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Old 03-20-2011, 02:30 PM
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Tired

Hi all. I've been checking in on this forum, off-and-on- for several months. Finally decided to write.

My wife is an alcoholic - which, judging from this forum, isn't rare, but is not the norm (it appears to usually be the husband).

Anyway, on March 17, St. Patrick's Day, my AW got arrested (again) for DWI.

This *despite* me telling her on the telephone to take a taxi cab home and texting her the same.

I'm so angry right now that I can barely speak to her. There's a good chance she'll lose her driver's license for 1 year. If she does, she *might* be eligible for a restricted driver's license after 90-days - but that's just to/from work. Her inability to drive is a problem for two reasons: (1) I just started my own business and, while I have some clients/work, it's been an adjustment income-wise. Her job - being salaried and steady - is where we have health care, etc. (2) We have a grade school aged child who is in several after school activities.

My anger, I think, is over HER actions placing us, our child, and me in such a perilous situation. She knew the risks; she'd gotten away with driving drunk so many times; and we'd been over and over the consequences. Yet, no change in her.

I'm tired of lying for her - or lying to our friends about the situation.

When she was arrested, our child was in bed. Because I had packed my car to return some tools to friends who had helped us with a home improvement project, I didn't have any room in my car for our child AND my wife when I picked her up from the jail. So, at 10:30pm I woke our child up and took her to a neighbors house.

They, of course, needed an explanation. So I gave it to them straight: AW had been arrested for DWI.

Now, AW is *mad* at me for "telling them her business." According to her, I should have left our child sleeping in bed, all alone at home. Sorry, no sale. I'm ok leaving our child alone for an hour during the day - she's old enough for that - but for me to simply disappear from the house unexplained at night - no way. That's messed up. And that's how messed up HER thinking is.

I think rationally she knows I did the correct thing. But, she's mad at HERSELF for this mess . . . and takes it out inappropriately on others. Misdirected anger.

Tired of the self-pitying from her. The "I should leave her." "She can't get better." blah, blah, blah.

I've been divorced once already (non-A W; different issues entirely). Don't really want to be divorced again. What I want . . . what I tell her I want . . . is a HEALTHY spouse.

She asked me if I still loved her and I had to honestly say: I'm not sure anymore.

Not just because of the DWI - that's just the latest. There's been all the lying about who, what, where and when. The "secret" stashes of "the blue bottle." Coming home tanked and, then, being . . . well, her sober personality is just different than her drunk personality. Her drunk personality is just so irrational. Says irrational things (things that make you go "huh?") about things on the television or world events; she's more confrontational/combative. And physically she's so unsteady - sways, stumbles.

Lord knows I have my own issues. Far from perfect am I, but alcohol/drug addiction is not one of these issues. It's hard for me to relate to putting some THING over my spouse or my child.

Not sure why I'm choosing to write today. Not even sure I'm looking for a response. I think I just need to vent a bit. . . and to know that there ARE others out there going through all of this.

Thanks.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:42 PM
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Welcome to SR! You'll find a lot of support here. We have several men who post here whose wives are alcoholics. I'm sure some of them will be around to share some things that may have helped them. It's a bit slow on weekends, so please, stick around and read and come back often. We're here to support you.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
This *despite* me telling her on the telephone to take a taxi cab home and texting her the same.

She knew the risks; she'd gotten away with driving drunk so many times; and we'd been over and over the consequences. Yet, no change in her.

Tired of the self-pitying from her. The "I should leave her." "She can't get better." blah, blah, blah.

Don't really want to be divorced again. What I want . . . what I tell her I want . . . is a HEALTHY spouse.

There's been all the lying about who, what, where and when. The "secret" stashes of "the blue bottle." Coming home tanked and, then, being . . . well, her sober personality is just different than her drunk personality. Her drunk personality is just so irrational. Says irrational things (things that make you go "huh?") about things on the television or world events; she's more confrontational/combative. And physically she's so unsteady - sways, stumbles.
I relate to ALL of the above with my AH. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone! I've tried so many times to coerce my AH into acting responsibly. I have only been able to find peace by not trying...and relinquishing responsibility for him to him.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
Welcome to SR! You'll find a lot of support here. We have several men who post here whose wives are alcoholics. I'm sure some of them will be around to share some things that may have helped them. It's a bit slow on weekends, so please, stick around and read and come back often. We're here to support you.

Thanks, Suki. Like I said, I don't know why I chose today to write. I think the stress of this plus the stress of running my own business and dealing with aged parents who are having serious issues (on my side) is just a bit overwhelming.

