alcoholism (pg mentioned)

(16 posts)(7 voices)
  1. Hmm... I posted this last week, but now I can't find the post anywhere. I am married to a man who is in denial about his alcoholism, even though he freely talks about his father's alcoholism, and his sister had to simply stop drinking alcohol about 15 years ago (her drinking was getting so out of control). My husband drinks two glasses of wine probably about five evenings per week. Every 10-25 days, he gets completely inebriated, comes home bumping into things, tripping, stumbling, slurring; he can't enunciate or speak coherently; he has lost his wallet, cell phone, office Blackberry. He is unable to recall conversations the following day. I think that he thinks he couldn't possibly be an alcoholic because he is able to abstain for reasonable periods of time (preparing for an IVF cycle, I asked him to stop drinking alcohol for three months, & he managed to oblige).

    He has proudly told me that his nephew (who is now 15 years old) has never seen him intoxicated.

    Sometimes, after staying sober for more than a week or so, he will proudly announce how good he feels, how he's sharper at work, how his mind works better.

    He has a circle of friends in our home town. Every occasion is a reason to drink: poker night, football games, the Academy Awards. There are at least three people in that circle who have an even more serious drinking problem than my husband. I think that's another reason that he doesn't think that he needs to seek help.

    Now I am 5+ months pregnant (donor egg, donor sperm; after three failed IVF cycles, one failed IUI, two miscarriages after natural conception). I don't see any improvement in his behavior, even though he has promised me that he wants to cut back on his drinking because he wants to be a good father.

    He uses any excuse to drink alcohol: stress at work, good news to celebrate, client wanted to go out for drinks (so why can't he just drink soda?!?!).

    I am prepared to end the marriage the next time he overindulges. Am I insane to think that I can take care of this baby by myself? We got married in August 2005. We live in NJ. I would want sole custody, so I don't imagine I would get any child support. He earns $150K/year. I earn $57K/year. At one point my employer laid me off due to lack of work. My husband encouraged me to remain unemployed (as we both knew that stress affected fertility), so I did not have a job for about 10 months.

    We saw a marriage counselor. That was a waste of time. She ended up making us feel that he drinks because I cause him stress.

    He thinks AA is for losers. One of his friends stopped drinking & started attending AA, & my husband essentially mocks him & thinks that his friend attends simply for the social interaction.

    So does anyone have any advice? You ladies have always provided so much comfort & support in the past. Thank you in advance for reading this & for any thoughts you can share.

    -Diana

  2. From personal experience (my bro) addiction is almost impossible until THEY decide they're done. I hate to say this but maybe a separation is what he needs to scare the pants off him. I'm dealing with "other" issues and it took him scaring himself to get REAL help and yes, marriage counseling DID NOTHING but make the situation worse. We now see a Domestic Violence therapist once a week and I see my own therapist 2x a week.

    I go to a site called Trubbles Catbox a-lot and they have a great reading list and co-dependency support. Most of it is related to abuse such as verbal or physical which are, at times, the outward demonstration of an addiction.

    GL and PM me if you need support. 1 child is doable if you have too.

  3. Thank you for sharing and for the advice and the site referral. I think a separation might be a brilliant solution.

    I hope that things have improved or are improving for you. You sound like a very strong, very intelligent woman.

    I am relieved to know, however, that raising one child by myself is something I could realistically do.

    Best,
    Diana

  4. I'm sure that raising a child alone will be hard but, it may beat the heck out of the alternative.

    With that said, I've given my DH far more chances than most women would and 7 years later it's finally paying off. The key for me was to quit trying to get him to change and work on ME!!! When I got strong, there was/is no more BS allowed in my home and if there is, there are consequences.

    For Example - he acts like a construction worker with cat calls every time I get in the shower, get dressed, etc.. I've asked him to quit MANY times and he has continued so NOW, every time he does this he has to send me flowers for a week. It makes him think about ME, is a kind gesture and is a punishment of sorts for him. If he does not send them, I send them to myself.

    Also, our new home is 100% in my name.

    I refuse to stay with his mother when we visit because they are all a bunch of drunks with no regard for me (too many stories to recount). She and SIL sent DH x-mas cards TO HIM ALONE. Anyway, put my foot down that we would be staying at a hotel from now on and MIL is now kissing my feet.

    Again, that's after a VERY long time of me nagging, crying, griping. Turns out all I had to do was learn to take care of myself and my comfort level.

    GL - I know it's very hard to say the least. PM me or anything if you need to vent!!

  5. Wow, I am so amazed and impressed with your determination and approach. That's so great that you decided that you needed to start looking out for yourself and became so strong.

    I can't believe that your MIL and SIL were only sending Christmas cards to him!!! That's soooo obnoxious.

    The house is 100% in your name!!!! Very empowering & brilliant!

    I think what I'm going to do is the next time he drinks excessively I'm going to tell him, "I need you to admit that you are an alcoholic and seek treatment. If you fail to do this, once I go on maternity leave, I am moving in with my parents."

