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Feel like I'm trapped

Old 05-01-2021, 07:11 PM
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Feel like I'm trapped

This is my first post here, thank you for providing this forum, I don't really have anyone to talk to about my situation so it's nice to at least have this.

My wife is from the US and we've been together a few years and she has drunk on and off during that time. I was always concerned that she seemed almost like a different person when she drank, but when she went through long periods when she didn't drink.

I had a child 6 months ago and I think maybe she has been suffering from post natal depression because she started drinking again before Christmas and it's been really difficult ever since. On average she drinks every other day, although sometime she'll be sober for a week or so at a time.

Every time she goes out shopping she buy alcohol and hides it around the house. She's usually obvious by about 5pm that she's been drinking and it gets worst from there. When she runs out of alcohol in the house, she goes out to an off license or a pub and is there until closing time. I'm left holding the baby.

Sometimes she doesn't come home when the pubs close and I don't see her until morning. At first I'd believe her excuses for why she didn't come home, probably because I wanted to. Although it's been abundently clear on several occasions that her excuses aren't true and the scenario I fear is true instead.

One of the worst parts is that when she is sober she doesn't remember anything about the times she was drunk, so to her, it's like it didn't happen. So for all I know she genuinely thinks I'm exaggering it or being paranoid.

I've thought about leaving many times, but there isn't really any way I can do it. She doesn't have any support system over here, and how would I leave? Would I move out or would I force her to? I would want full custody of our kid as I don't trust him in her care and there have been instances that validate this concern.

She's breast feeding our child too, and he won't take the formula milk, so if nothing else I need her around to feed him until he's on solids.

I've gone through all the stages. I've been angry, I've tried to reason with her, and I'm now at the point where I just try and get through the day.

I don't think there is an easy solution. Maybe when my son gets a bit older my options with change, or maybe my wife will make progress.

I can't really talk to anyone I know about this because if she does manage to turn it around, I don't want them to think badly of her.

Anyway, thanks for listen to me rant, it helped. I only have the time to write this because my son is asleep and I haven't seen my wife since 8pm. It's now 3am, so I'm guessing she will turn up some time tomorrow and I'll have to clean up the mess.
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:03 PM
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hi formylose, I'm glad you found this forum too. Sorry for what brings you here, of course.

Well, you wife does have a big drinking problem and probably is an alcoholic.

The first thing I would recommend is that you research alcoholism, find out as much as you can about addiction (for you, not for her). I would suggest you speak to a lawyer about the situation and possibly separating. Just because you want custody of your child doesn't mean you will get full custody (doesn't mean you won't either!). Ask him or her what kind of proof you would need, if sobriety testing could be part of the rules for visitation. Start a journal of her drinking and when she is out and when she comes back, it may help you later.

You can't really help her unfortunately, she will quit drinking when she is ready to. She probably doesn't remember much of what she has done on her nights out, being black-out drunk will do that, but I'm sure she remembers where she woke up, but doesn't share that?

I don't think there is an easy solution.
It is never really easy to separate when there is a child involved, however you also don't want your child to grow up in a house with an alcoholic. I'm sure you already know that alcohol will be in the breast milk the baby is being fed as well, if she is drinking that often and is feeding the baby within a few hours of that.

If you know this is a bad environment for you and your child then you just need to keep taking the next step and doing the next right thing for the two of you.

I wouldn't wait around for her to get sober. I mean she might do that tomorrow, or 20 years from now, but hope is not a plan.




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Old 05-03-2021, 04:36 PM
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Thank you for replying, I really appreciate it. Like I said, I don't really have anyone I can talk to about it.

Sorry its taken until now to reply, it's been a rough couple of days. My wife has been drinking back to back days since Friday, but our child didn't sleep much last night. He's asleep now though, so I have some time.

I've really thought about separating, but at the moment, I honestly don't see a way to make that work. As my wife is from the US, I'm not sure how that would affect her immigration status, which could lead to her being sent home, which would mean either our child goes with her (unacceptable) or she goes home without her child (I couldn't do that to her).

For now I feel like I'm best just keeping everyone as safe as possible and when our child is a bit older things might be easier and there might be more options.

