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Unread 11-22-2007, 09:16 PM   #1
orienta
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Default My life with weekend alcoholic husband

My husband drinks every weekend. Starts with a bottle of vodka and 12-18 pack of beer on Friday night and finishes with six pack of beer on Sunday nights.A little variation here and there. He spends most of the weekend between his bed and refrigerator and sobers up by Monday morning in time to go to work. I've been trying to get him into treatment, even spoke with his MD about it, but the harder I try the worst he drinks. This Thanksgiving we were supposed to go to a party...When he woke up around 4pm I told him that I would only go if he drives us back. He responded by refusing to go at all. "I have a right to drink a little!" I am very tired, frustrated and helpless -all at the same time! Our son in graduating from college this year- we should be enjoying life together, but instead we work all week and when I get home I see my husband either drunk and sleeping or about to get drunk. I have many interests in life(yoga,dance hiking, reading photography, etc) but he does not share any of my life with me. All throughout the week we maintain normal relationships- talk 3-4 times per day, say "I love you" before going to work,etc. But time comes to be together and do something together he consistently chooses a alcohol over me.Even sex does not interest him anymore... I don't know what to do, because I still have feelings for him and he is a good man, who has a problem, but does not want to do anything about it. I am so tired... I feel like running away, but then I will feel worried and guilty about it.
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Unread 11-22-2007, 10:25 PM   #2
CASEY
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Orienta,

Hi, You have come to a great site you will find people in the same boat as you and other's w/worse or different problem's. This site is very good to come to so you don't have to feel alone, you can come here and someone will answer you .
We all just give our advice, and you can do with it what ever you want, and another great thing is that we don't know each other so we don't judge we just listen and if we can help we try . But just to vent , this is a great site especially with the Holiday's now in full swing, stress and emotion's get pushed to their limit's!
I wish you luck ,
Casey
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Unread 11-23-2007, 02:06 AM   #3
supershonna
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Hi Orienta - I understand your pain/frustration. My husband was a weekend drinker as well. (he is almost 2 years sober) I would try to control it by not buying it for him or not giving him any money but that just took everything out of me and I didn't feel it right that I was treating him like a little kid. I tried to limit the amount bought but that just led him into sneaking money out of my pockets when I was sleeping or something. It got really bad as he started to blackout. I took babysteps in trying to get him to understand he needed help. He always found someone worse than himself and determined that he was much better than them so he didn't have a problem. A few months before he went into outpatient rehab, I gave him an ultimatum saying I wasn't going to be the victim. I had finally realized the I controlled my life, not him or his disease. I DESERVED to have a better life no matter how hard it would be to leave him. I gave him some time to chew on that and then told him I would support him going to AA meetings too if that is what he wanted. He got upset, of course, and I just said that I didn't mean he needed to start today but that if that was the path he wanted to follow, I would support him 100%. I felt that if I were to stay, I would end up hating myself, my life and him. That was not a life and I did not deserve it. One night, he just decided to go to detox. That was the scariest night of my life. I actually didn't want him to go! That is how messed up a person can get when they aren't even the alcoholic themselves. His disease still controlled the family after his rehab and going to AA meetings every day. However, it was a different kind of control. I really felt that there was hope. I still worry about him relapsing but I it's not fair to him to tell him that. I think he worries all the time, otherwise, he wouldn't be going to his AA meetings. Word of advice when he starts going to rehab/AA meetings, never ask really specific or alot of questions of what goes on there. This is his time to talk and to talk to people he can relate to with the disease. Also, don't limit the # of times he can go to AA. If he feels he needs to go, let him. My husband still goes 3-4 times a week. He always catches a meeting and then will stay and play cards. The only thing I ask is if he had a good meeting. I have seen women limit their husbands on how many times they can go and they also ask a zillion questions about what goes on at a meeting. That defeats the purpose. He will unload and make amends when he is to that step. Don't get mad at him for the stories he tells when he is trying to make amends. He knows they are bad, just listen and understand that he doesn't like the person he once was and is trying to make it better. Don't feel he is intentionally trying to hurt you by not engaging in the things you like. The alcohol takes over his mind and turns them into very selfish people. Right now, you need to stay strong and figure out your options and what YOU want out of life. Once you show that you can live without him, he should come to his senses. He won't make a decision overnight. I gave my husband at least 3 months before I knew what my decision had to be. I think he sensed as that is when he went into detox. It can happen. You just have to believe in yourself and know that you are #1. If you don't take care of yourself as #1, you can't take care of anybody else.

