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Old 08-17-2004, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Trying to live with an alcoholic

I am new to the chat room, not new to living with an alcoholic. I have been married, divorced & remarried to the same alcoholic for 25 yrs. The biggest thing I have trouble dealing with is the disappointment that comes from living with this man. You can never make plans because you don't know if he will decide to go drink instead. When he needs a drink he is very nasty and irritable to live with and when he goes on one of his binges and gets drunk he is very hard to deal with because he feels so guilty. We was to meet for lunch today, his idea, but he decided later to be nasty so he would have a reason to go get drunk instead. The sad part is that he has to go to work and drive a semi. He is also a parttime law officer. He lives two lives. Some friends knows that he is an alcoholic, but some don't. He tries to keep it a secret. I am tired of living a lie. I don't know why I put up with this, our children are grown. When he is not needing a drink or is drunk he is my best friend. We have tried counseling separately and together, but he says he likes to drink and we all will just have to live with it. How or why do I keep living with constant disappointments from this man?
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey disappointed,
You don't have to "just live" with anything.
The constant disappointments are hard.
We get to choose whether or not we will continue to live with them.
That can be a difficult choice to make.
One thing I did while I was dealing with active addiction was to always have a Plan B.
That way if his drinking iterfered with our plans, I always had a back up plan.
I figured that way, I was being just as cunning and baffling as the disease.
Welcome to Sober Recovery. I'm glad you're here.
Gabe
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Disappointed,
Welcome to SR. There is no easy answers to dealing with alcoholism. There is a lot of help and support here. Feel free to browse the boards. There are people learning to cope and even be happy while dealing with alcoholism. It is hard to watch our loved ones being destroyed by alcoholism and addiction, but we can learn not to go down with them, and to find the love and support we need to live better. Glad you found us. Hope you stick around. Be sure to check out the powerposts at the top of the forum. They have some great information. You don't have to go through this alone anymore. Hugs, Magic
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi there Disapointed,
You just told my story, only it's 23 years for me. Sometimes I think we are all married to the same man. I stay because it's not all bad all the time. (And I do not want to start over at age 49, ugh) What I have done, though, is become very independent. I actually expect disapointments, so when I don't get them, I'm surprised! Gabe's Plan B works well for me too. I could be very depressed as I sit here and write this, as a binge is in the making, but I'm so tired of years of feeling bad, I have decided to take steps to feel good again. Remember feeling good? Relaxed? Not on edge? What I find fascinating, about myself is my reactions to verbal abuse and disapointment are changing. It's as if, the more I learn and concentrate on becoming the person I want to be, the less I am upset about what's coming my way in the form of bad behavior, and it gets easier and easier to blow off. I have come to the conclusion that I can have a happy life without my AH meeting any of my expectations. Without treating him badly. Maybe that's not expecting enough, I don't know. All I know is that it works for me, and you will find some way to reconcile the dissapointment you have, if you continue to stay, because we HAVE to. It's either that or we are miserable. And I know I'm sick to death of miserable. Well, that's just what I have to offer. Keep coming back, it's really helped me!
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Disappointed. Know where you are coming from. It is 25 years for me. Only my AH left me and our kids recently to "take up" with his best friends wife. As bad as my pain and disappointment was when he was here and drunk, the pain of this right now is worse. At least that I had enough experience to deal with.
Take care. This is a great place to find people who understand what is going on.
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Old 08-18-2004, 08:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you. I know I am not all alone. It does sound like we are married to the same man. I try to have a Plan B. I have friends & family that become my Plan B, but sometimes I feel like I am using them when my AH decides to go on a binge. They are all very understanding "sometimes" but I still think they get tired of me and my problem. It is hard to plan anything because you never know what the A is going to do. Like yesterday I thought he was being nasty so he could go on a binge, but he didn't. He was still in a very nasty mood when I got home from work. It was a relief when they called him out to work. He called today and was just as nasty as yesterday. I don't know if he'll go on a binge today, he likes to keep you wondering. He said he was in a bad mood because I try to control him. I do not make any plans that involves him unless its his idea. I don't know what to do anymore.
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Old 08-18-2004, 10:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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One thing that has helped me is to get involved with Al-Anon meetings. I have people who understand what I'm struggling with to call on. I have books to read that can guide me those situations. I have learned to take care of me, and not suffer the results of the alcoholics choices.Getting involved with Al-Anon was the best thing I have ever done for myself. It has helped me to heal and become whole. It has given me self worth and self esteem. It has given me love that I never thought I could have. I encourage anyone looking to find peace and serenity to try Al-Anon. To locate a meeting http://www.al-anon-alateen.org/ and click on "Find a Meeting."
It will take you to local sites that list meeting schedules. It was the beginning of a new and better life for me. Hugs, Magic
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Old 08-18-2004, 12:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i kind of fall into the category Elaine2 said - not bad all the time andwho wants to start over (at 52 for me). al-anon is slowly helping me and i have visited with my eap (employee assistance program) counselor at work and am going to get a referral for a therapist. i hope that these tools and also this site will help me - it already has! the folks here have been great and someone always answers you post no matter what time of day or night!

