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Help Me Support My Partner

Partners, families, children and friends - they all get affected by your drinking.
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london bloke
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by london bloke » 17 Jan 2014 23:41

Fascinating article in Guardian about supporting alcoholics. Clear message - the person with the problem needs to be self-aware and very very motivated; otherwise they can take whole families down with them.



http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... ohn-gurdon" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Alcohol = Anxiety: I have suffered for years.
Sobriety = Freedom: I have tasted freedom, and I want it more.

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StressedWife
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Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by StressedWife » 04 Feb 2014 07:13

He left me :( we were living apart & being friends whilst we worked through some stuff and he's said he doesn't love me anymore.

When he came out of rehab I didn't feel like I loved him but he begged me for another chance, slowly my feeling came back for him & now he's dropped this on me. When he came out he clearly felt a lot of love for me, that can't have just gone?!

Heartbroken. I truly believe deep down he does love me :( I don't want to be without him. Right now we do need to be apart, we both have our own issues to deal with but I believe in the future we could b happy.


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"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies" - Mother Teresa

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free flow
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by free flow » 04 Feb 2014 13:15

Hi StressedWife, I am sorry to hear this but maybe it is time for you to move on?

When there is real feeling between two people, there are going to be times they are not happy, when real life butts in and creates difficulties. But these can be worked out because when there is love between two, there is always room for compromise and agreement, although it may take a bit of discussion to get there.

When one or the other is needy or controlling or a combination of both, there is never compromise nor agreement; there is only controversy and hurt.

You are the only one who knows where you stand in this relationship, and you are the one to make the decision based upon what is best for you.

I have been through a relationship that lasted for about 30 years, and was suddenly ended by my OH who decided that she had new friends, a new life and that I was not a part of it. That was about 5 years ago, and we still live together for financial and educational, for our son, reasons, but there has been nothing between us other than civilized platonic conversation since then.

I have come to terms with it, although not to the extent that I am comfortable with any other relationship yet, but to the extent that I am becoming more comfortable with myself and where I am in my life (although if you read me in My Relationship with Myself it may not quite appear so).

Much work to do, but at least progress is being made.

I really believe that I must take more care of myself first, to believe in myself and what I can accomplish by myself, before I can truly contribute to this world. I have become less dependent upon others for my emotional and spiritual needs, learning to enjoy the company of others without irrational emotions butting in.
This, of course, could change at a seconds' notice should I happen to meet someone who strikes me with a direct hit to the heart, sending me into the senior's rendition of puppy love :oops: And I do not say this facetiously as I am very aware of my romantic self, who has been trapped for far too long in a maudlin existence.

Sigh!

I do hope this may help, although I am not sure just what I am trying to say to you, other than no matter what happens, life goes on and you still have you. <:)> <:)>

J/
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are. - Carl Jung

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StressedWife
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by StressedWife » 04 Feb 2014 15:48

He said he's not fit to be in a relationship right now as he needs to find out who he is & what he wants from life... He said neither of us know what the future holds but for now we need to be apart which I agree with.

I can't give up on my marriage that easily, not when I know we have such a lot to save, we've had a bad couple of years (cos of his addictions) which brought out the worst in us both but before that we had a really good relationship & I believe we can build a new relationship from this.

I suppose I'm hoping, hoping that we have some chance at a future - it's all I can do right now & I'm just taking each day as it comes x


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"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies" - Mother Teresa

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free flow
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by free flow » 05 Feb 2014 11:38

StressedWife, i really hope you find what you are looking for. <:)> <:)>

J/
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are. - Carl Jung

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StressedWife
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by StressedWife » 06 Feb 2014 08:23

Thank you, it seems unlikely but thanks all the same :) x


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"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies" - Mother Teresa

hopeful_mama
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by hopeful_mama » 25 Aug 2014 12:29

Hi all...
Im new to this so hope I'm posting in the right place.

