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CURIOUS..who has known the difference?

Old 06-10-2011, 02:07 PM
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CURIOUS..who has known the difference?

DId most of you go into your relationship with your alcoholic already being an alcoholic, or did it come later?

For instance, my AH didn't become an alcoholic until nearly 30 years into our marriage (I was 11 when I got married, LOL).

How about you?

Just wonderin'....
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:17 PM
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In my case it after 21 years of marriage. Although looking back I think there may have been some signs of potential drinking problems. I then put up with 15 years of binges, rehabs, detox, emergency rooms and even a few stable periods where she seemed to be getting better. After her last 5 day blackout binge I moved out.

Edit [ btw, I too was a mere child when I got married. ]
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:42 PM
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I did not identify my xah as an alcoholic when we were dating, living together, or when we got married. I didn't identify him as that for quite a long while but looking back - he surely was. The pattern was just different.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:46 PM
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What Thumper said. She certainly was at the time we met, but I didn't recognize it (or didn't want to). It just got worse over time.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:51 PM
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I knew it, but I didn't realize it would be more important for him to maintain his relationship with alcohol than with me. I didn't know it. There's a line from an Annie Lennox song:

"If something goes wrong
I'm the first to admit it
The first to admit it
But the last one to know"

And this, after years of my producing and enforcing boundaries, of working together to understand each other better, of him drinking less and less... I still left. I should never have gotten involved ~ I didn't know how bad it could be.

When I first said 'I think you're an alcoholic', he got hugely angry with me for calling him names. The level of disconnect all around is overwhelming.

- Sylvie
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Sylvie66 View Post
I should never have gotten involved ~ I didn't know how bad it could be.
Isn't that the truth. I didn't know how bad it could be either. I didn't think it would matter so much. I thought I could work around any problems. I thought I could give it a shot and just walk away if it didn't work out

I had so much to learn, not about alcohol, but just about life, myself, relationships.

You'd think I was 16yo when I met my xah from the way I talk but I was mid to late 20's. ugh
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:58 PM
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Already an alcoholic.. I didn't realize what exactly alcoholic meant until about a year in, when the crap started getting REALLY old. I always thought an alcoholic was drunk 24/7 with no breaks in between. Wrong, wrong wrong.. ABF is, and I hate the term, functional. Drying during the workday.. can manage limiting to a few beers after work.. sometimes not, and binges on the weekends.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:41 PM
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I KNEW it and thought I could handle it. That I would just "walk away" if it got to be too much. What a naive fool I was. I don't even have the luxury of youth to blame this on - I was 45. But it was my first up close and personal experience with alcoholism. And eventually, the justice system. Alcoholism is a progressive disease.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:02 PM
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I met my RAH (using the R cautiously at this point) when I was 16, married at 22, knew for certain he had a drinking problem when I was 36, so 20 years after I met him. When did he actually become an A? Humm not sure. There were signs of drinking issues very early on but not big red flags until much much later. It think it slowly happened with a few stressful situations that made it surface and take off.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:26 PM
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I think I was born an alcoholic. But I did a lot things to try and stop the inevitable: working nights for years so I couldn't go to bars, for example. Lots of other things, but the disease is progressive. I gradually drank more and more, despite my efforts to put obstacles between myself and alcohol. I finally went chronic at middle age, just before, in my forties.

Despite not drinking excessively for the first 10 years of my marriage, I was a weekend warrior and a drinking party girl, and I think my husband liked that. Maybe neither one of us suspected it, he did marry the alcoholic. I didn't know it, he didn't know it. But, many of the things he liked about me were the things I did while under the influence: I was impulsive, funny, chatty, positive and friendly.

The way I see it, I have always been an alcoholic. I just didn't go chronic until my 40's.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:42 PM
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There is an old saying "There is a difference between being the life of the party and the reason the police are called", kind of describes the progression of the disease. If anyone truly knew how "ugly" things get they would run so fast and so far away..............
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:08 PM
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I never thought he could be an alcoholic when we met because he had a high-flying job and looked great. And alcoholics, as we all know, smell of pee and haven't shaved in weeks and live under bridges.

I never knew a time he wasn't an alcoholic. By the time I realized he was, I was pregnant and stubborn that I was going to Stand By My Man.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:34 PM
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He drank regularly, but I didn't attribute that to alcoholism until six years later, a DUI, and an obvious loss of control (subsequently followed by a second DUI). In the beginning, I had no experience with alcoholics or alcoholism so I was clueless.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:58 PM
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AW barely drank at all until four years into the relationship and three years into the marriage.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:55 PM
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Mine started about four years in as well...took me a couple more years to realize it was becoming a problem, and a couple more to realize he was an alcoholic...
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:06 PM
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Some times mama knows best ! My mother told me 28 years ago that my future wife was an alcoholic. I just blew it off at the time. She just said that only, not like don't get married or anything, just that warning. My mother actually liked her. I never mentioned this to my wife ever. How'd she knew it, I don't know? Neither her or my father were heavy drinkers. I heard storys about grandpa being a big time boozer, he died early. So mom must have learned the hard way. Mom would die from breast cancer 5 years later. I did'nt realise my wife was a A for 25 years, stupid ace me !
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:31 PM
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I remember telling my priest before we got married that I thought the only thing that could come between us was alcohol. I did not see him as an alcoholic but I knew full well that he drank. I thought maturity and responsibility would kick in. He was responsible for the most part but looking back I don't remember a single holiday, birthday, vacation, weekend that alcohol was not consumed. It caused a great deal of anxiety, anger and resentment. Toward the end he had more of a relationship with alcohol than he did with me. I realize that it was not that he drank more-quantity or frequency. He just started having more trouble dealing with life when he was sober. He was so bound and determined to prove that he had some control over his drinking even though he admitted that he drinks more than most. So he tried very hard to keep it to 3 nights a week.but the other 4 were getting harder and harder. Finally he said he did not want to be anyone's partner. He wanted to do what he wanted when he wanted. He gave up his house, his marriage, his friends and even his children to some extent. There is only one thing he is not willing to give up.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:40 PM
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I met my long term BF after we'd both been sober for seven years or so. I went to AA meetings regularly and he didn't. Ten years later I'm still sober and he went out on pills and alcohol. I can have no contact with him because it's terrifying to hear a person who was sane sound crazy and mean. It hurt to shut the door but it hurt 1000 times more to try to communicate with this person who underwent an astonishing transformation.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:59 PM
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When I met my ex he freely volunteered he was an alcoholic. He also told me he'd been sober for 2 years and went to AA regularly. Well, yes he does go to AA, every day, and I never saw him take a drink. However, I know in my gut he's working the program "his way" and it's all talk. He's not in recovery because he exhibits every one of the active alcoholic's behavior. Looking back, I realize he always has said he's "sober." I have not once ever heard him say he's in "recovery." BIG difference. Unfortunately, I didn't know at the time that there is a very real difference. I didn't know much about alcoholism at all at the time. I learned the hard way.
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:50 AM
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yep.
and I loved every one of them.

until I didn't any more.
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