There are many ways to enable an alcoholic

Old 06-16-2005, 07:42 AM
  # 61 (permalink)  
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Red face Garden Hose works too!

Okay...please rush part 2 :-)

I guess spraying my husband and his friends with the garden hose during a party was a little over the top :-( at least all the drunks left.

After reading your posting I have to wonder if there is any way NOT to enable other then leaving.
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Old 07-02-2005, 07:29 AM
  # 62 (permalink)  
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HI my AH and I are military and he is deployed on a dry camp and now he is pushing evryone in his family away....He has been gone 2 and a half weeks...Should I just give him time?
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Old 07-02-2005, 09:18 AM
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HI I am new but I have been all 3 to my husband and it hurts. He is away now with the military and he is pushing the entire family away...The tour is dry and he is at the end of his second week. How do you let him go so that he can grow and learn? I am trying to believe but I feel helpless...
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:55 AM
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I think I am closer to The Martyr, however I don't feel embarrassed or ashamed and I don't go talking to friends about it. As a teen I dealt with the whole issue of being an enabler and now I have been thinking that, that's not what I am doing. So unless I am missing something, how are we suppose to act? What is the right way?

I'm going to go look more on these threads.
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Old 07-10-2005, 05:45 AM
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I am a No 2 who in the end finds herself as a No 1. First I get frustrated and angry at the situation...and then I go making excuses and picking up the pieces...this time I only got to No 2 and he called my bluff and now he is gone off with another woman in less than 24hours. He's not a womanizer, he's angry with me and trying to hurt me. This is the only thing that keeps me going. He told me he loves me the other night when we talked. He won't come get the rest of his I am in emotional libo trying to keep it all together and get myself back on track with my life.

If you love something set it free, if it comes back it's yours...if it doesn' never was.
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:46 AM
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i feel the same way

Originally Posted by cutsiegirl
...and I don't know if it is worth it anymore.
This is exactly what I am dealing with right now-I know that when he's sober, he is worth it-but he's not always sober. Is it worth losing myself? That's how I feel-embarassed to talk to family of friends because they will say I should leave. Just not sure If I want to do that yet..
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Old 07-10-2005, 03:05 PM
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Welcome Deeds, Sexy Sadie and mrs? !

If you're dealing with someone else's alcoholism and find yourselves affected by their behaviors (and it sounds like this is the case), you'll certainly find support and ample opportunity to unburden yourselves here on SR...

*Please give us the opportunity to get to know you by starting threads of your own in this Friends & Families forum. Feel free to introduce yourselves, ask questions, bring up a topic for feedback and discussion, or just vent. Whatever you need to do, we'll be here with you!

I wish you peace and I hope you'll stick around awhile...

*I see you've already begun some threads. Good for you!!!
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:08 AM
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Ah Doug you forgot the 4th enabler. the kind of enabler I have found myself to become. the * BEEN THERE DONE THAT* enabler. it may not be found in any book or even a normal thing but we are out there nonetheless. I was a problem drinker for years. I quit drinking attended AA for several years followed all the steps and overcame the problem, but the problem never really went away. I inadvertently ended up in relationships with one A after another. I would evenually get out of the relationship, but the problem never stopped. I am now married to an AH and have caught myself trying to be a sponsor to a man that didn't even want when we talk about his drinking I go on and on about how I've been there and knows exactly what he's going through. then he gets furious because of my holyier than thou attitude, and thats just one more reason for him to drink since he is after all married to a know it all crazy woman. After a truly miserable week of him being a dry drunk after I bailed him out of jail on the condition that he not drink again, the minute I left the house for more than 10 minutes he went to the neighbors and drank since after all he could get home faster than I could. He just didn't understand that saying "it was only 1 beer" was like telling me " but it was only 1 woman I slept with" on that note I took the new door locks, that I had bought on the way home from the jail with him but never put on, and changed the locks on the door without giving him a key to the house. I then got him to call AA and we went to meet with a man that he could relate with told him he would sponsor. amazing how much better I feel knowing that I can concentrate on my recovery and he has his own sponsor. wow I finally only have 1 role to play instead of 2. what a relief! Maybe for the will of God we will both get better....
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:02 AM
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I'm new here

