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

Old 09-19-2013, 02:32 PM
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Gone back to drunk wife...am I mad?

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" !!!!
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:39 PM
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Thats a terrible situation.

Sounds like you need to focus on the best for your children, and yourself.

There is sadly not much to do for her. If you try and help, it will just make matters worse.

Can you create some consequences for her, like kicking her out of the house so that your children don't have to be exposed to this? Its terrible for them to be around her in that state.

Also, if you are working, and providing a home, and money while she is drinking all day, thats really quite enabling her behavior isnt it?

There is no way that I would leave my kids with her. At all.

Stay on this site. Lots of advice and wisdom here.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:45 PM
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the problem is i run my own business - so i need the huge amount of help she does provide......if i kick her out i would really struggle to work and look after 4 kids and the house.

a functioning alcholic is still better than nothing when it comes to domestic chores!

but you are right.....she is 100% enabled. she has lots of money, me to drive the kids.......and she uses "us" to hide from the crap.

good example....she has booked us a holiday for xmas now that we are a family again. 17 yr old doesn't want to go....i asked her why (literally, just chatted with her) she said the only reason she booked the holiday was because xmas at home would just highlight how all her family (and mine) dont come round any more....because they either dont know how to help, have been told by her to get lost.....or she hates them (because they do things like worry about the kids....which she takes offence to!!!!)
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:47 PM
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I know all too well the consequences of having a drunk wreck n nearly be shoveled off the road into a body bag. Today is being spent at the trauma center with brain surgery. The good news is that my AH has been sober for 2 weeks. His accident was on July 3rd. I thought it would be enough. Maybe having his head bored open with a 1" hole n a hose to drain the blood will do it.

You have my thoughts n prayers.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:49 PM
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First things first.

Well, glad you are here and putting the kids first.

I have three kids all under ten years of age.

If my wife started drinking again - she's been sober for a while now - I'd have to ask her to do one of two things:

A) go to treatment and meetings and get sober and stay sober or
B) leave until she was ready to do (A)

When the pipes break, I call a plumber; when the car breaks down, I call a mechanic. When my relationships break, I call my therapist for an appointment

I think it is my duty as a father to love my kids more than my wife, more than my life.

I'm sorry this is happening to you and your family.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:14 PM
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Lewis
hay Bro, nice post i took an interest in reading it cause sounds like you have great kids. if i was you, i would think of my kids too. to me kids would be number one in all my decisions in life. i cannot say to you that you made a mistake or not. but i will have big concern if i leave them with her alone. she can black out with them and god only know what can happen. what if she drives drunk them them. also they will be raised with memories of her drinking. you cannot stop her drinking, only she can stop her self. i pray that things get better for you.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:09 PM
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The fact that you went back home when nothing had changed is evidence that you HAVE been sucked back in. If you're true concern is for your kids, then you would get them out of there instead of joining back in the circus. Or get your wife out of the home. But to keep the kids there, and keep her there, because she helps with domestic chores and it would be harder for you on your own???? Seriously? You have 2 kids who are old enough to help out with chores, etc. You could form a healthy family team if you wanted. Your kids are exposed to this behavior every day. Read over in the adult children of A's forum, get a feel for what your kids will deal with in adulthood.

Time to face this head on without excuses. There are solutions if you're willing to do the work. Your kids deserve no less.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:53 PM
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Reality Check

Leaving kids home with a drunk is grounds for Child Protective Services to yank those kids outta the house, should anything happen to them and they find out she has a history and you "failed to protect".

Reality check, one, two three. Hello?
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:56 PM
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Lots of good info above, my situation is pretty similar. I travel for work alot, so I have trouble with being a single dad, I guess I thought it wasn't as bad as it really was for awhile, she's their mom, wouldn't hurt them would she? Well, wrong again, last day of school, she picked them up drunk, no one noticed, came home & passed out. I called her folks who showed up to find her this way. Took away the keys for awhile to get her sober, wash, rinse, repeat.

Finally thought I got smart & put a interlock on her vehicle, it works, trouble is she left & went to her parents house, drank like a fish, stole wine from her dad, like 7 bottles plus what she bought on the way there, stocked up pretty well apparently because there were quite a few empties hiding in her van. In rehab for 45 days, struggling & scared, but sanity has been restored to the household and the boys & I are getting along great.

I know what I'm going to do when she gets out, we're going to have our family schedule, she can choose to take part in the family activities when she's not going to AA and other recovery meetings and if she falls off the wagon, we'll follow the agreements we make during family week. I'm still getting my ducks in a row for that, but she's not going to be drinking around the boys anymore. It's hard I know because she's their mom for cryin out loud, but when she's drinking, it's like she's the opposite of a mom.

I wish you the best of luck and I feel your pain.

God Bless,
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:43 AM
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Hi Lewis,

No. You did good to go back to the children.

I have four children, too. Same ages roughly: 16, 13, 10 and going on 7. Only I am the mom and Dad's the lunatic alcoholic, in our case.

First off, thank God you returned to the children. They need a parent that they can rely on 200%. You need to be really loving and really present in their lives. And living and breathing Al Anon. Do you go to meetings? Do the older children go to Al Ateen?

I actually completely get the housework bit. No one understands the full time job it already is to feed and clean up after four children! I can work four hours non stop on cleaning, cooking and laundry and just barely scratch the surface of what needs doing. People who don't have four children have no idea what it takes.

Having said that, I don't think the children should be living with their mom while she's actively drinking. It's not healthy for them. Or necessarily safe. How about an intervention, just in case there is any getting through to her?

