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Supportive Partners

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
maryanne
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 30 Dec 2010 23:57

That's it Ellisbell we can offer support to others but we must make sure we're looking after ourselves at the same time. If we're doing that we're much more likely to be offering them the right support because we'll be thinking straight ourselves. We can do this! If they're worth it it will work! It may take a long time but it will work! (::)
Ellisbell wrote:I think there is a lot of research out there about certain people being regular codependants - its all really interesting reading and like you I seem to be "attracted" to people that need looking after in some way - maybe 2011 should be the year that not only do we offer support and help to those we love but we look after ourselves as well!

nettii
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by nettii » 30 Dec 2010 23:59

Ellisbell: Thanks for that, reassuring that there's other "real" people who act in the same way.

Funny thing is that I don't have low self esteem (although I did as a kid), will stick up for myself and my morals to the end, not at all shy (once again, I was as a kid) so not sure why I am as I am. A need to be liked I suspect. I can't stand the thought of upsetting people or people not liking me.

maryanne
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 31 Dec 2010 00:13

Maybe it's just that you are strong Nettii?!

Maybe people are attracted to you because they see you as someone strong, someone who can look after them?!

Parents are supposed to look after children but only until they can "stand on their two feet".

Successful parents know when to loosen the reigns and just how much to loosen them as well.

Maybe that's what we're meant to be doing?

What do you think? ;)

Ellisbell
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 31 Dec 2010 11:59

maryanne wrote:Maybe it's just that you are strong Nettii?!

Maybe people are attracted to you because they see you as someone strong, someone who can look after them?!

Parents are supposed to look after children but only until they can "stand on their two feet".

Successful parents know when to loosen the reigns and just how much to loosen them as well.

Maybe that's what we're meant to be doing?

What do you think? ;)
Excellent thought - and I agree we are supposed to know when to loosen the reigns and maybe thats where we have gone wrong in the past? Very interesting subject !!!

nettii
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by nettii » 31 Dec 2010 13:50

It makes total sense Maryanne. I always have had people relying on me because i'm strong, it's be nice to be able to rely on someone else for once.

SB wrote:
It sounds like you love each other very much, and I don't know whether "getting tough" on him would damage the loving relationship you have now.
I think I may have come across too strong with the confrontational thing. I didn't mean do it in a tough argumentative way, a loving way....does that make sense?? Your boyfriend will probably be relieved to find out that you know. The lies and deceipt are what makes it so hard for the partner. If he knows he doesn't have to lie it will be a relief for both of you.

WHat's quite funny and pretty sad is that me and my boyfriend, both with drink problems, would hide the empties from each other!! He'd be sneaking cans outside and throwing the empties in in the garage, whilst I was upstaires in the bedroom drinking and disposing of wine bottles. I knew about his, he knew about mine. He challenged me about a wine glass in the wardrobe, I denied it was me (like it was going to be my 9 year old daughters :D :D ) and then later admitted to it. It was such a relief to tell hm about the hiding bottles. And it was a relief for him to admit to the cans.

Just try and be as open as possible.

maryanne
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 31 Dec 2010 17:44

Don't worry Nettii I'm not capable of "getting tough" in an aggressive way and neither is my husband.
I was just talking about getting things out in the open instead of playing "lets pretend" forever.

Maybe some other people who expect too much from both of us are going to have to learn to stand on their own feet a bit more as well.

It's time we reclaimed our own life together.

It's a great thing to be able to help others but that saying "charity begins at home" is so very true.

I'm actually really looking forward to him coming home so that we talk about all this and work out the way forward. ;)?
nettii wrote:It makes total sense Maryanne. I always have had people relying on me because i'm strong, it's be nice to be able to rely on someone else for once.

SB wrote:
It sounds like you love each other very much, and I don't know whether "getting tough" on him would damage the loving relationship you have now.
I think I may have come across too strong with the confrontational thing. I didn't mean do it in a tough argumentative way, a loving way....does that make sense?? Your boyfriend will probably be relieved to find out that you know. The lies and deceipt are what makes it so hard for the partner. If he knows he doesn't have to lie it will be a relief for both of you.

