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Old 01-27-2013, 05:12 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I hope it all works out for you. No success story (yet?) Lol
But I want to say that if both people work together ...re kindle their love...
Fight for eachother....take care of themselves....and fix any wedges that were there to begin with well
It very well has a high chance of success.

Most of those depressing stories youve heard
Is the alcoholics unwillingness to surrender to recovery and the spouses unwillingness to go down with a sinking ship.
There cant be anyone or anything inbetween your partner...
It has to be filled with growth first ....understanding second and sacrifice third.
Love doesnt matter without those three
And it doesnt matter what success stories their are but in what we do to make ours successful.
Even if there were none....theres always a first time with determination.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:40 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My husband and I had been married for 25 years before I began to drink. My drinking was a symptom of my discontent with myself, of deciding to live my life as a martyr instead of asking for what I wanted. I began to deal with constant migraines and back pain and insomnia.

It was at this point when my husband was away for several months on a course and I was dealing with two teenagers, one of whom was acting out in a very dangerous way and I started drinking to help myself sleep. I was so out of touch with myself that it took no time at all for me to become alcoholic. My drinking continued for almost 3 years. My husband detached and my children detached and I was alone and terrified as my health deteriorated. Thank god, I made the decision to stop drinking. For me the real issue was changing myself from the inside out. I had to say 'No', I had to ask for what I wanted, I had to take care of myself and not just my family. All these things were foreign to me. I had to find my way and to deal with the intense shame and guilt that I felt.

My family wanted me to get better, but had no interest whatsoever in how I did it. Rightly so, they saw it as my problem to fix and that's what I tried to do. It has been an almost thirteen-year journey and I have been amazed by the layers that I have had to peel away. I am not the same person. My relationship with my husband is not the same. It's so much better. I have learned to love myself and that has made all the difference in the world.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:48 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Thank you Anna. You are an inspiration.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm all for optimism as long as the optimism isn't magical thinking, minimizing the consequences of addictive behavior on the family, or fear of leaving.

I'm also not of the thinking that its super easy to leave an alcoholic relationship, so stop yer complainin'. If dealing with any of this was cut and dry, we wouldn't be here trying to figure it out. I also want to emphasize that many of the relationships that we're talking about here have been abusive, which compounds the confusion and fear of leaving. There are some actual "victims" in this audience, and it isn't condescending to acknowledge that they've experienced real, devastating physical and emotional abuse.
I don't minimize any of it. I was in an emotionally abisive relationship for years and it may be hard to get your head around but big strong 'successful' men can allow themselves to go through that. I am angry at myself still for not seeing it and choosing to get out or forcing a change ten years sooner. I just can't get well if I pretend that I was stuck or could not choose to leave. I wasn't able toile the right choice until I was ready but it was always there and I was never a captive except to my OWN problems and issues.

My point is simply that the first step in anyone's recovery is to realize that they are powerless over things they don't control but not powerless when it comes to deciding how to deal with it.

Fear of leaving - whether that means fear of retribution or fear of financial hardship or fear of whatever... Is dangerous and delays our getting on to a better life.

I would also propose that on some, not all, cases of codependency the Codie falls into seeing it as all the other guys fault. I was annoyed when people told me to get to alanon and work on me - I'm not the one with the problem (oooooooooooops!).

Please don't mistake my saying that we chose this and are responsible for that choice as judgmental or mean spirited or less than sympathetic. To the contrary I think it would be utterly destructive to suggest to anyone that they are stuck in an awful situation.

I do her discouraged when I read blanket statements about how all alcoholics do this or that all the time and there is little hope. I just know too many people who disprove that every day.

I had a hard time deciding whether to commit to this or whether to run the other way but I'm glad I decided to give it my best shot. If I lose my wife to her addiction one day I won't feel like I wasted the time or regret the decision. I didn't commit to no matter what - I committed to giving it my best if she committed to recovery and made it clear that I won't live with an active addict or danger to the kids.

I know many more alcoholics than I do alanoners and the word alcoholic is so often spat out as an epithet here when it describes our loved ones as well as several of our members.

