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Old 12-03-2019, 06:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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No idea what to do


My spouse has been drinking forever and he just recently (in the last 6 months) started smoking pot too. He is a heavy drinker and used to stop completely for a few weeks or months at a time and now cannot do that. He told me he has a problem and is planning to join AA. This is good news but at the same time we are coming out of a three week period where he has been verbally abusive every single day. I'm at my limit. These rages of his have happened for years but they were limited to one per year or even less. I'm not feeling too safe at the moment but he's been a bit better since he told me he had decided to join AA. He hasn't actually done anything like go to a meeting or even find one so I don't know what to think. I'm having him sleep in the guest room right now and, finally, I'm sleeping a little better. How long should I wait for him to actually attend a meeting or actually stop drinking? He has stopped smoking pot, at least for the last few days.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome and I’m sorry for what brought you here but glad you found us!
What’s keeping him from going to a meeting today, or tomorrow? There is no joining AA, you just go. He is likely just saying that to keep you happy and off his back since “he has a plan”. Actions speak louder than words. If he was truly serious about wanting to quit he would be at AA like yesterday. My ex used to quit for a while too and then start drinking in moderation until it no longer was moderation. Rinse and repeat.... the longest he quit was one year but without treatment so really just a dry drunk. Still had all the behaviors of an alcoholic but no longer had his coping skill. It want much better than him being drunk. Don’t wait for him to do anything. Decide what your boundaries are and what you are willing to put up with and then stick to the pose boundaries. Get yourself into counseling and possibly alanon. Take care of you and let him do his thing. If you do t feel safe though you might think about leaving and staying with friends or family. Alcoholism is progressive, each time they start drinking again after “sobriety” it is like they never stopped. It will get worse. Lots of alcoholics go to AA just to appease family or to learn how to drink on moderation (spoiler alert, they can’t). Going to AA alone is likely not going to be enough for most people. And cross addiction is a real thing, they stop one thing and switch to something else (drugs, sex, gambling, shopping, eating...). Recovery is really hard if they do it right and takes a lot of work and time and is a selfish process.
How long should you wait for him to go to a meeting? Only you can figure that out. But going to a meeting is far from being on the road to recovery. He needs a good year of true recovery, working a program etc before you will know if he is on the path to longer term recovery. And even then there are no guarantees that he will stay clean for the rest of his life, especially if he doesn’t continue to work some sort of program. Take care of you and what you need to do for your mental health because that is the only thing you have control over. Read codependent no more and see if you can find Pleasure Unwoven on YouTube. It is a really good documentary about alcoholism. We watched it during family week in rehab. Get into counseling. Stick around her and learn everything you can about alcoholism. I wish I would’ve done all those things before I hit my rock bottom and gave my ex an ultimatum. It may not have changed the outcome but it would’ve likely helped my mental health. I couldn’t talk to anybody about this and it was lonely. Now I know I should’ve taken care of myself and put myself first rather that worrying about what he would think about me talking about it with friends etc. I did weekly counseling from the time he went to rehab until I moved out 2 years later and I never realized how much I needed it. I still go to counseling not every 6-8 weeks for maintenance so to speak and it has been a life saver. Alcoholics are manipulative and are good at making you doubt yourself and ruining your self confidence and at gaslighting. You need someone to talk to that will make you realize you are not crazy and that your feelings are justified more often than not. And that you are entitled to whatever feeling you have (or even don’t have...I felt guilty for a long time that I couldn’t get past all the resentment after my ex did get sober). I don’t know if you have kids as well as but this is not a good environment for them to grow up in. Very dysfunctional and unhealthy which will put them at higher risk as well to fall into the codependent/alcoholic trap. Not saying you have to leave today or tomorrow or whenever, but educate yourself and start taking care of you. Figure out what your boundaries are and don’t feel bad about whatever they maybe. You are not obligated to put up with his behaviors just because you are married to him. Nothing you will do will make him happy or will make him quit (or drink for that matter) The only one that has control over that is him. And until he is really ready mentally to quit for himself and work a program, he will not succeed in staying clean. Just remember that about crions speak louder than word. He can talk the talk but until he is ready to walk the walk it is just empty words. Quitting drinking is only a very small part of recovery. They have to learn new and healthy coping skills. They also say that alcoholics stop maturing emotionally when they start drinking, so depending on when your husband started doing drinking you may be dealing with the emotional maturity of a teenager. It takes along time and a lot of work to grow up and mature so to speak especially if they gave been drink g a long time
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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hi Res01, glad you found us but sorry for what brings you here of course.

