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Newlywed needs help

Old 01-04-2011, 10:33 AM
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Unhappy Newlywed needs help

Hi! I am discovering in the past 2 months that I think my Husband has a drinking problem. When we first met, he rarely ever drank, except occasionally for sporting events, or meeting with his friends. 6 months into the relationship, he drove wasted home from the bar, and showed up at my place to see my mom. Luckily, my mom didn't not realize he was drunk. After that incident, he was good for 10 months.

After we got engaged, things seemed to change for him. He drove drunk again and lied about it. I threatened to call of the engagement because I didn't want to worry about him like this. He than started leaving work to go home at 2 in the afternoon, pick up some beer and never call to tell me, I would see his car when I would be driving home from work (I get done at 2). I didn't think much of it. He ALWAYS called at 2 exactly, he is a bit OCD

As this past summer progressed, more and more incidents involving alcohol evolved. I noticed more and more issues and more fights with him about sill things. (We didn't live together). He tried to have his friends cover up his drinking, and than they would ask me "Are you really uptight when he drinks". He makes very poor decisions when he gets really drunk. He isn't mean, or abusive, but he acts kind of stupid, and silly. Very annoying.

Before we got married, I told him I didn't care that he drank, or had a beer or 2 after work at home. I didn't care if he stopped every now and than at the bar, just give me a heads up. Well that never happened. Since November, it has gotten worse.

I got my wisdom teeth pulled in November, back in my hometown (2hrs away). He left work at noon, bought a 6 pack, drank it, bought another 6 pack and than drove home 2 hours to see me. It wasn't until I found his receipts did I learn all of this. He claims he couldn't remember the first receipt, and the 2nd was because he thought "he could bond with my dad".

After yet another talk, he went out that Tuesday to the gas station and bught a 6 pack, drank it in his car, came home, gave me the receipt and said it was for gasoline. Because of his OCD I knew he was lying. He agreed we could go to counseling, and begged me to stay. I told him I wasn't putting up with this, and it wasn't fair. He agreed.

After all of that, during Christmas, he snuck to the our basement and managed to get wasted in a hour. The first time, I didn't pick up on why he was acting weird. The 2nd time, I realized he was drinking downstairs. I ended up dumping the alcohol out, and he was furious. He said "he wanted us to do that together". He than has since made excused of why he drinks.

AFTER THAT...we had a fantastic 2 weeks of no fighting, and no drinking, things were smooth, he went to the bar last night again.

I am so lost on what to do. I love him so much, and when he isn't drinking, we really don't have too many problems. He is so good to me, and I know he loves me more than anything, but he can't seem to not drink. I have made so many empty threats. I can't talk to my family, for fear they will judge him, and think I made a mistake. They love him as much as I do, but I worry if he gets through this, they will think less of him. I only have told 2 people. I really need help?
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:59 AM
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Hi Newlywed41 and WELCOME to SR. This is an awesome place to find support and sometimes some off-color humour. I'm glad you found us.

I'm sorry you're in such a rotten situation. For the record and just in case you don't know them already, here are the 3 C's of addiction:
You didn't CAUSE it
You can't CURE it
You can't CONTROL it

There really is nothing you can do or say (or NOT do or NOT say) to change your AH (alcoholic husband)'s drinking. You simply do not have the power to do that. Only HE can decide when and if he's had enough. In the meantime, you can focus on the only person you do have power over: you.

Ask yourself what you are willing to live with in this marriage. Can you handle the lack of honesty? Can you handle the danger your AH is putting himself in by driving drunk? What if he injures/kills someone while doing so?

Now is the time to find yourself an Al-Anon meeting in your area and attend. There really is nothing like having the support of people who've been exactly where you are right now.

Now is also the time to think real hard about your boundaries and enforce them. As you suspect, empty threats don't do jack because they convey the message that you won't ever follow through. In a sense, you are "training" him to continue to treat you the way he does.

I know that right now you're riding on this rollercoaster of ups and downs, which fluctuate according to his drinking. Do you really want to live like this? You know you do have the option of getting off the ride and saying "enough"...

