There are many ways to enable an alcoholic

Old 12-18-2004, 01:41 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Number 2

I feel awful... I recognised myself in No2. A while ago BF went out and I picked him up at 11, well he left me in the car for a hour as he was upset I wouldnt go in, The decided I had to drive 50km to drop off his friend. Didnt mind but a wee bit of warning would have been nice. He fell asleep in teh car, we got home at 2am and I couldnt wake him so I left him in the car, left the lights on so when he got cold he would come to bed. He did so at 4am which is when I finally got to sleep after stressing he would suffocate, choke etc. He knew he was in the s^&t by my cold shoulder the next day...
How do we change our enabling habits. I always bring up past incidents in discussions but how do we remind them that it is not ok to spend $200 on alcohol in one night and hurt their partners. I want to change too but how.
Thanks for the post, was a real eye opener.
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Old 12-19-2004, 10:01 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
I'm more than the drunk's wife
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I'm going into year eleven.. and I've been detached, lonely, angry, hurt, name it.. I've felt it.. except.. supported, loved, needed.. wanted..
I'm a Domestic Abuse Advocate..and it's hard to take a long look into my own life.. I stay because the money is here, the kids love their dad.. my first ex hus is a total pain in the @ss... I can't even imagine how much a pain my current hus would be if we split up..
and I worry... if he got the kids.. would he drive drunk with them?? would he get totaly drunk and pass out and they'd have to deal with him???

sometimes I feel like I'm in a bubble just waiting for it to pop and than I can move on .. right now I'm angry and mad because of course he slipped up ..again.. and now it's that slippery slope.. and down he goes..and you tell him, look, pull it together you're jumping infront of that train again..and he just ignores you.

he ignores me.
and you can't tell anyone..because they've all heard it before and just dont understand.
and dad was an alcoholic, and so in a screwed up way I am comfortable with this situation.. after all if I dont' have to give .. and I can just check out.. isn't that a formm of keeping it together?

and don't even get me started about not wanting to invite people over.. or make new friends or have him meet anyone I do meet/and like.. because he'll screw it up by being the obnoxious lame drunk.. so I just keep it all in.
I feel like a freaking island.

and I'm right in the midst of a hurricane
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:54 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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I've been a 1 and 2 with my wife - mostly a 2. I could care less about 'shame'. The most I did was help her hide stuff from her family.

I can tell my attitudes have changed. She is almost 6 months sober and drank again at her parent's house while on vacation. They didn't know before - but do now. My first thoughts when I heard were "She must feel terrible. How embarrasing." Six months ago I would have "Good for you! Are you PROUD of yourself you little drunk?!"

Big difference in attitude can lead to some big differences in behavior.
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Old 12-24-2004, 10:24 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
"What Now?"
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I am mostly 2 and somewhat 3. I am very outspoken anyway, so I would let him have it whenever he was sober and boy was I a great NAG. If he was sober and I had his full attention, I would go on and on and on....while he sat there and never reacted. (I'm pretty sure he got good at tuning me out.)

Also, that brings to what other people said about the alcoholic not caring about what happened. This was frustrating. I would look at him seeing no emotion or caring and think to myself, "you must be a serial killer because I see dead eyes and the feeling of so what?"

Well, anyway, to Lizzy777 and wraybear. I did leave my husband and separated after 17 years. It was the absolute hardest and most gut wrenching decision I ever made. I understand wraybear, it's just not that easy to say, ok, I'm out of here. Nope. The times weren't all bad and we had some wonderful family times and special times. Unfortunately, you are the only one that can make that decision. After he shoved my daughter, that's when my last straw was. BUT, now that I am away from him, I am still fighting my co-dependency, the daily feelings of warmth towards him, the confusing thoughts if I did the right thing, and on and on.

Thanks to these posts, alanon, and AA.. I am starting to make sanity out of insanity, but I realize that it's going to take a long time to work on this. And, even though, I am separated from him, believe me, it doesn't end there! Lots of work to do, but each day gets a tiny bit better. Just tiny, but a little further than I have been.

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Old 01-02-2005, 07:55 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I agree about "scott free." by not saying anything the alcoholic in my life doesnt' care or forgets what he does.

I am in a spot where I'm not sure how to handle. By not setting any boundaries, he never has to own up to what he is doing, and it hurts my kids.

I think by just pretending there isn't an elephant in my living room, I am also enabling. He has so many years of pretending in place, my ignoring for four years has not helped at all.

