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Old 12-02-2019, 03:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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He is drinking and lying


Hi. New to this. My husband was an active alcoholic when I first met him and I am the classic codependent. Hes had three DUIs, a mess of a life, and finally went to rehab in 2011. He did great and from what I can tell he was sober until just a few months ago. I have had my suspicions of him drinking, but when I ask he blows up and adamantly denies. He will then turn things on me like he used to do 10 years ago. I think he would only drink at special occasions this year (hiding it of course) but now hes making excuses saying hes going to work out of town and I believe he goes to hotels and drinks while hes gone. A week ago suddenly he decided he had to go to work early the next day and want to stay in a hotel an hour away. In my gut I felt something was wrong and the next day I looked on his phone records and in a 4 hour period he sent 89 text messages back-and-forth to an old flame that he cheated on me several times with when he was actively drinking years ago. I confronted him about this the next day when he got home and he admitted he was texting her, denied any drinking, and then flip the tables on me saying how he is done with this marriage. Then tries to be nice. Its been a roller coaster of a week. On Thanksgiving while our family was here it was very obvious that he was drinking somewhere. He wasnt openly drinking, but he was drinking. When I asked him about it he denied it again. My adult son (his stepson) has noticed it as well and called him today to talk to him about it. My husband said that we have been having problems and hes stressed out. He admitted drinking to my son but will not admit it to me. My husband told my son that he is not going back to his old way of life, but he is already. Hes lying and sneaking in God knows what else he has done already.
We have an 11-year-old daughter together. I dont want her seeing this or have her be exposed to this. I dont want go back to that old life either. It was pure hell and he is choosing to go back there again. How do I protect my daughter? If we split up, she will have to go with him some of the time. How do I protect her and keep her safe from the physical and mental harm he will bring on her? Fear paralyzes me.

Thank you! I am looking forward to reading everything on this site.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome, CT4. I hope you do read as much as you can here; there's a ton of wisdom and experience that's shared. Be sure to check into the stickies at the top of the page, too.

I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation after 10 decent years with him. As you see, though, things can snap right back to what they were as soon as the drinking starts again.

It sounds like you're considering leaving in order to protect your daughter and yourself, but you're concerned that if you do, your daughter will have to spend some time w/him. If you don't leave, she'll be spending a lot more time w/him, right? So I'd say your instinct to get the hell out is probably right on the money.

There are so many members who've been in your shoes, trying to decide how to protect themselves and their kids from life with an A. Again, I hope you really do read, read, read here. I'm certain you'll find many threads and posts that resonate w/you.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi CT4 and welcome, so glad you decided to post.

The fear, what have you got to fear? You have a Husband that:

- Lies to you
- Cheats on you
- Is an active alcoholic
- Said he is done with your marriage

All terribly hurtful things as he lashes out at you.

Yet your fear is leaving? If you really look at this, I mean really think about what your alternative could be here (peace and happiness and not being around someone who is so volatile and untrustworthy), what is there to fear? Assuming you can support yourself and your child, what do you have to fear from asking him to leave?

No more abuse?

Yes, if you leave there will be a custody agreement. How involved in parenting is he really? Will this even be a huge issue? It might not be.

I don't see the upside of your staying, am I missing something here?
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you for the comments! I need all the wisdom I can get.
A little more of a backstory I have been a stay at home mom for 30 years. I am 100% financially dependent on him. If we separated he cannot support two households, and I know I would have to get a job But I still fear that we will lose our home and everything else. I am 54 years old. So scared of the future. But you are right, being with him is pure hell knowing that hes drinking and lying. He actually just came home for a few minutes, he can look me right in the eye after the conversation with my son, and not say a word about his drinking. I am going to see a family law attorney tomorrow to gather information on what the future holds financially and with our daughter.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's a very good move, to get information on what the legal aspects will be. Regarding your age, I just want to share that I started to become aware of the drinking issues in my own marriage when I was 50. I didn't want to be starting over at 50, and so I swept things under the rug and resisted starting my own recovery.

