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Post Info TOPIC: New member needing advice about my husband's drinking


Newbie

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Posts: 2
Date:
New member needing advice about my husband's drinking


Hi all I have joined this group because I am not sure what I should do right now. I'm sorry if this is a long story...

 

I have been with my husband for a long time. We have had a lot of challenges in our lives but always got through them, we have always loved each other very much. Around 2 years ago he started drinking more than usual and in a different way. He would drink in the away from me on his own all night. We were bickering. I felt that the drinking was putting a wedge between us, I didn't like him drunk and he didn't like me saying anything about it. Things got worse and worse. At Christmas 2016 I felt I had said everything I could say and asked him to leave, I wanted him to change instead, it was meant to shock him, it wasn't a good way to approach it but I didn't know what else to do. Since then things have just got worse and worse. We have had screaming fights which we never did before. He has been so drunk he has no idea what has happened the next day. Any time I tried to talk about things it ends up with him turning things back on me, he said he drinks because I nag, whereas I see it that I get upset because he is drinking... He will disappear on and not answer calls drinking all night and returning hours later. He would tell me he would be home after work and then not come back until the early hours very drunk. He has roared at me with the kids in the room. He has ripped our door off the hinges. Last year I threw him out, I meant it. I still loved who he used to be but I didn't recognise him anymore. He stopped drinking, stayed away a few nights, then told me he realised the drink was stopping us from being together, was harming his life and wasn't doing him any good. He went to the GP and was referred for counselling, for 4 weeks things went really well and we were really happy although he did struggle to sleep at first he didn't have withdrawal symptoms. Then it was Christmas and he started to drink socially. He drank every day for a few weeks. I didn't say anything hoping it would sto[p after Xmas, I was so upset when I realised it wasn't going to and he reacted like he used to, saying he just likes to drink, he wants to be able to get drunk and I should let him and not have a problem with it. We have argued repeatedly. He has started to drink less. Usually 2-3 times a week though often only once. However on those days he drank a lot, he disappeared again, he would lie again. In May I asked him to leave again saying I couldn't bear it any more. Again he stopped drinking and came and told me he wanted to be back and he wanted to try to sort things, he said he knew he was two different people, he was sad inside and the drink stopped him from thinking but he loved me and the kids and wanted us to sort things out. On his own back he went to the GP and got anxiety tablets, these helped him for 3 weeks then things changed again. Again he lied and stayed out drinking and expected me to behave normally after it. I have discovered he smashed a pub window and wasin a cell overnight, he never told me until I found a letter from the police. He was drinking less frequently but he was telling me he wanted to drink more on that day to make up for it, he wanted to be drunk, I was being controlling. It was awful and constantly I felt like we were going to end up again where we had been last year. I love him very much, I worry about him all the time but he has left because he says he wants to be able to drink how and when he wants too and he can't deal with the trauma any more. I know what he means but I am terrified that this is the end because I am sure he is the love of my life and I would love us to work it out.. He had said it was over for good this time but we both love each other and he has now agreed that we will treat this as a break and see what we can do. I don't know anymore if he has a problem (I think he is an alcohol abuser rather than alcoholic) or if he is right and I am just being stupid and overreacting because of things that have happened before...  It seems so sad to me that I am going to lose my best friend, especially when we seem to still both love each other very much...

I have always protected the kids as much as I can and that day he was bad in front of them led to his first realisation of ho bad things had got. They are fine at the moment and we are both trying to be open but not too open and loving and reassuring to them. Obviously it isn't how I want their lives to have been and hope this can be theend of it for them but I just want to be clear that they are the forefront of our minds and we are both trying our best to make it ok for them whatever happens.

Also I just want to add this has ended up recently with me feeling like I am going crazy, I feel sick and nervous all of the time, I am acting unlike myself. We had a night to ourselves recently and I tried to calmyl and nicely start a conversation he was so dismissive and refused to talk, then told me I was stupid, it ended up in a massive fight and I went upstairs and smashed up a load of my things. I'm not perfect and am aware that the reactions I'm now having aren't healthy and I don't know if I have made this all worse in my head or if I am right about the problem but obviously not handling it in the right way.

 

Thank you so much if you read all of that, it's my first post and there feels like there is so much more to say if I have left anything out that I should have put in please just ask.



