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Looking for some hope

Old 06-24-2008, 05:53 AM
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Looking for some hope

Hello everyone,
I am pleased that I found this site and am hoping that some of you could help me to find some hope for my future. I am engaged to my wonderful, caring and loving partner - who is an alcoholic. We've been together for 5 years and have worked through a lot of things around his addiction and my co-dependence. We've had lots of downs but many more ups.
I am finding things especially hard at the moment as it is only 3 months 'til our wedding and a few weeks ago he had drank when on a business trip. He had been sober for about 6 months so it was a bit of a shock and is especially frightening given the proximity to the wedding.
I have been seeking help here and have a very supportive family and network of people around me. He has since upped his AA meetings and seems to have understood how scary it is for me at the moment.
I've also been attending some group sessions which have kind of helped, but hearing other peoples stories at the moment is really difficult for me, especially when it involves children. I am embarking on this journey with him and I feel frightened that I may be making a mistake!?
I think what I need to hear is about people who are managing to remain sober and if a sober life is possible???
I hope some of you can help me, Thanks.
(Sorry this is so long for a first posting)
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:01 AM
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Welcome. Its great that you are seeking support and information before you get married. That is a step that can complicate your life immensely.

Are you going to AlAnon or therapy? Either can be very helpful as you learn and try to make decisions.

Personally, I wish I had listened to those quiet little voices telling me not to marry an alcoholic. It would have saved me a great deal of trouble and pain. Now I am divorced, after not quite 5 yrs of marriage.

If I could go back in time, I would not have gotten married to an active alcoholic or one in early recovery. I would have insisted on delaying the marriage until he had at least a year of sobriety under his belt, until he had shown he was strongly into recovery and all that entails. I would not have gotten married if he was drinking at all.

Yes, alcoholics can get into recovery and stay on that road. My brother has been in recovery for 20+ years. But he works at it every day, even now.

Ask yourself if your fiance is the man your want to share your life with as he is right now, not as what you think and hope he can become, as he is right now.

Better to delay your wedding until you have no doubts than to marry and have a big legal mess to get out of it later.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:37 AM
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I agree with Barb on this one, bluekangaroo. I would definitely insist on postponing for at least a year of total sobriety and a very active treatment program. Please don't think your guy is "different" from the other alcoholics in the world. Read up here today, tomorrow, and the next day on the consistent stories of women married to alcoholics. He is obviously wavering in his program with his desire to remain sober. That alone is a full-time job for an alcoholic. Another thing that is a very good rule to follow is trusting your gut. If you are having doubts, trust them. Don't try to dismiss those "red flags" you are seeing and feeling. It is important to not let yourself "imagine" what life "could" be like if he remained sober, but to see what IS in the here and now. Is this the man you want to spend the rest of your life with, as he is now? Is this man, who he is now, the one you want for the father of YOUR children? I vote on postponement of the wedding, absolutely.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:27 AM
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Welcome Blue

Not much to say after Barb's post!

Post poning the wedding IMHO while you are having those little voices/feelings within
yourself is probably a good suggestion!

I ignored them too for years and today I have found that listening has brought
me to a better place in my life-I deserve better and so do you!

Keep posting and let us know how you are doing- we are here for you!
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:08 AM
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Blue - I bet this isn't the news you wanted to hear, but I have to agree with everyone else on this one. If you have any doubts whatsoever, you might want to postpone the wedding. Even if you have everything ordered and paid for, trust your gut on this. As someone who is now getting divorced 7 years later and two kids, I wish I had waited (or known back then that my STBXAH was actually an alcoholic). You are right to be scared. Don't dismiss this red flag that God has put right in your face. (((HUGS))) I know it's a very hard position to be in.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:10 AM
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Hi Blue,

Reading your post made me think back to the lead up to my wedding some 11 years ago. I remember having some big doubts about whether he was husband material. I was naive and didn't know anything about alcoholism then. Now, 2 kids later and whole lot of grief, I'm wishing I'd listened to my fears back then.

