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This is harder than I thought..

Old 01-05-2011, 07:29 AM
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This is harder than I thought..

So it's day five of the AH not drinking and almost everyday he has something

mean and nasty to say to me when he gets home from work. It ranges from,

"Wow, Wish I had a beer right now.." Or, "You're doing this on purpose, you

want to control me." Even the occasional "My friends think you're crazy for

doing this." And then when I try and say something he calls names and gets

even more angry.. It's so hard to sit and take it, but I know this is him going through withdrawls... What scares me most is he keeps saying once he

passes my "Test" that he is just going to do what he wants and have a beer when ever he feels like it. If he could have ONE beer every NOW AND THEN, I

wouldn't ever have assumed he had a drinking problem, but that is not the case at all... If he can't even prove to me that he can go two weeks without a single drink how can he say he doesn't have a drinking problem.

He says if this is how it's going to be that we are never going to work out.. Right now we live at my mothers house until our house is done pending and they approve us... One of the things that really bothers me is how he says he hates being there he hates knowing what my family thinks of him... My family adores him, and all they want is the best for the both of us. If he wants to leave the door is open, but he won't budge, so why make us all feel bad? I'm 80% sure that I won't be moving into the house with him when the time comes, I just hope he realizes why...

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Old 01-05-2011, 07:37 AM
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Google "the stages of change". Right now, he doesn't see a problem other than you. Until he is at that stage where he sees he may need to change, it's going to be focused as your fault. Are you attending Al Anon? If not, it'd be helpful to start attending.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:37 AM
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hi mama-

you are fighting a losing battle if you feel you can control his drinking.

alcoholics can indeed go 2 weeks without alcohol by white knuckling it thru.

but rest assured, if the only reason he is stopping is to prove he's not an alcoholic, he will be back on the drink. probably sooner than the two weeks. and trust me, it will somehow be YOUR FAULT. he will say you nagged him so much, he had to drink. or he will say you <insert anything here>, so it's your fault.

really, what do you hope to accomplish with this exercise in controlling him?

the only person you can control is yourself, my friend.

regarding your new home, can you bail on that? it would be unfortunate to get tied down to a lease or mortgage when you are already considering leaving the relationship.

is there a backout clause? if so, you might want to spare yourself the legal hassle now.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:54 AM
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Hi MamaDuck. I'd like to respond from the point of a long term recovering alcoholic.

My disease is threefold-physical, mental, and spiritual.

If I don't address all three areas, I am sure to fail.

The drinking is only a symptom of the disease.

I was also married to an alcoholic/addict, now deceased.

I thought if he would just stop the drinking and drugging, we would be fine. Today I know it doesn't work that way.

I left that man for my own sanity and safety.

I read briefly through your other thread, and I hope you follow through on attending Alanon for yourself. It has been a lifesaver for me.

I also recommend the book "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie.

I am glad you found us here at SR, and know you are among folks who understand.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:38 AM
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I agree with Naive.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:57 AM
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My situation was a little different but when I was going through a divorce my husband spent a good deal of time harassing me and there was a lot of emotional manipulation and talking to him left me extremely confused and upset. One thing my counselor recommended was to make a list of what I wanted ion a partner. Not just sober but someone that worked, someone that participated in the family by doing x, y, and z. Things like that. The reason was two fold. For one thing, I was so lost and confused at that point I didn't even know what to put on the list. I could not articulate it and that list was super hard for me to make. I had ceased to have my own personal list a long time ago. It was good for me because I could not begin to create boundaries (or feel sane around the emotional manipulation) if I didn't even know what I valued anymore. It would have helped me to have that list during our discussions but I decided to just end discussions with him - he'd already moved out at this point. I never used it in that way but it was still very helpful to me.

Perhaps you can make a list. You need someone that is sober but that isn't all you need.

Also - a more logistical point - I agree with Naive and would recommend backing out of buying that house, even if you lose your earnest money. It will save you a heap of headaches down the road. You can always buy a house.

What scares me most is he keeps saying once he

passes my "Test" that he is just going to do what he wants and have a beer when ever he feels like it.

Believe him. This is exactly what is going to happen and you'll be back to square one.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:05 AM
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True Grit

Originally Posted by MamaDuck101 View Post
So it's day five of the AH not drinking and almost everyday he has something

mean and nasty to say to me when he gets home from work. It ranges from,

"Wow, Wish I had a beer right now.." Or, "You're doing this on purpose, you

want to control me." Even the occasional "My friends think you're crazy for

doing this." And then when I try and say something he calls names and gets

even more angry.. It's so hard to sit and take it, but I know this is him going through withdrawls... What scares me most is he keeps saying once he

passes my "Test" that he is just going to do what he wants and have a beer when ever he feels like it. If he could have ONE beer every NOW AND THEN, I

wouldn't ever have assumed he had a drinking problem, but that is not the case at all... If he can't even prove to me that he can go two weeks without a single drink how can he say he doesn't have a drinking problem.

