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Pregnant wife can't stop drinking

Old 02-08-2011, 10:55 PM
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Pregnant wife can't stop drinking

Hello. My wife is in her 2nd trimester, about 6 months. This is our second child. She is a severe alcoholic with two alcoholic parents and a long history of issues with her addiction.

She has been arrested while drunk for domestic disturbance, has been to the hospital numerous times, has seen therapists, gone to groups, gone to AA...nothing has worked for her. She'll have months of sobriety and then relapse. Once she relapses, it goes on for months again. As many of you probably know, she hates herself the next day. She is a very smart person and has many goals in life, but she can never reach them because her addiction gets in the way.

I didn't think this was in her - she got drunk this weekend, while 6 months pregnant with our second child. She was also watching our toddler, who was unattended for about 4 hours. She was passed out and mostly unresponsive when I found her. I took her to the hospital. By the time they took her BAC, she had not drank in multiple hours and she still had .34.

I have a long commute to work, so I am gone for 10+ hours a day. When she wasn't pregnant, every day on my drive home I would have to prepare to come home to a drunken fiasco. Our child has never been physically hurt or anything, but there have been many times when our toddler has seen her at her worst and heard the things she says (well, screams). She has also driven while drunk with our child in the car.

She of course did her whole apology thing. I told her I don't forgive her for this one, but that I'm here to support her if she wants to find help. She was supposed to get hooked up with this crisis team from the social worker who spoke to her at the hospital. They played phone tag today, so much for that "team" helping out. She really wants/needs help, but it just seems to never work out good.

I spoke to her on the phone today, and I knew she had been drinking again! I called one of her family members, who went and picked her up. When I got there after work, she still denied it! (of course, still drunk). I finally brought her and our child home and she passed out in bed. She wouldn't go to the hospital and wasn't drunk enough anymore for me to "trick" her into going (the first time she was passed out until we got there, and then I had to get security to help her inside). I then found her alcohol stash from the day, as I usually do.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE! I am scared for the safety of my unborn child mostly right now, but I am also very scared for my wife's own safety and mental health. I am scared for the safety of my toddler who is around this all the time and is being exposed to the verbal abuse and sometimes physical retaliation my wife exhibits while drunk.

I have thought about leaving because of the immense stress this is on me, but unfortunately in my state they are extremely pro-mother and they will give hard core drug addict mothers primary custody over a perfectly clean and normal father. I am scared that in that case I would have NO control at all over what my children were exposed to, where as now at least I can remove them from the situation sometimes and protect my toddler from harmful situations (i.e. drunk driving). I also don't want to leave her because I just plain love her for the person she is when she's not drunk.

I love her, but I am so lost. It has spun so far out of control that I just don't know what to do anymore. I have no family around to go to, it's only her family...most of whom are alcoholics themselves (that aren't trying to change).

Does anybody have any advice, resources, or anything that may help? She really needs in-patient rehab, but she won't go because she won't be away from her child. BTW she is a FANTASTIC mother when she's not drinking. I still can't even fathom that she drank while pregnant.

I literally just feel completely defeated and that I have no control over my children's safety anymore. I've never been able to control her to try and stop this, and I learned quickly not to even try. Now though I feel like if I can't control what's happening to my kids (especially since one is still in her), they may be damaged for life or worse put in a life threatening situation.

Please help.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:23 PM
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I am so sorry to hear of your stressful situation. It is unfortunate that you do not have the support of her family and my first thoughts are that you need to protect both of your children from possible harm through legal resources. Can you share what part of the world you are located in...it would help others in sharing what they know about the legal system in your area. I have a lot of knowledge about Florida law, some knowledge of other states and very little about other countries.

In Florida you could actually file a petition and see a judge and get her court ordered into a treatment facility... with the unborn child, her hospital visit and your testimony with most judges it could happen. It is called the Marchman Act. Your state/country? may have something similar.

Well coordinated interventions by loved ones can be successful but it is infinately more helpful if you have all family members working together. I think the best book on this subject is No More Letting Go by Debra Jay.

Have you thought about a weekend AA retreat? It is a sober event and they can be inspiring, educational and life changing. If you can find one in a short enough time and make arrangements it might be worth considering.

AA meetings in your area are another resource. There may be other alternatives as well including counseling with an addictions counselor.

Have you been to an Alanon meeting? This might be a real help for you and regulars could probably give you lots of advice on area resources that might be helpful.

You might want to consult a lawyer... usually they will consult for free (make sure when you call) as they may have better knews about yoru chances of getting temporary custody than you think right now.

You will find a lot of support and wisdom on this website... welcome.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:07 AM
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Hi Inquirewithin, glad you found this forum and keep coming back because you will find support and ideas of how to respond to and love the alcoholics in your life. I am grieved and concerned for you and your situation and pray for the safety of your children and your wife. Many people here also go to Al-anon meetings which are group meetings with family members of other Alcoholics. So I can only suggest you find an Al-Anon meeting and fast. Al-Anon is a wonderful place to find support from those who are going through similar issues and will help with the pain. You can check it out on-line or find a local number in your area to get more info. They have great free literature to read too. You need to look after your sanity and well being. Do this for yourself or you will be no good for your kids or your wife. God bless
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:32 AM
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I am so sorry you are in such a grave and serious situation. Keep posting and reading. There is a lot of support here.

