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Old 11-29-2019, 05:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Here we go again...


Hi ladies. I have been blessed with several years of a sober husband. 3.5 years. And I am back bc the alcoholic has returned. I am almost shocked how quickly the old signs have returned. The eye drops, the mouthwash, the BOTTLES IN THE CAR, the staggering. The stench. Yech. I am sooooo sad right now.

He was a nasty drunk and I bet he will be again. It took (in this order) rehab, 2 DUI's, separation, loss of job, house arrest, jail, house arrest, hospitalization, 1 dv arrest (not physical, but still DV), losing joint custody of his older kids, and therapy to get him sober. Why TF would he drink again?


He said it relaxes him. I want to punch him in the face. We have a 2 year old and 5 year old. I should have left him after the first time.


Sober him is a good man. I am kicking myself right now cuz he planned a last min trip to where his dad lives and we just moved from and made an appt with his old addiction counselor. Well, during Thanksgiving, with my folks there (I havent told anyone he was drinking again except 2 people who asked me and my best friend) I broke emotionally a little because he told me he was going for 5 nights, staying in a hotel, and hadn't even told anyone he was going. All I could think was that he was going to drink himself dead in this hotel room across the country and I lost it. He ended up cancelling his trip bc I was upset. Who knows if he even would have made it to the counselor or just spent the whole time drinking, idk. But he certainly isn't entertaining seeing a counselor anymore.

I hate this reality. I am so tore up right now.

Thanks for letting me vent. I may go back to al anon at some point. I am working on making sure I am set up to leave him. I feel like it's inevitable at this moment. I may be jumping to the worst case imaginable, but I can't do it again. So hard. It was the worst time of my life, and I have my kids to take care of.
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Old 11-29-2019, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Brightlights….I am so glad to hear you thinking of your kids.....because raising the kids in an alcoholic home will be harmful to the,....it always is...and, it is passed on, generationally....
I m so glad you have thought of this....You are the one that they will have to depend on...….
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Brightlights, I'm glad you came back and I really hope you will stick around. Support is really important right now.

I also hope you return to Al-Anon, I read your previous post about when you attended before and it seems like you got a lot of comfort there?

Have you read Codependent no More by Melody Beattie? It's a book that is often recommended here. Not saying you are codependent by the way, it just has a lot of really good information about relationships and boundaries etc.

Speaking of boundaries. What are yours? Boundaries are for us so that when these challenges arrive, we know what our options are.

If your boundary is that you will not live with a person who is in active addiction, then the path is clear, you know what to do. If your boundary is that you will give that person 3 weeks to seek treatment or they have to leave and if they do get treatment they need to wait to prove X number of months sober before returning (if you want them to return), that's your boundary.

I'm sure you have heard at least some of this in Al-Anon.

So, what is your boundary here?
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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He was a nasty drunk and I bet he will be again. It took (in this order) rehab, 2 DUI's, separation, loss of job, house arrest, jail, house arrest, hospitalization, 1 dv arrest (not physical, but still DV), losing joint custody of his older kids, and therapy to get him sober. Why TF would he drink again?

one might also ask why TF you thought he would not? i mean he kind of has a resume on his drinking career. he is doing what he has always done, demonstrably, tangibly.

you can stop hanging yours and your kids future on what someone else may or may not do, and just do what it best for you.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He was a nasty drunk and I bet he will be again. It took (in this order) rehab, 2 DUI's, separation, loss of job, house arrest, jail, house arrest, hospitalization, 1 dv arrest (not physical, but still DV), losing joint custody of his older kids, and therapy to get him sober. Why TF would he drink again?

one might also ask why TF you thought he would not? i mean he kind of has a resume on his drinking career. he is doing what he has always done, demonstrably, tangibly.

you can stop hanging yours and your kids future on what someone else may or may not do, and just do what it best for you.
Wow. Maybe because it's been 3.5 years and I am not an addict and if I had gone thru anything like that ever in my life I would never go back to it again. And I found your reply rather harsh. I came here for support and to vent, certainly not to be judged.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Brightlights, I'm glad you came back and I really hope you will stick around. Support is really important right now.

I also hope you return to Al-Anon, I read your previous post about when you attended before and it seems like you got a lot of comfort there?

Have you read Codependent no More by Melody Beattie? It's a book that is often recommended here. Not saying you are codependent by the way, it just has a lot of really good information about relationships and boundaries etc.

Speaking of boundaries. What are yours? Boundaries are for us so that when these challenges arrive, we know what our options are.

