Does it always escalate?

Old 12-12-2010, 12:49 PM
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Does it always escalate?

Not sure about high functioning being a stage rather than a type as someone here put on another post.My AH is 66 years old we have been together 22 years and he was an A when we met.He is retired now but he never missed a days work as a joiner ,he is a singer and guitarist and has played in bands, again never missed a booking,never unable to play due to drink.He helps me round the house and is my carer as I am disabled.He has never kept me short of money ,although we are nothing like as well off as we would have been if he didn't drink,he used to drink mostly in pubs in the beginning which is obviously more expensive ,but now he has less money on his pension he drinks cheap lager or cider from the supermarket at home. He has never even acknowledged that he has a problem ,saying he can stop when he likes,which annoyinglg he can ,but he always starts up again as soon as he thinks he's proved his point.Also his drinking contrary to what I always believed has not really escalated in all these years,he does have periods when he drinks more,but then settles back to his usual pattern again.Apart from having a heart attack 8 years ago which he recovered from quickly and gave up his 60 a day smoking habit,he is extremely healthy for his age ,and looks at least five years younger.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:16 PM
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One thing I've learned in my recovery is that nothing is black and white. Always is one of those things one can never say with certainty, because there are exceptions to every rule.

I would say it usually gets worse, but how long that takes can vary greatly. And, it's not always the amount of alcohol that is progressive, but the effects on the alcoholic. Not just physical effects, but also emotional distance, enthusiasm, lust for life, etc.

So, out of curiosity, why are you here? It sounds like you and your H are content with things the way they are?

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Old 12-12-2010, 02:24 PM
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I'm not content far from it,although I think I have come to realise I won't change him.Although he is high functioning ,he is still moody ,difficult and verbally abusive,both drunk and sober.I guess I have just accepted things as they are out of a fear of change.We did split up for six months four years ago but I found it hard to manage on my own as I am disabled and our elder daughter who is autistic was in a mental hospital at the time suffering from depression.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:39 PM
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I suppose I was just wondering the purpose of the question--"Does it always escalate?"

Does it matter? Moody, difficult, and verbally abusive doesn't sound like a nice way to live, even if it doesn't escalate.

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Old 12-12-2010, 07:25 PM
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Hi Roisin,
This is a great place for support. If nothing else, I'm sure you'll find people who are in similar situations as yours and get hope & strength from their stories. I've been learning a lot by reading and posting. Your situation sounds very tough. I hope there is a way that you might find physical support through organizations and agencies that might be able to provide you with assistance.
Warm hugs to you.
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:31 PM
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Hi Roisin,

I have been married to my AH for 22 years. This time last year, when my life had gotten so out of control with regards to his drinking, someone suggested I tried Al-anon. It had never even occured to me up until that point, that the problems at home I was dealing with were because I was dealing with an alcoholic.

My alcoholic is highly functioning with good strong work ethics and for the majority of the time we live a happy life in a loving relationship.

Mine too, has generally drank around the same amount of beer for a long time (every day) and like yours sometimes drinks a bit more, but then settles back down. I think currently, because we are getting along quite well, that he is trying to stick to drinking a crate (24) a week, although he is not quite managing this. I think also, that because I am in recovery and learning not to react to some of his behaviours that there is peace in the house, he hasnt been so bad to deal with anyway. Usually he 'flares' up or acts unreasonable if we have been in the throws of an argument about his drinking or not speaking, particulary when I was out of control about it.

Over the past year, whilst learning about alcoholism, attending Al-anon and reading books and SR threads I have questioned many times whether my Alcoholic is really an alcoholic as he isnt as unreasonable, out of control, abusive etc as some husbands that I hear about.

But, I relate to much of what is said at Al-anon and SR. I have had to listen to verbal abuse from my AH when he has been drinking or when I discussed how his drinking made me feel and he has acted irrational, unreasonable. Yes, my AH can stop occasionaly if he wants to, doesnt think hes an alcoholic and just says that he 'likes a beer'. I know in my gut that my AH is an alcoholic as the bottom line for me came about during a particular bad period when he chose beer over a 22 year marriage and continued to drink even though he knew it was upsetting me so much.

Now after all my rambling and to answer your question - Does it always esculate? I think it does, although sometimes it would seem as though it is at a very slow pace.

Incidently, My AH father died this year at the age of 65. He had been an alcoholic all his life and worked really hard, never taking time off work, right up until his death of a stroke. Because he had been divorced for almost 30 yrs and lived on his own for the past 6 years, he didnt look after himself too well and his flat was a mess with empty whisky bottles everywhere and heart medication bottles around that he failed to take. His alcohol intake had quite clearly escalated, particulary towards the end.

I beleive that this would be my husband if he too was living on his own but somehow, having someone in his life, keeps him trying to control his drinking and limiting the amount he drinks.

My AH gave up smoking too about 2 years ago and this at least is one positive thing they can do. Just the drinking now to go! But I am not going to hold my breath about that one.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:34 AM
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Not everyone that drinks heavily is an alcoholic. Some people are just heavy drinkers by choice. The difference is the matter of choice and the loss of control when drinking. Sounds like your husband has more of a choice in the matter, thus stays the same rather than escalating. Whether and alcoholic or a heavy drinker the effects of alcohol on physical and mental well being (or non-well being) are similar.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:43 AM
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I firmly believe that once a person becomes an alcoholic......always stays an alcoholic!

My husband just stopped drinking without working a program of recovery. He can be described as a "dry drunk" who only worked on his physical clean and sober aspect of his recovery, but has not yet worked on the other elements that are so important to complete a clean and sober lifestyle. He should have been responsible for all aspects of his recovery, whether it was through a 12-step program and/or a professional substance abuse counselor. His growth in recovery was stunted with only one piece of the pie in check: being physically clean and sober.

Alcohol can be only the drug used to cover up more deeper psychological problems. These deeper core problems need to be worked on through recovery programs or through individual counseling in order to get them resolved.

Alcohol can be used by an addictive personality that make an individual predisposed to addictions. Addictions are characterized by a physical or psychological dependency that negatively impacts the quality of life of the person. They are frequently connected with substance abuse, but people with addictive personalities are also highly at risk of becoming addicted to gambling, websites, food, exercise, work, and even relationships (codependency). People engaged in addictive behavior tend to plan their lives around it.

My DDH becomes obsessed with almost everything he gets involved with. My DDH got addicted to a certain website and even started emailing the other members. He developed close relationships with a couple female members from this website. He would spend a lot of his time corresponding with these females. He was telling these females "family secrets" about me and his family. I accidentally found out, and he said he was just trying to help them. I bought it! Yet he has remained detached from me and our two sons.

So, Roisin, to try to help answer your question "Does it always escalate?". The relationship between your husband and you probably is more complex than just his alcohol abuse.

This is just my personal opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Love and Peace,
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:17 AM
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Does it always escalate for the alcoholic?

Maybe it's the wrong question.

Maybe the question isn't whether it will escalate for him, but whether the effects of the life you have lived have accumulated/escalated for YOU.

Something has brought you to seek out this place...

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