I guess I'm at the point I just have to realize he is just going to ignore the problem, I'm trying to get the guts to do tough love.
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:37 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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i'm a newbie....i'm definitely a boyfriend is an alcoholic, and i need to figure out a way to find him help...but he won't listen to me! thanks for the advice guys, hopefully i'll figure something out!
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Old 01-07-2005, 06:03 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Hearbreak City

I really appreciate all that everyone has written. I have just broken up with my alcoholic boyfriend of three years and I feel like someone has ripped my heart out. I watched him progress in his disease (he had just relapsed when I met him, I had no idea he was an alcoholic and he didn't disclose it) very rapidly and he has recently started becoming very hostile and belligerant...and I have become about the same way. I am #2 in every respect...I thought I was giving him consequences that would ultimately change his destructive behavior. It's amazing how when I try to start controlling him I lose total control of myself. So here I am, trying to get out of bed each day and having a really hard time doing it. I still find myself obsessing about him and wondering what he's doing/how he's doing. My nightstand is loaded with my co-de books and I can't bring myself to open them up again and read again what I've managed to do with my life. I know I'll have to pull out of the fog but am having such a miserable time just existing...I can't imagine functioning. The worst part is, I was miserable with him in the end and now I'm miserable without him. I'm not quite sure how I can accept the fact that my best friend is forever. I feel like someone I love dearly has died. My head knows I've suffered enough from the wrath of this disease and all the misery it brings but my heart just can't get the message. Anyways, thanks for writing all that you do...I feel a little more "normal" reading about the destruction that this lifestyle can bring and that ultimately we all have to get out. Thanks and hopefully some of you have some more good advice for me...
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:32 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Location: Durham, North Carolina
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It amazes me how I read all of the wonderful information provided about how NOT to act when my AH has hurt or betrayed himself (and me I feel) when drinking has gotten the best of him, but I successfully reacted to last night's binge by yelling and criticizing his behavour once again. I know it is childish of me to try to make him feel the hurt I am feeling and it obviously exacerbates the situation,but how does one rise above such peevishness?????
Watching him on his road to recovery is painful enough, but then I add my fury which only fuels the already temped fire.
We actually had several good days in a row, and had very frank discussions about what causes his drinking and what keeps him from drinking.
And of course he had to bring up that though I am not to blame, but that I certainly do feed into his desire to drink when I react and when my temper gets the best of me.
Strength can be difficult to find when one's heart is breaking and crumbling, but its not an excuse to spew cruelty at someone I claim to love so deeply.
I see him trying to make appropriate efforts toward sobriety, but my lack of patience continues to get the best of me...especially when he slips up.
I decided to keep to myself for most of the day and to give us some space so I could cool off, do some reading, play some x-box, but even that eventually turned sour and my pride decided to outshine my inner wisdom.
Never very proud of myself when I can't let things go, but also tired of the repeating cycles that seem to yield little change.
Does it ever change?????
Am I just being way too impatient with his recovery?????
Any words of wisdom, as always, would be appreciated.
Thank you!
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:42 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Heartbreak city....
I wish you well and I know you've the strength to carry on.
everytime our heart is broken it only strengthens us and prepares us for something new and we gain new perspective and greater spirit.
Healing does take time and its not necessarily easy, but trust yourself and know you have done whats right for yourself.
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:55 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
too much on my plate!!
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cm and x0x0x, I totally can relate to what you have said. You aren't happy with them and the thought of saying good bye to your best friend can bring you to your knees crying, hoping and wishing it was different.

I too have said terrible and hateful things that I'm embarrased to admit. Tonight I was so angry at him for not caring how he tears me up inside, threw his ceramic, keepsake from his departed Grandfather; I broke it, although he isn't here, I know he would be so hurt to see that I had broken it. I guess I did that because I knew it would hurt him and I want him to hurt the way that I do.

