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There are many ways to enable an alcoholic

Old 08-14-2005, 06:33 AM
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Hi, this is my first post and I was actually surprised to see that #2 and #3 are enablers. I'm definitely not a #1!! I'm frustrated to read many posts that I can relate to and all these people just having to "put up with" these family members. My dh started drinking again(when we met he didn't drink) . My first husband(who was killed in a snowmobile accident) drank and I made sure I would never put up with a drinker again. Well, here I am, AGAIN! My dh used to do drugs and drink and has quite the past, being irresponsible, going nowhere in life. So he thinks, now because he shows up for work every day, has a family and ocassionally attends church, he does not have a problem. Last night I ended up taking the kids home from our camp because dh was starting to slur his words. I DO NOT want my kids to see him drunk. I've asked him to please not drink and drive, and he won't promise me he won't. He has even driven his company truck after he's been drinking. I have told him I won't put up with this forever and every day, I think about leaving. Maybe I'm not looking at alcholism as a disease, but I just don't want to go through this again. His drinking is more important to him than his family and I can't handle that. Why do so many people put up with this and stay in these situations? Any advice would be helpful at this point.
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:42 PM
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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?
There is no doubt in my mind that alcoholism is a family disease. Everyone in the family unit is insane as we try to prevent, hide, or even cause the crises surrounding the alcoholic. There is MOST DEFINATELY something you can do to improve the situation: seek help for YOURSELF. Read the messages here, read about others' recovery as they share their experience, strength and hope, go to Alanon, go to meetings, read literature, talk with someone who lives(d) with active alcoholism and is in recovery. Living with alcoholism will always be painful. We have a choice what to do with that pain.
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Old 08-20-2005, 02:14 PM
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Mingming,
I have "put up" with my boyfriends behavior for 6 years now. He drank, did drugs, and was a party animal when we met. Now 6 years, a beautiful little girl, and complete hearbreak later, "all" he does is drink...He claims he drinks because of me. And yet I stay, I wonder every day if it will ever get better. I know the answer...but I am afraid of it. I feel like I can't leave. Even after all of the excuses he has given me to leave. The main line: if I leave, will he care? I am afraid to answer this as well. I can not give you advice and tell you that you are better off leaving and forgetting...b/c I can't bring myself to face the same music. Here's to hope...wherever that may be.
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:35 PM
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I don't know where I fit?

This evening my husband called me on his way home from work and asked me if I'd have a problem with his bringing home a six-pack. I said, "Of course I would. You told me two weeks ago that you were through with this." He retaliated with verbal insults, none of which pertained to the situation at hand and told me to get off my high horse. I ended the conversation with, "Look. You already know how I feel about this and I don't like it, but you're a grown man, you pay bills and what you decide to do to your body is your choice. You know how I feel and my opinion won't change, so please don't attack my character in the process? Just do whatever you think will make you happy." (Knowing full well he's miserable, hence the need to drink)

In a nut shell, he came in with a six-pack and we haven't said a word to each other since.

I feel a lot of resentment at the moment, but I know that will pass. We always talk, but I'm tired of talking and trying to un-der-staaand and trying to reaaass-oooon with him. I wanna say poop or get off the pot buddy. Make an effort to keep your word. But that would only add fuel to the fire and he's not interested in keeping his word today.

I have a full plate tomorrow. I'll spend my day focusing on my errands and thinking about a future without him like I always do when his alcohol abuse rears its ugly head. And one of these days, I'll probably leave. This just isn't the way I want to live my life.
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:38 PM
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My husband got a DUI last year. He blew a .17 and had to spend a mandatory 2 days in jail. For two days, I thought, "I should leave. Now's my chance." I don't know who's dumber, him for getting the DUI, or me for sticking around the last year?
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:19 PM
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Hi there diva and welcome to SR.

Reading the sticky or power posts at the top of this forum is a great way to start. Check out those at the top of the nar-anon one too - there's some really good stuff there too.

