Gone back to drunk wife...am I mad?

Old 09-20-2013, 07:38 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I feel you. My husband has never been "much" of a drinker; he never had cans of beer around. He was a social drinker, and a hider; he'd have a bottle of wine that he stole money from me to get ("Oh, honey, do you anything from the store? I'll go so you don't have to drive.") that he halfway hid in the shed out back. And he never staggered nor got visibly drunk. I knew he was intoxicated, but it was mostly an annoyance.

And all his friends gave him hell about seeking treatment, because they insisted he didn't have a problem (mostly because if he did, they did... they're round-the-clock beer drinker types)
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:49 AM
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Dear Lewis---be careful that you, unwittingly are helping her maintain the "perfect" image. Hide it from no one--even if she does get angry.

So many times, the family unconsciously conspires to keep a parent's drinking a "secret"--which, of course, allows them to continue to drink more or less comfortably.

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Old 09-20-2013, 07:52 AM
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You are enabling her to continue down her chosen path of drinking.

She is driving the bus, the bus your children are riding on and all you’ve done is hop aboard and sit next to them, while she is still driving.

What your children are experiencing is NOT normal. There is nothing normal about growing up with alcoholic and codependent parents.

Glad you have done therapy but what about them, are seeking help for them or are you still trying to deny/hide the fact that their mother is an alcoholic.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:11 AM
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I don't have any advice because I don't have experience with what you are going through. Just wanted to say I'll send prayers your way.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:29 AM
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I've had my kids in therapy to get them the help they need dealing with their insane mother. Professional people know when to pull the plug in these situations and it can really help IF push comes to shove - in the mean time, they are getting the help they need growing up well adjusted - one of your kids is all ready not speaking to her. An ideal mum? NOT! And she isn't the worst of them either - some where in between - but still - point is = we want the best for our kids --

So often good is the enemy of best, isn't it?
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:31 AM
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Lewis, I would just like to remind you that alcoholism is a progressive disease.

She doesn't drink and drive w/the kids in the car--yet.

She isn't abusive until later at night--yet.

Things don't seem too bad to you--yet.

But the unfortunate thing is, you don't get a timeline to look ahead on and go "OK, on March 16th, she WILL decide to drink and drive and she will kill one of the kids and an innocent person driving another car, so the day before THAT is when I'll need to take action."

It's not that bad until it suddenly IS that bad. You get no advance warning when it's going to happen. And the damage may be repairable and it may not.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Lewis73 View Post
Some great advice above....heres the problem....she is maybe not as bad as I think? I know this sounds like its ME in denial! But let me describe a day to you and you tell me if this is someone I should try and get out the house....

She will get up at 6.30am (with a head ache!) and get the kids school lunch ready
She'll get them to school (10 min walk away) - I do it when I can but often have left the house by then for work.
She'll come home....now, from 10am until she gets them at 3pm anything can happen. She may have a good day and do cleaning/DIY non-stop, may meet friends...or may just crash in bed. She will probably drink if she doesnt have to drive later that day...but wont get very drunk.

3pm she gets the kids and from then until 8pm ish is busy with getting dinner. If she has to drive them somewhere she wont have drunk....but she avoids doing that (i take them places almost daily for sports, etc) because while she is getting dinner (which is stressfull with young kids yelling and fighting) she start sneaking off to her bedroom for a few cans.

By 8 or 9pm the kids are bed, we are both home and she'll have had 4/5 cans....if I'm nice and happy she will be as well (although I can tell she is clearly "altered" - oddly, friends dont even notice she is drunk) She will often cook dinner and sit and chat....all happy families while she sneaks in another 4 cans or so. We'll go to bed, she'll pass out pretty quick and spend all night snoring and smelling off booze.

If I mention the drink...we will fight, she'll say she is fine/its her choice/she could stop but doenst want to and then, in a mood, she'll drink more!

So you see (i hope) the problem.....if I shut up everything is almsot ok...the kids arent daft, they see the empties in the bin every day and the 13 year old will mutter "drink" when he gets shouted at for doing something minor.........but its not like she drink drives, she only vomits everywhere after getting REALLY wasted on nights out (once a month I suppose) - In the last 8 weeks she went clubbing with friends and fell over (huge bruise) and we had the holiday vomit issue......so in her mind, its no big deal. (well..it is, otherwise she wouldnt have spent £££££ on home detox, wouldnt have a bedroom carpet still stained by sick, her 17 year old daughter would still talk to her, etc, etc - its just amazing how the drunk mind tricks itself.....she has recently got annoyed at ME for getting her help with detox as she views it as a waste of money as she now sees she could have stopped herself but just doenst want to! Twisted reality!!!)

I really dont know what to do...I wish she was drink driving so I could have something to go at her about.
Holy Hatbaskets, Batman. Yes, she's as bad as you think & I would wager that she's really much worse off than you realize.

It's like this - when you're IN IT you can hardly see the reality, but when you have a more removed POV (like us online strangers here at SR) we can see it more clearly... much like the way the view changes from being on the ground at point zero vs. viewing it from an airplane above. Same situation, totally different understanding.