I would describe my AH as caring and loving back then too. He was my best friend, maybe even soul mate. But that 'caring and loving' has turned into suppressive neediness and insane jealousy - I believe all this to be due to his alcoholism.

I'm in a horrible position right now of fearing that too much damage has been done, despite his plea that he has 'hit his bottom' and attended his first AA meeting this week. It's just a bit too little too late.

Tomorrow I have to meet with my 8 year old's teacher because she isn't doing to well in school at the moment. How much of it is due to having an alcoholic father? I really don't know.

What I do know is that I'm suffering badly with guilt at bringing 2 children into the world when I wasn't entirely sure the man I married was going to be a responsible father.

I agree with the others and hold off for the moment. At least you know the issues, recognise your co-dependence. That's a much better position than I was in before my marriage.

All the best.

Lorrae

P.S. I'm in Perth too!
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:32 AM
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Bluekangaroo
Welcome to SR! You'll find a great deal of support and information here. This is a place to learn about yourself and understand the disease of alcoholism and how it affects everyone around the alcoholic. The collective knowledge of the people here on SR is vast. Each story is different. Each one plays out in its own way. But as different as each story is.......they are all the same.

You are going to decide what you want to do regarding your wedding. And you are going to get to own that decision. We can all give OUR opinions on what you should do but those opinions are based upon how our lives played out. Ultimately, the decision to proceed with the wedding or postpone it will be yours.

I've also been attending some group sessions which have kind of helped, but hearing other peoples stories at the moment is really difficult for me, especially when it involves children.
This is what stuck out for me in your post. I have found that when something is difficult for me to hear, it is because I am hearing something that I don't want to face. It's my way of tuning it out and turning it off.

Stick around. SR is a great place full of really wonderful, supportive people. Just as your fiance needs the support of AA, you need support too. Educating yourself, reading the many wonderful books available on alcoholism and co-dependence, and listening to your inner voice as you educate yourself will help you make these important decisions in your life.

gentle hugs
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:57 AM
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I am embarking on this journey with him and I feel frightened that I may be making a mistake!
Above all, trust your intuition. It always speaks the truth. Ignoring my intuition has gotten me in more jams than I can count.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:29 AM
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When I got married, my husband was an active alcoholic. For me the best part of the night was when the last song "Time of my life" (from Dirty Dancing) played. My husband picked me up by the waist and spun me around with everyone watching then lowered me for a kiss and told me he loved me. It was like it was out of a movie. The sad part.... he doesn't remember it - he was too drunk. He then grabbed a couple beers and we headed up to the hotel room. We went for a quick hottub and he passed out while I watched CSI on my wedding night.

I know what it's like to hear someone say "postpone the wedding". They don't understand how embarrasing it would be, the money you've put out, the people you would have to call, the questions that would be asked.

Let me tell you how embarrasing it is when you have to go to family dinners alone because your husband shoved you against the wall, you called the cops and he can't see you for a month, the questions that are asked then, the money that is spent then, the people calling you then.

Maybe drinking on that business trip was a screw-up and he realized it and that's why he upped the meetings, maybe that was a second wake up call, maybe it's a good sign that he slipped up and didn't return to drinking, but returned to meetings, maybe it just means he's going to slip up again, maybe things will be fine, maybe they won't.

Only you know if you want to build your marriage on those maybes - whatever you decide everyone here will be there to listen and help you along the way - so even if you decide to get married, and if something goes wrong, none of those that said postpone it will say "told you so", they'll just welcome you in with open arms.

Good luck in whichever path you choose
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:33 AM
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Trying and Kind: Thank you for the reminder that we shouldn't shove our opinions down other people's throats!

Blue: I put on my codie hat and tried to tell you what to do. I apologize. You certainly need to make your own decision. And, TryingToFly is absolutely right. If you do decide to go forward and get married, I for one will not be saying "I told you so". You know what is best for you in your life. You know your fiance (we don't). We can only give you our own experiences. And many of us can relate to your story (obviously ).

