I can't give you more than hugs as I am in the same boat as you. He drinks pretty much every night (anywhere from 2-8 drinks) and doesn't think he has a "problem" because he doesn't drive and he's not violent. He also doesn't want to touch me except when he has been drinking.
My plan is to find an Al-anon meeting and also find an IC. We don't have kids and I don't want to bring any into our lives with him like this but tick, tock goes my clock so I can't wait too many years otherwise I'll be barren, childless and bitter.
It's really really hard for me to see him be so illogical. I really believe his brain has been damaged.
Of course, the cheating is still my fault, too. I am getting more of that today. And my reaction is not anger. Not today anyway. I'm sad for him. He's sick. He doesn't get it. And there's no way I will take the blame for it. There are too many SI friends telling me these addictions are not my fault, and too many books back that up. And Al-anon and all my counselors tell me the same thing. It doesn't matter to me what he thinks anymore. Well, I HOPE it's anymore. TONIGHT it doesn't matter. It's just sad.
My second Al-anon meeting this week was amazing. There's power there in those people. Just watching people sharing helped me so much. Wow. I think it's among my top "helps" now, and I never would have guessed it!
Well, I felt like saying, "Well, I feel like leaving you." but I held it in. I walked away. He made a comment about my trying to make him feel guilty. WHatever.
So done with this.
But, I know I need to keep trying to just stay and work through this. It is just the beginning.
WHAT do I do with this man??? He knows he should stop drinking, but he still drinks! Ultimatum? I just don't know about that. I feel like, if it weren't for the fatc that I want to stay in this house with my three kids, I would walk out. But, how do I get him to walk out/leave? I think he needs to be on his own...see what it's like. He obviously isn't listenign to me, so why should I have to be here with him while he continues to suffer???
My IC told me "rock bottom" wouldn't be until he loses me. Do I need to just leave him? Has anyone had an alcholic stop drinking, get healthy and NOT just turn to some other addiction???
I also fear that this counseling will be like all the others (I think he's been to at least three since we've been together). He expects way too much from the first one or two appts, then gets disappointed or feels they aren't worth it because they aren't telling him anything new. He doesn't even develop a rapport with them before deciding his time there is not well-spent. GAH!!!
What do I do here?
I have been doing the 180 (Which hasn't been hard since I am feeling pretty resigned to the downfall of our marriage). I feel liek we are falling into a slump of just not caring enough to save anything.
BUT, since I am a SAHM with almost NO income (working on changing that), I feel stuck. I half want out, half want to work at the marriage. Tonight, I actually feel mostly like I just want it all to be over and done. I feel like he has never given me the full truths about his past EA's, and I am pretty doubtful that they have each been EA's and never turned into PAs.
You can't control the actions of your alcoholic. No one has that kind of control over another. If you do something, do it for you. You have control over how you respond to what he does.
Ultimatums won't work. He won't change until he wants to change. No one can know what will be rock bottom for another nor does the person know themselves. My xW lost jer job, ruined her marriage, lost physical custody of her children and still didn't stop. I don't think she has hit it yet. She is dry for now, but probably not sober. She has not changed behavior that I can see, just not drinking.
If you set a boundary it must be one to protect you and one you are willing to enforce. Don't set a consequence to your boundary that you are not willing to enforce. That will send him the wrong message. That he can do what he wants and there is nothing at risk. But, don't be surprised if he continues to drink if you stay or if you leave. Don't be surprised if he turns to another accepting alcoholic. Whatever you do, do it for you. Each person has to decide when enough is enough.
Take care of yourself and your children.
You didn't cause the acoholism or the infidelity. You don't own their problem. It's theirs to fix and you can't do it for them.
Take care of yourselves. It's rough, I know.
I hate to even be in the same room with her as I despise deceit and lies and an alcoholic knows no other way to live other than by lying about everything.
I have to be cordial for the sake of the children, but if not for them I would have no desire to ever see this person again. I am repulsed by the never-ending stream of lies. My xWW is dry, not drinking, but not sober. The alcoholic behavior is still deeply engrained. The lies when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
It's an Al-Anon night for me.
I think it is mainly the alcoholism, although some of the others you mentioned could be possible. Her childhood was far from normal. Alcoholic parents, infidelity, etc. Still basically it seems to be the desire to push out her problems to others rather than accepting responsibility. She still refers to when she left as when I wouldn't let her come home instead of she leaving to be to be with her POS and a bottle of Smirnoffs. If you were leaving in the morning while your husband took the children to school to go to an AA meeting and drive around to think would you take clothes, curling iron and blow dryer? No.
She still insists the POS was just a "friend" even though I have text messages showint otherwise, icluding one she sent to me by accident a month ago where she had "ilysvm" and "thanks fo r a great start to the day :)". I always tell my friends that.
