Encouargement?

Old 05-27-2013, 01:15 PM
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Encouargement?

Ok, well here goes. 1st about me. 58 yr old male, work construction, responsible, pay all bills on time etc., nothing special. Did I say this is hard for me? Anyway, wife developed a serious drinking problem some years ago, which has included alcohol overdoses (e.r. visits) seizures, dui's (3) the last being a felony, jail time(s), totaled cars, no job, (and more!)but you probably get the picture. Not to mention the financial disasters this has brought. She's left me numerous times, usually to family, (enablers), been through re-hab, and is currently gone again, (out of state w/ her son). Of course this is a very condensed version. I know its been rough for her with no driver's license, & no job. She states that its her fault and says she doesn't blame me. I know too most will say why do I even care, I should be glad. And in some ways I guess so. What I failed to mention is this is 33 year investment, not so easy, or quick to 'get over'.

I made the mistake of returning her call today, and now I'm paying for it emotionally. I'm also pretty certain she is borderline, or narcissistic, or an overlapping, plus alcohol. There also was a year or 2 addicted to Xanax, but that waned after re-hab. Anyway, she says things like, "you'll always be my husband, I love you", etc. When asked if our marriage is over:" probably".

There, of course is more to it, I hope some one can un-confuse me just a bit.
Ask me questions, tell me what I don't want to hear, or anything.
Oh, I asked her about her drinking today, and she said just in moderation, but still drinking. I know, I know, but go ahead anyway..........
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:27 PM
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Hi, and welcome.

This is a perfect opportunity to step OFF the crazy-train. Alcoholics will try to tell you what they think you want to hear. The bottom line is that she ISN'T recovering, and whether she has other mental-health issues or not, the alcohol exacerbates it.

Yes, she will probably always "love" you (as much as active alcoholics are capable of loving), and you can still love her, but still allow her to go her own way.

I still loved my second husband, who I left after he went back to drinking after almost dying of it. I still care and hope that he gets well. But for my own well-being I had to let him go and live my own life. As far as I know he is still drinking himself to death. There is nothing I can do to stop it. If I could have, I would have. I know it is not within my power to do it. It was too painful to continue to watch him self-destruct.

You do NOT have to have a front-row seat for the messes she is creating. I strongly suggest that you get yourself to Al-Anon and start working on your own recovery. You can't do anything to get her well, but there is a lot you can do to rebuild your own life.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:06 PM
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Thanks for that. Just needed some assurance for my own sanity. I think you hit the nail on the head. Its still very difficult for me to deal with, but I know I have to let go.

BTW, I had been a member here a few years ago, due to same scenario, but my original acct. disappeared. The point is it helped then, its helping now. This time though, I HAVE to listen to the advice. "Crazy train", that's a pretty apt description I must say.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SoloJohn View Post
What I failed to mention is this is 33 year investment, not so easy, or quick to 'get over'.
It never is, 3 years or 33 years. It's a painful, gut-wrenching experience, especially when addictions are involved and we "used to know" the person we thought we were growing old with.

There is no easy way, but there are ways to successfully detach and live your own life well. Al-Anon is a great place to start learning those ways. Read here as much as you can. Find a good therapist for some tips on how to handle alcoholism/addictions.

Who knows? Maybe you will set a good example for her to make some changes. At the very least, you will feel better about yourself and your life.

Keep posting and keep coming back
~T
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
It never is, 3 years or 33 years. It's a painful, gut-wrenching experience, especially when addictions are involved and we "used to know" the person we thought we were growing old with.

There is no easy way, but there are ways to successfully detach and live your own life well. Al-Anon is a great place to start learning those ways. Read here as much as you can. Find a good therapist for some tips on how to handle alcoholism/addictions.

Who knows? Maybe you will set a good example for her to make some changes. At the very least, you will feel better about yourself and your life.

Keep posting and keep coming back
~T
That is greatly appreciated. I'm at a pretty low point right now. Talking to her today was a mistake, and a long weekend doesn't help too much either. For once, I'll be glad to go back to work tomorrow. I'm looking at Al-Anon, but the closest mtg I've found so far is about 80 miles away, but I'll keep looking. (I live in the sticks-LOL)
Please keep the comments coming, they mean so much-thanks.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:52 PM
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Dear Solojohn, there are online meetings here--but, I have never done them. There is talk of telephone meetings, also.

Maybe, someone else who is familiar can help you with this if you are interested?

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Old 05-27-2013, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Dear Solojohn, there are online meetings here--but, I have never done them. There is talk of telephone meetings, also.

