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Alcoholic Wife Back Home

Old 02-10-2011, 05:10 AM
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Alcoholic Wife Back Home

I posted a thread back last year about my wife: She'd gone into in-patient for the second time in a year, and I was very worried about how to protect our 6 and 7 year old boys from the effects of her drinking while alone with them. The original plan was that she would come out of in-patient into some sort of sober living facility somewhere, but it's all kind-of gone haywire since.

First, she decided that she'd join me and the boys for a vacation in AZ over Christmas, and then find sober living out there. This seemed like a good plan, as her parents are out there in the winter and would at least be close to provide support. So we did the vacation (us flying and her driving out since she planned to stay) and then I noticed as the boys and I went to leave her parent's house that she had her bags packed, too. Turns out that as soon as we'd left, she got in the car and left, too, driving to our beach house on the east coast. She said her plan was to stay there a couple of days and then head to Florida for sober living. But again, that didn't happen. She stayed at the beach house for five weeks or so, and then announced that her plan was now to move back to the town where we live and find sober living there. She kept telling me she didn't have a date yet as she was still sorting it out, but this last Sunday, she just turned up at the house unannounced, saying she'd decided to come back early.

So now she's living here again, but at least keeping by my rule that she can't be here with the kids without me. This means she leaves around 3pm just before the nanny gets here, and then comes back in the evening just after I tell her I'm back at the house. The sober living plan is apparently on hold, according to her because she read my emails on my computer and found ones from last year when I was discussing with my attorney whether I could stop her coming back to the house if she refused to get treatment. This is obviously a pretext, as I'd already told her that I would get her out of the house one way or another to protect the kids if she didn't get well, so it can't be a surprise to her to see that I did what I said I was going to do.

I'd lay good money that she's not going to go through with the sober living and instead just stay here. She was also planning to look for a job, but again, that's slipped. She found an opening at a local firm, but "hasn't had time" to send in a resume.

She also wants to go to marriage counselling, but her whole attitude at the moment is so beligerant that while I'll do it, I'm not sure it will do any good. She seems to think it'll be a chance to list all the things she doesn't like about me. For example, I suggested using our pastor for counselling, and her reply was basically, do you really want him to know about those dirty pictures you were looking at on your computer while I was away? (She also spent hours searching my internet history, and no doubt found some things she'd consider unacceptable.) Yeah, I'm not perfect, but I think she believes that she can offset her behavior by finding things wrong with me, to the point where she'll put hours into it so she feels justified.

So, there you have it. I just wanted to get it off my chest. She's at least not drinking, but she's painful to be around. Perhaps it'll get better, but it's going to be a long few weeks while she continues like this.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:56 AM
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I totally understand where you are coming from because I am in a similar situation. My wife is getting ready to leave an inpatient treatment center next week. I have already filed for divorce. The original plan in which everyone, including her counselor, agreed on was for her to transistion straight to a sober living house once she leaves treament. She leaves in less then a week and has not agreed to any plan on sober living. She has been presented with at least 3 options. She says she wants to "investigate" options herself once she leaves. Right.

IMO in comes down to boundaries. I have decided to set some boundaries before she leaves which include not coming to the house. I am currently staying with my mother and it's her house, so I would think legally she cannot stay there without my mom's permission anyway. The trick to all of this is actually FOLLOWING THRU with the boundaries once they have been set. I have struggled with this in the past. I think my wife is trying to manipulate everyone so she can do what she wants, like she has always done her entire life. This time I have decided to take a stand. I am new here as well and I am sure members who have been around a while can offer better insight than I, but I thought I would comment since I am in a very similar situation myself.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:20 PM
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As another member often puts it, she's unlikely to change as long as you are providing her a soft place to sleep (and to land when she falls). It sounds like you provide her many soft places to sleep and land.

Just an opinion. Take what you want, if anything, and leave the rest.

Cyranoak
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RedBaron View Post
The original plan was that she would come out of in-patient into some sort of sober living facility somewhere, but it's all kind-of gone haywire since. First AZ... our beach house on the east coast... then head to Florida... then announced that her plan was now to move back to the town where we live... this last Sunday, she just turned up at the house unannounced
This is called seeking out a "Geographical Solution" to the problem of alcoholism. From what I understand, it's pretty common for the alcoholic to think that if they just move, it will solve the problem. The problem with that line of thinking is, you can run from yourself but you are always stuck with you.

The sober living plan is apparently on hold, according to her because she read my emails on my computer and found ones from last year when I was discussing with my attorney whether I could stop her coming back to the house if she refused to get treatment...... She seems to think it'll be a chance to list all the things she doesn't like about me.
Yep. The problem with being close to an alcoholic like this is that whomever you are, child, spouse, parent, sibling, you become the scapegoat. EVERYONE else becomes the scapegoat. I don't think there is any way to change this. This is why I no longer associate with alcoholics and drug addicts. I hate being a scapegoat.

