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ABf starting counseling

Old 03-18-2014, 11:58 AM
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ABf starting counseling

After an incredibly rocky 4 months with my alcoholic bf post DUI, he began counseling today. After the worst weekend yet (didn't hear from him Fri-Sun), I packed up his clothes and texted him asking him to move his things out and back to his parents. I didn't expect him to do this without a fight (tears, blame, twisted perspectives/claims etc) and I was right. He came home Monday morning angry as could be. Utilizing my research on codependency, I avoided a fight as best I could. I told him I was sorry he felt that way, but I could not be with him as long as he continues to abuse. I left him there and went to tackle my day. Was it wrong to give him an ultimatum? Anyways...I went to work and when I came home his things were still here, but he'd spent the day cleaning the apartment, grocery shopping, and cooking in the crock pot (huh?!). He'd wrote me a long letter ultimately owning up to his drinking and the many issues it's caused us. He'd gone to his mom for help scheduling an appointment with a counselor..I was thrilled with this huge step, and didn't even bring up the fact that I'd kicked him out that morning. He had his first appointment today. I love him and he means the world to me, but his drinking has, at times, made my life a living hell. What's my next step? Am I doing the right thing? What are the chances this works? Thanks for any input/previous experiences.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:04 PM
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Ps we've been together a little over four years...living together for 1 and a half. The DUI happened in December and he has had a really hard time with his drinking since. It seems like he may have slipped into a slight depression
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:10 PM
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I told him I was sorry he felt that way, but I could not be with him as long as he continues to abuse. I left him there and went to tackle my day. Was it wrong to give him an ultimatum?
That's not an ultimatum. That's a boundary. You're telling him where your boundary is: You don't want to have a relationship with an alcoholic. What he does with that information is up to him. You're not badgering or nagging him into anything. You're simply telling him what you will and won't do, and leaving it up to him how he will process and react to that information.

That said -- you're not enforcing the boundary you set up. You told him you will not have a relationship with him as long as he's drinking. You told him you wanted him to move his stuff to his mom's. And then you didn't follow through. To an addict, this means "I can string her along and tell her I will do thus and such, and never follow through, and she won't kick me out."

I had a very calm, serious talk with the alcoholic I was married to. I told him his drinking was affecting the family in a very negative way, and that I would not stay married to an alcoholic. He laughed at me, told me he could quit any time, that I was delusional, and I just walked off.

When I eventually DID leave him, he was angry at me for not "giving him a chance to show" that he could get sober. I asked him about the talk we had had. He said he didn't remember it. Which means -- words meant nothing to him.

The chances that counseling makes someone stop drinking? I wouldn't bet a paycheck on it. If he has an experienced counselor, who at the first appointment says "You need to check yourself into rehab, you need to not drink, and you need to go to 90 AA meetings in 90 days" I'd say that's a good counselor. What your ABF does with it is still up to him.

I'm a real flippin' Eeoyore when it comes to addicts and their words. I think I would want to see more action before going back on the "you need to move out." I'd like to see a long stretch of sobriety -- 12-18 months -- before even considering having him move back in.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:13 PM
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OK, so let me ask you this:

What would you do if you got a DUI?
I know it's a strange question -- because most of us who are NOT alcoholics would never dream of getting behind the wheel drunk.

But consider it.

If I got a DUI, I would be mortified. I would quit drinking forever the next day. But I'm not an alcoholic.

I know what AXH would have done. He would have blamed someone (the bartender should have cut him off, I should have picked him up, the cop had something against him personally) and then he would have acted like a victim, kept drinking, and kept feeling sorry for himself.

Depression is a serious issue. One that should not be treated with alcohol. Feeling sorry for yourself for getting a DUI is not depression. That's professional victimhood.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post

If I got a DUI, I would be mortified. I would quit drinking forever the next day. But I'm not an alcoholic.

I know what AXH would have done. He would have blamed someone (the bartender should have cut him off, I should have picked him up, the cop had something against him personally) and then he would have acted like a victim, kept drinking, and kept feeling sorry for himself.
This is so, so true! When I started dating my AH (when he was sober and actively working a recovery program, and had been doing so for almost 2 years), he was very open with me about his DUI history, and expressed very sincere horror at his own behavior. He talked about how grateful he was that he never hurt anyone. He made ZERO excuses for himself, and talked about how hard he had worked to put his life back together.

Once he relapsed, the past DUIs came up once or twice, and his attitude about them had totally changed. He was the victim of "shady police" and "underhanded tactics" on the third one, and the one time he mentioned the second one, it was all about how horrible it was that his girlfriend at the time "abandoned" him at the police station.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:41 PM
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If it were me, I would separate from him while he does his counselling or whatever form of recovery he is choosing. I suspect his decision to see a counsellor may have been motivated by you saying you were kicking him out, and not because he actually made a conscious decision that morning to stop drinking. He might just be doing what he thinks will keep him in the house. By living apart, he can prove himself and you can reunify in the future if the time is right. Otherwise, live apart and if he continues down this path at least you don't have to go down it with him. You can still be a supportive person for him - that is important for people in recovery - without living with him.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:47 PM
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I can only tell you my experience. I literally had this conversation (including the counsling, etc) a hundred time. Well, last Friday he was wasted and beligerant and I actually kicked him out. He acts all shocked, and I am sure he is shocked that I am following through with this.

Only you can decide how much you can live with. Watch his actions over the long term, that is what speaks volumes. Ignore the words all together.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:27 PM
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Thank you all for your advice and insight...I am stuck in the mindset of wanting to save, save, save. I'm a teacher and though I ultimately want my kids to grow to be independent...I'd do anything to see them through and I see that carry over into the other relationships in my life. Per the advice of his mother, he is staying with them the next couple days. He is taking some sort of medicine his physician prescribed that will make him sick if he drinks..does anyone know anything about this?
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sickpuppy33 View Post
He is taking some sort of medicine his physician prescribed that will make him sick if he drinks..does anyone know anything about this?
The medication is called Antabuse. You can easily google it for more details on what it does. It's not a long-term solution, by any means, but some find it helpful in the short run.

Here's a bit from an online article:
"Antabuse serves merely as physical and psychological deterrent to someone trying to stop drinking. It does not reduce the person's craving for alcohol, nor does it treat any alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The effectiveness of Antabuse in helping someone quit drinking depends on the person's continued use of medication. Because Antabuse is administered in a daily pill, people can merely stop taking the drug and begin drinking again a few days later."
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