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I am losing my mind... advice?

Old 10-05-2017, 03:19 PM
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I am losing my mind... advice?

Hi, my wife is an alcoholic who wants to quit but "don't know why" keeps relapsing. She was in therapy and also went through an in tensive 6 days rehab program. I try to be supportive, but really, I cannot accept her drinking again, specially after her saying that she does not want to do it anymore over and over again. We got rid of all the alcohol in the house and carpool to work so hopefully will have a great time together and get her mind into a positive space.

We have a 3 year old daughter, who absolutely adores her mom. I love her mom very much too!!! We have been together for over 10 years.

Well, I know my wife has driven my daughter after drinking. Today she picked me up from work drunk, so I drove to go pick up my DD. I am afraid she can get into an accident and hurt herself, my daughter or someone else, not to mention he financial struggle that would cause. I also know that she drinks in between breaks at work and am afraid she will lose her job, which would also cause financial struggle.

When sober she is the most loving wife you can imagine and does not have a men bone in her body. She is beautiful, funny, talented

I have considered to apply for divorce, but every time I think of having a broken family I get emotional because my daughter loves her mom so much and I would be hurting her as well...

Any advice to a desperate husband and father?
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:26 PM
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Imrs...I can tell that you are not educated about alcoholism, at all...(even if you think you are).....There is sooo much to know!
There will be others who will come along to post on this thread, but, in the meantime I am giving you the following link to our library of educational articles on alcoholism and the effects on the loved ones...
I hope that you will begin reading them.....

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...c-reading.html (Classic Reading)
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:34 PM
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Hi, Imrs.
Welcome.
Sadly, your wife is drinking and, despite what she says, does not appear to be ready to stop.
I know that you know that drinking and driving, especially with a child in the car, is so very far from okay that I have no words for it.
You must consider your child’s safety and take steps, whatever those may be, to ensure that she is not in an unsafe situation with your wife.
This is hard, but necessary.
Good luck and good thoughts.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:32 PM
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"I know my wife has driven my daughter after drinking."

Your wife's behavior is absolutely inexcusable--and combined with your nonchalance, I am fearful for your daughter.

You say you aren't really considering divorce because it would hurt your daughter, but allowing her drunk mother to drive with her in the car doesn't hurt her? It literally could kill her!

My advice? Do whatever you need to do to protect your daughter. (This is coming someone who ended a ten year relationship with a very sick person whom she loved very much to protect her newborn daughter.)
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:52 AM
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and combined with your nonchalance, I am fearful for your daughter.
Easy now. I do not see any evidence of nonchalance in his post?
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:56 PM
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I also would protect your daughter. Alcoholism is progressive and as your wife has driven your daughter drunk she will do again unless you make sure she doesn't. My exah did awful things while drunk. He had no moral compass or care for anyone, including his own kids. I also didn't want to consider divorce but it wasnt fair on our children to keep them in that situation that was progressively getting worse and worse in the end so I did.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:16 PM
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I don't want to derail this thread, but...

I do feel compelled to defend my use of the word nonchalance.

This seems a relatively mild and calm response to drunk driving with an innocent child in the vehicle: "Well, I know my wife has driven my daughter after drinking. Today she picked me up from work drunk, so I drove to go pick up my DD. I am afraid she can get into an accident and hurt herself, my daughter or someone else, not to mention he financial struggle that would cause. "

My grandfather was killed by a drunk driver. I know all too well the devastation this can cause for an entire family.

If my daughter's father drove drunk with her in the car, even once, even for only a mile, I would never trust him again and do everything within my power to ensure he NEVER drove her anywhere again.

This is a VERY serious issue: life and death. A child's safety must be prioritized over the desire for a nuclear family.

That's my two cents. Take what you want and leave the rest.
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:52 AM
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We are here to support though, not judge. All he said was that he knows she has driven their daughter under the influence. When she drove (alone) to pick him up drunk, he took over and made sure she did not drive anyone else around drunk.