hugs to you disappointed
hugs to all who share their thoughts and knowledge!

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Old 08-18-2004, 09:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This discussion of not wanting to start over again at this age, reminded me that when I was 24 I thought I was too old to go back to college. It took a lot of courage for me to register for that first semester - I had 2 kids (one with special needs) - but I knew in my heart that I didn't want to look back in twenty years and be a 44 year old who was wishing she had finished her degree. I was working at the time too and one of my co-workers was in her 40s still talking about going back to school. She doesn't realize what a motivator she was in my decision.

Anyway, the point is, that after reading many of the SR threads, I am starting to think that I should find the courage to leave my AH for the same reason I went to school. Its not too late even at age 50. While, I have invested 9 years in this relationship, do I really want to look back in another 5 years and regret the time I spent with a man who is incapable of a fully participating in a marriage and life?

I'm not prepared to answer that question tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never.

Live Strong
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Disappointed,all these men sound like my AH in some ways. Plan B seems to be the only plan I use these days. Living with a AH is actually very boring...the same old thing..over and over again. Can't go to a movie and dinner out on a Saturday night,because AH is drunk by 5:00PM. He thinks he is sober,swears to me he could walk a straight line,touch his fingers to his nose and doesn't see any pink elephants. Unusually I just keep my mouth shut and go to plan B,without even telling him. Gets old,but have gotten use to it. My FIL is the same way. Goes to his pub about every night of the week to see his tart friend. They get drunk together and FIL comes home at all hours of the night. Can't even remember what happened the night before. If I had all the money these two have spend at pubs and on alcohol I would be weathy and could afford to do as I please. Alcohol...runs us at least £150.00 a week. Very expensive habit or disease..whatever you prefer to call it. For the last year I have been keeping a diary of when my AH is drinking. Looking back over the entries,they all seem to be the same. On Friday,Saturday,Sunday and Monday nights he drinks..rest of the week he works..so he doesn't drink. He gets 31 day holiday leave per year. For the four years we have been together..he has always taken the full 31 days of holiday by May of that year. The same this year..he has nothing left and still takes Mondays off. He does make good money,but to tell the truth I am surprised he hasn't been sacked. Okay..I will quit quacking..! Good to vent,tho.
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Old 08-19-2004, 05:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Boring...bjmt...I think that is the first time I have heard that and you know what? You are right. Boring, predictable and tedious...I have to wonder about other long term marriages tho...wouldn't they become the same? Predictable?

Being married for a long time, successfully, requires tolerance whether the other person is an alcoholic or not. Being married to someone who doesn't have the same goals and values is part of life doncha think?

I like to consider myself a bit of a health nut...needless to say Ward is not. I think that bother's me more than even the drinking. He can afford it, he goes to work, he doesn't get nasty...when we have somewhere to go he behaves himself **.9% of the time. I am no longer dissappointed when he falls face first in his dinner, in the privacy of his own home...it makes me sad. But I grab a book or take a walk.

I am not trying to make any point here...I have not been in a real good place with him lately. So I need to remember what I just posted.

