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Anyone feel guilt imprinting?

Old 02-07-2014, 11:18 AM
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Anyone feel guilt imprinting?

So, I guess this is one of those aspects of codependency that I have not worked on... why does my AW's disease make ME feel guilty? Well, among other things, it has tainted my enjoyment of socializing (where alcohol is involved) and even to the point of my personal enjoyment of a beer now and again. Please understand that I am not a high consumer of alcohol- far from it, and now very rarely, mostly due to my wife's situation. I have removed alcohol from the house and do not consume anything at home. At most, maybe meet some coworkers once a month for 1-2 beers most to talk shop.

I realize many of you on this site do not drink or have gone dry, and i applaud and respect your personal choices. But, I became fond of craft brewing a year ago (ironically sponsored by my wife, before the $*** hit the fan) and really enjoy sitting down to taste one of my creations while watching a ballgame- at this stage of my life I've matured to enjoying the taste and flavors, not drinking for a buzz. Can't do that anymore, and worse yet, if and when I even consume 1 beer or glass of wine, I feel so guilty, almost like I shouldn't be allowed to enjoy this when my spouse cannot. What the ***? Can I live without a periodic glass of beer or wine? Absolutely... Does this cause additional resentment? Absolutely... Guess i just wondered if anyone else out there has this frustration.

I know this is a bit of venting, so thanks for your understanding.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:28 AM
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I also feel absurd guilt over drinking. To the point where I simply cannot enjoy so much as a glass of wine or a beer. I think it's because my ex was always throwing it in my face that I drank too, so there couldn't be anything wrong with his drinking. Glossing over the fact that I stopped after one or two and he guzzled himself into blackout rages that lasted for days. Even after I stopped drinking during our relationship he would try to force alcohol on me and get really angry when I refused it.
I still feel it and I'm not even with him any more. I could have had a glass of champagne on New Year's, but I had sparkling grape juice instead. I haven't thought about this much, because like you, I don't drink often and I'm the type who can "take it or leave it", but it would be nice to enjoy it again without feeling guilty or paranoid that I'm doing something wrong.
Cheers Woodman, thanks for the food (or drink) for thought. (Ladyscribbler raises a virtual bottle of Black and Tan to toast Woodman's craft beer).
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:53 AM
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I've thought about this, too, Woodman. I drink infrequently. It's been 6 months since my last alcoholic drink... that's not at all unusual for me. But, since I confronted STBXAH about his drinking last fall, and since I started Al-anon, I feel weird about drinking/not drinking. Now it feels like something I'm not supposed to do even though I rarely drink and have not drank to excess in years. Now not drinking is like following a rule as opposed to a total non-issue, if that makes sense?
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JustAGirl1971 View Post
Now not drinking is like following a rule as opposed to a total non-issue, if that makes sense?
Makes total sense to me.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:17 PM
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I drink some occasional wine -- in the early days, my gourmand STBXAH and I tried out and learned a lot about wine together -- but I don't like hanging out with heavy drinkers or being in rowdy bars. I've found myself in a couple of social situations where someone drank waaaay too much and I found myself disgusted and triggered.

Nothing sucks the joy out of recreational drinking like having lived with an alcoholic. I just don't have it in me to binge drink or party anymore. It portends bad things for me. I think about all the pain he and I both went through and the pain this disease caused our families. I went to a work thing not too long ago where I was talking to a couple of guys who easily, both of them, drank 10 or more craft beers in the two hours I talked to them. I said nothing, but sat there thinking, "Oh. Okay."

Just, "Oh."

When we lived together, I really didn't mind giving it up at home especially if it helped STBXAH stay clean. But now that we don't live together, in hindsight it feels like no matter what I did or didn't do, it didn't make a difference.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:28 PM
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Yeah... On a few occasions (work Xmas party for example) I initially refused the beer offered to me, and wife was like "oh go ahead I don't mind"... I felt guilty as heck, but then thought, " why should I give a s***, knowing my wife continues her secret vodka anyway!
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:06 PM
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I really enjoy a good margarita or a top shelf vodka, chilled. I'm definitely self-conscious drinking in front of RAH even though he swears it doesn't bother him. I also over think it (shocking, I know) when I have the desire to have a drink - why do I want it? Am I stressed out, should I not have a drink when I feel that way? Is it a good idea/time/etc.?