I have been noting stuff down for a while, since this has been going on for a number of months, and she would disappear all evening, but it's only since the pubs opened back up that she's been gone all night, and I've been keeping more detailed notes. Partially as a reminder to me about how bad it gets, for when we have a few good days, and she acts like I'm exaggering everything. It's also in the back of my mind that I may need it as proof if I need to talk to a family lawyer, as you mentioned.

She has said in the past that she doesn't remember what she did when she gets drunk, which is frustrating as it seems to absolve her of any blame. Like if she can't remember it then it was like someone else did it.

You are right though, even if she doesn't remember what she did, she still would have woken up somewhere strange, next to some strange guy, and chooses not to share that information with me! Her standard excuse it that she is friends with a barmaid at the pub and she stays with her when she drinks too much. The problem with that is that she seems to forget that I can track her phone because our accounts are linked (we set this up ages ago, before she started drinking again), and unless that barmaid lives at a different house every day, then she is lying about it.

It's not really a question of if she has done the dirty at this point, she's not exactly been good at cleaning up the evidence. I'm going to have to live with that, as this point I'm kind of numb to it.

I agree there isn't an easy solution. I'm just going to give it some time at this point. But being able to vent somewhere is at least helping a bit.

Thanks



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Old 05-03-2021, 05:02 PM
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Hi FML, I'm going to apologize in advance (as this might sound harsh) and I could be absolutely wrong, but it seems to me like there is a lot of ignoring what she is doing and putting up walls as to why you can't make it right (for yourself).

Immigration, feeding the child, visitation.

Let's start with immigration, I don't know which country you are in but I am guessing the UK, after 2 years are you still waiting on her citizenship or have only applied to permanent residency. Either way, this is another reason to see a lawyer, find out the facts, chances are you separating from her won't make any difference to her permanent resident status.

The child will take formula probably, this is something you could discuss with a home care nurse or a pediatrician. Probably better to have alcohol free food anyway. As for visitation, you don't know that she will even be that interested really do you? If she chooses to move back to the U.S., that doesn't mean she just gets to take off with the baby, there are rules and regulations.

or maybe my wife will make progress
Maybe, or maybe not. Right now she is in active addiction and that's what you have in front of you. Hope is not a plan and she obviously has no plan for quitting right now. So, you may want to just accept that she is an alcoholic and she will continue to drink unless she decides not to, which could be 20 years from now, or never.

Active alcoholics make terrible parents. Their first love is alcohol.

I'm sorry to be so negative but I am also sorry that you and your child are being hurt in all of this.

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Old 05-03-2021, 05:31 PM
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We have a stickies section up at the top of the forum, I was thinking you might find some of these threads helpful as well:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...c-reading.html (Classic Reading)

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Old 05-03-2021, 05:46 PM
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Please do not allow your infant to drink alcohol. That's basically what he's doing when he's being fed her breastmilk. Brain damage risk is high.
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsNotYou2 View Post
Please do not allow your infant to drink alcohol. That's basically what he's doing when he's being fed her breastmilk. Brain damage risk is high.
I was unaware of this risk until recently. I feel awful about it and I'm really worried about it. Apparently if there is a few hours gap for it to get out of her system then it should be ok, and I think we are mostly fine if that is the case.

Obviously, I'm really worried though, and I'm getting the baby onto taking formula milk.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:39 PM
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Trailmix, thanks for your reply, I really appreciate your input on it.

Which part do you think I'm ignoring? Her drinking? Or the fact that other men have become involved? Because believe me, it's pretty hard to ignore either. When she comes home in the morning she is either hungover or still drunk and so is quite a mess, and I need to clean up her mess, literally. So it's impossible to ignore.

I'm just trying to be pragmatic. Quite frankly, I wish I could just walk away and leave her to her own problems, but I can't leave my child, and I won't burn her life to the ground in order to free myself from these responsibilities.

The sober version and the drunk version of my wife feel like 2 different people, and I still love the sober version, even if I hate the drunk version.

