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Intro & Forcing someone to go the doctor...

Old 09-22-2010, 09:16 AM
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Intro & Forcing someone to go the doctor...

Hi all, my name is Michelle and I'm married to an alcoholic. we have 2 teenage girls. He has drank for 24+ yrs, almost daily for the past 16. He is a physician and is high functioning. I am trying to rid myself of any codependency issues, so therefore I'm unsure if I should seek help for this:
~Husband got drunk and started raging this weekend. He said he is miserable ALL the time, can't sleep, and wants to die. He said he wanted to die 3 times, but wouldn't kill himself.

~he does sleep, drinks, falls asleep on couch, then wakes up, occasionally drinks some more then comes to bed.

~Severely depressed: trouble falling asleep. Total lack of interest in anything. He's never had any hobbies except computer sports forums, predicting sports scores and watching sports and enjoys music. No active activities. Now he's lost interest in sports too.

~Unable to wake up in the mornings. Taking 50 minutes of alarm clock ringing to get out of bed. Late for work.

~I'm concerned he might also have heart issues and thyroid issues. He looks horrible: bloated, tired.

Due to the severe depression, wish for death (possible suicide?) and possible heart issues he has very high cholesterol and untreated high blood pressure, I am thinking that I should make a doctor's appt and ask him to go. He refuses to go on his own.

My concern is that making the appt would be codependent.
Thanks for any advice,
Michelle
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:22 AM
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He is a physician and is high functioning
Does he have his own practice or work in hospital? Maybe he has other doctor friends that can encourage him to seek medical advice. I hear doctors can be pretty stubborn when it comes to "them" being treated.

Best wishes,
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:26 AM
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You cannot force him to see a doctor. It is his decision to make, just as it is his decision to drink. Perhaps Al-anon would help you to learn to detach from his unhealthy behavior. You and your daughters deserve better.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:12 AM
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He's a doctor in his own practice and won't tell anyone about what's going on because of shame.

He's a very good person otherwise. The anger issues only come up every 3 months.

Will AL-Anon help as much as a counselor?
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:14 AM
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If the counselor is trained in addiction it might work. Al-anon is free. Al-anon is for YOU to help YOU learn detachment from his chaos.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:22 AM
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The anger issues only come up every 3 months.
That's very curious?? Why every 3 months?

Does he not see that his drinking/rage/suicidal thoughts/ cause a problem at all in your relationship?
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:51 AM
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That's very curious?? Why every 3 months?
I don't know why. Maybe some sort of cyclical depression thing? The rages are just verbal.

Does he not see that his drinking/rage/suicidal thoughts/ cause a problem at all in your relationship?
Yes, like most alcoholics he's very sorry the next day and decreases the amt he drinks for a short period of time. He know it affects us, and even acknowledges that our marriage may not last, that he may leave, but that's not due to his depression or drinking but due to me changing (can't say how I've changed except that I go to church regularly) and our lack of anything in common-not sure how you can have anything in common with someone who has no interests except drinking.

He refuses to see someone for depression because he doesn't think he's depressed, just miserable because of ? and that the misery is a direct result of his horrible life.

His life isn't horrible. He owns his own practice, makes good money but there is stress with this. I feel like I treat him well. I work for him and decrease his workload greatly, I basically do all the things he hates about his job-charting etc. I cook great meals, offer to go on dates etc. We have 2 beautiful, smart successful daughters who've never given us any trouble.

He just sees things in shades of grey: bad and worse.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:57 AM
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Well, with you treating him so well, cooking great meals, offering to go on dates and doing the jobs he hates, why on earth would he want to change anything? You are giving him such a cushy comfortable pillow to land on, he has no reason to think he needs to do anything differently.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:10 AM
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Well, with you treating him so well, cooking great meals, offering to go on dates and doing the jobs he hates, why on earth would he want to change anything? You are giving him such a cushy comfortable pillow to land on, he has no reason to think he needs to do anything differently.
I realize this. This has always been my role. I homeschool our kids and only work about 3 hrs/day so cooking kind of falls to me. We don't have an antagonistic relationship and rarely fight. So I try to remain positive and build a positive relationship so our marriage won't fall apart.

He's more sad and down. Rarely angry except the episodes about once every 3 months, so there's no bad behavior for me to get angry at or react to. No reason for me to refuse to be nice or myself. Does that make sense?

I did find a local al anon to go to. I've not gone before for fear of ruining his practice if word got out, but now I know I must go since this keeps happening.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:17 AM
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We don't have an antagonistic relationship and rarely fight. So I try to remain positive and build a positive relationship so our marriage won't fall apart.

A marriage takes two. It sounds to me like you are the only one working at it. Are you happy in your marriage? Are you content to live with someone who has told you that the only reason he hasn't left already is because you have kids together? It's good that you are planning to attend al-anon. I hope you follow through. You need help to get yourself out of the mindset that you should put up with whatever he dishes out for the sake of the marriage. It's time for you to find support from other people who have been through this nightmare.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:19 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

Sorry that your loved ones alcoholism is what brings you here, but glad you found us. You will find support and information for yourself here. Please feel free to read and post as much as needed.

Can I ask why you want him to be seen by a doctor?

To treat his depression? Alcohol is a depressant. Pills won't work when he is still drinking.
To treat his high blood pressure? Prolonged alcohol consumption increases stress on the organs.
To treat his rages? Anxiety meds come with a warning label not to mix with alcohol.
His rages happen, now, about every three months. Alcoholism is progressive and gets worse if untreated. His outbursts will likely increase in frequency and possibly volume.

I speak from experience. Hi, I'm Pelican and my recovery is multi-dimensional! I am a recovering alcoholic, a recovering exspouse of an alcoholic, and a recovering codependent. I have also been diagnosed with depression in the past.