Want to know how that worked out for me?

I ended up starting over at 55 instead. Yep, great idea on my part...

Getting the facts is a good place to start.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I second that. Taking the steps to get information together so you can see exactly where you stand.

I think that's an issue for a lot of women who have stayed home many years. My Mother left my Father when she was a little older than you are now. She had also been a stay at home parent. She went and got a job at a leather goods store. She loved it, she was very good at it and that experience brought her new friendships and she got meet a lot of nice people every day who appreciated her. All in all a very positive experience.

She rented an apartment, my younger sibling lived with her there for a while.

Between child support and perhaps some alimony (you will find out more about this from the lawyer) and a full or part time job, you may well be able to handle this.

Another alternative may be to go ahead with a separation or divorce but live in the same house. Is it possible to divide the house living areas at all? He lives in the basement for instance and you upstairs and you share common areas, which you obviously will not be hanging around in together. This might be an in-between solution while you get organized.

In the meantime, small steps, like you are taking. Remember to take good care of yourself too.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I keep telling my older kids to always be independent. I now know it sucks to be dependent on such an unstable man. My only reasons for hesitating now is purely fear of what will happen.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I completely understand that. When I divorced the first time, I was scared. I had been staying home at that point for a couple of years, but did have plenty of work experience.

I took the first job offered and went to work part time. Sold the house, moved in to an apartment.

The aftermath of making that decision was a scary time. But I just kept moving forward. You know what you have to do and no, it's not great fun, but it can be done and isn't that difficult.

You need a job/place to live/food/electricity. Your only concern now will be how to go about getting those things for you and your child. When you narrow it down like that it looks a lot less scary.

There are also agencies that may be able to help you out, but that's a little further down the road. Don't want to overwhelm yourself. The lawyer visit is paramount right now, the rest can be done in steps.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We also have a counseling appointment set up for Thursday. He says hes chronically unhappy because Im controlling. His examples of controlling are having our Netflix account under my email, his hunting magazines have my name on the label because I bought gifts for him from these places and they send it to me now. I almost laughed when he said those were controlling. Its so crazy
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Approach with caution? He is obviously very bitter at this point and out to blame you (for getting him a gift no less!?).

He is not honest with you, his wife of X years, Mother of his child, so don't expect him to bare his soul to the therapist. Don't be surprised if he is as manipulative and un-forthcoming as he is with you.

It's important to be prepared for this because this could really hurt you. If you get in to the counsellor's office and the blame starts, it is possible the counsellor (not knowing better, I hope it is someone with extensive addictions experience?) will try to see his point of view about everything as well, while you know the real back story.

If it's going that way, it might be best to end the session there. Might not happen, just a caution.

Some of this might sound familiar?

I'd be OK if it weren't for you!
Excuses Alcoholics Make

"The addict blames his addictive behavior on his significant other, usually his spouse. He feels resentful and self-pitying about the way he considers himself to be treated and uses this to justify his addiction. Since one of the commonest causes of resentment and self-pity in addicts is criticism by others of their addictive behavior, and since the characteristic response of the addict to such criticism is to escalate addictive behavior, this process tends to be self-perpetuating. The addict is often quite cruel in highlighting, exaggerating and exploiting any and every defect or flaw the significant other may have, or even in fabricating them out of his own mind in order to justify and rationalize his own behavior".

Addiction and Its Mechanisms of Defense

"Just as a powerful river finds or creates channels around anything obstructing its flow, so does the addictive process defeat the rational and ethical resistances of the person within which it is active. And in the process of constructing such alternative paths for its discharge, the addiction shapes the reality of the addict's world and his very notion of himself.

The worldview that is created by the addictive process is one that is compatible with and friendly to the interests of the addiction. Worldviews that are inconsistent with the continuation of the addiction are suppressed or eliminated. The process is usually a slow and subtle one progressing invisibly over many years "behind the back" of the unsuspecting addict.

