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#2945087 01/23/03 03:15 PM
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Been married for 19 years. H drinks a lot, he won't admit Alcoholic, but I know he is. He is a functioning A, so it is not always as apparent as an A who is sloppy, can't hold job, stays in bars til 2 a.m. etc. So, he hides and lies about when and how much he drinks. Anyway, my problem is trying to fathom how this man has any respect/love for me at all. And I conclude none, because afterall, a good marriage partner does not lie and hide things from their spouse, do they? So, I feel so degraded by him that I don't want anything to do with him. Conversationally, we just talk about the necessities of running the household (2 children, house, business, etc). Sex, is absolutely a turn-off for me because without feeling loved and respected, I don't want to go there at all. I feel like a cheap imitation of a taken-for-granted convenient roommate, instead of someone's beloved. I'm so confused, I don't know even where to begin thinking about what's next. This is a sick, sick marriage and I can't take much more. How can I clear my head and heart enough to think things through in a calm way. I've been going through these head games for so long, that I don't know if I even trust the voice in my own head anymore. Does this make sense to anyone else out there? Any words of advice?

#2945088 01/23/03 03:31 PM
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How honest are you with your H when it comes to sharing the level of desperation you feel? Does H know in not uncertain terms just how close to disaster he is?

Mr. Pepper was a high functioning alcoholic ... he works in the entertainment industry ... and his addiction was baby stuff compared to everyone else's around him! I looked the other way far too long.

ALANON for you sister. You can get decent support and look at your level of contribution to the family disease of alcoholism. You can learn what you can change and where you can draw your boundaries.

Even if he stoppes drinking ... he's STILL an alcoholic....

ALANON for you dear lady.... and your kids too if they are old enough.

Pepper <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="images/icons/cool.gif" />

#2945089 01/23/03 03:54 PM
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Oh, I've been gut-level look-it-in-the-eye honest. He knows it and I know it. I've discussed, talked, begged, pleaded, demanded, ignored, asked, given-up, and tried it all again. At nearly this time last year, we (the girls and I) moved out. We moved back in last fall with the understanding that if alcohol played any part in problems in our future, he would be the one to leave the family house willingly, and leave our children's lives as much in tact as possible. Well, after discovering his hiding beer and his lying about it all again last week, I told him he'd have to leave. He refused. So, here I am. And I really, really don't want to make any major decisions while my head and heart are still in such an uproar.....

BTW: I've done (and still am) doing the Alanon group. But I do have some philosophical problems with some of that too, because after 19 years with a denying A, who plays major head-games and table-turning -- I'm not so sure I can accept the disease aspect of alcohol versus the "It's a Choice you make every time you pick up a beer" philosophy.

#2945090 01/23/03 03:57 PM
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"It's a choice every time you pick up a beer."

I agree.... also....

It's a choice YOU make every time you put forward ultimatums and then don't follow through.

Pepper <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="images/icons/cool.gif" />

#2945091 01/23/03 04:07 PM
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Oh my. You are so right. I think I've become so used to being unconfrontational for preserving the "peace" in our house, that I'm a bit (a lot) leary to push the issue. See this is how the scene plays out:

He got caught, I asked him to leave, he refused. I shut-up and give-up = End of issue (his viewpoint) He continues doing whatever it is that he does.

I force him out = my fault. (Even though I do not know how to do this). Not his drinking, lying, disrespect = he got kicked out = his fault.

I honestly do not know how to get him to leave peacefully. Do I have to go legal?

Anyway, I've got to go til tomorrow. I'll check back then for posts. Thanks!!

#2945092 01/23/03 04:48 PM
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"I force him out = my fault."

So what? Who cares if he thinks it's your fault? I'll bet money that just about everything going wrong in your H's life is not HIS fault (in HIS mind, anyway) ... dispose of this assigning blame or guilt nonsense. Are you looking for a way to deal with this so he won't get upset? STOP LOOKING ... it doesn't exist!

You, as a spouse of an alcoholic, have become skilled at accepting responsibility for HIS feelings. That is NOT your job.

This is YOUR job .... stop accepting his feelings as an excuse for avoiding what is ethical or courageous on your part.

If YOU can't be brave .... don't lay that blame on him. Your bravery and your integrity is entirely your responsibility.

Alcoholics are masters at seeking out spouses who will accept and embrace guilt and blame. It is your choice to stop.

No rescue efforts! If YOU are going to recover ... you will need to accept your past role as "emotional manager" for your husbands emotional well-being. Let him own his feelings like an adult. Good or bad.