So, there you have it. I just wanted to get it off my chest. She's at least not drinking, but she's painful to be around. Perhaps it'll get better, but it's going to be a long few weeks while she continues like this.
So could I ask, what do YOU want for your life?
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:38 PM
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Are you SURE she's not drinking? It sounds like the kind of behavior I experienced with my XAH when he fell back into it, but not to the point where it was blatantly obvious.
Just with the attitude....like she's threatening you about your (alledged) internet viewing, etc. It's been my experience that when that starts happening it is their way of justifying their own behaviors. I know it's easier said than done, but you set the sober living boundary. It was agreed upon. She didn't even consult you about coming home. Again, to me a red flag. She has completely disregarded your agreement. RED FLAG RED FLAG RED FLAG!
Good luck. We all feel your pain and will gladly help in any way we can!
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:26 PM
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Well, you were right to wave that flag.

Tonight she came home (after of course the nanny had gone and I was home with the kids) said a few words to one of the boys and headed straight to take a bath. That was odd in itself. Then our 6 year-old comes running up to me and whispers that he thinks his mom has been drinking as he can smell it on her breath. I go into the bathroom, and sure enough, I agree with him. So I go and get the breathalyser, and she makes a huge scene about how I'm not going to control her anymore, grabs the car keys, and speeds off. Clearly she's back on the booze again. I am frankly amazed: She's only been here four days, and she's already unable to control it. I know I am naive to be surprised, but I really expected more.

I have no idea what is going to happen now. She won't answer her cell phone, either to speak to me or to her sister, and I assume she won't be back tonight until very late so that the booze will have completely worn off. I seriously thought about calling the police to report her driving drunk in the car, but I don't really know whether she's over the limit or not, but perhaps I should have done it anyway. Sigh.

And we have a marriage counselling session scheduled with the pastor tomorrow night, which should be interesting!
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:44 PM
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The plot thickens. She just called saying his definitely not been drinking, and that she only stormed out because she didn't want to take the test in front of the kids. The thing is, I first approached her in the bathroom, and that's when she then ran out in to another room at the other end of the house where the kids were already playing, so that was entirely her own doing. Anyway, I said I'd be waiting for her, and I'd be happy to be proved wrong. I asked her where she was, and she said that she didn't know, but she was quite a way from the house. Hmmm. She's only been gone 20 mins at most, so she can't have got far. I hope she's not trying to run the clock out or beat the machine somehow...
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:49 PM
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Wow. What a crazy way to live. If I had to give someone I live with a breathalyzer to let them stay in the house, that would make me nuts. Please make sure you are taking care of you (((hugs))).
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:50 PM
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What a way to live. You shouldn't have to be the alcohol police. If your gut tells you she's drinking again, then in all probability, she is. You would be well within your rights to tell her that you won't allow her in the house if you even suspect that she has been drinking. Marriage counseling isn't going to do a bit of good if one of the partners is lying and hiding things. It just won't work.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:51 PM
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Just keep the kids safe. That they are policing her drinking at 6 years old just breaks my heart.

Hope the pastor meeting goes well. What happened to the sober living thing?
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:32 PM
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Well, it's now an hour and a half since she left, and she's called to say that she's 5 minutes away and headed back. It feels very much like she's trying to let her BAC drop, but we'll find out soon enough, I guess...
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:36 PM
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Not sure what time it is where you are but you might want to consider, if she's not in a drunken rage or anything, just letting it go till tomorrow. I hope you have a peaceful night. (((hugs)))
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:55 AM
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Wow that's a lot of drama for one day all caused by someone's out of control behavior. A lot of drama for your kids too. The best advice I got was nothing changes, if nothing changes. So simple and so true.

Peace,
Jen
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:03 AM
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HI, I am also living with someone who is "sober" after treatment.

Its been four months.
HE started going to a bar more nights than not about a month ago. He says he is not drinking, does not smell of it, and does not act drunk.
I guess what I hear here, and on the alcoholism board is that he is not in "active recovery", either way. So it does not really matter.
Neither is she.
How many meetings is she doing?
Is she erratic? Is she abusive, manipulative?
I guess what I am hearing is, does it matter if she drinks, if she is still acting erratic and making your life crazy. ...not to mention the kids.
Mine put in a good initial effort to be calm, to try to communicate. It all started to fall apart after 3 weeks, slowly.
At four months, he wants to move out, and I am not arguing. He is untreated for bi polar. Wont take meds, skips psych appointments.
I want him out, he doesnt contribute to the parenting, unless its on his terms, on his timeline. He is dirty living, going to his old haunt often. He works, but that seems to be all he can keep together. He says he is doing it for our security, but I see no more money than from child support which is taken from him at the payroll. And it doesnt even cover his share of rent, etc...

