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Mountain or Molehill?

Old 09-21-2010, 03:26 AM
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Mountain or Molehill?

I am not an easy person to live with as I have to be disciplined in my profession and that carries over somewhat to my personal life. I am at a loss as to what to do. I am here asking IF this is the start of Alcoholism? OR have I been too blind to see it? Or is there bigger problems I need to consider?

I have been married to the same woman for many years. I love her dearly. We have two adult girls. At times during our life she has worked with me in businesses we owned and at times she has been a home maker. She has never been very good at cleaning and the house always seemed to exhibit that. Since I need a clear head for my profession I drink alcohol only when I'm on vacation and never allow myself to get intoxicated, The last vacation was in 2002. We always travel out of the country on vacation so we save up for them

When our youngest daughter was about 12 she had learned to manipulate her mother into doing what she wanted or buying her what ever she wanted, even if I said we should not. Over the course of a few years my wife had acquired several credit cards in her name without telling me and maxed them out. My wife received phone calls which she took privately away from where I was at. One day while she was out I received a call from a CC issuer and since I am the husband they told me how bad the situation was. I took our savings and paid off the cards. This pattern was repeated several times until it had cost us about $50,000.00.

I thought that this money flowing through my wife's hands was because of our youngest daughter, but our daughter has been gone from home for a few years and the money I put into my wife's checking vanishes without anything showing for it.

During this time (youngest daughter manipulating her mother ) my wife got into the habit of lying to me. I confronted my wife several times, but she says "she has no reasons for lying", but she still does it even more so now.

I do not watch TV, but I have a hobby that keeps me at the computer from 6PM until about 9PM every nite, My wife plays the lottery and seems to want to "go get lottery tickets" every evening about 7PM. There is a convenience store less than 5 minutes from our home, but it takes her about 30 to 60 minutes to get her ticket. I have considered following her but I have not yet done that.

My wife recently switched from beer, to wine and hard liquor as her drink of choice. I asked her several times "Why she needs to drink?" and her reply is that "It relaxes her!"...I ask what she needs to relax from since she does not work outside the home, does some laundry, some cooking, shops for groceries, and does very little cleaning.. Other than those things her days consist of; she sleeps in, has naps during the day, makes herself lunch, and watches TV....but she does not have an answer to what she needs to relax from.

Our oldest daughter lives with us and she has found her mother drinking in the kitchen, frequently while cooking. Our oldest daughter mentioned it to both of us and is concerned that my wife is drinking too much. My wife asked me to have a drink with her at the last New Years Eve, which I did...Since then she wants me to drink with her, but I won't. She has been buying a wine that requires chilling and has brought a bottle to the bedroom on a regular basis and consumes it. She drank a bottle and a half one nite, left the balance on her nite stand. It got warm and the next day before lunch she was drinking it from the bottle.

I have never paid attention to when we have our disagreements, until our oldest daughter pointed out the drinking and now I am aware that we argue most when my wife is drinking. She will start an argument and then gets verbally abusive and loud enough so the neighbors hear. The morning after my wife is the most loving person you know, but she needs to sleep in until about 10 am.

Recently my wife wanted to go visit with her family which she has not seen in years. The visit was for 2 weeks and she was to stay with a niece (6 months younger than wife) and her brother. I was concerned because this niece was a heavy drinker. We made an agreement that she would not drink while staying with the niece. The first nite she had drinks with them, the second nite she was drunk when I called and I pointed that out that she was drunk. She stayed there 8 days and we did not talk much after the second day. She stayed the balance with her brother but we still did not talk much while she was away..

We discuss things and decide on a course of action, my wife makes agreements with me and then does what she wants. Of course she always states "that is not what she agreed to"

There is a restaurant that we like their food and my wife wants to go by herself to pick up the food. She goes there and has "a drink sometimes" while waiting for the order. She has related that she has met another man there and they "are friends", and he sometimes buys her a drink.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:41 PM
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Welcome to SR, jd, I'm glad you found us.

I'm sorry for your troubles, but hope you will find lots of support and hope here.

Hugs
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:24 PM
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Welcome to the SR family jd585!

You will find lots of information and support for yourself here. I recommend reading and posting as much as needed. I like reading in the permanent (sticky) posts at the top of the page. They contain some of our stories and lots of wisdom.

Is this a mountain or a molehill? I think you are seeing the red flags of a dangerous pattern. Alcoholism is progressive and it gets worse.

We understand.
We have loved ones that are/were addicted to alcohol.

