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Joined: Feb 2002
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Dear Honey -

People here do care about you, or they wouldn't make the time and effort to respond to you in such depth.

I am not as organized in my thoughts as a lot of these posters, but I believe, in the posts above, they have given you the best advice you will ever get in your entire life.

I have posted to you before once or twice and try to follow your threads - I was married to an alcoholic, my father is an alcoholic, my grandfather and my great-uncle were both alcoholics.

So what do I see here?

I see people here pleading with you to stop letting alcohol ruin your life and that of children. And what is that? What is really going on here?

Honey, YOU ARE ADDICTED! To HIM. Your husband is YOUR DRUG. You are co-dependent. And co-dependent means that you are as addicted to him as he is to alcohol. You don't think that's true. You are in denial.

You go to Al-anon. You know what denial is - you are learning that he won't stop drinking until he comes out of denial and admits that he has a problem and he is not there yet.

And you too, are also in denial. And your life won't get better until you admit that his problem is destroying your life and that of your children.

You don't want to hear what all these people who have been there have to say to you. Just exactly like your husband also doesn't want to hear what sober alcoholics have to say to him - that alcohol is ruining is life and he must quit or choose death.

You only want to hear people say certain things to you - nice, supportive things like "Honey, you're doing just fine", even though your kids are in dangerous situations because of his drinking. And that's just like him - he only wants to hear people say nice things to him, like "J, you're not really drunk, you're just happy", or "J, you're the best drunk driver I've ever seen!" (my Dad's personal favourite). Your H does not want anyone to tell him anything he does not want to hear and neither do you. He doesn't want to hear anyone tell him he ought to stop drinking, and you don't want to hear anyone tell you you ought to stop contact with him until he stops drinking. You are like mirror images of each other.

Honey, why don't you want to hear what these people have to say? I think its because you STILL think YOUR love can save him. I don't think you have got to the point yet where you understand that nothing YOU do is going to save him. I understand that he is a person worth saving and I am a Christian who believes that Jesus loves him and can save him. But only your husband can make the decision to reach out his hand and ask God, or his Higher Power for help. You are not able to do that for him, Honey.

Just like he has to admit that he has lost control of his life and has no power over alcohol, you have to admit that until you let go of him, he and his problem with alcohol are running YOUR life.

And I think that what you don't understand yet, the hardest thing of all for someone who really loves someone else, is that what you think is your love - which is trying to maintain positive contact with him even though he is still drinking - is actually damaging him and preventing him from getting well. As long as he thinks he can get away with drinking and still keep your love, he will NEVER stop drinking. So what you think you are doing by "loving" him is actually helping to kill him.

Let him go, Honey - he has to fall in order for Jesus to be able to pick him up. Be strong enough to let him go. That would be what real love is. Only by doing that will you give him a chance to discover what real love really is.

My dad quit drinking 6 weeks ago after passing out in the hot-tub. He's 78. My stepmother cried on the phone and begged me not to do with my life what she had done with hers - gone to bed angry every night for 30 years, woke up angry every morning for 30 years. Dad's life is nearly over. He's a great guy, but what a waste. My grandfather died drunk coming out of a bar and walked in front of a car.

You cannot save your husband, but it IS in your power to protect your children from further harm.

Please know that I care about you and only say this to try to help.

LIR

<small>[ March 13, 2003, 11:56 AM: Message edited by: Lady_In_Red ]</small>

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The attacks on me that I am a bad mother are ridiculous, you people do not know me. I am sick of these ridiculous accusations, and yes those that have BTDT, are projecting their experiences onto mine.

I have read some good, but it is drowned out by the bad. I feel that this forum is not going to be much benefit to me as long as I get these types of responses. I guess I need a time out.

Enough said.

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Honey,

IMHO, the last 2 posts to you from Lor and juststartingover are the best, most accurate, most heartfelt responses you have gotten in all the threads you have started. When it comes to relationships with alcoholics, these people nailed it. With regards to you as a mother, I think some of those attacks are over the top. We do not have enough information to make those conclusions. But the 'big picture' of trying to save your M to an alcoholic has been accurately portrayed. (IMHO)

The people here care about you. We just have different ways of trying to help.

Lor and juststartingover, I toast your posts <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> ! With a diet coke of course <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" /> .