Al-anon provides great face to face support.

I agree with Hopeworks. Talk to a lawyer. You can't make good decisions based on fear. It is important to get real, professional, opinions about your options.

In my state there is a law that allows judges to confine pregnant women in detox centers. Another allows them to require up to nine months of involuntary treatment. A third makes drinking while pregnant a form of child abuse. I don't think that is common but there might be ways to safeguard your children that you do not know about.

I would arrange for daycare for your toddler while you are at work. Your toddler is also at high risk of being hurt either through neglect or alcohol related accidents in the home or in the car. I finally had to do this and the relief was enormous. My children were not hurt, thank heavens, but I regret waiting so long to do that.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:53 AM
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Inquirewithin, I'm so sorry you're going through this nightmare. I feel compelled to tell you that you need to protect your children now. They are being abused. Your unborn child is at severe risk for permanent damage as you know. What can you do to make sure your wife doesn't drink whilst she's pregnant? I don't know what the laws are there or whether she can be forced into a facility but you need to get legal advice on what your options are. And your toddler is at extreme risk too. It's a terrible situation. I know you're away from the house 10 hours a day due to work, however can you take some time off work? There's no time to waste. It's awful that you have no family support. You are all these kids have. Please, for their wellbeing and safety, help them as they have no voice. You need to be their voice. The placenta does not filter or protect your unborn child from the affects of alcohol. Your unborn child is getting drunk as your wife is and as you've said, your toddler is feeling the affects of your wife's drinking too. You have no control over what will happen in the future regarding custody. You only have control over what is happening now. My heart goes out to you. Please keep reading and posting and get thyself to a lawyer fast!
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:04 AM
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Involuntarily committed to a facility. No time to waste, no excuses to be had. The unborn could end up with fetal alcohol syndrome and the toddler could end up even worse from playing with electrical stuff or bleach while your wife is passed out.
Nasty scenarios--and altogether possible ones.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:22 AM
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I agree with what's been said already.

You must do whatever you can to protect your children born and unborn.

That toddler should not spend one more SECOND alone with your wife. If you are leaving him/her alone with her after knowing what she's capable of, you are also responsible for anything that happens.

Take a week off work, if you're covered by FMLA, take a leave of absence to tend to the safety of your children. Organize day care for that little toddler, talk IMMEDIATELY to a family law attorney about what to do regarding involuntary commitment to a detox/recovery program.

I understand you love her and want whats best for her, but right now, her wellbeing is not your priority. That neglected toddler who is at risk of major safety issues (and emotional, lets be frank) and that baby who isn't getting the opportunity to develop normally loaded with alcohol in his/her blood. If she had a .34 BAC, that can put people into a coma/death..imagine what damage it is causing in that little baby.

Please, do the next right thing for your children, who have absolutely no choice in this.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:27 AM
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I second smacked's post. She is absolutely correct.

So sorry you are having to deal with all this. Sorry for your kids, too, and your wife. It is a difficult situation, but you MUST protect the children first.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:46 AM
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Your story, unfortunately, is not unique.

she won't go because she won't be away from her child
this is not why she wont' go, but none of that matters. I know you love her, but nothing she says about her drinking, the kids, or your marriage matters while she's in this pattern of self destruction.

I would take an emergency week off work, consult with an attorney and do an intervention. Find alternative childcare as she is a danger to your children.

All of this is probably more scary to you than what your current situation is, because we're hardwired to protect the alcoholic, deny the reality of the situation and just freak the hell out instead of taking action that can actually change things.

Good luck. And expect severe reactions from some folks here. Children in danger from alcoholics is, understandably, a huge trigger around here.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I second smacked's post. She is absolutely correct.

So sorry you are having to deal with all this. Sorry for your kids, too, and your wife. It is a difficult situation, but you MUST protect the children first.
Second that motion. My gf works in child welfare for our county, so I have heard enough stories like this to make me sick.

I can only imagine how you feel about this, but the social worker who was assigned to your wife at the hospital is one resource you should utilize. They will (or have access to) know what options are available to deal with this situation. There is proof of abuse (hospital records, your observations since that time) so you have more than enough cause to take action and get the assistance for intervention by the authorities (court system, local public health and/or law enforcement) to protect your unborn child.

I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you. Please don't delay - your childs life depends on YOU doing the right thing, as hard as it might be.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:54 AM
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I agree with what everyone is saying. You need to see a lawyer ASAP and get some legal protections in place. I am in a similar situation with my alcoholic wife. I too came home to find her passed out with our 1 y/o and 3 y/o unsupervised. In my case, I filed for divorce and in less then a week I was granted emergency temporary custody of my kids until a hearing is held. It does not matter that you are male, it's what is in the best interest of your child and your unborn child. Please get help now.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:57 AM
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It does not matter that you are male, it's what is in the best interest of your child and your unborn child. Please get help now.



