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Old 09-15-2015, 02:45 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: SoCal
Posts: 73

Any suggestions/experience using SMART/CRAFT here?

[Sorry for the duplicate - I originally accidentally posted this in the secular recovery forum ...]

I've been reading a little on SMART, including some (bouncing around a little lol!) of Beyond Addiction. Although I like the idea of combing this approach with some of the Al-Anon principles, I'm confused how to deal with my situation.

We have young kids, and my AH drinks Weekends it's at least a 6-pack throughout the day and a minimum of a small bottle of whiskey starting as early as 5; through the week, start time is anywhere from the minute he gets home to 7 (never later ...) - even if he goes to an AA meeting (or 2) don't get me started on that ... The result is that I really don't have ANY time with him when he's sober, without the kids around; we can't discuss anything important or just us unless I make a big deal about it (which of course puts pressure and resentment on both of us from the get-go).

How am I supposed to go about encouraging sober time and make that more appealing to spend time together when he's NEVER sober? I've made a concerted effort to do this even with the kids around, but it's going on a year now that we've had virtually no real time together. I tried discussing this w/AH a little a few weeks ago and told him I needed a few hours a week (scheduled if we had to), not even a whole day or anything just hold off or something ..., where he wasn't drunk or drinking whiskey (as events from the past make this a huge trigger for me). I told him even if he does get sober eventually (which he still claims he needs/wants to do), we have to work with what we have right now, and I can't go on like we are much longer.

End result of this is, we've made "dates" about 4 or 5 times since, and he's been drinking or drunk every time. The first time I called him on it, and he expressed this is all we ever talk about anymore - ok, I get that (it is after all the elephant in the room). So, the next couple of times, I let it go and we just lay together on the couch watching movies. Before the next time, I mentioned it again before the night of (didn't call him out for the times before but just kind of casually that I hoped he'd be sober (didn't use that word though) enough to maybe be open to some more romance that night. Still haven't had a sober night ...

So, any advice or experience working w/SMART strategies in this situation? (TIA for anyone who actually read this whole thing. I didn't intend it to get this long ...)
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Old 11-28-2015, 01:15 AM   #2 (permalink)

Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 430
Sorry; I'm no help with your question, but I certainly empathize with your predicament. I tried applying the BA approach with my husband, but I ran into a different roadblock--it required me to pay way more attention to his drinking/not-drinking than was healthy for either of us. After all, how does one positively reinforce someone's behavior if we don't really know what they are doing?

It sounds like you have an even more intractable problem as there doesn't appear to be much (any?) positive behavior to reinforce. I'm no expert, but that seems to suggest that you need to make some major, difficult, changes if you want things to change rather than trying to get him to change. (And I know, it's so hard, especially with kids). You know as well as I do that there is no point trying to talk to someone who's already been drinking, so why bother with the special dates?

One thing that helped me as I started figuring out what I could do regardless of what he does came from the first part of BA, where it discusses taking care of yourself. Meditation, in particular, helped me to get focused and centered, which then helped me to find a way forward. It also allowed me to deal with his drunken rants without reacting, which deflected and shortened the torment.

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