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Old 02-07-2012, 10:28 AM
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Hello everyone, I have been married to my AH for 17 years now, the first 15 he was dry. We have a 13 year old son. My AH had quit drinking twice during our engagement period and I married him as a sober/dry man. Fast forward 15 years and he has begun drinking again, due to my own stupid error. When I turned 40 I had a glass of sparkling wine served to me for my birthday dinner by the Melting Pot restaurant. I didn't even think about it being alcoholic and I let my husband have some too. AFter that we decided to start having a bottle of wine at home every so often, which is all it became for me. I was enjoying a glass of wine every few nights at home with my husband. He, on the other hand, started drinking while traveling and then started hiding hard alcohol in his office. I guess I was too naive, I thought he was right when he said he only quit 'not because I had a problem with alcohol, I quit because I just wanted to.'

Over the past year and half I feel like we have been in a sick battle. He hides it, I find it, he does something stupid, I call him out on it, and around the merry go round we go. He says he doesn't have a problem and that the problem is that I have subconscious limits on what I feel is appropriate for someone to drink. He hides it because he knows I will judge him. To which I retort back: well, most middle aged fathers don't drink to the point where they are passed out on the floor where there wives can't wake them up. Most DADS don't drink to absolute oblivion and then decide to get in the car at 1:30 AM for more beer(even though they had beer but forgot in their drunken state) and drive drunk risking other people's lives on the road. Most dads aren't actively drinking at 5:30 AM when their families are waking up for the day. Now, when I point out these incidents(and there are a few others) he gets defensive and says they are one time incidents. Granted, it's not like they happen every day but I feel that he binge drinks often enough and makes stupid choices and that is where it becomes a problem. I pointed out that our son had a friend sleeping over the day that I found him drinking at 5:30 AM, what does that say to his friend if the boys were to wake up? What kind of example is he setting, right? He just doesn't get it.

Last week, I was so ticked off. He was supposed to pick up our son from his sports practice so that I could go to my Al Anon meeting. He bought a 6 pack on the way there, was late getting there, and that night I found a red plastic cup in his car that reeked of beer smell. So, the next day I asked him if he had been drinking either before or during the retrieval of our son( I smelled it on him when I came home but he could have had a beer when he got home, which is what he told me). Of course, he denied it. I didn't bother to point out the beer cup because he'd just say it was NA beer( which he does drink and keep in the house, too). Of course, I knew how much NA beer was in the fridge and I noticed that none were missing.
Then, I told him that I'm going to have a talk with our son about how he doesnt have to get into a car with someone who's been drinking. He can say no, call the other parent, or ask them to hand over the keys. My AH got all po'd and told me in his words that he doesn't trust me to have that conversation with our son. He thinks I'd vilify him and throw him under the bus and he pretty much told me not to have that talk. Now, what normal dad of a teenager would be against that kind of conversation?
Sigh, there's a big part of me that wants to deny there's a problem because he can go for a few weeks and be totally fine. But, there's the other side of me that smells the beer on his breath or I accidentally find his hidden flask, etc and then I realize that I'm not the crazy one.
He also takes 2 antidepressants and he is NOT supposed to be drinking while taking them. After his little drunk driving episode I called his psychiatrist and told them what happened and asked if it was because of an interaction with the drugs and the alcohol. They called me back and told me that he should not be drinking any alcohol while taking Paxil. When I challenge him on this, he defends it by making up this huge long story about how that's just for guys who drink all day and whose brains are already turning to mush from all the alcohol. He told me to stop going all WebMD on him and that he doesn't drink enough for it to be a problem. And, here goes the merry go round but I'm finally learning to get off. I didn't bother to tell him what I know, I didn't bother to tell him that the doctor's office said NO ALCOHOL, nor did I fight him on the WebMD comment. Al Anon is really giving me the tools I need and I'm really looking forward to spending my time working on myself instead of obsessing over his alcohol consumption. Thanks for reading this far, it was a long introduction, LOL!
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:33 AM
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He did not begin to drink again because of "your stupid error"
He began to drink again because that is what most of them do-at some point or another.
You could have been drinking chocolate milk and he wanted to start up again he would have.
He is an alcoholic and that is a problem.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:47 AM
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I wish I could say that some aspect of your story sounded new to me, but I can't. There are no new stories to be told, all we can do is to take the component parts throw them in to a bag, shuffle them around and append different names to them. I say this not to depress you in any way, but so that you realise that you're not alone, we all know where you're coming from.

