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#1 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I work full time and have DS (4 yo) and DD (22 months). Right now I have a brief reprieve this week due to the fact that we all have the flu and I've been home for four days with them! When I am working full time (40 hrs), I have a 30 minute commute each way, where I lose time. I've always been close to my work, but not in this job. Daycare for both kids is in the opposite direction (2 miles), which is closer for DH to drop them off and pick up in the evenings, but he refuses to do so, and usually doesn't help in the mornings or with lunches. DH works full time,too, but occasionally gets laid off, and when he does, he sometimes doesn't pick up the kids from daycare early to save money but stays home and reads, watchs TV, etc.. ACK! He has become my third child. So I usually pack everyones lunch, get them ready in the morn, and drive them to daycare, so once I'm on the road, it takes me an hour total to get to work. I have somewhat flexible hours, but my supervisor expects me to work 40 hrs (for sure in summer, but winter its slower, so I can often get by with 36-38 hrs a week). To work full time, I sometimes have to stay as late as 6 pm and get home at 6:45 pm, make dinner (DH won't cook), put the kids to bed (I do all the baths), then co-sleep and still nurse my DD. I'm exhausted. Another woman at my work who has two kids (older than mine) seems to have always done this effortlessly. She always finds creative ways to cut corners, too, like working at home, using the wellness program, etc. Her DH works out of the same office and helps her a lot, I think.

 

I had both my kids in my 40's with my younger DH (from another country). He is also an alcoholic who decides to get sober every four months, goes to AA, lies about it, and then is back to full time drinking again. He can be verbally abusive and edgy when he is drinking, sometimes even sober, so I'm really wearing thin. He lacks emotional maturity, and having  discussion with him on nearly any subject (especially disciplining the kids) leaves me feeling like I've just had an argument with a 12 year old who says "Na na!" at the end of every sentence. We've gone to counselors before, and each one of them seems to not really see the real problem (that hes an alcoholic that needs to be sober to function in the family) before we can move forward. He got a DUI over two years ago and was sober for about six months (even though he received a 1 yr coin at AA--lied to them, too). It wasn't long enough to make too much emotional progress (he has many issues of abandonment by his mother).

 

I've threatened divorce or moving out, he says I'm controlling. I have to be because if he is drinking, I have to often take over (he has driven my kids before while drinking). He seems to be getting better (this week he is six days sober), but I'm not crossing fingers anymore. I'm exhausted mentally and physically. I used to have a beautiful, thin figure and I am 40 pds heavier, no exercise, no time to myself, and I already feel like a single parent. I still think the kids are better off with DH in the house, he does have redeeming qualities, although they are becoming harder to find.

 

I need to find a way to get up earlier in the morning and get an earlier start and get the kids to daycare by 8 am, and myself to work by 9 am (it only saves me a half hour). I'm not a morning person and the thought of having to do this even earlier when they are school age without any help from my spouse just scares me. We just moved into a new townhouse we bought--I was so proud of my accomplishment (all my effort and work, DH just signed the papers).

 

What would you do?

 

Minaret

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#2 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 08:18 PM
 
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I'd just tell him, look- you need to pull your weight in this marriage. You need to sober up and stay employed and also get off your butt and pick the kids up. And if he doesn't comply, I'd leave him. Because, that is enabling him to be an alcoholic and abusive towards you and your kids and that is totally unacceptable. I'm sure when he's sober- he's wonderful. But, if he's not committed to being sober, you need to get out! And, don't just threaten, follow through. But, of course- tell him how incredibly serious you are about him needing to do his part or else.


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#3 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 08:59 PM
 
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I know that sounds harsh, but really it sounds like he is the most stressful thing in your life. He needs to get it together, and if he refuses he doesn't deserve the privilege of being your DH. If he doesn't pull it together at the very least it sounds like you need to separate from him, and if that isn't enough for him you might need to consider whether his drama/abuse is worth it to you. Mama issues are not an excuse. If you aren't expecting any assistance, not getting it isn't as stressful I think.

 

Change daycare, put them in one near to where you work, or at least on the way. That way if you have to drop them off it isn't so out of your way. By the time they are in school you will probably be all done with night nursing, which will help your energy as well.

