New to the site. My wife is an acoholic and I need help.

Old 02-24-2010, 03:33 PM
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New to the site. My wife is an acoholic and I need help.

I am learning that no matter how unique and entrenched our situation is, there almost seems to be a script for it. I know she needs help, and that means I need help too. I've all but lost my ability to handle this.

My wife drinks to blackout any night not sick from the last time ... usually 4 or 5 times a week. I don't need to go into all of the bad things that have happened as a result, but you all can probably imagine. In the mornings, she knows there's a problem, but as soon as the sun goes down it all starts up, and there's no way to stop that train.

She has a mental disorder that makes her extremely scared of public situations. Alcohol anonymous has come up, but it scares her to no end to be around people she doesn't know, especially in the setting she imagines. I've talked her into going to an online chat meeting, but here are the issues:

1. I don't think she truly understands that there is a problem, despite how obvious it is ... she never remembers what happens.

2. I am an atheist, and she's more of an agnostic ... the point being that everything 12-step just doesn't speak to us in a meaningful way. I've spoken to a couple of qualified people about the issue, and they just say "well there's your problem" ... it isn't.

So, I haven't even looked around here yet, I just want to start off with maybe some advice on where to go and what to ask, and maybe how to listen ... anything. I love my wife so much, but I can't live this way any longer. I have no idea what to do.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:47 PM
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I'm sorry for your situation. Denial is a huge part of addiction and it makes it so difficult for us to seek help. I hope your wife will reach a point where she knows she needs help. Until then, there is not a lot you can do for her.

I hope that you will seek support for yourself. Please check out the Friends and Families of Alcoholics forum on this board. You will find lots of good information there.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:05 PM
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Your wife has got to want to stop drinking more than she wants to get f*cked up. If she truly wants it then she'l drag herself to an AA meeting. Don;t wish to sound harsh but there are a million and one 'excuses' as to why an active alkie 'won't' get sober.

They got to actually want to get sober more than anything else.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:18 PM
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Hi cerastes

As an alcoholic, I know that nothing anyone said or tried to do for me was effective...until I decided to get sober, for me.

It's hard to be on either side of that fence - and I have been....I've watched family members wither away too.

The important thing in all of this is to take care of yourself too.

Have you thought of AlAnon or CoDa?
Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous World Fellowship
Welcome to Al-Anon and Alateen

They are both 12 step programmes but I think the things you would learn there and the support you would get would far outweigh any disquiet over the notion of a higher power.

Welcome to SR
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:18 PM
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Above all else, take good care of YOU. And remember this: you didn't cause it, you can't change her, and you can't cure it. She has to be the one wanting to change. If you can't live like this any more can you get out, at least for a while for your head to clear? Your leaving might be the wake up call she needs to hear, and it could give you some time away from the madness. But no matter what you do, her alcoholism is HER problem and SHE has to want to fix it.

Just like Dee, all the nagging and begging of my kids didn't mean a thing until I wanted to be sober for myself.

Please do check out the Friends and Family section. Lots of good strength and experience and hope there.

Friends and Family of Alcoholics - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Welcome to SR!
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:25 PM
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Cerastes, I'm so glad you've reached out for help. I won't repeat what's already been said - our Friends & Family forum here is great. I wish I'd had the sense to seek help when trying to deal with my alcoholic husband many years ago. I did all the wrong things, and meaning well - enabled him to destroy our marriage and himself. This doesn't have to happen to you. I am sorry for what you're having to go through, and wish you well in dealing with this dilemma. Please let us know how it's going for you and your wife.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:48 PM
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Dear Cerastes,

You may also want to check out the Secular Connections forum here on SR, which offers other alternatives to 12-step programs.

Good luck and take care ~
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:44 AM
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I think she needs to accept she has a problem before anything. It was a book that did it for me, then allowing me to realise what was necessary if I wanted to get better. Worth having a look at it for both of you.

Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism
James Robert Milam, Katherine Ketcham

I have Tourette Syndrome so I understand difficulties with AA meetings but you can do it without. The God bit sorts itself out one way or another. I am not christian either like lots of folks - it's really not a barrier to recovery. I wish you both the best.

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Old 02-25-2010, 04:38 AM
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I agree with all of the above advice, although it will be so much harder for you & her, considering her mental disorder. Does she have a psychologist? Maybe it's worth to talk to one to find out if you should adjust your approach to her alcoholism because of her mental problems?
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:56 AM
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As someone earlier mentioned, your wife has to want to get sober. As for dragging herself to an AA meeting, for some that may be good others not always. If you have a family Physician, that might be a good place to start. Since you alluded to the fact that your wife may have a phobia, a counselor might be another resource. It might be that her anxiety is part of what is driving this behavior and a doctor might recommend medication that would be helpful on both her anxiety/phobia and the drinking. While AA is by far the largest group that supports recovery, evidence shows that it is no more or less effective than other methods. Find a time when she is receptive and not so defensive and just have a calm candid conversation with her and see where she is at the moment. Mention your fears and concerns to her and see what she truly wants to do.
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:27 AM
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i'm glad you're here at sr! it's a great forum and I wished I'd known about it sooner. would've saved me a lot of unnecessary anguish. when you say your wife has a mental disorder, is it possible that the alcohol may actually facilitate the disorder? You can not "fix" her. Many persons on this forum subscribe to the codependent no more book by melody beattie. it's a good start for anyone on the outside of addiction. your wife is IN active addiction. I'm sorry because I'm sure you didn't sign up for this!
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