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Help - the truth's out and now what?

Old 09-14-2010, 04:27 AM
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Help - the truth's out and now what?

I'm really sorry this is so long but it's the first time I've put it down in one story. I hope someone, anyone, here will be able to help or at least understand the battle I'm having ...

I met my functioning alcoholic husband 15 years ago and we had a truly amazing relationship for 8 years. He's a little younger than me and always said he felt like I was slightly out of his league but I just adored him so I guess I made him feel safe. We used to socialise a lot and drink a lot together and socialise a lot but drink tea together at home. Then I got pregnant and got pre-eclampsia which resulted in me being in hospital for 6 weeks and our first daughter being quite premature, very tiny and vulnerable and spending a further 5 weeks in special care. This also led to some financial problems. Over the next 12 months we were like two terrified people going through it together but separately and this is when he started drinking more heavily, always vodka, to help get him through. When my daughter was 2 (she's now 7) we started talking about having another child and I started pulling him up about his drinking a bit more. The relationship was not great like it used to be but there were happy times, he seemed to be a fabulous daddy and our sex life was still good, adventurous and exciting, although I was now far less able to express intimacy and affection, probably because I was resenting his drinking. In 2006 Other people started to comment on his drinking and he told me hed' cut it down to a couple a night (instead of half a bottle). He has recently told me that it was that this stage he started hiding an additional bottle elsewhere. In June 2007 I was pregnant with daughter no 2 things seemed ok. Pregancy really picked up my sex drive, we were both working and although he drunk too much and could be stroppy he was still lovely most of the time, and "at least he'd cut down" (!). Then the company that he worked for bought a hotel 70 miles away which required him to stay away 3 nights a week and we started arguing more about his drinking as he was always drunk on the phone and I was worried that something would happen with the pregnancy and he wouldn't be able to get back. My family, particularly my mother, made their feelings very clear about his too. It was at this stage, I now find out, that he began a relationship with another girl that was to run for the next 3 years. She worked at the hotel and drunk with him, cheered him up by pouring him shots and generally told him he was a god while I was saying he was letting me down. The next 3 years have been a fairly predictable pattern of living with an alcoholic spouse, most of which I didn't truly understand until now. He kept on getting "made redundant" - I ended up going back to work 2 months after the baby was born to keep the roof over our head. Increasing awareness of his drinking, every increasing debt, finding stashed bottles, him turning up drunk to parents evening, owning up to half the story 18 months ago and going to aa just the once, breathalysers, etc etc. For the last 18 months he has been pretending to be completely sober and ticking off the days but at some level I've always known. Finally last weekend I found out about the affair which was still very much going on. He came clean about the whole relationship but told me that he had wanted to end it, had always been and was still madly in love with me but that I understandably had not trusted him and been treating him like a child, but that he hadn't been drinking for 18 months. I told him to move out so he went to his friends but rung me drunk out of his mind on Sunday. On Monday he rung me and told me that he'd told her he never wanted to see her again and that he was never drinking again and had just had a relapse. I then spoke to her on the phone for 3 hours and she told me the full story of their relationship - she's madly in love with him and was planning a future with him and though a bit on and off has been a proper every day contact relationship for the whole time. When she found out he was still sleeping with me she was fairly horrified but clearly would have forgiven him, which at this stage I was actually thinking "good, he can be your problem now". Then I asked her about how she felt about his drinking and she said "oh it's not as bad as it was - sometimes he only has a few with me, other times he drinks coffee. Although we have had rows because he's turned up here drunk after driving from Leeds". It was like a body blow. Turns out he's been drinking all along. Finally on Friday we sat down and talked for 12 hours. He has basically been a hardcore alcoholic hiding it from me for coming up to 4 years, says the first time he bought vodka when we couldn't afford shoes for the baby he loathed himself but by seeing her and drinking with her it made it easier for him to tell himself that I was just being a control freak. For the last few years he has been drinking since 9am and either goes to her and has a couple of drinks with her (not mentioning the half a bottle he's already had) or for coffee because he's panicked about coming home. I said "so she's never actually known you sober? at least I had 11 good years!" and he said "she doesn't know the real me at all". he says his reason for not ending it with her is because I would find out about the drinking and his reason for not going to her on the numerous occasions I told him to go was because he felt she was part of the poison and he's wanted to stop the destructive path but hasn't been strong enough.