I realize it is a sore spot for you, but I do suggest that it may be better to avoid making it sound like you are blaming someone who is reaching out for support for the irresponsible actions of an alcoholic.
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Old 10-07-2017, 04:09 AM
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Thank you of the support. Just to make clear, there is no tolerance for driving under the influence, specially with my daughter in the car. She won't be driving her anymore no matter what. That has been established already. So, please, don't write that I am not concerned or indifferent about it. Is just not a true statement.

I cannot control what she does when she goes to and from work, and will not take responsibility for it.

As for getting divorced, we love each other very much still, even though I am furious with this situation. The love my daughter has for her is immeasurable and it hurts me the idea of breaking the family.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:54 AM
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Tough situation, Imrs.
Keep coming back. There are many posters here who have experienced your situation. Perhaps they can be of support.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:03 AM
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As for getting divorced, we love each other very much still, even though I am furious with this situation. The love my daughter has for her is immeasurable and it hurts me the idea of breaking the family.

It is very hard. Once I'd have said exactly the same as you. My boys loved their alcoholic dad. Doted on him in fact. They don't anymore. They despise him. He embarrassed them in public, in front of friends and family and let them down once too often. He manipulated them, he sidelined them and he ruined their childhoods. They have no contact with him at all now they are adults. They also had to forgive me for letting it all happen. ( 3 of our older kids never did. They have no contact with me and I've never seen my granchild who is a year old now)

I loved him too. Our wedding day was the happiest of my life. He however loved alcohol. I was a distant second. I went through 20 years of hell hoping life would get better. Hoping he'd stop drinking, hoping we could be a normal family. It never happened. He wrecked our lives and 3 years on I am still picking up the pieces. We have nothing now, no money, no home. I am at uni, aged 56, trying to get some sort of qualification to get a career together to give stability to my autistic adult son.


I don't tell you this to depress you but so you will arm yourself with information and realise that realistically you are facing a similar senario in the future unless your wife seeks and maintains sobriety. You cannot keep the status quo cos the alcoholism progresses and often at an alarming rate. Your daughter will become inconsequential to your wife as she gets deeper into her addiction and there is nothing more heartbreaking then a child working out they are no longer the centre of a parents world. My kids felt the rejection very acutely. If you do nothing else please make a continency plan for your future's and use it when you need too and don't be like me and keep giving chance after chance.

I was walking through town today and a busker was singing a song associated with one of my daughters who has rejected me forever. I miss her. I sobbed all the way to meet my friend. Was my exah worth the pain? No! I'd give a lottery win to turn back time and leave way before it got to the state it did.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:35 AM
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So very sorry, Ladybird.
We think we can shield the children, that our love will overrule the addict’s destructive behavior.
Alas, they are affected by it as much, if not more, than we are.
My hope for you is that someday the rift with your older children can be healed.
And that you get to meet your grandchild.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:00 PM
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I apologize, lmrs, if you felt that I was judging you or blaming you. That was not my intention. Perhaps I misinterpreted the tone of your post, but I was merely trying to help you see the severity of the situation. I am so glad to hear that you have taken measures to ensure your wife will no longer endanger your daughter.

I think we've been programmed to believe that the worst thing you can do to a child is divorce... but when you're married to an alcoholic, the normal rules simply don't apply. I suggest checking out the ACOA forum. In addition to the physical dangers posed by your wife deciding to drive drunk with your daughter, the emotional and psychological damage inflicted on children who grow up in a house with an alcoholic, even when the other parent is doing everything within their power to shield them from the drama and to compensate for what the other parent is lacking, is lifelong and devastating.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I truly hope your situation will be different, that your wife will see the light and decide to be a good wife and mother for her family. Around here, this is so rarely the case.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:23 PM
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I to am one of the spouses that stuck it out with my addict, only 34 years together. I thought divorce was a sin. All sins get thrown out the window when you are living with an addict. Eventually you have to put on your oxygen mask first and save yourself, as addicts will take you down the deepest holes with them.

