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User Topic: Can I get a gut check, please?
♀ Member
Member # 31758
Default  Posted: 9:59 AM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I get that you are frustrated by the "he's an alcoholic" talk and so I won't sing with the chorus on that one.... although I have BEEN THERE and your life was my life when I got married. It took me 19 years to get out. We had tons of doctors for my ex too. Trust me. Shoot! He was a doctor and so were many other people in his family! That doesn't mean that an addict isn't a master at lying, deceiving and minimizing to the experts. What you see in consumption is not what he is actually taking in... you can bet your life savings on that.

The best thing you can do is save yourself, trust your gut and at the very least - plan a back up exit strategy "just in case"

As for "Beth" it sounds really bad and you should def trust your gut on that one. Even if you think of him just as a "problem drinker" have you considered a few Al Anon meetings? I think that would help you a LOT. They would really give you support and help you navigate what is surely going to be a difficult path if you choose to stay with him.

Good luck to you. Please, if anything keep talking to your family and friends and don't hide things from them. Don't protect him. You need their support too.

Men were deceivers ever; one foot in sea and one on shore, to one thing constant never.

Posts: 620 | Registered: Apr 2011 | From: Midwest
♀ Member
Member # 41652
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the support.

H is looking for a new job. He doesn't talk to Beth outside of work (no texts except for work texts during work hours). There is nothing *currently* going on (that I know of) that gives me red flags about Beth. It is the past behavior (a year or more ago - I'm not sure why it just started really worrying me) The job is a HUGE company with lots of stress and there is definitely an "attitude" that is not marriage friendly - lots of divorcees and people actually told him "Is this your first marriage?" when we got engaged, yikes. H says he doesn't think it is a good environment to be in or raise a family in.

H actually brought up that he is worried he is bipolar. I don't see the manic side but upon reading bipolar II - it may fit. If anything I see the reduced need for sleep, energy, agitation in the "mania" phase. No delusions of grandeur, grandiose thinking, delusions, etc. He has had 2-3 episodes of these funks over the past 5 years but I guess that could just be straight depression too. I think that he is so volatile it makes me think maybe BPII is a correct diagnosis.

He has an appointment with the CBT on weds and I am going to ask him to bring that concern up.

The past 2 days have actually been really really good - H says he is feeling better (he is meeting my needs and I can see putting the effort in). I am going to see if he is consistent. I think perhaps the medicine finally started to kick in (3 weeks?) or perhaps he if he is BP, he is transitioning out of the depressive state?

I guess here is my plan:

1. Watch H's mood and his treatment of me. I require that he meets my needs and I will be supportive in his quest to feel better. I have made my needs really clear (he likes lists) 1. Truth, 2. Continuous Kindness and 3. Attention. If he has problems meeting any one of these items - time for MC again (and to evaluate if this is the marriage I want).

2. Work on H's boundaries (lying, flirting etc). I know I am not ready to leave over suspicions. I will be checking up on him. But I will treat it like I KNOW he has bad boundaries and that these need to be repaired. He is working on them with the CBT and I will likely request that we do some reading together re healthy boundaries to protect a marriage.

3. Watch and wait on the alcohol. If he cannot keep to his promise - then ask for sobriety. (Which he has agreed to).

Posts: 155 | Registered: Dec 2013
♀ Member
Member # 34755
Default  Posted: 11:42 AM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

*IF* he is bipolar, many self medicate with Alcohol (or other addictions) for a long time before diagnosis.

BS - Me
DDay 1 - Jul 11
DDay 2 - Jul 12
R Dec 12

Former 80s Icon wishful thinking

Posts: 2031 | Registered: Feb 2012
♂ Member
Member # 38157
Default  Posted: 5:00 PM, December 18th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It sounds like you have a great plan of action and he is doing his part.

I think sometimes us guys are afraid to be honest with our partners about our thoughts and feelings because we are taught to show our strong outside and keep our soft insides to ourselves. He may even be afraid of rejection or your disapproval if he tells you things.

Imagine a teenager coming home after failing a class and not wanting to tell his parents. That's how he probably feels about telling you if he slipped up and chewed again or drank something. The hardest part is being there for him in a way that he feels he can come to you. Your natural reaction will be to get angry or express your disappointment.

Keep working this together!!!

D-Day 1: 22 Dec 2012
D-Day 2: 22 July 2014
Me: 40's WW: 40's Together 15 years
1st OM: ex-"Best Friend" of 30+ years

Posts: 224 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Toronto
♀ Member
Member # 41652
Default  Posted: 6:52 PM, March 20th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi - I hate when there's no update so thought I would check back in.

H was not diagnosed as bipolar, but was diagnosed with serious depression.

H finally got on the right meds (prozac and one other) and after a week it was like a light switch went off with his moods. He is back to "normal" - normal reactions, treating me normally etc. It has been SO nice.

We saw a Drug and Alcohol Counselor twice together (in addition to his visits with a CBT and Psych). She basically agreed he was in the beginning stages of alcoholism but that he could try the moderation plan (works for about 30% of people in the beginning stages) and that if it didn't work, then it would be abstinence. H agreed. Moderation plan (up to 2 drinks, up to 3 days a week) has been going great.

She also had some great advice re me letting go of the situation (not trying to control it) and to a large extent I have and that has been SO nice. I don't monitor his drinking. I don't bug him about it. But I also have a zero tolerance policy - he slips up once, then its abstinence. H has been really great about owning it this time and making it his problem to fix, not mine.

He has been off chew (even after the slip up) for over a year.

The lying issue has been majorly worked on and I haven't even caught a small lie. I think he finally gets how damaging it was. One of the interesting things he talked about with his Psych was his fixation/fear of "getting in trouble" - i guess its not uncommon in depressed people to fixate on something like that? He says that fear is lessening with the meds and he has shared some stuff (been open and honest) that I'm sure he was scared to share - but he did. Progress!