  6. Diana,

    First of all, one child is very doable as a single mom. My ex, who is an alcoholic, walked out on me after 7 years when I was 32 weeks pregnant. I was taking care of my 85yo mother, moving her into a senior apartment in my city, selling my house and moving. It all happened. Emotionally, the devistation (sp?) was another issue. Taking care of my DD was fine. The one thing I will say...be sure you are done. Because once you remove him from your home (or leave), he may decide to stay gone. Part of what made my A leave is my insistance that she stop drinking (it was a daily thing). She found someone who would let her drink instead.
    I decided I wanted a sibling for my DD and am now pregnant with twins (DE/DS). While I am thrilled, I traded 1 A for another. The girl I got involved with 6 months ago, can go 2-3 weeks, then binges like your DH. I have thought of ending it, yet I do have feelings and wonder (yes sound familiar) how I will do it without her. (Even though I know I can) I am weighing out the good and bad at this point...but am really angry at myself for getting in this situation again. I really do not want to reaise my DD or these next children in that environment. Them admitting they are alcoholics isn't really the end all. My ex could easily say it, this one can too. The biggie is if they want to quit. Most don't.

  7. gscattolin,

    thank you for your words of wisdom. i am so, so sorry to learn what you have been through. yeah, i think that if my spouse does not change, i definitely want him out of my life for good. but i'm shocked that your ex found someone who accepted the drinking. i absolutely could not. i am disgusted by it & each time it happens, i lose more respect for him. and it trickles over to how much i trust him with regard to other matters, too.

    congratulations on the twins!!!! how wonderful! but i am quite saddened that you find yourself with another alcoholic. and that she's a binger. big sigh. do you have family members who might be able to help you out? i am very fortunate in that regard.

    i feel exactly the way you do: raising children in that environment... i would do anything in my power to shield a child from that. i get so angry at my spouse because it blows my mind that his pride/ego hasn't eventually intervened to tell him, "do you know how pathetic & replusive you are when you are drunk?"

    my thoughts & prayers are with you & your little ones.

    -diana

  8. Diana,

    I can so totally relate to your feelings about this. I too am just disgusted by it and become more and more angry at myself for tolerating it. I am angry because my brain tells me it has only be 6 months...I can and will get over this relationship if I can just choose to end it. It seems I have waited the whole time for it to get better. The beginning was good for a few weeks, then she lost her job. I spent 2 months helping her find a new one. Faxing resumes, sending thank you notes, filling out online applications, searching Craig's list. During that time, her drinking became a huge issue and all my red flags were going up. I tried seveal times to end it...first she said she was in a program (which turned out to be a monitoring program thru the VA; no treatment involved); then she said she would go to AA (did that for a few weeks, just became a angry sober person). She finally got a job in Jan, then her car gets hit (not her fault) so we go thru all the insurance cr.ap. Before that is even settled, she decides she has to rescue her 28yo sister and moves her here from Denver! The girl has no money, and she is now living with us in my house. I insisted that she pay rent for her because in my world, there are no free rides. So now she is totally pi.ssed every friday when she has to give me rent. During Feb things were going well, we ate dinner as a family every night (I have a dd who is 16 months), spent alot of time together; she stayed sober 5 weeks, at first said she was going to meetings, then I found out she was just sitting in the parking lot. I agreed to let it go as long as she didn't drink. Well, 2 days after her sister arrived she went on another binge; then again last night...which was 10 days from the last one. Usually, she will go pass out, or stay at a friends...last night was the first time in a long time I was subjected to it. The "wanting to talk", the mean comments "how much she despises me when she has to give me rent", how "self absorbed I am" etc. Mind you I am barely 6 weeks pregnant. Then she finally passes out, leaving her alarm downstairs; and she has to be up at 1am for work. So, I try to ignore it, put it on her and go to sleep. I can't . I got up and went to get the alarm. I had also told her last night after her mean comments, that she and her sister oculd find a place and move out. Now, again I have a pit in my stomach. I got a text that she was waiting for my apology. I spoke to her telling her we are just different people and neither of us our happy. Basically I am trying to stick to my guns that I want this over. it is so hard being pregnant and dealing with this. My emotions are all over the place, I can cry at the drop of a pin. And mostly I am so so mad at myself for getting involved. When my ex left I promised myself and my DD I would never get involved with another A; yet here I am again.
    Diane, I appreciate you talking the time to read this. I know it is long but sometimes it is better for me to just get it out. I wish I had that resolve to KNOW that i was done.

  9. Its one day at a time. I would totally recommend that you find an ALNON goup. They are very helpful and may help you recognise how we often enable them.

    She wants you to continue to enable her and accept responsibility for her bad behaviour.

  10. Sasha is right. In case you aren't aware of them, Al-anon is for the family and friends of alcoholics--as AA is for the alcoholic. I believe their website is www.al-anon.org. There are meetings everywhere, including online if you live in a remote location.

  11. gscattolin:

    i\'m going to reply in detail as soon as i can. right now, things are crazy at work.

    i want to give you a hug!!!