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 8684
Date:

Welcome to MIP sadtimes - glad you found us and glad that you shared. I personally don't see much difference between the two terms - alcoholic and alcohol abuser - just know that the disease of alcoholism is powerful, progressive and baffling. It's also considered a family disease as it tends to affect all who live with or love the drinker. We as partners, family or friends often end up with distorted reactions, feelings, sense of self, etc. The alcoholic focuses on the alcohol and we end of obsessing over the drinker.

There is no right/wrong way to relate to anyone who is constantly using mind/mood altering substances. There is no way to tell another they are an alcoholic as this disease has a great degree of denial involved. There is recovery options should he ever decide to change, but it is classified as a disease and there is no real cure - only treatment through abstinence and life-style changes.

Al-Anon is a program for friends and family who have been affected by the drinking in another. We tend to use literature, steps, sponsor, meetings and support to work on ourselves and our own recovery. I would suggest you seek out local meetings and attend a few. It is in Al-Anon that I found great support from others who truly understood and did not judge nor give advice. Instead they just shared what it was like for them, what happened and what it's like now.

Please keep coming back - there is hope and help in recovery!

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 16172
Date:

Hello Sadtimes Welcome you are not alone and as I Am Here has stated you will find support in the rooms of alanon face to face meetings
Alcoholism is a dreadful disease over which we are powerless . Many of us revert to hurting our selves in an attempt to stop the insanity Alanon offers a better way
Please keep coming back here as well

__________________
Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 104
Date:

sadtimes wrote:

Hi all I have joined this group because I am not sure what I should do right now. I'm sorry if this is a long story...

 

I have been with my husband for a long time. We have had a lot of challenges in our lives but always got through them, we have always loved each other very much. Around 2 years ago he started drinking more than usual and in a different way. He would drink in the away from me on his own all night. We were bickering. I felt that the drinking was putting a wedge between us, I didn't like him drunk and he didn't like me saying anything about it. Things got worse and worse. At Christmas 2016 I felt I had said everything I could say and asked him to leave, I wanted him to change instead, it was meant to shock him, it wasn't a good way to approach it but I didn't know what else to do. Since then things have just got worse and worse. We have had screaming fights which we never did before. He has been so drunk he has no idea what has happened the next day. Any time I tried to talk about things it ends up with him turning things back on me, he said he drinks because I nag, whereas I see it that I get upset because he is drinking... He will disappear on and not answer calls drinking all night and returning hours later. He would tell me he would be home after work and then not come back until the early hours very drunk. He has roared at me with the kids in the room. He has ripped our door off the hinges. Last year I threw him out, I meant it. I still loved who he used to be but I didn't recognise him anymore. He stopped drinking, stayed away a few nights, then told me he realised the drink was stopping us from being together, was harming his life and wasn't doing him any good. He went to the GP and was referred for counselling, for 4 weeks things went really well and we were really happy although he did struggle to sleep at first he didn't have withdrawal symptoms. Then it was Christmas and he started to drink socially. He drank every day for a few weeks. I didn't say anything hoping it would sto[p after Xmas, I was so upset when I realised it wasn't going to and he reacted like he used to, saying he just likes to drink, he wants to be able to get drunk and I should let him and not have a problem with it. We have argued repeatedly. He has started to drink less. Usually 2-3 times a week though often only once. However on those days he drank a lot, he disappeared again, he would lie again. In May I asked him to leave again saying I couldn't bear it any more. Again he stopped drinking and came and told me he wanted to be back and he wanted to try to sort things, he said he knew he was two different people, he was sad inside and the drink stopped him from thinking but he loved me and the kids and wanted us to sort things out. On his own back he went to the GP and got anxiety tablets, these helped him for 3 weeks then things changed again. Again he lied and stayed out drinking and expected me to behave normally after it. I have discovered he smashed a pub window and wasin a cell overnight, he never told me until I found a letter from the police. He was drinking less frequently but he was telling me he wanted to drink more on that day to make up for it, he wanted to be drunk, I was being controlling. It was awful and constantly I felt like we were going to end up again where we had been last year. I love him very much, I worry about him all the time but he has left because he says he wants to be able to drink how and when he wants too and he can't deal with the trauma any more. I know what he means but I am terrified that this is the end because I am sure he is the love of my life and I would love us to work it out.. He had said it was over for good this time but we both love each other and he has now agreed that we will treat this as a break and see what we can do. I don't know anymore if he has a problem (I think he is an alcohol abuser rather than alcoholic) or if he is right and I am just being stupid and overreacting because of things that have happened before...  It seems so sad to me that I am going to lose my best friend, especially when we seem to still both love each other very much...