WHat's quite funny and pretty sad is that me and my boyfriend, both with drink problems, would hide the empties from each other!! He'd be sneaking cans outside and throwing the empties in in the garage, whilst I was upstaires in the bedroom drinking and disposing of wine bottles. I knew about his, he knew about mine. He challenged me about a wine glass in the wardrobe, I denied it was me (like it was going to be my 9 year old daughters :D :D ) and then later admitted to it. It was such a relief to tell hm about the hiding bottles. And it was a relief for him to admit to the cans.

Just try and be as open as possible.

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hamster
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by hamster » 02 Jan 2011 08:30

Having spent the last hour procrastinating (should be researching for essay and not alcoholism) :roll: I came across an interesting literature review. It makes for fascinating reading but the part I thought worth posting here on the supportive partners thread was this....

'That all of these patients were married, while a random selection of alcoholics will include many singles. In test after test, an intact marriage has been shown to be a valuable asset. Married alcoholics recover at twice the rate of singles. As the Harvard Medical School pointed out, the support of a good spouse was more helpful than a treatment program or a support group.
In addition, patients who are still married still have something left to lose. Another study found that the people who do the best in recovery are not those who have "hit bottom" and lost everything; it's those people who still have something left to lose, and who will work to save it.

If anyone is interested in reading the full review then this is the link. I will have to say it is reviwing effectiveness of the 12 step programme of AA. for those in AA who are happy with it, it may not be helpful so I would advice caution - maybe best not to read as is clearly heavily biased against AA - however, some of the research quoted can be checked out and a personal opinion come too? dont know.

http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html

Julie
xx
AF2011 number 10

maryanne
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 02 Jan 2011 10:56

Thanks for that hamster. ;)?

Ellisbell
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 02 Jan 2011 12:06

Hi everyone and Happy New Year.

The few days have been a bit difficult with OH, my gut instinct is that he's had a drink but I fully admit I have no proof of this and if I ask he says not, but the last 3 days he hasn't posted on the site he goes on which he has been very very regularly before that, he fully admits its part of his recovery process. Last night he said that in a few weeks he was going to have a beer to see if it stopped his shakes or not! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I know he's getting bad cravings, he's due back at the doctors Wednesday hopefully he will agree to medication like Campral or something like that.

Something I have noticed is how miserable he's become, totally in a pit of despair and I feel myself being dragged into it. He has a lot of things going on right now, sobriety, some legal issues, family issues and a relationship with me. I tried to talk to him last night about prioritising all these issues in some kind of order, but he refuses to see the sense in that, bascially Ive gone through all his options and tried to get him to make some decisions - but he refuses saying that hes not a proactive person - its driving me crazy because I am a very proactive, get on with life type of person, its almost as if he wants to wallow in this constant state of self pity - evidently I don't understand, i've not been through what he has (which really gets my back up because if I listed every horrible act that has been committed against me I gaurantee most of you would be shocked but my view is that - what hasn't killed me has made me stronger and I firmly believe my life experiences have contributed to the success I have made of my life to this point). He doesn't want to work either which I have huge issues over! I work hard and earn every penny, I don't want to keep someone else who can't be bothered to get our there and work! He just keeps telling me how he suffers terribly with his nerves and i must'nt bring him down!

I want to help him, but how can I help someone who doesn't want to help himself? We are due to have 5 days away shortly, hopefully it will be very positive for both of us, but if it isn't and things don't improve I don't know how much longer I can hang in there.

We'll see how things go! Hope everyone else is doing good!

twinkletoes
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by twinkletoes » 02 Jan 2011 15:31

Ellis bell (hope I got the name right!) Your experience seems very similar to mine. Here is one of my first posts on this forum which I have copied and pasted
Hi

I've joined beacause I'm really worried about my husband. I posted this on the new members thread but also put it on here too. He is having a really hard time at the moment as his mum is very ill with cancer and he is also out of work because his business has gone bankrupt. We have always been 'social drinkers' and go out for drinks at the weekends with friends, however he also drinks red wine quite alot at home-2-3 bottles a night sometimes, it isn't every night but he sees it as a way to help him unwind and as a treat. I talked to him about how I am worried about his health and also mentioned the expense too and he stopped apart from occasional nights. However, last night I found some vodka hidden and what I thought was coke he had been drinking was actually vodka and coke. He says he has only done this the last couple of weeks and it's because he is having such a bad time at the moment but I'm really worried. He says he hid it beacuse I'd talked to him about the wine and he didn't want me 'nagging' about the vodka. I think it has been going on for longer,he never appears drunk, he never drinks to get drunk but I can tell when he's had a drink because I know him so well. I love him so much and really feel for the bad time he is going through and obviously support him every way I can. Luckily my job is secure so we don't have serious money worries.

