A new member with questions

Old 06-05-2013, 03:23 AM
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A new member with questions

Hello to everyone on this board. I have been reading many of the posts here, but have not seen many situations similar to mine. I have been married for almost 21 years to my husband. I guess that I probably knew that he was an alcoholic when I married him, but didn't really want to admit it. He rarely drinks hard liquor; mostly beer and wine. Rather a lot, in my opinion, althogh I quit counting bottles and glasses awhile back. He has done so for over 40 years.
When he became disabled (back injury) about 5 years ago, I went back to school and finally obtained my BA and teaching certification. Because he wasn't working and spent his days home alone, he started drinking even earlier. He did not take a y pain meds, just self-medicated with alcohol.
We never talk about his drinking; the few times I tried resulted in horrible arguments, and I am not fond of confrontations. This past year was my first as a certified teacher, and required long hours . I seldom was home before 6 pm, and by then he was "all done". Our 16 year old daughter has been ver busy with school activities as well, so we have rarely seen the man that we have always known and loved. When he has had too much to drink, he is hurtful to both of us, repeats himself continuously, and then falls asleep (passes out) in his chair. In the morning, he acts as if nothing unusual has happened, and often forget s much of what he said.
I am getting to the point where I simply can't tolerate it any longer. I am also concerned for my daughter and want to see her finish high school, continuing her high grades. I'm afraid that if my marriage blows up, it will put her at risk. She is on track to receive some scholarships if she continues doing well. She truly is brilliant and deserves to go to college. As you might have guessed, I don't have the resources to send her without this help. As it now stands, I have many years of financial ais I will be paying on myself.
One more cog to throw in that is making me even crazier...I have been working with a gentleman that has been so pleasant and kind to me, that now I realize that normal relationships are really possible. I feel lik I have missed out for most of my adult life. I am not doing anything inappropriate with this fellow, but he does seek me out for conversation every week. Its kind of nice to talk to someone that is not judgemental, or that has suggestions about how I SHOULD be doing things. Just a nice chat.
Anyway, I feel like I am at some sort of crossroad; not sure about my next steps.
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Old 06-05-2013, 03:50 AM
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WELCOME to Sober Recovery!!!! You have found a great place with lots of experience, strength and hope (ES&H) from folks who have been where you are now or are where you are now. I am very glad that you found us, but sorry for the reasons why you had to.

Many have found some help and ways to clear one thoughts (myself included) by checking out some Alanon meetings. We suggest 6 different meetings to see if one might 'fit' with you a bit.

Also you may want to try some one on one counseling with a therapist that specializes in addictions.

Also, please read the 'stickys' at the top of this forum, there is lots and lots of great information there.

As to your daughter, there are Alateen meetings that she might like to 'check out' where she would be among her peers that also an alcoholic parent or sibling. Also I am not sure how a divorce would hurt her chances for scholarships or grants unless you are referring to the emotional damage, which in reality is already happening since he gets nasty when he drinks and she and you are being called names, etc.

There is one item that most of us live with here, and it is called The 3 C's.

You didn't Cause this.

You can't Control this.

You can't Cure this.

Since you are very stressed over this and you have every right to be, you might want to consider a separation of you and your daughter from him. You two moving out or getting him to move out. I cannot tell you when and if he will hit his bottom, but it is yours and your daughters right to live with peace and serenity and obviously your are not at this time.

Others will be along as we get into this new day to share their ES&H also.

Please, keep posting and let us know how you are doing as we care very much. Feel free to rant, rave, scream, cry and yes even laugh.

Love and hugs,
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:26 AM
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Yurt, Welcome. Your situation sounds very similar to mine and I totally related to your post. There are so many wonderful people on this board and lots of help if you read through the posts and pinned threads. Glad you are here.
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:33 AM
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Hi, Yurt--welcome and glad you found SR. I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation, but you are NOT alone.

You said you've been reading on the site, and another member already advised you to check the stickies at the top of this forum section. I would also recommend that you attend some Alanon meetings as soon as you can; they are a wonderful source of support and information. You can google them easily. They also offer email, phone and chat meetings if you are unable to attend a face-to-face meeting, but I would recommend the in-person meeting if at all possible.

