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Old 08-15-2010, 07:03 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
RIP Sweet Suki
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You don't have to make any decisions right this minute. If he wants to recover, he will. It's not necessary to kick him out for that to happen.

Have you considered attending Al-anon meetings?
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:11 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I disagree that the 20 years sobriety counts for nothing, or that it's denial to hope he will find his way again. Clearly, he took his recovery for granted, but I've known people who have had the same experience get well and realize what went wrong in their recovery.

The bottom line really IS what is best for you. What you do has relatively little to do with whether he recovers or not.

I agree with Suki that you would probably benefit from attending Al-Anon and taking your time to decide what is really best for you.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:06 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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"You don't have to make any decisions yet." Thank you, Suki. I need to hear that over and over. No more reacting, flying off the handle, either-or ultimatums I can't carry through. . .It is easy for me to say since I don't live with my RAH right now. If I were living with him even as he pursues recovery, I'm not sure I would be able to be as calm and clear. So, I'm sure Joslyn it's rough for you. When you are ready to make decisions, you will. In the meantime, please focus on/take care of yourself and your children.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:55 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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first of all, welcome to sober recovery. i hope you will continue to come here, to glean insights from others, and to process the enormous stuff you are dealing with.

i think that if he's going to get, and stay, sober, he certainly can do it inside or outside your home. as learn andlexie have said, let's try and turn this a bit and make the discussion not about what's best for him, but what's best for you. your children, yes. but what is best for you is assuredly what is best for them as well.

i understand that you don't want them to leave their beloved school, or for you to have to move and such. but that's just your fear talking. please don't stay stuck in a situation of this level of dysfunction so that they won't have to experience changes like that. those things are things. your sanity, your calm and content disposition, are infinitely more important. really. i believe this with all my heart.

my children were older when i broke up our family. but you know what? when my oldest daughter was 19 or 20, she wrote on facebook for all the world to see, that she wanted to be like her mother when she grows up, because her mom is "so smart, and strong and i love her so much"
it's the best things anyone has ever said to me. and i think i remember it because when i think of her saying that, it's all about how i had the courage to do what i believed i needed to do.

it takes courage, and discernment. you're still working through that second one. you'll get there.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:38 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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hi josyln-

at this stage, it is not about his preferences!

can you identify what you want?

i'm in therapy, and when my therapist asked me what i wanted, i responded a whole bunch of things about what i wanted my xABF to do. she corrected me and asked me again. and i couldn't even answer! because i didn't know.

with time, i know now. i want peace in my home.

i lived for many years like you, waiting for the other shoe to drop. it's not nice.

so, joslyn, what is it you want?

just a side note, in you initial post, the way you stated a few things concerned me...specifically...."you sent him to the shower" or "you sent him outside to speak to the police officers..."

are you his boss?

i understand very much the desire to control the alcoholic....however, he is a grown man...surely, he can make his own decisions about showering or not...or whether to go meet the police or not...

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Old 08-16-2010, 09:52 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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You are an eye opener - you all are...

I must be the ideal codependent, because I do a great job bossing people around, even at work lol. At least I do it constructively at work,, while providing advice blah blah. I have come to realize that I try to control not only my AH, but my teenage daughter that is careening into a negative grade point average. I think my codependent behavior has reeked havoc on her as well. My sister struggled with cancer this year (a second time but she is doing well), this stress along with my daughter's failing grades put me in a spiral, of constant struggles with my daughter to get better grades. I think I'm learning something here that not only my AH has to get his OWN life together, that my daughter needs to take it upon herself to do better in school, without my checking her grades and constant battles to get her homework done. I have found a new calm during the day as the weekend went ok. My AH hasn't seen my calm take control (he's seen my take control but usually it's when I'm in drill sargeant mode), so I don't think he knows what to think of it. Today, I focused on getting my son to his first day of fifth grade. NO I didn't get mad at my AH that he was still sleeping on the couch and finally got up to say goodbye to our son. My old codependent self would have been knocking stuff around and slamming cabinets in my passive aggressive way to get him to help me, but I took it upon myself that this is MY responsibility to get my son to school and we had a great morning. I'm taking it one day at a time, and I have found that my worst time to sleep is 2-6 (eyes wide open!), but I was able to manage only being awake from 3-4 and was able to go back to sleep because I wasn't obsessing about what my AH "might" do to get help today. That's his problem not mine. Chapter 3 of Codependent No More. Am I on the right track? AND THANK YOU TO YOU ALL you are a God send to me.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:23 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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but my teenage daughter that is careening into a negative grade point average. I think my codependent behavior has reeked havoc on her as well. My sister struggled with cancer this year (a second time but she is doing well), this stress along with my daughter's failing grades put me in a spiral, of constant struggles with my daughter to get better grades.
Be careful about blaming yourself everything - your daughter's grades may be a result of stress given the situation or possibly something else.

