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Could use a little help on where to start.

Old 05-28-2012, 01:48 AM
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Could use a little help on where to start.

I am a newcomer and it was recommended I post this under friends and family.

My wife and I have been together for 5 years. We have three children (14, 6 and 4...I have one from a previous marriage, she has one from a previous marriage and we have one together). For 4 and a half years I had a perfect marriage and a wife I thought could do no wrong.

2 years into our relationship my wife began to have seizures. I was terrified. After numerous doctors visits they could not find out why this was happening. It was a nightmare for me, but we handled it best we could.

6 months ago my wife was contact by her brother who told her he was going to court to prosecute their father for molestation. It became very obvious to me that my wife had also been molested. Shortly after this came out my wife told me that she was addicted to pain killers and had been for almost 10 years. This, it turns out, was the cause of her seizures. She also told me that she was an alcoholic. The next biggie was that she had stolen money from her last 2 jobs and was terminated because of it, telling me that she was fired for other reasons (it should be mentioned that she didn't steal the money for drugs or booze...it was just to spend...more on that next). However, the biggest shock came last.

I had opened a small business just before meeting my wife. My business seemed to do very well, but it seemed we were always struggling to pay bills. At the end of that first year, my tax guy said there was a $40,000 discrepancy with my books. I won't go into detail on this, but simply to say my wife took the money from our business. This was on top of the money she was taking out of my wallet and out of our joint checking account. Although she did buy some booze and drugs with it, she was primarily buying just random crap with the money. A spending addiction if you will.

Needless to say I found out at this same time that she was also a pretty good liar.

I understand I was blind and I am an idiot for not seeing this. However, I was, and still am, totally in love with this woman. Sadly, 4 after half years of marital bliss in one day I found out that my wife had been molested as a child and had some serious emotional scars from it, is addicted to pain killers, is addicted to alcohol, is addicted to spending, is a thief and an amazing liar.

It's been six months since I first found all this out. First the good: In this time my wife says she has been clean from the drugs. (Is this true? I think/hope so, she hasn't been showing any signs of the drug use. She had me buy home drug tests to randomly check her to make sure and so far she appears clean from drugs). She is in therapy for the molestation and although has not made much progress at least she seems to be heading in the right direction.


Now the bad: She still drinks at least once a week. She tries to drink when no one is around or she hides it from everyone and you can only tell because she can't speak or walk properly. Her therapist does not address the chemical dependency side of things and has tried to get her into counseling a few times, but she blows those meetings off. She is still spending money at a crazy rate and is really hurting our family financially. Further, she is amazingly resourceful at how she gets the money. Trying to keep it away from her is all but impossible. She is also still lying constantly as I am always catching her.

I am ready to fight the good fight to keep this woman and to help her get healthy. Sadly I just don't know if it is a fools errand or not. Although she has made some steps toward fixing some of her problems, it is few and far between. I don't think she has hit "rock bottom" mainly because I save her from rock bottom. She has SO MANY issue, it is almost overwhelming for me to even consider. I can't imagine how she is going to tackle it or even if she will try. I hate to sound weak, but it is honestly how I feel.

Still I am a plan kinda guy. So if I plan to be around for this ordeal I believe I should try and help with each issue independently and tackle the most dangerous first. So, with her in therapy for molestation already, I believe the alcoholism is the next big thing I need to help her focus on. The problem I have is I just don't know where to begin.

I have had friends who have battled with alcoholism and it was classic in nature. I have seen how that was handled. My wife however, is a very functional alcoholic. It is not like anything I have ever seen or know how to deal with. She doesn't drink in public (with rare exception) she drinks alone and hides it. Although she has said she believes she is an alcoholic, I am not sure she does. She has stated more than a few times, "I felt like drinking, so I did...no big deal". So, where does one begin? Believing that she says she wants to get better, what can I do to help? Do I try and keep the alcohol away from her or must she do it on her own? Do I confront her when she drinks or should I just stay away from her? Can this mountain be climbed or am I just a fool?
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:45 AM
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He alxndr, Welcome to SR!!