I think you handled that call pretty well. He was asking your permission and you refused to give him that. The insults came from that refusal and is extremely common.

Why not start a new thread and introduce yourself? There is loads of help and support on here and you can guarantee that someone will have been in the same situation as you.

Looking forward to getting to know you.

Love

Minnie
xxx
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Old 09-08-2005, 10:51 AM
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I struggle with what I should do. I know that meltdowns don't help but I also know and acknowledge my anger. What do I do with it?? Any suggestions? I can't swallow it and can't seem to distiguish between swallowing it and detaching.
Also, when fear gets me I am learning to pray more and "letting go." Sometimes it's easier than others. haven't done the martyr deal yet but it ain't over til it's over!
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Old 09-16-2005, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by KarenKay
Mingming,
I have "put up" with my boyfriends behavior for 6 years now. He drank, did drugs, and was a party animal when we met. Now 6 years, a beautiful little girl, and complete hearbreak later, "all" he does is drink...He claims he drinks because of me. And yet I stay, I wonder every day if it will ever get better. I know the answer...but I am afraid of it. I feel like I can't leave. Even after all of the excuses he has given me to leave. The main line: if I leave, will he care? I am afraid to answer this as well. I can not give you advice and tell you that you are better off leaving and forgetting...b/c I can't bring myself to face the same music. Here's to hope...wherever that may be.
I entered this website/message board for the first time late night. I have never used message boards and i am not savey on this stuff at all!! After reading this message I went to bed feeling your pain and knowing your story. I cried and cried remembering feeling this way 10 years ago. My awarness of my loved ones diease came to light when my daugher was born.(which was also 6 years after being with my now husband) When she was born I had a new way at looking at my life I had a daugher to raise. I now have two daughers and they are the biggest gift god could have given me. I want them to grow up to be strong and healthy women. I to do not know if I should stay or go. I am now in counseling and hoping to obtain some answering by starting with me. If you leave karenkay he will care. But there comes a time when you have do what is right for yourself and you family. And only you, god can determine that.
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Old 09-17-2005, 01:01 PM
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welcome to SoberRecovery Nanad!
You're right about starting with you. There is no other way.
I hope you stick around here. There's lots of good information and the contact with others is so helpful. Don't worry---lots of us are new at this techie stuff.
best wishes,
Reikihelps
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:07 PM
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I'm new too

Hi...

I'm new here too, and hope I can learn what I can't learn from my husband. We've been married a whole 3 months. Just saying that makes me scared, we should still be in the honeymoon stage of life. Instead NO...he wants to fight over flies in the house.

He's one who can't be trusted to go out to do an errand. It seems the VODKA shop...calls to him to stop in for a drinky. Then he comes home or calls with the baby, baby....I love you so much. I'm sure you all know this song and dance, and I wish I understood it all.

I've been that person who was always kind and nice...and said..you just fell down...lets pick ourselves up and start over. I went to an AA meeting with him. One man there told me to run as fast as I could, that he was no more ready to stop drinking then a man in the moon. "I guess his magic ball was working that night"

I know he has great qualities as a man...when he doesn't drink. He was ready a book called Rational Recovery. In the book the call the drinking person the beast. We'll I've made a rule, when the beast comes home. He can set alone. Because...I'm better then that. I don't need the company of such a snot!!!!

Thank you for letting me vent. I'm hoping to find some tools I need. And most of all the understand I need to deal with this. I'm a strong woman, but I'm not even sure I can take on this beast???

nite...
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Old 09-18-2005, 04:02 AM
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A beast it is!
Welcome Babydoll.
Try out the stickys at the top of each thread. They have lots of helpful information. I have to admit, it's not always what I want to hear! And over time I have become ready to hear a bit more and a bit more.
Have you tried Alanon?
I wish you strength and peace,

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Old 09-18-2005, 04:02 AM
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Silly Me!!!!!!!!! This is a sticky (blush) Guess you already knew that!
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Old 09-18-2005, 08:49 PM
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Thank-you reikihelps

For you welcome. I have hopes that this website can help. I live in a small town and tried one meeting there was only two people there! However, I am searching for a bigger group maybe in another town.

