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Limited drinking - does this ever work?

Old 06-23-2011, 07:08 PM
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Been there done that... didn't work for my ex. Tried the "no booze, just beer" and "only on the weekends" and "only two beers after work". Failed, failed, failed.

Letting alcohol win, what a horrible defeat. That's a new one for me, I've never heard that excuse before. "I'll show you, you bottle of vodka...you can't beat me". That makes me sad, that he even said that out loud.

I'm so glad you have alanon, keep on keepin on!
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:58 PM
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Thank you all for your great insight and opinions! Very helpful for me.

Originally Posted by ANEWAUGUST View Post
Is this an isolated incident?
The one episode I mentioned that happened two weeks ago? No, definitely not isolated. One of many. It was just the incident where I finally said that I was sick of how things were going and SOMETHING had to change.

Originally Posted by ANEWAUGUST View Post
Has his drinking caused other problems in your marriage?
Yes, definitely! In our marriage and in many aspects of our lives.

Originally Posted by ANEWAUGUST View Post
How do you feel about his promise? You live with him, as he ever made this promise, or one similar before, yet not been able to keep it?
I want to believe that he can keep this promise but I'm also not going to let myself be disappointed when/if he fails. He has made similar promises before but he always just announced it randomly, without any prompting from me. The others have always been like, "I think I'll slow down a little and only drink [whatever his new "rule" is]." When he's failed those times, I didn't really care because I wasn't ever a part of the promise making and didn't have any investment in it. This is the first promise he's made TO me, because of me saying "I'VE HAD ENOUGH!"

Originally Posted by ANEWAUGUST View Post
Wether or not he is an alcoholic really isn't the issue. How you feel about his drinking and how it affects you is.
Yeah. After one argument/discussion about his alcohol use a few months ago, I eventually said that I didn't care if he wanted to call himself an alcoholic or not. The bottom line is that there's a problem. You can label it (or not) whatever you like but regardless of the label, there's a problem going on. And that's when I started going to Al-Anon!

Thanks again, everyone. I'll keep coming back.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by lem0nade View Post
...but I wonder if there is a "type" of recovery that allows for once-a-week drinking? Or am I just being optimistic here? Thank you!
That type of recovery is called denial. The other six days of the week are called slips.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by NYCDoglvr View Post
A real alcoholic can't limit their intake. We say we're powerless over alcohol (step one). That means once I pick up a drink I have no control over what happens ... if I have one or 50, go into a blackout, get into a car and kill someone. Non alcoholics can decide they're going to have one or two drinks and have no problem with stopping. Not alcoholics. (I'm a alcoholic in my 20th year of recovery, that's how I know this stuff)

Also, alcoholism is a progressive disease ... this isn't going to get better.

Love his excuse
Interesting. If I may elaborate a bit from a scientific/medical viewpoint, rather than the 12 step doctrine, which incidentally I respect greatly.

Theoretically, if a persons alcoholism is secondary to unresolved emotional, psychological issues, and if those issues are resolved (usually via therapy) it may be possible to drink in moderation like a normal social drinker. Of course even some of those may have already developed the physiologic addiction also of which the re-introduction of alcohol could potentially set off again.
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:41 AM
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Steve, I understand your logic from a pure theoretical vacuum of a laboratory environment, but if you have ever been addicted to a substance before I doubt you would vigorously defend that line of reasoning. Just a guess.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:25 AM
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Lem0nade,

v[QUOTEThe one episode I mentioned that happened two weeks ago? No, definitely not isolated. One of many. It was just the incident where I finally said that I was sick of how things were going and SOMETHING had to change.
[/QUOTE]

This is the point where I got stuck for a long time. I keep insisting that what had to change was my AW. I didn't start healing until I realized that what had to change was me. It was the only thing that I had control over.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:27 AM
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My exah used to say the same thing (i.e. he'd 'control' his drinking better).

Didn't work. Not at all.

Alcoholism is a progressive DISEASE. It doesn't have anything to do with 'will power'.

