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wife of an alcoholic and don't know what to do

Old 07-17-2003, 06:19 PM
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chrissy
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Unhappy wife of an alcoholic and don't know what to do

Well, I don't know how to start off. I am 24 years old and my husband (age 32) is an alcoholic. We have been married a little over a year now and things seem to just be getting worse. When we first met, he was not drinking and was just the greatest person in the world. Then came the alcohol. I married him knowing of his drinking problems in the past and hoped they wouldn't surface, but they have. He has admitted that he has a drinking problem but he will not seek any help. I have wanted to leave him so many times, but I just can't give up on our marriage that easily - I am a fighter. He asked me Saturday to help him to detox (as we can't afford rehab) and after long consideration, I agreed to help. He admitted that he has been drinking 4 pints of vodka a day and didn't want to live this lifestyle anymore. So, off I went to the store and bought 2 1/2 pints to last for Saturday night and Sunday. Well, of course, it worked for these two days. Currently, he is not working and I am. So, Monday I go to work and come home and all seems good. Then Tuesday afternoon rolls around and to my surprise (yeh, right) he had been drinking. And then Wednesday and now today. I don't know how he is buying it. I have not been giving him any money and I hid his car keys. He doesn't work so why would he need them anyway. I am to the point where I just don't give a flip. I have made it up in my mind to save up some money and get the heck on. I just don't think that I am strong enough to leave. I tried it before and came right back. I know that he will not give up his drinking if I leave but I just don't know what to do. We always end up in a fight whenever I try to talk to him about hiding his drinking. Just like tonight, I knew by looking at him that he had been drinking and when I said something to him, he looked me in the eyes and flat out lied. And I get so angry when he lies to me, especially about drinking. I just can't keep dealing with this. I need some help or advice on how to get him to stop cause I don't want our marriage to fall apart due to alcohol. I want to have a family with him, but I feel like he doesn't even care about me. I could go on and on but I thought that this would be a start. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Old 07-17-2003, 07:10 PM
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(((Chrissy))) Sending you plenty of HUGS and caring! It's good you can share your thoughts here. There are plenty of wonderful people who will listen and care and understand. It's just plain AWFUL to see a loved one destroy themselves with liquor. It hurts, yet there is the possibility of making changes for YOU that will be good for him, too. Do "what it takes" to take good care of you - day by day, moment by moment. (((HUGS)))
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by chrissy
I have wanted to leave him so many times, but I just can't give up on our marriage that easily - I am a fighter.
Chrissy:

You are probably not going to believe this, but you can NOT fight this. In fact, if you try to fight this (like I did) you will make things worse. He'll see you trying to control his life, he'll feel guilty for drinking, and then turn on you to relieve his guilt.

Read the book "Getting them sober" by Toby Drews. The title of the book is misleading -- the book will actually explain to you, how to keep his addiction from ruining YOUR life. The author chose the title "Getting Them Sober", because the BEST way to encourage an alcoholic to get help is to let the consequences of the drinking fall on THEIR shoulders, not yours.

Another excellent book is "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. It'll help you recognize how living with an addict is affecting your life and what to do to make yourself better.

I understand that you don't want to "give up" on your marriage. But it takes 2 to make a marriage work. He has to do his share of the lifting. You can't do his share for him.
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:58 PM
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(((Crissy))))

Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you found this site, you will find so much support, love and understanding here. So many of us have been and are still where you’re at. I, myself struggle daily. My H is in recovery now and we are currently separated, and he is doing really well. Keeping my mind off of him and on me is the hard part though. I have forever thought I could “fix” him too, and letting go of that and realizing that I have no control over him, that I am powerless over his addiction issues is HARD to do. Concentrating on me, being honest with myself and learning the behaviors about me that I need to change is very hard too. Letting go of his problem, and letting him take care of himself is hard. It’s scary to think about the future, but if we learn to live just for today and concentrate on us, it’s a little easier to deal with. Every time I post something on here, I am truly touched by the responses of encouragement and support that I get, and it always helps me put the focus back on myself rather than him. I can’t control his future, and I can’t control our marriage, but I can work on me so that I have a healthy future, whatever the outcome is.
If you haven’t tried face to face Alanon meetings, please consider it. I debated for weeks before I went to my first one, I was skeptical at first, but like here, you will find support and encouragement and lots of love.
I wish you the very best, stay strong and keep posting,


p.s. I agree with EyesOpen about making things worse. My H has many resentments towards me for some of the things I did in my attempts to control his ability to fund his habit. Not only do I have to learn to trust him again, but he also has to learn to believe in me that I no longer want to control anything about his life.
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Old 07-18-2003, 04:26 AM
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Chrissy,

The Toby Drew books are great to read for this.

You can't fight this disease that's for sure, they have to bottom out.

What struck me is your age. Are you sure you want to live with this? You don't have kids yet.

Sounds like his drinking is pretty severe 4 pints of Vodka a day is a tremendous amount to drink.

Don't get into trying to help him detox, if it doesn't work which it won't because he'll sabatoge it, he'll blame it on you.

Any Alanon in your area?

Ngaire
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Old 07-18-2003, 05:53 AM
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(((((((((((Chrissy)))))))))))))

I want to start off with a big hug for you because I know how miserable it can be!!!

I married my husband at 22, we both partied a TON! Fortunately I was never addicted, however he was. I didn't admit it until we were well into our 30's......I turn 37 today. For now (only for a few months) he is sober and things are wonderful, for how long I don't know.

