Just one or two...

Old 04-17-2010, 06:26 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Location: Illinois
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Just one or two...

This happened 3 or 4 times already...

Been sober for a little over 6 months. Things are getting better all around...BUT...

My wife and I were having dinner at a nice restaurant last evening and she was enjoying a couple of beers while I was doing my (now) usual diet coke with a lemon. Once again she asked me if I thought I could have one or two drinks when we go out - only when we go out - and not drink at any other time. I didn't know what to say. It felt to me that the entire room was listening in on our conversation. I just took a breath and told her that I didn't want to do that and asked to talk about something else.

A little background - My wife's dad (deceased) was an alcoholic that had the occasional glass of wine or beer. Her mom drinks quite a bit and I'm pretty sure she has a drinking problem. She knocked back a bottle of champagne during Easter brunch at a restaurant and had another 2 or 3 glasses of wine at the family gathering afterward. My wife doesn't normally drink (anymore) and considers herself a social drinker. The problem is that when we're out she usually has 3 to 4 drinks over the course of dinner - just like last night - 3 drinks in 1 hour & 45 minutes. She gets drunk, although she doesn't admit that she is. Her words are slurred and she gets loud but according to her "she is just tipsy".

My wife and I used to drink together every night of the week. She would have her 2 after work and I would have my "2" (more like 5 or 6 vodkas but I hid it from her). On the weekends, after dropping the kids off (shared custody with the kids mom), I used to drink from early afternoon until we hit the bed. Most of time, in the past, my wife joined me for a few...

I think she misses us drinking together. I've told her in the past that I don't want to start again and that I'm really proud of myself for being sober, but I'm not sure if she gets it. She's brought it up more than a few times - wanting me to drink "socially" with her. Each time I've said no and she'd agree to not bring it up again - but it gets brought up again!

I'm sorry for rambling but last night brought me back to this forum. I originally logged on the day after I stopped drinking and haven't really been back since. I've attended the AA meetings and wanted to jump off a bridge because it was soooooooooo depressing and I'd stopped. I've been managing day to day. So far it's been working...

After last night, I feel like I needed to come back here and receive and give some support. I don't think I can fight this battle alone. Last night I felt hurt that my wife doesn't get it - again.

Today was a good day (so far) but I'm a little lost with having my wife understand that I am an alcoholic and I should not drink - even "socially".
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:48 PM
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I'm glad you posted.

I think it's really hard for people who aren't alcoholics to understand what we have to do. They really don't get it, for the most part. That's why we come here because people here understand.

I imagine that your wife is somewhat shaken up by the changes you're making. Change is often scary. I hope that you can stay firm in your commitment because you know what you need to do.
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:55 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
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Hey Louis!!

Our spouses often don't "get it". How can they, they are not alcoholic. And, it's scary for them, yah know? What she really enjoyed doing with you, drinking, you aren't doing anymore. I've been sober for 19 months now and it's still a bit awkward... a fire on a cold winters night with music on the stereo... warm summer's eve watching the fireflies.... there was always a drink in our hand. Well... a few in the garage for me first .... and maybe one in the closet later, whatever...

My wife doesn't drink when we go out, never did, go figure, so dinners and movies and stuff have been fine.

But it's much better lately. It has been up to me, totally, to change my thinking and expectations... has her expectations and thinking had to change, hell yea!! But... important... I could only change me, she worked through her changes .... herself.

We don't talk much about it. Talk talk talk, that's all I did at first... but I had to take action and change... and... give her the space and opportunity to change herself.

But there is something else to consider....

However you came to understand your own alcoholism... thank God that you've done so and started the hard work of recovery.... before she threw your @ss out in the cold, my friend.

Work to be the best husband and father you can be... these problems will work out, but give them time.

Welcome (back) to SR!!

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Old 04-17-2010, 07:12 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 15,159
I got so sick and tired explaining
to my family who and what I am.

My prayers were answered and
thus left my 25 yr marriage and
remarried later with 1 yr of living
happier than ive ever been.

My spouse in my first marriage
wasnt a drinker nor had a problem
with it. As i worked my program I
continued to change for the better.

However i left my little family
behind baffled at me.

There r programs for family
members and when one in
the family is sick then the
entire family is affected.

They werent the sick ones
as they claimed. The problem
was not understanding who
and what i am.