My husband is in total denial. This is very painfull. I feel hopless at times.

Of course our loved ones have wonderful qualties or we would not be where we are today. There was a time when my husband took very good care of me. I never had to worry about car trouble, racking the leaves out side or cutting fire wood. As his drinking problem progressed he no longer takes care of me and my girls. I have really learned how to step up to the plate. This is good however sad.

Now he ask me to ask for help with my car (he used to hop in is car to help me); he blames me for the high cost of heating our home instead of cutting wood. It makes me so very very sad. He is so depressed and lonely. I am falling out of love with him and it makes me cry. I can't seem to even sleep in the same bed as him anymore. He is so hurt and so am I. There is just no room for me in this marriage. He will not go to counseling. I asked for a seperation so I could get my head together. We have a large house payment and neither one of us can pay it on our own. We have a rv and I asked if he could park it at his parents properity up the road and he said no way! I am not ready to sell our home and am not willing to pack my children up to stay with family.

I feel like I'm under water and can't catch my breath. Thanks for listening/reading

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Old 09-19-2005, 10:23 AM
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I hear ya.
This addiction thing is so isolating. Focus on your needs.....emotional and physical and spiritaul. Do you have some people you can lean on? That was very hard for me at first but I think that has helped very much. I found a home meeting group (after attending 6 that just didn't feel right), started a book club with women I liked and wanted to get to know better (I told them that was the criteria), am exercising and try to get regular massage, and pray/ meditate daily. That is enough for me to do. It still hurts. It hurts a lot. But sharing with others helps me get through. It also occasionally jogs me out of my reality and into the restof the world where the air is lighter. The best thing about self care is that your daughters will benefit so much from having a stronger mommy.
warmly,
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Old 09-20-2005, 06:38 AM
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Yes my support system is real good. Thank god I have wonder friends. I have made many slow changes. Thank-you for the thought on my girls. Having a mother that is not in denial I'm hoping with show them strength.

I had a slumber party for my oldest daughter 9 and asked my husband if he could stay in the RV during the party (advised me it was a girl party) I should have been honest and said I did not want my daughters friends to see her dad drunk. (went through that when I was a child) I could never have friends over. Anyway I should have and will be next time been honest with him. He did come in to the party with 32 oz vodka/orange jucie in hand. I sent him on his way before to much damage was done. This is one of the things that started my journey to my recovery. I had 10 9 year olds in my house!! I was crazy and a lot of fun.

Huggs

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Old 09-20-2005, 11:04 AM
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wow. That is awesome role modeling for your girls. And clear boundaries.
I have a good support system, too and I'm just learning how to lean into it.
best wishes Mom!
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Old 09-23-2005, 05:06 AM
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Ater reading through these and the types of "enabler's", I would have to say I am partly all three. I have in the past wiped up his vomit (only once albeit) and put him to bed on many occasions, and near nenough ALL the responsibility of the housework, bills, kids, pets etc.. is mine! I play the provoker by making him feel guilty about his behaviour -

"She scolds, ridicules, and belittles. She nags. She screams insults at him. 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.


I do all of the above, not as an everyday occurance, mainly during arguments. I don't think about how my words will effect him because they don't seem to, although I know deep down that it hurts him.

And I identify with the martyr too as I have become withdrawn and depressed and I definatly "quietly try to make him feel guilty for his behaviour". However I am NOT ashamed of him.

My question is how can I stop doing all these things? I want to be the way I used to be, fun, flirty etc.. but I just feel angry and resentful (sometimes) and I hate feeling that way.

My emotions fluctuate so quickly, one minute I'm hopelessly in love, and the next I want to kill him.