You started off your posting by intimating that you were in some way responsible for the start of your husbands slide into alcoholism. You weren't... at any time he had the choice to say "no" and chose not to.

So... where you're at:

1. He's in denial
2. You're wondering what the heck you're going to do about it, and how you're going to protect your family whilst you have someone wandering around who is akin to a ticking time-bomb, and who explodes at the most inopportune of moments.

You mention that you're going to Al-Anon, is he going to AA ?
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:00 AM
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((lizatola)

Welcome to our SR family

I hate so much to hear of your husband's issues with alcohol ~ I know how painful this can be to him, you and your son.

I'm glad you are attending Al-Anon - it has helped me greatly - if there are alateen meetings ~ it would probably be good for your son too.

Please keep reaching out for help for you and remember the 3 c's

You didn't cause it
You can't control it
You can't cure it

Hopefully your husband will seek help for himself.

PINK HUGS,
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Adipsia View Post
I wish I could say that some aspect of your story sounded new to me, but I can't. There are no new stories to be told, all we can do is to take the component parts throw them in to a bag, shuffle them around and append different names to them. I say this not to depress you in any way, but so that you realise that you're not alone, we all know where you're coming from.

You started off your posting by intimating that you were in some way responsible for the start of your husbands slide into alcoholism. You weren't... at any time he had the choice to say "no" and chose not to.

So... where you're at:

1. He's in denial
2. You're wondering what the heck you're going to do about it, and how you're going to protect your family whilst you have someone wandering around who is akin to a ticking time-bomb, and who explodes at the most inopportune of moments.

You mention that you're going to Al-Anon, is he going to AA ?
No, he does attend AA, nor did he ever. When he quit, he quit of his own accord and takes great pride in the fact that he 'didn't need anything or anybody to guide him through quitting drinking.' So, his take on it is: I have quit before and if I want to quit someday again, I will. End of story. I truly believe he's in denial.
My issue right now is: do I figure out a way to get my son home from sports practice on Thursday so I can get to my meeting or do I let my AH take him home and pray that he doesn't pull the drinking and driving crap again? If I tell him that I don't want him to drive son home, then he'll get all defensive about my trust issues with him and I'll have to confess that I found the beer cup in the car, etc. If I let him take the boy home, am I risking repeat behavior from him or was it a one time deal? Who knows, right?
I have been going to Al Anon for a month now and do not have a sponsor. Thank you all for the support.
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
No, he does attend AA, nor did he ever. When he quit, he quit of his own accord and takes great pride in the fact that he 'didn't need anything or anybody to guide him through quitting drinking.' So, his take on it is: I have quit before and if I want to quit someday again, I will. End of story. I truly believe he's in denial.
My issue right now is: do I figure out a way to get my son home from sports practice on Thursday so I can get to my meeting or do I let my AH take him home and pray that he doesn't pull the drinking and driving crap again? If I tell him that I don't want him to drive son home, then he'll get all defensive about my trust issues with him and I'll have to confess that I found the beer cup in the car, etc. If I let him take the boy home, am I risking repeat behavior from him or was it a one time deal? Who knows, right?
I have been going to Al Anon for a month now and do not have a sponsor. Thank you all for the support.
Ack, I didn't know how to edit but the first sentence should read: he does NOT attend AA. Thx
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:34 PM
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Hi, thanks for your honesty.

My opinion is that:

1. Short-term - you should make arrangements to get your son home on Thursday prior to your meeting.

2. Short-Medium term - you consider where your relationship stands.

You've a long, long way to go when your partner is in denial like this.

I'll share a little of my experience with you.

My partner was in denial. She would swear that black was white in front of my face, and was so convincing that she steamrollered things for months, so I thought that I would outsmart her and began building evidence without her knowing. I took photos of vodka bottles hidden all over our house, I had a "quiet-word" with the manager of our local off-licence and got him to record her purchases without her knowing. And finally I confronted her with the incontrovertible proof. And what happened was that, when faced with overwhelming evidence, she broke down and cried and admitted to having a problem. So I paid the UK equivalent of $15,000 for her to go into private rehab for one month, and she thanked me. Within 24 hours of leaving, she ran straight back into the same off-licence.