When I read this post I find it to describe intolerable behavior. FOR ME, I could not live my life around this type of emphasis on her drinking. Everyone in the family has to work AROUND her and she bases her choices (whether to participate in taking her kids to their sports obligations, etc.) around whether she "wants" to drink. So essentially, you are ALL hostages to alcohol, every single one of you in that house.

I think the fact that your oldest child won't even speak to her mother speaks VOLUMES. Your children are hurting and telling you so: LISTEN TO THEM. I have long since forgiven my father for his addiction but I had a bit of a harder time forgiving mom for NOT stepping up as the SOBER parent & protecting us when she could.

Please understand how this disease progresses. There is so much shared information on this site, I spent 8 months reading before I ever posted. What you are experiencing now is just collateral damage compared to where you are likely headed. The problem for us codies is that we adjust degree by degree to the damage our A's cause & find these small adjustments tolerable, never seeing the larger strokes until it's too late.

Please read the stickies, visit the ACoA forum & read about how children of alcoholics struggle even after becoming independent adults & think about how your kids are being exposed to that same poison.

The problem is she doesnt see her problem as anything she cant sort out if she WANTED to......
Every active alcoholic thinks this. Every. Single. One. It is part of the disease/dysfunction. Has she ever actually DONE it?
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
Lewis, I would just like to remind you that alcoholism is a progressive disease.

She doesn't drink and drive w/the kids in the car--yet.

She isn't abusive until later at night--yet.

Things don't seem too bad to you--yet.

But the unfortunate thing is, you don't get a timeline to look ahead on and go "OK, on March 16th, she WILL decide to drink and drive and she will kill one of the kids and an innocent person driving another car, so the day before THAT is when I'll need to take action."

It's not that bad until it suddenly IS that bad. You get no advance warning when it's going to happen. And the damage may be repairable and it may not.
I think this bears repeating...

Yet, yet, yet. These things haven't happened YET.

You think it's not that bad and then one day you wake up & your whole world is changed & it IS that bad & you realize it HAS been for a long, long time. Something will happen to change the balance - she'll misjudge her intoxication level & try to drive, her tolerance will change & suddenly drop, etc.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
I think this bears repeating...

Yet, yet, yet. These things haven't happened YET.
YET = You Eventually, Too!
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:11 AM
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Lewis, alcoholism is progressive. It will get worse. It is getting worse. She can hide the drinking, but she can't hide the fallout.

You seem to want someone here to agree that you're doing the right thing by keeping your drunk wife and your sad, confused kids under the same roof because you're afraid of taking action. I personally can't do that. As long as you're minimizing the reality of your wife's situation -- and let's face it, her drinking habits are not normal, her drinking habits are not acceptable, and she is causing dozens of problems in your family's lives that are completely irrational and unnecessary -- nothing will change.

You want a sober wife. That's a totally reasonable desire. This woman may not be that wife. This woman is an alcoholic. You need to act on *that* information, not what you want, and not what you're afraid of.

Please protect your children by separating them from the consequences of her alcoholism. If you still doubt the message, read the ACOA forums.

Your kids only get one childhood.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:50 AM
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Let's start with a high point . . . .

Originally Posted by Lewis73 View Post
(17 year old wont talk to her at all)
mkay, there is a real bright spot in all this.

THAT kid has a clue.

I vote you nominate THAT KID the grownup while you run-around in circles being a nursemaid cleaning up vomit.

You have alateen over there? The kids are going to need it.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:43 PM
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The fact that your oldest won't speak to Mom should speak volumes to you. Damage is being done to your kids, whether you want to see it or not. You're description of a typical day in your house is tragic. Drinking interspersed with some chores, and avoiding some responsibilites in lieu of a drink.

I have to agree, I think you are looking for someone to agree that it's not that bad and just hang in there. If you are truly okay with this, if you are going to continue to make excuses for her behaviors (young kids yell and fight...stressful...drink), then that's your decision. You can choose to stay just like you are. No one is going to make you do anything different. Prepare to deal with the consequences when your kids are adults and dealing with their own pain as a result of growing up in this household. Prepare to deal with the progression of this disease.

I hope, instead, you find AlAnon and have a true reality check with yourself for your kids sake. But that's your decision, just like it's your wife's decision to drink.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:20 PM
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I am an alcoholic mum it has destroyed my family . I just got worse and worse until at the age of 53 I caught myself on . no one would challenge me cause I was more agreeable drunk /asleep than sober. Its too late for me as when I finally admitted my problem my S H sai hed had enough house up for sale now. you cant make her stop but you can stop the children and you suffering
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:23 PM
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well it didnt take long to get bad again!

had a night out last night...she did 4/5 cans in the day before we went then drank all evening. It was a posh masked ball.....she was an embarrassment (although maybe I'm over sensitive) - we sat at a table with strangers yet she was dropping F & C bombs. as we left i had loads of people say "get her home mate" and "good luck with that".....just embarrassing....yet the evening had moments that were great too.

this morning I told her how i'd loved the night out but just wanted her to know that she doent know ALL the affects drink has on her.....I told her about the comments made to me. Not to embarrass her....but t get her to see I just want to be so proud of her.