After my divorce (again to a non-AW), I went through therapy to work on my issues. I dealt with several, but probably not all. Still a work in progress (probably to the grave).

I've asked her time and time again to go to individual therapy to deal with *her* issues which, I think, contribute to her alcoholism. Her insecurities, her issues with her parents, etc. But, it never happened.

And to get to *any* of those other issues, having to conquer this disease too.

It's an enormous task, but - as I tell her - one does not climb Mt. Everest in a single step, in a single day. It's done in many steps over the course of much time.

But, I recognize that I'm near the end of MY rope. Or so it feels today. A drowning life guard does nobody any good.

You can lead a horse to water. You can be enormously patient while it ignores the water and eats loco weed. You can point out the benefits of water and the hazards of loco weed. But, you cannot make the horse drink the water. I can't speak for anyone else, but, at some point, I just get just plain tired and my patience wears out with the horse.

She's a lovely person (sober), good at her job, and good mother (sober). That's what makes it both tough . . . and a shame.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:20 PM
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Hi, and welcome,

Yeah, it IS a shame. You're in the right place, though.

Stick around. I think you would benefit from Al-Anon.

Seems to me she ought to make her own arrangements for getting to work while she is without wheels. Her mess, let her figure it out.

Getting your daughter to school activities will be a challenge, but that you can appropriately help with. Maybe some carpool arrangements can be made with the other parents, or you could offer gas money if they are willing to transport her.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:44 PM
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Yeah, bummer...has she figured out how she's going to get to work tomorrow?
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tjp613 View Post
Yeah, bummer...has she figured out how she's going to get to work tomorrow?
The arresting police officer gave her a "refusal to submit to breath/chemical testing" revocation notice (she says she tried to blow into the breathalyzer, but it wouldn't register . . . whatever) - so she has a license (or permit) for the next 15 days (well, 15 days from date of arrest). After that, it's suppose to be a 1 year revocation.

Not sure she's figured it out yet after her 15 days is up. I know I cannot - we work in two different directions.

I've known of cases where the accused drunk driver can go into court and request a stay of the revocation - arguing that they didn't really refuse to blow into the breathalyzer. Ironically, one of these situations is where the drunk person totaled their car (single car accident) and was taken to the ER with serious injuries and, therefore, argued that she could not have "refused" to consent given that she was being treated with pain meds, etc.

Whether she applies for such a stay is up to her lawyer; whether she gets such a stay is up to the courts/prosecutor.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:59 PM
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This *despite* me telling her on the telephone to take a taxi cab home and texting her the same.
Gosh, I have soooo been there. Texting and calling and pleading that he exercise common sense and being told "yes, good idea" and then, well you know the rest...

I'm so angry right now that I can barely speak to her. There's a good chance she'll lose her driver's license for 1 year. If she does, she *might* be eligible for a restricted driver's license after 90-days - but that's just to/from work. Her inability to drive is a problem for two reasons: (1) I just started my own business and, while I have some clients/work, it's been an adjustment income-wise. Her job - being salaried and steady - is where we have health care, etc. (2) We have a grade school aged child who is in several after school activities.
It is so unfair that bc of her issues you and your child are going to be harmed... It sucks. I'm so sorry.

My anger, I think, is over HER actions placing us, our child, and me in such a perilous situation. She knew the risks; she'd gotten away with driving drunk so many times; and we'd been over and over the consequences. Yet, no change in he
r.

It's as if no number of consequences matter. Makes no difference. There's no "learning" from the past-- just the same old same old over and over...

I'm tired of lying for her - or lying to our friends about the situation.
Been there too...

They, of course, needed an explanation. So I gave it to them straight: AW had been arrested for DWI.
After my H was arrested for assaulting me early this winter I finally told the truth to a friend who happened to come by a few hrs after the police left and I was a clear mess... and just like your W, guess who was mad at me for "airing the dirty laundry"?! Yes, clearly I am to blame, just like you are, for telling the truth about their insane, awful, unconscionable behavior. Makes loads of sense... And yet even though I know how crazy it is for him to be mad at me, it still HURT A LOT that he was angry at me and I still defended myself and felt guilty for telling the truth.

Now, AW is *mad* at me for "telling them her business." According to her, I should have left our child sleeping in bed, all alone at home. Sorry, no sale. I'm ok leaving our child alone for an hour during the day - she's old enough for that - but for me to simply disappear from the house unexplained at night - no way. That's messed up. And that's how messed up HER thinking is.
I'm so sorry...