I agree about reading the adult children of alcoholics forum. There are many people on that forum that wished their parents didn't stay together, just to have that status of being married. We all love our addicts and don't want to divorce, but my friend, over time, unless she embraces sobriety it might be your only option. Education is power, do your homework and read, and go to meetings. You can make any decisions you need to make at the right time. Hugs!!
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Old 10-08-2017, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by lmrs View Post
I cannot control what she does when she goes to and from work, and will not take responsibility for it.
lmrs, not to beat a dead horse, but I have something to share on this topic that maybe you haven't considered--I certainly hadn't, at the time. I see you're in Canada, so I don't know if things work the same way there or not, but for what it's worth, this was my experience in this area:

A few years ago, XAH (not X then, still AH) and I got into a fight of some sort when he had clearly been drinking. He got mad and headed out to his truck to drive away, who knows where. I said "I know you're drunk, and if you get in that truck, I am calling the cops." He said "so go ahead and call them, then" and drove off.

So I did call them, w/a description of the truck, plate #, etc. If we had had cell phones at the time, they likely would have caught him, as they asked for a cell # in order to track him that way. However, we only had one flip phone, and it was at home w/me. Hours passed, the cops didn't find him, and he eventually returned home safely.

I posted here at SR about this incident and wiser folk than I said "if you are married, that DUI he should've gotten would have ALSO been YOUR problem, b/c it would affect YOUR insurance costs going forward; also, as his wife, YOU would be struggling to pay the huge fine and any legal fees incurred, too."

Yikes. I hadn't thought about that. I knew that reporting him when he headed out drunk and angry was the right thing to do, but it never occurred to me how it would blow back on ME b/c I was legally tied to him by marriage.

I've shared this story w/a number of folks here, b/c it's not something that we seem to think of when considering consequences of staying in/going from an alcoholic marriage, but we SHOULD. Imagine the guilt of knowing your A was driving drunk and you didn't report it, and then they killed or crippled someone. Imagine the legal and financial repercussions of that, or even "just" a DUI--spouse or partner in jail, assets and children's college funds going up in smoke to pay fines or lawyers...

I really, really hope you don't feel attacked by this--as I say, it's something that didn't occur to me either until the folks here mentioned it. That alone wasn't enough to end the marriage, of course, but it was definitely a factor that needed to be considered when I was making decisions about my future, a risk I needed to decide if I wanted to take along with all the other considerations.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:12 AM
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Thank you guys for all the responses.
Save her, thanks for getting back to me
So how do I actually establish this boundaries with my AW ? Just a conversation?
She has not drunk since Thursday and she won't until she's on her own at work. She told me she is going to a naturopath doctor next week, the AA meeting and her councillor. She tells me she doesn't want this anymore, and doesn't know why she does it, when I told her the answer isn't good enough, she said she doesn't know what to tell me... She has apologized profusely. Now I am the one who seems to be a depressed mass and the cherry on top is that my daughter is so much more attached to my AW than me and that hurts my feelings so much.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by lmrs View Post
So how do I actually establish this boundaries with my AW ? Just a conversation?
Actually, there is no need for you to even tell your AW about your boundaries. Boundaries are about actions that I will take when that boundary is crossed. They are for and all about ME. They are NOT rules for the A in my life.

Example:
Rule: I will not allow the A to drink in our house.
Boundary: If the A drinks in our house, DD and I will leave the house until he is sober.

See the difference? One is about trying to control the A's behavior, and the other is about controlling my own behavior.

These threads might help you, too:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...oundaries.html (So what ARE Boundaries?)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...oundaries.html (Tips For Setting Boundaries)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...oundaries.html (Setting Boundaries)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...es-advice.html (Boundaries and advice)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...tionships.html (Hooks which keep you boundary-less in relationships)

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...oundaries.html (Signs of Ignored Boundaries.)
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:34 AM
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Honeypig thank you for all the links.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:21 AM
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lmrs,
I see the light bulb just went off!!! Its no longer about protecting and Helping our addict, it is about saving ourselves. Our addicts consume our every waking moments trying to fix them, until we realize, they don't want to be fixed. We don't care for ourselves and then we become the train wreck seeking out support forums. (whats up with that)??