The moral of this story is that your husband will come out of denial when he's good and ready, not when you coerce him into it. The likelihood is that this is going to be a long, drawn-out situation, and you will have many "Thursday decisions" to make. Take all the support you can from Al-Anon and gain a thorough understanding of what you're dealing with.

Probably most of the people on this board also began their horror-stories in denial believing that there situation was different, but ultimately the stories typically end the same way.

Look after yourself and your family first and be prepared to learn from the experiences of people here and at Al-Anon.

Good luck !
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:07 PM
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You know, you don't HAVE to live in Crazytown. You can choose to relocate. I hear there's this awesomely charming little place called Serenityville, not too far from where you live.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:21 PM
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I wanted to add ~ this may pull in a little off topic ~ but I hope it sheds some light.

Sat am Mr. Pink was driving home from work a little before 6 am, in the rain on a dark road, he is not an alcoholic/addict ~ he was full sober, fully awake, fully alert, coming around a curve, going 25 miles an hour, with his bright lights on ~ a 23 yr old young man was walking in the middle of his lane of the road.(yes I know the young man had no business being in the middle of the road) Being in full use of his facilities - Mr. Pink was NOT able to avoid hitting this young man. The young man is in critical condition.

Mr. PINK was able to call 911 immediately and get this young man some help ~ we still don't know if he will survive ~ but my thoughts are if something this horrible is able to happen to a fully sober alert driver that didn't do anything wrong ~ how much MORE dangerous is it for an impaired, drunk or drugged driver to be on the road. . . especially one carrying precious cargo such as a child

Just my thoughts ~

Wishing you and your family the very best,
Rita
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:06 PM
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He is not drinking because of your "stupid error." He is drinking because he's choosing to drink. You are not powerful enough to cause someone to start or stop drinking. Your AH, like my AH, is deep in denial about what is going on. I hope you can figure it out and do whatever it takes to protect your son. Hugs.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:37 PM
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I know exactly what you all are saying. Thanks so much for the support. Today while I was walking the dog down to the park, I threw out her poop, and saw a six pack carton and 2 empty bottles in there. Not the first time I've seen his empties. I guess they could be another neighbor's but I'm pretty sure they're his, it's his kind of beer bottles. And, I love the idea of Serenityville. I need to put that as my true address!

What really gets me is his ability to lie. I knew he was good with his words(he's in sales for a living) but I have witnessed flat out lies to my face while looking me directly in the eye. I would have sworn he was telling the truth, if I didn't know the real truth with my own evidence. It's amazing how well he can lie and now I am not as easily deceived nor do I put myself in conversations with him where I will be lied to. I just don't ask anymore, it's much easier that way.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:41 PM
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As others have said it has nothing to do with you. He drinks because he drinks. He will take care of his problem when he is ready to. You are doing the right thing for you and your child by going to Alanon and letting you child know his rights when it comes to determining being in the car with your husband. My AH was doing the exact same thing as your husband. Hiding booze. Lying about it. Risking his child's life. Risking his job. Risking our marriage. It came to a head late summer and he agreed to go into a 30 day inhouse program. This was after I used my Alanon skills and "got out of his way". He almost died with BAC so high when I had the ambulance take him to the hospital they almost had to intubate him because they were afraid he would stop breathing. I convinced the ER doctors to put him in the psych ward for three days to detox and found him a bed at the Rehab. His choices were to either go there or find a new place to live so I could amke a new life for me and my kids. He came out end of Sept and he has been faithfully going to his outpatient program and AA. One of the biggest lessons I learned was not doing it alone. I was so afraid of family and friends realizing that he wasn't just a hard drinker but a drunk. I reached out to my husbands family, mine, friends, etc. I don't know what I would have done without them. The helped me financially and emotionally. I live in a small town and when I called the ambulance I knew them all. The secret was out. And that was ok. Secrets can kill. I felt so much better not keeping this secret all to myself.

Get the support you need. That is the most important. And get out of the way.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:15 AM
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I know two people have said it already but I have to repeat it anyway.

he has begun drinking again, due to my own stupid error.
No. He began drinking again because he's an alcoholic. Not because of anything you did, or failed to do. Drop it. Drop the guilt. It's not yours. Put. It. Down.

