Point out I know she's drunk?

Old 09-30-2011, 06:33 AM
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Point out I know she's drunk?

Hi all. A newbie here. Wow, life changes! Married 25 years almost. One question for now... My wife is in AA, acknowledges she has a bad problem. Like everyone else knows, when she's drinking, she denies it. Should I let her know when I can tell that she has been drinking? It usually ends up in a huge argument (followed by her apologizing the next day and admitting it). I know I can't fix the problem, only she can. But my children tell me every night they can tell she has been drinking, and so can I. Should we (or I) simply tell her it's obvious? She will of course deny it and say I'm not supporting her. I just don't want her to think I'm blind to it. I want her to know I'm aware, and leave it at that. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:05 AM
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Welcome wareagle.

I'm sorry you are going through what you are but you are in the right place to get help.

Her recovery is hers, just like her drinking. You didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it.

Please realize that you can not discuss anything with an active alcoholic. It just doesn't work. It doesn't matter if she knows that you know she is drinking or not. From my experience it's best to just drop that.

What really helped for me was starting Al-Anon and working my own recovery. I would strongly recommend Al-Anon for you and Al-Ateen for your children. Whether or not you realize it you have all been deeply affected by her drinking. My experience with Al-Anon is that it gave me the tools and support to manage my life and move from a place where I thought death was the only way it would ever end to being happy and content with my life.

Keep reading, you are not alone and there is tons of experience strength and hope to be found here.

Your friend,
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:42 AM
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Hi! I struggle with this too. Background: married 30 years to closet drinker AH (he was not always this way). He tried to detox, got hospitalized and immediately relapsed on release and continues being a closet drinker, but on a much lower level than pre-detox.

Occasionally, not often and not in a "please quit" kind of way, we discuss his drinking and I am amazed at what is his "reality" as opposed to mine. He even at one point said he wasn't hospitalized because of trying cold turkey detox, but because of a concussion he suffered when he had fallen the night before and that he is not an alcoholic. He also, at times, thinks because he works etc. and only drinks after he gets home, gets quiet and goes to bed that he is less of an alcoholic than some of the people he sees at his weekly group who lose jobs, fight and suffer great consequences. He also thinks no one knows he drinks. Most of us who know he is an alcoholic know when he is drinking (some are still fooled).

He also believes he's doing it only to himself, no one else knows, and no one else suffers any consequences. In some respects I am grateful that there is so little drama and wild scenes, but his drinking is upsetting, and expensive.

Every now and then (months apart) I do make a comment to let him know that he is not fooling us. Something like "you have time for your drink, supper is in 10 minutes". He acts surprised and offended and I'll respond "well, you drink each night when you get home." Not a question. Just a statement of the facts. Not accusing or judgmental. Not baiting.

I don't know why I do it. I guess I just want him to know it does affect us. While I think I've gotten pretty successful in detaching and I've lost the rage and bitterness I had pre-Alanon, I guess I start to feel I am condoning it if I NEVER mention it.

Progress, not perfection, I guess?
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:57 AM
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You are right, only she can fix it. Like yourself married for 20+ years. H just finished 28 day program after years of drinking. I can't tell you how many tears and screaming matches over the years we have had. By the grace of God he didn't get DUI. Alanon helped me when I started going earlier this year. My most valuable lesson was loving detachment. I let things take their own course and he realized after a crisis involving a trip to a hospital and a BAC where he should have died, he agreed to an in house program. If I would have called into work for him giving excuses as to why he didn't show nothing would have happened and things would have gone on the way they were. But instead NOT calling made him make his own decision. (I told him after he was in the program that if he hadn't admitted himself I would have ended our marriage and moved away with our daughter.)

Quit focusing on her and focus on you and your children. Live your lives without her. If she wants to be a part of the family let her know that she has to be sober. Don't let her drive, of course and let her know why. And then leave it at that. Walk away. No arguments.

Keep coming back to this forum too and talk to us. We listen.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:49 AM
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Living with an actively drinking alcoholic is its own kind of hell. With the risk of sounding like a cult member trying to get you to join, I second the "go to Al-Anon" advice.

For me, going to Al-Anon and working on my own recovery was sort of like assembling a tool box that allowed me to built a life raft that kept me afloat while I was in the marriage, and a paddle to paddle for dear life when I left... Meaning there are no easy solutions. It takes work. But the strength and knowledge you can build will serve you well, whatever choices your wife makes.

Good to have you here!!!
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