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Is anyone here trying to hang on?

Old 03-18-2011, 07:44 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Is anyone here trying to hang on?

Hi,
Mostly a lurker here, but I am so greatful to have found this group, and really appreciate everything I have read. It's nice to not feel so alone.

I haven't posted because most of the posts I have read are from people who are in a place that I haven't made it to, and right now, don't want to be.

I am engaged to be married in April. This should be such a happy time in my life, but there is a black cloud overhead. I know that if we don't make it, it will be be because of his drinking.

A few weeks ago, we had a very bad weekend, and I told him I would leave if he didn't do something. He went to a clinic and was prescribed Campral. He takes it when I give it to him. I know he isn't really ready or willing to give this up. I also know that he is drinking again, not the 6-12 nightly that he was having, but one or two a couple of times a week. He was hiding and lying about it, but I said last night that the hiding and lying were worse than anything else.

I am so afraid that soon I will hear, as I heard before, that he is able and willing to "drink responsibily" and for awhile he will. After a year together, along with a DWI, nights where I slept in the driveway in my car, and weeks where I dreaded the weekend because I knew what was coming, I know posting this might get me flogged with questions of "Why would I want to stay? Why would I think going through with the wedding would be a good idea".

Is anyone there hanging on, trying to be supportive, trying to have better days, and just trying to enjoy the good times? I know I can't change him, I know I didn't cause this. But I really do love him too much to leave?
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:57 AM
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If you want to stay, then stay, but I would strongly urge you to put any wedding plans on the back burner. If you have been reading here, as you say, then you can see what the future holds for you if you marry an alcoholic. Why would you tie yourself legally to someone who honestly has no desire to stop drinking? It's your life, but I don't think anyone here is going to advise you to marry someone you already appear to be so miserable with.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:09 AM
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I am married to AH for over 20 years with 3 kids and yes I am still hanging on. Most of the happy times we have had in our marriage have been because I was unaware of the drinking problem and I did very well taking care of myself and my kids and what I thought was enough for my partner.

Years went by before I realized the needs that I wanted met from a partner were not being met and AH was meeting whatever needs he needed with alcohol and his work whenever he was not drinking.

I agree with suki - if you are not happy now, you are already not getting your needs met. You can support as much as you want but until and unless the other person decides they are willing to seek the help they need you cannot change anything accept yourself and sometimes these changes might not be what you want.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by XXXXXXXXXX View Post
I know posting this might get me flogged with questions of "Why would I want to stay? Why would I think going through with the wedding would be a good idea".
No floggings here! No way. I have been right where you are. I knew my husband had a drinking problem - from the first day I met him. I walked away once when we were dating, but came back because I loved him. I knew the drinking was still an issue but it was getting better - at least I told myself... so I married him.

We were married less than a year, and I walked out again because the drinking and associated behavior became too much to bear.

6 years later, I'm married to him, we have two children, and I'm preparing myself for the divorce.

It's a hard life to be in love with an alcoholic. I made it as far as I did with the help of al-anon - otherwise I would have gone nuts years ago.

Only you can decide what is best for you.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:30 AM
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welcome.

Yes, only you can decide. It is your life. You have to choose how you will live it. But delaying any wedding now seems like a very, very wise decision. Simply delaying it may reveal his true colors and motivations. He may be very forceful and demand a wedding. That is just another indicator of how controlling he may be, and how desperately he needs a "sugar mama" to take care of and put up with him. Do you want a husband or a child?

I can tell you for absolute certainty: If I had known my wife's drinking was a problem or would turn into the problem it is now, I would have NEVER married her. I saw no problem symptoms. None. It was all good. But I started seeing them shortly after we married. And I continued to think I was the problem. They are really good at getting us to feel this way, have you noticed? 20+ years later, I'm still dealing with the problems. She's spent over $100K on alcohol, I make a pretty nice living, yet we live pay check to pay check. I have 2 wonderful kids, who are forever going to be adult children of an alcoholic. And they will have their own demons to wrestle with.

If you've read even a few of my posts here, you will have already figured out I champion a "RUN AWAY while you can" philosophy. A marriage is hard, and it is 10 times as hard with an alcoholic.

