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Pregnant and Sad Dealing with AH's Relapse

Old 02-15-2011, 06:03 PM
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Unhappy Pregnant and Sad Dealing with AH's Relapse

I'm a long time lurker finally writing. Please be kind.

I didn't realize my husband had a serious problem until last summer. We were drinkers among drinkers, between his job and our friends everyone was at the non-stop party and we seemed normal. Sure, he had some habits that raised red flags, but I assumed he was just stressed out due to work and needed to kick back during his time off.

Then two things happened: 1) I decided to take a hard look at our finances and really get our finances under control, 2) decided to cut back on drinking, as I was depressed and thought it would be a healthy thing to do. Thanks to these two developments, I discovered two things: 1) We were easily spending $400 a month at the liquor store, 2) my husband couldn't quit drinking. As it turns out, my husband had been emotionally addicted to alcohol for some years, and physically addicted for at least the past 1-2 years. We had a lot of problems financially and emotionally that we were trying to solve with marital counseling -- as it turns out the biggest issue that magically explained 90% of our conflict was his secret alcoholism.

I don't know what to say except that while I had had some concerns about our marriage, I had no idea just how deep and serious the alcohol issue was until I put the pieces together. In fact, if you'd asked me what the top five issues in our marriage were a year ago, booze wouldn't have made the list! Not knowing what to do at that time, I urged him to get into rehab. He did and left early. He started attending meetings and a local IOP program but relapsed, prompting me to urge him to go to a very fancy rehab in the next state. He did so willingly and made serious progress there, emerging determined and confident with his new coping tools and strategies.

But while he was in the second rehab, I found out I was pregnant.

I have one child from a previous relationship who I raised mostly on my own. I swore a long time ago that I would never again be a single parent and would never put him or myself in a situation where my life hinged on some man. A few years ago (before the booze problem was apparent) my husband and I decided to make ourselves open to having more children and I went off birth control. Seeing that I haven't been on BC for 4-5 years and hadn't gotten pregnant, it wasn't even on the radar when I was trying to help my husband detox from alcohol.

I feel really stupid for getting pregnant now of all times.

Cut to last night, when my husband crawled into bed smelling of alcohol. I called him on it and he denied it until I told him I just didn't believe him anymore, at which point he admitted to having relapsed. Again.

I'm really conflicted about what to do next. He has been to two different rehabs since October, he quit the job that triggered him and actually got a new one, he has attended meetings daily during that time (and he's at one as I write this), he's been seeing a private counselor, BUT he is still drinking. He is going through all the motions without getting any of the impact. The only thing he hadn't done that he was supposed to do was get a sponsor, which he just did last week. I suspect he just hasn't hit bottom yet, but I'm not willing to stick around to see if I'm right. On the one hand I want to support him if at all possible so I can keep my family together -- he's always been my best friend, but I'm worn so thin financially, emotionally, and physically, taking care of everything while he's been playing at recovery. At the same time, I am absolutely terrified of becoming a single mom again and facing the shame and humiliation of ending a relationship during what should be a happy time. AGAIN. I feel so used and manipulated and foolish.

I have tried to set boundaries to protect myself and my son from the drama that goes with the lying and drama part of the addiction, but all these boundaries feel impotent. I feel like an ultimatum is my last resort -- but then, if nothing else has motivated him to commit to sobriety, why would that work? He gave me the big apology and commitment-to-change speech tonight complete with tears, but I'm cynical. He's been lying to my face for years.

I'm tired and emotional, and the friggin' hormones don't help. I need advice, or comfort, or reassurance, or something. Please help.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:12 PM
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Hi, and welcome!

Sorry you are going through all this--it must be pretty scary.

My first suggestion is that you get to an Al-Anon meeting. Preferably, a bunch of Al-Anon meetings. Your concerns are very valid, but it's very confusing when your thoughts are whirling around in your head.

You don't have to decide on the future of your marriage this second. Apparently he isn't abusive to you or your child, and you've said you'd LIKE to see him recover. Ultimatums often don't work, and you shouldn't give one unless you are a hundred percent prepared to follow through.

