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My strength is failing

Old 03-18-2009, 09:14 AM
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My strength is failing

It has been a while since I posted. In the past I found you all to be the strength I needed to get me through with my wife's addiction.

In September we had a long talk about her drinking. Since that time things have been up and down but the good days were in greater abundance. In the last month things have taken a turn for the worse. Sunday we had a long discussion about her drinking.

She still refuses to attend AA meetings as she feels they are useless and the people there can't relate to her struggles. She won't let anyone in to help her and it frustrates me to no end. I have always told her that every A I know has someone they can call when they feel weak. I want to be that person and I realize there are times I will be the trigger so she needs someone else.

She says she never calls me becuase there are days she just wants a drink and knows I won't approve. I told her I wouldn't, why does she NEED a drink?

She got into this self pity phases, "I wish I was dead" "Why don't you just leave me" etc... I told her I have stuck around this long because I love her and I have faith that we can get through this. It ended on an up note and I thought things would be better.

Later that night she was drunk again. Monday was fine and last night I came home from watching a bag pipe band with some friends to find her drunk and home with the kids. Before I had a chance to confront her she passed out.

*mature readers next part please*
On top of that I found something that rocked my world. I was reading some mail my father sent me, one was a funny video and I had issues loading it so I was working to find a way to change my default player on the computer. In doing so I found a video she made of her self masturbating in front of the camera. I have not confronted her about this yet, last night I was going to but she passed out before I could. I just don't know what to make of it. To me the only reason you would do something like that would be to put it out to find someone on the internet. My mind is still racing trying to figure out any logical reason why she would do this. The video was only 13 sec long but you could tell she was aiming for a mood but one of the bed sheets got in her way so she stopped the recording. I assume she picked it up later once she got what she wanted.

It frustrates me to no end thinking I have been there these last four years (yes, I am your classic enabler) trying to be supportive, trying to love her better, trying over and over to get her the help so we can move on with our lives. If she is cheating this is my rock bottom and I will have reached it before her.

I read the article Cafferty with CNN wrote about his struggles and what it did to his wife and I saw myself in that article. I look back now at how I have changed these last four years and I don't like what this has turned me into. I want my life back. I want to genuinely smile again. I want to spend a night with my kids that doesn't involve her passed out on the couch or so drunk she can't even stand.

I know life will be hard. We have been married for 16 years this June and I can't imagine life without her. Scratch that, I can and it is a happy place I want to be. I just don't want to tear my family apart to get to that happy place.

Anyway, tonight I plan on letting it all out. I needed to vent here. I need to feel strong enough to say what I need to say and not whimp out when I hear her promises.

I will let you all know tomorrow how it went.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:24 AM
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First of all, I am sorry you are struggling with this, but it sounds like the light has finally come on for you, and you see where you need to go in order to become the person you want to be.

Those who are closest to the alcoholic are the least likely to be able to help.

I had to walk away from the EXAH for my own safety and sanity.

You say you don't want to tear your family apart to get to that happy place, but the blunt truth is your family is already being ripped to shreds in the current situation.

Those kids need one sane and emotionally healthy parent. She isn't it.

I will definitely add you to my prayer list. :ghug :ghug
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:54 AM
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I'm sorry the madness continues, especially with that new wrinkle. Perhaps its time to admit you can't change her, can't control her, can't cure her? Perhaps its time to detach and set boundaries?

What is it you want for your life? Assume she will never change. Is this what you want til the day you (or she) dies? What can you do for yourself to improve your situation?
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:58 AM
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She still refuses to attend AA meetings as she feels they are useless and the people there can't relate to her struggles.
The classic "I'm unique" alcoholic/addict excuse. We've ALL heard it.

I'm sorry Zak, I can hear your pain. The only thing I can relay is that it does get easier, and that living without the insanity and the impending doom an alcoholic brings into our lives is like ...well, it's like a bit of heaven here on earth.

You deserve that Zak, and your children do also. If it helps, think of things as temporary - that when she finally realizes that she is in no way unique and gets help you all can be a whole family again. There certainly is a possibility of this happening.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:12 AM
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I have wished for years she could see the light and we can move on to a happy place. That is the enabler in me, seeing something that isn't there and listening to the lies.

On Sunday I asked her how this looks to our 12 year old daughter. She will soon be dealing with peer pressure and if she were to turn to drugs or alcohol how can we hold the high ground and ask her to let us help when my AW can't even let me help? She has to set the lesson that while it is hard to let people help you, ultimately you have to let them.

