I hate seeing him like this. It is not every day, but enough. Maybe once every few weeks? But the rest od the time he is reining it in. But if he gets stressed ( I blame myself for today, we had a minor spat in the am), he uses alcohol to cope, to kill the pain.
I don't want him to feel bad, but it is very hurtful to me. He seems annoyed by me and disdainful towards me, and that hurts.
I know I can't control it.
I can't make him stop.
It is not a deal breaker for me. I have lived with it. But I don't want to resent him. If I tell him this, he will feel worse though.
In the book Marriage On the Rocks by Woititz the author points out that basically ALL alcholocs end up having affairs!
Unless the spouse becomes their 'days of wine and roses 'drinking buddy ,the alcoholic husband will seek out a bar stool female drinking buddy who approves and encourages the drinking (not like the big bad wife at home! whe complains about the alcoholism...)
I wish I had read this fact 30 yrs ago. It would have saved me so much agony!
My husband drank every day but he was a functional drunk...he kept his long term job/career over the years. He maintained his job but did not excel in his job.
I attribute that to the booze....
also our home life definitely suffered.
And then, like so many alcoholics he eventually got involved in a 5 yr LTA with a married,female co-worker (drinking buddy).
When I found out about the LTA, I lost it.
I had an emotional breakdown and kicked him out of the house.
That was hitting bottom for him.
He went to AA...90 meetings in 90 days. He went to IC for almost 2 yrs. And he continues to go to AA now...almost 4 yrs post d-day. He has stayed sober for almost 4 yrs now. He is a changed man.
It can happen.
He is extremely remorseful about the LTA and continues to do everything he can to make it up to me.
I often wonder if he would have sobered up so completely if I had taken a really strong stand with him years ago.
I guess there's no way of knowing. And, I can't worry about what ifs....
I try to stay focused on today.
Going to ALANON, reading books on Codependency have been helpful for me.
[This message edited by njgal480 at 8:18 PM, November 19th (Friday)]
She's 6 months dry, but still the alcoholic at heart. She is blaming me for any problems the children have at school, wanting to show up at the extended care to "help" with homework, but not doing anything with them on the weekends they are with her. Their time went by too fast so I had to do it Sunday night with a child who ADD meds had worn off.
I've been taking care of our children while she's been off for the better part of a year relapsing, disappearing on drunks with the POS and before that while she tried to get get sober unsuccessfully. I've been dealing with the heartbreak of loving someone who jumped in bed with another alcoholic because he's "accepting".
Now they are together while I'm alone, left to deal with the carnage they have caused in our children's lives. Our children adore their mother and miss her terribly, while I'm relagated to the bad guy who has bedtimes, limits computer and DS access, and makes them do their homework. My children love the illusion of their mother.
While I wouldn't want to trade places with my xWW, I do find I am jealous of the illusion. She's lost her job and effectively ended her career. She's hooked up with someone beneath her. But, she's driving a new car, living the carefree single life and getting to see the children. I know the illusion will come crashing down one day. It is just hard to deal with when you are working full time, taking care of children, and dealing with her continous lies and deceitful behavior over every little meaningless thing.
Sorry, feeling a little overwhelmed tonight and it was too late to call anyone, so you guys get to hear me whine.
I'm sorry. I can't imagine the pain of that! Something happened here a few years ago that made me think there was a possible OC. I damn near vomited. But it turned out not to be what I thought. It made me sicker to think about than the whole filthy A mess.
Is your H still in relapse? Are yall getting DNA test soon? I hope you can find some help and support.
My H is an alcoholic. Drinking 2 cases of beer in a weekend and a minimum of 6 beers every weekday is the new norm for him. But, we all know "it's just beer." He "gave up the hard stuff."
In a conversation last night (and in other talks), H says he is only "here for the kids." (H moved back home after an 8 month S. I've only recently acknowledged to myself the impact alcohol has played in our M).
He says things like this when he is drinking. Hell, there is rarely a time when he isn't drinking--so having non-alcohol conversations is next to impossible (again, something I've only recently acknowledged).
When he isn't drinking (during the weekday, daytime hours at work), he doesn't say much of anything.
I have decided to stay in this marriage and work on myself. For now, my H provides good financial support. He is good to the kids. We don't argue. I know I could leave and start over, but I have made the choice to stay. It's my choice: I own it.
Do I ignore comments like "I'm just here for the kids," dismiss it as the alcohol talking, and disengage from any relationship conversations?
Do I call H out on it and tell him he is free to leave anytime he wants?
H does know if he leaves again, it is over. No second chances.
I've read enough to know that ultimatums rarely work for an alcoholic and the threat of losing the wife and kids is rarely the "rock bottom."
I know the alcohol is covering up the pain of the A's--you can't heal what you don't feel. I know true R won't exist while H's brain is still pickled.
I'm trying to re-learn how to interact with him so that I can protect my emotions.
I would chalk up anything my WS says to the alcohol when he's drinking. I have been interacting with him so much this year due to the cheating, that I can really tell a difference when he's drinking. He's not logical and he says things that he doesn't seem to mean when he's sober.
I used to detach from my WS when he was drinking (every night), but now after the cheating, I really can't detach so easily. Most nights nowadays he's not drinking, so that is helpful. He only went to the two AA meetings a few months back, so he's clearly not recovering. As a matter of fact, he got really drunk last night. (He's out of town) But he decided to tell me instead of pretending he caught something from his father. I'm not sure what it means that he's being honest about it, but he seemed happy with himself so whatever. To me, he's not in AA, and he's not recovering.
