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Seeing beyond the alcoholism

Old 04-06-2011, 02:29 PM
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Seeing beyond the alcoholism

No, this isn't a post about overlooking the alcoholism my wife has.
It's a strange transformation I'm going through since I've been working on me.

Alcoholism is one thing and is my baseline boundary. Now I'm starting to see that even when my AW is not drinking, she's a nasty person. The alcohol makes her strong to quack extra loud. The underlying bitchyness of her is always present.

The end result is I'm starting to not only think her alcoholism is the deal breaker but the fact that she's just a mean venomous person is a deal breaker.

Maybe this isn't that much of a revelation to most but I'm feeling both relieved and stressed. After getting a lawyer and getting some facts and developing what I call my Divorce plan, I'm starting to believe that it may not even take a binge drinking session on her part to make me pull the trigger.

What's everyone else say about this?
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:39 PM
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The end result is I'm starting to not only think her alcoholism is the deal breaker but the fact that she's just a mean venomous person is a deal breaker.
Yep, I had the same sort of revelation. I got sober, and I was sure that when he got sober, everything would be great. Well, not so much. He was only sober for about 2 weeks after rehab and never changed from what he was.
Selfish, childish, immature, cheating, lying and sometimes downright mean as a snack.
It was always there, I was just blind to it.
Either because I was numb and drunk or in denial, it did finally come.
I was relieved, cause then I was done, but also felt stressed because I had to act on this knowledge I could not ignore anymore.
Sigh,......
I hope this makes sense.

I think I understand and have been there Shellcrusher.

Beth
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:45 PM
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I completely agree with you. Drinking is my deal breaker. My RAH has not drank for 1.5 years. I always thought that was the problem and if only he would quit drinking, all would be good.

Well, it is not good. He is extremely self-centered, critical, mean and I could go on an on. Basically, he was a drunk a**hole, and now he's just an a**hole. I, too, am considering divorce. Even though my RAH is not drinking. I am just finding that I just don't like him.

Very sorry you are going through this. It is very difficult when you come to the realization that you have come to.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:03 PM
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Welcome Back Shellcrusher...

...it's good to see you.

I don't have much to add other than I had an opposite experience. Wife is fairly evil on the juice, but really nice and loving off of it. Don't get me wrong, she can still get pissed, frustrated, hurt, etc., but she does it in the way I consider "normal," i.e. like everybody else I've ever known. Plus, it's usually me being a dick or selfish that causes it. If not me, then 15-year old daughter being, well, 15.

I guess I'm saying it to juxtapose against your experience. You don't have to live the rest of your life with somebody who isn't nice. There are healthy women out there-- the trick is to learn how to be attracted to them.

The woman I dumped to date my wife was so hot I want to kill myself sometimes. But, she was healthy and didn't need me so off she went. Wife's beautiful too (when not in Evil-Mode), but she was also somebody I thought needed saving and I was hooked.

Take care my friend,

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
No, this isn't a post about overlooking the alcoholism my wife has.
It's a strange transformation I'm going through since I've been working on me.

Alcoholism is one thing and is my baseline boundary. Now I'm starting to see that even when my AW is not drinking, she's a nasty person. The alcohol makes her strong to quack extra loud. The underlying bitchyness of her is always present.

The end result is I'm starting to not only think her alcoholism is the deal breaker but the fact that she's just a mean venomous person is a deal breaker.

Maybe this isn't that much of a revelation to most but I'm feeling both relieved and stressed. After getting a lawyer and getting some facts and developing what I call my Divorce plan, I'm starting to believe that it may not even take a binge drinking session on her part to make me pull the trigger.

What's everyone else say about this?
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:31 PM
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Not sure how long your wife has been sober, but during the first year that my rabf was sober, he was one mess.

Now he admits that he was angry that he couldn't drink, he felt like everyone should treat him better because of what he was doing (abstaining), and ultimately he was being a jerk because of alcohol, even when not ingesting it.