Al-Anon can help you sort out your thoughts and feelings about what you should do next.

Hugs,
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:14 PM
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(((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))

You don't have to make any big decisions within the next 24 hours.

I can hear how disappointed and tired you are of this. Have you ever attended al-anon or gone to counseling to get support for yourself rather than focus all your efforts on him?

You deserve support! Especially now.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:20 PM
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Thanks to both of you for being so supportive.

No, I haven't been to Al-Anon because there are only a few meetings in town and they all have weird hours, during work hours or starting at 5pm (I'm still at work). We have a ton of AA/NA meetings at all hours, but there isn't a lot of Al-Anon activity that I can find here. Is it bad manners for non-addicts to go to open AA/NA meetings?

I am seeing a therapist currently, and I feel like she is preparing me to leave him FWIW. Could be paranoid.

Last edited by Florence; 02-15-2011 at 06:21 PM. Reason: adding
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:27 PM
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You can go to open AA meetings but not share about your al-anon issues.

Have you read the stickies at the tops of the families forums? They contain loads of wisdom.

and you are always welcome to share here..it saved my butt when I needed it getting out of an abusive alcoholic relationship.

You will get alot more responses also.
I haven't exactly been in your shoes.

Mine never went to recovery or bothered to lie about drinking. and there were no shared children.

You are in a tough situation.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:05 PM
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I would do what I had to do to get to some alanon meetings..it's THAT important.I do like what Lexi was saying..in todays daily reading it talked about not being ready to make a decision and it looks like that's where you are right now..and that's okay because as long as you are working on yourself, the answers will come.You aren't in danger, so you have time to process this ..
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:10 PM
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Hi Florence and Welcome to SR,

My circumstances are fairly similar to yours, as in I suddenly twigged on to alcohol being the major problem in our marriage after 21 yrs. Up until then, I thought that we just couldnt communicate effectively even though we had tried couples councelling numerous times. It turns out that there were three of us in the marriage and so it got a bit crowded! (borrowed from the late Lady Dianne)

About 2 yrs ago, I was watching our finances, recording AH spending on alcohol, and became pretty obsessive about it all, it was making me an emotional wreck particulary when my AH said that he was going to drink forever and if I didnt like it, I could leave.

Someone recommended that I try Al-anon which I had never heard of before. That was when I discovered the term alcholic applied to my husband. I was devistated and upset that I had to attend Al-anon and how my life had got to this point. Al-anon was a relief for me as I could relate to many of the sharings from the other members and things started clicking into place. We have a few members who continue to live/stay married to active alcoholics and I thought that I would give that a try.

Its been hard work as I still focus on my alcoholic too much and sometimes that makes me feel a bit crazy. A book I read called 'Under the Influence' which helped me find some empathy with what my husband is going through, in that he would choose alcohol over a 22 yr marriage, certainly not 'normal' behaviour!

Your AH has admitted that he has a problem and he is trying, very hard, by the sounds of it to obtain sobriety and that has to be a positive.

I am seeing a therapist currently, and I feel like she is preparing me to leave him FWIW. Could be paranoid.
I currently see a therapist and have seen another in the past 18months and both have encouraged me to leave. I am not ready to face that yet and continue to stay. Yes my AH is an alcoholic but he works hard to provide and more often than not, I enjoy my current life with him, despite the drinking. I wonder whether the therapist realises that we are not healthy in mind even wanting to stay with an alcoholic and their negative behavours. Most 'healthy minded' people would just say this isnt for me and leave. I believe that after 22yrs with my alcoholic my own unhealthy behaviours have slowly progressed and developed along side my alcoholics and I am trying to get healthy again.

I agree that you are in a very difficult position, and you need to focus on yourself and children. Keep reading and posting, you dont have to make a difficult desision now. Knowledge is power. Wait until you feel comfortable with any desiscion you make and you will know what is right, when its right.

Last edited by Eight Ball; 02-15-2011 at 07:18 PM. Reason: Book Title Added
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:44 PM
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Hi Florence - Just wanted to welcome you and let you know we are here to help you through this very difficult time.