 

I doubt that woman did it effortlessly, it probably looks to other people like you are handling things a lot better than it feels like you are. In addition, having an alcoholic/semi-abusive husband is completely draining. I know that if I have an argument or difficulties with DH, who despite many wonderful qualities neither of us is perfect, everything is much more stressful than it would have been otherwise. Imagine a day where you weren't thinking about how your dh should be helping, or how his negative behavior is harming you, where you just came home, made dinner and put the kids to bed.

 

I'm NOT trying to talk you into leaving your husband, but I am saying that it sounds like he is the source of much of your stress and if he can't see that and won't make a real commitment to change then you really need to consider your families health, happiness and your stress level. You are more important than your marriage. This should be true even in the best of relationships.

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#4 of 21 Old 02-02-2011, 09:26 PM
 
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I just wrote out a whole page and erased it because it seemed too personal. All I can offer is Ala-teen.com  it will take you to a sight for ala-non (for family members of alcoholics in and out of the AA system) and Ala-teen (GREAT place for teens but watch out for the bad seeds in the bunch) There will be meetings in the area, books for free they will offer and personally some one to talk to about the struggles
YOU and your family deal with. Alcoholism is not a disease that effects one person it effects all those that love them too. I wish you the best of luck and hope you stay strong what ever you decide.

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#5 of 21 Old 02-03-2011, 12:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mrsjerrygarcia View Post

I'd just tell him, look- you need to pull your weight in this marriage. You need to sober up and stay employed and also get off your butt and pick the kids up. And if he doesn't comply, I'd leave him. Because, that is enabling him to be an alcoholic and abusive towards you and your kids and that is totally unacceptable. I'm sure when he's sober- he's wonderful. But, if he's not committed to being sober, you need to get out! And, don't just threaten, follow through. But, of course- tell him how incredibly serious you are about him needing to do his part or else.



This.

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#6 of 21 Old 02-03-2011, 02:25 AM
 
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If you aren't already, I would start attending Al-Anon meetings; for yourself, and to show support of his sobriety. Are you in marriage counseling? Marriage is a commitment to be there through the good times and the bad. Not one couple is married for 60 years without having many bad years. It is work. It's sad that he suffers from alcoholism, and maybe he should go to inpatient or outpatient treatment. It sounds like he needs additional help that you can't give him. I would look into some treatment centers and do an intervention. The only thing that worries me, is him drinking and driving the kids around. That's obviously not acceptable. Only you can breastfeed; this should be thought of as bonding time too. In many households, one spouse does all the cooking. I don't see that as a big deal. If you leave him, this won't change. 

 

If, at the latest, you start dinner at 6:45 (finish dinner prep by 7:15) and finish eating at 7:45-cleanup by 8:00, baths done by 8:45, and then get kids tucked away in bed by 9:00. I would go to bed at the same time.

 

I wake up between 3:30-4:30 every day. I have 2-3 hours to myself before my family gets up. I can spend that time meditating or catching up on my favorite book, or tv show on Hulu. I also go to bed by 9:00 every night (that seems possible for you-because you have small kids). Your 30 minute drive is alone time that can be spent listening to an audio book, learning a foreign language, listening to self help or motivational cds. If you get a 30 minute/1 hour lunch, then that is your time to workout. That's also alone time. You don't have to join a gym; you can go walking and do arm weights. You can only control you. Concentrate on making you feel better, and not changing him. 

 

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#7 of 21 Old 02-03-2011, 06:50 AM
 
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Honestly I would move out and say, "If you can get it together and be sober for 1+plus years and get and keep a job, then I will enter marriage counseling to try and work this out.  If not, we're done."

 

I would also document document document document until your fingers practically fall of from typing.  If you leave him you will need a record of all the times he has driven drunk, you will need all the information you can get to make sure that he doesn't drive your children when he has visitation. 

 

Good luck to you.

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#8 of 21 Old 02-03-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Long rant.....Thanks for all the supportive suggestions about my situation. I'm still feeling weak from my bout with the flu, but DH is better. The illness gave him an easier time of being sober for 10 days now. He told me last night that he is chairing the Monday night meetings and also going on Saturday to another county to attend a meeting. This is good news. I'm hoping that making this larger commitment to AA will help keep him sober. He is in the hispanic AA group, the weird thing about them is that they often chit-chat for several hours after the meetings, or have longer meetings that the other AA chapters. It's supposed to be an hour, but it will go from 7:30 to 9:30. sometimes 10 pm.(I've even driven by the meeting place with kids in tow to make sure this is true. We have some real trust issues because of his lying about drinking).

