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susanjeanc has a Gold Membership
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Mar 11 at 11:27 AM

afraid to speak

For a while, off and on , I have read through the posts here but have been reluctant to say anything.
I have enjoyed drinking alcoholic beverages all of my adult life but rarely over indulged.
Over a year ago I had a scary event with alcohol and as a result have had very little since.
My husband is an alcoholic. After more and more awful he has to stop. I don't know if I can get him through this on my own. I know I can't go back to life as was usual. One week down of significantly reduced alcohol.
Will this work or should I just walk away now? In other ways we have a good life together. I am afraid that I am not enough to manage this problem.

    • Oh, Susan I am so sorry to hear this.

      Have you thought about AA for your husband? Or even rehab? What about a family program for you for support?

      What do your kids think?

    • susanjeanc has a Gold Membership
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      Mar 11 at 01:33 PM

      He is not interested in AA or a Rehab facility. And he isn't really interested in changing anything. After his accident falling down the stairs, I told him that he had to change, I set out a plan for reduction and that I would take charge of providing and monitoring what and how much he drinks. With only minor negotiation, he agreed.
      It has only been a week, but we have made it through a week. His doctor is aware of the plan and so is his daughter. She is grateful. My son thinks the plan is a good idea. Both my children have been very displeased with the drinking.
      Over the past few years it has been hard to tell what changes are due to declining health and what is due to alcohol, and of course to two are intertwined.
      There is the possibility this plan will bring about long term change. There is also a good probability of failure. Obviously success will take time and will have rough spots.
      He has talked very little during the past week. The only thing he has had to say on the subject since our initial conversation has been a complaint about my management and the fairness of my terms.
      I have two local friends I have talked to.
      As a nurse I have enough basic knowledge to keep him safe, but this is not my specialty by any means!
      No matter what a person 's circumstances life just keeps rolling along whether prepared or not.

    • Here are some random thoughts (basically what I would do without ever having walked in your shoes). And I wish I had magical thoughts to make it better for you.

      I think marriages are worth fighting for (I'm divorced as are you, so you know the drill).

      At some point, you have to cut your "losses" and move on for your health, physical and mental, no matter how much you love someone. I think we all have to decide how we want to spend the last 20+ years of our lives? How long are you willing to try this plan? Only you can decide.

      If you were to separate, would he change? Who knows.

      I love that his doctor and all kids are involved. And, it sounds like you've got a good support system. I would still suggest you go to AA (I can't remember what the family program is called. To help you and to meet others in your position).

      My ex was in the military and there is a lot of drinking. My ex wasn't a alcoholic, but when he drank (was fairly frequently), he drank to excess. Not falling down drunk, but... It wasn't why we divorced but now, in my life, I have a low tolerance for "excess" drinking.

      I hope some of the other offer their ideas.

    • Susan sorry you hear about this and great job at making a plan. My father is an alcoholic my parents split up when I was just a few months of because of it. He remarried about 25 years ago and quit drinking for a long time then about 12 years ago he started up again and went off the rails my step mother would come home at 3pm and he's be passed out drunk on the living room floor. She "dealt" with it for several years then realized she need to make some changes that would benefit her happiness she tried and tried to get him to change and he just hid the drinking. She started attending an al anon group and found great support and learned alot about alcoholism. Unfortunately nothing really changed until she moved out he has gotten much better but still hasn't put the bottle down. I'm not sure what will work in your situation but just be mindful of your happiness and mental health also you can't change him only he can. sending good thoughts and prayers I hope you guys can work this through.

    • susanjeanc has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Mar 11 at 04:17 PM

      I appreciate your thoughts, Kris.
      I am nit surprised that my husband got a little (it really was a little) prickly today but I think it struck me that this process could get very unpleasant and/or fail.

      If we separated I think he would continue drinking and that he would not take care of himself.

      I am not ready to give up on him and our marriage. He did tell me that he would be willing to consider other treatment options if no improvement in a couple months.

      Thank you, Kris.

    • susanjeanc has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Mar 11 at 04:53 PM

      Thank you, srogers. Previously I had not pushed because I knew he had no desire to change. Hopefully this is the time.

    • It sounds to me like you do have some hope. And that you are very realistic in the process and what may or may not happen.

      I hope things go well for you and your husband.

