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Spouse wants me to go to first AA meeting with him

Old 02-11-2014, 01:46 PM
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He has informed me that my desire to go to an Al-anon meeting (which I told him 2 weeks ago after a late-night which ended in arguing after his drinking 10 hours straight, coming home 3 hours late, driving drunk, insulting me) was another example of my over-reacting. "Everyone parties like this, your life isn't so rough, look at all i do for you".

I feel paralyzed.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:52 PM
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Whether or not you tell him you're going is up to you. If you do, let him know you're doing it for yourself. There's no use arguing with a drunk, or a dry drunk.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:53 PM
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Go to an Alanon meeting. It will help. Right now I know you're hurting and feeling stuck, but in reality you don't have to be. You are free to live your life however you choose. Detaching from him and his actions will make a huge difference and alanon can give you the tools to start doing that. You will find support like you wouldn't believe, and it seems that you really need it right now.

Again, I am so sorry you're going through this. Keep in mind that he's being an a-hole and throwing all this stuff in your face to protect his addiction. He knows he has a problem. He's just not ready to do something about it.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:54 PM
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Okay I need help. He is on his way home, he is working from home until Monday now. I cant look at him without crying. He will know how upset I am.

Do I tell him how I feel? How do I detach if he brigs this all up? I know he will start trying to convince me he is "normal" and i am overreacting. I cannot do idle chit hat at the moment. And in true fashion, he is going to Billiards practice tonight at the bar - even tho he has a pool table downstairs - and tomorrow is another meet against another team.

How do I "act"?? As if I am ok? I don't want to further upset him and make it worse but I don't want to hide how this effects me.

I need some practical suggestions. I cant start crying tho I need to!!
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:56 PM
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Act however you feel like acting. If you don't feel like talking tell him so. Why can't you start crying? If you want to be alone and cry go into a room and lock the door. It's your house too.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:58 PM
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I'm sorry this happened but not surprised. What has happened is that he just showed you who he is. No more, no less. He's not ready to admit he has a problem with drinking because in his head he doesn't.

I totally agree with the others who said to focus on your recovery.

Another thing to keep in mind is that he is an adult and has the right to his own choices, even if those choices are to continue drinking. I learned with my AW that it wasn't my place to try and make her change. The only thing I could change was me. Hard painful lesson but there it is.

I will give you some good news though. By working my recovery I was able to change my life in ways I couldn't even imagine at the time. I developed self esteem, which I was totally lacking, patience and even a joy for life again. It can and will get better but only if you focus on yourself. Serenity is possible and well worth the effort.

I don't remember who posted this but it is a great quote for dealing with your A.
Not my monkey, not my circus.
((((hugs))))

Edit: Just as it's none of your business whether or not he goes to AA, it's none of his business whether or not you go to AlAanon.


Your friend,
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:35 PM
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I'm sorry he got your hopes up and didn't follow through.

My advice is to do what is best for you. When you put the focus back on yourself and make choices in your life that are in your best interest it is amazing to watch and see the transformation of your life.

My RAH has been going to AA for almost 5 months. Until recently he did not think of himself as an "alcoholic". He was successful in business, finances and life. Happily Married 25 years to his previous wife before she passed away. No DUI's, no bounced checks. If he said he would do something he did it. Never late for anything. Loved by everyone. He drank 2 bottles of wine daily and at the end added vodka to the mix.

His behavior was ruining our marriage. I knew it was the alcohol.....but tell that to an alcoholic!! He had quit 2 times in the past but returned to drinking within the year. I had been working my recovery for several years when I told him I was done. I didn't get there overnight. I wouldn't accept anything less than him being in some type of recovery program. He goes to 2 meetings a day and it is just recently that he is accepting that he is an alcoholic.

If I had not made the decision to do what was best for me nothing would have changed. In the end I am grateful that he chose sobriety.