Maybe, someone else who is familiar can help you with this if you are interested?

dandylion
Yes, I saw that, and intend on pursuing that a bit more. Not sure how it works though. Maybe the telephone mtgs. are like a conference call? Thanks for the reminder. I definitely need to look into support. I have got to move on. The replies here are a great motivator to do so. And I cannot emphasize enough how much they help. It helps so much to know I am not alone in this struggle, as I have no family support. There are some really good people here. I hope one day, I can reciprocate the help for someone else.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:26 PM
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Just a thought here, John,

You might want to CALL the Al-Anon number, as well as possibly the AA Intergroup office. Some places are better than others about keeping their websites updated with local meeting info--there might be a closer group than 90 miles away. And even if that IS the closest group, I'd make it a point to go to at least one or two meetings. The benefit of the face-to-face element is not to be minimized, IMO.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Just a thought here, John,

You might want to CALL the Al-Anon number, as well as possibly the AA Intergroup office. Some places are better than others about keeping their websites updated with local meeting info--there might be a closer group than 90 miles away. And even if that IS the closest group, I'd make it a point to go to at least one or two meetings. The benefit of the face-to-face element is not to be minimized, IMO.
I will try that, since my parents that I'm looking after are not too far away from that meeting. Its just a matter of scheduling. I really need to take a step in that direction.

Ironically, earlier, I was reflecting on just how much alcohol has screwed up my life. Both my parents were/are alcoholics, as well as my wife. I can't even relate how much my childhood was wacked out because of it, and then my marriage. I've had my run-ins with it as well, but never to the point where I have been enslaved to it. Another irony, of 3 kids, I'm the only one looking after my parents-who, have many serious health problems due to ...yep, you guessed it. Sorry-just rambling. Getting tired I guess.

The physical meeting of Al-Anon; I'll do my best to try, thanks for that encouragement.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:03 AM
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Sorry about your situation, but glad you're here. Your wife seems to be saying the usual A stuff...they will usually say whatever it takes to keep us hooked. I learned don't listen to what they say, watch what they do. She's still drinking, no job, no license, etc. None of that points to a healthy future.

I think a lot of us get trapped because we've been in the situation a long time. We seem to feel a commitment to the time already put into the relationship. But when only one partner is truly in the re'ship....what exactly are we protecting? Life is short.... each of us deserves a real partner and a happy life.

I hope you get to AlAnon. (((hugs)))
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:39 AM
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Her being gone is a great break for you regardless.
It is hard...there are alot of hard things when it comes to an alcoholic loved one.
The best thing to remember is tough love is still love and hurting shortly is better than hurting in the long run.
That being said its ok to have boundaries, to be stern and clear with her and to take time away from the relationship. Dont buy into her only in moderation bs when it comes to her drinking....truth is and reveals itself in time ..

There is no moderation, no little bit and no just the weekends.
This is only a ploy for the alcoholic to continue drinking.
They hold dearly and tightly to it until they are faced with a choice sink or swim. Sometimes they never swim
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:13 AM
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There is some real wisdom in these comments. Realistically, our relationship had taken a turn for the worse for some time now. The drinking had become a real barrier. I felt it had taken precedence over me, well, really over everything. I'm sure you understand what I mean. It had become an everyday occurrence, what greeted me when I came home from work. There was always the booze and tobacco, but no visible source of money. I simply would not support it. But she always managed to have it.

I have to agree, that its sink or swim. She just hasn't had to face that-yet. But I know its coming. I have already decided she was not coming back here as long as the drinking is going on, and there has to be a track record established before I would even consider any sort of reconciliation. A long track record. I haven't told her that yet, though. Right now, she believes she still has the choice open. But this time I have to stand firm. She wants me to believe that's why she left, to remove herself from the situation, and clean up. Maybe she can, but after all of the time that has passed, all of the circumstances, promises, I'm not buying it. Evidence, not talk at this point.

Right now I just have to deal with me, and get through this early phase. I know it will get a little easier with each passing day, but I have to quit having contact, especially now when I feel so vulnerable. That's the hard part I guess.

Recovering: you are a truly wise person, and I needed those hugs

Lonelygirl: these too are real words of wisdom, and your comments are a great encouragement, thank you.
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Old 05-28-2013, 01:45 AM
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Get ready for a very painful dance. Borderlines are notoriously manipulative and will say or do anything to pull people back in. Add an "Alcoholic" to the BPD and you've got a hell of a rollercoaster to look forward to. I can say this because I am a borderline and I went through a hell of a year in intensive recovery. Like an addict, I had to commit completely and throw myself in to every session, do my homework, address some tough things in my life, and stop being a slave to my past.