He says if this is how it's going to be that we are never going to work out.. Right now we live at my mothers house until our house is done pending and they approve us... One of the things that really bothers me is how he says he hates being there he hates knowing what my family thinks of him... My family adores him, and all they want is the best for the both of us. If he wants to leave the door is open, but he won't budge, so why make us all feel bad? I'm 80% sure that I won't be moving into the house with him when the time comes, I just hope he realizes why...
I learned about difficulty of withdrawing from alcohol in Al-Anon. The nastiness you describe is what is referred to as a "dry drunk" where the drinker might as well be drinking because they are so negative and lash out at everyone around them. Their bodies and mind crave alcohol. It is also called "controlled drinking" where the drinker tries to show he or she doesn't have a problem and can cut back or stop their drinking at any time.

The result is that those close to the drinker are on an emotional roller coaster. I must have watched my husband attempt to dry out a hundred times to show me that he didn't have a problem with alcohol. He was belligerent and became very hostile toward me during these "dry out" periods.
He's switch from beer to gin or vice versa as if changing what he drank would help him gain control.

I was emotionally frightened out of my mind as to what would become of me and my family if he drank again. There was another part of me that thought my life was easier when my husband drank because eventually he would just shut up and zone out watching TV or pass out.

I didn't go to Al-Anon soon enough to save the marriage. Whether the alcoholic is drinking or not, Al-Anon saved my life. I learned about alcoholism or alcohol abuse as an illness that affects everyone close to the drinker. I learned to get the focus on myself instead of expecting or waiting for the alcoholic to do so. I was like an emotional time bomb when I finally went to Al-Anon. Thanks to Al-Anon, I learned to take care of myself and that when I did, I was ultimately helping the drinker to be responsible for the consequences of his drinking. No longer did he have the ability to make or ruin my day. I urge you to RUN, not walk to Al-Anon so that you can avoid making the same mistakes as I did. Visit Welcome to Al-Anon and Alateen, call 888-4AL-ANON.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by naive View Post
hi mama-

you are fighting a losing battle if you feel you can control his drinking.

alcoholics can indeed go 2 weeks without alcohol by white knuckling it thru.

but rest assured, if the only reason he is stopping is to prove he's not an alcoholic, he will be back on the drink. probably sooner than the two weeks. and trust me, it will somehow be YOUR FAULT. he will say you nagged him so much, he had to drink. or he will say you <insert anything here>, so it's your fault.

really, what do you hope to accomplish with this exercise in controlling him?

the only person you can control is yourself, my friend.

regarding your new home, can you bail on that? it would be unfortunate to get tied down to a lease or mortgage when you are already considering leaving the relationship.

is there a backout clause? if so, you might want to spare yourself the legal hassle now.

I am not looking to control him that is not what I meant at all. He THINKS I am trying to control him, and there is a difference... I can only control myself, I would not even want to try to control an addict.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:28 AM
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Hi mamaduck...Having read your post a few times, I have to agree with a few things your AH (alcoholic hubby) said.

a) You are trying to control him.

He's right on this front. Getting him to pass some test whereby he doesn't drink for X number of days is an attempt at control. And generally, attempts at controlling other people's behaviour result in frustration and disappointment.

b) If this is the way it's going to be, things aren't going to work out between the two of you.

He's right, but not the way he thinks. Eventually, you'll drive yourself crazy policing his drinking and trying to prove to him he's an alkie. At some point, you may well decide that you've had enough of this merry-go-round, and jump off.

As for what your family thinks of him, that's entirely HIS responsibility. His reputation is not your business (nor is yours for that matter). He chooses to sully his "good name" by continuing to make the choices he makes, on a daily basis.

Please go to Al-Anon and perhaps also to counselling. This is a horrid thing to go through alone. The support of your peers is invaluable at this time.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:30 AM
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Let me rephrase our house situation... We are not buying the house, it's a gift from his parents, so it's actually up to them to back out of it, but that is why I'm so nonchalant about just not moving in with him at all because I have nothing going into it except myself of course.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:46 AM
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Kristin - I just read over your old posts. I urge you to go to al-anon as soon as possible. I urge you to not move in with this man until you have some more time to see how things are going to play out. Honestly, if he isn't going to be moving into the new house soon, I would ask him to leave. You will be having a baby soon and this is going to add stress and he doesn't sound like a person that handles stress well. You do not need an alcoholic also using narcotics around you and your new baby. This is a time you will need peace and security in your life. Do what you need to do to get peace, safety, security. The rest will sort itself out in time.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:48 AM
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Ewwww, yuck. This thread brings back so many (awful) memories for me. Yes, an alcoholic can quit for two weeks. My AH once quite for four months. What a horrible four months that was. He resented me for "making" him give up alcohol and took it out on me nearly every day. After a while, I actually wanted him to drink again just to end the misery.

