped the threats because that gets me no where fast. I find this all new and do not know much. I do know that detaching is so difficult because your emotions are so involved. In your case even more so because of a longer marriage and children.

I like al-anon it has really helped. You did the right thing and took over regarding the game. I think boundaries do help and I go to private counselling too alone. It helps me understand more about boundaries and how to do that and in turn helps me detach. I have worked hard daily to let go and let god. To let him do as I know he will to protect me. My AH will never not drink but I have tried to speak to him about what I can and can't accept. I will not drive with him when he drinks unless I get the keys to drive us home. He can drink and drink if he wants but I am going to drive. Maybe that is a good place to start when AW is sober to discuss some of the things you feel you can't accept like driving your children when she knows (AW) that she has had a drink or two or three. Whatever. I stopped telling AH he is an alcoholic it was like talking to a wall. I lean on laws, police, reputation, being embarrassed, etc. so that AH will understand that I know he drinks but I will not be able to deal in x,y,z situation whatever you feel is necessary for your family to function. Boundaries are understandings not ultimatums so make sure that if you set one you set one without saying or else. To get back to my example for me " I would like you to give me the keys if you have been drinking and let me drive home if you argue with me ( which he used to) I will call a cab" I now get the keys with little argument when he is drinking. It is not easy to maintain all the new boundaries so try to set them as you see a need not just a blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh of them because they will have no meaning and you need to make sure you are able to carry them out. I hope this helps. I wish you well. Irsh
If God Brings You To It, He Will Bring You Through It
IrshIzNotSmilin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2006, 04:32 PM   #5 (permalink)

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: southern indiana
Posts: 2,145
hi hadit,
detachment was a very difficult concept for me to grasp. i either thought it was cutting them off at the knees, or shunning them in the beginning of my recovery.

one time, i made xah leave and rented him an apt. for one month. he didn't have food, gas money, etc. he would call and lay on the guilt. i would fix him plates of food and take to him. my al-anon family group was telling me to detach, detach, detach. i didn't know how. didn't know what it was.

i needed examples.....my abstract thinking was nearly gone after living with effects of alcoholism for so long.

so they gave me some examples based on their experiences.....a light bulb went off.....i thought i got it.....so i bought him crappy food and took to him. things i knew he hated, things i knew he would have to struggle to cook.
things i knew would punish him.

i didn't realize it at the time, tho. when i proudly shared this at my meeting, boy, was i ever in for a wake-up call.....they gently explained detachment, yet again......and after quite awhile, i finally got it.

point is.....al-anon, or any other recovery program is going to be essential in the quality of you and your childrens life.

the help is there,,,,please consider accepting that help.

it saved my life.

embraced2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 06:27 AM   #6 (permalink)

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Dover, Pa
Posts: 21
I just lost a good friend to alcoholism this week. We were very close for 9 years but for 6 months up until June I had a wonderful friendship. I helped him through rehab and was happy to do it but was finding that by continuing to see him I was being consumed. I never tried to change him, we were just close. He was also seeing someone else and I felt short changed and he always said I was jealous. I really did love the man but I didn't think I could deal with the other woman as well, He said he couldn't see just one person but he was spending a lot of time with her. I decided to detach as much as I could, not emailing, not calling, not seeing him. I wanted him to focus on his recovery and I just felt that if he wanted me eventually it would happen. Well, it didn't and he lost his battle. Did I take detachment to the extreme? I can only hope my physical and emotional detachment did not provide him with a void that made him relapse. He was an alcoholic for 40 years. He did have the other lady to lean on. Just felling a little guilty with his death. It was very difficult to not see him but I knew if I continued to see him I would have continued to be sucked in and it didn't look like the relationshop was really going to go anywhere for one reason or another. he had many reasons. I never enabled, never yelled at him, never criticized him for his illness, just couldn't deal with the other woman. I have never known him to stop drinking for more than a month.
supporter11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 07:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
Becoming a Butterfly
WantsOut's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 904
supporter11, how did you come to respond to this thread? It's from all the way back in 2006.
Susan: Arthur, a real woman could stop you from drinking.
Arthur: She'd have to be a real BIG woman.
WantsOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 07:14 AM   #8 (permalink)

