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My Name Is Lisa...

Old 06-12-2010, 12:36 PM
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My Name Is Lisa...

...and I married an alcoholic. This is my very first post, here. I have been uncomfortable at the few Al-Anon meetings I've been to, so I thought I would try an online forum.

Not sure how much to share right now, but I will say that having read so many of the posts here has made me realize that what my AH has been doing is really textbook for an alcoholic. I mean, some of your stories, I could almost finish them for you, because I have lived them myself. It makes me sad that other people have suffered too, but also gives me hope that I'm not alone.

I guess I am a little unusual in that my husband is the first A I have ever had close contact with. There was none in my family, aside from an uncle I never saw. I think that is partly why I was such a perfect enabler for such a long time, I simply did not understand.

My husband lost his job in early March, and was rapidly on his way to going from a binge drinker to a maintenance drunk. I kicked him out, and he spent six weeks in April and May in a homeless shelter/rehab facility. About a month ago I chose to let him come home, because he wanted to be with me for the birth of our first child. His son.

Sadly, the day before yesterday I made the mistake of coming home from work early, unannounced, and well.... You know the rest. To his credit, I do believe it was the first relapse he's had in 70+ days of sobriety. But still... I took him back to the shelter, and told him that when his son is born, I will bring him by to visit. But that our marriage was most likely over.

What was really hurting me the most over the last few months wasn't so much the drinking, but the unbelievable laziness and selfishness. He has not worked since March, and because he shot his mouth off at his last job, was fired and ineligible for unemployment. So my crappy little < $9/hr job was all we had to live on. And here I was 8.5 months pregnant, working 40 hours a week, while he sat at home and played on the Internet instead of looking for work.

My baby is due on June 23rd. He will not be there for me, even though we went through the natural childbirth classes together. Instead I will rely on my family. The program he is involved in now lasts from 12-16 months, depending on how well he does.

This would all be so much easier if I could just hate him. But even now, one day apart from him, I just want to see him.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:58 PM
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LisaJean welcome to the forum. I also lurked for a long time before I ever posted. And I felt just like you in that many of the stories were just like mine. My XAH was textbook. I finally realized that my story wasn't going be different than the others and have a magical ending. Our divorce was final in Jan. In hindsight I wish I had done it years ago. Like you, I had never been around alcoholics so it took me a very long time to realize that I was being lied to over and over and over.

Hang around here and you will get lots of support. I also recommend going to an Alanon meeting. It took me a long time to get up the courage to go but it was one of the best things I could have done.
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Old 06-12-2010, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LisaJean1970 View Post
My baby is due on June 23rd. He will not be there for me, even though we went through the natural childbirth classes together. Instead I will rely on my family. The program he is involved in now lasts from 12-16 months, depending on how well he does.
Hi Lisa, and welcome to SR!

My 'baby' just turned 22 years old on June 9th.

Her father wasn't there for her either, not for the birth, or anything afterwards until he made a half-hearted attempt at establishing a relationship with her when she was 8 years old. I was the one who contacted him.

That lasted a whomping year. He lives 35 miles away. He's been retired for many years now (he's 20 year older than me).

Want to know the kicker? He was a sober member of AA for 13 years when I first met and started dating him. We never married, and thank God.

He's now over 30 years 'sober', and has the same interest in his youngest daughter as he had in his first set of kids while he was still drinking.

My family 'disowned' me when I ended up pregnant with my youngest, and thank God for the loving fellowships of AA and Alanon (I'm a recovering addict/alcoholic/codependent). They were there for me through the entire pregnancy.

One of my earliest AA sponsors was there with me when I went into labor, and she stayed through the entire delivery, coaching me.

I was incredibly angry at my youngest's dad for a long time, but no more. She was truly a blessing from God, and today she knows which parent was there with her through thick and thin.

I have watched her grow up through the years, and he missed out on it all.

She's an avid horsewoman, and has been in the saddle since she was 10 years old. She trained in dressage for 8 years. She has her registered quarter horse gelding Sonny, and also has a new Palomino gelding named Argo, a paint horse, and a rescued miniature horse by the name of Tinkerbell.





