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Feel Like All is Lost

Old 10-18-2001, 08:21 PM
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Teresa.B
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Unhappy Feel Like All is Lost

Hello Everyone; I'm new to this website. I must say that I'm very impressed with it.I feel very disheartened tonight. My husband had gone through a 28-day treatment center last summer. He had a slip in December and has been going down hill ever since. I have been going to Alanon for 5 years, and I also have a lot of friends who are alcaholic so I wasn't surprised that he had a slip. I have been trying very hard to concentrate on myself for I am the only one I can change.(Why is that so easy to say but so hard to do) Anyways, last week I found a receipt for a credit card my husband has gotten without my knowledge. He has charged over 5,000 dollars in a very short amount of time and believe me we aren't that rich. I have really tried hard to leave his recovery to himself and just gotten on with my own, but look what has happened. I finally decided that I had to do something to protect myself and the children because if he doesn't stop drinking and gambling we are going to loose everything. I told him he had one week to decide what he was going to do with his life and tonight was the night he had to tell me what his decision was. He told me he feels terrible for what he has done and does not think it is right. He also tells me that he really doesn't want to quit drinking. He wants to be able to drink sociably and that under no circumstances will he go out without me or stop on his own to get beer. He has surrendered the credit card to me and says that this is the route that he is going to take for now.He is a wonderful husband and father when he is sober and now that I have had a 4 month taste of what our lives could be like when he was sober I don't want to call it quits. I can't understand why he trys to quit, goes to meetings, councellers, information groups about relaps and recovery,and then tells me he really wants to try and drink sociably. Has he not been learning anything. I feel like the last year has had no impact on him and I'm confused and hurt and angry and embarrased. I just feel like I am at the end of my rope and I just don't know how much more I can take. Its so hard to try and keep it together especially when I have small children. I'm sick of feeling fear when I think of the future...I know that I'm suppose to live one day at a time...but some times I just get tired of it...i want to just be able to think of the future with certainty and happiness. I'm so sad with what he told me tonight...and I'm shocked to say the least...and now I don't know what to do. Should I be happy that he gave me the credit card and let it ride or should I say its all or nothing....I just don't know anymore...I can't seem to find the answer within myself.. Thanks for listening....Teresa
 
Old 10-19-2001, 05:49 AM
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SKEPTICAL
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Hi Teresa,
Boy can I relate. My dad gambled all his money away while pursuing his drinking habit. At one point he was making over a million dollars a year and now he is sooo broke he owes the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars and has started working as a janitor at his apartment complex to pay his rent. Because of his demise I have told my husband since the day I met him that I will not tolerate cheating on me or gambling. Well, I am happy to say he has not gotten into either. However, he is like your husband in that he has not accepted that he cannot drink socially or on occasion. I believe gambling and alcoholism are both the same in this regard... you do it or you don't... you don't sorta do it. Why they haven't figured it out I can only guess. I think they are in denial. Plain and simple, they don't want to believe they can't ever do it again. Its too absolute. Reading your story helps me so much because I can see your situation better than I can see my own (isn't that always the case!) I want to tell you that you should not live like that. I want to tell you that you have to stop believing in him because he continues to let you down. I want to tell you to move out... or kick him out. Tell him you love him and you are willing to see him if you can believe he is going to make an effort to change. If you take steps now to live your own life and not let his finances affect you (this is the biggest crisis you face... you are tied to his finances and you can't let his spending habits affect you because it takes a loooong time to recover from debt...just ask my mom!!) I say move out, establish separate finances and lives and tell him you can date while separated but you can't let him have soo much power over your life. I say "I want to tell you" because I understand its soo much easier to give advice than take it. I am with my husband right now and I only asked him last week to quit drinking. I believe I will give him time to change, but I wonder how much time I will give him. I pray I won't be in the same situation I am now in three years. I have vowed that if I am in the same situation in three years I will leave. I just hope i don't try to justify staying by small steps he may start to make three years from now. I don't want to give him three years to START trying, I am giving him three years to SUCCEED! I believe leaving him will be harder than actually being without him. One reason these posts help me is that after I post them I read what I wrote as if I am not me but I am going to give me advice. Have you tried that? If not, I suggest you read your post as if you don't know who wrote it and give advice. Then follow it!! Good luck, and thanks for writing, I need reasons to write so I can read MY own posts :-)
 
Old 10-20-2001, 07:46 PM
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THREE YEARS!?!

Would you mind explaining, because I hope I don't quite understand, what the 3 year plan is?

Reading your posts, I get the idea that you are in a situation that should not be tolerated for 3 months, much less three years.

Decide what you deserve. Now. Decide what you want. Now. Make your clear ultimatums. Now. If he can't/won't give you what you deserve and want, now, then walk, NOW.

He can get in a detox program tomorrow. He can have practically anything cleaned out of his system in 9 days. Then he can get to work on his head and what makes him want to drink or take drugs in the first place. Recovery isn't an overnight thing, but commitment to recovery can be. Why are you asking for three more years of hell? With that much rope he can hang the both of you.

Please give me some clarification. My insides are screaming.

Smoke

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Old 10-21-2001, 08:06 AM
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Teresa.B
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Dear Smoke,
It is not me who has a three year plan, it is Skeptical who replied to my post. I'm just living day to day. I realize that recovery doesn't happen overnight as much as that reality hurts. I believe my husband does want to get better, and that this recovery period goes up and down. I have tried to get along without him and have started to do things that make me happy,and being with him when he is sober does make me really happy. He is an awesome dad and wonderful husband, but when I found that credit card, it was like he lives a whole different other life that I'm not a part of. It is really hard to understand this thing and I just don't know how much longer I can carry on. I also have 3 boys who are 61/2, 5 and 11/2 who adore their father. Its not just my life I have to think about. I have gotten my own bank account, the bills are getting paid, we have food on the table, the debt he has created is his own, but I can't help but think that in the end if this carrys on that we will all be affected. Do I wait and see, or do I devestate my children by making their dad move out. I just don't know what to do.
 
Old 10-21-2001, 12:09 PM
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HI Teresa...
sorry, I was so alarmed by skeptical's 3 yr plan I posted to your thread instead of hers.
I'm glad you've taken steps to protect yourself and your family financially. I'm curious about your statement "the debt he has created is his own." In the US, unless a couple is legally separated, they can be held responsible for one another's debts. Is that untrue of Canada?
You are the only one who can measure whether or not your husbands poor behavior due to his addiction outweighs the positive things he contributes to your life.
You say that you don't understand how he can want to drink socially, after all he's been through. I think we anons have a basis for understanding that more than we care to admit. After all, we too are often clinging to something (a person) that has given us pleasure, even in the face of some considerable discomfort we have also experienced.
There are all kinds of theories out there about whether or not an addict can ever use addictive substances safely. The overwhelming vocal majority urge vehemently that abstinence is the only safe road. Maybe your husband is an exception, but chances are he'll wind up having to "recover" again from his social drinking. It may take a few episodes like that to make him wise up.
I reread your post, but I may be missing something. $5000 is an awful lot of booze. Is that all he's into?
Whatever recovery program your husband was in seems to have fallen short. Did the program involve any aftercare? Counseling? Group? Addiction is certainly a physiological condition, but something makes a person turn to drugs or alchohol in the first place. Was this issue ever addressed? Will he consider going to AA?
Keep posting and let us know how it's going.

Smoke
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