Thanks,
JT
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Old 08-19-2004, 07:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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A big part of this whole thing for me was when I could separate the drinking from the rest. I concentrated so hard on the drinking that I really had no clue as to whether there was anything else to consider. All I ever thought was, Get him to quit drinking and everything will be great.

I think in any marriage - long-term, short-term, addictive or not, there are compromises. Nothing is ever perfect. The difference, to me, in a non-addictive marriage is that there is communication regarding the issues and hopefully, your spouse is willing to make some compromises of their own.

I think with any marriage, I have to access whether the compromises I am making are ones I am willing to make. I can live with toilet seats left up, fishing obsessions, different taste in movies and messy garages. I don't think I'm willing to live with someone is incapable or unwilling to share a life with me.
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Old 08-23-2004, 07:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Just an update on my last post. My AH decided to go on a binge instead of picking up our grandson. He left our daughter-in-law hanging like he does me. He disappeared, didn't go to his usual establishment. No phone calls to anyone. The daughter-in-law was very angry that he would disappoint his grandson. He keeps doing this I'm afraid they will keep our grandson from him. I have tried to tell him that this could happen all he says is he doesn't care. I am tired of living like this, I need to seriously consider moving on and starting over at 48.
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Old 08-23-2004, 09:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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sorry to hear your update. we all have our limits and it sounds like you have reached yours. even if that is your decision, you should still look into al-anon meetings.

hugs and prayers to you - cwohio
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Old 08-24-2004, 10:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I remember asking my AH (now coming up on one year sober) why he drank, why he wouldn't stop, explaining (begging) to him that he was killing himself. He very loudly said to me "I WON'T STOP, I LIKE TO DRINK".

I stood there stunned and realized how sick he really was. There was nothing more I could say or do, he had said it all with those 7 simple words. That was the day I knew boundaries had to be set for myself. It was the rocky beginning of the long road to recovery, one that is still in progress, but has smoothed out. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-24-2004, 11:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I have been there too. My AH told me that he felt he should be able to come home from work and drink if he wanted. I agreed with him. He is an adult. It should be his decision ALONE if that's what he wants to do. I emphasize the alone part because that's how he ended up when he was drinking - alone. Finally, I think he's realizing that that is not what he wants after all. He is finally understanding that he can't have it both ways - me and a bottle. He has to make a choice. And he knows that I have a choice too. I'm standing strong. It isn't always easy but it does make life easier.

Good Luck
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Old 08-24-2004, 12:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I found that my AH had to reach his bottom before he got help. I had already reached mine and started Alanon. He has been sober for 3 months and that is a new process for both of us. Some days are very good and some are very hard. He is learning how to live and so am I. Hang in there and I will say a prayer for you.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hello. I am new to this forum. I understand exactly what you are going through, because it sounds so much like my life. I have also divorced my husband. Have actually separated at least four times and am currently still with him it will be 16 years that we have been together. We have two boys. I have tried to be supportive & understanding ...I stood by him when he went to jail for domestic violence and went through the rap program. Once he completed the program the drinking started again. My heart sinks every time I see him drunk. I am currently not working and unable to because I have bipolor disorder & ptsd. So I have alot to deal with on a daily basis. I am so tired. I know his drinking problem is his problem to fix not mine...I have been working on loving detachment...but it is still hard to see someone you love destroying themselves and their family. We have amazing kids both kind compasionate honor roll kids who have never been in trouble . I am not perfect but I consider myself a good person, my husband has an amazing family I wish he could see that but the booze clouds all that. When he is sober he is a completely different person he is my best friend a loving father a compassionate. Person, when he drinks its. 360. I want this family to continue I just do know if it can because of his drinking and it tearing me apart. I don't want to take my home from my kids and quite frankly I can't afford to. I feel so lost.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Sorry for the grammar....typing while upset ..not good
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Hi, mez. Welcome to SR. You have responded on a very old thread from 2004. You might want to start your own thread. At the top of the list of thread, there is a "start a new thread" button. If you click on that, you can post and you will get some response.
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