She's on the drill team who brings in the flags on their horses at our state's largest rodeo, and they participate in parades all over the state. She's worked since she was 17 years old, has financed her own vehicles, paid the insurance, and has excellent credit already at her age.

It took me a long time to start focusing on the good things I do have, rather on the things that were not, but it was so worth it.

I am so glad you have a supportive family. I hope you continue to post, and know you are among people who understand!
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Old 06-13-2010, 06:47 PM
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Welcome Lisa. I am so sorry you need to be here, especially with a baby on it's way.

By the time my late ah really upped his drinking and became difficult to live with, our kids were adults so I never had the horrendous problems of those with children dependent on them, and in abusive alcoholic marriages.

I can certainly understand your dismay and anger at finding him lazily sitting around, doing nothing but drinking, while you at near full term are working at a cr*p job, for cr*p wages to pay bills etc, and doing the housework too.

Ok, so now you will not have AH at the birth, and may have to get used to the fact that he may not be in your life as an active partner ever, unless he gets thru recovery and decides he wants sobriety and responsibility.

You can only do 1 day at a time, so for now concentrate on you, your health and well being and arrange for someone to be with you at the birth. See what benefits or income you get thru Government (if any) and ask for any help you need....right now pride is a luxury.

Take a deep breathe and rest as you need to, and know lots of wishes and prayers are heading your way.

God bless
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:56 PM
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Thank you everyone for the support and encouragement. I am one week from my due date, now. And God has thrown another wrench into the works. Be prepared for semi-incoherent ramblings... I have preggo-brain.

I got a call today from a man that AH had been in contact with about a job, and it looks like he's got it. That means pulling him out of the program and bringing him home. It would also mean that he gets to be here for the birth and that he will be contributing again.

Now... If he leaves the shelter again... see he is supposed to be homeless. If I keep letting him leave that place, the folks there are going to realize that he isn't really homeless. Although as far as I'm concerned, when he's drinking, he is not welcome in my house. I am worried that if I bring him home again, he won't be able to go back. But also, is that really my concern? Just because I may not want him in my house doesn't mean it's my responsibility to find him a roof over his head.

To add to the fun... AH swore to me that his most recent relapse was the first he'd had. But his bank statement came yesterday, and I found charges on there that indicate he bought SOMETHING at the local convenient store a week before I caught him drinking. He's STILL lying to me. But the Al-Anon part of my mind reminds me that drunks just lie, and often can't even tell they are doing it, it is so instinctive.

I hate to say this, but I almost hope I die in childbirth, so my darling baby can go live with my sister and her hubby (who are amazing people), and I don't have to deal anymore. I have already named them as the baby's legal guardians, should anything happen to me. AH was fine with that, he knows he is not cut out for single dad.

So I'm torn. I'm furious at him for lying to me AGAIN, I'm desperate to have someone here with me bringing in some cash when I have the baby, he may finally have a job after four months, I want him sober, and I love him.
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:13 AM
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(((((LisaJean)))))

I'm sorry you have so many last minute stresses prior to your baby's birth. I hope you were able to get some rest last night.

I know how the pregobrain work, and I know how hard it is to rest and get comfortable during the last few days of pregnancy. Can you do something to pamper yourself today? Maybe give yourself a foot massage?

It's okay to take care of yourself today. You have been very busy creating a precious life.

As for your AH, I recommend letting him make arrangements for work and shelter. Why does he have to come home the first day he works? Nothing has changed for him except he will have a job. He may still be a lazy, couch potato husband after work. Do you need another adult to pick up after?

Your can relay the message to him at the shelter concerning his contact for employment. The shelter will have information about resources to help him get to and from his job. Let him find his way and show that he is willing to do what it takes to be a responsible partner.

He can still contribute financially to your household income without being present in the home.

I am concerned about your sadness prior to your childbirth. Can you take some time today to pick up the phone and talk to someone at your doctor's office, or can you go in for a visit? Be honest and let them know what you have been going through.

LisaJean, you have been so strong working and taking care of yourself as your body has been working overtime growning a precious baby. You must be physically exhausted. You may be a little scared to about the uncertainty of your future. You have gotten this far in life with the smart head on your shoulders and the two feet under your belly. You will find your way through this new chapter in your life!

