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Ready to give an ultimatum

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Mama3030 posted 7/9/2014 12:01 PM

After 13 years I am finally ready to tell my WH that it is either drinking or me.

My therapist has asked "would you ever ask him to quit drinking?" at every session. She is trying to get me to figure out WHY I won't ask and why I don't think I'm worth it.

We are coming up on 5 months since DDay. (short background- after his dad died last summer he went crazy with the drinking, I was pregnant with baby #3, snooped in his phone and found an email he had contacted an "massage therapist" on backpage. He admitted he had slept with 2 escorts on 2 occasions and had been seeing a "happy ending" lady regularly).

He has been remorseful, he has been in therapy on his own. He comes home, he is a better father, and a better husband. I do not believe he has cheated since DDay.

HOWEVER. I believe he is a functional alcoholic and I don't know if he will ever completely stop drinking. During the time period after his dad died he was drinking daily. Before that and currently he drinks a couple nights a week.

The label "alcoholic" doesn't matter. He does NOT make wise decisions when drunk. He is self-destructive. He cheated on me, and even worse he sometimes drives.

Last night was my final straw. He plays golf on a league weekly and this is when he drinks the most. Since DDay he usually sticks to beer that night but he has slowly been drinking back up to his usual level. He came home completely drunk last night (DROVE HOME!) He went straight to bed and spent the night hacking/miserable.

This morning he told me he hit a mailbox on his way home. His truck his smashed (probably over $1K worth of damage).

I told him I am done. It is ultimatum time. I cannot take this anymore. He is going to seriously injure or kill someone. It's bigger than him cheating.

I was calm and collected. I told him to make an appointment with his therapist and discuss with her how he wanted to proceed. Luckily I happen to have an apt with my own therapist tomorrow. Today on my way to take the kids to swimming I saw him talking to the people who's mailbox he at least he did that.

I am a SAHM with 3 kids 6 and under and this is going to be tough.

Any advice and words of encouragement would be appreciated.

kiki1 posted 7/9/2014 12:07 PM

Good Luck Mama

My wh drinks as well. I have never asked him to stop after dday d/t being afraid. He was sober for two years a while back and at the end of the two years is when he decided he needed a girlfriend. though he was in counseling the entire two years, he apparently did not learn any other coping skills.

I think you are doing the right thing by giving him an ultimatum. I wish I had done so years ago when my children were small. Life would have been more difficult (maybe?) but ultimately, i would have been happier and at least retained my dignity.


Mama3030 posted 7/9/2014 12:10 PM

Thank you for responding.

Being fearful he will chose drinking over me is the #1 reason I haven't asked. I think he will SAY he chooses me and then try, but unless he gets REAL help I don't see that happening.

TheIrishGirl posted 7/9/2014 12:11 PM

No advice, but I can give encouragement.

You made a great choice. It is SO HARD to draw that line in the sand when 'other than the drinking' they're wonderful people. But it sounds like you got to the point that it was harder not to draw the line. Good for you. Stay on your side of that line, and I hope he joins you over there.

Who he has been- that is not a safe person to partner with, and that is not a safe person to raise your children with. I'm sure you and he believe he would never do it with the kids in the car, but in time there certainly was potential. Stick to your guns. You may be saving his life.

My grandfather was sober 35+ years when he passed. My aunt has been sober for 10, and shows no signs of relapse. She found the propper motivation, went to rehab, came out, and is holding strong. This can be done.

soccermom9 posted 7/9/2014 13:34 PM

MY WH drank before we met- he got a DUI on Christmas Eve 2006 and stopped drinking after he made a vow to God there in the jail. Fast Forward- he has NEVER drank anything during our 6 year marriage until the last 6 months. He started out on this "red wine is healthy" kick and from there it escalated and he was hiding from me how often he drank. He said this started the slippery slope to massage parlors when he traveled which then led to his infedility. I gave the ultimatum and he replied "OK, I will never drink again". he admits he has a control problem. He cannot control his diet, alcohol, finances, kids...he has no self discipline at all! Which is odd with him coming from the military.

I say give the ultimatum! If he loves you and wants this to work out he will honor you with his choices!

Mama3030 posted 7/9/2014 14:17 PM

Thank you all so much for your responses.

Soccermom- Do you have a plan just in case he starts drinking again? I have a feeling my WH will "try" but I want to know I have the strength to leave if he fails.

StrongBeard posted 7/9/2014 14:27 PM

Mama: You are absolutely correct in drawing this line. Abusing alcohol is a dangerous thing to all parties involved in the abuser's life. I imbibe frequently (brewer and beer lover) and have the utmost respect for the effect alcohol has on even the best of people. It is not something to be trifled with.

