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What do I do when she IS good AND drinks

Old 12-29-2010, 05:19 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I have experience similar dynamics in my relationship.

My experience is that it will not last. It can not last. She is acting like a 'normal' person and people that drink that much can not sustain that kind of effort/output.

Don't spend all your energy thinking about her and her behaviors. Take it one day at a time. Watch and wait and more will be revealed. The danger is that you project, plan, visualize a future based on that day - not on the reality which is that this is an alcoholic NOT in recovery.

Focus on you and your children so that you are still OK on the bad days - because they will be back and with a vengence.

Sometimes I picture or think of alcoholism as a monster. During these good days I someone thought my xah had managed to put the monster to sleep. In reality my xah just sent it off to boot camp to get stronger and meaner upon its return.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:06 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Hi Rhode, I asked you a question on your last thread that I don't think you answered. I asked because in my experience there are things you can do to help your wife with this problem but what they are depends on what stage she is at. This was the question;

What does your wife actually want? Do you think she is at a place where she actually does want to stop drinking but is not sure how to or is she quite content with her drinking and just paying lip-service to you about quitting in order to get you off her back? It's hard to tell the difference between the two as she will be saying similar things either way, but what does your gut tell you?
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:12 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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P.s. I also need to point out that "being good" is a term we use with children. When used to refer to our spouses or significant others, something is very, very wrong. I know when I used to use it referring to my wife, I was doing so because I didn't see her as my equal. I saw her as simply another child I had to take care of-- I regret that now. It made things worse.
Yes, Rhode this is odd. A man I knew casually said to me "thats a good girl".
I said, "I am not a girl, I am a grown woman with children."
Being good is for Santa Clause. Not to describe your grown wife.

Beth
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:26 AM
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FWIW, I can totally relate to the parent/child dynamic. By the end of my nearly 20 year marriage, that's exactly how it was with me and my AH. It is kind of a chicken and egg thing, the more I treated him like a helpless child, the more he acted like one.

I have to agree with Cyranoak, though. It was very damaging to both of us. Not to mention, a terrible example of the marriage relationship to teach my children.

L
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:15 PM
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I have to throw in that I kept going back to your post because of the word "good". This isn't about good/bad behavior. She is an adult. Her behavior is no longer subject to such simplistic terms. Functioning or not...she is an alcoholic. Functioning or not...it is progressive. Sounds like she is in a place of trying to show everyone that she can "control it" That isn't about good vs. bad. It just IS. And you have to decide if that is something that works for you.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:13 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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KittyP has asked me:
"What does your wife actually want? Do you think she is at a place where she actually does want to stop drinking but is not sure how to or is she quite content with her drinking and just paying lip-service to you about quitting in order to get you off her back? It's hard to tell the difference between the two as she will be saying similar things either way, but what does your gut tell you?"

Indeed it's hard to tell. Intellectually she certainly recognizes that her drinking is very bad to her health with lots more possible collateral damage. She said at one point "I sometimes lay awake at night thinking 'what am I doing to myself?'"
But is she really ready to quit at this stage? I'm not sure. It think I would have to say that probably not yet - or I would have seen a more systematic attempt to quit.

And for all the people that didn't like my use of the word "good" in the title of this thread - I get your point and accept it. Indeed the word "good" may have not been the most appropriate. I used it for brevity to get across the point of the duality in the behavior - heavy drinking while still functioning in an effective and warm and supportive way towards her family on that day.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:43 AM
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[QUOTE=Rhode;2812959 heavy drinking while still functioning in an effective and warm and supportive way towards her family on that day.[/QUOTE]

This just makes me so sad..how excited we get at the tiniest little crumb thrown to us..we are all worth so much more.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:37 AM
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Rhode - I understand what you are saying. I used to do the same thing...big gold star when my AH would take my car to have the oil changed without me asking. Or when I would come home and the laundry had been folded. Or when he finally painted the room I had been asking him to paint for a year. YAY! I thought that if I recognized the desirable behavior that it would make him feel good, feel confident, and that it would encourage more positive behavior and eventual sobriety.

The fact is, when we do that, we are using too much rational thought for irrational behavior and it only ends up driving US crazy in the end. It would be like trying repeatedly to unlock the door to your house with a car key. Just isn't going to work. We cannot be responsible for the behavior of others and to think that we can CHANGE their behavior is counterproductive to our own recovery and well-being. Codie recovery is about living your own life in as normal and healthy way as possible despite external circumstance you can't control.