You and your daughter deserve better than this. Again, you are not alone and you will find your way thru this.
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Yurt View Post
I have been reading many of the posts here, but have not seen many situations similar to mine
The notion that my situation is somehow different is part and parcel of the disease which tells me that what works for them won't work for me, I am alone in this and I have good reason to be a martyr. This distortion of my perception limits my view of what is possible, what is available and what I deserve or can achieve.

The more I work towards an inclusive view that aligns my humanity with that of those God has brought into my life the closer I get to realizing my true relationship to God and my fellow man.

That is, I strive to see the similarities and disregard the differences operating with the understanding that the differences likely appear disproportionately larger than they are and the similarities are likely minimized because I, too, am affected by the family disease of alcoholism and I have learned to identify some of those effects.

In case, you are not hearing it loud enough; you are not alone and there are those among us who have dealt with or are dealing with the same or worse difficulties.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:26 AM
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Welcome to you Yurt. I relate to so much of your story!! My XAH was also disabled; and with all that unstructured time the alcoholism gradually ramped up. It took me years to recognize, I knew he was acting different; but attributed it to his disability. It also made the decision to leave a torturous one. Oh the guilt!!!! We also had teenage children whose lives were greatly affected. There were emotional struggles for sure; but they are both living happy and successful lives!

I can't imagine what my life would be like if I had stayed. I can't tell you what is right for you. I know there were many things that I valued that I thought would be "gone forever" if I left.... the main thing for me was the beautiful house we had built together. But I couldn't take the pain anymore; so I left. I have been amazed to discover that letting go truly did open up opportunities for a better life (and home) than I could have ever imagined!
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:33 AM
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You said you've been reading on the site, and another member already advised you to check the stickies at the top of this forum section. I would also recommend that you attend some Alanon meetings as soon as you can; they are a wonderful source of support and information. You can google them easily. They also offer email, phone and chat meetings if you are unable to attend a face-to-face meeting, but I would recommend the in-person meeting if at all possible.

You and your daughter deserve better than this. Again, you are not alone and you will find your way thru this.
^^^ This.

Stick around. Not happy because of how you got here, but happy to have you here. This is a very active and supportive forum and there are many years of wisdom here. Hang out, read, and ask all the questions you want.

The three C's were very important to me and my process. I also attended therapy for a long while to figure out how to draw lines around what was my responsibility, and what was my AH's responsibility, and the same in my other relationships. I also learned how to let go of things I couldn't control, like how other people feel about me, or about all the possible outcomes I spent a lot of time trying to predict. I stopped arguing with AH and trying to reason with him, and started watching what he did when I didn't meddle.

My conclusion was that I was between a rock and a hard place. I could hold out and see if he could achieve recovery, but I was already at the end of my rope and didn't think I could hold out much longer. My kids were going to be affected negatively either way, so it was a matter of containing the blast. I knew if I started to separate my life from the effects of AH's alcoholism that I could regain control of my finances, my career, and my future, and in turn, my kids' future as well. There are still failures, disappointments, and obstacles in my life, but I'm not dealing with them while trying to balance the deadweight of an alcoholic grown man whose only concern was being left alone with his disease.