The level of deception is staggering as is the attention to detail given to planning all this and he's owned up to pretty much all of it (although no doubt there will be further horrors to discover). He has been to AA several times over the last week and is certainly talking the talk and has had no contact with the other woman and is absolutely adamant that she is not the issue and that his love affair was with vodka. We are talking more honestly and warmly than we have for 7 years now that the resentment and fear has gone on my part (the worst has happened, what more can i fear?) and there are glimpses of the amazing friendship that we had for the the first half of our relationship. The kids have very quickly adapted to him moving out and are actually seeing him more than they have been as he is coming round straight from work to do bath and bedtime a couple of times this week where before he'd have been in an alcoholic haze with her.

But now what... what am i working towards? letting him go or giving him another chance to hurt us all? I know I can't do either before giving it a decent long time and have said he should move into a flat, separate ourselves financially and just work on being friends while he tries to stay sober and sort himself out. I can be as compassionate as anything about his alcoholism but I'm also a woman whose husband has been sleeping with, texting, looking after another girl for four years and that aspect of it is killing me - even though I understand the twisted morals and utter deceit of alcoholics. I am in no doubt that he loves me and always has and unfortunately there are aspects of him that I am still very much in love with. Do my little girls deserve the chance of a better normal man in their lives who puts us first (or 2nd would do) but won't I be compromising myself hugely when the love of my life is desperate to have me back and doing everything he can to prove himself? This is is so hard and I don't know which emotion to go with.

Any thoughts, relevant tales so welcome.

Thanks x
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dibs2010 View Post
But now what... what am i working towards? letting him go or giving him another chance to hurt us all? I know I can't do either before giving it a decent long time and have said he should move into a flat, separate ourselves financially and just work on being friends while he tries to stay sober and sort himself out. I can be as compassionate as anything about his alcoholism but I'm also a woman whose husband has been sleeping with, texting, looking after another girl for four years and that aspect of it is killing me - even though I understand the twisted morals and utter deceit of alcoholics. I am in no doubt that he loves me and always has and unfortunately there are aspects of him that I am still very much in love with. Do my little girls deserve the chance of a better normal man in their lives who puts us first (or 2nd would do) but won't I be compromising myself hugely when the love of my life is desperate to have me back and doing everything he can to prove himself? This is is so hard and I don't know which emotion to go with.

Any thoughts, relevant tales so welcome.

Thanks x
Welcome to the SR family!

Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself. I am sorry that alcoholism has brought you here, but glad that you are reaching out for support for yourself. This is a wonderful resource of hope, experience and strength (ES&H). Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed.

From your post you sound like a woman of strength and patience. Your daughters are blessed to have you for a mom.

I can't tell you what to do next, but I can tell you what helped me.

I started reading and posting here at SR. I started attending local Alanon meetings. I started reading self-improvement books. I spoke with a social worker for counseling. But mostly, I started taking care of myself. I had been spending so much of my precious energy chasing after, cleaning up after and trying to fix my active alcoholic. I was exhausted.

One piece of advise that was given to me early in the process of trying to sort out the chaos, was this:

I didn't arrive in this situation overnight (alcoholism is progressive), therefore,
I needed to be patient with myself and find my way through - one day at a time.

I think your plan of seperating finances and living spaces is a healthy choice. Detaching from your loved ones recovery, while you work on your own, is not selfish or cruel. It is a loving gesture to yourself and your loved one. It is a healthy way of allowing each adult to maintain control over their own personal recovery.

Here are some steps that have helped some of us:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html

Please let us know how we can help you. We are here to support you.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:24 AM
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Welcome!

Pelican already swooped in and gave the best:

I didn't arrive in this situation overnight (alcoholism is progressive), therefore,
I needed to be patient with myself and find my way through - one day at a time.
You've got a lot on your plate right now.
Youve found a great website.
The people here are willing to share
their experience
(and man-o-man there's TONS of first hand...everything here)
their strength
(because that which does not kill us makes us stronger -
so we're freakin weightlifters around here)
and their hope
(because there is always hope.)

again - welcome.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dibs2010 View Post
told him he was a god while I was saying he was letting me down.
The reason why most men cheat.

