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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you may remember me being freaked out over my dh drinking too much, he moved out, we went to counselor, etc. Throughout our marriage, we've had *incidents* that were not ANY fun (him coming home with some other guys jacket on, pissing himself, getting in fight with best friend, trying to sleep in same bed w/ 2 yo) all when drunk---<br><br>
This has always been a major thing in my family--when I met dh he didn't drink at all for about 2 years then all those lovely things happened you see above when he started...so I didn't know what I was getting into...<br><br>
Well, after last *incident* when he tried to sleep in same bed as 2 yo (we do co-sleep but NEVER when altered!) he decided to quit drinking... So it's been about 4 months. I feel like it was his own decision & I did not nag, pressure him, nothing...I HAVE told him how proud I am of him.<br>
I wondered to him, "why can't you just stop at 1 beer?" & he told me that it always turns into 5 or 6, that he used to have a "standard answer" when I asked him how much he had to drink--would always say 1 or 2 when really it was more.<br><br>
Now I feel hurt he lied to me--he was driving our family car on more than 1 beer which is totally unacceptable to me...<br><br>
While carrying this hurt tho' I don't want to ruin his lifestyle choice by being negative...I want to support him in this choice he has made to put his family before insecure habits...(I'm pretty sure he drinks to escape how he feels sometimes--his mom was not much of a self esteem booster (did drugs& drank & slept with dh's teenage best friends & poor guy was tossed between drunks & drugs all his life)<br><br>
Any ideas on how I can do this? BTW, come to find out he was in AA in his early 20s, was a speaker for AA, but I don't know if he would be into it now...how would you ask? He does seem a little grumpier in general--more serious but way less volatile/angry...he used to yell at umpires in softball & now he's fun to play with BUT gets more bummed out about not winning...He seems more mellow but also more subdued, if that makes any sense...He seems to be handling life OK but I can tell when we see some of his friends like at the softball field & they offer to buy him a beer, he sounds a little beaten when he tells them he doesn't drink anymore. Last night I tried to distract him from a particular group of "friends" that he hung around with back when he decided to put drinking before his family--I felt like I was leading my 2 yo away from a manhole. I don't drink around him--I haven't been a drinker since my babies have been in the picture, but I did used to have a beer to loosen up before bfing or playing guitar, easing stage fright...now I try not to, but I wonder if that's right or not...do I change my life's details for his problem? Isn't he going to have to deal with people drinking around him? He can't live in a vacuum. It's not a big deal to me to beer or not to beer, so I'm thinking I shouldn't drink at all????<br>
But when we go out to dinner or something, he'll suggest I get wine with my meal if I feel like it, make a joke about me being easy when I've had some wine....<br><br>
Any advice or life experience is sooooooo appreciated...I'm feeling a little uneasy....am I making too big a deal out of this?
 

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I think you're smart to pay attention to your feelings. Do you have Al Anon or CODA meetings by you? They're an excellent source of support and self-discovery.
 

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I agree about support meeting. They are GREAT, my 2nd mom went to them 2 years before getting her husband "help" and they were a life saver for her and a marraige saver for them. He is now a medicated bi-polar and that has helped 101% with the drinking and the durgs (and the spending too). Could it be that there is an unadressed medical issue: bi-polar,m clinical depression (men commonly mask deperssion with anger and substance abuse)???<br><br>
If you can talk to him I'd do two thing...1) set boundaries for your and the kids saftey and 2) ask him how you can help --gather information for him (meeting places and so on).<br><br>
If you can't talk to him....1) set boudnaries and infom him of them; and tell him you are ready to talk when he is.<br><br><br>
BUT I do think the meetings would eb a sotre house of support and pratical help for you.<br><br>
Aimee
 

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No personal experience, but I have a very close friend in a similar situation and she highly recommends this book. It really helped her. Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Mountain, you are so lucky he wanted to and *could* stop drinking for four months. Some alcoholics need the support and community of AA, while others do not (seems most do though). You might suggest it, but he will not go unless he wants to go. For yourself, I would try AlAnon meetings - a good source of support and will perhaps help you deal with feelings of anger and betrayal.<br><br>
You are also correct that he cannot "live in a vacuum" - there's lots of drinking going on in the world. My MIL is sober (9 months, lapsed after 9 yrs) and her husband drinks. There's usually beer in their fridge. Usually the only difficult times for her are social situations like parties. So my advice would be to have a drink if you want to, your dh will face many situations where he must choose not to have a drink. And it will be stressful and awkward for him. Continue to be supportive.<br><br>
I agree with Aimee that the drinking may have been masking another problem, maybe depression ("He seems more mellow but also more subdued")??? My MIL is bi-polar and taking medication for that, which helps her control feelings that make her want to drink. Perhaps he would be willing to do an evaluation? Let him know you are concerned.<br><br>
I am dealing with very similar problem - my dp of 12 yrs has a drinking problem but *cannot* stop yet. I think he is waiting to hit "rockbottom" but I am very worried about what that will look like. We too have had several incidents - the last one occurred a few weeks ago at a party thrown to raise money for a dear friend of mine who has terminal cancer. He of course got s**tfaced and fell face first busting up his face and breaking his two front teeth! Alcoholism is a frightening addiction, especially for those of us who have to watch its progression, and NO you are not making too big a deal out of this. I really hope he continues his sobriety.<br><br>
Namaste,<br>
Laura
 