Also, part of me puts myself in her shoes and has some sympathy. Maybe she remembers stumbling across some alcohol that she had previously stashed in the house, and has a moment of weakness and starts drinking it. The next thing she remembers she's waking up in a strange bed, next to a random guy she has no memory of. At an obvious level shes aware that a line was crossed, but since she can't remember it, she has trouble taking ownership of it. She then has to work out where she is and how to get home and when she finally gets home, I'm there making her feel horrible for something that doesn't exist in her memories.

I also have to take into account that it's all very well to assume that this was an active action that she took, but you can also see as a drunk, vunerable women at the bar at closing time, and some guy asks her if she wants to come back theirs to keep drinking. And when she starts drinking, my wife will basically do anything to keep drinking. So to a certain extent, she is being taken advantage of by whichever guy happens to find her at the right time, in whichever pub she happens to be in.

I also feel like I have in the past created situations that make it worst, even if it was unintentionally. When the pubs reopened and she started going out to them, at first I moved money from our main account to our savings account so she wouldn't have the money to buy more drinks. I got an angry call from her and she said I was being controlling and she was going to have to ask guys in the bar to buy her drinks. That was the first night she didn't come home. After that I didn't move the money anymore, but since then she rarely seems to spend any money on the card when she goes to the pub.

I used to work in a bar, I know what happens when a guy starts buying a girl all her drinks. The guy is trying to get her drunk, and he expects something in return. And there is a reason the bouncers would have to check the toilets every 15 minutes.

I don't know what is going to happen in the future. I don't know if she is going to get sober. And if she does, I honestly don't know how I going to deal with what my wife did while she was drunk, and how it will affect our marriage and relationship. I don't know if I can look past it, at the moment I'm nervous to even contemplate the scale of it.

Has anyone else dealt with anything similar? How do you get past it? Can you?

Thanks again for you input, please continue to give it, including on the above. I feel like my best approach at the moment is to tough it out for at least a while longer.
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:09 PM
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As gently as I can…unless she is actually unconscious, your wife is making these choices that lead to her cheating on you and leaving your son in your care while she does it. They aren’t just happening to her…she’s making them happen.

You said you cut off her money in attempt to control her drinking. And then you feel responsible for her reaction, which was to then go to bars and hook up with strangers just so she could drink. Basically she’s selling herself for alcohol but you’re blaming yourself? Do you hear how upside down that is?

I would also suggest that you quietly get a consultation with a divorce attorney who can tell you what the process would be in your situation toward getting primary custody. It would be an uphill fight, I’m sure, but knowing what your rights are, especially in light of the immigration issue, may help you feel a little less trapped?

This is a terrible situation and I am so sorry you’re going through it. I am just very glad your child has you to keep him safe. Please keep yourself safe, too…Covid is very much still with us. And that’s not the only ailment she could bring home, you realize…

P.S. Would she agree to be screened for PPD? It’s a pretty small possibility that treating underlying depression would magically solve the alcoholism, especially given everything that’s happened, but if she would consider it?




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Old 05-03-2021, 08:19 PM
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No, I don't think you are ignoring her drinking, I know you know she is an alcoholic.

However, you are excusing her behaviour in a way, she doesn't remember what she is doing in blackout, true, but she knows if she goes out and drinks too much she may black out and end up who knows where and she does it, over and over. That is a choice on her part.

As for the lawyer, I suggested that as an information seeking mission only at this point. It empowers you to have all the information, instead of thinking - what if she just runs off with our child! What will her immigration status be. You will know what the facts are and what your rights are and what hers are and you can deal within those facts, fear will have you frozen in place.

Now, you don't have to run and do that tomorrow, but maybe make an appointment for next week, some might even offer a free first consultation.

Have you discussed her getting help for potential depression (as Aries mentioned)? Or for her drinking, what does she have to say about that?

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Old 05-04-2021, 12:09 AM
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Thanks both Ariesagain and trailmix for your replies.

It's 8am here and no sign of her yet, and judging by where she is, she'll have to take an Uber or a bus to get home, so I have some time to reply.

Thank you both for trying to be gentle, but it's ok, I'm not easily offended, and I'm a big boy, I can take your unfiltered opinions.

