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My hands are shaking as I write this...

Old 06-20-2011, 11:01 AM
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My hands are shaking as I write this...

Hello all,

Well I just got done getting into an argument with my AW; she could tell I was pissed, so I told her that I was fed up with things and I was attending an Al-Anon meeting on Thursday and no longer want alcohol in the house. I told her she has been selfish with her emotions and I couldn't stand the up and down emotions. She had the kids in the car and the conversation ended with her saying "if you are so unhappy with me why don't you leave?" Not sure what to do at this point, figured posting here would be a good start. And like many other people on here this wasn't our first argument about alcohol. Sometimes the arguments are not directly about alcohol but can be tied back to it in some way.

Ok, so for a little history. My AW and I have been married for three months and have 50/50 custody of our three kids, I have two from a previous marriage and she has one. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't know there was a problem before we got married but as I have heard others say on here I thought things would get better, I don't know why I was fooling myself. Too be honest these last three months have been extremely difficult and has brought me to the breaking point. When she is not drinking she is the best. However when she drinks all that goes out the window and its not just when she is drunk. She deals with a lot of guilt from drinking so she shuts herself off emotionally, that's the hardest part. Then she feels bad emotionally so she drinks bury the pain.

It seems like a lot of important events since we have got married have been marred one way or another by drinking, including are honeymoon. I'm not totally innocent in things either. Before we met I hardly drank. My dad had a drinking problem growing up and I saw signs in high school so I stopped in my early 20's. Fast forward 13 years and now I find myself drinking 2-3 times a week. Some days I will drink to feel emotionally close to her, man that sounds bad. She will be down and want to have a couple of drinks with me and watch tv. I feel so emotionally distant from her that its all I can do to be close. Now, I'm fed up with it and feel so much guilt for contributing to things. I really don't know what to do at this point and feel helpless. Thanks to all who read this!
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:20 AM
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Welcome griswold. We are glad that you have found us!

At three months into my marriage I knew that I had made a big mistake. I also should have known better but thought things would get better once he had a stable environment to live in. That was WRONG. My stable environment became crazy due to his alcoholism. I held on for over six years until I was a complete wreck. Now I have been divorced for a year and a half and I am so thankful that I finally got out. It was very hard to divorce someone that I loved but it was the best thing that I have ever done for myself.

AlAnon has helped me a lot. Please find a meeting in your area.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:20 AM
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hi griswold,

welcome here! i've found a lot of great advice and comfort here and i hope you do too.

your situation is almost identical to mine. except i have a AH. but when we got married, like you, i knew he drank. but i heard the old "i won't need to go to the bar every day if i had you in my life".....boy was i sacked! things only got worse from there. he finally got into an accident and realized he needed help. help only he could give to himself. i fought about day after day. and i did what you are doing, drank along with him just to feel some kind of connection. all it did was make us more disconnected. you need to find a way to disconnect from her and let her fall..... i know that sounds cruel but enabling her, like i did for 3 years, only makes things worse. especially for you. there is one big difference here.... we don't have kids. my daughter is all grown up. but she was little once and i know if it were the case now i would take here away from that situation......
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:26 AM
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Hi, and welcome,

Sorry you're having to deal with this stuff. We all totally get what you're dealing with.

My best suggestions, for starters, is to learn a few things about alcoholism--Two good reads are "Under the Influence"--You can read excerpts here, and AA's Big Book, an online version of which is here.

I think it's great you are planning to attend Al-Anon. You will get some good tools to help make your life calmer and better so you can make good decisions about your future, regardless of whether your wife chooses recovery.

Does she even seem to think she has a problem?
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:45 AM
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Welcome Griswold, sorry you had to find us but glad you did.

Ok, this is the third time I'm trying to post this on a wacky computer or am I in denial of my skills?

Anyway it seems that a lot of us had suspicions about our SO before we married them but love has a way of clouding the truth that stares us in the face. Be kind to yourself and go to Al-Anon and know what it is that your facing.

We're here for you.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:09 PM
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3 days prior to my marriage of my AH, he got his first OVI. I had known him for a year, but denied to myself that he was an alcoholic until he got his OVI. Silly me, I thought by setting the boundary that he either quit drinking and get help or I was not going through with marriage that things would resolve. However, it just led to him abusing pills and now steroids. I am involved in Al Anon and it does help tremendously. I also look at my situation and do thank my higher power b/c if it wasn't for this man, I would find another one that was also alcoholic/ addict... that has been my pattern. Maybe now, I am finally ready to acknowledge it and deal with it.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:10 PM
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Welcome to our SR family

Hope you are able to attending the Al-Anon meeting, keep posting here and also read the literature available to those affected by the disease of alcoholism

For me - that is what helped me to know what decisions where best to make for me!