Anyway - I don't think they have a shot unless they are working a program and I don't think we can make them well but we can create an environment that is conducive to recovery or one that is conducive to failure based on what we do. I cringe when I imagine being the alcoholic in some of these crises - events that were awful for everyone were awful for them and they get to carry the guilt and humiliation too... Choosing to stay or go is a choice we make. Going has consequences and uncertainty, staying has them too. One responsibility we have when we make that choice is to accept that we share in the responsibility for the consequences... That's all.

What would be worse than to really have no choices?
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for you response and sharing this with me.

Others within this thread have shared so much of there journey both good and bad and I appreciate it very much.

I am committed to staying in a program, continuing personal and marriage counseling and most importantly staying sober one day at a time.

God Bless all of you.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:35 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Thank you for the suggestion and well wishes.
God Bless You!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:57 AM   #27 (permalink)
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My relationship has survived and flourished after a relapse last year. I was not with RAH when he was in the throws of alcoholism (20 plus years of it) we met when he had been sober many years.

IMO our relationship survived and is better because we both recovered - he from drinking and me from codependency and enabling.

Aside from that I do believe you have to take into account the qualities of your relationship sans the addiction issues. RAH and I are the best of friends, we are a team and partnership working toward the betterment of our lives together.

I also think success through alcoholism depends a lot on what other issues crept in at the same time. While I was dealing with lies concerning drinking and a whole host of internal distress RAH never crossed the line of betraying me with someone else or financially. I still trust him. I don't think we would be together otherwise -
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:52 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
How many success stories are there in non-alcoholic marriages these days? I mean the image we all have of "happily ever after."

Alcoholism is a huge obstacle, but so are cancer, mental illness, personality clashes, infidelity, the serious illness of a child or aging parent. Sometimes even when both partners are trying very hard the marriage fails. We are human and imperfect. We are all sometimes selfish and difficult.



I'd put my divorce from my recovered alcoholic up against many people's "intact" marriages. We treat each other well, respect each other, are fair with each other. Recovery is what makes that possible. It still comes down to individuals, though. Not every recovering/recovered alcoholic is going to be someone who is a good partner. And not every partner can let go of the damage caused by living with alcoholism.
I totally agree with this. I think it's one of those questions without an answer because the truth is that even after my spouse chose recovery, there is no guarantee in life that he will never relapse. That's the reality I have to live with & consider. I can't possibly know what my reaction will fully be at the point if he were to relapse. In some ways I feel like the longer he goes without relapsing, the harder it will be if he does because it also means a longer period of my rebuilt trust destroyed. Will the details of the relapse matter? If he slips & has 1 beer, 1 day will I somehow find that more acceptable than if he went on a bender that lasted many months? But then, destoyed trust is destroyed trust & to what degree may not matter. If relapse occurs, will he even choose sobriety again?

But most importantly, if this fictional relapse comes about, where will I be in MY recovery process? I have to believe that if he were to relapse at this point, my reaction would be different now based on my growth/changes over this time as well. I can't control whether he chooses to drink, but I can control my reaction to it as well as the boundaries for what I find acceptable.

I also agree with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florence
So I think this is a really complicated question to ask. What's the end point that defines success, and what does it cost for everyone involved?

So I can say this: Yes, right now, my partner has chosen recovery & we have been able to work hard to stay together & salvage our marriage because we were both willing to work hard at it & still valued & loved each other despite all the BS. SO FAR ..... he has only been sober for 18 months. I cannot know what tomorrow or next year bring... but SO FAR, we are making it work & rebuilding.
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:51 AM   #29 (permalink)
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When a Man Loves a Woman

My wife is on day 7 in a treatment facility thousands of miles from home. In fact I just flew home this evening from a family visitation weekend where she and I were allowed to spend quite a bit of time together. Tonight as I drove from the airport to my home she got a minute to call me and sounded great. She said she just watched the movie When a Man Loves a Woman and wanted me to because it is about what we are dealing with almost exactly and since I have a 2 hour time change tonight and knew I would have trouble going to sleep I decided to watch it.