Later on I talked to my daugther. She and I talk often about mom's problem. I told her this is what happens when you won't let the people who love you help you. Take this to heart, learn from mom's mistake. If she were to ever have struggles let us help her, be open to our love and realize we just want to help her. I got the "sure, what ever Dad" tweener response, hehe.
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:43 AM
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I'm so sorry for you. I too suffer from classic enabling. I won't go to a bar with AH, I won't buy his booze, I won't even give him money when he has run out, but I stay because my heart aches for the love we once shared. I yoyo between leaving and staying and making the right choice for my family. I have built up a little cash stash to help myself and my kids in the event that I finally reach my bottom. We too have very good days and lots of them, but when AH has a bad day...he still manages to bring us all down. Its really the simple things...like not talking, forgetting everything you said when we did talk, the total lack of interest. AH is no longer allowed to transport my kids. My daughter finally got her drivers permit..so that part of my safety issues is over. I have begun to stockpile foods and things that we didn't have when AH decided that he no longer loved us and walked out before. I have had some success with detachment, but that too is a struggle for me. My kids and I are very open about AH's problem. We have started writing down our thoughts. I'm tired of trying to convince him that his chosen life is leading him on a path to nowhere. He should already know this...his entire family has taken the same path.

Anyway...that was just a bunch of rambling on my part. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. It is a struggle for everyone who is associated with addiction. Very painful indeed.

Hugs,

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Old 03-18-2009, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Zak68 View Post
I told her this is what happens when you won't let the people who love you help you.
Actually, this is one of the classic false beliefs of codependents. It implies that, if the codependent (loved one) is only allowed enough access to "fix" the addict, then they can "fix" the addiction. This is a false belief, and will send you to insanity.

The statement should read:
This is what happens when you choose not to seek help, or choose not to go to any lengths to change the things you need to change.
The best people to help a substance addicted person are successfully recovering addicts. Just like the best person to do brain surgery on you is a brain surgeon. Go to the experts, who know the condition inside and out, and have experience and networks in how to solve the problem. Love doesn't do this. Loved ones don't, either. There's a reason why they don't let loved ones into the brain surgery operating room, think about it.

Sending encouragement,

CLMI
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:13 AM
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Zak, so sorry you still find yourself in this spot. The most heartbreaking part of dealing with alcoholism is the ups and downs...you think you're making progress one minute, and then you're dumped into an even deeper hole the next.

Your wife may not be CAPABLE of accepting help from others. She may just not have that ability within her -- a sponsor or AA folks might talk with her and "help" her 'til they're blue in the face, but it's possible she might never hear. And Still Waters is dead right: the "I'm unique" thing is so common in A's it makes me roll my eyes.

I am glad you're developing a vision of what you want your life to be like. That's fundamental no matter what choices she makes. You are not tearing your family apart. You are saving yourself and your kids from the shrapnel that is already flying from HER tearing it apart.

It appears to be time to set some boundaries, confront her on her infidelity, and preserve what's left of your sanity. I too seriously doubt she made a porno of herself just for her own enjoyment.

You and your kids deserve a better life than this. Not only is it horrible for all of you, but it's dangerous as well. Wishing you luck with your "talk" tonight. You have done enough now, friend
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:34 AM
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"I just don't want to tear my family apart to get to that happy place."

Many years I thought my dad had torn our family apart by leaving my mom, sister and me when we were 6 and 3. He just celebrated 20 years of happy marriage with another woman.

Truth is that even if he had stayed with my mom, he would have been miserable, she would have been miserable, and we would ALL have suffered.

It hurt and it took years to forgive, but it was for the best that he left. I believe that if you decide to leave and get to a happier place, you will feel better, your daughter will feel better, and perhaps your wife will take a look of what she is losing. But you cannot count on that, you HAVE to think of your daughter and you first.

((((((hugs))))))))))
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by catlovermi View Post
Actually, this is one of the classic false beliefs of codependents. It implies that, if the codependent (loved one) is only allowed enough access to "fix" the addict, then they can "fix" the addiction. This is a false belief, and will send you to insanity.


The best people to help a substance addicted person are successfully recovering addicts. J
I'm in AA and I can't fix anyone. No one can "fix" another person. I can tell people what I did to recover. I can share my experience, strength and hope with another person. I can make some suggestions about what might work.


It's up to the individual to fix themselves.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:12 PM
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I know I might get some resentment from my kids. If this is the end I do plan on filing for full custody. IL law states one of the reasons is 2+ years of continued substance abuse. I told her once before if it came to it I would file for full custody. Her reply, "She would see me in hell before I took her babies." I told her the courts would find it hard to rule in her favor with her addiction. She retorted the only reason I hadn't left was she was the big bread winner in the family and I would be living in a trailer without her.

Just another reason I need to break free. Lack of respect. I pull my weight. She makes about $20k more than me. I do dishes. I clean house. I do the laundry. I mow. I do house repairs. I cook... not a deadbeat dad by any means.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:16 PM
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What a chithead. Zak...my husband is an AH...and he does all the selfish things that all addicts do, but I can say that he has never berated me for what I do or how much money I make. There are many many good things about that man that I hold on to, but if I was in a situation where I was being beaten, threatened or belittled...I would hope that I would have the strength to walk away. Buddy...people do it every day. When the list of good is much smaller than the list of bad...its time. I have not reached that point...though the list keeps growing.

