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Old 02-26-2020, 10:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is this an alcohol problem/ personality problem/ or what is going on?


Ok, my husband.... went to an alcohol detox and then a short 1 week stay at a recovery center. My personal view is "wake up ******* and see what a real jerk you've been." I think my family and friend who knows thinks the same. Like does he realize how awful of a situation he is in? Now, I'm not personally blaming him, I'm blaming the alcohol (I have an alcoholic mother who has abandoned family so before this I knew how horrid alcohol was). I'm not sure what goes on in their groups, what the counselors say, but I really wish somebody would say"WAKE THE **** UP." I'm not sure if they candy coat it, but really, yes, take the responsibility of all the enormous problems that have sprouted in your life.
I mean, I don't know who can tell them that- but honestly, sure I have "problems" I've made mistakes as he points out, but NO this very large problem is not simply an innocent mistake- get over it and admit it. Really take in the **** you've caused and then make the amends, peace with past,.

Am I wrong?
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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He will admit it when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, and not one moment before.

There are no magic words that anyone can say to change that.
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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well....i can't figure it out, the pain has gone on long enough, so....
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Not your pain. His. Your pain and recovery are separate from his. And you have your own choice about how much is too much. Don't underestimate how powerful addiction can be and what it will do to protect itself.
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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perhaps instead of looking to the person who hurt you to now fix you, take back your power and find your own solutions. just because someone temporarily ceases consumption of alcohol, that does not make them a better person, or more enlightened person, a more compassionate person. sitting around waiting for HIM to go all Gandhi is an effort in futility.

he is not in charge of you.
he is not in charge of your happiness.
unless you let him.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree there are no magic words and no magic bean. If there were these boards would be very quiet.

Do they know what they have put others through? Some do, some are in denial.

I hear your frustration and I completely understand but are you wrong, yes. You are thinking he thinks just like you. He's not drinking at you, he's just drinking. You have the freedom from alcoholism to exit from the pain that causes you at any point.

This might be helpful:

I'm not hurting anybody but myself!

"Frequently phrased as "Leave me alone! I'm not hurting anybody but myself!" this defense invokes a legalistic right to self-harm at the same time as it denies the interpersonal and social realities of the addict's harmful behaviors. The addict, unable or unwilling to recognize how his behavior does in fact impact and thus harm other people, indignantly and self-righteously proclaims "It's MY life and I can do anything I please with it!" Curiously -and revealingly- the addict seldom finds anything incongruous in the notion that he might knowingly and willingly be harming himself, regardless of whether he is harming anyone else".

Excuses Alcoholics Make
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"I hear your frustration and I completely understand but are you wrong, yes. You are thinking he thinks just like you. He's not drinking at you, he's just drinking. You have the freedom from alcoholism to exit from the pain that causes you at any point."

Yes, I do get that, I'm not blaming him, I'm blaming the drink, he's blaming ME. I'm not blaming his personality, he's blaming my personality. So then, do I ignore his blame game, or what? I mean, sure, I guess, then I don't want to be around an *******. Alcohol has made him an *******, I'm not an *******. No one around me thinks it but him and probably his family. So I guess I don't get the point of any of it, I mean, I like me, my friends and family and coworkers like me, I'd make a lot of people happy, a lot of people would make me happy, so what is this big change I need to make in who I am if everyone but him is pretty content with me? I mean I get that we need to communicate better as a couple. Other than that, I'm pretty content and capable minus him....
of course that rant made no sense-- in my opinion that's the mess that alcohol creates in everyone's brains, it just scrambles it.
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I know that rant sound pretty arrogant, so that's not really my point, I'm really a pretty humble and empathetic person who loves helping others. I guess my point is through this alcoholism, I've recognized what a strong and capable person I AM with his INTERFERENCE. I do absolutely EVERYTHING at the house including taking the trash down my long driveway (I live on 10 acres down dirt road) even when it means hauling the old dishwasher and toilets down, put on lawnmower belts, cleaned a dead animal out of my air filter in my car and replaced it, fix fences and posts on horse fencing. I don't have the 40 hour/week job right now, BUT I am a pharmacist with a PharmD degree and I work PRN at a hospital trying to get my foot in the door with hospital pharmacy and take 100% care of our 3 kids. So as he spun down the useless alcoholic road; I do realize crap I can do a lot. I have no need for him thinking "woe is me, my wife messes up stuff." So if no one is going to tell him to wake up, what am I doing?
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jamie...….you ask what is the "one thing I would have to change"...….and, my answer would be this-----To refuse to accept abusive treatment and lack of respect or less-than treatment from anyone...for any reason. Why? Because you know that you don't deserve paltry treatment and, you can do so much better than this.
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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^^^^ Yes, this.
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Jamie...….you ask what is the "one thing I would have to change"...….and, my answer would be this-----To refuse to accept abusive treatment and lack of respect or less-than treatment from anyone...for any reason. Why? Because you know that you don't deserve paltry treatment and, you can do so much better than this.
I like that- but what happens when his idea of "respect" and less than treatment differs from mine? He pulls the opposite game where he says I reject everything he says and I'm being somehow thinking he has to do "everything" or "more." So how do I approach that? WHenever I say, "that's not true" he says I deny everything, but if you're calling me or my family names then what should i say? You're right I'm a spoiled brat?
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Jamie......the perpetrator does not get to decide what pain the victim feels!
Jamie...you know what you know. You feel what you feel.
What you know and feel is just as real and valid as whatever goes on in his head. He is not more important or valuable than you are.

