Old 12-10-2009, 03:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bethany, CT
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Question Codepency/Recovery/Marriage

Phew... That's a lot...

With the help of my PCP, I have finally admitted that I am an alcoholic. Alcohol has been the root cause of the majority (say 85%) of my life crises.

I have a psychotherapist appointment scheduled for Saturday, and am considering 3 different intensive outpatient treatment programs; based on 1) availability, 2) insurance coverage and 3) a good fit for my dual problems; depression, anxiety and alcohol to deal with it. (That's actually three, my triad of problems then.)

My questions/concerns are...

Does anyone out there have a spouse who is also an alcoholic but won't admit it because they "think" they can "control" it?

What happens when one of those spouses (me) actually recovers and becomes sober? Has anyone had any experience with that?

My husband does liver month about 3 times a year, gets all healthy, and then goes back to drinking and over-drinking. Me? I just did one with him in October and being sober wasn't so bad. But supposedly, I am the only one with the problem, and he can "control" it.

That will cause me anger and resentment in the long run I am sure. Not to mention we have marital issues anyway; verbal abuse, lack of intimacy, we're drinking buddies...

Anybody have any experience with this as I embark on my journey of self recovery, because I know I have to get out from under this "thing" that is preventing me from having a truly happy and fruitful life. Perhaps our marriage won't work, but maybe it will. Any experiences people could share would be most appreciated.

Thank you and regards.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:36 PM
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Hi Finally Admitted
No experience to share myself but I know others will be along

Welcome to SR
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:11 PM
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Thanks D. I have a feeling this isn't going to be easy is it? Ha ha ha... if it were, it wouldn't be called a disease. There wouldn't be forums, there wouldn't be AA, there wouldn't be specialists, there wouldn't be all these resources available to people to get out from under something that is actually ruining their lives. Now would there? I'm looking forward to using this forum as another prong to use in the "fork" of srecovery resource. Therapist, Klonipin, Intensive Outpatient Programs.. and talking...I've never been to an AA meeting yet. I'm still not totally sober. My doctor says I don't need detox, but just to taper down and stop on my own. I've did it in October and I can do it again... but this time for good.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:16 PM
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Welcome and it sounds like you have a good plan in the works. And, you're right that it isn't easy, but it is very worthwhile. For me, I had to get my depression properly treated in order to stay sober, because without that, I honestly didn't care enough to put the work into it.

As you said, it will be a challenge for you if your husband continues to drink, but right now, just focus on yourself at this time. You will find lots of support here, and I hope you keep reading and posting.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:02 PM
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Hey Finally

It's one thing to admit we are alcoholics and another to fully concede to our innnermost selves that we have placed ourselves beyond human aid. The reason I say this is because you and I both know there is a billion dollar industry out there trying to get everyone they can on meds. Everyone wants a quick easy fix right? Personally I know 2 alcoholics that were misdiagnosed as depressed, bipolar, whatever the latest in-thing may be. It greatly impeded their recovery. I've heard from many more that got caught in the same boat. The symptoms are very similar. The alcoholic is "withdrawn into self" to a sick degree to say the least. I'm no doctor. Just want to give you heads up. Personally I don't put any mind altering chemicals into my body anymore. All it does it shut me off from the sunlight of the spirit. Just like alcohol did. I can't even see what my real problems are when I'm "under the influence", so I have no chance at dealing with them.

You said you haven't been to any meetings yet. You might try AA and Alanon. Al-anons are addicted to alcoholics. Most Al-anons are not alcoholic but I know a few that are and frequent both fellowships. If you can I would suggest you pick up as much literature as possible. Particularly the Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. "To Wives" and "The Family Afterword" can be helpful in relationships with alcoholics.

If you want to learn what alcoholism is, and the soultion to it check this out:
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:21 PM
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I absolutely do not believe that people with depression and other mental illnesses are looking for a quick fix from a dr.

Medication is a saviour for many people. In my case, untreated depression paved the road to alcoholism. I used alcohohol to self-medicate. I needed to have my depression treated first.

Mental illness has nothing to do with an 'in-thing'. It is every bit as real as any physical illness and many people need medication to recover.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:02 AM
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Hi Finally and welcome,

I am an alcoholic, co-dependent, adult child of an alcoholic.

I am married to a weekend warrior, problem drinker, and have been for 25 years. I was sober for almost six years until this year when I convinced myself I wasn't an alcoholic and could drink again. I failed that test miserably, and am sober once more. This time it is with the fellowship of AA, working the steps and getting a sponsor. It was the component that was missing all along. I found a place where they speak my language, where they understand me. I follow the suggestions of others that have gone before me and learn how to live and enjoy a sober life.

My previous sobriety time, I used an online recovery community, and a number of other tools at my disposal. I did resent my husbands drinking at times then...heck, I resented almost anyone that could drink when I couldn't. Alcohol was out of my body, but never ever out of my mind.

