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Husband of an alcoholic - new to this.....

Old 02-08-2011, 11:52 AM
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I wish both of you the very best as you each seek your road to recovery...
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:54 AM
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JayR I too am married to an alcholic. He is the most incredible man and father you could ever meet until he starts drinking than he is a totally different person, and not a good person at that! I too count beers, mark the bottles, dump the bottles and beers out, but have learned this does not work. No matter how many beers I dump they seem to reappear and he denies having "spares" hidden.
I have lots of work cut out for myself, but am learning that this is HIS problem not mine. HIS embarrasment not mine.. By going to Alanon I am learning how to take care of me and my kids....
You need to be strong for you and your own emotional well being! This roller coaster ride will wipe you out if you dont take care of you!
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:21 PM
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Smacked . . .

I don't know you. We've never met. So how could my impressions about you be accurate? But here goes . . . because I think they are.

You took time out of YOUR day to help 2 people you don't even know in their road to recovery while baring your soul and offering stern warnings about the perils ahead. (As are others here)

If you tell me that selflessness wasn't always in you, I wouldn't believe you. If you try to tell me that you aren't a loving person, I'd say otherwise.

So, like my beautiful wife, how could you EVER think so poorly of yourself as to tear down the amazing and benevolent and selfless person in you by succumbing to alcoholism?

I see your greatness and I don't even know you. It's shown to me by your examples and courage in exposing yourself. Like my wife, you may well have doubted yourself - but your past behavior doesn't align with your present purity.

Booze caused that. What a shame because that belies the goodness in you - and the others here who share - victim or addict.

But booze cannot take away the beauty in you unless you let it. She started down the early path that all here discuss . . . and had loved herself enough in the past to love me enough to save herself - or should I say to 'start saving herself' . . .

We WILL make it if she doesn't just 'talk the talk' and also 'walks the walk' . . .

As she says to me, "it's time to shout out the doubt..."

Thank you, Smacked. You were inspired to comment in a way that resonated with many here. It's a gift I will treasure. I suspect my wife will feel similarly when I share this with her. Someone raised you right . . .
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:57 PM
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Best of luck to you guys. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Much love.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:05 PM
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The one thing I know for sure about alcoholism is that real emotions are avoided and distorted with the alcohol. It's a method of escape.
If she can find her way back to her real emotions, then process them without reaching for the bottle to escape, she stands a good chance at recovery.
Those real emotions are attached to her very real demons. Only she knows what those demons are; nobody else can even see them (unless something like she shares them with a psychologist). They are hers alone to go to war with.
We're left standing on the sidelines watching the battle. We can't fight it for them.
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:29 PM
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Please note that AA is for alcoholics who desire to stop drinking, whereas Al-Anon is for friends and family members of alcoholics. When selecting a meeting, please note if the meeting is "Closed" or "Open."

Closed meetings are for members of that group only, unless the schedule specifically states that the meeting is "Open." If a meeting is not designated either "Open" or "Closed" on a published schedule, it should be considered Closed.

Thank you.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:35 AM
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You're right, you don't know me.. however, based on what you wrote here, I do hope that you take some time to educate yourself about alcoholism and addiction. There's a great book, (lots of quotes/excerpts here), called Under the Influence, it might shed some light on some of your grand misconceptions.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html

I wish you the best.

Originally Posted by JayR View Post
Smacked . . .

I don't know you. We've never met. So how could my impressions about you be accurate? But here goes . . . because I think they are.

You took time out of YOUR day to help 2 people you don't even know in their road to recovery while baring your soul and offering stern warnings about the perils ahead. (As are others here)

If you tell me that selflessness wasn't always in you, I wouldn't believe you. If you try to tell me that you aren't a loving person, I'd say otherwise.

So, like my beautiful wife, how could you EVER think so poorly of yourself as to tear down the amazing and benevolent and selfless person in you by succumbing to alcoholism?

I see your greatness and I don't even know you. It's shown to me by your examples and courage in exposing yourself. Like my wife, you may well have doubted yourself - but your past behavior doesn't align with your present purity.

Booze caused that. What a shame because that belies the goodness in you - and the others here who share - victim or addict.

But booze cannot take away the beauty in you unless you let it. She started down the early path that all here discuss . . . and had loved herself enough in the past to love me enough to save herself - or should I say to 'start saving herself' . . .

