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How do you not blame yourself?

Old 10-20-2011, 11:49 AM
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How do you not blame yourself?

Just wondering...many times I find myself blaming me for his drinking. Like, if I was prettier he wouldn't have to drink, or if I were skinnier he wouldn't have to drink. Would he treat some other woman the way he treats me? Would he have to get liquored up to spend time with them?

Sometimes I feel like I am holding him back from the life he really wants which is partying like a rock star. I married him , gave him 2 kids, made him settle down and buy this nice house we live in.....I don't know..I guess I'm just feeling really down today...
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:07 PM
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Caligirl71, maybe you can ask that same question of him. Should he blame himself you have given him yourself, 2 kids, and a nice house so why are you so unhappy and posting on SR?
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:37 PM
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His drinking has nothing to do with you, it is all him, his problem. Are you attending Alanon meetings? If not, I would suggest that you do so.

I would also suggest that you go to the library and check out some books on self-esteem.

He could be with the most beautiful girl in the world and he would still drink. You do not have the power to make him drink or make him seek recovery, don't blame yourself for something that is out of your control.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:59 PM
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When I was first married, a series of events would occur where I might say or do something "upsetting" that would result in theatrics and waterworks, and send my wife crashing into a binge, and and I would think "if I just hadn't..., everything would be normal now" and things wouldn't have descended into a downward spiral that ended with a binge. I came to realize over time though that as long as she was an active alcoholic, it really had nothing to do with me. As long as she was actively drinking, this kind of behavior was around the corner at any point in time and any reason given is merely an excuse.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:24 PM
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Hi Caligirl, I'm sorry to hear that you are doubting yourself. I know that pain well.

I avoid guilt by convincing myself that it is not my fault.

Interestingly, no one else in my life drinks because of how much I weigh.
No one else in my life drinks because I'm not "pretty enough".
No one else in my life drinks becasue I don't keep the house clean enough.

Nothing I can do or not do, be or not be is going to have any influence on any alcoholic. I do believe that I'm nowhere near that powerful.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:28 PM
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To answer your question... "How do you not blame yourself?"

Well for me, the self-blame stopped when I educated myself on the disease and began working an Al-anon recovery program to help me manage my codependent thinking. Before all that, yes, I took it personally. I thought that I had some ability to help my AH "straighten up and fly right!" I thought that if I was pretty enough, smart enough, stopped working (I used to make more money than him), kept a clean house, was accomodating... if I was perfect, then we wouldn't have all those "problems."

As other have pointed out, and as I've learned in my recovery... I have no control over my AH, or his drinking. It's not my fault. Wow. I'm a GOOD person. I'm worthy of love and respect. My AH is a person with a disease - and is uncapable of giving me those things that I need/deserve.

Thanks for letting me share,
Shannon
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:08 PM
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oh yeah...been there.

I can usually turn it around ...but then I get really angry.
At him...at me.

I let my life become this way. I let this happen to my kids. and then I go back to anger toward him... it's a vicious circle that I'm having a hard time with.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:22 PM
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The self blame is a hard one. Because I know as much as I blamed myself silently or thought like you that if I were just x, y, z then he'd stop drinking or treat me better... AH helped with that thinking by telling me, quite forcefully and believably that all that blame was well deserved.

Like GettingBy said, once I started to educate myself about the disease and what it did to the whole family-- no just AH, I was able to start lessening the blame I heaped on myself.

I'll forwarn you though. The more I detached and didn't accept/believe/take on the blame that AH tried to heap on me, the harder he tried and the nastier he got. So, beware.

You are not to blame. Not at all. But I know what it's like to be where you are and believe that you might hold the key somehow to be able to make things better. The only key you hold is the one to unchain yourself from his disease and focus on you. It took me far too long to get to the point of "getting" that...
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:32 PM
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this is how we AL ANONERS play the blame game....

the 3C's
we did not cause this
we can not control this
and there is NO CURE...

this is how we do it....under our breath a million times a day....plus keep going to
AL ANON MEETINGs...so much wisdom in those four walls....
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:35 PM
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Why would I blame myself for someone elses addiction? If it was your fault he drank because you think you're not whatever enough, then wouldn't everyone in your life drink? They drink because they are addicted to alcohol. Once they get help for that, and stick with it, they won't drink anymore and it won't matter if you lose weight, get a face lift or a boob job or whatever else.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:44 PM
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^^^ teehee, BOOB JOB....
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:19 PM
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I went through that for a LONG time with my first XABF - constantly tried different things to make him happy, not get drunk, etc. and ended up drinking WITH him to put up with him or shut him up.