Now, I know I am powerless over alcohol period, my drinking or anyone elses. I work my recovery program.

I also now realize I can't fix anyone else...the only one I can fix is me.

The more I work my program, the less I resent anyone elses drinking, or anyone else period. I have also learned that the better, healthier, more sober I am..the easier it is to communicate to others the things that are important to me, and my sobriety.

First things on getting yourself well, and onto a sober path of living. The rest, well, it doesn't have to be worried about right now.

This is a journey, not a race....take your time and begin to enjoy this sober journey.

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Old 12-11-2009, 05:34 AM
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Hi Finally...I just saw your post and thought I would chime in.

I am Married and quit drinking in October without the support of my husband. We were drinking buddies from day 1 and now that I'm not drinking we don't seem to have much in common. He still drinks daily and doesn't see it as a problem. He says that he doesn't have a problem and just enjoys drinking. I have found other things to occupy my time to keep me away from him while he is drinking. Even if its just going into another room and reading or going for a walk. I do resent the fact that he is still drinking and I really can't say what is going to happen to our marriage, but I had to stop drinking at all costs. I had to find me again. I wish you the very best.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:56 AM
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Welcome to SR FinallyAdmitted, my wife is as normal a drinker as one can be that drinks. She will go months with out a drink, and then maybe have one drink, that is it, she could care less if alcohol dissappeared forever so I really have no experience in recovering with an active alcoholic still in the picture.

I do know people in recovery whose spouses are alcoholics, some go to Alanon and AA, others find that AA alone does them just fine in dealing with or leaving an Alcoholic.

[B]"I've never been to an AA meeting yet. I'm still not totally sober."[B\]

The only requirement to be a member of AA is the desire to stop drinking, that is it!

I went to my first AA meeting drunk on my butt, I was not asked to leave, as a matter of fact I was made to feel more then welcome.

I have seen several folks attend AA meetings on a regular basis drunk, you know every one of them were made welcome, and they are sober today as well.

Are you putting of stopping for that last hurrah over the holidays? I spent many years putting it off untli after the next Holiday, birthday, vacation, long weekend, etc. I discovered that the best time to stop drinking is today.

"Perhaps our marriage won't work, but maybe it will."

This is an excellent attitude to move forward with, for me I had to want to be sober more then I wanted any thing else, I have learned that my sobriety has to be the number one thing in my life, I have seen way to many folks in recovery, some with many years of sobriety put some thing or some one else in front of thier sobriety and many times the first thing they losse is their sobriety and the second thing they lose is what they put in front of thier sobriety.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:30 AM
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Hello and welcome!
I too had fears that my husbands drinking habits would affect my recovery. We were drinking buddies. He is not an alcoholic. However, my increased consumption of alcohol had over a period of years also increased his consumption. We went from sharing 1 bottle of wine over a weekend, 20 years ago, to two bottles for every weekend evening by the time I quit: 6 bottles shared by us from Friday night to Sunday night.

When I quit my husband continued with drinking 1 bottle by himself every weekend night, but that gradually diminished. Now he is drinking 1/2 bottle quite often and saving the rest for the next night, and often skipping Sunday nights entirely. I never expected that to happen.
The arguments we always had while drinking stopped immedietely.

I didn't know what to expect when I quit, but I recall attaching a lot of importance to his drinking. In retrospect, it never became a problem. The only problem I had in the beginning was the presence of alcohol in the house. I made some changes there and bought a lockable liquor cabinet and over the last few months my husband has been very good about locking everything up.

In the very beginning I felt there were a couple of sabotaging events, yet I never felt the pressure from him to drink.
Many, many successfully recovered alcoholics live with moderate drinkers, heavydrinkers and even alcoholics. Of course the easiest scenario would be to live with a moderate drinker....
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:49 AM
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Hi and welcome.
I'm in the same position as 4ever and couldn't have put it better myself. You have to find your own way of dealing with this situation. Just be aware it is very very tough. The resentment can be overwhelming at times. Someone on here told me once (I asked almost the same question) that I needed to learn to live around him and that is exactly what I'm doing. I wish it wasn't so, but I have to do what is best for me and my recovery. Some people may say that I shouldn't and I should leave because sobriety is more important and there should be nothing left standing in the way. Well for some it might work, but for some life is just not that cut and dry. Like I said you need to find your way and just by being on SR, you made a good start. Even though at times I live around him, I'm never alone because of SR. My sobriety is a different part of my life. My husband is another. So far so good.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:20 AM
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Thank you all for the supporting words, and sharing your experiences. I saw a therapist this past Saturday who specializes in addiction, and am going to my first AA meeting in about 2 hours. He said "From recovery, all good things will follow".. So I am focusing on me and not the troubled relationship that my husband and I are currently in. I also forgot to mention, I was laid off in February after 22 years, and I've been the breadwinner, so a little more stress there as the severance is about to run out. Being sober will increase my confidence I think, so I can get out there and get myself a job!

Thank you!
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