 

I used to complain about this extra time when he got his DUI and he would go to meetings three days a week, saying could he please just go for an hour, even just two instead of three. He was doing so well, I was taking it for granted. Then our DD was born, and I needed his help for about five weeks, so he stopped going to meetings. When he started drinking again, it was all "my fault" because I asked him not to go to meetings anymore. This wasn't really true, I'd just asked him to shorten the meetings and to stop briefly for a few weeks during the time I had DD. For over a year, he kept saying he would only go back to AA if I didn't have any restrictions on him. I've been begging him to go--five days a week if that's what it takes, for over a year now. I don't believe he is at the level of abuse that he needs an intervention. Besides, he has no family here, and the family he does have in Mexico basically abandoned him when he was a baby and he was adopted by another family. The town where we originally met--we enjoyed a lot of mutual friends and he had some self "adopted" parents who took care of him when he first came to the states at 16 yrs old. We moved from this town five years ago because I got a job promotion, but we've found it very different from where we were and difficult to make friends. After five years, I finally have one friend I can say that would be supportive and loyal. Because of marrying at 40 (to an alcoholic), moving to a new town and having two children, my life has changed dramatically and has become very isolating. 

 

We live in a small town and the only al-anon meeting for me during non-working hours is on Monday nights. This is now when my DH wants to chair his AA meetings, and there is no way I'm even bringing up the subject, because he will find an excuse not to go, telling me that its my fault because I had to go to my al-anon. I didn't really care for this al-anon group, I wanted advice back, and you can't do that in al-anon. So we went to a counselor, but I can't seem to get the right one who understands what happens with alcohol addiction. DH does have a job; but if it doesn't snow, he gets unemployment. The unemployment is low enough that we can't afford kids in daycare full time when he is collecting unemployment, but often he continues to stay at home and do nothing while they are in daycare. For this last week of sobriety, he hasn't done that.  His work is full time in the summer. How does one gently push in the right direction without sounding controlling, without getting threatened with, "if you ask me again, I'm going to go have a drink."  

 

When I have made threats to leave or divorce, he doesn't react well to it or try to solve it. He just responds by saying, "Fine, you hate me, so lets do it. Get the papers or whatever." However, if I really did, he would freak out. He is actually very afraid of the kids and I leaving. I don't know how to make it clear that I mean business except to kick him out. I've done this for one night before and I wind up letting him in, sleeping it off, we discuss things in the morning, he returns to reality and seems sorry and makes a brief effort to recovery, and then he is down the same path again a few months later. The constant see saw is wrecking havoic on my health. He separates himself from this, however, and often tells me that I do too much, that I'm too controlling, that I spend too much time with the kids (I don't, I work full time, so I do pay attention to them when I get home), but if I didn't do all this, none of it would get done. The other day, I asked him to help with a rice dish, to add the water and spices. He was about to pour in too much water--didn't read the directions, so I just added, "the box says 1 cup, not two." He went balistic, called me controlling, and smashed the measuring cup down on the counter and said, "you do it then."  Oh yes, that's the other thing, I guess we have anger along with it. (In the past, I used to have to use an ATM for him because he would refuse to learn how to use one to make deposits and I would have to switch seats with him whenever we went through a drive thru because he hated ordering at drive thru's, I would have to punch my debit card pin at the gas station because he would refuse to do it even when I gave him the number) and yet I get called controlling! There is a point when a person needs to take responsiblity for their own actions. This what DH has not learned. Why is it so hard to pour in the right amount of water from directions on a box? 

 

Does anyone know if there is an online chat/blogs for folks dealing with alcoholism in the family that might be good sites to visit. I feel like I have just ranted on here but I have so much inside that needs to get out. The counselors in this town are not very experienced (3 so far) and I'm tired of DH putting on the usual charm and it winds up back in my lap. I know I'm partially responsible too and an enabler, but when I have attempted counseling, I seem to get "reamed" and DH gets all the understanding from the counselor and I get a sense they believe his lies. The last counseling session we had together before the holidays DH had obviously been drinking before the appointment and the counselor didn't even notice. She didn't even call him on his raging tirade about some photo albums I had in a closet that he was "bothered" by because they had some old pictures of boyfriends in them from way, way back. Instead, she kept asking if I could put them somewhere else so they didn't bother him (I'd already moved them once) instead of addressing the real issue of his jealousy.