I'm sorry to hear about everything that you and your wife have been through. I'm glad to hear that she is seeking therapy for the trauma of her childhood.

When I went searching for help on the internet one night, it was because of my stepson. A very important thing I learned here and in the meetings of Al-Anon is a concept called the 3C's:

I did not cause the addiction.
I cannot control the addict.
I cannot cure the addict.

The 3C's are very frustrating and very freeing--all at the same time. One of our members tells the story of how she went to Al-Anon thinking "Just give me the tools so I can fix him!"

Sadly, it just does not work that way. No amount of 'pointing it out', discussion, arguing, blaming, or pleading on your part will get her to address her drinking or drug use problems. Your wife may or may not address her drinking or pill use in therapy. That decision, and the desire to do so, is entirely up to her.

I hope that you will make yourself comfortable here and read all the threads you can. The "stickies" at the top of each forum also contain great information about addiction and recovery.

We can be happy again, whether or not the alcoholics in our lives are drinking!

Welcome, again!
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:58 AM
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Welcome to the SR family!

I'm glad you found us, but sorry for the reason that brought you searching. I hope that you will make yourself at home here by reading and posting as much as needed. We are here to support you and we understand.

One of the first things I learned when I arrived was the 3 C's of my loved one's addiction:

I did not Cause it
I could not Control it
I will not Cure it

It wasn't an easy concept to accept. I tried reasoning, yelling, crying, begging, manipulating, etc., etc., etc., I finally found acceptance and let the one with the addiction own the problem, own the consequences and own the recovery.

I want to share some links to older, preserved posts that really helped me while I was trying to sort through the nightmare that had become my life. These older posts are referred to as "stickies" and are located at the top of this main forum page.

I, like you, wanted to help my addict (My addict was addicted to alcohol and gambling). This sticky post helped me as I followed these steps:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html

It helped me to understand that I was not dealing with a normal, sane adult when I understood how totally effected an addict is to their drug of choice. I learned about how addiction affects every cell of the body by reading a book "Under the Influence". We have a sticky post that contains excerpts from that book. Here is the link:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html

And another issue I still struggle with is defining my boundaries. My personal area of responsibility for self, and where my responsibilities end (as far as other adults are concerned). I have found myself repeatedly letting down my boundaries inch by inch until I am completely wrapped up in someone else's drama. I allow myself to be sucked back into taking care of their issues. Here is a link that helps me recognize when I am letting my boundaries lapse and how to respect myself while respecting others to care for themselves:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...tionships.html
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:45 AM
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Hi Alxndr,

Welcome to SR!

Great advice given so far but my radar zoned in on a couple of things that I would like to ask you about.

You have a lot on your plate with a business to run, children to protect and a wife who has serious issues with dishonesty, addiction as well as PTSD as a result of sexual abuse.

I am amazed that for many years your wife was able to pull off ripping off the business and spending vast sums of stolen money while abusing booze and pills and yet was able to accomplish keeping house, raising kids and a happy marriage all at the same time!

With her embezzling the money were you forced to work harder and be absent from the family more and that is how she was able to keep her secrets so successfully? As a recovering codependent and workaholic this is how my XA was able to pull off his super secret drinking and other shenanigans.

I spent 4 very looooooooong difficult years completely devoted to using every ounce of my life energy to "save" my XA because I was sure...completely positive... that he was the love of my life and he was going to be one of the few who made it through the alcoholic maze and we were going to live happily ever after.

Fast forward. I was wrong. BUT... I took care of me 2.5 years into the relationship and got into recovery! I joined this site, alanon, started reading books (plenty of titles we can recommend) and this was huge: I got a GREAT counselor and began to unravel me and my own issues that made me want BROKEN men so I can superglue them back together!

So.... my advice to you is find a GREAT... (not good) counselor who is well versed in addiction, abuse and relationships and plug your wife in as well as yourself (seperately at first) and make your goal to find out the WHY you were attracted to your wife. You made not have connected the dots consciusly but trust me our wounded souls seek out certain types of people.

I personally always am attracted to same guy! Amazingly his personality and issues are just like dear old dad... the guy who abused and rejected me and I have to go home and fix it... (or used to).

