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New here...in need of help and advice.

Old 09-04-2017, 10:47 AM
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New here...in need of help and advice.

Hi everyone. I'll try to keep this short, and I would be happy to respond with answers to any questions.

I'm a 48 year old man in love with an incredible lady and my best friend. We've been together for 6 years. I recently realized that she's
an alcoholic. I feel stupid that I never realized it. Family members were shocked that I didn't know. She has had DUI's, jail time, etc.

I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father. He was physically and emotionally abusive to my mom. He beat her pretty bad at one time. We even moved out. We always went back.

I guess I felt all alcoholics were like that, maybe that's why I didn't see it.

I cry every day about this. It has turned in to her constantly telling me I'm controlling, jealous, I ruin her social life, etc. To the point that I'm starting to wonder if I am part of the problem.

I found her hiding liquor and asked her about it, she got pretty angry. Then i kind of mentioned getting her medical help. Now she basically hasn't talked to me for 3 days.

I feel like i need to tell her we need to check her in somewhere and get her some help, because i can't take much more emotionally.

I'm sure that conversation would go very bad.

I'm lost and just want my lady and friend back.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:10 AM
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Agoodman...the forum is a little slow...this being a holiday weekend....

In the meantime, here are some god articles for you to begin reading.....

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...c-reading.html
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:28 AM
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Hi, Agoodman.
Welcome to SR.
Sorry for your situation but glad you found us.
Please do a little reading around here, as dandy suggested.
Knowledge is power.
It sounds like your SO isn't ready to stop drinking.
That she is hiding her drinks, is blaming you for several things, and gets angry and defensive when you bring the subject up, tells me she's not there yet.
Have you been to Al-Anon meetings?They can be a great source of support.
I don't know you, but I would venture to say that you are not the problem.
Three C's: you didn't cause it. You can't control it. And you sure as heck can't cure it.
Life with a drinker is a hard road to travel. You might think a bit about where you want to be in this relationship years from now.
Because, unless your SO embraces sobriety, things will still be bad, and probably worse.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:43 AM
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thank you...

thank you for the replies.

I'm really wanting to let her know that I feel she needs help and needs
to check in somewhere. I don't want to tell her what to do, but I want
her to know what I'm feeling and that I'm worried about her and us.

I just don't know if I should even do that, or how to approach it.

I'm happy i found this place and I'm looking forward to talking with
good people.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:51 AM
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I think you are definitely within your rights to have that discussion.

What will your next move be when/if she refuses? She will have to make the arrangements to go to _ _ _ _ _ _What kind of treatment? For how long? Afterwards, what kind of follow-up care would be agreeable to you?

You only have a couple aces to play here. If she won't get help, will you continue in this relationship?

As you can see, "You need treatment," is just a statement that she can and likely will ignore/refuse. Then what?
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:51 AM
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My advice? go ahead and tell her. I suggest doing it in "I" sentences. Describing how you are feeling. She might feel less attacked, if you do it that way.
I say "maybe", because she is likely to feel attacked (and guilty) and react in a defensive way. Be prepared for her to be angry and to give a long list of what she sees as your shortcomings.
If she is not ready to quit drinking...or, at least WANT to want to...nothing that you say to her will make much difference, anyway.....She will do what she wants to do....
Keeping it all hidden under the rug will just keep tearing you apart....
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:57 AM
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I think you just need to speak your truth.
Find a time between her being drunk and/or hungover and tell her what you think.
You can be compassionate and frame it that you are worried about her and her health, and the ongoing health of your relationship.
Ultimatums don't work unless you are going to do what you say, so I would avoid those.
How she answers you will be very telling, I think.
She may lash out.
She may be contrite.
She may promise to cut back or stop altogether.
Don't listen to the words; look at the actions.
This is a process, and nothing needsto be decided this minute, but I think you owe it to yourself and to her to be honest about how you feel about the drinking.
Peace.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:28 PM
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thank you so much

this is so great, to have people to talk to.

I really do feel I will let her know how I feel, and that I want things
better so we can have a great life together.

I think that she will probably get very angry. I'm just telling myself to stay calm and realize that she isn't always thinking clearly lately.

I don't think I'm that guy that can just keep living with it. I grew up
in that household. But I'll do everything I can, because I just want my
girl back.....
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:52 PM
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I would think that with DUI’s and jail in her past, she knows she has a problem. Her drinking is not a problem to her and for most of your relationship it was not to you either until now. Now you want to fix her, repair her change her and her natural defense will be defensive, denial and anger and attempt to push you away so that she can continue drinking uninterrupted as she has been.
You certainly do have every right to express how the drinking affects you and what you may need to do for you if she refuses to address the issue by seeking proper professional help but attempting to get her to change in order to make you feel better and secure about a future together is having some high expectations.

