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when is it time to end it?

Old 09-15-2010, 08:47 PM
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when is it time to end it?

need some thoughts please.

literally just celebrated 10th annv. two kids 2.5 yo boy & 7 yo girl. wife has had a problem with etoh for 2.5 yrs. last year (exactly) it was the worst that it have ever been. she ended up in rehab for 28 days. seemed to realize the problem & learned a lot. she came home & things were improving. relapsed in a big way in about 6 weeks. she went back to rehab for an abbreviated stay & out pt rx. my trust in her was zero. she had previously drove while drunk (with & without kids), etc...... i was willing to continue our relationship if she would take antabuse (which was recommended by others). over the past 7 mo things have been great with us & the family. early last month she stopped taking antabuse & lied about taking it. i trusted her & didnt follow up on this daily. at my bday party cookout (where no one was drinking....) she got drunk. i was devastated.... but i accepted this.... i reset my boundary & said that slip up were ok if no one was at risk (driving, etc). also i wanted to watch her take the pill everday. did so for 2 weeks. then at a girl scout party (where there was no drinking...) she ended up drunk. but this time got in the car & drove away angry..... people at the party did not know what was going on & the arguement was after everyone left.

we are now sleeping in separate rooms & putting on game face for kids. we are very seriously talking about divorce. i have absolutely no trust in her. i have taken away the keys to the car & dont feel comfortable leaving the kids alone with her so we have a sitter.

we cant live like this but what else can we do? if it wasnt for the kids i would be out of here. but i dont want the kids to grow up without a mom (like both me & wife did.....). i did love her (til bday) now im just pissed...

will my trust ever return or should it?

thx
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:54 PM
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Sorry you are experiencing this. It is difficult. All I can say is you'll know when you've had enough, given enough, done enough. I can also say it's better for children to grow up with one healthy parent, rather than with both parents when one is entrenched in alcoholism. Nothing is normal in that family life. Even the sober parent is spread so thin, everyone walks around on eggs... and the lack of trust just permeates everything.

Perhaps you could try a period of separation. Nothing you do will change what will be with your wife, only she can do that... but a separation can give you the breathing room you need to make better decisions for yourself and your precious children.

Above all, remember you didn't cause this, you can't cure it, and stress that to your children too as they often feel as if they are to blame for their mother's problems.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:10 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

We are glad you found us. Lots of support and information available to you here. I recommend reading in the sticky (permanent) posts at the top of the forum.
Some of our stories are posted there as well as tons of wisdom from other members that have been there - done that - and survived.

It looks like you are already taking healthy steps to protect yourself and your children from danger while their mom is actively drinking. Good on you!

If you are planning to continue to live in the same house, seperately, some boundaries and detachment may help you get through each day. I learned about setting healthy boundaries for myself here at SR and through Alanon meetings.

Here is a post, from a sticky, that contains steps some of us have taken while living with an alcoholic loved one:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:54 PM
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Welcome tiredntn. It sounds like you have been very supportive of AW. Are you taking care of yourself and your kids? It is hard on kids when their parents divorce but IMHO it is harder for them to live in a house where things that are not OK seem to be OK because they are still going on.

I left. It took me a long time to leave because I was not sure if it would be good for the kids. We have been gone a year. Is it hard-some days it is very hard and their hearts hurt. Other days I see joy in them that was never there when stbxah and I lived in the same house. They know the house they live in now is safe. The people who come over to our house are fun to have around and make them laugh (and just be kids) they are not people who scare them-including their dad--who is pretty scary when he drinks and even when he is sober.

I fought leaving for a long time. I started working on myself, setting clear boundaries. That worked for me for awhile but stbxah is also abusive--so when he could not ruffle my feathers anymore he tried a different tactic-start picking on our older son--that will ruffle her feathers. It worked, it ruffled them right out the door.

It is a difficult decision to make and only you will know if it is the right thing to do and if it is, when is the right time to do it.

Things are hard and confusing right now. Be gentle with yourself. Take care of you and your kids. You might want to read Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. It helped me to understand why I am the way I am and I turned my attention from stxah to my own recovery. I am not there by a long shot-but I feel more sane than I have in years.

Come back and post often. There are a lot of great people here who helped me take off my rose colored glasses and see what my life really was and helped me realize what it really could be.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:45 AM
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Dear "tired":

Sorry you're going through this.

I can't really add to what "isurvived" said. It's hard for us who don't have an addiction to alcohol to understand the addiction--it just feels like the addicted person is messing about and being mean for the sake of being mean.

