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New - would love some guidance

Old 02-24-2011, 12:23 PM
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New - would love some guidance

Hi everyone. I came across this forum while looking for Al anon info. There is much wise advice here, thank you.

The reason I was searching is I feel Im at a crossroads and not sure which direction I should be traveling. I have been with my ABF for 10 years. He moved in with me from another state 8 years ago. At the time (before he moved up) he was a very heavy drinker. After his construction job he would hit the bar for drinks and socializing, nearly every night. He was not like this when we were together. I fooled myself into thinking it was more out of his boredom then an addiction.

Since we have been living together, I do understand that he is an alcoholic, as does he now. To compound the issue is that since he's moved, work has been inconsistent. He is a hard worker but when works with his boss slows he becomes depressed, says he needs to find new work, doesnt, sits around until work picks up and the cycle continues....for 8 years. He wants more but wont do anything about it. This has lead to depression and feelings of no-self worth. The drinking is mixed in, long work day, reason to drink. No work and depressed, reason to drink. He says he wants to change, does well for a while then right back to the old habits.

I mostly get upset if he drinks and my teens are around. I just dont want them thinking its acceptable to be like that. My mom is an alcoholic, though I only drink rarely. Otherwise there is no abuse, he is a happy drunk. Its very sad. He is a nice guy with a great heart. But his issues dont allow him to have a great relationship with my children and is causing a rift between us. He isolates himself, then complains he's isolated. Ive been detaching for so long (though not out of any sort of al-anon guidance learned, more as a self preservation protective tactic to not get hurt) we now seem more like roommates, but he is still my best friend and I love him.

We have discussed many times the things he feels he should be concentrating on, finding a better job, going to AA, looking for a hobby he enjoys etc. All talk, no action. I don't give him money, I won't pay his bills, I do live my own life though I wish that would included him more. I have in the past printed out job openings, directions to the AA meeting etc. They get ignored. Now he thinks I should be more supportive, like calling him daily to remind him "not to go down that path" etc. I feel that at this point its his battle to fight, I can do it for him.

I am just really tired of the cycle. I feel my life is good, fortunately nothing like life could be living with an alcoholic. Im just at a point where I want more from life but Im not sure what that decision entails. Any guidance would be greatly apreciated to help me through this process. Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:36 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

You will find support, encouragement and information here. Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed.

I found that I was still enabling my A, by giving him a soft place to land after a binge. Things would be okay for a while and then another episode. Lather, rinse, repeat is how it goes. By doing his laundry, providing meals, being the financial secretary, taking care of the house-work, raising the kids, providing for the pets - all he had to do was wake up and show up. I took care of everything. I now see that I was allowing him to continue the cycle by providing those benefits.

I learned how to let go and let my A take care of the things that he was capable of handling. I stopped doing things that he could do for himself.

I also started reading and attending Alanon meetings. Best decision I ever made. I recommend meetings.

Reading about alcoholism and how it affects everyone in the house was one of the reasons I ended the marriage. I was continually accepting unacceptable behavior in my relationship, and I did not want that as an example for my children (teens).

This is one of the permanent (sticky) posts from the top of a forum page. It contains steps that helped me and others here.
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:55 PM
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Welcome!

I hope you find the support and companionship here
that you need to move through this time.

One thing -
there's a difference between 'detaching' and 'shutting down'.

One is proactive.
The other is defensive.

Just something to think on.
Others will be along in a bit to help you feel welcome!


Welcome!
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Sediku View Post
...Otherwise there is no abuse, he is a happy drunk...
Originally Posted by Sediku View Post
...learned, more as a self preservation protective tactic to not get hurt)...

Hello and welcome to SR. You're among lots of people who get you and it sounds like you've been doing plenty of work on yourself before coming here. I snipped some sentences from your post because they stood out.

