Wife of an Alcoholic in Need of Advice

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Scared Wife

Kansas City, MO

#1 Mar 17, 2007
I've been married for about 14 months and just found out my husband is an alcoholic. Sure, we would have a few drinks with dinner at home and out socially, but he was leaving work and DRINKING heavily during the day in secret. This was being done even after I asked him to stop and took away the bottle of vodka. He was hospitalized (in ICU for seven nights, in hospital for ten days total) for several things, most related to drinking, and almost died. I was the one that realized he was sick and called 9-1-1, stood by his side the whole time, and supported him though it all. Throughout this whole ordeal, he constantly referred to me as a previous girlfriend WHEN he was conscious (he and I dated for about three years long distance before we married – though, now I suspect he was seeing her and this other person until very recently). I have no idea why, nor do I know how the mind of an alcoholic works - this is my first go-around with this. Why would he do this, how could he forget me, and why can't he let go of her (or them)? He says it is over and has been with her (or both of them). He says he has no idea why her name - it was mainly the one - kept coming up. I am now on an anti-anxiety medication from all of this. I just don't know if I'm stupid to believe there is nothing there, or if there really is something to all of this. My gut feeling tells me there is something, and I'm not wrong too many times - I may be slow - but not always wrong. I've been suspecting this other person is still in his life for the last year or so, and all of this just makes me more suspicious. Am I going nuts?? I could just be too stressed right now and nothing makes sense. I'd love to hear what others have to say about it. Is it common for “stuff” to come out of people’s mouths when they are medicated and going through detox, but nothing is really meant by it? Or, does it mean something – just the person doesn’t WANT it to come out? Thanks in advance!
Wife of Acoholic

Pagosa Springs, CO

#2 Mar 23, 2007
Scared wife,
I can't explain the way the minds of an alcoholic work either. I just know my husband has said and done some terrible things while drinking and while detoxing. Since I kicked him out of our home a month ago, I have been able to see that when he says a lot of these things, he doesn't usually remember them, he thinks I am making things up. I know that there was one incident of infedilty on my husbands part, gut feeling first, 2nd he finally admitted to me it happened. After being married to my husband for nine years with 2 kids. I say get out while you can. I have lost 35 pounds from stress from the last 8 months of my life. I finally had enough. It was affecting my kids and my life. The thing I have learned about acoholics is they are very selfish, especially when they drink. Until your man can be sober, you will never be number one it will always be the bottle. I know I am not a positive answer to question, but know you are not alone. There are many of us out there. I too have led the detective life of trying to figure out what my husband was up to for about 3 years, the thing is I never liked the answer. You need to decide what you want and what the best thing for you and if you have kids your kids. It is hard, boy do I know. But if you aren't happy and are a sick from the life you are living, maybe you do need a change.
Intrepid

Dover, DE

#3 Mar 23, 2007
Cut your losses and bail out now! As a child of an alcoholic- that's the best advice I can give you. You can't "fix" someone like that- look out for yourself.
Anti Alcohol

Washington, DC

#4 Mar 24, 2007
I would try to help the person. Alcoholics are in total denial about being alcoholics. BUt don't blame yourself for thier mistake. It was thier choice and they will have to live with it. If you really love him with all your heart then you will keep trying to get him to DETOX and get him to AA meetings. One day by the Grace of God it will happen. I feel for you, but you have to keep trying and praying. That is all you can do. The rest is up to God and the alcoholic. God Bless You

Since: Apr 07

United States

#5 Apr 9, 2007
Before you make any permanent, life altering decisions, get face to face with some people who have been where you are and conquered. Lots of people have been in your shoes but not all of those situations turned out as well as they could have.

Alcoholics Anonymous figured out decades ago that alcoholism was a family disease. The collateral damage is devestating, as you well know. Years and years ago, AA members and their families spun off a group for families of alcoholics called Alanon. And that is where the experts on dealing with your problem can be found. And yes, while your husband has an alcohol problem, so do you now. No matter how this goes, you would benefit from the support of that group. If he continues down the road he is on, you will need the support AND tools they can give you. And if he gets sober and starts the recovery process, Alanon would still be crucial to your ability to understand and be a part of his new life.

