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Old 02-22-2011, 08:06 AM
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My first post

Hi

Just browsing the net and looking for... well.. I dont know what I'm looking for.

A little background... 22 years ago I met and married the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. We had 4 wonderful children. Me with a successful company and my wife a teacher, life was great.

About twelve years ago she began to drink. Firstly just at weekends but gradually this spread to every night of the week. It's never affected her work, but on the days she wasn't working she would drink all waking hours. She would each night drink a phenomenal amount of alcohol.. a bottle of vodka or 3 bottles of 14% wine plus the odd beer. Over the years there have been the typical disappearances for weekend benders with her 'friends'. Always followed by a complete lack of remorse on her part.

Things escalated as the children began to move away to college/uni a couple of years ago. The behaviour became much more violent if confronted. So much so that last year, whilst attempting to stop her smash up our kitchen, I had to have a finger reconnected that she slashed with a broken plate. Again there was no remorse. It was my fault for confronting her.

I am not a violent or aggressive person and find these moods very difficult to deal with. Unfortunately I cannot simply walk away as she will then take her rage out on anything to hand, including doors, furniture etc and I cannot simply stand back and watch all we have worked for be destroyed.

She has promised to stop drinking many times but they usually dont last the week.

After reading other posts here, she has the typical memory problems, none of our friends invite us out any more. The kids constantly asking me to leave her is beginning to turn to resentment on their part. They accuse me of cowardice.

Anyway.. the culmination of all this was Christmas where my wife was semi concious throughout the whole festive period. new year day I told my wife I was leaving her. One hour later she informed me that she had taken 40 paracetamol and wanted to die. I had to call emergency services. The hospital treated me as the cause. Police interviewed me and near enough accused me of giving her the pills. The following morning an alcohol test showed that she was STILL three times the legal limit to drive!.

She signed herself out of hospital and promised me that she would stop drinking. Although I've found it a little difficult trying to avoid places/situations where alcohol would be available, we have had a wonderful 7-8 weeks.

Last week was her birthday.. she went out with friends and got completely wrecked. Since then I have found the usual bottled hidden, and been confronted by an obviously drunken wife who swears on her honour that she hasn't drank.

The children are once again lecturing me with the 'she well never change' and 'we told you so'.

I think (although I'm not sure) that I dont want this trauma any longer. I truly fear what would become of my wife and our wonderful home if I walked away.

Sorry for going on a little.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:23 AM
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Listen to your kids. I am in the same situation and he stops for a while and starts up again. It is no way to live.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:33 AM
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You might want to get some legal counsel. There is no reason for you to be the one to 'walk away' especially since you now have police and hospital records to back up the circumstances of her problem.
If she is still able to hold down her teaching job, she must have tenure and should be able to support herself. Have you ever suggested detox/rehab to her? Unless she wants a divorce perhaps she would consider this. Otherwise, I would take legal steps to protect your assets/home etc.
I'm so sorry for your situation and can identify with your pain.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:37 AM
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I'm sorry that it has gone this far.
Your kids are on the money, and they probably still love her very much, but can see clearly.
She won't seek help as long as things remain comfortable for her.
Alanon can help you. Please search alanon meetings in your area, attend meetings.
You are also being abused, it sounds.
Threatened and afraid to act out of fear of violence is being abused.

Please keep reading and posting here.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:46 AM
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vvl71w,

I've never tried to commit suicide over my drinking but have seriously entertained the thought one too many times.

Your story sounds like something my husband would post. Although, he drank with me the majority of the time. He just doesn't have the same reaction to alcohol that I do.

Although I've made promises to get myself under control in the past this is the first time I've actually done something about it and am completely committed to it.

My husband and I have been to counseling a couple of times and intend on continuing the sessions. I think it's helping. There's not nearly the arguments as before.

I saw a text to his son (he's my 2nd marriage) and it was from a few months back when I was still drinking that said he was seriously thinking about getting out of the relationship. For as many times as I have threatened to leave him, I was absolutely taken back and saddened by seeing it in black and white. I cried.

I really am making an honest and sincere effort toward dealing with my alcoholism for myself first, the benifit of my marriage, getting my kids away from completely destructive behavior, and overall just a happier future. I KNOW I wasn't happy before.

I know my situation is different from yours because I am the drinker but since I have had some sober time and am really using the time to reflect, heal, and improve. I do love my husband and am sorry for all the crap I put him through. (We had equal parts more often than not).

