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Old 06-21-2008, 04:58 PM
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Hi all. I just found out two days ago my husband of 12 yrs is an alcoholic. I'm shocked, but I guess I was more in denial. My husband's father is a recovering alcoholic (sober over 20 years) and my father is still drinking, so we are both very aware of the dangers (or so I thought). He didn't take his first drink until the age of 31, but said he would only drink beer and wasn't at all interested in hard alcohol. It started out slowly, as I saw his drinking progress (hard alcohol) I would talk to him about my fears and anxieties and he always assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. Recently I saw a larger increase in his drinking beer (maybe 6 beers a week or more) and he was acting strange at times. He sometimes had slurred speech, would not seem to focus on what I was telling him or forgetting what I had just said. My suspicions were that he was drinking, but when I'd confront him he said no and gave me either reasonable answers or made me feel that I was judging him. I started to feel like I was going a little crazy, feeling like I was overly paranoid. Thursday I called him during the day to see what he was doing (his office is out of our home) and he didn't sound quite right; slurring, and forgetting what I just said. I made no mention of my concern and decided to drive home. I walked in and he came down to greet me and I flat out asked him to let me smell his breath. Boom, alcohol! I asked him and this time he did not deny it, he as been drinking vodka staight among others. He went on to tell me that he drank frequently during the day while I was at work and would make sure it was early enough that when I would get home for lunch or at the end of the day he would be sober. His other time would be late at night after I would go to sleep. When he did smell like beer I asked how many beer had he been drinking and he said he was only drinkin O'Dules (sp?, non-alcoholic beer). I really had no idea this was going on for 6 years. He said he really only started sneaking it in the last year or so. Everything i thought was true turns out to be a lie and i am having a difficult time. He said he is no longer going to drink and realizes what a mistake it is. He has told his parents and vows to never take another drink again. I want to believe him, but I'm so hurt and angry. I can't trust him. More than the drinking it is his lying that I can't seem to get past. I'm lost and feel alone without anyone to talk to. This is why I'm here. Sorry for the very long post. Any words of encouragement and support would be most appreciated. I love my husband and want to help him and want to work things out, but my fear and anger are a bit over powering right now. Thanks for listening.
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Old 06-21-2008, 05:33 PM
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There is nothing you can do to help your husband--he has to seek help for himself--but you can get help for yourself. Many members of this forum found help through therapy, attending Alanon meetings, and participating on this forum.

While I was initially shocked to find out my boyfriend was an alcoholic, looking back over the years, I knew he was--probably from the start--I just didn't want to see or accept the truth. Denial is a power thing.

The good news is that you're no longer living in denial. You're facing the problem head on. But it's a long, uphill battle. When I cornered him, my boyfriend also admitted he was an alcoholic and promised to stop drinking, too. What I didn't understand at the time was that he'd been lying to me about his drinking for years and he'd become quite a masterful liar. He'd tell me anything I wanted to hear to keep things at status quo. The lying didn't stop simply because he fessed up to his drinking. So please don't fool yourself into thinking that this masterful liar has suddenly changed and is now telling you the truth. He'll just try to hide his drinking more effectively.

And when you catch him in the inevitable lies, he'll try and turn the tables on you, claim you drive him to drink, or deny it completely and make you feel like you're the crazy one.

How do I know this? It happened to me. And based on my reading this forum over the last four years, it happens with most active alcoholics. It's a pattern that repeats itself again and again. So it's best to keep in mind that until alcoholics get help and get some serious recovery under their belts, the lying and manipulating and blaming and other unacceptable behaviors continue. That doesn't mean you have to accept them, though.

For me the ultimate solution was to end the relationship. But it took me a long time to realize that I was on a sinking ship. Others will stop by soon and share their experience, strength, and hope.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:57 PM
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My suspicions were that he was drinking, but when I'd confront him he said no and gave me either reasonable answers or made me feel that I was judging him. I started to feel like I was going a little crazy, feeling like I was overly paranoid.

I remember when I discovered that my husband was an alcoholic. Although it was very painful it also helped me see things clearly. Knowing what the problem was....it helped me make sense of things rather than feeling crazy.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:19 PM
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Welcome to SR. But I'm sorry that you are dealing with the issue that brings us all here. There are a lot of truly kind people here who have been through this and we are here to give and get support.

Acknowledging the problem is the first step to recovery.

gentle hugs
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:09 PM
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Hi and Welcome!

I found out after 3 years of being with my ex that he was an alcoholic. Actually, I thought were were getting engaged when he dropped the bomb on me. A pint of whiskey a night is what he was drinking. I didn't live with him and had NO clue.