As a recovering alcoholic mother and adult child of an alcoholic, sir,
I salute you.
Thank you for doing what is best for your children.
Thank you so much.

Beth
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:01 AM
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In the state I live in, after a hospital visit you described, Child Protective Service would be involved and your four year old would be removed from your custody and the unborn child would be removed when he/she is born. I know you love your wife, I love my husband who is a horrible drunk and dying from Cirrhosis, and you feel helpless, but going to a lawyer and getting a court order for treatment is a MUST. When I was drinking I got mad at my drunk husband and decided to drive to California from Arizona, with my 6 year old. I don 't remember the trip, and she has filled in the blanks, but I got pulled over outside of L.A., got a DUI, and my daughter was going to CPS, but fortunately my brother drove 4 hours to get her.

I feel SO BAD for you. I hope everything works out. Please keep posting.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:04 AM
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I agree completely with the advice posted here.

Please take the first steps to protecting your children. You cannot leave them in your wife's care. She is completely incapable at this time, and the results can be disastrous as you know.

Once you ensure their safety, you can breathe easier, and absolutely get to an al-anon meeting.

Keep reading and posting here, but first and foremost, protect your children from their mother. She may or may not ultimately embrace recovery, but right now this does not matter. She is harming your children, and they need you to do something.

You can do this. You came here, good first step. Keep on going.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:33 AM
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I can't say any more that hasn't already been said. I just want to give you a big & hope you can resolve it all soon!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by seekingcalm View Post
protect your children from their mother.
Sadly, it has come to this. She is a DANGER to them, in and out of the womb.

Get alternate childcare for your toddler.
Talk to a lawyer and see what you can do to force your wife into detox while she is pregnant.
Take some time off to rest.
Go to Al-Anon for support.

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Old 02-09-2011, 08:41 AM
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A blood alcohol level of .34 in a pregnant woman is alarming - and a strong indication of ongoing alcohol abuse.

The wheels often turn slowly but they do turn. That social worker will eventually make contact.

I am only familiar with the system where i live but if you do not proactively find child care for your toddler - or take emergency leave to be with him yourself, there would be a very good chance that the toddler would be removed from the home and put into foster care on the basis of that hospital visit and that if there are not plans in place - the baby could go directly to foster care after birth.

This is very serious stuff. I know that for me personally, it was hard for me to focus on the important stuff because everything was so crazy. I was not prioritizing and focusing well. I put my focus in the wrong places (and just did not focus) and I have regrets about that now. Focus on keeping your toddler 100% safe, and making contacts to find out your options in regards to protecting your unborn child. The rest (your relationship, your wife, all the rest) will get figured out in time but the children can't wait. They need to be on top and get all your focus right now. Once I started doing that I began to gain some strength.

It also helped me a lot to see an individual counselor because it was a very difficult time.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:55 AM
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I am shocked they didn't keep your wife in the hospital because she was drinking while pregnant.

They just let her come home and then follow up with a social worker? While she is still able to comsume alcohol.

I hope they are able to commit her until that baby is born. Finding daycare for that little one too ASAP! Get the help you need and protect those babies
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:01 AM
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no nice talk from me. You are facilitating your wife's child abuse, and if the local child protective services gets wind of this, they could take you child away and charge you. go back and read what you posted. It is that bad.

Read the stories here. your wife is sick. She will not get better any time soon. She lies. She manipulates. You make excuses. You hide behind your love for her.

You need to leave her now, take your child, and get her locked up for the safety of the unborn. Do some research on excessive alcohol consumption and the harm to the fetus. All it takes is once.

If all this rattles her cage enough bring about a self actioned change, then afterwards, you may have a chance at a life together. 99.9% sure she will not change anytime soon without something like this forcing her to take a look at what is going on.

Next, you need to get smart on child custody laws. The days of mothers like you describe keeping their kids are over. You will need some evidence, like pictures and or recordings. but there is alreayd a paper trail.

Go see a lawyer. today. right now. I'll send you 100 bucks for the consult. The lawyer can file a restraining order prohibiting her from drinking. Yes, it can be done. it won't stop her. but she will then be in violation of a court order. More ammo for you.

Get off your duff, and make something happen. No one can do this for you. There is no sobriety fairy that is going to land in your living room, sprinkle fairy dust and make this go away.

you asked for help. We've all been there. But if you don't fix this now, 20 years down the line it will just be worse. Much worse. Will it take the death one of your children to wake you up from this coma?
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:11 AM
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Get off your duff, and make something happen. No one can do this for you. There is no sobriety fairy that is going to land in your living room, sprinkle fairy dust and make this go away.
right now, i just went back and read the part about her bac of .34.
i am amazed they let her leave the hospital.
when i was in the military, and not pregnant, my .27 almost hospitalized me, but i was upright and making sense. longtime abuser. 20 years long.

please stop thinking of her and think of your children.
this is critical now. critical.
yes, i am very triggered.

Beth
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