    -diana

  12. Diana-My first husband was/is an alcoholic. He tripped over the baby gate while holding our newborn because he wasn't steady on his feet. After our second daughter was born I came to realize that I wanted more for my children than to grow up with an alcoholic father. I gave him many ultimatums but in the end he just couldn't/wouldn't stop drinking. I received a divorce when my babies were 2 and 3 years old. I had my attorney place a clause in my decree stating that I could refuse visitation if he was intoxicated/under the influence and if he became intoxicated during visitation the he would have to call me or have someone 18 y/o or older return my children. I wasn't going to ask for child support because he spent all his money on alcohol but it is required by law so I asked for the minimum of $400 a month. My children never saw their father after that point. He moved away and never paid a dime in child support. I was active duty in the Navy at the time. It was hard but I raised my girls by myself, served in the Navy and went back to college and got my Bachelors degree. My daughters are now 17 and 18 and are well adjusted. My ex-husband is still an alcoholic and has continued to pollinate the world with his seed although he doesn't care for those children either. I know I made the right decision. Honestly, I would see if anything changes once your baby is born. If there is nothing then I would leave. We owe our children a decent life and access to good role models. Best of Luck!

    Shannon

  13. gscattolin,

    don't be angry at yourself for tolerating it! i get the impression that we both are "fixers": we come into contact with flawed individuals and think that with patience, love & care, we can "fix" them. it comes from good intentions. i also think that we are both hopeful optimists.

    oh, my goodness. i am stunned by & in awe of how extremely supportive & helpful you have been with her. and for her to respond with such cruelty and the lying... you must be so hurt and feel so betrayed. & to have to deal with this while pregnant. i wouldn't wish this on anyone.

    how are you feeling these days? do you think you have the resolve? does the bad consistently outweigh the good, or are there still really good moments between you? i think you DO have the strength to stick to your guns. you must look after yourself, for your children's benefit.

    i so agree that it really helps a great deal to let it out & vent. and please know that you are among friends who want to help & who can identify with what you are going through!!! my prayers are with you.

    shannon,

    i\'m coming back soon to reply to your post next.

    -diana

  14. Diana,

    Thanks so much for replying. Things have changed somewhat, as they can with A's. I reached my breaking point with the sister after finding her smoking in my house and turning the heat up, so I told DP she would have to go live with her other friends. DP understand, in fact, she correctly placed her anger on her sister this time. We did talk the same day as the post and she explained that her philophies of helping family are much much different than mine. We agreed to disagree on it, without name calling. As it turns out, DP's friends won't take the sister either. I guess they already know what she is like. So, we came up with a plan we can both live with until she can save enough money to get out of our home. Hopely, I can survive it. On a better note, my 7 week US yesterday showed two heartbeats! DP was really excited. She seems really invested in the pregnancy, and she is extremely attached to my 16 month old DD. So, for now I am going to plug along. She hasn't drank in 8 days....we'll see how it all goes. There are still alot of good moments between us and she is a tremendous help with DD.

  15. dear shannon,

    wow, you are extremely brave. to take the initiative and be so determined even with TWO toddlers. that is incredible and so amazing!

    i don't think i could even trust my husband to call me or have someone 18+ years old return the child(ren) if he became intoxicated during a visit. the alcohol really impairs his judgment.

    you were active duty in the navy at the time!!!! my goodness, how did you ever manage? they keep you occupied from like 6 am to 6 pm, no? i guess that they have a childcare facility? i am so impressed that you then went back to college and got your degree. a lot of people would have used that whole experience as an excuse for not striving for more. i am so happy to learn that your daughters are so well-adjusted. it sounds like your own parents gave you a very strong sense of self and really valuable tools to create such a wonderful family life for your daughters. you are a fantastic role model for your girls!!!

    what a shame that your ex-husband continued to bring more children into the world whom he also neglects & exposes to such disgraceful & dangerous behavior.

    thank you so much for sharing and for the advice. i wish that his alcoholism wasn't weighing on my mind so much. it's preventing me from thoroughly enjoying this pregnancy.

    -diana

    dear gscattolin,

    hey, things have changed considerably!!!! that's wonderful!! i'm so relieved that your DP sided with you on the sister behavior. (i think i'm more like you with regard to the family member philosophy: just because someone is biologically connected to you doesn't give him/her the right to take advantage repeatedly.)

    such exciting news re the heartbeats!!! did you just melt with happiness?

    it sounds like you two are doing pretty well! i'm happy to hear that she is so fond of your 16 month old and that she is very helpful with DD!

    wishing you the best of luck! keeping my fingers crossed that your DP continues to be supportive and sober.

    -diana

  16. FYI they call it a 'dry drunk' when they can go without (for fertility or whatever) to prove that they are not A - but they havent dealt with any underlying issues around their addiction.

    wow so many stories

    i liked what Shannon wrote: We owe our children a decent life and access to good role models.

    courage to all... and to deal with OUR parts of the puzzle (ie how did we end up here... al-anon is good. enabling isn't. my dad was A and my mom went it alone and always said it was much better for all of us. she did a good job raising us alone.

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