I just read your post and I also have been all types of the enabler. To briefly tell my story, last Tuesday, July 5th, I received a call from a woman who proceeded to tell me that my husband of 15 years had another woman 9 months pregnant. I actually had to call him at the bar to come home so I could confront him. He denied it until I said I would hire a private detective to get to the truth. He then admitted it was true. We have two children and my 14 year old son witnessed my breakdown when I found out. I have asked him to move out and am just starting a recovery process. Over the years I have dealt with DUI's, wrecked cars, bailing out of jail after bar fights and the list goes on. We have a large group of close friends and in the last year he has been really embarassing and mean when he gets drunk around them. I have apologized for him countless times. I have pulled him out of his truck when he has passed out in the middle of our street. My heart is broken because I loved him very much. Our 5 year old keeps asking when she can see daddy and it is so sad. My doctor is researching for a good therapist for me to see, but I just needed to start telling my story.
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:26 AM
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Please post your story on a new thread so that you will get all the attention and support that you need right now. So many of us here have been through some or all of what you're going through. By being here, and focusing on ourselves (and not the A), we have learned to make our own happiness and health top priority. We would love to share that with you. I promise that you can be happy not matter if you chose to stay or go, and no matter what happens with your husband's drinking.

I look forward to hearing more from you!
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:35 AM
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I have been the rescuer and martyr, I guess I still am. 20 years of living with my AH and I am just starting to learn about all of this. It is scary and I too am committed for the long haul. My sister says get a lawyer, my friend says I'll support whatever decisions you make, God is my strength, I am glad I found this board.
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Old 07-25-2005, 12:57 PM
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I can relate to "It's amazing how when I try to start controlling him I lose total control of myself" I have been here many times. It seems like no matter what you reaction is to an alcoholic's behavior, it is wrong. How can you be supportive without enabling and unwavering without criticizing and judging?

I was in an eight year relationship with an alcoholic which sounds similar to you situation. I did not know how to handle things so I gave up. Now I am married to someone else and it seems I am destined to go down this road again. Maybe this time I can learn anf make it though.
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Old 07-25-2005, 12:59 PM
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It seems like no matter what you reaction is to an alcoholic's behavior, it is wrong. How can you be supportive without enabling and unwavering without criticizing and judging?

I was in an eight year relationship with an alcoholic. I did not know how to handle things so I gave up. Now I am married to someone else and it seems I am destined to go down this road again. Maybe this time I can learn and make it though. I know to ask for help this time.
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:03 PM
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I was in an eight year relationship where I was the provoker. I was always trying to control and was wearing my self down until I had nothing left and had to get out. I did not know how to handle things.

Now I am married to someone else and it seems I am the martyr. I love my husband but am terrified I am headed for the very relationship I got out of. What do I do!?
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Old 07-25-2005, 10:37 PM
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Keep the focus on yourself.
Do your program work.
Go to meetings.
Read Lois Remembers
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Old 08-02-2005, 02:33 AM
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Im new to this and its all true.I guess I am helping my husband.

Originally Posted by Doug
As the saying goes, you are not the cause of someone else's drinking problem, you cannot cure it and you can't control it.
But there are ways that you may be contributing to the problem.

Before placing the blame for all the problems in your family or your relationship on his (or her) drinking, it might be wise to examine how the other person's drinking may have affected you, and how you have reacted to it.

For example, does the following statement sound familiar?

I don't have a problem with my drinking! The only problem is your attitude. If you would quit complaining about it, there wouldn't be a problem!

Well, obviously that statement is not completely accurate; after all denial of the problem is one of the more frustrating parts of the problem.

On the other hand the statement may not be completely false either.
How do you react to the alcoholic's drinking? Could your reaction be a part of the overall problem? Have you fallen into "role playing" in the family? Is there anything that you can do to improve the situation?

The following describes an incident that could be an example of alcoholic behavoir, and some examples of reactions to the incident. Do any of these sound familiar?

The alcoholic comes home late and he is drunk, too drunk in fact to get the key into the front door lock. After several futile attempts, he decides that it is a lost cause. Since he does not want anyone in the house to know that he is too drunk to unlock his own door, he makes a brilliant decision that solves his problem. He goes to sleep in the front yard!

How would you react?

The Rescuer
The "rescuer" doesn't let the incident become a "problem." Since she has been waiting up for him anyway, she goes out in the yard, gets the alcoholic up, cleans him up, and puts him into bed. That way the neighbors never see him passed out in the flower bed!
She never mentions the incident to him or anybody else. If anyone else mentions it, she denies there is a problem. She lies for him, covers up for his mistakes, and protects him from the world.