What I did when Stbxah got out of control was to meet with both the children's pediatrician and then a family therapist who met individually with the children and I to help determine the best course of action. Let others help you puzzle this out.

My hope through all of this was that AH would get into recovery. We'd still divorce, but he'd be a better parent to the children, and a heck of a lot easier to deal with.

It hasn't worked out that way. I'm on my own in this. Though the support of friends helps, and so does this forum! Good news is, the children and our household is calmer, peaceful and predictable. Everyone is finding a new balance and a better way forward.

Except for AH. But that's his path. Not ours!
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:46 AM
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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.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:11 AM
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Hi Lewis, you are doing the best you can in a difficult situation and I get the feeling you are not enabling her except where it's unavoidable. No doubt the children love their mum despite her behaviour. I was in a similar situation in my teens, I hated my parents drinking but I still loved them.
I think you are putting up with a lot for the sake of the children, and possibly you'll have to manage the problem until something gives. It's likely her drinking will worsen over time and you may have to take more drastic action.
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Old 09-20-2013, 04:49 AM
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Hello Lewis
I'm far too new in my own journey to even think about giving advice but I wanted to say that what I see in your post is a loving father who is doing the very best he can for his children.
I send you best wishes.
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:09 AM
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Dear Lewis, I really empathize with your situation--I do think you did the right thing by returning for the children and I imagine that they are very grateful for that!

I will give you my take on your situation. First priority--the children--they need to be separated from that drinking environment. How about consulting legal advice as first step (I am in U.S. and I know that the laws differ somewhat in the U.K.). Find out how a legal separation works. Step two--Ask her to go into treatment and AA program to maintain her sobriety. She may well reject this--but, she might not if she see that she might lose her marriage and family.

In any case, she will be faced with separation; divorce; loss of child custody---or get sober. This can be a powerful motivator for a mother. It is the reality, though---if alcoholism is to be eliminated from this home.

About the domestic responsibilities--one simply has to engage household help for some of it--and, as suggested by another poster--you all will work it out as a family team. Most children can handle more responsibility that we give them!! It won't hurt them.

Of course you will need lots of support--everywhere you can get it. From professionals--SR--Alanon---friends/family (if possible).

Lewis, there are options. Maybe, ones that you never wanted to consider before.......but, sometimes we have to do what we must do---even though we didn't have it in our dreams.

Many husbands and fathers have been in your shoes. You certainly are not alone!

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Old 09-20-2013, 06:05 AM
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Euphoric Recall Is A Beach.

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 don't know what to do...I wish she was drink driving so I could have something to go at her about.
Having said all that, what are you going to do about your wife's active alcoholism, the unhealthy environment your kids live in and the chronic suicidal behavior your wife engages in? (I mean the drinking.)

Untwist your own thinking and get the right priority going, what ever you decide that is. Again, a therapist can help you sort it out.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:11 AM
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The problem is she doesnt see her problem as anything she cant sort out if she WANTED to......she wouldnt leave the house, if I divorce her she'd get the house and kids anyway!

I feel like I'm stuck waiting for her to get clean or get sick (as in, really sick) - right now, I'd take either over having to go home from work today and pretend all is well.

I've done lone therapy....and am in a good place (relatively) - she did thearpy and all he told her (or all she heard) was that her drinking was HER issue and no one else had the right to interfere.......she took that and came away hating me for sticking my nose in. She hates the fact my parents/her parents found out about it.....in fact, she has said very openly that she will NEVER see my parents again - simply because she thinks they were "in" on it......they did nothing but babysit the kids when I asked!
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:22 AM
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Lewis--did you read my post?? I suggest that you consult legal advice as first step. You are making assumptions that are not necessarily true. I don't believe that the courts--even in the U.K. will give the children over to a demonstrated alcoholic!!!

It sounds to me like you already have a closed mind and have already decided that the situation is hopeless??!

Perhaps, you should begin to collect evidence of her drinking--but, again, you need good legal advice about how to proceed.

Alanon would be good for your support, about now.

You can do this--but, not with a stubborn closed m ind!!

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Old 09-20-2013, 06:29 AM
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The legal side is very tricky here - I have a close friend who had a similar situation - despite his wife crashing her car drunk, beating him, etc, etc ...... she got the house and kids! He had to see his kids get raised by her drunk.....until it killed her 10 years later.

My wife - on the surface - seems an ideal mum. A load of empty tins and a few stories of her throwing up wont get me the kids in a legal battle.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:33 AM
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Are you documenting? The more you track, the more evidence you have, the more you will have on your side. It sounds like your friend went through this decades ago. Things have changed a lot.

My uncle recently got his kids from his wife in a similar situation. Don't you owe it to them to try? What's better... leaving them to rot in this situation, and let your wife take you AND them with her, or fight for them, and show them that it's NOT okay.

Addiction is a communicable disease. What do you think is going to happen when you teach your children that it's okay to put up with it?

1) They will catch it themselves, and become addicts.

OR

2) They will learn that this is what relationships are, and seek out similar relationships.

There's a chance they won't, but I'm dealing with the second-generation aftermath of a parent who didn't think it was worth the fight. And now I have to fight for MY kids. I refuse to continue the cycle.
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:36 AM
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I do document.

Its tough - the kids love her, most of the time she is fine (even after a lot of drink) - this would be so much easier if she was passing out all over the place or staggering around the school yard - she isnt. She is quietly getting through 10 cans of beer a day.....invisible to most people.
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