Well I've been with my husband for 11 yrs. We have two beautiful children aged 5 and 7. He's always had issues with drink. He's not an everyday drinker.. well not until it creeps and reaches a crescendo at times and has looked for help before. This was a couple of yrs ago. But, as he keeps a job and can go for days between binges, turning point found it hard to help him. After about two months he had an appointment sent through for an alcohol counsellor to look at how he can manage his drinking. At the time this landed on his doorstep he was on an even keel so he didn't go.
But the fact he didn't fit into the turning point rehab box, fuelled his opinion that 'he's not a proper alcoholic'.

He has a low tolerance for alcohol, goes wobbly very quickly. If he's drunk excessively the night before then he finds himself in the pub before lunchtime the following day. This spells disaster and can go on for two or three days, hes lost his driving license twice had numerous head injuries, I took him in for a cat scan following a funeral this year as he couldnt get through the front door. If I try to stop him he starts an argument in front of the children and leaves anyway. I then wait for him to return amd find him somewhere on his back outside or ferried back by a local or landlord who leave me to deal with him. He is sheepish for a week or two then it starts again slowly.
He doesn't care if the kids see him now and to me, this amounts as abuse.
I've threatened to leave so many times and he has promised to get help but it never goes anywhere.
I've been to the doctor for advice but left with antidepressants for myself to cope with it! (I never even started takin them... my kids don't need that and it's not dealing with the problem)

When I threaten to leave I get blamed for making a big deal and wanting to split the family up. He says its mt fault for marrying him as I knew what he is so just put up with it (and I guess he's right)

We have just found a house closer to my family and the kids school. I work within the community and told him he wasnt welcome unless he committed to bucking his ideas up as it would devastate me if he behaved like that for all the kids friends to see (but I so want to have the support network of my own friends and family... I feel so embarrassed, alone and isolated now) but I've just had a weekend of hell again.

How do I follow through? He's obviously not ready to change, I don't know how I will cope financially and worry that if I leave him he will go on a bender and without anyone looking out for him he will end up dead.
Our son has very challenging behaviour and I can see the direct associations. Hubby's father is still an alcoholic and has lost his wife through unwillingness to change. I cant have the same for my kids.

Sorry for waffling... theres obviously a bigger back story but I've tried to condense it,

Thanks for listening,

Hopeful x

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DannyD
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by DannyD » 25 Aug 2014 12:47

Hi hopeful, and welcome.

My husband used to shout at me about my drinking. It was a viscous circle of course - the more he shouted, the more " he drove me to drink." Now, of course, I can see that it was always my choice. He left, when both children were under five. It made no difference to my drinking. I look back and think how irresponsible it was for him to leave me with two small children.

What can you do? It's all about choices. You've made the 'I'm going to leave' threat, and he knows you haven't. Can you? In ten years time, where do you want to be?

Nothing changes, if nothing changes. He can't/won't. How strong are you?
be selfish in your sobriety.

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loopenval
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by loopenval » 25 Aug 2014 20:30

Hi Hopeful

I read your note with great empathy. I have for years been a functioning alcoholic. Never had the problems you describe. My wife pleaded wrote notes, did everything she could. I knew I had a problem, but it was easier to ignore it. It is not without considerable shame that I write this note.

Your situation is a difficult one. I suspect your OH cutting down will not do the trick. As others have commented you have to put the children and yourself first, and do what you consider is best in the long term.

If I may take the liberty I will note some comment for thought.

This problem will not resolve itself unless your other half decides to tackle the problem.

Threats and arguments do not achieve much.

Alcoholism is a never ending deepening cycle for as long as that we drink. I remember when my mother had cancer I drank more. When my first wife died from a heart condition, I drank more. When my second wife died from cancer, I drank more.
When I decided I want this no more. I started the road to sobriety, not easy, not over night and have had blips.
What I am trying to get to it needs a concious decision to change things and an acceptance of being an alcoholic. That for me was the case.

Have you read about tough love?
Stay on Bright Eye and read as much as you can

sorry i could not be more helpful
bert
2015. # 59

hopeful_mama
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by hopeful_mama » 25 Aug 2014 22:27

Thank you both, I have spent some years reading about how I can help him and how I enable his behaviour and I know what I do to maintain his addiction and what I should be doing (tough love!) but he is my children's father.