If your boundary is that you will not live with a person who is in active addiction, then the path is clear, you know what to do. If your boundary is that you will give that person 3 weeks to seek treatment or they have to leave and if they do get treatment they need to wait to prove X number of months sober before returning (if you want them to return), that's your boundary.

I'm sure you have heard at least some of this in Al-Anon.

So, what is your boundary here?
Great question! Definitely one I have been asking myself. I can't answer that right now. I am a little in denial still. This is very fresh and it came out of nowhere. to me at least. I want to believe in him to not let this take complete hold over him and stop it in its tracks. But i am working on definitive boundaries for me. Safety and health of my babies is absolutely #1. And I am a strong woman, but alcoholism is a real sanity taker... So, my sanity is priority as well.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Everyone here in this forum has experienced heartache from an addict or alcoholic we love/loved.

I’m a man but I, too was involved in a very toxic relationship. My ex girlfriend could be a poster child of how alcohol ruins lives.

We share so many common experiences. So no one is intentionally judging you. Trust me, your situation belongs to you — but it isn’t unique. We’ve all been there.

When I first came here... I needed ALL suggestions. All viewpoints. And I also needed a bit of “tough love” or a reality check.

It’s important, especially since you have children. Toxic environments where alcohol and addiction are the primary focus 24/7 completely damages children and disrupts their emotional well-being. I’m not blaming, I’m just stating the truth. Ask any adult who grew up in an alcoholic home... it’s a nightmare for them no matter how much you try to hide and protect.


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Old 11-29-2019, 08:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Everyone here in this forum has experienced heartache from an addict or alcoholic we love/loved.

I’m a man but I, too was involved in a very toxic relationship. My ex girlfriend could be a poster child of how alcohol ruins lives.

We share so many common experiences. So no one is intentionally judging you. Trust me, your situation belongs to you — but it isn’t unique. We’ve all been there.

When I first came here... I needed ALL suggestions. All viewpoints. And I also needed a bit of “tough love” or a reality check.

It’s important, especially since you have children. Toxic environments where alcohol and addiction are the primary focus 24/7 completely damages children and disrupts their emotional well-being. I’m not blaming, I’m just stating the truth. Ask any adult who grew up in an alcoholic home... it’s a nightmare for them no matter how much you try to hide and protect.



Hi, I didn't realize I had started out with the "ladies" opening until after I posted. I didn't mean to exclude men's views as well. I don't need tough love today. Just a hug tonight. Someone just to tell really and to begin the process of taking care of myself in the event this continues to progress. I appreciate everyone's views. I know everyone has experienced it. That's why I am here. I won't let my kids grow up that way. and that's also why I am so sad right now. They have never seen it before. They only know the daddy that doesn't drink. If it was up to me, I'd keep it that way. But alas, he makes his own decisions.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sending you a monster hug. I wish I had words that could make this easier.

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Old 11-29-2019, 09:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes a very hard time and I'm sure you are in shock and hurting.

You also mention kicking yourself, about getting upset about him going on the trip and him cancelling and therefore missing the opportunity to see his old addictions counsellor?

I really hope you will stop blaming yourself in any way for that.

There are AA meetings everywhere several times a day, counsellors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists everywhere. He has not approached any of these. This has absolutely nothing to do with you not wanting him to go on a trip.

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I want to believe in him to not let this take complete hold over him and stop it in its tracks.
How long has it been since he returned to drinking? Remember, actions, not words. What actions is he showing you?
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes a very hard time and I'm sure you are in shock and hurting.

You also mention kicking yourself, about getting upset about him going on the trip and him cancelling and therefore missing the opportunity to see his old addictions counsellor?

I really hope you will stop blaming yourself in any way for that.

There are AA meetings everywhere several times a day, counsellors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists everywhere. He has not approached any of these. This has absolutely nothing to do with you not wanting him to go on a trip.

thanks for this. Lol. I absolutely wanted him to go on the trip. I just didn't want to think about him dying alone in a hotel room.


How long has it been since he returned to drinking? Remember, actions, not words. What actions is he showing you?
Not sure tbh. 3 weeks ago was the first time I smelled it. It's been a few times since then. The one time he got sh#t faced drunk, the next day was the only time I saw a flicker of him not wanting to do it. He has drank since that. I am not really asking he just either lies about it or gets pretty defensive.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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BL, big hugs and support from me. It's easy for us, not knowing the person you love, the sober one, to objectively say you should do this or that, but the ties of marriage and the past are hard to overcome. Nevertheless you are clear you won't go through the extended journey to sobriety again.