I think rationally she knows I did the correct thing. But, she's mad at HERSELF for this mess . . . and takes it out inappropriately on others. Misdirected anger.
Can't be mad at herself bc then she might have to consider doing something different. If she directs that anger at others than she can continue to tell herself that she's doing nothing wrong.... At least that seems to be the standard operating thought process around here with my H.

Tired of the self-pitying from her. The "I should leave her." "She can't get better." blah, blah, blah.
I used to buy the "Im so sorry" or "Im scum" and then try to make my H feel better about himself. Since I stopped doing that I've gotten a lot of nasty verbal abuse and been told how unloving and uncaring I am. Yeah, I'm uncaring bc I am tired of listening to the woe is me lying from someone who hasn't put their money where their mouth is for the past 8 yrs... But again, it still hurts to be told how uncaring we are after we've done nothing but try to be loving and caring for years all to no avail.

I've been divorced once already (non-A W; different issues entirely).
Don't really want to be divorced again. What I want . . . what I tell her I want . . . is a HEALTHY spouse.
I said this very quote today-- H asked me what it was I wanted from him and I told him I want a healthy spouse... Didn't go well...

Not sure why I'm choosing to write today. Not even sure I'm looking for a response. I think I just need to vent a bit. . . and to know that there ARE others out there going through all of this.
There are, sadly, too many of us who know just what you're going through... And too many young kids like your child who are going through it too. It's so sad... And the only person with any ability to change it is the A and it seems that most of the time they don't want to...

I've asked her time and time again to go to individual therapy to deal with *her* issues which, I think, contribute to her alcoholism. Her insecurities, her issues with her parents, etc. But, it never happened.
This is me to a t--- the issues my H talks about from growing up clearly impact him now and he even started seeing a T but now all he talks about getting out of T is using it to identify the ways in which I am abusive toward him. Right.


It's an enormous task, but - as I tell her - one does not climb Mt. Everest in a single step, in a single day. It's done in many steps over the course of much time.
I say the same thing-- just pick one little thing to do tomorrow--- one tiny thing... one step however small.. but my H just wants to talk in vague terms and say things like "I want to recover and I'm working toward it" but of course actions on his part don't demonstrate this at all... I guess he thinks if he talks about it enough somehow it'll just happen magically?!

But, I recognize that I'm near the end of MY rope. Or so it feels today. A drowning life guard does nobody any good.
I'm right there with you...

You can lead a horse to water. You can be enormously patient while it ignores the water and eats loco weed. You can point out the benefits of water and the hazards of loco weed. But, you cannot make the horse drink the water. I can't speak for anyone else, but, at some point, I just get just plain tired and my patience wears out with the horse.
That's where I am at and now that I am out of patience and forgiveness and willingness to listen to words and ignore actions, all I am hearing is how evil I am... It sucks.

She's a lovely person (sober), good at her job, and good mother (sober). That's what makes it both tough . . . and a shame.
I used to say this about my H too-- but he has been sober more than he's been drinking for the past 3-4 months and one of the saddest things I have realized is that he actually is NOT a good father, husband or pleasant person to be around sober... Not one bit.

I'm sorry you're going through all this...
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:35 PM
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I hear what you are saying. It so clear. Mine is the same, except she never got the DWI, and doesn't/hasn't worked.

Yours has not hit rock bottom. You are still there, picking up the pieces. If you've read my posts, you know I'm gonna say.........RUN. She put her selfish needs above all else. And now must face the consequence.

I'm familiar with the rage at spilling the beans. they don't like to face the reality of what they are and do. In their mind, we are the problem. they don't have any problems. Can you see the disconnect from reality? In order to keep her problem a secret, she was perfectly ok with leaving your child at home alone. What reasonable parent would do this? You know the answer.

She will not change. There is no catalyst for change. Why should she?

The DWI is a plus for your side in a custody battle. Go lawyer up, take the next step, move on. And find someone who can behave like an adult. I wish I would have left mine 20 years ago. But here I am. Still trying to make it work. My life is a little better than it was. but it is a far cry from what I "thought" it would be.

She crossed the line, you have no obligation to stay. But ultimately, the decision is yours and yours alone. I know what I'd do, and what I wish I had done.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:47 PM
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Saint,
I'm so sorry you are going through this, and welcome. Keep reading, and you'll find lots of support here.
Has your T ever suggested Al Anon? I highly recommend it. It really helps put things into perspective, especially the things you can do about your situation.

