Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH was a recovering alcoholic, sober 7 years (or perhaps just close to it). He was sober when I met him (almost 2 years at the time). I just caught him drinking today. I've been suspicious, but I found an empty liter of Southern COmfort in a drawer today, then did snooping and found a flask sized one in his motorcycle jacket. I thought I had smelled it on him but he had changed nonalcoholic beer brands and started having olives with it (poor man's martinit) so it seemed the strange odor was the combo. But obviously I was too trusting. What gets me is he is hiding it (he mostly openly drank before). He even had the audacity to say to me today that he had finally kicked his nicotine habit (no dips in a week) and all I could think was sure and you replaced it with alcohol. I have not confronted him yet. Not sure how. The sassy way I'd like to do it or the sensible way I know I should do it!! We were going to his parents' tomorrow for Christmas with them (he was away with work for xmas) so I was thinking of waiting til we got home or confronting him tonight. But DS just came down with a high fever so we are not going tomorrow. And I'm not sure I want to intervene now with him ill.

I'm just so hurt. He's lying to me. He's hiding it. He had some this afternoon, I could smell it. I asked "what did you eat that smells?" and he said "oh it's those mints...." Yah whatever.
The scariest is he takes DS everywhere and helps me by taking care of him so I can take care of the baby or do errands, etc. Has he drunk and driven with DS in the car?!?! I'm a bit freaked out. I wouldn't let him take DS anywhere today, I made up excuses for him to stay with me when he went to the store.

Anyone have any ideas how I should handle this?? When? Gosh what are his chances of sobering up again? I have ALWAYS had a nagging fear that he might start up again someday. I always told him there was no guarantee I'd stay if he started again. Guess that wasn't enough. It really scares me with the kids, you know? I've never seen him drunk before, he's been sober since I met him. I know he's been drinking (Even right near me grrrrr) but I have never noticed him wasted. I'd have noticed that. He has acted weird a few nights here and there. Lost his temper (no abuse or anything don't worry). I can't believe this. I'm in a bit of denial here, like maybe if I don't say anything it will all go away....but I KNOW I have to say something. Just don't know what and when and how.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,505 Posts
The Scriptures say "....don't worry about what to say....because you will be given the right words at the right time." So there you go!
Snarky will provoke him. I know you're angry and hurt. Alcoholism is a struggle, although he hid it, probably out of shame, he doesn't mean to hurt yall I'm sure. And I pray that the Lord will comfort you as you face this situation; but, know that He isn't leaving you to face it alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,275 Posts
Although I have many alcoholics in my extended families and have struggled with my own alcoholic demons, right now, I have had no experience like you describe. But, if it were me, I would likely call the AA organization for families of alcoholics to get advice on how to deal with this situation and how to get support for yourself and your husband. I feel for you (you must be so scared and worried) and I feel for your DH because he is battling an addiction, unsuccessfuly at this moment, it seems. I would get on the phone to a support group or a trusted professional (counsellor, family doctor) as soon as possible. I suggest support because if he has falled off the wagon and is hiding it from you, I'm not sure how the best way is to confront him. He has not fallen off the wagon because he means to hurt you (although this hurts); he is drinking because this is an addiction. At least this is how I see alcoholism - it's a disease. I hope you get the support you need. What a tough time. HUGS to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,981 Posts
I agree with Tuesday. Alcoholism runs through my family and there have been times when I have questioned whether I was or not. Usually I found myself drinking too much when I felt badly about something - usually me. Can you think of something that may have triggered his return to drinking? Maybe it was kicking the nicotine? Or has he had a rough time with somethin gelse? Regardless, he is desperately holding onto wanting to feel good. Since he has been this way since before you were married, I would assume it has to do with something that happened before you. Contact Al-Anon. They can help. I have also read about work being done in adjusting diets in order to get rid of cravings (no refined foods, sugar, etc.) and no other addictive habits (smoking, chew, etc.).

And for what it is worth, you are doing the right things in keeping your children from getting in the car with him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks...I agree, I will have to call tomorrow. Never done Al-anon or anything before! Went to AA meetings with him a few times back in the day to see how it all worked, etc.

As far as history goes, DH started drinking in early high school. He was very rebellious and defiant, hated rules, etc (funny he has taken a career in the military and excelled at it, eh?). I can't think of anything bad that has happened to trigger it. I do remember him starting to wonder if he was a true alcoholic or a problem drinker when he was younger. I said I couldn't tell him bc I didn't know him then. He once or twice said he wanted to try a drink again, with me, since he could trust me. I told him I wasn't ready or comfortable with that (I was pg at the time and didn't want a new baby and an alcoholic off the bandwagon). I said maybe someday. Luckily his drinking never interfered with his job, he never ever drank on duty or was drunk at work, he saved it for after work/days off. But he did open up a drink in his truck on the way out of work (which back in the day, when he would work a few days on then a few days off, meant drinking at about 8am). He stopped going to AA about 4 years ago. He got bored with it and was on a ship that was gone months at a time anyway. He could never get rid of refined sugar, that is what helped him kick it in the first place! (gotta replace one addiction with another, LOL)

