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Please welcome Gearhead

Old 09-17-2010, 06:53 AM
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Please welcome Gearhead

Wow. Talk about good company!
Before we married 20 years ago I recognized my wifes problem mainly as I had witnessed it in my mother. Her father is still an active alcoholic. After a DUI wake up call she got sober and stayed that way for 19 years. After a career setback this past year, she aligned herself with new friends and longed to socialize with them without the restraints of being the only sober one. What initially was occasional quickly became regular. I was sick. All the usual denials and lies. Those friends are gone and she secured a new even better job. Now, she drinks daily in hiding. She is an expert at looking me straight in the face and lying. We have three teenagers and they are all aware and equally sick over it. She occasionally goes to AA and then gets a bottle on the way home.

Here's what I have reaffirmed from reading here: There is nothing that I can do about this, but it still tears me up. The worst betrayal is the face to face lying. I don't know what to do for myself and the kids. I don't believe that I enable her in any way. I keep no alcohol in the house and I tell myself that it isn't about me. But when she comes home tonight with a load on I just retreat and that pisses her off. There are really no loud scenes or other confrontations-----yet. Most guys would love this: She demands sex frequently. But it isn't much fun under those circumstances.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:28 AM
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Hi Gearhead, and welcome to SR! It would be a great idea to start your own thread and introduce yourself!

I'm sorry to hear about your wife. It's true that there is nothing you can do about her drinking. You do have control over your actions. And most of us would totally understand not wanting to have sex with a drunken sloppy person.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:45 AM
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Welcome to the Family Gearhead!

You have found a wonderful resource of support and information here at SR. There are other male posters in this forum.

This is an older thread that has resurfaced when new members pull it up from a search engine. Your post may get buried at the bottom. You can cut & paste your post into a new thread and meet the rest of the family.

I understand the desire for sex (as an alcoholic woman). I needed to know that no matter how I behaved (drunk, lies, rants, needs) I was desireable and loveable. Sex with my husband made me feel desireable and loveable. It meant that no matter how crappy I treated him, I wasn't that bad.

Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as often as needed.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:53 AM
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Welcome to SR!. You are in a place of support and understanding.

Accepting our lack of control over someone else and their addiction is a big part of changing our lives for the better.

No recovery is exactly the same and success is judged within our own hearts, but no matter our different experiences here, we all find something to learn and grow from.

Hope you stay and find just what your are looking for in this amazing online community.

Glad you're here,
Alice
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:59 AM
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An alcoholic ex used to arrive at my house to DEMAND sex. I had no sense of self worth and gave in - how desperate for "love and attention" I was.

Have you read "Codependent no more" by Melody Beatty? excellent book. Alkies relate to people with specific traits- its a slow dance of suffering and abuse. The good news is that it only takes one to stop the dance and there is much hope for the ones willing to be honest with themselves.
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:09 AM
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hey Gearhead - welcome!


Peace-
B
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:11 AM
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Hi there - we have very similar circumstances

Welcome - I'm new so I have no good advice to provide at this point. My AH was sober for about 20 years and has since tested the waters. Great guy, but just an alcoholic who has two loving children. My teen knows what is going on and is constantly asking me Mom, are you going to let him get away with this. My 10 year son knows nothing at this point, and his Dad is like God to him. Some day soon, I will have to sit down with him and explain the wonderful subject of alcholism, all the meanwhile breaking this little guy's heart. Hugs and welcome, when I found this site a few months ago, I was just profoundly happy I had a place to "chat" with people who totally get what I'm going through.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:04 PM
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Welcome, we are here for you.

Unfortunately, you have no control over her drinking and lieing..."A's" lie to protect their "Little Secret" and since this is a progressive disease, it is not going to get any better, until, she hops back on the recovery wagon.

Keep posting, read the stickeys.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:08 PM
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:01 PM
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Thanks to everyone who has offered their support. And Pelican, special thanks for your insight!

It is just so hard for me to do nothing. I keep thinking that something that I say or something that I call to her attention will turn her around again. Unfortunately, she seems just fine with the way things are. She is convinced that she was an alcoholic because of her life circumstances and level of maturity back then. She believes that now she can control it..........not!
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:18 PM
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It is just so hard for me to do nothing. I keep thinking that something that I say or something that I call to her attention will turn her around again

Right? It is the big hurdle we all have to get over! Because our As are usually of normal intelligence -- so, why can't they just see? Maybe they just need to read this or that article that I just read!!?? Maybe this or that example will get them to see?!

Part of what helped me get over it was realizing what a serious, serious, serious and twisted disease addiction is. Anyone who has recovered and come back from the other side of that vicious compulsion will tell you - nothing anybody said or did made a difference until the lightbulb went off in their own head.

And I discovered that by holding on to any shred of belief that anything I said or did could be the thing that would turn that lightbulb on, I was making myself crazy and becoming a person i did not want to be. AND, worst of all, I was playing into their dynamic and me bringing up their drinking and offering my suggestions was a good way to keep them from having to look in a mirror. I was making their problem out to be something between them and me instead of them and themselves.

I had to learn to make my decisions about my loved ones based solely on behavior. If someone is unreliable, mean, abusive, dangerous - that's all I need to know - doesn't matter one iota if it is because of alcohol or drugs! behavior shows me all I need to know.