Praying that God gives you guidance.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:04 PM
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As Barbara noted: "Ask yourself if your fiance is the man your want to share your life with as he is right now, not as what you think and hope he can become, as he is right now."
If he is not, you may end up spending a lot of time waiting and hoping for him to find and maintain sobriety and become that man that you want. As the child of an alcoholic, I wanted to add that, if you decide to have children with this man, you may force them to wait and hope with you. It is that much harder to walk away from someone once you have had a child with them, because it's not just about you anymore.
No one can tell you what to do, but your gut feelings are a very good place to start in making a decision.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:58 PM
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hi, bluek.

the postings here are very powerful because they are speaking the truth. in 12-step we call that "language of the heart."

your post title is "looking for some hope."

every one of these posts is filled with hope -- hope for recovery.

getting sober IS possible. staying sober IS possible. but it is an uphill battle and, in this case, that battle isn't yours, it's your fiance's.

Al-anon is a huge help in keeping the focus on me and not the alcoholic(s) in my life. it's not easy but it's worth it.

whatever you decide, everyone on this board is here with understanding, honesty and suggestions.

take good care of you.
abc
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:06 AM
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I feel that you saved me

Hello again,
Your replies were so hard to read! They were also wonderful and gave me so much strength. They helped me to get myself to my therapist - who I am completely unable to lie to. This helped me to sort out the scared feelings and separate the fear from the reality. In fact, it helped me sit in my reality.
I am not ready to marry this man.
The day after i posted here I told him I wanted to postpone the wedding. He is angry and sad. He knows that this is a direct consequence of his behaviour and his choices.
As soon as I decided I felt as though I was light as a feather. All the worry lifted off and I felt better than I've felt for two weeks (since the drink).
I felt a sense of release.
Now he is making the terrible phone calls to his family. They were all coming from the UK and so it is rather awful for them as there were flights involved and holidays booked. I cannot allow myself to think about that part of it for too long.

This bit really helped me just then - as I was trying to get through him making the calls to his mum and dad:
Originally Posted by tryingtofly View Post
I know what it's like to hear someone say "postpone the wedding". They don't understand how embarrasing it would be, the money you've put out, the people you would have to call, the questions that would be asked.

Let me tell you how embarrasing it is when you have to go to family dinners alone because your husband shoved you against the wall, you called the cops and he can't see you for a month, the questions that are asked then, the money that is spent then, the people calling you then.
My family have been very supportive and understanding.
I am looking forward to this part being over.
Thank you for your truthfulness and for letting me learn from your experiences.
I don't know what will happen next.
I will keep you posted.
Thank you again for helping me see past my confusion to the core of the issue.

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Old 06-27-2008, 06:20 AM
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As soon as I decided I felt as though I was light as a feather. All the worry lifted off and I felt better than I've felt for two weeks (since the drink).
I felt a sense of release.



And that is your intuition. Good for you, sweetie. Keep your chin up and continue taking care of YOU first.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:36 AM
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As soon as I decided I felt as though I was light as a feather. All the worry lifted off and I felt better than I've felt for two weeks (since the drink).
I felt a sense of release.
This hit home with me! This is the greatest feeling! I remember it when I had the XABF removed from my home-and then began some chaos but the feeling of worry being lifted was such a wonderful feeling!

I cannot imagine how hard it was for you to do this and make the calls etc.....as you said it is due to his behavior.

Hang in there and listen to the voices/intuition/gut when it tells you something-I always ignored mine and when I started to listen I felt so much better!

Take care of you! you will get through this!
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bluekangaroo View Post
Now he is making the terrible phone calls to his family. They were all coming from the UK and so it is rather awful for them as there were flights involved and holidays booked. I cannot allow myself to think about that part of it for too long.

This bit really helped me just then - as I was trying to get through him making the calls to his mum and dad:
I'm glad it helped you! I'm so happy for you that you're feeling better now Just remember to stay strong and keep coming back!
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