I really think even though she hasn't drank for 5 months, she's just dry, not sober. She hasn't changed the alcoholic behavior. She hasn't owned her sh!t.
She insists on the relationship with the POS even though her AA sponsor (which she quit seeing) told her to end, her doctor who specializes in addictions told her to end, and AA says to start no relationships in the first year.
It is worthwhile for me to check into the things you have suggested. I'm sure it is quite possible to have more than one thing going on.
We have a meeting with the children's counselor next week. Maybe we can get her on the right track for their sake. I've done everything I can for them to deal with the abandonment issues, while not talking down their mother in anyway. She, on the other hand, refuses to believe thy have issues caused by her running off with the POS during a relapse.
My transmission went out in my car a few weeks ago. We are saving money putting a little aside each week to get it fixed. It will still be about three weeks until I can have my ride back! I will be so relieved to have my car back and not have to wait on H to come home in the evenings if I need to use a vehicle.
So anyway, that prevents me from attending Alanon, except there are some online places I can go, just haven't joined up with them yet. Really, I don't think there's as much help there as there is here at SI. There is so much wisdom on this thread! Thanks to all who post, there are some of us out here who read but don't know what to say a lot of the time.
But I am going to get my youngest son in Alateen, despite his stance that he will not talk to anyone about this, he's humiliated and full of anger at his dad. I end up refereeing some squabble every day and it takes a toll! But I'm going to bring him anyway when I get my car back, maybe they will help him open up and he will see that he's not alone.
Best wishes to you all. And ((((((group hug))))))!
A teen must pre-register, once they are registered they can attend all the Al Ateen meetings on the site.
The one thing I hold on to that I learned from AlAnon:
I didn't cause the alcoholism
I can't control the alcoholism
I can't cure the alcoholism
AlAnon is saving me, one meeting at a time.
It's scary to admit that my H is an alcoholic. But, no matter how I justify or add up the numbers, my H repeatedly drinking 2 cases of beer in a weekend isn't normal. I can ignore it--I'm really good at that. But, I know it isn't normal.
I excuse H's drinking a lot by telling myself that I grew up in a non-drinking family (maybe a bottle of champagne at New Year's), so obviously I think any drinking is a lot. Or, I tell myself that I enjoy a glass of wine or a few beers or a Cosmo or two and I've had my moments when I've drank too much. Or, H isn't violent, though he does get angry; he's a good provider; he is an all-around nice and charming guy--he isn't a dead beat.
I finally got the book "Marriage on the Rocks." Enlightening. I see a lot that applies to me and a lot of things I am doing right.
I haven't yet made the leap to Al-Anon.
So, I lurk here a lot looking for words of wisdom.
I can understand. I didn't want to admit my xWW was a alcoholic, either. I was avoiding conflict and in denial. She wasn't what I thought of as an alcoholic. She had a great job, wasn't stumbling around with a bottle in her hand... She was a high functioning alcoholic. She hid her drinking. She drank alone whenever I'd turn my back. But, it eventuallt ramped up to where she couldn't keep up the facade. When it started to caused concern for the safety and well bing of my children I had to do something.
Try Al-Anon. It's not to help him, but to help you heal from his problem. Try IC. Try both if possible. But, do it for you. Alcoholicism is a disease that affects everyone around the alcohlic.
You can't cure him, that's up to him and only he can do it.
Take care of yourself.
I am in IC. And I've done a lot of reading.
I'm learning a lot about letting go of control. I can't control my H. I can love him, but I can't control him.
DS turned 16 last month. He is such a blessing to me. He's a sweet, loving, bright, perceptive young man. I think he's going to be ok. But I realize with heavy heart that for nearly half his life he has had an alcoholic for a father.
DS was in the band at 13 and when they'd put on a concert he'd always come to me in private and ask if there was some way that only I could come to watch him and not include his dad, and at open house he'd ask if only I would come to meet his teachers. Because he was and still is afraid his father will embarrass him. How sad is that???
So for the last few years I have been the one to take him to orientation, meet with his teachers, and go watch him perform. And I'm happy to be there for him and I always will be. But I know it's torn some part of his heart, because a child shouldn't have to be wary of their own parent and live in fear of being humiliated by their parent's actions.
You only get one childhood!!! I always tried to make their childhood fun, interesting, and magical. And I gave my children the best that I could and I can always have satisfaction in that, I wanted them to have wonderful memories of happy times to look back on when they're grown. I wonder what memories they'll have now...
How sad that H has missed the children's childhoods for the most part. Mind blowing!!! But while remaining in a constant haze of liquor you miss it all.
Sorry, rambling on a bit. Sigh, just letting some of it out...
He thinks he's being a great father by being there, she sees it as a half-ass attempt at being a father.