I found strength and hope by attending Alanon meetings, posting here at SR, reading/researching alcoholism and some counseling with a social worker. Let us know how we can help you
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:28 PM
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Hi, welcome to our world, one heartache and disappointment.

There really is not anything you can do to "make" her stop drinking. This is her problem to resolve. Have you sat her down and expressed your concerns? Have you suggested that she consider AA?

As far as the spending goes, it is just another facet of addiction, same for the lies.

Read the stickys, read others posts and most important keep postihng, we are here for you
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:35 PM
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Money problems, lying, covering up, dismissing others concerns are part of the alcoholic pattern sadly.
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:15 PM
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It's some kind of problem that's for sure.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:07 PM
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Thank you one and all! Time for a follow up.

I have heeded some of the advice given and read quite a bit on the forums. There was quite a bit to take in and think about.

One person had a rather interesting view of alcoholism, they felt there was very little net difference between what it does and what narcotics does to the brain. I read their comments and I had never considered that argument before. I had not really considered it at all I suppose.

Several pointed out that it is impossible to stop someone unless they have a deep enough desire to stop and it looks like most have to truly hit bottom for that to happen.

As another suggested that she was/is extremely lonely and was not getting her needs met. That is very possible as my profession requires me to be up NLT 5AM and gone until about 6PM most times. On rare occasions I do not get home until 7 or later, depends on work flow and traffic. That does not allow a lot of time to clean up, eat, be affectionate and listen to her troubles before I have to retire. When I get home real late my hobby takes a back seat.

I could relate to this first point of view, a close friend in combat with me got hooked on "french sleeping pills" and he was no different than someone being falling down drunk. I have always had a strong sense of self control and never got involved with anything that would control me.

I've been giving this situation a lot of thought, the second point is like a cold bucket of water in the face.. Over the last few years, I have started becoming more angry about the lies, the excessive spending, the arguments, the failure to act as a husband & wife team in our efforts to prepare for retirement. But mostly I have become ( hurt, angry, disappointed, confused.... not sure which it is) about her failure to allow our wedding vows to mean as much to her as it does to me. Rhetorically, "Do I really want to wait until she hits bottom? Who knows when or if that will happen."

The third point of view is probably correct as to the cause and I have to take full responsibility for her being lonely, etc...but I am not responsible for her drinking or its start, that is all of her own doing. She could have chosen other ways of dealing with it.

I do not have a lot of years left to repair the damage to my financial well being. I can deal with the stress, the lies, the arguments, but what I can not deal with is anymore financial hits. She now has a second checking account at the same bank, I did not press the issue of why. I do not know if she goes out for "lottery tickets" or liquor or other reasons in the evening ...haven't decided if I am going to follow her yet. However IF she wanted to stop, she would have done so already. She obviously does not want to stop and it is getting stronger every day.

Rhetorically, "How much time, effort, caring and love do you expend before saying enough is enough/" This needs a lot more research and thought, before a course of action is implemented.

I am not looking for sympathy. Just looking for an understanding of it so that I can make an informed decision that is best for everyone.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:38 PM
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I have had a read through both of your posts and for me what stood out is that if you take away the alcohol completely from the picture, you have a marriage full of resentments, lies, deciept and a huge bit of 'lack of respect' thrown in. This alone isnt a healthy marriage and a bit of a chicken/egg situation. This is what I am coming to terms with in my own marriage. Usually resentments, lies, lack of respect etc can be overcome with a good marriage guidance councellor who can pull you both back on track, particulary if you both still love each other, but councelling wont work if one partner is an alcoholic. I personally, have decided that I cant live in an unhealthy marriage, one full of disrespect and with a partner who is an alcoholic.

I have been doing a lot of reading recently and one book that I read that sticks out for me with you, is that it is fairly common for someone with one addiction to develp another and I would have a guess that your wife is also struggling with a shopping addiciton - spending money. I too stuggle with this sometimes and have to pull myself back so I dont make those 'feel good' purchases. I can easily plan in my head how I can buy this, or that because I am looking at filling my sometimes painful life with nice things. Because I havent got an addictive personality, I do manage this quite regulary but for those with addiction problems this could easily escalate until you had $50,000worth of debt - like your wife.

Like me, I believe that you have a number of problems in your marriage besides alcohol, and unless your wife is ready to admit to herself that she has a problem and seek sobriety then there is little hope of ever sorting out the over spending, lack of respect etc. Time to put yourself first, and think of your future, your wife is making her choice.