Remember - You didn't cause, You can't control it and you can't cure it ~

It probably doesn't matter whether you drink with her or not - she and most all who suffer from the disease of alcoholism will find a way or an excuse to drink until they are ready to find a recovery program of their own.

PINK HUGS to you!
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:12 PM
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Welcome Griswold!

I too knew my AH had a drinking problem when we got married 7 years ago... I too thought it would get better when we got married, when we bought a house, when we had kids. Alcoholism is cunning and baffling... it's sneaky and deceptive... and it messes with everyone who comes into contact with it.

Stay or go - divorce or don't divorce... drink with them or don't drink with them...

there are sooo many decisions and questions that we are faced with when living with/loving an alcoholic. Al-anon helps me get to a stable healthy place where I can calmly face those questions and find answers. I'm glad you are going to give it a try - make sure you do it for the person that matters - YOU.

Please keep coming back!
Shannon
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:37 AM
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Wow, thank you all for the responses.

@LexieCat, yes she knows she has a problem and it isn't a recent one. I want to believe she is sincere when she says she wants to change but I'm so scared that the pattern will continue. She was very apologetic in her own way last night but we haven't spoke about any changes that will be happening.

The scariest part is removing myself from her emotionally and letting her fall. That seems like it needs to happen but it something I would hate to watch.

Thanks again for all the responses and I hope to still attend the meeting on Thursday.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:49 AM
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Welcome!
You're doing a good job.
You have a right to not like the behaviors.
You didn't cause her drinking. Nor can you cure it or control it.

Your anger can be helpful to instigate change in you.
Just know, ultimately, all you can do is make choices for you.

She wants to be who she wants to be.
You have a right to want what you want.
Those two things might be incompatible.

It IS hard to know they don't mean it and can't control it themselves!
I did a lot of, "It's my job to love him and support him through thick and thin!"
But, I was overlooking taking care of me.
He was not doing that in this regard. He was lying and hiding his drinking.
When I talked to him about it, he turned into a big jerk.
That's below my bottom line, regardless of anything else.
Then, I had to trust the universe that he would get taken care of if I wasn't doing it.
So, I started taking care of me!

First step, read a ton here.
Next, see if you can articulate what you are willing to accept and what is your bottom line.
If you then realize her behaviors are not acceptable (below the bottom line for you), how can you make choices to minimize her impacts on you?
How can avoid setting yourself up for situations where she negatively impacts you?
It may be you can't avoid the affects of her drinking, but one step at a time.
Share with us as much as you feel comfortable.

Also, check out Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.
All very helpful.

Welcome again,
fp
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by griswold View Post
The scariest part is removing myself from her emotionally and letting her fall. That seems like it needs to happen but it something I would hate to watch.
Hi, griswold. I'm new here myself, but I have gained a great deal of beneficial knowledge from reading the posts here. I finally decided that I needed Al-Anon seven years ago, in addition to my one-on-one counseling. For me, it was a lifesaver. It's not for everyone, but I'd suggest you look into meetings in your area and check it out. It may be a fit for you, and it may not.

What Al-Anon and counseling did for me was allow me to remove myself (detach) in a healthy way - or at least the healthiest I could at the time - from my exAH. I watched a lot of his insanity, acting-out, acting-up, and took my share of abuse. One of my ex's favorite things to say when I voiced my displeasure over his alcoholism was: "If you don't like it, LEAVE!"

I finally got strong enough to do just that, and to be honest with you I had seen so much I didn't have strong regrets when I left. I was concerned about what might happen to him, but I no longer got involved in trying to make matters better or make attempts to "fix" him. I left him in my HP's hands and got on with my life.

The people here have been through experiences similar to your's, and you will get support and understanding. I'm sorry you're going through this because it IS painful and confusing. However, there comes a time when we realize we have to step back from the A and allow them the dignity to make their own decisions as to whether or not they wish to get better.

Hang in there, and keep posting!
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:46 AM
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My head is spinning right now, I'm questioning a lot. I know she cares about me and loves me but are the ways she treats because of her highs and lows with alcohol?

What frustrates me is I think she thinks its a quick fix. She will stop drinking and everything will be fine. I don't think she understands the manipulation that has been going on in the relationship be each other to fulfill our own needs. It seems like I have to fight and claw for attention at times because she is so down on herself for "screwing up" again.

@FindingPeace1, I feel that way right now that I have stay with her through the good and bad. I have a lot of guilt for letting things get this far and feel like I should have said something a while ago.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:07 AM
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You just told my story...

...but I'm eleven years into it. It gets worse, not better.

I'm going to make some suggestions now based on what your situation looks like in the long term if you don't help yourself right away.