Among many things, I work on detachment because I hated getting sucked into my AW's drunken tirades. She was/is verbally abusive which boils down to mental abuse. I wasn't quite sure what you meant.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:42 PM
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Thank you for the encouraging posts. Ths stickies will give me some enlightened reading.

Barb & Shell crusher, I will have to put some thought into this. I think at this point there may be some of both, proactive and reactive. The reactive came first years ago (getting upset, arguing), then came the proactive (will not engage "meaningful communication" when he's drunk, it never ends productive, not being a "parent", letting him know I will be there for him if he seeks help etc.) It has come full circle now with more reactive as time goes on and trust is broken again and again I find the self preservation kicking in, "Do what you like" attitude. Knowing I have no control over him or his issues.

He is not abusive to me when drunk. Like I said he is usually a happy drunk, I call it "frat boy". If I mention that Im disappointed he chose to drink he turns very emotional, depressed, feelings of worthlessness etc. very hard and down hating himself. Nothing I say otherwise registers with him. Which hurts me to see and hear.

I wish he would choose to fight for himself and a better life.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:28 PM
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Alcohol is a depressant. His depression may be treatable, but not as long as he is drinking.

Please understand your words are not causing his depression, down cast moods. The moods are his reaction to alcohol and his own choices.

Please keep reaching out for the support you need as you begin to understand addiction.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:47 PM
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It is clear you love him. He is very lucky to have you. You want more from life because you deserve more and you are sensing that. To me I see that as a huge first step.

There are no easy answers sadly. Somone can be loving, kind and gentle in manner but that can also be a type of manipulation. Just something also to think about.

If there is one thing I learned about alcoholics is that in order to stay in a life of drinking, they have to find some way to keep responsibilities away in order to have time to drink. (Every hour is 'drink o'clock) It is a whole new skill set they develop in order to be able to stay in their alcoholic world.

Problem is, as you are feeling, it falls apart quickly when the person giving them that space starts to feel as you do. Then what happens? Consequences for his drinking. Consequences are inconvenient! So they have two choices, to stop drinking or face the consequences and some chose one or the other.

I guess what I'm trying to say is creating a safe environment with minimal consequences stalls them from seeking real recovery. That is also one way to look at as well.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Babyblue View Post
It is clear you love him. He is very lucky to have you. You want more from life because you deserve more and you are sensing that. To me I see that as a huge first step.

There are no easy answers sadly. Somone can be loving, kind and gentle in manner but that can also be a type of manipulation. Just something also to think about.

If there is one thing I learned about alcoholics is that in order to stay in a life of drinking, they have to find some way to keep responsibilities away in order to have time to drink. (Every hour is 'drink o'clock) It is a whole new skill set they develop in order to be able to stay in their alcoholic world.

Problem is, as you are feeling, it falls apart quickly when the person giving them that space starts to feel as you do. Then what happens? Consequences for his drinking. Consequences are inconvenient! So they have two choices, to stop drinking or face the consequences and some chose one or the other.

I guess what I'm trying to say is creating a safe environment with minimal consequences stalls them from seeking real recovery. That is also one way to look at as well.


Great post Babyblue! absolutely spot on!
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:21 PM
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As so many posts here attest by a collective hundreds of years of experience;

You can't make him change. He is an alcoholic. The alcohol has a grip on him, and you wishing it would be different is just hope. You have to learn to live with it, in your own way. Or you leave. Living with them is not fun, but some of choose to soldier on with these people in our lives. Leaving is not easy either. But in long run, looking back 20 years from now you might be glad you left.

I'm still looking for that post by the SR member who left their alcoholic, and discovered their life was more difficult without a drunk in in it. Yes, I'm sure the first days or weeks were tough, because we fell so bad about "abandoning" them.

They seem to do just fine without us.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:25 AM
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What I had to look at was what did loving them turn ME into?

Of course each one was worthy -
everyone is worth of love -
but what did loving them
take away from me?
make me become?
And what the heck *is* love in the first place?
Why did I think *that* ... was love?

that's when I came here.
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