Al-anon for me tomorrow! I'm surprised how quickly I went from dreading going to being happy that I am.
I don't know if you have tried Al-anon or not. It's new to me this year. I was a bit chicken to go at first, so I tried out the online Al-anon meetings to see what the format was like. I also went with WS to his first AA meeting, and the format of those meetings is similar.
It's hard stuff to deal with, for sure. I'm sorry you are having to live with this, too.
I am glad you found Al-Anon and are working on you.
There is no way he is emotionally available enough to work on R.
This is so true about an alcoholic. Hopefully, your alcoholic WS is working the program and has NC with the OW.
My xWW met her OM in detox and she has not really worked the program. She finally quite drinking about 6 months ago. She is not drinking, but not sober either. She still doesn't own her problems and is in a romantic relationship with the other alcoholic counting on it for support rather than learning to do it herself. She hasn't made the changes in behavior that an alcoholic needs to really turn their life around.
If your WS can find true sobriety by working the program you can work on R. Hopefully, he'll work the program and make the changes he needs to. Hopefully, he'll accept that the alcoholism and the A are his to own. Then you two can work on R and putting your marriage back together.
For now just continue to take care of yourself.
For those of you who are married to a recovering alcoholic, what was your alcoholic's rock bottom?
I keep thinking my H is there, but then it keeps going.
Now that my eyes are open to the extent of H's drinking, I'm... I don't know what I am: overwhelmed, scared, shocked, saddened.
I feel so stupid for not seeing it before. I've lived with this for 18 years and I've just now started really seeing his drinking.
With each alcoholic the bottom is a very individual thing and some never recover.
My xWW may not have hit her's yet, but she is dry-not drinking. She's not sober becuase she's still looking for things outside herself that are the cause of her problems. She hasn't, IMO, made the changes in behavior needed for long term active recovery.
With my xWW I thought the prospect of losing her job, her marriage and custody of her children would have done it. But, she has made rationalizations for each. Her job wasn't all that great anyway and she wasn't happy with it-tenured college prof. I was a risk to her sobriety and the POS OM was accepting-she relpases for 8 more months most of the relpases were with her accepting supportive "friend". With the custody she's okay if she can get 50/50 sometime in the future is what seems to be what she is shooting for-her biggest focus seems to be getting out of CS and having them during the weekends for vacation time with no rules.
Don't feel stupid for not seeing it. Some people hide the drinking very well and are very functional and no one wants to believe the worst about the one they love.
Set boundaries that you will enforce and are needed to protect you, not to make him change. Only he can do that. Get into Al-Anon, IC or both to reinforce you didn't cause, can't control, and can't cure it.
Take care of yourself.
It is difficult to figure out what is their's to own and what is the disease. The alcoholism definitely changes the way a person thinks-a physical change in the brain. What you can live with is personal and no one can say what is right for you, but you.
With alcoholism and the A the choices were your WS's to make. You didn't cause either. As far as assigning how much blame to the alcohol for the A, I could never figure out how to do that. My xWW wasn't drinking when she started the A, but still was thinking like an alcoholic. They were both in detox and then went to AA meetings together. They are neither one doing what AA says about relationships in early recovery. I went from soulmate to sh!t in less than 30 days after she met this other alcoholic. I'm now the blame for the A and alcoholism according to her. Again, an active alcoholic talking-just not one that is drinking.
Take care of yourself. That is the only thing you have control over, not whether he is willing to get into active recovery or R.
You mentioned awhile back on this forum being jealous of the illusion the WS creates - I can relate to that in a way. His illusion came crashing down awhile ago, but I was and am totally jealous that he got to have a carefree, physical relationship with a different person while I was and am starving for that kind of outlet. It makes me feel like all that faithfulness was a waste of time since he didn't honor me in the same way. I too have been the bill-payer, the one who is left with the difficulties of "real life." If you have kids though, your responsible behavior will not only pay off but be appreciated for the rest of their lives. No matter what they say now, they can look back and be grateful for a parent who provided stability for them in a time of chaos. That is a direct payoff of your choice to NOT live an illusion, but rather in reality with all its demands. I don't want to trade places with my WS either, but I do long for that kind of carefree, indulgent life he was able to escape to (even though it probably isn't as carefree as we might think). Sorry, kind of long!
Unfortunately, kicking my H out didn't sober him up. That wasn't his rock bottom. His sister even told me that he hadn't hit bottom yet (my SIL has been very supportive of me through the A's).
H had the OWs to pick him up and he had me who wasn't seeing the drinking for what it is.
H moved back home before I realized the extent of his drinking. He doesn't hide it. I just didn't open my eyes to it. The drinking is like the stain on the carpet that you never notice until one day a beam of sunlight hits it just right.
My IC is helping me open my eyes to the addiction. At my last appointment, IC basically told me H is digging his grave. Now that the blinders are off, I see it, too. H is killing himself and he can't get sober on his own.
This week I will be confronting my H with the medical evidence of why I believe he won't be here next Christmas--not because of S or D, but because he will dead. It really has gotten that bad.
I've got the phone numbers ready for my H to call if he will get help (both medical and mental help phone numbers). Otherwise, I think I may hand him the phone number for the funeral home and tell him to start making his own arrangements.
It's scary. And I'm kicking myself for not truly seeing it earlier--18 years earlier!