It is a constant internal battle to weigh up whether I should risk trying to hide them from his next episode (which could be a day, week, month... he really is a *mostly* functioning alcoholic) or whether to put them through a separation from him, which I know my son will not deal with well at all, he has emotional struggles of his own even at his tender age.

I also worry that I will not trust them spending time with him and that he will hit the pub, have no income and how he'll he ever get home without falling into the road... if he got killed I would feel to blame... as I say, he doesn't drink daily, sometimes not even weekly, but I've had him dropped off at the door by the police with a scraped head, back, no trousers on - once with my 4 month-old in my arms! Thanks Mr Policeman Sir, why couldn't you lock him up and teach him a lesson rather than leave him with me to get up the stairs with a young baby. But, you see there lies the problem, that even those who you feel should help, see drinking husbands as fairly common place and a matter for 'her indoors' (do they see me as a stupid woman, a pitiful wife for putting with it...?)

Frustratingly, his mother takes this weird tact also. Despite the fact that she put up with his father she doesn't really recognise the anguish I feel in his worst times. I get the 'well at least he doesn't hit you like his father did to me' and so the conversation closes and I don't discuss it with her anymore. I really hoped she would be an ally. I try not to let my parents know when I am struggling as I know they feel I should leave him, but they always guess.

For years I thought I could leave him, it would make him hit rock bottom and then he would see the light, try his hardest and I could welcome him back with open arms and forever be his loving rock.
From reading your stories and reading your replies (along with other reading over the years) I realise this is a fairytale fantasy. I firmly want to believe that it is the drink and not HIM, however they are one and the same until he chooses otherwise... he's even told me this in the past - "it's me, it's who I am" like I'm trying to surgically remove the biggest part of him to be able to love him. I understand his father was his male role model and I'm trying to squeeze him into a mould he doesn't fit. But I still love him I don't want to tear everything away from him. But my children... I am responsible for them.
loopenval wrote:It is not without considerable shame that I write this note.
That makes me sad and frustrated Bert, I feel that shame is the heart of the addiction which feeds the demon. I see it in my husband and his father, this never-ending cycle of guilt and dismissive hiding behaviour... avoiding those close and going to the pub to 'hide their head in the sand' and feel better about themself (when really they're just self-medicating those awful, shameful feelings - well, sometimes).

But then there's the emotional blackmail. In the past when we've chatted about separating I get the threat "I've got nowhere to go and how can we both afford two deposits and rent?!" (we own a house which we rent out but it isn't an option for either to move back). I know I shouldn't care - his choice, his problem, but he's right. It isn't a simple case of kicking him out, bags on the doorstep. And if I did this whilst he was drunk he'd end up banging the door down, upsetting the children and neighbours, the police being called or him being run over en-route to god knows where.

Following the weekend antics (no police involved but one stressed mama, two evenings drunk and two children who noticed their dad was drunk by 3pm), we have had a chat tonight. He got teary. We discussed the two options - do you want to accept the issue and act on it OR move out?
I appreciate this is a bit hollow, I shouldn't be asking if he wants to accept it, he needs to do this himself.
As the script goes (and it does every 4-6 weeks) he knows he has a problem, were you in control when you chose to get drunk by 3pm yesterday? "Yes" so you were selfish enough to put your children through that? "OK, maybe not, I could have made better choices, I can't control it".

Is this copping out or self reflection?

I have to appreciate his choice to try. He won't attend meetings. We've explored options before, he got himself to a meeting around 2 months ago, but the doors were locked with no-one there. He won't do meetings now.
He has spoken to others (at the pub!) about their experience of meetings. I did explain that they may give a bit of a jaded perspective (considering they were still in the pub... regularly!)