 

Thanks for letting me rant, if anyone is still listening.

 

Minaret

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#9 of 21 Old 02-03-2011, 01:49 PM
 
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I would post in PaP and ask for support from partners of alcoholics.  There are some wise women who post there, and they would have better advice for you than I do.

 

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#10 of 21 Old 02-04-2011, 04:31 AM
 
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I don't have experience w/ Al-anon meetings online or in person (but I Googled online Al-anon meetings, and found some). Here is one link- http://stepchat.com/alanon.htm

 

 

 

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#11 of 21 Old 02-04-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Minaret View Post

 

I need to find a way to get up earlier in the morning and get an earlier start and get the kids to daycare by 8 am, and myself to work by 9 am (it only saves me a half hour). I'm not a morning person and the thought of having to do this even earlier when they are school age without any help from my spouse just scares me. We just moved into a new townhouse we bought--I was so proud of my accomplishment (all my effort and work, DH just signed the papers).

 

What would you do?

 

Minaret

 

enable much?

 

YOU need to find a way to get up earlier, work longer, be more organized, clean and cook?!

 

Nooo -- NOOO - N-O-O-O-O! This is NOT what you need to do.

 

You need to find the strength to give yourself and your children the life you deserve. You do not deserve to live with an alcoholic who puts the kids in danger and is not a partner to you. You do not need to model this kind of marriage to your children. Because chances are they'll make the same choices as you. Is this kind of relationship you want your children in? If you don't have the strength to leave him for yourself, do it for your children. No more threats. He doesn't take you seriously about leaving because you keep "crying wolf" and not meaning it. I wouldn't worry about him finding a place to sleep either - he can crash with one of those AA buddies he's been spending hours with.

 

(also - a little secret is that NO ONE manages this effortlessly. The stress is just more on the surface for some people).



 

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#12 of 21 Old 02-05-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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As a woman in recovery from alcoholism, I can only say that the best thing that ever happened to me was my husband leaving me and moving on with his life, with my kids. It brought me "to my bottom" as they say, which is the only hope for a chronic alcoholic, which I was. maybe your husband is, not for me to judge. The excruciating problem with alcoholism is that we alcoholics don't know we're is powerless over the addiction, so we keep exerting ourselves to control our drinking, and we keep failing, but each time with a firm (and insane) resolve that it will be different the next time. This can go on for years, until death or institutionalization in some cases. Personally, I tried everything: therapy, rehab (5 times), psychiatric drugs, working/not working, etc. Alcoholics Anonymous was what ultimately helped me and I've been sober for two years now, with "not a drink in sight." My husband and I were re-united, which doesn't always happen, and now I'm living a life beyond my wildest dreams. I don't know if I could do it, but I know that the best thing anybody can do for an alcoholic is help him realize he's powerless, which usually involves letting him dig his own grave for as long as it takes. I have a graduate degree and a whole family that loves me, but because they understood what it means to be alcoholic, and because they weren't codependent, there were nights that I slept in my car, wondering what the hell had happened to my life. When I had nobody to blame but myself, I had to look at the truth, which was that I was absolutely powerless and needed help. Somehow from that place of desperation, I was willing to listen to AA, live AA, and I'm reaping the miraculous results. Good luck to you.


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#13 of 21 Old 02-05-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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Honestly I would move out and say, "If you can get it together and be sober for 1+plus years and get and keep a job, then I will enter marriage counseling to try and work this out.  If not, we're done."

 

I would also document document document document until your fingers practically fall of from typing.  If you leave him you will need a record of all the times he has driven drunk, you will need all the information you can get to make sure that he doesn't drive your children when he has visitation. 

 

Good luck to you.

 

Yup. I totally agree with this!
 


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#14 of 21 Old 02-05-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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I didn't read all the replies, so I apologize if I repeat what has already been said.

 

If there is anyway at all possible to get our of the marriage or at least seperate, I'd do that ASAP.  As far as I'm concerned, there couldn't be enough redeeming qualities of any human being to take the risk of driving the kids around drunk or living in a abusive home.

 

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#15 of 21 Old 02-05-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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I would put him out. It seems to me like you are the one doing it all, and he is just bringing you down. I have seen this dynamic in many relationships and from what I have seen it does not get better. hug.gif

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#16 of 21 Old 02-05-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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Honestly I would move out and say, "If you can get it together and be sober for 1+plus years and get and keep a job, then I will enter marriage counseling to try and work this out.  If not, we're done."