Take care and write soon.
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Unread 11-23-2007, 12:05 PM   #4
orienta
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Hisupershonna,
Thank you for your response. It was very helpful. I know that I have to believe that it is possible for my husband to stop drinking. But looking back at my life with him and we've been married for 22 years, I realize that I have developed a co-dependency, so if he is not drinking for a couple of weeks - I feel like everything is OK and he does not have a problem. my husband has been drinking since he was 13 years old and now he is 44- it is very long standing addiction. He had 2 DWIs the last one 9 years. About 6 years ago he had an angioplasty done because one of the mail arteries to his hears was blocked. About eight years ago we got divorsed because I gave his the ultimatum and he refused to stop drinking or seek help. It took full four months for him to actually move out and another nine month until he came back -totally sober and begged me to take him back. I did and he was sober for at least 3 years. During this time he would drink socially, but only beer and in very small quantities. Er did not have alcohol in the house, He joined the gym and we were going there together. Through is all he continues to maintain his commitment to work and has a very good relationship at his job. I think everything changed after he had the heart procedure 6 years ago. He stopped exercising, while I continued by myself. So many evenings he would be home alone waiting for me. Then he started to bring alcohol every Friday. I noticed that he stays up all night and sleeps all day. It does not matter anymore if I stay home or go our, he will still finish all alcohol in the house my Sunday night. He does not like wine, but if nothing else is avalable, he will drink it too. Yesterday when I was trying to get his to understand that he has a problem, he said that he feels seek and alcohol helps him. This is very scary , because it just shows how deep his denial is. I have to brace myself and think what do I want from life. At 44 years old, I have at least 30-40 years ahead of me and I don't want to become angry, dissatisfied. I understand that he is not intending to hurt me when he refuses to participate in various activities that I offer him. I have a very good girlfriend who spends a lot of time with me doing things that we both like doing such as yoga, dancing and hiking going to concerts and just taking walks in the park or in Manhattan. But no matter how satisfying it is to do it with her, I wish it was my husband. Sometimes I just through a fit and tell his that he has to go with me- it worked on occasion, but it is too much work for me- it does not make me happy. There is so much we can do in this life- I love to travel, and now with college tuition out of the way - we can afford it. But mu husband does not have a travel passport and does not want to have it. I think it is because he realizes that if we go to Europe he will not be able to drink the way he does when he takes vacation and stys home. Anyway than you so much Supershonna and Casey for welcoming me to this online community - I think it will help me to sort out my thoughts and figure out what need to do to survive this.
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Unread 11-23-2007, 11:56 PM   #5
supershonna
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One good thing is that he was sober for awhile. I agree, I think the heart attack made him very depressed and maybe he felt that he might as well enjoy what he enjoys if he is going to die early. Having a heart attack that early was probably pretty traumtic for him.

It seems you followed through on your ultimatum before and he got help. You may have to do that again. If/When he does get sober after the ultimatum and moving out, it may be good to have the space like you did with him before and then gradually see him. Not have him move in and just see him when it's convenient for YOU. He and his disease have controlled you and now you need to control you.

I also believe that if you are an alcoholic, you should never touch the stuff again or any drugs as once you start, even just the smallest amount, will lead to more and more and more. Look at drug users, they start by smoking, then snorting and then needles. You start to develop immunity to the small amount.
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Unread 11-25-2007, 01:11 AM   #6
orienta
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My husband was never completely sober, I think it is partially due to the culture - we are originally form Russia, but have been living in US for 17 years. It is almost a norm in Russian for a grown man to drink at family affairs, birthdays, celebrations etc. He would feel like an outsider if he did not raise his shot of vodka for his father's health ... But he would drink one or two during the whole night which was a very small amount of alcohol for his 200 lb frame. He did not drink a lot of beer and it did not seem to be a problem at all.
Before our separation 9 years ago he was drinking almost daily and to the point of passing out, He was not participating in anything except to working M-F 9-5. He was very sure of himself and in a total denial. I was his biggest problem, so when I offered to get a divorce a happily agreed. It took almost a year for his to start changing and I did agree to try it again. We maintained separate apartments for 3-4 months longer and only then I allowed him to move back with us. We started saving a lot of money , because we were not buying alcohol. He was trying to quit smoking too. A year later saved enough for downpaymend and bought a property together. I was sooo happy!