Think rationally, not emotionally. Spend some more time reading what so many of us on here have endured. And ask if you are prepared to deal with it. Ask yourself if you really WANT to deal with what we've endured. And remind yourself constantly that you can not make him do anything. He has to make the change. Not you.

Did I mention running away? Oh, yes. I did. RUN.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by zrx1200R View Post
...If you've read even a few of my posts here, you will have already figured out I champion a "RUN AWAY while you can" philosophy. A marriage is hard, and it is 10 times as hard with an alcoholic.
I support the run while you can decision. Now add a mortgage and a kid and you'll find yourself in some deep trouble.

My son is the best thing to ever happen to me in my whole life. I wish he didn't have the mother he does. I would have made a different choice if I was as wise as you are. I would have run away, not married her and consequentially, not had my son. That is a heavy statement. I hope you can take a minute and reflect on it and I hope it helps you because it's the toughest thing I have to deal with. The writing was on the wall. I just chalked it up to something different and believed that love will conquer all. It didn't.

It will be your decision. I wish you the best and pray you don't make the same mistake I did. Yes. Marrying my wife was a mistake. As this moment in time, I've come so far as to consult an attorney and my AW has no idea how close she is to loosing me, possibly her son and definitely our house.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:41 AM
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Hey X,

Have you thought about how you want things to be and what your own boundaries are?
If you are the one giving him the campral, that sounds to me like he is not taking responsibility for his issue. As those can only work when they are taken, and do not address the issue to help put someone on the path to recovery.

It sounds to me like you are only seeing two options: marry and hang on, or leave. But, you have more than just those two options. For ex. choosing to delay your wedding until you feel more comfortable and strong in what you will and will not accept.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:49 AM
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FYI "Campral" (acamprosate)

This medication is used to help alcohol-dependent patients keep from drinking alcohol. It should be used as part of a complete treatment program that includes both counseling and psychological support. Acamprosate is believed to work by restoring the natural balance of chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters). Before beginning this medication, you should no longer be drinking alcohol. Acamprosate has not been shown to be effective if you are still drinking when you start taking it.

Sooo, what exactly are you getting out of this relationship?
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:24 AM
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Hi I also having been lurking here, and just posted yesterday. Been hanging on for 4 years now and it went from, me attacking him when he was drunk, because i was so mad, and him letting me. To him attacking me when he was drunk. Alcoholism is progressive disease and it only gets worse, FOR EVERYONE INVLOVED. If he does not seek treatment.

Yes you love him of course that is why you want to marry, i love my A too, we have a son together, which makes it very hard to let go, i am just now starting my recovery. I went through the leaving and getting back together for the 4 years, about every 4-6 months, him on a binge, big fight, me leaving. That would only last a couple of weeks and we were back at square one. That is no way to live, and finally one day enough was enough and that was 1/11/11. We have seperated for 2 months now and with some advice from here, and many threats to myself, i will be attending my 1st Al-anon meeting on monday , sacred but looking forward to it.

Alcoholism is a devastating thing for the A and the people that love the addict, what has helped me a lot is educating myself about alcoholism, reading anything i can about it. It helps take away the emotional side of it and understand that the person that you love is not in control of thier life, which helps to not be so angry with them. Although you are angry that they cant get it together. It is a roller coaster for sure, and not a fun one. I love my A and want to be a family so bad, that is why i am doing whatever i can to help our situtation, by educating myself, coming here, Al-anon on monday and setting some boundries, although i am still not quite sure what they are. But in the end no matter how much i love him and want our family to work, he is still an alcoholic and i dont want to be with an alcoholic. It can go good and be good and there are good times and fun and love, but that little devil is still there and can completly wipe out all that good stuff in one night.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:36 AM
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Marriage is really hard even in the best of circumstances but when you go in knowing the situation is already in a dangerous place (ie - the difference between someone's life or death) then you are not being responsible to yourself (or future children) for getting into it in the first place.

Obviously there is something about you that says that you don't care enough about yourself that you deserve a healthy relationship. Maybe you need to work on you before entering into any relationship much less one that comes with a guaranteed handicap.