Thanks for sharing. It does me good to see posts that I can realate to and apply to my life and situation. Especially when it's the oposite end of the spectrum. (the person dealing with the alcoholic).

Hopefully your wife will seek help. And if not then honestly, I agree, and as much as I hate to say it, take your children's advise.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:50 AM
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Gosh, this sounds very hard. How on earth have you stayed all these years?
You have lost perspective at this stage. This is ridiculous. If she was a man, she would be out long ago. When your children are mad at you for NOT leaving, things are bad.
I think you should go to ALANON. Seek legal advice. Let her wreck the place, and let her explain it to others.
Do not lift a finger to fix anything. Let her see and feel the consequences of her actions. Go visit your friends by your self.
Inject some "normal" into your life.
Talk about a hostage!
Do not cover for her in any way. Treat her as someone who has behaved badly. Do not engage in any post-pi$$up pity parties. Let her stew. You can continue with your own life and go visit your kids etc. When she sees that you are no longer enabling, covering up and fixing the problem, my guess is she will stop and think.

Then, when you have her attention, it is rehab or nothing. No excuses. Either she is willing to do what is needed or she is not. In the meantime, you assess your legal situation. I agree with another post, why should you leave? You sound like you actually care about your home, while she trashes it.

Sorry if I sound mean. I also think, a little vacation or weekend away with some good company is in order. Can you do that?
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by vvl71w View Post

I think (although I'm not sure) that I dont want this trauma any longer. I truly fear what would become of my wife and our wonderful home if I walked away.
Welcome to SR. I'm sorry for what brought you here. You've been through, and are dealing with, a lot.

When I was in a similar spot in my journey the things that helped me most were.

- Involvement her at SR and reading the threads that are at the top of the forum. They are called Stickie's because they are always up there - stuck on top so we can all find/read them when we need to.

- Attending al-anon. It really helps.

- I spoke with a lawyer so I knew what my options were, what I might expect, where to start once I made a decision.

- I had a short term counselor that specialized in addictions and was worth every penny.

- I read the book 'Co-Dependent No More' and it sure hit home for me.

I did decide to divorce and I lost a lot. I lost my dream house and all of my retirement funds. I let go of the dream of the ideal marriage and white picket fence. Even though I lost so much I gained much much more just by living a life free of alcoholism where I am able to create peace and security.

I have a new house and it turns out that what makes a house a dream home is not the walls and items that fill it but the atmosphere and feelings created inside those walls.

i've also learned that when I hang on to dreams so tight that I close my eyes to everything else, they turn into nightmares.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:51 AM
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Hi vvl71w, and Welcome to SR!!!!

You experience is similar to many of the stories here. Please take some time for yourself and read the threads. Also, the stickies at the top of each forum contain some really useful information.

What we learn here and in our face-to-face Al-Anon meetings is a concept we call the 3 C's:

We did not cause the drinking. So in spite of how often your AW (alcoholic wife) tries to push the blame onto others, it's just not true.

We cannot control the alcoholic. No amount of our begging, threatening, pleading, or ultimatums will get the alcoholic to change their behavior.

We cannot cure the alcoholic. We are just not that powerful.

Wow did I struggle with these at first. These are very frustrating ideas.....but in time I found them to be very freeing as well. IT IS NOT MY FAULT.

The sad truth is, that unless the alcholic is allowed to feel the full consequences of their drinking, they are unlikely to ever want to change. If we continue to provide a nice clean environment for them to come home to, if we continue to provide money to fuel their drinking, if we continue to bail them out of jail.....well, there is not incentive for them to change.

The good news is, we CAN be happy regardless of whether or not the A in our lives is drinking. I encourage you to find an Al-Anon meeting in your area.....so many of us have found this support to be invaluable.

Huge hugs and many prayers, HG
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:03 AM
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IMO your wife is out of control and in deep emotional turmoil. She is also an alcoholic , who tried to take her life. She needs professional help! Alcohol is but a symptom of a much bigger problem. That doesn't mean you have to put up with the violence. No one should have to live like that. I guess, I would get a court order and have her removed from the home. She will not be able to abuse anyone but herself. Unless she decides to get help, I have a feeling things will get a lot worse for her. She's on her way to "rock bottom".

You are NOT a coward. You love her and are trying to "help". Unfortunately, you will fail. She has to help herself. Hopefully, if your not ready to go the legal route , you will look into al anon. You will gain awareness and hopefully learn some tools necessary for you to find some peace.