Plain and simple: you deserve someone devoted to you completely. If he cannot make the sacrifice and put in the work to conquer his addiction, you need to do what is best for you and your children.

My thoughts are with you - I truly hope he sees reason and comes to your side of the line.

DrJekyll posted 7/9/2014 14:30 PM

in my situation, my BS has been a SAHM for the majority of our relationship. And I have been an alcoholic for 2/3 of it. I have not had a drink since Christmas night. But are building a fund so that if I go back to those behaviors, she will have the funds to leave. Something like that may help in your situation. But the fund would need to be in your name only. So that he cannot access it drunk.

soccermom9 posted 7/9/2014 14:31 PM


I do have a plan! I have it written out and he signed it. If he drinks again I will leave him immediatlely. If he has a trigger that makes him want to drink he needs to talk with me or his accountability partner asap so he doesnt act on that trigger. If he is willing to do these things then we have a shot. If not, then we never had a chance to begin. I believe that for change to take place there must be pain and for a drinking spouse they have to endure the pain of their choice and see it daily in order to truly change for a lifetime!

1owner posted 7/9/2014 14:37 PM

I'm sorry for what you are going through. My WW is also an alcoholic, I know it isn't easy. Her behavior is very similar to what you just posted. In my situation, true R is impossible when addiction is involved. I wish you luck and strength!

Mama3030 posted 7/9/2014 17:06 PM

A plan is a good idea.

We haven't had a chance to talk since this morning. But after he meets with his therapist, if he decides he wants to try sobriety, I like the idea of a written agreement and a bank account in my name only.

I also have the name of a good divorce attorney. I haven't met with a lawyer this whole time because I am so desperate for reconciliation. I will discuss my next move with my therapist tomorrow.

Mama3030 posted 7/9/2014 17:07 PM

DrJeckyll by the way, congratulations for making it this far. That is a big accomplishment.

RidingHealingRd posted 7/10/2014 03:38 AM

My WH was a functioning alcoholic for 20+ years. His tolerance was so high that he hardly ever appeared drunk. He drank from the minute he arrived home from work 7pm until he fell asleep (passed out) watching tv 10PM. Often sneaking to refill the wine glass.

He drank heavily at business dinners (free alcohol), and yes drove home! This infuriated me.

Over the years I "bitched" at him, telling him he was a drunk, he set a horrible example for our children. Of course I threatened D but never took action. I often look back and wish that he was visibly drunk, that he vomited, or got a dUI...anything to prove to him he had a problem.

During his A his drinking increased. MOW was his drinking buddy who had 2 DUIs and a night in jail for public intoxication.

My WH has been sober since dday, over 3 1/2 years. There was no way I would take him back if he did not stop drinking.

During a MC session (post Dday) I was told that no amount of "bitching" was ever going to make my WH stop. He needed to see consequences for his actions. What I should have done was leave him if he failed to stop drinking.

My WH truly believes that if I had taken action to D him he would have stopped drinking.

Telling, wishing, hoping they will stop does not make them stop. They need to want to stop. Give your WH a reason to stop. If the loss of his family is not reason enough then sadly he is not worth it.


Mama3030 posted 7/10/2014 12:00 PM

Thank you thank you thank you so much for sharing these stories.

They give me hope. I don't WANT to have hope in a way, I am SCARED to have hope.

I am trying to "pray for the best but expect the worst".

RidingHealing- I often wish my husband would get a DUI. I know it is horrible and expensive, but it's a hell of a lot better than killing someone.

Over the years I made excuses for him in my head "oh he isn't drinking THAT much", "He has a high tolerance and he is a really good driver", "well he's been doing it so long and he's never had a DUI or hit anyone". blah blah blah. I am a shitty person for excusing it.

We have our individual counseling sessions today. Hopefully that will help.

He said this morning "it's not over yet" so I am taking that to mean he is willing to try. We'll see, I plan on discussing it at length tonight after our appointments/ the kids go to bed.

DrJekyll posted 7/10/2014 12:58 PM

i had a DUI 15 years ago, and took a 4 year break for alcohol. but went back. So the DUI wont stop him. For myself, I finally had to come to the point that I wanted to choose my family over alcohol. And I know that I can never drink again, for my family. But more importantly FOR ME. Because alcohol helps me to make bad decisions. And go against my morals. So in order for me to stay strong, then I have to do it FOR ME. your WS really needs to come to those terms. But I also would not listen and had to come to those terms on my own. 6 days before dday.

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