He doesn't push and that alcohol seeking behavior has really gone away. More so the behaviors that really bothered me (checking out and snapping at me) have disappeared. I think he was white knuckling before but now that he has the meds, doesn't have the same "need" to self medicate.

H did give me all his phone records (showed me how to log into his phone account and check his records). They do not show any abnormal history with Beth (about what I expected based on contact I knew of). It does not have the exact text message though so I guess I will never know what he actually said that night to her where he deleted his messages.

Our sex life has really improved and he is quite interested again.

I guess and this point, I am feeling much better and thinking that some of my gut feeling may be related to the alcoholic behaviors (distancing himself, checking out etc) and the depression (snapping at me etc) and may not have signaled that he was cheating.

I am going to keep a watchful eye but also give him enough rope to hang himself. I want to trust my h. So I will. And occasionally I will verify. And I pray that he is worthy of that trust.

[This message edited by gutfeeling at 7:09 PM, March 20th (Thursday)]

Posts: 155 | Registered: Dec 2013
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Member # 16394
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, March 20th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the update. Sounds like great progress. It is clear you have let go of owning his behavior and he has picked up the slack. You future is looking much brighter than last Fall. Stay the course, and take care of you.

BS-me FWS - him
D-day 8/04

"Global editing disclaimer - I edit almost everything I post, and I am not going to post why every time." Bionical girl

Posts: 3003 | Registered: Sep 2007 | From: New York
♀ Member
Member # 28156
Default  Posted: 11:03 AM, March 21st (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In honesty, the driving problem is the alcohol.. You may need to hear this for awhile, before even you accept this...He seems to be dishonest on many levels...Hiding and lying comes very easy...This is just the beginning..I have lived with an alcoholic for many years. Due to excessive travel for career, I didn't get it..When I was told on SI, I didn't really hear it for awhile.. I just thought it was social drinking.. It is not.Hes is a functioning alcoholic.. ANd now I see, it is the real root of our marriage problems..Its the driving force that makes him go where he goes, and does what he does... ANd it is lifelong....Dr. Phil says EVERY alcoholic will cheat...eventually... These are all escapes. Today, H starts his 3 AD...They are not working. Hes manic. Hes a real mess...Hes literally falling apart...Trust gets worse.You will be addressing this one day too. You have plenty of red flags...

a trigger yesterday

Posts: 1054 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: athome
♀ Member
Member # 41652
Default  Posted: 11:46 AM, March 21st (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks Cancun - I think our situations may be somewhat different and it seems like you are putting a fair amount of your experience with your H onto my H.

I'm not rugsweeping alcoholic behaviors for 20 years. As soon as I moved in with him I noticed that it was an issue. I raised it multiple times. He didn't get it. I outed the behavior to his and my parents. They were concerned. Finally H saw it wasn't just me being concerned. He went to an MFT, a CBT, a Psych, and a Drug and Alcohol Counselor ALL to talk about alcohol and how it was affecting him/his moods/our relationship.

It's been almost a year now since I outed him to his parents and except for the episode in November (where he had a nervous break down and threatened to kill himself), he's been successful at the moderation plan.

Now that he has addressed the depression/anxiety issues, his behaviors re alcohol are even more improved (hence why I said I thought he was white knuckling before).

It is far from uncommon for undiagnosed anxiety and depression to go hand in hand with self medicating with alcohol.

My hope is that since he has addressed the depression/anxiety and learned the tools to address depression and anxiety in the future - his need to self medicate will be gone and the major issues with alcohol will disappear (as they seem to have so far, knock on wood).

All that being said - I am not in denial and I will not spend 20 years rugsweeping his behavior. He falls off the wagon 1 time and it is abstinence or separation. H is on board with this. His parents are on board with this. I am not going to keep merry go rounding and trying to have him be able to drink those damn 2 drinks. It's not worth it for me and H says its not worth it for him either - he wants to see if he can do it and if he can, great. If he can't ok. Only time will tell.

The lying etc was obviously a big concern for me. He lied about 1. chew, 2. alcohol and 3. those deleted text messages. We have been working as part of our MFT counseling on his having stronger boundaries (he'd do anything work told him to do, people pleaser, etc.) and complete honesty. It has been working and I see huge improvements in his boundaries with others and again he has not even done a small white lie with me since we started working on it.

My refrain to him since I felt so insecure in Dec was 1. Honesty 2. Attention and 3. Earning Trust through action. He hasn't let me down.

Anyway - I guess I just want to say, I'm not saying there won't be an issue with alcohol in the future. I am aware that his behaviors are EXTREMELY troubling. I've given him the opportunity to fix it his way - moderation plan. (with the support of his CBT, Psych, and the D and A counselor). If he can't do it, then it will be sobriety.

Having said all that, I still don't buy that 100% of alcoholics cheat or that 100% of alcoholics in recovery cheat. Your advice (curse?) that I will be addressing the same issues your husband is having isn't helpful. That's like saying all cheaters will cheat again because your husband did and telling everyone on JFO to RUN NOW. It may be a possibility, or even a probability, but its simply not true (as a lot of members here will tell you).

My h is doing well, is meeting my needs and I see a lot of positive changes. I'm going to give him a chance to show that he can maintain it. Statistically speaking, he is young, in the beginning stages, not dependent, employed, etc. - this is the "best case" scenario in terms of recovery statistics (except that being a woman would increase his chances slightly). I do believe that some people can have an issue with alcohol and recover and live a normal life (not saying a normal life with unlimited alcohol).

Posts: 155 | Registered: Dec 2013
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