Have you gone to al anon meetings yet? I think you'd find them VERY helpful.

I'm glad you posted! Keep coming back!!
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:19 AM
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Jazzman,

Say a person is using alcohol to mask and alleviate emotional pain and the underlying issues can be remedied. I understand a great deal about addiction, perhaps too much.

Regards
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by steve11694 View Post
Jazzman,

Say a person is using alcohol to mask and alleviate emotional pain and the underlying issues can be remedied. I understand a great deal about addiction, perhaps too much.

Regards
What I'm suggesting is that once an addiction takes hold, the underlying cause (if applicable) becomes a mute point. A great many recovering addicts will tell you they are only one drink, puff, hit, (etc) away from from full blown addiction again.

Here's an example, I was addicted to nicotine. I quit three times. The first two times I went for several months, thought I had it licked and figured what the hell I'll just buy one pack if cigarettes... then boom! The last time I quit was three years ago and I know I'm only one puff away from full blown addiction.

In this example I had no underlying reason for starting smoking, I became addicted to a highly addictive drug. This is the point I'm trying to make. An underlying condition is not a requirement to develop an addiction. Surely it DOES happen, but it doesn't have to.
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:49 AM
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Have to agree with Jazzman. I haven't had a dip of snuff for almost 14 years but I still get cravings. Especially with weeks like the one I have been having.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by steve11694 View Post
Jazzman,

Say a person is using alcohol to mask and alleviate emotional pain and the underlying issues can be remedied. I understand a great deal about addiction, perhaps too much.

Regards
Steve, I understand your point in that specific scenario. I know what you have lost to addiction and I meant no disrespect. Please accept my apology.

Scott
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:53 PM
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Mine swore he was ... meanwhile he drank from a 12-pack in a suitcase after everyone else went to bed. He was adamant that he was doing controlled drinking. I just recently called him out on it and he says he didn't do that. FINALLY he admitted it when I wouldn't drop it.

So it was controlled drinking in front of us. I'll give him that.
The denial runs deeeeeeeep!!
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:48 PM
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Just because you'v sufferred as a result of an addiction, or loving somebody who has an addiction, doesn't mean you can't be dead nuts wrong about something.

THERE IS NO MODERATION. The OP, God Bless Her, is in a world of hurt and we all know it. Her guy is completely out of it, and he uttered what may be the biggest quack I've ever heard-- he had to keep drinking or alcohol wins? OMFG!!! Winner!!!

Lemonade, please try a few Alanon meetings and see what you think. Things are just going to get worse with your husband, IMHO, and I think you already know that. What I don't think you know, and I sure didn't before Alanon, is what to do, how to handle it, and how to handle your emotions around it. If what I just said is true, please go to Alanon, counseling, or both.

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Old 07-04-2011, 11:44 AM
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Well, I thought I should update on this. My AH had agreed to drink on one weekend day only (either Friday or Saturday) and to keep it to wine only. He kept that promise for about a week.

And then this past Thursday, he said he wanted to drink on Thursday night instead of a weekend night so he drank wine on Thursday night. And then he drank wine again on Friday. And then I caught him drinking wine at 6AM Saturday morning. And then he drank more wine Saturday night.

Today, Monday, is 4th of July and we're going to a big BBQ where there will be a variety of alcoholic beverage, including hard alcohol and beer. He told me that since it's a holiday, he plans to drink but "will keep it under control". Quack, quack, quack...