Sorry I don't have any experience to share in your particular situation except to say that you would do well to stick around SR as much as possible especially if you can't get to Al-Anon. You may find that we lean pretty heavily towards "leaving" and we sometimes get pretty triggered, but, really, we know that it's ultimately YOUR life and YOUR decision, so "take what you need and leave the rest", as they say.

How far along are you in your pregnancy?

Do you have a good friend and/or family support system?

((((Hugs)))) Glad you're here.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:10 PM
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Florence,

Welcome to the board as an official member. You will get a lot of support here.

I think the bottom line, is that you need to decide whether you want this husband AS HE IS, right now. Cuz that's how he is right now, ya know?

You do not have to decide big things at this moment. Just try and function as best you can, maybe have kind of a "don't deal" truce or something and just keep peace in the home?

He may be going through the motions so he can "show" you that he's trying.
He may be doing the bare minimum and failing so he can "prove" to himself that he just can't do it, or that he's just no good. I believe that my xah would rather wallow in self-pity than get up and DO WHAT THEY TOLD HIM he needed to do.
Him not getting a sponsor for such a long time is a great example. Just do what they tell you. But that's his job; it's not for you to dictate.

Please try and take care of YOURSELF and your child. Let the chips fall where they may?
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:05 PM
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Hi welcome to SR. This place has tons of wonderful people.

You can't control his drinking
You can't cure him
You didn't cause his issue

AA people welcomed me but I did not talk, alcoholics talked and just by hearing them I learned a lot of useful info (especially what REAL recovery looks like) and I talked to them after the meeting. Also is there any chance you can move your schedule to be able to make it to the Alanon meeting? perhaps starting one hour earlier?

Online Alanon meetings
Online Al-Anon Outreach
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:57 AM
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If he was serious about recovery, he wouldn't be drinking. Period. I hate the word relapse (personally), it always feels like it takes some responsibility off of the alcoholic. He's actively drinking.. it's no prettier than that.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this.. fortunately (and unfortunately), there's a lot of great folks here who have been in your shoes so to speak.

I also really hope you can make an Alanon meeting, it might save your sanity a little bit.

Ultimatums rarely work.. I don't know what you're doing at this point when you say you've put boundaries in place to protect your other child, but it's good that you're looking at trying to detach yourself, and hopefully your child(ren) from his alcoholism. Growing up in an alcoholic home is anything but pretty.. go read the stories in the ACOA forum. This is important.. but everyone is right.. you don't have to decide today whether or not you stay married and in a relationship with an active alcoholic. Your responsibility is taking care of YOU, that baby inside you, and your other child. Think about what next decisions will enhance your ability to live healthy, and sane.

Glad you found 'us'.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:44 AM
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hi Florence. (((hugs)))
I had a surprise pregnancy at a less-than-ideal time, and I spent a lot of time feeling anxious and stupid. Pregnancy is just a fact, and you will love the baby no matter what happens with your husband. So forgive yourself the accidental conception and start taking care of you and the baby.

Your counselor is *probably* just preparing you to stand on your own, un-enmeshed from your AH, but you are afraid that doing that means you will have to leave him. I think sometimes we fear our independence because it means we have choices to make and we dread that "obligation" when in fact, we don't have to do anything except see reality for what it is.

Take a few deep breaths and know that you have time to make the big decisions, if you have to make them at all. Skip the ultimatums. Try to avoid taking out your anxiety on your AH. Find a healthy outlet - al-anon, more counsleing, exercise, yoga - for that.

What you need is clarity and the ability to see. ((hugs)) the answers will come later.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingCharge999 View Post
Online Alanon meetings
Online Al-Anon Outreach
Thanks so much for posting this. I had no idea this was out there.

Florence, I am so sorry you are going through this. There is so much great information and support on this site. Please take care of yourself and your littleones. (((HUGS)))
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:33 AM
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Thank you, everyone. I guess I'm having a hard time seeing what "un-enmeshed" looks like without just leaving the relationship. If there's a chance he'll get better I want to pursue it, but man, this is trying on my patience and goodwill.