Our happiness lasted for about 3 years. Fortunately he did not have a heart attack, because out family MD identified that his arteries are blocked before the heart attack, but he was really close. So now he is taking 5-6 medications to keep him from having a heart attack and abuses alcohol and cigarettes to make himself have one as soon as possible.

I am thinking the only reason that he stopped drinking years ago was because he know that he was going to lose me. I had a lover and was fully enjoying my life. I did not have any intentions of getting back together with him. Life was GOOD without him. But he made such a drastic change, not only stopping his drinking, but also going place I wanted to go, such as dancing in the city, joining the gym, going to concerts. And he seemed to enjoy it too. He was so loving and attentive - I could not believe that it was MY husband. I used to tell my friends that I have a boyfriend who for some crazy reason looks exactly like my ex-husband - I felt that way until he began to change back to the way he is now.
It is all gone now. Today I came back from the gym around 12 pm and noticed that there was a fresh 12 pack of beer in the fridge. I did not say anything, just offered him to go out with me to visit my cousin. He replied that after what I have done to him he does not want to go anywhere. I did not argue, just said that the weather was nice - he might want to go out. Nothing worked - he stayed home and now there is only 4 bottles of beer left. I don't know what to do. I can't go on like this.... Thank you for listening and sorry for a long post. It helps - I feel better now.
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Unread 11-25-2007, 03:37 AM   #7
supershonna
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You sound like a very strong person. You have been on your own before and it sounds like you should be on your own again. It's good you haven't resorted to having no life outside the house. I turned into a hermit crab and never went out of the house. You should think of your options before you turn into that person you don't want to. It seems as though he needs to do some soul searching and that needs to be done without you. He is choosing his path - now you need to choose yours.
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Unread 11-25-2007, 11:55 AM   #8
SLynn
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orienta

You sound like a very outgoing and educated woman. Don't let him hold you back from life. We only go through this once and is this how you want yours to be? Is there a reason he drinks? Some pain he is trying to mask or some event that has him traumatized? What a horrible life he has for himself, too. I'm glad to see you talking openly here. It's a good thing.

What about therapy for yourself?