If you haven't seen the movie its about a man and his wife who have a very happy loving marriage and alcohol is obviously a big part of how they have fun together. The couple in this movie really is exactly like me and my wife. In fact scarily so. The wife has an episode that goes way over the line, reluctantly goes to rehab, ends up feeling very much at home there and making tons of friends as she always does (just like my wife) and then has an even harder time going home. After not being able to deal with coming back together they separate but as it always works in Hollywood they get back together in the end.

Today before I left, she literally said it scares her to death to even think about coming home. 4 years ago we separated and divorced then remarried 3 years ago. Since then things have been great, I love her more today than ever before but I honestly don't think I can go through that again. It scares me that this movie serves as an example she wanted me to see. I hope she isn't trying to prepare me for what she already believes is inevitable. Hence the way I found this forum when the movie ended and I searched for wether or not a marriage can survive recovery.

She's only been there seven days and already she has deep friendships and tons of people looking to her as a mentor. I am happy for her in this regard but fear that I am going to be the one to lose in this situation.
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:55 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Catalyst - What you are dong is what we call "future tripping" as is your wife. No one can say where her recovery road will lead her. My advice would be to put these thoughts in the trash where they belong.

You say the last 3 years have been wonderful, yet your wife is now in rehab. I am not denying that things might have vastly improved since your divorce; however, life with an active alcoholic is no walk in the park. Gotta look at things for what they are - had she not gone into treatment the odds of your marriage being a good one are very, very low for the long term. The odds of your marriage being good with a recovered alcoholic are much higher - so the path you all are walking now is the one that is most likely to produce what you are looking for.

What you can take away from the movie that I think is most applicable to your situation.....Husband in the movie is codependent when wife returns from rehab she has changed, but he has not. This is not uncommon as most spouses of alcoholics don't see they too "have a problem". I advise that you get yourself to Al Anon and work the step program to end codependent and enabling behaviors. The focus in an alcoholic home is always centered around the A. While that is dysfunctional it is what is "normal". When a recovering A comes back from Rehab and is working their program the spouse often feels left out, 3rd wheel, doesn't know what to say or do with this "new" person in the home. Another reason to head to Al Anon to prepare for these changes.

The bottom line is you can't control and manage her, you can only control and manage yourself. My husband and I have a fantastic marriage. Its ONLY because we BOTH worked a program he alcoholic and me codependent.

Stop the future tripping.......be glad she went because now you have an opportunity to have a very successful marriage instead of one whose core is centered around booze ( and I don't care how great its been for 3 years, she is an alcoholic then alcohol has been #1 in your marriage). Good luck and welcome to SR lots of help and support here.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:00 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Mine didn't make it. It was a toxic relationship. We are both alcoholics with fiery tempers. We enabled eachother for years. We made so many excuses, told ourselves so many lies to cover up the fact that there was a problem and it was alcohol. He still won't admit he has a problem.
He really wants to get back together but I wont. I'm happier and healthier without him. That sounds awful because I still love him and think he is a wonderful person and an excellent father, but we are not good together, and I refuse to raise my children in a toxic household.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:59 AM   #32 (permalink)
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My marriage has survived after 17 + years of drinking and drug use. By the grace of my higher power, it has survived.

Are we "fixed" - NO WAY. It is not all roses and peaches but we are living, One Day At a Time.

I can say this - it takes both parties to make it work, the A and the Co-dependent. You both have to work on yourself FIRST before working on the marriage.

Just my honest opinion.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:53 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I totally agree with this. I think it's one of those questions without an answer because the truth is that even after my spouse chose recovery, there is no guarantee in life that he will never relapse. That's the reality I have to live with & consider. I can't possibly know what my reaction will fully be at the point if he were to relapse. In some ways I feel like the longer he goes without relapsing, the harder it will be if he does because it also means a longer period of my rebuilt trust destroyed. Will the details of the relapse matter? If he slips & has 1 beer, 1 day will I somehow find that more acceptable than if he went on a bender that lasted many months? But then, destoyed trust is destroyed trust & to what degree may not matter. If relapse occurs, will he even choose sobriety again?

But most importantly, if this fictional relapse comes about, where will I be in MY recovery process? I have to believe that if he were to relapse at this point, my reaction would be different now based on my growth/changes over this time as well. I can't control whether he chooses to drink, but I can control my reaction to it as well as the boundaries for what I find acceptable.