Keep reaching out for help along the way. Reach out to someone in your community today. You are worth the effort!

Let us know how you are today and how we can help you
(((((HUGS))))
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:54 AM
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Welcome to the forum Lisa. I can tell you that if you can do something about this now, then by all means do something. I know it will be tough with your delivery date right around the corner. The sooner you can start protecting your son, the better. I am dealing with an alcoholic for a wife myself, and we have a 2 year old boy, and it does not get easier, but only harder.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:50 AM
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I agree with Pelican. His getting a job does not have to mean living with you. And if it comes down to that choice, then I firmly believe getting sober is more important than taking the job. Yes, even in this economy, and even with the imminent birth of a child. Putting his recovery on hold for temporary immediate financial gain is a recipe for disaster.

I think it would be wise to continue in your own best interests and the best interests of your baby and let him sort his life and employment out by himself.

This is my perspective using the 20/20 hindsight of having been married to an alcoholic for 20 years and having two children with him.

L
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Pelican View Post
As for your AH, I recommend letting him make arrangements for work and shelter. Why does he have to come home the first day he works?
Well the shelter he was in is one that he can't leave. I mean, he can leave any time he wants, but it's not come-and-go. You are expected to stay there and go through their program, not just crash there while you have a job. I didn't make that clear in my post.

I did end up getting a message to him, and going and collecting him and bringing him home. I'll post more detail on that in a second.

I am concerned about your sadness prior to your childbirth.
Yeaahhhhh... I'm sorry about that comment about wanting to die in childbirth. I'm hormonal. I DO have a problem with depression, but I am in treatment, and I have told my shrink that postpartum depression will most likely be an issue. She says I can call her any time for an emergency session if need be.

Thank you so much for your support, it means a lot to me. I feel like, why did this all have to happen now, while I'm pregnant? HP has a weird sense of humor, I guess. Actually, I have had a couple of half-hearted suicide attemps in the past, but ever since I got pregnant, I have known that killing myself was absolutely NOT an option. So maybe that's why HP chose now to put me through this... because he knew the baby would keep me from giving up.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PieRat View Post
Welcome to the forum Lisa. I can tell you that if you can do something about this now, then by all means do something. I know it will be tough with your delivery date right around the corner. The sooner you can start protecting your son, the better. I am dealing with an alcoholic for a wife myself, and we have a 2 year old boy, and it does not get easier, but only harder.
Thanks, Pie! I am still holding out hope that we can make things work.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
Yes, even in this economy, and even with the imminent birth of a child. Putting his recovery on hold for temporary immediate financial gain is a recipe for disaster.
I know you are probably right. But part of why AH had been drinking so bad (and relapsing) was his guilt over not having a job. I want to see if having one will make a significant difference.

This is my perspective using the 20/20 hindsight of having been married to an alcoholic for 20 years and having two children with him.
Good lord, 20 years.... My hat's off to you.

I have been lucky in a lot of ways, even with an AH. He isn't abusive or mean, he hasn't racked up my credit card bills, he doesn't drive when he's effed up, and the only time he really drinks is when he's depressed.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:47 AM
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OK, so a few days ago, hubby got a call about a job. I went to the rehab/shelter and told him about it. He called the guy, and he got the job. So I brought him home.

When we got home, we talked. I told him that I found the charge on his bank statement that indicated he had relapse earlier than the time I caught him. He confessed. I asked him if it was the day I told him I could smell it on his breath. He said yes. I reminded him that lying to me is a waste of time, because I always find out the truth. ALWAYS.

I told him that I understand that he has a disease, and that I am not going to just throw him out every time he slips up. BUT, I also told him that I demand honesty from him. When he wants a drink, he is going to tell me, and we are going to get him in touch with his support group. If he does drink, then he is going to tell me. Now if he can't manage this, then there will really not be any reason to carry on with the marriage.

He asked me as he got into the car at the shelter, "So do you trust me?"

"No," I said. "I can't trust you. You've shown me I can't. At least not when it comes to alcohol."

He was quiet, and then nodded. "But you love me?"