Find the closest Alanon meeting and start attending--immediately. Try at least six meetings, some different, before you decide if it will work for you or not. Don't let God talk or anything else dissuade you from trying at least six meetings. Even if you decide later to stop going, if you keep an open mind AND LISTEN what you will learn during the six meetings will, in my opinion, fundamentally change your life for the better.

Do a search for my posts here, as well as the posts of Shellcrusher and ZXR1000. We've all been where you are now.

Also, stop trying to control her behavior or have conversations with her about her drinking. It is a monumental waste of time and will just make things worse. You have children to protect, and also yourself.

You know now the mistake you made, you aren't sure how to handle it (and that's ok), and you know now you have to do something about it. Alanon and this website are where you are going to find your answers.

Keep coming here, keep going to Alanon, and I believe things will get better for you. What you want may not happen, but what you need will.

Take care my friend,

Cyranoak


Originally Posted by griswold View Post
Hello all,

Well I just got done getting into an argument with my AW; she could tell I was pissed, so I told her that I was fed up with things and I was attending an Al-Anon meeting on Thursday and no longer want alcohol in the house. I told her she has been selfish with her emotions and I couldn't stand the up and down emotions. She had the kids in the car and the conversation ended with her saying "if you are so unhappy with me why don't you leave?" Not sure what to do at this point, figured posting here would be a good start. And like many other people on here this wasn't our first argument about alcohol. Sometimes the arguments are not directly about alcohol but can be tied back to it in some way.

Ok, so for a little history. My AW and I have been married for three months and have 50/50 custody of our three kids, I have two from a previous marriage and she has one. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't know there was a problem before we got married but as I have heard others say on here I thought things would get better, I don't know why I was fooling myself. Too be honest these last three months have been extremely difficult and has brought me to the breaking point. When she is not drinking she is the best. However when she drinks all that goes out the window and its not just when she is drunk. She deals with a lot of guilt from drinking so she shuts herself off emotionally, that's the hardest part. Then she feels bad emotionally so she drinks bury the pain.

It seems like a lot of important events since we have got married have been marred one way or another by drinking, including are honeymoon. I'm not totally innocent in things either. Before we met I hardly drank. My dad had a drinking problem growing up and I saw signs in high school so I stopped in my early 20's. Fast forward 13 years and now I find myself drinking 2-3 times a week. Some days I will drink to feel emotionally close to her, man that sounds bad. She will be down and want to have a couple of drinks with me and watch tv. I feel so emotionally distant from her that its all I can do to be close. Now, I'm fed up with it and feel so much guilt for contributing to things. I really don't know what to do at this point and feel helpless. Thanks to all who read this!
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:19 AM
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Hi griswold,
As it's been said before, I'm sorry you found us but happy you did. You have an unbelievable team here to lean on. There's a good amount of men in the same shoes. There are many double winners here and their perspective is priceless.

Now that you're here, keep reading and writing. It does help. Sometimes the responses you'll get will be difficult but in time the fog will clear. I know it will.

There are a few things that have helped me tremendously.
1 - A few people have mentioned Al-Anon.
2 - The 3C's have been outlined. Learn them and own them. You didn't cause it. You can't control it. You can't cure it.
3 - A good book to read is Codependent No More - Melodie Beatty.
4 - Put yourself first. Your kids second.

Finally, take it easy on yourself. Feeling guilty about what happened 3 months ago won't do you any good. It's the shoulda, woulda, coulda game. We all play it and in a negative light, it does not help. I currently struggle with this myself. All you can do is take it day by day and do the next right thing.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:32 AM
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Boy howdy count me in on the camp who married the alcoholic thinking things would get better! They didn't.

You've already been given a lot of good suggestions, so with that, welcome to SR!
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:15 PM
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I had a ton of guilt, too.
To make matters worse, my AH got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes while we were married.
I knew that wouldn't change my support of him. Why should alcoholism?

But the piece I was missing was that I mattered.

A story that relates is a friend of mine (L) had a friend (C) that was diagnosed with cancer. C turned demanding and snappish. C would breeze through town, expect L to drop everything and take care of her, and C would drop off her cats, even if it was inconvenient - expecting L to take care of them, too.
My friend, L, started to feel VERY taken advantage of. But she felt horribly guilty at setting boundaries around someone so needy.

Finally, she realized she was getting treated like dirt.
And, ultimately, it didn't matter if C was the queen or dying of cancer or just a jerk. C was acting like a jerk and L didn't deserve it.

L was kind, but set boundaries with C about how she was willing to be treated (and how she wasn't!).

Same story with you. It doesn't matter why she is being a jerk sometimes. She has choices to heal.
YOUR job is to take care of YOU. What is and is not acceptable? What boundaries can you set so you are treated right?
You can love her and support her healing AND set boundaries while you do so.

p
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