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Dover, Pa
Posts: 21

I did a search on deatchment and this came up. I didn't look at the date. I will try to find posts a little more current unless you can direct me there.
supporter11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 07:22 AM   #9 (permalink)

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: illinois
Posts: 6
Blog Entries: 1
what difference does it make when the thread was originally posted? i just read the whole thing and found it to be very helpful information. thanks supporter for posting on this old thread, if you had not done it, i wouldnt have read it. thanks again. i have always been very bad at detachment. i think most people in my life figure they can do whatever they want because i will never detach from them. it is something i must work on. thanks again.
gringa is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to gringa For This Useful Post:
Brownm (08-23-2011)
Old 04-05-2008, 07:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
Becoming a Butterfly
WantsOut's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 904
The reason I asked is because we've had a disruptor already today and it's a common disruptive technique to reply to ancient messages and get everyone else to reply to them as well. I'm not accusing anyone of anything, just noting the supporter11 has only a few posts and replied to an old message on the same day we had a disruptor.

That said I am loathe to push away anyone who needs help. This board is an incredibly helpful place. It's such a great place that I feel protective of it.

Supporter11, I'm not in charge of anything - I'm just a person who suggests you read the old threads but start new ones if you want to talk about the issues the old thread brought up. I hope you understand where I'm coming from and know that it's not personal.

Susan: Arthur, a real woman could stop you from drinking.
Arthur: She'd have to be a real BIG woman.
WantsOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 07:13 AM   #11 (permalink)

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 91
For me, detachment just happened on it's own I think more than anything. I don't recall making a conscious effort to say "I'm not going to let this/that bother me" or "I'm not going to react to this/that".

But what happened with me was that somewhere along the way I just stopped caring, for lack of a better term. I realized that I couldn't stop her from drinking, but that I didn't have to participate by going out to clubs or stopping to buy more booze...and I also realized that even if I drank an occasional beer in front of her it didn't matter because she was going to drink anyway....

So it got to a point where I'd just go do my own thing at the house or wherever and just didn't hang around her much. I can't say I did anything to make myself detach, it just happened naturally. What pushed me over the line was the continued dishonesty because I'd come to accept the drinking.
AskingWhy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2008, 08:42 AM   #12 (permalink)

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: illinois
Posts: 6
Blog Entries: 1
wantsout, what is a disruptor. I seriously dont know and I am curious.
gringa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2008, 11:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
GiveLove's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Stumbling toward happiness
Posts: 4,818
Blog Entries: 2
Originally Posted by supporter11 View Post
He was an alcoholic for 40 years.
so, supporter, read this again.
Did you cause his alcoholism? Could you just turn it off, like flipping a switch? Did you have the power to cure him, to make him stop drinking? You were willing to be loyal to him, but he needed to have multiple partners and you made the best choice for yourself and your own life.

This is not your fault. Be sad, grieve the loss of this person, but throw out the guilt. It's not yours to bear: his death is a consequence of his own choices, not yours.


p.s WantsOut, when someone does a search they find topics both new and old. If one seems super helpful, they often jump to reply without checking the date. It's not done on purpose....and like gringa said, sometimes it's helpful to someone else. I personally don't find it disruptive; even a problem posted five years ago can be educational today.
"Tell me, what are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?" --Mary Oliver

"Action is the antidote to despair." --Joan Baez

"False hopes bind us to unlivable situations, and blind us to real possibilities." --Derrick Jensen
GiveLove is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:01 PM.

National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers
Drug Rehab | Best Treatment Center | Detox Center | Residential Treatment Center
Cocaine/Crack Treatment | Alcohol Rehab | Heroin/Oxycontin Treatment Center | Crystal Meth Treatment | Marijuana Treatment | Methadone Treatment | Suboxone Treatment
Local Treatment Resources and Events
Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | DC | Delaware
Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine
Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire
New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island
South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennesee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

© 2013 Internet Brands. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Health Disclaimer
A proud member of the SoberRecovery® Network of Addiction and Recovery Websites