This is not some kind of right or wrong to be decided by vote of a Jury in a courtroom.

I strongly believe that you should stop arguing with him about what you know, feel or think!!
In other words.....detach from arguing and D0 Not JADE....
J=justify
A=argue
D=defend
E=explain

You will never "win" arguments such a this. Only gives him more opportunity to gaslight you and bring you more mental and emotional distress...….

I suggest that this falls into line with boundary work. You need boundaries to protect yourself...and it is your job to enforce those boundaries.....Without proper boundaries....you are as vulnerable as a turtle without a shell!

Perhaps you feel that you need him to live....to have some companionship....to have someone who will care about you....? If you do believe these things...I wish to challenge you with the idea that these things are not true......
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What is going on is the “alcoholic matrix”. And you can choose the red pill or the blue pill ... but our eyes being opened makes for a big reality check!

First... there was a wise poster who once said on this forum “you can wring the alcohol out of an asshat and all you have left is a sober asshat”.

As loved ones we tend to Pollyannaize our situation that once the alcohol is removed our Prince Charming gallops to our side and will fall to his knees apologizing for years of insanity and abuse and we ride off in the sunset to eternal bliss. And that happens quickly minus alcohol!

Sadly... that is not common... in fact never heard of that around these parts.

if you strapped him down and pinned his eyes open and had someone scream at him 24 hours a day “WAKE UP!!!!” It likes lipstick on a pig. It’s annoys the pig.

No one controls another person “wake up” ... all we can do is detach and work on our own wake up! Recovering ourself, our life, our happiness, purpose, direction and dignity with or without the qualifier is the healthy route.

Detach... ignore the quacking!. Get into serious personal recovery. Heal... and More will be revealed!

Trust me... let go of waking him up! They are willfully blind for a reason😉


Last edited by Hopeworks; 02-26-2020 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Jamie......the perpetrator does not get to decide what pain the victim feels!
Jamie...you know what you know. You feel what you feel.
What you know and feel is just as real and valid as whatever goes on in his head. He is not more important or valuable than you are.

This is not some kind of right or wrong to be decided by vote of a Jury in a courtroom.

I strongly believe that you should stop arguing with him about what you know, feel or think!!
In other words.....detach from arguing and D0 Not JADE....
J=justify
A=argue
D=defend
E=explain

You will never "win" arguments such a this. Only gives him more opportunity to gaslight you and bring you more mental and emotional distress...….

I suggest that this falls into line with boundary work. You need boundaries to protect yourself...and it is your job to enforce those boundaries.....Without proper boundaries....you are as vulnerable as a turtle without a shell!

Perhaps you feel that you need him to live....to have some companionship....to have someone who will care about you....? If you do believe these things...I wish to challenge you with the idea that these things are not true......
okay, yes good stuff
I don't feel I need him to live, or have companionship, or someone to care about me, because I've realized he actually gets in the way of all of that! He sure doesn't do those things. And either he turns into a companion, or I'd have better luck elsewhere, and if that didn't work heck, at least I wouldn't have him harassing me. I have tried to detach from arguing, but in the past he just follows me arguing and yelling at me, until after maybe an hour I'm ready to yell back. But he doesn't go away when I don't argue unless I actually leave house (with kids).
I guess the first boundary is 0 tolerance for drinking. But I feel like I can't say I have 0 tolerance for your BS, because he doesn't think it's BS?
For example, if their mind is delusional then how can you do it? He thinks me and my family are being the bad guys-- well, my response is fine if we're so bad just GO, but he won't, "his response is I'm bad because your so bad, so I'll keep being bad." I just don't know how to get it through...
again, I'm rambling, this just gets my head in scrambled egg mode- he's been gone and I feel so relieved because, messes will get cleaned up when they get cleaned up, people will go to bed whether now or later and survive (even if it means being tired and going to bed earlier tomorrow), life will go on as non perfect and happen again tomorrow.
I'm just so frustrated. My husband doesn't have friends... so I don't know who is going to tell him to pull his head from down under, I can't or I'm evil, my family can't and his family won't (or they believe his fantasy).
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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What is going on is the “alcoholic matrix”. And you can choose the red pill or the blue pill ... but our eyes being opened makes for a big reality check!