Do you think he's an alcoholic? His dad was an alcoholic and my husband says there's no way he would let that happen to him but there are too many worrying signs. What can I do?

I would be so grateful for some advice as I don't want to talk to anyone I know about this.
Since I posted this, his mum has unfortunately died (3 months ago), it hasn't been the best Christmas, I feel like I've done everything to keep things going, bought the food, presents etc. Looking after his step dad (who is lovely) has also been a strain as he is obviously missing his wife. I have found drink hidden on a few occasions and spoken to my husband about it and he promises to stop- but he doesn't. I resent the money he spends, I resent the fact that he doesn't love me enough to stop. I tried to speak last night about how unhappy I am but he just gets cross, last night he thought it was reference to his lack of job (we live in merseyside) and he says that he won't be able to get a job round here, he'll have to work away but This would really really worry me as he'll be able to drink whenever he wants without me being there to look after him.

I really love him and want us to get through this but feel out of my depth. I'm considereing writing him a letter trying to explain all my thoughts as When we start talking about it I just end up getting upset and we end up argung

Ellisbell
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 02 Jan 2011 16:01

Yep ive had the "there are no jobs round here" and "I can't work at the moment because of the legal issues", next I'm expecting "my anxiety is too great to work" I think he's got used to not working now, which is a different issue to the drinking. I can't quite put my finger on why I think he's had a drink. We'll get to the bottom of it one way or another.

Its an awful thing to say and think but he was so happy and funny drunk, sober he's so miserable, unhappy and arsey! I don't want him to drink, I just hope he gets over this phase - especially the "he's had it worse than anyone else ever on this planet" mentality. Im not good with constant melancoly - or maybe I am not the right person for him during sobriety? Who knows.

Ellisbell
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 02 Jan 2011 17:55

Just had an email from OH saying that he doesn't want to talk or skype tonight because he wants to chill and veg out in front of telly - first time every he's ever said that - makes me think even more he's had a drink as he would know I would be able to tell if he was drunk seeing him on the screen. If he has had a drink I hope he will be able to be honest with me at some point so we can get it "out there" and discuss it.

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hamster
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by hamster » 03 Jan 2011 08:12

Hello Ellisbell and twinkletoes

I read your posts and your husbands sounded verymuch like I used to be. I guess thats because I am an alcoholic too and one thing alcoholics have in common apart from drinking its our behaviour while drinking and coming off drink.

I was at a support group last night. The discussion was around how we finally came to the understanding we were alcoholics. The capacity we had for denial was breathtaking. At one time I went to my GP insisting on a referal to the mental health services as I was certain my problems (mood swings, depression, drinking) stemmed from a mental health issue. I saw a mental health professional who basically told me there was nothing wrong with me other than I needed to stop drinking. At that time I saw my drinking as the one constant in life. The thing that helped me through a crap life that I didnt deserve. I was the biggest victim going. Life was hard and as far as I was concerned no one had been through what I had. This alcoholic should have a PHD in self pity.

Another person remembered being admitted to a mental health unit.. attached to a drip, given librium to stop tremours etc, he lay there looking at another patient who was having full on haulucinations. He decided as he didnt have haulucinations he couldnt really be an alcoholic when the detox was over he went out and drank believing they didnt know what they were doing and has misdiagnosed him as an alcoholic.

When drinking nothing is more important than the drink. I would hide bottles all over the flat from my husband but even then I didnt beleive I was an alcoholic. I resented him for me feeling I couldnt drink openly. I resented him for not drinking with me. I resented him for being angry when I got drunk or blacked out as I honestly believed this was normal. denial denial denial.

Things got to a head and I threw him out, firmly believing that all my problems stemmed from my past and him. He was causing me to drink. Without him I would be happy, drink normally and all would be well. Not two weeks had gone by when I had a binge. My eight year old son was with me and (thank God) I phoned my husband when I realised I was totally incapable of caring for my son. He came back. I passed out. He has never left.

the next day the penny finally dropped. I had a drink problem (not an alocholic mind - didnt like that word - didnt believe it still).

