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Other options besides leaving

Without much detail, although I will answer questions, are there any other options besides leaving my DH for his alcoholism? A little background, we dating for 3 years before we got married. Did not live together before hand. Saw each other a couple times a week. We were 21 and 22 (when we were dating). So of course, when we did see each other, we were usually at the bar or at my sister's house drinking, playing pool, etc. I didn't notice his problem until I was pregnant with my oldest. Of course he told me he would stop when she was born. He didn't.

 He just got better at hiding it. We have our 2nd daughter two years ago. I confronted him again about it when I was pregnant with her. Nothing changed. I know what everyone is thinking, why would you have another one. Like I said, he got better at hiding it.

I've really started noticing it in the beginning of 2011. I found his hiding spot in the garage. I check it daily. We've had numerous talks about this. Its effecting our relationship but I don't think he sees it. We haven't been intimate since the beginning of December. He never comes to bed with me. He's a night owl, especially on the weekends. But he drinks the heaviest then. See, he truly believes its okay because he does this at home and he's not hurting any one. My kids are too young to know any different and they are in bed. But there are more days than most, he's drunk by the time I get home from work, 6 PM. I know it because of his speech.

So, long short short (haha) I threatened him in September that he needs to clean up his act or I'm telling his brothers. His family has no idea about this. His dad is a recovering alcholic and since his brothers are 7 and 14 years old than him, they grew up with it. One night during one our talks, he said that he would go to treatment. He asked if I could help him find a place with good Christian backgrounds. I agreed and I found a place. He doesn't know how to use the Internet, he's a carpenter and has no use for it. I've had the number written down next to the coffee pot for 2 weeks. He hasn't called. And he's still drinking.

I'm not scared to go to his family but I'm wondering if its worth it? I'm going to start Al-Anon next Tuesday. Should I go?

 TIA and sorry for it being so long.

Re: Other options besides leaving

  • Go to Al - Anon RIGHT NOW.  Google the meetings and go tonight.  It's meant for families of alcoholics.  It will help you immensely.

    Please get help before your babies get too old.  My dad's an alcoholic, and I still suffer from the effects well into my thirties. 

    What you think, you will become.
  • I think Al-Anon is a good idea to help you look at your options.  They should hopefully help you find better ways of helping him to help himself, or options for you if he won't.
    Anniversary
  • alanon will teach you all about being an enabler...that is what you need to learn. The other option is to stay, which you are choosing to do. You are choosing to bring your children up with an alcoholic father. Bad choice imo.


  • What BooBoo said. Only I'm in my fifties, and still suffer from the effects. Please go, and go often. Your children should not grow up with a drunk. This is terrible for them.

    Threats, shaming, none of this will work. What you (and he) do not realize is, your dh will not be "OK" if he just stops drinking. He is a man who requires a serious crutch to get through his life, for some reason. Once that crutch disappears, (ie, if he quits drinking) he will be a man who cannot live without his crutch but who has no crutch to help him. He will seize on any thing else he can use as a crutch. Drugs, sex, exercise, affairs, prescription pills, whatever. He's not sick because of the alcohol; he's sick and uses alcohol to make himself feel better. There is such a long haul from stopping drinking to actually being well, it's insane; and a lot of people don't make it.

     

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  • Yes, go to Al-Anon and get into individual counseling too.  You asked if you should go to his family and my answer is it depends on your motivation to do so.  If you're going to basically tattle on him, it's not going to help anything.  If you're going because you're concerned, want their support, etc., then by all means talk to them.  Secrets are an alcoholic/addicts best friend. 

    You are clearly an enabler in this relationship.  Raising your children in this environment is not healthy and it's not healthy for you either.  The road to recovery is a long and difficult one, but it is up to your husband to decide if he even wants to try it.

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  • Indeed addicts have great ways of masking or hiding their addictions.

    There's no other way out --- alcoholism is a dealbrekear -- and I strongly second AlAnon for you; go to a meeting today, tonight or tomorrow (depending where you are and how late in the day it is) Do not let this wait until

    Don't threaten him. He won't even care. Have him pick you and the kids or the booze -- and I guarantee you he'll pick the booze. Don't even waste your breath with having him choose.  He needs AA and possibly rehab -- and only he can be the one to make that decision.

    He also needs ACA -- Adult Children of Alcoholics -- he also needed to avoid alcohol and all addictive possibilities; as you can see, addictions run in families.

    ALL occupations use computers; wow, he's a carpenter and he has never ever heard of CAD CAM???  Businesses of all kinds use computers. What a cop out.

    Wishing you luck in your endeavors. This is going to be especially rough for the kiddoes.

    Get your finances ready and in a row, see an attorney and when you finish that, file and leave this jerk. Sorry for your troubles.