Thinking of you and wishing you the best. You deserve the best life has to offer. You really do.

Much love.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:49 AM
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Excellent posts, kmkluvr1 and bellakeller.
Thank you.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:02 AM
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If I had not married my A 18 years ago, I probably would have married someone else just like him. Several months in Al-anon have taught me that I have issues. I am working on them now.

X, if you are aware enough now to question the wisdom of marrying your A, you are miles ahead of where I was back then. Backing off of the engagement would give you time to know yourself better and see if you really want to go through with the wedding. It's much easier to undo an engagement than a marriage. You have choices, you just may not like all of them.

My marriage has given me the two greatest gifts of my life--my sons. But I am dealing with a lot of fallout from my alcoholic marriage, and my boys will always be the children of an alcoholic.

Take care.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:26 AM
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I never changed while i had something good.

She'd look at me and i was done. I 'did' show her how i felt for her but i was (am) an Alcoholic, and she knew. So she tried a wake up call, took everything i loved out of the ten yrs. Pfff wasn't even close to the bottom of my addiction with Alcohol that went on another 7yrs or so.

Love is powerful indeed, but it has a hard time with a negative addiction.

Think on... :-)
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:36 AM
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If I knew then what I know now I would have never married my AH. We have been married for over 21 years now, he was my high school sweetheart, we have 3 wonderful kids together and to this day I still love him, but as the others have stated life with an A is very difficult. My AH has admitted he is an A for 8 years now, has tried MANY times to stop drinking, has been to so many AA meetings I don't think he could even come up with a number, taken meds, had counseling, but yet he still choose to drink and lie about it. It messes with his health, it messes with his personality and it has totally messed up our marriage. Right now I am trying to heal me (because after living with an AH for so long it has messed with how I think and feel about life) and I want to be able to reach the point that I am happy and healthy living with him. That may not happen but I am trying. He has never been physically abusive and only a few times perhaps verbally abusive, but he is grumpy, reclusive, and much of the time hard to get along with. Can I find peace and happiness living with that? I guess only time will tell.

As much as you love him and are hopeful that things might be okay in time, getting married to an A is a huge life time risk, one that until you are where many of us are at now you just don't really understand what it can be like.

I urge you to take time to read as much as you can on this topic and seek out counseling so that you are making the best educated choice you can.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:56 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by XXXXXXXXXX View Post
Hi,
Mostly a lurker here, but I am so greatful to have found this group, and really appreciate everything I have read. It's nice to not feel so alone.

I haven't posted because most of the posts I have read are from people who are in a place that I haven't made it to, and right now, don't want to be.

I am engaged to be married in April. This should be such a happy time in my life, but there is a black cloud overhead. I know that if we don't make it, it will be be because of his drinking.

A few weeks ago, we had a very bad weekend, and I told him I would leave if he didn't do something. He went to a clinic and was prescribed Campral. He takes it when I give it to him. I know he isn't really ready or willing to give this up. I also know that he is drinking again, not the 6-12 nightly that he was having, but one or two a couple of times a week. He was hiding and lying about it, but I said last night that the hiding and lying were worse than anything else.

I am so afraid that soon I will hear, as I heard before, that he is able and willing to "drink responsibily" and for awhile he will. After a year together, along with a DWI, nights where I slept in the driveway in my car, and weeks where I dreaded the weekend because I knew what was coming, I know posting this might get me flogged with questions of "Why would I want to stay? Why would I think going through with the wedding would be a good idea".

Is anyone there hanging on, trying to be supportive, trying to have better days, and just trying to enjoy the good times? I know I can't change him, I know I didn't cause this. But I really do love him too much to leave?
Welcome to SR! I'm so glad you found us!

Are there people just hanging on? Yes. Hunderds of thousands, if not millions of them around the world.
Are they on a discussion board about recovering from codependence and learning about oneself when in a relationship with an alcoholic? Not usually.

We are here (yourself included) becasue we acknowldege (on some level) there is a problem and hanging on is not cutting it. That's why we searched and found SR (thank god!)

