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I need some advice!

Old 02-22-2011, 04:37 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Just to add my name to the pile of posts - welcome to SR and no - your situation is not unique to any of us here. It's very familiar. I am sorry you are facing this. But I have to second (or third at this point) Thumper's post that yes, you have already lost her to alcoholism. And no, you don't need to lose yourself in the process nor does it mean you have to give up on her, either. Just that you have no power to change anything but how you choose to respond to this. It's a hard one to wrap your head around...I work on it everyday.

My husband was sliding from functional to completely dysfunctional alcoholism when I gave the ultimatum that got him into AA. Whether he'll stay on this path remains to be seen, but at least he's there. He may still be struggling and we are separated right now, but at least its progress in the right direction. He's back to running again, which is so nice to see. I've missed that guy. I still believe in him, but I am learning everyday to believe in myself first and foremost.

Al-Anon has been a life-saver for me (and many, many others). Please consider attending a few meetings. I will admit I still feel strange there sometimes, but the support I've received from the people there overshadows the strangeness of being there in the first place.

Good luck to you.
~T
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:06 PM
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Hi,

Just wanted to give you a little bit of hope, too. I became an alcoholic after two marriages to alcoholics (one recovered for good, the other did not).

I wasn't a physical fitness nut (couch tater-tot), but I was on the outside very successful--responsible government position, had my car and house, supported my kids, never got a dui or went to jail or went to the hospital because of my drinking. BUT I eventually became more and more isolated, and in the end was drinking to live and living to drink.

I've been sober for two and a half years in AA. My first husband has been sober 31 years. So there ARE success stories out there. It can be a long haul, though, and it may have to get a lot worse before it gets better. I quit drinking because I could feel my life slipping away from me, and I did not want to die alone and drunk. Other people have to have dramatic losses of family, home, job before they recover. And, of course, there are the sad people who never do.

I strongly suggest you get to Al-Anon. It won't help you "get her sober" but it will make your own life and your family's life a lot saner. You will learn to establish boundaries for what you are unwilling to tolerate and learn to detach with love from the alcoholic. Detachment doesn't mean leaving the person, it just has to do with not allowing yourself to become enmeshed in her disease and drama, and not enabling her disease by continuing to protect her from the consequences of her drinking. Al-Anon was a lifeline for me when I needed it.

Glad you're here with us.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:56 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Thank you so much people for the responses. This is hard, very hard. I think we can get through this but change will be mandatory. I can't accept anything less. She is such a great person, and very dedicated to everything in her life and she has to realize that her occasional consumption is a road to nowhere.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:07 AM
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I can't add anything that hasn't already been said. It worried me that her mother was an alcoholic so the first drink will trigger her obsession. In other words she will probably need to quit all together and realize she just can't drink at all. True alcoholics cannot "control" it. I hope you attend Alanon. I ended up in therapy from depression that my XAH wouldn't quit. My therapist saw him once on his own. She just said to me one day "he isn't responsible." She told me to give him an ultimatum to do 90 AA meetings in 90 days or we would seperate. He did not go to AA. We seperated and divorced after several years of the merry-go-round. But it was not merry. I got into Alanon. I worked the program I wished he would work. It is scary there are children. You are in the right place and are not alone. It is a terrible disease. The founders of AA and Carl Jung an aqaintanence of Bill Wilson's also believed it was a spiritual malady so hopefully your wife can address issues that cause her to want to escape.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:38 AM
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hey Oneil,

please start attending some al-anon. A really sad thing for me to realize was that there was no "we". There was only Me, my children, Him and alcohol. I know you mean that you are committed to the marriage, but please realize that you don't stand a chance at getting out of the craziness if you don't turn the focus away from her and onto you. You will naturally take care of your kids when you do this - just focus on YOU, not HER.

Her drinking is HER decision. I know it doesn't make any sense at this point. I just know that she has to be allowed to face the consequences of her decision to drink without those consequences being cloaked in resentment against you for trying to control her.

Alcoholism in a family is more than potentially losing a wife and mother to alcohol. I know that's what you're trying to avoid, because you are trying to pull her back from the edge of the cliff. We have all been there.

The scariest thing (that you can only see when you are away from the cliff altogether) is how crazy YOU have already become and how much crazier you will get as a result of trying to control or even moderate her drinking. Your children will get crazy, too, and it will impact them forever. It's a family disease.