Gib

<small>[ March 13, 2003, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: Gibby1 ]</small>

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Honey,

You cannot dictate the type of responses that you are going to receive. It is not within your control to do that here. Nor is it within your control to repair your marriage as long as alcohol is the driving force within your WS. I really feel that his being an alcoholic is a nonissue with you. It's as if you just "accept" it and go on from there. You are accepting of his alcoholism as much as you accept the color of his eyes. It is because it is. You need the wisdom to know the things that you can change. Those things would be YOU...not him. Change Yourself and leave him alone!

Lor,
I could be added to that list that you provided for proof and validation. My first (late) husband was an alcoholic, his father was, my father was and I decided that it wasn't what I wanted for myself or for my children to be exposed to.
I had a choice. I made the "right" choice. The "right" choice in EVERY situation is to protect children from the alcoholic.

Honey,
Your situation is no different from the rest of us. You can say what you want, but you are not living anything different than the rest of us lived. Yours in just being played in another city.

committed

<small>[ March 13, 2003, 12:16 PM: Message edited by: committedandlovingit ]</small>

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Bless Honey's heart, she's got the biggest yacht sailing down the river of denial.

Everything that she needs to be told has already been said to her. It's sad that she can't see it. I think the best thing for us to do for her is just pray.

Heavenly Father I come to you on behalf of Honey, her husband and her sons. Thank you Father that we have the opportunity to communicate with her and the opportunity to touch each other's lives through this forum.

Father as You know Honey and her family are going through very difficult times right now. Each of them are having difficulty in coping. You tell us in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. We know that there's much to be learned through this situation and I pray dear Father that Honey's eyes will be opened to learn and to see. Father please open her husband's eyes and his heart to see his addiction and what it's doing to others. Father please open Honey's eyes to the dangers that she and her sons face in dealing with these addictions. Protect them Father from harm.

Father, as You know, Honey has been given excellent advice on this forum. Please open her eyes to see it and not to take it as an insult on her parenting skills. Show her dear Father that we all care for her and her family.

Lead and guide her Father. Bring those in her area along side her to comfort and teach her. Please don't let her be influenced by rationalizations and excuses but see the truth.

Please Father protect these innocent children from any harm. Protect their minds from the damage by what they have seen and experienced. Use this situation to make them better adults instead of letting it too become a characteristic of their lives. Show them that alcoholism and adultery lead to misery and protect them from that path.

Father Honey is so very hurt and she has so much on her. Let her rest in You and know that You always have her and her family in Your thoughts. Please Father I ask that You restore her family. Help her husband recover from alcoholism. Restore this family to bring glory to You.

I thank You Father for hearing these requests and thank You for the mighty work You're doing in this situation. These things I ask in the Blessed Name of Jesus Christ and for His sake. Amen

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Honey, in your topic line, you say "Feeling...like I am too nice to him..." YOU ARE! You are WAY WAY WAY too nice. In fact, you are so afraid to upset your H out of fear that he will distance himself from you, again, that you are allowing yourself and your children to be stomped on, emotionally. Given that, I don't know how much I can offer with regard to boundaries given that I am still learning how to set them, myself. Maybe this will help -

As you know, my H is a newly-recovering alcoholic. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> (Now sober 6 months - WOW! that's 1/2 a year!! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> ) As part of his recovery after his inpatient treatment - during his outpatient treatment - he had to complete a form that provided instructions to me on what I should do if he starts drinking again. In that "contract," his instructions to me, from a sober, yet alcholic mind, were that I should do, "whatever it takes to protect [DS] and [me], including Plan B." (H is familiar with MB's Plan A and Plan B). He made VERY clear to me that my number one priority should be protecting our son and me - remember, this is the alcoholic speaking.

H also told me that I could have hung the moon the stars and the planets as part of the Plan A I was doing while he was still drinking and it wouldn't have made a difference - ONLY THE ALCOHOL mattered. He actually resented me for NOT drawing boundaries and sticking to them. He wholeheartedly agrees with what the other posters and Dr. Harley have said with regard to not being able to recover a marriage while one of the spouses is in the throws of an addiction.

As the spouses of alcholics, as much as you or I may want to recover our marriage, we cannot do it while our H's are actively drinking. As our MC told me, if only 1 person is showing up for the game, you can't play. Even though the active alcholic may physically be there, he is not there mentally or emotionally - he is not thinking rationally or logically and cannot be reasoned with at the level necessary to truly work on a fragile marriage. As I told you in our recent phone conversation, too, it doesn't get better right away once they begin their recovery. AA is a very selfish (in a GOOD way) program, in that the recovering alcoholic places their recovery first and foremost above everything, even their marriages and families.

