Eight and a half years later...

Old 01-26-2011, 09:37 PM
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Eight and a half years later...

It makes no sense to me. I don't get it at all. I feel like I went through hell for four years, waiting for him to hit his own personal bottom and decide to get sober. Couples counselors wouldn't even talk to us until he stopped drinking -- so the problems just piled up. Four years, and one day he decides to take it on -- and kept it up. Sober for 8 and a half years. I have to say, it took another four years for me to feel like maybe I didn't have to check his eyes and his breath every time he came home. But he did it, and he promised me he'd never drink again -- completely understanding that making that choice would be the same as making the choice to lose his wife, family, and home.

I just found out that he's been drinking again.

Vicious, evil, hurtful things came out of his mouth: in his drunken, blacked-out stupor he accused me of being the cause of all of the evils that led to his drinking. I am crushed, destroyed, shattered. The life I'd hoped we'd have now seems impossible. I think I HAVE TO let him go. I have to, and I don't know how.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:56 PM
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I hope you will find the support you need here. I haven't been a member for very long, but I have already found so much support.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:02 PM
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same planet...different world
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That's a lot to be trying to handle all at once.

I am glad you are here.

You're not alone.

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Old 01-26-2011, 11:16 PM
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Welcome. (((hugs)))

You've been through the wringer of sobriety & recovery once. I'm sure you have lots of things to share with those of us who haven't. And I know you will find good thoughts and support here. I know I have.

Wish I had something helpful for you tonight -- I don't, but I wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and hope you hang around to talk.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:17 PM
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Hang around, read the sticky posts at the top of the forum and take comfort from this site. It has really helped me and I hope it will help you too!
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:08 AM
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I think you've found a great place to come to learn and understand about the unfortunate situation you are faced with. Those of us who have traveled this road will advise you to stand firm with the boundary you set.

The line you drew in the sand is an important one, it's an empowering one and a freeing one for YOU. All too often we codies keep moving that line back and as sure as you and I are breathing right now, the addicts will cross it, again and again.

But this is your journey your time to learn and understand the realities of this disease and about yourself and your reactions to it.

No matter what next step you take, what decisions you make, know there is comfort and understanding among us.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:06 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

I'm glad you found us, but sorry for the circumstances that brought you here. I'm sorry you were blamed for all the evils and spoken to so harshly.

You are not alone. We understand. We too have loved ones addicted to alcohol.

The A (alcoholic) is skilled at blame-shifting. Refusing to take responsibility of their actions and trying to shift the blame to their loved ones. Accepting that he is powerless over alcohol would mean accepting he can't control himself. It is easier to blame another for driving him to drink than accept the truth. That is the powerful denial of an alcoholic.

The reality is, the A does not have the coping skills to accept life on life's terms. Without recovery tools, the alcoholic will turn back to the only place they find comfort while looking to escape - the bottom of a bottle.

Hi, I'm Pelican and it's nice to *meet* you.
I am a recovering alcoholic,
a recovering ex-spouse of a 14 year marriage to an alcoholic
and a recovering codependent.

I am very sorry that your husband has sought solace in the bottom of a bottle again. Please understand, that you do not have to go down with him. I came here to SR and got the support, encouragement and strength I needed to take better care of myself and allow my A to live his life as he chooses.

One of the first things I learned to accept was the 3 c's of addiction:
I did not Cause the addiction
I could not Control the addiction
I would not Cure the addiction

You have given a lot of your life to waiting, hoping and adjusting.

How much more of your one precious life are you willing to give to his addiction?
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Old 01-27-2011, 05:03 AM
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Hi DiskJock and welcome to SR

I just found out that he's been drinking again.
I can read the devastation in your post because I have been there.

My AH of 22 yrs managed to stay sober for only 5months and then relapsed. I found the empty bottles down the side of an armchair where he had been sitting after he had gone to bed. He had been drinking whilst we watched TV together in the evening and I didn't even notice

I was devastated and cried myself to sleep. On my way home from work the next day, I imagined getting home to a husband who would be remorseful, sorry and saying that he would try again to get sober. Like you, I walked into a verbal attack and was told that I had blown things way out of proportion because I had cried myself to sleep in the spare room the night before. It made no sense to me either.