Regarding me feeling responsible for her actions and reactions, fundamentally I know I'm not, but I'm actively involved in this situation, so I can't just pretend it's events I'm just watching from afar. I attended 1 Al-Alon support meeting over Zoom, which did help change my attitude to some things. They explained that alcoholism is an disease and so I shouldn't blame her and see her as the victim of this just as much as me. To be honest, I told them all about her drinking and leaving me responsibile for our child and the situation, but I left out the dozens of stranger hookups, because it's a bit difficult to talk about that in person over Zoom. I've only felt comfortable to admit that here over text.

I understand what you are saying, but I don't want to engage in victim blaming, like "she was drunk, so she deserved what happened to her", I'm not saying you are doing that either, but I just want to by mindful of the fact that there are men involved in this situation too. Men that are likely less drunk than she is and in a less vunerable situation, that are taking her home, or taking her to the toilets or whatever, to take advantage of her. Also, how often do you see men drinking on their own in bars, and what percentage of guys in bars are drinking as part of a group? If she is going around asking for guys to buy her drinks, its more likely she is going to hit upon guys in a group than guys on their own. So if it's a group of guys buying her drinks there is an obvious power imbalance there, especially when it come to collecting on what they believe they are "owed" for buying her drinks.

You are right about the risk of COVID and anything else she might bring home. I'm embarrassed to say that despite the situation my wife and I do still have sex, and when I think back over our relationship, it's only ever really been when she is drunk that we have had sex. Afterwards I feel bad about it, like doing it is somehow accepting that the situation is ok and normal, somehow legitimising the situation. But in the early drunk phase before she runs out of alcohol and gets angry and goes off to the pub, she is very direct and upfront about wanting to have sex, and as a weak man, I agree. Once I started to realise what was happening when she wasn't coming home, I started using condoms with her, to protect myself.

Regarding PPD and whether "fixing" that will "fix" her alcoholism, while I think she should speak to someone about it, I don't think it's going to solve it. When I think back on our the time I've known her, I think it's always been there, but less obvious. She was always the most drunk out of any of anyone at a gathering. When we had arguments she would deal with that by going and getting drunk. She quit drinking in the run up to our wedding and while pregnant, and so it felt like something she just didn't do anymore, until it started up again.

Recent events have made me rethink times from our past too where I thought I was being paranoid or she told me I was being paranoid. Times when she would disappear after an argument and go and stay at "a friend's", and one time at my work's Christmas party where I hadn't seen her for a while and I caught her coming out of the men's toilets looking disheveled, and she said she'd gone in there by mistake.

I'm trying to get some therapy for her through my work health insurance, but the only things available are in person, and not that close, and there is a fine if you miss appointments, which I can imagine happening.

Maybe I will speak to a lawyer, as you both mention, so I understand where I stand. I'm guessing he will tell me to collect evidence. Like I said, I have my notes, and I've been noting down the addresses she ends up at by tracking her phone, mostly so I have something to tell the police if she doesn't come home! There is a load of evidence I could gather if I wanted to, and evidence that I choose to throw away instead of keep. And I could document more. But then I'm sitting there, with these pictures on my phone and stuff in my possession, that I really don't want as a reminder.

Once again, thank you for your replies. Actually talking about it, is making it feel real, instead of just in my head which is what it feels like sometimes.


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Old 05-04-2021, 08:00 AM
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Formylose…you sound very clear-minded and are obviously quite intelligent. Again, I’m so glad that baby has you on his side.

The alcoholism-as-disease model has one fairly major flaw…people who have cancer, for example, seek treatment. They do everything they can to get better, especially if they have a child who depends on them. In alcoholics, most actively avoid treatment at any cost until they no longer can…and for some people, that day never comes.

I would also posit that the “victim shaming” rationale for excusing your wife’s having sex with other men only goes so far. She’s making it fairly clear at this point what the transaction is…drinks for sex. I’m sure you know, since you’ve worked in bars, that that kind of information gets around pretty fast. At what point is she no longer a victim, but a sex worker? She’s actively seeking out situations where she can anticipate that transaction, yes? And it’s extremely unlikely that she’s blacking out every time to the point where she doesn’t know what’s happening. Surely the morning after when she wakes up in someone else’s bed it becomes quite clear what has gone on.