You're wise to make sure everything is arranged to leave if you decide to. I suspect that's what it will take for him to understand how serious his relapse is. I know from experience that alcohol does relax us, and we begin to rely on that, but then addiction takes over and we aren't relaxed when we're away from the drink. He could have found many ways to deal with stress in his life that didn't involve the bottle, but it sounds like he didn't try.

Unfair as life is, you may have to make the hard decisions to protect the children.
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Brightlights, I looked at your other posts and I see a handful from February to July of 2015, then nothing until now. I hope you don't feel judged, b/c that is not my intent, but I'm wondering what you've done for your OWN recovery in that time. It used to make me crazy when people here would ask me that--"what are you doing for YOU?"--but I understand now why they did that.

My XAH never stopped drinking, and so I was forced to continue looking for help for myself. If he'd stopped at some point, like yours did, I think I would have gone back to the status quo in a heartbeat--way less painful, way less work, way less scary than trying to stumble forward in the dark and figure things out for myself.

Since your A was sober for several years, I wonder if that's what happened to you to some extent--you were able to breathe a sigh of relief and go back to "normal" life and its challenges rather than continuing to work your own recovery, which probably didn't seem like much of a priority any more. Again, I'm not judging you or saying any of this is your fault--of course it's not! I'm only suggesting that your tools for dealing with it may be rusty or hard to locate b/c you haven't had to use them for some time.

I'm sorry you're dealing with what must feel like a terrific betrayal. I don't know if you ever heard anyone say "the alcoholic is just drinking, he's not drinking AT you." The first time I heard this, it put things in a whole new light for me. He's drinking b/c he's an alcoholic, NOT to spite me or defy me or whatever else. And for me, being able to not take those things personally was a huge step towards being able to make better choices for myself (or make choices AT ALL, rather than just being carried along on emotion and reaction to someone else's choices!).

I'm glad you remembered SR and thought to come back when things changed for the worse. We here and the folks at Alanon can all help to support you while you make your own decisions about how to move forward.

ETA: Not sure if you've looked over the "Stickies" up at the top of the page. Since 2015, I'm certain there have been a number of threads added, so even if you've read through that section in the past, it would be worth it to take a second look. This link will get you started: https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...c-reading.html (Classic Reading)
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I can only imagine feeling comfortable after 3.5 good years and then--boom!

I've never been married to an active alcoholic. One thing I have learned from years of belonging to SR is that for any alcoholic in recovery, the possibility of relapse is always present--that it takes vigilance to maintain sobriety.

Interestingly, many alcoholics in recovery that I have encountered are very happy, thoughtful, well-balanced people because they have taken the time to truly evaluate themselves and work on their own flaws. The problem becomes when they lose that forward momentum and fall back into their old drinking habits--their old coping mechanisms. There is always that risk when involved with an alcoholic.

I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. I suppose the relief is that no all decisions have to be made today, right? Once you are ready, then you can decide exactly what you want to do and how you can make your life one that you love.

Hang in there! Sending hugs and prayers!
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Since your A was sober for several years, I wonder if that's what happened to you to some extent--you were able to breathe a sigh of relief and go back to "normal" life and its challenges rather than continuing to work your own recovery, which probably didn't seem like much of a priority any more. Again, I'm not judging you or saying any of this is your fault--of course it's not! I'm only suggesting that your tools for dealing with it may be rusty or hard to locate b/c you haven't had to use them for some time.

I'm sorry you're dealing with what must feel like a terrific betrayal. I don't know if you ever heard anyone say "the alcoholic is just drinking, he's not drinking AT you." The first time I heard this, it put things in a whole new light for me. He's drinking b/c he's an alcoholic, NOT to spite me or defy me or whatever else. And for me, being able to not take those things personally was a huge step towards being able to make better choices for myself (or make choices AT ALL, rather than just being carried along on emotion and reaction to someone else's choices!
These are very insightful points. I definitely neglected my own "recovery". I don't think I ever really grasped what I was dealing with when it was ongoing. I was a newlywed, new mom, and thousands of miles away from my family. I feel much more grown now, and my immediate reaction to him drinking this time was to get help for myself. The first time I was dealing with this, I didn't even tell anyone. It literally took months of pure hell, maybe even a year or more before I even told my mom what was going on. And even then it was a PG version. I am a pretty private person, so reaching out to anyone (even a group of loving strangers online, lol) is huge for me.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I am a pretty private person, so reaching out to anyone (even a group of loving strangers online, lol) is huge for me.
I totally get that. I am exactly the same way. It wasn't good for me.