So, you see, he does seem to want to try if he's talking to others about it rather that be led by me, but it's just all so half-hearted. He isn't off the rails every day so I get this false sense of thankfulness for those days, but there is threat every day, real anxiety building up in my stomach when his car isn't home when it should be or he spends too long popping to the shops... that he will come back and fall in the front garden again in broad daylight and I can't move him, that the police will bring him home, that he will lose his license again, that he will lose his job, that the children's teachers (who live locally) will see him or a neighbour will tell them, that he will fall over indoors and hurt himself seriously and I will get the blame.

Sorry for the long one. I know, ultimately the only way to affect change, but the threat of what might happen is petrifying.

HM x

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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by Gardengirl » 26 Aug 2014 16:27

Hi Hopeful,
I saw your post on the newbies thread and sent a message there for you, then noticed your further posts here.
I really feel for you, it is so difficult living on a knife edge, never sure what each day is going to bring especially when you have children, you continually live with a knot of tension.
There is some very useful information on here about co-dependency and enabling, (very well worth reading and very enlightening) I am trying very hard to stop doing both, not always easy.
I have struggled for years living with my alcoholic OH, even after admitting that he probably did have a drink problem it has been and still is a continual battle to get him to truly commit to really wanting to give up booze and even then to understand and realise he has to want it more than anything else and that he really has to work hard for it.
Everything that I have learnt here and from his support worker, GP and people that he attends AA with, is that I have to look after me and try as best I can to detach from him and let him take the consequences for his drinking, no matter what they maybe, this is his problem to deal with, not yours. 'You didn't cause it, you can't control it and you cannot cure it'.
All my very best wishes to you and your children (hopefully you can take joy and pleasure from them)
GG x

hopeful_mama
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by hopeful_mama » 26 Aug 2014 23:47

Hi GardenGirl,

Some really helpful insight, thank you.
I really must read a bit more on the enabling and co-dependency . I know the part I play, but in reality, when enough is enough when is the right time to leave? And when your lives are so entangled, how on earth do you pick it apart and start again without a big horrible mess (and someone rendered homeless?) Is it feasible to be less enabling but still support, love and not have to separate completely?

If you don't mind me asking, what kind of stage are you at with your OH? You say you continue to support him but he slips... are you guys still living together?

I love him dearly but am beginning to detach emotionally. In the early days (by this I mean the first few years!) I would get incredibly upset and emotional. I still get the same hopeless feeling and build up of stress and anxiety simmering (which I don't think ever turns off and as I'm sure you know, is very, very emotionally draining), but when he loses control of his drinking, I get angry - not outwardly but inwardly and so annoyed and frustrated with myself for still being here. I know a few people on here have said 'don't blame yourself' but actually, if I am enabling this behaviour perhaps I can only make the first move to stop it - am I being selfish for the 'good days'? I feel too tired to argue but also too tired to do anything about it. This kind of concerns me as I feel as though I'm losing my 'fight' should I decide to leave and I need that for the children's sakes.

On the plus side... he did say tonight that he's cross because 'things were really starting to look up' and he felt we were doing so well (about to move house). He has been admitting defeat to the lack of control and these weren't forced words by any means.
I know we're going round in circles, but every tiny step is a glimmer of hope.

How does everyone else deal with functions, friends coming round, the 'obstacles'? Following him committing to stop drinking last night, I threw a few obstacles at him - 'what about friends coming round bringing you a beer?' 'what about at the next BBQ?' ''what about the next meal at a pub?' (these are all occasions he would get cross with me if I even looked at him questioningly as how was he supposed to not join in?)
He wasn't too confident, I think he thought I was being a bit mean, but having gone round in circles before, I know it takes 'one day at a time' but does he not need to create a bit of a 'back-up' plan for times like these?