I agree that the men involved certainly bear some responsibility if she is not competent to give consent. But there may well be some occasions where she is the aggressor, yes? She seems to be with you.

I do hope you can get her to see someone in the mental health field for PPD, but as you say, this problem predates her pregnancy. She wouldn’t be the first (or sadly, the last) addict who believed that marriage and a baby would make her so happy that she wouldn’t need to drink. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

At some point, she may just decide she doesn’t want to be a mother or a wife. She may be there now. That’s another thing to discuss with an attorney, whether asking her to sign away her parental rights is a possibility where you live.

Good for you for protecting yourself, best you can. I’m sure you know that condoms aren’t 100%. And Covid doesn’t care. Another possible thing to be prepared for is that at some point, she may become pregnant again. I don’t have to spell out for you the implications of that situation.

I wish you well. Some day I hope you can look back on this situation as a terrible thing that you handled with courage and grace, as I think you are.



ETA: Keep the evidence and keep adding to it. It’s not for you, you’re an adult. It’s for that baby. At some point, in order to protect him, you may need every bit of it.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by formylose View Post
Apparently if there is a few hours gap for it to get out of her system then it should be ok, and I think we are mostly fine if that is the case.
Beside the fact that your child is growing up with an alcoholic parent, an enormous detriment in and of itself, breast milk absolutely affects a baby. This is from the CDC website and there is plenty more information online about how very detrimental drinking is for a breastfeeding child. From your descriptions, it's probable that your wife is consuming far more than 3 drinks per day and is, in effect, serving your child alcohol.

"...alcohol from 1 drink can be detected in breast milk for about 2-3 hours, alcohol from 2 drinks can be detected for about 4-5 hours, and alcohol from 3 drinks can be detected for about 6-8 hours, and so on."
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:30 AM
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I wanted to share two things to add to what everyone has been saying!

1) On disease model: My mother right now is battling metaplastic breast cancer—it’s like the cancer is smart and fights back against treatment. The disease is her own cells, but they are trying to destroy her. This reminds me of addiction so much. The disease model has usefulness to help us understand concepts of “control” and intent and the “two-people” feeling. The disease is both part of the person, and what feels like it’s own entity harming the person. “Two-people” as it were, but united by the same body. Addiction uses the body and mind of our loved ones to harm themselves and others.

I have lifelong chronic asthma. But (like Ariesagain mentioned) while I cannot control that I have it, I didn’t do anything to deserve it, and when I can’t breathe it’s not “my fault”—it is my responsibility to decide how I live with that chronic ailment. I chose treatment, constant awareness, accepting certain physical limitations, and active work to grow past other limitations. I can control how I respond to the reality of my illness.

The disease model also helped me realize that my AXH isn’t intentionally trying to hurt me or himself, but intention doesn’t change the end results of the disease. If he were behaving like this without addiction/depression/PTSD, I would question our entire relationship history and myself and him, because if he were healthy and this was intentional then his behaviors are very cruel. But with those layers of mental/addiction illness, I can realize I don’t have to doubt what we had when it was good. This isn’t intentional, the disease is running the ship. However, that doesn’t mean I have to go down with the ship. The end result is still that I am being hurt and disrespected and treated poorly. I’m allowed to be upset about that and to make choices to keep myself safe.

2) Repetition Compulsion. This is a PTSD/trauma term primarily but it may apply here. When individuals have experienced trauma (sexual assault, rape, war, brutal accidents, etc) there is a known psychological after-effect for some people where they actively seek out situations similar to their trauma event and try to repeat the trauma. It feels “right” and like a compulsion, something they “have” to do. There are a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes to convince themselves they “liked” the trauma event and it wasn’t a big deal, trying to make themselves believe it wasn’t trauma. Sometimes trying to “change the ending” so they can take back their power and make it happen differently this time, trying to rewrite the memory so they don’t feel powerless anymore. However, it often results in more trauma and locking a person into certain patterns that spiral them deeper into depression or addiction or mental illness.

I would never presume to diagnose your wife off a forum post of course! But this concept helped me understand my partner’s most illogical behaviors. It does seem like your wife keeps putting her hand on a hot stove, as it were, and getting burned. I also very much believe we shouldn’t blame victims, but I also don’t believe it’s safe or practical to enable them to keep hurting themselves by repeating circumstances where they are likely to be victimized over and over.

