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Think I'm making things worse

Old 05-04-2012, 01:14 PM
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Think I'm making things worse

The only days my husband doesn't drink are days that he is sick. He needs to be pretty sick for that to happen. He's not a violent alcoholic and is not ever rude to me, but his drinking has always bugged me. When we started to have kids, I assumed that his drinking would calm down and he would grow up a little. After all, he stopped drinking so that we could try to get pregnant, so he couldn't be an alcoholic, right? Wrong. Now our kids are 6 and 3 and the only time he slows down is after I get after him about it. Once he thinks I've cooled off, he starts right back up again. I tend to not say anything until it really starts to **** me off, then I end up exploding because I'm so angry about it. I don't want to do this!! I love him and want to see him through this, but I don't know how to make him see that it is ruining things. I know that yelling about it surely isn't helping, but I also don't know what to do that will help. Last time I talked about it with him I was uncharacteristically calm and didn't let my emotions control me (nearly impossible for me to do) and his response was something about kicking a dead horse. I'm getting so sick of his constant drinking and I'm not addicted to anything that I can think of, so I don't really know what it's like and how to give him the support that he needs. It just makes me angry that he doesn't stop. Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for me to help him get the support he needs. What am I supposed to be doing?
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:27 PM
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As blunt and harsh as this may seem but this is exactly what you should be doing...TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN. Many of our stories are very similar and there is support here. Some of it may sound brutal at first but you will soon realize that maybe you needed it put to you that way. Always remember...You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.

Glad to have you--stick around--read the stickies--keep posting! Join us, we know where you've been and where your are.

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:50 PM
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He's not a violent alcoholic and is not ever rude to me, but his drinking has always bugged me.
What exactly bugs you about his drinking so much?
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:14 PM
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I learned the hard way the last few months that there is nothing you can do to make him stop... you can't control him or the alcoholism. It's his disease and it needs to be his decision to get better. Take care of yourself and your kids and get educated about the disease. This is a great place to start, I am still learning and it has been a life line for me.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:11 PM
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Your username says it all: Your family needs you. Focus on that: your two little kids. YOU need to get the support YOU need.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:23 PM
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You will never make him see that he is ruining everything...if he had any understanding, whatsoever, he would have already hopped on the recovery train, get sober,and, work a strong program...for life.

Your first priorty should be to your children, they are the true victims, he is an adult it is up to him to get sober and work a strong recovery program.

He told you the truth...you are just beating a dead horse...he won't quit until he is ready and for many that is never.

Read the stickies at the top of this forum and the Family & Friends Of Substance Abusers..an addict an addict...it doesn't matter what the drug of choice is...they all have the same mindset and priorty...their drug of choice.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:25 PM
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My XAH was never violent or even all that rude, but he didn't do anything at all. Not housework, not get a job, not nothing. He "read the paper" for hours, and smoked and drank. And slept. And not really anything else.

I found refuge in AlAnon for several years. It helped me stay sane while I was still married, and I'd recommend it highly. Ultimately, I couldn't take it any longer and I left (granted, that was after 8 years of therapy and Al-Anon and interventions and rehabs for him.)

I hope you find peace, and the support you need.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:52 AM
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One of the first things I learned about the disease of alcoholism is that it is a family disease. One person with the disease affects at least 4 other people around them. We often don't see the damage it's doing to us (it's slow and insidious). The damage it's doing to our children often doesn't manifest itself until they are in their teens or 20's.
I disagree with the statement that "you are doing exactly what you should be doing," and I disagree with the statement that "your first priority should be to your children." I think you're doing the best you can with the tools you've got, and I think that your children are very important. But what do you do when the plane you're on is crashing? You put on your oxygen mask, and then you put the mask on your children. You can't help them until you help yourself.
For me, the oxygen mask was Al-Anon. I started Al-anon while my wife was in rehab, because it was recommended that I give it a try. I went because I thought it would help her. I knew I was tired, but until I'd been going to Al-anon for a while, I didn't realize how damaged I was. How distorted my view of the world had become. How crazy my reactions were. How much I needed recovery.
That's how the journey started, and it's been a wonderful trip. The funny thing is, it did help her. As I recovered, as my attitudes changed; it changed my whole relationship. It changed all of my relationships. As I changed, everything changed.
So absolutely, take care of your kids...but start by taking care of yourself. Help is out there, but you have to do your part, you have to reach out your hand.
It may sound corny...but that's when the miracles happen.
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:04 AM
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I disagree with the statement that "your first priority should be to your children."
Once I saw this I couldn't even read the rest of your post. This is one of the most insane things I've seen in a while. Those kids can't get themselves out of the situation, they can't do anything. They didn't ask to be in the middle of this, and they need someone to be their voice and look after their best interests first and foremost.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:02 AM
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Sorry Windmills, I was trying to make a point. I guess it was kind of subtle.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:47 AM
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I used to think that I could change my AH's drinking by changing myself. I used to think that if I could just be better at all the things a wife is supposed to be good at, he would choose to drink less. I tried to be what I thought he wanted me to be at all times. It took years for me to understand that if he wants to drink and binge, what I do or say will have absolutely no effect on his decision. That understanding finally gave me the freedom and courage to work on my own health and happiness.

