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Another year, another promise....

Old 12-28-2011, 04:13 PM
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Another year, another promise....

Ladies & gentlemen, I am in need of some serious advice. I cannot believe that I am entering yet another year with my alcoholic husband. I don't want to bore you all with the multiple reasons that I have stayed or the same amount of reasons I have continued to believe that he will want to get better. It is going on 28 years now. What have I done? How have I allowed myself to be, not only an enabler, but codependent as well.
I am not naive. I have known that my husband is an alcoholic for YEARS now. Always holding onto that dream that he will cowboy up and admit himself into a rehab program. This mistress of his is a seductive b*tch. Constantly whispering sweet nothings in his ear, holding him tightly to her wretched bosom. I can't compete with this liquid lover of his and I am exhausted from always trying.

Big slap in the face happened over the Christmas weekend. Both our children were home (both are over 21). My son was home from the USAF and my daughter has been living with us while her fiance is deployed. My children were upfront and honest about their dad. My daughter doesn't want to introduce her father to her fiance's parents because of his drinking. My son avoids coming home because of his father's drinking. The only reason they are around as much as they are is because they love and respect me. Is this what I am going to subject our grandchildren to?

So here is where your advice comes in. How do I leave? There is no reason for me to stay, so therefore that is NOT an option. We are past that. Guilt has stopped me uber millions of times before from leaving. How do I go? How do I pack my bags, brush off the dirt from this crummy existence and leave?
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:54 PM
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Can you go to a parent's place or a friend's? Talk to him (without malice) and calmly explain to him that you can no longer be a part of his addiction. If he wants to stay together, he needs to make an honest and sincere effort. You're afraid that you're a part of his problem and you can't nurture y'all relationship if you can't take care of yourself. It's like what all the family members say on Intervention. "I love you but your addiction has effected me negatively in the following ways..." you don't really need to tell him how it's effected him. He already knows that. Since your children are grown, maybe they'll participate as well. He must realize that there are consequences. Don't say anything you don't plan on following through with. Be honest with yourself as well. Are you really willing to leave? Do you really want to cut off all ties with him? You must do whhat is right and healthy for you because if you are hurting and worrying all the time and in pain, how can you support him. There is no easy answer to this and it's a terribly hard thing to do. Has he gone to rehab? Is he willing to go (first time or again)? Will he go to meetings? Get a sponsor? You've been fighting this battle for years. It's time he joined it.

(I watch way too much Intervention!)
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:37 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to respond. All advice is helpful. Even if I walk away with just a bit more insight than I had.
My parents are deceased. I have three dogs and a cat. I know from past history that they would not be taken care of if I left them here. My best friend lives two doors down so that would be weird. Not to mention that my daughter is living here. I could never leave her here alone. Therefore, she would have to go with me.
He has made sincere efforts before. More than I care to count or remember. He has absolutely no intention, or interest, in ever seeking treatment. He will never ask anyone for help. The last time it got ugly here, I begged him to see a therapist/counselor. He said I could be his counselor. I drew the line with that. I don't want to sever all ties with him. But am I willing to leave? Yes. Just terrified to do it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:24 PM
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I don't know...I guess for what it's worth..My wife of 17 years leaving me was just one more thing I needed to finally give up and seek help...It took me another six years...A few more people to hurt...A little more to lose...To finally end up where I am....A greatful member of AA.....Nothing happens in God's world by mistake. It took me every drink that I ever had to get me where I need to be. I wish you nothing but the best in whatever decision you make....And I hope he gets help.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:44 PM
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Welcome Nothinzez.
I can sympathize with both of you. Him, for an addiction that is so hard to stop unless the motivation is there -and for you, to think of packing up and leaving. I understand.
I was the drinker, yet, I was the one to leave. We were only married 10 years but he was much older and I always felt 'beneath'. Well, there were alot of reasonings and problems -not just the drinking. Although that didn't help it at all. But I drank when we met. He stuck by me although he 'suggested' I get help. I didn't need help. I was NOT an alcoholic.
We finally amicabley decided I would leave. He gave me some money and I found a house to rent. How did I do it? Packed up, dusted myself off and got in my car and drove away.
We were out west...I was lonely for my family, my eldest son and grandson and my brother and nephews. We didn't have holiday get togethers for 7 years although I did drive 1400 miles to see my family -it's not the same.
Sooo...I did it again...rented a UHaul, packed my crap and the dog and my rabbit and headed 1400 miles east. Got myself an apartment, a job, and here I am. 11 months sober today.
I quit about 5 months after I moved out. My life was becoming unmanagable and I had no choice. After 30 years of booze -it was time. Hit rehab, AA and taking one day at a time.
You have a choice...stay with him until he decides to quit -or leave. Maybe leaving will jolt his memory of why you married in the first place.
He has alot of issues to deal with drinking for so long and I can't imagine his health is great either. But at this point, and feeling the way you do, it sounds like you need to escape.
I understand how the kids feel...it may be hard on them knowing you split but maybe then situations can be dealt with and feelings felt and they most likely have their own issues formed by Dad's drinking that hasn't been dealt with.
Ultimately, like his choice to quit...the leaving is up to you!
Wishing you peace an strength.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:50 PM
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Try going to Al Anon. They have lots of experience to share.
Meeting List
Welcome to Virginia Al-Anon!