I started going to alanon shortly after he told me. I stayed with him for 7 months after hoping he would get help. He told me he was never going to drink again and was ready to commit to a sober life. Then came the fights to continue to drink socially. They got worse and worse until I couldn't take anymore and ended the relationship over Thanksgiving weekend. BUT I've learned a lot since then.

Like you, I could not get over the lies. I could not understand what happened, how I missed it or where to go from a life and a person I thought I knew. I figured out that I could do nothing to help him. If he wanted to continue to drink, it was his choice. If he was going to pick alcohol over me (which he did) then I would have to accept that. I can no more control his actions than control when the sun will come up in the morning.

As time has gone on I have learned that focusing on myself has been the best thing I could have done for me and for him. I no longer stress out over whether he is going to get sober or how bad his life might look if he doesn't. I worry about him still, but I worry about myself more and what I want for my life.

There are days where I'm still angry, but I've worked through a lot of that. I can't change the past or what he did, but I can change what my future will look like. I have done that through the help of alanon and posting here. It took a while, but the best thing for you to do is let go and let him make the choices that he wants to. Otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy trying to "fix" HIS problem, and that is no way to live.

Big hugs to you! Keep posting!
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:16 PM
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Thank you all. Before everything went down we had previous plans with some friends to go out tonight. I thought we should cancel, but my husband said he could handle it. We decided to go out to dinner. After dinner the other people wanted to hang out a little more so we went to another restaurant that has more of a bar atmosphere. They are very old friends of mine, we didn't tell them anything and they didn't question why he wasn't drinking. I was pretty anxious the entire time. The evening ended pretty early and I asked him how he was feeling. He says strong and it didn't bother him much. I'm still nervous. His father just called and is checking in with him. Any advise on how to interact on a social level going forward?
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Old 06-21-2008, 11:23 PM
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Why do you have to tell anyone anything about why he is not drinking? It's his problem, not yours. It's also not your shame, it's his.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:14 AM
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I don't know. I realize it's his problem, but I feel the shame too and haven't learned yet how to deal with my feelings. Again, I don't know how to deal with things on a social level. I don't to be a liar, but it is a private thing. I'm just very confused right now.
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:03 AM
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I would suggest educating yourself on alcoholism and copendency. Having information may lead to a better understnading of what has been going on, what is going on, what you can do to improve your life and for you to find the best way for you to go forward. Information is empowering. Although, if you are like me, at first it will make you feel a whole range of emotions. As you beging to understand though, you can start to feel better over all and can make more informed decisions.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:55 PM
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If he's out in public drinking, then it's a public thing. I'd be willing to bet that, although he didn't drink in front of you last night, that he's already got a stash in your home. True alcoholics can't go very long without alcohol or they suffer some nasty side effects of withdrawal. Again, be careful not to be fooled by your husband, or worse, to fool yourself.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:48 PM
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I have to agree with formerdoormat. Based on your husband's description of his drinking habits (drinking daily, drinking when you are out, starting and stopping before lunch, straight vodka, etc), he has probably not really been sober for a while. It is very unlikely that he can just stop cold without any side effects. My mom's an A and she can seem quite sober, but I know that she has to drink round the clock to avoid getting sick.
This is not for you to feel shame around. It's not your's.
You didn't cause it, can't control it and can't cure it.
Do educate yourself and be prepared for a bumpy ride. Be careful that you don't just 'hear what you want to hear' and ignore your gut. Alcoholics can be very convincing and you already know that he can be very deceitful to cover his addiction. Your AH may really think that he wants to stop, but it is so much easier said than done. At the end of the day, he has to want to and he has to find his own way to do it.
Take care of yourself.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:00 PM
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I appreciate all your advise. I'm currently looking for some material to educate myself. My husband started reading The Big Book. I might start reading this too. I will try to be on the lookout for hidden bottles and all. I just can't spend all my time watching him and I'm trying to understand that, but it's hard.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:31 PM
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Hey Confused,

You found a great place. I've been on here for about 4 months now and my whole story has played out here on SR.

I was aware of my wife's drinking and after many years I confronted her. (I didn't realize it was a true problem for a long time...) She agreed to stop but instead just starting hiding it - she also hid more than her drinking. When I confronted her she turned it around on me and this grew to where it applied to everything, not just drinking.

I finally stood my ground and quit believing the problem was me, I'm in the process of a divorce now, and it is very difficult, but this will come to an end -and a lot sooner than the 9 years I spent in my marriage.

Best of luck to you and your husband, I've prayed for your situation and your family.

Peace and blessings,

TD
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