  • image TarponMonoxide:

    Indeed addicts have great ways of masking or hiding their addictions.

    There's no other way out --- alcoholism is a dealbrekear -- and I strongly second AlAnon for you; go to a meeting today, tonight or tomorrow (depending where you are and how late in the day it is) Do not let this wait until

    Don't threaten him. He won't even care. Have him pick you and the kids or the booze -- and I guarantee you he'll pick the booze. Don't even waste your breath with having him choose.  He needs AA and possibly rehab -- and only he can be the one to make that decision.

    He also needs ACA -- Adult Children of Alcoholics -- he also needed to avoid alcohol and all addictive possibilities; as you can see, addictions run in families.

    ALL occupations use computers; wow, he's a carpenter and he has never ever heard of CAD CAM???  Businesses of all kinds use computers. What a cop out.

    Wishing you luck in your endeavors. This is going to be especially rough for the kiddoes.

    Get your finances ready and in a row, see an attorney and when you finish that, file and leave this jerk. Sorry for your troubles.

    He won't pick the booze.  He'll pick you and the kids with all kinds of promises to stop drinking, get better, go to rehab, whatever it takes to keep you.  He'll probably quit for a few days and then secretly start drinking again.  Eventually you'll catch him again, and the whole cycle repeats. 

    My deal would be that he goes to AA, rehab, and counseling, and you go to Al Anon.  All of it as a package deal or nothing.

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  • The other option besides leaving is kicking him out.

    You can not police his drinking.  You can not keep all alcohol away from him.  If you try, you will drive it underground (perhaps he will drink while he drives home from work) and make it more destructive.

    There are no magic words that will make him stop drinking.  No threats, no pleas, no negotiating.  An alcoholic can NEVER have a healthy relationship with alcohol.  Alcoholism is a disease and the only way to fight it is to not drink.

    Tell him that you demand that he stop drinking, go to rehab or attend AA meetings EVERY DAY for 90 days.  Meeting makers make it.  If he says that he won't, tell him that he needs to leave.  He will storm out.  Change the locks.  Put his bags on the front stoop.  He is picking alcohol over his family because he has a disease that makes him want booze more than he wants you and his loving family.  That is how sick his mind is.

    Do not let him back in until he can prove that he is in treatment. 

    And trust me, Al-Anon is awesome.  There is no fee, no judgement, and no pressure.

    http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/how-to-find-a-meeting 

  • Unfortunately in this situation it is either you leave or he does (to rehab). I'm sorry you are going through this. We had a family member who was an alcoholic-sounds very similar to yours (only at home, thinking he wasn't hurting anyone, hiding the booze). His wife and kids sat down with him and told him that if he didn't get help and stay sober, they were leaving and that was it. It was painful for all of us to follow through when he didn't get help, but eventually everyone realized that it was the right thing. Get support, either from his family and yours, counseling, Al-anon or all of these if you need them.

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic *This is not legal advice*
  • Yes, definitely go to a ,eeeting ASAP.

    If he doesn't decide for himself to get help, then nothing you say or do can convince him to get help. Even if you dial the phone for him, drive him to AA meetings, pour his booze down the drain, etc. He'll find a way to keep drinking unless HE really wants to stop.

    You need to decide if you can live with this for the rest of your life. And, more importantly, if you want your kids to grow up thinking that this is a normal thing to do (both their dad's drinking, and their mother's acceptance of it).

    Also ... are you O.K. with the possibility that your husband could be drunk one day and decide to put the kids in the car and go for a ride somewhere? Do you want to take that risk? You're an adult and you have the capabilities to recognize a drunk driver and refuse to get in the car with him ... the kids, meanwhile, don't have that capability at this age and they don't have the power to say no to an adult yet.

    image
  • My H is an alcoholic.  I found out a few days after our wedding.  He's almost 3 years sober.  It was difficult to live with and accept at first, but made much easier by the fact that he recognized he had a problem, he wanted to fix it, and he knew that it was all or nothing.  Drinking one beer is the same as drinking ten.  He made no excuses, and he apologized for the deception he'd perpetrated in order to further his drinking (hiding alcohol in the house, sneaking around with it, etc).  When it all came to light, I made it clear that I wouldn't tolerate this, that I would support him in his recovery efforts, and that it was alcohol or me.  I was ready to leave.  I made plans for what I would do to leave, and he knew them.

    He began counseling and AA immediately.  I went to some counseling sessions with him, and it helped each of us to understand what the other was going through.  He did 90 AA meetings in 90 days.  That's right...a meeting every.single.day.  They say that people who go to 90 meetings in 90 days won't fall off the wagon.  It's a really important way to begin one's recovery.  My H was able to see that there are plenty of other people out there just like him, at a time when he was feeling very alone.

