I have done what I can but he is still drinking. He has cut back but not enough. It doesn't matter if he takes on shot or ten shots of whiskey- the shit changes his personality/ attitude and he becomes a different person. Sometimes he is so mean it scares me. HE has never hit me or my son but I am afraid that if things don't change, he will be come more and more of an asshole. I will not raise my son in that environment.
Then only difference is that my H has gotten physical with me-he spit in my face and threatened to punch me in the face 3 times-came within one inch of actually hitting me. He called me a "bitch" and a "c***", too. I'm in contact with domestic violence. I nearly stayed/moved into a shelter last week. He is out of control and increasingly aggressive and nasty. He is someone I once knew-I don't know where that nice guy went, but he no longer exists that I can see!
I refuse to raise my kids in this abusive, destructive, alcoholic environment!
The Pain Stops: when you stop looking at the person you love as the person you love, and you begin to see them, not as a partner, a lover, or a best friend, but as a human being with the strengths and weaknesses and even the core of a child.
The Pain Stops: when you begin to accept that what you would do in a circumstance is not what they would do, and that no matter how much you try, they have to learn their own lessons, and they have to touch the stove when it's hot, just as you did, to learn that it is much better when it is cold.
The Pain Stops: when your longing for them gets slowly replaced by a desire to get away, when making love to them no longer makes you feel cherished, when you find yourself tired of waiting for the moments where the good will truly outweigh the bad, and when at the end of the day you can't count on their arms for comfort.
The Pain Stops: when you start to look inward and decide whether their presence is a gift or a curse, and whether when you need them, they cause more heartache than bliss.
The Pain Stops: when you realize that you deserve more than they offer and stop blaming them for being less than you wish. When the smile of a stranger seems more inviting and kind, and you remember what it's like to feel beautiful, and you remember how long it has been since your lover whispered something in your ear that only the two of you would know.
The Pain Stops: when you forgive them for their faults and forgive yourself for staying so long. When you know that you tried harder than you ever tried before, and you know in your heart that love should not be so much work.
The Pain Stops: when you start to look in the mirror and like who you see, and know that leaving them or losing them is no reflection of your beauty or your worth.
The Pain Stops: when the promise of a new tomorrow is just enough to start replacing the emptiness in your heart, and you start dreaming again of who you used to be and who you will become.
The Pain Stops: when you say goodbye to what never really was, and accept that somewhere in the fog you may or may not have been loved back. And you promise yourself never again to lay in arms that don't know how to cherish the kindness in your heart.
The Pain Stops: When you are ready.
But remember.....you did not cause it , you cannot control it, you cannot cure it. We are not that powerful!!
For everyone one who loves an alcoholic, please believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. And leaving your alcoholic is not a solution that everyone needs or wants. Take steps to heal yourself. Take control of your life. Take charge of what you need. Do all of these things for yourself to be strong enough to make the decision you need to make. Yes, some people leave but so many of us stay and things do work out. Just because staying doesn't work for one person does not mean it won't work for another.
NCguy2, while that is an interesting and decent post, it does not apply to everyone. And to make anyone think that the only way to stop the pain is to walk away is not OK. People stay all the time and muddle their way through this. Yes, it is hard and takes a lot of work on both the part of the alcoholic and the spouse, but many of us who do stay are glad that we did.
Renewed our vows 7/30
Life with an "active" alcoholic is misery. Sadly, many do not beat the addiction.
We all have choices........
My point is that even if your alcoholic is active it doesn't mean that you run for the hills and that is the only way to heal or "stop the pain". Because they are active now does not mean they will never see the light and get sober.
We all do have choices, but they should not be based on hopelessness.
I value myself and my children more than trusting my heart to an addict.
Life is short. I wanted to live again, happy and without fear.
And yes, an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic but that does not mean there is no hope.
There is a difference between walking out the door and learning how to stop enabling and being co-dependent.
For anyone who chooses to leave, that's fine. That's their choice in their particular situation. I simply don't think it's fair or realistic to tell everyone who loves an alcoholic that they need to leave.
I value myself and my children. And I fully trust my heart to my alcoholic.
This is supposed to be about support. Support for those who love an alcoholic and are dealing with infidelity. To tell people who are hurting on two levels that they should just walk away because their pain won't stop if they stay is bull.
I'm not saying that everyone should stay. There are certainly cases where people are better off leaving. But my situation is mine, and others are unique to them.
I look at myself and my H. If I had walked away I would have regretted it the rest of my life. I see what we have now and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
For those of you who are thinking about leaving, find an Al-anon meeting. Go to an open AA meeting. Go to a counselor who specifically deals with alcoholism. Find the tools you need to be successful for yourself. Learn how to break the patterns that you have with your alcoholic. Learn how to allow the alcoholism to be their issue, not yours.
We all have our boundaries. I loved my alcoholic, I still love my alcoholic and I have forgiven her. I wish her only the best.