"Yes. If I didn't, I would have filed for separation when I put you in the shelter in April. I wish I didn't love you... it would make things easier."

He was quiet again for a long time, and then reached out and patted my knee. "I love you, too. I always have. I'm so sorry for the hell I've put you through."

I put my hand on his hand. "We all have a bottomless supply of 'sorries'. You can say it for the rest of your life, but I need to see action. I need to see that you care enough about me and your son to work on this with me. Our baby needs a daddy."

"OK....," he said.

"A sober daddy. He'll have the genetic predisposition toward alcoholism, so we need to be extra careful."

"OK."

And that's where we are at, now. He's been working the last few days, and I see a great change in him already. Now we'll see if he can stick with it.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by LisaJean1970 View Post
I know you are probably right. But part of why AH had been drinking so bad (and relapsing) was his guilt over not having a job. I want to see if having one will make a significant difference.
Don't kid yourself. He drinks because he is an alcoholic. No other reason. Mine drank because he was depressed, because he was happy, because it was Friday, because it was Monday, because it was raining, because the sun was shining.............you get the idea.

Having a job might slow it down for awhile, but until he addresses his addiction and stops blaming it on 'circumstances,' it will progress.

Originally Posted by LisaJean1970 View Post
Good lord, 20 years.... My hat's off to you.
Well, staying with an alcoholic for 20 years is not really something I am proud of. Especially the kind of childhood I subjected my children to. Being the child of an alcoholic father and a codependent mother, it was really the only thing I knew. I swore I would not raise my children the way I had been raised, and yet.......history tends to repeat itself.

If I could go back, I would want to learn more about my own issues sooner. I would have learned more about what it means to be an ACOA. I would have gone to therapy to discover why I accepted what I did in my marriage.

Originally Posted by LisaJean1970 View Post
I have been lucky in a lot of ways, even with an AH. He isn't abusive or mean, he hasn't racked up my credit card bills, he doesn't drive when he's effed up, and the only time he really drinks is when he's depressed.
You consider yourself lucky because he is not abusive or mean? Isn't that a given in a marriage? He hasn't racked up YOUR credit cards? Again, how is that a positive? Mine never did anything I would consider truly horrible either. But, looking back, I see now that my standards for a partner were very low. And little by little, they got lower. My XAH excused his drinking by the fact that I had a better paying job than him. It hurt his pride that his wife made more money than he did. It didn't take long to get from there to entitlement.

I hope things turn out the way you want them to, but your story sounds all too familiar to me.

L
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LisaJean1970 View Post
He's been working the last few days, and I see a great change in him already. Now we'll see if he can stick with it.
I'm sorry. This may sound mean or blunt, but I think a few days isn't enough to warrant having hope that an alcoholic is going to "change".

Every excuse is a valid one when an alkie wants a drink.
"I'm depressed because I have no job."
"I'm depressed because I HAVE a job and it's hard."
"I'm depressed because I have no friends."
"I'm celebrating because I have great friends."
Or..it's rainy, or the sky is bluer than it usually is. There's no rhyme or reason to it. They're all just excuses.

Where does that leave you? With choices. You can choose to take the camera off him and refocus it on YOU and your baby. You can let him do whatever he'll do, and work on yourself (al-anon, counselling, journaling, educating yourself, etc).

Again, I'm sorry if this is harsh-sounding. I guess I just don't want to see you disappointed and hurt by the false promises of an alcoholic who's not in treatment/recovery.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:22 PM
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Hey there, just a quick update. Hubby is still sober, and I'm STILL pregnant. Two days overdue, now. They're inducing me next week.

Hubby's job requires him to be on call most of the time to drive.... Meaning he can't drink! He does not drink on the job, or go to work drunk, so if he's on call, well that is a good thing.

He's working a lot of hours, but we are doing great. I greet him with kisses and dinner when he gets home most nights, and pack his little lunch bag every morning. I joked with him that I could get used to this housewife thing. He laughed, and said he'd do what he could.

Even though he just started his job, he will be able to get off the day I am induced, so he can be with me for the birth. Things are really starting to look better for us. I think it has to do with my trying to be supportive, and not just suspicious and accusatory toward him. That is, I'm honestly trying to work with him, rather than waiting for him to screw up again. I decided that if I love him and want it to work, I have to not boot him out every time he slips.