You said you were looking for understanding so that you can make an informed descision and this is my opionion on the little I have read about what you are going through, I hope it helps.

Last edited by Eight Ball; 09-23-2010 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Escuse the spelling errors - in a rush
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:48 PM
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WELCOME to S/R, jd.

Please think of us when you are confused, in need of a shake, or some support. Whatever it is you are dealing with, there are those here who have dealt with the same.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:03 AM
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You have alot to process right now. Think it through, if we can help, post, we are here for you.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jd585 View Post

The third point of view is probably correct as to the cause and I have to take full responsibility for her being lonely, etc...but I am not responsible for her drinking or its start, that is all of her own doing. She could have chosen other ways of dealing with it.
I could not agree more. As the non alcoholic spouse in my marriage I became very lonely but I didn't deal with it by hitting the bottle. I found things to do that I enjoyed doing and also got busy at the gym
No-one makes another person drink but a lot of people do turn to the bottle when its about the most unhelpful thing they could do for themselves and those around them. Loneliness is a reason but not an excuse. It may even have been me who said she was probably lonely and hit the bottle instead of finding other ways to spend her time -I do recall making a post of that nature but that was not me excusing her choice, nor passing blame to anyone but her.. Not remotely.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:36 AM
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Toward the end of my marriage my home was bizzaro-land, there was a circus going on here while I was at work and I felt I, at least, deserved to know what the hell was going on in my own home.

One of the tenements of Alanon is to not "check up" on the alcoholic, and I agree to a certain extent. IOW, AFTER you pretty well KNOW what is going on, it only serves keep you in pain. But as a fact gathering mission, I believe it has merit.

If you want your eyes open quickly and probably painfully, I would say follow her to the corner store. Whatever you find there will no doubt help with your decision making.

I installed a key logger on our home computer, it was a source of great PAIN, but gave me clarity/insight I'd have gotten no other way. I would STILL be scratching my head wondering about what went on in my home. As painful as the truth was, I'm glad I got it, made my hard decisions much easier.

Good luck in what ever you decide. We have a saying in Alanon, "More will be revealed". Have you considered Alanon?

Thanks and God bless us all,
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:42 AM
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I couldnt agree more with the fact finding mission, definitely better to know some of whats truly going on in your own home, it is painful but helps you deal with some of your own denial and can help with making a more informed descision.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:12 AM
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Hi jd585, and Welcome to SR. I'm so glad you found this place. There's lots of support to be found here.

You mentioned in one of your posts that lack of responsibility with money is one of your main concerns. Do you feel this is your deal breaker?

I completely sympathize with your situation, as I was somewhat in the same position, being the breadwinner and provider for my husband, his son and our infant child. Beyond the CONSTANT lying, manipulation, gas lighting, infidelity, and verbal abuse, there was the fact that all my efforts at providing for us a "normal" life and saving for our children's future were just guzzled down and peed down the drain, literally. It was even more frustrating that for a few years, I did rather demeaning things to provide for us (I was a stripper). To my XAH, money was for spending and the immediate gratification of his need for pleasure. After 5 years together, it became obvious that my financial values were not his, and I can honestly tell you that I take GREAT pleasure in squirling money away in my savings account every 2 weeks, now that I'm not providing him any longer.

It seems to me that you'll soon have to come to a decision about this situation.

In the meantime, please keep posting and reading. SR is always open!
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:54 AM
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Have you discussed all of this with your wife? The money spending?
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:39 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your support, information and sharing of stories!

Freebuthurting….thank you! Yours was the post about it being her fault w/ the drinking…I was merely restating it for myself…if there was offense I was the one that should apologize for my lack of clarity

coyote21….I am still in the fact finding stage AA is not in my game at the moment. I am considering a keylogger, since she closes all browser windows when I come in the home office area. I purchased a video camera w/ audio today @ a flea mkt. I have decided to follow her on her trips to get “lottery tickets”.

Yesbutnobut…I paid off all that debt she accumulated when my youngest daughter left. I have tried to control her spending by only giving her so much money for her checking account. This was a complete change from our previous arrangement.

I can understand a shopping compulsion, but even with that there would still be something to show for the money…like clothes, jewelry, appliances, new car…just something.. we have nothing to show for all that money…absolutely nothing …can’t understand where it went

It is not a question of a ”deal breaker”…it is simply that I have to consider the most important item and that is TIME, I simply do not have enough TIME left to be able to put away enough money for retirement, IF she goes off the deep end again, quite simply I would have to live off SS mainly and that is not acceptable to me.