I was sick of living that way. I wanted more. I made space in my life for more and I got it.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:39 AM
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Thank you everyone, for your kind responses.
Nowinsituation, your post really made me see that I am not the only one with this situation. I am definitely not unique. And I also feel extremely guilty for even considering leaving. I am certainly not ready for that big of a step yet, as I think that I owe it to him (and us) to at least confront the issue. My plan has been to approach this during the summer when I am not working. Well, that time is now, and I have little confidence.
As I mentioned in my first post, I worked many hours a day this year (10-11 per day), and was looking forward to spending time with my H under more pleasant circumstances. What I see happening is that he usually starts drinking about 1 or 2 pm (not that I keep track. ) and starts to demonstrate his impairment by about 5 or 6 pm. Then, it is like a light switch has been tripped, and he is a different person. Often comparable to Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde. During the day, before that switch is has been toggled, he is reasonable, happy, and fun to be around. I want that person back Full Time! But I don't know if it will happen. All I can do is tell him what I see, and then it will be up to him to make the appropriate changes. About 3 months ago, he did quit smoking after 40 years, and I know that that was difficult to do. So, I suppose he might have the wherewithal to attempt this as well. One hiccup; his mother is in her final stages of life (she is 92), and we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. We expect the phone call any day now. After observing his reaction after his father passed away, I am bracing myself. Also, I made an appointment to have our 21 year old cat euthanized this afternoon, and everyone is unhappy today. (Ironic that the cat lasted as long as our marriage?) I think that we are in for a rollercoaster of a week.
There is very little intimacy in our relationship right now (imagine what 40 years of smoking and drinking does to the human body), and we talk about that occasionally. He doesn't make the connection to his drinking at all.
Regarding our daughter, she and I have talked many times about why Daddy acts the way he does, and she seems to be taking it all in stride. When she was in middle school, she was part of a youth program that encourages other students to stay away from drugs and alcohol. She has stated many times that she will never take a drink. I know she sees everything going on around her, but I think she also tries to keep it at a distance. During her 16th BD party (a sleepover with about 4 girl friends), my H did not change his routine at all, and I was petrified that he would ruin the party. The girls ignored him, and our daughter didn't seem to notice. When I asked her about it later, she said that she just didn't pay attention to him at all.
I guess I am here to gather information, to educate myself, and to gather courage. We will see what happens by the time school/work starts again in August. I may be posting a lot!
On a side note, I laughed pretty hard after reading the "chicken" post. My relationship with my friend from work seems a lot like that. I will need to watch myself.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:56 AM
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I identify with all you've said. You have all my admiration and kudos for getting your degree and following your career before it was too late. Very smart move even though some debt.

How you care for yourself during this challenge will set a good example for your daughter. I hope you can set up the network of support that you need, including Al-Anon and therapy. They can save the day and keep you going. If you can keep the communication open and straightforward with your daughter, she'll have her resilience to see her through this, too.

I am with my spouse and only in recent years, really understand that he abuses alcohol, self-medicating some major issues such as disability layoff after years of high-function; and now forced early retirement. He too, doesn't recognize the wine and beer as a problem.

I've waited too long and I don't recommend it. You've done the right things so far, and you've got a lot going for you. Best wishes coming your way.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:57 AM
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Welcome Yurt,

Your situation is not unique, you are among so many in similar situations who are just now realizing that life has more to offer then what you are currently experiencing.

How is your daughter feeling about her fathers drinking and condition she is witnessing him on a daily basis? Have you talked to her at all about HOW SHE FEELS this is affecting her? She is growing up with this being normal, most likely she will seek out an alcoholic or addict and repeat this same “family type relationship” I don’t think that is what you want for her.

Begin talking to her openly and HONESTLY about it, share how you feel, share how frustrating it is that there is nothing either one of you can do to change him or fix or cure his disease. Share how you feel that living apart from him might be in the best interest for both of you right now and she how she might feel about that. Talk and try and discover her insecurities about it, her fears……I’m sure you both have many in common.

As for this nice other guy….it has opened your eyes to a whole new wide world waiting for you out there.

((hugs))
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:19 PM
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An exhausting day, though I expected it. He took the cat issue pretty hard. Of course by the my daughter and I came home, he was pretty well lit. I knew that I would have to be the one to take care of things, but he surprised me and had a grave ready when we brought the cat home. Three large glasses of wine later, out like a light. Sometimes it's a blessing.
I thought I would get another driving lesson in with my daughter, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:42 PM
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Dear Yurt, please accept my deep sympathy for the passing of your dear cat. I have been there and so I understand how this touches everyone in your family. Our dear pets are truly our family members, also. May your fond memories of your kitty bring you comfort in the years to come.

very sincerely, dandylion
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:03 AM
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Yurt, I'm so sorry about all you are going through. It's all just lousy stuff, especially losing your cat on top of everything else.