Honestly, getting some support for yourself is probably the kindest thing you could do for you and your spouse. What you are experiencing is known in recvery circles as codependency.

Let me know what you think / how it goes.

Just a recovering addict's $0.02 worth.
Lost 26

United States

#6 Apr 14, 2007
Wife of Alcoholic,
I too have been married for nine years, and have two kids. After many terrible experiences, an affair (on his part)and three years, at least, of ongoing lies, I have decided to leave my husband. But it is all so hard. In January, I returned to work after having a year off for my last baby. I saw this coming. But what is so hard is that I have tried for years to get him to see the light, and now that I have moved out and am on my own, he claims he is going to make it work. He has been sober for seven days. He sends me flowers, comes and gets the kids, tries to make me smile. I am so confused. I don't believe that he will really do it... but what if he does, and then I regret not giving him the chance???
Wife of Alcoholic

Edwards, CO

#7 Apr 24, 2007
I know exactly what you are going through. I am in the same boat right now. Mine whats a time he has to stay sober in order for me to let him back in the house, but there is not time. At one point before I made him leave the house he was sober for a month, then it all started again. To date he is on 9 days of soberity. This is the longest it has been for awhile. What I keep asking him is why I should believe that this time he is actually going to stay sober? Why is this time any different than any other? To me it isn't. Part of me wants to get a divorce and move on. Part of me doesn't want to lose him. I totally understand the confusion you are in, what if this time is different and I don't give him a chance and he makes it and moves on to have a wonderful life that I ultimately chose not to be a part of??. But, this is the time we have to put our children first. I know mine were suffering from his drinking (i didn't see it at first). But they are both doing better in school and home actually feels like home now. I wish there was a magic answer, but I haven't found it. I know before I a will ever be able to allow my husband back home, I too have to work through the hurt, he has to earn trust back, and the way I became like his mother because of his drinking. Time well tell all. Good luck and please keep in touch. It is nice to know I am not the only confused, hurt, etc, wife out there.
Lost 26 wrote:
Wife of Alcoholic,
I too have been married for nine years, and have two kids. After many terrible experiences, an affair (on his part)and three years, at least, of ongoing lies, I have decided to leave my husband. But it is all so hard. In January, I returned to work after having a year off for my last baby. I saw this coming. But what is so hard is that I have tried for years to get him to see the light, and now that I have moved out and am on my own, he claims he is going to make it work. He has been sober for seven days. He sends me flowers, comes and gets the kids, tries to make me smile. I am so confused. I don't believe that he will really do it... but what if he does, and then I regret not giving him the chance???
Frustrated

Hays, KS

#8 Apr 27, 2007
I have been married for 7 years with a 4 year old. My husbands drinking has progressively gotten worse. I want to leave for my sake but also for the sake of my child but I fear that a judge will make my child visit him every other weekend and he is not capable of that responsibility. His judgement is not in the best interest of our child and I can't bear to have some judge make that kind of decision on my child's behalf. I feel trapped and very unhappy. If someone has suggestions, please let me know.
dont look back

AOL

#9 Apr 27, 2007
My husband said so many times he was going to quit drinking. I would live him and once even divorced him. He stayed sober long enough to make me think he was going to do it, then after we married he went right back to his old ways. I say go on about your life. If he really wants to get sober, he will join AA and get you and the kids in Alnon. Until that happens, live for you and your kids. I am 54 years old and wish I had never looked back. Living with an acoholic is so hard and so painful. Please you owe it to yourself and the children. And remember no matter how much he tries to blame everything on you, it's him. You didnt have anything to do with his acoholism. May God be with you.
Wife of Alcoholic