Now I need to figure out my boundaries and what I need to do next. To top this all off, I was about to head out with the kids to do a weekly grocery shopping trip for our family yesterday and he stopped me at the door and said I couldn't go to the store because our bank account is in the negative. He's unemployed, and I don't work because I stay home with our kids. He doesn't have a plan about what to do next other than "keep looking for a job". So now we just have no money. If nothing else, I guess not having any money might keep him from drinking after today since you can't buy alcohol with Monopoly money...
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:52 AM
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Wow, what a way to live. It looks like one of you needs to get a job and if he won't, then it's up to you. Does he get unemployment? Do you have any expectation of money coming in anytime soon?
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
It looks like one of you needs to get a job and if he won't, then it's up to you. Does he get unemployment? Do you have any expectation of money coming in anytime soon?
That's where I'm really stuck. The amount of money I could make with my experience would just barely pay for the daycare costs for our kids. We'd still be at zero after I paid for their daycare. I do not trust leaving the kids home all day with AH. He should get unemployment but he's neglected to complete the paperwork correctly. He said yesterday that he finally finished it and so I think the payments should start in a week or two (assuming he truly did finish the paperwork). Other than that, no income unless someone here gets a job.

Originally Posted by jds0401 View Post
One thing I did when he was actively drinking was got a separate bank account (I still have one) in my name only...I also told him to get a separate one, my bills will never be an issue now, his bills are his problem.
I do have a separate account but it's empty. Since I stay home with our kids, I have no income. When AH was working, I tried to get him to let me take over paying bills since he could never manage to pay them on time but he refused to let me do it. So I have the problem of him not letting me have control of the money, even if we had money to pay the bills. I think he won't let me have access because he's afraid of me seeing how much money he actually spends on alcohol...
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:07 PM
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It hasn't worked for my AW. Last time we had a confrontation about it, our daughter started bargaining with her. I knew that was a waste of time (AW was still tipsy at the time), but I stayed out of it. AW promised to only drink when one of us was there with her, and only one drink.

The next morning, she was sober but all defensive. She said that if we were going to be "that way" about it, she'd just quit.

Well, that lasted about a week. Every time we confront her about her drinking, she denies that it's a problem and swears that she can control it. She seems able to abstain for periods of time... a few days, a couple of weeks... but she always winds up comatose drunk again.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:08 PM
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He should get unemployment but he's neglected to complete the paperwork correctly. He said yesterday that he finally finished it and so I think the payments should start in a week or two (assuming he truly did finish the paperwork). Other than that, no income unless someone here gets a job.

What happens between now and then? How will you guys eat? Sometimes it can take up to three or four weeks for unemployment checks start coming in (assuming he truly did finish the paperwork). What if he didn't finish it?

Do you have family around? Could they watch the kids while you work? Could you and the kids move in with family while you look for work? Something has to give. You have children and the most important thing is their welfare.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:19 PM
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Theoretically, if a persons alcoholism is secondary to unresolved emotional, psychological issues, and if those issues are resolved (usually via therapy) it may be possible to drink in moderation like a normal social drinker. Of course even some of those may have already developed the physiologic addiction also of which the re-introduction of alcohol could potentially set off again.
No, the disease doesn't work that way. Using alcohol/drugs over time changes the brain permanently ... you can't turn a pickle back into a cucumber, lol. The brain sees the substance as something necessary for survival, despite catastrophic consequences. That's the obsession part. In 20 years and thousands of alcoholics I've never heard of any alcoholic turning back into a normal drinker. Even after all this time, therapy, creating a terrific life, I still think like an alcoholic/addict ... the longer I go between meetings the crazier I feel (although I do know alcoholics who have been sober many years and haven't been to a meetings in 15 years.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
What happens between now and then? How will you guys eat? Sometimes it can take up to three or four weeks for unemployment checks start coming in (assuming he truly did finish the paperwork). What if he didn't finish it?

Do you have family around? Could they watch the kids while you work? Could you and the kids move in with family while you look for work? Something has to give. You have children and the most important thing is their welfare.
We have enough food in the house to make it through for now, plus my parents have offered to take me grocery shopping if necessary. My parents do live locally but both work full time during the day so they can't watch the kids (unless I worked a night job but then if I had kids during the day and worked during the night, I'm not sure when I would sleep). Taking the kids and staying with them is an option and they have said we are welcome there, but it's just a matter of me deciding that that's a step I'm ready to take. Much easier said than done right now.
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