I have learned through Al-Anon, books, counseling and from H that the disease of addiction is a family disease in that the longer the family is exposed to an addicted member they will assume the traits, behaviors and thinking patterns of that addict. My counselor calls it, "Stinkin' Thinkin'." I don't mean this to attack you because I, too, was in your shoes not so long ago. But, your response to the other posters' genuine attempts to help demonstrate one of the classic signs - denial. In fact, very angry denial. I, too, did the same thing - my situation was always "different" or the people offering advice, "just didn't understand." Finally, my counselor said to me, "There comes a point where, if you are not willing to do anything to change the situation, you lose your right to complain about it." That certainly opened my eyes.

Considering the reality that the other posters are offering may help you begin the very hard process of healing your family - and, very possibly, your marriage. As the other alcoholic's who have posted here point out, every alcholic has his our her rock bottom - for my H, it was seriously considering suicide to the point of attempting to buy a gun. Maybe treating your H with detached compassion in the ways suggested by the other posters will be his "rock bottom." Anything less is enabling - spoken from a true enabler herself! (In my situation, after H would drink, he would yell and yell and yell at me and, for a very long time, I would either 1) yell back and/or try to reason with him; or 2) agree with him just to calm things down. I drew my boundaries by making very clear that 1) if he got arrested for DWI, I would not bail him out; and 2) when he would yell at me, I would tell him that I wasn't going to discuss anything with him while he was drinking but would be glad to do so when he was sober. This diffused the situation almost entirely).

I understand how you may be feeling attacked. I felt the same way when my friends would tell me the same thing about my H when he was drinking - totally defensive and protective of H. BUT, they do make some very good points that you may want to consider - as in Al-Anon - take what you want, leave the rest...

BB

<small>[ March 13, 2003, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: Brit's Brat ]</small>

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Honey,

What I have found to be true for me is that in Life - "First you have to take the test...then you learn the lesson". What I see is that you are still taking the test.

In the spirit in which you have asked us to post to you; let me tell you a recent incident in my story. As you know I have posted to you in the past about being married to an alcoholic. I was married to him for 7 years and have now been divorced from him for going on 14 years.

Last week, I received information that an envelope came to my ex-h at my former place of employment that I left 13 years ago. It was a letter from unclaimed property division of the state's department treasurer.

It gave me an opportunity to call my ex-mother-in law; to let her know that I would be forwarding this to her to pursue. Reason I called her is because my x-H died last May at the young age of 47.

You see after 7 years of being married to an alcoholic, completing in-patient alcohol rehab with him, doing everything I could in my power to convince him to stop drinking; I finally had to let him go when it came to the decision that if I didn't let go I wouldn't survive. I became so emotionally sick being addicted to HIM that his rehab center wanted to admit ME to their rehab program for 30 days.

So I let go; or so I thought. In reality I convinced myself that I was only divorcing him because the pain of losing me would be the "magic" that would convince him that he needed to stop drinking; and then we could re-marry and "live happily ever after".

Well, of course he didn't stop drinking when I divorced him. And instead his health continued to decline as a result of the abuse his body took from too much drugs and alcohol. My personal survival hope was that by the time he died (and I knew he would die young) I would be so far removed from him emotionally & physically that it wouldn't kill me too.

Blessedly & peacefully (though not guilt-free), when I did receive the news he died last May it did not devastate me. I am so grateful for that alone.

Back to my former mother-in-law. As we were speculating what in the world the un-claimed property could possibly be she said the most amazing thing to me. She said; "I am so glad you got out of your marriage to D when you did". "Your life didn't go down the drain with his, and you've moved on to better things".

I was stunned. This mother loved her son with the intensity that we mothers know exists. And for her to say this after all these years was such a gift. I responded to her how grateful I was to hear her say that; because even after all this time I still have guilt. She told me I had nothing to be guilty about. This is profound to me beyond my ability to express here.

Back to you. My hope for you is that you take care of you - the mother of your children. If you are taking sufficient care of you...the rest will follow. I know how it feels to be where you are (minus the children), and your efforts to do everything you can to save your dreams with J. I just want you to know that at some point it is OK to "just let go" and see what happens. Especially when the pain of where you are becomes greater than your wildest fears about your future without J.

You have wonderful supportive people in your life that will be there for you if/when you reach this point. Just a reminder that life is full of choices; and when you decide that something isn't working for you - it's simply a matter of making another choice. I did. It wasn't easy, but I'm still receiving gifts for having made the right decision for the right reason. It's just that it wasn't on anyone else's time frame but mine. And I'm at peace with that too. Blessings CSue

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CSue,

My ex-MIL said the same thing to me. Even though I was devastated when my ex left, she told me that it was a good thing and that one day I would think the same thing. She still tells me that it was the best thing for me and the kids. It took me about a year, but I finally got what she was saying...I understood. Yes, it was hard. But I finally realized that being with him was bad for me and the kids.