Do what is best for you! Alanon is a great place to discover what is best for you. Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by readerbaby71 View Post

If you don't feel like talking tell him so.
that sounds good nothing much to talk about anyway
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:36 PM
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Xenia, that back and forth was the worst for me. Admit the problem and retreat from the truth. It gets wearying. My heart goes out to you.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:43 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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No don't go with him, he has to do this for himself.

Later on you can go to open meetings with him if you want but the first time and a few times needs to be for him.

JMHO.

Originally Posted by xenia View Post
My alcoholic spouse told me that he is going to (his first!) an AA meeting tomorrow, and asked if I could come with him.

I gently pushed back, saying that this is for him, that these meetings are anonymous and a place where he can talk about things in confidence, that he might not feel comfortable with me there. He told me that he was scared.

His admission about his fears were some of the most "real" he's been with me in years, so I feel like it's a gift I shouldn't refuse. I honestly have doubts as to whether or not he is going to go, and part of me thinks that I should be gung-ho and say yes so that he doesn't chicken out, but I understand that he has to do this out of his own volition.

Have any of you gone with an A family member to their first AA meeting?

If I go, I plan to be a silent observer and let him take this all in, but I am not sure how to "act". If he wants to hold my hand, is that being codependent? Do I need to let him jump in without the "safety net" per se?

I know that there's no "right" way to do it, but I guess I wanted to hear about others' experiences with accompanying an alcoholic family member to their first AA meetings.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:22 PM
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So we are back to the beginning. He decided he "wasn't an alcoholic", decided to forgo meetings, but assured me he realized that at 40-something he needs to "stop binge drinking."

Here's the kicker - last week's match, he came home and proudly announced he drank very light. I was thinking one, two drinks. Nope. "Very light" to him is one an hour - over 6 hours hat is 6 drinks. So i asked what is a "heavy" night like? 10 or 11. Granted that is over 5-6 hours or more, but I underestimated a LOT.

So another meet tonight and he's obviously impaired.

I almost have no fight in me left. I am calling my psych doc (i have depression and anxiety) for a local therapist bc I cant deal with this anymore. Gonna seek a local nd online Al-Anom but driving is a challenge at times.

If you pray or send positive thoughts, need some courage to help myself and follow through, as hard as it is and as much more work it puts on my shoulders while I am sick (pneumonia).
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:15 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Hi Xenia,

When I was with my XA we often went to open AA, Open Big Book and Open 12 Step Meetings. I learned A LOT about alcoholism and the program of AA and eventually I learned that my XA was not done with drinking. Despite hundreds of hours of meetings and his being present he wasn't engaged in true recovery for much of these times. There were periods were I do believe he was in true recovery but it was rare and short lived.

For a lot of it he was playing the part because it was the only way he could keep me on the string or the courts happy when he had alcohol related charges pending.

The purpose of my sharing this is to let you know that you can get sucked into YEARS of going through the motions and the alcoholic dance while the A talks a good game which in retrospect I now think of it as the school teacher in Peanuts...blah....blah....blah....waaaah....waaaaa h.....waaaah....quack.....quack.....quack.......qu ack.

You are a victim of a quack attack. It can go on for years. Today it is cutting down. Next week he may melt down alcoholically and start talking about AA again.

Even if they go to AA meetings and even if they start doing the steps it is not magic pixie dust and instant prince charming. It is a start and it improves the odds but alcoholism is a disease and the character defects are deeply ingrained.

But until he WANTS to break up with alcohol, until he WANTS to stop drinking and is WILLING to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to enter into and stay committed to authentic recovery you will be affected. It is a family disease....

So... you have to choose how you are going to deal with the facts. I wish hadn't spent years chasing the hope that forced to enough meetings and enough pressure exerted would stop my A from drinking... I wasted a lot of my life, my energy, my resources and sacrificed my happiness for a what was a lost cause without his finding his own recovery within himself...for himself...forever.