    • Sorry you and you're family are going through this. Keep venting whenever you need to, we're all here for you ❤️

    • cmsmith8 has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Mar 13 at 03:49 AM

      Hi Susan,
      So sorry to hear this. When I was 34 I left my alcoholic 1st husband with a 12,11,9 and 7 year old. I went to my parents home and started a whole new life. In my case, he was violent and I had to go.

      If your hubby is open at all to working on this, there is hope. Keep posting and we will support you.

      Catherine

    • The family support program is Al Anon.
      You may get some help and coping tips from others in similar circumstances should you choose to look for a local group; or even just for those in similar situations.

      As an admitted alcoholic, married to another, I'll be blunt: if he doesn't want to change, it's not likely to stick, unfortunately. Living with a dry drunk is just as miserable as living with an active drinker. We have our ups and downs, and there are relapses on both ends, but we're both committed to changing and that's the key: we both KNOW alcohol affects us poorly.

      I hope he's had a "come to Jesus" moment regarding his health and alcohol and that you two are able to work through it. Just remember to take care of yourself, too.

    • And...it is not, ever, a matter of YOU being enough, ma'am.

      Alcohol can be a terrible, mind altering thing for some people. It can be addictive and sickening and feel as essential as air or water - and at the same time, as deadly as poison.

      He likely knows, at some level, that it affects him. I don't believe I've ever met a heavy drinker/alcoholic that didn't have some underlying or related issue: often, working to find/resolve that issue is the key. Would he be open to counseling? White knuckling through sobriety just for the sake of not drinking is hard, hard, hard - and not drinking for external causes can be difficult because if failure occurs, it becomes this internal hateful cycle of, "I wasn't strong enough to resist alcohol even for my family/wife/children". It's hard, but essential, to find that boundary between what is enabling and what is supporting.

    • susanjeanc has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Mar 13 at 03:27 PM

      I have gotten two good books. One of the physiology of alcohol consumption and the other about recovery from alcohol abuse. Based on what I have read so far, I thinnk that I am on the right track. My husband has never been violent, sober or not sober. He doesn't drive. He is a generous and caring person. He has no idea how much his drinking effects other people. It will take time to see how much change he can make. This accident scared him, I think. I don't plan for further reduce that allowed amount until he is willing. And I think I need to get him to talk more. Probably talking with someone else would be better but I don't think that is likely. He is quite shut down. I think that it is important for both of us to be able to talk about him, me and us, together. As far as I know he has not talked to anyone except his daughter since the accident 10 days ago, until someone from church came by today. I
      I am impatient and want immediate resolution but also know that is not how it is going to work. I also want back the healthy younger man I met 20 years ago and married 14 years ago. He could become healthier but neither one of use will go back in years.

    • Susan, it sounds like you have found a bit of peace. I hope it continues and I hope things improve for both of you.

    • susanjeanc has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Mar 14 at 02:41 PM

      Thanks for support.
      This morning I asked him to sit with me and have a conversation. I asked what it is that he likes about drinking and what he doesn't like about drinking. I told him I didn't want to argue or criticize but rather just to have better understanding. He didn't say much but he did respond. I also brought up how each of us contribute to exacerbating the others problems. I think it was a good start. It has been many years since we have had
      Any personal conversations.
      Being able to write here helps me sort out my thoughts. For some reason the idea of more typical journaling seems repulsive right now.
      Ten days he has had no more than 5 beers in a day and ten days I have stayed calm.
      Both sound shameful to me but I will try to think of the positive side.

    • Susan that's awesome I'm glad you guys are finding ways to improve the situation. like weight loss the alcohol addiction didn't come on overnight so every step in the right direction is a win. Praying for continued improvement you guys can do this.

    • jdm_taco has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Mar 14 at 06:21 PM

      I don't have any helpful advice, but I just want to wish you the very best. I understand how tough it can be.

    • Good for you Susanjean. You have the answer for sure but it's so helpful to get stuff out of our head and hear our own voice. Your words and the words from the lovely people here help you to choose a path. It's you and your husband's connection that's takes your journey on its trajectory.... this to me seems you're going in a positive more harmonious direction. I always think emotions are better spent healing and comforting. Your husband must feel your intention and is acting accordingly. Well done!!! Please keep us posted.

    • susanjeanc has a Gold Membership
      Gold Member

      Mar 15 at 06:45 PM

      Success!!! He saved one of his beer allotment to have one at a restaurant with dinner and without prompting ordered a short.

    • Very cool and very hopeful. His choices are making both of your lives better. You so deserve this!!!!

    • That's great Susan!

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