QUOTE]My question is, does he have to move out to recover? If not, how do we coexist? [/QUOTE]

Whether an A has stopped drinking for a week or fifty years they are in recovery. That is obvious, look at your husband. So if he moves out now at what point do you decide "ok it's been long enough - he should be fine" There is no point in time when that will never happen, there is always a risk of relapse.

So there is no right answer - you just have to decide what you can live with and where you will draw the line.

Keep posting
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:29 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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I took it upon myself that this is MY responsibility to get my son to school and we had a great morning.
That makes me smile. I'm SO GLAD you and your son had a great morning. Just because your husband is screwing up his life doesn't mean he gets to screw up the lives of his children and his wife as well.

I can spend my life being resentful and angry towards my ex for being a drug addict, an absent father, and just a selfish jerk in general. Or not. I'd rather take responsibility for the choices I have made in my life, work hard to be the best person I can be and put all my efforts into raising happy well-adjusted children. No matter what their father does.

I think that's what they call DETACHMENT.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:22 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Detachment - ah I just discovered it and it feels great

I'm on chapter 5 of the Codependent No More book, and I'm already using some of the ideas in that chapter. I can totally related, and I already feel better knowing that I have alternatives to coping with this, and focusing on MYSELF, what a great burden that is lifted. I know it's not a magic pill, this detachment idea, and it will have its ups and downs, but I already feel better, and communicating altogether differently with my AH and my daughter.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:06 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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I can honestly say I understand. My family is a nice middle class family...on the outside. I have a 10 and a 4 year old. My husband was a drinker. He is also on meds for anxiety. Well, this past April (day before Easter) he was to meet us at my mother's house to go to church w/us. He never showed. Long story short, I got a phone call when I got home to come to a home nearby. He had gotten wasted, broken into their home and trashed their house. We dont know these people at all. He caused about $15k in damages. He has caused emoational damage I cannot even explain to myself and my girls. I found out he had been picking them up from school while he had been drinking. It makes me sick. It makes him sick now too, but at the time he thought he had it all under control.

He went to rehab and has been clean since. I am so mad that this was his bottom. Why was it not losing his family?? Causing us so much grief and shame?? Causing anxiety to our children?? Does not matter, none of that was his bottom, this was. He has to live w/that, but so do we. Horrible.

I took my children to counseling during this time. I am in counseling, so is he. We are hanging on, life is getting better. We are lucky no one was home and no one was hurt. This man is/was a social worker. If I had not seen the evidence myself I would never believe my husband had done this. His bottom was waking up in jail and not having a clue what he had done to get there. There is still a possibility he could go to jail for this, we will know at sentencing next Friday for sure.

Moral of my story is this. I cannot believe I was so wrapped up in his disease to have let it get this far. I cannot believe I sat back while he risked my children. I cannot believe I have let them be exposed to this. I have agreed to try and work it out. I am trying and it is the hardest thing I have ever done. I dont know if I can ever get past all of this anger I feel. I dont want my children to grow up and think this type of thing is normal, to live through this.
There is no question I have hit my bottom. If he screws up again...ever...HE WILL LEAVE. Not me, him. I am done. I talked honestly and openly with my 10 year old. If you do the same you will be very surprised how much they realize about what is going on, or at least I was. I let my husband come back home after rehab b/c it was hard for my kids to have him gone. That was a mistake. His recovery is so emoationally consuming that I dont think I am focusing on myself and my kids enough. If I had told him to stay away for 8 months or a year I think we would be in a better place. He would be over alot of the BS that goes along with recovery and we would too.

Good luck no matter what you decide. I will ALWAYS put my kids first. I have hit my bottom. It is black and white. This will never happen to myself or my kids again. Hopefully his recovery will continue and it wont come to any of that, but I know I am in the right place now.

Good luck. Get support for yourself and your kids. God Bless!
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:23 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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This was my first post over two years ago, yet here I still am, married to an AH. It has been a quiet co-existence over the past two years. I think I am using "detachment" as an excuse for "put up with it quietly". There have been no dramatic drinking moments, just moments where i KNOW it is happening (I've got that innate knowledge like most of you, particlarly since I am a child of an Alcoholic father).

My 12 yo knows very little, although he recently saw a "bar" search when my AH went on a trip by himself recently and he mentioned it to his sister. He hasn't talked to me about, which tells me he KNOWS AH has a problem.

Do I approach my 12 yo, or do I tell AH to address it. Do I "detach" and not discuss it. Clearly I'm still confused on the detachment piece!

I feel compelled to tell AH but I'm not expecting to manipulate him by going back to AA. I think this whole detachment has put me in the chronically numb state, where we are all quietly co-existing (is this denial?). I don't feel compelled to make a huge move, because I am comfortable (not afraid to leave), and I feel as if I've quietly accepted the fact that he is an active, non-recovering alcoholic and that makes me sad. He is not overtly abusive at all, very quiet, no fights about alcohol, but I'm so disappointed that after so many years of AA that he has chosen this path.

