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Old 03-01-2018, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I Love My Wife - She Loves Alcohol


My wife and I have been married for 1 1/2 years and together for 6 1/2. Throughout our relationship she has had a problem with alcohol. She doesn't get drunk everyday, but when she does drink to the point where she gets drunk it can turn into a multiple day affair. She has it in her head that she can be a social drinker but I feel she needs to stop entirely. After her last incident getting completely wasted on a Sunday afternoon, she came to the realization that it's time to get help and starting seeing a substance abuse counselor.

Fast forward two weeks and she hasn't had any incidents of getting drunk until today. She abruptly left work at 10AM and decided to drink the equivalent of 1+ bottles of wine. She then proceeded to drive home and resume drinking. The driving thing is what really terrifies me. I have an external camera and I could tell that she could barely walk when she got out of her car. She has a previous DUI from 6 years ago where she crashed her car... thankfully no one was hurt.

She is one to hide alcohol in pots, cabinets, dressers, hampers, etc. I'm so paranoid myself that if she gets out of bed at night my heart starts racing because I assume she's sneaking alcohol somewhere. I don't know if she is, however, and maybe that's the worst part. For all I know, she could be getting drunk every night. I've traveled for 2 business trips in the last 6 months and in both iinstances she ended up staying home from work and drinking all day. I'm paranoid to leave her alone at home and now I'm not even sure her being at work is safe if she has her car.

I'm a craft beer guy myself, but I'm not one to ever get drunk. I've expressed that I would be completely willing to give it up if it meant saving her. I love her so much and see us spending the rest of our lives together... until she has an incident. I immediately go into defensive mode and assume I need to do whatever I can to save her and by extension our relationship. She's not a good drunk, but rather an angry one. When she does drink, it's to the point of glasses over eyes and stumbling.

I hope I'm not rambling too much. I'm writing this from my phone on my couch while I sit in our dark living room with my wife asleep / passed out a few feet away from me. I don't have any tears left for this, but at the same time, I can't picture my life without her. Will a weekly visit to a substance abuse counselor be enough or does she need in-patient treatment? I realize this question can only be answered based on my interpretation of our situation. I'm grateful for any advice that anyone here has.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow SIB, I feel for you. I've been on the other end as the husband passed out with the wife feeling what you feel. I know that for me disappointing, hurting and lying to her were the initial motivators to try again to get sober.

But I also know it is ALL up to me. In the same way that it is all up to your wife. It's clear her drinking is horribly abusive and destructive. Which doesn't mean she can't right her ship, so many people on this site have.

Does she want help?
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I immediately go into defensive mode and assume I need to do whatever I can to save her.
You can't save her.
She must save herself, and you can't make her want to do that.
You should check out some al-anon meetings and/or counseling for YOU.

Best of Luck on Your Journey.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to the family. Your wife has to want to change for herself. Counseling might help, but she has to admit there's a problem.

I hope she finds the road to recovery.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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glad you here but then not for what brings you here. theres a lot of support,experience, and suggestions from the people here. on this:
Will a weekly visit to a substance abuse counselor be enough or does she need in-patient treatment? I realize this question can only be answered based on my interpretation of our situation. I'm grateful for any advice that anyone here has.

in my opinion, and from my experience as the alcoholic, the answer can only come if she wants help. no help would have done anything for me until i wanted it. even if she does want help, how much and what type i dont think can be answered by us.

im not sure if youve seen the friends and family of alcoholics forum here, but there is some great reading material at the top of that forum. you may also want to look into al anon, which isnt about the family helping the alcoholic get sober, but about the friends and family receiving help for themselves.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Tough spot,man. I'd post this in the friends and family section too. I'm from both sides of this 'thing' and it's a bitch on everyone involved. I'll never be a casual drinker again and I'll never be in a relationship where there's a history of addictive behavior. It's messy and there's nothing you can do to help them/us/me. That's a hard thing to accept when getting sober. "I've got to do this by/for myself?" If you offer 'suggestions', that falls on drunk ears as you 'nagging/controlling'. If you don't offer 'suggestions' you "don't care". It's a lose/lose. I'd look into alanon and start taking care of yourself. It's your life and you only have 1.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow SIB, I feel for you. I've been on the other end as the husband passed out with the wife feeling what you feel. I know that for me disappointing, hurting and lying to her were the initial motivators to try again to get sober.

But I also know it is ALL up to me. In the same way that it is all up to your wife. It's clear her drinking is horribly abusive and destructive. Which doesn't mean she can't right her ship, so many people on this site have.

Does she want help?
She has said she wants help and not just to me. After her first visit, she called me on her way to work and told me she loved me. She said she places the blame on her past and that there a lot of things she's never fully gotten over. She said she was glad she went and felt better than before she went.