Unfortunately, us spouses can’t do anything about this compulsion until and unless the person themselves realizes they don’t want to repeat the pattern anymore. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and some of the recommended forms of therapy to address this kind of issue. (Basically, therapists who specialize in trauma-recovery). So this doesn’t help change the circumstances :/ But maybe it can help you as you process your role in her choices. You don’t have to support her continued risks to her own safety. That’s not blaming her, that’s setting your own boundary of not being part of actions that are dangerous to her and others.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:34 AM
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I wanted to share two things to add to what everyone has been saying!

1) On disease model: My mother right now is battling metaplastic breast cancer—it’s like the cancer is smart and fights back against treatment. The disease is her own cells, but they are trying to destroy her. This reminds me of addiction so much. The disease model has usefulness to help us understand concepts of “control” and intent and the “two-people” feeling. The disease is both part of the person, and what feels like it’s own entity harming the person. “Two-people” as it were, but united by the same body. Addiction uses the body and mind of our loved ones to harm themselves and others.

I have lifelong chronic asthma. But (like Ariesagain mentioned) while I cannot control that I have it, I didn’t do anything to deserve it, and when I can’t breathe it’s not “my fault”—it is my responsibility to decide how I live with that chronic ailment. I chose treatment, constant awareness, accepting certain physical limitations, and active work to grow past other limitations. I can control how I respond to the reality of my illness.

The disease model also helped me realize that my AXH isn’t intentionally trying to hurt me or himself, but intention doesn’t change the end results of the disease. If he were behaving like this without addiction/depression/PTSD, I would question our entire relationship history and myself and him, because if he were healthy and this was intentional then his behaviors are very cruel. But with those layers of mental/addiction illness, I can realize I don’t have to doubt what we had when it was good. This isn’t intentional, the disease is running the ship. However, that doesn’t mean I have to go down with the ship. The end result is still that I am being hurt and disrespected and treated poorly. I’m allowed to be upset about that and to make choices to keep myself safe.

2) Repetition Compulsion. This is a PTSD/trauma term primarily but it may apply here. When individuals have experienced trauma (sexual assault, rape, war, brutal accidents, etc) there is a known psychological after-effect for some people where they actively seek out situations similar to their trauma event and try to repeat the trauma. It feels “right” and like a compulsion, something they “have” to do. There are a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes to convince themselves they “liked” the trauma event and it wasn’t a big deal, trying to make themselves believe it wasn’t trauma. Sometimes trying to “change the ending” so they can take back their power and make it happen differently this time, trying to rewrite the memory so they don’t feel powerless anymore. However, it often results in more trauma and locking a person into certain patterns that spiral them deeper into depression or addiction or mental illness.

I would never presume to diagnose your wife off a forum post of course! But this concept helped me understand my partner’s most illogical behaviors. It does seem like your wife keeps putting her hand on a hot stove, as it were, and getting burned. I also very much believe we shouldn’t blame victims, but I also don’t believe it’s safe or practical to enable them to keep hurting themselves by repeating circumstances where they are likely to be victimized over and over.

Unfortunately, us spouses can’t do anything about this compulsion until and unless the person themselves realizes they don’t want to repeat the pattern anymore. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and some of the recommended forms of therapy to address this kind of issue. (Basically, therapists who specialize in trauma-recovery). So this doesn’t help change the circumstances :/ But maybe it can help you as you process your role in her choices. You don’t have to support her continued risks to her own safety. That’s not blaming her, that’s setting your own boundary of not being part of actions that are dangerous to her and others.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:17 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by formylose View Post
They explained that alcoholism is an disease and so I shouldn't blame her and see her as the victim of this just as much as me.

I understand what you are saying, but I don't want to engage in victim blaming, like "she was drunk, so she deserved what happened to her", I'm not saying you are doing that either, but I just want to by mindful of the fact that there are men involved in this situation too.
FML, I just want to say, I completely understand what a tough situation you are in, aside from all of this, you are getting hurt in the process. I'm sure you don't dislike your wife, generally, just who she becomes when she drinks.

