new here/ enabling question

Old 10-26-2005, 03:05 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chesterfiled, VA
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new here/ enabling question

This is my first post. I've found lots of great information here- particularly the post about enabling and I'd be interested in any advice on my situation.

I've been with my partner for 2 years now- she has always had some level of drinking problem and I thought I could handle it but I am discovering that I can't. I stay in the relationship because we love each other very much, and I truly adore the person she is when she is sober.

She comes from a completely alcoholic family. These people do not do anything together that doesn't involve drinking and her brother and sister are both active alcoholics.

She works at night, often with her brother- in the restaurant industry, in an environment that does not help things at all. She acknowleges this but has not been able to give up the money to take a "safer" job. I have told her I will support her emotionally and financially during the transition if she will do this.

She has had a couple DUI's and is finishing the required "treatment " for one of them.

95% of my problem with her is that she comes home from work, about 3 times out of 5, drunk. Like slurring and falling down drunk. I can't take it anymore- and I really see myself in the enabling post, because I have tried all that stuff- everything from rescuing her and trying to help (I already drive her everywhere because she's lost her liscense) to crying, yelling, throwing fits, etc. I've threatened to leave lately and she begs me not to and says she will change her behavior. Unfortunately I've heard this before.

I'm to the end of my rope to the point that I told her she has 2 weeks to show me she can keep it together or I will lend her the deposit money for an apartment and that is the end of the relationship. Which will break my heart.

Was I wrong to give an ultimatum? I really am aggravated to the point that I think I can stick to what I say. How can I NOT enable this behavior? I am lost and have no idea how to act or what to do to get through this.
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Old 10-26-2005, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: England
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Welcome to SR! As you have already seen, there is loads of good info on here.

I'm about to go to my bed (it's late here in the UK), but I'm sure there are others who'll be along to say hi too.

May I just point something out that struck me when I read your post?
or I will lend her the deposit money for an apartment
Take it from someone who is having to take their ex to court for money lent (through enabling) - please think very carefully about this course of action. If she is a grown adult, it is her responsibility to stump up the deposit.

Looking forward to getting to know you.
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Old 10-26-2005, 03:15 PM
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Searching and tripping
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Back in my head
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Hello Desp and welcome to SR.

I'm glad you've gotten a lot of useful information from this site. It's the best one going and we're always here to support, hug and love ya.

Ultimatums usually don't work. One of the reasons is that they may be able to quit for the required time period, but then they usually go back. I did this to my husband, probably 5 maybe 6 hundred times. Kidding. Anyway, it always backfired on me. I got blasted by him for putting pressure on him because, blah, blah, blah, blah...and it always wound up my fault.

We all love our alcoholics. My husband is recovering...occasional dry drunk and my son has 10 months of sobriety. I love them both dearly, but that doesn't mean I like them all the time.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is start attending alanon meetings. Pick up all the free literature and read, read, read and read some more. There's a lot to be learned about the disease. And there's a lot of stuff you can learn on how to quit enabling and all the other stuff we do for our alcoholics. There's an amazing book out called "Courage to Change". I got mine at alanon for 10 bucks. But there's plenty of books at the library you can get.

Take care of yourself. Mentally, physically and spiritually.

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Old 10-26-2005, 04:43 PM
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Alcohol is a cruel mistress!!!
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: crownpoint newyork
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Hi and welcome to SR!!! I understand what you are going through. I've been in the same mind frame many times. Like gelfing said threats usally don't work. If they did my H would have been sober 10 years ago. The A in your life has to want to quit. We can't do it for them. All I can add is to try to focus on you. I know how hard that is but it is the only way to regain your sanity. Read books, attend alanon, keep coming here. We all understand your struggle, we've been there. Just know you are not alone, we are here for you. With love, Kerry
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Old 10-26-2005, 05:02 PM
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Welcome to SR!! Make yourself at home!

I agree that Alanon is the best thing going for your situation. It sounds like you are conflicted and learning as much as you can will help you make an informed decision. Making a life choice in reactive mode isn't what you want to do I am sure. You end up doubting yourself and wondering if you could have done more.

There is also a book I would recommend "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. Not that you are a codie...but it really gives an inside perspective how it is to live with an alcoholic and the common mistakes we all make.

One thing you need to know is that you are not alone. You are among friends here!
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:18 PM
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chesterfiled, VA
Posts: 12
Thanks for the replies and welcomes so quickly The more I look and listen, the more I am learning. I have learned something important today: I am a codependant, big time. I just wasn't aware of it, but I think I'm beginning to understand now. I agree the Al-anon meetings would be very good for me and I intend on looking into it.

I believe the alcoholic in my life really does want to get help, but now I understand that I need help as well.

Part of the whole problem for me, is that my previous relationship (also with an addicted person) went on way too long- I endured a lot of manipulation and emotional and occasionally physical abuse, and finally got up the courage, after many years, to leave. After going through something like that, your psyche is, to say the least, a little battered and beaten down. That relationship left me emotionally and financially devastated, at age 38 with 2 young children to raise.

So when my current relationship started, and she treats me (when she is not drunk) like I am wonderful, helps with the kids, helps financially, it is REALLY hard to be critical. At first. It's like my tolerance for the alcoholic behavior got lower over time. Which is maybe why it has gotten so bad? I don't know- but I'm starting to understand that I can't control her behavior. As much as that kills me

I am going to really try hard to take things one day at a time.
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:43 PM
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the girl can't help it
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If you are sick of her drinking and you really feel so strongly about it that you want her to get out I think you are honoring both you and her by asking her to leave. There is a lot of suffering involved in living in active addiction if you like to suffer let her stay and maybe one day she will change...

And I am saying this to myself as well....
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Old 10-26-2005, 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: walking beside you! Not in front of you.
Posts: 658
I firmly believe ALCOHOLISM IS A FAMILY DISEASE! It also is a very negative disease. Everything about it creates chois and misery UNLESS I have new tools to work with. My alcoholics pay off just often enough to lead me to think they're going to change. I know today they won't nor can't until they are willing. Therefore the one who needed to change is me.

Al-Anon meetings, reading the literature, working the steps with my sponsor, having a kind and loving home group to support me is what turned my life around. I know today that no matter what happens in life, I will be OK. I still love my alcoholics but I put a very high price on my serenity, my recovery and I am not willing to give it up for any one no matter how much I love them.

Now that you have found SR know that you are not alone. We understand as prehaps few others can.

Love and prayers from one who cares.
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