I now believe that the blame, the hurt and pain the AH inflicts on you comes from the hurt, pain and more importantly the shame that he is feeling towards himself. Men dont like feeling like failures but the disease projects this onto those closest. I read somewhere that they are feeling so bad about themselves that it helps them to make someone else bad too. It is completely irrational but that is the disease of alcoholism!

Please know that it is not about you and what you did or didn't do, you are not evil. Your husband has had a relapse which may or may not be permanent. I would suggest that you dont 'HAVE TO' make any decisions about your future/marriage until the rawness settles. A lot could change in the meantime and those types of decisions would be better made from a healthy standpoint.

I agree that couples counseling is a waste of time with an active alcoholic but you could look at going to get some counseling for you alone. Al-anon would also be worth trying too and now sounds like a good time to go.

81/2 years is a huge amount of time to stay sober, so deep down your AH has what it takes to stay sober, knows what its like to be sober and may remember quite quickly how bad his life was when he was active in his drinking.

It feels life shattering at the moment but hopefully this is just a blip, a mistake, a balls up - whatever you want to call it. Step back, focus on you for a while and give your AH time for his actions to sink in and decide which way he is going to go from here - Once that becomes clear, you will be in a better place to make the right choice for you. It sounds like he has a lot to lose.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:26 PM
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My heart breaks for you, and I am scared for myself at the same time. I am separated but not wanting to divorce my newly RAH. However, in taking this road I know I must accept that relapse is part of my future. With relapse comes the typical horrid behaviors everyone describes on this forum - and they all sound the same, amazingly! Ugh - I don't want ANYMORE of that!

Reading Eightball's post gives me some hope and I hope it does for you, as well. Because your husband does have the skills to maintain for over 8 years! Wow! That's awesome! Try to focus on that, take care of yourself, and pray for him to come to his senses again.

The more I read about alcoholism, the more I come to the conclusion that these folks who are in recovery are heroes in their own quiet ways. It is one tough monkey to get off your back.

Hang in there! You are not alone.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:31 PM
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:28 PM
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Thanks everyone for your words of welcome and encouragement (whatever that leads to).
We're still talking, trying to hash this out, not coming to any solid conclusions. I'm still sleeping in another room because I can't relax enough to sleep in my own. He's still apologizing. It's really not enough.
I will keep checking here because it helps to know I'm not alone, and those who have not been through this don't get how hard it is. My friend whose husband cheated comes closest to understanding how I feel.
You lovely, supportive SR people really get it. Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:46 PM
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Good luck to you. I am married to an A who says he quit drinking a month ago, but I have very good reason to believe he hasn't. This is the 4th time in a little over a year he has quit and relapsed.
Although you came here looking for help and support, you have actually given me a gift. You've given me a glimpse into what will surely be my future if I stay in this marriage. He's proven time and again that he is not truly committed to sobriety, and every time he "slips up" he has accused me of creating the stress in his life that caused it. I, too, am sleeping in the guest room.
I am so sorry for your pain and disappointment. I hope this resolves for you soon and that you find peace in whatever decision you make. I'm glad you found SR, and I believe you will find the support you find here to be invaluable as you move forward. As different as we all are as individuals, our stories are strikingly similar. The disease of alcoholism is very consistent.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:55 PM
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I can't imagine how blindsided you were by this. I'm so sorry. It must feel like starting at the halfway point again...too wise on the reality of the disease but too attached to just up and leave.

Originally Posted by DiskJock View Post
He's still apologizing. It's really not enough.
I was reminded of a quote I love:

"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

So much truth in those words that active A's just don't get.

Welcome to SR. You are among friends.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:57 PM
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I agree with what one poster said because you really don't have to take any action this minute. You can take some time to think about this. I don't know how he treated you when he was sober, but I am learning that some people are just a**holes. I didn't make them a**holes. They just are a**holes and the alcohol or drugs make them worse.

Only you can decide how you want to live your life. You can decide if you want to live with someone who has this problem or not. Don't try to fight with a drunk. Don't try to reason with a drunk. You could substitute cheating with drinking because in a way it is the exact same kind of hurt and then ask yourself if you would stay. Some relationships live through cheating.

Stay safe and know that we are rooting for you.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:07 PM
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DJ - welcome. As with the others ... I'm sorry that your dealing with all that crap but SR is a great place to share.