She seemed ok but then sneaked in 3 cans before noon....went to a friends for another then came home with a 6 pack.......we had a huge row, she told me all her friends hate me and think she is stupid to have me back.....she says she hates me and wants me to go.

and now my 17 year old tells me she wants to move out and live with her gran because of her mum......my wife doesnt care, says she hates her daughter and she was a big mistake.

Lost as to what to do....her parents dont want to know (dont know how to help).....I know if I chat to her friends she will never forgive me (and they probably see me as the cause of her drinking, as she does)

I'm starting to question whether I really am the cause of her drinking????? maybe I should leave?

Right now she hates me, wishes I was dead - wants me gone.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:49 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear about your family apparently falling apart.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:49 PM
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Lewis, go back and read this thread from the beginning. Pay attention this time. Do some of the things you've been advised to do.

Nothing changes if nothing changes, and I don't see where you have done anything different.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Lewis73 View Post
simple summary - married 20 years, 4 kids.

wife never drunk then, 3/4 years ago in her early 30's she went at it like she was making up for lost time!

jump forward to this summer and I (and my kids) have been through it all....4 detox's (££££££), more vomit than I knew was possible, drunken kisses with other men.

I left the family home in April hoping she would get "better" - she did for a bit but always goes back to it.

A couple of weeks ago we went on a family holiday - she drank the whole time (i was clearing up sick at 3am one night)......when we got back I realised I have to be back home for my kids (7,10,13, 17) so I moved back.

She agreed because (when not drunk) she'd love us all to be together.....I'd love that too but really I just see my kids lives being ruined (17 year old wont talk to her at all)

So now I have this situation where we are "trying" to get on and get things back on track......which is summed up by me working my butt off while she does 10 large cans of Bud a day. She knows that mad, she hates the negative affects it has on her but, in her words - "right now i just dont care enough to stop...i dont know why....i just dont....so stop bugging me"

I've read all the co-dependant books and there is no way I will go back to getting sucked into her problems like I was.......but I just feel like "what am I doing"!!!

My hope is that one day she will just think "time to stop"......she says she could stop tomoorow, she just doesnt want to......but why would she stop? she has money, I drive the kids in the evening so she never has to drink drive.....she functions ok enough that all her friends just think she likes a drink.

I'm stuck! I cant leave my kids with a drunk.......I cant stand living with someone I love who is wasted by 4pm (although you cant tell....her tolerance is through the roof......she can do 10 cans and appear fine - which helps her hide it)

Do I just wait till the youngest is old enough to cope...then bail out? might she wake up one day and quit? do i live in the mean time like i am trying (and enable her) or live like i am not happy about it (and annoy her)

It's horrific, but the best thing right now is if she had something horrible hapen to her - drink related illness, crash the car....something to shock her.

she is off on a 4 day holiday with her girlfriends next week......i hope she vomits over them like she did on our holiday.....might make her (and them) see whats really going on.

And why do her friends bother me!!!! when i take the kids to school i feel like they are all looking at me thinking - theres that rubbish husband that left his wife....i just want to shout and them "shes a bloody drunk" !!!!
Welcome to the island.
The exact reason were all here and need help. Though we arent the alcoholic.
Alcoholism has effected our lives. Its poison that spreads from one person to the other.
I still struggle but the ping pong brain you have is the same. Lots of back and forth and unsurety and before you know it your future ...their future is cloudy scary and disgusting and the future of your children and alcohol has taken center stage to your lives.
I suggest alanon and the steps.
The less you fight the disease and the more you fight your outlook..the better youll feel
Happiness is in you. I had to hit my head a few times until I realized my recovery was just as important as the alcoholics and that if I junped into it...if I practiced what I preached. I wpuld start to heal. Im working on it but I highly suggest you do too.
And as for her friends ...nobody understands what its like with an alcoholic until they are themselves. "Walking in anothers shoes type thing"
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:57 PM
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You aren't the cause of her drinking. You may be her excuse, but I assure you, leave, and she'll find another. It won't be her. It never is; only a recovering alcoholic learns to accept the problem isn't with other people.

You are destroying your children by staying with her. Any woman who is abusive towards their own child (and yes, that kind of discussion is abusive) isn't worth staying with, period. Any spouse who is abusive towards her significant other (yes, you) needs to be left to her own devices.

Stop accepting her abuse, for you and your children. Get out.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:22 PM
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Lewis, I think you're cutting her too much slack. She embarrassed you. Most people would have been embarrassed too; she was drunk and acting inappropriately and it sounds to me like you tried to sugar-coat it in the morning.

I'm the substance abuser in my family: what made me face up to what I was doing was my husband's insistence that I was acting out of line. Don't doubt yourself. You know she was embarrassing, your friends/co-workers confirmed it. Don't let her off the hook, don't let her think it's ok, that won't help.

It's very hard for substance abusers to find their way out of denial: I needed a loud, definitive voice. You aren't the bad guy: you're the husband and parent who's showing what healthy looks like.

Best to you,
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:39 PM
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It's not your fault.

Yes, it is as bad as you think it is (and worse, actually).

Get to Al-Anon N-O-W.

And for the love of God, get those kids out of there!!!
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