I think alcohol gets way too much credit/blame in these situations. That's why I don't like the term "dry drunk." It implies that, even though the alcohol is out of the picture, it's still to blame for the behavior. The behavior is what matters, not the alcohol. If he's a jerk when he drinks, and a jerk when he doesn't drink, then maybe he's just a jerk? Maybe it's not the alcohol at all?

Is his behavior acceptable to you? Are you excusing it because the poor dear can't have a drink? Do you excuse his behavior when he's drinking because the poor dear has a disease? Try to go beyond the rationalizing and justifying and ask yourself if you want to spend your life with someone who behaves in the ways he is behaving. It's really not as complicated as it seems. As they say, simple, but not easy.

L
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MamaDuck101 View Post
I am not looking to control him that is not what I meant at all. He THINKS I am trying to control him, and there is a difference... I can only control myself, I would not even want to try to control an addict.
I tried the same things. He always insisted that I was trying to control him and I always denied it, but I realize since he has left that I was extremely controlling of him. It always backfired, and then it would just cause more stress because I had this expectation that I could control how things turned out. Not just drinking and drug related things, but everything. I would make rules and force apologies and they were just like a slap in the face when they didn't work. He said the same things about stopping drinking anytime he wanted and that he didn't want to or need to. He has been gone a month and still doesn't think he has a problem.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by MamaDuck101 View Post
I am not looking to control him that is not what I meant at all. He THINKS I am trying to control him, and there is a difference... I can only control myself, I would not even want to try to control an addict.
What is the point of the two weeks with no alcohol exercise? Is it his idea or yours? Actually that doesn't even really matter but at the end of two weeks, what will have been accomplished/gained?

Play this tape all the way through.

Are you not convinced he is an addict? If he can't make it two weeks will you be convinced then? If he makes it two weeks are you going to question yourself or will you still feel he is an addict? I think you already have your answer to 'is he an alcoholic' question. Listen to your inner voice, your gut feeling, intuition - whatever you call it. Don't let wishful thinking, his quacking, fear of single parenting, or outside influences squelch that.

If he doesn't make it two weeks he is not going to have some realization. He is going to have excuses and the crazy conversations will only escalate. If he does make it two weeks it is going to add fuel to his fire and the crazy conversations will only escalate.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:46 AM
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I'm sorry you're going through this, Mamaduck. I know exactly how you're feeling. My AH attempts to quit all the time. The last attempt, which now that I think of it, was probably not an attempt but purely from lack of funds, was just horrible. He was trying to pick fights with me and he just wasn't happy until I took the bait and had it out with him. That was on day 5. On day 7, I knew THE EXACT MOMENT, that he decided to drink. There was a complete and total change in his attitude. Sure enough, he tied a good one on that night. He's been sweet as pie ever since. And drinking.

Take the time to figure out what's best for you and your baby. Your A sounds like he has no idea that he's even an alcoholic and things will only get tougher.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:13 PM
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My XAH "quit" for 4 months. I think the first month was white knuckling it. The next three months were lying and telling his friends "my wife thinks I'm an alcoholic".

Bottom line is: if he doesn't WANT to quit, he won't. Ever. No threats, no tears, no begging, no pleading and no baby will change that. And two weeks of not drinking isn't going to make him surrender to alcoholism. He isn't going to forget about drinking that beer on day 15 - he's only going to very eagerly await it (IF he actually waits that long). I remember SOOOO well thinking that OUR situation was different. It wasn't. It only really became different when I accepted it and started focusing on ME rather than "him" or even "us".
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:27 PM
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There is a flaw in this. He will probably work hard to not drink those two weeks. Then he will do whatever he wants and what can you really say then?
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MamaDuck101 View Post
Let me rephrase our house situation... We are not buying the house, it's a gift from his parents, so it's actually up to them to back out of it, but that is why I'm so nonchalant about just not moving in with him at all because I have nothing going into it except myself of course.
So whose house is it really? Your in-law's house that you get to live in? Your husband's house? Or will the house belong to "both" of you legally?

Are your in-laws giving you a beautiful gift or attempting to control your life? And, your child's life.

You need to be thinking about you and your child first. Clearly, your AH can't do that.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Verbena View Post
So whose house is it really? Your in-law's house that you get to live in? Your husband's house? Or will the house belong to "both" of you legally?

Are your in-laws giving you a beautiful gift or attempting to control your life? And, your child's life.

You need to be thinking about you and your child first. Clearly, your AH can't do that.
It was a gift to get us started, and I don't know the dynamics I just know I'm not going to be apart of it.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:07 PM
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Good for you. I wish you and your little one the very best of everything.
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