I have always protected the kids as much as I can and that day he was bad in front of them led to his first realisation of ho bad things had got. They are fine at the moment and we are both trying to be open but not too open and loving and reassuring to them. Obviously it isn't how I want their lives to have been and hope this can be theend of it for them but I just want to be clear that they are the forefront of our minds and we are both trying our best to make it ok for them whatever happens.

Also I just want to add this has ended up recently with me feeling like I am going crazy, I feel sick and nervous all of the time, I am acting unlike myself. We had a night to ourselves recently and I tried to calmyl and nicely start a conversation he was so dismissive and refused to talk, then told me I was stupid, it ended up in a massive fight and I went upstairs and smashed up a load of my things. I'm not perfect and am aware that the reactions I'm now having aren't healthy and I don't know if I have made this all worse in my head or if I am right about the problem but obviously not handling it in the right way.

 

Thank you so much if you read all of that, it's my first post and there feels like there is so much more to say if I have left anything out that I should have put in please just ask.


 Hi Sadtimes,

I'm sorry you are having to deal with this.  It is extremely heartbreaking what alcohol does to families.  I myself was never married to my now ex alcoholic boyfriend, but the three years we were together alcohol ruled my life.  So much so that by the time he got sober, I had slipped into major depression.  I do hope that you take the time to take care of your mental health.  That is what is so much more important for you and your children.



__________________

Hugs to you.  May your path be bright.



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 48
Date:

 

 

Aloha Sad times and welcome to the board.  Thankfully you found the courage to speak up and to tell us what so many of us have experienced ourselves.  I want to tear up reading your post because it touches on so much of the deep emotional and mental trauma we have gone thru before finding the rooms of the Al-Anon Family groups.  Back then I didn't tear up...I raged and at one time almost took the life of the alcoholic/addict wife I was married to and said I loved so deeply.  How could that happen and then came the definition of alcoholism as a "mind and mood altering disease that can never be cured; only arrested by total abstinence" More?  "It consumes the mind, body, spirit and emotions and affects everyone it comes into contact with."     more   "It is a fatal disease and progressive.  If it is not arrested it will continue until death".  We the family are also affected in much the same way in that we are mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically and get progressively worse unless we arrest our actions and reactions to the alcoholic.  "If the disease is temporarily arrested and then continues (relapse) most often it is worse as it marks time and pauses until it can continue again.  Alcoholism is termed a cunning, powerful and baffling disease which is thousands of years old and which covers the planet.   

Welcome to the board.  This is one place that can and will intervene between you and the addiction with a compulsion which you and your husband are dealing with.  He is a very sick person...not a bad one.  Try some research in the English Medical Journal and you will know more what you both are going thru.

We are a step program; we learn, and live by the 12steps the first of while you have covered by coming here.   "Admitted we are powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable"...  The next step; #2 says came to believe that a power greater than ourselves....could restore us to sanity.  If you are feeling insane welcome home ...we have been there and done that.   Please keep coming back.  More of the family will come forward to welcome and support you also.   ((((Hugs))))  smile



__________________
Jerry F


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 2
Date:

Thanks all of you for your kind, understanding and non-judgmental words. I am, right now, trying to take time to remember who I am, for a ong time I have spent the majority of my mental capacity thinking, worrying, planning, trying to figure out ways to get my husband back. My heart breaks, because as JerryF says he is a sick man not a bad man. He is a very, very good and kind and funny and loving man and he was always my best friend. It is so sad how quickly things can change unrecognisably and life can become something so different to what it was before and what you thought it would always be. I can only hope that one day he is going to be able to find the strength to recognise and face up to the hurt and harm he has caused to us and to himself and will continue causing and to take seriously his actions. I am learning that for now we need to be apart to both get our heads together and gather strength but I hope that we will be able to be together again in future as I miss him terribly. I have passed on to him information about different local services and left him with them, I am not going to ask him about it I will just leave it to him now, I have told him I didn't give them to him to tell him what to do but just so he has them there if he wants them and I will trust him to know and decide what is best for him right now. I have told him that I love him and I just want all of us to be ok, he says he wants that to. For now I am living with the kids and loving them and just leaving him to come to some kind of decision about himself and his own mental health and way forward.