I feel similar to you and others that have posted ... He was sober for about 18 +/- months (loosing count) when he relapsed and that was about 3 months ago. We've been married for 21 years and no kids. HUGE fight again tonight ... been in the guest room for over 2 weeks.

They know they can't "blame" us but they do ... the words, actions, gestures, looks hurt so bad ... I've really truly detached and don't think I can accept this behavior anymore. He's never really remorseful and I think I'm almost grateful for that, as it seems to make everything SO much more complicated.

Every situation is different and you will need to find "you" in yourself and what your tolerances are. He had a long run of sobriety ... hopefully that will work in his favor.

Welcome and keep posting ... we do

PS - Sure seems to be TOO many of us sleeping in the guest rooms!
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:29 AM
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PS - Sure seems to be TOO many of us sleeping in the guest rooms!
I have been divorced for many years.
I remember what it felt like when he fell off the wagon two weeks after rehab, he went after I did. I am a recovering alcoholic. He never got it though.
Whatever it is. He is still using and drinking.

Keep coming back DiskJock.
We understand.

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Old 01-28-2011, 06:48 AM
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I understand completely what you mean about going through hell for years waiting for him to hit bottom. We were in couples counseling also when I found a bottle and confronted him about it during a counseling session. The counselor ended it there that day and told him he would not see him until he became sober. I continued to see him. Mine never did get sober and I finally filed for divorce. He's worse than ever now. Thankfully I'm getting back to normal and have a very good life. The disease has a grip on him that I will never understand. It feels so good to just be able to exhale and be in charge of my own life.

This website and AlAnon have been sources of support for me.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:25 AM
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Hi and wellcome,
sorry to hear about the reason that brought you here but glad you have found us.
I understand your pain. Been there not that long ago. I second the advice you don't have to figure out everything straight away.
My STBXAH was drinking for years, last year he got himself so sick he ended up in hospital, diagnosed with liver cirrhosis, given a poor chance for survival, but he did survive. He stayed sober for 5 months and than he started drinking again. You know that feeling, when the world crushes around you. I have left my H and filed for divorce, I simply couldn't do it any more. I'm not saying that is what you should do, but only that you should give yourself time to think things through and decide what is best for you.
When my STBXAH sobered up, I was so happy, I thought all my problems were solved, I knew that is not realistic but I thought that. I remeber talking to a woman from Al anon who said that her husband is sober for 6 years, going to AA, and that he still has bad mood swings, and that she still dreads the thought of him drinking again every day. Her words weighted heavy on me. Once STBXAH relapsed I stuck around him for another month, but I couldn't shake off that thought that even if he stops again there will still be a possibility there for him to drink again. It just felt like a life filled with fear. And than I thought I have spent the last 8 years of my life (my 30's) dealing with his alcoholism, living in constant fear what will happen next. And I guess I just had enough of it, I wanted different life for myself and our kids, I didn't want to keep fighting reality any more, I just wanted to relax and finally become aware that I'm alive too, that I deserve happiness and peace.
I don't know if any of this is helpful to you, I just wanted to share my story hoping you'll find it usefull.
The pain will lessen and eventually go away when you come to the place where you can make the decision your heart knows it is the right one. Reaching that place will take as long as it needs to. There is a saying in recovery: You are right where you need to be. learn from your expericences and you'll end up where you're meant to be. It is a process, a painful one, but if you choose to learn and grow from it, it could be almost worth all the suffering, IMO.
Take care.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:47 AM
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Pelican and EightBall expressed it all perfectly.
All I can add is Welcome. Be kind to yourself. I am so sorry you are dealing with this again after finally feeling safe and calm.

Definitely gives us all pause. Recovery is really just one day at a time.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:00 PM
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I am really very good at taking care of my AH, who spent time in the hospital for depression some months ago -- and I am really very good at taking care of my son, who takes medicine for bipolar disorder but still has trouble getting out of bed to face the day.

I don't know WHAT I need. Will I be better off if I force him to move out (it's my house)? Or will I worry all the more, simply because it's what I know how to do best?

I never thought my life would be like this. When my sons were toddlers, my first husband died. I wished for a chance at another life. This wasn't the one I wanted.

Too much wasted time.
Time is the one thing we can never have more of.
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