What To Do

Old 10-21-2010, 08:24 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 163
What To Do

I just found this site tonight so this is my first post. My wife of over 20 years is an alcoholic. Hs been one for most of our marriage although she was sober for about 8 years. 2 years ago she started drinking again when the kids started leaving home. She always bing drinks in seclusion. When she starts, she drinks herself to oblivia and the only reason she quits is because I starve her out. I am what you would call the opposite of an enabler. Been thru several programs. The last one was a month inpatient and cost us 30K. Worked for a few months. The kids are all grown and gone now and along with me thay have had it. Here is my dilema. I am ready for a divorce but since I own my own successful business a divorce would be winning the lotto for her. No one to make her quit drinking and enough money so the she would not have to work and could drink all she wanted. I am fully convinced that she would drink herself into oblivia. But thats the mother of my children destroying herself. So by being concerned about her welfare am I caring or codependent?
Hayfmr is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Hayfmr For This Useful Post:
HealingWillCome (10-21-2010), Learn2Live (10-22-2010), RollTide (10-22-2010), TatliGuzelim (10-21-2010), TeM (10-22-2010)
Old 10-21-2010, 08:48 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Thumper's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,444
I'm sorry you are in such a difficult position. Welcome to SR. I have found it so helpful.

My first thought is that concern for her welfare is caring. Disregarding your own is codependent.
Thumper is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Thumper For This Useful Post:
Bernadette (10-22-2010), HealingWillCome (10-21-2010), Learn2Live (10-22-2010), naive (10-22-2010), sesh (10-22-2010), SoloMio (10-21-2010), TatliGuzelim (10-21-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 01:31 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
sesh's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: europe
Posts: 624
That is hard.
But eventually you will have to decide is your priority your own well being even at that cost.
But I believe to decide that first you have to come to realize no matter what you do she will continue destroying herself, what you're doing now, by staying with her, is at best slowing down a process. So you're not stopping her, you're not preventing the end result from happening you're just postponing it, while your own life is wasting away. I know how hard it is to watch a parent of your children on that killing path, but there is nothing you can do to change that, until she herself decides to do so. That is hard, that stinks, that is heartbreaking but it is true.
So, if you take this to be true I guess the only question you need to ask yourself is do you want to stick around and watch her distruction from the first raw or do you want to move away and do what is good for you.
Take care
sesh is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to sesh For This Useful Post:
coyote21 (10-22-2010), TatliGuzelim (10-22-2010), TeM (10-22-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 05:53 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Bernadette's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,814
Stay in the moment. Awfulizing possible future events usually brings me nothing but grief and anxiety and things never shake down the way I imagine they will in my head!

It sounds like the next right thing for you to do is talk to a lawyer and get the divorce paperwork going. Take it one step at a time. Perhaps she will have to blow through all that "lotto" money and find herself on the other side alone and wasted before she will seek real lasting recovery. You simply cannot predict or control outcomes.

Do what's best for you. More will be revealed....
gentle (((((hugs)))))
Bernadette is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Bernadette For This Useful Post:
HurtingAgain (10-24-2010), Learn2Live (10-22-2010), nodaybut2day (10-22-2010), SteppingUp (10-22-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 08:26 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
TeM's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 255
Wow. I can really relate to your post... except for the successful business part, I'm in a very similar situation.

I've been married to AW for 30 years. I've only realized within the last two years that she's an alcoholic, so we haven't gotten to the rehab stage, and maybe never will. She won't admit having a problem, even though she fell and broke her ankle while drunk two weeks ago.

Our daughter is 18, but still living at home. I'm facing the same dilemma that you are; do I stay with AW and watch her destroy us both, or do I take the expensive, painful step of divorcing her? She's technically disabled, so I'm pretty sure the divorce court would take me to the cleaners. Still, that might be better than the almost certain financial destruction that awaits if I try to stick it out. This latest little episode is going to cost us several thousand out of pocket... who knows what damage she'll do to herself next time?

Anyway, welcome to the forum. I, for one, will be watching your posts, hoping for a little inspiration.

Good luck.
TeM is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to TeM For This Useful Post:
Learn2Live (10-22-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 08:44 AM
  # 6 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true.
Join Date: May 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 5,924
Blog Entries: 5
I have learned that when faced with a decision about my life, I must consider my OWN needs first and foremost. If considering someone else's needs will cause me harm or degrade my own peace and/or serenity, I have to ignore the other person's needs to whatever degree necessary. Yes, it feels and sounds selfish but we are all responsible for our ownselves.
Learn2Live is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Learn2Live For This Useful Post:
Live (10-22-2010), SteppingUp (10-22-2010), TeM (10-22-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 09:24 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
Freedom1990's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 10,182
If an alcoholic wants to drink him/herself to death, a way will be found.