PS Hey coleslaw, congrats on the pregnancy...I think we were in TTC together a while back!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,347 Posts
Hugs Amy....my dh is going through some struggles right now and I know its hard walking through these "worst" of times. My advice is to be honest about what you found and gently talk to him, no accusing. One night, put the kids to bed and ask if the two of you can have a chat. Tell him what kind of marriage you want to have with him. Tell him you want to help in any way. I will be praying for you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,505 Posts
OT:
we were all in ttc together. I was noticing that too!
:ballloons

me and Amy along with Katie (Lucysmama) ended up being October mamas.


Its been a year since now and I have wondered about everybody. I see there's a split with 30/40+ mamas having their own thread. I want to know how everybody is and who is a mama or
. I know
gristastic, I just blanked on her real name, had a December babe and one died earlier this year. I thought about peeking my head in and checking her out and Chrissy had a girl I think she ended up going in September; but, she was an honorary October mama since she was so late in September. I might go and check over there now. I'm so glad that you are
and I pray for a healthy baby and safe and wonderful birth.
I thought it was an emotional road for you as well as for me. I just woke up from a nap (at midnight
) I don't remember details of our ttc days right now. I'm just glad its over for you though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,572 Posts
does your husband still have an AA sponsor? if he does you could suggest he call him/her. other than that, all i can think of is Al-Anon for you. one of my ex's is an alcoholic, i had no experience with it and Al-Anon meetings helped me figure out what i could handle, what i could do. no form of confrontation would work, no matter how gentle or how "tough love," it just provoked him. wow, this is a toughie {{{{{{hugs to you}}}}}}
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys.
Unfortunately, DH has no sponsor since we have lived in 3 different states since the time he started AA. (ah the military life!!!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,636 Posts
I have some small idea what you are going thru. There's alcoholism running on both my side of the family and Dh's. I too was problem drinker in highschool. I don't think I was an alcoholic but I am still very careful when I drink and try to be concious of the amounts.

I think the suggestion of checking out the AA family and friends support group is a very good one. They should be able to give you some support and guidance.

So sorry you are having to go through this now so soon after Lillian's arrival.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,988 Posts
Okay, I feeling like you're avoiding this at all costs here. There isn't ever a "good" time to talk about this. You'll always find something to put it off. It needs to be discussed NOW. He thinks he's hiding it and you're playing into it that it's working. He's playing you for a fool. Don't let him do it. Confront him, but be completely honest about it, tell him you are hurt about him lying to you but you have no idea how to help him. Lay it all out on the table and then hopefully he will see you still love him and want to help him.

No need to be angry about it, just talk to him and let him know you know and you want to help.

to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's possible...it was a rough pregnancy (preterm labor at 21 weeks) and a lot fell on his shoulders. But as I look back, I am pretty certain it all began after she was born...possibly only even the last month. I wish I could remember when he started drinking "beer and olives"....

I think it's been brewing a while. Like I mentioned, he started questioning whether or not he was truly an alcoholic. And I couldn't help him figure it out, as I was not there in his drinking days. And since he became sober at only 22, he was pretty young and there are many people in that age bracket who drink out of control who are not alcoholics. And the fact that he could always control it for work purposes I am sure raised his doubts as well. But now the sneaking....I KNOW he is an alcoholic now!!

In retrospect I can see all the signs leading up to his slipping. And at the time it did concern me as well. I just never thought he'd go out and start again, for real. I know he must feel a bit bad about it, he used to be in disbelief at the people in AA who just couldn't lick it. He was way overconfident in his ability to stay sober. I suppose I could have contributed to that, somehow. Maybe too supportive of his decisions? I don't know. Grrr. Anyway, going out to do some errands so will try to make that phone call!!!!

Gemini -- we cross-posted. Yeah I'm avoiding it a bit, bc I just didn't want to face it and bring it to his parents'. I was thinking of mentioning it last night, things came up in a conversation that would have lead perfectly into it, but then DS's fever spiked and he puked jambalaya all over my lap!!! Had a very sick little boy last night. Regardless, I have had every intention of talking with him by week's end, there is NO WAY I can keep hiding this. He's already suspicious I am mad about something anyway. But he thinks he is sooo good at hiding things from me, and he did pretty good this time. He's been trying to quit dipping for years now and I almost always caught him when he tried to sneak it!! He's really not that good at keeping secrets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,770 Posts
Amy, I second (third? fourth?) the recommendation for Al-Anon. Alcoholics are never, ever "cured" - they may become dry and not drink any more, but the underlying patterns of behavior are much, much, much harder (if not impossible) to change. Whether or not your dh swears off the bottle again I think Al-Anon or counselling is a necessity for you to learn how to deal with your dh whether or not he's drinking.