My point is your only 24 and you don't have children and have been married relatively a short time. I know the feeling of not quitting and fighting to the end, but it is going to be a loooonnnng uphill battle with NO GAURANTEE that he will ever stop drinking. Things will only become more complicated if you decide to have children......trust me I know. You have plenty of time at your age to start a family, even if you started over in a new relationship.

I know I said some things that aren't going to sit well, but I am talking from experience and hind sight.......I mean no hard feelings only to share how I might have changed things had I found al-anon BEFORE I turned 36.

Lots of Love to you, keep coming here and working on you!
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Old 07-18-2003, 09:02 AM
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Hi Constant,

I agrree with you on what you've just said.

Ngaire
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:52 AM
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Chrissy...

Please think long and hard before helping your A detox. I have tried this with my A once or twice and it was not pleasant. My A has severe mood swings and detoxing at home was pretty rough. After those times I believe it is better to go through a detox program. I know recovery programs are expensive and I know here we have a detox program called Pathways. The cost is based on income and it is a wonderful place. I'm sure your area should have something like that.

Just take one day at a time and the answers will come to you as they are meant to. Best of life to you as you well deserve it.
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Old 07-21-2003, 05:29 AM
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It's a really co-dependent thing to help our partners with their recoveries, it's unhealthy for both parties. Both people need room to grow on their own in order to recover. Helping him detox would be a really detrimental thing to do.

Ngaire
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Old 07-21-2003, 08:26 AM
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myles:

I am really beginning to see that the people closest to the A (people who have spent time around them) are the worst people to be invovled in recovery --- it really reminds me of Alzheimer's disease in regard to being emotionally attached to the patient. For family members, caretaking someone with Alzheimers causes so much emotional pain, because you want the loved one to love you back. The pain of not being loved back can interfere with the caretaking.

But for a stranger to care for an Alzheimer's patient, there's no emotional need on the caretaker's part, so they can be objective in helping the patient.

Sounds cruel, but hands off seems to be the best thing for everybody.
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Old 07-21-2003, 09:01 AM
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(((((((Chrissy))))))))

Sending lots of hugs! You have found a wonderful place! Please make yourself at home. There are really great power posts at the top of the forum, which will help you. It's a great place to start. Take care of yourself!

Lyn
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Old 07-21-2003, 01:24 PM
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As with many of the people here, I've been where you are now and I can tell you of the regrets that I have so that maybe you can change something in your life before you look back with regrets in your life.
My H and I met before he drank also and then it started. We've been together for 15 years (married for 8 out of the 15) and have children. I saw that he had a drinking problem almost from the start but I just though it was something that young people do but if we got married and had kids that he would grow up and stop his partying. I kept hoping for him to "get tired" of drinking but he never did-he just did it more and although I let him know it was making us unhappy for him to drink he wasn't ready to stop. I still held out hope that he would just stop on his own someday. The last 12 years or so just got progressively worse year after year. When our oldest was born I remember him getting someone to sneak him a sports bottle with booze in it while I was in the delivery room! Having children didn't have an impact on him as far as cleaning up his act. He was a good father when he was sober and he was never physically violent to us and he did provide a paycheck but we didn't really have HIM. Whatever time off he had was used to drink. Vacations were usually ruined because he was too drunk by 8:00 AM do ANYTHING. I held on year after year just hoping and waiting and trying to keep our little family together and happy. I learned to not lock ourselves into situations (cookouts, parties, outings etc.) since I never knew what shape he would be in and thus isolated myself from my family and friends. His family could see his problem but they all just carried on like I did and hoped things would someday get better.
Well recently I found myself in a position where I could no longer cover up for my H nor expose our children to his behavior. He has been given many chances with the support he says he needed and each time he went back to the bottle.
I am no longer living with my H (althoug I too never thought I could really leave -but I did) and have the responsibility of caring for our small children by myself. He has lost his job and is still going nowhere but down. Most of what he says are lies-big and small. I don't think I could ever trust him so I can't see us having a relationship any longer. Our children do not understand why they don't live with their father and it is impossible to look into their little eyes and tell them something that would make sense to them.
Let your husband know that this is not the life you choose to live and if he wants to spend it with you then he has to make some changes in his life. You can't force him to stop drinking but you can stand your ground and do what's best for you. Let him be aware of what you are thinking (as long as this would not compromise your safety) but be ready to stand firm on what you say. Sometimes when they see what they stand to lose it may give them the courage to seek help but sometimes they don't see it until it's too late.
I can't tell you (nor can anyone) what the right thing to do is for you but I've found that if I had listened to my gut more when I was younger my life could have been happier. I hope he decides to seek help.
Good Luck
Crayolamom
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Old 07-21-2003, 08:13 PM
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Hi Chrissy
I am new here also and just learning about this, but our stories are quite similar except I havent married my A yet. We are engaged.

It is so hard isnt it when you love them so much and soooo want to help them. My A lives with me and my 7 year old son. I kept giving him chance after chance after chance and received all the promises over and over again.

Yes, he also resented me for trying to get him to stop and making the demands.

I finally told him he had to leave last week. He has now moved out and has started AA. I went with him tonight to an open meeting. I went to try and educate myself not for him.

I dont know if I am still being fed a bunch of baloney from him, but I do feel like he is trying.

I finally did have to make that decision though and let him go for my own good as well as my sons. I havent given up hope on him but I also know at this point in time that I cant live with him and worry about him all the time either. I did finally realize that I cant fix this, he has to want to help himself. I only hope that he is on the way to doing that.
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