Edwards, CO

#10 Apr 30, 2007
Have you talked to a family lawyer? I too have the same fear with both of my kids.
Frustrated wrote:
I have been married for 7 years with a 4 year old. My husbands drinking has progressively gotten worse. I want to leave for my sake but also for the sake of my child but I fear that a judge will make my child visit him every other weekend and he is not capable of that responsibility. His judgement is not in the best interest of our child and I can't bear to have some judge make that kind of decision on my child's behalf. I feel trapped and very unhappy. If someone has suggestions, please let me know.
Wife of Alcoholic_Addict

Dallas, TX

#11 May 9, 2007
I have 2 kids, 1 & 3, and have been married 4 years. I told my husband 6 weeks ago I wanted a divorce. Last night he attended his first AA meeting. My councelor told me that words do not motivate an addict, only actions, which is why so many of them agree to AA when faced with the loss of a primary relationship. I know my husband's hoping that he'll win me back by admitting his problem, but I'm done even tho' we're still living in the same house while he's in rehab. He needs to do rehab for himself, not just because he's afraid of being alone. I won't allow myself to trust him again after the number of times he's betrayed me--never with another woman, but endless broken promises. Alcohol is like a mistress to the alcoholic. Alcoholics are not capable of healthy relationship with anyone while they are still drinking. None of us set out to marry an alcholic, but it happened and now we are part of it whether or not we want to be. And because we have kids, there's no way to just cut the ties and run. Al-Anon and/or an individual professional councelor will do you a world of good. It IS a family disease. I know I went from a confident, self-assured business executive to someone afraid to trust my own judgement and afraid of life without him. You need the support of others who have been through this to learn how someone else's disease can have such a profound affect on you. I still have so much to learn and so much work to do to regain my confidence. You do not bear ANY responsibility for his problem, no matter how much he may try to make you think that you do.
carousel

Bellingham, WA

#12 May 15, 2007
I can only share my experience. I was married for 30 years to a "functional alcoholic", but the price comes due. At the end he became very abusive, destroyed everything. This was after many treatments etc. The alcoholic has only one love and that is ALCOHOL. I would say leave now while you're young, grieve and build a new life. Best of luck to you.
Please help me too

Colorado Springs, CO

#13 May 17, 2007
I am 23 with 2mnth old daughter my husband started drinking again. I cant get over all the horrible thigs he has done and said while drunk. Am I just being un reasonable? He did all the horrible things like a year ago, but they still hurt me alot. hes been drinking again for about a month he just got his ankle moniter taken off. Im soo scared of how bad thing were (physical abuse, verbal and emotional and sexual) I would never let my daughter see those things just worried I will leave when he has it under control

Cuetee220@yahoo.com
Wife of Alcoholic

Pagosa Springs, CO

#14 May 22, 2007
Please help me too,
You are not being unreasonable. I understand that hurt too. I will email you.
Wife of Alcoholic

Pagosa Springs, CO

#15 May 22, 2007
I too have the same fear that I will divorce him and he will get his life together, but I am seeing that that probably will not happen. He can't hold it together now, it is only going to get worse. NONE of us should have to live in fear. There are husbands/dads out there that aren't like this, that we don't have to wait and see if they can recover from alcohol! We have to be confident in ourselves and get through the times for us and our children. Our spouses are grown and every action has a reaction that they will have to live with, even if they don't remember what they said or did while intoxicated, we don't have to put up with it. We have to live for ourselves and for our children.
Please help me too wrote:
I am 23 with 2mnth old daughter my husband started drinking again. I cant get over all the horrible thigs he has done and said while drunk. Am I just being un reasonable? He did all the horrible things like a year ago, but they still hurt me alot. hes been drinking again for about a month he just got his ankle moniter taken off. Im soo scared of how bad thing were (physical abuse, verbal and emotional and sexual) I would never let my daughter see those things just worried I will leave when he has it under control
Cuetee220@yahoo.com
Al-Anon Friend

United States

#16 May 25, 2007
I am in no position to make a judgment about staying with or leaving your husband. However, one thing seems reasonably clear. You're sense of well-being has been severely impacted by recent events, not to mention the so-called experts and victims that have responded to your post. Rather than trust any of them, including me, please seek the face to face help of other people that have been in similar circumstances as yourself. Go to Al-Anon and work on yourself, which is the healthy thing to do, regardless of what your husband does or doesn't do. And when there, as soon as possible, get a sponsor so that you don't have to go through these experiences without a guide and a Higher Power.
nevermindthename

United States

#17 May 28, 2007
My heart and prayer go out to all of you who suffer like this. I hope you all practice safe marital relations for those of you who seem to have cheating spouses and maybe those of you who think your spouse is ok.