As Sleepyhollo said, actions, not words. It's easy to say - I will quit drinking, I'll get help, I'll go to AA but those are just intentions. Until he leaves the house and goes to AA or therapy or whatever he chooses, they remain just nice thoughts.

There are AA meetings every day usually and if you live in a city, probably several times a day.

If someone is verbally abusive to you every day, perhaps it's time to move? Do you have friends or family you could stay with or perhaps he could go and stay with his family?

There is no reason for you to continue to put up with that kind of abuse.

What would you like to do?

If you read the other threads here I'm sure there are many you will be able to relate to as well.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So sorry for the situation you are in. I add to the shares that it is only actions you can believe. An addict saying they will do something is very unlikely to happen.

I encourage you to think how you would like your life to be and take it forward from there.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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res01, welcome to SR. Yep, going to chime in that words are pretty much worthless, actions are what counts (and I find this to be true no matter who I'm dealing with, A or not!). If he was serious about starting recovery, you wouldn't be asking how long you should expect to wait for him to take action, you'd just see the blur of him flying out the door to a meeting...

Along those lines, have you considered Alanon for yourself? I found SR plus Alanon to be a strong combination in my early recovery. Each has its own strengths and worked together very well for me. Just like AA, you can likely find multiple meetings, depending on how rural or urban your area is, and it's free to attend.

You can't control your A's actions, but you can sure start taking control of your own life. Posting here is a good start. As another member said, it will be very beneficial for you to read as much as you can here. And just like w/your A, it's going to be actions that count in your case too.

Hope you continue to come here and also that you find an Alanon meeting, the sooner the better.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome! You are getting great feedback, and I completely agree with everything said. I hope you get face to face support for yourself, and of course the good people here at SR are a wonderful source as well!
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you

Thanks for all the advice. Attended my first Al-Anon meeting today and I'm feeling quite overwhelmed and terribly sad. I also feel quite stupid that I wasted so much of my life without seeing the signs. I don't see a clear path to a decent future anymore and I'm even more conflicted about what to do right now. I do plan to see a counselor on my own as well as continued attendance at Al-Anon. I just don't know how long I want to stick it out as I know from what I've read here and heard today that it is just going to get worse. Why should I stick around for that? Am I considering throwing in the towel too early?
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You mentioned you aren't feeling too safe at the moment? Has he ever been physically violent with you? If not are you getting the feeling that he could be?

If either of these are true, I say don't wait, get out as soon as you can. Carefully, you don't want to trigger his anger.

If you are unsure about how to get out safely, you might want to call the DV hotline, they have plenty of experience with that. 1-800-799-7233. They also have online chat.

On their webpage they have some good tips you can read online: https://www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety/

Talking to them or at least reading about a plan might make you feel a bit safer and be ready to act if you need to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by res01 View Post
Am I considering throwing in the towel too early?
Not if you are finished with it, no. There is no rule that you have to sit around while someone abuses you to see if they might see the "light" and become non-abusive, none at all.

If you wish to revisit a potential relationship with him at another time AFTER he seeks help and is well on the way to recovering, you always can.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by res01 View Post
My spouse has been drinking forever and he just recently (in the last 6 months) started smoking pot too. How long should I wait for him to actually attend a meeting or actually stop drinking? He has stopped smoking pot, at least for the last few days.
Hey there- you know I've been in this situation and my RABF never did quit smoking weed and it ended up ruining pretty much everything. I waited 5 years, wouldn't want you to wait as long as I did, because that's pretty much ruined me.

I'd love to put a big smiley face on here for you and say that sounds great that he's stopped smoking, but the reality is it ain't gonna last, and you will be sniffing his clothes for the next few years.

Also, I personally do not believe that being drunk is an excuse for being abusive. Abuse is abuse, alcohol is alcohol.

I wish you clarity.

E
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