I do rather think that it would be better for the kids to have a degree of separation from mom if mom's drinking is making her a danger to them. And it doesn't have to black or white--they could see that dad is taking a firm hand and keeping them safe (by separating from mom, moving into a new place, etc.) and then at the same time they could have contact with mom on a regular basis.

Take care.
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:53 AM
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Sorry you're going though this. It is tough question you're asking in regard to when it is time to end. I guess the simple answer is when you're ready. But you can get yourself ready, by working on yourself and educating yourself more on alcoholims. This is a great place to help you with that.
In regard to trust, I think it could and should be restored but only if she proves herself to be trustworthy. And when and if that happens you'll know, there is no mistake about it. I don't know if I can ever explain it, but there is something about As who become serious about their recovery that you can spot from milles away, it is so different from all the previous promises.
In regard to your kids, I agree with what others have said. Kids needs to be around functional parents, preferably two, but even one would do better alone than having the other one cought up in madness of alcoholism. Aslo, NA is always affected by the behaviour of an A, and kids always sense that heartache and suffer from it. And this I know for the fact as I am an ACOA (adult child of alcoholic). My AF was never abusive, acctually he had nice personality even when drinking, but still I was deeply affected by it. I resented him for not being "normal" and all the things he missed out in my life. I felt protective of my mum, whose hidden suffering I could sense, while she was trying to put on a happy face as to protect us kids. Kids know so much more than we give them credit for.
In family life during childhood we learn the patterns how to deal with life, what is normal, what is acceptable. Children who grew up in alcoholic households are very confused about all that. They have to guess what is normal. Statistics show they often end up becoming A themselves or marring one. I married one. I always swore I'd never have anything to do with another A in my life, and than I married one. Smart people say the reason for that is the fact that growing up in my family I have learned this kind of life, as confusing and unplesant as it was, still it was something I knew, something that felt normal, that on some subconcious level I knew I was equiped to deal with it and thus I was drown to it.
My husband is in recovery now, only now as my kids are starting to relax and learn other healthy ways of life, I can see the damage that was done to them by my choice to stay in marriage.
Also kids are tought by example, if you were to leave your wife you are taching them her bahaviour is not acceptable, and no one should suffer because of someone else's choices.
I write so much about this as I know how hard it is to make this kind of decision, as I struggled too for a long time trying to figure out what is best thing to do in regard to my kids (ironic, I know, with all past experience as ACOA I should have known better but I didn't). I took me some serious work on myself to come to the right decision. For me it was to leave my husband and talk openly about the whole thing to my kids. They're 12 and 7, but they understood it and took it so well.The reason for that is that by being honest with them I gave them the validation of their reality, something I never got as a child. By having thier reality validated and facts about alcoholism explained, my kids were not as confused any more. everything they went though started making sense to them. things were labeled and thus became possible for them to process them.

As you gathered my husband is RAH now, and is living back with me and kids. We're all learning about normal, and that is a slow but for the most part pleasant process. But also, if he is to decide to start drinking again, he will no longer be staying with us. No way I'd ever again expose my kids and myself to the behaviour of an active A, as simply that is not helping anyone, not even the A, quite the oposite acctually. As should learn to deal with consequneces of their actions. But that's another subject (kind of), and my post is already too long.

take care
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:09 AM
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Hi tired and Welcome to SR. I'm so glad you found this place. I hope you keep coming back to get some much needed support.

I just wanted to throw something out there regarding not wanting the kids to grow up without a mom...I know this is without a doubt the toughest decision to make as a parent, but please consider that growing up with an alcoholic parent can be devastating to a child. I would argue that remaining in the marriage "for the sake of the kids" can be more detrimental to a separation that may lead to your AW (alcoholic wife) finding sobriety. Just because you separate from your AW for a time doesn't meant that the kids will grow up without a mom. It may, however, mean that you'll become "the bad guy" because you'll have to police her alcohol intake in the presence of the children, to make certain that they are safe.

I'd strongly advise Al-Anon and counselling to get the support you need.

And because there are children involved, I'd quietly speak to a few lawyers to see where you stand legally, should separation take place. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like your AW could care for her children alone.