As for the groups, thanks for the suggestion, I am really not keen on the thought of it at all. Partly because the idea of a group is absolutely not something that appeals and partly because I can't even begin to imagine how I would find time to attend any that are running right now (I work full time in a stressful and and have a long commute from work to home, as well as lots of other work connected to this and my home and family to care for). I will think about it though. Thanks all.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 16172
Date:

i do so understand about not having time However we do hold on line meetings here in the chat room daily. Here is the schedule:

Al-Anon Family Group
Meeting/Chat Room

Meetings
9 AM EST Mon-Fri
9 PM EST Mon-Sat
10 AM EST Sat & Sun
7 PM EST Sunday
Alanon literature is also helpful. It can be found on line and one i would recommend is Just for Today bookmark as well aa alcoholism the Family disease .
Please do keep coming back

__________________
Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 8684
Date:

(((sadtimes))) - I so remember the thought of meetings and how would I add yet another thing to my plate! I was already stretched thin and it sounded impossible. I also am a private person and really had reservations about spilling my guts to strangers. I resisted for a while for a variety of reasons and finally found my courage to go and try.

I was not impressed with my first meeting and didn't want to go back. It was suggested I try a different meeting/different group. I resisted again and finally found my courage again and did find a lovely group of loving people who just wanted to support me in recovery....no judgement, no assignments, no directions, etc. It felt freeing and almost like a gift.

There is no shame in loving an alcoholic. I too believe my A(s) are not bad but sick. This premise has helped me greatly in my own recovery. As Betty suggests, the online meetings here are awesome - they carried me for a long while when my schedule limited me to local meetings. Keep coming back - you are not alone!!

__________________

Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 484
Date:

Hi Sadtimes. I read your post and I could relate to it so much. My husband and I were very close before he started to drink more and it affected our family as well. I spent a lot of time trying to make him see that he had a problem and trying to "help" him get help but he didn't want it. It always amazes me how cunning and baffling alcoholism can be. When my husband has any other health problem he accepts my help and support and input but when it comes to his drinking he doesn't want to give it up and any mention of it is a threat to him. It is a very sad thing to see and it also makes me very angry too when I get caught up in his behaviour. Trying to manage his alcoholism made me feel like I was going crazy too. Thankfully I found the Al Anon program and it made my life better.

Al Anon meetings really help me. Since I started attending them I have a lot more peace in my life. I have a support system of people who know what I am going through, I have a life of my own and everyone in my family has been doing better since I started going. I have built a life for myself and my child that isn't hindered by my AH and his drinking.


I know how heartbreaking it can be to watch your best friend destroy himself. Please take care of yourself and keep coming back.


__________________


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 31
Date:

Hi sadtimes,
Welcome! I related to your post on many levels, brought back many memories. I am married to an addict, for him it has been every substance, including alcohol. I have (still do) dealt with the lies, turning everything back around on me, the blame, outbursts etc...used to even disappear too! I spent years trying to "shock" him, get help for him, just about everything to make the insanity stop. I even tried alanon years ago, but honestly, I was not really looking for help for me, but for him. I had 4 small children, and had no extra time, and frankly, believed all my issues were just his addiction, and if he would just stop, my problems would end.

For me, it took years for me to realize I had a problem too. I was trying to control him, and honestly everyone and everything. I am still with my AH, he is not in recovery. I love the support and tools I learn through Alanon. I have learned I can't control him or anyone else, but myself. I can have peace and improve my life regardless to his choices. I am so glad you are here, we understand. Keep coming back!



__________________
Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 683
Date:

Sadtimes, I am sorry you are going through this -- and many here have as well. We have faced the same things you are facing, we have felt the same things you are feeling, and we have seen the same things you are seeing. That said, many of us have gotten through it. I offer that not as advice but more as comfort and hope -- you knowing many have been there and gotten through it hopefully offers you some comfort and hope. How we got through it -- is by going to alanon (face to face alanon meetings), learning what the alanon program is all about, learning a different way of thinking, behaving, acting and reacting, and focusing on ourselves and the changes we need to make, so that we can get better and so that we can get healthy. This doesn't come from a pill, it doesn't come from reading a book one time, and it doesn't come from any magic words we say to the alcoholic. It comes from doing the work here in alanon.

That said, first, it doesn't matter if someone is an alcoholic, an alcohol abuser, a binge drinker, or whatever. It doesn't matter! Here's the bottom line...if someone's drinking bothers you...then you are in the right place being in (face to face) alanon meetings. So, go! Go online and find the meetings in your area -- and go! In my experience, trying to analyze, understand, explain, etc., what and why the alcoholic is, doing, saying, and so forth -- is an exercise in futility. The more we try to figure out why and what they are doing and saying -- the more we drive ourselves crazy. You cannot apply logic to an illogical person or situation. Alcoholism -- or any abuse of alcohol -- is a progressive, cunning, baffling, insidious, enigmatic, and decimating disease...for the alcoholic and for the people around him/her.