How can I stop being an enabler? How can I stop looking after him, taking on his share of the responsibilities.
If he "WON'T" do his share of the housework, or take the kids to school, or feed the pets, how can I not do it? I HAVE to!

The weight of all the responsibility has started to weigh heavily on my shoulders lately, to the point where I thought "fxck it" and I didn't do ANY housework for a week or so, but it doesn't work, the house was in a state, so I'd just made more work for myself.
I can for example, ask him to do the dishes, he used to moan but do them anyway, now he just says no. I can't physically make him o them, so I have to.

The "provoker" in me comes out mainly when I find out he has been cheating on me. By cheating I mean ONLINE flirting/cybering, he has never done anything in person, but I still find the "online" cheating just as painful, to read logs of him chatting up women and telling them how good looking they are etc...
We don't have a sex life because he doesn't have a sex drive, I can just about cope with this, but when I see him flirting with other women but he doesn't do it with me I go mental.
His behaviour when he is drunk makes me feel ugly, unattractive and unloved, yet he acts like he doesn't care. "It's just a bit of fun" "it doesn't mean anything" but it means something to me!!

So how can I turn my emotions off? How can I not care? How can I not be an enabler?
Ooo, and another thing, he goes to the shop everynight to get his supply for the evening. Yet he moans, and reckons it's not fair that HE has to go to the shop everynight, and that sometimes I should go for him.
I don't drink and I do all the housework etc, and the only thing he does is empty the bins once a week and go to the shop every night for HIMSELF. Yet if I refuse to go to the shop for him, he moans and then doesn't speak to me for half the night. So sometimes I go, just to keep the peace.

Arghhh!!! Ok, rant over!!
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Old 09-24-2005, 10:16 PM
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I know just what you are saying. The first thing I started to do is set limits. I do not go to the shop for my husband any longer. I live in a very small town. I found my self getting embarresed going to the store every few days buying a liter of vodka. I started to rotate the three main strores in my town hoping they wouldn't notice. I finally stopped. I told my husband that I get embarressed and just would not do it any longer. After a few times like a child he just stop asking.

I always call in my husband rx's for his refills and will always pick them up. This week he says to me "I have not taken my rx in a days because you have not pick them up for me." I said there is no one to blame but yourself and maybe it is time you call and pick them up youself. I advised him that it is not my responsibility. I said in a loving way and not in anger.

There are somethings as mothers we just have to do to keep our house going. We have to fix dinner but do not have to serve them there plate! It is very sad and unfair that we have to take on so very much. We are getting stronger and they are getting weeker.

Make small changes and you will begin to feel a litter better and in more control.

hugs
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Old 09-29-2005, 11:31 AM
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I know how you feel. I left my husband ( now ex-husband) 14 months ago. I was and still very hard. I had to go to court and prove to the Judge that his drinking is not good around the kids. I had to do this when he showed up to suppervised vistation drunk. I was replaced by another women the next day after I left him. His family blames me for his drinking and everyting that has happened to him. His family will not tell him that he has a problem. I still love him very much and I always will. It is very hard for me at times to understand why he gave up his family for Coors Light. I helped him alot through the 5 years that we were together. I just could not do it anymore. It is hard to watch the person who you love, drink like that everyday, but it was harder to walk away!! There are many people who tell me he does not care. I know in my heart he does. I just hope that oneday he will understand why I had to leave and keep our daughter from him. It's not because I hated him. It is because I love him and just could not watch him drink like that.
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Old 10-01-2005, 08:25 AM
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Longrun04--Your story was such an inspiration to me. That must have been so very hard to stand up in court like that! YOUR story will remain with me. I feel also that staying with my husband is not helping him grow into the person he needs to be and should be a good husband and father. I feel living under these conditions he will never get better. My husband's family (as wonderfuld as they are) enable him big time. My husband has a wonderful job for the past 13 years. He has never had a drunk driving and has never been in trouble. People who do not live in the house with you do not understand how very bad it is and so unhealthy for the people they live with.

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