Disengage yourself from his consequences. He's earned them.

Pepper <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="images/icons/cool.gif" />

<small>[ January 23, 2003, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: Pepperband ]</small>

#2945093 01/23/03 05:30 PM
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by seawhale:
<strong>

BTW: I've done (and still am) doing the Alanon group. But I do have some philosophical problems with some of that too, because after 19 years with a denying A, who plays major head-games and table-turning -- I'm not so sure I can accept the disease aspect of alcohol versus the "It's a Choice you make every time you pick up a beer" philosophy.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Of course it is a choice. The 2 philosophies are not mutually exclusive, though. I guess you could sort of view a self inflicted addiction brought on by CHOICES as a "disease" but that shouldn't change anyone's response to his alcoholism. I would rather call it a baloney sandwich, personally, because it makes no practical difference what inane, self serving labels you place on one's choices, they are STILL choices.

He is STILL responsible for his actions, he still makes a decision to drink every time he picks one up. And he is STILL the only person who has the power to make it stop. THAT is the Alanon philosophy. They are the last people in the world to make excuses for an alcoholic. So if your Alanon group is making excuses, I would find another group, because you desperately need their help.

As a recovering alcoholic with 17 years sobriety, I would just tell you that you are doing him no favors by allowing him to stay there. You are killing any love you ever had for him by watching his destructive behavior up close and only enabling him.

And it will continue to get worse as long as you CHOOSE to be unconfrontational. Why do you do that?

#2945094 01/24/03 11:00 AM
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Thanks. I needed that. You both are so right it's frightening. Looks like it's time I rediscovered my courage, put my head back straight on my own shoulders, and got down to business. No more whining. Just action. He don't like it -- tuff. After all, he's gotta know its a problem, right, if he's hiding it. We don't usually hide things that are good and wholesome, do we?

Wish me luck -- this is gonna be one heckofa weekend!

#2945095 01/24/03 11:08 AM
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Seawhale wails .... had to type that .... but now I've got it outta my system <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

Remember ... you are doing this out of LOVE not to punish him. Remind yourself of this fact as often as you need to.

GOOD LUCK

Pep <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="images/icons/cool.gif" />

#2945096 01/24/03 02:01 PM
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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by seawhale:
<strong>Thanks. I needed that. You both are so right it's frightening. Looks like it's time I rediscovered my courage, put my head back straight on my own shoulders, and got down to business. No more whining. Just action. He don't like it -- tuff. After all, he's gotta know its a problem, right, if he's hiding it. We don't usually hide things that are good and wholesome, do we?

</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Seawhale,
It really doesn't matter if he admits he knows its wrong. You have told him and thats enough. And believe me, he WON'T like it one bit and will say or do anything to justify and minimize his behavior. DON'T FALL FOR IT. Alcoholics are professional liars, just remember that. I wish you the best and please remember you can come back here for support.

#2945097 01/24/03 02:31 PM
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Hello Seawhale and welcome to Marriage Builders.

After reading your intro to this topic I thought you were my wife! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" /> Yes, I am an alcoholic and about 16 mos. ago my wife would have said those things EXACTLY like you did.

Pep and Melody are VERY wise posters and will help you. If you would like some input from someone who was in your H's shoes then let me know...

Good luck and God bless.

Gib

#2945098 01/27/03 08:16 AM
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Thank you all! It was a rough weekend, as predicted, but it was also necessary. H is going for AA, and we will go to MC after he's been doing the program for at least two months. In meantime H will stay at his sister's house. He originally refused to leave the house. So, I started packing, packing the girls, and made a phone call on a vacant rental house down the road. I had already checked it out and had it as my backup plan, because though we love our home, it is not as important to the girls and I as our peace and dignity are. H finally relented when he realized I was quite serious, and after that graciously removed a few of his belongings, agreed to work AA, give us some space until he's well into the plan, and then we'll start MC.

I feel this is a healthy move forward, because there can be no discussion, no evaluation, no plans, nothing, until the alcohol is well out of his system, and he is living and thinking AA... I'm not naieve enough to think that everythings coming up roses, but at least we've got the roots in the ground.

Thank you all for reminding me that I could not be wishy-washy on this issue -- too much at stake!!