 

I would also document document document document until your fingers practically fall of from typing.  If you leave him you will need a record of all the times he has driven drunk, you will need all the information you can get to make sure that he doesn't drive your children when he has visitation. 

 

Good luck to you.



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#17 of 21 Old 02-05-2011, 08:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Minaret View Post

I need to find a way to get up earlier in the morning and get an earlier start and get the kids to daycare by 8 am, and myself to work by 9 am (it only saves me a half hour). I'm not a morning person and the thought of having to do this even earlier when they are school age without any help from my spouse just scares me.

 

<snip>

 

What would you do?

 

 


What I did, in almost your exact situation (except that we never owned a place, for various reasons, but mostly because of my ex's various kinds of sabotage, and his issue was illegal drugs, starting pot and escalating, not with alcohol), was leave. It simply wasn't workable for me, anymore. Like you, I gained a lot of weight, due to stress, insomnia, emotional eating, and a lack of time to exercise. My physical health was trashed. I left him almost 11 years ago, and I'm still not really back to normal (admittedly, I've also had four pregnancies, four c-sections and a stillbirth since then!) in several respects.

 

That said...I stuck it out for a lot longer than I should have, for a lot of reasons - I didn't want to admit I'd failed at marriage - I didn't want ds1 to lose out on having his father in his life (which he did - my ex played treat dad for a few months, then disappered into a crack pipe and only made a partial reappearance this last year or so) - I didn't want to throw away all those years I had invested in the relationship (about 10 when things started to go downhill...but 15 by the time I got my act together and dumped him) - I was afraid of trying to function as a WOH single mom. It was scary. What would I do without his help? What would I do without his income? What would I do???

 

And...I was only a single mom for a year before dh moved in. In that year, my physical health improved. I started getting regular sleep. I lost a few pounds. I got my house semi-organized (which wasn't perfect, but was better than it had been in a long, long time) and mostly clean. DS1 and I pulled together as a team to deal with housework and such. And...my financial situation improved to the point where my debt was mostly gone, my bills were all current for the first time in about 2-3 years, and I could occasionally buy something ds1 and I wanted to eat, instead of what I could afford for dinner. There is actually not one part of my life - not one - that wasn't better and easier after I ended my marriage.

 

If you're not prepared to leave, the only other coping mechanism I can think of is to basically pretend that you have. Don't expect anything from him. Don't count on him. Don't be disappointed when he drinks. He's not a partner, and expecting him to be just leads to endless stress and disappointment.


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#18 of 21 Old 02-06-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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Do you really know people with alcoholic spouses who effortlessly manage their lives? I doubt that the most significant help to that woman in your office is that her dh works with her; it's that her dh isn't an irresponsible and abusive alcoholic. You seem to be discounting the negative impact that your husband and his alcoholism has on your lives.


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#19 of 21 Old 02-07-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minaret View Post

I need to find a way to get up earlier in the morning and get an earlier start and get the kids to daycare by 8 am, and myself to work by 9 am (it only saves me a half hour). I'm not a morning person and the thought of having to do this even earlier when they are school age without any help from my spouse just scares me. We just moved into a new townhouse we bought--I was so proud of my accomplishment (all my effort and work, DH just signed the papers).

 

What would you do?

 

Minaret

 

enable much?

 

YOU need to find a way to get up earlier, work longer, be more organized, clean and cook?!

 

Nooo -- NOOO - N-O-O-O-O! This is NOT what you need to do.

 

You need to find the strength to give yourself and your children the life you deserve. You do not deserve to live with an alcoholic who puts the kids in danger and is not a partner to you. You do not need to model this kind of marriage to your children. Because chances are they'll make the same choices as you. Is this kind of relationship you want your children in? If you don't have the strength to leave him for yourself, do it for your children. No more threats. He doesn't take you seriously about leaving because you keep "crying wolf" and not meaning it. I wouldn't worry about him finding a place to sleep either - he can crash with one of those AA buddies he's been spending hours with.

 

(also - a little secret is that NO ONE manages this effortlessly. The stress is just more on the surface for some people).


Agreed.  I was in a similar relationship when I was younger, without children.  I enabled.  Things were "getting better" over & over again.  It was all about control.  I took 5 years of abuse before I was able to leave.  I imagine with kids it's even harder.  I don't think it's better having him there for the kids.  What are they learning from him? 