We WILL make it if she doesn't just 'talk the talk' and also 'walks the walk' . . .

As she says to me, "it's time to shout out the doubt..."

Thank you, Smacked. You were inspired to comment in a way that resonated with many here. It's a gift I will treasure. I suspect my wife will feel similarly when I share this with her. Someone raised you right . . .
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:08 AM
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Thanks, Smacked . . . I'll promise you and others that I will read it.

Things are going very well here. My wife wanted to extend her appreciation to you - and all the others who've started to 'smarten us up' with the experiences and suggestions and warnings . . .

I'll report back in time. While we expect success, we know - as with all success - it starts with hard work and dedication. That really doesn't frighten either one of us - but I bet it might get a little tense at some point and we'll be better prepared now. I see the old twinkle back in her eye. Her nightsweats were absent last night and she slept through the night for a 2nd night in a row. (Though a good hot tub soak helped on Sunday night!!)

I am thinking it was a little worse for a little longer than I had earlier presumed . . . at least when considering how long she's suffered the menopausal symptoms which now seem more like they may indicate withdrawal from drinking . . . She didn't drink every day - or during the day. Only when she came home at night from the gym - or on the weekends. But the body's purging was more likely the cause of those issues - She blamed menopause.

Now she feels her hypocrisy in living a healthful lifestyle - but pouring poison down her throat - was a lightbulb moment. "What am I doing here? It doesn't match all the other self-discipline I show in my life. I need to change." She's driven at times. That will help. But she's also delicate - as I said earlier. She needs me - I need to know ALL about what she faces - and I'll learn from all these sources suggested as to what I need to do as we go.

By my pushing the panic button, we've started down that long road. She goes to her psychotherapist next week to work on the tricks her mind is playing, the possible cause behind the mind tricks making her feel the need to self-medicate . . . and a doctors appointment to check some of her other body chemistry levels. Multiple steps - not one magic pill . . .

I'm NOT declaring an early victory. It seems to me you think I am . . . But we've already decided on the only outcome we're going to be happy with. As with anything in life worth having, sacrifice is part of the deal . . . and our education on all things related to this issue of sobriety is absoutely necessary so we recognize the bad possibilities ahead - and derail them with our new 'tools' of coping mechanisms . . .

If Vegas was placing bets on a win or a loss . . . I'd bet heavy on 'win' . . . But she's got all the money here and only she can make the bet pay off. She's good with that.

I have to be. But I have faith in her ability. Let's see what happens when the first challenge arises - and then see how that goes.

One step at a time. One foot in front of the other.

Am I saying and feeling the right things now? It seems like it . . . Ain't pretty . . . but life hangs in the balance.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:37 AM
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Jay wrote to smacked:
So, like my beautiful wife, how could you EVER think so poorly of yourself as to tear down the amazing and benevolent and selfless person in you by succumbing to alcoholism?
Well, in my case jay, I didn't succumb to it: I am convinced I was born with it. I didn't think poorly of myself when I was 3 years old. But, already, I showed the behavior of an alcoholic, even then. I wanted to drink from the baby bottle till I was 5: I had that need. I needed something....I had this empty hole in my soul, yeah, even way back then. Didn't matter what kind of person I was, good or bad, I just had "it" from day one.

It is a debate in our society if alcoholism is a disease or not, but it is no debate for me. I know it is because alcohol makes me feel normal again when I am ready to crawl the walls with a feeling of pain and emptiness that I can't explain. One drink, and I am cured. But then there is the rub: one is too many and 100 is not enough.

Any advice I would offer? Try to pace yourself. It seems your wife has gone chronic at middle age, just like I did.

As an excellent AA speaker once said:

"I was the accident. My children were the victims. My husband was the ambulance driver".

It is very typical for husbands of alcoholics to try and fix the mess. It is very typical for wives of alcoholics to try and control the mess or try to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Neither approach works for very long. We are all individuals, including your wife. She can't be controlled or fixed by you. That is ultimately her responsibility: to fix herself.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:07 AM
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Littlefish . . . going back that far in life might be helpful to my wife's psychotherapist . . . Let's examine if she had tendencies back then . . . That may shed some light. Thank you so much for relating that story.