#2945099 09/12/03 12:28 AM
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Seawhale, Are you still around? How did this work out? I have locked H out in the past and sent him out for nights, etc.? THis time he left, cheated, and has been gone 2 years and totally blamed me because of all the effortsI made to get him to stop drinking and all the reactions I had to the drinking/ and anything else I ever did wrong in my life//// it is all my fault so to speak. Also I take way too much blame, and I have known him since the tender age of 16 and want to remain married.

Any advice friends, I am praying for a bottom? I do think today was harder for him, but will not post details. Please pray for my family.

Thanks, H

#2945100 09/12/03 11:38 PM
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Hullo Seawhale,
I am the ex-wife of an alcoholic and the mother of another, as well as the stepdaughter of an extremely abusive alcoholic. It has taken me many years and a lot of pain, including the jailing of my son for 24 years for violent crime, to come anywhere near understanding the problem.

Last year I spent four months in a therapy group for Adult Children of Alcoholics, where I learnt a lot about alcoholism.

Firstly, alcoholism isn't a disease in the sense that you can get it and get cured, like measles or flu. Alcoholism is a biogenetic disorder in exactly the same class as diabetes or allergy to peanuts. You can be an alcoholic even if your lips have never touched anything stronger than water, and you will still be an alcoholic even if you give up anything but water for the rest of your life. It's unfortunate that the term "alcoholic" is used as an insult. It's a statement of fact, like "you are diabetic" or "you are short-sighted."

The leader of my group is not only a psychiatrist but also a neurosurgeon who specialises in the effects of the brain of alcohol, drugs and other addictions - like gambling.

He has done a lot of autopsies on dead addicts, as well as lots of brain scans on living ones. He says that the brain of an addict shows very distinct changes when the addiction is activated. One of the things that happens is that the neurons in the frontal cortex of the brain literally wither away. Unfortunately, this is the area of the brain that is responsible for logical thinking, ability to discriminate between right and wrong, and decision making. Exactly the things that an active alcoholic is totally, utterly, completely and LITERALLY unable to do. Because s/he doesn't have the brain cells to do it with. It's like expecting a double amputee to do the highjump or run a marathon.

Honey has a thread titled "Why won't they tell the truth?" Because they can't, that's why. They would not recognise the truth if it jumped out and bit them. Their whole lives revolve around protecting themselves and protecting the supply - it's a damnable situation for everybody, including the alcoholic!

Other changes take place in the alcoholic's system. The blood becomes more alkaline, and that affects just about every chemical reaction in the body.

When an alcoholic is not drinking, it takes a full 90 days for the chemicals to disappear from the body. By drinking, I mean even one beer a day. Remember, alcoholics process alcohol differently from non-alcoholics. So it's a total waste of time to try and enter counselling for at least 90 days after the last drink! For him, that is. You can't get into counselling too early! And neither can your children.

After the 90 day withdrawal period, the neurons start to grow again, and will usually grow back denser than before. However, if the alcoholic goes through boom/bust cycles, the damage eventually becomes permanent, and is irreversible. At this stage there are other symptoms too - like the infamous foot-drop, where the alcoholic starts to shuffle because s/he has lost motor control over the feet, also irreversible even if s/he never has another drink.

It took me about 10 years to even recognise that my XH is an alcoholic. After all, that's what I grew up with, it was the norm for me, and he didn't actually hit me. It took another 7 years before I divorced him. And it has taken another 7 years for me to realise in the heart of my being that nobody can do anything for the alcoholic, except the alcoholic. This isn't harsh, it's just true. If your H had diabetes, would it help him for you to change your diet, take insulin shots daily and get sufficient exercise? While he continued to scarf down chocolate cake and lie on the couch watching TV?

Only the alcoholic can make the decision to take control of his/her disease. And that only happens when the pain of not taking control outweighs the very real pain of having to take control. Hitting bottom, as it's usually put. It's a moment of clarity when s/he says "This is hurting ME too much." Unfortunately, alcoholics can very seldom decide to take a grip on their disease because it's hurting somebody else - wife, mother, child. It usually has to be personal pain.

Where does this leave the spouse/child of an alcoholic? Loving the alcoholic, but loving him/herself enough to get out of the situation and protect herself and especially protect any children. According to my psychiatrist, an alcoholic is literally insane, and in his unforgettable phrase "trying to reason with or cure an alcoholic makes you ****ing insane." You're not abandoning him/her or being a bad person by getting out.

Codependency is a state of being that you get trained into. The good news is that you can retrain. It will cost you everything you are, have and do on a personal level. After 3 years, I'm coming out of the woods, but it's still dreadfully tempting to just slip back into my old ways.


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