How odd someone had mentioning their AH, seems similiar to that of a serial killer, as I had just said something to that effect last week. I told my AB he lies so much and decieves me so much that he reminds me of Scott Peterson.
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Old 01-18-2005, 02:20 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Hello Group, I just found this site, because I'm at my wit's end regarding my wife's drinking problem. Normally, it's always said that we men have the problem, but it's really frustrating when the alcoholic is a wife. I stopped drinking 14 years ago last month. I still take life one day at a time, but I just don't know if I can continue to deal with my wife's drunkiness nightly. I finally moved out of the bedroom last weekend, because she spent all weekend drunk. I'm embrassed to have my friends come to the house, yet she blames all me for all the trouble. Being a recovering alcoholic myself, I thought I had the wherewithall to provide her some insight into what i went through. But none of that does any good. So, I stay. I'm so tired of living in fear and anxiety that she will leave, thereby causing all kind of debt problems with the purchase of this new house we got. But, my higher power is still with me, because I haven't had a drink today..Anyway, just felt the need to share.....Duke
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Old 01-20-2005, 12:16 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Whats the first step to stop enabling your alcoholic?
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Old 01-20-2005, 12:40 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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some have suggested a book - "co-dependent no more" by melody beattie. i have not read, but it may help you. anything that you are doing to ease him from feeling pain/consequences of his bad actions is enabling - like calling his work and telling them he's sick, when he's really hung over.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:00 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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I made my husband move out 1 week ago. He is an A with a freaky sexual addiction. He also has hepatitus c with liver damage. I thought that if I made him move out he would see what all he is giving up for his addiction. After reading several posts I feel like a heartless b****. How do you make your mind tolerate that behavior? Maybe I haven't been patient enough. This has been really bad for 3 years since he found out he had hepatitus c. HIs mother said he is on a death wish. Why wouldn't he want to live as long as he could? It's all so confusing. One hour I think I did do the right thing and 10 minutes later I'm sure I screwed up. HELP!!!!
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Old 01-26-2005, 07:01 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I am new here, but not new to this demon in my life. I struggle hard with this enabling thing but for reasons of survial not to help my A. I am completly resonsible for everything it takes to run my families lives. In a moment his choices could take that all away from what do I have to do to keep it all together. Not for him..for us. I don't understand how that is enabling. He knows what he is doing, and that what I do is only to survive the crazyness of his life, not allowing it to hurt ours. I do know as a family we have learned to let him be a part of us if he is sober, and to keep our day ours when he is not. Letting him just pretend he did nothing is hard for me, as where is his accountablilty?
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Old 01-26-2005, 07:14 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Welcome Hyrofant and Hope5!

Why don't you start a new thread and introduce yourselves so that we can get to know you?

To me, enabling is simply not letting the alcoholic face the consequences of their behaviour. In fact, that goes for anyone whose behaviour is unacceptable to me.

Hope all you newbies stick around - there is lots of good information on these boards and everyone is very supportive.


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Old 01-27-2005, 10:51 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Newbie babble

I have now spent half the day reading these posts and this one in particular. I take small comfort that my reactions to my husband's alcohol and marijuana abuse are not unusual. I think I am mostly a "provoker" but sometimes play the Martyr as well. I never considered those enabling reactions. I know my reactions have to change if he is to take any responsibility for his problems. Although I hate the effects his moodiness, criticism, bullying (aka "teasing") and unpredictableness have on me, at this point I worry more about how they are affecting our children. I am afraid there might be a dual diagnosis but could be chemical induced depression.

Wierd things happen though. About seven or eight months ago he had an Iced Cappacino and had something like a seizure while in a vehicle at work. He hadn't been drinking in a few days because of an upcoming doctor's appointment as I recall. He was taken to the emergency room. Then about a week later he sustained a work related injury being struck by something heavy over the top of his nose resulting in a laceration. It has been downhill from these incidents for sure.

He has always been a drinker (from a family of drinkers) and a toker but it seems (since we have had children) in the last five years things have progressively gotten worse. A few months ago I told him he had become an alcoholic. He, to my surprise did not deny it, but said at least he was a functional alcoholic! He said I should go to Al-Anon but made no mention of quitting drinking or even trying.

It was however very shortly after that that he went off work with depression and went to see a psychiatrist. One of the bosses at work wouldn't give him the time off he needed for our move so he just took it anyway and after going in for a meeting at work after that, he was off. That was four months ago. He stayed home, drank, smoked, toked and generally "relaxed and rested", took the dog for half day walks and played X-box. He was back on Celexa and when he took it seemed much better but was not very good about taking it regularly in the evening and so spent whole days sleeping at times. Recently he started Epival as well. I pointed out to him that it enhanced the depressive effects of alcohol and that he should be careful.

Last week he finally went back to work and I was relieved in a way since I work at home and wanted a routine back. Unfortunately, he is more miserable than ever. Today I thought about going over to the church and talking to the minister but this is a very small community and I am a pretty private person, my husband even more so. This freedom to think without him always being around though has just made me more aware of the problems and now I have the chance to try and sort out my feelings and gain some sense of my own direction.

One of the things that bothers me most is his smell when he has been drinking and smoking for that matter. I think that is what led to the slow death of our sex life and the anger I feel most times lately.