Finally, I wanted to speak to your statement about not being able to confide in your family about your AH...It simply isn't your responsibility to protect HIS reputation with your family. Yes, they may be disappointed and seek to protect you, however, you aren't the one who created this situation, HE is, by continuing to choose to drink. Don't let shame or guilt isolate you; this disease thrives in the dark. Reach out and get the support you need to get through this...if it isn't through your family, perhaps through your friends, or through a counsellor. You may also be surprised to find out that your family already knew he was an alcoholic...

*hugs*

Please keep posting and reading as much as you like. I highly recommend reading some of the Classic Reading stickies at the top of the page.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:29 AM
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Hi Newlywed

I've got a question for you
I think my Husband has a drinking problem
do you still "think" he has a drinking problem? Based solely on your description here, I'd say he's got a very serious drinking problem.

I say this because some folks, like myself, have a tendency to shift into denial-to deny reality when it comes to alcoholism.

Why did he think he could bond with your dad if he was drunk? Is your father an alcoholic?

I ask this also because I came from an alcoholic home and it hard wired me to pick folks who abuse alcohol, lie about it, mistreat me and my upbringing taught me how to deny those things, blame myself and keep trying to fix someone else-when all I really have control over is myself.

I'm glad you're here. I hope you find some Al-anon meetings to go to
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:41 PM
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Hi newlywed! I am so glad you're here!! This is a wonderfully supportive place, with lots of folks who have experienced what you are going through right now. I am one!

I dated my XABF (ex-alcoholic boyfriend) for three years. From the minute we started dating my intuition (that little voice in my head) told me that his drinking was a problem for me. But, he was sooooo great in so many ways that I simply did not entertain the thought of us NOT being together. So, I tried and tried to accept his drinking even though it made my skin crawl, I tried putting myself in therapy, I tried redirecting my anger, I tried, and tried, and tried to paint a different picture of the truth. The truth was just too painful to bear- I had committed myself to a man who just was not right for me. I explained to him many times that I had a problem with his drinking, but he never, ever did anything to change.

We broke up about 2 months ago. He STILL does not get it. I, however, am experiencing an inner peace and serenity and I am so thankful for that.

Anyway- sorry to ramble! This is just my experience- which is really the only thing I can offer. My humble suggestion is that you keep posting, do try an AlAnon meeting, and keep looking to find your truth. And, read as many of the posts on this forum, as well as the stickies on the top of the page.

((((((HUGS))))))

craven
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:28 PM
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Hi Newlywed and welcome to SR.

I hope youll keep posting and let us know what your plan will be.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:15 PM
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newlywed41, sometimes our "gut" reaction is trying to tell us something we need to listen to. I wish I had your youth with my life's experiences! You would know what you need to do!

You're at the top of what can be only be a downwards spiral with an alcoholic. The longer your husband keeps drinking the way you described, the more you will get sucked into this downwards spiral. Until one day you wake up and wonder where "you" went. You wrote "6 months into the relationship, he drove wasted home from the bar, and showed up at my place to see my mom. Luckily, my mom didn't realize he was drunk." I would guess this might be your first experience with this devil's disease of alcoholism.

I suggest you keep reaching out here on SR and start attending your local Al-Anon meetings.

Just my personal opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Love and Peace,

Phoenix

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Old 01-04-2011, 03:16 PM
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for the support and warm welcomes. I actually called the priest of my church to try and set up a session with him for me.

Yes, I did say "I think" he has a problem, because no one has diagnosed it. I personally feel he has a serious problem.

No, my Dad is not an alcoholic, in fact, that's half the problem, my family doesn't really drink. My dad mayb have a few beers every so often, but always limits to 2. My Mom doesn't drink at all.

This is somewhat my first problem with an alcholic. I had dated a guy, before for 3 years, who was a bartender, and drank a lot and did suffer from depression. When I met my husband, I never would've guessed he bottled up all of this.

When I got home today (after I had posted), he had 3 dozen roses, a card and letter. Even in his letter, he didn't say he was sorry for going to the bar, he was sorry he didn't call and invite me. He "thought we'd moved pass this".
I don't want to live the rest of life looking out for him and wondering, but I am also not ready to give up on my marriage. I believe he is going through more than he lets on, but just isn't willing to open up. I am pretty sure he had problems before we met, and just never had anyone who cared enough to call him out on it.