Stacey
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Unread 11-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #9
orienta
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I do need therapy, but it is not easy to find a good therapist who takes insurance. That have been my excuse until now. I am going to call every therapist on my plan if I have to. I need help because I I want a lot more from life. I have been medicating my pain my going out with my cherished girlfriend. I am not very outgoing person and don't have a lot of friends. My best friend has heard it all from me! This weekend she is away and I felt a void! That is why I started searching on line and found this great site and all of you, girls. I will try Alanon again, just seeing older woman who are sick and desperate is so hard for me. IN part because I am a social worker and in my professional life I provide services to older people.
I think that I want to be happy with my husband so much, I am willing to accept even the smallest change. I do love him - he IS my family and I wish he could change. His future does not look good - not only to me, but also to his doctor. I think the reason for his drinking might be the depression. He does have several medical conditions and takes 5-6 medications per day. Those meds may have depression as a side effect. But every time we talk about it, he gets defensive. His denial is too deep - I can't penetrate it no matter how hard I try.
We went through so much together - we have been together for halve of our lives! I know that if I ever need his help, he will be there for me. I feel very guilty because I don't want to abandon him- I just don't know if he will EVER change. He might change when it is too late.
I think he might be drinking because he does not think he will live long. My mother says that he just does not feel good and does not want to talk about it. I don't know!
I am afraid that if I gather my strength and get myself out of this trap, I will not be able to go back.
The only time in his life he did some soul searching was when we got separated. He is unable to do any type of soul work now because of his alcohol dependency. I do yoga regularly, but physical component is only one part of true yogi. I am reading a lot of literature and offered him a number of books, articles & websites. I bought this book "If the Buddha married" - it has very down to earth recommendations for struggling couples, but it is important that both partners are open to possibility of change. Since he does not like to read, I offered to read it to him - one chapter at a time. Although he did not object to the idea, he was not interested. I had to give up this idea when I realized that he does not want to change and
finds my reading to be just boring.
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Unread 12-02-2007, 01:00 AM   #10
supershonna
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Finding the right therapist is hard. My husband went through a few but has now found a christian based one and he absolutely loves it. He has severe depression and anxiety. One thing we found out was that with the drinking, the medication is voided. So if your husband is on all the medication AND drinking, the medicine isn't even registering in his body because the alcohol removes it. My husband kept going to the doctor to get his celexa increased to where they couldn't increase it anymore. Once he quit drinking and got his body settled down after 6-8 months, he is on 1/4 of the celexa he was on when he was drinking.
You are not abandoning him. You are showing you love him by making these choices. Otherwise, you are enabling him which is hurting him more. He needs to hit his bottom before he will change. He will not change because you want him to. He needs to change because HE wants to. Otherwise, any rehab he does will probably not work because he doesn't want it to work. My husband didn't say he wanted to change while he was drinking but I believe the alcoholics do. They just don't want to admit their fault which is why they find fault in us instead. It's easier for them so they don't have to look at themselves.
Even though you've been together 1/2 your life, wouldn't you like to enjoy the other 1/2 of your life? Is it fair that you have to live like this. You will need to find your path and then follow through with it.
I hope you keep posting to vent as it does help.
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Unread 12-02-2007, 02:30 AM   #11
orienta
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Hi Supershonna!
Thank you so much for all your help- I can't thank you enough for this last post... It just validated what I learned today at my first session with the therapist. Yes, I finally went to see a therapist. I know that it is not easy to find a good one and I am not sure if this one is going to be able to help me. But he was VERY preceptive and helped me,in one session, to realize my co-dependency. And most importantly the effect it has on my future. It does not look good either way - he did a lot of damage to his health already and he is not likely to stop. What really got me was that my therapist said that past history is the best predictor of the future. i told him that I felt happy in my marriage only for 2.5 years post his coming back after the divorce. the therapist them commented 2.5 years out 22 that you were together? what do you think are the chances that next 22 years will not be just like the previous one? He told me that he worked in the nursing homes where he had to counsel old bitter women that were still angry at their deceased alcoholic husbands...I did not cry then, but I feel like crying after reading your post.
My therapist advises my to speak with my husband and tell him that how I feel and then give him some time to make changes. He feels that he needs to stop smoking at the same time with stopping the alcohol.
I have not been talking to Jack since Thanksgiving and although he has not been drinking this weekend, I know from the experience that it is his way to make peace between us. But I am not responding to this, because I don't feel ready yet. I am trying to formulate my thoughts before this crucial conversation - it is going to be "make it or break it!" I have to be ready to be rejected. Another interesting comparing my therapist made: He asked me how would I feel if my husband was not drinking, but had a lover... I said that I would not have tolerated it... So he replied that my husband does have a love - the bottle of alcohol that he can't wait to see every Friday. And he prefers drinking to having the relationship with me...he is so right! And it is SO painful to hear!
Regarding the medications: he suspends all medications when he drinks - I think hes doctor told him that he should not be drinking when he takes his medicine... But it is SO dangerous that he does it- it could literally kill him in split second...( the therapist said - if he is lucky - he is gong to die, if not he is going to be an invalid and you are going to be taking care of him)