I hear you saying you feel alone.
I hear you saying have a black cloud over you.
I hear you saying you are not sure you can make it with your fiance.
I hear you saying you had such a bad weekend you threatened to end the relationship.
I hear you saying even though he is supposedly quitting he is drinking, hiding and lying.
I hear you saying you don't trust his word.
I hear you saying you have slept in your car for fear he would drive (!)
All that is pretty yuck, sister.
Would you read that on a brochure for future husband and buy in?

It's HARD for us to see how skewed our reality has become living with an alcoholic that we love.

Meanwhile, I hear you saying you don't want to end it with your fiance. He's your fiance and you love him! That makes perfect sense. I mean that with no sarcasm.

x, we all love our alcoholics. We love them. We are not crazy. We care. That's why we are here. We come to figure out how to live with it or fix it so we can go back to the life we had. We know how good it can be.

I love my AH. He is kind and thoughtful and earnest and funny and smart.

But I showed up on SR, too. So, some part of me knew there was a problem.

I spent weeks arguing with people about how little a portion of my life was messed up from his drinking and how great he was.

People were consistent in telling me about alcoholism. That it is progressive. Telling me their stories. And asking me to ask MYSELF:

Is this the life YOU want?
What are your boundaries? Is he crossing them?
What are your deal breakers?
Is it OKAY to be lied to as he sneaks and drinks and self abuses (because my AH does the SAME thing)?
Is that a relationship you want?
Are you willing to choose a partner like that to raise kids with?
And many more probing questions.

And I searched myself and struggled and argued and defended him, and struggled some more.

I didn't WANT all this! I didn't want this struggle! I wanted my marriage and happy life and kids and house and future dreams! F THIS! (know what I mean?)

But, SR folks weren't ruining my life. My life ALREADY was not the life I wanted. I just wanted it to be RIGHT so badly, I was holding on to what it was and WISHING with all my heart it would be different.

If I could just SAY or DO the right thing, we would get back to normal.

The more I explored myself, the more I saw my issues were there for a while. The more I saw I had had my deal breakers broken many times and I minimized and denied and ignored and dismissed them.

I began to see that was disrespectful of MYSELF!
I had been SO busy wanting to be a good partner. I had commited to my AH for LIFE, I couldn't see I was respecting his lying and junk AT MY EXPENSE.

What am I worth? What are my future children worth?

If he went to a clinic at the point of a sword (figuratively - like my AH went to therapy - because I threatened to divorce him), and he only takes his meds *when you give them to him*, he's not changing by choice. He doesn't have buy in and you are managing him in an unhealthy way.

He is an adult. Adult enough to get married. That means he can take responsibility for himself and his life. Recovery from alcoholism is TOUGH! Even with a full commitment on the alcoholic's part, it takes hard work. You spoonfeeding meds to him is not him doing any work.

And the truth *just might be* he doesn't WANT to quit. My husband doesn't. It has taken over a year to fight with that. To accept that his hiding and lying IS NOT STOPPING. He doesn't want to acknowldege the issues and is still putting more energy into cover up than uncovering his junk and healing.

Now, I know alcoholism is a disease and choice is a slippery beast to an alcoholic.

I'm not blaming my AH for not quitting. But meanwhile, I have MY life I am living.

I used to ask, "Where are the success stories?? Aren't there people who stuck it out and found success?? Their partners recovered?"

The answer was twofold. Some are in recovery and both partners are STILL struggling. Some couples recover and find peace.

All of that is irrelevant to YOU. What is YOUR situation like? Is he willing to work on this?

Well, that stumped me because for me, the answer is no. And if there is no consequence to his drinking, hiding and lying, what in the world would make him want to stop?

I don't know if he will change. I do know that he hasn't given me any indication that is on the horizon and I am not getting any younger.
I have MY life to live and I matter.

I also know it is possible to have a marriage that is not filled with black clouds, deception, worry, and angst.