But for me, the alcoholism was one thing. The fear of her driving drunk with my children and the unacceptable financial risk if she killed while driving was not something I could subject my children to.
The infidelity was the end.
Alanon is a great resource. I have posted the best information I have run across here at SI. I hope others will post their observations and what they have learned on this dreadful condition.
All things are possible when the addict becomes sober and deligently works a program. But we cannot help the addict in this battle.... it is up to them. But we all have the right to decide how long we are willing to wait for our loved one to make that decision.
I am glad your alcoholic found soberity and wish you both much happiness. You deserve it!!
I know that you did what was best for you and yours, as I am doing what is best for me and mine. Different sides of the same coin.
Please post your experiences and what you have learned. We all have so much to discover on this terrible, tragic condition.
If you have not had time to read the other thread on this subject, I think you will find it interesting.
My reward for trying with all my heart and soul to help my alcoholic......was infidelity.
It appears that was also my reward.
I too will not put up with my H's drinking forever .... if he wants to continue on his downward spiral , he goes alone ..... I have had quite enough of his Alcoholisim and all the pain and misery that goes with it.
Some people NO MATTER how hard they try to help their A , get no where .
Robert Louis Stevenson
Nothing I did influenced his choice to drink. He had a drink when he was happy because it made him feel happier. He had a drink when he was sad because it made the sadness easier to tolerate. He had a drink because he had to go to work; he had a drink because he was on vacation. He drank to make the good days better, he drank to make the bad days better. He had a drink because he wanted to; every life circumstance was a reason to drink. He chose to drink because he was an emotional coward.
There is no one size fits all solution to alcoholism. It is a disease of choice make no mistake about it. Just as having an affair or a one night stand is a choice, so is taking a drink. It is often the choice of an emotional coward.
Nothing I did or did not do caused my spouse to drink. It was a selfish, self indulgent choice, a choice that has little to do with anyone but the addict. Books, counselors, AA and Al-anon members who point a finger at me and say enabler should look in the mirror. Defining me as an "enabler" takes the responsibility for his choice to drink away from the alcoholic and places it squarely on someone else's shoulders. THAT'S true enabling. Telling the alcoholic it is a disease fate bestowed on him is perhaps the biggest enabler of all.
If AA and its offshoot support groups work for you, have at it but don't buy it all hook line and sinker. Think for yourself, no one size fits all.
My husband did not choose to be an alcoholic. Sure, he chose to drink, but he did not choose the way the alcohol effects his body and mind. No one actually chooses to be an alcohlic. That's ridiculous. The disease is how the alcohol reacts in the body and brain. Just like an allergy.
Enabling is about so many things. Telling the alcoholic they have a disease is not enabling them. Telling them they may use it as an excuse for their behavior is. Making sure they get up on time after a night of boozing is. Making excuses to others for drunkeness, bad behavior, or hangovers is. And yes, if you do these things it is on you, not the alcoholic. THOSE are the behaviors you can change, not theirs. You can control your actions and reactions. And enabling is certainly both. What you are supposed to change is yourself, not the alcoholic. That is up to them.
And while the concept of Alcoholism being a disease, as we think of disease is perplexing....If you are diagnosed a diabetic, you generally have to follow the course of treatment: diet, exercise, insulin, monitoring bloodsugar. Yet there are diabetics that just quite can't accept their fate, their bodies inability to produce enough insulin to process sugar...so they choose to 'cheat' and in that choice, wreak havoc with their bodies.
Even Diabetics that do excellent self care have damage done to their bodies from fluctuating insulin levels.
That being said, Having watched my WS struggle w/ alcoholism for Years, I do think there is something going on that is akin to a 'disease' model....where in order to stay healthy, he can't drink....you're right, he has to make the choice to not drink, because his body does not react to Alcohol like a non-alcoholic.
Check out this reference: http://www.preventragedy.com/pages/biological.html
While I don't buy the whole AA/Al-anon message, I know it has worked for many people...Have you looked at the site for "Rational Recovery"? They are zealots of another sort....much of their web page is dedicated to dissing AA & Alanon.
I've been going to Al-anon meetings while my WS goes to AA meetings. I am perplexed by these very nice women who don't seem to have anything of substance to say. They basically say they are grateful and serene. I'd rather be home reading a good book, or sewing.
I don't personally go to Al-anon meetings. I don't do the whole higher power thing so I can't wrap my mind around a lot of what they say. But it does work for a lot of people, and I always recommend that people start there when dealing with an alcoholic. And even if you aren't active in Al-anon, there are a lot of good messages and tools they have that I have used.
I get the best insight and information from AA meetings. Hearing from other alcoholics helps me understand my alcoholic better and it lets me know that his behavior is not unique to him.
I look at the disease aspect the way I view an allergy. I can eat all the peanuts I want, but there are people out there who can die from just one. They have no control over how their body reacts to it, they just know they have to stay away from it.