Try reading Codependent No More (I think that's the book).

Hugs,
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:55 PM
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It is terrifying. A major life change. Even staying two doors down is better than staying at home. He has to seek treatment. Not to generalize men, but many men feel that seeking professional help is a sign of weakness. That they're "crazy." Tell him that millions of people seek professional help. Successful doctors, lawyers, CEOs, etc. It's a strong, confident and smart man that realizes that he needs help and can't fight this illness alone. If he was diagnosed with cancer would he refuse radiation or chemo? If he broke his leg would he deny himself a cast and crutches? Alcoholism is the same thing. It's a DISEASE! It needs treatment! Doing it on his own obviously isn't working. Insainity is doinf the same thing over and over, expecting different results. He's sane if he gets help and crazy if he dosen't.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:40 PM
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Hi and welcome NothinsEZ

I recommend also posting in our Family and Friends forums - there's a lot of support down there too from people who've been there in your situation.

I actually meant to move you there but I must have gone into auto pilot - my apologies

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ily-alcoholics

let me know if you'd like me to move you again
D
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:56 PM
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It's kind of funny and yet pitiful that my husband detects when I am really distancing myself from him. He makes extra efforts only in the areas that mean absolutely nothing anymore. I mean, really? At this point I couldn't care less if I get that token goodbye kiss in the morning. That has been the extent of our physical contact for at least six plus months.
I have been to AA meetings for family & friends of addicts. I didn't get that much from the meetings, however, I did receive a tremendous amount of spiritual support from the online meetings. But this healing is my path. My husband has never, nor will he ever, consider seeking help. He refuses to open himself up to anyone. Going outside our home and bearing his soul to a stranger would be unthinkable to him. Besides, he doesn't have a drinking problem and therefore doesn't need help. Right? Haven't we all heard this before?
Dee74 - since I am new to this forum, please move me to where you think is best.

I appreciate all of the help and support being offered here tonight.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:02 PM
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Moved you from Newcomers

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Old 12-29-2011, 01:07 AM
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But am I willing to leave? Yes. Just terrified to do it.

Having courage doesn't mean not being afraid - the word comes from the old french word for "heart." Listen to your heart. You can choose joy and peace for you and your children and future grandchildren! Not easy but worth it.

Make a little plan. Stick to the plan. One day at a time.

Peace-
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:36 AM
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For me it was very clear when it was time to leave. It was when the pain of staying was greater than the pain of leaving. Took me 36 years with my AW before I left. When the time is right then the time is right.

Your friend,
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:38 AM
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I left despite the fear and the guilt. I was stuck because I thought when the time was right, if the decision was right, I would not feel the fear or guilt. That was not true for me. I had to walk through those feelings.

I had hit a bottom. I felt that my sanity and ability to parent depended on. I wasn't even sure that was enough but I knew I had to do something to get out of the situation I was in.

If you can see a counselor that specializes in addictions you would be giving yourself a gift. I think my departure would have been much easier had I done that first. I also used SR to great advantage.

Just do the next right thing. You don't have to have the entire plan set in stone and all mapped out. Have a goal and the next two or three steps identified to reaching that goal. Be determined. Keep crossing off the small things and add another and you will reach your goal.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:03 AM
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I can relate to your story, because I'm in the same situation-and I make excuses to myself for not leaving. How would my daughters cope (20 and 18, one away one about to leave) not having the same home, all the financial implications, all the upheaval, how would my drinking partner manage.. these things rattle around in my head. But I know deep down things are not likely to get any better until I make a change. Not easy, best of luck!
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:52 AM
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Although it is tempting to just pack your bags and leave, this is a very bad idea unless he is abusive. Above all else, protect yourself financially. Take things very slowly, think things through and consult with an attorney before tipping your hand.

The internet is full of articles about how to INTELLIGENTLY leave your spouse. Here's a good one with lots of helpful links: How to leave your husband - MSN Money
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:17 AM
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tjp offers some sound suggestions ~

It is painful to finally have to walk away from your marriage but if this is what you have decided you are going to do, I agree with the suggestion to seek legal council about what is the best way to protect yourself legally and financially.