My dad is an alcoholic, and also in the military. I just wanted to point out a couple of things:

1) Alcoholics don't all have to get drunk. It's the habit, "can't live without it" part that defines alcoholism, and many don't fit the stereotype of the drunk who starts drinking in the morning, drinks all day and night, can't hold a job, etc. My dad would only rarely get stinking drunk - but he *had to have* a beer (or two) every evening.

2) There doesn't need to be a "triggering event" either now or in the past that has made your dh drink or become an alcoholic. Alcoholics often drink to self-medicate depression, which is a biological phenomenon, and can have triggers but doesn't always. It also has a huge genetic component and runs in families, so people can be susceptible to it just like they can be susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, whatever.

3) Alcoholics can quit drinking but be dry drunks - i.e. they haven't done the inner work to get better and come to a more healthy place, they've just quit drinking. This is what my dad did - he eventually stopped drinking but never admitted he was an alcoholic and never did the inner work to help himself deal with the problems he'd been masking with the booze.

I'm not an expert on alcoholism by any stretch of the imagination but these are a couple things I've learned that have helped me understand my dad and my relationship with him.

For your kids' sake, I hope you will be very proactive in learning as much about this disease and its role in your dh's life as possible, because it will affect your kids, and you may need to make some decisions about what is in their best interests as this plays out over time. Whatever you do, don't join your dh in denial "Oh, it's just a little, it doesn't affect my life, I can stop any time I want, I'm in control of the alcohol, it doesn't control me, everything's fine, at least I'm not violent...." Even if your dh is not a mean drunk and doesn't abuse you or the kids, it doesn't mean the alcoholism can't have devastating effects on you and your children.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
My X is a drunk. It ruined our relationship and really messed with me mentally and emotionally. He never hid it though and when we first got together I had just turned 21 so we just partied all week long.

Once I got PG it was quite a different story. He would not stop or even slow down his drinking. I honestly do not care if he wanted to drink, because I like alchohol too. But unwillingness to drink less when I was PG and a new mother and becoming totally obliviated is way too far.

You can't avoid it. Why are you even worried about talking to him about this? Maybe I'm just too vocal for my own good, but I would never let this go. The first inkling of an idea and I would be all over it. How is your relationship otherwise? It just seems odd to me that you would wait to bring this up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I waited because I wanted to approach this situation in such a way that I would not drive him away and make him angry, but convince him he had a problem again and needed to do something about it. I was not really trying to avoid it, just waiting for the proper time to address such a serious issue. I did not want to blow up at him in anger, especially in front of our children.

That said, today I went out and bought him a new copy of the Big Book and topped it with a big ribbon and a card saying when the next meeting was. He acted all surprised and like he didn't know why I was giving it to him, so I pulled out the empty bottles. No denying anymore!! Of course, he denied all kinds of stuff and it was all lies. I am soooo glad I waited til today so I could process the information. I was able to catch him at all (most?) of his lies so he couldn't deny it, and I was able to keep my hurt emotions out of it (mostly) so I did not lash out. He told me how many bottles he had bought (so I doubled it) and how much he had drunk (so I doubled it). He denied drinking as much as he had. He denied that he had had any early yesterday so I caught him in the lie with proof. He denied drinking in the garage a lot but I had proof of that too (one day last week he told me to get out when I walked in bc he was wrapping presents...he didn't give me a wrapped present Saturday since I had already bought my new digital camera). I'm really a bit hurt at all the lying. It was lie after lie after lie. He said he never drove our DS while he had been drinking, but I told him I did not believe him, since yesterday I smelled it on him and then he wanted to take DS out to the store with him (which is when I made up a story to keep DS home).

I know alcoholism is a disease that never goes away. I know DH has an addictive personality in general..it's all or nothing with him. But it has never been a problem in our relationship. He went through all steps of AA when he got sober to begin with. So luckily he has faced all those demons.

He was just feeling abnormal and wanted to see if he really was an alcoholic. "It was for myself, I had to know, I didn't do it to hurt you" I told him it was a really big gamble he took. He still didn't think it was that bad. I told him he gambled US by experimenting. I really hope he can lick this again. He has a big head right now and is like sure of course I can, it's no problem. I won't touch it anymore. I'm not sure I believe him. It is NOT that easy. We shall see I suppose. He just lied to me so much even in our conversation I can't stand it. Over and over again he said he hardly had any today. But, he forgets he has taught me how to check people's eyes, etc to see if they are drunk. And he was. Not wasted mind you but definitely not sober!!!!!!!

He's at a meeting right now. I told him I wanted him to get a sponsor and bring home a flyer so I know he really went. I'll have to try to contact Alanon tomorrow for myself. This has all seemed too easy so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,770 Posts
Good for you for confronting him. It sounds like you did really well.

Are there services through the Coast Guard that you can use, like marital counselling or addiction treatment?

Good luck, mama.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top