I'm also the one who's gone to all the orientation meetings, etc. When she was younger he did do one when I couldn't make it.
What really makes me sad is that she has no respect for him and he doesn't see it. His drinking is the cause of that, not his affair. I've tried to tell her that it's a disease. How can you convince a teenager that he just can't stop drinking? You can't.
I've been the anchor for my DD and she for me. I know she's going to be ok, too. Continue to be there for your son. That's all you can do.
(((( HUGS ))))
I was sad because I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.
DS has zero respect for his father. I've tried and tried to talk to him about what the alcohol does to his father but that makes me sad too because he shouldn't have to bear this burden.
He stopped calling him Dad about six months ago. He told me as soon as he graduates he's outta here and it can't come fast enough. He put his arm around me and said "Mom I will come back to see you but I don't care if I ever see him again." He said as far as he's concerned he's an orphan! And he wants to change his name when he is able to as he doesn't want to be associated with him.
How do you deal with that??? I just don't know anymore, I can't hold up the ship any longer.
I had such high hopes that H could beat this a few years ago. But I'm afraid now that he's too far gone. Can that happen? Is there a point of no return???
I was wondering about how anyone discussed the subject with their kids, how much you've told them, and at what age. Have they gone to Alateen meetings?
DS is 10 and I think he gets sometimes what's going on with his dad when he comes home stumbling and slurring his speech. He's overheard some ugly verbal arguments. Sometimes, though, Dad's just a happy, silly drunk, and DS has fun playing with him and doesn't seem to pick up anything "off".
I don't know what the appropriate message to give DS would be. I think he *may* be too young for Alateen. I don't even know whether I'm going to keep trying for solutions for our M at this point. But I've never discussed alcoholism with DS or given his dad that label, and I'm concerned about planting seeds that could hurt their relationship.
I also feel for the kids that have to go through this. If there is one "good" thing that has come from all of this, it's the fact that my DD is NOT interested in partying or being in the party crowd. She graduates this year and stated she didn't want to do the normal beach thing that most kids do as that's not her thing. It's a week long party event so that makes me feel really good.
You certainly can't make him have a relationship with his father. That's between the two of them.
I also think there is a point of no return for some alcoholics. If they don't decide to get sober on their own, then chances are they'll end up with a failed liver, and the fact that they have killed themselves one drink at a time. Some of them don't get it even then. I've done a lot of reading about end stage alcoholism and it's not pretty.
Timestandstill - Honestly, my WH has always been a heavy drinker but it took me years to realize he had a problem. My DD slowly realized it over time. He had an accident 3 years ago, which is how I found out about his A, and that's when I finally had that talk with DD. She was almost 14.
I got her a couple books to read. Also asked if she was interested in Alateen, she was but the only night available was not good for her. But she seems to have done ok on her own.
I don't know if he is too young for Alateen. He may be, especially if he doesn't realize completely what the problem is. And if their relationship is ok, you're right you may do more harm than good. Perhaps save that talk for when he does understand. You may want to consider talking to someone at Alanon. Or try the forums at SoberRecovery.com -- lots of good advice there.
((((( HUGS )))))
[This message edited by MixedUpMess at 6:23 PM, November 5th (Friday)]
"The Brain In Love" it is titled and it speaks about the damage caused by alcohol and drugs and how much repair can be done with proper nutrition and care once the drinking has stopped. I have seen a lot of improvement in my husband but it took a long time, years, after he stopped drinking. If they begin to drink again the damage begins again.
If they do not eat right and take care of themselves it will not reverse so this is key, the suggestions are in the book.
Oddly the symptoms of the alcoholic brain are behaviors such as infidelity and cruelty. This can change to loving behaviors when the brain heals. If only the person who is drinking wants to heal, of course.
Self-deception- is literally a matter of deceiving oneself- and thus raises unique questions.
How can one deceive himself-unless he already knows-what it is that he is deceiving himself about?
Paper Roses - I will definitely look for that book. Who knows, maybe WH will even surprise me and pick it up if I leave it on the nightstand.
I often wondered how much influence alcohol had on him getting into this A. I asked WH once about it once, and he denied that his drinking had anything to do with the A. (He and OW both drank a lot though.)
I guess in a way it would be easier for me to believe it was, because then it would seem like less of a choice that he made and more like just one part of a life he hadn't been entirely in control of.
On the + side, losing my job has meant that WH doesn't have money to spare for drinking and he's been going out a lot less and drinking a lot less! I don't know if that could last for him or not. Sometimes I question whether he's really an alcoholic or whether he just had a long period of heavy drinking and alcoholic behavior, but now he's done with all that. (?)
Ugh. I just remembered the night he told me (while still in the A) that OW wanted him to cut back on drinking too. He said "it's like an angel and a devil both being after me to do the right thing."