I have to keep in mind that
I dont have to explain to
anyone who or what I am no
more. If they dont understand
me then its sad and it is a lost.

Why...because i am a good
person who was sick and needed
to get well.

The only people that understand
me r those just like me. No
questions asked.

I only have to take care of me
one day at a time and dont
drink no mattter what life or
misunderstandings are passed
my way.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:20 PM
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Posts: 4,467
I agree Louis, she misses her drinking partner. You know how you hid drinking from her? Well, she is probably hiding it from you as well. Having you drinking again would make her drinking life easier.

I'm glad you came to SR. Part of getting sober is growing in your relationships. It's tough...but it's easier to do than being a drunk.

Stick around. Lots of good stuff here.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:32 PM
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Location: UK
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Just my opinion but as you said you went to AA and didn't like that much, i'm going to guess you aren't going to addiciton counselling?

So your wife sees that you thought you were drinking too much and now you aren't so why can't you have a couple, it's not like you have been given pills from the docs or been told to stop drinking or she can see you having to get help...kind of like going on a massive gym rampage and pumping up for 6 months and her saying can't you spend weds at home this week instead of gym? Totally innocent IMO.

She doesn't see it as serious at all and why should she? Maybe sit down with her and tell her how serious it is for you and tell her about the sneaky drinks etc?
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:41 PM
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Is it possible that your confrontation of YOUR drinking problem is making her feel a little uncomfortable for not facing hers? I ask because, if she accepts that you're an alcoholic, then she has to know that you CAN'T drink, period. It sounds like you guys used to be drinking buddies, perhaps, and maybe she'd like that back. It's easier to rationalize getting "tipsy" at dinner when you're doing it with someone else.

I don't know your situation, of course, but that thought is what jumped out at me when reading your post.

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Old 04-17-2010, 09:17 PM
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Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
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Location: Serene In Dixie
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You changed the dynamics of the relationship
by chooseing to be sober...and she is not
interested in following your example.

Would the 2 of you find marriage counseling useful?
I but it's worth serious consideration.

When I was about 1 year sober I left my still
drinking lover...we had been together for 5 years.
The oddest thing....
drinking was the center of our being together.
The sober me had different goals and interest.

Blessings to the two of you
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:03 PM
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Thread Starter
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Location: Illinois
Posts: 19
Yes, I do know she misses her drinking partner. Even though we don't fight as much and life overall is better for us and the kids, my wife appears to be more depressed than before! She spends most of the weekend sitting in front of the TV. I'm slowly getting her outside to do other things like, walking, trap, & archery.

I'll tell ya, it is amazing how much of our lives revolved around drinking. We used to go to jazz clubs, dinner out, happy-hour, a bottle of wine (or two) in front of the fire...etc...together. What woke me up last fall was I realized that I was driving drunk more and more... 3 times in a month! Before that I was a "responsible" drunk. It scared the hell out of me. I was afraid I was going to kill someone or myself.

So, these days, I'm trying different activities to keep us in synch.

I agree Louis, she misses her drinking partner. You know how you hid drinking from her? Well, she is probably hiding it from you as well. Having you drinking again would make her drinking life easier.

I'm glad you came to SR. Part of getting sober is growing in your relationships. It's tough...but it's easier to do than being a drunk.

Stick around. Lots of good stuff here.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:10 PM
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Thread Starter
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Location: Illinois
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AA had good things, but it was so - RAW. I couldn't face the people in the meetings because I saw so much of myself in them. It was like looking in a mirror. Sometimes it was a mirror into a possible future. I went for about 2 months and it actually made me more depressed.

I may go back, but just not now.

You're right that my wife is probably in a bit of shock or just unsettled at a different me. We're still adjusting.

Just my opinion but as you said you went to AA and didn't like that much, i'm going to guess you aren't going to addiciton counselling?
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:27 AM
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You're right that your wife doesn't understand what it means to be alcoholic. 'Normal' people rarely do. I'm glad you were able to refrain from drinking even with her insisting. Congrats on your six months. I hope you can stay sober despite her not understanding you.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:22 AM
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Posts: 21
how much have you talked?