I agree about talking honestly with your daughter. It sounds like you already do that - good for you! It might be good to find an Alateen group for her, too. More than anything it's important not to continue this pattern in her adult life. Most people internalize the patterns of their families of origin so deeply that they have no idea they even do it. I'm 44 and I'm just catching on to how entrenched I am in these habits. Kind of sad.

Just my own opinion here - be careful with your friend. It can be a slippery slope in this kind of situation. You aren't getting much comfort, validation, or companionship at home. It's easy to lose focus on taking care of yourself and fixing yourself when there is something that feels so nice to think about! I lost a lot of time daydreaming about one of my friends that way. Nothing ever 'happened' but I could have been actually dealing with my real life instead of living in a fantasy world all that time. Just some food for thought.

Take care. I'm glad you found SR. It's a godsend.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sueski View Post

I agree about talking honestly with your daughter. It sounds like you already do that - good for you! It might be good to find an Alateen group for her, too. More than anything it's important not to continue this pattern in her adult life. Most people internalize the patterns of their families of origin so deeply that they have no idea they even do it. I'm 44 and I'm just catching on to how entrenched I am in these habits. Kind of sad.

.
I understand what you are saying. Upon reflecting, I don't think that I have ever really had any healthy adult romantic relationships. No A's from childhood, but lots of other parent issues. I guess my coping skills leave a little bit to be desired. Don't want the same for her.

As for other fellow, I will probably have no contact with him until school starts in August. I can start to get myself focused in the meantime.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:49 AM
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Yurt - I experienced a very strong attraction to another man at about the time I discovered the alcoholism. An old classmate (and former flame) had viewed my profile on Classmates, so I casually send him a message, and he responded, and I responded back, and next thing we are emailing..... and I can't stop thinking about him..... but, we are JUST FRIENDS so it's OK. I was overwhelmed and confused by my emotions to say the least. I did know that if I was having that strong of feelings for another man, there was definately something wrong in my marriage.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:13 PM
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The other fellow? I think that he has been giving me mixed signals (or perhaps I read way too much into a few 15 minute chats), so after obsessing for a week, I went back to meditating (didn't bother for the past 3-4 years) and woke up with less anxiety today. Perhaps it is because I am past the stress of putting my cat down, and the reactions that I expected. Anyway, I have a class to participate in for work, and I finally feel like I can focus.

When I offered my experiences with my AH, I think I may have been pretty one sided. I was seeing and experiencing the worst, but it is not constant. One feeling that I can't get away from is that compared to others that I have read about, his behaviors are not as bad as most. Still, I hate having to walk around on eggshells, or scrutinize him in order to determine how drunk he is. We have an unspoken rule in our house that (at least my daughter and I follow it), that it is pointless to discuss anything of importance in the evening. His reasoning gets so convoluted that it is hard to follow his train of thought, he erupts into anger without notice, and he can usually be counted on to forget most of the discussion by morning anyway.
His good points? He has many! While I attended online university classes, he maintained the household chores that he is able (cooking, laundry, grocery shopping), and was very supportive of my efforts. When I started working full time in this field, he continued, but was unhappy about the hours that I needed to put into the job. I am pitching in now that I am off work, and he seems to be a bit happier. Still, I guess I expected bliss the first week off from work. He spends the hours that I am home, being non-communicative, often in front of the computer (maybe due to his mother's illness). Once he starts drinking, (1 or 2 pm), he opens up, but it is not always pretty.
We are taking a 3 day trip this weekend, so I am hoping that getting out of town will equal some quality time together as a family. Going to visit one of the state universities so that our daughter can see it first hand, and visit one of the scholarship foundations that has contacted her. We are also going to spend a day with his brother and splash in the pool. Looking forward to it.
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:35 AM
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"I was seeing and experiencing the worst, but it is not constant. One feeling that I can't get away from is that compared to others that I have read about, his behaviors are not as bad as most"

I get this. My situation is not that different. There are days it's fine, but there are days I wouldn't wish on anyone. Like yours, my AH is worse when there are stressors. Really, though, this is NOT a normal lifestyle. Just because there are those who have it worse doesn't mean it's okay. You are smart to have started meditating! I took much much longer to start true self-care and stop sticking my head in tHe sand,

Have a wonderful weekend! It sounds good.
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