“Time flies like an arrow...”

Since: Mar 07

"fruit flies like a banana"

#18 May 29, 2007
To all of you with a practicing alcoholic in your lives...

1. You can't fix him/her. You can only take care of yourself and your children.

2. Look in the phone book. Find the number for Alcoholics Anonymous. Call them and find out where the nearest ALANON meeting is. This meeting is for YOU, not for your alcoholic.

3. GO TO THE MEETINGS. In these rooms you will find others who have already walked in your shoes and can share with you their experience, strength and hope.

4. LISTEN to what they tell you. Take what you need and leave the rest. Not all of what you hear will be applicable in your particular case; however, be aware that it is very easy to suffer from "terminal uniqueness" where the hearer thinks s/he is different than everyone else and his/her problem is different. If you are living with a practicing alcoholic, you have many things in common with the people you will meet in these rooms.

5. Make no rash decisions. Listen, learn, apply what you learn and take baby steps.

6. TALK about what is bothering YOU. Keep the focus on you, not the alcoholic. S/He will either get help or s/he won't. But, through following the ALANON program, YOU will be a better person. You will become educated about the disease of alcoholism, its impact and the measures you, personally, need to take to combat the impact on you and your small children (I use the word "small" because at some point, your children will need to get their own help).

Alcoholism is a cunning, baffling, powerful disease that destroys many, many individuals and families. Don't let it destroy you, too.
Malin

Australia

#19 Jun 18, 2007
Please help me too wrote:
I am 23 with 2mnth old daughter my husband started drinking again. I cant get over all the horrible thigs he has done and said while drunk. Am I just being un reasonable? He did all the horrible things like a year ago, but they still hurt me alot. hes been drinking again for about a month he just got his ankle moniter taken off. Im soo scared of how bad thing were (physical abuse, verbal and emotional and sexual) I would never let my daughter see those things just worried I will leave when he has it under control
Cuetee220@yahoo.com
Hi,

I am a 39 year old mum of a 1/2 year old girl and my ex partner is an alcoholic and drug addict in recovery. After I kicked him out 7 month ago now, he put himself through recovery and lives with his mum. I was very lucky that I found Al-Anon and Coda, 2 spirtitual (not religious!) fellowships which gave me a lot of strengh and hope to find recovery myself from my co-dependency and my disease.
I am still a far way away from recovery but it helps to listen to other people tell the same stories over and over again. It makes it more real.
Trust me, there is a live after chaos. First of all you have to start loving yourself and putting yourself first. You are the the most important person! If you are not happy with yourself, and don't love yourself, you cannot give love to your child!
Sounds strange? Go to Al-Anon and coda and listen and remember: we dit not cause the alcoholic to drink and we cannot cure him or her from drinking.
Good luck with everything
Malin from Australia
Confused girlfriend

Inglewood, CA

#20 Jun 18, 2007
My boyfriend binge drinks and can become very ANGRY. Of course, this doesn't happen all the time, maybe a couple times a year. But it was enough for me to move him out of our apartment and stop seeing him. Within the last year 1/2 I have remained his friend and have still been faithful to him, because I would love for us to get back together, but I'm affraid that he won't change. I love him so much and he wants us to be together, and he knows where I stand and said he's gonna work on it. But how do I know he'll change? I don't want to get hurt, or end up down the road married with kids, and he's continues to binge... I'm at a loss, when do you know that he's seriously trying to avoid this "episodes", or if he's just going down the same road? What if I decide not to give him a change and he does change, and I miss out on what is, sober, a GREAT MAN...

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