His newfound self-awareness is certainly one of the best parts of his sobriety. It's a journey, we enjoy one another, but I am still not sure I could ever live with him again.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:12 PM
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She isn't sober, seekingcalm. She's a binge drinker. She's a secretive drinker versus an in my face type. I suspect she was drinking Monday and I have a feeling she was drinking today. I just don't want to burn my energy wondering anymore and simply stop caring what state she's in.

Odd turn of events tonight. I wish I had my camera recording.
My AW finally said she's going to get herself into an outpatient addiction program. I wasn't in the mood to discuss things with her tonight. I was working on my detachment.
It could be the first of a loud quack or it could be the first of her taking responsibility for her disease. I will continue to focus on myself and see what her actions tell me.
While it's a new thing for her and I guess me, I still felt like I wasn't focusing on her disease because I still don't like her as a person. With or without the alcohol. I suspect just as time took a toll on my trust, time could rebuild it. Do I dare hope? I'll keep working my plan in the meantime.

Thanks for the replies gang. It was nice to take a break from the site but I'm happy to be back.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:16 AM
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Almost 5 months into some serious AA, and my RAH is still a total a-hole. I don't know what to say, Shellcrusher, except that I hear ya on this one. I don't know what to think anymore - I thought quitting drinking would make some sort of difference, but it actually seems to have intensified his nastiness. If I disagree with him on even the mildest of things, he goes unhinged and attacks me, my values, my character, my program, etc. He has yet to call me fat and ugly though. I keep waiting for that one because at least it'd be something NEW.

Who was I dating and subsequently married? Where did that guy go? Jeez - he must have been one heck of an actor to play me for 2 years before unveiling the monster within.

Stick to your plan.

~T
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:34 AM
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Yes it is a revelation! I got lots of clarity when I talked to XABF and he was sober - and he was still hurtful as hell. Needless to say it was one of the last conversations we had. I realized he was toxic, hurt, confused, and that I was all those things too, but I could imagine something different for me. He was sure "it was his destiny" and "he was going to drink until his last day of life".

Now I have more peace. Him, I don't know. Maybe drunken stupors are the only way he can find peace for the demons that he has. He has a right to be that way. And to stay that way. At least he shared his plans out loud.

I could have stayed and died with him in misery, believing he could change.


But yeah, when you see beyond the alcoholism, its a huge AHA moment and it is easier to dettach. And to stop blaming the drinks. It helps to stop fantasizing about "the wonderful person when sober". Castles in the sky crumble and you only got Reality. Which hurts. But life becomes easier afterwards... I was less bugged by "what ifs".... I was able to see the reality of that person and decide I wanted nothing to do with him, nor I wanted to continue being the doormat I willingly became, when he was around. And realize addiction was not a problem but a symptom of deeper issues there was no way I could understand, much less heal. I do not do miracles. What I felt about him was the tip of the iceberg, and it was enough to scare me away.

Who knows what he is capable of in later stages. I am so so grateful, I won't be around to find out.

Hugs!! keep moving forward!!
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:50 AM
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Well...
I hear you on this, a little too much.
I saw so much in my RAH even while he was active, in between binges, that I liked and loved. I saw him shining through all that.
I think I thought that sobriety would bring out more of THAT side of this person...

But really it appears that the alcohol was covering up more of the nasty part.
He has even openly admitted this, not in so many words. He says that alcohol allowed him to be more easygoing, less judgemental, etc.

I have come to the place where you are, and my RAH is 6 months sober. He has changed a lot about how he operates in life with regards to holding a job, etc...

But he is an angry, beset person. He has the jadedness of a 75 year old man who got the short shrift, only thing is, he has been coddled and enabled his whole life, and his attitude makes no sense. He never got a short shrift. He gleefully spat in the face of more opportunity than most people will get in their entire lives. And he did most of that spitting in the last few years.