Everybody goes through rough times in life. I was always the type of person who was there to support friends and family members when their lives went through hell. But when my life with an alcoholic husband started falling apart I didn't tell anyone. I toughed it out. I thought I had to. After all, *I* was the one that always held everything together for everybody else (or so I thought),so how could *I* let anyone know I was feeling "weak". How could I "let down" my family unit by allowing anyone to know it was less than perfect?.... my goodness... how much easier my worst days would have been if I hadn't faced them alone? How much lighter would my burdens have been if I had've told people I trusted how heavy they had become? How much sooner would I have felt safe enough to leave a bad situation of I had've let my loved ones help me? How much sooner would my anxiety have been under control if I had asked for medical help before I literally Could. Not.Breathe? I was so deep in the FOG it's a near miracle I ever found my way out. I didn't find my way out by myself though. I never would have. I needed the wisdom of others who had walked the same path to help guide me.

I am glad you are here BrightLight. I hope you stick around and keep talking to us. Even if you don't "talk" too much, please do read....read,read,read! There is such a wealth of knowledge here. The stories of each person are unique to them and their circumstance... but the plot and the theme are are the same for all of us. Addiction is a heartbreaking thing, but we can make choices that will lessen and eventually remove that pain if that's what we really want to do. It ain't easy, and it isn't pain free but it can be done. It's much easier to do if you let people help you.

Again, I'm glad you have been brave enough to take the first steps of talking with us. I hope you continue to reach out to other sources of support. It sounds like you are really close to your family and miss being around them. Is there anything you can do that would make spending more time with them possible? I live 3,000 miles away from my mum and grown kids. I only get to visit a couple times a year, Skype helps for the in between times.

Hang in there. I know how hard this all is.

*hugs*
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:38 AM   #17 (permalink)
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SBM, thanks for that great post. In the time I've been here, I've seen a lot of people say that same thing, "I'm a private person, I can't go to a meeting, I can't tell anyone" and so on. I felt the same as you did--I was the one who could handle anything, I had it under control, or if not under control yet, I was only minutes away from that!

But the night I finally ran--literally ran--out of the house to my first Alanon meeting, all that went by the wayside. I'd reached my breaking point and no longer cared about keeping up an illusion that all was well. I didn't care who knew, I only knew that I could not do this alone for one more second.

In AA they talk about G. O. D.--the Gift Of Desperation. We have that on our side of the fence too. It sure doesn't feel like a gift at the time, but it certainly can turn out to be one in disguise.

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Old 12-01-2019, 03:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I thank everyone so profusely for taking the time to engage with me and share your insight and stories. It is certainly helpful. I signed up with an online therapy program and have already made contact with my therapist. I have a f2f meeting scheduled for next week. I will let everyone know how that type of counseling seems to work for me.

Also, I had a very open conversation with my H today. I let him know I signed up for this counseling and I shared that I had communicated in an online support group. I told him I couldn't go thru this alone again. I also let him know if he continued to drink, that was his decision, but I can't stay for that. I asked him if I could read him something, and I read him the first post I made on this forum 4 years ago. When I finished, he told me he thought I was reading something I found on the internet at first, then he realized that it was about him. He started to get upset bc I put it on the internet. And I let him know I had no option. I had felt like a prisoner who was living in this terrible hell and I didn't have anyone to talk to.

I didn't share it with him to shame him or embarrass him or even remind him of anything. Altho he was ashamed. I was simply sharing how bad life was for us all at that time and why I couldn't stay if he wanted to go that route again. I wont do it to me and I won't do it to the kids.

Alcohol is funny. It lies to us all. I drank a lot when I was younger and remember having some amazing times. Even tho I am not an alcoholic, I bet if I had some sort of journaling of how I was feeling during those years of wastefulness, I imagine there is quite a bit more heartache than memory readily serves.

I don't know what will come of it all. I don't know what the next steps bring. I pray he finds the determination he had these last few years and maybe someone (or a group of someone's) to talk to so he doesn't feel alone and suffocated and so pressured. I let him know I will support him on a sober journey, but I can't help with the other one. We are both powerless to alcohol.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Brightlight…..I am glad to hear that you put the cards on the table with your husband.
I am, also, glad to hear that you have a fact to face appointment with a counselor....
Both ate very positive, and necessary moves!
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I hope you continue to find the support here you need, and seek face to face support as well. I am sorry this is happening, but we are here with you!
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