If it were me, i would have left her in jail.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:05 PM
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She's a lovely person (sober), good at her job, and good mother (sober). That's what makes it both tough . . . and a shame.
Welcome to the forums. If you've been reading my story recently, you know that my AW just came home from her second rehab a few weeks ago. She's had two bad binge relapses in the following four weeks. When she isn't binging, I find myself thinking EXACTLY what you wrote: sober, she's the wife and mother I always thought she could be.

The irrationality won't change until she wants to change more than she wants to drink. Only she knows when that is, and only you know what your boundaries are and how much rope you have to offer. Opening up with someone outside the family system was a positive step though.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:33 AM
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Thanks to all. I guess it's the sense of understanding here. I don't need to translate or explain. My friends are understanding too, but it's not the same because they haven't been there.

This is how I feel: if I had been playing with matches/fire on our wood deck - doing things like lighting sticks on fire on it, etc. - and she had told me "don't do that! you're going to go too far one day and set it and the house on fire" about, oh, a million times - yet, I still did it AND the deck and house caught on fire, how would she feel about me?

Well, she's the one who set the house on fire and burned it down. It's not an "accident" - it's not a mistake. Adding 2+2 and getting 5 is a mistake. This is purposeful behavior that sooner or later was going to lead to disaster.

Given that, I have no desire to rebuild the house with her.

Maybe it's like the other thread state: perhaps I've hit MY rock bottom.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:19 AM
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*hugs* to you Saint, and Welcome. I hope you stick around. SR has saved my hide many times over.

I also hope you find some Al-Anon meetings and attend. There's nothing like IRL support.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:28 AM
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Great analogy with the burning down of the house... I've often wondered how my AH would have treated me if I ever did even one of the crappy things he's done to the girls and I. I've forgiven more in this lifetime than I can keep track of but if I lose my cool, cry, get angry etc.... you better believe I'm going to hear about my "crime" forever...

Like you said, I think whether he's reached his bottom or not, I have reached mine as it sounds you have reached yours with your W.

I'll tell you this-- my daughters are a lot more peaceful and calm and gentle with one another with my H being out of the house. It's the difference in terms of how kids seem when the A is out of the picture that really makes it clear there's a noticeable difference when he's gone...

How is your D doing?
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Great analogy with the burning down of the house... I've often wondered how my AH would have treated me if I ever did even one of the crappy things he's done to the girls and I. I've forgiven more in this lifetime than I can keep track of but if I lose my cool, cry, get angry etc.... you better believe I'm going to hear about my "crime" forever...

Like you said, I think whether he's reached his bottom or not, I have reached mine as it sounds you have reached yours with your W.

I'll tell you this-- my daughters are a lot more peaceful and calm and gentle with one another with my H being out of the house. It's the difference in terms of how kids seem when the A is out of the picture that really makes it clear there's a noticeable difference when he's gone...

How is your D doing?
I would say D is not doing great.

When AW went into rehab before (an out patient program) and was going to AA meetings, I sat my D down and we had a talk about how mom had this sickness and, therefore, was needing to go get better by doing these things.

She's an only child so she's use to having us - and mom in particular - around.

D hasn't said much this time around. And when I ask her if she wants to talk about anything, she just says "no."

For the past few nights, I've been sleeping in the basement. I've got nowhere else to go, really.

AW asked said a few days back: "aren't you going to yell at me?" I said "no. It doesn't do any good." And left it at that.

I'm "civil" to AW, but there's clearly a lot of distance between us.

So, D sees that happening.

My heart breaks for her.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
(1) I just started my own business and, while I have some clients/work, it's been an adjustment income-wise. Her job - being salaried and steady - is where we have health care, etc. (2) We have a grade school aged child who is in several after school activities.

My anger, I think, is over HER actions placing us, our child, and me in such a perilous situation. She knew the risks; she'd gotten away with driving drunk so many times; and we'd been over and over the consequences. Yet, no change in her.
I can completely relate. My husband has an amazing job - great salary, our family healthcare, a work vehicle with unlimited usage... the list goes on and on. We as a family depend on him. Without his job, we would lose so much. I have my own engineering business - it too was an adjustment income-wise. If I don't work, I don't get paid. The stress of the situation I'm can make it difficult to be a productive engineer, to say the least.

My AH hasn't gotten a DWI, or any other legal trouble... yet... but it's only a matter of time.

What I have learned through Al-anon is that I have choices. I don't have to sit and be a victim to the consequences of my husband's choices. I can't control him and his drinking but I do have to take care of myself, and protect myself and our children - whatever that means for me. For the longest time, that meant not letting him have a debit card for the joint checking. And then it meant, taking separate vehicles to parties because I couldn't trust him to stay sober. Most recently, he got physical with me... so protecting me now means separating from him and getting a divorce.