He is entitled beyond comprehension, is grandiose about his small accomplishments, to the point of causing nausea in the people around him. No one wants to give him the acknowledgement he craves because he is so busy tooting his horn over getting out of bed. HE is cranky, and mean, and unapologetic, for the most part.

It was a month and a half in, of him living here, sober, when I said to myself, "Geez. I dont think I like him very much at all."

Funny thing is, as he is a jerk, he sensed my leanings, and beat me to the punch, started saying he didnt think I was who he thought I was...meow meow..

It is hard, because they say these are all symptoms of addiction, dry drunk, etc.

BUt, as my MIL said, years ago, while A was still active, and we were talking about rehab:

"what if he goes to rehab, and is still a jerk? He might just be a collossal A**hole, and they dont have a rehab for that."

Its funny, because when celebroties get busted for being plain old bigots or a**holes, they always spin it as if they are getting "treatment" for their behavior, or "counseling" for their beliefs.

Mel Gibson, Michael Richards...

These are people who ust behaved badly, are probably just jerks. And she is right, there is no rehab for that.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:59 AM
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I always thought that everthing would be okay once he quit drinking. He went to treatment and stayed sober for a short time after. I discovered that he was a jerk either way and that all the alcohol did was amplify the characteristics that I didn't like. They were still present. God, I am so glad I left. Good luck Shell....
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:26 AM
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I agree. In my situation, the alcohol is just a symptom of his addictive behaviors (added to the list of smoking, sneaking/guilt with porn, sneaking/guilt with shopping). He has issues with honesty, taking ownership/responsibility, introspection/looking and talking about his issues, healthily dealing with stress (not going on the attack, being sarcastic, fatalistic, snappish, or morbid), depression. (Ahh! Talk about taking someone's inventory! LOL! I have yet to know where the line is between me identifying what doesn't work for me and taking someone's inventory!)

Anyway, those could occur in a non-drinker. Those are what doesn't work for me.
It's really not about alcohol at all.

On the other hand, my AH is wonderful in countless ways. Generous, kind, fun, interesting. He's not a big jerk as other's are. In fact, his crummy stuff doesn't come up that often.

Still, the issues above are big enough for me. Especially, since they really come out in times of stress. Well, life is stressful (particularly for him). Having kids and raising them is stressful. Buying a house is stressful. So, I saw more of the junk in the future and it doesn't sound like fun.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:31 AM
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I can totally relate...

For the past several months I have fully believed that if only my husband stopped drinking, everything would be hunky dory between us. When sober, I do see glimpses of the wonderful person I fell in love with, but I also see the a**hole he can be when drunk. Even though he's sober, he's judmental and self-absorbed and acts like his entire life sucks. I'm really glad to have come to the awareness that it's not just the drunk.

Anyway - thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:49 AM
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I love it. I've been here since July of last year. Let's call that my birthday if you will. Here I am, writing a new update and come to find out, you guys are currently or have recently experienced the exact same thing. It shouldn't surprise me but it does and it blows my mind.

Some of the responses, I find you could literally replace RAW, RAH, AH with my AW and nail the exact personalities. Creepy in a way but again, I'm soo thankful that I have all you good people sharing your life with me. It's incredibly helpful.

My AW is supposed to send me a letter with what she feels, thinks and what she plans to do. We will see. I'm still working my plan. How many times have I said that? lol

I'm off to the see the therapist now. When I get back, I'm going to quote a few of you because there's a few comments that really hit home and believe that if I can highlight them for me, perhaps a few people struggling will get a chance to re-read them.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:04 AM
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It is hard for me to answer. My xah was a daily drinker. I honestly could not stand him in the end. He didn't sober up before we divorced so I can't really say how it would have went. He sure wasn't a decent person the year after. He was much uglier then in our marriage. He's sober 3mos now and it is like talking to a normal person again. Of course a conversation every couple weeks about the kids and living with someone is an entire different kettle of fish. Last summer I'd have said the chances of us being civil/friends were nill but now that he is sober (and if he stays that way), it is possible because he seems like the decent person I married. Actually I'm sure he was an alcoholic when we got married I just didn't know it and he wasn't so far down the rabbit hole. I also wasn't the controlling, miserable, distant, unhappy codie

It must take monumental effort, commitment, understanding, and mutual commitment to recovery to get through that first couple of years inside of a marriage. I'm not sure I'd have it in me.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:39 AM
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I am not going back to XABF.
In his case, he's abusive, and perpetually tweaks his budget trying to come up with ways to buy more stuff, rather than pay things off.