Here is a link to one of our sticky(permanent) posts located at the top of the forum. It contains steps some of us have taken in dealing with an addicted loved one:http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:23 AM
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that's a difficult one Michelle. It sounds like anything you try to do out of the ordinary chores you do every day will rock the boat and you don't want to disturb the children or lose patients. I can understand.

I hope you figure out something to do.

Does he go to church with you, or is he bored with churchy stuff?
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:47 AM
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Can I ask why you want him to be seen by a doctor?
First and foremost I want his depression treated. I am truly afraid he could commit suicide, and I realize nothing will improve until his depression does.

that's a difficult one Michelle. It sounds like anything you try to do out of the ordinary chores you do every day will rock the boat and you don't want to disturb the children or lose patients. I can understand.

I hope you figure out something to do.

Does he go to church with you, or is he bored with churchy stuff?
No he does not go to church, he's an atheist and sees it as confrontational that I go to church. I told him before we had kids that I wanted them to go to church and he agreed. My faith has also helped me tremendously, but I can not discuss it with him or go to often as that drives a wedge between us.

I do try not to rock the boat, because to divorce would seriously hurt my children. I have no money, no IRA or pension. He has savings but it's probably in his name. He earns a very modest salary for an MD (he's a pediatrician) and we can only afford our modest house now. We have no credit card debt or car loans and still struggle every month. I'm afraid if I had to rely on child support that the kids and I wouldn't make it. I'm a nurse but haven't worked except for husband in 15 yrs. If I could get a job, I don't think it would be enough for the girls and I to live off of and pay for college for both. My oldest is going in 2 yrs.

I grew up in a divorced family and know to well that too many dads 'don't support their children.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:54 AM
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ARe you still in love with him? Do you think the spark between you can be rekindled? Does he feel judged by you in any way because you go to church and he doesn't?
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:57 AM
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When my dad left my mother and me, she had never worked. She didn't have a driver's license or a car and was totally dependent on my dad. She made it work. She got a job in the shoe repair department of a department store and rode the bus. She did that for years until she saved enough to buy an old car. She continued getting better jobs and better cars through the years and she retired from a national company about 8 years ago with a nice pension.

That said, yes, it is scary, but you can make it if you are determined enough. Your kids will be able to get jobs soon to help out. Yes, it will be hard, but if your husband just decided to leave one day (as he has threatened to do), what would you do then? What if he has a heart attack or stroke? What if he dies? I know I sound harsh, but no one should be totally dependent on another person. You are not responsible for your husband, he is. If he refuses to make a doctor's appointment for himself, then why should you? Instead of taking such care of him, why not put that effort into taking care of yourself and your kids and let him do whatever he decides to do. What he does is out of your control, but you can start now making sure that you and the kids will be okay regardless of what he does.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:07 PM
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Yes, I definitely love him, enjoy spending time with him. We have a drink on the patio every few nights after work, and I love when he will actually sit and spend time with me. He doesn't enjoy that time though, he does it just for me. He'll roll his eyes when I ask him if he's ready to sit with me. He has to go outside and smoke a cigarette 1st and then I can come out. The rest of the night I basically cook dinner, do my work (his notes) and then it's bedtime. He sits on the computer or watches sports. He'll talk if you talk to him, but will not engage in family activities such as games or movies.

He says he cares about me but he doesn't know why and it's the only thing that keeps him from leaving.

Yes, my going to church makes him feel judged.

He doesn't smoke in front of me because he had quit for about 3 yrs. Then I thought he had started back and he lied to me for 3 moonths. The lies really hurt me. I was also hurt because he looks like a heart attack waiting to happen: big belly, high blood pressure, fatigue and it angered me that he couldn't keep himself healthier for the girls and I, that he didn't consider the effects that smoking and drinking would have on us, and that basically he's trying to kill himself slowly. Now I know intellectually that none of that is true from his perspective. I know that he is hurting and that's why he drinks and smokes and that no matter how much he loves us he can't stop.

I'm OK with the smoking now, but I know he feels uncomfortable smoking around me and that's why he avoids talking to me outside. There is no talking inside-he just gets absorbed into the computer or TV.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:12 PM
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We have a drink on the patio every few nights after work, and I love when he will actually sit and spend time with me. He doesn't enjoy that time though, he does it just for me. He'll roll his eyes when I ask him if he's ready to sit with me. He has to go outside and smoke a cigarette 1st and then I can come out. The rest of the night I basically cook dinner, do my work (his notes) and then it's bedtime. He sits on the computer or watches sports. He'll talk if you talk to him, but will not engage in family activities such as games or movies.

He says he cares about me but he doesn't know why and it's the only thing that keeps him from leaving.
I'm sorry.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:15 PM
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Thanks Suki, I hear what you are saying. I want to finish schooling my girls-we homeschool. I plan to go back to school the last 2yrs of my oldest's high school yrs, then I can be financially more stable.

I've been thinking of my "back up plan" all week. My best plan would be to get enough money out of our accounts to move and live off a couple months, I guess the courts would help with this if he was unwilling, and then get job in a city where the girls could go to school and still live at home to cut down expenses.

He's very nice the rest of the time and acts like he cares about me. So I somewhat feel like I'm crazy making plans to leave based on what he said when he was angry. Once said, those words haunt you, even when everything seems to be OK.

Maybe I'm overreactiing?
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:19 PM
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No, I do not think you are over reacting. It is never a bad thing to have a plan in place should something happen to one spouse or another. If you never have to use the plan - great! But if you need it, it will be there.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:32 PM
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My concern in this are your daughters, who are no doubt learning how male-female interactions function based on what happens in your home. What would you recommend to your daughter, if she were a few years older, living with a husband who looks and behaves the way yours does?
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