Like honeypig said we do things to protect ourselves. When she is drunk, you don't need to witness it, go to a park, or get ice cream or a relatives house. When she is drunk and passes out on the floor, leave her. She doesn't need a blanket or pillow or to be walked to bed. If she is throwing up, don't hold her head or cushion her at all. Let her consequences fall as they may. To hung over or drunk to work or go out, don't make excuses for her, let her own it.

I would highly recommend an alanon meeting or open aa meetings. These people understand and they are face to face. Once you stop lecturing and fighting with her, (like you have given up,) she might change her ways. Obviously it hasn't been working with what you have been doing, so try something different. She won't understand why/how you are changing.

I understand your concern about your daughters love for her mom. Just be patient, If you continue to live the way you are living, your daughter will recognize that something is up. My 2 daughters knew at a very young age that there Dad was an addict. We discussed it openly, as their grandfather was, but he joined AA and remained sober. I remember when my dd 18 asked me why "Dad's lighter smelled like weed" I of course played dumb, (originally).... ugh!! Over time your daughter will recognize that mom will disappoint her "again". You just need to be there and love and support her. You hope to stay as a "family" but its better to have one sane parent and a child, family, then 2 crazy parents and a child, family.

Your wifes disease is a one man show. She knows what she needs to do, as I am sure she has Dr. Googled it. Let her take the initiative to reach out to sober people, rehab or aa. She is an adult and needs to be treated like it. You need to seek therapy for yourself and find out why you have enabled her for so long. We all have to own 50% of marriage, how did we contribute to the disfunction.

I also recommend going over to the new to recovery forum and alcoholic forum here and read how they suffer. Its is not easy to become sober, as it is about growing up, sobering up and working a program, it takes years to figure it out. Not drinking is only the icing on the cake, as they are still nothing but a dry drunk, nothing changed. Keep reading my friend, you are asking some great questions!!
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:38 AM
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Boundaries are very different from rules. However, I do think it's wise when she is sober and you are talking on these subjects to go ahead and tell her what your boundaries will be. I say this b/c most addicts get enraged when we adhere to our own boundaries. At least if you have sat down and discussed it, there are no surprises.

For myself, my boundaries were that my XAH would NOT drink around my children.

First that meant if he were drinking we would leave. We were pretty busy anyways so it was not hard, at first. Then it got old. My children had things to do at home (homework), and we all got tired of feeling like we had to leave the comfort of our own home.

So, that changed. I said I will not allow you to be in our home if you are drinking. He would go to his families, etc. Of course this posed two problems. One is that he began just to hide it more. Two is that you don't want them driving under the influence. So I encourage you to figure out the challenges your own boundaries may have and have a solution for them if possible.

I also would not allow my children to ride w/him. This posed another set of problems in that if I was not available I had to make sure they both had a place to be, another person to be with. Now my children have a bunch of extra moms who I can call on at the drop of a hat. It's a life saver. I was truthful to all about why I needed their assistance, and they were all happy to help in any way possible.

I also stopped covering for him. Boy oh boy, did that tick him off. For years he would miss events and I would make up excuses for him. Eventually I just said well, he is drinking so he did not come. I also did not cover up for the legal issues it caused him (us by way of it being a huge financial hit), etc. While that ticked him off, it did give me a whole new support system for myself, which I desperately needed.

I also decided my children and I would not miss out on events b/c I felt the need to stay home and babysit and control my XAH. We went on vacations, trips, events, you name it. Whatever issues he caused/had when we were gone were his problem to figure out himself. This also caused a lot of drama b/c he did not like that I would go do these things w/out him. However, life was passing me by and I decided I did not want to keep missing out.

So there are a few examples if it helps at all. My boundaries would change as I thought of them, but one thing never changed. I put the safety of my children first always, and still do now. It sounds like you are prepared to do the same, which is excellent.

Keep posting, keep reading. You are not alone.
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