As the problems increase and his drinking gets worse, she takes on responsibilites that were once his. She may get a job or work extra hours to pay the bills. And if he gets in trouble with the law, she will move heaven and earth to come up with his bail.

The Provoker
The "provoker" reacts by punishing the drunk for his actions. She either waits for him to wake up the next morning and gives it to him with both barrels, or she goes out and turns the water sprinklers on!
She scolds, ridicules, and belittles. She nags. She screams insults at him loud enough for everyone to hear. She gets on the telephone and tells all her friends he's a loser. She is angry and she makes sure that the alcoholic and everybody else knows it. Or she gives him the cold shoulder and doesn't speak to him. She threatens to leave.

She doesn't let it go, either. The anger and resentment continue to build as these incidents become more frequent. She never lets him forget his transgressions. She holds it against him and uses it as a weapon in future arguments -- even months or years later.

The Martyr
The "martyr" is ashamed of the alcoholic's behavoir and she lets him know it by her actions or words. She cries and tells him, "You've embarrassed us again in front of the whole neighborhood!"
She sulks, pouts, and isolates. She gets on the telephone with her friends and tearfully describes the misery that he has caused her this time! Or she is so ashamed of it she avoids her friends and any mention of the incident.

Slowly she becomes more withdrawn and depressed. She may not say much about it to the alcoholic, but she lets him know with her actions that she is ashamed of him. Quietly she tries to make him feel quilty for his behavoir.

Which is the Enabler?

The above examples may be somewhat of an exaggeration, but then again they may be very typical of what goes on in an alcoholic home. The "roles" the nonalcoholic spouse plays in the family may not be as well defined, as they are outlined here. Depending upon the circumstances, the spouse may fall into one of these roles, or may switch back and forth between them all.
So which of the spouses described above is an enabler? Which one is actually helping the alcoholic progress in his disease? Which one, although they are trying to make things better, are actually contributing to the problem?

All of them.

...part 2 coming soon...
I guess I am helping my husband be a drunk. What can I do to stop all this?
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Old 08-02-2005, 02:41 AM
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How do I stop

Im new to this site. Is there a way to make you husband want to stop drinking.
My husband has been a drunk for 15 years and I dont know what to do anymore. Its killing our kids spirts. Im tired of making excuses for him and Im tired of not being important to him. I have no where to go. My income from my jjob cant support my three kids and I have no family and no friends left(hes managed to scare away all my friends) My kids lives are being ruined and im afraid.
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:34 AM
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Stacey - so sorry to hear about your situation. Welcome to SR. There are a lot of wise people here that are going through and have been through the same tough times. Read the all the posts you can. Post as often as you want/need to. Learn all you can about the disease. Search the web for local Al-Anon meetings, attend. Get emotional support for yourself.

You can't make your husband stop drinking, it's his choice and his alone. You CAN choose to help yourself!
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Old 08-06-2005, 01:36 PM
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now what do i do?