That said, she is "that" person as well, not 2 people, just 1 person with a serious drinking problem.

The two things you mentioned above. There is no victim blaming here, for sure.

I would leave the men out of the equation completely, they aren't married to you, they have zero to do with you. I have been to many bars and had many drinks bought for me. I have never thought I owed anyone for buying me a drink. That's wrong thinking.

As for seeing her as a victim, well yes, she is a victim of alcoholism and no you don't have to hate her for that or blame her for that. That doesn't mean you have set yourself on fire to keep her warm. You can detach with love.

Imagine this isn't your story but someone elses, a close friend perhaps. He comes to you and says:

FML, my wife and I are having problems.

- She drinks to excess often
- She blacks out and can't remember what she has done, until the next morning but won't tell me those details
- I am sure that when she does that she is sleeping with other men
- She is taking very little responsibility for our baby, but she drinks and then feeds her

What should I do.

Now, it's hard for you to separate yourself from this story, I know, but you would probably tell him to run for the hills and save himself. What other answer could there be?

You didn't Cause it, can't Control it and can't Cure it.

You mentioned possible therapy. Has she asked for that? Discussed it with you? Shown any sign at all that she wants help?

I'm honestly going to tell you what I think (again, sorry if this is harsh), you are living in a madhouse and trying to make is seem kind of normal. It's not. Now, when we are surrounded by madness, it can get to seem kind of normal! That's where the reality check needs to come in. Nothing and I mean nothing about your interactions and lifestyle with your wife is normal.

Sorry again if that's harsh. I only say this to hopefully help you. Much of your posts are about her, what about you and your child? Your life is focused on her alcoholism. It is the center of all of your lives. You say you feel like you are trapped. You aren't really. Do you have any family or friends that can help you out with child care? Do either you or your wife work outside the home? Just thinking of more practical matters here, should you decide to leave.

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Old 05-04-2021, 12:29 PM
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One more question…she claims she doesn’t remember anything that happens when she drinks. Even if that were true, which it isn’t, she’s still responsible for her actions. If she murdered someone while drunk, it’s not like she could say to the judge, “well, it doesn’t matter, you see, because I don’t remember it because I was drunk.” She’d still be going to jail, yes?
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:45 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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Thank you all for your thoughts, really appreciate it.

My wife turned up eventually this morning, still pretty drunk, so I never even asked her where she had been, I don't really even both now, to be honest. She was quite a mess, which is often the case and I had to throw away her purse because it contained a number of used condoms whose contents had spilt all over the inside. She fell asleep in the sofa and has slept on and off for most of the day, which is the best I can wish for at the moment.

We have a fair amount of frozen breast milk in the freezer, which was expressed when she was sober, so I've been using that, and I have gotten some formula milk that I start introducing. I'm really worried about the effects that her breast milk might have had on our child, and I feel really guilty for not knowing or thinking to check. He seems really alert and responsive, although I don't know if that is any indication on whether it has affected him or not. I guess all I can do it wait and see.

I had just taken as read that the AA / Al-Anon thinking (that alcoholism is a disease and the sufferers were as much a victim as anyone), is the accepted wisdom, and that's how I should be treating it. And to be honest, it did help me to deal with my anger at the situation, which wasn't really helpful. It's been useful to hear other thoughts on it. I don't really know how I should think about it now really.

Maybe part of the appeal of if not being my wife's fault, ultimately, is that it is a way that lets me deal with thoughts going round my head about the things she has done, and helps me deal with the literal aftermath of her actions.

Ariesagain, regard her trading "drinks for sex", I don't know, maybe. Maybe all she's thinking is that she wants drinks and she knows that men will buy her drinks, and in her drunken state, she doesn't really think far enough ahead to imagine what the trade off will be for that. When she is drunk she isn't really firing on all cyclinders, mentally. That said, maybe she is literally thinking in those terms, I want a drink and I'm prepared to spread my legs to get one. Makes me sad about how little she must value herself in those situations, if that is the case. How many drinks is she getting before they expect sex? Buying her drinks all night? Or just one or two? If it is a group of guys buying her drinks, are they all expecting to be part of that deal? These are the things I worry about, and I'm not sure I want to know the answer.

