I'm New - and confused

Old 05-29-2003, 10:32 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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I'm New - and confused

Hi everyone! I just found your message board and could really use some support.

I was concerned about my husbands drinking from the time I first started dating him 13 years ago, but it didn't get "bad" until about 6 years ago. Over the last 3 years it's become unbearable. I went to my first and only Alanon meeting 2 1/2 yrs ago after the police came to our house for a domestic disturbance. I could bearly make it through the meeting. As it happened I had my then 2 and 4 yr old with me.

My husband and I are both professional people. I've tried for the last 2 yrs to get him to get professional help. He just kept saying he could quit on his own. The ramifications of seeking professional help were more than he would ever consider - and to me that just meant he and his job were worth more than his family.

Things have been incredibly stressful and draining the last 3 yrs. It was all topped off with our second visit from the police resulting in a DUI, domestic battery, leaving scene of accident, etc, which put him in jail for 2 days (over Mothers Day). We had put our marriage in Gods hands weeks before that in a last hope effort of saving things. I have to think that this whole situation, as terrible as it's been, has been God's way of making him hit bottom and finally get help.

Three days after getting out of jail he went in for a 28 day treatment program. Tomorrow will be his halfway point.

I know he's making progress, and now more than ever I'm optimistic that he will quit... but now comes what I'm struggling with... what I'm starting to realize is part of being co-dependant.
I'm having a real tough time this last week figuring out what I'm feeling. Part of me is thrilled at the chance to start our lives and our marriage over again. At the same time, I had reached the point of being ready to walk out and had anticipated the relief a divorce would bring to my life. My job has had a project going on these last 2 weeks that has not allowed me to take time off and with everything that's happened I'm so emotionally drained right now. My mind is scattered and people notice that, but they have no idea what I'm dealing with. My dh doesn't want me to talk to anyone about any of this - he doesn't want anyone to know. Meanwhile I'm ready to explode with such a mass of emotional confusion! I just need to talk to someone who can listen and understand! When I talk to him on the phone, he's definately a changed man from the one I've known the last 2 years. His head is clear and focused. When I went to visit last week (20 hrs in the car w/ 2 small children - ARRGHHHHHH!) his eyes weren't glossed over and he was much more tolerant and calm. So many things LOOK good - but it's like my body refuses to let me accept this. He wants me to be positive when I talk to him. OK, fine, let me just forget all the hell he's put me through the last many years, let's forget all the drunken fights, the verbal abuse, the yelling at the kids, driving after drinking, etc, etc. I just can't do it.

I plan to go to my 2nd Alanon meeting tomorrow. Today I got the audio book (no time right now to sit down and read!) "Codependent No More". I'm hoping to find answers to what I'm feeling and what can give me some form of peace. I feel like I'm living an internal hell while trying to keep up the appearance that everything is normal.

Sorry this has gotten so long. I just needed to spill my guts a little - and you, in some form, happen to be here.

Thanks for listening. If you have any advice, PLEASE let me know!

p.s. - I'm going in for the family program next week. I've heard great things about it. I need great things right now.
Old 05-30-2003, 12:09 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Morning Glory
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Hi yingyang,

Welcome to the forum. You've come to the right place to talk and get support. So many wives here have experienced all the things you are saying. They'll be along to welcome you and share their experience.

Please keep checking back.

Old 05-30-2003, 12:24 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
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yingyang (I really like that screen name)

First let me say "WELCOME to this site". It's a great place with wonderful caring people all with different experiences, yet the same, and with one common goal as a whole. It's a perfect place to purge, ask questions, and share.

My heart goes out to you. Going to the meetings is a good idea. It may be more worth while if you could find a sitter for the little ones, but that's just my opinion.

Speaking as the one with the problem, I know now I put the ones that cared about me through hell. There was not a whole lot they could do - my alcohol abuse was something I had to learn to be honest about, decide for myself about and accept - my family couldn't do it for me.

I understand you love your husband and want him to be sober. Ultimately, accepting he has a problem and wants a life of sobriety has to come from him.

I'm sure the other caring people on this site will be posting there welcomes and will be providng better information shortly.

Just stay strong - post and purge as much as you need to here.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

God bless
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Old 05-30-2003, 02:30 AM
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Welcome yingyang!!

I am so glad you found us! There are so many super people here. Going to a meeting and reading are positive steps. Check out the power posts at the top of the Al-anon and Nar-anon boards too. They have a wealth of info!!! Remember to take care of YOU! That is great that your husband is in a program. It is hard to forget about all the bad times his drinking caused. We can forgive sometimes, but forgetting is another story. It does get easier when you start working on your recovery.