It took me becoming an addict, myself, to realize that I would find any reason to use. Sun shining - use, raining - use, bad day - use, good day - use. Though I would blame my XABF (#3 by then) for using, it was simply my choice.

I still have tinges of guilt for someone's actions or reactions, but the more I work my codie recovery, the rarer those times come. You could be a top-billing runway model, and he'd still find a reason to drink..probably because you'd be getting more attention than him. We A's can find ANY reason to use. It still comes down to that's what we want to do, damned the consequences.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:53 PM
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I needed this post today. Just thanks.

I do this with conversations/situations. If I do it just perfectly maybe someone will react "okay." When they don't I blame myself. It was kind of talked about in my meeting this morning, and this really clarified what I needed to hear.
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:26 AM
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Thank you for all the replies. I feel so much better. I know I'm a good person and he should feel lucky to have me. I just get so insecure sometimes and nobody understands or can relate! This board is fabulous and a real life-saver.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:41 AM
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George Best, possibly the best footballer that ever lived, handsome, charming, always with beautiful women- died a hopeless alcoholic, even after a liver transplant I don't think he could give up.
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:26 AM
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You didn't cause it.
You can't control it.
You can't cure it.

You are not at fault. You are not responsible. He is walking his own path.

My AH had all sorts of excuses for drinking, none of which had to do with me or reality. "I drink because of your damn horses" was one. Or, "I drink because I'm under a lot of stress to provide for this family" was another. The best one was "I drink because I'm worried about money and how we'll make ends meet!" This excuse was spoken many times in the same year he pulled down over a million dollars in income.

He drinks because he drinks. A hot, skinny wife, cute kids, a great house and good health cannot make him want to stop. Only he can do this for himself.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:09 PM
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Hi Caligirl...

I'm a 46 year old man with a teenage daughter, and an alcoholic wife who spent most of the last 11 years drunk. I'll share my views with you.

First, he is 100 percent responsible for his drinking. When alcoholics blame others for their drinking it's something we call gas lighting. It's also denial. It's also ********. If you were skinnier he'd still drink, he will treat other women the same way he treats you (once they are unlucky enough to connect with him-- he'll be a prince until then), and yes he'll liquor up, but because he's an alcoholic, not because that's what it takes to spend time with them.

He is holding him back from the life he really wants, not you and not ever. He's a grown man for God's sake! You are not his mother!

Also important is that you didn't make him buy a house and you didn't make him settle down. He chose to-- you don't have that kind of power and neither do I. I used to think that way too, and it was just as bad for me as it is for you.

Lastly, and more important that anything else I've said is this-- YOU DID NOT "GIVE" HIM HIS CHILDREN. You had children together, they are not possessions to give and take, and they absolutely are pure victims in this whole situation. What he's doing to them is unconscionable, and please research and read threads here about what this disease does to children, what alcoholics do to children, and what the spouses of alcoholics (me and you) do to children.

Don't make the same mistakes I did. Go to Alanon, at least six meetings, and you'll find tools to protect your children and yourself. Your adult husband is on his own, and whatever happens to him is 100 percent his fault.

Take care,

Cyranoak


Originally Posted by caligirl71 View Post
Just wondering...many times I find myself blaming me for his drinking. Like, if I was prettier he wouldn't have to drink, or if I were skinnier he wouldn't have to drink. Would he treat some other woman the way he treats me? Would he have to get liquored up to spend time with them?

Sometimes I feel like I am holding him back from the life he really wants which is partying like a rock star. I married him , gave him 2 kids, made him settle down and buy this nice house we live in.....I don't know..I guess I'm just feeling really down today...
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:34 PM
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Cryanoak,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post! I appreciate it more than you know.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:57 PM
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alcoholism is a disease. you wouldnt be able to control his disease if he had cancer, so it's not fair to expect that you can control the alcoholism.
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