The hardest part, is the feeling I have, I feel very betrayed and just overall heartbroken.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:19 PM
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continued

Just in case you are wondering what I did when I found the flowers, card and letter. I read the letter and put it back as he had it, and left. I wanted him to feel a loss when he got home and I wasn't there waiting for him and thanking him for the flowers. I don't want pity flowers, that doesn't make up for the lying.

How can I remain in a marriage when I don't even trust the person when it comes to drinking????
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:34 PM
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please dont hold resentments....let them go and let god....please find a alanon meeting near you...go as many times as you can...dont make any hasty decisions...not now...learn all that you can...in alanon....

welcome to SR
we are here for you...and each and everyone of us have our own stories to share, and how we handled them...some are scary...some are not...we all do it...to save ourselves and this disease of alcoholism...it EFFECTS everyone!...
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by newlywed41 View Post
How can I remain in a marriage when I don't even trust the person when it comes to drinking????
Hi, newlywed, and also: Welcome to Sober Recovery.

You seem to have drawn a line in the sand with your above statement.

Some of us wring our hands, and say "I can't stay in a marriage where there isn't a high degree of trust" and ten years later we're still wringing and saying it.

My feeling is, the bottom line is that you cannot trust him. Flowers, and even a heartfelt apology, does not create future trust. Only truly recognizing, and changing behavior - forever - does. It sounds as though he is quite far away from that.

Whether you stay married to this man or not is of course your business, and your decision. A lot of people stay in less-than-ideal relationships because the trade-off is worth it to them. But I would caution you to continue to listen to that question about trust. Cuz as long as he is not recovering from his alcoholism, it's not happenin.

Please let us know how things are going for you - anytime, but maybe especially after speaking with your priest.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:26 PM
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newlywed41, I truly do wish you the best!

However, I've been waiting 40 years for my dry drunk husband to "open up. I am pretty sure he had problems before we met, and just never had anyone who cared enough to call him out on it." I know my DDH "had problems before we met" and has continued to carry it around with him during our marriage. It's buried deep within himself.

I suffered a massive stroke in December 2009. He just wasn't there for me! In fact, he's angry that I had the stroke, and now I can't walk and I have problems with my short-term memory recall.

After I "got it" that I couldn't rely upon him, I only requested two things from him. One was to get a physical and the second thing was to start individual therapy. He's only getting his physical because he has to because he broke his neck. I think I will see H*LL freeze over before he starts his individual therapy. It would be easier to "get blood out of a turnip”.

You just don't have any control over another person! The only person you can control is yourself!

Phoenix

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Old 01-04-2011, 04:49 PM
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Although I grew up in an alcoholic home, I knew nothing about alcoholism or addiction until I became involved with a man who was both alcoholic and addicted. All I knew for certain was that I was very unhappy with my relationship and how he was behaving. Eventually, by continuing to remain with him, I became very unhappy in my life and nearly lost it. It was then that the reality and the truth of alcoholism began to be revealed to me. No one told me what to do; I had to discover the truths for myself. And I had to live through and experience the hell I did in order to learn the lessons I needed to learn for my life.

to SR Newlywed41. I hope that you will continue to read and post here. I hope that soon you will begin to learn the reality of your choice to remain with an alcoholic. Whether or not your spouse is diagnosed "alcoholic" he very obviously is behaving like one. I hope that you will consider going to Al-Anon.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:46 PM
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Alchoholism does not need to be diagnosed. He is an alcoholic. You know this. Don't question it. It doesn't matter if anybody else thinks he is or isn't. All that matters is it's a problem for you.

Something for you to investigate is why you chose two alcoholics in a row as boyfriends, and married one of them. Al-Anon is a good place to do this. How to find a meeting in the US/Canada/Puerto Rico

Take care and good luck,

Cyranoak
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:53 AM
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When I got home today (after I had posted), he had 3 dozen roses, a card and letter. Even in his letter, he didn't say he was sorry for going to the bar, he was sorry he didn't call and invite me. He "thought we'd moved pass this".
Normally, this is Naive's job-she's the drunk talk translator, but what the heck, I'll take a stab at translating this for you.