As anyone who has been in my scenario knows, however, is that alcoholics lie. The alcohol leads to a huge trust issue which compounds the stress of dealing with the situation.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Tough spot,man. I'd post this in the friends and family section too. I'm from both sides of this 'thing' and it's a bitch on everyone involved. I'll never be a casual drinker again and I'll never be in a relationship where there's a history of addictive behavior. It's messy and there's nothing you can do to help them/us/me. That's a hard thing to accept when getting sober. "I've got to do this by/for myself?" If you offer 'suggestions', that falls on drunk ears as you 'nagging/controlling'. If you don't offer 'suggestions' you "don't care". It's a lose/lose. I'd look into alanon and start taking care of yourself. It's your life and you only have 1.
I definitely think I need to look into some type of counseling for myself as a husband. I believe she would be supportive and I'll probably learn how to better deal with the situation. I'll also check out the other suggested forum.

I'm having a real hard time grasping that I may have to choose between her or myself as I feel I'll be quitting on her and she's such a warm and caring person that really loves me.
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's a tough spot to be in to be sure. Unfortunately, as some of the other posters have already mentioned, she has to want to save herself and be willing to do the work required to make that happen. There isn't enough love in the world to make an addict or alcoholic quit. It's entirely up to them. For me, I've found that love may humble people (in a good way), but it's only pain that really changes them. Best wishes to you.
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Old 03-01-2018, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That is tough.
It sounds like me and my boyfriend, but Iím the drinker.
However, not left work, missed work or driven drunk. Had I not given up alcohol it could get worse.
I think she needs to want more help, and realize missing work is not a normal relationship with alcohol.
You should definitely check out al-anon.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I definitely think I need to look into some type of counseling for myself as a husband. I believe she would be supportive and I'll probably learn how to better deal with the situation. .
Who cares if she's supportive of you bettering yourself over something that you didn't even bring to the table? My exAgf was actually mad when I got sober. Notice I said ex? LOL But, seriously...do what you need to do for you.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You could be my father writing about my mother. My father was a great guy but, in my opinion, he made a mistake in sticking with her. For the last 20 years of his life he was a virtual prisoner unable to do anything without considering her alcoholism.

He couldn't go away for he night because she might well burn the house down.
He couldn't have friends over because of the state she would be in. She was and still is, a nasty belligerent drunk who hates everybody except the person who supplies her booze. She has had two rehabs. Nothing helped. She just got worse until my family and I no longer have anything to do with her.

The friends and family forum would be a good place to go. Alcoholism damages all the people around an alcoholic and can make them just as sick or even sicker. My suggestion is to get some help for your self. She may recover one day. Quite often I hear a story of an alcoholic sobering up after their partner went to alanon and stopped enabling them. But whether she recovers or not, you have a life of your own to live.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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She,

Definitely a nightmare. However...ime... wanting to quit is half the battle won. Then it is about education and suffering.

I am a religious person and I prayed for a miracle. If you are religious, go for it.

I would also ask my wife to Google brain damage from alcohol, and join Sr to read up and ask questions.

Alcohol permanently damages the brain. The crave dissappates, but it is for life.

After enough drinking, years, the brain has dead spots from the booze. It must rewire. That is why folks that drank to much for years walk funny and slur...when they are sober. Each relapse does more and more permanent damage.

Booze altered my brains abiltiy to have fun, so I crave.

It also causes physical addiction. So I need booze to feel comfortable.

It takes over a year to normalize through all the triggers..e.g. new years, bdays, super bowl, 4th of July etc. The whole time relapse awaits.

This is the suffering. Relapse and it all resets.

Folks need to find ways to restimulate the natural dopemin production. Things like exercise, AA meetings, volunteer work, laughing, meditation etc, all create natural dopemin.

I exercise 4 to 6 days a week. I get the natural high.

I still crave daily, but i get through it and feel proud afterwards.

Hope this helps.

Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sorry for your situation, but as an addict myself, no one could save me but me, until she is ready to stop there is nothing you can do, my husband videoed me whilst drunk and when I sobered up it was an eye opener, perhaps that might show her what you see, good luck
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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hi SIB, I am early in my recovery. The I first discovered SR I was shocked to discover the way in which folks advised folks to care of themselves and treat the alcoholic. Even husband and wife with many, many years marriage. I thought it was so cold. Surely, we should support our alcoholic partner to beat the addiction, whatever it takes, right?

Well, actually no. Alcohol is progressive and it destroys all before it. My behaviour at the end sounds a lot like your wife's and trust me it had me well in its grip and my life was starting to unravel. I have tried to quit many, many times. Its the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. No way it can be done with half measures or for some superficial reason. You have to want to quit with all your life, with every breath of your existence. Anything less, any drinking at all.....and the addiction progresses towards death and total obliteration. Sorry, but thats how it is. Thats why the folks are warning you. Some do recover, as you can evidence on SR, but many more die and they destroy those around them as they spiral towards death.

Pretty morbid stuff I know, but thats what you are dealing with here I am afraid. So my advice is to encourage her to quit completely and encourage her to seek help in doing so. Then put yourself first and hope she can manage it. In the event that she cannot don't let it destroy your life also. In the event that she can quit forever I wish you both a long happy life together. Good luck man, its a tough situation and I feel for you.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Just wanted to wish you the best in your journey. My wife was a polysubstance abuser, and has since gone thru treatment. While she was an active user, nothing could be done or said to her that would make her see how crazy/nuts/stupid/irrational/etc... her actions were. It did take an intervention to get her into rehab, but she even knew she was approaching her bottom.