*hugs* keep posting!
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:04 AM
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hey tired,

three weeks ago today i made the choice to have my wife evicted from our home.

fortunately or unfortunately the kids in our marriage were hers-n-mine so legally i had no say-so in what she chooses to subject her daughter to.

i did what i felt was best for my son and refused to participate in the downfall of our marriage or in her choice to drink irresponsibly.

the emotional roller coaster is still a real bugger `cause i keep looking back at the good side of her and the good times we had.

so be forewarned that no matter whether you choose to stay or go it's going to be a pretty rough ride for you and your kids.


i can't really offer any good advice other than make a plan with your and the kids best interests at heart and then stick to that plan.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:54 PM
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when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired is when it is time to end it.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:19 PM
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Hi Tired

As a mom - reading this is infuriating.

The fact is - she is an addict first - she chooses her addiction over being a parent (repulsive). So your kids have already lost their mother, now it's just a matter of geography.

Save your children - as far as anything your wife may feel she is entitled to (while still getting loaded) - well she can... fill in the blank!

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Old 09-16-2010, 09:32 PM
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Welcome to Sober Recovery Forum!

I hope you will feel able to come here often, post as much as you like, explore and learn with us. Coming to this site has been more beneficial than me than I can say.

If you are struggling with someone, I can assure you that someone else here has walked in those shoes.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:44 AM
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thanks for all of the thoughts & suggestions. it is very helpful to hear others' experiences. it feels lonely at home but this site does allow me (&others) to relate....

the tension (even though we have been civil) was too much with my aw living in a separate room at the house so we both decided that her leaving was best for the kids. we spoke with her rehab (& marriage) counselor. not sure what it accomplished.... she made it seem like it was my fault. he said she had not dealt with resentment issues. blah blah blah..... i am very frustrated & angry.

i am trying not to make any major decisions until the emtions have settled. but that is the question. when will this happen?

thanks again for input
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:40 AM
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Looking back at the last 18 months of my life I think I was getting ready to "end it" long before the actual day it ended! I got myself fit by going to the gym, started doing more on my own, started emotionally detatching from AH, made contingency plans regarding work and finance, reconnected with as many friends as I could find....when the actual day came (which was unplanned) I just knew what had to be done. It was not the easy thing - but it was the right thing. In my case a string of unplanned events led to an ultimatum that I then followed through. It may be the same for you or you may do it differently but its always good to prepare and steel yourself for what seems to be inevitable.
Now its just me and the children I realise that it was much more lonely living with him than without him. Living with an alcoholic just seems to leave you with an emotional and spiritual void. You can fill that void with things you enjoy - I have just started karate - something I have wanted to do for a decade! I have been on my own for just a month now and emotions are far from settled but its much better than it was and it keeps getting better.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tiredntn View Post
we spoke with her rehab (& marriage) counselor. not sure what it accomplished.... she made it seem like it was my fault. he said she had not dealt with resentment issues. blah blah blah..... i am very frustrated & angry.

i am trying not to make any major decisions until the emtions have settled. but that is the question. when will this happen?

thanks again for input
Alcoholics commonly blame-shift. It is a tactic used to remain in denial. She is blaming you, but really denying the responsibility for her own actions. It takes effort to be able to detach from that kind of frustration.

It helped me to visualize that type of blame-shifting as the A dumping their "stuff" at my feet (like a loaded suitcase). I have the choice of how I respond to that load of stuff at my feet. I can choose to pick it up and carry it around for the A, I can choose to trip over it and bloody my nose, or I can choose to step around it and go about my day.

Good on you for recognizing that your emotions are high right now. You are doing great. I learned that there are three stages to recovery:
Stage one is awareness
Stage two is acceptance
Stage three is action
Right now you are aware of her addiction, you are aware of you emotions. Good
Next is accpetance and it seems that is where you have been this past week. You are accepting you are powerless over her addiction, you are accepting your emotions.
Stage three is the actions we take for our well-being. Sometimes it takes anger to push us into action. Therefore, anger can be a healthy emotion for our recovery.

I learned more about grieving and my emotions from reading Melody Beatties book "Codependent No More". I previously thought of anger as a bad emotion. I shouldn't let people know I am angry. I should stuff it down and keep it hidden. Not a healthy attitude! I had to learn to express my anger in healthy ways. Ways that do not harm another individual. As a parent, I also had to teach my children healthy ways to express anger.

What works for me: cursing and hitting a pillow. Power walking - putting on sneakers and pounding the pavement for a few miles. And one of the best things for me: getting in my car, cranking up the stereo, screaming and hitting the passenger seat if needed. One of the best Alanon meetings I had was after I screamed and cursed my way to a meeting. I arrived hoarse at the meeting. The funny part - I was the second person to arrive hoarse that night!

Hang in there. You are doing great!
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:02 AM
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