I internalize everything because I'm busy detaching, which unfortunately I think just gives me the excuse of sweeping it under the rug and be numb to it (which is again confusing to me because I have to work on myself and detach).

Is it healthy to be numb to it all? I look back on this first post and think, WOW why did I not leave?! Have I subliminally sent him the message that I'm willing to put up with the fact that he is sneaking around drinking? Does this mean I'm successfully detaching?

There's no fighting, just quiet co-existence. My kids need their Dad but we all need a sober Dad. My kids have not experienced the pain of this, because he hides it so well, far different from my own experience as a kid, so I'm really so confused....thanks for listening...
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:02 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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your son already know what his dad is!! a drunk and a liar!! take your son to alateen take your self to alanon. i had to do this for my kids. my kids watched the news with me a couple of nights ago and we watched my husband being care flighted from his wreck(DUI OF COURSE) make your son safe and guard him from the drunk choices. you would not have a stranger watch your son drunk so why do we give our drunk husbands the chance?!? you can still love your husband but the best thing you can do is take care of yourself !!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:12 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Maybe I missed something...but why would the kids need to leave their school? I understand not being able to afford the house without his income...but couldn't you possibly find another place still in that school district? Even an apartment. Yes, it's not what they (and you) are used to, however they could stay in their school, and a home is a home as long as those in it love each other and are happy. My 11 year old said something after my XABF moved out that shocked me...she said that maybe we would have calm in the long as you stay strong and ok they will adjust to the changes.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:05 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I am with Learn2live on the years of sobriety. Mine had 10 years. I too many times used that as comfort and rationalization that he was more likely to get treatment and more likely to stay sober.

I too believe it is simply starting over again day 1. In fact I am less likely to believe that if he gets sober he will stay sober. I don't know why that is, something about making the first step or something. Maybe because I think its human nature that when you do something you shouldn't once - after that it becomes a lot easier.

Anyway the less I fool myself as he walks this path the better it is - I don't cry anymore.

As far as you two living together that would depend on how much you can take, or rather how much more. Sounds like not much more to me.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:26 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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You probably already know this, but alcoholism is a progressive disease. It will get worse. "Under the Influence" by Milam and Ketcham is a really good look into the progressive nature of the disease and what you can expect in the future when living with an active A.

My AH was a closet drinker too. Once I put it all together, I was shocked by how easily he was lying to me (and everyone else, and himself). I too had lived "numb" for a number of years, but I have finally filed for divorce. The kids and I have also moved out.

I have an 8, 4, and 2 year old. I explained to my 8 year old that alcoholism is a disease, a progressive disease that affects the brain. Your dad makes bad decisions because of it. Those bad decisions can harm our family in a big way, so I have decided that it's best that for us live apart from him. I also talked about Al-Anon's 3 C's.

If they have questions, I answer them honestly and in a way they can understand, and then we get on with the business of living a life as lovely as we can make it. From what I have read, alcoholism often passes down through the family when there is an effort to ignore or cover it up. A lot of damage can be done when ask our kids to ignore or cover up a parent's alcoholism. My 8 year old son loves facts, so I did get him one book from the library about alcoholism. He read as much as he wanted to and then we returned it. Knowing the physiological facts of alcoholism helped me tremendously, and I think it helps my children too. When my AH was in rehab my 4 year old told our neighbors (middle class professionals--much like your neighbors, I gather) that his dad was in the hospital because he drank too much alcohol. And frankly, that was a perfectly fine thing with me. Those are the facts. There is no escaping them. It's a nasty, debilitating disease that can and most often will take down the strongest, kindest, funniest, most loveable person you thought you'd ever know.

Divorce was a hard decision (even after my AH started punching holes in the wall) but I think asking myself the following helped me too--How often do I have a big belly laugh with my kids, or dance around to music in the kitchen with them? Those were things I found myself doing when I made up my mind to leave. When I had the mindset of "just give it another few months" I was short-tempered, grumpy, and far from being able to be silly and fun with them.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I knew that they need a capable mom, but I also came to realize that they need a happy mom just as much. They need to know that all the hard work they do in school and towards becoming responsible adults means that then they get to be happy adults who can laugh at a goofy pun or belly flop onto the bed with them, adults who take pleasure in good food, long runs, skiing, camping, gardening, reading, etc. Adults who make good decisions and follow through on them, in an attempt to live a peaceful and joyful life. There is so much more to life than working and passing out on the couch (or trying to cobble a life together with someone who does).

I hope this doesn't come across as giving advice, I just wanted to share where I am, as we are in similar situations.

And more importantly, I hope you are able to shake that numb feeling and start taking care of you. You deserve it!
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