Still Waters…yes, I have discussed numerous times with her about the spending but nothing changes.

Need some info I have not found here yet..

Can alcohol change the body aroma of an alcoholic?

Does the alcoholic have problems with constantly scratching themselves? (all over including private areas)

Can alcohol cause infections?

Does the alcoholic have frequent and severe headaches? Even inside home.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:41 PM
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Can alcohol change the body aroma of an alcoholic?

Does the alcoholic have problems with constantly scratching themselves? (all over including private areas)

Can alcohol cause infections?

Does the alcoholic have frequent and severe headaches? Even inside home.


Yes. Yes. Indirectly, yes. And yes!

The liver breaks alcohol (ETOH) down into acetaldehyde & about 10% is expelled in the breath and urine. An accumulation of acetaldehyde (as would happen with a heavy drinker) can give off a distinctive fruity/chemical smell....that can also turn fruity/sour over time.

Itchiness can be caused by many things - but in an alcoholic it is often due to cirrhosis or fatty liver and bile deposits under the skin. Itchiness can also be a sign of kidney problems, which are also common in alcoholics.

Itchiness, especially "down there" could also be a sign of a yeast infection or an STD.

Alcohol cannot "cause" infections - although it can severely damage the liver. But nutrition becomes a real problem for alcoholics and poor nutrition = a weak immune system. Alcohol also suppresses white blood cell production, reducing the number of WBCs in the blood, thus making it harder to fight infection.

Frequent and severe headaches - could be caused by a reaction directly to the alcohol being consumed (some people have this reaction, esp. cluster headaches), or could be a hangover from previous alcohol consumed - acetaldehyde can cause it, hypoglycemia (a common result of alcohol intoxication) can cause it, dehydration can cause it.

Welcome to SR!
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:14 AM
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When my RAH drastically reduced his alcohol intake - his health deteriorated terribly. During that time he did not look after himself as well as he should have. Over the months it got worse and worse and we have ended up separated as a result.
As I have told him since ... I am not in the habit of chasing a grown man round the house trying to ensure he eats properly, visits the Dr, gets medical care and uses it properly, and takes his thiamin and other vitamins. It is a shame because, for many months he was clearly trying very hard to fight his desire to drink, but was fighting a losing battle with his health.
In my experience, alcohol abuse brings a whole host of other health problems and it is very hard for the onlooker to determine what the specific causes are. In the end it all boils down to poor health care and physical delapidation from too many empty calories coming from alcoholic drinks. The RAH has to learn to look after themself just as the recovering codependent does.
Active alcoholics are a whole different ball game though.
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:14 AM
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since she closes all browser windows when I come in the home office area.
My 19 yr old daughter showed me the 'History' tab at the top of the computer when the internet is open (we are on firefox browser) 'Show all history' and it displays all the websites that the computer has visited, dates, times and goes back quite a few days. This is how I 'discovered' my husbands porn site visits.

I can understand a shopping compulsion, but even with that there would still be something to show for the money…like clothes, jewelry, appliances, new car…just something.. we have nothing to show for all that money…absolutely nothing …can’t understand where it went
As your wife has nothing to show for the money, I would hazard a guess, totally left field, that she is gambling the money away. This would explain where the money goes with nothing to show for it. Again another addiction.

I am so sorry for your pain but maybe it would be better for you to find out exactly what your dealing with and if you havent got time yourself, maybe a private eye would be a good investment at this stage?
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:00 AM
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jd585,

It sounds to me like your greatest concerns at this point focus around the financial. If you stick around here long enough you will read all sorts of horror stories of non-drinking spouses whose financial lives, among other things, are devastated by the other person's behavior. So no, I do not think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. If it were me, I would spend less time right now trying to figure out what my spouse is doing behind my back, and more time working to secure my finances from any further damage. From reading your posts it seems to me you may want to focus most of your energies now on protecting yourself and your family from future financial losses. IMO, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

I know that many people, when they marry, join their financial lives too. I personally have never given over my money, my credit, or my financial decisions to anyone else. It sounds to me like you have given your spouse carte blanche with the income you make. If it were me, I would remove her authority and create a household budget. I would cancel all the credit cards that have my name on them, and take over paying the household bills. I would create a separate banking account for my paychecks, without anyone else's name on it. I would also insist that my spouse get a job. These actions likely will cause her to react negatively.

Please be aware that what you find out from your reconnaissance missions may be upsetting. Better to have your finances in order and your emotional life strong before the $hit hits the fan, if you get my meaning.
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