I have been an enabler through 13 years of marriage. I didn't even realize my husband was an alcoholic for the first 6 years of our marriage. Maybe he wasn't. He wasn't drunk all the time, we enjoyed our lives together and we were very much in love. I don't remember when he started drinking too much. Looking back now, I realize little by little, I would take on more responsibilities in our home. And little by little, as he would be freed from responsibility, he would drink more. I've traveled all through the three types of enablers you listed, thinking I could change him, as my awareness of his problem became clearer. I have finally given up. I asked him to leave, and filed for divorce in January of this year. I must have been the best at enabler #1, because noone could believe such a perfect couple was getting a divorce - "You guys seemed so happy". I never really understood that reply, because enabler #2 & #3 would always kickin, and I was on the phone with friends & family saying the same old thing over and over again. "I'm so tired of him being drunk all the time, he has no responsibility anymore, I do everything around here, we are getting further and further in debt, he's charging beer on his credit cards now, I feel like I'm all alone, I don't even know him anymore." Wasn't anybody listening to me? Maybe they got sick of hearing it and just blocked me out, I know I got sick of saying it.
It has been such an emotional rollercoaster over the last 7 months. He has blamed me for his sorrow, and our broken family. His family would not talk to me for doing this to him. Some days I felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders , and others I spent questioning myself if I did the right thing. Maybe I was just being too hard on him, maybe he didn't drink that much and I was being too picky.
The entire time we've been seperated I've watched as closely as I could how much he was drinking. The day he passed out and didn't pick the kids up from school, I knew I made the right decision. That day I broke my silence with his family. I told them he had a drinking problem, he's had it for years, and he needs help. Guess what, they didn't believe me.
I've done my best to move on with my life, and make my home with our children stable. I worried all the time about him drinking while he was with them. Hoping he wasn't lying to me about not drinking too much while he was around them - what an idiot I am. I never said anything to them about his drinking. I wanted to protect them, and not shatter their image of their father. I also thought it was too much for them to deal with on top of a divorce. Then one day, while the kids were with him, they came by to show me their new kittens. I was visiting someone who lived about a block from where he lived. As soon as I saw him I knew he was drunk. Drunk, driving around with our kids. Drunk, in front of our kids. Drunk, unable to walk a straight line. Drunk. This is the part where I could just kick myself over and over again. I am overwhelmed with guilt, I let them stay with him that night. I didn't know how to handle the situation. The kids acted like everything was okay and were so excited about their kittens. There were other people around us. I was so angry about him being drunk, but let the kids leave with him........WHY?????????? How in the world could I let our children be with him, when I couldn't even deal with it! Did I think they were in some kind of magic bubble that would protect them?! A couple of days later he kept calling one of kids while he was drunk. That was all I was able to handle. I told him he was not allowed to see the kids any more until he sobered up. He was not allowed to talk to the kids without talking to me first, so I could make sure he hadn't been drinking. It was that day I realized he would not be able to stop drinking without help. He was an alcoholic. I don't understand why it has taken me this long to believe and connect drinking too much with being a alcoholic. I knew he drank too much for years, and even called him alcoholic, but I guess I was in denial of the reality just as much as him.
Well, he quit drinking and went straight into DT's. After a day of shaking uncontrolably he called me, admitted he had a problem, and I rushed him to the emergency room. He almost killed himself. He got out of the hospital 14 days after he was admitted, 10 of which were spent in ICU. It was the most horrible thing I have ever witnessed. Again, I lied to the kids, to protect them. We made up an excuse why he was in the hospital. I spent every day there with him, showing my support. I watched him learn how to walk again, use a fork again, touch his nose again. By the way, his family couldn't believe he was this bad. They said they have never even seen him drunk. They were in total shock.
He's been out now for 1 week. he hasn't had a beer in 3 weeks. He's said he's taking this all the way. He never wants to be tied down in a bed again, or go through what he just went through. He told our oldest child he was an alcoholic, and why he was really in the hospital. I've tried to be as supportive as I can. I have enjoyed talking to the sober man I used to know. I even let the kids stay with him for the weekend, since he's living with his parents.
He was released to drive his vehicle on Friday. He went straight to the convience store and bought a 6 pack of O'Douls (sp?)! He still doesn't get it, does he? He had our oldest child with him when he did it!!!!! The poor baby flipped out, and he tells her it's okay it's non-alcoholic. He's done everything except find a rehab, or where the local AA meetings are.
I'm back on this rollercoaster, after being off for only one week, now what do I do?
I don't know if I'm supposed to be putting all this info on this thread, but it sure feels good to get it off my chest and think maybe someone will read it and know what to say to me.
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:09 AM
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I'm brand-new here but confused about how someone who only knows an alcoholic has a role in enabling her behavior. When the drunk is a family member and doesn't live with you, how can you enable their drunkenness? Neither her family or her friends have confronted her, but is that enabling? It's easy to ignore it if you don't live with her. As her sister-in-law and friend, her drinking causes many problems in social situations and I worry about the effect it has on her mother, with whom she lives, but I can go home to my fairly funtional family. That doesn't mean I don't spend many hours afterward worrying about her well-being. Is ignoring the elephant in someone else's living room an act of enabling?

I'm going to Al-anon with another family member soon and hope there are some answers there. I guess my main concern should be my poor mother-in-law who has to live with her. She deserves a better existence. She doesn't complain, but that may be because she doesn't have many other options. My brother, an AA member who's been sober for 1 and 1/2 years, said that mom might just be glad that she can keep an eye on her. I feel really bad for you who have a spouse to deal with. My mom enabled my father until the day he died and it was so difficult to watch. He was a wonderful man and she loved him unconditionally, but at such a price.

I know that having a spouse or significant other with a drinking problem is way more difficult than "just" a sister-in-law, but when you love that person, the pain is there.
Does anyone have any advice for me? Sure would appreciate some dialogue on this. Would confronting her be a bad idea, or if that's what i should do, what is the best way to go about it?

Gracie's Mama
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