Hopeful x

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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by Gardengirl » 27 Aug 2014 07:05

Hi Hopeful

We are still together, this is because at the moment I cannot get him out, he has no family apart from us and no friends and no where to go, he has been off work for 7 months after falling at work, drunk at 9 in the morning, so has only had Statuary Sick Pay, which he has used to pay a couple of the household bills and keep himself in booze and fags. He has given me an undertaking that if he drinks again he will leave, and I am determined that he will go even if he is homeless and I know that will be very very hard for me to do. I do care what happens to him, but I must learn to care more about what happens to me.
I went to my first Al anon meeting last night, only a very small meeting as apparently people away on holiday. Really lovely people there, I was not the only new person there and we were made to feel very welcome. I am not sure if it is for me, have a bit of a problem with the higher power thing but I am going to give it a go for a few weeks and maybe this is something you could consider.
I know because I have done it for years, my time was consumed with trying to get him to stop drinking, making excuses for him, covering up for him, basically enabling him to carry on drinking, because I was scared, I did not have the confidence that I could manage on my own emotionally or financially, now I can see with the benefit of hindsight I that I could have coped, I was the stronger person. I deeply regret I did not face up years ago when the children were small and get out, instead we all have suffered and been damaged by his continual drinking over the years and that includes him because I protected him from the consequences of his drinking.
You have the support of everyone here, I know it has helped me enormously (although I have been spending time on here instead of working not good) , but maybe you could benefit from a face to face support as well and that may well limit you to Al anon, but it is confidential what is said there, stays there, it is not for everyone but there is something comforting sitting in a room with people who absolutely understand, who tell their stories and you can identify similarities with your life, who can give some insight as to how they have turned things round, not for their OH but for themselves. It is so very hard, I am angry a lot of the time, with him and more so with me for allowing it to 'get to me' , but the message is you can only do things to change yourself and how you react and behave to your OH, no matter how much love or support you give him he will only change if change is what he wants and needs for himself and is prepared to ask for and take all help, support and advice that is out there. I am still not convinced that my OH is at that point yet and we are 25 years on ( I must be truly mad to still be here). Denial is very very strong in an alchoholic.

hopeful_mama
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by hopeful_mama » 06 Sep 2014 22:20

Thanks all for your replies.
I've been doing alot of thinking over the past week and things have reached crisis point AGAIN this weekend (periods between binges are getting much shorter and behaviour is unbearable).

I have a question... I'm not sure if I'm trying to find excuses, but something triggered my thoughts and it is starting to make an awful lot of sense. So, I'm not excusing the alcohol abuse - that is very much the issue and where he needs the help, but I was wondering if anyone on here has any experience of hypomania or bipolar and it's association with alcoholism?

If you feel these are simply typical alcohol-based behaviours and I am trying to scratch too deep into the problem, do tell me...
It dawned on me how unreasonable he is when he's drinking, very inflated self-esteem and incredibly selfish (yes I understand this goes with the territory) but he will completely belittle anything anyone else says, won't listen. He has next to no sleep - asleep at 2am and back up at 6am FULL of energy, full of coffee and usually with a big plan (this can range from starting a new business, having to go and see someone/something RIGHT NOW, joining random activist groups with some crazy 'goal' - the badger cull set him off one morning last year after dreaming about them and having a couple hours sleep!) his mind is clearly racing and lately when he ends up in the pub by lunchtime following a late night binge/early morning wake up that his 'head is 'f***ed' and I 'don't understand what thoughts he is having and what goes on in his head'. He is full of energy but gets absolutely nothing done.
This morning he woke up having had hardly any sleep, was on his way to the bank to cash our deposit money for the house we're moving into next week and ended up in the phone shop to buy a new iphone! (he already has one!) luckily the man talked him out of it and suggested he waited til his contract was up THANK GOD! He phoned me and told me, quite confused with himself and then went to the pub!

Is this normal behaviour just from alcohol abuse or should I be considering helping him with something a little more complicated?? Generally, this lasts around 3 days, although his alcohol blurs and reckless behaviours have lasted up to a week in the past (ie if I move out and leave him up to his own devices he is beyond control).

He will sulk and get very teary for the following day or two which I've always put down to a hangover - could it be linked to the 'up/down' cycle?

Maybe someone may shed some light on this,

Thanks for listening (again),

Hopeful x

hopeful_mama
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Re: Help Me Support My Hubby

Post by hopeful_mama » 06 Sep 2014 22:58

Yes thank you, I posted an appreciation reply there too as I had just found it and was about to post again (stupid me, should have checked first).
You're a star!
HM x

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