First... there was a wise poster who once said on this forum “you can wring the alcohol out of an asshat and all you have left is a sober asshat”.

As loved ones we tend to Pollyannaize our situation that once the alcohol is removed our Prince Charming gallops to our side and will fall to his knees apologizing for years of insanity and abuse and we ride off in the sunset to eternal bliss. And that happens quickly minus alcohol!

Sadly... that is not common... in fact never heard of that around these parts.

if you strapped him down and pinned his eyes open and had someone scream at him 24 hours a day “WAKE UP!!!!” It likes lipstick on a pig. It’s annoys the pig.

No one controls another person “wake up” ... all we can do is detach and work on our own wake up! Recovering ourself, our life, our happiness, purpose, direction and dignity with or without the qualifier is the healthy route.

Detach... ignore the quacking!. Get into serious personal recovery. Heal... and More will be revealed!

Trust me... let go of waking him up! They are willfully blind for a reason😉

more good stuff!
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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For example, if their mind is delusional then how can you do it?
You don't.

You didn't Cause it, can't Control it and can't Cure it (the 3 c's)

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Originally Posted by JamieLee View Post
My husband doesn't have friends... so I don't know who is going to tell him to pull his head from down under, I can't or I'm evil, my family can't and his family won't (or they believe his fantasy).
The only person that controls him is him.

Not you, not his family or yours or an old friend or someone at rehab. Just him.

Just like no one can control you.

And why would you want to control someone else anyway?

He is who he is and who he is right now is a drinking alcoholic. You can either accept that or not but if you have a boundary, that's for you, not for him. He doesn't have a problem with his drinking, you do.

I have zero tolerance for anyone being drunk around me or drinking in my home. Ok that's the boundary. Now, what are you doing when the boundary is ignored? You can't change him, so it's up to you, if he comes home drunk you leave if he won't (or lock yourself in a room or whatever you choose).

Boundaries can't be confused with "rules". You can't make rules for him but you can make boundaries for yourself.

Do you mind if I ask why you stay?
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Boundaries can't be confused with "rules". You can't make rules for him but you can make boundaries for yourself.

Do you mind if I ask why you stay?
I guess I don't want to be the "bad guy who leaves the poor guy who's just reacting to me and my evil family and the awful situation I've put him in for him being involved with me." I don't believe any of that-- but it somehow hurts me to know he and whoever he tells may think that. For example, my mom's an alcoholic, and she chooses to never see her grandkids, and she'd tell everyone I'm the meanie, and that's hurtful when she tells me people can't believe I do that to her. I don't know why it hurts when they say such crap. I know beyond a doubt that their crap isn't true. But it hurts me. Like he'd say I never cared about what he wanted, and I'm not sure I care right now, because, well, look at him, but originally I really did, and that somehow hurts. I don't know why it matters. I don't know.
And since we have kids together--- well, unless somehow I convinced them to give me sole custody, I'd be stuck seeing him and working with him as a coparent, so I'm always going to have to put up with his behavior. And also, how would a judge or whoever decides custody believe me? I said he has no friends, but, it's not because people don't like him it's because he believes weird things. So it's like my mom telling people I'm so evil and they'd believe him because he speaks with much more vengeance and hatred than me.
I guess I've come to the actual fork (that I thought I was at before but I never really was) where I really don't know why I'm stuck with him. Maybe I am seeing clearly now... I guess me against a 6'4 260lb guy, I have no chance of getting him to leave unless I call the cops or he ups and leaves. And I just can't stand the idea of calling the cops. And even though he hates the house, the addiction knows he can do what he wants because a "little girl" can't stop him.
And of course, at some point I did really really love him and he was my soulmate. So, you know, I guess broken dreams....
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yes it does sound like you are now understanding that this is out of control and only you can stop it.

I really recommend that you get hold of a book called Codependent no More by Melody Beattie. It is often recommended here. I'm not saying you are codependent or not, I don't know! But there is a lot of information in there about relationships and boundaries that I think you will find really helpful in getting clarity.