Your words really add one more dimension to all this - and the warnings of all will be heeded.

These words you all write aren't for me now. I'm armed with some of what I need to get going. But as she reads these comments, they are helping my wife deal with this in a very proactive way . . . and the change so far is noticeable. To all your credit, you're helping like you hoped it would.

But Smacked warned me of her being in that 'euphoric' place feeling success . . . so rather than claiming 'victory', let's just say it is but one more warning from the experienced that we 'rookies' can't ignore. She's stronger than she thinks - she just needs to fully convince herself of that so she can walk forward with confidence. One step at a time . . .

I won't drink now. No great loss . . . I personally feel the depressive qualities of the drug alcohol, and I more enjoyed the refreshing taste of what I drink more than I liked the buzz . . . but that's just me. To give it up - if it helps her - is no great loss. When I am out with clients or friends and she's not around, maybe. But not if it would challenge her.

I love her too much. I think she is falling back in love with herself, too . . . and isn't that the goal? or one of them?

Thank you all . . . I just don't get tired of saying that . . .
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:35 AM
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[QUOTE=JayR;2856519]This may well be the most painful and difficult thing I’ll ever type . . .



My life, as I knew it, is suddenly upside down and I am frightened like never before in my life. As I sit here wide awake at 4:30am – after, perhaps, a 90 minute sleep – my head is spinning with ‘what-ifs’ and questions about my culpability (if any) in helping create this situation. I am fearful for my wife taking her own life. I am fearful she will choose the bottle over her marriage. I am frightened by the possibility of life without her.


I can't begin to tell you how many moments I felt the same thing. The sleepless nights and the fear. Even now when my RH has just a little bit of a bad day I begin to fear all over again as if he is active. So I continue to repeat the Serenity prayer over and over and talk to my higher power and just try to make it through that moment. Sometimes the moment passes easily and other times it feels like I cant get it out of my head. I have never been able to and will never be able to control his actions. When they say Love is not enough they truly mean it. Your love for her isn't enough to get her better. It has to be the love for herself. I pray everyday that my RH will love himself enough.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Remember to say the serenity prayer and stop after each line and think about it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:58 AM
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Let's examine if she had tendencies back then
Jay, I am going to respond again just to point out something about your language. I know you are new to this, so let me give you some recovery language enlightenment.

"Let's" or "let us" is not the way it happens. Her recovery is not going to be a joint endeavor, so you simply can't use words like "us".

You are not going to be there when she explores her childhood traumas. That is between her therapist and her, and it is very private. And you will probably never hear about it, and you shouldn't hear about it, because it is her thing.

She can only make this journey by herself. You can't go there with her because you are not an alcoholic.

But that doesn't mean you can't support her. You can make your home an alcohol free zone. You can plan non-drinking activities. You can talk about recovery, talk about a program, (but make sure YOU ARE NOT HER PROGRAM)....you can ask her to go for a walk, ask her to take a kayaking class with you....be there.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:56 PM
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Littlefish . . . I hear you and I understand. I have a tendency to use the words 'lets' 'us' 'we' in my everyday life (I own a business and it is 'we' that make it all work) because that's who is involved here - she and me - we. It's the 'royal we' when I use that word 'lets' - but her self-discoveries and therapy are not something I feel the right to also know unless my wife decides to share some of it with me.

But I'm glad you made it clear anyway. I think it's important to illustrate.

My words still must sound like we're going to do this together without outside support. NOT true . . . We're going to do this separately - her battle being the toughest - and mine for my potential need for survival. Support? She'll always have that from me. I just need to know when to be compassionate and when to be tough as nails. The books and the reading for MY lessons here are different, to be sure.

That will seem to be as hard for me to be tough as it is for her to be sober . . . Tough love isn't easy. But the strong and the experienced are here for the new . . . So I'm well on my way to survival. I won't be dragged. But in my gut I feel like this is a new chapter for 'us' rather than a closing of the book.

Let me have my enthusiasm . . . but please continue to temper it with warnings, skepticism and objectivity. There is no yin without the yang . . . all things in balance.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:03 PM
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I did not re read the whole post so this may have already been suggested, but being new to this forum but not to alcoholism, I would suggest you read the sticky post "classic reading". That was very insightful for me on a number of levels.
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