Often we believe that because we have stayed for many years, thru the relapses, thru the illnesses, thru the DUI's, thru the community service, thru the unemployed years, on and on and on ~ that our mates will be grateful for our "time served" and willingly allow us to move on and wish us well. That they will gladly give us our fair share. This is not usally the case.

If you read many of the post here - it gets ugly, mean and spiteful. And the court system has no laws to help the spouse of an alcoholic/addict!

I wish you the very best ~ a life with peace, joy, laughter, safety and sanity!

PINK HUGS,
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:26 AM
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I understand that when you reach that point with the A all you want to do is run, anywhere where there seems to be some sanity but calm yourself remember this did not happen overnight and you don't have to fix it overnight. Find a good lawyer so you know what to expect down the road. The more information you have the more calm you will have. I've been there myself.

Praying for you in this situation.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:48 AM
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All of you are correct in that there is no quick fix and the flight theory has now replaced the fight in me. I have wanted to run away from this for a very long time. Therefore, to approach this with a plan:

I will be seeking my own therapist today.
I have an appointment for a legal consult next week.
I wear the Serenity Prayer on my wrist every day.
I have begun walking my dogs further every day and will continue to do so.
I will respect myself more.
I will strive for mind, body & soul health.
I will aim for calm, rational approaches in all dealings with my AH.
I will live every day with a goal in mind regardless how small that goal may be.
I will not place blame on anyone nor will I continue to allow blame to be placed on me.
I will take back control and responsibility for myself and my actions.
I will believe in myself before I can expect others to believe in me.

Thank you all for your words of wisdom and prayers. Wish me luck!
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by NothinsEZ View Post
All of you are correct in that there is no quick fix and the flight theory has now replaced the fight in me. I have wanted to run away from this for a very long time. Therefore, to approach this with a plan:

I will be seeking my own therapist today.
I have an appointment for a legal consult next week.
I wear the Serenity Prayer on my wrist every day.
I have begun walking my dogs further every day and will continue to do so.
I will respect myself more.
I will strive for mind, body & soul health.
I will aim for calm, rational approaches in all dealings with my AH.
I will live every day with a goal in mind regardless how small that goal may be.
I will not place blame on anyone nor will I continue to allow blame to be placed on me.
I will take back control and responsibility for myself and my actions.
I will believe in myself before I can expect others to believe in me.

Thank you all for your words of wisdom and prayers. Wish me luck!
....and most of all, remember.... Progress, not perfection! Be gentle with yourself, especially when you slip backwards. Make a little progress in your desired direction every day and you'll achieve your goal in due time.

Keep posting! You have friends here!
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by NothinsEZ View Post
All of you are correct in that there is no quick fix and the flight theory has now replaced the fight in me. I have wanted to run away from this for a very long time. Therefore, to approach this with a plan:

I will be seeking my own therapist today.
I have an appointment for a legal consult next week.
I wear the Serenity Prayer on my wrist every day.
I have begun walking my dogs further every day and will continue to do so.
I will respect myself more.
I will strive for mind, body & soul health.
I will aim for calm, rational approaches in all dealings with my AH.
I will live every day with a goal in mind regardless how small that goal may be.
I will not place blame on anyone nor will I continue to allow blame to be placed on me.
I will take back control and responsibility for myself and my actions.
I will believe in myself before I can expect others to believe in me.

Thank you all for your words of wisdom and prayers. Wish me luck!
sounds like you have taken a little time to think this through. FANTASTIC!!! .Definately seek legal counsel before you do anything

My RAH is 3 years sober. My husband didn't quit until he saw that I was ending the marriage and leaving. It wasn't a threat, it was going to happen. I was building a life without him and he could see it happening. I decided that I was not going to have one more fight about alcohol... and I didn't. No matter what he said or did, I would not be drug into a fight. They say that the there is love, hate, and the very worst is indifference. IF someone doesn't care anymore, than there is nothing to fight for. He saw I just didn't care anymore and I think it scared him into sobriety.

He leaned on me to "counsel" him also. I finally told him that if I could help him, I would have done it 25 years ago. He needed to get help from people that faced the same struggles that he did. I don't crave alcohol. It's easy for me to NOT drink so I could not understand what he was facing. He finally went to AA and still really struggled to "fit in". He didn't see that it helped for a while, bit he kept going and now goes faithly and has made many friends, but it took a while. I have found the same with Al-Anon. It has taken many, many meetings for me to feel the benefits, now I really won't miss a week. Keeps me focused on me and out of his recovery.

I'm not saying you should leave him or not to leave. Just focus on you and what you need to do to lead a happy and joyous life.
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