I know that I am not perfect, but now at least when I try to be, I do it for myself and know that if he binges, it has nothing to do with my actions. If he wants to quit, he will do so for himself and his own reasons. I love him and want him to be healthy, but I can't do it for him. I go to sleep every night knowing that I lived the day as a person I can be proud to be. That's all I can do. That's all any of us can do.

Take care of yourself and let others be responsible for doing the same.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Windmills View Post
Once I saw this I couldn't even read the rest of your post. This is one of the most insane things I've seen in a while. Those kids can't get themselves out of the situation, they can't do anything.
Windmills comment on my post really stung. Really. That's OK.

This is just an opinion, so take it for what it's worth:

I really believe in the statement that we must "keep the focus on ourselves." We do that because that's all we really have control over. We can focus on the alcoholic or we can focus on our kids...but where has that gotten us? In my case, it left me depressed, in debt, angry, irrational. My life became completely unmanageable. It wasn't until I started working on my own recovery that things began to improve.
For me, the process of recovery has been an amazing journey and I literally feel like I've gotten a second chance a life. I changed, and everything changed.
I guess I'm pretty passionate about my belief that recovery is available to everyone.
Should we protect our kids? Absolutely. Like a mother lion. But finding the best way to do that may not be easy or obvious. Maybe all I've learned is that we don't have to do it alone.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:27 PM
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your story is almost identical to mine - other than the ages of the children, i could pretty much have written it myself.
I understand totally where you are coming from - the fact that they are not violent, abusive (as such) etc makes me think i am over reacting - especially when there are so many people who have experienced such horror. However, the pain you feel is real - it cannot be judged by others, and when it hurts, it hurts.
Thank you for posting - i personally feel not so alone in my story now that i have read yours.
Sending big hugs and love :ghug3
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by familyneedsyou View Post
Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for me to help him get the support he needs. What am I supposed to be doing?
This is how I used to think. What should I be doing? What can I do to help him, to fix him, to make him happy so he doesn't have to drink or treat me the way that he does? In your situation as you said he is not rude or abusive to you, but yet you still feel that sense that something is wrong, correct? That little voice is legitimate - something is wrong because alcohol is the most important thing to him. And it takes him away from you and your kids as the husband and father he could be.

What you should be doing is attending al-anon meetings whenever you can - ask a neighbor or trusted friend/family member to watch your kids while you go to the meetings.

Welcome to Al-Anon Family Groups Click "How to find a meeting"

As spouses or loved ones of alcoholics, we come to sites like this or to al-anon probably wondering what WE are doing wrong. But we learn that we are powerless over alcohol and our lives have become unmanageable - that's the First Step of the 12 Steps.

YOU need to take care of yourself and your children. Surely this is hard for you because you are used to taking care of everyone but yourself, thinking of yourself last, but this has to change. You and your children need to come first. The oxygen mask metaphor still stands - and the oxygen mask can be here as others have stated, as well as al-anon.

Just a share - when I leave al-anon, I am filled with hope for me. I feel the love of these strangers who I just met a week ago, and who are so happy to see me and from whom I receive endless hugs and support. I can detach from my husband's drinking and feel that I have control over ME and where my life is headed. I fully recognize that he has a problem that I cannot control, and if he decides to seek help that is his doing, but I must help myself.

Hang in there, you are NOT alone! You have us, and you have al-anon waiting when you are ready to take that first step.
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