I'm trying to get some advice from some addiction professionals for one more concerted "go" at it, and so I can get the local family involved in a way that isn't enabling, and I'm trying to see if there are some Al-Anon meetings that aren't listed on the local website.

I'm so glad I joined the forum, you all are awesome people. I still don't have answers today, but I do have direction.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:28 AM
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Hi Florence and to SR.

I'm glad you found us and that a bunch of people have already come foward to welcome you. This place has been my saving grace, especially when I couldn't get to Al-Anon due to babysitting issues. There is a chat room here and I believe there's a regular F&F meeting on Saturday evenings. You should consider logging in at that time...until you figure out the Al-Anon situation.

FTR, you don't have to leave your AH just because your counsellor is recommending it. If you feel "pressured" to do so, perhaps it's time to change counsellors. What you need right now, especially being preggo and all, is SUPPORT. When and IF you decide to leave is entirely up to you.

I'm so sorry you're having to deal with all this while riding the hormonal rollercoaster. I remember being pregnant, supporting my then-AH, worrying myself sick about finances and about the booze he couldn't do without. Looking back, I wish I would have left my AH sooner, only because the pregnancy was overshadowed with such worry and stress. I was often in the hospital for anxiety and stress over "no fetal movement". The staff knew me as "that girl who's always afraid her baby is dead". Seeing as I'm now single momming it and that I know I can handle things just fine, I wish I had left sooner than when my DD was 15 months old. I would have had more joy and less stress.

But, hindsight is always 20/20

If you are considering all options, I would highly recommend starting to separate your finances, *just in case*. It doesn't commit you to anything except protecting yourself financially from your AH's inability to control his money where drinking is concerned.

to you. Hope you keep posting!
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:56 PM
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Florence,

Hey, I am glad to see you making yourself at home here! YAY!

I don't know if any of us have mentioned the stickies at the top of the forum to you yet?
They are a really great read when you feel like it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Live View Post
Florence,

Hey, I am glad to see you making yourself at home here! YAY!

I don't know if any of us have mentioned the stickies at the top of the forum to you yet?
They are a really great read when you feel like it.
Thanks! I've been reading along for a long while and finally decided to jump in. I've read many of the stickies on top, but I might as well read the rest.

Thank you again to everyone for being so welcoming. It's encouraging to see such a long-lived, active community online that is still so supportive and kind. It must take some serious moderation.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:50 PM
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Florence, one kind thing...

...his job didn't trigger him. he's an alcoholic. alcoholism triggers him. when they blame it on work, spouses, stress, elections, holidays, failures, successes, friends, and 1,000,000 other reasons it's complete ********.

they drink because they are alcoholics. there is no other reason. they drink because they are alcoholics.

take care and good luck. al-anon saved my life. please give it a chance for you and your baby.

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Thanks! I've been reading along for a long while and finally decided to jump in. I've read many of the stickies on top, but I might as well read the rest.

Thank you again to everyone for being so welcoming. It's encouraging to see such a long-lived, active community online that is still so supportive and kind. It must take some serious moderation.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:20 AM
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Florence,

Welcome and hugs.

I can also relate--I had just had a baby (my third), was working full time at a job that did not cover the mortgage so I was preparing to walk away from the house, and all the while, my AH was pretty much in absentia drinking and doing coke in Manhattan. Talk about messed up finances!

Then came MY surprise pregnancy (guess what--you CAN still get pregnant if you're breast-feeding).

So, I just want you to know you're not alone, and you're not stupid. If you're like me, one day (sooner than you think) you're going to look at that child and thank God for the blessing--as I do every single day.

Take it slow, trust your gut, take in all the information you get so you can cut through the confusion and the feelings of being overwhelmed. And keep reading here. You can do it! Trust me. You sound like a very focused, proactive, together person.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:29 AM
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Hi Florence (I just caught myself wanting to call you "Flo"...sorry!), how are you doing today??
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