Now, he's married to the woman he left me for. They drink together all the time. The last time I saw him, he looked bad. The whites of his eyes are yellow and he's usually drunk or high on something when I do see him. What a life, huh?

Mitzi <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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Honey, you are NOT a bad mother. You are a mother who is stuck in the middle of a very nasty situation. You're reacting on a moment by moment basis. You can't see the picture because you're smack in it. Those of us who are concerned about your children are worried because we can see the picture; we may not be able to see our own, because we're in the middle of those ourselves, but we can see other people's, right? Just as you would have a better overview of my situation than I could have.

I made many of the same choices you're making, and live daily with the consequences. Please try to put aside your fear, anger and denial, and realise that you're not being bashed, you're not being called names, and you're not being labelled or libelled. Some of your choices are poor, that's all. And it's only to be expected. Skills have to be learned and practiced. I never learnt any good mothering skills - I was taught a lot of poor techniques!

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OPB, Brit's Brat
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Finally, my counselor said to me, "There comes a point where, if you are not willing to do anything to change the situation, you lose your right to complain about it." </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I completely agree. Enabling the alcoholic through Plan A is a lost cause. It's also very selfish. You have to be strong enough and Love them enough to Plan B, for their own good, and for the good of your children and yourself.

jmho
tagging off <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

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Honey, just to say hi. i am fairly new here and read your thread. i just wanted to say the hello to ya and that i hear what u are saying. My WH has been gone a little over 8 wks and i feel like i am just being soooo nice to him and he can walk on me. but, i guess this is all part of plan A. am i right?

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Honey -
A book that would be very insightful for you -

Codependent No More by Melody Beattie

there is also one after that called

Beyond Codependency - but I haven't finish that yet so I cannot recommend it yet...

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Thanks to the posters, I do appreciate the heart-felt replies...

Unfortunately alcoholism is quite cunning and baffling.. we all have slips and that is what happened to me Sunday nite, life is not perfect.

Alanon is a great support group formed on the basis of a support group for wives of alcoholics who wanted to stay in their marriage whether or not the alcoholic is / was still drinking. This is where I need to be for now- b/c NO, I cannot control whether or not he stops completely- changed attitudes can aid recovery- Now I can do my part in that area. I can change my part- which does not neccessary mean a D, or a plan B, if he is still drinking.

Now boundaries are intact and continue to be forged, we have professionals working with us on those issues.

I vented here and got the same ole same ole and it still came out here.. when I posted even on the too nice aspect of my plan A...

I see that many who have been harmed by alcoholism are trying to help me not walk in their shoes, I appreciate this....

All situations are different, each of us can only do the best we can do with our given circumstances.. of course we can work to change OURSELVES.. that is it. I know this.

I know at times I may enable, but believe me things have changed a lot.

I can only pray that my h will get sober, his stance in regards to the A's has drastically changed and that is real progress. I know this man loves me and I know he is very capable of living a good life with me and the boys, we will recover.

I appreicate the heartfelt replies, we are all different- maybe some of the harsher replying posters can learn from a more gentle approach, with my h in particular it works much better.. tough love with love can work some, but he really needs some patience.

I have BTDT with all the calls to police and police reports.. what did it get me...? My h calling the police on me when I finally went over the edge over the A, and his turning the tables back on me... he has been locked out many a night...- my detachment in the past before the A was with anger, not patience and love.. which I try to have today.

My h as any drinker, has issues that cause the drinking... by working through these and with love I do feel IN MY SITUATION there is a stronger chance of recovery. My h does not respond to the police being involved with anything but anger.. I will not recover my marriage and the trust we need to rebuild with this sort of action.

With love and loving boundaries for me and the kids I can do the best I can to recover.

I am hoping to get older son back in counseling very soon and have h meet with this counselor at times for issues that are forming due to older son's feelings about seperation and dad's current situation...

Must go for now, but do appreciate the posts... One bad nite does not ruin the positive steps that have been taken.

It is a delicate balance , balancing boundaries and detachment with love... I am doing it.

I will seek out alanon support in the future when there is a slip, as I know there will be some...

thanks, H

<small>[ March 14, 2003, 09:47 AM: Message edited by: Honey ]</small>

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