The meetings that your A chose not to attend wouldn't have gotten him sober alone...they are the first teeny tiny step. They are the social fabric of AA. The heart and soul of AA is the commitment to a sponsor and the steps done with total dedication and application to the life of the A... the desire to change and eliminate the character defects that are part of the problem.

I know this was long but understanding that warming a seat at an AA while holding someone's hand (the audience) is not even close to recovery...yet.

Find your recovery and it may spark a change in your relationship...it will bring you a lot of perspective and the opportunity to find your own serenity and peace whatever the outcome.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:26 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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A big part of the reason I said not to go with him is that if, and he;s not ready to stop drinking, when it doesn't work because he's not ready to stop drinking he can blame it on you.

This is why it;s so important they do it for themselves.




Originally Posted by xenia View Post
So we are back to the beginning. He decided he "wasn't an alcoholic", decided to forgo meetings, but assured me he realized that at 40-something he needs to "stop binge drinking."

Here's the kicker - last week's match, he came home and proudly announced he drank very light. I was thinking one, two drinks. Nope. "Very light" to him is one an hour - over 6 hours hat is 6 drinks. So i asked what is a "heavy" night like? 10 or 11. Granted that is over 5-6 hours or more, but I underestimated a LOT.

So another meet tonight and he's obviously impaired.

I almost have no fight in me left. I am calling my psych doc (i have depression and anxiety) for a local therapist bc I cant deal with this anymore. Gonna seek a local nd online Al-Anom but driving is a challenge at times.

If you pray or send positive thoughts, need some courage to help myself and follow through, as hard as it is and as much more work it puts on my shoulders while I am sick (pneumonia).
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:07 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by xenia View Post
So we are back to the beginning.
All the same day, man!

For some real drunk-a-logic, there is always Janis Joplin.

Janis Joplin - It's all the same ******* day, man. - YouTube

wow. Never realized just how close to this Mrs. Hammer sounds when she is whacked. Haunty scary.

Here's the kicker - last week's match, he came home and proudly announced he drank very light. I was thinking one, two drinks. Nope. "Very light" to him is one an hour - over 6 hours that is 6 drinks. So i asked what is a "heavy" night like? 10 or 11. Granted that is over 5-6 hours or more, but I underestimated a LOT.
Naw. HERE's the kicker . . . WHEN *we* find ourselves "counting" *them* it means *WE* are messed up. Not dogging you on that. We all do it. But it is a Bright Check Engine Light on OUR dashboards once we understand that.

You follow? Check YOUR Engine.


I almost have no fight in me left.
Super! Fighting has not done much for you so far . . .


I am calling my psych doc (i have depression and anxiety) for a local therapist bc I cant deal with this anymore. Gonna seek a local nd online Al-Anom but driving is a challenge at times.

If you pray or send positive thoughts, need some courage to help myself and follow through, as hard as it is and as much more work it puts on my shoulders while I am sick (pneumonia).
Lining up your pieces and prayers, and getting in launch position? Even beat down sick. Does not get much better than that. Sounds like Step 1 time to me . . .

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.

You are really at the "Let Go, and Let God" point, huh?

Remember Ride the Wind -- Do Not Fight the Wind.

==============

Dear God,

Please show xenia Your Path for her and give her the Wisdom, Courage, and Strength to follow it.

Amen
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:17 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Sending prayers for you. (((hug)))

This info helped me. I was unable to find the link again until it was reposted yesterday:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...full-crap.html

While working on my own recovery, I was getting better at seeing what was crap and I would occasionally call him on it. Not to fight, but just to not get drawn into it. Especially when he'd say he was trying to quit, but still refused to go to an AA meeting or to go to the doctor.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:03 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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I know that his going to an AA meeting isn't magic, but *a* step. It was he who suggested it, and he who begged me to go with him. So I let myself open and finally agreed, although I told him that the meetings were for him and that he probably wouldn't want me there.

His deciding not to go was a blow because he said, "I promise. I will not let you down this time". That's the thing - he used to be a man of his word. And he is, unless alcohol is in the picture.

Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
All the same day, man!