What kind of a world view is compatible with addiction? Almost any philosophy that does not include and will not permit happiness, healthy and balanced behavior, sustaining relationships, rigorous honesty with and about oneself, and some kind of spiritual connection(even though it may not be called that). Addiction thrives best in an atmosphere of unhappiness, resentment, alienation and estrangement, secrecy, mistrust and in most cases, ultimate despair of meaning. And it cannot continue for long in the opposite atmosphere, i.e. one of happiness, emotional well-being, healthy relationships and genuine honesty. Serious addiction, therefore, necessarily points in the direction of an unhappy and dissatisfied world view, and away from the opposite, happier and healthier perspective. A happy addict is a contradiction in terms".
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Spot on! Thank you!
The therapist does know the background as I have met with her before. I talked to her today and told her about Thanksgiving and the confirmation I got. Shes well aware of him but I have no idea how she will handle it.
Im heartbroken. He has been amazing for years. He took such pride in his sobriety. He used to help other men from church with their sobriety. This is seriously a bad nightmare. His brother passed away last year from drug and alcohol abuse (he comes from a very long line of addicts) and that is when I noticed the beginning of the spiral. He cant cope with reality. I seriously believe that if I push on him about the drinking he would choose divorce and disintegrating his family before getting help.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What kind of a world view is compatible with addiction? Almost any philosophy that does not include and will not permit happiness, healthy and balanced behavior, sustaining relationships, rigorous honesty with and about oneself, and some kind of spiritual connection(even though it may not be called that). Addiction thrives best in an atmosphere of unhappiness, resentment, alienation and estrangement, secrecy, mistrust and in most cases, ultimate despair of meaning. And it cannot continue for long in the opposite atmosphere, i.e. one of happiness, emotional well-being, healthy relationships and genuine honesty. Serious addiction, therefore, necessarily points in the direction of an unhappy and dissatisfied world view, and away from the opposite, happier and healthier perspective. A happy addict is a contradiction in terms".
Really great words! Thank you Trailmix :-) This is really helpful to read. So true. So sad.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You're probably right. Really if you start pushing him about drinking you become the enemy. I'm sure you already know that his first alliance is to alcohol - above everything, including his family, even himself.

When he's not out drinking at some hotel texting some woman, what's he like? I mean day to day when he is "sober". He just pretends like everything is normal? Does he ever speak of getting help at all?

This is really a horrible situation for you and your child to be in and I am so sorry this is happening to you. All you can do is keep moving forward.

Have you heard of the book Codependent no more by Melody Beattie? Lots of good information in there about boundaries and relationships, you might find some information in there that resonates and is helpful.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You're probably right. Really if you start pushing him about drinking you become the enemy. I'm sure you already know that his first alliance is to alcohol - above everything, including his family, even himself.

When he's not out drinking at some hotel texting some woman, what's he like? I mean day to day when he is "sober". He just pretends like everything is normal? Does he ever speak of getting help at all?

This is really a horrible situation for you and your child to be in and I am so sorry this is happening to you. All you can do is keep moving forward.

Have you heard of the book Codependent no more by Melody Beattie? Lots of good information in there about boundaries and relationships, you might find some information in there that resonates and is helpful.
Well hes always been an irritable person. My mother in law calls him a dry drunk. But he also could be the most awesome person too. Prior to a few months ago, when hes home hes good. Sometimes a little grumpy and tired but ok. Hes really taken a mental nosedive in the last few months. Picking fights, reclusive and depressed. Then the hotel stuff started frequently too. Now looking back, all the signs were there. Just took me a long time to admit what was happening. He still denies drinking to me. Even though its been painfully obvious to everyone that has been around.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I’m sorry for what brought you here, but welcome. There are plenty of people here who have started over in their 50s, so it can be done. I left a 25 year marriage to an alcoholic (but I had always worked full-time, so my situation is a bit different).