So I can say this: Yes, right now, my partner has chosen recovery & we have been able to work hard to stay together & salvage our marriage because we were both willing to work hard at it & still valued & loved each other despite all the BS. SO FAR ..... he has only been sober for 18 months. I cannot know what tomorrow or next year bring... but SO FAR, we are making it work & rebuilding.

I forgot I ever participated in this thread, but since it was bumped I'll update my own situation:

RAH did relapse later that year, I believe it was Oct 2013. I know there are a couple threads in my posting history with all the fun details.

I was absolutely correct when I said in the above quote that for me, the most important factor in his relapse was where I was at in MY recovery.

When it came down to it - that's what REALLY mattered. THAT'S what carried me through, helped me stay calm & steady, especially for DD. I proved a lot to myself about what I'm really capable of.

I could have literally never predicted how/when/where/why his relapse would occur or expected it to be about much more than the amount of alcohol involved or number of days off drinking. I was SO grateful that I had not wasted time worrying over those details, future tripping over stuff I would be proven wrong about.

Yes, his relapse was shockingly short in terms of alcohol volume/frequency. His consequences were enormous because *this* time he managed to cross the line to DUI. For us, it all came down to behaviors. What his relapse REALLY showed me was that he'd been fooling both of us for 2 yrs - that being sober in & of itself doesn't change behaviors. He didn't really commit to recovery until his relapse, IMO.... that's when he started to do the WORK.

On the other hand *I* was basking in the glow of having done the work on my side of the street. I had Plan B, I managed to move life forward with very few missed beats. I didn't react as much - skipping all that excess adrenaline rush/crash. I slept at night. I laughed with friends. I demonstrated for DD how we don't have to "all fall down" just because dad made some poor decisions. Life went on for us while he ran in circles figuring his own way out of his own mess.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:54 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you find yourself here Catalyst, but I know you will find exceptional support & information via shared experiences here at SR if you stick around.

7 days. No where close to enough time to have any clue where this is leading either of you. In recovery, 7 days is a beginning, the first few paragraphs of the preface. Deep friendships established in 7 days time? No.

I wouldn't read too much into the movie's meaning or try to search for parallels in your own life...... to me her request for you to watch the movie is just a soft version of emotional manipulation.

You divorced & remarried before she ended up in treatment so there is obviously more to your story. Why not start your own thread & introduce yourself that way? You'll get more responses specific to your situation or questions.

Welcome to the forums!
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:50 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I know the odds are definitely against addictions in a marriage but IMHO the 2 people involved need to own up to what they have done wrong. If either one isn't 100% truthful and willing to make a change then it will rarely work out. Denial is very powerful and regardless whose to blame if you can't see what you are doing wrong in a relationship then it will be difficult to make progress.

I don't think mine is going to survive. 10 yrs of off and on drinking and the manipulation has killed my love for her. I want nothing to do with my wife because I don't think she truly wants to own her faults.
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:37 PM   #36 (permalink)
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There is an acronym to the word fear that I really like in the recovery space:

False
Evidence
Appearing
Real

Your wife is telling you she's afraid to go home, probably encouraged somewhat by this movie that she just watched. She's 7 days deep into rehab (how long is she staying, 30 days? 90 days?) and is (hopefully) likely to change a little more by the time they discharge her.

Your FEAR here is that she's telling you that she's going to leave or not return home to you (I've never seen the movie) in a very passive way.

My husband went to rehab last August and has a personality similar to your wife's (and to many other alcoholics, it's weird how friendly and likable many alcoholics can be) he made many friends and runs into them frequently and now does most of his business transactions with people he knows from his rehab stint. I say all this to tell you that he told me ALL KINDS OF STUFF while he was in rehab and right after he got out of rehab and honestly, a lot of it was just non-sense. Your wife has likely only been sober for a week. Of course she's afraid to leave a place where she has no access to alcohol and isn't socializing with other people who can and do drink without issue. Being sober in rehab is easy! Being sober outside of rehab...well, that's really difficult and SCARY for many alcoholics.
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