 

I do recommend as a PP said, document, document, document.  And make sure your assets are safe from him.  Don't be the mom who loses everything because she didn't think her "DH" could do such a thing.

 

From my heart I wish you good luck whatever you do.


Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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#20 of 21 Old 02-15-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Minaret View Post

 

 

Does anyone know if there is an online chat/blogs for folks dealing with alcoholism in the family that might be good sites to visit. I feel like I have just ranted on here but I have so much inside that needs to get out. 

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/

You are not responsible for his drinking. Are you buying booze and pouring it down his throat? I thought not. Don't let him push this off on you. His drinking is his responsibility. All of his bellyaching about "if you do this or that, I'll drink" are ways of controlling YOUR behavior and shifting the blame. 

 

Of course he doesn't handle it well when you kick him out or threaten to leave. You're taking away his crutch. He expects you to just put up with his infantile behavior. 

 

YOU DIDN'T CAUSE IT, YOU CAN'T CONTROL IT, AND YOU CAN'T CURE IT.
 

He's not going to act or react like a logical person. He is an addict. He will say anything, do anything, to ensure his next fix. Unless he's in a recovery program, the chances of his continued sobriety are near zero. 

 

Your choices are clear - 

1. Continue to live this way, but expect no change. You will pour your heart and soul into pleasing him and continue to be disappointed. He will siphon your self-esteem, your energy, and every emotion you've got. Your children will grow up emotionally scarred, and have trouble forming relationships. They will not know what a normal marriage looks like. They will not understand their own anger. They will be emotionally closed-off and do anything for positive attention. (Don't believe me? Go look up the symptoms of an ACOA - Adult Children of Alcoholics. We have our own support groups.) 

2. Set your boundaries and stick to them. The next time he drinks (because it's coming, and you know it), kick him out. (And please God, change your locks!) He can come back when he's met your expectations - AND NOT A SECOND BEFORE. Six months of sobriety and CONTINUED attendance at meetings is what I'd suggest. He will whine, threaten, moan, complain, manipulate - anything he can think of - to get you to back down. Don't. He will always, always be an alcoholic. It's his choice if he chooses to address the issue and become a non-drinking alcoholic. But the temptation will always, always be there. He needs the support of people who've been there, and he needs to walk the walk himself.

 

You are not doing him any favors by enabling his behavior. If you love him, let him fail. Let him hit rock bottom so he can recover. If he chooses not to, it's his choice. But don't let him drag you with him. And most especially, don't let him be around your kids. It is your job, your responsibility, to protect them. 

 

And as the child of two alcoholics, I can tell you that you are harming your children by letting this continue. Having an alcoholic parent is no picnic. I am a practicing, conservative, faithful Catholic who believes 100% in the sanctity of marriage. And I'm telling you that you cannot maintain a normal marriage with an addict. It will suck you dry. And your children will come to resent you for staying, if he continues to drink. It's in your hands to fix this. 


Proud Catholic, homeschooling, RN-student mama of
DS 10 reading.gif  DS 8 fencing.gif DS 5, DD 3 energy.gif and a new DS  belly.gif 3/2011
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#21 of 21 Old 04-02-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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I wanted to add a little something for the original poster. I've been in a similar situation myself. My DH is an alcoholic, and he goes through periods when he is more or less functioning.

 

All of these responses for you to leave are really from people who are trying to look out for you, but I remember being in your situation and the wall of fear that would come from this kind of advice. The best advice I ever received was from a therapist who said; "When you're up against a wall, don't run right int it. Dismantle it brick by brick."

 

For me, this meant to start the moving process. Get rid of all of my extra stuff and reduce my burdens and ties. Fantasize freely about what you want, and begin to think about how to achieve it. If it was only you and your kids, where would you live? How would you live? Who would you want to have close by? Etc, etc etc. For me, coming up with a plan and putting it slowly but steadily into place gave me hope. Every time I was mad, I could do something about it. And as the end of our relationship began to look like a beginning instead of an end, I grew more of a backbone. I stood taller, smiled more, felt less bogged down, felt hopeful, ...

 

No matter what happens between you and your husband, you can improve your situation best by embracing your independence. Marriage first means learning to be a couple. Then it means learning how to be yourself in that couple, and letting him be himself. Let his actions have consequences that don't involve you. 

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