I've also been re-reading some of my posts to other people. Isn't it funny how sane and sensible we sound when we are giving someone else advice, but not when we are talking about our own situations? LOL! :crazy
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by LisaJean1970 View Post
I told him that I understand that he has a disease, and that I am not going to just throw him out every time he slips up. BUT, I also told him that I demand honesty from him. When he wants a drink, he is going to tell me, and we are going to get him in touch with his support group. If he does drink, then he is going to tell me.
Although I am a recovering codependent, I am going to speak to you as a recovering alcoholic with long-term sobriety.

Slips are for banana peels, as in "I slipped on a banana peel."

I'm particularly concerned about the portion of your statements that I put in bold.

He's a big boy and needs to put his big boy pants on.

His best support is out there among recovering alcoholics who have found a solution, and he is a big boy capable of making his own calls to support people.

When I got out of a 30 day inpatient rehab, I was in a strange new town, and the single mother of an 8 year old daughter.

There was no one there to pat me on the hand and say "Honey, you need to let me know if you want to drink and we'll take care of it together."

I had to reach out myself and make those phone calls to people in AA or get myself to a meeting or get out my Big Book, read, drop to my knees and pray.

Frankly, I'm eternally grateful for that experience because it taught me that I, and I alone am responsible for my own recovery.

You already have one baby on the way, and to be honest, you're setting yourself up for parenting two.

I'm not going to sugar-coat it for you because that's just not my style.

Give him the dignity to make his own choices, and set your boundaries firm.

You will do him, yourself, and that baby no favors if you make yourself his source of support.

I also have a 32 year old daughter who's active in addictions.

She is no longer welcome in my home.

It's just that simple.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:34 AM
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Lisa, I really try not to tell people what to do or how to think or what to say. But I am concerned about you and this baby so I am going to be direct.

About this: "So maybe that's why HP chose now to put me through this... because he knew the baby would keep me from giving up."
Suicidal thoughts, tendencies, ideations and behaviors are very serious and should not be taken lightly, especially your own. Like you, I was suicidal for most of my adult life. Sweetheart, it is so good that you have a Higher Power. But please understand that your Higher Power will not want you to depend on your child to get over your suicidal thoughts, ideas and behaviors. Your HP will want you to lean on HIM, not the baby, for this strength.

I encourage you to find social support from adults and professionals in your community to address your suicidal issues. Please try to get to a 12-Step support group, find a church or other religious group where you feel comfortable, and discuss this openly with your doctor so that they can refer you to other support mechanisms. Take good care of yourself.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:02 AM
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"I am not going to just throw him out every time he slips up. BUT, I also told him that I demand honesty from him. When he wants a drink, he is going to tell me, and we are going to get him in touch with his support group. If he does drink, then he is going to tell me. Now if he can't manage this, then there will really not be any reason to carry on with the marriage."
Lisa, EVERY time I relapse, I HIDE IT from the people who it will upset. I am not a bad, immoral or uncaring person; I am an addict, an alcoholic, and a CoDependent. Honestly, IMO it is not fair of you to create these standards and expectations of him because you are setting him up for failure. Why do you want to control him and his life in this manner?
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:40 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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My heart hurts for that little baby.

Loved th "slips are for banana peels"

I am an addict/alcoholic in recovery. "Slips" and "relapses" are not part of recovery but ACTIVE addiction. When I first got sober, especially bafore I really wanted to and before I was woeking a recovery program..if anyone gave me permission to use or drink, I would have been "slipping" a LOT. You do realize that your "there there darling its ok if you slip, for goodness sake it is a disease" stuff is giving permission for him to keep drinking..right?

Why not "begin a recovery program, stay sober.. ". His drinking is none of your business, frankly..nor is his recovery. He HAS to do it on his own.

So now this little innocent baby is going to be in the home, while you're busy "helping" your husband through something that you have absolutely no say in. Baby unfortunately has no voice either. That makes me really sad.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:42 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Excuse the typos..phone keyboard typing at its finest.
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