I started with alcohol counselling but it took me many weeks to stop drinking. Despite all the horrers drinking had brought to my door I still could not stop. But I did eventually. My first period of abstinence lasted 9 wonderful months of alcohol free sanity. Gone was the blaming everyone for everything, gone was the guilt and shame and not remembering the night before. Back came a mother who was able to fulfil that role.

My husband has been an immense support. I have been no angel with mood swings, anger, irritation etc etc, especially in the early weeks. I have been fighting this for three years now. And am happy to say I have had long periods of abstinenece. At times when I have slipped I have done ridiculous things. Last feb I had a slip -drank-got drunk- went out into the snow to sleep while my husband cojouled me back and my son watched on.

It was after that that finally I sat and said aloud in front of people 'I am an alcoholic'.

I always knew, I always know - that my husband is no push over. He has let it be known (and I believe him - he does not make idle threats) that if I dont stop drinking he will leave and take my son away. He has tolerated lapses because he has seen me work hard at my sobriety. I have a demanding job, I go to support meetings, I use this forum and I dont give up even when I slip.

If he did not see the comitment I have to my sobriety he would leave and he would be right to leave and I would only have myself to blame. My past, my life is no harder than anyone elses. drinking Alcoholics are self pitying, selfish people. Only sobriety brings light on that one. While I have a problem it does not belong to my husband and if ever I relapsed I hope that he takes my son and leaves. For my sons sake. No one should have to live with an alcoholic if they are drinking unless they see a real want to stop drinking.

I have gone around many houses to say - If ever it is too much and you need to leave - always remember that this is not you that is drinking. That you deserve a life and if someone else makes a choice to destroy their own then you should not allow them to take you with them.

Julie
xx
AF2011 number 10

Ellisbell
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 03 Jan 2011 17:45

Hi julie

thank you so much for that insightful, post, good luck, really mean that x

twinkletoes
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by twinkletoes » 03 Jan 2011 19:11

Thank you from me too Julie it means a lot to hear other people's experiences. I had a long talk to my husband last night and he says he can understand how I feel and he will cut down on the drink. We aren't drinking now till Friday when we go out to meet friends in the pub. He says I just have to trust him that he will do this. I hope it's just a crutch he has been using to get him through bad times and that cutting down is enough. I will just have to wait and see xx

Ellisbell
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Ellisbell » 04 Jan 2011 20:33

I have spoken to OH tonight and ended our relationship, its sad but just not going to work, he needs someone with a greater level of sympathy than I have and I need someone a little less needy, I realised that actually I am a very bad codependent. He was absolutely fine with this and said that if I hadn't have done it he would have, hopefully that doesn't mean that he thinks he can go back to guilt free drinking, i really hope he keeps on this path of sobriety but I'm not holding out much hope.

I just want to thank you all for your support during the short time I was on this website.

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Bela
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Bela » 04 Jan 2011 21:52

Even though you sound a bit reconciled to it, it must be gut wrenching.
Not a happy ending, but you never know where your decision will lead.
I fear you could have remained stuck in a holding or even deteriorating position for a long time, and at least now you have a new world of opportunity ahead.
I really wish you the best. <:)> Bela
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

maryanne
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by maryanne » 05 Jan 2011 20:16

Hi Bella and Digga

Everything is out in the open and everything is fine.

Thank you for your support over the last week.

Couldn't have taken have taken this step without your help.

Speak soon (::) ;)? <:)> :D
maryanne wrote:Thanks Bella and Digga for your replies. I will let you know what happens.

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hamster
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by hamster » 06 Jan 2011 07:04

Ellisbell <:)> I know this must be so hard for you. You have clearly tried so hard to work this out. Ultimately you have to think of your own future. So sad that someone can let alcohol destroy something like a relationship but as I said earlier. We alcoholics, when drinking, are able to care for nothing else but the drink. Wishing you all the best for the future Ellisbell <:)> <:)> You are one strong lady.

Julie
x
AF2011 number 10

Beverley
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Re: Supportive Partners

Post by Beverley » 06 Jan 2011 08:15

Hello all

I am going to pay back OH big time. I am going to lose weight and quit smoking too. I am going to make sure he has back the old me in full force!!

Love and all the best Bev x
Every moment is a gift - that's why it's called the present

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