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I know this goes without being said; but remember........<br><br>
you can't take of him; he is an adult. You can love him and support him, but he is responible for self. He is going to face situations where others drink; he is going to face stress and anger and depression. HE can choose how to handle it. He can choose to get help if he needs it in faceing either the drinking or the issues that trigger it.<br><br>
You can't do any good for him, or child if you aren't taking care of YOU. We will support you all we can, but, again, I suggest a support group. They have walked where you are walking and know more than we do. They can vaildate feeling, and offer actual suggestions and hard cold facts. Keep a healthy view on yourself; set limits and stick to your boundaries if you have to.<br><br>
Keep it up. Never feel bad for thinking of yourself; don't loose your feelings and how this effect you and child; because even though he is the sick one (and it is an illness, that or it is masking an illness) you can't let that comsume YOU too. He needs you strong and "on the outside". Also do not feel gulit for admitting it effect you. Yes he is the sick one but you have a right to your feeling and it does effect you too.<br><br>
Let us know.<br><br>
Aimee
 

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Mountain...<br>
You are a very brave and loving soul. It is not easy being in a relationship with someone who drinks. I know. I'm living it now.<br><br>
I went to an Alanon meeting (many have day care or you can bring the kid to the meeting with you) and it helped so much because I was able to see the symptons of the disease rather than thinking it was just our relationship. If you can't make it to a meeting there are a ton of AA stuff to read and you can call and talk with someone.<br><br>
"One is too many and a thousand is not enough." This is the reality of an alcoholic. Most cannot be "social drinkers" because alcohol affects them very differently than it does non alcoholics.<br><br>
You know, I can write all these words that sound so rational and calm, but I rage at this disease. I take it so personally when he drinks. He was sober for months (without AA, clearly just doing it for me) and just when I started to open my heart back up he starts drinking again. My biggest fear is that our son will start drinking someday, but I have to remind myself to take one day at a time. I think I need to go to a meeting.<br><br>
Thanks Mountain for writing...you aren't over-reacting. Listen to your heart.
 