What is your plan if she refuses to seek help?
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:07 PM
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Agm,
Welcome and I am sorry you are here. It's not fun to love an addict.

We all understand what you are going through. I tried for 34 years to get my axh to understand my problem with his drinking. He didn't get it. With a lot of work in alanon and open aa meetings plus sr, I realized that he didn't have a problem with his drinking. I did, so it really wasn't his problem to work on, it was mine. Once I made that connection, my life started to improve.

I worked on my issues on how I am codependent. I learned how to detach from my addict when he was engaging me when he was drunk. Eventually I built up enough strength to divorce him. I learned how even though I loved him I didn't have to live with him and I could love him from a distance, even divorced .

Education is power. You are not in a hurry. Read, read and read more. You will understand that your addict is no special snow flake. She is no different then any of the other addicts on this forum. They pull the same thing on all of us Codie's they confuse us and make us crazy. Do your homework and make smart decisions. We are all here for you!! Hugs!!
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:36 PM
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I feel like I'm codependent also, and the thought of not having her in
my life is very scary.

The other night she told me that people who don't drink are weird and how could anybody possibly have any fun socially without drinking? My jaw hit the floor. I didn't even know how to respond.

I'm worried that she will erupt and I may need to step away from our life together for awhile, but that scares the hell out of me. I love her dearly and want great things for us.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:43 PM
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I can't even...
Good thoughts.
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Old 09-04-2017, 02:16 PM
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Agm,
I get that you can't imagine life without her and that you love her. I couldn't either. I was 15 when I started dating axh, 34 years together. Talk about codependent.

I tried everything to get him to be the person I felt he should be. Kind, helpful, loving, caring, compassionate, and trustworthy, instead he was a liar, cheater, selfish, angry, self absorbed, self centered, pissed off addict.

They are who they are. Once I accepted what Gods plan was for him and got out of the way, serenity took over in my life. It was not my responsibility to fix this broken man, as much as I tried. (And boy did I try) One of my favorite quotes. "God doesn't need my help, as he can help each and every addict who reaches out to him. "

IMO Advising her of her wrongs is really not going to get you anywhere. But there is a lot of help out there for you, if you are willing to do the work. Keep reading and posting, it will all sink in.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:06 PM
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Afoodman...as you learn more about alcoholism, you will find that no alcoholic can imagine living without drinking...especially, for the rest of their lives.
Just like a fish cannot living without water. Or, you can, without oxygen....
At a certain point, an alcoholic has to drink just to feel "normal." Their physical body and their brain demand it....
It is no wonder that they don't go rushing to give it up.....

Your mind, if you are n ot an alcoholic, can never wrap your mind around it...because it doesn't seem logical to you...and your body and brain are not calling out for it....

Total abstainence is the only thing that can put it into remission....
there is no predicting when or if your girlfriend will be ready for that move....

There is a book that is practically regarded as a "bible" around here....The title is "Co-deoendent No More". You can get it cheaply, on amazon.com...or from the library. There are workbooks that go along with it , also.
It is an easy read and I think you will find a l ot that will resonate with you....

Just as you can't imagine your l ife without her, and it fills you with fear...the same goes for her with the alcohol......
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Agoodman04 View Post
...... I may need to step away from our life together for awhile, but that scares the hell out of me.
why does it scare you?
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:59 PM
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I feel like I'm codependent also, and the thought of not having her in
my life is very scary.
Aside from the codependency, it is scary moving forward to think that the life we thought we were going to have with the person we love might not in fact turn out the way we had hoped it would.

Working through that codependency issue with knowledge, counseling, therapy, al-anon, is the way we learn to free ourselves from ourselves, our unhealthy thoughts, our obsessive thoughts and our over sense of being responsible to fix another human being because we love them. It’s often extremely difficult to work on our own issues while we are so obsessed with someone else’s.

The other night she told me that people who don't drink are weird and how could anybody possibly have any fun socially without drinking?
That statement shows you just how much of her life is centered around alcohol. Addiction lives in the same part of their brain that tells them to breath.

Now you want to tell her to stop breathing, no that is not going to go over very well and don’t be surprised if she chooses the booze over the relationship.

That is why you need to be fully prepared before you even open up to a discussion, debate and eventfully an argument about her drinking.

Are you really prepared to step away? Are you fully prepared for the outcome of her choice of either you and the relationship or the booze? She’s had that relationship with the booze longer then she’s had one with you.

I think most of us codies were not fully prepared for confronting them about their addictions and we become further lost in our issues if a drug/alcohol is chosen over us. Maybe seek out some counseling first for you and your codependent issue so that if and when the talk does not go the way you hope it will, you are better prepared to handle it.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:43 PM
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Welcome, sorry for the sad circumstances that bring you here.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:41 PM
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Hello sir,

Very sorry you have to be here, but you have found a fantastic place of support and knowledge. Definitely give consideration to everything you read here...Do your own research as well, but there is a lot of experience and great advice to be had around these parts.