    The thing is, you can't make your husband accept that he's an alcoholic, and you can't make him get sober.  He has to do this on his own.  If you hold your bottom line, he might see the light.  He might not.  But you have to do it for your own sanity and safety, and that of your children.

    Staying sober requires a huge commitment and lifestyle change.  Do you ever watch Intervention?  Ever notice that many of the alcoholics relapse after leaving treatment?  Alcohol is everywhere.  It's on the menu at restaurants.  It's at sports events.  It's in your fridge.  It's legal.  It's not like cocaine, where you have to work to find it.  Alcohol is everywhere.  It's easy to say, "I'm at home; I'll just have one beer."  Whether that turns into more beers or not is irrelevant.  An alcoholic cannot have any alcohol.  When that beer bottle has always been in your hand while watching TV, working on a project, etc., it's hard to get used to doing things without it.

    We've changed our lifestyles since then.  We don't go to bars.  There is no alcohol in our house.  I don't drink either.  He is comfortable with social situations in which others are drinking, but our attendance at these is much lower than it used to be.

    Anyway...I'm rambling.  Your husband thinks he's fine.  You know he's not.  Telling his family won't help if he doesn't think he has a problem.  Tell him your bottom line.  Hold it.  Make him leave your home if he doesn't get help.  There are no other options, besides what you're doing now, which clearly isn't working.

    Good luck...this is a rocky road.

  • My FI is an alcoholic and the Al-Anon meetings work wonders for him. I go with him to the open meetings and he volunteers his time and energy to give back.

     He always cautions me that with people beginning the program, they cannot foresee another day without a drink and that's a very scary prospect; enabling their habit will not only make it worse - it will encourage him to continue.

     Threatening to tell his family is a very hollow threat - it won't change anything. Threatening him with anything won't change anything. Until he decides to take care of himself, he should not be expected to take care of a family. Exposing your children to his habit is also unfair and unhealthy.

    If he goes to the closed meetings, encourage him. If he goes to the open meetings, go along with him as support. Your marriage does not necessarily need to end over this but you and your children should not be in the same household as an actively drunk alcoholic.

    I went with my FI to celebrate 4 years of sobriety tonight; we didn't get here overnight and it will take some time, work and effort. I wouldn't give up on him unless he makes it clear that he is absolutely unwilling to change; in that case, you need some support yourself and he should no longer be a priority.

    Only you know the extent of this problem but threatening, nagging or any other offense strategy will not make this change.

  • my mother could have written this decades ago, except she had three daughters and my father's family is full of alcoholics and is aware of his problem.

    i just want to encourage you and tell you that yes, it will be worth it in the long run to go to Al-Anon.  and if he is willing to get help, then being as supportive as you can will be worth it as well.  my sisters and i (and we're all in our 30s), as well as my mother, are still affected by my dad's drinking now, and his patterns are the same as your husband's.  there is hope and help out there and it can get better. 

  • My great- grandfather was an alcoholic. My grandmother is 82 years old, was married for nearly 60 years to a wonderful man who was NOT an alcoholic, and still has nightmares about the kind of abusive crap my great-grandfather used to get up to when he was drunk. He never directed any of it toward his kids (and there were 12 of them) but he apparently beat the crap out of my great-grandmother more than once, from what I can gather. My grandmother was the oldest, and she ended up raising her siblings because the house was so chaotic. My grandmother refuses to talk about him and he's been dead since the early 40s.

    Conversely, my uncle is an alcoholic. That's caused a lot of problems in our family.

    It's a hard row to hoe, but you have a lot more options, OP, than my great-grandmother did. If you choose to leave, no one will look down on you for it. But if he gets help or not, YOU need to decide if this is the kind of life you want to lead. You need to get healthy, no matter what he does. Either way, Al-Anon is a good idea. Good luck to you!

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  • My MIL is an alcoholic. She doesn't believe she has a problem. FIL has tried to talk to her parents and they dont listen, MIL tells them that there is no problem. She has gone so far as to hid her alcohol in her son's room and hid Captin in a Lipton Tea bottle... DH remembers her coming to pick him up from junior high wrestling practice hammered.... and driving. I have talked to our pastor about what we should do. I never thought of AA meetings! It's a sad thing that alcohol can grab a person like that.  We moved out before we got married because of some issues that arose while she was drunk (she talked about me to her family and they *not her* attacked me on FB.  anyways I think that AA meeting would be great to go to! Also, if you attend church, talk to your pastor. Talk to his family about them helping with your H getting help. With kids, it is not something that should have went on this long. my DH is still hurt to this day about things he called and is still calling him today and the way she treats us. PP's had some amazing advice, some that i can use with my situation.
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