You are right though Ariesagain, word does get around! I guess I hadn't really thought about that. Makes me think that even if she does stop drinking, and I can get past the things she has done, I am still going to be living in a town where my wife has a reputation for being an "easy lay". And how many men will have taken advantage of her by the time this is over? If we are walking round the shops, and some guy smiles at her, I'm going to wonder if he has had sex with my wife, and she might not even know if she doesn't remember!

When I see which pub she goes to, it tends to be one pub for a few days before she starts going to a different pub, and doesn't go back to the other. It occurred to me that maybe she is getting barred from pubs, maybe for being too drunk, or maybe for being caught in the toilets, who knows. I wish I could say she would eventually be barred from all the pubs, but there are a lot of pubs around here. And this really doesn't help the reputation problem.

The Repetition Compulsion thing that edoering mentioned somehow seems like it might be valid, I don't really how how that helps though.

Thanks again for your support

About to post this and then saw more replies...

Thank you trailmix, what you said does make a lot of sense. I have mentioned therapy, and in the times when she admits she has a problem, she is sort of receptive, although she seems pretty wary of therapy in general. I am trying to arrange some thearpy through my work health insurance, but it's been difficult because since the therapy is for her, she is the one that needs to email the practice and provide some details over the phone, which obviously has been difficult to make happen.

You are right, everything is about her and managing her drinking at the moment. Yeah, it does feel like madness, but really, the only way I've been able to cope is by making it normal. And the routine has became so repeated and predicable by now that it's been easy to just go through the motions.

I will take on board what you've said, and think about if I want to pull the rip cord and get out of this situation, then what is the best way to do that.

Thanks again for your support
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:17 PM
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Oh, sweetie. I am not young and I’ve heard a lot, but this….

She was quite a mess, which is often the case and I had to throw away her purse because it contained a number of used condoms whose contents had spilt all over the inside.
is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read, on about six levels. Honestly, the saddest part is that you’re so blasé about it, like yes, it must be Tuesday because I’m cleaning up after my wife’s sex episodes with a bunch of other men, pity about the purse.

This IS NOT OKAY. Not in a million years, not in any universe, just not not not. I hesitate to say this to you, because I think your primary coping mechanism has been to just go numb, but this is NOT OKAY.

Can you find therapy for yourself? I’m sorry, but I truly believe at this point your wife is most likely a lost cause. I think you’re spot on that she’s getting kicked out of pubs and it sounds like she’s getting kicked out because she’s essentially turning tricks in the bathrooms. She’s cleaning up the bathrooms by putting the condoms in her purse but somehow you think she’s not responsible for her actions?

I am rarely shocked anymore, but I am shocked now. Please, please, please, find out what your rights are here. Protect that child…she shouldn’t be within shouting distance of being relied upon to take care of him. Oh and stop having sex with her, you really don’t know how many men she’s slept with or whether condoms were used correctly or at all for all of them. You’re all that child has.

Save yourself. Save that baby. This is NOT okay.

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Old 05-04-2021, 05:35 PM
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I mean, I know it's not ok, but freaking out and getting angry doesn't help me deal with what's infront of me. I've tried being angry, I've tried reasoning, I've tried not helping, and none of it has made any difference. I want to live in a tidy house, I want my child to be fed and for the fridge to have food in. For that to happen, I have to make it happen and not just hope that my wife is sober for long enough for some of those things to happen, like I have in the past.

As sad as it may seem, this is the most calm, together and in control I've been able to feel in months. I wish I could say that dealing with the *** purse was the only thing of that nature that I've had to do, but it isn't.

I know I shouldn't really be having sex with her, I feel like it sends a message to her that everything is normal. That might even be why she propositions me in the way she does. But my wife is very attractive, and as she's producing milk she is very "top heavy", so when she is squeezing that into her going out outfits that she would wear before she was pregnant, well... it's hard to say no. I know I don't know how many men she has slept with, it's almost certainly more than I know, and could well be a lot more! I make sure I wear a condom, but I take your point.

I'll look into my options, but at the moment I'm taking it one day at a time.
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