Take care and keep coming back,
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Old 05-30-2003, 04:08 AM
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HI YY and welcome to the boards!

I understand all the emotions you're feeling. My husband is an addict and we've been through all the ups and downs of his using and recovery.

Check out some of the power posts at the top of the al-anon and nar-anon boards. It will help you understand some of the roles we've been playing and ways to get off the rollercoaster. As Matters said, we also have our own recovery to deal with and work on.

Take care and keep coming back!


Last edited by journeygal; 05-30-2003 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 05-30-2003, 05:00 AM
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Hi Yingyang,

Welcome to the crowd! You've found a place where all of us can identify with your rollercoaster of emotions for we are living it, too.

I think you are on the right track by checking out another Al Anon meeting and getting the audio book of Codependent No More. Al Anon has truly changed my life and the way I look at the problem of alcohol/drugs in my A's life. Even though my posts scream that I'm in a tizzy some days (we don't get well overnight), my life is truly much more peaceful than it was before I found this board and became a member of Al Anon.

And I'm glad you're going to family week. The professionals there will be able to help you understand and you'll have the opportunity to ask questions, too.

Just take it one day at a time, yingyang. It's way too overwhelming if you continue to think about everything that has gone on and then everything you want to go on.

Now keep coming back and keep us posted. We do care.


Hangin' In
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Old 05-30-2003, 05:05 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mich
Posts: 212

I've been where you are too and can totally relate to you! Although I have no advice for you as to what you should do with your marriage, going to an Alanon meeting was the best thing I did for myself. I read a lot and learned a lot about what alcoholism is and how it affects those that are alcoholics. I too had a lot, and I mean a lot of resentment towards my husband as he had lost 2 jobs in 2 years and put us in an ugly money situation...and I mean ugly! We are just know 1 1/2 years later, digging ourselves out of it. But, I had to let go and let God.....and to be honest, for me, that felt like a HUGE weight off my shoulders...and I do mean HUGE!! He still has his ups and downs, but now, I let HIM deal with the thing about my situation, we have never had physical violence or confrontations....but he's called me enough names when he's drinking to last a life time! I guess I just look at him when he's drinking and think that it's not him's the ugly disease and it's mad at ME because I want HIM to be healthy and free of it...make sense??

This weekend, do 2 things...first of all, go to the meeting and if you don't feel like talking, or you cry the entire first time you talk (which I did!!) that's okay! Just listen and it'll make you see that you are NOT alone!! and secondly, do something nice for YOU!! Wanna a bubble bath?? Take one! Wanna go shopping for a new outfit?? Do it! Also, spend some time with your kids...go see a movie with have a great way of distracting us!! Oh yeah, one more thing...come here and vent as often as you want!! The peole here are great and very good listeners I too am new to this board and have learned that quickly!!!

Hugs to you!
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Old 05-30-2003, 05:12 AM
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Hi YingYang,
Welcome to the forum. This has been a wonderful place of healing for me over the last year or so. THe folks here have been through it all and share all their feelings and fears.

My husband is still actively drinking. So I have had many simular situations. What has helped me the most is going to face to face Alanon meetings. Somehow hearing others share the same feelings and experiences took a huge load off my shoulders. I didn't feel so alone and so shamefull. Sharing here has also been a lifesaver. The people really care and share true feelings with a backdrop of love for you.

A word of caution: we need recovery just as much as the alcoholic does, and recovery takes time. This is not an overnight program, where your problems will be resolved quickly and your fears will melt away. My experience has been that it is a slow process. But there is a certain amount of relief when you first come for help and begin recovery. If you keep reading, sharing, soul searching, then you can find your way back to who you were ment to be.

Sorry this has gotten so long. I want to encourage you and welcome you. Please share here often, we are always here to listen and care.
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Old 05-30-2003, 05:16 AM
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I completely understand where you are coming from! I too am married to an alcoholic. You are dealing with a lot right now.

Take this time, while your husband is gone to take care of yourself. Begin to do nice things for yourself--you deserve it! I know with the verbal abuse, you have probably come to believe that you don't deserve it, but you really do. You have taken some really good steps--first by going to Al-Anon meetings and by finding this board. The "CoDependent no More" tape is sure to help, as well (I'm currently reading the book--and Wow! it has really opened my eyes).

You have a right to feel all the mixed-up emotions you are feeling right now--work your way through them. You are a strong lady!

You have found the right place--everyone here is just wonderful! You can tell us everything--you don't have to hold it in anymore--we understand! As Journeygal suggested, read the power-posts at the top of this forum--they contain a wealth of information.