You mention that your daughter is 11 - that’s how old my daughter was when she first started to become really aware of what bad shape her father was in (we had already been separated for a long time at that point). Adolescence is a terrible time to have an alcoholic parent (well, any time is terrible ...) - old enough to know that there’s something very wrong with your father, but not yet mature enough to be able to assert yourself and detach from the chaos. And for the alcoholic, an adolescent child is old enough to be recruited into becoming a caretaker/codependent/substitute parent/ally. If you search “family triangulation”, you’ll find lots of information. Your daughter may need some kind of buffer or safety zone between herself and her father, which may or may not take the form of moving out.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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CT4.....I suggest that you detach yourself from your efforts/desire for him to admit his drinking to you. You are the last person that he is likely to admit to drinking. LOL....I have seen alcoholics admit to drinking, while they are lifting the glass to their lips....
You know what you know, and you don't need his admission to go forth with what is best for you and your daughter.
Trust what you KNOW....
Don't be swayed by an admission of drinking. There is a big difference between an "admission"....and quitting drinking.
Also, don't be fooled by the promise to "get help". Actions speak louder than words.
This is a slippery slope of false hope for the non-alcoholic spouse. It is not uncommon for the alcoholic to make just enough half-measures to keep the spouse off their back. Meeting with a counselor and attending occasional AA meetings. Lying or minimizing to the counselor---blaming all on the non-alcoholic spouse....sitting in AA meetings but not really absorbing the material. There is a saying...."Sitting in a garage does not make one a car"....

I wholly agree to proceed with caution with the counselor....many good counselors are not experienced in working with addicts or alcoholics. This requires specialixed training and experience in alcohoilism.
It is generally true that few marriage therapists will see a couple IF they know the extent of alcoholic or drug abuse. There are actually good reasons for this.
They will insist that the alcohol drinking be curtailed before working with a couple. They know that the therapy won't work in these situations.
If this counselor is not really skilled with alcoholics...he might wind her around his little finger and paint you as the Bad Guy in the marriage....

I think that your daughter would benefit from being out of an alcoholic home before she hits the teen years....Living in an alcoholic home is far more damaging to a child...any child. I can gurantee you that she knows more about what is going on than you assume that she does....
If he has been miserable for you to be around...you can bet that she is m iserable and scared, also....
One safe, predictable, stable parent will give her the best chance, in life. You are a role model for her....
The energy spent on the alcoholic spouse is best spent o n parenting the child.....After all, it is the children that are most affected by the alcoholism.....even more than you....!
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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CT4......correction......I meant to say that "I have seen alcoholics deny that they are drinking while they are lifting the glass to their lips"....
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:18 AM   #18 (permalink)
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We have an 11-year-old daughter together. I dont want her seeing this or have her be exposed to this.

Have confidence in her already being affected and knowing more than you realize, even if it's from the underlying tensions.

Alcoholism promotes and thrives on keeping secrets. If this isn't openly being talked about --in terms an 11 year old can handle and needs to know -- then alcoholism is succeeding in that.

Leaving can be as simple as packing bags, going to stay with trusted friends or family for 2 or 3 weeks. To ask and allow others to help us can be a very healing action.

Fear can be something that propels us to do more than we ever knew we could. It's also absolutely good to feel and recognise all our emotions: fear, guilt, sadness, joy, happiness, etc
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:31 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Crisis Text Line

https://www.crisistextline.org/texting-in

Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime, about any type of crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.

Are you in the US?

There are other programs/numbers in many other places, too.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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So what are reasonable boundaries with him now? Provided he eventually comes clean and wants to get sober again, do I just say OK? If he says Im not doing that anymore...do you believe him?
The whole reason we decided to go to counseling is because when things blew up last week about me finding the texts with the other woman he went on a tirade about how unhappy he is, how I do this and that, and we cant seem to fix anything without help. My suspicions about the drinking at the time werea suspicion I actually had no proof Then came Thanksgiving and it was confirmed. It was so obvious, and my son actually confirmed it too. I find it baffling that he can have a conversation just yesterday with my son about drinking, but come home and not say a word. Does he not know Im talking to my son?
Im struggling with this whole thing. A year ago I felt so good about his sobriety of 8 years! Now life seems like its going to hell more every day.
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