Stick around; we're glad you joined us.

peace
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:24 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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I am married to an alcoholic in that highly functioning phase where it really only affects him (and me, if I allow it to). He only drinks after the kids are in bed...they are completely unaware. I am hanging on for several different reasons, but I want to make clear that those reasons are ALL ABOUT ME AND MY KIDS. Not about him or any aspirations for future recovery. I am staying as long as it benefits me and my children, and when that changes, I will make a different decision. This is not to say that I am completely hopeless or even that I don't love him...I DO love him, but I am also of the mind that love is a choice. I know many will disagree with me, but I can choose to quit loving and or showing him love any time I want to...I am not powerless over my own emotions or feelings. At some point, I made the decision that he was worth loving and at any time I can decide otherwise. Now, my husband was not an alcoholic when we married or even when we began having children. I cannot go so far to say that I wish I hadn't married him. I made a decision based on the information I had at that time, and I have gotten two awesome kids out of this...I am unable to say I wish they hadn't happened. However, if I had known he was an alcoholic before marrying him, I would not have married him. If I had discovered it before we had children, I wouldn't have had children with him. Run away...you will never regret it!
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:08 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
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X,

I hung on. It took the last 10 years of my life away.
We had a child.
He is now sober, but not in active recovery. He is still messed up, manipulative, etc.

HE may even be still drinking, but I dont know because I had to put him out to protect our six year old son from the mayhem.

In those 10 years, he went from a normal beer drinking 20 something, to a cheating liar, to a severe drunk, to a person who had a double life. He was homeless. He lost tons of other peoples money to his addiction.
We had our child at the tip of the beginning of the end. He was doing OK, drinking "responsibly" then, and had all kinds of plans and promises. HE could not handle the pressure of parenthood, and the drinking took over his life.

I "waited" for him, I "hung on" for years. I also shouldered ALL the financial burden of a child alone, the worry, the responsibilty, and the decision making.
He was blacked out, or out with buddies, or otherwise "busy".

I hung on until I became weak and depleted from picking up the slack that his addiction and his choices left me with.

OK, here is the clincher: I stopped waiting, and I seperated. I put him into the child support system, and some other factors in his life became too much for him, and he FINALLY sought help on his own, went to treatment, and came out of rehab with fresh promises, fresh ideas, new ways of thinking. I agreed to try living as a family.

He was working the program for about a month. By month two, he abandoned it, by the second month, also, all the same behaviors came back, ONLY WITHOUT THE CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL!

He also did not cheat, but he did lie.
The things they have come to depend on to get through living as a drinker everyday, putting off real life, need worked on to get back to being able to live in reality with the rest of us.

I wish I could go back, a lot of times, and the only thing I do not regret is our son.

I lost soem good years of my thirties "hanging on", I also lost some other crucial things:

SElf respect
The respect of my friends and family
The support of people who got tired of telling me that I was being mistreated and that I do not need to deal with addiction becuase I am not an addict. They watched me go back, and hang on for too long.
Trust in a good relationship environment, wher I am not held hostage by the bahavior of someone I love.

These things are things that I have to earn back in my recovery...Just like he is supposed to be doing in his. Its funny how I am the one working a program to recover from his addiction, and my reactions to it, while he feels he is just fine, and I am still alone, just like when he was here, drinking himself silly, when he would not come home, even when he was sober.
I am still alone parenting our child.

Alcoholism is progressive. Thats no joke.



Just my experience. I hope this helps.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:46 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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I want to be clear that I'm not telling you what to do, but I will say that there is no possible way to make a worse decision than marrying an alcoholic who is not deeply engaged in recovery over a long period of time.

Wait, I'm wrong. There is one worse decision. It's having and raising children with them. This is coming from one of the many people who were foolish enough to do it. I regret it more than any other decision I've ever made.

I wish you the best, and I urge you to find an Alanon meeting for yourself.

Take care,

Cyranoak
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:54 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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I think it's probably safe to say that every single one of us tried to hang on. At least for some period of time. For me, it was 20+ years of my life, from the age of 24 to the age of 44. I had two children during that time. They are now trying to cope with the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family.

I wouldn't recommend it. It sucks.

L
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:06 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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If I could go back, and see that AH would start drinking(he didn't drink when I married him, he was a possessive, control freak ******** though) I would tell myself to run far, far away.
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