Here's hoping this generous act of flower-giving will make you magically forget about your issue with my drinking.

If not, I'll just blame you, convince you that you're wrong, or if I have to, agree to stop until you lay off for a little while.

For now, though, the inconvienience of you being mad about my drinking is well worth the hassle. I don't have to subject myself to the horror of quitting drinking, just the hassle of you being mad. This also serves me in other ways because when you're all pissy, I can tell myself and my buddies that you're really the problem.

So thanks for that!


and here, just for kicks, is how the addict inside of me convinced me to stay in this horrible, ever worsening situation for so long:

I would say to myself,
"Flowers!! Oh, see?!? He really does love me! I'll just stay mad a little longer, ignore these flowers and really show him how he's hurt me."
Problem is, alcoholics don't just stop drinking because someone they love (or someone who loves them) has decided they don't like it. Other folks will, folks how aren't alcoholics who really are capable of loving their partners, but not true alcoholics. Those folks have two options for quitting drinking: death and recovery.

My AH lost: our home, his family, his health, the respect of his extended family, wife and children. Doesn't matter. He gave me flowers, told me he was sorry, told me I was a real problem a real nag, that didn't know when to stop meddling, that we were all going to have to just accept that this is how he chooses to spend his life and if we didn't like it we could **** off.

yeah, that's my favorite one. Told that to our crying children in the car. Told them to grow up and stop hassling him for drinking, that they were the problems. Two boys, ages 7 and 11.

Here's what I can promise you, and not because I believed it would happen to me. No, I was different. But I can promise you these things because of what I've seen posted here just in one year. I read here every single day, obsessively, and I have seen, at the minimum, 150 different spouses telling my story. Telling your story.

I promise you that this man, based solely on what you've told us in this one thread, will
continue to drink no matter what you say or do.

I promise you his drinking will escalate. He may appear to slow down or stop, but that will be temporary.

I promise you that, while he may love you, he loves his alcohol more. If you have children with this man, he will love them, but love his alcohol more.

I promise you that, if you stay here and read every day like I do, slowly oh so slowly you will see yourself in the other stories. You will realize that all you have control of is yourself; your thoughts, your actions and your future.

I promise that when that happens, and you practice letting go and detachment, that the promise of how fantastic and solid and amazing YOU can be will grow and grow.

And I promise that when you come here and tell us your story, you will be afraid, but supported in ways you never expected. You may become angry or confused by what you read here, but little by little, day by day you'll learn to shift the focus to yourself. Embrace who you are. Do amazing things.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:40 AM
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hi newlywed-

first, i'd like to welcome you to our little group.

i can empathise with you because i too was raised by non-drinkers and i too didn't realize the extent of my partner's drinking until i had moved in with him. there were plenty of red flags, but i wasn't savy enough about alcoholism to see them. we dated for 4 years but we each had our own places, so it was quite easy for him to hide.

however, once i moved in with him, it all became quite clear quite quickly.

you said:
I am pretty sure he had problems before we met, and just never had anyone who cared enough to call him out on it.
i feel this is dangerous thinking...the part where you are the first person to care enough to save him and help him...

believe me, i am speaking from experience. with mine, i was going to save him. i was quite wealthy at the time and he was poor. i remember deciding that i would give him the opportunity to succeed at his trade. he was a shellfish worker. i bought him gear, i bought him a car, i bought him a boat...there, i thought to myself, now he can succeed as he has everything he needs to do so...

however, that's not what happened. he drank too much.

it is very dangerous co-dependent thinking to think that your love, your understanding, your continued forgiveness is going to change an alcoholic. the disease has too strong a hold over them. please don't underestimate it like i did.

in my recovery, i learned that even though my parents weren't drinkers, there was a lot of controlling behavior on the part of my father and a lot of co-dependent behavior on the part of my mother. i benefited very much from getting a therapist and exploring how i learned these co-dependent patterns very early in my childhood.

i would recommend that you do some reading on establishing boundaries and determining what you are willing to live with and what you aren't willing to live with. there is a lot of good information on this site which will help you.

for myself, i couldn't deal with the hangovers, the depression, the lies, the lying about, the moaning, the euphoric highs. it was a very difficult ride and my life was constantly churned about by his behaviors. it was up and down, up and down...it rarely stopped...