For some real drunk-a-logic, there is always Janis Joplin.
wow. Never realized just how close to this Mrs. Hammer sounds when she is whacked. Haunty scary.

Naw. HERE's the kicker . . . WHEN *we* find ourselves "counting" *them* it means *WE* are messed up. Not dogging you on that. We all do it. But it is a Bright Check Engine Light on OUR dashboards once we understand that.

You follow? Check YOUR Engine.

Super! Fighting has not done much for you so far . . .

Lining up your pieces and prayers, and getting in launch position? Even beat down sick. Does not get much better than that. Sounds like Step 1 time to me . . .

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.

You are really at the "Let Go, and Let God" point, huh?


Remember Ride the Wind -- Do Not Fight the Wind.

==============

Dear God,

Please show xenia Your Path for her and give her the Wisdom, Courage, and Strength to follow it.

Amen
I am not clearheaded at the moment bc I am not feeling well, but were you being sincere or sarcastic?

Thank you for the prayer. I can't fix HIM but I can fix how (or how NOT) to react to the alcoholic behavior.

Thank you all for the encouragement. I know that we're all human, but I need to be strong for *me*.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:17 PM
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He's serious. Step 1 is giving up the illusion of control. Alcohol is not only controlling your husbands life, it's controlling yours. Problem is that when you focus on him you can't see how it is controlling you.

Letting go and letting God is doing just that. Turning your AH's life over to his higher power and turning yourself over to yours. One of the best things I learned here and at AlAnon is the 3 C's.

I didn't cause it.
I can't control it.
I can't cure it.

Letting go is the 1st step in our recovery. Admitting we are helpless to save someone else from alcohol.

Your friend,
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:52 PM
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I just read something in "Getting them Sober" that makes sense. He is scared to death of admitting and then changeing. Alcohol is his coping mechanism, giving that up leaves him (he is afraid of) floundering helpless and hurting. Now he is denying so he doesnt have to face the truth and do what he obviously knows he has to do. Keep going to your meetings and take care of you. Lets pray he lives to try another day. Hugs
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by xenia View Post
I am not clearheaded at the moment bc I am not feeling well, but were you being sincere or sarcastic?
Like Mike said . . . It is real.

Maybe some of the most real for you in the near ahead portion of your life.

Thank you for the prayer. I can't fix HIM but I can fix how (or how NOT) to react to the alcoholic behavior.
Many of *us* have found even that is not possible on our own.


Thank you all for the encouragement. I know that we're all human, but I need to be strong for *me*.
God seems to use the weak, broken, and not so strong.

as long as you have a fight this all, it will fight you.

I think the AA Big Book advice on the matter is: Cease Fighting Everything and Everybody.

God is strong, we are weak. Go weak and get His strength. Your own has not been working that well for you so far, has it?
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:46 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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"Everyone parties like this, your life isn't so rough, look at all i do for you".
This phrase just stuck with me. Let me dissect it.

"Everyone parties like this" -- no. Everyone doesn't. Most people past college age don't party like that. Most people grow up, get jobs, take responsibility for their lives as adults, and don't party like that.

"your life isn't so rough"
You're not starving and living in a cardboard box in the middle of an eight-lane highway, so why are you complaining? Your life is good enough for you because that's how much you're worth. Who do you think you are, the effing Queen of Sheba???

"look at all i do for you"
Again with the "you are not worth more."

I see him putting you down, arguing that your perception of reality is wrong, "gas lighting" you into thinking that you're complaining about things that aren't worth complaining about, trying to make you think that you are worth less than you are.

You are worth so much more than he knows. So much more than he wants you to believe. And the day you believe that, you will set boundaries. The day you believe that you are worth better than a man who merely abstains from beating you up, you will tell him that you're done with him until he has cleaned up his act and showed that he can be a responsible, caring adult. If he ever gets to that point.

Chin up, Xenia. You're a warrior princess (well, close enough, right?). You deserve so much better.
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