Not sure what the right thing is to do here

Old 10-28-2011, 08:05 PM
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Not sure what the right thing is to do here

RAH just started going to meetings reguarly. I am really happy and support these. The problem is he goes with one of his old drinking buddies and hangs out before and after the meetings. I work full time so I never see him in the evenings. It is really making me mad and I did not say anything until tonight. We had plans to go to the football game (we always go as a family) and he informed me that he was not going because he was going to AA and then hang out with his friend, after because he understands. Of course I was like wtf, and I said I understand you going to the meetings and support that but is it necessary that you hang out with your friend before and after the meetings. I got this crap about he had to have him to talk to because he was the only one that understands what he is going through and I don't because I am not an alcoholic. We have kids that I am picking up the slack because he is not here. My dd even said something about him wanting to spend all his time with his friend. He of course seems to think it is ok, after all if they were not sober together they would be drinking right? Does getting sober initially give you a free pass that you can just ignore your family and responsibilities? Am I out of line here?
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:54 PM
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You are not out of line. It's good that hes going to meetings but some alcoholics begin to use AA and meetings as another escape. Balancing AA with his normal everyday life is the key.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:13 PM
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What I didn't realize prior to my wife going into rehab was that people actually die from alcoholism. I mean, I kind of did, but it was all very abstract and impersonal. Until I saw the cups on the wall at the Rehab Center, of the people who'd left the program and died that year. Until one of the young girls that went through rehab with my wife relapsed and died. Until I finally realized how weak and frail my wife really was when she went into detox. Then I started to understand that battling alcoholism is a life and death struggle.
I get it that life goes on for the rest of when an alcoholic is struggling for recovery. And I get it that it seems kind of unfair that the people we spent so much time and energy supporting while they were drinking seem to still be getting a free ride after they finally stop drinking. But it really is a life and death struggle.
I can't imagine telling my buddy with prostate cancer that he ought to skip a radiation treatment so he could spend more time with his family. It just wouldn't occur to me. But somehow we don't see alcoholism that way.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:44 PM
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Hi mum22cuties

I got no experience but I wanted to send you ((hugs))
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:52 PM
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Think long term if you really want to stay with this man. Do you really want him to skip a meeting when he feels like he needs one? It sounds to me like you are endangering his recovery.

My advice is to backoff and take what you get for at least a year, and maybe longer. If what you get isn't enough then you need to make a change.

My two cents is that at this point you are out of line.


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Old 10-29-2011, 12:47 AM
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I have been on both sides of this coin.

I drank for 24 years and 22 of it alcoholically. I found sobriety at 36 years old. At 3 years sober my AA sponsor STRONGLY suggested that I also start going to Alanon (I was married to a sober alcoholic) and get an Alanon sponsor too.

I can tell you that my first year of recovery was another form of the he!! I had been in while drinking. I went to work, I came home, and immediately after eating something headed for an AA meeting, and went to the 'meeting after the meeting' in a coffee shop, arriving home somewhere between midnight and 1am and going to bed and doing it all over again the next day.

My head was full of mush, doing my job took an awful lot out of me, as I constantly had to 'double check' myself. My emotions were all over the place, I didn't know if I was coming or going, but ...................................... when I was with the folks in AA there was some semblance of calmness that would come over me, and somehow it would help get me started for the NEXT day. A bit past my first anniversary sober and clean I started to feel some days, like I was going to be able to make it. Until then I always had that 'nagging' feeling if I missed a meeting or talking with AA folks I just might pick up again.

Now for my other side. My 'sober' husband, decided to change is addiction to gambling and started exhibiting all the same characteristics of his drinking days. Alanon was a big help for me, and gave me a whole different perspective on the 12 steps. Alanon taught me how to set my personal boundaries, how to act and react with other human beings, not just A's.

I still attend both, however, Alanon now more than AA, as I still have problems once in a while with my co dependency rearing its head and one more time I want to 'fix' someone, lol

I would suggest that you get a copy of Melodie Beatties "Co Dependent No More" and try some Alanon and/or some personal counseling for YOU.

I do understand you have needs, you want his help, his inclusion in the family. After all you put up with his 'drinking' and now he should help out. However, please remember he didn't become an alcoholic overnight and he won't become a productive member of society and an integral part of the family overnight.

As he is fairly new to recovery, based on what you wrote, you might be better sitting back and watching his ACTIONS and not listen to his words. That is what will show you if he is serious about recovery. Has he gotten a sponsor yet? Does he meet with and call his sponsor? Is this his first attempt?

Read all the 'stickys' at the top of this forum. Read some of the threads that are ongoing. You will see similarities from different folks that have gone through the same things with their A and that you have probably gone through with yours.

There are many more that have attempt after attempt at getting sober and clean, than those of us who have stayed sober and clean for any length of time. Recovery is far from easy.

Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing as we do care very much.

Love and hugs,
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:44 AM
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I appreciate the point that laurie makes about it taking time, that he didn't become an alcoholic overnight so the healing process will take a while too. It might take some adjustment of how much free time he's going to have.

BUT it's not cool for him to decide he doesn't have to co-parent anymore, and to just expect you to pick up the slack because you're the wife (it's a surprisingly easy trap to fall into).

You might like to approach this not as an A issue, but as a "both parents are super busy so how to we manage child-wrangling" issue. Just like those couples in which one has an uber-demanding job and the other is finishing law school, or whatever. It's not anyone's fault--in fact you're both working towards a good future--but in the interim you've got to work out a plan.

Sit down and plan out your days: What are your job hours? Any flex time or work-at-home possibilities? And then look at the kid-related duties: school run, making lunches, making dinner, bath-book-bed, rides to various activities, etc. (You get some evenings to yourself too of course.) Just be nerds and work out a whole schedule and write it down. It seems really anal but it's what successful families do when they have to.

If he's down with that, great. If he's like, "Yeah no, you can do all that," then hmm...
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