i would be careful to not entangle your finances with his, as an alcoholic will soon drink his way through your wages at an astonishing speed. please take steps to protect your finances; specifically, no joint accounts, no joint credit cards, no shared mortgages or car deeds. also, don't lend him any money as this will enable him to drink more. i would also ask you to consider being cautious about falling pregnant, as a baby has kept many of us entrenched far longer than we should have.

lastly, i would be cautious with sharing a car with an alcoholic. make sure your car is in your name only, otherwise, you could be liable for an accident or worse should he drink and drive.

i'm not trying to scare you, but i'm trying to keep you safe while you figure out what you want to do regarding his drinking. taking some steps now could save you a lot of heartache or entrapment in the future. you are fresh into this marriage and there are no children, so your options remain open at this time.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:11 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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Buckets of wisdom here, Buckle up and enjoy the ride and feel free to just LISTEN newlywed. Honestly, YOU DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS! hang out here and you'd be suprised!

Fondly,

Michelle
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by transformyself View Post

I promise you that this man, based solely on what you've told us in this one thread, will
continue to drink no matter what you say or do.

I promise you his drinking will escalate. He may appear to slow down or stop, but that will be temporary.

I promise you that, while he may love you, he loves his alcohol more. If you have children with this man, he will love them, but love his alcohol more.

I promise you that, if you stay here and read every day like I do, slowly oh so slowly you will see yourself in the other stories. You will realize that all you have control of is yourself; your thoughts, your actions and your future.

I promise that when that happens, and you practice letting go and detachment, that the promise of how fantastic and solid and amazing YOU can be will grow and grow.

And I promise that when you come here and tell us your story, you will be afraid, but supported in ways you never expected. You may become angry or confused by what you read here, but little by little, day by day you'll learn to shift the focus to yourself. Embrace who you are. Do amazing things.
Newlywed: Believe it! (Thanks, Transform!)
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the updates newlywed. I think that you're on the right path with the questions you ask yourself...how can you remain in this marriage if there is no trust?

What are you willing to live with?
What will you do if you are given what you need?

I know it feels a bit mercantile to think of a marriage in terms of what you want and need, but it is also very honest to do so. For years, I didn't even dare think about what I wanted and needed in a relationship because it might upset my then-partner, and it would, beyond all else, make me the BAD GUY, the demanding and difficult partner.

I have come to accept that it is OK to want what I want in a relationship. For me, honesty, communication, family values, financial responsibility and humour are key. What are the things that *you* refuse to do without in a relationship?

Also, I'd like to remind you to play the tape all the way through. He's given you some pretty flowers and a nice apologetic note. Then what? What do you think will change? What will happen in a week, in a month or in six months?

It's time to start looking at his actions and not his words. From where I sit, his words are saying "oh I'm so sorry you're pissed off at me for not calling you...hope these pretty blossoms make you forget that I'll be continuing to get smashed whenever I want".
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:04 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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First off, welcome to the group.
I've been mia for a while but I'm back. That doesn't matter much to you, I know.

I won't go into depth other than say this. I've only been married for 2.5 years. I have 1 son with my AW and he is only 19 months. Life with an AW does not get easier and when you throw a child into the mix, the problem is compounded to something I can't even quantify right now.

I wish you the very best. Keep posting. We've all had similar, different, better, worse experiences and we're here to give you a hug and some understanding and maybe a dish of cold advice/suggestions.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:04 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Thanks again for the continued support and advice.

My husband and I are still not really speaking. I told him I will not talk to him, because his words mean nothing. I was not going to let him get away with it this time. I am a very strong/independent person, and I love him with all my heart, I also don't want to continue to live this kind of life.

I wrote him a letter this morning and sent it to him. I poured my heart out, and he called and asked if we could talk later. I told him I had nothing more to say to him, I don't want apologies and words, I want action and a plan.

He said if I didn't like what he had to say, and we argued, than he would help me pack bags if that is what I really want. It's not what I want at all, I want him to get help, but he has to want to. I told him therapy is no use if he doesn't believe this is a problem. Though I don't want to end things, I also know I don't want to live like this anymore.
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