Bleck. By the time I think it to death, it usually doesn't even sound good anymore.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Florence View Post
Nothing sucks the joy out of recreational drinking like having lived with an alcoholic.
I think this just says it all, lol.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:21 PM
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I feel guilt and maybe even moreso, some resentment. When Hubby was drinking, I drank with him on the weekends-not overdoing it, but 2-3 most every Fri & Sat night-ughh-he would bring them to me. In the pre-kid days/pre drinking turned alcoholic, it was our favorite time of of the week on Fridays to have a glass of wine after work, and just talk, connect, solve all the problems of the world

I don't drink in front of him at home anymore or if just the 2 of us go out, but I would have a drink or 2 at a social gathering with or without him.

Confession-please don't judge me! I have a partial bottle of wine hidden in my closet right now. On New Year's Eve, I wanted to enjoy a glass of wine while I was cooking-I put it in a plastic cup and hid it when he came upstairs. A couple weeks later on a Friday night he was cooking, kids were playing, and he told me to go relax and I had a glass in my room while I was reading. He just told me he is going to a Saturday night AA meeting tomorrow and I kind of thought-hey, maybe I'll have another glass of wine while he is gone!

I feel like I am behaving like an alcoholic with the hidden bottle and the secret drinking, and I really don't like the feeling, and I am not worried about my consumption since it is only a drink every few weeks, but it still feels WEIRD. Yet at the same time, because I want to be supportive of him I DO feel resentful that I am a normal person and feel like I can't have a drink on a Friday after work or while I cook, or whatever, without feeling weird. He has said he has to learn to be around drinking and not have it affect him, and if I asked him if he minded, he would say it was fine, but I also know he appreciates that it is not around or being done in front of him. Part of me thinks I should just give it up completely since it is not a huge deal to me, but the other part resents that, since I feel like I have already been hurt a lot by his drinking, and now I "have" to give up this little - not a problem for me - pleasure. And I am happily willing to give up the VAST MAJORITY of it, but would like a little, every so often. And it's like above-it's almost like the "can't have it" thing makes me want it and/or resent it that much more. It's like what isn't/shouldn't be a big deal has turned into a big deal. Ugh...drinking in front of him just feel cruel, like I'd be rubbing his nose in it or tempting him, but the "secret" part of it does not feel right either, and is a major issue I had with his behavior, so I don't like doing it secretly either.

Thanks for the thread-this has really been on my mind lately. I need to think about it more and maybe have a conversation about this with him. Guilt, resentment, and secrets-none are good for me...
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:25 PM
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Yeah. I've gone through phases -- of drinking because I am not the alcoholic, dammit, to refusing to have alcohol in the house to where I am today where I drink extremely rarely, and never more than one glass. It's been a bit of a road getting to that point, but I'm glad I'm there.

I felt the same way you did -- like somehow, AXH still had power over me when I had severe anxiety over whether to sip a glass of wine on occasion or not.

I should also said that the kids' attitudes helped me. I don't drink at home anymore -- only on occasion when I go out to dinner or on the rare business trip. The last time I opened a bottle of wine at home, the kids expressed that they hated the sound of a cork being pulled out of a bottle, and hated the smell of wine. So that made it pretty clear that while I may not have issues with it anymore, they still do.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:31 PM
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I like wine. I enjoy drinking it, I think the culture around it is fascinating and I think wine tasting is a blast!

That said, there is no alcohol in my house because I think it would be tempting to my husband and also somehow saying "I don't care about YOUR problems, *I* like wine so you're going to have to get over it!" Almost like if I was a smoker and he was allergic to cigarette smoke, like my problems would indirectly effect him in a screw you kind of way.

I don't feel guilty having a glass of wine socially.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:40 PM
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DD13 gets really nervous when I go out with a friend and have a glass or two of wine. I was just out doing same and she actually walked in to get me (!)

I think life is returning to a new normal, and sharing a 2dl carafe with a friend is kind of nice. I have to fight that resistence some of you refer to, regarding horrible associations with the stuff. But I think it is worth trying to get over it. This is my life, and xah doesn't need to be in my head every time I go out with friends.
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