Protecting me and what that looks like has changed and evolved with time. I've been in Al-anon for over 6 years now and it's helped me make decisions that I have been okay with and at peace with. It's given me back my dignity even with all the undignified behavior I was surrounded by.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:17 AM
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Hi, you have come to a great place, i just recently found SR, and i cannot stop coming back. Just knowing that there are others out there that know exactly what you are going through, helps so much more than you could imagine, your freinds can only understand so much, unless they have lived this, they will never understand.

Been seperated from my ABF for 2 months, together 4 years and one 2yo son. Like your W, he is great father, BF, person, uncle, when he is SOBER, when he has been drinking, it is whole other story, the biggest jerk ever to everyone, and thinks it's funny, he thinks he is so cool, ugh. So of course the fact that i love who he is when he is sober, kept me hangin on, and also him not being a raging A, ie. physically abusive, out at all hours, getting DUI's, kept thinking he is "not that bad", he could be worse. Well they are all the same no matter what, it is all about them, and it is always something or someone else fault. He would go out to a freinds house and come home drunk, but he "wasnt planning on it" that was always his excuse. I would pray he would get a DUI, so that could be my definate reason for leaving him, having a DUI where we live is a very costly thing, and with him already not being able to pay his part of the bills, a DUI would just make that so much worse and i was not going to suffer any more for his problem.

I would try to not let what he did affect me and go on with my life, but when someone you love is alcoholic no matter how hard you try, it is going to affect you and your CHILD. we had seperated many times before but i wasnt ready to give up, i knew when enough was enough it would be enough, and that day was 1/11/11, a big fight and him getting phyical, how could he do that? Alcohol. He would never in million years, i was never afraid of him even drunk, alcohol. in front of our son, Alcohol. i had hit my bottom, thank god!

What will your bottom be? How much more can you take? It sounds like not much more, I wish the best for you and you D, it hurts so much to know what a good person your A can be, and that they are killing themselves and the future that you once dreamed of together. It is heartbreaking to know that there is nothing you can do to help them, "I love him/her, i am supposed to be there for them, what can i do?" Nothing, the more you try to help, sticking around, figuring out how to keep it together, all by your self, the more she will just what she i gonna do, letting her addiction bring you all down.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:17 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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When you get some time, read the post on the ACOA. (On the main page of SR).

(ACOA) = Adult Children Of Alcoholics...

Imagine in a few years, that could be "YOUR CHILD" writting those post about their
mom & dad...
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:18 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
They, of course, needed an explanation. So I gave it to them straight: AW had been arrested for DWI.

Now, AW is *mad* at me for "telling them her business."
It's about the house of cards. I never realized how much my AH depended upon not just my silence and "discretion" but my going out of my way to lift him up to others -- friends, family, neighbors -- to give everyone exactly the opposite impression of our reality. I played my role beautifully, and it worked so well for him. Too well. I have contributed to the perfect storm. I completed the charade, I kept it in full-swing. It took a night of desperation, following a disastrous joint therapy session, when he dropped me off at home in a contemptuous huff, and I walked right inside with tears in my eyes and told my neighbor of ten years (who watched our kids while we were at therapy) the TRUTH. AH is an alcoholic / addict and right now, he is not in recovery. Things are a mess.

For the first time in the ten years we'd lived here I told one person in our neighborhood the truth. Of course she had no idea. Was instantly understanding and compassionate. It was a big relief to me.

While very active in his addictions, AH accuses me of "defaming" him if I reach out to a sibling (who already knows he is an A) and tell her I'm feeling scared because AH won't pick up his phone, what if he o.d.ed? Etc. He uses words like "defamation" and "character assassination". I am not supposed to confide in anyone (and believe me, as an ACOA, I'm already a very good secret-keeper and not easily inclined to confide/trust/let the cat out of the bag); not even allowed to talk to my own family who already knows he is an A; and we have A's in our own family as well so its no secret. He scowls at me that this is built on anonymity. What is, the program... or the addiction?

Thanks for sharing; you aren't alone and you remind others that they are not alone as well.

~emp919
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:34 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MCESaint View Post
AW asked said a few days back: "aren't you going to yell at me?"
....allow me to complete her thought...."Aren't you going to yell at me so that I will have an excuse to drink?"

I've always appreciated this is a very important change in dynamics .... and a critical piece of the Al-Anon puzzle....when we stop yelling, pleading, crying, and wringing our hands. Where to they look for their excuses now? They have nowhere to go but "IN". It's one step in the right direction.

Good for you, Saint.
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