I am very lucky to have friends, my son, my mother and good job. I am trying to count my blessings before I start feeling desperate and depressed again.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 11:15 AM   #12
supershonna
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I am glad you went to a therapist! They are good at seeing through the crap. I gave my husband an ultimatum. I told him that I wasn't going to be a victim any longer and nobody should have to put up with this. I told him that I wouldn't call the cops on him (he was never physical with me but it was getting close) but that I would bring his kids (we have custody of his two boys) to his ex's and he can deal with her. I don't need to take care of children that aren't mine and a husband who doesn't care enough about us to make a change. Not long after, he blacked out one night and that scared the hell out of him. He had done it before but the difference with this is that we were having supper and he remembers none of it. He even cooked the meal! He went into detox, then outpatient rehab and AA meetings. After almost two years, he still goes to 3-4 meetings/week. He has really found alot of friendships there. The alcoholics really need to get over themselves and admit their disease. If they don't do that, they won't be able to get help. My husband smokes and he didn't quit drinking and smoking at the same time. If your husband has depression/anxiety, it may be better to leave that addiction alone. My husband's doctor has even said that he needs to get a handle on his depression/anxiety before they look at him quitting smoking. It may be too much at one time for your husband. You really do need to prepare yourself for the heartbreak of him telling you that he doesn't want to quit drinking AND that you are crazy to think he has a problem. I thought about that many times especially with my husband being a weekend drinker. Was I making a big deal of it? After awhile, I determined I wasn't because it was effecting me emotionally. You will be strong to have that conversation. I did babysteps in trying to get him to change (the ultimatum was the last discussion). I suggested that if he ever wanted to go to AA meetings I would support him. He didn't like that but said if he ever went, it would be his decision. I said that's fine but just know that I would support him. It took awhile after that (about two months) and two nights of scariness where I left for the whole night. He called me while I was at my in-laws and said we should get separate places to live. I said fine - he can find a place tomorrow. We didn't separate - I think he was surprised that I didn't beg him not to go as I had in the past. Looking back now, I had hit my bottom and didn't really care what he chose at that point. About a month after, he went to detox and hasn't had a drop since. He carved out people in his life that were drinkers. He didn't tell them they couldn't be friends but the friends disappeared once they knew he quit drinking. You are extremely lucky to have people around to support you. My in-laws were fabulous in all of this. I don't know what I would have done without them. I read other people and find they don't have the support. It makes me sad to think they have to go at it alone. They can do it but it is so much nicer to have the support. You should make a plan and be prepared should your husband take the wrong path. Please keep writing to help yourself release some of your frustration and anger. We all have been there - our stories are just a little different.
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Unread 01-03-2008, 03:41 PM   #13
daily64
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Hi ladies, this is my first post on these boards. Of course I would not be typing this if I did not have an alcoholic in my life. I have had many. My father, my brother-in-law, my nephew and now my husband.
Supershonna your posts are most helpful to me. My husband is a highly functioning alcoholic. So far his daily binges do not affect his ability to work. He is very successful and holds a senior position in his company. While I am grateful his career success means we do not have the financial worries many have, I feel cheated that his company gets the best of him. They see the sober, smart, dedicated man. From the second he finishes work, he starts drinking. Like many others have posted I have found evidence that my husband drinks in the car on his way home. He also stops at various bars. Its all part of the "secret" drinking that escalates every time we have a discussion about it. I get so few minutes of the sober smart funny man. I know I cannot "make" him stop drinking. Supershonna you were very brave to give your husband the ultimatum. I have been postponing this because I know I must be serious if I make the threat that if he doesn't fix the problem I will have to leave. I do not want to give up my life. My husband is not violent or abusive. He is an excellent provider and we have a life many would envy. I know if I threaten to leave him if he doesn't stop drinking I have to do it or there is no point.
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Unread 01-05-2008, 08:17 PM   #14
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Hi daily64 - Thank you for your post. It is extremely scary to give that ultimatum. I love my husband to death and did not want to live without him but I really needed to look at for myself first. I was raised to look out for #1 and I am #1. Sometimes that was a detriment as I would think with my head way more than my heart so I seemed cold in relationships. But, it kept me safe as well. I let my guard down with my husband and that scared me because of feeling like a failure as I should have been smart enough not to get into this type of relationship. However, I realized I need to be with a person I love and who loves me which is why I chose my husband. He didn't have the "alcoholic" signs early in our relationship but they showed about 2 years later. I think when his anxiety/depression grew out of control with all the custody issues with his ex, it became unmanagable for him. I tried to get my husband to cut down on his drinking - control him basically. He did but found later that he would buy a bottle, put it on the fridge, drink a few from it so it looked like it was going down slow but had another one hidden so he could drink as much as he wanted. He always seemed drunk but I didn't understand when I looked at the bottle. I lived by myself until 27 so I've been fairly independent. Never liked being alone all the time and was envious of people in relationships. However, I knew that I could make it on my own if I had to. I was REALLY hoping he'd make the right choice but there were no guarantees. There still aren't but he is doing his best and that's all I can ask. The $ isn't everything - being happy is. You will need to follow through on your ultimatum, no matter how hard, to ensure he thinks you are serious. Your husband may be hoping for this ultimatum to get him some help since he doesn't know how to help himself right now. Please keep posting. It does help!
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