Driving drunk is unacceptable. With a child in the car? Even more unacceptable. I have a dear friend who lost her son because of a drunk driving alcoholic. The damage that has done to her is something I don't wish on my worst enemy.

When my AXH was still my AH, the morning after one particularly bad night, when I dropped my son off at school, he stepped out of the car, leaned back in and said, "How much are you going to take? When is enough going to be enough for you?" and then he shut the door and walked off.

I'm passing his line along. Long history of good behavior does not excuse unacceptable behavior. When we accept it, we give permission to continue. And it only gets worse.

I don't mean to be harsh. But if he's not being a responsible parent, you need to. Lots of hugs to you.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:51 AM
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i would have that conversation with your son immediately. it could save his life.

naive (in peacefultown, just around the corner from crazyville)
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:41 AM
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yes. have the conversation.

Is there maybe a friend he could catch a ride with? or is there a different meeting you could get to, so you could pick him up yourself?
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MyBetterWorld View Post
yes. have the conversation.

Is there maybe a friend he could catch a ride with? or is there a different meeting you could get to, so you could pick him up yourself?
There's no one else there from our side of town, but I decided that he can leave 10 mins early since they are stretching and done with the main training anyway. That will give me time to get him home and get to my meeting on time. I could go to meetings on Tuesdays but I'd have the same scheduling problem and the Thursday meetings are closer to my house.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:29 AM
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Right now, I think I'm having trouble 'rocking the boat'. If I tell him that I will be taking ds home, he will want to know why. Then, I will end up in a discussion about how I found the red beer cup and how I fell that he was drinking while driving and then he'll deny it and get mad at me for not trusting him, etc. It will become a HUGE deal, I can already predict the words he'll say and how he'll deflect it back to me and make me feel bad for not trusting him. And, of course, I can't prove that he was drinking; that cup could have been there from a previous day or it could have been NA beer. I have no real evidence other than my suspicions and that's where I run into trouble. He will make a point of exposing the holes in my theory and that I can't prove guilt and I'll just be deeper in the mess, when I'm trying so hard to detach from it. UGH!
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:39 AM
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liz ~

I found I could never "WIN" an arguement with my exah ~
I could never discuss anything
we could never work anything out
blah blah blah -

it was always me over reacting the facts, trying to crucify him, me playing god, etc. again blah blah blah

I could have better conversations with a quacking PINE tree!

I found that when I approached him with a decision concerning our daughters and grandchildren ~ I simply said "For the welfare of everyone concern ~ it appears it would be best for this to happen, _________________________________"

Then there were not any accusations to defend, evidence to produce, and hopefully it reduced the drama associated with the fight ~ just stated it as a fact.

It didn't always work but it did sometimes.

I had hoped it would help him to realize that everyone knew the unhealthy behaviors he was doing ~ but in this case he just kept on his downward spiral

It's so difficult living with the active disease ~ especially when everyone is suppose to be "hiding" it ~ like you said "UGH!"

special PINK HUGS for you sweetie!!!

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Old 02-08-2012, 12:21 PM
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My heart goes out to you and your son. These are very difficult decisions to make. I would pray to my higher power and ask for guidance and strength. Two of my adult children are in active addiction/drinking and they have children that I have no control over. I gringe at some of the things my grandchildren have to witness and deal with and hate it for them. I have to daily remind myself God is in control - not me - and trust him to work everything out. It is very hard and of course I want to fix it all but I can't. You have more control over the safety of your own child and I think that conversation regarding not getting in the car with anyone that has been drinking is a great place to start. Keep going to Al-anon and make yourself and your son your number one priority and let your husband suffer the consequences of his own actions. Learning about boundaries and setting healthy ones might be helpful too. Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:37 PM
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tough spot, but one that needs to be solved as your son's life is at risk.

is there somone on his team who's parent is your friend? if so, you could confide in them and ask them to drive your son home, with their child also in the car. that would probably not arowse suspicion from your AH...

or, you could temporarily drop out of your alanon, simply explaining you're not going anymore then you can pick up DS...you could attend alanon on-line or get private counseling on a different day...

or, you could move out with son and file for a divorce...
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