Hi Louis,

My partner doesn't understand why I'm so serious about not drinking, but it's because I haven't talked to him about it. He's a recovered alcoholic with many years sober, and was so much worse off than I am that he doesn't see that I have a problem at all and I am not trying to explain it to him ---yet, anyway. I'm just trying to quit by myself. It's not like anyone is forcing me to drink, and I guess I should be as able to say "No," when he asks if he can pick me up some wine on the way home as I'm able to refuse drinks in any other situation.I guess I'm embarrassed to tell him how much I feel that I'm really out of control with drinking, since I'll really have to insist in order to convince him, and say all the stuff I feel guilty about. I don't want to .I'm very easily embarrassed.

Maybe your wife doesn't want to believe you're a "real" alcoholic. It really would be more fun to remain part of those made-for-Hollywood movie dinner and wine scenes with good-looking yuppie couples, or those fun tag-football games in the autumn with the cute models in flannel and jeans passing the beers. You said she seems depressed, too, or at least unengaged with life lately--something to talk about for sure.

I always think honesty is best, and communication about difficult things , while usually frightening, opens blocked pathways. I know almost nothing about your situation, but maybe you and I should talk more to our partners about all this stuff.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:30 AM
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If someone does understand that you have a serious drinking problem, and must not drink at all under any circumstances, then I don't think there's an excuse for that person not being supportive of your efforts. I can't imagine trying to sabotage another's sobriety.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:23 PM
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Well, if this helps, I can share my experience. My husband did not understand alcoholism when I quit. And, he probably still doesn't understand it even now.

Although he was miserable with me by the time I quit, I'm not sure if he identified my basic problem as alcoholism. I think he may have blamed my problems on unemployment, isolation, 50 year crisis, etc, etc.

We were major drinking buddies. And our pattern was very sick. We would drink a lot together on weekends and argue at the dinner table, very frequently. He was a heavy drinker by anyone's standards on weekends. By the time I quit, we could easily consume 1 or 3 cocktails before dinner, drink one bottle of wine (each) at dinner, and then drink 1 to 3 whiskeys after dinner.

In retrospect, I think my heavy drinking ultimately affected his consumption.

The good news is that although it took a long time, he no longer shows any interest in seeing me drink again and his drinking has gone WAAAAAAAY down!
And we have not argued at the dinner table one single time since I quit.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:31 PM
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You can get the materials concerning the symptoms of alcoholism and/or addiction on line and print them out. Maybe if she reads it and see that there is alot of medical proof that may stop her from asking further. I always gave 'the doctor's opinion' to anyone who pushed the topic too much. After they read it, I notice they didn't bother me about it anymore. In time, my family liked me in recovery much better!
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:51 PM
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Spouses react differently to addressing sobriety. Not all will understand and as many have said they may find themselves having to address their own addictions as well. It sounds like your wife may have a problem that she isn't willing to address. I remember drinking around sober people and I knew in my head I was having to much but I wasn't ready to address it and in turn kinda poked and prodded those around me to drink so I wasn't alone.

I agree that you keep going on your road and hats off to 6 months!!!! This is an adjustment since you are changing your way of life for the better and your wife will also realize this in time. Of course you know you can only change yourself and that is what you work on right now....slow and steady, one day at a time.

All the best!! Kim
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:59 PM
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One of my main reasons for joining here was to get the support I coundn't seem to get from my wife. It's not that she doesn't understand, she just seems to be oblivous to the problem. I told her the other night that I thought I was an alcoholic, and she said, "I'll support whatever you want." or something to that effect. Since then, it hasn't been discussed.

Her dad's a heavy drinker, and her mom nags him about it endlessly (a feedback loop there, if you ask me), and I think she just doesn't want to be like her mom. Her relationship with her dad was always much better, so I think she's trying to be different than her.

I guess there's no one right way to all this. You tackle your problem, get help where you can, and be forgiving of other people's inability to live up to your expectations (I mean, if you you're like me, even YOU haven't lived up to your expectations, so who am I to judge?)

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Old 04-18-2010, 06:55 PM
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Location: Detroit MI
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Hi, I can relate to what you wrote. I went right along with my wife, maybe you can just have a few tonight I knew I could not but wanted to drink, so I went right along and drank. Never once worked out. What I have learned is that " I CANT HAVE ONE ". My wife now knows that I am an alcoholic and helps me stay sober.
We have cokes with our dinner, thankfully she never was a big drinker and could care less.
I hope you the best.
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