You are going to have to learn to love your wife from a distance.. yes.. it is somewhat of a cold response, but it is what is needed to protect you from becoming a victim of the disease of addiction. I kicked my wife out of the house twice while she was using. She now has a set of boundaries that need to be followed in order to remain... even to avoid divorce. It is not the way i would like to treat the woman I love, but it is necessary in order to continue to be able to love her while respecting myself and my kids.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:21 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Iím no expert-Iíve been on both sides of this and one thing I have to say that she has the unconditional love from you it takes to get her better. Also though I think you know itís time for some sort of outside help and intervention. Your unconditional love and outside help could be what it takes for you both. Praying for you both. X
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:51 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Can only offer my experience, but there was nothing my wife could have done or said to get me to quit drinking. Maybe if she threatened to leave and take the kids I would have quit, but not sure how long that would have lasted. I would have looked for a way around it.

As most have already said, she has to want it for herself. That's the only way it will stick.

As for you, you need to do what is best for you. You can not love her enough to force her to quit.
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I have a slightly different view of this than others.

You all sound pretty young.

How much do you talk about real stuff?

I felt like my life became all about my drinking and my Ex's ultimatums which was counter productive. And he refused to see any role that his nasty controlling abusive behaviour might have in the whole thing.

You sound like a really nice guy who loves your wife very much. There may be a moment when tough love is the only love, but for now I would really try to see things from her perspective.

What is making this beautiful woman want to self destruct?

What I needed was for someone to help me find the way back to me. No one did, but I found my own way. Then I quit. And it was easy.

But I needed to want it, to control my choice. But my Ex could have helped me by trying to see what was driving the problem instead of focusing solely on the effect of the problem.

This is not to say that she can solve the rest and keep on drinking, but it does mean that talking a look at the big picture can help her stop.

But that is harder than just focusing on the drinking.

I wonder if attending couples counselling where her drinking was included in the discussion would be an idea if she is willing. This would need to be in addition to to her separate sessions.

She needs to know that you are on her side, and that you are there to help, truly help, including understanding what role you play in the picture. Even if its not easy to hear.

In the end it is up to her, but you can help her find her way to that place.

Again, she clearly needs to stop. But I know people who have been able to make this a team effort, rather than a firing line.

Not an easy balance to walk. And it may not work. And she may still lie, but less.....and when she does you may be able to talk about it.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have a slightly different view of this than others.

You all sound pretty young.

How much do you talk about real stuff?

I felt like my life became all about my drinking and my Ex's ultimatums which was counter productive. And he refused to see any role that his nasty controlling abusive behaviour might have in the whole thing.

You sound like a really nice guy who loves your wife very much. There may be a moment when tough love is the only love, but for now I would really try to see things from her perspective.

What is making this beautiful woman want to self destruct?

What I needed was for someone to help me find the way back to me. No one did, but I found my own way. Then I quit. And it was easy.

But I needed to want it, to control my choice. But my Ex could have helped me by trying to see what was driving the problem instead of focusing solely on the effect of the problem.

This is not to say that she can solve the rest and keep on drinking, but it does mean that talking a look at the big picture can help her stop.

But that is harder than just focusing on the drinking.

I wonder if attending couples counselling where her drinking was included in the discussion would be an idea if she is willing. This would need to be in addition to to her separate sessions.

She needs to know that you are on her side, and that you are there to help, truly help, including understanding what role you play in the picture. Even if its not easy to hear.

In the end it is up to her, but you can help her find her way to that place.

Again, she clearly needs to stop. But I know people who have been able to make this a team effort, rather than a firing line.

Not an easy balance to walk. And it may not work. And she may still lie, but less.....and when she does you may be able to talk about it.
We are in our mid 30s. We talk about real stuff all the time when she is sober. She is a completely different person sober. We occasionally rile each other up and get into arguments over small things, but at the end of the day it all seems pretty normal.

My wife had Gastric Bypass Surgery before we met. She claims she never drank to get drunk before that, but she instead used food to cope. She had some traumatic childhood experiences. She was sent to juvenile detention by her parents in her early teens. She walked in on her Dad cutting himself. Her grandmother had a huge drinking problem. She ultimately got with a bad crowd in her teens because she felt like they paid attention to her. I grew up in a stable household with a police officer for a father. Coincidently enough my Dad has had a drinking problem for a while now, but he's the functioning alcoholic type that doesn't hide his drinking and never misses anything because of it.

My wife brings up most of these things when she gets really emotional while drunk. I feel powerless because I don't know how to help besides suggesting she see a professional to talk to. The thought of couples counseling is intriguing but I have no idea if she will go for it or not.

Deep down in my heart I love this woman and am willing to fight to the end for her. She is the sweetest and most selfless person I know. She puts everyone else first... but maybe that's part of the problem. I wish I could say she loves herself, but I don't know that to be true. It's a shame too because there is a lot to love about her.
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