I remember saying, when AH was in a period of abstinence, "I love it so much when you are sober. You are strong and sexy and the man of my dreams." That was true - I loved it when he wasn't actively using and I thought telling him would make all the difference. However, I would be so hurt and enraged when he relapsed because my motivation was displaced. I wasn't saying those things just to express my feelings but instead to give him praise and positive reinforcement that might "make the difference". However, unless someone has surrendered to their powerlessness over their addiction, it doesn't make a difference at all. In reality, I now realize that all I was really doing anyway was giving my AH reinforcement to continue using (because he obviously "had it under control").

If you appreciate the dinner she made, tell her as you would tell anyone else. Just be doing it because it is a true expression of YOUR feelings, not because you are over-analyzing and thinking it will have an impact on her future behavior or potential sobriety.

***I wanted to add that sometimes we don't always hear what we expect to hear (or maybe hope to hear) on this forum. The first few months I was here, I felt the sting of people's words. What I now realize is that there is so much truth here that it is painful at first. We have to crawl out from the warm, fuzzy blanket of our own denial and that can lead us into a very cold reality. However, once you acclimate, you find that there is a whole bunch of neat stuff you've been missing while you've been hiding under there.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:01 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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thanks for this site! Spent a few days reading, learning and wanting to cry. I have an Agf, we've been together (living seperate) for over 12 yrs. She was a recovering A (I soon learned from her) and seemed to be on a good road, job, mother.

This past year she's binge drinking for 'special occasions'. I have a past with Agf's and eventually walked. I don't like drinking myself but will have 2 drinks if the event warrents it, but can drink water all night long and truely like it.

I found you all in a google search "how to talk to a A" because I thought I needed to do that as 'right' as possible. Sadly the answer was "you can;t" as well as 'nothing I do or don't do will make her drink or not drink.' sh*t.....

So I wrote her an email (to get my full thoughts out there), I only focused on me but soooo wanted to let her know what an ass shes becoming.

I told her I would quit with her again, she only replied 'OK, let me think about this, Have a Happy Birthday". We were to take friday off for my BD, I see that wont happen now.

anyway, thanks for being here, I will read more now.

Randy
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:10 PM
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Hi Randy and welcome to SR. This thread is almost a year old. Why don't you start a new thread and introduce yourself to everyone. This is a great place to be with huge amounts of experience, strength and hope.

Your friend,
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:23 PM
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will make new thread

thanks....
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhode View Post
I did go to an al-anon meeting. There is only one group in my area. I did'n't feel it helped me much. It seemed to be too schematic - and I didn't feel they related to MY issues.

On the other hand I do like the forum - and so, with your indulgence, I think I'l just keep on posting and be thankful for the good advice and ideas I get here.

I don't think my wife is doing good things so she'll have a license to drink. She is very creative, and to some extent, perhaps she felt the drinking helped her get inspiration in what she does. Now, obviously, she is way beyond what's healthy. And I can see how this could deteriorate further.

I can't tell if she is just not capable to break the habit, or doesn't want to. On the face of - it seems easy - just don't buy the liquor and don't have it the house - no? I mean - when she goes to get the vodka or rum or jinn bottle, she is sober. She only keeps one bottle in the house which she often finishes during the day. And the next morning she goes to the shop to buy the next. So can't she just decide not to get it?

Unlike someone trying to control their weight - it would seem that controlling drinking should be easier. We always have food around the house. But we don't have to have booze around the house. So the temptation should be easier to fight - no?
I have been married 19 years to my RAW.

In any case, when we were first married, we tried all of that stuff- only beer or wine in the house (no liquor), only beer or wine in the house on weekends, no alcohol in the house but it was okay to drink while we were out. I used to have that just don't drink logic. If someone is an alcoholic, all paths will lead back to the same point. Unless the person is completely committed to recovery, it can't happen. People generally have to hit rock bottom because at that point they can't use any of their rationalizations any more. You might try the book Under the Influence to understand more about alcoholism. There are differences between an alcoholic's body and an alcoholic's reaction to alcohol that make quitting alcohol significantly more difficult than cutting down on fatty foods to improve cholesterol or going on a diet.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:38 PM
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Aside from my partner, who is the reason I'm on here, I have, and have had a few friends who were like your wife. I say have had, because two of them are now dead as a result of their lifestyle. One current friend is highly intelligent, has had lots of interests, was sporty, but his main interest is having a good time, and for this he needs alcohol-lots of it. He is witty and fun to be around-to a point, but he can turn and his insecurities make him confrontational-I had a rambling call last night which was a bore.
There are plenty of people like your wife, who seem to function quite well whilst drinking but in my experience there is always a downside, and a gradual slide into worse habits.
I really think you need to keep this uppermost in your mind for the sake of the family overall.
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