Best Wishes to You
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:21 AM
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Reading your post I can feel the hurt & worry you are conveying..Its so hard to watch some-one you truly love destroy their life and not being able to do anything to fix/save them. You are trying your hardest to support and do anything you can to save your wife & marriage..I get that, I really do. However, look what your putting yourself through to achieve the impossible because unfortunately until she is ready to stop then she will drink.
Hiding bottles..she will never admit, she will lie till shes blue on the face that it has nothing to do with her. I am sorry for what you are going through but you have to remember this is affecting you too..your health & sanity. Al-anon is a good start to help get some understanding and support for you. Stay strong, stay safe. Keep posting & reading, there is a lot of support for you here.
Remember...this is NOT your fault
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:51 AM
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Welcome!!!

There is a lot of good information here, read the stickies.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:37 AM
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Welcome to SR!
Previous posters have already brought up some similar topics so I won't repeat them.

I will say this. I know exactly how it feels to be a man with a remorseless AW. My wife can tip off the deep end, get gnarly, be hung over the next day and basically not care about what she said the night before. It really hurts but thankfully I found this site and I'm learning how to deal/not deal with her and work on myself.

Keep reading and posting. It really helps and you have a very strong support team here.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:15 PM
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Welcome. I'm sorry for your difficult situation. Living with an alcoholic wife can make a person feel trapped. Especially when you remember the most beautiful woman who you married years ago, and you hope she comes back somehow.

I think of my AW as 2 people in one body. The normal person I once knew, versus the drinking person who lies, is inconsiderate, etc. Unfortunately, as long as she is drinking, the person I love is basically dead. If she quits, maybe there's hope, maybe -- but that's on her.

The concept of detachment implies that you can somehow step back and look at the situation without emotion. Almost like looking through someone else's eyes -- like you are watching a movie. I see my wife as a sick person, or crazy person, when I look at her this way. It's very sad.

You are dealing with some serious insanity. Believe it or not, you CAN get out. Humoring her or waiting it out or suffering through it -- these do not work. I am personally filed for divorce at this point, something I NEVER thought would happen. Yet I am relieved because I'm doing something, which is way better than doing nothing.

Best wishes to you -- and hang in there!
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:08 PM
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Welcome to SR...When the fear of losing yourself is greater than the fear of the broken furniture, and the damaged home, you will do what you need to do for you.

Please keep reading and posting, and look for an al-anon meeting. Things can get better for you whether or not your wife seeks help for her addiction to alcohol.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:24 PM
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Welcome to SR, vvl71w. I'm sorry that you needed to find us, but I'm glad you did.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:15 AM
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Welcome, lots of good advice, here.

If you choose to, you could probably get a restraining order requiring her to leave the home. Destruction of property and violent behavior is domestic violence.

It doesn't sound like she's had the opportunity to experience the natural consequences of her drinking behavior. You can start by allowing that to happen.

I strongly suggest that you get yourself to Al-Anon. It will give you a lot of strength to do what is best for yourself, because, as has been pointed out, what you can do for her is limited.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
I have a new house and it turns out that what makes a house a dream home is not the walls and items that fill it but the atmosphere and feelings created inside those walls.

I could not have said it better myself!!

Thank you!
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by vvl71w View Post
Unfortunately I cannot simply walk away
Harsh honesty here: You can. You choose not to.

Originally Posted by vvl71w View Post
I truly fear what would become of my wife
You are not responsible for your wife and her choices. SHE IS.
She has clearly made hers. I suspect you are here because you know way deep down inside you somewhere, it is time for you to make yours, even though you do not like your choices.

Fact is those are your choices: Keep on keepin on or not.


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Old 02-23-2011, 10:09 AM
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I was just talking to one of the people from my Al-Anon group about this.

There are two things I get out of Al-Anon/SR that are truly invaluable to me.
1. I know I am not alone.
2. I know that my I have no choice's are also choices.

It has helped me re-evaluate a lot of what I do. I may make the same decision, but at least this time around I know my motives.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:07 PM
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hi and . I'm glad you found SR. I hope you keep coming back here for support.

Now, as for that suicide attempt; it was your AW's ultimate manipulation, and it paid off. You got scared and chose to stay with her. She's holding you hostage and you are accepting those terms.

I'm sorry that you are in this difficult situation, but I'd venture to say that there is a reason you are here at SR, discussing your situation. HP (or God or whatever you call it/him/her) has lead you here. This is where you begin your journey.
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