He will keep letting you down until he starts a full fledge recovery program.
The drinking, cheating and the lies will get worse. He needs to want to get help
Are you willing to try Al Anon?!
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:35 AM
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Thanks for your advice everyone. Yes I have been to one Al Anon meeting and am going again tonight (and meeting him for a coffee afterwards as he has AA in the same building) In the meantime however I'm very confused. The chemistry between us at the moment is very strong (probably because for the first time in 15 years we can't have each other) and the freedom and relief from not trying to influence him (if he's going to drink he's going to drink - whatever I do or say) means we are both loving talking to each other. Trouble is it's SO refreshing, so intense, so open, that I can feel myself falling in love with him all over again when in reality I haven't allowed myself to be "in love" with him for a long time, because I suspected him of being a lying unfaithful cheat - which he was!

It's such a muddle. Maybe I should stick to yours (and my own) advice and just carry on as I am and see where it takes us. One thing's good, whatever happens next he's sober now. He came to see the girls last night and I realised without even looking for it that his breath smelt of normal breath for the first time in I don't know how long. And the good news is that the first time he turns up and "the" smell is back, I can just say go away.


Thanks again for your input xx
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:55 AM
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That other woman said she was madly in love with him. Did she just all of a sudden let it all go and she don't care to see him ever again?

I have a feeling this is not over yet.

I've been through this kind of humiliation. It doesn't end so abruptly.

Sometimes we just get married to the wrong person. It's hard to admit, especially when kids are involved.

Stay strong, and believe in yourself and your beauty.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:57 AM
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I am so sorry that you have to be here.

it is a great resource tho, and wonderful people with scads of experience and compassion.

Maybe the best piece of advice I ever got was - take your time in making choices and big decisions. think about it for another day. you dont have to decide anything today (usually always applies)

it appears to me that time will help you to know if it is going to work out or not.

bless you and your babies.
Focus on you and your childrens welfare. If he is going to get well, he will do it for his self, and it will not hinge on whether you are in his life or not.

hugs,
chicory
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:15 AM
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Think you are both right. I'm sure there's more pain to come. The other woman is distraught that he won't take her calls and has come back to me twice and I've ended up counselling her.... bizarre and I'm stopping that. He's now on hot pursuit of me, text messages cards and declarations but actually that kind of puts me off because that's old "fix it quickly and get back to drinking" behaviour and this aint gonna be a quick process. Al Anon last night made me think that although I love him deeply maybe one day I should open the door to someone who can look after me for a change?

Ah well, what will be will be. And at least I have my beautiful girls and my good friends. And the support of people like you guys who understand how it all feels is a big help.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:10 AM
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I'm sorry your going though this. But you do seem like a very strong together person.
There is something I'd like to say, and I'm saying it only because you're asked for our opinions.
So here is mine: I don't think there is a way, any way at all, that after so much drinking he can just stop without experiencing some major withdrowal symtoms. You said he was drinking vodka every day starting since 9 am. And if this has been happening for years , as you said, he'd have to have strong physical dependancy. I am pretty confident about this, but I stand to be corrected.
So unless he has been detoxing, I wouldn't trust his sobriety. JMHO.
Hope you don't mind me saying this.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:13 AM
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Hi Dibs and to SR. I'm so glad you found this place. There's lots of support to be had here.

I just wanted to speak to a few things you said:

"He's now on hot pursuit of me, text messages cards and declarations but actually that kind of puts me off because that's old "fix it quickly and get back to drinking" behaviour and this aint gonna be a quick process."

You're bang on here. Trust your instinct. My XAH (ex alcoholic husband) also seemed to get off on that exciting "post argument post revelation of everything that's been hidden deep down inside" period. He'd romance me all over again. For about 2-3 days. Then it was back to the usual, but with an added "Don't you appreciate all I've done for you, you ungrateful /$%?&!".

Since you're going to Al-Anon, you can understand when I say...step AWAY from the alkie, focus on you and the girls, and just wait. There's no danger in not making a move right?

Al Anon last night made me think that although I love him deeply maybe one day I should open the door to someone who can look after me for a change

I agree, but perhaps, before this happens, it's time to close all doors, and spend some time with yourself, healing the wounds caused by your AH's deception and addiction.

And at least I have my beautiful girls and my good friends. And the support of people like you guys who understand how it all feels is a big help.

You're bang on here.

Keep posting and reading. SR is always open.
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