I wanted to chime in as a male who was in what sounds like a similar state of mind to you, to let you know that you are not alone. If you felt anything like me you have a lot of fear of being alone, and want to know what the proper path or steps might be that you can take or try in order to get your lovely gal to be at her best and leave the drink behind. This is what I wanted as well. I wanted a fix to the issue. To make matters worse, there is that fear of losing that person forever, the fear of the unknown, so you just sort of allow the abuse to continue and hope it will just get better and you can weather the storm. You think, it's bad, but it's still better than being alone, or facing a lifetime of being alone, never finding anyone else, etc. It's in some ways not a lot different than the inner voice the alcoholic hears telling them to have a drink...our inner voice telling us that we should just put up with it because it's better than being alone.

I tried to do that for a very long time until I finally had enough. It was sad, but I had enough. You may not be at that point yet, but when you are, you'll know it. Basically it happens when the drama of having alcoholism in your life becomes too much for you to bear. When it is a thought on your mind every day on what twists and turns await. When you get sick of wondering if today will be a good day or a bad day, or if the bad days just start outnumbering the good.

That said I hope for you and everyone here that you find a path forward that means the most happiness for you. After years of trying it finally "clicked" with me that my girlfriend was an adult who could choose to live her life and make any choices and drink as much alcohol as she wanted to and there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I COULD DO TO CHANGE THAT. I have no idea why it took me years of thinking that I could sit her in a chair and have a talk with her, or make idle threats, or encourage treatment, or point out all the horrible events spurred by alcohol as reminders...And think that doing any of those things would change her mind about the amount and frequency that she wanted to drink. I finally realized, none of that would change it. She had to want to change it. But she did not want to stop.

When I realized this, and realized she had no interest in considering a life without alcohol, it was easier to let her go in that I knew I faced a lifetime of this drama and that my soul just couldn't take that uncertainty, that sadness, any longer. It was still tough to let go due to my codependent tendencies and the things you cited about the fear of letting someone go, and the fear of being alone, but one day that tipping point just happened. It sounds like you may be nearing that point as well.

I do like that advice you have here to try and have a very non-threatening conversation with her, not when she is drinking, not when she is hung over, if you can find that opportunity. One thing I never really did was essentially calmly just explain how the drinking was affecting ME and making me feel about her and about us. My talks were always accusatory and full of threats and ultimatums that got us nowhere. I'm not saying it would have been different anyway, only to confirm what others have said in that trying to force them to stop, or moderate, or go to AA, or even talk to you about it, is an exercise in futility. As another poster I believe said, it's like someone asking you to stop breathing right now. You can't stop. It's what you do. However, you can at least express how the drinking makes YOU feel and affects YOU (make it about you, not them) and that I think is a talk worth having. Be warned, in most cases, you will get anger back, anger is one of the top defenses used to protect the alcohol, though I have seen in some rare cases where it finally made sense how much damage that the alcoholism was doing to the loved one.

Read some of my posts, read other posts, and listen to the advice and don't be afraid to dig deeper to learn more about alcoholism and the effect it has both on the drinker and those around them. I found a lot of compassion for my ex the more that I learned about the condition, but also helped strengthen my resolve to have to keep that out of my life because I know I can never go back to it again. It was too soul crushing.

Over the last year or so since I had to let her go find her own way, I have enjoyed the peace and freedom. A bit lonely at times, sure, but when I think back to all the stress that her drinking was causing, as well as the inappropriate ways it caused her to treat me (whether she remembers half of them or not), it re-affirms that I made the right decision that I had to, for me.

Hopefully knowing there are others out there like you who have had similar feelings but gotten through it is helpful. You are not alone, we're here to help. Keep reading, keep posting, it is therapeutic.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:15 AM
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We all love/loved our qualifiers and wanted great things for/with them. However, when the bottle becomes their #1, that becomes really hard to compete with.

I encourage you to keep coming here to SR, there is lots of good feedback here, and you are with people who really do understand.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Agoodman04 View Post
Hi everyone. I'll try to keep this short, and I would be happy to respond with answers to any questions.

I'm a 48 year old man in love with an incredible lady and my best friend. We've been together for 6 years. I recently realized that she's
an alcoholic. I feel stupid that I never realized it. Family members were shocked that I didn't know. She has had DUI's, jail time, etc.
What made you realize her alcohol problem right now?
I think its always good to share your feelings when your in a relationship. If you are at a breaking point then she needs to know. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Being honest is a good starting point.
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