Secondly... the workaholic, controller part of me has all kinds of warning bells on her being able to get her hands on money despite best efforts to stop her from overspending... SAY WHAT????

Cut up the credit cards, get her off the checking accounts and if she steals something have her butt arrested! If she is in "recovery" she should not be in any stores unless it is a grocery store and I do hope she is not shoplifting or stealing from other relatives.

Is she in AA and does she have a sponsor? Is she doing the steps? Being completely HONEST is one of the core components of AA ... if she gets this she will be on her way to possibly getting her problems under control.

Take what you need and leave the rest... and keep coming back cuz we do care and understand what you are going through!
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:33 AM
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I am new here too, so in no place to give advice. What I can say, is that you are by no means alone. You are certainly not an 'idiot'. My AH has been hooked on painkillers for years too, and up until very recently, I had no idea. Like you, I've been struggling for years to keep our bills paid, and could never figure out exactly how we were so broke all the time, despite my increasing salary.
Now I know. And so do you.
Now that your eyes are open, it's time to think about what you want for yourself and your children. Settle for nothing less. I know how you feel about loving your wife. I'm there with my husband. I'm still here with him and our children. I'm a plan person too, and what I'm learning more than anything else, is that plans mean nothing.
((Hugs)))
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:18 AM
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If she says she's not an alcoholic then clearly she isn't ready to get help. Her first priority is alcohol. Now you are aware of some of the lies please know there are thousands you don't know of throughout these years and currently.

Even though my XAB quite drinking and pills the lies didn't stop and he had been lying, hiding, sneaking, manipulating, deceiving, stealing for so many years it was a habit of its own and a learned behavior. He admittedly feared he couldn't or wouldn't get what he wanted if he let those toxic behaviors go as they worked so well for him.

The addictions are all but a symptom of the BIG underlying issues of self hatred, low self esteem, etc...

Our love and support can cure it...in fact it can get in their way of their recovery as we keep giving them a safe place to fall.

So tough, gut wrenching. Addicts can hide a lot for a long time but since the disease is progressive it eventually all comes apart for them.

My X used pulled for over 15 years and held an executive position at a huge company and he drank as well.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:33 PM
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Welcome to a great place where you can learn a lot from other people who have experienced almost exactly what you have. You are probably still in a state of shock.

It was about 5 years into my own marriage when my wife had a seizure followed by 8 horrific days of detox and we all realized this sweet beautiful woman was afflicted, and we were sympathetic because she did seem to have a tough childhood and some kind of unexpressed pain.

But now 12 years later, it still went down the tubes. In these later years AW has taken up with other men - something I never thought would happen. When a person lies this much, it is deeply corrupting. 12 years of high drama and never ending consequences of alcoholism.

Mine is just one story. Take your time. You DO have choices. Do nice things for yourself and learn about detachment.

All the best...
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:20 PM
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Wow. I'm really struck by your statement that you had a wife "who could do no wrong" for the first 4 1/2 years of your marriage...but who stole $40K from your business in the first year of your marriage?
You feel like your job right now is to stand by your wife and support her through her various issues. Let me just share the experience of the many, many, many family members and friends of alcoholics and addicts that have come before you: That's not going to work. The only person that can fix your wife is your wife. If she doesn't want to stop drinking (and/or drugging), she's not going to. No big deal.
In the meantime, you could really use a support system to help you and your kids get through this. I highly recommend Al-Anon. It's a combination of a support group and cheap therapy that a lot of us have found to be really helpful. If that doesn't appeal to you, think about getting a counselor--for yourself--that has experience dealing with addictions. Odds are though, he/she will suggest you try Al-Anon.
This isn't a problem that's going to fix itself. And to the extent that it does get fixed, it will take time. Alcoholism and addictions aren't usually "cured," and relapses are common...especially if the alcoholic/addict isn't fully on board with the program.
Please think about getting help, even it doesn't feel "comfortable."
Oh yeah. One thing you can do immediately? Stop keeping any more money in your wallet or funds in your joint checking account than you can afford to lose.
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