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I know how you feel, except for my husband hasn't ever been more than 18 days sober. I have a really hard time dealing with it. I read a wonderful book thought that my naturopathic doctor recommended called 7 weeks to Sobriety, and the author talks about how alcoholics all have chemical imbalances that can be fixed through nutritional supplements. My husband hasn't gotten to the point of committing to do the nutritional regimen they recommend, but I feel if he did it would make a huge difference. It was a very eye opening book and I recommend it highly. I wish my husband was were yours is on committing to sobriety. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for answering my post...It makes me feel very human to have you all answer with varieties of situations--we all have our own piles of life to deal with, huh!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: But really, it makes me very thankful to know there are people goin' though it too!<br><br>
It seems like different people have their own version of what is acceptable alcohol use...My dad was(is) a serious alcoholic who chose alcohol over his family when I was 2. Seven years later, he quit & got custody of my brother and I...so I guess you could say I'm *ultrasensitive* to the alcohol thing. I don't want my past to cloud my judgement now. On one hand, dh has never been physically abusive. But he makes REALLY bad judgement calls under the influence of alcohol & I cannot (and will not!) have my family's lives ruined by those bad calls anymore. I have friends that talk about their dh's drinking--oh, he drinks a 6pack working on the house--it annoys them but doesn't scare them like it scares me.<br><br>
mamawanabe, I can talk to him about it, but I don't want to be negative or crush his attempts at a positive lifestyle, so I just want to be really careful of WHAT I say, YKWIM? I DON'T want him to quit for ME, because I talked him into it--so I don't want to 'talk him into' staying with it...Like when mamanancy said "he was clearly just doing it for me"---I want him to want a healthy life, not just want to please me. I think it would stick better that way.<br>
I am totally proud of him for making this choice on his own & want to believe that it is his own healthy call... I know that I would be so totally crushed if he relapsed--I'm putting so much faith in this action. I heard him on the phone with his brother yesterday, answering a question with "the not-drinking thing's going good for now". I don't know if he's being casual about it because he wants it to appear to his little bro that everything's OK (his brother drinks casually & their pasttime together was trying the microbrews--so not drinking will affect their time together) OR if he's thinking this is a temporary thing....I think I'm going to have to get clear with him on that.<br><br>
So I drank a beer yesterday at band practice. I asked him if he minded it on my breath--he said no, he was drinking a "beer flavored soda", as he calls those non-alcoholic ODouls. He was able to drive people home afterwards...I think he's appreciating the perks of not drinking--he's a drummer & before could never really get a band together--now everybody's telling him how more right on he is (me included).<br><br>
Mommatheart, do u know the author of the nutritional book? That sounds pretty interesting & I want to do an evalutaion of our vitamin & mineral intakes...if we can ever get as healthy as we wanna be...<br><br>
Mamanancy, your post made me so sad for us that it's so hard...have you had any luck with counselling/communication? I think this board is a perfect place to get ideas/support/vent, thank you for sharing your experience.<br><br>
Childofthemoon, I will look for that book, thx<br><br>
Aimee, I appreciate your posts! I feel that too, that I do need to be strong & you're right--I do feel guilty about stuff that is not my direct reflection! I'm thinking of Heidi'smom too with the *incident* where dp broke his teeth at a benefit...my dh has had the cops at our house at 2 am b/c he left a bowling alley with someone else's jacket on--they thought he stole it. Then he proceeded to piss himself, being too drunk to make it to the bathroom. The next few day, I felt guilty to my housemates when I DIDN"T DO ANYTHING WRONG!!! Later with that.<br>
I personally don't subscribe to some of the policies of Al-anon--the religiousness of it all in particular. My 'god' is not a father who art in heaven....I believe in mostly everything except patriarchal religious (for info see last century of feminism). Maybe I can look past the imposed male spirituality of the Lord's prayer to get to an AA meeting...I hated going to them when I was a kid though. I don't know.<br>
Again, thanks everybody who cares & reads...keep me posted!
 

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mountain,<br><br>
I am glad we can offer you some support.<br><br>
A few things....<br><br>
1) first off I think you CAN talk to him without being negitive or feeling like you are nagging....it is all in how you do it. Look for times he seems 'approachable" ask "hey tonight was a great nigh, how did it compare to X night". Or just let him know you are willing to talk, even about the bad stuff, and that you are proud of him. I am prepping for marraige and have been reading a lot of marriage nad relationship books. I can't suggest any for you as they are all christian...BUT one importnat thing in all of them is "praise even the smallest step" I can understand you wanting to stay out of it and let it be his decision so he is doing it for him and not you. BUT he needs encouragement and positive reinforcement. nothing wrogn with that. A lesson from AA not only support but they make a big deal of "milestones" be it 2 day or 2 years. You gotta keep the HAPPY feeling going so when there is a tough day there is something to hold on to.<br><br>
2) if you don't want to nag...which is honorable; nagging doesn't work...ask HIM what he'd have you do. Ask him what he needs to talk about. Maybe a weekly "date": (cofee early Saturday morning or something) to 'check in" and touch base. He might not talk at first. But if he comes to trust the place he might.<br><br>
3) Family history is important. My best freind's dad died an alcholic after ending up in a wheel chair. He didn't have custory; but I have seen his effect o her. She does drink, but she has always been careful about it. Espicallly calling me to talk when she "wants a drink" but thinks maybe she wants it for the wrong reason. I have seen her grow a lot more confident over the past 10 years. I remember when we were first dating; just out of HS, guys drinking made her very unconfortable; she didn't feel safe. Totally understadable and I always supported that. Now her husband can drink and she knows he is safe. You have a histroy. And there is nothing wrong with its effect on you. You leanred a lesson then that you don't have to learn now. I do not feel you are punishing DH cause of dad. You know the signs and you know the danger; you are safer and so is family because of it.<br><br>
3) I know AA and realted groups are "christian" but I do not think they are too churchy. And am important thing to remember is each group is going to be different based on the members. One of my dad's freinds was AA for 10+ years. He was not a christian man, he was a good man, but not "christian" but he went twice a week and everntually became secertary of his group and so on. I think the groups might not bother you that much; think of it a little like school, where they say the pledge and so on as a formality. Again, try different groups. If you really can't handle AA call local mental health facilites and see if any offer a non-AA support group.<br><br>
4) If DH was in AA before; he may or may not feel he needs it now. BUT keep that door open for him. IF he does suggest going, or even just bring it up inn idel conservation. be supportive; even if it isn't to your liking. Go if he asks you to.<br><br>
------------christian or not; you both need a strong support netwrok; a safety net. I am sure DH could use the "know how" and support of someone who has been there. Someone he feels can better understand the addiction, the illness. and I think the support would be good for you. ---------------again if AA isn't for you try a support group run at a hospital. Or at that a rehab center.<br><br>
5) as for the "going good for now" he maybe trying to just go one day at a time; not setting himself up toooo much. I'd not think he was planningon drinking again. I'd take it to be, what it is, a daily battle for him. I am sure he doesn't want to build himself up too much; no added pressure when he may have all the pressure he can take right now. He may not be able to think of being dry for the rest of his life; right now he maybe thinking "if I make it though the weekend".<br><br>
6) health. I'd just remind you this is an illness and if he is stressed or sick or "not totally helathy" otheriwse then it is going to be harder. Good food, exercize and so on. All that Mom advice. Also you might consider the deprsssion or anxiety issue too. From what I knwo it is natural to be moody when drying out and gettting int eh habit of being dry. but if the "modd" stuff continues (too quiet and so on) I'd at least read about and think about depression or something. Relapse is almost always triggered by anger, depression or some other negative emotional feeling, which recovering people used to handle by abusing alcohol or other drugs<br><br>
Also.................... found these books:<br><br>
When AA Doesn't Work for You: Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol<br>
by Albert Ellis, Emmett Velten<br><br>
Stay Sober and Straight : How to Prevent Addiction Relapse with the Rational Self-Help Treatment Method<br>
by Maxie C. Maultsby<br><br>
if you look on Amazon.con there seems to be a number of non-AA books out there.<br><br>
I hope everything keep s going good.<br><br>
Aimee
 

