Alcoholic, Living with an Community
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Avatar universal

Just can't let my guard down

So I'm reading these posts and many situations are similar, but don't quite match mine.  I've been married for 21 years, and my husband and I have been through a lot. We come from some rough places, but have managed to be productive, skilled professionals. We have two children, live I a great place.  My man has been through AA by his own will some  time ago, but never really bought the idea that he could never go back to drinking, never really accepting the title "alcoholic".  I wasn't sure either, as he has never been that bad, though it occurred to me that alcohol accompanied every situation, weekend, mowing the lawn, football game, etc... I got pretty fed up and started counting, then confronting, then joining, then confronting again. I don't drink, never needed to. I'm tired that after several counselors for me, then us, then him we are still in this boat.  I asked an addiction specialist if he is an alcoholic, and he confirmed loudly, "yes!"  He drinks almost every day expensive microbrews, putting away 5-6 on a weekend night, glassy eyed, snoring every night. I've threatened to kick him to the curb and he stopped, admitting that he could control himself better and be mindful, buzzword.  He works, he manages the kids, cleans the house, complains that I don't do enough around the house, so it's not like he's a lousy bum. He is depressed deep down about the death of family members and has deep wounds from his childhood, but can't break the cycle.  I am as healthy as I've ever been, praying about it, loving unconditionally, confronting when it's bad enough for mine and the kids safety and sanity. The teen daughter tells him he's controlling and yells a lot. I mean come on, he and the eight head old boy are the only ones thinking this is normal. I've told him this is not the normal I want my kids to know.  I have to confront him when those eyes go glassy. How much more can I do? I hate Alanon. I hear worse stories and think I shouldn't *****, yet I live with a liar. What is it going to take?
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm sorry that you are going through this.  Everything about addiction is so difficult.  The lying is 2 fold.  He's lying to you about the drinking and he's lying to himself about the addiction.  Then you put all of the emotions into the mix and it just gets more complicated.

"What's it going to take?"  It's going to take him really wanting to quit.  Its going to take him to accept that there is a problem and him wanting to address the problem.

"How much more can I do?"  That is strictly up to you.  I'd guess you'd have to take a real honest inventory of the relationship.  How much love is still in the tank?  Is it worth fighting for?  Am I strong enough to stick this out and can I handle potential set backs?  How many set backs might there be and can I wade through all of them?

From my own experience, I don't know how much success he can have with conquering the addiction until he conquers his depression.  If he cannot put those issues safely in a spot where he doesn't need to self medicate, he is going to continue to self medicate.

Again from my experience, it is real hard for a man to admit that there are problems.  Its hard for men to admit that there are feelings of being inadequate (from my childhood).  Men are taught to be big, brave and strong.  Telling someone these secrets makes most men feel vulnerable, so they hold on, repress the feelings only to have them manifest as addictions or anger.

I wish there were an easy answer, but there isn't.  I'd try to catch him before he gets glassy eyed and have a good, heart to heart talk.  You need to be understanding and welcoming in order for him to come clean.  If you walk into the meeting with an ultimatum: "Quit or were through", you give him not a lot to work with since he probably feels inadequate.  Prove his worth to you and the kids, to him.
Avatar universal
Thank you. I am learning some techniques right now that let me let go of my own fear and hurt, but I find myself here instead if doing them. It's hard to face the root problem which is the fear of rejection and abandonment. It ***** really. I fear I will make a decision with him that I may regret, so I stay but then resent him. The heart to heart talks come and go, and still I wait and pray for the change that he teases me with, but seems powerless to enact. The real problem of his inadequacy lies within his own beliefs. His actions give him away, like short temper, critical judgments of myself and the kids and EVERYONE else, self medication, illnesses, lack of grooming and healthcare like taking medications, insomnia, and requiring way more physical touch than he gives. Take take take. I took a co dependency quiz and didn't do so well, so I decided to let go of that behavior.  Quit drinking myself, but this changes nothing about his, maybe slowed it down from a six pack to 4, but who's counting?  I can't seem to stop mu fear of abandonment, rejection, and isolation I'm feeling. I fear the only way is to leave. And take the kids. And hope I've done the right thing. I fear my kids will hate me.
Avatar universal
In my opinion:

There is nothing wrong with giving Your Husband an ultimatum

There is nothing wrong in saying "I have decided to live an alcohol free life, so therefore, You (husband) must choose alcohol OR me and the Children"

Do not feel guilty, bad, or wrong about Your choice to live an alcohol free life.  That is NOT a bad thing!!  That is a good thing!!  for You, for Him - and most certainly for Your Children !!  HE is making the 'bad' choice, the WRONG choice if He chooses alcohol over His family.  It is not as if You would be insisting that He give up something that is GOOD for Him, but rather You would be insisting that He give it up as the BEST thing for HimSelf AND for His Children.  

You are NOT letting HIM down, rather HE is letting You and His Children down by continuing to use alcohol.

There are many who say the alcoholic is not 'ready' to quit until He hits His
'bottom' - well, hopefully, His 'bottom' would be risking His family - BUT if that doesn't do it for Him, well then, You and His Children are better off to know that now rather than later.

I speak as a daughter who was raised by an alcoholic mother

Avatar universal
Thanks Tink
3060903 tn?1398568723
So your husband is refusing to deal with his own demons,
and his actions are putting the children at risk of self medicating themselves, as statistics prove.
Is it worth further enabling if you truly look at the potential costs in terms of your children's lives?
If your husband's actions are harming your kids,
and you refuse to leave
I think that you should get your kids to a therapist, a life coach, someone whom they can turn to. For though you may be accepting this behavior from your husband for your own reasons,
they have their own take on the situation
and they need to be heard.
From a child that was made to watch
Please, please get your kids some therapy so that they have tools not to go down the wrong track the moment they are let loose from this situation.

God bless you. Thanks for opening up here. I hope you find peace.sooner rather than later.
If you ever need to talk I'm here. I've got 15 years clean and sober. along with my husband. We got clean together, and it has brought us so much closer. It is my wish for you both.
Avatar universal
Thank you. I read your replies last  night.  I decided to stop being afraid and said "no more". I want an alcohol free home. I said I want our kids to know how to approach stress and good times without always grabbing a bottle. They learn from us, and they are learning, from me, to just look the other way. I've even let myself take the bait and fight and argue,  thinking it will change things. I think " he just doesn't yet see my point of view. I'm sure he'll change if he just understands. ". This is the lie I've believed. But I won't anymore. I'm
Moving on, I will take whatever changes that means.
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