Newbie married to a wine connoisseur

Old 02-13-2010, 08:32 AM
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Newbie married to a wine connoisseur

I am new to this site, but not new to quitting. I'm a 47 year old woman married to a wine connoisseur. He used to write a wine column. Now he no longer writes about wine, just collects wine as his hobby--so we have hundreds of bottles of wine in the house. My husband grieves me quitting drinking because we can no longer go to wine tastings and drink together.

I have been drinking between 2 to 3 bottles of wine a day and my health is suffering. Between weight gain and high blood pressure I have to quit.

I have quit drinking twice this year, both for about a month. Both times I had one glass of wine with dinner and then started back again. So here is my problem. I am not strong enough to quit drinking in a house full of wine. My husband won't quit or remove the alcohol from the house. He is not an alcoholic--he can drink one glass of wine and not have another, or taste a sip or two and pour the rest out. I can't.

I guess I need to move out. It is sooo hard because I don't want to leave my husband. He doesn't think I have a drinking problem.

Sad in Raleigh
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:47 AM
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Welcome to SR. This has been a very helpful site and the people around here are wonderful in their quest to help others.

This is my opinion, but if alcohol is effecting your health and your husband doesn't think you have a problem, then I think there may be a problem with your husband. I am sorry for you regarding this. Its hard, but you have to put yourself first here. Your health and your recovery is more important then a rare vintage bottle of wine. I understand that your husband is mourning a lifestyle change more then anything and my husband and I went through that too, but life and healthy living is more important then our old ways. Alcohol nearly killed me and it was from wine. Whether it is an expensive vintage bottle or a cheap bottle of wine, the result is the same in the end.

Good luck and welcome again.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:56 AM
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Welcome to SR!

This is a hard situation for you, no question about it. OK...I am going to try to give your husband the benefit of the doubt and assume that he truly doesn't understand that, as an alcoholic, this is literally a life and death matter for you.

Since I'm assuming that that is the case and since, obviously, he does not appear inclined to take your word for it. I suggest you enlist the help of a medical doctor and perhaps a therapist. If these people speak to him on your behalf and he still insists that the wine stays, then it would appear that you have no choice but to go.

Some people do get sober while living with alcohol in their homes....some get sober while living with people who are actively drinking and/or using in their homes, but it is not easy, and personally, I would have to give some very, very careful thought to what someone's prioritizing alcohol before his marriage to me really says about the quality of our relationship.

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Old 02-13-2010, 09:03 AM
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Thanks for your feedback. It is a lifestyle change for sure. My husband and I have been to therapy. We worked out a contract that he would not support me drinking, but he doesn't stick to it. He encourages me to drink and pours the wine for me.

I am going to go to my first AA meeting at noon. There is one 2 miles from my house. I am nervous because I've never been to AA. But I guess that has to be the first step. Then I'll have to decide what to do. I think I need support from others because I've been trying to do this alone.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:13 AM
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You have our support Blanc. I look forward to hearing about your experience at AA. It has been a rock for many people in recovery. Good luck!!
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:34 AM
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welcome to SR...keep posting...
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:35 AM
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Hi Blanc,

Well, my wife is not a wine collector, but she buys it by the case so she doesn't have to go out all the time. She, like your husband, is not alcoholic. She has one tall white wine spritzer at the end of the evening. Weekends she has one and a half. She doesn't drink when we go out, at parties (I never got that part...), receptions, whatever.

It totally sucked at first, her having a drink.

It's not my wife's fault I can't drink. She misses the nights together in front of the fire, music, drinks.... So do I, but it was different for me... I drank differently. So now she has her wine and I my tea... we still have the music and the fire!! It's still nice.

Hmm, I don't now what to say, really. It is not about being strong, or resisting, or willpower... Being recovered will mean that you quit fighting it.... Getting recovered in a house full of wine will be hard at first. The serenity prayer helped a lot for me. But really, what helped more than anything... was the full realization that my recovery is my responsibility, not my wife's.

My sponsor said to me early on, and it helped... "If your best friend wanted to have a drink, would you tell him he couldn't??" Well of course not. My wife is, among other things, my best friend.

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Old 02-13-2010, 09:55 AM
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Hi Blanc,

I'm sorry your husband doesn't support you not drinking.

We never keep alcohol in the house and I am very happy about that. It makes life much easier, especially during those dark moments in the middle of the night.

All I can say is that early sobriety is a time of really hard choices, but you know in your heart what is the right thing to do.
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:27 AM
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Hi and welcome to SR

Originally Posted by blanc View Post
My husband and I have been to therapy. We worked out a contract that he would not support me drinking, but he doesn't stick to it. He encourages me to drink and pours the wine for me.
The fact that he knows you are drinking dangerous levels of alcohol and can't control it and went to therapy and agreed a contract to support you in not drinking and getting healthy and yet he pours wine for you and encourages you to drink it??.......I find that worrying. I wonder what his motives are.

Having said that, there is nothing I can do about him and nothing you can do either.

AA is a good place to go. They have a solution to quitting drinking and living a happy and free sober life. The freedom from working the program will allow you to be around alcohol without having a problem with it.

I would suggest you concentrate your focus on getting support from people who want to support you and understand your problem, rather than focusing on him.
Keep in touch.
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:28 AM
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Hi, 2 or 3 bottles a day! and your husband doesent think you have a drinking problem...
does he know you consume this amount? its not easy to stop when there are major
influences around you..not willing to see your problem..These ppl here are strong willed
and have given up for long periods many... There thoughts and advice are priceless..
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:36 AM
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I have had a similar problem. I locked up the liquor: bought a large chest with a combo lock and we locked up an old fridge for the things that he likes to keep cold. Is it possible for your husband to agree to keeping the wine in one room for example and locking that room?
I found it impossible to have liquor in the house in early sobriety, and still find it difficult. Everything is still locked up and I may need it to be that way for quite a while longer.
I've told my husband it may not last forever this way, but I need it to be this way for now.
I had too many relapses and slips as long as alcohol was freely available in my own home, and, as in your case, there was a lot of it.
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:49 AM
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I'm sorry your husband is not supporting you, worse yet, he's tempting you. That doesn't sound like loving behavior from a spouse. Yes, it will be very hard giving up alcohol in a home full of wine, but it can be done. AA can give you support and advice from people who have gotten and stayed sober. And if you find one meeting not to your liking, try several more. Each group is different.

I hope for the best for you. Just remember, you're doing this for yourself, for your health. It CAN be done but will take a lot of effort.

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Old 02-13-2010, 02:27 PM
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Hi blanc

I'm glad you're going to AA and I'm glad you're coming here - you'll always find support here

It goes without saying seeing a Dr could be a wise move for your health....and like someone else suggested, you could also impress the seriousness of the situation that way.


Last edited by Dee74; 02-13-2010 at 03:49 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:38 PM
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2 -3 bottles a day!!!!! I say that is life threatening, especially if you have high blood pressure!!!!
Is your husband AWARE of the health implications of too much vino?
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