She's been through several programs. She's been given tools for recovery. She has made the choice to return to active alcoholism.

Your 'starving her out' isn't a solution. It's trying to control the alcoholism.

When we start living in the solution for ourselves, life does get better.
Freedom1990 is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Freedom1990 For This Useful Post:
Bernadette (10-22-2010), LexieCat (10-22-2010), Live (10-22-2010), nodaybut2day (10-22-2010), TeM (10-22-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 10:36 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 163
Thanks for all the support. I know that she will find a way to drink until she decides to quit. All I can do at the moment is make it really difficult for her to get the booze. As soon as I can I am going to meet with a lawyer and explore the options. Then once she sobers up she will be presented with a choice. Seek help and quit drinking or she is out.
Hayfmr is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Hayfmr For This Useful Post:
Learn2Live (10-22-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 10:38 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
TeM's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 255
If an alcoholic wants to drink him/herself to death, a way will be found.
That seems to be what's happening in our household. When AW broke her ankle, Daughter and I found her stash and put it in the garage. (We chose not to throw it away because we knew AW would just buy more first chance she got, and we can't afford it) We figured that, since she's immobilized, she at least wouldn't be able to drink while she's recovering.

Yeah, right.

Anyway, AW has a drinking buddy that visits her once or twice a week while I'm at work. After her last two visits, I noticed that a bottle of Amaretto was missing from the garage. I asked AW about it, and she said Drinking Buddy had taken it home with her. Okay. This week, another bottle was missing, and AW seemed a little tipsy, and one of her whiskey glasses was sitting in the sink.

My guess is that Drinking Buddy came and poured AW a couple of drinks. Maybe she took the bottle with her, or AW has it hidden in the pile of crap she keeps next to her recliner. I just don't have the energy to look for it.

I realize that this may be considered enabling behavior on my part, but right now, I'm just too exhausted to fight with her every day.
TeM is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to TeM For This Useful Post:
Learn2Live (10-22-2010), naive (10-24-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 12:07 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 133

Dear Hayfrm, You asked "So by being concerned about her welfare am I caring or codependent?" Please checkout "Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence". These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation.

You need to decide for yourself if you actually want a divorce from your wife or if you're just using her drinking and your belief that you can rescue your wife to avoid from getting divorced? You need to remember: You didn't CAUSE it! You can't CURE it! and You can't CONTROL it!

As codependents get older we need to ask ourselves a couple questions:
If I suffered a massive stroke, heart attack, or some other dehabiliating disease would my alcoholic be there to be my caregiver?
Would I want, or could I, become a caregiver for the alcoholic?

I have been forced to know my dry drunk husband wouldn't be there for me. I have been forced to acknowledge that I don't want to be my DDH's caregiver. Throughout our marriage he wouldn't listen to me. As a patient it is necessary to listen to the caregiver.

If you decide you want a divorce from your AW, your attorney can discuss this in your mediation. You might be able to set up some type of settlement handed to your AW in semi-annual annuities where she receives her money based on the condition of her staying sober.

Only God can turn a mess into a message!
acdirito is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to acdirito For This Useful Post:
Freedom1990 (10-22-2010), Learn2Live (10-22-2010), TeM (10-24-2010)
Old 10-22-2010, 07:42 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 163
For the moment the AW is sober. I have an appointment with a lawyer next week to find out where I stand legally.
Hayfmr is offline  
Old 10-24-2010, 11:06 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 163
Just a quick update. AW wife was very creative and obtained booze Friday evening. She is now out and in withdrawl. She has also been suffering from back pain and says she is in bad pain. Both from the back and withdrawl. She decided she wants to go the the local emergency clinic for help. Will be interesting to see if she volunteers the alcohol part or if I have to tell them.

So far she has not tried to blame me this time. I really want to see her helped but I am still going to seek legal advice for just in case.
Hayfmr is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Hayfmr For This Useful Post:
wicked (10-24-2010)
Old 10-24-2010, 11:19 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ozarks
Posts: 85
Hey Hay,

Iím really to new at this dealing with an alcoholic stuff to be of much help.

What I do know is that you really only have two choices;
1) Put up with `em the way they are
2) Donít

Working on "you" for the sake of a better "you" is a good thing but it doesn't address the previous two choices.

The `ol you can lead a horse to water analogy applies to alcoholics aptly.

hurtandangry is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to hurtandangry For This Useful Post:
TeM (10-24-2010)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:25 AM.