Even if he gets sober, he'll still be abusive.
Even if he gets sober, he'll still have no idea about monetary responsibility.

There's too much that needs fixing.
I don't want to be a part of that dance anymore.
I don't need verbal abuse in my life, and I don't need constant stress about how am I going to get money to put gas in his car, much less wondering how I am going to have some space to myself to think.

This "seeing beyond the alcoholism" is what convinced me it was time to let go of XABF.
It's not my job to fix him, and it's not my job to die beside him due to his poor decisions.
I don't want a martyr complex anymore. I just want a simple life.
If I had held on waiting for him to get sober, I'd still be there, miserable, and hanging on to dreams that would never happen.

Now I can go and accomplish my own dreams.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
I love it. I've been here since July of last year. Let's call that my birthday if you will. Here I am, writing a new update and come to find out, you guys are currently or have recently experienced the exact same thing. It shouldn't surprise me but it does and it blows my mind.

Some of the responses, I find you could literally replace RAW, RAH, AH with my AW and nail the exact personalities. Creepy in a way but again, I'm soo thankful that I have all you good people sharing your life with me. It's incredibly helpful.

My AW is supposed to send me a letter with what she feels, thinks and what she plans to do. We will see. I'm still working my plan. How many times have I said that? lol

I'm off to the see the therapist now. When I get back, I'm going to quote a few of you because there's a few comments that really hit home and believe that if I can highlight them for me, perhaps a few people struggling will get a chance to re-read them.

Thanks again.
I, too, am astounded at how similar these stories are to mine. The part that I find so difficult is this....unless you have actually lived it...you would never believe it. So many people who know us just don't understand what my problem is. But, they do not live under my roof and see what I deal with on a daily basis.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:15 PM
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Geeze, this is really scary stuff to me. My AH wasn't a jerk before he started drinking heavily. But he's sure learned how to be a jerk.
I've watched his overall personality change over the last couple of years. So if he sobers up (that's a big IF), who is he going to be?
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:54 AM
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It is quite remarkable how universal some of these experiences are. I sort of let myself relax over the past couple of months because AW seemed to have quit. After she got drunk and broke her ankle last winter, our daughter threatened to leave home if she started drinking again.

She told me that the alcohol just wasn't worth having her family upset with her, and she was going to stop. Of course, she said these same words verbatim a couple of years ago, but I thought maybe she really meant it this time. Stupid me. I came home last Monday night and she was plastered on Peppermint Schnapps.

The disturbing thing is that I'm coming to realize that I don't even like her any more.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:59 PM
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There comes a point when you just drop the fantasy..see the reality..I think they call it "a moment of clarity"...
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:30 PM
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Hope is a wondrous thing...

Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
Do I dare hope?
There is always hope for you, Shellcrusher. I heard an interesting thing in alanon recently and its just that. There is always hope for us, as in, I or me. Hoping for the other person...? Somehow that always leaves us feeling bad when they don't do whatever it is we were hoping they would do...

And a side note:
Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
There are healthy women out there-- the trick is to learn how to be attracted to them.
This statement just hit me over the head, thank you!!!! In my own journey and self reflection I am constantly asking myself why do I attract people that tend to be needy, addicted, dependent, whatever you want to call it. The answer is that I am not attracting them... they are attracting me! I am drawn to people like that, its me!!! The people I'm attracted to are MY choice!!
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