Peace-
B
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:48 PM
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thanks so much for this thread and all the replies...i'm living it and finally making the decision to get off the ride! I too finally realize "If someone is unreliable, mean, abusive, dangerous - that's all I need to know - doesn't matter one iota if it is because of alcohol or drugs! behavior shows me all I need to know. thank you B, I needed to see that and it reaffirms my thinking. My AH is trying everything to attempt to stop me from going and i wish i was gone, but now i've made him so angry he has finally left me alone. I can't wait to be done with all this. Welcome Gearhead....thanks for this thread and for all who replied!!

Last edited by missphit; 09-18-2010 at 01:49 PM. Reason: bold didn't work
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:18 PM
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Hello - I just joined today after a month of being separated from AH. I have to agree with Gearhead - the thing that tore me up most was the face to face lying and shattering of trust that it brought. Also related to the lying was the fact that, even though I am a professional with a degree and decent intelligence, he actually must have thought I was stupid enough to believe his lies! I can only come to terms with that by assuming that he actually believes his own lies.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:48 AM
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This "enabler" role seems to be a fine line. We are supposed to be passive in our role as significant others because trying to help only upsets us more with no motivational affect on the alcoholic. As said previously, I don't keep alcohol here any longer. If she passes out (she says falls asleep) in the chair, I leave here there to find her way to bed hours later with a sore back. At her request, I don't freely discuss her condition with the teenagers anymore although I refuse to deny it as she would prefer. At this point nobody talks about it anymore. We have had the conversations, and the obligatory apologies from her, and we just don't go there anymore. Incidently, her next day remorse is limited to a window of about one minute if at all.

So, since she is content with this situation, what is her motivation to get well? I can't control her finances since she makes more than I do. What I am reading here tells me to just take a "hands off" approach. I am re-adjusting to this as the new norm. Why would she want to stop?
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
At her request, I don't freely discuss her condition with the teenagers anymore although I refuse to deny it as she would prefer. At this point nobody talks about it anymore.
Attending Ala-teen for the kids would be worth trying. You and the kids can continue with the plan to help each other regardless of her participation.

Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
So, since she is content with this situation, what is her motivation to get well? I can't control her finances since she makes more than I do. What I am reading here tells me to just take a "hands off" approach. I am re-adjusting to this as the new norm. Why would she want to stop?
Are your finances currently separate? Are you working to that end? The "hands off" aproach is not meant to persuade her to live her life differently, it's to help you live your life differently.

Here's a good read on the subject that helped me.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:08 AM
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I agree that Alanon and Alateen would be helpful for yourself and your teens. As their father, you do have authority to get support for your children.

I wanted my children to know the truth about alcoholism. It is a known fact that some alcoholism is genetic. My children could become addicted if they choose to drink as adults. I want them to be informed. I have 3 children. Two still at home with me. I took my teens to an open Alanon meeting. Open Alanon meetings are like open AA meetings. There is a guest speaker for the meeting. The guest speaker shares how alcoholism affected them and how they have recovered. The open meetings are for friends and family to attend.

What my teens took away from that open meeting was this: we aren't alone. There are lots of families affected by alcoholism. Help is available.

My teens have not pursued Alateen meetings. However, we continue to have open discussions in our home about alcoholism and about my recovery. I love it when my youngest says: And we know we can't control that!

My A was not supportive of my attending Alanon. The active A (alcoholic) is in denial. That didn't mean I had to live in denial anymore. Alanon was not a secret club to teach me how to manipulate my A. Not at all. Alanon was a public support group teaching me how to take care of myself.

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:32 AM
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My A was not supportive of my attending Alanon. The active A (alcoholic) is in denial. That didn't mean I had to live in denial anymore. Alanon was not a secret club to teach me how to manipulate my A. Not at all. Alanon was a public support group teaching me how to take care of myself.

My A WAS supportive. "Hon, you need to go to Alanon." Until I started going. As I started to be different, he started agitating for me to stop going. On one level, it's amusing.
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Old 12-16-2010, 05:23 AM
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Just some updates: She has tried getting sober for several weeks now. She changed her sponsor and started going to meetings regularly, but she keeps failing. She seldom admits to anything. Then last night she came home a mess and denied that anything was wrong. Fell asleep in the bathtub with her beloved phone in her hand.
This morning she admitted how scared she is. She doesn't remember how she got home last night or even why she bought the bottle. She wants to go to meetings all day and put herself on that anabuse drug. Any experience?
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:08 AM
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Antabuse will make most folks sick as a dog if they drink.

My experience with the drug was in the service; I dispensed it to folks who had been arrested while drunk.

Your wife has to do her own sobriety, if she chooses to take antabuse you and your children should be knowledgeable of the effects of the drug should she drink.

Itís pretty scary seeing a loved one doing the dry heaves while trying to get a buzz.

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
Here's what I have reaffirmed from reading here: There is nothing that I can do about this...
I'd like to point out that this is NOT TRUE!!!

There is PLENTY you can do about this, but it just doesn't include making her decisions or controlling her choices.

You CAN make your choices and engineer your life for yourself - to be happy, healthy, free of daily chaos of alcoholism, etc. These choices are complex and difficult and often counter-intuitive at first, but there is PLENTY YOU CAN DO to improve your life and your kids' lives!

Alanon is a great place to learn the tools and perspectives. They do not tell you what to do or how to live, but they will give you perspectives and tools to use, when navigating this devastating, progressive, family disease.

Sending encouragement,

CLMI
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