SHE is the only one with any say over her "occasional consumption" and YOU are the only one who can control how crazy you are willing to get. Just like over-consumption of alcohol has snuck up on her, twisted, sick, worried, controlling and crazy will sneak up on you.

Keep reading. We all sympathize.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:56 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Perfectly said, Stella.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:01 AM
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Hi Oniel,
As you can see you are not alone. I am fairly new to this site and have found it a haven. As you can see reading these posts that your story is not new and you have a lot in common with others. Because of that, you have alot of support. Also there are a few men on this site that have been a great help.
Like your wife, mine is a great mother, cook, keeps the house fairly clean. We have a lot of fun together now that the kids are all older. most of them still live at the house so they have seen the changes that have happened over the last 4-5 years. When the kids were little we had no alcohol in the house. As they got into their teens we would have the occasional glass of wine with dinner. This slowly progressed to where she now has a minimum of a bottle a night. She is not an angry drunk for the most part. Just gets goofy then falls asleep on the couch. I have said it before that I am living in a "new normal". Is it bareable yes...is it what I envisioned what my life would be....no way. But it is progressive...it is getting worse. the bottle is normal now. When she has had a stressful day it is more. I have done the same as you. talked, yelled, the kids have all talked to her to no avail. I am learning to detach (something I learned at this site). I have started doing some things I have wanted to for a long time. Keep yourself busy. Be there for your kids. Remeber the three "C's"


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Old 02-23-2011, 09:28 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Anyone reading this post.... I am curious to know if any husbands like myself have felt more like a father versus a husband? I feel that way often like it is my responsibility to monitor my wifes drinking, or tell her right/wrong. I know this sounds bad, but I feel like I am intruding to keep it from getting worse. Is this a bad idea? How has anyone who has went through this gotten any better with it? I want to feel like a loving husbad instead of a concerned father for my wife.....
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:43 AM
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I very much felt like a father vs a husband. This is my codependence. You might want to do some research on it. I thought I knew how to fix my wife if she would only listen and do as I told. It will not work. Ever. I realized I was powerless over the alcohol and I was becoming just as sick because of my emotional state. Relationships with alcoholics are dysfunctional by nature so you feeling like a father is not surprising at all. Keep reading posts on this board. Try Al Anon. Again, take care of yourself and kids first and foremost.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by oneilshome View Post
Anyone reading this post.... I am curious to know if any husbands like myself have felt more like a father versus a husband? I feel that way often like it is my responsibility to monitor my wifes drinking, or tell her right/wrong. I know this sounds bad, but I feel like I am intruding to keep it from getting worse. Is this a bad idea? How has anyone who has went through this gotten any better with it? I want to feel like a loving husbad instead of a concerned father for my wife.....
This comment is loaded with things that I can related to.

Absolutely, I am a father more than a husband. Even more so when my AW is actively drinking. The good news is that you realize this already. It took a therapist to help me realize this. I don't like being a father to my wife but just knowing that I am, helps me not be it. Does that make sense?

I used to monitor her drinking. I used to dump out bottles. I used to expose her stash. I thought I was helping but all of these activities caused me serious mental anguish. I used to walk around ready to kill whales and burn down rain forests. I was very, very angry. It was not healthy. It is not healthy. Once I stopped trying to control her, because I know I can't, my general mental health improved 10 fold.

I am getting through this with my AW because I'm learning to love myself more. I am not god. How stifling I must be to try and control her drinking. How bad have I been by not allowing her to grow up. I refuse to be her father. If her father didn't raise her right, then that's their issues but I'm her husband. My Son needs a father. I'm not going to split duties to take care of a grown adult who acts like a child. Yes, I still harbor plenty of resentment towards my AW.

Brother, this is a very hard thing for me to work on. It gets way easier once I started practicing detachment and focusing on myself. Some people have said that once you start working on yourself, it's possible that your AW will naturally get better. I didn't believe it. I do now.

There are some fundamental things I learned right here on this forum. Keep reading.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:47 AM
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I did at first. I was measuring how much wine was left in the bottle the next morning, saying something when we were in the grocery store about taking a night off the bottle, and anything else I could think of. I found that it was all to no avail. The other guys on this site put into perspective for me. I learned that this is a progressive problem and even though it seems to have leveled off to a bottle a night that it wont stay that way for ever. (and there are nights where it is closer to two bottles so it is progressing) I was trying to do it all by myself and was driving myself crazy. Rember the three c's. Where I am at now....I am hoping and praying that it will get better, but it has to be 100% her choice. Anything less will me trying to control the situation and her. I know it is hard my friend. I think we as men are wired to try and fix things especially when they are near and dear to our hearts. But we need to let go and let God... Detaching has been a big help. Her excuses are just that excuses no matter how good they sound. You just need to keep things in perspective and remeber this isnt your battle, its hers.