I wish you the best...truly. She simply does not deserve you or your efforts right now.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:31 PM
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what catlover said is true. your "help" is not her solution.

i have witnessed codependents stay married to addicts for years, as the family gets sicker and sicker and the children suffer terrible psychological damage....and you know what finally made the codependent spouse leave? finally made the codependent do what needed doing all along?

the A having an affair.

it wasn't about protecting the children. it was about being angry about being cheated on.

don't be that guy.

do what is right for your children. you are putting the A wife ahead of them in your priorities. and if you wait until she has an affair to finally leave her, you are putting you first.

what's best for your children NOW? being sickened by a passed out mom on the couch? and what decimating remarks did she make to them before she finally passed out?

you can do what's right. you'd be amazed how things start working out once you do.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Kallista View Post
I'm in AA and I can't fix anyone. No one can "fix" another person. I can tell people what I did to recover. I can share my experience, strength and hope with another person. I can make some suggestions about what might work.


It's up to the individual to fix themselves.

But, I didn't say they fix the addict. I said they are the best ones to help the addict, in recovery, to fix themselves. The help they render is their ESH, and program structure, and accountability. If you're in AA, then you know it's a "we" program, which implies you had help from others, in recovery. Who were those others?

CLMI
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Zak68 View Post
I know I might get some resentment from my kids. If this is the end I do plan on filing for full custody. IL law states one of the reasons is 2+ years of continued substance abuse. I told her once before if it came to it I would file for full custody. Her reply, "She would see me in hell before I took her babies." I told her the courts would find it hard to rule in her favor with her addiction. She retorted the only reason I hadn't left was she was the big bread winner in the family and I would be living in a trailer without her.

Just another reason I need to break free. Lack of respect. I pull my weight. She makes about $20k more than me. I do dishes. I clean house. I do the laundry. I mow. I do house repairs. I cook... not a deadbeat dad by any means.
Honey, she's quacking. Quack quack quack. Another thing they ALL do.

Sigh. She'll say anything to tear you down, because in tearing you down she thinks she builds herself up. It helps me to look at the alcoholic and see them as sick, and they are. Would you argue with an insane person? Would you take what they say about you seriously? I know it's easy to say, and that what our loved ones say to us cuts deep deep, but you have got to let it go, for your own sanity.

If I believed what my AH says about me, well - let's just say it's amazing I've managed to survive as long as I have seeing how messed up he says I am.

Some reading for you.

Addiction protects and augments itself by means of a bodyguard of lies, distortions and evasions that taken together amount to a full scale assault upon consensual reality. Because addiction involves irrational and unhealthy thinking and behavior, its presence results in cognitive dissonance both within the addict himself and in the intersubjective realm of ongoing personal relationships.

In order for the addiction to continue it requires an increasingly idiosyncratic private reality subject to the needs of the addictive process and indifferent or even actively hostile to the healthy needs of the addict and those around him. This encroachment of the fundamentally autistic, even insane private reality of the addict upon the reality of his family and close associates inevitably causes friction and churn as natural corrective feedback mechanisms come into usually futile play in an effort to restore the addict's increasingly deviant reality towards normal. Questions, discussions, presentations of facts, confrontations, pleas, threats, ultimatums and arguments are characteristic of this process, which in more fortunate and less severe cases of addiction may sometimes actually succeed in its aim of arresting the addiction. But in the more serious or advanced cases all such human counter-attacks upon the addiction, even, indeed especially when they come from those closest and dearest to the addict, fall upon deaf ears and a hardened heart. The addict's obsession-driven, monomaniacal private reality prevents him from being able to hear and assimilate anything that would if acknowledged pose a threat to the continuance of his addiction.

At this stage of addiction the addict is in fact functionally insane.

Last edited by Still Waters; 03-18-2009 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Zak68 View Post
I just don't want to tear my family apart to get to that happy place.

Anyway, tonight I plan on letting it all out. I needed to vent here. I need to feel strong enough to say what I need to say and not whimp out when I hear her promises.

I will let you all know tomorrow how it went.
You're not tearing the family apart, your wife's addiction is. I was raised in a household filled with alcoholic madness, this is the best thing you can do for you and your kids. My thoughts go out to you.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Zak68 View Post
Later that night she was drunk again. Monday was fine and last night I came home from watching a bag pipe band with some friends to find her drunk and home with the kids. Before I had a chance to confront her she passed out.
Zak, that's scary and extremely dangerous. How old are your kids? Are they old enough to be able to cope, by themselves, if there's a house fire? If not, I'd suggest you call your local child protection service and ask their advice. It was the best decision I made when I was trying to protect my children from their mother's alcoholism. My children live full-time with me now, with the local social services' (UK version of CPS) full agreement. They also arranged for alcohol abuse support services for my AXGF but she chose not to take it seriously. That was her choice. My choice was to protect my children from their mother drinking herself unconscious.

Take care of yourself and your kids. They need at least one dependable parent who's going to put their best interests first.

Mr B.

P.S. There's no point whatsoever in "confronting" an alcoholic about their drinking when they're drunk. All it will do is trigger an argument. Let it go.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:44 AM
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"P.S. There's no point whatsoever in "confronting" an alcoholic about their drinking when they're drunk. All it will do is trigger an argument. Let it go."

Or not drunk. Its called denial. And it can be deadly.
((hugs))
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