What I do want to say is: having a mental illness doesn't provide a "get out of jail free card". She treats you badly and needs some serious help, but only she can come to that realisation and she has to do it alone.

Let's be honest here - it's not going to get easier, at least not for a while.

It's going to hurt. It's going to feel like a part of you is missing, food will lose its flavour and you will lose the joy of living. It sucks.

But, doesn't it already feel like that? When you find yourself the victim of one of her crazy episodes and drunken binges; don't you feel like your whole life is a sham? How did I get here? When did it all get so hard? When did I stop standing up for myself? You will question over and over how this is all happening and you seem powerless to stop it.

And you are right to think those things. You are right to question your sanity, your sense of self, your value... Because it's exactly those things that are in serious need of puffing up in order to make the hardest decision of your life.

I learned a really valuable lesson in my BPD recovery - "Healthy does not stay for unhealthy" - and you know what? It doesn't. If you don't get around to going to an Al-Anon meeting, try to see a counsellor. The only way we can truly be free of the toxic people in our lives is to eradicate the toxins within us. Sometimes, when we have been crushed to the point of total destruction, it is too difficult to leave. It's easier to stay and dream of our escape, instead of actually enacting it.

I saw it in my mum when I was a child - she lived in a dream like state "Oh when this happens, I'll be happy - when the house is finished, I'll be happy, when we go on holiday, bla bla bla" - never mind the fact that she was in a loveless marriage with an abusive husband who beat her kids. It's the same kind of principle, eventually we choose to dream of the reality we want, the life we could have - the people we could be, instead of making the hard choice and actually doing those things, living that life, being that person.

I'm going off on a tangent here, but it really is this simple:

Work. On. You. NOT HER. You are in a relationship, yes. But she is one person, and you are another person entirely. Each of you with your own life, your own self, and your own problems. A truly beautiful union is one where both parties are happy, whole, healthy individuals.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:04 AM
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I hope the long weekend wasn't too painful for you. There are so many painful parts to dealing with the alcoholism of someone you love or used to love or whatever (even if your feelings for them are a muddled mess).

I think growing up with alcoholic parents probably means that you (like me - although for me it was aunt & uncle that we practically lived with) have learned a whole bunch of whacky, unhealthy, and unhelpful (especially to you) survival strategies. Unlearning them and replacing them with healthy ones is for me happening through a combination of AlAnon meetings & program, counseling/therapy, reading and posting here, and reading an awful lot about how addiction impacts us in the family.

Letting go of feeling responsible for another person's addiction and life was hard for me. Not pitying them and wondering if I had indeed done everything I could for them was, too.

The odd thing is that in all of that concern and worry and pain and fighting this monster that addiction is... I missed the fundamentally life changing impact it had on me. Sure, I knew that I had changed during my marriage to an A but I didn't realize that everything in my life circled around his drinking and drunken behaviors. Everything.

Recreating my life after an alcoholic marriage is a process that isn't only painful though. And that's the main thing I wanted to relay from my experience. There is hope and beauty and life to be had on this side. Hard work. But I have a feeling you're used to hard work already. And this time, you're doing it for someone who will appreciate it - yourself.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:31 AM
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I'm in the process of ending a 37 year marriage to AH. It's not easy and it does get a little crazier for awhile. I love him dearly but I can't live like this anymore . Every baby step you take brings a little more peace. With my first feelings of peace came the ability to make some very important decisions. The more I move forward, the better I feel. I'm not saying it easy but it's possible to end long term crazy relationships.
There's a lot of wisdom on this site. I find , the less contact I have, the better I'm able to function. Getting off the crazy train is great advice. There's great support here...we're walking with you in spirit.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:01 AM
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Jad, you are so right. It HAS been a hell of a ride for so long, I don't know what normal is. I think the BPD runs in her family, and all her siblings are addicted to booze/drugs/tobacco. No offense to any one who smokes, but to me its just another harmful addiction.

Really, if I look at things in the right perspective, a part of me has been missing for a long time. I've tried to keep things patched-up because of some sort of misguided loyalty. I knew it was wrong, I guess like you say, it was easier than facing the reality. I felt so very powerless to stop it, and truth be told, I am powerless to stop it. Nothing has changed (for the better ) so far.

Jad, again you are so right, I have questioned my sanity many times, but I keep repeating the same things hoping for a better outcome???. That truly is insane. And don't worry about going off on a tangent, because what you say is right on the mark.


