This patient support community is for loved ones of people who drink and are trying to quit for discussions relating to abuse, behavioral issues, caring for yourself, counseling, divorce and separation, enabling, guilt, and when to get medical help.
I am new but have seen a lot of similar comments and issues - a seemingly constant trend among those who deal with someone who drinks. My wife, whom I love dearly, usually drinks a bottle of champagne and wine each night. She is the salt of the earth when she doesn't drink, but is so angry and fight prone when she does. I get blamed as being the root cause of the drinking or other times "life" issues are blamed. When we go out to dinner, she usually has two or three glasses of wine before we go out and then a couple at the restaurant and then things go in the tank. She has said before that she hates it and has said that I don't know how bad it has gotten, and yet she won't stop. I have noted on the couple of occasions when she didn't drink, prior to bed she would have the shakes and would complain she was unable to sleep. I am looking for any guidance/help in what to do. I resist going to parties as she's normally the one who leaves with everyone talking about how drunk she got or what obnoxious behavior she exhibited. It's hurtful, shameful and is something that has negatively affected our relationship, our kids and life in general. Thanks for any thoughts/input.
Hi there ...
I am truly sorry for what you are going through. Alcoholism is a terrible burden for the family of the alcoholic. My first marriage was to an alcoholic and it was awful. For a couple of years I really had no clue what was the problem, since he blamed me and/or the kids for his behavior. I had no life experience with alcoholism growing up. As I said before, it took a few years and then I began going to Al Anon meetings. It's a support system for anyone affected by someone's drinking or other kind of drug use. It's so important that YOU get the help that you need. There were times I even went to AA meetings because I found it refreshing to be around recovering alcoholic's. Of course once an addict, always an addict ... all they can do is take life one day at a time, go to their meetings and stay away from all drugs, including alcohol of course. Living with a practicing alcoholic is very hard on the family ... that's why it is so crucial that you have a support system! You need to focus on taking care of yourself and not let your wife make you feel that you are the problem. The problem is her drinking, period. But you can't expect that she will change. Sometimes, when family members go to Al Anon meetings and begin changing their outlook, the addict MAY notice that they can't make them feel guilty or angry anymore and they decide to change themselves by going to AA meetings. Of course there are no guarantees that they will want to change at all. What is most important is taking care of yourself ... how you deal with the alcoholic and learning to not buy into any of the guilt trips they may try to place on you. Addiction warps everything, families, relationships, self worth ... that's why you need to start going to meetings in order to take care of yourself! I know exactly what you are going through ... and my heart goes out to you. Please try the meetings, if you work the program it will work for you! I wish you the very best ... take care!
Thank you for the encouraging words. There were many threads on here of those with an addiction and many from those who have to deal with the addict. Your suggestion only firms up what I thought about yesterday after reading many posts on here. I determined that I would love my wife regardless of her addiction, but that I wouldn't accept the blame for it. I also will try and find a local AA meeting to attend just to listen to the addict, those affected and perhaps those who live and deal with an addict. I appreciate you taking the time to include your thoughts and experiences and suggestions on dealing with this issue. All the best to you and thanks!
I think that it's wonderful that you have stated your commitment to your wife, regardless of her addiction. Your wife is ready to change IMO, she has said that she hates it and has said that I don't know how bad it has gotten. She is at the first step, that "We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable." I believe that your wife is miserable right now, and is ready to hear about how she can change her circumstances. We don't mean what we say when we're drunk, but we do know that we are abusing those that we love. The next step is an Addictions Counselor that you can find at any Intensive Outpatient Program. I'm very impressed that you are committed to go to meetings, your support bringing her to where she needs to be, is wonderful. Does your wife work or does she have her days free?
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