Honestly, I don't know where to start trying to improve our family life. Seems like I am just "blathering on" here. BTW, those were the words my daughter used this morning when I was trying to get her ready for school this morning. It was the usual rush and I had to keep coaxing her to get ready. She said I was blathering at her. When I asked where she heard that, she asked why I blathered on at daddy all the time. He had been drinking last night (on his way home! and once he got home) and was putting a movie on for her. He does not usually participate at bedtime. I was really aggravated by the mess up of the routine and there he was laying on her bed watching it with her, refusing to listen when I tried to get bedtime back on track. It would be fine on a weekend maybe but not on a school night. I do not watch with her in the evening so she can get sleepy enough to sleep. Now I am blathering I guess. Sorry, just needed to vent.

One more blab sorry! I really try to avoid spanking and am careful not to double dose discipline. For example school misbehavior is dealt with there. We will talk about it but the discipline has already been done so I do not do it again. Last night though, my son had hit my daughter in the face with an airplane for which he got a good long time out and was made to apologize. My husband saw the mark on her face, asked her about it, gave him a spank on the butt and made him apologize 8 hours after the fact. He is only three. The annoying part is that he might have gone a week without noticing something like this.

I have thought about asking the doctor for antidepressants or antianxiety meds for myself! I want a happier family life! Any thoughts for a good place to start would be helpful. Parenting is a hard enough job some days without having to deal with the inconsistencies created by an AF/AH and the long term effects. I love my husband but my children are my love and my responsibility.

A truly worried mom.
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:05 AM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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I have been all three. It is so good for me to read these and know that I am not alone or that I am not the only one doing things this way. I need answers. My AH and I grow further and further apart. Luckily my AH has quit drinking, or is trying, he probably drinks about once a month now, just cuz there is always something that pushes him over (usually me). I have totally stopped acknowleding it, and let him think that he has pulled one over on me again and "gotten away" with it. I am angry and resentful towards him, and I don't know how to be different. I have forgiven, and let go of the past, and I am ready to look toward the future, but now I have to deal with depression from him. It just always seems like it is something. We have two kids. I am so tired from playing the role of both parents and then having to walk on egg shells so he doesn't go get drunk. He just took a job that pays him three times as less as what he was making a year ago....three times. He tried working for himself, but that pretty much gave him an excuse to sit in the house all day and drink, and spent what little money we have. He steals from his clients when he can't afford to buy the stuff. So, now we are so in debt, I mean horrible, and basically it's because he only took on a couple of jobs (he's a carpenter) and made them last all month so that a two week job could be extended to a month to factor in the drunk time. If I would remind him that he needs to work....drunk. Now he HAS to have a job because the working for himself doesn't work. Now he isn't making even what he made when he was drunk, not even close. But he is depressed. And this is the only thing that is going to make him happy, only it doesn't cuz he still drinks and is still depressed. He is on anit-depressents, which aren't working either. I just don't know what to do. Tonight he drank cuz last night I bitched. He keeps telling me how alone he is, and I get angry and hateful towards him because I am so tired of hearing how hard it is for him, I would just for once like him to stop and think of what I have to go through in a day to make everything good, for our kids, our marriage, our lives.... I am alone in all of this too. I am raising the kids, I am keeping the home together, and for the last six months I am the only one making money and I am exhausted from it. I desparately do not want a divorce, but I, especially after reading all of these, don't see any answers. Is this the way it is. Is this what my life is going to be like until I die. I know I can't fix him, but there has to be a way to get through this without leaving. We have tried thearpy, anti depressants, AA, talking with our pastor. I dont expect him to be cured overnight, or ever, I can accept this is a disease, but when does he stop and make a choice of how he lives his life. When does he see what this has done to us, our family, and say enough is enough.
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Old 02-01-2005, 01:36 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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I'm always a Rescuer.

Very clear to me now.

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Old 02-25-2005, 09:00 AM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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I'm mostly number 2 and 3. My husband is a functioning alcoholic. Every night it's the same thing over and over again. Won't that be fun??? I grew up in a family where drinking was rare. So I've never understood the NEED to drink. I tend to nag, guilt trip, threaten to leave him, and then when I realize it doesn't work, I try to ignore it.

Nothing works. He rationalizes it in every way. I'm ready to leave him, but I hate the thought of leaving him when he needs me. What do I tell his teenage daughter? She's old enough to understand, but I don't know what's approprate?

I feel stuck, I am not "me" in this relationship. I feel like I do not love him anymore the way I did when we first met. I'm almost afraid of leaving him for fear that he won't be able to take care of himself alone.
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