Lill: I identify a lot with what you say. I still feel pity for her, I think in part because I know she's got a very rocky road ahead, and she has no idea how big the rocks will be. She's always had a security blanket (me), as well as her enabler family members. They think they're helping but realistically they have caused so much harm, and the saddest part is they can't see it. There really is not much incentive to straighten up if there are no real consequences for not doing so, and someone is always there to bail you out. I can only do my part.

I know there is sunshine on the other side of the mountain, its just going to be a while before I get there. Just have to hold on. Not to repeat an old cliche' , but it has to be 'one day at a time'.

Thank you grammy, very encouraging, especially with your experience. Yeah, baby steps. Good advice.

Thank you for your comments, they mean a lot. I've got to go to work now, but post up more when I get home this evening. Keep the advice, experiences, and ideas coming, it means more than I can relate.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:11 AM
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Hello John, and Welcome!

One day at a time is sometimes all we can do...

I'm sorry about your wife and hope that she will one-day choose recovery and hold onto it with everything she has. It certainly doesn't sound as though she is at that point yet, though.

I'm glad you have reached out. You deserve to some peace and joy in your life, and SR is a great place to start! You will find a lot of support here and the combined wisdom of people who are in various stages of the same life situation.

Please make yourself at home!
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by SoloJohn View Post
I felt so very powerless to stop it, and truth be told, I am powerless to stop it. Nothing has changed (for the better ) so far.
SoloJohn, I can't tell you enough how incredibly wrong this sentence is. You feel powerless to stop it, but you hold all the power here. The problem is she has you feeling like she holds the cards, when in reality you do. You don't realise how everything you do holds her up, how you weave this tapestry that she creates her life with. Her life revolves around you and her alcohol. The former because of her BPD, and the latter because of her addiction - AND NEITHER of those things are helpful or healthy.

If she truly has BPD, you are dealing with an unstable individual who truly believes that YOU are the problem and that she is putting up with you. In a rare moment of clarity or weakness, she may realise she actually treats you bad - and it will usually be when you take a stand. Once she pulls you back in and feels secure again, she will start back up again with her bad habits. The alcohol will only serve to make this process longer, harder and more painful - often with disastrous consequences.

You feel powerless only because you are in a relationship with someone who will tear you down and rake you through the coals one day, only to draw you back in and "love you, please you, pledge to you" the next.

I want to make this so clear to you: You have the power here BUT only over your own actions.

You need to be accountable for what you choose to do from here on in. It's like when you are sick, you go to the doctor to get rid of the bug and hope to heal? Well, leaving an alcoholic is the same process. They are the sickness. They invade you, infect you and leave you drained, depleting you completely of all your nutrients and goodness.

These are some of the techniques I Have picked up and use regularly:

Try to focus on you. Pick something you like to do, even if it's only for a few minutes a day, and just do it.

Let her stuff be her stuff. If she starts ranting at you, accept that her words and actions are about her - not about you. If you let her words lose their power, they cannot hurt you anymore.

Plan for the future. Write down a list of things you'd like to do, the person you want to be, and where you'd like to be in 6/12/18 (however many) months time. Plan out how you could get there. My go to is always travel - where would I like to go? How can I get there. You need to start setting your own goals now. You have made her recovery your goal - Let that be her goal now.

And lastly - an important one from my therapist. You have to assume that she is never going to change. Never. She will stay this way forever and nothing will ever get better. It will just stagnate and you will stay on the wheel forever. Picture it. Accept it. Now consider - is this how you want your life to be? Could you be happy doing this, day in - day out, every day for the rest of your life?

Refuse to consider "what if's", they are empty promises that belong in a fantasy. Only consider the facts.

She is who she is and she is who she CHOOSES to be.

So who do you choose to be?
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:38 AM
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Oh and *hugs* - keep strong - it's not easy but it's worth it.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:52 PM
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Thanks Jad. I know what you are saying. You are right. And that is something I have not done so far. What you say about BPD is so very right. That is exactly what I have been experiencing.

I think this time out the realization is that she never will change. When I was a kid, I got in a little trouble, and had to stay in the detention home for a couple of weeks. I learned right then that was not for me, and never again. Lesson learned. My wife OTOH, has been through so much, and keeps on repeating the same things...crazy. I told her a while back, that I didn't trust her to drive again, and I know it made her mad. But that's the truth of how I feel. There's no evidence that she's learned anything so far.

You are exactly right: I must consider the facts, and forget the what-if's. Thanks for that kick in the pants, I need that.

I am planning a little for the future. I just applied for a passport, and it will be here in a couple of weeks. Plan on doing some MC travel to Canada this summer. Yeah, it is hard, and I know it will be worth it, just don't feel like it right now, you know? Thanks for more hugs..
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