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thank you mamas...<br><br>
There is strength in these thoughts and they do help.<br><br>
Mountain: I certaintly would like to go to counseling at least for myself (don't I wish we had universal health care). I think dh would come along at some point. He doesn't put as much stock in "book learning" and talking to people he doesn't know and who don't know him. He finds support in other ways. He is doing amazingly well considering how long he has been drinking and how it was handed down to him. Like so many alcoholics most of his family has suffered from this. And like so many people who love alcoholics my family also has it's long history of boozing. For now I just try to focus on myself and not his drinking. I committed all the standard no-no's that really just frustrated us both (and increased his drinking because that's how he used to cope with stress). It's never about alcohol though, you know? Yes it is a disease, but it can be a sympton of something deeper. There is so much pressure in our society to drink alcohol. ("Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker") and it affects everyone differently.<br><br>
So we take it one day at a time. And try to remind ourselves that love can heal. The nutritional info is very encouraging...as well as the nonAA approach. Even though I don't see AA as christian, more spiritual. Dh is resistant to the some aspects of AA (one meeting I was at closed with the lord's prayer which i felt was too religion specific). He's native american and so he has so justified beefs with organized religion, esp catholic, because of the history in his pueblo.<br><br>
But just like everyone, I have my bad days when I really struggle to convince myself that it is ok to trust the unknown. So I take some deep breaths, drink some tea, watch the birds, laugh with my son...and come here to read about other mamas walking that same road. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/flower.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="flower"> Bloom despite the frost!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Only one meeting you went to closed with the Lord's Prayer? Well, that's encouraging to me, b/c every SINGLE ONE I ever went to opened AND closed with it!!!! Maybe I need to move back up to WA , Nancy! We used to live in Aberdeen<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/sleeping.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="sleeping"> It was pretty slow & rainy there...I would love to have more of a 'sisterhood' meeting--maybe I should START SOMETHING huh.<br><br>
Well ((((((((((MamaNancy)))))))))))) many hugs to you<br>
It sounds like we have the same row to hoe!!! I think it's amazing considering where my dh comes from too, that he isn't more messed up than he is...That I'm not more messed up than I am!!!!! We need to congratulate ourselves on being strong in the storm, u know?<br><br>
BTW, I had a *talk* with dh after work & he explained the "for now" comment by saying that 'life is is crazy, you don't know where you're gonna be tomorrow' which I can see...BUT I told him in no uncertain terms that I wouldn't deal with *incidents* like we've had in the past EVER again...(I recounted them for effect) Also told him I'd been thinking about the lies r/e how many beers he had--& was extremely hurt...I think I got through as he was pretty serious & teary eyed--<br><br>
Also asked him if he ever wanted to do AA again--he said no, so I didn't press it...<br><br>
I just was thinking about MamaNancy's comment about universal health care...I can't believe we're not there yet. It seems so common sense---WTF America?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: You'd think the 'richest' country in the world wouldn't want to be so spiritually poor.
 
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