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Old 02-23-2011, 09:48 AM
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jrlcpl and I posted at the same time and basically said the same thing.

He mentioned codependency. I read a book called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. It's a good book for understanding things.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:58 AM
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Yes, I played the role of mother and my husband played the role of child. Well, unruly teenager would probably describe it better. And the more I treated him like a child, the more he behaved like one. Like Shellcrusher, I didn't really recognize it until I got into therapy.

I second the suggestion to read Codependent No More. Also, if you do consider therapy, make sure you find a therapist who has experience with addiction/codependence.

L
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:30 AM
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Hi,
Can i just say something from having an alcholic parent...
I dont know is your wife is a happy/depressed/angry/abusive/violent drunk. But from my experience from growing up with an alcho mother...she ruined my childhood.
I know that growing up my mother was getting drunk and making a show of herself. I was too young to know it was a problem back then. But as i grew older there was no denying there was a problem - she was the only one denying the problem.
she turned into a violent and abusive person. She completely changed and i didnt know who she was anymore. She used to hide drink, start screamang and shouting and then deny she was drinking; when it was clearly obvious. I ended up having to play the role of mother in the family, which is a huge responcibility for a child to carry

What my point was (sorry went a bit of track!!), My mother seriously effected my life. I have mental health problems and i reckon they were brought on from her behaviour. Even if you children dont develop mental health disorders, memories will be there forever.

Do what you think is best for everyone.. Notice the changes in her behaviour and notice when action has to be taken. This is my opionion from my childhood, so as i said before i dont know fully your situation is like

Take Care
...CheelyAngel...
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:59 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by jrlcpl View Post
I very much felt like a father vs a husband. This is my codependence. You might want to do some research on it. I thought I knew how to fix my wife if she would only listen and do as I told. It will not work. Ever. I realized I was powerless over the alcohol and I was becoming just as sick because of my emotional state. Relationships with alcoholics are dysfunctional by nature so you feeling like a father is not surprising at all. Keep reading posts on this board. Try Al Anon. Again, take care of yourself and kids first and foremost.
I too have felt more like a father than a husband. When my aw would stay out till the middle of the night I would pace back and forth worried like a father over a teenage daughter. As the years went by I learned to detach and just go to sleep. Damage was being done to me nevertheless . It was humiliating to me as a man to deal with and damaged my self esteem.

Also a strange thing started happening in my marriage. My aw started to withdraw from family and friends. She stopped showing up at family functions so I started going alone. Everyone knew the problem with my aw and I'm sure they felt sorry for me. I didn't like that. What could I do though? The hardest part was my wife would insist that I "took" everyone away from her. That I "bought" them. She actually believes this and no amount of arguing about it will change her mind. I tuned everyone against her therefore it's my fault she has no family or friends. This is what's caused the most difficulty in my marriage hands down. I realize it's blame shifting but it's the most frustrating thing. Very hard to deal with.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:39 PM
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Yep the blame shifting thing is hard to tolerate/understand. The codependency books are helpful. I was achild of an abusive alcoholic. It is so damaging to children. Supposedly if you grow up in it you will be an alcoholic, marry one or be a codependent. My sister married 3. I became one (now in recovery) and I married one and we both became codependents.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:23 AM
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[QUOTE=Carol Star;2875604] It is so damaging to children. Supposedly if you grow up in it you will be an alcoholic, marry one or be a codependent. QUOTE]

I know right now im 21, im young. But i do worry i will end up like her because i drink heavy amounts. I medicate with drink because i suffer social anxiety.
Going addiction counselling soon (for drug habits) so a hopefully i gain get an insight to my drinking patterns...
Jesus...not a chance i want to end up like her - no job, no friends, basically a low life...
But the studdies have proven
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:58 PM
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More like a father than a husband? Let me count the ways!

Scolding. Nagging. Motivating. Caretaking. Reminding. Trying to "teach" her to responsible with things like being on time, staying in touch with friends and family, living a productive life.

It's really #[email protected]#%$ up. And not very romantic. How attractive is a parental figure?!? It defines dysfuctional, but that is EXACTLY what happens, and it is no way to live.

I look at people with "normal" wives who have their lives together, and I honestly have no idea what that would be like. Yikes.
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