Second, unfortunately, the alcoholic will NOT stop drinking...UNLESS and UNTIL they want to. Not us. Them. And, there is nothing we can do to make them stop. It is and has to be up to them. We learn in alanon that if we change and we stop trying to control the alcoholic, control the drinking, fix the alcoholic, get them to stop drinking, negotiate, prove to them, whatever we are doing to force our will, our solution, our feelings -- if we stop that, we can get better and we can get healthy. So much of what I heard my first year in alanon was counterintuitive to what I had been thinking and doing for many years. I had been "fighting" this disease, trying to fix the situation, control the drinking, trying to get my wife to stop drinking, and so much more -- and while I thought I was helping, I was actually hurting. Alanon taught me a new way of thinking, it taught me a new mindset and new methodology. I was ready to learn this because everything I had tried -- for years -- did not work! I was a human ATM machine giving out a never-ending supply of "one more chance" or "one last chance" as my wife would either stop or drastically reduce her drinking "when things got really bad" -- and she did this a hundred times! A hundred times! It was a year after year merry-go-round...until I changed.

Go to face to face meetings. As many as you can and as often as you can. Find a sponsor. Focus on YOU and start working with your sponsor. You can get better and get healthy. All the best.





__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 683
Date:

As a follow up -- one of the things I so distinctly remember is that while all of this was going on, I lost myself. I lost my individuality. I used to go to hockey games (I have season tickets), and I stopped going. I used to volunteer at a local food pantry, and I stopped. I used to garden and do projects around the house, and I stopped. This may not sound like a big deal -- but slowly, gradually, over time, I became consumed with the alcoholic. She was obsessed with the bottle and I was obsessed with her, her drinking, what she was doing, where she was going, etc.

24/7 I was thinking about all of what was going on. Now, many people may not have felt this way, but it's analogous, and reflective of a much larger landscape, and our focus on something or someone else. I worried, I had anxiety, I planned and had to strategize for all types of scenarios and situations. I was in pain, because of my wife's drinking...and my feelings were...I am in pain because of her drinking, and if she stops drinking, I will no longer be in pain...and things will go back to where they were...when life was truly wonderful! No, it doesn't work that way. Not at all. My wife was not a bad person...some may have said she was a good person doing bad things...but she had a disease...she was sick...and some have said she was a sick person who was not trying to get better. I got all of that. It didn't matter if it was accurate or not. The denial at that point was so strong and it was "beating" me -- because I was failing in my efforts to fix this. My wife was Ivy league educated, Ive League grad school, super successful, warm, loving, caring, and the most incredible person I ever met. And then it happened.

Yes, we got to a point where we both needed to be apart, just so each of us could focus on ourselves and work on ourselves. I had to watch, observe -- whether she wanted to get better or not. Get better meant rehab, AA, living a life of recovery, because just stopping drinking, reducing the drinking, drinking socially or on weekends, that was not working. That failed for years, and I couldn't keep living that way. Not for 5 more years! Not for far less than that. I had to see if she wanted to get better, because it was up to her.

I went to meetings. At night. I drove all over to get to them. Because I was told meeting makers make it!!! I was told to keep coming back. And I did. Again and again. I was told to get a sponsor. And I did. And I got better. I got healthy. And I found happiness.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 613
Date:

Hugs, ((((sadtimes)))). Welcome to MIP, I hope you stick with us! You are not alone, and there's tons of support available in this program. There has been a lot of great ESH (experience, strength and hope) shared here already, but I just wanted to add I so hear you about feeling like I'm going crazy! I now see I was going crazy for years, really, and when I first came to Al-Anon I, like you, had also reached a point where I was constantly anxious. I was tense, fearful, and most of my days I even felt it strongly physically, I was feeling so bad, plus some other issues like regular fatigue etc. The going crazy part was the most scary.

My point here is, I was in a bad, bad state, but thanks to this program and the tools it offers - meetings, the steps, a sponsor, literature - I have gotten much, much better. Recovery doesn't happen fast but the program really works when we work it. Believe me - a program for MYSELF was not in my plans at any point. But I had reached a bottom of my own and really could not handle life anymore, so I stuck with it because I really didn't know what to do anymore...

I hope you give yourself the gift of recovery.

Keep coming back ((((Hugs)))))

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