She sounds like a handful, and u could probably save yourself a lot of grief and just ask her to leave now.

She is not ready to conform to living within a family. Mine apparently wants that but is incapable of it.
HE cannot manage working, staying sober and the pressure and stress of being around a child, and the expectation of level headedness and good judgement.
I am heartbroken that it cannot work, am being blamed, and it is hard, but your situation seems more volatile and much sooner.
She does not sound ready.
I am sorry you are dealing with it.

Just for the record, I feel if your six Y.O. smelled alcohol on her, you dont need to administer a breathalyzer. The kids know that smell. They know it too well. It is a shame that he knows it, but I would trust that he is not fabricating it. They tend to want to believe the best about the parent, and, mine, at least would never say daddy was drinking unless it was absolutely honest for him. Mine may even have kept it to himself, since he knows daddy will have to leave.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:47 AM
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RedBaron.........what happend last night?
M
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:41 AM
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I'm sorry Red Baron, but I have to tell you: you can't be her program. Breathalyzer testing is a form of you controlling her.
I spent two years having my breath controlled with an outpatient addiction program based on antabuse. I went there voluntarily because I wanted to be sober.
But no way on earth would I have wanted my husband to give me the breathalyzer test because he is my husband, not my parent.
and, he would not have agreed to do that either.
It is too much to ask of you: you are in a relationship with her as her husband, not her addiction treatment specialist.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by littlefish View Post
you can't be her program.
And neither can your children.

This is getting way out of hand RedBaron; can you see it?

Time to take some steps to get her out of the house. I know it sounds cold, but there are children in your house.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:47 AM
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Wow man. That is chaos and I'm sorry to read about it.

I agree with several comments here. You can't control it. She may not be allowed to be around the kids but the time she's around them while you're there sounds pretty bad with all the nuttiness going on.

Perhaps you should be calling the cops on her if you suspect there's a problem. They'll give her a breathalyzer and be done with it. It will also be on record which can only help you in court.

It sounds like it's time to work on a more permanent plan because the current state is not normal and neither you nor your kids should have to deal with this.

I wish you luck and I'll be thinking about you.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:09 AM
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That a child would even think to smell his mother's breath for alcohol is heartbreaking for me. What an unnecessarily crazy way to grow up.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:37 AM
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She finally came home late last night. She refused to take a test, saying that her attorney (didn't know she had one up until this point) had told her to not to. Eventually, she agreed to take one, and did so, but refused to show me the results! She claims that it showed zero the first time, and then 0.20% BAC to second time, and that this proves that the unit is faulty and therefore can't be trusted. After a while, she then agreed to try a much cheaper unit that I had, and that showed 0.01% -- a very low number. A little while later, it showed 0.00%.

I can only conclude that she was drinking earlier in the day -- the smell was unmistakble to me -- but that she suceeded in running the clock down to the point where it was out of her system, or least beyond the ability of the $30 unit to detect. The fact that she wouldn't show me the results from the $200 pro unit is telling: If it really said zero, there's no way she wouldn't have stuck it right in my face. Also, the constant delaying of coming home was not for no reason.

We then got into a long discussion which to my amazement seemed mostly about *my* behavior. She says that I don't talk to her nicely enough, and (and I can't believe I'm writing this) that seven years ago I was mean to her in an antique store. She also says that I have no compassion for anyone and I am selfish. She kept giving as an example a time when I was working on the beach house with my dad, and I didn't think about the impact going up and down stairs was having on his knees. Yes, I should have thought, but is this really worth worrying about at this point??? And also at school soccer games, I shout too much and it embarasses her, and if I cared about her I'd stop, but I just don't think about other people. Oh, and (get this!) I smack my lips when I eat and I don't try to control it because I just don't give a damn! (Guilty to smacking, but I don't even know I'm doing it half the time, and I do try!)

So this is where we're at: She keeps me up until 1:30am going on and on about all this stuff and how I need to change if our marriage is to work, and how as part of her 4th step or something she's going to have to make a list of all the resentments she has against me and gid rid of them if she's going to be better. It felt ridiculous at the time, but writing it down now, it's even more unbelievable. I mean, talk about taking the plank out of your own eye first. And on top of that I had to get up at 5am this morning to get the report done that I should have finished last night, while she gets a nice relaxing morning at the house watching TV or surfacing the internet.

Anyway, so this morning, the youngest boy didn't want anything to do with her. At her request, I spoke to him, and told him that mommy's test came back zero, so that perhaps she hadn't been drinking. He wanted to know how come she smelled like that then, and then decided that perhaps she'd been online and figured out a way to beat the test. (Even in this tragedy, he does say the cutest things!) But he obviously has no trust in her right now, and who can blame him?

She's being very nice to be today: That's the biggest sign that I was right last night, as the only time she behaves like this is when she knows that she's screwed up.

On to the pastor this evening. That should be good for a laugh...
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