Growing up in a house with an alcoholic is dysfunctional (I know this from experience) so a lot of your behaviour now can probably be contributed to that (not laying blame on anyone, it just is).

No, you can't stop him, just yourself. Does it really matter what other people think? And even if that is very important to you, do you think everyone is blind to what your Mother does and your Husband? People are, generally, not that naive. When you are at the eye of the storm you may think OH they don't see what I see! Well no they probably don't, but I bet they see enough. As for specifically what he says about you, alcoholics don't think awfully straight, alcohol affects the mind, even when they are "sober" for a day or two, alcoholism is still affecting them, the brain doesn't heal overnight.

It really shouldn't matter though and are you willing to sacrifice your happiness for what a bunch of people may or may not gossip about?

You know who you are, that's enough right there.

Yes, many times people have trouble releasing those lost dreams, that's completely normal but oh so important to look at things realistically.

You are living with an alcoholic that is abusing you verbally, not in the perfect house with the perfect love story. I think you do see that now.

There is much more for you to have in life, to focus on yourself and what you want. I don't mean in a selfish way, I mean in a looking after yourself way, protecting yourself, that's so important.

You may not be ready to bolt out the door tomorrow but you can start making a plan in case things don't change (and I don't see anything in your story to indicate that it is going to anytime soon). See a lawyer (or two) for a free consultation, ideally one with experience with addictions. You can get a referral to those from your local DV center (and a wealth of other information and it's confidential). Look at rental prices (if you are renting) or have your house appraised. Maybe he will move, this info is still good to have. Ensure you have some money put away and a place to go.

That kind of thing. That empowers you.
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You mentioned he detoxed, is he still drinking or is he abstaining from drinking at the moment?
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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okay, yes good stuff
But I feel like I can't say I have 0 tolerance for your BS, because he doesn't think it's BS?
For example, if their mind is delusional then how can you do it? He thinks me and my family are being the bad guys-- well, my response is fine if we're so bad just GO, but he won't, "his response is I'm bad because your so bad, so I'll keep being bad."
My ex was an alcoholic and a bastard. Who knows what caused what? I do know that what you are taking about here is how to engage him in a manner he will hear. The problem is, whether it’s because he is drunk or because he is emotionally manipulative for whatever reason, it is indeed totally worthless to tell these people “I don’t tolerate BS anymore” and then let them try to beat you to death with their version of twisted reality about how they are fine and you are nuts or not being a good spouse by even saying this or what have you. It’s not your job to find a way to describe it exactly perfectly so he will understand even though he doesn’t think he is wrong. That is impossible by design. There is no conversation about his conduct that will result in him understanding you, because he is purposefully deflecting.

What I hear when people say “don’t play that game” is that there is no point in trying to logic or explain your position that will succeed because the entire point of the interaction is that YOU lose and YOU are wrong. The problem is not that you haven’t explained it right. It’s that he’s willfully (or drunkfully, either way) steering this to all your fault.

If you want to try to see if he is capable of not pulling this crap, you could say “you may not speak to me like that or I will leave” and then follow through. Doesn’t matter if he whines about how you are the cruel person or says he was joking or that you are not communicating. Any thing other than immediately stopping and you just walk away. Rinse repeat. You can’t win, so the point isn’t to smile and pretend it doesn’t hurt, it’s to extricate yourself from the abusive interaction. If you don’t want to leave like, physically and totally, you can leave on the small scale when it’s happening.

That never worked for me. The only way I got to inhabit a world where people treat me with respect and never try to explain why my needs are wrong or need to be shaken and screamed at to see how awful their choices are for everyone else was to divorce him. I was married to the only person in the world who seemed to think I was incapable, or mean, or a bad wife or a bad housekeeper or whatever else at the moment. Why on earth was that ok? Why was literally every person in my life, even my casual coworker, nicer to me than the person who was supposed to love me the most? Because, whether because if alcohol or not he was mean. So I left and That’s how I stopped hearing it.

Few here will tell you straight up to leave him. We will say “you decide what you will put up with” or “you make you happy.” Maybe smaller in the moment refusals to take the abuse will work for you and you can be happy and stay in your situation. Maybe not. But the bottom line is you can’t change a person who doesn’t want to change, so you can tell them what you will and won’t live with, and you can decide whether that person has a place in your life.

Anyone or no one can shake them or explain how they are wrong, but it will do nothing if they don’t want to change. So what do you want to do about YOUR life? Hold the course or change it?

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