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Old 12-30-2010, 10:50 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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What a smoke screen - the fact that you think that his European culture does not see drinking too much as serious does not mean that it is not a problem. And the points programme you speak about is not one that is well know or followed by many (if anybody). It is an excuse for him and for you. I am European and work in public policy and have a research doctorate in public health and disagree that this is part of European Culture. I do not mean to be harsh - I have/had a drink problem and I know all the excuses and recognise this as being one.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:11 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by franie View Post
What a smoke screen - the fact that you think that his European culture does not see drinking too much as serious does not mean that it is not a problem. And the points programme you speak about is not one that is well know or followed by many (if anybody). It is an excuse for him and for you. I am European and work in public policy and have a research doctorate in public health and disagree that this is part of European Culture. I do not mean to be harsh - I have/had a drink problem and I know all the excuses and recognise this as being one.
Thanks for the additional info.

My thing is and I hope I can articulate this, is that I have to give him room to grow from his ideas based on his culture to what is actually true. Does that make sense? I agree with you, but I was also dealing with someone who had some strong beliefs that alcoholism is okay because everyone in his culture does it.

So the last big episode of drinking, which was his DUI, I attempted to expose him to different sources of information that challenged his preconceived ideas, denials, deflections and beliefs . Obviously I couldn't make him change his ideas (neither could the court) and clearly I was not successful in having any kind of meaningful impact.

I am learning too that I have been very naive myself in all of this.

But I tried to bridge the gap to give him the resources so he could make a change if he wanted to. This also points to how little ownership he has taken of the problem. I have done a lot of the leg work which really should not be my job. He has superficially said all the right things, done many of the right things but his heart and soul is not into it.

Without me setting boundaries, he would be a much more regular drunk and spiraling down. But I am not his momma and I don't want to be because he's stealing me from myself and he's robbing his daughter as well.

V
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:54 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Hi Violet!

Your story is similar to mine (I so wanted to believe my husband was "functional" but looking he really wasn't) We have been married for 10 years (together 14, separated a year & a half). We have a 5 year old daughter. I left him (then eventually he went into recovery. We are trying to work things out, but remain separated). I also understand how the consumption of alcohol might be culturally interpreted, being from a very international/multicultural family too. However, your husband's & your lives are being negatively impacted by his drinking. . .this, to me, is a sign. It really doesn't matter what we call it (alcoholism, alcohol addiction, alcohol abuse, alcohol dependency, "drinking problem"). . .you are troubled by your husband's drinking. So, it's a problem for you.

People who are functional (& responsible social drinkers) don't drink & drive. And they certainly don't get into trouble with the law due to their drinking.


You came to right place, Violet! There are many of us who understand (& are going through/have been through what you are going through). Please keep reading & posting. There are a lot of people here who have rich experiences & wisdom to share. I am learning a lot too!

I have recently started to go to Alanon on a regular basis (I wasn't too keen with it at first but again I am learning a lot from really caring, wise people who understand those of us who have family members who are addicts/alcoholics). I hope you try out a meeting or two or three! (I think the recommendation is to try 6 different ones).

You, your daughter (& your husband ) deserve serenity. I will be sending positive energy your way & praying that you & your family can get through your challenges, regardless of what you decide to do (leave, stay, enter recovery, etc.)

Big hugs!
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:58 AM
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I understand there are AA meetings in hundreds of countries (many in Europe) as well.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:43 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Violet3 View Post
He recently got wasted and drove drunk. I am struggling with what I want to do.

I've always been clear that this is his problem that he needs to fix for himself so I have left it to him to succeed or fail.

We've already done the marriage counseling thing the last time. I was very clear that this behavior was a deal breaker at that time. My problem now is I don't want to be financially and legally entangled with someone who is driving drunk, not when it puts my daughter at risk. Nor do I want to live with someone who isn't honest with themselves or me about their problems.
V
Lots of good posts already. I just wanted to highlight this because, in my life, I let go of one small boundary after another. If I accepted a, then b was just one tiny step over so it made no sense to get in a tizzy over that. Then came c, which was just one more tiny step over..and then all the other letters. I came to Z and wondered what the hell happened. I was accepting, overlooking, tolerating, and going along with things that I wouldn't have thought possible in my wildest dreams back when I made the concession on a.

So apparently drunk driving is not a deal breaker because you are still dealing. You do not want to live with someone who isn't honest with themselves or you about their problems but you are indeed living with someone that is dishonest with himself and you.

I'm not highlighting that to advise you on your relationship. I'm highlighting it to encourage you to really think about your boundaries and values. Define them and then continue to think about how you will protect them. That doesn't mean you can't change them - but you should do it with thought, not with reactions or lack of them. Does that make sense?
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:47 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by franie View Post
What a smoke screen - the fact that you think that his European culture does not see drinking too much as serious does not mean that it is not a problem. And the points programme you speak about is not one that is well know or followed by many (if anybody). It is an excuse for him and for you. I am European and work in public policy and have a research doctorate in public health and disagree that this is part of European Culture. I do not mean to be harsh - I have/had a drink problem and I know all the excuses and recognise this as being one.
As a Brit living in Italy, I am profoundly conscious of what a serious alcohol problem there is in the UK. It is viewed as the "drinking man of europe" and regularly embarasses it when travelling abroad. It is perfectly evident that successive governments in the UK have absolutely no idea what to do about this very serious issue. It would therefore seem unwise to use a broad brush approach to the whole of Europe.
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