Take care of yourself,

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Old 05-30-2003, 08:44 AM
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Location: ohio
Posts: 322
along with everyone else welcome yingyang !

there is great talk here, and as we say in alanon
take what you like and leave the rest !
I have come to realize life is a journey(before i came
into recovery i existed but not sure where i was headed)
change is so hard and not usualy very welcomed, but
now that i realize change is needed to get well physicaly,
mentaly and spiritualy I welcome what my HP and I can do
to continue this walk.
Please be gentle on yourself,you have been through much pain
try not to make large decisions in your life until the mind can focus with clarity.
We are all just real folks here sharing our experience, strength and hope with each other.
keep coming back !
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Old 05-30-2003, 08:52 AM
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You will get through this! This is a great place to be. I found that I was not alone and that this crap is not normal. I have moved from co-dependent to terribly detached. Mine is in rehab and I don't want him back quite honestly. This time in my house has been so wonderful. I come home and the house is clean, he's not passed out, there is still money in the bank account from when I put it there (he was not working)'s so stable...I finally feel in control of my life again. Read, read read, go to meetings. You are where I was 2 years ago, small children, etc...As he goes through his process, you have to start your healing process yourself. These people are so supportive as the ones you will find in al-anon. You will cry alot, but the crying will start to stop.
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Old 05-30-2003, 07:29 PM
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Thank you all so much for your posts. I've had a long week of working nights and taking care of the kids during the day so I'm feeling pretty exhausted today. I talked to dh on the phone earlier. He wants me to be positive and supportive. I'm, quite honestly, enjoying my time away from him (detaching) but also terribly confused about what I'm feeling.. how I should handle things and what does the future hold. So many questions are running through my mind. How can I be supportive now that he's in recovery, yet still allow myself the space I need from him right now? and if I don't give him the support he says he needs, how will that affect "us" in the long term. What will it be like when he comes home? Can I ever fall in love with him again? Today I was thinking about it all and I just said to myself "I'm just so angry at him for what he's done and everything that's happened" and while I don't really understand the real depth to all the pent up anger, it still felt so good to say that to myself. I can feel the anxiety come back when I think about him completing his program and the pressure I'm going to feel from him to have things perfect in our life now that "he's done his part". Things aren't perfect and they're not going to be for a long time. He's going to be home, not working for 5 months minimum after he gets out. He's lost his license so I'll have to do all the driving for the kids, etc. I just have so much to sort out and I don't know when or how to do it.

Thanks again for your posts! It helps so much just to tell someone about it. Maybe with enough talking I can start to understand what's going on.

Old 05-30-2003, 08:27 PM
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Learning to love life...
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 529
Hi Yingyang
I just wanted to welcome you too...

I know exactly where you are right now... I remember those feelings so well - and STILL feel them!

My husband is an Alcoholic and an Addict and went treatment last summer. While he was away, I enjoyed my freedom. I began to see what a mess I had put myself in trying to deal with his disease.

And the hardest part was the fact that I was still so ANGRY with him! HE was the reason we were broke! HE was the SHAME attached to our name! HE was the one who broke promises to me and the kids! - And now, because he was in treatment, all was forgiven?! OOHHHHHHH... I was not willing to give up that anger. Although, I never knew exactly what I wanted in return... as compensation... but I wanted something.

I had been attenting Alanon meetings for a while, and was trying to begin a recovery for about 6 months at this point. I was there physically... but I wasn't ready to SURRENDER to it. And for the program to work... we have to give ourselves to it.

And now, I get it.
My A had relapsed many times after treatment... and there was a point in which I hit a bottom. He left one Friday and didn't return until Monday. He had spent over $5000 on drugs and booze, got his truck impounded and didn't show up for work (we are self-employed). I had had enuf. I told him to not come home... I wasn't going to live with an active addict any longer.

He has been sober just over a month now
And ME?
I just began to understood that HE doesn't make me happy... or sad, or angry, or hurt... I am in control of my own emotions! If he uses, he cannot live here plain and simple... And I'll still be OK no matter what.

And it's amazing what has happened in our relationship since I had this "awakening". I no longer react to his behaviors, or hide my feelings to not upset him. I just feel and do whatever I want... even if HE reacts to me. He goes to his meetings; I go to mine. We work our OWN programs, yet are still able to talk openly about them with each other. And we actually have a friendship again! Weird... I guess when you spend all this time OBSESSING, you lose sight of the simple things that brought u to each other in the first place.

I just want you to know that so many of us have had the struggles u are having right now. Try to get to a meeting, begin your OWN program. I know you'll "get it" too

Take care
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